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

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

Early Settlers and Prominent Men; Biographies; 

History of Pennsylvania; Statistical and 

Miscellaneous Matter, etc.. etc. 




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THE material that comes within the legitimate scope of a history of 
Crawford County may appear commonplace when compared with that 
which is embodied in national history; nevertheless the faithful gathering 
and the truthful narration of facts relating to its aboriginal and pre-Amer- 
ican period, the coming of the white race to occupy its soil, and the 
dangers, hardships and privations encountered by its pioneers while 
engaged in advancing the standards of civilization, together with its sub- 
sequent moral and material growth and development, is a work of no small 

The first settlers who acted so important a part in this portion oE the 
State, and who heretofore have been the sole custodians of much historical 
knowledge essential for such a work as this have all passed away, but for- 
tunately a few of the men who bore the burdens of the pioneer, left to 
their children a written record of early days in Crawford County, thus pre- 
serving for fnfciire generations the history of the first American settlement 
in the Valley of French Creek. In connection with these records the 
descendants of the pioneers in every part of the county have been inter- 
viewed, and their recollections given due weight in the compilation of its 

For the convenience of its readers the book has been divided into parts. 
The outline history of the State was prepared expressly for us by Prof. 
Samuel P. Bates, a well known author of Meadville. The history of Craw- 
ford County and the City of Meadville was written by Mr. R. C. Brown, of 
Chicago 111. ; while the history of the City of Titusville and the several 
townships of the county was compiled by Mr. J. B. Mansfield, of Ashland, 
Ohio. The biographical sketches which appear in the latter part of the book 
are purely complimentary, and a proof of each sketch was submitted by 
mail to the subject for correction. 

The most authentic publications bearing on early events in Northwestern 
Pennsylvania have been consulted, and the State and county records have 
also been freely utilized as reliable -sources of information. The scarcity 
in many instances of authentic local data, has been overcome by a system- 
atic and careful research of family manuscripts and the old newspaper 
tiles, dating back to 1805, from which were gathered many of the most 
important local events that have transpired during the past three -equarters 
of a century. The private papers of Gen. David Mead, " Reminiscences 
of the Olden Time," by the late John Reynolds, Esq., the recollections of the 


late John Dick, Esq., the autobiography of Cornelius Van Home, Esq., 
Mr. Alfred Huidekoper's "Incidents in the Early History of Crawford 
County, Penn.," and the address of William H. Davis, Esq., on the history 
of the county, delivered in 1848, before the Meadville Literary Union, 
were all of invaluable aid to the county historian. 

The series of articles contributed to the press by the late Thomas Kus- 
ton Kennedy, Esq. , were, too, of great assistance to the same writer, which 
can also be said of live lectures on the Holland and Pennsylvania Population 
Land Companies, the churches, schools, agriculture and internal improve- 
ments of the county, which were respectively prepared and delivered in 
Meadville, by Alfred Huidekoper, Esq., Eev. Eichard Craighead, Prof. Sam- 
uel P. Bates, Joshua Douglass, Esq., and Hon. William Reynolds, each of 
whom extended to Mr. Brown kindly advice and generous sympathy from 
the inception until the close of his labors. 

Among others whose assistance we desire to acknowledge, are the late 
Judge David Derickson, Hon. Hiram L. Richmond, Rev. J. V. Reynolds 
Hon. G. B. Delamater, Col. Alexander Power, David M. Farrelly, Esq., 
Joseph Dickson, Esq., Dr. Edward Ellis and Mrs. Jane Bemus, while the 
county ofiBcials and the leading members of every profession and calling 
throughout the county were always willing to lend a helping hand in fur- 
thering the labors of the historians. Special acknowledgments are due to 
Francis C. Waid, Esq., of Woodcock Township, for his generous and 
munificent patronage to the work, and the unqualified interest he has dis- 
played in its welfare. The publishers avail themselves of this opportunity 
to thank all who have thus aided in the preparation of the work; for what- 
ever of merit the history of Crawford County contains is due, in a large 
measure, to their assistance. 

We undertook the publication of a history of this county, upon the advice 
and encouragement of a goodly number of the leading members of the 
"Historical Society of Crawford County," and after more than a year of 
unceasing toil we present the book to our many hundred patrons, with the 
belief that we have fulfilled every promise made in our prospectus, and 
with the satisfaction of knowing that we bring what we guaranteed. 






CHAPTER I.— Introductory 15-23 

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


Sir William Keift, 1638-47. Peter Minuit, 
1638-41. Peter Hollandaer, 1641-43. John 
Printz, 1643-53. Peter Stuyvesant, 1647-64. 
John Pappagoya, 1653-54. John Claude 
Rysingh, 1654-55. 


John Paul Jacquet, 1655-57. Jacob Alrichs, 
1657-59. Goeran Van Dyck, 1657-58. Will- 
iam Beekman, 1658-63. Alex. D'Hinoyossa, 


Richard Nichols, 1664-67. Robert Need- 
ham, 1664-68. Francis Lovelace, 1667-73. 
John Carr, 1668-73. Anthony Colve, 1673-74. 
Peter Alrichs, 1673-74. 

CHAPTER V 41-50 

Sir Edmund Andros, 1674-81. Edmund 
Cantwell, 1674-76. John Collier, 1676-77. 
Christopher Billop, 1677-81. 


William Markham, 1681-82. William Penn, 


Thomas Lloyd, 1684-86. Five Commis- 
sioners, 1686-88. John Blackwell, 1688-90. 
Thomas Lloyd, 1690-91. William Markham, 
1691-93. Benjamin Fletcher, 1693-95. Will- 
iam Markham, 1693-99 



William Penn, 1699-1701. Andrew Hamil- 
ton, 1701-03. Edward Shippen, 1703-04. John 
Evans, 1704-09. Charles Gooken, 1709-17. 


Sir William Keith, 1717-26. Patrick Gor- 
don, 1726-36. James Logan, 1736-38. George 
Thomas, 1738-47. Anthony Palmer, 1747-48. 
Jam es Hamilton, 1748-54. 


Robert H. Morris, 1754-56. William Den- 
ny, 1756-59. James Hamilton, 1759-63. 

CHAPTER XI 98-104 

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

CHAPTER XII 104-114 

Thomas Wharton, Jr., 1777-78. George 
Bryan, 1778. Joseph Reed, 1778-81. William 
Moore, 1781-82. John Dickinson, 1782-85. 
Benjamin Franklin, 178.5-88. 


Thomas Mifflin, 1788-99. Thomas Mc- 
Kean, 1799-1808. Simon Snvder, 1808-17. 
William Findlay, 1817-20. Joseph Heister, 
1820-23. John A, Shulze, 1823-29. George 
Wolfe, 1829-.30. Joseph Ritner, 1835-39. 

CHAPTER XIV 122-131 

David R. Porter, 1839-45. Francis R. 
Shunk, 1845-48. William F. Johnstone, 184R- 
52. William Bigler, 1852-55. John Pollock, 
1855-58. William F. Packer, 1858-61. An- 
drew G. Curtin, 1861-67. John W. Geary, 
1867-73. John F. Hartranft, 1873-78. Henry 
F. Hoyt, 1878-82. Robert E. Pattison, 1882. 

Gubernatorial Table 1.32 



CHAPTER I.— Archeology 137-142 

The Mound Builders — Evidences of a Van- 
ished Race — Delaware Tradition of the Al- 
legewi — Pre-historic Remains in Crawford 
County— Stone Mound. Near Oil Creek- 
Old Meadows on French Creek and Indian 
Tradition Regarding Them— Circular Forts 
and Mounds Below Meadville — Indian 
Graves and Relics — Description of a Large 
Fort near Pymatuning Swamp— Numerous 
Artificial Oil Pits Found by the Pioneers in 
the Vicinity of Titusville — Mounds in Other 
Portions of the County — Archaeological 
Conclusions Regarding These Monuments 
of Antiquity. 

CHAPTER IL— Indian History 142-153 

The Eries Occupy the Southern Shore of 

Lake Erie— They are Conquered and Dis- 
persed by the Iroquois— Catholic Missiona- 
ries who have Written of the Eries — Defini- 
tion of Their Name— Mention of the Eries 
on Two Old French Maps at Harrisburg— 
Seneca Tradition Regarding the War of 
Extermination— The Senecas Occupy the 
Conquered Territory— War Between the 
Senecas and Massassaugas — ^Indian Villages 
in Crawford County— Friendly Indians and 
White Prisoners Found Here by the First 
Settlers— Neighboring Indian Towns— Biog- 
raphy of Corn-planter— Ancient Indian 
Trace — Delegations of Wyandots and Sene- 
cas Pass Through Meadville in 1808— Coun- 
cil at Jennesedaga Between Citizens of 
Crawford County and the Senecas— The Lat- 
ter Join the Americans in the War of 



CHAPTER III.— French Navigators, Etc.154-169 
Cartier discovers the St. Lawrence— 
Champlain Founds Quebec and Montreal- 
French Explorations— Catholic Missionaries 
Visit the Fries and Iroquois— Joncaire— 
French and English Traders— Conflicting 
Claims— Celeron's Expedition— The French 
Take Possession of the Allegheny and Ohio 
Valleys and Build Forts Presque Isle, Le 
Boeuf, Machault and DuQuense— Catholic 
Church Erected at Presque Isle— Eng- 
lish Resistance to the Claims of France- 
Washington's Mission to the French Com- 
mandant of LeBceuf— War Between the 
Two Nations— Old French Road Through 
Crawford County— French Fort at Site of 
Meadville— Evacuation of the Country by 
the French, and English Occupancy— Forts 
Presque Isle and LeBa?uf Repaired and 
Venango and Pitt Erected— Indian Dissatis- 
faction— Pontiac's Conspiracy and Capture 
of Forts Venango, LeBauf and Presque 
Isle— Revolutionary War and American 
Possession— Indian Treaties— Erection of 
Fort Franklin— Soldiers Stationed at Mead's 
Block-house— French Creek Settlers Organ- 
ize for Protection— English and Indian C)p- 
position to American Occupation — Wayne's 
Victory and Final Peace. 

CHAPTER IV.— Pioneers of French Creek 


David and John Mead Visit the Valley in 
1787— Appearance of the Country at that 
Time— First Settlement Made in May, 1788, 
by David, John and Joseph Mead, Thomas 
Martin, John Watson, James Fitz Randolph, 
Thomas Grant, Cornelius Van Home and 
Christopher Snyder — They Plow and Plant a 
Field of Corn in the Bottom West of French 
Creek— Selections of Lands— David and 
John Mead Bring Out Their Families— Ar- 
rival of Darius Mead, Robert Fitz Randolph 
and Frederick Baum — First Birth in the 
Settlement — Biographies of David Mead, 
John Mead, Cornelius Van Home, Robert 
Fitz Randolph and Edward Fitz Randolph 
—The Heritage They Left to Their De- 

CHAPTER v.— Indian Depredations 181-191 

Friendly Indians — The Settlers Leave the 
Valley in April, 1791— Return of Cornelius 
Van Home, Thomas Ray and William Uregg 
— Capture of Van Home by the Indians and 
his Subsequent Escape — He Meets Ensign 
Jeffers at Mead's Block-house and goes to 
Fort Franklin — Ray Captured and Gregg 
Killed by the Savages— The Former taken 
to Detroit, but Finally Gains his Freedom — 
Capture and Death of Darius Mead— Un- 
settled State of French Creek Valley — 
Mead's Block-house CJarrisoned by Ensign 
Bond — Indians Attack James Dickson— 
Cornelius Van Home raises a Company of 
Volunteers to Protect the Settlement— The 
Settlers Erect a Blockhouse at Meadville — 
Fearless Character of the Pioneers — Findlay 
and iMcCormick Killed by the Indians- 
Raid on William Power's Camp by the Same 
Band and Capture of James Thompson- 
Closing Events of Indian Hostility. 

CHAPTER VI.— Northwestern Pennsylva- 
nia 191-205 

Formation of Counties — Territory Em- 
braced in Allegheny County — Erection of 
Crawford County and Location of the Seat 
of Justice at Meadville — Surrounding Coun- 
ties Erected and Temporarily Attached to 
Crawford for Judicial Purposes— The Mer- 
cer and Erie County Boundary Lines Estab- 
lished— Biography of Col. William Crawford, 
After Whom the County was Named— His 
Useful Career and Cruel Death — Location 
and Boundaries of Crawford County— Town- 
8hips,Size, Area and General Appearance 


— Population Statistics — French Creek— 
The Stream as a Highway of Navigation- 
New Channel at Meadville— Its Tributaries 
— Cussewago and Other Streams— Oil Creek 
— Conneaut Creek — Shenango and Crooked 
Creek— Lake Conneaut— Oil Creek Lake- 
Sugar Lake. 

CHAPTER VII.— Topographical Features 

OF Crawford County 205-225 

Elevations, Surface Dip and Physical 
Phenomena of Streams , Lakes and Swamps — 
Drainage of Conneaut Marsh — Pymatun- 
ing Swamp— Geological Series— Drift— Bur- 
ied Valleys — Pottsville Conglomerate — 
Homewood Sandstone, Mercer Group, Cono- 
quenssing and Sharon — Sub-conglomerate 
Formations — Shenango, Meadville and Oil 
Lake Groups— Venango Oil Sand Group- 
Venango Upper Sandstone, Upper Shales, 
Middle Sandstone, Lower Shales and Lower 

CHAPTER VIII.-Lands 226-2::!5 

Land Provision made for Pennsylvania 
Soldiers of the Revolution by the Act of 
1780— Depreciation Certificates— Act of 17«<3 
— Depreciation Lands — Donation Lands — 
Survey and Distribution of Military Lauds 
West of the Allegheny River— tJnseated 
Lands — Act of 1792 — Prevention Clause in 
said Act, and the Litigation and Troubles 
Arising Therefrom— Organization of Land 
Companies — Holland Land Company — 
Pennsylvania Population Company — North 
American Land Company— John Reynolds' 
Reminiscences of the Conflict Between the 
Settlers and Land Companies and the In- 
jury Thereby Inflicted on the Settlement 
and Prosperity of the County. 

CHAPTER IX. Agriculture 2.36-246 

First Land Cultivated by the Pioneers in 
the Valley of French Creek, and First Corn 
Crop Planted— Pioneer Nursery — Introduc- 
tion of Potatoes. Wheat, Rye, Buckwheat, 
Oats, Barley, Etc.— Rapid Increase of the 
Cereals— Horses and Cattle^ — Merino Sheep 
brought into the County — Anecdote of a 
Sheep Speculation— Swine of the Past and 
the Present — Stock and Land in 1826 — Wool 
Production — Leading Fine Stock Breeders, 
Dealers and Importers— Agricultural Socie- 
ties of Crawford County— Agricultural Im- 
plements, their Changes and Wonderful Im- 
provements during the Past Century— Pio- 
neer Mode of Farming — Dairy Interests- 
First Cheese Factories Erected in the 
County— Their Rapid Increase and Present 
Prosperity of the Business — Dairymen's As- 
sociation — Dairymen's Board of Trade. 

CHAPTER X.— Primitive Appearance of 

Crawford County 249-262 

Timber and Fruit Bearing Trees and 
Vines— Roots and Herbage— Pioneer Days 
and Trials — Habitations of the First Settlers 
— Furniture, Food and Medicines — Habits, 
Labor and Dress— Early Manners and Cus- 
toms — "Bees" and Weddings — The Hom- 
iny Block and Pioneer Mills — Store Cioods 
and Produce— Old Cash Book at Fort Frank- 
lin—Mode of Living— Churches and Schools 
—Period of 1812-15— Alfred Huidekoper's 
List of Wild Animals, Birds and Reptiles— 
An Old Settler— Game— The Inhabitants of 
Northwestern Pennsylvania Petition the 
Legislature to Enact a Law for the Destruc- 
tion of Squirrels— Hunts Inaugurated— 
Pheasants, Pigeons, Bees and Fish— Wolves- 
Premium on Wolf and Fox Scalps— Bears- 
Panther — Fur Bearing Animals — The 
Rattle-snake and other Pests of Early 

CHAPTER XL— Internal Improvements..263-286 
Early Roads and Navigation— Salt Trade 


— Discovery and Manufacture of Salt in 
Crawford County— Freightage of Salt Be- 
tween Erie and Pittsburgh — Turnpike 
Roads — State Appropriations for Navigation 
and Roads— Old State Road— County Ex- 
penditures for Roads and Bridges from 1804 
to 1834— Mode of Travel in Pioneer Days- 
Plank Roads— First Bridges Built Across 
French Creek — Stage Lines and Mail Routes 
— Boating and Navigation on French Creek 
— Canals and Canal Building — French Creek 
Feeder and the Beaver and Erie Canal — 
Introduction of Steamboats on the Alle-' 
gheny, and Slack-water Navigation on 
French Creek — Completion of the Beaver 
and Erie Canal — Railroads of Crawford 

CHAPTER XII.— The Burr Conspiracy, etc. 


One of Burr's Agents Visits Meadville and 
Enlists Men for the Expedition — Capture of 
Boats on the Ohio— The Democracy of Craw- 
ford County Hold a Celebration at Mead- 
ville to Rejoice Over the Failure of the Con- 
spiracy — Suggestive Toasts Drank on the 
Occasion — The Federalists Take Ottense.and 
attempt Retaliation — Partisan Strife Be- 
comes Bitter, but Finally Dies out and 
Peace Prevails — Religious Phenomena of 
Pioneer Days^-Strange Actions of Those 
Affected- Vivid Descriptions of the Excite- 
ment — Early Murders — Killingcif a Squaw in 
Meadville — Murder of Hugh Fitzpatrick by 
Van Holland— Arrest, Trial and Execution 
of the Murderer — Hanging of Lamphier for 
Killing Constable Smith — Charles Higgen- 
bottom Killed by George Gosnell — The Lat- 
ter Sent to the Penitentiary— Slavery in 
Crawford County — John Brown of Ossawa- 

CHAPTER XIIL— Judiciary 295-311 

Pioneer Courthouses, Their Simplicity 
and Many Uses— First Buildings Used for 
County Purposes in Crawford County — 
First Term of Court and Amusing Incident 
Connected Therewith— Second Session and 
First (hand Jury Impaneled— Indictments 
Found by This Jury— Pioneer Mode of Set- 
tling Disagreements — Anecdote of Judge 
Mead— Second Grand Jury — First Jury 
Trial in Crawford County — Early Practice 
and Practitioners — The Bench and Bar — 
President, District and Additional Law 
Judges — Associate Judges — Deputy Attor- 
ney-Generals and District Attorneys — 
United States Courts— The IVIen Who Organ- 
ized the First Court at Meadville — Brief 
Biographies of Leading Members of the 
Bench and Bar— Present Bar of the County 
— Resident Attorneys out of Practice — De- 
ceased Attorneys. 

CHAPTER XIV.— Official Roster 311-320 

Members of Congress — State Senators — 
State Representatives — Prothonotaries — 
Clerks— Registers and Recorders — Sheriffs — 
Commissioners — Treasurers — Surveyors — 

Coroners— County Buildings and County 
Farm— The Old State Arsenal. 

CHAPTER XV.— Education, etc 321-.3.30 

The Old Block-house Wherein the First 
School in Crawford County Was Taught— 
The Act Erecting the County Provides for a 
Seminary of Learning at the County Seat — 
Pioneer Schoolhouses— School Law of 1809 — 
Free Schools Established in 1834— Nationality 
and Educational Characteristics of the Early 
Settlers — Teachers of Pioneer Days — Organ- 
ization of the Crawford County Teachers' 
Institute — Its Growth and Progress and the 
Work It has Accomplished — School Law of 
1854 — Office of County Superintendent 
Created — Establishment of Normal Schools — 
Superintendents Since 1854 — Present Con- 
dition of the Schools— Crawford County 
Medical Society — Homoeopathic Medical 
Society of Crawford County — Crawford 
County INIutual Insurance Company— Farm- 
ers' Mutual Fire Insurance of Crawford 

CHAPTER XVI,— Military History !..331-.343 

English Intrigue and Indian Hostility 
— Tecumseh and the Battle of Tippecanoe — 
War of 1812-1.5— Preparing for the Conflict 
—Organization of the Militia— Gen. David 
Mead and Brigade-Inspector William Clark 
Engaged in the Work— Military Camp Es- 
tablished at Meadville by Gen. Tannehill's 
Brigade— Political Trouble Between the Sol- 
» iers While in Camp — The Comruaud Leaves 
irthe Front— Excitement Caused by Hull's 
cflrjTender — Patriotism of the Pioneers- 
Tanaehill's Brigade Disband — Testimonial 
to Maj. James Herriott— Recruiting OfiBce 
at Meadville— Building of Perry's Fleet — 
Gen. Mead's Stirring Appeal to the People 
—Perry's Letter of Thanks to Gen. Mead- 
Battle of Lake Erie — Second Letter from 
Perry to Mead — Mead's Troops Stationed at 
Erie in 1813-14— Capt. Morris Recruiting at 
Meadville — List of Officers — Peace Pro- 
claimed — Brief Review of the War — Mexi- 
can War. 

CHAPTER XVII.— Crawford County in the 

War of the Rebellion 344-365 

Patriotic Feeling Among its People — Meet- 
ing Held to I)enounce Treason and Uphold 
the Government— First Volunteers Sent to 
the Front— Erie Regiment— Thirty-eighth 
Regiment, Ninth Reserve— Thirty-ninth 
Regiment, Tenth Reserve— Fifty-seventh 
Regiment— Fifty-ninth Regiment, Second 
Cavalry — Eighty-third Regiment — One 
Hundred and Eleventh Regiment — One 
Hundred and Thirteenth Regiment, Twelfth 
Cavalry— One Hundred and Thirty-sixth 
Regiment — One Hundred and Thirty- 
seventh Regiment— One Hundred and For- 
ty-fifth Regiment— One Hundred and Fif- 
tieth Regiment — One Hundred and Sixty- 
third Regiment, Eighteenth Cavalry— One 
Hundred and Ninetieth and Ninety-first 
Regiment — Two Hundred and Eleventh 
Regiment— Close of the War. 



CHAPTER I.— Meadville.. 

Appearance and Topography of the City 
—The Town Laid Out by David Mead— First 
Sales of Lots and the Purchasers — Anecdote 
of the First Survey — Pioneers — Resurvey 
and Enlargement of the Town Plat— Brief 
Sketches of Those Who Located Perma- 
nently in Meadville Prior to 1805— Early 


Physicians — Natural Phenomena of Pio- 
neer Days— Strange Psychological Phenome- 
non — Visit of LaFayette — Meadville in 
1830— Business Men Then Residing Here- 
Old Houses Yet Remaining— The Changes 
Which Fifty-four Years Have Wrought in 
the Town. 



CHAPTER II.— Religious History 389-403 

First Presbyterian Church— Second Pres- 
byterian Church— Cumberland Presbyterian 
and United Presbyterian Churches— First 
Methodist Episcopal Church— State Street 
Methodist Episcopal Church— African Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church— Christ Protestant 
Episcopal Church — Independent Congrega- 
tional Church— First Baptist Church— Lu- 
theran Evangelical Trinity Church — St. 
Paul's Reformed Church— St. Agatha's Cath- 
olic Church— St. Bridget's Catholic Church 
— Meadville Hebrew Society— First Evan- 
gelical Protestant Church— Park Avenue 
Congregational Church. 

CHAPTER III.— Schools of Me.\dville..404-426 
The Old Block-house Remodeled by David 
Mead for School Purposes — First School 
Opened in the Town— Night School- Mead- 
ville Academy Founded by the Legislature 
— Original Subscribers to the Fund for Its 
Establishment— The Academy Opened Un- 
der Rev. Joseph Stockton — Its Early Teach- 
ers and Future Progress — Free Schools — 
Growth of Exiucation in Jleadville and 
Present Condition of the Schools — Alle- 
gheny College— History of the Institution 
from Its Inception to the Present Time — 
Meadville Theological School— Meadville 
Business College. 

CHAPTER IV.— Newspapers, etc 426-443 

Crawford Weekly Messenger — Allegheny 
Magazine — Western Standard — Meadvitfi 
Gazette — Unitarian Essayist — Western f««^>' 
— Meadville Courier— Crawford DemofrahX- 
Statesman — American Citizen — Democratic 
Republican — Meadville Gazette — Crawford 
Journal— Pennsylvania Sentinel- Cussewa- 

go Chronicle— Spirit of the Age— Meadville 
Republican — Meadville Index — Crawford 
County Post— Meadville Reporter— Demo- 
cratic Messenger— Messenger Democrat- 
Morning News— National Vindicator— Chau- 
tauquan— Chautauqua Assembly Herald- 
Pennsylvania Farmer— Meadville Tribune 
—Past and Present Manufacturing Inter- 
ests of the City. • 

CHAPTER v.— Meadville, Concluded 443-462 

Incorporation of Meadville as a Borough 
-First Election of Otficers— Meadville Be- 
comes a City— Population of the Town by 
Decades Since 1800-Burgesses— Mavors— 
Postmasters— The Old Cemetery— (jreen- 
dale Cemetery— City Hall— Market House— 
St. .Joseph's Hospital— Meadville City Hos- 
pital—Fire Department— Meadville (ias and 
Water Company —Electric Light— Meadville 
Water Company — Telegraph, Telephone and 
ExpressCompanies—Bauks— Hotels— Secret 
and Other Societies— Pioneer Shows and 
Public Halls— Public Library— Parks— Con- 

CHAPTER VI.— Titusville 462-475 

Historical — Early Settlements — First 
Things— Lumbering Industry— Discovery of 
Petroleum — Oil Companies Organized— Oil 
Wells— Refineries— Great Oil Fire— Oil Ex- 
change — Industries. 

CHAPTER VII.— Titusville, Concluded...476-4'J1 
Incorporation— City Hall — Water Works 
— Gas and Water Company — Fire Compa- 
nies—Sewers—Banking—Library Associa- 
tion — Agricultural Association — The Press — 
Schools — Churches — Cemeteries — Societies 
— Miscellaneous. 



CHAPTER I.— Athens Township 495-501 

Boundary — Lands — Early Settlements- 
Organization — Population— Streams — Rail- 
roads — Topography — Timber — Industries — 
Schools— Post Offices— Little Cooley— First 
Settlers — Industries, etc. — Churches. 

CHAPTER II— Beaver Township 502-505 

Erection — Boundaries — Physical Features 
—Industries — Land Titles — Settlements- 
Salt Industry — Mills — Schools —Beaver Cen- 
ter — Churches. 

CHAPTER III — Bloompield Township and 

Borough of Riceville 505-513 

Organization— Boundaries— Physical Fea- 
tures — Lands — Early Settlers — Thomas 
Bloomfield— Richard Shreve— Other Settlers 
—Money— Schools— Lincolnville— Churches 
— Chapman ville — Bloomfield — Cheese Fac- 
tories — Mills. 

Borough of Riceville 511 

Incorporation— Officers— Early Settlers — 
Schools— Industries— Churches— Societies. 

CHAPTER IV.— Cambridge Township and 

Borough of Cambridgeboro 513-521 

Formation — Location — Name— Physical 
Features— Early Settlers— Drake's Mills- 

Borough of Cambridgeboro 516 

Location — Population — Settlement- 
Growth— Business— The Rail road— Present 

Industries— Incorporation— Officers— News- 
paper — Churches — Societies — The Con- 
servatory of Music — Schools. 

CHAPTER v.— Conneaut Township 522-526 

Organization— Boundaries— Name— Phys- 
ical Features — Area and Population — Land 
Companies — First Purchasers — Early Set- 
tlers — Mills — Schools — Friends — Churches — 
Summit — Penn Line — Steamburg. 

CHAPTER VI.— CussEWAGO Township 526-532 

Formation and Boundaries — Name — 
Streams — Soil — Population — I^irst Owners- 
Pioneer Life — Early Settlers— Mills — Cheese 
Factories— Schools — Mosiertown- Crossing- 
ville — Churches. 

CHAPTER VII.— East Fairfield Township 

and Borough of Cochranton 533-540 

Petition — Election — Physical Features — 
Titles— Trials of Pioneers— First Settlers- 
Early School Teachers — Shaw's Landing — 
Pettis Postoffice-Stitzerville— Churches. 

Borough of Cochranton 535 

Petition — Election — Officers — Name — 
Population and Present Industries— School 
— Press — Churches — Societies — Cemetery. 

CHAPTER VIII.— East Fallowfield Town- 
ship 541-545 

Fallowfield and Boundaries— Division of 
the Original Township — Physical Features — 



Population Company Contracts— First Set- 
tlers—Other Settlers— Early ifchools— Lost 
Child — Mills — Atlantic — Societies — 

CHAPTKR IX.— F.4IKF1ELD To-\v>-ship 546-552 

Boundaries— Location— Physical Features 
— Population — First Settlers — Lands — Later 
Settlements — Conscription — State Road — 
Library Association— Schools— Great Snow 
— Mill — Calvin's Corners — Churches. 

CHAPTER X.— Greenwood Township and 

Borough of Geneva 552-559 

Location— Area — Population — Physical 
Features— Field's Claim— Early Settlers- 
Early Mills — Distilleries— Early Teachers — 
Glendale — West Greenwood — Mills — 

Borough of Geneva 556 

Population — Incorporation — Election^ — Offi- 
cers-Early Residents— Schools— Churches 

CHAPTER XL— Hayfield Township 559-564 

Organization — Area — Physical Features — 
Population — Early Settlers — Land Titles — 
Pioneer Trials — Mills — Schools — Churches — 
Hayfield— Coon's Corners.— Norrisville. 

CHAPTER XII.— Mead Township 5G4-575 

Formation — Size^Valuation^Population 
— Boundaries — Rev.Timothy Alden, on Mead 
Township — Early Settlers — Titles from the 
Holland Land Company— Other Settlers — 
Mills — Wayland — Frenchtown — Bousson — 
Schools — Churches. 

CHAPTER XIII.— North Shenango Town- 
ship 576-579 

Original Township — Subdivision — Popula- 
tion — Physical Features — Mounds — Espy- 
ville Station— Espyville Postofflce— Churches 
—Land Titles— Early Settlers— Mills— Dis- 
tilleries — Early Teachers. 

CHAPTER XIV —Oil Creek Township and 

Borough of Hydetown 579-585 

Erection — Boundaries — Physical Features 
—Land Titles— Early Settlers— Early Mer- 
chants — Postoffice— Slills — Distilleries — Oil 
Wells — Early Teachers — Religion — 
Churches-Kerr's Hill. 

Borough of Hydetown 584 

First Settlers — Early Business Interests — 
School— Present Business— Incorporation 
— Officers — Churches — The Equitable Aid 
Union — Literary Society. 

CHAPTER XV.— Pine Township and Borough 

of Linesville —586-595 

Population— Organization— Name— Physi- 
cal Features— Land Companies — Deeds — 
Early Settlers— Colt's New Station. 

Borough of Linesvili.e 591 

Location — Origin^Plat Recorded — Post- 
office— Early Settlers— Mill— Press— School 
— Churches — Societies — Police Company — 
Incorporation — Business — Professions. 

CHAITER XVI.— Randolph Township 595-601 

Location — Organization — Lands — Popula- 
tion — Physical Features ■ — Settlements — 
Land Titles— Pioneers— Soldiers' Titles- 
Later Settlers— Mills— Schools— Guy's Mills 
—Societies— Churches. 

CHAPTER XVII.— Richmond Township... 601-605 
Boundaries — Physical Features — Dona- 
tion Lands— Soldiers' Claims— Pioneers— 
Tannery— Mills— Cheese Factories— Early 
Schools — New Richmond — Lyona — Ceme- 
teries — Churches. 

CHAPTER XVIII.— Rockdale Township...605-612 
Original Boundaries — Present Limits — 
Population— Physical Features— Early Mills 
—Land Titles— Early Settlers— Other Mills 
—First Schools— Roads— Miller's Station— 
Church— Cemetery— Brown Hill. 

CHAPTER XIX.— Rome Township and 

BoROU(iH OF Centreville 612-620 

Organization— Boundaries— Area —Popu- 
lation—Physical Features— Land Titles— 
Pioneers— Early Tax Payers— Mills— Early 
School Teachers — Churches. 

Borough of Centreville gig 

Incorporation— Election — Officers— Early 
Settlement- Present Business Interests- 
School— Cemeterv—t hurches— Societies. 

CHAPTER XX.— Sadsbury Township and 

Borough of Evansbufg 620-625 

Original Boundaries — Present Area — Pop- 
ulation— Canal— Railroads— Conneaut Lake- 
Physical Features — Land Companies — Early 
Settlers— Distilleries — Early Teachers — 
Shermanville—Aldenia— Stony I'oint Post- 

Borough of Evansburg 623 

Location— Incorporation — Hotels— Popu- 
lation — Business — Religious Organizations 
—Societies— The Fouudei — Early Settleis 
and Business Pursuits. 

CHAPTER XXL— South Shenango Town- 
ship 625-630 

Erection— Population— Physical P'eatures 
— Westford — Marshall's Corners — McLean's 
Corners— Population Company f'ontracts — 
Early Settlers— Indians— First Teachers- 
Religious Organizations. 

CHAPTER XXIL— Sparta Township and 

Borough of Spartansburg 

Boundaries — Erection — Population — 

Physical Features— Mills— Land Companies 

—Early Pioneers— Early Justice— Early 

School Teachers. 

Borough of Spartansburg 633 

Location — Business — Early Settlers — 

First Name — Incorporation — Officers — 

Religious Organization — Societies. 

CHAPTER XXIIL — Spring Township and 

Boroughs of Conneautville and 
Spring 635-652 

Name — Physical Features — Population- 
Land Titles— Early Settlers— Adventures of 
Pioneers— Early Mills— Lumbering — Early 
Schools — Teachers — Religious Organizations 
— Rundel's Postoffice. 
BOROUGHOF Conneautville 642 

Incorporation — Election — Officers— Fire 
Department — Population — Canal Days- 
Present Industries— Mercantile Pursuits- 
Alexander Power — Original Plat — First 
Settlers— Press— Bank— Cemetery— Agricul- 
tural Societies — Schools— Churches— Socie- 
Borough of Spring 650 

Location — Population — Business— First 
Settlers — Postofflce — Incorporation — Elec- 
tion — Officers — School — Churches — Societies. 

CHAPTER XXIV.- Steuben Township and 

Borough of Townville 6.53-6.58 

Erection — Boundaries — Lands — Early 
Settlers — Lumbering — Early Mills — Tryon- 
ville — Proposed Railroad — Clappville — 
Tryonville Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Borough of Townville 6.56 

Incorporation — Officers — Population — 
Business Interests— Name— Early Residents 
Schools— Press— Religious Organizations- 

CHAPTER XXV —SuMMERHiLL Township 658-662 
Boundaries— Organization— Physical Fea- 
tures—Pioneers—Land Titles— Distilleries— 
Mills— Early School — Dick,sonburg — Reli- 
gious Organizations — Society. 



CHAPTER XXVI.— Summit Township ...662-667 

Boundaries — Formation — Population — 
Physical Features — First Settlements- 
Land Titles — Pioneers — Conneaut Lake— 
Cemeteries— Early Methodist Organization 
—Canal— Peat and Marl— Mills— Religious 
Organizations — Harmonsburg- Churches- 

CHAPTER XXVII.— Troy Township ...668-672 

Boundaries — Organization — Election — 
Population — Physical Features — Land 
Tracts— Troubles of Early Settlers — Pio- 
neers—Early Deaths and Burials — Mills — 
Schools— Troy Center— Newtontown— Reli- 
gious Organizations. 

CHAPTER XXVIIL— Union Township 672-67.5 

Petition — Proposed Bounds— Election- 
Physical Features — Population — Early Set- 
tlements—Killing by Indians- Early Deeds 
— Other Pioneers — Religious Organization 

CHAPTER XXIX— Venango Township and 

Borough OF Venango 675-680 

Organization — Boundaries — Physical 
Features— Name — Early Settlers— Distillery 
— Mills — Religious Societies. 

Borough of Venango 678 

First Settlement — Industries — Incorpor- 
ation — Officers — Population — Business — 
Schools— Religious Organizations— Societies. 

CHAPTER XXX.— Vernon Township and 

Borough of Vallonia 680-685 

Organization — Population — Physical Feat- 
ures — Industries— First Settlers— Holland 
Company Titles — Kerrtown — Fredericks- 
burg or Stringtown — Religious Organiza- 

Borough of Vallonia 684 

Location — Incorporation — Election — Popu- 
lation — Growth — First Residents — Distillery 
— Postoffice — School — Mission Chapel. 

CHAPTER XXXI.— Wayne Township 685-688 

Formation — Limits — Population — Physi- 
cal Features— Sugar Lake— Indians— Rattle- 


Deer — Wild Animals — Titles- 
Early Settlers— Mills— Schools— Decardville 
Religious Oganizations. 

CHAPTER XXXII. — West Fallowfield 
Township and Borough of Harts- 
town 689-( 

Formation — Population — Physical Fea- 
tures—Pennsylvania Population Land Ti- 
tles-Early Settlers — Early Presbyterian 
Congregation — Adamsville — Religious 
Organizations — Schools. 

Borough of Hartstown 

Incorporation — Officers— Location —Pop- 
ulation— Business Houses— Name— Churches 
—A. O. U. W. 

CHAPTER XXXIII.— West Shenango Town- 

Petition— Elections — Population— Physi- 
cal Features— Penn Population Company 
Titles— Early Settlers— Early Mills— Cheese 
Factory— Early Teachers — Turnersville— 
Religious Organizations. 

CHAPTER XXXIV.— Woodcock Township 
AND boroughs of Blooming Valley 

Saegertown and Woodcock 695-705 

Boundaries— Erection— Population— Phys- 
ical Features — Early Settlements and Settlers 
Holland Land Company Tit es— Actual Set- 
tlers — Other Pioneers — Schools — Taverns — 
Gravevards — Mills — Cheese Factory — Paper 

Borough of Blooming Valley- 699 

Location — Population — Name — Postoffice 
—Village Plat— Business Interests— Schools 
— Press — Incorporation — Election — Officers — 
— Religious Organizations — Societies. 

Borough of Saegertown 801 

Location — Population — The Founder — 
Early Business — Incorporation — Officers — 
Present Business — Cemetery — Schools- 
Churches — Societies. 

Borough of Woodcock 803 

Location — Population — Rockville — Kep- 
lertown — First Settlers — Incorporation — Offi- 
cers— Present Business— Societies— Churches 
— Grange— Fairs. 



Meadville 709 

Athens Township 776 

Beaver Township 788 

Bloomfield Township 791 

Cambridge Township 800 

Conneaut Township 819 

Cussewago Township 841 

East Fairfi^d Township 857 

East Fallowfield Township 863 

Fairfield Township 864 

Greenwood Township 869 

Hayfield Township 871 

Mead Township • 891 

North Shenango Township 904 

Oil Creek Township 913 

Pine Township 919 

Randolph Township 925 

Richmond Township 943 

Rockdale Township 962 

Rome Township 970 

Sadsbury Township 985 

South Shenango Township 993 

Sparta Township 999 

Spring Township lOlO 

Steuben Township IO66 

Summerhill Township 1055 

Summit Township 1080 

Titusville 1088 

Troy Township lioi 

Union Township 1107 

Venango Township 1112 

Vernon Township 1123 

Wayne Township 1137 

West Fallowfield Township 1139 

West Shenango Township 1141 

Woodcock Township 1143 

Jamestown, Mercer County 1184 



Bemus Dr., Daniel, Meadville 46 

Brawley Francis, Mead Township 187 

Britton A. T., Randolph Township 267 

Brown Gideon, Vernon Township 547 

Birchard D. D., Cambridge Township 167 

Chamberlain E., Richmond Township 367 

Culbertson J. H., Cambridfje Township 218 

Cutshall G. W., Randolph Township 378 

Davis Wm., Jr., Meadville 134 

Davis James H., Mead Township 178 

Dick John, Meadville 79 

Doane I. S., Mead Township 307 

Gamble W. J., Cussewago Township 348 

Gamble Mrs. Esther Jane, C'nssewago Township.. 349 

Gamble H. M., South Shenango Township 387 

Gibson Dr. William, Jamestown, Mercer County. 207 

Herrington Edward, Union Township 158 

Hotchkiss Mrs. Elizabeth, Cussewago Township.. 607 

Humes John M., Woodcock Township 407 

Johnson Dr. Wm. M., Venango Township 438 

Johnson R. C, Fairfield Township 227 

Kean John S., Sadsbury Township 527 

Kepler S. W., Meadville 538 

Mclvav Neal, Randolph Township 278 

Miller" Robert P., Pine Township 447 

Morse William, Richmond Township 298 


Pettis S. Newton, Meadville 487 

Reitz C, Union Township 458 

Richmond H. L., Meadville 197 

Richmond A. B., Meadville 247 

Ross A. B., Cambridge Township 258 

Ryan Geo. P., Woodcock Township 497 

Sperry Isaac, Spring Township 398 

Virtue J. C, Randolph Township 558 

Waid John, Steuben Township 427 

Waid Ira C, Woodcock Township 147 

Waid Mrs. Elizabeth P., Woodcock Township... 148 

Waid Francis C, Woodcock Township 328 

Waid Mrs. Eliza C, Woodcock Township 329 

Waid Robert L., Woodcock Township 507 

Waid George N., Woodcock Township 518 

Waid Franklin I,, Woodcock Township 568 

Waid Mrs. Maggie E., Woodcock Township 569 

Waid Guiunip P., Woodcock Township 588 

Waid Mrs. Anna M., Woodcock Township 589 

Waid Fred F., Woodcock Township 618 

Warner William, Randolph Township 287 

Wilcox George, Rockdale Township 468 

Wilcox Mrs. Sarah, Rockdale Township 469 

Williams F„ Spring Township 418 

Wilson Jacob, Randolph Township 238 

Wing D. 0., Rockdale Township 318 


Map of Crawford County between 12 and 13 

Map Showing Various Purchases from the Indians 113 

Diagram Showing Proportionate Annual Production of Anthracite Coal since 1820 118 

Table Showing Amount of Anthracite Coal Produced in Each Region Since 1820 119 

I Jam estovi/zv 

>^Nj LL_iU 




"God, that has given it xne through n^iany difficulties, "Will, I believe, 
bless and niake it the seed of a nation. I shall have a tender care to the 
government that it be vv^ell laid at first. ----- I do, therefore, 
desire the Lord's -wisdom to guide me, and those that may be concerned 
■with me, that "we may do the thing that is truly -wise and just." 




Introductory — Cornelis Jacobson Mey, 1624-25— William Yan Hulst, 1625- 
36— Peter Minuit, 1626-33— David Petersen de Vries, 1632-33— Wouter 
Van Twiller, 1633-38. 

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

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

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


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

Though born amidst the seductive arts of the great city, Penn's tastes were 
rural. He hated the manners of the corrupt court, and delighted in the homely 
labors and innocent employments of the farm. '* The country," he said, '*i3 
the philosopher's garden and library, in which he reads and contemplates the 
power, wisdom and goodness of God. It is his food as well as study, and gives 
him life as well as learning." And to his wife he said upon taking leave of 
her in their parting interview: " Let my children be husbandmen, and house- 
wives. It is industrious, healthy, honest, and of good report. This leads to 
consider the works of God, and diverts the mind from being taken up with vain 
arts and inventions of a luxurious world. Of cities and towns of concourse, 
beware. The world is apt to stick close to those who have lived and got wealth 
there. A country life and estate I love best for my children." 

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


Sm William Keift, 1638-47— Peter Minuit, 1638-41— Peter Hollandaer, 1641-43— 
John Printz, 1648-53— Peter Stuyvesant, 1647-64— John Pappagota, 1653-54— 
John Claude Rysingh, 1654-55. 

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

Printz was great as a blusterer, and preserver of authority when personal 
abuse and kicks and cuffs could be resorted to with(jut the fear of retaliation; 
but no match in statecraft for the wily Stuyvesant. To the plea of pre-occu- 
pancy he had nothing to answer more than he had already done to Hudde's 
messenger respecting the government of Hades, and herein was the cause of 
the Swedes inherently weak. In numbers, too, the Swedes were feeble com- 
pared with the Dutch, who had ten times the population. But in diplomacy 
he had been entirely overreached. Fort Casimir, by its location, rendered 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


John Paul Jacquet, 1655-57— Jacob Alrichs, 1657-59— Goeran Yan Dyck, 1657 
-58— William Beekmax, 1658-63— Alexander D'Hinoyossa. 1659-64. 

^T^HE colonies upon the Delaware being now under exclusive control of the 
_L Dutch, John Paul Jaqaet was appointed in November, 1655, as Vice 
Director, Derek Smidt having exercised authority after the departure of Stuy- 
vesant. The expense of fitting out the expedition for the reduction of the 
Swedes was sorely felt by the West India Company, which had been obliged 
to borrow money for the purpose of t^e city of Amsterdam. In payment of 
this loan, the company sold to the city all the lands upon the south bank of 
the Delaware, from the ocean to Christina Creek, reaching back to the lands 
of the Minquas. which was designated Nieur Amstel. Again was there di- 
vided authority upon the Delaware. The government of the new possession 
was vested in a commission of forty residents of Amsterdam, who appointed 
Jacob Alrichs as Director, and sent him with a force of forty soldiers and 1 50 
colonists, in three vessels, to assume the government, whereupon Jaquet relin- 
quished authority over this portion of his territory. The company in commu- 
nicating with Stuyvesant upon the subject of his course in dispossessing the 
Swedes, after duly considering all the complaints and remonstrances of the 
Swedish government, approved his conduct, " though they would not have been 
displeased had such a formal capitulation not taken place," adding as a paren- 
thetical explanation of the word formal " what is written is to6 long preserved, 
and may be produced when not desired, whereas words not recorded are, in the 
lapse of time, forgotten, or may be explained away." 


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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


Duke of York, brother of the King, who afterward himself became King, was 
probably at this time the power behind the throne that was urging on action 
looking to the dispossession of the Dutch. The motive which seemed to actuate 
him was the acquisition of personal wealth and power. He saw, as he 
thought, a company of merchants in Amsterdam accumulating great wealth out 
of these colonies, and he meditated the transfer of this wealth to himself. He 
was seconded in this project by the powerful influence of Sir George Downing, 
who had been Envoy at The Hague, under Cromwell, and was now under Charles 
II. "Keen, bold, subtle, active, and observant, but imperious and unscrupulous, 
disliking and distrusting the Dutch,'' he had watched every movement of the 
company's granted privileges by the States General, and had reported every- 
thing to his superiors at home. "The whole bent," says O'Calaghan,'' of this 
man's mind was cc>n8tantly to hold up before the eyes of his countrymen the 
growing power of Holland and her commercial companies, their immense 
wealth and ambition, and the danger to England of permitting these to pro- 
gress OQward unchecked.'" 

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

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


were three full weeks lost in which the colonies might have been put in a ver}- 
good state of defense. 

Nicholls on arriving in American waters, touched at Boston and Connecti- 
cut, v/here some aid was received, and then hastened foward to Manhattan. 
Stuyvesant had but a day or two before learned of the arrival, and of the hos- 
tile intent. Scarcely had he issued ordei-s for bringing out his forces and for 
fortifying before Nicholls scattered proclamations through the colony promis- 
ing to protect all who submitted to his Brittanic majesty in the undisturbed 
possession of their property, and made a formal summons upon Stuyvesant to 
surrender the country to the King of Great Britain. The Director found that 
he had an entirely different enemy to treat with from Rysingh, and a few half- 
armed Swedes and Fins upon the Delaware. Wordy war ensued between the 
Commissioners and the Director, and the English Governor finding that Stuy- 
vesant not in the temper to yield, landed a body of his soldiers upon the lower end 
of the island, and ordered Hyde, the commander of the fleet, to lay the frigates 
broadside before the city. It was a critical moment. Stuyvesant was stand- 
ing on one of the points of the fort when he saw the frigates approaching. 
The gunner stood by with burning match, prepared to fire on the fleet, and 
Stuyvesant seemed on the point of giving the order. But he was restrained, 
and a further communication was sent to Nicholls, who would listen to nothing 
short of the full execution of his mission. Still Stuyvesant held out. The 
inhabitants implored, but rather than surrender " he would be carried a corpse 
to his grave." The town was, however, in no condition to stand a siege. The 
powder at the fort would only suffice for one day of active operations. Pro- 
visions were scarce. The inhabitants were not disposed to be sacrificed, and 
the disaffection among them spread to the soldiers. They were overheard mut- 
tering, " Now we hope to pepper those devilish traders who have so long 
salted us; we know where booty is to be found, and where the young women 
live who wear gold chains." 

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

In 1668, two murders were perpetrated by Indians, which caused consider- 
able disturbance and alarm throughout the settlements. These capital crimes 
appear to have been committed while the guilty parties were maddened by 
liquor. So impressed were the sachems and leading warriors of the baneful 
effects of strong drink, that they appeared before the Council and besought its 
authority to utterly prohibit the sale of it to any of their tribes. These re- 
quests were repeated, and finally, upon the advice of Peter Alrichs, " the 
Governor (Lovelace) prohibited, on pain of death, the selling of powder, shot 
and strong liquors to the Indians, and writ to Carr on the occasion to use the 
utmost vigilance and caution." 

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

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


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

In 1673, the French monarch, Louis XFV, declared war against the Neth- 
erlands, and with an army of over 200,000 men moved down upon that de- 
voted country. In conjunction with the land force, the English, with a power- 
ful armament, descended upon the Dutch waters. The aged Du Ruyter and 
the youthful Van Tromp put boldly to sea to meet the invaders. Three great 
naval battles were fought upon the Dutch coast on the 7th and 14th of June, 
and the 6th of August, in which the English forces were finally repulsed and 
driven from the coast. In the meantime, the inhabitants, abandoning their 
homes, cut the dikes which held back the sea, and invited inundation. Deem 
ing this a favorable opportunity to regain their possessions wrenched from them 
in the New World, the Dutch sent a small fleet under Commodores Cornelius 
Evertse and Jacobus Benkes, to New York, to demand the surrender of all 
their previous possessions. Gov. Lovelace happened to be absent, and his 
representative, Capt. John Manning, 8urrendered with but brief resistance, 
and the magistrates from Albany, Esopus, East Jersey and Long Island, on 
being summoned to New York, swore fealty to the returning Dutch power. 
Anthony Colve, as Governor, was sent to Delaware, where the magistrates 
hastened to meet him and submit themselves to his authority. Property in 
the English Government was confiscated; Gov. Lovelace returned to England, 
and many of the soldiers were carried prisoners to Holland. Before their de- 
parture. Commodores Evertse and Benkes, who styled themselves "The honora- 
ble and awful council of war, for their high mightinesses, the State's General 
of the United Netherlands, and his Serene Highness, the Prince of Orange," 
commissioned Anthony Colve, a Captain of foot, on the 12th of August, 1673, 
to be Governor General of "New Netherlands, with all its appendences," 
and on the 19th of September following, Peter Alrichs, who had manifested 
his subserviency and his pleasure at the return of Dutch ascendancy, was ap- 
pointed by Colve Deputy Governor upon the Delaware. A body of laws was 
drawn up for his instruction, and three courts of justice were established, at 
New Castle, Chester and Lewistown. Capt. Manning on his return to En- 
gland was charged with treachery for delivering up the fort at New York with- 
out resistance, and was sentenced by a court martial "to have his sword broken 
over his head in public, before the city hall, and himself rendered incapable 
of wearing a sword and of serving his Majesty for the future in any public 
trust in the Government. " 

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


dition they shall be in when the peace itself shall bo proclaimed, after which 
time there shall be no spoil nor plunder of the inhabitants, no demolition 
of fortilications, nor carrying away of guns, powder, or other military stores 
which belonged to any castle or port at the time when it was taken. ' ' This 
left no room for controversy about possession. But that there might be no legal 
bar nor loophole for question of absolute right to his possessions, the Duke of 
York secured from the Kiug on the 29tb of June following, a new patent cov- 
ering the former grant, and two days thereafter sent Sir Edmund Andros, to 
possess and govern the country. He arrived at New York and took peaceable 
possession on the 31st of October, and two days thereafter it was resolved in 
council to reinstate all the officers upon Delaware as they were at the surrender 
to the Dutch, except Peter Alrichs, who for his forwardness in yielding his 
power was relieved. Capt. Edmund Cantwell and William Tom were sent to 
occupy the fort at New Castle, in the capacities of Deputy Governor and Sec- 
retary. In May, 3675, Gov. Andros visited the Delaware, and held court at 
New Castle " in which orders were made relative to the opening of roads, th»» 
regulation of church property and the support of preaching, the prohibition 
of the sale of liquors to the Indians, and the distillation thereof by the inhab- 
itants." On the 23d of September, 1676, Cantwell was superseded by John 
Collier, as Vice Governor, when Ephraim Hermans became Secretary. 

As was previously observed, Gov. Nicholls, in 1664, made a complete di- 
gest of all the laws and usages in furce in the English-speaking colonies in 
America, which were known as the Duke's Laws. That these might now be 
made the basis of j udicature throughout the Duke's possessions, they were, on 
the 25th of September, 1676, formally proclaimed and published by Gov. 
Lovelace, with a suitable ordinance introducing them. It may here be ob- 
served, that, in the administration of Gov. Hartranft, by act of the Legislature 
of June 12, 1878, the Duke's Laws were published in a handsome volume, to- 
gether with the Charter and Laws instituted by Penn, and historical notes 
covering the early history of the State, under the direction of John B. Linn, 
Secretary of the commonwealth, edited by Staughton George, Benjamin M. 
Nead, and Thomas McCarnant, from an old copy preserved among the town rec- 
ords of Hempstead, Long Island, the seat of the independent State which 
had been set up there by John Scott before the coming of Nicholls. The num- 
ber of taxable male inhabitants between th(^ ages of sixteen and sixty years, 
in 1677, for Uplandt and New Castle, was 443, which by the usual estimate of 
seven to one would give the population 3,101 for this district. Gov. Collier 
having exceeded his authority by exercising judicial functions, was deposed 
by Andros, and Capt. Christopher Billop was appointed to succeed him. But 
the change resulted in little benefit to the colony; for Billup was charged 
with many in-egularities, " taking possession of the fort and turning it into 
a stable, and the court room above into a hay and fodder loft; debarring the 
court from sitting in its usual place in the fort, and making use of soldiers for 
his own private purposes. " 

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

We gather from the terms of the charter itself that the King, in making 
the grant, was influenced "by the commendable desire of Penn to enlarge our 
British Empire, and promote such useful commodities as may be of benefit 
to us and our dominions, as also to reduce savage nations by just and gentle 
manners, to the k>ve of civil society and Christian religion," and out of "re- 
gard to the memory and merits of his late father, in divers services, and par- 
ticularly to his conduct, courage and discretion, under our dearest brother, 
James, Duke of York, in the signal battle and victory, fought and obtained, 
against the Dutch fleet, commanded by the Herr Van Opdam in 16G5." 

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

The charter of King Charles II was dated April 2, 1681. Itest any 
trouble might arise in the future from claims founded on the grant previously 
made to the Duke of York, of "Long Island and adjacent territories occupied 
by the Dutch," the prudent forethought of Penn induced him to obtain a deed, 
dated August 31, 1682, of the Duke, for Pennsylvania, substantially in the 
terms of the royal charter. But Penn was still not satisfied. He was cut oflf 
from the ocean except by the uncertain navigation of one narrow stream. He 
therefore obtained from the Duke a grant of New Castle and a district of 
twelve miles around it, dated on the 24th of August, 1682, and on the same 
day a further grant from the Duke of a tract extending to Cape Henlopen, 
embracing the two counties of Kent and Sussex, the two grants comprising 
what were known as the territories, or the three lower counties, which were 
for many years a part of Pennsylvania, but subsequently constituted the State 
of Delaware. 

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

MantJui uixmcu 


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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



William Markham, 1681-82— AVilliam Penn, 1682-84. 

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

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

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


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

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

The Dutch, Swedes and other foreigners were then naturalized, and the 
government was launched in fair running order: That some idea may be had 
of its character, the subjects treated are here given: 1, Liberty of conscience; 
2, Qualification of officers; 3, Swearing by God, Christ or Jesus; 4, Swearing 
by any other thing or name; 5, Profanity; 6, Cursing; 7, Fornication; 8, In- 
cest; 9, Sodomy; 10, Eape; 11, Bigamy; 12, Drunkenness; 13, Suffering 
drunkenness; 14, Healths drinking; 15, Selling liquor to Indians; 16, Arson; 
17, Burglary; 18, Stolen goods; 19, Forcible entry; 20, Eiots; 21, Assaulting 
parents: 22, Assaulting Magistrates; 23, Assaulting masters;' 24, Assault and 
battery; 25, Duels; 26, Riotous sports, as plays; 27, Gambling and lotteries; 
28, Sedition; 29, Contempt; 30, Libel; 31, Common scolds; 32, Charities; 
33, Prices of beer and ale; 34, Weights and measures; 35, Names of days and 
months; 36, Perjury; 37, Court proceedings in English; 88, Civil and crim- 
inal trials; 39, Fees, salaries, bribery and extortion; 40, Moderation of fines; 
41, Suits avoidable; 42, Foreign arrest; 43, Contracts; 44, Charters, gifts, 
grants, conveyances, bills, bonds and deeds, when recorded; 45, Wills; 46, 
Wills of non compos mentis; 47, Registry of Wills; 48, Registry for servants; 
49, Factors; 50, Defacers, corruptors and. embezzlers of charters, conveyances 
and records; 51, Lands and goods to pay debts; 52, Bailable offenses; 53, 
Jails and jailers; 54, Prisons to be workhouses; 55, False imprisonment; 56, 
Magistrates may elect between fine or imprisonment; 57, Freemen; 58, Elec- 
tions; 59, No money levied but in pursuance of law; 60, Laws shall be printed 
and taught in schools; 61, All other things, not provided for herein, are re- 
ferred to the Governor and freemen from time to time. 

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

In the spring of 1688, there was great activity throughout the colony, and 
especially in the new city, in selecting lands and erecting dwellings, the Sur- 
veyor General, Thomas Holme, laying out and marking the streets. In the 
center of the city was a public square of ten acres, and in each of the four 
quarters one of eight acres. A large mansion, which had been undertaken be- 
fore his arrival, was built for Penn, at a point twenty-six miles up the river, 
called Pennsbury Manor, where ho sometimes resided, and where he often met 
the Indian sachems. At this time, Penn divided the colony into counties, 
three for the province (Bucks, Philadelphia and Chester) and three for the 
Territories (New Castle, Kent and Sussex). Having appointed Sheriffs and 
other proper officers, he issued writs fof the election of members of a General 


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

This Assembly convened and organized for business on the 10th of Jan- 
uary, 1683, at Philadelphia. One of the first subjects considered was the 
revising some provisions of the frame of government which was effected, re- 
ducing the number of members of both Houses, the Council to 18 the As- 
sembly to 36, and otherwise amending in unimportant particulars. In 
an assembly thus convened, and where few, if any, had had any experience in 
serving in a deliberative body, we may reasonably suppose that many crude 
and impracticable propositions would be presented. As an example of these 
the following may be cited as specimens: That young men should be obliged 
to marry at, or before, a certain age; that two sorts of clothes only shall be 
worn, one for winter and the other for summer. The session lasted twenty two 

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

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

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

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

Assembly: From Bucks, William Yardly, Samuel Darke, Robert Lucas, Nicholas Walne, John Wood, John 
Clowes, Thomas Fitzwater, Robert Hall, James Bovden ; from Philadelphia, John Longhurst, John Hart, Wal- 
ter King, Andros Binkson, John Moon, Thomas Wynne (Speaker), Griffith Jones, William Warner, Swan Swan- 
«on, from Chester, John Hoskins, Robert Wade, George Wood, J<5hn Blunston, Dennis Rochford, Thomas 
Bracy, John Bezer, John Harding, Joseph Phipps ; from New Castle, John Cann, John Darby, Valentine Holl- 
ingsworth, Gasparus Herman, John Dchoaef, James Williams, William Guest, Peter Alrich, Henrick Williams; 
from Kent, John Biggs, Simon Irons, Thomas Hatfold John Curtis, Robert Bedwell, William Windsmore, John 
Brinkloe, Daniel Brown, Benony Bishop; from Sussex, Luke Watson, Alexander Draper, William Futcher, 
Henry Bowman, Alexander Moleston, John Hill, Robert Bracy, John Kipshaven, Cornelius Verhoof. 


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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

"Wise men wonder, good men grieve, 
Knaves invent and fools believe." 

Though this ruse was played upon all classes alike, yet it was generally 
believed to have been aimed chiefly at the Quakers, to try the force of thoir 


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

', Meanwhile in the old State House, dim as ghosts. 
Sat the law-givers of Connecticut, 
Trembling beneath their legislative robes. 
'It is the Lord's 2:reat day! Let us adjourn,' 
Some said; and then, as with one accord, 
All eyes were turned on Abraham Davenport. 
He rose, slow, cleaving with his steady voice 
The intolerable hush. ' This well may be 
The Day of Judgment which the world awaits; 
But be it so or not, I only know 
My present duty, and my Lord's command 
To occupy till He come. So at the post, 
"Where He hath set me in His Providence, 
I choose, for one, to meet Him face to face. 
No faithless servant frightened from my task. 
But ready when the Lord of the harvest calls; 
And therefore, with all reverence, I would say, 
Let God do His work, we will see to ours. 
Bring in the candles.' And they brought them in." 

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

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


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

^ It is a mournful spectacle to behold the great mind and the great heart of 
Penn reduced now in his declining years, by the troubles of government and 
by debts incurred in the bettering of his colony, to this enfeebled condition. 
He was at the moment writing to Logan on public affairs, when his hand was 
suddenly seized by lethargy in the beginning of a sentence, which he never 
finished. His mind was touched by the disease, which he never recovered, 
and after lingering for six years, he died on the 30th of May, 1718, in the 
seventy- fourth year of his age. With great power of intellect, and a religious 
devotion scarcely matched in all Christendom, he gave himself to the welfare 
of mankind, by securing civil and religious liberty through the operations of 
organic law. Though not a lawyer by profession, he drew frames of govern- 
ment and bodies of laws which have been the admiration of succeeding gener- 
ations, and are destined to exert a benign influence in all future time, and by 
his discussions with Lord Baltimore and before the Lords in Council, he 
showed himself familiar with the abstruse principles of law. Though but a 
private person and of a despised sect, he was received as the friend and confi- 
dential advisee of the ruling sovereigns of England, and some of the princi- 
ples which give luster to British law were engrafted there through the influ- 
ence of the powerful intellect and benignant heart of Penn. He sought to 
know no philosophy but that promulgated by Christ and His disciples, and 
this he had sounded to its depths, and in it were anchored his ideas of public 
law and private and social living. The untamed savage of the forest bowed in 
meek and loving simplicity to his mild and resistless sway, and the members 
of the Society of Friends all over Europe flocked to his City of Brotherly Love. 
His prayers for the welfare of his people are the beginning and ending of all 
his public and private correspondence, and who will say that they have not 
been answered in the blessings which have attended the commonwealth of his 
founding? And will not the day of its greatness be when the inhabitants 
throughout all its borders shall return to the peaceful and loving spirit of 


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


Sir William Keith, 1717-23— Patrick Gordon, 1726-36— James Logan, 1736-38 
—George Thomas, 1738-47— Anthony Palmer, 1747-48— James Hamilton, 

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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


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

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

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

In 1732, Thomas Penn, the youngest son, and two years later, John Penn, 
the eldest, and the only American born, arrived in the Province, and were re- 
ceived with every mark of respect and satisfaction. Soon after the arrival of 
the latter, news was brought that Lord Baltimore had made application to have 
the Provinces transferred to his colony. A vigorous protest was made against 
this by Quakers in England, headed by Richard Penn; but lest this protest 
might prove ineffectual, John Penn very soon went to England to defend the 
proprietary rights at court, and never again returned, he having died a bach- 
elor in 1746. In August, 1736, Gov. Gordon died, deeply lamented, as an 
honest, upright and straightforward executive, a character which he expressed 
the hope he would be able to maintain when he assumed authority. His term 
had been one of prosperity, and the colony had grown rapidly in numbers, 
trade, commerce and manufactures, ship-building especially having assumed ex- 
tensive proportions. 

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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Gov. Hamilton had strongly recommended, before hostilities opened, that the 
Assembly should provide for defense and establish a line of block-houses along 


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

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

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


Robert H. Morris, 1754^56— William Denny, 1756-59— James Hamilton. 1759-63. 

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


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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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



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

Penn, 1773-76. 

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


On the 7th of June, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, introduced in 
Congress the proposition that, "the United Colonies are, and of right ought to 
be, free and independent States, and that all political connection between 
them cind the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." 
It was impossible to mistake or misinterpret the meaning of this language. 
The issue was fairly made up. It was warmly discussed. John Dickinson, 
one of the Pennsylvania delegates, and one who had been foremost in speak- 
ing and writing on the popular side, was not ready to cut off all hope of rec- 
onciliation, and depicted the disorganized condition in which the colonies 
would be left if the power and protection of Britain were thus suddenly re- 
moved. The vote upon the resolution was taken on the 2d of July, and re- 
sulted in the affirmative vote of all the States except Pennsylvania and 
Delaware, the delegates from these States being divided. A committee con- 
sisting of Adams, Franklin, Jefferson, Livingston and Sherman had been, some 
time previous, appointed to draw a formal statement of the Declaration, and 
the reasons "out of a decent respect to the opinions of mankind," which led 
to so important an act. The work was intrusted to a sub-committee consisting of 
Adams and Jefferson, and its composition was the work of Mr. Jefferson, though 
many of the ideas, and even the forms of expression, had been used again and 
again in the previous resolutions and prouunciamentoes of the Colonial Assem- 
blies and public meetings. It had been reported on the 28th of June, and was 
sharply considered in all its parts, many verbal alterations having been made in 
the committee of five; but after the passage of the preliminary resolution, the 
result was a foregone conclusion, and on the 4th of Jaly it was finally adopted 
and proclaimed to the world. Of the Pennsylvania delegation, Franklin, 
Wilson and Morton voted for it, and Willing and Humphrey against, Dickin- 
son being absent. The colonial convention of Pennsylvania, being in session 
at the time, on receiving intelligence that a majority of its delegates in Con- 
gress had voted against the preliminary resolution, named a new delegation, 
omitting the names of Dickinson, Willing and Humphrey, and adding others 
which made it thus constituted — Franklin, Wilson, Morton, Morris, Clymer, 
Smith, Taylor and Ross. An engrossed copy of the Declaration was made, 
which was signed by all the members on the 2d of August following, on 
which are found the names from Pennsylvania above recited. 

