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Full text of "A history of Wilkes-Barré, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania : from its first beginnings to the present time, including chapters of newly-discovered early Wyoming Valley history, together with many biographical sketches and much genealogical material"

UNIVERSITY 
OF PITTSBURGH 



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LIBRARY 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

University of Pittsburgh Library System 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofwilkesb03harv 



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FRONTISPIECE 
VOLUME III 



A HISTORY OF 
WILKES-BARRE 



LUZERNE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA 

FROM ITS FIRST BEGINNINGS TO THE PRESENT TIME ; INCLUDING 
CHAPTERS OF NEWLY-DISCOVERED 

EARLY WYOMING VALLEY HISTORY 

TOGETHER WITH MANY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND MUCH 
GENEALOGICAL MATERIAL 

BEGUN BY 

OSCAR JEWELL HARVEY, A. M. 

Author of "A History of Lodge; No. 61, F. & A. M.". "The Harvey Book", 
"A History of Irem Temple", Etc. 

AND COMPLETED BY 

ERNEST GRAY SMITH, M.S., LL. B. 

President and Editor of the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader 

(At the time of Mr. Harvey's death, March 26, 1922, he had finished the manuscript 
of the first eight Chapters included in this volume.) 

Illustrated With Many Portraits, Maps, Facsimiles, Original 
Drawings and Contemporary Views 




COMPLETE IN FOUR VOLUMES 

VOLUME III 
wilkes-barre;, pa. 

1927 



V.3 



Copyright 1927, by Ernest G. Smith 



The Raeder Co. 
Wilkes-Barxe, Penni 



^ 



Preface To Volume III. 



The death of Oscar Jewell Harvey, March 26, 1922, was destined to secure 
what had not been accredited him in life — recognition, in the popular mind, of 
the splendid attainments he had during nearly half a century, brought to the 
study of the history of a community he so dearly loved. 

Mr. Harvey had a genius for painstaking care, a persevering patience 
which overcame physical handicap, a mind equipped by extensive travel and 
wide reading to see events in their larger relationships, yet disciplined by studious 
habit to accuracy and exactness, a memory remarkable for its orderly record 
of memoranda, an imagination which pictured clearly occurrences of the past, 
and a pen which recorded these pictures with engaging faithfulness. 

In the latter years of his residence in Wilkes-Barre, he led a life of reticence 
and retirement. His family and friends knew that he suffered much from phys- 
ical ailments. But no complaint escaped him. To the end, he maintained a 
cheerful outlook on life, and a philosophical attitude in all his relationships. 

It is violating no confidence to say that at his death it became known 
why his history had not been completed. For nearly a score of years, he had 
devoted all his leisure hours, and a considerable portion of each business day, 
to the collection and preparation of the data of his first two volumes. 

These were published in 1909, with a promise that a third and final volume 
would shortly be forthcoming. The historian, however, had reckoned without 
sufficient thought of finances. His slender means were almost completely ex- 
hausted before the work was off the press, and from this financial blow he never 
recovered. That fact, which pride forbade him to disclose to others, stood in the 
way of the completion of his life work. Returns from the sale of his two volumes 
were pitifully small. The late Abram Nesbitt contributed liberally to the de- 
ficit, but to few others were these circumstances revealed. The remaining volumes 
of the set, stored at the time of his death, were mortgaged to the printer. 

It is small wonder that bitter discouragement was his. Had men of means 
among his neighbors and friends been conversant with conditions, there can be 
no doubt but that a fund suflRcient to have endowed the work would quickly 
have been raised. 

It was with a sense of unfitness for a task that has grown with the months, 
that the writer accepted from the family of Mr. Harvey the data he had collected, 
and a commission to finish the History of Wilkes-Barre and the Wyoming Valley 
J which he had so auspiciously begun. 

A careful inventory of the manuscript among the effects of the dead his- 
■-torian disclosed that he had written but few Chapters to the third volume. These 
were, in all probability, completed about the time of the appearance of the two 
volumes in print. A discouraged pen thereafter made copious notes, in various 



note books, old ledgers and upon loose folios, but no effort to arrange these memo- 
randa in sequence had followed. 

Some three months were required to assort, in chronological order, the 
contents of two trunks, a vacant home serving a useful purpose of providing 
sufficient floor and other surface for the purpose. The six Chapters completed 
by Mr. Harvey seemed possible of subdivision into eight and these form Chapters 
XIX to XXVI inclusive, of the present volume. 

From notes of the dead historian. Chapters XXVII to XXX inclusive, 
were constructed, the balance of Volume III and the whole of Volume IV being 
based on the writer's own research. 

Without the assistance of Wesley E- Woodruff, Esq., upon whom has 
fallen the exacting task or proof reading the final volumes and indexing the 
entire work, the completion of this history would never have been attempted. 

Nor could such attempt have been possible without the generous financial 
assistance of: 



F. M. Kirby 
J. N. Conyngham, 
W. H. Conyngham, 
F. J. Weckesser, 
Percy A. Brown, 
Mrs. Kate P. Dickson, 



Col. Asher Miner, 
H. H. Ashley, 
Chas. S. Forve, 
Richard Sharpe, 
Abram G. Nesbitt, 
J. W. Hollenback, 
John C. Haddock 



Gilbert S. McClintock, 
H. B. Schooley, 
Col. Dorrance Reynolds, 
Isaac ,S. Thomas, 
William MacWilliam 
The Boston Store. 



To these public spirited residents of the community, the writer submitted 
outline plans for the completion of the work and its probable cost. They agreed 
at once that the undertaking was a community project of sufficient importance 
to engage their support and encouragement. 

Witli these measures of assistance at hand, there seemed nothing left for 
the writer to do but proceed as best he might. The task of completion has meant 
the burning of midnight oil, feverish activity as opportunity presented, and a 
satisfaction at its completion which can be little understood, excepting by one 
who has set for himself a season of five years of over work. 

That the completed volumes may be a monument to Oscar Jewell Harvey, 
a credit to those who have aided in its production, and a source of authentic 
information to those who find in the stirring history of Wyoming a record of 
achievement peculiar in the annals of America, are hopes of the autlior. 



(QAaajulT ^ ^^^<^. 



Contents of Volume III 



CHAPTKR XIX. 



Indian Incursions Upon Westmoreland — Many Residents of the Town Murdered, 
OR Carried Away as Prisoners, by the Indians — The Discovery of Harvey's 
Lake — Hard Times ' 1 239 



CHAPTER XX. 

Col. Zebulon Butler and the Westmoreland Troops Garrisoning Fort Wyoming 
Transferred to Other Posts — Large Losses Sustained by the Inhabitants of 
Westmoreland in the Years 177S-'81 — The Last Scalp Taken by Indians in the 
Wyoming Valley The End of the War of the Revolution 1270 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Pennsylvania Petitions Congress for a Hearing of Claims Long in Dispute — 
Connecticut Concurs — A Distinguished Court of Commissioners Appointed — 
Sidelights on Sessions of the Court — A Summary of the Conflicting Claims — The 
Decree of Trenton — Dissatisfaction With the Decree in Wyoming — Private 
Right of Soil not Adjudicated and Individual Disputes not Settled by This 
Decree , 1293 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Inhabitants of Wyoming Left by Connecticut to Fight Single Handed Petition the 
Legislature of New York — The Continental Garrison at Wilkes-Barre With- 
drawn AND Companies of Pennsylvania Militia Substituted — Distrust Aug- 
mented — Return op Quotas of Revolutionary Troops to Wyoming 1308 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

The Pennsylvania Commissioners Reach Wilkes-Barri^ — Much Testimony Taken 
as to the Right of Soil — Compromise Suggestions Refused — Commission Dep.'vrts 
After Electing Partisan Office Holders — Soldiers Quartered Upon the In- 
habitants and Encouraged to Oppress Settlers — Second Pennamite-Yankee W.\r 
Begun — Disastrous Flood at Wyoming 1325 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Events of the Second Pennamitb- Yankee War— Oppressions of Settlers by Pbnna- 
MiTEs Multiply — The Intervention of Congress Again Invoked — Yankees, 
Driven From Their Homes, Establish Forts Lillopee and Defense — Skirmishes 
Between the Contending Parties Cause a Disastrous Fire — The Fight at Locust 
Hill 1374 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Pennsylvania Militia Reach Wilkes-Barre From Easton — A Disastrous Truce 
Arranged — Hostilities Again Provoked — Seventy-Two Yankees Sent to The 
Easton and Sunbury Jails — The Injustices Done Connecticut Settlers Excite 
General Indignation — John Franklin's Oath — Fort Dickinson Evacuated by 
THE Hated Armstrong and His Militia, Thus Ending the Second Pennamite- 
Yankee War — Great Rejoicing as the Settlers Raze the Fort 141 1 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Connecticut Appeals to Congress for Justice to the Settlers — Affairs op the 
Susquehanna Company Again Revived and New Settlers Reach Wyoming — Few 
Pennamites Remain in Actual Possession of Their Claims — Delegation of the 
Pennsylvania Assembly Visits Wilkes-Barrij — The "Half Share" Men 145^ 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

General Ethan Allen Espouses the Cause of the Connecticut Settlers and Comes 
TO Wilkes-Barr6 — Unwarranted Proceedings of the Susquehanna Company — 
Wyoming Without the Benefits of Law, Establishes an Experiment in Self 
Government — A New State Proposed by Allen and Kindred Spirits — The 
Settlers Divide on the Advisability of This Scheme — Many .Settlers Subscribe 
to Erection of a New County — Pennsylvania Aroused 1479 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

The "Western Reserve" — General Ethan Allen Returns to Vermont — Colonel 
Timothy Pickering Visits Wilkes-Barr:6 — John Franklin and John Jenkins, Jr. 
"Yankee Outlaws," Plead the Settlers' Cause Before the Pennsylvania 
Assembly — A Law Erecting Luzerne County Follows This Visit 151! 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

Legislative Foundation Upon Which the County- of Luzerne was Erected — Anne 
Caesar, Chevalier de la Luzerne — Baptism of the County by the Great "Pump- 
kin Flood" — Col. Timothy Pickering Arrives as Peace Commissioner — His 
Many Offices — The Susquehanna Company's Last Project — John Franklin and 
His " Irreconcilables" Foment Discord — Preparations for the First Election 
Under Pennsylvania 1529 

CHAPTER XXX. 

Organization of the County of Luzerne — A List of the Electors — Methods and 
Events of the First Election — The Confirming Law of 1787 — Hostilities Again 
Aroused — Differences Between the Settlers Lead to a Riot at Forty Fort — • 
Older Settlers, Tired of Contests, Declare for Compromise — The First Court 
■ of Common Pleas — Col. Pickering's Many Duties — Four Attorneys Admitted 
TO Practice — The First Fruits of Self Government 1552 



CHAPTER XXXr. 

Influences of the Franklin Party in Wyoming Affairs — -Wild Speculation in 
Shakes of the Susquehanna Company — Hatching the Plot for P'ranklin's Arrest 
— The Story of His Violent Apprehension — Retaliatory Measures Against Col- 
onel Pickering — Pickering's Exile and Return to Wyoming — Suspension of the 
Confirming Law — Pennsylvania's Duplicity — The Administration Under Pick- 
ering 1578 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

Harsh Treatment of Colonel Franklin — Retaliatory Measures Threatened — The 
Abduction of Timothy Pickering — Pennsylvania Stirred to Activity — Congress 
Orders Continental Troops to His Rescue — His Voluntary Release — Arrest or 
Dispersion of his Captors — Colonel Franklin's Pledge — Analysis of his Case — 
The Supreme Court at Wilkes-Barre — Franklin not Tried — Sentences of Ab- 
ductors — The "State of Westmoreland" — -"The Sequel" 1598 



CHA-PTER XXXIII. 

The First Court House of Luzerne County — Some Unusual Cases Tried — The 
Militia Problem — Early Roads — Infant Industries — The New Constitution 
of Pennsylvania — Colonel Pickering's Conference with the Six Nations — He 
Becomes Post Master General — Early Agricultural Difficulties — Pardon of 
Col. John Franklin — Two Heroic Figures Leave Wyoming Never to Return. . . . 1627 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Aggressive Leadership at Wyoming is Missing — Failure of the "Confirming Law" 
and its Repeal — The " Intrusion Act" A Mockery — Revival of the Susquehanna 
Company with Athens as a Hub of Restless Activities — The "Compromise Act 
of 1799" — Adverse Court Decisions — Ability and Sincerity of the "Compromise 
Commission" Inspire Public Confidence — Rights of Soil Finally Determined. . . 1650 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Events of the Last Decade of the Eighteenth Century — Shad Fisheries — Hunters 
and Hunting of the Period — Industry of the Women — The Whiskey Insurrect- 
ion — Captain Bowman's Company — Beginning of the Renaissance in Wyoming 
Affairs — Reapportionment of Townships — The County's Finances — Visit of 
Jemima Wilkenson — Early Preachers and Doctors — Wilkes-Barre's Earliest 
Newspapers 1674 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

The Founding of Asylum by French Refugees — Some of its Distinguished Residents^ 
Robert Morris, the "Financier of the Revolution" Connected with the Vent- 
ure — The "Queen's House" Built to Receive Marie Antoinette — Its Scenes of 
Gayety and Brilliant Receptions — Visits op Talleyrand and the Duke of 
Orleans, Afterwards Louis Philippe, King of France, with his Two Younger 
Brothers — ^Their Stay in Wilkes-Barre — Financial Reverses op the Colony and 
its Final Abandonment — Preparation for War with France — Captain Bowman's 
Company Again Mustered into Service — War Averted by a Ch.\nge of French 
Policies 1697 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Beginnings of Susquehanna River Commerce — Warehouses and Boat Yard on the 
River Common — Launch of the "John Franklin" — Durham Boats and Rafting- — • 
Early Grist-Mills — History op the Miner-Hillard Mill — Erection op "The 

Meeting House on the Square" — Funds to Complete the Structure Raised by 
The Wilkes-Barre Meeting House and Bank Lottery — The Lottery Brings 
Financial Disaster — Bell of "Old Ship Zion" — "Old Michael" The Sexton 1719 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

Events of the Early Years of the Nineteenth Century — Jefferson's Election 
Celebrated — Partisanship of the Period — Echoes of Land Disputes — The Idea 
OF Permanence of the Community Gains Ground — Building of the Second Court 
House — The Stone Jail — Easton and Wilkes-Barre Turnpike — The Borough 
of Wilkes-Barre Incorporated — First Officers of the Borough — The Stone 
"Fire Proof" — The Wilkes-Barre Academy — Various Societies Formed 1750 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Total Eclipse of the Sun E.xcites Wonder — First Brick Building Erected — Ship 
Building Company Promoted — Launch of the "Luzerne" — The County Loses and 
Gains Territory — Agricultural Society Organized— Wilkes-Barre's First 
Bank — Financial Reverses — Events op the War of 1812 — Military Organiza- 
tions Participating — A Visitor's Impressions — End of Volume III 1774 





CHAPTER XIX. 

INDIAN INCURSIONS UPON WESTMORELAND— MANY RESIDENTS OF THE 

TOWN MURDERED, OR CARRIED AWAY AS PRISONERS, BY 

THE INDIANS— THE DISCOVERY OF HARVEY'S 

LAKE— HARD TIMES. 



"Oh! wherefore come ye forth 
In triumph from the North, 
With your hands and your feet and your raiment all red? 
And wherefore doth your rout 
Send forth a joyous shout? 
And whence be the grapes of the wine-press that yc tread?" 
— Lord Macaulay, in "The Battle of Naseby.' 



"In the dark, they dig through houses, which they had marked for 
themselves in the daytime. They know not the light. 

"For the morning is to them even as the shadow of Death. If one 
know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of Death." 

—Job, XXIV: 16, 17. 




Colonel Butler, who was in command of Fort Wyoming at Wilkes-Barrd 
at the beginning of the year 1780, set out for New England on Februan- 7th, 
leaving Captain Schott in command of the fort. The Wyoming garrison at 
this time was composed of the following Continental troops: Schott's Corps, 
Capt. Simon Spalding's Westmoreland Independent Company, and a small 
detachment from the 3rd Connecticut Regiment; together with a handful of 



1240 

Westmoreland militiamen under the captaincy of Dr. William Hooker vSmith 
of Wilkes-Barre. 

There were at this time — as shown by existing fragmentary records of the 
Wyoming Post — "detached guards", or scouting parties, from the garrison on 
"command", or duty, at "Nanticoke", "Shawnee," and "the Clock-house over 
the River." 

Colonel Butler returned to Wilkes-Barre March 22, 1780, and resumed 
command of the Wyoming garrison three days later. In reporting his return 
to General Washington he wrote:* 

"I arrived at this post after a tedious journey, being obliged to travel about forty miles of 
the last of it on foot, the snow being so deep. It is yet too deep to get a horse through the woods. 
I am making preparation to join [my regiment] as soon as possible." 

Within two or three days after the return of Colonel Butler, the members of 
one of the scouting parties from the fort reported that they had discovered traces 
of Indians in the woods near Wilkes-Barre. 

In the morning of March 27th Thoinas Bennett and his sixteen-year-old son 
Andrew were plowing on the flats above Forty Fort, when they were surprised 
and steized by four Indians, who hurried them off to a gorge in the Kingston 

*See the Rev. Horace E. Hayden's "The Massacre of Wyoming" (page 68) . published at Wilkes-Barre in 1895. 

TThomas BennET, whose name is mentioned on pages 672 and 675. Vol. II. and on various other pages herein, was 
one of the "First Forty" settlers at Wyoming to whom the township of Kingston was allotted. He was bom in 1721 . 
either in eastern Connecticut or in Rhode Island. About 1750 he was married to Martha Jackson, and they settled at 
that time, or within a year or two thereafter, in the towq, of Scituate, Providence County. Rhode Island. Here they 
resided until the Autumn of 1763, when, with their two children, they removed to the Minisink region. Orange County, 
Xew York, and located not far from the present town of Port Jervis. 

Scituate. Rhode Island, adjoins the county of Windham. Connecticut, where The Susquehanna Company was 
organized in 1753, as hereinbefore related, and Thomas Bennet, having become a shareholder in the Company about 
1763. proposed to remove to Wyoming Valley: but. about the time of his arrival in Orange County, the settlement at 
Wyoming was broken up and devastated by the Indians (as related in Chapter VI), and so Mr. Bennet aljandoned. 
for the time, his intention of settling on the Susquehanna, and early the next year removed to a farm near Goshen, in 
Orange County. 

Mr. Bennet cultivated this farm until February, 1 769, when he accompanied the "First Forty" settlers to Wyoming. 
When, in the Spring of 1772. the lands of "the Forty", or Kingston Township, were allotted to the proprietors thereof, 
Thomas Bennet drew his share, and upon his "house-lot", not far from Forty Fort, erected a "double log house", in 
which he and his family took up their residence. When the 24th Regiment, Connecticut Militia, was organized in 
Wyoming in 1775, Thomas Bennet was fifty-four years old. Nevertheless, in December, 1775, Mr. Bennet. together 
with his eldest son, Solomon, fought in the ranks of the regiment at the battle of "Rampart Rocks", described on page 
861, Vol. II. 

Under the Connecticut law of 1776 Thomas Bennet became an enrolled member of the "Alarm List" of the 24th 
Regiment, and in July, 1778, when Wyoming was invaded by the British and Indians, he was called into service with 
the other elderly men who constituted the "List". During the battle of July 3d Mr. Bennet was one of the garrison at 
Forty Fort — in which place were also his wife and three youngest children; Solomon, the eldest child, havin; marched 
with his company to the field of battle. (See note on page 1032. Vol. II.) 

Some days after the battle and massacre the Bennets fled from Wyoming — Thomas, the husband and father, 
accompanying his wife and two youngest children, and proceeding to what is now Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Martha, 
the elder daughter of Thomas Bennet. fled mth other fugitives from Forty Fort to Sunbury, Pennsylvania, and sub- 
sequently to Stroudsburg, where she joined her mother and sister Mary, a child of seven or eight years of age. 

Earlyin August, 1778, Thomas. Bennet, in company with Matthias HoUenback, Benjamin Harvey, James Nisbitt 
and other Wyoming men, set out for Wilkes-Barre, where they arrived August 16th and joined the detachment of militia 
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Butler. (See page 1096, Vol. II.) About that time Mrs. Martha Bennet 
and her two daughters, Martha and Mary, journeyed to Goshen, New York, where they remained until the following 
Spring, and then went to Litchfield County, Connecticut, where they had relatives. Late in the Autumn of 1779 Mrs. 
Bennet. accompanied by her daughters, rejoined her husband and their two sons, Solomon and Andrew, at Wyoming . 

In the Spring of 1780, Thomas, Solomon and Andrew Bennet (the last named being only sixteen years of age) were 
enlisted and sworn into service as privates in Capt. John Franklin's company of Connecticut Militia. (See page 1229, 

It is said that, after the existence of Harvey's Lake became known to the inhabitants of Wyoming Valley. Thomas 
Bennet cut through the wilderness the first bridle-path from Kingston to the Lake — the path being known for a long 
time as "Bennet's Path". Andrew Bennet. the younger son of Thomas, launched the first canoe upon the Lake, in 

Thomas Bennet died at his home near Fortv Fort in the Spring of 1796, aged seventy-five years, and his widow 
Martha (Jackson) Bennet died in May, 1811, aged eighty years. The remains of both are interred in Forty Fort Cem- 
etery, and upon their tombstone the death of Thomas Bennet is recorded as having taken place in 1798. This is an 
error, as the records of the Orphans' Coiul of Luzerne County show that letters of administration upon his estate were 
granted in May. 1796. to his widow Martha and to Benjamin Carpenter. 

Thomas and Martha (Jackson) Bennet were the parents of four children who grew to maturity, as follows: (il 

Solomon, bom about 1751: was married to Mrs. (Slevens) Upson, the ividow of Asa Upson is supposed to have 

removed to Canada, (ii) Manila, bom January 15, 1763; married to Philip Myers: died January 3, 1851. (See below.) 
(iii) Andrnt', bom in 1764; died November 20, 1821. (See below) (iv) Mary, bom August 15, 1772; married to John 
Tuttie: died . (See below.) . , . „, 

(ii) Mariha Bennel, bom in Scituate, Rhode Island, January 15, 1763, was married m Kmgston Township, Wyo- 
ming Valley, July 15, 1787, to Philip Myers. The latter was born in Germany in 1759. and in 1760 accompanied his 
parents and brothers Lawrence. Henry and Michael to America, and settled at Frederick, Maryland. During the 
early part of the Revolutionary War Lawrence Myers served as a Lieutenant and Philip Myers as a private in the 
Maryland Line in the Continental army, and they took part in the battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania. 

Lieut Lawrence Myers having settled in Wyoming Valley, as described on page 837, Vol. II (see also pages 1164 
and 1227, Vol, 1 1 ), was followed hither by his brother PhiHp in 1785, and then or later by his brother Henry (who died 
in Kmgston March 4, 1816, aged 59 years). A few weeks after his marriage to Martha Bennet. Philip Myers was elected 
and commissioned Lieutenant of the militia company in the "Upper District of Kingston", which was commanded by 
Capt. Benjamin Smith and was designated as the 7th Company in the "1st Battalion of Luzerne County Militia", 
commanded by Lieut. Col. Matthias HoUenback. 



1241 




The Old Myers Hovse, Forty Fo 
From a drawing made in 1 



and of the horrible ; 
at the head of the Provincials 
remarkably vivid, 
ictorious entrance of the 



Philip Myers received from his father- 
in-law a house-lot just north of the site of old 
Forty Fort (within the limits of the present 
borough of Forty Fort), and upon this he 
built a comfortable house of hewed yellow- 
pine logs, pointed with lime mortar and plast- 
ered on the inside. Here Mr. Myers and his 
wife lived for a number of years, and long 
after their respective deaths this quaint 
house stood as a reminder of early days, 
t It was destroyed by fire in June. 1887.) It 
being located near an eddy in the Susque- 
hanna River. Mr. Myers kept there for a 
number of years an inn. which was much 
resorted to by raftsmen from the upper Sus- 
riuehanna on their way down stream. Politi- 
cally, Mr. Myers was a sterling Democrat. 
and in early days the Democrats of Luzerne 
County frequently held their nominating 
conventions at this house, Mr. Myers also 
owned a farm of 140 acres, extending from 
Forty Fort to the top of the Kingston Moun- 
tain.the larger part of which he cultivated. 
Philip Mvers died at Forty Fort April 
2. 1835. and his widow. Martha (Bennet) 
Myers, died there Januarys. 1851. within 

twelve days of her eighty-eighth birthday. .. , . .,„ . ... i. j -j j i ■ 

Referring to her death The Wilkes-Barre Advocalf said at the time: Perhaps no white person had resided so long in 
the Valley as Mrs Myers She was an authority with respect to many details concerning early events here. 

William L Stone, who visited Wyoming Valley in 18.?7. prior to writing his "Poetry and History of Wyoming , 
-ays (on page 242 of his book) : "Forty Fort stood upon the bank of the nver, and the spot is preserved as a common 
—beautifully carpeted with green, but bearing no distinctive marks denoting the purposes for which the ground m 
those troublous times was occupied. Near the site of the fort is the residence of ilrs. Myers, a widow lady of great 
age but of clear mind and excellent memory, who is a survivor of the Wyoming i 
attending it * * * She was in Forty Fort when Col. Zebulon Butler marched ou 
against the enemy. Her recollections of all that pa.ssed beneath her eye on that 
» * * Mrs. Myers was present at the capitulation on the following day, and saw 

enemv, six abreast, with drums beating and colors flying." , ,„ . . ,.,, r,\ r i ^r i „ 

Philip and Martha (Beimel) Myers were the parents of the following-named children: (I) John Myers bom 
February 17, 1791: married by Cornelius Courtright. Esq.. May 2, 1813, to Sarah; (born July 20 1 / 93, died May 9. 
1 868) , daughter of Maj. Henry Stark, mentioned in the note on page 101 / \ ol. II; had children Ehzabeth Jane, Law- 
rence (died at Wilkes-Barre, June 14. 1905). Martha. Mary S.. Harriet. John Williani, Philip Henry (died at JVilkes- 
Barre, December 28, 1910) Charies, Sarah J., James M. and Ruth Ann; died m Wilkes-Barre January 25 1850 (2) 
Lawrence Myers (3) William Mvers who removed to Sunbury. Ohm, where he d'ed July 26, 1824. (4) Thomas 
Myers, bom in 1801 ; Sheriff of Luzerne County. Pennsylvania. 1835-'38; married (1st) to Sarah daughter of Thomas 

Borbidge of Kingston. (2d) to Vanderbilt; had children Philip (who died at Chicago. Illinois. April 23 1891 

aged 61 years), Fanny and George, died at WiUiamsport, Pa, December 3, 188J- (5) ^""•>' J;'?'''"- '?//"['■" 
Myers born in 1807; married to her cousin Madison F. Myers (bom in 1810; died August 2, 859), son of Michael 
Alvers'of Frederick, Maryland (who died there December 2, 1815); had children Miranda (who married Charles 
Steele), Philip Thomas, IVIartha A. (who married Archibald J. Weaver). Frederick Benham and WiUiam P.; died at 
Kingston May 2, 1889. (7) Elizabeth M\ers, who became the wife of Emmons Locke. (8) Sarah Myers bora Sept- 
ember 25, 1792; married November 12. 1812. to Abram Goodwin (bora July 6 1/90; died May 15. 1880 . son of 
\braham and Catharine (King) Goodwin of Kingston; had children Martha (who married John D. Hoyt) Phihp, 
lohn Elizabeth (who became the second wife of John D. Hoyt). Abram and Sara (who became the wife of Abram 
Xesbitt of Kingston); died at Kingston March 4. 1867. (9) A/ary^Uyfrs. bora March 12, 1,98; married June 10 1819 . 
to the Rev. George Peck (bom August 8. 1797; died May 20, 18/6); died July 31,1881. (For a sketA of the life of 
the Rev Dr Peck see a subsequent chapter) (10) Marlha Ann Myers (bora in 1804; died July 9, 1828), who wa? 
married at Kingston Febraarv 21. 1827. to the Rev. Joseph Castle of Bethany, Pennsylvania, ^, ,. , 

(iii) \ndreu' Bennet, youiger son of Thomas and Martha (Jackson) Bennet. was bora in Orange County. New \ orif , 
in 1764 He was married first December 18. 1787. to Mary Miller (bom in 1759). who died October 6. 1804, Some- 
time later Andrew Bennet was married to Abigail Kelly, bora January 13, 1776. He died at Kingston November 2C. 
ISM and his widow Abigail died there October 28. 1838, The eldest chUd of Andrew Bennet by his first wife was 
.;.)/,., Bennel. bora April 25. 1790; lived in Kingston Township; was admi^tted a member of Lodge No. 61 F. and -\. ^^. 
Wilkes-Barre, August 2 , 1 8 1 3 ; was married to MatUda (born January 4 . 1 / 99 ; died August 11,18/9), daughter of Thoms f 
and Tryphena (Hibbard) Buckingham of Lebanon. Connecticut; had one child— Charles Bennet bora February 28, 
1819 admitted to the Bar of Luzeroe County April 7. 1845, admitted to Lodge No 61, F. and .V M. October 24. lS.l4. 
married to Sarah Sly of Franklin. Michigan, died at Wilkes-Barre August 6, 1866, and his widow died here June If, 

1.S87. Jo/m B«iiirt died in Kingston Febmary 10, 1863. u t i , o i-ni yi ,u i 

The other children of (iii) Andreu' Bennel by his first wife were: .Wowof bora July IS. , 9 ; Marlha bom 
Novembers 1799, and died November 27, 1837; Thomas, bora December 3, 1800. and died m 1801. The children 
of (iii) ^M/iripu Bfjine/ by his second wife were: (1) A ndrew. bom Maxdi ~ ""^°- ■ 

helh. bom in 1811; became the wife of Henry Polen; died at Wyoming J . i, ^^ j u, v r. • i 

19 1837 (4) Gror^f.bomatForty Fort December 25. 1813; mamedFebruary 1. 1S44. to Martha. daughterof Daniel 
Strebeigh of Montoursville, Pennsylvania; was a farmer near MontoursviUe ; had sons John A. George and Daniel S. 
.horn September 3, 1853; died at Wilkes-Barre September 16. 1884). (4) George Bennet died at his home near 
Montoursville. March 11, 1887. ,, , ^ „ . ,. » . ■. , 

(iv) Maty Bennel. youngest child of Thomas and Martha (Jackson) Bennet who grew to maturity, was born m 
Kingston Towiship, Wyoming Valley. August 15. 1772. She was married January 11. 1/89. to John TutOe of Kmgs- 
ton Township Henr>- Tuttle. a native of Basking Ridge. Somerset County. New Jersey (where he was born November 
24 1733) removed thence with his family to Kingston Township. Wyommg Valley, in 1,85. and settled at what is 
now Forty Fort In June 1789 Nathan Denison conveyed to him one half of Meadow Lot No 10. Kmgston. Henry 
Tuttle had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. and was a farmer and a black-mith He died at Forty Fort 
Tanuarv 3 18^0 His children were (1) Henry Tuttle. who was twice married, and had children Henry. John and 
"Phebe ' (2) Abner Tuttle, who was married to Hannah, daughter of Stephen Harding of Exeter. Luzerne County (see 
page 993, Vol. II). and who died September 20. 1820. (3) John Tuttle. born April 3, 1767. (See below.) (4) Joseph 
Tuttle. born January 19. 1772. 

(For further references to Henry and Joseph Tuttle see page 15 1. \ol 11) , .. , u r u . 

3) John TutUe lived for many years in a small frame house within the present bounds of the borough of Forty 
Fort, on the westeriy side of the road (now Wyoming Avenue) near where the "stone-arched bridge spans Abraham s 
Creek as noted on page 1006. Vol II The site of this house was on the edge of the large, level field shown m the 
picture facing page 786. Vol. II, (See. also, page 416 of Peck's 'Wyoming; Its History and Romantic Adventures 
In November. 1791. Thomas Bennet conveyed to John Tuttle Lot No, 24. Fourth Division of Kingston^ 

The children of (3) John and Mary (Bennel) Tuttle were: (a) Martha Tuttle. bom February 3 1 ,90. became the 
wife of Holden Tripp, and their daughter. Lucilla S, became the wife of Charles H Silkman of Scninton Pennsylvania 
He was admitted to the Bar of Luzerae County January 1 , 1838. (b) Mary Juttle bora Apn IS 1 , 9 1; became Uie 
wife ol Joseph Orr of Dallas. Luzerae County, and theu- youngest child. Albert bkeer Orr d,ed at Wilkes-Barre. 
March 25. 1908, aged 79 years), was at one time postmaster at Wilkes-Barre. (c) Henrv; Tuttle. bom in Apnl. 1,93. 
married to Annie Shoemaker, (dj Sarah Tuttle, bora December 7, 1794; married to Benjamin Jenkins (see page 806 



1242 

mountain, where they overtook two more Indians, having charge of Lebbens 
Hammond*, a neighbor of the Bennets, who had been taken prisoner a few hours 
before. That night the six Indians and their three captives encamped about 
twelve miles north of the Valley. 

The next day, March 28th, having crossed the .Susquehanna, they pushed on 
towards Meshoppen. In the afternoon of this day they met a party of about 
thirty Indians headed by a Tory named Moses Mount, who were on their way 
to pillage and devastate some of the frontier settlements. Mount and one of the 
Indians were known to Bennet and Hammond, and the latter were eagerly 
questioned by them as to the state of the garrison at Wyoming, the number of 
inhabitants in the Valley, etc. The captives informed the leaders of the war- 
party that there were 300 fighting men in the fort at Wilkes-Barre, that they 
were well armed and provisioned, that they had a cannon, and that the settlers 
had all taken refuge there. The war-party then concluded that they would strike 
the river below the Valley, and they went on their way; but first they told 
Bennet and Hammond that there were 500 Indians from Fort Niagara al- 
ready out on the war-path, and that a party equally large, or even larger, 
was coming on after them ; that Brant, with one party, had gone to the Mohawk 
River; that a second party had gone to the Minisinks, and a third party to the 
West Branch of the Susquehanna. j 

On the evening of March 28th, the party of Indians with the three captives 
from Wyoming built a fire with the aid of Thomas Bennet, who, being an elderly 
man and somewhat afflicted with rheumatism, was least feared, and was per- 
mitted to go unbound. From a few words dropped by one of the Indians Mr. 
Bennet drew the inference that it was their design to murder him and his fellow- 
captives. Whispering to Hammond, when the Indians had gone to a nearby 
spring to slake their thirst, a plan of escape was concerted. 

Tired with their heavy march the Indians lay around the fire, after a hearty 
supper of venison. Hammond and Andrew Bennet were pinioned between the 
Indians. One old Indian was appointed to keep the first watch, and he sat near 
the fire half sleeping and nodding, and between times picking the scanty flesh 
from the head of a deer he had been roasting. Having gathered wood with which 
to keep the fire going during the night, Thomas Bennet sat down near the Indian 
on watch, and soon afterwards carelessly took up the latter's spear which lay 
by his side, and began to play with it. Watching his opportunity, Mr. Bennet, 
by a quick and powerful thrust, transfixed the savage with his own spear, and he 
fell across the burning logs with a startling groan. Not a minute was lost in 
cutting loose the bound limbs of Hammond and Andrew Bennet. Three of the 
other Indians were tomahawked before they could rise from the ground, another 
was wounded and escaped and the sixth fled from the scene unhurt. On the 



Vol. II) of West Pittston. Luzerne County, who was born December 26, 1792, and died May 28, 1861, leaving to 
survive him his wife (who died February 26, 1872) and the following-named children: Thomas, Eleanor, Rachel. 
Catherine, John S., Martha Ann, Mary, Sarah and Ada S. (e) Elizabeth Tuttle, bom August 29, 1796. (f) John 
Tuttle. bom August 23, 1800. (g) Phebe Tuttle, born Febmary 15, 1802. (h) William Tuttle, bom July 30, 1805: 
married to Mary Ingham, (i) Chester Tuttle, bom December 22, 1806; married in 1844 to Mary Ann, daughter of 
Jacob I. shoemaker of Wyoming and widow of David Baldwin. He was admitted a member of Lodge No. 61 , F. and 
A. M., Wilkes-Barre, August 9, 1844, and was Secretary of the Lodge in 1850. He was at one time Deputy Sheriff of 
Luzeme County, was clerk to the County Commissioners for five years, and from 1846 to 1852 was editor of the 
Luzerne Democrat, a weekly newspaper published at Wilkes-Barre. He was instrumental in raising a company of 
volunteer militia which became known as the Wyoming Troop, and of which he was Captain. For some fifteen years 
from about 1853 he held a clerkship in the Navy Department at Washington. He died at Huntsville, Luzeme County, 
July 17, 1883, and was survived by a daughter. 

*Mentioned on pages 1019 and 1020, Vol. II. According to information recently furnished the writer by the Hon, 
Charles Tubbs of Osceola, Tioga County, Pa., Lebbens Hammond was married to Lucy Tubbs, daughter of Lieut. 
Lebbens Tubbs previously mentioned. Lebbens Hammond died July 13, 1826, aged 72 years and his widow Lucy died 
April 17, 1844, aged 86 years and 12 days. The remains of both are buried about two miles from Elmira, New York. 

tSee letter from Colonel Butler to General Washington, Hayden's "The Wyoming Massacre", page 69. 



1243 

evening of March 30th, the escaped captives arrived at Fort Wyoming, Wilkes- 
Barre, bringing with them five rifles, a silver mounted hanger, and seve al toma- 
hawks and blankets as trophies of their exploit. The silver mounted hanger, or 
sword, mentioned above, had been the property of Lieut. Thomas Boyd (see 
page 1215, Vol. II), and had been taken from him by one of his Indian captors 
previous to their massacre of him.* 

Relative to the capture and escape of the 3ennets and Hammond, Col. 
(formerly Maj.) John Butler, commander of "Butler's Rangers", wrote to Gover- 
nor Haldimand from Fort Niagara, N. Y., under date of April 29, 1780, in part 
as follows:! 

"Scouts have been out during the Winter. One party returning with prisoners, through 
carelessness let them untie themselves at night, so that after killing five Indians they escaped." 

On the day following that upon which the Bennets and Hammond were 
seized and carried away, another band of Indians — undoubtedly Delawares 
from Fort Niagara — made a foray into the Valley, murdered in cold blood four 
unarmed and inoffensive inhabitants, wounded two, and carried five others into 
captivity. One of these captives was Jonah Rogers (mentioned in the note on 
page 1153, Vol. II), t then a boy fourteen years of age. He wrote, in August, 
1833, an account of this occurrence, which was published in The Wyoming Re- 
publican (Kingston, Pa.) of September 4, 1833. It reads as follows: 

"In 1780 I was engaged with Mr. Asa Upson in making sugar, on what was then called 
Stewart's Flats, now owned by Frederick Croup, in Plymouth, Luzerne County. Before sunrise 
on the 2Sth of March ten Indians came upon us, and shot, tomahawked and scalped Mr. Upson 
as he lay in the cabin, to which I was an eye witness. The Indians then started with me down 
the river. We crossed the creek at Shickshinny and traveled for Big Fishing Creek, which we 
reached about sunset. Here we discovered some white people, and withdrew to a solitary place, 
where we lay down without fire. As I was not pinioned, I lay in an Indian's arms. 

"Before sunrise we went to the cabin of the white people and the Indians killed one and took 
two prisoners. One of the prisoners was a man of the name of Peter Pencej! ; the other a boy named 
Moses \'an Campen, a cousin to the Major. The man killed was Major Van Campen's uncle. 
We then went to another sugar camp, where were the Major [Moses Van Campen], i and his father 
and brother. The Indians killed his father and brother on this day. the 29th of March. Four of 
the Indians were left with the prisoners, and the other six went into Huntington, where they 
wounded two men by the names of Thomas Parker and Samuel Ransom, who were out on a 
scouting expedition with Capt. John Franklin. We stayed on the night of the 29th at the Three 

»See Peck's ■Wyoming; its History and Romantic Adventures", page 296, and the note on page 370 of "JournaU 
of the Sullivan Expedition." 

tSee the "Haldimand Papers", B. M. 21,765 — CV: 208. 

JThe present writer now has in his possession an original deed for a tract of land in Plymouth, Wyoming Valley, 
which was executed at Westmoreland July 8, 1776, by Elisha Richards, conveying the said tract to Jonah and Joiiah 
Rojcri, then of Westmoreland, but "late of Ashford. Windham County, Connecticut." 

SPetek Pence, or more probably, Bentz, was a Pennsylvania German. In June, 1775, he enhsted in Capt John 
Lowdon's company of the Pennsylvania Battalion of Riflemen commanded by Col. Wm. Thompson, which was raised 
in pursuance of a resolution of Congress adopted Tune 14, 1 77.S. The privates of Captain Lowdon's company were from 
the West Branch Valley, around and north of Sunbury and were enlisted for the term of one year. .\mon; the officer- 
and privates were Samuel Brady, Timothy Murphv, Tames Parr, James Wilson, William Wilson, David Hammond 
Philip Ginter, and others who as well as Peter Pence, became noted in the annals of border warfare. (See "Pennsyl 
vania in the Revolution." I: 27.) 

In Meginness' "Otzinachson. a History of the West Branch Valley", we find this paragraph: "There was another 
remarkable hunter and Indian killer in this Valley named Peter Pence, of whom many wonderful stone; are related. 
He is described, by those who remember him. as being a savage looking customer, who always went arm^d with his 
rifle, tomahawk and knife, even years after peace was made." 

In consideration of his services during the Revolutionary War the Legislature of PenQsylvania passed. March 
10. 1810. an .\ct granting a pension of forty dollars per annum to Peter Pence. He died in Crawford Toivnihip. Clm- 
ton County, Pennsylvania, in 1827 

Moses Van Campen was born in January. 1757 and consequently was twenty-three years old at the time of his 
capture by the Indians. At the breaking out of the Revolutionary War he resided in Northumberland County. Penn- 
sylvania, and soon after the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed he enlisted in a Pennsylvania militia regi- 
ment and served until August. 1777 Then he joined as Orderly Sergeant, Captain Gaskin's company in the regiment 
of Pennsylvania militia commanded by Col. John Kelly of Northumberland County, which was stationed at Big Island 
and Bald Eagle Creek, on the West Branch of the Susquehanna In this regimsnt he served three months. In 1/ ,8 
he had attained the rank of Lieutenant in the militia, and early in April of that year he assisted in the erection of hort 
Wheeler on Fishing Creek, about three miles above the present town of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pa. 

During the Sullivan Expedition (see Chapter XVIII) Lieutenant Van Campen was employed in the quarter- 
master's department of the army. After his escape from his Indian captors in .\pril, 1783. he assisted in stockading 
the home of lames McClure. Sr. (on the right bank of the Susquehanna, about one mile above the mouth of Fishing 
Creek, in what was then the township of Wyoming, Northumberland County, and vvithm the present limits of the 
borough of Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pa ), which thereafter was known as McClure's Fort In April, 1.82. 
Van Campen then an officer in the Pennsylvania militia company known as "Robinson s Ra^ger5 , was 
partv of twcntv-five men up the \\"est Branch of the Susquehanna to Bald Eagle Creek There they fell 



1244 

Corner Pond in Bedford. On the 30th we travelled not more than three miles, when the Indians 
took Abraham Pike prisoner. On the 31st we crossed the river. 

"Abraham Pike* was a British deserter, and death was his portion if he remained with the 
Indians. He urged an escape. On the 1st of April we had an opportunity of being alone and we all 
agreed to escape. That night [being encamped near the Susquehanna, about fifteen miles below 
Tioga Point] the prisoners were all pinioned but myself, and it was agreed that I should procure a 
knife which I did. Pike cut himself loose, and while the Indians were sleeping, he took away their 
guns, and then cut the other men loose. One Indian awakened, and instantly Peter Pence fired 
at him. Major Van Campen took an a.\, which I had procured for him, and killed two Indians 
before they arose. The rest ran and were pursued by Van Campen. As they fled, Peter Pence 
fired at them several times. I have reason to suppose that Pike did not shed one drop of Indian 
blood that night, only in scalping the two dead Indians. Major Van Campen was the principal 
executioner. 

"On the 6th of April, while the "go-to-bed drum" (as it was called) was beating at Wilkes- 
Barre Fort, we reached the block-house in Kingston, having suffered much with hunger durin.i; 
our travel. "t 

In the diary of Lieut. John Jenkins, Jr., who was at Fort Wyoming, Wilkes- 
Barre, in the Spring of 1780 (see page 806, Vol. II), occurs the following entry 
under the date of March 30, 1780. 

"Mrs. [Abraham] Pike came in this day, and informed that she and her husband were in 
the woods making sugar, and were surrounded by a party of about thirty |?] Indians, who had 
several prisoners with them, and two horses. They took her husband and carried him off with 
them, and painted her and sent her in. They killed the horses before they left the cabin where 
she was. One of the prisoners told her that the Indians had killed three or four men at Fishing 
Creek." 

Concerning the escape and return home of Pike and his companions, Lieu- 
tenant Jenkins made the following entry in his diary, under the date of April 
6, 1780. 

"Pike and two men from Fishing Creek and two boys, that were taken by the Indians, 
made their escape by rising on their guard of ten Indians, killed three, and the rest took to the 
woods naked, and left the prisoners with twelve guns and about thirty blankets, &c. These the 
prisoners got safe to the fort." 

At Fort Niagara, N. Y., under the date of May 3, 1780, Col. Guy Johnson 
(mentioned in the note on page 300, Vol. II) wrote to Governor Haldimand 
concerning preparations which had been made by Joseph Brant and other Indian 
chiefs for incursions against the frontier settlements. He stated that a large 
expedition had set out about the middle of February, 1780, which was followed 
by several smaller parties; that one of the latter, composed of Delawares, had 
killed seven white people and taken .six prisoners at Wyoming; that three of the 
Indians of this party had been killed in the night time. 

A small party of Indians came to Cooper's plantation at Capouse (now 
Scranton) March 30, 1780, and captured and carried away three men named 
Avery, Lyons and Jones. 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of April 2, 1780, Col. Zebulon Butler wrote 
to General Washington and also to the Board of War relative to the recent hap- 
in with a considerable body of Indians, and in the fight which ensued nineteen of Van Campen's men were slain, and 
he and five of the remaining mer were taken prisoners and conveyed to Fort Niagara, New York. 

Lieutenant Van Campen was detained a^ a prisoner in the hands of the British at Fort Niagara. Montreal and the 
Isle of Orleans until about November I. 1782. when he was exchanged and immediately returned to Northumberland 
County, where he rejoined "Robinson's Rangers". In March, 178."?, he came with his company to Wilkes-Barre to assist 
in garrisoning Fort Wyoming, about that time known as Fort Dickinson. 

Lieutenant Van Campen was honorably discharged from the military service of the State November 16, 1783. and 
soon thereafter was married to Margaret, eldest daughter of James and Mary {E.ip.y) McClure. of "McClure's Fort", 
previously mentioned. There he lived until 1 789. when he purchased a large tract of land in the neighborhood of 
Briar Creek. Columbia County. Pa. In 1 796 he sold his Pennsylvania lands and removed to Almond. Allegany County. 
N. Y. Thence he removed, about five years later, to Angelica in the same county, where he died October 15. 18+9. 
He was survived by five daughters. 

.■^t Dansville. New York, in 1841. there was published, for the first time, a 12 mo. book, of .'10 pagci. entitled: 
"Sketches of the Life and Adventures of Moses Van Campen. a Surviving OflScer of the Army of the Revolution", by 
lohn N Hubhard. In 1913 the price of a copy of this extremely rare book (the first edition) was quoted at $45.01 in 
New York. 

'Mentioned on pages 982, 1012 and 1014, Vol. II. 

t-At different times during the past eighty years various accounts, differing very materially in their details, have 
been printed relative to the escape of Rogers, the Van Campens. Pike and Pence from their Indian captors. We have 
accepted the foregoing account of Jonah Rogers as undoubtedly the correct one of the occurrence. For other i 
the reader is referred to Hazard's Register of Pennsylvania. XII: .18; Stone's "Poetry and Hi tory of Wyoming" 
Miner's "History of Wyoming " . p. 279; Peck's "Wyoming", p. 304; Wright's "Historical Sketches of Ply 
pp. 30 and 208. 



1245 

penings at Wyoming, and also as to the state of affairs at Fort Wyoming. These 
communications were entrusted for delivery to Capt. Simon Spalding, who 
journeyed from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia, and thence to Morristown, New- 
Jersey. A copy of the letter to General Washington is printed on page 68 of 
Hayden's "The Wyoming Massacre" (previously mentioned). The letter to 
the "President of the Board of War" was as follows: 

"Honored Sir — The last letter I wrote per Captain Spalding was of the .lOth nil., of the 
transactions of the enemy up to that day. On the same day, early in the morning, about nine 
miles west of the river, one Pike, his wife and child, that were out making sugar, were taken by 
a party that had been to Fishing Creek. They were the party that had killed and scalped unc 
man and taken the other on the iSth of March, about eight miles down the river. They had the 
prisoners taken at said time with them, and three others, who told Pike's wife that they |the 
Indians] had killed three at Fishing Creek. They dismissed her with her child, and ordered her 
to come home. She brings the above account, and says their number was above thirty. She was 
two hours with them before they dismissed her. 

"The same evening the three men |the Bennets and Hammond] mentioned as being taken 
the 27th of March, came in with five Indian guns, tomhacks, &c., and report that they were taken 
by six Indians and carried near forty miles, and on the 29th, early in the morning, they arose on 
their masters, killed three dead and wounded the fourth and two ran off! However, so much is 
fact: They brought in five guns, one silver mounted hanger, tomhacks, &c. * * * * fhe 
three men likewise say that by the appearance of the snow-shoe tracks there had been for some 
months large numbers of Indians in these parts, which was less than forty miles above this 
Garrison. * * * 

"I had forgot to mention that on the 29th March — the same day the Indians did the mis- 
chief at Fishing Creek — about eighteen miles westward of this settlement they wounded two men 
[Parker and Ransom] that went out with Esquire Franklin to give notice to some men that were 
making sugar there: but they saved themselves by taking to a house, and have all got in. The 
two wounded men are likely to recover. * * * 

"I have engaged some of the militia to do duty, and give them rations until the pleasure of 
the Board is known. I shall be glad of directions respecting their rations and pay while I continue 
at this Post, and any other orders. 

"I am Your Honour's most Obdt. Humble Serv't, [Signed] "Zebn. Butler, Col. " 

The militia mentioned by Colonel Butler as being in service at Fort Wyoming 
were the company of Westmorelanders commanded by Capt. Wm. Hooker 
Smith, and the recently organized company of Captain Franklin, mentioned on 
page 1228, \'ol. 11. 

The members of these companies were not required either to spend all thL-ir 
time in doing military duty, or even to remain continuously at the fort in Wilkes- 
Barre. The enlisted men of the companies were divided into three classes, or 
details. While one of these details would be performing a tour of duty in and 
about the garrison, a second detail would be engaged in scouting, or in guarding 
certain important places in the valley — for example, a grist-mill — at some dis- 
tance from Wilkes-Barre. The other members of the companies, not on duty 
with either of these details, had permission and were expected to go to their 
respective homes to engage in their usual vocations; and matters were so arranged 
that each man would be off duty three or four days every fortnight. Of course, 
in cases of emergency, all the men were required to be on duty simultaneously at 
the garrison, or wherever needed. 

In reply to his communication to the Board of VCar Colonel Butler receised 

the following:* 

"War Office, April 6th, 17^0, 

"Sir — The Board have received your favor of the 2d instant — the one referred to by Capt. 
Spalding is not yet received. With respect to your having engaged some of the Militia to do duty, 
the Board approve of your conduct. While in actual service they should receive Continental 
pay and rations. But the Board rely on your discretion, that you will keep them no longer in 
service than the safety of your Garrison absolutely requires: and indeed, it has been fountl so 
very expensive to maintain the Garrison at Wyoming, and the Pulilic Finances are now so 

*From a copy of the original preserved in the Connecticut State Library. 



1246 

much exhausted that, unless it is maintained on the most economic principles, it must be given 
up from necessity. 

"From circumstances it is presumed that you will not have occasion to Employ more than 
30 militia, and these must not be kept a moment longer than requisite. The Board confide in 
your exertions for the defence of the Garrison, and protection of the Inhabitants. 

"Be pleased to furnish the Board with a return of your strength, and let them know how 
many militia you have employed. 

"I am. Sir, Yr. very Obedt. Serv., 

"By order of the Board, [Signed] Ben Stoddart, Secy." 
"Col. Zebulon Butler, Comdg. at Wyoming." 

In reply to the communication received by General Washington from Colonel 
Butler the former wrote a.s follows:* 

"Head Quarters Morris 
Town April 7th, 1780. 
"5;> 

"I received Yesterday your letter of the :?d instant; and 1 am extremely sorry to find that 
parties of the Enemy have appeared and committed hostilities in the neighborhood of Wyoming. 
It is not in my power to afford any Troops from the army and I should hope those already there 
and the Inhabitants will be able to repel at least incursions by light parties. It was my intention 
as I informed you that you should join your regiment immediately after your return; however 
I am induced from the face of things, to let you continue where you are for the present and you 
will remain till further orders. Should further depredations and mischiefs be committed by the 
enemy — you will take occasion to inform me of them. 

"I am Sir 

"To "Yr Most Obe't Servant 

"Col. Zebulon Butler." [Signed] "G. Washington" 

Some of the Continental soldiers at the Wyoming Garrison were clamoring 
in the Spring of 1780 for their arrears of pay, long overdue, and early in April 
Capt. John Paul Schott went down to Philadelphia to look into the matter. At 
Philadelphia, under the date of April 12, 1780, Assistant Paymaster General 
Burrall wrote to the "Hon. Board of Treasury", in part as follows: 

* * "Captain Schott, who commands an Independent Corps, stationed at Wyoming, is 
waiting in town for their pay, which is due from September last, and amounts to more than I 
have on hand * * * j should be glad of 20,000 dollars, which will be suflScient to pay him. 
I hope this last sum at least may be obtained, as Captain Schott's returning without the money 
would occasion much uneasiness in the Corps, who have si.x months' pay due; and the expense 
of another journey from Wyoming would be considerable." * * * 

At Wilkes-Barre, April 10, 1780, a town-meeting of the inhabitants of 
Westmoreland was held, Capt. John Franklin being chosen Moderator "for the 
work of the day". "John Hurlbut.f Esq., was chosen to negotiate the affairs of 

'^The ori^nal letter is now in thp possession of the Wyoming Valley Historical Society. 

tAccording to the "Hurlbut Geneology", by Henry H. Hurlbut, published at Albany, New York, in 1888, John 
HuRLBuT. mentioned above, was the great-grandson of Samuel Hurlbut (son of Lieut. Thomas Hurlbut, of Saybrook) . 

who was born in or near 1644, probably at Wethersfield, Connecticut, Samuel's wife's name was Mary , and 

they were the parents of eleven children, the eldest of whom was Stephen Hurlbut, bom at Wethersfield, December 
26, 1668. The last-named settled in New London, Connecticut, soon after 1690. .\boiit 1696 he was married to 
Hannah Douglas of New London, and they became the parents of seven children, Stephen Hurlbut died October 7, 

The fourth child of Stephen and Hannah {Douglas) Hurlbut was John Hurlbut, who was born at New London. 
He settled in North Groton (afterwards Ledyan) , New London County, and married Mary, daughter of Ralph Stoddard. 
He died May 5, 1 761 , but his widow Mary was still living in 1 782. They were the parents of eight children, the third 
of whom was John Hurlbut, the subject of this sketch. He was born at Groton, March 12, 1730, and made that 
place his residence until he removed to Wyoming Valley. "He was a man of considerable prominence in his neighbor- 
hood, having the confidence of his fellow-townsmen. He was a Selectman, a school teacher, and a Deacon of the 
Congregational Church, and as a citizen was active, useful and patriotic," 

In the early days of the Revolutionary War he was a member of the Committee of Correspondence of Groton, 

Prior to 1773, "Deacon" Hurlbut acquired a share, or "right", in The Delaware Company's Purchase (mentioned 
on page 293 Vol. II. and in February, 1773, he bought, for £5. a half-right in the Susquehanna Purchase. Earl.v in 
May. 1773. he journeyed from Groton, Connecticut, to what is now Pike County. Pennsylvania, where, on May' 20 , 
and subsequent days, he assisted in laying out and allotting the lands in the township of Parkbury. as described on 
page 771 . Vol. H. In a journal which he kept at that time (see Johnson's "Historical Record" I: 213) he mentions. 
in addition to the names of the original drawers of lots in Parkbury set forth on page 771 of this work, the following 
named: Elisha Gifl'ord, Kendrel Edwards, Elijah Park, Samuel Hallett, John Westbrook, Matthias Button, Reuben 
Jones, Deliverance Adams, James Adams, James Dye, Abner Newton, Lebbens Lathrop, Ezra Tracy, Jeremiah 
Park and Deacon Oriswold. 

On May 24 "Deacon" Hurlbut. in company with Capt. Zebulon Parrish and Benajah Park, set out from Parkbury 
for Wyoming Valley, They travelled thirty-two miles that day, arriving at the junction of the Lackawanna River 
with the Susquehanna- On page 745, Vol, II of this work will be found an extract from the journal of "Deacon" 
Hurlbut, relating to his doings while in the Valley. He returned to Parkbury on May 27, and two days later set off 
homeward. (At that time Stephen Hurlbut, eldest brother of the "Deacon", was in the Valley engaged in surveying 
lands. He was one of the original settlers here under The Susquehanna Company. See pages 498 and .509, Vol, I ) 

.According to the "Hurlbut Genealogy" "Deacon" Hurlbut visited Wyoming again in the Autumn of 1775 and 
again in November 1 777 — at which time he purchased from John Hollenback 800 acres of land in Hanover Township. 




'J 



l>py of uriginau letter general u ashingtio 
Colonel Zebulon Butler, at Wilkss-Barre 



1247 

Selling his (Iroton farm in the Summer of 1777 he. about the beKinning of June. 1778, with his wife and children fex- 
cepting Christopher and John, Jr . who had gone from Ciroton to Wyoming in February, 1778) . set out for Wyoming 
After crossing the Delaware River "Deacon" Hurlbut was taken sick. and. with his wife, stopped at a small settlemen t 
in the Minisinks (see page 189. Vol. I) at which they had arrived, while the rest of the party (including John, Jr.. who 
had ju.'^t come on from Wyoming) traveled onward to Parkbury. At or near this place, on June .30. Abigail, the seventh 
child of "Deacon" Hurlbut, aged five years and nine months, died after a few days' illness. 

About this time Christopher Hurlbut, the eldest son of the "Deacon", arrived at Parkbury from Wyoming Valley, 
having made the journey for the purpose of meeting his relatives and escorting them to their destination in Hanover 
Township. According to his "Journal" (more fully referred to hereinafter), Christopher and the other members of his 
father's family remained at or near Parkbury "until the result of the battle [of Wyoming] was known," As stated on 
page 1020. Vol. H. the first news of the battle was received in Lackaway District — which included Parkbury — in the 
afternoon of July 4. 1778. (Relative to Lackaway District, of Westmoreland, see pages 771. 790 and 795, Vol. II.) 

The Hurlbuts fled from Lackaway with the inhabitants of the district, and proceeded to Shawangunk. near the 
Wallkill River in Ulster County, New York. There they (with the exception of Christopher) remained for some time, 
and there vStephen Hurlbut. sixth child of "Deacon" Hurlbut, aged nine years, died February 28. 1779. 

Karly in the Spring of 1779 "Deacon" Hurlbut proceeded to Wyoming Valley, where, on April 12. he was chosen 
[ ne of the Representatives from Westmoreland to the General Assembly of Connecticut — as noted on page 1 166. Vol 
n. ^\'ith his fellow Representative. Colonel Denison, "Deacon" Hurlbut attended the May session of the Assembly. 
\<y which body he was appointed, and by Governor Trumbull duly commissioned, a Justice of the Peace in and for 
the county of 'Weftmoreland. In the following November, having erected a dwelling-house on the land in Hanover 
Township which he had acquired, he brought his family thither from Shawangunk. (See sketch of John Hurlbut 
Jr , hereinafter.) 

As noted on page 1229. Vol. II, "Deacon" Hurlbut was a private in Capt. John Franklin's company of WcNtmore- 
lund mihtia. in the service of the United States at the Wyoming post in the Spring of 1780. In April. 1780. he was 
re-elected a Representative from Westmoreland to the General Assembly of Connecticut He attended the meeting 
held in May. and was at that time appointed and duly commissioned a Justice of the Peace and Quorum in and for 
Westmoreland- He was again re-elected a Representative in April. 1781, and, at the session of the Assembly held in 
thf following month, was re-appointed and re-commissioned a Justice of the Peace and Quorum. He was one of the 
Selectmen of Westmoreland in 1780 and 1781. 

Miner (in his "History of Wyoming") states that "Deacon" Hurlbut. during the absence from the Valley of the 
Rev. Jacob Johnson, frequently preached funeral and other sermons. Speaking of the death of Mr. Hurlbut on Sunday 
March 10, 1782. Miner says: "The good "Deacon' John Hurlbut departed this life — a life full of respect and usefulness 
The confidence reposed in him is attested by his having been — when, from the distressed state of the country, the 
•■age t men for wisdom and the brightest in virtue were required for public trusts — three times chosen Member of 
Assembly, besides fulfilling other offices of lesser note." 

"Deacon" Hurlbut died in Hanover Township, and. according to H. B, Plumb (in his "History of Hanover Town- 
sh p") "was buried on his farm, near an orchard he had set out with his own hands." His widow died at the home of 
her son Naphtali in Pittnon, Pennsylvania, November 29. 1805. » 

"Deacon" John Hurlbut was married in 17S6 to Abigail (born April 1, 1735), second child of John and Anna (Slan- 
ton) Averv of Preston Connecticut. John Avery (born October 26, 1705) was the eldest son of Christopher Avery and 
his first wife. Abigail Park (married December 19, 1704; died February 12, 1713). 

The children of "Deacon" John and Abigail {Avery) Hiu-lbut were as follows (all born at Groton, Connecticut): 
(i) Chrisiopher. born May 30, 1757. (See hereinafter.) (ii) John, bom February 21, 1760. (See hereinafter) (iii) 
Anna, born Januarv5, 1763; married January 10, 1788. to Elisha Blackman, Jr. (Seepage 1067. Vol. H) (iv) Calherinf. 
born March 18, 1765; married at Hanover in 1787 to William Hyde (born in Canterbury, Connecticut. July 26, 1764. 
-•on of lohn Hyde); they removed in 1802 to Arkport, New York, where she died September 24. 1804. and he died 
October 9. 1822. (v) ^aphiali. born August 12, 1767. (See hereinafter.) (vi) Slephen. bom February 9. 1770; died 
at Shawangunk. New York, February 28. 1779. (vii) Abigail, bom in September, 1772; died at Lackaway June 30, 
1778. (viii) Lydia. born July 10, 1775; married at Hanover, Pennsylvania, in 1798 to John Tiffany of North Adams. 
Massachusett^; died at Arkport, New York, in 1852. 

(i) Chrisiopher Hurlbut, born May 30. 1757, was living at his father's home near Gales' Ferry (on the Thames 
River some fifteen miles west of the Connecticut-Rhode Island boundary-line), in the town of Groton. New London 
County, Connecticut, when the Revolutionary War broke out. In April. 1776, he and his younger brother. John. Jr.. 
enlisted as privates under Lieut. Reuben Hewitt in a Rhode Island regiment commanded by Col. Christopher Lippitt. 
In the following May they were at Brenton's Point (a few miles south-west of Newport) engaged in building a fort. 
June 25 they were tran=ferred to Portsmouth (ten or twelve miles north-east of Newport), where, and at Howland's 
Ferry, forts were also erected. 

On September 15. 1776, Lippitt's regiment set out from Rhode Island for New York, marching by way of Fairfield. 
Ccnnecticut. and arriving at Fort Washington, on Manhattan Island, after a march of eighteen days. Two weeks 
later the regiment was marched to White Plains, where it took part in the battle of October 28. 1776. On December 
4th the regiment crossed the North River, and a week later was at Morristown, New Jersey. On Christmas-day the 
regiment was at Bristol on the Delaware, and later took part in the battles of Trenton and Princeton (For further 
information relative to the New York and New Jersey campaign — September, 1776, to January, 1777— see page 485. 
Vol. I,» and page 909. Vol, II. 

The term of service of Lippitt's regiment having expired early in January, 1777, the men were discharged on the 19th 
of the month at Chatham. New Jersey, Christopher and John Hurlbut immediately set out for their home in Groton. 
arriving there on January 28th. In the following May Christopher proceeded to Wyoming Valley, and, as shown by the 
Westmoreland tax-lists for 1777 and 1778 (see pages 946 and 952. Vol. II), became a resident of Kingston DiUrict 
As required by the Connecticut law then in force with respect to the militia of the State. Mr. Hurlbut was enrolled as a 
private in the 2d (or Kingston) Company of the 24th (or Westmoreland) Regiment, commanded by Capt. Dethick 
Hewitt. When, in November, 1777, his father returned from Wyoming to Groton. Christopher accompanied him. and 
remained there until February 10, 1778. when, accompanied by his brother John, he came back to Wyoming. 

Dr. George Peck, in Chapter XXI of his "Wyoming" (referred toon page 20, Vol. I), prints several pages of extract ^ 
from the "Journal of Christopher Hurlbut." He prefaces this "brief record of the event; of the wars in Wyomin.;" 
with the following words: "It is the testimony of a witness and an actor in the scene. Mr. Hurlbut was a man for the 
times, of more than usual education — a good mathematician and a practical surveyor. His plots of large tract; of 
lands surveyed by him in the County of Luzerne are acknowledged data. His field-books, plots, bearings and distances 
are all executed with great skill and accuracy." 

Quoting from the above mentioned journal we have the following: "Early in the Spring [of 1 778) Colonel Denison 
[sic], with about 150 men, went up to Wyalusing to assist a number of families in removing from the place. [See pane 
956, Vol. II. I I was in the company. We made rafts of old houses, and took on the people with their effects, and went 
down the river, * * * xhe last of June I went out to Lackawaxen to meet my father's family." 

