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Librarian of llic FTistorical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 








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LiftvjS'HisTQRj^A^ Publishing Company 
• ••.••• .•■;•."• -'914 

Table of Contents 

Iliul.Min's X'oyagc; t!ie West India ('onipaiiy; Swedish Occupation; Dutch 
Settlement on the Delaware ; Governor Stuyvesant ; New Amsterdam ; 
English Occupation; arrival of Perm; first Courts; Friends' Meet- 
ings ; Delaware county ; Churches established ; Revolutionary scenes : 
Court-house at Chester ; Delaware County Institute of Science ; Media 
the county seat Pages 1-279 

Townships and Boroughs — Tinicum, Aston, Bethel, Birmingham, Chester, Up- 
land, South Chester, North Chester, Upper Chichester, Lower Chiches- 
ter, Marcus Hook, Concord, Darby, Edgmont, Haverford, Marple, Me- 
dia — Court-house and jail, Middletown, Newtown, Nether Providence, 
Upper Providence, Radnor, Thornbury. Springfield, Ridley, Aldan, Clif- 
ton Heights, Collingdale, Colwyn, Eddystone. Glenolden, Landsdowne,. 
Milbourne, Morton, Norwood, Prospect Park, Ridley Park, Rutledge, 
Sharon Hill, Swarthmore, Yeadon, City of Chester, Historic Houses, 
old Chester Hotels, Population'..... . . : ... . !•. :'. ^.\:'l w . . .Pages 280-330 

Agriculture, Manufactures in various tcvnsliips, Ravly Transportation, Rail- 
roads. River Navigation, Trolley Ciues'^^V'. .•.'.'.". Pages 331-392 

•" y, "'• 

Churches — Friends' Meetings, Protestant; -Epj-^copa^ Churches, Presbyterian 
Churches, Baptist Churches, Methodist Episcopal Churches, Catholic 
Churches, Undenominational Churches, Church Statistics. Pages 393-422 

Education — Early Schools, Public School System, Schools in the various 
Townships, Chester City Schools, Borough Schools, Private Schools, 
Haverford College, Swarthmore College, Crozer Theological Seminary, 
Pennsylvania Military College, Williamson Free School of Mechanical 
Trades, Institute for Colored Youth, Convent of the Holy Child.. . 

Pages 423-474 

Courts and Lawyers — Early Courts, President Judges, Associate Judges, List 
of Lawyers from 1789 to 1913, Eminent Lawyers, New Court 
House Pages 475-499 

Medical History — Early Physicians, Distinguished Practitioners, Delaware 
County Medical Society Pages 500-513 

Newspapers Pages 514-517 

Members of Congress, Assemblymen, County Officials Pages 518-521 

Delaware County in the Civil War Pages 522-555 

In the Spanish-American War Pages 555-558 

Family and Personal History Pages 561 to end 

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It was the consensus of opinion of many native residents of Delaware 
county. Pennsylvania.— men deeply interested in its history and proud of the 
impress its people have ever made upon the character of the State and Nation— 
that the time had come when a comprehensive history of this remarkable region 
would jirove an invaluable contribution to the literature not only of the county 
itself, but of the commc-.nwealth,' and of the countrv at laree. 

With this encouragement, and the assistance of unusually well informed 
antiquarians and annalists, the publishers undertook the present work, "A 
History of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Its People." This includes a 
comprehensive resume of the history of the county, from its colonization down 
to the present day. The narrative down to 1862 is based upon the elaborate 
history of Dr. George Smith, iniblishcd in that year. While not at all slight- 
ing the periods covered by that acc()m])lished historian, due attention has been 
given in the present work, to the marvelous development of the county during 
the half century which has passed away since the appearance of his publication. 

In each generation, and at every stage of progress, the people of Delaware 
county have had the ser\ices of men of the loftiest character and highest capa- 
bility—in the arts of peace, in statesmanship, in affairs, and in letters. Nor 
have their accomi)lishments been bounded by their native field. Crossing the 
mountains, her sons have pushed their way into the valleys of the Ohio and 
Mississipj)i. and to the Far West, building up new communities, creating new 
commonwealths, planting, wherever they went, the institutions of religion and 
education, leading into channels of thrift and enterprise all who gathered about 
them or into whose midst they came, and proving a power for ideal citizenship 
and good government. 

The narrative, at once heroic and pathetic, is not only a noble heritage, but 
an inspiration to those of the present and of the future, giving emphasis to the 
pregnant words of Martineau : ''To have had forefathers renowned for hon- 
orable deeds, to belong by nature to those who have bravely borne their part 
in life, and refreshed the world with mighty thoughts and healthy admiration, 
is a privilege which it were mean and self-willed to despise. It is as a security 
given for us of old, which it were falsehearted not to redeem ; and in virtues 
bred of a noble stock, mellowed as they are by reverence, there is often a 
grace and ripeness wanting to self-made and brand-new excellence. Of like 
value to a people are heroic traditions, giving them a determinate character to 
sustain among the tribes of men, making them familiar with images of great 
and strenuous life, and kindling them with faith in glorious possibilities." 

History proper, of necessity, is a narrative of what has been accomplished 
by people in the mass, and can take little note of individuals Here begins the 
mission of the annalist and investigator of the personal lives of those who have 
borne the heat and burden of the day, in tracing whence and from whom 


they came, in portraying their deeds, showing the spirit by which they were 
actuated, and holding up their effort as an example to those who come after- 
ward. The story of such achievements is a sacred trust committed to the peo- 
ple of the present, upon whom devolves the perpetuation of the record. The 
custodian of records who places in preservable and accessible form his knowl- 
edge concerning the useful men of preceding generations, and of their descend- 
ants who have lived lives of honor and usefulness, performs a public service in 
rendering honor to whom honor is due. and thereliy inculcating the most valua- 
ble lessons of patriotism and good citizenship. This fact finds recognition in 
the warm welcome given in recent years to family and personal histories. Such 
are in constant and general demand, and are sought for in the great libraries 
by book, magazine and newspaper writers and by lecturers, from foreign lands, 
as well as from all portions of our own country. Such a work as the present 
one will possess an especial value for those who. out of a laudable pride, seek 
to trace their descent from those who battled for the making of the United 
States, and aided in bringing the Nation to its present i)rc-eminent position. 

The publishers desire to express their special obligations to all who have 
aided them in their tmdertaking, and especially Dr. John W. Jordan, T.L.D., 
librarian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Mr. Benjamin H. Smith, 
who furnished the text of the famous Delaware County History of 1862, from 
the pen of his revered father. Dr. Cieorge .^mith ; Isaac Sharjiless. S. D.. 
LL.D., president of Haverford College, for valuable services along educational 
lines ; Mr. Morgan I'unting, of the Pennsylvania and Delaware County His- 
torical Societies; Mr. \ . (iilpin Robinson, for information as to the iJench and 
Bar ; and to Dr. Daniel W. Jefferis for similar service with reference to the 
Medical profession. 

In order to ensure greatest possible accuracy, all matter for the genealog- 
ical and personal pages of this work has been submitted in typewritten manu- 
script to the persons most interested, for correction. If in any case a sketch is 
incomplete or faulty, the shortcoming is ascribable to the paucity of data obtain- 
able, or neglect of the person to whom submittal was made. It is believed 
that the ])resent work, in si)itc of the occasional fault which attaches to sucli 
undertakings, will prove a real addition to the mass of annals concerning the 
people of Delaware county, and that, withcnit it, much valuable information 
would be inaccessible to the general reader, or irretrievably lost, owing to the 
passing away of custodians of family records, and the consequent disappearance 
of material in their possession, THE PUBLISH l^^RS. 

NoTK. — The old-time illustrations in the historical volumes are reproduced from 
Dr. George Smith's History, of 1862. 

History of Delaware County 

In giving an account of the first settlement by Europeans of any part of 
America, it has been customary with writers to precede their narratives by a 
detailed history not only of the events that were then transpiring in the Old 
World, but of every event that had occurred for a century or more previously, 
having the least possible bearing, upon the settlement in question. As the his- 
tory of a district of country so limited in extent as that of Delaware County 
must derive its chief value from the number of local facts it may present, the 
transatlantic events that led to its settlement in common with that of larger dis- 
tricts of our country, will only be briefly adverted to. 

More than a century had elapsed, from the time of the discovery of the 
Western Continent by the Cabots, before the noble river that forms the south- 
eastern boundary of our county, became known to Europeans. The first set- 
tlement of Virginia was commenced at Jamestown in 1607. Two years later, 
the celebrated English navigator Henry Hudson, after having made two un- 
successful voyages in the employ of London merchants, in search of a north- 
ern passage to the East Indies, entered the service of the Dutch East India 
Company, and, with the same object in view, made his celebrated voyage that 
resulted in the discovery of the great New York river, that most justly bears 
his name. Sailing from Amsterdam April 4th, 1609, in the "Half-Moon," he 
doubled North Cape with the object of reaching Nova Zembla. In this he was 
foiled by reason of the dense fogs and the large bodies of ice he encountered, 
when, changing his original plan, he directed his course with the view of dis- 
covering a north-west passage to China. He arrived off the banks of New- 
foundland in July, and continuing his course westwardly, after some delay on 
account of dense fogs, entered Penobscot bay on the coast of Maine. Here 
Captain Hudson had friendly intercourse with the natives of the country, and 
after having repaired the damage his little vessel had sustained, he pursued his 
course southerly in search, it is said, of a passage to the Western Pacific ocean, 
which he had formerly learned from his friend. Captain John Smith, had an 
existence, "south of Virginia." Halting a second time at Cape Cod, he ob- 
served in possession of the Indians, who treated him kindly, "green tobacco 
and pipes, the bowls of which were made of clay, and the stems of red copper." 

The voyage of the "Half-Moon" was again continued southwest along the 
coast until August 18, she arrived at the mouth of Chesapeake bay. If there 
was any truth in the rather improbable story that Hudson pursued this south- 
west course in search of a passage to the Pacific, south of Virginia, he cer- 
tainly abandoned his plan; for, without much delay, he reversed his course. 


making a more particular examination of the coast as he passed along. On 
August 28, 1609, in latitude 39° 5' north, Hudson discovered "a great bay," 
which, after having made a very careful examination of the shoals and sound- 
ings at its mouth, he entered ; but soon came to the over-cautious conclusion 
that "he that will thoroughly discover this great bay must have a small pinnace 
that must draw but four or five feet of water, to sound before him."" To this 
great bay the name of Delaware has been given in honor of Lord De-la-\Vare, 
who is said to have entered it one year subsequently to the visit of Hudson. 

The examination of the Delaware bay by Hudson was more after the man- 
ner of a careful navigator than that of a bold explorer in search of new lands, 
and scarcely extended beyond its mouth. It must have been very slight in- 
deed, as we find that in further retracing his steps, he had described the high 
lands of Navesink on September 2d, four days after his entrance into the Dela- 
ware bay; and on the 4th of that month, after having rounded a low "Sandy 
Hook," he discovered "The Great North River of New Netherland"" — a dis- 
covery that will transmit his name to the latest posterity. 

Though an Englishman, Hudson was in the employ of the Dutch, and his 
visit to the Delaware is rendered important from the fact that on it principally 
if not wholly rested the claim of that government to the bay and river, so far 
as it was based on the ground of prior discovery. This claim is now fully con- 
ceded ; for although the bay was known in Virginia by its present name as 
early 1612, no evidence exists of its discovery by Lord Delaware or any other 
Englishman prior to 1610, when it is said that navigator "touched at Delaware 
bay on his passage to \'irginia." 

An official Dutch document drawn up in 1644 claims that New Nether- 
land "was visited by inhabitants of that country in 1598," and that "two little 
forts were built on the South and North rivers." Better authority is needed to 
support this claim, than the assertion of an interested party made nearly half a 
century subsequent to the event. 

Though reasonable doubts may exist in respect to the visit of I^rd Dela- 
ware to the Delaware bay, that bay in 1610 did actually receive a transient visit 
from Captain Samuel Argall, who probably was the first European that en- 
tered its waters after its discovery by Hudson. 

The various names by which the Delaware river and bay have been known, 
are enumerated in Hazard's "Annals of Pennsylvania." By the Indians it was 
called, Pautaxat, ]\Iariskitton and Makerish-kisken, Lenape Whittuck ; by the 
Dutch, Zuyt or South river, Nassau river. Prince Hendrick river, and Charles 
river; by the Swedes, New Swedeland stream; by the English, Delaware. 
Heylin in his "Cosmography" calls its Arasapha. The bay has also been known 
as New Port May and Godyn's bay. 

Six years now intervene before we have any further accounts of discov- 
eries in "New Netherland," a country which, in the estimation of Their High 
Mightinesses, The States General of Holland, embraced the Delaware bay and 
river. On March 27, 1614, a general charter was granted securing the exclu- 
sive privilege of trade during four voyages, with "any neAv courses, havens, 


countries or places," to the discoverer, and subjecting any persons who should 
act in violation thereof, to a forfeiture of their vessel, in addition to a heavy- 
pecuniary penalty. Stimulated by this edict of the States General, the mer- 
chants of Amsterdam fitted out five vessels to engage in voyages, in pursuance 
of its provisions. Among them was the "Fortune," belonging to the city of 
Hoorn, commanded by Captain Cornelis Jacobson Mey. Captain Adrian Block 
commanded another vessel, which was unfortunately burnt upon his arrival at 
the mouth of the "Manhattan river." To repair this misfortune, Captain 
Block immediately engaged in the construction of a new vessel — a yacht, 44^ 
feet long, and 11^ feet wide. This craft was of but 16 tons burden, and was 
named the "Unrust" (Restless.) She was the first vessel built by Europeans in 
this country, and her construction, under the circumstance, savors more of a 
Yankee proceeding than any event in the history of New Netherland. 

The "Fortune," commanded by Skipper Mey, alone proceeded southerly. 
The coast, with its numerous inlets and islands, was examined and mapped as 
he went along, until he reached the mouth of the Delaware bay, to the two 
proper capes of which he appropriated two of his names ; calling the one Cor- 
nelis, the other Mey. To a cape still further south he gave the name of Hind- 
lopen, after a town of Friesland. All the vessels except the "Restless" now re- 
turned to Holland, to make report of their discoveries, and to claim the exclu- 
sive privileges of trade, to which, under the general charter granted by the 
States General, their owners would be entitled. By an edict dated October 14, 
1614, this monopoly of trade was granted to the united company of merchants 
of the cities of Amsterdam and Hoorn, by whose mearis the expedition had 
been fitted out. It was limited, however, to "newly discovered lands, situate 
in America, between New France and Virginia, whereof the sea coasts lie be- 
tween the fortieth and forty-fifth degrees of latitude, now named New Neth- 
erland," and was to extend to four voyages, to be made within three years 
from January ist. It will be seen that the Delaware bay is not included in this 
grant, a circumstance that would suggest that the discoveries in that quarter by 
Skipper Mey, had not been appreciated. 

Captain Cornelis Hendrickson, who had been left in command of the Amer- 
ican built vessel "Restless," now proceeded to make further explorations, and 
especially on the Delaware bay. It has even been said that this expedition ex- 
plored the river as high up as the mouth of the Schuylkill, the discovery of 
which is credited to Captain Hendrickson. If this be correct, the crew of the 
"Restless" were the first civilized men who visited the territory now embraced 
within the limits of Delaware county. 

It cannot be fairly inferred that the Schuylkill was one of the three rivers 
discoverer by Captain Hendrickson, and the original "Carte Figurative" found 
attached to the memorial of his employers, presented on the day before the re- 
port was made, furnishes almost conclusive evidence that the voyage of the 
"Restless" did not extend even to the mouth of the Delaware river. The re- 
fusal of the States General to grant the trading privileges to these applicants, 
which in justice could not be withheld from the discoverers of "any new 


courses, havens, countries or places," furnishes additional proof that the dis- 
coveries made in the "Restless" did not go much beyond what had been pre- 
viously made. If any knowledge of the Delaware or Schuylkill rivers was ac- 
quired on this occasion, it was probably obtained from the three persons be- 
longing to the company, purchased from the Indians, or from the Indians 

In anticipation of the formation of a Dutch West India Company, exclu- 
sive trading privileges were not again granted under the general charter of 
1614, except in a few instances and to a very limited extent. The trade to 
New Netherland, regarded by the Dutch as extending beyond the Delaware, 
was thrown open, in a measure, to individual competition. This did not last 
long, for on June 3, 1621, the West India Company was incorporated. It did 
not, however, go into operation until 1623. 

Thus far, trade, and new discoveries for the purpose of extending trade, 
appear to have wholly engrossed the attention of the Dutch. This year a 
proposition is made by the Directors of the New Netherland trading company, 
for the emigration to America of "a certain English preacher, versed in the 
Dutch language," then residing in Leyden, together with over four hundred 
families both out of Holland and England, whom he assured the petitioners, 
he had the means of inducing to accompany him thither. The petitioners also 
asked that two ships of war might be provisionally dispatched "for the preser- 
vation of the country's rights, and that the aforesaid minister and the four 
hundred families, might be taken under the protection of the government ; al- 
ledging that his Majesty of Great Britain would be disposed to people the 
aforesaid lands with the English nation." After considerable delay this peti- 
tion was rejected. 

On September 28 of this year, and during the time that elapsed between the 
incorporation of the Dutch West India Company and the time it commenced 
its commercial operations, the States General granted certain parties permis- 
ion to dispatch "two ships with all sorts of permitted merchandise, the one tCK 
the aforesaid New Netherland, and the other to the aforesaid New river, ly- 
ing in latitude between eight and thirty and forty degrees, and to the small 
rivers thereon depending, to trade away and dispose of their old stock, which 
ihey have there, and afterwards bring back into this country their goods, car- 
goes, clerks and seamen, on condition that they must be home before July i, 
1622." The New river mentioned was undoubtedly the Delaware ; and it might 
be inferred from the permission asked in respect to the old stock, &c., that a 
trading post had been established by the Dutch on the Delaware prior to this 
date. There are many facts to show that such a conclusion would be erron- 
eous, and that the Dutch had no trading establishment on that river at this 

At the instance of the British Government, Sir Dudley Carleton, their am- 
bassador at the Hague, entered upon an investigation of certain charges made 
against the Hollanders of having left "a Colonic" at, and of "giving new 
names to several ports appertaining to that part of the countrie north of Vir~ 


ginia" called by them "New England." This preacher was the Rev. Mr. Rob- 
inson. Some of the families alluded to embarked at Delft in the "Mayflow- 
er" and "Speedwell," July 16, 1620, and though they were destined for the 
Hudson, they landed at Plymouth, and became the renowned Colony of Pil- 

In the prosecution of this investigation, which was rather of a private 
and informal character, the ambassador could not make "any more of the mat- 
ter but that about fower or five years since, two particular companies of Am- 
sterdam merchants began a trade into these parts between 40 and 45 de- 
grees, to w'='' after their manner they gave their own names New Netherlands, 
a South and a North sea, a Texel, a blieland and the like; whither they have 
ever since continued to send shipps of 30 and 40 lasts, at the most to fetch 
furres, w'^^ is all their trade ; for the providing of w*^** they have certain factors 
there continually residents trading, w^^ savages, and at this present there is a 
ship at Amsterdam, bound for those parts, but I cannot learn of anie Colonic 
eyther already planted there by these people, or so much as intended." The 
letter of the ambassador communicating this information to the British gov- 
ernment, is dated February' 5, 1621. Sir Dudley gives as an additional reason 
why he arrived at the conclusion that the Dutch had not as yet planted a col- 
ony, that divers inhabitants of this country (Holland,) had been suiters to him 
to procure them "a place of habitation amongst his Ma*'^^ subjects in those 
parts," suggesting the improbability of these people desiring to mingle among 
strangers, and to be under their government, if they had settlements of their 
own. He did not fail, however, to present to the States General, on behalf of 
his government, a remonstrance against further commerce by the Dutch with 
the country in question, and to lay before their High Mightinesses the British 
claim thereto by right of first occupation, (jurae primae occupationis.) 

This proceeding of the British government was intended to prevent their 
rights from being lost, rather than to enforce any immediate claim. It was 
so regarded by the Dutch government, and particularly so by the West India 
Company, which now, after having secured an amplification of their privileges 
and completed their preliminary arrangements, proceeded at once to carry out 
the very measures that had been so recently protested against by the British 
ambassador. They extended the commerce of the country by building up es- 
tablishments with the view of securing its title to their government and its 
trade to themselves — the latter being always a paramount consideration with 
the company. 

The West India Company having by virtue of their charter taken posses- 
sion of the country, they dispatched the ship New Netherland with a number 
of people thereto, under the direction of Captains Cornelis Jacobson Mey and 
Adriaen Joriz Tienpont. Mey proceeded to the Delaware or South river, on 
the eastern bank of which, fifteen leagues from its mouth, he erected Fort 
Nassau, at a place called by the natives Techaacho. — supposed to be near the 
mouth of little Timber creek, in Gloucester county, New Jersey, and a short 
distance below the present town of Gloucester. There is some discrepancy as 


to the precise date of the erection of this fort, but 1624 is specified in an official 
report on the condition of the country, made in 1644, and may be regarded as 
the best authority on the subject. The distinction, at all events, belongs to 
Captain Mey, of being the first European to establish a settlement on the Dela- 
ware, if the erection of this fort, — a mere trading post, abandoned from time 
to time, as occasion required — can be regarded as a settlement. 

The seat of government of New Xetherland was located at Manhattan 
Island, now the site of the city of New York, and the superior local officer of 
the government was styled a Director. Shortly after the commencement of 
the administration of its affairs by the West India Company, this office was 
conferred on Peter Minuit or Minewit, of Wesel, kingdom of Westphalia, 
who arrived at Manhattan Island in one of two ships dispatched by the Am- 
sterdam department of the West India Company, in 1624. He was assisted 
in his government by a council of five members and a "Scout Fiscal," whose 
duties embraced those now usually performed by a sheriff and district at- 
torney. The authority vested in the Director and his council was ample, being 
executive, legislative and judicial, and extended to the South as well as the 
North river. The records of the government or of the company give very lit- 
tle information in respect to the administration of Minuit. It lasted till 1(^)32, 
and is supposed to have been generally successful. It is distinguished by no 
remarkable event except the purchase of Manhattan Island from the Indians, 
in 1626. The title to this Island, now the site of the city of New York, and 
estimated to contain 22,000 acres, was acquired for the paltry sum of sixty 
guilders or $24. This purchase is important as probably indicating a period 
when the policy of the Dutch underwent a change ; when from having been 
merely Indian traders, they began to contemplate a permanent settlement of 
the country. 

The commencement of the directorship of Minuit is fixed by Wassenacr 
in his history of Europe (Amsterdam, 1621 to 1632,) in the year 1626, and 
he assigns him two predecessors in that office, viz : Willem Van Hulst, for the 
year 1625; and Cornelis Mey, for 1624. These men, in conjunction with 
Adriaen Joriz Tienpont, appear, however, to have been merely directors of 
an expedition, and it would seem that the government of the country, of which 
the territory embraced within the limits of our little county in the estimation 
of the Dutch constituted a part, commenced with the administration of Minuit. 

It is a circumstance worthy of note that the party who erected Fort Nassau 
was accompanied by females. The fact is fully established by a deposition of 
Catelina Tricho, said to have been the first white woman at Albany, dated New 
York, February 14th, 1684-5. I^i another deposition of the same lady taken a 
few years afterwards (1688), she states that "two families and eight men" 
were sent to the Delaware. This effort at a settlement on the Delaware was 
soon abandoned — probably before the expiration of a single year ; as Wassa- 
naer, under date of 1625, says, "The fort at the South river is already vacated 
in order to strengthen the colony (at Manhattan.) For purposes of trade, 
only one yacht is sent there, in order to avoid expense." It is not remarkable 


that this poHcy should have been adopted, as the whole colony at Manhattan at 
this period scarcely numbered two hundred souls. The fort was abandoned to 
the Indians, who did not fail to occupy it as their occasions required ; and the 
country again passed into their possession as completely as it was on the 
day Hudson touched at the Capes. 

Gustavus Adolphus, reigning monarch of Sweden, through whose wisdom 
and valor that nation had acquired an elevated standing among the govern- 
ments of Europe, now sought to confer still further benefits upon his country 
by extending its commerce. Chiefly with this view, a charter was granted by 
him for a Swedish West India Company. This company, which was to go 
into operation May i, 1627, and to continue twelve years, had every necessary 
power conferred upon it for the establishment of a colony, with the promised 
aid of the government to a very liberal extent. William Usselinex, a native of 
the low countries, represented as having spent much time in seeking out new 
ports and as being "the inventor in Holland of the West India Company," had 
counselled and advised the adoption of the measure, and was to have a share 
in its management. 

While these proceedings were in progress, the war in Germany, in which 
Gustavus became so largely engaged, postponed for a time the project of 
Swedish colonization in America ; and his death in 1632 would have led to a 
total abandonment of the scheme but for the persevering energy of his re- 
nowned minister Oxenstiern. 

Seventeen years had now elapsed since the discovery of the country by 
Hudson, and but little had been accomplished towards making it a permanent 
home for civilized man. The whole population of Manhattan at this period 
was 270 souls, consisting chiefly of the officers and servants of the company 
with their families. But few others resided elsewhere on the Hudson, and, 
as has been shown, no permanent establishment of any kind was maintained 
on the Delaware. The trade of the country was, however, by no means in- 
considerable, the Delaware contributing a fair proportion of it. The ship that 
carried to the Fatherland the news of the purchase of Manhattan from the In- 
dians, was freighted with 7246 beaver skins, 853^4 otter skins, 81 mink skins, 
36 wild cat skins, and 34 rat skins, besides a considerable quantity of oak and 
hickory timber. But this was chiefly Indian trade — a trade that must neces- 
sarily diminish in proportion to the vigor with which it was prosecuted. Fore- 
seeing this, and with the more prosperous colonies of the English on either 
side of them, the settlement of the country was determined upon by the 
Dutch as the only means by which it could be saved from passing into other 
hands, while its trade at the same time would be augmented. 

With the view of promoting colonization, a plan not one step in advance 
of the prejudices of the times, was resolved upon. The privileged West In- 
dia Company adopted articles termed "Freedoms and Exemptions to all such 
as shall plant colonies in New Netherland." Under this scheme the feudal 
tenure of lands was to be introduced into America south of Canada, where 
settlements on an analagous plan had already commenced. The wealthy im- 


migrant who could in four years plant a colony of fifty souls would be a "Pa- 
troon," becoming the absolute owner of a vast tract of land which if situated 
only on one side of a river, might have a front of sixteen miles, but if on both 
sides, one half that front, and extending "so far into the country as the situa- 
tion of the occupiers will permit." The Patroon could hold courts of justice, 
and when the amount in litigation did not exceed $20, there was no appeal 
from his judgment The company also agreed to use their endeavors for a 
time, "to supply the colonists with as many blacks as they conveniently can, on 
conditions hereafter to be made." (Slaves were introduced into New Neth- 
erland as early as 1628. In a letter recently discovered dated at the Island of 
Manhattan, on the nth of August of that year, from the Rev. Jonas Michael- 
ius, the writer says, "the Angola slaves are thievish, lazy and useless trash.") 
Previous to the ratification of this document by the States General, or 
even by the West India Company, two of its Amsterdam directors, Samuel 
Godyn and Samuel Blomaert, by their agents in this country, had purchased a 
large tract of land at the mouth of Delaware bay. This grant was confirmed 
to the purchasers by Peter ]\Iinuit, the Director, and his council, on the "Island 
Manahatas" July 16, 1630 — the savage grantors being then and there present. 
The land embraced in the grant thus confirmed was "situate on the south side 
of the aforesaid bay of the South river, extending in length from C. Hinlopen 
oflF into the mouth of the aforesaid South river, about eight leagues and half a 
league in breadth into the interior, extending to a certain marsh or valley 
through which these limits can be clearly enough distinguished." Samuel 
Godyn had previously given notice of his intention to make the above pur- 
chase, and to occupy the bay of the South river as Patroon, on the conditions 
set forth in the "Freedoms and Exemptions." Meeting with David Pieterszen 
DeVries, of Hoorn, "a bold and skilful seaman" who had been "a master of 
artillery in the service of the United Provinces." he made him acquainted with 
the design of himself and associates, of forming a colony. The bay of the 
South river was held up to De \'ries as a point at which a whale fishery could 
be profitably established, as Godyn represented that there were many whales 
which kept before the bay, and the oil at sixty guilders a hogshead, he thought, 
would realize a good profit. De\'ries declining to accept a subordinate position 
in connection with the colony, he was at once admitted, on perfect equality into 
a company of Patroons who associated themselves together October 16, 1630. 
Besides Godyn, Rloemaert and De\^ries, the members composing this patroon- 
ship were Killian \'an Rensselaer, Jan DeLaet, Matthys \'an Keulen, Nicholas 
Van Sittorigh, Harnick Koeck and Heyndrick Hamel, being all directors of 
the West India Company except De \'ries. All of the expected advantages 
were to be equalized ; and DeVries, who had charge of the establishment of 
the colony, dispatched from the Texel, December 12, 1630, a ship and a yacht 
for the South river, "with a number of people, and a large stock of cattle," the 
object being, "as well to carry on a whale fishery in that region, as to plant a 
colony for the cultivation of all sorts of grain, for which the country is very 
w^ell adapted, and of tobacco." 


De Vries did not accompany this expedition as has been supposed by most 
writers on the subject, but on the 20th of the month he learned that the 
yacht had been "taken by the Dunkirkers" before leaving the Texel, owing 
to the carelessness of the large ship which had sailed after the yacht. The 
large ship, which was commanded by a Captain Peter Heyes, of Edam, pro- 
ceeded on the voyage alone, but failing in an important object of it, "the dis- 
embarking of a lot of people at Tortugas," returned to Holland in September, 
163 1. The ship conveyed the colony to the "South river in New Netherland," 
but was unsuccessful in the whale fishery, the captain alleging "that he ar- 
rived there too late in the year," though he brought home a sample of oil 
*'from a dead whale found on the shore." 

"Swanendael" (Valley of Swans,) was the name given to the tract of 
land purchased for the accommodation of the colony, and had its greatest 
length parallel with the shore of the bay. The date of the arrival of Captain 
Heyes with his colonists is not known ; but allowing the usual time occupied in 
making a passage, from December 12, 1630, it may be arrived at with sufficient 
accuracy. On May 5, following, Skipper Heyes, (Heysen) and Gillis Hosset, 
Commissary of the ship "Walrus" (for that appears to have been the name of 
the ship that brought out the colony) purchased of the Indians, "the rightful 
owners," a tract of land sixteen English miles square at Cape May, and ex- 
tending sixteen miles on the bay. This purchase was made for Bodyn and 
Bloemaert, and was duly reported and recorded at Manhattan June 3rd fol- 
tending sixteen miles on the bay. This purchase was made for Godyn and 
Bloemaert, and was duly reported and recorded at Manhattan, June 3rd, fol- 
lowing. At the date of this writing, the "Walrus" was in the South river, but 
must have sailed very shortly afterwards, to arrive at Holland in September. 
A house "well beset with palisades in place of breastworks," had been erected 
on the north-west side of Hoornkil (Lewes creek,) a short distance from its 
mouth. It was called "Fort Optlandt," and appears to have served the colony, 
which consisted of thirty-two men, as a place of defence, a dwelling and a 
storehouse. This colony, the most unfortunate that settled on the bay or 
river, was left under the charge of Gillis Hosset or Osset. 

On February 12, 1632, we are informed by De Vries than an agreement 
was again entered into "to equip a ship and a yacht for the whale fishery, in 
which much profit had not been realized." A second voyage was especially 
urged by Samuel Godyn, and, to render success more certain, it was resolved, 
says De Vries, "that I myself should go as patroon and as commander of the 
ship and yacht, and should endeavor to be there in December, in order to con- 
duct the whale fishery during the winter, as whales come in the winter and re- 
main till March." When this second whaling voyage had been determined 
upon, only the pecuniary disasters of the first were known to those concerned 
in it ; but before sailing out of the Texel, the loss of their little fort and the 
destruction of the whole Colony was communicated to DeVries. 

Leaving the Texel on May 24, and taking a very circuitous passage, De 
Vries did not enter the Delaware till December 5th. His first greeting was, "a 


whale near the ship!" which made him anticipate "royal work — the whales so 
numerous — and the land so fine for cultivation." The explorations of the next 
day in the boat revealed to them the melancholy spectacle of the house of the 
former colony "almost burnt up," with the skulls and bones of their people, 
and the heads of the horses and cov;s which they had brought with them lying 
here and there about it ; but no Indians were to be seen. 

De Vries did not for a moment allow his presence of mind to forsake 
him. Being unable to punish the savages, he sought and obtained an interview 
with their chiefs, and at the cost of some duffels, bullets, hatchets and Nu- 
remburg trinkets, ratified a treaty of peace with them. Some preparations 
were also made for the prosecution of the contemplated whale fishing. 

In furtherance of the object of his voyage. De \"ries sailed up the Dela- 
ware on January ist, 1633, to obtain beans from the Indians. He encountered 
a whale on the first day, at the mouth of the river, and "two large whales near 
the yacht" on the following day, which made him wish for the sloop and the 
harpooners which were lying at Swanendael. On the 5th of the month the 
yacht arrived before "the little fort named Nassau." The fort was unoccu- 
pied except by Indians, who were assembled there to barter furs, but De Vries 
"was in want of Turkish beans and had no goods to exchange for peltries." 
He was advised by the Indians to enter Timmer kill, but was cautioned by an 
Indian woman not to enter the kill entirely. This woman, after having been 
bribed by the present of a cloth garment, discovered the fact that the crew of 
an English sloop had been murdered, who had gone into Count Ernest's river, 
and the story was confirmed by the appearance of some of the Indians dressed 
in English jackets. Thus placed on his guard, and by making the Indians be- 
lieve that he had been made acquainted with their wicked designs through the 
agency of their own evil spirit, Manitrie. he was enabled to make a lasting 
peace with them, which was concluded with the usual Indian solemnities. 
Soon after this, some corn was obtained, and also some beavers. 

On the loth, at noon, they came to anchor at "Jaques Island," and on the 
day following, in the evening, "about half-a-mile above Minquas Kill," they 
saw a whale six or seven times, which surprised them, as it was "seven or 
eight miles (Dutch) into fresh water." On the 13th, they had arrived at the 
ship at Swanendael, where they were greeted by their friends, who in their 
absence had shot two whales which yielded but little oil. 

On January 18, goods were placed in the yacht, which again sailed up the 
river, but was frozen up in Wyngaert's kill from January 19, till February 3rd. 
While here they shot wild turkeys weighing from thirty to thirty-six pounds f 
When they reached Fort Nassau they found no Indians, the fort being evacu- 
ated, but as it had commenced to freeze again, and being apprehensive of dan- 
ger, if frozen up where they were, they "hauled into a kill over against the 
fort," where they remained eight days before the ice broke. The Indians soon 
made their appearance in unusually large numbers, for it turned out that a 
war was raging between the "Minquas. who dwell among the English in Vir- 
ginia," and the tribes on this river, one of which De\^ries calls Armewamen,. 


and another Sankiekens. After having been subjected to very great danger 
from the Indians and floating ice, they returned again to the ship on the 20th, 
after an absence of a month. There was great rejoicing at their safe return 
by those left at Swanendael, as "they did not imagine that we had been frozen 
up in the river, as no pilot or astrologer could conceive, that in the latitude 
from the thirty-eighth and a half to the thirty-ninth, such rapid running rivers 
could freeze." 

Still in pursuit of supplies, but partly to gratify a little vanity in being the 
first of his countrymen to visit that country, he set sail for Virginia on March 
6th. Here he met with an exceedingly kind reception from the governor, but 
after informing his excellency that he came from South river, he was made 
acquainted with Lord Delaware's visit to the bay, and the English title thereto ; 
whereupon our worthy captain duly set forth the Dutch claim to the country, 
resting it on the establishment of Fort Nassau. "It was strange to the gover- 
nor that he should have such neighbours and never heard of them." The gov- 
ernor sent six goats by De Vries for the governor at Fort Amsterdam, and, 
after having purchased provisions, he returned to the whale fishery at Swan- 

During his absence but seven whales had been caught, and they very poor 
ones, yielding but thirty-two cartels of oil. Seventeen had been struck, which 
went to show that the bay was frequented by those creatures, but their poor- 
ness seemed to satisfy De Vries that the business would not be profitable. On 
April 14, he sailed for Fort Amsterdam (New York) on his return to Europe, 
leaving no colony behind him, and the whole bay and river free from any 
European settlement. 

As we go along it will be necessary to note the changes in the govern- 
ment to which the country embracing the territory now occupied by our little 
county was subjected. Director Minuit having been recalled, was succeeded 
by Wouter Van Twiller, who arrived at Fort Amsterdam in the spring of 
1633 in one of the company's ships, with 104 soldiers, the first military force 
ever detailed for New Netherland. He was a near relative to the patroon, 
Van Rensselaer. 

On April 10, 1633, Chancellor Oxenstiern revived the interest which had 
formerly existed in Sweden in respect to colonies, in signing, by authority of 
the crown, the proclamation that had been left unsigned by Gustavus Adol- 
phus. The time for uniting with the company was extended to the first of the 
next year, and William Usselinex appointed the first Director. The trade in 
peltries at this time became very profitable, which induced the new Director 
to turn his attention to that species of trade on the Delaware. With the view 
of rendering it more secure to the West India Company, it is said he directed 
Arent Corsen, who had been appointed commissary at Fort Nassau, to pur- 
chase from the Indians a tract of land situated on the Schuylkill, which pur- 
chase was accordingly made during the year 1633. This is the first claim to 
land in our vicinity by virtue of a title acquired from the Indians. 

The extreme jealousy of the West India Company lest any one should 


share with them in the smallest degree the trade of New Netherland, led to 
fierce disputes with patroons still residing in Holland. The different interpre- 
tations put on the charter of the company, and on the privileges granted by 
them to the patroons, were well calculated to widen the breach between the 
parties. With the view of terminating these unpleasant quarrels, and it may 
have been partly on political considerations, the Directors of the company 
were authorized by the Assembly of XIX of the States General, to repurchase 
patroonships. Under this authority, the patroon owners of Swanendael, on 
February 7, 1635, retransferred all their right, title and interest in their lands 
on both sides of the bay, to the West India Company for the sum of 15,600 
guilders, ($6,240.) All charters, maps and papers concerning the aforesaid 
colonies were to be delivered over to the purchasers. This transaction was 
well calculated to put an end to private enterprise on the Delaware river on 
Dutch account, and probably had that effect. 

The British government never having recognized the claims of the Dutch 
to any part of North America, a party from the English colony on the Con- 
necticut river, consisting of George Holmes, his hired man Thomas Hall, and 
about a dozen others, attempted to effect a settlement on the Delaware in 1635. 
Hall deserted his master, and the others, failing in an attack upon Fort Nas- 
sau, were captured by the garrison and sent to Manhattan. These English- 
men were not punished, but were permitted to settle in the vicinity of Fort 
Amsterdam, and are said to be the first English settlers among the Dutch on 
Manhattan. This Thomas Hall became a man of some distinction, as his 
name frequently appears in the Dutch records. Although this attack on the 
Dutch fort was unsuccessful, the fact that it was made by so small a party is 
evidence of the weakness of the garrison and of the small establishment kept 
on the Delaware by the company at this time, to protect its trade ; nor is there 
any evidence that this force was kept there permanently. 

Up to this period there is no reliable evidence that the Dutch had effected 
any permanent settlement on the Delaware; and, unless the unfortunate colon- 
ists at Swanendael be an exception, no one had adopted its shores as his home 
for life or as an abiding place for his posterity. From the period of the foray 
of Holmes and his Englishmen till about the time of the arrival of the Swedes 
in 1638, the doings of the Dutch on our river remain very much in the dark 
for want of authentic documents on the subject during that period. A report 
made to the States General in April of that year, "on the condition of the 
colony of New Netherland," furnishes rather conclusive evidence that noth- 
ing of the kind had been attempted. Even the present occupancy of the river 
is not claimed, as will be seen by the following question and answer extracted 
from that document: 

"Are these limits, (limits including the Delaware,) in the possession, at the present 
time, of the West India Company, and the inhabitants of this country?" Answer: "We 
occupy Mauritius, or the North river; where there are two forts, Orange and Amster- 
dam ; and there is moreover one house built by the company, and that is most of the 


The house here spoken of, in the opinion of Dr. O'Callaghan, the very 
best authority on the subject, was the "House of Good Hope," built by the 
Dutch on the Connecticut river. 

The charter of the Swedish West India Company having been completed 
it was printed in Hamburg in 1635. It was not, however, till 1637 that any 
active operations connected with the establishment of a colony on the Dela- 
ware were commenced. The name of William Usselinex, the projector not 
only of the Swedish Company but also that of the Dutch and who had been 
named in the proclamation of Oxenstiern as the "first director," no longer ap- 

Arrangements having been fully made for planting a Swedish colony (on 
the Delaware), the expedition for its establishment was placed under the 
charge of Peter Minuit, who had served the Dutch West India Company as 
their first Director, and who no doubt had a practical acquaintance with the 
river. The squadron consisted of but two ships the "Key of Kalmar," a man- 
of-war, and the "Grififin," a tender. They sailed from Gottenburg very late 
in 1637 or early in 1638, both vessels "being well stored with provisions, am- 
munition and goods proper for commerce with the Indians, and donations for 
them." The first notice of the arrival of the expedition on our coast is con- 
tained in a letter written from Jamestown, in Virginia, by Jerome Hawley, 
treasurer of that colony, dated May 8th, 1638. The date of arrival is not giv- 
en, but it was subsequent to March 20th, of that year, and at least ten days 
prior to date of his letter. Minuit refused to exhibit his commission to the 
authorities of Virginia except upon condition of free trade in tobacco to be 
carried to Sweden, which was refused as being "contrary to his Majesty's in- 
structions," but he freely proclaimed the fact that "he held it from the young 
queen of Sweden," and that "it was signed by eight of the chief lords" of 
that government. During the ten days the ship remained at Jamestown, to 
refresh with wood and water, Minuit also made known "that both himself and 
another ship of his company were bound for Delaware Bay," which, in the 
language of the letter, "is the confines of Virginia and New England, and there 
they pretend to make a plantation and to plant tobacco, which the Dutch do 
also already on the Hudson river, which is the very next river northward from 
Delaware bay." 

Minuit having sailed from Jamestown previous to May 8, the date of the 
treasurer's letter, the time of his arrival in the Delaware may be estimated with 
sufficient accuracy. There are still other facts that will narrow down the 
period during which he must have arrived. 

Van Twiller had been succeeded as Director-general of New Netherland 
by William Kieft, who arrived at Fort Amsterdam on March 28 of this year. 
As early as April 28, this new and vigilant Director had been made acquainted 
with the arrival of the Swedes on the Delaware, as on that day he addressed 
a communication to the directors of the West India Company advising them 
of the movements of Minuit, a notice of which he had received from Peter 
May, the assistant commissary at Fort Nassau. One of the Swedish vessels 


had sailed past the fort, had dropped down again, had been prevented from 
going up a second time, and had been visited officially by ]Mey for the purpose 
of seeing Minuit's license, previous to sending a notice to Kieft of the arrival 
of the strangers. These transactions, with the time required for a messenger 
to reach the seat of government, must have occupied at least a week ; besides, 
it is fair to presume that the Swedes had been in the Delaware several days be- 
fore the Dutch assistant commissary had become aware of their presence. As 
they could not have left Jamestown before April ist, the time of their arrival 
in the bay could not vary more than a few days from the middle of that 

Sailing up the bay, Minuit first landed at "Paradise Point," now known 
as "Mispillon Point," a short distance above the site that had been occupied by 
the unfortunate colony of De Vries and his co-patroons. The next place at 
which he cast anchor was off the mouth of the Minquas river, which in honor 
of the young Queen of Sweden he named Christina. On this stream, about 
two and a half miles from its mouth, ]Minuit eflfected a landing at a point 
then favorable for that purpose, and now known as "The Rocks." Here, after 
having purchased the land from the Indians, he erected a fort or trading 
house, upon which he also bestowed the name of the Swedish sovereign. 

Immediately upon receiving notice of the arrival of the Swedes on the 
Delaware, Director-general Kieft dispatched Jan Jansen, clerk of Fort Am- 
sterdam, to keep a watch over their doings, with instructions, in case Minuit in- 
tended to do anything to the disadvantage of the Dutch, "to protest against 
him in due form." This duty was faithfully performed but, failing to have the 
desired effect. Director Kieft caused the commander of the Swedes to be 
served with a protest under his own hand. Minuit being aware of the weak- 
ness of the Dutch at Manhattan, and of the disinclination that government 
would have at that time to have a misunderstanding with her Swedish Maj- 
esty, had but little regard for these paper missiles, but proceeded on with the 
erection of his fort, which was soon completed, when he heartily engaged in 
the trade of the country, a business he had learned in the service of the Dutch. 
Before the end of July both vessels had departed for Sweden well freighted 
with furs. This rapid progress of the Swedish colony, which was doubtless 
owing to the intelligence and experience of the commander, became so alarm- 
ing to the Dutch Governor at Manhattan that he at once advised the West 
India Company in respect to it, by a letter dated July 31, 1638, of which the 
following is an extract : "Minuyt erected a fort on the South river, five leagues 
from ours ; attracted all the peltries to himself by means of liberal gifts ; de- 
parted thence with two attendant ships, leaving 24 men in the fort, provided 
with all sorts of goods and provisions, had posts set up with these letters, C. 
R. S., &c." 

From this letter it might be inferred that Commander Minuit returned to 
Sweden with the ships. Acrelius, however, gives us to understand that he 
did not, but remained and "did great service to the Swedish colony," and dur- 


ing three years protected this small fort which the Dutch never attempted;" 
and that "after some years he died at this place." 

A most important act performed by Minuit was the purchase from the 
Indians of the whole western shore of the Delaware, to the falls, near the pres- 
ent site of Trenton. Besides giving the Swedes some show of an equitable ti- 
tle to the country against the legal claim set up by the Dutch, it enabled the 
Swedish settlers to occupy their lands in a manner much more satisfactory to 
the natives. It is but fair to state, that this purchase by the Swedes was called 
in question by the Dutch authorities of Manhattan at a subsequent period, on 
the flimsy testimony of certain Indians, procured in a very questionable man- 
ner. These Indians denied "that the Swedes or any other nation had bought 
lands of them as right owners" except a "small patch" embracing Christina 
fort. These savages, of whom Mattehoorn was one, claimed to be the "great 
chiefs and proprietors of the lands, both by ownership and descent, and ap- 
pointment of the Minquas and river Indians." 

There is still other evidence of this early Swedish purchase. Captain Is- 
rael Helm, who was a justice of Upland court, informed the Rev. Mr. Rud- 
man of the purchase, to the extent that has been mentioned, and that the "old 
people" had informed him that they often had seen there "fixed stakes and 
marks." "The purchase was formerly stated in writing, under which the In- 
dians placed their marks." This was seen by Mr. Helm when at Stockholm. 

This digression, to establish the Swedish purchase from the natives, will 
be excused, as it was the first effort of civilized man to extinguish the Indian 
title to the district of country that is to claim our particular attention. It will 
be seen that it embraced Swanendael, for which the Dutch had already ac- 
quired the Indian title, and also the lands about the Schuylkill, to which, on 
account of prior purchase, they set up a rather doubtful claim. The lands 
within the limits of our county were free from any counter claim on this ac- 
count; and it follows that to the wise policy of the Swedes we are really in- 
debted for the extinguishment of the Indian title to our lands, — a policy first 
introduced by the Dutch as a matter of expediency, and subsequently adopted 
by William Penn on the score of strict justice to the natives. But it cannot be 
contended that, in accordance with national law, this purchase from the na- 
tives gave to the Swedish government any legal claim to the country. They 
had no legal right to make purchases from the Indians. To the Dutch, as dis- 
coverers of the river, belonged the right of preemption, or, if any doubt ex- 
isted on this point, it would be in favor of the English. As against the Swedes, 
the Dutch claim rested not only on discovery, but the exercise of preemption 
and occupancy. 

The Rev. Reorus Torkillus accompanied the Swedish expedition and re- 
mained with the colony at Christina as its pastor, where he died about five 
years afterwards. The Dutch, who had a small garrison at Fort Nassau at 
the time of the arrival of the Swedes, continued to maintain it there, as well 
for the purposes of trade as to keep a strict watch on the movements of the 
new comers, of which Director Kieft was kept constantly advised. It is from 


his rather ill tempered communications to the West India Company that we 
have the little that is known in respect to the Christina colony for the next two 

In 1639 they had so much interfered with the Dutch trade on the river as 
to reduce it to "a small amount," and "by underselling had depressed and con- 
tinue still to keep down the market." Up to October of that year the Dutch 
trade had "fallen short full 30,000 (beavers)," but hopes were entertained 
"that they must soon move off, if not reinforced." The location of Fort Chris- 
tina was not very favorable to health, and it is probable that the despondency 
incident to ill-health had something to do with the projected removal of the 
colony. That it did not happen was owing to the timely arrival of fresh set- 
tlers, we learn from a letter of Director Kieft, dated the last of May, 1640, of 
which the following is an extract. "The Swedes in the South river were re- 
solved to move off and to come here. A day before their departure a ship 
arrived with a reinforcement." The same in substance is repeated in another 
letter from the Dutch Director, dated October 15, following. This timely ar- 
rival at once revived the confidence of the colony, and blasted the hopes of 
the Dutch. 

On January 24th, 1640, a passport was granted by the Swedish govern- 
ment to "Captain Jacob Powellson, with the vessel under his command, named 
'Fredenburg,' laden with men, cattle, and other things necessary for the 
cultivation of the country; (who) designs departing from Holland to America 
or the West Indies, and there establishing himself in the country called New 
Sweden." Passports for other vessels connected with the Hochhanmer set- 
tlement or patroonship were granted in blank at the same time, and an agent 
named Jost De Bogardt was appointed, who accompanied the expedition. 

Peter Hollander, a Swede, appointed to succeed Peter Minuit as governor 
of New Sweden, arrived in the first of the vessels that brought out the Dutch 
colony, or, what is more probable, came in one of the vessels sent shortly after- 
wards for the relief and reinforcement of the colony at Christina. His admin- 
istration continued but one year and a half, when he returned to occupy a 
military post in his native country. (A more full account of the founding of 
New Sweden will be found in the Pennsylvania Magazine, vol. iii, p. 269.) 

Since the unsuccessful efl'ort of George Holmes and his small company in 
1635, we have no notice of any attempt by the English to make a settlement on 
our river till about this period. Their operations, even now, are involved in 
much uncertainty. Mr. Samuel Hazard, whose investigations have thrown so 
much light on the early settlements on the Delaware, after diligent search 
among the ancient records of New England "can collect but little definite in- 
formation on the subject," except that several attempts at settlement were 
made. In a Dutch document descriptive of New Netherland, published in 
1649, the efforts of the English "at divers times and places to annex this South 
river," is adverted to. According to this authority they had previously to that 
time been prevented from making actual settlements "by divers protests and 


by being expelled by force, well knowing if they but once happened to settle 
there, the river would be lost, or cause considerable trouble." 

In the records of the United Colonies evidence exists that an effort was 
made in 1640 to plant a colony from New Haven. A Captain Turner, agent 
for New Haven, made a large purchase "on both sides of Delaware bay and 
river." Besides trade, the object of the purchase "was for the settlement of 
churches in gospel order and purity." 

In the year 1641, against the anxious admonition of Director General 
Kieft, a company of emigrants from New Haven proceeded to the Delaware in 
a barque fitted out by a Mr. Lamberton, and placed under the command of 
Robert Cogswell. Notwithstanding the purchases of land made the previous 
year, these emigrants made others, and located themselves on Varkenskill, 
near the present town of Salem, New Jersey, in direct violation of a promise 
made by the captain of their vessel to Director Kieft. New England history 
and records establish the fact that such a settlement had been commenced on 
the Delaware ; but the actual existence of English settlers at the locality men- 
tioned is first officially noticed in the instructions of John Printz, the. third 
governor of New Sweden. The instructions, which are drawn up with ability 
and with a very correct knowledge of the river, are dated at Stockholm, Au- 
gust 15, 1642. They left it to the discretion of the Governor either to attract 
these English families (numbering about sixty persons) under the authority of 
the crown of Sweden, or what the government thought better, to secure their 
removal. To effect the latter alternative, the governor had the sanction of his 
sovereign "to work underhand as much as possible, with good manners and 
with success." 

In another attempt by the English to make a settlement on the Delaware, 
they did not even keep at a respectful distance from other settlements, "but 
had the audacity to land in the South river," opposite Fort Nassau, "where 
they made a beginning of settling on the Schuylkill, without any commission of 
a potentate." This intrusion, in the estimation of the Dutch, was an affair of 
"ominous consequence" that might eventually result in the ruin of their trade 
on the South river. 

No time was to be lost in getting rid of these dangerous rivals; and, in 
consequence of a resolution of the authorities of New Amsterdam that this 
was to be done, "in the best manner possible," two yachts were placed under 
the charge of Jan Jansen Van Ilpendam, with particular instructions for that 
object. These instructions were promptly carried out in respect to those lo- 
cated on the Schuylkill, who, it appears, were only a company of traders, and 
their whole establishment a single trading house. This house was burnt, and 
those in charge of it subjected to indignities and losses by the attacking party. 
Smith, in his "History of New York," supposes these English intruders to 
have come from Maryland, but this is not credited by Bozman, the historian of 
that province, because "no Maryland records have been found that mention 
any such an attempt from that quarter." 

The English colony on Salem creek was also got rid of. In effecting its 


removal, the Swedes have the credit of lending a helping hand to the Dutch. 
The only measures in which the Dutch and Swedes could unite harmoniously 
in carrying out, were such as would keep the English from gaining a footing 
on the river. 

Our narrative has now reached a period in which the citizens of Delaware 
county will feel a local and more direct interest. The government of New 
Sweden, and substantially that of the whole river, now passed into the hands 
of John Printz, who established his seat of government within the limits of 
our county. This was the first settlement made by civilized man within its 
limits, and the first permanent settlement within the bounds of the Common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania of which any record exists. 

The new governor was a military man. and held a commission as lieuten- 
ant-colonel of cavalr}\ His instructions, dated at Stockholm, August 15. 164^, 
are very carefully prepared, with a full knowledge both of the geography and 
the condition of the country. They enjoin upon him to see that neither violence 
nor injustice was done nor permitted to be done to the Indians, and that, in 
order to secure their trade and goodwill, he should "furnish them with the 
things they require at lower prices than those they receive from the Dutch of 
Fort Nassau, or from the English, their neighbors." If he felt able to protect 
himself in Fort Giristina he was to engage the people to give themselves to ag- 
riculture with zeal, "especially sowing enough grain to support the people un- 
der his orders ;" after which his attention was to be given "to the culture of 
tobacco." Besides the cattle and sheep sent out. he was at liberty to purchase 
others from his English neighbours, and. "before all," he was to direct his at- 
tention to the sheep, "in order to have a good species," so that a considerable 
portion of good wool might in future be sent to the mother country. The 
trade in peltries was to be supported in a good condition, and the manufacture 
of salt, the culture of the grape, and the raising of silk-worms suggested. 
Metals and minerals were to be sought after, and how fisheries may be estab- 
lished "with profit" was to be inquired into, "as according to report they may, 
at certain times of the year, establish the whale fisheries in Godyn's bay and its 

Whatever regarded police, government, and the administration of justice. 
was to be done "in the name of her Majesty and of the crown of Sweden." 
From necessity it was not possible to give "perfect and detailed instructions," 
but much was left to the discretion of the governor. Great offenders might be 
punished "with imprisonment and other proportionate punishments, and even 
with death," but not otherwise "than according to the ordinances and legal 
forms, and after having sufficiently considered and examined the afifair with 
the most noted persons, such as the most prudent assessors of justice that he 
can find and consult in the country." The Dutch colonists sent over two years 
before and settled below Fort Christina, were to be permitted to exercise the 
reformed religion — all others were to be subject to the Augsburg Confession, 
and the ceremonies of the Swedish church. Thus it will be seen that the settle- 


merit of our county commenced with an established reUgion, though it cannot 
be said that conformity to it was ever rigorously exacted. 

As mentioned, the Swedes based their claim to the country wholly upon 
their purchases made from the Indians, followed by occupation. The extent 
of that claim is estimated at thirty German miles in length — its width in the in- 
terior, as had been stipulated and decreed in the contracts with the savages, 
"that the subjects of her Majesty and the members of the Navigation Com- 
pany, might take up as much land as they wished." 

The Swedish Dutch colony is referred to in the instructions to Printz, as 
subject immediately to Commander Jost De Bogardt, but the governor is en- 
joined to see that the stipulated conditions under which the settlement was 
made, are complied with, and their removal to a greater distance from Fort 
Christina is suggested. 

Previous to the issuing of these instructions to Governor Printz, the two 
vessels, the "Stoork" and the "Renown," which were to bear him and his fel- 
low adventurers to New Sweden, had sailed from Stockholm for Gottenburg 
to complete their equipments. According to the Rev. John Campanius, who 
accompanied the expedition, they sailed from Gottenburg on November ist, 
1642, and after a tedious voyage by way of Antigua arrived at Fort Christina 
on February 15, 1643, having experienced a severe snow storm ofif the Hooern 
kill, from which one of the vessels sustained great damage. 

The energetic character of the new governor is abundantly evinced dur- 
ing his administration ; and. could his acts always have been tempered by pru- 
dence, his success would have been greater. The expedition under his com- 
mand was the most formidable that had entered the Delaware, and it required 
him but a very short time to give the Swedish establishment on the river a very 
imposing aspect. His instructions required that the river might "be shut" or 
"commanded." For this purpose, the position of Fort Christina at once de- 
termined its insufficiency. The bold shore of the island of Tennaconk (Tini- 
cum,) then extending further into the river than it now does, was wisely se- 
lected as the site for a new fortress ; for while by its position it commanded 
the river, its proximity to Fort Nassau enabled the governor more readily to 
control the operations of the Dutch. Its insular position also rendered it more 
secure from attacks by the Indians. 

Besides the fort, named New Gottenburg, Governor Printz "caused to be 
built there a mansion for himself and family which was very handsome ; there 
was a fine orchard, a pleasure house, and other conveniences. He called it 
Printz Hall." The dilapidated remains of what was said to be the chimney of 
this mansion were standing within the recollection of the author, and up to this 
time one of the small foreign made bricks, of a pale yellow color of which it 
was partly constructed, may be occasionally picked up in the vicinity. Its site 
was a short distance above the present Tinicum Hotel, and on the opposite side 
of the road. The fort, we are told by Hudde, was built of groenen logs, the 
one on the other, and "was pretty strong." Groenen has been translated hem- 
lock, but as that timber did not grow within any convenient distance, and that 


of a kind much better fitted for the purpose was at hand, there is evidently a 
mistake either in the translation or in the statement of Hudde. 

This vigilant governor did not feel satisfied that he had quite "shut the 
river" by the erection of Fort Gottenburg ; for before the expiration of eight 
months from the day of his arrival, he had completed another fortress near 
the mouth of Salem creek, which he called Elfsborg or Elsinborg, and on 
which were mounted eight brass twelve-pounders. 

Upon the arrival of Governor Printz, the only European population on 
the river were the few persons occupying the Dutch Fort Nassau, the Swedish 
colony at Christina, and the Dutch patroon colony established by the Swedish 
government at one or more points lower down. How many persons accom- 
panied the governor is not known, but the number, though not large, was 
probably greater than the whole previous population of the river. He brought 
with him his wife and one daughter, and probably other members of his fam- 
ily ; a lieutenant-governor and secretary, a chaplain and surgeon (barber,) be- 
sides twenty-four regular soldiers, with officers suflficient for a much large 
force. These, with ample military stores and provisions for the garrison, and 
a large stock of goods suitable for Indian tratlfic, which is known to have con- 
stituted part of the freight of the two vessels, would leave little space for act- 
ual settlers, their household goods and implements of husbandry. Still a con- 
siderable number of settlers accompanied the expedition, who doubtless fixed 
their places of abode within a convenient distance of the newly erected forts. 
It was the first successful colony planted within the limits of Pennsylvania. 

We are told by Campanius that "on this island [Tinicum] the principal in- 
habitants had their dwellings and plantations." From the limited extent of the 
island this could not have continued long in respect to the plantations. In 
1645, when Andreas Hudde, the Dutch commissary on the Delaware, made his 
examination of the river preparatory to making his report to the government, 
there were on the same side of the river with Fort Christina and about two 
[Dutch] miles higher up, "some plantations" which, in the language of the re- 
port, "are continued nearly a mile ; but few houses only are built, and these 
at considerable distances from each other. The farthest of these is not far 
from Tinnekonk. * * * Farther on, at the same side, till you come to the 
Schuylkill, being about two miles, there is not a single plantation, neither at 
Tinnekonk, because near the river nothing is to be met but underwood and val- 
ley lands." This report, from such a close and accurate observer as Hudde, ren- 
ders it certain that the immigrants who accompanied Printz. as they spread 
themselves from Tinicum, at first for a time, continued within the bounds of 
what is now Delaware county. The points on the river where no marsh or 
fiats intervene between the water and the shore, were doubtless the locations 
first occupied by these settlers. Chester, Marcus Hook, and one or two points 
above and below, may therefore claim a priority of settlement to any part of 
the county of Philadelphia, and after Tinicum, of any part of the common- 

It is not easy at this time to arrive at any satisfactory conclusion in re- 


spect to the social and domestic condition of the settlers on the Delaware at 
the time of the arrival of Governor Printz, and for a short time afterwards. 
The Swedes were of three classes : "The company's servants, who were em- 
ployed by them in various capacities ; those who came to the country 'to better 
their fortunes,' and who, by way of distinction, were called freemen; and a 
third class, consisting of vagabonds and malefactors," who "were to remain in 
slavery and were employed in digging earth, throwing up trenches, and erect- 
ing walls and other fortifications." 

Fort Nassau was merely a military establishment to maintain a trading 
post. It is not known that any actual settlement had been made at that point 
previous to the arrival of Governor Printz, or for some time afterwards. The 
fort was occupied by the soldiers and servants of the Dutch West India Com- 
pany, and there is reason to believe that at times some of the latter were ne- 
gro slaves. 

But little is known of the early doings of the settlement of Hollanders un- 
der Swedish authority on the river and bay below Christina. As has been be- 
fore observed, this colony had its origin in the bitter feuds that existed be- 
tween the patroons and the West India Company. The chief element in this 
controversy was the amount of trade which should be enjoyed by the patroons, 
which the company seemed determined to wholly monopolize. As the trading 
privileges contained in the Swedish grant to these Hollanders are strikingly 
liberal, it is reasonable to conclude that trade at first constituted their chief 

In respect to domestic animals, goats were probably first introduced. In 
the investigation of charges brought against Governor Van Twiller in 1639, a 
witness mentions "twenty-four to thirty goats" as being in his custody at Forts 
Hope and Nassau. The careful and prudent Minuit had no doubt suppHed his 
settlement at Christina with both cattle and sheep. In the grant to the colony 
of Hollanders it was provided that they should take "two or three vessels with 
men and cattle," and as the English settlers at Vrakens kill (Salem) came 
from New England, they were doubtless well supplied with domestic animals, 
which were probably left on the river when they abandoned their new home. 

Prior to this period, but very few females of European birth had resided 
on the Delaware. There was not one in the ill-fated colony at Swanendael, by 
her supplication for mercy, to stay the hand of savage cruelty. The affidavit 
of Dame Catelina Tricho, before referred to, establishes the fact that on at 
least one occasion four females accompanied their husbands to Fort Nassau; 
but, as the fort was soon abandoned, and only occupied occasionally up to 
the arrival of Printz, their residence here could only have been temporary. 
There is also some evidence that the colony at Christina did not consist ex- 
clusively of the male sex. The Rev. Reorus Torkillus, the Swedish priest who 
accompanied Minuit, w^e are informed by Campanius, took a wife there by 
whom he had one child previous to his death February 23d, 1643. It is not 
to be supposed that Mrs. Torkillus was the sole representative of her sex in 
that colony; nor would it be reasonable to conclude that the colony of Jost 


De Bogardt had omitted to introduce an item so necessary to its prosperity and 
permanency. Still, the number of European females on the river prior to the 
arrival of Governor Printz, must have been very few, and, even with the addi- 
tion brought by him, the number must have been disproportionately small com- 
pared with the other sex. 

Tobacco and maize and probably beans were Indian productions of the 
river prior to the arrival of the Dutch or Swedes. \Mieat. rye and buckwheat, 
v/ith a number of garden vegetables, had become articles of culture at this 
period. But the immigrant settlers had none of the luxuries, and but few of 
the comforts of civilized life. Where woman was so nearly excluded, but few 
could feel that they had a home even in name. 

In respect to religion, there is nothing on record except that the Rev. Mr. 
Torkillus officiated as clergyman at a church built within the walls of Fort 
Christina, up to the period of his death. 

The river is generally spoken of as healthful : but it would appear that 
great sickness and mortality prevailed among the settlers in 1642. Winthrop 
attributes the dissolution of the English "plantation," that is, the settlement at 
Salem creek, to the sickness that prevailed that year. He says "the same sick- 
ness and mortality befell the Swedes settled on the same river." The despond- 
ency with which the early colonists were usually seized, was well calculated to 
increase the mortality of any serious disease that might liapi)en to prevail. 

Up to this period, notwithstanding the repeated sales of large tracts of 
land that had been made to the Dutch and Swedes by the Indians, the country 
remained substantially one unbroken forest, and was almost as much in posses- 
sion of the savages as when Cornelis Mey first sailed up the river. They had 
received but little compensation for their lands, but as yet they had the 
same use of them as they had heretofore enjoyed — not dreaming that the en- 
joyment of these lands by the white man was eventually to result in the total 
exclusion of their race. The time has now arrived for dispelling this delusion. 
The traffic that necessarily made the savage a party, is gradually to give place 
to the culture of the soil, that renders his presence a nuisance. 

Before resuming our narrative it may not be amiss briefly to advert to the 
Indian tribes that occupied the river when first visited by Europeans. These 
tribes, collectively, have been designated Leni Lenape. or Delaware Indians. 
They had once been a more powerful and warlike nation, but had been con- 
quered by those more northern and western assemblages of Red Men known in 
history as the "Five Nations." Not only were they a conquered people, but, 
on the condition of still being permitted to occupy their lands, they had sub- 
jected themselves to a kind of vassalage that excluded them from engaging in 
war, and, according to Indian ideas of such matters, they were placed on a 
footing with women. They remained in this degraded condition until the last 
remnant of the nation had left the shores of the Delaware. The Leni Lenape 
were not exclusively confined to the shores of the Delaware. They occupied 
most of New Jersey and the whole valley of the Schuylkill. The northern por- 
tion of this large district was occupied by a division of the nation called Minsi, 


or Muncys. The Nanticokes, a rather warUke independent nation, occupied 
the eastern shore of the Chesapeake. 

The Delaware Indians enjoyed the advantage of a general exemption 
from the horrors of savage warfare, as a guaranteed protection was an inci- 
dent to their vassalage; but they were frequently subjected to the intrusions of 
parties of the Five Nations, who occupied portions of the Lenape country as 
their occasions required. The ]\linquas, whose name was borne by the Chris- 
tina river, was among the warlike tribes that most frequently visited the Dela- 
ware for trade. Campanius located them twelve (Swedish) miles from New 
Sv»'eden, "on a mountain very difificult to cHmb." He also describes them as a 
very warlike tribe, who had forced the Delaware Indians, who were not so 
warlike, to be afraid of them "and made them subjects and tributary to them 
so that they dare not stir, much less go to war against them." The Minquas 
Indians, as a tribe, belonged to the Five Nations. They resided upon the Con- 
estoga, but their visits to the Delaware for purposes of trade or to fish were 

It will thus be seen that the early settlers on the Delaware had two classes 
of Indians very different in character to deal with ; the one a constant inhabi- 
tant of the country, whose presence was familiar to them and caused no un- 
easiness ; the other, an occasional visitor whose stay amongst them, when the 
object of it was not well understood, excited apprehensions for their safety. 
The Lenape lived in small tribes, generally occupying the tributaries of the 
Delaware. Each tribe was frequently known to the settlers by the Indian 
name of the stream it occupied. 

Governor Printz possessed many qualifications that fitted him for the po- 
sition he occupied. His plans were laid wnth good judgment, and were exe- 
cuted with energ>'. He managed the trade of the river with the natives so as 
to monopolize nearly the whole; and while the jealousy of the Dutch on this 
account was excessive, he succeeded in avoiding an open rupture with that 
government. But he was imperious and haughty and sometimes gave offence, 
especially in personal interviews, when a milder course would have better be- 
fitted the occasion. 

Though the Swedes had erected a fort on the Jersey side of the river, 
they never placed so high an estimate on their title to the land on that side as 
to that on the western shore. As a consequence, most of their settlements 
were at first made on this side of the Delaware, up which and the Schuylkill 
they were gradually extended. These rivers and our numerous tide-water 
creeks constituted the highways of the Swedish settlers, and it was in close 
proximity with these streams their habitations were erected. 

Campanius informs us that in the beginning of Governor Printz's admui- 
istration "there came a great number of criminals who were sent over from 
Sweden. When the European inhabitants perceived it they would not suffer 
them to set their foot on shore, but they were all obliged to return, so that a 
great many of them perished on the voyage." The same author says that it 
"was after this forbidden, under a penalty, to send any more criminals to 


America, lest Almighty God should let his vengeance fall on the ships and 
goods, and the virtuous people that were on board." This part of the state- 
ment is not strictly correct, for reliable evidence exists that an individual was 
sentenced to be transported to New Sweden nearly ten years subsequently. 

The settlement of the country proceeded very slowly under the Swedish 
dynasty, while trade was pushed to an extent never before known upon the 
river. This was a source of great annoyance to the Dutch, as the trade of the 
river was lost to them in proportion as it was acquired by the Swedes. In 
the language of Van der Donk, they "would regret to lose such a jewel by the 
devices and hands of a few strangers." 

It is by no means wonderful, that the Dutch should become alarmed at the 
progress the Swedes were making in securing the trade of the river, for dur- 
ing the year 1644 they freighted two of their vessels, the "Key of Calmar" 
and the "Fame," with cargoes that included 2.127 packages of beaver and 70,- 
421 pounds of tobacco. This shipment of tobacco would indicate that this 
noxious plant was cultivated to a considerable extent on the river at that 
early period. 

The Swedes mill, known to have been the first mill erected in Pennsyl- 
vania, was probably built this year, though it possibly might have been erected 
during the year 1643. It was located on Cobb's creek, immediately above the 
bridge, near the Blue Bell tavern. From the holes in the rocks at the point 
mentioned, the mill must have occupied a position partly over the stream, and 
was doubtless driven by a tub-wheel, which required but little gearing. Kara- 
kung, as given by Campanius, was the Indian name of Cobb's creek. This 
mill, which the governor "caused to be erected," he says, "was a fine mill which 
ground both fine and coarse flour, and was going early and late ; it was the 
first that was seen in the country. There was no fort near it. but only a strong 
house, built of hickory, and inhabited by freemen." 

The jealousy of the Dutch on account of the progress made by the 
Swedes, induced their Governor (Kieft) to send an agent to the Delaware to 
keep a watch on the procedures of Governor Printz, and to resist his supposed 
innovations. The person selected was Andreas Hudde. whose report, though 
incomplete, was made at different dates. That part of it from which the two 
following paragraphs have been taken, was made November ist, 1645. As it 
will be seen, the Swedes mill was then erected, and was erected by Governor 
Printz, who arrived in the country in 1642, the date of its erection can hardly 
vary from the time above mentioned. 

"In regard to this Schuylkill, these are lands purchased and possessed by the 
Company. He (Governor Printz.) employed the Company's carpenter, and constructed 
there a fort on a very convenient spot on an island near the borders of the kill, which 
is from the west side secured by another creek, and from the south, south-east, and east 
side with valley lands. It lays about the distance of a gun-shot in the kill. On the 
south side of this kill, on the same island, beautiful corn is raised. This fort cannot, 
in any manner whatever, obtain any control on the river, but it has the command over the 
whole creek ; while this kill or creek is the only remaining avenue for trade with the 
Minquas, and without this trade the river is of little valur " 


"At a little distance from this fort was a creek to the farthest distant wood, 
which place is named Kinsessing by the savages, which was before a certain and invari- 
able resort for trade ^ith the Minquas, but which is now opposed by the Swedes, having 
there built a strong house. About a half a mile further in the woods, Governor Printz 
constructed a mill on a kill which runs into the sea [river] not far to the south of 
Matinnekonk, and on this kill a strong building just by the path which leads to the 
Minquas ; and this place is called by the savages Kakarikonk, so that no access to the 
Minquas is left open ; and he, too, controls nearly all the trade of the savages on the 
river, as the greatest part of them go a hunting in that neighborhood, which they are not 
able to do without passing by his residence." 

The above extracts have been introduced not only because they exhibit 
the means resorted to by the Swedes to secure the whole trade of the river, 
but because they contain all that the Dutch Commissary Hudde relates on the 
subject of the location of the Swedish fort on the Schuylkill; in respect to 
which Mr. Ferris, in his "History of the Original Settlements on the Delaware," 
has fallen into a very serious error — an error the correction of which has 
been rendered more important from the fact that the opinion of Mr. Ferris has 
been relied upon by subsequent writers, on account of his supposed "local 
knowledge." Mr. Ferris locates this fort on a cluster of rocks, once a very 
small island in the Schuylkill above Bartram's Garden, but now connected with 
the shore by marsh meadow. As the island on which the fort was erected 
"lays about the distance of a gunshot wnthin the kill," it became necessary for 
our author to remove the mouth of the Schuylkill to a point a short distance 
below the site of the Bartram Garden, because the water at high tide was over 
'the great meadows," extending from thence "in a southerly course to the Del- 
aware." Even if the real mouth of the Schuylkill had been mistaken by Hudde, 
the "cluster of rocks" fixed on by Mr. Ferris would entirely fail to meet his 
description of the island upon which the Swedish fort was erected. This isl- 
and, from the west, was "secured by another creek," and "on the same island 
beautiful corn was raised." While these facts could not possibly apply to the 
site designated by Mr. Ferris, they, as well as the other facts mentioned by 
Hudde, exactly fit the island then, as now, at the real mouth of the Schuylkill. 
The location of the fort was undoubtedly upon what is now known as Province 
island ; and, as it could not in "any manner whatever obtain any control on the 
river," but had "the command over the whole creek" or kill, its exact site must 
have been near the western abutment of Penrose Ferry bridge, or perhaps a 
little lower down. "At a little distance from this fort was a creek to the farth- 
est distant wood, which place is named Kinsessing by the savages." This is 
designated "Minquas creek" on the "map of the first settlements, &c.," and 
is still known in the neighborhood under the corrupted name of Minkus. That 
the name assigned to this creek on the map is the one it bore in very early 
times, is confirmed by a conveyance of Marsh meadow bordering on it, by 
Lasse Cock to James Hunt, bearing date 3rd mo. 27, 1685, in which that name 
is applied to it, and is conclusive in establishing its identity with the creek re- 
ferred to by Hudde. This being established, there will be but very little dif- 
ficulty in fixing approximately the site of the "strong house" built by the 


Swedes. This creek for some distance borders on the fast land, and as the 
remainder of its course was through grounds overflowed or partiahy over- 
flowed at every high tide, there is no room to doubt that the "strong house" 
occupied some point on this margin of fast land. "About half a [Dutch] 
mile further in the woods, Governor Printz had constructed a mill, &c." This 
distance accords very nearly with the location assigned to the "strong house" 
of the persevering and avaricious Swedes. 

Jan Jansen \'an Ilpendam, who had held the office of commissary at the 
Dutch Fort Nassau, on account of improper conduct was recalled, and Hudde 
appointed in his stead, who proved himself a more efficient officer in resisting 
Swedish aggressions, at least with paper missiles. He repaired the fort, which 
he found in a dilapidated and destitute condition. 

The accidental destruction of Fort Gottenburg by fire happened Decem- 
ber 5, 1645. This circumstance is not mentioned by Campanius, though it 
must have occurred while his grandfather resided there. It was doubtless soon 
again rebuilt, as the seat of government of New Sweden was continued at Tin- 

The first controversy in which Commissary Hudde was engaged was on 
account of the arrival of a shallop or sloop from Manhattan under the com- 
mand of Juriaen Rlancke, a private trader, who was ordered by the commis- 
sary to the Schuylkill, '"near the right, and to await there for the Minquas." 
When arrived there he was peremptorily "commanded to leave the spot at 
once, as belonging to the Swedish crown." This Commander ]>lancke at first 
refused to do, and referred the matter to Hudde, who conducted a rather an- 
gry controversy with the governor, which not being likely to result in ob- 
taining permission for him to remain in the Schuylkill, at ilic spot he desired 
to occupy, and being a private person whose expenses and losses would not 
be borne by the company, he wisely took his departure ; not however by rea- 
son of any order from the commissary. What is remarkable, a Swedish priest 
most probably Campanius, took a part in the negotiation. 

It may be inferred from the proceedings in this controversy that an ar- 
rangement had been entered into between the Swedes and tTie Dutch about the 
trade of the Schuylkill. To a query propounded by Printz : "On the Schuyl- 
kill, ill what manner the property of it is ascertained and understood; what 
and how far are extended its limits?" Hudde answers, "That the acts relative 
to the division of the limits are at the Manhattans, where he (Printz) may 
obtain correct information." Also, in the letter of the governor to Blancke, 
directing him to leave, this language occurs : "Directly leave that spot with 
your trading vessel in the Schuylkill, seek the spot where usually slooi)S are 
accustomed to trade — which shall not be prohibited; neither do I desire that 
m.y subjects shall be admitted there, from respect and friendship for the com- 
mander and his commissions as long as you are remaining and trading in the 
Schuylkill, or that they would obstruct your interests." It is evident that it 
was the particular place that Blancke was in, that he was commanded to leave. 


and not the kill. The letter of Governor Printz is dated at "Tinnekonk" June 
20th, 1646. 

Following on July 12th, the particulars of this event were communicated 
by Hudde to Governor Kieft at Manhattan, together with a plan for continu- 
ing the trade with the :\linquas, and in the meantime he received instructions 
to inquire about certain mmerals in the country in pursuance of which he vis- 
ited Sankikans, which was the Indian name for the Falls of the Delaware at 
Trenton, but he was arrested in his upward progress by an Indian sachem, 
who confided in the truth of a story alleged to have been gotten up by Gover- 
nor Printz, that the Dutch "had an intention to build a house near the Great 
Falls, and that in the vessels which were expected, 250 men would arrive, 
which would be sent hither from the Manhattans, and would kill all the sav- 
ages below on the river, etc. !" It was manifestly the interest of the Dutch at 
this time to have an establishment higher up the river in order to secure its 
trade, and it is much more reasonable to believe that something of the kind was 
contemplated by them, than that the whole story was the malicious invention 
of the Swedish governor. 

Under instructions received September 7th of this year, "to purchase 
some land from the savages, which was situated on the west shore about a 
mile (Dutch) distant from Fort Nassau on the north," we find the vigilant 
commissary busily engaged on the very next day in taking possession of the 
coveted spot, by erecting the company's arms upon it. This Christian method 
of acquiring title to Indian lands, by taking possession in advance of the pur- 
chasj. is to be excused in the present instance on account of the proprietor not 
being "at home." On the 25th of the same month, however, the purchase was 
completed, in evidence of which the original proprietor aided in placing the 
arms of the company on a pole, which was fixed in the ground on the limits. 
This purchase included a portion of the grounds now occupied by the city of 
Philadelphia, as it also certainly did some of the lands that had been purchased 
by the Swedes upon their first arrival in the country, and of course this trans- 
action became a bone of contention between the two governments. The plant- 
ing of a Dutch settlement on the western shore of the Delaware was now the 
policy of the authorities at Manhattan. Upon certain Dutch freemen making 
preparations to build on their newly acquired possessions, the Swedish com- 
missary, Henry Huygen, removed the emblem of Dutch sovereignty, that had 
been set up by Hudde with the assent of his savage grantor, using at the same 
time the very insulting remark "that although it had been the colors of the 
Prince of Orange that were hoisted, he would have thrown these too under his 
feet." In one of the conflicts between the parties, a Swedish sergeant behaved 
himself so much "against all good order and decency," that Commissary Hudde 
felt it to be his duty to arrest him and keep him "in the guard house some 
time," besides giving him a severe reproof. This event elicited from Governor 
Printz a sharp protest, directed to Hudde, in which he reminds him "to dis- 
continue the injuries of which he has been guilty against the Royal Majesty of 
Sweden," and accuses him of "gross conduct" on account of his "secret and 


unlawful purchase of land from the savages," alleging that in making it "he 
betrayed his conviction of the justice, equity and antiquity of his pretensive 
claims, of which he so loudly boasted." This protest is dated N. Gottenburg, 
September 30, 1646, O. S., and was delivered by Oloff Stille and Moens Flom, 
two Swedish freemen. 

On October 22, the reply of Hudde was sent to the governor. It is rather 
pacific in its tone. He assures the Governor that he purchased the land of 
"the real owner," and if he (the sachem) had sold the land previously to his 
Honor, then he had imposed most shamefully upon him. He protests "that 
he performed everything and endeavoured to employ all means by which a 
good correspondence and mutual harmony might be promoted," and closes 
with these words, "I will confide, that it is your Honor's intention, to act in 
the same manner — at least from the consideration that we who are christians 
will not place ourselves as a stumbling block, or laughing stock to those sav- 
age heathens which I trust, that shall remain so, as it is by your affectionate 
frieml." This affectionate epistle was received in a rather gruflf manner by 
the governor, who threw it towards one of his attendants, saying, "there, take 
care of it." This is reported by Hudde's sergeant, who acted as messenger on 
the occasion, and as the governor was engaged with "some Englishmen just 
arrived from New England," the statement may be credited ; but no credit can 
be given to his tale that the governor took a gun down from the wall "with 
the intention of shooting him." 

Hudde also complained that Printz had forbid his subjects (as he called 
them,) "to enter into any transactions" with the Dutch. This non-intercourse 
policy does not appear to have been very strictly enforced, for in less than a 
year we find Hudde and his wife at the governor's table — the fact being re- 
ported to show the rough and vulgar expressions his excellency was capable 
of using in the presence of a lady. 

Nor were the Dutch annoyed alone by the Swedes. A letter from Presi- 
dent Eaton, of New Haven, to Governor Kieft, dated August 12, 1646, O. S., 
complains of "injuries and outrages" to the persons and estates of the Eng- 
lish, received at Manhattaes, Delaware river. &-c. Since the removal of the 
English colony from Salem creek, there is no account of that people being 
present in the river except those in conference with Governor Printz, above 
mentioned, and a trading vessel from Boston in 1644, four of whose crew were 
inhumanly murdered by the Indians, and the others — a man and a boy — car- 
ried off by them. These, through the instrumentality of Governor Printz, 
were procured from their captors and sent to Boston — the man to be tried for 
his life on the charge of having betrayed the vessel into the hands of the In- 

It is not very creditable to the Rev. John Campanius, who accompanied 
Governor Printz to America, that he has not furnished a better account of the 
progress of ecclesiastical affairs during his residence. He was no doubt much 
occupied in learning the language of the Indians, into which he translated 
Luther's catechism. This work was partly accomplished during the six years 


he resided in New Sweden. The Rev. Reorus Torkillus dying about the time 
of the arrival of Campanius, the latter no doubt officiated at Christina as well 
as at New Gottenburg. During the year 1646 a church was erected at the seat 
of government at Tinicum, which was consecrated to divine services Septem- 
ber 4, and also its burying place, by the pastor. "The first corpse that was buried 
there was that of Catharine, daughter of Andrew Hanson. She was buried 
October 28, same year, being the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude." The site 
of the burying place, and doubtless that of the church also, was close on the 
margin of the river, and is now occupied by a part of its bed between the 
Lazaretto and Tinicum Hotel, but nearer the latter. It is not many years 
since human bones were seen protruding from the undermined and receding 
bank of the river. 

The younger Campanius relates that "the Indians were frequent visitors 
at my grandfather's house. When for the first time he performed divine ser- 
vice in the Swedish congregation, they came to hear him, and greatly won- 
dered that he had so much to say, and that he stood alone and talked so long, 
while all the rest were listening in silence. This excited in them strange sus- 
picions ; they thought everything was not right, and that some conspiracy was 
going forward amongst us; in consequence of which, my grandfather's life, 
and that of the other priests, were for some time, in considerable danger from 
the Indians, who daily came to him and asked him many questions." Cam- 
panius availed himself of these opportunities to make his savage visitors un- 
derstand there was one self-existing God ; to acquaint them with the doctrine 
of the Trinity ; the creation of the world and of man ; original sin ; together 
with the doctrines and miracles of Christianity generally. If we are to credit 
his grandson, whose statements are not the most reliable, he was so successful 
in his instructions "that many of those barbarians were converted to the 
Christian faith, or at least acquired so much knowledge of it that they were 
ready to exclaim, as Captain John Smith relates of the Virginia Indians, that, 
so far as the cannons and guns of the Christians exceeded the bows and ar- 
rows of the Indians in shooting, so far was their God superior to that of the 

Governor Kieft having been recalled, the administration of affairs upon 
Dutch account on our river passed into the hands of Peter Stuyvesant, his 
successor, a man of great energ}% intelligence and bravery, but possessed of a 
will characteristic of his countrymen. His administration commenced May 
27, 1647, and continued till 1664, when the American interests of the Dutch 
passed into the hands of the English. 

The bickerings between the Swedes and Dutch were continued, and dur- 
ing the early part of the administration of the new director general the latter 
in their claims for redress, were not more successful than they had been under 
his less worthy predecessor. 

If the evidence of Commissary Hudde is to be relied upon, the annoy- 
ances practised by the Swedes towards the Dutch were unceasing and unen- 
durable. In the absence of Swedish authority on the subject, without ques- 


tioning the general truthfulness of the commissary's statements, it would bd 
unjust to give too ready an ear to his suspicions; to admit the correctness of 
his conclusions without some grains of allowance ; or to believe that all the ag- 
gressions, of which he complains, were without provocation on the part of his 
people. Hudde accuses Governor Printz with conniving at the abuse of the 
company's subjects — freemen as well as servants — "when arriving at the place 
where he resides, * * * go that they are often, on returning home, 
bloody and bruised." and he seems to attribute similar treatment from the sav- 
ages to these examples, and particularly a surprise mediated by the Armewsick 
savages on May 12, 1647, ^t noon, which "was rendered void by God's mercy 
and correct information, and through a misunderstanding amongst them." He 
accuses the governor w'ith closing the river, "so that no vessel can enter it on 
any account, except with his previous consent;" with vilifying their High 
Mightinesses; treating as frivolous and insignificant the commissions granted 
by the Director-general, &c. 

However unsatisfactory the proceedings of Printz were to the Dutch, 
they met the hearty approval of his own government. In a letter sent home 
by him in February of this year, he gave full information "of the nature and 
actual condition of New Sweden, as also respecting the progress of cultivation 
and the construction of dwellings in that country." This information was 
"infinitely agreeable" to her Majesty's government, and although she "had 
remarked with particular satisfaction the zeal, skill and activity" with which 
he had filled his station as Commander, (for so he is styled in the letter,) and 
gave him assurances that "his zealous and faithful services" should be held in 
remembrance and rewarded with all her royal favor, yet she declined for the 
present to confer on him "certain lands and occupations" for which he had 
made a particular request in his letter. She "was well disposed to grant him 
what was just," but the cautious government of Sweden required that the 
business should first be examined in the "chamber of finance," and that it 
should be ascertained that the lands he asked "had not been given away or 
were not required for the cavalry or soldiers." Printzdorp. hereafter to be 
mentioned, was probably granted in response to the letter of the governor. 

On August 17, Hudde delivered to Governor Printz a protest which he 
had received from Director General Stuyvesant, and, having obtained permis- 
sion to visit Manhattan, he carried back with him the reply of the Swedish 
governor. These documents do not appear to be on record. 

The ship "Swan," which had accompanied Printz, arrived a second time 
during the year 1647, bringing more people. Three other vessels are men- 
tioned as arriving during the administration of Printz — the "Black Cat," the 
"Key" and the "Lamb." 

On January 20, 1648, the government of Sweden issued letters patent in 
favor of the South Company, "for the State of New Sweden and the payment 
of those in their employ, granting one third of the excises of the crown upon 
all confiscated tobacco, besides fines and forfeitures, and provided that in case 
the revenue from this source should be insuflficient to furnish the necessary 


sum for the annual support of the State of New Sweden," the deficit was to 
be made up from the other resources of the crown. In addition, all merchan- 
dise from Holland transported to New Sweden and not landed in Sweden to 
be sold, was to be free from payment of duty, as were also tobacco and furs 
sent from New Sweden to the mother country. This was a wise stroke of 
policy on the part of the Swedish government, as it secured the regular pay- 
ment of wages to the persons in their employ, and at the same time gave the 
colony commercial advantages as favorable as could be desired. 

A Swedish bark in going up the river, in violation of an understanding 
between the two governments, neglected to show her colors in passing Fort 
Nassau. This Hudde regarded as a national insult, and sent eight men in pur- 
suit, which proved unsuccessful. The testy commissary was not disposed to 
allow the affair to pass unnoticed, particularly as the offending skipper on his 
return had aggravated his offense by telling Hudde that his act was intended 
as a personal insult. The result was a formal protest to Governor Printz, 
which, if it had no other effect, it gave reason to suspect that the representa- 
tive of New Nethcrland, on "the South river," was disposed to make the most 
out of a very small matter. 

Governor Printz was generally successful in the execution of every scheme 
in which he engaged, but this year Stuyvesant was advised that he (the gover- 
nor) was tampering with the Minquas, and endeavouring to obtain their con- 
sent to the erection of a Swedish trading post in their country. Either the 
Dutch governor was misinformed, or Printz had overestimated his influence 
with this distant savage nation, for no such trading post was ever established. 

During the winter the Swedes had been engaged in bringing together a 
large quantity of logs, and had already carried a great number of them to the 
Schuylkill. This made Hudde apprehensive "that the governor had an inten- 
tion to construct some buildings near the place where the vessels are now us- 
ually laying at anchor ;" and he says, "as these, trading as before, had been 
driven from Kinsessing, and we cannot otherwise approach the large woods to 
trade with the Minquas, by which consequently the trade being lost to us, the 
possession of the river, as I well observed before, would deserve very little 
consideration." In case the Swedes went on with the building and took pos- 
session of some yet unoccupied places, Hudde humbly proposed "to take pos- 
session of the tract of land nearest to him, in the name of the Company." It 
happened very opportunely for the commissary, and affords him some excuse 
for his subsequent proceedings, which otherwise might have been considered 
as an act of aggression, "that on the fourth day of the same month some 
sachems came to him from the savages of Passayonk, who asked him why he 
did not build on the Schuylkill ; that the Swedes had already there some build- 
ings constructed." Circumstances sometimes almost miraculously adapt them- 
selves to our wishes, or we might suspect that Hudde had some instrumentality 
in bringing about this kind invitation of the Passayonk savages for the Dutch 
to occupy their lands. 

Having received "correct information with regard to the anticipation by 


tlie Swede and particularly so with regard to some places of the highest im- 
portance," he directly prepared himself to build near the place, and on the 27th 
"went thither with the most necessary timber, calling then without delay for 
the sachems, and stating to them that at present he came there with the 
intention to build on that spot which they had granted him." Upon this rep- 
resentation the sachems sent a message to the Swedes '"who lived there al- 
ready, and commanded them to depart from thence, insinuating that they had 
taken possession of that spot in a clandestine way, and against their will, and 
that they had made a cession for the present to Hudde ; that he too should 
build there ; on which two of the principal sachems, as Maarte Hoock and 
Wissementes, planted there with their own hands the colors of the Prince of 
Orange, and ordered that I should fire a gun three times as a mark that I had 
taken possession." After this ceremony and waste of powder, the house was 
raised in the presence of the chiefs, but towards evening the Swedish com- 
missary, Huygens, with seven or eight men, arrived there, to question Hudde 
"by whose permission or order he had raised that house." Hudde replied, 
"by order of his masters, and with the previous consent of the savages." The 
Swede demanded documentary evidence that he was acting by authority of 
his masters, "and not on letters of some freemen." This Hudde agreed to 
produce, after Huygens had delivered to him the like authority for making 
such a demand. 

The sachems now interceded and delivered a rather sharp reprimand to 
Hendrick Huygens and his company. They informed them that they should 
grant the Dutch "that tract of land, and that they would settle there ;" and 
asked, "by whose orders they (the Swedes) did erect buildings there? If it 
was not enough that they were already in possession of Matennekonk, the 
Schuylkill, Kinsessing, Kakanken, Upland, and other places possessed by the 
Swedes, all of which they had stolen from them? that Mennewit, now about 
eleven years past, had no more than six small tracts of lands, upon Paghag- 
hacking, purchased to plant there some tobacco, of which the natives, in grati- 
tude, should enjoy the half of the produce ; . . . that they, (the Swedes,) 
arrived only lately on the river, and had taken already so much land from 
them, which they actually settled, while they, [the Dutch] pointing to them, 
never had taken from them any land, although they had dwelt here and con- 
versed with them more than thirty years." Hudde continued the work — 
"surrounding the house with palisades because the Swedes had destroyed be- 
fore, the house, which the company possessed on the Schuylkill, and built a 
fort in its place, and they might do the same here." "While we were thus at 
work." continues Hudde, "arrives Maens Klingo, lieutenant at the fort on the 
Schuylkill, with twenty-four men fully armed, with charged muskets, and 
bearing maces, marching in ranks. He asked if we intended to finish that 
work, and if we would proceed with it? To which I answered, what was 
commenced must be finished, too ; upon which he commanded that his men 
should lay down their muskets and each of them should take his axe in his 


hand and cut down every tree that stood around or near the house — destroy- 
ing even the fruit trees that I had planted there." 

This House of Contention afterwards became what was well known as 
"Fort Bevers Rheede," though the fact is not directly stated by Hudde. As 
permission for its erection was obtained from the Passayunk Indians, the 
site of this fort must have been at some point on the east bank of the Schuyl- 
kill, now in the first ward of the city of Philadelphia, and within the limits of 
the former township of Passayunk. An approximate location has been as- 
signed to this fort on "the map of the early settlements," after taking into 
consideration the suitableness of location in connection with the facts above 

It will be observed, that in the harangue of the Passayunk Savage, Up- 
land is mentioned as a Swedish settlement. This is the first notice of that town 
under its Swedish name, on record ; but doubtless one or more of the planta- 
tions observed by Hudde in November, 1645, was at that place. It may also 
be inferred from that harangue that up to this time the Dutch had not 
made, what the speaker considered, an actual settlement. 

It is now observable that the Dutch became more anxious to acquire an 
Indian title to the lands on our river, and particularly to those lands that had 
been granted by the savages to the Swedes. With this object, a committee of 
the high-council at Fort Amsterdam, consisting of Vice-director Dinclage and 
the Hon. La Montague, were commissioned to proceed to the South river, 
where they arrived June 7th, and on the loth obtained a confirmation in writ- 
ing of a transfer said to have been formerly made to Arent Corson. By a 
reference thereto, it will be seen that the savage grantors claim to be "sa- 
chems over the district of country called Armenverius." This country on 
the Dutch map is located on the Jersey side of the river, in the vicinity of 
Fort Nassau, and not at all likely to include "the Schuylkill and adjoining 
lands." Passayunk embraced the eastern shore of the Schuylkill from its 
mouth some distance upwards, and is given by Campanius as one of the 
"principal towns or places" of the Indians, on the river; and Hudde himself, 
but a little over a month previously, had recognized the authority of its sa- 
chems to make a grant for the erection of a trading post on their lands, while 
it will be seen that these same sachems are not among those who joined in this 
pretended conveyance, or rather confirmation without consideration, of a pre- 
vious conveyance to Arent Corson, of the same lands, by the same parties, 
part of the purchase money for which, was still due ! A late writer has very 
properly remarked that "the readiness which the natives manifested to part 
with their territory was equalled only by their willingness to sell it again to 
any who might choose to purchase it." He might have added, as applicable to 
this period in the history of our river, that there was no lack of these pur- 
chasers at second hand. 

After the Hon. Committee of the Dutch Council had concluded their pur- 
chase and had taken public and lawful possession, they "with a becoming suite 
sailed for Tinnekonk," where they met with a very cold reception from Com- 


missary Huygen and Papegoya, the son-in-law of Governor Printz. who kept 
them standing in a constant rain about half an hour. After being admitted 
to an audience "they delivered, among others, their Solemn protest against the 
aforesaid Printz, against his illegal possession of the Schuylkill." Governor 
Printz promised to give his answer before their departure, of which Hudde 
has made no note. 

Places of settlement on the Schuvlkill were now assigned to several free- 
men. On July 2nd, one of the number commenced to build, but was prevented 
by the son-in-law of the governor, who caused to be pulled down and burnt 
what he had raised, and adding insult to injury, threatened "that if he there 
came again, he would carry oflf with him a good drubbing." Hudde records 
similar proceedings, though not so violent, on the part of the Swedes, towards 
one Thomas Braes, who attempted to settle and build at a place named by 
them "New^ Holm." This is probably the same occurrence mentioned by 
Acrelius as happening in 1646, in which Thomas Broen was the person de- 
siring to build. If so, "Xew Holm" was located in the neighborhood of .Man- 
tua creek, in New Jersey. Printz offered Broen permission to build under 
Swedish jurisdiction, which he refused. 

Commissary Hudde being temporarily absent on a visit lo his superiors 
at Fort Amsterdam, Governor Printz erected a building about 30 feet long 
and 20 wide, immediately in front of the new Dutch Fort Beversrecde, on 
the Schuylkill, "so that the vessels that came to anchor under the fort could 
discover said fort with difficulty." The back gable of the house was only 
twelve feet from the gate of the fort, and on the outer side of it. Alexander 
Boyer, who had charge of the interests of the Dutch during Hudde's absence, 
very properly regarded the building of this house by Governor Printz, as in- 
tended more to insult his "lords and masters than to reap for himself any 
real advantage from it," because, he said, "the ground in the same range with 
our fort is large enough to admit twenty similar buildings." 

Boyer also reports two Swedes as having been murdered by the Maquas 
— the first instance on record of Swedish blood having been shed by the 

Hudde returned October 5th with a few freemen to whom had been de- 
livered letters patent to settle and build on the Schuylkill. He says he "was 
directly informed that the Swedes placed his best hope on the country of the 
Minquas against the bargain concluded by us," and "to prevent similar frivo- 
lous pretentions, and to shew that the contract was by no means broken by 
the honorable committee," he addressed a note to Hendrick Huygens, intended 
to be shown to the Governor, of which the following is an extract : "Hon- 
orable and obliging good friend, accept my cordial salutation. It was with 
deep regret that I was informed on my return, that our fugitives can find no 
residence in the Minquas country, against the good intentions indeed of our 
Director-general, who will not permit that anything shall be undertaken by 
his subjects against our contract, but expects that similar conduct shall be 
holden from both sides." 


It is evident from the foregoing extracts from Hudde, as has been before 
suggested, that a contract existed between the Swedes and the Dutch that 
contained some specifications in respect to the trade and occupancy of the 
Schuylkill ; and it is but reasonable to conclude that the harsh conduct of Gov- 
ernor Printz towards the Dutch on that river resulted from a belief that their 
acts were in violation of that contract. It may also be inferred that the Min- 
quas maintained a kind of ownership over the country about the mouth of 
the Schuylkill, as in my apprehension the allusion to their country in the 
quoted language of Hudde, had no reference to the usual place of residence of 
that powerful tribe of savages, which will be shown hereafter was on the Sus- 
quehanna. This ownership might have been for the purposes of trade or fish- 
ing, and to serve their convenience during their periodical visits. Whatever 
it was, Hudde was evidently apprehensive, that the late act of the committee 
of the Dutch Council might be regarded with disfavor by these savages. In a 
subsequent negotiation with the Dutch, in which some of the same sachems 
who confirmed "the Schuylkill and adjoining lands" to the honorable commit- 
tee, participated, when asked whether "they were chiefs and proprietors of 
the lands situate on the west side of this river, at present partly incorporated 
and settled by the Swede?" replied that they "were great chiefs and proprie- 
tors of the lands, both by ownership and descent, and by appointment of Min- 
quas and river Indians." 

The Schuylkill river was not the highway by which the Minquas reached 
the trading mart near its mouth, or at Kinsessing, as might be inferred from 
the language of some writers. Their route passed diagonally over the whole 
extent of Delaware county, entering Philadelphia at the head of tide water on 
Cobb's creek, near the site of the Swede's mill ; doubtless a branch of the us- 
ually travelled path to their more southern trading post at Fort Christina. 

The land assigned to the freemen who accompanied Hudde on his return, 
was located on the Schuylkill, at a place then known as "Mast-rnakers Corner," 
"Point," or "Hook." In their efforts to occupy and build on these lands, they 
met with the same determined opposition from the Swedes that others had 
experienced. The officers to whom this work of demolition was assigned, did 
not hesitate to avow that they were acting under the special instructions of 
Governor Printz. The exact position of Mast-makers Corner is not known. 
It was on the east side of the Schuylkill, and probably but a very short distance 
from the Dutch Fort Beversreede. An account of these harsh proceedings on 
the part of the Swedes, forwarded to Fort Amsterdam by Hudde on Novem- 
ber 7, closes the often cited report of that vigilant functionary. 

Two days later, Adrian Van Tiedhoven, "clerk of the court on the South 
river," also reported sundry of the Swedish outrages above noted, but he ar- 
rives at the conclusion that these cannot cause much injury to the Dutch trade 
with the Indians. He, however, regards commerce here as "nearly spoiled ;" 
as he says, "we are compelled to give two fathoms white, and one of black 
seawant (wampum) for one beaver; one fathom of cloth for two beavers; 
every fathom of seawant amounts to three ells, sometimes one-sixteenth less. 


so that in my opinion this barter is too much against us, as the Indians always 
take the largest and tallest among them to trade with us." 

The Swedish priest Campanius, after residing in the country six years^ 
"sailed from Elfsborg in New Sweden." May 18, 1648. Rev. Lawrence 
Charles Lokenius succeeded Campanius and for a time had charge of the 
churches at Tinicum and Christina. After a time he gave up the former, but 
kept the latter till his death in 1688. Rev. Israel Holgh was also a minister 
here in the time of Governor Printz. but soon returned to his native country. 

The disagreements between the Swedes and the Dutch are still continued, 
giving rise to a mutual hatred and jealousy. Stuyvesant, in a letter to Hudde, 
complains of the encroachment of the Swedes — fears they will not stop, but 
admits that he does not know "what he shall apply as a remedy." Even plans 
by the Swedes are suggested, to interfere with the Dutch to and on the North 
river. Each party agrees to pursue the policy of obtaining additional grants 
of lands from the Indians, as the one most likely to strengthen its claims upon 
the river. As yet the Swedes maintain their ascendency. 