The convention for framing a new constitution for the colony met on the 
15th of July, and was organized by electing Franklin President, and on the 
28th of September completed its labors, having framed a new organic law 
and made all necessary provisions for putting it into operation. In the mean- 
lime the old proprietary Assembly adjourned on the 14th of June to the 26fch 
of August. But a quorum failed to appear, and an adjournment was had to 
the 23d of September, when some routine business was attended to, chiefly 
providing for the payment of salaries and necessary bills, and on the 28th of 
September, after a stormy existence of nearly a century, this Assembly, the 
creature of Penn, adjourned never to meet again. With the ending of the As- 
sembly ended the power of Gov. Penn. It is a singular circumstance, much 
noted by the believers in signs, that on the day of his arrival in America, 
which was Sunday, the earth in that locality was rocked by an earthquake, 
which was intei-preted as an evil omen to his administration. He married the 
daaghte^ of William Allen, Chief Justice of the colony, and, though at times 
falling under suspicion of favoring the royal cause, yet, as was believed, not 
with reason, he remained a quiet spectator of the great struggle, living at his 
country seat in Bucks County, where he died in February, 1795. 

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


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


Thomas Wharton, Jr., 1777-78— George Bryan, 1778— Joseph Eeed, 1778-81— 
William Moore, 1781-82— John Dickinson, 1783-85— Benjamin Franklin, 


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

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


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

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

Washington, who had, from the opening of the campaign before New 
York, been obliged for the most part to act upon the defensive, formed the 
plan to suddenly turn upon his pursuers and offer battle. Accordingly, on 
the night of the 25th of December, taking a picked body of men, he moved up 
several miles to Taylorsville, where he crossed the river, though at flood tide 
and filled with floating ice, and moving down to Trenton, where a detachment 
of the British Army was posted, made a bold and vigorous attack. Taken by 
surprise, though now after sunrise, the battle was soon decided in favor of 
the Americans. Some fifty of the enemy were slain and over a thousand 
taken prisoners, with quantities of arms, ammunition and stores captured. A 
triumphal entry was made at Philadelphia, when the prisoners and the spoils 
of war moved through the streets under guard of the victorious troojDS, and 
were marched away to the prison camp at Lancaster. Washington, who was 
smarting under a forced inactivity, by reason of paucity of numbers and lack 
of arms and material, and who had been forced constantly to retire before a 
defiant foe, now took courage. His name was upon every tongue, and foreign 
Governments were disposed to give the States a fair chance in their struggle 
for nationality. The lukewarm were encouraged to enlist under the banner of 
freedom. It had great strategic value. The British had intended to push 
forward and occupy Philadelphia at once, which, being now virtually the cap- 
ital of the new nation, had it been captured at this juncture, would have given 
them the occasion for claiming a triumphal ending of the war. But this ad. 
vantage, though gained by a detachment small in numbers yet great in cour- 
age, caused the commander of a powerful and well appointed army to give up 
all intention o-f attempting to capture the Pennsylvania metropolis in this 
campaign, and retiring into winter cantonments upon the Baritan to await 


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

Congress remained in Philadelphia while these military operations were 
cooing on at its very doors; but on the 18th of September adjoui-ned to meet 
at Lancaster, though subsequently, on the 30th, removed across the Susque- 
hanna to York, where it remained in session till after the evacuation in 
the following simimer. The Council remained until two days before the fall 
of the city, when having dispatched the records of the loan office and the more 
valuable papers to Easton, it adjourned to Lancaster. On the 26th, the British 
Army entered the city. Deborah Logan in her memoir says : " The army 
marched in and took possession in the city in the morning. We were up-stairs 
and saw them pass the State House. They looked well, clean and well clad, 
and the contrast between them and our own poor, bare-footed, ragged troops 
was very great and caused a feeling of despair. * * * * Early 
in the afternoon. Lord Cornwallis' suite arrived and took possession of 
my mother's house. " But though now holding undisputed possession of the 
American capital, Howe found his position an uncomfortable one, for his fleet 
was in the Chesapeake, and the Delaware and all its defenses were in posses- 
sion of the Americans, and Washington had manned the forts with some of 
his most resolute troops. Varnum's brigade, led by Cols. Angell and Greene, 
Ehode Island troops, were at Fort Mercer, at Red Bank, and this the enemy 
determined to attack. On the 21st of October, with a force of 2,500 men, led 
by Count Donop, the attack was made. In two colums they moved as to an 
easy victory. But the steady tire of the defenders when come in easy range, 
swept them down with deadly effect, and, retiring with a loss of over 400 and 
their ]ea,der mortally wounded, they did not renew the fight. Its reduction was 
of prime importance, and powerful works were built and equipped to bear upon 
the devoted fort on all sides, and the heavy guns of the fleet were brought up 
to aid in overpowering it. For six long days the greatest weight of metal was 
poured upon it from the land and the naval force, but without effect, the 
sides of the fort successfully withstanding the plunging of their powerful 
missiles. As a last resort, the great vessels were run suddenly in close under 
the walls, and manning the yard-arms with sharp-shooters, so effectually 
silenced and drove away the gunners that the fort fell easily into the Brit- 
ish hands and the river was opened to navigation. The army of Washing- 
ton, after being recruited and put in light marching order, was led to German- 
town where, on the morning of the 8d of October the enemy was met. A 
heavy fog that morning had obscured friend and foe alike, occasioning con- 
fusion in the ranks, and though the opening promised well, and some progress 
was made, yet the enemy was too strong to be moved, and the American leader 
was forced to retire to his camp at White Marsh. Though the river had now 
been opened and the city was thoroughly fortified for resisting attack, yet 
Howe felt not quite easy in having the American Army quartered in so close 
striking distance, and accordingly, on the 4th of December, with nearly his 
entire army, moved out, intending to take Washington at White Marsh, sixteen 
miles away, by surprise, and by rapidity of action gain an easy victory. But 
by the heroism and fidelity of Lydia Darrah, who, as she had often done before 


passed the guards to go to the mill for flour, the news of the coming of Howe 

wap cnmrnunicated to Washington, who was prepared to receive him. Finding 
that he could efiect nothing, Howe returned to the city, having had th,e weari- 
some march at this wintry season without e£fect. 

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

The Commissioners whom Congress had sent to France early in the fall of 
1776 — Franklin, Dean and Lee had been busy in making interest for the 
united colonies at the French Court, and so successful were they, that arms and 
ammunition and loans of money were procured from time to time. Lideed, so 
persuasive had they become that it was a saying current at court that, ' ' It was 
fortunate for the King that Franklin did not take it into his head to ask to 
have the palace at Versailles stripped of its furniture to send to his dear 
Americans, for his majesty would have been unable to deny him." Finally, 
a convention was concluded, by which France agreed to use the royal army and 
navy as faithful allies of the Americans against the English. Accordingly, a 
fleet of four powerful frigates, and twelve ships were dispatched under com- 
mand of the Count D'Estaing to shut up the British fleet in the Dela.ware. The 
plan was ingenious, particularly worthy of the long head of Franklin. But 
by some means, intelligence of the sailing of the French fleet reached 0he 
English cabinet, who immediately ordered the evacuation of the Delaware, 
whereupon the Admiral weighed anchor and sailed away with his entire fleet to 
New York, and D'Estaing, upon his arrival at the mouth of the Delaware, found 
that the bird had flown. 

Clinton evacuated Philadelphia and moved across New Jersey in the direc- 
tion of New York. Washington closely followed and came up with the enemy 
on the plains of Monmouth, on the 28th of June, 1778, where a sanguin- 
ary battle was fought which lasted th8 whole day, resulting in the triumph of 
the American arms, and Pennsylvania was rid of British troops. 

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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


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

With the exception of a slight ebulition at the prospect of a war with France 
in 1797, and a resistance to the operation of the " Homestead Tax " in Lehigh, 
Berks and Northampton Counties, when the militia was called out, the re- 
mainder of the term of Gov. Mifflin passed in comparative quiet. By an act 
of the Legislature of the 8d of April, 1799, the capital of the State was re- 
moved to Lancaster, and soon after the capital of the United States to Wash- 
ington, the house on Ninth street, which had been built for the residence of the 
President of the United States, passing to the use of the University of Pennsyl- 

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


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

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

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













































































Total Tons. 





. . 1 

1 073 
























































6 221,934 








3 720 




11 108 






63 434 































































































176 820 




487 748 


376 636 




879 441 









1 263 598 



1 630 850 


2 344 005 



2 882 309 

1848 .... 

9 652 391 



















20 828 179 




















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

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


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

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

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



David R. Porter, 1839-45— Francis R. Shcnk, 1845-48— "William F. Johnstone 
1848-52— William Bigler, 1852-55— James Pollock, 1855-58— William F. 
Packer, 1858-61— Andrew G. Curtin, 1861-67— John W. Geary, 1867-73— 
John F. Hartranft, 1873-78— Henry F. Hoyt, 1878-82— Robert E. Pat- 

TISON, 1882. 

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


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

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

In the administration of Gov. Packer, petroleum was first discovered in 
quantities in this country by boring into the bowels of the earth. From the 
earliest settlement of the country it was known to exist. As early as July 18, 
1627, a French missionary, Joseph Delaroche Daillon, of the order of Recol- 
lets, described it in a letter published in 1632, in Segard's L'Histoire du 
Canada, and this description is confirmed by the journal of Charlevois, 1721. 
Fathers Dollier and Galinee, missionaries of the order of St. Sulpice, made a 
map of this section of country, which they sent to Jean Talon, Intendent of 
Canada, on the 10th of November, 1670, on which was marked at about the 
point where is now the town of Cuba, N. Y. , "Fontaine de Bitume." The 
Earl of Belmont, Governor of New York, instructed his chief engineer, 
Wolfgang W. Romer, on September 3, 1700, in his visit to the Six Nations, 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Production of the Pennsylvania Oil Fields, compiled from the Derrick^s 
Hand-book, December, 1883: 

Barrels, B^rels. 

1859 82,000 1873 9,849,508 

1860 500,000 1874 11,102,114 

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

1862 3,056,606 1876 9.142,940 

1863 2.611,399 1877 13,052,713 

1864 3,116,182 1878 15,011,425 

1865 ^..497,712 1879 20,085,716 

1866 3,597,512 1880 24,788.950 

1867 3.347,306 1881 29,674,458 

1868 3,715,741 1882 31,789,190 

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

1870 5,308,046 

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

1872 6,505,774 

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

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

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


preparation for the event, There chanced at the time to be five companies in 
a tolerable state of organization. These vs^ere the Ringold Light Artillery, 
Capt. McKnight, of Reading; the Logan Guards, Capt. Selheimer, of Lewis- 
tov?n; the Washington Artillery, Capt. Wren, and the National Light Infan- 
try, Capt. McDonald, of Pottsville; and the Allen Rifles, Capt. Yeager, of 

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 3d of July, Gen. Geary, who had been 
ordered away to the support of Sickles, having returned during the night and 
taken position on the right of Green, opened the battle for the recovery of his 
lost breastworks on the right of Culp's Hill. Until 10 o'clock, the battle raged 
with unabated fury. The heat was intolerable, and the sulphurous vapor 
hung like a pall over the combatants, shutting out the light of day. The 
fighting was in the midst of the forest, and the echoes resounded with fearful 
distinctness. The Twelfth Corps was supported by portions of the Sixth, 
which had now come up. At length the enemy, weakened and finding them- 
selves overborne on all sides, gave way, and the Union breastworks were re- 
occupied and the Union right made entirely secure. Comparative quiet now 
reigned on either side until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in the meantime both 
sides bringing up fresh troops and repairing damages. The rebel leader hav- 
ing brought his best available artillery in upon his right center, suddenly 
opened with 150 pieces a concentric fire upon the devoted Union left center, 
where stood the troops of Hancock and Doubleday and Sickles. The shock 
was terrible. Rarely has such a cannonade been known on any field. For 
nearly two hours it was continued. Thinking that the Union line had been 
broken and demoralized by this fire, Longstreet brought out a fresh corps of 
some 18,000 men, under Pickett, and charged full upon the point which had 
been the mark for the cannonade. As soon as this charging column came into 
view, the Union artillery opened upon it from right and left and center, and 
rent it with fearful effect. When come within muske.t range, the Union 
troops, who had been crouching behind slight pits and a low stone wall, 
poured in a most murderous fire. Still the rebels pushed forward with a bold 
face, and actually crossed the Union lines and had their hands on the Union 
guns. But the slaughter was too terrible to withstand. The killed and 
wounded lay scattered over all the plain. Many were gathered in as prisoners. 
Finally, the remnant staggered back, and the battle of Gettysburg was at an 

Gathering all in upon his fortified line, the rebel chieftain fell to strength- 
ening it, which he held with a firm hand. At night-fall, he put his trains 
with the wounded upon the retreat. During the 4th, great activity in build- 
ing works was manifest, and a heavy skirmish line was kept well out, which 
resolutely met any advance of Union forces. The entire fighting force of the 
rebel army remained in position behind their breastworks on Oak Ridge, until 
nightfall of the 4th, when, under cover of darkness, it was withdrawn, and 
before morning was well on its way to Williamsport. The losses on the Union 
side were 2,834 killed, 13,709 wounded, and 6,643 missing, an aggregate of 
23, 186. Of the losses of the enemy, no adequate returns were made. Meade 


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

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

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


In the beginning of Jnly, 1864, Gen. Early invaded Maryland, and made 
his way to the threshold of Washington. Fearing another invasion of the 
State, Gov. Curtin called for volunteers to serve for 100 days. Gen. Conch 
■was still at the head of the department of the Susquehanna, and six regiments 
and six companies were organized, but as fast as organized they were called to 
the front, the last regiment leaving the State on the 29th of July. On the 
evening of this day. Gens. McCausland, Bradley Johnson and Harry Gilmore, 
with 3,000 mounted men and six guns, crossed the Potomac, and made their 
way to Chambersburg. Another column of 3,000, under Vaughn and Jackson 
advanced to Hagerstown, and a third to Leitersbru-g. Averell, with a small 
force, was at Hagerstown, but finding himself over-matched withdrew through 
Greencastle to Mount Hope. Lieut. McLean, with fifty men in front of Mc- 
Causland, gallantly kept his face to the foe, and checked the advance at every 
favorable point. On being apprised of their coming, the public stores at Cham- 
bersburg were moved northward. At six A. M. , McCausland opened his bat- 
teries upon the town, but, finding it unprotected, took possession. Ringing the 
court house bell to call the people together, Capt. Fitzhugh read an order to 
the assembly, signed by Gen. Jubal Early, directing the command to proceed 
to Chambersburg and demand $100,000 in gold, or $500,000 in greenbacks, 
and, if not paid, to burn the town. While this parley was in progress, hats, 
caps, boots, watches, clothing and valuables were unceremoniously appropriated^ 
and purses demanded at the point of the bayonet. As money was not in hand 
to meet so unexpected a draft, the torch was lighted. In less than a quarter 
of an hour from the time the first match was applied, the whole business part 
of the town was in flames. No notice was given for removing the women and 
children and sick. Burning parties were sent into each quarter of the town, 
which made thorough work. With the exception of a few houses upon the 
outskirts, the whole was laid in ruins. Retiring rapidly, the entire rebel 
command recrossed the Potomac before any adequate force could be gathered 
to check its progress. 

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

In May, 1861, the Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania, an organiza- 
tion of the officers of the Revolutionary war and their descendants, donated 
1500 toward arming and equipping troops. By order of the Legislature, 
this sum was devoted to procuring flags for the regiments, and each organiza- 
tion that went forth, was provided with one emblazoned with the arms of the 
commonwealth. These flags, seamed and battle stained, were returned at the 
close of the war, and are now preserved in a room devoted to the purpose in 
the State capitol — precious emblems of the daring and suffering of that great 
army that went forth to uphold and maintain the integrity of the nation. 

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


At the election in 1866, John W. Geary, a veteran General of the late war, 
was chosen Governor. During his administration, settlements were made with 
the General Government, extraordinary debts incurred during the war were 
paid, and a large reduction of the old debt of $40,000,000 inherited from the 
construction of the canals, was made. A convention for a revision of the con- 
stitution was ordered by act of April 11, 1872. This convention assembled in 
Harrisburg November 13, and adjourned to meet in Philadelphia, where it 
convened on the 7th of January, 1873, and the instrument framed was adopted 
on the 18th of December, 1873. By its provisions, the number of Senators 
was increased from thirty-three to fifty, and Representatives from 100 to 201, 
subject to further increase in proportion to increase of population; biennial, 
in place of annual sessions; making the term of Supreme Court Judges twenty- 
one in place of fifteen years; remanding a large class of legislation to the ac- 
tion of the courts; making the term of Governor four years in place of three, 
and prohibiting special legislation, were some of the changes provided for. 

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

At the election in 1882, Robert E. Pattison was chosen Governor, who is the 
present incumbent. The Legislature, which met at the opening of I883,having 
adjourned after a session of 156 days, without passing a Congressional appor- 
tionment bill, as was required, was immediately reconvened in extra session by 
the Governor, and remained in session until near the close of the year, from 
June 1 to December 5, without coming to an agreement upon a bill, and 
finally adjourned without having passed one. This protracted sitting is in 
marked contrast to the session of that early Assembly in which an entire con- 
stitution and laws of the province were framed and adopted in the space of 
three days. 





Thomas Mifflin 27,725 

Arthur St. Clair 2,802 


Thomas Mifflin 13,590 

F. A. Muhlenberg 10,706 

Thomas Mifflin 30,020 

F. A. Muhlenberg 1,011 


Thomas McKean 38,036 

James Ross 32,641 


Thomas McKean 47,879 

James Ross, of Pittsburgh 9,499 

James Ross 7,538 


Simon Snyder 67,975 

James Ross 39,575 

John Spayd 4,006 

W. Shields 2 

Charles Nice 1 

Jack Ross 2 

W. Tilghman 1 


Simon Snyder 52,319 

William Tighlman 3,609 

Scatt'ring,no record for whom 1,675 


Simon Snyder 51,099 

Isaac Wayne 29,566 

G. Lattimer 910 

J. R. Rust 4 


William Findlay 66,331 

Joseph Hiester 59,272 

Moses Palmer 1 

Aaron Hanson 1 

John Seffer 1 

Seth Thomas 1 

Nicholas Wiseman 3 

Benjamin R. Morgan 2 

William Tilghman 1 

Andrew Gregg 1 


Joseph Hiester 67,905 

William Findlay 66,300 

Scattering (no record) 21 


J. Andrew Shulze 81,751 

Andrew Gregg 64,151 

Andrew Shulze 112 

John Andrew Shulze 7,311 

Andrew Gragg 53 

Andrew Greg 1 

John A. Shulze 754 

Nathaniel B. Boileau 3 

Capt. Glosseader 3 

John Gassender 1 

Isaac Wayne 1 

George Bryan 1 


J. Andrew Shulze 72,710 

John Sergeant 1,175 

Scattering (no record) 1,174 


George Wolf 78,219 

Joseph Ritner 51,776 

George E. Baum 6 

Frank R. Williams 3 


George Wolf. 91,335 

Joseph Ritner 88,165 


Joseph Ritner 94,023 

Goorge Wolf. 65,804 

Henry A. Muhlenberg 40,586 


David R. Porter 127,827 

Joseph Ritner 122,321 


David R. Porter 136,504 

John Banks 113,473 

T.J. Lemoyne 763 

George F. Horton 18 

Samuel L. Carpenter 4 

Ellis Lewis 1 


Francis R. Shunk 160,322 

Joseph Markle 156,040 

Julius J. Lemoyne 10 

John Haney 2 

James Page 1 


Francis R. Shunk 146,081 

James Irvin 128,148 

Emanuel C. Reigart 11,247 

F. J. Lemoyne 1,861 

George M. Keim 1 

Abljah Morrison 3 


William F. Johnston 168,522 

Morris Longstreth 168,225 

E. B. Gazzam 48 

Scattering (no record) 24 


William Bigler 186,489 

William F. Johnston 178,034 

Kimber Cleaver 1,850 


James Pollock 203,822 

WiUiam Bigler 166,991 

B. Rush Bradford 2,194 


William F. Packer 188,846 

David Wilmot 149,139 

Isaac Hazleturst 28,168 

James Pollock 1 

George R. Barret 1 

William Steel 1 

F. P. Swartz 1 

Samuel McFarland 1 

George F. Horton 7 


Andrew G. Curtin 262,346 

Henry D. Foster 230,239 


A. G. Curtin 269,506 

George W. Woodward 254,171 

John Hickman 1 

Thomas M. Howe 1 


John W.Geary 

Hiester Clymer 


290 097 

Giles Lewis 


John W. Geary 


W. D. Kelly 



John F. Hartranft 

Charles R. Buckalen 

S. B. Chase 

William P. Sehell 


John F. Hartranft 

Cyrus L. Pershing 

R. Audley Brown 

James S. Negley 

Phillip Wendle 

J. W. Brown 

G. F. Reinhard 












James Staples 1 

Richard Vaux 1 

Francis W Hughes 1 

Henry C.Tyler 

W.D. Brown 

George V. Lawrence 

A. L.Brown 


H. M. Hoyt 

Andrew H. Dill 







Franklin H. Lane 




R.L. Miller 

J. H. Hopkins 

A G. Williams 



.,..- 1 


John Fertig 

Silas M.Baily 

A S Post 



C. A. Cornen 


Edward E Or vis . . . 



Robert E. Pattison 

James A. Beaver 

John .Stewart 

Thomas A. Armstrong.... 

Alfred C. Pettit 

E. E. Pattison 







J H Hopkins 


W. H. Hope 

R. H. Patterson 



J. A. Brown 1 

— Cameron 1 

James McNalis 1 

T. A. Armstrong 


William N. Drake 

John McCleery 

:::::: I 

G. A, Grow 





BY -:R. O. BI^OAATl^. 

History of Crawford County, 


Archeology— The Mound Builders— Evidences of a Vanished Race— Del- 
aware Tradition of the Allegewi— Pre-historic Remains in Crawford 
County— Stone Mound Near Oil Creek— Old Meadows on French 
Creek, and Indian Tradition Regarding Them— Circular Forts and 
Mounds Below Meadville— Indian Graves and Relics— Description of 
A Large Fort Near Pymatuning Swamp— Numerous Artificial Oil Pits 
Found by the Pioneers in the Vicinity of Titusville— Mounds in Other 
Portions of the County— Arch.^^ological Conclusions Regarding 
These Monuments of Antiquity. 

ONLY tlie earth monuments enclosing a few relics of rude art, and the last 
lingering remains of mortality — crumbling skeletons which literally turn 
to dust as the places of their sepulture are invaded — have endured to silently 
attest in the nineteenth century, the existence of a vast and vanished race, a 
people whose origin, nature, progress and ultimate destiny are shrouded in a 
gloom that cannot be dispelled, and only feebly pierced by a few faint rays of 
light. Strive as we may by what little there is of the accumulated light of 
study, we can know but little of the people who occupied this continent prior 
to the age at which its written history begins. 

The race to which we ascribe the name of Mound Builders is one of which 
no chapter of history can be produced. No record has been left; no misty 
legends or traditions have been handed down to give us an idea of the char- 
acter and condition of this ancient race. We can only gain an uncertain and 
unsatisfying glance behind the great black curtain of oblivion, but upon the 
vastest questioDs concerning the people can obtain no absolute knowledge. 
We may search the silent monuments that stud a thousand landscapes lying 
between the Alleghenies and the Mississippi, and stretching from the great 
lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and deduce conclusions from the facts discovered, 
in regard to the Mound Builders, and to some extent of their degree of civil- 
ization; but as to the great questions, whence did they come? and whither did 
they go? we can only indulge in speculations, fanciful, fascinating and futile. 

It is certainly a matter of gratulation to archseologists, that so many way- 
marks and traces of this lost race yet remain, but which, it is to be regretted, 
are, to a large extent, in a state of mutilation and partial ruin, and rapidly 
tending to utter extinction through iconoclastic wantonness and the operations 
of the agriculturist; also from the devastating effects of the elements, and the 
destructive tendencies of the great destroyer — Time. 

When the whites first came in contact with the Lenni Lenape tribe of In- 
dians, a tradition existed among them of their having migrated from the far 
West, and on reaching the Mississippi discovered that the country east of that 
river was inhabited by a powerful race, whom they called "Tallegawe " or 


"Allegewi." The tradition stated that the Allegewi were living in large towns 
situated along the principal streams, and protected by fortifications. They at 
first refused to allow the Lenapes to cross the Mississippi, but finally consent- 
ed, on condition that they would proceed to the country east of that then oc- 
cupied by the Allegewi. On seeing the great strength of the Lenapes, the 
Allegewi became alarmed, and attacked and killed those that had crossed over, 
warning the others to remain west of the river. The Lenapes sought the as- 
sistance of the Mengwe, a tribe living northwest of the Mississippi, and the 
two nations agreed to conquer and divide the country between them. A long 
and bloody war ensued, lasting many years, but at length the Allegewi were 
conquered, the survivors driven far toward the south, and finally lost sight of 
among the southern nations. The Lenapes and Mengwe gradually moved 
eastward, conquering as they went. The former became known on the discov- 
ery of America as the Delawares, and the latter as the Mingoes, or Iroquois, 
but each was divided into several branches or tribes, which assumed different 
names. Some writers have advanced the proposition that the Allegewi are the 
vanished race called Mound Builders, yet all the evidence we have of the ex- 
istence of either are the fortifications and earth monuments of the latter, and 
the Delaware tradition concerning the conquest of the former. 

Many evidences of the pre-historic age existed in various portions of Craw- 
ford County for years after the first settlers built their cabins along its beauti- 
ful streams. A tradition was extant among the Indians, who temporarily 
occupied the valley of French Creek when these settlements were made, that 
those traces of a higher civilization were the works of another and totally 
different race of people to them. In 1830 the New York Journal of Commerce 
published the following notice of a mound located in the southeastern part of 
the county: 

" On an extensive plain near Oil Creek, there is a vast mound of stones, contain- 
ing many hundred thousand cart loads. This pyramid has stood through so many 
ages that it is now covered with soil, and from its top rises a noble pine tree, 
the roots of which, running down the sides, fasten themselves in the earth 
below. The stones are, many of them, so large that two men can scarcely move 
them, and are unlike any in the neighborhood ; nor are there quarries near, 
from which so large a quantity could be taken. The stones were, perhaps, 
collected from the surface, and the mound one of the many that have been 
raised by the ancient race which preceded the Indians, whom the Europeans 
have not known. These monuments are numerous further north and east, and 
in the south and west are far greater, more artificial and imposing." 

In 1846, Alfred Huidekoper, Esq. of Meadville, wrote an article for the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, entitled "Incidents in the Early History 
of Crawford County, Pennsylvania," which was published in 1850, among 
other memoirs of the society, and a copy presented to Mr. Huidekoper. Hfe 
has kindly and freely given the use of this valuable work, and from his 
article we take the following extracts relative to the pre-historic occupancy of 
this county : 

" When first visited by the whites in 1787, in the valley of French Creek, 
were old meadows destitute of trees, aQd covered with long, wild grass and 
herbage resembling the prairies ; but by whom those lands were originally 
cleared, will probably forever remain a matter of uncertainty. 

" The Indians alleged that the work had not been done by them ; but a tra- 
dition among them attributed it to a larger and more powerful race of inhab- 
itants, who had preoccupied the country. Whether some far-straying French- 
man, or straggling Spaniard, whose wanderings have been unrecorded, made 


his lirst opening in the primeval forest, or whether some semi-civilized tribe 
of Indians from the central regions of America, leaving the sunny south, 
pushed their canoes up the Ohio and Allegheny, and settling in the western 
regions of Pennsylvania, were finally subdued and destroyed by the fiercer 
and more warlike tribes of the North, may be an interesting subject for spec- 
ulation ; but the records are too ambiguous and indistinct to solve the questions 
which they raise." 

Further on in the same article he says: "There were originally two 
circular forts about a mile below the present village of Meadville: the one 
in the valley, on the farm of Mr. Taylor Randolph, and the other a quarter of 
a mile below, on the bluif point of a high knoll, where a small stream puts 
into the creek, or now into the canal. The plow and annual tillage of the 
soil have now destroyed them. There was also a mound still to be seen a 
short distance above the fort, which stood in the plain. It is now nothing but 
a smooth eminence, some two or three feet high, and extending from north to 
south some fifteen or twenty feet, and about twice as much from east to west. 
It is described, however, by Mr. Esaac Randolph, one of the oldest settlers, on 
whose farm it stands, as having been composed originally of two mounds con- 
nected by a narrow neck between them. The material of one of the mounds 
he represents as having been of gravel, and the other of alluvial earth. The 
ground around the mound is alluvial, without stone, and it is evident the 
material was carried some distance to construct the mound, as there was no 
ditch or excavation near it from which it could have been taken. The mound 
stands some thirty rods from the stream, where gravel is abundant. 

" The fields in the neighborhood abound with small pieces of Indian crock- 
ery, resembling common earthenware, except that it is not glazed or so well 

" In plowing in the neighborhood of the above mound some years ago an 
Indian grave was discovered, covered with a large stone, under which, among 
the bones, were found some interesting relics. Among the rest, some sharp 
instruments of agate or other hard stone, shaped in the form of the segment 
of a circle, from three to five inches long, and having one edge, and the points 
very sharp; they were probably used either for surgical instruments or for tat- 
tooing, etc. Indian arrow-heads of flint, and axes of greenstone, are frequently 
found in the flats along the creek, and occasionally the remains of pipes for 
smoking carved out of stone. A small idol, carved in the form of an owl, out 
of soapstone, was found a few years since and is now in the cabinet of IVIi'. 
Frederick Huidekoper, in Meadville. A small turtle, either a petrifaction or 
a relic of Indian sculpture, has lately been discovered in excavating for a fur- 
nace on the Big Sugar Creek; it is now in the possession of Mr. J. Russell, 
at Russellville, in Venango County. The fossil is a siliceous stone, and was 
unfortunately and wantonly broken by the laborers who exhumed it; the 
pieces, however, have been obtained and preserved by Mr. Russell. The head 
and front part of the body are entire; the head a little distorted, but very dis- 
tinct. From a hasty inspection I had of it in passing Mr. Russell's, a few 
days since, I should be inclined to believe it a specimen of Indian sculpture, 
and an idol of the Delaware, or some other tribe of Indians, who regarded the 
turtle as sacred. 

" The most perfect of the Indian fortifications in the county is a circular 
fort, still in a tolerable state of preservation, which stands on a point of land 
projecting into the Pymatuning Swamp, in North Shenango Township. The 
area of the fort includes some two acres of ground, now covered with large 
timber. The breastwork is about three feet high, and the fosse from two to 


three feet deep; there are from four to five places of egress from the fort, 
where there are intervals in the ditch. The breastwork has probably originally 
been fortified with a stockade, and the portals occupied with gates. On the 
land side, or the side opposite to the swamp, is another breastwork, some 
twenty or thirty yards from the fort, and now less distinct. 

" In the interior of the fort there are a great number of places where there 
is a slight depression in the surface, as though a hole had been dug some two 
feet in diameter. In excavating in these places the ground has a burnt look, 
and among the earth are small pieces of charcoal, indicating that these holes 
have been receptacles for fire, and were probably made use of in cooking. On 
the top of the breastwork trees are now growing, one of which, a white oak, 
measured more than ten feet in circumference. In the neighborhood of the 
fort are Indian graves and remains that have not yet been explored." 

On the I8th of February, 1848, a lecture was delivered before the Meadville 
Literary Union, by William H. Davis, on ''Crawford County and Its History," 
which at the time of its delivery attracted wide attention. In referring to the 
prehistoric race that once lived and flourished throughout the land, he says: 
" When and by whom our county was first inhabited it is now impossible to 
determine, but there is abundant evidence to be found in the landmarks visible 
in various parts of it that it was at one time occupied by a race totally differ- 
ent from the North American Indians who were in possession when the white 
men first trod upon its soil. It is generally supposed, however, that this 
people were of the same race who ei'ected the mounds and fortifications which 
are so numerous throughout the whole Valley of the Mississippi — and perhaps 
are identical with the same nations who were found by Hernando Cortez in the 
Valley of Mexico, so far advanced in civilization. Whether they were the 
same or not, it is certain that the mounds, fortifications, ruins, towns, etc., 
prove that they were a people far above the red man of the North in all that 
could make a people great or happy. As an evidence of their knowledge, and 
to prove that such a race once inhabited Crawford County, I will refer to some 
of the marks now to be seen on the ground. 

" A short distance from Titusville in this county, and on the west side of 
Oil Creek, there are perhaps about 2,000 pits, scattered over a level plain 
not exceeding 500 acres. Some of these are very close together, as close 
as the vats in a tan-yard, which they somewhat resemble, each having been 
about seven or eight feet long, four wide and six deep. These pits or vats 
had all been nearly filled, some of them entirely so, by vegetable deposit, 
perhaps the accumulation of ages. The mounds raised at the side of each 
pit by the excavation of the earth from it are distinctly visible. Close upon 
the margin of many of them and upon the very mounds made of the earth, 
trees whose size indicate an age of two or three hundred years, are found 
growing. Those trees could not have existed at the time those vats were made, 
for it is reasonable to suppose that those engaged in making those pits would 
either have commenced their labor so far from the standing timber that they 
would not be obstructed by the roots, or would have cut the timber down. 
Another thing affording an index to the time when these vats may have been 
made, is the fact that the inhabitants now in their vicinity first discovered the 
pits from their regularity in size, and the order of their location, and indenta- 
tions of the surface and the general appearance of the mounds ; they were 
indaced to open them. On doing so they discovered that each pit was of the 
size before mentioned, and walled with logs regularly cut and halved at the 
ends so that they could lie close together, thus preventing the caving in of the 
earth. Now there are no evidences on the ground showing where the logs used 


in walling the pit were cut. And although the whole flat is to this day cov- 
ered with standing timber, not a stump remains to show that the axe-man had 
ever been there prior to the visitation by the whites. 

"Many of these pits have recently been opened, and all were found to be 
about the same depth, fashioned and walled nearly exactly alike. Whether it 
was curiosity or cupidity which led to this investigation I am unable to deter- 
mine — but certain it is that when excavated to the bottom of the log wall it 
was found that water rose in the pit to the depth of four or five inches. On 
visiting the pits a day or two after the excavation, it was ascertained that the 
water in them was covered with oil to the depth of one-third or one-half an 
inch. This at once demonstrated the use to which they had been applied. 
They had been used for gathering what we now call 'Seneca Oil ' (petroleum), 
and the number of the pits shows clearly that whoever engaged in it, had, to 
use a modern expression, 'gone into a wholesale business.' It also proves 
that those pits were not made by the Indians. Their regularity, their num- 
ber, their having been walled with cut logs, halved at the end, the averse- 
ness of the Indian to labor, all forbid the idea that he could have been their 
creator. Besides this, the Indians, I have been informed, have no traditions 
respecting them, at least none more satisfactory than they have of the mounds 
and fortifications found throughout the West. 

' ' Nor could these evidences of former occupancy have been made by the 
French. The number of the pits prove that many persons must have been 
employed in collecting the Seneca Oil. The French were an enterprising, 
intelligent and warlike people. Had they been the operators, here we would 
have found, perhaps, an old fort or the ruins of a village. They would not have 
been in such numbers and for such a length of time, in a particular district 
of the country, as the work indicated they must have remained without the 
means of protecting themselves from the red men of the forest. In addition 
to this, the French did not take possession of our country till the year 1753, 
while the trees, mounds and pits indicate a much greater age than would be 
allowed them by assigning that period for their construction. It is well known 
that their occupation of this country was a military occupation. And by the 
rules of their military code, everything of note in which a portion of the army 
was engaged, would have been reported, and would be now on file in the war 
department of France. Is it probable that so many soldiers of the French 
army as must necessarily have been engaged in this business, for the requisite 
length of time, could fail to have been reported to the department, especially 
in a matter which must have greatly excited their curiosity, as well as their 
desire for gain? They were not made by the French; they were not made by 
the North American Indians; but in all probability they were made by that 
people who erected the other mounds and fortifications, towns and cities in the 
valley of the Mississippi. Their appearance bears the same age, and justifies 
this conclusion. 

" Other evidences might be referred to to show that our county was 
inhabited by another race of people than those who were found to be its occu- 
pants by the French. I refer to the mounds, which now exist in various parts 
of the county. Some are found on Crooked Creek, some on Shenango, some 
on Conneaut Creek, some on French Creek, and one near Meadville, on the 
land of the late Cornelius Van Home, Esq. Some of these have been opened, 
and found to contain human skeletons, and are considered to be receptacles for 
the dead. Now it is not the custom of any of the present Indian tribes to erect 
mounds over their dead, at least no instance of the kind has been noticed since 
they have come in contact with the white race." 


Day after day and year after year, since the present race pushed westward 
across the Alleghenies, the plowshare has uncovered remains which had well- 
nigh returned to the dust whence they came. So common has been the occur- 
rence of unearthing human remains in some parts of the country, that the 
discovery scarcely elicits remark. The wasting banks of the rivers occasionally 
display vast cemeteries, and names have been given to several localities from 
such exposures. Extensive ancient burial places have been discovered at vari^ 
ous places, where thousands of graves are found in ranges parallel with each 
other. It is not to be wondered at that when the bones in the mounds have so 
nearly crumbled into shapeless fragments, those buried in the common plain, 
and which are necessarily less protected from moisture, should in many cases 
have passed to that condition nearly or quite indistinguishable from the mold 
that surrounds them. 

A people so numerous as the Mound Builders must have been, and living 
in the country, as there is evidence they did, for a long period, must have had 
vast cemeteries. The conclusion to which all archaeologists have come in regard 
to this matter is, that only the illustrious chieftains of the race were honored 
by the rearing of mounds over their places of sepulture, and that the balance 
were buried by the simple process of interment. There are, doubtless, grand 
depositories of the dead who thronged our valleys and raised the silent monu- 
ments of their toil all about us. We know not when we tread the earth of our 
village streets or the green turf of the fields, but that we walk over the remains 
of thousands of forms, which in ages that are past were pregnant with the same 
life and spirit of which we are possessed. 


Indian History— The Eries Occupy the Southern Shore of Lake Erie— 
They are Conquered and Dispersed by the Iroquois— Catholic Mission- 
aries Who Have Written of the Eries— Definition of Their ]S"ame— 
Mention of the Eries on Two Old French Maps at Harrisburg— Seneca 
Tradition Kegarding the War of Extermination— The Senegas Occupy 
the Conquered Territory— War Between the Senegas and Massassau- 
GAs— Indian Villages in Crawford County — Friendly Indians and 
White Prisoners Found Here by the First Settlers — Neighboring 
Indian Towns— Biography of Cornplanter— Ancient Indian Trace — 
Delegations of Wyandots and Senegas Pass Through Meadville in 1808 
—Council at Jennesedaga Between Citizens of Crawford County and 
THE Senecas— The Latter Join the Americans in the War of 1812-15. 

^T^HE next race of men who dwelt in our land after the disappearance of 
-I the semi -civilized population that reared the countless earth memorials 
of their existence, were the North American Indians. The southern shore of 
Lake Erie, together with the territory contiguous thereto, was once occupied 
by an Indian nation historically known as Eries, a fierce and warlike tribe of 
whom no trace but the name remains. It is generally admitted by historians 
that the Eries were conquered and dispersed by the Iroquois about 1650-55. 
In a lecture delivered at Erie by Henry L. Harvey about 1840, he says: "The 
Iroquois, after attacking the Algonquins, commenced upon the Eries or 
Irrironons, a powerful and warlike race inhabiting the south side of the beau- 
tiful lake which still bears their name — almost the only memento that such a 


nation ever existed — a name signifying eats, which they had adopted as char- 
acteristic of their tribe. After a somewhat severe contest, the assailants suc- 
ceeded; 700 of them attacked and carried the main fortress, though it was 
defended by 2,000; and the survivors were either incorporated with the victors 
or fled to remote regions." Mr. Harvey claimed that a Seneca chief informed 
him that this stronghold of the Eries was situated in the vicinity of the mouth 
of French Creek. 

In the Jesuit Relations a tribe called "Eries, or Cats" are located on the 
southern shore of Lake Erie; and the illustrious Catholic missionaries, Fathers 
Marquette, Hennepin, Perot, Membre and Gravier, all speak of this Indian 
nation as having dwelt along Lake Erie ere its defeat and dispersion by the 
Iroquois. Father Hennepin, in his work published in 1684, in speaking of 
certain Catholic priests, thus alludes to the Eries: "These good fathers were 
great friends of the Hurons (Wyandots) who told them that the Iroquois went 
to war beyond Virginia, or New Sweden, near a lake which they called 'Erige,' 
or 'Ericke,' which signifies 'the cat,' or 'nation of the cat;' and because these 
savages brought captives from the nation of the cat in returning to their can- 
tons along this lake, the Hurons named it in their language 'Erige,' or 
'Ericke,' 'the lake of the cat,' and which our Canadians in softening the word, 
have called 'Lake Erie.' " 

In the State Library at Harrisburg, there are two old French maps, one 
printed in 1763, and the other in 1768, in which rude attempts are made to 
show the leading geographical features of portions of the United States and 
Canada. Both represent the south shore of Lake Erie as having been peopled 
by a tribe or nation of Indians known as the " Eriez." A note on the margin 
of each reads as follows: " The ancient Eriez were exterminated by the Iro- 
quois upward of 100 years ago, ever since which time they have been in pos- 
session of Lake Erie." On the earliest of the maps the following is printed 
at a point along the lake between Cleveland and Sandusky: "The seat of 
war, the mart of trade, and chief hunting-grounds of the Six Nations on the 
lakes and the Ohio." The foregoing information in regard to the Eries is 
corroborated in a French book printed in 1703, describing the voyage of Le 
BaroQ de Lahonton, an adventurous Frenchman, who spent ten years among 
the Indians, commencing in 1683. "The shores of Lake Erie," he says, "are 
frequented by the Iroquois, the Illinois, the Oumanies, etc., who are so savage 
that it is a risk to stop with them. The Errieronons and the Andestiguerons, 
who formerly inhabited the borders of the lake, were exterminated by the Iro- 
quois." Incidentally it may be added, he refers to the Massassaugas as a tribe 
living somewhere near the western end of the lake. The latter are also 
alluded to in a memoir on the "Western Indians, prepared by M. DuChisneau, 
at Quebec, in 1681. 

It is claimed by most historians, that the word "Erie" was the Indian 
expression for wild-cat, but a recent writer contends that this is a mistake, 
that it does not mean wild-cat, but raccoon. The latter were abundant upon 
the lake shore, while the former were rarely seen. A French memoir, written 
in 1718, relates that one island in the upper part of the lake was infested to 
so great an extent by wild-cats, that "the Indians killed as many as 9(X) of 
them in a very short time." It is possible that the French explorers, from 
whom the supposed meaning of the word has descended to us, mistook the rac- 
coons for wild- cats. 

Records are in existence which show that the Eries were visited by French 
Catholic missionaries as early as 1626. They were found to be living on terms 
of amity with the surrounding warlike tribes, and were governed by a queen, 


called in their own language, Yagowania, and in the Seneca tongue, Gegosasa, 
who was regarded as " the mother of nations," and whose office was that of 
" keeper of the symbolic house of peace." The chief warrior of the tribe was 
Ragnotha, who had his principal location at Te-osah-wa or ' ' Place of Bass- 
wood," now Buffalo. In 1634 a bloody dissension broke out between the sev- 
eral branches of the Iroquois family. During its progress two Seneca war- 
riors appeared at Gegosasa' s lodge and were hospitably received. They were 
preparing to smoke the pipe of peace when a deputation of Massassaugas was 
announced, who demanded vengeance for the murder of their chief's son at 
the hands of the Seneca tribe. This the queen, in her mediatorial capacity, 
was prompt to grant. She even set out with a large body of warriors to en- 
force her decree, and dispatched messengers to Ragnotha to command his assist- 
ance. The visiting Senecas flew to their friends to notify them of the queen's 
course, and a body of fighting men was hastily gathered in ambush on the 
road which her army was obliged to travel. The Eries had no anticipation of 
trouble at that point, and the first they knew of the presence of the Senecas 
was when they heard their dreadful war-whoop. The contest that ensued was 
one of desperation. At first the queen's forces gained the advantage, but the 
Senecas rallied and compelled the Eries to flee, leaving 600 dead upon the field 
of battle. No accounts have been preserved of any further hostilities at that 
time, and it is probable that a peace was effected, and amicable relations for 
the time restored. 

The war of extermination between the Eries and the Iroquois occurred 
about 1650-55, and was one of the most cruel in aboriginal history. From 
the opening it was understood by both sides to mean the utter ruin of one 
tribe or the other. The Eries organized a powerful body of warriors and sought 
to surprise their enemies in their own country. Their plans were thwarted by 
a faithless woman who secretly gave the Iroquois warning. The latter raised 
a force and marched out to meet the invaders. The engagement resulted in a 
complete victory for the Iroquois. Seven times the Eries crossed the stream 
dividing the hostile lines and they were as often driven back with terrible loss. 
On another occasion several hundred Iroquois attacked nearly three times their 
number of Eries, encamped near the mouth of French Creek, dispersed them, 
took many prisoners, and compelled the balance to fly to remote regions. In 
a battle near the site of the Cattaraugus Indian mission house, on the Alle- 
gheny River, the loss of the Eries was enormous. Finally a pestilence broke 
out among the Eries, which "swept away greater numbers even than the club 
and arrow." The Iroquois took advantage of their opportunity to end all fear 
of future trouble from the ill-fated Eries. Those who had been taken cap- 
tive were, with rare exceptions, remorselessly butchered, and their wives and 
children were distributed among the Iroquois villages, never again to be restored 
to their husbands and brothers. The few survivors " fled to distant regions in 
the West and South, and were followed by the undying hatred of the Iroquois. 
* * * Their council fire was put out, and their name and language as a 
tribe lost." 

Traces of the tribe were occasionally found by the French Catholic mission- 
aries during their labors in the western wilderness. A number were living as 
slaves among the Onondagas, and appealed to the missionaries to aid them in 
securing their freedom, but abandoned all hope on finding that these zealous 
priests were powerless to help them. An early French writer, describing the 
Christian village of La Prairie, says a portion of the settlement was made up 
of fugitive Eries. Students of Indian history are generally of the belief that 
the tribe was at one time considerably aliead of the other aborigines of North 


America in progress and intelligence; but whether the survivors of this once 
powerful nation were wholly absorbed by other tribes, or their name grad- 
ually changed and thus lost sight of, will, doubtless, forever remain a subject 
of speculation, as no certain trace is left to guide us in arriving at a reliable 

After the expulsion of the Eries from this region of territory, the. victors 
claimed the soil by right of conquest. In 1712 the Tuscaroras, being driven 
from the Carolinas, joined their fortunes with the conquerors of the Eries, 
since which time the Iroquois have been known as the Six Nations. This 
powerful confederacy was composed of the Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, 
Onondagas, Senecas and Tuscaroras. The Senecas guarded the western door 
of the Iroquois "long council house," as they styled their dominions, and 
were by far the most numerous and warlike of the Six Nations. According 
to Rev. Timothy Alden, the Senecas called themselves Nun-du-waw-gauh or 
"the men of the hills," and had many traditions of the prowess and exploits 
of their ancestors. They dwelt originally among the hills south of the small 
lakes in northern New York, and along the Genesee River, and always claimed 
that the Iroquois nation were the first to obtain the knowledge and use of 

The Massassaugas, supposed by some writers to have been a remnant or 
tribal branch of the Eries, had villages at different points along the south- 
western shore of Lake Erie. The Seneca tradition states that between them 
and the Massassaugas there arose frequent misunderstandings, which finally re- 
sulted in a band of the latter invading the Seneca country. A battle took 
place on the Genesee River, but the rude bows and arows of the invaders were 
of little avail against an enemy armed with guns, and the Massassaugas were 
annihilated. The tradition says that the Senecas cut off the arms and legs of 
their dead foes, and suspended them on poles, reaching entirely across the 
river, and supported by crotchets driven into the ground. This triumph, how- 
ever, did not last long, as the tradition adds that the Massassaugas subse- 
quently procured fire-arms of the French, and after learning the use of them 
gained a victory over the Senecas; whereupon a treaty was formed, the toma- 
hawk buried, intermarriages took place and the two tribes became as one 

In the " Historical Collections of Pennsylvania " we find the following trib- 
ute to the prowess of the Iroquois nation: " The peculiar location of the Iro- 
quois gave them an immense advantage. On the great channels of water 
communication to which their territories were contiguous, they were enabled in 
all directions to carry war and devastation to the neighboring or to the more 
distant nations. Nature had endowed them with height, strength and symme- 
try of person which distinguished them at a glance among the individuals of 
other tribes. They were brave as they were strong, but ferocious and cruel 
when excited in savage warfare; crafty, treacherous and overreaching when 
these qualities best suited their purposes. The proceedings of their Grand 
Council were marked with great decorum and solemnity. In eloquence, in 
dignity and profound policy their speakex's might well bear comparison with 
the statesmen of civilized assemblies. By an early alliance with the Dutch 
on the Hudson they secured the use of fire-arms, and were thus enabled not 
only to repel the encroachments of the French but also to exterminate or 
reduce to a state of vassalage many Indian nations. From these they exacted 
an annual tribute or acknowledgment of fealty, permitting them, however, on 
that condition, to occupy their former hunting-grounds. The humiliation of 
tributary nations was, however, tempered with a paternal regard for their 


interests in all negotiations with the whites, and care was taken that no tres- 
pass should be committed on their rights, and that they should be justly dealt 

On the west bank of French Creek, a short distance above the mouth of 
Conneaut Outlet, was located the Indian town of Mahusquechikoken. In the 
summer of 1779 Col. Daniel Brodhead commr^nded an expedition against the 
Indians of northwestern Pennsylvania, and in his report to Gen. Washington, 
dated September 16, 1779, says: "On my return I prefei'red the Venango 
road, the old towns of Conawango and Buchloons, and Mahusquechikoken, 
about twenty miles above Venango on French Creek, consisting of thirty-iive 
large houses, were likewise burnt." "When John Huling located on the farm 
now owned by William H. Harrington, about 1794, the remains of this Indian 
village were plainly visible, and might still be traced for many years afterward. 

It is also believed that there was once a small Indian village on French 
Creek, near the mouth of Cussewago, as a town called " Cassewago" is located 
on the Historical Map of Pennsylvania, between twenty and thirty miles above 
the mouth of French Creek, on that stream. John Frazier, the Indian trader, 
calls the village '• Caseoago," and the State Archives uses the same orthography, 
but all locate the town about the vicinity of Meadville, not far from the 
mouth of Cussewago Creek. Frazier in a letter to his partner, Young, bear- 
ing date August 27, 1753, says: "The French had a fort some distance north- 
west of Venango at a place called Caseoago, up French Creek. " 

Within the period of American possession, the territory embraced in Craw- 
ford County appears to have been a sort of neutral ground between the eastern 
and western tribes of Indians. Though the Senecas were recognized as its 
nominal owners, it was utilized as a general hunting-ground, and occupied 
principally by nomadic bands who lived by hunting, and some Indian families 
who had erected a few rude cabins on French Creek. When the j&rst perma- 
nent settlement was made at Meadville, in 1788, Stripe Neck, an aged Mohawk 
chief, friendly to the whites, was found dwelling on the west bank of French 
Creek, near where the Mercer Street bridge now spans that stream. W^ith his 
numerous family he occupied three small cabins, and a few years afterward 
when the old chief died, he was buried by his people, assisted by the white 
settlers, on the bank oE the creek. This mark of attention did much to secure 
the good will of many Indians residing in this vicinity, who subsequently 
proved firm friends of the harassed pioneers. Here the bones of Stripe Neck 
remained until some excavations were being made near the bank of the stream, 
when the grave was dug away and his resting-place obliterated. 

The pioneers found living with the Indians in this vicinity several white 
prisoners, who had been captured during the previous Indian wars. Among 
them were Lashly Malone, captured at Bald Eagle, below Milesburg; Peter 
Krause (a German by birth), on Duncan's Creek, near the head of the Monon- 
gahela River in Virginia; Elijah Mathews, on Grave Creek, Ohio; Nicholas 
Rosencrantz, the son of a minister, and Nicholas Tanewood, taken in the 
vicinity of the Mohawk River. Krause, Mathews and Rosencrantz were mar- 
ried to squaws, and when the first settlers came to the site of Meadville, the 
two former had children eight or ten years of age. These men having lived 
from boyhood with their captors, were thoroughly weaned from the habits of 
civilization, and when the Indians left the valley, they went with them. 
Rev. Timothy Alden, while on a visit to Cornplanter, in the fall of 1816, staid 
over night at the cabin of Peter Krause, on the banks of the Allegheny, where 
he was then living with his Indian wife and family. 

The nearest villages of the western Indians who were hostile to the whites, 

En^hi-EGWilliamsiBra Rv 






were on the Cuyahoga and Sandusky Rivers. A small band of friendly 
Indians dwelt at the mouth of the Conneaut Creek, in the northwestern corner 
of Ohio, and between twenty and thirty families of Senecas, near the western 
end of Presque Isle Bay, now known as " The Head," some four miles west of 
Erie. These Indians were living at the above points as late as the beginning 
of the present century, and cultivated extensive corn-fields in the vicinity of 
their villages. The pioneer records of Erie County, Penn., and Ashtabula 
County, Ohio, speak in terms of praise of these Indians, who, upon the 
occupancy of their lands by the whites, removed elsewhere, though often return- 
ing to camp in the beautiful forest bordering the bay and lake. Among the 
Indians living near the mouth of Conneaut Creek, was a Chief named Cana- 
daughta, with his three sons: Big Sun, Standing Stone and Flying Cloud, also 
an Indian called Wire Ears, who extended their friendly protection to the 
pioneers of French Creek Valley. 

In a rich bottom on the west bank of the Allegheny River, in what is now 
the northeast corner of Warren County, Penn., was located Jen-ne-sa-da- 
ga or Tin-nes-hau-ta-go, which means "burnt houses,"'* the village of the 
celebrated Seneca Chief, Cornplanter, and the nearest Indian settlement on 
the east. This noted Chief was the stanch friend of the white settlers, as 
was also his half-brother, Halftown, of whose fidelity the pioneers always 
spoke in the most emphatic language. According to Mr. Alden, Cornplant- 
er's Indian names were as follows: Ki-end-twoh-ke, or " The Planter," and 
No-nuh, or " The Contemplative;" but they usually addressed him as Shin-ne- 
wau-nah, or "The Gentleman." From Day's "Historical Collections of 
Pennsylvania," we select the following sketch of the distinguished Chief, 
whose life was so closely associated with the Indian history of the northwest- 
ern portion of the State: 

" Few names are more distinguished in the frontier history of Pennsylva- 
nia than that of Cornplanter. He was born at Conewaugus, on the Genesee 
River, being a half-breed, the son of a white man named John O'Bail, a trader 
from the Mohawk Valley. In a letter written in later years to the Governor of 
Pennsylvania he thus speaks of his early youth: 'When I was a child I 
played with the butterfly, the grasshopper and frogs; and as I grew up I began 
to pay some attention and play with the Indian boys in the neighborhood, and 
they took notice of my skin being of a different color from theirs, and spoke 
about it; I inquired from my mother the cause, and she told me my father was 
a resident of Albany. I still ate my victuals out of a bark dish. I grew up 
to be a young man and married me a wife, and I had no kettle or gun. I then 
knew where my father lived, and went to see him, and found he was a white 
man and spoke the English language. He gave me victuals while I was at his 
house, but when I started to return home he gave me no provision t() eat on the 
way. He gave me neither kettle nor gun.' ***** 

"Little further is known of his early life beyond the fact that he was 
allied with the French in the engagement against Gen. Braddock in July, 
1755. He was probably at that time at least twenty years old. During the 
Revolution he was a war chief of high rank, in the full vigor of manhood, 
active, sagacious, eloquent, brave, and he most probably participated in the 
principal Indian engagements against the United States during the war. He 
is supposed to have been present at the cruelties of Wyoming and Cherry Val- 
ley, in which the Senecas took a prominent part. He was on the war-path 
with Brandt during Gen. Sullivan's campaign in 1779; and in the following 
year, under Brandt and Sir John Johnson, he led the Senecas in sweeping 

* One of the towns destroyed by Col. Brodhead, 1779. 


through the Schoharie Kill and the IMohawk. On this occasion he took his 
father a prisoner, but with such caution as to avoid an immediate recognition. 
After marching the old man some ten or twelve miles he stepped before him, 
faced about and addressed him in the following terms: 

" • My name is John O'Bail, commonly called Cornplanter. I am your son ! 
You are my father I You are now my prisoner, and subject to the customs of 
Indian warfare, but you shall not be harmed. You need not fear ! I am a 
warrior ! Many are the scalps which I have taken ! Many prisoners I have 
tortured to death ! I am your son. I was anxious to see you, and greet you 
in friendship^ I went to your cabin, and took you by force ; but your life 
shall be spared. Indians love their friends and their kindred, and treat them 
with kindness. If now you choose to follow the fortunes of your yellow son, 
and to live with our people, I will cherish your old age with plenty of venison 
and you shall live easy. But if it is your choice to return to yoar fields and 
live with your white children, I will send a partj-^ of my trusty young men to 
conduct you back in safety. I respect you, my father. You have been 
friendly to Indians, and they are your friends.' The elder O'Bail preferred 
his white children and green fields to his yellow offspring and the wild woods, 
and chose to return. 

" Notwithstanding his bitter hostility while the war continued, he became 
the fast friend of the United States when once the hatchet was buried. His 
sagacious intellect comprehended at a glance the growing power of this coun- 
try and the abandonment with which England had requited the fidelity of the 
Senecas. He therefore threw all his influence at the treaties of Fort Stanwix 
and Fort Harmer, in favor of peace; and notwithstanding the vast concessions 
which he saw his people were necessitated to make, still, by his energy and 
prudence in the negotiation, he retained for them an ample and beautiful res- 
ervation. For the course which he took on those occasions, the State of Penn- 
sylvania granted him the fine reservation upon which he resided, on the Alle- 
gheny. The Senecas, however, were never well satisfied with his course in 
relation to these treaties ; and Red Jacket, more artful and eloquent than his 
elder rival, but less frank and honest, seized upon this circumstance to pro- 
mote his own popularity at the expense of Cornplanter. 

"Having buried the hatchet. Cornplanter sought to make his talents useful 
to his people by conciliating the good will of the whites, and securing from 
further encroachment the little remnant of his national domain. On more 
than one occasion, when some reckless and bloodthirsty whites on the frontier 
had massacred unoffending Indians in cold blood, did Cornplanter interfere to 
restrain the vengeance of his people. During all the Indian wars from 1790 
to 1794, which terminated with Wayne's treaty, Cornplanter pledged himself 
that the Senecas should remain friendly to the United States. He often gave 
notice to the garrison at Fort Franklin of intended attacks from hostile par- 
ties, and even hazarded his life on a mediatorial mission to the Western tribes. 
He ever entertained a high respect and personal friendship for Washington, 
'the great councillor of the Thirteen Fires,' and often visited him, during 
his presidency, on the business of his tribe. His speeches on these occasions 
exhibit both his talent in composition and his adroitness in diplomacy. Wash- 
ington fully reciprocated his respect and friendship. They had fought against 
each other on the disastrous day of Braddock's field. Both were then young 
men. More than forty years afterwards, when Washington was about to retire 
from the Presidency, Cornplanter made a special visit to Philadelphia to take 
an affectionate leave of the great benefactor of the white man and the red. 

" After peace was permanently established between the Indians and the 


United Slates, Cornplanter retired from public life and devoted his laborH to 
his own people. He deplored the evils of intemperance, and exerted himself 
to suppress it. The benevolent efforts of missionaries among his tribe 
always received his encouragement, and at one time his own heart seemed to 
be softened by the words of truth; yet he preserved, in his later years, many of 
the peculiar notions of the Indian faith." 

Cornplanter appears to have taken no active part in the war of 181 2] 5, 
but the Senecas took up the hatchet in alliance with the United States; and 
his son, Major Henry O'Bail, and his half-brother, Halftown, were conspicu- 
ous in that struggle against English tyranny. 

In September, 1816, Rev. Timothy Alden, founder of Alleghany College, 
went on a brief missionary tour among the Indians, and spent some days at 
the village of this venerable chief. On his return to Meadville he wrote a 
letter to Rev. Joseph McKean, of Harvard University, giving an account of 
his labors, from which we quote a few passages. He says: "Cornplanter, as 
soon as apprised of our ai'rival, came over to see us, and immediately took 
chai'g^ of our horses. Though the chief Sachem of his tribe, and having many 
around him to obey his commands, yet, in the ancient patriarchial style, he 
chose to serve himself, and actually went into the field, cut the oats, and faith- 
fully fed our beasts from time to time, while we continued in the place, in 
ipsa persona propria. ******* 

"Cornplanter has been the greatest warrior the Senecas have ever had; yet 
he has always been remarkable for his humane treatment of the women and 
children of his enemies, who at any time have fallen into his hands. He is a 
man of strong mind and masterly eloquence. At the treaty of Fort Stanwix, 
he greatly distinguished himself by his talents and address, insomuch that by 
general suffrage, he has ever since held the first place of power among the 
chiefs of his nation. 

" He appears to be about sixty- eight years of age,* and five feet ten inches 
in height. His countenance is strongly marked with the lines of intelligence 
and reflection. Contrary to the aboriginal custom, his chin is covered with a 
beard three or four inches iti length, and upon his head are many of the blos- 
soms of age. His house is of princely dimensions compared with the gener- 
ality of Indian huts, , and has a piazza in front. He is owner of 1,300 acres 
of excellent land, 600 of whicl^ encircle the ground- plot of his little town. 
From the United States he receives, annually, according to stipulation, $250, 
besides his proportion of $9,000 equally divided, one-half in goods and one- 
half in money, among those of every age and condition in the tribe." 

In a published account of a trip of the steamboat Alleghany from Pittsburgh 
to Clean, in May, 1830, we find the following reference to this noted chieftain. 
" On the evening of the 20th of May, we departed from Warren for Oleah, in 
the State of New York, seventy-five miles above (by water), with freight and 
passengers from Pittsburgh. At 9 o'clock next daywe arrived opposite the In- 
dian village of Cornplanter, seventeen miles up. Here a deputation of gentle- 
men waited on the well-known Indian king or chief, and invited him on board 
this new and, to him, wonderful visitor, a steamboat. We found him in all 
his native simplicity of dress and manner of living, lying on his couch, made 
of rough pine boards, and covered with deer skins and blankets. His habita- 
tion, a two-story log-house, is in a state of decay, without furniture, except a 
few benches and wooden spoons and bowls to eat out of, which convinced us 
of his determination to retain old habits and customs. This venerable chief 

*Mr. Alden was mistaken as to Cornplanter's age. He was born about 1732, and in 1816 was eighty-four 
years old. 


was a lad in the first French war, and is now nearly one hundred years of age. 
He is a smart, active man, seemingly possessed of all his strength of mind, 
and in perfect health, and retains among his nation all the uncontrolled in- 
fluence of by-gone days. He with his son Charles, who is sixty years of age, 
and his son-in-law, came on board and remained until the boat passed six 
miles up, and then after expressing great pleasure with their novel ride, re- 
turned home in their own canoe. His domain is a delightful bottom of rich 
laud two miles square, nearly adjoining the line between Pennsylvania and 
New York. On this his own family, about fifty in number, reside in eight or 
ten houses." 

This celebrated chief died at his residence on the 7th of March, 1836, at 
the age of about one hundred and four years. After nearly half a century 
passed in strife and danger, bravely battling for the heritage of his people, 
the declining years of his eventful life were peacefully spent on the banks 
of his own beloved Allegheny, where at last he was laid to rest. Notwithstand- 
ing his profession of Christianity, Cornplanter was very superstitious, and 
whether at the time of his death he expected to go to the happy hunting- 
ground of the Indian or to the heaven of the Christian, is not positively 
known. " Not long before his death," says Mr. Foote of Chautauqua County, 
N. Y., "he said the Good Spirit had told him not to have anything to do with 
the white people, or even to preserve any mementoes or relics that had been 
given to him from time to time, by the pale-faces, whereupon, among other 
things, he burned up his belt and broke his elegant sword." Thus closed the 
life of Cornplanter, a name so closely associated with the pioneer annals of 
northwestern Pennsylvania, that a history of Crawford County would be im- 
perfect without a fitting mention of his career. In 1866 the Pennsylvania 
Legislature appropriated $500 to erect a suitable monument at Jennesedaga, 
to the memory of Cornplanter, which was completed and dedicated on the 18th 
of October, 1867. 

The ancient Indian trace from Franklin ran along the east bank of French 
Creek, following the site of Water Street in Meadville; thence crossed the 
stream to the island, continuing up the west bank of the creek for several 
miles, when it re-crossed to the east bank, and thence up the stream to its 
head waters. Washington, in his journey from Venango (Franklin) to Fort 
Le Boeuf in 1753, kept the eastern bank the whole distance, as the high water 
prevented a crossing at the regular ford. The Indians living on the head 
waters of the Allegheny usually came through Meadville on their way to visit 
the Western tribes, while the latter followed the same general course in com- 
ing from the Sandusky Kiver, thus placing Crawford County in the direct 
route between those two great Indian confederacies. 

On the 6th of June, 1808, a delegation of thirteen Wyandots and Senecas 
from Sandusky Kiver passed through Meadville, going to a council with the 
Seneca Nation. They were bringing a friendly message from the Ohio tribes, 
to allay any fears of an Indian outbreak in that locality. During the summer 
some twenty or thirty Senecas, from their reservation on the Allegheny, went 
to, where a council was held with the Western tribes. They passed 
through Meadville going and returning, and it was learned that the council's 
deliberations related principally to the existing differences between the United 
States and England, and in the event of a war they had decided to observe a 
strict neutrality. This decision, however, proved of very little stability, as the 
Senecas sided with the United States, while most of the Western Indians, 
through the influence of Tecumseh, assisted by English gold, went with 


When thQ war of 1812-15 broke out, a want of confidence began to be 
manifested between the inhabitants of western Pennsylvania and the Indians 
on the Allegheny River, which excited some uneasiness, lest disagreeable con- 
sequences might result from it. To quiet all apprehensions in this locality, 
the citizens of Meadville held a meeting, and deputized Gen. David Mead, 
Col. Joseph Hackney and Maj. Patrick Farrelly to visit the Indians and ascer- 
tain their disposition in the coming war with England; also to make what 
explanations might be deemed necessary to continue the good understanding 
that had hitherto existed with these tribes. A council was held with the In- 
dians at Jennesedaga, on the Allegheny, at which were present a number of 
chiefs and Indians of the Seneca Nation, among whom were Cornplanter, Sil- 
verheels, the old prophet who was the brother of Cornplanter, Joseph Beads, 
John Purfer, Henry O'Bail and Charles O'Bail, sons of Cornplanter. When 
the council assembled Cornplanter welcomed the delegates and wished to hear 
from them. Maj. Patrick Farrelly, explained the object of their mission, viz., 
to preserve the peace and friendship heretofore existing between the whites 
and Indians. After a short consultation with the other chiefs, Cornplanter 
replied, reciprocating the sentiments expressed by Maj. Farrelly, whereupon 
the council broke up with the best of feelings. 