Having accompanied his father's family to Shawangunk — where they arrived on July 16 — Christopher Hurlbut 
proceeded thence to what is now Stroudsburg. Pennsylvania where, about July 27, he joined the detachment of militia 
under the command of Col. Zebulon Butler, and marched with the same to Wilkes-Barre where they arrived on August 
4. (see pages 1080 and 1096. Vol. II.) 

At a town-meeting of the inhabitants of Westmoreland held at Wilkes-Barre April 12, 1779. Christopher Hurlbut. 
being then in the twenty-second year of his life, was admitted a freeman, and took the oath of fidelity to the State of 
Connecticut In the Spring of 1780, and later, he was a Sergeant in Capt. John Franklin's companv of Westmoreland 
militia in the service of the United States at the Wyoming po.st. (See page 1229. Vol, II.) In Klay. 1780. he was 
a ppointed Surveyor of Lands in and for Westmoreland, In January. 1 782. he was appointed to collect the taxes levied 
against the inhabitants of Westmoreland living on the east side of the Susquehanna River. In April. 1786. he became 
one of the original proprietors of the township of Athens — referred to more at length in a subsequent chapter. 

In 1788 and '89 Christopher Hurlbut was one of the Commissioners of the newly-erected county of Luzerne 
August 5, 1789. he was appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth one of the Justices of the Court of Common 
Pleas of Luzeme County; and on the 10th of the following December the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania 
granted him a license to keep a tavern in Hanover Township during the ensuing year. In 1 793 he ov\Tied and operated 
a grist-mill and a saw-mill on Nanticoke Creek, which flowed through his property in Hanover Township, At that 



1248 

period he was largely engaged in surveying lands in many localities in Luzerne County. (See Johnson's "Historical 
Record" IV; 34,) In 1796 he was Clerk to the Board of Commissioners of Luzerne County. 



Having determined to emigrate to the State of New York Christopher Hurlbut, at some time in 1796, made a 
journey to Ontario County, and in that part of it which in March 1796, became Steuben County, he purchased 637 
acres of land lying along the Canisteo River. Later, in the same locality, he purchased 627 acres more. In the Spring 
of 1797, accompanied by his eldest son, John {then in the thirteenth year of his life). Mr. Hurlbut went from Hanover 
to his new purchase, where he made a clearing and erected a log cabin. He then returned to Hanover, and conducted 
his family thence to their new home in the Autumn of 1797. (A detailed as well as an interesting, account of this 
journey, given in 1866 by Mrs. Elizabeth {Hurlbul) Shepard, will be found in Johnson's "Historical Record", IV: 34 ,' 

By 1 805 Christopher Hurlbut had built on his Canisteo lands a large frame house, a saw-mill and a store-house. He 
called the new settlement "Arkport". For awhile he carried on there a tavern and a store, and was largely engaged in 
rafting lumber down the Canisteo. Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers. He constructed the first arks seen on the 
Canisteo. and in them conveyed every kind of salable produce, common to that region, to markets along the Chemung 
and Susquehanna. For awhile he held the office of Associate Judge, or Justice, of the County Court of Steuben County 
Meanwhile — prior to 1803 — he had sold, from his large tracts of land in Steuben County, farms to some of his old 
Hanover neighbors, to wit; Nathan Cary his brother-in-law {see page 1025, Vol- II). William and Wyllis Hyde. John 
Harvey. Joel Atherton and Jo?eph Corey, all of whom settled at or near Arkport prior to 1803. (John Harvey, mentioned 
above, was a nephew of Benjamin Harvey, mentioned on page 1260). 

Chri-topher Hurlbut was married at either Wilkes-Barre or Hanover May 2. 1782. to Elizabeth Mann, born in 
Delaware, a daughter of Adam and Sarah (Johnson) Mann, said to have been natives of Londonberry, Ireland. Adam 
Mann was Hving in Wilkes-Barre in March, 1781. when he purchased land from Jonathan Fitch. August 13, 1791, a^ 
noted on page 51, Vol. I. he acquired title to the island then known as Wilkes-Barre. or Johnson's, Island. Under date 
of December 12, 1791 (as shown by original records in the Land Office, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania). Adam Mann of Wilkes Hanr ( \(in(rd a deed to his daughter Nancy Mann, of Wilkes-Barre, for "a 
certain inland in the Susquehanna Rutr . .illn] johri on's Island, containing about eight acres"; and also for lots 40 and 
41 in the town-plot of Wilkes-Barre ,\|i|Mr. mh Mi Mann must have subsequently re-acquired the title to the island 
above mentioned for we find that on Man h I 7 . I :•'<>, he sold it to Putnam Catlin for £45- In 1795 Nancy Mann sold 
and conveyed lots 40 and 41 to Capt Samuel Bowman of Wilkes-Barre. In 1796 or '97 Adam Mann and his family 
removed to Wysox, in what is now Bradford County. Pennsylvania, where he died in 1797 or '98 aged eighty-two or 
eighty-three vears. He had at lea-t four daughters, as follows; Nancy. Elizabeth (Mrs. Christopher Hurlbut). Sarah 
{Mrs. Gibson) and Jane (Mrs. Nathan Cary). ". 

Christopher Hurlbut died at Arkport April 21. 1831, and his wife died there April 3. 1841. About a year before 
her death she was granted a pension by the United States Oovernment in consideration of the military services 
performed by her husband during the Revolutionary War. 

The children of Christopher and Elizabeth ( Mann) Hurlbut were as follows: ( i ) Abigail. Ijorn in Hanover Town- 
ship April 29. 1783; died at Arkport. unmarried. April 18, 1850. (2) John, born at Hanover October 21. 1784. (3) 
James, bom at Hanover April 12, 1787. (4) vSarah. bom at Hanover March 4. 1789. (5) Elizabeth, bom at Hanover 
April 29. 179!. (6) Nancy, born at Hanover April 8, 1793. (7) Christopher, born at Hanover December 17, 1794. 
(8) Edward, born at Arkport July 1. 1799; died August 22. 1800. 

(ii) John Hurlbut. Jr., born at Groton, Connecticut, February 21. 1760. was living at his father's home when the 
Revolutionary War broke out April 3. 1776, in company with his brother Christopher, he enlisted as a private in 
Lippitt's Rhode Island regiment. His mihtary services were similar to those of his brother, and continued for the same 
length of time — he being discharged from the service at Chatham, New Jersey. January 19. 1777. and reaching home 
nine days later, about three weeks before his seventeenth birth-day. Concerning his subsequent movements we get 
the following information from a diary, or journal, which he wrote— extracts from which are printed in Johnson's 
"Historical Record", II: 71. 

* The Summer following [i.e., the Summer of 1777] I lived at home, except being called to serve in the militia about, 
two months. * * * Febmary 10, 1778. Christopher and I set out for Susquehanna; with two sleds left Groton 
and with a long and tedious journey .got through. February ye 23d, A. D. 1778. arrived at Thomas vStoddards in 
Kingston in Westmoreland, at which place we staid till April, and then moved to Hanover, about nine miles down the 
river to the farm that father had bought. We boarded at Mr. Corey's until the 28th of May; then I set out to meet 
father's familv, that was moving to Wvoming. who I accordingly met at HarwJnton [in eastern-central Litchfield 
County!. Connecticut, and then I drove his wagon on till we came to the Minisinks. There father was taken sick about 
the middle of June. 1778." Mr. Hurlbut then gives an account of some of the events hereinbefore referred to in the 
sketch of Christopher Hurlbut. Continuing, he states: 

"In September, 1779. I came to Wyoming to provide provisions for our family, and after a fortnight's visit I re- 
turned home [to Shawangunk). and was immediately taken sick, and lay helpless until the 8th of November, on which 
day father had prepared all in the best manner for a journey, and set out with four oxen, two horse>. four cows, fourteen 
hogs and six sheep, and with a large ox-cart loaded with household stuff Father, mother, myself. .\nna, Catherine. 
Naphtali and Lydia left Shawangunk with full intent to go to Susquehanna, Christopher being there already. With 
good success we arrived at our own house at Wyoming the 16th day of November, 1779. God grant we may long stay! 

"On the I4th day of December, 1779. I engaged to teach school in Hanover for three months * * * PupiU 
to March ye 1 1th. 1780; NaphtaU Hurlbut. 71 davs; Anna Hurlbut. 18 days; Catherine Hurlbut. 29 days; Lydia 
Hurlbut. 26 days; Joseph Corey. 52,'i-days; Rebekah Corey. 48 days; Lucy Corey, 52 days; Benjamin Corey 69 days; 
Olive Franklin. 45 days; Roasel Franklin 65 days; Susannah Franklin. 70 days; Alexander Forsythe, 71 days; Elisha 
Forsythe. 71 days." 

In the Spring of 1 780 John Hurlbut. Jr. , was a private in the company of Wyoming militia commanded by Capt. 
John Franklin in the service of the United States, at Wilkes-Barre; and in 1781-82 he was a Sergeant in the company 
of Connecticut militia commanded by Captain Franklin. (See pages 1229 and 1230. Vol. II.) During the Second 
Pennamite- Yankee War Mr Hurlbut was actively engaged in supporting, vi el armis. the cause of the Yankee settlers. 
He took part in the fight at Locust Hill, August 2. 1784, and was one of the several participants who were subsequently 
imprisoned in the jail at Easton. Pennsylvania, as fully narrated in Chapter XXII. /jos/. Under the resolution adopted 
by the Susquehanna Company — hereinbefore referred to at length — he was. on October 1. 1785. admitted a half- 
share proprietor in the Susquehanna Purchase. In 1786. in company with his brother Christopher, he became an 
original proprietor in the newly erected township of Athens. 

In 1795 John Hurlbut, Jr., went to that part of Ontario County. New York, which in April, 1823. became Wayne 
County, and at Palmyra purchased a farm. In the latter part of 1796 or early in 1797 having sold to his brother Naph- 
tali his land in Hanover, he removed his family thence to Palmyra. (His name appears in the Hanover tax-list for 
1796. See Pearce's "Annals of Luzerne County", page 547.) 

John Hurlbut, Jr., was married in July, 1786. to Hannah (born November 18. 1768), daughter of Jonathan and 
Jane Millet, and they became the parents of the following-named children; Anna (who became the wife of Solomon 
TiceJ. Rhoda, Jeremiah. Silas. Julius. Lydia. John. Francis, Herman and Charles. John Hurlbut. Jr.. died at Palmyra 
in February. 1813, and his widow died there June 29. 1858. 

(v) Naphtali Hurlbut. bom at Groton. Connecticut, August 12, 1767. came to Hanover in Wyoming Valley, 
with the other members of his father's family in November, 1779. In the Spring of 1780 — as shown by the pay-roll 
printed on page 1229. Vol. II — he was a private in the same company with his father and brothers Christopher and John, 
in the service of the United States at the Wyoming Post in Wilkes-Barre. He was then only twelve years and eight 
months of age! He made his home in Hanover Township until the Summer of 1799. having acquired in 1795 and '96 
in addition to his own share in the estate of his deceased father, the interest? of his brothers Christopher and John. 

September 17. 1799. Naphtali Hurlbut adverti.^ed in ''The Wilkes-Barrr Gazelle" that he had removed to Wilkes- 
Barre and "taken the public-house lately occupied by John Van Home." He continued to keep tavern in Wilke.s- 
Barre until 1803. when he removed to Pittston and engaged in the same business there until 1810. In 1804 the erection. 
of the frame building which later, for many years, was known as the "Exchange Hotel", was begun on what is now 
Wyoming Avenue, near "Kingston Comers". James Wheeler carried on the tavern business there from 1807 till 1809, 
or '10, when he was succeeded by Naphtali Hiu-lbut. The latter conducted the hotel for several years. In August, 1807 
he was elected, and duly commissioned, Lieiit. Colonel of the 45th Regiment. 2d Brigade, 9th Division, of the Pennsyl- 



1 249 

this town before the General Assembl}* [of Connecticut:, to be holdcn in Hartford 
in May next. Obadiah Gore, Esq., John Franklin, Esq , and Lieut. Roasel Frank- 
lin were appointed a committee to assist the Agent in drawing up a just represen- 
tation of our circumstances, to lay before the Honorable the General Assembly 
in May next." 

At a largely attended town-meeting held at Wilkes- Barre, April 20, 1780, 
resolves were adopted as follows:* 

"Voted, That John Franklin, Esq., Lieut. Roasel Franklin and John Comstock, Esq.. Ik- 
appointed a committee to advise with the inhabitants of this town about contracting their improve- 
ments to a smaller compass and more defensible situation against the savages, and to adopt meas- 
ures for the security of their stock, and make their report to the commanding officer of the garrison 
as soon as possible. 

"Voted. That, whereas the parish of Drysdalef, in the State of Virginia, have contributed 
and sent one hundred and eighty dollars for the support of the distressed inhabitants of this town, 
the Selectmen be directed to distribute said money to those they shall judge the most necessitated, 
and report to the town at some future meeting. 

" Voted, That Col. Nathan Denison return the thanks of this town to the parish of Drysdale, 
in the State of \^irginia, for their charitable disposition in presenting the distressed inhabitants 
of this town with one hundred and eighty dollars." 
vania Miiitia. He held this office until August. 1811. when he was succeeded by David B. Wheeler of Tunkhannock. 

In 1812 Colonel Hurlbut was elected one of the County Commissioners of Luzerne County for the term of one year. 
In August, 1816, Colonel Hurlbut. then living in Kingston, offered himself as a candidate for the office of SherilT of 
Luzerne County. In his announcement to the voters he declared that he had served as a commissioned officer in the 
militia for many years, and had then "served as County Commissioner for one year, and received ten shillings per day 
for services". Capt. Stephen Van Loon of Plymouth and Arnold Colt of Wilke^-Barrc were also candidat;^ for the office 
of Sheriff at this time, and at the election held in October Van Loon was elected. In 1825. however. Cilonel Hurlbut 
was elected Sheriff for the term of three years — being succeeded in the office in the Autumn of 1828 by Oliver Helrae of 
King ton. Colonel Hurlbut then opened a general store "in the brick storehouse lately occupied by Barnum and Carey" 
in Wilkes- Barre; but in 1830, and for some years thereafter, he was again keeping tavern in Kingston Township. 

Naphtali Hurlbut was married July 25, 1793. to OHve (born in 1775 or '76), daughter of WiHii.m and Margery . 
(Kellogg) Smith and step-daughter of Dr. William Hooker Smith. Colonel Hurlbut died March 30, 1844, at the 
residence of his son-in-law, L. P. Kennedy, in Bums, Allegany County. New York, and his wife died at Arkport. 
New York March 1. 1846. 

The children of Naphtali and OHve (Swilh) Hurlbut were as follows: (a) Asenath (married at Wilkes-Barre. 
October 30. 1813, to Annas Newcomb, formerly of Hardwick, Massachusetts, and later of Dansville, New York); (b) 
Lyman (who married Caroline Schofield. and had the following-named, and probablv other children. Maria, Caroline 
S., Esther, John, William N. and Charles S,); (c) Esther Eliza (married September 14. 1820. to "Deacon" Abel Hovt. 
born July 17. 1798. son of Daniel and Ann (Gunn) Hoyt of Kingston, Pennsylvania); (d) Mary Ann (born. 18f)3; 
married at Wilkes-Barre February 27, 1822. to Luen P. Kennedy: died. 1849); (e) Amo5 Avery (bom in 1805; married 
to Susan Quick; had children. Ellen, Mary and George); (f) William Hooker (married to Mary Ann Carey); (g) John 
Randolph. 

(2) John Huribut (son of Christopher), born at Hanover October 21. 1784. removed to Arkport in 1797 with the 
other members of his father's family. He was married at Dansville. New York. Sept. 13. 1814. to Priscilla Sharp 
and they became the parents of four sons and four daughters. John Hurlbut died at Arkport June 19, 1831. 

(3) James Hurlbut, born at Hanover April 12. 1787. was married at Kingston, Pennsylvania. September 2. 1824. 
to Susan Dorrance of Sterling, Connecticut, daughter of Archibald and Deborah Dorrance. Jame? Hurlbut lived at 
Arkport from 1797 till 1857, when he removed to Rose Hill, New York, where he died June 13. 1863. He had one son 
and three daughters. 

(4) Sarah Hurlbut. bom March 4. 1789, was married at Arkport August 10. 1810. to James Taggart. a native of 
Northumberland, Pennsylvania, and thev became the parents of three children. Mrs. Taggart died September 3. 
1837. 

(5) Elizabeth Hurlbut. born April 29, 1791, was married at Arkport in 1817 to Joshua Shepard. (born in 1780) 
a merchant at Dansville, New York. He died in September, 1829, and she died at Dansville April 24, 1870. They 
had one' son and four daughters, 

(6) Nancy Hurlbut, born April 8. 1793, was married at Arkport January 2^. 1815. to Maj. Ziba (born at Dan":iury. 
Connecticut. September 8, 1788). sixth child of "Deacon" Daniel and Anne {Gunn) Hoyt, then of Danbury but later of 
Kingston. Pennsylvania. They made their home in Kingston, where Ziba Hoyt died December 23, 1853, and Mrs. 
Nancy Hoyt died February 26. 1872 Their children were as follows: fi) Anna Hovt (married September 1. 1836. ta 
the Rev. Charles Chaplin Corss); (ii) John Dorrance Hoyt; (iii) Edward P. Hoyt; (iv) James Hoyt; (v) Henry 
Martyn Hoyt (sometime Governor of Pennsylvania); (vi) Elizabeth Shepard Hoyt. (For a fuller sketch of the Hoyt 
family see a subsequent chapter. ) 

(7) Christopher Hurlbut. bom December 14, 1794. was married at Arkport June 4. 1823. to hi^ cou;in. EUcn 
Tiffany (bom December 17, 1800)- Their children were; Myron. Edmund. Lydia (married to William Loveland), 
Nancv (married to Henry B. Loveland) and Elizabeth (married, first to C. C. Horton. and, 2d. to the Rev. George N. 
Todd). Christopher Hurlbut died at Arkport in 1875. 

*See Miner's "History of Wyoming", p. 282, and the Republican Farmer and Democratic Journal (Wilke;- Barre). 
March 13, 1839. 

fDRYSDALE Parish, which is still in existence, is in King and Queen County, in the eastern part of Virginia. In 
1780. and for a number of years before and after that time, the Rector of thii parish was the Rev Samuel Shield. 
At Louisville. Kentucky, under the date of April 29. 1856, the Rev. Henry M. Denison (mentioned on page 789, Vol, ID 
wrote to Bishop Mead (by whom he had been ordained to the ministry) relative to the Rev. Samuel Shield and Drysdile 
Parish. This letter was subsequently published by Bishop Mead in his book on the old Virginia piriihe;. It readi in 
part as follows: "It seems to me you have not given all the credit deserved to the character of the Rev. Samuel Shield. 
He was a clergyman of high character, and was a competitor with Biihop Madison for the episcopat.;. He at one lime 
had charge of Drysdale Parish. * * * But i take up my pen to mention to you the followina; incident, which will 
not be uninteresting to you. even if it be without the scope of your published reminiscence i. 

'After the massacre by British and Indians of a large portion of the inhabitant^ of the lovely valley of Wyoming in 
Pennsylvania, the parishioner.-; of Drysdale through their Rector. Mr Shield, a^ almoner, sent to the destitute and 
helpless women and children of the valley the handsome sum— for those day.s— of S18J.. to relieve their neceisiti;; 

"Some four or five years ago. when I was at Dr. Samuel Shield's in Hampton, the DD::tor told m? he had discovered 
my [family] name among his grandfather's papers; and upon examination i. found the original letter of thank; written 
by my grandfather. Colonel Denison. to his grandfather. Rev. Mr. Shield. It was three score and ten year5 of are, 
but had evidently been preserved with much care, and I sent it at once to Mr. [Charles] Miner, the historian." 



1250 

The committee appointed at the town-meeting of April 10th, to draw up a me- 
morial to the General Assembly of Connecticut, duly performed the duty assigned 
them. 

The original document prepared by them is "No. 114" in the collection of 
documents now in the State Library at Hartford, as described in paragraph "(3)," 
page 29, Vol. I. It is in the handwriting of Obadiah Gore, Jr., is dated "West- 
moreland, April 20, 1780", and is signed by Nathan Denison, John Franklin and 
John Hurlbut, ' Civil Authority," and by John Franklin, Nathan Denison, 
James Nisbitt and Jabez Sill, "Selectmen, in behalf of themselves and the in- 
habitants". Reference is made in the memorial to the disasters which took 
place at Wyoming in July, 1778, and to the fact that the inhabitants had been 
driven out of the Valley at that time, and had been compelled, by necessity, to 
depend for their maintenance upon the charity of the people at large. The 
concluding paragraphs of the memorial read as follows: 

"Mere necessity obliged many of us to repair to our improvements [at Wyoming], to reap 
some advantage for our support from the broken crops which had escaped destruction; where we 
have lived to this time, and thereby have been a protection and safeguard to the other frontier 
for 100 miles and upward. Nevertheless [we] have suffered by frequent alarms — scarcely one 
month has passed (unless in the dead of Winter) without murders being committed, horses and 
cattle stolen, and the inhabitants drove from their labors, &c., by the savages, until the arrival of 
the army under General Sullivan. 

"But now, the Continental troops being almost all called from this Post, the Indians renew 
their attacks upon us, and have killed four men and taken eight prisoners. This is the unhappy 
situation your petitioners are in and have been in since June 6, 1778! 

"We would beg that your Honours grant [that] a committee be appointed to make an 
estimation of our losses, as in cases of other towns that have been sacked and burnt by the enemy, 
that we may have such compensation for our losses as your Honours shall think just and reasonable. 
Also, as there are Warrants issued from the State Treasury against this town [of Westmoreland] 
for taxes — which rate-bills were taken and destroyed by the enemy, and the inhabitants are for 
the greater part killed or dispersed in the country, and their goods and chattels taken from them 
as above described. We would, therefore, request that those taxes may be abated in part of the 
compensation for the above losses; or in such way to grant relief as you shall see proper." 

Another memorial, or petition, to the General Assembly of Connecticut was 

prepared at Westmoreland on the same date as the foregoing document. It* is 

signed by John Hurlbut, Nathan Denison, John Franklin, James Nisbitt and 

Jabez Sill, "Selectmen, in behalf of themselves and the inhabitants", and reads 

in part as follows: 

"About 150 families have, through mere necessity for want of support, returned to their 
improvements in this town, and have made very considerable proficiency in husbandry; where- 
fore, by the blessing of Providence on our industry, we shall have a plenty and to spare. 

"Many others who were driven from the settlement have become burthensome to the towns 
and parishes they were dispersed to, who might easily provide for themselves and families could 
they with safety return to their farms. But the Continental troops being almost all called 
from this Post, the Indians have renewed their attacks upon us; whereby it becomes dangerous 
to laliour in our improvements. 

"Therefore we beg your Honours to grant that about 200 State troops may be sent for the 
defense of this frontier; which force, together with that of the inhabitants, in case of an attack 
will, we conceive, be sufficient to repel that of the enemy, and thereby not only secure to us those 
promising crops of grain, but also be productive of public good for the defense and safety of this 
State and the frontier in general." 

The General Assembly of Connecticut convened at Hartford, May 11, 1780, 
and continued in session until the 23d of the next month. John Hurlbut and 
Jonathan Fitch, Esqs., were in attendance as the Representatives from the town 
of Westmoreland, and they formally presented to the Assembly the two foregoing 
memorials. At the same time there was presented a petition! in the handwriting 
of Judge John Jenkins (see page 805, Vol.11), entitled: "Petition of John Jenkins, 
Esq., and the other subscribers, in the name and behalf of themselves and the rest 

*The original, which is in the handwriting of Obadiah Gore, Jr., is "No. 1 19" in the collection of documents in the 
State Library at Hartford, Connecticut, described in paragraph (3)", page 29, \'oI L 

tThe original is "No. 1 18" in the collection of document! in the State Library at Hartford, Connecticut, described 
in paragraph "(^)". page 29, Vol I 



1251 

of the people llial arc driven from /heir settlement al Westmoreland by the Savages." 
This document is dated April 25, 1780, and is signed by John Jenkins, Silas 
Park, Richardson Avery, EHsha Blackman, Jabez Fish, William Gallup, .Solomon 
Avery, John Hutchins, William Hibbard, Samuel Howard and Hallet Gallup, 
landholders in Westmoreland, and, prior to July, 1778, residents there, but, at 
the time of signing the petition, dwelling in New London County, Connecticut, 
whence they had originally emigrated to Wyoming. After giving a brief 
history of the origin and growth of The Susquehanna Company's settlements at 
Wyoming; the Pennamite- Yankee troubles; the erection of the Wyoming territory 
into the county of Westmoreland by the Connecticut Assembly; and the battle 
and massacre of July 3, 1778, this petition continues as follows: 

"And the women and children — some fled and some they [the Indians] stripped and turned 
out naked; and the whole settlement was utterly broken up, burned and destroyed, and your 
petitioners with their fellow sufferers in general arc in a great measure dependent on the charity 
of strangers among whom they are dispersed, widows and fatherless; and but very few have been, 
or yet are, able to return to their settlements. * * * 

"On his (General Sullivan's] return he left only a small garrison of about fifty [Sicf] men to 
guard the settlement; which settlement and garrison have now become very unsafe by some late 
movements of the enemy. Yet on application to the Board of War they have received for answer 
that they can have no relief from that quarter; and the savages are continually murdering and 
destroying the settlers that are there, whenever they find them out from the garrison. 

"Your petitioners beg leave to observe that they conceive that wherever there is obedience 
due on the one side, there is protection on the other. That is, wherever there is obedience due 
from the governed, there is protection expected from the governor. Your petitioners conceive 
they have a right to protection from this State, or that they cannot be bound to pay any obedience 
to the State rightfully; and therefore your petitioners, if neglected, must look on themselves as 
cast off, and that they cease to be a part of this State. * * * 

"Your petitioners would further humbly observe that this Honorable Assembly has, in 
sundry instances since the commencement of this war, granted relief to people suffering by the 
savages of the enemy — granting them both money and protection, and, in some instances, to 
people out of this State, and so not under their immediate care. But they have granted nothing 
to these unhappy sufferers at Susquehanna, notwithstanding there is no place nor people that 
have been destroyed with so total and signal a destruction, nor none stripped so bare, nor so many 
left widows and fatherless, or that in reahty stood so much in need of their charity and protection 
as your petitioners and their fellow sufferers, or that need the verification of the old saying that 
'Charity begins at home!' 

"Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that you will grant to your petitioners money for 
the relief of the necessities of your petitioners, and to enable them to return to their settlement ; 
and also grant thein four companies of 100 men each, properly officered, for a guard, to keep a 
garrison, and to defend and protect the settlers ; and also grant them si.x field pieces of cannon and 
ten swivel-guns to be put into one general fort, or garrison, to be properly built by the said guard, 
with suitable ammunition for the same. Or, in some other way, grant relief to your petitioners.' ' 

These three memorials were referred to a joint-committee, for consideration 

and report, and later in the session the committee made its report; whereupon 

the Assembly voted the following: 

"Resolved, That the whole of the State taxes, for which Warrants have already been issued 
against the inhabitants of said Westmoreland, that are not paid into the hands of the State 
Treasurer, be and are hereby abated, to be considered as in part compensation for their losses, 
whenever ttie United Slates sliati order and direct the losses sustained by the citizens of said State 
from the depredations of the enemy to be compensated; and John Hurlbut*, Zebulon Butlerf 
and Obadiah GoreJ, Esquires, be and are hereby appointed a Committee to repair to said West- 
moreland (first giving public notice in the several newspapers in this State of the time and place 
of their meeting), and there examine into the damages, injuries and losses sustained and suffered 
by the present or late inhabitants of said town, holding under this State, who shall by themselves 
or others in their behalf, being duly authorized, make application to said Committee during their 
continuance in said town; and report make, to some future session of this Assembly, of what 
they shall find in the matters aforesaid." 

The Assembly then passed a preamble and resolution wherein, after reciting 
the Act of Assembly passed in December, 1775 (see page 865, Vol. II), the follow- 
ing paragraphs were embodied: 

"And whereas, since that many of the persons that were settled on said lands, in the town 
and county of Westmoreland, have been killed or driven off from their possessions by the common 
enemies of this [State] and the United States; Resolved, That nothing in said Act contained 
*See (t note) page 1246. tSee page 634, Vol. 11. tSee page 833, Vol. II. 



1252 

ought to be construed to hinder any persons so driven off from returning to their possessions, 
or to prohibit any other persons who may have derived a right to the said former possessions by 
purchase, descent or otherwise, from possessing and occupying the same." 

At this same session of the Assembly it was resolved "that a company to 
consist of one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Ensign, and ninety-seven non-com- 
missioned officers and privates be raised by voluntary inlistment of the late in- 
habitants of the town of Westmoreland, for the defense of the town; to serve 
until the first day of January next. And that said company be allowed half the 
pay of the establishment of the Continental Army; and His Excellency, the 
Governor, is desired to apply to Congress to grant rations to said company. 

"Further, this Assembly do appoint John Franklin to be Captain, Asa 
Chapman to be Lieutenant, and William Hibbard to be Ensign of a company 
ordered by this Assembly to be raised for the defense of the town of Westmore- 
land, and His Excellency, the Governor, is desired to commission them accord- 
ingly. 

"And it is resolved by this Assembly that, provided the number who shall 
inlist into said company by the first day of September shall not exceed fifty men, 
the said Captain shall be discharged from his command, and said company shall 
be commanded by the Lieutenant. And provided the number who shall inlist 
by the first of September shall not exceed thirty men, the said Lieutenant shall 
be discharged from his command and said company shall be commanded by the 
Ensign. And provided thirty men shall not inlist into said company by the 
first of September, the said Ensign shall be discharged from his command and a 
pay-roll shall be made up to that time and such soldiers who then are inlisted 
shall be discharged." 

The Assembly also made the following appointments of Westmoreland 
County civil officers for the ensuing year, and in due time they were regularly 
commissioned by Governor Trumbull. Col. Zebulon Butler to be Judge of the 
County Court; Col. Nathan Denison, Zerah Beach and John Hurlbut to be 
Justices of the Peace and Quorum; Col. Zebulon Butler, Maj. William Judd, 
Joseph Hamilton, Capt. John Franklin, Zebulon Marcy, Obadiah Gore, Uriah 
Chapman and John Jenkins, Jr., to be Justices of the Peace; Christopher 
Hurlbut to be Surveyor of Lands. 

The Westmoreland militia company authorized by the Assembly, as afore- 
mentioned, was duly organized at Wilkes-Barre by Captain Franklin without 
delay. It took the place of the provisional militia company referred to on pages 
1228 and 1229, Vol. IL and nearly every member of that organization enlisted in 
the new company. 

On May 17, 1780, Serg't Thomas Baldwin of Captain Spalding's company 
marched with a squad of soldiers from Fort Wyoming on a scout to Lackawanna 
where they found a man who had been a prisoner among the Indians and had 
just escaped from them. He was brought down to the fort, where he informed 
the commander that he had been captured near Fort Allen* by a party composed 
of ten Indians and one Tory. In the evening of the 17th, William Perry came to 
the fort and stated that about sunrise on that day, on his journey thither from 
the Delaware river, he saw a party of Indians near Laurel Run, and several 
parties between that locality and the fort. The next morning several recon- 
noitering parties were sent out from the fort, but they made no discoveries except 
a few foot-prints of Indians in the road near the mountain, 

*See page 339, Vol. I. 



1253 

Captain Franklin and five soldiers from Fort Wyoming — one of whom was 
Elisha Harvey, the great grandfather of the writer of this — being up the Sus- 
quehanna about sixty miles, on a scouting expedition, captured near Wysox, 
Tune 6, 1780, three Tories — Adam and Jacob Bowman* and Henry Hover. t 
These men, in company with Philip Buckf — who escaped when the others were 
taken- — were all members of "Butler's Rangers", and had previously resided in 
Westmoreland. They had probably come down from Fort Niagara to the neigh- 
loorhood of their old homes on a scout. Miner says ("History of Wyoming", 
page 284) that with the men was taken "a fine lot of plunder, valued at £46, 1 8s. 
1 Id. Captain Franklin and Sergeant Baldwin each shared a silver watch, several 
pocket compasses, silver buttons and sleeve buttons. A scarlet broadcloth coat, 
several gold pieces, and a beautiful spy-glass attest the consequence of the pris- 
oners. The canoes sold for £4, 10s. * * Col. Z. Butler purchased the spy- 
glass from the victors for three guineas." 

These prisoners were brought in their own canoes down the river to Wilkes- 
Barre, where they arrived June 1 0th, and were locked up in the guardhouse at 
Fort Wyoming. One month later they were sent under guard to the army head- 
quarters at Morristown, New Jersey, for trial by court-martial. § With them 
was sent Sergeant Leaders, or Seiders, a Continental soldier of the Wyoming 
Garrison, who had been convicted by a court-martial of falsifying a provision 
return, breaking open the magazine of the fort, and conspiring to release the 
Tor}' prisoners and blow up the garrison. He had been whipped on his naked 
body with 100 lashes, in pursuance of the finding of the court-martial, and 
was sent to headquarters as "incorrigible." 

Having been duly tried, and convicted of the charges preferred against them 
the two Bowmans and Hover were subsequently returned to Fort \\'yoming, 
there to be detained as prisoners of war. 

Miner, in referring to affairs in Westmoreland at this period, states (see his 
"History", page 284) : "In the midst of this scene of general distress it is difficult 
to suppress a smile, when we contemplate the variety of character sustained and 
duties performed by Captain Franklin. We have sieen him taking an active 
part on several committees in town-meeting. Indefatigable in the command of 
his little company, during all this time he w^as farming with an industry that 
showed his reliance for subsistence was on the labour of his hands. A hunter, 
scarce a week passed that he did not, in the proper season, bring in a buck. He 
was a Justice of the Peace, and the civil laws were regularly administered." 

From Franklin's journal we learn that at a court-martial held at Fort Wyo- 
ming July 12, 1780 — Capt. John Paul Schott being President, and Captain 
Spalding, Captain Franklin, and Lieutenants Gore, Jenkins and Kingsley being 
members — Martin Brechell, of Philadelphia, a private in Schott's Corps, was 
found guilty of intending to desert to the Indians and take with him the Tory 

*Adam and Jacob Bowman, whose names are mentioned several times hereinbefore, are p^e^uraed to have been 
the sons of .Adam Bowman. Sr. .As early as 1773 they settled under a grant from the Pennsylvania Proprietaries in 
what is now Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of the Susquehanna, near the mouth of a creek to which 
they gave their name, and which is still called Bowman's Creek. When the Revolutionary War broke out they took 
the side of the Loyalists, and in 17 76 or 1777 were compelled by the Yankee authorities down the river to leave the coun- 
try Craft, in his "History of Bradford County", page 65, says: "Jacob Bowman came from about the mouth of 
Bowman's Creek and settled about 1777 on the opposite side of Towanda Creek from Rudolph Fox. (See note, page 
917. Vol. II.] He was too young to take an active part in the [Revolutionary] contest, and was in the British camp 
only by compulsion. After the war he returned to his old home on Towanda Creek and married a daughter of Rudolph 
Fox." 

tHENRy Hover (mentioned on pages 944, 945, 946, and 950) was the son of Casper Hover, mention in the note 
on page 1050, Vol. II. 

;See pages 945, 946, 950 and 1049 (note). Vol. 11. 

^See Stone's "Poetry and History of Wyoming", page 259. 



1254 

prisoners hereinbefore mentioned, and of threatening to scalp one Adam Sypert, 
a fellow soldier. The judgment of the court was that Brechell should "run the 
gauntlet four times through the troops of the garrison." The commanding 
officer (Colonel Butler) approved the sentence, and it was executed the next 
afternoon. That evening, records Captain Franklin, a singing meeting was 
held at Mr. Forseman's. 

One of the chief difficulties with which the commander of the Wyoming 
post had to contend at this time was the procuring of a proper supply of certain 
provisions for the use of the garrison. Nearly all supplies had to be brought up 
the Susquehanna in small boats, from points below Sunbury, and the work of 
gathering such supplies and then boating them up to Wilkes-Barre was slow and 
tedious. The following letter,* now published for the first time, relates to this 
bus'ness. 

"Wyo.MiNG 16 July, 1780" 

"Sir — the Bearer Sergt. Evelandf is Directed to find you and Return to me as soon as 
Possabel Excepting he msets the Boat. I need not mention the necessity of stores being for- 
warded as you must know the Flower you Left on hand must be gone eight days ago I desired 
Mr. Forsman to muster what wheat he could belonging to you and send it to mill and He did 
about twenty Bushels and the Flower is Returned and spent we are now Intierly Destitute. 
Desire you to Forward Flower with all Possabel Dispatch, You'll Please to Dismiss the Barrer 
and let him return to me as soon as Possabel and let me know what is doing and what stores 
there is coming on. 

"Relying on your faithful Performance of your Duty I am Sin. your Humble 

Serv't [Signed] "Zebn. Butler, Col. Comd. 
"To Mr. |Wm.) StewartJ" 

We learn from the journal of Captain Franklin that on July 20, 1780, "a 
boat arrived from down the river with the welcome cargo of twentv-three barrels 
of flour" and thaton August 6th "Benjamin Clark, with others, went down the river 
to mill, while on the same day Lieut. Daniel Gore and others set out for Colonel 
Stroud's mill." The only grist mill in a useable condition then in Wyoming 
Valley was the small one at Nanticoke, mentioned in the note on page 1085, Vol. 
II (which was guarded by a detachment from Captain Franklin's Company), 
all the other mills have been destroyed, wholly or in part, by the invading enemy. 
Colonel Stroud's mill was at what is now Stroudsburg, some fiftv miles distant 
from Wilkes-Barre by the Sullivan Road. 

The number of inhabitants, or, more particularly, property holders, in 
Westmoreland at this time was very small, as is shown by the following document 
— the original of which, in the handwriting of Obadiah Gore, Jr., is now in the 
collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 

"A true List of the Polls and Estate of the Town of Westmoreland ratable by law on the 
20th of Augt. A. D. 1780." 

£ s. £ s. 

Ayres, Saml 35 Hagerman, Jos 24 

Atherton, James 14 14 Hopkins, Timothy 6 

Atherton, James, Jr 39 Inman, Elijah 36 10 

Butler, Col. Zebn 72 4 Inman. Richard 31 

Bidlack, Mehitable 10 Ingersol, Daniel 30 

Bailey, Benjn 24 Jackson, Wm 35 

Brockway, Richard 33 Jemison, John 53 10 

Bullock, Nathan 28 Joslin, Thos 21 

Burnham, Asahel 9 Jenkins, Jno 3 

Bennet, Asa 51 Jones, Crocker 29 

Bennet, Isaac 39 McCluer, Thos 4 

Buck, Wm 27 Mateson, Elisha 6 4 

Brown, David 6 Nelson, Wm 15 

*The original is in the F. J. Dreer Collection of MSS. in the possession of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

fFREDERiCK EvELAND, then, OF later, of Plymouth, and a member of Captain Spalding's company. 

JSee note "§" on page 871. and the last paragraph on page 1 U 4 and the first paragraph on page 1115, Vol. II. 



1255 



Bennet, Solomon 42 

Bennet, Ishmacl 24 

Blanchard, Aiidw 21 

Cady, Manasseh 58 

Corah, Jonathan 46 

Cotnstock, John 26 

Comstock, Peleg 21 

Carv, Nathan 35 

Cook, Nathl IS 

Church, Gideon 6 

Chapman, Asa ... 18 

Denison, Col. Nathan 51 

Durkee, Sarah 9 

Denton, Daniel 5 

Elliot, Joseph 40 

Fuller, Capt. Stephen . 85 

Fitch, Jonathan. 41 

Franklin, John. Esq 25 

Fitzgerald, Derrick 18 

Fish, Joannah 8 

Frisbie, James 53 

Gore, Lieut, Obadh.. , . , IS 

Gore, Daniel 45 

Gore, Widw Hannah. 25 

Gale, Cornelius 24 

Gore, Widw Elizabeth 7 

Holenback, Matthew 21 

Hagerman, John 21 

Hurlbutt, John, Esq 62 

Hurlbutt, Christr 26 

Hide, John 24 

Harris, Elisha 21 

Harding, Henry 9 



Nisbitt, JaniL'S 5.' 

Neill, Thos 

O'Neal, Jno 

Park, Thos 

4 Pierce. Phinehas 

Pell, Josiah 

n Pensyl, Widw Mary 

Pierce, Widw Hannah 

Ransom, Widw Esther 

n Reed, Thos 

Rogers, Jonah 

n Ross, Wm 54 

n Ross, Widw Marsey 11 

n Ryon, John 5 

Spalding, Capt. Simon . . 15 

Slocum, Giles '" 

1 n Spencer, Caleb 54 

4 Sanford, David ^ 1 

Sutton, James IS 

n Saterly, Elisha 7 

Smith, John Hi 

10 Smith, Wm 5 

10 Sill, Jabez 52 

Tilbury, John ' . . . . 47 

Thomas, Joseph 27 

10 Trucks, Wm V) 

Upson, Widw Sarah 27 

Underwood, Isaac 21 

Williams, Wm 21 

Warner, Wm 28 

15 Williams. Nathl 8 

Vcrington, Abel 21 

£2,555 



55 
54 






IS 





IS 





5 





29 


5 


4 





4 


10 


I') 





IS 





61 






There are only ninety-one names in this list. For some unexplainable 
reason we find missing the names of many men who were members of the military 
companies of Captains Simon Spalding, William Hooker Smith and John Frank- 
lin, and who are well known to have been in Wyoming in the Summer of 1780. 
Some of these men were early settlers in the valley under The Susquehanna 
Company, were land-owners, and were active participants in the life of the 
community. Among them were: Roasel Franklin, Henry Burney, Prince 
Alden, Asa Budd, Frederick Budd, Thomas Bennet, Jonathan Corey, Joseph 
Corey, Henry Elliott, Jonathan Frisbie, John Fuller, Stephen Gardner, John 
Gore, Benjamin Harvey, Naphtali Hurlbut, Robert Hopkins, Abraham Nisbitt, 
Xoah Pettebone, Josiah Rogers, Walter Spencer, Abraham Tillbury, Jacob Till- 
bury. 

It will be noted, as an indication of the poverty of the people following the 
destruction of their homes and crops by the enemy in 1778, that in the foregoing 
tax-list only three persons are "listed", or assessed, above £60, while fifty-eight 
persons are assessed under £30. 

A large body of Indians and "Rangers" from Fort Niagara attacked Fort 
Rice, in what is now Lewis Township, Northumberland County, Pa., September 
6, 1780. At that time Fort Jenkins (which stood on the north bank of the Sus- 
quehanna, about midway between the present towns of Berwick and Blooms- 
burg) was garrisoned by a detachment, or company, of the "German Regiment" 
mentioned on page 1162, Vol. II. When the attack on Fort Rice was made the 
garrison was withdrawn from Fort Jenkins and marched to the support of Fort 
Rice, and of Fort Augusta at Sunbury. 

On their failure to capture Fort Rice the enemy dispersed in small parties, 
overran the neighboring country, and did considerable damage. One party. 



1256 

composed of some forty "Rangers" and Seneca Indians, under the command of 
Lieut. William Johnston and Roland Montour*, marched against Fort Jenkins. 
Finding it abandoned they burned and destroyed it, as well as the buildings in 
its neighborhood. They also rounded up a few head of cattle, and captured two 
or three men; whereupon ten members of the marauding party were detached 
to conduct these prisoners and cattle to Niagara. This occurrence took place on 
the 9th of September. 

On the preceding day a companj^ of Northampton County militia, forty-one 
in number commanded by Capt. Daniel Klader, with Lieut. John Meyer second 
in command, had set out from Fort Allen, on the Lehigh (see page 339, Vol. I), 
for Scotch Valley, near Nescopeck, on the Susquehanna. Complaints had been 
lodged with the civil authorities of Pennsylvania to the effect that the inhabitants 
of Scotch Valley "have lived peaceably in the most dangerous times; negroes 
and other suspected strangers being frequently seen amongst them. During 
every incursion the enemy have made into this country all the disaffected families 
[Tories] fly there for protection, whilst the well-affected are obliged to evacuate 
the country or shut themselves up in garrison." 

In the circumstances it was deemed necessary by the civil and military 
authorities of the counties of Northampton and Northumberland to either dis- 
perse or arrest these undesirable citizens — these Tories — of Scotch Valley. 
Thence the excursion of Captain Klader and his men. 

Unfortunatel3^ however, news of Klader's coming reached the inhabitants 
of the doomed settlement, and they withdrew in haste from their homes to the 
north side of the Susquehanna, where they fell in with the band of Indians headed 
by Johnston and Montour. The latter, being informed of the state of affairs, 
proceeded up to the site of the present town of Berwick, where they crossed over 
the river and followed the path leading from the Susquehanna to the Lehigh — as 
described on page 237, Vol. I. Proceeding about eight or nine miles they dis- 
posed themselves in ambush to await the coming of the Northampton County 
militiamen. 

Near noon on Sunday, September 10th, Captain Klader and his men arrived 
at a point in Sugarloaf Valleyf about one-half mile east of the present borough 
of Conyngham on land now occupied by the Hazleton Country Club, in Sugar- 
loaf Township, Luzerne County. "To their great delight they saw before them 
open and cleared fields, covered with a luxuriant growth of grass. Weary as they 
were with the fatigue and hardships of their long march, their knapsacks were 
immediately unslung, and they entered upon the enjoyment of the hour. 

"The very beauty of their surroundings lulled to rest all thoughts of danger, 
and no one seemed to realize the necessity of watchful care. Fach man roamed 
about as best suited his fancy. Their guns were scattered here and there — some 
stacked, some leaning against stumps and logs, others lying flat on the ground. 
Suddenly a volley of musketrj' was poured in upon them from an unseen foe, 
and with it rang out the terrible war-whoop of the Savages, who, in a moment 
more, were in their midst. "J 

Captain Klader and thirteen of his men were killed, and subsequently 
stripped naked and scalped ; Lieutenant Meyer, Fnsign James Scoby and Peter 
Tubal Coons, a private soldier, were taken prisoners, while the remaining members 

*See note on page 1028, Vol. 11. 

TSee the illustration facing page 236, Vol, I. 

;H. M. M, Richards, in Johnson's •'Historical Record", VI: l.'l. . 



of the company fled and escaped, although several of them were badly wounded 
before and during their flight. According to Crinkshank's "Story of Butler's 
Rangers" (page 82) only one Indian of the marauding party was killed at this 
time, "but Roland Montour, long known as a brave and active chief, received a 
wound in his arm from which he died a week later." 

The enemy, with their three prisoners and such booty as they had secured 
from the slain militiamen, returned to the Susquehanna, which they followed to 
Harvey's Creek. There they burnt the saw-mill of Benjamin Harvey on vSep- 
tember 13th, and that night Lieutenant Meyer escaped from his captors and 
made his way the next day to Fort Wyoming at Wilkes-Barre. The remainder 
of the party crossed the Shawanese Mountain, took a north-east course, and 
struck the Susquehanna again some distance above Wyoming. 

Miner, in giving an account of this incursion, says ("History of Wyoming", 
page 287): "The Indians hastened their retreat, doing what mischief they could 
bv burning the Shickshinny mills, and all the grain stacks on their route." This 
reference to mills at Shickshinny was undoubtedly made inadvertently, for there 
were no mills at that point then or for years afterwards. Lieut. John Jenkins, 
Jr., who was at Fort Wyoming in September, 1780, made mention in his diary 
of the burning of the Harvey mill. He wrote: "Thursday, Sept. 14th — This 
day we heard that Fort Jenkins and Harvey's mills were burnt."* 

At Fort Wyoming, under the date of September 4, 1780, Col. Zebulon Butler 
wrote to Col. Fphraim Blaine, Commissary General of Purchases of the 

Continental army, at Philadelphia, as follows :t 

"The intent of this is to apply to you to give orders to Mr. [William] Stewart, Commissary 
of Issues at this Post, or some Purchasing Commissary that will furnish him beef cattle or salt 
provision for the use of this garrison. He left this [place] by my order the 29th of last June to 
procure provisions for this garrison. We have been out of provisions near half the time since, and 
he has not returned. He has sent some flour, but no meat. He writes me some flour is coming, 
but no meat, and that I must send express to Colonel Blaine to furnish him with orders or money, 
as he cannot procure it. 

"This express waits on you on purpose to have some relief for this garrison, which is a frontier, 
and ought to have at least three months' provisions on hand. With respect to flour, I think a 
supply may soon be had here, as there is a quantity of wheat to be sold here, and a mill will be 
ready to go in four or five weeks; but at present no person is authorized to purchase. 

"My making this application to you is by request of Mr. Stewart, Issuing Commissaryat 
this post. If it should be out of the rule you'll please to excuse me; but so much is fact — we are 
out of provisions, and no prospect of getting meat. An answer by the bearer [Hugh Forseman] 
who waits on you will much oblige your humble servant", &c. 

At Philadelphia, under the date of September 18, 1780, Colonel Blaine 
wrote to Colonel Butler, in part as follows :{ 

"I delayed your Express several days, expecting to obtain money or some other means to 
procure supplies of provisions. Under the present system the States are to furnish the supplies 
of our army. They have been so exceedingly dilatory that the army have been for several days, 
at diff'erent periods, without one morsel of meat of any kind, and are now in the most disagreeable 
situation for want of that article. I haven't it in my power, for the present, to give you any 
assistance but that of flour." * * * 

We have further testimony as to the unhappy conditions respecting food 
supplies at Fort Wyoming, at this period, in a petition§ which was presented to 
the Connecticut Assembly by Hugh Forseman (previously mentioned) in October, 
1781. He stated therein: 

"The Garrison at Wyoming was in August and September. 17S0. much straitened and 
distressed for the want of provisions, by reason that Governor Reed,] prohibited its being bought 

"^For fuller information concerning the Sugarloaf massacre see: "Frontier Forts of Pennsylyai 
"History of Wyoming", p. 287; Johnson's '*Hijtorical Record". II: 125. 167. and VI; 131; Stone's ' 
of Wyoming", p. 259. 

tSee Magazinr of American History, XXIV: 146. 

tSee original letter in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 

iThe original is "No. 145" in the collection of documents in the State Library Hartford, Co 
in paragraph "(3)". page 29. Vol. I. 

Gen. Joseph Reed, President of the Supreme Executive Council of PennsylvaTiia. 



1258 

from the Pennsylvania Purchasing Commissaries. While in this situation Col. Zebulon Butler, 
who commanded the garrison, appointed and directed me to purchase provisions for the use of 
the troops — which appointment I received September 20, 1780." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of October 19, 1780, Hugh Forseman wrote 
to Colonel Butler at Wilkes-Barre as follows: 

"I still remain in this City waiting on Col. Blaine for orders, and as I have not wrote you 
before I shall not be so particular in this, only this much I would mention: That when I first 
went to Col. Blaine and Delivered your letter and informed him the situation of the Post he told 
me there was no money, nevertheless some methods must be taken to furnish us with Provision, 
and he had the matter before Congress and no answer he hath reed. yet. I wate upon him once 
and twice every Day, but nothing done, nor will he let me go untill he gits an answer from Congress. 

"I am very uneasy staying here, but Judge it will not do now to go away untill I receive 
some Orders. I suppose your situation by this time is very Bad on account of provisions, and it 
hath been out of my power to do anything more than what I have. I have no reason to believe but 
what Col. Blaine doth his endeavour to dispatch me. Excuse haste from your very humble sert." 

At Fort Wyoming, under the date of October 8, 1780, Colonel Butler wrote 
to William vStewart, hereinbefore mentioned, as follows : 

"Yours of the 20 September came safe to hand some time since. The boat with flour came. 
The meat was expended, and part of the flour. The two cattle likewise came, but we are entirely 
out of bread and meat. We live on eels* and corn, and the eels seem to be most done. Should 
have sent the boat sooner, but Mr. Jameson told me you would not have flour ready. I have sent 
one small boat and twelve men. Hope you will be able to load the three boats with flour and some 
liquor and let them return immediately. 

"I would wish likewise you would send on some cattle by the same party. When I can 
hear of their coming I shall send a guard to meet them. When Doctor [William Hooker] Smith 
was at Philadelphia Colonel Blaine gave encouragement for cash. Mr. Forseman has gone to 
him and to see what he can do about cattle. Expect him to return in a few days. As to sending 
hides, it cannot be done by this boat now, the water is so shallow. But I suppose they can come 
by Mr. Buck's boat when that comes; but the water is too low for that yet." 

Miner states (see "History of Wyoming", page 288) that on October 24, 
1780, "the settlement was thrown into commotion by the arrival of an express 
stating that Colonel [Samuel] Hunter,t at Fort Augusta (Sunbury), had stopped 
the boats that were ascending the river with provisions for the [Wyoming] gar- 
rison. Grain the people now had, but they were obliged to go to Stroudsburg 
to mill. This was the first incident which had occurred for three years exhibiting 
the smothered, but by no means extinguished, jealousy that existed on the part 
of Pennsylvania towards the Connecticut garrison and settlement." 

A few weeks after this occurrence Hugh Forseman arrived from Philadelphia 
with a hundred head of cattle for the garrison. "Thus fear of absolute famine 
was removed. The comforts of life were not looked for, but all were satisfied 
with sufficient food to sustain existence."! 

At Fort Wyoming, September 19, 1780, a town-meeting of the inhabitants 
of Westmoreland was held, John Hurlbut, Esq., acting as Moderator, and Oba- 

*" Another friend which had often cheered and sustained the people [of Wyoming] also came nobly to the rescue . 
The Susquehanna River, after furnishing its usual supply of shad in the Spring, this year [1780] doubled its efTorts and 
produced in the Fall extraordinary swarms of eels, upwards of fourteen thousand of these wriggling dainties were taken 
within three weeks — a welcome boon to the hungry people which they did not allow to slip through their fingers." 
— From "Wyoming, or Connecticut's East India Company", by Henry T. Blake, 1897. 

See also Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 290. 

tSee (t) note page 1274. 

tWith respect to the obtaining of a sufficient supply of food for the American army, these were, indeed, the times 
that tried men's souls — not only at the little garrison of Wyoming, but at the headquarters of the army. The .\utumn 
days of 1 780 were surely the darkest days in the outlook for American autonomy. In proof of this statement we offer 
the following extracts from a letter written by General Washington at the headquarters of the army, near Hackensack 
Bridge, New Jersey. September 12, 1780, and addressed to the Executive Council of Massachusetts. This letter gives 
a most touching and appealing glimpse of the discouragements that were turning fervent zeal to dull despair in the 
hearts of many American patriots. 

"At present, unfortunately for us, were we in the fullest possession of a naval superiority and the fairest oppor- 
tunities were to present themselves for striking a stroke, we could not transport even a small body of troops to any 
point, however interesting and certain the object. /or ivanl of sail prmisions * * I have heard that a very consider- 
able quantity of beef and pork was captured in the Quebec fleet. If this is the fact, it seems to be the only source from 
which we can hope to obtain a supply — and from the necessity of the case I take the liberty to entreat you will endeavor 
to secure it. I would wish at least 4.000 barrels to be provided, if it be by any means practicable * * * 

"I am pained to inform your Honorable body that our distresses for meat still continue pressing and alarming 
The supplies we have received, including the cattle which have been exacted from the inhabitant; of this State — and 
in many instances to their entire ruin — and which have made no inconsiderable part, have been little more than sufficient 
to sati; fy a third of our necessary demands. The troops on some occasions have been even four and five days without 
a mouthful of meat. Complaints and murmurings — a relaxation of discipline — marauding — robbery and desertion are 
the consequences; and. indeed, it is to be wondered at. that they have not prevailed to a much greater extent, I am 
satisfied things cannot continue long in their present situation." * * — From The Boston Transcript, February, 1900. 



1259 

diah Gore serving as "Town Clerk." Among other matters the meeting resolved 
that John Hurlbut and Col. Nathan Denison "be appointed Agents to negotiate 
a petition at the next General Assembly, praying for an abatenlent of taxes 
upon the present list." This petition, addressed to the General Assembly of 
Connecticut, and dated "Westmoreland, 28 September, 1780," was duly prepared, 
and was presented to the Assembly at its October session by Colonel Denison 
and John Hurlbut, who attended as representatives from Westmoreland. It is 
document "No. 136" in the collection of documents in the State l,ibrary at 
Hartford, described in paragraph "(3)", page 29, Vol. I. It is in the handwriting 
of Obadiah Gore, Jr., and is signed by John Hurlbut, John Franklin, Jabez Sill 
and James Nisbitt, "Selectmen, in behalf of themselves and the inhabitants." 
This memorial sets forth at length "the disagreeable situation" the inhabit- 
ants of Westmoreland "are yet in, by reason of the unhappy effects of the war," 
and then contin'ues as follows: 

"The settlement being contracted to a very narrow compass, just under cover of the garrison 
— our fields very much in common — our famiUes either in barracks with the soldiery, or soldiers 
quartering in our houses, for our protection and safety. Besides, the difficulty of obtaining 
grinding — there being no grist-mill within forty or fifty miles of this settlement. These, and 
many other difficulties (which are tedious to mention), induce us once more to petition for an. 
abatement of taxes upon the present list; or in some other way to grant us relief." 

A town-meeting of the inhabitants of Westmoreland was held at the house of 
Abel Yarington, Wilkes-Barre, on Tuesday, December 5, 1780. John Hurlbut, 
Esq., acted as Moderator, and he. Colonel Denison, Capt. John Franklin, James 
Xisbitt and Jabez Sill were chosen Selectmen for the ensuing year. Also, men 
were chosen to fill the offices of Town Clerk, Treasurer, Constable, Surveyors of 
Plighways, Fence Viewers, leisters, Collectors, Leather Sealers and Grand Jury- 
men. "The fewness of the inhabitants", says Miner ("History of Wyoming", 
page 289), "may be inferred from the fact that James Nisbitt and Jabez Sill were 
each chosen to three offices, and several others were voted in to the duties and 
honors of two. 

"The occasion was one of comparative cheerfulness. Winter had set in* — • 
snow had fallen — the enemy, kept at a respectful distance by the spirited con- 
duct of Hammond, Bennet, Van Campen, Rogers and Pike, would not be likely, 
it was thought, soon to return. With frost, sickness had ceased; and Forseman's 
arrival with a supply of cattle dissipated all fears of suffering from famine. But 
these pleasing dreams of security were destined to be of brief duration." 

On November 19, 1780, a detachment of nineteen "Rangers" and five Indians 
had set out from Niagara, under the command of Lieut. John Turney, Sr.,t on 
a marauding expedition to the valley of the Susquehanna. In due time the party 
reached the river, where they took canoes and descended as far as Secord's, on the 
west bank of the river, two or three miles above the present borough of Tunk- 
hannock. Leaving their canoes here they marched westward through a gap in 
the mountains, and then in a southerly direction towards the valley of Wyoming. 
They arrived on the Summit of Shawanese Mountain, overlooking the Plymouth 
Township settlement, in the afternoon of Wednesday, December 6th, twenty-two 
days after leaving Niagara. 

*"Soon the dreadful Winter of 1780-'81 set in — a season known in our annals as 'the hard Winter' when for forty 
days, not an icicle was disturbed by the sun in all the region from the .Arctic Sea to Roanoke, and westward to the Pacific. 
It bore with mighty force upon frontier and wilderness life. * * Many cattle perished. Wild beasts and birds 
were frozen. * * Scarcity of provisions prevailed, and gaunt Famine looked fiercely in at the windows of the 
cabins,"— Hari>frs Magazine, XIX: 593, 

tSee note on page 965, and page 992 Vol. II. 



1260 

On the evening of this day George Palmer Ransom*, a member of Capt. 
Simon Spalding's Westmoreland Independent Company, in the Continental 
service at the Wyoming garrison, Manasseh Cady, Jonathan Frisbie, James 
Frisbie,t Nathan Bullock, { Benjamin Harvey and his son EHsha, all privates 
in Capt. John Franklin^s militia company, previously mentioned, were gathered 
together at the home of Benjamin Harvey§, where, also, were his daughter, Lucy 
Harvey and Lucy Bullock, a daughter or sister of Nathan Bullock. Mr. Harvey's 
home was in what is now the borough of Plymouth, on the north-west side of 
Main Street, about midway between the present Center and Eno Avenues. 

There had been a heavy fall of snow a few days previously, and on this 
Wednesday night the weather was extremely cold; but, within the deep and 

*See page 896, Vol. II. 

tjAMES Frisbie, of Branford, New Haven County, Connecticut became a member of The Susquehanna Company 
November 29, 1760, when he bought of Timothy Rose, of Woodbury. Conn., for £5. one-quarter of an original right, 
or share, in the Company. In April. 1773, James Frisbie was living in Woodbury. Litchfield County, Conn., but within 
the next two years he removed to Wyoming and settled in Plymouth. James Frisbie, Jr., and Jonathan Frisbie were 
undoubtedly his sons. 



JNaTHAN Bullock, mentioned on page 44, Vol. T, and pages 1039, 1161 and 1182, Vol. II, was of Ashford, Con- 
necticut, in 1773. According to "The Town Book of Wilkes-Barre" (page 1320) "Anderson Dana, Surveyor," sur- 
veyed, March 23, 1774, a tract of land for Nathan Bullock, "one of ye Susquehanna Company, on ye easterly side of 
said Purchase, near ye Long Meadows, so called, near ye Pennamites' Path." 

• §Benjamin Harvey, whose name is frequently mentioned in these pages, was bom at Lyme, New London County . 
Connecticut, July 28, 1722, the seventh and youngest child of John and Sarah Harvey, and great-grandson of Thomas 
Harvey, a native of Somersetshire, England, who immigrated to Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1636, and later became 
one of the first settlers of Taunton, Massachusetts. (For full details as to the ancestry of Benjamin Harvey, see "The 
Harvey Book", pubUshed by the present writer at Wilkes-Barre in 1899.) 

John Harvey, above mentioned, was bom at Taunton, Massachusetts, in 1676, the eldest child of John Harvey 
Sr., (bom at Taunton in 1647; died at Lyme, Conn., January 18, 1705), who had been a soldier in Maj. Samuel Apple- 
ton's battalion during King Philip's, or the Narragansett, War. and was wounded at the "Great Swamp Fight", Decem- 
ber 19, 1675. In 1681 he removed with his family to the town of New London, Connecticut, and thence, a few years 
later, to the town of Lyme, in the same county. 

John Harvey, Jr., lived the greater part of his life in Lyme. He was a farmer, and the owner of considerable 
property in the North Parish of Lyme. He held various town offices of responsibility for a number of years. His wife 
Sarah died at North Lyme October 2, 1754, and he died there December 23, 1767. 

Benjamin Harvey, like his father owned considerable property in North Lyme, where he resided for the first fifty 
years of his life, and was engaged for a good part of that period in farming and stock raising. For a number of years 
he was a near neighbor and intimate friend of Zebulon Butler, as noted on page 636, Vol. II. 

In 1744 war was declared by France against England, and by England against France, and in February, 1745, 500 
troops were raised in Connecticut, who were organized into eight companies and marched forward to Boston. For 
Connecticut's contingent New London County furnished quite a number of men, some of whom were from Lyme. 
Among them was Benjamin Harvey, then in his twenty-third year. These Connecticut troops, as part of the Colonial 
forces, sailed for Cape Breton, where, on June 8, 1745, was begun the seige of Louisbourg. In forty-nine days this 
"Gibraltar of America" was captured by the English, and shortly thereafter the Connecticut troops were sent home 
and disbanded. 

Diu-ing the progress of the second French and English War, Benjamin Harvey served in J 759 as a Corporal in the 
9th Company of the 4th Regiment of Connecticut troops, commanded by Capt. Zebulon Butler. (See last paragraph, 
page 635. Vol. II.) During the "Stamp Act" troubles of 1765 Benjamin Harvey was an active member of the Sons of 
Liberty in Connecticut. (See page 482, Vol. I.) 

In December. 1768, The Susquehanna Company appropriated the sum of £200 for the purpose of providing pro- 
visions for its settlers at Wyoming. .(See page 466, Vol. I.) Some of the supplies thus provided for having been pur- 
chased at Lyme, Benjamin Harvey was employed to transport the same to their destination. This work was done by 
making two trips — one in the Summer of 1769, and the other about a year later — from North Lyme to Wilkes-Barre, 
with three carts drawn by oxen driven by Benjamin Harvey and his sons Benjamin and Seth. 

Benjamin Harvey's wife having died at North Lynie December 3, 1771, and his second son, Seth, having died 
there a week later, he determined early in 1772 that he would remove to W^yoming. where so many of his old friends 
and former neighbors were already settled. Therefore. April 14. 1772, he purchased of John Starlin. or Sterling, of 
Lyme, for £12, a half-share or " — right" in the Susquehanna Purchase. He immediately sent his eldest son. Benjamin, 
on to Wyoming to examine into the situation of affairs there, and to look out for his interests. As shown by the records 
of The Susquehanna Company, he himself arrived at Wilkes-Barre May 7, 1772. Having been admitted a proprietor 
in Plymouth Township he was allotted the lands therein to which he was entitled on his half-right, and before the close 
of the year 1772 he was joined at Plymouth by the several members of his family who had remained behind at Ljnie. 

In the Summer of 1773 Benjamin Harvey took steps to acquire a "pitch of land", consisting of some 754 acres, 
lying along the Susquehanna south-west of Plymouth Township. Two streams of water flowed across the tract — 
one near the eastern and the other near the western boundary. One of these streams was the creek described on page 
54, Vol. I, now and for many years past, known as Harvey's Creek 

At a regular meeting of The Susquehanna Company held at Hartford, Connecticut, May 24, 1774, the following 
communication was read: (The original document is in the possession of the writer of this.) 

"To the Susquehanna Proprietors to be Convened at Hartford on the 24th of May, 1774. 