As Campanius, the elder, left New Sweden in 1648, and it is probable that 
most of the descriptions of settlements, &c., in the work of his grandson were 
derived from him, it may not be amiss at this time to notice some of them that 
have not already claimed our attention : 

"Mecoponacka. or Upland, was an unfortified place, but some houses were built there. 
It was situated between Fort Christina and New Gottenburg, but nearer the latter. There 
was a fort built there some time after its settlement. It is good even land along the river 

"Passayunk was given by the crown to the Commandant Swen Schute. At that place 
there was a fort called Korsholm. After Governor Printz's departure for Sweden, it 
was abandoned by the Swedes, and afterwards burnt and destroyed by the Indians. 

"Manayunk, or Scluiylkill, was a handsome little fort, built of logs filled up with sand 
and stones, and surrounded with palisades cut very sharp at the top. It was at the 
distance of four German miles east of Christina. It was mounted with great guns as 
well as the other forts. Those forts were all situated on the water side. 

"Chinsessing was called the New Fort. It was not properly a fort, but substantial 
log houses, built of good strong hard hickory, two stories high, which was sufficient to 
secure the people from the Indians. But what signifies a fort without God's assistance? 
In that settlement there dwelt five freemen, who cultivated the land and lived very well. 

"Karakung, otherwise called Water Mill stream, is a fine stream, very convenient 
for water mills : the Governor caused one to be erected there. It was a fine mil! which 
ground both fine and coarse flour, and was going early and late ; it was the first that 
was seen in that country. There was no fort near it but only a strong dwelling house, 
built of hickory, and inhabited by freemen. 

"Chammassungh, or Finland. This place was inhabited by Finns, who had strong 
houses but no fort. It lies at the distance of two German miles east of Christina by 
water; and by land, it is distant two long Swedish miles. 

"Techoherassi, Olof Stille's place, was a small plantation, which was built by 
Swedish freemen, who gave it that name. They were frequently visited by Indians as it 
was on the river shore, and surrounded with water like a small island." The Indians 
named Olof on account of his thick black beard. This place was near the mouth of 
Ridley creek." 


The troubles of Governor Stuyvesant were not alone with the Swedes. 
He was constantly embroiled with his own people, and his New England 
neighbors gave him nn'ich trouble. His correspondence with the English, in 
which several transactions on the Delaware come under review, evinces much 
ability, while his domestic feuds show him to have been self-willed and arbi- 

Governor Stuyvesant had been advised by the Directors of the West In- 
dia Company of their intention to apply to the Queen of Sweden for the es- 
tablishment of limits between the Swedes and Dutch on the South river. This 
may have been in part the inducement for the visit of his excellency to the 
Delaware, which happened this year. Upon his first arrival it does not appear 
that he had a personal interview with Governor Printz — as their negotiations 
are said to have been conducted by means of "letters and messengers," After 
communicating to the governor the rights of the West India Company by rea- 
son of first discovery, possession and purchases from the Indians, "which in- 
cluded the Schuylkill district," he demanded him "to show in like manner, by 
similar evidence, what lands there had been purchased by him or his, and 
were consequently conveyed to them by the natives and proprietors." "The 
result was only a simple writmg, wherein the aforesaid governor designated 
the Swedish limits wide and broad enough," alleging, that the deeds of the 
purchase were "in the chancery at Stockholm." This allegation Stuyvesant re- 
garded as a mere subterfuge and destitute of truth. He endeavored to sus- 
tain this serious charge against Printz by adducing the fact that he (Printz) 
then, "for the first time, had tried to buy from a certain sachem or Indian 
chief named Waspangzewan, such lands as he already occupied, and insisted, 
were included within his limits." The fact relied on by Stuy/esant proves 
nothing — it being more likely that the offer to purchase was to get rid of a 
troublesome claim, than to liquidate a just one. This is rendered more proba- 
ble by the fact that before Stuyvesant left the river, the Indian sachem wao 
refused to sell to the Swedes made a "free donation and gift" of the same 
lands to the Dutch. 

This occurred July 30th. On the 9th of that month the very singular and 
rather suspicious negotiation was conducted, by which the Dutch pretend to 
have extinguished the Indian title to the land from Christina kill to Bomp- 
gens hook, before adverted to. This was also a "free gift," except that one 
of the ceding sachems made a condition "that when anything was the matter 
with his gun it shall be repaired ;" and also, that when he came empty among 
the Dutch, they were to give him some maize. The grantors in this case were 
Amattehoorn, Pemenatta and Sinques — who, although they claim to be the 
right owners of the west bank of the river from the Schuylkill downwards, de- 
clined selling the lands between that river and Christina, to the Dutch. They, 
however, do admit, that the Swedes did purchase the lands they occupy, but 
Jeny that it was from the right owners, which they now claim to be. No 
deed was executed at this conference, that ceremony having been postponed 
for four years, when another grantor named Ackehoorn joins in a regular In- 


dian conveyance for the same premises — the consideration being as usual, duf- 
fels, kettles, guns, powder, &c. What is remarkable in this deed, the right of 
fishing and hunting is reserved to the Indians. 

That the Swedes were the first to purchase from the Indians the lands in- 
cluded within the bounds of Delaware county, has already been shown. The 
object of Governor Stuyvesant, was to make it appear that the Swedish title 
was imperfect, because their purchase was not made from the rightful owners. 
Of this he brings no proof but the testimony of the adverse claimants, who 
themselves refuse to sell to him this particular part of their dominions. 

Since the arrival of the Swedes, the names of the Indian sachems who 
were owners or who set up a claim of ownership to the country embracing 
Delaware County, are — Siscohoka, Mechekyralames, Kyckesycken (Live Tur- 
key,) Amattehoorn or Mattehoorn, Pemenatta, Sinques, Wappingzewan and 
possibly Aquahoorn. These are given on Dutch authority. It will be seen 
hereafter that the dominions of a chief named Naaman, may have extended 
within our limits. 

During General Stuyvesant's detention on the Delaware, a petition for in- 
demnity on account of injuries sustained at the hands of the Swedes at diflfer- 
ent times and by sundry persons, was presented to his Excellency. Several of 
these have been noticed already ; but, in addition, a garden had been made back 
of Fort Beversreede, which was at once destroyed and the fence burnt by or- 
der of Printz. Also two persons had commenced the erection of buildings on 
the Island of Harommuny, or Aharommuny, "west of the Swedes' plantation." 
— one having "laid the ground timbers and set up the ties" — the other had 
"brought his clap-boards." In the first instance the timbers were cut into fire 
wood, and in the second the building was forcibly prevented, by the deputies of 
the Governor, Huygens and Papegoya. "fully armed." No clue is given to the 
location of this Island Aharommuny, except that it was "west of the Swedes 
plantation." This expression could not have applied to Tinicum, because 
there was no island west of it. It must refer to the Swedish fort on the 
Schuylkill, and assuming that to be the case, I have assigned the above name 
on the map of early settlements to the island situate next westerly from that 
on which the Swedish fort is located, and at present occupied by farm build- 
ings. This island was confirmed to Peter Kock, October ist. 1669. 

Having acquired an Indian title to the west bank of the river below 
Christina kill. Governor Stuyvesant at once determined to erect another fort, 
"for the greater security of the company's jurisdiction, and the protection of 
its people," and to raze Fort Nassau, which "lay too high up and too incon- 
venient a distance." The new fort, which was called Casimir, was erected on 
"a tolerably suitable spot" about a league from the Swedish Fort Christina. 
Its site was within the limits of the present town of New Castle. Governor 
Printz protested against the erection of this new fort, but appears afterwards 
to have been reconciled to the measure, as before Stuyvesant took his depar- 
ture frcm the river "he had divers verbal conferences with Johan Printz, the 
Swedish governor, and they mutually promised not to commit any hostile or 


vexatious acts against one another, but to maintain together all neighborly- 
friendship and correspondence, as good friends and allies are bound to do." 

The doings of Stuyvesant on the Delaware were wholly upon his own re- 
sponsibility, not having given to the West India Company "so much as a hint 
of his intentions." The news was unexpected to the directors, and they de- 
clined to give any opinion on the subject until they "had heard the complaints 
of the Swedish governor to his queen, and ascertained at her court how these 
have been received." 

The erection of Fort Casimir rendered the Swedish Fort Elsinborg use- 
less for the purpose of its original design. If any acts of submission were 
now required from Dutch vessels in passing that fort, the same would be ex- 
acted from Swedish vessels in passing Fort Casimir. Elsinborg was therefore 
abandoned, as it does not appear to have been a place of trade. The Swedes 
allege that it had become untenable from the great number of mosquitos, and 
gave it the nickname of "Myggenborg or Musquito Fort." 

Governor Printz having been accustomed to an active military life, be- 
came wearied of his present position and requested permission to return to 
Sweden, at the same time soliciting a speedy reinforcement, in order to be 
prepared for the more threatening aspect that the affairs of the river had lately 
.issumed. Not waiting for the arrival of his successor, he sailed for his native 
vountry during the present year, leaving the government in charge of his 
son-in-law, John Papegoya. Some writers have placed his departure in 1652, 
but this is disproved by a trading commission issued by him from Fort Chris- 
tina, October ist, 1653. 

In Sweden, three persons had been convicted, each of killing an elk on 
the Island D'Auland. Two of them were sentenced to run the gauntlet, each 
three times, — the third "to be sent to New Sweden." This is perhaps the last 
Swedish criminal sent to New Sweden. 

On August 20, of this year. Queen Christina granted to Captain John 
Amundson Besh, and to his wife and to his heirs and their heirs, "a tract 
of land in New Sweden extending to Upland kill." This grant has been sup- 
posed to embrace the present site of Marcus Hook, but this is not probable. 
On the same day another grant was made by her Swedish Majesty to the 
"brave and courageous Lieutenant Swen Schute" and to his wife and to his 
heirs, "a tract of country in New Sweden, viz., Mockorhulteykyl, as far as 
the river, together with the small island belonging thereto, viz., the island 
Karinge and Kinsessing, comprehending also Passuming." To those acquainted 
with this region of country it will not be difficult to give the above grant an ap- 
proximate position, but I have not met with anything that enabled me with any 
degree of certainty to decide upon the island embraced in the grant. 

It is a remarkable fact that on October 6th, just about the time Governor 
Printz sailed for Sweden, Director-general Stuyvesant wrote to the directors 
of the West India Company that "the Swedes on the South river would be 
well inclined to repair among us, in case we will take them under our safe- 
guard;" adding "that hitherto and until we receive further information from 


your honors, we decline their proposal, inasmuch as we know not whether it 
would be well or ill received." It will be remembered that a colony of Hol- 
landers, before the arrival of Printz, had settled under Swedish jurisdiction in 
the neighborhood of the place where the Dutch had erected their new Fort 
Casimir. From these such a proposition may have been received : but it is 
highly improbable that the regular Swedish settlers on the river participated 
in making it. 

In November of this year, the Swedish College of Commerce granted to 
John Amundson a commission as a captain in the navy. He was about to em- 
bark on board of a galliot belonging to the South Company for New Sweden, 
and when arrived there, part of his duty was to consist in superintending care- 
fully "the construction of vessels, in order that they may be faithfully built." 
This is the same person to whom the grant of land "extending to Upland kill" 
was made. Besh or Besk, in the name of the grantee, being the place of his 
residence. The appointment of this officer would indicate that the Swedish 
government designed to establish the business of building shi]is in New Swe- 
den. The land granted to Captain .Amundson was at a point on the river well 
adapted to that business, and was probably selected with that view. 

The letter from the Queen, granting Governor Printz leave to return to 
Sweden, is dated December 12th, when it may be supposed he had already 
embarked. lie was urged to delay his departure until "the best arrangements 
could be made in regard to his successor." It has been said that Printz be- 
came unpopular "by the exercise of a too rigid authority." This letter is con- 
clusive that he possessed the entire confidence of his government. The com- 
mission of John Rysingh. the successor of Printz, bears the same date with the 
above letter. Both documents show that the government contemplated the 
continuance of Printz in the country for some time longer, during which per- 
iod Rysingh would act as his aid. But the interval between the dej^arture of 
the old governor and the arrival of the new one, during which the burden of 
the government devolved on Papegoya, must have been brief — not exceeding 
five or six months. 

The semi-romantic claim and settlement of Sir Edmund Plowden. or Ploy- 
den (although its vague boundaries probably included the district now em- 
braced within the limits of Delaware county) has not been noticed in its prop- 
er order of time, because it has little or no historical value in connection with 
the early settlements on the Delaware. To show, however, that the "Earl 
Palatine of New Albion" had a real existence and was not a myth, we give the 
following extract, from "The Representation of New Netherland :" "We 
cannot omit to say," (remarks the author, \^ander Donck) "that there has 
been here (at Manhattan) both in the time of Director Kieft and that of 
General Stuyvesant. a certain Englishman who called himself Sir Edward 
Plowden, with the title of Earl Palatine of New Albion, who claimed that 
the land on the west side of the North river to Virginia was his by gift of 
King James of England: but he said he did not wish to have any strife with 
the Dutch, though he was very much piqued at the Swedish governor, John 


Printz, at the South river, on account of some affront given him, too long 
to relate. He said that when an opportunity should offer, he would go there 
and take possession of the river." It is presumed the "opportunity" never did 
offer, and the reader, in consequence, can only imagine the character of the 
threatened exploit. The grant was not made, however, by King James as 
mentioned in the extract, but it was obtained in the reign of King Charles I., 
(1634) from the deputy-general or viceroy of Ireland. 

The commercial privileges were as liberal as could be desired, and in this 
respect were in striking contrast with those of the Dutch. The purchase and 
cultivation of land was encouraged — the purchases to be made "either from 
the company or the savages," and, "in respect to the lands thus purchased, sub- 
jects recognizing the jurisdiction of the crown of Sweden" were to enjoy "all 
franchises and allodial privileges, themselves, and their descendants forever." 

In consideration of the very faithful and zealous services that Rysingh 
had rendered and was still disposed to render, her Majesty granted "to Umi 
and his wife, and to their legitimate male heirs and their descendants, as much 
land in the West Indies and New Sweden as he shall be able to cultivate with 
2() to 30 peasants ; ceding to him the aforesaid country with all its dependen- 
cies, with all, &c., ... to enjoy, employ and keep the same, in the same 
manner and with the same franchises as our nobles, and as a perpetual prop- 
erty." This royal grant was located on the river a short distance below New 

Arriving in new Sweden towards the end of May, 1654, on board of the 
government ship "Aren" (Eagle), Rysingh commenced his administration by 
capturing the Dutch Fort Casimir. in direct violation of his instructions. 
There is some variation in the accounts given of this transaction, which it will 
not be necessary to notice. Gerit Bicker was in command of the fort, and see- 
ing a strange sail in the distance, dispatched Secretary Van Tienhoven and 
others "to ascertain the particulars." The messengers did not return till the 
next day, and then only two hours in advance of the Swedish ship, which they 
reported to be full of people, with a new governor, who made known to them 
his intention to take the fort, "as it stood on ground belonging to the Swedish 
crown." Bicker was urged to give orders to defend the fort, but declined be- 
cause "there was no powder." Soon after a boat's crew consisting of twenty 
or thirty Swedish soldiers landed under the command of the former lieutenant 
of Governor Printz, Swen Schute, who were welcomed by Bicker "as friends." 
Escorted by him, the Swedes passed immediately into the fort, took possession, 
and stripped the few Dutch soldiers by whom it was garrisoned of their mili- 
tary equipments, even of "their side arms." Bicker seems to have stood para- 
lyzed while these proceedings were in progress, and it was not till Van Tien- 
"hoven made the suggestion that he and two others were deputed to demand 
from Governor Rysingh his authority for taking forcible possession of Fort 
•Casimir. The governor claimed "to act by orders of her Majesty in Sweden," 
and he further informed the embassy that when complaints had been made by 
the Swedish Ambassador to the States General in respect to the building of 


the fort, they referred him to the West India Company, who in their turn 
denied giving any authority for its erection, and had further told the Swedish 
Ambassador "that if our people are in your way there, drive them off." The 
truthfulness of the reply of Rysingh is in a measure corroborated by a letter 
from the Company to Governor Stuyvesant on the subject of the erection of 
the fort before referred to ; from which it may reasonably be supposed that a 
correspondence between them and the Swedish Ambassador would ensue, and 
that the company was disposed to make concessions to the Swedish crown. 
This correspondence may have resulted in additional orders to Rysingh, sub- 
sequent to the issuing of his general instructions, in which the capture of the 
fort was authorized. It is not, however, to be supposed that such orders would 
afford any palliation or excuse for the rash and unsoldierlike manner in which 
the capture was effected. Rysingh was not a soldier, and it does not appear 
that Amundson, commissioned as his military colleague, accompanied him. or 
was ever in the country. 

The exploit of capturing Fort Casimir happened on Trinity Sunday, and 
in commemoration of that circumstance, the captors changed the name of the 
fortress to Trefalldigheet, or Trinity Fort. News of the event was duly 
communicated to Governor Stuyvesant. both by Rysingh and Bicker, — their 
statements, of course, varying somewhat in the details of the transaction. 
Three or four of the Dutch soldiers, including Bicker, remained on the river, 
who, with nearly all the Dutch freemen residing there, took an oath of fidelity 
to the Swedish governor. The depositions of Van Tienhoven and the eight or 
ten soldiers who returned to Xew Amsterdam, place the conduct of Bicker in a 
very unfavorable light. His behavior served as an invitation to a small body 
of men to capture the fort, who probably had only been detailed to make a 
formal demand for its surrender, preliminary to the usual negotiations in such 
cases. But the "brave and courageous Lieutenant Swen Schute," who com- 
manded the Swedes, was not the man to allow so favorable an opportunity t» 
pass unimproved, for he was never more in his element than when adminis- 
tering a lesson of humility to the Dutch. 

With the capture of Fort Casimir. the authority of the Dutch on the river, 
for the time being, was suspended. The engineer, Peter Lindstroom, who came 
to the country with Rysingh. caused this fort to be greatly strengthened. He 
also laid out the town of Christina back of the fort of that name, and con- 
structed a map of New Sweden. There also arrived with Rysingh several offi- 
cers, some troops and a clerg}'man. and all the Dutch accounts mention that he 
v.'as accompanied by a large number of people. We are informed by Acre- 
lius, that Papegoya soon went home, and that Rysingh assumed the title of 

(/)n June 17. a great convocation of Indians, including ten sachems, was 
held at Printz Hall, on Tinicum. at which "it was offered on behalf of the 
Queen of Sweden to renew the ancient league of friendship that subsisted be- 
tween them and the Swedes, who had purchased from them the lands they oc- 
cupied. The Indians complained that the Swedes had brought much evil up- 


on them, for many of them had died since their coming into the country," 
whereupon considerable presents were distributed among the Indians, which 
brought about a conference among themselves. The result was a speech from 
one of their chiefs, Naaman, m which he rebuked his companions for having 
spoken evil of the Swedes and done them an injury, and told them he hoped 
they would do so no more, for the Swedes w-ere very good people. 

"Look," said he, pointing to the presents, "and see what they have brought to us, 
for which they desire our friendship." So saying he stroked himself three times, down 
his arm, which among the Indians was a token of friendship ; afterwards he thanked the 
Swedes on behalf of his people for the presents they had received, and said that friend- 
ship should be observed more strictly between them than it had been before ; that the 
Swedes and the Indians had been in Governor Printz's time 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 without any fissure; and 
that if any one 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 imme- 
diate notice to the Christians of any plot against them, 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 gvms were fired, which pleased them 
extremely; and they said. Poo, hoo, hoo; mokirick picon ; that is to say, "hear and 
believe, the great guns are fired." Then they were treated with wine and brandy. 
Another of the Indians then stood up and spoke and admonished all in general, that they 
should keep the league and friendship which had beeii made with the Christians, and 
in no manner to violate the same, nor do them any injury, or their hogs or cattle, and 
if any one should be guilty of such violation they should be severely punished as an 
example to others. The Indians then advised that some Swedes should be settled at 
Passyunk, where there lived a great number of Indians, that they might be watched and 
punished if they did any mischief. They also expressed a wish that the title to the lands 
which the Swedes had purchased should be confirmed ; on which the copies of the 
agreements (for the originals had been sent to Stockholm) were read to them word for 
word. 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 sorrow. Then there were set upon the floor in the great hall two large kettles, and 
many other vessels filled the sappaun, which is a kind of hasty pudding made of maize 
or Indian corn, which grows there in great abundance. The sachems sat by themselves; 
the other Indians all fed heartily and were satisfied." 

This proceeding, copied nearly entire from Campanius, is highly charac- 
teristic of such transactions with the Indians. Other treaties with the aborig- 
ines may have been held within our limits, but this is the only one the re- 
corded proceedings of which have come down to us. It is conclusive that the 
Swedes had purchased from the Indians the lands then occupied by them ; and 
the fact that one of the principal chiefs. Xaaman, who was a party to this 
transaction, resided on the creek that bears his name, renders it almost equally 
conclusive that the former purchase of the Swedes had been made from "the 
right owners," the pretension set up by the Dutch to the contrary notwith- 
standing. The treaty thus so solemnly made between the Swedes and In- 


dians, we are informed by Campanins, "has ever since been faithfully ob- 
served by both sides." 

The war between England and Holland having been concluded, and the 
Dutch having been driven from the Delaware, a favorable opportunity was 
presented to the New Englanders to renew their claims on the river. These 
were pressed on the ground of purchases made from the Indians, and gave rise 
to a correspondence between Governor Rysingh and the Commissioners of the 
United Colonies which it will not be necessary to notice. 

A Swedish vessel, called the "Golden Shark," by accident or design, was 
piloted into the Raritan river. The vessel was immediately seized by Gover- 
nor Stuyvesant, who regarded this as a fair opportunity to force the Swedes 
to restore Fort Casimir. The event gave rise to considerable correspondence, 
which did not result in a restoration either of the fort or the vessel. 

The affairs of the Swedes on the Delaware were now approaching a 
crisis, but nothing had occurred to arouse the suspicions of the home govern- 
ment. The triumph of Rysingh was regarded as a reconquest of usurped ter- 
ritory, and no other means to reclaim it by the Dutch were apprehended be- 
yond the usual one of protest. This was a fatal delusion ; for at the close of 
1654, while estimates were being made in Sweden for the support of their 
colony during the ensuing year on a peace basis, an armament was being fitted 
out in Holland, not only sufficient to replace "matters on the 'Delaware in their 
former position," but to drive "the Swedes from every side of the river." 

In the spring of 1655, five armed vessels well equij^ped were forwarded 
to Stuyvesant, with a carte blanche to charter others. The armament when 
completed at New Amsterdam consisted of seven vessels, and from six to 
seven hundred men. The greatest caution was used in ])rovi(ling against every 
contingency, in fitting it out, and a day of thanksgiving and prayer was ob- 
served before the sailing of the expedition ; which hapi)ened on Sunday, Sep- 
tember 4th. "after sermon." It was commanded by Governor Stuyvesant in 
person, and arrived in the bay of South river the next day about 3 o'clock in 
the afternoon. The deserted Swedish l-'ort Elsingborg was visited on the fol- 
lowing day, but it was not till Friday tiiat the expedition reached Fort Trinity 
or Casimir. This fortress was under the immediate command of Swen Schute, 
while Governor Rysingh in person had charge of Christina. To prevent com- 
munication between the two forts, Stuyvesant had landed fifty men. The de- 
mand made by the Dutch was "'a. direct restitution of their own property," to 
which Commander Schute, after having had an interview with Stuyvesant, 
reluctantly yielded on the following day, upon very favorable terms of cajMtu- 
lation. For the reduction of Fort Christina a bloodless siege of fourteen days 
was required. As a matter of necessity it yielded to an immensely superior 
force, September 25th, on even more favorable terms than had been granted 
to the garrison of Fort Trinity. Agreeable to special instructions from the 
home government, an offer was made to restore the possession of Fort Chris- 
tina to Governor Rysingh, but he declined the offer, preferring to abide by 
the articles of capitulation. 


The magnificent scale on whicli the expedition was got up by Stuyvesant 
for the capture of these inconsiderable forts, with the slow caution observed 
by him in conducting the siege of Fort Christina, borders on the ridiculous, 
&nd has afforded an ample field for the satire of the veritable Knickerbocker. 
His ignorance of the weak condition of the enemy will, in a measure defend 
him from the shafts of ridicule, but it will be difficult to find an excuse for the 
acts of wantonness his soldiers were permitted to exercise towards the peace- 
able inhabitants of the country. If the official report of Rysingh is to be re- 
lied upon, "they killed their cattle, goats, swine and poultry, broke open houses, 
pillaged the people, without the sconce, of their property, and higher up the 
river they plundered many and stripped them to the skin. At New Gotten- 
burg they robbed Mr. Papegoya's wife of all she had, with many others, who 
had collected their property there." Nor does Rysingh fail to remind Stuy- 
vesant of these unjustifiable acts. "His men." he says, "acted as if they had 
been on the lands of their inveterate enemy," as, for example, the plundering 
of "Tennakong, Upland, Finlandt, Printzdorp, and several other places, * * -^• 
not to say a word of w^hat was done in Fort Christina, where women were vio- 
lently torn from their houses, whole buildings destroyed, and they dragged 
from them, yea, the oxen, cows, swine and other creatures, were butchered 
day after day ; even the horses were not spared, but wantonly shot, the planta- 
tions destroyed, and the whole country left so desolate, that scarce any means 
are remaining for the subsistence of the inhabitants." He also tells him, "your 
men took away at Tennekong, in an uncouth manner, all the cordage and sails 
of a new vessel, and then they went to the magazine, and without demanding 
the keys entered it alone, broke the boards of the church, and so took away 
the cordage and sails." 

Campanius says "the Dutch proceeded to destroy New Gottenburg, lay- 
ing waste all the houses and plantations without the fort, killing the cattle and 
plundering the inhabitants of everything that they could lay their hands on." 
A late writer (Ferris) concludes that "this is unquestionably erroneous," and 
assigns two reasons for his opinion. First, "the Dutch had no motive for such 
destructive cruelty, the country being now theirs by a formal surrender, and 
they were bound by their treaty at Christina," &c. Second, "that the church 
at Tinicum was standing twelve years afterwards, and Printz Hall at the com- 
mencement of the present century." But the writer has failed to observe that 
the depredations were committed during the siege of Fort Christina and not 
after its surrender and the conclusion of the treaty ; and that a fair construc- 
tion of the language of Campanius will not warrant the inference that any 
building except the fort was actually destroyed. 

The Dutch were not. however, permitted to practice these cruelties 
towards the Swedes with impunity. Even before the return of the fleet to 
New Amsterdam, to use the language of Governor Stuyvesant, "it pleased God 
to temper this our victory with such an unfortunate and unexpected accident as 
New Netherland never witnessed, inasmuch as in less than three days over 
forty of our nation were massacred by the barbarous natives ; about one hun- 


dred, mostly women and children, taken prisoners ; boweries and some planta- 
tions burnt and laid in ashes, and in and with them over 12,000 schepels of 
grain yet unthrashed." With one-half of the force taken to the Delaware, the 
conquest of the Swedes would have been equally certain and far more credita- 
ble to the conquerors, while the other half could have guarded their own peo- 
ple against such a dreadful calamity. 

By the terms of capitulation of Fort Christina, all the Swedes and Finns 
who desired to remain in the country were obliged to take an oath of allegiance 
to the States General of the United Netherlands — even those who intended to 
leave, but who were obliged to remain for a time to dispose of their lands and 
settle up their business, (for which one year and six weeks were allowed,) 
were not exempted from taking the oath, to be binding so long as they re- 
mained. Thus ended Swedish sovereignty on the continent of America. De- 
riving its only title from the savages, which is not recognized by the law of 
nations, no very protracted endurance could have been anticipated for the 
colony as a dependency of Sweden; but its sudden downfall was manifestly 
the direct result of the rash, unjustifiable and unauthorized acts of Governor 
Rysingh in capturing Fort Casimir. 

The hardships of the Swedes, though they were not protracted under the 
Dutch government, did not terminate with the capture of their forts. We 
are informed by Acrelius that "the flower of their troops were picked out and 
sent to New Amsterdam under the pretext of their free choice, the men were 
forcibly carried on board the ships. The women were ill treated in their 
houses, the goods pillaged, and the cattle killed." 

But little has come down to us in respect to the domestic administration of 
affairs in the Swedish colony. The administration of justice was doubtless 
conducted by means of a military tribunal of which the governor was the head. 
Printz felt himself disqualified for the performance of the duties of a judge, 
and in a dispatch to the Swedish West India Company, dated February 20, 
1647, he makes known his difiiculty in this wise : ".Again, I have several times 
solicited to obtain a learned and able man. ist, To administer justice and at- 
tend to the law business, sometimes very intricate cases occurring, in which 
it is difificult, and never ought to be for one and the same person to appear in 
court as plaintiff as well as judge." . . . As the seat of government was 
located at Tinicum from the commencement of the administration of Governor 
Printz. it may be concluded that the seat of justice was also located there. 

Mrs. Papegoya, the daughter of Governor Printz, it will have been seen, 
did not return to Sweden with her husband. For many years she continued to 
reside at Tinicum, rather in poverty than affluence. Tinicum is no longer men- 
tioned as a fortified place, and if the fort was not destroyed by the Dutch as 
mentioned by Campanius, it was suffered by them to go into decay. 

The government of the Dutch on the river was established by the ap- 
pointment of John Paul Jaquet as vice-director and commander-in-chief, and 
Andreas Hudde as secretary and surveyor, and keeper of the keys of the fort, 
&c. The council was to consist of the vice-director, Hudde, Elmerhuysen 


Klein, and two sergeants, in purely military affairs ; in matters purely civil, or 
between freemen and the company's servants, two of the most expert free- 
men were to be substituted for the two sergeants. The instructions given Ja- 
quet show a want of confidence in the Swedes. "Good notice" was to be taken 
of their behaviour, and in case any of them were found to be not well affected 
they were required to depart, "with all imaginable civility," and, if possible 
to be sent to New Amsterdam ; and no Swede living in the country was to re- 
main in the fort all night. The seat of government was established at Fort 
Casimir — provision having been made for extending the town, which took the 
name of New Amstel. 

"In granting lands, care was to be taken that a community of 16 or 20 
persons reside together. The rent to be 12 stivers per morgen, per annum; 
but permission to plant was only to be granted, on taking an oath to assist the 
fort, or to be transported in case they refuse the oath." "The free persons of 
the Swedish nation residing on the second corner above Fort Cassimer," so- 
licit counsel "that they may remain on their lands, as they have no inclination 
to change their abode, neither to build in the new village," claiming the prom- 
ise made to them by Stuyvesant. Their petition was granted until the expir- 
ation of the year and six weeks, mentioned in the capitulation. 

As evidence that the Swedish government had been kept in ignorance of 
the intended conquest of New Sweden by the Dutch, was the arrival March 
24, 1656, of the Swedish ship "Mercury," with 130 souls on board, intended 
as a reinforcement to the colony. They were forbidden to pass the fort, but 
a party of Indians joined the crew and conducted the ship up the river, the 
Dutch not venturing to fire a gim against them. The "Mercury" was allowed 
to pass the fort owing to the number of Indians on board, the Dutch feeling no 
disposition to provoke their animosity. The passengers of the "Mercury" 
were landed contrary to the direct orders, sent at considerable trouble from 
New Amsterdam, but the captain and crew of the vessel were exonerated from 
all censure, the responsibility resting with the Indians and resident Swedes. 
Among the passengers was Mr. Papegoya, the son-in-law of Governor Printz, 
who wrote to Governor Stuyvesant immediately upon his arrival. There were 
also two clergymen on board, one of whom, named Matthias, who continued to 
reside in the country during two years. Andres Bengston was also a passen- 
ger, who was still living in this country in 1703. Much negotiation was occa- 
sioned in consequence of the arrival of the "Mercury," and though the Dutch 
government never yielded its assent to the landing of the immigrant passen- 
gers, they all did land, and probably most of them remained in the country. 
The vessel was allowed to proceed to New Amsterdam and discharge her 
cargo at a reduced duty, and to take in provision for her return voyage. 

The conquest of New Sweden was not quietly acquiesced in by the home 
government. Their minister protested against the outrage and claimed resti- 
tution, but this claim was disregarded, the Dutch being well aware that noth- 
ing more serious than paper missiles could be resorted to, the Swedes at that 
time being engaged in a war with Poland. The Directors of the West India 


Company did not hesitate to communicate to Stuyvesant their approbation, in 
general, of his conduct. 

After Governor Printz left the country, his plantation at Tinicum seems 
to have been very much neglected, and for a time wholly abandoned. The in- 
terference of Commaiukr j.-ujiui lo ])revent his daughter, Mrs. Papegoya, 
from resuming the possession of the property, gave this lady occasion to me- 
morialize the Director-general. She says: 

"It is. without doubt, well known to the Director-general, that our late lord gov- 
ernor, ni\ hiylily revered lord and father, prepared a farm, partly cultivated by freemen, 
who are returned to Sweden, and surrendered it to him, and partly cleared by his orders, 
and cultivated for several years; and this was granted by the King (Queen?), and by 
the present royal majesty was confirmed, but which now since three years, being aban- 
doned, was again covered with bushes, and the dwelling-house nearly destroyed by the 
Indians, and so I have been obliged to repair it, by three Finns, and to sow its fields, 
when, unexpectedly, I was forbidden by the present commander, to take possession of it 
again ; wherefore I am compelled to inform the Director-general of this event, with 
humble supplication that it may please him graciously, and from the friendship between 
him and my lord and father, to favor me with this possession, as I am confident his 
honor will do ; and solicit further that my people may remain unmolested at Printzdorp, 
and continue to cultivate its soil ; and that his Honor, &c., may be pleased to grant me, 
for my greater security, letters patent for that spot, and so too for Tinnakonk. I hope 
that my lord and father will acknowledge it as a mark of great friendship, and as far 
as it is in his power, be remunerated with thankfulness; with which I recommend the 
Director-general to the protection of God Almighty. Dated at Tinnakonk August 3, 
1656. The Director General's humble servant, Armgard Printz." 

"The suppliant is permitted, agreeably to the capitulation, to take posses- 
sion of the lands of her lord and father in Printzdorf, and to use it to her best 
advantage," was the response of the Director-general. 

The Dutch West India Company had become greatly embarrassed by the 
large amount of their debts, which had been increased by the aid afforded by 
the city of Amsterdam towards the conquest of the Swedes on the Delaware. 
To liquidate this debt, that ])an of the South river extending from the west 
side of Christina kill to the mouth of the bay, "and so far as the ^linquas land 
extended," was, after much negotiation, transferred to that city, with the com- 
pany "s rights and privileges, and subject to conditions agreed upon by the con- 
tracting parties. These conditions with a slight modification were ratified by 
the States General, August 16, 1656 — the colony thus established taking the 
name of Nieuer Amstel. 

As the jurisdiction of the City's Colony, as thus established, did not ex- 
tend over the district claiming our particular attention, the doings within it will 
onlv be briefly noticed. The government of the colony was organized by the 
establishment of a board of commissioners to reside in the city of Amsterdam; 
forty soldiers were enlisted and placed under the command of Captain Martin 
Krygier, and Lieutenant Alexander D'Hinoyossa ; and 150 emigrants, free- 
men and boors, were forthwith dispatched, in three vessels, to settle in the new 
colony. Jacob Alrichs accompanied the expedition as Director of New Am- 


stel. Alrichs assumed the government of the colony towards the close of 
April, 1657, when Hudde was appointed to the command at Fort Christina, 
(the name of which was changed to Altona,) and also of New Gottenburg. 

Over the Swedes and Finns, who were exclusively the inhabitants of the 
river above the Colony of the City of Amsterdam, Goeran Vandyck had been 
appointed with the title of schout fiscal, and under him Anders Jurgen. Goer- 
an Vandyck, the schout, suggested to Stuyvesant the necessity of concentrating 
the Swedish inhabitants, and procured from him a proclamation inviting them 
to assemble in one settlement either at Upland, Passayunk, Finland, Kingses- 
sing or where they pleased. The invitation was not accepted. The appoint- 
ment of "one Jurgin the Finn, on Crooked Kill," as court messenger, is men- 

Andries Hudde, who held a military command under the Company, was 
also provisionally engaged in the New Amstel Colony as clerk in "the dispatch 
of law suits and occurring dififerences ;" and as he understood "somewhat of 
surveying," he was also employed in that capacity. 

Evert Pieterson, who held the office of schoolmaster, comforter of the 
sick and setter of the psalms, in the City Colony, writes to the commissioners 
that upon his arrival in April he found but twenty families in New Amstel, all 
Swedes except five or six families. He appears to have been a man of obser- 
vation, and suggests our black walnut timber for making gun-stocks, requests 
that inquiries be made of the gunsmiths in respect to its value, and in what 
shape it should be cut. In August he had a school of twenty-five children. 
This is the first school established on the river of which we have any account. 

Director x-\lrichs not only communicated with the commissioners of Am- 
sterdam City, but also with Stuyvesant. He advises that seventy-five men be 
sent to Altona, thereby showing that he was under some apprehensions on ac- 
count of the Swedes. 

The winter of 1657 was remarkable for its severity. "The Delaware was 
frozen over in one night, so that a deer could run over it, which, as the Indians 
relate, had not happened within the memory of man." 

In the spring of 1658, a vessel which had taken in hickory wood at Altona 
that was cut by Stuyvesant's orders, completed her cargo with rye straw at 

The affairs of the South river, in the opinion of Governor Stuyvesant 
and his council, "required to be examined into," and "some regulations" also 
becoming necessary among the Swedes, his excellency in person, accompanied 
by Mr. Tonneman, repaired to the river, and May 8th, in this year visited Tini- 
cum. Here they were met by the schout, or sherifif, Vandyck; Olof Stille, 
Malhys Hanson. Pieter Rambo and Pieter Cock, magistrates; Swen Schute, 
captain; Andries D'Albo, lieutenant; and Jacob Swenson, ensign. After re- 
newing their oath of allegiance to "the high and mighty lords, the States Gen- 
eral of the United Netherlands and lords directors of the general privileged 
West India Company with the director general and council already appointed, 
or in time being," these Swedish officials presented their petition asking that a 


court messenger might be appointed for executions ; for free access to the sol- 
diers of Altona, in case they wish their aid for the execution of resolves ; that 
no person shall leave their limits without the knowledge of the magistrates, 
much less male and female servants, &c. Some subsidies were also asked 
for. The Director-general thought the jailor could perform the duties of 
court messenger, as he is now employed by the sheriff and commissioners to 
make summons, arrests and executions. Free access to the soldiers was 
granted, if solicited by the sheriff. No person was to leave without the consent 
of the commissary, first obtained of the Director-general and council, and sub- 
sidies were allowed "when they can be obtained with least incumbrance to the 
Swedish nation." Those who had not taken the oath of allegiance were re- 
quired to do so. 

It is probable that the above named petitioners, except Vandyck, con- 
stituted what remained of an organized government at the close of the Swed- 
ish authority on the river. The articles of capitulation are silent in respect to 
a continuance of Swedish officers in power, but it would appear that those who 
remained in the country and took the oath of allegiance to the Dutch govern- 
ment, continued to exercise their functions, in which they seem to have been 
oflficially recognized by the Director-general at the meeting at Tinicum. Un- 
fortunately, no record of their official acts .has been preserved. 

After the Director-general returned to New Amsterdam, he reported to 
the Council that the Swedes, after taking the oath of allegiance, desired that 
in the case of a difference between the crown of Sweden a, id the Netherlands 
in Europe, that they might occupy the position of neutrals, which was agreed 
to. The military officers mentioned at the meeting at Tini-^un: were .-'t the 
same time elected to their respective offices. 

The summer of 1658 was a season of great sickness an '; nortality at New 
Amstel and surrounding country. In a letter from Alrichs t., the commission- 
ers of the City Colony, dated October 10, of this year, he speaks of "two par- 
cels of the best land on the river on the west bank, the first of which," he says, 
"is above Marietens hook, about two leagues along the river and 4 leagues into 
the interior ; the second on a guess, about 3 leagues along the same including 
Schuylkill, Passajonck, Quinsessingh, right excellent land, the grants or deeds 
whereof signed in original by Queen Christina, I have seen : they remain 
here." He also expresses the belief that "the proprietors, as they style them- 
selves, or those who hold the ground briefs," would willingly dispose of these 
lands for a trifle, according to their value or worth. 

The prosperous commencement of the City Colony was soon followed by 
evils that almost threatened its dissolution. Sickness, a scarcity of provisions 
and failure of crops, followed by a severe winter, spread dismay and discon- 
tent among the people. The arrival of additional settlers not properly supplied 
with provisions, greatly increased the prevailing distress. In the midst of this 
general gloom, news arrived that the burgomasters of Amsterdam had changed 
the conditions on which the colonists had agreed to emigrate, making them less 
favorable to the emigrants. Discontent was increased, and many of the inhab- 


itants deserted to Maryland, carrying with them the news of the distressed 
condition of the colony. News of a threatened invasion by the English reached 
the ears of the colonists, and added to the general feeling of insecurity. In the 
midst of this anxiety and alarm, commissioners from Maryland arrived with a 
letter from Governor Fendal and instructions to command the Dutch to leave, 
or to acknowledge themselves subjects of Lord Baltimore. An immediate 
answer was demanded, but at length Col. Utie, the head of the Maryland com- 
mission, granted a delay of three weeks in order that Alrichs and Beekman 
might confer with their superiors. Upon being advised of the visit of the 
Maryland commissioners. Governor Stuyvesant forwarded a reinforcement of 
sixty soldiers with Capt. Krygier and Secretary Van Ruyven to regulate mat- 
ters on the South river. He also sent Augustine Heemans and Resolved Wal- 
dron as ambassadors to Maryland, with instructions to remonstrate against 
Col. Utie's proceedings, and to negotiate a treaty for the mutual rendition of 
fugitives. Upon the arrival of the ambassadors in Maryland a protracted con- 
ference ensued, in which the Dutch title to the lands on the Delaware river and 
bay was defended with considerable ability. 

The land from Bombay Hook to Cape Henlopen was secured by purchase 
from the savages, and a fort erected at Hoern kill as a further security against 
the English claim. It was attached to the district of New Amstel. 

Alrichs had become unpopular from the exercise of a too rigid authority. 
The clashing of interests between the city and the Company, taken in connec- 
tion with the adverse circumstances with which he was surrounded, rendered 
his position one of great difficulty. But death relieved him from his troubles 
towards the close of the year; his wife departed this life at its com- 
mencement. Previous to his death, Alrichs nominated Alexander D'Hinoyossa 
as his successor, and Gerit Van Gezel as secretary. 

The Burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam soon discovered that their 
colony of New Amstel would be attended with more expense and trouble than 
profit, and entered into negotiations with the company for a re-transfer of 
the same to them. Trade was the prime object of the company, and as the 
City Colony served as a defence to the southern border of New Netherland 
without diminishing their commercial advantages, the negotiation, of course, 
was a failure. 

In September, 1659, Alrichs says there are no houses in New Amstel, 16 
or 17 more on land belonging to the Dutch, and 13 or 14 belonging to the 
Swedes. In a proposition to tax the Swedes and Finns within the jurisdiction 
of the West India Company, towards the close of 1659, the number of their 
families is estimated at 200. By estimating five persons to each family at the 
close of this year, the whole European population of the river would amount 
to 1,700. 

The Burgomasters of the City of Amsterdam failing to get rid of their 
American colony, made a new loan and showed a disposition to act with more 
vigor in promoting the interests of the colonists. A year, however, was al- 
lowed to pass aw^ay before the inhabitants of New Amstel felt the invigorat- 


ing effects of this change in the pohcy of their rulers. They were even in a 
state of uncertainty during the most of the year 1660, whether arrangements 
had not been made for their re-transfer to the Company. As a consequence, 
many disorders ensued, among which jangling and quarreling among the offi- 
cials were the most prominent. As a means of averting the evils with which 
the colony was surrounded, days of public thanksgiving were occasionally ob- 
served, but this year the ungodly council of New Amstel commanded that "a 
fast and prayer day should be holden on the first ^londay of each month." 

Sheriff Vandyck estimates the number of men in the "Swedish and Fin- 
nish nation"" capable of bearing arms, at 130. Some of them were allowed to 
be enlisted as soldiers, while at the very same time an order from Stuyvesant 
was in force to collect them all into one or two villages. Preparatory to carry- 
ing this unjust and unreasonable order into execution, Beekman spent a few 
days amongst the Swedes and b'inns, and found that different settlements could 
not converse with each other, "for want of a knowledge of their reciprocal 
language." There was a difference of opinion between the settlers about 
Aroumerk and those of Keneses, as to which was the more eligible for the 
proposed Swedish village. It was argued against the latter "that there was no 
defence whatever, neither a place for safe retreat, as considerable under- 
wood and many streams must be passed ;" and in favor of Aroumerk, that 
"there is a pretty large kill, which might be chosen to cover a retreat or pre- 
pare for defence." Besides, "at Arounderyk they might cultivate their fields 
on the other side of the kill, on the Passayung road, where is a rich, fruitful 
soil, and last harvest a considerable quantity of seed was sowed." He found 
some willing to compromise, by accepting the pi"oposals, while others were for 
maintaining their own rights, in keeping their own farms and lots. Miss Printz, 
(as Mrs. Papegoya is usually called by the Dutch w-riters,) was among the lat- 
ter. She could not remove her residence, "the heavy building not permitting 
her to change it, and the church where she usually worships being upon that 
spot." She says further that "she oft'ers her lands without any compensation, 
but can nevertheless induce no person to settle in her neighborhood." 

Finding that the Swedes could not agree among themselves, Beekman 
commanded a list to be delivered to him within eight or ten days, designating 
where it suits best for every person to fix his future residence promising his 
assent in case it comported with the Governor's order, otherwise he would be 
compelled to designate where each of them should reside. At the urgent re- 
quest of the Swedes, from four to six weeks more time was granted, Miss 
Printz and others requesting Beekman to aid them ; for which purpose, he 
informs Stuyvesant, "more soldiers will be required." At the solicitation of 
the Swedish commissaries, Beekman asks permission from the governor to al- 
low the Swedish nation "to remain in tlieir present possessions till they have 
harvested their corn." He had understood that they intended to unite them in 
one village at Perslajough, &c. Peter Kock, Peter .'\ndrieson and Hans Moen- 
son were among those who took a decided stand against removing to Passa- 
yunk. There was not sufficient land obtained there "for the pasture of their 


creatures," and they "ardently wished not to remove." They add, "if com- 
pelled to go, then we will go, or depart to a spot where we may live in peace." 
Beekman eventually became convinced of the injustice of the order for 
removing the Swedes into one village. He represented to Stuyvesant that it 
was "unmerciful to force people from their cultivated lands and put them to 
new labor and expense." The Swedes were therefore allowed to remain at 
their respective settlements — a result not brought about by any kind feelings 
entertained towards them by the Director-general. Persuasion had failed, and 
as for compulsion, the means were not at hand. The Swedes outnumbered 
the Dutch on the river, and within the territory of the company very few if 
any Dutch had settled. Dissensions were also rapidly growing between the of- 
ficials of the two colonies. More favorable privileges being offered by D'Hin- 
oyossa, a number of Swedes had joined the City Colony, and others had re- 
moved to Sassafras river. Apprehensions that the whole Swedish territory 
would be abandoned may also have had some weight in suspending the opera- 
tion of this iniquitous measure. 

The Dutch having got into difficulties with the Esopus Indians on the 
North river, sent to the Swedes and Finns for recruits. They could not be 
persuaded to go to Esopus as soldiers ; though "they would not be unwilling, 
provided they could remain there in peace with the savages." The sheriff, 
Vandyck, and some of the commissaries, are accused with discouraging and 
actually preventing some individuals from emigrating to Esopus. 

Miss Printz, instead of her recognitions (taxes), requests permission to 
make payment in a fat ox, fat hogs, bread and corn. 

The seat of justice for the company's jurisdiction was at Altona, where 
annually three or four courts were held, "as circumstances might require." 
Among the Finns was a married couple who lived together in constant strife, 
the wife being daily beaten and "often expelled from the house like a dog." 
A divorce was solicited by the priest, the neighbors, the sherifif and commis- 
saries, on behalf of these parties, and that their small property and stock be 
divided between them. The matter was referred to the governor, but the re- 
sult is not known. As the parties were Finns, they probably resided in the vi- 
cinity of Marcus Hook. 

About this time, mention is made of Israel Helm carrying on trade at 
Passayunk. He took a prominent part in the transactions on the river till 
some time after the arrival of Penn. 

Beekman becomes alarmed in consequence of a threatened war between 
the Indians and the English of Maryland, and is apprehensive that the savages 
^ill again claim and take possession of these lands, or that they will be event- 
ually settled with English and Swedes. 

A war is at this time in progress between the Senecas and Minquas In- 
dians, the small-pox being prevalent in the latter nation at the same time 
Great alarm spread among the European inhabitants, which was fully shared 
by the Swedes for the Senecas were as little known to them as to the Dutch. 

During the early part of this year, the common council of the city of Am- 


sterdam, by means of commissioners appointed for that purpose, went into a 
thorough examination of the causes tliat had heretofore defeated all their 
efforts to render the colony of new Amstel prosperous. The result was a ne- 
gotiation with the \\'cst India Company for an amplification of the privileges 
of the city in respect to trade ; of the powers of the local government render- 
ing it less dependent on the Director-general ; and an extension of their terri- 
tory, so as to embrace the east side of the river as high up as their present 
limits extended, and the west side to Upland kill. 

The introduction of negroes as laborers had now become more general on 
the river. As early as 1657 complaints were made against Vice-director Al- 
richs "fcr using the company's oxen and negroes," and in a letter from Beek- 
man to Director-general Stuyvesant, dated March 18, 1662, he "solicits most 
seriously" that his Honor "would accommodate him with a company of ne- 
groes, as he is very niiicli in want of them in many respects." 

A corn-mill was now in the course of erection at "Turtle Falls, about one 
and a half miles (Dutch) from Fortress Altona," on condition, however, "that 
the garrison should not pay for their grist." A mill of some kind was in ex- 
istence at New Amstel called a Rosmolen (Ross mill,) to which the people of 
Altona resorted, or wdien they could not be served, were compelled to go to 
the old "Swedish mill" at the distance of six miles (Dutch) from Altona. 
This old Swedish mill was the mill built by Governor Printz, on Cobb's creek. 

The West India Company having assented to a favorable modification of 
the conditions under which the City of Amsterdam held its colony, and the 
city having agreed to furnish pecuniary aid to emigrants, a reasonable pros- 
spect was presented that immigration in that direction would proceed with 
great rapidity. Among those who were allured by the proposed advantages 
was a community of Mennonists, who proposed to plant themselves at Hore- 
kill. Their articles of association are remarkably singular. The associators 
were to be married men or single men twenty-four years old. Clerg)'men were 
excluded from the community, as were also "all intractable people — such as 
those in communion with the Roman See ; usurious Jews ; English stiff-necked 
Quakers; Puritans; fool-hardy believers in the Millennium; and obstinate 
modern pretenders to revelation." Laws, subject to the approval of the au- 
thorities of the City of Amsterdam, could be passed by the votes of two-thirds 
of the members, but no magistrate was to be allowed any compensation for 
his services — "not even a stiver." Enticed by the favorable terms offered to 
emigrants by the City of Amsterdam, sixteen or eighteen families, chiefly 
Finns, had embraced them by removing within its jurisdiction. They were to 
be eighteen years free from tax, and to have their own judges and religion, 
while at the same time they meant to retain the lands from which they emi- 

It appears that towards the close of 1662, "Miss Printz (Mrs. Pape- 
goya,) made a conveyance of the Island of Tinicum to a Mr. LaGrange, and 
had received from him a bill of exchange as part of the purchase money, 
which bill was protested. Beekman visited Tinicum for the purpose of arrang- 


ing the matter, but after using every exertion failed. From this transaction 
much Utigation ensued, which was not ended till after the government passed 
into the hands of Penn. The letter of Beekman, communicating this matter 
to Stuyvesant, is dated at "Tinneconk, N. Leyden," December 23rd, 1662. 

Harmonious action between the officers of the city and those of the Com- 
pany was not established by the new arrangement entered into between the 
parties. It became apparent that a joint occupancy of the river must ever be 
attended with difficulties that would prevent the rapid settlement of the coun- 
try, and would materially interfere with the prosperity of the colonists. Un- 
der this impression, the burgomasters of the city, in the early part of 1663, 
made application to the Company for authority to extend their jurisdiction 
"from the sea upwards as far as the river stretches." After considerable ne- 
gotiation a cession was accordingly made to the city, embracing a margin of 
nine miles on the coast, and extending to the English colony on the west side 
of the river, on conditions that made its colony almost wholly independent of 
the Company. The cession was not however actually made till near the close 
of the year, until which time Beekman continued to perform the duties of his 

A trade had sprung up between the Colony of the City and the Mary- 
landers, which under the new arrangement that excluded the company's offi- 
cials from the river, the city hoped to extend ; it having been offered by the 
English, in case they would trade with them, "to make a little slit in the door" 
whereby they could be reached overland. In a proposal submitted by the 
<rommissioners to the burgomasters of the city, cargoes amounting to from 
thirty-five to thirty-six thousand guilders are estimated for this trade and that 
of the Indians. In the same document it is especially urged that a contract be 
immediately made for fifty head of slaves, "for procuring which the West In- 
dia Company had a ship ready to sail." These slaves were ordered in pursu- 
ance of a report made by Director Alexander d'Hinoyosa, who regarded them 
as "particularly adapted to the preparation of the valleys which are found 
exceedingly fertile." 

Hendrick Huygens, the commissary, is about to remove from N. Leyden, 
which was on Tinicum. He probably fixed his residence at Upland, as he re- 
ports to Beekman "a horrid deed" that was committed at that place by a Finn 
named Jan Hendrickson against "the honest Juriaen Kuys Sneart, whom he 
had cruelly beaten." 

The Swedes entertained a more kindly feeling towards the officials of the 
City Colony than towards those of the Company, which appears to have been 
reciprocated; for no sooner is the authority of the city extended over the 
Swedish settlements than we find Peter Kock, a Swede, appointed to the im- 
portant trust of "collector of tolls on imports and exports from the Colony 
of the City," and Israel [Helm.] another Swede, to superintend the fur trade 
at the upper end of Passayunk. 

Mrs. Papegoya is now absent from the river, but the precise time she left, 
is not mentioned. Israel [Helm], who appears to have accompanied this lady 


to Swetlen, returned early in December with D'Hinoyosa and Peter Alrichs, 
who had been on a visit to Fatherland. A formal transfer of the whole river 
was immediately made by Stuyvesant to D'Hinoyosa, who received it on be- 
half of the burgomasters of the city of Amsterdam. The burgomasters did 
not, however, accept of this enlargement of their American possessions with- 
out apprehension that the whole might not soon be rescued from them ; but 
they did not discern the real source of danger. News of the fitting out of a 
secret expedition in Sweden had reached Governor Stuyvesant, and could not 
have been unknown in Holland. A demand was also formally made by the 
resident Swedish minister at the Hague for a restoration of New Sweden to 
the Swedish Company which clearly shows the real object of the expedition. 
But a series of maritime disasters that befell the ships composing the expedi- 
tion, and forced their return — disasters in which Stuyvesant saw "the hand 
of God," — relieved the Dutch "from all apprehension and dread," and saved 
our land from again passing under the dominion of the Swedes. 

During the exclusive exercise of Dutch rule on the Delaware, the personal 
intercourse existing between the Dutch and Swedish inhabitants was no doubt 
friendly ; but the government looked upon the Swedes with suspicion and dis- 
trust, and adopted tyrannical and oppressive regulations in respect to therri. 
Had all these regulations been rigidly enforced by the local authorities, it 
would probably have resulted in a general exodus of the Swedes and Finns to 

Ecclesiastical affairs during this period present rather a gloomy aspect. 
Two of the three Swedish priests on the river at the time of the Dutch con- 
quest left with Rysingh, or shortly afterwards. The standing of the one who 
remained and who doubtless had charge of the church at Tinicum, as well as 
of that at Christina, was not during this period well calculated to elevate the 
morals of his flock. We may sympathize with this man on account of the 
wrongs he suffered, but our sympathy will be tempered by the belief that had 
he lived a life more in accordance with his holy functions, he would not have 
fallen into the hands of his persecutors. Such as he was, he was the only one 
in the country, and "served both the Swedes and the Dutch." 

Towards the close of the Dutch dynasty, the Swedes made an effort to 
supercede the Rev. Laers by the appointment of Albelius Zetzcoven, or Sels- 
koorn, but the opposition made by the reverend incumbent was so strong that 
no permanent position appears to have been assigned to him. This gentleman 
preached at the Tinicum church on the last Monday of Pentecost, at the re- 
quest of the Swedish commissaries. They desired to engage him as a school- 
master at the same salary given to the Rev. Laers. but the people of New 
Amstel, where it may be inferred he was employed in the same capacity, 
would not dismiss him. He never had charge of any congregation on the 
South river as a regularly ordained minister. 

While the city and the Company occupied the country jointly, the seat of 
justice of the latter jurisdiction was at .'Mtona. The Swedes did not resort 
voluntarily to the court held there, preferring to settle their differences among 



themselves, and in one or two instances they willfully disregarded its pro- 

Horses and cattle were sent over by the Company and by the city in great 
numbers. These were distributed among the settlers, to be returned at the 
€nd of four or five years, with one half of the increase. The Swedes consti- 
tuting almost exclusively the agricultural population of the river, a large pro- 
portion of these animals was distributed among them. 

The time had now arrived when the dominion of our favored land was to 
be wrested from the Dutch, and, with the exception of a short interval — for- 
ever. The crown of Great Britain having been restored to Charles II., he 
granted to his brother James, Duke of York, the territory embracing the whole 
of New York and New Jersey, and, by a subsequent grant, that which now 
comprises the State of Delaware. To secure the possession of his newly ac- 
quired territory, the Duke fitted out an expedition consisting of four men-of- 
war and four hundred and fifty men, which he placed under the command of 
Col. Richard NicoUs. With the commander were united Sir Robert Carr, Sir 
George Cartwright and Samuel Maverick, Esq., to act as commissioners, to 
receive possession, settle boundaries, &c. The expedition reached the mouth 
of the Hudson in the latter end of August, and, after considerable negotiation, 
New Amsterdam and its immediate dependencies were surrendered to the 
English, September 8th, without firing a gun. The settlements on the Dela- 
ware being now under a government wholly independent of the West India 
Company, they were not included in the capitulation of New Amsterdam. Sir 
Robert Carr was immediately dispatched with a sufficient force to effect their 
capture. Arriving there on the last day of September, he sailed past the 
forts, "the better to satisfie the Swede, who, notwithstanding the Dutches per- 
suasion to y^ contrary were soone their frinds." After three days' parley the 
burghers and townsmen yielded to the demands of the English on terms favor- 
able to themselves and the Swedes, but the governor, D'Hinoyosa, and sol- 
diery, refused every proposition, although the fort was in a bad condition, and 
defended by only fifty men. "Whereupon," says Sir Robert in his official dis- 
patch, "I landed my soldiers on Sonday morning following and commanded y* 
shipps to fall down before y« fort w^Mn muskett shott, w*^ directions to fire 
two broadsides apeace uppon y« Fort, then my soldiers to fall on. Which 
done y^ soldiers neaver stoping untill they stormed y^ Fort, and sae conse- 
quently to plundering ; the seamen, noe less given to that sporte, were quickly 
w*^in, and have gotten good store of booty." The loss on the part of the 
Dutch was three killed and ten wounded; on the part of the English, none. 

The articles of agreement entered into between Sir Robert Carr, acting 
on behalf of his Majesty of Great Britain, and the burgomasters, secured to 
the planters and burghers protection in their estates, both real and personal; 
the continuance of the present magistrates in their offices and jurisdiction ; the 
liberty of conscience in church discipline as formerly ; together with "the privi- 
lege of trading into any of his Majesties dominions as freely as any English- 
man," after having taken the oath of allegiance. 


The general system of plunder that ensued ujxtn the surrender of the 
fort, was disgraceful to the commander, and his excuse that "in such a noise 
and confusion noe words of command could be heard for some tyme," affords 
better evidence of the enormity of the transaction than of any sincere disposi- 
tion on his part to have prevented it. No less than forty horses, sixty cows and 
oxen, one hundred sheep, and from sixty to seventy negroes, were included in 
the plunder. Sir Robert appropriated to his own use the farm of D'Hinoyosa^ 
his brother. Captain John Carr, took possession of that of Sherifif Van Swer- 
ingen, while Ensign Stock possessed himself of "Peter Alrich's land." But 
the possessions of the local officers, which were regarded as legitimate booty, 
were not sufficient to gratify the cupidity of all who wore epaulets in the ex- 
pedition. To satisfy the claims of the two captains — Hyde and Morley — Sir 
Robert granted to them "the Manour of Grimstead, situated near the head of 
the said river Delaware in America." 

The conduct of Sir Robert Carr subsequently to the capture of the fort, 
did not meet with the approbation of Col. Xicolls. In his report to the Secre- 
tary of State he speaks disparagingly of his selfish conduct in respect to the 
plunder, and particularly of his presumption in appropriating "the prize to 
himself.'" and of "disposing of the confiscations of the houses, farmes and 
stocks to whom he doth think fitt." The Colonel soon visited the Delaware to 
attend to the interests of his sovereign. Captain Robert Needham was sub- 
sequently deputed to the command of the Delaware. 

With the change of masters, the name of New Amsterdam was changed 
to New York, and that of New Amstel to New Castle. 

Even before the Duke of York had acquired the possession of his Ameri- 
can territory, he conveyed all that portion of it which now constitutes the State 
of New Jersey, to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. At the time of the 
English conquest of the Delaware, the settlements on the east side of the river 
were so few that no notice is taken of them in any account of the transaction^ 
that has come under my notice. Col. Xicolls acted as governor of both New 
York and the Delaware. The Swedes were benefited by the change in the 
government, as under the new order of things, nearly all restrictions on their 
trade were removed. But independent of any pecuniary advantage, they must 
have felt a secret satisfaction in seeing their ancient enemies, the Dutch, 

Beavers still continued to be used as currency ; and, in the payment fon- 
imported goods, the standard value fixed on each beaver, by the governor, was 
guilders, or 13s. 4d. The export duty on beavers was lo^^ per cent., on to- 
bacco, two cents per pound. In 1666, an order was issued by Col. Nicolls 
granting a temporary immunity from all duties, for the purpose of encourag- 
ing trade. 

In luly of this year, an order was issued by the Court of Assizes of New 
York, which applied to the country on the Delaware, for a renewal of all the 
old patents that had been granted for land, and that those who had no patents 
should be supplied. 


Col. Nicolls performed the duties of governor both of New York and its 
dependencies on the Delaware for about three years. He was succeeded by 
Col. Francis Lovelace in May, 1667. The administration of Nicolls was con- 
ducted with prudence and judgment, his efforts being especially directed to the 
promotion of trade. There was no popular representation in the government. 
"In the governor and his subservient council were vested the executive and 
the highest judicial powers; with the Court of Assizes, composed of justices 
of his own appointment, he exercised supreme legislative power, promulgated 
a code of laws and modified and repealed them at pleasure." The laws thus 
enacted and promulgated, called the "Duke's Laws," were collected out of the 
several laws then in force in the British American colonies, and if not an im- 
provement on these laws, they are divested of the worst features of some of 

This year, a Swedish church was erected at Crane Hook, at which Mr. 
Lock officiated as well as at the church at Tinicum. 

On April 21, 1668, the government at New York adopted "Resolutions 
and directions for the settlement of a garrison on the Delaware." Under this 
head, directions were given that it was only "necessary to hold up the name 
and countenance of a garrison, with 20 men and one commissioned officer." 
But the more important matter of establishing courts of justice was also con- 
tained in the "Resolutions and Directions." To prevent "all abuses or oppo- 
sitions in civil matter, so often as complaint is made, the commission officer 
Capt. Carre, shall call the scout w^'^ Hans Block, Israel Helm, Peter Rambo, 
Peter Cock, Peter Alrich, or any two of them as counsellors, to advise, hear 
and determine, by the major vote, what is just, equitable and necessary, in the 
case or cases in question." It was besides directed "that the -same persons 
also, or any two or more of them, he called to advise and direct what is best 
to be done in all cases of difficulty, which may arise from the Indians, and to 
give their counsel and orders for the arming of the several plantations and 
planters, who must obey and attend their summons, upon such occasions." 
"That the Fynes or Preminires and light offences be executed with moderation, 
though it is also necessary that all men be punished in exemplary manner." 
The commissioned officer, Capt. Carr, when the votes were equal, was to have 
a casting vote. It was also ordained "that the laws of the government estab- 
lished by his Royal highness, be showed and frequently communicated to the 
said counsellors and all others, to the end that being therewith acquainted, the 
practyce of them may also, in convenient time be established w'^^ conducteth to 
the publique welfare and common justice." 

Three of the newly appointed counsellors were Swedes, residing up the 
river, and as no time or place is mentioned for holding the courts, and as the 
three Swedish gentlemen mentioned were all justices of the first Upland court 
of which the record has been preserved, it may reasonally be concluded that 
the court thus established occasionally exercised its functions at Upland. If 
so, it will mark the earliest period at which that place could have been a seat 
of justice. In the order for establishing a judicial tribunal on the Delaware, 


it was directed "that no offensive war sliould be made against the Indians" 
before directions were received from the government for so doing. Recourse 
was also to be had to the government, by way of appeal, in all cases of diffi- 

In consequence of the commission of two murders by the Indians while 
in a state of intoxication, Peter Rambo proceeded to New York, bearing a 
request from the Indians "that there should be an absolute prohibition upon 
the whole river of selling strong liquors to the Indians." The whole matter 
was referred to Captain Carr and those associated with him in commission, 
with the promise that what they should (upon discourse with the Indians) con- 
clude, should be confirmed. 

Before Mrs. Papegoya visited Sweden in 1662 or 1663, she had sold the 
island of Tinicum, as has been mentioned, to a Mr. DeLagrange, but the con- 
sideration in whole or in part was a protested bill of exchange. It will be 
seen hereafter, that when she returned to the country she prosecuted her claim 
to be reinstated in possession of the island with success, though in the enrl. her 
title to it was decided not to be good. Printzdorp, however, was confirmed to 
that lady under the name of Ufro Papegay, June 18, 1668, which renders it 
probable that she had then returned to reside on the river. The following is 
a description of the property : 

"A parcel of cleared land situate on the west side of the Delaware river between 
two creeks, the one called Upland, the other Le Mokey's creek, including all the land 
being between the said two creeks, as also the valley or meadow ground thereunto 
belonging, and containing by estimation, as it lies along the river side twelve hundred 
tread or single paces" * * * "as held and possessed by the said Ufro * * * " 

The situation of this land cannot be mistaken. It subsequently became 
the property of Robert \\'ade. During this and the two succeeding years, sev- 
eral tracts of land within the limits of Delaware County and vicinity, were con- 
firmed to persons who held titles from the Dutch, including a few lots in Up- 
J The order issued in 1666, for repatenting lands, was renewed by Governor 

Lovelace, and William Tom was appointed collector of quit-rents on the Dela- 
ware. Those who had neglected to take out patents are not on that account to 
be exempt from the payment of these dues. 

The Swedes and Finns had conducted themselves with so much propriety 
that they had very fully secured the confidence of the government. But this 
year an insurrection broke out. headed by one Marcus Jacobson, generally 
known as the "Long Finn," who gave out that he was "the son of Conings- 
mark," heretofore one of the king of Sweden's generals. He had for a con- 
federate one Henry Coleman, also a Finn, and a man of property. Coleman 
had "left his habitation, cattle and corn," to reside among the Indians, with 
whose language he was well versed, where also the Long Finn generally kept. 
No treasonable acts are charged against these confederates except "raising 
speeches, very seditious and false, tending to the disturbance of his Majesty's 


peace and the laws of the government." On August 2d, Governor Lovelace is- 
sued a proclamation for the arrest of the parties, with an order to confiscate 
the property of Coleman in case he did not surrender himself in fifteen days. 
The principal in the insurrection was soon arrested, and upon information of 
that fact being communicated to the governor and council, they expressed their 
great satisfaction on account "of the prudence and careful management" of 
the officers on the Delaware, "in circumventing and securing the prime mover 
of this commotion." 

Jeufifro Papegoya (Armgard Printz) was somewhat implicated, "though 
what she had done was not of any dangerous consequence, yet it was a dem- 
onstration of her inclination and temper to advance a strange power, and a 
manifestation of her high ingratitude for all those indulgences and favors she 
hath received from those in authority over her." The governor also perceived 
from the papers sent to him that "the little domine hath played the trumpeter 
in this disorder." The quality of his punishment was referred to the discre- 
tion of Captain Carr. The instructions to Captain Carr were "to continue the 
Long Finn in custody and irons until he can have his trial ;" the appearance of 
"those of the first magnitude concerned with him was to be secured by im- 
prisonment or by taking security ;" but "the poor deluded sort" were to be sub- 
jected to a method for keeping them in order which the governor is pleased to 
say was prescribed by their own countrymen, and which is "severity, and lay- 
ing such taxes on them as may not give them liberty to entertain any other 
thoughts but how to discharge them." 

In the commission for the trial of the insurgents on the Delaware, the 
names of the judges are omitted in the record. The sentence was passed by 
the council at New York on the Long Finn, or that passed by the commission 
on the Delaware was confirmed. He was deemed worthy of death, but "in re- 
gard that many others being concerned w^ith him in the insurrection might 
be involved in the same premunire," amongst them "divers simple and ignorant 
people," the said Long Finn was sentenced "to be publicly and severely 
whipped and stigmatized or branded in the face with the letter (R), with an 
inscription written in great letters and put upon his breast, that he received 
that punishment for attempting rebellion." After undergoing this sentence 
the culprit was to be sent to "Barbadoes and some other of those remote plan- 
tations and sold." In compliance wath the latter part of his sentence, he was 
put on board of Mr. Cossen's ship, "Fort Albany," bound for Barbadoes, in 
January, 1669-70, where, no doubt, he was sold into slavery. What became of 
Coleman is not certainly known. He probably remained among the Indians 
for some years, when his offence was overlooked by the government. 

So few of the names of those implicated in the insurrection are given that 
it is diflticult to fix on the particular district of country that was its principal 
seat. The leader was a Finn; the "Little Domine" was a Finn; and, as the 
Swedes and Finns did not understand each other's language well, it is proba- 
ble that the hot bed of the conspiracy was in the district of country chiefly set- 
tled by Finns, below Upland. This supposition is strengthened by the fact that 


Mrs. Papegoya was implicated ; for, though not a Finn, she doubtless then re- 
sided on her estate of Printzdorp, in the vicinity of the Finnish settlement, she 
not being in possession of Tinicum at this time. 

It will be remembered that Mrs. Papegoya had sold the island of Tinicum 
to a Mr. De La Grange. The grantee soon after died, and his widow Mar- 
garet intermarried with Andrew Carr. This year Governor Lovelace issued a 
patent confirming the whole island to the said Andrew and his wife. 

Previous to the insurrection of the Long Finn, there had been, as before 
Stated, two murders committed on the river by the Indians. As yet the mur- 
derers had not been apprehended, but the governor, by his orders to Captain 
Carr, evinces a determination not to let them go unpunished. 

On the 13th of April, a pass was granted "to the Magister Jacobus Fabri- 
tius, pastor of the Lutheran confession," to go to New Castle, or any place on 
the Delaware. This personage, who at this period and for some years later 
bore no very enviable reputation, subsequently, it will be seen, became the first 
clergyman at Wiccaco, and by a course of good conduct gained the confidence 
and respect of his employers. 

Early in 1671, at the suggestion of Captain Carr, several orders were 
made by the governor and council in respect to the Delaware. No persons were 
to be permitted to distill liquor without license ; the number of victuallers and 
tapsters to be ascertained — three only to be allowed in New Castle, and "some 
few up the river," who may be licensed ; constables are to be appointed to keep 
the king's peace. As to the tenure of lands on the Delaware, it was to be held 
"in free and common socage as his Royal Highness, by his Majesty's patent, 
holds all his territories in America, that is to say according to the custom of 
the Manor of East Greenwich, only with this proviso, that they likewise pay 
the quit rents reserved in their several patents, as acknowledgments to his 
Royal Highness." 

As to the mill that Carr had represented to the council as being "up Del- 
aware river at y*" Carcoons Hooke," and which "did heretofore appertain to y® 
publique, and now is endeavoured to be engrossed by some particular persons 
for their private uses," it was ordered "that care be taken for y^ letting out y® 
said Mill for y^ best advantage to some person who will undertake y® same, 
and that y^ profitt thereof be reserved for y^ publique." This is the old 
Swedes mill on Cobb's creek. 

At a council held at New York, September 25, at which Peter Alrichs was 
present to give particular information in respect to the two murders committed 
by the Indians ; as to the number of Indians, &c. One proposition for having 
the murderers destroyed, came from an Indian sachem. It was "to cause a 
Kinticoy to be held, and in the midst of their mirth, that then one should be 
hired to knock them in tlie head." Two days previous to this meeting, Gov- 
ernor Lovelace had notified the governor of New Jersey that the Indians ac- 
cused of the murder were within his jurisdiction, at a place called Suscunk, 
four miles east of Matineconk Island, where the murder was committed. 

The officers on the Delaware had become very apprehensive that an In- 


dian war was about to break out, and had communicated their views to the 
governor and council. In reply, orders were issued for placing the settlement 
in the best possible position for such a contingency. Orders that had already 
been given by the local authorities for the people to retire into towns for their 
better security, were approved. Every person "that could bear arms, from six- 
teen to sixty years of age, was to be always provided with a convenient pro- 
portion of powder and bullets ;" no powder or ammunition was to be sold to 
the Indians ; no corn or provisions to be transported out of the river ; and the 
Susquehanna Indians or others were to be induced by appropriate rewards "to 
join against the murderers and such as should harbour them." 

The governor of New Jersey, after receiving notice, was in a very short 
time "prepared with a handsome party ready to have stepped into the work 
to bring the murderers to condign punishment." But the backwardness of the 
people of the Delaware "put a stop to the forwardness of those of New Jer- 
sey." This was in the month of November; and although, one month earlier, 
Carr had been instructed by the governor that the season of the year was unfit 
for the commencement of an Indian war, his excellency made the fact of the 
New Jersey preparations the occasion to administer to that officer a severe re- 
buke for his tardiness and neglect of duty. 

But the masterly inactivity of Commander Carr proved to be the wisest 
policy, and still preserved the country of the Delaware in its peculiar exemp- 
tion from hostilities between the Indians and whites. In eleven days after 
Alrich's return from New York, a conference was held at Peter Rambo's 
house with the Indian sachems, which resulted in a promise by them to bring 
in the murderers within six days, dead or alive. One of the criminals made his 
escape, while the other — the more courageous of the two, allowed himself to 
be surprised. One of the two Indians in pursuit, being his friend, was unwill- 
ing to shoot him, but finding that the sachems had said he must die, and that 
his brothers were of the same opinion, he was shot at his own request. His 
body was removed to Wiccaco, and from thence to New Castle, where it was 
hung in chains. William Tom, who communicated this information to the 
governor, became satisfied from the conduct of the sachems that they desired 
no war. The sachems promised to bring in the other Indian alive, and to the 
young men brought with them they held up the fate of the murderer as that 
which should be visited on every Indian who should act in like manner. 

A prohibition had been in force against vessels trading directly to any 
point on the river above New Castle. This prohibition was removed early in 
1672, in respect to such vessels as sailed from New York. Immediately there- 
after a pass was obtained by the wife of Laurs Hoist "to go in the sloop of 
Krygier to Delaware, and thence up the river in some boat or canoe, to the 
Swedes' plantations, with shoes and such other of her husband's trade, and 
return without hindrance." 

Early in this year, ample preparations were made by Governor Lovelace 
for a visit to the Delaware by the overland route, crossing that river at Matine- 
conk Island, near the present town of Burlington. A bodyguard and an ad- 


vancccl guard were appointed, and instructions were sent to the river to make 
preparations for the reception of his excellency. If this visit was accom- 
plished, it was without result, or there has been an omission to record any- 
thing that transpired on the occasion, or, if recorded, the record has been lost. 

English laws are now to be established more fully on the river. The of- 
fice of schout is to be converted into that of sheriff, to which office Edmund 
Cantwell received the appointment, as well as to that of collector of quit rents 
on the Delaware, William Tom having resigned the latter office. 

In August of this year, the court of Upland is authorized, with the as- 
sistance of one or two of the high court, to examine into a matter of difficulty 
between "Jan Cornelis Mathys and Martin Martinson, [Morten Mortenson,] 
inhabitants of Amesland," and Israel Helme, about "a parcel of valley or mea- 
dov^ land, upon an island over against Calcoone Hook." 

The daughter of Governor Printz still resided on the river, but it will 
appear from the following order of the governor, made upon her petition, 
that she did not live in much affluence : 

"Whereas Jeuffro Armigart Printz, alias Pappegay, living in Delaware River, did 
make a request unto me, that in regard she lived alone, and had so little assistance by 
servants, having only one man-servant, and likewise in harvest time, or other seasons of 
the year for husbandry, when she was constrained to hire other people to help her, for 
whose payment in part, and relief also, she was wont to distil some small quantities of 
liquors from corn, as by divers others is used in that river, that I would excuse her man- 
servant from ordinary attendance at trainings in the company in which he is enlisted, 
and also give her license to distil in her own distilling kettle, some small quantities of 
liquors for her own use, and her servants and laborers upon occasions as before men- 
tioned. I have thought good to grant the request of said Jeuflfro Pappegay, both as to 
the excuse of her servant's being at trainings, (extraordinary ones, upon occasion of 
an enemy or invasion, excepted,) and likewise that she have license to make use of her 
distilling kettle as is desired, provided it be done with such moderation, that no just 
complaint do arise thereby, to continue one year." 

The limited means of Mrs. Papegoya is accounted for by the fact that 
she was engaged in a heavy law suit for the recovery back of the Island of 
Tinicum. There had been a trial in the "High Court on the Delaware," from 
which the case was taken by appeal to the Court of Assizes at New York, 
where it is thus set down, October 2, 1672: "Jeuffro Pappegay als. Armigart 
Prince vs. Andrew Carr and Margaret Persill, [Priscilla] his wife, by John 
Carr their attorney." The case was tried October 12-13-14. Various docu- 
ments were read on the trial, translations made, and interpreters employed. 
The counsel for the defendant desired time "for other witnesses out of Hol- 
land," but it was thought fit "to delay the case no longer ; so the court recom- 
mended it to the jury," who brought in the following verdict : "In y*^ case de- 
pending between Armgart Prince, als. Mrs. Pappegay Ptff., and Mrs. La 
Grange, Deft., y^ jury having seriously considered the Matf, do find for y* 
Ptff., and award y'' Deft, to pay y*^ principall w^'^ costs of suite and all just 
damages." Execution was issued against Andrew Carr and his wife Persill in 
Delaware river and precincts for £350, with costs, for the use of Jeuffro 


Armgart Prince, "and for that it is thought the most considerable part of their 
property is upon the Island of Tinicum," the sheriff was empowered "to put 
the said Jeuffro Prince in possession of the said Island and the stock there- 
of * * *." 

The celebrated George Fox, the founder of the religious Society of 
Friends, in returning from a religious visit to New England this year, had oc- 
casion to pass through the whole extent of the territory now included in our 
county, but it appeared he had no mission to the Swedish settlers here. Ac- 
cording to his own account, after remaining all night in a house near the pres- 
ent site of Burlington, "which the Indians had forced the people to leave," and 
which he speaks of as the "head of Delaware Bay," he says : 

. "The next day we swam our horses over a river about a mile, at twice, first to an 
Island called Upper Dinidock (Teneconk), and then to the main land, having hired 
Indians to help us over in their canoos. This day we could reach but about thirty miles, 
and came at night to a Swede's house, where we got a little straw and hy there that 
night. Next day, having hired another guide, we travelled about forty miles through the 
woods, and made us a lire at night, by which we lay, and dried ourselves; for we were 
often wet in our travels in the day time. The next day we passed over a desperate river, 
which had in it many rocks and broad stones, very Hazardous to us and our horses. 
From thence we came to the Christian-river, where we swam our horses, and went over 
ourselves in canoos. From thence we came to a town called New Castle, heretofore 
called New Amsterdam: And being very weary, and inquiring in the town where we 
might buy some corn for our horses, the Governor came into the street and invited me 
to his house: and afterwards desired me to lodge there; telling me he had a bed for 
me, and I should be welcome." 

The Brandywine is sufficiently identified by its "rocks and broad stones ;" 
but in reaching that "desperate river" from the point at which he crossed the 
Delaware, our worthy preacher has greatly overestimated the distance. Ben- 
jamin Ferris supposes the Swede's house at which he lodged was at the Blue 
Bell tavern, near the site of the Swede's mill. To have reached this point he 
would have passed over fully one-half of the distance from Upper Dinidock 
to the Brandywine. But the Swede's house was thirty miles from the former 
and forty from the latter ; and as the mill, then a rarity in the country, is not 
mentioned, and the Swedish settlements of Upland and Marcus Hook are not 
noticed, it is probable our travellers crossed the country higher up. 

A war broke out between the English and Dutch in 1672, but scarcely any 
notice appears to have been taken of the matter in this country until a Dutch 
fleet under the command of Commodores Cornelius Evertse and Jacob Benckes 
appeared before the fort at New York, August 6th of the following year. 
After making a slight resistance, the fort was surrendered, and the whole 
country submitted again to the authority of the Dutch. This happened in the 
absence of Governor Lovelace, who was at New Haven. 

The two commodores immediately issued their proclamation appointing 
Anthony Colve, a captain of Netherland infantry, to the office of Governor- 
General of New Netherland, embracing the full dimensions it possessed pre- 
vious to its surrender to the English, which included the whole of New Jersey. 


There appears to have been a ready submission to the Dutch authorities, depu- 
ties appearing before the commanders, inckiding Colve, who constituted a kind 
of military council, and held their sittings at Fort William Hendrick, the name 
now given to the fort at New York. The deputies from the Delaware ap- 
peared before this tribunal and gave in 'their submission to their High Mighti- 
nesses the Lords States General of the United Netherlands, and his Serene 
Highness the Prince of Orange, on the 12th of September." In return they 
obtained for their constituents, among other privileges, "free trade and com- 
merce with Christians and Indians ;" freedom of conscience ; security in the 
possession of their houses and lands, and exemption from all rent charges and 
excise on wine, beer and distilled liquors consumed on the South river. This 
last privilege was granted in consideration of the expense the inhabitants 
would incur "in erecting the fort," and was to continue till 1676 — "those of 
the English nation to enjoy the same privileges upon taking the oath of alle- 
giance." At the same time, three courts of justice were established on the Del- 
aware — one at New Amstel, one at the Hoern Kill, and one at Upland. The 
jurisdiction of the Upland court extended provisionally from the east and 
west banks of "Kristina Kill upwards unto the head of the river." The in- 
habitants were required "by a plurality of votes" to nominate for each court 
eight persons as magistrates. From these the Council at New York selected 
the justices of the several courts. 

Peter Alrichs was appointed by Governor Colve, commander and schout, 
and Walter Wharton was reappointed surveyor of the South River district. 
Peter Alrichs took his oath of office and allegiance without reservation, but 
Wharton, being an Englishman, made it a condition in his fealty that he was 
not to be forced to bear arms against his own nation. Alrichs was appointed 
to administer the oath of allegiance to the inhabitants of the South River, and 
also authorized to enlist ten or twelve soldiers "on government account," in- 
cluding two corporals. 

While freedom of conscience was granted to the inhabitants of the Dela- 
ware, the instructions to Alrichs directed that "the pure, true Christian Reli- 
gion, according to the Synod of Dort, should be taught and maintained in 
every proper manner, without suffering anything to be attempted contrary 
thereunto by any other sectaries." 

Public property belonging to the crown of England, together with the 
debts due the government, was confiscated, but property belonging to officers 
of the late government was restored to them upon taking the oath of allegiance. 
On this condition, upon the petition of his wife Petronella, Capt. John Carr, 
late commander on the Delaware, was reinstated in his possessions. 

The re-establishment of the Dutch authority in their former American 
possessions did not continue long. By virtue of the treaty of peace between 
England and the Netherlands, signed February 9, 1674. it became necessary to 
restore these possessions again to the English. Lest the title of the Duke of 
York should be impaired by the Dutch conquest, a new grant was made to 
him by his brother, whereupon the Duke, on July 15, constituted Major, after- 


wards Sir Edmund Andros, his lieutenant and governor. Upon the arrival of 
Governor Andros at New York the government was surrendered to him aoree- 
ably to the terms of the treaty, the allegiance of the Dutch having become for- 
mally absolved by Governor Colve. On November 9, Andros issued his first 
proclamation, confirming "all former grants, privileges or concessions" and 
"all estates legally possessed" under his Royal Highness, before the late Dutch 
government, and all legal judicial proceedings under that government. By 
this proclamation the Book of Laws, known as the "Duke's Laws," and also 
the former courts, with the time and manner of holding them, were estab- 
lished, and "all magistrates and civil officers belonging thereunto were to be 
chosen accordingly." 

Edmund Cantwell and William Tom were commissioned by the governoi 
to take possession of the fort at Newcastle, and of all military stores there, or 
on any other part of the river, on behalf of his Majesty of Great Britain. Un- 
der this commission, in the record at Albany is the following list of justices: 
"Names of y^ Justices for Newcastle are : Mr. Hans Block, Mr. Jn° Moll, Mr. 
Fopp Outhout, Mr. Joseph Chew, Mr. Dirick Alberts. For the River: Mr. 
Peter Cock, Mr. Peter Rambo, Mr. Israel Helm, Mr. Laers Andrieson, Mr. 
Woolle Swain." These justices had no formal commissions issued to them at 
this time, but simply an order from the governor, directed to them under the 
title of Commissaries, "to resume their places as magistrates." Captain Ed- 
mund Cantwell was commissioned to administer to these justices their official 
oath, he having been reinstated in his office of sheriff, or schout. Captain 
Cantwell, in conjunction with Johannes DeHaas, was also appointed collector 
of quit-rents on the Delaware, and of all other duties, whether custom or ex- 

It has already been shown that a court was established in 1668, embracing 
three of the above mentioned justices of Upland court ; and two of these jus- 
tices, with the commander, being sufficient to form a court, it is rendered al- 
most certain that courts were then occasionally held at Upland. In 1672 an 
order issued from the governor "to authorize and empower the court at Up- 
land, with the assistance of one or two of the High Court," to examine into a 
matter of difficulty then pending. This order requiring the aid of justices of 
the High Court in a special case, proves that the Swedish justices alone at 
that time usually held the court at Upland. It is quite probable that the jus- 
tices now reinstated are the same who constituted the Upland court in 1672, 
and who doubtless exercised their functions during the short intervening 
period that the country was under the dominion of the Dutch. 

Captain Cantwell, besides holding the office of sheriff, appears to have 
been entrusted with the charge of affairs generally on the Delaware. In let- 
ters addressed by him to the governor, November 30, and December 9, he 
assures him of the general satisfaction of the people with the change of gov- 
ernment, and also acquaints him with the prospect of the arrival of new set- 
tlers. The governor gives notice of his intention to visit the Delaware in the 
spring, but in the meantime authorizes Cantwell to supply the new comers 


with a reasonable quantity of land, and t(i act as surveyor of the whole river 
and bay. 

Governor Andros visited the Delaware in May of this year, and on the 
13th and 14th held a special court at New Castle. At this court it was ordered 
"that highways should be cleared from ]ilace to place, within the precincts of 
this government." It was also ordered "that the church or place of meeting 
for divine worship in this towne, and the affaires thereunto belonging, be regu- 
lated by the court here in as orderly and decent manner as may bee ; that the 
place for meeting att Crane Hoeck do continue as heretofore;" and "that the 
church att Tinnecum Island do serve for Upland and parts adjacent." "And 
whereas there is no church or place of meeting higher up the river than the 
said Island, for the greater ease of the inhabitants there, its ordered that the 
magistrates of Upland do cause a church or place of meeting for that purpose 
to be built att Wickegkoo, the w'^^'' to be« for the inhabitants Passayunk & so 
upwards. The said court being empowered to raize a tax for its building and 
to agree upon a competent maintenance for their minister, of all of which they 
are to give an account to the next general court, and they to the governor, for 
his approbacon." 

This court also established regulations in respect to various other matters 
on the river, among which was an entire prohibition of the sale "of strong 
drinke or liquors to the Indians by retayle, or a less quantity than two gallons 
att a tyme. under the penalty of five pounds ;" and a prohibition against distill- 
ing grain by any of the inhabitants, under a like penalty. It was also or- 
dered "that a ferry boate bee maintained and kept att the falls att the west 
side of this river ; a horse and a man to pay for passage 2 guilders, a man 
without a horse, 10 Stivers." 

This is the earliest record of the proceedings of any court on the Dela- 
ware. They are recorded incidentally among the proceedings of the regular 
New Castle court, for the early part of 1677 (N. S.) The functions of this 
court, which was intended to be held annually, were rather legislative than 
judicial. The order "that highways should be cleared from place to place," 
seems to have been the first step taken for the establishment of roads, in the 
States of Delaware or Pennsylvania. It is our first road law. 

As early as 1672, the court of assizes, held at New York, ordained in 
respect to parochial churches, "that y^ law be attended [to] ; but although per- 
sons bee of different judgments, yet all are to contribute to y® allowed minis- 
ter." Strangely as this ordinance may contrast with the liberty of conscience 
granted in the articles of ca])itulation, when the country was first surrendered 
by the Dutch, it will sufficiently explain the order of the Special or General 
Court at New Castle to the L'pland court, in relation to the maintenance of the 
minister for the new church at Wiccaco, and the action of this court in respect 
to such matters that followed. 

A number of settlements had been made on the Jersey side of the Dela- 
ware, principally by the Swedes, but this year the ship "Griffith." from Lon- 
don, arrived with a considerable numl)er of emigrant passengers, several of 


whom were heads of famihes. They were landed at Salem, where they made a 
settlement. Edward, Robert and John Wade and Richard Noble arrived in 
this ship. 

On May 15, the day after the adjournment of the Special Court at New 
Castle, at which the governor presided, sundry matters of legislation, or rather 
regulation, that had been omitted by the court, claimed the attention of his 
excellency. These he embodied in a letter which he directed "To the three 
several Co""*^ of delowar River or Bay." The "want of corn mills, or not 
keeping them in due repair," he regarded as "a great prejudice to the inhabi- 
tants and traders," and recommended the courts "to examine the same and 
cause all such mills already made and the bankes to be well fitted and kept in 
due repair;" others were to be built "in convenient and fitting places where 
none are ;" and the courts were to adopt regulations in respect to tolls or prizes 
for grinding, applicable alike to all millers or owners, whether of public or 
private mills. The governor next gives important directions in respect to keep- 
ing records. Patents for lands were to be recorded in the books of the re- 
spective courts, and patents were to be applied for by those who had taken up 
lands after the same had been surveyed. 

Robert Wade, who came in the "Griffith" with Fenwick, settled at Upland, 
on the west side of the creek, on the same tract that had been known as Printz- 
dorp, and which had been recently occupied by Mrs. Papegoya. This lady hav- ^/^ 
ing been reinstated in the possession of Tinicum, disposed of her Upland es- 
tate either to Robert Wade or to some other person from whom he obtained 
his title to the property. Be this as it may, William Edmundson, an eminent 
minister of the Society of Friends, in travelling through the country in 1675, 
found Robert Wade settled at Upland, where with a few Friends he held a 
meeting at his house. After meeting they took boat and went to Salem, "where 
they met with John Fenwick and several families of Friends, (who, with those 
at Chester,) had come from England in that year with John Fenwick." From 
thence Robert Wade accompanied the travelling Friends to New Castle, where 
their horses had been sent, and from thence to Upland. Doubtless the house 
of Robert Wade, at which the meeting was held, was the famous Essex 
House, at which William Penn was entertained upon his first landing at Up- 
land ; but whether it was erected by Wade or had been built by the daughter of 
Governor Printz, when she occupied the premises, is uncertain. The fact that 
Robert Wade within at most a few months after his arrival in the country, 
had house room sufficient for the accommodation of a Friends' meeting, and 
was prepared to make a journey to Maryland, would suggest that he had been 
fortunate enough to secure a dwelling already erected to his hand. It is not 
known what other members of the Society of Friends, of those who accom- 
panied Fenwick, besides Robert Wade and his family, settled at Upland. 
They were the first members of that society who settled within the limits of 
our county or of the commonwealth. 

The special execution granted in 1672 to Mrs. Papegoya, or "Jeufifro 
Armigart Printz," as she is called, and which put her in possession of Tini- 


cum, failed to satisfy the juclgiiKnt oljtained against Andrew Carr and his 
wife. Sheriflf Cantwell is ordered to proceed to a full execution of the judg- 

About this time. William Penn, as trustee, became interested in the settle- 
ment of West Jersey ; a circumstance that brought to his notice the not yet ap- 
propriated territory west of the Delaware, and gave rise to the idea of plant- 
ing a colony there on principles that, in all future ages, will claim the admira- 
tion of the world for their liberality. 

Since the final establishment of British rule on the Delaware, Captain 
Cantwell, in addition to his office of sheriff and other appointments, had acted 
as the superior military officer. On September 23d, 167C, he was superseded in 
the latter office by the appointment of Captain John Collier as "Commander in 
Delaware River and Bay." On the same day justices of the peace were com- 
missioned for the jurisdictions of New Castle and Upland, for one year or 
till "further order;" any three of whom would constitute a court of judicature. 
Ephraim Herman was appointed "clarke" of both courts. The justices com- 
missioned for Upland district were Peter Cock, Peter Rambo, Israel Helm, 
Laers Andrieson, Oele Swen and Otto Ernest Cock, being the former justices, 
with the addition of the last named. They were all Swedes. 

From this period to the present time, the judicial proceedings in the dis- 
trict embracing the limits of Delaware county have been preserved of record. 
Those extending down to the commencement of Penn's administration have 
lately been published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania as part of the 
7th volume of its Memoirs, under the title of "The Record of the Court at 
Upland," with a valuable Introduction and Notes by Edward Armstrong, 
Esq. The original manuscript record is in the possession of Dr. J. Dickinson 
Logan, of Philadelphia. The records of previous judicial transactions, not 
only at Upland, but elsewhere on the river, have not as yet been discovered. 

The following letter of instructions from the governor very fully ex- 
plains the character and jurisdiction of the court : 

Edmond Andros, Esqr : & Seigneur of Sausmarez, Lieut : & Govern'" : Gen" : under 
his Royall Highnesse James Duke of Yorke and albany, etc : of all the Territories 
of America : 
Whereas. The Last leare att my beeing att Delowar uppon application of the Inhabi- 
tants Representing that my prdecesso*" Govern'' Lovelace had begun to make ^ Regulacon 
for the due administracon of Justice according to the lawes of this Government, pursuant 
to wich I: did appoint some majistrates and made some Rules for their proceeding the 
leare e'suing or till further order; In which haveing uppon mature deliberation, by the 
advyce of my Councill made some alteracon. They are to Remaine and bee in force in 
forme following: 

1. That the bookes of Lawes Establisht by his Roy" Highnesse and practized in 
New Yorke, Long Island and dependences Bee Likewyse in force and practice in this 
River, and precincts, except the Constable's Co*"*': County Rates and some other things; 
Peculiar to Long Island, — and the militia as now ordered to Remain in the King; But 
that a Constable be leariy in each place chosen for the preservation of his May*'** Peace 
w*** all other Powers as Directed by Lawe. 

2. That there bee three Courts held in the several! parts of the River and Bay as 


formerly, to wit, one in New Castle, one above att upplands, another below at whorekills, 

3. That the Courts consist of Justices of the Peace, whereof three to make a coram 
& to have the power of a Court of Sessions & decide all matters under twenty pounds 
wt^out appeal!. In w^^ Court the Eldest Justice to p'side unlesse otherwise agreed 
amonghst themselves, above twenty pounds & for cryme, extending to Lyfe, Limb, or 
banishment to admitt of appeale to the Co'"* of Assizes. 

4. That all small matters under the vallue of fyve pounds may bee determined by 
the Court without a Jury, unlesse desiered by the partees, as alsoe matters of Equity. 

5. That the Court for New Castle be held once a moneth, to begin the first Teusday 
in Each month, and the Co'*^ for uppland and the whoorekill quarterly, and to begin 
the second Tuesday of the month or oftener if occasion. 

6. That all necessary By-lawes or orders, not Repugnant to ye Lawes of the Gov- 
erI^u^ made by the said Courts, bee of force and binding, for the space of one whole 
leare, in the severall places where made. They giving an account thereof to the Governo'" 
by the first opportunity : — and that no fines bee made or imposed but by order of Court 

7. That the several Courts have power to Regulate the Court and officers' fees, not 
to Exceed the Rates in the Booke of Lawes, nor to bee under halfe the vallue therein 

8. That there bee a high Sherife for the Towne of New Castle, River, and Bay, 
and that the s^' High Sherrife have power to make an undersherrife or marshal, being a 
fit pi'son, and for whome hee will bee Responsable, to bee approved by the Court. But 
the Sherrife. as in England, and according to the now practice on Long Island, to act 
as a principal! officer for the Execution of the Lawes, but not as a Justice of Peace 
or magistrate. 

9. That there bee fitting Bookes provyded for the Records. In which all judicial! 
proceedings, to bee duly and fairly entred as also publicq orders from the Governo"", 
and the names of the magistrates and oilficers authorized, w^^ the tyme of their admis- 
sion. The s^i Records to be kept in English, to wich all pt^sons concerned may have free 
Recourse at due or sesonable tymes; 

ID. That a fitt p^son for Clarke (when vacant) be recommended by Each Court to the 
governo"" for his approbation, in whose hands the s<^ Records to bee kept; 

11. That all writs, warrants & proceedings att lawe shall be in his may"es name. 
It haveing been practized in the Governm^ ever since the first writing of the Lawe 
booke. and itt being his Roy" Highnesses special Pleasure and Order. 

12. That no Rates bee Imposed or Levys of mony made w^hi,-, the Towne of New- 
castle, River, or Bay by any, under what denomination soever wt^out the approbation 
of the Govern"", unlesse upon Extraordinary occasion in Case of necessity, of w^h the 
Governo"" to have p""sent ace* sent him. That upon the Levy of any Rates there be a 
faire acc^ kept both of the Receipts and disboursments, w^h account to be given in to the 
Cort there to bee past then sent to the Governo"" for his allowance, until wich not to bee 
a sufficient discharge. 

Whereas by this regulation there are no overzeers apointed nor Contstables Courts, 
but all matters to bee determined by the Justices; I: doe therefore Recomend the Com- 
posure or Referring to arbitracon of as many matters particularly under the vallue of 
fy^•e pound as mav properly be determined that way, Provided it may bee by the consent 
of Partees; That' anv p"-son desiering Land make application to the Court m whose 
bounds itt is, whoe are required to sitt once a month or oftner if there bee occasion to 
Give order therein & certifv to the Governo-" for any Land not taken upp and Improved 
fitt proportions, not exceeding fifty acres p"" head unlesse uppon Extraordmary occasions 
where thev see good Cause for itt. w-^ Certificate to bee a sufficient authority or warrt 
for the surveigo""- to surveig the same and with the Surveigors Returne to bee sent to 
New Yorke for the Governo""^ approbation; That in the Certificates be specified liow much 
upland and meaddow wt»> due Reguard that Each may have a proportionable sheare. 



according to the place they are in Landward ; Given under my hand and scale in New 
Yorke, the 25th day of Septembt" in the 28th leare of his mayt'^'s Reigne, a° Dom: 1676." 

(Signed) E. Andross. 

The recently appointed justices, according to the record, held their first 
court at "L'ppland in Delowar Riuer," on the 14th of November, 1676. After 
they had been sworn into office, the first act of the court was to order "that 
Mr. Tom, the former clarke, should deliver unto the present clarke, Eph: 
Herman, the records and other publiq bookes and wrytings belonging to this 

The first instance on record of the appointment of guardians for minors 
was made in this court, in the case of the children of "Hendrick Johnson, 
Dec*^," — "Jan Jansen and morten morten sen," were appointed 'to be "ouerzeers 
and guardians." 

Mr. Justice Helm presented a petition to the court "desiering to haue 
some recompence for haueing served the Riuer often and att sundry tymes as 
an interpreter w*^ the Indians," &c. This application the court determined to re- 
fer to Governor Andros, which they did in a letter addressed to him on the 
same day, wherein they also intreat that his honor "will be pleased to confirm 
the order made att the Last Gen" Court here about the voolves heads," and 
that he will prescribe a w-ay & order how the charges of this Court, when they 
sitt, may bee found, conceidering that wee all Liue att a great distance from o'' 
Court place, and the amercem^^ (by Reason of the small number of actions) 
amounting to Little ; and that yo"" hon"" will bee pleased to Impower us, so that 
the old debts of the Court together \v^^ the debts sence yo"" hon""^ government 
may also be sattisfyed by the same way w"^*^ yo"" bono"" shall prescrybe." 

The court was held at the house of Neeles Laerson, who also entertained 
the justices. The account made out by the court of the public indebtedness to 
Laerson for "the Charges of Keepeing of Court and Justices dyet there," es- 
tablishes the fact that the former court, of which the records have not been 
discovered, was held at the same place. Laerson probably kept a public house. 
His charge for entertaining the court during its present sitting, which appears 
to have lasted but one day, was 100 guilders. 

The next court at Upland was held on March 13th, 1677. Two cases of 
assault and battery were brought before this court, but were postponed till 
the next. The people on the river having been apprehensive for some time of 
being attacked by the Indians, the justices of Upland, at the close of the court, 
held a meeting with Captain John Collier, the commander, "uppon the news 
of the Simeco Indians coming down to fetch the Sasquehanno, that were 
amongst these River Indians." At this meeting "itt was concluded uppon the 
motions of Rinowehan, the Indian Sachomore, for the most quiet of the River, 
viz. : That Capt" Collier & Justice Israel Helm goe upp to Sachamexin, 
(where att p'"sent a great number of Simico & other Indians are,) and that 
they Endeauor to p''swade the Simecus, the Sasquehannos & thes Riuer In- 
dians to send Each a Sachomore or deputy to his hono"" the Governo'' att New 


Yorke, and that Justice Israel helm goe w*^ them; for to heare & Receiue his 
■s^ hono" Resolutions & answer to their demands." 

The conference with the Indians was accordingly held at Sachamexin 
<^Shackamaxon) from the 14th to the i8th of the same month, at a cost of 250 
guilders to Upland district, "for the expenses of the commander, justices and 
Indians." It does not appear that New Castle shared any of this expense, 
though equally benefited with Upland. The justices of New Castle inform the 
governor that the Indians had passed by them, and had gone up the river. 
This may account for the whole expense of the Shackamaxon meeting being 
visited on Upland. 