At this period a ti'eaty existed between the Senecas and the United States 
Government, which provided that if a white man should kill an Indian or, 
vice-versa, the culprit would have to pay $200 to the friends or heirs of the 
murdered man. Though this might now be regarded as very questionable 
justice, yet it helped to establish a feeling of confidence among the Senecas, 
which made them the allies of this nation in the war of 1812-15, though every 
eflfort was made by the agents of the English Government to seduce them from 
their allegiance to the American cautse. To Cornplanter' s influence was due 
this happy result, as after the Revolutionary war he was always the friend of the 
young Republic in her struggle against English arrogance, which was exhibited 
on every occasion, until the war of 1812-15 taught her to respect the rights of 
American fi'eemen. 



French Navigators— Caktier Discovers the St. Lawrence— Champlain 
Founds Quebec and Montreal— French Explorations — Catholic Mis- 
sionaries Visit the Fries and Iroquois— Joncaire— French and English 
Traders— Conflicting Claims— Celeron's Expedition— The French Take 
Possession of the Allegheny and Ohio Valleys, and Build Forts Presque 
Isle, Le Bc/tf, Machault and DuQuesne— Catholic Church Erected at 
Presque Isle— English Resistance to the Claims of France— Washing- 
ton's Mission to the French Commandant at Le Bceuf— War Between the 
Two Nations- Old French Road Through Crawford County— French 
Fort at Site of Meadville— Evacuation of the Country by the French, 
AND English Occupancy— Forts Presque Isle and Le Bceuf Repaired, and 
Venango and Pitt Erected — Indian Dissatisfaction — Pontiac's Con- 
spiracy and Capture of Forts Venango, Le Bceuf and Presque Isle- 
Revolutionary War and American Possession— Indian Treaties- 
Erection of Fort Franklin— Soldiers Stationed at Mead's Block- 
house—French Creek Settlers Organize for Protection— English and 
Indian Opposition to American Occupation— Wayne's Victory and Final 

IN 1534 Jacques Cartier, a skilled French navigator, left the shores of his 
native land, and, crossing the Atlantic in search of a more direct route to 
India, discovered, on the feast of St. Lawrence, the beautiful river connect- 
ing Lake Ontario with the ocean. The following year he made a second voy- 
age with the same object in view, and on reaching the mouth of that magnifi- 
cent stream named it the St. Lawrence, in honor of the day of its discovery. 
He passed up the river to the sites of Quebec and Montreal, and found at 
each place a flourishing Indian village. Not knowing the climate or heeding 
the flight of time, the rigors of a Northern winter were upon him ere he re- 
alized their terrors, and midst untold sufferings these hardy but unprepared 
seamen were compelled to remain on the St. Lawrence, their ship being ice- 
bound, until spring navigation opened, when the survivors returned to France. 
Six years later Cartier made another trip across the Atlantic, for the purpose 
of founding a permanent colony on the St. Lawrence, but the experiment did 
not succeed. Subsequent attempts at colonizing were made by other navigat- 
ors, but nearly a century passed away before Samuel de Champlain, on the 
3d of July, 1608, planted the white flag of France on the site of Quebec, and 
three years later on that of Montreal. For 150 years succeeding the founding 
of Quebec, by Champlain, the devoted missionaries and fearless explorers of 
France, were unremitting in their efforts to spread the Catholic faith and 
extend the French dominions throughout the vast region around the great 
lakes, and down the valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi. 

The French were the first white men who made explorations in the vicinity 
of Lake Erie. As early as 1611-12, Champlain ascended the chain of lakes 
as far as Lake Huron, and from that time forward the Indians were visited 
by numerous French Catholic priests on the double mission of spreading the 
gospel and promoting the interests of their king and nation. In 1626 the 
Eries were visited by these missionary fathers, and as early as 1657 the Jesuit 
Missions had been extended among the Senecas on the Genesee. In 1676-77, we 
find Father Hennepin visiting the Indian villages along the Allegheny, trav- 


eling as far south as the uiouth of Venaago River or French Creek, while two 
years later La Salle launched the Griffin in Niagara River, and sailed with 
a picked body of men to Green Bay in Lake Michigan. Thus, the work of 
Christianizing the Indians, and exploring the great West was carried forward 
at the same time, but many of these heroic and zealous priests yielded up 
their lives at the hands of those to whom they came to teach the great truths 
of the gospel. 

When the French and English began to extend their settlements westward, 
the lake region was under the full dominion of the Iroquois, with the Senecas 
as the immediate possessors of the soil. Both nations appreciated the import- 
ance of having the good-will of the Indians, but the adroit French were more 
successful in winning their friendship than their blunt and less politic com- 
petitors. As far back as 1730, the French Indian agent, Jean Coeur or 
Joncaire, penetrated this section, adopted the habits of the natives, became 
one of their number, and won them over to the French interest. " Among 
the public officers of the French " says Bancroft, "who gained influence over 
the red men by adapting themselves, with happy facility, to life in the wilder- 
ness, was the Indian agent Joncaire. For twenty years he had been success- 
fully negotiating with the Senecas. He had become by adoption one of their 
own citizens and sons, and to the culture of the Frenchman added the fluent 
eloquence of an Iroquois warrior. ' I liave no happiness,' said he in council, 
'like that of living with my brothers' — and he asked leave to build himself a 
dwelling. 'He is one of our childi-en,' they replied 'he may build where he 
will.' " 

The dominion of the country west of the Alleghenies was almost wholly 
given over to the French, who established trading- posts along the streams and 
did a large trade with the Indians by exchanging beads, goods, provisions, 
guns and ammunition for furs, which were shipped to Europe and sold at an 
immense profit. Although their possession was undisturbed, it must not be 
inferred that it was quietly acquiesced in by the English. They viewed the 
projects of the French with mingled jealousy and alarm, sent out numerous 
agents, and succeeded in some quarters in estranging the Indians from their 
rivals, but not to any extended degree. Some of their traders were located at 
Venango (Franklin) and Le Boeuf (Waterford), when the advance troops of 
the French reached those points in 1753. John Frazier, a Scotchman, had 
established himself at bhe former place about 1745, where he carried on a 
gunsmith shop, and traded with the Indians until driven away by Joncaire, 
who also captured at Venango the traders John Trotter and James McLaugh- 
lin, and sent them as prisoners to Montreal. 

The French claimed that their discovery of the St. Lawrence and the Mis- 
sissippi entitled them to the ownership of the territory bordering upon those 
streams and their tributaries. The English claim was based upon a grant by 
King James I, in 160&, to "divers of his subjects, of all the countries between 
north latitude 48° and 34°, and westward from the Atlantic Ocean to the South 
Sea," and also upon purchases of Western lands made from the Six Nations 
by Commissioners from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, representing 
the mother country. A long and sometimes acrimonious controversy was waged 
between the foreign departments of the two nations over the question, and the 
leading officers in America on both sides looked upon it as certain to eventu- 
ally result in war. 

Prior to 1749 the French had done nothing of an official nature looking to 
the occupation of the country between Lake Erie and the Ohio. Their dis- 
coverers had taken possession of it long before in the name of the King, and 


from that time it had been a sort of common tramping ground for adventurous 
traders of both nations, without being directly subject to the control of either. 
In the year named Capt. Celoron, with a detachment of 300 men, was sent by 
the Captain-General of Canada to "renew the French possession" of the Ohio 
and its tributaries. He came up Lake Erie to the mouth of Chautauqua 
Creek, from which point he crossed over to the Allegheny by way of Chautau- 
qua Lake and the Conewango. Descending the Allegheny and the Ohio he 
deposited leaden plates at the mouths of some of the most important streams, 
also at the "Indian God Rock" on the Allegheny, as a "monument of renewal 
of possession," and as a mark for the guidance of those who might follow 
him. Hev. Father Bonnecamps, a Jesuit priest and mathematician, accom- 
panied Celoron and made a map of the territory lying between Lake Erie and 
the Ohio River, whereon he marked the location of the buried plates, and also 
gave the sites of the many Indian villages upon the Allegheny, which how- 
ever, was then regarded as a part of the Ohio River, the La Belle Riviere of 
the French. The expedition caused much alarm among the Indians, who 
regarded it as the beginning of a scheme to "steal their country" from them, 
and also created much commotion throughout the English colonies, whose offi- 
cials saw in it a purpose to maintain by force what the Freoch had before 
contented themselves with claiming in argument. 

In 1751 a French expedition was organized in Canada to proceed to the 
" Beautiful " or Ohio River, and in May of that year a part of the force was 
reported to have passed Oswego in thirty canoes. For some reason the venture 
was abandoned, but warlike threats and preparations continued for two years. 
Finally, in the spring of 1753, the long- threatened occupation began. Quite 
a full account of the expedition is given in a letter preserved among the Penn- 
sylvania archives, from M. DuQuesne, General-in-chief at Montreal, to the 
French minister at Paris. It was in charge of Sieur Marin, and consisted of 
250 men. The little army marched up Lake Erie by land and ice to Presque 
Isle, where it was decided to build a fort and establish a base of supplies. 
The reasons which prompted the selection of Presque Isle were the short port- 
age to Lake Le Boeuf and the facility with which canoes could be floated 
down French Creek from the latter to the Allegheny. On the third of August 
the fort at Presque Isle and the portage road were finished, and Fort Le Bceuf 
was built soon afterward. A French post had previously been established 
near the mouth of French Creek, by Joncaire, in a house whence he had 
expelled John Frazier, the Indian trader and gunsmith. Here Fort Machault 
was built on the west bank of the Allegheny, about sixty rods below the 
mouth of French Creek, being finished in April, 1754. The chain was com- 
pleted the same spring from Lake Erie to the "Forks of the Ohio," by the 
erection of Fort Du Quesne, subsequently known as Fort Pitt. 

When the French army penetrated this section in 1753, they were accom- 
panied by several Catholic priests, who served in the double capacity of chap- 
lains and missionaries. They erected a small log chapel at Presque Isle, on 
the right side of Mill Creek, near its mouth, and others within the walls of 
Forts Le Boeuf, Machault and Du Quesne, in which the solemn rites of the 
mother church were regularly administered until the departure of the invad- 
ing forces in 1759. A prisoner who escaped from the Indians in 1756, gave 
the following information to the English: " Fort Le Boeuf is garrisoned with 
150 men, and a few straggling Indians. Presque Isle is built of square logs 
filled up with earth ; the barracks are within the fort, and garrisoned with 150 
men, supported chiefly from a French settlement begun near it. The settle- 
ment consists of about 100 families. The Indian families about the settle- 

,^,s^. -''*.. 



ment are numerous; they have a priest and a school-master, and some grist- 
mills ia the settlement." The village, here referred to, stood on the east bank 
of Mill Creek, a short distance back from the lake shore. 

Friendly as the Six Nations were toward the French in a commercial sense, 
they did not take kindly at first to the occupation of their country by armed 
bodies of the latter. The expedition of Sieur Marin, in 1758, and the erec- 
tion of forts at Presque Isle and Le BoeuE, worked them up to a spirit of bit- 
ter resentment. A delegation of Senecas waited upon that officer at LeBoeuf 
to inquire of him " by a belt" whether he " was marching with a banner up- 
lifted or to establish tranquility." He answered that his purpose was to sup- 
port and assist them in their necessities, and to drive away the evil spirits that 
encompassed them and distiu'bed the earth, meaning the English. His man- 
ner and conduct appeased them, so that the Allegheny Kiver Senecas went to 
zealously assisting the French with hoi'ses and provisions. During the fall of 
the year, the chiefs of the several tribes bordering on the lake and the Alle- 
gheny River were called together at Le Boeuf, and told by the French com- 
mander that he could advance no further on account of the winter, but would 
be on hand in the spring with a strong force, and threatened vengeance if 
they took sides with the English. 

In the fall of 1753, Sieur Marin died at Fort Le Bceuf, and was succeeded 
by Com. St. Pierre, Capt. Riparti being in charge of the fort at Presque Isle, 
and Capt. Joncaire of the post at the mouth of French Creek. In December, 
1753, St. Pierre was officially visited by a young man who afterward rose to 
the proud position of being designated as the "Father of his Country." 
George Washington, a youthful surveyor about twenty-one years of age was 
dispatched on a diplomatic mission, by Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, to 
inquire into the designs of the French in the Ohio Valley. Washington was 
accompanied from Williamsburg, Va., by Christopher Gist, an experienced 
frontiersman, John Davidson, an Indian interpreter, Jacob Vanbraam, a 
French interpreter, and Henry Stewart, William Jenkins, Barnaby Curran 
and John McGuire, assistants, the two latter being Irishmen and well known 
Indian traders. He traveled directly to Logstown, where he was joined by four 
Indian Chiefs, thence taking a northerly course, arrived at the mouth of 
French Creek, December 4, where he saw the French colors floating over the 
headquarters of Capt. Joncaire, upon whom he immediately called and made 
known his mission. That officer treated Washington with courtesy, but 
informed him that he would have to apply to his superior at Le Boeuf for an 
answer to his inquiries. W^ashington remained at that post until December 7, 
when M. LaForce, French Commissary and three soldiers were detailed by 
Joncaire to accompany him and his party to Le Boeuf. They took the Indian 
trail up the east bank of French Creek, but on reaching the fording place 
near the site of Meadville, found the water so high and rapid as to render a 
crossing by fording or rafting impossible, and therefore continued up the east 
bank of the stream to Fort Le Boeuf. "We passed over much good land," says 
Washington in his journal, " since we left Venango (Franklin) and through 
several extensive and very rich meadows, one of which I believe was nearly 
four miles in length, and considerably wide in some places." The largest 
bottom here referred to is, doubtless, that whereon Meadville is built, as it is 
the only one between Franklin and W^aterford, corresponding with Washing- 
ton's description. 

On account of excessive rains, snows and general bad weather, he did 
not reach Le Boeuf until the 11th of December, and remained till the 16th, 
during which time Capt. Riparti was called over from Presque Isle to confer 


with Washington and St. Pierre. Washington's treatment, though formal, 
was coiirteous and kind, and he has left on record in his journal a warm com- 
pliment to the gentlemanly character of the French officers. The object and 
result of Washington's mission are given in the following letters, the first 
being the one he was charged with delivering to the Commander-in-chief of 
the French forces by Gov. Dinwiddie, of Virginia, and the second the reply 
of St. Pierre: 

October 31, 1753. 
Sir: — The lands upon the River Ohio, in the western part of the colony of Virginia, 
are so notoriously known to be the property of the crown of Great Britain that it is a 
matter of equal concern and surprise to me to hear that a body of French forces are erect- 
ing fortresses and making settlements upon that river within His Majesty's dominions. 
The many and repeated complaints I have received of these acts of hostility lay me under 
the necessity of sending in the name of the King, my master, the bearer hereof, George 
Washington, Esq., one of the Adjutants General of the forces of this dominion, to com- 
plain to you of the encroachments thus made, and of the injuries done to the subjects of 
Great Britain in violation of the law of nations and the treaties subsisting between the 
two crowns. If these facts are true and you think fit to justify your proceedings, I must 
desire you to acquaint me by whose authority and instructions you have lately marched 
from Canada with an armed force and invaded the King of Great Britain's territory in 
the manner complained of; that, according to the purport and resolution of your answer, 
I may act agreeably to the commission I am honored with from the King, mj-- master. 
However, sir, in obedience to my instructions, it becomes my duty to require your peace- 
able departure; and that you would forbear prosecuting a purpose so interruptive of the 
harmony and good understanding which His Majesty is desirous to continue and cultivate 
with the most'Christian King, etc. Robert Dinwiddie. 

From the Fort ox the River au Bceuf, December 15, 1753. 
Sir: — As I have the honor of commanding here as chief, Mr. Washington delivered to 
me the letter which you wrote to the commander of the French troops. I should have 
been glad that you had given him orders, or that he had been inclined to proceed to 
Canada to see our General, to whom it better belongs than to me to set forth the evidence 
and the reality of the rights of the King, my master, to the lands situate along the River 
Ohio, and to contest the pretensions of the King of Great Britain thereto. I shall trans- 
mit your letter to the Marquis Du Quesne. His answer will be a law to me. And if he 
shall order me to communicate it to you, sir, you may be assured I shall not fail to dis- 
patch it forthwith to you. As to the summons you send me to retire, I do not think my- 
self obliged to obey it. Whatever may be your intentions, I arn here by virtue of the 
orders of my General, and I entreat you, sir, not to doubt one moment but that I am 
determined to conform myself to them with all the exactness and resolution which can be 
expected from tlie best oificer. I do not know that in the progress of this campaign any- 
thing has passed which can be reputed an act of hostility, or that is contrary to the treat- 
ies which subsist between the two crowns, the continuance whereof interests and pleases 
us as much as it does the English. Had you been pleased, sir, to descend to particularize 
the facts which occasioned your complaint, I should have had the honor of answering you 
in the fullest, and I am persuaded the most satisfactory manner, etc. 

Legardeur de St. Pierre. 

Washington did not extend his journey to Presqae Isle, feeling, perhaps, 
that duty compelled him to report the French answer as speedily as possible. 
On the 16th of December, having previously sent his horses ahead in charge of 
his men, he started on the return trip down French Creek in a canoe, and thus 
comments on the journey: "We had a tedious and very fatiguing passage 
down the creek. Several times we had like to have been staved against rocks, 
and many times all hands were obliged to get (?ut and remain in the water half 
an hour or more, getting over the shoals. At one place the ice had lodged 
and made it impassable by water; we were, therefore, obliged to carry our 
canoe across the neck of land, a quarter of a mile over. We did not reach 
Venango (Franklin) until the 22d, where we met with our horses. This creek 
is extremely crooked. I dare say the distance between the fort (Le Boeuf) and 
Venango cannot be less than 130 miles to follow the meanders." From 
Venango Washington continued his journey along the trail usually taken by 
the Indians, but after three days of very slow progress he concluded to leave 


his party in charge of Vanbraam, and with Christopher Gist as his sole com- 
panion take the nearest route through the woods on foot. Traveling day and 
night through the snow-covered, trackless forest, tired at by a prowling savage, 
a band of whom had lain in wait with murderous intent, they finally arrived 
at the mouth of the Allegheny, and having but one small hatchet were com- 
pelled to spend a whole day in building a raft. In attempting to cross the 
river on this rude contrivance, Washington was thrown into the water, and 
both had to quit the raft and swim through the floating ice to an island in the 
middle of the stream. Here they passed the night, suffering intensely from 
the extreme cold, which froze their wet clothes into a sheet of ice, Gist having 
his hands and feet badly frost bitten. In the morning the river was frozen 
over and they crossed on the ice to the southern bank. On the 16th of 
January, 1754, Washington arrived in safety at Williamsburg, made a full 
report in person to Gov. Dinwiddle, and thus closed the first important mis- 
sion of his glorious career. 

Each nation now began active preparations for the coming struggle, and as 
soon as the weather would permit in the spring of 1754 troops were moved by 
both sides in the direction of the Ohio. The first French detachment to reach 
Pittsburgh, then known as the " Forks of the Ohio," was on the 17th of April. 
It was commanded by Contrecoeur, and consisted of 1,000 French and Indians, 
with eighteen cannon. Their voyage from Le Boeuf down French Creek and 
the Allegheny was made in sixty batteaux and 300 canoes. The English had 
put up a stockade at the Forks during the spring, which was unfinished and 
guarded only by an ensign and forty-one men. This small body, seeing the 
hopelessness of defense, immediately surrendered, and the French began at 
once the erection of Fort DuQuesne. The French seem to have been uniformly 
successful in the campaign of 1754. Deserters from their ranks reported that 
the number of French and Indians in the country during the year was about 
2,000, of whom five or six hundred had become unfit for duty. The boats used 
in transporting troops and munitions of war down French Creek were built at 
Fort Le Boeuf, and M. Du Quesne, in a letter from Quebec to the home gov- 
ernment dated July 6, 1755, says: "The quantity of pirogues constructed on 
the River Au Boeuf has exhausted all the large trees in the neighborhood. " It 
was on the 9th of July of this year that Braddock's defeat took place near 
Pittsburgh, an event which raised the French hopes to a pitch of the utmost 
exultation, and seemed for the time to destroy all prospect of English ascen- 
dency in the West. 

Though we have been unable to find any special record of a military road 
having been constructed by the French through Crawford County, nevertheless 
it is our opinion that such a highway existed. Many of the oldest pioneers 
living in the eastern part of the county positively assert that the line of the 
"French Road" was still visible for some years after the first settlement of 
that locality. Early in 1759 an Indian spy named Thomas Bull was sent up 
the Allegheny by the English to watch the movements of the French. He 
reported the results of his mission to Col. Hugh Mercer at Pittsburgh, who 
transcribed the report in his journal under date of March 17, 1759, and which 
may be found in full in Volume VIII of the Colonial Records. The following 
passage occurs in this repoi't: " The road is trod and good from Venango to 
Le Boeuf, and from thence to Presque Isle, about half a day's journey, is very 
low and swampy, and bridged almost all the way." This clearly indicates 
that there was a road from Le Boeuf (Waterford) to Venango (Franklin), 
besides the mere Indian trace down French Creek. According to the recollec- 
tions of pioneers now living this road struck the north line of Crawford 


County, some distance east of French Creek, in the northeast corner of what 
is now the Township of Rockdale, thence taking a southeastern course entered 
the northwest corner of Athens Township, and passing through the eastern 
portions of Athens, Steuben and Troy Townships left the county near the 
southwest corner of the latter subdivision, a little east of Sugar Creek. This 
was the shortest route between the forts, the distance being many miles less 
than to follow the meanderings of French Creek. 

The French had also a kind of fort on the site of Meadville. William H. 
Davis, in his sketch of Crawford County, written in 1848, speaking of the 
French, says: "They erected no forts, with perhaps one exception, and made 
\\no particular location in this county, merely using our beautiful stream as a 
l\highway to transport their troops and munitions of war. From this circum- 
stance French Creek took its name. It was called by the Indians Venango 
River. The exception to which I have referred, if it may be called one, was a 
fortified place of deposit for goods and other articles, located on what is called 
Dock Street in Meadville. Formerly there were distinct marks of a trench 
enclosing nearly a half an acre. At^this day there are visible the remains of a 
canal dug from the creek to this fort or place of deposit. The late Richard 
Patch said, in his life-time, that when he first ascended the waters of French 
I Creek, this canal was sufiiciently capacious to have admitted the passage of a 
boat to the very walls of the fort, which was in ruins." 

In a letter written by the trader, John Frazier, August 27, 1753, to his 
partner. Young, who gave it to Edward Shippen, Prothonotary of Lancaster 
County, and forwarded by him to Gov. Hamilton, in speaking of the capture 
of John Trotter and James McLaughlin at Venango by the Delaware Chief, 
Custologa, Frazier says: "He delivered John Trotter and his man (McLaughlin) 
to the French, who tied them fast and carried them away to their new fort 
that they made a little from Weningo, at a place called Caseoago, up French 
Creek. " Mr. Shippen in forwarding this letter to the Governor, enclosed one 
from himself, bearing date September 9, 1753, in which we find the following 
explanation of Frazier's letter: "Weningo is the name of an Indian town on 
the Ohio, where Mr. Frazier has had a gunsmith shop for many years; it is situ- 
ated eighty miles up the said river beyond Logstown, and Cassewago is twenty 
miles above Weningo." The first mentioned place was first spelled " Wenin- 
go," then "Wenango," " Vinango " and finally "Venango" by Washington 
in his journal, and the word has since remained as he gave it. As previously 
mentioned in this chapter, the Allegheny was considered a part of the Ohio by 
the Indians and French, as well as by many of the English officials, and was 
evidently so regarded by Mr. Shippen, as Venango was on the site of Frank- 
\ lin. On the Historical Map of Pennsylvania, a small Indian village called 
I " Cassewago," is located on French Creek, between twenty and thirty miles 
/ above its confluence with the Allegheny. In the State archives the name of 
I this village is spelled " Caseoago.' ' Andrew Ellicott and other early surveyors 
call the stream emptying into French Creek opposite Meadville " Cassewago," 
and the settlement at the same point, " Cassewago settlement." The fact of 
this French post being called "Caseoago" and "Cassewago," by Mr. Frazier 
and Mr. Shippen respectively, and its distance up French Creek from Venango 
fixed at between twenty and thirty miles, clearly establishes its location at 
this Indian village, and in the vicinity of Cussewago Creek. Therefore the 
fort on Dock Street, in Meadville, the ruins of which, Mr. Davis says, were 
plainly visible during the earlier years of the county's history, was doubtless 
the one referred to by Messrs. Frazier and Shippen. 

In 1757 the English seem to have won some of the tribes over to their side, 


for we learn from the Pennsylvania archives that the French kept " 100 men 
in garrison at Presque Isle, being apprehensive that the English and the 
Indians might attack them there." During the year 1758 the English made 
sufficient progress in the direction of the Ohio, to compel the French to evacu- 
ate Fort DuQuesne, on the 22d of November blowing up and destroying their 
fortifications, stores, etc., ere quitting the post. About 100 men with the 
artillery were sent down the Ohio, while about 300 retreated up the Allegheny 
by land and water, to Venango, where Gov. M. de Lignery, with a detach- 
ment of 200 men, took charge of Fort Machault, the balance proceeding to 
Fort Le Boeuf. A letter dated Montreal, March 30, 1759, announces that the 
French troops at Detroit had been ordered to rendezvous at Presque Isle, in 
order to be ready to aid Fort Machault if necessary, the commander at the lat- 
ter being required, if too hard pressed, to fall back on Le Boeuf. The Indians, 
by this time, had lost confidence in the triumph of the French ; many were 
either siding with the English or pretending to be neutral, while the majority 
had reached the conclusion that they could very well dispense with the pres- 
ence of both nations. M. de Vaudreuil, writing from Montreal, on the 31st of 
March, 1759, says: "There is reason to presume that the Indians would 
wish there were neither French nor English at the beautiful river (the Alle- 
gheny), and that they are heartily tired of the war," a wish that is not surpris- 
ing, as they were the greatest sufferers. 

The tide of battle continued to favor the English, and they finally besieged 
Fort Niagara below Buffalo, compelling the French to withdraw 1,200 men 
from Detroit, Presque Isle, Le Boiuf and Machault for its defense. Its cap- 
ture by the English astonished and terrified the French in this section. A 
messenger reached Presque Isle from Sir William Johnson, the victorious 
English commander, notifying the oflScer in charge that the other posts must 
surrender in a few days. The French knew that their force was too small to 
cope with the enemy, and began making hasty preparations for departure. 
Their stores at Presque Isle were sent up the lake on the 13th of August, 
1759, and the garrison waited a brief time for their comrades at Le Boeuf and 
Machault, when the entire army left in batteaux for Detroit. An Indian who 
arrived at DuQuesne soon after, reported that they had burned all of the forts, 
but this is questioned by some of the authorities we have consulted. Upon 
taking their departure they told the Indians that they had been driven away 
by superior numbers, but would return in sufficient force to hold the country 
permanently. In this, however, they were too sanguine, as they were never 
destined to again occupy this territory. 

The English did not take formal possession of the forts in Northwestern 
Pennsylvania until 1760, when Maj. Eobert Kogers was sent out at the head 
of 200 rangers for that purpose, and though hostilities still continued between 
the two nations, the bloody wave of war did not again reach this locality. 
The forts at Presque Isle and Le Boeuf were repaired and gairisoned by the 
English in 1760, Fort Machault having been destroyed by the French at the 
time of its evacuation, the English built Fort Venango, in 1760, forty rods 
higher up the Allegheny than the site of the old fort ; while new works were 
also constructed on the site of Fort DuQuesne, and named Fort Pitt. The 
struggle finally closed with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, February 10, 
1763, and by its sweeping provisions France lost her entire possessions in the 
New World. 

The Indians did not take kindly to the English, for no sooner were the 
latter in complete possession of the country, than they began by neglect and 
ill-treatment to excite the dormant passions of the red men. The Indians 


admired and loved the French, by whona they were generally well treated ; 
but it was not long until they hated the English with all the ferocity of their 
savage nature. Mutterings of the coming storm began to be heard, and in 
June, 1763, the great Indian uprising, known as "Pontiac's Conspiracy," 
occurred, resulting in the capture and destruction of all but four of the fron- 
tier posts, Forts Venango, Le Bceuf and Presque Isle being among those that 
fell before the fierce onslaught of the savages. 

Throao-hout the Revolutionary war the English had control of the Western 
posts, but little is known of their movements in this vicinity, though, doubt- 
less, they had a small garrison stationed at Presque Isle during a portion of 
that momentous period. The independence of the United States was acknowl- 
edged by Great Britain, in 1783, and by the treaty of peace England reluc- 
tantly abandoned all claims to the Western country, agreeing to withdraw her 
troops and yield up possession of the forts, block-houses and other military 
structures. Her officers, however, still retained a hope of the ultimate return 
of the colonies to the protection of the British crown. The English had, by 
this date, won the confidence of the Indians, who were kept hostile to the 
Americans by representations that England would yet resume possession of 
the country. As late as 1785, Mr. Adams, our at London, com- 
plained to the English Secretary of State, that though two years had elapsed 
since the definite treaty, the forts on the northern frontier were still held by 
British garrisons. 

On the 22d of October, 1784, a treaty was consummated at Fort Stanwix 
with the Six Nations, by which they relinquished to Pennsylvania all of their 
claims to the northwest portion of the State, to a line parallel with the south- 
ern boundary of New York. This treaty was ratified in January, 1785, at 
Fort Mcintosh, by representatives of the Ohio tribes. Thus did the territory, 
of which Crawford County forms a part, come under the jurisdiction of the 
Americans, and in 1785 surveyors were sent by the State into the newly 
acquired country to survey and divide the lands for the purpose of appro- 
priating a portion of them among the Pennsylvania veterans of the Revolution. 
The first military occupation of northwestern Pennsylvania by the Ameri- 
cans occurred in the spring of 1787, when a company of United States troops, 
amounting in all to eighty- seven men, under the command of Capt. Jonathan 
Hart, arrived from Pittsburgh at the mouth of French Creek. Not liking the 
location of the old forts, Machault and Venango, Capt. Hart selected a site 
on the south bank of French Creek, about half a mile above its confluence 
with the Allegheny, whereon he built Fort Franklin. Samuel Lord, Luke 
Hill and John Wentworth, three well-remembered pioneers of Crawford 
County, were soldiers in Capt. Hart's Company, while about a dozen hardy 
frontiersmen accompanied the corps with the intention of settling in the 
I vicinity of the fort. A garrison of about 100 men was kept at Fort Frank- 
i lin until 1796, when a strong, wooden building, known as the "Old Garrison," 
' was erected close to the mouth of French Creek for better convenience in 
receiving provisions, munitions, etc., brought by boats and canoes from Pitts- 
burgh. The troops removed from the fort to this building, which they con- 
f tinned to occupy until 1803, when, their presence becoming unnecessary, they 
were withdrawn from Franklin altogether. The fort soon went entirely to 
ruin, but the garrison building remained for more than twenty years, being 
utilized as a county jail fi'om 1805 to 1819. Its site is now the center of 
French Creek, which has gradually washed away the southern bank, until its 
bed occupies the spot whereon the " Old Garrison " stood. 

During the Indian troubles from 1791 to 1794, the troops stationed at 


Fort Frauklin rendered important service to the Cussewago settlement, while 
the settlers were several times compelled to leave their cabins and remove to 
the fort to escape the vengeance of the savages. In the spring of 1791, 
Ensign John Jefiers, of the First Pennsylvania Kegiment, at the head of 
thirty men and three Indians, retm-ned from Lake Erie, where he had been 
hunting for some free traders whom he had been told were trading with the r 
Indians of the lake region. Ensign Jeffers arrived at "Mead's block-house" ' 
the very day that some hostile Indians had attacked Cornelius Van Home, \ 
Thomas Ray and William Gregg, while working in a field between the Cusse- 
wago and French Creeks, killing Gregg and capturing Van Home and Ray, 
both of whom subsequently escaped. In the fall and winter of 1791, a Ser-/^ 
geant with fifteen men guarded the settlement, but in January, 1792, this 
small force was ordered back to Fort Franklin. During a part of 1793, 
Ensign Lewis Bond, with a detachment of twenty- four men, was stationed at 
" Mead's block-house." The same fall Gen. Wilkins ordered Cornelius Van 
Home to raise a force of fifteen men for guard duty, which served under Mr. 
Van Home until the close of the year. The following year Gen. Gibson 
sent Mr. Van Home an Ensign's commission, with instructions to enlist a com- 
pany of forty or fifty men. Most of the settlers joined this company, which 
served from August 4 till December 31 of that year, and a regular block-house 
was erected a short distance southeast of "Mead's block-house." On the r2th 
of August, 1794, a small force of seven men was sent from Fort LeBoeuf to 
assist in protecting the Mead settlement from the bands of Indians then 
infesting the country. 

A serious misunderstanding arose between the State and the Six Nations 
over the acquisition of the northern part of Erie County, known as the " Tri- 
angle," which was not indeed in the territory ceded by the treaties of 1784 
and 1785. By a treaty made on the 9th of January, 1789, with a party only 
of the Six Nations, they acknowledged "the right of soil and jurisdiction to 
and over " the Triangle "to be vested in the State of Pennsylvania." Some 
dissatisfaction having arisen among the Seneca tribe in consequence of this 
act, the Legislature empowered the Governor to draw a warrant for $800 in 
favor of Cornplanter, Halftown and Big Tree, in trust for the use of the tribe 
and in full satisfaction of all demands, in consideration of which the said 
chiefs, on the 3d of February, 1791, signed a release of all claims against the 
State for themselves and their people forever. On the 3d of March, 1792, 
the Triangle was purchased from the United States by the Commonwealth, for 
$151,640.25, and a month later an act of Assembly was passed to encourage 
its settlement by white people. 

Boats and canoes left Pittsburgh on the 16th of April, by way of the Alle- 
gheny River, the stores and provisions having been sent in advance. By the 
25th of April, three officers and seventy-seven men had reached Fort Franklin. 
On the same date a report reached headquarters at Pittsburgh that the Indi- 
ans, incited by English agents, were "meditating an opposition to the de- 
signs of the Government respecting Presque Isle," and a week later Capt. 
Ebenezer Denny wrote to the Governor his apprehensions that "a council 
holding at the mouth of Buffalo Creek between the chiefs of the Six Nations 
and the British may terminate unfavorably to our establishment." On the 1st 
of May, a Munsee Indian was killed at Franklin in a drunken row by a white 
man named Robertson. This added greatly to the feeling among the aborig- 
ines. The affair was settled by the party at Franklin raising a purse of $100 
and paying it to the relatives of the dead man, in satisfaction of their wrong, 
according to an old custom among the Indians. 


The troops took possession of the forks of French Creek, about two miles 
below the old post of Le Boeuf, on or near the 11th of May, where they built 
a small block-house, pending the cutting out of the logs which obstructed the 
navigation of the stream. From this point, Gen. John Wilkins, of Pittsburgh, 
who accompanied the expedition, wrote on the day of their arrival that " the 
British are determined to oppose the progress of the State troops from Lo Bceuf 
to Presquelsle, by sending a number of Indians and English to cut them off." 
In a few days more the detachment reached Le Boeuf, where they immediately 
ei-ected two small picketed blook-houses, which, Wilkins reported, "will make 
them safficiently strong until the re- enforcement arrives under Capt. Denny." 
The latter event did not occur until the 24th of June. It was the intention 
to establish a post at Presqne Isle forthwith, but Indian opposition delayed 
the enterprise until the spring of 1795. 

On the 4fch of July, 1794, Capt. Denny reported to the Governor as follows: 
" Have been busy erecting a stockade post. Moved the detachment in yester- 
day. Am now beyond the power of any body of hostile Indians. None have 
been around since the party on the 24th. Hear firing almost daily, but whether 
friends or foes is uncertain." Andrew Ellicott, one of the Commissioners 
appointed by the State to lay out the towns of Erie, Waterford, Franklin and 
Warren, wrote from Le Boeuf on the 1st of August: 

"The Indians consider themselves as our enemies and that we are theirs. 
From this consideration they never come near the garrison except as spies, 
and then escape as soon as discovered." Denny notified the Governor on the 
same date that they had four block-houses at Le Boeuf, on two of which a six- 
pounder was mounted, the others not being calculated for cannon. Over each 
gate was a swivel. The officers occupied their tents in the absence of more 
agi-eeable quarters. The situation he regarded as excellent, except that there 
was a hollow way parallel with the rear of the works and within gunshot, that 
would "cover any number of Indians." This was examined every morning 
before the gates wei-e thrown open. A few days previous two or three Indians 
were seen "reviewing the plan," and who seemed disappointed when a white 
flag was hoisted. The troops at the post numbered 110, inclusive of officers. 
Ellicott regarded the garrison as being "in excellent order," and that it could, 
"if supplied with provisions, safely bid defiance to all the Indians between the 
Genesee and Mississippi Rivers." 

The treaties and deed previously referred to were distasteful to a large ele- 
ment of the Six Nations, and even some of the Senecas refused to acquiesce 
in them, charging that Cornplanter and the other chiefs had been bribed to 
give the documents their signatures. The Indians regarded the presence of 
the State troops with great disfavor, and determined if possible to prevent the 
settlement of the territory. They were incited to this course by English emis- 
saries, who hoped that by a rising of the Indian tribes they might cripple the 
infant government of the Union, and perhaps I'estore the western territory to 
England. To placate the Indians who continued sullen and threatening, a 
council was held at the Seneca village, on the site of Buffalo, June 18, 1794, 
another at Fort Le Boeuf June 24, and a third at the former place July 4, of 
the same year, at all of which the savages reiterated their determination of 
preventing a garrison being stationed at Presque Isle. 

Among the most hostile to the progress of the Americans was the celebrated 
Brandt, head of the Mohawk tribe, who still cherished the idea, originated by 
Pontiac, of building up a great Indian confederacy and restricting the control 
of the Union to the country east of the Allegheny. The following letter, 
written by him on the 19th of July, 1794, to Gov. Simcoe, of Upper Canada, 

^ y^ 

% s 



shows in a clearer light the aid extended to the hostile Indians by the English 

''In regard to the Presque Isle business, should we not get an answer at 
the time limited, it is our business to push those fellows hard. * * Should 
those fellows (the Americans) not go off, and O'Bail (Cornplanter) continue in 
the same opinion, an expedition against those Yankees must of consequence 
take place. His Excellency has been so good as to furnish us with a 100 weight 
of powder, and ball in proportion, which is now at Fort Erie, opposite Buftalo; 
but, in the event of an attack upon Le Boeuf people, I could wish, if consist- 
ent, that his Excellency in addition would order a like quantity in addition, to 
be at Fort Erie in order to be in readiness; likewise, I would hope for a little 
assistance in provisions." 

It may be stated here that the Six Nations were dissuaded from joining the 
confederacy of Western Indians to oppose the Americans chiefly by the influ- 
ence of Cornplanter. His course cost him the confidence of his people, but 
he was rewarded by the thanks of the State and United States Governments, 
and received liberal donation.s of land from Pennsylvania for his unwavering 
friendship to the American cause. 

On the 10th of October, 1794, Gen. Wilkins wrote to Gov. Mifflin, giving 
very favorable reports of affairs at Forts Franklin and Le Boeuf. He stated 
that the English influence over the Six Nations had been greatly weakened by 
the defeat of the Western tribes at the battle of "Fallen Timbers," the previ- 
ous August. Some of the Six Nation Indians participated in that battle, and 
on getting back told the most terrifying stories of Wayne's skill and bravery. 
In fact, they were so humbled by the crushing defeat of their Western breth- 
ren, that they readily accepted Cornplanter's advice, and exhibited no further 
opposition to the State's plans for settling the territory west of the Allegheny 
River. The treaties of August 3 and November 9, 1795, with the Western 
tribes and Six Nations respectively, resulted in a permanent peace, and from 
that period this portion of the State began to improve rapidly. Repose smiled 
vapon the West, and no barrier any longer presented itself to the occupancy of 
the country by that hardy class of men, who coming from the older settlements 
of the United States, or escaping from the tyrannical laws and grinding oppres- 
sion of European Governments, became here on easy terms proprietors of the 
soil, and found among the hills and valleys of the West abundance of room 
and a peaceful home for themselves and families. 




Pioneers or Fkench Creek— David and John Mead Visit the Valley in 1787 
—Appearance of the Country at that Time— First Settlement Made 
IN May, 1788, by David, John and Joseph Mead, Thomas Martin, John 
Watson, James Fitz Kandolph, Thomas Grant, Cornelius Van Horne and 
Christopher Snyder— They Plow and Plant a Field of Corn in the 
Bottom West of French Creek— Selection of Lands— David and John 
Mead Bring out Their Families— Arrival of Darius Mead, Robert Fitz 
Randolph and Frederick Baum— First Birth in the Settlement- 
Biographies OF David Mead, John Mead, Cornelius Van Horne, Robert 
Fitz Randolph and Edward Fitz Randolph— The Heritage They Left 
TO Their Descendants. 

IN nearly all great and thoroughly organized armies there is a corps of act- 
ive, brave men, usually volunteers, whose self-imposed duty it is to go 
ahead and prepare the way with ax, mattock and pick for the advance of the 
fighting rank and file. They are called pioneers, and are armed with guns, 
as well as implements of labor, for their position and their work is a danger- 
ous one. They are obliged to keep a constant lookout for an ambush, in 
momentary fear of a sudden attack, for the enemy, with a better knowledge of 
the country, is liable any instant to hem them in and overpower them with a 
superior force. The men who pushed their way into the wilderness west of 
the Allegheny Kiver, along French Creek and its tributaries, and all those 
earlier settlers of "Western Pennsylvania and Ohio from the river to the lake 
were the pioneers of one of the grandest armies that earth ever knew. It was 
the army of peace and civilization that came, not to conquer an enemy by 
blood, carnage and ruin, but to subdue a wilderness by patient toil ; to make 
the wild valley blossom as the rose; to sweep away the forest, till the soil, 
make fertile fields out of the wooded slopes, and build houses, which were to 
become the abodes of happiness and plenty. The pioneers were the reliant 
vanguard of such an army as this. 

The first band of hardy and resolute men who penetrated the valley of 
French Creek with the intention of permanent settlement, wending their way 
up that stream from the Allegheny, found a land fertile as heart could wish, 
fair to look upon, and fragrant with the thousand fresh odors of the woods in 
early spring. The long, cool aisles of the forest led away into mazes of ver- 
nal green, where the swift deer bounded by unmolested, and as yet unscarred 
by the sound of the woodman's ax or the sharp ring of his rifle. They looked 
upon the timbered hills and the tall grass of the rich bottoms, jeweled with 
strange and brilliant flowers, where once the Indian had his fields of corn. 
All about them were displayed the lavish bounties of Nature. The luxuriant 
growth of forest and wild fruit-bearing shrubs and vines, gave evidence of the 
strength of the virgin soil and the kindness of the climate. 

Such were the scenes that everywhere met the eye of David and John 
Mead, who in the summer of 1787, left their homes in Northumberland County, 
Penn. , and traveling westward until they reached the valley of French Creek, 
explored it with the intention of making it their future abode. These men had 
become disgusted with the difficulties they had encountered in the conflicting 
claims of Pennsylvania and Connecticut to the lands previously settled by them 


in the Wyoming Valley, and prepossessed with the appearance of the teri'itory 
now embraced in Crawford County, on their return to Sunbury, gave a glowing 
account of its beauties and the richness of its soil. In the spring of 1788, a 
company was formed consisting of David Mead, John Mead, Joseph Mead, 
Thomas Martin, John Watson, James Fitz Randolph and Thomas Grant, who 
were also joined by Cornelius Van Home and Christopher Snyder, who ai-rived 
at Sunbury, from New Jersey, about the time the party was ready to start for 
French Creek Valley. These nine persons were the first settlers in what is 
now the county of Crawford. 

According to the reminiscences of Cornelius Van Home, the party reached 
French Creek on the 12th of May 1788, though Rev. Timothy Alden, in a biog- 
raphy of Gen. Mead, published in the Allegheny Magazine for September, 1816, 
gives 1789 as the year of their arrival, but the former is, doubtless, the correct 
date. They encamped and passed the first night under the spreading branches 
of a large cherry tree that stood near the site of the east end of Mercer Street 
bridge in the south part of Meadville, and spent the following day exploring 
the lands in this vicinity. They then erected a temporary dwelling on the east 
bank of French Creek, which they crossed above the mouth of Cussewago, and 
commenced plowing in one of the fields that bore evidences of pre-historic 
occupancy. Four horses were hitched to the plow, which was held by David 
Mead, while Cornelius Van Home rode one of the horses and thus drove the 
team. They plowed some eight or ten acres, which they planted in corn, 
but the June freshet in the creek destroyed the growing crop. As soon as the 
water subsided, the field was replanted, and though not fully matured on ac- 
count of the lateness of the season, it yet yielded sufficiently to allay all fears of 
want in that direction. Thus was a permanent settlement effected in Crawford 
County, and the little band of hardy pioneers, the nucleus around which subse- 
quent settlers gathered, were venturing farther into the dence forest then cover- 
ing the land. 

Of the nine persons forming the original pioneer band to the valley of 
French Creek, but four, David Mead, John Mead, James Fitz Randolph and 
Cornelius Van Home, became permanent settlers of the county. Soon after 
reaching their destination, a selection of land took place, David Mead choos- 
ing a tract on the west bank of French Creek, immediately north of the island, 
while John Mead's selection adjoined his brothers' on the north. James Fitz 
Randolph's choice was a tract lying about two miles south of the site of Mead- 
ville, and east of the creek, Thomas Grant selected the land whereon Meadville 
was subsequently laid out, and Cornelius Van Home chose a farm about a mile 
and a half south of Grant, but on the west side of French Creek, Early in 
the fall of the same year, Thomas Grant, weary of the trials and dangers of 
frontier life, abandoned his land and returned to Northumberland County. 
David Mead at once took up the Grant tract and built a large log house, sub- 
sequently known as "Mead's Block-house," near the site of James E. McFar- 
land's residence on Water Street, in Meadville. He was the owner of three 
tracts of land, called in the patents " Meadville," "Mill Tract" and " Cusse- 
wago Island." Joseph Mead, Thomas Martin, John Watson and Christopher 
Snyder are not known to have made any selections, and remained only a brief 
period in this locality. 

In the autumn of 1788, David and John Mead went back to Northumber- 
land County for their families, and brought them to their respective cabins, 
which they had previously erected, and these were the first homes of civiliza- 
tion established on French Creek, The following year (1789), Darius Mead, 
the fatLer of David and John Mead, Robert Fitz Randolph and Frederick 


Baiim brought out their families, adding considerable in strength and numbers 
to the little colony. The first-mentioned made his son David's house his 
home until the breaking-out of Indian -hostilities. Mr. Fitz Randolph settled 
some two miles south of "Mead's Block-house," on land selected the previous 
year by his son, James, while Mr. Baum located about a mile further down 
French Creek, both being within the present limits of Mead Township. 

In 1789 occurred the first birth in the settlement, viz., Sarah, daughter of 
David and Agnes (Wilson) Mead, who was the first white child born within 
the territory now comprising Crawford County, and doubtless the first (except- 
ing the French) in northwestern Pennsylvania west of the xlllegheny River. 
She here grew to womanhood, and in September, 1816, was married to Rev. 
James Satterfield, of Mercer County, Penn. , where she resided until her death. 

These families were soon joined by others, who had heard of the vacant 
lands and the fertility of the soil along French Creek; and thus, in process of 
time, each one adding something to the wealth of the settlement, they became 
surrounded with some of the comforts of civilized life. But it must not be 
supposed that this desired end was attained without enduring much toil and 
privation and encountering great danger. It is perhaps impossible for us 
after the lapse of nearly one hundred years to appreciate fully the extent of 
these privations, toils and dangers. Yet we can form some idea of them when 
we reflect that at first it was a struggle for life, as all provisions necessary for 
their support had to be transported from Pittsburgh or the Susquehanna set- 
tlements. They were in the heart of the wilderness, far from the scenes of 
their earlier years, surrounded by a savage foe, and knew not at what hour 
they might be summoned to deadly strife. Nevertheless, having come to stay, 
they remained in possession of their lands, except when driven therefrom by 
the Indian raids of 1791-92 and 1793, and many of them when laid beneath 
the sod left their possessions as a rich legacy to their children. 

David Mead was born at Hudson, N. Y., January 17, 1752, and was the 
eldest son of Darius and Ruth (Curtis) Mead, natives of Connecticut, who 
purchased a farm and removed to Hudson immediately after their marriage. 
Here the family lived until David arrived. at the years of manhood, when the 
homestead was sold and some valuable land obtained in Wyoming Valley, 
under a Pennsylvania title, but in consequence of adverse claims under Con- 
necticut titles, the Meads left their land and took up their residence about 
six miles above the town of Northumberland, on the west bank of the North 
Branch of the Susquehanna River. About 1774 our subject married Agnes 
Wilson, a daughter of John and Janet Wilson, pioneers of Northumberland 
County, who bore him nine childi-en, five of whom lived to maturity, as fol- 
lows: William, Darius, Elizabeth, Sarah and Margaret. At an early period 
in the Revolutionary war the Indians began their savage onslaughts upon the 
defenseless frontier settlements of Pennsylvania, and during one of those 
raids, Asahel, the second eldest son of Darius Mead, fell a victim to Indian 
barbarity. The subject of this sketch removed his family to Sunbury, Penn., 
where he engaged in keeping a tavern, also erected and operated a distillery. 
By the close of the war he had accumulated a handsome property, and soon 
after the dawn of peace returned to his land in Wyoming Valley, supposing 
that the conflicting claims, as to title, were settled. In this, however, he was 
doomed to disappointment, for after expending considerable money in improve- 
ments, and undergoing much vexation in trying to obtain a clear title to his 
land, he was, at the end of three years, compelled to hastily collect a small 
portion of his household effects and with his family fly for safety to Sunbury. 
Here he immediately renewed his former pursuits, but destitute of capital, and 


a change in the times rendering business not very hicvative, his utmost efforts 
could effect little more than a bare support for his family. 

In the meantime he had heard of the rich lands coming into market 
west of the Allegheny River, and in the summer of 17S7, accompanied by his 
brother John, he visited the valley of French Creek. The following spring 
(1788) they were joined at Sunbury by seven others — all of whom came to 
the vicinity of Meadville. In the fall of 1788 General Mead, having erected 
a substantial log house near the site of James E. McFarland's residence, on 
Water Street, in Meadville, returned for his family, and was soon comfortably 
settled on the banks of French Creek. One of his first enterprises was the 
erection of a saw-mill in 1789-90, on the east bank of French Creek, just 
south of where the " Red Mill," now stands. It was operated by water power, 
a race being built across from Mill Run, which furnished the power. To this 
was afterward added a grist-mill, which he also carried on for some years. 
Three years passed away peacefully, when the little settlement was tempora- 
rily broken up by Indian incursions, which continued off and on for the suc- 
ceeding four years, the settlers being forced to leave their improvements 
several times and go to the fort at Franklin for safety. Before this period 
Gen. Mead had carried on an extensive correspondence with the Pennsylvania 
authorities relative to contending claims to the Wyoming lands, and sometime 
after settling on French Creek, he obtained from the State a remuneration in 
land, to the" amount of an official valuation of those of which he had been 
dispossessed in Wyoming Valley. His father was killed by the Indians in 
1791, and his mother died at Meadville during the summer of 1794, being the 
first death which occurred from natural causes among the white settlers of 
Crawford County. 

In 1795 Gen. Mead's wife died, and the following year he was married to 
Jennett Finney, a daughter of Robert Finney, to whom were born six children: 
five, Robert, Alexander, Catherine, Jane and Maria growing to maturity. 
Of his children by both marriages, William removed to the West and there 
died; Darius spent his life 'in Crawford and Venango Counties, but his latter 
days were passed in Venango Township, in the northern part of Crawford; 
Elizabeth married the Hon. Patrick Farrelly, and died in Meadville, August 
24, 1811; Sarah became the wife of Rev. James Satterfield, of Mercer County, 
Penn., and there died; Margaret married William Moore, and died in Venango 
County, Penn. ; Robert and Alexander removed to the West, and spent their lives 
on the frontier; Catherine married Lot Dunham, and died in Meadville; Jane 
became the wife of the Rev. William Hutchinson, a Presbyterian preacher 
who located at Bucyrus, Ohio, where she died; and Maria married William 
Gill, and resided until her death in Meadville. 

Prior to his coming to French Creek, Gen. Mead held the office of Justice 
of the Peace, and on the 31st of March, 1790, he and Thomas Rees, of Erie, 
were appointed by Gov. Mifflin, Justices of the Peace for the district consist- 
ing of "the Township of Mead in the county of Allegheny," the official term 
being " so long as he shall live and behave himself well." Mead Township 
then embraced the whole of what is now Crawford and Erie Counties, while 
the block-house erected in 1794 was one of the places designated for holding 
elections. Upon the organization of Crawford County, March 12. ISOO, be 
was appointed one of the Associate Judges, but resigned the following Decem- 
ber. In September, 1803. he was again appointed, and served continuously 
on the bench until the time of his death. He was a])pointed Major-General of 
the Fourteenth, and afterward of the Sixteenth Division Pennsylvania Militia, 
by Gov. McKean, and re-appointed by Gov. Snyder, and during the war of 


1812-15, rendered important services to Commodore Perry, in promptly 
marching with his corps to the defense of Erie, in the summer of 1813, when 
the fleet then in process of construction in Presque Isle Bay was threatened 
with destruction by the enemy. Gen. Mead continued to discharge the duties 
of this position until a law was enacted annulling all commissions in the 

In 1797, Gen. Mead built a frame residence at the head of Water Street, 
now the home of Dr. Edward Ellis, and here he died August 23, 1816, in the 
sixty-fifth year of his age. His appearance was striking, being six feet three 
and a half inches in height, and built in proportion, and he was also a man 
of great bodily strength. His features were large, regular and strongly 
marked with the lines indicative of reflection ; and though generally sedate 
and grave, he was always aifable, easy of access, and a total stranger to every- 
thing savoring of ostentation. He was a kind and faithful husband, an 
affectionate father, a stanch friend and a patriotic citizen, while his home was 
noted for the generous hospitality extended to all who came within its pre- 
cincts. He possessed but a limited education, as he was entii'ely indebted to his 
mother for whatever instruction he had received during his childhood days. 
Highly appreciating the advantages of an education, he had fitted up at his 
own expense the block-house, which stood on the northeast corner of Water 
Street and Steer's Alley for school purposes, and here the first school in Craw- 
ford County was opened in 1798-99. He subseqiiently presented this prop- 
erty to the Meadville Female Seminary. In 1800 he was mainly instrumental 
in raising the $4,000 to build and establish the Meadville Academy, and was 
also one of the charter members in founding Allegheny College, as well as 
one of its most generous benefactors. 

General Mead was a man of strong passions, and was sometimes very irrita- 
ble, yet his principal characteristics were persevering patience and unrelaxing 
application to whatever he undertook or considered his duty. His vigorous 
mind was ever active, and constantly occupied with, the affairs of life, and had 
he been favored with a liberal education, his talents would have entitled him 
to the first positions in the gift of his adopted State. He was the leading 
spirit of the pioneer band, who first settled the valley of French Creek, and 
while his name will forever be perpetuated in the city of Meadville, which he 
founded and fostered during the first years of its existence, his memory will 
be gratefully cherished as one of the pioneer fathers, who laid the foundation 
of one of the wealthiest and most flourishing counties in western Pennsyl- 

John Mead was born at Hudson, N. Y., July 22, 1756, and removed with 
his parents to Wyoming, thence to the north branch of the Susquehanna. He 
was married in Northumberland County, and in 1787, accompanied David to 
the valley of French Creek, being also one of the original nine who made 
the first permanent settlement in this county, in the spring of 1788. In the 
fall of the latter year he returned with his brother to Sunbury, and brought 
out his family. His land was the tract immediately above Vallonia, and his 
cabin stood on the west bank of French Creek, just east of the fair grounds, 
and between the stream and the ravine. Here he lived with his family, 
excepting during the dangerous period, from 1791 to 1894 inclusive, which he 
spent near the block-house of his brother, or at Franklin, working on his farm 
whenever the state of the tiriies would allow him to prosecute his labors. 
With the close of Indian hostilities, Mr. Mead was enabled to devote all his 
energy to the improvement of his land, and being a very quiet, retiring man 
we hear nothing of him in connection with public afairs. He died in June, 


1819, leaving five sons and one daughter, viz: John, William, Joseph, Asahel, 
Chambers and Polly. The three first mentioned removed to Warren County, 
Penn., and there died. Asahel went to Missouri, and died in that State; Polly 
married John Camp, who, with his family removed to Missouri; and Chambers 
resided until his death on the old homestead in Vernon Township, leaving 
four sons and one daughter, all of whom live in this county. 

Cornelius Van Home was born in Huntington County, N. J., December 
16, 1750, and was a son of Thomas and Jane (Ten Eyck) Van Home, natives 
of New Jersey, of Holland descent. Cornelius was the'eldest in a family of 
eight children — five sons and three daughters — and in 1757 removed with his 
parents to Sussex County, in the same State, where he grew up, receiving in 
his boyhood but three months' schooling. His father was twice elected to the 
Provincial Legislature of New Jersey, dying during his second term, and was 
also a Justice of the Peace, and an Associate Judge of Sussex County. He 
was the owner of a mill, and here Cornelius learned the milling business, 
which in after years proved of great advantage to him. Our subject served 
in the Kevolutionary war, and upon the death of his father inherited several 
hundred acres of land in the Wyoming Valley. This land was located in 
Northampton County, and held by him under a Pennsylvania title, being a 
part of the territory over which so much trouble arose between Pennsylvania 
and Connecticut claimants. In 1784 he removed from Sussex County, N. J. , 
to his land in Wyoming Valley, but in the fall of that year he with the other 
Pennsylvanians were driven off their lands by the claimants from Connecticut. 
Throughout this conflict Mr. Van Home took a leading part on behalf of the 
Pennsylvania claimants, whose titles were subsequently confirmed by the 
courts, but it was not till long afterward that they received any compensation 
for the lands of which they had been dispossessed by Connecticut intruders. 

During these troubles Mr. Van Home had heard of the new lands just 
opened for settlement west of the Allegheny River, and concluded to explore 
them. In the spring of 1788 he and Christopher Snyder left New Jersey 
in a cart with two horses and a cow, and upon reaching Sunbury, Penn., 
joined the Meads, who were about starting West to settle in French Creek 
Valley, which they had visited the previous year. The party arrived at their 
destination on the 12th of May, 1788, and Van Home selected a homestead 
west of French Creek, about a mile and a-half south of the confluence of the 
Cussewago with that stream, upon which was standing an unoccupied Indian 
hut. The plowing and planting of a fleld of corn by the little band of 
pioneers above the junction of Cussewago with French Creek has been pre* 
viously related in this chapter. David Mead and Mr. Van Home were the 
leading spirits in this first attempt at agriculture by the white settlers. 

In October, 1788, his brother, Jacob Van Home, and brother-in-law, Arch- 
ibald Davison, with Davison's father, came out from New Jersey to see the 
country, and after a brief visit returned home taking our subject with them. 
He remained in New Jersey until the fall of 1789, when he came back to the 
settlement, but about Christmas again returned to his native State. In Octo- 
ber, 1790, he made his third trip from the East, accompanied by Thomas 
Lansing and Peter and Mathias Colscher, with a wagon and team, but on 
reaching Pittsburgh and finding no road thence to the Cussewago settlement, 
he sold his wagon and left his horses for the winter close to Pittsburgh, whence 
he journeyed in a canoe up the Allegheny and French Creek to the site of 
Meadville. The story of the abandonment of the valley in the spring of 
1791, by the few hardy pioneers then living here, the svibsequent return of 
Van Home and two companions, William Grregg and Thomas Ray, together 


with the killing of Gregg by the Indians, and the capture and subsequent 
escape of Van Home and Ray, will be found in the succeeding chapter, to which 
we refer the reader for a full account of the thrilling iocidents connected 

Soon after Van Home reached Fort Franklin, upon his escape from the 
Indians, he returned to New Jersey, but in the fall again came to French 
Creek, where he found a Sergeant and fifteen men guarding the settlement. 
He and Mathew Wilson were engaged by David Mead to operate his saw-mill, 
which stood just south of the " Red Mill " site on Water Street, in Meadville. 
They continued in Mead's employ until January, 1792, when the mill was 
closed on account of the stream which furnished the power freezing solid. 
The soldiers were withdrawn to Fort Franklin about the same time, and all 
j of the settlers, excepting Van Home and Wilson, removed to the fort; but 
I these two frontiersmen with four friendly Indians, remained throughout the 
I winter and spring at "Mead's Block-house." They purchased two young 
panthers from the Indians, and in the summer of 1792, traveled East with 
the animals, exhibiting at Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York and scores of 
smaller towns on their route. Wilson, who was a dark, swarthy man, dressed 
in the skins of wild beasts, and while exhibiting the panthers danced and sang 
Indian songs, and told in a swaggering manner blood-curdling stories of 
hair-breadth escapes from the savages of the West, as well as of the many per- 
sons he had rescued from Indian captivity, all of which was pure fiction, yet 
brought in the dimes and pleased their audiences. The partnership was 
finally dissolved, each taking one of the panthers and dividing the profits. 
Van Home soon disposed of his pet, and went on a visit to his mother, in New 
Jersey, thence returned to the Mead settlement. 

The fall of 1793 found the French Greek Valley almost abandoned for the 
more safe proximity of Fort Franklin. In October Gen. Wilkins wrote Van 
Home to raise a Sergeant's command of fifteen men for guard duty, which he 
jdid, and continued in service until the close of the year. In the summer of 
|l794. Gen. Gibson sent him an Ensign's commission with instructions to enlist 
/forty or fifty men for frontier duty. This company, to which nearly all of the 
/ settlers on French Creek belonged, erected a block-house that year on the 
northeast corner of Water Street and Steer's Alley. The command was in act- 
ive service, though stationed at Meadville from the 4th of August until Decem- 
Uber 31, 1794, scouting through the surrounding forests and guarding against 
jlndian surprise. In 1795, Gen. Gibson forwarded to him a Captain's com- 
/ mission with orders to raise a company which was to assist in protecting the 
1 surveyors and workmen then engaged in laying out and building a road from 
; Waterford to Erie. This company was on duty in that capacity from June 
until the close of the year. Upon the expiration of his last term of military 
service he settled permanently on his farm of over 400 acres below Meadville. 
where he spent the remaining years of his life. 

Mr. Van Home was married September 27, 1798, to Sarah Dunn, a 
daughter of James and Priscilla Dunn, natives of New Jersey, who settled in 
Crawford County in 1794. Mrs. Van Horne was born in New Jersey, April 
12, 1773, and bore him the following children : Jane, July 10, 1799, married 
George Anderson and died in this county ; James, April 22, 1801, died in this 
county; Priscilla, December 10, 1803, married T. J. Fox, Alden, and died in 
Pittsburgh ; Harriet, June 9, 1805, died unmarried in this county ; Thomas, 
July 26, 1809, still residing on the old homestead, settled by his father ; Cor- 
nelius, March 3, 1812, died in this county. Mr. Van Horne was a short, stout, 
rugged man, possessing great muscular power, and was regarded a model fron- 

f^ ^^fe-^ 


(2^^^7^<i^-u^ y^ 0^ ^'^^-<^^^(-^ 


tiersman. He lived to nearly ninety-six years of age, but both body and mind 
had become frail ere he Avas called from the scenes of life. He died July 24, 
1846, and his widow followed him the succeeding March, after a wedded life 
of nearly half a century. Mr. Van Home was of a quiet, peaceable disposition, 
a kind hu-sband and father, a faithful citizen and an honest man. 

Robert Fitz Randolph died at his farm south of Meadville July 16, 1830, 
in the eighty-ninth year of his age. He was born in Essex County, N. J., 
about 1741, and came of Scotch ancestry. He married when- quite young, 
and in 1771 removed with his family to Northampton, now Lehigh 
County, Penn.; thence in 1773 to Northumberland County, then the western 
frontier of the State. In 1776 the Indians swooped down iTpon the settlers of 
that locality, killing many and driving the balance from their homes. Mr. 
Fitz Randolph lied with his family to Berks County, but the following year 
returned to his deserted home, and soon after joined Col. William Cook's 
regiment, and fought in the battle of Germantown October 8, 1777. He 
served only a brief period when he was discharged and returned to his home 
on the Susquehanna. Another raid was made upon the settlement by the 
cruel and unrelenting savages, who murdered and pillaged along the whole 
frontier. Finding no prospect of peace or safety for his family, he went back 
to his native State where they would at least be secure from the terrors of the 
scalping-knife. He then re-entered the army and served until the close of the 
war. Upon the dawn of a glorious peace, in 1 783, Mr. Fitz Randolph returned 
to Northumberland County, Penn,, and settled on Shamokin Creek, where he 
resided until 1789, when he came with his family to the valley of French 
Creek, arriving at the site of Meadville on the 6th of July. As previously 
related in this chapter, his son, James Fitz Randolph, was one of the nine who 
came out in 1788, and upon the land selected by James, some two miles south 
of the site of Meadville, in what is now Mead Township, his father settled 
and resided until his death. 