"Gentlemen — There is a Large Tract of Land Lying and adjoining To the Township of Plymouth that Mr. Benjn. 
Harvey applyd. for by way of Petition at the Susqh. meeting Last June it was Refered to the Committee of Setters 
and they Impowerd. to finally Determine that matter — upon Examination we found that Mr. Harvey as a sufferer is 
already made good in Plymouth and that he now challenges it as a part of his Generall Right — 

"In my Opinion the Land Included in that Survey is Greatly Superior to any Right in either of the setUng Towns — ■ 
therefore upon them Principles we chose that the Company should still have the power of Disposing of the same as they 
think proper — Besides I would Beg Leave to Inform you Gentlemen that there is a considerable Stream runs through 
sd. Tract, I believe Large enough to carry an Iron works the whole season, and a very Large Quantity of Iron Ore, 
Doubtless enough tq last to tlie end of Time, which is said to be very rich and its very Near, and even in ye Banks of 
the Brook — 

"Now if the Company could adopt some measures whereby some Gentlemen might be Incouraged to set up a 
Bloomary it would I am sure be a matter of Great Consequence to the Company in Generall and the settlers in particu- 
lar, and a Gentlemen appearing to undertake the Business would Doubtless meet with Great Incouragement from the 
sellers here — 



1261 

broad fire-place in the "living room" of Benjamin Harvey's house, there blazed 
a fire of pine-knots and chestnut logs, whose genial brightness and warmth the 
little company seated about the hearth enjoyed with much satisfaction, heedless 
of the blustering winds and drifting snow without. At the same time the men 
of the party were enjoying also plenteous draughts of the hardest kind of hard 
cider, which, with our New England forefathers, was the usual drink on extra- 
ordinary occasions during the Winter season. 

The hour was yet early when, suddenly, a noise was heard by this little 
group of friends at the fireside, which hushed their conversation and caused them 
to look at one another with apprehension. The noise was caused, simply, by 

"There is a Large Quantity of good stone Coals on sd. Tract which is valuable and the very best I have seen on 
Susquehanna, as I profess to be a judge of Ihat — 

"Gentlemen I Communicate this that you might not be Deceived with Regard to the Quality of that Tract of 
Land — There is no other Stream of that Bigness for many miles Distance except the River — 

"Gentlemen with Esteem I subscribe myself 
"Westmoreland 16th of May 1774." "Your Humbe. Servt. 

[Signed] "Obadiah Gore, Junr." 



^^O'^-^ry ■• /n^a^i^^j^Y 



Mr. Gore was, without doubt, somewhat of an expert with respect to water-courses and anthracite coal, but on the 
subject of iron ore he was apparently "ofiE", A\TiiIe there were large deposits of coal, acres of valuable timber, and a 
fine stream of water on the land selected by Mr. Harvey, there was never a trace of iron ore there. 

What action, if any, was taken by the Susquehanna Company on the letter of Mr. Gore the minutes of the Company 
do not disclose. The records do show, however, that the land in question was duly laid out and confirmed to Mr. Harvey, 
and that he remained the owner of it until his death. 

In 1774 Mr. Har\'ey opened the first store in Plymouth, which was managed for him by his son Benjamin, Jr., 
while he busied himself about other matters. He continued to reside in PlyTnouth until his death, and he took a very 
active part in the public affairs of the community. His name appears frequently in the following pages. 

Benjamin Harvey was married, first, in 1745, to Elizabeth (bom at Lyme in 1720), fourth daughter and ninth 
child of John and Jemima Pelton. Mrs. Harvey having died in December. 1 77 1 . as previously noted, Benjamin Harvey 
was married, second, at Plymouth, between 1783 and 1786, to Catherine 
Draper, widow of Maj. Simeon Draper. Benjamin Harvey died at his 
home in Plymouth Township, near what is now West Nauticoke, November 
27, 1795; and his widow Catharine died there May 6. 1800. 

The children of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Pellon) Har\'ey were as follows 
(all bom in North Lyme): (i) Mary, bom 1746; died unmarried October 
27,1767. (ii) Benjamin, born 1747; died in Febmary or March, 1777, as 
Facsimile of signattire written in 1782. noted on page 904, Vol. II. (iii) Seih. bom 1749. died unmarried December 
10, 1771. (iv) Abigail, bom 1752; died unmarried November 22. 1769. (v) 
Silas, bora 1754; killed at the battle of Wyoming, July 3, 1778. (vi) Lois, bora 1756; became in 1779 the wife of Elna- 
than Sweet, Jr. (bora at Exeter, Rhode Island. June 24, 1755; died at Beekmanstown. New York, in 1782), of Beek- 
manstown, Duchess Coimty, New York; died at Halfmoon, Saratoga County, New York, in 1808. leaving a daughter. 
Abigail {Sweet) Deuel, wife of Joseph Merrit Deuel, of Deerfield, Oneida Coimty, N. Y. (vii) EXisha, bora 1758; died 
March 14, 1800. (viii) Lucy, born 1760; became the wife of Abraham Tillbury of Plymouth. 

(vii) Elisha Harvey came to Wyoming in 1772 with the other members of his father's family, and with them took 
up his residence in Plymouth. In 1775, being in the eighteenth year of his life and over the minimum age fixed by the 
laws of Connecticut for the militia service of the Colony, he was mustered as a private in the 3d Company (.Capt. 
Samuel Ransom commanding) of the 24th Regiment, Connecticut MiUtia, and in December of the same year fought 
mth the Wyoming settlers against the forces of Colonel Plunket, at "Rampart Rocks", on the property of his father at 
West Nanticoke. (See page 860, Vol. II.) 

In 1778 Elisha Harvey was still a member of the 3d Company, then commanded by Capt. Asaph Whittlesey and 
with it took part in the battle of July 3d. When the retreat of the Americans began. Elisha Har\-ey- escaped from the 
bloody field in company with WQliam Reynolds, Sr., a man of some years, who was an old friend, and for a time had 
been a neighbor in Plymouth, of Benjamin Harvey, and, like tlie latter, was an enrolled member of the "Alarm List" 
of the 3d Company, Messrs. Reynolds and Harvey swam across the river near Forty Fort, and hastened to Fort 
Wjlkes-Barre. Thence they fled the next day, taking, with many other Wyoming refugees, the Ion g-un traveled 
"Warrior Path", which, running over the mountains south-east of Wilkes-Barre, led to Fort Allen, and onward through 
the Lehigh Water Gap to Bethlehem. 

Having tarried at the last-named place a few days, the two men journeyed to Easton, twelve miles distant where 
they joined a number of their former comrades-in-arms and set off up the Delaware River. Leaving the river at Lower 
Smithfield they proceeded to Fort Penn (now Stroudsburg) where. July 26, 1778, they joined a detachment of the 24th 
Regiment under the command of Colonel Butler. With this body they marched to Wilkes-Barre, where they arrived 
August 4, and where they were on the 1st of the following October — with the 170 or more Continental soldiers and 
Westmoreland militia there engaged in scouting, etc. (See pages 1079, 1080 and 1096, Vol. II.) 

Owing to the rigors of the Canadian climate, and the severe physical strains to which he had been subjected 
during his captivity, the health of Elisha Harvey was greatly impaired, during the two years following his return to 
Wyoming; and so, as far as possible, he avoided the frays and commotions incident to the "Second Pennamite- Yankee 
War." He remained quietly at his father's home engaged in farming — when permitted to do so by the Pennamites. 
Shortly after his father's death he completed at the easternmost end of the Plymouth "plantation", devised to him by 
his father, a substantial stone dweUing-house. Here he resided with his family until his death, which occurred Alarch 
14, 1800, in the forty-second year of his age. During the last two or three years of his life he suffered much from ill 
health, caused by the development of a wasting disease which had been implanted in his system while he was undergo- 
ing the cruel hardships and severe exposures incident to his captivity in Canada. 

Elisha Harvey was married November 27, 1786, to Rosanna (bora December 24, 1758) daughter of Robert and 
Agnes (Dixon) Jameson of Hanover Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, but formerly of Voluntown, Windham 
County, Connecticut. (See in the following chapter a sketch of the Jame- 
son family.) Mrs. Rosanna (Jameson) Har\'ey died at her home in Ply- 
mouth Township January 17, 1840, in the eighty-second year of her age, 
The children of Elisha and Rosanna (Jameson) Harvey were as follow; 
— all bora m Plymouth Township: (1) Benjamin, bora August 10. 1787 
died March 18, 1788. (2) Sarah, bora May 4. 1789; married to the Rev, 
George Lane; died October II, 1832. (3) Elizabeth, bom September 20, 
Facsimile of signature written in 1780. 1790; married to Thomas Pringle; died May 26, 1868. (4) Benjamin, bora 

May 9, 1792, married to Sarah Nesbitt; died March 3, 1873. (5) Xancy, 
bom March 19, 1794; died January 15, 1795. (6) Jameson, bora January 1, 1796; married to Mary Campbell; died 
July 4, 1885. (7) Silas, bora December 17, 1797; married to Rachel Search; died May 10, 1824. 

For a fuller account of the Harvey family see "The Harvey Book", published at Wilkes-Barre in 1899. 



{jt^ia'^himj. 



1262 

two or three gentle knocks struck on the outer door of the house; but there was 
a ringing sound to them, which, to the experienced ears of those within the house, 
indicated that the knocks did not come from the knuckles of a closed hand. 

After a few moments of silence the knocking was renewed, but more sharply 
than before. Benjamin Harvey then went forward and unbarred the door, 
whereupon it was pushed violently open, and five Indians, in full war-paint, 
crossed the threshold. Glancing through the doorway, Mr. Harvey discovered 
that the house was surrounded by a number of armed men, which fact he im- 
mediately made known to his companions. Shortly afterwards the commander 
of the band, accompanied by two or three of his men, joined the savages within 
doors, and demanded food and drink for his party. 

These marauders, it will be understood, were Lieutenant Turney and his 
detachment from Niagara, who, as soon as the shades of night had fallen upon 
Wvoming, had passed, as quietly and rapidly as possible, from their bivouac on 
top of vShawanese Mountain down into the valley. 

Having satisfied their hunger and thirst without delay, they began to bind 
with cords the arms of the inmates of the house, who, in the meantime, had been 
informed by Lieutenant Turney that they must consider themselves prisoners of 
war. The marauders then set out for the mountain with their nine captives, and 
with such booty as they could easily secure and carry. Arriving on top of the 
mountain, and out of danger of immediate pursuit, the party halted for con- 
sultation. After awhile one of the Indians, who was past middle age, and was 
apparently a chief, led Lucy Harvey and Lucy Bullock aside from the other 
captives, and, by the dim and flickering light of a torch, painted their faces in 
true Indian style. Then, unloosing the cords which bound the young women, he 
told them his name,* and added; "Go, tell Colonel Butler I put on this paint!" 

Parting from their relatives and friends, whom they never expected to see 
again, Lucy Harvey and Lucy Bullock made their way down into the valley, 
through the gloom}- forest and over the rough, snow-covered ground. Reaching 
the Plymouth highway they hastened in the direction of the Wilkes-Barre ferry, 
which they reached a short time before daylight. Awakening the ferryman, 
they were rowed across the river by him, and arrived in a few minutes at Fort 
Wyoming. 

One of the sentries on duty there at that hour was a young man named 
Charles Harris, who, being acquainted with the Misses Harvey and Bullock, 
recognized their voices when they hailed the fort. Being admitted within the 
walls, they quickty told their story to the commander of the garrison, who ordered 
the alarm-gun to be fired. But by this time the captors and the captured were 
far on their journey, and, beyond the sound even of the signal, which fell upon the 
ears of the people of the valley as a notification that some one in the community 
had been murdered or carried into captivity. 

An hour or two later there arrived at the fort a young Irishman named 
Thomas Connollyt, w'ho had deserted from Lieutenant Turney's band shortly 
after the Misses Harvey and Bullock had been released. He gave information 

*It was learned afterwards that this Indian was a Seneca chief of some importance, and that, upon two or three 
occasions prior to the Revolutionary War. he had attended Indian conferences held with the white settlers at Wyommg . 
He had also taken an active part under Butler and ^ayenQueraghla in the battle and massacre of Wyommg, July 3, 1778. 

tAt Sunbury, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1780, Col. Matthew Smith (then Prothonotary of Northumberland 
County) wrote to the Hon. Joseph Reed, President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, 
in part as follows: "Inclosed I send the examination of Thomas Conley (taken at Wyoming and transmitted to me by 
Thomas Neil), who came from Niagara with a party of twenty whites and 6ve Indians. They carried away one Har- 
vey's family near Wvoming, six [sic] men and boys in number. Harvey's daughter and one other girl they sent back 



1263 

as to the route the party had traveled in approaching the valley, and stated 
that they expected to return northward the same way. 

As soon as possible that morning Captain F'ranklin, with twenty-six of his 
men, set out from the fort in pursuit of the fleeing enemy, and marched up the 
river as far as Secord's (previously mentioned), where the pursuit was abandoned, 
being considered hopeless. Finding at this point the canoes left behind by the 
marauders, as heretofore noted. Captain Franklin and his men entered them and 
floated down. to Wilkes-Barre, where they arrived after an absence of three days. 

The two young women having been released, in the manner previously 
described, the marauders and their remaining captives marched away from the 
vallev as rapidly as the snow, the darkness of the night and the tangled wilderness 
would permit. They traveled all that night and the next day, at the close of 
which they arrived at the headwaters of Mehoopany Creek, which empties into 
the Susquehanna a dozen or fifteen miles above vSecord's. Apprehending annoying 
consequences from the desertion of Connolly, Lieutenant Turney had changed his 
line of march, and had forced his band and their captives to cover a good deal 
of ground — some of which was remarkably rough and rocky — in a comparatively 
short space of time. 'The captives, in addition to having their arms bound, were 
compelled to carry upon their backs the plunder which had been seized bv their 
captors. 

Benjamin Harvey was at this time in the fifty-ninth year of his life, and al- 
though a man of remarkable physique (he was six feet and three inches in height, 
and solidly built), yet he nearly collapsed under the strain of this forced march. 
He was the oldest man in the party, and when the}' reached Mehoopany, where 
they purposed to encamp for the night, it seemed certain that Mr. Harvey would 
not be able to endure the hardships of the march on the morrow-. George Palmer 
Ransom, one of Lieutenant Turney's captives, who lived to an old age, years ago 
told the present writer's grandfather, who was the grandson and namesake of 
Benjamin Harvey that the latter, during the march from Plymouth to Mehoopany, 
after frequently upbraiding Turney for his heartlessness, would berate and curse 
all Indians in general, and those in particular who were his captors; and then, 
when almost out of breath, would call down a variety of imprecations upon the 
"British red-coats and red devils" who had so often made his life miserable. Ran- 
som said that Turney was very much annoyed by these outbreaks, but managed 
to make a show of holding his temper in check. 

Early in the morning of December 8th (which was Friday), Turney and the 
Indian chief held a consultation, which resulted in Mr. Harvey being placed in 
the custody of the Indians — evidently to be disposed of in whatsoever manner 
the latter should determine upon. 

Colonel Wright, in his "Historical Sketches of Plymouth" (page 222), says: 
"After spending [at Mehoopany] the cold and chilly night of December as they 
best could, in the morning the Indians held a council of war as to what was to be 

after having them some time and- eading them off a considerable distance. They made this stroke on the night of the 
6th inst and that same night Conley deserted from them. * * * 

Statement enclosed. 

"Garrison, Wyoming. December 7, 1780. This day came to this Post Thomas Connelly, a deserter from a party 
of the enemy of twenty white men and five Indians, who left Niagara twenty-two days before they arrived here. He 
says he is originally from Ireland, is twenty years of age. came to this country in 1772. and has been a servant to one 
Thomas Williams, an Indian trader, most of the time among the Indians, .\bout a year ago he engaged in the 'Rangers' ' 
service with Tory Butler. That the Post at Niagara is commanded by Brig. Gen. H. Watson Powell, who took the 
command in February last. The number of white troops is about 600, including the 'Rangers'. Sometimes there are 
near 2,000 Indians there — men , women and children — who all draw rations," * * * 

— From "Pennsylvania .\rchives". Old Series, VIII: 691. 



1264 

done with old Mr. Harvey. The value of his scalp in the British market pre- 
ponderated the scale against his life. The Savages bound him to a tree with thongs, 
and fastened his head in a position that he could move neither to the right nor 
to the left. The old chief then measured off the ground some three rods, called 
the three young braves, and, placing a tomahawk in the hand of each and stepping 
aside, pointed his finger to the head of the old man. All this was done in silence 
and without the least emotion depicted upon their stoic countenances. 

"The first one hurled his tomahawk — after giving two or three flourishes in 
the air — with a piercing whoop. It fastened itself in the tree, five or six inches 
above the old man's head. The second and third made the same effort, but with 
like effect. The whole Indian party now became furious; the young warriors, 
for their want of skill in this, probably, their first effort, and the older ones from 
some other impulse. An angry scene ensued, and they came nearly to blows. 
The old chief approached the victim and unloosened his bonds. ***** 

"The old gentleman, in giving an account of this [episode] said, that as each 
tomahawk came whizzing through the air it seemed as though it could not but 
split his head in two. That -so far as he could understand from the Indian dis- 
pute — having some knowledge of their language, though imperfect — the old 
chief took the ground that the Great Spirit had interfered and prevented his 
death ; while the others imputed it wholly to the unpractised hands of the young 
braves, and that 'the Great Spirit had no hand in the matter.' The stubborn will 
of the old sachem prevailed, however, and though in the minority, his counsel 
in the affair decided the issue." 

Very soon after this occurrence the party moved down the Mehoopany to 
the Susquehanna, then up the river into New York, and on to Fort Niagara by 
the most expeditious route. Miner ("History of Wyoming", pages 25 and 51 of 
the Appendix) says: "On their way they suffered much from cold and hunger, 
but at Tioga Point they killed a horse, and then fared sumptuously. * * * 
It is wonderful that cold, toil, hunger, and anguish of mind had not arrested 
the current of life, and left them a prey to the wolves. * * * Their suffer- 
ings in that inclement season, bound, loaded, and driven several hundred miles 
through the wilderness to Canada, no pen can describe." 

While Ivieutenant Turney and his command and their captives were in 
"Camp forty miles from Genesee, December 14, 1780", Turney wrote to Brig. 
Gen. H. Watson Powell at Fort Niagara, and sent to him by an express, the 
following letter* (now printed for the first time) : 

"I have the honor to inform you that on the 6th inst. I arrived near Wilksbury Fort, situated 
at ye upper end of the Shawnese Flats, where I found some habitations under the protection of 
the Fort. On the first night after my arrival I ordered my men to surround three of ye houses ; 
who, forcing their way into them, brought off seven prisoners, and I was lucky enough to prevail 
upon the Indians to leave the women and children behind unhurt. I then determined upon 
securing my retreat as fast as possible, for ye ground being covered with snow, and the garrison 
consisting of 300 men, exclusive of 30 more in another Fort on the opposite side of ye River, I was 
apprehensive of being pursued and, perhaps, obliged to leave my prisoners behind. Should my 
proceedings meet with your approbation I shall think myself amply rewarded for any little trouble 
or fatigue I may have had in ye execution. 

"I am thus far on my return to Niagara, and as I have now no resource left for Provisions — 
having killed my Horses — I beg you will be so kind as to send a fresh supply to meet me on the 
road. My Party, in other respects — notwithstanding their fatigue — are in good spirits, and I 
have ye pleasure of observing to you that they have shown ye greatest zeal for His Majesty's 
service; and indeed, from ye whole of their conduct, have prov'd themselves worthy of any 
assistance you may think proper to send them." 

*See the Canadian Archives, Series B. Vol. 100, page 501. 



1265 

At Fort Niagara, under the date of December 27, 1780, Col. (formerly Maj.) 
John Butler wrote to Captain Mathews as follows* : 

"Lieutenants Turney and Wimple returned from the Frontiers of Pennsylvania on the 
Susquehanna a few days ago, where they had been on a scout with twenty Rangers. They sur- 
prised a Fortified House in the night and took in it seven men. By one of the prisoners having 
an order from Colonel Butler of the Rebels (which was found on him), directing that he should 
be furnished with Horses, &c., and be forwarded with all dispatch, I am led to believe he was 
intrusted with letters, which he must have destroyed. The prisoners inform [us] the crops were 
very fine the last season in that part of the country. An express from New York for his Excellency, 
General Haldimand, joined them. His dispatches, I am told, go with this opportunity." 

At Fort Niagara, under the date of December 28, 1780, Brig. General Powell 
wrote to General Haldimand the following letterf (now printed for the first 
time) : 

"I take the opportunity of transmitting by Mr. Lando, who is charged with Dispatches to 
Your Excellency, the report of Lieutenant Turney's scout. As Mr. Turney's Family is in Canada, 
I have given him leave to pay them a visit, and if you should have occasion to send an express to 
these Posts, I can recommend him as a very proper [person] to be entrusted with it. He will 
wait at Montreal for your orders. I have given Mr. Lando Ten Pounds Halifax to defray his 
own and his companion's, Mr. Drake, expenses here, and to carry him to Montreal." 

The seven Plymouth captives were detained at Niagara during the remainder 
of the Winter and through the Spring of 1781, being lodged with many other 
American prisoners, from different parts of the United States, in barracks just 
outside the walls of the fort. About that time the British authorities in Canada 
had begun operations to reclaim the crown lands which lay on the south-west 
bank of Niagara River, opposite Fort Niagara. Arrangements had been made to 
found a settlement^ there, and the lands were to be cultivated in order to raise 
supplies of food for the support of the numerous British Loyalists who, driven 
from their homes throughout the United States, had taken refuge at Niagara 
(as described on pages 933 and 935, Vol. II). In the Spring of 1781 a number of 
the prisoners at Fort Niagara, including Benjamin Harvey and his companions, 
were taken across the river and made to work on these new lands. 

In the latter part of May, 1781, Benjamin Harvey was released on parole 
by the military authorities at Fort Niagara, who, evidently, were of the opinion 
that he was too aged either to be made much use of as a prisoner in their hands, 
or, being back within the American lines, to aid the cause of the rebels. After 
a long and tedious journey, occupying more than five weeks, during much of 
which time he sufi'ered from hunger and exposure to the elements, Mr. Harvey 
reached Wilkes-Barre on July 4, 1781. 

It was in the course of this journey homeward that he discovered (as fully 
related in "The Harvey Book", published in 1899) the large lake — the largest 
within the limits of Pennsylvania — which has continued, from at least the year 
1795 to the present time, to be popularly and officially known as Harvey's Lake§, 

*This letter, now printed for the fir^t time, is in the Canadian Archives, Series B. Vol. 105, p. 251. 

tSee the Canadian Archives, Series B. Vol. 100, page 509. 

JThis settlement was the beginning of the present town of Niagara-ou-the-Lafce, at the mouth of the Niagara 
River in the Province of Ontario. 

§Harvey's L.4KE lies in the township of Lake, Luzerne County, north-west of Wiltes-Barre, from which it is 
distant twelve miles in a bee-line, fourteen by highway, and seventeen by railway. It is a long, narrow, irregularly- 
shaped body of water, very much resembling a crutched cross, or the letter T. The main, or south-eastern, arm of the 
lake measures one mile and three-quarters from north-west to south-east, and in ^vidth ranges from 1600 feet to three- 
quarters of a mile — the greatest width being at the lower end, where there is an abrupt broadening to the west. The 
north-eastern arm is one and one-quarter miles in length, and from 1400 to 1800 feet in width, while the south-western 
arm is three-quarters of a mile in length and averages about 1600 feet in width. The shore line measures nine miles, 
and the surface of the lake lies 720 feet above the low-water level of tlie Susquehanna River at Wilkes-Barre, and 1226 
feet above mean sea-level. The area of the lake is in the neighborhood of 65 1 acres. 

The pure, clear, always cold water of the lake comes almost entirely from springs below its surface, there being no 
marked inlet. The outlet is at the west comer of the main, or south-eastern arm of the lake, and the outflow forms 
Harvey's Creek, described on page 54, Vol. I. 

No evidences of remote or recent human habitation were found near the lake at the time of its discovery by Ben- 
jamin Harvey, or a few years later when the territory in its vicinity was thoroughly explored. It is very certain that, 
until Mr. Harvey's discovery was made, the existence of the lake was quite unknown, not only to the inhabitants of 
Wyoming in general, but to the official explorers and surveyors of the Pennsylvania Proprietaries and of The Susque- 



1266 

and to be so designated — particularly on maps and in public documents pub- 
lished by, or under the auspices of Luzerne County and the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania. It is a fact, however, that from the time of its discovery up to 
the year 1795 (the year of the discoverer's death), the people generally through- 
out Wyoming were accustomed to call the lake "Harvey*s." 

Shortly after Benjamin Harvey was released on parole at Fort Niagara, 
Elisha Harvey, George P. Ransom and young Frisbie of the Plymouth party of 
prisoners were removed to Montreal, Canada. From there Ransom, known to 
be a Continental soldier, was sent to Prisoners' Island, forty-five miles up the 
St. Lawrence River, where there were 167 American captives, guarded by Loyal- 
ist refugees who belonged to Sir John Johnson's regiment. 

About the time of the arrival of EHsha Harvey and his comrades at Montreal, 
the British authorities there settled, according to custom, for the services of the 
Indians who had aided to capture the Plymouth people and convey them prisoners 
to Fort Niagara. The old Seneca chief, who had been a member of the marauding 
party, determined, however, that, instead of accepting a money consideration for 
his services, he would take possession of EHsha Harvey. This was in accordance 
with a custom which, at this period, was much in vogue among the Indian allies 
of the British, and was unquestionably recognized and countenanced by the 
latter.* 

In the latter years of the Revolutionary War many of the Six Nation 
Indians who, as allies of the British, went out on the war-path in the Winter 
and Spring months, spent the Summer and Autumn in the western and north- 
western regions of British American territory shooting and trapping fur-bearing 

hanna Company, who had laid out manors and townships in the Wyoming region during,' the period from 1768 to 1775, 
as hereinbefore related. 

Harvey's Lake was probably known to the Indians who at one time dwelt along the Susquehanna River, but that 
'it was a famous resort of the Indians when they inhabited Wyoming Valley" — ^as has been stated by a writer^ — is 
very doubtful. At the period when Indians lived in the Valley the Susquehanna contained an abundance of various 
kinds of fish, and it is hardly to be believed that any Indian would travel uphill twelve miles, through dense and un- 
broken forests, for the purpose of fishing in a lake, when within an arrow's flight of his wigwam he might easily catch 
in the river all the fish he needed. In the year 1893 an attempt was made to change the name of Harvey's Lake 

the well-known Indian name ".Shawanese" being selected for christening purposes. Thi-^ attempted change was based 
on the following grounds; A rare map of the Province of Pennsylvania was brought to light in the Spring of 1893. 
Published at London. England, in June. 1775. this map purported that it had been "laid down from actual surveys 
and chiefly from the late map of W. Scull, published in 1770." (The "W. Scull" mentioned was William ScuU, some 
time Deputy Surveyor of the Province of Pennsylvania, and in 1775 and 1776 Sheriff of the County of Northumber- 
land.) Upon this map, approximately near the spot where Harvey's Lake would naturally be looked for, is depicted a 
large, oval-shaped body of water, which is named ■'Shawanese Lake." It lies north-east and south-west, and is rep- 
resented as the source of "'Fishing. Creek", which stream, thu ; marked and plainly defined, is indicated as issuing from 
the south-west end of the lake and running a zigzag south-westerly course to the Susquehanna River. Issuing from 
"Shawanese Lake" at a point near its north-east end a second stream (to which no name is attached) is shown. Its 
course is nearly south and it flows into the Susquehanna at "Wyoming Falls" (Nanticoke Falls). 

As was to be expected this map attracted considerable attention, and the interest manifested in it by those who 
desire to possess whatever may be published relating to the history and geography of Pennsylvania and of the Wyom- 
ing region was so marked that, through the enterprise of Charles Bowman Dougherty and C, E. Butler of WilkesBarre. 
the map was reproduced and republished. (Through the kindness of C7eneral Dougherty we are enabled to present 
herewith a reduced photo-engraving of the map). 

A few writers for the press, and some talkers, decided without hesitation in 1893 upon a casual inspection of this 
old-time map. that the lake thereon noted as "Shawanese Lake" was undoubtedly the one then and now known as 
"Harvey's" and that the unnamed stream noted as flowing from it was, as a matter of course, Harvey's creek — 
described more fully on page 54, Vol I. of this present work. However, the present writer has conclusively, and at 
some length, proved in "The Harvey Book" (published at Wilkes-Barre in 1899) that the lake in question is no other than 
the beautiful. ovaUshaped sheet of water now known as Lake Ganoga, and referred to on page 46, Vol. I, of this work. 

It may be stated here that Scull's map of 1770, hereinbefore referred to, was "laid down" from data obtained by 
him in 1768, 1769 and prior years. To any one who may carefully examine a copy of that map, and the map of 1775 
(herewith reproduced), it will be very evident that the latter is largely a detailed reproduction of the former, with the 
addition of some new matter relating to the south-eastern part of the Province. Also, it will be apparent that both 
maps were constructed, not wholly upon actual surveys carefully carried out, but largely upon superficial explorations, 
which had been made by various persons, the majority of whom, without doubt, were unskilled in topographical and 
cartographical arts. 

*In this connection see pages 150 and 375 Vol. I. Two cases somewhat similar to the case of Elisha Harvey may 
be briefly referred to here. At Ballston, Saratoga Co., New York, in October, 1780, Capt. Elisha Benedict and his three 
sons. Caleb, EUas and Felix together with other persons, were surprised in their beds and taken prisoners by a band of 
British and Indians under Major Monroe. The four prisoners named above fell to the lot of "Captain John", the 
leader of the Indians, and were carried to Canada. They were kept prisoners two and a-half years. 

At Mahoning Creek, near Fort Allen, in Northampton County. Pennsylvania in April. 1780, Benjamin Gilbert 
and his family, twelve persons in all, were taken prisoners by a band of Indians and dragged to Canada. Some members 
of the family "were given over to Indians to be adopted, others were hired out by their Indian owners to service in 
white families, and others were sent down the lake to Montreal." In August, 1782, all of the family who were still 
living were redeemed and collected at Montreal, whence they were returned to their former home. In 1 790 "a narrative 
of the captivity and sufferings of Benjamin Gilbert and his family" was published in book form. See "Pennsylvania 
Archives", .Second Series, III: 421. 




:#oV )R-£l?'i 



Map of 1775 Based on Shull's Earlier Map of 1770. 

showing that "Shawanese Lake" is not Harvey's Lake, but Lake Ganog 



1267 

animals. In 1665 a Jesuit mission was founded on the shore of Green Bay, ii 
what is now Wisconsin, and French fur-traders soon established in that locality 
trading-posts which continued to prosper for many years. Upon the conquest 
of Canada in 1763 the Wisconsin region passed under British control, which 
lasted practically until 1815. 

Immediately upon gaining possession of Elisha Harvey, the Seneca chief 
set out with a large party of Indian hunters and trappers for Green Bay, distant 
more than 700 miles west by south from Montreal. Of course, the young American 
prisoner was compelled to accompany the party, and to bear more than his share 
of the toils and hardships incident to the expedition. Starvation and plenty 
alternated. Then, too, the fur trade often meant fighting with hostile Indians 
and out manoeuvering rivals. Many natural obstacles had to be met and over- 
come, also. 

An Indian would kill 600 beavers in a season, but owing to difficulties of 
carriage he could dispose of only one-sixth of them. When sold for money to 
Europeans beaver-skins brought 6s. 2d. per pound; wolf-skins, 15s.; bear-skins, 
16s.; and deer-skins, 2s. 2d. per pound. A current account of the standard of 
barter shows that one and a-half pounds of gunpowder, or five pounds of shot, or 
twelve dozen buttons, or two red feathers, or twenty fish-hooks, or a pair of 
shoes, or a blue and white check shirt could be exchanged with an Indian for one 
beaver-skin. Blackfeet Indians would sell a woman for one gun, but for a horse 
ten guns were demanded. 

All these things and much more EHsha Harvey learned before he got back 
to the habitations of civilized men, which was not until the close of the year 1781. 
The expedition had been a very successful one, and when the party returned to 
Montreal the Indians had a large quantity of furs and pelts which they soon sold ; 
"but", says Colonel Wright in his "Historical Sketches of Plymouth," "in the 
course of a month they had used up the proceeds in riot and dissipation. Our 
Seneca brave then began casting about for a market for his prisoner, which he 
found became necessary, as he had not the means of subsistence for himself, 
much less for poor Harve}'. He finally stumbled on a Scotchman, who was a 
small dealer in Indian commodities, and, after a half day's bantering and talk, in 
which the good qualities of Harvey were highly extolled by the old chief, they at last 
settled upon the price to be paid for Elisha, which was a half-barrel of rum .'* 

"He now went behind the counter of his new master, and was duly installed 
in the mysteries and secrets of an Indian trader. Among the first lessons he 
learned the important fact that the hand weighed two pounds and the foot four I 
Under this sj^stem of avoirdupois there never occurred any fractions. The weight 
always came out in even pounds. Our prisoner became a great favorite with his 
new master, who was a bachelor, and promised to make him the heir of his estate 
if he would assume his name and become his child by adoption. Elisha openly 
favored the idea, but his secret thoughts were centered on old Shawnee." 

In the Spring of 1782, Elisha Harvey managed to communicate with his 
father at Plymouth, and the latter being thus informed as to his son's where- 
abouts, immediately took steps to have him restored to liberty and permitted to 
return home. 

The surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in October, 1781, was vir- 
tually the end of the war between England and America, and during the Spring 

*.As to the sale by Indians of their captives, see page 375. Vol. I 



1268 

and Summer of 1782 the main part of the American army lay along the Hudson 
River from Peekskill to Newburg (where Washington had his headquarters) 
watching Sir Guy Carleton and his British forces still in the occupancy of the 
city of New York and its vicinity. 

Early in May, 1782, Maj. Gen. Henry Knox, Chief of Artillery on the staff 
of General Washington, and Gouverneur Morris, some years later United States 
Minister to France, were appointed Commissioners on the part of the United 
States to arrange a general exchange of prisoners; but the difficulties in the way 
were so great that no satisfactory arrangements could be effected. In May, 
1782, Col. Zebulon Butler, then in command of the 4th Regiment, Connecticut 
Line, stationed at "Camp Highlands", near West Point, on the Hudson, paid a 
visit to his family at Wilkes-Barre. Benjamin Harvey immediately consulted 
him with reference to procuring the release of Elisha Harvey, and the following 
plan was finally determined upon : 

Capt. Alexander Mitchell of the New Jersey Line being at this time in com- 
mand of Fort Wyoming, and Adam Bowman being still held a prisoner there 
under the sentence imposed by the court-martial in 1780 (see page 1253) it 
was agreed by Colonel Butler and Captain Mitchell that Bowman should be 
delivered into the custody of Benjamin Harvey. He, carrying certain documents 
to be furnished by Colonel Butler, would convey the prisoner to Montreal and 
exchange him for Elisha Harvey — who, it will be remembered, had been one of 
the militiamen who captured Bowman. 

What authority these officers had for making this arrangement is not now 
known, but the fact remains that in the latter part of June, 1782, Benjamin 
Harvey set out from Wilkes-Barre on horseback, having in custody, mounted 
upon a second horse belonging to himself, the prisoner Adam Bowman. They 
journeyed over the mountains to the Delaware, and thence to Esopus (now 
Kingston) on the Hudson. Here they turned northward, designing to travel 
the direct route to Montreal, via Lakes George and Champlain. 

In due time the travelers reached Saratoga, which was one of the American 
outposts. Here they were stopped by the officer in command of the post, who 
took Bowman away from Mr. Harvey and sent him in charge of guards down to 
West Point, a distance of about 120 miles. The officer claimed that the authority 
by which the prisoner was being conducted to Canada was either too informal 
and insufficient, or was wholly illegal. 

Benjamin Harvey accompanied Bowman and his guards to West Point, 
and then crossing the Hudson went in hot haste to the Connecticut camp, a 
mile and a-half distant, to inform Colonel Butler as to the condition of affairs. 
Arriving at the camp of the 4th Regiment he found that the Colonel had set out 
for Wilkes-Barre the day before, on leave of absence. As soon as possible Mr. 
Harvey started for Wilkes-Barre, where he arrived on vSunday, July 21st. Colonel 
Butler had arrived there on the 19th (see "Pennsylvania Archives", IX: 622). 

Mr. Harvey attended to some necessary matters at his home, and on July 
29th left Wilkes-Barre for West Point, bearing a certificate from Colonel Butler 
reading as follows:* 

"These certify that Adam Bowm.an now a prisoner of War to the United States of America 
was taken by the Inhabitants of Westmoreland and brought to this Garrison sometime in 1780 
when I commanded this post and upon application made to me by Mr. Benjamin Harvey 
for the prisoner to send him to Montreal and exchange for his son then and yet is in captivity — 
! ^till in existence, in the possession of a descendent of Benjamin Harvey. A photo-re- 



1269 



which request I granted and Mr. Harvey at his own expense did take the prisoner from this 
place to Saratoga for the above purpose and I have been informed that he has for some reason been 
sent from there down to Westpoint or its vicinity — and should yet request that Mr. Harvev 
may be indulged with the prisoner for the purpose of redeeming his son. 

[Signed] "Zebn. Butler, 
•■Wyoming July 29th 1782 Col., 4th Connect. Regt." 

"To the Officer in Whose custody the Prisoner may be." 



it"'''-" '• ^ ' ..; ' y ■'.-*. '.'./ ^ , ,„ 



/ 




Reduced photo. reproduction of the certificate delivered to Benja 



■ by Colonel Butler. 



When Mr. Harvey was nearing West Point, he determined that he would 
.s:o on up the river to Newburg and present his case to General Washington. 
The General, after reading Colonel Butler's "certificate", and asking for fuller 
information concerning the case, sent Mr. Harvey in charge of an orderly with a 
note to General Knox. The latter ordered that Adam Bowman should be re- 
delivered into the custody of Mr. Harvey, who, the next day started for Canada 
provided with proper passports. The journey was made by the two men without 
further interruption, and, Montreal having been reached, the exchange of EHsha 
Harvey was effected — not, however, without some unpleasant experiences and 
annoying delays. Father and son set out on their homeward journey as soon as 
possible, EHsha riding the horse which had been used by Adam Bowman. 

Capt. John Franklin, at his home in Wilkes-Barre, recorded in his diary 
under the date of September 10, 1782: 'Mr. Harvey returned from captivity. 
Sent home on parole."* 

"^With respect to prisoners from Westmoreland in the hand^ of the British, the present writer has ju^t reid in the 
'Public Papers of George Clinton." V:523, a letter from certain Commissioners at Johnstown. N V , to Governor Clin- 
tun. under the date of March 7, 1780, transmitting a "list of people taken on the Susquehanna." The Commissioners 
-u^'fiest that the Governor may have it in his power "to relieve them." The following is an extract from the list: 
' \ list of prisoners taken from W'voming — lames Bidlacfc. Jo'h Church. Tonathan Smith. Jacob Van Gorder. — Case. 
Slocum child [Frances Slocum]. Kjngsley cliild. Stephen Parriih. Mrs. Hageman. Leonora Hageman, Bubben Jones. 
Zehulon Parrish. Jasper Parrish, Stephen Kimball. * + * From the Susquehanna — Sarah Lester and Hannah 
Le-ter. children belonging to the widow Lester, prisoners at Genesee: Ebenezer Williams, belonging to the same family." 

In connection with the foregoing, see page 1045 and note on page 1 106, Vol. IL 



CHAPTER XX 

COL. ZEBULON BUTLER AND THE WESTMORELAND TROOPS GARRISONING 

FORT WYOMING TRANSFERRED TO OTHER POSTS— LARGE LOSSES 

SUSTAINED BY THE INHABITANTS OF WESTMORELAND IN 

THE YEARS 1778-'81— THE LAST SCALP TAKEN BY 

■ INDIANS IN THE WYOMING VALLEY— THE END 

OF THE WAR OF THE REVOLUTION 



"The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ccascth * ' 
The earth motirncth and languishcth." — Isaiah. XXXIII: S, 0, 



"By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to ery; they cry out 
by reason of the arm of the mighty " — Job, XXX I'; '). 



"They all hold swords being expert in war; every man hath his sword uijon his thi^rh be- 
cause of fear in the night " — The Sont^ of Solomon. Ill S . 



About this time the Pennamite-Yankee controversy, concerning the title 
to the Wyoming lands,' which had remained so quiescent since the close of the 
year 1775 that it seemed hardly to exist, was beginning to take on new vigor. 
The State of Pennsylvania, considering that she was supplying provisions to 
what was practically a hostile camp, had stopped the shipment of stores in Octo- 
Vjer, 1780, and the situation at Fort Wyoming at the beginning of the Winter of 
17SO-'81 was really critical. 

As a result of the urgent efforts made by Dr. William Hooker Smith and 
Hugh Forseman at Philadelphia in the Autumn of 1780 (in behalf of Colonel 
Butler, commanding the Wyoming post), to secure from the Continental Board 
of War and the Commissary General of Purchases, money and provisions for the 
troops at Wilkes-Barre, the Board of War sent a communication on the subject 
to Congress, under the date of November 28, 1780. This was referred to a com- 
mittee, who on December 12, 1780, made a report to Congress as follows:* 

"That in their opinion the causes of the distress under which the Garrison of Wyoming 
now labors, and has labored for some time past, originate from a jealousy subsisting between the 
States of Pennsylvania and Connecticut on account of a territorial claim. They find however, 
that the Post of Wyoming was originally established by Congress as a necessary means for the 

*See ■Journak of the Continental Congress"'. XVIII: 1147. 




No. I. WELL . ^^ .„r- 

No. z 0rFict/aOi>MT^'<s20*40firr. 
No. S.CoLoMfisquAHTOislS'dOfffr. 
No. 4 BWfiA<:taiS*30F£ET 
No. S.Bahhacks-*'- •■ 

Ao. 6 X" ' 

A/0. 7 •• •• . ••*•■ • 
No 8 SoLDliK5BAfV{/VJ^ZS'30f££T. 
Mo.9 BAfi/iWKSZf'30r££T. 
Ao. /o.Macazine. 



Plan of Fort Augusta at Sunbury 



1271 

defense of a frontier and for the purpose of protecting the inhabitants of that Quarter from the 
encroachments of the Savages. That ever since its estabhshment it has been under the direc- 
tion of Congress, the Board of War, or the Commander-in-chief; has been garrisoned by Conti- 
riental officers and soldiers, and supplied with provisions from the Continental stores. 

"They do not, therefore, think it advisable that this post should be discontinued by Con- 
gress until they are informed by the Commander-in-chief that it is unnecessary for the general 
defense. But your committee are of opinion that it is becoming the wisdom of Congress, at the 
same time that they carefully guard the citizens of these States against the attacks of the common 
enemy, to remove, as far as is in their power, every caust of jealousy or discontent between States 
which might endanger the harmony of the general Union." 

This report having first been fully discussed, Congress proceeded the same 
day to adopt the following resolutions: 

"Resolved, That the Commander-in-chief be directed, if he shall judge the post at Wyom- 
ing necessary, to relieve the garrison there, as soon as may be, by troops from the Continental 
army not belonging to the lines of Pennsylvania or Connecticut, or citizens of either of the said 
States; and that the present and future garrison continue to be supplied by the Commissary 
General from the magazines of the Continent, by purchase, or out of the quota of provisions 
raised by any State for the use of the Continent. 

"Resolved, That the State of Pennsylvania be informed of the steps Congress have taken 
to remove every subject of jealousy or discontent, and that they be requested to order the 
supplies which were stopped by Lieutenant* Hunter, on their progress to Wyoming, to be imme- 
diately forwarded to that garrison, to relieve its present urgent distresses." 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of December 18, 1780, Colonel Butler 
wrote to Col. Ephraim Blaine (previously mentioned) in part as follows :t 

"The Commissary of this Post waited on you and you ordered him 100 head of cattle, 
which arrived safe. His order for flour and liquor was refused. As soon as possible I sent an 
Express to have the flour, &c., ready, and a letter to Col. [Samuel] Hunter to know if his orders 
continued in force respecting the stopping of provisions coming to this Post. He informed me 
they did; but if I could produce him an order from Congress it would be all right." 

When he wrote this letter, Colonel Butler had not yet learned that six days 
previously Congress had voted to request the Pennsylvania authorities to order 
that the supplies detained at Sunbury should be forwarded to Fort Wyoming, 
and had directed General Washington to relieve the garrison at the Wyoming 
post by Continental troops, not from either Pennsylvania or Connecticut. 

At his headquarters at New Windsor, on the Hudson, under the date of 
December 29, 1780, General Washington wrote to Colonel Butler at Wilkes- 
Barre, in part as follows :{ 

"Congress having, in order to remove all cause of jealousy and discontent between the 
States of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, directed me to withdraw the present garrison of Wyoming 
and to replace them with troops from the Continental army not belonging to the Line of Penn- 
sylvania or Connecticut, or citizens of either of the said States, I have for that purpose ordered 
Captain Mitchell;!, of the Jersey Line, to relieve you. You will, therefore, upon his arrival, 
deliver up the post to him, and march with all the men at present under your command, and join 
the army in the neighborhood of this place. 

"I am well aware of the difficulty which there will be of bringing away the men of Ransom's!| 
company, but I trust and shall expect, that you will exert yourself to do it effectually; because, 
if they remain behind in any numbers, it would seem like an intention to evade the Resolve above 
cited. You will, before you march, give Captain Mitchell every necessary information respecting 
the situation of the country, and make him acquainted with those characters upon whom he can 
depend for advice and intelligence in case of an incursion of the enemy." 

The order for the removal from the Wyoming post of Col. Zebulon Butler, 
the company of Capt. Simon Spalding (which was wholly composed of West- 
moreland, or Wyoming men), and the few other soldiers — both Continentals 
and militia — who claimed Westmoreland as their home, shows the influence 
which was exercised by the Pennsylvania party to the Wyoming controversv at 

*Lieutenant of the County of Northumberland. Pennsylvania. 

tXhe original draft of this letter is in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 
ISee Upham's "Life of Timothy Pickering", II: 231. 

§Ai.EX.«Jl>ER Mitchell. He was a Captain in the 1st New Jersey Regiment, commanded by Col. Matthias Ogden, 
and took part with his regiment in the Sullivan Expedition. 

nd and was referring to, the 



1272 

the end of the year 1780, and to which the General Government had to yield. 

At Wyoming, January 3, 1781, Hugh Forseman, previously mentioned, 

wrote to Col. David Deshler, Commissioner of Purchases in Northampton 

County, Pennsylvania, in part as follows:* 

"By virtue of a late Resolve of Congress respecting furnishing this garrison with provisions 
the Commanding Officer hath directed me to apply to you 'or some flour and liquor, of which I 
hope you will forward about twenty barrels of flour and four or five barrels of liquor; and let me 
know by the bearer, Captain (Anthony] Selin, when it will be on the way, that a guard may be 
sent to escort it. The necessity for flour is great, as the troops have had neither flour nor liquor 
this three months past, and been obliged to live on Indian meal." * * * 

At Allentown, in Northampton County, January 8, 1781, Col. David 

Deshler, above mentioned, wrote to Col. Jacob Morgan, State Commissary, at 

Philadelphia, in part as follows if 

"Colonel Butler at Wyoming has applied to me for flour and liquor, as the navigation down 
the Susquehanna at this time is stopped by the frost. I purpose to send him two loads of flour 
and one load of whiskey against the 13th inst. Colonel Butler informs me if there was cash sent 
up to Wyoming there is grain enough to be purchased there to supply that Post. If I had orders 
and money, the carriage of provisions to that place might be saved." 

Notwithstanding the "hard times" prevailing at and about Wilkes-Barre, 
in the Winter of 1780-'81, some attention was given by the inhabitants to the 
social affairs of life. Singing meetings, called in the language of the day "Cho- 
ruses", "were the amusements of the evening" says Miner; who also records that 
"on Sunday, January 18th, Joseph KinneyJ and Sarah Spalding were called off, 
that is, their banns were published; and on Thursday the 22d they were married- 
It was an occasion of unusual festivity and joy. The bride was the eldest daughter 
of Capt. Simon Spalding." (See note, page 981, Vol. II.) 

At Wilkes-Barre, in January, 1781, on receipt of the news that the West- 
moreland soldiers of the Wyoming garrison were to be relieved by New Jersey 
troops, the following document§ was prepared. 

To the Honourable the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, or in their Recess 
to his Excellency the Governor, and Council of Safety for said State — 

"Humbly Sheweth that your Humble Pititioners whose Names are hereafter Subscribed 
Humbly Beg leave to lay before your Honours this our present state and situation. 

"Your Pititioners in the year 1776 Inlisted in the Contl. Service under the command of 
Captains Durkee and Ransom by special order of the Continental Congress, for the defence of 
this Place and the fronteers, but Contrary to our expectations were in a few months after our 
engagements call'd away to join the Contl. Army under his Excellency General Washington, 
where we continued almost two years, which was so great a trouble to us in leaving our families 
exposed to be ravaged by the Savages that one half of our companies died in the service. 

"In the time of our being in the Contl. Army the enemy made an incursion, and in a most 
barbarous and inhuman manner kill'd numbers of our parents and friends, and destroyed all our 
eflfects and left our wives, families, friends, and parents in the most distressed situation. His 
Excellency General Washington, Knowing of the Indians being on the fronteers, ordered us back 
to this Place, where the enemy were in actual possession. When we marched in on the 3d of 
August, 1778 (same time we could get no other troops to assist us) attacked the enemy and drove 
them off — where we have continued since through a series of troubles on account of different 
incursions from the Indians — where we have with our wages and some little help from the Con- 
tinent supported our families. 

"If we could stay here we might support them without any expences to this State; but we 
are again ordered to march out, and the garrison to be relieved with other troops. Yet what 
relief can we expect, as we must leave our families exposed to be again Ravaged by the Indians 
and probably all murdered. 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, VIII: 697. 
tSee ibid, page 702. 

t"Mr. Kinney," says Miner ("History of Wyoming", page 293), "was a learned and accomplished gentleman, of 
a peculiarly philosophic turn of mind. He settled at Sheshequin. and had a large family. One of his sons represented 
Bradford County for several years in the Assembly. I well remember the ingenuity with which he [the father] used to 
controvert the theory that the Sun was a ball of fire. He was a brother of Newcome Kinney, known in 1785 as the 
popular writing and schoolmaster of Norwich, Connecticut, and afterwards member of the Connecticut Assembly." 

§The original is to be found in the collections of the State Library at Hartford Connecticut. 



1273 



"Therefore your Humble Pititioners humbly pray a discharge from the service, or pray 
\our Honours through your great wisdom to advise some other way to support them. Which 
vour Pititioners is ever bound to pray — 

Dated Westmoreland ye 23d Jany. A. D. 1781.* 



Elisha Satterlee 
John Swift 
Jeams Brown 
William Carral 
Nathaniel Church 
Gideon Church 
Israel Harding 
Richard Woodcock 
James Wells 
William Kellogg 
William Terry 
Ira Stephens 
Asa Burnham 
James Bagley 
William McClure 
John Carey 
Lawrence Kinney 

"We the subscribers do certify that the [facts set forth in the] foregoing memorial are truly 
represented. Certified by us — 

[Signed] "Zebn. Butler, Col. 

"Simon Spalding, Capt. 
"John Jenkins, Lieut. 



Thomas McClure 
Frederick Eveland 
Thomas Baldwin 
Thomas Niell 
Mason F. Alden 
Benj'n Cole 
Azel Hyde 
Daniel Denton 
Elisha Matthewson 
Benjamin Clark 
John Halstead 
Richard Halstead 
Rufus Bennet 
Moses Brown 
Oliver Bennet 
Elijah Walker 
Nathaniel Evans 



Elisha Garrett 
Waterman Baldwin 
Amos Ormsby 
William French 
Benjamin Cole, Jr. 
Henry Harding 
Nathaniel WilHams 
Isaac Benjamin 
David Brown 
Obadiah Walker 
Constant Searle 
William Smith 
Wm. Cornelius 
Ambrose Gaylord 
Justus Gaylord 



"The inhabitants togather with the authority and Selectmen of the town of Westmoreland 
humbly beg leave to request that the foregoing Pitition may be granted, as these men are Inhabi- 
tants of this town and make a considerable part of our present strength. Being acquainted with 
the country and able to meet the enemy in their own way, and many of them having families and 
helpless parents whose dependence are on them for their support — which must be burthensome 
to the few Inhabitants that are left if these men be called out. 

"And as these men were not raised at the expence of the State, so they cannot be recon'd 
to the credit of any town except Westmoreland. 

"As in duty bound — do pray. 

"We the Selectmen sign for our Selves and in behalf of the Inhabitants at their Request 
[Signed] "John Hurlbut, ) 

"James NiSBiTT, '^ Select Men." 
"Westmoreland Jany, 23d A. D. 1781. "Jabez Sill, J 

At the same time that the foregoing document was prepared the foUowingf, 
addressed to the General Assembh^ of Connecticut, was also prepared and signed 
at Wilkes-Barre. 

"The memorial of the subscribers sheweth. That your Honors' memorialists enlisted into 
the service of this State, in ye Continental array, under Captains' [Solomon] Strong and [WiUiam] 
Judd, in ye year 1777; that we cheerfully went out into ye service of our country, leaving our 
families in this town; that in ye year 1778 the enemy destroyed this place, as your Honors well 
know, but by special favor of his Excellency, General Washington, we have since that time been 
continued here, where we have done duty under ye command of Captain Simon Spalding, who is 
now, by a late Resolve of ye Continental Congress, ordered to leave this garrison, where some of 
our families are, and all of us are inhabitants of this town, which is a frontier, and are daily ex- 
posed to ye ravages of ye enemy, where our families must either be left or removed out into ye 
country or Camp. 

"Wherefore your Honors' memorialists humbly beg leave to lay this our state and condition 
Ijefore your Honors, that your Honors, in your great goodness, will order that we may be dis- 
charged from our enlistment, that we may, without expense to the State, support ourselves and 
families, and that in wisdom your Honors interpose in our behalf, or some way grant relief; and 
we, as in duty bound, will ever pray. [Signed] 

"John Ryon, John Oakley, 

"Lemuel Whitman, John Platmore, 

"John Jackson, John Pencill." 

"Westmoreland, ye 23d day of January, 1781. 



"The within is a true representation of facts, and we, the subscribers, beg leave to request 
your Honors that this memorial may be granted, as these men are good inhabitants, being in- 
dustrious men and much wanted in this exposed part of ye country, and serve to strengthen ye 
particular interest of this State; for if this town be not again destroyed by ye enemy, we hope, in 

*Judging by the handwriting and the spelling of some of the names attached to this memorial, these names were 
not written by the men themselves, but by some one for them. 

tThe original is in the collections of the State Library at Hartford Connecticut. 



1274 

a few years, to be able to throw a considerable sum of cash into ye treasury of this State, and make 
some returns for your Honors great goodness in granting so many of our requests. And your 
petitioners, as in duty bound, shall ever pray. 

"Signed at the particular request of ye inhabitants. 

[Signed] "John Hurlbut, ^ 

"James Nisbitt, y Select Men" 
"Westmoreland, 23d January, 1781. "JabEz SiLL, J 

The two foregoing memorials were presented to the General Assembly of 
Connecticut at a special session held in February, 1781; whereupon a joint- 
committee, consisting of Col. Eliphalet Dyer, General Hart, Major Bray and 
Captain Stanley, was appointed by the Assembly to consider the prayers of the 
memorialists. In due time the committee reported that, in their opinion, "the 
memorialists ought to be discharged from the service; and that the Governor 
be requested to write to the Delegates of the State in Congress to represent 
the state of the case and apply for their discharge; and if they cannot obtain 
their discharge, that they obtain liberty for them to be continued in service at 
said Westmoreland; and that the Governor be requested to write to General 
Washington, informing him of the application and requesting him to give liberty 
to them to remain at Westmoreland under the command of Captain Mitchell, 
until the pleasure of Congress may be known." 

At this same session the Assembly resolved "that all the State taxes arising 
on the list of the year 1780, in the town of Westmoreland, be and the same are 
hereby abated." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of January 26, 1781, the Hon. Joseph Reed, 
President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, wrote to Capt. 
Alexander Mitchell in part as follows:* 

"It is with great satisfaction we have heard that, agreeable to a resolution of Congress 
General Washington has appointed you to the command of the garrison at Wyoming. As a dis- 
puted territory between two States, we have no doubt you will observe an impartial and disinter- 
ested attention to your trust, and rectify the abuses which have long prevailed at that place 
while under an interested Commander. These were principally encouraging settlers of all characters 
and denominations to occupy the disputed lands contrary to the letter and spirit of the enclosed 
Resolution of Congress. And secondly, distributing supplies, ostensibly for the garrison, to such 
settlers under the denomination of officers and soldiers. 

"You and your people will doubtless be tempted by offers of land, and other artifices, to 
engage you in their interests and favor their views, which are to strengthen themselves in number 
and possession, so as when occasion serves to substitute force instead of Right. * * * 

"Sensible of the abuses practised at the Post, we refused to permit supplies to pass until 
they were rectified; but as we are now fuUy satisfied with the arrangement made, I enclose you a 
letter to Colonel Hunterf, Lieutenant of Northumberland County, and to our Commissioner 
there, directing them to forward all necessary supplies to that Post as heretofore." * * * * 

On the same day President Reed wrote to Colonel Hunter (mentioned 
above) at Sunbury, in part as follows tj 

"The Congress having lately, on our representations, passed a Resolve directing General 
Washington to garrison the Post at Wyoming with troops of a State indifferent to the dispute 
subsisting between this State and Connecticut; and his Excellency having, agreeable thereto, 
ordered a detachment of the Jersey Line under Captain Mitchell to occupy that Post, we now 
think it our duty to revoke the order formerly given you to stay the passing of provisions and 
supplies from this State, and request you to give Captain Mitchell — who is a gentlemen of fair 
character and a good officer — all the assistance and civility in your power. 

"As we are informed that there are quantities of provisions in that country, we request 
you to consult Captain Mitchell on the appointment of some person to act as Purchaser at Wyo- 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, VIII: 716. 

ISamuel Hunter, a brief sketch of whom will be found on page 664, Vol II, and whose name is mentioned on 
pages 724, 849, 979. 1054, 1094, 1146. and elsewhere, began his miUtary career in 1760, when, on May 2, he was 
commissioned Lieutenant of Capt. Joseph Scott's company in the battaUon of the Pennsylvania Regiment commanded 
by Lieut. Col. Hugh Mercer, mentioned in the note on page 361 , Vol. I. March 24. 1772, he was commissioned one of 
the first Justices of Northumberland County. From 1772 till 1775 he was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, 
and in 1775 and '76 he was a member of the Committee of Safety of Northumberland County. Upon his death he was 
succeeded in the office of County Lieutenant by Capt. William Wilson of Northumberland. 

Colonel Hunter was married to Susanna Scott, a sister of Maj. Abraham Scott of Northumberland County, and 
they became the parents of two daughters — Nancy, who became the wife of her cousin, Alexander Hunter, of Sunbury, 
and Mary, w'ho became the wife of ,Samuel Scott of Sunbury. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, VIII: 717. 



1275 

ming and its vicinity on behalf of the State. As he is to act under the State it is needless to add 
that he must be a person well affected lo its interests, as well as trustworthy in other respects." 

It does not require a magnifying-glass to see, on reading these letters, that 
President Reed was not only unfriendly to the Wyoming settlers, but that he 
was unjust to some of them to charge — in the manner he does — that the militar}^ 
authorities at Fort Wyoming had distributed government supplies to Wyoming 
settlers "under the denomination of officer and soldiers." He seems either to 
have lost sight or been ignorant of the fact that a large number of Wyoming, or 
\\'estmoreland, men were formally and regularly in military service, under pay 
and subsistence, at Fort Wyoming; and that the wives and children of some of 
these soldiers were, as the customs of the time permitted, housed and main- 
tained in the garrison. 

The following copy of a report* made by Captain Mitchell to President 
Reed indicates what was the strength of the Wyoming garrison, and how it was 
made up, at the time Colonel Butler was relieved of his command. 

"Return of rations drawn per day by the troops under the command of Col. Zebulon 
Butler at Wyoming, when Captain Mitchell took command February 22, 1781. 



"Names of Comp.\nies 


1 


.a 


i 


1 


i 


Si 


3 


=3 


a 3 
^1 


." 


3 


Field Officer 

Capt. Simon Spalding's Company, 
Capt John Paul Schott's Company 
Staff Department, 


1 


1 


1 


1 


-, 


1 


7 
4 


5 + 
19 
1 


52 
8 
3 


4 


1 

116 

34 

12 


ToT.^LS. 


1 


3 




It 


2 


1 


ir 


74 


63 


4 


163" 



With his company Captain Mitchell marched from the camp of the 1st 
New Jersey Regiment to Wilkes-Barre, and took command of Fort Wyoming 
on Washington's birthday, 1781. J Three days later Captains Schott and Spald- 
ing§ marched with their companies from Wilkes-Barre to join Washington's 
army on the Hudson, encamping the first night, according to the journal of 
Lieut. John Jenkins, Jr., "at the Spring House." About the same time Colonel 
Butler set out from Wilkes-Barre to join, as its Colonel, the new 4th Regiment 
of the Connecticut Line, then at Camp "Connecticut Village", on the Hudson. 
At Fort Wyoming, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of May 25, 1781, Captain 
Mitchell wrote to President Reed of the Supreme Executive Council, at Phila- 
delphia, in part as follows:!! 

"By the return of stores on hand, and the number of troops that draws rations at this Post 
you may easily judge how the garrison is supplied. The bearer is Mr. [Thomas] Hamilton, who 
I have appointed Issuing Commissary at this Post. * * * 

"In answer to your letter of 26 January last, you may depend I shall make it my study to 
carefully abide by the Resolutions of Congress and the orders of his Excellency, General Wash- 
ington. You may rest assured, whilst this place continues disputed between two States, that 

"See "Pennsylvania .Archives". Old Series. IX: 166. 

tDr. William Hooker Smith 

{See "The Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania". I: 465, 

§Captain Spalding's company became a part of the new 1st Regiment of the Connecticut Line (under the formation 
of January 1 , 1 781 , continuing to January 1 , 1783). Col. John Durkee, the founder and namer of Wilkes-Barre. com- 
manded this regiment until his death in May. 1782. The following roster of Spalding's company is taken from "Conn- 
ecticut in the Revolution", pages 315 and 318. The roster represents "the state of the command on January 1. 1782"; 
and nearly all the men named therein were paid for service "from January 1, 1781 . to December 31 , 1781." 

Captain, Simon Spalding, retired by consolidation. January 1. 1783; served from 1776. Lieutenants. Reuben 
Pride (Norwich) and Andrew Griswold (Norwich). Ensign, Phineas Beckwith (Lvme) Sergeants, Henry Booth. 
Joshua Williams. Josiah Steele, Thomas Baldwin and Peregrine Gardner. Corforals. Benjamin Clark. Daniel Denton. 
James Shields. Benjamin Grover, John Hutchinson. Amos Sheppard and Samuel Fox Drummer. Ezra Downer. 
Fiffr, Joseph Teal. Privates. Jsnik Antony, James Brown, Richard Becwith. Esau Carter. William Cornelius. David 
Crouch. Gideon Church. Edward Carter. Jack Demming. William French. Elisha Garrett. Israel Harding. lohn Hal- 
stead, Richard Halstead, Andrew Harrington, Daniel Harrington, Harris Jones, Joseph Johnson. Seth Kellogg. Titus 
Kent, Josiah Knight, David Lewis, Nathan Lester, Amos Ormsby, Lebbens Qui, William Roch, Richard Reed. Samuel 
Simons, Caesar Smith, Nathan Smith, Isaac Smith, Jesse Sheppard. Peter Thayers, Obadiah Walker, Jabez Whitte- 



; and Solomon Woodruff. 
!See "Pennsylvania Archii 



, Old Series, IX: 165, 166. 



1276 

I will not suffer any person under my command to join in partie on either side ; nor shall I suffer 
any stores or provisions belonging to the public to be given to any person as an inducement for 
them to continue here, unless those entitled by the Resolves of Congress to it. 

"I have got my Fort almost completed, and have built a magazine, which the place was in 
great want of, as there was no place to hold the ammunition but the boxes — covered with snow 
and exposed to any storm that might approach — when I arrived here to take command. I should 
have wrote you Sooner, but it has drawn all my attention to put the Fort in a cituation of defense. 

"Return of stores on hand in the Commissary Department at Wyoming Post May 25, 
1781:— 

"65 bbls. of flour, 13,975 lbs. net weight; 4 bbls. salt-shad, containing 400; 3,489 lbs. of 
dried beef, which has been condemned; 10 bushels of potatoes; 120 lbs. bisquet; 1 hogshead, 5 bbls 
and 9 kegs of salt; 5 bbls. of whiskey, containing 152 gallons; 2 bbls. of soft soap; 160 lbs. of candles' 

The regular semi-annual session of the General Assembly of Connecticut 
was held at Hartford in May, 1781, and was attended by John Hurlbut* and 
Jonathan Fitch, as the Representatives from Westmoreland. Early in the session 
Zerah Beach, John Hurlbut and Capt. John Franklin were appointed Justices of 
the Peace and Quorum in and for the county of Westmoreland. Later in the 
session, after Representative Hurlbut had left Hartford for home, the following 
appointments were made: Col. Nathan Denison to be Judge of the County 
Court of Westmoreland for the ensuing year; Nathan Denison, Obadiah Gore 
and Hugh Forseman to be Justices of the Peace ; Nathan Denison to be Judge of 
Probate; William Stewart to be Assistant Commissary of Purchases for the 
county of Westmoreland. In due time these officers were commissioned by 
Governor Trumbull, and entered upon the performance of their several duties. 

At "Camp High Lands," June 7, 1781, Col. Zebulon Butler wrote in part 
as followst to Col. Fliphalet Dyer, a Representative in the Continental Congress 
from Connecticut (see page 393, Vol. I.), but then at Hartford. 

"I understand by Esquire Hurlbut that when he left the Assembly there was no Court 
nor Authority appointed at Westmoreland that had gone through both Houses. Only himself 
had taken the oath of Justice, and said he did not know whether it would go through till October. 
I would beg to have it go through this session. There has been so much said in the Assembly 
they are not able to judge of the matter if our Deputies are absent. I have no names to mention, 
but must beg to have the Court, &c., appointed this Assembly and the appointments sent on to 
me. I can forward them to Westmoreland. 