Labor at this time was seldom obtained, as now, for wages. Even me- 
chanics sold themselves, or were sold for a specified time ; their masters being 
responsible for their support. The change in the ownership of persons thus 
owing services, required the approbation of the justices, as will be seen by the 
following extract from the record of the Upland court : "M*" John Test brought 
into Court a certaine man servant named William Still, being a Taylor by 
traede, whome hee the s'^ Test did acknowledge to haue sold unto Capt'' Ed- 
mund Cantwell, for the space and tearme of foure yeares, beginning from 
the first of Aprill Last past; The s'^ William Still declared in Court to bee 
willing to serve the said Capt" Cantwell the aboves"^ tearme of foure yeares." 

The following record of a case of assault and battery is given as a 
fair specimen of the manner in which business was transacted in our earliest 
•Courts of Justice : — 

"Justice Israel Helm, PI*. Oele Oelsen (als) Coekoe, Deft. 

"The P't Complaines that at the Plant" of Juns Justesse. in his house, hee the pl^ 
■was first wth Evill words abused by the deft, and afterwards by him beaten, and his 
shirt all torne In pieces by the s^ deft, and therefore desires y* the Court will inflict 
punishment according to the meritt of the s^ deft, and that hee is one of the members 
•of the Court, hee may bee so maintained. 

"The deft sayeth that the pU hath struck, etc. 

"The High Sheriffe, Capt" Edm. Cantwell desires that the Court will take the case 
in consideration, and not suffer a Justice of Peace shall be so abused! 

"The Court haveing Examined into ye whole businesse, and heard the debates of 
^oth partees, together wth the Testimony of Lace Coleman, Doe Condemne the said 
■oele oelsen in a fyne of two hundred and Ten gilders; sixty thereof for the Poore or 
Church, and the remainder 150 gilders to the Sheriffe, and doe further order yt the s^ 
oele oelsen doe humbly ask forgiveness of Justice Israeli Helm and the Co^t for his s"* 


"The Cort & High Sherife Conciedering that the s^ oele was a poore man wt" a 
great charge of Children ; uppon his humble submission did Remit & forgive him the one 
"hundred and fifty gilders fyne." 

Albert Hendrix, having served out "his leare" as constable, was dis- 
missed by the court at his own request, and William Orian appointed "constable 
for the jurisdiction of this court" in his place. Hendrix (Hendrixon) is the 
iirst person known to have held the office in Pennsylvania. Jurian Harts- 

74 di-:laware county 

welder (Hartsf elder.) the deputy slicrifT, being alxmi to remove further up 
the river, resigned his office. Me was succeeded by Micael Izzard. 

At the June court of this year, an order was adopted in respect to the ad- 
mission of attorneys to plead in the court, but before the of the year, it 
became the duty of the court to i)ublish a resolution of the governor and coun- 
cil by which it was "ordered that pleading attorneys bee no longer allowed to 
practize in ye governm^ but for ye : depending causes." 

The last adjustment of the dividing line between Upland and New Cas- 
tle of which there is any record, seemed to fix the division between the two 
districts about the Christina ; but a mandate issued from the New Castle court, 
September i8th of this year, of which the following is an extract, would indi- 
cate that a different arrangement had been made : — 

"To Mr. Charles Ramsey, Constable In Christeena : You are requested in his May** 
name to take a true and exact list of all the Tydable p''sons from i6 to 60 years of adge 
w'^'^in the bounds, w'^'^ is all y^ north syde of Cresteena Creeke up as far as y« bogh* 
Creeke. above ole fransens house, & y^ names of y^ s^ Tydables to bring * * * * " 

.•\t a meeting of Mr. John Moll, president of New Castle court, with the 
justices of Upland court, held at L'pland on November 12th of the following 
year, the above division was confirmed and extended ; The County of Upland 
was "to begin from the north syde of Oele fransens Creeke Called Steen Kill, 
Lying in the boght above ye verdrietige hoeck, and from the said Creek ouer 
to ye single tree point on the East syde of this River." In other directions, 
Upland county extended as far as settlements had been made ; and although 
the authority of the Duke of York to govern New Jersey had been resisted by 
Fenwick and others, it had been maintained on the ground that the sovereignty 
of the country did not pass to Cartaret and Berkley, the purchasers of the soil. 
Fenwick. for attempting to exercise authority independently of Governor An- 
dros, had even been forcibly arrested in his own house, and sent to New York, 
where he was for some time imprisoned. This will account for the jurisdic- 
tion of the courts, on the west side of the river, being extended into New Jer- 

In the accounts of the country during the earlier periods of its settlement, 
that have come under the notice of the author, not much is said in respect to 
the depredations of wolves. The numbers of these animals had probably 
greatly increased in the neighborhood of the settlements, both on account of 
the increased means to obtain food that civilization had furnished, and the di- 
minished numbers of the Indians, who had heretofore destroyed them for 
their skins. The depredations of these animals had now become so alarming, 
that it became necessary to secure their destruction by means of a liberal 
bounty. At the solicitation of the justices of the New Castle court, authority 
«vas obtained to pay 40 guilders for each wolf scalp brought in. This, it will be 
seen, became a heavy item of expenditure. 

It had been supposed that a tax could only be levied by the authority of 
"general court." but the governor, upon application being made to him for the 


holding of such a court in order to authorize a levy, decided that every court 
had the power "to make fitting rates for the highways, poor and other neces- 
saries as is practiced in England." The governor had authorized a levy of 
id. per pound on every man's estate, towards paying public expenses, but the 
justices of New Castle obtained authority from his excellency to substitute a 
poll tax, representing the inconsiderable value of estates, the difficulty of de- 
termining that value, and the distance of the people, as their excuse for asking 
the change. 

The unliquidated expenses of Upland county had by this time so much 
accumulated as to present an alarming aspect of indebtedness, when the 
means of liquidation are considered. This indebtedness embraced the follow- 
ing items : — 

'To neels Laerson for ye Courts Expensis to this day, Except 200 gilders by 
Capt" Cantwell paid him before, there being no other accommodation for ye 
court, G.639 

To Lace Cock, for Expensis of ye Comand"" and Simico Indians last spring; ye 
acc^ being allowed by ye Court, 250 

The woolves heads in this Co^"*, not all brought in yet, but computed by ye Court, 420 

To ye Clercq allotted by ye Court for his several Extraordinary services to ye 
Cort, etc 200 

To Justice Israeli helm for his severall services to ye Country as interpreter 
about ye Indians, 400 

To Capt" Cantwell, w^h hee hath p'^ to neels Laerson for ye Courts accommoda- 
tions, etc., 200 

Justice Otto Ernest for sundry Expensis on ye publicq acct. of w^h hee hath 
not yet brought In his acct. of perticulars, 300 

Lace Cock for Expensis when his honr ye governor was there, . . . .112 

Peter Rambo demands for Expensis when his bono'" the Governor was there, 
800 gild'-s, 800 

Captn Cantwell proffered in Court to pay him 400 gilders w^h hee refused, soo 

that this is left to his bono"" to judge of. 


Besides fees due for ye collecting the s<i Levy." 

At the November court of this year, the justices decided to levy a poll tax 
of 26 guilders upon each Tydable (taxable) person, which included every male 
inhabitant in the county between the ages of sixteen and sixty years, except 
the justices, who were by the Duke's laws exempt from the payment of taxes, 
except for the support of the church. This levy was to be collected by the 
high sheriff, before the following March 25, and instead of money he was au- 
thorized to receive "wheat at five, rye & barley at four, and Indian corn at 
three gilders per Scipple (three pecks, English) ; tobacco and pork at eight 
stivers, and bacon at sixteen stivers per lb., or else wampum or skins at the 

courant price." 

The list of the Tydable persons presented to the court on this occasion, m 
giving us at this distant day some idea of the number and places of residence 
of these early settlers, forms a most important and highly interesting part of 
the record. No apology will be needed for inserting the list at length. 




Att Taokanink (Tacony.) 

oele neelsoii & 2 sons, 

bans moens, 

Erick Poulson, 

Cliristiaen Tomasse, 

Casper fisck, 

Peter Jookum & serv*, 

bans Jurian, 

michill fredericks, 

Justa Daniells & servant 

Jonas Juriaensen, 

Hend : Jacobs upon y^ Isl'^, 

Erick Cock & servant, 

moens Cock, 

Lace Dalbo, 

Rymer Peterssen, . 

Oele Dalboo, 

Andries Boen, 

Swen Boen, 

Pelle Rambo, Junior 

Andries Rambo, 

Richard Duckett, 

Mr. Jones y^ batter, 

Josepb Peters, 

Jan Cock, 

Peter Cock, Junior, 

barmen Ennis, 

mort mortens. Junior, 

Bertell Laersen, 

moens Staeckett, 

bans Jurian, 

hendrick Tade, 

andries Bertleson, 

Jan Bertleson, 

Jan Corneliss" & son, 

mort. mortense, Senior, 

Lace mortense, 

neels matson, . 

Antbony Matson, 

bendrick Jacobs, 

Jacob bendricx,. 


Claes Schram, 

Robbered Waede, 

Jan bendrix, 

Rich : Bobbingbton, 

James Sanderling & slaue, 

Jobn Test & servant, 

Jurian Kien, 

Ricb : noble, .... 
Neels Laerson & son, 
henry bastings, 

Att Carkoens hoek. 

Andries homman & son, 

Pelle Erickson, 

Benck Saling, 

Andries Sailing, 

Laers Boen, 

bans Peters, 

Pell Puttke, . 

barmen Jansen, 

bendrick bolman, 

Peter Nealson, 

Gunnar Rambo, 

Lace Cock & servant 

Michilli nealson, 

Andris Swen and father, 

Oele Swenson bis servant, 

Swen Swenson & son, 

John Stille, 

Swen Lorn, 

Oele Stille, 

Andries Benckes, 

Jan Mattson, . 

dunck Williams, 

Tbo : Jacobs, . 

Jan Claassen & 2 sons 

Mathias Claassen, 

franck Walcker, 

Will Thomasse. 

Peter matson, 

Jan Baelsen, 

Jan Scborten, 

Jan Justa & 2 sons, 

Jonas Nealson & son 

Peter andries & son, 

Arian Andries at Peter Ramboos, 

Calkocns Hoek. 







will : woodman & servant, 

John bayles 

micb Yzard 





Eastern Shoure. 


oelc Dircks 

will Bromfield, .... 
Juns Justafs 





T»ice Coleman, .... 

I Carell Jansen, 

bans hofman and his 2 sons. 

3 Oele Raessen, 

Peter freeman 

I Thom: Denny, 

Moens Junsen, .... 

I John Browne, 

Poull Corvorne, .... 

I Rich : fredenicx, 
•bans Oelsen, . 

marr: Kill. 

Tho : harwood, 
Jurian hertsvelder, 

Jan Jansen, 

I Andris Inckhoore, 

Will: Orian 

I Rodger, Pedrick, 

Daniell Linsey, . . . . 

I Cristaen Claassen, 

morten Knoetsen 

I Jacob docker. 

Knoet mortensen, .... 

albert hendricx, .... 

• I 136 

Oele Coeckoe, .... 

I 136 Tydables in Upland J 




The extreme slowness with which the population on the river increased, 
is a very remarkable circumstance. An approximation to the whole number 
of inhabitants in the Upland district may be arrived at from the data furnished 
by this list of taxables. The male population between the ages of sixteen and 
sixty years, by including the justices of the court, a few soldiers and paupers, 
would probably reach 150. By making the number of females between those 
ages equal to the males, the whole number of inhabitants between sixteen and 
sixty years of age would be 300. An estimate made by a comparison with 
census returns, would make the balance of the population about the same, and 
the whole population of Upland county 600, only about two-fifths, or 240 of 
whom resided within the district now forming the county of Delaware. 

The justices becoming tired of holding court in a public house, "Capt° 
Hans Jergen is ordered & desiered by the Court to warne his men belonging 
to his Company, and w"^ them to fitt up and finish ye house of defence att 
upland fitt for the Court to sitt in, against ye next Court." The site of this 
first courthouse is designated on the map of "the Early Settlements." 

In 1669 a block-house had been erected at Wicaco for defence against at- 
tacks by the Indians. This year it was occupied as a church, the Rev. Jacobus 
Fabritius, the installed minister, preaching his first sermon there in Dutch, on 
Trinity Sunday. It is very certain that the Upland court had not as yet com- 
plied with the order of the general court held at New Castle in 1675, in caus- 
ing "a church or place of meeting to be built at Wickegkoo ;" as no expendi- 
ture is included for this purpose in the estimate for which the general levy was 
made. The blockhouse was probably fixed up as a place of worship by private 

The records of New Castle show that Commander Collier sat there as a 
judge of the court. The governor being advised of his conduct in this respect, 
ordered him to forbear, and immediately commissioned Captain Christopher 
Billop as his successor. Walter Wharton was at the same time commissioned 
as "Surveyor in Delaware Bay and River," and Ephraim Herman "to bee re- 
ceiver of quit rents in Delaware river in the jurisdiction of New Castle and 
Upland courts." 



Since the arrival of Fenwick, owing to difficulties about the ownership of 
West Jersey, there had been no arrival of settlers for that province, until this 
year, when three vessels arrived — the "Kent," the "Willing-mind," and the 
fly boat "Martha." These were all well freighted with members of the So- 
city of Friends, the greatest number of whom settled at and near Burlington, — 
some settled at Salem, and a few found their way to the western side of the 
river. Among the latter were William Clayton, Morgan Drewett, William 
Woodmancy, and William Oxley, and probably Henry Hastings and other 
Englishmen, whom we first find settled in the vicinity of Upland about this 

Directions are transmitted to the Upland court by the governor, to pur- 
chase from the Indians two miles in extent along the river, from the lands 
previously purchased to the Falls. He also requires, by authority of the Duke, 
of all persons who "have or Clayme any land in Delawor River or Bay," that 
they make a return thereof to the clerk of the proper court, to be by the 
court returned to him. The governor also notifies the court of his intention to 
visit England, and to return again in the spring. 

The great troubles and inconveniences to which the settlers of a new 
country are subjected, are but little understood by persons who have always 
resided in old and thickly settled districts. The great annoyance suffered by 
the settlers on the Delaware at this period, merely from depredations com- 
mitted by wolves, will be understood from the action of the New Castle court, 
with a view to their destruction. "The court takeing into consideration the 
dayly and continuall spoyle & damadge w*^"^ y^ woolves commit uppon the 
Stockes of the Inhabitants and that the said woolves (notwithstanding the 
former order of the laest high court allowing 40 Guilders for each woolfe 
head), are no wayes more destroyed then before, make an order for setting, 
52 Wolfe pitts or trap houses, and direct who shall set them," &c. 

A provision is contained in the "Duke's Laws" for the support of "dis- 
tracted persons," but no direction is given in respect to the manner of secur- 
ing them. As to their restoration, it was a subject that claimed but little at- 
tention in these early times. The action of the LTpland court, on a case brought 
before it, though certainly curious, should not be so much a matter of aston- 
ishment : "Jan Cornelissen of Amesland complayning to ye Court that his 
son Erick is bereft of his naturall sences & is turned quyt madd and y^ : hee 

being a poore man is not able to maintaine him ; ordered : that three or 4 

p'"sons bee hired to build a Little Blockhouse at amesland for to put in the s^ 
madman, and att the next Court, order will bee taken y^ : a small Levy bee 
Laid to pay for the building of y^ house and the maintayning of y^ s^ mad 
man according to Lawes of y^ government." This block-house may be re- 
gaided as the first lunatic asylum in Pennsylvania. The necessity for such a 
building and the order for its erection, bespeak at once the great deprivations 
to which our early settlers were subjected, and the inadequacy of the means at 
hand for their relief. 

Some conveyances have already been noticed in the narrative, and it will 


be necessary to advert to a few more, with a view of throwing as much hght as 
possible on the earhest of the settlements within our prescribed limits. 

"Hans Juriansen Kien, of Taokanink (Tacony) This day appeared in Co^ and then 
& there did acknowledge a deed of conveigance bearing date the 9th day of this Instant month 
of March, for the makeing ouer unto his Brother Jonas Juriansen Kien, as followeth, 
viz^ : one Equal! sheare and Lott of Land In quantity Equall w^h ye sheares & Lotts of ye 
other Inhabitants of Upland Towne or neighborhood, w'th all and Singular the appur- 
tenances. Lying & being in Upland aforesaid, The whole devident or tract of Land being 
heretofore surveiged & Laid out for ye six inhabitants of Upland Towne, in general Con- 
taynes twelve hundred acres, whereof the part & sheare of him the said Hans Kien, be- 
ing one of ye said six Inhabitants, is two hundred acres as well cleared land as wood 
land, w^h said 200 was thereby sould and made ouer as above, together w^^ the hous- 
ing and other appurtenances standing upon the said Hans Kien his Lott of Land Lying 
and being att upland Towne aforesaid near the Creeke, between the houses & Lotts of 
James Sanderling and Jurian Kien ; the said bans Kien did aknowledge also to haue Re- 
ceived satisfaction for the premises from him the said Jonas; as by the said deed signed 
sealed & delivered by the s"! bans Kien, in the p^'sence of Johannsen De haes & John Ad- 
dams, & bearing date as above, more att Large did apeare." 

The above grantee, Jonas Juriansen Kien, appeared in the same court, and 
acknowledged a deed of conveyance of the same premises, in consideration of 
"a. certayne Sume of money." to John Test, late of London, merchant, together 
with "a. certayne new Blocq house, by him the s^ Jonas built on the above men- 
tioned Lott. near ye water syde of y® Creeke aforesaid," &c. John Test, at 
this time a resident of LTpland, appeared in the sam.e court and acknowledged 
a conveyance in fee of the same premises to Marmaduke Randell, of London, 
merchant. The land at Marcus Hook was also taken up by a company of six 
persons, as appears by a patent granted therefor by Sir E. Andros, as well as 
by the following conveyance, which was acknowledged in the next Upland 
court : — 

"Jan Hendricksen, of Delowar River, husbandman, appeared in Court, and then and 
there did acknowledge a certayne deed or transport unto Rodger Peddrick, of all his 
the said Jan hendricksen's Right, Tytle and Interest of all the Land & appurtenances Ly- 
ing & being on the West syde of delowar River, called & knowne by the name of mar- 
reties hoeck, the whole tract of marreties hoeck Land being granted and confirmed by 
Pattent from the Right hono^ie governor andros, bearing date the 28^1^ of march, 1676, 
unto the six possessors thereof, viz^: Charles Jansen, Oele Raessen, bans oelsen, oele 
neelson, bans hofman and him the s'^ Jan hendrick, and contayning in the whole one 
thousand acres of Land ; w^h s'^ deed was signed, sealed and delivered by the s^ Jan hen- 
dricks in the prsence of Johannes De haes and Carrell Junsen, and beares date y^ iS*** 
day of June, a" 1678." 

Both Upland and Marcus Hook were settled a long time before these 
grants were respectively made to "the six inhabitants" of each place. The 
names of the grantees of the Marcus Hook purchase are given ; those of Up- 
land, besides Hans Juriansen Kien, were, probably, James Sandeland, Israel 
Helm, Rev. Laurentius Carolus Lock (Lawrence Lock), Villus Lacie, and 
Niels Laerson. There were certainly other residents in LTpland at the time the 


grant for the 1200 acres was niailc. This new patenting of lands by persons 
who had resided in the country for a long time and held their titles from form- 
er governments, was one of the impositions practiced under the Duke's author- 
ity on that class of people. They were required by law "to bring in their form- 
er grants and take out new pattents for the same from the i)resent Governoure, 
in behalf of his Royall Highness the 1 )iikc of Yorke." It may have been that 
the inhabitants of Upland and Marcus Hook, and other settlements, respec- 
tively united in an a])plication for a large tract of land, with the view of sav- 
ing expenses. 

A ship from Hull arrived at Burlington this year. Among the passengers 
Avas Thomas Revel, who settled for a time within our limits, and was the clerk 
of the first court of Chester county. 

On April 3d a meeting of the justices was held '"at the house of Justice 
Peter Cock, in y^ Schviylkill." The business of this meeting was about the 
same that is usually performed by county auditors. Sherifif Cantwell appears 
to have been charged with both the collection and disbursement of the taxes. 
His allowance "for collecting & receiving y'' publicq levy," etc., was 884 guild- 
ers, being very nearly one-fourth of the whole amount collected ! 

Part of the record of the June court has been lost, but the minutes of the 
following court show that it was held on the i8th and 19th days of that month. 
This court resolved to impose "a levy or small tackx of fyve Gilders p"" head 
on every Tydable p'son," the payment to be made at Tinicum, thus saving the 
great expense of collecting, that consumed so much of the former levy. The 
court not having imposed a penalty for non-payment of this "small tax," the 
justices, upon assembling at their November court, found that their former 
order had "Layne dorment," and finding themselves "necessiated," issued a 
new and very rigid order, "that every Tydable within the Jurisdiction of this 
Court, wdio have payed their levy Laest yeare, doe w^'^n the space of 14 days 
now next Ensuing come and pay Each of them 5 Gilders as formerly, and 
that they bring ye same unto Tinnecong Ysland in ye hands of M^ Otto Ernest 
Cock ; this order to bee published and fixed up att the churches of Wicaco and 
Tinnecong to ye end no p'son may plead Ignorance." 

In the year 1675, Governor Andros, among other regulations then estab- 
lished, made an order remitting the quit rent for the first three years on all new 
lands to be taken up and seated within the precincts of the Delaware. Finding 
that persons were taking up lands and not seating them, he issued another or- 
der in October of this year, repealing and recalling his former order except 
in respect to lands that had actually been seated. Lands taken up and not 
seated and improved, and not duly returned, to be forfeited, and to be dis- 
posed of as vacant land ; that seated and improved and not returned, to be re- 
turned within six months : all arrears of quit rents since the governor's arrival 
in 1674, to be paid within the same time, and in future the payment of quit 
rent was to commence with the taking up of the land. 

A jury was empannelled in a case tried at this court, being the first which 
appears on the records of Upland court, and was doubtless the first jury that 


was empannelled within the hniits of Pennsylvania. Though not necessary un- 
der the "Duke's Laws'" to have more than six jurors, there were twelve em- 
panneled on the jury in question, whose names here follow, viz : — "hans moens, 
dunk Williams, Xtopher Barnes, Edm : draufton, Peter Yocum, Isacq Sauoy, 
Jan hendricks. Jonas Kicn, moens Cock, John Browne, Jan Boelsen, henry 
bastings." It required only a majority of the jurors to bring in a verdict; but 
there is nothing to show that they were not unanimous in the present case. 
The court, however, determined to be judges both of the law and the facts, 
"suspended" the verdict, and at the next Court tried the case themselves, and 
reversed the decision of the jury. 

The subject of mills claimed the particular attention of the Upland court. 
A year prior to this time, the court had granted liberty to Jan Boelsen "to take 
up one hundred acres of land above the mill in amesland Kill." The mill here 
alluded to is the old Swedes mill erected by Governor Printz, about the year 
1644, and doubtless the most useful institution in the country. The inhabitants 
became alarmed at seeing land taken up "so near the mill of Carkoen creek," 
lest "the s'' mill would bee Left destitute of any land to gett timber for y® 
vise of s'' mill, and upon their representation the Court ordered that 100 acres 
of land should be laid on the west syde of ye s'^ mill branch," for the use of 
the mill. The court also ordered that the one hundred acres granted to Jan 
Boelsen should be reserved for the mill, having first obtained his assent. The 
mill tract on Holmes" map is on the East side of the creek. It would therefore 
appear that two hundred acres were reserved for the use of the mill, unless the 
tract on Holmes" map is incorrectly laid down. 

At the same court, the erection of another mill was decided upon. "It be- 
ing in consideracon that it was very necessary that a mill be built in the 
Schuylkill ; and there being no fitter place than the faall Called Capt" hans 
moenses faalls ; The Co'*^ are of opinion that Either Capt" hans moenses ought 
to build a mill there, (as hee sayes that hee will,) or else suffer another to build 
for the common good of the parts." 

Where there are mills, there must of necessity be roads, particularly as 
settlements begin to be made in the interior of a country. Hence the court 
"ordered that every p'son should w"'in the space of twoo months, as far as his 
Land Reaches, make good and passable wayes from neighbour to neighbour, 
w'^ bridges where it needs, To the End that neighbours on occasion may come 
together." Those neglecting, to forfeit 25 guilders. 

The interests of the church also claimed some of the attention of the 
court. "Complaint being made by the church wardens that Neeles Laerson 
has taken in (w"" Lotts of Land by him bought of dom : Lasse Carolus here in 
Upland Towne) some of the Church or glebb Land ;— ordered, that Neeles 
Laersen shall haue his due of the 2 Lotts by him bought of s'^ dom: Carolus 
Equall w''^ the other Lotts in Upland, but for what shall be found that s'^ 
Neeles Laersen has taken in more, he to Leaue out againe annexed to y*= other 
Church Lotts." 

Captain Billop, the present commander, seems to have been less faithful 


in the performance of his duties ilian his predecessor, CoUier. He used the 
fort at New Castle as his own private properly, converting it into a stable for 
his horses and a pen for his hogs. The room above the fort, which had been 
occupied as a court-room, he had filled with hay and fodder; and he employed 
the soldiers "about his own ])rivate affairs." Fortunately for the Upland 
court, the captain was stationed at a distance from their seat of justice; and 
we do not learn that his subordinate ofificer, Captain Hans Jergen, stationed at 
Upland, ever interfered with our court in its full enjoyment, as a hall of 
ju.stice, of the recently finished "House of defence." 

These, with other complaints against Billop, were made to the governor 
by the justices of New Castle court, who were also not disposed to spare their 
brother Justice, Walter Wharton, who likewise held the office of surveyor- 
general. He had married himself, or was married contrary to law, and had 
not performed his duty as a justice, in absenting himself "three following 
court days." The former com])laint was referred to the governor, but for 
the neglect of his judicial duties he was fined iio by the court. Billop was re- 
called to New York by the governor, but Wharton was removed by death, 
towards the close of this year. 

It is probable that the marsh lands appertaining to any particular settle- 
ment along the river, were for a long time held and used as a common pastur- 
age. That this was so in respect to I 'pland, would appear from a complaint 
being made by James Sanderling, "In behalfe of ye Rest of ye Inhabitants of 
Upland that Neels Laersen w^*^ a fence stopps up the old and usuall way to 
the fly (marsh) ; and Neels Laersen being thereupon heard," the Court ordered 
the way to be left open as formerly. 

The records of Upland court also furnish some evidence that education 
of children was not wholly neglected. In the case of "Edmund Draufton, plain- 
tiff vs. Dunck Williams, deft.,"' "The PI* demands of this Def*^ 200 Gilders for 
teaching this Defts children to Read one Yeare." "The Cor* haucing heard 
the debates of both parties as alsoe ye attestation of ye witnesses. Doe grant 
judgm* ag^* ye Def* for 200 gilders w*'^ ye Costs." "Richard Duckett sworne in 
Court declares that hee was p'"scnt at ye makeing of ye bargaine, and did heare 
that ye agreem* was that Edmmid draufton should Teach Dunkes children to 
Read in ye bybell, & if hee could doe itt in a yeare or a halfe yeare or a quarf, 
then hee was to haue 200 gilders." 

Edmund Draufton is the earliest schoolmaster within the jurisdiction of 
Upland court of whom any account has been preserved. The location of his 
school is not certainly known. 

The "House of Defence" appears to have been built on the private prop- 
erty of Neels Laersen. At the first court held in 1679 he was ordered "to 
make or leaue a lane or street from Upland creeke to ye : house of defence or 
Countrv house." or in default to be fined at the discretion of the court. The 
appellation "Country house," sufficiently indicates the to which the "House 
of Defence" was now appropriated. We have seen that its completion was 
urged in order that the courts might be held there, and it is probable that it 



was used as a place for the transaction of public business generally. For what- 
ever other purpose the House of Defence may have been used, it was certainly 
the first court house within our limits. 

The attention of the New Castle court was frequently occupied with 
church disputes and differences. The following is the most remarkable in- 
stance of the interference of the Upland court in ecclesiastical affairs : 

"It being Represented to ye Court by the Church Wardens of Tinnagcong and 
Wicaco Churches that the fences about ye Church yards, and other Church buildings are 
mutch out of repair, and that some of the People, members of ye s<3 Churches are neg- 
lective to make the same Up etc : The Co«-t haueing taken ye premises into Consideracon, 
doe find itt necessary to order, authorize & Impower, and doe by these pi'sents order, au- 
thorize & Impower the Respective members of ye s^ Churches, from tyme to tyme, and 
att all tymes when itt shall bee found necessary, to build, make good and keepe in Re- 
pair the sii Church yard fences as also the Church and other the appurtenances thereof, 
and if any of the s'i members upon warning doe proove neglective In the doeing of their 
proportion to the same, They and each of them to forfeit fifty gilders for each such 
neglect, to bee Levyed out of their goods and Chattels Lands and Tenements." 

It has been alleged that Richard Buffington, the first male child born of 
English parents in Pennsylvania, was born at Chester this year. This event 
was corroborated by his father, Richard Buffington, in the year 1739, on the an- 
niversary of his eighty-fifth birthday, by assembling all his descendants, who 
numbered 115, at his house in Chester; the first born, Richard, in the sixtieth 
year of his age, was among the number. 

On December 15, Richard Noble was commissioned Surveyor of Upland \/ 
in the place of Walter Wharton, deceased, who had held the office for both 
New Castle and Upland counties. On May 28, 1680, Governor Andros issued 
a new commission to "M"" Otto Ernest Coch, IVF Israel Helm, Mr. Henry 
Jones, Mr Lawsa Cock, and M"" George Brown to bee Justices of y^ Peace in 
y® Jurisdiction of Upland Court or County, in Delowar River & dependencies." 
It will be perceived that the number of justices is reduced from six to five — 
that two Englishmen have been substituted in the place of two Swedes, and 
that of the old bench only two justices have been retained. Though it is not 
known that any jealousy existed between the Swedes and English, the number 
of Englishmen who had settled on the west side of the river, made it necessary 
that they should be represented on the bench. As nearly as can be ascertained 
the places of residence of the justices were as follows : — Israel Helm, at Up- 
land; Otto Ernest Coch, at Tinicum; Henry Jones, at or near Wicaco; Law- 
rence Cock, at Moyamensing, and George Brown, nearly opposite to Trenton. 
As the Duke of York about this time, upon the judgment of Sir William 
Jones, yielded his rights to the government of West Jersey, the jurisdiction 
of the new justices did not extend to the east side of the river. They held 
their first court at Upland on June 8th, and among other things ordered a poll 
tax of one scipple of wheat, or 5 guilders to be levied, "for defraying y^ 
charges of this court's sitting, to be brought unto Justice Otto Ernest, att 
Tinnagcong Island." 


The justices also assumed the authority of removing tlie seat of justice 
from Upland. They say "that in regard that Upland crecke where ye Court 
hitherto has sate, is att y'' lower end of y* County, The Court therefore for y® 
most Ease of y*' people, have thought fitt for y'' future to sitt and meet att y** 
towue of Kingsesse in y*" Schuylkills." It does not appear that this first re- 
moval of our seat of justice met with any serious opposition from the inhabi- 
tants of Upland or its vicinity. 

The first court was held at the new seat of justice, on October 13th. If 
the increased amount of law business and the character of a considerable por- 
tion of it resulted from the removal of the court, the justices gained but little 
by the change. Among the cases tried, were three for "Slaunder and defama- 

For the due preserving "of y^ peace of o"" Souerayne Lord y® King," &c., 
the court found it necessary to appoint a constable "to officiate between the 
Schuylkill and Nieshambenies kill." The court also found it necessary to ap- 
point two "viewers of y^ Highwayes & roads & fences," who resided in the 
same district. There was one jury trial at this court, Init the names of the 
jurors are not given. The court did allow "of y^ jury's verdict," and passed 
judgment accordingly. 

Xo other court was hekl till March, 1681, when nothing of importance 
was transacted. At the court held in the following June. "Justice Otto Ernest 
Coch acquaints the Court, that hee has bought and paid of ye Indian proprie- 
tors a certaine swampy or marshy Island called by ye Indians quistconk Lying 
att the upper End of Tinnachkonk Island in ye river opposit andrews Boones 
creek ; and desires y*" Co""*^ approbation. The Cor*^ hauing well informed them- 
selves about y*" p'mises, doe allow thereof." There was also a jury of seven 
men empanelled at this court, viz. : "James Sauderlins, Will : Boyles. John 
Boeyar, barmen Ennis, Will : orian, andries petress and oele raesen." 

The Dutch clergyman at Wicaco, "Magisf Jacobus fabritius," "not find- 
ing his dues regularly paid," upon application to the court, obtained an order 
"that y® church wardens of the peticon''*^ church doe take care that Every one 
of those as haue signed and promised towards his maintaynance, doe pay him 
y® sumes promised, upon payne of Execution ag^*^ y*^ defective." This magister 
did well to make sure of his pay in time. The advent of a new government 
v/as at hand, in which such claims could n< it be viewed with much favor. 

Roads and highways are frequently mentioned in the proceedings of the 
Upland and New Castle courts, but it is not to be supposed that these ways, at 
this early day, were used for wheeled vehicles of any kind. The usual mode 
of travelling was either by water or on horseback ; but the roads, such as 
they were, required some repairs, and hence the appointment of overseers. 
No taxes were laid, but those who refused to work on the highways were sub- 
jicted to a fine. This practice continued for many years under Penn's govern- 
ment. The imposition of a fine of 25 guilders, for neglecting to work on the 
roads was among the last acts of the Upland court under the Duke's govern- 


During the year 1680, William Penn had been perseveringly, but success- 
fully negotiating with King Charles the Second and his ministers for a grant 
of the territory that now constitutes our great commonwealth. The only Eu- 
ropean settlements comprised within its limits were included in Upland county, 
and were subject to the jurisdiction of Upland court. Though Lord Baltimore, 
the proprietor of Maryland, was aware of every step taken by Penn to secure 
his grant, and, through his agents, interposed objections, it is not probable that 
the i)eoi)lc included within the limits of tlic embryo province had the faintest 
idea that they were about to be transferred from the iron rule of the un- 
scrupulous Duke of York, to the mild and peaceful government of the Quaker 
proprietor. The patent to Penn was executed on March 4th, 1681, while the 
last Upland court, under the Duke of York adjourned on the 14th of June, 
"till y® 2^ Tuesday of y^ month of September," — the very last act of the 
judges being the appointment of a surveyor and overseer of the highways from 
Poetquessing creek to the Falls of the Delaware, (Trenton,) the furthest point 
to which settlements had then been extended. 

Information of the grant to William Penn must have been communicated 
officially to the governrnent at New York very shortly after the adjournment 
of the last session of the Upland court. Governor Andros being absent, the 
king's letter on the subject, addressed to the inhabitants within the limits of 
the grant, was laid before Anthony Brockholl, the commander, and his coun- 
cil, no doubt, by William Markham, who, at the same time, submitted his com- 
mission from William Penn to be his deputy governor of the province. On 
June 2 1 St, the commander and council addressed a letter "To y'' severall Jus- 
tices of y® Peace, magistraets and other officers inhabiting w^^in y® bounds and 
limits" of the grant to Penn, notifying them of the change in their govern- 
ment, which letter was sent by Colonel Markham, who, no doubt, within a 
few days after the date of the letter, reached his government, and entered upon 
the duties of his office. This letter is the last entry made in the book containing 
the record of the LIpland court. 

Before parting with this record, which throws so much light on the his- 
tory of the time during which it was made, and from which I have drawn so 
liberally, it will be necessary to make some general observations. 

The territorial jurisdiction of the court, it will have been observed, was 
very extensive. Except the provisional line that separated it from New Castle 
county, its jurisdiction at first extended to the last approaches that civilization 
had made on the home of the savage. Subsequently its jurisdiction was 
limited to the west side of the Delaware. The earliest notice of a court at 
Upland, is on the i8th of August, 1672. Evidence of the existence of records 
of an earlier date than those which have come down to us, is found in these 
records themselves. These commence on the 14th of November, 1676, and end 
at the time just mentioned. When a court was first established at Upland 
cannot now be ascertained. It was in all probability as early as the establish- 
ment of English authority on the river, and may have been earlier. If but one 
court was at first established by the English, its probable location was at New 


Castle. Upon the establishment of two, the natural location of one of them 
would be Upland. At the time our record commences, it was one of three 
courts on the river — "one at New Castle, one above at Uplands, another below 
at the Whorekill ;" the latter evidently being of recent establishment. The 
court established at New Castle was the most important, being held monthly ; 
the others were to be held quarterly, "or oftener if occasion;" but that of Up- 
land was really held less frequently. 

These courts possessed both criminal and civil jurisdiction. In criminal 
matters their powers were about equal to those of our courts of quarter ses- 
sions, while in civil cases not involving more than i20 the judgment of each 
court was final. In cases involving a larger amount, an appeal could be taken 
to the court of assizes of New York, and so of crimes of the higher grades. 
Parties could demand a trial by jury, but in the Upland court this privilege 
was only claimed in three or four instances during the nearly five years that its 
records have been preserved, and in one of these instances the verdict of 
the jury was wholly disregarded by the court. By the "Duke's Lawes," no 
jury could "exceed the number seaven nor be under six, unless in special 
causes upon life and death, the justices shall think fitt to appoint tw^elve." This 
wnll account for only seven men being empanneled in one of the cases where 
the jurors' names are given in the record. Except in cases of life and death, 
the major part of the jury, when agreed, could give in a verdict, "the minor 
being concluded by the major without any allowance of any protest by any 
of them to the contrary." 

In equity matters the court of Upland exercised jurisdiction. It also 
made local regulations, which in these days would have required an act of the 
legislature. The justices, either as a court or a board, performed all the duties 
that are now performed by county commissioners, directors of the poor, and 
auditors. The court granted applications for taking up land, received returns 
of surveys, and had acknowledgments of transfers of real estate between 
parties made before it. It regulated the affairs of the church, and exercised a 
general supervision over the various concerns of the body politic — such as the 
repairs of highways, the maintenance of fences, the sale of the time of ser- 
vants, and even to the recording of the ear marks of cattle. Besides the court 
the sheriff and surveyor, the government possessed no agent charged with the 
performance of civil duties within the county of Upland. 

A legal gentleman who has carefully examined the record of the Upland 
court, remarks "that the forms of proceeding were of a character no less prim- 
itive and incongruous than the jurisdiction of the court, partaking rather of 
the nature of suits before an ordinary justice of the peace than those of a 
court of record. The 'Instructions' directed 'all writts, warrants, and proceed- 
ings at Lawe to be in his majesty's name.' A declaration, or informal state- 
ment of the cause of action seems to have been required, and a rule was 
adopted directing it to be entered at least one day before the court met. Al- 
though the technical names of actions were used in many cases, such as action 
on the case, slander, &c., no actual division of actions was known, these names 


having probably been taken from 'y*" Lawe Booke' referred to occasionally. 
'I'here does not, in fact, seem to have been any clearly drawn distinction be- 
tween civil and criminal cases ; a proceeding exclusively civil in its character 
frequently resulting in a judgment, partially at least, appropriate to a criminal 
case. In short, the whole method of practice was rather a dispensation of jus- 
tice, as the ideas of it existed in the heads, and was tempered by the hearts of 
the judges, than the administration of any positive law, written or unwritten." 

Offences, criminal in their nature, were usually punished by the imposi- 
tion of a fine; the want of a jail precluded imprisonment. Corporal punish- 
ment by whipping, was, in a few instances, resorted to by the court at New 
Castle, but it forms no part of any sentence of the court of Upland contained 
in the record. But this record has been mutilated by cutting out two leaves; 
and as the minutes of the court next following that of which the record is thus 
defective, contains a bill of costs against parties of bad repute, in which there 
is a charge of lOi guilders "for payment of the Indians that whipt," etc., it may 
be inferred that corporal punishment was resorted to in one single instance, 
and that Indians were employed in its infliction. In this view of the matter, 
it is not difficult to account for the mutilation of the record. 

The fines imposed were sometimes remitted by the court. This was 
especially the case when one of the justices had an interest in the matter. In 
one instance, a fine of 1000 guilders was thus remitted. An open acknowledg- 
ment in court of the offence committed, or the asking of forgiveness from the 
offended party, sometimes constituted a part or the whole of a sentence. 

The justices were uneducated, l)ut well-meaning men. A commendable de- 
sire to maintain the dignity of the positions they occupied had some little in- 
fluence upon their acts. Otherwise, the most careful scrutiny of the records 
will show that they acted with the strictest regard to justice and the preserva- 
tion of the public morals. This record, and that of New Castle court, give us 
a good idea of the condition of our people in these early times, socially and 

Common labor, per day, was worth from 50 styvers to 4 guilders, accord- 
ing to the season. Wheat was worth 5 guilders, rye and barley 4, and Indian 
corn 3 per scipple. Tobacco or pork was worth 8 styvers per lb., and bacon 
double as much. In 1677. New Castle court ordered "that the gilder pay should 
be recond ag^* Tobb^ in Maryland at 6 styv""^ pr lb." A cow was appraised at 
150 guilders, and other cattle at rather less prices. 

It was the practice of the Swedes to erect their dwellings immediately on 
the margin of the river or tide water creeks. Up to this time, very few if any 
houses had been erected in any other situations,— the few English settlers fol- 
lowing the example of the Swedes. 

With the recent accession of English Friends from New Jersey, the en- 
tire population of Upland county could not have exceeded five hundred, at 
the arrival of Governor Markham ; of these, less than one-third resided within 
the territorial limits of Delaware county. 

It has generally been supposed that Colonel Markham was accompanied 


to Pennsylvania by emigrants; and Proud, in lii'^ "History of Pennsylvania," 
leaves it to be inferred that this was the ease, and that he did not arrive till 
near the close of the year. His commission as deputy governor, first pub- 
lished in Hazard's Annals, is dated April lo, 1681. and we find it was laid be- 
fore the government ai Xew York ])revious td June 21. following. Colonel 
Markham doubtless proceeded directly to his government, and entered ui)on 
the responsible duties with which he had been entrusted. He could have 
made but little delay; for we find that on September 13. — the very day to 
which the old Upland court had adjourned, — a newly organized court for Up- 
land county was sitting and transacting business, composed of justices, sheriflF, 
and clerk, holding their appointments under him ; and on November 30th the 
Deputy Governor himself presiding over the same court. 

Governor Markham was the bearer of a letter, dated two days earlier than 
his commission, from William Penn, "for the inhabitants of Pennsylvania," 
which he was directed to read. In this letter the proprietor promises his peo- 
ple that they shall be governed by laws of their own making: that he will not 
usurp the rights of any, nor oppress his person ; and in short, that he would 
heartily comply with whatever sober and free men could reasonably desire for 
the security and improvement of their own happiness. This letter is in the 
well-known hand of William Penn. 

The commission to Colonel Markham empowers him "to call a council, 
and that to consist of nine, he presiding." In pursuance of this authority, he 
selected for that important trust Robert Wade, Morgan Drewet, William 
Woodmanson, William Marriner, Thomas Fairman, James Sandelandes. Will. 
Clayton, Otto Ernest Koch and Lacy Cock. L'nfortunately, no part of the 
record of the doings of this council has come down to us, except their attesta- 
tion, in which they say, "wee do hereby bind ourselves by our hands and 
seales, that wee neither act nor advise, nor consent, unto anything that shall 
not be according to our own consciences the best for y® true and well Govern- 
ment of the s"" Province, and Likewise to keep secret all y*" votes and acts of us 
y^ s*^ Councell unless such as by the General Consent of us are to be Pub- 
lished." This attestation is "Dated at Vpland y*" third day of August 1681." 
the day on which a government was first established for the province of Penn- 
sylvania. Upland was undoubtedly the seat of that government. These gen- 
tlemen councillors omitted to append their "seales" to their signatures, and two 
jf them did not write their own names. 

Colonel Markham also bore a letter from the King to Lord Baltimore, 
apprising him of the grant of Pennsylvania to Penn. Being authorized by his 
commission "to settle bounds" between the Proprietary and his neighbors ; and 
as it is said the King's letter required both parties to adjust boundaries, an in- 
terview was brought about between I^rd Baltimore and Markham at Up- 
land. By an astronomical observation made during this interview, it was as- 
certained that even Upland itself was twelve miles south of the parallel of 
40 degrees, which indicated the southern boundary of Pennsylvania. This dis- 
covery terminated the conference, and was the prelude to the protracted con- 


troversy between Penn and Lord Baltimore and their descendants, which at 
length resulted in the line of Mason and Dixon — a line, that for its notoriety- 
has been compared by a late writer to the equator. 

This discovery, it is supposed, was communicated to William Penn, and 
he having been an applicant to the Duke of York for a grant of New Castle and 
the settlements below on the Delaware, was thereby induced to press his ap- 
plication more strenuously, under the apprehension that he might lose the 
whole peninsula, in case of failure. On August 20th of the following year, 
Penn obtained from the Duke a release of all claim to the territory embraced 
within the limits of his patent, and, subsequently, a release of the territory now 
constituting the State of Delaware. 

With the royal charter, Penn published in England some account of his 
newly acquired province, with valuable suggestions and information necessary 
for persons disposed to become colonists under him. This paper is drawn up 
with much care and truthfulness. Much of it is taken up in demonstrating the 
importance of plantations or colonies to the mother country. The description 
of the province is brief, and by no means exaggerated ; valuable directions are 
given to those who determine to emigrate, and he concludes with a desire to 
all who may determine to go to those parts, "to consider seriously the premises, 
as well as the present inconveniences, as future ease and plenty, that none may 
move rashly, or from fickle, but solid mind, having above all things an eye to 
the providence of God in the disposal of themselves." 

While the public mind in England, particularly the Quaker element of it 
was thus directed to the new province. Governor Markham was administer- 
ing affairs here very much after the fashion that had heretofore prevailed. 
He appears to have been indisposed to make any unnecessary innovations on 
the established order of things. It has already been mentioned that the first 
court under the new government was held on the day to which the last session 
of the former court had adjourned. The first session of the new court was 
not, however, at "the towne of Kingesse," but at Upland, where, no doubt, 
Governor Markham had fixed his residence. The justices of this court were 
"Messrs. William Clayton, Wm. Warner, Robert Wade, Otto Ern^* Cock, Wil- 
liam Byles, Robert Lucas. Lasse Cock, Swan Swanson and Andreas Bankson ;" 
the sheriff, John Test, and clerk, Thomas Revell. Of the justices, five are 
Englishmen and four Swedes, two of whom had been members of the former 
Court. The "Duke's Laws" were now inoperative. In pursuance of the Dep- 
uty Governor's instructions, all was to be done "according to the good laws of 
England." But the new court, during the first year of its existence, failed to 
comply with these laws in a very essential particular,— persons were put upon 
trial without the intervention of a Grand Jury. No provision was made under 
the Duke's laws for this safeguard of the citizen, and the new justices acted 
for a time in accordance with former usage. A petit jury, so rare under the 
former court, now participates in every trial where facts are in dispute. In 
criminal cases, the old practice is adhered to of making the prosecutor plain- 


The first case that came up for consideration was that of Peter Errickson^ 
i'lff. vs. Harmon Johnson and Margaret his wife, Deft. An action of "AssauU 
de Batt^'." Jurors — Morgan Drewett, Wm. Woodmanson, W ni. Hewes, James 
Browne, Henry Reynolds, Robert Schooley, Richards Pittman, Lassey Dal- 
boe, John Ackraman, Peter Rambo, Jr., Henry Hastings, and William Oxley. 
Witness, William Parke. The jury find for the plaintiff; give him 6d. dam- 
ages, his costs of suit. 

In the next case the parties are reversed ; the offence charged being the 
same, and tried by the same jurors. The witnesses were Anna Coleman, Rich- 
ard Buftington, and Ebenezer Taylor. The jury tind for the plaintiffs 40- 
[shillings] and their costs of suit. 

At this first session of the court, nine cases w^ere tried and sixteen with- 
drawn ; among the latter were two "for disobeying the justice's order." In 
the last case tried, which was for debt, the verdict was 62 guilders — an evidence 
of the lasting influence of the ascendency of the Dutch on the river. 

It having come to the ears of Justice Lassey Cock that he had been ac- 
cused of speaking certain improper words to the Indians, proclamation was 
made in the court "that if any had anything against him, they should declare 
it ; whereupon Daniel Brenson and Charles Brigham, upon oath, together with 
Walter Humphrey, upon his solemn attestation, declared what they heard cer- 
tain Indians speak against him and Captain Edmund Cantwell ; the said Lassey 
Cock, upon oath, declared his innocency. and that he had never s])oken those 
words to the Indians, or any of that nature, was thereupon cleared by the 

Letters of administration were granted by the court to Caspar Fiske on 
the estate of Eusta Daniell — security in iioo, given to Robert Wade and Wil- 
liam Clayton. 

Besides the English names already mentioned, there occur in the proceed- 
ings of this court those of Richard Ridgeway, Francis Stephenson, Richard 
Noble, John Champion, Thomas Nossiter, John Wood, and William Cobb. 
These and many others had become residents of Upland county prior to the 
date of Penn's patent. Most of those who were Friends emigrated with the 
early West Jersey settlers, but for some reason settled on the west side of 
the river. 

At the next court, which was held on November 30, Deputy Governor 
]\Iarkham presided, and James Sandelandes and Thomas Fairman, with all 
those who held the last court, sat as justices, except \\'illiam Warner, who was 
absent. But four cases were tried at this court; one withdrawn and one con- 

Three ships sailed from England for Pennsylvania this year ; two from 
London and one from Bristol. No particulars of the arrival of the "John and 
Sarah," which is said to have arrived first, are given ; but we are informed by 
Proud, that the Bristol "Factor," Roger Drew, commander, "arrived at the place 
where Chester now stands, on December 11, where the passengers seeing some 
houses, went on shore at Robert Wade's landing near the lower side of Chester 


creek ; and the river having froze up that night, the passengers remained there 
all winter." The other ship, the "Amity," '^having been blown off to the West- 
Indies, did not arrive until the spring of the next year." 

Proud places the arrival of William Markham in one of these ships, with 
certain commissioners, whom he says were joined with him, "to confer with 
the Indians or Aboriginies of the country respecting their lands, and to con- 
firm with them a league of peace." It is possible that certain commissioners 
arrived on board of one or more of these vessels, but they were not associated 
with the Deputy Governor as has been mentioned. The only purchase of land 
that was made from the Indians for the Proprietary before his arrival, was 
the large purchase on the Delaware above Shackamaxon, which was made by 
Markham alone, although the commissioners were then in the country. 

The commissioners were William Crispin, William Haige, John Bezer, 
and Nathaniel Allen. W^illiam Crispin was appointed surveyor-general as 
well as commissioner, but died before his arrival, whereupon Thomas Holme 
was appointed in his place. Though they appear to have been authorized to 
treat with the Indians and purchase their lands, their instructions show that 
their main business was to fix upon the site of and lay out a city — to survey 
and apportion lands and city lots among the newly arrived immigrants, who 
had for the most part made their purchases in England. The following ex- 
tract from these instructions, no doubt gave rise to the tradition that Penn 
had fixed on Upland or Chester as the site of his great city. 

"That having taken what care you can for the people's good, in these respects above- 
said, let the rivers and creeks be sounded on my side of Delaware River, especially Up- 
land, in order to settle a great town, and be sure to make your choice where it is most 
navigable, high, dry, and healthy; that is where most ships may best ride, of deepest 
draught of water, if possible to load or unload at the bank or keys 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 see- 
ing the bottom." 

The celebrated "conditions and concessions" agreed upon between Penn 
and those who became "adventurers and purchasers" under him, were pub- 
lished in England some time before the date of the letter of instructions to the 
commissioners. Thomas Holme, the surveyor-general, did not arrive till the 
last of June of the following year. 

Although the minutes of the council of Governor Markham are not to be 
found, there is a document preserved that shows that one of its first acts was 
the prohibition of the sale of strong drinks to the Indians. This paper is a pe- 
tition to the Governor and council over the uncouth signatures of Passayunk 
Indians, asking the removal of the prohibition, on the ground that there was 
no prohibition in New Castle, "and that they find it a greater ill-convenience 
than before, our Indians going down to New Castle, and there buying rum and 
making them more debauched than before." 

It will be remembered that Robert Wade was settled at Upland in 1675, 


and that W illiani lulnunidMiu. a iravrlling preacher of the Society of Friends, 
held a meeting;; at his house (hiring that year. Robert Wade was a purchaser 
from John I'enwick, in England, and it is supposed emigrated with him in 
1675. but from some cause he preferreil to settle at U])land, being, with his 
wife, among the first Quakers who settled in Pennsylvania. It is n(jt there- 
fore probable that a Friends' meeting was held in Pennsylvania earlier than 
that year, — the first being held at the house of Robert Wade. No meeting of 
record was held till the year 1681, the following being the earliest minute: 
"The 10"^ day of the it"' month 1681. A monthly meeting of Friends belong- 
ing to Marcus-hook, alias the Chester and Upland, held at the house of Robert 

These meetings for a time were held alternately at the places designated, 
and constituted one monthly meeting. That held at Robert Wade's eventually 
became "Chester Monthly Meeting," while from the Chichester, or Marcus 
Hook ]\Ieeting, originated at first the Chichester Monthly Meeting, which sub- 
sequently became merged in that of Concord. 

The only Quaker heads of families that were settled at Chester and Mar- 
cus Hook, or in the vicinity of those places, before the arrival of the first ship 
sent out by Penn, so far as the author can discover, were Robert Wade, Roger 
Pedrick, Morgan Drewet, William Woodmanson, Michael Izzard, Thomas 
Revel, Henry Hastings. \\'illiam Oxley, James Browne, Henry Reynolds, and 
Thomas Nossiter. There were no other Friends then settled within the pres- 
ent territorial limits of our county, but quite a number were located higher up 
the river on the Pennsylvania side of it. 

The next court for Upland county was held at Upland on March 14, 1682. 
which, according to the record, is still within the year i68r. This court was 
held by the same or nearly the same justices. Deputy Governor Markham pre- 
siding. The details of a trial that occurred at this court are given, to illustrate 
the manner of conducting judicial proceedings in these primitive times : 

"J A , bound by recognizance to appear at this Court to answer our 

Sovereign Lord the King upon the accusation of Richard Noble, Peter Rambo Jun"", and 
Lawrence Lawrenson, who were bound over to prosecution.. This Court proceeded 
upon indictment; to which the prisoner pleaded not guilty: and put himself upon the 
tryal &c., of this Jury:" "Jurors: George Foreman Gent, John Child, Nathaniel 
Allen, Nathaniel Evans, William Oxley, John Akraman, Albert Hendrickson, Mons Pe- 
terson, Wooley Rawson, John Cock, Erich Cock, Peter Yoakum." 

"Richard Noble deposed that hee, with several others, found divers peeces of burnte 
porke or bacon in the said A's house; and also that hee the said Richard Noble with 

others found hidden in unfrequented places in an out house belonging to the said J 

A , where, (as an Indian had before then informed them.) the said \ 

used to hide porke; and further deposed that the said A gave out tiireatining 

words against the officers and others who came to search." 

"Peter Rambo Junr. and Lawrence Lawrenson deposed the same as above. Judith 

Noble deposed that the said A gave out threatning words against the officers who 

came to search." 

"Francis Walker deposed that a person who bought a peece of porke of the said 
A •. told him the said Walker that the said porke had a bullet in it." 


"Francis Stephens deposed that the said A being asked concerning a hogg's 

head, (hee, the said A , having then a headless hogg,) where the head then was, 

hee, the said A , answered, hee had left the head down the river; and the said 

A 's boy said noe, the hogg's head is upon the mill att home." 

"John Hollinshead gave in his evidence before Thomas Budd, a magistrate at Bur- 
lington, which was also produced under the hand of the said Thomas Budd, being of the 
same import with the deposition of the aforesaid Francis Stephens." 

"Thomas Wallis gave in his evidence before the same Thomas Budd, and testified 
under the hand of the said Thomas Budd, of the same import with the aforesaid Judith 
Noble's testimony." 

"Another examination of notorious circumstances, of a stranger who lay at the 

said A 's, taken by Mahlon Stacey. a magistrate at the Falls, and signified under his 


"The jury bring in the prisoner not guilty, and thereupon by order of Court is dis- 

The following minute of the doings of the same court, is a further proof 
that Governor Markham and his council had placed some restraint upon the 
sale of strong drink, to others besides the Indians. 

"Henry Reynolds having appeared to answer for his selling strong liquors by small 
measure in his house contrary to the Governor and Councel's order; upon his submission 
to the Court, was discharged." 

"Overseers for the Highways nominated and elected at the Court, March 14**^, 1681 
[1682] for one year next ensuing, which is to be done within their respective precincts, 
before the last day of May next, ut sequitur : Woolley Rawson, from Marcus creek to 
Naman's creek. Robert Wade, from Naaman's [Marcus] Creek to Upland creeke. Wil- 
liam Oxley from Upland Creeke to Ammersland. Mons Stawket from Ammersland to 
Karkus mill. Peter Yokeham from Karkus Mill to Schore kill [Schuylkill] falls. An- 
dreas Rambo from Schore kill falls to Tawrony [Tacony] Creeke. Erick Mullikay from 
Tawrony Creeke to Poynessink Creek. Clause Johnson from Poynessink creeke to 
Samuel Cliffs. John Akraman from Samuel Cliffs to Gilbert Wheelers." 

Gilbert Wheeler's residence was in the neighborhood of Trenton, which 
shows the territorial extent of Upland county. The main road that re- 
quired repairs appears to have crossed the Schuylkill and other streams at or 
near the head of tide water. 

On June 12, messengers from Lord Baltimore, with letters to Governor 
Markham, arrived at Upland, but the Governor being on a visit to New York, 
James Sandelandes and Robert Wade dispatched a messenger to him, with 
the Lord Baltimore's communication, and also a letter from them, advising 
him that Commissioners were in waiting, ready to meet him at Bohemia river. 

"The grant formerly made from Governor Markham to the inhabitants of 
Marcus Hooke att their request for the calling the name of the said Town Chi- 
chester, which said grant bears date the twentieth day of April, 1682, and was 
read and published in the court held at Upland June the thirteenth Anno 
1682, according to order as a record thereof." This was the fourth court held 
under Governor Markham's administration. 

At the first court under his government, the English currency of pounds, 
shillings and pence was introduced, but at this court there was a return to the 


old currency of guilders, so difticult is it to change the established customs of a 
people. One verdict at this court is for 6i6 guilders, and there are several for a 
less number. "Skipps of wheat," also occur in the proceedings. 

The next court in order was h.eld on September 12, 1682. Governor 
Markham officiated as president, and was assisted by several of the justices 
that have been named. 

The first grand jury that ever sat in Pennsylvania of which there is any 
record, was summoned to attend at this court. Their names, as given in the 
minutes of the court are : William Clayton, Thomas Brassey, John Symcock, 
Tho. Sary, Robert Wade, Lawrence Cock, John Hart, Nath". Allen, William 
Woodmanson, Tho^. Coebourne, John Otter and Joshua Hastings ; being one 
iialf the usual number. These jurors were summoned in the case of Lassey, 
alias Lawrence Dalboe, and are called his "Grand Jury." 

The first order for filing an administration account w^as made at this 
court. The administrator was directed to appear at the next or the following 
court, "and bring into the court the bills of the creditors or other satisfaction, 
signifying to the court the justness of each particular debt, and also to produce 
his receipts for what he hath paid." This is the last court held previous to the 
arrival of the Proprietary. Quite a number of Friends had arrived here since 
Markham came to the country. Among those who settled within the territorial 
limits of Delaware county, were Richard Fewe, John Kennerly, Thomas Co- 
bourn, Jeremiah Collett, Richard Worrall, Henry Grubb, and John Simcock. 

Before introducing the Proprietary into this land of promise, it may not 
be amiss to enlighten the reader in respect to the progress made in religious 
affairs by the Friends who had preceded him. At a monthly meeting held at 
Chester the nth of the 7th mo. (September) 1682, it was agreed "that a 
meeting shall be held for the service and worship of God every first day of the 
week at the court house at Chester." It was also agreed "that there be three 
meetings in the week : the western part to meet at Chichester the 5th day of 
the week ; the middle meeting at Harold at the house of William Woodman- 
son the 4th day of the week, and the eastern meeting at Ridley at John Sim- 
cocks the 5th day of the week until otherwise ordered." It was further or- 
dered that "the monthly meeting for business be held the i^' Second day of 
the week in every month at the house of Robert Wade." 

The world did not contain a more busy man tlian William Penn, from 
the time the charter for Pennsylvania was granted to him until he sailed for 
America. Besides the documents issued by him, that have already been men- 
tioned, he incorporated a company with extraordinary powers and privileges, 
styled the "Free Society of Traders :" he published his "Frame of Govern- 
ment for the province of Pennsylvania, together with certain laws agreed ui)on 
in England by the Governor and divers freemen of the aforesaid Province ;" 
he obtained from the Duke of York a release of any claims he might have to 
the province of Pennsylvania ; and also two deeds of feoffment for the terri- 
tory now constituting the State of Delaware — one being for twelve miles 
round New Castle, and the other for the balance of the territory below : he 


wrote innumerable letters to his friends, and sundry epistles to the settlers and 
the Indians, besides being subjected to various importunities to part with his 
lands and to confer privileges on terms different from those which he had 
adopted and published. 

With his mind thus overtasked with questions of the highest moment, 
would it not have been wonderful if he had committed no mistakes? Is it 
not strange that he committed so few ? We may at this day be startled at some 
of the privileges granted to "The Free Society of Traders ;" but may we not, 
with Penn's limited experience with corporations, believe in the sincerity of his 
assurance, that it was "a Society without oppression : wherein all may be con- 
cerned that will ; and yet have the same liberty of private traffique, as though 
there were no Society at all." Certainly we may concede this much, when it 
is known that he resisted the ^great temptation" of £6000 and two and a half 
per cent, acknowledgment or rent for a monopoly of the Indian trade between 
the Susquehanna and Delaware with 30,000 acres of land, the Indian title of 
which to be extinguished by the corporation. Penn's ideas of government 
were greatly in advance of the age in which he lived. The few errors he com- 
mitted were the result of surrounding circumstances. No friend of humanity 
can quibble over these, when he reflects upon the mighty impulse that was 
given to the cause of free government by his many wise and prudent measures. 

Having completed his arrangements in England, Penn sailed from Deal 
on the 30th of the sixth month (then August), on board of the ship "Wel- 
come," Robert Greenaway commander, in company with about one hundred 
passengers, mostly members of the Society of Friends, the major part of 
whom were from Sussex. Great distress was experienced during the passage, 
in consequence of the breaking out of the small-pox, of which loathsome dis- 
ease thirty of the emigrants died. Otherwise the voyage was prosperous, the 
vessel arriving at New Castle on October 27, 1682. On the next day, Penn 
having produced his deeds of feoflFment from the Duke of York for the twelve 
miles surrounding New Castle, and also for the country below, the possession 
and seisin of the New Castle grant were formally given to him by John Moll 
and Ephraim Herman, who had been constituted attorneys for that purpose 
by his Royal Highness. At the same time, a number of the inhabitants signed 
a pledge of their obedience to the Proprietary. On the same day he com- 
missioned justices for New Castle, and constituted Markham his attorney to 
receive the possession of the territory below from the attorneys of the Duke. 

A letter addressed to Ephraim Herman in respect to summoning a court 
to be held at New Castle on November 2Tid, and dated at Upland on October 
29, shows that he had then arrived at his seat of government. He may have 
arrived the day before. The fancy of the artist has portrayed the landing of 
Penn at Upland ; but neither the hour, the day, nor the manner of his landing, 
is certainly known. 

He landed at Upland, but the place was to bear that familiar name no 
more for ever. Without reflection, Penn determined that the name of this 
place should be changed. "Turning round to his friend Pearson, one of his 


own society, who Iiad accompanied him in the shijj 'Welcome,' he said^ 
'Providence has brought us here safe. Thuu hast been the companion of my 
perils. What wilt thou that 1 should call this place?' Pearson said 'Chester,' 
in remembrance of the city from whence he came. William I Vnn replied that 
it should be called Chester, and that when he divided the land into counties, 
one of them should be called l)y the same name." Thus from a mere whim, 
the name of the oldest town ; the name of the whole settled part of the prov- 
ince ; the name that would naturally have a place in the affections of a large 
majority of the inhabitants of the new province, was effaced, to gratify the 
caprice or vanity of a friend. All great men occasionally do little things. 

Immediately after Penn's arrival, he dispatched messengers to Lord lialti- 
more, evidently for the purpose of procuring an interview and a settlement of 
their difficulties. He at the same time went to New York, to "pay his duty" 
to the Duke by way of a visit to his government Upon his return he caused 
three counties to be laid off — Chester, Philadelphia, and Bucks. The precise 
time and manner of making these divisions will probably be ascertained when 
the record of the doings of Governor Markham and his council is discovered. 
The lines on either side of Chester county, it will hereafter be seen, were not 
very definitely fixed for some time. 

In pursuance of writs of election sent to the sheriff's of the several coun- 
ties, elections were held for members of assembly. No list of the members 
elected has been discovered ; the names of several appear in the imperfect min- 
utes of their proceedings. 

The first assembly was held at Chester, 4th of 10th mo. (December) 1682, 
being the second day of the week. The first business was the appointment of 
a committee on election privileges, consisting of Christopher Taylor for Bucks 
county ; President Moore for Philadelphia, John Simcock for Chester, Wil- 
liam Clark for Deal, and Francis Whitwell for Jones. "A committee for 
Grievance" was also appointed, viz : Griffith Jones, Luke Watson, William 
Sample, William Yardley, and Thomas Brassey. It was resolved that Ralph 
Withers "on extraordinary occasions, have leave from this house to be absent 
to-morrow." Then "the house adjourned to the loth hour to-morrow." 

"About the time appointed, the house sat." "Dr. ^Nloore, president of the 
Society in Philadelphia," [of Free Traders] it was reported by the committee, 
"should be preferred as chairman." Then they called to account the sheriff of 
New Castle for undue electing a member to serve in assembly for that county. 
John Moll was declared duly elected from New Castle, instead of Abraham 

John Simcock and Christopher TayKtr were ajipointed a committee of 
"Foresight for the preparation of provincial bills. Then the House proceed 
further unto four more for the said committee, viz, W"^ Clark, Nicholas 
Moore, president, Griffith Jones, and Luke Watson." 

"It being moved that an address be sent to the Governor, by four select 
members, humbly to desire him to honour the house with a transmission of his 
constitutes; and thereupon appointed Thomas Holmes, surveyor general, Wil- 


liani Clarke. Thomas Winn, and Edward Southrin, should go with the afore- 
said address, and make a return of his answer in the afternoon." In the after- 
noon, "the Governor's answer by the four members was : that the constitutions 
they desired were not ready, but when ready he would immediately send them 
by one of his servants." 

Rules and regulations for the government of the proceedings of the As- 
sembly were adopted, some of which are not found in legislative manuals of 
the present day. "Offending members were to be reproved for the tirst of- 
fence; for the second reproval and fine of I2d., and so for each offence not to 
exceed los." A resolution was not before the House till "seconded or thirded." 
Any member presuming to pervert the sense of questions agreed to by the 
house, was to be "put out of the house." Two members were elected, "to in- 
spect which party carried it by the major votes, on diversity of votes arising 
in the house." On the question, "whether the house now proceed or not," on 
a division, the noes go out ; if for adjournment, the yeas. None to speak but 
once before the question is put, nor after but once. Most of the rules adopted 
are, however, substantially the same as those now used in legislative bodies, 
though given in the quaint language of the day. 

A question propounded by the speaker — "Whether any absolute note of 
distinction betwixt one officer and another should be concluded on by vote as 
the carrying a white rod or reed," shows there was some disposition to follow 
the etiquette of the home government. This question was left in suspense. 

A petition was presented "for an act of Union" between the freemen of 
the three lower counties and those of Pennsylvania. It was delivered by John 
Moll and Francis Whitwell, in the name of the rest of the freeholders, and 
"was accepted and approved of by the whole house." The act providing for the 
"aforesaid Union," after being regularly passed, was carried by the president 
and Christopher Taylor to the Governor, in order to get "his subscription as 
an established law." 

A petition is presented to the Governor from the Swedes, Finns and 
Dutch, that he "would be pleased to make them as free as other members of 
this province, and that their lands may be entailed on them and their heirs for- 

"The printed laws and the written laws or constitutions" were at length 
brought before the house, and after having been altered or amended, were fin- 
ally adopted. "The power of the Free Society of Traders was also debated." 
This ended the second day's proceedings. 

"The house met again about half an hour past seven in the morning of the 
7th day of the loth month, 1682." The Governor, assuming the chair, ex- 
presses himself in an obliging and religious manner to the house." After hav- 
ing been consulted by the president on "divers material concerns," the Gover- 
nor "urges upon the house his religious counsel." A debate of some warmth 
appears to have ensued in respect to the time to which the assembly should ad- 
journ : twenty-one days appears to have been fixed on, at which the members 
of the lower counties "were in a great strait." Two members were thereupon 


appointed to inform the Governor of it, who returned with intelhgence tliat 
the Governor is wilHng "that the assembly adjourn for twenty-one days, which 
was done by order of the speaker." There was probably no meeting held at 
the end of twenty-one days, or at any other time by this first legislature. There 
are no minutes of such a meeting, nor laws of that date. 

No list of members being given, the names of all the representatives from 
Chester county cannot be given. The following Chester county names appear 
incidentally in the minutes : — John Simcock, Thomas Brasey, Ralph Withers, 
and Thomas Usher. It would appear that the members of the "first Assem- 
bly" received no pay for their services. The next assembly did not, however, 
allow a question of such vital importance to pass by without being "argued." 

"The great law, or the body of laws." embracing many sections or sepa- 
rate laws, was passed by the first assembly, besides the act of Union and Nat- 
uralization and the Act of Settlement. 

All the acts except the last had been prepared and well considered, before 
being presented to the legislature. This act became necessary on account of 
the people of the several counties refusing to elect seventy-two members of 
council, and to assemble in mass to constitute the first assembly, as had been 
provided for by Penn in his "Frame of Government," and in accordance with 
the writs that had been issued to the sheriffs of the several counties. This act 
fixed the number of the council at three from each county, and the assembly at 
double that number. It also provides for other matters connected with future 
legislation. It was no doubt prepared at Chester on the occasion, and this fact 
explains why the Proprietary was not ready for the assembly when they met. 

On what was considered the most reliable tradition, it has been universally 
believed that this assembly held its sittings in an old building which till recently 
stood on the west side of Filbert street, near the margin of Chester creek, and 
which was familiarly known as "the old Assembly house." It will be shown 
in another place that this building was erected several years subsequently to 
the sitting of the assembly. It is most probable that the first assembly sat in 
the "House of defence," as it was then the only public building erected in Up- 
land of which we have any account. 

Every material particular in respect to the first assembly has been given, 
because its sittings were held within the territorial limits of what was then 
Chester, but is now Delaware county. The next assembly under a new elec- 
tion was held at Philadelphia on March 12, following, where it continued to sit, 
with occasional meetings at New Castle, while the union with the Lower Coun- 
ties lasted. 

The last court for the county of Upland, embracing all the settled parts of 
Pennsylvania, was held on September 12, 1682. The first court for Chester 
county met at Chester on February 14, following, but from some cause ad- 
journed till the 27th of that month without transacting any business. .At this 
court there is a marked change in the aspect of things. The name of no 
Swede remains in the list of justices, and but two are found in the list of 


jurors, and the 3klr. that had ahvays been appended to the names of the jus- 
tices, and to that of the clerk and sheriff, is now uniformly omitted. 

The form of attestation for jurors, adopted by Penn, is not given in the 
records of the Chester court. The following is recorded at New Castle, under 
date of February 22, 1682-3 • 

"The forme to bee used in y^ Roome of y^ oath for y^ Jury as the same was de 
livered in Cor^ by y® Hono^i William Penn vizt. 

"You Solemnly promis in ye presence of God & this Cor* that you will Justly try & 
deliver in yC verdict in all cases depending, that shall be brought before you during this 
session of Court according to evidence, and ye laws of this government to ye best of yo'" 

The justices who held this court — the first for Chester county, as it had 
recently been established — were John Simcock, president; Thomas Brasey, 
William Clayton, Robert Wade, and John Boyer; the sheriff was Thomas 
Usher ; the clerk, Thomas Revel. The jurors summoned were "William Raw- 
son, James Browne, Jeremiah Collet, William Hewes, Walter Martin, Nath' 
Evans, Joshua Hastings, William Woodmanson, Thomas Cobourne, Albert 
Hendrickson, Joseph Richards, Edward Carter, and Thomas Vernon." 

George Thompson appeared before this court to answer the charge of 
being married to one Merriam Short, "contrary to the laws of the province ;" 
but no one appearing against him, he was discharged. The officiating priest, 
Lawrence Carolus, did not fare so well. He was bound over to appear at the 
next court for performing the marriage service for Thompson. 

At the next court, "held at Chester for the County of Chester, on the 
27th of the 4th month, called June, 1863, "William Penn, Esq'" Proprietory 
and Governor," presided. The names of Otto Ernest Cock and Ralph Withers 
appear among the justices at this court. Among the grand and petit jurors 
there was a fair sprinkling of Swedes. 

The following singular verdict was rendered at this court : "The jury 
find for the Plaint : and give him a cow and a calf, the same to be delivered 
within 7 days or 4^ 19s. 2d. at the choyce of the Plaint : or the value thereof in 
Porke, Beefe or Corne in the 8th mo : next & 40s. damages & Costs of suit." 

It was "ordered by the court that a tax for defraying the public charges 
be raysed within this county ; and in order to the effecting the same with jus- 
tice and proportion, three of the magistrates of the county are to meet weekly." 

"John Ward, for sundry Felons, committed to the custody of the sheriff, 
and made his escape with irons upon him." From this it may be inferred that 
At yet there was no building in Chester that would rank as a jail. This Ward 
had robbed James Sandelandes and George Foreman, whom the court ordered 
10 receive back their goods. The early judicial proceedings of the province 
would indicate that a number of professional rogues had smuggled themselves 
over in some of the numerous immigrant vessels that were arriving about this 
time, or else had made their way here from other provinces. 

The following constables were selected at this court: "For Chichester 


liberty. Will'" Hewes; Chester lil)Lri\ , 'rhoina< Cubourn ; Derby liberty, Thom- 
as Worth; Ammersland liberty, Will'" Cobb; Concord liberty, Jn° Menden- 

Besides the regular county courts, there was established in each county 
another tribunal invested with the power of hearing and determining matters 
in liiigation. The persons composing it were termed "Peace Makers," and 
were appointed by the courts. They possessed about the same power, and oc- 
cupied the same position as arbitrators of the present day, but they were not 
appointed with reference to any particular case, and held periodical meetings. 
The court orders them "to meet the first fourth day in every month." 

Among the cares that engrossed the attention of William Penn during his 
first visit to Pennsylvania, was the purchase of lands from the Indians. The 
boundaries mentioned in the numerous deeds to him from the Aborigines, are 
frequently uncertain and overlap each other ; and while it cannot be doubted 
that he was careful to secure titles from the "right owners," it appears to have 
been his policy to liquidate any other claims that might be set up, and to take 
deeds from the claimants, rather than to engage in litigation with savages. 
One of these deeds, that gives us the Indian name of Chester creek, and em- 
braces nearly the whole county east of that stream, commences thus : 

''We, Secane & IcQUOQUEHAN, Indian Schackamakers and right owners of y« 
Lands Lying between Manaiunk als. Schulkill and Macopanackhan, als. Chester River, 
doe this 14th day of y^ fifth month, in y^ J'ear, according to English account, 1683, hereby 
grannt and sell all o"'' Right & title in y® s<^ Lands Lying between y^ s'^ Rivers, begin- 
ning on y*? West side of Manaiunk, called Consohocken, & from thence by a Westerly 
Line to y^ s<^ River Macopanackhan, unto William Penn Proprie*'"" * * * &c_ 

The consideration is the usual quantity of wampum, blankets, duffils, ket- 
tles, guns, &c., but no rum, and to the deed are appended the peculiar marks of 
the grantors. 

The next court was held on the 22d of the 6th month "called August." A 
civil case of vast importance, involving the title oi the whole Island of Tini- 
cum, was tried at this court. The case stands on the record : "Arnoldus Dela- 

grange Pltff : Otto Erns*^ Cock Deft : The Plaintiff sues and declares as 

Heire Tynnicum Island & premises." It will be remembered that Mrs. Pape- 
goya had sold the Island to a Mr. De La Grange, who, it appears, was the fath- 
er of this plaintiff. He dying soon after, his widow married Andrew Carr. 
Against these jjarties, in the court of assizes of New York, in 1672, Mrs. Pape- 
goya obtained a heavy verdict, and was shortly afterwards put in possession of 
the Island, which she had sold to Otto Ernest Cock, previous to this date. 

Abraham 'Sla.n acted as attorney for the plaintiff, and John White for 
the defendant — neither of them being residents of the county. It was ad- 
mitted that the plaintiff's father was legally possessed of Tinicum, but that 

amount of purchase money was paid, and that, "the Lady Armgard 

Prince had tryall and execution thereupon & was put in possession of the 
same premises, and sold the same to the defendant." On behalf of the plain- 


tiff it was set forth "that he the said pltff. (who was heir to the said Island,) 
at the time of the said Tryall & Execution, was under age and in Holland, and 
therefore could make no defence; and further that the said Heire (this pltfif:) 
was not mentioned in the said tryall ; the action being commenced against An- 
drew Carre and priscilla his wife, mistaken in the execution for the mother of 
the pltff: whose mother's name was Margaretta." The parties appear to have 
entered into an agreement pending the trial, in accordance with which the jury 
rendered their verdict in favor of the plaintiff, with costs and forty shillings 
damages ; "The Pltf : paying to the Deft. Thirty seven-pounds & Tenne shil- 
lings," * * * "also delivering the Block house & peticulars in the same 
agreement mentioned."' 

The practice of acknowledging deeds in open court, under Penn's govern- 
ment, commenced with this court. 

At the following court, "held on the 17*^*^ of the 8'^ month, called Octo- 
ber," 1683, the inhabitants of Providence made their application to the court 
lor a highway leading to the town of Chester. It was accordingly ordered by 
the court "that the grand jury doe meete on the 22d instant at Thomas Nossi- 
ters, there to consider the premises." This is the first time that the name of 
Providence has appeared as a division of Chester county. The grand jury 
"was empannelled to look out a convenient highway from Providence to Ches- 
ter," but their report is not recorded. The name of Robert Eyre appears now 
for the first time as clerk of the court, in the place of Thomas Revel ; and 
at the following court, held on December 14, Thomas Withers supplies the 
place of Thomas Usher as sheriff. In a case before this court, in which the 
plaintiff suffered a non suit, the matter was referred by the court to the "peace 

From the circumstance that several of Penn's letters written during the 
winter of 1683 were dated at Chester, it is believed that he resided at that 
place nearly up to March 10. when his first council was assembled at Philadel- 
phia. The members of the council being now reduced to three from each 
county ; those from Chester were John Simcock, Ralph Withers and William 
Clayton. The second assembly was convened at Philadelphia two days after- 
wards, and continued its session twenty-two days. But little was done at this 
session specially relating to Chester county except the establishment of a seal, 
the design of which was a plow. The first charter, which it was found impos- 
sible to conform with, in respect to the number of representatives, was, in an 
amended form, accepted from the Governor, "with the hearty thanks of the 
whole House." 

This year the noted "Chester Mills" were erected on Chester creek, a lit- 
tle above the site of the present manufacturing village of Upland. Richard 
Townsend, who came over with William Penn, in a letter written in 1727, 
says, "After some time I set up a mill on Chester creek, which I brought ready 
framed from London ; which served for grinding corn and sawing of boards ; 
and was of great use to us." From this it might be inferred that Richard 


Townsend was chiefly instrumental in the erection of these mills, which was 
not the case, he being only one of ten partners who furnished the means. 

The i)artncrshi]) was established b\- virtue of a verbal agreement in 1682, 
probably before the partners left England, "for the erection of one or more 
water mills, by them intended to be built and erected in said Province [of 
P'ennsylvania | . and in gears, utensils and implements, i)ropcr for such an un- 
dertaking, and in all such lands buildings and conveniences as might be neces- 
sary to accommodate the same." The whole concern was divided into thirty- 
two equal parts, of which William Penn "was to have and bear five parts there- 
of, both in profit and loss ;"' Philip Ford, 5 ; John Bellars, 5 ; Daniel Whorley, 
5; Daniel Quare, 2; John Barker, 2; Richard Townsend, 4; John Bickley, 2; 
Thomas Burberry, i ; and Caleb Pusey, i. These partners agreed that Caleb 
Pusey should be agent and manager "of the joint concern," who accordingly, 
"soon after the first arrival of the Proprietary in the Province, obtained two 
warrants from him, for taking up lands to set the said mills upon." By virtue 
of these warrants two parcels of land — one on each side of Chester creek — 
were surveyed for the use of the mills ; the whole containing but twenty acres. 
"Upon or near" this land, Caleb Pusey, "with the advice of the said Proprie- 
tary, and such other of the said partners, as then were in the Province, in the 
year of our Lord 1683, did at the joint charge of all the said partners, erect a 
corn mill," &c. These facts are taken from the recital of a deed for the prem- 
ises, executed in 1705, and no doubt give a correct account of the establish- 
ment of what may be regarded as the first mill erected within the borders of 
Delaware county, unless the Swede's mill stood on the western side of Cobb's 
creek. When a saw-mill was attached to the Chester mill, is not known. A 
further account of this early improvement, with the disasters which befell it, 
will be given in the proper place, as we proceed. 

The peculiar population, that in three or four years was to occupy the 
<vhole territory now embraced within the limits of our county had, before the 
close of 1683, gained a very permanent footing at four different points, viz: 
Chester, Marcus Hook, Darby and Haverford. From these points the new 
settlements rapidly diverged, and spread over the adjacent townships. At each 
of these places except Haverford, the first Quaker immigrants sat themselves 
dow^n in the midst, or in the vicinity of a civilized people. The Welsh, who 
had in their native land bargained for a separate Barony of 40,000 acres, be- 
ing excluded from the city liberties, were forced at once to plunge into the 
wilderness. They first occupied Merion and Haverford in 1682 with a very 
few settlers. These townships were rapidly filled up by the constant influx of 
immigrants from Wales, where the spirit of persecution against the Quakers 
was raging at this period ; and from these townships the Welsh settlements 
soon spread over Radnor anrl the chief part of Newtown, and after a time ex- 
tended over Goshen, Tredyflfrin, and Uwchlan. But three settlements were 
made in Haverford in 1682 — those of Lewis David, Henry Lewis, and Wil- 
liam Howell. The number was largely augmented before the close of 1683. 

Nearly all the early immigrants of mature age were Friends from con- 


vincement, and many of them had suffered persecution. Under such circum- 
stances it cannot be supposed that their rehgious meetings were suspended even 
during their passage, much less after their arrival. But we have no positive 
evidence that meetings of record were held either by the Friends of Darby or 
Haverford earlier than 1684. 

Although monthly meetings had alternated between Chester and Marcus 
Hook, First day meeting for worship were not held at the latter place till the 
early part of 1683. The first appropriation, by Chester Monthly Meeting for 
the support of their own poor, was made this year. No regular burying-place 
appears to have been established at Chester till 1683, when, after the appoint- 
ment of sundry committees, and some delay, a suitable piece of ground was 
fixed upon, which was ordered "to be fenced about as soon as may be." The 
ground thus selected continues to be the burying-place of the Society to the 
present day. 

No evidence exists of a meeting for worship being held at Providence 
earlier than the commencement of 1684, and it is not certainly known at what 
particular place it was held. The earliest quarterly meeting was held at Ches- 
ter, the 4th of the 12th mo. (February) 1684. 

The minutes of both Haverford and Darby Meetings commence in 1684; 
the former on the loth of the 2d mo. (April) and the latter on the 2d of the 
5th mo. (July). There is some evidence that the business of a monthly meet- 
ing had been transacted at Darby a short time prior to the date of the first 
regular minute. The early meetings of Darby were held at the house of John 
Blunston, located nearly in front of the present Friends' meeting house in Dar- 
by, and near the mill race. 

Three particular meetings were united to form what became, and was for 
a long time known, as "Haverford Monthly Meeting." These meetings at first 
were "The Schuylkill," Merion and Haverford ; the monthly meeting being 
held alternately in private houses at each of those places. The first monthly 
meeting was held at the house of Thomas Duckett, which was located on the 
west bank of the Schuylkill, a short distance above the present site of Market 
street bridge. 

Suitable burial-places for the dead, unfortunately, were among the earli- 
est necessities of the first English settlers. Accordingly, it is recorded, that 
"att our monethly meeting held at John Beevan's house at Haverford, the 9*^ 
of the 8'*" moneth [October! 1684, it was ordered as followeth : "This meet- 
ing having taken to their consideration the necessity of a burying-place, it was 
ordered that Thomas Ducket and Barnaby Willcocks for Schoolkill, Hugh 
Robert and Robert David for Merion, George Painter and William Howell for 
Haverford, should view and set out convenient places for that purpose, re- 
spectively, for the meeting they belong to as aforesaid." 

At the next monthly meeting, reports were made that burying-places had 
been laid out' respectively for Haverford and Merion. The sites thus selected, 
with some enlargements, constitute the burial-grounds attached to these meet- 
ings at the present day. There was more difficulty in having the ground laid 


out at the Schuylkill; but it was eventually effected, and its site is still marked 
by a few dilapidated grave-stones, that may be seen on either side of the street 
that passes under the Pennsylvania railroad, west of the Schuylkill, which was 
laid out through it. This monthly meeting was attached to the Philadelphia 
Quarterly Meeting at its commencement, and continues so attached to this day. 

Chichester Meeting was established as a monthly meeting in 1684, the 
first monthly meeting being held at (^hichester on the 17th of the 1st month, 
(March). At their fourth meeting, a liberal subscription was inade to enable 
J. poor man to build a house. 

Christopher Taylor having removed from ]>ucks county to the island of 
Tinicum, his age, ability, and learning at once secured him the position of pre- 
siding justice of the Chester court. The names of William Wood and John 
Harding also appear for the first time as justices at the court held in July, 
1684. This court, "considering the necessity of defraying the charge of the 
Court-house and prison att Chester by a public levie, it was ordered that, ac- 
cording to law in that case provided, every man possessed of lands should pay 
towards the levie after the rate of one shilling for every 100 acres within this 
county : and every freeman should pay sixpence, being above sixteen years of 
age and not exceeding sixty ; and every artificer not exceeding the aforesaid age 
of sixty, and above sixteen, is. 6d., by the pole, and every servant three-pence ; 
and also non-residents, having land in this county, and not occupying the same, 
shall pay for every hundred acres after the rate of one shilling sixpence per 

This is the earliest notice of a court-house contained in the Chester court 
records. In what building did the court sit, from the arrival of Governor 
Markham up to this time? Is it not most reasonable to conclude that it was in 
the "House of Defence," or "Country House," spoken of in the Upland court 
records? This building had been finished and fitted up, "fitt for the court to 
sitt in," only about seven years previously, and although the records of the 
court are silent in respect to the building in which its sittings were held, the 
minutes of the monthly meeting show conclusively, that up to September, 1682, 
they had been held in an edifice that was well known as "the court house at 
Chester." This being the case, is not the conclusion almost irresistible, that up 
to the period of the erection "of the court house and prison." for defraying the 
expenses of which a levy is now being made, that the court, as well as the 
"First day" meetings of the Friends, was held in the "House of Defence?" And 
in the absence of every other kind of evidence but tradition, is it not most rea- 
sonable to conclude that the first Assembly also sat in the same building? -\d- 
ditional facts will be presented in their regular order that will corroborate 
these conclusions. 

The appointments by the courts of collectors "to gather the assessments" 
made for the erection of a court-house and prison, and other appointments 
made during this year, give a good idea of the progress that had then been made 
in the settlement of the county, and show the municipal districts into which 
it had been divided. As collector^, Thomas Worth and Insliua Fcarne were 


appointed for Darby; Mons. Stacket and William Cobb, "for Amoseland & 
Calcoone Hook;" Thomas Usher and Jeremy Collet for Chichester; Richard 
Crosby and Andrew Nelson for Providence ; James Kenerly and Randolph 
Vernon for "Ridley and in the woods;" Richard Crosby and Edward Carter 
for Chester; Jonathan Hayes and James Stanfield for Marple; John Minall 
and Thomas King for Concord and Bethel. 

For supervisors of the highways, the following appointments were made; 
''from Naaman's Creeke to Marcus Hook, alias Chichester, Walter Martin; 
from Chichester Creeke to Chester Creeke. John Childe ; from Chester Creeke 
to Croome Creeke, Robert Taylor." John Hendrickson was appointed for 
Amoseland and Calcoone Hook, Michael Blunston for Darby, and for Marple, 
Thomas Person [Pearson], 

So numerous had the live stock become that were allowed to range the 
woods promiscuously, that it became necessary for each farmer to have a par- 
ticular mark and brand, and the law required that a record of these marks 
should be made. A goodly number of such records is found in the minutes 
of the court, and is continued through many years. The following are given 
as specimens of such records made this year : "George Maris' Cattle marks, a 
slit in the tip of the near year : — his Brand Mark G. M." "The ear mark of 
John Blunston of Darby, a crop in the near ear and a hole in the far ear: — his 
Brand Mark I. B." 

At the court held in December, 1684, "Joseph Cookson was presented by 
Robert Wade for taking a wife contrary to the good and wholesome laws of 
this Province." He was ordered "to finde security in tenne pounds," but ap- 
pears not to have been troubled any further about the matter. 

The first report of "the Peace :Makers" was made to the court this year, 
though, from its date, the case had been acted on nearly a year previously. It 
differs but little from an award by arbitrators, except that one half of the 
amount awarded was to be paid "in good and merchantable wheate and rye 
att the common market price on this river." 

The acknowledgment of deeds, as has been mentioned, was now made in 
Open court, and the practice was continued until the number acknowledged at 
a single court became a large item of business. The following is a specimen 
from the minutes of the September court of this year : "Arnoldus Delagrange 
past over a deed in open Court unto Christopher Taylor for the Island com- 
monly known by the name of Mattinnaconk, bearing date the 2d day of the 
I2th month, 1684." At the same time, "Christopher Taylor, President, did, in 
open Court, deliver over a penal bond of performance for four hundred 
pounds at or upon the ist day of November. 1685." Persons charged with the 
higher grades of crime were not tried by the county courts. The imaginary 
crime of Witchcraft was in those days placed among the most heinous ; and 
hence it was that the celebrated Pennsylvania witch trial took place before 
Governor Penn and his council, sitting as a Superior Court at Philadelphia. 
The parties, who. in that case, were the victims of this most stupid of all sup- 
erstitions, resided near the month of Crum creek, were in good circumstances, 


and for aught that is known to the contrary, were quite as respectable as their 
accusers. The following is the record of the trial copied from the ])ublished 
minutes of the council, "held at Philadelphia y^ 27^^ of the 12^^ month, 1683." 
[February, 1684.] 

"Margaret Matson's Indictm* was read, and she pleads not Guilty, and will be tryed 
b> the Country." 

"Lasse Cock attested Interpriter between the Prop^"" and the Prisoner at the Barr." 

"The Petty Jury Impanneled ; their names are as followed: — Jno. Hasting, foreman, 
Albertus Hendrickson, Robt. Piles, Robt. Wade, Nath. Evans, Edwd. Carter, W"™. 
Hewes, Jer : Collet, Jno. Kinsman, Jno. Gibbons, Walter Martin, Edw^. Bezar." 

"Henry Drystreet, attested, saith he was tould 20 years ago, that the Prisoner at the 
Barr was a Witch, and that several cows were bewitcht by her ; also that James 
Saunderling's mother tould him that she bewitcht her cow, but afterwards said it was 
a mistake, and that her cow should doe well againe, for it was not her cow but another 
Persons that should dye." 

"Charles Ashcom, attested, saith that Anthony's Wife being asked why she sould 
her cattle ; was because her mother had Bewitcht them, having taken the Witchcraft of 
Hendrick's Cattle, and put it on their oxen ; she myght keep but noe other Cattle, and 
also that one night the Daughter of y® Prisoner called him up hastely, and when he came 
she sayed there was a great Light but just before, and an old woman with a knife in her 
hand at y^ Bedd's feet, and therefore she cryed out and desired Jno. Symcock to take 
away his Calves, or Else she would send them to Hell." 

"James Claypool attested interpritor betwi.xt the Prop"" and the Prisoner." 

"The affidavid of Jno. Vanculin read. Charles Ashcom being a witness to it." 

"Annakey Coolin. attested, saith her husband tooke the Heart of a Calf that Dyed, 
as they thought, by Witchtcraft, and Boyld it. whereupon the Prisoner at y^ Barr came 
in and asked them what they were doing ; they said boyling of flesh ; she said they had 
better they had Boyled the Bones, with several other unseemly Expressions." 

"Margaret Mattson saith that she values not Drystreet's evidence; but if Sander- 
lin's mother had come, she would have answered her ; also denyeth Charles Ashcoms 
attestation at her soul, and saith, where is my daughter; let her come and say so." 

"Annakey Cooling's attestation about the Gees, saying she was never out of her 
Conoo. and also that she never said any such things concerning the calve's heart." 

"Jno. Cock attested, sayth he knows nothing of the matter." 

"Tho : Baldings attestation was read, and Tho : Bracy attested, saith it is a true 

"The prisoner denyeth all things, and saith that y^ Witnesses speake only by hear 

"After w^h y® Gov'" gave the Jur\' their Charge concerning y*" Prisoner at y^ Barr." 

"The Jury went forth, and upon their Returne Brought her in Guilty of having the 
Common fame of a Witch, but not Guilty in manner and forme as she Shee Stands 

"Neels Matson and Antho. Neelson enters into Recognizance of fifty pounds a piece 
for the good behaviour of Margaret Matson for six months." 

It is to be regretted that the charge given Ijy the Governor has not been 
preserved, as it may fairly be ])re^umc(l that it was upon his suggestions that 
the jury based their very righteous, but rather ridiculous verdict. 

The following is a copy of the return made by the Sheriff of the election 
held by him for Chester County in 1684, with the omission of the recital of 
his warrant, &c. : 


"J have accordingly made my Summons of the freeholders who hath made Choise 
of those persons following for the service afores^ by which I thus make my return: for 
the provencial Concef william wade [Wood] in y^ room of Ralph withers; william 
Claiton for one year ; for Assembly John Blunston georg maries Joshua Hasting, Robert 
wade Henry matukes Thomas usher. 

'1 Heare Declare that they was Lafully Chosen and may freely Appear to make up an 
Assembly according to Charter in witness whereunto I sett my hand and seale the 
IQth 31110 1684. 

"Th. Withers." 

Having established a Provincial Court, a commission for the sale and 
transfer of lands, and having also conferred the executive power of the Prov- 
ince upon the Council, with Thomas Lloyd as its president. Governor Penn 
sailed for England, on the 12th of the 6th month (August) 1684, very much 
to the regret of many of the inhabitants, and arrived in England early in Octo- 
ber. His difficulty with Lord Baltimore was the cause of his early return to 
his native country. 

On February 6, following (1685), King Charles the Second died and was 
succeeded by his brother James, the Duke of York and Albany, who, on the 
same day, was proclaimed King under the title of James H. This information 
was communicated by William Penn in a letter to Thomas Lloyd, who on May 
II, laid the same before the council. On the day following a formal proclama- 
tion was published by that body. 

As yet, the boundary line between Chester and Philadelphia counties had 
not been permanently established. This matter was accomplished by the fol- 
lowing resolution of the council, adopted Tvlay ist, 1685, in pursuance of cer- 
tain verbal directions left by the Proprietary. 

"Whereas, the Governor in presence of John Symcock and W" Wood, was pleased 
to say & Grant That y« bounds of the Countys of Chester & Philadelphia should be as 
followed, viz : 

"That the bounds should begin at the Mill Creek and slopeing to y^ Welsh Town- 
ship, and thence to Schoolekill, &c. in obedience thereto and confirmation thereof. 

"The Council! having seriously Weyed & Considered the same, have & doe hereby 
Agree and order that y^ bounds betwixt the said Countys shall be thus ; That is to say : 

"The County of Chester to begin at y^ Mouth or Entrance of Bough Creek, upon 
Delaware River, being the Upper end of Tenecum Island, and soe up that Creek, devid- 
ing the said Island from y^ Land of Andros Boone &_company; from thence along the 
several courses thereof to a Large Creeke Called Mill Creek ; from thence up the several 
courses of the said creek to a W : S : W : Line, which Line devided the Liberty Lands of 
Philadelphia from Severall Tracts of Land belonging to the Welsh & other Inhabitance ; 
and from thence E : N : E : by a line of Marked Trees, 120 perches more or less ; from 
thence N: N: W: by the harford [Haverford] Township 1000 perches more or less: 
from thence E: N. E: by y^ Land belonging to Jno: Humphreis 110 perches more or 
less ; from thence N : N : W : by y^ Land of Jno : Ekley, 880 perches more or less ; from 
Thence Continuing the y^ said Course to the Scoolkill River, w^h s^ Scoolkill River 
afterwards to be the natural bounds." 

This line continues to be the eastern boundary of Delaware county to the 
north line of Haverford. The resolution of the council makes the next course 


run easterly instead of westerly, and is probably a mistake, as Radnor town- 
ship never extended further easterly than it now does. 

In consequence of Christopher Taylor removing from Bucks county to 
Tinicum. there were four members of the council from Chester county, viz: 
Christo])hcr Taylor, John Simcock, William Wood and Nicholas Newlin. 

Charles Ashcom had held the office of deputy surveyor for Chester county 
under the surveyor-general, Thomas Holme, but the complaints against him 
were so numerous, and a misunderstanding having arisen between him and 
Holme, the council were obliged to issue an order prohibiting him from sur- 
veying any more lands in Chester county. 

At a meeting of the Council, held on the 22d of the jth month (Septem- 
ber), 1685, information was received from Captain Lasse Cock that the In- 
dians were willing to dispose of their lands between Upland and Appoquin- 
omy. Thomas Holme, John Simcock, and the secretary (William Markham), 
or any two of them, were accordingly deputed to make the purchase. The re- 
sult was a deed from about a dozen Indian kings and sachemakers, with ua^: 
pronounceable names, executed on October 2nd, for "all the lands from Quing 
Quingus, called Duck creek, unto Upland called Chester creek, all along by the 
west side of the Dalaware river and So betweene the Said Creeks Backwards as 
far as a man can ride in two days with a horse." The consideration did not 
vary much from what was usual in such cases, except that it included forty 
tomahawks. This grant, with the one that has already been noticed, extin- 
guished the Indian title to the whole of Delaware county. 

Notwithstanding these sales of their lands, the Indians had no idea of 
yielding up the possession before they were required for actual occupation and 
culture by the whites. They roamed through the forest as freely as ever, and 
were, sometimes, rather troublesome to the border settlers. This year "the 
Complaint of y* friends. Inhabitants of Concord and Hertford [Haverford] 
against the Indians, for y^ Rapine and Destructions of their Hoggs," was laid 
before the council. Other inhabitants of the Welsh Tract, besides those of 
Haverford, joined in the complaint : but what action was taken by the council 
to abate the evil, further than to send for "y'^ respective Indian kings, with all 
speed," to appear before them, is not known. 

In the proceedings of the Chester court for this year, several orders are 
made in respect to the new -court house and prison. The collectors of the 
levy for their erection are to "be considered, for their time and paines. twelve 
pence in the pound :" Joseph Humphrey and Thomas Xorberry are appointed 
collectors of the levy for Newtown, which now makes its first appearance as a 
township : Darby township is to pay Lassie Dalbo. or his assigns, "seven 
pound? two shillings & six pence out of the assessment for the court house & 
prison, if they see they can soe doe with safety;" and William Dalbo. "so 
much as he can make appear to be due for his work done on the court house 
and prison," out of the levies raised for that purpose in said township. Nor 
was the building to be exclusively occupied for judicial purposes and the in- 
carceration of criminals. Its location, convenient to Chester creek, gave it 


commercial advantages that were not overlooked in its construction. Hence 
it was ordered by the court, "that all people that shall make use of the court 
house for Sellerage of any Goods, shall for every Tonne pay after the rate of 
three shillings four pence a Tonne, for any time not exceeding a week; and 
for what time it shall continue afterwards, halfe soe much." 

There was another levy ordered this year, partly, no doubt, on account of 
the new court-house and prison. This assessment imposed a tax of 2s. 6d. per 
100 acres on lands belonging to residents, and 3s. on that of non-residents ; on 
free male inhabitants, from 16 years of age to 60, a poll tax of 2s. 6d., and 
upon servants is. 3d. The collectors were authorized to receive this tax in 
good merchantable Indian corn at the rate of 2s. 8d. per bushel ; wheat at 4s. 
6d., and rye at 3s. 6d. Before the collection was made these prices were raised 
to 5s. per bushel for wheat, 4s. for rye, and 3s. for corn. 

A practice had now become general for constables, and sometimes for sup- 
ervisors, at the expiration of their official terms, to come into court, report "all 
was well," and receive their discharge. The following is given as a specimen 
of the usual minute m^de in such cases : "Samuel Bradshaw, Constable for 
the last year for Darby, made his returne, 'all was well." whereupon Edmund 
Cartelidge was elected to serve and attested for the ensuing year." 

Jeremy Collett held the office of sheriff this year. Robert Eyre was con- 
tinued as clerk. The office of "peace makers" was held by Caleb Pusey, Ran- 
dall Vernon and Walter Faucit. Their sittings had become such a regular 
business that it was known as "the monthly court." 

Heretofore the usual punishment inflicted by the Court for criminal of- 
fences had been the imposition of a fine ; imprisonment was out of the ques- 
tion, for Vv-ant of a jail. This desideratum being now supplied, a reasonable 
hope might have been entertained that our Quaker justices would have been 
satisfied with the incarceration of the violators of the law. But imprisonment 
was an expensive mode of punishment that the early settlers, most of whom 
were in straitened circumstances, could not have borne. Hence the law of 
necessity prevailed over the pleadings of humanity; and we find our county 
court, for the first time, resorting to corporal punishment, just as they had been 
provided with the means of carrying into effect the more mild and humane 
sentence of imprisonment. The first sentence directing the infliction of corpor- 
al punishment was passed by the February court of this year, and what is re- 
markable, the place of its execution was not at the seat of justice. With the 

omission of the name, the following is the sentence pronounced: " 

-, being convicted of stealing money out of the house of William Browne, 

was ordered twelve stripes on his bear backe. well laide on att the Common 
Whipping post at Chichester, the 4th Instant, between the loth and nth hours 

in the morning." 

In the next case both modes of punishment are resorted to, being the first 

sentence of imprisonment: " , being lawfully convicted for 

abusing and menacing the magistracy of this county, was ordered twenty-one 


lashes att tlie publick wliijjping pc^st on his bearc backe, well laid on, and 14 
days imprisonment at hard labour in the house of Correction." 