Mr. Fitz Randolph was in his seventy-second year when the war of 1812- 
15 broke out, and on the first call for volunteers he started for Erie, with four 
of his sons and two grandsons to offer his services to his country. Upon 
arriving at Lake Conneauttee, in Erie County, he was persuaded by some 
friends to return home, nevertheless the prompt action demonstrates the fiery 
patriotism with which this old pioneer was imbued. He was the father of 
five sons and two daughters, viz. : Esaac, died in this county in September, 
1854; James, the first of the family to come to this valley, died on his farm 
in Mead Township in September, 1835; Edward, removed to the West and 
there died; Robert, died in this county; Taylor, also spent his life here; Sarah, 
married Kennard Hamilton, and moved to Iowa, and Margaret married Will- 
iam Jones, of Mead Township. Mr. Fitz Randolph was a man who mingled 
little in the controversies and cares of public life. He cultivated by precept, 
as well as by example peace on earth and good will toward men. The friend 
who visited his home was sure to receive a cordial welcome, while the stranger 
or unfortunate were never sent away empty-handed. Old and full of days he 
went down to the grave without leaving behind him a single enemy. 

Of his children, Edward Fitz Randolph took the most prominent part in 
the early events of this region. He was born in what is now Lehigh County, 
Penn., March 1, 1772, and was in his eighteenth year when the family removed 
to the valley of French Creek. He served as a volunteer in 1791, doing duty 
at Fort Franklin from April 1 until July, when he went to Pittsburgh, and in 
the spring of 1792 entered the Government employ in transporting provisions 
from that point to Fort Franklin. During the year 1792 he and Daniel Ran- 


8om were sent to build a mill for Coraplanter, at his village on the Allegheny 

\ Eiver. Ransom, who was the millwright, did not, for some reason begin the 
work, and after remaining at Cornplanter's village about four months, Mr. 

I Fitz Randolph returned to his former occupation of transporting provisions. 

/ A part of the season of 1793 he supplied Ensign Bond's command, then sta- 

/ tioned at " Mead's Block-house." In September of that year he was employed 

by Maj. Isaac Craig, the Government Quartermaster at Pittsburgh, to go down 

the Ohio with Col. Clark in charge of a boat loaded with ammunition for Gen. 

Wayne's army, then organizing at Fort Washington (Cincinnati). Mr. Fitz 

\ Randolph returned to Pittsburgh in December, thence to the Mead settlement. 
In May, 1794, he with several other pioneers of French Creek took a lumber 
raft fron^ David Mead's mill down the stream to the Allegheny, thence to Pitts- 
burgh. He was there engaged by Gen. John Wilkins to pilot Capt. Ebenezer 
Denny through the forest to Fort Le Boeuf, but on arriving at Meadville Mr. 
Fitz Randolph was taken sick, and his brother, James, conducted the officers 
the remaining distance. 

Upon his convalescence he again went to Pittsburgh, and in July, 1794, 
joined Capt. John Heath on his way to Fort Franklin, with a re-enforcemeat 
for that garrison, whence he came to Meadville. About the first of August, a 
soldier having been killed by the Indians near Fort Franklin, Capt. Heath 
wrote to Robert Fitz Randolph for some men competent to act as scouts or 
spies, and Luke Hill, John Wentworth, John Baum and Edward Fitz Ran- 
dolph were recommended for the work. Mr. Fitz Randolph was engaged in 
this dangerous service, and in carrying expresses from Pittsburgh to Fort Le 
Boeuf throughout the month of August, traversing the Indian trails by day, 
and sleeping at night in his blanket beneath the protecting branches of the 
forest. In the spring of 1795 Capt. Russell Bissell began the erection of a 
fort at Erie, and in August, Edward and Taylor Fitz Randolph were employed 
by Maj. Craig to go to Erie as teamsters, and assist in the construction of the 
.1 fort. Their father furnished three yoke of oxen and Cornelius Van Horne 
I one yoke for the purpose. They worked at Erie until November, then returned 
/ to Meadville. Edward Fitz Randolph was married in 1797, to Elizabeth Wil- 
son, a daughter of Benjamin Wilson, and settled on a farm in what is now 
Vernon Township, where he resided until his removal to the West. For a 
brief period during the war of 1812-15, he was at Erie, thence went to Buffalo 
as a teamster for the Commissary Department. 

It was from Edward Fitz Randolph that Mr. Alfred Huidekoper, in 1846, 
obtained most of his facts relating to the first settlement of the county. He 
says: " Though young at the time, Mr. Fitz Randolph took a prominent part in 
the first settlement of the county, was occasionally employed by the officials of 
the Government, and had otherwise an opportunity of becoming well informed 
about its early history. For fifty-seven years he has lived in this county, 
forty- nine of which have been spent upon the farm where he now resides, 
about two miles west of Meadville. Tall, erect, venerable and active, his vigor 
at the age of seventy- four adds another to the many instances of a hardy con- 
stitution, acquired by exposure in youth to the vicissitudes of a border life. 
When I called upon him I found him at work alone in his sugar-camp, and 
while seated on a log in front of his boiling kettles, recounting his reminis- 
cences of past events, he seemed indeed an appropriate historian of times when 
men's homes were the open air, and their whole stock of furniture an iron ves- 
sel like the one before us." 

None of the first settlers of this county are now living, and but few of their 
children who yet survive have minds that have stood the wear of time and the 


infirmities of age, or whose memories go back sufficiently to retain and describe 
with satisfactory clearness the events which transpired on the banks of French 
Creek during the last decade o£ the eighteenth century. When the first band 
of hai'dy pioneers came to this valley there were none to disDute their ricrht 
but the tawny sons of the forest, from whose pitiless hands they had suti'ered 
much in the past. But their spirit of enterprise and determination to secure 
a permanent abode cheered them in their herculean task, and sustained them 
under every privation, danger and difficulty incident to a home in the wilder- 
ness. The comforts and advantages which their children subsequently en- 
joyed were procured by privations and sufferings, from the undergoing of 
which the most daring frontiersman well might shrink. Yet their descendants 
are now in possession of the soil obtained and prepared for them by these 
brave pioneers, and while viewing the beautiful hills and valleys thickly dotted 
with homes of civilization, can truly say with the poet: 

' ' This is the land our fathers loved, 
The homestead which they toiled to win; 
This is the ground whereon they moved, 
And these the graves they slum"ber in, 
And we the sons by whom are borne 
The mantles which the dead have worn." 


Indian Depredations— Friendly Indians— The Settlers Leave the Val- 
ley IN April, 1791— Return of Cornelius Van Horne. Thomas Ray 
AND William Gregg— Capture of Van Horne by the Indians and His 
Subsequent Escape — He Meets Ensign Jeffers at Mead's Block- 
House AND Goes to Fort Franklin — Ray Captured and Gregg Killed 
BY the Savages— The Former Taken to Detroit, but Finally Gains 
His Freedom— Capture and Death of Darius Mead— Unsettled State 
OF French Creek Valley— Mead's Block-House Garrisoned by Ensign 
Bond— Indians Attack James Dickson— Cornelius Van Horne Raises a 
Company of Volunteers to Protect the Settlement— The Settlers 
Erect a Block-House at Meadville— Fearless Character of the Pio- 
neers— Findlay AND McCormick Killed by Indians— Raid on William 
Power's Camp by the Same Band, and Capture of James Thompson- 
Closing Events of indian Hostility. 

THE last decade of the eighteenth century witnessed the advent of many 
settlers into the beautiful valley of French Creek. The rich bottoms 
along the navigable streams were the first choice of the average pioneer, and 
as no roads then existed in this locality, the water-ways were the principal 
means of transportation. All north and west of the Allegheny and Ohio 
Rivers was a vast wilderness over which the Indian hunters roamed in pursuit 
of game. It was natural that they would look with jealousy upon the infiux 
of white men, and as a result could not at all times restrain their malevolent 
feelings. They could illy brook the sure prospect of the conversion of their 
beautiful hunting grounds into peaceful farms of ancient foes. The charms 
of war and the chase, even with civilized man, are rarely dissolved when they 
mingle with the memories of youth, but they were all of life to the Indian 
warrior, therefore the aged Indians were tacitui'n and sullen over the loss of 
the hills and valleys dotted with the graves of their forefathers. They had 


been ofttimes engaged in mortal combat with the hated pale faces, and often 
victorious, so that their final defeat by Gen. Wayne was not preventive of 
many acts of treachery and murder. 

It is true that not all of the red men in this vicinity were the enemies of 
the whites. The Six Nations were held in check by the powerful influence of 
Cornplanter; and the settlers had succeeded in winning the friendship of some 
of their dusky neighbors, who subsequently rendered them eminent services. 
Among these were a chief named Canadaughta and his three sons, Flying Cloud, 
Standing Stone and Big Sun, whose wigwams were pitched near the mouth of 
Conneaut Creek, in Northeastern Ohio, and to whom the settlers on French 
Creek were indebted for many acts of friendship. There was also a Seneca 
chief named Halftown, an old Mohawk chief named Stripe Neck, and an 
Indian called Wire Ears, who deserve the highest praise for their unswerving 
fidelity to the pioneers. 

Though the first band of hardy settlers who located on the rich bottom 
lands of French Creek often feared for their safety, yet they dwelt in compara- 
tive repose until about the 1st of April, 1791, when Flying Cloud warned them 
of a contemplated attack by Western Indians. The truth of Flying Cloud's 
statement was fully confirmed, when William Gregg came to "Mead's Block- 
house" with the information that he had seen eleven hostile Indians the same 
morning some four miles northwest of the settlement. They at once sent their 
families down French Creek in canoes to Fort Franklin, twelve friendly Indians, 
six on each side of the stream, guarding them on the journey until they arrived 
in safety at the fort. These Indians belonged to Halftown's band, being de- 
tailed by him for that purpose, and his conduct on this occasion deserves the 
highest commendation. On the departure of the women and children. Half- 
town with the balance of his warriors, some fifteen in number, joined the white 
settlers and repaired to the fording-place, now the site of Mercer Street bridge, 
in the south part of Meadville, for the purpose of defending the settlement 
against the expected attack. After spending the day at that point without 
getting a glimpse of the hostile band, they returned to "Mead's Block-house," 
where they passed the night. The following day the settlers collected their 
horses, cattle and movable effects, and on the 4th of April, reached Fort 
Franklin, Halftown at the head of his warriors helping to guard them the 
whole distance. 

Soon the monotonous life at the fort became irksome to these fearless 
frontiersmen, and four of the most venturesome concluded to return and attend 
to the planting of their spring crops. These were Cornelius Van Home, 
Thomas Ray, William Gregg and Christopher Lansing. After reaching this 
decision, Van Home, having left his horses the previous fall near Pittsburgh, on 
his return from New Jersey, whither he had been on a visit, went down the 
Allegheny in a canoe to get them. He started back alone through the dense, 
lonely forest, and the first night encamped in a deep ravine close to Slippery 
Rock Creek. Turning out his horses to graze, he kindled a fire, eat a lunch of 
bread and butter, then rolling himself in his blanket laid down to sleep. He 
suddenly awoke in the night to find that the fire had spread among the dry 
leaves about him, destroying some butter he had purchased in Pittsburgh, and 
doing considerable damage to his harness. In trying to save his butter, his 
hands were so badly burned that he could not sleep the balance of the night. 
To add to his troubles his horses strayed away during the night, and it was 
10 o'clock the following morning ere he found the missing animals. 

In the manuscript autobiography written by Mr. Van Home a few years 
prior to his death, a revised copy of which is now in possession of his son 


Hon. Thomas Van Home, who resides on the old homestead in Vernon Town- 
ship, he tells in his own homely way the following story of the rest of his 
journey: " At length I started ; went as far as White Oak Swamp ; two paths; 
I took the right hand one ; went on a piece ; I saw some person to my left ; I 
stopped my horses until he went past ; I started on at length; I heard a shout 
behind ; I had many thoughts what to do; to leave my horses, that I thought 
would not do, to ride on and lose my load, that I could not agree to. The 
shouts still continued. At length I saw an Indian (Thick Leg or McKee) on 
the run after me. I got ofif the horse, set my gun down by my side and was 
righting the load on my horse. The Indian came near, set his gun against a 
tree, his tomaliawk in his hand. He said, ' How do brudder ! ' I said, 
'How do!' also. He said, 'Where you come from?' I said, ' From Pitts- 
burgh ! ' He .said, 'Anybody killed?' I said 'No!' I then asked him 
where he came from. He said ' Nango ' (Fort Franklin), and was going to 
Slippery Kock to get deer meat. I asked him if he would take a dram. He 
said ' Yes ! ' I out with my bottle, we drank each a dram. I asked him 
would he take some bread. He said, ' Yes ! ' I gave him half a loaf and we 
parted. I went on; crossed Sandy Creek; it became dark ; I lost the path, tied 
up my horses and laid down to sleep. In the morning the turkeys awoke me 
with their gobbling. I then got up and went to Franklin. The officer with 
about twenty-five or thirty men, was on the start to Lake Erie ; I had then to 
repair my burned harness, which took me two or three days." 

Mr. Van Home, together with Thomas Ray and William Gregg, leaving 
Lansing sick at Fort Franklin, came on to the Mead settlement, staying one 
night on the way at the cabin of the last mentioned pioneer, where they 
shelled a sack full of Gregg's corn, which they ground the following day in 
David Mead's mill, on French Creek. On the 5th day of May, 1791, Van 
Home, Ray and Gregg took their guns and went to plant corn in a field on a 
point of land above the confluence of the Cussewago with French Creek, and 
lying between those streams. The morning passed without incident, and on 
the approach of noon, Van Home concluded to continue plowing, while Ray 
and Gregg went to the block- ht)US8 for dinner, they agreeing to fetch his meal 
to the field. Shortly after they left him, his horses exhibited symptoms of un- 
easiness, and looking about to ascertain the cause, discovered two Indians run- 
ning toward him with hostile intent. Before he could escape, the foremost 
one had thrown down the bow and arrows which he carried, and with uplifted 
tomahawk rushed upon him. Van Home grabbed the weapon, and by superior 
strength and agility prevented the savage from striking. By this time the 
other Indian had reached the scene of action, and laying down his gun 
attempted to strike Van Home with his tomahawk, but the latter used the first 
savage as a sheld and thus gave him no opportunity for a blow. The Indian 
then picked up his gun to shoot Van Home, when the latter pleaded for his 
life, which the savages promised to spare if he would go with them and stop 
hallooing for help. He gladly agreed to the proposition and assisted the In- 
dians to unhitch the horses, each of whom mounted one of the animals and 
rode off, while the prisoner ran between them. They crossed the Cussewago, 
near where Shryock's mill-dam now stands, and passed west up the ravine ; 
thence ascended the hill where they met two more Indians. Here Van Home 
surrendered his knife and powder horn to the Indian who fii'st attacked him, 
and, after binding their captive securely, they qustioned him as to the number 
of his comrades and obtained the facts. Leaving him in charge of the oldest 
Indian, the other three returned to the field where Van Home was captured. 

After waiting for his companions nearly an hour, Van Home's guard bade 


him mount one of the horses while he mounted the other, and thus rode off in 
the direction of Conneaut Lake. In due time they came to that beautiful 
sheet of water, which Van Home had never seen before, and crossing the out- 
let dismounted about where the borough of Evansburg now stands. The 
Indian tied Van Home, in a sitting posture, to a sapling, his arms having 
remained bound during the entire journey. Here the prisoner was left by the 
Indian as he supposed securely bound, while he retraced his steps to see if 
his comrades were coming. Van Home made iip his mind to try and escape, so 
taking out a small, dull knife, picked up the day previous near Mead's mill, 
and which had lain concealed in his pocket, he tried to sharpen it on the key 
of his chest, which the Indians had left in his possession. Eising to his feet 
he managed to cut the cord that fastened him to the sapling, and recrossing 
the outlet, ran down that stream until he came to a path which led him to the 
site of Mercer Street bridge on French Creek, where he had a small nursery 
planted in the bottom. Strange to say, instead of seeking a place of safety by 
further flight, he deliberately began pulling the weeds from around his trees, 
for fear tire would get into the flats and destroy them. While engaged at this 
work he heard some one from the opposite side of French Creek calling him, 
but feared to reply. A second call, however, made the voice familiar and it 
proved to be John Fredebaugh, a soldier in Ensign John Jeffers' company, 
who with thirty men and three Indians had come from Lake Erie that day, 
where he had been in search of some Indian traders, who, in violation of the 
law, he learned were doing business in that vicinity. Van Home got across 
the creek with much difficulty, and with Fredebaugh repaired to " Mead's 
Block-house," where he met Ensign Jeflfers, to whom he related the story of 
his capture and escape, while in the meantime the thongs binding his arms 
were cut and he was once more free. 

The officer ordered out sentries and sent men over to the island to bring in 
the horses, and started the same evening for Fort Franklin. He tried to per- 
suade Van Home to go with them, bat the latter was determined to learn the 
fate of his companions, and collect a few articles he wanted before going. 
He induced the officer to leave two of the friendly Indians, Thick Leg and 
George Gelway with him, and they passed the night under some oak trees in 
what is now the eastern part of Meadville. In the morniog Van Home and 
the two Indians went to the tield where he had been captured the previous 
day, and found the dinner brought him by Ray and Gregg, out of which he 
made his breakfast, but could find no trace of his companions of the previous 
day. Putting his few goods into a canoe, Van Home and Thick Leg paddled 
down to Fort Franklin. Gelway took charge of one of Ensign Jeffers' horses, 
that could not be found the previous evening, and putting Van Home's saddle 
on the animal, agreed to ride to the fort, but the temptation was too strong 
for his Indian cupidity ; he went to the west, and Gelway or the horse was 
never seen again in this region. In about a week's time Van Home returned 
in a canoe to Mead's grist-mill, accompanied by an Indian and squaw, for the 
purpose of grinding some eight or ten bushels of corn stored in that building 
belonging to David Mead, and took the meal back to the fort. 

A short time after the capture of Van Home, his partners, Thomas Ray and 
William Gregg, returned to the tield with his dinner and two additional horses, 
but could see no sign of Van Home or his team. On looking around they 
discovered three Indians, and dropping the dinner-pail started on the run for 
" Mead's Block-house," with the savages in close pursuit, but just after cross- 
ing the Cussewago, a short distance above its confluence with French Creek, 
the Indians fired, and Gregg was shot through the thigh. Finding himself 


unable to retreat any farther, he sat down on a log by the edge of the stream, 
and called upon Kay for assistance, who being unwilling to abandon his 
friend, returned to his side. Both seem to have become panic-stricken, or 
they might easily have defended themselves against the savages. One of the 
Indians on coming up and seeing Gregg wounded, took from him his loaded 
gun and shot him through the head with the weapon. The savage then 
scalped his victim, and leaving the body where it fell, the three bound Ray, 
mounted him on one of the horses aud retraced their steps, following the 
trail taken by Van Home and his guard, but on meeting the latter were 
informed that the prisoner had escaped. It is a singular fact that Van 
Home's escape was the means of saving Ray's life, for his captors told Ray 
that from the smallness of their party they could not be incumbered with more 
than one prisoner, and as they had promised to spare Van Home's life, had 
intended to destroy his ; but now as their first captive had escaped, he should 
be their prisoner. 

Ray was taken to the Indian towns on the Sandusky River ; thence to 
Detroit where there was a garrison of English soldiers, and whence the agents 
of that government carried on their devilish intrigues with the Western tribes, 
distributing whisky and food supplies, also munitions of war to be used against 
the American forces and the struggling settlers scattered throughout the terri- 
tory lying northwest of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. Having arrived at 
this post, and while sitting bound within the fort among a number of other 
captives, Ray fancied that he recognized, wearing the uniform of an English 
officer, a companion of his youthful days. In speaking of this event afterward 
he used to say : "I spoke his name half by random, half from memory, when 
the officer looked at me, but said nothing." After the Indians had left the 
prisoners, the officer approached Ray and it turned out that his surmises were 
correct, and that he and the officer, Capt. "White, were schoolmates in Scotland, 
their native land, but had not seen each other for many years. The Captain 
purchased the prisoner from the Indians for two gallons of whisky, furnished 
him with money aud shipped him on a schooner to Buffalo. There he met 
Stripe Neck, the old Mohawk chief, who piloted him safely to Fort Franklin, 
but his wife and family having removed to Pittsbm-gh, he joined them there and 
was received with great joy, for they had given up all hope of ever seeing him 
again. Ray and family subsequently returned to Crawford County, and com- 
pleted his settlement on the east bank of French Creek, in the northwest corner 
of Mead Township, dying upon the soil to secure which he had passed through 
so much. 

The same season (1791) Darius Mead, father of David and John Mead, was 
captured by two Indians, while plowing in a field close to Fort Franklin, 
whither the settlers of French Creek had taken refuge during those perilous 
days. His body and that of Capt. Bull, a Delaware chief, were found the next 
day near Shenango Creek, in Mercer County, by Conewyando, a friendly Seneca 
chief, who sent his daughter to the fort to notify the dead man's friends of the 
event. Bull professed to be a friendly Indian, though the whites suspected 
his fidelity. From appearances it was conjectured that Mead, in an efibrt to 
escape, had got possession of Bull's knife sometime during the night and killed 
him with it, but after a fierce struggle was in turn killed by the other Indian. 
It was, however, deemed probable that the latter was very severely wounded, 
from the fact of him leaving Bull unburied ; and it was subsequently reported 
that he too had died from the wounds received in the fight with the brave old 
pioneer. Two soldiers, John Ray and Luke Hill, were sent by the officer at 
Fort Franklin to bury the victims, and on reaching the spot found the bodies 
of Mead and the Indian side by side, and buried them where they fell. 


The foregoing account of this event was taken principally from Mr. Alfred 
Huidekoper's '' Incidents in the Early History of Crawford County." In the 
Van Home manuscript a somewhat different account is given. It says that 
John Wentworth and Samuel Lord followed the trail of Darius Mead and 
the Indians from near Forth Franklin to the vicinity of Conneaut Lake, where 
they found the bodies of Mead and one of the savages. They continued on the 
trail of the remaining Indian whom they discovered in a dense thicket badly 
wounded. On seeing the two scouts the savage uttered a cry of despau-. 
Wentworth deliberately drew his keen hunting knife, and approaching the 
Indian stabbed him to the heart, thus avenging the killing of Mead. 

The years 1790 and 1791 are memorable in the annals of Western warfare 
for the defeat by the Indians, of two American armies, the first under Gen. 
Harmar, in October, 1790, and the second under Gov. St. Clair, in November, 
1791, the latter being nearly annihilated. These defeats left almost the entire 
territory west of the Allegheny River to the dominion of the savage. Conse- 
quently, during the greater part of 1791 and 1792, the settlements on French 
Creek were nearly abandoned. No one resided here permanently except in the 
fall and winter of 1791, when a Sergeant with fifteen men from Fort Frank- 
lin did guard duty, while few visited the region, except surveyors and occa 
sional scouting parties. Late in 1792, and early in the following year, many 
of the settlers, whose fears had somewhat subsided, returned to their lands, and 
were soon joined by about twenty others from the Susquehanna ; but in the 
spring of 1793, the faithful Flying Cloud again warned them of a proposed 
attack, and once more the settlers abandoned the valley for the more secure 
neighborhood of Fort Franklin. 

In the meantime the settlers had again applied to the Government for pro- 
tection, and Ensign Lewis Bond, with a company of twenty-four men, was 
detailed in the spring of 1793 for that purpose. Their quarters were at the 
house of David Mead, which stood near the site of James E. McFarland's 
residence, on Water Street, Meadville. This building, known as "Mead's 
Block-house," consisted of a double log dwelling house, surrounded by a 
stockade, and so enfiladed as to be capable of defense against the Indians. It 
faced down Water Street, the line of the old Indian trace to Franklin, while a 
cannon in the northeast corner of the enclosure pointed noi'thward, thus com- 
manding French Creek and the approaches from that direction. Ensign 
Bond's company was soon required to join the main army, then organizing 
under Gen. Wayne at Fort Washington (Cincinnati) ; and having no protec- 
tion, and every effort of the settlers to cultivate their lands being absolutely 
at the risk of their lives, prudence would seem to require them to remain at 
Fort Franklin. But so uncompromising was the determination of many of 
the more resolute not to abandon their homes, that in defiance of the dangers 
which beset them, they again returned, and in small bands remained clearing 
and tilling their farms. A company of fifteen volunteers, under Cornelius Van 
Home, was raised by order of Gen. Wilkins, and assisted in protecting the 
settlement from October until the end of December, 1793. Such, however, 
was the almost constant dread for the safety of the women and children that 
they were all instructed to remain inside or in the vicinity of the stockade, 
which enclosed two or three log cabins, besides '' Mead's Block-house." Sub- 
sequent events proved the wisdom of these precautions against a wily and 
treacherous foe. 

On the 10th of August, 1794, James Dickson, a native of Scotland (famil- 
iarly known as "Scotch Jimmy"), and a pioneer to French Creek, was passing 
along the path that ran up the east bank of the stream in search of his cows. 

- ';^^-»», •«;?='"?■ 





and upon reaching the spot near where the barn of Hon. William Reynolds 
now stands, heard a noise in the bushes, and thinking it was a deer, and being 
armed with his trusty rifle, he stood still so as to secure a good shot as soon as 
the animal should appear. While thus waiting three guns were discharged at 
him, one ball struck him in the left hip, one in the right shoulder, and a third 
passed through his left hand. Discovering the barrel of another rifle pointed 
from the bushes, he instantly leveled his gun to shoot, but at that moment his 
hidden foe tired, the ball passing through Dickson's hat and grazing the top 
of his head. The brave Scot stood his ground and shouted to the savages: 
" Come out you cowai'dly dogs and fight me fair." Two Indians, tomahawk 
in hand, immediately sprang from their hiding place, but the fear of the 
Scotchman's rifle soon caused them to seek protection behind trees, one to his 
right and the other to his left, thus intending to attack him from both quar- 
ters at once, and get between him and the village. Dickson concluded to 
reserve his tire knowing that therein lay his only safety, and by menacing each 
in turn he managed to keep them at bay, one of whom, however, had in the 
meantime loaded his gun and again tired at the Scotchman, but missed. The 
Indians fearing a rescue party from " Mead's Blockhouse," soon gave up the 
battle and disappeared in the forest, leaving the hardy pioneer victor of the 
field. He at once started for the village, but ere reaching the little cluster of 
cabins which then comprised Meadville, he met Samuel Lord, John Went- 
worth, Luke Hill and Flying Cloud, coming to his assistance. This party 
pursued the savages, but the latter had made good their escape, and were not 
overtaken. Mr. Dickson, wounded and bleeding, reached the cabin where his 
wife and children were living, and after washing off the blood that covered 
him, was with difficulty restrained by his wife and friends from joining in the 
pursuit, as he said: " I want revenge on the bloody rascals." His son, now the 
venerable Joseph Dickson, still living in Meadville, was then only four years 
old, and he says: " I well remember seeing my father coming into the cabin, his 
clothes covered with blood, which streamed from his wounds, and I also 
remember how much trouble my mother had to keep him from following the 
Indians." Mr. Dickson when speaking of the fight always claimed that at 
one time when about to fire at the Indians, he distinctly heard a voice saying: 
"Dinna shoot! Dinna shoot! Dinna be afraid, they canna kill ye." The bullet 
received in his shoulder during this conflict, remained in his body until his 
death, some thirty years afterward. 

The day following the wounding of James Dickson, Flying Cloud offered 
his son to carry a message to Fort Le Boeuf (Waterford) asking for a guard. 
The Indian lad left after sunrise and was back before dark. The next day 
seven soldiers arrived from the fort, all that could be spared from that point, 
and took up their quarters at "Mead's Block-house." They did not remain 
long, however, as it was believed they were more badly needed at Fort Le Bceuf. 

By the summer of 1794, most of the old settlers had returned, and new 
ones had arrived to re enforce the struggling colonists. Many improvements 
began to make their appearance and the pioneers, by orders of Gen. Gibson, 
were organized into a military company of which Cornelius Van Home was 
commissioned Ensign. This company served from August 4 until December 
31, and gave to the settlement the appearance of a military post. Not to be 
dependent upon uncertain aid from the army, they determined to protect them- 
selves, and in order to more effectually secure the object in view, they carried 
out the previous recommendation of Andrew Ellicott to the State government 
by erecting on the northeast corner of Water Street and Steer's Alley, in Mead- 
ville, a regularly constructed block-house with the upper story projecting, as 


was the style of those primitive defenses. A look-out or sentry box was built 
on the top to provide against surprise, and in the upper story of the building 
a cannon was mounted, while in each side of the structure in this story a trap 
door for port holes was constracted, so that the cannon could be wheeled to 
each and thus command the approaches from every direction. All these things 
go to show that the settlers began to feel their strength, and that they were 
becoming more permanently fixed in their new homes. 

Nearly all of the earliest settlers were true backwoodsmen, and were ever 
ready to undertake the most dangerous missions. About the 1st of August, 
1794, a soldier having been killed by the Indians near Fort Franklin, Capt. 
Heath wrote to Robert Fitz Randolph for some men competent to act as spies. 
The latter recommended Luke Hill, John Wentworth, John Baum and his son 
Edward Fitz Randolph, all of whom were pioneers of Crawford County. Ed- 
ward Fitz Randolph engaged in this dangerous service, and served from the 
beginning of August to the beginning of September of 1794. So these men 
were fully competent to defend their homes against the wily savage, and 
feared no foe of equal numbers. 

The crushing defeat inflicted on the Western Indians by Gen. Wayne 
August 20, 1794, completely crippled their power and left the settlers of west- 
ern Pennsylvania in comparative quiet. But though beaten and utterly 
demoralized, they did not entirely desist from their marauding expeditions. In 
small bands they kept prowling through the forests attacking the frontier set- 
tlements of the whites, and they seldom failed to leave bloody marks of the 
tomahawk and scalpingknife. The last depredation committed by them within 
the present limits of Crawford County, which resulted in the loss of life, 
occurred on the 3d of June, 1795. On that day James Findlay and Barnabas 
McCormick were engaged in making rails about six miles south of Meadville, 
on the west side of French Creek, near the mouth of Conneaut Outlet; and 
shots having been heard in that direction by some settlers, search was made 
for the cause, when the bodies of Findlay and McCormick were found close 
to the scene of their labors. The Indians had surprised them while at work, 
and after shooting and scalping the unfortunate men, cut two human figiu'es 
with other characters in the bark of a tree which stood close to the spot, to 
illustrate their victory over the pale faces. The bodies were brought to town, 
placed in one coffin and interred in Meadville Cemetery. 

Two days after committing this deed, the same band plundered the camp 
of William Power, one of the pioneer surveyors of Crawford County. He was 
then engaged in surveying lands located in what is now South Shenango Town- 
ship, and had left James Thompson, one of his assistants, in charge of the 
camp. On the 5th of June, 1795, the Indians suddenly appeared, made a 
prisoner of Thompson, and scattered the provisions, etc. , of the camp in every 
direction. While a prisoner, Thompson saw the scalps of Findlay and Mc- 
Cormick in possession of the savages, recognizing these ghastly trophies of 
Indian warfare by the color of the hair. Thompson was taken to Detroit, 
where he remained a prisoner until after the treaty of Greenville, which was 
ratified August 3, 1795, when he was released, and subsequently settled north 
of Cochranton, in East Fairfield Township. For many years the site of Pow- 
er's camp was known to the settlers as the "White Thorn Corner." 

The foregoing were the principal depredations committed by the Indians in 
this county or on citizens thereof; but the killing of Connelly and Wallace on 
Sandy Creek, in Venango County, while driving cattle to Pittsbui'gh, and that 
of Ralph Rutledge and his sixteen-year-old son on the site of Erie, in the 
spring of 1795, demonstrates that scattered bands of savages were roaming all 


over northwestern Pennsylvania, seeking revenge for tiieir terrible defeat the 
previous autumn. All of those murders were committed by Indians belono-ing 
to the Ohio tribes, as was fully proven by their own boasting to the English 
soldiers, in the presence of some American captives, after arriving at Detroit 
Avith the scalps of their victims. The power of the Indian confederacy in Ohio 
was, however, broken, and though in later years alarms were often sounded, 
they proved groundless. New emigrants were constantly arriving to occupy 
and clear up lands, and the county progressed rapidly in wealth and popula- 


BRACED IN Allegheny County^- Erection of Crawford County, and 
Location of the Seat or Justice at Meadville— Surrounding Coun- 
ties Erectp:d and Temporarily Attached to Crawford for Judicial 
Purposes— The Mercer and Erie County Boundary Lines Established 
— Biography of Col. William Crawford after Whom the County 
WAS Named— His Useful Career and Cruel Death— Location and 
Boundaries of Crawford County— Townships-Size, Area and Gen- 
eral Appearance— Population Statistics— French Creek— The Stream 

UTARIES— CuSSEWAGO AND Other Streams— Oil Creek— Connex\.ut Creek 
— Shenango and Crooked Creek — Lake Conneaut— Oil Creek Lake — 
Sugar Lake. 

THE territory embraced in northwestern Pennsylvania was nominally 
attached to Bedford County, which was formed from Cumberland, March 
9, 1771, until the erection of Westmoreland from the former, February 26, 
1873, toward which county said territory afterward held the same relation ; 
but, upon its acquisition from the Indians by the treaties of Forts Stanwix 
and Mcintosh, it was legally attached to Wetmoreland County by the act of 
April 8, 1785, being described in said act as "a part of the late purchase 
from the Indians." On the 28th of March, 1781, Washington County was 
created out of a part of Westmoreland ; and September 24, 1788, Allegheny 
County was erected from portions of Westmoreland and Washington, and its 
boundaries defined as follows : 

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 Montour's Run, to include the same; from thence by a straight line to the mouth of 
Miller's Run, on Chartier's Creek; thence by 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 Sewickly Creek, on Youghiogheny 
River; thence down the said river to the mouth of Crawford's Run; thence by a straight 
line to the mouth of Brush Creek, on Turtle Creek; thence up Turtle Creek to the main 
fork thereof; thence by a northerly line until it strikes Puckety's Creek; thence down the 
said creek to the Allegheny River; thence up the Allegheny River to the northern boundary 
of the State; thence along the same to the western boundary of the State; thence south 
along the same to the River Ohio; and thence up the same to the place of beginning: to 
be henceforth known and bv the name of Allegheny County. 

On the 12th of March, 1800, the Legislature passed an act erecting the 
Counties of Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Wai-ren, Venango and 
Armstrong, from territory previously embraced in Allegheny, W^estmoreland, 
Washington and Lycoming Counties. The territory composing Crawford 


County was taken from Allegheny, andthe following boundary lines estab- 
lished : 

Beginning at the northeast corner of Mercer Countj^ (which is the north line of Fifth 
Donation District), thence upon a course north forty-live degrees east till it intersects the 
north line of the Sixth Donation District; thence eastwardly along the said line ten miles; 
thence at a right angle to the said line northerly to the north line of the Eighth Donation 
District; thence westwardly along the said line to the western boundary of the State; 
thence southerly along the said boundary to the northwest corner of Mercer County; 
thence eastwardly along the north line of Mercer County to the place of beginning, shall 
be and the same is hereby erected into a separate county to be henceforth called Crawford 
County, and the place of holding the courts of justice in and for the said county shall be 
atMeadville: Provided the inhabitants or proprietors of Meadville and its vicinity sub- 
scribe and secure the payment of $4,000 to the trustees of the county, either in specie or 
land at a reasonable valuation, within four months of the passing of this act for the use 
of a seminary of learning within said county; and in case of neglect or refusal the 
trustees shall, and they are hereby authorized to fix on the seat of justice at any place 
within four miles of Meadville. And the Governor shall, and he is hereby empowered to 
appoint three Commissioners, any two of which shall run and ascertain and plainly mark 
the boundary lines of the said county of Crawford, and shall receive as a full compensa- 
tion for their services therein the sum of f 3 for every mile so run and marked, to be paid 
out of the moneys which shall be raised for the county uses within the county of Craw- 

By the same act Armstrong County was, for judicial purposes, provision- 
ally attached to Westmoreland; Butler and Beaver were placed under the juris- 
diction of Allegheny; " and the counties of Crawford, Mercer, Venango, War- 
ren and Erie shall form one county under the name of Crawford County." 
The sparsely settled condition of northwestern Pennsylvania at that period 
rendered this course necessary for the government of these counties until such 
time as the population had sufficiently increased to justify separate organiza- 
tions. Three trustees were appointed by the act for each of the newly 
erected counties, those for Crawford being David Mead, Frederick Haymaker and 
James Gibson. On the 2d of April, 1803, Erie and Mercer were organized as 
separate and distinct counties, Venango April 1, 1805, and Warren March 16, 

A part of the line between Crawford and Mercer Counties was slightly 
changed, by an act passed March 28, 1808, for the convenience of certain citi- 
zens living on said line who petitioned the General Assembly for that purpose, 
and in compliance with said petition the following line was run: 

Beginning at the northwest corner of a certain tract of donation land, known by its 
No. 1078, situated on the northwest corner of a section of the Fifth Donation District; 
thence southwardly by a tract of land on which Joseph Burson now resides, 154 perches to 
a birch tree, the southeast corner of the said tract; thence by the same westwardly to an 
ironwood tree, the southeast corner of a tract of land on which Alexander Caldwell now 
resides; and thence in the same direction from the southeast corner of one tract to the 
southeast corner of the next, to the western boundary of the State, anything in any other 
law to the contrary notwithstanding. 

The true boundary line between Crawford and Erie Counties was long a 
subject of dispute, and to settle the question the Legislature passed an act at 
the session of 1849-50, providing for three Commissioners to run a new line. 
This board was given full power to act, and its decision was to be final. In 
1850 Humphrey A. Hills, of Albion, was appointed Commissioner for Erie 
County, An<lrew Ryan, for Crawford County, and these two selected H. P. 
Kinnear, of Warren County, as the third member of the board. Wilson King 
and Mr. Jagger were chosen as surveyors, the former on behalf of Erie County, 
and the latter of Crawford, but David Wilson, as deputy for King, did most of 
the work. The Commissioners experienced some difficulty in finding a start- 
ing poiot, but after this was agreed upon, the survey was completed in about 
six weeks. A perfectly straight line was run from east to west, and marked 


by stones set two miles apart. When the survey was finished, a number of cit- 
izens who supposed they resided in Crawford County, found themselves in 
Erie, while some who thought they lived in the latter county were thrown into 
Crawford. This caused a little dissatisfaction among a few of the settlers thus 
affected, but the feeling soon subsided, as all were compelled to accept the 
result accomplished under the law. 

As this county was named in honor of Col. William Crawford, the friend of 
Washington, and one of the most distinguished frontiersmen of Western 
Pennsylvania, it will be but proper that a brief biography of him should 
appear in the pages of this work. He was born in 1732, in Orange (now 
Berkeley) County, Va., his parents being of Irish extraction. His father, a 
respectable farmer, died when William was four years old, leaving another son, 
Valentine, younger than our subject. His mother, Onora, was a woman of 
uncommon energy of character, possessed of great physical strength, and kind 
and attentive to her children. She married for her second husband Richard 
Stephenson, to whom she bore five boys and one girl: John, Hugh, Richard, 
James, Marcus, and Elizabeth, the last mentioned dying young. The seven 
boys were all remarkable for their size and physical prowess. In 1749 the 
youthful George Washington became acquainted with the family, and it was 
while surveying in the Shenandoah Valley that his acquaintance with William 
Crawford ripened into a friendship that lasted until the cruel death of the 
latter more than thirty years afterward. Oar subject learned surveying from 
Washington, which in connection with farming he followed until 1755, when 
he received an Ensign's commission in a company of Virginia riflemen, and 
served with Washington imder Gen. Braddock, in the ill-fated and disastrous 
battle with the French near Fort DuQuesne, on the 9th of July, 1755. For 
gallantry aod meritorious conduct on this occasion Ensign Crawford was pro- 
moted to a lieutenancy. 

In 1758, Washington, the Commander-in-chief of the Virginia forces, 
obtained for Lieut. Crawford a Captain's commission, and thereupon he recruited 
a company of hardy frontiersmen for AVashington's regiment, and was with 
the command at the occupation of Fort DuQiiesne, November 25, 1758, the 
French having evacuated the post on the approach of the army under Gen. 
Forbes. Capt. Crawford remained in the service of Virginia three years, then 
returned to his home in the valley of the Shenandoah, where he was engaged 
in farming for the succeeding six years. 

Early in 1767, he started out to find a new location, and having selected 
land on the south side of the Youghiogheny River, built a log cabin where 
the village of New Haven now stands, in the northern part of Fayette County, 
Penn., which was at that time on the extreme frontier, all around being one 
vast wilderness. He had previously married Hannah Vance, and was the 
father of three children — Sarah, John and Eflfie, who with their mother re- 
mained behind in Virginia. His half brother, Hugh, who was also married, 
soon joined him. but it was not till 1769 that the In-others were enabled to 
bring their families to their new homes on the banks of the Youghiogheny. 
Here Capt. Crawford resided, except when in the service of his country, until 
the campaign against Sandusky, which ended in his death. His home was 
known among the pioneers far and wide as "Crawford's Place," being a famous 
tarrying-place for new comers to the valley. The site of his homestead was 
also called "Stewart's Crossings," from the fact of there having been located 
here in 1753-54, the Indian trading post of William Stewart, who left upon 
the coming of the French in the spring of the latter j-ear. 

With the growth of the settlement, Capt. Crawford fell into his natural 


place as a leader in the public affairs of the community. At the request of 
Washington he selected and surveyed a tract of land for him, some twelve 
miles from his own, and on the 13th of October, 1770, Washington visited 
Capt. Crawford's home, and remained three days exploring the siUTOunding 
country. In company with a party of friends they then went to Fort Pitt; 
thence desceoded the Ohio in a large canoe, as far as the Great Kanawha 
River, visiting the Indian village at Mingo Bottom, on the route going and 
returning. Horses having been brought from Capt. Crawford's home to Mingo 
Bottom, the party returned by land from that point. During the whole 
journey Washington and Crawford were inseparable companions. On the 
25th of November, Washington took his final departure for Mount Vernon, 
and never again visited the home of his friend on the Youghiogheny. 

In 1771, Capt. Crawford was appointed by Gov. Penn, a Justice of the 
Peace for Bedford County, and upon the erection of Westmoreland, in 1773, 
he was made Presiding Justice of the courts of that county. He took an 
active part in "Dunmore's war," in 1774, received a Captain's commission 
from Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, and raising a company to fight 
against the Indians, marched to Fort Pitt, which had been seized from Penn- 
sylvania the previous year, by the Virginia troops, and named Fort Dunmore. 
Though a prominent actor in " Dunmore's war," Capt. Crawford was not 
present at the battle of Point Pleasaot, his operations being devoted to the 
protection of the frontier settlements. For the part he took in this war, and 
his siding with Virginia against the peace policy of Gov. Penn, he was re- 
moved from all public positions held by him in Westmoreland County. Capt. 
Crawford now fally transferred his allegiance to his native State, and never 
again held office by Pennsylvania authority. He played a leading part on 
behalf of Virginia, in the boundary troubles which arose between these colo- 
nies, and from 1776 to the beginning of 1780, held the position of Deputy 
Surveyor and Land -officer, in Youghiogheny County, Va., being also one of the 
Justices of that county at intervals during the same period. 

In the meantime a momentous event occurred, the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence had been sent forth to the world, and from the first Capt. Crawford 
was one of the foremost in advocating the rights and liberties of America. 
He tendered to Virginia his services, in the fall of 1775, to raise a regiment 
for the defense of the colonies. His offer was accepted, and the regiment 
raised, but Congress having decided to accept only six Virginia regiments into 
pay on the continental eiitablishment, and in the organization and consoli- 
dation of the several regiments, Capt. Crawford failed to obtain a colonelcy, 
which his patriotism and abilities merited. On the r2th of January, 1776, he 
was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the Fifth Virginia Regiment, and 
on the 11th of October following, Colonel of the Seventh Regiment of the 
Virginia battalion. He participated in the Long Island campaign, and the 
famous retreat through New Jersey; crossed the Delaware with Washington, 
and commanded his regiment at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. He 
served continuously under Washington up to the fall of 1777, rendering 
important services while in command of a picked detachment of scouts detailed 
to watch the movements of the enemy during Howe's advance upon Philadel- 

Col. Crawford having expressed his fears to Washington of an Indian 
attack upon the settlements around Fort Pitt, these representations were commu- 
nicated by the latter to Congress, and two regiments were ordered to be raised 
on the frontiers of Pennsylvauia and Virginia for their defense, the latter State 
responding with a full regiment, and the former with several companies. In 


November, 1777, Congress requested Washington to send Col. William Craw 
ford to Pittsburgh to take command, under Brig. -Gen. Hand, of the continental 
troops and militia in the Western Department; whereupon Col. Crawford 
repaired to York, Penn., where Congress was then in session, received his 
instructions and soon after departed for his new field of operations. In May, 
1778, he took command of the Virginia regiment under Brig. -Gen. Mcintosh, 
the successor of Hand, and his first active service was the erection of Fort 
Crawford, a stockade fort on the south side of the Allegheny River, a short 
distance above the mouth of Puckety Creek, where he commanded at intervals 
for some three years. Col. Crawford was second in command under Gen. Mc- 
intosh in the proposed expedition against Detroit, in the fall of 1778, which 
only resulted in the erection of Forts Mcintosh and Laurens, both of which 
he occasionally visited on official business until their abandonment late in the 
following summer. Before the close of the year 1779, Col. Crawford had led 
several small parties into the wilderness in pursuit of the bands of Indian 
depredators infesting the whole region, and in these expeditions he was usually 

In all future operations! against the savage foe, up to the time of his death, 
Col. Crawford was a leading spirit, and in raising volunteers and giving advice 
his services were invaluable. He visited Congress in 1780 to urge upon that 
body a more effectual and energetic defense of the frontiers. He had often 
expressed himself in favor of an expedition against the Indian town of San- 
dusky, located in what is now Wyandot County, Ohio; and had tried to raise 
a force for its destruction, but failed for the want of supplies. 

Col. Crawford was placed upon the retired list in the Continental line in 
the fall of 1781, and returned to his home on the Youghiogheny, with the hope 
of spending the balance of his life in peaceful avocations. His three children 
were married and living in the vicinity of the old homestead. Sarah, the eld- 
est, was the wife of Maj. William Harrison, a man of great spirit and consid- 
erable distinction among the pioneers of the valley; John, the only son, was 
the idol of his father, "a young man," wrote Hugh H. Brackenridge, in 1782, 
"greatly and deservedly esteemed as a soldier and citizen;" and Effie, the 
youngest, was married to W^illiam McCormick. 

Hostilities still continued between the frontiersmen and the western In- 
dians, and a spirit of bitter retaliation was the predominant feeling on both 
sides. In the spring of 1782, Col. Crawford, who yet held his commission in 
the regular army, was earnestly urged by many leading men to take command 
of the expedition then organizing against Sandusky, and together with his 
son, John, and son-in-law, Maj. Harrison, volunteered to go. He left his 
home on the 18th of May, and after a consultation with Gen. Irvine at Pitta- 
burgh, proceeded down the river to the Mingo Bottom, the place of rendezvous. 
On the 24th of May, Col. Crawford was chosen by the volunteers as the Com- 
mander-in-chief of the expedition, and on the following morning the whole 
command, consisting of 480 mounted men, began its march from the Mingo 
Bottom, located in what is now Jefferson County, Ohio. Passing through the 
territory now embraced in the counties of Jefferson, Harrison, Tuscarawas, 
Holmes, Ashland, Richland and Crawford, to the center of Wyandot, the com- 
mand reached a point on the Sandusky Plains, some three miles and a half 
northeast of the present town of Upper Sandusky, where in and around a 
grove, since well known as "Battle Island," Col. Crawford was furiously at- 
tacted by the Indians on the afternoon of June 4. 1782. As night came on 
the advantage remained with the Americans, the Indians being beaten at every 
point. The next day desultory firing was indulged in by both sides, but no 


general engagement ensued. As the afternoon advanced, the Indians were 
re-enforced by a detachment of an English mounted regiment called " Butler's 
Rangers," while bands of savages were constantly arriving to swell the num- 
bers of the enemy. 

Upon discovering that his small force was greatly outnumbered. Col. 
Crawford called a council of his officers, which decided to retreat during the 
night, but no sooner had the retrograde movement commenced, than it was dis- 
covered by the Indians, who at once opened a hot fire. The retreat, however, 
continued, with the enemy in close pursuit, and, on the afternoon of June 6, 
another battle was fought, which again resulted in favor of the Americans. 
The British Light-horse and mounted Indians hung on the Americans' rear, 
firing occasionally, until the morning of the 7th, when the pursuit was aban- 
doned, the last hostile shot being fired near where the village of Crestline now 
stands. The little army thence made its way to the Mingo Bottom without 
further molestation, arriving at that place on the 13th of June. It immedi- 
ately crossed the Ohio River, where the tired troops went into camp, and on 
the following day were discharged. 

In the darkness and confusion attending the beginning of the retreat, sev- 
eral small parties became separated from the main body of the troops, and the 
soldiers composing these were, with a rare exception, killed or captured by the 
savages, who scattered through the forest for the purpose of cutting ofif strag- 
glers. All of the captured were put to death excepting Dr. John Knight, and 
John Slover, the guide, both of whom escaped after being condemned to be 
burnt at the stake. Among the many who thus fell into the hands of the sav- 
ages were Col. Crawford, his son-in-law, Maj. Harrison, and his nephew Wil- 
liam Crawford. The two last mentioned were taken by the Shawnees to 
Wapatomica, one of their towns on Mad River, in what is now Logan County, 
Ohio, andsquibbed to death with powder. But all the punishment that savage 
hate and devilish malignity could invent was reserved for the unfortunate 
leader of the expedition. Col. Crawford was captured by the Delawares, whose 
principal chiefs, Capt. Pipe and Wingenund, decided to burn him at the stake. 
He was taken to a spot three-quarters of a mile from the Delaware village on 
the east bank of Tymochtee Creek, some eight miles northwest of where 
now stands the county seat of Wyandot County, Ohio. Here on the 11th of 
June, 1782, the victim was stripped naked, his hands bound behind his back, 
and a rope fastened — one end to the ligature between his wrist, and the other 
to the foot of a post about fifteen feet high. The rope was long enough to 
allow him to walk around the post twice and back again, the fire being built in 
a circle around the post, leaving an open space between them. 

According to the testimony of Dr. Knight, who was an unwilling spectator 
of the terrible scene, having been captured with Col. Crawford, the Indians 
began the torture about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, first discharging about 
seventy loads of powder into the victim's body, and then cut off his ears. After 
this the faggots were lighted, and for more than three hours the unfortunate 
man walked around the stake within the circle of fire. Burning sticks were 
continually applied to his naked flesh already burnt black with powder, and 
which ever way he turned the same fate met him. Live coals and hot embers 
were thrown upon him by the sqiaaws, until the space in which he walked was 
one bed of fire and scorching ashes. In the midst of his awful sufferings 
CoJ. Crawford begged of Simon Girty, the Tory renegade, who was present at 
the execution, to shoot him, but that white savage laughed at his misery. At 
last the victim's strength gave out and he laid down, when an Indian ran in 
and scalped him, and an old squaw threw coals of fire upon his bleeding head. 

yJ^ l^n^Ch^iy^^ L. (Y u (yU^^-^ iTPt (\^ 


After Col. Crawford expired, the burning faggots were piled together and his 
body placed upon them, and around his charred remains danced the delighted 
savages for hours. 

When the news of the event reached the Pennsylvania and Virginia settle- 
ments, a gloom was spread on every countenance, and Col. Crawford's melan- 
choly end was lamented by all who knew him; while heart-rending was the 
anguish of the widow, m the lonely cabin on the bank of the Youghiogheny. 
The language of Washington, upon this occasion, in a letter to Gov. 
Moore, of Pennsylvania, shown the depth of his feeling toward his friend: "It 
is with the greatest sorrow and concern," said he, "that 1 have learned the 
melancholy tidings of Col. Crawford's death. He was known to me as an 
officer of much care and prudence-, brave, experienced and active. The manner 
of his death was shocking to me; and I have this day communicated to the 
Honorable, the Congress, such papers as I have regarding it." There was no 
man on the frontier at that time, whose loss could have been more sensibly felt 
or more keenly deplored. 

Crawford is one of the northwest counties of Pennsylvania, and is bounded 
on the north by Erie County, on the east by Warren and Venango, on 
the south by Mercer and Venango, and on the west by the State of Ohio. It 
is divided into thirty-four townships as follows: Athens, Beaver, Bloomtield, 
Cambridge, Conneaut, Cussewago, East Fairfield, East Fallowfield, Fairfield, 
Greenwood, Hayfield, Mead, North Shenango, Oil Creek, Pine, Kandolph, 
Richmond, Rockdale, Rome, Sadsbury, South Shenango, Sparta, Spring, Steu- 
ben, Summerhill, Summit, Troy, Union, Venango, Vernon. Wayne, West Fallow- 
field, West Shenango and Woodcock, all of which will be found fully spoken 
of under their respective and proper headings in this work. The county is 
46 miles long from east to west on its northern boundary; is 24 miles 
south along the Ohio line; thence due east, with one slight jog, 25^ miles, to 
a point a short distance east of French Creek; thence northeast by a series of 
nine jogs, 11|- miles in an air line; thence east 11 miles to the Warren County 
line; thence due north 15 miles to the line of Erie County. It contains, 
according to Johnson's Encyclopedia, 975 square miles, or 624,000 acres; while 
other authorities give 1,005 square miles of territory, or 643,200 acres. It is 
abundantly supplied with excellent water, and its streams have always afforded 
admirable sites for all classes of mills. Crawford originally possessed as great 
a variety of large and valuable timber as perhaps any other county in the State. 
Along its streams are rich and productive valleys, which were covered with 
stately trees when the pioneers first penetrated its forest depths. The surface is 
interspersed by hill and valley, with very little untillable land, excepting the 
marshes, in the county, and while its soil is adapted for cereals, stock-raising 
and dairying have, doubtless, proven the most profitable. 

The growth of population and wealth has been steady and substantial, 
which without doubt is largely owing to the beauty of its natural scenery and 
the fertility of its soil. In 1800 the county contained a population of 2,346; 
1810,6,178; 1820, 9,379; 1830, 16,030; 1840, 31,724; 1850, 37,849; 1860, 
48,755; 1870, 63,832; 1880, 68,607. The following official census table of the 
townships, boi'ough, and cities will more thoroughly illustrate the growth of 
every portion of the county. The reader will bear in mind, however, that the 
apparent decrease in the population of some of the townships during the 
several decades since 1850, was caused by the erection of new townships or 
boroughs, and that there has been no real decrease except in a few of the 
smaller towns. 




Athens Township 

Beaver Township 

Bloomfield Township 

Blooming Valley Borough. . . 

Cambridge Township 

Cambridge Borough . , 

Centerville Borough 

Cochranton Borough 

Conneaut Township 

Conneautville Borough 

Cussewago Township 

East Fallowfield Township. . 

East Fairfield Township 

Evansburg Borough 

Fairfield Township 

Geneva Borough 

Greenwood Township 

Hartstown Borough 

Hayfield Township 

Hydetown Borough 

Linesville Borough 

Mead Township 


First Ward 

Second Ward 

Third Ward 

Fourth Ward 

North Shenango Township. . 

Oil Creek Township 

Pine Township 

Randolph Township 

Riceville Borough 

Richmond Township 

Rockdale Township 

Rome Township 

Sadsbury Township 

Saegertown Borough 

South Shenango Township . . 

Sparta Township 

Spartansburg Borough 

Spring Township 

Spring Borough 

Steuben Township 

Summerhill Township 

Summit Township 


First Ward 

Second Ward 

Third Ward 

Fourth Ward 

Townville Borough 

Troy Township 

Turuersville Borough 

Union Township 

Vallonia Borough 

Venango Township 

Venango Borough 

Vernon Township 

Wayne Township 

West Fallowfield Township. 
West Shenango Township. . 

Woodcock Township 

Woodcock Borough 


1,193 1,317 
1,090 1,177 
1,356 ! 1,263 













































1,739 1,783 

135 I 188 

1,867 I 1,834 

























The population of the following villages is included in the townships in 
whitih they are located: Adamsville, in West Fallowfield Township, 137; 
Guy's Mills, in Randolph, 150; Kerrtown, in Vernon, 120; Lincolnville, in 
Bloomfield, 107; and Penn Line, in Conneaut, 75; while the population of the 
remaining villages of Crawford County is not given in the census reports. 

French Creek is a beautiful, transparent, rapid stream, and its ramifications 
are numerous and overspread a large extent of territory. The French origi- 
nally called it the River Aux Boeufs, on account of the large number of cattle 
owned by the Indians which they found grazing in its valley meadows when 
they first came to the country ; but changed the name to the River Venango, a 
corruption of the Indian word In-nun-ga-ch, given it by the Senecas in conse- 
quence of finding, on first taking possession of the country after conquering 
the Eries, "a rude and indecent figure carved upon a tree" which gx-ew near 
its banJis. When the Americans occupied this territory, they discarded both 
the Indian and French names, and gave the stream the plain appellation of 
French Creek. The main stream is created by the junction of the East and 
West Branches, just south of the limiLs of Wattsburg, Erie County. The East 
Branch takes its rise near the village of Sherman, in Chautauqua County, 
N. Y. ; and the head of the West Branch is usually said to be Findley's Lake, 
about two miles over the New York line, in the same county. These streams are 
each more than twenty miles in length, and were navigable in the beginning 
of the century for canoes and rafts to the north line of the State, but the erec- 
tion of dams, and the drying up of the water made Wattsburg in later years 
the practical head of navigation. South of Waterford the main stream is 
joined by the South Branch and Le Boeuf Creek. The French regarded the 
latter as a portion of the main stream, and therefore erected their fort upon it. 
French Creek enters Crawford County on the north lino of Rockdale Town- 
ship, and passing through the whole width of the central portion of the county 
from north to south, leaves its territory near the southwest corner of Wayne 
Township. After watering the northeast corner of Mercer County and a large 
portion of Venango, it unites with the Allegheny at Franklin. By the time it 
reaches the Allegheny, it has become a good-sized stream, which deserves the 
title of river better than many that figure more prominently on the maps. 
From its head waters in New York State to its mouth, the general course of 
French Creek, though in some parts vefy crooked, is almost a semi circle. Its 
length from Wattsburg, where the main stream may be said to begin, to Frank- 
lin, cannot be less than 100 miles, though Washington thought it was 130 
miles from its mouth to Fort Le Bceuf, which stood near the site of Water- 
ford, on Le Boeuf Creek. In the summer seasons, the stream is usually very 
shallow, but during the spring and winter freshets it spreads out to a majestic 
width, covering the bottom lands in every direction, and inundating a large 
portion of the lower sections of Meadville. 

Boats of twenty tons burden have navigated its waters and those of Le 
Boeuf Creek, as far north as Waterford ; and during the Fi-ench occupation, 
as well as in early pioneer days, French Creek was the principal highway to 
the Allegheny. Before the building of good roads it was the chief avenue for 
bringing goods and provisions into the county. There has been no boating or 
rafting on the upper branches of French Creek for forty years, while the prin- 
cipal business on the main stream may be said to have suspended about 1862, 
though occasional boats have since descended the creek. All of the streams in 
the county were formerly much larger and more reliable than now, and 
abounded in trout and other fish. Cutting off the timber and the clearing of 
the land has had an alarming effect in drying-up the streams, and the seasons 


of high water, which were once of two or three weeks' duration, now last only 
a few days. There being no forests to retain the rain, the water runs off very 
rapidly, causing floods that sometimes do considerable damage. 

Immediately above Race Street bridge, which crosses the stream from 
Meadville to Vallonia, the waters of French Creek originally divided, the 
main branch making a handsome serpentine bend toward the east, while the 
west branch takes a semi-circular sweep in the opposite direction, and unites 
with the main stream just north of the Dock Street bridge, enclosing an island 
of about sixty acres of rich bottom land. The creek at Meadville is 492 feet 
above Lake Erie level. The eastern branch was the main channel until the con- 
struction of the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad in 1862, when a 
straight channel was cut throxigh the island into which the main stream was 
diverted, and the railroad bed built across the upper end of the eastern branch. 
The latter has since served the purpose of conveying the waste water of the 
canal into the main stream ; but no material change has occurred in the loca- 
tion of the western branch since the coming of the first settlers nearly 
one hundred years ago. French Creek will always be an interesting object to 
the thoughtful traveler, not only on account of the delightful scenery which 
everywhere abounds in its vicinity, but because it was the line of the chain of 
forts erected by the French to hold the western country, and from the circum- 
stance that it bore upon its waters the then youthful Washington, when 
engaged on the first distinguished mission of his life. 

Proceeding up French Creek from its mouth, in addition to many small 
streams, its largest feeders are : Big Sugar Creek, Little Sugar Creek, Mill 
Run, Woodcock Run, and Muddy Creek on the east ; and on the west Deer 
Creek, Conneaut Outlet, Cussewago Creek, Big Conneauttee Creek, and Le 
Boeuf Creek. The last-mentioned stream is in Erie County, and Deer Creek in 
Mercer, while Big Sugar Creek, though rising in Crawford, is principally loca- 
ted in Venango Count}'^. 

The Cussewago takes its rise in Spring and Cussewago Townships, flowing 
south through the latter subdivision; thence passing in a southeasterly direc- 
tion through Hayfield Township, from north to south it crosses the northeast 
corner of Vernon, and after traversing some eighteen miles empties into the 
west branch of French Creek a short distance above its junction with the main 
channel. It is a very crooked stream, and drains an excellent body of land. 
Rev. Timothy Alden gives the following tradition regarding its name, which 
he says he obtained from Cornplanter: A wandering band of Senecas on first 
coming to the creek, discovered a large black snake, with a white ring around 
its neck, reposing in the limbs of a tree growing upon the banks of the stream. 
Their attention was arrested by a protuberance on the reptile, as though it 
had swallowed an animal as large as a rabbit, and they at once exclaimed Kos- 
se-waus-ga! literally meaning " big belly." This name was retained by the 
French, though it has since become somewhat Americanized. Mr. Alfred 
Huidekoper thinks that Cussewago means " big snake," and was so called by 
the Indians on account of the sinuosity of its coui'se, which much resembles a 
snake when crawling. His definition seems to us the most plausible, and we 
are inclined to accept it as the correct one. 

Conneaut Outlet is the outlet of Conneaut Lake, from which it takes its 
name. It flows southeast through Sadsbury Township, and divides Vernon 
and Union Townships, from Greenwood and Fairfield, striking French Creek 
at the southeast corner of Union Township. Its principle tributary is Wat- 
son's Run, a local stream which drains the west part of Vernon Township. 
Big Conneaut Creek rises in Erie County, and flowing through Lake 


Conneaut, after which it is named, enters Crawford County on the line 
between Venango and Cambridge Townships, and joins French Creek where 
the latter strikes the dividing line of those townships, some distance northwest 
of Cambridgeboro. 

The head waters of Muddy Creek are located in Richmond, Steuben and 
Athens Townships; thence flowing from the latter northwestwardly across the 
northeast corner of Richmond Township, passes onward into Rockdale, and 
unites with French Creek a little south of Miller's Station. 

Woodcock Run rises in Randolph Township, crosses the southwest corner 
of Richmond, and passing through the entire Township of Woodcock, empties 
into Fi'ench Creek south of Saegertown. 

Mill Run meanders northwest through Mead Township, and after passing 
through Meadville discharges its waters into the same stream. 

Little Sugar Creek has its source in the southern part of Mead Township, 
crosses the northeast corner of East Fairfield Township into Wayne, and after 
describing almost a semi-circle, passes back into East Fairfield, emptying into 
French Creek at Cochranton. 

Several branches of Big Sugar Creek take their rise in Troy, Randolph and 
Wayne Townships, thence passing into Venango County unite and form the 
main stream, which flowing southward joins French Creek a few miles above 
its mouth. 

Oil Creek drains the whole eastern part of Crawford County. Its head- 
watei's are located in Bloomtield and Sparta Townships, whence it takes a 
southward course. Oil Creek Lake in Bloomtield Township may be regarded 
as its principal source of supply, though the East Branch, which rises in Sparta 
Township and joins the main stream near Centerville, adds much to its size 
and volume. Soon after passing Tryonville, the stream bears off to the south 
east, and upon reaching the county line at Titusville, takes a southern course, 
soon verging a little to the west, and unites with the Allegheny at Oil City. 
Its name is derived from the oil springs which exist along its banks, the pro- 
duct of which was gathered at the surface in small quantities and sold at an 
early day under the name of Seneca Oil, which was supposed to possess valua- 
ble curative properties. Oil Creek is thus described in 1789, under the head 
of "Mineral Water," by Jededi ah Morse, of Charlestown, Mass., in The Amer- 
ican Universal Geography : "Oil Creek, in Allegheny County, one hundred 
miles above Pittsburgh, issues from a remarkable spring, which boils like the 
waters of Hell Gate, near New York. On the top of the water floats an oil 
similar to that called Barbadoes tar. Several gallons may be gathered in a 
day. It is found very serviceable in rheumatism, in restoring weakness in the 
stomach, and in curing bruises and sore breasts. When drank, the water of 
the spring operates as a gentle cathartic. It is gathered by the country people 
and Indians, boiled and brought to market in bottles, and is deemed a most 
valuable family medicine." Its principal tributaries are Little Oil Creek, 
which, rising in Rome Township, flows south and empties into the main 
stream south of Hydetown; and Pine Creek, which (jrosses the southeast cor- 
ner from Venango County, ard joins Oil Creek in the southeastern limits of 

The western portion of the county is principally drained by Conneaut 
Creek, Shenango Creek and Crooked Creek. The first mentioned rises iTume- 
diately north of Conneaut Lake, in Summit Township, and flowing northwest 
through Summerhill Township, passes through the borough of Conneautville; 
thence onward in the same general direction till it leaves the count}^ near the 
northwest corner of Spring Township. After continuing a northerly coiu-se about 


half way across Erie County, it turns abruptly westward, and flows through 
Ohio for several miles. It then makes a turn and flows northeast, emptying 
into Lake Erie, where its mouth forms Conneaut Harbor. Conneaut Creek is 
a very crooked stream, and following its meanders from head to mouth it is 
fully eighty miles in length, while the distance by an air line is not more than 
twenty-five. Its principal tributary, which touches this county, is the East 
Branch, a small stream rising near the Erie County line, and joining the main 
creek a short distance northeast of the borough of Albion. 

Shenango Creek takes its rise in Pymatuning Swamp near the southwest 
corner of Sadsbury Township, and the northern part of West Fallowfield, and 
flowing northwestwardly forms the boundary line between North Shenango and 
Pine Townships. Near the southwest corner of Pine, it turns southward, and 
passing through the western part of North Shenango to the southern limits of 
that township, it becomes the dividing line between Soa h and West Shenango, 
and flowing southeast leaves the county at Jamestown, and unites with the 
Ohio River at Beaver. 