"My reason for urging this is our settlers have been very much distressed with fears from 
the Pennsylvania enemies since our men were called away, but finally concluded the Civil Law 
was sufficient to keep out Pennsylvania settlers. But now, to have no Court, it will shock them 
and the opposite party will take the advantage of it." * * * 

Miner says ("History of Wyoming," page 296) that on Sunday, June 9, 
1781, "a party of twelve Indians made an attack on a block-house at Button- 
wood, in Hanover, three miles below the Wilkes-Barre fort. They met with 
a warm reception. The house was gallantly defended, the women aiding the 
men with alacrity and spirit. A party from the fort, on receiving the alarm, 
hastened down, and found pools of blood where Lieut. Roasel Franklin had wound- 
ed, probably killed, an Indian. * * The Rev. Jacob JohnsonJ now returned 
with his family from their exile to Connecticut. Glowing with ardor for religion, 
liberty and the Connecticut claim, the return was welcomed by his flock, indeed 
by the whole settlement, with cordial congratulations." 

At Wilkes-Barre, June 17, 1781, Lord Butler wrote to his father, Col. 
Zebulon Butler, in part as follows :§ 

"The Indians came a few days ago to Buttonwood, and about break of day came to the 
doors and struck their tomahawks into the doors; but the men hearing that, leaped out of bed 
and fired upon them at the upper houses first, and that disturbed the lower houses. Lieutenant 

*See (t) note, page 1246. 

tThe original letter is document "No. 140" in the collection of MSS. described in paragraph "(3)", page 29, Vol. I, 

JSee last paragraph on page 746. Vol, II. 

§Th.e original letter is in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological .Society. 



1277 



Franklin, opening his door, saw three Indians standing about three rods off. He iired and wounded 
one, who they afterwards followed by the blood some distance; but they killed none dead nor 
took any prisoners. Our people sustained not any loss. * * * Mr. Johnson's family arrived 
safe here. * * I have looked for the coat-of-arms in the old desk, but can't find it as yet; 
but I shall look until I find it, and send it as soon as possible." 

On the same day that the foregoing was written, Capt. John Paul vSchott, 
who was then in Wilkes-Barre, wrote to Colonel Butler in part as follows: 

"Mr. Johnston and family are safe arrived here. We have hath several allarms of Indians 
but no damage. * * Your presence is much wanding here and I hope you will pay us a visit 
before long." * * 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of July 27, 1781, Obadiah Gore wrote to 
Colonel Butler in part as follows:* 

"The dispensation of Providence towards you in taking away the partner of your lifef 
shows~the uncertainty of all earthly enjoyments. * * * 'Necessity'! has again gone to 
Sunbury, which is the second time since his appointment in the Commissary Department. Cap- 
tain Mitchell keeps up a correspondence from below [i. e. Sunbury], which is kept to himself. 
He threatens Mr. [William] Stewart that if ever he comes here he will make this place too hot 
for him — alleging that Stewart has made free with his character below. * * * We have 
nothing new turned up in our Cabinet of politics. * * i believe that if the Devil had his own 
we should not have either Mitchell or Hamilton here." 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of August 1, 1781, Dr. William Hooker 
Smith (whose name is several times mentioned hereinbefore) wrote§ to Colonel 
Butler, giving him an account of "an ominous dream" which he had had. De- 
claring that he feared plans were being laid for enabling the Pennamites to gain 
possession of Wyoming, he continued as follows: 

"Congress was wearied out with complaints against you and Captain Spalding's company 
and at length you was removed from this Post — I think by the suggestion and influence of the 
Pennamite claimers. The second step was, troops sent from the Jersies to this Post — and in that 
State a great part of the claimers live. These troops are commanded by Captain Mitchell, who. 
to ray satisfaction, is a party man. * * * If we are betrayed the Lord only knows what will 
become of us. We have killed the last Continental beef. There is nothing left but flour. * * * 
Did not the Pennamite claimers rejoice when we were cut off in the day of the bloody battle, and 
the country laid waste?" * * * 

In the Summer of 1781, Capt. John Franklin, Christopher Hurlbut and 
Jonah Rogers, the regularly elected Listers of Westmoreland, made up "A true 
list of the polls and estate of the town of Westmoreland, ratable by law the 
20th of August, 1781." Under the laws of Connecticut then in force a poll tax 
was laid on the male inhabitants — those from sixteen to twenty-one years of 
age being "rated", or assessed, at £9; those from twenty-one to seventy years of 
age being rated at £l8. Ministers of the gospel and a few others were exempt 
from taxation. A full and complete copy of the 1781 tax-list referred to above 
is printed in Hayden's "The Massacre of Wyoming" (pages 78-83), published by 
The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in 1895, and from it the present 
writer has carefully compiled the following table : 



Xames 


ai 


o 


1 


% 


ti 


Names 


„ 


o 


1 


1 


i 1 




S 


s 


M 




« 




1 


S 


ns 


CJ 


£ 


Atherton. James 


1 




2 


5 


53-16 


Bailey, Benjamin 


1 






2 


25-00 


Alden, Prince 


1 


2 


1 


2 


54-on 


Burnham, Asa 






2 




11-20 


Ayers, Samuel 


1 






2 


+o-ns 


Barnum, Richard-* 












Avery, William 


1 




1 


1 


40-16 


and Gregory 


1 


1 


2 




33-00 


Butler, Col. Z. 




1 


2 


4 


59-OS 


Buck, William 


1 








27-00 


Bidlack, Capt. James 






1 


2 


21-12 


Brown, Thomas 




1 




2 


16-00 


Brink, William 


1 




2 


2 


42-10 


Brown, David 


1 




3 


2 


34-00 


Brink, James 


1 




2 


1 


34-00 


Borlain, John 


1 




2 


2 


33-00 



*The original letter is in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 
tThe wife of Colonel Butler had died at Wilkes-Barre on the previous day, as noted on page 638, Vol. 
JUndoubtedly Thomas Hamilton, "Issuing Commissary" at the Wyoming post, is here referred to. 
§The original letter is in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 



1278 



Brink, Nicholas 
Brokaw, Abraham 
Blanchard, Andrew 
Blanchard, John 
Burney, Henry 
Bennet, Solomon 
Bennett, Ishmael 
Bennett, Asa 
Bennett, Isaac 
Comstock, John 
Comstock. Peleg 
Corey, Jonathan 
Corey, Jenks 
Cary, Nathan 
Church, Gideon 
Denison, Col. Nathan 
Disberry, Joseph 
Durkee, Sarah 
Eveland, Frederick 
Elliot, Joseph 
Elliot, Henry 
Franklin, Capt. John 
Franklin Roasel 
Forsyth, Jonathan 
Fitzgerald, Richard 
Fish, Joanna 
Fish, William 
Fuller, Capt. Stephen 
Forseman, Hugh 
Fitch, Jonathan 
Gore, Obadiah 
Gore, Elizabeth 
Gore, Hannah 
Gore, Daniel 
Gale, Cornelius 
Grimes, James 
Lantamon, John 
McClure, Thomas 
Mann, Adam 
Nelson. WiUiam 
Nesbitt, James 
Nash, Phineas 
Neal, Thomas 
O'Neal John 
Park. Thomas 
Pettebone, Lucy 
Pierce, Hannah 
Pell, Josiah 
Plainer, John 
Racer, Benjamin 
Rice, James 
Ransom. Samuel 
Roberts. John 
Ryon, John 
Ross. William 
Reed, Thomas 
Rogers, Jonah 
Sullivan, Daniel 
Stoddart, Thomas 
Stevens Uriah* 
Spencer, Caleb 
Spencer, Walter 

"Poll, ahatert. 



43-00 
05 
24-00 
28-00 
46-00 
75-00 
,37-00 
46-1 
36-00 
36-00 
27-00 
62-10 
1-04 
51-00 
11-00 
27-00 
29-00 
17-10 
3-00 
51-12 
21-00 
31-05 
53-00 
30-00 
22-00 
8-00 
29-00 
85- 
22-00 
5 1-00 
50-00 
7-00 
27-10 
55-14 
30-00 
24-00 
44-15 
22-15 
47-00 
36-00 
54-10 
24-15 
9-00 
l,S-00 
24-00 
2-10 
5-00 
21- 

6-00 
27-00 
9-00 
26-00 
45-12 
16-08 
64-06 
35-00 
56-04 
21-00 
31-00 
48-00 
48-08 
27-00 



Brewster, David 
Cook, Nathaniel 
Cook, Reuben 
Cooley, Preserved 
Chapman, Asa 
Cady, Manasseh 
Cole. Benjamin 
Cole Benjamin, Jr. 
Hopkins, Timothy 
Hammond, Lebbens 
Heberd, Ebenezer 
Heberd, William 
Hurlbut, Christopher 
Hurlbut, John 
Hallet Samuel 
Hyde, John 
Harris, Elijah 
Hageman, John \ 
Hiilenback. Matthias J 
Harding. Henry 
Halstead, Richard 
Ingersoll Daniel 
Inman, Elijah 
Inman, Richard 
Jones. Crocker 
Jameson, John 
Johnson, Turner 
Joslin, Thomas 
Jackson, William 
Kenny, Lawrence 
Kingsley, Lieut. N. 
Kellogg, Josiah 
Kelsey, Abner 
Landon, Capt. Nath 
Lummis, John 
Stewart, Martha 
Stewart, Dorcas 
Spalding, Capt. Sim' 
Smith, Dr. Wm. H. 
Smith, John 
Sanford, David 
Sill, Jabez 
Sutton, James 
Taylor, Silas 
Thomas, Joseph 
Tuttle, Benjamin 
Terry, Jonathan 
Tubbs, Lieut. Lebbens 
Trucks, William 
Tripp, Job 
Travis, Nicod 
Tyler, Ephraim 
Tillbury, John V. 
Llnderwood, Isaac 
Van Orraan, Joseph 
Washburn, Jonathan 
Warner, William 
Williams, William, Jr 
Wilhams, Nathaniel 
Williams, William 
Westbrook, Abraham 
Westbrook, Leonard 
Yarington, Abel 



1279 

■RECAPITULATION 

114 male polls, from 21 to 70', not especially exempted, at £18 each, £2,052-00 

26 male polls, from 16 to 21, at £9 ' 2,34-00 

45 oxen, four years old and upwards, at £4 180-00 

20S Cows, three years old and upwards, at £3 624-00 

14 steers, three years old. at £3 42-00 

1 5 steers and heifers, two years old, at £2 36-00 

57 steers and heifers, one year old, at £ 1 57-00 

173 horses, three years old and upwards, at £3 519-00 

4 horses, two years old, at £2 8-00 

7 horses, one year old, at £ 1 7-00 

127 swine, one year old and upwards, at £l 127-00 

989 '2 acres of plough land, at 10s 494-15 

191 '2 acres of upland mowing and clear pasture, at 8s. 6d., 76-12 

91 acres of bush pasture, at 2s 9-10 

2 silver watches, at £ 1 , 10s 3-00 

Assessments — traders .\nd tr.\desmen, &c. : 

John Hageman and Matthias HoUenback 50-00 

Benjamin Bailey, blacksmith 15-00 

Capt. John Franklin, 1 silver watch • 1-10 

Sarah Durkee, 1 silver watch 1-10 

Tolat amount of ratable polls, properly and assessments, £4,534-17" 

This tax-list indicates that there were in Westmoreland, in August, 1781, 
161 male inhabitants from sixteen to seventy years of age. However, some of 
the men thus listed were Continental soldiers, as for example : Col. Zebulon 
Butler, Capt. Simon Spalding, Asa Burnham, Benjamin Cole, Gideon Church, 
Frederick Eveland, Thomas Niell, John Platner, or Platmore, John Ryon and 
Nathaniel Williams. Undoubtedly some of these men were at home on furlough 
in August, 1781, while others were with their commands "at the front." 

On the other hand, we miss from the list the names of a number of men 
who, it is well ascertained, were inhabitants of and property owners in Westmore- 
land in 1781, as well as for several years previously and subsequently. As for 
example: the Rev. Jacob Johnson, the gospel minister of the settlement; Ben- 
jamin Harvey, who had returned from captivity among the Indians on July 4, 
1781, as previously narrated; Capt. Solomon Strong, Lieut. John Jenkins, Jr., 
Justus Gaylord, Ambrose Gaylord, Mason F. Alden, John Swift, Waterman 
Baldwin and Zerah Beach. For various reasons these men were not considered 
by the Listers as "ratable by law" in August, 1781. 

On the whole, this tax-list clearly demonstrates the paucity and the poverty 
of the inhabitants of Westmoreland, in the Summer of 1781. 

Miner states ("Histors- of Wyoming," page 301) that on Friday, September 
7. 1781, a band of Indians made an attack on the settlement in Hanover 
Township, not far from Wilkes-Barre, and took off Arnold Franklin and Roasel 
Franklin, Jr., the foster son (nephew) and son of Lieut. Roasel Franklin. Several 
horses were stolen, and much grain, in stack, was consumed by fire. Captain 
^litchell, with a detachment of soldiers from Fort Wyoming, went in pursuit, 
but the enemy eluded his vigilance. The captives, who were aged sixteen and 
thirteen years respectively, were taken to Niagara, where they were detained 
till the end of the war, when they returned to their home in safety. 

At a town-meeting "legally warned and held in Westmoreland," at Wilkes- 
Barre, September 8, 1781, John Hurlbut, Esq., serving as Moderator, the follow- 
ing resolutions were adopted. 

" Voted, That a tax be granted of four pence on the pound, as soon as the list can be com- 
pleted, to be paid* either in hard money, or in produce at the following prices: flax, lOd. per pound; 
wheat, 3s. 6d. per bushel; rye, 2s. 6d.; and corn, at 2s. per bushel. 



*At a subsequent town-meeting the time for paying the tax in flax and grain was extended to January 1. 17f 
and the constables were instructed "to conform themselves accordingly." 



12S0 

" Voted, That Obadiah Gore and John Franklin be agents to negotiate a petition, praying 
for an abatement of taxes for the present list of 1781, at the General Assembly in October next." 

In pursuance of the last-mentioned vote, a memorial* addressed to the 
General Assembly of Connecticut, was duly prepared and was signed by Col. 
Nathan Denison, John Hurlbut and Capt. John Franklin, "Authority," and 
Capt. John Franklin, James Nisbitt and Jabez Sill, "Selectmen." Requesting 
an abatement of taxes, the memorial set forth, among other reasons for the re- 
quest, the following: "We are exposed to the enemy in such manner as to render 
it unsafe to labour but in companies together under the protection of a guard at 
our own expense. Also, we have been frequently called upon to scout after the 
enemy — all without any expense to the public." 

Messrs. Gore and Franklin attended, as Representatives from Westmore- 
land, the regular semi-annual session of the General Assembly of Connecticut, 
held at Hartford, in October, 1781, and early in the session presented the above- 
mentioned memorial to the Assembly. 

At Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered 
his army, "together with all the officers and seamen of the British ships in the-^ 
Chesapeake, prisoners of war to the combined forces of America and France," 
under General Washington. This act caused a practical suspension of hostilities 
between Great Britain and the United States, and was virtually the end of the 
War of the Revolution. 

When, some days later, the news of this surrender became known in the 
principal cities of the country, there was great rejoicing; and just about that 
time the members of the General Assembly of Connecticut, being undoubtedly 
in a generous and joyous state of mind, unanimously voted to grant the prayer 
of the Westmoreland petitioners. 

At this same session of the Assembly there was presented to it a very full 
and detailed report on losses sustained by the inhabitants of Westmoreland, 
which had been carefully compiled in pursuance of the resolution adopted by the 
Assembly in May, 1780 — as set forth on page 1251. In the Lower House 
it was ordered that this "report be lodged on file in the Secretary's office." This 
action was duly concurred in by the Upper House — and the report still "lodges" 
in the State Capitol at Hartford, without any further action upon it ever hav- 
ing been taken by the General Assembly of Connecticut or any other legislative 
body. The document in question will be found in the collection of MSS. re- 
ferred to in paragraph "(3)", page 29, Vol. I, and it reads as follows: 

"A Bill of Losses sustained by the inhabitants of the Town of Westmoreland from the 
3d Day of July, 1 778, to May, 1780, taken and carefully examined by the Select Men of sd. Town, 
Pursuant to a Resolve of the Assembly of the State of Connecticut holden at Hartford the second 
Thursday of May, 1780. And is as foUoweth; — 

£ s. £ s. 

Samll. Andross 26 15 Ishmael Bennet 96 17 

Isaac Adams 103 64 Isaac Bennet 61 / 

Richardson Avery 155 Asa Bennet 199 12 

Alice Abbot 173 6 Henry Burney 71 15 

Prince Alden 83 17 Moses Brown 13 8 

Mason F. Alden 5 13 Andrew Blanchard 49 15 

Noah Adams 83 5 John Blanchard 23 S 

Cornelus Atherton 103 Joseph Blanchard 54 9 

Samll. Ayers 100 10 Margaret Blanchard 79 2 

James Atherton 120 9 Lucretia Buck 90 14 

Richardson Avery Jnr 137 13 James Benedict 228 13 

Eber Andross 120 9 Capt. Jeremiah Blanchard 215 14 

Col. Zebulon Butler 429 4 Benjamin Baily 134 17 

Zerah Beach, Esq 67 13 Asahel Bumham 35 6 

*The original is "No. 14.5" in the collection of documents described in paragraph "(3)", page 29, Vol. I. 




Fort Rice at Montgomery's Northumberland County 



1281 



Isaac Benjamin 9 

Thomas Brown 61 

Thomas Bennet 507 

James Brown 165 4 

Capt. James Bidlack 65 19 

Sarah Brockway 205 7 

Joseph Baker 124 13 

Elisha Blackman 137 1 

Elizabeth Benedict 144 13 

Bether Bixby 36 13 

James Bagley 95 15 

Mary Bixby 74 8 

Capt. Caleb Bates 285 4 

Wm. Buck 245 5 

Elijah Buck 103 18 

Abigail Bidlack 63 10 

David Brown 28 16 

Richard Brockway 163 17 

Mchitabel Bigford 202 1 

Uriah Chapman, Esq 53 10 

Samll. Cummins 151 5 

John Gary 93 10 

Wm. Churchill 178 16 

Anne Campbell 100 5 

Nathan Cary 166 4 

Benjamin Cole, Jr 165 

James Cole 207 3 

Peleg Comstock 40 13 

Mary Crooker 51 1 

John Comstock 219- 7 

Jonathan Cory 173 11 

Jinks Cory 83 

Barnabas Cary 88 17 

Samll. Cole 89 6 

Preserved Cooly 95 19 

Col. Nathan Dennison 209 15 

Samll. Downer 22 19 

Daniel Downing 107 

David Darling 13 

Sarah Durkee 240 18 

Amos Draper 68 18 

Samll. Dart 124 4 

Anderson Dana, Esq 194 15 

Frederick Eveland 90 6 

Samll. Ensign 38 10 

Joseph Elliott 33 7 

Henry Elliott 40 14 

Benjamin Eaton 369 10 

Nathaniel Evans 61 19 

Capt. Stephen Fuller 288 4 

Roswell Franklin 104 

Charles Foresythe 15 3 

Capt. John Franklin 21 4 

Benj. Follet 118 17 

Jabez Fish 223 

John Ferre, Jr 61 11 

John Ferre 61 18 

Hugh Foresman 193 1 1 

Sarah Fuller 101 13 

Esther Follet 221 7 

James Finn 221 11 

Elizabeth Follet 212 3 

Richard Fitz Jarold 245 2 

Jonathan Forsythe 138 16 

Jonathan Fitch, Esq 46 10 

Capt. Eliab Farnham 27 11 

Joanna Fish 30 17 

Major John Caret 309 11 

Hannah Gore 

John Garret, Jr 59 16 

Daniel Gore 273 13 

Cornelius Gale 7 14 



Daniel Lawrence 37 

George Liquors .- . . ■ 1^6 18 

Abigail Leech 82 

Joseph Leonard 79 19 

John Lassley 53 2 

David Linsey 78 7 

Edward Lester 109 11 

Samll. Morgan 135 8 

Thomas McClure 66 4 

John Murphy 86 3 

Benj. Merry 7S 2 

Ebenezer Marcy IIS 12 

Uzania Manvill 46 17 

Thos. Neil 4 

James Nisbitt 74 19 

Phinehas Nash 70 

John O'Neil IS 2 

Daniel Owen 24 

Amos Ormsby 7 1 

Anning Owen 174 12 

Josiah Pell 73 10 

Lucy Pettibon 79 7 

Hannah Parish 44 12 

Thos. Picket, Jr 66 

Hannah Peirce [Widow of Timothy] . 151 6 

Thos. Picket Ill 11 

Ichabod Phelps 9 ; 2 

Thos. Porter 200 

Josiah Parks 49 19 

Noah Pettibone 216 1 

Jonathan Prichard ■ 30 15 

Jonth.' Parker 54 12 

Silas Parks, Esq 91 10 

Elijah Phelps 550 10 

Sarah Pixlev 26 19 

John Ryon IS 3 

Wm. Ross 320 

John Ross 65 17 

Susanna Reyno'ds 2S 10 

Reran Ross 233 9 

Abigail Richards 135 3 

David Reynolds 94 2 

Capt. Samll. Ransom 259 

Capt. Daniel Rosecrant 175 10 

James Roberts 83' IS 

Jonah Rogers 16S 17 

Amasa Roberts 92 10 

Timothy Rose US 11 

Caleb Spencer 182 17 

Margaret Smith 155 10 

James Stark 547 15 

Lazarus Stuart, Jr 172 12 

Isaac Smith 67 10 

Joseph Staples 223 

Esther Spencer 135 

David Sanford 193 12 

Elizabeth St John 162 

Elisha Scovel 712 4 

Jonth Scovel 72 

Ebenezer Skinner 89 4 

Wm. Shav 114 15 

Josiah Smith 83 19 

Obadiah Scott 72 15 

Jedidiah Stevens 285 

Joshua Stevens 119 11 

Zacharias Squire 66 16 

James Sutton 176 17 

David Shoemaker 50 

Daniel Sherwood 40 4 

Edward Spencer, Jr 85 7 

Thos. Stoddard 200 8 

David Smith 202 15 



1282 



Wm. Gallop 200 

Solomon Goss 31 

Justus Gaylord 134 

Keziah Gore 89 

Obadiah Gore, Esq 306 

Elisha Garret 29 

Catherine Gaylord [Widow of Lieut. 

Aaron Gaylord] 158 

Joseph Gaylord 69 

Stephen Gardner 176 

Nathaniel Gates 66 

James Gardiner 180 

Elizabeth Gore 240 

Wait Garret 108 

Bezaleel Gurnev 59 

John Hurlbut, Esq 85 

Peter Harris 149 

Lehbeas Hammond 84 

Richard Halsted 177 

Joseph Hagaman 19 

Henry Harding 55 

Matthew Holonback 671 

Doct. Joseph Hamilton 284 

James Hopkins 90 

Capt. Robert Hopkins 28 

Samll. Huchinson 163 

.Simeon Hide 117 

Widow Hasen and son 182 

Samll. Howard 27 

Mary Howard 50 

Benjn Harvey 186 

Mary Hktch 62 

John Hutchins 57 

Capt, Stephen Harding 181 

Stutley Harding 73 

James Headsall 210 

Thos. Heath 190 

Cyprian Hybert 119 

Daniel IngersoU 208 

Sarah Inman 161 

Richard Inman 41 

Edward Inman 84 

Revd. Jacob Johnson 459 

John Jemison 88 

Crocker Jones 9 

Wm. Jackson 106 

Robert Jameson 183 

Capt. Wm. Judd 19 

John Jenkins. Esq 598 

Josiah Kellogg 146 

Michael Kelly 21 

Benj. Kilburn 92 

Hannah Keys 178 

Alexander McKay 277 

Sarah Lee 236 

Thos. Leavensworth 122 

Sarah Leonard 75 

Rufus Lawrence 189 



Jane Shoemaker 329 12 

Benj. Skiff 98 7 

Doct. Wm. Hooker Smith 168 7 

Wm. Stuart 57 17 

Giles Slocum 205 19 

Asa Stevens : 185 11 

John Scott 217 3 

James Staples 80 19 

Martha Stuart 48 1 12 

JabezSill 351 19 

John Staples 224 12 

John Stafford 36 6 

Josiah Stanberry 603 14 

Luke Sweatland 200 

Joseph Thomas 120 18 

Mary Thomas 25 

Ephraim Tyler 14 19 

Parshall Terrv 216 12 

Marv Thompson 30 19 

Job Tripp 113 1 

Isaac Tripp 74 10 

Lebens Tubbs 1 80 5 

John Taylor 61 14 

Preserved Tavlor 18 2 

Mehitabcl Truks 159 4 

Moses Thomas 68 3 

Bezaleel Tyler 35 17 

Elisabeth tuttle 67 10 

James Towser 36 

Isaac Van Orman 122 

John Van Tilberry 84 9 

Rev. Noah Wadhams 193 6 

Amy Willcox.-. 116 12 

Elisabeth Willson 87 15 

EnosWooddard 30 19 

Enos Wooddard, Jr 16 7 

EliezerWest 53 10 

Nathl. Williams 30 

Abigail Weeks. .. .• 129 16 

Mary Walker 42 5 

Eunice Whiton 26 7 

Daniel Welling 44 17 

Tho-. Wigton 175 6 

Isabel Wigton 130 1 

Wm. Warner 68 16 

Wm. Williams 148 18 

Jonath. Weeks 239 11 

Flavins Waterman 90 

Elihu Williams 197 10 

Richard West 65 17 

Amy Williams : . . 130 

Daniel Whitney 363 14 

Abraham Westbrook 380 2 

.James Wells 92 12 

Lucretia York 221 13 

Jemima Yale 130 3 

Jacob Zuvalt 42 11 

|286 Names], Total Amount .. £38,308 13 



"The foregoing Bill was carefully examined in each single account, and estimated in lawful 
money equal to money in 1774.* Certified by us: 

"John Hurlbut, v 
"Westmoreland Oct. "Nathan Denison, f 

the 2d 1781. "John Franklin, Select Men" 

"James Nisbitt, i 

"Jabez Sill. ) 

*Previous to the Revolutionary War paper money was issued to a greater or less extent by each one of the thirteen 
Colonies. ■ Originally the issues were authorized to meet the necessities of the Colonial treasuries. Many of the Col- 
onies, therefore, went into the Revolutionary War with paper already in circulation . and with all of the Colonies making 
issues for the expenses of military preparations. 

_ In the year 1774, and earlier, six shillings in the "lawful money" of Connecticut were equivalent to one Spanish 
milled dollar, which was valued at 4s. 6d., sterling; equal to $1.09 — in American money of to-day as stated in the 
note on page 252, Vol. I. 

.After the Revolutionary War was well under way "hard money" became very scarce in the country. But inas- 
much as money of some kind had to be had by the Government, and as the Continental Congress had no power to 



1283 



After the capitulation of Cornwallis, Washington sent 2,000 troops to 
reinforce the army under General Greene, and then dispatched the balance of 
his army, including the soldiers from Westmoreland, to Winter cantonment 
along the Hudson, north of the city of New York. Washington himself went 
to Philadelphia, to "endeavor to stimulate Congress to the best improvement 
of the late successes of the army, by taking the most vigorous and effective 
measures to be ready for an early and decisive campaign the next year." In a 
letter to General Greene, about that time, Washington wrote that he feared the 
Congress might "too much magnify" the importance of the surrender of Corn- 
wallis, and "may think our work too nearly closed, and fall into a state of languor 
and relaxation." 

To the soldiers, leading a life of inactivity in the Winter camp along the 
Hudson, there soon came a feeling that the war was really over, and that ere 
long peace would be declared. Consequently many of the men — particularly those 
who were husbands and fathers — applied for their discharges. Among these men 
were a number of the Westmorelanders in Captain Spalding's company. 

At Philadelphia, under the date of January 3, 1782, Washington wrote to 
Maj. Gen. William Heath (in command of the Continental posts on the Hudson, 
with his headquarters at West Point) in part as follows:* 

"Every proper indulgence has been granted to the soldiers of the Connecticut company 
raised at Wyoming. When they were removed from thence last Spring, by order of Congress, 
Colonel Butler had liberty to grant furloughs to those whose families would be most distressed 
by their absence; and he did so. If there are others under the same circumstances, I should have 
no objection to their being allowed the same indulgence, a like number of those upon furlough 
being called in. But I cannot consent to the interference of the State [of Connecticut] in giving 
discharges. That is a matter altogether foreign to their power." 
tax the people or the States, and as the members of the 
Congress were accustomed to paper issues as the ordi- 
nary form of public finance, the Congress began to issue 
bills on the faith of the "Continent", to be used as a 
circulating medium. These bills, denominated "Conti- 
nental Currency" (as explained on page 898, Vol II). 
were payable in Spanish milled dollars, "or llie value 
thereof in gold or silver.". 

The first issue — made in August. 1775 — wasfor300, 
000 dollars, redeemable in three years. Bills for 9,000, 
000 dollars were issued before any depreciation began. 
Undoubtedly their value must have been affected by 
the bills issued by the separate Colonies, for these, too. 
depreciated in value as the War went on. At the end 
of the year 1778 the Continental paper dollar was worth 
sixteen cents in the northern States and tw-elve cents 
in the south. Early in 1780 its value had fallen to two 
cents, and before the end of the year it took ten paper 
dollars to make a cent. As Washington said, it took a 
wagon-load of money to buy a wagon-load of provi- 
sions. In October, 1780. Indian com sold wholesale in 
Boston for ?150. per bushel; butter was SI2. a pound, 
tea $90.. sugar SIO., coffee $12., while a barrel of flour 
cost SI. 575. Samuel Adams paid $3,000 for a hat and 
a suit of clothes. The present writer has in his posses- 
sion an original receipt given to Zebulon Butler by Ben- 
jamin Harvey, at Wyoming, February 7, 1780, for "one 
hundred and twenty-eight dollars for a sow and two 
pigs." (See the last paragraph in the note on page 
1225. Vol. II. relative to the value of certain articles in 
Connecticut in 1780.) 

The Continental Currency soon ceased to circulate 
freely, being no longer a legal tender or receivable in 
payment of taxes. Debts could not be collected, and 
there was a general prostration of credit. The early 
issues of the money were so worthless that barber-shops 
were papered with it. To say that a thing was "not 
worth a Continental" became the strongest possible ex- 
pression of contempt. By the close of the year 1 780 the 
Currency had ceased to have currency. "Like an aged 
man. expiring by the decays of nature, without a sigh 
or a groan, it fell asleep in the hands of its last posses- 
sors. * * * The money had. in a great measure, 
got out of the hands of the original proprietors, and it 
was in the possession of others, who had obtained it at a rate of value not exceeding what was fixed upon it by the 
scale of depreciation." Attempts were subsequently made to have it funded or redeemed, but without success. 

Concemmg the Continental Currency Pelatiah Webster (see note in Chapter XXII. posi) ivrote: "We have suffered 
"^ "^ 1 from every other cause of calamity. It has killed more men . pervaded and corrupted the choicest 




■^--a-iji-HE Poflerrjr of ihis BILL, 
■f-T''?" fliall be paid by the Tiea- 
■^"■¥"^ furer of the Colony ofCsn- 
laenicut. One Shilling & Six- pence. 
Lawful Mocey, by thsfirfiDay of| 
J .noary, A.D. 
br,c Thouland, 
Seven Hundred, 
and Eighty-two. 
Bj Order of 
Affembly.Dated 
Hartford, Junej 
igth,— AID 
I 776. i/T 



U/^ 




Facsimile of Connecticut Currency 

Issued in pursuance of a resolution of the General .As- 
sembly of the Colony passed June 19, 1776. 



: from th 
Qterests of our country more, and done more injustice than 

*See "Massachusetts Historical Collections", Fifth Series, IV 



the : 



nd artifices of < 



235. 



1284 

At Fort Wyoming, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of January 4, 1782, Lieut. 
Samuel Shippard,* an officer under Captain Mitchell at the Wyoming post, 
wrote to Col. Zebulon Butler, at "Camp Connecticut Huts," in part as follows: 

"The troops at this Post are supplied agreeable to the new mode. I have requested to be 
relieved, and expect the matter will be gone through with in three or four weeks. * * Mrs. 
Shippard joins with me in our compliments to Colonel Butler, as also to Captain Spalding." 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of January 8, 1782, Lord Butler wrote to 
his father: "I believe there never was known to be such weather [here] at this 
time of the year since this place was settled. The river is banks full — as high a 
freshet as almost ever has been seen at any time of the year." 

At Wilkes-Barre, January 9, 1 782, Hugh Forseman wrote to Colonel Butler 
in part as follows:! 

"With respect .to the particulars of the affair between Captain Mitchell and his men: 
They have laid six different complaints against him, * * * (1) for selling their shoes to 
the inhabitants; (2) for giving them, or ordering them to get, condemned beef for five weeks; 
(3) for making them receipt in full for their rations, when they received only part; (4) for selling 
or lending three barrels of whisky to some of the inhabitants; (5) for punishing [soldiers] without 
their first being tried or examined; (6) for ordering men on fatigue [duty] to work for the inhabi- 
tants, and not getting any pay for their labor." 

In Hanover Township, only a few miles below Fort Wyoming, on Sunday, 
April 7, 1782, there occurred an Indian outrage, concerning which Miner ("His- 
tory of Wyoming," page 301) declares: "A more distressing tragedy scarcely 
crimsons the page of history!" A very detailed and interesting account of this 
outrage, written by the late Rev. David Craft, D. D., and read before The 
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, in October, 1907, is printed in Vol. 
X of the Society's "Proceedings and Collections " under the title: "The Capture 
and Rescue of the Family of Rosewell Franklin " The following facts have 
been gleaned from Dr Craft's article and from "Historical Sketches of Roswell 
Franklin and Family," by Robert Hubbard, Dansville, N. Y., 1839; and "Sketch 
of the Life of Rosewell Franklin," by the Rev. Charles Hawley, D. D., read 
before the Cayuga County (New York) Historical Society, January 14, 1879. 
and published in Vol. VII of the Society's Collections. 

About the beginning of April, a band of thirteen Indian warriors, bent on 
murder and plunder, quietly stole into the valley. Before reaching the settle- 
ments they separated into two bands, five of the Indians going in one direction, 
while the other eight made their way to the locality where Lieut. Roasel Frank- 
linj lived — in the block-house mentioned on page 925, Vol. II. In the morning 
of the 7th Lieutenant Franklin went into the woods in search of some of his 
hogs which were missing. The various members of his family were busy about 
their home, when the eight Indians previously mentioned suddenly entered the 

*In 1779 he was First Lieutenant and Adjutant of the 3d New Jersey Regiment, and took part in the Sullivan 
Expedition. 

tThe original letter is in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 

JRoASEL Franklin, whose name appears frequently in these pages, was a man of activity and prominence in 
Wyoming, almost from the first days of the settlements here under the Susquehanna Company. In the various Wyo- 
ing histories his Christian name is commonly spelled "Roswell" or "Rosewell"; but it was undoubtedly "Roasel". as 
is evidenced by his signature attached to several original documents now preserved in the collections of the Wyoming 
Historical and Geological Society. 

He was bom about 1732 or '33 undoubtedly in Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, and was the brother 
or son of Jehiel Franklin of Woodbury, who, at Westmoreland, May 3, 1774, conveyed land in Hanover Township 
to Thaddeus Braughton of Woodbury, — Roasel Franklin having conveyed to the same man, in the preceding March, 
certain land which he owned in Hanover. 

In 1755 and '56 Roasel Franklin served as a soldier in a Connecticut regiment in the French and English War, 
and in 1762, as a Connecticut soldier, took part in the expedition against Havana^-described on page 482, Vol. I. of 
this work. He was married (first) September 22, 1760, at Southbury, Connecticut, to Jerusha (bom August 17, 1740) , 
daughter of Stephen Hickok. 

Roasel Franklin came to Wyoming in the Summer of 1769, having been preceded here a few months by his brother 
John. (See first paragraph of note "t" on page 1,227, Vol. II.) The latter waa married to Elizabeth, daughter of 
Elisha and Susanna {Higley) Blackman, mentioned in the note on page 1,067, Vol. II, and one of their children was 
Arnold Franklin, who, after the death of his father, became a member oi^his uncle Roasel's family, and later was carried 
i nto captivity by Indians, as narrated heretofore. John Franklin was slain at the battle of Wyoming, and Decern- 



1285 

house. Painting the faces of Mrs. Franklin and her four children, they quickly 
ransacked the house, set fire to it, and beat a hasty retreat to the woods with 
their plunder, and the mother and her children as their captives. 

Soon after the marauders had left the scene Lieutenant Franklin returned 
to find his house ablaze and his family gone, he knew not whither. With the 
direful news he hastened to Fort Wyoming, where the alarm-gun was fired, 
giving notice to the people of the valley of the presence of the enemy. A party 
was immediately organized to pursue the Indians and, if possible, rescue the 
captives. Sergeant Thomas Baldwin led the party, and the other members of 
it were: Joseph Elliott, John Swift, Oliver Bennett, Waterman Baldwin, Gideon 
Dudley, Cook and Taylor. 

The same day the pursuers set off up the Susquehanna, and several days 
later interrupted the retreat of the pursued near the mouth of Wyalusing Creek. 
A sharp fight ensued, at the beginning of which Mrs. Franklin and her children 
who had been left between the lines of the opposing parties, and could hear the 
singing of the bullets as they sped from both directions, stood up in order to 
attract the attention of their friends. Mrs. Franklin being slightly wounded 
by one of the bullets, she and the children were ordered by the Indians to lie 
down close together behind the trunk of a fallen tree, and to keep still or they 
would be killed. 

Hearing voices up the hill in the direction whence the pursuing party had 
come, Mrs. Franklin raised her head and looked that way. Instantly one of the 
savages shot her, and she died almost immediately. The Indians then fled, one 
of them carrying off on his shoulder Mrs. Franklin's infant, Ichabod, who was 
never seen or heard of again. The bodies of two or three dead Indians together 
with several tomahawks and guns, remained upon the field, while during the 
encounter Gideon Dudley had been wounded in one of his hands, and Oliver 
Bennett had been badly wounded in one of his arms. The body of Mrs. Franklin 
haviftg been buried on the spot, in as decent a manner as circumstances would 

ber 31, 1782. Roasel Franklin was appointed administrator of his estate by the Probate Court of Westmoreland; Leb- 
bens Tubbs being surety in the sum of £100. 

In 1771 Roasel Franklin was a lot-holder and settler in Wilkes-Barre. Upon the organization of the town of 
Westmoreland in 1774 he was chosen one of the Selectmen of the town. In 1777 he was Lieutenant of the 5tll Company 
of the 24th Regiment. Connecticut Militia, and the next year took part with his company in the battle of Wyoming. 
In 1780 and '81 he was a Lieutenant of Capt. John Franklin's company of Westmoreland militia. (See pages 1.229 
and 1,230, Vol. II.) After the murder of his wife Lieutenant Franklin was married (second) June 22, 1783, to Mrs. 
Elizabeth Lester, widow of Edward Lester, mentioned on pages 1 ,106 and 1,107. 

(The two daughters of Mrs. Lester, upon their release from Indian captivity, made their home with their mother 

and step-father until their respective marriages. The younger daughter married Benedict, and in 1839 was 

living near Brockport, New York — her widowed mother, then in the ninety-eighth year of her life, residing with her.) 

On the renewal of the land controversies in Wyoming Lieutenant Franklin and his family removed (about 1784 
or "85) to Choconut, now Union, in the State of New York. Later he moved to Wysox, in what is now Bradford County, 
Pennsylvania, and in March, 1789, accompanied by his family and that of his son-in-law, Ebenezer White, moved to 
what is now Aurora, New York, where he built the first house occupied by a white man in Cayuga County. There . 
in the Spring of 1 792, through stress of trouble and the loss of property, he committed suicide. 

.^t Aurora, on February 22, 1861, at the request of the citizens of the village, an historical address was delivered 
in memory of Lieut. Roasel Franklin, by his grandson, the Rev. William S. Franklin, then of Genoa and later of 
Syracuse, New York. On September 24, 1879, the people of -'Aurora celebrated the centennial anniversary of the 
destruction of some Indian villages near there by the Sullivan Expedition. The celebration in part was held at "the 
old foundation" of Roasel Franklin's first log house, which was well decorated with flags and bunting. A grass-covered 
mound, at the northern end of the village of Aurora, about twelve rods east of Lake Cayuga, marks "the old founda- 
tion" — a slight elevation the place of the chimney, and a depression the location of the door-place. 

The children of Lieut. Roasel and Jerusha (Hickok) Franklin were as follows: (I) Joseph, bom about 1765; killed 
by Indians in Wyoming Valley in 1779. (2) Roasel, or Roswell, bom June 22, 1768. (3) Olive, bora in 1769; became 

the wife of Stevens of Dansville, New York. (4) Susanna, bom in 1771. (5) Thankful, bom in 1774; died 

in 1779. (6) 5/e/>;ieK, bora in 1776. (7) Ichabod, bom in 17S0. 

( 2) Roswell Franklin was married December 5 , 1 794, to Pamela Goodrich (bora Febraary 1 1 , 1 775) , and they settled 
at .\urora. New York, where both of them died in March, 1843. For six years prior to his death he had been a Deacon 
in the Presbyterian Church at Aurora, and in honor of him and his father, memorial windows were placed in the new 
church erected in 1861. The children of Roswell and Pamela (Goodrich) Franklin were as follows: (a) Elizabeth, bora 

-August 28, 1795; married May 6, 1813, to ; died September 8, 1863, at Five Coraers, N. Y. (b) Xaomi. 

bora February 12, 1797; died March 17, 1823. (c) Almira, bora Febmary 21, 1799; married September 7. 1819. to 

Hovey: died in Iowa October 5, 1889. (d) Caroline M., born December 28, 1800; married June 2i, 1822, 

to . (e) Ann Eliza, born September 21, 1803; married October 2, 1827 to WTiite; died July 

5. 1893. (f) John H. bora June 29, 1805; twice marred and died at Canandaigua, New York, May 1, 1873. (g) 
Pamela, bora October 22, 1808; died November 9, 1810. (h) William S., born October 22. 1811; married twice, and 
died at Syracuse. New York. March 6. 1882. He was a minister of the gospel, (i) Samuel Xearll, bom May 28. 1817; 

married January 14, 1816, to ; died September 5, 1896. (j) Pamela G. bora Tanuarv 4, 1821; married 

September 8, 18471 to Brady; died in Ohio August 9, 1904. 



1286 

permit, the Wilkes-Barre party proceeded homeward with the three Franklin 
children as expeditiously as possible. On Tuesday, April 16th, they arrived at 
Fort Wyoming, where the children were restored to the arms of their father. He 
took them to the family of a neighbor, Jonathan Forsythe, where they remained 
until their own home could be rebuilt. 

At Wilkes-Barre, April 8, 1782 — the day following that upon which the 
Franklins had been carried off and the rescuing party had set out in pursuit of 
them — a town-meeting was held, at which arrangements were made "for the 
distribution of the public powder to the settlements." It was also "voted, that 
those men now in service on a scout with Sergeant Thomas Baldwin shall be 
entitled to receive from the Treasurer of this town [of Westmoreland] the sum of 
five shillings per day for each day in service; and that Sergeant Baldwin shall be 
entitled to six shillings per day for said term." Also, the Town Treasurer was 
directed to have ground "so much of the public wheat [received in payment of 
taxes] as to make 200 pounds of biscuit, and keep it made and so deposited that 
the scouts may be instantly supplied from time to time as occasion requires." 

At Chenussio*, New York, April 20, 1782, Ebenezer Allent wrote to Col. 
John Butler, commander of the "Rangers", at Fort Niagara: "To-morrow a 
party of Senecas sets off, intending to strike at Wyoming. If anything particular 
happens, I will write you." The next day he wrote again from the same place, 
as follows: J 

"This day a Tuscarora runner arrived here, who says the party to which he belonged had 
been at Wioming, where they took five prisoners. The Rebels pursued them to Wylosyn [Wya- 
lusing], and wounded one of the chiefs through the body, so that they were obliged to run and lose 
the prisoners, except one of which [Mrs. Franklin] they killed and scalped. They were informed 
by the prisoners that 600 men were killed at Wioming." 

At the regular semi-annual session of the General Assembly of Connecticut, 
held at Hartford in May, 1782, Westmoreland was represented by Obadiah Gore 
and Jonathan Fitch. 

About this time many of the inhabitants of Westmoreland, who had fled 
from their homes after the battle of Wyoming, were returning to the Valley with 
their families; while those men of family who were already on the ground without 
their families, began to bring the latter back from their temporary homes in 
New York, Connecticut and elsewhere. 

A little light is thrown on some of the conditions existing here at that time 
by a depositions which was made June 24, 1782, by John Seel3^ Esq., of North- 
ampton County, Pennsylvania, who had been making inquiries "as to the strength, 
intentions, &c., of the settlers at Wyoming." He deposed: "There are about 
300 men fit to bear arms — one-fourth, or not exceeding one-third, of them being 
from the State of Connecticut. They expect a large body from Connecticut 
this Fall and next Spring. * * * jf they should fail in their Charter claims, 
they are determined to push for its being a new State." 

The following is an extract from a letter written at Wilkes-Barre, June 10 
1782, to the Hon. Roger Sherman (see page 839, Vol. II) by his second son. 



*Now Geneseo, in Livingston County. Sir William Johnson always wrote the name of this place ' 
its Indian name; but in Iroquois dialects "J" and "Ch" are interchangeable, as are also "G" and "K", "D" and "T", &c. 

tEsENEZER Allen was a Tory who fled from Pennsylvania and joined the Seneca Indians. He had several 
successive Indian wives (by one of whom he had two daughters), and after the war married a white woman. He was 
a monster of iniquity, according to Mary Jemison, "the White Woman", whose "Life" contains a chapter devoted to 
him. He once drowned a Dutch trader, and committed many other enormitiej. He built the first mill at the Genesee 
Falls (now Rochester). New York, under the authority of Phelps and Gorham. He was living in New York in 1791, 
hut ultimately fled the country and died at Grand River. 

tSee Canadian Archives. Series B, Vol. CII: 26. 

§See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old .Series, IX: 622, 




i***'' 
•" '^>^ 







Monument to William Jameson, 
Killed October 14. 1778. 

This formerly stood near the Hanover Cemetery, but is now in possession of the 
Wyoming Historical and Geological Society. 



1287 

William Sherman, who had come to Wyoming from New Haven, Connecticut, 
with the intention of teaching school. (He remained here until, at least, April, 
1783, but whether or not he was employed then or at any other time in teaching 
school, cannot now be learned. William Sherman, born in 1751, was graduated 
at Yale College in 1770. He was a paymaster, with the rank of Lieutenant, in 
the Continental army from January, 1777, to January, 1781. He died at New 
Haven in June, 1789): 

"Honored Sir : — I arrived here the 5th inst. after a very fatiguing journey, especially the 
last day. I rode from Colonel Stroud's Fort Penn, being forty-seven miles — thirty-eight miles 
being an intire wilderness — without any company. Two days before I arrived at Fort Penn 
Indians had killed one boy and one horse, and speared two others, which I saw nine miles this 
side of Fort Penn. Three days ago I was informed by some gentlemen that came through the 
woods that they had burnt a house and killed a horse, but no other damage done. 

"The committee sits this day to determine what wages they will give and what kind of 
pay. My proposals are, half money and the other half in produce. If we don't agree I shall go to 
the place about eight miles above, where I have got a call on my proposals. The situation of 
this town is by far the most pleasant. The whole country between the two mountains is as level 
as any part of our [New Haven] Green, for several miles in length and four or five in breadth. * * * 

In a deposition* made by Silas Taylor before John Van Campen, Esq., of 

Northampton County, August 2?, 1782, the deponent declared: 

"That he was at Wyoming [Wilkes-Barre] on or about July 20, 1782. Col, Zebulon Butler 
arrived at that place the day preceding. After the arrival of Butler he sent to all the Proprietors 
of the Connecticut claim then at that place, to meet the next day to consult on business of impor- 
tance. The next morning after the meeting this deponent asked sundry of these Proprietors 
what the business was, and learned that Colonel Butler had given them instructions to go down 
the river to Wapwallopen. build a strong block-housfe, and take possession of that country. The 
trial between Pennsylvania and Connecticut will be kept off this seven years." * * * 

On Monday, July 8, 1782, John Jamesonf and his youngest brother, Ben- 
jamin (who was not quite fourteen years of age), brothers of William Jameson, 
mentioned on page 1100, Vol. II, accompanied by Asa Chapman, a neighbor, 
were traveling horseback from Hanover to Wilkes-Barre. As they came near 

tJOHN Jameson was born in Voluntown. Windham County, Connecticut, June 17,1 749. the eldest child of Robert 
and Agnes { Dixon) Jameson. The father of Robert and the grandfather of John Jameson was John Jameson, Sr., a 
native of Scotland, where he was bom about 1680. .\t about the age of five years he accompanied the other members 
of his father's family to the North of Ireland. About the year 1685. shortly after the accession of King James II, when 
the persecution of the Covenanters was vigorously renewed, many .Scots emigrated to the province of Ulster, in the 
North of Ireland. The family of John Jameson, Sr.. settled at Omagh, in the county of Tyrone, Ulster, and there, in 
1705, John Jameson, Sr , was married to Rosanna Irwin, or Irvine, a native of Omagh. 

John Jameson, Sr,. learned the trade of a linen-weaver, and in connection with one or more of his brothers carried 
on in a small way the manufacture of linen at Omagh until the year 1718. Under the date of March 26, 1718, a large 
number of persons residing in the North of Ireland signed and sent across the Atlantic to Samuel Shute, the royal 
Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, a memorial, which, in part, read as follows: 

"We, Inhabitants of the North of Ireland, Doe, in our own names and in-the names of many others our neighbours 
— Gentlemen. Ministers. Farmers and Tradesmen — coramissionate and appoint our trusty and well-beloved Friend 
the Reverend Mr. William Boyd of Macasky to His Excellency the Rt. Hon. Col. Samuel Suitte, Govemour of New 
England, and to assure His Excellency of our sincere and hearty Inclination to Transport ourselves to that very ex- 
cellent and renowned Plantation upon our obtaining from his Excellency suitable incom-agement. And further, to 
act and Do in our names as his Prudence shall direct. '" * * 

Among the 320 signatures appended to this document were those of John Jameson, Sr., and his brother William. 

To the aforementioned memorial, delivered into his hands by the Rev. William Boyd, Governor Shute returned 
a favorable answer, and accordingly, early in June, I7I8, a company of 120 families, with the Rev. Mr. MacGregor 
at their head, sailed from the North of Ireland in five vessels, and landed safely at Boston. Massachusetts, August 4, 
1718. William and John Jameson, with their wives and children, were of this company of immigrants, concerning 
whom it is stated (in Bryant's "History of the United States". Ill: 138) : "These people, who undertook to better their 
condition in America, were descendants, [many of them), of the colonists who had been transferred by James I to the 
North of Ireland, where their condition, from penal laws against Protestants, and from local taxation, had become 
intolerable." 

John Jameson remained at Boston for a time, but in 1719 removed with his family to Milton, Norfolk County, 
Massachusetts, distant ten or twelve miles from Boston. In October, 1725, Robert Lord of Fairfield sold to John 
Jameson 142 acres of land in the new town of Voluntown, Windham County, Connecticut. This land lay in that part 
of Voluntown which is now Sterling, and was on the Plainfield and Providence highway, near where it cro.sses Mossup 
River, Thither John Jameson removed. He was admitted an inhabitant of the town December 23. 1728, and was 
chosen grand-juryman December 14. 1730. 

John Jameson died at his home in Volunto\vn in April. 1734, his wife. Rosanna, having died there a short time 
previously. Their children were as follows: (i) William, born in Omagh, Ireland, about 1706; died at Voluntown 
about 1727. (ii) Mary, born in Omagh about 1708; was living in Voluntoivn, unmarried, in 1735. (iii) Sarah, born 
m Omagh about 1710; married at Voluntown May 27, 1735, to Joseph Parke of Plainfield, Connecticut, (iv) Joan, 
horn in Omagh about 1712; married at Voluntown August 16. 1739, to Latham Clark, (v) Robert, born at Omagh 
December 24, 1714; died May I, 1786, (See hereinafter) (vi) Elizabelh. married at Voluntown February 11, 1742, 
to Thomas Clark of Voluntown. (vii) Hannah, married at Stonington. Connecticut, May 19. 1747. to Elisha Chese- 
borough. (viii) Esther, bom at Voluntown May 29, 1726; married at Stonington October 25, 1748, to Joseph (born 
January 22. 1718), sixth child of Thomas and Mary (Brown) York of Stonington, and great-grandson of James York, 
Sr., an early settler in Stonington. 

(v) Robert Jameson came to New England with the other members of his father's family, and was living in Volun 
town when his father died there in the Spring of 1 734. In 1 744 and again in 1 745 lie was chosen Lister of the town" 



1288 

in 1745, Surveyor of Highways, and in 1745, '46 and "47, Fenceviewer. He was duly sworn and admitted a freeman 
April 7. 1746. In December, 1749, he was chosen Constable of Voluntown, and re-chosen in December, 1750. In 
July, 1753. he became an original member of The Susquehanna Company, subscribing and paying for one "right." 

Robert Jameson attended as a duly qualified Representative from Voluntown the following sessions of the General 
Assembly of Connecticut: May and September, 1756; May, 1759; May and October. 1763; January, March and Octo- 
ber. 1 764. As a Representative he was present in the Council Chamber at Hartford. May 28-30, 1 763 , when the Gover- 
nor, Council and Assembly of Connecticut held a conference with certain chiefs of the Six Nations of Indians, as narrated 
on page 415, Vol I. From 1754 to 1763, inclusive, Robert Jameson was annually chosen by his fellow-freemen of Volun 
town to the offices of Fence-viewer, Constable and Collector of Colony Rates. In May, 1764, he was appointed agent 
of the town, to appear at ye General Assembly to answer ye memorial of Moses Fish and others, and show why the same 
should not be granted. In December, 1764, he was chosen Selectman and Fence-viewer for the ensuing year, and in 
December, 1767, was chosen Fence-viewer and Surveyor of Highways. 

In November, 1776. Robert Jameson removed vrith his wife, six of his sons and five of his daughters to Wyoming 
Valley, where his eldest son, John, had already settled. In compliance with a law which was rigorously enforced during 
the Revolutionary War, it was necessary for a person removing from one State to another to be provided with a pass- 
port, issued by a duly authorized public ofHcial. The following is a copy of the document furnished Mr. Jameson: 

"Windham. Nov, 4, 1776. 

"The bearer hereof, Mr. Robert Jameson, has been for many years an inhabitant in the town of Voluntown in 
the county of Windham and State of Connecticut, and is now on his journey with his wife and family and family fur- 
niture to remove to the town of Hanover on the Susquehanna River, and is a friend to the United States of America 
and has a right to remove himself and family as above." TSigned] Samurl Gray." 

"Justice of the Peace, and one of the Committee of said Windham " 

Stewart Pearce. referring in his "Jameson Memoir" to the removal of Robert Jameson and his family to Wyoming, 
says; "They brought with them a few articles of household furniture, and an agricultural implement or two. which they 
conveyed on a large cart drawn by three yoke of oxen. The sons walked alongside, driving the oxen and helping the cart 
over newly-and badly-opened roads. The daughters, clothed in homespun, also traveled afoot, and drove fourty 
head of sheep. The journey was performed in about three tedious weeks. John Jameson met his father and mother 
and the other members of the family at the mouth of Lackawaxen Creek, on the Delaware, and conducted them to 
their homely dwelling in Hanover Township, below the present town of Wilkes-Barre." 

In the Spring of 1773 the tov\Tiship of Salem was laid out and alloted, as described on page 771 . Vol. II. By virtue 
of his ownership of a "right" in The Susquehanna Company's Purchase, Robert Jameson was declared a proprietor in 
Salem Township; and, in the distribution of lots which soon took place, "Lot No. 30 in the First Division" fell to his 
share This was a fine tract of fifty acres. lying partly on the river flats and partly on the upland to the north, some 
six miles below the present borough of Shickshinny, and one and one-half miles east of what is now Beach Haven. In 
subsequent divisions of Salem lands Robert Jameson was allotted one tract of 100 acres and another tract of 150 acres. 
He never personally occupied any of these lands, however, but lived until his death on the property of his son John, 
previously mentioned, where, within a year after his arrival from Connecticut, he had erected a substantial log house 
and other improvements for the use of himself, wife and unmarried children. 

Owing to his age in 1778 (he was in his sixty-fourth year) Robert Jameson was excused from serving in the West- 
moreland militia; and so at the time of the battle and massacre of Wyoming, he was one of the men who garrisoned 
Shawnee Fort, in Plymouth, to which the women and children of his family had repaired for safety. Four of his sons 
were in the battle, and one of them — Robert, Jr.^ — was slain. The three who escaped joined their parents and the other 
members of the family at the Fort in Plymouth, and the next day they fled down the Susquehanna to Fort Augusta, 
at Sunbury. The oldest and the youngest members of the family floated down the river in a couple of small boats, 
taking with them such of their belongings as they were able to carry; while the others made the journey of some sixty 
miles on foot. They undertook to drive some of their cattle before them, but, owing to the haste in which they had to 
make the journey, the almost impassable roads or paths, and the thick undergrowth along the roads, nearly all the cattle 
were lost, One yoke of oxen strayed into Northampton County, and was subsequently recovered, 

The Jameson refugees, after spending a few days at Fort Augusta, went to Hanover Township. Lancaster County. 
Pennsylvania, where they had friends and relatives. Two of the sons returned to Wyoming within a short time, and 
two more within the next year and a-half, but the other members of the family remained in Lancaster County until 
the early Autumn of 1781. when they also returned. Their houses and other buildings together with the contents 
thereof, had been burned by the enemy in 1778, but in 1780 and '81 John Jameson, with the assistance of his brothers, 
had erected a log house on the site of their ruined homes, and this the family occupied upon their arrival. 

During the Second Pennamite- Yankee War Robert Jameson and his family suffered much in common with the 
other Connecticut settlers. On account of his age and ill health. Mr. Jameson did not take an active part in resisting 
the oppressions and outrages perpetrated by the representatives of the Pennsylvania Government and the Pennamite 
land-claimers in Wyoming. Nevertheless he and his family were among those who were dispoissessed of their homes 
under color of law and driven summarily into the wilderness in May. 1784 — -as more fully related in a subsequent 
chapter. 

Robert Jameson died at his home in Hanover Township May 1 , 1786. and was buried in the grave-yard of the old 
Presbyterian meeting-house in Hanover. Letters of Administration upon his estate were granted to his two surviving 
sons Joseph and Alexander— January 4. 1788. by the Orphan's Court of Luzerne County. 

Robert Jameson was married November 24, 1748. by the minister of the Congregational Church in North Stoning- 
ton. New London County. Connecticut, to Agnes (born in 1723). daughter of Capt. Robert Dixon mentioned in note 
"•'" on page 251. Vol. I. After the death of her husband Mrs. Jameson resided in Hanover until 1793. when she and 
four of her surviving children removed to Salem Township, Luzerne County, and occupied the property there whicli 
Robert Jameson had owned for thirteen years prior to his death. Their dwelling-house stood on the right bank of 
the Susquehanna, on the elevated ground west of the river flat^, four miles south of the present borough of Shickshinny. 
It was in the settlement, or hamlet, which subsequently was named Beach Grove. There Mrs. Agnes (Dixon) Jameson 
lived until her death, which occurred September 24, 1804, in the eighty-second year of her age. 

The children of Robert and Agnes (Dixon) Jameson, all bom at Voluntown, Connecticut, were as follows: (i) 
John, bom June 17. 1749; murdered July 8. 1782. (See below) (ii) Mary, bom March 12, 1751; died at Salem. Sept- 
ember 19, 1834. unmarried, (iii) Anne, bom April 26. 1752; married about 1775 to George Gordon, bom May 10. 
1755; she died January 25, 1808. (iv) William, bom December 19, 1753; murdered October 16, 1778, as narrated on 
page 1100. Vol. II. (v) Robert, bora June 10. 1755; killed at the battle of4Wyoming. July 3, 1778. (vi) Elizabeth. 
bom August 5, 1757; died at Salem, April 23, 1818. unmarried, (vii) Rosanna, born December 24. 1758; became the 
wife of Klisha Harvey (see footnote, p. 1261). died January 17, 1840. (viii) Samuel, bom March 13, 1760; took part in 
the battle of Wyoming; was accidently drowned in the Susquehanna River near his home in 1787. (ixt Hannah, born 
December 29. 1761: married in Pennsylvania to William Reed, and died about eight weeks later at Hanover, (x) 
Joseph, born May 23, 1763; died April 7 1854. (See below.) (xi) Alexander, born September. 10, 1764; died February 
17. 1789. (See below.) (xii) .-l^jifs, born April 25, 1766;married about 1790, as his first wife, to John Alden, mentioned 
in the note on page 500, Vol, I; died about 1791. (xiii) Benjamin, bom August 15. 1768; died at Hanover in 1789. 
unmarried. 

I xi) Alexander Jameson accompanied the other members of his father's family to Wyoming in 1 776, being then in t^e 
thirteenth year of his life. At the time of the battle of Wyoming he was in the fort at Plymouth. At the beginning 
of the Revolutionary War the proprietors of the township of Plymouth foreseeing danger, and being desirous that 
their rich flat lands along the river should not be neglected, made an agreement with a number of persons to give them, 
during the war, the use of all these lands that they could cultivate, on condition that they should maintain the lessors' 
possession, and keep in repair the newly-erected stockade, or fort, on Garrison Hill. {See page 886, Vol. II.) Among 
those asEO-iated for this purpose were Capt. Prince Alden, James Nisbitt. Robert Jameson and Capt- Samuel Ransom. 
The sons of these associators tilled the soil, and performed the other duties required by the terms of the lease, and while 
doing so occupied the fort. 

Except at the general expulsion after the battle of Wyoming, and for about two years following that event, the 
lessees and their representatives held their ground — "attacked, defending themselves, fighting, suffering, they still 
maintained their position." Joseph and Alexander Jameson represented their father in this work, Shawnee Fort 
was partly destroyed by the savages after its evacuation and surrender by the patriots on July 4. 1778; but the following 
Autumn it was repaired, and was garrisoned by a small company of men during the Winter. 



1289 

Alexander Jameson returned to Wyoming in 1780, and he and his brother Joseph (when the latter was not in 
service with the militia) lived in Shawnee Fort with a number of other young men and farmed a small portion of the 
flats. Less than 200 acres of land in the whole valley were cultivated in 1781. 

In the Autumn of 1787. upon the organization of the militia establishment in the new County of Luzerne. 
Alexander Jameson became a member of the First (Hanover and Newport) Company of the 1st Battalion, and within a 
short time thereafter was appointed First Sergeant of the Company. Mason F. Alden was Captain of this company, 
but Lieut, Shubal Bidlack was in command from November 17. 1 787, to February 8. I 789, owing to the delay in issuing 
Captain Alden's Commission Sergeant Jameson was elected Ensign of this company May 10. 1791, and having 
been duly commissioned he held the oflfice until his removal from Hanover to Salem Townshp, early in 1793. He was 
elected August 17. 1793. and commissioned in January, 1794. Lieutenant of the Second, or Salem. Company (Nathan 
Beach. Captain) in the Third Regiment, Luzerne County Militia, commanded bv Lieut. Col. Matthias Hollenback. 
In 1793 and '94 he was one of the Commissioners of Luzerne County, and from 181 1 to 1815. inclusive, a Justice of 
the Peace in Salem Township. 

Alexander Jameson was married May 5, 1796. to Elizabeth born 1777. (fourth daughter and sixth child of Capt. 
Lazarus and Martha (Espy) Stewart, mentioned on page 644, Vol. II. Mrs. Stewart died at Salem August 20. 1806. 
and Alexander Jameson died there February 17, 1859, in the ninety-fifth year of his age — the last male member of the 
Jameson family of Wyoming Valley. 

The children of Alexander and Elizabeth (S/nvarl) Jameson were: (1) William, born in 1797; married to Mar- 
garet Henry of Salem, and had children Mary, John W. and Alexander; died September 21, 1853. (2) Martha, born 
in 1799: died March 8, 1881, unmarried. (3) Robert, born in 1801 ; graduated at Vale College in 1823; died July 25 
1838. unmarried. (4) Minerva, born in 1803; married in 1823 to Dr. Ashbel B. Wilson (bom June II, 1797, in Madison, 
County, Virginia; died in Berwick, Pa., January 7. 1856); had children Caroline. Mary Camilla, Edward and Minerva; 
died in 1831. (5) Elizabelh. born in 1805; married May 2. 1827. to the Rev. Francis McCartney, a native of Ireland, 
but at that time a minister in Viriginia; had children Mary. Elizabeth and Francis A, The last named became, in 
1859. Editor of The Scranlun Republican. Scranton. Pa. Later, for many years, he was a lawyer and journalist in 
Washington. D. C. 

(xt Joseph Jameson fled from Wyoming after the battle of July 3. 1778. but returned in the Summer of 1 779 with 
his brother John. In March, !7S0 (two months before his seventeenth birthday), he enlisted as a private in Capt 
John Franklin's company (see page 1229. Vol. II). and did duty with it for about a year. During this period he. like 
the other members of _the company, engaged in farming and other necessary work whenever the condition of affairs in 
the settlement permitted attention to such matters. 

Charles Miner, in the Appendix (page 42) to his "History of Wyoming", says, speaking of Joseph and Alexander 
Jameson; "They have resided on their beautiful plantation in Salem, having at their command and hospitably 
enjoj-ing all the good things that could make life pass agreeably. Joseph, one of the pleasantest and most intelligent 
men of our early acquaintance, chose to live a bachelor; the more unaccountable, as his pleasing manners, cheerful 
di position, and inexhaustible fund of anecdote, rendered him everywhere an agreeable companion. * * « Both 
thise brothers, besides the deep, deep sufferings, of their family, were themselves participators in the active scene; of 
the war, and endured hardships that the present inhabitants can form no true conception of." Joseph Jameson died 
of palsy at Salem April 7. 1854. in the ninety-first year of his age. and his remains lie near those of his mother and 
1 rothers in the Beach Grove Cemetery, on the hill back of their old home. 