This sentence very clearly illustrates the ideas prevalent at this time, of 
the necessity that existed for maintaining the indei)endence and dignity of the 
judiciary. Evidence of this feeling pervades the court records, from those of 
the Upland court, for more than half a century. At the same time another 
person "was fined, for his contempt of the court, 40s., in not appearing when 
lawfully summoned, and for abusing the officers of the court." 

At the October court of this year it was "ordered that the township of 
Chichester extend its bounds as formerly laid out by Charles Ashcom, untill 
further order." 

A sufficient number of Welsh Friends had now made settlements in 
Radnor to establish an independent meeting for worship in that township, 
the name of David INIeridith, being the first that appears in the Haverford 
records as belonging to that particular meeting. The early meetings of Rad- 
nor were held at the houses of John Jerman and John Evans; the first mar- 
riage in Radnor bemg solemnized at the dwelling of the latter on the 2d of the 
3d month, (May,) 1686, between Richard Ormes, of Philadelphia, and Mary 
Tyder, of Radnor. Notwithstanding the line had been run between Philadel- 
phia and Chester counties, leaving Haverford and Radnor in the latter, the 
Welsh settlers of those townships had no idea of being separated from their 
Welsh friends of Merion, and still insisted on being included within the limits 
of Philadelphia county. Being attached to the Quarterly Meeting of Philadel- 
phia, the Haverford Monthly Meeting contributed towards the erection of the 
Centre Square meeting-house, now being erected. The amounts subscribed by 
the several meetings will indicate the extent of the settlements at this time in 
the vicinity of each: Radnor contributed £1 7s. 6d. ; Haverford contributed 
£6; Merion contributed £6. 

From the south-western corner of the county the settlements had extended 
up into the country as far as Birmingham, at the commencement of this year. 
At the close of last year (1685) James Browne conveyed two acres of land to 
trustees for the use "of the people of God called Quakers in the township of 
Chichester." On this land, without much delay, it was agreed to build a meet- 
ing-house, and some time afterwards, to fence in a grave-yard. This is the 
site of the present Chichester meeting-house and burial-ground. The first 
subscription amounted to £36 4s., and was contributed by twenty-six persons. 
Up to this time the monthly meetings appear to have been held at Marcus 
Hook, (Chichester,) but in October, 1686, a monthly meeting, for the first 
time, was held at Concord, and for some years afterwards, the place of holding 
it was varied, but it was generally at private houses — at Edward Bezer's. in 
Bethel; at William Brainton's, (Brinton's,) in Birmingham; at John Kins- 
man's, in Chichester; at Robert Piles', in Bethel; at John Harding's, in Chi- 
chester, &c. 

John Symcock was re-elected a member of council from Chester county 
for three years, and Francis Harrison to serve in the place of William Wood, 



now deceased. David Lloyd, who appears to have just arrived in the country, 
presented to the council his commission from the Governor as attorney-general 
of the Province, dated the 24th of the 2d month (April,) 1686, and was duly 
qualified into office. 

Our staid settlers were rarely much affected by events that were transpir- 
ing in England, but the affair of the Duke of Monmouth was too serious a 
matter to pass entirely unnoticed. The following order of the court is evi- 
dence that the justices were willing at least to make a show of their loyalty 
after the unfortunate result of the Duke's foray into England was known: 
"Ordered that the Sheriff take into custody the body of David Lewis upon sus- 
pition of Treason, as also the body of Robert Cloud for concealing the same, 
for that he the said Robert Cloud being attested before this Court, declared 
that upon the y^ day of the weeke before Christmas last att the house of 
George Foreman, the said David Lewis did declare in his hearing that he was 
accused for being concerned with the Duke of Monmouth in the West Coun- 
try." They were both bound over to appear at the next Provincial court. 

A spirit of improvement now begins to show itself. Orders are issued by 
the court for the erection of two bridges — one "to Albertus Hendrickson, sup- 
ervisor of the highways belonging to Chester, to forthwith erect a horse bridge 
in such a place as the grand jury have already laid it out" — the other "to Bar- 
tholomew Coppeck, supervisor of the highways for Croome creek, to forthwith 
erect a bridge in the Kings road over said Croome creek." Besides determin- 
ing upon the sites of the aforesaid two bridges, the grand jury laid out and 
made "return of a highway from Bethel to Chichester (Marcus Hook) sixty 
foote broad." The return is given as a specimen of the manner in which roads 
were laid out in these very early times : 

"Beginning at the side of Concord toward the river, on the street or Highway of 
Concord, first through the land of John Gibbons, his house on the right side — then 
through the land of Robert Southry late deceased, his house on the left side; thence 
through Robert Pile's land, his house on the right hand — then through Joseph Bushell's 
land, his house on the left hand — Then through Francis Smith's land — Then through 
Thomas Garrett's land, his house on the right hand — Thence through Francis Harri- 
son's and Jacob Chandler's land down the point to a small branch of Naaman's Creek — 
Thence up the hill to the first inclosed field of Francis Harrison, the field on the left 
hand; then through James Brown's land, thence down to another branch of Naa- 
man's Creek, through Walter Marten's land up to the point, his house on the right hand^ 
Thence through Jeremy Collets land bearing toward the left hand, his house standing 
on the left hand — from thence to the lands of Chichester, beginning att the head of a 
small swamp, on the left hand — thence down Crosse the King's road or Highway towards 
the foot of the Hill, to a lyne tree marked with 5 notches, — thence downe to the river's 
side, the lyne between James Brown & William Clajrton Jr." 

At the following court, the inhabitants of Bethel and Concord presented 
a paper signifying "their good-Hking of the road lately laid out by the jury 
to Chichester." L^p to the present time a road has been continued over nearly 
the same ground. 

Fence viewers, two for each township or district, are for the first time ap- 


pointed this year. Also a lawyer, for the lii>i lime, appears in a criminal case, 
and "pleads as attorney to the King." This officer was Charles Pickering, 
who no doubt held his api)uintnient imder David Lloyd, who had been recently 
commissioned attorney general. This fust kj^al effort on behalf of the 
Crown, though not successful in establishing the guilt of the prisoner, did not 
fail to mystify the case sufficiently to induce the jury to cou])k' with their 
verdict of acquittal, that he was "guilty of suspicious circumstances in rela- 
tion to the indictment :" uj)on which he was bound over to appear at the next 

The very recently erected court-house and jjrison, it may be judged, from 
the following minute in respect to the sale of them, did not give satisfaction : 

"The Court, in behalf of the county, have bargained and sold unto Robert Wade, 
his heirs and assigns, the court house and prison att Chester; upon consideration whereof 
the said Wade doe oblige himself, his heirs Executors & assigns to defray all charges 
which are already due from the first erecting said houses; provided, that from the day 
of the date hereof to the full end and term of two years and a half, the said Robert 
Wade shall have liberty to reimburst what moneys he have alread received of the levie 
raised in this county towards the purchase and building of said houses. Upon all which 
this Court engage to make the said Wade a firm and sure title to said houses and to give 
him lawful & quiet possession." "At the same time, James Saunderlaine for himself 
his heirs and assigns doe promise this Court a Convenient peese of Land in the town 
of Chester where they may erect a Court house and Prison, and to make a firm title 
to the same, to the proper use and behoof of this County." 

The first court under the name of a Court of Equity for Chester county, 
was held this year. It was held by the justices of the common pleas, under the 
title of commissioners, as will be seen by the following extract from the 
record: "Att a Court of Equity held att Chester the S^^ day in the i^^ week 
of the 10^'' month 1686. Commissioners present : — John Blunstone, John Sim- 
cocke, George Maris, Bartholomew Coppock, Samuel Levis, Robert Wade, 
Robert Pile. — Robert Eyre Clerk." Only two causes were tried. 

The municipal divisions of the settled parts of the county had not as yet 
been definitely fixed, and some appear to have been recognized by the court 
that never had any established boundary, and only a very temporary existence. 
Up to the close of 1686, ofificers had been appointed for the following places : 
Chester, Chichester, Providence. Amosland, Darby, Bethel. Concord. Spring- 
field, Marple, Newtown. Birmingham, Northby. and Gilead. 

Chichester included both townships of that name, and so of Providence 
and Darby — Calcon Hook having been added to the latter township this year. 
Northby included the whole or part of Aston, and Gilead was probably in 
Edgmont. During the following year, 1687, Ridley, Middletown, Aston, 
Thornbury, and Edgmont are recognized by the court as townships, and sup- 
plied by appointment with one or more ofificers. 

Grand juries, which, for two or three years after the establishment of 
Penn's government, were hardly regarded as a necessity in the administration 
of justice, had now assumed an importance scarcely equaled by the court it- 


self. Both public wants and the neglect of official duties were promptly 
brought to the notice of the court, while evil doers could scarcely hope to es- 
cape their scrutinizing vigilance. But holding office during the whole year, 
this vigilance, after a time, degenerated, in each grand juror, into a kind of 
Quaker Puritanical surveillance, and subjected to the exposure of judicial in- 
vestigation every slight departure from strict moral rectitude. Many matters 
were presented that had better been rectified by the kind offices of the friends 
of the party ; or the evils that resulted from their exposure, been allowed 
to pass into oblivion unnoticed. If there was anything to make the practice 
tolerable, it was the impartiality with which it was exercised; the justices of 
the court and even grand jurors themselves were sometimes the subjects of 
these presentments. 

At the first court in this year, the township of Chester was presented "for 
not finding and making a foot Bridge over the mill creek (Chester Creek), sn 
the Kings Highway hard by William Woodmancies." At the same court, 
Caleb Pusey "Petitioned against Thomas Coborne for setting a water mill 
above him upon Upland creek." But the court, "considering the premises, and 
finding it to be for the common good, dispenseth therewith." The propriety of 
erecting this mill was not wholly left to the decision of our county court. The 
petition of "about three score people inhabitants of Chester county" was pre- 
sented to the Provincial Council, "setting forth the great want of a Mill in their 
parts, and requesting a permission for Thomas Coebourne to goe forward with 
y^ building, and setting up his mill on Chester Creek." Whereupon the Coun- 
cil express a willingness "to give incouragement to y^ Procedure of Thomas 
Cobourne in the finishing of his mill that he is now about, for y^ urgent neces- 
sity of y" contrey, Reserving to y'' Gov"" his Proprietary Ship." This mill, it 
is supposed, occupied the site of what is now "Dutton's Mill." 

At the June court, the want of a bridge over Chester creek, on the King's 
road, is again presented by the grand jury; the same want for Ridley and 
Crum creeks is also presented. Quite a number of persons were presented and 
fined for being drunk, and some for suffering others to be drunk in their 
houses ; for selling liquor to the Indians, or for keeping an Ordinary without li- 
cense. In one "liquor trial," the terms "Punch and Tife" are used by a witness 
as names for drinks then in use. Drunkenness appears to have been a grow- 
ing evil, and, as at the present day, much of the time of the court was occupied 
with cases connected with the illegal sale or immoderate use of liquor. The 
following is among the presentments of the grand jury this year : "The Grand 
Jury doe also present Anne Neales, Widow, for keeping and harbouring doggs 
that worries and kills her neighbours Hoggs ; as alsoe for deteining in her ser- 
vice one Indian boy Chato, who with the said dogg, have been found to worry 
& kill the neighbours hogs as aforesaid." Anne was fined los., although she 
denied the ownership of the vicious dog; and Andrew Friend became bound 
"to the King and Governor in 2oi for the Indian boy Cato's good [behaviour] 
towards all the Kings Leidge people." 

The rapid spread of population over the whole extent of territory now in- 


eluded within our county, created a necessity for highways. Hence we find 
the grand jury much engaged in this and the following year in laying out 
roads. .\ road was laid out from Birmingham to Concord, from thence to 
the bridge near Chester mill, and from thence to Chester. This road passed 
"the Hamlet of Bethell."' Another road was laid out "from Edgmont to the 
Kings High way in Chester, being a sixty foote road ;" another "from New- 
town. Marple & Springfield to the landing at .Xmosland," and also one from 
Darby to Haverford. This last road was laid out "by the Grand Jury and 
other neighbours," under an order from the court "that the townshi]) of Darby 
finde out a convenient High way from thence to the township of Hartford." 

Neither was the Provincial Council neglectful in providing our early set- 
tlers with highways. "Cpon y'' Reading y*" pcli'ion of y'' Inhabitants of Rad- 
nor, Coniplayning y' part of y'' road y^ leades to the ferry of l'hiladel|)liia is 
fenced in. & more likely to be, it was Ord^*^ y' John Bevan, Henry Lewis, David 
Meridith, John Evans. Barnabas Wilcox & Tho. Ducket, meet within four- 
teen days, to view or agree upon as conveniently as may be, a Road from y^ 
Place aforesaid to y® ferry, and y^ Like Convenient road from Darby to y^ 
ferry aforesaid, by y^ said Barnabas Willcox. Tho. Ducket, with John Blun- 
ston & Joshua fearne, by y^ time aforesaid, and to return y*" same &c." 

The early records that have been examined in the preparation of this 
work, establish the fact that the wolves congregated very much in the vicinity 
of the settlements — that they were more numerous in the neighborhood of the 
Delaware after considerable settlements had been made, than when the coun- 
try was first visited by the Dutch and Swedes. This is accounted for by the 
introduction of domestic animals, which furnished an easy prey for these vo- 
racious creatures. Their depredations had become so alarming, that this year 
it became necessary to order a levy for their destruction, as well as "other 
hurtful vermine." The rate of this levy was one shilling per loo acres upon 
occupied, and eighteen pence upon imoccupied lands, and a poll tax of one 
shilling upon freemen between the ages of i6 years and 60, and sixpence upon 
servants of the same age. 

The court, from time to time, has transacted business proper for an Or- 
phans' Court, but the first court under that name was held "att Chester on the 
3'"'^ day, in the r'^* weeke, of the 8''' month [October] 1687." 

John Bristow was this year elected to the Provincial Council from Chester 
county, in the room of Francis Harrison. The executive power of the pro- 
vincial government was now vested in five commissioners of state, any three 
of whom could act as deputy or lieutenant governor. The first to act in this 
capacity were Thomas Lloyd, Robert Turner, Arthur Cook, John Simcock and 
John Eckley. 

A history of Delaware county would be incomplete without some account 
of what, in ancient times, was familiarly known as "The Welsh Tract." This 
intended Barony had its origin in the desire of the Welsh purchasers of Penn- 
sylvania lands to be seated together, and in a promise exacted from Penn be- 


fore leaving Wales, that this desire should be gratified. The survey of the 
Welsh Tract was authorized by the following warrant from the Proprietary : 

"Whereas divers considerable persons among ye Welsh Friends have requested me y' 
all ye Lands Purchased of me by those of North Wales and South Wales, together with ye 
adjacent counties to y", as Haverfordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire, about fourty 
thousand acres, may be lay^ out contiguously as one Braony, alledging yt ye number 
all ready come and suddenly to come, are such as will be capable of planting ye same 
much wti>in ye proportion allowed by ye custom of ye country, & so not lye in large 
and useless vacancies. And because I am inclined and determined to agree and favour y™ 
wth any reasonable Conveniency & priviledge : I do hereby charge thee & strictly 
require thee to lay out ye s<i tract of Land in as uniform a manner, as conveniently may 
be, upon ye West side of Skoolkill river, running three miles upon ye same, & two miles 
backward, & then extend ye parallell w^h ye river six miles and to run westwardly 
so far as till y® s<i quantity of land be Compleately surveyed unto y™.— Given at Penns- 
bury, ye 13th jst mo. 1684." 

Will: Penn." 
"To Tho : Holmes, Surveyor-General." 

In pursuance of this warrant, the surveyor-general, on the 4th of the 2d 
month (April), 1684, issued an order to his deputy, David Powell, and after 
reciting it he directs him "to survey and sett out unto the said purchasers the 
said quantity of land, there, in manner as before expressed, and in method of 
townshipps lately appointed by the Governor att five thousand acres for a town- 
shipp and to be directed (for placing the villages of each township and divi- 
sion of the purchasors) by Thomas Lloyd Master of the Rolls who is prin- 
cipally concerned therein, unto whose care and prudence is recommended the 
ordering and managing of this affair to the content and satisfaction of the 
said purchasors and make me a true return of the original field work and pro- 
tracted figures, as well as the distinct quantity of each purchaser, &c." 

The survey was probably made before the end of 1684. Soon after en- 
croachments were made by others within its limits, and particularly by Charles 
Ashchom, a very troublesome deputy surveyor. In consequence thereof the 
Welsh inhabitants petitioned to the Proprietary's deputies against these intru- 
sions, who after they had "well weighed the mater, truly considered the case, 
and rightly understanding the Governors intention in granting the warrant," 
issued their mandate on the 25th day of the 5th month (July), 1687, forbid- 
ding such intrusions, and making void what had been done within the pre- 
scribed limits, which are given as follows : — "Beginning att the Schoolkill, 
thence running W. S. W. by the City liberties 2256 perches to Darby Creek. 
Thence following up the several courses thereof to New Towne Line, Thence up 
the said line N. N. W. 448 perches. Thence S. S. W. and by W. by New Towne, 
988 perches, to a corner post by Crumb Creek, Thence down the several courses 
thereof 460 perches. Thence W. and by S. by a line of trees 1920 perches. 
Thence E. and by N. by a line of trees, 3040 perches, Thence E. and by S. 
1 120 perches. Thence S. S. E. 256 perches. Thence E. N. E. 640 perches, 
Thence S. S. E. 1204 perches, Thence E. N. E. 668 perches to the Schoolkill, 
Thence down the several courses thereof to the place of beginning."— The 


only draft of the Welsh tract that has been ft)Uiul in the survcyor-gcncrars 
office does n(Jt entirely agree with this survey. 

The Welsh settlers not only contemplated having their settlements to- 
gether, ])ui expected to constitute one municipal district, in order that they 
might manage their affairs in their own way. They certainly had grounds for 
this expectation ; and consequently when the division line was run between 
Philadelpliia and Chester counties, through the Welsh tract, and separating the 
Welsh settlements of Radnor and Haverford from those of Merion. it gave 
rise to much dissatisfaction, wliich will be noticed hereafter. 

The Monthly Meeting of Chester was this year removed to the house of 
Walter Faucet of Ridley, who had been recently authorized by the council to 
keep an ordinary. It would seem strange at this day to hold a religious meet- 
ing at a public house, but at that time and under the circumstances there was a 
real necessity for it. A number of the persons who attended this meeting re- 
sided at the distance of ten miles. Entertainment for themselves and horses 
was necessary, but from their numbers, to receive it without compensation, 
would have been oppressive. 

The settlements about Darby increased very rapidly, and the settlers being 
all Quakers, it became inconvenient to hold their meetings any longer at a 
private house. This year John Blunston, at whose house the meetings had 
been held, acknowledged a deed in open court ''for one acre of land in the 
township of Darby, to build a meeting-house thereon, to the use of the said 
township for ever, to exercise the true worship of God therein." The meeting- 
house was erected during the following year (1688). Its site was doubtless on 
the hill within the grounds now occupied as a graveyard. The minutes are 
silent as to character of the structure, except one, which records an agreement 
to have it "Hned within."' It was doubtless built of logs. The first marriage 
accomplished within it, was that of John Marshall to Sarah Smith, in Feb- 
ruary, 1689. Though built in 1688, it was not finished till the next year. At a 
monthly meeting held in October, 1689, it was "ordered that all belonging to y^ 
meeting, shall come every one a day, to worke at y** meeting house, and that 
four come a day till all the work be done." 

In 1687 it was agreed by the Chester Monthly Meeting "that Rartholmew 
Coppock, James Kennerly, Randal Vernon, and Caleb Pusey, do agree and 
contract with such workmen or men, as they shall think fit. to build a meeting 
house at Chester, 24 foot square and 10 foot high in the walls." 

On March ist, 1688, Urin Keen conveyed in trust to John Simcox, Thom- 
as Brasey. John Bristow, Caleb Pusey, Randal X'ernon, Thomas \'ernon. 
Joshua Hastings, Mordecai Maddock, Thomas Martin, Richard Few, Walter 
Faucet, and lulward Carter, a lot in Chester, "beginning at said Urin's lot or 
Carding, and so running, 60 foot along and fronting the street towards the 
prison house, thence down the lower ei\gc in Chester creek — thence along the 
creek 60 foot — thence to the place of beginning * * * to t^g ,^,se and be- 
hoof of the said Chester — the people of God called Quakers & their successors 
forever." It might be inferred that a new meeting-house was built about this 


time, and upon the lot of ground thus conveyed. It will be seen, however, as 
vre proceed, that the erection of the meeting-house was postponed for some 

The evil resulting from the use of intoxicating drinks, being most striking 
among the Indians, the sale of it to them first claimed the attention of Friends. 
A strong testimony against the practice, was about this time received from the 
yearly meeting. The approval of this paper was attested by the signatures of 
the principal male members of the Chester Monthly Meeting to the number of 
seventy-six. This array of witnesses does not only show the magnitude of the 
evil as it existed among them, but it gives some idea of the extent to which the 
settlements had progressed at this early period. Seventeen persons give their 
approval of the same testimony on behalf of Chichester and Concord Monthly 

A portion of the minutes of Haverford Meeting, at about this period, be- 
ing lost, the date of the erection of the first meeting-house at that place cannot 
be precisely ascertained, fhere are however undoubted facts to show that it 
was erected in 1688 or 1689. The first marriage solemnized at "Haverford 
Meeting House," was that of Lewis David to Florence Jones, at .a meeting 
held 1st mo. (March) 20th, 1690. 

The justices of the court were in the practice of holding what they termed 
"Petty Sessions," at other places than the seat of justice. Thus in the pro- 
ceedings of the regular sessions it is recorded that "Richard Buffington was 
called to the bar to answer his contempt of an order of Petty Sessions, held on 
the 2'/'^'^ of the 10^'' month last at George Foremans' — Remitted, paymg his 
fees." George Foreman lived at Marcus Hook. 

It was ordered by the court "that Upper and Nether Providence and Rid- 
ley, doe for this time repair the Bridge in the King's road near Walter Faw- 
setts', upon Croome Creeke." The King's road, running from Philadelphia to 
the lower counties, was located higher up than at present. It crossed Ridley 
creek near Shoemakerville, and Chester creek above Upland. It was laid out, 
(if laid out at all) so as to head the tide in the several creeks. Providence has 
heretofore constituted but one township. 

On the 2nd of the 8th month, the grand jury report that they "doe lay 
out a street and a landing upon the creek to the corner soe far as over against 
the North West Corner of the court house fifty foote in breadth and from 
thence up to the said Chester towne for a street thirty foote in Breadthe." 

One of the presentments of the grand jury was of Con- 
cord "for traveling on the first day of the week, being the 21^^ of the 8*^ month 
in the year 1688, with a yoke of oxen and a wayne. and a horse or mare be- 
fore them." They likewise presented "the road between George Willards 
fence and Jonathan Hayes for being not passable ; likewise the mill way to 
Darby creek, to be cut both in the township of Marple." This refers to the 
earliest erected mill on Cobb's creek, known as "Haverford Mill." The 
grand jury of this year fully maintain the character of that tribunal in these 
times for vigilance and diligence. Besides what has been mentioned, and a 


variety of other presentments, all the roads formerly laid out were reviewed 
by them, without being more definitely located, or having their routes mater- 
ially changed. A new road was also laid out from Thornbury to Middletown. 

Notwithstanding the kind feelings that had been cultivated between the 
natives and the English settlers, the latter were not entirely free from appre- 
hensions of danger. This is shown by a great alarm that prevailed this year, 
which was caused by two Indian women of New Jersey, communicating to an 
old Dutch inhabitant near Chester, the report of an intended insurrection of 
the Indians, which was to happen on the next fourth day of the week. Several 
influential P>iends. being sensible that no reasonable cause for such an attack 
could exist, endeavored to appease the people. But the apprehension of dan- 
ger, as is usual, increased the evidence of its existence. About lo o'clock on 
the night preceding the dreaded day, a messenger arrived at Chester, out of 
the woods, and told the people that three families, about nine jniles distant, 
were all cut oflF by the Indians. A Friend, then at Chester with two young 
men, about midnight proceeded to the reported scene of the outrage. They 
found empty houses, but no evidence of murder : their occupants under the 
prevailing alarm, having fled to the houses of their parents at Ridley creek. 
The master of one of these families, being from home, had been informed that 
five hundred Indians were actually collected at Naaman's creek in pursuit of 
their design to kill the English. So much was he alarmed, that as he was 
approaching his house, he imagined he heard his boy crying out "What shall I 
do, my Dame is Killed." Instead therefore of going to his house, he ran off to 
acquaint the government at Philadelphia, but was persuaded to return. The 
report, however, soon reached the city, when a messenger was immediately 
dispatched to Marcus Hook to inquire into the truth of it. He quickly re- 
turned with a confirmation of the report in a varied form — the 500 Indians 
were at an Indian town on the Brandywine : and having a lame king, they had 
carried him off together with all their women and children. The Council were 
sitting in Philadelphia, when one of them, who lived in Chester county, volun- 
tarily offered himself to go to the Indian encampment, provided five others 
were named to accompany him ; and to proceed without weapons. This being 
agreed upon, the party rode to the place designated ; but instead of meeting 
with 500 warriors, they found the old King quietly lying with his lame foot on 
the ground, and his head on a pillow — the women at wdrk and the children at 
play. \\'hen informed of their mission, the old man was displeased, and said 
the Indian women who raised the report ought to be burnt to death ; adding 
that the Indians had nothing against the English, but at the same time remind- 
ed the men, that about £15 was still due on the land that had been purchased 
from them ; which the messengers assured him should be paid. Thus termi- 
nated the most serious Indian trouble that ever befell the European inhabitants 
of the land now embraced within the limits of Delaware county. 

At the earnest solicitation of Thomas Lloyd to be released from the cares 
of government, that worthy gentleman, with his associated commissioners, 


was this year superseded by the appointment, by William Penn, of John Black- 
well as his lieutenant governor. 

Besides the Indian conveyances that have already been noticed, there was 
still another executed, in 1685, for all the lands "lying between Macopanackan 
als. Upland, now called Chester river or creek, and the river or creek of Pema- 
pecka. now called Dublin creek. Beginning at the hill called Conshohockin, on 
the River Alanaiunck or Skoolkill, from thence extends in a parallel line to the 
said Alacopanackan als. Chester creek, by a South-Westerly course, and from 
the said Conshohocken hill to y^ aforesaid Pemapecka, als. Dublin creek so far 
as the creek extends, and so from thence North westerly back into y« Woods, 
to make up Two full Daies journey as far as a man can go in two dayes from 
the said station of y'^ s^ paralell line at Pemapecka, also beginning at the said 
paralell Macopanackan, als. Chester creek, and so from thence up the said 
creek as far as it extends ; and from thence North Westerly back into the 
Woods to make up Two full Dayes Journey, as far as a man can go in two 
dayes from the s^' station of the s'^ paralell line at y*" s<^ Macopanackan als. 
Chester creek." 

Some delay occurred before arrangements were made for ascertaining the 
western boundary of the above strangely described purchase ; but when made, 
it will be seen by the following letter and annexed diagram, that it was not 
without ample preparations for obtaining the greatest possible distance out of 
the "two full Daies Journey :" 

■'Philadelphia." "To my very louing friends, Shakhoppoh, 

Secanning, Malebore, Tangoras, In- 
dian Kings, and to Maskecasho, Wawarim, Tenoughan, Terrecka, Nessonhaikin, Indian 
Sakemakers, and the rest concerned." 

"Whereas I have purchased and bought of you, the Indian Kings and Sackamakies 
for the use of Governor William Penn all yo"" land from Pemapecka Creek to Upland 
Creek and so backward to the Chesapeak Bay and Susquehanna Two days Journey, that 
is to say as far as a man can go in two days, as under the hands and seals of you the 
said Kings may appear and to the end I may have a certain knowledge of the lands 
backward, and that I may be enabled and be provided against the time for Running 
the said two days Journey, I do hereby appoint and authorize my louing friend Ben- 
jamin Chambers of Philadelphia, with a convenient number of men to assist him, to mark 
out a Westerly line from Philadelphia to Susquehannah, that the said line may be pre- 
pared and made ready for going the said two days Journey backward hereafter, when 
notice is given to you the said kings or some of you at the time of going the said line, 
and I do hereby desire and require in the name of our said Goven"" Penn that none of 
you said kings, Sakamakies or any other Indians whatsoever that haue formerly been 
concerned in the said tracts of land, do presume to offer any interruption or Hindrance 
in making out this said line, but rather I e.xpect yo"" furtherance and assistance, if occa- 
sion be herein, and that you will be kind and loving to my said friend Benjamin Cham- 
bers and his company for which I shall on the Governrs behalf, be kind and loving to you 
hereafter as occasion may require. 

Witness my hand and seal this 7^^ day of the st^ mo. called July, being the fourth 
year of the reign of our great King of England &c. and 8*11 year of our Proprietary 
William Penn's government. Thos Holme." 

This document is certified by Jacob Taylor, as being "a true copy from the 


original." The diagram, which is without date, was prol)ahly made from a 
survey executed this year, and in pursuance of the foregoing notice. It shows 
that the Hue run passed chrcctly through this county, tiie dwcUings of four 
well-known early immigrants being marked on it within the limits of Delaware 

Bartholomew Coppock was elected a member of the i'rovincial Council 
this year. 

Towards the close of the year 1688. Governor lUackwcll issued a new 
commission to the justices and sheriffs of the several counties. Those of 
Chester county had continued to act under their old commissions, which com- 
ing to the ears of his Excellency as he passed through Chester, he availed him- 
self ^f the opportunity afforded by the next meeting of council to reprimand 
John Simcock, John Rristow and Bartholomew Coppock. Jr.. who were jus- 
tices of the court as well as members of council. After debating the matter 
"it was thought advisable and agreed that a Cjeneral Sessions should be called," 
specially for the purpose of making proclamation of the new commissions of 
the justices of Chester county. ^ This took place on the 19th of the ist mo., 
(March) 1689, when the commissions constituting John Simcock. John Bris- 
tow\ Bartholomew Coppock, Jr.. John Blunston, George Claris, Francis Har- 
rison and Nicholas Newdin, justices, and Joshua Fearn, sheriff, were read and 
published in due form. 

Notwithstanding the line run in 1685 between Philadelphia and Chester 
counties put Haverford and Radnor in the latter county, the Welsh inhabitants 
of those townships refused to recognize the validity of the division. This led 
some of the justices and other inhabitants of Chester county to petition the 
Governor and Council on the subject. In their "Humble petition," they repre- 
sent the county as "a small tract of Eand, not above nine miles square and but 
thinly seated, whereby y*" said county is not able to Support the Charge there- 
of," and after reciting the division line run in 1685, ask that it may be con- 
firmed, so that "the County of Chester may be in some measure able to defray 
their necessary Charge." 

Nothing could be produced as authority from Penn for establishing the 
line, except verbal statements made to different persons shortly before he re- 
turned to England. The Governor required the persons to whom these .state- 
ments had been made, to put them in writing ; which being done, and Holme's 
map examined, the Governor and a majority of the Council expressed opinions 
adverse to the pretensions of the Welsh inhabitants. It was asserted that the 
Welsh had also "denyed themselves to be any part of the county of Philadel- 
phia, by refusing to bear any share of the charges, or to serve in the office of 
jury's, and the like as to y^ County of Chester ; — that the pretence thereof was 
they were a distinct Barrony, w""^ though they might be, yet that several Bar- 
ronys might be in one and y*" same County." 

Upon the application of Thomas Lloyd for a hearing, the subject was 
,»ostponed till the next day, when he, in conjuction with John Eckley, ap- 
peared on behalf of the Welsh, but not being provided with anything but ver- 


bal testimony, that Penn had intended the Welsh Tract as a Barony or County 
Palatine, as was contended by Thomas Lloyd, the decision of the Governor 
and Council was a confirmation of the original line. It is a remarkable cir- 
cumstance that Penn's warrant for laying out the Welsh Tract, already given, 
was not adduced in this controversy, as it certainly recognizes the idea of a 

Notwithstanding the decision of the Governor and Council, our Welsh- 
men were not yet ready to yield the point. In an election for a member of 
Council and six assemblymen for Philadelphia county, fifty or sixty persons 
of the townships of Haverford and Radnor gave their votes by ballot with the 
freemen of the said county. The Governor and Council having decided that 
these townships were in Chester county, they "resolved y* y^ Election of Jo" 
Eckley (the member returned) was not a good Election according to y*^ Char- 
ter ;" whereupon a writ was rssued for another election. In this election the 
freemen refused to vote by ballot, but inva voce, confirmed the election of 
John Eckley. unanimously. Some of the discussion that ensued in Council up- 
on the validity of this procedure is given, as it explains the manner in which 
elections were conducted by our ancestors in these primitive times. After sev- 
eral members had expressed themselves satisfied with the return, "the Governor 
say'^ : The former Election has been already determined not to be a good Elec- 
tion, and therefore that cannot l)e insisted upon." 

"[•^hn Courtis say: I think it was a very fayre Election. In other places 
we are generally chosen by the \'ote : and I think where they are unanymous, 
there needs no controversy." "The balloting box is not used in any other place 
but this county. We are elected by vote." "Griff. Jones answered, That was a 
mistake, for it is used at upland & all the Lower Countyes, by black and white 
beanes, put into a hatt. w"-'^ is a balloting in his sense, & canot be denyed by 
the Charter when it is demanded." 

What a contrast between this simple mode of exercising the elective fran- 
chise by means of "black and white beanes," and the scrutinizing and expen- 
sive method that the dishonesty of poUticians and the scramble for office have 
forced us to adopt in these latter days. 

The Welsh troubles are now transferred from the Council Chamber to the 
court at Chester. The court made an order appointing John Jerman constable 
for Radnor, and John Lewis for Hartfort. [Haverford,] but these gentlemen 
did not come forward to be qualified into office. At the following court it was 
"ordered that warrants of Contempt be directed to the Sheriff to apprehend 
the bodys of John Lewis and John Jerman for their contempt in not entering 
into their respective offices of Constable (viz) John Lewis for Hartfort, and 
John Jerman for Radnor, when thereunto required by this Court." David 
Lawrence had been returned as a grand juror from Haverford, but, refusing 
to attend, was presented by that body and fined los. They also "do present the 
want of the inhabitants of the townships of Radnor and Hartfort and the in- 
habitants adjacent, they not being brought in to Join with us in the Levies and 
■other public services of this county." 


At the June court of this year the commission of WilHam Howell, of 
Haverford as a justice, was read and published, and "he did afterwards sub- 
scribe to the solemn declaration, prepared by the 57^*^ Chapter of the great law 
of this province;" at the same court William Jenkins, of Haverford, served as 
a juror, and at the December court John Jerman was attested constable for 
Radnor. This is the first official recognition by any of the inhabitants of these 
townships, that they were subject to the jurisdiction of Chester county. They 
seem to have given up the idea of a Barony, and with as good a grace as pos- 
sible, submitted to the authority they were unable any longer to resist. By 
the close of the year, these townships were sup])lied with a full set of township 
officers, being the first appointed within their limits. 

The King's road between Naniaan's creek and Chichester creek, "not be- 
ing cleared of logs," became a subject of presentment by the grand jury; also 
"the want of a foot bridge over the mill creek between this county and Phila- 
delphia, it being the King's road." 

In their watchfulness over the interests of the county the want of a prop- 
er accountability on the part of disbursing officers, did not escape the notice of 
the grand jury. In a presentment they ask for an account in detail — showing 
payments on account of the court-house and prison, the poor, wolves' heads, 
councilmen's fees, &c. The clerk is presented for extortion, and they likewise 
present "as a general grievance of this county, the want of a standard to try 
60th dry measure and liquid measure." for they say "some are too big and 
others are something too little." They recommend the "Winchester measure."' 

New modes of punishment for crime are constantly introduced : T 

L , a servant, for counterfeiting pieces of eight, is sentenced, "to stand at 

the public place of correction at the town of Chester, two several court days, 
3 hours each day, with a paper of his crimes, written in capital letters affixed 
upon his breast." This punishment became what was known as "Standifig in 
the Pillory." This is the first instance of its infliction, and that name is not 
applied to it in early times. 

It was at the August court of this year that the appointment of a jury of 
women Avas made. It is the only instance found in the record. The infliction 
of corporal punishment had become very general in cases of criin. con. When 
pregnancy had ensued the punishment was delayed ; and it was to decide a 
question of doubt in a particular case that the female jury was empaneled. 
"They make their return that they cannot find she is, neither be they sure she 
is not." The result showed that the punishment was properly delayed. 

The freedom of speech was very much restricted in these early times. 
Prosecutions for slandering the officers of the Provincial government or the 
justices of the court were of frequent occurrence. In most instances the crim- 
inal expressions were nothing more tlian tlic wild ravings of drnnkenness. or 
the boastful expressions of weak nnii who sought notoriety. Eor "speaking 
or uttering slanderous and dishonorable words against the life, person, and a 
government of the chief Projjrietary, William Pcnn, as also against the life 
and person of this present Governor. John Tilackwcll. Esq.," the defendant uponi 


his own confession was fined £5. "For defaming John Simcock, one of the 
people's representatives in the Council, in the words that he was drunk at 
the last court at Chester, the party was bound to his good behaviour, & was to 
set up a paper of what his crime was." 

At the June court of this year, the grand jury laid out a landing place and 
open street for the service of the county as follows : "beginning at the North- 
westerly corner of the court house to low water mark, by Chester Creek and 
so of the same breadth by the said creek down to the Delaware River to low 
water mark, thence and also from the first mentioned corner of the Court 
house a public street 30 foot wide through Chester town." 

Appraisements of the effects of decedents were made to the orphans' 
court. The names of some articles included in the inventories, sound strangely 
to us of this day, and the value put on others is equally remarkable. Thus, i 
doz. trenches is valued at is ; 4 quaifs at 2s ; 7 petticoats at £3 ; one pair of stays 
& two green aprons, at £2 los, and a cow and calf at £1 10, &c. 

Previous to 1689 the records of the Chester court furnish no instance of 
imprisonment as a punishment for crime for a period longer than a few weeks. 
This year there was a sentence for a year's imprisonment, in addition to cor- 
poral punishment. 

John Simcock was re-elected to Council from Chester county, and the 
name of George Foreman appears as sheriff. William and Mary were pro- 
claimed King and Queen in 1689. 

Probably nine-tenths of the population of the county were at this time 
members of the Society of Friends, and their plan of accomplishing marriages 
had become so common that it came to be looked upon with favor by persons 
not in membership, who indeed, sometimes asked and obtained permission to 
be joined in marriage in that way. Chester Monthly Meetings had permitted 
a marriage where one of the parties to it, "owned himself to be none of us, yet 
was willing to submit to the order of Friends." In Haverford Meeting, mar- 
riages of persons not members appear to have been allowed, as a matter of 
course, but in Chichester and Concord it appears from the following extract 
from the minutes of their meeting, that such parties were subjected to rather 
an embarassing examination previous to permission being granted to proceed. 
It was proposed bv Friends to the voung man and woman : 

"ist Whether he did believe that was the truth which we professed, and walked 
in according to our measure— further showing that if we did not walk in the truth 
according to our measure given to us, we were but a community of men and women and 
not a Church of Christ— and then marriage would be as well by the law of the Province 
as among us ; and your coming to us to propose your intentions of marriage and desiring 
our consent is as we are a church, which we cannot be without we walk in truth— 
Therefore whether thou dost believe that is the truth we profess, to walk in? His 
answer was yes he did believe it. Also the young woman was asked the same, Her 
answer was, I do believe it." 

"2nd Whether you do believe that this way of marriage among friends is accordmg 

to the order of Truth?" 


"3'"'i Whether you do believe it is your dutv thus to proceed? they both answered— 

"Friends said as Paul to the Church of the Romans — Chap. 14-1 — Him that is weak 
in tlie faith receive you. but not to doubtful disputations." 

"Wliereupon friends left them to proceed according to the good order of truth, they 
having their parents consent thereunto." 

However nnicli the people of England were benefited by the accession of 
William and Mary to the throne, to Penn the change was the source of great 
trouble, serious disap])ointments, and, no doubt, of ])ecuniary loss. I'^rom hav- 
ing been the friend and favorite of the deposed monarch, James II.. he came 
to be a suspected person under the new government : and. without liaving 
committed any offence, he was subjected to all the inconveniences that sus- 
picion brought upon its victims at this period of alarm and He was 
arrested, held to bail, examined, discharged, re-arrested and imprisoned; and 
eventually driven into retirement. But his private interests suft'ered most ; and 
particularly in having his matured arrangements for returning to Pennsyl- 
vania frustrated. His interests here had been greatly neglected, especially in 
the collection of quit-rents. As a consequence, more stringent instructions for 
their collection became necessary. 

The too rigid enforcement of these instructions gave rise to dissatisfac- 
tion, which, in some instances, was not without reason. This was particularly 
the case in the Welsh Tract, where the commissioners insisted that the pur- 
chasers within its limits should pay the quit-rent on the whole 40.000 acres 
because it had been surveyed, or that others than Welshmen should be al- 
lowed to take up lands within the bounds of the Tract. The excuse offered by 
the commissioners for this stretch of their power, was the great damage the 
Proprietary had sustained from the want of seating and improving the Welsh 
Tract, and "the loss and hindrance to the well seating and strengthening the 
province." These allegations were destitute of truth, for up to this period the 
legitimate settlements within the Welsh Tract had progressed as rapidly as in 
other directions ; and notwithstanding the commissioners, upon the refusal of 
the Welshmen to pay quit-rent on the whole Tract, granted patents to others 
within its bounds, the immigration from Wales was sufficiently rapid to sub- 
stantially settle the whole territory allotted to them by Penn. as early as the 
adjoining districts were peopled. 

The pathetic appeal made by Griffith Owen and other inhabitants of the 
W'elsh Tract against the unwarrantable jjroceedings of the commissioners is 
worthy of particular notice, as it fully explains the peculiar kind of community 
our Welsh ancestors had hoped to establish in the land of their adoption. They 
say: * 

"Wee, the Inhabitants of the Welsh Tract, in the Province of Penn*, in America, 
being descended of the Antient Britains, who always in the land of our Nativity, under 
the Crown of England, have enjoyed that liberty and priviledge as to have our bounds 
and limits by ourselves, within the which all causes, Quarrells, crimes & titles were 
tryed & wholly determined by officers, magistrates [and] Juries of our own language. 


which were our equals. Having our faces towards these countries, made the motion to 
our Gov: that we might enjoy the same here, w^i^ thing was soon granted by him before 
he or we were come to these parts." 

They then recite the fact of the grant and survey of the 40,000 acres, 
upon which they say there were already near four score settlements, besides 
"several scores of their men servants who were very desirous to have out their 
head land." and that some of their friends had been here awhile, and had re- 
turned for their families, friends and relations, &c. ; "and now," they say, 
"to deprive these of their lands & Libertys which they depend upon when com- 
ing here, (& that in their absence,) we look upon it to be very unkind Dealing, 
like to Ruin many Families, as also a subtell undermining to shutt that Door 
against our Nation, which the Lord had opened for them to come to these 
Countreys, for we can declare with an open face to God and man that we 
desired to be by ourselves for no other End or purpose, but that we might live 
together as a Civill Society to endeavour to deside all Controversies and de- 
bates amongst ourselves in Gospel order, and not to entangle ourselves with 
Laws in an unknown Tongue, as also to preserve our Language, that we might 
ever keep Correspondence with our friends in the land of our nativity. There- 
fore our request is that you be tender not only of violating the Governor's 
promise to us, but also of being instrumental! of depriving us of the things 
which were the chief motives and inducements to bring us here." &c. 

The commissioners having prejudged the case, their answer was of course 
not satisfactory, and the land within the Welsh Tract was thrown open for set- 
tlement to others besides the descendants of the "Ancient Britains," but the 
number who embraced the opportunity was not large. 

John Blunston having declined to serve any longer as a member of Coun- 
cil from Chester county, \\'illiam Howell was elected to serve in his stead. 
What is remarkable in the return of this election is, that it is signed by all the 
freeholders who voted, the number being 29. 

Upon the petition of David Lloyd, "a road or street was laid out from his 
plantation to Chester creeke to the public landing place," as follows : • "Chester, 
this 4^*^ of the 4^^ month 1690. — We the Grand Inquest do lay out a street 30 
feet wide, the one half of this public street to be on one side the line dividing 
betwixt David Lloyd's and the Green L. C. one half on David Lloyd's Land, 
the other half on the Green's side, note that this street begins at the public 
landing place at Chester Creek, and ending at the further side of Joseph Rich- 
ards his lot near David Lloyd's house ; note also, that if any part of the 15 
foot on David Lloyd his side, which is laid out for the street, it must so re- 

The street thus laid out is now known in the borough of Chester as Fil- 
bert street, and we are thereby enabled with great precision to locate "the 
Green," a plot of ground well known at this period, and for some time after- 
wards! by that name. This Green was church land, and was no doubt secured 
by the Swedes in anticipation of the erection of a church at Upland. It is m- 
cluded in a patent for a larger tract granted to "Rev. Laurenty Caroly minis- 


ter to the Swedes," April 8tli, 1669. This patent inckidcs the whole river 
front from Upland Kill to 'Trissers Kill," and is referred to as "the minister's 
land," in a patent granted to Jurian Kene on the 4th of August of the previous 
year. "The Green" does not appear to have liarl any definite lx)unds till the 
nth of the 7th month, (September,) 1684, when, upon a warrant of survey, a 
plot of nearly five acres in the form of a parallelogram, extending 12 perches 
along the cast side of I'pland Creek, and 65 perches along the river, was sur- 
veyed and laid out "unto Swedes in Upland township." It will be seen, here- 
after, how this Church Glebe came to be appropriated to secular uses. 

John Hoskins was presented by the grand jury for trespassing "upon the 
county's land belonging to the prison house in Chester." "James Sanderlands 
being called and examined about the above said land, declareth that he did give 
all that land on which the prison now standeth between the street and the creek 
at the first beginning of this government, for to build a prison upon." 

This year Thomas Person [Pearson] and Peter Worrall were appointed 
"fence viewers," and as a consequence of this step in the road of improvement, 
John Thomas of Marple was presented by the grand jury "for keeping un- 
lawful fences, and disturbing his neighbor's cattle." "Bethel Hamlet" is also 
presented "for not repairing the bridge in said Hamlet." 

The Kings road crossing Chester creek at the head of tide, there was no 
public road extending directly from Chester to Chichester (Marcus Hook). 
With the view of rendering the intercourse between the inhabitants of those 
places less difficult, the grand jury laid out "a foot way six foot wide from 
Chester creek over against the common landing place . . . unto Chiches- 
ter creek." 

"A deed of foefmcnt was delivered in open court by Thomas Powell unto 
Peter Taylor and Randall IMaylin in the behalf of several others for a par- 
cel of land lying in Upper Providence, for the use of a burying place, bearing 
date the second day of the seventh month 1690." This acre now constitutes 
Sandy Bank grave-yard. 

No one can examine these early records of Chester county court without 
discovering that there had been an increase in the higher grades of crime. 
Persons of bad character had smuggled themselves into the Province with the 
early settlers, or had been banished from the neighboring counties or Pro- 
vinces. With this increase of crime, more severe and more revolting punish- 
ments were resorted to. Whipping with "39 lashes well laid on his bare back 
at the cart's tail," was the sentence of a servant man in Chichester for steal- 
ing fourteen dressed deer skins ; and, in addition, he was directed to be sold 
for eight years for his fine, costs, and to repay the losses occasioned by a form- 
er larceny. Banishment for collusion with a horse thief, and a forfeiture of 
one-half of the defendant's estate, in addition to one year's imprisonment, for 
adultery, were also among the sentences of this year. 

At the September court, the name of Joshua Fearne appears both as a 
justice and as clerk of the court. 

The disputes between Governor I'lackwell and his Council were so fre- 


quent that Penn was obliged to make a change in the executive department of 
the government. The executive duties now devolved on the Council, with 
Thomas Lloyd as president. This change rendered a new appointment of jus- 
tices in the several counties necessary. The following persons were appointed 
for Chester county ; John Bristow, John Beaven, John Blunston, Nich. Newlin 
flfrancis Harrison, Sam". Levis, James Sanderling, W™. Howell, Jo^ ffearne. 

It was resolved and ordered by the council this year, "that each county 
shall hencefforward Elect or give their Suffrages according to Charter, viz. : 
by y^ ballat." This mode of election has ever since prevailed in Pennsylvania. 

The Friends' Monthly Meeting of Chester, now composed of the four par- 
ticular meetings of Providence, Middletown, Springfield, and Chester, became 
more earnest in respect to the erection of a meeting-house on the lot that had 
been purchased for that purpose, A committee for each meeting was ap- 
pointed to collect the necessary funds, and in the commencement of the follow- 
ing year it was agreed, "that John Bristow and Caleb Pusey do forthwith agree 
with and emi)loy workmen in the building the meeting house at Chester, (with 
stone) on the place that was formerly bought for that purpose, the situation of 
which, as also the manner of building the same, is left to their own discretion, 
and that this meeting do defray the charge of the same, so that it exceed not 
above one hundred pounds, and that there be one convenient chimney at the 
least, and that the said John Bristow and Caleb Pusey do give account of what 
they have done," 

The Welsh inhabitants of Haverford and Radnor have, at length, fully 
submitted to being annexed to Chester county. The names of several from 
those townships appear as jurors, and that of William Jenkins, of Haverford, 
as a justice of the court, 

David Lloyd appeared on behalf of the recusant Welshmen, and assured 
the court "that they were willing to pay according to their proportions from 
the time they have been legally in this county ; and after some debate it was 
agreed and acknowledged by David Lloyd, that the Welsh who are reputed to 
Be within the bounds of Chester county, shall contribute towards paying the 
tax, the same being assessed and levied upon them as upon the inhabitants of 
Chester County according to due proportion & priority of residence and settle- 
ment, the inhabitants of the County of Chester indemnifying them the said 
Welsh from paying in Philadelphia and be at the charge of altering the patents 
and deeds which mention Philadelphia instead of Chester County ; provided 
that such their contribution to the said tax shall not be prejudicial or made use 
of to debar them of any privileges the Proprietor is or shall be willing and 
capable to grant or confirm unto them." Thus ended the Welsh difficulty ; and 
although the result was not in the end really prejudicial to the inhabitants of 
the two townships, it was certainly in violation of a solemn promise made to 
many of them before leaving their native country. The Welsh people, though 
placed in two municipal districts, in each of which they were greatly in the 
minority, did not for a long time lose their distinctive characteristics. The 
Welsh language prevailed for many years ; and if tradition is to be relied up- 


on, there were many Welsh Quakers who could not luidcrstanfl William I'cnn 
when he preached at Haver ford meeting in 1700-1. 

The strict impartiality with which the grand juries aclcd has been men- 
tioned. As an instance of this impartialit} , Caleb Pusey was foreman of the 
grand jury lliis year, and yd we find liis name included in the following ju'c- 
sentment : "W C the (irand jury ])rescnt. Richard I'arker, Caleb Pusey, George 
Foreman, James Sandilands, John Hoskins & Roger Jackson, for selling Beer 
&c. without license contrary to law." 

The following presentment contains the first intimation of the existence in 
the county of the instrument of punishment to which it refers: "We [the 
grand jury ] also present Edward Eglinton for breaking the Stocks in the town 
of Chester, and unlawfully letting out a prisoner against the Peace of the 
King & Queen &c." It will be seen hereafter that stocks were established at 
other places besides Chester. Punishment by means of the stocks was mostly 
for petty ofifences, and was inflicted by authority of a magistrate or chief Bur- 
gess of the village in which they were "set up." This punishment rarely forms 
any part of a sentence of the court. 

The very temporary character of the prison erected since the establish- 
ment of Penn's government, a period of about ten years, may be judged of 
from the action now taken by the court in respect to the erection of a new one. 

"The want of a prison having been presented by the Grand jury it was 
this Court (Oct. 1691) debated concerning the building of a new prison and 
work house for felons ; and it was agreed by the Court that one should be 
builded, eighteen foot and twenty-six foot, all builded of stone, and John Bris- 
tow and James Sandilands are intrusted and impowered by the court as near 
as they can to complete the charges and make return of the same at the next 
County Court." It will be seen that this order of Court was not carried into 

Heretofore, it has been the practice for the justices of the court to hold 
an orphans' court at specified times, when the other courts were not in session. 
The present mode of proceeding is now initiated, with the exception that when 
the court turns its attention from other business to that properly cognizable 
by the orphans' court, the record informs us that "An Orphans' Court was 
called." This tribunal was also charged with various duties, that would be 
rather onerous upon orphans' courts of the present day. The inventories and 
accounts of executors and administrators were brought into court for personal 
examination by the justices, and, as "father of the poor," they put out appren- 
tices. An instance occurs this year in wdiich two minors, a boy and a girl, were 
put out till they were twenty-two years of age. 

Making base coin appears to have been a common offence during the early 

settlement of the Province. At the last court of this year, of 

Haverford. was presented, not only for making base pieces of coin, but "for 
making stamps for others." 

A road had been laid out from ISIarple to Chester. In 1691 the grand jury 
extended this road from a point not very distant from Rhoads' tan-yard in 


]\Iarple to a point near Radnor meeting-house. As nearly as can now be as- 
certained, the route of this road passed along the present Springfield road to 
the road that passes the Drove tavern; thence by the Presbyterian meeting- 
house to Darby creek, through a valley, the jury says, "called the dry hollow." 
The road then occupied the bed of the present direct road to the meeting-house; 
the route does not appear to have been varied in the least on account of hills. 
The grand jury also laid out a road, "from the King's road in Darby town- 
ship to the landing place at Calcin Hook." 

In 1691 the three lower counties were separated from the Province, much 
to the regret of the Proprietary. He appears, however, to have yielded his 
assent to the separation, by commissioning Thomas Lloyd as governor of the 
latter, and William Markham of the former. 

As serious as has been the disagreements between those with whom the 
government had been entrusted, and which brought about its division, the ele- 
ments of discord of a still more serious character, had gained a footing in the 
religious society to which a very large proportion of the inhabitants of the 
province were attached. This doctrinal feud was introduced into the Society of 
Friends by the teachings of George Keith, a man of ability and education, who 
had been an eminent minister amongst them. The Quakers of this county, al- 
ways alive to every thing that affected the interest of the Society, took an ac- 
tive part in the controversy, and though many took sides with Keith, there was 
no division that resulted in the establishment of separate meetings within our 

In June, 1692, a meeting of Public Friends, in Philadelphia, issued the 
famous Testimony against George Keith, which was confirmed by the Yearly 
Meeting at Burlington, held in September. This document was signed by 
George Maris, Joshua Fearne, John Simcock, John Blunston and Walter Faw- 
cet, ministers of the Society residing in Chester county. Previous to the time 
of issuing this testimony, no notice appears in the minutes of any of the 
Monthly Meetings of Chester county on the subject of the controversy. 

Friends now begin to give their attention to the subject of schools. At a 
monthly meeting, held at Darby the 7th of the 7th mo. (September), it was 
agreed, "that Benjamin Clift is to teach scoole, Beging'^ y^ 12^^ of y^ 7*^ mo : 
and to continue one whole yeare, except 2 weekes." The annual salary of 
this worthy teacher, as appears by an agreement for employing him another 
year, was but £12. He probably boarded with his employers. 

Up to this time the supervisors of the highways were appointed by the 
court, when the justices ordered "that every respective township within this 
county, for the future, from time to time, shall within themselves appoint sup- 
ervisors and fence viewers, and make returns of the same to the county court 
from time to time." Our justices did not hesitate to legislate a little, occa- 
sionally, in these early times. 

It was not uncommon for the court to notice abusive words spoken 
against any of its members. This practice was in accordance with the spirit 
of the times, but was evidently unattended by any beneficial results. A case, 


such as the following, could hardly be allowed to pass unnoticed at the present 

time : "J M was called to the bar to answer a presentment of 

the Grand Jury, for abusing John Bristow and John Simcock, two of the King 
and Queen's Justices of the peace, in calling them a pack of Rogues, and the 

Jury was called & the said M did then, in open Court, afifirm that the 

said party s was two of the greatest rogues that ever came to America. Where- 
upon the Court gave judgment that he pay a fine of five pounds & Costs of 
suit, &c. The said M was also fined 5s, for swearing." 

From the following proceedings, in respect to laying out a road in Ches- 
ter, it may be inferred that a public Dial was set up in that town. Upon peti- 
tion of James Lownes and others, the grand jury was authorized "to lay out a 
road to the Dyall post straitway to the road for the convenience of both town 
and country." This road was laid out and returned as follows: "Beginning 
at the Dyall post and so running south 22 degrees West to low water mark ; 
then beginning again at the Dyall aforesaid thence running North 22 de- 
grees East up the King's road, which said road or street is to contain thirty 
foot in breadth, and the said Dyall post is to be the western bounds thereof." 

The same grand jury, at the same court, made what they are pleased to 
term, "a return of a road to Thornbury." Being brief, the "return" is given 
as another specimen of the manner these early road viewers performed their 
duties : "Beginning at a marked tree by Edward Carters, which was marked 
by a former Grand Jury, and so along a line of marked trees to John Baldwin's 
fence, and then by John's consent over a corner thereof through a corner of 
his field and so along to a black oak, being a corner of John Nield's land, and 
from thence down to John Nields field and by his consent over a corner there- 
of, and so through the creek, and up the hill, by Gilbert William's Barn." 

The order for the erection of a new jail and work-house, made by the 
court in 1691, does not appear to have been enforced, and the grand jury again 
presents the want of such a building. The court having considered this action 
of the grand inquest, "agreed forthwith to build a prison," and did "order 
John Simcock & John Bristow to take care for the building of the same ; and 
that the sherifif take care to levie the fines due to the public in order to defray 
the charges of the prison." 

The following order for a levy, made at the January court of the follow- 
ing year, will show that the sheriff had not been very successful in the collec- 
tion of "fines due the public." "Whereas the Grand jury have taken into con- 
sideration, the necessity of a prison, and the defraying of the charge of the 
county, have unanymously agreed to lay a levie for defraying the said charges 
as followeth, viz : Upon every male white and black from 16 years to 60, 3s. 

every 100 acres belonging to persons resident, 3s. — and upon every 100 

acres belonging to persons non-resident, 4s. 6d. ; and the Court considering of 
it agreed to the same, and doth order that forthwith warrants be issued out of 
the levie, the same in every township, by the respective constables, one moiety 
to be paid, at or before the next County Court ; and the other moiety, at or be- 
fore the first of the 9th month following: and the constables shall [hold] a 


town's meeting to make assessment for levying the same ; and when account is 
taken of Males and Lands, to return a duplicate of the same to Chester or 
Darby, when we will be at both places, for the ease of the country, Justices 
met to receive the same, upon the 13th day of the 12*'^ mo. next." This is the 
first instance in levying a poll tax, where no distinction has been made between 
freemen and servants. 

It might be supposed that the prompt erection of the new jail was now 
a matter of certainty, but it does not appear that the above levy was ever made ; 
owing, it is probable, to the desperate condition of the affairs of the Proprie- 
tary ; for it was about this time that the King and Queen took the government 
of the Province out of his hands, and commissioned Benjamin Fletcher, the 
Governor of New York, to be captain general of Pennsylvania and the terri- 
tories annexed. Be this as it may, a minute of the December court of this year 
shows that another levy was authorized for the erection of the new prison. It 
is in these words : "The Grand Jury presented the want of a prison in the 
county, and they have given in their judgment, that one hundred and fifty 
pounds will defray the charge — the order of the Court is that there shall be a 
levy forthwith for the raising of the sum for the defraying of the said charge." 

At a Court of Petty Sessions, held at the house of John Hodgkins at 
Chester, early in the next year, an assessment was authorized for raising £150 
for defraying the charge of the new jail, "at the true value of two pence per 
pound upon the real and personal estates of all the inhabitants of this county, 
seasable by the first act of the new laws — all freemen 6s. per head." This is 
the first ad valorem assessment made withm our limits. 

It was the custom for the grand jury, whose duties were about to expire, 
to meet and make their presentments of every presentable matter that had 
come to their knowledge since the adjournment of the previous court. After 
naming the justices present, sheriff and clerk, the minutes of each court, at this 
period, proceed thus: "After proclamation made and silence commanded, by 
the King & Queen's authority, and in the Proprietary's name, the Grand Jury 
was called over, and appeared and gave in their presentments and was dis- 
charged ; and a new Grand Jury returned by the Sheriff was empannelled." A 
less number composed a grand jury then than at the present day — usually about 

Some idea may be formed of the mischievously inquisitorial character of 
Chester county grand juries at this period, from the fact that at one court two 
newly-married couples were made the subjects of presentment because a chilH 
was born, in each case, too soon after marriage. In one case, besides the court 
charges and a fine of 20s., both parties were sentenced "to attend at the com- 
mon whipping post, and for the officer to declare their offence to the people ;" 
while in the other case the fijie was 50s., but the woman only was subjected to 
public exposure. This was more wantonly cruel than was inflicted in the 
former case, and consisted in standing at the common whipping post for one 
quarter of an hour with a paper on her breast, thus : "I here stand for an ex- 


ample to all others for committing the most wicked & notorious sin of forni- 

Presentments by the grand jury of such cases as the above could have no 
beneficial result, but their watchfulness when directed to matters that con- 
cerned the public was often productive of much good, especially when sec- 
onded by the court. A bridge over Ridley creek having been several times pre- 
sented, the court this year imposed a fine of £5 each on the supervisors of 
Chester and Ridley for their neglect to repair it. Such cases were not un fre- 

While the courts at this period, and for many years afterwards, did not 
hesitate to sentence a freeman to be sold into servitude for a period of years, 
in order to liquidate a fine or some other dues, they were extremely vigilant 
in guarding servants against oppression by their masters. Upon the complaint 
of a servant that he had served out his time and had been turned off "without 
clothes fitting for a servant to have," the court ordered his master to "pay 
him'" a hat, coat, waistcoat, breeches, drawers, stockings and shoes, all new, 
and also ten bushels of wheat or fourteen bushels of corn, two hoes and one 
axe. This kind of complaint was very common, and was denominated a claim 
"for the custom of the country." Justice Jonathan Hayes constantly inter- 
poses his dissent to the allowance of this "custom." 

There was another duty the court had to perform in respect to children 
about being bound out to service. This duty consisted in determining their 
ages, and the time they should serve. This was termed "Judging" them. At 
the October court of this year "the boys that ^Mauris Trent brought into the 
country were called up to be judged." There were eight of these boys, and 
they were probably negroes. They were ordered to serve their respective mas- 
ters till they arrived at the age of 21 years. 

The grand jury laid out the following roads in 1693, viz : One from the 
townships of Upper Providence and Edgmont "to the limestone ;" one from 
Newtown to Haverford Mill ; one from Thornbury towards Chester, and they 
reported adversely to one application for a road, which is the first adverse re- 
port on the record. 

Upon the petition of the inhabitants of Radnor to the Lieutenant Gover- 
nor and Council "requesting a road to be laid outt from the upper part of the 
s*^ township of Radnor unto marion ford," a warrant was directed by the Lieu- 
tenant Governor to lay out the same. 

Upon petition of the inhabitants of Chester county to the Governor and 
Council, setting forth that they had long suffered for want of a division line 
between that county and New Castle, it was resolved, "that for the present con- 
venience of the government and not for an absolute and final proprietarie di- 
vision, (but that the inhabitants on the borders of both counties may know to 
which of the two to pay their levies, taxes, &c., and perform their countie ser- 
vices,) the bounds of New Castle Countie shall extend Northward to the 
mouth of Naaman's creek, and upwards along the S. W. side of the norther- 


most branch, (excluding the townshipps of Concord & Bethell) and not to ex- 
tend backwards of the northermost branch above the s*^ townshipps." 

It is a source of regret that the minutes of Haverford Monthly Meeting 
from the 5th mo. (July,) 1686, to the 5th mo., 1693, are wanting, because that 
meeting was more particular than any other in noting matters that would form 
interesting items for a local history. During this period, the meeting at the 
Schuylkill has ceased to be connected with this monthly meeting, but the regis- 
ter of marriages, still preserved, shows that the connection continued till 1688. 
The Haverford Monthly Meeting is now composed of the three preparative 
meetings of Merion, Haverford and Radnor. 

It has been seen that the Welsh people, of which these meetings were al- 
most wholly composed, refused till 1690 to attach themselves to any district 
in which municipal government had been established ; claiming a promise from 
the Proprietary, that they should form a separate community, with a view of 
deciding all controversies and debates amongst themselves in their own lan- 
guage and "in Gospel order." The monthly meeting was doubtless the tribunal 
that regulated the secular as well as the spiritual affairs of our Welsh ancestors 
for seven or eight years after their first settlement ; nor did they wholly entrust 
their civil matters to the officers of the law for some time after they had sub- 
mitted to a division of the Welsh Tract between the counties of Philadelphia 
and Chester. Thus, at the monthly meeting held at Haverford in the 6th month 
(August,) 1693, it was ordered, "y*^ Wm. Howell, Morris Llewelyn for Haver- 
ford, David Merideth, David Evans for Radnor, Griffith Jones, James Thomas 
for Merion, see y* sufficient fences be kept in his respective neighborhood." 
And again in the proceedings of the following mouth, this minute occurs : "It 
is ordered by this meeting and consent of the inhabitants of the townships of 
Haverford and Radnor, in pursuance of a law in that case made y* y'^ inhabi- 
tance of y® s^ two townships should pay is. per hundred toward y^ takeing of 
Wolves. Wm. Howell, William Jenkins, for Haverford, and David Meredith 
and Stephen Bevan for Radnor, to receive y® s*^ Taxe." 

Previously to the disownment of George Keith, as has been mentioned, 
the minutes of the several monthly meetings are silent in regard to him. Since 
that time he is frequently noticed, but not with respect. The first is by Chester 
Meeting, which orders "that [copies] of the paper written by Jane Biles as a 
testimony against George Keith and his company and separation and abusing 
friends, (which said paper being read and well approved of), be obtained," to 
be disposed of "for the general service of truth." The first meeting-house at 
Chester appears to have been completed in 1693. A meeting-house at Radnor 
was also completed and brought into service about the same time. 

The Society of Friends had been in advance of other religious sects in 
providing comfortable quarters for their horses at their places of worship. 
The first provision made for this purpose, of which there is any record, was at 
Haverford in 1694, when a committee was appointed by the meeting, "to get a 
stable made adjoining this meeting house." 


In early times, tci\vn>liip meetings assumed the riglit of enacting rules and 
regulations, or rather to make laws, for their respective townships. Unfortu- 
nately but few of the ancient records of our townships have been preserved. 
The following items have been extracted from the Darby township book : 

"Agreed that this meeting begin at Eleven o'Clock in the forenoon, and tliat the con- 
stable give notice the first day before. 

"And it is also agreed that the said town's meeting be held on the third day of the 
last week in the twelfth month, (yearly) to appoint officers for the ensuing year, at which 
time the officers is to give up their accounts. 

"Agreed that none of the inhabitants of this Town take any horses or mares either 
to keep in winter or summer, nor no cattle in summer except they keep them within 
their own fenced lands, upon the penalty of five shillings per head for every month." 

The above extracts are without date, but stand on the record immediately 

above the following. It may therefore be inferred that they were enacted at 

the same, or at an earlier period. 

"Agreed by the Townsmen of Darby at the meeting house, upon 26**^ day of the 12th 
month, 1693-4, [Feb., 1694,] that whatever handy-Crafts men shall offer himself to inhabit 
in the township, shall first continue forty days as a sojourner, to have the approbation 
of the said township; whither he shall be received as an inhabitant or no ; and that no per- 
son shall dare to receive any stranger as an inhabitant before such probation and grant 
of said Townsmen. 

"Signed on behalf of the Town of Darby, by Tho. Worth." 

"Agreed at a Town meeting 1693-4, That Tho. Worth shall as Clerk of the Town, 
signe all public agreements in behalf of the town, and the same shall be as binding as if 
every mans particular hand was at the same." 

The Court proceedings of this year are introduced by imposing upon 
Mary M a fine of "five shillings for her lying." 

A road was laid out "between Radnor meeting house and the Schuylkill 
ford ;" and also one "from John Longworthy's house to a road between Ches- 
ter and Radnor." 

One Philip England claimed the monopoly of the ferry at High street on 
the Schuylkill, but from some cause, the Friends of Haverford Monthly Meet- 
ing, with the assistance of some Friends of Darby, supported a ferry in the vi- 
cinity of that kept by England, and employed a man named Nathaniel Mulli- 
nax to attend it. England petitioned to the Governor and Council to support 
him in his monopoly, wdiich they eventually did, on the ground that the ferry 
was the Proprietor's right, a grant of which was held by England. The deci- 
sion of the Governor was accompanied by a prohibition against all others "us- 
ing anie other ferrie within foure miles distance on either side of the river, 
of the proprietors ferrie." 

A report made by a committee of the Council this year, giving the 
amounts raised in the several counties upon an assessment of id. per pound, 
will give some idea of the relative progress that had been made in the different 
counties : 


£ s. d. £ s. d.. 

County of Philadelphia, ... 314 n n County of Chester, 65 00 0/ 

New Castle, ... 143 15 00 " Bucks 48 04 01 

" Sussex, loi 01 09 . 

Kent, 88 02 10 £760 16 2 

At this time the settlements had spread in Chester county but httle beyond 
the territory now included in Delaware county. 

There appear to have been great losses of stock and cattle during 1694, 
from want of provender. 

"The want of a Bridle road between the broad road near James Brown's 
house in Chichester [Marcus Hook] and Chichester creek and from thence to 
Chester creek," was presented by the grand jury at the March term of 1695. 
A similar presentment had been made at the previous session of the court. 
The necessity of such a road will be understood, when the reader is informed 
that the King's road did not, up to this time, pass through Chester, but crossed 
both Ridley and Chester creeks at the head of tide ; there being no bridge over 
the creek at Chester, and no public road from thence directly to Marcus Hook. 

The Grand Inquest, after having examined the accounts of the county 
recommend a levy of a penny in the pound, which was ordered by the court, 
"for finishing the prison and defraying of the old debts & for wolves heads ;" 
also for the relief of the poor. The grand jury also on this occasion performed 
the duty of county auditors, and "having examined Jeremiah Collet's [the 
treasurer's] accounts, finds them to be true accounts, and finds him to be in- 
debted to the county, the sum of eighteen shillings and eleven pence, and the 
county to be indebted to Thomas Smith the sum of 18 pounds 19s. and 46.." 
The next grand jury held a meeting on the 2d of October, to consider the af- 
fairs of the county. The following interesting record of their proceedings is 
given at length : 

"We the Grand Jury by the King's authority, finding that the county is in debt by 
the accounts that the last Grand Jury presented; that the County Treasurer is out of 
purse, and others in the concerns of the county charge ; and that the prison is not yet 
finished, and several wolve's heads to pay for : We the Grand Inquest have taken it into 
our consideration to lay an assessment upon the county for to pay the Judges expenses, 
which is to be paid to Joseph Wood, Sheriff of Chester County, and what was disbursed 
by the said Treasurer of said county concerning the building of the prison, and to finish 
the said county prison, with as much expedition as may be, and the said levy to be 
raised as followeth : — on all real and personal estates, at one penny per pound and three 
shillings per head on free men, (viz) every acre of cleared land, and being in tillage, at 
one pound per acre ; and for every hundred acres of rough land by the river, at ten 
pounds per hundred, and for every hundred acres in the woods, at five pounds per hun- 
dred ; for all horses and mares from three years old and upwards, at 3 pounds ; for 
every colt one year old and upwards, 20 shillings; for all cows and oxen, from three 
years old and upwards, £2. 10s; for all cattle one year old and upwards, at one pound; 
for all sheep a year old and upwards, at six shillings a piece; for all male negroes, from 
16 years old and upwards, to sixty, 25^ per negro; for all female negroes from 16 years 
old to sixty, at 2oi per negro ; for Chester mill at one hundred pounds, Joseph Cobourn's 
at £50, Darby mill at one hundred pounds, Hartford [Haverford] mill at 2oi pounds. 
Concord mill at io£ pounds ; Jasper Yeates for his estate and calling 200 pounds, Caleb 


Pusey for his estate and calling loo pounds, Jercniiali Collctt for his estate and calling 
30 pounds, Nathaniel Newlin for his calling 20 pounds; all ordinary keepers, for their 
callings, 20 pounds ; for all handicrafts that followeth no plantation for calling, 3 shill- 
ings a piece. — Subscribed by this present Grand Inquest." 

From the above extract we learn maii\- interesting facts. There were five 
mills in the county at this early date, besides the Swedes' mill on the Philadel- 
phia county line. The dates of the erection of the Chester mill, and Coburn's 
mill have already been given; and a presentment of the grand jury made in 
1688, shows that the Haverford mill was then erected. This mill was on 
Cobb's creek, near the place where that stream is crossed by the road leading 
past Haverford meeting-house. Of the Darby mill and Concord mill, the au- 
thor has not met with an earlier notice. The Concord mill occupied the site of 
the mill now owned by Samuel Leedom. A mill was shortly afterwards built 
lower down the stream by Nicholas Newlin, but not so low down as the mill 
owned by John Hill. 

While it is not presumed that the full value of property is given in the as- 
sessment, the relative value may be relied on as nearly correct. We thus see 
that cleared land, under tillage, was ten times as valuable as unimproved land 
near the river, and twenty times as valuable as unimproved lands further 
back, etc. 

Maurice Trent, before mentioned, brought another set of boys into court 
to be "judged." Their respective periods of servitude were accordingly fixed 
by the justices. It had become a common practice at this period for servants 
who had run away, or in any other manner caused loss or expense to their 
masters, to be brought into court for the justices to determine, what additions 
should be made to their terms of servitude, as an equivalent for such loss or 

At this time, there was considerable trade at Chester, and also some at 
Jylarcus Hook. Hence we find appointments of officers connected with its 
proper regulation. Edward Dangger was this year "attested Geager and Pack- 
er and Culler of this County of Chester." 

The arbitrary rule of Governor Fletcher, under which Quakerism found 
but little favor, continued about two years, when the King and Queen were 
pleased to restore the government of the province again to William Penn, very 
much to the satisfaction of the people. The afTairs of the Proprietary were 
not, however, in such a condition as to allow him to visit the country, and 
Thomas Lloyd having died, he again commissioned his cousin William Mark- 
ham as his deputy. 

It came to the knowledge of the Concord and Chichester Monthly Meet- 
ing, about this time, that two young persons of the latter township, were en- 
gaged in certain studies and practices that, at this period, were regarded as 
very dangerous. The serious gravity with which the subject was treated by 
the meeting is really remarkable. 

"Some friends having a concern upon them concerning some young men which came 
among friends, to their meetings, and following some acts which friends thought not fit 


for such as professed the truth, to follow, viz: Astrology and other arts, whereupon 
it was stated to the meeting concerning Astrology and other Sciences, as Geomancy and 
Chiromancy and Necromancy &c.— It was debated and the sence of this meeting is, that 
the study of these sciences brings a veile over the understanding, and a death upon the 

The meeting ordered the young men, as well as their father, to be spoken 
to on the subject. The conference with the former is given as follows : 

"Philip Roman and his brother Robert, friends of Chichester, was speak'd to about 
those arts and sciences above said; they seemed to disown that is mentioned except the 
Astrolog\'. Much was said to them, but it was not received. Af last they proposed to the 
meeting, if they thought well of it, to confer with Nicholas Newlin and Jacob Chandler, 
and if they could convince them that it was evil, they would leave it." 

The meeting accepted the offer of the young men. At the next meeting 
(January, 1696) the committee reported that they had conferred with the 
young men, and there had been "many arguments on both sides — at length, 
Philip concluded with us that he did not know that he should use that art of 
Astrology again, for he had denied several that came to him to be resolved of 
their questions already. Robert promised the same but with this reserve — un- 
less it was to do some great good by it. From which belief of some great good, 
we could not remove him." This was not satisfactory to the meeting. Philip 
was required "to give forth a paper to condemn his practice of resolving ques- 
tions in Astrology, concerning lost and Gain, with other vain questions." The 
meeting gave out a similar paper against Robert. 

The subject of these dark practices was also brought before the Chester 
Quarterly Meeting, which body appears to have taken a rather rational view 
of the subject for the times. The following is an extract from the preamble 
of a long testimony published by that meeting, early the year 1696 : 

"Whereas the meeting being acquainted, that some persons under the profession of 
truth, and belonging to this meeting, who professing the art of Astrology, have undertaken 
thereby to answer questions, and give Astrological Judgments concerning persons and 
things, tending to the dishonor of God, and the reproach of Truth and the great hurt 
of themselves and those who come to inquire of them; and whereas, it is also 
reported that some professing truth among us seems too much inclined to use and prac- 
tice Rabdomancy, or consulting with a staflf, and such like things, all which have brought 
a weighty exercise and concern upon this meeting, as well because of the reproach, that 
is already brought upon the truth hereby, as also to prevent, as much as in us lies, its 
being further reproached by any among us that may attempt to follow the like practices 
for time to come, &c." 

But this business did not end with the meeting. An offence so serious as 
the practice of Geomancy could not escape the vigilance of the grand jury, par- 
ticularly as the foreman lived in the same neighborhood with the parties. In 
"bringing the matter to the notice of the Court they say : "We the grand Inquest 
hy tlie King's authority, presents Robert Roman of Chichester for practicing 
Geomancy according to hidden, and divining by a stick. Walter Martin, 


\\ illi the view of cfl actually eradicating the evil, it l)ecame necessary to- 
destroy the implements of mischief by another presentment, which is thus re- 
corded : "We the Grand Inquest by the Kings authority i)resents the following 
books : Hidons Temple of Wisdom, which teaches Geomancy, and Scots dis- 
covery of Witchcraft, and Cornelias Agri])pas teach Necromancy. Walter 
Martin, Foreman." Upon which "the Court orders as many of said Books as 
can be found be brought to the next court." The following minute records the 
closing scene of this ludicrous judicial procedure: "Robert Roman was 
called to answer the presentment of the Grand Jury the last Court ; he ap- 
peared and submitted himself to the Bencli. 1'hc order of the Court is that he 
shall pay five pounds for a fine and all charges, and never practice the arts, 
but behave himself well for the future, and he promised to do so, whereupon 
he is discharged for this time." 

Two young men were presented at the next court "for running a horse 
race on the first day of the week." They each got off with a fine of 5 shillings, 
thus proving that the practice of Geomancy in those primitive times was a 
twenty fold greater offence than Sunday horse racing. 

"John Simcock brought in his account. — The County of Chester debtor to 
John Simcock, for balance of his account to the year 1695, the sum of £28 2s. 
John Simcock debtor to the sale of the old Court house, the sum of £57. — By 
balance remains due John Simcock £28 i8s." This must have been the court- 
house erected in 1685, the expense of which does not as yet appear to have 
been fully liquidated, as William Clayton makes complaint that "there is due 
to him ii8 IS. 6d. for his father's salary and work on the old Court house." 
Nor is this remarkable, as by a presentment of the grand jury, it is shown that 
taxes laid on large tracts of land in 1685, for the erection of the court-house 
and prison, were still due. 

In 1696 a road \vas laid out "from David Meridiths plantation to Haver- 
ford Meeting house." This road passes White Hall and west of Haverford 
College. The court orders Ellis Ellis, supervisor of Haverford, to cut and 
clear the road way, "that leads to the limestone hill from Darbv through Har- 

The several meetings composing Chester Quarterly Meeting subscribed 
£85 8s. 4d. tow^ards building a meeting-house in the city of Philadelphia. The 
meetings composing Haverford ]\Ionthly Meeting also subscribed, but tlie 
amount is not given. The minutes of that meeting show that the location of 
the meeting-house to be built in Philadelphia was "in y*" second street near the 
market place." 

The follow ing minute from the Haverford Records, is the authority upon 
which the Friends' meeting at Newtown was established : "\\'illiani Lewis 
and some other friends having proposed to this meeting, to settle a meeting at 
Newtown, they are left to their freedom therein." It is dated i illi mo. 14th 
1696 O. S. Before the close of the year, Thomas Jones was ordered by the 
meeting "to acquaint friends of Chester ^Meeting, that the meeting lately set- 


tied at Newton is done w*'' ye consent of this meeting, in order to have their 
approbation therein." 

Notwithtanding the Governor and Council in 1694 sustained England in 
his claim to a monopoly of ferrying people over the Schuylkill, the following 
extract from the Haverford Meeting Records shows that this monopoly was 
not continued by the Proprietary's government when restored, and that a ferry 
was again kept up by the monthly meeting: "David Evans & Daniel Hum- 
phrey are ordered by this meeting to collect twenty shillings out of each of the 
meetings of Haverford & Radnor and the rest y* are unpaid of the subscrip- 
tion towards the ferry, to pay Nath : Mullenex's wages." 

Notwithstanding that this meeting and others occasionally gave their at- 
tention to secular afifairs, there was no falling off by the members in the per- 
formance of their moral and religious duties. It is really wonderful, the amount 
of patient labor that was bestowed about this period in preserving the church 
in its purity ; in counselling and advising the rising generation, and in reclaim- 
ing the wayward. And it is even still more wonderful to see the large amounts 
that were appropriated to charitable purposes. This was particularly the case 
among the Welsh Friends. Every reasonable want was attended to. Ha 
newly arrived immigrant, or a "poor friend" stood in need of a house, it was 
built for him ; of a plough or a cow, he was provided with one. The fields of 
the sick and the weak were not allowed to remain uncultivated, and their pe- 
cuniary wants and other necessities were liberally supplied. Nor was their 
care in these respects confined to their own little communities. Wherever 
suffering humanity was found, our Quaker ancestors were ever ready to con- 
tribute liberally to its relief. 

In 1697 the meetings were made acquainted with the distressed condi- 
tion of the people of New England ; "the great want and necessity of Friends 
and others, by reason of the Indians making inroads upon them, burning and 
destroying their habitations and the lives of many, and by reason of the fail- 
ing of their crops." The relief afforded was prompt and liberal. Haverford 
Monthly Meeting subscribed i6o 14s. iid. ; Chichester, Concord, and Birm- 
ingham, £37 5s. 3d.; and Chester, £32 2s. iid. The amount subscribed by 
Darby is not given. 

There was a subscription made this year of £86 by the Friends of Con- 
cord, Birmingham, and Thornbury, towards the erection of a meeting-house — 
it is supposed at the first-mentioned place. The subscription list contains thir- 
ty-four names. From its heading, it is very apparent that some of the mem- 
bers were imbued with Keithian doctrines. A Hst of those who contributed 
towards fencing the grave-yard is also given. 

As traveling by land increased, the inhabitants of Chester felt more 
strongly the inconvenience of being located at a distance from the King's high- 
way — the main thoroughfare of travel between the northern and southern 
Provinces. To bring the main road through the town, a bridge over the creek 
would be required, and to secure this object, "several of y^ Inhabitants of y" 
town & countie of Chester & others," presented a petition to the Governor and 


Council. Hut this pctiliou was met l)y a strong remonstrance, and after the 
matter had been considered in "Grand Committee," that is, a meeting of the 
Council and Assembly together, it was put "to the vote of y® s** grand commit- 
tee, whether a bridge should be built tAcr the navigable i)art of Chester creek, 
as is petitioned, it was carried in the negative, nciuinc contradicentc." So ended 
the matter at this time. 

At the July court a deed was acknowledged to John Simcocks, John Blun- 
ston, Samuel Levis, Jasper Yeates and Jonathan Hayes, the justices of the 
county, "for all that piece of land whereon the new court house stands, con- 
tayning in breadth to the street twenty-nine foot back to Chester creeke. unto 
them and theyr sucksessors for ever ;" the deed bearing date the ninth day of 
the fourth month called "June An. Dom. 1697." 

A road was in 1697 laid out "from Henry Hames, (in Alarple) to Haver- 
ford Meeting House." The closing part of the report of the grand jury in 
laying out this road is rather remarkable for the evanescent character of the 
land marks they fixed on to identify the route they selected. When they ap- 
proach the meeting-house they say : "running up the said line betwixt William 
Howell and David Lawrence — making the fence the middle of the road till it 
comes to the fence where we pulled downe, and so to the meeting house where 
we end. Andrew Job, Foreman."' 

There was also a cart-way reported, "for the convenience of the county, 
from the corner of Walter Faucetts fence to Darby." This is the first laying 
out of the King's highway between the points mentioned. 

The number of servants brought into court to be "judged," has greatly 
increased. More than thirty were brought to a single court. In some instances 
the justices direct that they shall be taught to read and write. 

The justices were exceedingly strict in seeing the law enforced against 
persons who failed to comply with the legal enactments on the subject of mar- 
riage. In one case, the grand jury presented the parties and all the witnesses, 
and in another case one Matthew Risley was sentenced to receive thirteen 
lashes for attempting to marry persons contrary to law, although it was proven 
on the trial that it w^as a joke practiced on him — the parties being both men. 

Corporal punishment is becoming more common. A man was sentenced 
to receive thirty lashes on his bare back, well laid on, for the larceny of one 
bushel of wheat. 

A grand jury, of which George Pearce was foreman, made a presentment 
against a law that took the business of levying taxes out of their hands and 
placed it in the hands of six assessors. They desired "that the six assessors 
might be laid aside, and that the grand jury, which are the body of the county, 
may have the order of such things as formerly." 

A Provincial Court is occasionally held at Chester. At one held in Octo- 
ber, 1698, before which there was but one case, Jolm ]\Ioorc appeared as coun- 
sel for the "Appellant," and David Lloyd for the "Appellee." 

In the appraisement of 700 acres of laul situated in Providence, taken 
in execution bv the sheriff, it will be <oen liow little land h.'i'l improved in ]irice. 


independently of the improvements. Tlie land was valued at £80; "One house, 
barn, orchard nursery and Garding at i 160;" and the wheat in the ground at 

Haver ford Monthly Meeting now appears to be disposed to get rid of the 
municipal concerns with which it has heretofore been burdened. To accom- 
plish this object, it was concluded by the meeting "that there be a towns meet- 
ing held at Haverford to regulate matters and decide controversies, the first 
third day of the third month, for the townships belonging to this monethly 
meeting, & then to appoint meetings & adjourn the same as they think con- 
venient." The minutes of these town meetings have not been discovered. The 
monthly meeting has been constantly held at Haverford since the erection of 
the meeting-house at that place. Now it is agreed to let the monthly meeting 
alternate among the several meetings composing it, viz : Merion, Haverford 
and Radnor. It still retained the name of "Haverford Monthly Meeting." 

The Friends of the Quarterly Meeting of Chester county became dissat- 
isfied "that some Welsh Friends live within their county, and yet join with 
friends of y'' county of Philadelphia in their monthly and Quarterly meetings." 
John Bevan, William Howell, Row. Ellis and Rees Thomas were appointed by 
the Haverford meeting "to remind them of the conclusion made betwixt them 
& the Welsh friends, that their meetings should not be separated." This effort 
of the Friends of the Chester Quarterly Meeting failed, and the meetings that 
then composed the Haverford Monthly Meeting have remained attached to the 
Philadelphia Quarter to this day. 

The Keithian doctrines had found more favor in the meetings that com- 
posed Concord Monthly Meeting than in any others located in the county. 
There was one disownment by that meeting in 1698 of a prominent member, 
expressly on that ground, and the minutes furnish evidence that others had 
quietly separated from the Society without any formal disownment. Some of 
these subsequently returned, made an acknowledgment of their error, and 
were restored to their former standing in the Society. This was also the case 
in other meetings, but not to so great an extent. 

In Darby Meeting, a father having unreasonably refused his consent to 
the marriage of his daughter, the couple, after having made legal publication 
of their intentions, went before John Blunston, a justice of the peace, and alsO' 
a member of meeting in high standing, and were legally married. The parties, 
and the father of the bride, were dealt with by the meeting, but the part taken 
by the magistrate was not called in question as being an ofifence against the 
rules of the Society. 

The practice of holding preparative meetings by the Society of Friends 
here, commenced about this time. * 

In the minutes of Darby Meeting for 1699 there are several entries in re- 
spect to the building of a new meeting-house. At length it was agreed "that 
a meeting house sixty foot one way and twenty foot added to the side 21 foot 
wide in the cleare be built." A portion of this meeting-house is still standing, 
inside of the grave-yard at Darby. 


The young people among Friends were very much restricted in these early 
times in the matter of courtship and marriage. The meeting at Haverford 
ordered, "that all young men among friends make known their intentions to 
their parents or guardians before they acquaint y*^ young woman's relations, 
and to make it known unto the woman's parents or Guardians, before they 
speak to them, and if any do otherwise, that they shall condemn the same be- 
fore they proceed any farther. * * ■^" About the same restrictions, it is 
believed, prevailed generally in the Society. 

David Lloyd presented a petition to the Council, setting forth that he had 
purchased a small parcel of land at Chester, "called the Green, w'^'^ Lyes very 
commodious for building a town. It fronts to both Chester Creek & delaware 
river, and is protracted, & a market place Laid out, with Streets by y'' Sur- 
veyor General, as by the mapp to the said petition annex't appears." He asked 
the board "to allow and confirm the s'^ model as the law in that case directs." 
But in this he was opposed by Jasper Yeates, who regarded the Green as 
church land, and was unwilling that David Lloyd should "obtain an act of As- 
sembly to strengthen a pretended title of his to the green Lying before Up- 
land." So the matter rested for the present. 

The inhabitants of Chichester [Marcus Hook] this year petitioned the 
Council, "requesting a weeklie markett & two fairs in the year; after a full 
debate y'"upon. The Leivt. Gor & Council granted y"" a weeklie market on fri- 
days, to be kept in Broad street as is desired." 

Edward Shippen, Cornelius Emptson, and William Biles, as judges, held 
a Provincial Court this year at Chester, assisted by the county justices. After 
John Moore and David Lloyd, as attorneys, had had "several debates about 
the cause depending," the parties "referred the matter wholly to three judges 
on the benches as arbitrators," the parties to be bound by the decision, which 
was immediately made. 

At the June court, Joseph Edge, the constable of Chester, presented 
Henry Barnes, "for calling our Governor Penn a Rogue," &c., &c. The rest 
of the constables returned "all was well." For very many years after this 
date the same return was made, when a constable had no breach of the peace 
to report. It was also a practice to read the newly enacted laws, in open court 
immediately after the grand jury was called. 

The last road laid out by a grand jury was from the neighborhood of 
Birmingham and Thornbury to Joseph Cobourn's mill and Caleb Pusey's mill, 
the report of which was made to the June court. The same court made the 
first appointment of six viewers to lay out a road in the manner now practiced. 
The appointment was to lay out "a convenient cart road," for Robert Smith of 
Darby. The court ordered, "that two supervisors, to witt, Thomas Fox of 
Darby, and Matthias Morton of Ridlye, to make good that new road from 
Walter Fawcet's fence to Darby, sixty foot wide." 

If the people of Chester did fail in obtaining permission to build a bridge 
over the creek, they were determined to divert some share of the travel of the 
King's road through their town. With this view, Ralph Fishbourne exhibited 


to the October court of 1699 a petition, "with many hands of the inhabitants of 
the County for a convenient road way from the west side of Chester Creek, 
where the ferry is to be kept, for to lead to the now King's road." The court 
accordingly appointed six viewers "for to go and lay out the said road way in 
the most convenient place they can for the conveniency of the Inhabitants." 

That dreadful scourge, the yellow fever, prevailed in the city of Philadel- 
phia in 1699, producing the greatest consternation and alarm among the peo- 
ple. The September court at Chester adjourned without transacting any busi- 
ness, and though the cause is not given on the record, it may reasonably be in- 
ferred, that the malady had made its appearance at that place. After a very 
protracted voyage, William Penn arrived in the Province with his wife and 
family, with the avowed intention of ending his days in Pennsylvania. He 
landed at Philadelphia in the beginning of November, after the ravages of the 
fever had ceased. 

When proceeding up the Delaware, Penn left the vessel, and spent one 
night at the house of Lydia, the widow of Robert Wade, in company with 
Thomas Story, who had recently arrived from a religious visit to Virginia. 
Before proceeding to the vessel in the morning, he crossed over to the east 
side of the creek in a boat, "and as he landed, some young men officiously, and 
contrary to express orders of some of the magistrates, fired two small sea 
pieces of cannon, and being ambitious to m.ake three out of two, by firing one 
twice, one of them darting in a cartridge of powder, before the piece was 
sponged, had his left arm shot to pieces ; upon which, a surgeon being sent for, 
an amputation took place." 

After the government was restored to Penn, a new constitution had been 
adopted under the administration of Markham, which was not satisfactory to 
the Proprietary. An entirely new council was elected ; and from Chester coun- 
ty, David Lloyd was returned for three years, Caleb Pusey for two, and John 
Simcock for one year. Many new laws were passed shortly after the arrival 
of the Proprietary, which were duly read at the opening of the March court at 

Ralph Fishbourne now appears as a justice, and Henry Hollingsworth as 
clerk of the court. In a prosecution for highway robbery, John Moore ap- 
peared as attorney for the King. 

That everlasting subject, the court-house and prison, again claimed the 
attention of the court and grand jury, who ordered them to "be forthwith re- 
paired for a present necessity * * * that the two back-rooms in the pris- 
on be arched over with a brick in length, and be furnished with sufficient doors, 
and the whole prison to be laid over with beams close together, and planked on 
the top of them." Provision was also made for a pair of stocks and a whip- 
ping-post ; all to be at the county's charge. 

The justices appoint "four substantial freeholders," as assessors to assist 
them in levying the necessary taxes : but the duty now performed by assessors 
was then performed by the constables, while the justices and assessors sup- 
plied the place of county commissioners of the present day. 


Among the presentments of tlie Grand Jury was that " did 

fraiiducntly expose peces of lead and potshards unto John Stubbs of this coun- 
ty for current silver of the Province." 

The court and grand jury authorized a levy towards the close of this year 
of 3d. in the pound, and 12 shillings poll tax. In anticipation of this duty, 
three of the grand jurors, though ])resent, refused to serve, and submitted to a 
fine of 20 shillings each ; it being understood that the tax was for the defence 
of the Province. This tax amounted to ^325, and was laid by the assembly- 
men and assessors of the county, in pursuance of a law lately enacted at New 

\Miat is now known as "the old end" of Haverford Meeting House was 
built this year, at an estimated cost of £158. It was built as an addition to a 
former meeting-house, which was replaced by the present "new end" in the 
year 1800 — one century afterwards. The old meeting-house was without a 
chimney, being warmed by a kind of stove, or furnace, placed on each side of 
the building, and supplied with fuel from the outside of the house. Only the 
top of these stoves were of iron, and the smoke escaped by flues opening on the 
outside of the wall, a few feet above the opening through which the fuel was 
introduced. Part of this arrangement is yet conspicuous in the walls of the old 

Clarkson records the attendance of Penn at a general meeting of the 
Welsh Quakers at Haverford — doubtless in their then newly erected meeting- 
house. If tradition is to be relied on, a goodly number of our Welsh ancestors 
were so little acquainted with the English language, that they were unable to 
understand the sermon preached by the Proprietary. 

. On another visit to Haverford, an anecdote is recorded of the Proprietary. 
A little girl named Rebecca W'ood was walking from Darby, where she resided, 
to Haverford Meeting, when Penn, who was on horseback, overtook her, and 
inquired where she was going. Upon being informed, "he with his usual good 
nature, desired her to get up behind him ; and bringing his horse to a conven- 
ient place, she mounted, and so rode away upon the bare back, and being 
without shoes or stockings, her bare legs & feet hung dangling by the side of 
the Governor's horse." 

From the first settlement of the country up to this time, disownments 
from the Society of Friends were very rare. The first minuted loss of mem- 
bership in Chester Monthly Meeting occurs this year. P>y repeated visits, and 
patient careful and judicious management, nearly every offender was reclaimed 
and restored to his former standing in the Society. Some thus restored by 
careful dealing, afterwards became the pillars of the church. The growth of 
the Society now appears to be rapid, both in numbers and means ; new meetings 
are being established and new meeting-houses erected. In 1699 a new meeting- 
house was proposed to be erected "by the Friends belonging to Thomas Min- 
chall's meeting, at the burying ground by Thomas Powell's" This burying 
ground is now known as Sandy Bank. The committee appointed to fix the site 
of the meeting-house, decided that, "the farther end of Thomas Minshall's- 


land by the high road side," was the best location. Thomas Minshall donated 
an acre of land for the purpose and the meeting-house was erected and ready 
for use this year. It occupied the present site of Providence Meeting-house. 

Early this year a committee fixed a site "for a meeting house, for friends 
of John Bowater's Meeting * * * upon the land or lot belonging to the 
meeting's burying place." This is the site of the old meeting-house in Mid- 
dletown. The house proposed to be built may not have been completed before 
the next year. 

A meeting-house was also erected at Springfield this year for the accom- 
modation of the meeting that had been held at the house of Bartholomew Cop- 
pock. It is not known that it was occupied earlier than the 26th of the 3d 
month (May), 1701, when Chester Monthly Meeting was held there. 

Evidence of the existence of Episcopalian organizations within the limits 
of our county now begins to dawn upon us. In the History of the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, we are told that "the Swedes 
and Dutch settled in this Province [Pennsylvania] had some ministers among 
them, but the English had none till the year 1700, when the Reverend Mr. 
Evans was sent over to Philadelphia by Bishop Compton." After describing 
the labors and success of Mr. Evans, the author goes on to say, that "a hearty 
love and zeal for Religion spread so wide, that there arose soon several con- 
gregations, in other parts of the country ; Mr. Evans was forced to divide his 
labours among them, as often as he conveniently could, till they might be 
formed into Proper Districts, and the ministers sent over to them." 

"He went frequently to Chichester, Chester and Concord, to Montgomery 
and Radnor, each about 20 miles distant from Philadelphia, and to Maiden- 
head in West Jersey, 40 miles distant. This travelling was both fatiguing and 
expensive, yet he frequently visited those places, being determined by all 
means, to lose none of those he had gained. But Montgomery and Radnor 
next to Philadelphia had the most considerable share in his labors." There 
is no notice of a church edifice at either of the places named, except Philadel- 
phia. Mr. Evans was, in part, supported by the royal bounty of King Wil- 
liam and not at all by the Society. 

Since the establishment of a mill at Darby, the Swedes' mill appears to 
have attracted less attention. A conveyance made this year by the widow of 
Neals Laerson, and her son, Andrew Friend, of one twenty-third part of this 
mill and appurtenant land, to William Cobb, shows that it had been held by a 
joint-stock company of Swedes. Having passed into the hands of William 
Cobb, the creek on which the mill was located, after a time, acquired his name. 

The people of the town of Chichester [Marcus Hook] were not satisfied 
without the privilege of holding a fair, which it appears they had enjoyed un- 
der the administration of Governor Markham. "Because some complaints had 
been made against fairs in general," the grant of a fair to Chichester was made 
by the Council conditionally; it was to be suppressed when the government 
thought fit to suppress others. The people of the town of Chester concluded 
that this grant of a fair to Chichester was intended to supersede one of the two 



annual fairs that their town had enjoyed for ahout eleven years, under a grant 
from the (lt)veni(>r and C'nuncil. r])iin a|)])licali()n a fair, in the usual course, 
was ordered to be held, and the privilege of holding two annual fairs and a 
weekly market, was soon afterwards confirmed to the inhabitants of Chester 
by a charter from the Governor. 

At the March court, it was "ordered by the justices and grand jury that 
the old court house be set on sale the 6th day of the 3d month next, and in 
order thereto, papers be set up to give notice that it is to be sold at vandew." 
And at the same court, in respect to a prison, it was "ordered that Jasper 
Yeates, J\al])h Eishbourn. Joseph Cobourn and Andrew Jobe be supervisors 
for the building of a new prison u])(in the ground bought of James Sanderland, 
and we order them to imploy workmen & to provide materials for performing 
and carrying on the said work, and the said supervisors are empowered to re- 
ceive the levy from the collectors as they are raised and to pay the workmen 
and to do all things material for the said work; and they are to build the said 
house 25 foot long and 18 foot wide in the clear, or thereabouts, as they see 
cause — the said house to front high street, and at the north corner of the 

At the December court. "James Sandiland Ijy liis attorney, David Lloyd 
delivered a deed to John Blunston, Caleb Pusey, Ralph Eishborn, Robert Pile 
and Philip Roman for a piece of land being 120 foot square in the township of 
Chester," for which land, the grantees at the same time delivered a declaration 
of trust, showing that the purchase was for the use of the county. At the 
same court, it was agreed by the justices and grand jury "to repair the court 
house and prison with all possible speed, and they appoint Walter Martin. 
John Hoskin and Henry Worley to be supervisors and oversee the work and 
to agree with workmen, provide materials and finish the said work with all ex- 
pedition, and to provide a pair of stocks and whipping post." 

Eastown was organized as a township this year. The new roads laid out 
have become so numerous, and the reports of their location so indefinite, that 
a further notice of them would prove tedious. It will therefore be omitted, 
except in very particular cases. The tax laid for the support of the govern- 
ment was very unpopular. So much so that the constables returned that the 
inhabitants were unwilling to pay or delayed payment, whereupon it was or- 
dered by the court "that a warrant be issued to the sheriff to collect the said 

The establishment of Newtown meeting by Haverford Monthly Meeting 
has already been mentioned. This was not regarded with favor by the Chester 
Quarterly Meeting which had considered the connection of Haverford and 
Radnor Meetings with Philadelphia as an innovation on its appropriate juris- 
diction. Complaint was at once made, first to Haverford. then to the Philadel- 
phia Quarterly Meeting, and finally to the Yearly Meeting, which decided, 
"that Newtown Meeting may remain as it is, and may belong to Philadelphia ; 
but for the future the Welsh Eriends are not to set up any more meetings in 
the county of Chester without the consent of (Chester) Quarterly Meeting." 


The Welsh settlements had extended into Goshen, and the Haverford 
Monthly Meeting had already authorized or were about to authorize a meeting 
to be held there. The decision of the Yearly Meeting made it necessary for 
the Goshen Friends to make application to the Chester Quarterly Meeting, 
which was accordingly done, and permission was obtained in the following 
year, to have a meeting at Goshen, "every other first day." 

Notwithstanding the jurisdiction over the Goshen Friends could no longer 
be claimed by the Haverford Monthly Meeting, the members of that meeting 
for a long time continued to extend a tender care over them, to supply their 
wants and to unite with them in their meetings. Even the next year the 
Friends of Haverford Meeting contributed ii6 9s. 8d. to aid Robert William 
of Goshen in building a house, he having received Friends "Kindly and open 
hearted," and keeping the meeting in his house. At the same time £12 5s. 2d. 
was contributed to Cadwalader Ellis and brother, also of Goshen, "whose 
house had been burned by fire, and his mother and brother having lost most 
they had." These acts of kindness, taken in connection with a common an- 
cestry and language, produced a more familiar and friendly intercourse be- 
tween the Goshen Friends and those of Haverford Monthly Meeting, than ex- 
isted between them and the monthly meeting to which they formally belonged. 

The name of ]\Iarcus Hook had been changed to Chichester by Governor 
Markham and his Council before the first arrival of the Proprietary. Upon 
petition of the inhabitants of the venerable town, the Governor by letters 
patent confirmed the name of Chichester, and granted to the people of the 
place the usual privileges enjoyed by boroughs. 