Crooked Creek is a tributary of Shenango, and rising in Pymatuning 
Swamp along the northern sections of East and West Fallowfield, forms the 
boundary line between those townships. It flows due south and strikes She- 
nango Creek, a few miles below the Crawford County line. The foregoing 
embraces all the streams of any note in Crawford County. Some of these 
have local tributaries that water the different sections of the townships in 
which they are located ; but little is known of them outside of their own 
immediate localities. 

Some eight miles southwest of Meadville lies Lake Conneaut, a beautiful 
sheet of water, some three miles in length, and varying from half a mile to a 
mile in width, covering an area of about 1,200 acres. In depth it ranges from 
a few feet to nearly one hundred feet, though the average will fall far below 
the latter figure. The Senecas called the lake "Kon-ne-yaut," or the "Snow- 
place," from the fact that the snow remained on the ice of the lake for some 
time after it had disappeared from the surrounding lands. It is the largest 
inland lakes in Pennsylvania; is 497 feet above Lake Erie level; abounds in 
fish, and is also much frequented by sportsmen for the wild game that light upon 
its waters. It is nearly oval in shape, and lies almost wholly within Sadbury 
Township, a small point jutting into Summit. Conneaut Lake was used as a 
reservoir for the Beaver and Erie Canal, from the date of its construction 
until its abandonment. The surface of the lake was raised about ten feet by 
building a dam across the outlet, but when the canal was abandoned the dam 
was torn away, and the water receded to its original level. The lake is also 
quite a pleasure resort during the summer season, the great regatta of July 15, 
1884, giving it a wide reputation. Four little steamers ply its waters, which 
flow from springs, and row and sail-boats, filled with pleasure seekers, skim 
along its surface, passing to and fro between Evansburg, Conneaut Lake Park, 
Oakland Beach, Fair Point, and Lynce's Landing, at all of which will be 
found ample accommodation for picnickers and pleasure parties. There is a 
large hotel at Fair Point, owned and operated by Mr. Johnson; and the rail- 
road company has recently erected a Hotel at Conneaut Lake Park, which is 
conducted by Andrews Bros., of the Commercial Hotel, Meadville. Evansburg 
is amply supplied with hotels, and nothing is wanting to assist in whiling away 
a few happy hours. 

Oil Creek Lake, near the center of Bloomfield Township, is two miles long 
and three-fourths of a mile wide, covers an area of several hundred acres, and 
has an average depth of about thirty feet. It was originally called Washington 


Lake, which name, however, was dropped, and the present, one came into gen- 
eral use. Fish of many kinds abound in its clear depths, and one small 
steamer plys iipon its bosom, while a new hotel on the lakeside supplies the 
visitors with comfortable accommodations. Oil Creek Lake has an altitude of 
816 feet above Lake Erie, being the highest of the Crawford County lakes. 

Sugar Lake is located in the northeast part of Wayne Township, on one 
of the branches of Big Sugar Creek, and is surrounded by low hills. It is a 
mile long by half a mile wide, and when the white settlers first came to this 
county had a depth of more than thirty feet, While to-day it does not measure 
more than sixteen to eighteen. It is fed by Sugar Lake Inlet, and is 704 feet 
above Lake Erie. Like the other lakes and streams of Crawford County, it 
abounded in fish of many species, which yet remain, though in much lesser 
numbers than of yore. It was also a favorite hunting place for both Indians 
and white men for some years after the first settlement was made in that vicin- 
ity. Game of all sorts was plenty, and these beautiful little lakes seem to 
have been more frequented by the wild denizens of the forest than other por- 
tions of the county, so that they became noted resorts for the backwoods sports- 
man, who from his canoe would often kill several deer in one evening. But 
those days have gradually passed away, and in their sfead have come progress 
and civilization. 


Topographical Features of Crawford County— Elevations, Surface 
Dip, and Physical Phenomena of Streams, Lakes and Swamps- 

—Drift— Buried Valleys— Pottsville Conglomerate— Homewood Sand 
STONE, Mercer Group, Conoquenessing and Sharon— Subconglomerate 
Formations— Shenango, Meadville and Oil Lake Groups— Venango 
Oil Sand Group— Venango Upper Sandstone, Upper Shales, Middle 
Sandstone, Lower Shales and Lower Sandstone. 

THE general level of the upland in Crawford County is given by the State 
Road which enters it near the northeast corner and runs in nearly a straight 
line for fifty-two miles parallel to the shore of Lake Erie, and about thirty 
miles south of it. The following list of elevations along this road, above the 
ocean and Lake Erie levels, were taken by Prof. John F. Carll some four 
years ago : 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Warren County line 1,653 1,080 

Divide 1,690 1, 117 

Divide 1, 797 1, 824 

Oil Creek Railroad 1,430 857 

Divide 1,605 1,032 

Britain Run 1,360 787 

Divide 1 , 621 1 , 048 

Riceville 1,315 742 

Union & Titusville Raihoad 1.369 796 

Divide 1,611 1,038 

Cross Roads 1 , 602 1 , 029 

Divide 1,617 1,044 

Little Cooley 1,210 637 

Divide 1, 428 855 

New Richmond 1,312 739 


Divide 1,581 1,008 

Woodcock Creek 1,247 674 

Divide 1.435 862 

Divide 1,361 788 

Brancli of Woodcock Creek 1,397 824 

Divide 1,550 977 

Meadville 1,080 507 

Miller's Quarry 1,303 780 

Evansburg Depot 1,284 711 

Mushrush Coal Bank 1,324 751 

McEntire Coal Hill 1,338 765 

Unger Hill 1,348 775 

Run 1,240 667 

McLanahan Quarry 1,315 742 

Run 1,277 704 

Hazen's Hill 1,443 870 

Turnersville 1,060 487 

Crooked Creek near Adamsville 996 423 

Snodgrass Ore Bankbetween Adamsville and Jamestown. 1,360 787 

Jamestown 987 414 

It is plainly evident from this table that the highest land along the State 
Road is at the eastern end of Crawford County, and that the general level 
fails oflF westward. This expresses the topography of the region: a steady 
decline in the height of the uplands from the State of New York through 
Pennsylvania into Ohio. The same law is exhibited by the drainage, the flow 
of French Creek being down the dip of the measures from north southward, 
and down the general slope of the surface from northeast southwestward. At 
Meadville the stream turns and cuts down through the upper measures (with 
the dip) southeastward. The level of the valley bed in which French Creek 
flows is shown in the following table of elevations of the New York, Pennsyl- 
vania & Ohio Railroad, and its Franklin Branch: 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Miller's Station 1,169 596 

Cambridge Station 1,163 590 

Venango Station 1,163 590 

Saegertown Station 1,116 543 

Meadville Station 1,080 507 

Franklin Branch Junction 1,074 501 

Shaw's Landing Station 1,092 519 

Cochranton Station 1,064 491 

Carlton (Evans Bridge) 1,047 474 

From the junction westward the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad 
crosses the divide to the Shenango, its levels in this county being as follows: 

Oceau. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Meadville Junction 1,074 501 

Geneva (Sutton's) 1,069 496 

Evansburg 1,284 711 

Atlantic 1,148 575 

The descent of the waters of Oil Creek from the high divide of Crawford 
County south of French Creek, with the dip, is illustrated by the following 
tables of levels, on the Union & Titusville, and the Oil Creek & Allegheny 
Valley Railroads: 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Near Summit 1,458 885 

Lakeville 1,412 839 

Lincolnville 1,382 809 

Riceville 1,369 796 

Nobles 1,298 725 

Tryonville Junction 1,320 747 

Titusville • 1,194 621 




Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Koet. 

Summit 1,646^ 1,073^ 

Spartansburg 1,453^ 880^ 

Trj'onville Junction 1,320 747 

Titusville 1,194 C21 

Although Oil Creek waters now flow southward into the Allegheny River 
at Oil City, Prof. Carll believes that there was a time, previous to the great 
change in the surface of the region made by the northern ice, when it 
turned at Tryonville westward and used what is now the valley of Muddy 
Creek, joining French Creek near Miller's Station. This is the route of the 
proposed Pennsylvania & Petroleum Railroad, now abandoned, the roadbed of 
which shows the following levels : 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Titusville 1,181 608 

Newton's Mills 1,258 685 

Athen's Mills 1,268 693 

Little Cooley 1,203 630 

Teepletown 1,204 631 

Cambridge, on French Creek 1,158 585 

According to Prof. Carll, French Creek in pre- glacial times — before its 
lower water course was filled with drift, and its waters, first spreading out into 
a great upland lake over northern Crawford and southern Erie Counties, cut 
for themselves a new channel southward through the barrier above Franklin — 
turned sharply westward below Meadville up Conneaut Lake Creek into Lake 
Erie. Prof. I. C. White in his report on Crawford and Erie counties, does 
not accept Prof. Carll's conclusions; but holds the opinion that French Creek 
has always drained southward into the Ohio River. No railway line follows 
this route the entire distance, but some of its features are illustrated by the 
levels of the Erie & Pittsburgh road. By this route the Grand Divide is crossed 
at an elevation of 568 feet above Lake Erie, at a point about twenty-five miles 
south of the lake shore, while the different levels along the line within Craw- 
ford county are as follows : 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Spring 961 388 

Conneautville 1,066 493 

Summit Station, on the Grand Divide 1,141 568 

Linesville 1,033 460 

Espyville 1,088 515 

Kasson's 1,111 538 

Jamestown 979 406 

From the brow of the Lake Erie sand -bluff terrace, there is an upward slope 
to a line which may be drawn on the map from the northeast corner of Green- 
field TownsLip, Erie County, on the New York State line, eleven miles south 
of the lake shore, to the northwest corner of Conneaut Township, Crawford 
County, on the Ohio State line, twenty three miles south of the lake shore. 
Down this slope flow mauy small streams which empty into Lake Erie, the long 
streams descending from the divide to the lake being all west of Erie, while 
the short, rapid creeks flowing into the lake are located east of that city. 

The waters of French Creek flowing south from the divide present a wholly 
different topographical phenomenon ; its several branches in Erie County, 
together with Little and Big Conneaut, Cussewago, Lake Conneaut, Conneaut 
Outlet and their many feeders and branches in Crawford drain the whole rain 
fall of the Great Divide southward, through flat valleys, one and even two 
miles wide, bordered by low and gently rounded hill slopes, and separated by 



low, flat table- lands. The fall of French Creek is gentle, as will be seen by 
the following table of elevations : 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Great Divide 1,500 927 

Greenfield 1,400 827 

Wattsburg 1,315 742 

Mouth of Doolittle's Run 1,310 737 

Waterford Line 1,235 662 

Mouth of South Branch 1,200 627 

Carrol's Quarries 1,190 617 

Mill Village Bridge 1,165 592 

Opposite Miller's Station 1,135 562 

Cambridge (water) 1,130 557 

Venango (water) 1,115 542 

Saegertown (water) 1,100 527 

Meadville (water) 1.065 492 

Cochranton (water) 1,050 477 

Crawford, Venango Line (water) 1,045 472 

Utica (water) 1,020 447 

Franklin (water) 970 397 

Cussewago Creek is a sluggish stream meandering along a wide, shallow, 
drift-filled valley, the side hills of which, however, often rise abruptly from the 
plain ; showing thus, incidentally, how deep the drift must be in this pre- 
glacial valley bed. 

Crooked Creek and the Shenango drain Pymatuning Swamp in two opposite 
directions, but all the waters finding their way southward, emphasize the same 
style of topography in the southwest corner of Crawford County. The Shenango 
drains out the north end of the swamp, but the amount of water leaving the 
county by this channel is small. Crooked Creek drains the south end of the 
swamp, and is a sluggish, meandering stream, its valley being wide and fiat, 
and filled to a great depth with drift. 

Lakes and swamps are, of course, numerous in such a country, so flat, and 
80 entirely covered with the great boulder clay and gravel deposit of the north- 
ern ice drift. Oil Creek Lake and Conneaut Lake lie on a parallel line drawn 
diagonally across Crawford County, with Lakes Pleasant, Le Boeuf and Con- 
neauttee in Erie; while Sugar Lake lies near the Venango County line in 
Wayne Township. Conneaut Lake is located on the low divide between the 
French Creek, Conneaut and Shenango waters. A natural embankment or mo- 
raine of drift, fifteen to twenty feet high, lies across the valley at Glendale, 
and forms a natural dam to the marsh, which extends up to the foot of the lake. 
Marshes extend three miles north of the head of Lake Conneaut. The ancient 
lake behind the moraine was, therefore, at least fourteen miles long,^of about 
the size of Lake Chautauqua, in New York State. Under the present peatbogs 
of the swamps lie old deposits of fresh- water shell- marl. When the lake was 
the reservoir for the Beaver & Erie Canal, its surface level was 1,082 feet above 
the ocean, and 509 feet above Lake Erie; but since the tearing away of the 
dam across its mouth, and the deepening of Conneaut Outlet, its level has 
been lowered twelve feet, leaving it now 1,070 and 497 feet respectively above 
the ocean and lake. The outlet drains the lake southeastward sluggishly 
through a marsh to French Creek. 

Conneaut Marsh represents the former extension southward of Lake Con- 
neaut when it was much larger than at present, as is shown also by swamps at 
the northern end of the lake. It stretches along Conneaut Outlet to within 
two miles and a half of its junction with French Creek, and was estimated by 
the State Surveyor- General at 5,000 acres. The natural vegetation of the 
marsh consists of swamp willow, tamarack, black alder, witch hazel, poison su- 


mach, and the side saddle flower; while in the standing water-pools nothiuf 
grows but the broad leaf flag. On the 14th of April, 1868, the Legislature 
passed an act providing for the drainage of the marsh. W. W. Andrews of 
Vernon Township, AVilliam Porter, of Fairfield, and Dr. A. B. Cushman, of 
Greenwood, were authorized to hold an election the first Monday in May, for 
the purpose of electing three commissioners to serve one, two and three years 
respectively, one to be elected annually thereafter to till the place of the retir- 
ing member. These commissioners were elected by the male owners of the 
marsh lands, and were empowered to assess said lands up to 50 cents per acre 
for drainage purposes. A 8U.rveyor was appointed to survey the lands within 
the limits of the marsh, which were exempted from taxation until the work was 
completed. A steam dredging machine was purchased and the work commenced 
at the oiitlet of Conneaut Lake. The channel of the outlet was made eight 
feet deep and sixteen feet wide most of the way from the lake to within two 
miles and a half of French Creek, at an average cost of $1,000 per mile. The 
work was prosecuted vigorously until its completion a couple of years ago. Side 
ditches were cut emptying into the main channel, and the improvement so 
drained the marsh that in a short time cattle could graze along the banks of 
the outlet. The larger part of these lands, which a few years ago were unfit 
for cultivation, are to-day regarded as among the most valuable in the county. 
The soil is rich and almost inexhaustible, and immense crops of corn have 
been raised where water once stood the year round. 

Pymatuning Swamp represents a large lake which formerly existed in the 
southwest corner of Crawford County. It extends from the head of Crooked 
Creek, near Hartstown, along the Shenango, fifteen miles, to the Ohio State 
line, and when surveyed by Col. Worrall in 1868, had an area of 9,000 acres, 
which has since been considerably reduced by judicious ditching. It lies 
1,025 feet above tide, or 452 feet above Lake Erie. In the swamp is a some- 
what extensive deposit of shell marl, similar to that found around Conneaut 
Lake. Alfred Huidekoper, Esq., in his "Incidents in the Early History of 
Crawford County," wi-itten in 1846, thus refers to Pymatuning Swamp: "It 
has every appearance of having once been a lake whose bed had been gradually 
tilled up with accumulated vegetable matter. Covered with the cranberry 
vine, with occasional clumps of alders, and islands of larch and other timber, 
the subsoil is so loose that a pole can be thrust into it from ten to twenty feet. 
Ditches that have been cut through it for the purpose of draining, exhibit 
fallen timber below ground, and the dead stumps of trees still standino- in 
place, show, by the divergence of their roots, that the serf ace of the soil is 
now from two to three feet higher than it was when the trees were growing. ' ' 

Another large swamp stretches along the southern and eastern portions of 
Randolph Township; and others exist in Troy, Athens and Bloomtield Town- 
ships, thus making a considerable area of swamp or marsh lands in Crawford 

Conneaut Creek heads on the drift-tilled low divide of Summit Township, 
which is the northern extension of the Conneaut Lake basin. The stream 
flows north between low banks of quicksand and gravel, upon a drift-tilling 
sometimes 180 feet deep. It only remains to note the topography of the county 
east of French Creek. 

Muddy Creek flows in an ancient valley of erosion, now tilled deep with 
drift. The stream meanders sluggishly northwestward, between banks of 
quicksand and gravel, and discharges its waters into French Creek. 

The west branch of Sugar Creek, according to Prof. Carll, probably flowed 
northwestward in pre-glacial times, through the flat divide along the present 


channel of Woodcock Run. When this channel was filled by the ice with 
drift, a lake was formed and a new outlet was cut southward in the direction 
of Franklin and the Allegheny River. The greatest quantity of drift was 
dumped into the valley about Guy's Mills, where the surface is now forty feet 
higher than the streams. The water plain of the valley is a mile wide; and 
the bordering hill- slopes rise abruptly from it to a height of 200 feet. Six 
miles lower down, the stream spreads out into the handsome piece of water 
known as Sugar Lake, which was formerly much deeper than at present, as 
the clearing of the upland slopes is rapidly filling it with sand and mud. The 
east branch of Sugar Creek heads in like manner in the drift-filled valley 
plain around Townville, and possibly once poured its waters northward down 
the channel of Muddy Creek, The head waters of Little Sugar are located in 
drift-plain valleys on a level with the heads of Mill and Woodcock Runs, 
which flow respectively toward Meadville and Saegertown. 

Oil Creek drains all of eastern Crawford, southward into the Allegheny 
River. Prof. Carll holds the opinion that in pre-glacial times, before the rock- 
gate at Titusville was opened, all the Pine Creek waters of Warren and 
Venango Counties flowed past Titusville northwestwardly along the present 
channel of Oil Creek, and being joined at Hydetown by Little Oil Creek and 
Thompson's Run, and near Tryonville by the East and West Branches of Oil 
Creek, poured along the channel of Muddy into French Creek ; the present 
water-shed west of Tryonville being merely a slight elevation in the drift- 
plain of the ancient valley. The northern feeders of Oil Creek descend south- 
ward from the Concord-Sparta-Bloomfield highlands with its maximum hill- 
tops of 1,850 feet above tide water, or 1,277 feet above Lake Erie. Near the 
head of the West Branch lies Oil Creek Lake, fed by two runs from the high- 
lands, and numerous springs which rise from its bottom and sides. The val- 
ley of Oil Creek is wide and flat, and the hills rise abruptly and often with 
cliffs from its flood-plain, showing that its ancient bed lies far beneath the 
present surface. The following levels of Oil Creek will show its present rate 
of descent : 

Ocean. Lake Erie. 

Feet. Feet. 

Oil Creek Lake , 1,389 816 

RiceviUe (water) 1,325 752 

Centerville (water) 1,275 702 

Tryonville (water) 1,260 687 

Road northeast corner Troy Township 1,250 675 

Hydetown (water) 1,230 657 

Titusville (water) 1,160 ' 587 

Oil City (water) 985 413 

Geological Series. — The soils of Crawford, while they often yield bounti- 
ful crops, are eminentlji adapted to grazing, and can be most successfully 
employed for such purposes. There are two principal classes of soils ; one, 
derived from the decomposition of drift material ; the other, originating in the 
decay of vegetable matter in the vicinity of bogs and land reclaimed from 
swamps. From the drift there generally results a strong, clayey or sometimes 
gravelly soil, rich in fertilizing elements; but owing to the impervious bed of 
clay, which so often accompanies the drift, this soil is generally inclined to 
be cold and wet, so that the land has to be thoroughly under-drained 
before first-class crops can be raised. The swamp lands, when properly 
drained and cleared up, possess almost inexhaustible resources. The deep 
covering of decayed vegetable mold found in such large quantities in every 
bog within the county, would make an excellent top-dressing for the colder 
clay soils derived from drift ; and the attention of farmers cannot be too strongly 


called to this valuable source of manure for their lands, procurable in vast 
quantities and at a slight cost. 

Drift. — There is no land within the county that has not been affected by 
the great ice sheet, which in glacial times moved southwestward over this en- 
tire region. At Meadville, Prof. White found glacial scratches upon the 
upper surface of the Sharon Conglomerate which forms the top of College 
Hill, 1,550 feet above tide, 1,177 feet above Lake Erie, and 500 feet above the 
present bed of French Creek, which is, he thinks, at least 300 feet above its 
old water-course beneath the drift. On the supposition that the old buried 
channel of the stream at Meadville was already that deep previous to the 
glacial invasion, the ice-sheet must have been at least 800 feet thick here. The 
direction of the ice-grooves examined by Prof. White on thirty or forty sum- 
mits in Erie and Crawford Counties was uniformly about S. 30*^ E., or 
south -south east. The greatest thickness of the ice-sheet, thus moving from 
the north-northwest, must have been over the low-lying western townships, and 
its .thin melting edge over the eastern townships, around and between hills 
formed or capped by harder rocks than those of the lower lands. 

The varied cliaracter of the northern drift deposits can be well studied 
along the shore of Lake Erie, towards the Ohio State line, where they consti- 
tute a terrace bluff, from iifty to eighty feet high. Stratified rocks are 
scarcely anywhere exposed along the shore west of Erie, except at the mouths 
and in the beds of inflowing streams. The matrix is a bluish-white tough clay 
imbedding fragments, mostly angular, of all kinds of crystaline rocks, with 
sandstone, shale, black slate and limestone; and occasionally a large bowlder 
of granite or gneiss is seen protruding from the mass. 

Quicksand is abundant in the drift deposits of the region back from Lake 
Erie, and especially along the summit level of the old Beaver & Erie Canal. 
A bed of it two feet thick was found in cutting the channel for the canal; and 
for a mile and a half the sides and bottom of the canal had to be timbered 
and boarded. Along the depression of Conneaut Lake the drift is probably 
very deep, and the valley of Conneaut Creek is heaped with drift from the 
summit down to the great bend in Erie County. Mr.- Schotield, of Conneaut- 
ville, gave Prof. White the following record of a drillhole which he put down 
near that borough: 


Gravel, bowlders, clay, etc 11^ 

Shale and sand layers 30 

Quicksand '. 45 

After drilling through thirty feet of what he then supposed to be bed rock, 
the tools dropped, and, says Mr. Scholield, "quicksand boiled up like mush." 
The drive pipe had to be extended to ]87 feet ere striking bedrock. 

The drift in French Creek valley is very deep. About four miles below 
Meadville, a drive pipe was put down 285 feet without touching bottom rock ; 
all the way through quicksand and bowlders. The drift on Oil Creek is shown 
by well borings to be from 100 to 200 feet deep. On Muddy Creek the water 
wells are dug in quicksand, and heaps of drift are to be seen everywhere on the 
surface. But on the high lands there seems to be but a thin coating of drift, 
and often nothing but scattered bowlders, with scratches and furrows on the 
rock surfaces. Glacial scratches are abundant on the surfaces of the harder 
sandstone outcrops, especially in Mead, Fairfield, Greenwood, East Fallowfield, 
Randolph, Wayne, East Fairfield, Union and South Shenango Townships. 
The scratched rocks nearly always belong to the Sharon conglomerate. Erratics, 
are abundant, and some may be found ten feet in diameter ; but they are not 
anything like so numerous in Crawford, as in the counties further south. The 


erratics were not brought by icebergs, but by glacial ice, and they naturally 
increase in number southward in the direction of the motion of the Great Beaver 
Valley glacier, on the principle of a terminal moraine. 

Buried Valleys. — The present water-courses of the county meander along 
the upper surfaces of drift deposits which fill up the ancient valleys to various 
heio-hts above the old rock beds, even in some places where no living stream 
now flows. The 285- foot drive-pipe of the Smith well, sunk in the valley of 
French Creek, about four miles below Meadville, serves to indicate the depth 
of the old valley floor. The hole was commenced on the plain, twenty feet 
above French Creek, or 482 feet above Lake Erie. The bottom of the pipe was 
therefore 197 feet above Lake Erie. Bed-rocks are frequently seen along 
French Creek, but the flood plain being two miles wide, there is ample space 
for a buried valley between the two wall slopes, though none has been reported, 
as oil borings are not numerous. The buried valley of Conneaut Lake and 
marsh is fully spoken of in the typography of the county. Its side-hills are 
300 feet above the present plain ; but the depth of the old rock floor is 
unknown. No rocks in place are seen along the Cussewago from Meadville up 
to near its head. The stream winds along between low banks of sand and gla- 
cial debris, which probably fill an ancient and now deeply-buried valley-bed. 
Similar appearances, and the putting down of drive-pipes indicate bm-ied val- 
leys along Muddy, Woodcock, Sugar and Little Sugar, Oil, Crooked, Shenango 
and Conneaut Creeks. Bed-rock was struck on Mr. Allen's farm above Sugar 
Lake at eighty feet. Near the south line of Troy Township, on Sugar Creek, 
John Armstrong's drive-pipe measured 130 feet. On Oil Creek, just above 
Hydetown on the Reed estate, drift 190 feet deep was found. Below Tryon- 
ville, on the Preston farm bed, rock was reached at 200 feet; and just west of 
this Mr. Gray's pipe touched rock at 160 feet. A drive-pipe reached rock at 
160 feet on each side of the stream below the Tryonville bridge ; while a mile 
above Centerville, bed-rock was found at ninety and 100 feet. We have pre- 
viously mentioned the depth of the drift on Conneaut Creek, found by Mr. 
Schofield to be 187 feet near Conneautville. 

The most remarkable of these buried valleys are those through which two 
streams now flow in opposite directions from a common divide, scarcely more 
elevated than other parts of the flood plain. Two fine examples of this phe- 
nomenon exist in Mead Township: Mill and Mud Runs, both of which have 
their heads together in a swamp located in a common wide and deep land val- 
ley, Mill Run flowing north and Mud Run south. The two valley walls slope 
gradually upward to a height of 350 feet. Prof. White holds the opinion that 
there must be an older and deeper valley bed buried beneath this swamp and 
these two streams; and that along this ancient rock-bed a single stream must 
have flowed in one or the other direction. Another example is Little Sugar 
Creek, (east branch) which flows southward past Mead's Corners, in a similar 
drift-filled, ancient valley, out from an imperceptible divide in Mead Town- 
ship, from which another stream flows north into Woodcock Run. The hill 
walls are here 200 feet bigh. Woodcock Run and the West Branch of Sugar 
Creek head together at Guy's Mills on the flat floor of a through-cut valley bound- 
ed by hills 200 feet high, and flow in opposite directions'. The south fork of 
Muddy Creek and the north branch of Sugar Creek head together at Town- 
ville, in a through-cut valley, the walls of which rise very high. The streams 
are separated by a ridge of drift forty feet high which crosses the valley floor 
at this point. 

Prof. White's theory regarding these ancient buried valleys, is that they 
were excavated by ancient rivers flowing from one to f oi;r hundred feet beneath 


the present valley drift floors; or they were cut by the gi'eat southward Cana- 
dian ice sheet, which as it retreated tilled them up again with the debris which 
it carried; or they were first excavated by pre-glacial rivers, then deepened and 
widened more or less, and grooved and scratched and polished by the ice, and 
filled with its moraine matter to the present levels. His conviction is, how- 
ever, that these buried water-ways must have owed their origin to the flowing 
power of ice. 

Pottsville Conglomerate. — This great formation is represented along 
the southern border of Crawford County, by four more or less massive and 
sometimes pebbly sandstone deposits separated by softer shaly layers, and 
known under the general title of Homewood Sandstone, 50 feet; Mercer Group, 
30 feet; Conoquenessing, 120 feet; and Sharon, 98 feet. The few fragments 
of Homewood Sandstone which i-emain in this county, are concealed beneath 
a covering of northern drift. Where Fairfield-Greenwood Township line 
strikes Mercer County, a coal-boring on a small hill-top went through 50 feet of 
sandstone, probably the Homewood, which is always found in the highest sum- 
mits. In Wayne Township, south of Sugar Lake, near the county line a drift- 
covered hill-top, rising 325 feet above the Shenango sandstone, ought to hold 

The Mercer Group appears along the southern edge of the county as sandy 
shales, everywhere concealed by the drift; but a drift-hole, near the southwest 
corner of Fairfield Township, reported a few inches of coaly substance iu 
30 feet of shales. 

The Conoquenessing has three formations: upper sandstone, Quakertown 
beds, and lower sandstone. The upper sandstone caps a number of the high- 
est knobs. On Culver and Dyce's knob, in the center of Greenwood Town- 
ship, 1,400 feet above tide,* large masses of grayish- white pebbly sandstone 
lie 130 feet above the Sharon coal, opened in the flats below. John Shepard's 
knob, in east Fallowfield, 1,420 feet above tide, is capped with massive white 
sandstone, 125 feet above the Sharon coal. Several hills in Fairfield, toward 
French Creek and Conneaut Lake, are capped by it. Voi son's quarry, on the 
south side of a high ridge in Randolph Township, shows thirty feet of very 
hard, white, tolerably coarse-grained sandstone. The top of the rock is about 
1,550 feet above tide. The upper surface of the white, coarse sandstone in 
McCartney's ledge, near Randolph Fostoffice, is scored with glacial furrows. 
The top of the rock is 1,650 feet above tide, and the southern dip to Voison's 
quarry, five miles south, is twenty feet per mile. Power's knob, two miles 
east and a little north of McCartney's ledge, at the southern edge of Rich- 
mond, is capped with white sandstone. Thirty feet of the rock are visible, the 
top of which is 1,650 feet above tide. 

In Troy and Steuben Townships, where the hills often rise above the hori- 
zon of this stratum, there are often found great numbers of small bowlders 
of a sandstone, which is pitted with small cavities in such a manner as to give 
it a rude resemblance to a honey-comb, or more accurately, to a hornet's nest. 
The small cavities seem to be tilled with a ferruginous clayey material, which 
readily crumbles and falls out when it is exposed by fracture, and thus leaves 
the sandstone punctured with numerous small holes one-fourth to three-eights 
of an inch in diameter. 

The Quakertown coal exists iu the Voison knob in Randolph Township; 
since lumps of outcrop coal are found in the large spring under the quarried 
sandstone. Elsewhere its outcrop is always concealed by sandstone fragments 
fallen from above. 

* Lake Erie is 573 feet lower than tide level. 


The lower sandstone is seen at several localities along the southex'n portion 
of the county, and is nearly always a very hard, coarse, sometimes pebbly, 
often micaceous, grayish brown sandstone, with occasionally a tinge of buff. 
On Miller's land, on the south line of east Fallowfield, it overlies the Sharon 
coal fifteen feet, and is forty feet thick, disintegrating on exposure to the 
weather. At McEntire'e, further north in the same township, only ten feet 
of it remain, broken into large and small fragments, perhaps by the passage of 
the northern ice. At the top of Pine knoll, west part of Wayne, it overlies a 
worked coal bed, and is crushed to fragments. On Wentworth's and other 
farms south of Sugar Lake it is plainly visible. This sandstone is sometimes 
itself divided into two layers, separated by twenty or thirty feet of shale, its 
lower sandy mass then forming the roof of the Sharon coal bed. 

Sharon has four formations: Upper iron shales, coal, lower shales, and 
conglomerate. Owing to the very limited extent of the Sharon coal in this 
district, the usual iron-bearing shales, so often seen above it, in the Shenango 
and Mahoning Valleys, are but seldom exposed, and have yielded iron ore only 
in two instances. At James M. Snodgrass', near Jamestown, in South She- 
nango Township, a bed of solid iron ore two feet thick, covered by four feet 
of blue shale, was stripped from the hill top, and sent to Greenville and Mid- 
dlesex Furnaces. The ore lying in dish-shaped depressions frequently ran 
out. A thin coal bed underlies the ore, and may represent a rider of the 
Sharon coal, as often happens in Mercer County. It lies 140 feet above the 
base of the Shenango sandstone in the hollow to the west. At McDaniels', on 
Sugar Creek, and the Yenango County line, a rich carbonate iron ore-bed, one 
foot thick, has been stripped and drifted into for Liberty Furnace. The shales 
above it hold much kidney ore which was also mined. The Sharon coal lies 
twenty feet under it. This iron ore horizon might, doubtless, be found 
workable at other places along the southern edge of the county. 

The Sharon coal bed is thin and poor, and appears only at intervals around 
the edges of the high isolated acres of conglomerate, in Crawford County. 
Except in a few knobs which catch it in their summits further north, it is con- 
fined to the southern tier of townships; and as a workable bed it is almost 
confined to East Fallowfield, through the hills of which it spreads pretty gen- 
erally and regularly. At O. K. Miller's Mine, near the county line, where 
several hundred tons were taken out before bad drainage spoiled the workings, 
the bed varies from three feet to a few inches, and in some directions to noth- 
ing. It is somewhat slaty, but a genuine " block coal," and lies in twenty- 
five feet of shales. Fifteen feet over it is seen the base of forty feet of Con- 
oquenessing lower sandstone, and ten feet under it the top of the massive Sharon 
conglomerate, here very pebbly. The McEntire settlement, two miles north of 
Miller's Mine, furnished coal at an early day, which was hauled to Meadville. 
James M. McEntire described his coal bed to Prof. White as six feet of impure 
cannel, overlying four feet of block coal, making a total thickness of ten feet. 
The upper bench was really a bituminous shale, although it could be burned; 
and both layers were very variable, often running down to nothing. The coal 
on Jesse McEntire's land was chiefly stripped; but these McEntire Mines were 
long ago exhausted. 

In Greenwood Township several borings have reported the Sharon coal. 
In Union Township Huber & Klippel stripped a few tons from the steep slope 
of Dutch Hill, a high knob half a mile from French Creek. On the opposite 
slopes of French Creek Valley, near the north line of East Fairfield, a Byhm's 
shaft was sunk in 1878. Under fifty-five feet of drift it reached the coal bed, 
where the glacial movement had crushed it into an unminable condition. In 



Mead three or four water-wells report the coal bed always under drift, and in 
a broken-xip state. In Wright's well, two miles and a half due east of Moad- 
ville, the coal bed was struck after passing through twenty-five feet of drift. 
On the summit of Pine Knoll, in Wayne Township, whore coal has been worked 
on a small scale for a long time, the bed is only one foot thick. In the Went- 
worth oil-boring, southeast edge of Wayne, the Sharon coal bod was reported 
at a depth of fifty-five feet, as follows : Coal, upper bench, one foot ; cannel 
slate parting, five feet ; coal, lower bench, two feet. Both top and bottom 
benches looked like "block coal," free from sulphur, and the slaty parting 
could be burned. In Troy and Steuben Townships numerous highlands have 
sufficient elevation to catch the Sharon coal, but it has not been found, and 
very little efi"ort has been made to see if it existed. 

The Sharon lower shales are covei'ed by tire-clay, which underlies the Sha- 
ron coal bed; and these shales sometimes graduate downward into the Sharon 
conglomerate series. The interval between the bottom of the coal and the top 
of the solid sandstone varies from five to fifteen feet. 

The Sharon conglomerate is a widespread deposit of sand and pebbles of 
quartz, and has been surveyed throughout the whole extent of the western and 
northern counties of Pennsylvania. In Crawford County it is exhibited in a 
remarkably satisfactory and complete manner, by the Meadville quarries on 
College Hill. Here building-stone layers, with an occasional pebble, occupy 
the upper thirty-five feet ; and the lower ten feet is a conglomerated mass of 
quartz pebbles. The upper beds are of a rather hard, coarse, dull gray sandstone 
(often reddish when first quarried), containing an occasional pebble of quartz ; 
but building-stone free from pebbles can usually be got by not quarrying 
down too low. The building material obtained from it is quite durable when 
nothing but the homogeneous sandstone is used; but toward the lower portion, 
where the pebbles increase in number and begin to be scattered through the 
matrix, the sand grains become quite coarse and seem to have little power of 
coherence, since they rapidly break loose from each other on exposure, and the 
sandstone soon decays. Great care should be taken in putting up a stone 
structure from this rock, that no pebbles enter into the composition of any 
material exposed to the action of the weather. In some of the quarries at 
Meadville, thirty feet of this upper division is taken out. The lower division, 
as seen along the by-road passing up to the quarries, is a perfect mass of 
quartz pebbles, varying in size from a pea to a hen's egg, and always egg- 
shaped, never flattened or worn into thin forms, such as we often see in the 
conglomerates which come in the series below this horizon. The matrix of 
these pebbles is a coarse, greenish-grey sand, which disintegrates very readily 
and lets the imbedded pebbles drop out in a loose heap around the outcrop 

A peculiar lithology, different from that of any other rock in the conglom- 
erate series, distinguishes the Sharon conglomerate, so that a person who has 
once learned to know it can rarely fail to recognize it even in scattered frag- 
ments. The size of the pebbles seems to increase going east; for while the 
largest seen in Crawford County by Prof. White was not larger than a hen's 
egg, they are found along the Allegheny River as large as a goose's egg. The 
areas, surrounded by local outcrops of Sharon conglomerate in this county, 
are largest and longest west of the meridian of Little Cooley and Townville. 
Between that meridian and the Warren County line, in the upper Oil Creek 
country, only small isolated patches of the rock have been left. These variations 
of erosion are mostly due to variations in the lithological constitution of the 
formation; for, instead of being as thick and massive everywhere as it is at 
Meadville, it changes in many places to a series of thin bedded, fine grained 


sandstones, hardly less capable of resisting erosion than the formations under- 
neath it. It is not unfrequently current-bedded; as. for example at Henry's 
quarry in East Fallowfield Township. And here also the top layer is honey- 
combed, apparently from the decomposition of the erect stems of a seaweed 
(fucoid); and it also contains fragments of the scales and bones of fish. The 
general northern outcrop of the Sharon conglomerate as a formation, or the 
line along the northern ends of all its separate areas, crosses Crawford County 
from its southwest to its northeast corner, and the elevations above tide along 
this line increase in that direction. 

Subconglomerate Formations. — This term is applied by Prof. White, to a 
series of deposits underlying the Sharon conglomerate in this region, and 
resting on the Venango Oil Land group. They make most of the uplands of 
Crawford County, while the valleys between are occupied by the Venango Oil 
Land group. The series may be divided into three groups thus: Shenango 
group, 75 feet; Meadville group, 205 feet; Oil Lake group, 162 feet. A 
reference to the stratification in the vicinity of Meadville, will tend to convey 
a tolerably exact conception of the nature of the beds of rock which occupy 
the 400 feet of depth below the base of the conglomerate stratum which there 
caps the hills forming part of the general margin of the coal field. These 
hills on the north and south of Meadville are at their greatest elevation 488 
feet above the bottom of the old French Creek canal feeder, and expose the 
upper strata especially with some degree of distinctness. The lower strata 
are not so continuously exposed to view, making it more difficult to determine 
their true order of succession. Near the level of the canal, the beds are of 
brown slate and sandstone, and over this, we find a thin bed of clayey shale, 
then a sandstone repeated, and then another layer of red and gray shale two 
or three feet thick. At a higher level are seen thin beds of calcareous shale, 
some of which abound in fossil shells and other organic remains. From this 
shale to a height of 150 feet occur alternations of coarse brown sandstone and 
thinly laminated bluish slates and flaggy olive sandstones and olive slates. 
At that height we meet a bed of blue shale four feet thick, and over it a brown 
sandstone and olive slate, until we reach 235 feet above the bottom of the 
canal, where we encounter a bed of sandy limestone. Under the limestone, 
in a massive bluish sandstone, we find thin layers of an impure iron ore. 
Ascending from the limestone, we pass thick beds of brown bluish sandstone 
(some of the latter being slightly calcareous), thin beds of fossiliferous and 
calcareous slate, succeeded by others of brown and blue shale. At the height 
of 412 feet we arrive at the base of the great bed of Sharon conglomerate, 
which is also seen at the height of 450 feet. 

The Shenango Group embraces the Shenango shales and Shenango sand- 
stone formations. The Shenango shale, under the Sharon conglomerate in 
Crawford County, generally consists entirely of blue, gray and brown clay 
shales, but frequently contains thin flaggy sandstone layers, which in one lo- 
cality examined by Prof. White merged into a solid sandstone ten feet thick. 
A streak of iron ore is nearly always found at the base of the shales in Crawford 
County, an irregular layer of clay ironstone balls. Fossils rarely appear in 
the Shenango shale, biit when found, are of sub- carboniferous types. Plant 
remains are found in the upper part of the Shenango shale at the Snodgrass 
quarry, near Jamestown. The average thickness of this shale through Craw- 
ford County may be called fifty feet, being nowhere less than thirty-six, nor 
more than sixty. 

The Shenango sandstone in this county is tolerably coarse grained, yellow- 
ish brown or sometimes a dull gray in color, crowded with balls of iron ore 


from six inches to one foot in diametei-, or even lai'ger. Fish-bones, teeth, 
scales and spines are everywhere found in it, while small rounded pebbles of 
shale or fine sandstone are also common. The remains of plants and shells 
may be found in most of its exposed outcrops. As a building stone it is very 
valuable, far superior to the Sharon conglomerate above it, in resistance to 
weather, being composed of nearly a pure quartz sand, the grains cemented 
by peroxide of iron. Its ore-balls, hovs^ever, are so numerous, that it is almost 
impossible to dress up the blocks, which are therefore rejected for ornamental 
uses, and used almost only for bridge abutments, piers and other strong 
structures. It was used in the locks of the Beaver & Erie Canal, where it is 
to-day as sound as when quarried. Jackson's quarry, between Atlantic and 
Evansburg, has furnished most of the bridge stone, etc., along the New York, 
Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad. 

The outcrop enters Crawford County on the east bank of Shenango Creek, 
runs to the center of South Shenango Township, then east through West Fal- 
lowtield and returns back of Adamsville, 250 feet above the level of Crooked 
Creek. It runs north and south through East Fallowfield, overlooking the 
railroad; circles at Stony Point through Sadsbury, back into East Fallowfield, 
and so follows the south hills of Conneaut Outlet through Greenwood and 
Fairfield, and down French Creek Valley into Venango County. It encircles 
the high lands in Vernon and Union, about 250 feet above the level of Con- 
neaut Outlet. It runs along the Meadville Hills, at about 375 feet above the 
level of French Creek; and looks down from the south and west upon the great 
bend of Woodcock Run, along the north and west lines of Randolph. It 
stretches from around the hill-tops of New Richmond southward through Troy 
Township into Venango County, and occupies the high summit of northern 
Athens west of Riceville on Oil Creek, of western Sparta, and east of Oil 
Creek Lake, thence enters Warren County. The rise from the Snodgrass quarry 
near Jamestown, which is 1,190 feet above tide to the highest knob in the 
southeast corner of Erie County, forty-six miles distant, and 1,860 feet above 
tide, is 670 feet or fourteen and one-half feet per mile. The thickness of the 
Shenango sandstone in Crawford County varies from fifteen to thirty-five feet. 
Natural exposures of considerable beauty may be found in two localities. In 
Greenwood Township, half a mile south of Custard's Postoffice, fine cliffs enclose 
a deep and narrow gorge, with a waterfall thirty feet high. Here immense 
quantities of ore-balls may be seen, many of them larger than ostrich eggs; 
base of rock 1,270 feet above tide. Grassy Run, in Wayne Township, three- 
fourths of a mile above its mouth, cuts a chasm through the rocks, with cliffs thirty- 
five feet high; base of rock 1,315 above tide. Hundreds of other inferior 
outcrops might be enumerated. As this sandstone is followed eastward it 
becomes coarser and more massive, for while its bottom layers only begin to 
be pebbly at Meadville, at Warren the pebble-rock is from forty to forty-five 
feet thick, and at Franklin is extensively quarried 120 feet above the water in 
French Creek. 

The Meadville Group consists of the Meadville upper shales, Meadville 
upper limestone, Meadville lower shales, Sharpsville upper sandstone, 
Meadville lower limestone, Sharpsville lower limestone and Orangeville 
shales. The Meadville upper shales are bluish-gray, or ashen gray in color, 
argillaceous at the top, sandy lower down, sometimes flaggy, but never massive. 
Where well exposed at the head of the Cemetery Branch of Mill Run, near 
Meadville, they are 15 feet thick; one mile east of this 30 feet; on Grassy Run^ 
in Wayne Township, 36^ feet; at Custard's Postoffice, 30 feet; at Jamestown, 25 
feet; near Dutch Hill,^ in Union Township, 40 feet, and in East Fallowfield, 


where the road crosses Unger's Run, 15 feet, Fucoids, or sea- weeds, are numer- 
ous in these shales. 

The Meadville upper limestone is exposed in many places across Crawford 
County. Its thickness seldom exceeds one foot, often not six inches, and never 
more than one foot six inches. Fish scales, teeth, bones, plates, and spines, 
are so crowded into it, that at many localities it might be called a fishbone con- 
glomerate, in which it is difficult to detect any other materials. There are 
many novelties in the Meadville upper limestone, and materials for its study 
are abundant and easily accessible. Rounded pebbles of shale and fine sand- 
stone are nearly always to be found in it; usually of a dark color, and derived 
from older strata of the series. In some places these pebbles are very numer- 
ous, and are usually flat, or lenticular, sometimes worn oval, and tapering to a 
blunt point. The Limestone matrix is not a pure carbonate of lime; but con- 
tains much silicia, etc., and often resembles a sandstone weathered. The rock 
has the peculiar sub-carboniferous-limestone fracture of this region, the broken 
surface being covered with many small elliptical, glassy, sparkling spots (which 
look like small shells until they are closely examined) due to asemi-crystilliza- 
tion of the carbonate of lime. The best places to study this rock and to collect 
its fossils are as follows : The gorge south of Custard's Postoffice ; the ravines east 
of Meadville leading to Mill Run; the ravines two and a half miles east of 
Meadville, descending to Woodcock Creek; Grassy Run, in Wayne Township; 
the ravine at Jamestown; and at McElhenny's, two miles north of Jamestown. 
Good exposures can be found on the many small streams descending to Crooked 
Creek, near Adamsville; but fish remains can be found almost anywhere on the 
lines of outcrop. 

The Meadvillelower shales are, like the upper, generally ash-gray and blu- 
ish, sandy, alternating with sandy flags, increasing in number toward the bot- 
tom. The thickness may be said to average about forty feet, althoagh it some- 
times reaches sixty. The outcrop extends little beyond that of the Shenango 
sandstone, because the latter was its only protection from erosion. Fucoids and 
badly preserved shells are numerous in the lower shales. 

The Sharpsville upper sandstone underlies the shales at Meadville ; and in 
some places the increase of muddy material upward is the only limiting cir- 
cumstance. Layers of tine bluish-gray or grayish-brown flagstone, from one to 
two feet thick, alternate with thin layers of grayish shale. Rarely the shale 
amounts to one-third of the mass ; often to so little that the flags are almost a 
solid series. Quarried in districts destitute of better stone, this deposit affords 
building materials for cellar walls and other rough work. Good building 
stone is got from a layer three feet thick, just south of Atlantic Station ; also 
near Jamestown, at the county line, and at Miller's, two miles northwest of 
Jamestown, but its somber hue is disliked for building purposes. Poorly pre- 
served shells are usually found in this stone, and sometimes fish remains. The 
Sharpsville upper sandstone mass in Crawford County is about fifty feet thick. 
Its outcrop ranges considerably north of that of the Shenango sandstone ; but 
except a few isolated knobs in the eastern part of Erie County, it does not 
stretch north of the Crawford County line. 

The Meadville lower limestone is a thin bed of impure limestone, which 
at Meadville lies 235 feet above the canal bottom. It is wedged in between 
the Sharpsville upper and lower sandstones, weathering like them, and cov- 
ered by their fragments. Seldom more than two feet thick, and often only 
one foot, it is nevertheless so persistent that it may be found in every part of 
Crawford County. From the base of the Sharon conglomerate down to the 
Meadville lower limestone, Prof, White found the interval in this county never 


less than 190 feet. This limestone is very hard and flinty, breaking with the 
same peculiar fracture mentiooed already in the description of the Meadville 
upper limestone. The hardness of these limestone beds compared with that of 
the measures enclosing them, causes little water-falls in the beds of the stream- 
lets, descending the hill slopes ; and in some places the water flows over the 
limestone stratum for a considerable distance above such a cascade. Non-fos 
siliferous in Crawford County, as a rule, this lower Meadville limestone differs 
in a striking manner from the upper one, and only at one or two localities in 
this county did Prof. White find any fish scales or shells. A very good and 
nearly pure white lime has been made from this stone in certain exceptional 
localities in Crawford County. On Deckard's Run it was once quarried to a con- 
siderable extent by Mr. Shaey and burned into plastering lime ; but at other 
points the attempt resulted in failure, as the excess of sand in the rock pro- 
duced in the lime a slag which rendered it almost worthless. Outcrops excel 
lent for study, may be found in this county, near Jamestown ; in the hollow 
down from the bridge below the Snodgrass quarry ; near Meadville, in the 
cemetery grounds; at the hydraulic ram on Mill Ran; at Geneva in the bed of 
the run just west of the railroad station; and at the heads of the ravines on 
the west branch of Cussewago Creek, in Hayfield Township. 

The Sharpsville lower sandstone is a series of six-inch and two foot flags, 
exactly like the upper sandstone. Its usual thickness is from ten to twelve 
feet, though in one place it measures thirty feet. 

The Orangeville shales are genei'ally of a dark bluish coloi*, often holding 
small lenticular nodules of clay-iron stone, but more commonly weatherino- 
brown from disseminated iron. A few thin layers of sand are found scattered 
through the shales, which, in Crawford County, range from less than 60 to 120 
feet in thickness, reaching the latter figure on Cussewago Creek, though the 
usual thickness throughout the county may bo estimated at 100 feet. Shells 
and fish remains are distributed from top to bottom, and are its only fossils. 
The best fossil localities of the Orangeville shales in this county are as fol- 
lows: the ravines of Hayfield Township, right bank of Cussewago Creek; the 
ravines of Mead and East Fairfield Township, left bank of French Creek, and 
the banks of the Shenango at Jamestown, where the Gibson well starts at the 
top of the shales. Good exposures are also frequent in the common road 
cuttings of Richmond, Randolph, Woodcock, Vernon, Sadsbury, Summit and 
Summerhill Townships. 

The Oil Lake Group is composed of the Corry sandstone, the Cussewago lime- 
stone, shales, and sandstone, and the Riceville shale. In the Gibson well at James- 
town, the record gives thirty feet fine blue sand, sixty-five blue slate, and five 
feet of coarse light colored sand; total, 100 feet. At Oil Creek Lake the whole 
thickness is 130 feet. The Corry sandstone presents similar features in all of 
the numerous quarries of this region. It rises from the bed of Oil Creek, near 
Titusville; is finely exposed along Pine Creek; and identified along Thompson's 
run with the third mountain sand of the Pleasantville wells, in Venango County. 
North of Titusville, just below Kerr's mill-dam, on Thompson's run, is a fine 
massive ledge of it; and from here up, both sides of Oil Creek, it can be stud- 
ied at Hydetown, Centerville, Riceville, and at Dobbins' quariy on Oil Creek 
Lake. Along French Creek it shows itself in many ravines, and was once 
quarried in the bluff opposite Meadville. On Cussewago Creek, at Little's 
Corners, and on the run a mile above, a considerable amount of Corry sand- 
stone has been taken out. At Mr. Montgomery's extensive quarries, in Sum- 
merhill Township, two and a half miles south-east of Conneautville, it is ten 
feet thick. In Pine Township, just north of Linesville, and also in the hills 
one mile east of the Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad station at Linesville, arequar- 


ries from which much thin stone has been taken for well work, etc. Near 
the northwest corner of North Shenango Township, its outcrop passes into 
Ohio. Its rise northward up Oil Creek Valley shoots it over all of Erie 
County except a few of the highest hills in the southeastern portion. 

The Cussewago limestone greatly resembles the Meadville upper and lower 
limestones, and shows the same glassy fracture, but is a better limestone. It 
underlies the Meadville lower limestone from 120 to 130 feet, and no fossils 
have been discovered in it in this county. In Cussewago valley it may be 
seen in several ravines; and it is finely exposed on Mr. Line's farm, a mile 
and a half below Little's Corners. One mile west of Venango, in Venango 
Township, in Kleckner's ravine, it is two feet thick; and blocks of it strewn 
along the run have made tolerably good lime. Here it underlies the top of 
the Corry sandstone by twenty feet. 

The Cussewago shales separate the Corry sandstone above from the Cusse- 
wago sandstone below, and hold (near the top) the Cussewago limestone. In 
some places the interval between the two sandstones is filled, not with shales 
(with the limestone), but with sandy flags (without the limestone): and this 
accounts for the great thickness of the whole sandstone mass. The prevailing 
color of these shales is a bluish or ashen gray, and their average thickness is 
about thirty -five feet. 

The Cussewago sandstone as it exhibits itself along the Cussewago valley 
is a very coarse rock, commonly of a bluish-brown color, and in many places 
contains pebbles; but its sand grains cohere so loosely, that the seemingly 
massive rock crumbles after a short exposure to a bed of sand. Where it crops 
out on the roadside near Summit Station in Conneaut Township it can be 
shoveled like beach sand. Manganese oxide (Wad) fills the crevices of the rock 
as exposed just west of Little's Corners, and is the probable agent in black- 
ening the top of the formation elsewhere. At Meadville it lies in the hill- 
sides 140 feet above French Creek. From French Creek to the Ohio line it 
can generally be traced by the sand along its disintegrated outcrop; but from 
French Creek eastward, it seems to become harder and more compact. On 
Oil Creek, it is a veiy hard sandstone, thirty feet thick. Its color is not 
always buff- brown; occasionally it is a dark green, or greenish blue. Frag- 
ments of wood are sometimes imbedded in it as at Bartholomew's in Hayfield 
Township; while flat quartz pebbles are seen in it at many localities. 

The Riceville shale lies beneath the Cussewago sandstone and down to 
the first oil sand of the Venango group, a distance of about eighty feet. It is 
a series of very fossiliferous drab, bluish and gray, sandy shales, sometimes 
shaly sandstones. On Oil Creek this series is well exposed in the bluff just 
west of Riceville. On the right bank of French Creek, near the southern 
edge of Hayfield Township these shales may be seen under the Cussewago 
sandstone seventy-five feet thick. Fossils may be found abundantly at many 
places fifteen feet or more beneath the outcrop of the Cussewago sandstone. 
On Cussewago Creek, in a ravine just south of Little's Corners, a few thin 
layers of bituminous slate scattered through two or three feet of shale, twenty- 
five feet under the Cussewago sandstones (that is, fifty feet beneath its top line) 
were opened for cannel coal. The chippings would burn, but were mostly 
ashes; and the streaks never came together to form a bed. 

Venango Oil Sand Group. — This group is divided into the Venango upper 
sandstone or first oil sand, upper shales, middle sandstone or second oil sand, 
lower shales, and lower sandstone or third oil sand. It must be distinctly 
understood that the first and second oil sands are of no account in Crawford 
County. But the Venango group, as such, is traceable through this region, not 
only by its relation to the Corry and Cussewago sandstone zone above it, and 


its persistent thickness of from 250 to 350 feet ; but also, and especially, by a 
massive sand and sometimes gravel deposit at its base, which can be nothing 
else than the third oil sand, beneath which there are nothing but shales for 
hundreds of feet. Some radical changes of constitution take place in the 
Venango oil group toward its outcrop in Crawford County. The most practi- 
cally important of these changes was discovered in the early years of the oil 
excitement, when a sufficient number of holes had been drilled northwest of 
Titusville to prove the absence of the oil sands as oil-bearing sands in all the 
country between the oil belt, which crosses lower Oil Creek and Lake Erie. 
A coarse sandstone is the only reservoir of free petroleum ; and a loose, gravelly 
sandstone is the only kind of "sand" from which an oil-producer expects a 
free flow of petroleum in large quantities at a time. The deposits of coarse, 
gravelly sand in the Venango group are confined to two narrow belts of country 
that do not touch Crawford County. 

The Venango Upper Sandstone at Meadville is from twenty to twenty -five 
feet thick. It rises out of the bed of French Creek and runs along the west 
bank of the stream, and is easily traceable by frequent exposures northward. 
Two miles north of Saegertown the upper sandstone flags form a fine blufi" on 
the east bank of French Creek, where twenty feet of coarse dark-brownish 
sandstone layers, one to two feet thick, are cut through by the railroad. 

The Venango Upper Shale is of a pale-blue color and underlies the first oil 
sand from ninety to 100 feet thick. Occasional thin sandy layers are seen, 
and these sometimes thicken into sandy flags. Fossil shells are quite abun- 
dant in most places where the shales appear. 

The Venango Middle Sandstone follows the upper shales and is exposed 
along some of the streams in Erie County, and its presence is indicated in 
Crawford by the shape of the ground, and borings along Oil Creek and other 

The Venango Lower Shales form the interval of from 100 to 125 feet 
between the Venango middle and lower sandstones, and are composed of blue, 
gray and brown shales, very fossiliferous. Sometimes the whole interval 
wears a dark colored aspect. The rock when broken is as hard as flint ; but of 
its old exposed surfaces nothing is left but the soft, earthy, darkened matrix, 
all the line of the fossils having been dissolved, the decomposition often pene- 
trating to the depth of a foot. Many of the scattered blocks yet retain a core 
of the hard rock. 

The Venango Lower Sandstone is the famous "third oil sand" of the old 
oil region, and borings between Titusville and Lake Erie enabled Prof. White 
to establish its existence in different portions of Crawford County. The out- 
crop encloses Conneaut Creek for four miles above and below Spring Borough, 
in Spring Township, which is the only place that Prof. White found it exposed 
in this county. Its varying depths place it 750 feet beneath the Sharon con- 
glomerate; and its exposures always show it charged with petroleum, even 
where it is sand and not gravel rock. Its lower layers yield excellent building 
stone nearly everywhere; and it is the principal quarry rock of Erie County. 
In Crawford a number of bore-holes have struck the Venango lower sandstone 
at various depths, and at some of these holes it contains more or less petro- 
leum. Its frequent exhibitions have been a fruitful source of vain hope and 
bootless enterprise to explorers. The quantity of petroleum which the deposit 
originally held cannot now be estimated. For ages the oil has been seeping 
away from it in springs, and escaping through its surface outcroppings. The 
whole deposit in Crawford County seems to be now practically voided, as the 
dry holes show but a residuum of oil, lowered in gravity and partly oxidized 
still remains. 



Land Provision Made fou Pennsylvania Soldiers of the Revolution by 
THE Act of 1780— Depreciation Certificates— Act of 1783— Deprecia- 
tion Lands— Donation l,ands— Survey and. Distribution of Military 
J.ANDS West of the Allegheny River— Unseated Lands— Act of 
1792— Prevention Clause in Said Act, and the Litigation and 
Troubles Arising Therefrom— Organization of Land Companies- 
Holland Land Company— Pennsylvania Population Company— North 
American Land Company— John Reynolds' Reminiscences of the Con- 
flict Between the Settlers and Land Companies, and the Injury 
Thereby inflicted on the Settlement and Prosperity of the County. 

THE beginning of the Revolutionary war, and the subsequent difficulties 
occasioned by a patriotic people struggling for liberty, without the means 
of sapporting an army, led to considerations which eventually resulted in a 
resolution to give to the soldier a permanent reward for his sacrifices, while 
engaged in freeing the country from the tyrannical oppression of English rule. 
The rapid depreciation of Continental currency, and the consequent rise in 
articles of necessity, from 1777 to 1781, rendered it essential that some addi- 
tional provisions should be made toward remunerating those who bore the 
heat and burden of the day; those who had left their homes and families to 
fight the battle of freedom. Impressed with a deep sense of indispensable 
duty, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law, on the 7th of March, 1780, 
declaratory of their intentions that the officers and soldiers of this State|in the 
service of the United States, who should serve during the war or die in the ser- 
vice, should have lands granted to them or their heirs at the end of the war, as 
a gift or donation, to remunerate them in some degree for services rendered, 
for the payment of which the Continental wages were so inadequate. 

During the Revolution, the value of the " bills of credit" issued by the 
State, as well as those issued by Congress, gradually depreciated from one 
to almost one hun4red per cent. ; and it was found very difficult to decide 
the amount of depreciation to be deducted in the payment of debts contracted 
during this period. To obviate this difficulty the Legislature passed a law, 
on the 3d of April, 1781, fixing a scale of depreciation, from one and one- 
half to seventy-five per cent, varying for each month between January, 1777, 
and February, 1781, according to which all debts should be settled. ^ For 
the indebtedness of the Commonwealth to Pennsylvania troops serving in the 
United States Army, certificates were given in conformity with this scale, 
and these, called " Depreciation Certificates," were receivable in payment for 
all new lands sold by the State. Though the lands lying northwest of the 
Ohio and Allegheny Rivers were not purchased from the Six Nations until 
the treaty of Fort Stanwix, in October, 1784, which sale was confirmed by 
some of the Western tribes at Fort Mcintosh, in January, 1785, yet the 
State of Pennsylvania passed an act on the 12th of March, 1783, the 
more effectually to provide for the redemption of the depreciation certificates, 
ordering to be surveyed and laid off in lots of not less than 200, nor more 
than 350 acres, the territory bounded by the Ohio and Allegheny on the south- 
east, as far up the latter as the mouth of the Mahoning Creek; thence by a line 
due west to the western boundary of the State, and thence south to the Ohio. 


f ' '1 

iWi J^ 



These lands, kaown as "Depreciation Lands," were to be sold at such times 
and under such regulations as the Executive Council might direct; but a tract 
of 3,000 acres opposite Pittsburgh and 3,000 acres at Fort Mcintosh (Beaver) 
were reserved for public uses. 

In fulfillment of the promise made by the act of 1780, the act passed 
March 12, 1783, also ordered to be laid o£f another tract north of the depreci- 
ation lands, and bounded as follows: Beginning at the mouth of the Mahon- 
ing Creek, on the Allegheny River, thence up that river to the mouth of Con- 
ewango Creek; thence up that creek to the southern boundary of the State of 
New York; thence west along that line to the northwest corner of Pennsylva- 
nia; thence south along the western boundary of the State last mentioned, to 
a point due west of the mouth of Mahoning Creek; and thence east along the 
northern boundary of depreciation lands, to the place of beginning. These 
were called " Donation Lands," and divided into districts from No. 1 to No. 
10. A part of the 6th district, all of the 7th and nearly all of the 8th are 
within Crawford County. On the 24:th of March, 1785, an act was passed by 
the Legislature providing for the appointment of Deputy Surveyors, each 
deputy being enjoined by law and directed by the Surveyor- Greneral to com- 
plete the work committed to his care, on or before the 1st of February, 1786. 
Under this act Deputy Surveyor William Power, with his company of intrepid 
assistants, laid off the 6th and 7th districts, and Deputy Surveyor Alexander 
McDowell the 8th district of donation lands, though the work was prosecuted 
at the peril of their lives, as the prowling bands of Indians that infested the 
country looked with jealous eye upon this first step toward the occupancy of 
their hunting-grounds. 

The lands were surveyed into lots of from 200 to 500 acres each, and under 
the law a Major-General was entitled to 2,000 acres; a Brigadier-General, 
1,500; a Colonel, 1,000; a Lieut. -Colonel, 750; aSurgeon, Chaplain and Major. 
600 each; a Captain, 500; a Lieutenant, 400; an Ensign and Surgeon's mate, 
300 each; h Quartermaster- Sergeant, Sergeant-Major and Sergeant, 250 each; 
while each Corporal, Private, Drummer and Fifer was entitled to 200 acres. 
The eastern part of district No. 2, having been reported by Gen. William 
Irvine, the State Agent, as being generally unfit for cultivation, the tickets with 
the numbers of lots located therein were taken out of the wheel ere the draw- 
ing began, the selections being decided by lottery, and provision was made else- 
where for such ofiQcers and soldiers as were thus cut off'. The territory thus 
respected was called the "Struck District." Various regulations and restric 
tions were established regarding the mode of survey, entry, transfer of title, 
and limit of time for perfecting the soldiers' titles to their lands; and the limit 
was extended from time to time by subsequent laws passed for the purpose of 
affording the veterans of the Revolution every facility to acquire a home. To 
fulfill the object of the depreciation and donation laws, it did not by any means 
require all the lands in Pennsylvania north and west of the Ohio and Allegheny 
Rivers, and the remainder, the " struck district " included, reverted to the Com- 
monwealth, to be disposed of to other settlers. 

The vast territory acquired by the treaties of Forts Stanwix and Mcintosh, 
though purchased, could not be entered upon with safety for ten years after- 
ward. Every creek that was explored, every line that was run. was at the risk 
of life from the savage Indians, whose courage and perseverance were only 
equaled by the indomitable energy of the whites in pushing forward their set- 
tlements The price of blood, as usual, was paid for it, for the Western tribes 
carried on a ferocious warfare against the hardy frontiersman, as he advanced 
farther and farther into the dense forest then covering the whole region 
between the Ohio and Lake Erie. '•* 


By the act of 1783 some six or seven hundred thousand acres of land in 
northwestern Pennsylvania, were isolated under circumstances very unfavorable 
to the settlement of the region. The title was absolute, without condition of 
settlement or improvement; and no one was willing to venture into so vast a 
wilderness, not knowing if in his life-time he would have a neighbor or road 
dn his vicinity. Many of these lots were disposed of by the soldiers soon after 
they were drawn and the patent received, and thus became the property of 
speculators at small cost. But when alienated by the soldiers, these lands were 
subject to taxation, and in the course of years, either by inadvertence, or a 
belief that the land was not worth the expenditure, the owner permitted the 
sale in default of payment of taxes; and being sold at the county seat of each 
county in which the lands were located, many of the lots were purchased by 
residents of the county, and inroads of settlement began at once to be made 
upon them. 