I v) Robert Jatneson. bom at Voluntown June 10, 1755, lived at home, attending school and working on his father's 
farm, until July, 1775. At the session of the General Assembly of Connecticut held in July, 1775 it was ordered that 
there should be raised a regiment of infantry to be called the "Eight", to be commanded by Col. Jedidiah Huntington . 
and to remain in service until December. 1775. The regiment was recruited mainly in the counties of New London. 
Hartford and Windham. The Second Company was commanded by Capt. John Douglas of Plainfield, and Moses 
Campbell of Voluntown was Lieutenant of the Company. Robert Jameson enlisted as a private in this company. 
July 10. and was honorably discharged December 16. 1775. The regiment was stationed on Long Island Sound until 
September 14, when, on requisition from General Washington, it was ordered to the Boston camps, and took post at 
Roxbury in General Spencer's brigade. There it remained until the expiration of its term of service. 

In 1776 Robert Jameson accompanied the other members of his father's family to Wyoming Valley. As a private 
in the Fifth Company, 24th Regiment. Connecticut Militia, he took part in the battle of Wyoming. He fell early in 
the action. ■ - - » • 

(i) John Jameson, born June 17, 1749. in Voluntown. Connecticut, hved there until March. 1770. when, havlji^ 
become a member of The Susquehanna Company, he repaired to Wyoming Valley with a small body of New Engla^clers 
under the leadership of Maj. John Durkee — as related on page 646. Vol. II. In October. 1772. he purchased for £4^! 
fr )m William Young — who was the original owner — "Lot No. 22 in the First Division of Hanover Township." , «Xhi^ 
lot comprised 305 acres in the southern end of the township, near the present borough of Nanticoke. In the following 
November John Jameson went to Voluntown, where he spent the Winter with his father's family — returning to 
Hanover early in the Spring of 1773. - - » . - 

According to Stewart Pearce, in his "Jameson Memoir", John Jameson "cleared several acres, and erected, a 
comfortable log house containing two rooms and a half-story loft accessible by means of a ladder. The fire-pbce.was 
constructed without jambr. The windows were of small size, and the sash had six openings, which, instead of'betng 
fi led with panes of glass, were covered with oiled paper. This structure compared favorably with the dwellinij'-p^rfces 
of neighboring settlers, and. indeed, as the logs of which it was built were hewn, the edifice was considered supngorlo 
any other in the neighborhood. Here John Jameson lived and farmed a few of his most fertile acres, but speyt ^the 
greater part of his time working at his trade — that of a wheelwright — chieflv in making spinning-wheels for the*women 
of the settlement. It was to this home that he welcomed his father's family in the Autumn of 1776." "- • - 

John Jameson remained in Wyoming from the Spring of 1773 until the Summer of 1774. when he made atipther ; 
brief visit to his parents home in Voluntown. and. under date of July 12, 1774, purchased of Amos Spaulding wPEl^ln- ] 
field. Connecticut, one-quarter of a "right" in The Susquehanna Purchase. The same day he bought of, James 
McGonegal of Voluntown another quarter of a "right". Shortly afterwards, when the lands of Newport were»ayot%ed ' 
to the proprietors of that Township John Jameson drew one "right" in each of the three divisions of the township: 

In December. 1775, John Jameson was a private in the 24th Regiment, Connecticut Militia, and took p;ftt,-ia£he 
battle of "Rampart Rocks", hereinbefore described. In 1776 he was one of the Selectmen of Westmoreland. TliJi^en--* 
era! Assembly of Connecticut, at its session in October, 1776 (see page 907. Vol. II), passed various laws relating to the ^ 
military establishment of the State, and among other things voted that John Jameson be appointed "Ensi;irB jri j^ne 
of the eight battalions to be raised" in the State. January 1, 1777. he was commissioned Ensign in the 5th ijegiment. 
Connecticut Line (Phihp B, Bradley, Colonel), which was then being organized, and was assigned to the coav^an^- to. , 
be commanded by Capt. Solomon Strong, then a resident of Wyoming Valley. This regiment was recruit'jci Ja'r_gely 
in the counties of Fairfield and Litchfield. (See page 915. Vol. II.) 

Ensign Jameson resigned his commission July 22, 1777. and returned to his home in Wyoming. In 1778'heKv-as ^• 
n-ember of the 5th Company, 24th Regiment. Connecticut Mihtia. and with his company' took part in the ftd«t4e of* 
July 3. 1778. His name is in the list (incomplete) of survivors of the battle inscribed on the monument •sfe'^jJd af^ 
A\'yoraing to commemorate the battle and massacre. Escaping from the bloody field John Jameson joinod, his wife 
and infant son. his parents, and others at Shawnee Fort, and fled with them down the Susquehanna. Aftej'h^pinp 
to get his people settled in Lancaster County, he returned to Wyoming, where he arrived August 16. 1778, .aiiJjoined 
Lieut. Colonel Butler's detachment of militia. In the early Summer of 1779 he paid his exiled family and Relatives a 
visit, and upon his return to Wyoming was accompanied by his brother Joseph. '•' ' * 

John Jameson was married in Newport Township, in what is now Luzerne County. Pennsylvania, in trte AMtumn 
of 1776 to Abigail (born Augun 1 1. 1753), third child of Capt. Prince and Mary (Fitch) Alden. mentioned on pagit 500. 
\'ol. I. Letters of administration upon the estate of John Jameson, deceased, w^ere granted bv the Probate Court of 
Westmoreland to Robert Jameson, the father, and Abigail Jameson, the widow, of the decedent. Julv 27. 1782;"Capt. 
Prince Alden being surety on their bond for £500. 

The following is a copy of the inventory of the decendent's estate (the original document being now in the present 
^\riters possession) , which was made December 31. 1782, by Capt. James Bidlack and Jara?s Nisbitt. 

"To The Honble. the Court of probate for the Distrect of Westmoreland in the State of Connecticut. &c. We 
The Subscribers Being appointed and Chosen apprisers To apprise The Estate of Mr. John Jameson Late of sd. 



1290 

the Hanover meeting-house, about three miles below the village of Wilkes-Barre, 
John Jameson exclaimed, "There are Indians!" Before he could turn his horse he 
was shot by three rifle-balls, and fell to the ground dead. Chapman was wounded, 
but clinging to his horse escaped to Wilkes-Barre, where he died the next day. 
Benjamin Jameson's horse, wheeling suddenly about, carried him back in safety 
to his home. The scalp of John Jameson was taken by the Indians, who hastily 
retreated from the valley, leaving his dead body in the road. 

Thus was the last blood shed and the last scalp taken by Indians within the 
present limits of Luzerne County. Some 3'ears ago this tragedy was made the 
subject of an historical painting entitled "The Last Scalp", which now hangs 
in the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society's building. In 1879 the Hon. 
Stewart Pearce, a grandson of John Jameson, erected alongside the main high- 

Westmoreland Deed and being Engaged as the law Directs have apprised said Estate as Shewen to us in the follow- 
ing manner viz : 

•To two cows 8 — 00 — 

To Blue Coat and jacket 40s , old Coat & j acket 8s 2—9—0 

To one Lining [linen] Coat & jacket 12s.. one Corded jacket and britches 10s 1 — 2-0 

To one Holland shirt 18s., one pair leather Britches 24s 2 — 2 — 

To old Stockings 4s., iH yds. all wool Cloath 12s, pr. yd, . 2 — 4 — fi 

To one pair Shoebuckles and one pair Knee ditto . . — 5 — 

To one Silver stock buckel 

To old Turning Tools 6s., to one vise 24s 

To one pair Boots 1 8s., To one Calf 18s 

To Earthen Ware 5s.. one old side sadle 25s 

To one old man's Ditto 6s-, To curried Lether 9^ . 
To sole lether lOs., To i water pails 5s. . — 15 — 

To four old Casks 7s 6d , one Ditto 3s . 0—10 — 6 

To 3 old Tarces (tierces] 9s., To one Bed and Beding TO s 3 — 19 — 

To stocking yam 2s., To one book of Law 15s. . . 0-17-0 

One Count book Is. one Bell ,1s, .. , 0-4-0 

To one yoke of oxen 15-0-0 

To The Brown mare .... 12-0-0 

To the Black mare 13-0-0 

To Live Swine 7-4-0 

To Labour on Washes Hou e . , 1-10-0 

Land in Hanover . 250-0-0 

Ditto Newport 100-0-0 

[Signed] "James Biduack 
'■James Nisbitt" 
Mrs. Abigail (Alden} Jameson continued, after the death of her husband, to reside in Hanover, and, although a 
•v/y\ow and the mother of three very young children, was made the victim of many persecutions and hardships by the 
Pennamites during the years 1783 and '84. 

' 'In 1787 Mrs. Abigail Jameson was married (second) to Shubal Bidlack, as mentioned on page 1000, Vol. II. She 
died, in Hanover Township June 8, 1795. 

The children of John and Abigail (.4 Mck) Jameson were as follows r (I) Samuel Jamf5n«, born in Hanover Augu-t 

29. 1777. He studied medicine, and began its practice in Hanover in 1799, He was admitted a member of Lodge No. 

er, F. and A, M., Wilkes-Barre, August 11, 1800. In 1818 and '19 he was Assessor of Hanover Township, and from 

1823 until his death was a Justice of the Peace. He was married September 30. 1 800, to Hannah (born July 11, 1 779) 

daughter of Jonathan and Margaret Hunlock, and their children were: Maria, Eliza and Anne Jameson, Samuel 

J*a^neson died at Hanover March 27, 1843, and his widow — died there March 6, 1851. (2) Mary Jameson, second 

child of John and Abigail {Aldeu) Jameson, was bom in 1780 in Lancaster County. Pennsylvania, during the tem- 

por9''v residence there of her mother, as previously related. She was married in Hanover Township. Wyoming \'allev 

OcioKer 1. 1800, to Jonathan Hunlock, Jr. The Hunloke. or Hunlocke. family was early in New Jersey. The will of 

John "Kunlocke of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was proved December 4. 1745, and the will of Thomas Hunloke was proved 

Au^^st 24, 1746. About the time (1757-'60) that the north-eastern section of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, 

- along -the Delaware River, began to be settled by emigrants from Connecticut, New 'V'ork and New Jersey under the 

' auspices of The Delaware Company, a branch of the Hunlock family (presumably from New Jersey) settled in the town- 

■' ship of Lower Smithfield, in that part of Northampton County which is now Monroe County. 

' "Jtir.athan Hunlock was one of a number of the inhabitants of Lower Smithfield who addressed a petition to the 

Gover,flor of Pennsylvania in September, 1763. About that time he was married to Lee, at or near 

' what i.s.now the borough of .Stroudsburg, Monroe County, and they became the parents of a daughter, Abigail. The 
latter, some twenty or more years later was married to one David Wheeler, by whom she had several children. 

' Tri 1773. .some time after the death of his wife, Jonathan Hunlock removed from Northampton County and settled 
' on a tract of land lying on the right bank of the Susquehanna River, about three miles below Wyoming Valley, and near 
the mouth of a good-sized creek flowing from the northwest- The Indian name of this stream was "Mossacota" (see 
F. C. Jbhnson's "Historical Record", I: 73), but after Jonathan Hunlock had settled there it became known as 
"Htirtfbck's Creek" — which name it still bears. Mr. Hunlock was well settled there by December, 1775, when the 
Plunkef invasion took place, and he was plundered of most of his movable property by the invaders. He was married 

(2d) about 1775 or '76 to Margaret . He died in the Spring or .Summer of 1779. and letters of administration 

upon. hie estate were granted October 2^, 1779, by the Probate Court of Westmoreland to his widow Margaret — John 
TilllSury being her surety on a bond for £500. The children of Jonathan and Margaret Hunlock were; (i) Jonathan 
„ born Jun^23, 1777. who became the husband of Mary Jameson, as previously noted, and died in October, 1861. (ii) 
KannaH; bom July U, 1779, and became the wife of Dr. Samuel Jameson, as previously noted. 

^3). -Hannah Jameson, the third child of John and Abigail <.Alden) Jameson, was bora in Plymouth Township, 
Wyoming Valley, September 17, 1782, a little more than two months subsequent to the murder of her father by the 
Indians ' She was married June 20, 1799, to James (born in 1768), eldest child of Capt. Lazarus and Martha (Espy) 
Stewart mentioned on page 644, Vol. II. James Stewart died February 15. 1808. being survived by his wife Hannah 
and the following-named children: Martha, Abigail Alden, Caroline, Marv, Lazarus and Francis R. 

Mrs: 'Hannah (Jameson) .Stewart was married (2d) at Wilkes-Barre in November, 1819, as his second wife, to the 
Rev. Marmaduke Pearce (bom August 18,1 776) , son of Cromwell and Margaret (Soggs) Pearce of Willistown, Chester 
County, Pennsylvania. Mr. Pearce died at Berwick. Pennsylvania, September 11, 1852, and was survived by his 
wife (who died at Wilkes-Barre-, October 21, 1859) and the following-named children; Stewart, Cromwell and John 
Jameson. 

For further mention of the Pearce family see a subsequent chapter: and for fuller details concerning the Ja 
and allied families see "The Harvey Book", published at Wilkes-Barr^ in 1899. 



1291 

wav, near the old Hanover Church, a marble pillar hearing this inscription: 
"Near this Spot, 8 July, 1782, Lieut. John Jameson, Benjamin Jameson and Asa 
Chapman, going to Wilkes-Barre, were attacked by a band of Six Nation Indians 
Iving in ambush. Lieut. Jameson was killed and scalped. Chapman was mor- 
tally wounded, and Benjamin escaped. They were the last men killed by Indians 
in Wyoming Valley." Within recent years the fence bounding Hanover Green 
Cemetery on the side next the highway has been moved outward, so as to include 
within the bounds of the cemetery the above mentioned memorial pillar.* 

At a Westmoreland town-meeting "legally warned and held" at Wilkes- 
Barre, September 10, 1782, the following business was transacted: 

" Voted, That Maj. Prince Alden be Moderator of this meeting. 

" Voted, That Col. Nathan Denison be desired to send scouts up the river, as often and as 
far as he shall think it necessary to discover the enemy; they receiving his instructions from 
time to time, and to make immediate returns to him as soon as they shall return back, and to be 
subject to be examined under oath touching their faithfulness. They to be found bread and 
ammunition, and to be paid six shillings per day while in actual service, by this town. The 
Selectmen to draw an order on the Town Treasurer for such sums, to be paid in produce at the 
market price, as shall by them be found due ; who is likewise hereby directed to pay such orders as 
soon as he shall be enabled to do it. Said scouts shall be continued from this time to the 1st 
day of December next; and those two scouts that have been sent by Colonel Denison, to be paid 
as above — provided they give a satisfactory account with regard to their faithfulness." 

Miner records ("Histor}' of Wyoming," page 305) that, two days after the 
above-mentioned meeting was held, "Daniel Mc Dowel was taken prisoner at 
.Shawnee [Plymouth] and carried to Niagara. He was a son of the benevolent 
vScotch gentlemanf at Stroudsburg, who, as we have previously seen, befriended 
with such disinterested and untiring perseverance the Yankee settlers in their 
first efforts to establish themselves at Wyoming. He was the father of the wife 
of Gen. Samuel McKean of Bradford County, [Pennsylvania] recently United 
States Senator." 

Let us now take a hurried look at the general situation of affairs in this 
country, in the Autumn of 1782. 

"The repeated defeats of the British in America had caused amazement 
and consternation in England." The first successes of the War for Independence 
had elated the British Ministry, and it was believed in the mother country that 
the war would be of short duration. But Cornwallis' surrender had convinced 
the Ministry "that the United States could not be subdued by force, and that 
the Americans were bound to secure independence no matter how long it required." 
Nevertheless, not long after the surrender of Cornwallis, vSir Henry Clinton, who 
was in command of all the British forces in the L^nited States — assured the 
Government that "with a reinforcement of only 10,000 men he would be respon- 
sible for the conquest of America." 

Parliament convened November 27, 1781, and in his speech from the throne 
the King urged that the war be prosecuted with renewed vigor. However, on 
February 27, 1782, General Conway moved in the House of Commons "that it 
is the opinion of this House that a further prosecution of offensive war against 
America would, under present circumstances, be the means of weakening the 
efforts of this country against her European enemies, and tend to increase the 
mutual enmity so fatal to the interests both of Great Britain and America." 

*The pillar set up by Mr. Pearce to mark the spot where William Jameson was mortally womided — as noted on. 
page 1 100. Vol. II — is still standing. In recent years a blacksmith shop has been erected in close proximity to the pillar 
and the latter has been so hacked and mutilated by vandals that the inscription upon it is almost illegible. The in- 
scription was originally as follows: "Near this spot. October 14. 1778, William Jameson, who had been wounded ia 
the battle of Wyoming, was mortally wounded and scalped by a band of Six Nation Indians, lying in ambush. He 
was going from Wilkes-Barre on horseback to his home near Nanticoke. His remains are buried in Hanover Cemetery.' ' 

tSee page 730, Vol. II, 



1292 



At this time both France and Holland had recognized the independence 
of the United States. 

Conway's resolution was carried, and an address to the King, in the words 
of the resolution, was immediately voted, and was presented by the whole House. 
The answer of the Crown being deemed inexplicit it was, on March 4, 1782, 
resolved by the Commons "that the House will consider as enemies to His Majestv 
and the country all those who should advise or attempt a further prosecution of 
offensive war on the continent of North America. 

The foregoing votes were very soon followed by a change of the Ministr\', 
as narrated on page 610, Vol. I, and by instructions to the commanding officers 
of His Brittanic Majesty's forces in America which conformed to the resolutions 
of the House of Commons. A few weeks later Sir Guy Carleton was appointed 
to succeed Sir Henry Clinton as commander-in-chief in America, as narrated on 
page 927, Vol. II. 

In October, 1782, Washington wrote: "The long sufferance of the armj^ is 
almost exhausted. It is high time for peace." In fact, the army demanded with 
importunity their arrears of pay; the Treasury was empty, and no adequate 
means of filling it presented itself; all the people panted for peace. At this time 
(the Autumn of 1782) the whole force of the British Crown in America was con- 
centrated at New York and in Canada. 

Meanwhile the Continental Congress had made preparations for peace. 
First, John Adams was appointed Commissioner on the part of the United States, 
and later Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, Henry Laurens and Thomas Jefferson 
were appointed additional Commissioners; but upon the shoulders of Franklin 
and Jay rested the chief responsibility of negotiating a peace treaty. The Ameri- 
can and British negotiators met at Paris, and after much correspondence, long-, 
continued discussion and wise compromise, preliminary, or provisional, articles 
were agreed to and signed by the Commissioners, at Paris, November 30, 1782. 
Intrigue was used by British agents to prevail on the American Commissioners 
to accept a twenty years' truce instead of an open acknowledgment of indepen- 
dence, but their efforts were of no avail. The treaty, however, was not to take 
effect, otherwise than by the cessation of hostilities, until terms of peace should 
be agreed upon between England and France. This occurred in the following 
January.* 

With the cessation of hostilities between Great Britain and the United 
States, following the surrender of CornwalHs, and with the disappearance of 
danger from Indians on the frontier, Connecticut and some other New England 
States began to send forward to Wyoming considerable numbers of emigrants^- 
men of character and experience and some of means. Unfortunately for Wyom- 
ing, however, its troubles did not all come to an end with the cessation of British- 
American hostilities. 

*See W. E. H. Lecky's "History of England in the Eighteenth Century", Chapter 15; Wilcv and Rines' "The 
United States" Vol. Ill, Chapter 33; Marshall's "Life of Washington", Vol. IV, Chapter U. 




CHAPTER XXr 

PENNSYLVANIA PETITIONS CONGRESS FOR A HEARING OF CLAIMS LONG IN 
DISPUTE— CONNECTICUT CONCURS— A DISTINGUISHED COURT OF COM- 
MISSIONERS APPOINTED— SIDELIGHTS ON SESSIONS OF THE COURT 
—A SUMMARY OF THE CONFLICTING CLAIMS— THE DECREE 
OF TRENTON— DISSATISFACTION WITH THE DECREE 
IN WYOMING— PRIVATE RIGHT OF SOIL NOT AD- 
JUDICATED AND INDIVIDUAL DISPUTES NOT 
SETTLED BY THIS DECREE. 



"You little know what a ticklish thing it is to go to law." — Plaiiius. 



'The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice." — Terence. 



'He that will have a cake out of the wheat, must needs tarry the grinding.' 
— Troilus and Cressida Act J, Scene 1. 



During the progress of the Revolutionary War, from the beginning of the 
year 1776 until the close of 1781, both parties to the Pennamite- Yankee contro- 
versy had refrained as well from a discussion of their difficulties as from inimical 
activities; but promptly on the appearance of the Angel of Peace above the 
horizon, the Yankees in Wyoming began to experience gloom and darkness 
instead of clearing skies, and disquietude instead of tranquility. 

Fifteen days after the surrender of Cornwallis, to wit, on November 3, 
1781, a petition was presented to Congress "from the Supreme Executive Council 
of Pennsylvania, stating a matter in dispute between the said State and the 
State of Connecticut, respecting sundry lands lying on the East Branch of the 
Susquehanna, and praying a hearing in the premises, agreeable to the IXth Article 
of the Confederation." The .State of Connecticut, through its Representatives 
in Congress, concurred in the application, but subsequently asked for delav 
"because that sundry papers of importance in the case are in the hands of counsel 
in England, and cannot be procured during the war." 

During the ensuing Winter and Spring both parties made preparations 
for the proposed hearing, and at a meeting of the Representatives in Congress 
from Pennsylvania and Connecticut, held April 20, 1782, at the house of Attorney 
General Bradford in Philadelphia, a list was prepared containing the names of 
sixty-three gentlemen, drawn from the thirteen States of the Union, from whom, 
after due consideration, Judges to try the cause were selected. 



1294 

Finally, on August 1 2, 1782, the Representatives of Pennsylvania and 
Connecticut entered into a written agreement submitting to a Court of Com- 
missioners, amicably chosen by themselves, but to be appointed and commissioned 
by Congress, "all the rights, claims and possessions" of the two States in and to 
the Wyoming lands. The gentlemen who were mutually agreed upon to con- 
stitute the Court were as follows: Brig. Gen. William Whipple of New Hamp- 
shire, Ex-Gov. John Rutledge of South Carolina, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Greene 
of Rhode Island, Lieut. Col. David Brearley and Prof. William Churchill Houston 
of New Jersey, Judge Cyrus Griffin and Joseph Jones of Virginia. 

The names of these gentlemen (together with a full report of the action 
taken by the Pennsylvania and Connecticut Representatives) were duly sub- 
mitted to Congress; but a few days later a supplementary report was presented, 
setting forth that General Greene and Governor Rutledge would be unable 
to act as Commissioners, and substituting in their stead the Hon. Welcome 
Arnold of Providence, Rhode Island, and Thomas Nelson, Esq., of Virginia. 

Congress, therefore, on August 28, 1782, issued commissions to William 
Whipple,* Welcome Arnold, f David Brearley, J Prof. William Churchill Houston. § 
CATUsGrffin,^! Joseph Jones and Thomas Nelson, authorizing and empowering 
anv five or more of them to be a Court of Commissioners, with all the powers, 

*WiLLlAM Whipple was born at Kittery, Maine. January 14. ! 730. He was in command of a vessel in foreign 
trade before he was of age; and, when nearly thirty years old. left the sea to engage in mercantile pursuits at Ports- 
mouth. New Hampshire. He was a member of the New Hampshire Committee of Safety in 1775; was elected a Delegate 
to the Continental Congress in 1775, '76 and '78, and was one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Writ- 
ing from Philadelphia June 24. 1776, to a friend in New Hampshire, Colonel Whipple said: "Next Monday being July 
1 ihe grand question is to be debated, and I believe will be determined unanimously. May God unite our hearts in all 
things that tend to the well-being of the rising Empire." 

He was a Colonel of militia prior to 1 776, was made a Brigadier General in 1 777. and commanded a brigade at the 
battles of Saratoga and Stillwater. The next year he participated in the siege of Newport conducted by General 
Sullivan. In 1780-'84 he was a member of the General Assembly of New Hampshire; in 1782-'84 he was State 
Superintendent of Finances, and also judge of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire From 1784 until his death he 
was a Justice of the Peace and Quorum It is noteworthy that he emancipated his slaves, although earlier in life he 
had been a slave trader. He died at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. November 28, 1785- 

tWEi.coME Arnold was bom at Smithfield, Rhode Island. February 5, 1745, the son of Jonathan and Abigail 
Arnold. He entered upon a business career at an early age, and in the Spring of 1773 became the partner of Caleb 
Green. With him Mr. Arnold continued in business until February, 1776, when he embarked alone in mercantile 
business, and soon became extensively concerned in maritime trade. It is said that of thirty vessels and their cargoes 
which were captured by the enemy, during the Revolutionary War. Mr. Arnold was part owner of each of them. 
Notwithstanding these heavy losses and reverses he accumulated considerable wealth, especially from his connection 
with the West India trade. 

In 1778 he was elected a member of the General Assembly of Rhode Island, and by successive re-elections was 
continued in that capacity for a number of years. During the years 1780-'95 he served as Speaker of the House five 
terms. He also took an active part in the State conventions held for the adoption of the State and Federal Consti- 
tutions. He was a Trustee of Brown University from 1 783 till his death, which occurred at Providence, Rhode Island , 
September 30, 1798. 

JDavid Brearley was born near Trenton, New. Jersey. June 11.1 745. Admitted to the Bar of New Jersey in 
1767 he practiced law at Allentown, New Jersey, and shortly before the breaking out of the Revolutionary War was 
arrested for high treason against the King. A mob of his patriotic fellow-townsmen rescued him, however, from the 
hands of the authorities. He joined the Revolutionary Army and rose to the rank of Lieut. Colonel in the 1st New- 
Jersey Regiment, as noted on page 1175, Vol. II; but having been appointed Chief Justice of New Jersey June 10. 
1779, he resigned his military commission while in camp at Wilkes-Barre, and repaired to Trenton soon thereafter, as 
noted on page 1 189, Vol. II. (Since that page was printed the writer has seen two or three original signatures of Judge 
Brearley, and has learned that his surname was spelled "Brearley".) Maj . Joseph Brearley, a brother of Judge Brear- 
ley served during the Revolutionary War as an aide on the staff of General Washington without pay. 

With William Livingston. WiUiam Paterson and William Churchill Houston, all men of renown, Judge Brearley 
represented New Jersey in the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787. Later he presided over the New Jersey 
State Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution. In 1788 he was a Presidential Elector, and in 1789 was 
appointed Judge of the United States District Court of New Jersey, which office he held till his death. He was one of 
the compilers of the prayer-book published by the Protestant Episcopal Church of America in 1785. He was elected 
the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of New Jersey December 18, 1786, and served 
as such until his death, which occurred at Trenton, New Jersey, August 16, 1790. 

§Wn,LiAM Churchill Houston was bom in Cabarrus County, North Carolina, in 1740, his father being a native 
of Ireland. He was graduated at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1768, and was forthwith appointed a tutor 
in the institution. In 1771 he was elected Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Princeton, which 
position he held till 1783, when he resigned. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War he and Dr. Witherspoon 
were the only Professors in the College, and when Princeton was invaded in 1776, and the students scattered. Pro- 
fessor Houston commanded a scouting-party organized at Plemington, New Jersey, and rendered important services 
in the counties of Hunterdon and Somerset. He was commissioned Captain in the 2d Battalion of vSomerset County 
February 28, 1776. 

In 1777, while still connected with the College, Professor Houston was elected a Representative from Somerset 
County to the General Assembly of New Jersey. In 1779 he was sent to the Continental Congress from Middlesex 
County, New Jersey, and served in 1779, 1780 and 1781. In 1783, after retiring from his professorship, he located at 
Trenton, was admitted to the Bar. and immediately entered on an extensive practice of his profession. In 1784 he 
was again sent to the Continental Congress, and in 1787, with David Brearley, he was a Representative from New 
Jersey in the Federal Constitutional Convention. He died at Frankford, Pennsylvania. August 12, 1788. 

liCvRUS Griffin was bom in Virginia in 1749. He was educated in England, where he married a lady of noble 
family. Soon afterward he returned to Virginia and began the practice of law. He gave early adhesion to the patriot 
cause and became a member of the Virginia Legislature. Early in 1778 he was sent as a Delegate from Virginia to 



1295 

prerogatives and privileges incident or belonging to a court; "to meet at Trenton, 
in the State of New Jersey, on Tuesday, the 12th day of November next, to hear 
and finally determine the controversy between the said State of Pennsylvania 
and State of Connecticut, so always as a major part of said Commissioners, 
who shall hear the cause, shall agree in the determination." 

Returning now to Wilkes-Barr6, we find that early in October, 1782, a 
town-meeting of the inhabitants of Westmoreland was held here, and that 
(Jbadiah Gore and Jonathan Fitch were duly elected to represent Westmoreland 
in the General Assembly of Connecticut at its semi-annual session, to be held in 
Hartford, on the second Thursday of October. These gentlemen attended the 
meetings of the Assembly and were present when an Act was passed to enable 
The Susquehanna Company and The Delaware Company to collect certain 
taxes, or assessments, which had been laid on the proprietors, or shareholders, 
of those companies. 

The Act in question set forth "that the purchasers of the native rights to 
a large tract of land within the limits of this State [Connecticut], and on the west 
side of the Delaware River, under the name of The Susquehanna Company and 
The Delaware Company, have, by the consent of this State, made their respective 
purchases." The Act then declaring that "the proprietors of said rights in said 
purchases are scattered at great distances from each other, and it becoming 
necessary to raise monies on said rights for defraying the necessary expenses 
about the same, and no way being provided for enforcing the collection thereof," 
authorized and empowered the companies to sell, for unpaid ta.ves, the lands of 
the delinquent proprietors. 

At this time the Continental Congress was in session at Philadelphia, and 
on October 1 8th it passed the following:! 

"Resolved, That the post at Wyoming be retained or withdrawn by the commander-in- 
chief, as he shall think it most for the benefit of the United States, any former resolution of 
Congress notwithstanding." 

As noted on page 811, Vol. II, no meetings of The Susquehanna Company 

were held from May 24, 1774, till November 13, 1782 — so far as can be learned 

now. On the last-mentioned date a considerable number of the proprietors of 

the Company, having been "legally warned" and duly notified, assembled at 

Hartford. Col. EHzur Talcott of Glastonbury, Connecticut, served as Moder 

ator of the meeting, and Samuel Graz, Esq., was Clerk. The meeting continued 

throughout two days, and the business transacted was as follows :J 

" Voted, That Eliphalet Dyer, Esq., William Samuel Johnson, Esq., Jesse Root, Esq., 
Samuel Gray and William Judd be chosen Agents for this Company, jointly and severally to 
act and to make all preparations that are yet necessary to be made, and do any other thing necess- 
ary for the benefit of said Company. 

"Voted, That Elizur Talcott, Esq., and Phineas Lewis be Collectors for the County of 
Hartford, Daniel Lyman, Esq., for the County of New Haven. Thomas Morgan of Killingworth 
and John Owen of New London for the County of New London, Nehemiah Depew for the County 
of Fairfield, Samuel Gray for the County of Windham, Abraham Bradley. Esq., and Jonas Law- 
rence, Collectors for the County of Litchfield, and Obadiah Gore, Esq., Collector of Westmore- 
land County. 

"Voted, That Col. Elizur Talcott shall have one full right in said Purchase for his extra 
services. 

" Voted, That the Committee of this Company, or either three of them, be and they are 
hereby appointed and fully authorized and empowered to make out proper and authentic Power 

the Continental Congress, and served in that position till 1781. In 1780 he was elected a Judge of the Court of Appeals 
of Virginia, and in 1787 and 1788 he was again a member of Congre-ss — serving as President of that body in the last- 
mentioned year. In 1 789 he was United States Commissioner to the Creek Nation of Indians. He was President of 
the Supreme Court of Admiralty so long as it existed, and in December. 1789. he became Judge of the United States 
Court for the District of Virginia. This oiUce he held till his death, which occurred at Vorktown, \'irginia. December 
14, 1810. 

TSee "Journals of Congress", IV: 97. 

{See "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series. XVIII: 102. 



1296 

of Attorney, or Commission, to the Agents appointed at this meeting, namely, the Hon. Eliphalet 
Dyer, Esq., William Samuel Johnson and Jesse Root, Esq., jointly and severally, or any number 
of them, to manage and transact all manner of business to be done and transacted on behalf of 
the said Company before the Commissioners appointed to hear and determine the right, title 
and jurisdiction, and such like, between the State of Connecticut and the State of Pennsylvania 
as to the lands west of the Delaware River (part of which land is claimed by this Company), and 
seal and authenticate such Power, or Commission, on behalf of this Company.* 

"Whereas, The trial of the right of the State to the Western lands is soon to be decided, 
and the interest of this Company is concerned therein, and it is uncertain whether the taxes al- 
ready laid by this Company will raise monies sufficient to defray their proportion of the expense 
of the trial in season, 

"Therefore, Voted and Resolved, That the Committee of this Company be, and they are 
hereby, empowered to sell rights in said Company, not exceeding fifty shares, at such prices as 
they shall judge fit — in case in their opinion it becomes necessary to raise further sums of money 
than are already granted, or the taxes shall not be raised in season, to answer the necessary ex- 
lienses in carrying on the trial of the Cause. 

" Voted, That the Collectors appointed at this meeting [be empowered] to collect of the 
proprietors of The Susquehanna Company the 4 dollars tax granted in March, 1774; and the said 
Collectors are hereby directed to collect the said tax, and to account with the Treasurer of the 
said Company for the same by the 30th day of December, 1782; and that the rights of all prop- 
rietors that neglect to pay their respective taxes by the 20th of December aforesaid to the Collectors 
appointed in the County where the said proprietors reside, will be sold in pursuance of an Act 
of the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut passed in October last ; and that all Collec- 
tors, heretofore appointed to receive the taxes granted by The Susquehanna Company, be, and 
they are hereby, called upon to settle immediately with the Treasurer of said Company; and 
that all proprietors who have not paid their former taxes be directed to pay the same to the 
Collectors named in their vote, and that this vote be published in all the newspapers in this 
State as soon as may be. 

" Voted, That this Company do give and grant to the Hon. Eliphalet Dyer. William Samuel 
Johnson and Jesse Root, Esq., to each of them, their heirs and assigns, one whole right, or share, 
in the Susquehanna Purchase of Land, as a gratuity to them; and that Samuel Gray, Clerk to 
this Company, give to each of said gentlemen a proper certificate therefor. 

" Voted, That a triangular tract, or piece, of land situate on the mountain on the west side 
of the East Branch of the Susquehanna River, abutting on the towns of Kingston, Plymouth, 
Bedford and Northmoreland.f be, and the same is hereby, appointed and set out to Maj. William 
Judd, for such proportion of land in the Susquehanna Purchase as the Committee of Settlers, or 
either two of them, shall judge the same to be equal in value to, compared with the Susquehanna 
Purchase at large ; and that the said Judd be debarred from any claim for such rights or parts of 
rights, belonging to him the said Judd in the Susquehanna Purchase, that may be esteemed equal 
to the grant aforesaid, and considered as laid upon the land aforesaid. That the said granted 
premises be, and the same are hereby, fully apparted from the general interests of the Company, 
and to be enjoyed by him the said Judd and his heirs, in severalty. 

"Voted, That the Committee, Samuel Gray, Esq., and Major Judd, be desired to address 
the Governor and Legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, desiring them to furnish 
such documents and papers, to be found in the records and files of that State, which will reflect 
any light on the cause depending between the States of Connecticut and Pennsylvania and The 
Susquehanna Company; and inform them that, if the Commonwealth, on their behalf, should 
see fit, at their expense, to appoint any person to attend that trial, the Company have directed 
their Committee to furnish him with a Power of Attorney in behalf of the Company, and the 
Committee are empowered to do the same." 

Two of the seven Commissioners appointed by Congress to hear and de- 
termine the Pennsylvania-Connecticut controversy, to wit: Messrs. Brearley 
and Houston, met at Trenton November 12, 1782. Their commissions being 
formally read, they were duly sworn, and then adjourned from day to day till 
November 18th. On that day Messrs. Whipple, Arnold and Griffin appeared, 
when, they having been duly sworn, the Court was declared to be lawfully con- 
stituted, and General Whipple was elected President, and Col. John NelsonJ 
of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was appointed Clerk, of the Court. 

*The Power of Attorney thus authorized was executed at Hartford November !5. 1782, by Samuel Talcott. .Samuel 
Gray and William Judd. "a Committee of The Susquehanna Company", and constituted and appointed Eliphalet 
Dyer, William Samuel Johnson and Jesse Root "Agents and Attorneys for the Company before the Commissioners at 
Trenton." The original document is now among the "Trumbull Papers", mentioned on page 29, Vol. I. 

tSee the map facing page 468, Vol. I. 

JJOHN Neilson was bom at New Brunswick March 11. 174.'i. He was educated in Philadelphia, and became a 
merchant in his native town. In August, 1776. he was appointed and commissioned Colonel of the 2d Regiment of 
Middles ij County (New Jersey) Militia. He was a delegate from New Jersey to the Continental Congress in 1778 
and '79 In 1800 and 1801 he represented New Brunswick in the State Legislature. He died at New Brunswick, 
March 3, 1833. 



1297 

Henry Osbourne,* Esq., appeared as "solicitor", and Col. William Brad- 
ford, Jr.,t Joseph Reed, J James Wilson, § and Jonathan Dickinson Ser- 

*Henrv OsbournE was a Philadelphia lawyer of peculiar ability, who gathered together the documentary evi- 
dence and marshaled the general facts for use in the case. He was a Notary Public in 1781 and later years, and in 
1780 was Judge Advocate in the Pennsylvania militia. 

tWiLLiAM Bradford, Jr., was bom in Philadelphia September 14, 1755. the son of Col. William Bradford, 
printer and soldier, who established at Philadelphia in 1742 the Pennsylvania Journal. He assailed the pretensions 
of the British Government with respect to the American Colonies, and inveighed against the Stamp Act. (See page 
588. el seq. Vol. I.) When the Revolutionary War began he joined, as Major, the Pennsylvania militia, later being 
promoted Colonel. He fought at the battles of Trenton and Princeton, being wounded at Princeton. 

William Bradford. Jr., was graduated at Princeton in 1772; then studied law with Edward Shippen. and was 
admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 1779. During the war he served two years as Deputy 
Muster-master General, with the rank of Lieut. Colonel. In 1780 he was appointed Attorney General of Pennsylvania. 
In 1784 he was married to a daughter of Elias Boudinot of New Jersey. He was appointed a Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Pennsylvania August 22, 1791. and by appointment of President Washington. January 8. 1794 he succeeded 
Edmund Randolph as Attorney General of the United States. He died August 23, 1795. 

JJosEPH Reed was bom at Trenton, New Jersey, August 27. 1741. He was graduated at Princeton College in 
1757, and then, having studied law with Robert Stockton, was admitted to the Bar of New Jersey in 1763. Later he 
went to London, where he spent two years as a law student in the Middle Temple. On his return to this country he 
practiced his profession at Trenton, but in the Fall of 1770 removed to Philadelphia. In January. 1775, he was elected 
President of the Second Provincial Congress. 

On the appointment of Washington to command the American forces (see page 821, Vol. II). Joseph Reed became 
his Military Secretary, and served as such until October. 1775. In January, 1776, he was chosen a member of the Gen- 
eral Assembly of Pennsylvania, and June 5. 1776, was appointed Adjutant General of the American army, with the 
rank of Colonel. He was exceedingly active in the campaign that terminated with the battle of Long Island. Early 
in 1777 he was appointed Brigadier General, and was tendered the command of all the American cavalry; while on 
March 20. 1777. he was appointed Chief Justice of Pennsylvania— the first under the new constitution of the State. 
He declined both these appointments, preferring to be attached to Washington's headquarters as a volunteer aide 
without rank or pay. 

In December, 1778. Colonel Reed was chosen President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, (see 
page 881, Vol. II), and held the office for three years. During his term of office he aided in founding the University of 
Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and favored the gradual abolishing of slavery in the State, and the doing away of the 
Proprietary powers of the Penn family. In 1781 he resumed the practice of his profession at Philadelphia He died 
there March 5, 1785. 

§JamES Wilson was bom near St. Andrews, Scotland, September 14. 1742. After receiving an education at the 
Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow and Edinburgh, he emigrated to this country about 1763. For some time he re- 
mained in New York City, and then, in 1766. removed to Philadelphia. There he studied law with John Dickinson 
(see a sketch of hira in the ensuing chapter) . and was admitted to the Bar of Pennsylvania in 1 767. He began to practice 
his profession in Reading, Pennsylvania, but soon removed to York (see page 725, Vol. II). and later to Carlisle, where 
he made a reputation as a lawyer before the War for Independence began. 

He was a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Convention which met at Philadelphia January 23. 1775. .\n 
extract from an interesting speech on "Loyalty to Law", which Mr. Wilson delivered in that Convention, in vindication 
of the Colonies, will be found in the "Library of American Literature." Ill; 260. In November. 1775. in July, 1776, 
and again in March. 1777. he was elected to the Continental Congress. He. John Morton and Benjamin Franklin 
were the only members of the Pennsylvania delegation in the Congress who voted for the adoption of the Declaration 
of Independence on July 4 , 1776. 

When hostiUties between the mother country and the Colonies began, James Wilson was elected Colonel of a 
battalion of militia raised in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and took part in the New Jersey campaign of 1776 
In 1779 he was living in Philadelphia, at the south-west comer of Third and Walnut Streets, in a large stone house 
which was subsequently known as "Fort Wilson" — for reasons fully set forth in the Pennsylvania Magazine of Hisiorv 
XXV: 24. el seq. He was appointed Advocate General for the French Government in the United States June 5. 1779,' 
and December 31. 1781, was appointed by Congress a Director of the newly-created Bank of North America. He was 
appointed a Brigadier General of militia May 23, 1782. and on the 12th of November of the same year (on the day 
fixed for the meeting of the Court of Commissioners at Trenton) he was re-elected to Congress — taking his seat therein 
January 2, 1783. He was not a member of Congress in 1784, but was returned in 1785, and continued to be a member 
until the adoption of the Federal Constitution. 

He became a leader of the Federal political party in 1 787, and being elected a member of the Federal Constitutional 
Convention held in that year he took a very active and prominent part in its doings — making, in the course of the 
debates, 168 speeches. Concerning him McMaster (in his "History of the People of the United States". I: 421) states: 
"Of the fifty-five delegates he was undoubtedly the best prepared, by deep and systematic study of the histor>- and 
science of government, for the work that lay before him. The Marquis de Chastellux, himself a no mean student, had 
been struck with the wide range of his erudition, and had spoken in high terms of his hbrary. "There.' said he [in his 
■'Travels in North America in the Years I780-'82"], 'are all our best authors on law and jiurisprudence. The works of 
President Montesquieu and the Chancellor D'Aguesseau hold the first rank among them, and he makes them his daily 
study.' This learning WUson had in times past turned to excellent use, and he now became one of the most active mem- 
bers of the Convention. None, with the exception of Gouvemeur Morris, was so often on his feet during the debates, or 
spoke more to the purpose." 

Mr. Wilson was also a member of the Pennsylvania Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution, and the 
Hon. James Bryce. the author of "The American Commonwealth" and other works, has declared, in writing of the 
speeches delivered by Mr. Wilson in the Federal Constitutional Convention and in the Pennsylvania Convention, 
that "they display an amphtude and profundity of view in matters of constitutional theory which place him in the front 
ranks of political thinkers of his age." 

In October. 1789. Washington appointed Mr. Wilson an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 
and he remained in that office till his death. In 1 790 he was appointed Professor of Law in Philadelphia College, which 
conferred on him in that year the degree of LL. D. He was a member of the Pennsvlvania Constitutional Convention 
which framed a new Constitution for the State in 1790. and he was joint-author with the Hon. Thomas McKean of 
"Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States", published in 1792. William Rawle, a great leader of the 
Philadelphia Bar a hundred years ago. in an address before the Associated Members of the Bar in 1823. said, referring 
to James Wilson: "It must, however, be confessed, that Mr. Wilson on the Bench was not equal to Mr. \\'ilson at the 
Bar; nor did his law lectures entirely meet the expectation that had been formed." 

Prior to the year 1795. Mr. Wilson, like so many Pennsylvanians of his time, speculated widely and deeply in the 
lands of the State — as noted on page 653, Vol. II. He became in consequence, indebted in large amounts to a number 
of men; among others, to Pierce Butler, a native of Ireland, who was a Representative from South Carolina in the 
Federal Constitutional Convention, and was a United States Senator from South Carolina from 1789 to 1796. 

At that time the infamous rule of the Common law, giving to a creditor the right to cause the imprisonment 
of his debtor, was enforced by the courts of this country. Of this inhuman remedy Pierce Butler availed himself, 
and Mr. Wilson was thrown into prison at Edenton, North Carolina — not because he had committed any crime, but 
because, through unfortunate speculations, he could not pay his debts. To the grief and humiliation caused by this 
imprisonment was due the despair which led him to commit suicide on August 28. 1 798 (nol 1 797, as erroneously printed 
on page 653). while still in confinement at Edenton. In 1906 the remains of Mr. Wilson were dis-interred at Edenton 
and conveyed to Philadelphia, where, on November 22 (having first lain in state in Independence Hall, where, 130 
years before, Mr. Wilson had voted for and signed the Declaration of Independence), they were reinterred with signal 
honors and impressive ceremonies in the yard of old Christ Church, on North Second Street, 

The Rev. Bird Wilson. D. D.. for some years a minister of the gospel in New York City. 'was a son of James Wilson. 



1298 

geant * appeared as "counsellors and agents," for Pennsylvania; while Col. 

Eliphalet Dyer,t Dr. William Samuel JohnsonJ and Jesse Root,§ Esq., were 

present as counsel and agents for Connecticut. 

At Trenton, under the date of November 18, 1782, Attorney General 

Bradford wrote to the Hon. John Dickinson, President of the Supreme Executive 

Council of Pennsylvania, in part as follows :jj 

"They [the Commissioners] have adjourned until to-morrow at ten o'clock, at which time 
we apprehend that the Agents for Connecticut will move that the trial be postponed until the 
settlers (who will be affected by the determination) can have notice. This strange idea seems 
to be suggested merely for the purpose of delay, and we conceive will not be adopted by the 
Court. Under this circumstance it is impossible for us at present to say when the witnesses will 
be wanted. We should, however, be extremely glad if the original Charter and the Indian deeds 
could be forwarded with all despatch. Some circumstances may occur that will render it necessary 
for us to be armed at all points, and to rely as little as possible on the hopes of indulgence." * • * 

Upon the opening of the Court on November 19th the counsel for Connec- 
ticut presented for consideration a document in the following words :^ 

"The Agents of the State of. Connecticut, saving to themselves all advantages of other 
and further defense in said cause, beg leave to suggest, inform, and give the Court to understand, 
that there are many persons who are tenants in possession of the lands in controversy, holding, 
improving and claiming large quantities of said lands under titles from the States of Pennsylvania 
and Connecticut respectively (particularly the two large companies of Delaware and Susquehanna, 
consisting of more than 2,000 persons, many of whose people are in possession, improving and 
holding large tracts of said land in controversy, under title from the State of Connecticut) ; whose 
titles under said States, respectively, will be materially affected by the decision in this case, yet 
have not been cited or in any way legally notified to be present at said trial to defend their titles 
respectively — which, by the rules of proceeding in a court of justice, ought to be done before 
any further proceedings are had in said case. 

"And thereupon the said Agents move this honorable Court to cause said companies of 
Delaware and Susquehanna, and other tenants in possession, holding under title from either of 
said States, to be duly cited, in some proper and reasonable manner, to appear and defend at said 
trial, if they see cause, before any further proceedings are had in said cause. And of this they 
pray the opinion of this honorable Court." 

After listening to arguments by counsel on the questions raised by the 
foregoing motion, the Court adjourned until the next day, at which time the 
motion was overruled, on the ground that the same could "not be admitted 
according to the construction of the IXth Article of the Confederation", or 
compatibly with the tenor and design of the commission under which the Court 
was acting. This commission, it should be explained, was founded on the second 

♦Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant was born at Newark. New Jersey, in 1 746. He was a grandson of Jonathan 
Dickinson, the first President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton). He was graduated at Princeton in 1762. 
then studied law. and began its practice in New Jersey. He took his seat in the Continental Congress a few days after 
the Declaration of Independence was signed. He sat as a Delegate in Congress in 1776 and 1777, and in July, 1777, 
became Attorney General of Pennsylvania. In 1778, Congress having ordered a Court Martial for the trial of 
Gen. Arthur .St. Clair, and other officers, in relation to the evacuation of Ticonderoga. Mr. Sergeant was appointed 
by that body, with William Patterson of New Jersey, to assist the Judge Advocate in the conduct of the trial. In 
1780 Mr Sergeant resigned the office of Attorney General, and settled in practice in Philadelphia. 

When the yellow fever visited Philadelphia in 1793 Mr. Sergeant was appointed a member of the City Health 
Committee, and in consequence refrained from leaving the city. He distributed large sums of money among the poor, 
nursed the sick, and was active in promoting and carrying out general sanitary measures. Unfortunately he fell a 
victim to the epidemic, and died at Philadelphia October 8. 1793 

Two of the sons of Jonathan Dickinson Sergeant were: John, bom at Philadelphia, December 5, 1779, and attained 
prominence as a lawyer. Thomas, bom at Philadelphia, January 14, 1782, and became Attorney General of Pennsyl- 

tFor a sketch and portrait of Colonel Dyer see page 393, Vol. I. 
JFor a sketch of Dr. Johnson see page 478. Vol. I. 

§JESSE Root was born at Coventry. Tolland County, Connecticut, December 28, 1736, and was graduated at 
Princeton College in 1756. For several years following his graduation he served as a minister of the gospel, but hav- 
ing studied law meanwhile he was admitted to the Bar of Connecticut in 1763, and settled at Hartford in the practice 
of his profession. In the year 1766 the honorary degree of Master of Arts was conferred upon him by both Yale and 
Princeton Colleges. 

Early in 1777 he raised, and took command of, a company of Connecticut men, with which he joined Washing- 
ton's army at Peekskill. Shortly afterwards he was appointed and commissioned Lieilt. Colonel. He was a member 
of the Continental Congress from Connecticut in 1779-'80, 1780-'81, 178I-'82, 1782-'83, and 1788-'89. In 1789 he 
was appointed a Judge of the Superior Court of Connecticut, and held the office till 1793. He became Chief Judge in 
1798, and continued as such till 1807. Subsequently he served as a member of the Connecticut Assembly. In 1800 
Yale College conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL. D. He was a member of the American and Connecticut 
Academies of Arts and Sciences, and edited and published "Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Courts of Errors in Conn- 
ecticut" (2 Vols.), Hartford. 1789-1802. He died at Coventry March 29, 1822. 

llSee "Pennsylvania Archives," Old Series, XI: 331. 

IfSee Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 444. 



1299 

paragraph, or section, of the IXth Article. The determination by the Court of 
the claims of private property, or right in the soil, would have been coram von 
jndice — jurisdiction over such claims being derived from the third paragraph 
of Article IX.* The two jurisdictions could not be blended. 

Having failed in this matter the next move of the Connecticut counsel 
was to suggest that they might find it necessary to ask for an adjournment or 
postponement of the hearing, in order — as they set forth in writing — to pro- 
secute their efforts to obtain possession of (1) "a certain original deed from the 
Indians for a large parcel of the lands in dispute, obtained from their Chiefs and 
Sachems at their Council Fire in Onondaga, in the year 1763, which is now in 
England, having been left there before the commencement of the present un- 
happy war, and which we have never since been able to obtain; and (2) other 
necessars' evidence and proofs which, on examination, we find we are not at 
present possessed of, and which may be wanted in said trial." 

To this "suggestion" the counsel for Pennsylvania declared that they would 
oppose any postponement or adjournment after the introduction of evidence 
had been begun. The Court took the papers submitted by counsel, and the 
matter rested there — not being brought up again during the progress of the case. 

On the second day of the hearing (November 20, 1782) Attorney General 
Bradford wrote from Trenton to President Dickinson of the Supreme Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, as follows if 

"I beg leave to inform your E.xcellency and the Council that the Court of Commissioners 
have at length proceeded to business. We, however, are still upon the threshold of the Cause, 
and whether we shall proceed any farther is still undetermined. The Agents for Connecticut 
seem determined to use every endeavor to prevent a decision of the Cause. First, they demanded 
that the original petition which was presented to Congress should be produced; an argument 
ensued, and they were overruled. Next, they objected to the validity of our agency, and contended 
that we had no authority to appear before thai Court. After argument the Court held our powers 
to be sufficient. After this, they contended that the Court could not proceed unless the terre- 
leimiils. or others claiming lands in the contested territory, were summoned and made parties in 
the suit. This they warmly contended for, but were as unsuccessful as before. 

"At the next meeting of the Court we moved that the Court would proceed to hear the 
Cause. The Agents prayed for time to have a conference with us, which they alleged might 
prevent any further motions to delay the Cause. It was granted to them, and their proposal to 
us has been, that we will admit ex-parte depositions, and concede that there is in England a certain 
Indian deed, of part of the lands in question, fairly executed, made to The Susquehanna Company, 
and of which they have no copy. These proposals met with the answer that might have been 
expected, and, in consequence of our refusal, they propose to move that the Cause shall not be 
heard till they can procure the witnesses and the deed. We trust that they will not be gratified 
in this unreasonable request. If they can prove such a deed to have existed, and that it is in 
possession of the enemy, no doubt its contents may be given in evidence. 

"The spirit, however, which has been discovered on these occasions, induces us to wish 
for evidence the most legal and unexceptionable. If the Charter and Indian deeds cannot be 
procured, we could wish that the records of them were brought forward." * * * 

*The second and third paragraph.s of Article IX of the ■■,\rticles of Confederation and Perpetual l^ion" betwVL-ii 
the thirteen .\merican States, adopted at Philadelphia November 15. 1777, read in part as follows; 

■"2 — "The L^nited States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in all disputes and differences 
now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction, or any other 
cause whatever; which authority shall always be e-xercised in the manner following. Whenever tlie legislative or 
executive authority or lawful agent of any State in controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress, 
stating the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legis- 
lative or executive authority of the other State in controversy and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by 
their lawful agents, who shall then be directed to appoint, by joint consent, commissioners, or judges, to constitute 
a court for hearing and determining the matter in question; but if they cannot agree. Congress shall name three persons 
out of each of the United States, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the peti- 
tioners beginning, until the number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more 
than nine, names as Congress shall direct, shall, in the presence of Congress, be drawn out by lot, and the persons 
whose names shall be drawn, or any five of them, shall be commissioners, or judges, to hear and finally determine the 
controversy; * * * * and the judgment and sentence of the court to be appointed in the manner before prescribed 
shall be final and conclusive; * * the judgment or sentence, and other proceedings, being in either case transmitted 
to Congress and lodged among the .\cts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned * * * 

?3 — "All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different .grants of two or more States, 
whose jurisdictions (as they may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants) are adjusted — the 
said grants, or either of them, being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of 
juri.sdiction — shall, on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States, be finally determined as near 
as may be in the same manner as is before prescribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between 
different States." 

tSee Hoyt's "Brief of a Title in the Seventeen Townships in the County of Luzerne", page 4.'. 



1300 

At Philadelphia, under the date of November 23, 1782, Joseph Reed, of 
the counsel for Pennsylvania at Trenton, wrote to Vice President Moore of the 
Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, as follows:* 

* * * "I arrived this evening from Trenton, and am sorry to inform you that the 
proceedings of the Agents on the part of Connecticut manifest the utmost intentions to postpone 
the hearing of the cause and break up the Court without a decision on the merits. After object- 
ing to our powers, to the non-production of the original petition, and want of notice to the settlers 
— in all which, after long arguments, they were overruled — they prayed that the Cause might 
proceed with a reservation of moving an adjournment of the Cause at any stage of it; at the same 
time adding that they had left sundry papers in England, essential to the merits, of which they 
gave a verbal detail. * * * Among the papers said to be in England, they lay great stress 
on the Indian deeds, which they allege to have been left in that Kingdom." * * * 

At Trenton, under the date of December 3, 1782, Joseph Reed wrote to the 

Hon. George Bryan, a former Vice President of the vSupreme Executive Council 

of Pennsylvania, in part as follows :t 

"The Agents of Connecticut have brought their testimony down to their Indian deeds; 
but here is a lamentable failure. Their best deed was carried to England, and a Welsh attorney 
carried it down with him to that country, and there it stands pledged for a Counsellor Gardiner's 
debts. The other was brought here, and has been lost since their arrival. Dyer having told us it 
was much blurred and blotted, but that they had a fair copy. We, you may be sure, have our 
suspicions. Sergeant just now asked him [Dyer] if he had looked in his breeches. I suppose you 
have heard the anecdote of the stockings. 

"Yesterday they attempted to read the proceedings of The Delaware Company on the 
Susquehanna [sk], that is, the work of the adventurers on the land in dispute. This point is 
now before the Court for consideration. Our cause at present stands fair enough, but I foresee 
it will be very tedious. Colonel Dyer will submit to no order; he speaks twenty times a day, and 
scarcely ever finishes one sentence completely. Dr. Johnson is the ablest man in the agency; 
he is a good speaker, and is a man of candor. Our Court, pretty well as courts go. When you 
write, be careful as to opportunities. I mean, don't trust suspicious hands. 

"P. S. — Since writing the above, the Court determined not to admit the copy, and soon 
after the miserable original [Indian deed] was found. What can we think of these folks!" 

At Trenton, under the date of December 13, 1782, Joseph Reed wrote again 
to George Bryan, in part as follows :{ 

"We have now got to summing up the cause, and I think, without being too sanguine, we 
may justly expect a full decree in our favor. It was agreed to speak alternately. Mr. Root 
began, making use chiefly of [the Rev. Benjamin] Trumbull's Pamphleti! as a brief. It was very 
dull, and much said of the policy of taking off this grant for a new Colony, &c., &c. We expected 
that each would take up two days, as the evidence is multifarious and prolix, but he finished in 
two hours, or a little more. Mr. Sergeant followed him, and though he evidently abbreviated, 
he took up Wednesday and Thursday. 

"Mr. Wharton came up here to give evidence of the disclaimer of the Indians at Fort 
Stanwix, but the fear of offending the Delegates from Connecticut was remarkably visible the 
whole time he was here. 

"To-day Colonel Dyer goes on, and we expect much amusement, though little information. 
Perhaps we may be surprised; as, indeed, we shall be. if he argues with ability or judgment. Thus 
we stand at present, and have now a reasonable prospect of dismission next week, which is the 
least time that has ever been spent on such a cause. The dispute between New York and New 
Jersey took up three months. We all grow impatient, but I do not mean to leave this [place] 
till we have finished." 

It will not be possible, in these pages, to give more than a brief account of 
the proceedings before the Trenton Court of Commissioners. For many of the 
details of the hearing — the "briefs", or "notes", of some of the counsel, certain 
of the official minutes recorded by the Clerk of the Court, and for interesting 
data of a technical and legal character — the reader is referred to "Pennsylvania 
Archives", Old Series, IX: 679-724, and "Brief of a Title in the Seventeen Town- 
ships in the County of Luzerne", by the Hon. Henry M. Hoyt, LL. D., sometime 
Governor of Pennsylvania. 

The claim of Pennsylvania, set forth in the "Statement and Representation" 
filed with the Court by the counsel for the State, is printed in Miner's "History 

*See Hoyt's "Brief", previously mentioned, page 44. ' 
tSee William B. Reed's "Life of Joseph Reed". II: 388. 389. 
ISee William B. Reed's "Life of Joseph Reed", II: 389. 
.^Mentioned on page 803, Vol. II. 



1301 

of Wyoming", page 70-72. In support of their claim the Pennsylvanians 
attacked the Connecticut charters, patents and deeds, so far as their alleged 
application or reference to lands within the claimed bounds of Pennsylvania was 
concerned. In brief, the Pennsylvanians held: 

I. That in the time of Charles II, the geography of this country was little 
understood, and the breadth of the continent unknown; and that the King was 
mistaken and deceived when he used such general words in his charter to Con- 
necticut as, if literally construed, would convey an extent of 3,000 miles.* 

II. That it was not the understanding, as appears from the state of the 
Colony when the charter was granted, that the boundaries of Connecticut ex- 
tended westward far beyond the Connecticut River. 

III. That Connecticut, on several occasions, had waived or, by admis- 
sions, estopped herself from asserting, her title to lands west of New York. 

IV. That the long silence and non-claim of Connecticut, as to the west- 
ern lands, had acted as a waiver of her charter right, or, rather, as an evidence 
of her want of such right. 

y. That the charter ought not to be so construed as to include the land 
in question, because of the immensity of the country which would be embraced 
within the charter limits. 

\^I. That the charter gave no title west of New York, because of the in- 
terjacency of another Province. 

\TI That the title of The Susquehanna Company was defective on these 
grounds: (i) The Company never had a formal grant from the Colony of Con- 
necticut; (ii) Acts of Parliament are never used to grant lands — the alienation of 
lands being executive, not legislative; (iii) the Colony of Connecticut received 
nothing from the Company as a consideration for those lands; (iv) Connecti- 
cut never passed any law granting lands to the Company in the Province of 
Pennsylvania ; (v) the Company made its purchase from the Indians, contrary 
to the laws of Connecticut; (vi) Connecticut never granted the land by any 
formal grant; (vii) the Company never had a sealed patent. 

\'III. That the King, in 1763, forbade the settling of this territory.! 

IX. That the Indian deed of July 1 1, 1754, to The Susquehanna Company 
was null and void — in fact, absolutely worthless — on these grounds: (i) the 
description of the land, and other material parts, being written on erasures, and 
in ink different from that used in the major part of the deed; (ii) the deed 
having been executed at different times and before different subscribing wit- 
nesses: (iii) it not having been executed in the open, public, national manner in 
which the Indians were accustomed to sell and transfer their lands; (iv) it 
being clandestine, and deceptive in that the amount of the consideration is 
stated as £2,000, when it was only 2,000 dollars; (v) it being denied by the 
Six Nation Indians as an act of their confederacy. 

Particular stress was laid by the Pennsylvanians on the slovenly and de- 
fective character of the last-mentioned deed, J and it must be admitted that it 

^^See pages 242-244. Vol. I. 

tin reply to this point the Connecticut agents averred that the order of the Kin< referred to was procured upon 
tx-parle representations made by the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, and that the King himself, having granted the 
lands by charter, had no authority reserved to forbid the settlement. In this connection sec pages 414 and 415. Vol I 

+This deed, the manner in which it was executed, and the opposition early made to it on account of its alleged 
spunousness and mvalidity, etc. , are described at considerable length on pages 269-292, ,^00, 301 . 302, ,W3, 304, 30.'i. .TO7, 
332. 396, 400. 410, 411, 416, and 830. 

In this connection we desire to correct an erroneous statement made on pa.iji 



only one woman appears in the list of grantees in the deed. The names of two 
of 'Rachel Millner", to he found in the third column on page 273, ant 



1302 

bears on its face every evidence of having been written and executed in a bung- 
ling and ship-shod manner. The names of the grantors in the body of the deed, 
the amount of the consideration money, the description of the territory granted 
and the date of the execution of the document are all in a different handwriting 
from, and written with blacker ink than, the major part of the deed. In the 
list of grantees the name of John Henry Lydins has been carelessly erased, and 
that of Abraham Lansing substituted. The descriptive part of the deed begins 
at the top of page "H" of the document (see the photo-reproduction of the same 
facing page 276, Vol. I), and the lines from the third to the sixth, inclusive, are 
written on an erasure. 

Undoubtedly the principal proprietors of The Susquehanna Company 
early conceived the desirability — yea, the necessity — of having a more complete 
and perfect deed for their Purchase, and so, in the Summer of 1763, they obtained, 
from a number of the chief men of some of the tribes of the Six Nations, a brand- 
new deed for the Wyoming lands — as narrated on page 417, Vol. I. 

This deed (with other important papers relating to The Susquehanna 
Company) was carried to London, in August, 1763, by Colonel Dyer, and when he 
returned to America, in October, 1764, he left the papers of the Susquehanna 
Company in the hands of John Gardiner, Esq., of the Inner Temple. The 
latter gentleman, it seems, later got into some kind of trouble, and "ran away 
from London without first turning over to a representative of The Susquehanna 
Company, the deed and other papers belonging to the Company which were in 
his hands."* Colonel Dyer subsequently made several attempts to regain 
possession of these papers — particularly the Indian deed — but without success. 

The common belief of the chief men of The Susquehanna Company circa 
1782, seems to have been that Gardiner had sent the papers to Colonel Dyer, 
but that they fell into the hands of a certain agent of the Pennsylvania land- 
claimers. This belief was plainly set forth years later by Col. John Franklin 
(see page 1227, Vol. II), in a communication printed in the Wilkes-Barre Gazette 
of September 23, 1800, and reading in part as follows: 

"The papers alluded to were left with Col. John Gardiner, of London, agent for the. Sus- 
quehanna and Delaware Companies. Col. E. Dyer, who had left the papers with said Gardiner, 
sent for them a short time before the Revolutionary War, He received a letter from said Gardiner 
— or, at least, the cover of a packet — that had been gutted of its contents, except a few papers of 
little consequence. It is since in proof that the aforesaid Indian deed and many other important 
papers, by some means unknown to the Connecticut agents or The Susquehanna Company, fell 
into the hands of John Rome of New York some time in 1774, who delivered them to Col. Cor- 
nelius Co.x.t who then lived, and still lives, near Harrisburgh; that the said Co.x, sometime in 

1776, sent said papers to Col. [Turbutt] Francist and Lukens.S Esq., of Philadelphia 

— the said Francis and Lukens being principally concerned for the Pennsylvania Proprietaries; 
that after the decease of Colonel Francis in [1777] said papers fell into the hands of Tench Coxe. 
then of Philadelphia and now of Lancaster, Pennsylvania [and Secretary of the Land Office of 
Pennsylvania], It is also in proof that the said Tench Coxe has said that he 'delivered the said 
papers to one of the Pennsylvania agents (to wit: the late Judge Wilson) a short time before the 
Trenton trial.' Neither th; State of Connecticut nor The Susquehanna Company has ever yet 
been able to procure them." 