Governor Penn received intelligence from England which compelled him 
to embrace the earliest opportunity to return. The crown had become jealous 
jf its Proprietary governments in America, and desired to convert them into 
regal ones. For this purpose, a bill had been introduced into Parliament, and 
was only postponed at the earnest solicitation of the friends of Penn, until he 
should return. This rendered his early departure necessary, and he according- 
ly sailed from Philadelphia on the ist of November, 1701. He never returned 
to Pennsylvania. 

A very unpopular act was passed this year in the shape of a law directing 
all located lands to be re-surveyed at the expense of the Proprietary — he ex- 
acting payment for all surplusage, which was found to be great in this county. 

Before leaving, Penn by letters patent established a Council of State, com- 
posed of ten members, of whom Caleb Pusey and John Blunston were from 
this county. He also appointed Andrew Hamilton, one of the proprietors of 
East Jersey, deputy governor. 

The boundary line between the counties of Chester and New Castle had 
only been temporarily established. A warrant was granted in 1701 to run the 
circular line, directed to Isaac Taylor of Chester county, and Thomas Pierson 
of New Castle county. The running of the circular line was no easy task. 
The cost was imposed on the two counties instead of the Province, and to 
judge from the following report of the grand jury on the subject, it may be 


concluded that the worthy surveyors were not overpaid : "We the Grand Jury 
from this County, having duly considered and carefully adjusted an account of 
charges contracted by running a circular line dividing this County from the 
County of New Castle and settling the boundaries, and having duly and delib- 
erately debated, every article of the said account, do allow the sum of twenty- 
six pounds nine shillings due, to be paid by this County for said work. James 
Couper, Foreman." 

Notwithstanding the court and grand jury last year directed that the 
court-house should be repaired "with all possible speed," we find the grand 
jury of this year presenting "the necessity of a court-house, and that all such 
as have not paid their levy, may be forced." They also added, that in case of 
emergency, for the speedy perfection of said work, "we the grand jury request 
that the justices take care to raise money as the law directs, for we are sensi- 
ble that law and justice cannot have its perfect course without such houses 
for their distribution as aforesaid." No new court-house, however, was erected 
till 1724. 

From the presentments of the grand jury and orders made by the court 
from time to time, it appears that the court-house was on this occasion only 
repaired, and that a new jail was erected, the latter occupying the site, it is be- 
lieved, of the building last used as a jail in Chester, and may have been part 
of that building. It will be seen hereafter, that at this period there was still 
a building known as the "old court house." 

Several roads were laid out this year. Among the number was one from 
"Limestone Hill to Springfield meeting House." 

Among the numerous presentments made by the grand jury, there are 
several for neglecting to keep the roads in repair. Thus, the townships of 
Chester, Ridley and Darby are presented "for neglecting to repair the Great 
road between Chester and the Philadelphia county line. & for want of con- 
venient bridges over the creeks." They also request that care be taken for a 
bridge "over Mill Creek, that parts this county from Philadelphia. In respect 
to the width of roads, the court made the following order which does not ap- 
pear to have been enforced : "Ordered, that all Cart roads, laid out by order 
of Court, and allowed, shall be fifty feet broad, as the two roads laid out from 
Upper and Nether Providence to Darby and Caleb's mill and all others." 

An Episcopal church was established this year on the site now occupied 
by St. Martin's church, at Marcus Hook. Walter Martin, a well known in- 
habitant of Chichester, by a singular deed of gift, in the year 1699 conveyed 
to the inhabitants of Chichester an acre of ground for a church or free bury- 
ing place: the inhabitants to build a church, chapel, or meeting-house, to the 
honor and service of God, "Quakers or reputed Quakers only excepted." 

The privilege of securing the lot by the erection of a church edifice, was 
confined to such as owned "the two ordinances of the Sacraments of baptism, 
and the Lord's Supper, viz: water baptism, that is by sprinkling or dipping; 
and the Lord's Supper of bread and wine ; and such as own the resurrection 
of the bodies of the dead, and own the ordinances of singing of psalms in the- 


praise of God in the Congregation or in their families, and such as own the 
taking an oath on the Bible according to the laws of England, if lawfully called 
thereto for the confirmation of the truth." 

A record in the vestry-book of St. Martin's church shows that the lot was 
secured to the Episcopalians by "Sundry persons, adventurers from England, 
Scotland, and Ireland, into the Province of Pennsylvania, being well principled 
in and affected to the pure Apostolick and primitive doctrine and discipline of 
the truly Episcopal and Protestant Church of England," who purchased, in 
1702, an old frame house from Jane and Tobias Hendrickson, for about £5, 
and removed it upon the lot conveyed by Walter Martin for a church yard. It 
was fitted up for divine worship the same year. 

The evidence in respect to the time of the erection of St. Paul's Church 
at Chester is somewhat contradictory. In one account, contained in the His- 
tory of the "Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign parts," the church 
is represented as having been completed in 1702, while a letter from the con- 
gregation to the Society, written in 1704, and contained in the same book, may 
be construed to mean that it was "not then quite finished." 

Gwynedd or North Wales, East of the Schuylkill, was settled with a later 
immigration of Welsh people than those who had settled Merion, Haverford, 
and Radnor. Many of them were relatives or personal friends of the earlier 
settlers of the three townships, and being Quakers, they at once united with 
them in their meeting aft'airs. The Gwynedd Friends now appear at the Hav- 
erford Monthly Atceting. as representing an independent preparative meeting 
in connection with it. A first day meeting for six months is also established at 
Plymouth by the Haverford Monthly Meeting. In the following year Ply- 
mouth Meeting was also established as a preparative meeting. 

A great difficulty had occurred among Friends in respect to the payment 
of a levy authorized for the support of government. Many of them had re- 
fused to pay, on the ground, it is supposed, that some part of the money would 
be appropriated to military purposes. The matter was at length brought be- 
fore the Chester Quarterly Meeting, which body, after due consideration, and 
the avowal that the Society "have been always ready and willing to assist and 
support civil government," did order "that all be advised not to refuse the pay- 
ing any levys lawfully demanded ; and if any be stubborn and not take advice 
by their brethren, that they be speedily dealt with, and truth kept clear." 

The decision of the yearly meeting, in respect to Newtown Meeting, ex- 
cluded the Haverford Monthly Meeting from extending its jurisdiction over 
any other meetings in Chester county. Upon application, the Chester Quar- 
terly Meeting now authorizes the Friends of Goshen to establish a meetmg 
"every other first day at the house of Griffith Jones." 

"Chester [preparative] Meeting, proposeth their intentions of purchasmg 
in the town, which this meeting approves of, provided they preserve and keep 
in good order the old Burying place." 

King William died January 18, 1702, but it was not till July loth, that 


his successor, the Princess Anne, of Doninark. was proclaimed at Philadelphia 
as Queen of England. 

But the most im])i)rtant event oi the year was the legislative separation 
of the three lower counties from the Province. Ijefore leaving the country, 
Penn had given his reluctant assent to this sej)aration, to take place at any 
time within three years. It was now accomplished, very much against the 
wishes of Governor Hamilton. From this time the separation was final. 

It appears from the Warrant of Survey, the original of which is filed in 
the Surveyor General's office, that up to about the time William Penn returned 
to England, a tribe of Indians, known as the Okekockings, were seated within 
the present limits of Delaware county. This tract to which the Indians were 
removed, is located in the township of Willistown. in the i)rcscnt county of 

Early in 1703, Governor Hamilton died. The Council, with Edward 
Shippen as its president, administered the affairs of the government till the 
end of the year, when John Evans, the newly appointed governor, arrived. 

Upon the petition of Humphrey Ellis. Daniel Lewis, and fifty-eight oth- 
ers, "the principal inhabitants of y^ Welsh Tract," to the Council, Samuel 
Richardson, David Lloyd, Rowland Ellis. \\'m. Howell. \\'ni. Jenkins, and 
Richard Thomas, were appointed to view certain roads that had been laid out, 
and "to lay out and survey one direct road of fifty foot in breadth, as con- 
venient in all respects as may be, both to y® inhabitants and settlers of y® 
interjacent lands & travellers. Leading from Willm. Powell's ferry, on Schuy- 
kill & passing Haver ford meeting House to y'^ principal part of Goshen Town- 
ship, and thence continued in a direct course to y^ upper settlements on 
Brandywine." * * * 

The laying out of this road indicates that the settlements were rapidly pro- 
gressing westward. This is corroborated by the additional fact that the 
Friends of Goshen were sufficiently numerous to erect a meeting-house this 
year, at which the quarterly meeting ordered a meeting to be kc])t every first 
day, except the last first day in every loth, ist, 4th, and 7th months, at which 
times it was ordered "to be kept at David Jones' at Whiteland in the Great 
\'alley." There was also a meeting ordered to be kept at "the Goshen meet- 
ing house," every sixth day. The "Goshen meeting house." here referred to, 
is the meeting place at Robert William?, as will be seen hereafter. The next 
year the Whiteland meeting was discontinued, and ordered to be held at 
"Robert Williams in Goshen." Although a meeting-house had been erected 
at Springfield for some time, the deed for the groimd (two acres) was not de- 
livered till 1703. It was conveyed by Partlmldnu'w Coppock. Jr. 

The earliest record that ha;- come under the notice of the author, in 
wh.ich a burying-])lace at Chester is mentioned (other than that of the Quakers) 
is the will of John Johnson [Jan Jansen] "of IMarkes Creek." dated 1684-5. He 
desires to be buried "in Chester alias Upland." The testator was a Dutchman, 
and doubtless an Episcopalian, and hence it may be inferred, that the burying- 
place mentioned was one belonging to an organized congregation of Episco- 


palians at Chester. But the fact that the testator designates the burying-place 
by the name of the town, and not by that of the church, is very strong, though 
not conclusive evidence, that no church edifice had been erected at the time of 
making this will ; and that the establishment of an Episcopal burying-place at 
Chester, by that Society, preceded the erection of a church edifice, of any kind 
many years. 

The ground at Chester, known in ancient times as "The Green," was 
church land, but it belonged to the Swedes. It was much nearer the river 
than St. Paul's Church. The Swedes never had a church at Chester, and the 
fact, that in parting with their church lands at that place, they make no reser- 
vation of a burying-place, is most satisfactory evidence that no part of these 
lands had been appropriated to the interment of the dead. From all the facts 
and circumstances that have come to the knowledge of the author, he has ar- 
rived at the conclusion that the Episcopalians had no church edifice at Chester, 
prior to the erection of the old St. James' brick church, recently demolished, 
and that it was erected between the years 1702- and 1704. 

The presentments now made by the grand juries have become very num- 
erous. The necessity of a pair of stocks and a whipping-post, in the town of 
Chester, is again presented, and the township of Chester is presented for not 
erecting the former, and for not clearing the road. In fact many of the pre- 
sentments are "for not clearing the roads." 

At the last court in 1703. the grand jury presented "the old court house as 
being a nuisance to the town in case of fire, and also the chimney of Henry 
Hollingsworth in Chester town." In consequence of this presentment, the 
court "on deliberate consideration orders that the said house be pulled down, 
and that Jasper Yeates, chief burgess of the borough of Chester, shall see 
the said order performed." 

Since the first settlement of the county, the sentences of imprisonment, by 
the court, have been very rare. For many years past there has been none un- 
til this year, when was ordered "to remain in prison till he give 

security for his good behaviour." 

The following is a sentence on a man servant of Richard Woodward, for 
stealing a horse, saddle, bridle and wearing apparel from Jonathan Munrow : 
"That the said shall serve his said master and Jonathan Mun- 
row, or their assigns seven years, (which time is to be equally divided betwixt 
them, and they to be at equal charge,) and to wear a T according to law." 

"West town" makes its appearance as a township in 1703 — its first con- 
stable being Richard Buffington. 

The attention of the justices was frequently called to matters that would 
now scarcely claim the attention of our courts. Thus, an apprentice boy com- 
plains that his master had not freely performed his duty in teaching him to 
read and write. The court directs the master "to put the said servant to school 
one month, and to instruct his said servant another month. 

not b 

An illegitimate child is brought to the court, whose reputed father could 
)e found out. The court ordered the child "to be called John Thorley." 


Tavern licenses were granted by the governor, but none could apply but 
such as were recommended by the court. The api)lication for these "recom- 
mendations" were rather annovin". 

At the May court, this year, a commission from Governor Evans to Jas- 
per Yeates, Caleb Pusey, Jeremiah Collett, Philip Roman and Jonathan Hayes 
was read, when they were qualified as Justices. 

In the year 1701. an act was passed authorizing the erection of a bridge 
over Chester creek, in the town of Chester, and ordering the justices of the 
county court of this county "to lay out a road from the Kings road that leads 
to New^ Castle and Maryland, near as may be to Ralph Fishbourn — the in- 
tended place for a bridge over Chester creek." The road was not laid out 
till this year, when it appears the bridge was completed. But another trouble 
presented itself ; for some of the inhabitants of Chichester "did declare they 
would never cut nor clear" the said road. I'.ut the court got round the difficulty 
by ordering "the inhabitants of Chester, with such others as are willing to as- 
sist them, at their own proper charge, for the more effectual answering the 
said law% and speedy accommodation of all travellers, to cut and clear the road 
as they had laid it out." The Chester people were very anxious for the road, 
and the work was soon accomplished, and a report thereof made to the next 
court. The great thoroughfare, by land, from the north to the south now, 
for the first time, passed through Chester. 

Application was made in 1704 to the Chichester and Concord Monthly 
Meeting of Friends, by John Bennett and Elizabeth Webb, "on behalf of the 
inhabitants of the upper part of Birmingham and Brandywine creek," to have 
a meeting at the house of John Ber^nett. This application was granted and 
afterwards confirmed by the quarterly meeting. Birmingham meeting had its 
origin in the meeting thus established. 

There appears to have been an unusually great rain on the first of May 
this year — so unusual that the circumstance is recorded in the minutes of 
Chester Quarterly Meeting. 

What is now known in the Society of Friends as a Preparative Meeting 
being a thing of recent introduction. Darby submits the manner of their pre- 
parative meeting to the Quarterly Meeting for their approbation. They also 
make the inquiry. Whether persons intending marriage may appear by writing 
at the preparative meeting. The answer was: "they may not. but by them- 
selves or friends." 

Goshen, Whiteland, Willistown. Kennet and Marlborough now appear to 
be organized as townships, and return constables to the court. 

The law requiring applications to the Governor for license to keep tavern, 
had the eflFect of lessening the number of legalized public houses. Some still 
persisted in selling liquors without license, but through the vigilance of the 
grand jury, few were allowed to escape the penalty of the law. The court did 
not in every instance at once cut short the traffic in liquor by persons whom 
they could not cordially indorse. As an instance of the leniency of the justices 
in this respect, John Test was recommended to the Governor "for a license to 


•sell strong liquors by retail for six months and no longer, in consideration that 
he now hath liquors lying on his hand, which cannot, without great damage, 
be vended as is supposed in much less time." John Test kept tavern in Darby. 

A Supreme or Provincial Court was held in Chester this year in which 
John Guest and Jasper Yeates officiated as justices. This court declined to try 
an indictment for burglary, on the ground that it had no jurisdiction in the 

Instead of grand jurors holding their office for a year as formerly, there 
is now a new grand jury called at every court. Many of their presentments 
have the form of regular indictments, but others bear unmistakable evidence of 
having been drawn up in the grand jury room, of which the following is a 
specimen : "We the Grand Jury do present the want of a good lawful bridge 
over the Sweed's mill creek, and also over Darby creek, and also over Crum 
Creek, and to have the Queen's road made good, laid out according to law 
through Darby township & the township of Ridley to clear the road and mend 
the bridges." 

At the close of the year 1705, an act was passed by the legislature "to as- 
sure, grant and convey unto Ralph Fishbourne of Chester, Gent, one mes- 
suage. Cottage, house or Tenements and lot of land thereunto belonging, situ- 
ate in Chester, in the county of Chester aforesaid, formerly known by the name 
of the old Court house, to hold to the said Ralph Fishbourne, his heirs and 
assigns forever." This court-house was built in 1685. 

Governor Evans was a young man, and was alike destitute of correct prin- 
ciples and good morals. He hated the Quakers, and in order to test their doc- 
trine of non-resistance, he restored to a trick so contemptible in character, that 
it should at once have insured his dismissal from office. With one French, 
who was stationed at New Castle, and others, he concerted a plot, to raise an 
alarm, by announcing the approach of hostile vessels. On the appointed day, 
(May 16, 1706,) French sent a messenger to the Governor in the greatest 
liaste, w^ith the false news, which the Governor and others in the plot pre- 
tended to believe, and did not fail to circulate far and wide. The Governor, 
in order to play his part the better, rode through the streets of Philadelphia 
■on horseback, with a drawn sword in his hand, in the greatest apparent con- 
sternation. This false alarm must have reached Chester before it reached 
Philadelphia, but no document has been met with in which the subject is men- 
tioned. By evening of the same day, the untruthfulness of the story became 
known, and its authors were glad to hide themselves in order to avoid the just 
indignation of an insulted people. 

The Great Southern road, as originally laid out, crossed Darby creek at 
-nearly the same point where it now crosses — just at the head of tide. The 
place of crossing Crum, Ridley and Chester creeks was also at the head of tide 
water, and the main route of the road had a general direction to suit these 
points for crossing the creeks. A bridge had been built over Chester creek at 
Chester, and the road had lately been varied at that point. Upon the petition 
■of the inhabitants of the town and county of Chester to the Governor and 


Council. Jasper Veatcs, Caleb Pusey, Jeremiah ( "ullet, Robert JJarber and 
John Hendrickson, were a])pointed "to lay out the Queens road on as direct 
a line as may be from Darby to answer the bridge on Chester creek." At the 
same time the Council ordered, that "it there shall be occasion for building a 
bridge over any Navigable Creek or water, for the greater convenience of 
Travelling the said road, that sucli bridge shall be so built, that the same may 
in no wise hinder any boats from passing, either uj) or down such creek or 
water." The road was promptly laid out in pursuance of this order of Coun- 
cil, and the justices of the court at once directed the sujiervisors of Chester, 
Ridley, and Darby to be notified by the sheriff to clear the samt. This does 
not appear to have been done; for, agreeably to a draft submitted to Council 
in 1747, by Joseph Bonsall and John Davis, scarcely any part of the road then 
travelled corresponded with the road laid out in 1706 — the travelled road, ex- 
cept for a very short distance, being from twenty to forty perches or more 
south of that laid out in 1706. 

\W agreement between the Philadelphia and Chester Quarterly Meetings,. 
Newtown Meeting was transferred to the latter. There was also a preparative 
meeting extablished at Nottingham this year. l)y the Concord and Chichester 
Monthly ^Meetings. 

Under directions from the quarterly meeting, action was taken in the 
several monthly meetings of the Society of Friends on the subject of grave- 
stones. The committees appomted on that subject by Chester ^Monthly 
Meeting found but "six small stones to the graves." It was "the sense of 
the meeting." that tliey "be sunk or taken away." At Darby, where grave- 
stones appear to have been more common, the request for their removal was 
directed to the relatives of the deceased. The task was. therefore, very re- 
luctantly performed, and in some cases the relatives disregarded a request so 
much at variance with their feelings. Eventually the subject gave rise to con- 
siderable dissatisfaction in this meeting and others. 

It does not appear to have been the practice, in early times, for the Society 
of Friends to keep a record of the voluntary relinquishment of membership. 
It is therefore impossible to ascertain the number who took sides with George 
Keith. Some of them returned to the Society, made an acknowledgment of 
their error, and were kindly received. Others did not. and are spoken of in 
the Society as Separatists. Between these and the Society of Friends no very 
friendly feeling existed. In 1703. Newtown Meeting reported to Haverford 
Monthly Meeting, with which it was then united, "that divers that had form- 
erly separated from Friends, desire to join with them in their burying-place." 
It was the judgment of the meeting, "that they should not be concerned with 

them while they so continue." And again, this year. "W T of 

Newtown attending the funeral of a child of one of his neighbors, a Separatist, 
and one of the Separatists going to prayer, lie unadvisedly took off his hat. 
which he acknowledges to be a scandal to the truth, and is sorry for it." 

A proposition was made last year, to Chester Monthly Meeting, by the 
Goshen Friends, "for building a meeting house and having a grave-yard near 


Edgment road in Goshen." but no action was then taken. This year the pro- 
position is renewed in these words : "Friends of Goshen meeting laid their in- 
tention, of building a meeting house near Robert Williams by the Burying 
ground, which this meeting hath nothing to object against." A meeting was at 
the same time authorized to be held once a month in Whiteland, and once in 
six weeks at James Thomas' in the Valley. 

At the February court of this year, Jeremiah Collett, constable of Chi- 
chester, was presented by the grand jury for neglect of duty, in not presenting 
Mordecai Howill, "for working and suffering his children and servants to 
work and do servile labor on the first day of the week." What was done 
with Mordecai Howill does not appear, but the poor constable, after pleading 
guilty, was sentenced by the court "to pay a fine of five shillings and his fees, 
and then go Quitt." 

Heretofore all bridges have been a township charge. All the bridges on 
the recently laid out Queen's road, and all bridges on roads leading to the 
same, are directed by the court to "be erected, repaired and maintained at the 
public charge of the county of Chester." This order of the court does not 
appear to be in pursuance of any law on the subject. 

The first report of damages by reason of laying out a public road, was 
made to the November court of this year. The damage was laid at £5, for 
"passing over Joseph Richard's manured land." 

At the following February term, three constables were appointed by the 
Justices, "to attend this court." This is the first instance of such an appoint- 
ment, furnished by the records of the court. 

The following is a part of the jiroceedings of a Court of Private Sessions, 
held in December, 1708: "Whereas there is a necessity for a new door for the 
prison, being the common gaol, ordered that Henry Hollingsworth, clerk of 
the said county, forthwith cause a door for the said prison to be made and 
grated with Iron bars on the outside, and so finished that it may be secure 
from either cutting or firing by prisoners." Alost of us who have served as 
grand jurors, in visiting the old prison at Chester, will recollect this grated 

At the May term, 'Thomas Clarke appeared in open court and was quali- 
fied attorney general for the county of Chester, according to law." This is 
the first appearance of such an officer, though occasionally an attorney has 
represented the Crown in a particular case. 

The administration of Governor Evans was as unpopular as the foolish 
conduct of a profligate young man, filled with conceit, could make it. His al- 
tercations with the Assembly were constant ; but at length that body, aided by 
other real friends of the Province, secured his recall. He was superseded in 
September, by the appointment of Colonel Charles Gookin, who did not, how- 
ever, arrive in the Province till the following March. 

A new commission was issued to the justices of the several counties. 
Those appointed for Chester county were : "Jasper Yeates, Caleb Pusey, Philip 
Roman, Jon^. Hayes, Tho^ Powell, Nicholas Pile and Henry Pierce." 


The constant aUcrcatinns Ijcivvccn the Liuvernor and Luuncil (jn the one 
side ^nd the Asseml)ly on the other, during the administration of Governor 
Evans, were such an impediment to legislation, that hut little was effected eith- 
er for good or for evil. James Logan was the leading spirit on the side of the 
Governor, and it cannot be doubted that he supposed he was fairly represent- 
ing the interests of the Proprietary. His conduct, however, throughout, can- 
not at this day be defended, though it may be, in a measure, excused on ac- 
count of the unmanageable character of the Governor, through whom he was 
obliged to act. On the side of the Assembly, David Lloyd held a similar posi- 
tion ; and while we may regret the impetuosity of temper he sometimes exhib- 
ited, a fair and impartial examination of the questions discussed, will show 
that he was generally on what would be considered the right side at this day. 
His views were in advance of the age in which he lived, and, as a necessity, in 
advocating them he not only encountered the prejudices of the times, but every 
interest that had grown out of them. But this controversy belongs to the 
history of the State, rather than to that of one of its smallest counties. 

Settlements were now rapidly extending westward. New meeting-houses 
and mills were being erected, and new roads laid out. 

Application is made to the Chichester and Concord Monthly Meeting, 
and by it to the Quarterly Meeting, "that the meeting of worship kept at the 
house of William Browne in Nottingham, may for the future be kept at the 
new meeting house, there built for that end and purpose, every first, and tifth 
days." A road is also petitioned for, to the court, "from Thomas Jarman's 
mill in the Great \^alley to William Davis' mill in Radnor," The Friends of 
Newtown also have intention "to build a meeting house near Friends burial 

So great had been the prosperity of our Quaker settlers that they were not 
only able to build their own meeting-houses, but were able and willing to aid 
distant communities of the same faith to erect similar edifices. Accordingly 
we find the Treasurer of Chester Monthly Meeting ordered "to pay eight 
pounds, Boston money, to Samuel Carpenter or Isaac Morris, it being this 
meeting's proportion of one hundred pounds, that the Yearly Meeting ap- 
pointed to be raised for Friends of Boston in order for their assistance in pay- 
ing for their meeting house." 

The Indians manifested some uneasiness about this time, which was 
communicated to the Governor by William Dalbo, of Gloucester county, New 
Jersey, "who acquainted him that there is a Belt of Wampum come to Cones- 
togo, from Mahquahotonoi ; y^ there was a Tomahock in Red in the belt, & 
y^ the French with five nations of Indians were designed for war, and to fall 
on some of these plantations." This information was duly laid before the 
Council, by the Governor, on the 14th of April, and also a letter he had 
received from Mr. Yeates, Caleb Pusey and Thomas I'owell, dated tlie same 
day. "purporting that to-morrow there was to be a great concourse of Indians, 
those of Conestogo & those of the Jersey ; that they were of opinion that it 
might be a seasonable opportunity for the Govr. to visit them altogether; the 


meeting being the greatest that has been known these Twenty years, and is to 
be about two -miles from Jno. Warraws [Jno. Worralls], at Edgmond." It 
was the opinion of the board "that the Governor with some of the Council, 
and as many others as can be got should go to-morrow to meet the s*^ Indians 
to inquire further of them about the said Belt of Wampum, and what else may 
be thought necessary." The Governor and others doubtless met the Indians, 
as here indicated, but as no report of the interview was made to the Council, 
it is probable the principal chiefs were not present. On the 29th of April some 
more alarming news was communicated to the Council, which induced the Gov- 
ernor to visit Conestogo and have an interview with the Red Men. He found 
them "very well inclined to the English," but they complained of aggressions 
that had been committed on them by the white man. The Governor, imme- 
diately on his return from Conestogo, sent Colonel French and Henry Worley 
to ascertain more fully the wishes of the Indians. These gentlemen returned 
with eight belts of wampum, and made their report to the Council on the i6th 
of June. Each of these belts had a particular significance. The import of 
three of them will be given : The first was from their old women, and signi- 
fied "that those implored their friendship of the Christians and Indians of this 
GovmS that without danger or trouble, they might fetch Wood & Water. The 
second Belt was sent from their children born, and those yet in the womb, re- 
questing that room to sport & play without danger of Slavery, might be al- 
lowed them. "The third Belt was sent from their young men fitt to hunt, that 
privilege to leave their Towns, and seek provision for their aged, might be 
granted to them, without fear of Death or Slavery." The last two of these 
belts have a significance that cannot be misunderstood. They plainly suggest 
the reason for the passage in 1705 of the "Act to prevent the importation of 
Indian slaves." 

At the election in October of this year, the liberal party, of which David 
Lloyd was the acknowledged leader, was defeated throughout the province. 
This defeat has been attributed to a letter from the Proprietary, dated at Lon- 
don, 29th 4th mo. [July], T710. which censures unsparingly, the course pur- 
sued by the Assembly. This, however, is a mistake, for the letter was not re- 
ceived till after the election. The people had become wearied with the inces- 
sant controversy kept up between their representatives and the Governor and 
Council, and though they may not have approved of the conduct of the latter, 
they availed themselves of the only means in their power to terminate the 
political broils which, by obstructing all useful legislation, had come to be re- 
garded as a more serious evil than to yield to the demands of their opponents. 
David Lloyd removed to Chester in 1710, but whether before or after the elec- 
tion is not known, "in 1712 he was chosen a representative from Chester 


The defeat of the liberal party produced more harmonious action in the 
government. Still there was a considerable difference of opinion between the 
representatives of the people and the official dependents of the Proprietary. 


but each side evincing a more yielding disposition than heretofore, the progress 
of legislation was not materially impeded. 

Towards the close of 171 1, Newtown Meeting infornud the Chester 
Monthly Meeting "tliat tlicir meeting house is near finished, and desired that 
iheir meeting may be removed from Evans Lewis' to the meeting house." 

At a monthly meeting, held 28th of 2d mo. (April), 1712, the representa- 
tives of Goshen meeting "moved the request of several friends that lives at a 
place called Youchland, to have a meeting at the house of John Cadwaladers." 
This meeting was allowed to be held "every first and fifth days, except when a 
meeting is kept at James Thomas', they meeting once in six weeks with the 
Great Valley friends at James Thomas'." 

Preachers among the Friends were very numerous in most of the meet- 
ings in the county about this time, and several of them were quite eminent. 
These were frequently engaged in making religious visits to distant places — to 
Virginia, Carolina, Barbadocs, Long Island, New England, and sometimes to 
Great Britain. Elizabeth Webb, of Birmingham, returned this year from a 
visit to England and \\'a]es, with certificates of approval from six different 
monthly and quarterly meetings, and John Salkeld is furnished with a certifi- 
cate "to visit friends in the Islands, and also in Great Britain and Ireland, or 
elsewhere," and in the following year John Jarman, of Radnor, asked for a 
certificate to visit England and Wales. Many such religious visits might be 

There appears to have been a congregation of Seventh-day Baptists or- 
ganized in Newtown about this period. It is referred to in a minute of Ches- 
ter Monthly Meeting, in which complaint is made that a member "inclines to 
join that sect, and hath frequented their meetings." 

"A petition of a great number of the inhabitants of the county of Ches- 
ter" was presented to the Governor and Council, "praying that y*^ Borough of 
the Town of Chester, in this Province may be made a free Port." The matter 
was referred to the Proprietary, that he might "take proper methods concern- 
ing the same & Consult the Comr of the Queen's Customs therein." If this ap- 
plication had been successful, the improvement of the venerable borough would 
not have been left for the present generation to accomplish. 

An act was passed in 1712 to prevent the importation of Negroes and In- 
dians into this Province. The passage of this law was the first effort made to 
restrain the increase of negro slavery in Pennsylvania, but it was subsequently 
repealed by the crown. This result was brought about by commercial consid- 
erations alone, regardless of the dictates of humanity or the interests of the 

Wearied with his pecuniary incumbrances and the troubles that were in- 
cident to his Proprietary rights, which his increasing years and declining health 
rendered him less able to bear, Penn entered into a negotiation for the sale of 
the Province to the Queen. The price (£12,000), and other particulars of the 
sale, had been agreed upon, when the Proprietary was suddenly seized with a 


partial paralysis, from which he never sufficiently recovered to enable him 
formally to execute the contract. 

A road was this year laid out "from Providence Lower road by Rich"^ 
Crosby's mill to Edgment road." This is the first mention of Crosby's mill 
that has come to the notice of the author. 

The following extract from the records of Haverford Monthly Meeting 
would seem to indicate that a pecuniary stimulant was necessary to secure a 
confirmation by the Crown of certain provincial legislative enactments : "It 
was signified by the Quarterly Meeting that some friends disbursed money on 
account of getting the affirmation act confirmed, which are yet unpaid; and 
the proportion thereof befalling upon this meeting appears to be one pound, 
fourteen shillings one penny half penny, and Thomas Jones is ordered to pay 
the same according to the desire and order of the Quarterly meeting." An af- 
firmation act was among the earliest laws enacted by Penn. but this was an- 
nulled by Queen Anne in 1705, and consequently Friends were subjected to the 
form allowed in England, which was in these words : 'T, A — B — , do declare 
in the presence of Almighty God. the witness of the truth of what I say, &c." 
Some Friends objected to this form of affirmation on account of the appeal 
made to the Supreme Being, and it was to remove this difficulty that the act in 
question was passed. The application for its confirmation was not successful. 

Many persons have been led to believe from the date on the Friends' 
meeting-house at Merion, that the present edifice was erected in 1695. That 
date undoubtedly refers to the first meeting-house, a temporary structure ot 
wood erected on the same site. The present meeting-house, which has been 
renovated within a few years past, was erected in 171 3. The following minute 
adopted by Haverford Meeting on the 8th of the 8th mo. (October) of that 
year, is conclusive upon the subject: "This meeting agrees that Merion frds 
shall have the money lent to Rees Howell and Joseph Evans, towards finish- 
ing their meeting house." Another minute shows that "the five pounds old 
currency, lent to Rees Howell was paid towards finishing Merion Meeting 


Haverford Monthly Meeting this year authorized a first-day meeting "in 
Upper Merion at the house of Rowland Ellis, and at David Meredith's house 
on the fourth day of the week." * * * 

In 1714 "friends inhabiting about Perquaming and this side of Schulkill 
in y^ valley being desirous y^ a meeting might be allowed y"" every other m°, 
to be & begin att Lewis Walker's house the first in 2"*^ m° next and thence 
every other month, att Joseph Richardsons house until y*^ 9*^ mo. next." 

Gwynedd was established as a monthly meeting in 1714. It included 
Plymouth, and probably other meetings. 

The annual and semi-annual fairs held at different villages had become 
places of so much disorder and vice, that Friends found it necessary to appoint 
persons to have an oversight of the youth who assembled there. 

Queen Anne died August ist, 1714, and was succeeded by George the 
First, but as no official announcement of the decease of Her Majesty had been 


made, the legislature that met in October adjourned over till February. David 
Lloyd was again returned to the legislature and elected speaker. 

The circular line between the counties of Chester and New Castle, that 
had been run in 1701, was not confirmed by the Legislature till 171 5. 

By the death of the Queen, all commissions granted during her reign ex- 
pired. The following persons were appointed justices for the county of Ches- 
ter at the commencement of the reign of George the First, viz. : Caleb Pusey, 
Nicholas Pyle, Richard Webb, Henry Pearce, Henry Neal, Nicholas Fairlamb, 
John Blunston, Jr., and Richard Hayes. 

Another afilirmation act was passed this year, and received the approba- 
tion of Governor Gookin. "By an act of Parliament of i Geo. L the Stat, of 
7 & 8 Wil. HL" was made perpetual in Great Britain, and was extended to the 
Colonies for five years. By a provision of this latter act, no Quaker by virtue 
thereof, could be qualified or permitted to give evidence in criminal cases, or 
serve on juries, or hold any office of profit in the Government. The Governor 
contended that this act repealed the provincial law, and had the same disquali- 
fying effects upon Quakers here as it had in England. Most of the important 
offices in the Province were filled by Quakers ; and the Justices of the Supreme 
Court hesitated to perform their duties in the face of the opinion of the Gov- 
ernor. Under these difficulties, criminal justice was not, for a time, adminis- 
tered throughout the Province. 

One of the most important cases left untried, was that of Hugh Pugh and 
others for the murder of Jonathan Hayes, in Chester county. The criminals 
were eventually admitted to bail. The evidence is almost conclusive that the 
murdered man w-as the same Jonathan Hayes who resided in jMarple. and who 
served for a long time as a justice of the court, and sometimes as a member 
of the legislature. The murder excited great interest in the county. Three 
men were fined for refusing to aid the constable "in apprehending Hugh 
Pugh," who was charged as a principal in the murder ; and so much interest at- 
tached to the case, that three persons were appointed by the court to find a 
place more convenient than the court-house for the trial of the murderers. 

The subject of negro slavery had for some time engaged the attention of 
sundry members of the Society of Friends, and as early as 1688 a little com- 
munity of German Quakers, at Germantown, arrived at the conclusion that 
holding slaves was inconsistent wath Christianity. These people presented the 
subject to the monthly meeting to which they belonged, in a letter alike re- 
markable for the simplicity of its language and the strength of the arguments 
adduced against holding human beings in bondage. 

But even the Society of Friends was not, as a body, quite prepared at that 
period to view the institution as sinful. The monthly meeting, though it re- 
garded the tenor of the letter as "being nearly related to truth," found the 
questions involved therein too weighty for its decision, and accordingly, re- 
ferred the subject to the quarterly meeting, which, in like manner, and for a 
like reason, submitted the matter to the consideration of the yearly meeting. 
This body unquestionably represented the Society not only within the limits of 


ihe Province, and three lower counties, but also those settled in parts of New 
Jersey and Maryland. The following minute made upon the occasion should 
at least teach us to exercise an abundance of charity towards the people of the 
South who still regard the institution with so much favor : "A paper was pre- 
sented by some German Friends concerning the lawfulness and unlawfulness 
of buying and keeping negroes. It was adjudged not to be proper for this 
meeting to give a positive judgment in the case, it having so general a relation 
to many other parts ; and, therefore, at present, they forbear it." 

Such a decision, made by other men, under other circumstances, might be 
regarded as a convenient shift to get rid of a disagreeable question they had 
not the moral courage to meet. But such a suspicion cannot attach to these 
early Quakers. Their faithfulness to what they regarded as the Truth, had 
been tested, in very many of them, by the severest persecution that the bigotry 
of the age dared to inflict. To them, it may be remarked, the institution was 
presented in its mildest form ; and doubtless many of them had witnessed a 
moral improvement in the imported Africans distributed amongst them. They 
were really not prepared to give "a positive judgment in the case," but it ever 
after continued to be one upon which the Society was deeply exercised, until 
the total abolition of slavery was accomplished. 

In 1696, Friends are advised by the yearly meeting, "not to encourage the 
bringing in any more negroes." It also gives wholesome advice in respect to 
their moral training. In 171 1, the Quarterly Meeting of Chester declared to 
the yearly meeting, "their dissatisfaction with Friends buying and encouraging 
the bringing in of negroes." The advice of the yearly meeting only goes to the 
discouragement of the slave trade. The London Yearly Meeting was appealed 
to for advice, but none could be had. except that the importing of slaves from 
their native country by Friends, "is not a commendable or allowable practice." 
In 1714, a law was passed imposing a duty of £20 on each negro slave im- 
ported, on the ground "that the multiplying of them may be of dangerous con- 
sequence." This act was promptly disallowed by the home government. 

In 1715 the Monthly Meeting of Chester had the subject of slaves again 
under consideration, and unanimously came to the conclusion "that friends 
should not be concerned hereafter, in the importation thereof, nor buy any." 
This buying, the quarterly meeting concluded, had only reference to imported 
slaves. If so, the action of the monthly meeting did not go one step beyond 
what had already been determined upon by the yearly meeting. There is some 
reason, however, to believe that the term was used in a more general sense, as 
will be seen by a minute adopted the following year. 

Up to about this period, the dealings with offending members in the So- 
ciety of Friends, were, in general, for a violation of discipline, or for slight of- 
fences. No one had, as yet, been dealt with for a failure to pay his debts, and 
but few cases of a scandalous nature appear upon the minutes of the Society. 
P.ut this generation of early Quakers, whose record for strict moral rectitude 
has scarcely a parallel in the annals of religious sects, was about passing away 
to be succeeded by their descendants, who were mostly members by birthn '^ 




and whose faithfulness to their rehgious profession had not been tested by 
severe trials and persecutions. A greater laxity of morals is observable, though 
the nunihcr of cases brought to the notice of the several meetings is by no 
means large. To remedy this growing evil, an ill-judged public exposure of 
the offender was now for the first time resorted to. J he following minute 
from the Darby Record is the prelude to diis singular and rather unfeeling 
practice, in that meeting: "This meeting having considered that inasmuch as 
the Book of Discipline directs that all papers of condemnation be published 
as near as may so far as the offence hath reached the ears of the people, Do 
upon deliberation of the matter conclude that for the future all papers of con- 
demnations which the monthly meeting shall judge the ofifence to be a pub- 
lick scandal, shall be read as speedily as may be at first day meeting, and 
published further as there may be occasion." It is but fair to state that no 
such paper of condemnation was issued until repeated, and re-repeated efforts 
had been exhausted in endeavors to reclaim the offender. 

There were a few Baptists located within our limits at a very early date. 
It is said that one Able Noble, who arrived in 1684. "formed a society of Bap- 
tists in Upper Providence, Chester county, where he baptized Thomas Martin 
a public Friend." Noble appears to have been a Seventh-day Baptist, and be- 
longed to a community that was afterwards known as Kiethian Baptists. Be- 
sides Thomas Martin, a number of baptisms are recorded as having taken 
place at a very early period, and at various places in the county; but a highly 
interesting manuscript in the possession of Robert Frame, Esq., of Birming- 
ham, satisfies me that no regular church of the Baptist persuasion had been 
organized till 171 5. Meetings, it is true, were held in private houses in Ches- 
ter, Ridley, Providence, Radnor, and Springfield, and baptism was performed 
according to ancient order, in the adjacent creeks, and even the Lord's Sup- 
per was administered, but these were the doings of variable congregations, 
rather than the acts of an organized church. 

The paper referred to is in the nature of a constitution, and the organi- 
zation effected under it, afterwards assumed the title of the "Brandywine Bap- 
tist Church," by which it has continued to be known to the present time. It 
will be perceived that these early Baptists used the same designation for the 
months and days as the Quakers. Most of them had been members of that 
sect ; quite a large proportion were of Welsh origin. 

The minute adopted by the Chester Monthly Meeting in 1715 in respect 
to negro slavery, is rendered explicit by the following, adopted by the same 
meetmg this year : "The meeting desires the Quarterly Meeting will take into 
their further consideration, the buying and selling of negroes, which gives 
great encouragement for bringing them in. and that no friend be found in the 
practice of buying any, that shall be imported hereafter." 

A preparative meeting was settled at Cain in 1716, by Concord Monthly 

From orders made by the court for the repair of the bridge over Chester 
creek, at Chester, it appears that its original construction with a draw was still 


maintained. From a similar order, "to repair y^ bridge over Ridley creek in 
the great new road now leading from Chester to Philadelphia," it may be in- 
ferred that it did not contain a draw. 

It would appear from the court records of this period, that but twelve 
traverse jurors sometimes attended at a court, and fifteen grand jurors. The 
sentences of the court change from time to time, sometimes in consequence of 
a change in the law, at others, from the whims of the justices. This year a sen- 
tence for larceny to the value of i8 was, that the defendant pay four fold and 
costs, "and be whipped 21 lashes, and to wear a roman T of a blue colour for 
the space of six months not less than four inches long each way, and one inch 
broad, and be committed till he comply with s*^ Judgment." This was not an 
unusual punishment. 

In early times the office of sheriff was not so profitable as it now is, and 
as a sort of perquisite the sheriff was allowed to keep tavern. Hence we find 
Nicholas Fairlamb, a newly elected sheriff, petitioning to the court to be recom- 
mended for a license. In later times the tavern was kept in the dwelling apart- 
ment of the prison. 

Governor Gookin had become very unpopular with all parties long before 
the close of his administration. He was superseded by Hon. William Keith, a 
Scotchman, who arrived at Philadelphia on May 31, 1717, and was sworn into 
office the next day. 

Total abstinence from the use of intoxicating drinks was not thought of 
in early times; but the subject of their excessive use was frequently brought 
before the business meetings of the Quakers. Selling rum to the Indians was 
attended with so many evil consequences, that it was frequently testified 
against by different meetings of the Society. But rum was regarded as an ar- 
ticle of necessity. It was in general use, and was sold by Friends of the high- 
est .standing, and sometimes at the houses at which the earlier meetings of the 
Society were held. But the evils resulted from intoxication were too apparent 
to be passed over by a sect making high professions of morality, and hence we 
find frequent testimonies borne against drunkenness. The following is a speci- 
men from the minutes of Chester Monthly Meeting : "Friends being under a 
weighty concern for the preservation of good order at all times, and particu- 
larly in the approaching time of harvest, and it is desired friends avoid all ex- 
travagant customs and drinking to excess." 

Meetings had for a long time been held at private houses in Birmingham, 
but no regular meeting-house was established till 1718, when the first was 
erected at or near the site of the present Birmingham meeting-house. It is 
said to have been built of cedar logs. 

A new Friends' meeting-house was also built at Radnor this year. The 
minutes of the monthly meeting that relate to the erection of this edifice are 
given, to show the cautious manner in which such enterprises were entered 
upon in these early times. The first minute is dated at a meeting held at Hav- 
erford, 8th mo. loth of the previous year, and runs thus: "A letter from our 
Friend Benjamin Holm to this meeting, recommending to their consideration 


the stirring up of frd^ in y*-' building of their meeting house att Kathior, and 
with desires y' we should be concerned for y'' prosperity of Truth, was read in 
this meeting and approved off. Likewise this meeting pursuant to Radnor frds 
desire acquiess w^'^ y"" in building a new meeting house and this meeting ap- 
points David Morris, David Lewis, Edd. Rees and Robert Jones, Richard 
Hayes and Samuel Lewis to assist y'" In y"^ contrivance [and] y^ building 
Thereof, and they meet together ab^ it on y' 21^' of this instant, [and report] 
to y^ next meeting." 

The members of the committee all belonged to the preparative meetings of 
Haverford and Alerion. The next meeting was held at Merion, and one of its 
minutes embraces the report of the committee : "Some friends of those ap- 
pointed to assist Radnor friends In y® Contrivance of a new meeting house 
then having acc*^. y*^ they have accordingly mett and given y*" Their thoughts 
as to y® bigness and form thereof. To w^^ Radnor frd^ Then there present 
seemed generally to agree w**^." 

The monthly meetings were held alternately at Haverford, Merion and 
Radnor, and in course a meeting would be held at Radnor in the early part of 
December, 1718. This meeting was ordered to be held at Haverford, "their 
meeting house at Radnor being not ready." The west end of the present meet- 
fng-house at Radnor was the building then erected. The date of its erection is 
further attested by being cut on a tablet in the east gable. 

For some years the intellect of William Penn had been so much impaired 
as wholly to exclude him from any participation in the affairs of the Province. 
His general health gradually declined till the time of his death, which hap- 
pened July 30, 1718. The news of this melancholy event did not reach Penn- 
sylvania till October, when it was formally announced to the Assembly, which 
\vas then in session. 

Soon after the arrival of Governor Keith, the Supreme Court was so 
constituted as to hold a court of oyer and terminer at Chester, for the trial of 
the murderers of Jonathan Hayes. They were promptly tried, and Hugh Pugh 
and Lazarus Thomas were convicted, and sentenced to be hung. The con- 
demned petitioned the Governor for a reprieve, until the pleasure of his Ma- 
jesty the King could be known ; but the Governor, who had attended the trial 
and being satisfied of its fairness, was so fully convinced of the guilt of the 
prisoners, that he at once rejected the petition, and in doing so he was sus- 
tained by a majority of his council. The grounds taken in the appeal to the 
Crown were : — 

"ist. Because seventeen of the Grand Inquest who found the bill of Indictment 
against them, and eight of the Petty Jury who found them guilty were Quakers or 
Reputed Quakers, and were Qualified no otherwise than by an affirmacon or Declaracon 
contrary to a statute made in the first year of your Mat'^« Reign. 

"2ndly. Because the act of Assembly of this Province, by which Judges, Jury & 
Witnesses were pretended to be Qualified was made & past the Twenty eighth Day of 
May, in the first year of your Majestie's Reign, which was after s'^ murder was sup- 


posed to be committed; and after another act of Assembly of the same nature was 
repealed by her Late Majesty, Queen Anne. 

"3dly. Because s<i act of Assembly is not consonant to Reason, but Repugnant & 
contrary to the Laws, Statutes and Rights of your Majestie's Kingdom." 

It appears from the discussion in Council, that the condemned "had for 
several years appeared at the head of a lawless Gang of Loose fellows, com- 
mon disturbers of the public peace." The crime had been committed three 
years before the trial, during part of which time, the accused being out on bail, 
behaved in the worst possible manner. The appeal made to the Crown in this 
case is perhaps the only instance on record where any exception has been 
taken, by a defendant tried for murder, to the presence of Quakers on the jury. 

A great alarm from piratical vessels being on the coast prevailed in 1718. 
Under an act of Grace, promulgated by the King, a number of these pirates 
had surrendered themselves, and had obtained certificates to that effect from 
the provincial authorities ; but it was suspected that these repentant outlaws 
still maintained a secret correspondence with their old associates. Measures 
were at once adopted by the Governor and Council to rid the Province of per- 
sons so dangerous to its peace and safety. 

An act passed in 17 18, "for the advancement of justice, and more certain 
administration thereof," removed most of the obstacles in the way of Friends 
participating freely in legislative and judicial concerns. This act was con- 
firmed by the King and Council in the following year. The act "for corroborat- 
ing the circular line between the counties of Chester and New Castle," that 
had been passed several years previously, met with a different fate ; for what 
reason does not appear. 

"John Wright, Richard Webb, Henry Pierce and Henry Nayle and their 
associates," now appear as justices of the "General Quarter Sessions of the 
Peace and jail delivery." The August court was held by John Wright alone. 
At this court, for an assault and battery committed on a female, the sentence 
was a fine of £50, "and to stand in the pillory at Chester between y^ hours of 
10 and 2 on the 5*** day of October, and that he give security for his good be- 
haviour during 7 years next ensuing." 

A road was laid out in 1719 from Goshen to Philadelphia, commencing 
"at the intersection of the Goshen mill road with the Providence road." This 
road passed by what was formerly known as "the old Square," in Newtown 
township, and a short distance beyond that point it entered "the Great road 
leading to Philadelphia." 

After the death of William Penn, his eldest son, William, claimed the 
right to administer the government of the Province, and accordingly issued a 
new commission to Lieut.-Gov. Keith. After consulting with his Council and 
also with the Assembly, the Governor declined the new commission, and con- 
tinued to act under his former appointment. This decision met with the ap- 
probation of the home government. William Penn, the younger, died two 
years after his father, and after some litigation, not only the Province, but the 


government of it, descended to John, Thomas, and Richard IVnn, the surviv- 
ing sons of the Proprietary by his second wife, Hannah Callowhill. 

The Hterature of the Province, so far as the people generally v^ere con- 
cerned, was very much restricted to religious publications. These productions 
were standard works or controversial writings of the Society of Friends, pub- 
lished in England, and sometimes republished in Philadelphia. Such books 
>vere distributed with a profuse liberality by the several monthly meetings 
among their members. IJesides Epistles and Testimonies concerning de- 
ceased members, few original works had been published in the Province. 

Haverford Monthly Meeting had maintained a direct correspondence with 
the Yearly Meeting of Wales, and there is not wanting other proofs in the 
minutes of that meeting, that the attachment of the Welsh settlers for their 
native land was stronger than that which obtained among the English. 

Ellis Pugh, a Welsh preacher of some eminence, at first settled in Radnor 
but subsequently removed to Gwynedd, where he died in 1718. He paid a 
religious visit to his native land in 1707, and, upon his return the following 
year, "a concern came upon him" to write a book, "to direct the unlearned 
Britains of low degree, to know God and Christ, the Life eternal ;" which he 
wrote for the most part during his last sickness. 

Though Plaverford and Gwynedd now constituted separate monthly meet- 
ings, thev united in the serious concern of publishing this Welsh book, each 
meeting having appointed a committee of twelve on the subject. Having been 
carefully examined and approved, it was formally recommended to "the over- 
seers of the Press at Philadelphia." The approbation of this tribunal, after 
some delay, was secured, shortly after which the Welsh edition of the book 
was published under the authority of the quarterly meeting. This is probably 
the first work ever published in America for the especial benefit of the mother 
country, and perhaps the only one printed in the Welsh language. This book 
was published in the English language in 1727, having been translated by Row- 
land Ellis, and corrected by David Lloyd. Disputes in respect to the line be- 
tween Philadelphia and Chester counties, north of Radnor, commenced in 
1720, and were continued for several years. The road leading from Phila- 
delphia to Conestogo, through Merion and Radnor, was confirmed as far as 
Thomas Moore's mill, on the Brandywine, by the Governor and Council: but 
two roads having been laid out beyond the Brandywine, by order of the Ches- 
ter court, all orders for opening them were for the present superseded. 

Two brothers. John and Edmund Cartlidge. who were born and brought 
up in what is now Upper Darby township, after the death of their father, re- 
moved to the neighborhood of the Conestoga. and became Indian traders. Un- 
fortunately, these men became embroiled with a drunken Seneca Indian at 
some point west of the Susquehanna, and in some way the Indian lost his life. 
The brothers, and especially John Cartlidge. were accused of the homicide. 
News of this unpleasant event having reached the ears of the Governor and 
Council, thev regarded it a matter of sufficient moment to require prompt in- 
vestigation, and accordingly James Logan and Colonel French proceeded im- 


mediately to Conestoga, with the sheriff of Chester county, arrested the parties, 
and, upon Indian testimony, brought the brothers to Philadelphia. John Cart- 
lidge held a commission as justice of the peace for Chester county at the time 
from which office he was immediately removed; and the government felt it 
necessary to enter into long and expensive negotiations with the Five Nations, 
as an atonement for this serious injury and insult offered to their nation. 

This year, the Particular Meetings of Newtown, Goshen, and Uwchlan 
were constituted a separate monthly meeting, to be called Goshen Monthly 
Meeting. In these meetings the Welsh Friends were largely in the ascendancy, 
and on that account there was a peculiar propriety in thus uniting them in one 
ecclesiastical community. 

The first instance of a disownment of a member by the Society of Friends, 
within the limits of this county, for a failure to pay his honest debts, occurs in 
the early part of 1722. It must be observed, however, that it was tjie constant 
practice of the Society to extend relief to members who were brought into 
pecuniary difficulty through misfortune. 

The unsettled line between Pennsylvania and Maryland was the source of 
considerable difficulty. The officers of Cecil county insisted upon collecting 
taxes in Nottingham and other border townships, and they even went so far as 
to make prisoners of Isaac Taylor and Elisha Gatchel, for surveying lands in 
that vicinity. These gentlemen were both magistrates of Chester county, the 
former being also a Representative in the Assembly. 

The public pound at Chester had been located west of the creek, but from 
the following minute extracted from the proceedings of the court, it will ap- 
pear that the most public situation in the borough was now secured for it : 
"Upon application of some of the inhabitants of Chester for a pound in the 
said town of Chester, whereupon the court orders, that there be a Pound 
erected in the Market place in the borough of Chester, forty foot square, well 
fenced with posts and railings, and a good rack in the middle of s*^ pound, and 
that Rich'' Marsden be Keeper of the pound. To act, do, and perform accord- 
ing as the act makes mention, &c." A pound was also ordered for Aston at 
the same court — John Carter to be the keeper. 

There were no less than three persons under sentence of death at this time 
in Chester gaol. Petitions were presented to the Governor and Council, asking 
that the execution of the sentence might be respited, until such time as the 
pleasure of the king could be known therein. This application was successful 
in respect to two of the prisoners, one of whom was a woman ; but the third, 
William Battin, who had been convicted "of divers horrid complicated crimes," 
was ordered to be executed "and hung in Irons in the most public place, at 
such time as the Governor shall appoint." 

The earliest list of taxables of the county of Chester, that has come to the 
notice of the author, is contained in the regular assessment of the county, made 
in 1722, which is still on file in the commissioners' office at West Chester. As 
the best means of showing the extent of the settlements that had been made at 
this early period, this assessment has been copied entire, (omitting e^ch per- 


son's tax), so far as relates to the townships embraced within the hmit- of 
Delaware county; including, however, the whole of the townships of Birming- 
ham and Thornbury. The rate was .^d. in the i)Ound. and 9s. poll tax on each 
single freeman. 

ily making a prcjier allowance f(ir die ])arts of I'.irmin'^ham and Thorn- 
bury not included in Delaware county, the taxables within its ])resent limits at 
this early date, numl)cred about 500. As servants were not taxed, it will be 
safe to estimate six inhabitants to each taxable, making the population of the 
district now included in Delaware county, at this time, about 3000. As a gen- 
eral rule the assessment, or valuation, was at the rate of £20 per 100 acres of 
land, but there appears to have been a little variation in some of the townships. 
The whole amount of tax nn]:)Oscd within our county's limits was about £278 
los. ; equal to a little more than $700. 

Beyond the limits of what is now^ Delaware county, this ancient assess- 
ment embraced "West Conestogoe township, containing 64 taxables ; East Con- 
estogoc, 147; Peque, '& part of & former District,' 13; Tre" y Dyfrin, 31; 
White-Land, 13; East-Town, 12: Willis-Town, 20; Ywchlan, 20; Charles- 
Town, 19; Nantmel, 18; Skoolkil, 27; West-Town, 9; Sadsbury, 20; East 
Nottingham, 42; Marlborough, 39; West Nottingham, 29; Kennet, 67; Gosh- 
en, 19; Bradford, 38; Cain, 33; New Garden, 94, and the inhabitants adja- 
cent, belonging to New Garden, 18,"- — making in the whole of Chester county, 
which then extended to the Susquehanna, the number of taxables 1345, and the 
population about 8,070. 

The very small population of some of the least remote townships, as Wes- 
town and Eastown, was owing to the large tracts of land held in those town- 
ships by non-residents. The large extent of territory embraced in some of the 
most distant townships, bordering on the Susquehanna, will account for the 
relatively large number of taxables returned from that region. 

The wide-spread reputation of Penn's government, for freedom and reli- 
gious toleration, had attracted settlers from different countries, and of differ- 
ent religious beliefs. A large proportion of these settled in the district now 
embraced in Lancaster county, while very many of the earliest settlers in Ches- 
ter county, as it is now constituted, emigrated from that part of the original 
county of that name, out of which Delaware county was formed. 

But little of local interest transpired in 1723. The act passed by the leg- 
islature authorizing the issue of bills of credit, and making the same current, 
would, of course, have the eft'ect of giving, in some degree, a fictitious value to 
property that would be felt in every part of the Province. This was the first 
paper currency issued in Pennsylvania. An act was also passed in 1723, to re- 
duce the rate of interest of money from eight to six per cent., which has con- 
tinued to be the legal rate to the present time. 

Among objects for which the Society of Friends of the county contributed 
money in 1723, was for the finishing of Shrewsbury (N. J-) fleeting-house, 
"for the accommodation of the Quarterly Meeting." 

As a punishment for, standing in the pillory has become more fre- 



quent than formerly. At the November term of the Chester court in 1723 a 
man was sentenced to be sold for three years, "to serve after the manner of a 
servant" for the payment of his gaol fees. Prisoners frequently petitioned to 
the Court for the privilege of being thus sold ; from which it may be inferred 
that the jails of that day did not afford such comfortable quarters for male- 
factors as the prisons of modern date. 

The ancient but substantial building now occupied as a town hall in the 
borough of Chester, and which was used as a courthouse up to the time of the 
removal of the seat of justice to Media, was erected in 1724. The small addi- 
tion to the rear of-the building was erected at a much later date. An act was 
passed this year "to enable trustees to sell the old court house and prison, be- 
longing to the borough and county of Chester." This sale was effected the 
following year, and the record shows, conclusively, that the "old court house" 
referred to was the one built about the year 1694, upon a lot purchased from 
John Hoskins, and for which a deed was executed by him to the county in 
1697. The purchase money paid by the county was £S. The trustees sold the 
property to William Preston, of Philadelphia, mariner, for ^27. The follow- 
ing extract, from the proceedings of the court, shows that the new court- 
house was, for a time, made the depository of the public records : "At a Court 
of Private Sessions held at the House of John Hannum in Concord 15"^ of 
December, 1724, Joseph Parker having petitioned this Court setting forth y^ 
great danger y^ Records of y® County lay in, as well by Casualities of fire, as 
other accidents which might happen, and refers y*" same to our consideration 
to provide a place for keeping y® said Records in w* may be of greater security 
whereupon y* Court upon mature consideration of the same, allows y® peticon 
to be reasonable. & orders y^ Clerk to present y® same before y® Commissioners 
& Assessors of y^ same County in order that they may fit a room in y® new 
Court house for keeping y^ s'^ Records in, & when prepared order y® s'^ Clerk 
to transmit all of y'' said Records to y° place so appropriated accordingly, and 
not to be removed without y® Court's direction." It would be difficulty now to 
see how any additional security against casualities by fire was given to the 
records, by removing them to the court-house. 

It will not be uninteresting to the reader to know in wdiat repute our new 
paper currency was held in the other provinces, and also to have some light on 
the kind of coin then in general circulation. The following extract from a let- 
ter from Elizabeth Webb, a very intelligent public Friend of Birmingham, 
while on a religious visit to Long Island, Rhode Island, &c., furnishes this in- 
formation. The letter is dated at "Newport on Road Island y« 24^^ of y^ 6^^ 
mo. 1724," and is addressed to Joseph Brinton of Thornbury. After treating 
of religious and social affairs, she speaks of having made arrangements for 
the purchase of a horse, and advises her friend how to proceed in case "he 
hath a mind for one." "Our paper money," she says, "will not do, and if thou 
get some changed, it should be for whole pieces of gold for that which is cut 
will not pass but at £6. an ounce, but the pistole goes for £1. 8s. od. and a 
■moidore at £2. 4s. and a half pistole for 14s." 


A bill was passed this }car jjrcscribing the forms of declaration of fidelity^ 
affirmaiion, &c., entirely adapted to the conscientious scruples of Quakers on 
the subject of taking oaths. Laws of a similar character had been passed, but 
they failed to meet with the royal sanction, and the people were consequently 
thrown back on the English act, which many could not sanction. Acts passed 
uy the Council and Assembly usually had the force of laws until they were re- 
jtealed by the home government, but this one was not to become a law until it 
had received the approbation of his majesty. This approbation, it will be seen 
hereafter, was not secured without the employment of money. 

A complaint was made to the Assembly by the Indians 'residing about the 
Brandywine. They represent that after the sale of their lands to W'illiam 
Penn, "he had re-conveyed to them a tract a mile in extent on each side of the 
creek, the deed for which, had been lAU'ned with the cabin in which it had 
been deposited: and that the English had made settlements within this tract, 
liad injured their corn, and by darns on the creek, had impeded the passage of 
rish." Though distrusting the Indian title, their deputies were received with 
respect by the Assembly, and a promise made to them that their complaints- 
should be inquired into and redressed. 

The difficulties and disputes about the circular line between Xew Castle 
and Chester counties were again renewed this year, but no definite result was 
arrived at. 

The Affirmation act, before referred to, at length received the royal con- 
firmation. The following extracts from the Records of Haverford Monthly 
Meeting, at once show the great anxiety of Friends on the subject, and the 
appliances that were used in those days to secure the royal sanction to a most and reasonable measure. 

y^ mo. 13. "This meeting refers to the consideration of ffrds — getting of money 
to pay for negotiating y^ late affirmation act in Great Britain." 

6th nio. 12. "Lewis David, Thomas Thomas and Edward William are designed to take 
frd's contributions in Cash to defray the Charge of having the Royal assent to y^ 
affirmation act & make report thereof to next meeting." 

7^^ mo. 9. "The friends appointed to receive frds contributions towards having y" 
Royall assent to y^ Affirmation act is continued and advised to press friends to bring it 
in as soon as may be, in order to be paid to Rich^' Hill before y^ yearly meeting." 

iQth mo. Qt^. "Edw<i Williams produced a receipt signed by Rich'' Hill for eight 
pounds eighteen shillings, received of him and Thomas Thomas towards negotiating the- 
affirmation act, for account of this meeting." 

Besides the above subscription, this monthly meeting subscribed this year 
±5 los. id. towards building Horsham meeting-house, and iio los. 4d. towards 
the redemption of the wife and children of John Hanson of New England, who' 
had been carried ofif by the Indians. Chester Monthly Meeting also contrib- 
uted iio 4s. for this latter purpose. 

The minutes of Haverford Monthly Meeting go to show that Sewell's 
'"History of the Quakers" was now in press, and that the yearly meeting had: 
.Mibscribed for five himdred copies. Fourteen of these copies were ta'en b> 


Merion and Radnor meetings. The subscription for this work had been com- 
menced in 1723. 

An appUcation was made to the court, by an insolvent debtor in prison, 
"for rehef from his imprisonment; y^ his creditors may accept his servitude 
as y^ law directs, having no other way to satisfy the same." The court directs 
that he shall serve his creditors four years ; the persons accepting his servitude 
to pay the costs. Eut if the creditors do not accept of his servitude in the 
space of thirty days, then the prisoner is to be sold for four years. There was 
also a convict ordered to be sold for four years, for the payment of his fine, 
fees and expenses. 

The government of the Province, in 1726, passed out of the hands of Gov- 
ernor Keith. His successor was Patrick Gordon, among whose earliest acts 
was the recommendation of the culture of silk, which he also urged in a letter 
to the Lords Commissioners of Trade. 

The commission of the peace for Chester county, under the new adminis- 
tration, was filled up with the following names : John Wright, Richard Hayes, 
Henry Pearce, Nathaniel Newlin, John Wood, Henry Hayes, Isaac Taylor, 
Elisha Gatchell, Samuel Nutt, John Crosby, Abraham Emmett, Jun., Tho. 
Ried, George Assheton, Tobias Hendricks, Andrew Cornish, Mercer Brown, 
and Evan Lewis. 

The Indians living on, or near a branch of the Brandywine, complained 
to the Governor and Council that their fishing was hindered by the erection of 
a mill and dam on that creek, in New Castle county. It appears there was a 
law in the lower counties requiring this dam to be left open in the fishing sea- 
son, which had not been complied with. 

While the poor Indian was thus seeking redress from the provincial au- 
thorities for injuries inflicted upon his fishing interest, these authorities were 
imploring the home government for relief from impositions imposed upon 
theirs. The shad fisheries of the Delaware were largely productive beyond the 
home consumption, but an injudicious duty imposed by Parliament on salt, al- 
most excluded salted shad from commerce. New England had obtained an 
exemption from this duty, and the application of Pennsylvania for the same 
was entrusted to a Mr. Perry of London. This gentleman was at length suc- 
cessful ; and so highly did the provincial authorities esteem his services, that 
they rewarded them with a donation of 150 guineas. 

News of the death of the King having been received, his Royal Highness 
the Prince of Wales was, on the 31st of August, proclaimed King, by order of 
the Governor and Council. As a matter of course all commissions were re- 
newed. James James was added to the list of justices for Chester county. 

An addition to Providence m.eeting-house having been erected last year, a 
proposition was now made for furnishing the building with a gallery "to ac- 
commodate large gatherings." 

It is probable the first meeting-house in Cain was erected in 1727, as that 
meeting had selected ground for said purpose, "upon the farther side of the 


valley upon the mountain," and had secured the consent of Concord Monthly 
Meeting "to proceed." 

In 1728, considerable difficulties occurred with the Indians in the more re- 
mote settlements, which were attended with the most serious and melancholy 
consequences. A small band of foreign Indians called Twetchtweys appeared 
in the neighborhood of "the Iron works at Mahanatawny," armed with guns, 
pistols, and swords, committing depredations and alarming the inhabitants. 
As the alarm spread, the danger became magnified, and the stories of Indian 
murders gained credence. Under apprehensions of danger thus created, two 
brothers, John and Walter Winter, shot three Indians at a place called Cassea, 
one man and two women, and wounded two Indian girls. The news of this 
unfortunate event coming to the ears of the Governor, he caused the brothers, 
who were respectable farmers, to be arrested by the method of Hue and Cry, 
together with their neighbor, Morgan Herbert, as accessory to the murder. 
The prisoners were incarcerated in the noisome dungeon of the old prison at 
Chester, and there securely chained ; but had their trial without much delay 
before the justices of the Supreme Court, who then held the courts of oyer 
and terminer for the whole Province. They were all convicted : but Herbert, 
upon the petition of the people of the county, and more particularly upon that 
of "David Lloyd. Rich'^ Hill and Jer. Langhorne, the justices of the court," 
was pardoned. The justices assert in their petition, that "though in strictness 
of Law, Herbert's offence may be adjudged murder, yet it appeared to them, 
that he was not active in perpetrating thereof, but unhajjpily fell into y" com- 
pany of those that committed it." It seems strange that the law could be so 
strictly construed as to convert a misfortune in a crime. The two Winters 
were executed : but the facts that have come down to us would warrant the be- 
lief, that in committing the homicide they acted upon the belief that the Indians 
were actually engaged in war against the whites. 

On account of "several indecencies having been used towards the mem- 
bers of Assembly attending the service of the country in Philadelphia, by rude 
and disorderly persons," a proposition was made to change the place of meet- 
ing, and Chester was designated as the most suitable place. The Governor 
suggested a continuance of the sittings of the Assembly for some time at Phil- 
adelphia, but that if upon further experience the members continued of the 
same sentiment, he and the Council agreed that they should adjourn to Chester, 
This threat to remove the seat of government no doubt had the effect of secur- 
ing the members from any further indignities, and prevented Chester from be- 
ing a second time the capital of Pennsylvania. 

Early in 1729, Lancaster was organized as a county, without any specified 
boundary, except the line that separated it from Chester county. This line 
w^as run by John Taylor, aided by eleven commissioners. The name of Lan- 
caster for the new county was suggested by John Wright, one of the commis- 
sioners, who had emigrated from Lancashire, England, in 1714. and settled in 
Chester, but had removed to Columbia in 1726. 

An act was passed this year authorizing the emission of £30.000. in bills 


of credit, and also one laying a duty on negroes imported into the Province. 
This latter act was repealed by the home government. The evils of slavery 
were apparent to many of the inhabitants of the Province, especially the Quak- 
ers, and it may be supposed that the act in question was intended more as a 
restraint upon the importation of slaves than as a source of revenue. 

It had been a long time since the Quakers first took the subject of slavery 
under serious consideration, and although the action of their meetings had not 
resulted in anything of much practical utility, many individuals of the Society 
testified strongly against the practice of buying and selling of slaves. In 1729, 
Chester Monthly Meeting adopted the following minute, which was much bet- 
ter calculated to abolish the slave trade than the duty imposed by the legisla- 
ture: "This Monthly Meeting directs its representatives to lay before the 
Quarterly Meeting, that as they were by the discipline prevented from fetch- 
ing or importing negro slaves from their own country, whether it is not rea- 
sonable we should not be restricted from buying them when imported, and if 
so the Quarterly Meeting to lay it before the Yearly Meeting for concur- 
rence." The subsequent efficient action of the Society towards the abolition of 
slavery appears to have had its origin in this action of Chester Monthly Meet- 

Matters of smaller moment also claimed the attention of the meetings 
about this time ; as the practice of making large provisions at funerals, and the 
serving of those who attended them with wine and other liquors; the erection 
of tombstones, &c. Concord Meeting also bore its testimony against putting 
names and dates upon coffins, and decided, "that in future members should be 
dealt with for such idolatrous practice." 

The subject of the Indian claim of one mile on each side of the Brandy- 
wine was formally brought to the notice of Governor Gordon, by a letter from 
Checochinican, a principal chief. This functionary bases the claim of the 
Indians upon "a wrighting for the creek of Brandywine, up to the head thereof 
with all y*^ land a mile wide of y*^ creek on each side," which their brother, 
Wiliiam I'cnn, was pleased to grant to them after they had sold their interest 
to him, but "which wrighting, by some accident was now lost." He acknowl- 
edges, however, that they had sold this land "up to a rock in y*" said creek, it 
being in the line of the land of Abraham Marshall." Their complaint now is. 
that Nathaniel Newlin, a member of Assembly, who had purchased some of 
the land, but who had given them a writing in 1726, "that neither he nor his 
heirs would, in any way, disturb or molest them in the free and peaceable en- 
joyment thereof," had, contrary to the same, sold his land, greatly to their dis- 
gust; that they had been forbid "so much as to make use of timber growing 
thereon, for y® convenience of building some cabins, & further that the town 
at the Head of the Brandywine is surveyed to one James Gibbons and many 
more, and now has an assurance of a conveyance of the same from the Com""* 
of property, as he himself says by James Steel." In a postscript to his letter, 
the worthy chief says, that "James Logan promised to me, that James Gibbons, 
nor any body else, should never have a confirmation, thereof, nor any other 


person witliin our claim." What order was taken upon this letter does not 

A new commission of the peace was issued in 1730, to the following per- 
sons, viz. : Richard Hayes, Henry Pierce, Henry Hayes, Elisha Gatchell, John 
Crosby, Abraham Emmitt, jimr., Mercer Brown, James James, John Perry, 
James Gibbons, Joseph Pennock, Samuel Hollingsworth, Joseph Brinton, and 
Nicholas Pyle. The reason assigned for the new commission was, "that divers 
of those named in the last had declined to act," and that one George Asheton 
"had acted but too mucli." 

It was ordered by the court, with the consent of the commissioners and 
assessors of the county, "that Nathan Worley be master and keeper of the 
House of Correction or Workhouse in the borough of Chester for the term of 
one year, if he behave himself well which s*^ time is to commence on the 25^'' 
day of March next, and that the burgesses of said borough shall from time to 
time, give such directions therein as they may adjudge proper." 

Haver ford Monthly Meeting, alter having appointed a committee to aid 
the Valley Friends in fixing on a site for a meeting-house, at length leaves them 
at their liberty to build the said house "at the Grave Yard near Lewis Walker's 
dec**, which was left by the said Lewis by his last will for that purpose." A 
temporary meeting was, from time to time, authorized by Haverford Meeting, 
to be held at Richard Harrisson's school-house, but it does not appear that it 
ever grew into a regular meeting. 

The Chester Monthly had not as yet received any response to their ap- 
plication to the quarterly meeting, and through it to the yearly meeting, on the 
propriety of purchasing imported slaves. In anticipation of any action by 
these meetings, this monthly meeting, towards the close of the year 1730, 
adopted a minute that cautioned Friends "against purchasing imported ne- 
groes, it being disagreeable to the sense of the meeting, and that such as are 
likely to be found in the practice, be cautioned how they offend therein." 

The act of the Provincial Legislature, imposing a duty on imported slaves 
and criminals, did not meet with much favor from the home government. In- 
structions were transmitted to Governor Gordon against laying duties on either 
negroes or felons ; the latter being in direct opposition to an act of Parliament 
"for the further preventing Robery, Burglary, and other felonies, and for the 
more effectual transportation of Felons." 

The first mission from the Roman Catholic Church was established within 
the limits of Delaware county about the year 1730, or perhaps a little earlier. 
The mission was from an establishment of the Jesuit Society in Mar\'land, and 
was set up at the residence of Thomas Willcox, at Ivy Mills, in Concord town- 
ship. The church services at the Ivy jNIills Mission have been conducted in a 
private dw^elling for a century and a quarter; at first in that of Thomas Will- 
cox, by periodical visits of missionaries from Maryland ; next at the residence 
of his son, Mark Willcox, and subsequently in that of the late James M. Will- 
cox, Esq., where it was continued till the erection of the neat Catholic church 
in the immediate vicinity. At first the congregation was very small and it con- 


tinned so for many years, but of late the number professing that faith has be- 
come very considerable, chiefly by foreign immigration. 

Pennsylvania had been peculiarly prosperous under the administration of 
Governor Gordon, and at this time contained more white inhabitants than all 
Virginia, Maryland and both the Carolinas. Its exports were large, consist- 
ing of wheat, flour, beef, pork, leather, fish, lumber, staves, &c. From this 
county flour and meal were important items of export, and were sometimes 
shipped by the millers. 

The wearing of a badge by criminals, indicating the crime for which they 
had been convicted, as the letter T for theft, ceases about this time to be inflict- 
ed as a punishment by our court. Confinement in the stocks has very rarely 
formed any part of a sentence ; but still these implements of torture were main- 
tamed at Chester, Marcus Hook and Darby. At a town meeting held in the 
latter township March 14th, 1732, it was agreed "that there shall be a pair of 
stocks built in some public place in Lower Darby, and the charges of the same 
shall be paid of the town's stock now in the hands of Thomas Worth, one of 
the overseers of the poor." In the absence of facts on the subject, it may be 
presumed that the smaller kinds of misdemeanors were punished by means of 
the stocks, upon the authority of a justice of the peace, a chief burgess, or per- 
haps, in earlier times, upon that of a town meeting. 

Licenses for keeping a tavern or an ordinary, were still granted by the 
Governor, upon the recommendation of the court. Some of the reasons as- 
signed by the petitioners for wishing to engage in the business, would appear 
rather singular at this time. Thus, William Surnam, who has, "for divers 
years past lived in Middletown in good credit and esteem, near and convenient 
to the public road, who has for the greater part of his residence there followed 
the occupation of Malt making & the Brewing of Beer for a livelihood, but be- 
ing greatly oppressed by travellers, and the constant visitation of his wonted 
acquaintances, has been (as it were) forced to give continually gratis the fruits 
of his labor." The application was unsuccessful. 

Griffith Evans, of Haverford, was located at a convenient stage, and had 
a dwelling-house suitable for travellers "on the great road y* leads from the 
branches of the Brandywine & Goshen & several other parts," and withal was 
"an ancient man and his wife also well stricken in years & subject to lame- 
ness." Griffith kept the well-established stand known as the Old Frog in that 
day. It was located a short distance above Cooperstown, in Haverford. 

Hannah Penn, widow of the late Proprietary, and his son, Springett, hav- 
ing died, John, Thomas, and Richard, his three remaining sons, became joint 
Proprietaries of Pennsylvania. Thomas Penn came over to the Province for 
the first time in 1732, and arrived at Chester on the afternoon of August nth. 
An express was immediately sent to Philadelphia, where the Assembly and 
Council were in session. The Secretary of the Council was forthwith dis- 
patched to Chester, with the compliments and congratulations of the Governor 
and board to the new joint Proprietary upon his safe arrival, and "to acquaint 
him, that to-morrow morning they would in person pay their respects to him. 


Accordingly, on the next day, the Governor and all the members of Council who 
were able to travel, accomi)anicd by a very large number of gentlemen, visited 
Chester, "waited on the Honorable Proprietary and paid him their compli- 
ments. After dinner, the l'roi)ri(.tary with his company, now grown very 
numerous, sett out for I'hiladelphia, near to which place he was met by the 
mayor, recorder and aldermen, \\ith a great body of people. The recorder, in 
the name of the mayor and commonalty of the City, made a congratulatory 
speech, which the Proi)rietary answered, &c." On the 15th of the month, the 
representatives sent in their "Humble address," which contains much less 
adulation than was betrayed by the part taken by the Governor, Council, and 
municipal authorities of the city, in the affair. 

An impostor appeared, in 1732 among the meetings composing Haver ford 
J^Ionthly Meeting of Friends, and successfully passed himself off as a Quaker 
preacher. His name was John Cruise, and it was not until after he had left, 
svhich was "without making satisfaction," that his true character became 
Known. A committee was promptly appointed to caution Friends elsewhere 
as to his character. They eventually received word that he had removed to 
North Carolina, to which place the committee were directed to write, "least he 
should impose upon friends." 

Difficulties between the people of Maryland and those of this Province 
were of frequent occurrence, but the scene has been shifted from the border 
of Chester county to that of Lancaster. Two Quakers, John Wright and Sam- 
uel Blunston, both of whom had emigrated from this county and settled at or 
near Columbia, were the active local managers in these troubles on behalf of 
Pennsylvania, and they certainly performed their part with ability and energ)'. 

Commissioners on the part of both Provinces, with surveyors, met at New- 
castle in February, for the purpose of running the circular line, preliminary to 
the adjustment of the other boundaries. This resulted in nothing but angry 
disputes brought about by unreasonable suggestions from the Maryland side in 
the controversy. The nature of these suggestions, and the manner of conduct- 
ing the controversy, will be better understood by consulting a correspondence 
betv/een P.enjamin Eastburn, the Surveyor-General of Pennsylvania, and a 
Parson Jones, of Maryland, the original of which is on file in the Surveyor- 
General's office Jit Harrisburg. 

An agreement having been entered into between the Proprietaries and 
Lord Baltimore, as to the princij)les that should govern in the settlement of 
the boundaries between the two Provinces, and between Maryland and the 
Lower Counties, the Governor addressed a circular letter to the justices of 
Chester and other border coiMitics, enjoining them to observe certain directions 
therein laid down, with the view of preserving the peace until the lines could 
be actually run. It was a long time, however, before this took place. 

Late at night on September 19, 1734, news of the arrival of John Penn, 
the elder brother of Thomas, was brought to Philadelphia by express from 
Newcastle. Early on the next morning, his brother, Thomas Penn, with a 
number of gentlemen, proceeded to Chester to receive him. but he did not 


land there until late in the evening, and remained there all night. On the 
morning of the 21st the party proceeded towards Philadelphia, and were met 
at the Schuylkill by the mayor, recorder and commonalty, as in the case of his 
brother Thomas. John did not remain long in the country, but returned the 
next year to adjust some dispute that Lord Baltimore had raised in respect 
to the interminable boundary question. 

The Yearly Meeting of Friends, in 1735, adopted various recommenda- 
tions, among which may be enumerated : punctuality in the payment of debts 
to the Crown, and quit-rents to tlie Proprietors ; against being concerned in 
lotteries ; against large provisions at marriages and burials ; against the impor- 
tation of negroes, or the buying of them after being imported ; against the fre- 
quent use of drams, and the use of strong liquors in their families, and they 
also repeated their former advice in respect to grave-stones. These recom- 
mendations were generally adopted by the several meetings of this county, 
especially that in respect to negroes, wliich may indeed be regarded as the 
first effective blow inflicted on the slave trade. 

It does not appear that up to this time lotteries had been in vogue in the 
Province. This year the Proprietaries proposed to sell by way of lottery 100,- 
CXX) acres of land, and it may have been that the admonition of the yearly meet- 
ing on that subject, was to guard Friends against becoming the dupes of this 
magnificent swindle. 

Chester Particular Meeting of Friends appears to be engaged in the erec- 
tion of a new meeting-house. Permission was granted to that meeting to sell 
their old house, which was accordingly done. 

The number of taxables in the county in 1722 was 500. The number tak- 
en from an assessment made in 1735 is 800 — making the population, on an es- 
timate of six persons to one taxable, 4800, or an increase of 1800 inhabitants in 
13 years. Owing to the wretched system of farming adopted by the early set- 
tlers, the lands at first placed under culture were exhausted, and many fami- 
lies removed further into the interior, and encountered the task of clearing new 
lands, rather than remain upon those that had been exhausted, either by their 
fathers or themselves. The assessment or valuation in 1735 was no higher 
than in 1722. The tax was about one-third less, being at the rate of two 
pence in the pound; the poll tax on single freemen was 6s., while in 1722 it 
was 9s. Upper Chichester and LTpper Darby appear as distinct municipalities 
in this assessment, though the latter was not then organized as a separate 
township for all purposes. The tax for the whole county was only £160. 

After an unusually successful administration of about ten years, Gover- 
nor Gordon died in the summer of 1736, leaving to his successor, James Lo- 
gan, who was then president of the Council, some unadjusted Indian troubles, 
and an almost endless series of Maryland border disputes. Logan administered 
the government for about two years. In the absence of a governor, there could 
be no legislation, and of course no laws were passed during the administration 
of James Logan. 

The advice of the yearly meeting against the importation of negroes, and 


buying tlicni alter being imported .and tlie advice against "tbe frequent use of 
drams, or otber strong liquors, in famiHes, and particularly giving tbem to chil- 
dren, " was repeated and enjoined by both Chester and Concord Monthly Meet- 
ings. This advice was fre(|uciitly repeated before any further steps were tak- 
en on the subject. 

Bradford Monthly Meeting, to be composed of Cain and Bradford Meet- 
ings, was established in 1736 by authority of Chester Quarterly Meeting. 

The crossing of the Brandwine creek, at Chadds' Ford, was frequently in- 
terrupted by higii water and ice, and the settlements had become so numerous 
west of that stream that the establishment of a ferry became necessary. The 
following paper, dated on the 30th of August, 1737, the original of which is 
on file in the office of the clerk of quarter sessions, at West Chester, fully ex- 
plains the establishment of this most necessary improvement : 

"John Chadds, having petitioned the Court, setting forth that by the concurrence 
of the Justices and by order of the Commissioners and assessors, a flferry being erected 
over Brandywine creek, on the road leading from Philadelphia to Nottingham, & no 
rates for tlie same established, prays that such rates may be set for the same as to the 
Court may seem reasonable; whereupon the Court taking the same into consideration, 
have adjudged the rates hereafter mentioned, may be demanded & taken by the said John 
Chadds or his assigns or successors in the said Ferry : 

"For every horse and Rider, four pence ; for every single person on foot three pence, 
if more, two pence each ; for every ox, cow or heifer, four pence each ; for every 
sheep, one penny; for every Hog, three half pence; for every Coach, waggon or Cart, 
one shilling six pence; for every empty waggon or Cart nine pence; for every steed 
four pence. 

"To the aforesaid rates, the justices have subscribed their names. Richard Hayes, 
John Crosby, Henry Hayes, Samuel Hollingsworth, John Parry, Abraham Emmitt, 
Caleb Coupland, Elisha Gatchell, Joseph Brinton." 

A person hailing from Beyruta, near Mount Lebanon, who called himself 
Sheck Sidi, claimed to be a Christian nobleman, and complained that he had 
suffered great persecution from the Turks, succeeded in gaining the confidence 
and .sympathy of the Yearly Meeting of Friends, and also a contribution of 
tvv'enty pistoles. He was recommended to the several meetings in our county 
as a proper object of charity; but to what extent relief was granted does not 
ajjpear. He w^as evidently viewed with some suspicion. 

There was much violence used by persons residing in Maryland towards 
those residing near the supposed line, but claiming to belong to Pennsylvania. 
Though mostly confined to Lancaster county, it happened in 1738 that Elisha 
Gatchell, one of the justices of Chester county, was beaten and abused by riot- 
ers from Maryland, and subsequently carried by them into the Province and 
detained. A warrant was issued by Thomas Graeme, one of the justices of the 
Supreme Court, for their arrest. The disagreements between the people of 
the Provinces had now arrived at such a pitch, caused by arrests and other 
indignities offered on either side, that from simple breaches of the peace, open 
hostilities seemed to be on the eve of breaking out. Fortunately the arrival of 
an order from the King and Council, on the subject of the boundary, made it 


the interest of each party to refrain from further hostile proceedings for the 

George Thomas, a planter of Antigua, was appointed Governor of the 
Province in 1737, but did not assume the duties of the office till August of the 
next year. As a consequence of the gubernatorial change, it became necessary 
to issue a new commission of the peace. The following persons were ap- 
pointed for Chester County : Richard Hayes, Henry Pearce, Henry Hayes, 
Elisha Gatchell, John Crosby, Caleb Cowpland, Abraham Emmit, James James, 
John Parry, Joseph Pennock, Samuel Holligsworth, Joseph Brientnal, Joseph 
Heins, William Pirn, Joseph Bonsall, the chief Burgesses for the time being, 
and Joseph Parker. 

The order of the King and Council, in respect to the Maryland boundary, 
proved to be only temporarily beneficial. Complaints on both sides were re- 
newed, and a revival of former outrages was apprehended. These were hap- 
pily averted by an agreement entered into, at this time, between the Proprie- 
taries of both Provinces. 

The Friends at Darby found it necessary to enlarge their meeting-house, 
and accordingly "Nathan Gibson, Joseph Bonsall, Samul Bunting and John 
Davis are appointed undertakers, to look after the said inlargement and sett 
the work." This was an enlargement of the old house on the hill within the 

Folly has her votaries in all ages, but the particular manner in which they 
make their oblations to the fantastic deity, is varied by time and circumstances. 
It may be inferred from a minute of Darby Meeting, that one of the modes se- 
lected at this particular period of our history, was "the vain practice of firing 
guns at marriages." As but a single instance of dealing for this grave offence 
is recorded, and the offender in that case made the required acknowledgment, 
it may be concluded, that, as a general rule, this vain practice prevailed among 
those outside of the staid Society of Friends. 

Slight shocks of an earthquake had been experienced in 1726, and again in 
1732. December 7th, 1738, a severe shock was felt, "accompanied by a re- 
markable rumbling noise; people waked in their beds, the doors flew open, 
bricks fell from the chimneys; the consternation was serious, but happily no 
great damage ensued." 

The provisional agreement that had formerly been entered into between 
the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania and Maryland, in respect to the boundary, 
was directed by the King and Council to be enforced ; and in compliance with 
this direction, and as a part thereof, it became necessary to run a temporary 
east and west line between the Provinces, fifteen miles and a quarter south of 
the latitude of the most southern part of Philadelphia, to the Susquehanna 
River, and west of that river fourteen and three-quarter miles south of the 
said latitude. The limited scope of this work will exclude any extended ac- 
count of the survey of this line, or that upon nearly the same ground, but of 
much greater notoriety, known as Mason's and Dixon's, yet as the line of lati- 
tude of the most southern part of Philadelphia upon which it was based, 


passed througli our county, it would not be proper to leave the matter wholly- 

To run this line. Lawrence Growdcn and Richaril Peters were ajjpointed 
commissioners on behalf of Pennsylvania, and Col. Levin Gale and Samuel 
Chamberlaine. on the part of Maryland. Benjamin Eastburn acted as sur- 
veyor on behalf of the former, and William Ramsey on behalf of the latter. On 
December 8th, a true meridian line was fixed in the city of Philadelphia, and 
w^hen tried the next day, the magnetic variation was found to be five degrees 
and twenty-five minutes westerly. On the nth of the month, a true west line 
was run to the distance of about two miles, when, from the severity of the 
weather, the surveying party was obliged to adjourn to the 5th of April fol- 
lowing. Commencing again in the Spring, on the i8th of April they had pro- 
gressed as far as the Widow Parnel's [Pennell's] in Edgmont, having crossed 
Upper Darby, Springfield, and Upper Providence, in their route. Several 
lines had been run before, which Mr. Peters, in a letter to the Governor, says 
they had crossed several times, "but not after leaving Sam^ Levis's." They 
are now "south of the line run by John Taylor, and more south of the line run^ 
by the Jersey Commissioners." Thus far the work has gone on harmoniously. 
Two days later the party had arrived at James Gibbons', in Thornbury. The 
Mar>'land commissioners became suspicious, because of the line running so 
far south ; but after a careful comparison of Theodolites they became recon- 
ciled. On April 23d both of the Pennsylvania commissioners wrote to the 
Governor from an open field in West Bradford, which appears to be the point 
"where the line is to be set ofif south in order to measure the fifteen miles and 
a quarter." It was about thirty-one miles from the place of beginning. But 
they were now^ involved in a dispute. Col. Gale, on the authority of the Gov- 
ernor and Council of Maryland, claimed that the measure of the fifteen and 
a quarter miles should be made superficially without any allowance for the alti- 
tude of the hills, while the Pennsylvania commissioners very properly claimed 
this allowance. Mr. Eastburn had accompanied the Jersey commissioners last 
December, and had ascertained from actual calculation that the difference be- 
tween the two plans of measurement did not exceed twenty-five perches. The 
object of the commissioners, in now writing to the Governor, was to obtain 
his directions, "whether they must join with the Maryland commissioners sup- 
erficially, that is to say, without allov/ing for the Altitudes of the Hills, and so- 
make them, [the Marylanders,] an absolute present of 25 perches, or proceed 
ex parte, & how far over Susquehannah, or return to Philadelphia & do no 
more at present." 

On April 25th the commissioners again wrote to his Honor, the Governor, 
dating their letter at William Webb's. They have now become extremely jeal- 
ous of the Maryland Commissioners, taking Colonel Gale, one of them, "to be 
under instructions, which they had for some time apprehended, to be inconsist- 
ent with a disposition to run a fair line with them." and accusing him of seek- 
ing some pretext for breaking with them, in order to run an ex parte line. 
After much argument, the Maryland commissioners agreed to allow the addi- 


tion of twenty-five perches to the surface measure, not knowing that this fully- 
covered the whole difference between the two plans of measurement. This 
plan was determined upon before receiving the Governor's answer ; the Mary- 
land commissioners supposing they had yielded but little in making the com- 
promise, while those of Pennsylvania knew that the only sacrifice they had 
made was in form, and that they had really yielded nothing in substance. 

The next disagreement was about the chain to be used in the measurement. 
It was the custom to have the two-pole chain made one inch longer, and the 
four-pole chain two inches longer than the exact measure, to make up for in- 
equalities and irregularities. Col. Gale contended for the chain to be reduced 
to the exact measure. After much contention, and a threat on the part of the 
Pennsylvania commissioners to break, and run the line ex parte, this point was 
conceded by the Maryland commissioners; but at the same time these gentle- 
men set up a claim for an allowance of a half inch in every chain for the 
thickness of the sticks. They at length receded from this position, and the 
measurement of the meridian line was proceeded with ; and at their coming 
out at the end of the line, the Pennsylvania commissioners "were greatly aston- 
ished" to find themselves "no more than 20 perches more south, than the corn- 
er the Jersey commissioners had fixed for the end of the south line." Having 
commenced their measurement eighty perches south of the east and west line 
run by the Jersey commissioners, and having the fullest confidence in the ac- 
curacy of their work, they concluded that the Jersey commissioners had made 
"too large measure in the south line by 60 perches." 

From the end of the south line they immediately proceeded to run the 
temporary boundary line westward to the Susquehanna, where, owing to sick- 
ness and death in the family of Col. Gale, the joint commission was broken up. 
Beyond the Susquehanna, "to the top of the most Western hill, of a range of 
hills called the Kittocktinny," distant from the place of beginning about eighty- 
eight statute miles, the line was run ex parte by the Pennsylvania Commis- 

In running the west line from Philadelphia, the commissioners note sev- 
eral points in our county and beyond it. On the evening of the first day, they 
left oflf, "in the land of Thomas Worth of Darby township ;" on the 2d day "at 
Samuel Levis' in Springfield ;" on the 3d at John Worrall's in Providence ; the 
4th at the widow Yarnalls in Edgemont. Here meeting with unusual attrac- 
tion, they reviewed part of their work, but on the 19th of April they were on 

"the plantation of Jacob in Thornbury township;" on that of Joseph 

Hunt in Westtown on the 20th ; on Abraham Marshall's land in Bradford on 
the 2ist, and on the 23d had reached "an old field belonging to John Newlyn, 
on or near its north line," from whence they turned south. 

It must not be supposed that the place of stopping had anything to do 
with fixing the northeast corner of Maryland. The only object in running 
westward before measuring the I5>4 miles south, was to avoid the large 
streams of water, and when they had reached John NewHn's old field, they 


concluded tlie large waters of the Brandywinc and Christina creeks would be 

In running the south line, the land of William Wickersham in East Marl- 
borough township, and that of Hugh Steward in New Garden are mentioned. 
The point at which the 15^ miles ended was "20 perches from the road lead- 
ing to Charles Tenants meeting house in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle 

An inquiry made by the crown in respect to the currency of the' i'rovince, 
brings to light many interesting facts, and among others that the emission of 
bills of credit had effectually excluded specie as a circulating medium. The 
report on the subject from the Assembly, doubtless drawn up by John Kinsey, 
their speaker, claims that obedience had been yielded to the provisions of the 
act of the sixth year of Queen Anne, fixing the rates of foreign coin in tlie 
British Plantations, up to the year 1720, but admits that "between which time 
and 1723, merchants, to make remittances to England, did sometimes purchase 
silver with gold at a small advance." The first act for issuing bills of credit 
was passed in 1723. The report goes on to say that, "it must indeed be con- 
fessed, that soon after these bills of credit were issued, as our trade very much 
increased, and far greater quantities of English goods were imported, the bal- 
ance of our trade with Great Britain turned out in our disfavour, and as those 
bills ^-ere in good credit, and answered the ends of money amongst us, it was 
no longer in our power to keep any great quantities of silver or gold for a 
currency ; and therefore since that time, they have been seldom used in the pay- 
ment of debts, but generally bought and sold as merchandize, and shipped off 
to Great Britain to pay for those great quantities of goods, which are yearly 
imported from thence." 

The ridiculous fashion of wearing hoops prevailed about this period, 
but it found much less favor at that time than at a later time with those 
of the Society of Friends. Towards the close of 1739 Concord Monthly I\Ieet- 
ing testified thus against the practice: "A concern having taken hold against 
this meeting to suppress pride, and it seems to appear some what in women in 
wearing of hoope petticoats which is a great trouble to many minds, and it is 
the unanymous sense of this meeting that none among us be in the practice 
thereof, [and that] all our overseers and other solid friends do inspect in their 
members and where any appear, to be guilty, do deal with them and discour- 
age them either in that of hoops or other indecent dress." In spite of all the 
watchfulness that this minute imposed upon the "overseers and other solid 
friends," it was this year found that Caleb Burdsall and his wife had "a little 
too inconsiderately encouraged women wearing of hoopst petecoats." 

The celebrated itinerant preacher, George Whitcfield, visited this country 
towards the close of 1739. After having preached to immense numbers in 
Philadelphia, making many converts, it is recorded that he was accompanied to 
Chester by 150 horsemen, and preached there to 7000 people, and again at 
\Miiteclay Creek to 8000, of whom as many as 3000 were on horseback. 

Thomas Pcnn returned to England this year; the constant and violent 


quarrels between the Assembly and the Governor, in which Proprietary inter- 
ests were frequently brought into the controversy, could not have been very 
agreeable to him. 

At the meeting of the legislature in October, the Governor had shown a 
vindictive spirit in his reply to John Kinsey, the accomplished speaker of the 
Assembly. This was followed up by the issue of a new general commission 
of the peace for the several counties of the Province, in which his Excellency 
exhibited a petty revenge, unworthy of his position, by leaving out the names 
of those justices who had opposed his administration. As an excuse for get- 
ting rid of some of the obnoxious Quaker justices, he said he had received a 
letter from Mr. John Penn with the information "that the court at Chester 
had set aside a man from the jury for declining to take the affirmation and 
insisting to be qualified by oath." John had also urged the Governor to ap- 
point a majority of justices in each county who "would not scruple to take, or 
at least administer an oath." If the charge against the Chester justices was 
true, his Excellency could readily and directly have obtained a substantiation 
of all the facts, but resting alone on this circuitous hearsay testimony, the truth 
of the accusation may be fairly doubted ; but it requires a large share of chari- 
ty to wholly excuse the bigotry of the degenerate son of the first Proprietary, 
for making such a communication to the Governor. 

Of the justices appointed by the Governor in 1738, shortly after assuming 
the duties of his ofiice. he left out of the new commission for Chester county, 
the following names : Richard Hayes, James James, John Parry, Samuel Hol- 
lingsworth, Joseph Brientall, and Joseph Heins. and included those of Wil- 
liam Moore, Joseph Erinton, William Webb, John blather, Ralph Pyle, John 
Taylor, and Job Rushton. 

That part of the road known as the old Lancaster or Conestoga road, 
west of John Spruce's land in Whiteland township, had been laid out and 
opened for several years, but for some reason, probably because the city, or 
landings on tide water could be reached by roads then in use, a survey of 
this important thoroughfare was not made till this time. 

At the instance of the grand jury and some of the substantial inhabitants 
of Chester county, complaining of abuses practised in that county by the use 
of defective weights and measures, the justices petitioned the Governor for 
the appointment of a regulator of weights and measures. Isaac Taylor re- 
ceived the appointment. The petitioners allege, that "they have directed the 
purchasing of standards of brass for weights and measures, according to his 
Majesty's standards for the Exchequer." These standards were procured by 
Thomas Morgan, and cost the county ii/ 12s. iid. 

The jail and court-house both appear to have been subjected to some ren- 
ovation about this time. An order was passed by the commissioners in favor 
of Nathan Worley "for £10, for planks for flooring the two dungeons east 
side of the prison and laying the floors &c. ;" and one in favor of Thomas Mor- 
gan "for is IIS. 6d. for 150 lbs. spikes for laying the dungeon's floors." There 
was also an order of £5 for plastering and ceiling the prison ; and one of 


£26 for repairing and painting the court-house ajid prison, and anotlier of i\\ 
4s. for a well in the work-house yard. Still other repairs were made the next 

The business of the county was transacted at this period by three commis- 
iioners, elected as they now are. In laying taxes they were assisted by six 
persons called assessors, who were chosen annually. The duties now per- 
formed by township assessors was then performed by the constables. The tax 
for this year was laid at the house of John Chadds in Birmingham ; the rate 
being 2d. in the pound and "6s. a head upon freemen." The house of John 
Chadds was favored with the meetings of the commissioners for several 

No less than three persons offered to serve the office of county treasurer, 
gratis, in 1741. The commissioners appointed Joshua Thompson, one of the 
number, but Joseph Brinton, the late treasurer, complaining that he still had 
unsettled business in the office, and being willing to serve at the same cheap 
rate, Thompson relinquished the office in his favor, upon the condition, how- 
ever, that he was to hold it during the year following. 

A proposition was made to the commissioners for a ferry on the Brandy- 
wine "on the road from Concord to Maryland by the erection of wharfs, 
where the creeks overflows, & renders peoples landing very difficult." 

In the trial of criminal cases, it appears to have been the practice, since 
the early settlement of the province, only to employ counsel in those of serious 
import. In these cases the most able counsel in the Province was engaged. 
The following minute from the commissioners' books shows the amount of 
compensation allowed in such cases: "Allowed John Kinsey Esq"" an order on 
the Treas"" for the sum of £3 12s. being his fees as Kings attorney at the tryall 
o{ James O'Donnelly and Richard Graham, 26'*^ of May last." 

Besides the counsel, there was another officer si>ecially employed for trials 
in the Oyer and Terminer, as will be seen by another minute : "Allowed John 
Ross, Gent, an order on the Treasurer for the sum of three pounds ten shill- 
ings, for officiating as clerk of the Crown at a Court of Oyer and Terminer 
held at Chester, for the tryal of James O'Donnelly & Richard Graham, the 
26^*^ of May last." Richard Graham was sent away in "the Privateer," for 
which additional fees were allowed. 

Considering the scarcity of money in these early times, the amounts col- 
lected by the Quakers in their meetings, for charitable and other purposes, is 
really astonishing. Haverford ^lonthly Meeting contributed in 1741 £35 6s. 
lod.. and Concord meeting i2i los. 6d. toward the relief of the sufferers by 
the great fire at Charleston, S. C. 

A controversy brought before Chester Monthly :Meeting in 1742. between 
Thomas Dell of the one part, and John Crosby and Peter Dicks of the other. 
reveals the fact, that previous to this time the latter had erected a forge on 
Crum creek. The precise location of this early forge cannot at this time be 


The ferry established on the Brandywine at Chadds' Ford not proving to 


be remunerative, except when connected with the business of tavern-keeping, 
John Chadds therefore "presented a petition, (signed by himself and a con- 
siderable number of inhabitants of Chester county,) to the commissioners and 
assessors, setting forth that pursuant to an agreement made with their prede- 
cessors in the year 1737, he built a boat and suitable appurtenances for the 
conveying of people and carriages over Brandywine creek, with the money 
that he borrowed of the county for that purpose, the sum of which was 30 
pounds, and it being evident as y® petitioner conceives, that the profits of the 
said ferry, will not without some consideration, compensate for the charge 
thereof, and that the Honorable Justices, hath at last August Court, thought 
proper to deprive him the s*^ John Chadds from keeping a house of entertain- 
ment, near the s^ ferry, which he had done heretofore : They therefore re- 
quest that the said John Chads may be acquitted & discharged from the pay- 
ment of the sum of money above mentioned, and also from the care and man- 
agement of s'' boat and appurtenances, and some other person appointed to 
act therein in his stead.'" The petition does not appear to have been granted, 
for in two years thereafter John Chadds had paid the £30, with the interest re- 
mitted, and is again reinstated in his business of tavern-keeping. 