With a view of bringing into market the unseated lands, as well as to 
encourage an increase of population on the western frontier of the State, and 
thus place a barrier between the Six Nations and the Western tribes of Indians, 
the Legislature passed a law April 8, 1792, throwing open for sale all the 
vacant lands of the State included in the purchase of 1768 and previously, at 
the price of £2 10s. (Pennsylvania currency) per 100 acres ; lands in the pur- 
chase of 1784-85, east of the Allegheny and Conewango, at £5 per 100 acres ; 
and the lands north and west of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers and Cone- 
wango Creek, except the donation and depreciation lots, at £7 10s. per 100 
acres. No condition of settlement was attached to the lands east of the Alle- 
gheny; but those northwest of that river were only offered for sale "toper- 
sons who will cultivate, improve and settle the same, or cause the same to be 
ciiltivated, improved and settled," etc., at the price previously named, "with 
an allowance of six per cent for roads and highways." Any person intending 
thus to settle was entitled, on application and payment, with a proper descrip- 
tion of the land, to receive from the land-office a warrant ordering a survey of 
the tract, not exceeding 400 acres. Surveys could not be made on lands actu- 
ally settled previous to the entry of the warrant, except for such actual settler 
himself. The most important portion of this celebrated law, and that which 
caused all the trouble during the pioneer days in northwestern Pennsylvania, 
reads as follows : 

Section 9. That no warrant or survey, to be issued or made in pursuance of this act, 
for lands lying north and west of the rivers Ohio and Allegheny, and Conewango Creek, 
shall vest any title in or to the lands therein mentioned, unless the grantee has, prior to 
the dale of such warrant, made, or caused to be made, or shall, within the space of two 
years next after the date of the same, make, or cause to be made, an actual settlement 
thereon, by clearing, fencing and cultivating at least two acres for every 100 acres contained 
in one survey, erecting thereon a messuage for the habitation of man, and residing or, 
causing a family to reside thereon, for the space of five years next following his first set- 
tling of the same, if he or she shall so long live ; and that in default of such actual settle- 
ment and residence, it shall and may be lawful to and for this Commonwealth to issue 
new warrants to other actual settlers for the said lands, or any part thereof, reciting the 
original warrants, and that actual settlements and residence have not been made in pur- 
suance thereof, and so as often as defaults shall be made, for the time and in the manner 
aforesaid, which new grants shall be under and subject to all and every regulation con- 
tained in this act : Provided, always nevertheless: That if any such actual settler, or any 
grantee in any such original or succeeding warrant, shall, by force of arms of the enemies 
of the United States, be prevented from making such actual settlement, or be driven there- 
from, and shall persist in his endeavors to make such actual settlement as aforesaid, then, 
in either case, he and his heirs shall be entitled to have and to hold the said lands, in the 
same manner as if the actual settlement had been made and continued. 

For more than twenty years this proviso in the ninth section of the act of 
1792 was the cause of serious and bitter litigation before the highest courts 


of the State and Nation, the most distinguished lawyers and judges holding 
conflicting opinions upon the points at issue. The main question was settled 
in 1805, by a decision delivered by Chief Justice Marshall, of the United 
States Supreme Court, though this decision left open many secondary ques- 
tions, which still continued to agitate the courts for years, and some of which 
were finally settled only by special legislation. In considering this subject 
it is important to keep in mind the disturbed state of the Western frontier at 
the time, and for three years after the passage of this law. " Though the great 
theater of the war," says Judge Washington, " lay far to the northwest of the 
land in dispute, yet it is clearly proved that this country during this period 
was exposed to the repeated iri'uptions of the enemy, killing and plundering 
such of the whites as they met with in defenseless situations. We find the 
settlers sometimes working out in the day-time, in the neighborhood of the 
forts, and returning at night within their walls for protection; sometimes giv- 
ing up the pursuit in despair, and returning to the settled parts of the coun- 
try, then returning to the country, and again abandoning it. We sometimes 
meet with a few men daring and hardy enough to attempt the cultivation of 
their lands; associating implements of husbandry with the instruments of war 
^the character of the husbandman with that of the soldier — and yet I do not 
recollect any instance in which, with this enterprising, daring spirit, a single, 
individual was able to make such a settlement as the law required." 

As roads, mills and provisions were of immediate necessity, and individual 
settlers had not means sufficient to provide them, a liberal construction was 
given to the law, and land companies were organized whose combined efforts 
could accomplish all the law contemplated. Money was paid into the State 
Treasury, and warrants issued, sufficient to cover all the unappropriated lands. 
The Holland Land Company and the Pennsylvania Population Company were 
the most prominent, and composed of men of wealth and intelligence. The 
North American Land Company took up lands in the western and northeastern 
parts of Crawford County, but though recognized, with the others, in certain 
legislative provisions, little further is known of its origin or history. Stephen 
Barlow came to Meadville about 1820, as the first agent of the North American 
Land Company, and at his death was succeeded by Arthur Cullum, who sub- 
sequently purchased the company's lands. These companies selected men of 
business habits to superintend the opening of roads, building mills and form- 
ing depots of provisions, etc., for the convenience of settlers; also to act as 
attorneys in making contracts for the fulfillment of the law, by improvement 
and residence. Thus in the last years of the eighteenth century a beginning 
was made toward converting the wilderness west of the Allegheny River into 
a fruitful field. 

At the close of the Revolution the United States owed a large sum of money 
to a syndicate of Dutch merchants, who had loaned it to Robert Morris, the 
distinguished financier of that period to assist in carrying on the war. These 
capitalists consisted of Wilhem Willink, and eleven associates, among whom 
were Nicholas Van Staphorst, Peter Stadnitski, Christian Van Eeghen, Hon- 
drick Vollenhoven, and Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck of the city of Amster- 
dam. Preferring to keep this money invested in this country, they formed 
themselves into a corporation called "The Holland Land Company." and pur- 
chased under the law of 1792, about 900,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania, 
besides a much greater amount in the State of New York. On the 21st of 
August 1793, the company, through its agents, Herman Leroy and William 
Bayard, merchants of New York City, paid to Hon. James Wilson of Philadel- 
phia, one of the Supreme Judges of the United States, the sum of £34,860 in 


specie, being the purchase money for 464,800 acres of land lying north and 
west of the rivers Ohio and Allegheny, and Conewango Creek. 

The contract was for the sale and purchase of 499,660 acres of land between 
French Creek and the Allegheny River. It was stipulated that this land should 
consist partly of 912 tracts of 430 acres each, with allowance for roads and 
highways, which Mr. John Adhim, by a contract dated April 26, 1793, had 
engaged to secure to the said Judge Wilson ; and 250 tracts of 430 acres each 
were to be taken from lands entered for Judge Wilson by Mr. James Chapman, 
convenient to the first-named lands in point of location, the Holland Land 
Company having the right, if not satisfied with the latter tracts, to substitute 
other lands east of French Creek. The price to be paid for the land was to be 
three shillings and fourpence per acre, the six per cent of allowauce for roads 
not to be included in the estimate, and the money to be paid as fast as required; 
with a provision in the conract that out of the money advanced, the company 
should hold £4,067 for fees and expenses of surveying ; £3,892 14s. for fees of 
patenting the tracts ; £2.614 10s. to pay the Receiver General of the land office, 
for thirty acres of overplus land in each warrant ; and £978 for interest on the 
purchase money to the State since the day of application. 

'"The Holland Land Company," said Judge Yeates, during one of the 
cases tried before him, " have paid to the State the consideration money of 
1,162 warrants, and the surveying fees on 1,048 tracts of land (generally 400 
acres each), besides making very considerable expenditures by their exertions, 
honorable to themselves, and useful to the community, in order to effect settle- 
ments. Computing the sums advanced, the lost tracts by prior improvements 
and interferences, and the quantity of 100 acres granted to each individual 
for making an actual settlement on their lands, it is said that, averaging the 
whole, between $230 and $240 have been expended by the company on each 
tract." The surveys and patents for most of the tracts were made prior to 

In 1795 a general agent had been appointed to superintend its affairs, a 
large store erected at Meadville, and more than $5,000 disbursed. The follow- 
ing year settlers were invited to locate on the lands, supply depots of provis- 
ions, implements and utensils established, and the funds for bringing families 
into the country liberally advanced. A bounty of 100 acres was also given for 
improving and settling each 400 acre tract in compliance with the law of 1792, 
with the privilege of purchasing more at $1.50 per acre. This gratuity, 
however, was abolished after 1805. About $22,000 were paid out during 
1796, and $60,000 in 1797. In 1798 mills were erected, roads were opened 
through the wilderness, and other exertions made toward settling these lands, 
at an expenditure of about $30,000; and in 1799 more than $40,000 were dis- 
bursed in the same direction. By the close of 1880, about $400,000 had been 
expended by the Holland Land Company in the purchase and efforts to settle 
its lands lying in this State. 

The general agent of the company had his office in Philadelphia, and 
Theophilus Cazenove filled the position from the organization of the company 
until 1799, when he was succeeded by Paul Busti, who served until July 23, 
1824. his successor being John J. Vanderkemp, who held the position until 
1836, when the affairs of the company were wound up. The headquarters of 
the local agent for the counties of Crawford, Erie, Warren and Venango were 
at Meadville. Samuel B. and Alexander Foster, jointly, filled the position 
throughout 1796-97-98 and a part of 1799. Maj. Roger Alden took charge 
in 1799 and served until the close of 1804. On the Ist of January, 1805, H. 
J. Huidekoper began hi.-^ duties, which lasted until the 31st of December, 


1836, when he purchased from the company its remaining lands in Crawford, 
Erie, Warren and Venango Counties; also some small interests in Otsego and 
Chenango Counties, New York and Berkshire County, Mass., for the sum of 
$178,400, the final conveyance being made to Mr. Huidekoper, December 23, 

The company's lands in Crawford County were located in the Holland Land 
Districts, Nos. 2 and 7. All of the tracts in the former district, numbering 
from 1 to 236, are in this county; but only a portion of those in District No. 7 
are in Crawford, the balance lying in Warren and Venango Counties. The 
Holland Land Company always required the purchaser of its lands to erect a 
house within one year from date of purchase, besides clearing ten acres of land 
within two years of the same date. These requirements materially assisted in 
the development of the country. It gave long credit, generally eight years for 
the payment of the purchase money, and the time was often extended to six- 
teen and twenty years, though the interest was always expected to be paid. 
AVhen times were hai'd the agent accepted cattle at local prices, and these had 
to be driven to market over the mountains to Philadelphia. 

"Few enterprises," says Mr. O. Turner in his history of the Holland Land 
Company in the State of New York, " have ever been conducted on more hon- 
orable principles than was that which embraced the purchase, sale and settle- 
ment of the Holland purchase. In all the instructions of the general to the 
local agents, the interest of the settlers and the prosperity of the country were 
made secondary in but a slight degree to their securing to their principals a 
fair and reasonable return for their investments. In the entire history of set- 
tlement and improvement of our widely extended country, large tracts of the 
wilderness have nowhere fallen into the hands of individuals and become subject 
to private or associate cupidity, where the aggregate result has been more favor- 
able or advantageous to the settlers." 

In a lecture delivered by Mr. Alfred Huidekoper before the Meadville 
Literary Union, in 1876, on the Holland Land Company, he says: "The his- 
tory of the company is but a repetition, perhaps, of a common experience in 
life. It was encouraged at first to purchase a wilderness and put its money 
into the State treasury; this was an acceptable thing to do; when it sought 
re-imbursementout of the property so acquired, it incurred both professional 
and popular opposition, as large associations are apt to do. Keeping the even 
tenor of its way with fairness of purpose and integrity of action, it can safely 
entrust its record to the hands of the historian.'' 

The Pennsylvania Population Company was an association of capitalists 
organized before the, Holland Land Company, for the purpose of acquiring 
lands under the act of 1792. The subscriptions for stock were opened in May, 
1792, and closed December 22 of the same year. The original subscribers 
were: P. Stadnitski, 300 shares ; P. C. Van Eeghen, 150 shares ; J. H. Vol- 
lenhoven, 150 shares ; T. Tazenove, 200 shares; Nicholas Van Staphorst, 100 
shares ; John Nicholson, 535 shares ; Walter Stewart, 150 shares ; George 
Meade, 50 shares ; Tench Francis, 10 shares ; A. Gibson, 4 shares ; James 
Wilson, 20 shares ; Robert Morris, 100 shares ; T. Kitland, 80 shares ; J. Kit- 
land, 21 shares : Ebenezer Denny, 2 shares ; Robert Bowne, 100 shares ; Aaron 
Burr, 524 shares ; J. Ashton, 3 shares ; C. Gau, 1 share. Total, 2,500 shares. 
The following gentlemen were the first officers : John Nicholson, President ; 
William Irvine, John Hoge, Daniel Leet, Gen. Walter Stewart, George Meade 
and Theophilus Cazenove, Managers ; Tench Francis, Cashier. 

This company, early in 1792, located 390 warrants in the " Triangle," in 
what is now Erie County, and 250 warrants more on the waters of Beaver and 


Shenango Creeks, amounting in all to about 260,000 acres. It subsequently 
took up 500 warrants more in Crawford and Erie Counties, all of which it 
paid for. Its tracts in Crawford County number from 682 to 843. The title 
to its lands was vested in the President and Board of Managers, to be held in 
common, and the proceeds divided pro rata among the stockholders. Ai^ one 
transferring to the company a donation tract of 200 acres, was entitled to one 
share of the stock. The President and Board of Managers were empowered to 
convey 150 acres gratis to each of the first fifty families who should pui'chase 
and actually settle on the lands of the company under the law of 1792 ; and 
to the next 100 families a similar grant of 100 acres each was donated. 

This company also established supply depots convenient to its lands, 
opened roads and erected mills. Its first operations in Crawford and Erie 
Counties, beginning with 1795, were success fully carried on under the super- 
vision of the local agent, Thomas Reea, of Erie, who about 1802 was suc- 
ceeded by Judah and Jabez Colt, the latter having his office at Meadville, and 
the former at Erie. In June, 1812, the company wound up its affairs. The 
remaining stock was sold at public auction, at Philadelphia, for the sum of 
$70,739, the proceeds distributed among the shareholders, and the lands con- 
veyed to the respective purchasers. Though these companies purchased their 
lands at prices open to all and sold at local figures, nevertheless they were 
regarded by the majority of the early settlers with great disfavor. In fact, 
so deep did this feeling take root, that many good citizens at this late day 
look upon them as grasping, soulless corporations, whose ownership of such 
large bodies of lands retarded the settlement and growth of western Penn- 
sylvania for many years. 

In 1867 John Reynolds, Esq., a leading pioneer of Meadville, contributed 
a series of articles to the Meadville Republican, under the caption of "Remin- 
iscences of the Olden Time," in which we find the following important infor- 
mation on the land troubles: " The prevention clause in the act of Assembly 
of 1792," says Mr. Reynolds, "was productive of much dissension in the first 
years of the century. The opinion was industriously circulated by Deputy 
Surveyors, and other interested persons, that every tract of 400 acres without 
a settlement commenced and continued, was open to the entry and occupancy 
of the first bona fide settler, without regard to the previous warrant. Settlers 
who had entered into contract with the several land companies to fulfill the 
terms of settlement for a part of the land, were disposed to claim the whole, 
under the plea that the companies had incurred forfeiture of the land, and- 
therefore the contract was obtained by misrepresentation and was void. 

" The warrantee was thus brought into conflict with the intruder upon his 
land. The latter relying on the legal correctness of the opinion so universally 
promulgated, took possession of the first and best vacant tract he could find, 
built his cabin, and commenced to clear and cultivate his farm; thus speedily 
the county was filled with a population known as ' actual settlers.' 

" The companies that claimed the land by warrant, purchased from the 
State, were not disposed to submit quietly to the intrusion; they appealed to 
the courts of law and many writs of ejectment were served; the settlers held 
conventions, employed counsel, and prepared for an arduous contest. Lawful ' 
and unlawful measures were canvassed and approved by many, during the 
excitement of the time; unscrupulous and desperate men were leaders in the 
controversy, who contended that all means were morally right which would pro- 
tect them in the possession of their land. Hence, in the beat of the excitement 
a plot was formed to destroy evidence in the county records and the offices of 
the land companies. 


"A veritable gunpowder plot was projected to blow up the Prothonotary's 
office and the several land offices in Meadville and Erie. .When on the eve of 
accomplishment, one of the conspirators relented, and with praiseworthy energy, 
prevented the catastrophe, by visiting and remonstrating with the principal 

" The question at issue between the warrantee and settler turned upon the 
fact of prevention, and if proved, the obligation of persistence afterward in 
fulfilling the conditions of settlement and residence specified in the act. The 
companies claimed that a prevention operated in discharge of said obligation, 
and the title in the warrantee was perfected. By agreement, a case stated 
was put at issue, and argued before Judge Washington, of the United States 
Supreme Court, at Sunbury, Penn., and a decision on the above points given 
in favor of the warrantee. This settled, as between the warrantee and the 
intruder, the legal status of the dispute. 

" Subordinate questions continued to agitate and produce discord, and 
conflicts between settlers arising from an entry upon an improved tract during 
a temporary absence of the first occupants, were frequent. Such a case is the ^ 
following: A man without family would select his tract, build his cabin, and 
make some improvements, and in the autumn revisit the settlements to find 
winter employment, and upon his return in the spring find another in posses- 
sion. Personal conflicts sometimes decided the question of ownership rather 
than await expensive litigation in court; while some, more wisely, canvassed 
the matter and settled by an amicable adjustment and payment of a reason- 
able compensation by one party to the other. 

" That a wide-spread excitement, involving vested rights so dear to the 
claimants, and intensified in asperity by a commingling therewith the partizan 
politics of the day, should have been settled, and finally disappeared with so 
little of actual conflict, is in the review, very wonderful, and may, I think, be 
largely attributed to the overpowering religious excitement concurrent there- 
with, which tended to restrain and moderate the angry passions. 

"Only one man, I think, was killed during all the years of conflict: that 
was the Sheriff or his deputy of Beaver County, who was proceeding with a 
warrant to dispossess a determined intruder, and was waylaid and shot as he 
approached the premises. 

" The land disputes were very injurious to the prosperity of the country, 
and retarded its settlement many years. Men who had made large improve- 
ments abandoned all and went into what was known as the 'New State,' viz.: 
Ohio. A public prejudice unfavorable to this region, operated extensively, 
preventing emigration, while the contiguous parts of Ohio and New York 
were filling with an industrious and intelligent population." 



Agkiculture— First Land Cultivated by the Pioneers in the Vallev 
OF French Creek and First Corn Crop Planted— Pioneer Nursery— 
Introduction of Potatoes, Wheat, Rye, Buckwheat, Oats, Barley, 
etc.— Rapid Increase of the Cereals— Horses and Cattle— Merino 
Sheep Brought into the County — Anecdote of a Sheep Speculation 
—Swine of the Past and Present— Stock and Land in 1826— Wool Pro- 
duction—Leading Fine Stock Breeders, Dealers and Importers- 
Agricultural Societies of Crawford County— Agricultural Imple- 
ments, their Changes and Wonderful Improvement During the Past 
Century— Pioneer Mode of Farming— Dairy Interests— First Cheese 
Factories Erected in the County— Their Rapid Increase, and Present 
Prosperity of the Business— Dairyman's Association — Dairyman's 
Board of Trade. 

IT was well understood by the people of the eastern and central portions of 
Pennsylvania, as well as by those in adjoining States, that the lands west 
of the Allegheny River were very fertile, and only three years elapsed after 
the treaties of 1784-85, before the first attempt at a settlement was made by 
a hardy band of pioneers, four of whom : David Mead, John Mead, Cornelius 
Van Home and James Fitz Randolph, located permanently in the valley of 
French Creek. In May, 1788, these men, together with their five companions, 
Joseph Mead, Thomas Martin, John Watson, Thomas Grant and Christopher 
Snyder, having selected the rich bottom near where Vallonia now stands as a 
suitable field for agricultural enterprise, plowed about ten acres of ground, 
which they planted in Indian corn. A subsequent freshet in the creek 
destroyed the growing crop, and they were compelled to replant it, but the 
lateness of the season rendered the yield not very satisfactory. This then 
was the beginning of agricultui'e in Crawford County, and for several years 
the cultivation of the soil was carried on under great difficulties on account of 
Indian hostility. Small patches of ground in the vicinity of "Mead's Block- 
house" were tilled in common, and it was not until 1794-95, that the settlers 
could with any degree of safety locate on their respective homesteads, and 
even then there was imminent danger from the prowling bands of savages 
still infesting the forests from Lake Erie to the Ohio. 

Soon after coming, Cornelius Van Home planted some apple-seeds near the 
site of the west end of Mercer Street bridge, and the trees grown from these 
seeds obtained a fine growth, and were the foundation of the first orchards in 
French Creek Valley. 

The potato was introduced prior to 1791, and was grown very successfully 
by the pioneers. It has continued from that time to the present to be an 
invaluable product of the county. The rich alluvial soil of the flats produced 
enormous crops of corn and potatoes, so that the early settlers had no fears of 
want, for the forest was alive with game, the streams abounded in fish, and the 
virgin soil yielded plentifully. 

We do not learn that there was any wheat grown in the county prior to 
1797, when Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy, the pioneer physician of northwestern 
Pennsylvania, brought a few quarts of excellent wheat in his saddle-bags, which 
he distributed among the farmers, who in a few years increased the amount 


to thousands of bushels. The newly cleared land was admirably adapted to 
the growth of wheat, and it is said that the farmer often obtained as high as 
thirty bushels of first-class wheat from one acre of ground. 

In a short time rye was introduced and grown in considerable quantities, 
being largely used in the manufacture of whisky, while buckwheat, oats, bar- 
ley and other grains had also made their appearance. The supply soon became 
greater than the demand for home consumption, and the prices of the cereals 
were generally very low from 1800 to 1830. All this was favorable to the sub- 
stantial comfort of the people and the rapid settlement of the county. Very 
little grain excepting buckwheat has been shipped from Crawford County. 
This favored article was introduced at an early date, and the soil in many 
parts of the county was found well adapted to its production, both as to quality 
and quantity, which are not excelled by any other county in the State. The 
excellent quality of the buckwheat grown in this county early attracted the 
attention of dealers, and considerable quantities of the flour are shipped every 
winter to the larger cities. 

Horses and cattle were brought in by the very first settlers, though the 
former were ordinary farm-horses, and the latter milch cows. The progressive 
farmer soon discovered that the soil of Crawford County generally was better 
adapted to grass than grain, and attention was early directed to stock-raising 
and feeding. In 1810 we find in the county 2,142 horses, 5,389 head of cattle, 
and 4. 120 sheep. 

In 1817 H. J. Huidekoper, Esq., in co-operation with Judge Griffith of New 
Jersey, brought several hundred Merino sheep into the county. They were 
kept on Mr. Huidekoper's premises, until the herding of so many together gen- 
erated diseases which carried them otf rapidly, and as a last resort, those 
remaining were distributed in small lots among the farmers to be cared for on 
shares as to increase. This proved a fortunate move, for they soon became 
healthy and multiplied rapidly, but were finally sold without further collective 

The leading pioneers were always anxious to improve their stock, and when- 
ever they possessed the means to purchase a well-bred animal rarely missed the 
opportunity of doing so. The following anecdote regarding a sheep specula- 
tion in Crawford County may be found in the Crawford Weekly Messenger, on 
file in the Public Library: A stranger called at the tavern of Thomas Fuller- 
ton, in what is now Cambridge Township, in the fall of 1812, driving a fine- 
looking ram ; he asked for some oats with which to feed the animal, giving the 
landlord to understand that he was the only one left out of a drove of " Meri- 
nos" he had brought from the East. Anxious to possess one of that valuable 
breed, Mr. Fullerton made an offer to purchase him, but candidly confessed 
that $20 was all the money he had in the house. This sum was not deemed 
sufficient by the owner, but as he had disposed of all the others and was tired 
driving him, he expressed his willingness to take less for the ram than his 
actual value, finally agreeing to let Mr. Fullerton have him for $20 in cash, a 
cow and a rifle, which ofifer the latter eagerly accepted. The fellow soon 
departed, leaving the landlord well pleased with his ' 'Merino;" but shortly after- 
ward a neighbor called, and observing the animal, said, "Fullerton, where did 
you get my ram ?" "Your ram!" exclaimed the surprised landlord. "Yes," 
continued the neighbor, "I sold him to a Yankee a few days ago for 12 shill- 
ings." On examining the ram, the duped and now thoroughly disgusted land- 
lord soon discovered that he was of the common breed, but his wool had been 
very artfully combed in order to give him a Merino appearance. 

The swine of the early settlers, compared with those of 1884, would pre- 


sent a very wide contrast, for whatever the breed may have been called running 
wild as was customary, the special breed was soon lost in the mixed swine of 
the country. They were long and slim, long-snouted and long-legged, with 
an arched back, and bristles erect from the back of the head to the tail, slab- 
sided, active and healthy; the "sapling-splitter" or "razor back," as he was 
called, was ever in the search of food, and quick to take alarm. He was capa- 
ble of making a heavy hog, but required two or more years to mature, and until 
a short time before butchering or marketing was suffered to run at large, sub- 
sisting mainly as a forager, and in the fall fattening on the "mast" of the for- 
est. Yet this was the hog for a new country, whose nearest and best markets 
were Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, to which points they were driven on foot. 
Almost every farmer raised a few hogs for market, which were gathered up by 
drovers and dealers during- the fall and winter seasons. In no stock of the 
farm have greater changes been effected than in the hog. From the long-legged, 
long-snouted, slab-sided, roach-backed, tall, long, active, wild, fierce and mus- 
cular, it has been bred to be almost as square as a store-box and quiet as a 
sheep, taking on 250 pounds of flesh in ten months. They are now ranked 
into distinctive breeds, the Berkshire and Chester White being more extensively 
bred in Crawford County than any other kind. 

With the passing years every sort of stock gradually increased in numbers, 
and by 1826 the county contained 2,970 horses, 18,081 head of cattle, and 
18,999 sheep, while the number of hogs was unknown, as many thousands 
roamed the forest like wild animals. Unimproved land sold from $3 to $4 per 
acre, and improved farms from $5 to ^8 per acre. There was in that year 51,322 
acres of land under cultivation, of which 12,169 acres were in meadow, or 
nearly one-quarter of the whole amount of cleared land devoted to grazing pur- 
poses. The result has been that the business of stock-raising became a spe- 
cialty with many of the best farmers, and a large amount of stock, principally 
cattle and horses, has been annually shipped from Crawford County to other 
and loss favored portions of the country. In 1850 the county produced more 
than 1,000,000 pounds of wool, and had attained a notoriety as a wool-growing 
district, but the growth of sheep gradually fell offuntil,in 1875, the wool product 
did not exceed 200,000 pounds. 

The Logan Brothers, of South Shenango Township, were for many years 
leading importers of draft horses, and did a great deal toward improving 
that class of stock in this portion of the State. Ambro Whipple, of Saegers- 
town, has been breeding roadsters for some years. Denny Brothers, of Hay- 
field Township, breed draft horses and roadsters, also Shropshire sheep and 
short-horn cattle; Alt Stratton, of Evansburg, roadsters and trotting stock, 
and C. G. Dempsey, of Conneautville, thoroughbred racers. 

"Shadeland," the great stock farm of the Powell Brothers, is located about 
one mile north of Spring Borough, in Spring Township. It is not the crea- 
ture of a day, but has grown up to its present proportions as the result of many 
years of careful and unusually intelligent effort and experiment, until to-day 
the estate comprises over one thousand acres of choice land, improved by a 
handsome residence, and half a hundred substantial and capacious barns, sta- 
bles and out-buildings, admirably adapted to the various uses and purposes of 
the business, the whole with its magnificent aggregation of stock representing 
an investment of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The business em- 
braces the extensive importation and breeding of pure-bred live stock of various 
classes, notably the celebrated Clydesdale draft horses from Scotland, the 
English draft horses from England, the Percheron-Norman draft horses from the 
best breeding districts of France, American trotting-bred roadsters, imported 


coach ers, and Shetland ponies; also Holstein and Devon cattle, and Highland 
black-faced sheep, said to be among the finest mutton sheep known. The 
Clydesdale Stud book of Groat Britain shows more animals registered by Powell 
Bros, than any other live firms in the world combined. This book is published 
under the direction of the "Clydesdale Horse Society" of Great Britain and 
Ireland, and hence is absolutely authentic, and indeed the ultimate authority on 
this subject. The sales at the farm of ten aggregate several thousand dollars a 
day, the purchasers representing nearly every State and Territory in the 
Union, sometimes a score or more of them being there at once. They have 
also made various shipments of their trotting-bred roadsters to Europe. As an 
evidence of the national repute of the establishment it may be mentioned, that 
not long since the firm received a communication from Dr. Loring, United 
States Commissioner of Agriculture at Washington, stating that a citizen of 
Japan was visiting this country for the^purpose of collecting for his Govern- 
ment information concerning our agricultural and other industrial methods, 
and asking that he might be pei*mitted to spend a "few days at Shadeland, as a 
means of posting himself as to Araericau stock-breeding. While draft horses 
are the special feature there, all classes of their stock receive equal attention, 
and only the very finest of each are imported and bred. The gentlemen com- 
posing the firm are Watkin G., Will B., and James Lintner Powell, all of whom 
are natives of Shadeland, having been born on the estate, which they have 
always occupied, and with which their names are so indissolubly linked. 

Mr. Edgar Huidekoper, of Meadville, is the most extensive importer and 
breeder of the celebrated Holstein cattle in this portion of the Commonwealth. 
He began in March, 1878, by importing from Holland two bulls and ten cows, and 
later in the same year brought over eight more. He increased his importations 
from time to time, until they might be numbered by the hundred. His stock 
farm of several hundred acres lies just across French Creek from Meadville, in 
Vernon Township. Mr. Huidekoper has on hand usually from 200 to 250 
Holsteins, and his sales extend to every part of the United States. 

Among other smaller breeders of fine stock may be mentioned William 
Skelton, of Mead Township, a Canadian, who, for some six or eight years, 
bred short-horns of the celebrated New York Mills stock; J. B. Cochran, also of 
Mead, was a breeder of Durhams for a few years; J. W. Cutshall, of Ran- 
dolph Township, has been breeding short-horns about ten years; John Bell 
and David Gill, of Woodcock Township, have been in the short-horn business 
about five years; and G. W. Watson, of Hayfield Township, has been quite a 
large breeder of Merino sheep for some years, and though still in the business 
does not carry it on so extensively as formerly. 

The many fairs held under the auspices of the several agricultural societies 
of Crawford" County have, doubtless, accomplished more towards building up 
its stock interests than all the other agencies combined. In 1852 the Craw- 
ford County Agricultural Society was organized at Conneautville, and held its 
first fair in that town the same year. Annual exhibitions have since been 
held, which have increased in patronage and importance until now these fairs 
are among the best and most flourishing in Pennsylvania. The grounds are 
located near the southeast corner of Conneautville, and are both spacious and 
well improved. 

The Crawford County Central Agricultural Association was organized at 
Meadville in 1856, with David Derickson, President, and J. J. Shryock, Treas- 
urer. About sixteen acres of land were purchased on the "Island," where the 
depot now stands, fitted up with appropriate buildings, and the first fair held 
in the fall of 1856. From that time until 1861, inclusive, very successful 


annual fairs were held on these grounds, but in the latter year the site was 
sold to the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad C(5mpHny, and some ten acres 
purchased in Kerrtown. Here fairs continued to be held for five years, with 
varying success, the patronage having gradually fallen off from the time the 
old grounds were disposed of. The Kerrtown site proving too small was laid 
off into lots, and subsequently sold at Sheriff's sale. Forty acres of land were 
leased near Vallonia, and annual fairs kept up for about five years, when the 
project was abandoned, and the association dissolved. Some of the members 
of the old society then formed the " Farmers' and Stock Breeders' Association," 
which held exhibitions in 1873-74-75 and 1876, when it too ceased to exist. 
In 1879 "The Crawford County Central Agricultural Association" was 
re-organized, and in the fall of that year held a fair on the Vallonia grounds. 
Another fair was given the following year, which was the last, as the prospect 
fell throiigh for want of pati'onage. The grounds have since been utilized for 
annual spring races, though the land is mostly under cultivation. 

The Oil Creek Valley Agricultural Association was organized and held its 
first fair in the fall of 1875. Its capacious groiinds are located on the north- 
western suburbs of Titusville, and since its organization annual fairs have been 
held with increasing attendance and success. 

In the fall of 1876 the farmers of Woodcock Township and vicinity held a 
fair at Grange Hall, in the village of Woodcock, under the auspices of the 
Woodcock Grange. These exhibitions were continued for a few years, but 
finally abandoned. A stock company was then formed, and the Woodcock Fair 
Association organized. Grounds were leased in the western suburbs of Wood- 
cock Village, where fairs were held in the fall of 1882 and 1883. The society 
is now a permanent institution, and the exhibitions of 1882 and 1883 were 
successful beyond the most sanguine expectations of their projectors. 

The French Creek Valley Agricultural Society was organized in the sum- 
mer of 1877, and the first fair held at Cochranton, October 9, 10 and 11 of 
that year. Annual fairs have been held since that time, and have been largely 
attended and proven a gratifying success. The grounds contain about twenty- 
five acres, a half-mile track and good buildings, while the society is one of the 
most flourishing in the county. 

The agricultural implements in use by the early settlers were very simple 
and rude. The plow was made entirely of wood, except the share, clevis and 
draft-rods, which were of iron, and had to be for a number of years transported 
from Pittsburgh, as there were no iron works in the county where the plowshares 
could be forged, until about 1800. The wooden plow was a very awkward 
implement, very difficult to hold and hard for the team to draw. It was 
however, very generally used until the fall of 1824, when the cast-iron plow, 
patented by Jethro Wood, was first brought into the county, though it did not 
gain popular favor very rapidly. The farmer looked at it and was sure it 
would break the first time it struck a stone or a root, and then how should he 
replace it? The wooden mould-board would not break, and when it wore out he 
could take his ax and hew another out of a piece of a tree. In no one agricul- 
tural implement has there been more marked improvement than in the plow — 
now made of beautifully polished cast-steel except the beam and handles, while 
in Canada and some portions of the United States these, too, are manufact- 
ured of iron. The cast-steel plow of the present manufacture, in its several 
sizes, styles and adaptations to the various soils and forms of land, including 
the sulky or riding plow of the Western prairies, is among agricultural imple- 
ments the most perfect in use. 

Plows possessing some of Wood's improvements were manufactured in 


Birmingham, near Pittsburgh, and brought to this county in considorable num- 
bers from 1824 to 1830, and probably some were made here prior to the last 
named date. About this time Wood's agents, or the assignees of the patents, 
were traveling over the county collecting royalties from the farmers for using 
their patents. This continued to be a burden upon many in this county until 
1848^9, when Hon. John W. Farrelly, an eminent lawyer of Meadville, and 
Member of Congress from this district, succeeded in defeating a bill introduced 
in the House for the extension of Wood's patents on the plow. The manufactur- 
ers of Birmingham, Penn. , to show their appreciation of Mr. Farrelly' s efforts 
to relieve them of this load, made and sent to him, in 1849, a plow made 
entirely of metal, beautifully polished. This is said to have been the first 
complete iron plow manufactured in this country, and was on exhibition at 
the store of John McFarland in Meadville for several months. 

The pioneer harrow was simply the fork of a tree, with the branches on one 
side cut close and on the other left about a foot long to serve the purpose of 
teeth. In some instances a number of holes were bored through the beams 
and dry wooden pins driven into them. It was not until about 1825 that iron 
or steel harrow teeth were introduced into Crawford County. 

The axes, hoes, shovels and picks were rude and clumsy, and of inferior 
utility. The sickle and scythe were at first used to harvest the grain and hay, 
but the former gave way early to the cradle, with which better results could be 
attained with less labor. The scythe and cradle, have been replaced by the 
mower and reaper to a great extent, though both are still used considerably in 
this county because of the hilly and rolling surface of the country, as well 
as the great numbers of stumps yet remaining in the newer clearings. 

The ordinary wooden flail was used to thresh grain until about 1830, when 
the horse-power thresher was largely substituted. The method of cleaning 
the chaff from the grain by the early settlers was by a blanket handled by two 
persons. The grain and the chaff were placed on the blanket, which was then 
tossed up and down, the wind separating a certain amount of the chaff from 
the grain during the operation. Fanning-mills were introduced about 1820, 
but the first of these were very rude and little better than the primitive 
blanket. Improvements have been made from time to time until an almost 
perfect separator is now connected with every threshing machine, and the 
work of ten men for a whole season is done more completely by two or three 
men, as many horses, and a patent separator, in one day. In fact, it is difii- 
cult to fix limitations upon improvements in agricultural machinery within 
the last fifty years. It is, however, safe to say that they have enabled the 
farmer to accomplish more than triple the amount of work with the same force 
in the same time, and do his work better than before. It has been stated on 
competent authority that the saving effected by new and improved implements 
within the last twenty years has been not less than one-half on all kinds of 
farm labor. 

The greatest triumphs of mechanical skill in its application to agriculture 
are witnessed in the plow, planter, reaper and separator, as well as in many 
other implements adapted to the tillage, harvesting and subsequent handling 
of the immense crops of the country. The rude and cumbrous implements 
of the pioneers have been superseded by improved and apparently perfect 
machinery of all classes, so that the calling of the farmer is no longer synony- 
mous with laborious toil, but pleasant recreation. 

The farmers of Crawford County are not behind their neighbors in the 
employment of improved methods in the use of the best machinery. It is true 
that in many cases they were slow to change, but mixch allowance should be 


made for surrounding circumstances. The pioneers of this county had to con- 
tend against innumerable obstacles — with the wildness of nature outlined in 
towering hills "rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun," with the jealous hostility 
of the Indiana, the immense growth of timber, the depredations of wild beasts 
and the annoyance of the swarming insect life, as well as the great difficulty 
and expense of procuring seeds and farming implements. These various diffi- 
culties were quite sufficient to explain the slow progress made in the first years 
of settlement. Improvements were not encouraged, while much of the topog- 
raphy of the county renders the use of certain kinds of improved machinery 
impossible. The people generally rejected book-farming as unimportant and 
useless, and knew little of the chemistry of agriculture. The farmer who ven- 
tured to make experiments, to stake out new paths of practice, or to adopt new 
modes of culture, subjected himself to the ridicule of the whole neighborhood. 
For many years the same methods of farming were observed, the son planted 
just as many acres of corn as his father did, and in the same old phases of the 
moon. All their practices were merely traditional; but within the last twenty- 
five years most remarkable changes have occurred in all the conditions of 
agriculture in this county. 

It is not, however, in grain-growing that Crawford County has made its 
most material progress. The natural adaptation of the soil to grass and the 
abundant supply of pure water have attracted the attention of farmers to the 
raising of stock, and the manufacture of butter and cheese, especially the lat- 
ter, which industry has increased until it has become the leading agri- 
cultural pursuit, exceeding all other branches of farming in its magnitude 
and importance, and promising to be the source of still greater prosperity and 
wealth to the whole community. Milch cows were introduced into this county 
as early as 1789, and have been raised here ever since. Butter and cheese had 
been manufactured in a small way, and about sufficient to supply the home 
demand until 1849, when the first attempt was made at factory cheese-making, 
by Clark & Stebbins at Mosiertown, Cussewago Township, where they turned 
out what was called " English Dairy Cheese," weighing about sixteen pounds 
each and selling for 3 cents per pound. Another factory was built in the 
same village by Hosier & McFarland, in 1850, which continued in operation 
some three years, when the parties engaged in other business, and this system 
of factory cheese-making came to an end. In subsequent years many large 
dairies existed in the eastern part of the county. From 1850 to 1862, cheese 
sold from 5 to 8 cents per pound ; and from 1862 to 1867, at an average of 
13 cents. 

The first factory under the present system of cheese- making was erected by 
George Thomas, at Cambridgeboro, in 1867, and received the milk from 250 
cows the first year, 600 the third, and 820 the sixth year. The average price 
of cheese in those years was about 1 2 cents per pound. The second factory, 
known as the "Woodcock First Premium," was built at Woodcock in 1868, by 
D. H. Gibson & Co., and made the first year 27,000 pounds of cheese, the 
second year 68,000 pounds, and in 1878, 145,000 pounds. Another early 
factory was built by Charles Cummings, on Gravel Run, in Woodcock Town- 
ship, which is now owned by Mr. Magaw. It was operated very successfully 
by Mr. Cummings until his death. In 1870 we find eight cheese factories in 
operation in Crawford County, which by 1875 had increased to sixty eight, 
with a combined annual product of 6,310,000 pounds of cheese. In 1878 but 
sixty-one factories were running, manufacturing 5,650,347 pounds of cheese 
during that season. This netted the producer a little over 10 cents per pound, 
or a total of $566,034 more revenue from cheese than all the rest of the 
State obtained during the same time from that product. 


By 1879 many cheese factories in Crawford County had become unremuner- 
ative. In this year Mr. L. C. Magaw, of Meadville, entered the business by 
purchasing one factory, and has added to this from time to time until he has 
now in operation seven factories in Crawford County, and two in Erie, besides 
controlling and handling the product of four others. These factories are 
located in different parts of the county, viz. : Two in Woodcock Township, 
one each in Hayfield, Cambridge, Eichmond and Randolph; two in Cussewago,' 
and one each in Spring, Summit and Sadsbury. The factories located in 
Spring, Cussewago and Haylield Townships are not owned by Mr. Mac^aw, but 
their product is manufactured on his plan, stamped with his brand, and han- 
dled by him. His trade extends throughout the United States, the demand 
always being equal to the production. He manufactures and controls only the 
celebrated brand known as "Crawford's Favorite," and his product always 
commands a price equal to the best New York State cheese. 

There are twenty-two other cheese factories in Crawford County, located as 
follows : Three in Conneaut Township, one each in Spring, Pine, South She- 
nango and Cussewago, two in Venango, one in Cambridge, three in Rockdale, 
two in Richmond, one in Mead, two in Randolph and one each in Troy, Rome, 
Bloomfield and Sparta. There is also a Switzer cheese factory in Mead Town- 
ship, which does a flourishing business in that product. Most of these fac- 
tories are connected with the Dairyman's Board of Trade, and manufacture 
solely for export, their product being consigned to New York agents. It is 
estimated that the thirty-three cheese factories, now in operation in Crawford 
County, will each average 100,000 pounds annually, or a total of 3,300,000 
pounds, which at the market price of 10 cents per pound, adds $330,000 to the 
annual wealth of the county. It might also be stated here that each factory con- 
sumes the milk of 500 cows, making a total of 16,500 cows to the thirty -three 
factories. It will be seen that the cheese product of Crawford County, in 
1884, is only about half as large as it was in 1875, having never since reached 
the amount produced that year. There can, however, be little doubt that the 
cheese now manufactured is much superior to the article turned out in past 
years, and that the quality makes up in a great measure for the falling off in 
production. The value of the butter trade of this county cannot easily be 
estimated, but though small in comparison with the cheese interests, it too 
is in a flourishing condition. 

No other part of the State offers such favorable inducements to persons 
desirous of engaging in the dairy business as Crawford County. Its cheap 
lands, rich and n^^tritious grasses and abundant supply of pure soft water 
combine to make it attractive to many who would engage in healthy and remu- 
nerative employment. Since 1867, about two-thirds of the entire product of 
cheese in Crawford County have been exported at an average valuation of 
about 10 cents per pound. This has added largely to her material prosperity 
in every department of business, and it is impossible to fully realize without 
a thorough study of the subject the great advantages derived from this most 
important branch of her industries. 

One of the leading factors in building up the present flourishing dairy 
industries of northwestern Pennsylvania was the Dairyman's Association. On 
the 15th of April, 1871, the dairymen of Crawford and Erie Counties met at 
Venango and organized the " Crawford County Dairyman's Association," with 
the following officers: Joseph Blystone, President; H. C. Greene, J. H. Bly- 
stone and Thomas Van Home, Vice-Presidents; D. H. Gibson, Secretary; J. 
H. Marcy, Treasurer. The gentlemen present who organized the association 
were: Joseph Blystone, Thomas Van Home, Cornelius Van Home, William 


Morse, D. C. Eoot. D. H. Gibson, E. Chamberlain, George Thomas, J. H. 
Blystone. William Nash, D. M. Crouch. G. W. Cutshall, J. T. Cook, J. H. 
Marcy, G. N. Kleckner, H. C. Greene, Darius Coulter. G. W. Brown, Adam 
Shei-red, L. E. Townley, J. M. Bigger and S. F. Harned. This society accom- 
plished but little, and June 2, 1875, was re-organized as the "Pennsylvania 
.State Dairyman's Association," with A. M. Fuller, of Meadville, as Presi- 
dent. At that time there were in western Pennsylvania about 100 cheese 
factories. Owing to the fact that the association was then supported wholly 
by membership fees, it was unable to extend its work beyond the confines of 
the northwestern counties. In 1879 the proceedings of the association were 
published in the State Agricultural Report, for which it received from the 
State Agricultural Society the sum of $100. In 1880 the association secured 
an annual appropriation from the State of $350, and 500 copies of the report, 
with the privilege of using 100 pages of the report every year. Two meet- 
ings have been held annually since 1875, at which addresses have been deliv- 
ered by almost every prominent dairyman in the country. These meetings 
have been well attended, and not a single failure has occurred, while on some 
occasions over 500 persons were present. 

The last annual meeting of the association was held at Meadville February 
6 and 7, 1884. The association held a dairy fair in Meadville October 23, 
24, 25, 1877, the first of the sort held in the United States. Large exhibi- 
tions of cheese have been made by the association at all the recent fairs of the 
State Agricultural Society, and it participated in the first international dairy 
fair held in New York City. "As to the good accomplished during these 
years," says Mr. A. M. Fuller, "I can state that I believe dairying as a busi- 
ness in the western part of the State owes its success mainly to this organiza - 
tion; and while we believe we have been directly benefitted by this organiza- 
tion in western Pennsylvania, we trust that the publication of our report 
annually in 25,600 copies of the State Agricultural Report for the past five 
years has proved of advantage to the dairy interests in every portion of the 
Commonwealth. ' ' 

The Dairyman's Board of Trade was organized at Meadville, January 3, 
1872, its charter members being T. H. McCalmont, E. F. Stountz, Joseph 
Blystone, D. C Root, R. L. Stebbins, Thomas Van Home, H. C. Greene, D. H. 
Gibson, J. H. Marcy, William Morse and J. H. Blystone. It had a lingering 
existence until the re-organization of the Dairyman's Association in 1875. when 
the following officers were chosen: L. C. Magaw, President of the board; H. 
C. Greene, Secretary, and S. B. Dick, Treasurer. In 1882 the headquarters 
of the Board of Trade were removed from Meadville to Cambridgeboro, which 
is a more central point for the factories now belonging to it. The dairy inter- 
ests of Crawford County are looked upon with pride by her citizens, as well 
they might be, for there is a larger amount of cheese manufactured within her 
limits than in all the balance of the State combined. 

j4. l3 . ^^^Xvv.^^^— 



Primitive Appearancp: of Crawford County— Timber, and Fruit-bearing 
Trees and Vines— Roots and Herbage— Pioneer Days and Trials— Hab- 
itations OF THE First Settlers— Furniture— Food and Medicine— 
Habits,Labor and Dress— Early Manners and Customs— "Bees" and Wed- 
dings— The Hominy Block and Pioneer Mills— Store Goods and Prod- 
uce—Old Cash Book at Fort Franklin— Mode of Living— Churches 
and Schools — Period of 1812-15— Alfred Huidekoper's List of Wild Ani- 
mals, Birds and Reptiles— An Old Settler— Game— The Inhabitants of 
Northwestern Pennsy'lvania Petition the Legislature to Enact a 
Law for the Destruction of Squirrels— Hunts Inaugurated— Php:as- 
ANTS, Pigeons, Bees and Fish— Wolves— Premiums on Wolf and Fox 
Scalps— Bears— Panthers— Fur-bearing Animals— The Rattlesnake 
and other Pests of Early Times. 

ERE the woodman's ax resounded, sombre and silent was the ancient forest 
which, during untold centuries, had overshadowed the hills and valleys 
of this region. Beauty and variety marked the plants which grew and 
bloomed beneath the leafy canopy of the gigantic trees; 

"Full many a flower was born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." 

Hill, dale and streamlet, with all the families of plants, from the lofty 
pine to the creeping ivy, gave to the landscape variety and picturesque beauty. 
An unchanged progression of periodical decay, had, from time immemorial, 
been forming a I'ich vegetable soil, in preparation for the era when civilized 
man should take possession and. become its cultivator. Oak of several varie- 
ties, chestnut and hickory in all its species, were the principal growth on the 
dry gravelly lands; red and white beech, maple or sugar tree, linden or bass- 
wood, sumach, white-ash, cucumber, poplar, white, red and slippery elm, wal- 
nut, iron wood, dogwood, sassafras and cherry, on the rich, loamy soil; and on 
the wet land bordering the streams, hemlock, black-ash, sycamore, soft maple 
and birch; extensive groves of white pine skirted many of the water- courses, 
affording ample provision for the building wants of several generations; while 
a varying undergrowth of fruit-bearing trees and vines such as the plum, 
crab- apple, white, red and black haw, alder, whortleberry, blackberry, raspberry, 
serviceberry, gooseberry, currant, cranberry and strawberry, also nuts of sev- 
eral varieties; hops, ginseng, bloodroot, chocolate root, together with innumer- 
able kinds of other roots and herbage of valuable properties were the sponta- 
neous growth of Crawford County. 

But the pioneers came not to enjoy a life of lotus-eating and ease. They 
could admire the pristine beauty of the scenes that unveiled before them; they 
could enjoy the vernal green of the great forest, and the loveliness of all the 
works of nature. They could look forward with happy anticipation to the 
life they were to lead in the midst of all this beauty, and to the rich reward 
that would be theirs from the cultivation of the mellow, fertile soil; but they 
had first to work. 

The dangers, also, that these pioneers were exposed to, were serious ones. 
The Indians could not be trusted, and the many stories of their outrages in 


the earlier Eastern settlements made the pioneers of French Creek country 
apprehensive of trouble. The larger wild beasts were a cause of much dread, 
and the smaller ones a source of great annoyance. Added to this was the 
liability of sickness which always exists in a new country. In the midst of 
all the loveliness of the surroundings, there was a sense of loneliness that 
could not be dispelled, and this was a far greater trial to the men and women 
who first dwelt in the Western country than is generally imagined. The deep- 
seated, constantly-recurring feeling of isolation made many stout hearts turn 
back to the older settlements and the abodes of comfort, the companionship 
and sociability they had abandoned in their early homes, to take up a new life 
in the wilderness. 

The pioneers making the tedious journey from the East and South by the 
rude trails, arrived at the places of their destination with but very little with 
which to begin the battle of life. They had brave hearts and strong arms, 
however, and they were possessed of invincible determination. Frequently 
they came on without their families to make a beginning, and this having 
been accomplished, would return to their old homes for their wives and chil- 
dren. The first thing done, after a temporary shelter from the rain had been 
provided, was to prepare a little spot of ground for some crop, usually corn. 
This was done by girding the trees, clearing away the underbrush, if there 
chanced to be any, and sweeping the surface with fire. Five, ten or even fif- 
teen acres of land might thus be prepared and planted the first season. In 
the autumn the crop would be carefully gathered and garnered with the least 
possible waste, for it was the food supply of the pioneer and his family, and 
life itself depended, in part, upon its safe preservation. While the first crop 
was oTowing the pioneer had busied himself with the building of his cabin, 
which must answer as a shelter from the storms of the coming winter, a pro- 
tection from the ravages of wild animals, and, possibly, a place of refuge from 
the red man. 

If a pioneer was completely isolated from his fellow-men, his position was 
certainly a hard one; for without assistance he could construct only a poor 
habitation. In such cases the cabin was generally made of light logs or poles, 
and was laid up roughly, only to answer the temporary purpose of shelter, until 
other settlers had come into the vicinity, by whose help a more solid structure 
could be built. Usually a number of men came into the cou^try together, and 
located within such distance of each other as enabled them to perform many 
friendly and neighborly of&ces. Assistance was always readily given one 
pioneer by all the scattered residents of the forest within a radius of several 
miles. The commonly followed plan of erecting a log cabin was through a 
union of labor. The site of the cabin home was generally selected with refer- 
ence to a good water supply, often by a never-failing spring of pure water, or 
if such could not be found, it was not uncommon to first dig a well. When the 
cabin was to be built the few neighbors gathered at the site, and first cut down, 
within as close proximity as possible, a number of trees as nearly of a size as 
could be found, but ranging from a foot to twenty inches in diameter. Logs 
were chopped from these and rolled to a common center. This work, and 
that of preparing the foundation, would consume the greater part of the day, 
in most cases, and the entire labor would most commonly occupy two or three 
days — sometimes four. The logs were raised to their places with handspikes 
and " skid poles," and men standing at the cornei's with axes notched them as 
fast as they were laid in position. Soon the cabin would be built several logs 
high, and the work would become more difficult. The gables were formed by 
beveling the logs, and making them shorter and shorter, as each additional one 


was laid in place. These logs in the gables were held in place by polos, 
which extended across the cabin from end to end, and which served also as 
rafters upon which to lay the rived " clapboard " roof. The so-called " clap- 
boards " were live or six feet in length, and were split from oak or ash logs, 
and made as smooth and flat as possible. They were laid side by side, and 
other pieces of split stuff laid over the cracks so as to effectually keep out the 
rain. Upon these logs were laid to hold them in place, and the logs were held 
by blocks of wood placed between them. 

The chimney was an important part of the structure, and taxed the build- 
ers, with their poor tools, to their utmost. In rare cases it was made of stone, but 
most commonly of logs and sticks laid up in a manner similar to those which 
formed the cabin. It was, in nearly all cases, built outside of the cabin, and 
at its base a huge opening was cut through the wall to answer as a fire-place. 
The sticks in the chimney were held in place, and protected from fire, by mor- 
tar, formed by kneading and working clay and straw. Flat stones were pro- 
cured for back and jambs of the fire-place. 

An opening was chopped or sawed in the logs on one side of the cabin for 
a doorway. Pieces of hewed timber, three or four inches thick, were fastened 
on each side hy wooden pins to the end of the logs, and the door (if there was 
any) was fastened to one of these by wooden hinges. The door itself was a 
clumsy piece of wood-work. It was made of boards rived from an oak log, and 
held together by heavy cross-pieces. There was a wooden latch upon the 
inside, raised by a string which passed through a gimlet-hole, and hung upon 
the outside. From this mode of construction arose the old and well-known 
hospitable saying: " You will find the latch-string always out." It was only 
pulled in at night, and the door was thus fastened. Very many of the cabins 
of the pioneers had no doors of the kind here described, and the entrance was 
only protected by a blanket or skin of some wild beast suspended above it. 

The window was a small opening, often devoid of anything resembling a 
sash, and very seldom having glass. Greased paper was sometimes used in 
lieu of the latter, but more commonly some old garment constituted a curtain, 
which was the only protection from san, rain or snow. 

The floor of the cabin was made of puncheons — pieces of timber split from 
trees about eighteen inches in diameter, and hewed smooth with the broad-ax. 
They were half the length of the floor. Many of the cabins first erected in 
this part of the country had nothing but the earthen floor. Sometimes the 
cabins had cellars, which were simply small excavations in the ground for the 
storage of a few articles of food, or perhaps cooking utensils. Access to the 
cellar was readily gained by lifting a loose puncheon. There was sometimes 
a loft used for various purposes, among others as the "guest chamber" of the 
house. It was reached by a ladder, the sides of which were split pieces of a 
sapling, put together like everything else in the house without nails. 

The furniture of the log cabin was as simple and primitive as the structure 
itself. A forked stick set in the floor and supporting two poles, the other ends 
of which were allowed to rest upon the logs at the end and side of the cabin 
formed a bedstead. A common form of table was a slit slab supported by 
four rustic legs set in augur holes. Three-legged stools were made in a simi- 
lar simple manner. Pegs driven in augur holes into the logs of the wall sup- 
ported shelves, and others displayed the limited wardrobe of the family not in 
use. A few other pegs, or perhaps a pair of deer horns formed a rack where 
hung the rifle and powder-horn, which no cabin was without. These, and per- 
haps a few other simple articles brought from the "old home" formed the fur- 
niture and furnishings of the pioneer cabin. 


The utensils for cooking and the dishes for table use were few. The best 
were of pewter, which the careful housewife of the olden time kept shining 
as brightly as the most pretentious plate of our later-day fine houses. It was 
by no means uncommon that wooden vessels, either coopered or turned, were 
used upon the table. Knives and forks were few, crockery very scarce, and 
tinware not abundant. Food was simply cooked and served, but it was of the 
best and most wholesome kind. The hunter kept the larder supplied with 
venison, bear meat, squirrels, fish, wild turkeys and the many varieties of 
smaller game. Plain corn bread baked in a kettle, in the ashes, or upon a 
board in front of the great open fire-place answered the purpose of all kinds 
of pastry. The corn was among the earlier pioneers pounded or grated, there 
being no mills for grinding it for some time, and then only small ones at a 
considerable distance away. The wild fruits in their season were made use of, 
and afforded a pleasant variety. Sometimes especial effort was made to pre- 
pare a delicacy as, for instance, when a woman experimented in mince pies by 
pounding wheat for the Hour to make the crust, and used crab- apples for fruit. 
In the lofts of the cabins was usually to be found a collection of articles that 
made up the pioneer's materia inedica — the herb medicines and spices, catnip, 
sage, tansy, fennel, boneset, pennyroyal and wormwood, each gathered in its 
season; and there were also stores of nuts, and strings of dried pumpkin, with 
bags of berries and fruit. 

The habits of the pioneers were of a simplicity and purity in conformance 
to their surroundings and belongings. The men were engaged in the hercu- 
lean labor, day after day, of enlarging the little patch of sunshine about their 
homes, cutting away the forest, burning off the brush and debris, preparing 
the soil, planting, tending, harvesting, caring for the few animals which they 
brought with them or soon procured, and in hunting. While they were en- 
gaged in the heavy labor of the field and forest, or following the deer, or seek- 
ing other game, their helpmeets were busied with their household duties, pro- 
viding for the day and for the winter coming on, cooking, making clothes, 
spinning and weaving. They were fitted by nature and experience to be the 
consorts of the brave men who first came into the Western wilderness. They 
were heroic in their endurance of hardship and privation and loneliness. Their 
industry was well directed and unceasing. Woman's work then, like man's, 
was performed under disadvantages, which have been removed in later years. 
She had not only the common household duties to perform, but many others. 
She not only made the clothing but the fabric for it. That old, old occupa- 
tion of spinning and of weaving, with which woman's name has been associated 
in all history, and of which the modern world knows nothing, except through 
the stories of those who are grandmothers now — that old occupation of spin- 
ning and of weaving which seems surrounded with a glamour of romance as 
we look back to it through tradition and poetry, and which always conjures up 
thoughts of the graces and virtues of the dames and damsels of a generation 
that is gone — that old, old occupation of spinning and of weaving, was the 
chief industry of the pioneer women. Every cabin sounded with the softly- 
whirring wheel and the rythmic thud of the loom. The woman of pioneer 
times was like the woman described by Solomon: "She seeketh wool and flax, 
and worketh willingly with her hands; she layeth her hands to the spindle, 
and her hands hold the distaff." 

Almost every article of clothing, all of the cloth in use in the old log cab- 
ins, was the product of the patient woman-weaver's toil. She spun the flax 
and wove the cloth for shirts, pantaloons, frocks, sheets and blankets. The 
linen and the wool, the "linsey-woolsey" woven by the housewife formed all 


of the material for the clothing of both men and women, except Buch articles 
as were made of skins. The men commonly wore the hunting-shirt, a kind of 
loose frock reaching half way down the figure, open before, and so wide as to 
lap over a foot or more upon the chest. This generally had a cape, which 
was often fringed with a raveled piece of cloth of a different color fx-om that 
which composed the garment. The bosom of the hunting-shirt answered as a 
pouch, in which could be carried the various articles that the hunter or woods- 
man would need. It was always worn belted and made out of coarse linen, 
or linsey, or of dressed deer skin, according to the fancy of the wearer. 
Breeches were made of heavy cloth or of deer skin, and were often worn with 
leggings of the same material, or of some kind of leather, while the feet were 
most usually encased in moccasins, which were easily and (piickly made, 
though they needed frequent mending. The deer- skin breeches or drawers 
were very comfortable when dry, but when they became wet were very cold to 
the limbs, and the next time they were put on were almost as stiff as if made 
of wood. Hats or caps were made of the various native furs. The women 
were clothed in linsey petticoats, coarse shoes and stockings, and wore buck- 
skin gloves or mittens when any protection was required for the hands. All 
of the wearing apparel, like that of the men, was made with a view to being 
serviceable and comfortable, and all was of home manufacture. Other articles 
and finer ones were sometimes worn, but they had been brought from former 
homes, and were usiially relics handed down from parents to children. Jew- 
elry was not common, but occasionally some ornament was displayed. In the 
cabins of the more cultivated pioneers were usually a few books, and the long 
winter evenings were spent in poring over these well-thumbed volumes by the 
light of the great log-fire, in knitting, mending, curing furs or some sim- 
ilar occupation 

Hospitality was simple, unaffected, hearty, unbounded. Whisky was in 
common use, and was furnished on all occasions of sociality. Nearly every set- 
tler had his barrel stored away. It was the universal drink at merry makings, 
bees, house-warmings, weddings, and was always set before the traveler who 
chanced to spend the night or take a meal in the log cabin. It was the good 
old-fashioned whisky, " clear as amber, sweet as musk, smooth as oil "—that 
the few octogenarians and nonagenarians of to-day recall to memory with an 
unctuous gusto and a suggestive smack of the lips. The whisky came from 
the Monongahela district, and was boated up the Allegheny and French Creek, 
or hauled in wagons across the country. A few years later stills began to make 
their appearance, and an article of peach brandy and rye whisky manufac- 
tiired ; the latter was not held in such high esteem as the peach brandy, though 
used in greater quantities. 

As the settlement increased, the sense of loneliness and isolation was dis- 
pelled, the asperities of life were softened and its amenities multiplied; social 
gatherings became more numerous and more enjoyable. The log-rollings, har- 
vestings and husking-bees for the men; and the apple butter making and the 
quilting parties for the women, furnished frequent occasions for social inter- 
course. The early settlers took much pleasure and pride in rifle-shooting, and 
as they were accustomed to the use of the gun as a means, often, of obtaining 
a subsistence, and relied upon it as a weapon of defense, they exhibited con- 
siderable skill. 

A wedding was the event of most importance in the sparsely settled new 
country. The young people had every inducement to marry, and generally 
did so as soon as able to provide for themselves. When a marriage was to be 
celebrated, all the neighborhood turned out. It was customary to have the 


ceremony performed before dinner, and in order to be in time, the groom and 
his attendants usually started from his father's house in the morning for that 
of the bride. All went on horseback, riding in single file along the narrow 
trail. Arriving at the cabin of the bride's parents, the ceremony would be 
performed, and after that, dinner served. This would be a substantial back- 
woods feast, of beef, pork, fowls and bear or deer meat, with such vegetables 
as 90uld be procured. The greatest hilarity prevailed during the meal. After 
it was over, the dancing began, and was usually kept up till the next morning, 
though the newly made husband and wife were as a general thing put to bed 
in the most approved fashion, and with considerable formality, in the middle 
of the evening's hilarity. The tall young men, when they went on the floor 
to dance, had to take their places with care between the logs that supported 
the loft floor, or they were in danger of bumping their heads. The figures of 
the dances were three and four hand reels, or square sets and jigs. The com- 
mencement was always a square four, which was followed by " jigging it ofi"," 
or what is sometimes a " cut out jig." The " settlement " of a young couple 
was thought to be thoroughly and generously made when the neighbors assem- 
bled and raised a cabin for them. 

During all the early years of the settlement, varied with occasional pleas- 
ures and excitements the great work of increasing the tillable ground went 
slowly on. The implements and tools were few and of the most primitive 
kinds, but the soil that had long held in reserve the accumulated richness of 
centuries, produced splendid harvests, and the husbandman was well rewarded 
for his labor. The soil was warmer then than now, and the season eai'lier. 
The wheat was occasionally pastured in the spring to keep it from growing up 
so early, and so fast as to become lodged. The harvest came early, and the 
yield was often from twenty to thirty bushels per acre. Corn grew fast, 
and roasting ears were to be had by the 1st of August in most seasons. 

When the corn grew too hard for roasting-ears and was yet too soft to 
grind in the mill, it was reduced to meal by a grater. Next to the grater came 
the hominy block, an article in common use among the pioneers. It consisted 
simply of a block of wood — a section of a tree, perhaps — with a hole burned 
or dug into it a foot deep in which corn was pulverized with a pestle. Some- 
times this block was inside the cabin, where it served as a seat for the bashful 
young backwoodsmaa while " sparking " his girl ; sometimes a convenient 
stump in front of the cabin door was prepared for and made one of the best 
of hominy blocks. These blocks did not last long, for mills came quite early 
and superseded them, yet these mills were often so far apart that in stormy 
weather, or for want of transportation, the pioneer was compelled to resort to 
his hominy-block or go without bread. In winter, the mills wei'e frozen up 
nearly all the time and when a thaw caine and the ice broke, if the mill was 
not swept away entirely by the floods, it was so thronged with pioneers, each 
with his sack of corn, that some of them were often compelled to camp out 
near the mill and wait several days for their turn. When the grist was 
ground, if they were so fortunate as to possess an ox, a horse or mule for the 
purpose of transportation, they were happy. It was not unusual to go ten or 
twenty miles to mill, through the pathless, unbroken forest, and to be 
benighted on the journey and chased by wolves. 

As a majority of the pioneers settled in the vicinity of some stream, mills 
soon made their appearance in every settlement. These mills, however, were 
very primitive affairs — mere "corn -crackers" — but they were a big improve- 
ment on the hominy-block. They merely ground the corn ; the pioneer must 
do his own bolting. The meal was sifted through a wire sieve by hand, and 


the finest used for bread. A road cut through the forest to the mill aud a 
wagon for hauling the grist were great advantages. The latter, especially, 
was often a seven days' wonder to the children of a settlement, and the happy 
owner of one often did for years the milling of a whole neighborhood. About 
once a month, this good neighbor, who was in exceptionally good circum- 
stances because able to own a wagon, would go around through the settlement, 
gather up the grists and take them to mill, often spending several days in the 
operation, and never think of charging for his time and trouble. 

Only the commonest goods were brought into the country, and they sold at 
very high prices, as the freightage of merchandise from Philadelphia to Mead- 
ville, as late as 1811, was from $6 to 19 per hundred pounds. Most of the 
people were in moderate circumstances, and were content to live in a very 
cheap way. A majority had to depend mainly on the produce of their little 
clearings, which consisted to a large extent of potatoes and corn. Mush, corn 
bread and potatoes were the principal food. There was no meat except game, 
and often this had to be eaten without salt. Pork, flour, sugar and other 
groceries sold at high prices, and were looked upon as luxuries. In 1798-99, 
wheat brought $1.50 per bushel ; flour, $4, per 100 lbs. ; corn, $1 per bushel; 
oats, 75 cents ; and potatoes, 65 cents. Prices were still higher in 1813-14, 
corn being $2 per bushel, oats, $1, and salt from $5 to $12 per barrel. 