Further, with respect to the Indian deeds of 1754 and 1763, we have the 
testimony of the Rev. Jacob Johnson (see page 744, Vol. II), given in January, 
1787, to Col. Timothy Pickering, and recorded by him at that time in his diary, l| 
as follows: 

*See pages 440. 443, and .i04. Vol. I 

tSee note, page 1192, Vol. II. 

t.See page 489, Vol. I, and 664, Vol, II. 

§JoHN Lukens, sometime Surveyor General of Pennsylvania, See notes on pages 654 and 861, Vol. II. 

llSee the original MS. diary of Colonel Pickering among the "Pickering Papers" (LVII; 39), mentioned on pagre 



1303 

"He [Johnson] believed the Charter of Connecticut was better than that of Pennsylvania; 
that the Indian deed was a good one ; that the original produced at Trenton was not the fair one, 
and was only kept by the Company, but not intended to be used. That after receiving that [one] 
of the Indians, the Company got another, in a fuller assembly of the Indians, and this was per- 
fectly fair. That this had been sent to England. That it had been returned, and fell into the hands 
of the Pennsylvanians, who kept it and would not produce it at the Federal Court, and they 
still had it." 

Still further, w^ith respect to the disappearance of the deed of 1763, we have 
the following, to be found in a memorial* presented to the General Assembly 
of Connecticut, at Hartford, May 10, 1787, by Col. John Franklin, "in behalf of 
himself and the rest of the inhabitants settled upon the rivers Delaware and 
Susquehanna." 

"That the Penns, by their agents having by mere accident possessed themselves of the 
Indian Deed to the purchasers, and many other important papers — evidences of the title of this 
State to the lands aforesaid — applyed to the Congress of the United States for the constituting 
of a Federal Court for the settlement of the jurisdiction, &c. * * * Your memorialists are now 
able to prove beyond contradiction that the aforesaid deed and evidences of title were actually 
in the hands of the agents of the State of Pennsylvania before that State made their applica- 
tion to Congress for the establishment of said Federal Court, and that they secreted them until 
after the aforesaid decree, and now have them in their power and custody." 

With respect to the missing deed of 1763, Miner says ("History of Wyom- 
ing," page 101): 

"The deed was left by Colonel Dyer in the hands of an agent in England, from whom it 
was, as is alleged, unfairly obtained by the opposite party, who had it in possession ia Philadelphia 
in 1782, and could and would have produced it at the Trenton trial if it had been vitiated by 
interlineation; and as they did not, the presumptions were all in favor of its fairness." 

What ultimately became of the missing Indian deed of 1763, we are unable 
now to learn. t 

The counsel for Connecticut were well convinced, some time before the 
trial at Trenton began, that, in the absence of the deed of 1763, they would have 
to rely on their deed of July 11, 1754; and so, in the Summer of 1782, they had 
this deed duly recorded among the archives of The Susquehanna Company at 
Windham, Connecticut, and then, on October 26, 1782, in the ofiBce of the Sec- 
retary of State of Connecticut — as related on page 289, Vol. I. At the same time 
the deed from the Indians to The Delaware Company was recorded in the office 
of the Secretary of State — as mentioned on page 294, Vol. I. 

Also, in preparation for the trial at Trenton, the agents of Connecticut 
obtained in October, 1782, the affidavits of the Hon. 'Stephen Hopkins, Lieut. 
Col. Thomas Dyer, Capt. Vine Elderkin, Allen Wightman, Cyprian Lothrop 
and Capt. William Gallup> hereinbefore printed. J But whether or not these 
affidavits, as well as the deposition of the Earl of Stirling! (taken at the instance 
of the agents for Pennsylvania), were admitted as evidence by the Trenton 
Court, we are not able now certainly to determine; but presumably and undoubt- 
edly they were. 

The hearing of the cause, including the arguments of counsel, continued 
until December 24, 1782, when the closing argument was made by Mr. Root. 
The Court then took possession of the various briefs, records and exhibits which 
had been filed in the case, and proceeded to consider them in secret. On Monday, 

*The original is "No. 172" in the collection of documents mentioned in paragraph "(3)", page 29, Vol. I. 

tAt Wilkes-Barr6, under the date of July 13, 1801, Judge Thomas Cooper and Gen. John Steele, Commissioners 
under the "Compromise Act" of .April 4, 1799, and its supplements, wrote to the Hon. Tench Coxe. Secretary of the 
Pennsylvania Land Office, in part as follows: "You are also of opinion that, for the purpose of ascertaining whether 
the seventeen townships are all within the bounds of the purchase of The Susquehanna Company, we ought to demand 
inspection of the Indian Deed. We believe that Mr. [John] Franklin has lately [within these two months] procured 
from a Mr. Pepoom, of Albany, the original deed; but we are persuaded he would not entrust us with it, nor do we 
know upon what fair plea to insist upon it." — "Pennsylvania Archives'* , Second Series, XVIII: 455. 

}See pages 291 , 475 and 477, Vol. I, and page 630, Vol. II. 

ISee pages 288 and 289. Vol. I. 



1304 

December 30, 1782, the Court reconvened, and pronounced the following decree*; 
"This Cause has been well argued by the Learned Council on both sides. 
"The Court are now to pronounce their Sentence or Judgment. 

"We are unanimously of Opinion that the State of Connecticut has no right to the Lands 
in Controversy. — 

"We are also unanimously of Opinion that the Jurisdiction and Pre-emption of all the 
Territory lying within the Charter boundary of Pennsylvania and now claimed by the State of 
Connecticut do of Right belong to the State of Pennsylvania. — 

[Signed] "Wm. Whipple 

"Welcome Arnold 
"Dav'd Brearley 
"Trenton, 30th Dec'r, 1782. "Cyrus Griffin 

"William C. Houston." 

In forwarding to the Hon. John Dickinson, President of the Supreme 
Executive Council of Pennsylvania, a copy of their Decree, the Commissioners 
sent a letterf (written by President Whipple) reading as follows: 

"Trenton, 31st December, 1782. 

"Sir: We take the liberty to address your Excellency, as private citizens lately honored 
with a Commission to hear and determine the controversy between the State of Pennsylvania 
and Connecticut, relative to disputed Territory. 

"In the course of executing this Commission we have found that many Persons are, or 
lately have been, settled on the lands in Question. Their individual claims could, in no Instance, 
come before us, not being within the line of our appointment. We beg leave to declare to your 
Excellency that we think the situation of these People well deserves the notice of Government. The 
dispute has long subsisted. It may have produced Heats and Animosities among those living 
in or near the Country in Contest, and some Imprudences may take place and draw after them 
the most unfavorable consequences. 

"With all deference, therefore, we would suggest to your Excellency and the Council, 
whether it would not be best to adopt some reasonable measures to prevent any, the least. Violence, 
Disorder or misunderstanding among them; and to continue things in the present peaceable pos- 
ture until proper steps can be taken to decide the Controversies respecting the private right of soil, in 
the mode prescribed by the Confederation. We doubt not an early Proclamation from the Ex- 
ecutive of Pennsylvania would have all necessary good Effects, and we feel ourselves happy in 
the fullest confidence that every means will be adopted, or acquiesced in, by the State to render 
the settlement of this dispute complete and satisfactory, as far as may be, to all concerned. 

"We have the Honour to be, with great respect, 

"Your E.\;cellency's most obedient, 

"And very humble Servants. 

"To His Excellency John Dickinson, Esqr." 

[Signed] "Wm. Whipple 

"Welcome Arnold 
"W. C. Houston 
"C. Griffin 
"David Brearley 

The foregoing letter was received by President Dickinson, and was filed 
by him with the Supreme Executive Council January 2, 1783, but no publicity 
was given to it. Subsequently the letter passed into the possession of President 
DickinsonJ himself. On February 18, 1790, Col. Timothy Pickering (then living 
in Wilkes-Barre), having heard that such a letter had been written and signed 
by the Commissioners, wrote to Judge Brearley, inquiring about it and asking 
for a copy of it. At Trenton, under the date of March 4, 1790, Judge Brearley 
wrote to Colonel Pickering as follows :§ 

"My first letter to Colonel Neilsonl] by some means miscarried. However, I have now 
got his answer,which is, he has 'not got a copy of the letter which is wanted.' I am apprehensive 
it is not to be found. We had very strong reasons for writing to the President of Pennsylvania. 
We were fully acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the New England settlers. We 
knew that many of them had honestly paid for their possessions; that they verily believed the 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series, XVIII: 629. 

tSee Hoyt's "Brief of a Title in the Seventeen Townships in Luzerne County", page 45. 

JSurmising that Mr. Dickinson had this letter in his possession. Colonel Pickering wrote concerning it to him at 
Wilmington. Delaware, March 25, 1793, and a few days later received a reply, in part as follows: "It gives Me very 
particular Pleasure, that I have found the Letter from the Commissioners. Confiding that it will be immediately 
delivered to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, it is enclosed." According to Mrs. Murray's "Old 
Tioga Point and Early Athens" (page 228) the letter in question is now in the possession of the heirs of Edward 
Herrick, Jr. at Athens, Pa. 

§See Hoyfs "Brief", page 103. 

liCol. John Neilson, who had been Clerk of the Trenton Court. See (t) note page 1296. 



1305 

title, under which they claimed, to be perfectly good; that they had cleared, built upon and im- 
proved the lands; that in doing this they had encountered many dangers and suffered innumerable 
hardships; and beyond all these things — and what cannot be estimated — many of their nearest 
connections had spilt their blood in defense of their possessions. 

"Thus circumstanced, it was manifest that they had become enthusiasts for the land; that 
the reasoning of legislators and statesmen would have but little weight with them; that if the 
State should attempt to dispossess them, they would become desperate, and a civil war would 
be the consequence. On the contrary, if the State should quiet them in their possessions, they 
would become peaceable, good citizens, and that the State would compensate those who held 
under Pennsylvania title by giving them an equivalent in lands or money at a less expense than 
that of dispossessing the New England settlers. That, therefore, the interest of humanity and the 
jiolicy of the State would be to lead them to adopt the measures that we recommended. 

"The letter bore no official authority. We subscribed it as private citizens. Neverthe- 
less we did conceive that it would have some weight, as it would be apparent that our means of 
information had been better than those of any other persons who were disinterested." 

The following brief but cogent statement of The Susquehanna Company's 
case, as developed at the Trenton trial, is from a letter* written at New York, 
March 6, 1790, to Col. Timothy Pickering, by Dr. William vSamuel Johnson, 
previously mentioned. 

"I have just now received your favor of the 3d inst., and as I shall have no time season- 
ably to answer it, except a few minutes this evening, I instantly sit down to acquaint you that 
the Susquehanna settlers had no formal grant from Connecticut. The reason for which was that 
their original plan was to establish a new Government or Colony in that part of the country, under 
the Crown of Great Britain. They, therefore, with the approbation of the then Governor of 
Connecticut, first purchased of the Indians, and then obtained from the General Assembly of 
Connecticut an approbation of their proceedings and a recommendation of them to the Crown, 
for the purpose of their being created into a Government. 

"Application was accordingly made to the Crown for that purpose. But, meeting with 
many delays at the Court of Great Britain, they again applied to the Assembly of Connecticut, 
who having, by that time, determined to vindicate their claim to the whole western part of their 
Patent, they, by several Acts of the Legislature, took the Susquehanna settlers under their pro- 
tection, extended the jurisdiction of the Colony over them, and established government amongst 
them. 

"This was considered by the Colony and the settlers as so full a ratification of all their 
proceedings, and expecially of their Indian purchase, as rendered any formal grant (which at 
most could amount only to a right of pre-emption, or a liberty to purchase of the natives) al- 
together unnecessary, and therefore none was ever applied for — those Legislative approbations 
being considered as securing their titles under the Colony more effectually than any grant or deed 
could do. In fact, by the law of Connecticut the Susquehanna settlers were (previous to the Tren- 
ton trial), in holding those lands, regularly under the Colony of Connecticut; and had she been 
able, at that trial, to have established her title, no question would or could ever have been made 
but that the said settlers had as good a title to their lands as any settlers in North America." 

Concerning the Decree of Trenton, Judge Cyrus Griffin (who had been a 
member of the Trenton Court) wrote under the date of September 15, 1796,t 
to Barnabas Bidwell, Esq., of Massachusetts, sometime counsel for The Susque- 
hanna Company, as follows :J 

"Being upon a tour of duty in the line of my office, I had not the pleasure of reading your 
letter until yesterday. 

"Before the Commissioners determined that important contest between Pennsylvania and 
Connecticut, it was agreed: 

"1st. That the reasons for the determination should never be given. 

"2d. That the minority should concede the determination as the unanimous opinion of 
the Com-t. 

"No doubt sufficient reasons appeared to us to adopt these preliminary points. Whether 
strictly justifiable, or at present would be adopted, I wiU not undertake to say. Perhaps a different 
course might be pursued; but this I will undertake to say, that no Court ever met and decided a 
great question less subject to partiality or corruption, or in which more candor and freedom of 
debate were exercised. 

"As you seem to suppose, I do not know in what manner the jurisdiction might be consider- 
ed if tried again; and especially since a number of important discoveries have been made, and a 
mass of evidence can now be produced which was not known at that time. But I can assure you, 
Sir, that the Commissioners were unanimously of opinion that the private right of soil should not 
be affected by the decision. The decision was not to reach the question of property in the soil. 

"We recommended, very strongly — derived from' legal and pohtical grounds — that the 
settlers should be quieted in all their claims by an Act of the Pennsylvania Assembly; and that the 
*See the "Pickering Papers", LVIII: 221. 

tAt this time Judge Griffin and Welcome Arnold were the only surviving members of the Court. 
tSee the "Pickering Papers", LVIII: 350, and Hoyt's "Brief", page 46. 



1306 

right of soil (if I recollect truly), as derived from Connecticut, should be held sacred. Such, how- 
ever, I am certain, was the opinion of the individuals who composed that Court." 

The people of Wyoming, generally, viewed the proceedings of the Trenton 
Court with comparative indifference at first, assuming that the question at 
issue before the Court was as to political jurisdiction only. But, very quickly 
after the decree had been extensively promulgated and thoroughly discu-S2d 
by the people, there came a change of opinion. Colonel Pickering recorded in 
his diary*, under the date of January 24, 1787, at Wilkes-Barre, that he had 
often heard, previous to that time, that the judges of the Trenton Court had 
been bribed; and that it was then charged "that Colonel Dyer (the most zealous 
agent on behalf of Connecticut, and one deeply interested in The Susquehanna 
Company) was also bribed by Pennsylvania to betray the cause of Connecticut 
and the Company." 

Charles W. Upham, in his "Life of Timothy Pickering" (II: 232), says, 
referring to the Decree of Trenton: 

"Thus ended the Wyoming controversy between the two States. It ought to have ended 
strife, and given peace at once and for ever to the unhappy valley; but it did not. The Govern- 
ment of Peimsylvania ought instantly to have quieted the Connecticut settlers in the possession 
of their farms with their improvements. The affections and allegiance of such a people would have 
been worth more than all their lands. But other counsels prevailed, and a new chapter of dis- 
orders and troubles was opened." 

The following editorial, printed in the Wyomitig Republican and Farmer's 
Herald (Kingston, Pennsylvania), August 23, 1837, sets forth briefly an opinion 
with reference to the Decree of Trenton which early found lodgment in the 
minds of the Connecticut settlers in Wyoming, and which continued to 
strengthen as time went on: — 

"The fact is notorious. I need not argue it now. If called on I will, however, do it, and 
show conclusively that Wyoming and this western part of Connecticut was, by the Trenton 
Decree, transferred to Pennsylvania, not on legal principles, but on grounds of National and 
State policy, to which Connecticut made only a seeming, not a real, objection; that it was done 
to consolidate the union of the State — to promote harmony — to conciliate Pennsylvania." 

Miner, in his "History of Wyoming," page 448, commenting upon the 
letter of Judge Griffin to Barnabas Bidwell (previously mentioned), declares: 

"I assume again with the utmost confidence, that my proposition is well established, viz.: 
That the Decree of Trenton, adjudging the jurisdiction to Pennsylvania, was a decision of policy 
and not of right; that it could not, and did not, affect the right of soil." 

The following paragraphs, relating to the Decree of Trenton, are from an 
addressf entitled "Wyoming; or Connecticut's East India Company," delivered 
before the Fairfield County Historical Society, Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 
21, 1893, by Henry T. Blake, Esq., of New Haven, Connecticut: — 

"There are grounds to believe that this decision was not entirely unexpected, or even dis- 
agreeable, to Connecticut, for reasons which do not appear on the surface. So many States had 
conflicting claims to western territory that there was every prospect of inextricable confusion 
and controversy, and possibly a disruption of the Confederacy, unless there could be mutual 
■adjustment and compromise on this subject. That there was some secret understanding between 
Connecticut and Pennsylvania is indicated by the fact that, immediately after the Trenton Decree 
Connecticut ceded to Congress all her lands lying west of Pennsylvania — reserving, however, a 
certain tract in Ohio, since known as the Western Reserve. 

"These Ohio lands were also claimed by Virginia, and if the title of Connecticut w-as bad 
to the Wyoming Valley, it was bad, for the same reasons, to all land west of it. Yet, on the ques- 
tion whether Congress would accept the cession and recognize the right of Connecticut to keep 
the Western Reserve (a question which gave rise to much debate), Pennsylvania always voted 
with Connecticut, and, in one instance, in opposition to all the other States." 

The Hon. Henry M. Hoyt, in his scholarly and admirable "Brief of a 
Title in the Seventeen Townships in Luzerne County," makes some "personal 

*See the "Pickering Papers", LVII: 39. 

tSee "Reports and Papers, Fairfield County Historical Society, 1896-'97," page 45. 



1307 

reflections" on the facts relating to the trial at Trenton, and the "Decree", in 
part as follows: 

"The Connecticut Charter of 1662 fairly included the territory described in its limits, as 
contended for by its partizans. 

"No action was ever taken by the Crown to vacate it or modify its bounds. 

"No legal necessity existed to purchase the Indian title; and what is called 'the right of 
preemption' is unmeaning and insignificant as between Colonies. The Indian title and possession 
was a lien, or incumbrance, which was to be extinguished or not, at the option of grantees. The 
charters were not granted subject to Indian titles. 

"One cannot well escajje a sort of general intuitive conviction that the Court at Trenton 
worked out the correct result. There is, it is true, no defect in the technical legal title of the Col- 
ony of Connecticut. The difficulty is, therefore, to account for this instinctive conclusion against 
it. Throwing the settlors and their private rights out of the case, I think the weak link in the 
chain lies here: From the date of Penn's charter, in 1681, to the year 1773, Connecticut had not 
definitely 'asserted title,' either by legislative enactment or popular movement. Neither the Col- 
onial authorities nor the leading men had, evidently, set any great store by, or taken any action 
based on, their possessions west of New York. * * * 

"The movement of The Susquehanna Company was in accordance with the genius of the 
whole northern colonization scheme. 

"In CarkufT vs. Anderson, 3 Binn., 10, Justice Brackenridge said: 'The appearance of 
right which The Susquehanna Company, a people of Connecticut, had to advance a claim to this 
district of country, is in my mind in considering the case before me. I do not view them in the 
light of trespassers, with a full knowledge of their want of title. At all events, the bulk of them 
do not appear to have been apprised of their want of title, and I make a great distinction between 
trespassers knowing, or having good reason to know, their defect of title, and such as may reason- 
ably be supposed to be ignorant of what they are about. Before the Decree of Trenton, the most 
intelligent and the best informed might have been led to believe that the part of the country in ques- 
tion was settled under a good title from the State of Connecticut. But, in favor of those who had 
settled under the idea of a good title, and with an expectation of enjoying the land which they 
were improving and defending, at a great risk and with much loss, from the common enemy dur- 
ing the Revolutionary War, there is a claim which ought not wholly to be disregarded. I do not 
call it a right, but a claim on the ground of moral obligation.' 

"Connecticut, at Trenton, did not insist on her historical claim to all lands in Pennsylvania 
north of Latitude 41 North, nor even to all the lands comprised within the Indians' deed of 1754 
to The Susquehanna Company. Her final stand was made on the settlements and improvements 
made in the county of Westmoreland. There would seem to be no doubt that proof was offered, 
and successfully, before the Court, of actual settlements under Pennsylvania, and under rights de- 
rived from the Proprietaries in 1730, 1732 and 1740— thus prior to any others. * * * 

"At the time of the Decree of Trenton the Colonies, grown into States, had hardened and 
settled into definite and reasonable municipal limits, and that Decree was correct, both in right and 
policy; saving, as it did, 'the private right of soil.' The problem came now between them and the 
actual bona fid: warrantees of a Pennsylvania title. It was a question of real difficulty and deli- 
cacy. The land speculators, not numerous, but influential, were reckless and clamorous. The 
people, the best publicists and the ablest lawyers .gave long and anxious consideration over some 
device by which a sovereign State might protect its own grantees, and deal justly with the 
claimants under another sovereignty. 

"The Connecticut settlers had, unquestionably, the sympathy and best wishes of the real 
population of Pennsylvania. Of late years they had felt no great interest in the Proprietaries. 
The Yankees had borne themselves patiently, defiantly it maybe, but heroically, without the 
assertion of any title except to the land under their feet, which they had dug out of the forests 
and wilderness. They had been a sober, steady people, attending faithfully to the serious affairs of 
life; they had been efficient promoters of churches and schools; they were no bandits or border 
ruffians; they brought with them as high views and lofty purpos2S in American citizenship as the 
most chivalrous and scholarly entertained. 

"There were, doubtless, adventurers among them; but, in war or peace, they illustrated 
the best results of the bold, free tendencies of Am^ricans. They were a brave, hardy and proud 
community. They had, of their own resources, defended themselves and the frontier of the State 
of Pennsylvania. The overruling supreme equity of the case, enforced by the unyielding attitude 
of the settlers, led to the adoption of the final legal device, and the acquiescence of all in it — open, 
as it may be, to some constitutional criticism. 

"It will surprise us to find that, in fact as finally adjusted, no fully litigated case ever arose 
out of the whole unhappy business. There were bluster, threats, vexation and outrage, but the 
heart of the settler's titU was never pierced. Of the men sent to execute the unsettled and un- 
steady purposes of Pennsylvania, it may be said that, notwithstanding the estimate, in which 
they and their memories are held, deservedly or not, they must be credited with the sup- 
position that they were acting in the line of duty." 




CHAPTER XXII 

INHABITANTS OF WYOMING LEFT BY CONNECTICUT TO FIGHT SINGLE HAND- 
ED PETITION THE LEGISLATURE OF NEW YORK— THE CONTINENTAL 
GARRISON AT WILKES-BARRE WITHDRAWN AND COMPANIES OF 
PENNSYLVANIA MILITIA SUBSTITUTED — DISTRUST AUG- 
MENTED — END OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND 
RETURN OF QUOTAS OF TROOPS TO WYOMING 



"Ah! what a mighty treasury of ills 
Is open'd here, a copious source of tears." 

— Euripides, "Ion. 



"Men, who once praised one another, 
Jawed and clawed upon the run; 
Brother aimed a blow at brother. 

Father took a crack at son; 
Epithets were flung at random, 
Men, with grievances to air. 
Did not hesitate to hand 'em 
On to others then and there." 

— Anon. 



With the advent of the year 1783 "Peace, which waved its cheering olive 
branch over every other part of the Union, healing the wounds inflicted by ruth- 
less War, soothing the sorrows of innumerable children of affliction, and kind- 
ling the lamp of Hope in the dark chamber of Despair, came not to the broken- 
hearted people of Wyoming." 

By the Decree of Trenton, Wilkes-Barre and W^yoming Valley, as part 
of the territory which had been in controversy between Pennsylvania and Conn- 
ecticut, were — for the first time since Wilkes-Barre was founded, more than 
thirteen years before — formally declared by unbiased competent authority 
to be actually and legally within the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania. Further- 
more, as a result of this Decree the settlers in Wyoming, under the auspices of 
The Susquehanna Company, were left, single-handed, to manage their own case. 
"The State of Connecticut had never, in fact, done anything for the Wyoming 
settlers. They 'recognized' them, but in a way that the 'recognition' cost noth- 



1309 

ing. They levied large taxes upon them, but they returned nothing for their 

defense. They dropped them, incontinently, after the Decree of Trenton" .* 

Immediately upon the receipt at Wyoming of definite information as to 

the decision of the Trenton Court, the Yankee settlers here got busy — as we 

learn from the following paragraph gleaned from the unpublished "Historical 

Sketches of Wyoming"!, by Col. John Franklin: 

"On the 4th January, 1 783, an E.xpress arrived at Wyoming from Trenton, by whom we had 
information that the Court of Commissioners, appointed by Congress for the purpose of determining 
the right of jurisdiction over the territory of country then in controversy between the States of 
Pennsylvania and Connecticut, had determined the same in favor of Pennsylvania. January 
6th a meeting of the inhabitants of Wyoming was held at Wilkes-Barre to advise on measures 
necessary to be taken. Capt. John P. Schottt was appointed Agent for the settlers, with direc- 
tions to repair immediately to Philadelphia to consult with the Agents from Connecticut [Messrs. 
Dyer, Johnson and Root], supposed to be at that place, and to petition the Assembly, then sitting 
at Philadelphia, in such manner as should be thought most proper and beneficial for the inhabi- 
tants at Wyoming." 

On the same day that the town-meeting of Wyoming Yankees was held 
at Wilkes-Barre the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania convened at 
Philadelphia. The Decree of Trenton, and the accompanj-ing documents for- 
warded by the late Court of Commissioners, having been duly filed, the Council 
resolved "that a proclamation be issued giving notice of the said Decree, and 
also for preserving peace and quieting the minds of the people settled on the 
lands lately disputed between this State and Connecticut, and requiring the 
settlers to pay their obedience to the laws of this Commonwealth. "§ Where- 
upon, the same day, a proclamation, signed by John Dickinson, President, and 
attested by Timothy Matlack, Secretary, was duly prepared, and, a few days 
later, having been printed, was carefully disseminated. 

This proclamation] I , setting forth, first, the "judgment" of the Trenton 

Court of Commissioners, continued as follows: 

"We have thought fit to make known and proclaim, and do hereby make known and pro- 
claim, the same; and we do hereby charge, enjoin and require all persons whatsoever, and more 
especially such person and persons who, under the authority or countenance of the late Colony, 
now State of Connecticut, either before or since the Declaration of Independence, have entered 
upon and settled lands within the bounds of this State, to take notice of the said judgment, and 
pay due obedience to the laws of this Commonwealth. 

"And Whereas, There is reason to fear that the animosities and resentments which may 
have arisen between the people who, under the authority or countenance of the said late Colony, 
now State, of Connecticut, as aforesaid, have made settlements within the bounds of this State, 
and the citizens of Pennsylvania who claim the lands whereon such settlements have been made, 
may induce some of the latter to endeavor to gain possession of the said lands by force and violence, 
contrary to law, whereby the peace of the State may be endangered and individuals greatly in- 
jured, we do hereby strictly charge and enjoin all persons whatsoever to forbear molesting, or 
in any wise disturbing, any person or persons who, under the authority or countenance of the 
late Colony, now State, of Connecticut, as aforesaid, have settled lands within the bounds of 
this State, until the Legislature or courts of justice shall have made laws or passed judgment in 
such case, as to right and justice may appear to belong, as such person offending therein shall 
answer the contrary at their peril. 

"And we do hereby charge, enjoin and require all judges, justices, sheriffs, and other peace 
officers, to use their authority to prevent offenses and to punish, according to law, all offenses 
committed, or to be committed, against any of the people so, as aforesaid settled under the au- 
thority or countenance of the said late Colony, now State, of Connecticut, as aforesaid, on lands 
within this State, and who pay due obedience to the laws thereof, as in case of like offenses 
against any of the citizens of this State." 

Captain Schott, who, as previously related, had been appointed one of the 
"Agents" for the Wyoming settlers, repaired to Philadelphia as soon thereafter 

*The Hon. Henry M Hoyt in "Brief of a Title in the Seventeen Ton-nships in the County of Luzerne", page ,ij. 

tThe original MS. of these "Sketches" was. in 1874, in the possession of O. N. Worden. 

Jin fact, the settlers appointed at this time Col. Nathan Denison. Hugh Forseman. Obadiah Gore. Samuel 
Shippard and Capt. John Paul Schott to act as their agents; and it was voted that one or more of the^e agents 
should repair to Philadelphia without delay to "consult", "petition". &c. Captain Schott. was subsequently selected 
by his co-agents as the one to perform this service. (For a sicetch of the life of Captain Schott. and his portrait, 
see page 1163, Vol. II.) 

§See "Pennsylvania Colonial Record," XIII: 474. 

iJSee "Pennsylvania .Archives", 4th Series, III: 873. 



1310 

as possible. Whether or not he found there the "Agents from Connecticut," 
we are unable to state; but he found some one of ability, and with fair command 
of the English language (which he had not), who prepared a petition, or memorial, 
to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, which was signed by Captain 
Schott, at Philadelphia, January 18, 1783, and was presented to the House, 
the same day. 

This document*, deserving of the reader's special attention, was worded 
as follows: 

"To the Honorable the Representatives of the freemen of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 
in General Aassembly met: 

"The memorial and address of Nathan Denison, Hugh Forseman, Obadiah Gore, Samuel 
Shippard and John Paul Schott, inhabitants, settlers and proprietors of a territory of country 
situated on the waters of the Susquehanna River, under the claim of the State of Connecticut, 
on behalf of themselves and others of the inhabitants, settlers, etc., of the said country — 

"Most respectfully sheweth: That in the year 1754 a number of the inhabitants of Connec- 
ticut, finding all the lands eastward of the line of the State of New York settled and appropriated, 
proceeded to purchase of the Six Nations a large territory of country, extending from the Dela- 
ware westward about one hundred and sixty miles, and in breadth the whole forty-[secondI de- 
gree of North latitude; and gave a valuable consideration, supposing that, without dispute, the 
aforesaid territory was included in the Charter granted them by King Charles II, April 3, 1662; 
and formed themselves into a company of proprietors, by the consent of the Legislature, and 
regulated by the laws of said State, and proceeded to locate the valuable lands situated on the 
Eastern Branch of the Susquehanna River, the full breadth of the forty-second degree, extend- 
ing six miles east and twenty-miles west of said river. 

"Having no apprehension that any royal grant covered the same, either previous or sub- 
sequent to the aforesaid Charter of Connecticut, they proceeded to plant themselves through 
said territory and cultivate the same (among which number of settlers are your petitioners, and 
those whom they represent), in full confidence of the justice of our title under Connecticut. With 
the most honest intentions we uniformly maintained our supposed right, by opposing persons 
claiming under the Pennsylvania Proprietary, who frequently interrupted us in what we esteemed 
our lawful business. 

"Constantly wishing for an absolute decision between the two States, concerning juris- 
diction, we used every efTort to expedite such decision, resolutely determined to maintain the title 
which we had acquired, until a more equitable one could be established. In the year 1763, and a 
number of successive years, appeals were made to the Crown by one and the other State, for a 
final decision, which were yet depending when the commencement of the present war put a period 
to all appeals to the Crown. In the course of which appeals the opinion of counsel, most eminent 
and learned in the law, was taken, who advised (as we apprehended) fully in favor of the claim 
of Connecticut. This greatly encouraged your memorialists that they were right in supporting 
their claim. 

"In 1774 the Legislature of the State of Connecticut asserted their claim, and erected 
civil jurisdiction and complete civil and military establishments according to the laws and usages 
of said State ; which led your memorialists into a greater confidence of their security under said 
State, and induced them to build houses and mills for their convenience, and to cultivate a country 
which we esteemed our own. Since that time attempts have been made to dispossess us in a 
hostile manner, which the law of self-preservation obliged us to oppose — in the course of which 
there were faults on both sides, which we hope may be canceled, and buried in oblivion. 

"The right of jurisdiction was always esteemed important to the claiming State, and more 
especially to the settlers and tenants who have ventured their all there, and who were combatting 
difficulties and dangers in every shape. 

"After recourse to Great Britain was cut off, it was provided that, in all disputes concern 
ing boundaries, jurisdiction, etc., the United States, in Congress, should be the last resort an 
appeal. That judges be appointed to hear and determine the matter in question; and that the 
sentence of the Court be decisive between the parties. And also in all controversies — the private 
right of soil being claimed under different grants of two or more States, etc., — said grants, etc., 
shall, on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States, be finally determined, 
as near as may be, pursuant to this provision. 

"The Honorable Congress established a Court; both States were cited, and appeared; the 
cause was heard for more than forty days; the grounds were stated on which each State asserted 

*See Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 311. Commenting on this memorial Miner says: "The style is marked- 
ly peculiar. We pronounce with great confidence, from internal evidence, that it could not have been written in Wyo- 
ming. It exhibits in no particular the peculiar characteristics of the style either of [John] Franklin or [John] Jenkins, 
the ready writers of the settlers. From all which we infer that the petition was prepared below the mountains, prob- 
ably by the Connecticut Agents at Trenton," 

Concerning this document the late Steuben Jenkins. Esq,, in an address delivered before The Wyoming Historical 
and Geological Society, February 11. 1881. and published in the "Proceedings" of the Society for 1881 (Vol, I. page 
^2). said: "John Paul Schott, who signed the memorial of submission for the settlers, had permitted the friends of the 
Pennsylvania Government to draw the memorial; and they had injected into it such a display of weakness and pusil- 
lanimity that the Pennsylvania land-sharks thought they had the settlers fully in their toils, and could play with thecn 
at their pleasure, as cats frequently play with their victims before putting them to death and devouring them," 



1311 

their right of jurisdiction. On which the Court finally adjudged in favor of the State of Penn- 
sylvania, by which the jurisdiction of the disputed territory, on which your memorialists live, is 
adjudged yours. By this adjudication we are under your jurisdiction and protection. We are 
subjects and free citizens of the State of Pennsylvania, and have to look up to your Honours as 
our fathers, guardians and protectors, entitled to every tender regard and respect as to justice, 
equity, liberty and protection, on which we depend, and which we are warranted to do by the 
impartial treatment that all, even strangers, have received when once they became inhabitants 
and citizens of this great and flourishing State. 

"Thus have we stated the grounds on which our title was established; which, though 
determined to be ill-grounded by the Honorable Court, appeared to be founded in the highest 
reason, and we verily thought it our duty to do as we did. If we have committed faults, we pray 
for mercy and forgiveness. If we have deserved anything, we hope for something from the grati- 
tude of our country. 

"We have settled a country, in its original state but of little value; but now, cultivated by 
your memorialists, is to them of the greatest importance, being their all. \Vc are yet alive, but 
the richest blood of our neighbors and friends — children, husbands and fathers — has been spilt 
in the general cause of their country, and we have suffered every danger this side death! We supplied 
the Continental army with many valuable officers and soldiers, and left ourselves weak, and un- 
guarded against the attacks of the savages and others of a more savage nature. Our houses are 
desolate — many mothers childless — widows and orphans multiplied — our habitations destroyed — 
and many families reduced to beggary — which exhibits a scene most pitiful and deserving of mercy. 

"If the greatest misfortunes can demand pity and mercy, we greatly deserve them. That 
the country, twenty-six miles in breadth and the length aforesaid, when compared with the ex- 
tended territory of the State of Pennsylvania, is trifling indeed. That the present population is 
of far more consequence to this State than the [Wyoming] country could have been in an uncul- 
tivated state. We are yet entitled to another trial for our particular possessions, according to 
the IXth Article of the Confederation ; but, reduced in every respect, we are unable to maintain 
a trial against an opulent State. We therefore present a request, which the laws of justice and 
policy suggest, and which the dictates of humanity demand. 

"That your Honours, of your abundant goodness and clemency, would be pleased to grant 
and confirm to your memorialists, and those whom they represent, the inconsiderable part of the 
claim contested, extended as above, to be appurted [held?] as they were before the decision. Thus 
will you increase the inhabitants of this flourishing State, will add to its wealth and strength, 
will give joy to the widow and fatherless. Sure these must be irresistible motives to a just, generous 
and merciful Assembly. Our only resource is in your decision. If that is unfavorable, we are 
reduced to desperation. Unable to purchase the soil, we must leave our cultivations and possess- 
ions, and be thrown into the wide world, our children crying for bread which we shall be unable 
to give them. 

"It is impossible that the magnanimity of a powerful ^nd opulent State will ever conde- 
scend to distress an innocent and brave people that have unsuccessfully struggled against the 
ills of fortune. We care not under what State we live, if we can be protected and happy. We will 
serve you — we will promote your interests — will fight your battles; but in mercy, goodness, wis- 
dom, justice and every great and generous principle, do leave us our possessions, the dearest 
Iiledge of our brothers, children and fathers, which their hands have cultivated and their blood 
spilt in the cause of their country — has enriched. 

"We further pray, that a general Act of oblivion and indemnity may be passed, and that 
Courts of Judicature be established according to the usages and customs of this State, that we 
may be not only a happy but a well-organized and regulated people; and that all judicial pro- 
ceedings of the prerogative courts and the common law courts, held by and under the authority 
of the State of Connecticut, be ratified and fully confirmed. And they, as in duty bound, will 
ever pray, &c." 

About the time the foregoing memorial was presented to the Pennsylvania 
House of Representatives, a petition was presented to it signed by Simon Spald- 
ing, Stephen Fuller, Nathaniel Davenport, Daniel Whitney, Solomon Perkins, 
Isaac Baldwin, the heirs of Christopher Cartwright, Joseph Elliott, Joseph 
Hageman, Asahel Burnham, Conrad Lyons, Preser\-ed Cooley, William Stark, 
Lawrence Myers, Samuel Shippard*, and others, inhabitants of Wyoming, 
praying for a grant of lands in lieu of those they had lost (?) by the Decree of 
Trenton. This petition was duly referred to a committee of the House. 

On January 23, 1783, President Dickinson of the Supreme Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania formally addressed the House of Representatives on 

"Col John Franklin, in a "Plain Truth" article printed in The Luzerne Federalist (Wilkes-Barre). September 21, 
1 S -M , referred to this petition in the^e words: "A. petition was started by Samuel Shippard. a New Jersey man. a Lieu- 
tenant in the Jersey Line, in Captain Mitchell's company, which company had been stationed at Wyoming some time 
in the beerinning of the year 1 78 1 (as near as I can recollect > . and continued there until after the Trenton Decree. Lieu- 
tenant Shippard resigned hi^ commission when the company was called out to join the army. Shipoard remained at 
Wyoming some time after. He never owned a foot of land at Wyoming under the Connecticut title." 



1312 



"various matters of State policy." The second matter to which he referred in 
his address was the Decree of Trenton, and concerning it he said:* 

"The second is highly interesting in every point of view. The peaceable and conclusive 
settlement of a dispute between two such powerful sovereign States, concerning a large and valu- 
able territory, and the jurisdiction over it, casts a light upon the American character (the martial 
spirit of which has been fully and recently displayed) that must attract the attention and esteem 
of the world. 

"This uncommon occurrence will furnish to the good and wise a pleasing page in the 
mournful history of human discords; and we fervently wish, for the repose of mankind, it may 
be deemed worthy of imitation. It reflects great honor, also, on the Confederation, by yielding a 
memorable proof of its political energy — having been accomplished in the mode thereby pre- 
cribed — and strengthens the bands of the Union, by evincing that it is the best protection 
against internal mischiefs, as well as against external dangers. Thus the fears of the apprehen- 
sive who expected, and the hopes of the disaffected who wished for, confusions, are dissipated, 
and an agreeable presage is formed of the like salutary effects attending similar contests in the 
future, which cannot fail of giving the firmest stability to the whole system of our affairs. * * 

"This determination will be of the utmost importance to the prosperity of Pennsylvania, 
if all the benefits are derived from it that probably may be obtained by a prudent management. 
We have issued a proclamation for preserving peace and for quieting the minds of the people 
on the lands lately disputed, a copy of which, together with other papers relating to the affair, 
shall be immediately sent to you. We rely on the Legislature that such further measures 
will be adopted as shall be most advisable for improving to the best advantage the decision 
that has been made." 

A large number of the inhabitants of Wyoming, who had come hither 
among the earliest settlers under the auspices of The Susquehanna Company, 
were discouraged and disheartened by the Decree of Trenton. In consequence, 
after a considerable discussion of the situation of affairs, the following agreement! 
was drawn up and signed at Wilkes-Barre. 

"We the subscribers hereby covenant and agree to and with each other, and jointly 
petition the Assembly of the State of New York for a tract of land situate on the waters of the 
Susquehanna and within the limits of said State, sufficient for us the subscribers, our familys, 
and those who were Distressed and Drove from here by the savages in 1778; and also do hereby 
appoint Obadiah Gore our agent, with full power and authority to apply to the Governor and 
Senate of said State, or to the General Assembly, or to any Board within and for said State, 
proper to make applycation to for lands as aforesaid; and in our names and behalf to petition, 
&.C., according to his best Descretion. 

"In Testimony whereof we have hereunto set our hands at Westmoreland, this 12th day 
of February, 1783. 

Fish, heirs, (Jehn or John) 
Fry, heirs, Nathaniel 
Fuller, John 
xFuller, Reuben 
Fitzgerald, Robert 
Frisbie, James 
xFrisbie, Jonathan 
Forseman, Alexander 
Forseman, Hugh 
Gore, Obadiah 
Gore, Silas, heirs 
Gore, Asa, heirs 
Gore, Daniel 
Gore, Samuel 
Gore, John 
Gore, Avery 
xGore, Welthy 
xGore, Annah 
xGore, Sarah 
xGore, Asa 
xGore, Daniel, Junr. 
xGore, George 
xGore, Hannah 2d 
Gardner, Benjn. 
Gardner, Peregrine 
Goss, Nathl. 
Goss, Solomon 
Gibson, Alexander 

Fourth Series, III: 876. 



"Armstrong, Sarah 

Andrews, Samuel 

Aylsworth, Philip 

Aiden, Prince 

Alden, Prince, Jr. 

Alden, Andrew S. 

Alden, Mason F. 

Alden, Lydia 

Ayres, Samuel 

Ayres, Wm. 

Atherton, James 

Atherton, James, Junr. 

Atherton, Asel 

Atherton, Wm. 

Atherton, Cornelius 

Avery, Wm. 

Avery, Jonathan 

Avery, Solomon 

Avery, Richardson 

Avery, Richardson, Junr 

Avery, Christopher 

Allington, Thos. 

Annis, Charles 
xAlden, John 
xAlden, Daniel 
xAyres, Dan'l 

Bullock, Nathan 

Bullock, Ehas 

*See "Pennsylvania .\rchi\ 



Nobells, Jedediah 

Neill, Thos. 

O'Neal, John 

Pell, Josiah 

Phillips, John 

Phillips, Francis 

Pike, Abraham 

Prichard heirs, Jonathan 
xPrichet, Abel 

Pierce, Pelatiah 

Pierce, Phinehas 

Pierce, Chester 

Pierce, Timothy, heirs 

Pettebone, Phebe 

Pettebone, Noah 

Phelps, Joel 

Park. Darius 

Park, Ebenezer 
xPark, Benjn. 

Perkins, Solomon 
xPreston, Joseph 

Ryon. John 

Ransom, Sam'l, Junr. 

Ransom, Sam'l, heirs 

Roath. Robert 

Randall, Joseph 

Reed, Thos. 

Reed, Widow 



tThe original agreement 



.vritten by Obadiah G< 



nged alphabetically by Mr. Go 



into the possession of Mr. Samuel N. Rhoad^ of Philadelphli 



1313 



Burnham Asel 

Barnum, Richd. 

Bcnne-t, Solomon 

Bennet, Andrew 

Bcnnet, Sarah 

Bennet, Thomas 

Bennet, Asa 

Bennet, Ishmael 

Bennet, Ishmael, Junr 

Benjamin, Isaac 

Brockway, Sarah 

Bark, Thomas, (? Buck) 

Beach. Zerah 

Blanchard, Mary 

Blanchard, John 

Blanchard, Peggy 

Blanchard, Andrew 

Bidlack, James 

Bidlack, Benjn. 

Bidlack, James, heirs 

Bidlack, Shubael 

Bingham, Augustus 

Billings, Matthew 

Brockway, Richd. 

Baldwin, Isaac 

Baldwin, Waterman 

Baldwin, Thomas 

Baldwin, Isaac, Junr. 

Budel, Frederick 

Bigelow, Oliver 

Bickford, Jeremiah, heirs 

Buck, William 

Buck, Elijah 
xBuck, Asahel 

Brown, Moses 

Brown, Thomas 
xBrown, Ezekiel 

Bailey, Benjn. 

Butler, Lord 

Butler, Zebulon 

Bates. Caleb 

Brokaw, Abraham 

Coe, Samuel 

Corey, Joseph 

Corey, Gabriel 

Corey, Jonathan 

Corey, Jenks, heirs 

Cary, Elnathan 

Cary, Barnabas 

Cary, John 
xCary, John 

Cary, Nathan 

Cary, Elihu 

Cary, John 
xCary, Baranabas, Junr. 
xCary, Comfort 
xCary, Benjn. 

Cooper, Price 

Cook, Reuben 

Cooke, Nathaniel 

Cady, Manasseh 

Cooley, Preserved 

Cole, Benjn. 

Cole, James 

Cole, John 

Comstock, John 

Clark, Benjn. 

Clark, Joseph 

Clark, Elias 

Carpenter, Benjn. 

Cuysar, Benjn. (or Cussar) 

Carr, John 

Crow, Roger 



Gibson, Thomas 

Gallup, Thomas 

Gordon, Samuel 

Gregory, Jehiel 

Grimes, James 
xGrimes, Shawne 
xGreen, Willard 

Hollenback, Math. 

HoUenback, John 

Harris, Elijah 
xHarris, Charles 
xHopkins, Joseph 

Hopkins, Timothy 

Hawks, Thos. 

Houk, Wm. 

Heberd, Ebenezer 

Hamilton, Gurden 

HartsofT, Zechariah 

Hurlbutt, John 

Hurlbutt, Christopher 

Hurlbutt, Napthah 

Hover, Samuel 

Hallet, Samuel 

Hewlet, Samuel 

Holister, Samuel 

Halstead, Richard 

Halstead, Richard. Junr. 

Harding, Henry 

Harding, Thos. 

Harvey, Benjn. 

Harvey, Elisha 

Harvey, Lucy 

Hammond, John 

Hammond, Joseph 

Hammond, Issac 

Hammond, Lebbens 

Hammond, Oliver 

Hammond, Josiah 

IngersoU, Daniel 
xlngersoU. Francis 

Inman, Richard 

Inman, Elijah 
xinman, Edward 
xinman, Elijah, heirs 

Johnson, Rev. Jacob 
xjohnson, Jehoida 

Johnson, Wm. 

Johnson, Turner 

Johnson, Sabin 

Johnson, Saml. Wm. 
xjohnson, Jacob, Junr. 
xjohnson, Nehemiah 
xjohnson, Wm. 

Jameson, Alexander 

Jameson. Abigail 

Jacobs, John 

Jfewel, Joshua 

Jackson, Frederick 

Joslan, Thos. 
xjoslan, Thos., Junr. 

Jenkins, John 

Jenkins, Benjn. 

Judd, Wm. 

Kelsey, Abner 

Kingsley, Nathan 

Kingsley, Wareham 
xKingsley, Roswell 
xKingsley, Chester 

Kinne, Joseph 

Kerney, Samuel 

Kenedy, John 
xLane, Daniel 

Lane, Nathan 



Roads, Isaac 

Roases, Dan'l 

Reynolds, Eli 

Reynolds. P^li. Junr, 

Richard, Henry 

Richard, Casper 

Rogers, Jonah 

Rogers, Josiah 
xRogers, Jonah, Junr 
xRogers, Joseph, Junr. 
xRogers, Joze 
xRogers, Elihu 
xRogers, Joel 

Ross, Wm. 

Root, Jesse 

Stark, Henry 
xStark, Wra. Junr. 
xStark, Nathan 

Stark, James 
xSlocum, Ebenezer 
xSlocum, Benjn. 

Slocum, Wm. 

Slocum, Jonathan, heirs 

Smith, Benjn. 

Smith, Abel 

Smith, Frederick 

Smith, Oliver 

Smith, Oliver, Junr. 

Smith, Lockwood 

Sutton, James 

Stevens, ITriah 

Stevens, Uriah, Junr. 

Stevens, John 

Stevens, Phinehas 

Stoddard, Thomas 

Sweet, Lois Harvey 

Sheldon, Stephen 

Satterlee, John 

Satterlee, Elisha 

Sullivan, Dan'l 

Sawyer, Thos. heirs 

Sheppard, Stephen 

Shippard, Sam'l. 

Stewart, George 

Spencer, Edward 

Spencer, Walter 

Spencer, Caleb 

Sprague, Joseph 

Sanford, David 

Sanford, Ephraim 

Stanbury, Josiah 

Spalding, Simon 

Spalding, John 

Stafford, John 

Smith, James 

Smith, John 

Smith, Wm. 

Terry, Parshal 

Tilbury, Abraham 

Tyler, Ephraim 

Tyler, Joseph 

Thomas, Joseph 

Tubbs, Samuel 

Tubbs, Lebbens 

Tubbs. John 

Tuttle, Benjn. 

Terril, Matthew 

Treadway, Sam'l 

Travis, Absalom 

Tripp, Job 
xTripp, John 
xTripp, Wm. 

Trucks, Wm. 



1314 



Chapman, Abigail 

Church, Gideon 

Church, Jonathan 
xChurch, Joseph 
xChurch, Almon 

Drake, Ehsha 

Denison, Nathan 
xDenison, Lazarus 
xDrake, Eliphalet 

Decker, Henry 

Decker, Andrew 

Draper, Amos 

Draper, Simeon 

Draper, Simeon, heirs 

Dorrance, John 

Dorrance, Widow Betty 

Durkee, Robert, heirs 

Dyer, Eliphalet 

Eveland, Frederick 
xEveland, Frederick, Junr. 

Evans, Nathaniel 
xEvans, Luke 

Elliott, Joseph 

Elliott, Henry 

Franklin, Roasel 

Franklin, Sam'l. 

Franklin, John 

Fairchild, Ebenezer 

Forsyth, Jonathan 

Fish, Jabez 

Fitch, Elnathan 



xLane, Nathan, Junr. 
xLane, David 

Landon, Nathaniel 

Leonard, Joseph 

Lewis, Benjn. 

Lester, Betty 

Louterman, John 

Lewis, Mary 

Leffingwell, Elisha 

Leffingwell, Andrew 

McClure, Thomas 
xMcClure, Thomas, Junr. 

McClure, Wm. 
xMcClure, John 

Minor, John 

Myers, Lawrence 

McDaniel, James 

McDowel, Robert 

McDowel, Dan'l. 

Marcy, Zeljulon 

Marcy, Ebenezer 

Murphy, John, heirs 

Northrop, Nathan 

Nelson, William 

Nash, Phinehas 

Nash, Asel 

Nisbitt, James 

Nisbitt, Abraham 

Nobells, James 

Nobells, John 

Nobells. Timothy B. 



Upson, Asa, heirs 
xUpson, Dan'l. 
trtley, Oliver 
Underwood, Isaac 
Underwood, Timothy 
Van Campen, Isaac 
Van Norman, Isaac 
Van Norman, Ephraim 
Van Gordcn, Jeremiah 
Woodward, Park 
Woodworth, Jonathan 
Williams, Nath'l. 
Williams, Asher 
Williams, Wm. 
Walker, Ed., heirs 
Walter, Ashbel 
Waller, Nathan 
Westbrook, Abraham 
Westbrook, Richard 
Westbrook, James 
Westbrook, Leonard 
Watrous, Walter 
Winship, Jabez 
West, Eleazer 
West, Clement 
West, Richard 
Warner, William 
Whitney, James 
Young, John 
Young, Robt. 
Yarrington, Abel" 

[Total, 396.] 

With thi,s document in his possession Mr. Gore* proceeded to Kingston, 
Ulster County, New York, where the New York State lyCgislature was then sit- 
ing. (Kingston is some thirty miles up the Hudson from Newburgh, where, 
from April, 1782, until August, 1783, General Washington had his headquarters.) 
There Mr. Gore drew up the following petitionf: 

"To the Honble. the Legislature of the State of New York. In Senate and Assembly met: 

"The petition of Obadiah Gore, in behalf of himself and a number of Inhabitants of 
Wyoming on the Susqh. river, humbly Sheweth that your honoitrs memorialist and those he 
represents have been at Great Expense and Trouble in settling an Extent of Territory on sd. 
Susquh. under the claim of Connecticut with the most honest Intentions, &c., but being a Frontier 
and upward of Two hundred of our ablest men Engaged in the Service of the United States, 
either for During the war or three years, whereby our settlements were left weak against the 
Unexpected attacks of the Savages and Others of more Savage Natures. Whereby we have 
suffered almost a Total loss of our property by the calamity of War, and the Hon'ble board of 
commissioners appointed to Settle the Controvercy between Connecticut and Pennsylvania 
have given their Opinions in favour of the latter, which renders us still more miserable, having 
to leave the premises in about one year. 

"And Whereas there is an Extent of Territory lying on the waters of the said Susqh. river 
and within the limits of the .State of New York the most Easy of access to us, which is not yet 
appropriated or located; 

"These are therefore to pray your honours of your abundant goodness to take the matters 
aforesaid into consideration, and grant that the lands on the Susqh. river beginning near the mouth 
of Owego Creek, or where the Pennsylvania line crosses the said Susqh. river, and extending up 
said river (and including the waters of the same) to OnoquagaJ, be appropriated and surveyed, 
and a grant thereof of five hundred acres to each of your honours memorialists for an Encourage- 
ment to make an Immediate settlement so soon as the situation of the times will permit (with 
restrictions of the like nature to enforce complyance on the part of your honours memorialists) 
as an Immediate settlement of those lands will open a Door for a large Increase of Inhabitants 
into this flourishing State. It will add to its wealth and strength, and Inhance the value of the 
other Unappropriated lands, fkc. 

"Or, we pray that land may be granted us in such Quantitys and on such Terras as your 
honours in your wisdom shall think fit. 

"And your memorialist as in Duty bound shall ever pray. 

(Signed} 
"Dated at Kingstown, March lOth, 17S3." 

Clerk of the County Court of Westmon 
ppointed Clerk pro lent., "and sworn to s 



*.\t this time Obadiah Gore 

for Kingston John Jenkins. Sr. , v. 

Gore, who is now absent." 

tThe original became the property of .Sa 
tOghwaga. See pages 257 and 667. 



'Obadh. Gore, in behalf of the 
inhabitants of Wyoming." 

iland. and shortly after his departure 
erve only until the Return of Ooadiah 



el N, Rhoadi of Philadelphia 



ch. 1907 



1315 

This petition and the agreement signed by the Wyoming inhabitants 
(as previously mentioned) were presented to the Senate of New York on March 
12, 1783, and, having been read, were referred to a committee composed of 
Senators Scott, Schuyler and Duane. Friday morning, March 21, 1783, the Sen- 
ate met pursuant to adjournment, when Senator Scott, from "the Committee 
on the petition of Obadiah Gore and others, delivered a report, which was read 
etc., and then the Senate resolved": 

"Whereas, It appears that the tract of country on which the inhabitants of Wyoming 
are settled has furnished a quota of fighting men, who have served in the United States Army; 
that they suffered a great loss of property during the war; that their settlement was made under 
the government of Connecticut Colony ; that it now appears the land is not within the jurisdiction 
of Connecticut; that the inhabitants are directed to remove from the land within one year. 

"And Whereas the said settlers have asked for the grant of a suitable tract of land to which 
they may remove, and have pointed out the desirability of the waste and unappropriated lands 
north of the division line between New York and Pennsylvania. 

"Resolved, That Obadiah Gore and his associates shall be permitted to locate on any of 
the waste and unappropriated lands within this State on the like terms and conditions as the 
immediate citizens of this State may be entitled to, whenever the Legislature shall determine to grant 
the lands; and that in the meantime O. Gore and his associates, or any of them, may explore the 
said lands in order to determine their future choice. 

"Ordered, That Mr. Duane carry a copy of the preceding resolution to the House of 
Assembly, and request their concurrence." 

The same day the Assembly resolved to "concur with the Honorable the 
Senate" in its action on the Gore petition. 

At Philadelphia, February 20, 1783, the Pennsylvania House of Repre- 
sentatives, acting upon the petition which had been presented a month previously 
by Capt. John Paul Schott, in behalf of the inhabitants of Wyoming, passed 
the following preamble and resolutions*: 

* * * "That the persons now settled at or near Wyoming, yielding due obedience to 
the laws, are undoubtedly entitled, in common with other citizens of the State, to the protection 
and the benefits of civil government. That the new and extraordinary circumstances in which 
they stand, renders it expedient for this House to take proper measures therein, without loss of 
time. And they having declared the appeal which they have made to this House their only 
resource, it becomes the dignity of this House to be very circumspect in its conduct towards 
them, and to act upon the best information. 

"Therefore, Resolved, That Commissioners be appointed to make full inquiries into the 
cases respectively, and report to the House. 

"Resolved, That in order to make the inquiry effectual, the Commissioners have authority 
to send for persons, papers and records. 

"Resolved, That they be instructed to confer with all or any of the claimants under Penn- 
sylvania of any land now in the possession of, or claimed under, the State of Connecticut, by 
persons now being actual settlers, as well as with the said settlers, or any of them; and to endeavor, 
as much as possible, by reasonable and friendly compromises between the parties claiming (and 
where this cannot be done, to consider of and report such plans of accommodation as may be 
most advisable), for accomplishing an equitable and final adjustment of all difficulties. 

"Resolved, That as soon as may be, after the Commissioners shall report, an Act be passed 
providing fuUy for the cases of the inhabitants of the said country — more especially for the ex- 
tending to them of the advantages of civil government; for authorizing and directing the choice 
of Justices of the Peace; for appointing places for holding their annual elections; for giving time 
for entering their slaves, if any, according to the spirit of the Act of Assembly for the gradual 
abolition of slavery; for consigning to oblivion all tumults and breaches of the peace — by whatso- 
ever name they may be called — which have arisen out of the controversy between the Colony, 
or State, of Connecticut and the settlers, on the one part, and the Province, or State, of Penn- 
sylvania and the inhabitants thereof, or any of them, on the other part; and for such other 
purposes as circumstances shall appear to require. 

"Resolved, That an Act be immediately passed for staying proceedings at law, during 
said inquiry, against the settlers, for dispossessing them by writ of ejectment or otherwise, until 
this House shall decide upon the report so to be made by the said Commissioners. 

"And as the guard of Continental troops, which has been stationed at Wyoming, is about 
to be withdrawn, it is necessary, for the protection of the said settlement against the savages, to 
replace the guard immediately with the two companies of Rangers commanded by Captains 
Robinson and Shrawder." 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives" Old Series, IX: 754. 



1316 

Two days later, (to wit; February 25, 1783) the House elected by ballot 
William Montgomery.* Moses McCleanf and Joseph Montgomery^ to serve as 
Commissioners under the foregoing resolutions. 

*WiLLiAM Montgomi;ry was born in Londonderry Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. August 3, 1736, 
the third child of Alexander and Mary (.V«7h) Montgomery, Alexander Monti;omery (born about 1700 and died in 
1 746) was a descendent of Alexander Montgomery (bom in 1666) who was an officer under William of Orange, and who, 
for bravery displayed at the battle of the Boyne. was promoted a Major in the British army. 

William Monttjomery was between ten and eleven years of age when both his parent? died. He grew to manhood 
on the family plantation in Londonderry, and soon came to be recognized as a man of character and ability. When 
the difficulties with the mother country became serious. Mr. Montgomery was at a large county meeting held at Chester 
December 20, 1774. appointed a member of a committee "to aid in organizing an acceptable Government" to super- 
sede the old provincial establishment- 
January 23>. 1775. he was one of the ten delegates from Chester County in the convention which assembled at 
Philadelphia, which substantially took charge of the affairs of the Province, and which in the Spring of 1776 appointed 
members of Congress from Pennsylvania who had nerve enough to vote for the Declaration of Independence. In 
June. I 776. Mr. Montgomery was commissioned Colonel of the 4th Battalion of Chester County Associators, composed 
of about 450 men, rank and file. During his absence in the field his place in the Convention was filled by his brother- 
in-law, Thomas Strawbridge. After the battle of Long Island — in which Colonel Montgomery's battalion participat- 
ed^the battalion was attached to the "Flying Camp". 

Early in 1773 Colonel Montgomery had been induced to visit Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, to look 
over some land concerning which he had heard favorable reports. He purchased 180 acres of this land from J. Simp- 
son, November 26. 1774. It lay along Mahoning Creek, on the north side, or right bank, of the North Branch of the 
Susquehanna River, some twelve and a-half miles north-east of the village of Northumberland. (For a better under- 
standing of the location of these lands, see page 1090. Vol. II. and the "Map of Luzerne County" in Chapter XXIII, 
post.) Having disposed of his property in Chester County. Colonel Montgomery removed with his family in 1777 to 
his Northumberland lands; but about the time of the battle of Wyoming he was obliged, owing to fear of Indian in- 
cursions, to seek refuge with his family at Fort Augusta, Sunbury. 

As soon as he deemed it safe to return to his home at Mahoning Creek, he did so, and immediately began to clear 
more land and make various improvements. Other people settled near him, and, as early at least as 1778, the settle- 
ment was known as "Montgomery's Landing" and as "Montgomery's." 

Colonel Montgomery soon became known in Northumberland County as an enterprising and energetic man, 
and ere long became one of the leading citizens of the County. In 1779 and 1780 he represented the county in the 
Pennsylvania Assembly. In September, 1783, the Assembly appointed William Maclay, Gen. James Wilkinson (Ad- 
jutant General of the State) and William Montgomery, Commissioners, to examine the navigation of the Susque- 
hanna, and also ascertain where the northern boundary of Pennsylvania would fall, and "particularly whether any 
part of Lake Erie is within the State" — as noted on page 759. Vol. 11. In October, 1783, Colonel Montgomery was 
elected a member of Pennsylvania Council of Censors, and in November, 1784, he was elected by the Assembly a 
delegate to the Continents Congress, in which body he served until February 7, 1785 when he resigned. He wa^ at 
once appointed President Judge of the Courts of Northumberland County. 

In 1787 Colonel Montgomery was appointed by the Assembly one of the commissioners to carry into effect the 
Confirming Law — ^referred to at length in Chapter XXV, Post. In 1791 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in and 
for Northumberland County, and in the Autumn of the same year was elected a State Senator from the county, under 
the new constitution of the State. In 1792 he was elected a Representative to the 3d Congress of the United States, 
and served in that capacity for two years. April 17, 1793, he was commissioned Major General of the Division of 
Pennsylvania Militia composed of the militia of the counties of Northumberland, Northampton and Luzerne. His 
commission expired in 1800, whereupon he was recomraissioned for a further term of seven years. 

The Duke de la Rochefoucault-Liancourt, in the journal of his travels through the United States in 1795, '96 and 
'97. states under the date of Monday. May 18, 1795: "We halted at Mr. Montgomery's, twelve miles from Northum- 
berland. Mr. Montgomery is a surveyor. He does not keep an inn, but supplies both men and horses with food and 
provender for money. ' ' 

In 1801 General Montgomery was appointed and commissioned by Governor McKean an Associate Judge of the 
Courts of Northumberland County, and this office he held until 1813. In 1808 he was a Presidential Elector on the 
Republican ticket in Pennsylvania, When, in 1806, the first Post Office was established at Danville, Pennsylvania 
(see below). General Montgomery was made Postmaster, and, with the assistance of his son Daniel, conducted the 
office until 1813. He was the first man at Danville to use anthracite coal. This was as early as the year 1813. 

General Montgomery died at Danville May 1, 1816, in his eightieth year. He had been married three time?, 
and had eleven children. His sixth child and third son was Daniel Montgomo'y, born in Londonderry Township, 
Chester Co., Pennsylvania, in 1765. In 1790 General Montgomery started a store at his "Landing", which was 
managed for a number of years by his son Daniel. 

In 1792 Daniel Montgomery laid out on his father's lands at "Montgomery's" a town-plot, which was named, 
after him, "Danville" (now the county-seat of Montour County, Pennsylvania). 

In 1800 Daniel Montgomery was sent to the Pennsylvania Legislature as one of the Representatives from North- 
umberland County. He was commissioned Lieut. Colonel in the Pennsylvania Militia in 1805, and July 27, 1809, 
was commissioned Major General of the 9th Division, Pennsylvania Militia (comprising the militia of the counties of 
Northumberland and Luzerne), to succeed his father. His commission was renewed July 4, 1814, and, in the re-arrange- 
m nt of the State militia, his Division became the 8th — comprising the militia of the counties of Northumberland, 
Union, Luzerne, Columbia, Susquehanna and Wayne. In 1807 Daniel Montgomery was elected a Representative to 
Congress from the District which comprised the counties of Northumberland and Luzerne. 

Daniel Montgomery was married November 27, 1791, to Christiana Strawbridge (bom in 1770) of Chester County, 
Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of nine children. General Montgomery died at Danville, December 
30, 1831. 

tMosEs McClean was bom in Upper Dublin Township, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, January 10, 1737, 
the son of Wilham and Elizabeth McClean. He was elected Major of the 2d Battalion, York County (Pennsylvania) 
Associators, July 28, 1775. Under authority of a resolution of Congress passed January 4, 1776, the 6th Pennsylvania 
Battalion was raised in the counties of Cumberland and York. William Irvine of Carlisle was commissioned Colonel 
January 9, 1776. and the same day Moses McClean was commissioned Captain of the 6th Company. Thomas Hart- 
ley (see pages 1 107 and 1 108, Vol. II) was the original Lieut. Colonel of this battalion. 