The fairs authorized by law were not sufficient to satisfy the desires of 
the public in this respect. Charles Connor and five others were this year 
bound over for holding a fair at Birmingham, but it does not appear that any 
further proceedings were had in the matter. 

How customary it was at this period for criminals to receive corporal pun- 
ishment by whipping, as a part or the whole penalty for their wrong-doings, 
may be inferred from the two following minutes taken from the Commission- 
ers' books: "Allowed John Wharton an order on the Treasurer for four 
shillings for making a new whip, and mending an old one for the use of the 
County." "Allowed Isaac Lea an order on the Treasurer, for the sum of 8 
shillings, being for two new whips, and mending an old one; for the County's 

Benjamin Hayes, of Haverford, who had served the commissioners as 
clerk for many years, "presented a petition desiring to be discharged from his 
office." John Wharton was appointed in his place. 

Tench Francis was allowed £5 for his services as attorney-general in 

Chester county. 

Application was made to the commissioners for a bridge over Chester 
■creek, "with a draw or sliding bridge for convenience of sloops, shallops, or 
other craft, to pass through the same," but it was decided to repair the bridge 
without the draw. It was agreed to pay i6s. per hundred for white oak plank, 
and los. for white oak scantling, delivered, to be used in this work. 

War having been declared by England against France, the Governor is- 
sued his proclamation on June 11, advising the people of the Province of this 
change of relations between the two countries, and enjoining all persons capa- 
ble of bearing arms, "forthwith to provide themselves with a good Firelock, 
Bavonet and Cartouch box, and with a sufficient quantity of powder and ball.' 


The fitting out of privateers was also recommended. The tenor of the pro- 
clamation was rather calculated to increase the alarm incident to approaching 
hostilities; but the Governor had been so successful in his management of In- 
dian affairs, and by joining in a grand treaty held at Lancaster immediately 
after the publication of t!ie proclamation, in which both \'irginia and Mary- 
land, and also the Six Nations, were represented, the Province was really se- 
cure from any immediate attack, except by sea. This relieved our Quaker pop- 
ulation from the dreadful apprehension of Indian hostilities, but not from 
constant importunities to furnish supplies to carry on the war, till the capture 
of Louisburg, on the island of Cape Breton, which happened in 1745. Even 
after this period, both men and money were in great demand by the home 
government for some time. 

An act was passed in 1747, granting £5000 for the King's use. This 
amount was raised by an issue of paper money, but this issue did not increase 
the amount previously authorized, but supplied the place of old and defaced 
bills, no longer fit to circulate. 

On May 5, 1747, the Governor advised the Assembly of the death of John 
Penn. one of the Proprietors, and, at the same, announced to that body his in- 
tention of returning to England, which event soon after followed, leaving the 
and Spaniards, who had committed sundry depredations along the coast. No 
Palmer had not been long at the head of the government, before the Province 
was thrown into a state of alarm by the arrival of an express from New Cas- 
tle, bringing news of the presence of a privateer in the bay, with 100 French 
and Spaniards, who had committeed sundry depredations along the coast. Na 
laws could be passed in the absence of a Governor ; but the Council was willing- 
to risk the responsibility of providing for the defence of the Province, provid- 
ed they could have the assurance of certain leading members of the Assembly, 
that, upon the arrival of a Governor, a bill for the payment of the expenses 
incurred should have their support. No satisfactory assurance was given, and 
no effective defensive measures were adopted. The whole responsibility of 
this non-resistance policy, in a time of such great danger, did not rest with the 
Quakers alone, their views on the subject of war being endorsed by the Morav- 
ians and other German sects. This pacific policy doubtless led to the capture 
of a large number of vessels in and about the mouth of the bay, but it may well 
be doubted whether the loss of property sustained would not have been more 
than counterbalanced by the loss of life in case armed resistance had been 

The repair of the road between Cobb's creek and Gray's ferry was neg- 
lected by the Supervisors, under the Ijelief that it had never been regularly 
laid out, which was probably true. L^pon the petition of George Gray, the 
keeper of the ferry, and others, to the Council, all difficulty was obviated by 
the appointment of suitable persons to survey and have a jiroper return of 
the road made. 

At the same time, upon petition, persons were appointed to lay out the 
balance of the road, according to former surveys, to New Castle line, but find- 


ing that the travelled road did not occupy the ground upon which the road had 
been laid out, a final report was not made till July, 1748. The survey appears 
to have been made by the Surveyor-General, and varied but little from the 
bed of the old road. The width adopted for the road laid out at this time was 
sixty feet, except in the towns Darby and Chester. 

The piratical depredations committed by the enemy in the Delaware be- 
came more alarming this year than ever before. One privateer even ventured 
above New Castle, and in passing, exchanged a few shots with that place. The 
British sloop-of-war "Otter" was then at Philadelphia, but, unfortunately, it 
was not in a condition to repel these aggressions of the enemy. Efforts were 
made to fit out another vessel, and although the Assembly agreed to provide 
money to defray the expense of such defensive measures as might be adopted, 
even if they did not approve of those measures, yet moneyed men did not feel 
sufficient confidence to induce them to make the necessary advances. Every ef- 
fort was made by the Council to procure cannon, and at length some were ob- 
tained from New York, and batteries established along the river. One of these 
was called the "Great Battery," which was probably located near the present 
site of the Navy Yard. 

In this emergency a home guard was organized, not only in the city, but 
in the several counties, composed of citizens who voluntarily associated for the 
defence of the Province. They were denominated "Associators," and fur- 
nished their equipments at their own expense. Chester county furnished a 
regiment of Associators, for which the following gentlemen were commis- 
sioned as officers : Colonel, Andrew McDowell ; Lieut.-Colonel, John Frew ; 
Major, John Miller, and Captains Job Ruston, William Bell, Joseph Wilson, 
Henry Glassford, William Boyd, William Reed, William Porter and William 
Clinton. Fortunately these preparations for defence were not needed. Pre- 
liminaries for restoring a general peace were signed at Aix la Chapelle on 
April 19, and proclaimed here in August. 

The year 1748 was one of great sickness, not only in the city of Philadel- 
phia, but throughout the Province. 

James Hamilton, a son of Andrew Hamilton, received the appointment of 
lieutenant-governor, and assumed the duties of the office in November. 

In the autumn of this year, Peter Kalm, the Swedish naturalist, arrived 
at Philadelphia, and after remaining a short time in that city, passed through 
our county on a visit to Wilmington. On his return to Philadelphia he spent 
some time at Chichester, "a borough on the Delaware, where travellers pass 
the river in a ferry." He adds, "they build here every year a number of small 
ships for sale, and from an iron work which lies higher up in the country, 
they carry iron bars to this place and ship them." The environs of Chichester, 
he says, "contain many gardens, which are full of apple trees sinking under 
the weight of innumerable apples." About noon our traveller reached Chester, 
"a little market town which lies on the Delaware. The houses stand dispersed. 
Alost of them are built of stone, and two or three stories high ; some are, how- 
ever, made of wood, in the town is a church and a market place." 


"About two English miles Ijcliind Chester," our author remarks, "I passed 
an iron forge, which was to the right hand by the road side. It belonged to 
two brothers, as I was told. The ore, however, is not dug here, but thirty or 
forty miles hence, where it is first melted in an oven, and then carried to this 
place. The bellows were made of leather, and both they and the hammers, 
and even the hearth, but small in proportion to ours. All the machines were 
worked by water." The location of this forge must have been on Crum creek 
just below where it is crossed by the post road, while that mentioned in connec- 
tion with Chichester was probably located on Chester creek, at or near Glen 
]\lills, and was owned and carried on by John Taylor. 

Up to this period the forests preserved the same open appearance and 
freedom from underwood which they presented at the time of the first arrival 
of Europeans. This was originally caused by the annual burnings of the In- 
dians, and now unwisely continued by the whites, though the practice was re- 
stricted by legislative enactment. In describing the country through which he 
passed, our learned traveler (Kalm) remarks that the greater part of it is 
"covered with several kinds of decidious trees : for I scarcely saw a single tree 
of the fir kind, if I except a few red cedars. The forest was high but open be- 
low, so that it left a free prospect to the eye, and no underwood obstructed the 
passage between the trees. It would have been easy in some places to have 
gone under the branches with a carriage for a quarter of a mile, the trees 
standing at great distances from each other, and the ground being very level." 

Agreeably to a report made by a committee of the Assembly in 1749, the 
whole amount of paper money in circulation at that time in the Province was 

Among the troubles to which our goodly ancestors were, about this period, 
subjected, was the depredation committed by the legions of squirrels with 
V hich the forests swarmed. To mitigate the evil, an act was passed authoriz- 
ing the payment of 3d. per head for the destruction of these voracious animals. 
This premium was sufficient to induce a large number of persons to engage in 
squirrel shooting as a regular bu';ine«s. and the consequence was, that the 
amount paid in the whole Province this year for squirrel scalps was iSooo. 
showing that 640,000 of these creatures had been killed. 

This large amount rendered bankru]:)t nearly every county treasurj' in 
the Province, and made it necessary to reduce the bounty one-half, by another 
Act of Assembly. 

In pursuance of an Act of Parliament, having for its object the restriction 
of the manufacture of iron in the British American colonies. Governor Ham- 
ilton issued his proclamation requiring the sheriflFs of the several counties to 
make a return to him. of "every mill or engine for slitting and rolling of iron, 
every plating forge to work with a tilt hammer, and every furnace for making 
steel which were erected within their several and respective counties," on 
June 24. 1750. In jnirsuance of this proclamation, John Owen, the sheriff of 
Chester county, certifies "that there is but one Mill or Engine for slitting and 
rolling iron within the county aforesaid, which is situate in Thornbury town- 



ship, and was erected in the year one thousand seven hundred and forty-six, 
by John Taylor the present Proprietor thereof, who, with his servants and 
workmen, has ever since until the 24th day of June last, used and occupied the 
same." The sheriff also certifies "that there is not any plating forge to work 
with a tilt hammer, nor any furnace for making steel," within the county of 

As has been mentioned, the iron works of John Taylor occupied nearly the 
present site of the Glenn Mills of the Messrs. Willcox; but it is a little re- 
markable that the iron works within two English miles of Chester, mentioned 
by Peter Kalm, in his journey from that place to Philadelphia, should have 
so suddenly gone into disuse. The existence of such works, in 1748, at the 
point mentioned, cannot be doubted, for the Swedish naturalist was too accur- 
ate an observer to have been mistaken in a matter of this kind. 

Labor in Pennsylvania was, at this period, of three kinds : free hired la- 
bor, bought servants for a term of years, and slaves for life. The wages of 
the first class for a year, with food and lodging, in the country, was about £16 
for a man, and from £8> to £10 for females. The second class consisted of 
such persons as annually came from different countries of Europe to settle. 
Real or supposed oppression brought many of them here, but most of them 
were very poor, and came to better their fortunes. Being without means to 
pay their passage, which was not more than from six to eight pounds sterling 
for each, they, by agreement with the captain of the ship in which they ar- 
rived, were sold for a term of years to pay this small amount. 

The usual term of service was four years, and the price advanced for that 
term, appears at this period to have been about £14, which would leave a sur- 
plus for the redemptioner, unless it was used in the payment of charges by 
the government. Children were frequently sold for a longer period to pay 
the passage-money of their parents. At the expiration of their terms of ser- 
vice, each was supplied with a new suit of clothes, as was then the usual 
case with apprentices. Some of these foreigners who were possessed of suf- 
ficient means to pay their passage, preferred being sold, as the period of service 
afforded them time to learn our language and the ways of the country, and at 
the end of that period, the funds they brought with them were invested in the 
purchase of a permanent home. 

This kind of labor being the cheapest, and within the means of a majority 
of the settlers, it appears to have been substituted for that of the African 
slave, and at this period had nearly put an end to the importation of slaves into 
the Province. It was, however, more used further in the interior than within 
the limits of our county, the earliest settlers having been more liberally sup- 
plied with negroes. 

The third kind of labor was that of the negro slave. The price of negro 
men at this time was from £40 even to £100 in rare instances. The few who 
were now imported, were brought from the West Indies, as it was found 
that in transporting negroes from Africa directly to the more northern Prov- 
inces, their health suffered more than when gradually acclimated, by being 


taken first to the West Indies, and from thence further north. Even at this 
period the Quakers and others had manumitted a considerahlc number of their 
slaves. The law that made it obligatory on the master to provide for the main- 
tenance of the slave during life, was an obstacle to emancipation, as it was 
found that manumitted negroes became indolent, and in their old age were lia- 
ble to become chargeable. The proportion of negroes to the white population 
within the limits of our county was much greater at this period than at present. 
The precise proportion is not known, but in the city of Philadeljjhia, in 1751, 
the blacks exceeded one-third of the whole population. 

In the computation of time throughout Great Britain and its dependencies, 
up to December 31st, 1751, what was known as "old style," continued to be 
used. The change to our present mode of comiuitation was elifected by an 
Act of Parliament, entitled, "An Act for regulating the commencement of the 
year, and for correcting the Calendar now in use." The numerical designation 
of the months adopted by the Society of Friends, which made March the First 
Month, was legalized by an Act passed by the Provincial Assembly in the ninth 
year of the reign of Queen Anne. Action by the Yearly Meeting of London 
v/as immediately had on the subject, which was adopted by that of Philadel- 
phia; and as this action explains the whole subject, including the numerical 
designation of the months used by the vSociety of Friends, it will be given en- 
tire, as found in the records of Chester Monthly Meeting: 

"Agreed that as by the late Act of Parliament for regulating the commencement 
of the year, that it is ordered that the first day of the Eleventh month next, shall be 
deemed the first day of the year 1752, and that the month called January shall be suc- 
cessively called the first month of the year, and not the month called March as hereto- 
fore hath been our method of computing. 

"That from and after the time above mentioned, the Eleventh month, called Janu- 
ary, shall thenceforth be deemed and reckoned the First month in the year, be so styled 
in all the records and writings of Friends, instead of computing from the month called 
March according to our present practice, and Friends are recommended to go on with 
the names of the following months numerically, according to our practice from the 
beginning, so that the months may be called and written as follows: — That January be 
called and written the first month, and February called and written the second month, 
and so on. All other methods of computing and calling of the months unavoidably 
leads into contradiction. 

"And whereas, for the more regular computation of time, the same act directs that 
in the month now called September, which will be in the year 1752, after the second 
day of the said month, eleven numerical days shall be omitted, and that which would have 
been the third day, shall be reckoned and esteemed the 14th day of the said month, and 
that which otherwise would have been the fourth day of the said month, must be deemed 
the 15th, and so on. It appears likewise necessary. Friends should conform themselves 
to this direction and omit the nominal days accordingly." 

From the commencement of this work the author has conformed his 
dates to the new style so far as to make the year commence with the first of 
January, but no allowance has been made for the eleven days that are to be 
omitted under the present mode of computation. 

Standing in the pillory was rarely resorted to as a mode of punishment by 


the justices of Chester county. At the February term of this year, one Owen 
Oberlacker, aHas John Bradley, upon being convicted of "speaking seditious 
words," was sentenced to stand in the pillory one hour, with the words, "I 
stand here for speaking seditious words against the best of Kings, wrote in 
large hand, to be affixed to his back." In addition to this punishment, twenty- 
one lashes upon his bare back were to be inflicted the same day. 

It was in 1753 that the French invaded Western Pennsylvania, in pursu- 
ance of their grand scheme to secure the possession of the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi. Though in a time of profound peace, the news of this hostile move- 
ment filled the country with consternation and alarm, for it was well known 
that a war would be inevitable. To our Quaker population, though generally 
out of harm's way, the news of this invasion was especially unwelcome. From 
experience they had learned that there were those among their young men 
who would go out to the battle, and should they return, it was rarely to enter 
that fold from which they had strayed. 

Still the Society of Friends pursued the even tenor of their way, regard- 
less of the storm that was gathering around them. Their meetings, their re- 
ligious missions to distant places, their visitation of families, and their formal 
marriages were continued. The Friends of Chester Monthly Meeting even 
selected this period as the time "to build the old end" of the Providence meet- 
ing-house, "with stone, and to make other necessary repairs." This "old end," 
now to be supplied with a stone structure, was probably the first erected meet- 
ing-house at the place indicated. 

In accordance with notice given to the Proprietaries, in 1753, Governor 
Hamilton resigned his office the following October. He was succeeded by 
Robert Hunter Morris, of New Jersey. 

The events occurring in America in 1754, induced both the English and 
French governments to send troops to aid in the defence of their American 
possessions. Those from England were sent by way of Virginia, but did not 
arrive until the spring of 1755. In conjunction with a considerable number of 
colonial troops, they were placed under the unfortunate General Braddock, and 
constituted the expedition defeated by the French and Indians near Fort Du- 
quesne. The prudent conduct displayed by Washington on this occasion 
may be regarded as the commencement of the glorious career of this great 


On the morning of November 18, 1755, a severe shock of an earthquake 
was felt throughout this region of country. It lasted about two minutes. It 
was felt along the coast for a distance of 800 miles, being most severe in the 

vicinity of Boston. 

The disputes between Governor Morris and the Assembly, in which the 
Quakers still had a majority, were constant, and unfortunately were not con- 
ducted with that spirit of moderation and forbearance that should have pre- 
vailed in a period of so much difficulty and danger. The Assembly could not 
vote money specifically for carrying on the war, and in providing means "for 
the king's use," they desired to issue an additional amount of paper money. 


This was opposed l)y the Governor under I'roijrietary instruclions. Another 
dirticulty arose in i)r(i\itHng for tlie assessment of a heavy land tax. The As- 
sembly included the I'roprietary lands in the assessment, and the Governor so 
far forgot himself as to accuse that body with having included these lands for 
the purpose of defeating the bill ; especially did he censure Ur. Franklin, whom 
he regarded as the author of this measure. Notwithstanding the alarming con- 
dition of the country, there were those who endeavored to stir up sedition. For 
that offence, one John Costello was this year convicted by the Court at Ches- 
ter and sentenced to stand in the pillory one hour, on two successive days, 
wearing the insignia of his crime, as in the case of Owen Overlacker. 

No act could be passed by the Assembly to compel persons to take up 
arms in defence of the Province, or to organize the militia for that purpose, 
but the Quakers threw no obstacle in the way of those whose scruples did not 
prevent them from performing military duty, and even went so far as to enact 
a law "for the better ordering and regulating such as are willing and desirous 
to be united for military purposes within this Province." The appropriations 
for "the king's use" were, indeed, by no means niggardly. An act granting 
i6o,ooo was passed this year, and one for £30,000 in the year following. Such 
acts continued to be passed, from time to time, while the Quakers still main- 
tained their ascendancy in the Assembly. 

Of those who joined the military service from this county, I have seen no 
record, except that of those who happened to belong to the Society of Friends ; 
they were dealt with and disowned. Of these Radnor Meeting furnished the 
largest number — no less than eight young men in full membership with that 
particular meeting left their homes and went into active military service in 


Previous to this time there appears to have been a diiTference of opinion in 

the Society of Friends upon the subject of Preparative Meetings being meet- 
ings of record. The representatives from Haverford Monthly Meeting to 
the quarterly meeting brought back a proposal, "that Preparative meetings 
should be meetings of Record." After being considered for some time, the 
question was referred to a future meeting, which adopted the following as a 
part of a more extended minute: "The proposal of having the Preparative 
meetings, meetings of record, has been under our consideration and is left so; 
there being some different sentiments thereon ; We agreeing, (and some arc in 
the practice,) that it would be convenient to keep records of the affairs be- 
longing to each particular meeting, such as repairing of Meeting houses, &c." 
At the following monthly meeting, which was held at Merion on May 14, 
the representatives who had attended the quarterly meeting brought the follow- 
ing minute from that meeting, which appears to have settled the question : 
"After consideration of the reports from the several meetings, respecting the 
principle of establishing preparative meetings, this meeting agrees that it will 
be of advantage to have such meetings. And each monthly meeting is there- 
fore desired to appoint them where they are not already settled ; and it is 


agreed they have power to keep a record of such things as come before them, 
as they may think necessary." 

The Delaware Indians had been so far seduced by the French, as to en- 
gage in committing the most barbarous atrocities against the frontier inhabit- 
ants of Pennsylvania. The Six Nations still remained friendly, and it was 
hoped that through the instrumentality of this powerful combination of sav- 
ages, the Delawares could be brought to terms of peace. The Quakers used 
every effort to bring about this result, but the Governor unwisely made a for- 
mal declaration of war against the Delawares ; and not to be behind the savages 
themselves in cruelty and atrocity, a proclamation was issued offering a pre- 
mium for prisoners or scalps taken from their Indian enemy. A reconciliation 
was, however, soon brought about, through the instrumentality of Sir William 
Johnson, the Six Nations, the Quakers, and a few of the Delawares who re- 
mained faithful. 

Although England and France had been engaged in hostilities in their 
American possessions for about two years, yet until May of the present year 
no formal declaration of war had been made between the two Governments. 

As lieutenant-governor of the Province, Robert Hunter Morris was suc- 
ceeded by William Denny, towards the close of August. 

The British ministry, in discussing some matters connected with the de- 
fence of the Province, had intimated an opinion adverse to Quakers acting as 
members of Assembly. A number of this Society was, nevertheless, elected, 
but four of them immediately sent in their resignations. Two of these, Peter 
Dix and Nathaniel Pennock, were from Chester county. This appears to have 
placed those having no conscientious scruples on the subject of taking up arms, 
in a majority in the Assembly, but still the want of harmonious action between 
that body and the Governor, was not diminished. The future angry disputes 
between the parties, conclusively demonstrate that Quakerism was but a small 
Item in the serious obstacles to harmonious legislation. The representatives 
of the people, without distinction of sect or party, knew their rights, and de- 
terminedly asserted and maintained them against all doubtful claims of pre- 
rogative, either by the Crown, the Proprietaries, or the Executive. The doc- 
trines that eventually led to a separation between the Colonies and the Mother 
Country, had their origin in these and similar disputes. 

So captious had the Governor become, that it seemed almost impossible 
for the Assembly to shape a militia or money bill to suit the views of his Ex- 
cellency. At length that body resolved that it appeared to them "that the 
Governor is determined to withhold that protection from the people of this 
province, which a proper Militia bill might afford them, unless we will present 
him with such a bill as will enable certain designing men to subvert the Con- 
stitution and deprive the inhabitants of every liberty they think worth enjoy- 

In the matter of an application for the removal from office of one Wil- 
liam Moore, a justice of the peace and judge of the court of Chester county. 



questions affecting the respective prerogatives of the Assembly and the Gov- 
ernor were discussed at great length and witli considerable aliility. 

The following is a list of persons recommended to the Governor by the 
court for license as tavern keepers for 1757, within the townships now com- 
posing the county of Delaware : Chester — Aubrey Bevan, James Mather, 
David Coupland, John Hanly. Chester townsliip — W'm. Miller. Chichester 
town — Hannah Clayton, Mary Kain, John Kerlin. Chichester township — 
James Stroud. Darby town — Hannah Wood, William Donaldson, John Ru- 
dolph. Darby township — Harbara McCuUough. Haverford — Anna Miller. 
Middletown — Joseph Talbot. Newtown — John West. Concord — John Han- 
num. Birmingham — W^m. Jones, Henry Hayes. Ridley — Mordecai Thomp- 
son, Edwd. fits Rudolph. Radnor — Aubrey Harry, Thomas Tucker, Richard 
Barry. Springfield — Mordecai Taylor. 

The foregoing appears to be a full list of the retailers of ardent spirits for, 
the townships now embraced in Delaware county, though several of the town- 
ships appear to have been without a licensed house. 

By the Treaty of L'trecht, the French inhabitants of Nova Scotia were to 
remove with their effects in one year; but choosing to become British subjects, 
(except in the matter of taking up arms against their own countrymen.) rather 
than to part with their property, they had determined to remain. 1'heir pres- 
ence being now regarded as dangerous to the people of Nova Scotia, the gov- 
ernment determined to disperse them among the other colonies, where their 
presence would be less objectionable. A large body of these Frenchmen 
(known as French neutrals), with their families, were sent to Philadelphia, 
where for a time they were supported, partly at the public expense, and partly 
by private charity. Actuated by compassion for the distressed condition of 
these poor people, the Assembly as soon as possible passed an act providing foi 
their distribution throughout the counties of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, and 
Lancaster. Three commissioners were named in the act for each county, to 
make this distribution, and to transact other business connected with the com- 
fort of these poor Frenchmen. The commissioners for Chester county were 
Nathaniel Pennock, Nathaniel Grubb, and John Hannum. The overseers of 
the poor were obliged to receive these po6r creatures, and to provide for their 
immediate wants ; but the commissioners were authorized to put them in a 
way to support themselves, by the purchase of stock, &c., which was to be paid 
for out of a ])ublic loan recently authorized by the Assembly. But one family 
could be located in a township. Notwithstanding this kind treatment, some of 
these Frenchmen, by their misconduct, subjected themselves to the suspicion 
of having evil designs against the government. Six were arrested and impris- 
oned by authority of the Governor, two of wIkhu resided in this county. Paul 
Bujauld at Chester, and Jean Landy at Darby. 

For some cause, an enumeration of the members of the Roman Catholic 
church was made in 1757. The number (who took the sacrament) in the 
Province was 1365, of whom only 120 resided in Chester county. 

In early times it was usual for religious meetings to commence at noon, or 


sometimes at one o'clock, p. m. The time of commencing Darby week-day 
meeting of Friends, was this year changed from twelve to eleven o'clock. 

Public attention now became almost wholly engrossed with making prep- 
arations for the prosecution of the war and the defence of the Province. Of 
these, the limited scope of our work will only permit a notice of such as have 
a local interest. 

In the course of the discussions that ensued, several articles appeared in 
a Dutch newspaper, published at Germantown by Christopher Sower, which 
were supposed to be aimed against the King and the government. In conse- 
quence, fourteen Highlanders, from a regiment lately arrived at Philadelphia, 
were dispatched to the printer, with a written order to meet General Forbes 
"at the tavern sign of the Buck on the old Lancaster road." Sower repaired 
to the place indicated, and being subjected to an examination by General 
Forbes and the Governor, who was there in person, he was dismissed. Sower 
had resided in the Province thirty-four years, and urged, in his defence, that 
he had been instrumental in inducing many persons to settle in the Province, 
and therefore was in duty bound to support its welfare. The General gave him 
"a serious warning, for the future, not to print anything against the King or 
government." At the time of his interview with the German printer. General 
Forbes was probably on his western expedition, which resulted in the recap- 
ture of Fort Duquesne. 

The war was still more vigorously prosecuted in 1759, in the autumn of 
which year Quebec was captured by the British and provincial forces under 
General Wolf. In carrying out the plans of the campaign, a large number of 
wagons was required to be furnished by the several counties in the Province. 
The number required from Chester county was sixty-six. 

William Denny was superseded in the office of Lieutenant-Governor of 
the Province by James Hamilton, who for a second time was appointed to that 
office, and assumed the duties thereof in November, 1759. 

The degree and kind of punishment inflicted upon criminals have varied 
very much at different periods. In very early tiines the infliction of fines for 
ordinary ofifences was generally resorted to. From 1714 to 1759, most of the 
sentences embraced whipping, as the chief or only item of punishment for such 
offences, and usually consisted of "twenty-one lashes on the bare back well 
laid on." In a few instances, the number of stripes was a few more or less. 
Standing in the pillory was rarely adopted as a punishment during this period, 
and imprisonment not at all. The wearing of the Roman T ceased about 

the year 1720. 

The subject of buying and selling negroes, and the treatment of those held 
by members of the Society of Friends, now begins to claim the special atten- 
tion of the meetings of that sect. A member of Chester Meeting is dealt with 
for having bought and sold a negro ; but having made the proper acknowledg- 
ment is not disowned. In reply to the query on the subject, Haver ford Meet- 
ing says, that "one friend hath purchased a negro, and we believe those who 
are possessed of them, supply them with the necessaries of life, but we fear 


the necessary duly of insiruction and inldnnaiion in tliis imjjorlant affair, is 
too much neglected by some of our inemhers." 

The death of King George II. occurred October 25lh, of this year; but his 
grandson and successor, George 111., was not jjroclaimed in Pennsylvania till 
January 21st. following. In ihe new commission for justices, that it became 
necessary to issue, the following is the list fur (jic^ter county: Thomas Worth, 
Samuel Flower, John Miller, Isaac Davis, JCdward Krinton; Chief Burgess of 
Chester, Alexander Johnson, John Morton, John Culbertson, William Cling- 
ham, William Parker, Timothy Kirk. John Hannum, John l^rice, Roger Hunt, 
John Fairlamb, George Currie, Henry Hale Graham. 

The county tax about this period was levied at the rate of 2d per pound, 
and six shillings on each freeman. The amount raised at that rate appears to 
have exceeded the wants of the county, for the commissioners and assessors, 
"upon inspection of the affairs of the county that properly came under their 
notice, find no necessity for raising a tax this year." This announcement was 
no doubt a very gratifying one to the tax payers of the county. 

Incorporations of meadow companies commenced about this period ; un- 
der what kind of an arrangement the several parties interested in meadow 
lands along the Delaware, contributed their proportionate share of the expense 
towards maintaining the banks, before these acts of incorporation were ob- 
tained, is not now well understood. It must have been by means of a private 

War with Spain was declared January 4th, 1762. Tliis created a greater 
alarm for the safety of the IVovince, and especially for Philadelphia, than had 
previously existed, as Spain was then in possession of a powerful navy. The 
Governor forthwith convened the Assembly, and the members being sensible 
of the weakness of the Province, the House immediately appropriated ^23,- 
500, which appears to have been the Parliamentary allotment for 1759. Five 
thousand pounds were also appropriated for the erection of a fort mounting 
twenty cannon on Mud Island, near the mouth of the Schuylkill. The fortifi- 
cation, hurriedly erected during this period of alarm, and which bore the name 
of the island upon which it was erected, has been supplied by the respectable 
fortress now known as Fort Mifflin, being so named in honor of Governor 
Thomas Miftlin. 

The large number of negroes imported about this time became alarming 
to the people. The Assembly of Pennsylvania had enacted a law imposing a 
prohibitory duty on their introduction, which was repealed by the Crown. 
Other colonies, including Virginia and South Carolina, had enacted laws to re- 
strain the importation of slaves, but these enactments failed to receive the 
royal sanction. "Never before had England pursued the traffic in Negroes 
with such eager avarice." 

Pitt resigned his i)Osition as head of the British ministry, and was suc- 
ceeded by the Earl of Egremont — a most unfortunate change for colonial inde- 
pendence. .\ treaty of peace between England and France was concluded 
Towards the close of thi^ year, but was not jiroclaimed in Philadelphia till Jan- 


uary 26th, 1763. Peace with S])ain soon followed, leaving our ancestors none 
but Indian enemies to contend with. 

John Penn arrived at Philadelphia on Sunday, October 13th, having been 
appointed to supersede James Hamilton, as lieutenant governor. The day of 
his arrival is distinguished "by the occurrence of a severe shock of an earth- 
quake, accompanied with a loud roaring noise, which greatly alarmed, not only 
the inhabitants of Philadelphia, but of the surrounding country. Most relig- 
ious congregations were assembled for worship at the time, and much confu- 
sion, but little injury happened from their efforts to escape from the buildings, 
which they feared would fall upon them." 

The interior inhabitants of Pennsylvania had suffered so severely from 
the Indians during the war, and their feelings against the whole race had be- 
come so much excited, that they were unable or unwilling to draw any distinc- 
tion between those who had been hostile to the English and those who had 
acted as their allies. The latter were suspected of communicating intelligence 
to the former. Under this unjust suspicion, a number of armed men from 
Paxton and Donegal townships in Lancaster county, inhumanly murdered six 
Indians of Conestoga \'illage, and subsequently fourteen of the same tribe who 
had been placed in the workhouse of Lancaster for safety. Emboldened and 
hardened by their successful butchery, these excited but deluded men, threat- 
ened to proceed to Philadelphia and destroy the Moravian Indians, 140 in num- 
ber, who, upon the news of the Lancaster outrages, repaired to that city for 
safety. To render them more secure, the Governor had removed them to 
Province Island at the mouth of the Schuylkill. Becoming alarmed, however, 
at the reported fury of their enemies, they, with their two Moravian ministers, 
petitioned the Legislature to send them to England. This being impracticable, 
the Governor sent them to New York, in order to be placed under the protec- 
tion of Sir William Johnson, who had charge of military affairs in the colon- 
ies; but Governor Golden of New York declined to admit them into that Prov- 
ince, and they returned back to Pennsylvania under an escort of two military 
companies. The return of these Indians again arouse the fury of their ene- 
mies, who in great numbers immediately marched towards Philadelphia. The 
Indians, in the meantime, had been lodged in the barracks, which were well 
fortified, and a formidable array of soldiers went out to meet the insurgents. 
Finding the ferries well guarded they proceeded to Germantown, and learning 
the extent of the preparations made to oppose their progress, they at length 
listened to the advice of some prudent persons sent out to meet them, and, with 
the exception of two of their number, who remained to represent their griev- 
ances to the government, they all returned peaceably to their homes. Perhaps 
the older settlements of the Province w^ere never thrown into a greater state 
of alarm than that produced by these insurgents. Dr. Franklin had a large 
share in bringing about the favorable result that has been mentioned. 

John Penn had arrived from England and had assumed the duties of lieu- 
tenant-governor, just before the Indians were murdered at Lancaster. When 
the insurgents approached Philadelphia, his Excellency became so much alarmed 


that he fled for safety to the (hvclhng of Dr. I'rankhn. The people of the 
border settlements had suffered severely from the barbarous cruelty of the sav- 
ages, and can be excused for entertaining feelings of revenge, but they can 
find no justification for cruelly venting those feelings against innocent parties, 
simply because they were Indians. It is probable that the inhuman mode of 
■warfare practised against the Indians, very greatly sharpened their natural 
cruelty towards the whites. Heavy rewards had been offered for Indian 
scalps, and dogs were employed in hunting and pursuing them. Truly the gov- 
ernment was not wholly guiltless of having trained the minds of the "Paxton 
boys" for the cruelty practised by them against the Indians. 

Lotteries had for many years been resorted to for the purpose of raising 
means to build churches, endow schools, build bridges, &c., &c.. but the legis- 
lature, seeing the evils that resulted from them, passed an act for their sup- 
pression. This act was repealed by the Crown ; but the Quakers, at least, were 
not disposed to allow the Mother Country to rivet such evils upon their sect. 
They had ignored the traffic in negroes, and from a minute of Concord Meet- 
ing we find them this year dealing with a member "for being concerned in lot- 
teries." But it was in vain that the Quakers warred against the evils resulting 
from lotteries. Other sects, and particularly the Episcopalians, appeared not 
to have become awakened to those evils, for in a single year (1765) eight 
Episcopal churches, one Presbyterian and one Lutheran church, received aid 
from this authorized system of gambling. Of the Episcopal churches, three 
w^ere of this county, viz : St. Paul's at Chester, St. John's in Concord township, 
and St. Martin's at Marcus Hook. 

The act of the British Parliament for charging certain stamped duties in 
the American Colonies, known as the "Stamp Act," was passed in 1765. In 
October of this year a vessel bringing a supply of stamps arrived at Philadel- 
phia, but the opposition to the law was so great that it could not be enforced. 
The excitement produced throughout the British colonies was unparalleled, 
and the discussions that resulted, it is known, led to the Revolution. 

The Indian troubles ceased with a general treaty of peace entered into in 
1765 with Sir William Johnson; but it was through the instrumentality of 
Colonel Boquet that the Indians were humbled and brought to terms. 

The new commission for the county of Chester embraced the following 
names: William Moore, Thomas Worth, Samuel Flower, John Miller, Isaac 
Davis, Edward Brinton, Alexander Johnson, Jno. Culbertson, W^ill. Gingham, 
Will. Parker, John Hannum, John Price, John Fairlamb, Henry Hale Graham, 
Wm. Boyd, Rd. Riley, James Hunter and James Evans. 

The frequent dealings with members about this period by our local 
Friends' meetings, for buying and selling slaves, at once show what a very com- 
mon article of traffic the negro had become, in this our favored land, and the 
firm determination on the part of that Society, that with their members, at least, 
the traffic should cease and determine for ever. Some- were now prepared to 
go a step further than they had already gone, and to enjoin the manumission 
of all slaves a<; q religious duty. In this movement, Chester ^Monthly Meeting 


took the lead, as it had done in the earlier movements of the Society on this 
delicate subject. That meeting had already appointed a committee to visir 
such of its members "as keep slaves, and endeavour to convince them of the in- 
consistency of the practice, and advise them of the proper time and manner of 
setting them at liberty." This committee, after having visited all who kept 
slaves, made their report this year. They found "a disposition in many they 
visited to release their slaves, and one has been set at liberty since their ap- 
pointment. They believe that if Friends can be continued to advise and treat 
with those that do not see clearly the necessity of doing to others as they would 
have others do unto them, it may be profitable." Notwithstanding this appar- 
ent desire to do even and exact justice to the African race, there was a law at 
this time in force in Pennsylvania that established a special tribunal for the 
trial of negroes charged with the higher grades of crime, which proves con- 
clusively that the rights of the two races were not generally regarded as; 
equally sacred. 

All the meetings had committees to inquire into the treatment of slaves 
held by Friends ; whether they were taught to read, and encouraged to attend 
meetings, &c. Reports were generally favorable. 

The odious Stamp Act was repealed March 18, 1766, the news of which 
event, when it reached America, caused unbounded demonstrations of joy. 
Though the Quakers generally would not have violently resisted the execution 
of the law, they shared with others the joy produced by the tidings of its re- 
peal. The French and Indian wars had been happily terminated, and the con- 
troversy with the mother country appeared now to be the only event that could 
again give rise to the "wars and fightings," which had already become a snare 
to many youthful members of the Society. Regarding the repeal as the har- 
binger of a protracted peace, our local meetings with renewed vigor set about 
purging the Society from a variety of evil practices, which for some time had 
claimed its serious consideration. Next to dealing in and holding slaves, in- 
temperance and the sale of intoxicating drinks, and being concerned in lotter- 
ies, were the most prominent. 

The most important event of 1767 was the final determination of the 
boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland — Mason and Dixon's line. 
The final deed, under which this very protracted controversy was eventually 
closed, was executed on July 4th, 1760. Under this deed, commissioners were 
appointed, who at once engaged in the work assigned to them, by tracing, with 
the aid of the best surveyors they could find, the east and west peninsular line, 
and the twelve-mile circle around New Castle. The work was accomplished 
bv means of sighting along poles, and measuring with the common surveyor's 
chain, as nearly horizontal as possible. The slow progress of these surveyors 
induced the Penns and the then Lord Baltimore to agree with Charles Mason 
and Jeremiah Dixon, "two mathematicians or surveyors," to complete the 
work. These gentlemen arrived in Philadelphia on November 15, 1763, and 
immediately commenced the survey. The peninsular line had been run, anS 
the tangent-point had been fixed by their predecessors with so much accuracy 


tliat they were adopted by Mason and Dixon — the tangenl-linc, to use their 
own language, "not passing one inch eastward or westward" of the post mark- 
ing the tangent point set in tlic ground by those whom they superseded. It 
will be remembered that the starting-point of the line run in 1739 ^^s on the 
meridian of this tangent fifteen and a quarter miles south of the southern part 
of the city of Philadelphia. The agreement now fixes it at fifteen miles. Hav- 
ing ascertained this point, the learned surveyors proceeded slowly but surely in 
running and marking the line that bears their names. In the autumn of 1767 
their labors were suddenly brought to a close, by the command of the Six Na- 
tions of Indians, after they had reached a distance of 244 miles west of the 
Delaware. The stones intended to permanently designate the boundary were 
not planted till the following year. 

The year 1768 w^as another year of jubilee for our good people, for the 
commissioners and assessors, "after inspecting into the affairs of the county 
find no necessity for raising a tax this year." This announcement may be re- 
garded as more singular, in having been made at a time when great apprehen- 
sion existed of the breaking out of an Indian war, in consequence of the most 
inhuman murder of ten Indians at Middle Creek, in Cumberland county, by 
one Frederic Stump. 

An act was passed in 1768 "for regulating the fishery in the river Brandy- 
wine." The object of the act was to regulate the dams so that the fish could 
pass up. 

The practice of advertising, by candidates, for the office of sheriff, which 
commenced in Philadelphia in 1744, was jirobably introduced about this period 
into Chester county. The following is a specimen of the advertisement then 
in use. 

"To the Freeholders, and others, Electors for the Borough and County of Chester, 
"Gentlemen : When I reflect on the honor done, and confidence placed in me by 
the freemen of this county, for a number of years past, it affords me a matter of joy, 
and emboldens me at this time, to offer myself as a candidate for the Sheriff's office, 
for which purpose I humbly request your votes and interest at the ensuing election, 
which kindness, Gentlemen, shall be gratefully acknowledged and kept in remembrance 
by your assured friend. Richard Baker." 

Sheriffs were elected annually, and for some years past John Morton, the 
signer of the Declaration of Independence had held that office. Jesse i\Iaris 
was the successful candidate this year, though he did not advertise. He gave 
security in £3,000. under a recently enacted law. the security previously to this 
time having been much smaller. 

After the repeal of the stamp act, the British Parliament passed, almost 
unanimously, an act imposing duties on certain articles imported into the col- 
onies. This act involving the same principle as that just repealed — taxation 
without representation — met with the same opposition. I'ndcr a belief that it 
was the amount of the tax, rather than the principle involved in imposing it. to 
which the colonists objected, assurances were given in 1769. that five-sixths of 
the taxes should be repealed. In the follnwing year the whole was abolished. 



€xcept 3d. per pound on tea. This produced only a temporary lull in the great 
political storm that for some time had been gathering ; for the right of taxation 
by the mother country was still maintained. 

The road from the Schuylkill at Province Island, through Tinicum, was 
probably laid out this year ; persons, upon petition, having been appointed for 
that purpose by the Governor and Council, though their report does not ap- 
pear on record. A road from the "Middle ferry" to Strasburg, passing the 
Boot tavern, and the Ship tavern, was laid out in 1770. The route adopted 
for this road through Delaware county, was nearly on the same ground that is 
occupied at present by the West Chester road. The commissioners for laying 
out this road were John Morton, John Sellers, James Webb, Joseph Fox, Jacob 
Lewis and Daniel Williams. 

The commission of the Governor having been renewed, a new commis- 
sion for justices was required. The following is the list for Chester county, 
viz. : William Moore, Thomas Worth, John Morton, Isaac Davis, Alexander 
Johnson, William Clingham, William Parker, John Hannum, John Price, 
Henry Hale Graham, Richard Riley, Charles Cruikshanks, Richard Baker, 
James Gibbons, James Moore, William Swaffer, Evan Evans, Thomas Hock- 
ley, Joseph Pyle, Thomas Temple, and Warwick Miller. Members of Coun- 
cil were ex-officio justices of the peace. 

As early as 1734 some small quantities of silk had been made in Penn- 
sylvania, probably from our native mulberry. About this period the subject 
was revived, and great efforts were made to introduce the culture on a large 
scale. Premiums were offered to the persons who should bring the greatest 
weight of cocoons to a public filature established in Philadelphia. In 1771 the 
quantity brought to this establishment from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and 
Delaware, chiefly by ladies, was 1754 lbs. 4 oz., of which Chester county pro- 
duced 335 lbs., brought in by the following named persons : 

Grace Beal . 
Mary Parker (Darby) 
Mary Pearson (Darby) 
Abigail Davis (Chester) 
Sarah Fordham (Darby) 
Ann Cochran (Darby) 
Rachel Hayes (Darby) 
James Millhouse 
Ann Davis 
Elizabeth Bonsall 
Mary Davis . 






















Sarah Dicks ... 
Catharine Evans . 
Mary Jones . 
Jane Davis (Chester) 
Jacob Worrall 
Margaret Riley . 
John Hoops (Chester) 
Henry Thomas (Chester) 



















It is probable that the white mulberry tree (morus alba) was uitroduced 
into this county at this time. It is now fully naturalized, especially in the eas- 
tern part of the county, where there are trees three feet in diameter. 

On account of the'death of his father, which happened in 1771, Lieutenant 
Governor John Penn returned to England, and before the close of the year 


was succeeded li\- Kicliard IVnn; janu's llaniilton, president of the Council^ 
having acted as Governor in tlic meantime. 

The best men in the county did not. at this jjcriod, hesitate to assume the 
duties of county offices. Thus we find Anthony Wayne, who subsequently be- 
came one of the great generals of the Revolution, and John Morton, one of tiie 
signers of the Declaration of Independence, the former as an assessor, and the 
latter as a justice of the peace, uniting with the county commissioners in let- 
ting out, by contract, the building of a county bridge. It was the bridge over 
Little Crum creek, on the road between Darby and Chester. The bridge was 
let at £210: is a stone arched bridge, and is still standing, an enduring monu- 
ment of the integrity of those concerned in its erection. At a subsequent 
meeting "the consideration of the rebuilding the Flat for carrying persons over 
the Brandywine coming before the board, they agree that it should be done,, 
with all convenient speed, and appoint John Webster & Thomas Taylor to 
procure the same as soon as they can at the most reasonable terms." This- 
flat w^as used at Chadds' Ford. 

The excitement of the people produced by the illegal and turbulent pro- 
ceedings of the Connecticut claimants, was, at this period, even greater than 
that produced b\- the arbitrary measures of the mother country. This con- 
troversy, though suspended during the Revolution, was not ended till 1802,. 
when it was rightfully decided in favor of Pennsylvania. 

The several monthly meetings of the Society of Friends, of our county, 
appear now to be engaged more earnestly in freeing their members "from the 
evil practice of holding slaves." Through the instrumentality of visiting com- 
mittees, a considerable number of Friends had been induced to liberate their 
servants for life, or to enter into an obligation to free them at a certain age ; 
though slave-holding at this time was not a sufficient cause for disownment. 
Nor was it held by all the ^Meetings that even selling slaves placed the ofifender 
quite beyond the care of the Society, for, in a case brought before Darby Meet- 
ing, and clearly made out, the ofifender was regarded as being "under censure 
of the minute of our Yearly Meeting of 1758." and in the testimony adopted, 
they "refuse to permit him to sit in our meetings of discipline, or be employed 
in the affairs of Truth, or receive from him any contribution towards the re- 
lief of the poor or other services of the !vleeting." 

Great opposition was made to the road laid out in 1770 from the Middle 
Ferry to Strasburg. in Lancaster county, partly on account of supposed mis- 
takes in making the return. As a consequence it was not opened, and this year, 
in pursuance of instructions from the Governor and Council, it was reviewed 
by the commissioners who laid it out. but they do not appear to have made 
any material change in the route, though it is designated much more particular- 
ly in the second survey. 

John Penn, who had formerly acted as Governor, and who, in consequence 
of the death of his father, had become one of the Proprietaries, returned to the 
Province in 1773 and assumed the duties of administering the government. 
From a message by the Governor to the .Assembly, it would ajipear that 


£15,000 had been appropriated for building fortifications "for the security and 
defence" of Philadelphia, and that the whole amount had been expended in 
the purchase of Mud Island, and in the erection of a fort thereon; the work 
having been executed in accordance with "the opinion and advice of a skillful 
engineer, recommended by General Gage." The Governor regarded the work 
as having been done "in a masterly manner." The object of the message was 
to urge the Assembly to make provision for finishing the work. A temporary 
fortress had been erected on this island at a former period, but the structure 
now erected was the beginning of, and constitutes a material part of the pres- 
ent Fort Mifflin. 

We now approach the most momentous period of our history as a people 
—a period embracing the events that severed us from the mother country, and 
gave us a separate national existence. The limited scope of this work will 
only permit a notice of such of these events as occurred in our midst, or in our 
immediate vicinity. 

By the passage of the Boston Port Bill, the people became aroused to the 
necessity of adopting active measures in defence of their liberties. Meetings 
were held in Philadelphia, from which emanated a circular to the people of 
the several counties of the Province. This circular was addressed to Francis 
Richardson. Elisha Price, and Henry Hayes, of Chester county, who imme- 
diately issued the following call for a meeting of the people of the county : 

"To the Freeholders and others, inhabitants of the county of Chester, 
qualified by law to vote for Representatives in General Assembly: 

"Gentlemen: The large, and very respectable committee for the City and County 
of Philadelphia, have wrote to us, the subscribers, requesting that a committee might be 
chosen for this county as soon as possible, to meet the committee from the other Coun- 
ties of this province, at the city of Philadelphia, on the 15th day of this instant, to 
deliberate on matters of the greatest weight and importance, not only to us, but to all 
America. And we are now assured, that on the account of the Indian disturbances, his 
Honor the Governor has found it necessary to call the Assembly to meet, in their legisla- 
tive capacity, on Monday the 28th of this instant; and we also find, that it is not only 
the opinion and request of the said committee for Philadelphia, but also the opinion and 
desire of a number of respectable persons of this county, coinciding with our own opinions, 
as lovers of civil and religious liberty, that the committees of the several countries of this 
province, should meet at Philadelphia, on the said 15th of this instant, in order to assist 
in framing instructions, and preparing such matters as may be proper to recommend 
to our representatives, at their meeting the Monday following. 

"We have therefore thought proper on mature deliberation, and by the advice of a 
number of gentlemen of this county, to appoint Wednesday the 13th instant, at one o'clock 
in the afternoon, as a proper time for the inhabitants of this county to meet at the Court 
House in Chester, to choose a number of our best and wisest men as a committee for 
this county, as shall be judged necessary to meet the other committees, at the time and 
place above mentioned, for the purpose aforesaid, and for such other purposes, as may then 
be deemed useful and necessary. And we sincerely hope, that the good people of this 
county, will give their attendance on that day, and calmly and heartily join with [us] 
in doing the business proposed, which we earnestly wish and desire may answer the 
good proposed, and the good purposes intended by it. 

"Chester July 4th, 1774." 


The following i< the record nf iIk- ])roceedings of the meeting: 

"At a meeting of a very respectable mimlxT of the Freeholders and others, inhab- 
itants of the County of Chester at the court-house on Wednesday the 13th of July, 
1774. in consequence of public notice for that purpose given, Francis Richardson Esq. 

"i. Tliat tlic inhabitants of this county do owe, and will pay all due faith and 

"This Assembly, taking into their serious consideration, the present critical and alarm- 
ing situation of American affairs, and the unhappy differences now subsisting between 
Great Britain and her Colonies, do agree and resolve as follows, viz: 
allegiance to our lawful and rightful sovereign Lord George the Third, king of G. 
Britain, and the dominions thereunto belonging. 

"2. That it is an absolute right, inherent in every English subject, to have free use, 
enjoyment and disposal of all his 4)roperty, either by himself or representative, and that no 
other power on earth can legally divest him of it. 

"3. That the act of Parliament lately passed for shutting up the port of Boston is 
unconstitutional, oppressive to the inhabitants of that town, in its consequences dangerous 
to the liberties of the British colonies; and that therefore, we consider our brethren at 
Boston as suffering in the common cause of America. 

"4. That the protection of the liberties of America is an indispensable duty, which 
we owe to ourselves, who enjoy them, to our ancestors who transmitted them duwn, 
and to our posterity who will claim them at our hands, as the best birthright and noblest 
inheritance of mankind. 

"5. We do agree with the Committee of the City and County of Philadelphia, that 
a Congress of Deputies from the said Colonies is the most profitable and proper mode of 
procuring relief for our suffering brethren, obtaining redress, preserving our rights and 
liberties, and establishing peace and mutual confidence between our Mother country and her 
Colonies, on a constitutional foundation. 

"6. The inhabitants of this County ought and will cheerfully adopt, adhere to, and 
assist in executing all and singular such peaceable and constitutional measures, which may 
hereafter be agreed upon and determined by the said general Congress. 

"7. It is our opinion that it would conduce greatly to the restoration of the liberties 
of America, should the Colonies enter into a solemn agreement not to purchase any goods, 
wares or merchandise imported from Great Britain, under such restrictions as be agreed 
upon by the Congress. We, for our parts, sensible of the great advantages which must 
arise from promoting economy and manufacturing among ourselves, are determined to use 
as little foreign manufactures of what kind or quality soever, as our necessities will permit 
until the several acts of the British Parliament, injurious to American liberty, be repealed. 

"8. That as our brethren at Boston are now suffering in the cause of America, it is 
the duty of the inhabitants of this County, in common with the neighboring Colonies, 
generously to contribute towards their support; and therefore the Committee hereafter 
appointed, are requested immediately to open and set on foot a subscription for the said 
sufferers, and the money arising therefrom to be laid out and expended as the said 
Committee, or a majority of them, shall judge best to answer the benevolent intention. 

"9. That the following persons, to wit, Francis Richardson, Elisha Price. John 
Hart, Anthony Wayne, John Sellers, Hugh Lloyd, William Montgomery. Francis Johnston, 
William Parker, Richard Riley, Thomas Hockley, Robert Mendenhall, and John Flem- 
ing or a majority of them, be and they are hereby appointed a Committee for this County 
to meet and correspond with the Committees of the several Counties of this and the other 
Colonies, and to join in such measures as to them shall appear necessary for tlie public 
good. Francis Johnston. Clk. Com." 

There had heen some correspondence hetween the i'liiladeli)hia Commit- 
tee and influential persons in the several Counties of the Province, a month 


earlier, at which time it was not expected that the Governor would convene the 
Assembly. Delegates from the several county committees convened at Phila- 
delphia, and engaged in the preparation of a series of general resolutions, to 
be laid before that body, which met shortly afterwards. The Assembly, act- 
ing in harmony with similar bodies in the other colonies, appointed deputies 
to the general Congress that convened at Philadelphia on the 14th of Septem- 
ber following. The whole number of deputies was fifty-five, of whom eight 
were from Pennsylvania, and of these, two, viz., Charles Humphreys and 
John Morton, resided in the district now constituting Delaware county. 

On December 20th, following, we again find, "a very respectable number 
of the inhabitants of the county of Chester, convened at the court-house in 
the borough of Chester," for the purpose of choosing a committee "to carry 
into execution the Association of the late Continental Congress." The follow- 
ing persons were chosen, viz. : Anthony Wayne, Francis Johnston, Richard 
Riley, Evan Evans & James Moore, Esquires. Hugh Lloyd, Thomas Hockley, 
David Coupland, John Hart, Skctchley Morton, Samuel Fairlamb, Isaac Eyre, 
John Crosby, Nicholas Diehl, Jesse Bonsall, Aaron Oakford, Benjamin Bran- 
nan, John Talbot, Joseph Brown, Samuel Price, John Crawford, John Taylor, 
Lewis Gronow, Edward Humphreys, Henry Lawrence, Richard Thomas, Wm. 
Montgomery, Persifer Frazer, Thos. Taylor, John Foulke, Robert Menden- 
hall, Joseph Pennell, George Pierce, Nicholas Fairlamb, Samuel Trimble, 
Charles Dilworth, John Hannurn, George Hoops, Joel Bailey, John Gilliland. 
Joseph Bishop, Jr., John Kerlin, Edward Jones, William Lewis, Patrick An- 
derson, Joshua Evans, Thomas Hartman, Dr. Branson Van Leer, William 
Evans, Joseph Cowan, Thomas Haslep, Patterson Bell, Dr. Jonathan Morris, 
Andrew Mitchell. Thomas Bufifington, James Bennett, Joseph Musgrave, Wm. 
Miller, Richard Flower, Walter Finney, James Simpson, David Wherry, 
James Evans, Thomas Bishop, William Edwards, Jona. Vernon, Jr., Lewis 
Davis, Sr., Jos. Gibbons, Jr., and Thomas Evans; which committee were "to 
be and continue from this time until one month after the rising of the next 
Continental Congress, with full power to transact such business, and enter into 
such associations as to them shall appear expedient." After the appointment 
of the above committee, they proceeded to appoint a chairman and secretary: 
when Anthony Wayne, Esq., was selected for the former, and Francis John- 
ston, Esq., for the latter office. The committee then passed the following re- 
solves unanimously : 

"ist. That any twelve or more of the said committee, meeting upon due notice, be 
empowered to enter upon and transact all such business, as shall come under their con- 
sideration ; provided, the majority agreeing shall not be less than twelve." 

"2d That the present unhappy situation of public affairs in general, and of this 
Province in particular, renders it highly necessary that a Provincial Convention should 
be held as soon as possible ; for which purpose twelve persons shall be appomted, out of 
the said Committee, as delegates to attend the said Convention, at such time and place 
as shall be generally agreed on." 

The committee then adjourned, to meet at the house of David Coupland, 
in the borough of Chester, on January 9, 1775. 


Agreeabl\ t<> one of the resolves of tlie first meeting of the people of 
Chester county, subscriptions were circulated for the relief of the suffering 
people of Boston. The Society of l-'riends, acting in a meeting cai)acity, did 
not hesitate to contribute to the same object. Chester Monthly Meeting con- 
tributed ijo "for the relief of Necessitous inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay 
and Provinces adjacent." Darby Meeting jiaid £33 14s. "for the relief of the 
poor and distressed in New England," while Haverford Meeting responded to 
the request of the meeting for sufferings, "that Friends should contribute lib- 
erally for the relief of friends or others (in the New England Government), 
who are or may be reduced to indigent circumstances, in this time of ])ublic 
calamity," and in a short time had the satisfaction to receive "an affecting ac- 
count of the state of the poor of these Provinces, and of the distribution of the 
donations sent from hence." 

- In this connection it may be remarked, that the period under considera- 
tion was one of great tribulation with the more staid members of the Society 
of Friends. Their tenets imposed a condition of perfect neutrality, and this 
was generally adhered to ; but many, and among them men in high repute for 
their intelligence, took an active part in opposing the arbitrary measures of 
the mother country. The eft'ect of allowing their members to participate in 
the commotions of the times was foreseen, and the most kindly caution was re- 
peatedly administered by the visitation of Committees. It will be seen here- 
after that these efforts were generally, though not wholly, unsuccessful. 

The proposed Provincial Convention assembled at Philadelphia January 
23. 1775, and continued its sessions until the 28th. The following ten dele- 
gates from Chester county appeared at the first meeting of the convention : 
Anthony Wayne, Esq., Hugh Lloyd, Richard Thomas, Francis Johnston. 
Esq., Samuel Fairlamb, Lewis Davis, William ^Montgomery, Joseph Musgrave. 
Joshua Evans, and Persifer Frazer. The absentees were Thomas Hockley and 
Thomas Taylor. The proceedings of the convention were unanimous, and the 
object of one of its first resolves was "to procure a law prohibiting the future 
importation of slaves into the province." 

No record of a meeting of the Chester county committee, on January 9. 
the day to which they adjourned, has been found ; but they are again assem- 
bled March 20. ])ursuant "to adjournment and public notice," showing that an 
intervening meeting had been held. This meeting was held at the house of 
Richard Cheyney in East Cain, when, on motion, it was "ordered, that Mr. 
Hockley, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Gronow, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Frazer, Mr. Moore, and 
Mr. Taylor, be and they are hereby appointed a Committee to essay a draught 
of a petition to present to the General .Assembly of this Province, with regard 
to the manumission of slaves — especially relating to the freedom of infants 
hereafter born of black women within this Colony — and do make report of the 
same to this Committee at its next meeting." 

On motion, "ordered, that each member in this Committee, will use his ut- 
most diligence in collecting the several sums of money subscribed for the use 
of Boston, and pay the same into the hands of Anthony Wayne, Esq.. treas- 


urer, at the next meeting of the committee." The committee then adjourned, 
to meet at the house of David Coupland, in the borough of Chester, on Wed- 
nesday, the 31st of May next. The following extract from their proceedings 
shows that the committee met at an earlier day than that to which they ad- 

"In Committee, Chester, May 22, 1775. 

"Whereas it appears very necessary, in order to avert the evils and calamities which 
threaten our devoted country, to embody ourselves and make all the military preparation 
in our power; and it appears absolutely impossible to carry this laudable design into 
execution, without observing the greatest order, harmony and concord, not only under 
the laws of civil government, but also while under arms and in actual duty, — we there- 
fore unanimously recommend the following Association, to be entered into by the good 
people of this County : — 

"We, the Subscribers do most solemnly resolve, promise and engage, under the 
sacred ties of honor, virtue, and love to our country, that we will use our utmost 
endeavours to learn the military exercise and promote harmony and unanimity in our 
respective companies; that we will strictly adhere to the rules of decency, during duty; 
that we will pay a due regard to our officers; that we will, when called upon, support with 
our utmost abilities the civil magistrate in the execution of the laws for the good of 
our country, and that we will at all times be in readiness to defend the lives, liberties, 
and properties of ourselves and fellow countrymen against all attempts to deprive us 
of them. 

"Extract from the minutes. 

"By order of the Committee, 

"Francis Johnston, Sec'y." 

The following is the next call for a meeting of the committee : — 

"Chester County, September 7, 1775. 
"The Committee of Chester County are desired to meet at the sign of the Turk's 
Head, in the township of Goshen, on Monday, the 25th inst., at Ten O'clock, A. M., on 
business of consequence; at which time and place the board of commissioners and asses- 
sors are requested to attend. 

"By order of the Committee, 

"Anthony Wayne, Chairman." 

"In Committee, Chester County, Sept. 25, 1775. 
"Whereas some persons, evidently inimical to the liberty of America, have indus- 
triously propagated a report, that the military associators of this County, in conjunction 
with the military associators in general, intend to overturn the Constitution, by declaring 
an Independency, in the execution of which they are aided by this Committee and the 
board of Commissioners and Assessors with the arms now making for this County; and 
as such report could not originate but among the worst of men for the worst of pur- 
poses,— This Committee have therefore thought proper to declare, and they do hereby 
declare, their abhorrence even of an idea so pernicious in its nature; as they ardently 
wish for nothing more than a happy and speedy reconciliation, on constitutional prin- 
ciples, with that state from whom they derive their origin. • 

"By order of the Committee, 

"Anthony Wayne, Chairman." 

The strong language of this disclaimer against any intention of favoring 
independence, and the desire expressed for a reconciliation with the mother 
country, sounds strange at this day, yet there can be no doubt that, up to this 


late period, it was the prevailing senliment, even among those who were most 
strenuous in their op])osition to the measures of the home government. 

After having provided for the election of a new committee for the ensu- 
ing year by the people of the several townships, October 2d, the committee ad- 
journed to meet at Chester on that day. Ijui we have no record of the proceed- 
ings of that meeting. Whether the complexion of the committee was changed 
by the election is not known, but we judge it was not, from the proceedings of 
the next meeting. 

"Chester, Oct. 23rd, 1775. 
"Pursuant to public notice given, the Committee met at the house of David Cowp- 
land, in tlie borough of Chester. On motion ordered, that each member of this Com- 
mittee do immediately make return to the Chairman, of the quantity of Powder which he 
already has or may collect witliin his district, together with the price and the name 
of the owner thereof, that the same may be paid for. 

"On motion resolved, that Anthony Wayne, Francis Johnston, and Elisha Price, 
Esqrs., Mr. Richardson, Mr. Knowles, Mr. Lloyd, and Mr. Brannan, be and they are 
hereby appointed a Committee of Correspondence for this County. 

"By order of the Committee, 

"Francis Johnston, Sec'y" 

The second meeting of Congress was in May, 1775. At the close of the 
first meeting of that body, it was hoped and believed by many that a second 
meeting would not be necessary ; that the representations made to the home 
government by the representatives of all the colonies, would bring the desired 
relief. But this was a delusion, for before Congress met, hostilities had actual- 
ly begun. I-"rom this time onward, for seven long years, war measures and the 
events of the war engrossed public attention. Only those of a local character 
will be noticed. 

A Committee of Safety was appointed by the Assembly on June 30, con- 
sisting of twenty-five members, of whom Anthony Wayne, Benjamin Barthol- 
omew, Francis Johnston and Richard Riley were from Chester county. This 
committee was especially active in providing for the defence of the Province, 
and particularly for that of the city of Philadelphia. Each county was re- 
quired to furnish a certain number of firelocks — the quota for Chester county 
being 600. These were manufactured by a man named Dunwicke. and were 
ready to be proved by the 6th of October. Gun-boats were constructed ; am- 
munition provided : companies, battalions and regiments were organized, and 
breastworks hastily thrown up. These defences were mostly in the neighbor- 
hood of Fort Mifflin. In addition, two tiers of chevaux-de-frize were thrown 
across the main channel of the Delaware ; one opposite the upper part of Hog 
Island, near the Fort, and the other nearly opposite the Lazaretto. The follow- 
ing resolution, adopted by the committee on the 16th of November, directs addi- 
fional tiers to be sunk, but it does not appear that any barrier to the navigation 
of the river was placed so far down as Marcus Hook. 

"Resolved, that one or more tiers of Chevaux-de-frize be sunk above those already 
sunk, near to Fort Island." 


"That two tiers of Chevaux-de-frize be sunk for the further security of this Prov- 
ince in the channel opposite or near to Marcus Hook." 

In an official report on the condition of the Province, made by the Gover- 
nor to the Earl of Dartmouth, the population is estimated at 302,000, of whom 
2000 were negroes. The colored population was greatly under-estimated, or 
the report was only intended to include free blacks. The value of the several 
offices, in sterling money, in the Province, is also set down in the report. Those 
held by persons residing in Chester county are given as follows : John Mor- 
ton, Esq., Assistant Justice of the Supreme Court, iioo; Henry Hale Graham, 
Prothonotary, Register, Recorder, &c., ±120; Nathaniel Vernon, Sheriff, iioo; 
John Bryan, Coroner, £20. 

Towards the close of the year, there was a reorganization of the Commit- 
tee of Safety made by the Assembly. All the names from Chester county con- 
tained in the first appointment are included in this, with the addition of that 
of Nicholas Eairlamb ; the whole number of members being increased to thirty- 

The county assessment of that part of Chester county now constituting 
the county of Delaware, for the year 1775, makes the number of taxables in 
that district 1622, and by estimating five inhabitants to each taxable, our popu- 
lation, at this interesting period of our history, amounted to 81 10. The taxa- 
bles of the several townships were as follows: "Aston, 71; Bethel, 30; Ches- 
ter, 168; Upper Chichester, 57; Lower Chichester, 85; Concord, 104; Upper 
Darby, 100; Darby, 90; Edgmont, 67; Haverford, 71; Marple, 75; Middle- 
town, 88: Newtown, j"] \ Nether Providence, 48; Upper Providence, 58; Rid- 
ley (including Tinicum), 149: Radnor, 98; Springfield, 60; Thornbury, 61 ; and 
Birmingham, 69. The rate of the assessment was two pence in the pound, 
and six shillings on single freemen : and the tax for the whole county only 
amounted to £310 13s. 9d., distributed among the townships as follows: As- 
ton, £14 i6s. 9d. ; Bethel, £8 13s. 3d.; Chester, £26 is. 3d.; Upper Chichester, 
£8 19s. 6d. ; Lower Chichester, £10 14s. iid.: Concord, £23 2s. id.; Upper 
Darby. £2-] 4s. 3d. ; Lower Darby, £14 lis. 3d. ; Edgmont, £13 12s 6d. ; Haver- 
ford, £11 IS. 3d.: Marple, £14 6s. 7d. : Middletown, £20, 13s. 6d. ; Newtown, 
£14 14s.: Nether Providence, £8 i6s. ; LTpper Providence, £8 12s. 9d. ; Ridley 
(including Tinicimi), £34 los. ; Radnor, £17 13s. 6d. ; Springfield, £13 15s. 3d.; 
Thornbury, £12 6s. ; Birmingham, £6 9s. 2d. 

At a meeting of the Chester county committee, held December 26, (1775.) 
regulations were enacted to secure a perfect organization of the Associators, 
agreeably to a vote of the Assembly. At the same meeting it was also "Re- 
solved, that Anthony Wayne, James Moore, Francis Johnston Esq, D'" Sam- 
uel Kenedy, Caleb Davis, William Montgomery, Persifor Frazer, and Richard 
Thomas. Gentlemen, or any five or more of them, be appointed, and they are 
hereby appointed, to represent this county, (if occasion be,) in Provincial Con- 
vention for the ensuing year." 

The Committee of Safety held its sessions almost daily in Philadelphia. 



Their duties were arduous in the extreme. It is indeed difficuh to compre- 
hend how a body of men could control and direct such an amount of business 
in all its details, as was brouglit under their notice. Some idea may be gained, 
in respect to their doings, by a detail of such of their transactions as relate 
more particularly to this county or its vicinity. 

hour battalions of Continental troops were ordered by Congress to be 
raised in Pennsylvania. At the request of that body, the Committee recom- 
mended proper persons for officers. Anthony Wayne received the unanimous 
recommendation of the committee for the office of colonel. On January 17th 
the Committee resolved, "that Col. Wayne, Col. Johnson, M'' Bartholomew & 
AF Reiley, be a committee to examine the Firelocks, Cartridge boxes, Knap- 
sacks &c. as ordered by the Assembly to be provided by Chester county * * *." 

The two tiers of chevaux-de-frize that had already been laid were not re- 
garded as sufficient. Others were constructed at Gloucester, and on the 13th 
of March it was resolved by the committee, "that John Cobourn be employed 
to take the Chevaux-de-Frize, when launched at (iloucester, and sink them in 
their proper places near Fort Island, and that he be authorized to procure any- 
thing for the purpose, hire persons under him, on the besi and cheapest terms, 
and that he draw on this board for the expense." 

Saltpetre for the manufacture of gunpowder was the great desideratum 
of the times, and great apprehensions were entertained in regard to the possi- 
bility of obtaining a sufficient supply for a successful defence of the Province. 
The following advertisement shows the extraordinary means adopted to in- 
sure a supply of this necessary article : 

"To the Inhabitants of the County of Chester. 

"Pursuant to the recommendation of the Committee of Safety for the Province of 
Pennsylvania, to the Committee for Inspection for the County of Chester, Benjamin Bran- 
nan, Walter Finney, and John Beaton were appointed to attend the saltpetre manufactory 
in the City of Philadelphia, in order to perfect themselves in said art: We having 
complied therewith do hereby give notice to all those whose public virtue and patriotic 
spirit would excite them to such a valuable and necessary undertaking at this crisis of 
time; that attendance will be given at the house of Benjamin Brannan in Darby, on the 
23rd and 24th of February ; at the house of Mr. Cochran in East Fallowfield on the 27th 
and 28th; at the house of Mrs. Whitby [Withy] in the borough of Chester, on the 1st 
and second of March; at the house of Mr. Hood in Oxford, on the 4th and 5th; at 
the house of Mr. Miller in Birmingham on the 6th and 7th ; at the house of Mr. Powell 
in Newtown on the 8th and 9th ; at the house of Mr. Bell in Kennet on the 12th and 
13th, and at the house of Walter Finney in New London on the 14th and 15th of said 
month, in order to teach and instruct all persons who may please to apply at the times 
and places above mentioned. 

"Benjamin Brannan, 
Walter Finney." 

"N. B. The times and places in the North West district are not yet appointed." 

The "North West district" was visited by Mr. John Beaton the other 
member of the committee of inspection, who made his appointments at six dif- 
ferent places, and spent two days at each place, in giving instruction in the art 
of making salti)ctrc. 



About March 4th, the Chester county committee petitioned the Assembly 
for a change in the articles of the Military Associations. The principal change 
asked for was, that the Associators be furnished with arms. The petition is 
signed by Anthony Wayne as chairman of the committee. 

On March 29th, upon application of Colonel Wayne, an order was drawn 
by the Committee of Safety in favor of the Chester county committee for 
£500, for purchasing arms on account of Congress. 

Under the apprehension of an attack being made by water, every precau- 
tion was used to guard against it. Neither pilots nor pilot-boats were allowed to 
pass the chevaux-de-frize, and the persons specially appointed to conduct ves- 
sels through the opening in that obstruction, were not permitted to go below 

Provincial troops were rapidly recruited and organized along the river — 
so rapidly that, upon a representation made by Colonel Miles, "that there is not 
a sufficient number of houses in or about the towns of Chester & Marcus 
Hook, to quarter the troops now raising for the defence of this Province," 
the Committee of Safety on the 13th of April resolved, "that Col. Miles do 
procure for the use of the said troops, 100 good tents, on the most reasonable 
terms in his power." On April 17th, upon the application of Caleb Davis, an 
order for ii5CX) was drawn by the Committee of Safety in favor of the com- 
missioners and assessors of Chester county, "for the payment of firelocks, &c., 
made in that county for the use of the Province. An application was made to 
the Committee of Safety by the Chester county committee, for 850 lbs. of pow- 
der, in addition to the 400 lbs. on hand, and lead enough for the whole, and 
also for 1500 flints, to be distributed among the Associators, "in order to sup- 
ply them with 23 rounds per man." This supply was to be sent to the care of 
Nicholas Fairlamb. 

The committee had judged rightly of the danger to be apprehended from 
armed vessels coming up the Delaware. "In consequence of intelligence re- 
ceived on the 29th of April, that the Roebuck Man-of-war is aground upon 
Brandy wine [shoals], Capt. Reed was ordered with the provincial Ship Mont- 
gomery, to proceed down the river and Bay, and join the Commodore who is 
already on his way, with the armed Boats, in order to take or destroy 
her * * * ." 

The Provincials had quite a fleet of armed boats and other craft on the 
river at this time. A list with the number of men on each, made up to the 
first of May, is as follows: 

The Washington, 

" Franklin, 

" Congress, 

" Efifingham, 

' Burke, 

" Camden, 

■' Chatham, 

" Experiment, 

" Bull-dog, 

SO men, 

38 " 

37 " 

24 " 

39 " 




The Ranger, 
" Warren, 
" Dickenson, 
" Hancock, 
Floating Battery, 
Ship Montgomery, 

Total, . 















The "Roebuck" was a vessel of 44 guns. She succeeded in getting from 
her perilous situation without being captured. There was also another British 
war vessel in the bay — the "Liverpool" of jS guns — which likewise escaped, but 
the presence of the Provincial fleet prevented them from ascending higher up 
the river than the neighborhood of Wilmington. Here on May 8th, both ves- 
sels were attacked by the Provincial fleet under the command of Captain Reed. 
Colonel Miles, with 100 riflemen, liad repaired to that vicinity, with the view of 
rendering any assistance in his power, and witnessed the engagement. At 4 
o'clock on that day, he writes from the river bank near Wilmington, to the 
Committee of Safety : "Our boats and the two men of war have been en- 
gaged for two hours at long shot. I believe there is no damage done on either 
side, tho' I suppose three or four hundred shot have passed between them. 
* H: * Q^,j. boats fire much better than the other vessels, but in my opinion 
engage at too great a distance." * * * 

There was disappointment expressed at the failure of the gondolas or 
armed boats, to capture or destroy the "Roebuck ;" and those in charge of the 
expedition, to screen themselves from censure, attributed their want of success 
to a deficiency of supplies, particularly of ammunition : thus casting the blame 
on the Committee of Safety. This body very promptly asked the Assembly,. 
"to promote such an inquiry as shall satisfy the public where the blame & mis- 
conduct is justly chargeable." Perhaps an item in the instructions sent by the 
committee to Capt. Reed — "to be careful in exposing any of the Boats to cap- 
ture or destruction" — had as much to do in causing the failure of the expedi- 
tion as the want of supplies. 

From the following orders, adopted by the Committee on the 7th of May, 
it may be inferred, that a considerable land force was at this time stationed at 
Chester : "Robert Towers was directed to deliver to Colo. Samuel Miles, for 
the use of the Provincial troops under his command 1000 pounds of gunpow- 
der and 2000 pounds of Lead, or as great a part thereof as is in store." At 
the same time 20,000 cartridges for muskets, "for the use of the Associators of 
Chester County," were directed to be conveyed there "agreeably to Col. Miles 
direction." And on the next day, the Commissary w-as directed, "to send down 
to Chester, for the use of the Provincial troops under Col. Miles, Sixty Fire- 
locks." These gims were sent under the protection of a guard. 

After procuring a sup])ly of saltpetre, the next great necessity of the 
country was to have it manufactured into powder. There was no powder-mill 
in the Province before the Revolution broke out. An official report made June 
3d, shows that the first powder-mill ])ut in operation was that of Doctor Rob- 
ert Harris, "on Crum creek, about three miles from Chester." It began to 
work about May 23d. The dimensions of the mill house were 30 by 20 feet, 
with a head and fall of 81/2 feet. The drying house was 20 by 15 feet, "neither 
floored nor plastered." The Doctor had received one ton of saltpetre and 500 
lbs. of sulphur. He expected to deliver one ton of powder on the first of 
June, "and the same quantity weekly." .Another mill, of much greater dimen- 
sions, was at this time about being erected, at the public expense, on French 


creek, "about four miles above Moore Hall." It was expected to be ready to 
work on the 25th of June. On a branch of French creek still another small mill 
was in the course of erection, and also one on Swamp creek, in Bucks county. 

Lead was also in great requisition— so much so, that all the leaden clock 
weights, draught weights, &c., were required to be given up for military pur- 
poses. Six pence per pound was allowed for the lead thus taken. 

On May 21st the Committee of Safety adopted a memorial to Congress, 
asking for aid in the completion of the defences of the Delaware. They 
speak of the large sums appropriated for that object by the Provincial Assem- 
bly under the direction of the committee— that they caused "thirteen Arm'd 
Boats or Gondolas to be built, equip'd and manned, and have since built fitted 
and Manned, a large Ship, Floating Battery, several Guard Boats, and a great 
number of fire Rafts; erected fortifications on deep water Island; raised a 
large artillery Company for their defence, and sunk Chevaux-de-frize in the 
channel of the river ; That the Assembly have raised two Battalions of Rifle- 
men and one of Musquetry. stationed on the banks of the river Delaware. 
That the Committee perceive, after all these exertions, greatly surpassing, as- 
they believe, any that have been made on this Continent, at an expense merely 
Collonial, that their defence is still imperfect, and far unequal in their idea, to 
the probable force, that may soon be employed against this colony." 

They ask Congress to make an appropriation for the erection of an ad- 
ditional Floating Battery, and also for a fortification to be erected at Billings- 
port, on the Jersey shore. Congress made an appropriation for this latter 
work, but it was executed under the supervision of the Committee of Safety; 
a boom erected there was also a Continental charge. The works on Fort 
Island were also strengthened about this time, as a requisition was made on 
Col. Miles for a working force of one hundred men for that purpose. To these 
were allowed, over and above their pay "a. quart of i8s. beer each working 

On June 17th, Col, Atlee, who had been stationed at Chester, was directed 
by the committee to order his whole battalion to be quartered in the barracks 
of the city. This order would indicate less apprehension of an immediate at- 
tack by way of the river ; but the committee still continued to increase its de- 
fences, in order to be prepared for such an attack. The two tiers of chevaux- 
de-frize already sunk, having been built in great haste, were probably of defec- 
tive construction. Be that as it may, we now find two additional tiers in the 
course of construction — one to be sunk opposite Billingsport, and the other in 
a range with the piers of the Fort. 

The proximity of Hog Island to the fort made it necessary to guard 
against the enemy landing upon it in case of an attack upon the fort. This was 
to be effected by overflowing the island with water. To be prepared for such 
a contingency, on June 19th, "Mr. Abraham Kinsey, Tenant at Hog Island, was 
informed by the committee of the necessity of laying that island under water 
on the near approach of the enemy, and at the same time was assured, that 


whatever injury he sliould sustain in consequence, would be hereafter made 
good to him by the PubHck." 

It now became known that New York, and not Philadelphia, was to be at- 
tacked, and in consequence', on July 2d, Col. Miles was requested to march his 
battalions immediately to Philadelphia. Letters were, at the same time, dis- 
patched by the committee "to the colonels of the different battalions of the 
counties of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester & Lancaster, requesting they would 
hold themselves in readiness to march at an hours warning, with their battal- 
ions to the city." 

The representatives from Pennsylvania, in Congress, on the 4th of July, 
when the vote was taken on the Declaration of Independence, were John Mor- 
ton, John Dickinson, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin, Charles Humphreys, 
Edward Biddle, Thomas Willing, Andrew Allen and James Wilson. Of these 
gentlemen Messrs. Morton and Humphreys resided within what is now Dela- 
ware county. At the time the vote was taken, Morris and Dickinson were ab- 
sent. Of those present from Pennsylvania, Franklin. Wilson and Morton 
voted for the Declaration, and Biddle, Allen, Willing and Humphreys 
against it. 

The convention to form a State Constitution for Pennsylvania met at 
Philadelphia on July 15th, and at once assumed the whole political power of 
the State ; almost their first act being the appointment of delegates to Congress. 
For this important trust, John Morton, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, 
James Wilson, George Ross, James Smith, Benjamin Rush, George Clymer 
and George Taylor were selected. So it appears that only the four first named 
were members of Congress at the adoption of the Declaration, though all 
.signed that instrument when engrossed August 2d following. The names of 
the members of the convention from Chester county were: Benjamin Bartholo- 
mew, John Jacobs, Thomas Strawbridge, Robert Smith, Samuel Cunningham, 
John Hart, John Mackey and John Fleming. 

The military organizations in Pennsylvania, known as Associators, were 
constituted into fifty-three battalions. These assembled by representatives in 
convention at Lancaster on July 4th — the day Independence was declared — 
"to choose two Brigadier Generals to command the Battalions and forces of 
Pennsylvania." Daniel Robertdeau and James Ewing were elected. The dele- 
gates to this convention from Chester county were: Major Culbertson, Colo- 
nel Montgomery, Lieutenant-Colonel Gibson ; Captains Wallace. Scot, Gardi- 
ner: Privates Cunningham, Boyd, Denny, Culbertson. and Fulton. 

On lulv 22d the duties of the Committee of Safety were closed, the con- 
vention, then in session, having appointed another body of men, with the title 
of the Council of Safety, upon whom devolved nearly the same duties that had 
been exercised by the committee. 

Most of the small vessels employed in guarding the Delaware were sta- 
tioned at the Fort, but it appears that certain guard boats were moored in 
Darby creek : and from the inconvenience of obtaining provision from the fort, 
on the 26th of July it was ordered by the Council of Safety, "that Mr. Sketch- 


ley Morton do supply the said boats with provisions until further orders." Mr. 
Morton's bill for supplies furnished, amounted to £8 7s. 8>4d. 

The troops that had been stationed at Marcus Hook and Chester, and re- 
cently ordered to Philadelphia, did not remain long in that city. The follow- 
ing letter at once shows the destination of those troops, the condition in which 
a portion of them had been left before their removal to the city, and the hu- 
manity of their commanding officer : 

"Philabelphia, July loth, 1776. 
"D'- Sir: At the time I left Marcus Hook, there was a number of men inocu- 
lated for the Small Pox, wc^ were left under the care of Docf Davis, but being 
ordered to the Jerseys, it became absolutely necessary that the Doct'" should go with 
the troops— those sick men still remain at the Hook, under the potice of Doctf Chap- 
man—but I should be much obliged to you, (as I know no other person upon whom I 
can so well depend.) if you would be kind enough to see that those men are served with 
every necessary provision, while they remain there, for which you will be satisfied. I hope 
you will not refuse this trouble, otherwise the poor men will possibly suffer. 
"I am, Sir, w^^ much Esteem, your H'ble Servt. 

Saml. Miles." 

Colonel Miles, with his regiment, crossed New Jersey, was at the unfortu- 
nate battle of Long Island, and taken prisoner. It would be interesting to fol- 
low him in the forlorn effort to defend New York, but that is forbidden by 
the limited scope of this work. 

The following extracts from a letter dated at Kingsbridge, on the 226. of 
September, addressed by Capt. Patrick Anderson, to Dr. Franklin, sufficiently 
attests the shattered condition of Colonel Atlee's battalion of musketry, after 
the battle of Long Island : 

"Immediately after our defeat on Long Island, the command of the Musquetry 
Battallion devolved upon me. I found the number of men remaining fit for duty to be 
about 200. but most of their baggage & some even of their arms and accoutrements Lost, 
and having no field officers left, applyed to Lt. Col. Broadhead for his advice and 
assistance ; soon after he informed me the General ordered him to annex our Battalion 
to the Rifle Reg^ which I at that time complyed with in expectation of further instruc- 
tions from the Convention or Council of Safety, as Col. Broadhead wrote you con- 
cerning it. Want of necessaries sowered the men's mind. Deficiencys in their stipulated 
rations hath increased it, & neglect of punctual payt. of their pay hath caused their 
meeting and Desert in great numbers, with arms, &c. So that there is now only scarce 
eighty-three remaining & they still think if they are taken prisoners, they will not be 
exchanged, while any prisoners from the Continental army is in the enemy's hands." 
(On August 1st there had been 397 men in this battalion under pay). 

General Washington was obliged to retreat across New Jersey, and was 
closely followed by the British army. The "Roebuck" was again in the Bay. 
Every effort was now made for the defence of Philadelphia, the situation of 
which had become imminently perilous. Troops were mustered into service, 
defences were erected, munitions of war were provided, and army supplies 
were collected from every available quarter. Chester county contr'butf 1 he- 
full share towards providing for this emergency. 


From a few of the minutes and resolves of the Council of Safety, relat- 
ing more particularly to Chester county, a good idea may be formed of all 
the defensive and other measures adopted at this time. On October 4th, it 
was resolved "that Mr. ^^'illiam Evans be desired to purchase all the coarse 
cloths, blankets, and stockings in Chester county." November 14th, "Intelli- 
gence was received by express that several hundred trans])orts had sailed from 
New York, & steered their course to the southward & expected to be intended 
for this city ; whereupon the council wrote a circular letter to the commanding 
officers of the Battalions of Militia, earnestly requesting them to march their 
respective Battalions to this city immediately." 

"Ordered, That the owners of cattle and other stock near the river side, make the 
necessary preparations for removing the same, at least five miles from the river, on 
the shortest notice, as it is Probable that this board may be under the disagreeable 
necessity of giving the most preremtory orders for their removal, and to see that the 
same be punctually and suddenly complied with." 

"November 23rd, Resolved, That the salt now in the possession of the Council of 
Safety, be immediately sent to the Committee of the several Counties in the following 
proportions, to wit: * * * " (The share of Chester County was eighty bushels). 

"The Committees are to sell it to the people at the rate of 15s. pr. Bushel, and in no 
greater quantity than half a bushell to any one family; they are to make as equal distri- 
bution as they can, according to the necessities of the people, for which purpose they 
are to require a declaration of what quantity they are possessed of more than their 
just proportion of this necessary article, at a time of such very great scarcity of it." 

Dec. 4th. "An order was drawn on Mr. Nesbit in favour of Dr. Robert Harris, for 
£58, for making powder for Congress, to be charged to his Acco't. Mr. Towers was 
directed to deliver Dr. Robert Harris one ton of Salt Petre, & Sulphur in proportion, 
to make into Gun powder. Mr. Nesbitt to pay Jno. Morton £3 — 6 — o, for wharfage of 
the Floating Battery Arnold, in March last." 

"Resolved, That Thomas Marie be employed to fix the Boom to the Piers at Fort 
Island, and to be stationed there to have the care of it, to receive orders, and to be 
subject to the commanding officer at that station, and he is to employ a sufficient num- 
ber of hands, and do this business without any delay." 

Dr. Thomas Bond proposed "instituting hospitals for the sick in Darby. 
Chester, Marcus Hook, Wilmington & Newcastle." "I think," he says, "the 
water carriage from Trenton to those places would save much carting, and this 
plan much better than one proposed of sending the sick to East Town, [Eas- 
ton] Bethlehem, Nazareth, Reading, &c." 

The successful attack made by General Washington, on the night of De- 
cember 25th. on a body of Hessians encamped at Trenton, and the capture of a 
large number of them, with a great number of guns and military stores, at 
once turned the tide of events, at this period, in favor of the American cause, 
and relieved our people from any immediate apprehension of the presence of 
the enemy. 

As nearly as can be ascertained, up to the close of the year 1776. the sev- 
eral meetings of the Society of Friends within what now constitutes Delaware 
county, had disowned eighty-one members for being concerned in military af- 
fairs. But three or four were reclaimed who had taken up arms The minutes 


of the meetings during this period show an increased activity in visiting such 
members as continued to hold slaves, and generally with good success. Many 
slaves were emancipated by members of the Society about this time. A more 
h'vely testimony was borne by the meetings than heretofore against the use of 
alcoholic drinks. Early in the following year, "friends are advised and desired 
to avoid being concerned in the distillation of grain, or selling grain to such 
as distil, or purchasing the produce thereof." 

The year 1777 was the most eventful period of the revolutionary war. To 
the people of this county it was a period of the direst calamity. Circumstances 
placed the seat of war in our midst, and the events of the year being adverse 
to the American cause, our people, almost without discrimination or exception, 
were subjected to the ravages and plunder of the successful invaders of our 
soil. Though relieved from the apprehension of an immediate attack on Phil- 
adelphia, the Council of Safety did not slacken their efforts in providing for 
the defence of that city. Early in January an order was issued to county com- 
mittees of the nine counties nearest the city, to furnish 38,000 bushels of horse- 
feed for the army. The apportionment of Chester county was 4000 bushels. 

The suspicion that Gen. Howe intended to attack Philadelphia by water, 
was confirmed by the arrest of one James Molesworth, who had been sent on 
from New York to secure pilots to conduct the British fleet up the Delaware. 
Subsequent movements of Howe rendered it difificult to decide whether he 
would carry out this intention, and made it necessary to embrace a wider 
scope in providing for the defence of the city. 

On April 25th, at the request of Congress, a call was made for 3000 mili- 
tia, one-half of whom were to be encamped at or near Chester. Each soldier 
was to be provided with a blanket, but if blankets cannot be purchased, "they 
must be impressed." At this time the number of men returned in Chester 
county capable of bearing arms, was 5000. 

It was required of the committees of the counties of Philadelphia, Chester 
and Bucks, "to take an inventory of all the flour, wheat, rye and Indian corn, 
oats, beef, pork, horses, neat cattle, sheep, hogs, &c., also wagons, carts, &c. in 
said counties." The ostensible object of this inventory was to have the articles 
removed in case of any sudden alarm ; but it is probable that a desire to know 
what amount of provisions and means of transportation could be made availa- 
ble for our army, was at the bottom of this enumeration. 

The defences on the Delaware were submitted to the inspection of a 
French engineer named De Coudray. In his report he utterly condemns the 
works at Billingsport and Fort Mifflin as almost useless. Of the fort at Red 
Bank he says, "This fort is better conceived, directed and executed than either 
of those above mentioned. It does the more honor to Col. Bull, [who super- 
intended its erection] as he had no other assistance than natural good sense, 
unenlightened by theory." He, however, also condemns this fort for the ob- 
ject for which it was constructed, and recommends a radical change in the 
plan and construction of that at Billingsport. The fort at Red Bank, Fort 
Mifflin, and all the gun-boats, floating batteries, fire-ships, and chevaux-de- 


frize, were constructed wholly at the expense of Pennsylvania ; the fort at 
Billingsport alone having been erected at the charge of the United Colonies. 
A considerable amount of money was expended in remodeling this latter fort,. 
but it appears never to have answered any valuable purpose. 

l>on the application of General Schuyler, of the Continental army, an 
order was issued by the Board of War for the collection of 4000 blankets in 
Pennsylvania for the use of the Continental troops. These blankets were to be 
collected from the inhabitants "in such quantities as is proportionate to the 
number they have in the family, and tlic stock of blankets they may be pos- 
sessed of ; for which blankets they shall be paid the full value, according to an 
appraisement to be made of them." The proportion to be furnished by Ches- 
ter county was five hundred. 

Early in June, General Howe, commander of the British forces at New 
York, showed a disposition to advance by land across New Jersey, and to take 
possession of Philadelphia. On the 14th of that month he actually made an 
advance by two columns, which led General Washington to believe that this 
was his real intention. This information being communicated to Congress the 
same day, that body ordered, "That the 2nd Class of the Militia of the county 
of Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, & 
Northampton, be ordered to march to the places to which the first class of the 
said counties respectively are ordered, and that the third class be got in readi- 
ness to march, and also that the ist and second classes of the City Militia, be 
ordered to march to Bristol, & the 3rd Class hold themselves in readiness to 
march at the shortest notice." This order was promptly responded to by the 
Supreme Executive Council of the State, which issued a circular letter to the 
lieutenants of the counties named, "to forward the first Class of Militia im- 
mediately, and to hold the second class in readiness to march at the shortest 
notice." Forty wagons were also ordered to be sent from Chester county, 
thirty from Philadelphia, and thirty from Berks. 

But it so turned out that the marching of Howe was intended to draw 
General Washington from the strong position he then occupied, and in that 
event to give him battle, which he declined to do as our troops were then 
posted. Washington wisely refused to risk his army in an open field fight, and 
Howe would not venture to cross the Delaware, leaving so large a force as that 
commanded by W^ashington in his rear, so that Philadelphia was again relieved 
from being attacked by the way of New Jersey. The policy of the British 
general was understood in the course of a few days, and, as a consequence, 
on the 25th of June the order for the marching of our local militia was sus- 

Besides the regular army and militia, there were at this time, independent 
companies of volunteers. On the nth of June. Benjamin Brannen. Esq., one of 
the sub-lieutenants of Chester county, informed the Council "that there were 
several companies of artillery men formed in that county, and requested that 
they may be furnished with a piece of artillery proper for exercising the men,. 


and also a few pounds of powder for practicing the firings with." A proper 
piece, and twelve pounds of powder were ordered to be furnished. 

The militia appear to have been divided into eight classes. When a class 
was called out, many belonging to it could not, or would not go. The defi- 
ciency was made up by the employment of substitutes, either taken from the 
other classes, or from those not subject, by law, to the performance of military 
duty. These substitutes were procured by means of a bounty, which was 
paid by the Slate, to be remunerated by the fines imposed on delinquents, and 
varied from ii5 to £50, for two months' service. In some regiments the num- 
ber of substitutes nearly equaled the number of those regularly drafted. The 
system of employing substitutes, at high rates, was much complained of by the 
officers of the regular army, who regarded it as a serious obstruction to re- 
cruiting by enlistments. 

It having become apparent that General Howe had definitely changed his 
plan for gaining possession of Philadelphia, the marching orders for all the mi- 
litia, except those of Philadelphia and Chester county, were countermanded. 
News of the embarkation of a large British force, at New York, very reason- 
ably suggested the idea that the attack on the capital of Pennsylvania would 
be by way of the river Delaware ; and doubtless that was the plan of General 
Howe when he sailed. Every effort was accordingly made for the defence of 
the river. The modification of the works at Billingsport, recommended by De 
Coudray, was ordered by Congress to be carried out, under the direction of the 
authorities of Pennsylvania. Much labor was expended at this point, while 
Fort Mifflin, (but recently known by that name,) and the earth works at Red 
Bank were strengthened and improved. Some other points were fortified. 
One of these was near the mouth of Darby creek, — doubtless on the Island of 

Agreeably to some general suggestions made by the commander-in-chief, a 
survey of the grounds bordering the river, to the distance of four miles from 
its banks, was ordered by the Council. The surveyors were instructed to note 
particularly the great roads, even beyond four miles ; "the several places where 
an enemy may land, and the kind of ground adjoining, whether marshy, hilly, 
open, or covered with woods, and where there are several heights near each 
other, remarking their altitudes and distances apart;" the streams of water, 
"as high up as the tide flows, and the places where they may be forded or 
passed by bridges— where there are swamps near the river, or roads— then- 
kinds and sizes." Passes of difficulty to an army, were to be accurately sur- 
veyed and well described. The surveyors were directed to enter upon their 
duties immediately, and with as much secrecy and dispatch as the case would 
admit, and all persons were requested to be aiding and assisting them in the 
service. The duty of making the survey from the Schuylkill to Christina creek 
was assigned to Nathan Sellers. 

On Tuly 27th, certain information was received by the Council of the ap- 
proach o"f the British fleet towards the Delaware Bay. This news produced 


the highest degree of excitement among the i)eople, and induced the authori- 
ties of the State to redouble their exertions to ward off the threatened bhjw. 

A draft of the militia of Philadelphia county had marched before harvest 
into New Jersey; one from lUicks had guarded the fords of the Delaware for 
two months; a second class from iUicks, two from the city, and one from 
Chester, had occupied for some time and assisted in finishing the defences of 
the Delaware between the city and Chester. On the 28th of July, Congress 
made a requisition on the executive council of Pennsylvania for 4000 militia 
in addition to those already in service; in response to which, the Council, on 
the same day, ordered one class to be immediately called into service from the 
city, and one class from each of the counties of Philadelphia. Bucks. Chester, 
Lancaster, York, Cumberland, Berks, and Northampton ; also a detachment of 
artillery from the city of Philadelphia, equal to three-eighths of the whole. 
Most of these troops were directed "to march immediately for Chester." 

The persons appointed to drive ofif the cattle from the borders of the 
Delaware, on the approach of the enemy, were reminded of the importance of 
their trust, and of the necessity of holding themselves in readiness for the per- 
formance of it when the expected emergency should happen. Caleb Davis, 
who had been recently appointed prothonotary, &c., for Chester county, was 
directed to remove the county records from the town of Chester to a place of 
greater security. On July 31st certain information was received of the fleet 
approaching and entering the Delaware Bay to the number of 228 vessels of 
war and transports. Arms were wanted for the militia that had been called 
out, and as an expedient for supplying them, those persons who had refused 
to take the oath of allegiance were directed to be disarmed, "and their arms 
made use of by those who are willing, at the risk of their lives, to defend their 
liberty and property." 

On the same day, circulars were again issued by the Council to the county 
lieutenants, giving the news of the approach of the fleet, and exhorting them to 
use every exertion to have the militia at Chester as soon as possible. \'olun- 
teers from the classes not called were cordially invited "to step forward on 
this great and important occasion, before it may be their turn to go into the 
field in the class to which they belonged. The persons appointed to drive off 
the cattle and other live stock from the neighborhood of the river, were also 
notified of the appearance of the enemy at the Ca]:)cs of the Delaware, and of 
the near approach of the hour when the execution of their trust could no long- 
er be delayed. At the same time they were advised that Congress had likewise 
committed to their care the removal of wagons and carts. The works at Bil- 
lingsport were hurried on towards comjjletion, and every arrangement within 
the means of the Council was made to resist the invaders. 

Persons were appointed to take an account of all the wheat, flour, grain 
and other stores in the county of Chester within twenty miles westward of the 
river Delaware. Other gentlemen were appointed in the western part of the 
county, "for the purpose of Billetting, and providing for the poor that may be 



removed out of the city of Philadelphia." Suspected persons were also to be 
removed into the interior of the State. 

So confidently was the enemy expected to approach Philadelphia by the 
Delaware, that the different detachments of the regular army, under Washing- 
ton, were ordered to march to the vicinity of the city, and requisitions had been 
made on several counties for wagons to be used in the transportation of army 
stores. After entering the bay, General Howe found the navigation for such 
an immense naval armament more difficult than he had expected, retraced 
his steps to the ocean, having determined to make his approach by the way of 
the Chesapeake. This movement was not at first understood by our people, 
for no tidings were received from the fleet until August 8th, when it was seen 
some leagues south of Delaware Bay, but soon again disappeared, having been 
prevented from entering the Chesapeake by contrary winds, until the i6th of 
that month. It was not, however, until the 22d that the Council was advised 
of the presence of the enemy in the Chesapeake. 

In this period of uncertainty, Washington abated not the least in provid- 
ing for the defence of the city. On the 15th of August we find him giving di- 
rections for the improvement of the defences of the Delaware. More chevaux- 
de-frize were to be sunk, or "the left bank of Fort Island fortification sup- 
ported by a good battery capable of resisting the cannon of the ship." The ef- 
fect of the disappearance of the enemy upon the Executive Council was dif- 
ferent. They dreaded expense, and especially unnecessary expense. An order 
that had been issued for wagons was countermanded on the 8th of August, 
and less diligence appears to have been used in forwarding the militia. Up to 
the i6th of August, agreeably to the report of Colonel John Evans, only 
about TOGO militia had arrived at Chester, and there was no shelter for more,, 
"all the empty houses being occupied." These troops were from the counties 
of Berks, Cumberland, Lancaster and Chester. The following letter from the 
Council to some of the Pennsylvania delegation in Congress, still further ex- 
hibits the great anxiety of that body to avoid expense, and may serve to ex- 
plain the policy that lessened the efficiency of the militia when called into actual 
service : 

"Philadelphia, 20th Augt. 1777. 
"Gent : Council desire, that you will represent to Congress that the Militia last 
called out in this State, have been rendezvousing at Chester, and are still arriving there. 
As this is the season for sowing winter corn, on which this county greatly depends, 
& labourers are become very scarce, they are sensible that great distress must ensue 
upon continuing these people embodied. In this circumstance, it will afford very sen- 
sible 'satisfaction to the Council, as well as relief to the industrious Inhabitants, if pub- 
lic affairs may admit of the dismissing of part of the Militia, especially as cney are 
very deficient in Arms, & blankets, & totally unprovided with tents." 

Two days later, when news of the approach of the enemy by way of the 
Chesapeake was received, a very sudden change took place in the measures 
adopted by the Council. The threatened danger was at hand. Economy yielded 
to necessity, and the Council at once resumed the work of preparation with 


vigor, which had been unwisely slackened during the short period that the 
enemy remained invisible. Additional troops were ordered to Chester, and an 
equal number to Downingtown ; the militia from Northampton that had been 
ordered to proceed northward, were now directed to proceed to Lancaster 
"with all possible expedition," and in pursuance of a recommendation of Con- 
gress, all disaffected persons were ordered to be arrested and sent into the 

The fleet passed up the Elk river as far as the ships could be navigated 
with safety, and on August 25th, landed about 18,000 men, "in good health 
and spirits, admirably supplied with all the implements of war, and led by an 
experienced general, of unquestionable military talents." On the day before 
Howe landed, the American army passed through Philadelphia and marched 
towards the Brandywine. Being deficient in the means of transportation for 
army baggage, a pressing request was made upon the Council to supply the de- 
ficiency. This request was promptly responded to by an order upon the jus- 
tices of the counties of Philadelphia and Chester ; each county being required 
to furnish twenty-five wagons with four horses each. 

General John Armstrong was placed in command of the militia at Ches- 
ter. In a letter to the president of the Council, dated at that place August 29, 
we are informed that out of the "chaos" in which Gen. Armstrong had found 
things at that place, he had then forwarded 1,800 men; that in concert with 
Gen. Potter he had formed a rifle regiment [battalion], and placed at the 
head of it Col. Dunlap, "a prudent man, and not unacquainted with the busi- 
ness of a partisan." This rifle battalion, consisting of three hundred privates, 
which was to march from Marcus Hook the next day, and one hundred and 
fifty sent from Billingsport the same day, were exclusive of the number above 
mentioned. The head quarters of General Washington were now at Wilming- 
ton, where these troops united with the regular army. On the first of Septem- 
ber, the militia that had been called out in Lancaster countv were also ordered 
by General Washington to join his army at Wilmington. 