In an old cash-book kept at Fort Franklin from 1792 to 1798, William 
Reynolds, Esq., found the names of many of the first settlers of Crawford 
County, such as David Mead, John Mead, Samuel Lord, John Wentworth, 
Luke Hill, Jonathan Titus, Samuel and Andrew Kerr, Joseph Hackney, Dr. 
Thomas R. Kennedy, William McGrady, William Eachus, James Herrington. 
Aaron Wright, Hamilton McClintock, Cornelius Van Home and Capt. Richard 
Patch. The accounts with the whites are carried out in pounds, shillings and 
pence, while those with the Indians, who largely patronized this store, were 
kept in dollars and cents. To judge from the daily consumption of whisky, 
it was pre-eminently the " staff of life," there being scarce an account against a 
white or Indian, male or female, of which it does not form a large proportion. 
For domestic use, it cost three shillings per quart, while a gill cost 4 cents. 
Tobacco was sold by the yard, at 4 cents per yard ; common sugar at 33 
cents, and loaf at 50 cents per pound. Chocolate was in more general use 
than tea or coffee, and sold at three shillings and sixpence per pound, and 
coffee at 30 cents. Homespun linen could be purchased at 50 cents per yard, 
while the belle aspiring to the extravagance of calico, could gratify per ambi- 
tion at 83 cents per yard, with the addition of a cotton handkerchief at from 
70 cents to $1, according to color and design. Shoes and boots brought from 
$1 to $3 per pair, but moccasins were in common use with both white men 
and Indians at 3 shillings and ninepence, though from ninepence to two 
shillings higher when ornamented with the colored quills of the porcupine. 
The price of a rifle was $25, a horse, $125, and a yoke of oxen $80. 

Indians usually paid their bills with peltry, and many of the whites did 
likewise. A bear skin was worth from $2 to $5 ; otter, from $3 to $4 ; 
beaver, from $2 to $3; deer, from 75 to 90 cents; martin, one shilling and ten 
pence; muskrat, one shilling, while fisher, wild cat and elk skins were also pur- 
chased. John Wentworth, of Crawford County, settles an account at this 
Fort Franklin store by delivering two wild cats, one bear, two cub, one martin 
and two otter skins. In an inventory made in 1797, three kegs of " Seneca 
Oil " (petroleum) are appraised at 50 cents each. This is doubtless one of the 
oldest quotations of the market price of this material. These books contain 
accounts with a large number of Indians then living in the Allegheny Valley, 


who appear to have had fair credit, among whom were Cornplanter, Half town. 
Flying Cloud and Wire Ears, names closely identified with the early history 
of the French Creek Valley. 

Long journeys upon foot were often made by the pioneers to obtain the 
necessities of life or some article, then a luxury, for the sick. Hardships were 
cheerfully borne, privations stoutly endured; the best was made of what they 
had by the pioneers and their families, and they toiled patiently on, industri- 
ous and frugal, simple in their tastes and pleasures, happy in an independ- 
ence, however hardly gained, and looking forward hopefully to a future of 
plenty which should reward them for the toils of their earliest years, and a 
rest from the struggle amidst the benefits gained by it. "Without an iron will 
and indomitable resolution they could never have accomplished what they did. 
Their heroism deserves the highest tribute of praise that can be awarded. A 
writer in one of the local papers says: 

" Eighty years ago not a pound of coal or a cubic foot of illuminating gas 
had been burned in the country. All the cooking and warming in town as 
well as in the country were done by the aid of a fire kindled on the brick 
hearth or in the brick ovens. Pine knots or tallow candles furnished the light 
for the long winter nights, and sanded floors supplied the place of rugs and 
carpets. The water used for household purposes was drawn from deep wells 
by the creaking sweep. No form of pump was used in this country, so far as 
we can learn, until after the commencement of the present century. There 
were no friction matches in those early days, by the aid of which a fire could 
be easily kindled, and if the fire went out upon the hearth over night, and the 
tinder was damp, so that the spark would not catch, the alternative remained 
of wading through the snow a mile or so to borrow a brand from a neighbor. 
Only one room in any house was warm, unless some member of the family was 
ill; in all the rest the temperature was at zero during many nights in winter. 
The men and women undressed and went to their beds in a temperature colder 
than our barns and woodsheds, and they never complained." 

Churches and schoolhouses were sparsely scattered, and of the most primi- 
tive character. One pastor served a number of congregations, and salaries 
were so low that the preachers had to take part in working their farms to pro- 
cure support for their families. The people went to religious service on foot 
or horseback, and the children often walked two or three miles through the 
woods to school. There were no fires in the churches for a number of years. 
When they were finally introduced they were at first built in holes cut in the 
floors, and the smoke found its way out through openings in the roofs. The 
seats were of unsmoothed slabs, the ends and centers of which were laid upon 
blocks, and the pulpits were little better. Worship was held once or twice a 
month, consisting usually of two services, one in the forenoon and one imme- 
diately after noon, the people remaining during the interval and spending the 
time in social intercourse. It is much to be feared that if religious worship 
were attended with the same discomforts now as it was eighty to ninety years 
ago, the excuses for keeping away from the house of God would be many times 
multiplied. Taken altogether, while they had to endure many privations and 
hardships, it is doubtful whether the pioneers of any part of America were 
more fortunate in their selection than those of Crawford County. Every one 
of the settlers agree in saying that they had no trouble in accommodating 
themselves to the situation, and were, as a rule, both men and women, healthy, 
contented and happy. 

During the war of 1812-15, many of the husbands and fathers volunteered 
their services to the United States, and others were drafted. Women and 


children were then left alone in many an isolated log-cabin all through north- 
western Pennsylvania, and there was a long reign of unrest and anxiety. It 
was feared by many that the Indians might take advantage of the desertion of 
these homes by their natural defenders, and pillage and destroy them. The 
dread of robbery and murder filled many a mother's heart, but happily the 
Avorst fears of the kind proved to be groundless, and this part of the country 
was spared any scenes of actual violence. 

After the war there was a greater feeling of security than ever before; a 
new motive was given to immigration. The countiy rapidly filled up with set- 
tlers, and the era of peace and prosperity was fairly begun. Progress was 
slowly, surely made; the log- houses became more numeroiTs in the clearings; 
the forest shrank away before the woodman's ax; frame houses began to appear. 
The pioneers, assured of safety, laid better plans for the future, resorted to 
new industries, enlarged their possessions, and improved the means of culti- 
vation. Stock was brought in from the South and East. Every settler had 
his. horses, oxen, cattle, sheep and hogs. More commodious structures took 
the places of the old ones; the large double log-cabin of hewed logs and the 
still handsomer frame dwelling took the place of the smaller hut; log and 
frame barns were built for the protection of stock and the housing of the crops. 
Then society began to form itself; the schoolhouse and the church appeared, 
and the advancement was noticeable in a score of ways. Still there remained a 
vast work to perform, for as yet only a beginning had been made in the west- 
ern woods. The brunt of the struggle, however, was past, and the way made 
in the wilderness for the army that was to come. 

" The wild animals," says Alfred Huidekoper in his sketch of Crawford 
County written in 1846, " that have been seen in this county since its settle- 
ment, are the elk, deer, panther, wolf, bear, wild cat, fox, martin, otter, pole- 
cat, beaver, groundhog or woodchuck, opossum, raccoon, hare, rabbit, black, 
grey, red or pine, flying and ground or striped squirrels, muskrat, mink, weasel, 
porcupine, field-mouse, deer-mouse, common rat and mouse." Of these the 
elk, panther, wolf, bear, wild-cat and beaver, are extinct in this county, or if 
any are ever seen it is a very rare occurrence. 

"Among the birds," says the same writer, "-which visit this county annu- 
ally, either to build or touching it in their migration to a more northerii 
region, are the bald and gray eagle, rarely if ever seen; the hen hawk, fish 
hawk, pigeon hawk, shrike or butcher bird, the white, the cat and screech owl; 
the swan, wild goose, black duck, mallard, wood duck, shelldrake, teal, butter- 
bolt, loon, dipper, water hen or coot, plover, jack snipe, sand-snipe, kingfisher, 
turkey, pheasant, partridge or quail, woodcock, rail, pigeon, dove, whip-poor- 
will, robin, thrush, catbird, cuckoo, lark, oriole, bluejay, fieldfare or red- 
breasted grosbeak, martin, the barn swallow, bank swallow, oven swallow, 
bluebird, wren, cowbird, bobolink or reedbird, yellow bird, redbird, 
blackbird, redwing, starling, black or large woodpecker, red-headed wood- 
pecker, gray woodpecker, flicker, cedar bird or toppy, crookbill, green 
bird, humming bird, and a variety of small birds with whose species I 
am not familiar." Since Mr. Huidekoper's sketch was written some of 
these members of the feathery kingdom have become very rare, or altogether 
extinct, while others have come into the county. The white-breasted swallow 
is one of the later inhabitants, as is also the hardy, pugnacious English spar- 
row, which, since their coming, has driven many of the most beautiful song- 
sters from the towns that are inhabited by these little fellows in great 

"The snakes that are found in Crawford County," according to Mr. 


Huidekoper, " are the black and the yellow rattlesnake, the former of which 
is most frequently found in swampy or wet lands, and the latter upon hilly 
or dry ground; the water snake, a large black snake, growing from five to seven 
feet in length; the small blacksnakeor white-ringed viper; the brown or house 
snake; the garter snake and green snake. All these species are innocuous, 
except the rattlesnake, and it is fortunately now almost extinct." 

In connection with the subject of wild animals, birds and reptiles, it will 
not be out of place to give the following item from the Crawford Weekly 
Messenger ol June 15, 1827. Under the heading of " An Old Settler,'' the 
editor says: "A land tortoise was brought to my office this week by Mr. E. F. 
Randolph, found on his farm, with the letters ' F. H.' cut on the lower shell 
by Frederick Haymaker, formerly of this place, in 1794, being thirty-three 
years ago. It was found on the same farm about twenty, and again about 
fom-teen years since. The letters ' T. A. (Thomas Atkinsun), 1827,' have 
been added to it. Let the future finder treat it with kindness. It is the only 
one, so far as I can learn, that has been discovered in this section of the 
county." Hon. William Reynolds and Thomas R. Kennedy whoprepai-ed the 
"olden time" articles for the Republican, sKys: "This tortoise was found 
several times subsequent to the last mentioned date, and loas treated with 
kindness, as Mr. Atkinson requested. About the year 1855 it was discovered 
by some young men while hunting, who placed it upon a stump as a target to 
shoot at, and killed it." 

The thick undergrowth gave an excellent covert to the wild animals which 
abounded during the pioneer days of this county; deer being the most valuable 
game that filled these forests. The rich herbage, especially the pea-vine, with 
its delicate tendrils and tiny pods, the wild bean in the summer, and the 
acorn, beachnut and chestnut in autumn, covered them with delicious fat. 
Venison was then very much superior to what it became after the cattle and 
swine of the first settlers destroyed these nutritious plants, and reduced the 
wooded pasture to a barren waste. Elk were rarely seen west of the Alle- 
gheny River.* Turkeys abounded, and in the springtime the woods resounded 
with their cry. In autumn they became very fat, and gobblers were fre- 
quently killed weighing over twenty pounds. Black squirrels were so numer- 
ous as to be regarded as nuisances; but the gray squirrel was not seen until 
some years after the country began to be settled. In November, 1810, a peti- 
tion was prepared and presented at the following session of the Legislature, ask- 
ing for relief against the squirrel infesting northwestern Pennsylvania. This 
petition reads as follows : 

"The petition of the subscribei's, Inhabitants of the counties of Mercer, Crawford, 
Venango and Erie, most respectfull}^ sheweth: That the great injurj- which we annually 
sustain in our crops from squirrels, has induced us to apply to your honorable bodies to 
have some appropriate means adopted for the destruction of these destructive animals. 
It is not without much concern that your petitioners behold so large a portion of the 
fruits of their labor continually devoured by them; while every exertion that can j "' '' 

■ ' relie" 

be made by a few individuals can yield only a very partial relief, even to those individ- 
uals themselves. It is certain that if all the inhabitants of the country were to do their 
part toward the extirpation of these vermin, they might soon be destroyed; but it is a 
truth very evident that unless this essential duty be sanctioned by law, it never will be 
performed, and consequently immense quantities of grain must continue to be lost to the 
country, which in its present infantile state, is a most serious evil. Your petitioners there- 
fore do most earnestly pray, that your honorable bodies will vouchsafe to direct by a law, 
such measures as shall be deemed most proper for carrying into effect the object of this 

From this time forward a relentless warfare was waged against the squir- 
rel creation. Large hunting parties were frequently organized, that slaugh- 

*A French memoir, written in 1714, says : " Buffalo are found on the south shore of Lake Erie, but not on 
the north shore." 


tered these little auimals without mercy. At one of these hunts, which took 
place in Randolph Township, in July, 1830, 891 squirrels were killed in one 
day, and the scalps preserved for the premium then offered under a legisla- 
tive act. It was a pioneer custom to organize " shooting bees," two sets of 
sportsmen hunting against each other on a wager. On the 1st of September, 
1834, two parties of marksmen, of opposite political sentiments, Democrats 
and Whigs, or Jackson and anti -Jackson men, each side composed of eight 
sportsmen, left Meadville on a squirrel hunt, the parties to meet with their 
game at Flurey's tavern, in Meadville, at 9 o'clock the same evening. Upon 
counting the result of the hunt, the Jacksonites had 271, while the Whigs had 
382, thus winning the wager of a supper prepared at Flurey's for the occa- 

Pheasants enlivened the forest with their peculiar drumming, while the 
partridge, or quail, was not seen or heard of until fields of grain were here to 
give them sustenance. Pigeons, in the spring and fall, covered the country, 
their favorite roosting places being the Conneaut and Pymatuning marshes. 
In the evening the sound of their wings in rapid flight resembled distant 
thunder as they came fluttering and covering the trees and bushes, many of 
which would give way with their weight. In the morning they took their 
flight in like manner, spreading over the land till neither beech-nut nor acorn 

The bee-trees were also plentiful in pioneer times, and one instance is men- 
tioned in the Messenger, in 1832, where sixteen gallons of excellent honey 
were obtained from one tree in this county. 

Most of the small streams abounded in trout. The rivulets emptying into 
French Creek were particularly famous for this favorite fish, and the stories 
told of tlieir size and readiness to leap into the sportsman's hands, are enough 
to drive an angler wild with enthusiasm. 

Of noxious animals not a few were dwelling in the forest that covei-ed this 
region; but the wolf was most numerous. His lugubrious howl, and the pecul- 
iar cry of the pack, ushered in the the evening shades, and during the night 
serenaded the lonely settler or benighted traveler, increasing the tsolitariness 
of the wilderness. These pests had few sheep to prey upon, but pigs and 
calves oftimes went to satisfy their voracious appetites. The Commonwealth 
had enacted laws prior to the erection of Crawford County, providing for the 
payment of a premium by each county on the scalps of wolves and other wild 
animals. In the act of 1806 this premium was fixed at $8 for a full growm wolf, 
and $3 for a puppy wolf; and in the session of 1819, the premium was raised 
to $12 and $5 respectively. Under the several acts Crawford County, during 
the early years of her history, paid out the following sums as premiums for 
wolf scalps: 1804, 1220.50; 1805, 1301.33; 180(3, $198.06; 1807, $182; 1808, 
$265; 1809, $119; 1810 (wolf and fox), $316.46; 1811 (wolf and fox), $221.81; 
1812 (wolf and fox), $129.09; 1813 (wolf and fox), $271.20; 1814, $192; 1816, 
$144: 1818, $172; 1819, $160; 1822, $386.65: 1823, $217.59; 1824, $241.96; 
1825,' $169.71; 1826, $218.07; 1827, $227.85; 1828, $186.70; 1829, $265.22; 
1830, $275.18; 1831, $254.81; 1832,1398.28; 1833, $141.34; 1834, $200.44. 

Bears were numerous and troublesome. Hogs of large size were frequently 
destroyed by them, and on some occasions it was not desirable to meet bruin 
in the woods. A she bear with her cubs was especially dangerous, when her 
young manifested fear by crying. The flesh of a fat bear was prized by the 
early settlers. They sometimes weighed from 400 to 500 pounds, and yielded 
a large quantity of oil, which in those days was valued in the culinary depart- 
ment of the housewife. As late as September, 1834, a bear was shot by H. 


C. Bosler on the farm of Cornelius Van Home, and the same evening another 
was seen up French Creek, within sight of Meadville, quietly resting on the 
tow-path of the canal. Crossing the creek, bruin regaled his appetite in a 
field of corn on the flats, and then disappeared in the woods. About the same 
period William Shattuck, of Meadville, discovered a large cinnamon bear on 
the Randolph farm below town. He hurriedly returned, borrowed a horse and 
gun of Alfred Huidekoper, and in due time came back with the bear slung 
across his horse. These were about the last seen in the vicinity of Meadville. 
Panthers were scarce, and not often seen and seldom heard. In 1819 the 
Legislature fixed the premium on a full-grown panther's scalp at $12, and $5 
on a cub's. The lynx or wild cat, was sometimes bold and threatening, 
being a ferocious and dangerous animal in close quarters. 

Of the fur-bearing animals, the beaver was most valuable. They 
inhabited the Conneaut and Pymatuning marshes, and were also found along 
the smaller streams, wherever the conveniences of site and timber for the 
formation of their dams were found. But the wolf, bear, panther, wild cat 
and beaver have long since disappeared from the forests of this county. Otter 
and mink were numerous, but of late years have become very scarce; while the 
fox and raccoon still inhabit this portion of the State. 

The most dreaded, because the most dangerous nuisance during the first 
years of settlement, was the rattlesnake, always numerous in the creek 
valleys and the adjoining high lands. Many were of large size, having 
attained their maximum growth, as the Indians seldom if ever killed them. 
Hairbreadth escapes almost every one of the first settlers could with truth 
narrate; yet few persons were bitten by these reptiles, and fewer still died 
from the poisonous effects. The rattlesnake would often creep into the cabins 
of the pioneers and hide away in some comfortable nook. "When the Holland 
Land Company was erecting its mill on Oil Creek, the blacksmith employed 
in doing the iron work made his lodging in the shop, which was open and 
cool. One morning on awaking he discovered a large rattlesnake qufetly 
coiled within a few inches of his face. He remembered being partially awake 
some time before, and by moonlight saw what he supposed to be his black silk 
neckerchief; so he slept on till daylight revealed the proximity of his dan- 
gerous companion. It is needless to say that his shop was no longer his lodg- 
ing place. 

The gnat was the most troublesome pest to the first settlers ; so small as 
to be almost invisible, yet so tormenting by its sting as to render it nearly 
impossible during morning and evening hours, or cloudy days, in the summer 
season, to do any such work as hoeing, weeding, milking, etc. ; without suffer- 
ing great annoyance. In vain were the attempts to sleep, unless close to the 
entrance of the cabin the customary protection of a smoldering fire of chips 
was provided ere retiring. The wood-tick was another of these insect nuis- 
ances with which the pioneers.had to contend. Although these insects were 
troublesome to horses and cattle, their chief plague was the large horsefly, 
which drove them in from the woods every clear day about eight or nine o'clock 
in the morning, and either smoke or stable were necessary to protect them until 
evening. Exposed horses died under the infliction, through pain and loss of 
blood. Fires were made of rotten wood and chips, and the cattle would run 
in as the morning advanced, and hold their heads and necks in the smoke with 
self -protecting instinct. But as the forest was cut down and clearings became 
larger, these insect pests disappeared. Few of the living generation remember 
those early years, and therefore cannot fully comprehend what was endured 
physically and mentally by the pioneer families, who braved all and were sus- 
tained by the hope of better things for their children. 



Internal Improvements— Eakly Roads and Naykjation— Salt Trade- 
AGE OF Salt Between Erie and Pittsburgh— Turnpike Roads— State 
Appropriations for Navigation and Roads— Old State Road— County 
Expenditures for Roads and Bridges from 1804 to 1834— Mode ok 
Travel in Pioneer Days— Plank Roads— First Bridges Built Across 
French Creek— Stage Lines and Mail Routes— Boating and Naviga- 
tion on French Creek— Canals and Canal Building— French Creek 
Feeder and the Beaver & Erie Canal— Introduction of Steamboats 
of the Allegheny' and Slack-water Navigation on French Greek- 
Completion OF THE Beaver & Erie Canal— Railroads of Crawford 


WITH the erection of CrawfordCounty, northwestern Pennsylvania had no 
internal improvements other than the most primitive wood-cut roads 
through the forests. Our readers who have familiarized themselves with Chapter 
III, will remember that the French cut a road from Presque Isle to Fort Le 
Bceuf, in 1753, and soon afterward from the latter point to Fort Machault, at the 
mouth of French Creek, both of which were kept up as long as they main- 
tained posts in western Pennsylvania. These then were the first and for 
nearly fifty years the only roads west of the Allegheny River, and long after 
the first settlers came in were still easily traceable, though much grown up 
with small trees. The steamboat and locomotive were yet unknown, while 
turnpike roads were opened only in the vicinity of the seaboard. Freight was 
carried by wagon from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and thence to Meadville by 
canoe and batteaux. 

One of the leading industries of the early days was the transportation of 
salt for the Southern markets, which was commenced by Gen. James O'Hara. 
of Allegheny County, about 1800, and continued until 1819, being at its 
height from 1805 to 1812. The salt was purchased at Salina, N. Y., hauled 
from there to Buffalo in wagons, brought in vessels to Erie, and from there 
carried by ox teams over the old French road to Waterford, where it was 
loaded on flat-boats and floated down French Creek and the Allegheny to 
Pittsburgh, supplying Meadville and the several towns on the route. The 
growth of the trade as shown by the Custom House records at Erie, was from 
714 barrels in 1800, to 12,000 in 1809, which amount was increased at a later 

From the Crawford Weekly Messenger of December 12, 1805, we gather 
the following item concerning the salt trade: '^' Eleven flat-bottomed and six 
keel-boats passed by this place (Meadville) during the last freshet in French 
Creek — the former carrying on the average 170, and the latter 60 barrels of 
salt each, making in the whole 2,230 barrels. This computed at $11 per bar- 
rel at this place, amounts to 124,530. The selling price at Pittsburgh is now 
$13 per barrel, which will make it amount to $28,990. During the preceding 
summer, spring and winter, more than double the foregoing quantity has been 
brought across the carrying place between Erie and Waterford, which was 
either consumed in the country bordering on the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, 
or in this and the neighboring counties, amounting in the whole to upward of 


In its issue of January 1, 1807, the Messenger says : "During the late 
rise in French Creek we had the pleasing sight of witnessing twenty-two Ken- 
tucky boats, or arks, passby this place loaded with salt for Pittsburgh, carrying 
in the whole between 4,000 and 5,000 barrels." The same paper, in its issue 
of November 23, 1809, says : "There are at present at Waterford upward of 
14,000 barrels of salt, containing live bushels each, or 70,000 bushels, waiting 
for the rise of the waters, in order to descend to Pittsburgh, Wheeling and 
Marietta. ' ' 

In 1815 a salt well was sunk in Beaver Township, a short distance south- 
west of Beaver Center, by Samuel B. Magaw and William Clark of Meadville. 
Daniel Shryock subsequently becoming a partner in the works. The Messen- 
\ ger of July 20, 1815, thus comments on the discovery : "We congratulate the 
\ citizens of this and the neighboring counties on the prospect of being supplied 
^,with this important article from the works of Messrs. Magaw, Clark & Co., 
\recently established at the west end of this county. Salt water has been found 
at the depth of 186 feet, and thirty kettles will be in operation in the course 
of about two weeks." Very little was accomplished, however, for some time 
in the way of manufacture, but in the Messenger of November 7, 1818, we find 
the following reference to these works : "The salt works of Messrs. Shryock 
& Co. are now in operation in the west end of this county. The production 
at present will average about ten bushels per day. The water appearing suffi- 
cient, it is intended to increase the number of boilers, when double the quan- 
tity can be made. The salt is of excellent quality." The shaft was finally 
sunk to the depth of 300 feet, with the hope of tapping a still richer vein, but 
instead of pure salt water being found, the fluid came forth mixed with petro- 
leum, and therefore became useless for any purpose. An effort was still made 
to continue the works, but they did not pay and were abandoned in 1821. 

The hauling of the salt over the portage between Erie and Waterford, and 
the floating of it down French Creek gave employment to many citizens of 
this part of the State. To some farmers the trade was really a Godsend, as 
their land barely furnished food for their families, and, there being no markets 
for the little they had to sell, they were obliged by necessity to spend a part of 
their time at some other employment to raise money for taxes, groceries and 
clothing. This was especially the case just before and immediately after the 
war of 1812-15, when the times were very hard. It is estimated that when 
the trade was at its best, 100 teams and as many persons were constantly on 
the road between Erie and Waterford. The time for making each trip was 
calculated at two days and the average load fur a four- ox-team was fourteen 
barrels. The price paid at flrst was from $1.50 to $3 per barrel, which was 
finally reduced to |l, and at the close to 50 cents. Prior to the comple- 
tion of the Erie & Waterford Turnpike, the road was always bad, and it was 
not unusual for a wagon load of freight to get stuck in the mud, and be four 
days in crossing the portage. On many occasions a part of the burden had to 
be abandoned on the way, and a second trip made to get it to its destination. 
A number of warehouses were erected on the bank of Le Boeuf Creek at Water- 
ford for storing the salt until the water was at a suitable stage for floating it 
down French Creek. The salt was bought at Salina for 60 cents per bushel, 
and the price at Meadville ranged from $5 to $12 a barrel. It required from 
two to three months to convey ifc from the place of manufacture to Pittsburgh. 
There was a period when salt was one of the circulating mediums in this 
region of country. Oxen, horses, negro slaves and land were sold to be paid 
for in so much salt. As a sample, Hamlin Russell, father of N. W. Russell, 
of Belle Valley, Erie County, exchanged a yoke of oxen for eight barrels, and 


Knfus S. Reed purchased of Gon. Kelso a colored boy, who was to be held to 
service under the State law until he was twenty eight years old, for 100 bar- 
rels. The price that season was $5 per barrel, making the value of the slave 
$500. The discovery of salt wells on the Kiskiminitas and Kanawha, about 
1813, cheapened the price of the article at Pittsburgh, so that Salina could not 
compete, and the trade by way of Erie steadily diminished until it ceased alto- 
gether in 1819. 

The expense and difficulty experienced in obtaining this indespensable arti- 
cle was the principal inducement which prompted the construction of the first 
internal improvement made in this section of Pennsylvania, the Erie & 
Waterford Turnpike. An act had been passed by the Legislature in 1791 to 
open a road from Presque Isle to French Creek; and the Susquehanna & 
Waterford Turnpike was located by Andrew Ellicott in 1796, from Fort Le 
Boeuf, through Meadville and Franklin, to Curwensville, in Clearfield County, 
with the object of giving a continuous road from Erie to Philadelphia, but 
nothing further was done toward their construction for several years. On the 
13th of December, 1804, a circular, signed by John Wilkins, Jr., Henry Bald- 
win, and William Gazzam, was issued from Pittsburgh "To the Inhabitants of 
the Western Country," setting forth in glowing terms the great advantages 
of the contemplated turnpike from Waterford to Erie. The people were sol- 
icited to become stockholders in the road, and books were opened at the store 
of Col. Joseph Hackney, in Meadville, for that purpose. Such leading citi- 
zens of Crawford County as Gen. David Mead, Col. Joseph Hackney, Maj. 
Roger Alden, Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy, and Jabez Colt took an active interest 
in the success of the enterprise, the entire cost of which was calculated not to 
exceed $'20,000, while it was thought it could be built for $1,200 per mile. It 
was argued that the freightage on salt from Erie to Waterford, which then 
cost from $2 to $3 per barrel, would be reduced to 50 cents, and the price of 
that necessary commodity correspondingly reduced, while a fine outlet would 
be obtained for the transportation into Upper Canada of " whiskey, bar iron, 
castings, etc., at a much lower cost." It was confidently claimed, that " by 
the completion of the proposed road, more than $10,000 will be annually saved 
to the people of the Western country." The circular closed thus: "Those who 
do not feel able to subscribe any number of shares, can associate themselves 
with their neighbors, and they will find that in a few years the reduced price 
of salt, which they consume, will be equal to the amount of their subscrip- 

The Erie & Waterford Turnpike^tkim^^anyjsLas formed in 1805, with the 
avowed subject of building th^^^i'striink in the great contemplated thorough- 
fare from Erie to Philadelphia, via the French Creek, Juniata and Susque- 
hanna Valleys. The/mst election of officers was held at Waterford, and 
resulted in the choice of the following: President, Col. Thomas Forster; 
Treasurer, JudahColt; Managers, Henry Baldwin, John Vincent, Ralph Mar- 
lin, James Her]piott, John C. Wallace, William Miles, James Brotherton and 
Joseph Hackij^y. Work was commenced in 1806, and the road was com- 
pleted in 1809. It was a herculean undertaking for the time. In laying out 
the road, a/ circuitous course was taken to accommodate the settlers, many 
of whom "Were stockholders in the company. Previous to its completion, 
the travel between Erie and Waterford was wholly over the old French road, 
which had been but slightly repaired and was in a horrible condition. The turn- 
pike was a paying property until 1845, when it ceased to be remunerative to 
the stockholders. It was soon after abandoned by them and accepted as a 
township road. 


Daring the session of 1811-12, the Legislature passed an act incorporating 
the Susquehanna & Waterford Turnpike Company. Four hundred and fifty 
shares were subscribed for in Crawford County, eighty in Erie, three hundred 
in Mercer, and three hundred in Venango. The Commissioners for Crawford 
County were James Herriott and Henry Hurst. The State agreed to appro- 
priate $125,000 toward the enterprise on condition that 2,000 shares were 
taken within three years; but the war of 1812-15 so depressed all kinds of 
business in this locality, that the projectors were unable to dispose of the 
necessary number of shares until the charter and appropriation were in danger 
of forfeiture. On the 19th of August, 18 15, a meeting of the "citizens of Craw- 
ford County was called at Meadville to make another eflbrt for the road. Maj, 
Roger Alden, John Reynolds, Patrick Farrelly, H. J. Huidekoper, T. T. Cum- 
mings, Samuel B. Magaw, Thomas Atkinson, Joseph Morrison, Samuel Tor- 
befct, Eliphalefc Befcts, James Foster, James Herriott, Henry Hurst, William 
Clark and John Brooks were appointed a Committee of Correspondence. All 
efforts up to this time had been UQsuccessful; but in January, 1816, the 
required subscription of 2,000 shares was completed. While the committee 
was holding a conference one day in the house of William Dick (which yet 
stands on the northeast corner of Water Street and Cherry Alley), there was 
still lacking one more shareholder to comply with the terms of the charter. 
John G. Brown, a tailor possessing neither money nor credit, was seen passing 
by, when one of the committee exclaimed: " There is the man to subscribe the 
balance of the stock." Brown was called in, and readily complied with the 
request to lend his name as the nominal owner of 750 shares, and thus the 
charter was saved and the State appropriation secured. The company was not, 
however, ready for business until 1818, and in October of that year the survey of 
the road was completed. The following November the construction of the 
several sections were offered foi* sale, and by the fall of 1820 the road was 
finished from Waterford to Bellefonte. By 1824 it was completed to Phila- 
delphia, thus making a continuous turnpike from the latter city to Erie, via 
Harrisburg, Bellefonte, Franklin, Meadville and Waterford. For many years 
it was a toll road, biit finally proving unprofitable to the stockholders it was 
abandoned, the gates removed and the road turned over to the townships 
through which it passed. 

The Mercer and Meadville Turnpike Company Avas incorporated by an act 
passed in 1817, to construct a road between the points named, connecting at 
Mercer with another pike running to Pittsburgh by way of Butler. John Rey- 
nolds and Thomas Atkinson were the Commissioners appointed for Crawford 
County, but it was not until November 7, 1818, that the locating of the road 
was finished, and the contracts let. In 1821 it was completed and opened for 
travel. This road gave a through line from Lake Erie to the Ohio River, but 
it, too, proved a poor investment, and was finally abandoned to the public as 
a free road. 

In the meantime the State had assisted in the good work by granting in 
1790, $400 for the improvement of French and LeBoeuf Creeks, and $3,000 in 
1807 toward improving the roads and streams west of the Allegheny River. 
Of this amount, $400 were expended on the road between Meadville and Frank- 
lin, $400 on the road from Meadville to Mercer, and $450 on the one running 
from Meadville to Waterford, while $500 were given to improve the naviga- 
tion of French and Le Boeuf Creeks. Another appropriation of $2,000 was 
granted in 1810 for the same general purpose, Crawford County getting $900, 
Erie, $800 and Venango, $300. 

By the act of March 13, 1817, commissioners were appointed by the State 



to lay out a road fifty feet wide, beginning on the New York line, at the north- 
ern boundary of Warren County, and running thence to Meadville. The road 
was to be surveyed between April and November, 1817, and 13,000 were appro- 
priated by the State for opening and clearing the same from Meadville to the 
New York State line. It takes almost a direct straight line northeast from 
Meadville, passing through Blooming Valley, New Richmond, Little Cooley and 
Riceville, leaving Crawford County near the northeast corner of Sparta Town- 
ship, seldom deviating or avoiding hill or dale. It is said that of the Com 
missioners, James Miles, John Brooks and Maj. McGrady, one was interested 
in lands north, and another in lands south of a direct line. When one would 
suggest turning a hill on the north the other would object, and vice versa, so 
that selfishness was really the cause of this road being laid out up hill and 
down dale, to the inconvenience of future generations. The State road 
remained almost impassable for some years, and in 1826 work was still in 
progress upon it. It was not until the country contiguous thereto was well 
settled and it began to be improved by the townships through which it passed, 
that it could be regarded as in fair condition. 

The county had also been doing a little toward improving her roads and 
building bridges, and expended the following amounts in that direction dur 
ing the pioneer days: 1804, $102.79; 1805, $63.87; 1806, $118; 1809, $56.27; 
1810, $2,293.51; 1811, $252.12; 1812, $353.14; 1813, $181.85; 1814, $64.12; 
1816, $834.25; 1818, $800.20; 1819. $98.67; 1822, $308.76; 1824, $150.75; 
1825, $378.09; 1826, $164.48; 1827, $143.50; 1828, $397; 1829, $402.91; 
1831, $352.20; 1832, $1,999; 1833, $1,094.82; 1834, $4,019.85. 

By 1810 there were roads to all points south, east and west, and the oppor- 
tunities for travel and transportation became greatly improved. The roads, 
however, were still rough and muddy, and horseback riding was the favorite 
mode of travel. Many instances are related where emigrants came in with 
their few household goods loaded on horses' backs, the wife riding one, the 
husband another, and the children, if any, a third animal. Sometimes they 
were too poor to own more than one horse, in which case the wife and children 
rode, and the husband walked by their side with his gun or ax over his 
shoulder. As the roads became better, the once familiar two-horse wagons 
were introduced. These were covered with cotton cloth stretched over hickory 
ribs, and furnished shelter for the whole family, besides carrying their goods. 
There being few public houses up to 1820, each party brought their provisions 
along, stopping at meal times by the springs, and doing their cooking over 
open fires. From the direction of Pittsburgh, the French Creek route contin- 
ued to be the one used till some time after the second war with Great Britain. 
The supplies for Perry's fleet, including the cannon, were largely transported 
in flat-boats up French Creek to Waterford, and from there by the turnpike to 
Erie. Most of the roads in the county were in poor condition as late as 1834. 

The next private I'oad building that took place in this section was the 
plank road mania of 1848-49, which spread all over western Pennsylvania. 
This method of constructing roads was regarded with great favor, and some 
there were who looked upon the enterprise as a stepping-stone to fortune. 
Great profits were figured out to induce men to invest their money, out of 
which they never realized a cent, losing every dollar invested. In the winter 
of 1848, a public meeting was held at the court house, and the advantages of 
the system set forth by John Stuart Riddle. Among the large owners of unset- 
tled lands in the eastern part of Crawford County at that time, who expected 
to be greatly benefited by plank roads were John Stuart Riddle, David Derick- 
son, David Dick. E. Felton and John Reynolds. With the object of opening 



up these lands, and to induce people to settle upon them, the Meadville, Alle- 
gheny & Brokenstraw Plank Road Company was chartered in the spring of 
1849. The company was organized by electing John Stuart Riddle. President, 
and John Dick, AVilliam Sharp, Alfred Huidekoper, John M. Osborn, John 
McFarland and "William Reynolds, Managers. In 1850, J. D. Gill succeeded 
Mr. Huidekoper, and the following year Mr. Gill and John McFarland were 
succeeded by F. W. Kirby and O. Hastings. Upon the organization of the 
company John iVEiller was appointed Engineer, and during 1849 ten miles of 
road, extending from the arsenal in Meadville to Guy's Mills in Randolph 
Township. On the 19th of February, 1850. the contract for building the road 
was awarded to Horace and Clinton Cullum, who purchased a tract of timber 
land on the line of the road, and erected a large saw-mill for cutting planks ; 
but in the fall of 1851, the contract with the Cullums was declared abandoned, 
and the work re- contracted to several independent parties. William Hope was 
appointed Superintendent of the road, and December 20, 1851, the first five 
miles from Meadville were finished and opened to the public. The company 
had by this time exhausted its subscription, and the balance of the road to Guy's 
Mills was completed by the Directors borrowing $4,000 on their pergonal credit 
which afterward as individuals they had to pay. The line was surveyed toward 
Warren, as far as Oil Creek, but no work was done beyond Guy's Mills. 
The road, as an investment, proved a failure, and on the 21st of June, 1857, 
the toll gates were pulled down, and it then became public property. 

The Meadville, Klecknerville & Edinboro Plank Road Company was char- 
tered in the legislative session of 1849-50. The books were opened at Mead- 
ville on the 5th of March, 1850, and the following ofiicers chosen: Hon. Gay- 
lord Church, President; Edward Saeger, Isaac Saeger, William Reynolds, and 
one now forgotten, Directors. The work was awarded in small contracts at an 
average rate of about $3,000 per mile, and in 1851 was carried to a successful 
completion, connecting at Edinboro with the Erie & Edinboro Plank Road. 
The stage route was transferred to this road, and as the grade in general was 
quite moderate, it proved an easy and pleasant thoroughfare. Toll was col- 
lected for some years, but the amount obtained proving inadequate to keep up 
repairs, and the money invested in the roads proving an entire loss, the gates 
were removed and the road abandoned as a private institution. 

The first bridge over French Creek in this portion of the State was built 
in 1810-11, by Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy. It spanned the stream where now 
stands the Mercer Street iron bridge, in Meadville, which replaced it about 
1873. It was a toll bridge until the erection of a free bridge at the foot of 
Dock Street, in 1828, and was soon after sold to the county. In 1815 two more 
bridges were built over French Creek, viz.: one at "Broad Ford," and the 
other at " Deadwater " (Cambridge), both by subscription. James Skelton, 
Christopher Blystone and Arthur McGill, were managers of the former, and 
Edward Hicks, Samuel Hulings and Baily Fullerton, of the latter. The same 
year William May built a bridge over Conneaut Outlet, near its mouth, where 
he previously operated a ferry-boat. Toll was exacted on all of these bridges 
for several years. In 1828 William Foster and Elisha Wightman, contractors, 
built the free bridge at Dock Street crossing, previously spoken of. It was 
built from county funds, and was therefore the first public bridge that spanned 
French Creek. The Mercer Street, Dock Street and Race Street bridges in 
Meadville are all substantial iron structures, while at nearly every important 
crossing the streams of Crawford County are spanned by the same class of 

The turnpikes and plank roads built through Crawford County sunk the 


many thousands of dollars invested in their construction, yet it cannot for a 
moment be doubted that the county at large was greatly benefited by them, and 
its development more rapidly accomplished. 

The arrival of the stages in old times vpas a much more important event 
than that of the railroad trains to-day. CroA^ds invariably gathered at the 
public houses where the coaches stopped to obtain the latest news, and the pas- 
sengers were persons of decided account for the time being. Money was so 
scarce that few persons could afford to patronize the stages, and those who did 
were looked upon as fortunate beings. The trip to Buffalo and Cleveland was 
twice as formidable an affair as one to Chicago or Washington is now by rail- 
road. The stage drivers were men of considerable consequence, especially in 
the villages through which they passed. They were intrusted with many del- 
icate missives and valuable packages, snd seldom betrayed the confidence 
reposed in them. They had great skill in handling their horses, and were the 
admiration and envy of the boys. Talk about the modern railroad conductor! 
— he is nothing compared with the importance of the stage coach driver of 
forty years ago. 

In 1801, a weekly mail route was established between Erie and Pittsburgh, 
via Waterford, Meadville and Franklin. By 1803, it had been reduced to once 
in two weeks, but was soon changed back to the original plan, and in 1806 the 
route changed to pass through Mercer instead of Franklin. The mode of trans- 
portation for some years was on horseback, and it is said that the mail was often 
so insignificant as to be easily carried in the driver's breeches' pockets. Dur- 
ing a good part of the time, the pouch was carried on the back of a single 
horse; then the mail had increased in size so that two horses were required, 
one carrying the driver and the other the mail; and later a horse and wagon 
became necessary. A semi-weekly mail was established through Meadville, 
from Erie to Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, in 1818; atri-weekly in 
February, 1824; and a daily in 1827. 

The first stage route was established over the Susquehanna & Waterford, and 
the Erie & Waterford Turnpikes, from Bellefonte to Erie, by Robert Clark, of 
Clark's Ferry, in 1820 ; the first stage coach arriving at Meadville, on the 7th 
of November. By 1824 the route was completed through to Philadelphia via 
Harrisburg. In 1821 the route to Pittsburgh, by way of Mercer and Butler was 
completed. Gibson's hotel was the stage depot at Meadville. By 1835 a daily 
line of steamers connected with the stages at Erie, and the fare from Pittsburgh 
to Buffalo was but $6. 

The introduction of stage coaches was a great step ahead, and the turnpikes 
were the busiest thoroughfares in the country, being the great avenues for emi- 
gration and trade between the East and West. Numerous public houses sprang 
up, so that at one time there was hardly a mile along the pikes without a place 
of entertainment for man and beast, and all did a good business. The tavern 
keepers of those days were usually men of much force of character, and wielded 
considerable political influence. For a number of years succeeding the open- 
ing of the canal, thousands of emigrants, bound for the West passed up and 
down its waters. The stage coaches on the turnpikes, and the packet boats on 
the canal, flourished until the completion of the first railroads from East to 
West, which speedily put an end to their business in that direction. Travel by 
stage and canal boat diminished almost instantly, and it was not long before 
the emigrant, cattle, and freight business fell off entirely. One by one the 
public houses closed, until none were left in operation except in the towns and 

Throughout the pioneer days a good share of the travel and nearly all of 


the transportation into Crawford County was by way of the Allegheny River 
and French Creek from Pittsburgh; or by means of small boats on the lake from 
Buffalo to Erie, thence across the portage to Waterford, thence downLe Bceuf 
and French Creeks to the nearest point of destination, where the boat would 
unload its passengers or freight, which would then be wagoned or packed to 
the cabin home in the forest. The boats on French Creek generally went no 
further up than Waterford, but in times of good water they were often poled 
as far north as Greenfield Village, in Erie County. They were either canoes 
or flat-bottomed boats, the latter being something like the mud-scows of to-day, 
but small and shallow, drawing but a trifling amount of water. The pas- 
sengers generally acted as a crew, and wore glad of the privilege. In subse- 
quent years these boats on French Creek became very numerous, as well as 
considerably improved in appearance. 

As an evidence of the enterprise often exhibited by the pioneer fathers 
in navigable matters, we copy the following item from the Crawford Weekly 
Messenger of December 4, 1828: " Cleared from the port of Meadville, the fast 
floating boat ' Ann Eliza;' all the materials of which this boat was built were 
growing on the banks of French Creek on the 27th ult. On the 28th she was 
launched and piloted to this place before sunset by her expert builders, 
Messrs. Mattox & Towne. Her cargo consisted among other things of 300 
reams of crown, medium and royal patent straw paper, with patent books and 
pasteboards. She left Meadville early on the 30th ult. for Pittsburgh, with 
about twenty passengers on board." Truly this was quick work, to build and 
launch a boat in two days, while on the third day she was loaded, and started on 
her trip early on the fourth. It must not be supposed that very much labor was 
expended in fancy work, though, doubtless, her passengers were as well con- 
tented with their accommodations as the average traveler of to-day is with those 
furnished by the palatial steamers that navigate our western rivers. 

The Messenger of April 1, 1830, speaks of the following navigation boom 
on French Creek: "We are informed on good authority, that between Wood- 
cock and Bemus' Mills, on French Creek, a distance of twenty-two miles, 
from ninety to one hundred flat-bottomed boats have started, or are about 
to start for Pittsburgh. These boats are built principally by individual farm- 
ers and are freighted with hay, oats, potatoes and various other kinds of prod- 
uce; also salt, staves, bark, shingles, cherry and walnut lumber, etc. The 
average capacity of these boats is twenty- seven tons, and the average value of 
boat and cargo at Pittsburgh is estimated at $500. Calculating the number of 
boats at 100, the total tonnage would be 2, 700, and the product at Pittsbiu-gh 
$50,000. From Bemus' Mills to the mouth of French Creek, the number of 
boats of the above description is equal, if not greater, exclusive of rafts 
which make a very considerable item, so that the trade of French Creek this 
season may he safely estimated at $100,000." With the passing years boating 
and rafting on French Creek gradually diminished until about 1862, when it 
may be said to have ceased altogether, though an occasional boat or raft has 
since descended the stream. 

The next step forward in internal improvements, was the building of 
canals. A suggestion was made as early as 1762, to unite the waters of Lake 
Erie with the Delaware River at Philadelphia, by way of the Schuylkill, 
Swatara, Susquehanna, Juniata and Allegheny. The country was too poor to 
undertake the enterprise then, but it was Qot lost sight of by the far?eeing 
citizens of the State. A company was formed in 1791, to construct a canal 
from the Schuylkill to the Susquehanna, and another in 1792, to build one 
down the Schuylkill to Philadelphia. Those corporations were consolidated 


in 1811, under the name of the Union Canal Company, and authorized to ex- 
tend their improvement to Lake Erie should it be deemed expedient. The 
canal and slackwater along the Schuylkill were not opened until 1818. The 
Union Canal, connecting with the latter at Reading, was completed to Middle- 
town, on the Susquehanna, in 1827. It does not appear that the corporation 
made an effort to extend their work any further westward. 

In the session of 1822-23, the Legislature authorized a survey to ascertain 
the practicability of a connection by canal of Lake Erie with the Ohio River. 
But two routes were recommended, viz. : one by French and Le Bceuf Creeks, 
and the other by the Beaver and Shenango Rivers. In 1824, the United States 
Government ordered an exploration of routes to connect the Potomac at Wash- 
ington with Lake Erie, and in August of that year, Gen. Barnard, Col. Totten, 
Maj. Douglass and Capt. Poussin, United States Engineers, while engaged on 
this mission, encamped on the west bank of French Creek, near the site of 
Mercer Street bridge, Meadville. Gen. Barnard and Capt. Poussin had been 
officers of distinction in the French Army under Napoleon, and in 1848 Pous- 
sin represented the French Republic as plenipotentiary at Washington. The 
engineers remained at Meadville a few days making examinations of the sur- 
rounding country. They made an elaborate report to the Government on the 
feasibility of a canal from Pittsburgh to Erie. Internal improvement conven- 
tions were held at several points; and in August, 1825, a convention of dele- 
gates from forty-six counties (John B. Wallace and Arthur Cullum represent- 
ing Crawford), met at Harrisburg, and passed resolutions in favor of a canal 
from the Susquehanna to the Allegheny, and thence to Lake Erie. In 1826 
the Legislature passed the bill for the construction of the Pennsylvania Canal, 
which began at Columbia, Lancaster County, a few miles below the intersec- 
tion of the Union Canal, and extended up the Susquehanna and Juniata to 
the Allegheny Mountains. These were crossed by a railway consisting of a 
series of inclined planes, over which boats, built in sections, were moved by 
stationary engines. After overcoming the mountains, the route was down the 
Conemaufifh, the Kiskiminitas and the Allegheny Rivers to Pittsburgh. Soon 
after the act passed the State earnestly embarked in the enterprise, o-oing 
heavily in debt for the purpose, and by October, 1834, the first boat from the 
East arrived at Pittsburgh, just nine years later than the completion of the 
Erie Canal in New York, which was successfully opened October 2(5, 1825. 

The " Auxiliary Internal Improvement Society of Crawford County " was 
organized April 22, 1826, at the suggestion of the " Pennsylvania Society for 
the Promotion of Internal Improvement," which requested the formation of aux- 
iliary societies in the several counties of the State. Its principal object was to 
encourage and assist in the building of roads and canals, which at that time 
engrossed the attention of the whole country. The first officers of the Crawford 
County society were : Hon. Henry Shippen, President; Rev. Daniel McLean. 
HughBrawley, William Wikoff and Joseph T.Cummings, Vice-Presidents; David 
Derickson, Recording Secretary; John B. Wallace, Corresponding Secretary; 
Stephen Barlow, Treasurer; H. J. Huidekoper, Thomas Atkinson. Joseph Mor- 
rison, John P. Davis, John Reynolds, William Foster and John H. Work, 
Acting Committee. This society was an active agency in fostering and for- 
warding the canal scheme, which was then agitating the public mind. 

In 1826 Maj. Douglass made surveys for the French Creek Feeder, extend- 
ing from Bemus' Mills to Conneaut Lake. But in the meantime a furious 
agitation had sprung up in northwestern Pennsylvania over the question 
whether the extension of the canal from Pittsburgh to Lake Erie should be by 
way of the Allegheny River and French Creek, or down the Ohio and up the 


Beaver and Shenango Rivers. The first was known as the " Eastern " and the 
latter as the " Western " route, and by theadvice of the engineers in charge the 
Western route was finally adopted. Another controversy arose about the lake 
terminus of the canal, some wanting it to be at the mouth of Elk Creek, and 
others at Erie. The principal promoters of the Elk Creek terminiTs were 
William and James Miles, who owned a large body of land in that vicinity, 
and though at one time they nearly succeeded it was finally decided by the 
Commissioners in favor of Erie. In 1827 the law was enacted to build the 
Beaver & Erie Canal from Pittsburgh to Erie, also the French Creek Feeder, 
and as the surveys on the latter were almost completed, proposals were received 
and a portion of the work awarded the same summer. 

As the line of the canal is fast disappearing from the topography of the 
county, the following account of " breaking ground " at Meadville, for the 
construction of the French Creek Feeder, will interest those whose memories 
can recall the events of more than half a century ago, and also a later genera- 
tion, as a part of the pioneer history of Crawford County: 

A very large and respectable meeting of the citizens of Meadville and 
vicinity assembled at the court house on Friday evening, August 24, 1827. 
George Hurst was called to the chair, and John Gibson appointed Seci'etary, 
when it was unanimously '"'' Resolved : That William Foster, Ebenezer Betts, Col. 
William Magaw, Capt. Richard Patch and Samuel Derickson be selected a Com- 
mittee of Arrangement for the purpose of adopting such measures as they should 
see proper, on the occasion of breaking ground on the French Creek Canal 
Feeder. " The Committee appointed Monday, August 27, 1827, at 10 o'clock 
A. M. for the citizens to assemble on the Diamond for the purpose of forming 
a procession. When the day arrived the hour was announced by a gun from 
Capt. J. D. Torbett's company of artillery booming forth in thunder tones, and 
amidst the strains of music and pealing of bells several hundred citizens 
were formed in line by the Marshals of the day in the following order: 

Marshal on horseback. Col. John Dick ; Capt. Torbett's Company of 
Artillery ; Capt. Berlin's Company of Light Infantry ; Band of Music ; Pres- 
ident of the day, James Herrington ; Orator of the day, Henry Baldwin, 
Jr. ; Secretaries, Samuel Miles Gi'een and Cyrus T. Smith, Esqs. ; Superintend- 
ent, Gen. I. Phillips; Engineer, I. Ferguson, Esq.; Reverend Clergy; Commit- 
tee of Arrangement ; Persons appointed to break ground, Robert Fitz Ran- 
dolph and Cornelius Van Home ; a team of seven yoke of oxen with a plow, 
James Fitz Randolph to hold the plow, and Samuel Lord, John Wentworth, 
John Ellis, and Edward Fitz Randolph to drive the oxen ; eight laborers, 
Levi Cox, James Thorp, James Porter, Robert McCurdy, Thomas Stockton, 
James McMath, William Johnston and R. Neal, dressed in proper costumes 
with implements for excavation; Contractors; two Vice-Presidents, James 
Burchfield and John Reynolds; Town Council; Judiciary; Gentlemen of the 
Bar; Sheriff and Coroner; Citizens two and two; two Vice-Presidents, Eli- 
phalet Betts and Samuel Torbett ; Marshal on horseback. Col. Joseph Douglas. 

The procession moved south to Chestnut street, thence west on Chestnut to 
Water Street, thence north on Water and the French Creek road (now the 
Terrace), to a point opposite the residence of James White (A. C. Huideko- 
per's), where the whole was formed into a hollow square around a rostrum 
erected for the occasion. Rev. Timothy Alden offered a prayer and delivered 
an address, which was succeeded by the event of the day. '• breaking ground." 
This ceremony was performed by two aged pioneers, Robert Fitz Ran- 
dolph and Cornelius Van Home — the one nearly ninety, and the other eighty 
years of age — with as much alacrity as if the light of but twenty summers 


had shone upon their heads. The hearty cheers that made the "welkin 
ring," testified the feelings of the assembled hundreds at this moment. Next 
came the team and plow; "Hurrah! let it in beam deep! " echoed from shore to 
shore when the glittering iron was lost beneath the green sward; then the 
laborers with their wheelbarrows and shovels carried off several loads of clay, 
amidst the repeated cheers of the people, and thirteen rounds from the artil- 
lery. The procession was again formed, and proceeding to Samuel Lord's 
spring (now in the grounds of William Reynolds, Esq.), all partook of a cold 
collation prepared by the Committee. The head of a barrel of tine old whisky 
was staved in, and merriment and glee was the order of the day. After 
refreshments, the procession re-formed and marched down Water Street to 
Walnut; thence east on Walnut to the Diamond, where it disbanded in good 
order and high spirits. 

The day was a notable one to the people of western Pennsylvania, and a 
day of jubilee to the citizens of Crawford County, every one of whom took a 
deep interest in this work. It appeared as if but one desire animated the 
whole community— an ardent wish for its completion. Many of the earliest 
settlers of the county convened upon the ground to witness and take an active 
part in this, to them, unlooked-for event. They who in their more youthful 
days skirmished with a cruel and savage foe, armed with rifle and tomahawk, 
on the very ground where they now wielded the spade and grubbing hoe — 
men who traversed the country when it was but a bleak wilderness — to behold 
it decked with flourishing towns, and settled by an intelligent, enterprising 
population, might indeed fancy it was magic; yet many of those pioneers and 
veterans of Indian wars lived to hail the passing canal boat as it floated tri- 
umphantly along the margin of that stream where they had beheld no other ves- 
sel than the Indian bai'k canoe, or the lumbering flat-bottom of former years, 
while a few survived to witness the railway train rushing at lightning speed 
over hill and dal.e, across brook and river. 

The completion of the first letting of the French Creek Feeder was cele- 
brated by the citizens of the county on the 28th of November, 1829. A boat 
of large size was procured by Messrs. R. L. Potter, Nathan Fitz Randolph 
and John Masters, and launched upon the water of the canal at Lord's basin, 
just above Meadville. It was fitted up with great dispatch for the accommo- 
dation of passengers, but not proving sufficiently capacious for all who desired 
to take the first ride on the canal, J. H. Mattocks, assisted by Messrs. Patch, 
Sexton and others, built and launched a fine boat, fifty feet in length, at the 
Chestnut Street Meadville basin, within less than two days from the time the 
timber was growing in the forest, thus providing for a large number who 
wished to go. Messrs. James Douglas, John Dick, W^. A. V. Magaw, B. B. 
Vincent, John McFarland and R. L. Potter, the Committee of Arrangements, 
procured a nine-pounder from the arsenal and put it in charge of Lieut. Mat- 
tocks. The National colors were waving from the mast erected on Chestnut 
Street canal bridge, and at 11 o'clock A. M. the town was enlivened by the 
ringing of bells, and large crowds assembled at the Chestnut Street basin, 
and at every available point along the line of the canal. The boom of the 
cannon and the cheering of the multitude announced the approach of the boat 
from Lord's basin towards Chestnut Street basin, where the second boat was 
lying. The boats were then named by William Dickson, Marshal of the Day; 
that of Messrs. Potter, Randolph and Masters being called the "Enterprise," 
and the other, by request of her builders, the "William Lehman," in honor 
of the man to whom Pennsylvania is so much indebted for her early system of 
internal improvements. At 12 o'clock the "'Enterprise," drawn by two fine 


horses, followed by the "William Lehman," propelled by three beautiful 
bays, left Chestnut Street basin in fine style, while the enthusiastic rejoicing 
of the passengers and spectators was drowned by the boom of the artillery. 
Proceeding down the canal about four miles, the boats were halted, and the 
party, consisting of two or three hundred persons, among whom were the 
venerable Robert Fitz Randolph, Cornelius Van Home, Samuel Lord and oth- 
ers of the pioneer fathers and first settlers of French Creek Valley, par- 
took of a luncheon prepared by the Committee. The boats then retmned to 
Meadville, and after proceeding some distance above the town came back to 
Chestnut Street bridge, where, from on board the "Enterprise," Rev. Timothy 
Alden delivered an appropriate address. A National salute was then fired, 
and toasts drank, which closed this memorable event in the pioneer history of 
the county, 

The principal difficulty encountered in the construction of the Beaver & 
Erie CanaJ was in overcoming the dividing ridge in Crawford County, and 
obtaining water from there to Erie, a continuous descent of about thirty-eight 
miles to the lake. To meet this difficulty, Conneaut Lake, nearly on the sum- 
mit of the ridge, and about 500 feet above Lake Erie, was raised about nine 
feet by an embankment built across the outlet, thus converting it into a reser- 
voir, which was supplied from French Creek. The "feeder" was the same 
size as the main canal, and began at Bemus' Mills, some two miles and a half 
north of Meadville, thence ran down the east side of French Creek to near the 
mouth of Conneaut outlet, where it crossed the creek in a stone aqueduct ; 
thence passed in a northwest direction up the valley on the north side of Con- 
neaut outlet to Lake Conneaut ; thence in the same general coui'se until it 
united with the Beaver & Erie Canal near the line of Sadsbury and Summit 
Townships. The aqueduct over French Creek was not completed until the 
close of 1830, and some four years passed away before the "feeder" was 
opened to Conneaut Lake. In the issue of the Messenger of December 13, 
1834, the following item appears: "The communication by canal from 
Bemus' Mills on French Creek to Conneaut Lake has been completed entirely 
and the navigation is uninterrupted." 

On the 28th of January, 1828, the "William B. Duncan," eighty tons, the 
first steamboat to ascend the Allegheny River, arrived at Franklin with 150 
passengers and thirty tons of freight. This trip raised the hope that Lake 
Erie might be connected with French Creek, and in the summer of 1828 
examinations were made to determine the feasibility of building a canal from 
Waterford to Erie, but the plan was deemed impracticable and therefore 

Though the "William B. Duncan" had ascended the Allegheny in 1828, 
the rapid current and crooked channel rendered its navigation very difficult 
for side-wheel steamers, the only sort then in general use. Soon afterward 
Robert L. Potter, of Meadville, became interested in the new invention of 
stern- wheels, and induced Mr. Blanchard, the inventor, to explore the Alle- 
gheny River, who pronounced it navigable for stern- wheel steamboats. David 
Dick, of Meadville, now became interested and persuaded a number of others to 
join bim in furnishing means to build a boat on the new principle. The " Alle- 
gheny " was built and launched at Pittsburgh in March, 1830, and in April 
made the trial trip, arriving at Franklin on the 18th, thence proceeded to 
Warren. She made seven trips during the year, going once as far north as 
Olean, N. Y. This was the introduction of stern- wheel steamboats on the 
western waters, and therefore deserves to be recorded as due to the enterprise 
of Crawford County citizens. 



The Messenger comments as follows on the successful termiiiution of the 
undertaking: "We congratulate the public on the result of this experiment. 
It has established the important fact that steam may be advantageously applied 
to the navigation of the Allegheny River when the water is at an ordinary stage, 
and with a moderate expenditure in its improvement, at its lowest stage. By 
this conveyance, notwithstanding the many interposing difficulties, goods have 
been bi'ought from the wharves at Pittsburgh and offered for sale in our village 
(Meadville), on the fifth day. This is an interesting fact, as by no other means 
of transit have they ever been delivered in so short a time.'' What would the 
editor think, if living to-day, of having the Pittsburgh newspapers laid upon 
his desk before 11 o'clock on the morning of their issue? But such a change 
has the genius of invention and progress accomplished all over this broad land, 
that we can scarcely realize the fact, how fifty years could unite, as if by magic, 
the most distant cities of our country. The railroad, telegraph and telephone 
are among the mighty engines of this century's progress, and we stand amazed 
at the power that invented and built these grand evidences of American civil- 

Great results were anticipated from the successful steam navigation of the 
Allegheny River, and the public mind of this locality was for the time diverted 
from the canal improvements to the navigation of French Creek by way of the 
"feeder'' to the aqueduct, thence to Franklin by slack- water navigation, there 
to connect with steamers to and from Pittsburgh. The Legislature made an 
appropriation for the construction of the new scheme of locks and dams, and 
about two miles and a half of canal, from Cochranton to Evans' dam, and 
another piece of about three miles, near Franklin, were built as a part of the 
new improvement in navigation. On the evening of November 14, 1834, 
"The French Creek Pioneer" arrived at Meadville, the first and last to arrive 
by slack-water navigation, upon which so much mouey had been expended, and 
upon which such fond hopes had been centered. The large number of dams 
and locks greatly increased the time, cost and risk to the descending rafts and 
flat-boats, and these continual losses so exasperated the boatmen that the dams 
were destroyed as a nuisance and an obstruction to navigation. 

On the 31st of December, 1834, a convention was held at Butler, Penn., to 
try and induce the Legislature to complete the Beaver & Erie Canal commu- 
nication from Pittsburgh to Erie. Most of the western counties were repre 
sented. The delegates from Crawford were Hon. Gaylord Church. JohnMcFar- 
land. Col. John McArthur, Dr. J. White, William Power and David Dick. 
The convention drafted a memorial to be presented to the Legislature, strongly 
advocating and endorsing the building of said extension. Another convention, 
with the same object in view, was held at Erie, September 10, 1835. Work 
was finally begun, and progressed at irregular spots and intervals until 1842, 
when the State refused to appropriate any more money toward the enterprise. 

The Governor's message in 1843 showed that ninety-seven and throe-quar- 
ter miles were finished from Rochester, on the Ohio, the southern terminus, to 
the mouth of the French Creek Feeder, and forty nine and one-quarter more, 
including the " feeder'' and the Franklin Division, leaving in progress and near- 
ly completed the thirty-eight and one half miles from the point where the other 
work ended to Erie. Up to that date the State had expended more than 
14,000,000, and it was calculated that but $211,000 more were needed to make 
the canal ready for boats. 

At the session of 1842-43, the Legislature passed an act incorporating the 
Erie Canal Company, and ceding to it all the work that had been done at such 
immense cost, on condition that the corporation would finish and operate the 


improvement. This company was organized with Rufus S. Reed as President; 
C. M. Reed, Treasurer; William Kelly, Secretary, and the two Reeds, Kelly, 
T. G. Colt, William M. Watts, B. B. Vincent and John A. Tracy, of Erie, M. 
B. Lowry, of Crawford County, and James M. Power, of Mercer County, as 
Managers. Contracts for the uncompleted work were let in September, 1843, 
payment to be made in the bonds of the company. The first boats to reach Erie 
were the Queen of the West, a packet boat, crowded with passengers, and the 
R. S. Reed, loaded with Mercer County coal, both coming in on the same day, 
the 5th of December, 1844. They were received with huzzas by the thousands 
gathered^on the bank of the canal at Erie to witness the great event, and greet- 
ed with a cannon salute when they reached the bay. The Wayne Grays 
paraded during the day, and a ball was given at the Reed House in the even- 
ing. A few other boats came in the same winter, but navigation did not reg- 
ularly open until the spring of 1845. 

The Beaver & Erie Canal ran from south to north through the western part 
of Crawford County, passing in its route through the townships of West Fal- , 
lowtield, Sadsbury, Summit, Summerhill and Spring. The principal engi- 
neers of the work were W. Milnor Roberts and Milton Courtright. A good 
business was done for thirty years after its completion, mainly in coal, iron 
ore and merchandise. Up to 1853, when the Lake Shore Railroad was opened 
to Toledo, the canal also carried large numbers of emigrants, who came to 
Erie by steamer from Buffalo, and took this route to the Ohio Valley. A num- 
ber of packet boats for conveying passengers ran on the canal, and it was the 
grand avenue of trade and travel for the western counties. In 1860 the 
receipts were $105,311, and the expenses were $70,379. In those days the 
canal presented a busy sight: scores of boats were daily passing to and fro; 
the locks were in almost constant use; hundreds of people derived their main- 
tenance from boating, and large sums of money were invested in various 
ways along the line of the improvement. 

The canal continued to flourish until the completion of the Erie & Pitts- 
burgh Railroad, which soon proved to be a formidable competitor. Had its 
capacity been for large-sized boats, this rivalry might not have been serious. 
An enlargement was proposed but never undertaken. The water of Lake Erie 
could not be made to flow up hill, and opinions differed whether French Creek 
and Conneaut Lake would furnish enough water to float the' increased size of 
boats necessary to compete with the railroad. A company Avas formed, how- 
ever, who had faith in the experiment. They oflered Gen. Reed, who con- 
trolled most of the stock, a handsome sum for the canal, but, in the midst of 
their negotiations, in June, 1870, they were notified that he had disposed of it to 
the railroad management, who also purchased the rights and franchises, Novem- 
ber 29, 1870. The latter operated it in an unsatisfactory manner to the boat- 
men until 1871, when the fall of the Elk Creek Aqueduct in Erie County gave 
them an excuse for abandoning the work, which was undoubtedly their original 
purpose. Since then the locks and bridges have been taken to pieces, the boats 
sold or broken up, the channel filled almost everywhere in the county, and few 
traces of this once important avenue remain. The abandonment of the canal 
ruined many boatmen and small storekeepers, and caused much injury to the 
towns along its route which were so unfortunate as to be aside from the line of 
the railroad. 