In May. 1776, the 6th Battalion was at Albany, N. Y., for min g a part of the forces commanded by General Sullivan; 
and, as stated in the note on page 1 108, it took part in the attack on Three Rivers, June 8, 1776. Eleven days later the 
"6th" was encamped with other Pennsylvania battalions on the east side of Isle Aux Noix. at the upper end of Lake 
Champlain. On June 21, Captain McClean, seven other officers and four privates of the "6th", went over from the 
island to the western shore of the Lake, about a mUe from camp, to fish. Captain McClean prudently proposed that 
they should take arms with them, but was over-ruled by the others of the party. Some Indians observed their 
movements, and. while they were at a house drinking some beer, the savages surrounded them, killed two of the 
officers and two of the privates, and carried off as prisoners Captain McClean and the other members of the party. 

Captain McClean was held by the enemy until March 20, 1777, when he was paroled, and a week later was ex- 
changed. Meanwhile, the 6th Battalion had been re-enlisted for three years, or the war. as the 7th Pennsylvania 
Regiment of the Continental Line. 

Captain McClean was elected and commissioned Lieut. Colonel of the 2d Battalion of York County (Pennsylvania) 
Militia, June 17, 1779. During the years 1780, '81, '82 and '83 he represented his county in the Pennsylvania Assembly. 
He was married to Sarah Charlesworth, and their daughter, Margaret McClean, became the wife of Abram Scott, 
the son of Hugh Scott, who was bom in Ireland in 1726 and came to America in 1730 with his parents, who settled in 
Donegal, Lancaster County, Pa. Colonel McClean died at Chillicothe. Ohio, August 25, 1810. 

JJosEPH Montgomery was bom in Paxtang Township, in what was then Lancaster, but later became Dauphin, 
County, Pennsylvania. October 3, 1733. He was graduated at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1765, and then 



1317 

Miner, referring to the matters covered by these resolutions, says ("Histor\' 
of Wyoming", page 318): "Notwithstanding the recall of the Continental 
guard, and the doubtful measure of sending the companies of Robinson and 
Shrawder to Wilkes Barre, the proceedings were received at Wyoming by many 
with no little satisfaction; by the sanguine, with joy; by a few, with misgivings 
and distrust, for the two military companies — as the war with Great Britain 
was regarded at an end, and the danger of Indian incursions no longer existed — 
awakened the jealousy of the more sagacious old men, who remembered the in- 
vasion of Plunket, and who saw, or thought they saw, in this array, not pro- 
tectors, but agents of a hostile interest experience had shown them they had 
great reason to dread. But the highly respectable names of the Montgomerys 
were pledges of honor and fairness, that on the whole inspired confidence, and 
hope of an honorable adjustment." 

Col. Timothy Pickering, commenting on the sending of the companies of 
Robinson and Shrawder to Wilkes-Barre, wrote*: "Early in the year 1783 
Council ordered two companies of Rangers to repair to Wyoming Whether 
realty to protect that country against the Indians, or to curb the Connecticut 
settlers, may perhaps admit of a question. If for the latter purpose, it will not 
be difficult to guess at whose instance those troops were sent thither. Certain 
it is that the Connecticut settlers did not send for them for one purpose or the other. 
But these Rangers were enlisted only during the Indian war." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of March 4, 1 783, the Supreme Executive 
Council wrote to Capt. Philip Shrawder and Capt. Thomas Robinson, in part as 
follows :t 

"As the Continental troops have lately been withdrawn from Wyoming, * * you will 
each of you, directly march with your respective companies to that Fort, and take every proper 
measure for maintaining the Post there, and for protecting the settlements. * * * 

"As we confide very much in your prudence, we trust that your conduct will enforce our 
wishes on a point of great importance. It is our earnest desire that the inhabitants settled at or 
near Wyoming should be in all respects treated with kindness. This we know to be the desire 
also of the Legislature — it being the unanimous sense of both Branches of the Government that 
all differences should be equitably and finally adjusted. We therefore expect that you will separ- 
ately and together employ your best exertions to prevent any injury being done to the inhabitants 
before mentioned, and even any quarrels being entered into with them by the officers and soldiers 
under your command, and that you may convince them by your care and attention to them that 
they are regarded as fellow citizens whose welfare and happiness you sincerely and affectionately 
desire to promote.'" * * * 

At this time Captain Shrawder and his company were on duty in North- 
ampton County, Pennsylvania, while Captain Robinson and his company were 
stationed at Northumberland, Pennsylvania (as mentioned in [||] note on pages 
1243 and 1244). As soon as possible both companies were marched to Wilkes- 
Barre, where they took possession of Fort Wyoming and re-named it "Fort 
Dickinson", in honor of the President of the Supreme Executive Council of 

became Master of the grammar school connected with that college. Meanwhile he studied theology, and was licensed 
to preach by the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1760. The same year he received the honorary degree of Master of 
.\rts from his Alma Mater, Yale College, and the college of Philadelphia (afterwards the University of Pennsylvania.) 
Mr. Montgomery held various pastorates in Pennsylvania until 1769, in which year he was installed pastor of the 
congregations of Christiana Bridge and New Castle. Delaware, where he remained until 1777. Subsequently he served 
as Chaplain of Colonel Sraallwood's regiment of Maryland troops in the Continental Line. In 1 780 he was chosen 
by the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania as one of the State's Representatives in the Continental Congress , 
and in this office he served two terms. He was elected to the State Assembly in 1782, and was a member of that body 
when elected to serve as a Commissioner to conduct the investigations at Wyoming. .A.s stated in the note on page 
759, Vol. II, he succeeded WiUiam Montgomery in 1784 as a member of the New York-Pennsylvania boundary-line 



In March, 1785, when the county of Dauphin, Pennsylvania, was erected, Joseph Montgomery was appointed 
and commissioned Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills in and for the new county; and these offices he held until 
his death, which occmred at Harrisburg October 14, 1794. 

*See Hoyt's "Brief" (previously mentioned), note on page 56. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, IX: 761. 



1318 



Pennsylvania.* Meanwhile, on March 11, 1783, the Pennsylvania Assemblv 
resolved that the Commissioners appointed on the 25th of February should attend 
at Wyoming on April 15, 1783; and that Surveyor General John Lukens, or a 
Deputy under him, "be directed to attend the Commissioners with the necessary 

*JoHN Dickinson, known as the "Penman of the Revolution," was bom in Talbot County, Maryland. November 
13, 1732. Gen. Philemon Dickinson, mentioned on page 90.?, Vol. II, was his younger brother, having been born in 
Talbot County, April 5, 1739, and dying near Trenton, New Jersey, February 4, 1809. Their parents were Samuel D. and 

Mary {Cadivalader) Dickinson — 
Samuel D. Dickinson having lo- 
cated in 1740 in Delaware, where 
he became Chief Justice of Kent 
County, and died July 6, 1760. 
aged seventv-one years. 

John Dickinson studied law in 
Philadelphia from 1750 to 1753, 
and then went to London, where 
he entered the Middle Temple 
and spent three years. On his 
return to America in 1757, he 
began the practice of his profes- 
sion in Philadelphia. In 1 760 he 
became a member of the General 
Assembly of Delaware , and in 
1762, at the age of thirty years, 
was elected to the Pennsylvania 
Assembly, where he served with 
great distinction until 1765. 

The imposition of the Stamp 
Act on the American Colonies in 
1765, as related on pages 584 and 
585. Vol. I, produced great ac- 
tivity on the part of the press. 
The chief writer was John Dickin- 
son, who acquired great distinc- 
tion at this period in his published 
articles against the policy of the 
British Government. In Septem- 
ber, 1765 Cas noted on pages 587 
and 589, Vol. I), he was ap- 
pointed a delegate to the Stamp 
Act Congress, and, as a member 
of that body, formulated what 
was a genuine Bill of Rights. 

The Stamp Act having been 
repealed in March, 1766 (see page 
592. Vol. I), a new measure, 
respecting impost duties in the 
American Colonies, was passed by 
Parliament in the Spring of 1767. 
as mentioned in the note on page 
596, Vol. I; about which time 
John Dickinson issued an "Ad- 
dress to the British Colonists", 
containing the following para- 
graphs: 

"What have these Colonists to 
ask while they continue free? Or 
what have they to dread but in- 
sidious attempts to subvert their 
freedom? Their prosperity does 
not depend on ministerial favours 
doled out to particular Provinces. 
; political body, of which each Colony is a member. * * * We have all the rights requisite for our 
The legal authority of Great Britain may indeed lay hard restrictions upon us; but, like the spear of Tele- 
phus, it will cm-e as well as wound. Her unkindness will instruct and compel us, after some time, to discover in our 
industry and frugality surprising remedies — if our rights continue unviolated; for, as long as the products of oiir labour 
and the rewards of our care can properly be called our own, so long it will be worth our while to be industrious and 
frugal. * * * 

"Let us take care of our rights, and we therein take care of our prosperity. 'Slavery is ever preceded by Sleep!' 
Individuals may be dependent on Ministers, if they please. * * * But, if we have already forgotten the reason 
that urged us, with unexampled unanimity, to exert ourselves two years ago — if our zeal for the public good is worn out 
before the homespun clothes which it caused us to have made — if oiu* resolutions are so faint as, by our present conduct, 
to condemn our own late successful example — if we are not affected by any reverence for the memory of our ancestors, 
who transmitted to us that freedom in which they had been blessed — if we are not animated by any regard for posterity, 
to whom, by the most sacred obligations, we are bound to deliver down the invaluable inheritance — then, indeed, any 
Minister, or any tool of a Minister, or any creature of a tool of Minister, or any lower instrument of administration (if 
lower there be), is a personage whom it may be dangerous to offend." 

The Act respecting impost duties met at once with opposition in the Colonies, and late in October, 1767, was de- 
nounced by a public meeting in Boston, which suggested a non-importation agreement as the best means of rendering 
its operations ineffective. "While the leaders of the opposition throughout the country were doubtful and hesitating", 
says Charles J. Stille, LL. D.. in his 'Life and Times of John Dickinson", there appeared in the Pennsylvania Chronicle 
(Philadelphia) for the 2d of December. 1767, the first of a series of letters on the political situation, afterwards known 
as the 'Farmer's Letters'. The letters, fourteen in number, followed one another in quick succession, and they were 
read by men of all classes and opinions throughout the continent as no other work of a pohtical kind had been hitherto 
read in America. It was, of course, soon known that John Dickinson was their author." 

In the first of these "Letters" Mr. Dickinson wrote: "Benevolence towards mankind excites wishes for their 
welfare, and such wishes endear the means of fulfilhng them. These can be found in liberty only, and therefore her 
sacred cause ought to be espoused by every man on every occasion, to the utmost of his power." These "Letters" 
were collected together and published in book form (80 pages, size 3Kx6 inches) at Boston in 1768, under the title 
"Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania to the Inhabitants of the British Colonies." A second edition of the pamphlet 
was published by Hall & Sellers at Philadelphia in 1768, and a third edition was printed by William and Thomas 
Bradford at Philadelphia in 1769. From that time to the present, various editions of the "Letters" have been publish- 
ed both in this country and England — one of the latest editions being the one published by The Outlook Company, 
New York, in 1903. 




^^^^t^^^^*^^'^ 



They form < 
prosperity. 



1319 

The "Farmer's Letters" had a wide circulation, both in the Colonies and in England, and they plainly fore- 
shadowed trouble if the British did not make an attempt to understand what the Americans desired and what they 
would not suffer. One of the earliest copies of the "Letters" sent to the mother country was the one sent to tohn 
Wilkes, as related on page .S48. Vol. I, 

The "Letters" produced such an effect on both sides of the Atlantic that their appearance has been regarded as 
"the most brilliant event in the literary history of the Revolution." Ramsay, in his "History of the American Rev- 
olution", declares that Dickinson, in his "Letters", "may be said to have sown the seeds of the Revolution," The 
following is an extract from a letter from a gentleman in London, published in the iVfw York Journal of April LS, 1769 
"Mr. Dickinson's 'Farmer's Letters' have carried his name and reputation all over the British Dominions, I was a 
few days ago in a large company of patriots and advocates of liberty, where I heard a thousand fine encomiums passed 
upon them. It is a general remark here that all the State papers which come from America are wrote in a style not to 
be equalled in any part of the British dominions." 

At a largely-attended meeting of the merchants of Philadelphia, held in that city on April 25. I 768, Mr. Dickinson 
delivered a long and carefully-prepared address, the opening (1) and closing (2) paragraphs of which were as follows- 
(1) "You are called together to give your advice and opinions as to what answer shall be returned to our Brethren of 
Boston and New York, who desire to know whether we will unite with them in stopping the importation of goods 
from Great Britain until certain Acts of Parliament are repealed, which are thought to be injurious to our rights as 
freemen and British subjects. ****(?) I hope, my Brethern, there is not a man among us who will not cheer- 
fully join in the measure proposed, and, with our Brethren of Boston and New York, freely forego a present advantage, 
nay. even submit to a present inconvenience* for the sake of Liberty, on which our happiness, lives and properties' 
depend. Let us never forget that our strength depends on our union, and our liberty on our strength. United wc 
conquer — divided we die!" 

In 1768 William Goddard of Philadelphia published a tract of eight pages written by Mr, Dickinson and entitled 
"To the Public," It dealt with the Stamp Act and the renewal of the Non-Importation Agreement. In this same 
year a "Liberty Song" written by Mr. Dickinson was widely disseminated and sung. It was set to the air of "Hearts 
of Oak", and is said to have been the first American patrotic song, produced in this country. It first appeared in God- 
dard's Fennsylzvma Chronicle, and was soon copied into newspapers throughout the Colonies. It had a great vogue 
In it were the lines; 

"Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! 
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall." 

This phrase was freely quoted during the American Revolution. It was the pith of all Mr. Dickinson's public 
writings; it was the motto of the times; it was the slogan which eventually was to lead the patriots to victory. 

In 1774 Mr, Dickinson wrote, and William and Thomas Bradford of Philadelphia published, "An Essay on the 
Constitutional Powers of Great Britain over the Colonies in America." 

As narrated on pages 354 and 602, the First Continental Congress convened in Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia 
September 5, 1774. In general the Delegates — fifty-five in number — were men of uncommon ability, who had taken 
a prominent part in the political action of their several localities. Among the Delegates from Pennsylvania were 
Joseph Galloway (mentioned in the note on page 781, Vol, II), some time later attainted of high treason in pursuance 
of the treason laws of the State of Pennsylvania, and John Dickinson, The latter was the author of a series of State 
papers put forth by the Congress, which won for him a glorious tribute from Lord Chatham. Among them was the 
"Petition to the Kmg", referred to on pages 557 and 603, It has been said that "it will remain an imperishable monu- 
ment to the glory of its author and of the Congress of which he was a member, so long as feri'id and manly eloquence 
and chaste and elegant composition shall be appreciated." 

On the adjournment of the Congress in October, 1774, a public entertainment was given to the Delegates by more 
than 503 citizens of Philadelphia; and it was manifest that the union of the Colonies was greatly strengthened by the 
ties not only of public interest, but of private friendship. Independence, let it be borne in mind, was still not yet the 
object aimed at. Redress of grievances and the repeal of obnoxious statutes were to be accomplished, if possible, by 
means compatible with colonial allegiance. If blood was to be shed, it was to be in defense against aggression. 

To carry into effect the measures determined on by the Congress, a committee of sixty persons was elected in Phila- 
delphia in November, 1774. John Dickinson. Joseph Reed. Charles Thomson. George Clymer and Thomas Mifflin 
were members of it. The committee proceeded with great energy to the discharge of its dutie i. 

The following paragraph is from a letter written in Philadelphia relative to the First Continental Congress and 
printed in the London Chronicle of January 5. 1775. "The cordiality and affection which the American puffers and 
scribblers say prevailed at the General Congress are known by every honest Philadelphian to be falsehoods. The 
celebrated Mr. Dickinson, the second-named Delegate from Pennsylvania, cannot have forgotten the thorough caning 
which he received from Mr. Galloway, the first-named Delegate; nor can Mr. Galloway have forgiven the scurrilous 
falsities which provoked him to discipline the celebrated Gentleman Parmer, Lawyer and Patriot. The public may 
guess what sort of affection subsisted between the well-drubbed patriot and his corrector." 

As mentioned in the note on page 859, Vol. II, John Dickinson was a member of the Provincial Convention which 
assembled at Philadelphia in January, 1775, The Second Continental Congress convened at Philadelphia May 10 
1 775, and Mr, Dickinson attended as one of the Delegates from Pennsylvania. On the 23d of the same month he was 
appointed by the Pennsylvania Assembly, and duly commissioned. Colonel of the 1st Battalion of Associators (MiUtia) 
in the City and Liberties of Philadelphia. Early in the Second Congress a second "humble and dutiful" petition to 
the King was moved. John Dickinson had the chief part in framing it, but it met with strong opposition. John Adams 
condemned it as an imbecile measure, calculated to embarrass the proceedings of the Congress, He was for prompt 
and vigorous action, and other members concurred with him. The petition was finally adopted, however, on July 8 
1775. and the same day a committee, that had previously been appointed, presented through John Dickinson! its 
author, a "Declaration of the Causes of taking up Arms against England." This "Declaration", which was duly 
adopted, contained the following paragraphs: 

"We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to the tyrrany of irritated Ministers 
or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dread- 
ful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice and humanity forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received 
from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. 

"We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably 
awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them. Our cause is just! Our union is perfect! Our internal 
resources are great, and, if necessary, foreign assistance is undoubtedly available," 

As noted on pages 847 and 849 Colonel Dickinson was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1 775 and served 
on committees having to do with the state of affairs in Wyoming. 

As an important means of prosecuting the rebellion of the Colonies against the Roval Government, a "Committee 
of Secret Correspondence" was appointed by the Continental Congress November 29, 1775, composed of John Dickin- 
son, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Johnson and John Jay. This was actually a Committee of 
Foreign Affairs, whose negotiations resulted, two years later, in an alliance with France. 

In June, 1776, as a member of Congress, Colonel Dickinson opposed the adoption of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence, because he doubted the wisdom of the measure. When the question came to be voted on he absented himself 
intentionally from the Hall of Congress; but subsequently he proved that his patriotism was not inferior to that of 
those who differed with him by enlisting as a private in the American armv. In October, 1 777, he was commissioned a 
Brigadier General of the Delaware militia. In April. 1779. he returned "to Congress as a Representative from Dela- 
ware, and wrote the "Address to the States" of May 26, He was Governor of Delaware in 1781-82. and November 
7. 1782. succeeded William Moore as President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. 

But. says Dr. Stille. in his "Life and Times of John Dickinson", previously quoted from, "Mr. Dickinson was not 
permitted to assume office until after he had been exposed to a most violent and scurrilous attack in the newspapers 
by an anonymous writer, who signed himself •\'alerius\ The attack began by a letter in the Freeman's Journal of 
October 3, 1782, and was followed up, after Mr. Dickinson's election as President, by several other letters from the 
same source, in which the bitterness and malignity of the writer were more conspicuous, if possible, than in the first. 



1320 

papers on that day." On March 13th, the Assembly passed an Act which, after 
first referring to the Decree of Trenton, contained the following paragraphs: 

"/nd Whereas, This House, taking into consideration the situation of the present settlers 
under the late claim of the State of Connecticut, at that part of Wyoming eastward and north- 
ward of Nescopeck Falls, on the East Branch of Susquehanna, have agreed to send Commissioners 
to make inquiry into the cases of the said settlers, and to encourage, as much as possible, reason- 
able and friendly compromises between the parties claiming, and, therefore it is highly improper 
that any proceedings at law shall be had for the recovery of any lands or tenements during the said 
inquiry ; 

"Be it therefore enacted, That every writ and process whatever, granted or issued, or which 
may hereafter be granted or issued for any owner or owners, claimant or claimants, against any 
person being now an inhabitant on said lands at Wyoming, in order to dispossess any of the said 
inhabitants or settlers of the lands or tenements in his, her, or their occupancy, shall be and the 
same are hereby declared to be stayed; and on motion, all, further proceedings thereon shall be 
quashed by the Court to which such writ shall be returnable, until the report of the said commis- 
sioners shall be laid before this House, and order shall be taken thereupon. 

" '^ind be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That this Act shall be and continue in 
force until the end of the next sitting of General Assembly, and no longer." 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of March 26, 1783, Capt. Thomas Robin- 
son* wrote to President Dickinson of the Supreme Executive Council, in part 

as followsf: 

"Your orders of the 4th inst. I received on the 13th, but such was the state of the weather, 
the roads, and the freshets inthe creeks and rivers, as rendered it impracticable for me to march 
before the 19th; and on the 23d I arrived here, with much difficulty, where I met Capt. Philip 
Shrawder. I immediately took possession of the garrison, with everything belonging thereunto. 
I also met at the same place Capt. Peter Summers, late of the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment, who 

remarkable for boldness of invective and unscrupulous ascription of bad motives than for any influence or irapressio 
which they made upon the public mind at the period when they were written. These letters are the source from whic 
posterity has drawn the materials for the libels which have done so much to misjudge and injure, in the eyes of posterity 
the man who had the moral courage to refuse to vote for the Declaration of Independence because he thought i*: 
inopportune." 

Dr. Stille then refers to the diary of Mrs. Deborah Logan, and quotes an extract from it which shows that the 
family tradition is that Gen. John Armstrong, Jr.. was 'Valerius' ." "It must be borne in mind, however", sa.ys Dr. 
Stille, "that Armstrong was Secretary of the [Supreme Executive] Council before Dickinson was elected President." 
Dr. Stille is in error here, for, as shown in the sketch of Armstrong, hereinafter, he was not elected Secretary of the 
Council until March. 1783. The extract from Mrs. Logan's diary, quoted by Dr. Stille, reads as follows: "Here let 
me mention an anecdote of Armstrong, given on the best authority as true. He has always displayed a love of intrigue, 
a dereliction of principle and a baseness of deceit which should draw on him the scorn of every honest mind, from his 
first appearance in public life until this time [August 30. 1814]. He read law. when a young man, under my honored 
cousin, John Dickinson, and had received from him polite and kind attentions. When Armstrong was Secretary of 
Council he was, of course, much in John Dickinson's family, receiving daily proofs of his confidence and friendship; 
yet at this period he was actually the writer of all those ill-natured and detestable paragraphs in some of the public 
prints which wounded the mind of his patron but too sensibly." 

In 1783 Dickinson College was established at Carlisle. Pennsylvania, and incorporated by the Legislature of the 
State. It was named for John Dickinson, in commemoration of the great and important services rendered by him to 
his country, and in acknowledgment of his very liberal donations to the institution. The same year he was made an 
honorary member of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

General Dickinson served as President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, by successive elections, 
until October 18. 1785. when he was succeeded by Benjamin Franklin. After his retirement from the Council he took 
up his residence in Wilmington, Delaware, where he resided until his death. His influence had waned somewhat after 
1776, on account of his opposition to the Declaration of Independence; but a series of papers written by him in 1787- 
'88. and published over the pseudonym of "Fabius". were widely read, and contributed much towards inducing Penn- 
sylvania and Delaware to ratify the Federal Constitution. General Dickinson sat in the Constitutional Convention 
(May-September, 1787) as one of the five delegates from Delaware, and took a prominent part in the debates. 

'In 1796 General Dickinson received the honorary degree of LL. D. from the College of New Jersey (Princeton), 
and in 1801 his "Political Writings" were published in two volumes, 8vo, by Bonsai and Niles at Wilmington. He 
died at Wilmington February 14, 1808. 

The following concerning John Dickinson is taken from Sharf and We^tcott's "Hi.^tory of Philadelphia" (page 
273): " 'Truly he lives in my memory', said William T. Reed, 'as a realization of my beau-ideal of a gentleman.' 
That was apparent to all. and it may have been the reason John Adams did not like him, and wrote of him. 'A certain 
great fortune and piddling genius, whose fame has been trumpeted loudly, has given a cast of folly to our whole doings.' 
John Dickinson had the misfortune to be zin homme incompris. He was sensitive, proud, haughty; disappointed, too. 
perhaps, that he could not persuade the Revolution to move on as he would have had it do, and, perhaps thought his 
pen and voice could make it do, hke a gentleman's chaise and pair over a smooth lawn. He was too precise, courtly and 
formal, perhaps, to suit his business-like colleagues, who could not conceive so much grace and polish to be compatible 
with earnestness." , . 

tTHOMAS Robinson was commissioned February 10. 1781, Captain of a company of Pennsylvania mihtia raised 
in Northumberland County, and known as "Rangers". Moses Van Campen (mentioned in [||] note on page 1243) was 
Lieutenant of this company (having been commissioned February 10, 1 78 1 ) . and when it came to Wilkes- Barre Thomas 
Chambers was its Ensign. 

During the Winter of 1781-'82 Robinson's "Rangers" were stationed at Reading, Pennsylvania, assistmg to guard 
the British prisoners detained there. In the latter part of February. 1782. the "Rangers" were ordered to Northum- 
berland, whence, under orders of the Supreme Executive Council issued March 6. 1782. they marched up the valley 
of the West Branch of the Susquehanna to a point near the present town of Muncy. Lycoming County. Pennsylvania, 
where they began preparations to rebuild Fort Muncy — which had been originally built in 1778 by soldiers under the 
command of Col. Thomas Hartley, and had been destroyed by the Indians in 1779 or '80. The fort stood near the 
stone mansion of Samuel Walhs. mentioned in the note on page 653. Vol. II. It was while this fort was being rebuilt 
that Lieutenant Van Campen was sent in command of a detachment of "Rangers" up to Bald Eagle Creek, where he 
was captured by Indians, as hereinbefore narrated. 

About the time Captain Robinson was ordered to Fort Muncy. Samuel Hunter, Lieutenant of the county of North- 
umberland, wrote to the Supreme Executive Council that "it would require at least 100 men to keep proper out-scouts 
and repair the garrison" at Fort Muncy. In reply the County Lieutenant was directed to have the necessary repairs 
to the fort made, "having due regard to frugality." Under the date of April 17, 1782. the County Lieutenant wrote 
to the Council: "Agreeable to your letter Captain Robinson'r headquarters is at Fort Muncy, and I am certain he does 




•S >• 

o '§ 



3 S 



5 s 



^^ 






^ o 



1321 

had been sent here to collect and carry away the remainder of the Continental military and other 
stores from this Post. As I had carried no military stores to this Post, * * * j retained 
some part of the military stores — shot, grape and canister, powder and lead." 

At Wilkes-Barre, three days later (March 29, 1783), Captain Shrawder* 

wrote to President Dickinson in part as follows:! 

"In obedience to your E.xcellency's orders I took possession of this Fort the 21st vist., 
and Captain Robinson arrived the 24th. From Captain Summers, who had been sent here by 
Mr. ISamuel] Hodgdon for the military stores belonging to the United States, we received some 
necessary ammunition for the artillery at this Post, hoping to meet with your Excellency's 
approbation, as the ordnance otherwise would have been entirely useless. Powder, lead and 
flints for rifles and muskets we stand very much in need of. * * * 

"The conduct and behavior of the inhabitants resemble that of a conquered nation very 
much. They had several meetings concerning their public affairs this week, keeping the result 
thereof a secret. Yesterday morning they sent one Mr. |Benjamin] Harvey to Connecticut to a 
Recording office for copies of the names of the first settlers on the Susquehanna, and when they 
took possession of the land. By another gentlemen I was informed they had wrote to the State 
of Connecticut to bring on another trial. 

"Last Tuesday they held Court, but adjourned again the same day. As the law of Penn- 
sylvania is not established yet, and that of Connecticut abolished (the body of the people a con- 
course from different States, among whom there is a number of the bad kind, who, by taking ad- 
vantage of the times, would be willing to defraud the better sort), I would therefore entreat your 
E.xceUency and the Honorable Council for instructions how to conduct in case people come of 
their own accord, or are brought before [me]. I would further beg your Excellency's orders what 
to do when some of the Pennsylvania claimants should come up to plant a little Summer grain, 
as those new acquired peoply say they will not suffer the Pennsylvania landholders to plant any- 
thing; neither will they permit some of those Connecticut Pennsylvanians to raise any grain on 
the ground, who had done so last year under Connecticut claim. 

"Mr. [Obadiah] Gore of this place, who had been sent some time ago to the Assembly of 
the State of New York with a petition for a grant of land thirty miles square at Aghquague on 
this side of the Lake near the head of the Susquehanna, returned last night, and brought the news 
that the petition of the Wyoming settlers had been granted, and that he was to go up and choose 
the place." 

On Monday, March 24, 1783, Col. Zebulon Butler arrived at Wilkes-Barre 
from the camp of his regiment on the Hudson, for a few days visit. The same 

all he can in the ranging way for the good of the county; but as for doing much towards the repairing of the fort, it is 
not in his power at present, as the enemy has made their appearance once more on our frontiers." 

After rebuilding Fort Muncy, and conducting other operations along the West Branch. Robinson's "Rangers" 
returned to Northumberland, where they were stationed until ordered to Wilkes-Barre. Here they remained until 
discharged from and mustered out of service in November. 1783. Shortly after this. Captain Robinson settled at Rob- 
inson's Island, in Pine Creek, about one-half mile from where the creek empties into the West Branch of the Susque- 
hanna, in Lycoming County. He soon became extensively engaged in the land business. 

In the Summer of 1 792, while on a business trip up the North Branch of the Susquehanna, he was taken ill. Com- 
ing down the river in an open boat, exposed to the sun, his disease was aggravated, and shortly after reaching Wilkes- 
Barre, in August, he died and was buried here. He had a daughter Mary, who became the wife of John Cook (of Ly- 
coming County?). 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 14. 

*Phii.ip Shrawder, or PHn.lP Christian Schrader as he was christened, was bom December 16, 1745. at 
Frankenthal. in Bavaria, now one of the States of the German Empire. He was the eldest of five children— two sons 
and three daughters — who grew to maturity. At the beginning of the American Revolution he came to this country, 
and. proceeding to Philadelphia, offered his services, in a military capacity, to the Pennsylvania Council of Safety. 
By the Council he was recommended to the Continental Congress for a commission. August 9, 1776, and three days 
later, by a resolution of Congress, he was commissioned "Second Lieutenant of the 5th Company of Germans to be 
raised in Pennsylvania" This company formed part of the "German Regiment" referred to at length in the note on 
page 1 162, Vol. II. and Philip Shrawder served with the regiment in all its campaigns and battles until its reduction, 
January 1. 1781. He was promoted First Lieutenant. May 13, 1777; promoted Captain-Lieutenant, February 8, 1778, 
and retired January 1. 1781. 

While stationed with his regiment at Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in the Winter of 1779-'80 (see page 1224, Vol II), 
Captain Shrawder, who for some time had been a member of Military Lodge, No. 19, Free and Accepted Masons, 
mentioned on page 1 184, Vol II. presented his petition to Lodge No. 22. at Sunbury. He was admitted to member- 
ship in this Lodge February 19. 1780. and at the same meeting Dr. Peter Peres. Surgeon, and Bernard Hubley. a Cap- 
tain of the German Regiment (see note, page I 162. Vol. II). late members of Military Lodge. No. 19. were also admitted 
members of Lodge No. 22. (.See F. A. Godcharles' "Free Masonry in Northumberland and Snvder Counties. Penn- 
svlvania". I: 15. 16.) 

. ■ In .August. 1782. Captain Shrawder was one of several petitioners to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, .\ncient 
York Masons, for a warrant for a Lodge (No. 38) to be held at Easton. Pennsylvania. (See "Old Masonic Lodges of 
Pennsylvania", II: 141.) 

Upon his retirement from the Continental army Captain Shrawder raised a company of Pennsylvania "Rangers", 
which was mustered into the service of the State, as a part of its militia. February 10. 1781, to be stationed in North- 
ampton County. A pay-roll of this company, covering the period from February 10, 1781.toJune 1. 1782. is printed in 
"Pennsvlvania Archives". Second Series. XIV: 581. It contains the names of Philip Shrawder. Cafilain (commis- 
sioned February 10. 1781); Jacob Cramer. LieMenatil: Lawrence Erb, Ensign: .\dolf Creselius and John Beissel. 
Sergeants: D. St. Clair. Drummer: and the names of twenty-nine privates. 

Mav 1, 1781. Joseph Reed. President of the Supreme Executive Council, wrote as follows to the Hon. John \'an 
Campen. of Lower Smithfield. Northampton County, who at that time was a member of the Supreme Executive Coun- 
cil — having been elected October 14, 1780. "Captain Shrawder has orders to procure ammunition, which will be 
sent up by the wagons. Our advice i^. and we wish you to impress it upon the leading men of the County, that Captain 
Shrawder's company should be recruited as soon as possible, "The next relief is money, of which we have sent .£1.000 
by the bearer, which you will appropriate with prudence and discretion for immediate relief, employing it in hiring 
men on this emergency. We must now recommend to you vigorous exertions of yourselves, stockading the strong 
houses, and. if possible, promoting scouting parties — offering the reicard for scalps and prisoners agreeable to our proc- 
lamation of last year." (See "Pennsylvania .\rchives". Second Series. Ill: 478.) 

In September. 1 781 . Shrawder's "Rangers" were stationed at Lower Smithfield. Northampton County, and on the 
6th of the month the Captain wrote to President Reed in part as follows (See "Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series. 



1322 

day a town-meeting of the inhabitants of Westmoreland was held at Wilkes- 
Barre, and adjourned meetings were held on the 26th and 27th of the month. 
As stated in the letters of Captain Shrawder, it was voted to send Benjamin 
Harvey to Connecticut for the following purposes: (1) To get from the records 
of The Susquehanna Company, at Windham, a full and complete "list of the 
first settlers on the Susquehanna" under the auspices of the Company, and a 
statement as to when they took possession of the land; (2) to present to the 
General Assembly at Hartford, a petition urging that steps be taken to have 
"another trial for the soil, if not for jurisdiction," of the Wyoming region. 

On Friday, March 28th (the same day on which Obadiah Gore returned to 
Wilkes-Barre from his mission to the Legislature of New York), Benjamin 
Harvey set out on horseback from his home in Plymouth for Windham, a journe}' 
of 235 miles, which at that time occupied from twelve to fourteen days. The 
General Assembly of Connecticut was to hold its regular semi-annual session 
early in May; so, having completed at Windham the business of the Wyoming 
settlers, Mr. Harvey journeyed next to his former home in Lyme, Connecticut, 
to visit his brothers and look after some private affairs there. 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of Sunday, March 30, 1783, Captain 
Shrawder wrote to John Van Campen, Esq., previously mentioned, as follows* ■. 

"At and since my arrival at this place the inhabitants are exceedingly reserved, and, to 
judge by appearances, the generality of them does not like the Pennsylvanians to an excess. 
Last Monday they had a town-meeting, to sound their purses whether they can muster as much as 
would pay for a trial; but, not coming to a determination, they adjourned till Wednesday, for 
it seems that some part is for Pennsylvania and others not. 

"On Tuesday they held Court. As far as I could hear nothing was done, so they adjourned 
again, for the defendants will call their authority in question, and the Court cannot support their 
authority by force. Mr. Justice below the mountain, near the Delaware (whom you know, and 
I do not), continues to issue warrants or precepts, but Mr. Yarington, the Constable [at Wilkes- 
Barre], swears he'll not serve any more warrants, as the Justice can do nothing after a man is 
taken. 

"On Monday Colonel Butler arrived here, and the day following he and several of the 
principal inhabitants were over the river to Shawnee; but whether on private (as they would 
fain make me believe) or on public [business] I cannot tell. On Thursday they had a town- 

IX: 388): Vour Excellency's request, to turn my men either to the Pennsylvania Line or to Captain [Thomas] Robin 
son's company, I have endeavored to put into execution, but was disappointed, as the men, amounting now to twelve' 
had. previous to their engagements, assurances that they should not be taken off, but employed for the defense of this 
County, There is the greatest probability for raising the company in a very short time if clothing and the first bounty 
in hard money could be tendered to recruits." * * * 

In the Summer of 1782 Shrawder's "Rangers" were stationed at Chestnut Hill, Northampton County, and under 
the date of June 19. Captain Shrawder wrote to John Van Campen. Esq.. previously mentioned, in part as follow^: 
"The men are all very anxious for their pay, and myself should be very happy to be enabled to procure some clothing 
for myself, and to pay my debts. * * * j have always parties out scouting the woods from my post to Zawitz' , itc , 
and again from my post to Fort Allen. Those at Fort Allen take their tour down to Berks County, and al^o up to my 
quarters again. Mr. [Jacob] Cramer, who. agreeable to his information, sent his resignation [as Lieutenant] to Council 
in March la^t, is with me since the 2d of May as volunteer — scouts the woods with my parties. Mr. Lawrence Erb 
begs to be remembered by Council, to be promoted to Lieutenant," {"Zawitz' " referred to in the foregoing letter was 
undoubtedly the locality referred to as "Sebitz' " in the journal of Dr. .Schopf. See page 1339) 

In September and early in October. 1782. Captain Shrawder was stationed at Fort Allen (mentioned on page 339. 
Vol. I) , and in the following November he was again at Cliestnut Hill- There, under the date of November 4th. he wrote 
to John Van Campen, Esq., (temporarily in Philadelphia), to the effect that "in September last our late President 
(Moore) mentioned to have my company recruited during the Winter to about 100 men, with the addition of another 
officer; by which means the militia might be spared, and the State saved a good deal of expense." 

After his retirement from the military service of Pennsylvania in November. 1783. Captain Shrawder settled in 
Lower Smithfield Township, Northampton County. Pennsylvania. In December, 1783, he became a member of the 
Pennsylvania Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. He was married at Lower Smithfield. February 19. 1793. b\- 
the Rev. William Francis Poppard. to "the widow Rachael Van Campen." She died September 29, 1805. Captain 
Shrawder was commissioned a Justice of the Peace in and for Northampton County April 1, 1806. 

In 1818 Captain Shrawder paid a visit to his relatives in Bavaria, and while at Frankenthal acted in the capacitx- 
of godfather at the christening of his grand-nephew. George Philip Christian Friederich Schrader, born at Frankenthal. 
December 23, 1818, the fourth child of John Nicholas and Albertine (Sclluck) Schrader. G. P. C. F. Schrader. or. a< 
he was commonly called and known "Frederick Schrader", immigrated to America in 1833, and settled in Wilkes-Barre. 
Later he removed to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he died. October 17, 1893, 

Capt. Philip Shrawder died in Northampton County, March 17, 1820. leaving no children. According to the 
"Genealogical and Family History of the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys", 11:200, "Captain Shrawder left a 
large estate, principally in land-, in Pennsylvania. * * His name is commemorated in Shrader's Creek. He was 
an ardent American in spirit, and provided that, in order to obtain inheritance in his estate, his kindred in Germany 
should come to the United .States, establish a residence here, and assume the obligations of citizenship. As a further 
inducement to his heirs to come to this country, he offered a large sum of money to the first child born in the United 
States to such immigrants," (See sketch of the Hon, John Reichard in a subsequent chapter ) In May, 1832, the 
Trustees named in the will of Captain Shrawder. "late of Smithfield Township, Northampton County", were author- 
ized to make sale of certain real estate of the testator in the counties of Luzerne and Wayne, Pennsylvania, 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 23, 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 24. 



1323 

iTn.eting here, when they agreed, according to Capt. [Simon] Spalding's information to me, to 
send Mr. (Benjamin] Harvey to a certain place in Connecticut for a copy of records, &c. ; and 
accordingly Mr. Harvey set off yesterday morning. But by the way of another information 
I heard they had wrote to the Governor and Assembly of Connecticut about having another trial 
for the soil, if not for jurisdiction; for the people are divided — some for one, some for the other 
and some for both, 

"They have also appointed a committee last Thursday to confer with the committee 
appointed by the [Pennsylvania] Assembly. Captain Spalding is one of those for Wyoming. He 
is the truest of any I have seen yet. His interest doth not lie here at all, he claiming only a certain 
place near Standing Stone, on which he formerly lived.* Other gentlemen pretend ignorance of 
Court and town-meetings, although I am very certain of the contrary, and it is very likely they 
are absent in person but present by proxy at those meetings. 

"Notwithstanding the assurances you have had, the conduct and deportment of the people 
indicates a great dissatisfaction for the State of Pennsylvania. Before I could be up I had wrote a 
letter to Colonel Denison and Captain Schott setting forth the sentiments of both branches of 
the Government concerning the dispute; but during the whole time of my presence here I have 
not seen Mr. Denison yet. Captain Robinson, who came up on Monday last and went off again 
on Tuesday last, informed me there was no knapsacks at all at Northumberland." 

Let US, at this point, turn aside for a brief space to acquaint ourselves with 
certain important happenings which occurred about this time at some distance 
from Wilkes-Barre. 

Provisional articles of peace between Great Britain and the United States 
having been signed at Paris, November 30, 1782 (as mentioned on page 1292), 
King George III issued his royal proclamation February 14, 1783, "declaring 
the cessation of arms, as well by sea as land", agreed upon between His Majesty 
and the United States of America, and enjoining the observance thereof upon all 
his "loving subjects," under the penalty of incurring his "highest displeasure." 
wSome weeks later official information concerning the King's act was conveyed 
to the Continental Congress, then sitting at Philadelphia; whereupon that body 
on April 11, 1783, declared it to be their will and pleasure that hostilities should 
cease. Five days later President Dickinson, in behalf of the Pennsylvania 
Government, issued a proclamation announcing the cessation of hostilities. 

The return of peace was celebrated everywhere with bonfires, with rockets, 
with speeches, and with thanksgiving on April 19th, the eighth anniversary of the 
fight at Lexington. The columns of the few newspapers and periodicals which 
were published in this country at that period overflowed with articles and edi- 
torials,, both in poetry and prose, on the all-absorbing topic — Peace and a return 
of Prosperity. One of the most widely printed and read articles was Thomas 
Paines' "The Birth-day of the Republic"t, in which appeared these sentences: 

"The times that tried men's soiilsX are over, and the greatest and completest revolution 
the world ever knew gloriously and happily accomplished! * * * fg ggg jt Jq our power to 
make a world happy — to teach mankind the art of being so — to exhibit, on the theater of the 
universe, a character hitherto unknown — and to have, as it were, a new creation intrusted to our 
hands, are honors that command reflection, and can neither be too highly estimated, nor too 
gratefully received. * * In this pause, then, of recollection — while the storm is ceasing, and 
the long agitated mind vibrating to a rest — let us look back on the scenes we have passed, and 
learn from experience what is yet to be done." 

The following stanzas are from a popular song of the period — a parody on 
"God Save the King." 

"Fame, let thy trumpet sound, "The bloody George in vain 
Tell all the world around. May forge a stronger chain, 

Columbia's free! The deed is done! 

Tell Germaine, North and Bute, A greater George than he 

And every other brute Hath set Columbia free. 

Tyrannic George won't suit Immortalized shall be 

Her Liberty. George Washington!" 

^According to C F. Heverly's "History of Sheshequin", page 56. "the fir>t settlement in Sheshequin [in what i? 
now Bradford County. Pennsylvania] dates from May 30, 1783, when G^;n. Simon Spalding and his little band arrived 
from Wyoming." The party consisted of General Spalding and the persons named in the note on page 980, Vol. 11 

iSee "Library of American Literature", III; 222. 

{See page 875, Vol. II. 



1324 



By the soldiers of the Continental Line, encamped along the Hudson 
River, the news of the cessation of hostilities (announced in general orders from 
headquarters) was received with almost extravagant demonstrations of joy. 
All were anxious to return to their homes and their former occupations and call- 
ings; but there were to be months of weary delay before actual peace should be 
declared -and all the worn-out soldiers permitted to return to the walks of civil 
life. Many were discharged during the following Summer and Autumn, but the 
whole army was not disbanded till early in November, 1783. 

The following certificates, relating to soldiers from Wyoming Valley in 
service on the Hudson in April, 1783, and now printed for the first time, are 
copies of originals which, in November, 1879, were in the possession of Mr. M. M. 
Jones, Secretary of the Historical Society at Utica, New York. 

"April 17, 1783. 
"This certifies that the underwritten names belong to the First Connecticut regiment, 
and enlisted during the War. 



Private 



"Mason F. Aldcn, Serg't. 
Thomas Neal, " 

Asahel Hide, Corp'l 
Benjn. Clark, 
Elisha Mattison, " 
Daniel Denton, 
John Swift, 
Isaac Smith, 
Elisha Satterlee, 
William Loomis, 
Oliver Bennett, 
Benjamin Cole, 
Gideon Church, 
William McClure, 



Elisha Garrett. Private 
Ambrose Gay lord, 
Rufus Bennett, 
Ira Stevens, 
John Oakley, 
David Brown, 
Amos Ormsby, 
William Smith, 
Israel Harding, 
John Halstead, 
Asa Smith, 
Obadiah Walker, 
Abiel Farnam 
John Platner 
[Signed] "E. Ells, Capt. 1st Conn. Regt. 
"The above mentioned soldiers are now in service, and belong to Westmoreland upon the 
Susquehanna River, [name of place illegible] 17 Apl. 1783, 

[Signed] "John P. Wyllys, Major, 
and commanding 1st Conn. Regt." 

"This certifies that the underwritten names belong to Susquehanna, and ware Inlisted 
Dureing the war, and are now in actual service in the 2d Connecticut Regiment. 
"John Ryon, Serg't. 

Ebenezer Bostwick, " Certified per 

John Jackson, Private "Heman Swift, Colo. 

William Jackways " 2d Connt. Regt." 

Philetus Swift, 





CHAPTER XXIII 

THE PENNSYLVANIA COMMISSIONERS REACH WILKES-BARRK— MUCH TESTI- 
MONY TAKEN AS TO THE RIGHT OF SOIL— COMPROMISE SUGGESTIONS 
REFUSED— COMMISSION DEPARTS AFTER ELECTING PARTISAN 
OFFICE HOLDERS — SOLDIERS QUARTERED UPON THE IN- 
HABITANTS AND ENCOURAGED TO OPPRESS SETTLERS 
—SECOND PENNAMITE-YANKEE WAR BEGUN— 
DISASTROUS FLOOD AT WYOMING 



"There's some ill planet reigns; 
I must be patient, till the heavens look 
With an aspect more favorable." 

.4 Winter's Tale. Act 11, Scene 1. 



"But strong of limb 
And swift of foot misfortune is, and, far 
Outstripping all, comes first to every land. 
And there wreaks evil on mankind 
Which prayers do afterward redress." 

Homer's Iliad. 



"See how the noble river's swelling tide. 
Augmented by the mountains melting snows. 
Breaks from its banks, and o'er the region flows." 

Blackmore. 



Returnng now to Wilkes-Barre we find that the Pennsylvania Commis- 
sioners, Joseph and William Montgomery and Moses McCIean (see [f] note, page 
1316), with their assistants, arrived here on Tuesday, April 15, 1783, bringing to the 
inhabitants their first news of the proclamation of King George and the resolve 
of Congress with respect to the ending of the Revolutionary War. 

Concerning the coming of the Commissioners, Col. John Franklin wrote*, 
some twelve years later, as follows : 

"The settlers having had previous notice had appointed a Committee [Judge John Jenkins, 
Sr., Col. Nathan Denison, Lieut Obadiah Gore and Lieut Samuel Shippard] to transact the business 
in behalf of the whole [people] . Immediately after the arrival of the Commissioners they re- 
quested a meeting of the inhabitants, which was complied with. The Commissioners stated the 
business of their mission, the Resolves of the Assembly were read, and they informed the people 
that they should proceed according to their instructions from the Assembly; and particularly in- 
formed the people that after they had made their report to the Assembly — which would be in 

♦About the year 1794 or "95 Col. Franklin wrote a very full and extended "Brief" of The Susquehanna Company's 
case. It has never been printed, and is now in the possession of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Societ.v. 
It comprises 106 pages, in the handwriting of Colonel Franklin, and contains e.vtracts from the records of Connecticut 
and The Susquehanna Company, and a brief statement of the doings at Wyoming from 1762 to 1787. This MS. was 
prepared by Colonel Franklin for the information of the Hon. William I^wis, of Philadelphia, one of the counsel for 
the defendent in the notable case of Vanhome's lessee vs. Dorrance tried in .\pril. 1795 and more fully referred to, 
hereinafter. 



1326 

August next coming — an Act would be passed authorizing and directing the choice of Justices 
of the Peace ; and that the settlers would have the privilege of electing their own Justices, accord- 
ing to the laws and Constitution of Pennsylvania. It was proposed to the Commissioners to 
transact the business of their mission with the Committee of Settlers in writing, which was 
agreed to." 

Contemporaneously with the coming of the Commissioners, there arrived 
at Wilkes-Barre a committee representing the Pennsylvania land-claimers, or 
Pennamites, among whom the Yankee settlers recognized some of their oldest 
and bitterest antagonists. The chairman of this Pennamite committee was 
Capt. Alexander Patterson*, of Northampton County. Miner says ("History 

*Alexander Patterson, whose name is frequently mentioned in these pages, appeared for the first time as a 
participant in Wyoming affairs during the months of January, February and March, 1769, as narrated on pages 475 
and 476. Vol. I. He was a native of Ireland, where he was bom about 1738, of Scotch-Irish ancestry. He came to 
Pennsylvania prior to 1763, and settled in Northampton County. According to his "Petition to the Pennsylvania 
Legislature", referred to on pages 626. 703, 868 and 1064, Vol. II. "as early as the year 1763 he commanded a post 
on the frontier against the Indians; and in the memorable campaign of 1764 to Oswego, Niagara and Detroit, he was 
an active officer. In 1769 he was solicited by John Penn (the Proprietary of Pennsylvania) and Chief Justice Allen, 
to take an active part against the Connecticut intruders, who were pursuing an unfounded claim. In the month of 
February, in the same year, he proceeded with John Jennings. Sheriff of Northampton, and others, and brought to 
Easton gaol the first forty of the intruders, who had attempted to seat themselves at Wyoming. They were liberated 
upon their parole, promising to give no further trouble to Pennsylvania, They, however, with many others, returned 
the March following and pitched at Lackawanna, ten miles above Wyoming [Wllkes-Barrel. from whence he. with 
others, again brought them off, at a distance of seventy-five miles." 

From that time until the breaking out of the War of the Revolution Alexander Patterson was active in supporting 
the claims and furthering the interests of the Pennsylvania land-claimers to and in the Wyoming lands; and, as here- 
inbefore noted , various tracts of those lands were either leased or warranted to him by the Proprietaries or their re- 
presentatives. Among them was a large tract in the Manor of Stoke, that lay within the limits of either the township 
of Wilke'-Barre or Hanover- Also a large tract at Bear Creek, including the "mill pond." 

By resolution of Congress in September. 1776. the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot, for the Continental 
service, was authorized to be raised in the counties of Northampton and Northumberland- William Cook of North- 
umberland (see page 818, Vol. II), who was a delegate to the Convention (July 15— September 28, 1776) to formulate 
and adopt a Constitution for the State of Pennsylvania, was chosen and commissioned Colonel of this regiment; and 
on October 16, 1776, Alexander Patterson was appointed by the Pennsylvania Council of Safety one of the Captains 
of the regiment, and was duly commissioned as such, (Dr, Andrew Ledlie, of Easton, Pennsylvania, whose name 
is several times mentioned in these pages, was Surgeon of this regiment from January 1. 1777 to June 30, 1779.) 

The greater part of the 12th Regiment was recruited in the valley of the West Branch of the Susquehanna, and 
December 18. 1776, the regiment left Sunbury in boats for Middletown on the Susquehanna, and thence across country, 
through the counties of Lancaster and Chester, for the battle-fields of New Jersey. Being composed of good riflemen 
and scouts, it was detailed on picket and skirmish duty. It. with the 3d. 6th and 9th Pennsylvania Regiments, was 
in the brigade commanded by Brig. Gen. Thomas Conway. 

The "i:ti" was engaged in various skirmishes in New Jersey in April. May and June. 1777. One of them occurred 
at Bonham Town, April 15, and was described in a letter from there of that date published in the Pennsylvania Evening 
Post (Philadelphia) of April 22. 1777, as follows: "A detachment under the command of Capt. Alexander Patterson 
of the Pennsylvania 12th Regiment, commanded by Colonel Cook, attacked the picquet-guard of the enemy at two 
o'clock this morning, about 400 yards from Bonham Town. and. after a short but obstinate engagement, the whole 
of the guard — twenty-five in number — were killed and taken prisoners. Lieutenant Frazier of the 75th Regiment 
was killed on the spot The enemy, though advantageously posted, did not attempt to support their guards, but retired 
with precipitation to their works. Our officers and soldiers behaved with the greatest coolness and courage on this 
occasion. Their conduct would do honor to the best disciplined troops." 

In the battle of the Brandywine (September 11. 1777) the "12th" was engaged under Sulhvan at Birmingham 
Meeting-house, losing heavily. At the battle of Germantown (October 4, 1777) Conway's brigade led the attack 
on the left wing of the British, being in front of the troops that composed the right wing of the American army, and 
losing heavily. 

The "12th" wintered with the rest of the army at Valley Forge, and at the battle of Monmouth (June 28. 1778} 
the remnant of it was nearly destroyed. Meanwhile, early in April, 1778, the Pennsylvania Assembly had appointed 
a committee to confer upon the best means of reducing three of the Pennsylvania regiments, and finally it was ordered 
that the "12th" should be incorporated with the "3d" — which arrangement went into effect July 1. 1778. 

Some time in the Spring of 1 778 Captain Patterson was detailed on recruiting service, and at Easton, Pennsylvania, 
under the date of April 22, 1778, he wrote to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania as follows: "I beg leave 
to transmit to you an account of my bad success in the recruiting service. I have used every means in my power to 
engage men for the service, and have spent a great deal of money in traveling through the County [of Northampton] 
to little purpose. I have only enlisted eight men. five of whom I have sent to camp. The other three are deserted! I 
have no hopes of doing any good for my country in this service ; therefore would beg your Honours, if it be your pleasure, 
to order me to camp, where perhaps I may be of some [good]." ("Pennsylvania Archives." Old Series, VI: 432.) 

Upon the consolidation of the 3d and 12th regiments, July 1. 1778. Captain Patterson became supernumerary, 
and about that time was detailed to the Quartermaster General's department and assigned to duty in Northampton 
County, with headquarters at Brinker's Mills, later known as Sullivan's Stores, and still later as Saylorsburg. 
(See pages 1167 and 1169. Vol. II.) 

In his "Petition to the Pennsylvania Legislature", previously mentioned. Captain Patterson gives a brief narrative 
of his services in the army. He states that he "had often had the honor of commanding the I2th Regiment by reason 
of the indisposition of the Colonel and incapacity of other field officers. After the battle of Trenton [December 26. 
1776], he was stationed diu-ingthe remainder of the Winter and Spring on the most advanced post of the American army, 
and was in several fights and skirmishes. He had general thanks on the public parade for signal address in the battle 
of Brandywine. In Germantown he lost his Lieutenant and many brave soldiers; and at Whitemarsh his superior 
knowledge in discipline was esteemed by General Conway — who possessed a greater knowledge of tactics than any 
man in America." Captain Patterson does not state in his "Petition" the date of his discharge from the Continental 
military service; but it was probably in the latter part of 1779 or early in 1780 (when the reduction of the army was 
begun), inasmuch as, when he apphed in April, 1818. for a United States pension, "his apphcation was allowed for 
three years' actual service as a Captain in the Pennsylvania troops in the Revolutionary War." 

At Easton. Pennsylvania, in August. 1782, Capt. Alexander Patterson. Capt. Philip Shrawder (see [*] note on 
page 1321), John Dick (whose name appears several times in earlier chapters of this History). William Moore 
Smith and several other Free Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons of Pennsylvania for a 
warrant for a Lodge to be held at Easton. The Rev. Dr. William Smith (see note, page 872. Vol. II), at that time 
Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, recommended the petitioners "in the warmest manner, both as 
men and Masons." William Moore Smith was the son of the Rev. Dr. Smith, and it was provided that he was to be 
Master of the new Lodge (which was to be "No. 38"), and Captain Patterson was to be its Senior Warden. (See 
"Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania", II: 141.) 

In 1783 Captain Patterson b'ecame a member of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

Almost immediately upon the pronouncement of the Decree of Trenton Captain Patterson came to the front 
as one of the most active and aggressive leaders in the ranks of the Pennamite land-claimers; and he continued at the 



1327 

forefront of these assailants of the characters, persons and homes of the Wyoming settlers up to and beyond the close 
of the Second Pennamite-Yankee War— as the reader will learn from a perusal of the subsequent pages of this chapter. 
The prize — the rich and wide-extended acres of Wyoming — for which the Pennamites and Yankees were contend- 
ini;, was a very valuable one. Moreover, Captain Patterson was. undoubtedly, a plain-spoken man of much physical 
courage and bravery; and so, as he belonged to that straightforward and. at times, cold-hearted, race, the Scotch- 
Irish, it was to be expected that, in his unbounded zeal for the Pennamite cause, and because of his acquired rights 
in Wyoming lands under Pennsylvania title, he would say and do many things calculated to embitter, in overflowing 
measure, his Yankee adversaries. It is certain that they abominated him to a degree equal to his detestation and 
despisement of them. 

That Captain Patterson was held in high regard by some of the leading citizens of Pennsylvania and New Jersey 
who were his contemporaries, is evidenced by a letter addressed to the Hon. Thomas Mifflin, Governor of Pennsylvania, 
under the date of October 22. 1798, and reading as follows; "The subscribers understanding that there will probably 
be a vacancy in the office of Prothonotary of Northampton County, and that Alexander Patterson, Esq.. designs to 
solicit the appointment to the said of!ice in the event of the vacancy thereof, beg leave to recommend him to his Ex- 
cellency the Governor for the said appointment. 

"To a Chief Magistrate who unites in his own person the talents and the experience of a General and Statesman, 
and in a country whose liberty has been achieved by the martial prowess of its citizens, and whose Independence must 
lie preserved by a combination of the military with the civil virtues, we deem it no slight recommendation of a candidate 
for an office — even in the civil department — that he served with courage and reputation in the Revolutionary War. 

"The emoluments of public offices cannot te more honorably appropriated than to the comfort and support of the 
old soldier in the evening of his days; and. independently of his service in the army of the United States, Mr. Patterson's 
sacrifices on the part of this State, in the most hazardous periods of the Wyoming controversy, under the orders of 
the Supreme Executive Council, seem to give him a peculiar claim to remuneration from the Government of Penn- 
sylvania. When to these considerations of former usefulness are superadded his undeviating attachment to the General 
and State Constitutions, his unvarying zeal for the true interests of his country, the actual respectability and integrity 
of his character, and his fitness and ability to execute the duties of the office he solicits — with advantage to the public 
— we venture to express our opinion that he applies with the strongest claims to the confidence and patronage of the 
Executive. 

[Signed! "Francis Murray, George Campbell. J. M. Nesbitt. Charles Stewart, Isaac Smith, Aaron Dunham. 
Mark Thomson, Thomas Sinnickson. Samuel Miles, John Ewing." 

Notwithstanding the high praise bestowed upon him by the signers of the foregoing document. Captain Patterson 
failed to receive the appointment he sought. 

From the published "Journal of the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania for 1803-'04". page 187, we glean 
the following: "Tuesday, January 10. 1804 — Mr. Coolbaugh presented a petition signed by Alexander Patterson, 
containing a lengthy narrative of the rise and progress of the Wyoming controversy, and the many atrocities committed 
by the Connecticut intruders, and praying the attention of the Legislature to the numerous and important services 
rendered to the State by the petitioner, and an equitable compensation for such services; and said petition was read 
and referred (with sundry documents) to the committee appointed the 12th idlimo on the subject of the Wyoming 
Controversy." 

The petition thus mentioned was the one referred to on pages 626, 703. 868, 1064, etc.. hereinbefore. 
On January 16, 1804. Mr. Maclay (see note on page 759. Vol. II). from the Committee on the Wyoming Contro- 
versy, aforementioned, reported to the House, in behalf of the committee, with respect to Captain Patterson's petition, 
as follows: "That they have examined the same with attention, and are fully satisfied with respect to the meritorious 
conduct of the said Alexander Patterson, not only with regard to the United States, but in a particular manner as the 
•^ame respects the State of Pennsylvania; and have also considered the circumstances of his private affairs, which call 
for immediate relief and support. They therefore offer the following: 'Resolved, That a committee be appointed 

to bring in a Bill granting to Alexander Patterson an annuity of dollars for life, payable half-yearly. * * 

Said annuity to commence January 1. 1800'." This report was duly adopted, and referred to a committee; and upon 
the report of this committee, the Legislature passed and the Governor approved, February 10. 1804, an Act granting 
to Captain Patterson "a pension of $400., and an annuity of $100. to be paid serai-annully during his life, for 
services rendered." 

Col. John Franklin and John Jenkins, Jr.. were the Representatives from Luzerne County at this session of the 
Legislature, and upon the return home of Colonel Franklin he wrote, and had published in The Luzerne Federalist 
(Wilkes Barre) of April 21. 1804, the following "Communication": 

"At the late session of the Legislature of this State a petition was presented by Alexander Patterson, stating the 
services which he professes to have rendered the State in destroying the settlements of the Connecticut claimants at 
Wyoming, previous to and during the War, and praying a compensation therefor. In this petition he pretends to give a 
general hi tory of the proceedings of both parties before the Decree of Trenton. The Legislature, in their wisdom, 
have thought proper to grant him a gratuity of 3400., and a pension of SI 00. a year during life. 

"The dirty pages of blackguardism, falsehood and scurrihty would be searched in vain for a mate to the petition 
of Patterson; and if our Legislature had felt one spark of that manly pride which the Representatives of Pennsylvania 
ought to feel, they would have thrown it under the table as an insult upon the House. The petition has been published 
[an 8vo pamphlet, printed by Robert Bailey. South Queen Street. Lancaster, Pennsylvania), and, it is said, by the order 
and at the expense of the Committee of Landholders. The general character of the gentlemen who compose that 
committee forbids the idea. They would not disgrace themselves by sending into the world so indecent a production, 
even if they knew it would entirely destroy the Connecticut claims. It is hoped the committee will free themselves 
from this disgraceful imputation." 

Captain Patterson's "Petition" was printed in full in The Luzerne Federalist (Wilkes- Barre) May 26. 1804. In 
the Federalist of June 30, 1804, there was printed a communication from Colonel Franklin, over the worn de plume 
"Plain Truth", in which Captain Patterson and his "Petition" were severely assailed; and from time to time in sub- 
sequent issues of the Federalist, up till February, 1805. there were printed other "Plain Truth" articles, in which Captain 
Patterson was handled without gloves, and his doings in and near Wilkes- Barre during the years 1783 and '84 were 
fully and freely ventilated. These articles caused considerable annoyance to Captain Patterson and his friends, and 
they replied, hotly and indignantly, through the columns of other newspapers, to some of "Plain Truths" attacks. 
The following paragraphs are from one of those replies, published in The American Eagle (Easton, Pennsylvania) 
September 1. 1804. 

"In the perspicacious and rapid depravity of the times, and among other predominant evils, we are constrained 
to observe that certain envious, churlish, assuming and paltry malignants are perpetually endeavoring to stigmatize 
and load with obloquy all the ancient Revolutionary characters. These black detracting ingrates sicken at the idea 
of such vast superior merit, and vomit their bitterness against, and endeavor to lessen, illustrious achievements such 
as they never had nor will have virtue, capacity or courage to imitate or perform. Among these herds are the fair- 
weather, chimney-comer, defamatory, gin-shop Jacks, vrith certain infamous place-men, confederated with the Conn- 
ecticut intrusive vagrants at Wyoming, who, in The Luzerne Federalist — that vehicle of filth, and fag-end of all informa- 
tion — under the direction of that perfidious scapegallows, John Franklin, continue to insinuate that our old veteran. 
Alexander Patterson, was not a conspicuous character in the army of the United States in the eventful but glorious 
establishment of our Independence. * * * 

"His public character is summed up in his fidelity, enterprise and dignified opposition to that abandoned den of 
miscreants, the Connecticut intruders, which alone has endeared him to all men of respectability, and inspired the 
gratitude of his country. The honorary law passed in his favor February 10. 1804. announces that he. as a Captain 
in the army of the LTnited States, rendered essential service to this State in the Revolutionary War. This grateful 
acknowledgment will ever remain on record, an indelible testimony to his worth and a refutation of groveling calumny." 
Surely the editors and publishers of some of the newspapers printed in Pennsylvania in 1 804 believed in the doctrine 
of give and take! 

Candid and unbiased readers of the "Petition" of Captain Patterson must admit that it served him as a medium 
through which he poured out a vitriolic torrent of epithet and abuse upon the heads of the Connecticut settlers at 
Wyoming. He refers to them as "a set of abandoned desperadoes, excluded from society in every part of the L'nion. 
and whose practise has long been to bully the State and pillage its citizens." In another paragraph he describes them 



1328 

of Wyoming", page 318) that the coming of the Commissioners and the committee 
of land-claimers caused "a moment of intense, of painful, anxiety." 

The land-claimers lost no time in formally bringing themselves to the atten- 
tion of the Commissioners — which they did by means of the following letter*: 

"Wyoming, 17th April, 17So. 
"Gentlemen, 

"The Committee appointed to Represent the Claimants under the State of Pennsylvania, 
beg leave to address you and bid you welcome to Wyoming, as the Representatives of the Honor- 
able Assembly of this State. Your appointment and appearance here will we hope answer the 
good Purposes intended in the attainment whereof we assure that every proper Indeavour shall 
be on our part so far as our Interest or personal influence extends. We wish as much as Possible 
to bury in Oblivion the Treatment our Associates and fellow Citizens have received on those 
Lands, on which we first entered peaceably and quietly under the Lawful Authority of this Govern- 
ment. But cannot help Observing that some of the fairest Characters and most worthy Citizens 
have lost their lives, by men who forced us and others from our Possessions, even without the 
pretention of authority from any Government Whatever; and for years have bid defyance to the 
laws & Powers of Pennsylvania. 

"We find by the list of injured Purchasers, that we are Called to Represent the Widows and 
Orphans of Mai»y brave men who have fallen in the Common cause of their Country, as well as 
ourselves, and others, who have impowered us to Appear for them. Our Grait and only aim is 
to set forth facts that are incontestably True; To Wit; that we were in quiet and Peacable Posses- 
sion of those Lands before the intruders from Connecticut came here; that they took Possession 
by force. Plundered us of our property and Effects, and Compelled us to abandon our Settlement 
fairly Purchased from the lawful owners. 

"But we trust the day is now Come, or near at hand, when civil Government will be restored 
and the laws Executed, so as to protect us and our Associates from any further insults; That the 
State of which we deem it an Honour to be called Citizens will extend its Wholesome Laws to 
this quarter, and that in future we shall enjoy the Blessings of Civil Government, and Re-possess 
the Property Wrested from us by lawless Force. 