Up to September 3d, the enemy had made but little progress towards Phil- 
adelphia. General Maxwell had advanced with a lx)dy of light troops to Iron 
Hill, in Pencader Hundred, Delaware, where on that day he was attacked by 
a column of the P)ritish army, led by Lord Cornwallis, and driven beyond 
White Clay Creek, with a loss of forty killed and wounded. Up to the 5th of 
September, the main body of the American army had remained in the vicinity 
of Wilmington, where some works had been thrown up. On that day, the 
whole body was removed to Newport, and occupied a position between that 
place and Red Clay Creek, except General Irwin's brigade, which remained at 
Wilmington in charge of the works at that place. According to the best in- 
formation that could then be obtained, the British troops were spread over a 
"considerable space of country, but in a detached way, from Couch's Mills to 
some part of Nottingham." 

Pursuant to a recommendation of Congress, a call was made by the Exec- 
utive Council, September 6th, for 5,000 militia in addition to those already in 


the field. They were ordered to rendezvous on the heights of Darby, "with what 
arms they have or can procure, and otherwise equipped in the best manner they 
may be able." These equipments, includmg blankets, in case they were taken 
by the enemy or otherwise unavoidably lost, were to be paid for by the State. 

In order to strengthen the army, General Washington had withdrawn 
nearly all the troops from the defensive works on the Delaware. The Navy 
Board became apprehensive "that some parts of the enemy's fleet would soon 
attempt to invade the city," and on September 5th, communicated its plans of 
defence to the Executive Council. Hog Island and the meadows were to be 
laid under water; flats and boats should be provided to make a bridge from 
Fort Island to Province Island ; ninety or one hundred men should be put in 
the fort at Darby creek; four pieces of cannon should be got to Billingsport ; 
some person to be put in charge of the fort at Fort Island, and thirty men to 
be ready to be put on Bush Island. In pursuance of these suggestions Colonel 
Jehu Eyres, with two companies of militia artillery, was ordered to repair to 
the works that have been named, where, in conjunction with the commanders 
of the fleet, he was to exert himself "to take, burn, sink or otherwise destroy 
the enemy's ships or vessels that may attempt to invade this or the neighbor- 
ing States." He was promised a reinforcement of militia from Buck's county. 

Information having been communicated to the American camp at New- 
port, that the enemy had disencumbered themselves of all heavy baggage, 
General Washington at once determined to put his army in a like condition. 
A requisition was made by the Quartermaster-General, September 7, upon the 
Executive Council for a sufficient number of teams, for the removal of all 
baggage except blankets and a few small clothes. These teams were to "be 
placed in the rear of the divisions, and immediately on an alarm, the tents and 
small packs left with the men, were to be sent over Brandywine." 

Up to September 8th, the opinion was entertained by General Armstrong 
that the British would probably re-embark on the Delaware, cross over, and 
land at some convenient point on the Jersey shore, march up to the chevaux- 
de-frize, accompanied by the vessels of force, which he expected would bom- 
bard Philadelphia. On the very day that General Armstrong communicated 
this opinion to the Council, a movement of the enemy proved that it was not 
well founded. General Washington had strengthened the position he then 
occupied, and, regarding it as probable that the fate of Philadelphia would be 
there decided, he had resorted to every means in his power to encourage his 
troops and stimulate them to the greatest exertions. But the movements of 
the enemy indicated a design to turn the right of the American army, and to 
cut off all communication with Philadelphia. Washington decided at once to 
change his ground, and that night crossed the Brandywine, and took a position 
behind that stream at Chadds' Ford. General Maxwell was posted west of the 
ford on the road, and General Armstrong was assigned a position on the east 
side of the Brandywine, about two miles below, which enabled him to guard 
two fords, now known as Pyle's Ford and Corner Ford. In order to fortify 
the position at Chadds' Ford, a breastwork was hastily thrown up on the bluflF 


bordering on the flat ground a little north of the main road. I 'an n\ ihc main 
army was stationed above the ford to guard other passes. This division of the 
American army has been estimated, numerically, at i5.oo(j, including the Penn- 
sylvania militia, commanded 1)\ ( ieneral Armstrong. Chief Justice Marshall,, 
who was present at the battle of iirandywine, estimates the effective force of 
the Americans at 11,000, including the militia, and assigns his reasons why 
there should be such a large number of men unht for military duty. Thus 
posted, and with this small body of effectives, Washington patiently awaited 
the approach of the greatly superior force of the enemy. 

On the evening of the 9th, Howe marched in two columns which united 
early next morning at Kennet Square ; after which he advanced parties on the 
roads leading to Lancaster, to Chadds' Ford, and to Wilmington. The account 
of the noted battle of Brandywine, which happened on the next day, will be 
mainly that given by Chief Justice Marshall (who was an eye-witness), in 
his "Life of Washington," with the addition of a few details, properly omitted 
by that author, but which it may be well to preserve in a strictly local history 
of that event : 

"The armies were now within seven miles of each other, with only the Brandywine 
between them, which opposed no serious obstacle to a general engagement. This was 
sought by Howe, and not avoided by Washington. 

"In the morning of the nth, soon after day, information was received that the 
whole British army was in motion, advancing on the direct road leading to Chadd's 
Ford. The Americans were immediately under arms, and placed in order of battle for 
the purpose of contesting the passage of the stream. Skirmishing soon commenced 
between the advanced parties ; and by ten o'clock Ma.xwell's corps, with little loss on 
either side, was driven over the Brandywine, below the ford. Knyphansen, who com- 
manded this column, paraded on the heights, reconnoitred the American army, and 
appeared to be making dispositions to force the passage of the creek. A skirt of woods, 
with the stream, divided him from Maxwell's corps, small parties of whom occasionally 
crossed over, and kept up a scattering fire, by which not much execution was done. At 
length one of these parties, led by Captains Waggoner and Porterfield, engaged the 
British flank guard very closely, killed a captain with ten or fifteen privates, drove 
them out of the woods, and were on the point of taking a field-piece. The sharpness 
of the skirmish, soon drew a large body of the British to that quarter, and the Ameri- 
cans were again driven over the Brandywine. 

"About eleven in the morning, information reached General Washington, that a 
large column of the enemy, with many iield-pieces, had taken a road leading from 
Kennet Square, directly up the country, and was marching to fords higher up on the 
Brandywine. This information was given by Colonel Ross, of Pennsylvania, who was 
in their rear, and estimated their numbers at 5.000 men. On receiving this information, 
Washington is said to have determined to detach General Sullivan and Lord Stirling 
to engage the left division of the British army, and with the residue of his troops to 
cross Chadds' Ford in person, and attack Knyphausen. Before this plan could be exe- 
cuted, counter intelligence was received, inducing an opinion that the movement of the 
British on their left was a feint, and that tlie column of Lord Cornwallis, after mak- 
ing demonstrations of crossing the Brandywine above its forks, had marched down the 
western side of that stream to unite itself again with Knyphausen. 

"Various and contradictory reports were from time to time received. Even light 
horsemen, specially sent to reconnoitre, had failed to get sight of the enemy, and, by 
their report, succeeded in deceiving their general to such an extent that he was unwilling 


to credit correct intelligence when it arrived. This intelligence was brought about 2 
o'clock by Mr. Thos. Cheyney, a justice of the peace of the neighborhood. Being unac- 
quainted with the squire, Washington at first discredited his story, and it was not until 
the excellent character of Esq. Cheyney, and his devotion to the American cause, had 
been made known to the general, that he yielded a reluctant belief in the important intel- 
ligence he communicated. 

'The division of the British army under Cornwallis had taken a very long and cir- 
cuitous route, crossing the Brandywine considerably above its forks— the west'branch at 
Trimble's Ford, and the east branch at Jeflferis' Ford. As soon as Washington became 
convinced that a large division of the enemy had crossed the Brandywine above, he 
immediately made a change in the disposition of his force. The divisions commanded 
by Generals Sullivan, Stirling and Stephens, advanced farther up the Brandywine, and 
fronted the British columns marching down that stream. The division commanded by 
General Wayne remained at Chadds' Ford, to keep Knyphausen in check, in which 
service Ma.xwell was to co-operate. Greene's division, accompanied by General Wash- 
ington in person, formed a reserve, and took a central position between the right and 
left wings. 

"The divisions detached against Lord Cornwallis formed on an advantageous piece 
of ground above Birmingham Friends' Meeting-house, chiefly within what is now the 
lawn surrounding the dwelling of Mrs. Pepper; both flanks being covered with a thick 
wood. Stirling's detachment advanced to within a short distance of the meeting-house, 
where he awaited the approach of the enemy. After waiting for some time, the near 
approach of the British was announced, when Stirling endeavored to secure the highest 
ground in the immediate vicinity of the meeting-house, but when he reached that point 
the British had so nearly gained it, that he could not have formed before they would 
have been upon him. In this dilemma he threw a small force into the graveyard, which 
was enclosed with a stone wall, for the purpose of giving the enemy employment until 
he could form his men on the rising ground in the rear. This body, after having made 
an obstinate resistance, rejoined the main division. 

"Unfortunately, Sullivan's division, in taking its position, took too large a circuit, 
and was scarcely formed when the attack commenced. The battle began about half- 
past four o'clock, and was kept up warmly for some time. The right having been formed 
under the enemy's fire, first gave way, and by its flight exposed that flank of the remain- 
ing divisions to a galling fire. The line continued to break from the right, and in a 
short time was completely routed. The right wing made some attempts to rally, but 
being briskly charged, again broke, and the flight became general. 

"Upon the commencement of the action on the right, the reserve division under 
Washington and Greene pressed forward to the support of that wing; but before its 
arrival the rout was complete, and nothing could be done but check the pursuit. For 
this purpose, the loth Virginia Regiment, commanded by Colonel Stephens, and a regi- 
ment from Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel Stewart, (neither of which had been in 
action,) were posted advantageously on the road taken by the defeated army. Though 
dispersed by General Howe, these regiments did good service in putting an end to the 
pursuit. To the same end General Greene contributed largely. Placing himself at the 
head of Muhlenberg's brigade, in the rear of the retreating army, he kept up, especially 
from his cannon, so destructive a fire, as greatly to retard the advance of the enemy. 
At one time, it is said, he opened his columns for the fugitives and closed them against 
their pursuers. Arriving at length at a narrow defile, strongly secured on its right and 
left by thickets or woods, he immediately halted, sent forward his cannon, that they 
might be out of danger, in case of being compelled to a hasty retreat, and formed his 
troops, determined to dispute the pass with small arms, notwithstanding the vast superi- 
ority of his assailants. He effected his purpose with complete success, for though he 
was dislodged by Howe, the pursuit was abandoned. 

"When the American right was found to be fully engaged with Lord Cornwallis, 


226 DELAWARE roiX'lA' 

Knyphausen made real dispositions for crossing the Brandywine. Chadds' Ford was 
defended by an intrenchment and battery with three field-pieces and a howitzer, this 
division of the army being under the command of General Wayne. After some resistance 
the work was forced, and the defeat of the right being known, the left wing also 
withdrew from the ground. Tlie whole American army retreated towards Chester, 
arriving tliorc by different roads and at different times in the night. 

"Tlie loss on the side of the British was one hundred killed and four hundred 
wounded; among the former was a young man named Percy, said to be a relative of 
the Duke of Northumberland. The loss on the side of the Americans was nine hundred 
killed and wounded. Among the wounded was the Marquis de la Fayette. As but few 
Americans were killed or wounded in the retreat, the inequality in the loss sustained has 
been attributed to tlie inferiority of their arms; many of their muskets being wholly 
unfit for service. 

"General Howe has received great applause for the plan of this battle, which, but 
for one circumstance, was the very best that could have been adopted. The circuit 
taken by the division under Cornwallis was too great. Had General Washington received 
early and correct information of the wide separation of the two divisions of the British 
army, he would have crossed the Brandywine with his whole force, and made an attack 
on Knj'phausen with almost a certainty of success, and could have been ready to meet 
the division under Cornwallis by the time it arrived, or upon some future day as best suited 
his convenience. To one acquainted with the distance and the ground traveled over by 
tile detached wing of the British army, the taking of such a wide circuit, appears like a 
serious mistake on the part of Lord Howe, and one that would have changed the fate 
of the day, but for the extraordinary combination of circumstances that kept Washington 
in ignorance or in doubt in respect to the extent and character of the movements, until 
it was too late to take advantage of it." 

Upon the arrival of General Washington at Chester, he addressed the fol- 
owing letter to Congress, by whose order it was published : 

"Chester, September ii. 1777. Twelve o'clock at Night." 
"Sir : I am sorry to inform you, that in this day's engagement, we have been 
obliged to leave the enemy master of the field. Unfortunately the intelligence received 
of the Enemy's advancing up the Brandywine and crossing at a ford about six miles 
above us, was uncertain and contradictory, notwithstanding all my plans to get the best. 
This prevented my making a disposition adequate to the force with which the enemy 
attacked us on our right; in consequence of which, the troops first engaged were obliged 
to retire, before they could be reinforced. — In the midst of the attack on the right, that 
body of the enemy that remained on the other side of Chad's ford, crossed it and attacked 
the division there under the command of General Wayne, and the light troops under 
General Maxwell; who after a severe conflict, also retired. The militia under the 
command of General Armstrong, being posted at a ford about two miles below Chad's. 
had no opportunity of engaging. 

"But though we fought under many disadvantages, and were from the cause above 
mentioned, obliged to retire, yet our loss of men is not, I am persuaded, very consider- 
able; I believe much less than the enemy's. We have also lost seven or eight pieces of 
cannon according to the best information I can at present obtain. — The baggage having 
been previously moved off is all secure ; saving the men's blankets, which being at their 
backs, many of them doubtless are lost : 

"I have directed all the troops to assemble behind Chester, where they are now 
arranging for the night. — Notwithstanding the misfortunes of the day, I am happy 
to find the troops in good spirits; and I hope another time we shall compensate for the 
losses now sustained. 




-•^. _■«!*. ''3SS. ■ .1>_;^. 





































"The Marquis La Fayette was wounded in the leg, and General Woodford in the 
hand. Divers other officers were wounded and some slain, but the numbers of either 
cannot now be ascertained. q Washington 

"P. S. It has not been in my power to send you earlier intelligence; the present 
being the first leisure moment I have since the engagement." 

On the next day, the American army marched through Darby to Phila- 
delphia, where it was probably joined by straggling parties who had not 
reached Chester; one of these, accompanied by a wagon load of the wounded 
with a surgeon, reached Gibbons' tavern in Springfield about ten o'clock on the 
night of the battle. Here their wounds were dressed, and their wants supplied 
with everything the house could afiford. They left early in the morning, for 
fear of being overtaken by the enemy. 

While the American army was stationed on the Brandywine, Washington 
occupied the dwelling of Benjamin Ring, a mile from Chadds' Ford, as his 
headquarters. This house is now ( 1862) owned and occupied by Joseph Har- 
vey, and has undergone some modifications since it was occupied by the "father 
of his country." 

The quarters of La Fayette were at the dwelling of Gideon Gilpin, who 
was still living in the same house when La Fayette visited this country in 
1825. The procession that accompanied the General to the Brandywine battle- 
ground, stopped in front of the house while he paid his respects to old Gideon, 
who was then on his death-bed. This property was owned in 1862 by Samuel 
Painter, who has erected a neat mansion near the old house, which yet remains 
in nearly its former condition. 

A little above the road leading from Dilworth's town to Brandywine, on 
the descending ground, there stood a small house occupied by a man named 
Brown at the time of the battle. When Brown discovered that the Americans 
were retreating, followed by the British, he ran out of his house, and huzzaed 
for King George at the top of his voice. An American rifleman within hear- 
ing, indignant at his treachery, shot Brown just as he re-entered his dwelling, 
the ball passing through the fleshy part of his arm. 

At the time of the battle, Edward Brinton, Esq., then an aged man, owned 
and occupied the property of the late Edward B. Darlington, on the road 
leading from Dilworth's town to the Brandywine. When that division of the 
American army that met the British at and near Birmingham Meeting-house 
was retreating, closely followed by the enemy, and before the firing had ceased, 
a number of British officers stopped at the house of Squire Brinton, set out the 
dining table, and drank ten or a dozen bottles of wine in a very short space of 
time ; after which some of them passed into another part of the house where 
the old gentleman was sitting. One of these officers said to him, "Well, old 
gentleman, what do you think of these times ?" The Squire replied that he did 
not approve of all the measures of the Americans, but that he thought the acts 
of the British government had been cruel and oppressive. To this the officer 
replied : "Indeed, old gentleman, I think so too, and had it not been for your 
declaration of independence, I never would have drawn my sword in America." 



In the fight at Birmingham Meeting-house, a party of the Americans for a 
time occupied a position inside of the rear wall of the grave-yard. A number 
of the British fell here. The killed of both armies who fell in the vicinity of 
the meeting-house, were buried in the grave-yard which partly surrounds it; 
their remains occupying one common grave just inside of the gate, and on the 
side of it next to the meeting-house. The meeting-house was used as a hospi- 
tal while the British army remained in the neighborhood. 

A Major Furgesson, wdio was the commander of a small corps of riflemen 
attached to the British army, mentions an incident which he says took place, 
while he lay concealed in a small skirt of wood in front of Knyphausen's divi- 
sion. In a letter to Dr. Furgesson, he writes : 

"We had not lain long when a rebel officer, remarkable for a huzzar dress, passed 
towards our army, within one hundred yards of my right flank, not perceiving us. He 
was followed by another dressed in dark green and blue, mounted on a good bay horse, 
with a remarkably high cocked hat. I ordered three good shots to steal near to them ; 
but the idea disgusted me ; I recalled the order. The huzzar, in returning, made a 
circuit, but the other passed within a hundred yards of us; upon which I advanced 
from the woods towards him. Upon my calling, he stopped ; but looking at me, he 
proceeded. I again drew his attention, and made a sign to him to stop, but he slowly 
continued on his way. As I was within that distance at which, in the quickest firing, I 
could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him before he was out of my reach, 
I had onh- to determine; but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoflFending 
individual, who was acquitting himself very coolly of his dutj', so I let him alone. The 
day after, when I was telling this story to some wounded officers, who lay in the same 
room with me, when one of our surgeons, who had been dressing the rebel officers, 
came in and told me that General Washington was all that morning, with the light troops 
and only accompanied by a French officer in a huzzar dress, he, himself, dressed and 
mounted in every way as above described. I am not sorry that I did not know at the 
time who it was." 

The good genius of Washington never forsook him. The young man 
Percy, supposed to be a relative of the Duke of Northumberland, before men- 
tioned, was killed near the meeting-house. The following anecdote is related 
of him : 

"When he had arrived, with the regiment he accompanied, in sight of the Americans 
ranged in order of battle upon the heights near Birmingham meeting-house, he sur- 
veyed the field around him for a moment, and then turning to his servant, handed him 
his purse and his gold watch to take charge of, remarking, 'this place I saw in a dream 
before I left England, and I know I shall fall here.' The coincidence was striking and 
remarkable — the event verified the prediction. His name is not mentioned in the Brit- 
ish official account of the battle, because he held no commission in the army. He was 
merely a volunteer." 

The place where La Fayette received his wound, as pointed out by him- 
self in 1825, was on the high ground a little northwest of the new frame public 
school-house. It occurred while Washington, in person, and the worthy young 
Frenchman were endeavoring to rally .some of the retreating regiinents. Some 
hard fighting took place at this point. 



























For two days after the battle of Brandywine, the chief part of the British 
army lay encamped about Dilworth's town. During this time General Howe 
had his headquarters at the house now owned and occupied by George Gilpin. 
It was probably occupied by a person of the same name at that time. 

On the day after the battle, a detachment of the British army, under 
General Grant, marched to Concord meeting-house, where Lord Cornwallis, 
with the balance of the army, joined him on the 13th. From this point the 
main body of the army moved to Village Green and encamped, leaving a de- 
tachment at Concord to guard the wounded left at the meeting-house. Anoth- 
er detachment was sent to Wilmington, to which place some of the wounded 
were also removed. 

The encampment at Village Green was the largest ever established within 
the limits of Delaware county, extending from Mount Hope to the lower 
part of what is now Village Green, where General Howe had his headquarters 
in the old brick house still standing. There is evidence that the British were in 
possession of the town of Chester, four miles from this encampment, on the 
13th of the month. The depredations committed on the property of the people 
within the bounds of this county, by the British army under General Howe, 
between the time of the battle of Brandywine and his evacuation of Philadel- 
phia, were enormous. Many families were stripped of every article they pos- 
sessed, and left in a state of perfect destitution. It is but fair to infer that 
many of these enormities were committed against the wishes of the command- 
ing General, as the tories were frequently great sufferers, though the Whig 
families suffered the most. The British army had not before occupied a dis- 
trict of country so rich as this in agricultural products, nor one in which each 
farm-house was so well stored with everything that could minister to the real 
comforts of life. An abundant field was presented from which these reckless 
freebooters did not fail to gather a rich harvest, leaving little to glean, when 
time and opportunity was afterwards afforded them to finish their wicked 
work. The plundering was by no means confined to articles that would be use- 
ful to the army ; every article of female apparel was taken from some houses, 
and the furniture carried away or destroyed. 

While the army lay at Village Green, a tragic event occurred that goes to 
show that General Howe had become alarmed at the extent of these enormities, 
and was determined to put an end, at least, to unlicensed plunder. Three Hes- 
sians one night started on a plundering expedition, crossing Chester creek into 
Middletown township, and entered the dwelling of Jonathan Martin, now 
1862 the property of Bennet Temple. They compelled Mr. Martin to show 
them through the house, and to point out such articles as they wanted. Miss 
Mary Alartin, the daughter of Mr. Martin, then aged about eighteen years, and 
afterwards the wife of William Sharpless, of Middletown, reprimanded them 
for their conduct, which provoked one of them to inflict a slight wound upon 
her with his bayonet. Not satisfied with the plunder obtained at Mr. Martin's, 
they proceeded to the house of a Mr. Coxe, in Chester township, recently the 
property of Thomas McCall, where they appropriated such articles as they 


found suited to their taste, among which was a silver watch. Mr. Coxe had a 
daughter about the same age as Miss Martin. On the following day, these two 
young girls proceeded to the headquarters of General Howe and made their 
complaint to him personally. He promised that if they could point out the 
men, they should be punished. The troops were at once formed into line, when 
the girls passed along and pointed out the robbers after which they retired to 
some distance. The officers then put the troops through various evolutions, 
leaving the men in different positions. The same men were again pointed out 
by the girls as the guilty parties. This operation was again repeated with a 
like result. The men were then searched, when some of the stolen property 
was found upon them. They were tried by a court martial and all convicted. 
Two of them were sentenced to be hung, and the third to perform the office of 
executioner. Upon whom the extreme penalty should be inflicted, the question 
was decided by casting lots. The sentence was carried out to the letter. The 
two men were hung on the limb of an apple-tree on the property owned by 
George L. Nield, in Aston ; and, what is remarkable, they were allowed to re- 
main hanging after the army moved away. 

Thomas Dutton, upon whose property part of the army lay, was then in 
his ninth year, his father being deceased. Upon the arrival of the army, he 
was subjected to a close examination to ascertain the proclivities of his family 
— whether his father or elder brothers were rebels. Finding nothing objec- 
tionable in the family, the officers treated his mother kindly, with the exception, 
that they appropriated to themselves her eatables rather too freely. They 
notified her that '"the butter, cheese, and milk they must and would have, 
whether she received pay or not." They paid for everything; and upon the 
eve of their departure, notified her to secure every species of property from 
the depredation of the camp followers ; to bolt and bar every window and door, 
and not to admit one of them on any pretence whatever, "as they would steal 
everything they could lay their hands on." 

A few days after the battle of Brandywine, four or five hundred of the 
American wounded soldiers were taken to Ephrata, in Lancaster county, and 
placed in a hospital. Here the camp fever set in, which, in conjunction with 
the wounds of the soldiers, baffled the skill of the surgeons. One hundred and 
fifty soldiers died, and were buried at this place. They were principally from 
the Eastern States and from Pennsylvania, with a few British, who had de- 
serted and joined the American army. 

When General Washington retreated to Philadelphia, the main body of 
his army encamped near Germantown, where he allowed his men two or three 
days to rest. On the 15th of the month he marched up the Lancaster road, and 
halting at the Buck tavern, in Haverford township, he despatched a letter to the 
Council, urging a supply of blankets for the troops. On the same evening he 
reached the Warren tavern, where, hearing of the approach of the enemy by 
the wav of Goshen meeting-house, he resolved to give him battle, for although 
the conflict on the Brandywine had been sanguinary and disastrous, the troops 
were by no means discouraged. In fact the opinion generally prevailed that 






































(he loss on each side was nearly equal, and the British had gained but little 
more than the battle-field. 

Howe, anxious to give battle, on the next day marched towards the 
American army. Some skirmishing occurred between the pickets, but a rain- 
storm of almost unprecedented violence set in, and separated the two armies. 
i"he Americans retreated to the Yellow Springs, where they discovered that 
scarcely one musket in a regiment could be discharged, and that scarcely one 
cartridge-box was fit for use. This state of things suggested the precaution of 
moving to a greater distance. The army accordingly retired to Warwick Fur- 
nace, where a supply of ammunition was obtained, and soon after crossed the 
Schuylkill, except the division under General Wayne, consisting of 1500 men, 
which was dispatched to the rear of the British army, where he was to join 
General Smallwood, who was in command of a body of militia. On the even- 
ing of September 20th, Wayne was encamped on the ground now marked by 
the "Paoli Monument," a pedestal erected in commemoration of the serious dis- 
aster of that night. General Howe, having been informed by tories residing 
in the neighborhood of the exact position of Wayne's encampment, dispatched 
General Gray with an adequate force to capture the whole party. Cautiously 
approaching in the dead of the night, and probably guided by some local ene- 
my of the American cause, he drove in the pickets with charged bayonets, and 
at once rushed upon the encampment. "Wayne instantly formed his division ; 
and with his right sustained a fierce assault, directed a retreat by the left under 
cover of a few regiments, who for a short time withstood the violence of the 
shock." The total loss of the Americans has been variously estimated at from 
150 to 300, while the British only admit a loss ot seven. 

When the attack commenced, General Smallwood was within less than a 
mile of Wayne's encampment, a circumstance unknown to General Gray. But 
his militia gave way on the approach of a party of the British returning from 
the pursuit of Wayne, with the loss of but one man. Some severe animadver- 
sions on this unfortunate affair having been made in the army. General Wayne 
demanded a court martial, which, after investigating his conduct, was unani- 
mously of the opinion, that he had done everything to be expected from an ac- 
tive brave and vigilant officer ; and acquitted him with honor. 

Having already been led into a detail of events happening beyond the 
limits of our county, a further notice of the particular movements of the two 
armies will be omitted. The British crossed the Schuylkill on the 22d, and en- 
tered Philadelphia on September 26th, from whence both Congress and the 
Executive Council had adjourned to Lancaster only a few days before. 

The next object of Washington was to prevent the army at Philadelphia 
from receiving supplies from the fleet. The works on the Delaware have al- 
ready been noticed. Immediately upon the entry of the British into Philadel- 
phia^ an effort was made by the armed vessels appearing in front of the city, 
to deter them from erecting defences, This movement resulted in the loss of 
a frieate called the "Delaware," which ran aground and was captured by the 


After the battle of r.randyvvinc, IajicI liowe, who commanded the fleet, 
sailed to the mouth of the Uelawarc, and several light vessels entered the river. 
Among them was the "Roebuck/' whose commander, Cai)tain Hammond, was 
rather familiar with our waters and their defences. Upon his suggestion, Gen- 
eral Howe sent a detachment from Chester across the river under Colonel 
Stirling to attack the fort at Billingsport in the rear. This was accomplished 
October jd, without resistance ; the small party in charge having first spiked 
the guns and destroyed the barracks. The site of this fort was regarded by an 
engineer as the best on the river; much money had been expended in recon- 
structing it so as to accord with his views ; a tier of chevaux-de-frize had been 
laid across the channel opposite to it, and yet it is left without even an apology 
for n garrison for its defence. The capture of this fort placed it in the power 
of the enemy to make a passage through the obstruction in the channel, and to 
bring their vessels within striking distance of Fort Mifllin. 

While a division of the British army was over the river, engaged in the 
capture of Billingsport, Washington regarded it as a favorable opportunity to 
make an attack on the troops stationed at Germantown. This happened on the 
4th ot October. On the same day Billingsport was abandoned by the British, 
having, ir is probable, received news of the attack made on their troops at Ger- 
mantown. Before evacuating the fort they destroyed every destructible thing 
left by their predecessors, and so injured the works as to render them almost 
useless for military purposes. As yet, however, they had not succeeded in 
floating any considerable part of the chevaux-de-frize, nor in making an availa- 
ble passage through them, being foiled in their efiforts, both by the strength of 
the obstruction and the spirited attacks that were made by the water craft from 
above. On the evening of the 6th the enemy's vessels, nine in number, fell 
down to Chester, where they remained till the appearance of the main body of 
the fleet, which anchored be!cw .\c\v Cast e en the 8tli. 

1 he defence of this obstruction might have been still more successful, but 
for the great defection that occurred among the seamen by whom the galleys, 
floating batteries, and other craft were manned. After the loss of Billings- 
port and the frigate "Delaware," a despondency ensued that induced large num- 
bers, both officers and men, to desert : some of whom went over to the enemy. 
Desertions also occurred from Fort Mifilin, and Red Bank was nearly forsak- 
en by the militia, to whom its defence had been entrusted. "This desponding 
temper in the troops was checked by the battle of Germantown. and 1)\ throw- 
ing a garris(jn of Continental troops into the fort at Red Bank, now called fort 
Mercer." The militia of New Jersey were relied on to reinforce the garrison, 
but were not forthcoming with the expedition required at this critical time ; 
Lieutenant Colonel .Smith in a letter, earnestly rc<|uested a reinforcement of 
Continental troops. In consequence of the representations of this officer, Col- 
onel .Angel, of Rhode Island, with his regiment, was ordered to Red Bank, and 
Lieutenant Colonel John Greene, of Virginia, with about 200 men, to Fort 
Mifflin. Previous to the arrival of these reinforcements, the effective force at 


Fort Mifflin was reduced to 156 men, and that at Red Bank did not much ex- 
ceed 200. 

In order to prevent General Howe from obtaining suppUes for his army 
in the well-cultivated district west of the Schuylkill, General Potter with 600 
militia was ordered to scour the country between that river and Chester. Con- 
gress had also adopted a resolution subjecting to martial law and death all who 
should furnish provisions or certain enumerated articles, and who should be 
taken within thirty miles of any place occupied by the British troops. 

A battery was erected at Webb's, now Penrose's Ferry, near the mouth of 
the Schuylkill, but this was soon silenced by the galleys under Commodore 
Hazlewood. On the night of the loth of October a party of over 100 men 
crossed over at the ferry, and threw up a redoubt opposite and within two 
musket-shots of the block-house on Fort Island. As soon as discovered on 
the morning of the nth. Commodore Hazlewood ordered three galleys to at- 
tack this hastily-built redoubt, and also one of the floating batteries to play on it, 
which they did so warmly that the enemy dared not fire a shot. "After about 
two hours the enemy held out a flag, and the soldiers appeared on the bank 
with their muskets clubbed." When the Commodore and Colonel Bradford, 
who with several boats went ofit' to take the prisoners on board, had succeeded 
in securing about fifty of them. Colonel Smith, who was in the block-house, 
seeing some British soldiers coming from the house of Adam Guyer, impru- 
dently fired two shots at them, which caused the balance of those who had 
surrendered to run ofif, take possession of their battery again, and fire on their 
captors. It was at first supposed that the soldiers coming from Guyer's were 
mere stragglers, btit it afterwards turned out that the British were there in 
force, and had just arrived to reinforce the party at the redoubt. The prisoners 
captured were one lieutenant, one ensign, and fifty-six privates. 

The reinforcement sent to the enemy's redoubt was large, but the galleys 
and floating battery renewed their attack upon it in the afternoon. Failing to 
make much impression that day, on the morning of the 12th a party of about 150 
men were landed from the fort on Province Island, with the intention of tak- 
ing the redoubt under the fire of the three galleys and the floating battery ; but 
the number of the enemy proving to be much greater than was expected, un- 
der cover of the redoubt, and discovering a party equal to their own from the 
direction of Adam Guyer's, the Americans were obliged to return to the fort, 
with the loss of two men killed and five wounded. From this time the enemy 
continued to throw up works at several places in the meadows. 

The enemy's ships had taken a position near Billingsport, and had suc- 
ceeded in removing one of the chevaux-de-frize. On the night of the 12th, the 
Commodore went down "with two chains of fire rafts to drive them away 
from that place," which being effected, he returned with his armaments to the 
fort. Several conflicts ensued at this point from day to day, the enemy suc- 
ceeding, by degrees, in removing portions of the obstruction in the chaiuiel. 

The army under General Washington was now in the most destitute situa- 
tion for the want of clothing, blankets, &c., besides which, no provision had 


been made for the recruits coming in. A strong appeal was made by General 
Washington to Congress for sup])lies, which, in turn had the matter brought to 
the notice of the Executive Council. The following order from that body suf- 
ficiently explains the means resorted to, to obtain a portion of these supplies, 
without which the army could not have been continued in tlu' tield : 

"In Council, Lancaster, October 21, 1777. 
"Ordered : That Col. Evan Evans, Col. Wm. Evans, Col. Thomas, Col. Gibbons, 
Capt. Thomas Levis, Capt. William Brooks, and Capt. Jacob Rudolph, be authorized and 
required to collect without delay, from such of the inhabitants of the County of Ches- 
ter as have not taken the oaths of allegiance and abjuration, or who have aided or 
assisted the enemy, arms and accoutrements, blankets, shoes and stockings, for the use 
of the army ; tliat they appraise the same when taken, according to their quality, allow- 
ing at the rate of three pounds for a new single blanket, and give certificates for the 
same to the owners; that they call to their aid the militia of this Commonwealth, who 
are hereby ordered to obey and assist them in the execution of this order; and that 
they deliver the same, so taken, to the order of the Clothier General, or his agent, with 
whom they are to correspond in the discharge of this business." 

The Quakers having generally refused to take the oath of allegiance and 
abjuration, were, no doubt, great sufferers from the enforcement of this order; 
for, in addition to the inconvenience of parting with articles provided for fam- 
ily use, their conscientious scruples would not permit them to receive the prof- 
fered compensation. 

It was not until the middle of October that the enemy had so far succeeded 
in removing the obstruction in the river between Billingsport and Hog Island, 
as to afiford a narrow and intricate passage through them. In the mean time, 
the fire from the Pennsylvania shore had not produced all tlie efifect expected 
from it ; and it was perceived that greater exertions would be necessary for 
the reduction of the works than could safely be made in the present relative 
position of the armies. Howe, therefore, withdrew his troops from German- 
town preparatory to a combined attack by land and water upon forts Mercer 
and Mifflin. 

In pursuance of his plan for securing the control of the Delaware. Howe, 
on October 22d, detached Count Dunop with 1200 Hessians, to Capture the 
fort at Red Rank, orders having been issued for a simultaneous attack to be 
made on Fort Mifflin by water. The out-works at Red Rank were too exten- 
sive for the garrison, but to obviate the difficulty, an inner embankment, eight 
or nine feet high, "boarded and fraized." had been thrown up. The attack 
was made about four o'clock in the evening upon the outworks, after a sum- 
mons to surrender had been answered 1)\ a reply of defiance. The garrison 
maintained its position for a time, but u])on the near approach of the enetny, 
fell back behind the inner work. The Hessians, supposing themselves in pos- 
session of the fortress, rushed forward in some confusion, when the Ameri- 
cans, from their second, but more secure position, poured upon the advancing 
masses such a destructive fire, that they were forced to retire as rapidly as 
they had approached. The loss of the Hessians was estimated at 400. includ- 
ing Count Dunop and his second in command, while the whole American loss. 


in killed and wounded, was only thirty-two men. The garrison had been re- 
enforced from Fort Mifflin, and was aided by the galleys which flanked the 
Hessians in their advance and retreat. 

Early on the same day, several of the enemy's ships passed the lower 
chevaux-de-frize, and awaited the assault on Red Bank before opening upon 
the galleys and floating batteries. At the appointed signal the action on the 
river commenced, part of the manoeuvring of the enemy's ships being intended 
to draw off the galleys that were aiding in the defence of Red Bank. The ships 
that came up were the "Augusta," a new 64, the "Roebuck," 44, two frigates, 
the ";\lerlin" of 18 guns, and a galley carrying a 32-pounder. These were driv- 
en back by the galleys and floating batteries, without having accomplished any 
material part of their mission ; but in going down, the "Augusta" and "Merlin" 
ran aground, owing, it is said, to some change having been caused in the chan- 
nel by the artificial obstructions. The unfortunate situation of these vessels 
was not known to the Americans that night, but failing to get off at flood tide, 
their helpless condition was fully understood early in the morning, when they 
were furiously set upon by twelve galleys and two floating batteries, under the 
command of Commodore Hazlewood. The "Roebuck," two frigates and a gal- 
ley, attempted to defend the disabled vessels, but it was to little purpose, for 
so fierce and terrible was the fire from the American fleet that the "Augusta" 
was soon in flames, and blew up about noon, making so terrific an explosion 
that great apprehensions were entertained at the headquarters of the army — 
now at Skippac — for the safety of the fort, as the explosion was attributed to 
the blowing up of the magazine. The action was still continued with the other 
vessels, but the enemy was forced to give way, first setting fire to the "Merlin" 
which also exploded. It is supposed the "Augusta" lost 150 or 160 men in 
killed and drowned ; the "Roebuck" was driven from her station, having six 
killed and ten wounded. The fire-ships that had been prepared with so much 
care and expense, were sent against the enemy's vessels ; but the combustibles 
being ignited too soon, they served no valuable purpose. Two guns, clothing 
and other plunder, were obtained from the v/reck of the "Augusta" the next 

A brisk cannonade was kept up against Fort Mifflin by the batteries on 
the Pennsylvania shore during both days, which was responded to in the best 
manner that the condition of the fort and circumstances of the garrison would 
permit. It was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Smith of Maryland. The 
batteries on the Pennsylvania shore had been reinforced and supplied with pro- 
visions, just before these attacks on the forts and galleys. General Greene 
with a large body of men was detached to attack what was supposed to be an 
escort of provisions, &c., for these batteries. What was supposed to be an es- 
cort proved to be a large detachment, which proceeded no further than Gray's 
Ferry ; the wagons with provisions, one hundred and thirteen in number, in 
the mean time were allowed to pass unmolested, and return by way of the 
Blue Bell. When General Greene arrived at the bridge he found the post 
evacuated and the bridge torn to pieces. Some works, however, had been com- 


iiKiacd 1)\ the enemy, and sonic huts huiU. whicli the detachment destroyed 
and then returned to camp. 

(ieneral Potter, who, with a hody of mihtia, was detailed to scour the 
country between the Schuylkill and Chester to ])revent supplies reaching the 
enemy, exhibited considerable daring in the performance of his duties. In a 
letter to Council dated on (3ctober 27th, he speaks of having in one day, in 
conipanv with a few horsemen, visited the upper, middle and Gray's Ferries, 
Tinicum Island and Carpenter's Island, where he viewed the enemy's works, 
and saw what he calls an Abess work thrown up in Guyer's orchard. After 
this visit to the meadows, he learned that a small breast-work had l>een thrown 
up at Boon's dam and mounted with one gun. On the next day, in company 
with Generals Reed and Cadwalader, he visited Darby and Chester. At and 
below the latter place, sixty of the enemy's ships were lying. He informs the 
Council that he had put a stop to the transportation of marketing to the enemy, 
and had removed all the beef cattle and flour from this part of the country. 

The garrison at Fort Mifflin had been subjected to very severe duty, ex- 
pecting at any moment to be attacked by the troops in the intrenchments on the 
Pennsylvania shore, and from the enemy's ships in the river. Washington had 
determined not to divide his army so as to be unprepared for another general 
engagement, in case Howe should afford him an opportunity, until the troops 
should arrive from the North, which, since the surrender of Burgoyne, w^ere 
confidently expected. He did, however, parsimoniously divide three hundred 
Pennsylvania militia between this fort and Red Bank. General Varnum was 
also stationed with his brigade near Woodbury, with instructions "to relieve 
and reinforce the garrisons of both forts as far as his strength would permit." 

After the repulse at Red Bank, and the loss of the two war vessels, Gen- 
eral Howe became more careful in his movements. While he still persisted in 
his plan of opening a communication with the fleet by the Delaware, his prep- 
arations were such as would secure that object without any unnecessary ex- 
posure of his troops. Having completed his preparations, the large batteries 
on Province Island and on the margin of the river below, now well supplied 
with heavy guns, opened on Fort Mifflin early in the morning of November loth, 
and kept up a constant fire during five successive days. "The block houses 
were reduced to a heap of ruins, the palisades w^ere beaten down, and most of 
the guns were dismounted and otherwise disabled." The barracks were so 
much injured that the troops, when an interval of firing alTorded them an op- 
portunity to take a few moments rei)Ose, were obliged to lie on the earth, now 
rendered muddy by having been intentionally, but unadvisedly, flooded by- 
opening the sluices. At night a large force was required to repair, as much as 
possible, the damages of the day ; and being under a constant apprehension of 
<in attack by a storming party, little ojiportunity was afforded for repose, and 
but for the relief afforded by General Varnum, the duties would have been too 
arduous to bear. 

It was the opinion of both Colonel Smith and General \'arnuni. that the 
garrison could not withstand an assault, and General Washington believing 


that none would be made until the works were battered down, gave orders for 
the defence of the place to the last extremity, which were literally obeyed. 
These orders, which have the appearance of being severe under the circum- 
stances, were probably induced by the report of Major Feury, a French engi- 
neer, who believed the place was still defensible. Colonel Smith was wounded 
on the second day of the siege, when the command devolved upon Colonel Rus- 
sell, and subsequently upon Major Thayer. 

On the 14th a. tioating battery of the enemy was silenced, but on the 15th 
"the assailants brought up their ships as far as the obstructions in the river 
permitted, and added their fire to that of the batteries, which was the more 
fatal, as the cover for the troops had been greatly impaired. The brave garri- 
son still maintained their ground with unshaken firmness. In the midst of this 
stubborn conflict, the "Vigilant" and a sloop-of-war were brought up the inner 
channel, between Mud and Province and Carpenter Islands, which had, unob- 
served by the besieged, been deepened by the current in consequence of the 
obstructions in the main channel ; and taking a station within one hundred 
yards of the works, not only kept up a destructive cannonade, but threw hand 
grenades into them, while the musqueteers from the round-top of the "Vigi- 
lant killed every man that appeared on the platform." 

An effort was made by the galleys to drive these vessels away, but it could 
not be accomplished on account of the batteries on the Pennsylvania shore. 
With these vessels in the inner channel, it was impossible to continue the de- 
fence of the fort, and accordingly, about eleven o'clock on the night of the 
15th, it was evacuated, the garrison retiring to Red Bank. Before leaving they 
set fire to the barracks, and moved off the cannon and stores. No troops ever 
behaved with more firmness — the fort being perfectly riddled before it was 

The loss at the fort is not officially reported, but it was not considerable 
before the last day of the conflict. It is reported that Lord Cornwallis con- 
fessed that the enemy "lost a great number of brave fellows," at the same 
time calling the site of the fort, "a cursed little mud island." 

The loss on board of the galleys and other craft, constituting the Ameri- 
can fleet, on the 15th, was thirty-eight killed and wounded. It cannot be de- 
nied that this fleet rendered much more effective service in defence of the 
chevaux-de-frize, and against the passage of the enemy's vessels, than all the 
forts put together. The vessels chiefly belonged to Pennsylvania, and were in 
the service of the State. From that cause, or some other, a misunderstanding 
existed between the officers of the fort and those of the fleet, which probably 
led General Washington to underrate the importance of the latter in defending 
the obstructions placed in the river. The vessels were at no time fully manned, 
and on the last day's engagement several were not brought into action, partly 
from the want of men to work them, although the commander, from time to 
time, had implored Washington to furnish him with the necessary reinforce- 

After the evacuation of Fort Mifflin, it was decided by a conference of 


land officers, that the upper chevaux-de-frize could still be defended by hold- 
ing Red Bank and the Jersey shore, notwithstanding a council of naval officers 
had concluded that the galleys could not be very serviceable with the fort in 
the hands of the enemy. It was determined by Washington to make the effort, 
and accordingly General Greene was detached with a considerable body of 
troops to reinforce Fort Mercer, and to conduct military affairs in that neigh- 

General Howe having completed a line of defence from the Schuylkill to 
the Delaware, and a reinforcement of troops from New York having arrived 
at Chester, he felt strong enough to place an army in New Jersey sufficient to 
reduce Fort Mercer without jeopardizing his troops in Philadelphia. Accord- 
ingly, at noon on the 17th, Lord Cornwallis crossed the Middle Ferry with 3000 
men, and taking the Darby road, proceeded to Chester. At the Blue Bell they 
came upon a guard of Gen. Potter's scouts, and captured about thirty-three 
men, with a loss of one captain, one sergeant-major, and three privates, killed, 
and several wounded. Being joined at Chester by the reinforcement from 
New York, his Lordship, with the united force, embarked on board of trans- 
ports the next day, and on the 19th disembarked at Billingsport. Some little 
skirmishing occurred ; but General Greene learning how greatly the force of 
the enemy exceeded his, recrossed the Delaware, and Fort Mercer was evacu- 
ated without an effort to defend it ; while the fleet, waiting for a favorable op- 
portunity, passed the city at night, without being molested, except a few vessels 
which were burnt to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy. 
Thus, after a protracted effort of six weeks, the P)ritish general succeeded in 
forming a junction with the fleet. 

But little occurred within the limits of our county during the winter, 
which was now at hand, except sundry depredation? committed by foraging 
parties sent out by the enemy, and the skirmishes that ensued when those par- 
ties came in contact with the American scouts that were constantly on the 
watch for them. In a letter from General Potter, dated at Radnor, Decem- 
ber 28th, one of these encounters is thus described : "On Monday last the 
enemy came out with a view to forrage ; they encamped along the road from 
Gray's Ferry to the heights below Darby. There was a detachment sent down 
from our army to this place, who with Morgans Riflemen and the Militia went 
down to their lines and kept them close therein. On Tuesday we took thirteen 
of their light horse and ten of their horsemen, the next day two more of their 
horses and their riders. They have been prevented from plundering the inhab- 
itants as they usually do. * We had one killed and two woundcfl. 
We have taken upwards of twenty prisoners, and a number of deserters have 
come in. They have carried off a large quantity of Hay from the Islands, and 
Darby. * * *" 

It sometimes happened that some of our militia scouts were captured by 
the enemy, when not sufficiently on their guard. .About this period, such a 
party, under the command of the late General William Brooke, of Haverford. 
who was then a captain, were one night taking their case in a house, late the 


property of George Swayne, a mile below Darby, when the house was suddenly 
surrounded by a large party of the enemy. Brooke, determined not to be tak- 
en, leaped from a window and ran, but in getting over the fence into the road, 
found that a partial dislocation of his knee, to which he was subject, had hap- 
pened. Putting his foot through the fence, and giving his leg a quick exten- 
sion, the joint was brought into a proper condition, when he hastily made his 

Chester county, about this period, was infested with a bold and daring 
outlaw named James F'itz Patrick, but who generally went by the name of 
Fitz or Fitch. He was the son of an Irishman in low circumstances, and 
learned the blacksmith trade with John Passmore, a worthy citizen of the 
county. He joined the militia at the breaking out of the war, and accompanied 
the battalions that went to New York, but soon deserted and returned to his 
native county, where he was arrested, and afterwards confined in Walnut street 
prison in Philadelphia. Being released on condition of joining the Continental 
army, he soon deserted again, and once more returned to his native county. 
and went to work. Here he was arrested by two soldiers sent for the pur- 
pose. He obtained permission from the soldiers to visit his mother, but while 
there, seized his rifle and set them at defiance. He had now become so much 
offended at the Americans, that he determined on being revenged, and accord- 
ingly, when General Howe landed at the head of Elk, Fitz repaired to him; 
probably received some appointment, and doubtless, from his knowledge of the 
country, rendered him essential service. He was present at the battle of 
Brandywine, and afterwards accompanied the British army to Philadelphia. 
While the enemy remained in that place, he, in company with one Mordecai 
Dougherty, from the neighborhood of Doe Run, and others, employed his 
time in capturing good Whigs and in stealing horses ; carrying them within the 
British lines. Lieutenant Joseph Lucky, and Peter Burgandine, were among 
the number thus captured. It was believed that these desperadoes were se- 
creted and supplied with provisions by certain Tories of Newline and neigh- 
boring inhabitants of Chester county. 

After the evacuation of Philadelphia by the British army. Captain Fitz, 
as he was generally called, established his headquarters on the Valley Hill, in 
the neighborhood of the present village of Coatsville, and commenced, on his 
own responsibility, a depredatory war upon the Whigs of Chester county. Af- 
ter having plundered his victims of their property, it was his custom, and ap- 
peared to be his delight, to flog and otherwise abuse them. So numerous and 
high-handed were the atrocities committed by him, that his presence caused as 
much alarm in some neighborhoods as that of the British army. 

On one occasion, Fitz and Dougherty went into the harvest field of one 
James Shield, where Archibald Hambleton was reaping, and Fitz told Shield 
that he had borrowed his watch, a pair of silver buckles and shoes. Shield in- 
sisted that he should return them ; but Fitz returned for answer that it would 
depend on his behaviour towards him. Hambleton was then taken prisoner. 
and carried to his father's house, where they robbed him of a rifle, powder- 


horn and shot-pouch ; afur wiiich, Fitz got the Bible, and forced him to swear 
"that he would not follow or betray him. or disturb any of his neighbours or 
friends on his account, and if he did. 1k' would come and Iniiu their hou.^e, and 
likewise the houses of the Rebels in the neighbourhood." They both threat- 
ened the lives of several persons in the neighborhood, whom they named. 

Captain Fitz frecjuently fell in with armed men, but before making him- 
self known, he would seize an opportunity to disarm them. Having placed 
his jjursuers in his power, he would tie them to trees and flog them. On one 
occasion, about fifty men were in pursuit of him, who incautiously parted with 
their arms while taking refreshment in a tavern. Fitz discovering their posi- 
tion boldly came in upon them, commanded them to keep their places, which 
command they dared not disobey. He then called for a glass of liquor, drank 
it. backed off with his rifle pointed towards the men, till he arrived at a safe 
distance to run. 

On one occasion, a meeting was held for the purpose of adopting meas- 
ures for his arrest, which he attended in disguise. After dark, a militia cap- 
tain volunteered, with much boasting, to capture Fitz, which being overheard 
by the bandit, he at once decided to put the bravery of the boaster to the test. 
Taking a candlestick from the mantel, he invited the young man aside, remark- 
ing that he would show him how he might secure Fitz. When at some distance 
from the company, he demanded the watch of his victim, at the same time 
snajjping the candlestick, and assuring him that he was Fitz. Obtaining pos- 
pession of the watch, he tied the captain's hands behind him, and sent him 
back to the company. 

Fitz was at length captured by Captain Robert McAffee, of Edgmont, 
assisted by a young woman named Rachel Walker. Having entered the 
dwelling of Mr. McAfifee, Rachel, who was up stairs, was made acquainted 
with his presence by the screams of a boy who said, "Captain Fitz wai 
there." Upon coming down stairs, Fitz asked her how she did, and expressed 
his sorrow at the disturbance he had made. She went up stairs to secrete 
some valuables, when Fitz drove the balance of the family, consisting of Cap- 
tain McAffee, his father and mother, and the above mentioned boy, up stairs 
also. He then proceeded to plunder the house. The manner of his cajiture is 
thus given by Rachel before the Council: "Fitz told McAffee to prepare for 
a march ; laid down his sword and pistol, and raising his foot to the bed- 
stead, in order to put up at the heels a pair of pumps taken from Capt. 
.McAffee; >-he winked at McAffee to seize I''itz ; he seemed to decline; she 
winked again, and on seeing McAfTee's motion as if to seize Fitz, she also 
s[)rang forward and seized him." Fitz in the struggle, this heroine says, 
seized a pistol, "which she griped in his hand and prevented him from firing 
it; that she afterwards took the pistol and stood sentry at the door." A 
reward of $1000 had been ofi'ered for the of I'itz Patrick by the Execu- 
tive Council, which was e{|ually divided between Rachel and Captain McAfifee. 

Fitz was captured in the latter part of August, and was convicted at Ches- 
ter. ui)on his own confession, of burglary and larceny, on the 15th of Septem- 


ber, and was sentenced to be hung. The time for his execution was fixed on 
the 26th of the same month ; but before the day arrived he nearly succeeded 
in making his escape, "having filed off his irons, and got out of the dungeon.'' 
He was in consequence removed to Philadelphia for safe keeping, but suc- 
ceeded twice in removing his handcuffs before the day of execution. It is 
not known that his accomplice Dougherty was ever arrested. 

The American army having retired into winter quarters at the Valley 
Forge, and that of General Howe being fortified within contracted lines in the 
city and liberties of Philadelphia, but little occurred within our limits during 
the winter, except repeated depredations committed by foraging parties sent 
out by the enemy. While General Potter remained in command of the militia 
stationed between the Schuylkill and Chester, the depredations of these par- 
ties were greatly restrained, but at his earnest request he was superseded by 
General Lacey in January, after which, the operations of the militia appear to 
have been chiefly confined to the country between the Schuylkill and Del- 

There was an outpost of the Valley Forge encampment in Radnor, on 
the property now belonging to Tryon Lewis. About seven acres of heavy 
timber had been cleared, near the middle of a large tract of woodland, by the 
troops stationed here ; this was afterwards cultivated, and was well known in 
the neighborhood as "the camp field." Radnor Friends' meeting-house, which 
is more than half a mile distant from this camp ground, was occupied in con- 
nection with it, probably as officers' quarters, and for a hospital. The records 
of the Society show that they were deprived of the use of their meeting-house 
early in the year, "in consideration of its being occupied by soldiers," and 
that it required considerable repairs before it was put in a condition for 
holding a monthly meeting, which was not till near the middle of 1780. 

It is probable that during the winter and spring, most of the scouting 
parties that served to restrain, in a measure, the foraging of the enemy within 
our limits, and at the same time to prevent disloyal farmers from carrying 
their produce to the city, were detached from the outpost at Radnor. The 
inhabitants of the townships on the Eastern margin of the county suffered 
severely while the enemy occupied Philadelphia, and numbers of the Whigs 
were captured and carried off as prisoners. 

Notwithstanding the punishment of death was denounced against those 
who furnished aid and comfort to the enemy, still a large amount of marketing 
reached the British lines, and those engaged in its transportation, when cap- 
tured by the American scouts, were rarely subjected to any other punishment 
than the forfeiture of their goods and the imposition of a fine. In default 
of the latter, a good whipping was sometimes substituted. In the townships 
nearest the city, even some of those who were not disposed to favor the enemy, 
engaged in this traffic ; for while persons at a distance had no temptation but 
British gold, these had no alternative but to carry their produce within the 
lines of the enemy and receive its value, or have it taken without com- 


It is a singular circumstance, and one not easily accounted for, that such 
a bold and efficient officer as General Wayne, and one so perfectly acquainted 
with the ccnnitry west of the Schuylkill as he undoubtedly was, should not, at 
this particidar juncture, have been assigned a position where his local knowl- 
edge would have been so valuable in defending the inhabitants of his native 
county from the aggressions of the enemy. But his command was encamped 
during nearly the whole winter and spring at Mount Joy, in Lancaster county, 
a point so distant that even the advice that his local knowledge would have 
enabled him to give, could not be made available. 

But our people were not subjected to the depredations of the enemy alone. 
The necessities of our army at the Valley Forge had become so great that 
Congress had authorized the Commander-in-chief to seize provisions for its 
use at any place within seventy miles of his headquarters. W'ashington reluct- 
antly yielded to the overwhelming necessity that induced Congress to confer 
this unusual authority upon him ; but he did yield, and in order that the pres- 
ent year's crop should be made available for the pressing necessities of the 
army, he had, early in the winter, issued a proclamation enjoining and requir- 
ing all persons residing within seventy miles of the head-cjuarters to thresh 
out one-half of their grain by the first of February, and the other lia f by the 
first of March, under the penalty of having all that remained in sheaves after 
the last mentioned period seized by the Commissaries and Quartermasters of 
the army and paid for as straw. The necessities of the army were too great 
to await the times specified in the proclamation ; and the General was obliged 
to keep parties of his troops threshing grain to prevent his supplies from fail- 
ing. Certificates were given for the property taken for the American army, 
payable in Continental money, but unfortunately for the credit of the govern- 
ment, this currency was never redeemed. The Friends generally refused to 
receive compensation for what was taken from them for war purposes. 

On December 10-11-12, 1779, Cornwallis, with a detachment of the 
British army, made a sally from Philadelphia into Darby, Haverford and 
Radnor, and at that inclement season of the year stripped many families of 
all their provisions, their stock and provender, and many articles of household 
furniture. These outrages were premeditated ; were committed under the 
eye of the General and by his authority, and many of them were against per- 
sons who had never raised a hand against the home government. For unfeel- 
ing brutality they scarcely have a parallel in civilized warfare. Many of the 
Whigs were captured at this time, and many had been captured previously and 
carried to Philadelphia, where they were detained as prisoners till the enemy 
evacuated the city, but after that event the tables were turned ; for now the 
Tories, who had given aid and comfort to the enemy, or who were suspected 
of having done so, were seized and tried as traitors, their property confiscated, 
and a few were executed. No one who resided in what is now Delaware 
county suffered the extreme penalty of the law. 

The commissioners of attainder for Chester county, appointed in ])ursu- 
ance of an Act of Assembly, were William Evans, Thomas Cheyney, Patter- 


son Bell and John Hannum. The number charged with having "knowingly 
and willingly aided and assisted the enemies of the State and of the United 
States of America, by having joined their armies at Philadelphia," who re- 
sided in what is now Delaware county, was about fifty, while only about forty 
persons were actually attainted of treason. 

Several classes of the militia were called out in the year 1778, but many 
refused to turn out, and also refused to pay their fines. When the goods of 
these defaulters, such as horses, &c., were levied upon and sold, they would be 
frequently stolen from the purchaser, which rendered the collection of fines 
very difficult. 

In 1777 but little tax was collected in this part of the country. The pres- 
ence of the enemy rendered its collection very difficult in some places, and the 
robberies committed by them made collections impossible in others. Many col- 
lectors refused to serve, and paid their fines during the period of the Revolu- 
tion, but more particularly in the years 1777-78. Two taxes appear to have 
been laid the latter year, but the commissioners of Chester county reported to 
the Council, May 29th, that "they had not been able to get a return of proper- 
ty from near one third of the townships — the township assessors having re- 
fused or neglected to act," owing, as the commissioners supposed, to the prox- 
imity of the enemy. The delinquents were fined, and writs issued to the sher- 
iflf, but, for the same reason, these writs were not executed. The aggregate of 
the taxes laid upon the townships now included, or partly included, in Delaware 
county, amounted to £3059 i8s. 4d., but a large proportion of it was never col- 
lected, or if collected was received in certificates for articles that had been tak- 
en for the use of the army. 

In the minutes of a meeting of the county commissioners, "held at the sign 
of the Ship in East Cain, Jan^ y^ 5*^ 1778," the following entry occurs: "The 
Board appointed Sketchley Morton, David Cloyd and the Clerk to remove the 
press and chest of books, papers &c. from Chester to James McClellans in 
Sadsbury." The next meeting of the board was held at the house of James 
McClellan, on the 26th of the same month, when "the committee appointed to 
remove the records from Chester, reported that they had removed the same ac- 
cording to order & presented their bill of expense," &c. 

During the occupation of Philadelphia by the enemy, the armed galleys 
and other craft that escaped up the river were sunk by order of General Wash- 
ington to prevent them from being captured, but after the evacuation they 
were put afloat again, and some of them fitted up for active duty. Mud Island 
fort and Billingsport were both to be put in repair and to be re-occupied ; the 
former was to be supplied with two and the latter with four heavy gims. The 
Council employed Colonel John Bull to direct the workmen and to complete 
the works, and agreed to pay him "three pounds per day and forage at Billings- 
port for one horse." 

The evacuation of Philadelphia by the British was the dawn of returning 
prosperity in' this section of our country. Up to this time Pennsylvania had 
suffered more from the war than any other State ; more of her men had been 


cajiturcd or lost, and no district liad been so thorijuglily plundered as that 
which had been overrun by General ilcjwe, between the head of Elk and I'hil- 
adelphia. From this time till the end of the war, our people suffered no serious 
inconvenience beyond what was common all over the country. Troops were 
frequently called out, heavy taxes were laid, and wagons with teams were im- 
pressed into service; but really the greatest anitiunt of inconvenience suffered 
by the people generally, resulted from the great depreciation of the paper 
money authorized by Congress. Early in the year 1779, it had depreciated so 
much that the price of every article had become almost fabulous, and yet it 
had not then reached its lowest point. A barrel of flour was sold for £20, 
anil a bushel of salt for £15; a journeyman blacksmith was paid £8 per day, 
and the price for shoeing a horse all round was £4. 

The county commissioners encountered very great difficulties in levying 
taxes. The moderate fines that the law liad imposed upon officers for neg- 
lect of duty when the currency was good, failed to secure the services of those 
whose duty it was to assess and collect the taxes. By a minute made by the 
board of commissioners and county assessors for Chester county, at a meeting 
held on the i8th of January, it appears that "from the greatest number of 
townships" no return of taxable property had been made. The assessment was 
consequently postponed till the 26th of April ; the Commissioners in the mean- 
time having borrowed money, and the legislature having enacted a law impos- 
ing fines on delinquent assessors and collectors more in accordance with the 
inflated character of the currency. 

Many of the small vessels composing the Pennsylvania fleet were sold; 
but still encouragement was given for fitting out privateers. Garrisons were 
kept, both at Fort Mifflin and Billingsfort, at the expense of the State ; but the 
object appears to have been more for the prevention of smuggling, and to en- 
force the temporary embargoes that were from time to time laid, than to guard 
against any apprehended attack from the enemy. 

The crew of the brigantine "Holker," to sail as a privateer. SLppeavs to have 
been enlisted at Chester by Captain Davis Bevan, who probably commanded 
the vessel. Most of the enlistments were made in July, 1779, as appears by 
the receipt book of the captain, now in possession of the Delaware County In- 
stitute of Science. The bounty paid by Captain Bevan for a single cruise was 
from $50 to $100, most probably Continental money. 

Before the close of the year 1779, Continental money had depreciated enor- 
mously. Commissioners appointed by the Assembly to purchase provisions for, 
the French fleet, in October, fixed the price of good merchantable wheat at 
ii5 per bushel, and that of flour at £42 per cwt. The price of salt before the 
end of the year was £30 per bushel. The rates of toll for crossing the floating 
bridge over the Schuylkill, at Market street, were, for a single person, 2S. 6d. ;, 
for a horse, 5s. ; horse and chair, 22s. 6d. ; chariot or phaeton and pair, 37s. 
6d.. &c. 

In November, an act was passed by the Assembly for raising the sum of. 
$2. 500.000 monthly, dining eight months, in the year 1780. for the sujiply of 



£ s. 



, , 

1,484 6 



4.123 14 


, , 

S,6oo 2 



2,489 6 





• • 

5,837 10 


, , 

4,943 2 



3,395 12 



3,500 4 

2,910 14 


tax for 










1,769 16 



3,698 18 





the Treasury of the United States, and the Treasury of this State. In the 
county of Chester, the taxes of two and three months were assessed and col^ 
lected at one time. The following is the copy of an assessment for two months, 
on the townships which now compose Delaware county, including the whole 
of Birmingham and Thornbury: 

Aston, . 
Bethel, . 

Chichester, Upper, 
" Lower, 
Darby, Upper, 
" Lower, 
Haverford, 2,91014 Aggregate tax for two months, £74,003 6 

In connection with one of the taxes levied this year, there was a small 
money tax laid on the several townships, to be paid in coin. This tax bears no 
regular proportion to the tax in continental paper laid upon the same townships, 
and no regularity is observed in the amounts laid upon different townships. 
The principle upon which it was laid is not understood. 

Many of the assessors and collectors appointed refused to enter upon the 
duties of their respective offices, notwithstanding the fine usually imposed was 
£500. It frequently became necessary to distrain in the collection of these 
enormous taxes, and where no goods could be found, the collectors did not 
hesitate to cut and sell timber to the amount of the tax. The minutes of the 
commissioners record a case of oppression, by reason of too much timber being 
cut by an unscrupulous collector. Though the amount of these taxes was 
vastly greater in appearance than in reality, still their collection operated very 
oppressively upon many, and in some cases led to a resistance against their 
forcible collection. In one instance, in Chester county, a collector named Wil- 
liam Boyd, while discharging his duties was murdered by John and Robert 
Smith, probably brothers. Determined to make an example of the perpetra- 
tors of this outrage, the council at once offered a reward of $20,000 for their 
apprehension. They were shortly afterwards arrested, had their trial at 
Chester on the 26th of June, and being convicted were sentenced to be hung. 
It rested with the Council to fix the day of execution. The matter was brought 
before that body on the 30th of June, when the sentence of the court was or- 
dered to be carried out on Saturday the first of July, being the next day. The 
murder occurred about the 12th of May. 

To persons who had been plundered by the enemy and who had paid their 
taxes, small amounts" were paid upon orders granted by the commissioners 
from time to time. M&ny of these orders appear on the books of the commis- 
sioners, but how the amount payable to each person was estimated, does not 



The Continental money had depreciated so much before the middle of 
1780 that £2400 were paid for six head of cattle, and i/OO for twenty head of 

The year 1780 is memorable in the annals of Pennsylvania for the passage 
of the act for the gradual abolition of slavery in this State. This act, which 
was passed on the first of March, provided for the registration of every negro 
or mulatto slave or servant for life or till the age of thirty-one years, before 
the first of November following, and also provided "that no man or woman of 
any nation or color, except the Negroes or Mulattoes who shall be registered as 
aforesaid, shall at any time hereafter be deemed, adjudged or holden within 
the territories of this Commonwealth, as slaves or servants for life, but as free 
men and free women." The servants of members of Congress, foreign min- 
isters, and persons passing through or sojourning not longer than six months 
were also made an exception. The registry for the county of Qiester, in pursu- 
ance of the provisions of this act, was carefully made, and is now kept in the 
ofiice of the Clerk of the Court of Quarter Sessions at West Chester. The 
name, age and time of service of each negro or mulatto, and also the name of 
the owner and township in which he or she resided are given. The following 
list, made out from this registry, show^s the number of slaves registered in the 
several townships now constituting Delaware county : 


For a term 


For a term 

for life. 

of years. 

for life 

of years. 




Middletown, . 



Bethel, . 



Birmingham, . 

Providence (Upper), 

Chester, . 



Providence (Lower), 

Chichester, (Upper), 

Ridley, . 



Chichester (Lower), 



Radnor, . 






Darby (Upper), 




Darby. . 













Marple, . 


In the remaining townships of Chester County there were registered 316 
negro and mulatto slaves for life and nine for a term of years. It must not 
be supposed that no greater number of slaves for life than 146 had been 
owned in Delaware county. The Quakers a short time before, had liberated 
all their slaves, and some other persons, not members of that Society, had 
followed their example. Rut few- slaves advanced in years were registered, 
and it cannot be supposed that masters would register such as they intended 
to emancipate. Of the 162 registered, 100 were minors. The records of 
some of the meetings of the Society of Friends are imperfect in respect to the 
number of slaves manumitted; but judging from such records as came under 
his notice and from other facts within his knowledge, the author has arrived 
at the conclusion that the number of slaves held within the limits now com- 


prising Delaware county, at the breaking out of the Revolution, was not less 
than 300. 

The county records do not appear to have been returned to Chester for 
some time after the enemy left these parts. On the 30th of June the commis- 
sioners of Chester county granted an order on the treasurer to pay Thomas 
Taylor, Esq., £135 "for hauling the records belonging to the Register's and 
Recorder's office, from Westown to John Jacobs, thence to Joseph Parker's 
Esq, and from thence to Westown again." 

The rapid diminution in value of the Continental money is elucidated by 
the two following orders granted by the County Commissioners: "Sept. 3d, 
1779. Ordered that the Treasurer pay to Joshua \'aughan Gaoler £1663 3s. 
2d. for the repairs of the Gaol and court house, maintaining State prisoners 
&c."' "Nov. i8th, 1780. Ordered the Treasurer to pay Joshua Vaughan £3127, 
it being in lieu of a pay order granted Sept. 3rd 1779 for £1663 3s." 

Notwithstanding the great extent of Chester county, its seat of justice had 
continuously remained, since the establishment of Penn's government in 1681, 
at the town of Chester, on its southeastern border. An effort was now made 
to secure its removal to a more central situation, and the fact that this effort 
was made during the continuance of the war, and before the people had recov- 
ered from the depredations committed by the enemy, is conclusive evidence 
that those of the remote parts of the county were keenly alive to the injustice 
they suffered from the location of their seat of justice. 

This early removal effort resulted in the passage of an Act of Assembly 
"to enable William Clingan. Thomas Bull, John Kinkead, Roger Kirk, John 
Sellers, John Wilson and Joseph Davis, to build a new court-house and prison 
in the county of Chester, and to sell the old court-house in the borough of 
Chester." These gentlemen, or any four of them, were authorized by the 
terms of the act to purchase a piece of land, "situate in some convenient place 
of the county," and to build or cause to be built a court-house and prison 
thereon. The act contains no restriction in regard to the location of the new 
seat of justice, beyond a strong expression in the preamble against the incon- 
venience of its present location ; nor was any time specified within which the 
Commissioners should purchase and build. 

A majority of these gentlemen were probably opposed to a removal of 
the county seat, and did not enter upon their duties with much energy. They, 
however, took the first step in the business, by purchasing a lot of land in the 
township of East Cain for the accommodation of the buildings. The com- 
missioners had a wide discretion, which they may have abused, or they may 
have been discouraged from proceeding further by objections urged against 
the site they had selected. Certain it is, that this site was not the favorite 
one of some of the most active removalists. From some cause the matter was 
delayed till the year 1784. When that period in our narrative is reached the 
subject will be resumed. 

As the township of Tinicum has become an institution in our common- 
wealth of some note, about election times, it may not be amiss to explain the 

248 di<:la\\ ARj': C()L■XT^' 

manner in which the island acquired an independent inunicipal existence. On 
the last Tuesday of May, 1780, a petition was presented to the justices of the 
court of quarter sessions, at Chester, signed l)y "the inha])itants, owners and 
occupiers of land in the Island of Tinicum," setting forth: 

"Tliat tlic inhabitants of tlie Island aforesaid, as a part of the township of Rid- 
ley, have heretofore paid a great part of the tax for the support of the roads in said 
township, and also maintained and supported the roads on the Island at their own cost 
and charge, without the least assistance from the other part of the township : And 
whereas the dams on said Island made for the purpose of preventing the tides from 
overflowing the meadows belonging to your petitioners, were in the year 1777 cut and 
destroyed with a view of retarding the progress of the enemy at that time invading this 
State, whereby the roads on said Island were greatly damaged, to the very great preju- 
dice of your petitioners, and as it is not in our power to derive any assistance from the 
inhabitants of the other part of the township, we conceive it to be a hardship to be 
obliged to support their roads." 

The petitioners, twenty-three in number, then go on to request the Court 
"to divide the Island of Tinicum from the township of Ridley, and make a 
distinct township of it," with power to choose officers, raise taxes, &c., &c. 
The petition was laid over till the August court, when, on the 31st of that 
month, the new township was "allowed." Since that time the people of the 
Island have exercised all the privileges belonging to the inhabitants of an inde- 
pendent township, except the election of constable, the number of resident 
eligible freeholders being too few to fill that office regularly, without compell- 
ing the same person to serve the office more than once in fifteen years. 

On February ist, 1781, Council fixed the rate of Continental money at 
$75 for one dollar of specie; and May 15th ordered that, after June ist fol- 
lowing, nothing but specie or its equivalent paper should be received for taxes. 
This brought about a great change in public affairs throughout the country. 
Taxes that had been assessed in thousands of pounds, now scarcely reached 
hundreds ; but the people, though apparently relieved from heavy impositions, 
found even greater difficulty in meeting the demands of the tax collector than 
before, so great was the scarcity of the precious metals. The money orders 
of Council now generally directed payment to be made in specie, or in paper 
issued by the State, provision for the redemption of which had been made. 
Province Island, which belonged to the State up to this period, was divided 
into lots and sold, the proceeds of the sale being appropriated for the redemp- 
tion in part of this paper. But little property was confiscated within the limits 
of Delaware county. The largest portion was on Tinicum and Hog Islands, 
the property of Joseph Galloway, who was never a resident of the county. 

On .'\pril 8th, 1782. near the entrance of the Delaware bay. the remark- 
able action took place between the IVnnsylvvania ship"Hyder .\li." comman<led 
by Captain I'arney, mounting sixteen six-pounders, and carrying one hundred 
and ten men, and the British ship "General Monk," mounting twenty nine-pound- 
ers, and carrying one hundred and thirty-six men. The "Hyder Ali" had sailed 
down the Delaware as a convoy to several merchant vessels. Upon approaching 


the Capes, Captain Barney discovered a frigate and other vessels of the enemy 
inside of the Capes, whereupon he signalled the merchantmen to return. In 
order to prevent a successful pursuit by the enemy's ships, he determined to 
occupy their attention for a time. The frigate not being able to reach the posi- 
tion of the "Hyder Ali," she was immediately engaged by the "General Monk," 
at close quarters. Captain Barney, by a ruse de guerre, in giving an order in 
a loud voice, so as to be heard by the enemy, but which by a private under- 
standing with the helmsman, was to be construed differently, acquired for his 
ship a raking position, which soon gave him the victory. Another ruse was 
necessary to avoid pursuit by the frigate. The British flag was again run up 
on the "Monk," while that of the "Hyder Ali" was struck, giving the appearance 
of a British victory, while both vessels followed, as if in hot pursuit of the 
•defenceless merchantmen. Captain Barney did not know the extent of his 
victory till he was out of reach of danger, when he ascertained that the loss 
of the enemy was twenty killed and thirty-three wounded ; the first lieutenant, 
purser, surgeon, boatswain, and gunner being among the former, and Captain 
Jackson, the commander, among the latter. In his trip up the Delaware he 
captured a refugee schooner called the "Hook 'em Snivey." Captain Barney 
left his own ship at Chester, and proceeded in his prize to Philadelphia with 
the wounded and prisoners. Captain Jackson being placed in the family of a 
Quaker lady, who nursed him like a sister until he had recovered from his 

On April 15th. 1783, a cessation of hostilities was proclaimed by the Coun- 
•cil, but a definite treaty of peace was not concluded till the 30th of November. 

Up to the commencement of the Revolutionary War, the Society of 
Friends had maintained a controlling influence over public affairs in Penn- 
svlvania. In the controversy with the British government, which preceded the 
t)reaking out of hostilities, many members of the Society warmly espoused the 
American side of the question. An armed resistance against the tyrannical 
-measures of the mother country had but few advocates in the beginning, and 
the idea of an independent government had scarcely gained an ascendency 
among the people of Pennsylvania, when the Declaration was made. The So- 
ciety of Friends having ever maintained a testimony against war and bloodshed 
it was not to be supposed that its members would advocate a policy, (then a 
doubtful one) certain to produce this result. When it became necessary to re- 
sort to "carnal weapons," the Quakers, who had before been active, withdrew 
from the controversy, and a very large majority of the Society assumed and 
-maintained a position of passive neutrality throughout the war. Still there 
was a considerable number who openly advocated a resort to arms. Even 
within the limits of this little county, one hundred and ten young men were 
disowned by the Society for having entered the military service in defence of 
their country. Doubtless the Society furnished its proportion of Tories, but 
the -number was greatly exaggerated at the time by those unacquainted with 
Ouakerism. Such person? construed their testimonies against war, and their 
dealings with members who participated in it, as indirectly favoring the ene- 


luy. Their refusal to pay taxes exclusively levied for war purposes, was es- 
pecially viewed in this light. 

It has not been discovered that more than two (Juakcrs residing within 
the limits of Delaware county joined the British army. This small number, 
contrasted with the large number who entered the American service, may serve 
to indicate generally the direction of the latent sympathy of the members of 
the Society who remained faithful to their ancient testimonies. Besides those 
who entered the military service, there were many inembcrs of the Society who 
openly lent their aid to the American cause. 

The minutes of the meetings in this county, throughout the whole course 
of the war. abundantly show that, as a Society, the Quakers were perfectly 
passive. If they dealt with and excommunicated those of their members who 
engaged in military atTairs, they were equally strict and impartial in the treat- 
ment of other offences against their discipline. Those members who contin- 
ued to hold slaves received an unusual share of attention during the war, and 
such as did not promptly emancipate them were disowned. The use or sale of 
intoxicating drinks, the distillation of grain, being concerned in lotteries, and 
indeed almost every species of vice, received a greater share of attention dur- 
ing the war than at any former period. 

Even General Washington at one time harbored the unjust suspicion that 
plans "of the most pernicious tendency were settled" at the general meetings 
of the Quakers ; and while the British occupied Philadelphia, issued orders ta 
prevent the country members from attending their yearly meeting, on that 
ground. These orders required their horses, if fit for service, to be taken from 
them : but General Lacey, to whom the orders were issued, in his turn gave 
orders to his horsemen "to fire into those who refused to stop when hailed, 
and leave their dead bodies lying in the road." In a military point of view it 
may have been very proper to prevent all intercourse with Philadelphia at the 
time, but the idea that the Quakers would originate any treasonable plot at 
their yearly meeting was utterly groundless. 

After lying dormant for four years, the removal question was again re- 
vived by the passage of a supplement to the original Act. P)y this act the names 
of John Hannum, Isaac Taylor, and John Jacobs, were substituted in place of 
the original commissioners, and they were endowed wMth the same authority, 
except that they had no power to erect the new^ court-house and prison "at a 
greater distance than one mile and a half from the Turk's Head tavern, in the 
township of Goshen, and to the west or south-west of said Turk's Head tavern, 
and on or near the straight line from the ferry, called the Corporation Ferry., 
on the Schuylkill, to the village of Strasburg." This restricting clause is said 
to have been introduced at the instance of Mr. Hannum, the first named com- 
missioner, who was then a member of the Legislature, under the belief that the 
restriction would include his lands on the Brandywine ; and as these lands were 
near the "straight line" from the ferry to Strasburg. they would present a 
strong claim to be selected as the site of the new county town. Actual meas- 
urement excluded Colonel Hannum's land from competition, and the comniis- 


sioners, who were all active removalists, at once contracted for a tract of land 
near the Turk's Head tavern, and commenced the buildings. 

"But the walls were scarcely erected, when the winter set in, and suspended the 
operations of the workmen, and before the season permitted them to re-commence build- 
ing, the law authorizing the Commissioners to build was repealed. This new Act of 
the Legislature, procured, as is thought, by the influence of some of the members from 
the southern section of the county, was passed on the 30th of March 1785. The people 
generally in the neighborhood of Chester, had been violently opposed from the beginning 
to the projected removal, and a number now resolved to demolish the walls already 
erected. Accordingly a company assembled, armed and accoutred, and having procured 
a field-piece, appointed Major Harper commander, and proceeded to accomplish their 
design. A few days before this expedition left Chester, notice of its object was communi- 
cated by some of the leaders to the neighborhood of the Turk's Head, and preparations 
were immediately made for its reception. In this business Col. Hannum was particu- 
larly active. He directly requested Col. Isaac Taylor and Mr. Marshall to bring in what 
men they could collect, and began himself to procure arms and prepare cartridges. Grog 
and rations were freely distributed, and a pretty respectable force was soon upon the 
ground. The windows of the court-house were boarded upon each side, and the space 
between filled with stones ; loop-holes being left for the musquetry. Each man had his 
station assigned him; Marshall and Taylor commanded in the upper story — Underwood 
and Patton below, while Col. Hannum had the direction of the whole. All things were 
arranged for a stout resistance. 

"The non-removalists having passed the night at the Green Tree, made their appear- 
ance near the Turk's Head early in the morning, and took their ground about 200 yards 
south-east of the Quaker meeting-house. Here they planted their cannon and made 
preparations for the attack. They seemed, however, when every thing was ready, still 
reluctant to proceed to e.xtremities ; and having remained several hours in a hostile posi- 
tion, an accommodation was effected between the parties, by the intervention of some 
pacific people, who used their endeavors to prevent the effusion of blood. To the non- 
removalists was conceded the liberty of inspecting the defences that had been prepared 
by their opponents, on condition that they should do them no injury; and they on their 
part agreed to abandon their design, and to return peaceably to their homes. The can- 
non which had been pointed against the walls was turned in another direction, and fired in 
celebration of the treaty. Col. Hannum then directed his men to leave the court-house, 
and having formed in a line a short distance on the right, to ground their arms and wait 
till the other party should have finished their visit to the building. Here an act of indis- 
cretion had nearly brought on a renewal of hostilites. For one of Major Harper's men 
having entered the fort, struck down the flag which their opponents had raised upon the 
walls. Highly incensed at this treatment of their standard, the removalists snatched up 
their arms, and were with difiicuhy prevented from firing upon the Major and his com- 
panions. Some exertion, however, on the part of the leaders, allayed the irritation of 
the men, and the parties at length separated amicably without loss of life or limb." 

The foregoing account of this almost-a-battle, is extracted from the 
"History of Chester County/' by Joseph J. Lewis, Esq., published in the 
Village Record, in the year 1824. It has come to the author traditionally, 
that the attack of the Chester people was instigated by the removalists pro- 
ceeding with the buildings after the passage of the Suspension Act, and 
that a promise to desist from the work was a prominent article in the treaty 
of peace— a promise that was only kept while the attacking party re- 
mained in sight and hearing. The attempt by the non-removal party to 


batter clown the unliiiislK'd buildings, was a liigh-liandcd outrage wliicli 
rendered those engaged in it anKnabk- to tlie laws. The fact that they 
were allowed to escape with inii)unity is rather corroborative of tlic idea 
that the attack was not altogether unprovoked, and renders it probable that 
the cause for it assigned by tradition is the true one. 

The Suspension Act had probably been procured by misreprsentation, 
or in some underhand manner. The representation "that a general dissat- 
isfaction and uneasiness did prevail and subsist among the greater part of 
the good people of the county of Chester" with the intended removal of the 
seat of justice "from Chester to the Turks Head in Goshen township," as 
contained in the preamble to that act, was doubtless untrue. At all events, 
at the next session of the legislature, the removalists were enabled to show 
"that a great part of the good people of said county were much dissatisfied 
with the courts of justice remaining at the borough of Chester, and readily 
obtained an act to repeal the suspending act." The title of this act, which 
was passed March t8. 1786, is remarkable for its phraseology. It com- 
mences thus: "An act to repeal an act, entitled An act to suspend an act 
of General Assembly of this Commonw^ealth, entitled A supplement to an 
act entitled An act to enable William Clingan, Thomas Bull, &c." By 
this act the vexed question was finally settled, though its passage was not 
effected without the most spirited and bitter opposition. It may not be 
amiss to let the good people of West Chester know in wdiat estimation the 
site of their town was then held by the non-removalists. In one of the mis- 
siles addressed to the legislature, it is described as "that elegant and notori- 
ous place vulgarly called the Turk's Head, (by some called West-Chester) 
a place as unfit for the general convenience, and much more so, than anv 
one spot that might be pointed out within 10 miles square of the above de- 
scribed place — except towards the New^ Castle Ime)." The removalists be- 
came jubilant over their long delayed victory, and gave vent to their feel- 
ings in sundry songs and ditties, couched in language not the most tender 
towards the vanquished party. One of these, entitled "Chester's Mother, ' 
has been preserved in the Directory of West Chester for 1857. On the 
25th of September, 1786. an act was passed "to empower the sheriff of the 
county of Chester to remove the prisoners from the <»ld gaol, in the town 
of Chester, to the new gaol in Goshen township, in said county, and to in- 
demnify him for the same." 

The first removal act authorized the sale of the old courthouse and 
jail at Chester upon the completion of the new buildings at the Turk's Head, 
but this sale was not consummated till March t8. 1788. when William Kerlin 
became the purchaser of the ])ropcrty. The first court held in the new court- commenced Xovcmber 28, 1786, before William Clingan. William 
Haslet, John Bartholomew. Philip Scot, Isaac Taylor. John Ralston, Joseph 
Luckey. Thomas Cheyney. Thomas Levis, and Richard Hill Morris as Jus- 

In 1783 an agreement was entered into between Pennsylvania and New' 


Jersey, in respect to the jurisdiction of the, river Delaware and its islands; 
In 1786 an act was passed distributing the. islands assigned to Pennsyl- 
vania among the several counties bordering on the river. Up to this time 
the jurisdiction over Hog Island was doubtful, but it had been exercised by 
Philadelphia county. By this act, that Island was permanently annexed 
to Chester county, and attached to Tinicum township. 

The people of the borough of Chester and vicinity, who had been deaf 
to the complaints of the inhabitants of the remote parts of the county, on 
account of their distance from the seat of justice, and who had for years 
strenuously opposed granting them any relief, were not slow to learn from 
experience that those complaints had not been wholly groundless, though 
their distance from the new seat of justice did not compare with the dis- 
tance of most of the removalists from the old one. The people of the 
southeastern section of the county had been favored in fixing upon the 
Turk's Head as the site of the new seat of justice, for several other parts 
of the county were still much more remote from that place. "The inhabi- 
tants of the borough of Chester and the south-eastern parts of the county," 
however, became restive under their new relation to the seat of justice, 
and by their petitions, "set forth to the General Assembly that they labored 
under manv and great inconveniences, from the seat of justice being re- 
moved to a great distance from them," and prayed that they might be re- 
lieved from the said inconveniences, "by erecting the said borough and 
south-eastern parts of said county into a separate county." 

Unfortunately for the pecuniary interests of a large majority of the 
inhabitants of the part of the county mentioned, the Assembly regarded: 
their petition as "just and reasonable," and by an act passed September 
26i 1789, authorized a division of the county of Chester, and the erection of 
a part thereof "into a new county." The first section of this act provides 
th^t all that part of Chester county lying within the bounds and limits there- 
inafter mentioned, shall be erected into a separate county: "Beginning in 
the middle of Brandywine river, where the same crosses the circular line 
of -New Castle county, thence up the middle of the said river to the line 
dividing the lands of Elizabeth Chads and Caleb Brinton, at or near the- 
ford commonly called or known by the name of Chad's ford, and from 
thence, on a line as nearly strait as may be, so as not to split or divide 
plantations, to the great road leading from Goshen to Chester, where the 
Westown line intersects or crosses said road, and from thence along the 
lines of Edgemont, Newtown and Radnor, so as to include those townships/ 
to the line of Montgomery county, and along the same and the Philadel- 
phia county line to the river Delaware, and down the same to the circular 
line aforesaid, and along the same to the place of beginning, to be hence- 
forth known and called by the name of Delaware County.':' 

By this act the townships of Birmingham and Thornbury were divided :; 
but provision was made, that the parts falling in each county should each 




constitute an independent townsliip, and each new townsliip sliould retain 
the name of the orijj;inal township from which it was taken. 

Tlie petitioners for tlie new county, to make tilings sure, had con- 
tracted in advance with Mr. Kcrhn, the owner of the old court-house and 
prison, for the purchase thereof, "at a price far beneath what such buildings 
could be erected for, which they were willing and desirous should be con- 
veyed for the use of the [new] county, on repayment of the sum agreed upon." 
Henry Hale Graham, Richard Reiley, Josiah Lewis, Edward Jones, and 
Benjamin Brannin, or any three of them, were constituted trustees by the 
act, to take assurances and conveyances of the property, "for the use of the 
inhabitants." A conveyance of the old building with the appurtenant 
grounds was accordingly executed November 3d following, when at the 
same same time a declaration of trust was executed by the gentlemen above 
named. The price paid by the county for the property was £693 3s. 8d. 

By the same act, John Sellers, Ihomas Tucker and Charles Dilworth, or 
any two of them, were appointed commissioners, "to run and mark the line di- 
viding the counties of Chester and Delaware," in the manner before men- 
tioned. A draft in possession of the author, doubtless prepared from the sur- 
veys made by the commissioners, presents several interesting facts which it 
may not be amiss to notice. A straight line was run from the starting point on 
the Brandywine to the intersection of the Goshen road by the western line, 
which is six miles three quarters and fifty-four perches in length ; whereas the 
crooked line, between the same points, passing along the boundaries of the 
farms, cut by the straight line, and now forming tlie division line between the 
two counties, has a length of eleven miles one quarter and nineteen perches. 
On a line perpendicular to the above mentioned straight line, the courthouse at 
West Chester is only three miles three quarters and fifty-eight perches distant. 
The bearing of this perpendicular line is N. 46° W. It is charged, in a note on 
the draft that a member of the Legislature, while the act for a division of the 
county was under consideration, asserted that no part of the straight line run 
by the commissioners "would come nearer West Chester than six miles." 

The court-house at West Chester lies nearly due north from the com- 
mencement of the division line on the Brandywine, and is a little over five miles 
distant from that point ; whereas it was alleged at the session of the legislature 
at which the act was passed, that the distance was nine miles. I-'rom the inter- 
section of the Goshen road and the county line to West Chester, the distance 
in a direct line is four miles three quarters and sixty perches nearly, and the 
course N. 85° W. The shortest distance from the street road to West Chester 
is 935 perches. 

It also appears from the draft that another division line had been pro- 
posed. This commenced at the mouth of Davis's or Harvey's run, on the 
Brandywine, and ran so as to include the whole of Thornbury township in Ches- 
ter count>'. 

The average gain to the whole people of the new county, in the way of 
convenience in reaching their seat of justice, did not exceed four miles; and 


when it is considered that the whole population of the new county at that 
time (1790) was only 9,483, and many of the land-holders really poor, in con- 
sequence of the war and the exhaustinng system of agriculture that had been 
pursued, it is truly wonderful that our ancestors ever consented to this division 
which necessarily subjected them to all the increased municipal burdens inci- 
dent to a small county. 

The first election for the county of Delaware was held at the usual time 
in October, 1789, when Nicholas Fairlamb was duly elected sheriff, and 
Jonathan Vernon, coroner. On the 12th of October, John Pearson, Thomas 
Levis, Richard Hill Morris, and George Pearce, were duly commissioned, by 
the president and Council, justices of the court of common pleas of the same 
county. The appointment of a president of the court was delayed till the 7th 
of November, when the position was unanimously conferred upon Henry Hale 
Graham. It was soon discovered, however, that the appointment of Mr. Gra- 
ham was illegal, as he did not then hold a commission of justice of the peace; 
whereupon, the president and Council "revoked and made null and void" the 
commission they had granted to him, commissioned him a justice of the peace, 
and then appointed him President of the several courts of the new county. 
The first court for the county of Delaware was held February 9th, 1790. No 
orphans' court business appears to have been transacted till March 2d, follow- 

On September 2d, 1790, a new constitution was adopted for Pennsyl- 
vania. John Sellers and Nathaniel Newlin represented Delaware county in 
the convention, by which that most important document was framed. Under 
this constitution, justices of the peace ceased to sit at judges of the courts. The 
courts were about this time organized as they now are, with a president and 
two associate judges. 

On April 9, 1792, an act was passed to incorporate the Philadelphia and 
Lancaster Turnpike Road Company. The work of making the road was im- 
mediately commenced, but was not completed till 1794. It cost $465,000, or 
about $7,516 per mile. This important road passes only about four miles 
through Delaware county. It was the first turnpike road constructed in 
America. The making of this turnpike seems to have inspired the people 
along the Brandywine with the idea that an easier and cheaper mode of trans- 
portation for their produce, and for that brought along the road, to tide water, 
would be found in a canal and lock navigation by that stream. Accordingly an 
act was passed in 1793, concurrent with one passed by the Legislature of Dela- 
ware, authorizing a company to be incorporated, with authority to make this 
improvement. The navigation was to extend up each branch of the Brandy- 
wine to the point where it is intersected by the Lancaster turnpike road. It is 
believed that no part of this improvement was ever made. 

For some years past the different meetings of the Society of Friends 
have had the subject of schools for the more careful and guarded education 
of their youth, under very serious consideration. From the extreme diffi- 
culty of finding suitable teachers, the progress made in the establishment 


of those schools was at first slow, but up to this period several had been es- 
tablished on a proper basis. Each monthly meeting had a committee spe- 
cially appointed on the subject, who from time to time reported upon the 
condition of the schools under their charge. As early as 1788, Concord 
Meeting had three schools, and notwithstanding the difficulty of the times, 
the committee express ihc belief that there were no Friends' children 
amongst them "but what received a sufficiency of learning to fit them in a 
good degree for the business they are designed for." Three schools ha<l 
also been established within the limits of Chester Monthly Meeting — one 
at Darl)y, one at Haverford, and one at Radnor. These schools, though 
established for the benefit of Friends' children, were open to those of every 
denomination, and being the best then established, were generally well pa- 
tronized by them. By the constant care bestowed upon these schools, they 
were greatly improved in after years, so that at the time of the establish- 
ment of our general system of education by common schools, several of 
them were in such excellent condition that it was reasonably doubted whether 
any benefit would result from the change. 

The proper education of the colored population also claimed a share of 
the attention of the Society. Many had been recently set free, and their 
helpless condition presented a very strong claim upon those who had been 
foremost in the work of emancipation. 

In early times the general election for the w^hole county of Chester 
was held at the court-house in Chester. Before the Revolution, Chester 
county was divided into three election districts, called Chester, Chatham, 
and Red Lion — the places at which the election was held. Chester district 
embraced nearly the same territory that is now included in Delaware county. 
After the division, the people of the whole county continued to vote at 
Chester till 1794, when an act was passed dividing the county of Delaware 
into four election districts. This act constituted the towaiships of Con- 
cord, Birmingham, Thornbury, Aston, Bethel, and Upper Chichester, the 
second election district — the election to be held at the house of Joshua Ver- 
non, in Concord ; the townships of Newtown, Edgemont, Upper Providence, 
Marple, and Radnor, the third election district — the election to be held at 
the house then occupied by William Beaumont, in Newtown ; and the town- 
ships of Darby. Upper Darby, Haverford. Springfield, and Tinicum. the 
fourth election district — the election to be held at the house then occupied by 
Samuel Smith, in Darby. The people of the remaining townships still held 
their election at Chester, and those townships composed the first district. 

Tt was during the year 1704 that the general government was under 
the necessity of organizing a military force to quell a rebellion in the west- 
ern part of Pennsylvania, known as the "WMiiskey Insurrection." This 
county furnished one company, which was commanded by Captain William 

The class of laborers known as redemptioners. and who consisted of Dutch 
and Irish immigrants, who were sold for a term of years to pay their passage; 


were much employed about this time. So much were these servants in demand 
at one period, that persons engaged in the traffic as a business, who would buy 
a lot on shipboard, and take them among the farmers for retail. But some of 
these dealers, who were usually denominated "soul drivers," would go them- 
selves to Europe, collect a drove, bring them to this country, and retail them 
here on the best terms they could procure — thus avoiding the intervention of 
the wholesale dealer. One of this class of drivers, named McCulloch, trans- 
acted business in Chester county about the time of the division. A story is 
told of him being tricked by one of his redemptioners in this wise: "The 
fellow, by a little management, contrived to be the last of the flock that remained 
unsold, and traveled about with his owner without companions. One night 
they lodged at a tavern, and in the morning, the young fellow, who was an 
Irishman, rose early and sold his master to the landlord, pocketed the money, 
and marched off. Previously, however, to his going, he used the precaution 
to tell the purchaser, that his servant, although tolerably clever in other 
respects, was rather saucy and a little given to lying — that he had even pre- 
sumption enough at times to endeavor to pass for master, and that he might 
possibly represent himself so to him. By the time mine host was undeceived, 
the son of Erin had gained such a start as rendered pursuit hopeless." 

In the winter of 1795. a great ice freshet occurred in the streams of this 
county, doing considerable damage. The creeks were raised to a greater 
height than at any previous flood within the recollection of the oldest inhab- 
itants ; and yet this freshet was one foot less in height than the ice freshet 
of 1839, and eight feet three inches below the great flood of 1843, as accurately 
measured at Sharpless' Mills, on Ridley creek. 

The use of intoxicating drinks, and consequently drunkenness, was probably 
increased by the Revolution. Certain it is, that the Quakers, the moral reform- 
ers of the age, about that period, set about the discouragement of the manufac- 
ture, sale, or use of these drinks by their members, in a spirit of earnestness not 
before exhibited. For a long time their success was only partial. A 
belief prevailed that severe labor, particularly that of harvest, could 
not be performed without the use of stimulating drinks, but even at this early 
day, "many Friends had declined using thereof in harvest." That practice 
was not, however, generally laid aside, and was continued for many years 
afterwards; yet members of the Society refrained from the distillation or sale 
of spirituous liquors. 

In 1797, subscriptions for the establishment of a boarding-school, to be 
under the care of the yearly meeting, were circulated among the several 
monthly meetings of this county, by committees appointed for that purpose. 
Liberal' subscriptions were made ; and the result of the undertaking was the 
purchase of a tract of 600 acres of land in Westown township, Chester county, 
and the erection of a building 55 by no feet, four stories high, including the 
basement, at a cost of $22,500. The first pupils were admitted in the 5th 
month. 1799. The main building was subsequently enlarged, and many othei 
improvements have been made to the premises since that time. Westown 



school is not witliin the limits of our cuunly, but many ul our people of both 
sexes have been educated there. Since the division of the Society of Friends, 
the school has been exclusively under the management of that branch of it 
termed Orthodox. 

The burden of supporting the bridges over our numerous streams, and 
particularly those on the Southern Post-road became too great for our small 
county to bear. As a means of relief, an act of Assembly was procured in 
1799, authorizing the commissioners to erect toll-gates on that road, and to 
collect toll from persons traveling thereon. The rates of toll authorized for 
l^assing over the road were, for a stage-coach or pleasure carriage with four 
wheels and four horses, twenty-five cents; the same with two horses, fifteen 
cents, and with two wheels, ten cents. Carriages of burden were charged 
about one-half these rates. The act expired by its own limitation at the end 
of five years. 

On May 8, 1803, our good people had a rather unwelcome visitant, so late 
in the season, in the shape of a snow storm. The snow covered the ground, 
though the greater part of it melted as it fell. On the next morning still water 
was frozen into ice a quarter of an inch in thickness, and the ditches and ponds 
of water in many places were frozen over. 

On February 13, 1804, an act was passed ''to provide for the erection of 
a house for the Employment and Support of the Poor in the County of Dela- 
ware." This act provided for the election by the people of seven persons to 
fix upon a site for the county house. The gentlemen chosen selected the prop- 
erty adjoining the present town of Media, upon which the old poor-house now 
stands. The selection made was generally regarded at the time as injudicious, 
on account of the exhausted condition of the land that was chosen ; but the lo- 
cation of the new seat of justice adjoining the property, made it a very profita- 
ble investment for the county. The original farm consisting of 137 acres, was 
purchased for less than $33 per acre ; subsequently an additional small tract 
was bought for about $100 per acre. The chief part of this property was sold 
in two tracts — 46 acres at $250 per acre and 112 acres at $341.50 per acre. 
Up to the time of the completion of the new poor-house, the poor were sup- 
ported in the several townships by boarding them in private families under 
the charge of two overseers of the poor for each township. This office was 
abolished as soon as the poor were removed to the newly erected building. 

From 1804 till the breaking out of the war between the United States 
and Great Britain, nothing worthy of particular notice occured. Owing to the 
European war that raged during this period, the commerce of our country was 
benefited, and there was an increased demand for its agricultural products. 
Our county fully shared these advantages, and the result was an effort on the 
part of our farmers to improve their lands and thereby to increase their pro- 
ducts. These lands, in many places, had become exhausted by a system of 
bad farming that is generally adopted in new countries, and it was not then un- 
common to see large tracts abandoned for agricultural purposes, and left 
unenclosed. These exhausted tracts generally received the appellation of "old 


fields." The use of gypsum and lime as manures now began to be introduced, 
the former, at first, working almost miracles, by the increased productiveness 
it imparted to the soil. It was soon discovered, however, that its effect was 
greatly diminished by repeated applications, and as a consequence it became 
less used ; while lime, though slow in developing its benefits, soon became the 
general favorite with our farmers, and deservedly so, for it cannot be denied 
that it was owing to its extensive and continued application, combined with 
a better system of farming, that much of the land of this county has been 
brought from an exhausted condition to its present state of fertility and pro- 

The declaration of war by our government in 181 2 against Great Britain, 
created no greater alarm in our community than was common over the whole 
country. It was not until the summer of 1814 that apprehensions of immedi- 
ate danger were seriously entertained. The appearance of the British fleet in 
the Chesapeake aroused the Philadelphians to the adoption of measures for 
the defence of their city. The approaches by land were to be defended by a 
series of earthworks which were hastily erected. The most distant of these 
defences from the city was located in this county between Crum and Ridley 
creeks, so as to command the Southern Post-road. 

The danger of Chester was still greater than Philadelphia, and the means 
of defence much less, although an extensive earthwork had been thrown up 
immediately below Marcus Hook, and mounted with cannon, so as to com- 
mand the river. As a measure of precaution the public records of the county 
of Delaware were kept packed up, ready for removal to a place of greater se- 
curity in the interior. 

In October, an encampment of several thousand militia was established on 
the high grounds immediately back of Marcus Hook. The men composing it 
were drafted from the southeastern part of Pennsylvania. Of these Delaware 
county furnished two full companies of 100 men upon two separate drafts, 
the second of which was regarded as illegal. The first company was convened 
at the "Three Tuns," now the Lamb tavern, in Springfield, on the 14th of Oc- 
tober, and marched to Chester that day. Its officers were, Captain William 
Morgan, First Lieutenant Aaron Johnson, Second Lieutenant Charles Carr, and 
Ensign Samuel Hayes. This company remained at Chester two weeks waiting 
for their camp equipage, before repairing to the encampment at Marcus Hook. 
During this time the men occupied meeting-houses and other public buildings. 
The second company arrived at camp about two weeks later. It was com- 
manded by Captain John Hall and Ensign Robert Dunn. John L. Pearson, of 
Ridley, was lieutenant-colonel of the regiment to which the above two com- 
panies belonged. 

The danger of an invasion of the State by way of the Delaware or Chesa 
peake having passed away, the encampment was broken up early in December. 
The two Delaware county companies with others were marched to Darby, 
where for two weeks they occupied the Methodist and Friends' meeting- 


houses, the bark-liousc, school-house, &c., after which lliey were marched to 
rhilatlelphia and discharged the day before Christmas. 

Besides the two companies of mihtia mentioned, Delaware county furn- 
ished two companies of volunteers. One of these, called The Delaware County 
Fencibles, numbering Sj men, including officers, w'as commanded by Captain 
James Serrill ; I'irst Lieutenant George G. Leiper ; Second Lieutenant James 
Serrill Jr., and Ensign George Serrill. This company was fully equijjped on 
the 2ist of September, and marched on the 23d. On the 26th the tents of the 
company were pitched at Camp Marcus Hook, where it remained one month. 
At the expiration of this time the company marched to Camp Dupont, and 
thence on the i6th of November to Camp Cadwalader ; both of these latter 
camps being in the State of Delaware. On the 29th of November they marched 
by the way of New Castle towards Philadelphia, where the company arrived on 
the 2d of December, and was dismissed on the 6th of that month. 