The New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Railroad had its inception in 1852. 
Ineffectual efforts had been made to secure an independent charter for a con- 
necting line between the States of New York and Ohio through Meadville. In 
the summer of 1852 an overture was made by the Pittsburgh & Erie Railroad 


Company to parties in Meadville to join interests and build the pi'oposed road 
under the bi'anching privileges of its charter. This company was chartered 
in 1845 to build a road from Pittsburgh to Erie, Penn., but had made little or 
no progress. Its subscriptions were mythical, and its management commanded 
little influence. By a supplement passed in 1846, subscriptions were authoi-- 
ized by the several counties on its line, but none were made. It was now pi'o- 
posed to aid in the construction of the main line by the prestige of the impor- 
tant branch connection between Ohio and New York. 

On the 8th of October, 1852, a meeting of the railway companies interested 
was held in Cleveland, Ohio. The I'epresentatives present were : Jacob Per- 
kins, President of the Mahoning Valley Railroad ; H. N. Day, President of the 
Clinton Line ; Judge Kinsman and Marvin Kent, of the Franklin & Warren 
(afterward the Atlantic & Great Western of Ohio) ; Hon. B. Chamberlain, 
President of the Erie & New York City ; Dr. William Gibson, David Garber, 
and E. Sankey of the Pittsburgh & Erie ; and the Meadville interests were rep- 
resented by Darwin A.. Finney and William Reynolds. These several projects 
were new, and all in a great measure interested in the completion of a road 
through Pennsylvania. At this convention a Committee was appointed to visit 
the New York & Erie Railroad Company and enlist their aid. Hon. Gaylord 
Church and William Reynolds represented the branch interests on this Commit- 
tee. The interview with the New York & Erie resulted in a survey by that 
company, in the fall of 1852, of the line through Pennsylvania. 

In the summer of 1853 an effort was made to secure individual and county 
subscriptions to the Pittsburgh & Erie Company, both for the main and branch 
lines. On the 14th of August, 1853, the Commissioners, James L. Henry, 
James D. Mclntire and Nicholas Snyder, and the Grand Jury of Crawford 
County recommended, subject to an expression of public opinion, a county 
subscription of $200,000 applicable to the branch road. A vote of the county 
was taken August 18, which resulted in favor of the subscription, 3,235 votes, 
with only 170 against it. Ground was broken for the new road south of Mead- 
ville, on the east bank of French Creek, with all due ceremonies, August 19, 
1853, and on the 22d the subscription of $200,000 was made by the Commis- 
sioners, who also on the same date appointed Joseph McArthur, Samuel B. 
Long, Alexander Power and William Reynolds Directors to represent Crawford 
County in the company. 

On the 25th of August, 1853, a contract was executed for the construction 
of the entire branch road between the boundaries of New York and Ohio, with 
L. W. Howard, Charles Howard and Sebra Howard, payable five-eighths in 
stock of the road and $150,000 in bonds of Crawford County. The supervis- 
ion of the branch was given to Hon. Gaylord Church, Dr. William Gibson and 
AVilliam Reynolds, and J. C. Chesbrough, of New York, was appointed 
Engineer. On the 14*h of ?.larch, 1854, William Reynolds was appointed 
Superintendent of Construction, and Thomas Hassard succeeded Mr. Ches- 
brough, who had resigned. The financial troubles of the country- and section- 
al hostility to the enterprise resulted in cessation of work and abandonment of 
the contract in December, 1854. Ten miles of road southwest of Meadville 
had been graded, and $76,000 had been expended by the company, including 
$30,000 of Crawford County bonds. 

A convention of the several railway interests was held in Meadville Novem- 
ber 11, 1856, at which a plan was matured for a united effort by the compa- 
nies, and a Committee appointed to confer with the New York & Erie Railroad 
Company. William Reynolds and Thomas J. Power represented the Pitts- 
burgh & Erie on this Committee. In the meantime, the friends of the branch 


line had applied for a charter, and May 20, 1857, the act incorporating the 
"Meadville Railroad Company" became a law. The corporators were: George 
Merriman, Gill & Shryock, A. W. Mumford, Gaylord Church, John McFarland, 
James E. McFarland, John Dick, Richard Craighead, Darwin A. Finney, 
James R. Dick and William Reynolds. On the 13th of July, 1857, the com- 
pany was organized by the election of William Reynolds, President; John 
Dick, Gaylord Church, Darwin A. Finney, James J. Shryock, George Merri- 
man, James E. McFarland, John McFarland, Horace Cullum, Octavius Hast- 
ings, L. D. Williams, A. W. Mumford and James R. Dick, Directors; Harper 
• Michell, Secretary; and James R Dick, Treasurer. By the terms of the char- 
ter, the Pittsburgh & Erie Company was authorized to transfer and the Mead- 
ville Railroad Company to receive all the subscriptions, work and franchises 
pertaining to the branch. On the 23d of July, 1857, the Pittsburgh & Erie 
Company executed a contract with A. C. Morton, of New York, for the con- 
struction of the branch line. Terms of purchase and transfer to the Meadville 
Company were finally closed July 27, and the contract with Morton assumed 
-by that corporation. 

The Commisioners of Crawford County had filed a bill June 8, 1857, ask- 
ing for an injunction to restrain the corporation from negotiating any county 
bonds in possession of the company, and for the cancelation of the county 
subscription. The fall of 1857 was the era of a disastrous financial panic. 
The Illinois Central and the New York & Erie Railroad Companies became 
insolvent ; banks suspended specie payments, and many prominent merchants 
and banking houses became banki'upt. Under such circumstances the contrac- 
tor's negotiations in Europe were unsuccessful, and he therefore failed to carry 
out the terms of his contract, which was declared abandoned by the company, 
and a new contract made February 16, 1858, with Henry Doolittle and W. S. 
Streator. In September, 1858, Joseph Hill was appointed Engineer, and the 
location of the line east of Meadville prosecuted. 

The European negotiations progressed favorably under the efforts of Mr. 
Doolittle and Gen. C. L. Ward, President of the Atlantic & Great Western 
Railroad Company, of Ohio, who returned in November, 1858, with T. W. 
Kennard, Civil Engineer, sent out by European capitalists to report from per- 
sonal observation. On the 25th of October, 1858, the Supreme Court made a 
decree in the case of the application of the County Commissioners annulling 
the $170,000 of unissued bonds of Crawford County. The decree was based 
on irregularities of the Pittsburgh &Erie Railroad Company, long prior to the 
commencement of the branch project. The Supreme Court decided that " The 
Pittsburgh & Erie Company at the time the county subscription was authorized 
by the Legislature (1846) was destitute of legal basis, on account of the acts 
of the original subscribers in withdrawing their capital and subscriptions, and 
passing the charter into the hands of thirteen men, not one of whom appeared 
to have paid or subscribed or intended to become responsible for a single share 
of stock." This decision was near proving disastrous, as the existence of a 
large county subscription had been held up in European negotiations as prov- 
ing the popularity of the enterprise at home, as well as for its financial 
importance to the company. An individual subscription had been obtained in 
Crawford and Mercer Counties of about $200,000, which was conditional upon 
completion of a proportion of the work within a limited time. Efforts to obtain 
a renewal after the loss of the county subscription were without avail, and 
the subscription became void by limitation. 

Difficulties arising regarding a satisfactory connection with the Erie Rail- 
road in the State of New York, those interested in the Ohio and Pennsylvania 


companies determined to secure an independent line in that State, and that a 
common name should designate the several companies. The name of the Mead- 
ville Railroad was changed by act of the Legislature, passed March 10, 1859, 
to the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad, of Pennsylvania. On the 21st of 
May, the Atlantic & Great Western Railroad Company in New York State was 
oi'ganized, with AVilliam Reynolds, President ; John Dick, Gaylord Church, 
James E. McFarland, W. S. Streator. J. J. Shryock, Pearson Church, Henry 
A. Kent, William Thorp, Henry Doolittle, D. C. Doan, Marvin Kent and E. J. 
Lowber, Directors. A construction contract was executed with Henry Doolittle 
and W. S. Streator; and on the 6th of April, 1860, the Atlantic & Great 
Western Railroad Company in New York State purchased the Erie & New 
York City Railroad. The track was laid west of Corry by JNIay 27, 1861; was 
completed to MeadviJle October 22, 1862, and to the Ohio State line in Janu- 
ary, 1863. Henry Doolittle having died in September, 1860, the work was 
carried forward by Mr. Streator until February, 18, 1861, when, by amicable 
arrangement, the contract with Doolittle & Streator was canceled, and a new 
contract made with James McHenry for the completion of the work, and under 
this contract the road was finished. 

The track was originally six feet wide, but the gauge has been altered to 
the general standard of the country. The road was sold January 6, 1880, and 
its name subsequently changed to the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Rail- 
road, and in March, 1883, it was leased to the New York, Lake Erie & Western 
Company for ninety-nine years. It enters Crawford County from the north, 
near the center of Rockdale Township, and following the general course of 
French Creek, passes through Rockdale, Cambridge. Woodcock and Mead 
Townships. About three miles below Meadville, it crosses the creek and takes 
a southwest direction across the northern portions of Union, Greenwood and 
East Fallowfield, slightly touching the southern line of Sadsbury. At Stony 
Point it turns abruptly to the south, and traversing East Fallowfield from 
north to south, leaves the county near the southwest corner of that township. 
At Meadville there is a commodious union depot, containing all the offices of 
the company at this point; also a large dining-room for the convenience of the 
traveling public. Close to the depot the company have extensive brick shops 
for manufacturing and repairing engines, wherein a large force of men are 
constantly employed. The road is doing a good business, and is now regarded 
as one of the great trunk lines between the East and West. 

The Franklin Branch of the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio extends from 
Meadville to Oil City. It was chartered as the "Eastern Coalfield Branch and 
Extension," and opened to Franklin June 1, 1863, and to Oil City the follow- 
ing year. Leaving Meadville it passes down the east side of French Creek to 
its mouth, thence up the northwest bank of the Allegheny River to Oil City. 
In its route it passes along the western boundary of Mead and East Fairfield 
Townships, thence across the southwest corner of Wayne, where it leaves 
Crawford County. 

In 1845 the Pittsburgh & Erie Railroad Company was chartered to build a 
road from Erie to Pittsburgh, but little was done toward carrying out the pro- 
ject. A new charter incorporating the Erie & Pittsburgh Company was ob- 
tained in the year 1856 by parties interested in the Erie & Northeast Company. 
It did not specify the exact route to be taken, and a sharp rivalry for the road 
sprang up between Meadville and Conneautville. Subscriptions were secured 
along both routes, but the Conneautville one was approved by the engineers, 
and adopted. The new charter of the Erie & Northeast Company provided 
that it should invest $400,000 in the construction of a road in the direction of 


Pittsburgh. With this sum and the money of the stockholders, the Erie & 
Pittsburgh Road was graded from near Miles Grove to Jamestown, Mercer Coun- 
ty, and the track laid to Albion. The Buffalo & Erie Company advanced the 
means to lay the rails to Jamestown in 1859. In 1864, with the proceeds of 
a mortgage and bonds added to a few subscriptions, the road was continued to 
New Castle, where the Erie & Pittsburgh Road proper terminates. At that place 
connection is made with the New Castle & Beaver Valley Road, which connects 
in turn with the Pittsbui-gh, Fort Wayne & Chicago at Homewood, giving a 
direct route to Pittsburgh. The actual northern terminus of the track is near 
Miles Grove, whence it uses the rails of the Lake Shore Railroad to Erie. It 
enters Crawford County at the northwest corner of Spring Township, thence 
passes south through the townships of Spring, Conneaut, Pine, North She- 
nango and South Shenango, and leaves the county at Jamestown. This road is 
owned and controlled by the Pennsylvania Company. 

The Oil Creek & Allegheny Valley Railroad is now a portion of the Buffalo, 
New York & Philadelphia line. The section between Corry, Erie County, and 
Miller Farm, Venango County, was completed in 1862, pi'incipally through 
the efforts of Thomas Struthers and W. S. Streator. In 1865 a majority of its 
capital stock was purchased in the city of Erie by Dean Richmond, represent- 
ing the Lake Shore & New York Central Companies, and by Thomas A. Scott, 
representing the Pennsylvania Company, and placed in the hands of Samuel 
J. Tiiden, of New York, as trustee for the three corporations. It was extended 
to Petroleum Center in 1866, where it connected with the Farmers' Road to 
Oil City. Not long afterward the Allegheny Valley Road was completed to 
Oil City, making a continuous line to Pittsburgh. The failui-e of the wells 
on Oil Creek robbed the road of its prosperity, and it was sold out upon a 
mortgage and purchased by the Allegheny Valley management. It was subse- 
quently known as the Buffalo, Corry & Pittsburgh Railroad, thence changed to 
the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia, which title it bears at present. This 
road strikes the nurthern line of Sparta Township northeast of Spartansburg; 
thence passes southwest along the eastern branch of Oil Creek, following the 
general course of that stream to Titusville, where it enters Venango County. 
It crosses the townships of Sparta, Rome, Steuben and Oil Creek, also the 
northeast corner of Trt>y. 

The Union & Titusville Railroad extends from Titusville to Union City, 
where it connects with the Philadelphia & Erie Road, It was originated in 
1865 by James Sill and P. G. Stranahan, and was completed in 1871. It runs 
through the townships of Bloomfield, Athens, Steuben, Troy and Oil Creek, 
using the track of the Oil Creek Road from Tryonville to Titusville, and is 
also a part of the Buffalo, New York & Philadelphia line. 

The Meadville & Linesville Railroad is purely a local institution, originated 
and built by citizens of Crawford County. In March, 1880, a small meeting 
of citizens of Meadville vsas held at the City Hall to consider the feasibility 
of building a competing line of railway. It was composed mainly of business 
men who had for years felt the ill effects of a lack of such competition. Mr. 
E. W. Shippen was called to the chair, and Mr. G. W. Delamater appointed 
to act as Secretary of the meeting. After a free and full discussion, it was 
resolved that the business interests of Meadville required the immediate con- 
struction of another railroad outlet, and an executive committee of fifteen cit- 
izens was appointed for the purpose of procuring subscriptions to the capital 
stock of a railway company, and to do whatever they might deem best to pro- 
mote the building of said road. The committee organized by electing Mr. G. 
W. Delamater, Chairman, and Mr. H. L. Richmond, Jr. , Secretary. Articles 


of association were prepared and subscription papers industriously circulated 
among the citizens for their signatures. In the meantime they procured the 
services of a civil engineer, Mr. E. A. Doane, who under the directions of 
said committee surveyed various routes, and estimated the expense thereof. 
Three routes were most prominently considered, viz. : one from Meadville to 
Stoneboro, there to connect with the New Castle & Franklin Railroad; one 
from Meadville to Linesville, via Van Home's Run and Lake Conneaut, and a 
third via the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio Junction, French Creek Canal 
towpalhand Conneaut Lake. 

After great labor the committee secured, as they supposed, sufficient sub- 
scription to the capital stock to insure the building of the road. They thea 
called a meeting of the subscribers, which was held at the court house July 7, 
1880. At this meeting, upon the recommendation of the executive commit- 
tee, the Meadville Railway Company was organized, with a capital of $125,000, 
and the following gentlemen elected officers: President, James J. Shryock; 
Secretary, F. W. Ellsworth; Treasurer, G. W. Delamater; Directors, Samuel 
B. Dick, G. W. Delamater, S. C. Stratton, A. S. Dickson, Cyrus Kitchen, W. 
S. Harper, W. P. Porter and A. C. Huidekoper. It was also resolved to build 
the road via the junction, canal tow-path and Conneaut Lake, to connect with 
the Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad, at or near Linesville, a distance of twenty and 
one-half miles. The officers immediately procured a charter, and commenced 
work on the enterprise. In the meantime they used every endeavor to secure 
in Meadville and along the line the entire capital stock, but after much effort 
they had obtained in Meadville about $88,000, in Evansburg about $6,000, and 
about $6,000 in Linesville, leaving $25,000 of the required amount yet to be 
raised. The Board of Directors found it impossible to raise more stock at 
home, and failure of the enterprise stared them in the face. They opened 
negotiations with the Pennsylvania Company, operating the^rie& Pittsburgh 
Road, and that corporation finally agreed to subscribe the necessary $25,000, 
conditioned upon the said Meadville Railroad being leased to them when com- 
pleted, to be operated by them at actual net cost. As a last resort, this prop- 
osition was accepted by the Board of Directors of the Meadville Railway 
Company, which action was afterward approved by the stockholders. 

In the fall of 1880, a mortgage of $125,000 had been authorized and 
executed by the Meadville Railway Company, and bonds to that amount had 
been sold at par. The first estimate of the cost of building the road had been 
about $250,000, but the subsequent extension of the line into the center of 
Meadville, ran the total cost tip to about $312,000. The projectors of the 
enterprise had great faith in the ultimate success of the road, and loaned the 
company sufficient funds to carry it to completion. The road was finished in 
October, 1881, and during its first year earned over $28,000, and the second 
year about the same amount; but the Pennsylvania Company operated it at so 
large an expense, that nothing was received by the Meadville Railway Com- 
pany with which to pay interest, or refund the temporary loans. Therefore 
the holders of the first mortgage bonds moved to foreclose and sell the property. 

At this time, in the summer of 1883, an efi'ort was made by the stockhold- 
ers to adopt some plan of relief, but this signally failed. Then the unsecured 
creditors adopted a plan for their own security, which was simply the forma- 
tion of a pool for the purchase of the road, their respective interest therein to 
depend upon their unsecured claims against the old company. Although this 
plan was fully prepared and submitted to every unsecured creditor, only two 
accepted it: A. C. Huidekoper and G. W. Delamater, and under the provi- 
sions of this plan, bought the road and property of the Meadville Railway 


Company, oa the 3d of January, 1884, for the sum of $150,000. They have 
since under the provisions of the law, re-organized the company as "The Mead- 
ville & Linesville Railway Company, making its capital stock $200,000, and 
placing a mortgage thereon of $150,000. The new company has since been 
operating the road, and under their enterprising and careful management it 
is proving a gratifying success. 

The Dunkirk, Allegheny Valley & Pittsburgh Railroad comes into Titus- 
ville from Warren County, crossing the southeast corner of Oil Creek Town- 
ship; and a branch of the Lake Shore crosses the southwest corner of the, 
county, through West Shenango Township to Jamestown. No other finished 
railroads touch the territory of Crawford County, though efibrts have been 
made to construct one or two which were never completed. 


The Burr Coxspiracy— One of Burr's Agents Visits Meadville and 
Enlists Men for the Expedition— Capture of Boats on the Ohio— The 
Democracy of Cra>vford County Hold a Celebration at Meadville 
to Rejoice Over the Failure of the Conspiracy— Suggestive Toasts 
Drank on thK Occasion— The Federalists take Offense and Attempt 
Retaliation— Partisan Strife Becomes Bitter, but Finally Dies Out 
AND Peace Prevails— Religious Phenomena of Pioneer Days— Strange 
Actions of Those Affected- Vivid Descriptions of the Excitement — 
Early Murders— Killing of a Squaw in Meadville— Murder of Hugh 
Fitzpatrick by Van Holland— Arrest. Trial and Execution of the 
Murderer— Hanging of Lamphier for Killing Constable Smith- 
Charles Higgenbottom Killed by George Gosnell— The Latter Sent 
to the Penitentiary— Slavery in Crawford County— John Brown, of 

ABOUT the beginning of the nineteenth century, a subject national and polit- 
ical in its character began to agitate the public mind, known in history 
as the "Burr Conspiracy;" it originated with that arch- intriguer of his day, 
Aaron Burr, the plot being concealed from all except a few whose distinct ret 
icence could be relied upon. Nevertheless the watchful and energetic officers 
of the Grovernment soon discovered that Burr was engaged in some treason- 
able design, and though the precise scope of the conspiracy was not positively 
known, they concluded to thwart his purposes if found to be treasonable. 
Preparations continued to be carried forward by Burr's agents, who visited 
different sections of the country enlisting men to join the secret enterprise. 

In the fall of 1806 Comfort Tyler, one of these agents, came to Meadville 
and established his headquarters at the tavern of Bartholomew White, which 
stood on the southwest corner of Water and Centre Streets. White was an 
ardent Federalist, and his tavern was much frequented by leading men of that 
party. Political partisanship was at that time extremely bitter, and Tyler had 
no social intercourse with Democrats. On Monday, November 25, 1806, a 
number of citizens of Federal proclivities left Meadville under the leadership 
of Tyler for Beaver, the place of rendezvous on the Ohio River. It was gen- 
erally believed they were going to join the Burr expedition, as a large number 
engaged in that enterprise had recently passed through Meadville from the 
State of New York on their route to Beaver, and such afterward proved to be 


the ease. Late in the fall they descended the Ohio, and in December ten boats 
with a considerable quantity of arms, ammunition and provisions belonging to 
the expedition were seized by officers of the Ohio State Government, under 
the authority of a Legislative act passed for that purpose. This was a fatal 
blow to the treasonable project, and the arrest of Burr together with many of 
his accomplices in February, 1807, sealed the fate of the conspiracy. 

From the Crawford Weekly Messenger of March 12, 1807, we obtain the 
following account of a celebration held at Meadville by the democracy to 
rejoice over the arrest of the conspirators and the failure of the undertaking: 
"On Wednesday, the 4th of March, a vast concourse of Republican citizens 
from different parts of Crawford County assembled at the court house in this 
town to testify their approbation of the wise and salutary measures pursued 
by our General Government, and to express the detestation of traitors by burn- 
ing the effigy of Aaron Burr, a man who has attempted to destroy its repose 
and tranquility. Gen. David Mead was appointed President, and Maj. William 
Clark Vice-President, of the meeting. After an address by Patrick Farrelly, 
Esq. , the effigy of Burr was paraded through the different streets, then taken 
to the public square and committed to the flames. Toasts were given, and 
volleys discharged by platoons of riflemen under the command of Capt. 
Wilson. A liberal repast was then partaken of, after which every citizen 
retired in perfect peace and good order, notwithstanding every scheme which 
malice could invent to prevent the assemblage — although muskets were loaded 
and the idea held out that our object in meeting was to destroy offices and 
plunder and conflagrate houses, while every dirty artifice was resorted to in 
order to inflame and alarm the citizens — the day was closed in a manner 
highly honorable to the democracy of Crawford County." 

Some of the toasts on that occasion will illustrate the temper of the meet- 

" Aaroa Burr."'— xln instructive lesson to mankind wherein they will learn that the 
highest honors and confidence cannot rob the gallows of its legitimate rights. 

"The Partisans of Aaron Burr." — As they are with him alike lovely in their lives, so 
in their deaths may they not be divided. 

"The Infant State of Ohio." — She has strangled treason, like the young Hercules, in 
tlie cradle. May her example never cease to be imitated. 

"The Western Waters." — As they afford a free so may they give a speedy export to 
those " choice spirits above the dull pursuits of civil life." 

" The Western Country." — United in principal and interest to the Eastern, and com- 
posing one family, which neither England nor Burr will ever be able to divide. 

The Federalists took offense at this patriotic demonstration, claiming it was 
aimed at them, and in a spirit of retaliation hung in effigy on the sign-post of 
Henry Hurst's tavern, which stood on the southeast corner of Water and Cen- 
tre streets, and was a Democratic headquarters, a caricature of Hon. Patrick 
Farrelly, the orator of the previous Democratic celebration, and a leading cit- 
izen of Meadville. The caricature was affixed to the sign-post during the night 
preceding St. Patrick's day, and was doubtless intended as a slur on Mr. Far- 
relly's nationality. Upon its discovery the following morning a large crowd 
gathered in front of the tavern, and a deep feeling of bitter resentment spread 
among the Democrats. The suspended cord was cut, and the e^gy brought 
down by a bullet from the rifle of an incensed partisan, who proclaimed himself 
ready to defend his party against any Federalist who upheld the outrage per- 
petrated the preceding night. Some fighting occurred as the direct result of 
this second effigy hanging, followed by a series of indictments for a violation 
of the laws; but like all human agitations the angry passions gradually calmed 
down to a state of quiescence, save the partisan strife ever more or less present 
in political affairs. 



In the issue of May 7, 1807, the Messenger says: "Some of the 'choice 
spirits ' who left this town last fall to aid the ' Little Emperor ' (Aaron Burr) 
in the establishment of his empire, have returned, and again commenced ' the 
dull pursuits of civil life.' They were among those who were taken prisoners 
by order of the executive of the Mississippi Territory immediately after Burr's 
elopement. " In the course of time old party lines were changed or obliterated 
by the formation of new parties, and many of those whom the local events con- 
nected with the " Burr Conspiracy " had estranged became the warmest polit- 
ical friends. 

Religious Phenomena of Pioneer Days. — One of the memorial events of 
religious excitement in this country, was the " great Kentucky revival,'' which 
commenced in 1800, and spread throughout the Northwest. It was looked 
upon by religious enthusiasts as a remarkable manifestation of spiritual influ- 
ences and was attended with nervous bodily affections, much resembling epi- 
lepsy. It was not unusual, in a congregation assembled for worship, to see 
one- fourth of the number fall prostrate in the early part of the exercises. The 
singing affected most sensibly, and as the mind became absorbed in devotional 
feelings, the bodily symptoms came on with more or less power; and what was 
a peculiarity, the sensations of the subject (who to the beholder seemed to 
suffer from the nervous spasms) was by them described as pleasant beyond ex- 
pression. Frequently after the first paroxysm, the person lay motionless and 
almost breathless, entranced as it were; the whisper of a stanza of a devotional 
hymn, or ejaculation of an expressive sentence such as " Glory Hallelujah! " was 
the only manifestation of consciousness, during a period sometimes extending to 
an hour or more. The first experience of the "Power" (as it was familiarly 
called) was usually in a public or social meeting for worship. The earlier 
symptoms were irregular breathing, long inspirations with a slight hissing 
sound, ar?d a sudden rigidity of the muscles; then a falling backward, with no 
apparent instinct of self preservation. After a first experience the person 
became very susceptible to the excitement attendant on religious exercises, 
whether of a public or private character. Young women frequently fell from 
their seats at the spinning-wheel while singing a favorite hymn, and were 
often affected in a similar manner at private devotions. 

Some persons were more easily wrought upon than others, and the parox- 
ysms continued longer and the contortions were more violent. After some two 
or three years had passed by, the excitement gradually subsided, until it finally 
disappeared entirely. Many young men who had been its subjects became 
pioneer ministers of the frontier settlements; but not all of those who had 
experienced the "power," remained hopeful or edifying Christians. The 
bodily affection (commonly called the " jerks ") continued its visitations with 
some for a year or two, every exciting cause producing a repetition; while 
with others it was limited to a few or even one paroxysm. 

The whole of western Pennsylvania was visited in 1801-02, by this strange 
religious excitement. But this region was remote from Kentucky, the central 
point of influence, whence flowed with resistless energy a mental and physical 
phenomenon, that arrested alike the virtuous and the vicious, and for the origin 
and operation of which human philosophy appeared to be at fault; therefore, 
it was attributed to Divine agency. All who have given an account of the 
scenes that occui'red agree that language is inadequate to describe many of 
them. One writer, who was present at a large meeting in Kentucky, says: "It 
was sublime, grand, awful! The noise was like the roar of Niagara. The vast 
sea of human beings was agitated as by a storm. The tide of emotion seemed 
to roll over them like tumultuous waves. Sometimes hundreds were swept 


down almost at, once, like the trees of the forest under the blast of a wild tor- 
nado. Seven ministers addressed the multitude, at the same time, in different 
parts of the encampment. At times the scene was surprisingly terrible, and 
the boldest heart was unnerved." Another writer says: "At one time I saw 
at least live hundred swept down in a moment, as if a battery of a thousand 
guns had been opened upon them. The feeling became intense, the excite- 
ment indescribable and beyond control." 

The first manifestation of the " Power" in this portion of the State,'oc- 
curred in Rev. Elisha McCurdy's charge, at Three Springs Presbyterian Church, 
during a communion season, in September, 1802. One Sunday afternoon a con- 
siderable number of persons were seized with the " jerks," so that at the close 
of the services they were unable to retire from the ground without assistance. 

Rev. Robert Johnston, the second pastor of the First Presbyterian Church 
of Meadville, in a letter addressed to Rev. Dr. Elliott, makes the following 
remarks in reference to this peculiar bodily affection: "The effects of the 
work on the body were truly wonderful, and so various that no physical cause 
could be assigned for their production. I have seen men and women sitting 
in solemn attitude, in a moment fall from their seats helpless, and lie some- 
times nearly an hour as motionless as a person in a sound sleep. At other 
times the whole frame would be thrown into a state of agitation so violent as 
seemingly to endanger the safety of the subject; and yet in a moment this 
agitation would cease, and the person arise in the full possession of all their 
bodily powers, and take their seats composed and solemn, without the least 
sensation of pain or uneasiness. And, although the subjects were in the habit 
of falling anywhere and everywhere, when engaged in religious exercises, I 
have never known or heard of anyone being injured. The physical effects of 
the excitement on the body was by no means a desirable appendage in the view 
of the sensible part of the community; but they were evidently irresistible, 
and many who came to mock and oppose remained to pray." 

Early Murders. — The only murder ever perpetrated within the limits of f 
Meadville was the killing of his squaw by a drunken Indian, at the door of ! 
Samuel Lord's store in 1805. This store was kept in a small one-story log ' 
building on the northwest corner of AValnut and Center Streets, where the cot- 
tage residence of John A. Sergeant now stands. Mr. Lord was an experienced 
frontiersman, spoke the Indian language and had a large share of their cus- 
tom. Their principal purchases consisted of whisky, for which most of them 
possessed an intense and ungovernable appetite. When under the influence 
of liquor the Indians were regarded as very dangerous, and it was while in 
this state that the savage sunk his tomahawk into the brain of his inoffensive 
squaw. If punished for the deed, it must have been by his own brethren, as 
nothing regarding it appears on the court records of tliat day. 

On the 7th of February, 1817, George Speth Van Holland murdered Hugh 
Fitzpatrick, an Irish Catholic, who in 1810 settled about one mile northeast 
of the site of Spartansburg. Van Holland first appeared in this vicinity at 
the cabin of Daniel Carlin of Rome Township, the father-in-law of Mr. Fitz- 
patrick, and inquired how the settlers were provided with money. Mrs. Carlin 
thoughtlessly said her son-in-law, Mr. Fitzpatrick, had a greater amount than 
any one near. Thither the stranger bent his footsteps, on the afternoon of 
February 6, and requested permission to remain over night. His request was 
willingly granted, and though the cabin contained but one room, he was never- 
theless welcomed with all the generous hospitality characteristic of the Irish 
race. A bed was made for the guest upon the floor, and all retired to rest; 
but in the dead of night Van Holland arose, found an ax and sank it into the 


head of his sleeping host. Mrs. Fitzpatrick awoke, but fainted on beholding the 
horrible spectacle. When she recovered the murderer demanded that she should 
procure the money and accompany him to Canada. The fortitiide and intelli- 
gence of the pioneer woman did not forsake her in the hour of trial. Apparently 
acceeding to his demand, she ascended to the loft overhead, poured her hoarded 
silver into a barrel of maple syrup, and returned with about $40 in bills, 
stating that that was all she had. The inhuman monster now wished to kill 
her babe, which was only a few weeks old, but the entreaties of the mother 
saved its life. He then ordered her to prepare the horses for the journey, and 
she went to the stable, turned out the animals and returned with the announce- 
ment that she could not catch them. Van Holland then went to the stable, 
and no sooner had he left the house, than she seized her babe, darted out by the 
door and hastened to the nearest neighbor, who lived some two miles distant. 
It was a bitter cold night, and deep snow covered the ground. The murderer 
soon discovered her flight and started in pursuit, swearing vengeance on the 
wife of his victim. When he had almost overtaken her, the piercing wind 
blew out his lantern, and he gave up the chase. The frightened woman sped 
onward through the freezing night uj) the little ravine, and more dead than 
alive finally reached the cabin of James Winders, in Concord Township, Erie 
County, Penn., to whom she told her tale of woe. 

As soon as daylight appeared the nearest settlers were notified of the crime, 
and on the following day, February 9, Andrew Britton, Baszilla Shreve, Bradley 
Winton and another whose name is not remembered, found Van Holland 
encamped in the woods some three or four miles from the site of the murder 
and conveyed him to Meadville. In May, 1817, he was tried before the fol- 
lowing jury: Thomas McMichael, Robert Story, Solomon Lord, James McCon- 
nell, John Linn, Andrew Gibson, Joseph Murtrie, David Nelson, Joseph Gar- 
wood, John Yordie, Hugh Murdoek, and Jacob Kline was found guilty and sen- 
tenced to be hanged. His execution took place July 26 of that year, within 
the present limits of Meadville, east of Grove and south of Chestnut Streets. 
From the date of his arrest until his execution he spent his time in reading 
the Bible and other religious books, but showed little or no sign of sorrow for 
his crime, or interest in his impending fate. Van Holland possessed great mus- 
cular strength, and at one time nearly made his escape from the old log jail, 
by bending with his hands the iron bars under the hearth in his cell. On the 
day of execution he pushed from the scaffold William Johnson, who had been 
hired by Sheriff Samuel Torbett to take charge of the hanging, claiming that 
the Sheriff should do his own work, and endeavored to jump upon him, but 
was frustrated in his devilish design by the rope, which prevented him from 
accomplishing his object. It is said that Johnson subsequently died from the 
effects of the injury received by the fall from the scaffold. The crime for 
which Van Holland suffered death is without parallel in this portion of the 
State: and the only extenuating circumstance connected therewith, is the fact 
that he was believed by many to be partly deranged, caused by a sunstroke 
received while serving in the English army in the West Indies. 

The culprit was a native of Canada, and the son of Speth Van Holland, a 
New Hampshire Tory, of Dutch origin, who, upon the the triumph of the col- 
onies in 1783, removed to the British dominions. After Van Holland's execu- 
tion, letters were received requesting a suspension of sentence, in order that 
he might be interviewed about a murder committed in New Brunswick, in 
which it was supposed he was implicated. His victim's widow subsequently 
married Patrick Coyle, of Rome Township, and now (June, 1884,) is still living 
near Centerville with that daughter who, when a small babe, she carried in her 


ai'ms through the desolate forest on the memorable night when she fled from 
her husband's murderer. 

David Lamphier was hanged at Meadville, in the fall of 1822, for the 
murder of a Constable named Smith, while the latter was attempting to arrest 
him. The act was a hasty one, without premeditation, and a previous warning 
by Lamphier to the Constable to keep away from him, led principally to his 
conviction. Revs. Alden and Jackson ministered to his spiritual welfare, and 
Sheriff Wi throw had charge of the execution, which was witnessed by about 
4000 people. The Meadville Light Artillery, commanded by Capt. Blossom, 
and a company of militia, under Capt. Gibson, acted as guard around the 
scaffold, which stood in a small ravine, near the site of Sackett Murray's resi- 
dence, on Terrace Street. Lamphier walked from the jail to the place of exe- 
cution, a distance of nearly a mile, accompanied by the Sheriff, Coroner, and 
several members of the bar, and the county officials, and manifested throughout 
the trying ordeal the greatest composure and resignation to his fate. 

In July, 1833, George Gosnell attacked and killed Charles Higgenbottom. 
Both were laborers working on the "French Creek Feeder," then in course of 
construction, and a number of others were also engaged in the light which 
' resulted in the death of Higgenbottom. The following September Gosnell 
was tried, found guilty of murder in the second degree, and sentenced to the 
penitentiary for life. These comprise the only murders committed in this 
county during the first thirty- three years of its history, and but one of the 
number was premeditated or cold-blooded in its character. 

Slavery in Crawford County — Our more youthful readers may not be 
aware that a species of slavery and traffic in human beings once existed through- 
out this State; but such is the fact, and in 1808 there were (305 negro slaves in 
Pennsylvania. The early court records of Crawford County contain many 
such items as the following: " William Davis, farmer of Mead Township, 
Crawford County, returns to the Clerk of the Peace of said county, one female 
mulatto child called Dinah, born on the 25th day of April last of his negro 
woman Vine. Sworn and certificate filed October 28, 1802." Also, "Alexander 
Mclntire, inn-keeper of Meadville, Crawford County, returns to the Clerk of 
the Peace of said county, one female negro child called Mary Ann, born of his 
negro woman Sarah, on or about the 25th of August last, whom he purchased 
of Rufus S. Reed, of Erie, which child has to serve until twenty five years of 
age. Sworn and certificate tiled January 30, 1804." In the Crawford Weekly 
Messenger of December 24, 1831, the following notice, redolent of slavery, 
appears: "For sale — The time and service of a colored hoij, who is twelve 
years old, and has sixteen years to serve; of good constitution and disposition. 
Purchasers are referred for terms and further particulars to Robert L. Potter, 
Esq." Soon after this date the agitation against the institution of slavery 
began to be felt in this State, and in July, 1835. a meeting was held in the 
court house, and an anti-slavery society organized. Capt. James Cochran was 
Chairman of the meeting, and Joseph E. Holmes Secretary. Thirty years after 
this meeting the great Rebellion had closed and with it had passed away 
forever the foul blot of slavery. 

John Brown of Ossawatomie. No inconsiderable portion of the life 
of this misguided but heroic character was passed in the County of ('rawford, 
and belongs to her early history. John Brown was born at Torrington, Conn., 
May 9, 1800. When but five years of age his father moved West to Hudson, 
Ohio. Ten years passed and he began work at the trade of tanner and currier, 
which business employed his time until he was about twenty years of age. He 
acted as foreman in the business followed by his father, and, while that was 


not neglected, be at the same time obtained access to a valuable library, and 
made some acquirements in education, At the age of eighteen his mind 
turned toward religion, and he made some progress in preparing for the duties 
of a minister in the Congregational Church. This design was defeated on ac- 
accouat of inflammation of the eyes ; but a knowledge of surveying being 
acquired, he performed more or less work of this character in the western 
country. He is found in Athens Township, Crawford County, actively engaged 
in opening the State road through the township. Having married while at 
Hudson, Dianthe Lusk, June 21, 1820, he in 1826 settled in Richmond Town- 
ship, and engaged in his trade of tanning in connection with farming and 
sheep-raising. The old tannery built by Brown, and standing near the center 
of the township, is still pointed out to the passer-by. It is averred by an em- 
ploye that he would not sell his leather till perfectly dry, lest the purchaser 
should lose in weight. Joining the Presbyterian Church, he continued in com- 
munion till death. His wife dying in 1832, in the year following he married 
Mary A. Day, of Meadville. He was found at Franklin Mills, Ohio, in 1835; 
at Hudson, in the wool business, in 1840; then at Akron, Ohio, in partnership 
with a man named Perkins. He moved, in 1846, to Springfield, Mass., opened 
a large warehouse and sold wool on commission for Ohio and western Penn- 
sylvania farmers. The New England manufacturers combined, and deprived 
him of a market. He then shipped 200, 000 pounds of wool to England, where, 
being unable to sell it for more than half its value, he was reduced to indigence, 
He had, while a boy, thought of an attempt to free the American slave, and 
proposed a plan prepared in about 1839 with that design in view, to the lead- 
ing Abolitionists of England, to which they gave no attention. He returned 
to America, gave up the wool business, made the acquaintance of Gerritt 
Smith, of Peterboro, N. Y., to whom he offered his services as superintendent 
of a colony of colored men to be established on lands owned by Smith in the 
wilderness of the Adirondacks, and was accepted. Brown remained two years, 
from 1849 till 1851, at North Elba, N. Y., and then returned to Akron toman- 
age the farm of Mr. Perkins, and re-erdbark in the wool business. Removing 
in 1855 to North Elba, he there left his family, and went to Kansas to aid his 
sons, who had preceded him and settled there. His subsequent life is a well- 
known story. We see him at Ossawatomie in August, 1856, with sixteen ill- 
armed men holding at bay a band of 500 invading Missourians, fully equipped 
and bent on his destruction. In May. 1859, he inaugurated his lawless expedi- 
tion by calling a secret convention of sympathizers at Chatham, Canada, and 
adopting a constitution. In July he had rented a farm-house some half-dozen 
miles from Harper's Ferry, and made of it a magazine for warlike material. 
His movement was made on the night of October 16, 1859, when with twenty 
followers he surprised Harper's Ferry, captured over forty prisoners, and occu- 
pied the arsenal and armory. Great excitement followed. Large bodies of 
troops were marched to attack him, and having beld out till two of his sons 
and most of his men were slain, and himself badly wounded, his surrender 
was made. He was tried in November, and hung December 2, 1859, at Charles- 
town, Va. His tragic 'death went far toward the achievement of his mad 
purpose, viz., the freedom of the slave and^his endowment with civil rights; 
and a song, of which John Brown was the subject, was enthusiastically sung 
by many a Northern regiment on its way to the battle-field. 



Judiciary— PiONEE It Court Houses, Their Simplicity and Many Uses — 
First Buildings Used for County Purposes in Craayford County- 
First Term of Court and Amusing Incident Connecjted Therewith- 
Second Session and First Grand Jury Impanelled— Indictments 
Found by This Jury — Pioneer Mode of Settling Disagreements— An- 
ecdote OF Judge Mead— Second Grand Jury — First Jury Trial in 
Crawford County— Early Practice and Practitioners— The Bench 
AND Bar— President, District and Additional Law Judges— Associate 
Judges— Deputy Attorney-Generals and District Attorneys— United 
States Courts— The Men Who Organized the First Court at Mead- 
viLLE— Brief Biographies of Leading Members of the Bench and Bar 
—Present Bar of the County— Resident Attorneys out of Practice 
—Deceased Attorneys. 

^VrOTWITHSTANDING the fact that a large number, probably a majority, 
-LN of the people in every county have very little practical experience in the 
courts, and although they have the legal capacity to sue and be sued, never 
improve their opportunities or appear in court, unless it be on compulsion as 
witnesses or jurors; yet, as the one great conservator of peace, and as the final 
arbiter in cases of individual or neighborhood disputes, the court is distin- 
guished above and apart from all and every other institution of the land. 

In many counties the court house was the first, and usually the only public 
building in the county. The first court houses were not very elaborate build- 
ings, to be sure, but they are enshrined in memories that the present can never 
know. Their uses were general, rather than special, and so constantly were 
they in use, day and night, when the court was in session, and when it was not 
in session, for judicial, educational, religious and social purposes, that the 
doors of the pioneer court houses, like the gates of God's mercy, stood open 
day and night, and the small amount invested in those old hewn-logs, and 
rough benches, returned a much better rate of interest on the investment, than 
do those stately piles of brick and granite which have taken their places. The 
memorable court house of early times was a building adapted to a variety of 
purposes, and had a career of great usefulness. School was taught, the gospel 
preached and justice dispensed within its rough-hewn walls. Then it served 
frequently as a resting-place for weary travelers, and indeed its doors always 
swung on easy hinges. The old people of the settlement went there to discuss 
their own affairs, and learn from visiting attorneys the news from the outside 
world. In addition to the orderly assemblies which formally gathered within 
its one bare room, other meetings no less notable occurred. It was a sort of a 
forum whither all classes of people went for the purpose of gossiping and tell- 
ing or hearing something new. 

To that old court house ministers came of difi"erent faiths, but all eager to 
expound the simple yet sublime truths of the Gospel, and point out for com- 
parison the thorny path of duty and the primrose way of dalliance. Often 
have those old walls given back the echoes of the sounds of praise, and many 
an erring wanderer has had his heart moved to repentance by the strains 
of homely eloquence heard therein. With Monday morning the old building 
changed in character, and men went thither seeing not the mercy of God, but 


the justice of man. The scales were held with an even hand. Those who pre- 
sided, usually knew every man in the county, and they dealt out substantial 
justice, and the broad principles of natural equity prevailed. 

The first session of the courts in Crawford County, as well as all subse- 
quent sessions until the erection of the old log court house on the west side of 
the Diamond, in 1804, was held in the upper story of William Dick's resi- 
dence, on the northeast corner of Water Street and Cherry Alley. This build- 
ing was erected by Mr. Dick in 1798, and is yet standing. TheProthonotary's 
office was in the second story of a building which stood on the northwest cor- 
ner of Water and Centre Streets, the postoffice being on the first floor of the 
same structure. The jail was located in a rear room of a log house on the 
southwest corner of Water Street and Steer's Alley, tbenownedby Henry Rich- 
ard. It was somewhat repaired and strengthened in 1801, and a high 
post fence built by the county around the rear of the structure to enclose a jail 
yard. A tavern occupies the front part of the building, where those attending 
court could find plenty of refreshment for man and beast. 

The record of this session reads as follows: "At a Court of Common Pleas 
held and kept at Meadville, for the county of Crawford, the seventh day of 
July, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred, before David Mead, and 
John Kelso, Judges present, and from thence continued by adjournment until 
the ninth day of the same month inclusive." The jurisdiction of this court 
extended over the newly erected counties of Crawford, Erie, Mercer, Venango 
and Warren, all of which were organized for judicial purposes under the name 
of Crawford County. This session was principally devoted to the admission of 
five attorneys: Edward W^ork, Henry Baldwin, Steel Semple, George Arm- 
strong and Thomas Collins ; to the erection of townships, and issuing of licen- 
ses, and the appointing of Justices of the Peace, Constables, Supervisors and 
Overseers of the Poor. 

In the lecture on the history of Crawford County delivered by William H. 
Davis, in 1848, he tells the following anecdote of an event which occurred at 
this session: — "The first court ever held in the county of Crawford was in the 
year 1800, Judges Mead and Kelso presiding. Having a court, it was also 
necessary that they should have a jail. The building used for that purpose 
was somewhat better than the one proposed for the same purpose at the first 
court held in Butler County, as reported by Breckenridge in his ' Recollections 
of the West,' although perhaps it was not any more safe. It' was a log cabin 
which stood where the back part of the present residence of Michael H. Bag 
ley now is (southwest corner of Water Street and Steer's Alley.) The first 
prisoner who was its occupant was put in for contempt of Court. He was troll- 
ing forth some ditty in the true spirit of frontier liberty, immediately in front 
of the room occupied by the court, to the great annoyance of judges, lawyers, 
and suitors. The Court sent the Sheriff to silence him. The person requested 
the Sheriff to tell the Court to take a trip to pandemonium, using those three 
short monosyllables so expressive of a direction to visit that place, and kept on 
with his song. For this contempt the Court ordered him to be committed to 
jail. He was accordingly taken by the Sheriff and placed in the log cabin, 
which was very securely locked. But unfortunately for the Court, it was found 
that the jail " leaked." The chimney to this cabin was an old fashioned one, 
built of sticks, and large enough to have admitted a span of horses. The pris- 
oner clambered up the chimney on the inside, and down them on the outside, 
almost as easily as he could have ascended and descended a ladder, and actually 
marched down the street a short distance in the rear of the Sheriff, carolling 
forth his song." 

X "^ !-*--«?;*■"-? 



During the second session of the Court of Crawford County, in October, 
1800, Hon. Alexander Addison on the bench, the first grand jury met, and 
was composed of the following persons: William Hammond, John Williamson, 
Aaron Wright, John Little, John Walker, John Davis, Lewis Dunn, Abraham 
Williams, Archibald Davidson, Jabez Colt, James Herrington, William Clark, 
James Fitz Randolph, Nathan Williams, Thomas Campbell, James Quigley, 
William Armstrong and John Patterson. Seven indictments were found by 
this grand jury: one for larceny, two for assault and battery, one for forcible 
entry and detainer, and three for riot — which fairly demonstrates that the 
pioneer fathers readily took the law into their own hands. In fact, during the 
first few years after the organization of Crawford County, the records show 
that the great majority of cases tried in her courts were those in which phys- 
ical prowess predominated. This is apt to be the case in any newly settled 
country, and goes to prove that the strong arm of the law is a very necessary 
appendage in the progress and evolutionary process of civilization. Man as a 
rule does not respect the rights of others from an innate desire to be just, but 
because he knows that unless he stands within the bounds of the law he will 
be liable to punishment; and, therefore, it is fear of the law more than a love 
of justice that controls the rougher element of every community. It is true 
that with the progress of the centuries the coarser nature in man has been 
gradually toned down by religious influences, and in every age thousands of 
men have acted justly and honestly irrespective of human laws. 

Prior to the enforcement of the municipal law in the valley of French 
Creek, it must not be presumed that the settlers lived in the society of each 
other in all the peace and harmony which characterized the golden age. Dis- 
putes, hot and fierce, often would and did happen. These were sometimes set- 
tled by the first method of determining contests known to the commoji law, 
viz: trial by battle; but more frequently were referred to the arbitration of 
the first person who might pass by. A single instance of this kind of arbitra- 
tion then in practice was often related during his lifetime by William Miles, 
of Union City, Erie County, Penn. He stated that the first time he visited 
Meadville he was traveling with a companion on foot, each carrying a heavy 
knapsack. Near the upper end of Water Street they came upon two men in 
hot contention about a corn-field which one had agreed to cultivate for the 
other. One of these men was David Mead, the other John Wentworth. Being 
unable to agree, they immediately referred the case to the two strangers for 
their decision. They unslung their knapsacks, made use of them as ' ' wool 
sacks, " heard the parties and their allegations, rendered judgment and resumed 
their loads and pursued their journey. The judgment must have been just, 
for with it, the narrator says, " both the litigants were perfectly satisfied." 

David Mead was one of the first two commissioned Justices of the Peace in 
northwestern Pennsylvania, and therefore to him was committed, as sole mag- 
istrate of what is now Crawford County, the enforcement of the laws of the 
commonwealth. One of the first cases on his docket was an action of debt, 
wherein he himself was plaintiff and Robert Fitz Randolph defendant. It 
happened, very unfortunately, that when the Governor gave the people a Jus- 
tice he fox-got to give the Justice a Constable. Here was a difficulty which 
would have puzzled one of our modern conservators of the peace and collector 
of debts. But David Mead was to be deterred by no such difficulty. He issued 
the summons and served it on the defendant himself. When the day of hear- 
ing came a trial was had and judgment rendered for the plaintiff for the 
amount of his claim. He then issued an execution, served it himself by levy- 
ing on a horse, the property of the defendant. He then advertised the prop- 


erty for sale, and stuck up the notices himself. When the day of sale came, 
he sold the property and bought it in himself, and then paid the surplus money 
over to the defendant. 

The second grand jury of this county was convened January 5, 1801, and 
consisted of Alexander Buchanan, Joseph Andrews, John Irwin, James Dunn, 
James Burchfield, Allen Scrogg, Henry Heth, William Hope, James Moore, 
Nicholas Lord, Jacob Hilderbrand, Henry Reichax'd. Samuel Torbett, Elipha- 
let Betts, Frederick Baam, Daniel Holten, Samuel Fisher, Samuel Foster and 
William Foster. 

The first trial by jury in Crawford County occurred on the 6th of January, 
1801, Hon. Alexander Addison presiding, the case being the Commonwealth vs. 
Hugh Johnston, indicted by the grand inquest of October, 1800, for assault 
and battery on the body of John Sherman. The jury which sat upon this case 
were Robert Stitt, James Dickon, Alexander McNair, William Herriott, 
Theodoras Scowden, Joshua Hale, Alexander Dunn, Lawrence Clancy, Hugh 
Montgomery, George McGunnegle, Robert Bailey and Robert Kilpatrick, 
who found Johnston not guilty as charged in the indictment. 

When the settlement was young and isolated, legal science flourished 
with a vigor unusual in rude societies, and the bench and bar contained many 
men of eloquence and learning. The collision of such opposite characters, 
together with the unsettled state of the county, produced a mass of curious inci- 
dents, many of which are still preserved, and circulate at the bar in the hours 
of forensic leisure. In those days the practice of law was a very different 
business from what it is now. The country was thinly settled, the people 
poor, and fees were correspondingly small. The lawyers were obliged to prac- 
tice in a dozen counties in order to make a livelihood, and some of them were 
away from their homes and offices more than half of the time. They traveled 
from one county seat to the other on horseback, with their legal papers and a 
few books in a sack across the saddle. A number of lawyers usually rode the 
circuit together, and had their appointed stopping places, where they were 
expected. On their arrival, the chickens, dried apples, maple sugar, corn- 
dodarers and old whisky suffered, while the best story-tellers regaled the com- 
pany with their humor and anecdotes. 

Among the most prominent of those who attended the courts of Crawford 
County during the pioneer days were Henry Baldwin, Patrick Farrelly, 
Ralph Marlin, Alexander W. Foster, George Selden, John B. Wallace, John 
Stuart Riddle and David Derickson, of Meadville; Steel Semple, William 
Wilkins, John Woods, Parker Campbell, George Armstrong, Thomas Collins 
and James Ross, of Pittsburgh; Samuel B. Foster, John Banks and John J. 
Pearson, of Mercer; Thomas H. Sill, of Erie, and John Galbraith, of Frank- 
lin (afterward of Erie), several of whom rose to high official distinction. 

Tbe courts of common pleas were held by the President Judge, aided by 
two Associate Judges — usually farmers of good standing — until May, 1839, 
when a district court was created to dispose of the accumulated business in 
Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties. Hon. James Thompson, of 
Venango, was appointed to the District Judgeship, and filled the position 
until May, 1845. The term originally was for five years, but was extended 
one year by request of the bar. Before the constitution of 1838 all Judges 
were commissioned for life or good behavior, but that instrument limited the 
terms of President Judges to ten years, and of Associate Judges to five years. 
Previous to 1851 both the President Judges and Associate Judges were 
appointed by the Governor, the first election by the people occurring in Octo- 
ber of that year. 


The office of Additional Law Judge was created in 1856^Hon. David Der 
icksoa, of Crawford County, being its first incumbent — and expired by the 
operation of the constitution of 1878 on the 17th of April, 1874. The Associ- 
ate Judgeship was abolished by the same instrument, and since that time the 
entire duties of the court have been performed by the President Judge. All 
Law Judges in the State are elected for ten years. 

In 1870 Crawford County was cut ofif from the Sixth Judicial District, 
which then embraced Crawford and Erie Counties, and created as the Thirti- 
eth, Walter H. Lowrie being elected in the fall of that year President Judge 
of the new district. The following is a list of the President, District and 
' Additional Law Judges with the dates of their commissions: 

President Judges. — Alexander Addison, August 17, 1791 ; Jesse Moore, 
April 5, 1803; Henry Shippen, January 24, 1825; Nathaniel B. Eldred, March 
23, 1839; Gay lord Church, April 8, 1843; John Galbraith, November 6, 1851; 
Rasselas Brown, appointed to till a vacancy, June 29, 1860, caused by the 
death of Judge Galbraith; Samuel P. Johnson, December 3, 1860; Walter H. 
Lowrie, December, 1870; S. M. Pettis, appointed to fill a vacancy; December 
20, 1876, caused by the death of Judge Lowrie; Pearson Church, January 24. 

District Judge. — James Thompson, May 13, 1839. 

Additional Law Judges. — David Derickson, first INEonday in December, 
1856; John P. Vincent, first Monday in December, 1866. 

Four President Judges have died in office : Hon. Jesse Moore, at Mead- 
ville, December 21, 1824; Hon. Henry Shippen at Meadville, March 2, 1839 ; 
Hon. John Galbraith, at Erie, June 15, 1860; and Hon. Walter H. Lowrie, at 
Meadville, November 6, 1876. 

One Judge of the district — Hon. Alexander Addison — was impeached 
and removed from office. " Judge Addison," says Mr. Hall, of Pittsburgh, 
"possessed a fine mind and great attainments. He was an accomplished 
scholar, deeply versed in every branch of classical learning. In law and theol- 
logy he was great ; but although he explored the depths of science with 
unwearied assiduity, he could sport in the sunbeams of literature, and cull 
with nice discrimination the gems of poetry." His impeachment occurred on 
account of his absolute refusal to allow one of the Associate Judges to charge 
the jury after his own charge had been delivered. 

Hon. Nathaniel B. Eldred resigned the Judgeship in 1843 to take the 
place of Naval Appraiser at Philadelphia. He was afterward appointed 
Judge of the Dauphin District. Two of the Judges were promoted to seats on 
the Supreme Bench of the State. James Thompson was elected one of the 
Justices of the Supreme Court in 1856, and held the position until 1872, tlie 
full term of fifteen years, the last five of which he presided as Chief Justice. 
Gaylord Church was appointed a Supreme Judge October 25, 1858, to fill a 
vacancy caused by the resignation of one of the members of the court. He 
retained the place for a brief period only. 

The residences of the several Judges have been as follows: Judge Addison, 
at Pittsburgh; Judges Moore, Shippen, Gaylord Church, Derickson, Lowrie, 
Pettis and Pearson Church at Meadville; Judges Eldred, Brown and Johnson 
at Warren ; Judges Galbraith and Vincent at Erie. In 1842 Judge Thomp- 
son removed from Franklin to Erie, where he resided until a short time after 
his election as Supreme Judge, when he removed to Philadelphia. 

But five of the Judges who have presided at the courts of Crawford 
County are now living : Judges Brown, Johnson, Vincent, Pettis and Pearson 


Judges Addison, Moore, Shippen, Eldred, Thompson, Gay lord Church, 
Galbraith and Lowrie were Democrats, as are also Judges Rasselas Brown and 
Pearson Church, while Judge Derickson was a Republican, to which party 
Judges Johnson, Vincent and Pettis also adhere. 

Associate Judges. — Two Associate Judges assisted the President Judge 
from the organization of the county until the office was abolished by the con- 
stitution of 1873, though the judges then in office served out their full terms. 
The office became elective by the people in 1851. The incumbents of the 
position were not required to be learned in the law, and in every instance were 
either substantial farmers or intelligent business men. The following is a list 
of the Associate Judges of Crawford County, with their terms of service, 
from its organization until the office was abolished : David Mead, March 13, 
1800, to December 20, 1800; John Kelso, March 14, 1800, to September, 
1803; William Bell, succeeding Judge Mead (resigned), December 20, 1800, to 
September, 1803. Upon the organization of Erie County, April 2, 1803, 
Judges Kelso and Bell, being inside the limits of that county, were succeeded 
by David Mead and William Clark, in September, 1803. The former served 
until his death, August 23, 1816, and the latter until the close of 1818. The 
succeeding Judges were: John Brooks, May 24, 1817, to 1830; James Burch- 
field, January 16, 1819, to 1830; Stephen Barlow, 1831 to January, 1845; 
JohnH. Work, 1831 to March, 1848; John P. Davis, February 10, 1845, to 
January, 1850; Thomas L. Lowry, April 4, 1848, to November, 1851; John 
Dick, February 12, 1850 (resigned in October, 1853); Samuel S. Adrain, 
December, 1851, to November, 1856; Thomas J. Lowry succeeded Judge 
Dick (resigned) October, 1853, to November, 1858; Thomas VanHorne, Decem- 
ber, 1856 (resigned in December, 1857); Kennedy Davis succeeded Judge 
Van Home, January, 1858, to November, 1863; James E. Patton, December, 
1858, to November, 1863; William Davis, December, 1863, re-elected in 
October, 1868 and 1873, serving until November, 1878; William S. Crozier, 
December, 1863, to November, 1868; Edward H. Chase, December, 1868, 
re-elected in October, 1873, and died before the close of his term. 

Deputy Attorney -Generals and District Attorneys. — From 1800 to 1850 this 
official was known by the title of Deputy Attorney- General, and the incum- 
bents were appointed by the Attorney General of the State. In 1850 the office 
was made elective, and the name changed to District Attorney. The following 
attorneys have filled the office since the organization of the county : Henrv 
Baldwin, 1800 to 1804; Edward Work, 1805 to 1806; William Wallace, of 
Erie, 1807 to 1808; Patrick Farrelly, 1809 to 1820; Ralph Marlin, 1821; 
George Selden, 1822 to November, 1823; David Derickson, November, 1823, to 
1829; John W. Farrelly, 1830 to 1836; Gay lord Church, 1837 to 1840; Will- 
iam H. Davis, 1841 to 1843; Edward Shippen, 1844 to 1846; J. Porter Braw- 
ley, 1847 to 1848; Darwin A. Finney, 1849 to October, 1850; A. B. Richmond, 
October, 1850, to October, 1853; George W. Hecker, October, 1853, to October, 
1856; Henry C. Johnson, October, 1856, to October, 1859; D. C. McCoy, 
October, 1859, to October, 1862; C. R. Marsh, October, 1862, to October, 1865; 
Harvey Henderson, October, 1865, to October, 1868; Samuel M. Davis, October, 
1868, resigned early in 1869, and Frank P. Ray was appointed to serve until the 
ensuing October election; J. W. Smith, October, 1869, to October, 1872; John 
J. Henderson, October, 1872, to December, 1875; L. C. Beatty, January, 1876, 
to December, 1878; George F. Davenport, January, 1879, to December, 1881; 
John B. Compton, January, 1882, to December, 1884. 

By an act of Congress passed in 1866, Erie, Pittsburgh and Williamsport 
were fixed upon as the places for the sittings of the United States District and 


Circuit Courts for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Previous to 1870 
the Circuit Courts were held by a Judgje of the United States Supreme Court, 
or by the District Judge, or by both sitting together. The duties of holdincr 
the Circuit Court having become too onerous for the Supreme Judges, an act 
was passed in 1869 to relieve them by providing Circuit Judges. Cases are 
appealed from the District to the Circuit Court, and from the latter to the 
Supreme Court of the United States. The District Judge can hold a Circuit 
Court, but a Circuit Judge can not hold the District Court. The Supreme 
Judges, may, if they choose, sit with the Circuit Judge or hold court alone. 
The only time one of the Judges of the United States was present in Erie, was 
when Judge Strong was there in July, 1875. 

The first session of the District Court was held in Erie in January, 1867, 
and of the Circuit Court in July, 1868, Judge Wilson McCandless presiding. 
Both courts were regularly held by him until Hon. William McKennan, of 
Washington County, was sworn in as Circuit Judge at the January term of 
1870. Judge McCandless continued to serve until July 24, 1876, when he 
was honorably retired on account of advanced years, and was succeeded as 
District Judge by Hon. Winthrop W. Ketchum, of Luzerne Coanty. Judges 
McKennan and Ketchum were both sworn in and began their official duties at 
Erie. The latter died early in 1880, and Hon. M. W. Acheson, of Pittsburgh, 
was appointed his successor. 

Of those who organized the first court of Crawford County in July, 1800, 
Hon. David Mead, one of the Associate Judges, and the leading spirit in the 
pioneer settlement on French Creek, will be found fully spoken of in a pre- 
vious chapter. 

Hon. John Kelso, the other Associate, was a pioneer of Erie County, and 
upon its separate organization in 1803 was appointed Associate Judge of that 
couQty, but declined the office. He was thoroughly identified with the early 
affairs of Erie County, and occupied a prominent place in its civil and mili- 
tary history, being a Brigadier-General of militia in the war of 1812-15. 

Hon. Henry Baldwin was a native of New Haven, Conn., and graduated at 
Yale College in 1797. He read law with Alexander Dallas, of Philadelphia, 
and was there admitted to practice. Early in the year 1800 he came to Mead- 
ville, and assisted in organizing the first court held in the county. Judge 
Baldwin was twice married, his first wife bearing him one son — Henry— who 
subsequently located for a brief period at Meadville. On the 11th of June. 
1805, our subject was married to Miss Sally Ellicott, a daughter of Andrew 
Ellicott, Secretary of the Land Office, who at that time was residing with 
her brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy, of Meadville, whose widow mar- 
ried John Reynolds, Esq., in 1814. About 1804 Judge Baldwin removed to 
Pittsburgh, and in 1816 was elected to Congress, serving continuously in that 
body until 1828, where he signalized himself as the champion of domestic 
manufactures, being conspicuous as the chairman of that committee. In 1830 
he was appointed a Supreme Judge of the United States by President Jackson, 
with whom he was on the closest terms of friendship, which positicm he occu- 
pied up to the time of his death. In 1842 he returned to Meadville, and the 
following j'ear erected the residence on the Terrace now the home of the 
Hon. William Reynolds, and died while at court in Philadelphia in April, 
1844. Judge Baldwin was a poor financier, accumulating little of this world's 
goods; but he was a jovial, generous and high-minded gentleman, an eminent 
lawyer, a rough but powerful and acute speaker, and was recognized as one of 
the greatest legal lights of his day. 

Edward Work was for many years a resident of Meadville, and the second 


Postmaster of the village. He never did much law practice here, and 
removed to Jamestown, N. Y., where he resided at the time of his death. 

Steel Semple, George Armstrong and Thomas Collins were members of the 
Pittsburgh bar, who rode the circuit in early times. Mr. Semple was a man 
of stupendous genius, and was regarded by his cotemporaries as a prodigy of 
eloquence and learning. 

Dr. Thomas Ruston Kennedy, the first Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts in 
Crawford County, deserves mention in this connection. On the 17th of 
November, 1794, he was appointed Surgeon of Capt. Denny's command, at 
Fort Le Boeuf, and located at Meadville the following year, being, doubtless, 
the first physician to settle in northwestern Pennsylvania. He was a gentle- 
man of great energy, and was identified with all of the leading enterprises of 
his day in this poi^tion of the State. Dr. Kennedy erected mills on the Cone- 
wango, in Chautauqua County, N. Y., at the point on the New York, Pennsyl- 
vania & Ohio Railroad named "Kennedy," in honor of his public spirit and 
to perpetuate his memory. He died at Meadville, in March, 1813. 

With the exception of the Sheriff, Alexander Stewart, the foregoing embraces 
all who took part in organizing the first court; but from that time forward the 
bar of Crawford County gradiially increased in members, and always contained 
some members who stood among the eminent lawyers of northwestero Penn- 

Alexander W. Foster was a prominent and able lawyer who came to Mead- 
ville in the summer of 1800, being admitted at this bar October 6 of that year. 
In 1804 he and Roger Alden were the principaFs in the only duel ever fought 
in Crawford County. The meeting took place on the bank of French Creek, 
about a mile and a half below Meadville, and Maj. Alden was wounded in the 
encounter. Mr. Foster subsequently removed to Pittsburgh, where he occupied 
a leading position in the legal profession. 

Col. Ralph Marlin came to Meadville from central Pennsylvania in the 
spring of 1801, having been a practicing attorney ere settling in this town. 
Soon after the war of 1812-15 broke out he received a Major's commission in 
the regular army, and was at Erie during the building of Perry's fleet in 1813. 
With the close of the war he returned to Meadville; served in the Legis