The other company was called The Mifflin Guards, and was commanded 
by Dr. Samuel Anderson as captain ; First Lieutenant Frederic Shull ; Second 
Lieutenant, David A. Marshall, and Ensign William Biggart. This company, 
which did not muster so many men as the Fencibles, was in service about the 
same length of time. It was stationed part of the time at Camp Dupont, and 
another part near Kennet. Both of these companies were well officered, and 
were composed of men able and willing to do their duty. Like the militia, they 
were called into service to defend the approaches to Philadelphia against the 
threatened invasion of the enemy; but fortunately the presence of the troops 
stationed on the Delaware w^as sufficient for the purpose, and no actual hostili- 
ties ensued. 

The Bank of Delaware County was incorporated in 1814. The act au- 
thorizing its incorporation was passed in opposition to the veto of Simon 
Snyder, then governor of the commonw-ealth. A large number of banks was 
created by this act, but many of them soon failed, and but few' of them have 
been more generally successful than the Bank of Delaware County. This 
bank, however, met with one serious reverse, in having more than one-half of 
its capital abstracted. It was never discovered who committed the robbery, 
nor was the exact time or times when it was committed ever ascertained. 

During the war. and for a short time afterwards, the people of this- 
section of our country were in a prosperous condition. The families of the 
farmers of our county manufactured their own clothing to a considerable 
extent. There were, and had been for a long time, fulling mills throughout 
the county, that aided in these domestic operations, and machine cards had 
been introduced. The difficulties thrown in the way of trade, even before 
the commencement of hostilities, caused an advance in the price of foreign 
dry goods, that induced our people to turn their attention to a more rai")id 
production <>f textile fabrics than that which had heretofore prevailed. As 
early at 1810, an English family, named Bottomly, converted an old saw- 
mill that stood on a small stream in Concord (with a small addition) into a 
woolen manufactory, to the astonishment of the whole neighborhood. Den- 


nis Kelly, with the assistance of a Air. Wiest, erected a small stone factory 
on Cobb's creek, in Haverford, about the commencement of the war. This 
establishment was patronized by the government, and with the energetic 
management of 'Sir. Kelly, turned out goods to the fullest extent of its ca- 
pacity. Other mills were soon erected and put into operation, but still, dur- 
ing the war, dry goods of all kinds continued to command a high price. But 
the almost free introduction of foreign goods, some time after the close of 
the war, was a severe blow to these hastily gotten up establishments, and 
caused the suspension of some of them. Still it was in these small begin- 
nings that the manufacturing business of Delaware county had its origin. 

Farmers, in consequence, lost their home market, and there was no 
foreign demand for the productions of their farms. With the fall in price 
of agricultural products, that of land also declined. During the war, land 
came to be regarded as the only safe investment, and purchases were made 
at almost fabulous prices. Many of the purchasers, under such circum- 
stances, were now obliged to sell at a ruinous sacrifice. In this county the 
number of such sales was, however, strikingly less than in the adjacent 
counties. This depressed condition of business did not last long, but the 
improvement was gradual, and as a consequence people could only ad- 
vance their pecuniary interests by the slow but certain means of industry 
and frugality. 

In the year 1817. Edward Hunter, Esq., a highly respectable citizen 
of Newtown township, was deliberately murdered by John H. Craig, by 
lying in wait in the daytime and shooting him. Esquire Hunter had wit- 
nessed a will that Craig was anxious to have set aside, and, being an ignor- 
ant man, he believed that by putting the witnesses to it out of the way, his 
object would be accomplished. He had watched more than once for an 
opportunity to shoot Isaac Cochrane, the other witness to the will, but 
failed to accomplish his purpose. Mr. Hunter was shot while taking his 
horse to the stable, and although the fiendish act was committeed in the 
most cool and deliberate manner, Craig's presence of mind at once forsook 
him, for he left his gun where it was readily found, which at once indicated 
him as the murderer. He was subsequently arrested in the northern part 
of the State, where he was engaged in chopping wood, being identified by a 
fellow wood-chopper from the description in the advertisement, offering a 
reward for his apprehension. He was tried and convicted in the following 
April at Chester, and soon after executed. 

On November 8, 1819, the first newspaper published in Delaware county 
was issued from the office of Butler & Worthington, at Chester. This pa- 
per, which made a very neat appearance, was called The Post Boy. Its di- 
mensions were seventeen by twenty-one inches. 

Dissatisfaction had for some time existed among the people of the 
upper part of the county on account of the seat of justice being situated on 
its southern margin. The people of the township of Radnor, residnig much 
nearer to Norristown, the seat of justice of Montgomery county, than to 


Chester, petitioned for the annexation of their township to that county. 
The fact tliat the taxes of Montgomery were lower than those of Delaware, 
is also said to have had an influence in promoting this movement. Be this 
as it may, the prosi)cct of losing one of the best townships in the county was 
a matter of serious alarm, when its small dimensions were taken into con- 
sideration. The discontented in the other remote townships seeing that the 
loss of Radnor would weaken their strongest ground of complaint, deter- 
mined to test the question of a removal of the seat of justice of the county 
to a more central situation. Accordingly a general meeting of the inhabi- 
tants of the county, "both friendly and unfriendly" to the proposed re- 
moval, was convened June 8, 1820. The meeting was unusually large and 
very respectable, and after the subject of removal had been discussed very 
fully and rather freely, a vote was taken which resulted in favor of the 
removalists. Removal now became the leading topic of discussion througli- 
out the county. All party distinctions became merged in it, and the most 
ultra politicians of opposite parties united cordially on a removal or anti- 
removal platform. Meetings were held and nominations were made accord- 
ingly. The ballot-box showed the anti-removalists in the majority. George 
G. Leiper, of Ridley, and Abner Lewis, of Radnor, both anti-removalists, 
were elected to the Assembly. The anti-removalists, by the nomination of 
Mr. Lewis, had secured nearly the whole vote of Radnor — under the belief 
that the election of the anti-removal ticket afforded them the only chance 
of being annexed to ]\Iontgomery county. The test was not regarded by the 
removalists as satisfactory, and they petitioned the legislature for redress, 
but certainly with but small hopes of success. In their memorial, -which is 
very long, they set forth the fact of the effort of Radnor to be attached 
to Montgomery county; the dilapidated condition of the jail; the insalubrity 
of the air at Chester to persons from the upper parts of the county ; the 
danger of the records from attack by an enemy; the badness of the water, 
&c. "And finally," they say, "to satisfy the legislature that nothing is asked 
for by the petitioners which would throw any unreasonable expense on the 
county, assurances are given by one of the inhabitants — perfectly respon- 
sible and competent to the undertaking — that he will give an oliligation to 
any one authorized to receive it, conditioned to erect the public buildings 
upon any reasonable and approved plan, for the sum of fifteen thousand 
dollars, to be paid in seven years by instalments — if the convenience of the 
county should require credit — and to take the present buildings and lot at 
Chester at a fair valuation as part pay." This petition was drawn up by 
Robert Fnfzer, Esq., then a prominent lawyer, residing in the upper part 
of the county, and was signed by 912 citizens. The number who signed 
the remonstrance is not known, but as a matter of course with both repre- 
sentatives opposed to removal, no legislation favorable to that measure was 
obtained, and it is only wonderful that the removalists should press the 
matter under such circumstances. What is remarkable, the people of 


Radnor appeared to relax their efforts to obtain legislation to authorize the 
township to be annexed to Montgomery county. 

At the next election, John Lewis and WilHam Cheyney, both removal- 
ists, were elected members of the Assembly, but from some cause they failed 
in obtaining the much-desired law authorizing the seat of justice to be re- 
moved to a more central situation. The question after this efifort, appears 
10 have been allowed to slumber for a time. It was, however, occasionally 
discussed, and the removalists maintained a strict vigilance to prevent any 
■extensive repairs being made to the public buildings at Chester. 

In February, 1822, a remarkably high freshet occurred in all the 
streams of Delaware county, chiefly caused by the rapid melting of a deep 
snow. The mill-ponds were covered with a thick ice at the time, which was 
broken up and occasioned considerable damage in addition to that caused 
by the great height of the water in the creeks. 

In 1824 one of the most brutal murders on record was committed at 
the residence of Mary Warner, in Upper Darby, upon a young married 
man named William Bonsall. The family consisted of Mrs. Warner, Bon- 
sall and his wife. Three men entered the house late at night with the ob- 
ject of committing a burglarly, and although Bonsall was sick and made 
no resistance, one of them wantonly stabbed him in the abdomen with a 
shoemaker's knife, which caused his immediate death. Besides committing 
the murder the party plundered the house. Three men were arrested and 
tried for the homicide ; Michael Monroe alias James Wellington, was convicted 
of murder in the first degree and executed ; Washington Labbe was con- 
victed of murder in the second degree, and Abraham Buys was acquitted. 

After the close of the war with Great Britain, manufacturing estab- 
lishments, of various kinds, rapidly sprung up over the county. It became 
an object of interest to ascertain the extent of these improvements, and 
also to obtain more particular information in respect to unimproved water- 
power. For this purpose George G. Leiper, John Willcox and William 
Martin, Esqs., were appointed a committee, who employed Benjamin Pear- 
son, Esq., to travel over the county and obtain the necessary statis- 
tics. From the facts reported by Mr. Pearson, the committee make the 
following summary : 

Thirty-eight flour mills, sixteen of which grind 203,600 bushels of grain per 

Fifty-three saw mills, sixteen of which cut 1,717,000 feet of lumber per annum. 

Five rolling and slitting mills, which roll 700 tons of sheet iron per annum, value, 
$105,000; employ thirty hands, wages, $7,200. 

Fourteen woolen factories, employ 228 hands. 

Twelve cotton factories, manufacture 704,380 lbs. of yarn per annum, value, $232,4^5; 
employ 415 hands, wages, $51,380. 

Eleven paper mills, manufacture 31,296 reams of paper per annum, value, $114,712; 
employ 215 hands, wages, $29,120. 

Two powder mills, manufacture 11,900 quarter casks per annum, value, $.:t7 6ai; 
employ forty hands, wages, $12,000. 


One nail factory, manufactures 150 tons of nails per annum, value, $20,000; employ 
eight hands, wages, $2,400. 

Four tilt, blade and edge-tool manufactories, two of which manufacture, per annum, 
2000 axes, 200 cleavers, 1,200 dozen shovels, 200 doz. scythes and 500 drawing knives. 

One power-loom mill, weaves 30,000 yards per week, value $3,000; employs 120 hands, 
wages, per week. $500 ; 200 looms. 

Two oil mills, make 7000 galls, linseed oil per annum, value, $7,000. 

One machine factory, five snuflF mills, two plaster or gypsum mills, three clover 
mills, three bark mills, and one mill for sawing stone — making, in the aggregate. 158 
improved mill seats, and forty-two unimproved on the principal streams. Total mill 
seats 200. 

These returns, though in several branches of small account in compari- 
son with the extensive establishments of the present day, were certainly cred- 
itable at that early period, when steam had been but little employed in propell- 
ing machinery, and when it is considered that the whole extent of the county 
is only about i/O square miles. 

In 1827 the dissensions, that had for some time existed in the Society of 
Friends, culminated in an open rupture. The history of this unfortunate 
feud properly belongs to the history of the Society throughout the United 
States. The animosities that were engendered among those who, in former 
times, had lived on terms of the most friendly, and even social intercourse, 
existed here, as in other places, and were productive of the like consequences. 
The author has witnessed with pleasure, within the past few years, a soften- 
ing down of those animosities, and indeed of every feeling of unkindness in 
each party towards the other. He would, therefore, regard hiinself as doing 
an unpardonable mischief in reviving the facts and circumstances that unhap- 
pily gave rise to them. 

On September 21st, 1833, the institution under whose authority this his- 
tory was prepared, was organized with the title of the "Delaware County Insti- 
tute of Science," by the association at first of only five individuals : George 
Miller, Minshall Painter, John Miller, George Smith and John Cassin. The 
object of the association was to promote the study and diffusion of general 
knowledge, and the establishment of a museum. The number of members 
gradually increased, and when it became necessary for the institution to hold 
real estate, application was made to the Supreme Court for corporate priv- 
ileges, which were granted February 8th, 1836. A hall of very moderate pre- 
tensions was built in Upper Providence in 1837, at which the members of the 
Institute have continued to hold their meetings till the present time. Lectures 
were also given in the hall for some time after its erection. The number of 
its members was never large, but through the persevering efforts of a few indi- 
viduals it has been enabled to accomplish most, if not all. the objects con- 
templated in its establishment. The inuscum of the Institute embraces a 
respectable collection of specimens in every department of the natural sciences, 
anrl j)articularly such as are calculated to illustrate the natural history of the 
county. It also embraces many other specimens of great scientific or his- 
torical value. Nor has the establishment of a library been neglected, and 


although the number of books it contains is not large, it is seldom that the 
same number of volumes is found together of equal value. It has not failed 
to observe and record local phenomena and to investigate local facts ; and the 
usefulness and value of the natural productions of the county have, in more 
than one instance, been established by laborious scientific investigations. But 
for obvious reasons the author will forbear to give any detailed account of the 
-doings of the institution beyond such as it may be necessary to notice inci- 
dentally, hereafter, in relating a few historical facts. Since the establishment 
of the Delaware County Institute of Science, many similar institutions have 
"been established in various counties throughout the commonwealth. But few 
of these are prosperous; a few maintain a nominal existence, while most of 
them have ceased to exist. 

While it has ever been the policy of the religious Society of Friends to 
have their children well instructed in the more useful branches of learning, it 
was not till the year 1833 that an institution was established by them, specially 
for the instruction of their youth in classical and corresponding studies. lu 
that year, members of the branch of the Society termed Orthodox, founded 
Haverford School. The benefits of this institution were at first confined to the 
sons of the members of the religious Society mentioned, though that Society, 
as such, had no control in its management. Connected with the school build- 
ings, which are not large, is a tract of nearly two hundred acres of land. Forty 
acres of this land, surrounding the buildings, were appropriated to a lawn, 
which for beauty and the variety of its trees and shrubbery, is scarcely equaled 
in the country. The balance of the land is used for farming purposes. Some 
years since, all the privileges of a college were conferred on this institution; 
and the managers thereof agreeing to receive as students others than the 
members of their Society, the sphere of its usefulness has been greatly 
increased. Haverford College now enjoys a high reputation as a literary and 
scientific institution, while in respect to the moral training to which the stu- 
dent is subjected, it is unsurpassed by any college in the country. 

At the commencement of the construction of the Delaware Breakwater, 
a large proportion of the stone used for the purpose was taken from the quar- 
ries in this county. The superintendent of the work, in the autumn of 1836, 
arrived at the conclusion that the Pennsylvania stone was inferior to that from 
the quarries in Delaware State, on account of the large proportion of mica it 
-contained. He thought the presence of the mica rendered the Pennsylvania 
stone "peculiarly liable to chemical decomposition," and also to a further decay 
from the attrition of the waves. He even stated in his report, "that the expe- 
rience of the work, within the few years it has been in construction, has shown 
that the stones have decayed from both these causes." 

Large quantities of stone had been quarried, particularly on Crum and 
Ridley creeks, when the government, on the strength of the report of its 
agent, rejected the stone from Delaware county. Those engaged in the busi- 
ness, who would be subjected to great loss by the rejection of their stone, 
Ijrought the matter to the notice of the County Institute, which promptly 


appointed a committee to investigate the subject. The author was chairman 
of tliat committee, and upon him devolved the task of making tlie necessary 
investigations, and of drawing up the report. Tliat report was decidedly 
favorable to the durability of the Delaware county stone. Its material conclu- 
sions were subse(|uently confirmed by a board of military engineers, and the 
Pennsylvania stone again accepted by the government.* 

The year 1838 was remarkable on account of a great drouglit that pre- 
vailed throughout a large extent of country, embracing Delaware county. 
From about the first of July till nearly the first of October, no rain fell except 
a few very slight showers. The earth became parched, and vegetation dried 
up. All the later crops failed; and what added greatly to the injurious effects 
of the drought, myriads of grasshoppers made their appearance, and voraciously 
devoured nearly every green blade of grass that had survived to the period 
of their advent. Even the blades and ears of Indian corn were greatly injured 
in many places. Cattle suffered much for want of pasture, and many persons 
were obliged to feed them on hay during the months of August and Septem- 
ber, or upon corn cut from the field. 

A great ice freshet occurred in the winter of 1839. wliich caused consider- 
able damage; but as it sinks into utter insignificance when compared with the 
great freshet of August 5. 1843. "^^'c ^"^'1' proceed to give an account of the 
storm and freshet of that day, which may be regarded as one of the most ex- 
traordinary events that have occurred within the limits of our county since it 
was first visited by European?. This will be an easy task, as all the material 
facts connected with this unusual phenomenon, and its disastrous conse- 
quences, were carefully collected at the time by a committee of the Delaware 
County Institute of Science, of which Dr. Smith was chairman, and embodied 
in an elaborate report, which was published in pamphlet form. Only the gen- 
eral and most material facts will be extracted from that report, as the reader 
who may desire more particular information on the subject, can have recourse 
to the report itself, which is preserved in several libraries. 

The morning of August 5, 1843. ^^ early dawn, gave indications of a 
rainy day. The wind was in the east or northeast, and the clouds were ob- 
served to have an appearance which indicated a fall of rain. The sun was 
barely visible at rising, and a short time afterwards the whole sky became 
overclouded. At about 7 o'clock, a. m.. it commenced raining, and continued 
to rain moderately, with occasional remissions, but without any very perfect 
intermission imtil noon or later. This was a general rain, which extended 
much beyond the limits of Delaware county in every direction. This general 
rain scarcely caused an appreciable rise in the streams; but it had the effect of 
fully saturating the surface of the ground with water to the depth of some 
inches, and in this way contributed to increase the flood in some degree beyond 
what it would have been, had the sub^criucnt heavy rain fallen on the parched 

*The chairman of this committee was Dr. George Smith, author of the "History 
of Delaware County." (1862), from which this narrative is largely taken. 


earth. No general description of this rain, which caused the great inundation, 
will exactly apply to any two neighborhoods, much less to the whole extent of 
the county. In the time of its commencement and termination — in the quanti- 
ty of rain which fell — in the violence and direction of the wind, there was a 
remarkable want of correspondence between different parts of the county. It 
may be observed, however, that comparatively little rain fell along its southern 
and southeastern borders. 

Cobb's Creek, on the eastern margin of the county, and Brandywine on 
the west, were not flooded in any extraordinary degree. This conclusively 
shows that the greatest violence of the storm was expended on the district of 
country which is drained by Chester, Ridley, Crum, Darby, and the Gulf 
creeks, and one or two tributaries of the Brandywine. This district will in- 
clude a part of Chester county, and a very small part of Montgomery ; but in- 
cluding these, the whole extent of country that was inundated did not exceed 
in area the territory embraced within the county of Delaware. The extent of 
territory that was inundated was also much greater than that which was sub- 
jected to any very extraordinary fall of rain. The amount of rain which fell 
on that part of the county which borders on the river Delaware, and embraces 
the mouths and lower parts of the inundated creeks, was not sufficient to pro- 
duce even an ordinary rise in the streams, and to this circumstance may in part 
be attributed the very unprepared state in which the inhabitants of this district 
were found for the mighty flood of waters which was approaching to over- 
whelm them. The very rapid rise in the water in the streams, without appar- 
ently any adequate cause, was also well calculated to increase the alarm in this 
district beyond what it would have been, had the quantity of water that fell 
there borne a comparison with that which fell in the upper parts of the county. 

As a general rule, the heavy rain occurred later as we proceed from the 
sources of the streams towards their mouths. The quantity of rain which 
fell will decrease as we proceed in the same direction, particularly from the 
middle parts of the county downwards. 

In those sections of the county where its greatest violence was expended 
the character of the storm more nearly accorded with that of a tropical hurri- 
cane than with anything which appertained to this region of country. The 
clouds wore an unusually dark and lowering appearance, of which the whole 
atmosphere seemed in some degree to partake, and this circumstance, no 
doubt, gave that peculiarly vivid appearance to the incessant flashes of light- 
ning, which was observed by every one. The peals of thunder were loud and 
almost continuous. The clouds appeared to approach from different directions, 
and to concentrate at a point not very distant from the zenith of the beholder. 
In many places there was but very little wind, the rain falling in nearly per- 
pendicular streams ; at other places it blew a stiff breeze, first from the east or 
northeast, and suddenly shifting to the southwest, while at a few points it 
blew in sudden gusts with great violence, accompanied with whirlwinds, which 
twisted off and prostrated large trees, and swept everything before it. 

So varied was the character of the storm at different places, that the com- 


mittee of tlie Institute, in order to present a satisfactory account of ii. was 
obliged to embody tlie remarks of tbc dilTcrcnt observers througliout ilic C(jun- 
ty. llrief extracts will be made from these remarks. 

Ill Concord township the heavy rain commenced at about a quarter before three 
o'clock, p. m.. the wind being E. S. E., but it veered so rapidly rctrogade to the sun's motion, 
that the clouds appeared to verge to a centre over the western section of Delaware 
county, from several points of the compass at the same time — the rain falling in tor- 
rents resembling a water spout. At about a quarter before four o'clock the wind had 
nearly boxed the compass, and blew a gale from W. S. W., and about that hour, a tornado 
or whirlwind, passed across the southern part of Concord, about a quarter of a mile in 
width, prostrating forest and fruit trees, and scattering the fences in every direction 
In the neighborhood of Concord the rain continued about three hours, and the quantity 
that fell in that vicinity, as nearly as could be ascertained, was about sixteen inches. 
It is not probable that a greater quantity of rain fell in any other part of the county. 

In Newtown township the heavy rain commenced about two o'clock, and terminated 
about five o'clock, p. m.. the wind, during the rain, being nearly N. W. There was a heavy blow 
of wind, but it was not violent. The quantity of rain that fell was between eleven and 
thirteen inches. At Newtown Square, in forty minutes, immediately before five o'clock, 
it was ascertained that five inches and a half of rain fell. As observed in the north 
part of Radnor, the heavy rain commenced about four o'clock, p. m., and ceased about six 
o'clock. At the commencement the wind blew from the S. or S. W. but changed to the 
S. E. about four and a half or five o'clock, from which direction came the heaviest rain. 

At Crozerville the storm appeared to have concentrated, and spent itself with awful 
violence. The morning liad been lowering with occasional showers of rain, the air 
cool for the season. After noon the sky was thickly overcast, and clouds floated slowly 
in various directions, the wind as noted by a vane, N. E. After two o'clock, thunder 
was heard at a distance, which soon became louder and more frequent. About three 
o'clock, under an unusually dark sky, rain commenced falling in torrents, accompanied 
with vivid lightning and almost continuous peals of thunder. The lightning was more 
vivid than ever had been witnessed by the observer in the day-time, nor had he ever 
before heard so much loud thunder at one time. The rain terminated a few minutes 
before six o'clock. Crozerville lies in a basin surrounded by steep acclivities. h\ every 
direction from these hills, sheets of water poured down, and mingling with the current 
bcl'iw. presented, together with the rapid succession of forked lightning, a scene of 
awful sublimity. 

In the northern part of Middletown the greatest violence of the storm lasted from 
three to five o'clock, p. m., the wind blowing from every quarter, but not with great violence. 

In the northern part of Nether Providence, the heavy rain commenced between four 
and five o'clock, and continued till a quarter past six o'clock. The wind blew from 
various directions, and at five o'clock with great violence from the W. N. \V. In the 
northwest of Springfield township the heavy rain commenced between two and three 
o'clock and continued till five. There was a strong current of air or whirlwind that 
passed over the high grounds near Beatty's mills, that uprooted and broke off trees. 
Lower down, on Crum creek, "there appeared to be two storms of rain approaching one 
another, one from the S. E., the other from the N. W., which appeared to meet, and it 
could not be told for some minutes which would prevail, but eventually the one from the 
S. E. carried the sway," the rain being greatly increased during the struggle. At 
another point in Springfield the heaviest rain fell between five and six o'clock, the wind 
being variable, and blowing at one time with great violence, prostrating trees and fences 
in its course. 

In the middle part of Chester township the heaviest rain was late in the afternoon ; 
there l>eing no wind it fell in vertical streams. On the upper border of this township 


there was some wind. In the township of Bethel, not far from the Delaware State line, 
a hurricane of great violence occurred between four and five o'clock in the afternoon! 
The wind blew in opposite directions, as was proven by uprooted trees. Two miles 
further north the wind was still more violent, tearing up a large quantity of heavy tim- 
ber in a very small space. A valley of woodland, bounded by high hills, had nearly 
all its timber prostrated, not lengthwise with the valley, but across it. with the tops of the 
trees towards the N. E. 

In the western part of Upper Darby the rain was very heavy, but the storm was not 
so violent as further N. W. The heavy rain, however, began about three o'clock, while 
in the more easterly parts of the same township but three-fourths of an inch of rain 
(accurately measured) fell during the day. In the neighborhood of Chester it rained 
moderately through the day, with one pretty heavy shower in the evening. 

■ In Birmingham, heavy rains commenced about noon— the wind east or southeast. 
The clouds were dark and heavy, the lightning sharp, and the thunder very heavy, 
"accompanied with a rumbling noise in the air." The wind was changeable, and blew 
with great violence. The rain ceased about four o'clock. 

The most remarkable circumstances connected with, the rise in the waters of the 
several streams, was its extreme suddenness. In this particular, the flood in question 
has but few parallels on record ; occurring in a temperate climate, and being the result 
of rain alone. The description given by many persons of its approach in the lower 
district of the county, forcibly reminds one of the accounts he has read of the advance 
of the tides in the Bay of Fundy, and other places where they attain a great height. 
Some spoke of the water as coming down in a breast of several feet at a time; others- 
described it as approaching in weaves ; but all agree, that at one period of the flood, there 
was an almost instantaneous rise in the water of from five to eight feet. The time 
at which this extreme rapidity in the rise of the water occurred, was (in most places) 
after the streams had become so much swollen as to nearly or quite fill their ordinary 
channels. The quantity of water required to produce such a phenomenon, was therefore 
immensely greater, as the valleys of the streams in most places have a transverse section 
of several hundred feet. The breaking of mill-dams, and the yielding of bridges, and 
other obstructions, contributed in a degree to produce such an extraordinary swell, but we 
must mainly look for the cause of this sudden rush of waters to the violence of the 
rain — if the term rain will apply to the torrents of water that fell in the northern and 
western sections of the county. 

Cobb's creek, on the eastern margin of the county, was not swollen much beyond an 
ordinary flood, although 5.82 inches of rain fell during the day at Haverford College, 
within the drainage of that stream. 

Darby creek, in a narrow valley above Heys' factory attained a height of 17 feet;; 
the greatest height of Crum creek was about 20 feet, and that of Ridley creek 21 feet. 
At Diitton's mill, Chester creek rose to the height of 33 feet 6 inches. 

To notice all the interesting details that are given in the report on the 
flood, from which the foregoing extracts have been taken, would occupy too 
much space in this volume. The subject will be concluded by presenting a. 
summary of the damages sustained by the freshet within the limits of the 
county, both public and private, together with a brief notice of the casualties 
that resulted in the loss of life, and the narrow escapes from imminent peril. 

Thirty-two of the county bridges were either wholly destroyed or seriously injured. 
The following estimate of the damage sustained by the bridges on the several streams,. 
was carefully made by competent persons:— On Darby Creek, $3,370 ; on Ithan Creek, $475 ; 
on Crum Creek, $6,875; on Ridley Creek, $5,400; on Chester Creek, $8,600; total, 


Many of the townships also sustained heavy losses in the destruction of small bridges 
and culverts. The damage to private property vvill be given in the aggregate, only speci- 
fying the amciunt on each crock: — On Darby Creek and tributaries, $20,000; on Criim 
Creek and tributaries, $24,000; on Ridley Creek and tributaries, $39,000; on Chester 
Creek and its branches, $104,000; on tributaries of the Brandywine, $2,600; amount of 
private loss, $190,375- 

It is also estimated that the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad 
Company sustained damage to the amount of $4,500. 

Nineteen human beings lost their lives by drowning. To persons who cannot bring 
their minds to realize the almost instantaneous rise in the water, this number may 
appear large, but it is really almost miraculous, that under the circumstances, so small 
a number should have perished. Hair-breadth escapes, and rescues from perilous situa- 
tions, were numerous. Had the inundation occurred at midnight, when most persons arc 
wrapped in slumber, the destruction of human life would have been dreadful indeed. 
Such a calamity can only be contemplated with feelings of horror. 

Seven lives were lost on Darby creek. When the stone bridge at Darby yielded to 
the torrent, two young men — Russell K. Flounders and Josiah Bunting, jr., were stand- 
ing upon it. Both perished. At the cotton factory of D. & C. Kelly, on the Dela- 
ware county turnpike, five lives were lost. Michael Nolan and his famil\% consisting 
of his wife, five children and a young woman named Susan Dowlan, occupied a small 
frame tenement immediately below the western wall of the bridge. Before any imme- 
diate danger from the rise of water was apprehended, Michael and his eldest son had 
left the house with the view of making arrangements for the removal of the family. 
There was no water about the house when the father and son started, yet upon their 
attempt to return, after an absence of five minutes, it was not in the power of any one 
to reach the dwelling, much less to render the inmates any assistance. The wing-walls 
of the bridge soon gave way, and shortly after this the house was swept from its foun- 
dations, became a complete wreck, and all the inmates perished, except Susan Dowlan, 
who accidentally caught the branches of a tree, and at length obtained a foothold on a 
projecting knot, where she supported herself till the water had sufficiently abated to 
allow her to be rescued. At Garrett's Factory three families, numbering sixteen indi- 
viduals, were, for a long time, placed in the utmost jeopardy. Their retreat from land 
was wholly cut oflf by the sudden rise in the water — the houses they occupied were com- 
pletely wrecked and large portions of them carried away, and they had nothing left to 
afford them the least security but the tottering remains of the ruins of their dwellings, 
which, fortunately, withstood the torrent. 

No lives were lost on Crum creek. 

On Ridley creek, five individuals perished, a father and his four children. George 
Hargraves, his wife, four children and a brother, named William, occupied a central 
dwelling in a long stone building at Samuel Bancroft's factory, in Nether Providence. 
The family delayed making their escape till it was too late, but retreated into the second 
story. The flood soon rushed through the building and carried away the two middle 
dwellings, and with it George Hargraves, his four older children and brother William ; 
his wife, with the youngest child in her arms, being in a corner of the room where the 
flooring was not entirely carried away. William was carried down the current half a 
mile, where he fortunately found a place of safety in the branches of a standing tree. 
Shortly after, George, with his children, floated by him on a bed, and, as he passed, cried 
out, "hold on to it, William." Scarcely had George given this admonition to his brother 
when he and his four children were swept from their position on the bed and engulfed 
beneath the turbulent waters of the flood, not to rise again. After Jane, the wife of 
George Hargraves, had sustained herself on a mere niche of projecting flooring, with her 
child in her arms, during five hours, she was rescued. Thomas Wardell Brown, hi» 
wife and child, occupied the other demolished dwelling, but were saved by taking a 


position on a portion of flooring corresponding to that on which Jane Hargraves stood. 
but of much less dimensions. This was the only portion of their dwelHng not carried 

A short distance above Sherman's upper factory, a double frame house, occupied 
by William Tooms and James Rigly and their families, was floated down the stream 
and lodged against the wheel-house of the factory, in a position opposite to a window of 
the picker-house. Rigly, after placing his wife and child in the second story of the 
picker-house, discovered that Tooms, (who was sick) his wife and two children were in 
the garret of their dwelling, the roof of which was partly under water. He immediately 
broke a hole in the roof and rescued the inmates, one by one, and placed them in the 
picker-house. In half a minute after he returned the last time, their late dwelling was 
whirled over the wheel-house, dashed to pieces and carried down the stream 

Edward Lewis, Esq., and his son Edward, were placed in a situation of great peril. 
They were in the third story of the grist-mill when the building began to yield to the 
flood — their paper and saw-mill having previously been swept away, and a current of 
great depth and velocity was passing between the mill and their dwelling, across which 
was their only chance of retreat. A considerable part of the walls of the mill gave way, 
and the roof and timbers fell in confusion around them, but fortunately enough of the 
building remained firm till they were rescued by means of a rope. 

On Chester creek seven human beings were deprived of their lives by the flood, and 
many others were placed in situations of great jeopardy. 

Mary Jackson, a colored woman, while assisting her husband to save floating wood, 
near Flower's mill, was overtaken by the flood and drowned. Near the same place Mr. 
William G. Flower was subjected to imminent peril. Mr. F. was on the meadow when 
the flood came down in a wave (represented by spectators as being from three to four 
feet high), and swept him away. He was carried from his path into an old mill-race, 
where he succeeded in reaching a grape vine, and by means of that, a tree. But the tree 
was soon uprooted and borne away. After a short period of extreme peril, during which 
he was several times overwhelmed with trees, timber, &c., carried along with frightful 
velocity, he succeeded in catching the branches of another tree, when, almost exhausted, 
fie reached a place of safety. 

No lives were lost at Chester, though numbers were placed in extreme danger by 
remaining in a dwelling adjoining the eastern abutment of the bridge — the western abut- 
ment and the bridge having been carried away, and a fearful current passing between 
the eastern abutment and the town. Mr. Jonathan Button was placed in a situation of 
great jeopardy. While endeavoring to secure some property in his mill from being dam- 
aged by the flood, he was surprised by the sudden rise in the water to an alarming height. 
He retreated from story to story till he reached the upper one. His situation soon became 
more awfully perilous, for the mill began to yield to the force of the torrent. His posi- 
tion becoming desperate,, he leaped from a window of the mill and with great exertion 
reached the shore. 

John Rhoads, a resident of Pennsgrove, (now Glen Riddle) with his daughters, 
Hannah and Jane, and a granddaughter, were carried away in their dwelling and drowned. 
Mary Jane McGuigan, with her only child at her breast, in another dwelling at the same 
place, perished in the same manner. 

The new stone cotton factory at Knowlton, 76 by 36 feet, well stored with machinery, 
was carried away, but fortunately none of the operatives were in the building. There 
are many other interesting facts and circumstances connected with this unprecedented 
and disastrous flood, described in the report of the committee of the Institute, but our 
allotted space will not permit us to notice them. 

The county commissioners stood aghast at the almost universal dam- 
age or destruction of the county bridges, and scarcely knew where to com- 

XJ2 di-:la\\ark col'nty 

mencc the work of nhuildin^- and repairs. The lep^islature was applied to 
for an exemption of tiie county from State tax for one year, which appHca- 
lion was unj^enerotisly refused. Loans were resorted to; and it l)ecame a 
matter of astonishinent in what a short time l)oth ])ul)lic and private dam- 
age was rejiaired, and ahnost everytliiuL; restored to its former, or even to 
a better conchtion. 'I'lie recuperative energies of no community were ever 
more severely taxed, and it was only by this test that the people of our county 
i>ecame fully accpiainted with the vast extent of their own resources. 

We have now arrived at a period in our narrative when the proceed- 
ings commenced which, after a protracted contest, resulted in the removal of the 
seat of justice of the county from Chester to a more central location, around 
which has grown up ihc town of Media. Dr. Smith took an active pari in 
these proceedings on the side favorable to removal, and on that account he 
would gladly have passed over the subject with the mere notice of the 
time when the seat of justice was removed. But it is a matter of too much 
local importance to be passed by so slightly. An effort will therefore be 
made to narrate the transactions connected with it free from any improper 
feeling or bias. 

On November 22d, 1845, agreeably to public notice, a meeting of citi- 
zens of the county was held at the Black Horse tavern in Middletown, "to 
take into consideration the propriety of removing the Seat of Justice to a 
more central position." After adopting a preamble and resolutions favor- 
able to a removal of the public buildings to a more central location, the 
meeting recommended meetings to be held in each township on the 5th of 
December following, "to elect two delegates in each, to meet on the 6th 
of December at the Black Horse tavern; the delegates appointed to vote 
for the removal of the Seat of Justice or otherwise ; also, to decide upon 
those [the sites] designated by this meeting, which of them shall be 
adopted." The following places were named "as suitable locations for the 
public buildings : — County property in Providence ; Black Horse in Mid- 
dletown ; Chester; Rose Tree in Upper Providence, and Beaumont's Cor- 
ner, Newtown." Between the time of holding this meeting and the election 
of delegates, the November court was held, at which the grand jury recom- 
mended the erection of a new jail. This was the second grand jury that 
had made the same recommendation, and it now rested with the county 
commissioners to proceed with the work, a circumstance that rendered it 
important that the f|ucstion of the location of the new prison should be de- 
cided as early as possible. 

In some of the townships no delegates were elected : and owing to 
the very icy state of the roads, many who were elected did not attend the 
meeting appointed to be held on the 6th. Twelve townships were, how- 
ever, represented as follows : Birmingham — Dr. Elwood Harvey. J. D. Gil- 
pin. Chester — J. K. /eilin. >'. S. Walter, l^pper Chichester — Robert R. 
Dutton. Concord — M. Stamp. R. Yarnall. Edgmont — E. B. Green, George 
Baker. Marple — Abram Pratt. Dr. T. M. Moore. Middletown — Joseph 


Edwards, Abram Pennell. Newtown — Eli Lewis, T. H. Speakman. N. 
Providence — R. T. Worrall, P. Worrall. Upper Providence — E. Bishop, 
Thos. Reese. Thornbury — Eli Baker, David Green. Tinicum — Joseph 
Weaver, Jr. 

After various discussions, a vote was taken on the different sites that 
had been proposed, which resulted in giving the county property 8 votes ; 
the Black Horse, 6; Chester, 6, and Rose Tree, 2. Eventually, upon further 
ballotings, the county property received 12 votes, a majority of the whole. 
Both removalists and anti-removalists were very imperfectly represented 
by the delegates assembled at this meeting, yet it was their action that de- 
termined the particular location of the future seat of justice of the county. 

The anti-removalists were present at the meeting to defeat the ques- 
tion of removal altogether ; but should not have participated in a vote 
upon the different sites, if they did not intend to be bound by the result. 
Those removalists, who felt that they had not been represented at the meet- 
ing (and they, constituted a majority of the whole) were generally opposed 
to fixing a site at all, but desired that the vote of the people should be 
taken, simply, for and against the removal. From this cause and with 
the view of reconciling all differences, the committee appointed by the meet- 
ing held at the Black Horse, called a third meeting, to be held at the Hall of 
the Delaware County Institute of Science, on the 30th of the same month. 
This meeting was very largely attended. An address to the people of the 
county was adopted, and also the form of a petition to the legislature in 
favor of a law giving the people a right to vote on the question of removal 
without fixing a site. This was not acquiesced in by a considerable number 
of removalists residing principally in the northwestern part of the county, 
and the result was a schism in the removal party, and the adoption of two 
forms of petition to the legislature. 

The county was represenced by William Williamson, of Chester county, 
in the Senate, and by John Larkin, Jr., in the House— both gentlemen being 
opposed to removal, but both understood to be favorable to the passage of 
a law that would afford the people of the county a fair vote on the question. 

The dispute among the removalists in respect to fixing or not fixing a 
site in advance, grew warm, and as a majority of them favored a law that 
would authorize the vote to be taken on the broad question of removal, the 
anti-removalists were led into the belief that this course was adopted be- 
cause it was impossible for their opponents to unite on any one loca 
tion, and consequently that they would run no risk in submitting the ques- 
tion of removal to a vote of the people, provided, that it taken 
between Chester and any one of the sites that had been mentioned. Under 
this erroneous impression their opposition was directed almost wholly 
against the party who opposed deciding upon any site till after the ques- 
tion of removal had been decided, and they ventured to say in their re- 
monstrance to the Legislature that they "do not believe it is fair and equal 
justice to array the friends of all the locations suggested (six in number) 


against the present Seat of Justice, for were any one place selected by the 
petitioners, we [they] are confident that two-thirds of the votes of the 
people would be found against it." 

Though every reasonable effort was made to induce our representa- 
tives to go for a bill authorizing a general vote on the question, it was soon 
discovered that they would not favor any plan that did not fix upon a site 
in advance. The bill that had been prepared by the committee of corre- 
spondence was called up by Mr. Larkin, and being opposed by him, it was 
of course defeated by a large majority. 

The conduct of our representatives was very unsatisfactory to the 
removalists, and had the effect of exciting them to greater efforts, for carry- 
ing their favorite measure. The removal committee of correspondence, in 
a published address to the citizens of the county favorable to removal, de- 
nounced the treatment their bill had received at the hands of the Legisla- 
ture, and exhorted their friends to a steady and unyielding persistence in 
their efforts, until the present untoward circumstances that surrounded the 
subject should be removed, and the clearest rights appertaining to citizens 
of a republican government should have been yielded to them. 

During the autumn of 1846 various efforts were made to secure the 
election of a strong removalist to the House of Representatives, but these 
efforts failed, and Sketchley Morton, Esq., a lukewarm anti-removalist, was 
elected, pledged, however, to advocate the passage of a law that would fair- 
ly submit the question of removal to a vote of the people of the county. 

The removalists who had opposed fixing a site for the proposed new 
seat of justice, finding that under existing circumstances no bill could be 
passed in that shape, gradually yielded the point, and the result was the pas- 
sage of the act of 1847, entitled "An act concerning the removal of the Seat 
of Justice of Delaware County." This act provided that at the next general 
election, "those voters in favor of removal shall each vote a written or printed 
ticket, labelled on the outside. Seat of Justice, and containing the words County 
property in Upper Providence, and those opposed to removal, shall each vote a 
written or printed ticket, labelled on the outside as aforesaid, and containing 
the word Chester." In case a majority voted for "Chester," the commissioners 
were required to erect a new jail at the existing seat of justice, while on the 
other hand, if a majority voted for the "County property in Upper Provi- 
dence," the commissioners were required "to definitely fix and determine on 
the exact location for new public buildings for the accommodation of the coun- 
ty," not more distant "than one-half of a mile from the farm attached to the 
House for the support and employment of the poor" of Delaware county, and 
not more than one-half mile from the state road leading from Philadelphia to 

The question was now fairly at issue, and on terms that the anti-remov- 
alists could not object to, for they had proclaimed in their remonstrance to the 
legislature their conviction, in case these terms should be adopted, that "two- 
thirds of the votes of the people" would be found against the proposed new 


site. They had, however, committed a fatal mistake in allowing a site for the 
new buildings to be selected so low down in the County, when It was within 
their power to have had one higher up and more distant from Chester selected. 
It was this that reconciled the great body of removalists to the proposed site ; 
for while it was not regarded by many of them as the most eligible, its selec- 
tion greatly increased the number of voters who felt that their convenience 
would be promoted by a change. 

During the summer of 1847 a number of articles appeared in the public 
papers on both sides of the question, of various degrees of merit. The remov- 
alists, through their committee of correspondence, went systematically to work 
and thoroughly organized their party. Perhaps no party in the county had 
ever before been organized so well. It can do no harm now to state, that long 
before the election, the committee had become so well acquainted with the 
sentiments of the people of the county, that they could count with certainty 
upon a majority in favor of removal of at least three hundred. Their efiforts 
towards the close of the contest were not really for success, but to swell the 
majority which they knew they had, as well before, as after the election was 

On August 30th, the removalists held a public meeting at the house of 
Peter Worrall, in Nether Providence. This meeting, which was very large and 
enthusiastic, adopted an address to the citizens of the county, placing the ques- 
tion of removal in the most favorable light. Committees of vigilance were also 
appointed in the several townships throughout the county — even in the borough 
of Chester. 

Up to this time the opponents of removal had maintained an apathy on 
the subject that could only have arisen from a confidence in their supposed 
numerical strength. They now appear to have become suddenly aroused to 
the apprehension of a possibility of some danger. A committee of correspond- 
ence, composed of the following named gentlemen, was suddenly, and perhaps 
informally, appointed, viz. : John M. Broomall, John P. Crozer, F. J. Hink- 
son, G. W. Bartram, Jesse Young, George G. Leiper, J. P. Eyre, John K. 
Zeilin, John Larkin, Jr., Edward Darlington, Samuel Edwards, and George 
Serrill. This committee issued an elaborate address to the citizens of the coun- 
ty, reviewing the proceedings of the removal meeting, and pointing out gen- 
erally the evils that would result from a change in the location of the seat of 
justice of the county. 

The committee of correspondence, on behalf of the Removalists, consisted 
of the following named gentlemen, viz. : Minshall Painter, David Lyons, Nath- 
an H. Baker, James J. Lewis, Joseph Edwards, William B. Lindsay, Dr. Jo- 
seph Wilson, James Ogden, John G. Plenderson, George G. Baker, Thos. H. 
Speakman, Henry Haldeman, Jr., and Dr. George Smith. Soon after the 
publication of the anti-removal address, this committee published a reply, crit- 
icising without much leniency, every position that had been taken by their op- 
ponents. The anti-removal committee had been particularly unfortunate in 
over-estimating the cost of new public buildings, or rather the difference be- 



tween the cost of a new jail at Chester, and a court-house and jail at the new 
site. The removal committee happened to be in possession of the exact cost of 
a large and well built court-house that had been recently erected at Holidays- 
burg, the facts connected with which were attested by one of our most re- 
spectal)le citizens. These facts could not be controverted, and consequently 
the appeal that had been made by the anti-removal committee to the pockets of 
the tax-payers of the county, proved an utter failure, and the afifairs of the 
removalists were placed in a better position than before the controversy be- 
tween the two committees commenced. A public meeting was subsequently 
held by the anti-removalists at the Black Horse, and an effort made to organ- 
ize the party, but it was too late to make any headway against the regularly or- 
ganized forces of the removalists. 

The election was held October 12, 1847, ^^id resulted in a majority of 
752 votes in favor of removal. The following table exhibits the vote in the 
several townships : 







Removal. Removal 




Upper Providence, 



Bethel, . 



Nether Providence, 



Birmingham, . 

. 62 


Radnor, . 



Chester, . 



Ridley, . 



Upper Chichester, 






Lower Chichester, 






Concord. . 

. 83 





Darby, . 



I'pper Darby, 

. 168 





. 150 

Voted in favor 





• 147 


Voted against removal. 

1 190 

Marple, . 

. 124 


Middletown, . 

. 223 


Majority in favor 





. 118 


When the result of the election became known, the majority being so large, 
no one then thought of making even an effort to defeat the will of the people 
thus emphatically expressed. A certain act, however, had been recently passed 
by the legislature, giving the citizens of each township a right to decide by bal- 
lot, whether spirituous liquors should be sold in their respective townships. 
This act had been declared unconstitutional by the Suj^reme Court, and there 
being some similarity between that act and the Removal Act, its constitution- 
ality also became questionable. The commissioners felt unwilling to proceed 
with the erection of the new buildings until the constitutional question should 
be decided, or a confirmatory act should be passed. The friends of removal at 
once determined to ask the Legislature to pass a confirmatory act. not dream- 
ing that a proposition so reasonable and just would meet with the least resist- 
ance from any quarter. In this they were mistaken, for their application was 
met by a remonstrance from a large number of anti-removalists, and other 
means were resorted to by a few of them, to defeat the measure, which it may 
be proper at this time to forbear to mention. 


The question had been decided, upon the plan that they had accepted as 
the proper one, and had the removalists been defeated, the erection of a new 
jail at Chester would have been acquiesced in by them without a murmur. Un- 
der such circumstances, Dr. Smith has never been able to see how the eentle- 
men who continued their opposition to removal, after a vote had been taken 
on the question, could reconcile their conduct to the injunction, "as ye would 
that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." 

The Hon. Sketchley Morton still represented the county in the House of 
Representatives, and acting in good faith, no difficulty was experienced in the 
passage of a confirmatory bill in that body. But in the Senate, it was soon dis- 
covered that our representative, Mr. Williamson, then speaker of that body, 
was hostile to the bill, and that the services of other members of the Senate 
from distant parts of the commonwealth had in some way been secured to 
make speeches against it, and to aid in its defeat. Among these was the late 
Governor Johnson. The bill was accordingly defeated in the Senate. 

After this unfair and unjust treatment, the removalists at once resorted to 
the Supreme Court, to test the constitutionality of the Removal Act, under 
which the vote had been taken. Here they were met by counsel employed by 
the anti-removalists ; but before any action had been taken by the court upon 
the main question, certain signs in the political horizon indicated that it might 
become a matter of some consequence to certain politicians, that so large a 
body of voters as the removalists of Delaware county should be pacified, after 
the treatment their fair and just bill had received in the Senate. A sudden 
change appears to have been effected in the views of certain Senators, on the 
grave question of the right of the majority to rule, and information was ac- 
cordingly conveyed to the leading removalists, that a confirmatory act could 
then be passed. One was passed ; but as the anti-removalists had to be con- 
sulted, the action of the Senate of Pennsylvania resulted in the monstrosity 
that here follows, which was only concurred in by the House, because nothing 
better could be had : — 

"An Act relative to the removal of the Seat of Justice in Delaware County. 

"Section i. Be it enacted, &c. That the several provisions of an Act entitled 'An 
Act concerning the removal of the seat of justice in Delaware County,' approved March 
3d, eighteen hundred and forty-seven, so far as they authorize the removal of the seat 
of justice from the borough of Chester, be, and the same are hereby confirmed and made 
of full force and effect, and when the public buildings referred to in said act shall have 
been completed, it shall be the duty of the Court, Sheriflf, and other officers of said 
county, to do and perform the things mentioned and required to be done and performed 
in said act. Provided, That this act shall not go into effect until a decision shall be 
obtained from the Supreme Court on the validity of said act of March third, eighteen 
hundred and forty-seven. Provided, however, that said decision shall be obtained in one 
year from the date of the passage of this act. 

William F. Packer, 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
William Williamson, 

Speaker of the Senate. 
"Approved the seventh day of April, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight. 

Francis R. Shunk." 


The Supreme Court soon closed their sitting in Philadelphia, and no 
further effort was made to comply with the ridiculous provisions of the 
confirmatory law till the winter term following. It was now apparent, from 
the various motions of the counsel of the anti-removalists, that delay was 
a main object with his clients ; but eventually, with much perseverance, the 
question was argued by the late Joseph G. Clarkson, the counsel of the 
removalists, and the opinion of the Court delivered just before the close 
of the year specified in the act. This opinion was a full confirmation of the 
constitutionality of the Removal Law. 

The commissioners, in pursuance of the Removal Act, very soon pur- 
chased a tract of forty-eight acres of land from Sarah Briggs, adjoining 
the county farm attached to the house for the support and employment of 
the poor, for the sum of $5,760. On this a town was laid out, and many 
lots were immediately sold, realizing a great profit to the county. It w^as 
at first intended to call the town Providence, but in consideration of the 
great number of places bearing that name, the name of Media, suggested by 
Minshall Painter as a proper one, was adopted, and inserted in the Act of 
Incorporation. The town was laid out by Joseph Fox, Esq. 

The location of the public buildings increased the value of the adja- 
cent land. In this increase in value, the adjoining property belonging to 
the county, on which the old Alms-house was located, shared very fully ; 
so that it soon became evident, that by disposing of this property with the 
old buildings, (which were not well adapted to the purpose for which they 
had been erected,) the county could be provided with a better farm in an- 
other localitv. and with new buildings, very much better calculated for the 
accommodation of the paupers. The old property was accordingly disposed 
of by tlie Directors of the Poor, at the price that has been mentioned. In 
the mean time, the present county farm in Middletown was purchased, and 
the present neat and substantial Alms-house erected. 

Prior to the passage of the act authorizing a vote to be taken on the 
subject of the removal of the seat of justice, several routes had been 
experimentally surveyed through the county, for a railroad to West Ches- 
ter. In adopting the present location for the road, the site of the new 
county town doubtless had a material influence. On the other hand, the 
completion of the road, rendering access to Philadelphia easy and cheap, 
has aided in the rapid growth and improvement of Media. 

Since 1843. u\> to the breaking out of the late disastrous Civil War, 
the improvement of the county, and the increase in the substantial means 
of its citizens, have been rapid beyond any former period. During that 
period, the Delaware County Turnpike, the Darby Plank Road, the West 
Chester Turnpike or Plank Road, the Darby and Chester Plank Road, and 
several less important artificial roads, were constructed; a large propor- 
tion of the monev necessary therefor being furnished by citizens of Dela- 
ware county. These improvements became necessary on account of the 



improved condition of the farms throughout the county, and the increase 
in the number and extent of our manufacturing establishments. The com- 
pletion of the West Chester railroad, and the Baltimore Central road, 
through the county, to Oxford, in Chester county, gave a great impulse to 
business in the districts of the county through which they pass. 


Tinicutn Tozviiship. — The priority given to Tinicum in this chapter is 
not due to its greater prominence or importance, but from the fact that on the 
island, now the township of Tinicum, the Hrst recorded luiropcan settlement 
in Pennsylvania was made by the Swedes. 

Tinicum Island lies along the mainland, /roin which it is separated by 
the waters of Darby and Bow creeks, which with the Delaware form the 
water-courses encircling the island of Big Tinicum, so called to distinguish it 
from Little Tinicum, a long, low marshy strip nearly in the middle of the 
Delaware, extending nearly the whole length of Tinicum island proper. At its 
broadest part Tinicum is about one and one-half miles in width, its circum- 
ference about nine miles. It contains 2750 acres, 2000 of which are marsh 
or meadow land, all but 500 acres having been reclaimed by the construction 
of dykes. The Indian name was Tanakon, Tutacaenung and Teniko, which 
after the Swedish settlement was changed to Nya Gotheberg, later to Katten- 
berg. The English changed the old Indian name to its present form, Tini- 
cum. The first authenticated record of settlement on Tinicum, by the Swedish 
governor, John Printz, in 1643, is treated in the early pages of this work. 

For almost a century Tinicum was a part of Ridley township, but at 
the May court. 1780, a petition was signed by twenty-three "inhabitants, 
owners and occupiers of land on the island of Tinicum" praying that they 
be set off into a separate township. On August 31, 1780, their prayer was 
granted, and from that date Tinicum became a separate district, having all 
the rights and obligations of other townships. Under the provisions of 
the act of the Pennsylvania legislature, passed September 25, 1786, Hog 
Island and all the islands in the Delaware facing Delaware county, ac- 
(|uired by Pennsylvania by the terms of the agreement with New Jersey, 
became part of Tinicum township. Hog Island has played an important 
part in local history, and by a system of banks and dykes has been con- 
verted into fertile farm land as has Tinicum. In 1799 a quarantine station 
was established on Tinicum, buildings erected and quarantine for the pro- 
tection of the health of Philadelphia, established in 1801. In later years, 
serious objection was made to its location and strenuous efforts made for 
its removal. These efforts were persistently defeated, and the station was 
continued until recent years, when the station was removed. 

Tinicum contains two villages. — Essington and Corbindale, both lo- 
cated on the line of the Philadelphia & Reading railway that traverses the 
township. Connection is also made with Philadelphia and Chester by 
the cars of the Philadelphia & Chester railway. The population in T910 
was 1 135. Churches and public schools have been erected, the schools of 
the township being noted in the chapter on education. 

Aston Tniimship. — .Aston township as now constituted is separated on 
the north by Chester creek from Middletown. and part of Giester township, 
while on the west and south it joins Upper Chichester, Bethel and Concord. It 


is long and narrow in shape, containing in 1910 a population of 2135. Its schools, 
churches and mills are elsewhere noted in this work. Aston was first known 
as Northley, probably so named by Edward Carter, who owned a tract of 
250 acres in the township, which assumed its present name in 1688, when 
John Neal (Neild) was appointed first constable of the township of Aston, 
this being the first recorded mention of that name as applied to the township. 
Carter was not the first settler, for Charles Ashcom, the surveyor, under date 
■of October 8, 1682, returned 500 acres laid out to John Button on the west 
of Upland creek, beginning at Nathaniel Evans corner tree "and so unto the 
woods." Even before Button, William Woodmansey took up 100 acres at the 
southeastern end of the township on Chester creek, in 1680, naming his home 
in the forest "Harold," and there Friends meetings were held. 

Among the early settlers was Thomas Mercer, who took up 100 acres on 
Chester creek, near Button's jMills ; Nathaniel Evans in October, 1682, had 
surveyed to him 300 acres laid out so as to have the greatest possible front- 
age on the creek, but extending west across the entire township. Above the 
Button tract, John Neild in 1682 had surveyed to him 250 acres, which in- 
cluded the site of the present village of Rockdale. Other settlers came in, and 
in 1715 the taxables were: Robert Carter, John Pennell, Moses Key, John But- 
ton, Thomas Button, Thomas Woodward, John Neild, James Widdows, Wil- 
liam Rattew, Samuel Jones, Thomas Barnard, Abraham Barlington, John 
Hurford, Jonathan Monroe, Thomas Gale, The freemen were Thomas Bun- 
habin, Isaac Williams, Joseph Barlington, Edward Richards, Samuel Stroud. 
The road from Chichester to Aston was laid out by the grand jury at a 
court held 3 day, 10 mo., 1688, and on the same day they laid out the road 
from Aston to Edgcmont. 

The second day following the battle of Brandywine, Lord Cornwallis 
"with the 2nd Battalion Light Infantry and 2nd Grenadiers marched to join 
the body under Major General Grant." That evening "the troops reached 
Ashdown within four miles of Chester." Here Gen. Cornwallis established 
his headquarters, the encampment extending from Mount Hope to the lower 
part of \^illage Green. He sent out foraging parties to secure supplies for 
the army, seizing for that purpose the flour in all the mills within reach. The 
express orders of Howe and Cornwallis forbade all plundering of private 
houses, but these orders were freely disregarded. The plundering of the 
house of Jonathan Martin is narrated elsewhere in this work. 

Manufacturing began in the township at an early date, and constitutes 
an important item in the township's wealth. All leading denominations are 
represented by places of worship, and many of the secret orders have lodges 
in the township, the oldest being Benevolent Lodge, No. 40, L O. O. F. 
Chester Heights Camp Meeting Association, formed in 1872, purchased a 
farm in Aston, containing 162 acres on the line of the Baltnnore Central 
railroad, and there hold annual camp meetings. The principal villages in 
the township are Village Green, four miles northwest from Chester ; Rock- 
dale • Darlington, on the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore railroad. 


eii^Iiteen miles from l'hilaclcl])liia ; Aston Mills, where large plush mills 
are located. Public schools are the Village Green, Aston Mills, Chester 
Heights, Crozerville and Brookside schools. At Village Green there is a 
Baptist church ; at Rockdale, a Methodist I'^piscopal church ; Catholic 
churches at Brookside and Chester Heights. The convent of the Sisters of 
St. Francis is located near the centre of the township. One railroad crosses 
the township, its eastern line being traversed by the rhiladclphia, Wilming- 
ton & Baltimore, with stations at Bridgewater, Morgan, Rockdale, Wawa, 
from whence the Baltimore Central crosses the township, passing through 
the grounds of the Chester Camp Meeting Association, where they have a 
station of the same name. There are no incorporated boroughs in the town- 

Bethel Tozvnship. — Bethel, smallest of all the original townships of Ches- 
ter county, is triangular in shape, its southern line adjoining the state of Dela- 
ware, the northwestern boundary being Concord township, the eastern, Upper 
Chichester. The township is mentioned as early as 1683, ^^^ again at the 
court held 11 mo. 6, 1684, the inhabitants of "Concord, Bethell and Chichester 
were ordered to meet on the third day of the next w^eeke." The land is 
high and \tvy productive ; clay used for making fire bricks and Kaolin abound 
In the northwestern part of the township. Bethel hamlet was founded at an 
early date, the early settlers building together for the sake of safety. At the 
September court, 1686, Edward "Beaser" was appointed constable for "Bethel 
Liberty." In 1683, Edward "Bezer" and Edward BroAvn had 500 acres sur- 
veyed to them in the northeasterly end of the township. On this tract Bethel 
hamlet, afterwards known as "Corner Catch or Ketch," and the present vil- 
lage of Chelsea, is located. In 1686 the grand jury reported the laying out of 
the road from Bethel to Chichester (Marcus Hook). The list of taxables for 
Bethel township in 1693, shows nine tax payers: John Gibbons, Ralph Pile, 
John Bushel, Nicholas Pile, Edward Beaner, Robert Eyre, Thomas Garrett, 
John Howard, Thomas Cooper. In 171 5, the list had doubled: Robert Pyle, 
John Grist, Robert Booth, Edward Beazer, John Canady, Benjamin Moulder, 
Joseph Pyle, John Hickman, Edward Griffith, John Hopton, John Gibbons, 
Thomas Durnell, constituting the list. There are no railroads in the township, 
which contains but two villages — Chelsea, in the extreme northern corner of 
the township, and Booths Corner in the southern part. Public schools are 
maintained at both these villages. Another in the centre of the township is 
known as Central School. The Methodists maintain churches and ministers 
in the township. The poinilation of Bethel in 1910 was 535. 

Birmingham Township. — This township, lying in the extreme south- 
eastern corner of Delaware county, adjoins on the west and north the state 
of Delaware and Chester county, Pennsylvania, being separated from the 
latter by Brandywine creek ; on the east is bounded by Thornbury and Con- 
cord townshii)S, Chester county: on tlie south bv the state of Delaware. It 
is traversed from east to west bv the Philadelphia, ^^'ilmington & Baltimore 
railroad (Central Division) which enters the township near Brandywine Sum 


mit and leaves it at Chadd's Ford. The Baltimore turnpike also crosses the 
township. It was on this road that Washington and Lafayette had their 
headquarters during the battle of Brandywine, fought September 11, 1777. 
The name of the township is believed to have been conferred by William 
Brinton, the first white settler known to have located in that section, in re- 
membrance of the town of like name in England, near which he resided 
prior to his coming to Pennsylvania in 1684. He had purchased 400 acres 
from Joseph Allison and William Morgan, and his patent was so located, in 
1790, when Delaware was erected out of Chester county, the county lines 
being so run that the original tract laid about equal in both counties. 
William Brinton's daughter Ann married in England, John Bennett, who 
joined his father-in-law in 1685 and in 1686 was appointed constable. The 
next settlers were Peter and Sarah Dix, a name that in more recent years 
has become Dicks. Joseph Gilpin and his wife Hannah settled in Birming- 
ham not later than 1695. He inherited under the will of William Lamboll, 
of Reading, England, a part of the tract of land that had been surveyed 
and located in Birmingham in 1683 by Lamboll. Gilpin, glad to escape 
from the persecution to which his Quaker principles subjected him, came to 
the province and settled on his inheritance. On first coming he dug a cave 
at the side of a great rock, and therein thirteen of his fifteen children were 
born. It was on this farm that two valuable varieties of apples originated — 
the Gilpin, also called carthouse and winter redstreak, and the house apple, 
also called grayhouse apple. Several years after his settlement, Joseph 
Gilpin built a frame house, removing from the cave. In 1745, adjoining the 
frame, a brick house was built. On the evening of Thursday, September 
II, 1777, the house, then owned by George Gilpin, was occupied by Gen. 
Howe as his headquarters, remaining there until the following Tuesday. 

Francis Chadsey or Chads and Chadds, as the name is now written, came 
from Wiltshire, England, eariy in 1689, his name first appearing in Birming- 
ham taxables in 1696. He served as a member of assembly from Chester 
county, 1706-07, and about that time erected his corn mill, for at his death 
in 1713 he willed one of his sons "a half share in my corn mill." John, eldest 
son of Francis Chads, inherited the larger part of his father's estate, married 
Elizabeth Richardson, and is believed to have built in 1729 the old stone 
house, close to the spring in the village of Chadds' Ford, opposite the then ford 
of the Brandywine. As travel increased, the ford often impassable, failed to 
meet the needs of travel. John Chads was urged to establish a ferry at that 
point, and to aid him. the county loaned him £30 to defray the expense he was 
put to in building a "flatt or Schowe." The ferry was placed in operation m 
1717. In 1760, the ferrv boat was repaired, Chads charging the county £44 3s. 
6d for "rebuilding theVlatt," one of the items in his bill being: "five weeks 
diet to boat builder at six shillings per week." The post planted on the west 
side of the Brandywine to fasten the ferry rope was standmg m 1827, but 
rope, windlass and boat had disappeared. About that same date, Mary Brown, 
a colored woman, kept a small store at the ford, sold cakes and beer, and for 


a small sum would ferry passengers across the creek in a boat she poled 
across, jdhn Lhads' widow was living at the ford on the day of the battle of 
Brandywine, in the stone house already mentioned. Washington was in the 
field just above the ford on the morning of the battle reconnoitering, but was 
driven away by British cannon balls. Several of the farm houses in the sec- 
tion showed for many years the effects of the battle fought in that hitherto 
peaceful section, September ii, 1777, and several of the spots of especial in- 
terest have been marked by tablets, by the societies interested in their preserva- 

Chadds Ford, now the principal village of the township, is located on the 
line of the Philadelphia. \\'ilmington & Baltimore, at the old ford, thirty miles 
from Philadelphia and twelve miles from Media. Schools are located in Birm- 
ingham at different points, best to accommodate the rural character of the 
population. They are known as Kaolin or No. i school ; Chadd's Ford, or 
No. 2 ; Gilpin's or No. 3 ; Smith Bridge, No. 4. The old octagon school house 
is near the present Kaolin school. Churches exist in the township, all the prin- 
cipal denominations being represented, St. Luke's Episcopal being located in 
Chadds Ford village. The population of the township in 1910 was 702. 

There are two historic buildings in Birmingham. Washington's Head- 
quarters, a building of stone, two stories, used by Washington as his headquar- 
ters during the battle of Brandywine, was built in 1731. by Thomas G. Clark, 
and was owned at the time of the battle by Benjamin Ring. There are sev- 
eral stories connected with the ancient building, one of which is that the first 
time an American flag ever floated from the house was during the battle of 
Brandywine, when the Stars and Stripes were flung from an open window and 
hung there all through the fight. Another is, that wdiile the battle was raging, 
Benjamin Ring stood on the porch watching the fray. Bullets were flying all 
around and Ring was advised to go into the house for protection, but answered, 
"I always put my trust in the Lord." Just at that moment a round shot struck 
at his feet. Tradition makes no reference to the revocation of his trust, 
simply recording the fact that he fled to the wine-cellar. Here Benjamin Ring 
conducted a tavern, his application for a license being granted in 1800 and 
refused in 1802. The following year his son Joshua was granted a license, 
the hotel having the name of "The United States Arms" in 1805. Its career 
as a hostelry ended in 1807. Extensive repairs were made in 1829. although 
the interior of the east side remains as it was at the time of the battle. 

The house to w^hich General Lafayette was carried after being wounded in 
the battle of Brandywine, was built in 1745 by a member of the Gilpin family. 
Before being carried into the house, the General was laid under a large syca- 
more tree at the side of the building, and after partially recovering his strength 
was taken within. The sycamore, which was large at the time, is now a mas- 
sive tree, its wide-stretching branches capable of offering shade and shelter 
to a hundred wounded soldiers. Upon revisiting America under much more 
pleasant and more peaceful conditions than on his previous visit. General 
Lafayette called on Gideon Gilpin, who owned the property at the time of the 


TILO s Po..vnAT,ON8. 

























battle and who had made his home an asylum for the French nobleman. At this 
time Mr. Gilpin, a very old man, was confined to his bed, but was very much 
pleased at the call, the General pressing his hand cordially and wishing him 
every blessing. The house mentioned stands on the Baltimore turnpike, east 
of Chadd's Ford, south of the Gilpin school-house, and not far east of the 
house on the same road which served as Washington's headquarters. 

Chester Tozimship.— The original district comprised in Chester township, 
included the city of Chester, as now constituted and the borough of Up- 
land. As now constituted it consists of the territory lying between those 
places and the townships of Upper Chichester, Aston, Middletown and 
Nether Providence. Chester township was one of the first municipal dis- 
tricts erected after Penn's first visit to the Province in 1682, when he di- 
vided the territory into counties. Chester creek crosses the township from 
west to east, the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore and the Bahimorc 
& Ohio railroads also cross, the former following the line of the creek from 
Morgan station to Upland station, the latter road touching only the south- 
ern point of the township. The schools are Franklin School in the extreme 
south, and Washington School at Brookhaven. The population in 1910 
was 615. The history of the county, principally comprised in the city of 
Chester and borough of Upland, will more fully be told in connection with 
those places, and in the chapter on educational institutions, manufacturing- 
and churches. 

Upland Borough. — The first mills erected in the municipal district now 
known as the borough of Upland, were also the first mills erected in Penn- 
sylvania ; after the territory passed to the ownership of William Penn. It was 
in connection with the mills of Upland that John P. Crozer came into promi- 
nence, and it is within the limits of the borough that Crozer Theological Sem- 
inary is located, an institution established by the Crozer family in 1868, as a 
memorial to their father. Crozer Home for Incurables is also a monument 
to the generous humanity of the Crozers. Upland station, on the Baltimore 
& Ohio railroad, is situated within the limits of the city of Chester, no steam 
railroad entering the borough limits. Two public schools of modern character 
are located in the borough, while both the Baptist and Alethodist Episcopal de- 
nominations have houses of worship. The grist mills that have for so long 
been the life of the borough, are still a great source of prosperity. The bor- 
ough is a favorite resident section, its proximity to Chester and Philadelphia 
rendering it a most desirable abode. It was created a borough May 24, 1869, 
being then a most prosperous village. In 1910 the population was 2221. 

The oldest building in Pennsylvania is the Pusey House at Upland, yet 
preserved as a relic of the long ago, and in almost the same form as when 
built by Caleb Pusey, whose name is inseparably connected with Chester 
Mills, although long before his death he had parted with all his interests in the 
land and business. He died in February, 1726-27. He was a last maker by 
trade, and emigrated from England in 1682 with his wife Ann. settling at the 
present site of Upland. The old house bearing his name is on the north side 


of the mill race; is about thirty feet in length, fifteen feet in breadth, one 
story, with hipped roof. The thick walls are of stone and brick, while the floor 
is of broad solid oak planking. The brick ])art (jf the wall was evidently put 
there to take the place of stones which had fallen out. The bricks in the east- 
ern gable it is said were placed there after Chester Mills had become the 
property of Samuel Shaw, who repaired the house. A low doorway gives 
admission to the room ; the low ceilings and the heavy beams above still dis- 
close the marks of the axe which hewed the timber into form more than two 
centuries ago. A stepladder enclosed in a rude gangway gives access to the 
garret. There is the old widemouthed fireplace (now enclosed) before whose 
hearth sat the sedate Penn with his trusted agent, Caleb Pusey, discussing 
the prospects of their business enterprises and forming plans for the future 
good of the colony. 

South Chester Borough. — Originally part of Chester township and now 
part of the city of Chester, South Chester was in its separate form a busy 
hive of manufacturing industry. As part of Chester it now constitutes an 
important part of the wealth and prosperity of that city. On April 15, 1869, 
the legislature created the District of Lamokin, and r\Iarch 12, 1870, passed 
an act providing "that the district of Lamokin in the county of Delaware, 
together with two certain tracts of land, each containing about twenty 
acres, lying adjacent to the said district * * * be and the same is con- 
stituted a borough * * * v^^ith the name style and title of the Borough 
of South Chester in the County of Delaware." The first burgess was Thomas 
J. Clayton, elected in April, 1870, when the first vote cast by a colored man 
m the state of Pennsylvania was cast at the first borough election held in 
South Chester, by William Henry Cooper. In 1879 the town hall was 
erected, and dedicated October 27, of that year. Giurches, schools and 
mills of South Chester are treated in separate chapters. In 1897 the bor- 
ough gave up its separate corporate existence and became a part of the 
city of Chester and now constitutes the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Wards. 

The first fire company in the borough was the Felton Fire Company, 
organized in 1882, which the same year erected at a cost of $3,000 a brick 
fire house between Morton and Feffrey streets. The first newspapers were the 
South Chester News, established by W. Warren Webb, March 23. 1883. The 
Plain Speaker was established August i, 1883, by Olin T. Pancoast. 

North Chester Borough. — This borough, created by act of legislature, 
March 14, 1873, included the villages of Paultown, Powhattan, Waterville 
and Shoemakerville, "beginning at the intersection of the boundary lines of 
the city of Chester, the borough of Upland and the township of Chester," the 
line continuing "along the northeastern boundary of the said borough of 
Upland," following the line of Chester creek to the northern boundary of the 
city of Chester. The upper part of the borough was part of the 1841^ acres 
surveyed to James Sandclands, December 2, 1685. .\t the southeastern end 
of the borough, December 18, 1685, ^97 acres were surveyed to Eusta Ander- 
son, the greater part not in the borough, the part that was included being known 


as Powhattan, because of the mills of that name erected there. At the time 
of the erection of the borough, Powhattan Mills and Irvington Mills were in 
successful operation, Chester Rural Cemetery also being within its limits. The 
first election for burgess and council was held March 29, 1873; John M. 
Sharpless, the first elected burgess, declining to serve, Henry L. Powell of the 
council was chosen to act in his stead. North Chester continued its separate 
borough existence until 1888, when it was consolidated with the city of Ches- 
ter, and is now known as the First Ward. 

Upper Chichester Tozvnship.— In the early days of the province of Penn- 
sylvania the term Chichester was used to indicate that part of Chester 
county now known as Upper and Lower Chichester townships. Chichester 
had been surveyed prior to 1686, and at the October court of that year the 
justices ordered "that the township of Chichester extend its bounds as 
formerly laid out by Charles Ashcom until further order." The peculiar 
western line, which separates Upper Chichester from Bethel township, was 
run to conform to the lines of the tracts surveyed to the early settlers and 
certainly a more irregular line it would be difficult to lay out. 

Among the earliest settlers was Walter Martin, founder of St. Martin's 
Church. Adjoining his land to the east were 250 acres surveyed to Jere- 
miah CoUett, June 16, 1682. The latter was an earnest churchman, and by 
will devised a certain sum of money for the support of the rector of St. 
Martin's Church. Other settlers came in rapid succession ; roads were 
built ; churches, schools and mills followed ; and the routine of a prosperous 
rural township constitutes the history of L^pper Chichester. The water 
courses are Naaman's creek, its east and west branches, and Marcus Hook 
creek; good roads prevail, and the Baltimore & Ohio railroad crosses the 
township with stations at Twin Oaks, Boothwyn and Ogden. The public 
schools are excellent, being known as Larkin or No. 3, Twin Oaks or No. 
2, Boothwyn or No. i. Two Friends' Meetings exist in the township; the 
Presbyterian and Methodist, also having places of worship. The popula- 
tion in 1910 was 671. The villages are Boothwyn, population about 125; 
Twin Oaks and Ogden Station (Hance P. O.) 

Loiver Chichester. — This township includes that part of Chester county 
lying between Upper Chichester and the Delaware river, including the 
now borough of Marcus Hook. The division was made early in 1700, the 
Lower township being part of the grant made by Queen Christiana of 
Sweden to her subjects on the Delaware, the remaining part of Lower Chi- 
chester being patented by Gov. Andros, March 28, 1679, to Charles Jansen, 
Olle Rawson, Olle Nielson, Hans Hopman, John Hendrickson and Hans 
Olsen, the tract containing 1,000 acres. The principal history of the town- 
ship centres in the present borough of Marcus Hook. The Philadelphia. 
Wilmington & Baltimore railroad crosses the township, with stations at 
Trainer and Linwood, trolley lines connecting with the Chester systems 
of transportation. A grammar school near Trainer, and the Rockhills 
school, constitute the public school system of the township outside of Mar- 


cus Hook, there also beiny; a .Methodist Episcopal churcli near the firam- 
mar school. The population in 1910 was 1250. 

Borough of Marcus Hook. — At Upland court, in 1678, a record ap])ears 
acknowledging from Hans Ollsen a deed to William Clayton, for all his land, 
"right and interest of & to his houses and appurtenances Lying and being 
all Marretties hooke." In 1682 the ancient name of Marcus Hook was changed 
by an order of Upland court to Chichester, and for many years the latter 
name was born in legal documents, but the popular name was so fixed in the 
public that it would not accept the new name and the village retained the old 
name Marcus Hook in spite of legislation and executive power. After the 
coming of Penn in 1682, Marcus Hook grew rapidly, becoming a formidable 
rival of Chester, the two towns being about equal in size in 1708, each con- 
sisting of about one hundred houses. Pirates at an early day came to Mar- 
cus Hook, a record of the Provincial Council stating that Gov. Keith in 17 16 
called their attention to "the great losses which the colony had already sus- 
tained beyond any of its neighbors, by our Trade's being blocked up and 
infested with pirates at the Capes of this river and bay." He further informed 
them "that one Trench, a noted pirate who has done the greatest mischief of 
any to this place, has been lurking for some days at this town." 

At a meeting of the council at Philadelphia, at which Gov. Markham pre- 
sided, the minutes show that the town was granted permission to hold "a 
weeklye market on friday's to be kept in broad st as is desired." Penn seven 
months later granted a full charter to Marcus Hook as a market town, with all 
rights and privileges fully set forth. Boat building was an important indus- 
trv, Peter Kahn, a Swedish naturalist, recording: "they build here every year 
a number of small ships for sale, and from an iron work which lies higher 
up in the country, they carry iron bars to this place and ship them." In 1753, 
William Howell, of Marcus Hook, was a leading shipwright. The ancient 
town continued prominent in shipbuilding until the larger vessels required, were 
beyond the capital or plants of the yards, which restricted the industry in 
Marcus Hook to small coasting and river craft. The industry gradually died 
out, although as late as 1884, Samuel J. ?5arton launched a large schooner 
from his yards. William Cranston and Simon Sherlock were noted ship 

The wooden piers of Marcus Hook were erected by the state of Pennsyl- 
vania, prior to the Revolution. In 1785, Philadelphia merchants memorialized 
the state government, praying for construction of new piers along the Delaware 
in the interest of the commercial supremacy of that city. This agitation 
resulted in the construction of piers at Marcus Hook. April 18, 1893, Marcus 
Hook was incorporated a borough, Samuel \'ernon being elected the first bur- 
gess; Henry A. Lewis is the present incumbent. The United States Pii)e Line 
enters the borough, which is the seat of a large refining interest. The prin- 
cipal plants are the Pure Oil Company, Sun Oil Company, Union Petroleum 
Company, Atlantic Refining Company, A. K. Knabb & Co., (barrel factory), 
American Viscose Comj)any (artificial silk), Hardwood Package Company 


(barrels). The Episcopal, Baptist and Methodist Episcopal churches all have 
houses of worship in the borough, there also being an African Methodist Epis- 
copal church. St. Martin's, the Episcopal church, owes its first land to Walter 
Martin, an embittered Quaker, who donated an acre and one perch of ground 
for a church and burial place for the inhabitants of Chichester (Marcus 
Hook), "Quakers and reputed Quakers only excepted." The Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, Knights of Pythias, and 
Modem Woodmen, all have lodges, and an excellent public school system is 
maintained. The State Quarantine Station formerly existing on Tinicum 
Island, has been in recent years established and is still maintained in Marcus 
Hook. The Marcus Hook Fire Company is the strong defense of the borough 
against the fire fiend, and has done excellent service whenever called upon. 
The population of the borough in 1910 was 1573. 

Concord Township. — This township, the largest in Delaware county, is 
first mentioned in the records of a court "held at Chester, on the 27th of 
the 4th month called June, 1683," when John Mendenhall was appointed 
constable for "Concord liberty." A small part of the township in the 
south, borders the state of Delaware, the other boundaries being Bethel, 
Birmingham, Thornbury and Aston townships. The township was laid 
out in rectangular form, and a road exactly in the middle, called Concord 
street, ran from Bethel on the south to Thornbury on the north. This street 
laid out in 1682 does not appear ever to have been opened to public travel. 
Elam road crosses the township from Elam post office, continuing on to 
Chester Heights, in Aston. The Baltimore turnpike also crosses Concord, 
as does the Central division of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore 
railroad. Numerous creeks traverse the township. 

Early surveys were made to William Beazer, March 29, 1683, which a 
little later passed to William Cloud, 300 acres ; to John Beal, 200 acres the 
same vear; to John Haselgrove, 500 acres, October 12, 1683. Above Con- 
cordville, John Lee received a patent, December 3, 1701, for 152 acres; 
John Mendenhall purchased 300 acres June 27, 1684, on which Concord 
Friends' Meeting House was built, Mendenhall donating the land. A tract 
of 200 acres surveyed to William Byers passed in 1693 to Nicholas Pyle, 
who settled in the township in 1686. He was active in the early milling in- 
dustry, served six vears in the assembly, and was an important factor in the 
pioneer settlement.' Another of the early settlers was Nicholas Newlin, re- 
puted as very wealthv, a nobleman by descent, being one of the De New- 
lands who came over' with the Conqueror. Although of English family, he 
came to this countrv from county Tyrone, Ireland. He was a member of 
the Provincial Council and a justice of the couits. His son Nicholas, a 
man of education and means, accompanied his father to Pennsylvania, be- 
ino- then twenty-four vears of age. In 1698 he was a member of assembly, 
serving also during other years. He was one of the proprietaries, commission- 
ers of propertv, a justice of the courts, and one of the commissioners of 
the loan office 'from 1722 until his death. A list of taxables, dated 1715, rt- 


veals tlie following settlers: Natluuiial Newliii Jr., Nicholas I'yle for ye 
mill, James Claniston, Nathaniel Newlin Sr., Joseph Cloud, Henry Oburn, 
John Palmer, John Palmer Jr., Goodwin Walter, George Robinson, Jacob 
Pyle, Ralph Pyle, Htnry Peirce, ^latthias Carle, Ralph Evenson, James 
Heaved, William Ammett, Thomas Smith, John Lee, Robert Chamberlin, 
Robert Chamberlin Jr., Thomas West, William Hill, Morgan Jones, Thomas 
Durnall, George Lee, Daniel Evans, Joseph Nicklin, John Hannum, Ben- 
jamin Mendenhall, John Alendenhall, John Newlin, Joseph Edwards, Thomas 
Broom, William fforde, fifrancis Pulin, John Penneck, James Chiffers, John 
Hackney, Christopher Penock. l^-eemen : Caleb Pearkins, Richard ft'ar, 
Peter Poulson, John Pennock, John Egram, Henry Jones, Thomas Ealthan. 
Jilach successive year showed an increase of settlers and wealth, the census of 
1910 showing a population of 1213. The schools, churches, mills and mili- 
tary of the township are treated elsewhere. 

The villages of the township are Ivy Mills, Concordville, Ward and 
Elam, the largest being Concordville, with a population of about 300. A 
noted family of the township is the Willcox, founded in 1718 by Thomas 
Willcox and his wife Elizabeth Cole, who settled on the west Ijranch of 
Chester creek, in Concord. Both he and his wife were members of the 
Roman Catholic faith, this being, it is asserted, the second Catholic family 
to settle in Philadelphia. The old Ivy paper mill, with which the family 
was so intimately connected, was founded by Thomas Willcox, and was 
the second paper mill built in this state, the first having been the Ritten- 
house mill on the Wissahickon. This is the oldest business house now 
standing in the United States. It has had intimate relations not only with 
Eranklin Carey and all the principal printing houses of the last century, 
but with the colonial authorities for forty years preceding the Revolution, 
issuing all their money, did business with the authorities of the Revolution- 
ary period and with the United States government ever since, all in the line 
of its regular business as manufacturers of printing, currency and security 
papers. The Old Ivy mill, after standing one hundred years, was torn ilown 
in greater part and rebuilt by a grandson of the founder, James M. Will- 
cox. Two men, the founder and his son, (Judge) Mark Willcox, conducted 
the mill ninety-eight years. It was then continued by James M. Willcox, 
who doubled its capacity, and with improved machinery, continuing with 
bank-note paper a specialty. For a long period not only were the banks of 
the United States supplied with their paper from the Ivy Mill, but its lofts 
were at times piled with peculiar looking paper of various tints, bearing in- 
grained watermarks of most of the governments and banks of South .Amer- 
ica. James M. Willcox built Glen Mills No. i and 2, and also maintained 
his commercial house in Philadelphia. He took his sons Mark and William 
into partnership, and March 3, 1852, he retired, leaving his business to his 
sons, and died unexpectedly before the following morning. He is buried 
with his father, grandfather and many descendants, in the old family bury- 
ing ground at Ivy Mills. The sons continued the business, meeting the 


great demand made upon them during the civil war for bank-note paper. 
Later they manufactured in a costly mill the peculiar paper used by the 
Treasury department in their bank note issues, but patented by the Will- 
cox house. This "localized fibre" paper, made at the Glen Mills, attained 
not only a national but world-wide reputation, it making counterfeiting 
impossible. For ten years the mills were jealously guarded by United 
States secret service men and forty employees of the Treasury department, 
to see that no scrap of the paper should reach any but its intended use! 
During that period, not a sheet out of the millions made was lost or missed ; 
not a counterfeit on any treasury note or bond of the issue or series that 
began on that paper; and when in 1878 Secretary John Sherman removed 
the place of manufacture of government paper, the paper account at Glen 
Mills balanced and a clear quittance was given. The old Ivy Mill is now a 
I)icturesque ruin, but it played an important part in Concord township his- 
tory and will ever be an interesting relic. 

Darby Tozcnship. — This township was settled soon after the coming of 
Penn, being recognized as a place of permanent settlement in 1683. In 1684, 
Darby Friends' Meeting had been established, the members meeting at the 
house of John Blunston. In the same year the first official record of 
Darby appears in the list of collectors, "to gather the assessments for the 
building of the court-house." Thomas Worth and Joshua Fearne were ap- 
pointed "for Darby," Mons Stacker and William Cobb for "Amosland and 
Calcoone Hook." The latter was recognized as a separate municipal district 
until 1686, when it was made a part of Darby township, and Amosland an- 
nexed to Ridley. Calcon or Calkoens Hook comprised all the territory between 
Cobb's creek on the east, and Muckiniattas creek on the west, but later be- 
came restricted to a lesser area. A patent was issued June 18, 1668, by Gover- 
nor Lovelace to Israel Helme, Hendrick Jacobson, Ole Kock and Jan Min- 
sterman, that included almost all the land in the township south of the Queen's 
Highway and west of a line drawn due south from the toll gate on that road. 
This great area of land is now covered with the buildings constituting several 
thriving boroughs, making the former farms appear like one continuous settle- 
ment, a present map of that section of old Darby township reveals but a small 
area left under township government. After the Revolution, Upper Darby 
was set oflf as a separate township, and in that district are also now several 
thriving boroughs. In 1747, the township was divided by authority of a 
township meeting, for every purpose except the support of the poor, the perma- 
nent total division occurring in 1786. The mills at Darby were built about 
1695 or 1696, and are mentioned as "three water grist mills and a fulling mill." 
The mills, schools and churches of the township will be found in separate chap- 
ters on these subjects. 

The Queen's Highway, the Southern post road from Darby to Chester, 
was laid out in 1706, and caused a great deal of bitter feeling against the com- 
missioners for the manner in which it was surveyed. One of these men, Jas- 
per Yeates, was accussed of having the road enter Chester at the point it did, 


to the benefit of his own and his fatlicr-in-law's estate. "God and Xature," it 
was asserted, "intended the road lu cinss directly across the creek, but the 
Devil and Jasper Veates took it where it was located." C)n this highway 
Washington marchetl his army on Sunday, August 24, 1777, moving south- 
ward to give battle to Howe at Brandywine, and over it on the following 
September 12 the beaten Americans "poured through Darby on their way to 
Philadelphia." On December 22, Howe with 7000 troops camped on Darby 
Heights, and during the entire time the British remained in Philadelphia, Dar- 
by township suffered excessively from the spoliation of the soldiers foraging, 
especially the Friends. The latter never made claim for their losses, so they 
cannot be stated. Other claims from the inhabitants of both Upper and Low- 
er townships aggregated £1475. The population of the township in 1910 was 

Darby Borough. — After the establishment of mills. Darby soon became 
a centre, although there is no direct mention of Darby Village until 1773, 
although Darbytown is mentioned in 1698. About the year 1800, the place 
is thus described : "Darby is situated about seven and a half miles from Phil- 
adelphia, on the east side of the creek of the same name that empties into the 
Delaware a little above Chester. It contains about fifty or sixty houses, and 
has a Friends' meeting house." In 1836 the Upland Union, published a des- 
cription of the borough and villages of Delaware county: "Darby is next in 
importance to Chester. It is on the southern great road about seven miles 
from Philadelphia by a good turnpike. It contains a Friends' Meeting House, 
Mt. Zion Methodist Church, a lyceum, a library company, a printing office, 
four public houses, three stores, a cotton factory, a post office and about sixty 
dwelling houses, and many elegant dwellings on the Haver ford road." The 
village prospered and grew, retaining its village government until May 3, 
1853, when it was incorporated a borough. On the third Friday in ISIay fol- 
lowing the date of incorporation, an election was held. William Jones being 
elected the first burgess. 

An institution of which special mention is a pleasure, is the Darby Library 
Company, founded j\Iay i, 1743. Twenty-nine persons founded the library 
by signing articles of agreement and effected an organization. These articles 
required each person in the copartnership to pay on becoming a member, twen- 
ty shillings to a person who should be appointed to receive the money and pur- 
chase books for a library, and also annually thereafter to pay five shillings 
"for and towards the purchasing of such books and the necessary expenses of 
the Library as two thirds of the Company shall direct." Proper rules and 
regulations were provided, and the Library started on its useful prosperous 
career. Many valuable books were donated and many purchased, the earlier 
])urchases being made in England. No eflfort was made to erect their own 
library building until January, 1795, when a committee was appointed, their 
report being that they could not obtain a suitable lot "at a price that would 
possibly do." In 1872 a successful eflfort was made to purchase a lot and 


erect a suitable building. The cost of lot and buildings was about $10,000, 
and on March 29, 1876, the building was dedicated. 

Another ancient association is Darby Fire Company, organized January 
27. 1775. by the active male adults of the village. It is set forth in the" articles 
of association that each subscriber, ''for the better preservation of our own 
and neighbors' houses, goods and effects from fire, would at his own proper 
charge provide two leathern buckets, to be marked with his own name and 
respective Company, and shall be kept ready at hand and applied to no other 
use than preserving our own and neighbors houses, goods and effects." Any 
neglect of this agreement subjected the member so offending to a fine of five 
shillings. A sufficient sum was contributed to purchase ladders that were for- 
bidden to be used for any but fire purposes, and only then by members of the 
company. A fine of five shillings was imposed on all members who failed to 
attend at a fire occurring on the premises of one of the company, unless a rea- 
sonable excuse could be given ; a member refusing to pay his fines, his name 
was erased from the roll and he was excluded from all rights and forfeited 
all interest in the ladders and other property of the company. The articles 
of agreement, "presented by Zachariah Poulson Jr., 106 Chestnut street, Phil- 
adelphia. 1796," concluded: "XI. Lastly, that upon the death of any of 
our company, the survivors shall, in time of danger as aforesaid, be aiding 
and assisting to the widow of such deceased, during her widowhood, as if her 
husband had been living, she only keeping the buckets in repair and causing 
them to be sent to every fire as aforesaid." The company existed as a volun- 
teer company until 1871, ninety-six years, when it gave way to a paid fire 
department instituted November 6, 1871, by the borough officers, who elected 
Enos Verlenden chief engineer. On January i, 1871, a room was rented at 
the mills of Verlenden Brothers, and the "old Machine" laid away after a half 
century of service. 

Darby's banking institutions are the First National Bank, established in 
1870, of which W. L. Verlenden is president, and G. W. Dwier, cashier; the 
Darby Trust Company, established 1912, Charles R. Lee, treasurer, O. L. 
Skilton, secretary. The Progress, a semi-weekly newspaper. Republican in 
politics, is edited by M. H. Magnin. 

Famous old inns of Darby include: "The Ship," just licensed in 1735; 
"The Market Wagon" licensed in 1739; "The Blue Anchor," licensed in 1747. 

Orphans' Rest Lodge No. 132, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 20, 1845. 
General Taylor Encampment, I. O. O. F., was chartered, January 29, 1847. 
Other modern fraternal orders also flourish in the borough. The population 
in 1910 was 2412. 

Upper Darby Borough. — Upper Darby was created a separate township in 
1786. Its northern boundary is LTaverford township, Cobbs creek its eastern 
line, separating it from Philadelphia county. Darby creek, its western, Darby 
township its southern boundary. Settled originally by Friends, its history is 
one of prosperity and peace. At the southwestern limit of the township a 
tract of 150 acres was surveyed to John Blunston, July 12, 1683. to which 


the iKinie "rriinos"' was given. The name is still preserved in Primos sta- 
tion and post office, on the Baltimore Central railroad. Kelleyville was lo- 
cated on ground acquired by Richard r.onsall, March i, 1697-1698. Gar- 
rettford, Fernwood, Arlington, Cardington, P'embroke, are also stations or 
post offices in the county, and several boroughs have also been formed on 
lands formerly owned by the old families of the township. Within its limits 
are also located : The Flower Observatory, Burd Orphan Asylum, Mont- 
rose, Arlington and Fernwood cemeteries. The township is traversed by 
steam and electric railways, and good wagon roads are the rule. The 
many mills, churches and schools of the two Darby townships, are fully 
described elsewhere. 

The first society formed in the township was an abolition society or- 
ganized prior to May 4, 1830, on which occasion George Sellers, Abram 
Powell, Dr. Caleb Ash, James Rhoads, Joseph Fussell, Joseph Rhoads, Saul 
Sellers Jr., Lewis Watkin, Nathan Sellers, John Sellers Jr., J. Morgan Bunt- 
ing and William IL Bunting were appointed a committee to attend the an- 
nual meeting of the Pennsylvania State Anti-STavery Society at Philadel- 
phia, May 17, 1830. The few members of the society continued to meet 
occasionally until the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln ac- 
complished the object of its existence. Thomas Garrett, with pronounced 
anti-slavery views from his youth, was a fearless advocate of abolition not 
only in words but deeds, he having aided between three and four thousand 
slaves to escape. In May, 1870, at a great parade of colored people in Wil- 
mington, Thomas Garrett, then eighty years of age, was taken in an open 
barouche through the streets of the city, a guard of honor bearing banners 
inscribed "Our Moses." 

It is noted that the first use of gas in Delaware county for illuminating 
purposes was in 1853, in the spacious mansion erected by Christopher Gal- 
lon, on the south side of Garrettford road, west of the Darby and Haverford 

A remarkable case of longevity is cited in the case of Mrs. Mary Ash. 
who died March 24, 1862, aged ninety-seven years. She was the mother 
of sixteen children, surviving them all except two, her eldest and youngest, 
the latter being over sixty years of age at her mother's death. Mary Ash 
was twelve years of age when the battle of Brandywine was fought, and 
could remember that some of the American soldiers on the retreat to Phil- 
adelphia stopped at her father's house, there obtaining food and drink. 
She had lived in the house in which she died seventy-five years, and re- 
tained all her faculties until three days prior to her death. Population of 
Upper Darby in 1910 was 5385. 

Edgcmont Township. — Bordering on Chester county, encircled north, east 
and south bv Newtown, Tapper Providence, Middletown and Thornbury town- 
ships, Edgcmont is almost entirely an agricultural community. Although pos- 
sessing good water power on Ridley and Crum creeks, it was never developed 
to anv extent. Good roads pass through the township, which possesses no large 


villages or boroughs. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 
525. The post offices of the townships are Gradyville and Edgemont. "Edge- 
mont Great Road," the early name of the highway from Chester, crossing 
the townshij) in a northwesterly direction, was laid out in 1687. There is a 
tradition that Henry Hollings worth, the surveyor, caused an apple tree to be 
planted at the end of every mile; being at odds with Richard Crosby, he 
planted no tree at the mile end opposite the latter's farm. During the Revo- 
lution the township suffered repeated losses from the scouting parties of both 
armies, the losses as filed in a claim against the government, amounting to 

On Crum creek, where the West Chester road crosses, was the tract of 240 
acres laid out to Samuel Bradshaw, April 10, 1682. Part of this estate is 
known as "Castle Rock," because of the cluster of peculiar rocks, rising in 
confusion, boulder upon boulder, to the height of two hundred feet. This 
rocky formation, pierced through and through with fissures and caverns, is a 
remarkable natural curiosity. 

Among the early landowners were Joseph and Mary Baker, whose descend- 
ants are numerous in Delaware and Chester counties. He represented Dela- 
ware county in the Provincial Assembly, and died in 1716. Philip Yarnalh 
with his brother Francis, came from Worcestershire, England, first settling in 
Springfield township, and for several years they were members of Darby 
Friends' Meeting. Francis married Hannah Baker, of Edgemont, and pur- 
chased 510 acres adjoining Edgemont line in Chester county. He was a mem- 
ber of the Provincial Assembly, and died in 1731. His son Mordecai was a 
noted preacher among Friends ; Peter, a grandson, studied medicine, entered 
the army and sailed as surgeon's mate on the privateer "Delaware" during the 
Revolution. He subsequently became a noted Quaker preacher. Philip Yar- 
nall married Dorothy Baker, in 1694, and purchased 480 acres in Edgemont, 
where he died in 1734, his wife in 1743, leaving ten children, founding the 
influential numerous Yarnall family. Ephraim Jackson came from England 
in 1687 and bought land south of Philip Yarnall. Robert Pennell, in 1691 and 
1705, bought 500 acres north of Philip Yarnall. Other noted families of the 
township are the Lewis, Smedley, Eachus and Mendenhall. 

Haverford Tozvnship.— This township, bordering Montgomery county 
joins south and west Upper Darby, Marple and Radnor townships, and lies 
wholly within, the limits of the original "Welsh Tract." It was the second 
township settled by the Welsh in this tract, Merion in Montgomery being 
the first. Under a warrant from Penn, the Welsh Friends contemplated having 
their settlements together, intendinsf them to constitute one municipal dis- 
trict, allowing them to manage their public affairs in their own way. Con- 
sequently, when the division line was run between Philadelphia and Ches- 
ter counties, directlv through the "Welsh Tract," thus separating the set- 
tlements of Haverford and Radnor from Merion, great dissatisfaction 
arose. No notice was taken of their complaint to Penn, but they steadfastly 
continued their refusal to recognize a division, and in the Provincial Coun- 


cil and in the courts of Chester county, unsuccessfully l);itllc(l for their 
rights. At the June court of 1680 the commission uf W'ilHam Howell, of 
Haverford, as a justice, was read and ])ul)lisl!ed. and "he did afterwards sub- 
scribe to the solemn dedaration prepared by the 57th chapter of the great 
law of this province." At the same court. W'illiam Jenkins, of Haverford, 
served as a juror, and at the December court John Jerman was attested con- 
stable for Radnor. This w-as the first official recognition by the inhabitants 
of these townships that they were subject to the jurisdiction of Chester 
county, both of which later became part of the county of Delaware. The 
original lists of taxables in Haverford in the year 1693 is preserved, con- 
taining the names of John Bevan, William Howell, Morris Llewellin. 
Thomas Rees, William Lewis, John Richard, Humphrey Ellis, Kllis Ellis, 
Ralph Lewis, William Jenkins, Daniell Humphrey, David Lawrence, Lewis 
David. John Lewis, Henry Lewis, John Lewis, Junior, Richard Hayes, Ben- 
jamin Humphrey, William Howell for Tho. Owen. Richard Hayes for Da- 
vid Lewis, John Bevan for Evan Williams. 

Haverford street or road was laid out in 1683, the Haverford and Dar- 
by road in 1687, and other roads later, as needed. The men who controlled 
the towaiship in early days were the most prominent in the Tract and county, 
and are thus eulogized by Dr. George Smith : 

"Tt is even still more wonderful to see the large amounts that were appropriated to 
charitable purposes. This was particuarly the case among Welsh Friends. Every 
reasonable want was attended to. If a newly arrived immigrant or a 'poor friend,' 
stood in need of a house, it was built for him ; of a plow or a cow, he was provided with 
one. The fields of the sick and the weak were not allowed to remain uncultivated and 
their pecuniary want? and other necessities were liberally supplied. Nor was their care 
in these respects confined to their own little communities. Wherever suffering humanity 
was found, our Quaker ancestors were ever ready to contribute liberally to its relief." 

The religious obligations of the Friends, composing the greater part 
of the population of the township, forbidding taking part in the war, did 
not prevent their actively aiding in the care of the sick and wounded sol- 
diers or in performing many acts of kindness to the soldiers, and in some 
cases the saint was sunk in the patriot, and the term "fighting Quaker" was 
often correctly applied. In each succeeding year the population showed a 
goodlv increase ; improvement continued its steady march, the township 
over maintaining a leading position in all departments of civil, business, 
religious and educational life. The population in 1910 is given as .3989. liv- 
ing in the manv beautiful villages and on the fertile farms of the townships. 
Haverford College, founded, erected and controlled by Friends, is of spe- 
cial mention elsewhere. The principal post villages and stations of the 
township are: Llanerch, Beechwood Park, Grassland. Haverford. .\rd- 
more Junction, Brookthorpe, Coopertown and Manoa. Steam and electric 
railroads traverse the township, bringing the rural population within easy 
and frequent communication with Philadelphia, a fact that has caused a 
wonderful increase in population and land values. Tn the southern corner 


of the township the grounds of the Delaware County Country Club are lo- 
cated. The churches, schools and manufacturing of Haverford will be 
found in the chapters treating these subjects. 

Marple Township. — This township adjoins Haverford on the west, sepa- 
rated from it by Darby creek. It is further bounded east, south, west and 
north by Springfield, Upper Providence, Newtown and Radnor townships. 
Marple is almost exclusively an agricultural township, its milling industries 
being principally the saw and grist mills, located on Darby and Crum creeks. 
The first mention of Marple occurs in the records of a Chester county court 
held "5th day of the Sixth month 1684," at which time Jonathan Hayes and 
James Stamfield were appointed tax collectors "for the publick aid of Mar- 
ple," and at the same time Thomas Pearson was appointed "constable and 
supervisor for the highway for Marple." The great road of Marple, which 
enters the township at its southern boundary just above the Springfield meet- 
ing house, was laid out in 1683, and ran almost due north through the centre 
of the district, uniting with the West Chester road a short distance south of 
Newtown line. A list of the taxables of Marple in 1693, contains fifteen 
•names — Jonathan Hayes, Peter Worrall, James Stamfield's estate, William 
Huntley, John Person, Thomas Person, Ralph Dralcutt, Geo. Williard, Thomas 
Marcy, John Howell, Josiah Taylor, David Morris, Henry Cadman, John 
Shaw and John Hoopes. Thomas "Person," mentioned in the list, is the 
Thomas Pier son (Pearson) who tradition states came in the "Welcome" with 
Penn, and on whose suggestion the name Upland was changed to Chester. 
Margaret, wife of Thomas Pierson, John, his brother, and Mary Smith, his 
sister, came from England in the "Endeavour" in September, 1683, nearly a 
year after Penn's arrival. Sarah Pierson, daughter of Thomas, married John 
West, they becoming the parents of Benjamin West, the famous American 
artist. Peter Worrall (Worrell, Worrall) was a tanner from Berkshire, Eng- 
land. Jonathan Hayes, the largest land owner in the township, was a member 
of assembly in 1689, and a justice in 1703-11- In 1715 he was murdered by 
Henry Pugh, a mil