"The unanamous and impartial decision of the Court, which lately decided upon the Juris- 
diction and Preemption of this Country, Opens the way for a fair and full enquiry into the Justice 
of our Claims as individuals, the foundation of which will doubtless be laid before you by the Proper 
Officers. We have only to assure you that we shall patiently wate your deliberations, and pursue 
the steps that your prudence shall point out for Recovering of our Rights, as we deem it our duty 
to be directed by your Opinions, and to Recommend them as a present Law here. We must beg 
your Honours will be Patient in hearing the Complaints of our Constitutents, which we shall 
lay before you from time to time. By this mode we shall fully inform you of the situation of the 
sufferers and your Wisdom will lead to the most Effectual Measures of Certain Redress. 

"We are, in behalf of the Claimants under Pennsylvania, now assembled at Wyoming 
and by order of the Committee. [Signed] "Alexr. Patterson, "Chairman." 

"To the Honorable the Commissioners, appointed by the General Assembly of Penna. for 
certain purposes. Now at Wyoming." 

as "the most infamous set of wretches ever collected in any part of the terraqueous globe!" He refers to Connecticut 
as a "seditious State, which extended her blue-laws to the Susquehanna, and poured in there her jailbirds." 

One of the most striking paragraphs in this "Petition" is the following: "Your petitioner begs the honorable 
Legislature to believe that he is not actuated by caprice in giving epithets of infamy to the Connecticut claimants, for 
it is a fact of notoriety that by far the greatest part of them were cropt or branded — that being the insignia of punish- 
ment in the penal laws of that inventive State. Such were and are the people improperly cherished by the Government 
of Pennsylvania, to the ruin of her faithful, brave, legitimate citizens!" 

The concluding paragraph of the "Petition" reads as follows: "Your petitioner conceives that few persons have 
rendered more beneficial services to the State, He prays that the Legislature, now that he is old. will make such pro- 
vision for him as may render the residue of his days comfortable. It will be no morfe than honestly compensating him 
out of his own earnings. * * * H^ was three months waylaid by the Yankee desperadoes, who avowed their 
purpose of assassinating him. They set fire to the house, in the night, over his head; murdered Capt. Samuel Read 
in the bed with him. and cruelly wounded Capt. Andrew Henderson. He was twice severely wounded by them." 
(For further extracts from Captain Patterson's "Petition" the reader is referred to pages 626, 703, 868 and 1064, 
hereinbefore, and various pages hereinafter.) 

The following extracts are from the "Journal of the Pennsylvania Legislature." "December 16, 1807 — Mr. 
Barnet presented a petition, accompanied with documents, from Alexander Patterson of I^ower Smithfield, Northamp- 
ton County, praying, for a variety of reasons therein stated, for additional relief to that already granted him. .Said 
petition and documents were read and referred to the Committee on Claims. * * * January 19. 1808— Mr. Ogle, 
from the Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the petition of Alexander Patterson, made report, which was 
read, as follows: 'That there was a law passed in favor of the petitioner in the year of our Lord, 1804. granting him 
the sum of $400.. and also an annuity of SIOO. a year during his life; which appears to be an ample reward for the 
services he renderd his country. Therefore we offer the following: Resolved, That the petitioner have leave to with- 
draw his petition.' On motion, said report was read a second time, considered, and adopted." 

Alexander Patterson was marrigd about 1764 to Margaret Patterson (bom 1748), a niece of William Patterson, 
of Baltimore, Maryland, and they became the parents of two children, only one of whom — William A. Patterson — 
grew to maturity. Captain Patterson died at Easton. Pennsylvania. April 11. 1822. after a lingering illness, and 
January 4. 1823. the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an Act for the relief of his widow Margaret. She died in the 
borough of Easton January 4. 1837, in the eighty-ninth year of her age. 

William A. Patterson, mentioned above, was born in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, in 1767. He was 
married to Elizabeth Giltner. born at Heidelberg (now Cherryville.) Pennsylvania, in 1781, and they became the 
parents of four sons and three daughters. Three of the sons died without issue. The fourth son was Michael Patterson', 
bom at Easton. Pennsylvania, March 11, 1804: died at Westham Locks, Virginia. April 17. 1877: married November 
29, 1832, to Frances Wright, who was born at Northampton, Massachusetts, February 24, 1813, and died at Tecumseh. 
Michigan, September 28, 1860. The three daughters of William A. and Elizabeth (Giltner) Patterson were Margaret, 
who married John Sminck; Mary, who married Jacob Reese; Martha, who married John Opdyke. William A. Patterson 
died January 19, 1815. and his widow Elizabeth died at Easton February 8, 1851. 

*See, "Pennsylvania Archives", Old .Series, X; 30. 



1329 

Immediately on the receipt of this communication, on April 18th, Joseph 
Montgomery, Chairman of the Commissioners, wrote to Alexander Patterson, 
in part as follows*: 

"The Commissioners * * beg leave to return you their sincere thanks for the Polite Wel- 
come you give them, as the Representatives of this State, to Wyoming. The sentiments you ex- 
press of using your endeavours and Personal Influence to promote the ends of our Mission in this 
County, vis. , the Peace and Happiness of its Inhabitants, by burying in Oblivion the former ill treat- 
ment you, your associates, or fellow citizens might have received, are perfectly agreeable to us. 

"AUow us to assure you that, as our duty dictates, so our inclination will prompt us to hear 
with patience and pleasure what you may think proper to offer on this subject, and afterwards to 
determine with Candour and Impartiality on such Measures as may have a tendency to estab- 
lish Justice, Peace, and the regular exercise of Good Government in this part of Pennsylvania." 

At Wilkes-Barre, on April 19, 1783, Messrs. Jenkins, Denison, Gore and Ship- 
pard, the Committee of Yankee settlers, wrote to the Commissioners as followst: 

"We are happy to find that the Legislative body of the State have condescended to treat 
our late petition, lying before them, with that coolness and candour as to appoint Commissioners 
to come and make full inquiry into our cases, and make report to the House. And as we shall 
think it our duty straitly, strictly and truly to adhere to our petition, we shall think ourselves 
happy to give every true information to any inquiries that shall be thought necessary further to 
be made respecting our settlements, etc." 

The same day Chairman Montgomery replied to this letter as folIows| : 

"As it is our duty, so we will with pleasure pay attention to every piece of necessary in- 
formation with respect to your settlements at this place. Although it cannot be supposed that 
Pennsylvania will — nor can she, consistent with her Constitution — by any ex-post-facto law 
deprive her citizens of any part of their property legally obtained; yet, willing to do everything in 
her power to promote the Peace and Happiness of her citizens, [she] wishes to be informed fully 
of your case, that if your peaceable demeanour and ready submission to Government render you 
the proper objects of clemency and generosity, she may be prepared to extend them to you. 

"Therefore, we wish you to communicate to us, as speedily as possible, the names and 
numbers of those who first settled at Wyoming, who are now alive, and by whom those that are dead 
are represented; the names and numbers of those now actual settlers here, the quantity of land 
they respectively occupy, and the time they last came and settled at this place." 

On Sunday, April 20th, John Jenkins, in behalf of the Committee of Yankee 
Settlers, wrote to the Commissioners in part as follows§: 

"It is with pleasure we observe in yours of the 19th your readiness to attend to every piece 
of necessary information we shall be able to give in respect to our settlement in this place. How 
far the State can or will, by virtue of any ex-post-facto law, undertake to deprive any of the citizens 
of this State of any part of their property legally obtained by any of the claimants under their 
different claims, we shall not undertake to say or determine, as we suppose that, in general, Com- 
mon Law is to determine in such cases. Yet we are happy to hear that this State is willing to do 
everything in their power to promote the peace and happiness of her citizens. 

"We take notice that, if our peaceable demeanor and ready submission to Government 
render us proper objects of clemency and generosity, we may probably expect to be made the 
happy partakers of such generous gratuities as they, in their abundant goodness, shall be pleased 
to bestow. * * As to our peaceable demeanor and ready submission to Government, our 
petition now before the Honorable the Legislature of this State suggests to them that we are 
under their jurisdiction and protection, from which we have no disposition to recede. However, 
we would request to have a tender regard paid to the new and extraordinary circumstances in 
which we stand with regard to law matters. We have made continuance of our actions com- 
menced, with a view to have them taken up under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania, agreeable to 
our aforesaid petition, and have neglected to pay any attention to the appointment of Represent- 
atives or Government officers, under the Connecticut jurisdiction; which facts evidence our in- 
tentions better than protestations. 

"With regard to the next requisition, the calamities of war have so put it out of our power 
to give you that concise account we could wish at present, as most of our papers and records were 
thereby destroyed. But the Susquehanna Purchase was made in the year 1754 * * by up- 
wards of 1400 adventurers, who were joint tenants in common, one with another. * * In 
the year 1762, one hundred and nineteen of the aforesaid proprietors were here to possess them- 
selves of the said lands, in behalf of themselves and fellows ; of which number John Jenkins, William 
Buck, etc., are contained in a list herewith exhibited, marked 'No. J.' In October, 1763, we were 
dispossessed by the savages with the loss of many lives and much property. 

"In the beginning of the year 1769 we again resumed our possessions and improvements 
(which we had made, before with great labour and expense) with the number of about 400, being 
partly of the aforesaid U9, or their representatives, whose names, according to our best recollec- 
tion, are herewith annexed, and marked 'No. 2.' * * From that [time] our numbers were in- 
*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 31. tSee Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 3 18.' {Seeii>iU. page 319. 
§See the "Trumbull Papers", mentioned on page 29, Vol. I, for the original draft of this letter. 



1330 

creasing * * * until the fatal 3d day of July, 177S, when great numbers of our friends and 
most valuable inhabitants were slain by the savages and those of a more savage nature, and the 
whole country laid waste, our houses and buildings consumed by fire, our household goods and 
large stocks of cattle, horses, sheep and hogs, with our farming and other utensils, destroyed 
and carried off by the enemy, and we, in a most savage and inhuman manner, drove out into the 
the country in a state of desperation and distress — a scene which must astonish all human nature 
to describe, and we are not able to paint it. Our old men, women, widows and children were 
dispersed into all parts of the country, destitute of bread, clothing, or anything to subsist on. 

"But a large number of the yet remaining and living inhabitants, being fired with a fervent 
zeal for the cause of their country, were determined, instead of throwing themselves on the 
leraency of their friends and fellovz-citizens of the world, to surmount all danger, collected them- 
selves together, and, on or about the 4th day of August then next, resolved to come into this 
place, with the assistance of the company of brave Continental troops raised here and then com- 
manded by Capt. Simon Spalding; retook the country, drove off the savages, regained some 
trifling part of our effects, and the possession of our lands.being our aU. 

"Since which we have, by many hard and hazardous skirmishes, attended with the loss of 
many lives and considerable of the effects acquired by our industry, held the same to this time; 
which has afforded great comfort to the widow and the fatherless children, the destitute and the 
naked — not only to those at present improving here, but, by the people who improve here 
paying rent for the lands that belong to the widow and fatherless (that are dispersed in the wide 
world), they are greatly relieved and comforted. The most, or all, of this, has been done at our 
expense and charge, and been a safeguard to the frontiers of our good neighbours and friends 
with whom we wish to live in peace. 

"We herewith transmit a list of the names of part of the first settlers, in 1762 and '63, as 
far as we can at present recollect. Also a list of the widows and orphans." 

With respect to the "Hsts" referred to in the foregoing letter, Col. John 
FrankHn, in his "Brief" (mentioned in the note on page 1325), makes the 
following statement: "The Committee of Settlers returned a list of the first 
settlers, as far as could be recollected; a list of the then present settlers, and the 
number of the widows and fatherless. The number of widows was 144, and of 
the fatherless children, 565 — whose husbands and fathers had fell as a sacrifice 
in defense of the cause of America." 

A contemporaneous copy of the list of "first settlers" referred to by the 
Committee and Colonel Franklin, as above, was discovered among the "Trumbull 
Papers" a few years ago by the present writer, and is fully described on page 
403, Vol. I. of this work.* At the same time early copies, or duplicates, of two 
other lists were discovered among the "Trumbull Papers" (Vol. VIII, document 
290), the originals, or duplicates, of which were undoubtedly the other lists 
referred to in the communication of the Committee of Settlers and in Colonel 
Franklin's "Brief." These two last mentioned lists follow, being now printed 
for the first time. 

"A Catalogue of those that were killed in the Battle of 3d of July, 1778, and left Families, 
with the Number of Childrenf. Those marked x are now present. 

"Col. Dorrance x 8 Lieut. Asa Stevens x 8 

Major Garret 10 Lieut. Waterman 4 

Capt. Durkee x 4 Lieut. Shoemaker x 3 

Capt. Ransom x 8 Lieut. Gaylord 3 

Capt. Bedlock [Bidlack] x 4 Lieut. Steward [Stewart] x 1 

Capt. Buck 1 Lieut. Atherton 

Capt. Whittlesey 3 Ensign Asa Gore x 1 

Capt. McKerican Silas Gore 3 

Capt. Geers, 6 Wm. White x 4 

Capt. Steward [Stewart] x 10 Jeremiah Bickford 

Capt. Wigton x 4 Titus Hinman 6 

Lieut. Wells 9 Anderson Dana 8 

Lieut Pierce x 2 Darius SpafFord 1 

Lieut. Ross 5 Peter Wheeler 3 

*Smce page 403 was printed tlie writer has learned that Elkanah and Rodolphus Fuller, whose names appear 
in the list of settlers of 1762, were brothers — sons of Samuel Fuller of Preston and Mansfield, Connecticut. 

tUnquestionably the makers of this "Catalogue" either drew on their imaginations or indulged in some wild guess- 
work when they set down "the number of children" — at least in several instances. For example: It has been well 
ascertained that Major Garrett was the father of only four children; Capt. Samuel Ransom was sur\'ived by nine 
children; Capt. l.azarus Stewart was the father of only seven children; Jonathan Slocum was survived by ten 
children (including Francis, who. in 178.?, was held in captivity by the Indians); Charles Gaylord had only one child; 
Nathaniel Johnson was survived by two sons and one daughter — Oliver, Charles and Anna — so we have been in- 
formed by a descendant. 



1331 



Jona. Weeks 

Philip Weeks x 

Silas Benedict 

Jabez Beers, 

Joseph Ogden. 



3 

No. of children, 136 

John Williams 4 

Joseph Crookes I 

Abel Palmer 7 

Jos. Staples 5 

Jabez Dading 4 

Aaron Start 8 

Wm, Dunn 6 

John Brown 4 

Henry Pencil x 6 

Francis Leopard 

Noah Pettebone 2 

James Hopkins 2 

Elisha Richards 7 

Gilbert Danthorn [Denton] x 6 

Danl. Lawrence 

John Cartwright 

Wm. Parker 1 

Wm. Woodringer 6 

Tchad. Tuttlc 3 

Rufus Williams x 3 

Nicholas Manvil 6 

Parker Wilson 3 

David Bixby 2 

Jos' Shaw 6 

Jno. Van Wye 5 

Stephen Fuller 1 

Jno. Finch 6 

Dan'l Finch 7 

Constant Searls S 

Elipht. Follet 6 

Jno. Murphy x 3 

Thos. Foren 4 

Henry Bush x 3 

George Downing 6 

James Locke . . . • 2 

Wm. Crookes 1 

Benj. Hatch 1 

145 

Elias Roberts 7 

Timothy Rose 4 

Isaac Campbell 10 

7 

3 



John Franklin. 
Jenks Coser |Corey?] 
Cyprian Hibbard . . . 

Elijah Inman 

Nathl. Howard 



"TV. B. — Killed by the Salvages in Skirmishes : 

Jonathan Slocum x 7 

John Perkins 2 

John Jemerson (Jameson] x 3 

Asa Chapman x 4 

Elihu Williams 2 

Asahel Buck x 2 

Jz. Abbott 8 

Edward Lester x 4 

Timothy Keyes 5 

Samuel Jackson x 6 

Asa LTpson x 3 

"This copy is signed in behalf of the 



Eaton Jones 

Lemuel Fitch 

Benj. Leach 1 

Danl, St. John 2 

David Goss I 

Japhet Utley 4 

Amos York 6 

Jos. Blanchard x 6 

John Gardner 4 

Harding 3 

Harding 2 

James Headsall 

Miner Robins 



1 

116 
"Killed by Salvages: 
Nathan Wade 

"The following* belonged to the Conti- 
nental service, & left widows, &c. : 

David Walker x 5 

Ezekiel Hamilton 3 

Constant Matthewson 1 

Nathl. Johnson . 5 

Charles Gaylord 6 

Ebenr. Roberts 2 

Robert Spencer 5 

Baker 4 

John Vangorder x 2 

Asahel Jearoms 6 

Seth Marvin 2 

Peter Ousterhout 2 

Saml. Bellamy 4 

Michael Rood 3 

Wm. Davidson I 

Nathl. Fry x 3 

Joseph Dewey 3 

Jesse Coleman 2 

Jeremiah Coleman 1 

Saml. Roberts 

Saml. Williams 



6 

8 

74 

"The following died of sickness since the 

commencet. of the War & left Families 

whose dependence is on their interest to 

these lands. 

Benj. Cele x 2 

Elisha Swift 6 

Wm. Kellogg 7 

Winchett Matterson 9 

7 Benedict Satterlee 5 

J Jonathan Hunstock [Hunlock] x 3 

David Marvin 2 

Ezekiel Pierce l 

Joshua Bennet x S 

Gad Marshall 7 

Jacob Sly 4 

Wm. Smith x 7 

Uriah Marvin 2 

Jonathan Pritchard x 9 

Thos. Sawyer , . x 3 

Saml. Roberts 6 

Obadiah Gore x 2 

John Hurlbut x 6 

John Comstock x 8 

Coratee. 



[Signed] 



'Wm. Sherman, "t 



'John Jenkins, 
''Nathan Denison, 
•'Obadh. Gore, 
•'Sam'l Shippard, 



Commiltet\ 



*Of the twenty-one names appearing in this list of Continental soldiers onlv twelve are found in existing .\rii 
rolls. This list, therefore, is the only known authentic record showing that David Walker Ezekiel Hamilton Nathan 

Johnson, Baker, Samuel Bellamy, Michael Rood, Joseph Dewey, Samuel Roberts and Samuel VVilliar 

served their country m the Contmental Army. tA son of the Hon Roger Sherman of Connectici 



1332 



"A list of settlers* who are actually settlers now Present and claimers of the land. 



"Wm. Avery 
Solomon Averv 
Joel Abbott 
Sam'l Ayres 
Prince Alden 
Prince Alden, Jr. 
Asel Atherton 
James Atherton 
James Atherton. Jr. 
Col. Zebn. Butler 
Benj. Bailey 
Thos. Baldwin 
Lord Butler 
Moses Brown 
Asa Bennet 
Isaac Bennet 
Charles Bennet 
Wm. Buck 
Oliver Bigelow 
Thos. Brown 
Ishmael Bennet 
Elisha Bennet 
Richard Barnum 
Ishmael Bennet, Jr. 
Caleb Bates 
James Brown 
John Budd 
David Brown 
Charles Bowen 
James Bidlack 
Isaac Benjamin 
Nathan Bullock 
Asel Burnham 
Isaac Baldwin 
Henry Burney 
John Blanchard 
Elijah Buck 
Matthew Billings 
Thos. Bennet 
Solomon Bennet 
Richard Brockway 
Ebenezer Beeman 
Chester Bingham 
Andrew Blanchard 
Nathan Beach 
Nathan Cary 
John Cary 
Barnabas Cary 
Preserved Cooley 
Manasseh Cadv 
Nathl. Cook 
Reuben Cook 
James Cole 
Benj, Cole 
Jonathan Corey 
Elias Church 
Peleg Comstock 
Sam'l Cummings 
Jedidiah Cummings 
Col. Nathan Denison 

Dudley 

Elisha Drake 
Robert Davenport 
Stephen Davenport 
John Dorranco 
Amos Draper 
James Dodson 
John Dodson, Jr. 
Richard Didson 
Joseph Elliott 

*It will be noticed that n( 
man under twenty-one year.s 



Henry Elliott 
Frederick Eveland 
John Earl 
Richard Fitzgerald 
Jonathan Fitch 
Stephen Fuller 
John Fuller 
Hugh Forseman 
Jabez Fish 
Solomon French 
John Franklin 
James Frisbie 
Roasel Franklin 
Jonathan Forsythe 
Samuel Gore 
Obadiah Gore 
Cornelius Gale 
Willard Green 
John Garnsay 
Daniel Gore 
Solomon Goss 
Nathaniel Goss 
Philip Goss 
Benjamin Gardner 
Stephen Gardner 
William Gardner 
Lemuel Gustine 
Justus Gaylord 
Reuben Herrington 
Joseph Hageman 
John Hageman 
Matthias Hollenhack 
John Hollenback 
John Hyde 
Elijah Harris 
Robert Hopkins 
Samuel Hover 
Richard Halstead 
Abraham Harding 
Henry Harding 
Thomas Harding 
Benjamin Harvey 
Elisha Harvey 
Thomas Heath 
Timothy Hopkins 
John Heath 
William Heberd 
Ebenezer Heberd 
Christopher Hurlbut 
John Hurlbut, [Jr.] 
Samuel Hallet 
John Hammond 
Lebbens Hammond 
Josiah Hammond 
Isaac Hammond 
Isaac Hammond, Jr. 
Peter Harager 
Andrew Harager 
George Harager 
Daniel IngersoU 
Elijah Inman 
Rev. Jacob Johnson 
Sabin Johnson 
lustus Jones ■ 
Tho-nas Joslyn 
William Jackson 
Joshua Jewell 
Turner Johnson 
Crocker Jones 
Robert Jameson 

s name appears in this list: and. 



Benjamin Jones 
Johii Jenkins 
Benjamin Jenkins 
John Jenkins, Jr. 
Joseph Kinne 
Abner Kelsey 
Abner Kelsey, Jr. 
Nathan Kingsley 
Lawrence Kinne 
Joseph Leonard 
Nathaniel Landon 
Elisha Lefhngwell 
Lawrence Myers 
Thomas McClure 
William Miller 
Ebenezer Marcy 
Robert McDowel 
John McMillan 
Thomas Neill 
James Nesbitt 
William Nelson 
Phineas Nash 
Asel Nash 
James Nobles 
Jedidiah Nobles 
John Nobles 
John O'Neal 
John Phillips 
Thomas Park 
Abraham Pike 
Josiah Pell 
Daniel Pierce 
Abel Peirce 
Phineas Peirce 
Giles Purman 
William Ross 
Thomas Reed 
Josiah Rogers 
Jonah Rogers 
Henry Richards 
Samuel Ransom 
Geo. Palmer Ransom 
John Roberts 
Robert Roth 
William Stark 
William Slocum 
Wm. Hooker Smith 
Simon Spalding 
James Sutton 
Joseph Sprague 
Josiah Stanburrough 
Giles Slocum 
Jabez Sill 
John Paul Schott 
Samuel Shippard 
William Stewart 
George Stewart 
John Smith 
James Smith 
John Scott 
David Sanford 
Obadiah Scott 
Solomon Squire 
Caleb Spencer 
Edward Spencer 
Daniel Sherwood 
William Stage 
Uriah Stevens 
Thomas Stoddard 
Benjamin Smith 

s can be ascertained, the na 



1333 

Oliver Smith . Joseph Tyler Richard Westbrook 

Oliver Smith, Jr. Benjamin Tuttle William Williams 

Jacob Smith Lebbens Tubbs Nathaniel Williams 

Peter Smith Samuel Tubbs ' Jabcz Winship 

Frederick Shove Samuel Treadway Jonathan Woodworth or Woodward 

Jacob Smither Isaac Underwood Walter Watrous 

William Trucks James Whitney Asher Williams 

Job Tripp Elcazar W est Abel Yarington 

Ephraim Tvler Caleb Whitford Robert Young 

Joseph Thomas Richard W oodcock William Young 

Parshal Terrv William Warner John Young." 

Jonathan Terrv Nathan Waller (Total, 246.] 

Abraham Westbrook 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of April 22, 1783, Alexander Patterson, 
in behalf of the Committee of land-claimers, sent to the Commissioners the follow- 
ing letter* : 

"The Committee are honoured by your answer to their address. The Assurance you are 
pleased to give them of attention to the rights of the Citizens of this State, calls for their Grateful 
Acknowledgments, and so perfectly harmonizes with the Sentiments of the Committee That we 
are instructed to Commit ourselves wholly to your Direction in future; and in doing this are 
Confident that our rights are in the Hands of those who will have a watchful eye over them. 

"We are Sorry to Observe so much of the Old leaven Remaining in the Sentiments of the 
People of Connecticut &: E-\pressed in their last Conference with your Honours. Their Humanity 
would, it seems, permit us and our Assosiates to Gow any where over the wide world, no matter 
where. Provided they may enjoy our Lands. They Cannot Conveniently spare us one foot for 
the Support of our Families. We think this an ungrateful return to the good People of this State, 
and so far short of the Expectations of the Legislature whose Humanity and Pity Consigned to 
Oblivion all Past Offences by a Law' for the Purpose: And whose wisdom pointed out the only way 
of information to the House of Assembly of the Real dispositions of the Contending Parties. We 
beg leave only to Suggest to your honours that we have reason to think the Obedience to the 
laws of this state by many of those people will not be durable — Unless such Pledges are taken by 
your Honours as cannot admit of any evasion or denial hereafter. If that Assurance be once 
given, and the Pretended Claim under Connecticut Relinquished in writing Publickly, Planely and 
unequivically, we wish them Afterwards every Indulgence that your Honours may Judge Gener- 
ous in us, and worthy of the Approbation of the Assembly of Pennsylvania, and all the World. 

"We propose to give them leave, with Covenants of Warrant, for holding their Possessions 
one year from the first day of March next, at the end of which they shall deliver up full Possession 
of the whole. They shall occupy half the Lands, Mow half the Meadows, Dwell in the Houses 
they now Possess, and Cultivate their present Gardens; and if they have any opportunity of 
disposing of their Hutts, Barns or other Buildings, they shall do it, and remove them off at any 
time between the present day and the first of May, 1784. The other Moiety or half of the Cleared 
Lands and Meadows to be possessed by us and our Associates, and no Impediment be thrown 
in our way to enjoy. The Revd. Mr. Johnson to have the full use of all the grounds he Tilled for 
two years, ending the first of May, 1785. The Widows of all those whose Husbands were killed 
by the Savages to have a further indulgence of one year after 1st May, 1 784. for half their posses- 
sions, & a square in the Town to be set apart for their use, to which they may remove their houses; 
and at the end of the term sell them to the best advantage for their own use. 

"We think a refusal of these terms hardly possible: but if Stubbornness and Disaffection 
to the laws of this State are yet to continue, we trust your Honours W'ill be convinced that on our 
parts we have not had in view merely our own private interest, but that our offer will appear 
Just and Charitable before God and Alan." 

Having duly considered the foregoing communication, the Commissioners 
transmitted a copy of it, accompanied by the following letterf, to the Committee 
of Settlers the same day. 

"We herewith transmit to you a copy of an address of the committee representing the land- 
holders under this State handed to us this morning containing terms on which they declare 
themselves willing to compromise the dispute now unhappily subsisting between you and them 
and which it is our duty to endeavour to have adjusted and settled in an amicable manner. 

"Therefore, we wish you, with all calmness and despatch, to consider of and duly weigh 
the said proposals, and to furnish us with a clear and explicit answer to the same, which will 
enable us to transact the business committed to us by the General Assembly with more precision, 
and to take such measures as may effectually answer the ends of our mission. We have only 
further to add, that should we be so happy as to find that these terms are agreed to, and ratified 
by the contending parties, we shall think it our duty to recommend your distressed situation to 
the notice of the Legislature of this State." 

On April 23d, John Jenkins, in behalf of the Committee of Settlers, wrote 
signed and delivered to the Commissioners, the following communication! : 

*See •■ Pennsylvania .Archives". Old Series, X: 32. tSee Miner's "History of Wyomini;". page 3JJ. 

l.See "Pennsylvania .Archives", Old Series, X: .'^,^. 



1334 

"We duly Reed, yours of the 22nd inst., inclosing the address and Proposals of the 
Landholders of this State by their Committee; and altho we must Confess that their Elegant 
manner of Address is far beyond us, yet we hope our Plain Country way of Communicating our 
Ideals will be forgiven. But we cannot help taking Notice, that in their Address they Complain 
of a proposal that was made by us before your Honors being Very ungrateful, which to the best of 
our Remembrance was, that it had been intimated by some, that it was Probal^le this State would 
out of Courtesy bestow some thing in the land way on the Settlers and Claimc-rs of the Lands 
here under Connecticut. They were only Ask'd that if that was Granted out of Courtesy, whether 
they would not Exchange and Suffer us to enjoy our Peaceable Possession here by way of Com- 
promise. Their answer was that they were able to Apply for Lands as well as we. 

"We are Extreamly sorry to entertain the Idea that in a Compromise we or they should, 
instead of looking at the designed and desired Object, be .forming Mountains out of Mole Hills. 
We do not think the lawful defence of what we Esteem to be Our own can with any Justice be 
Termed a disaffection to Government. We would add, the Petition we laid in before the Legis- 
lative body of this State we was in hopes would be Considered of, as we find it is; and if that is 
Granted, or any other Satisfactory Measure Can be come into by way of Compromise, we would 
first take all Lenitive Measures; and if nothing is Effected by this Method of Treating, we must 
have recourse to the Ninth Article of confederation as that is the only way Pointed out for the 
Tryal of those Lands Claimed under different States. Altho we mean to pay due Obedience to 
the Constitutional laws of Pennsyla., yet we do not mean to become Abject Slaves, as the 
Committee of Landholders Suggest in their Address to your Honors. 

"The proposals made by the landholders under Pennsylva., by their Committee, through 
you as Mediaters between us, seem to Appear to our View to be far from even retaining their own 
Ideas, or rather Contracted from those presented before your Honors. * * * What their 
Claims are we know not, only they say they are under Pennsylvania. We Expect they are made 
Acquainted with ours. * * * We cannot, as we are Joint tenants with a much Greater 
body of Joint Propriators than is here, without their Joint Consent give up our Claims to those 
Lands in dispute. Nor yet do we think that the proposals by them made would tend to peace. 
And as they are so far from what we should Call Reasonable, that in short we Cannot Comply 
with any part of their Proposals — without doing the Greatest Injustice to our Joint Claimants, 
ourselves, the Widows and Orphans. And as we seem to be verry far devided in our Ideas, are 
sorry to say we have no Expectation of Coming to any Amicable Compromise, Yet we would 
wish for their Patience, to see if the Legislative body of this State cannot devise some Measures 
in their Wisdom for the Mutual Benefit of the Whole. If they shall not be able, we would on our 
part wish that a Happy End might be put to the dispute by a Speedy Tryal agreeable to the IXth 
Article of Confederation, which will fully satisfy us, and we will fully comply with." 

A copy of the foregoing letter was transmitted to the Pennamite Committee, 
by the Commissioners, who, at the same time (on April 23d), wrote to the Com- 
mittee of Settlers as follows*: ' 

"We are now possessed of your answer to the proposals of the Committee of Landholders 
under Pennsylvania. We are sorry that there does not appear any prospect of accommodation 
between you. Therefore, we must beg the favour of you to notify your people to meet with us 
to-morrow morning [Thursday, April 24, 17is3] at eight o'clock, when we shall take the liberty to 
lay the whole proceedings before them, and take our leave of them and you. We shall be glad 
to have a friendly interview with you this afternoon at four o'clock." 

In the morning of April 24th. the Rev. Jacob Johnson (see page 744, Vol. II), 
who had been pa rticularly mentioned by the Pennamite Committee in their 
letter of April 22d, to the Commissioners, wrote and delivered to the committee 
the following letterf: 

"I thank you for your distinguished Favor shewed to me, the widows. &c.. in a proposal 
of Indulgence — permitting us to reside in our present Possessions and Improvements for the present 
& succeeding Year. Altho I cannot consistently accept the offer — having chosen a Committee 
for that purpose, who are not disposed to accept of or comply with your proposals — however. I 
will, for myself, as an Individual, make you a proposal agreeable to that Royal President! 
[described in the Second Book of] Samuel, 9th, 16th & 19th Chapters. If that don't suit you 
and no Compromise can be made, or Tryal be had, according to the law of the States, I will say 
as Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son (who was lame in both his feet), said to King David, Samuel, 
19, 30§: 'Yea, let him take all.' So I say to you Gentlemen, if there be no resource — neither by 
our Petition to the Assembly of the State of Pennsylvania, or otherwise — let the Landholders 
take all. 

"I have only this to add for my Consolation and you Gentlemen's serious Consideration, 
viz.: That however the Cause may be determined, for or against me (in this present uncertain 
state of things), there is an Inheritance in the Heavens — sure & certain, that fadeth not away — 
reserved for me and all that love the Saviour Jesus Christ's appearing. 

"It is my Serious Opinion, if we proceed to a Compromise according to the Will of heaven, 
that the lands (as to the Right of soil) be equally divided between the two Parties claiming; and 

*See Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 327. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X; 34. JKing David. 

§11 Samuel. XIX: 30 — "And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Vea. let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the 
king is come again in peace unto his own house." 



1335 

I am fully satisfied this Opinion of mine may be proved even to a demonstration out of the Sacred 
Oracles. I would wish you Gentlemen would turn your thoughts and enquiries to those 3 Chapters 
above referred to, and see if my Opinion is not well grounded; & if so, I doubt not but we can 
compromise in Love and Peace, and save the Cost and Trouble of a Tryal at Law." 

About the same time in the morning of April 24th that the Pennamite com- 
mittee received the foregong communication from the Rev. Jacob Johnson, 
Alexander Patterson delivered to the Commissioners a letter, written and signed 
by himself as chairman of his committee, and reading as follows*: 

"By the Reply of the Committee of Connecticut to our Proposals (a Copy of which w^e were 
favoured with by you), we find those Gentlemen have thrown off the Mask at last, and in their 
own Plain Country way tell you they are Sorry to say they have no Expectation of Coming to any 
Amicable Compromise. They might have added with equal Truth that they never Intended to 
do any thing but what dire Necessity obliged them. The forming mountains out of Mole Hills 
never Originated in the minds of the Peaceable Citizens of Pennsylvania. Unhappy for our quiet 
that it entered into the Restless imagination of the .Susquehannah Adventurers. Their designed 
& desired Object is to hold by force the Lands which we have fairly purchased and possessed in 
quiet, under the lawful Authority of this State. 

"It Cannot be Possible that Ideas of holding our Property, otherways than by force, could 
enter the minds of even the least informed of them. Petitions may be w-rote and Committees 
Appointed to talk with you and us, to Lull the State, but actions speak louder than words, and 
proofs as Clear as demonstrations is in our power to Shew their insults to this State and Contempt 
of its laws. They try to pervert the meaning of words and the offer generous to an Extreeme. 
They Reply that they mean not to become Abject Slaves, as the Committee of Landholders 
Suggest in their address to your Honours. To Refute this we only have to appeal to you for the 
Recititude of our measures and endeavours to do good. That we required a full explisite and 
unequivocal disclaim of their Right to our Lands is True, for we can rely no longer on Promises 
made only to amuse us. Fatal Experience has Convinced us that we have been too Credulous. 
Whether they know our Claims or not is of little Avail. Your Honors know them well. They have 
been laid before you. We are not acquainted with theirs, and the Judgement of the Greatest 
Court in the United States assures us that their rights are not to be understood any more than the 
Application of the Ninth Article of the Confederation in the Case between them and us. 

"We leave the Explanation of Joint Tenants and Joint Proprietors to those Gentlemen 
learned in the Law Jointly and Severally to form their Ideas from, and ParccU it out amongst 
the Joint Claimants in Grants of six miles Square to the South seas. We shall, however, follow 
the advice of those Gentlemen in every Prudent Act, and patiently wait for the decision of our 
Assembly; and have to lament that the Generosity of this State, and your Zealous Endeavours 
to Accomplish the laudable ends of your Mission, have been fruitless in this Instance. Be Assured, 
Gentlemen, that our Constituents and ourselves are Impressed with the Highest sense of your 
good intentions to Promote Peace, Order and good Government in this Country, and W"e flatter 
ourselves that through your means & Just representations of our Situations, we shall obtain such 
Speedy Redress as the Wisdom of the Legislature shall think adequate to our wants, and the laws 
of the State be extended and Supported so as to protect the innocent and Punish the Transgressor 
of every Denomination ; in the Ready Execution of which we beg your honors will assure the 
Legislature that we shall behave like faithful Citizens. Please to accept our warmest Wishes for 
a Safe Journey home to each of you." 

Governor Hoyt, in his "Brief of a Title in the Seventeen Townships," 
hereinbefore referred to, states, with reference to the proceedings at Wilkes-Barr^ 
by and with the Commissioners: "The Commissioners, against the spirit of 
their instructions, alarmed the settlers and closed the door to 'conciliation' by 
the declaration that Pennsylvania would not and could not deprive her citizens 
of their property. The Landholders reached the climax, when they put forward 
their unfeeling 'compromise' that the settlers might remain one year; the ividoics 
of those who had fallen by the savages, a year longer. 

"The Connecticut settlers placed themselves in a position of contending 
for other claims than their own, when they refused the offer — ungenerous as it 
was — on the ground that 'we cannot, as we are joint- tenants with a much greater 
body of joint-proprietors than are here, without their consent give up our claims 
to those lands in dispute.' The impediments, all the way through, arose from 
blending the case of those who settled before the Decree [of Trenton] with non- 
residents and others who came afterwards under The Susquehanna Companv. 
In point of justice the cases were absolutely different." 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 35. 



1336 

The Commissioners set out from Wilkes-Barre on their homeward journey 
on Friday, April 25th, having accomplished very little of consequence. However, 
the most important (and, to the Yankee settlers, the most obnoxious) matter 
of business which was transacted by the Commissioners during their brief stay 
here is not referred to in any manner in the foregoing correspondence. Concern- 
ing this matter we glean the following information from the "Plain Truth" 
articles written by Col. John Franklin and published in The Luzerne Federalist 
at Wilkes-Barre in the Summer of 1804 — as hereinbefore mentioned. 

Colonel Franklin states, first, "that at about the time of the meeting of the 
Commissioners a number of persons from different parts of the State [of Penn- 
sylvania], and from the States of New Jersey and New York, calling themselves 
Pennsylvania land-holders, assembled at Wilkes-Barre and appointed a committee 
of which Alexander Patterson was Chairman. * * 

"On the 22d of April", continues Franklin, "the day on which the benevolent 
offers (as they are termed by Patterson) were made to the Committee of Settlers, 
the Commissioners, departing from the business of their mission, undertook to 
create and establish new townships by a subdivision of the township of Wyom- 
ing* into two additional townships, to wit: All that part of the said township 
of Wyoming, from the mouth of Shickshinny Creek, thence up the same to the 
head thereof, and from thence by a north-west line to the northern boundry of 
the State of Pennsylvania to the East Branch of the Susquehanna, and thence 
down the same to the place of beginning, to be thenceforth known and called 
bv the name of Shawanese Township. 

"One other division; beginning at the mouth of Shickshinny Creek afore- 
said, thence extending across the East Branch of the Susquehanna by a south- 
east line to the line of Northampton County, thence northerly, by the line of 
said county, to the northern boundary by the State [of Pennsylvania], thence 
west, by the said boundry, to the East Branch of the Susquehanna, and thence 
down [the said river] — and including the same — to the place of beginning; to be 
thereafter known and called by the name of Stoke Township." 

By this arrangement the Connecticut townships of Wilkes-Barre, Hanover 
and Pittston were comprehended within the bounds of Stoke Township; and it 
will be seen, by a reference to page 725, Vol. II, that, by the erection of these 
townships of Shawanese and Stoke, the Pennsylvania township of Wyoming 
was reduced in extent to only a small portion of its original territory, to wit: 
the country lying along the Susquehanna River between Shickshinny Creek 
and the main branch of Fishing Creek. 

Quoting further from Colonel Franklin we have the following: "The Com- 
missioners, on the same 22d day of April, did also proceed to erect the said 
townships of Shawanese and Stoke into two distinct districts for the purpose of 
electing Justices of the Peace; and on the 23d day of April a number of persons 
from New Jersey and from different counties of Pennsylvania — not inhabitants 
or freeholders of the new districts of vShawanese and Stoke — having convened 
at the house of Mr. John Hollenback (an innkeeper in Wilkes-Barre), and the 
place where the said Commissioners lodged, over a bottle of whisky held an 
election for Justices of the Peace for two new districts." 

Miner records ("History of Wyoming," page 328) that David Mead, Robert 
Martin, John Chambers and Col. Nathan Denison were chosen for the north- 

*Wyoniing Township, in the county of Northumberland — fully described on page 725, Vol. II. 



1337 

western district, and Alexander Patterson, John vSeely, Luke Brodhead and 
Henry Shoemaker for the south-eastern district. "The inhabitants" (that is, 
the Yankee settlers), says Miner, "were equally unconscious of the division of 
the townships and of the election of magistrates — Colonel Denison's name 
being used without his knowledge. None of the others [elected] were, or had 
been for years, inhabitants of Westmoreland. David Mead, formerly an active 
Connecticut partisan, and the surveyor of Wilkes-Barre Township*, had resided 
during the war at Northumberland. * * * No proceeding could possibly 
have been more illegal, arbitrary and unjust." 

In the Luzerne Federalist of August 11, 1804, Colonel Franklin stated: "It 
was said that notice of the proposed election was posted up at the place of election 
on the same day — some two hours before — the election took place. In this 
manner the settlers were imposed on, notwithstanding it was the express 
direction of the Legislature that, after the Commissioners should make their 
report, an Act should be passed for extending to the inhabitants the advantages 
of civil government, and particularhr for authorizing and directing the choice 
of Justices of the Peace." 

The election was conducted by John Van Campen, Esq., under the directions 
of the Commissioners. Colonel Franklin (in The Luzerne Federalist, August 11, 
1804) says: "It is a fact well known that John Van Campen was at that time 
and ever has been, a resident and inhabitant of the county of Northampton, 
yet the election was notified and conducted by him. He might as well have held 
an election in any other county in the State, or in the State of New Jersey. 
David Mead and Robert Martin were at that time residing at or near [the town 
of] Northumberland, and, although inhabitants of the county, they were neither 
of them inhabitants of the district for which they were elected. Alexander 
Patterson, if entitled to a residence in any part of God's world, it was in North- 
ampton County. John Chambers, John vSeely, Luke Brodhead and Henry 
Shoemaker were inhabitants of the same County, and they were entitled neither 
to elect nor to be elected in the county of Northumberland. Nathan Denison 
was the only person elected who was an inhabitant of either of the districts for 
which the election was held." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of May 5, 1783, Secretary Armstrong, of the 
Supreme Executive Council, wrote to Captain Robinson at Wilkes-Barre in part 
as followsf : 

"Your letter of March 14 was received by Council. * * Among other steps which have 
lieen thought necessary for the defence of the Wyoming settlement, a further supply of ammunition 
is now forwarded. It consists of two boxes of muskets, cartridges, and 300 flints. As one expedient 
to quiet that restless, discontended spirit which seems still to exist among the Connecticut claim- 
ants, Council have thought proper to send you a few additional copies of the late proclamation 
upon that subject. You will find some means to spread them abroad among the people, and. as 
far as your influence will go, to second their operation by securing Peace and promoting Justice." 

To this communication Captain Robinson replied in part as followsj, under 

date of June 8, 1783, at Northumberland, Pa. — addressing his reply to President 

John Dickinson, at Philadelphia : 

"The Instructions of Coimcill Dated may 5th, I Reed, this 4th June, Inst, on my way 
from Wyoming to this town, the Amunition Mentioned was then on its way to Wyoming. 
Hitherto, Every Measure has been Taken to preserve a friendly Intercourse Between the Soldiery 
& the Inhabitants, & I have the Pleasure to Inform your Excellencie that the Measures I Have 
Made Use of Has had the Desired Effect. 

*See page 515, Vol. I, and page 652. third paragraph. For a sketch of David Mead see hereinafter. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, XI: 432. 

JSee "Pennsylvania .Archives", Old Series, X: 4». 



1338 

"With Respect to the Inhabitants, there are a great Many Wrangling Disputes Chiefly- 
owing to a pelfering as well as Letegious Spirit which Seems very Natural to some of them. 

"In all such Cases they have Immediate recourse to us as there are no Civel Officer in the 
place, and many of them thought To avail themselves of the Opportunity, Imajining no Law 
was to take Hold of them; they Proceeded to take and Make use of their Neighbours Property 
at Pleasure And even to Disposess others. 

"Upon which I Immediately Interposed, Choosing such as I thought freeist of that Letigous 
Disposition & who best knew the affairs of the Place for Information, and have so Far Prevailed 
in that Respect as to preserve (by their own Accounts) a beter Regulation than has ever been 
Among them before. 

"But Notwithstanding their Seeming Compliance There is Still a refactory Spirit among 
them, though they Wish to keep up a good appearance — of these affairs I am well aware and am 
Very Careful to keep them at A proper Distance. 

"And Your Excellency may be assured that no Endavour Shall be wanting on my part to 
keep Good order Among them Till Civel Authority takes place, and I have no Doubt of proceeding 
therein. From Some Encouragement they Have Received from the Assembly of York State, 
a party have been Choosen to View some Land Assigned them for a settlement; Which Party is 
now Returned, But I am not able to Learn the Intentions of the people on the Report of their 
Commissioners." 

As previously Stated (see page 1322), Benjamin Harvey visited Hartford, 
Connecticut, early in May, 1783, in the performance of certain duties in behalf 
of the Connecticut settlers at Wyoming. Having delivered to the proper persons 
the "memorial of the inhabitants of Westmoreland" addressed to the Connecticut 
Assembly, Mr. Harvey began his homeward journey some days later, bearing 
with him a document which had been delivered to him by the Secretary of State 
of Connecticut, and which read as follows:* 

"At a General Assembly of the Governor and Company of the State of Connecticut, holden 
at Hartford on the second Thursday of May, 1783 — 

"Resolved by This Assembly That Eliphalet Dyer, Esqr., Col. Jesse Root and Nathaniel 
Wales, Esqr., be and they are hereby appointed a Committee to Consider what measures may be 
proper to be taken by this State to obtain relief for the people settle'd on the lands west of Delaware 
River under the Claim of this State and for Quieting their possessions — 

"And whether some redress cannot be obtained against the judgment given by the Commis- 
sioners in the Case between this State and the State of Pensylvania — And also what is proper 
to be done to secure to this State the benefit of the lands Contained in our antient Charter west of 
the Susquehanna purchase so called, and make report to this assembly att their next session. 

"A true Copy of Record. Examind. 

[Signed] "By George; Wyllys, Secrety." 

Mr. Harvey also brought to Wyoming a copy of the official record of some 
of the proceedings which took place at a meeting of The Susquehanna Company, 
"legally warned and held at Hartford, May 21, 1783" — Eleazar Talcott, Esq., 
being Moderator and Samuel Gray, Esq., being Clerk of the meeting. The 
record in question reads as followsf: 

"Colonel Talcott, General Parsons and Samuel Gray are appointed a Committee to lay in 
a Memorial to the General Assembly, now Sitting at Hartford, in behalf of The Susquehanna 
Company, that said Assembly would desire Doctor Johnson and Colonel Root, Agents for this 
State, to give said Assembly an account of the trial of the Cause between this State and the State 
of Pennsylvania at the Court holden at Trenton in November, 1782. 

"Voted, That this Company are determined to pursue their just Claims to the lands Con- 
tained in our Deed from the Indian Native proprietors of the Susquehanna lands, and make 
application to the Hon. Continental Congress for a proper Court or Commission to hear and de- 
termine the same according to the 9th Article of the Confederation of the United States; and 
that they will use all lawful means in their power to maintain the present settlers in their possessions 
until the Congress appoint a Court, and that Court determine the right of Soil between this 
Company and Pennsylvania. 

"And that the Standing Committee, or any three of them, be desired to warn a Meeting 
of The Susquehanna Company to meet at Hartford as soon as it is Convenient, giving three 
weeks' notice in the public papers of the time and place of said meeting to choose an agent or 
agents to represent said Company at said Congress and Court and to make all necessary prepara- 
tion therefore. And the proprietors are desired to be present at said meeting by themselves or 
their agents." 

*The original paper was preserved by Benjamin Harvey, and is now in the possession of the writer of this. To 
the action of the Connecticut Assembly therein recited, no reference is made by either Chapman, Stone or Miner 
in their respective histories of Wyoming, or by Governor Hoyt in his "Brief": or by Colonel Wright in his "Historical 
Sketches of Plymouth" — although he makes mention of Benjamin Harvey's mission to Connecticut. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series, XVIII: 104. 



1339 

The information brought to Wyoming by Mr. Harvey greatly encouraged 
the Connecticut settlers here in the belief that ere long something would be 
accomplished in their behalf by the vState of Connecticut and by The Susque- 
hanna Company. 

In order that the reader may have a clearer and more complete understand- 
ing with respect to some of the conditions which existed at and near Wilkes- 
Barre in 1783, we will at this point introduce some interesting extracts from the 
. journal of Dr. Johann David Schopf, a German traveler who spent a few days in 
Wyoming, in August, 1783. 

Dr. Schopf* came to America in the Summer of 1777, as Surgeon-in-chief 
of the Ansbach troops, who, with the troops from Brunswick, Hesse-Cassel, 
and other petty German States and Principalities, composed the mercenaries 
— commonly spoken of as "Hessians" — in the employ of the British Govern- 
ment in its warfare against the American States. The Doctor was with the 
Ansbach troops at Yorktown, in October, 1781, and was among those who capitu- 
lated to the Americans at that time. He was released on parole, and subse- 
quently set out on a tour of observation of certain parts of the country. On his 
journey to Wilkes-Barre he was accompanied by an Englishman, a Mr. Hairs. 
They traveled on horseback. Here follow the extracts from the Doctor's journal 
— which is referred to more fully in the note below. 

"Left Philadelphia August 6, 1783, intending to visit Bethlehem and thence proceed to the 
mountains. From Bethlehem we went to Heller'sf, a lonesome tavern at the foot of the Blue, 
or Kittatinny. Mountains. Already a good many settlers, especially Germans, have come to live 
here, in a narrow but pleasant valley. * * * It was Sunday, and we found assembled at the 
tavern (according to the traditional German custom) a numerous company of German farmers of 
the neighborhood, who were making good cheer with their cider and cider-oil. Cider-oil is a pretty 
strong drink. It consists of the combustible spirits of cider mi.xed again, in various proportions, 
with cider of the best grade. * * * Beyond Heller's a mile to the north, is a natural mountain- 
pass, from three-quarters of a mile to a mile wide — the so-called Wind Gap. * * * Through 
the Wind Gap to Eckardt's house, some three or four miles from Heller's. Then to Brinker's 
Mill, three and a-half miles from Eckardt's. * "■ Three more miles to Dieter's, who settled 
here in 177,5. He was at that time quite alone, and had around him many Indians, who at first 
caused him great uneasiness. * * * 

"We staid this night at Sebitz'sj, whose house is the last, absolutely, on the road to Wyoming, 
a distance 'reconed at 37^-2 miles from here. Sebitz, therefore, regards the 'Great Swamp' as his 
best friend, because all travelers, coming or going, are compelled to stop with him. The enter- 
tainment in taverns of this stamp, in lonesome and remote spots throughout America, consists 
generally of bacon, ham and eggs, fresh or dried venison, coffee, tea, butter, milk, cheese, rum, 
corn whisky or brandy, and cider — and everything clean. Sebitz, a German Anabaptist, settled 
here some nine years ago, and two or three neighbors about the same time. For fear of the Indians 
all his neighbors left him during the war. He alone had the courage to stay, notwithstanding a 
whole family was murdered a mile from the house. Often he was surrounded by Indians, who 
simply lurked around waiting for somebody to open the door of the house and come outside (for 
it is not their way to enter a house forcibly), and they shot down his horses and cattle. To be 
sure he had with him a militia guard, because this place was looked upon as an outpost; but they 
lived all together behind closed and barricaded doors, in continued fear of death. * * * 

"We met a troop of carpenters here who were likewise on the way to Wyoming, to rebuild 
a mill that had been burned down by the Indians. We were very glad of their company, because 
we had 37?^ miles to go, through a wilderness, the road bad and several streams to cross, and 
must ride that distance if we were to avoid spending the night in the woods. We got early upon 
the road (on August 12), but did not reach our destination until after sunset. 

"That part of the mountains beyond the Kittatinny and between the Delaware River and 
the North, or East, Branch of the Susquehanna, is noted on several maps as 'St. Anthony's Wilder- 
ness. '§ The region is better known by the name of the Great Swamp, which designation applies 

*,ToHANN David Schopf was born March 8. 17.52. in the principality of Bayreuth, He pursued a course in 
medicine and natural sciences at the University of Erlangen. Bavaria — receiving his degree in 1776. He returned to 
Europe from America in 1784, and later became President of the LTnited Medical Colleges of .\nsbach and Bayreuth. 
This office he held until his death, which occurred September 10. 1800. The journal of his travels in this country 
— which he had kept with great care — was published at Erlangen in 1788. under the title: "Reise Durch Einige der 
MUllfrn iind Sudliiheii \'ereimglen Nord Amerikattischen Slaaleii. * * * in den Jahren 1783 und 1TS4" This was 
edited and translated into Engli.sh. a few years ago by A. J. Morrison, and was published at Philadelphia in 1911, by 
William Campbell. tSee page 1172. Vol. II. 

iThis was undoubtedly the locality generally known as "Learn's". and fully described on pages 1167 and 1172, 
Vol. II. Captain Shrawder (see note page 1322) refer's to this place in 1782 as "Zawitz' " In October. 1787, Col. 
Timothy Pickering writing to his wife from there refers to it as "Zawits (that is. Savage's)." 

jSee maps on pages 188 and 191, Vol. I. 



1340 

in strictness only to a part. The entrance to this unpeopled waste is, at one point, through a 
gap in the Pocono Mountain, pretty high but not steep. Then Pocono Creek is passed, and the 
road lies up that stream six miles to White Oak Run — a frightful and narrow path over stumps 
and stones. Then follow uplands, with a few smaller hills. The whole way the road is grown up 
on both sides in bushes, notwithstanding that fire has often passed over and left standing great 
numbers of fine tree-trunks, half burnt. These fires in the woods spread at times accidentally 
from the camp-fires of travelers; and again the woods are purposely burned by hunters who post 
themselves behind the wind and wait for the game frightened out by the fire and smoke. 

"Further on we got into the veritable Great Swamp, so called, which extends only fifteen 
miles across, but no one knows how far it lies to the north and to the south. Really, the whole 
of this region is not what is commonly called swamp, several mountains and valleys being included 
under the name. The road* cut through is nowhere more than six feet wide, and is full of every- 
thing which can make trouble for the traveler. On both sides the forest is so thick that the trees 
almost touch, and by their height and their matted branches making a deep shade which is cold 
and fearful even at noon of the clearest day. AH beneath is grown up in green and impenetrable 
bush. Everywhere lie fallen trees, or those half-fallen — despite their weight, not reaching the 
ground. Thousands of rotten and rotting trunks cover the ground and make every step un- 
certain, while between lies a fat bed of the richest mould, that sucks up, like a sponge, all the 
moisture, and so becomes swampy almost everywhere. 

"One can with difficulty, penetrate this growth, even a little way, and not be in danger of 
coming too near this or that sort of snake, lying hidden from the sharpest eye in the waste of 
stones, leaves and roots. * * * ^^ particularly deep and narrow valley in this great swamp 
is the 'Shades of Death.' Its steep mountain sides are distinguished by a great number of the ' 
tallest and slimmest pines, with white spruce and hemlock; and these are mixed below with a 
profuse and beautiful growth of rhododendrons and kalmias.f * * Our fellow-travelers were 
of the opinion that all these hills and valleys would never be used for anything, because they 
thought cultivation would be impossible or certainly too troublesome. * * * 

"The numerous strearns which traverse the region, and in the Spring and Fall become 
greatly swollen, will later offer a profitable trade in timber and masts, for these trees would make 
ship and other timber. But the people here already are all the time dreaming of mines and sudden 
wealth; and many of our German countrymen still help to keep strange hopes alive. The farmers 
about Heller's mostly Germans have brought with them their stories of kobolds and mountain- 
sprites; they still hear the hill homunculus working and knocking, see the tell-tale flames but, 
unluckily, can never find the spot. 

"Without wasting time on the road now near being .swamped and again almost breaking our 
necks we hastened forward as fast as our horses could go and all the more because we were 
threatened by storm clouds. We stayed half an hour at Locust Hill and in the evening half an 
hour at Bullock's place — our friends sharing with us their store of provisions, without which we 
and our horses should have had a hungry day's journey, for besides grass and water there was 
nothing to eat. We were pretty thoroughly wetted in the swamp, and coming over the last hill 
were obliged to stop in black darkness on account of a thunder-storm — reaching Wyoming [Wilkes- 
Barre] after eight o'clock, tired, wet and hungry. 

"Wyoming — the settlement of this name, the chief place of which is really Wilksbnry — 
lies in an extraordinarly fertile valley west of the Blue Mountains and on the Eastern Branch of 
the Susquehanna. Some twenty years ago a few New Englanders came hither, followed shortly 
after by people from anywhere, so that in a brief space ninet> families had come in who would or 
could not live elsewhere. Fear of the law drove some of them, and the goodness of the land 
tempted others, to settle in this remote wilderness, cut off from the inhabited parts by rugged 
and pathless mountains; but their numbers rapidly increasing, the country was soon changed 
to a region of beautiful open fields. * * * 

"Thus it has happened that the first settlements at Wyoming were made by New Englanders; 
and these have kept their hold there in matters of government. Pennsylvania on the other 
hand shows by its grant that the Wyoming region with other districts in dispute lies in the midst 
of Pennsylvania's original territory as fixed by England. These claims and assertions on the one 
side and the other have been the cause of many difficulties. Pennsylvania as well as Connecticut 
sold and made over lands there, so that of the landowners of Wyoming, one held his land under 
the one State and another under the other. 

"With such dispositions animosities were inevitable, and thus, even before the outbreak 
of the Revolution there was a continual private war between the Pennsylvania and New England 
parties in Wyoming. People fought over the right to the land. If a Pennsylvanian came with 
a deed to so much land, he must first see if it was already taken up by a New Englander. If so, 
he must attempt to gain possession by force; failing, he reserved his right for the time, and chose 
an unsettled place in the neighborhood, from which after a few years, and imfrovcment begun. 
he might very probably be dispossessed by another New Englander coming with a Connecticut 
deed. The New Englanders were always the stronger party. 

"In the early seventies bloody fights took place between the colonists, when several lives were 
lost. Since the Peace these dissensions have been again renewed, and both States recently laid 
their claims before the Congress. A committee decided for Pennsylvania. The New England 
party is altogether dissatisfied with this judgment, because in this case they must lose their gains — 
Pennsylvania having long since granted to its own subjects much of the land in dispute. » * * 



*This w 


as what wa 


,s known as the "SulHvan Road. 


■' See page 1176. Vol. II. 








iKalmi, 
no doubt, w; 
high polish. 


2 Lati folia. 
as given to 


or mountain laurel— pecuHarly a 
it because the Indians made it ii 


I Pennsylvania shrub. Its con 
ito spoons. The grain of the ' 


wood i 


s fin( 


; is spoon wood. 
;, and will take 



1341 

The orders of Congress arc not regarded here if not pleasing or if unsupported by force. So far 
the outbreak of further hostilities has been controlled by the little garrison which the State of 
Pennsylvania maintains here against the Indians, until a treaty with these nations is drawn up. 

"Wyoming, according to the New England claim, lies in Westmoreland County; but in 
Pennsylvania it forms part of Northumberland County. The colony consists of Wilkslniry 
|Wilkes-Barre|, thj chief place, and a few smaller villages, as Nanticoke, Hanover, Abraham's 
[Plains], Jacob's Plains and Shawanese, in all of which there are probably 400 familiL-'S. Wilkes- 
bury had a court-house* once, where the laws were administered after the manner of Connecticut, 
whence the Justices were sent. But during the disturbances of the war they lived some years in 
complete anarchy, without law, magistrates, taxes or priests. 'We act on our sense of honor, 
and depend pretty much on that', said the miller of the place; 'nothing can be gained by law and 
nobody punished. Our only rule is. trust or distrust!' 

"Since a garrison was placed here, however, the commanding officer has at the same time 
acted as a Justice, without any recourse to military law. The inhabitants hear his opinion and 
adjust their dealings thereby, if that seems good to them. But the people of Wyoming, with all 
their freedom, and living on the most productive lands, are pauper-poor. The war was something 
of a set-back, but their sloth is still more so. They live in miserable block-houses, are badly 
clothed, farm carelessly, and love easeful days. Last Winter [1782-'83] most of them sent all their 
corn and wheat over the mountains, turned it into cider and brandy (for they have not yet planted 
orchards themselves), so as to drink and dance away the tedium; and so, in the Spring, they had 
neither seedcorn nor bread, living meanwhile on milk and blackberries, or by hunting — and many 
of them on less — in expectation of the harvest, which has turned out well ; and now they are 
preparing for fresh quickenings. With all their negligence they had before the war a fine store of 
cattle, hogs, hemp, flax, etc, the superfluity of which being sold brought them what they need ed. 
Of their mills, one was burnt by the Indians, and there was no water for the other. They must, 
therefore, send their corn fifty miles over the mountains ; or, whoever could not do this, was obliged 
to pound it in wooden troughs, after the fashion of the Indians. 

"Of what religious faith they are. no man knows. An old Anabaptistf lives among them, 
and preaches to whomsoever has a mind to hear. We came a day too late to see the solemn 
baptism of a young girl twenty years old, who was baptised in the Susquehanna. * * » 

"At one place in this region, near the river, there comes to the surface a vein of ore thick 
as a man's leg, blackish and micaceous, which from its look might be lead-ore. For a long time 
this was thought to be silver, until experiments were made at Philadelphia, showing that there 
was no ground for the belief, but not determining what the ore was. Beyond the river there are 
said to be ores at one or two places, which have been found on experiment really to contain silver. 
These localities, I am told, were once pointed out to certain persons by the Indians and are at pr esent 
known to a few, who speak of them mysteriously. It appears, also, that a long time ago Europeans 
may have worked there ; at least the first New Englanders who came hither said that they found 
remains there of horse-trapings and smelting tools. * * * 

"Several miles down the river I had myself taken to a place where an outcrop of saltpetre 
is scraped from the cliffs, which, with the addition of lye, is made into good saltpetre. At the 
beginning of the war many hundred-weight of saltpetre was prepared here and farther up the river. 
* "* * Taking a turn to Nanticoke we passed by the ruins of a primitive iron-foundry. Much 
bog-ore is found thereabouts, which is probably what was used; besides, there is iron-stone in the 
neighboring mountain. The reopening of this works will mean a considerable gain to the region, 
since the distance and the bad roads over which the iron needed here must be fetched, vastly 
heightens the cost to the farmer. * * * 

"After a stay of five days, delayed by the weather, we left this country Monday, August IS, 
178,^, in the afternoon, and made seven miles to Long Meadows [Bullock's place], where we spent 
the night in a half-ruined cabin and on the bare earth. We found a small boy there, whose parents 
were intending to settle there, but they had been several days absent looking for provisions, and 
had quite carelessly left the youngster by himself in the woods. He was extremely happy when 
we gave him some bread and meat. Very early we left our dreary quarters, but were several 
hours delayed when we came to Bear Creek. Since our passing that way a family had appeared, 
and within the few days had made their block-house nearly ready. * * Farther on, in that 
half of the road lying through this wilderness, we happened on still a third family, who likewise 
had just come to settle there. These people expected to make a temporary support by selling 
brandy to travelers, until they had gradually brought enough land under cultivation to supply 
their needs. * "* All these poor families chose this region because there they can at no outlay 
have the use of land taken up by nobody else. 

"Going back we followed the road we had come, as the only passable one through this com- 
fortless region, and about sunset reached White Oak Run. The last eight miles we had to go 
a-foot, for there was now thick darkness among the high, close-standing trees, obscuring the 
friendly light of the moon, which shone clear, but not for us. It would have been neck-breaking 
work to keep on horseback. At nine o'clock we arrived at Sebitz's house, tired and wet. * * 
From Sebitz's to Heller's the road is for the most part down grade, through a multitude of sand- 
stones. Th' Pocono Creek is again crossed several times. It winds through very pleasing low- 
grounds. Near Brinker's Mill there is a rarity — a beautiful prospect of the Delaware Water 
Gap to the left, and in front (over a lower ridge of hills), the range of the Blue, or Kittatinny, 
Mountains, running straight away. Quite at the top of a hill, between Brinker's and Eckhardt's 
we came upon a little lake, in which there should be fish. There is also s ich a clear little separate 
lake to be found on a higher hill near Sebitz's, and another on Locust Hill" 

♦Reference is here made to Fort Wilkes- Barre. mentioned on page 887, Vot II. 

tUndoubtedly the Rev. James Finn, who at that time resided in the upper end of Pittstjn Township. 



1342 

The severity of Dr. Schopf's comments upon the habits of life and the 
characteristics of the New Englanders in Wyoming was undoubtedly prompted 
by groundless and unjust tales told to him by the Pennamites and their adherents, 
who, at the time of his visit to Wilkes-Barre, were very much in evidence in the 
settlement, and were probably met by him at every turn. 

The following extracts from a letter* written by Capt. Philip Shrawder 
(previously mentioned) to the Hon. Stephen Balliet give a brief account of 
some of the conditions existing at Wilkes-Barre in the Summer of 1783. 

"Mr. Weitzel'sf Issuing Commissary left Wyoming the 29th or 30th of June [1783]. He 
had nothing but a little flour on hand then. He therefore spoke before his departure to one 
Abel Yarington, an inhabitant of Wyoming, to procure provisions until Mr. Weitzel would send 
him up again with a fresh supply, which would be very shortly. Yarington tried to purchase 
[provisions], but got none for want of money. In this dilemma he came to me. 

"The President's orders of March, 1783, J commanded me to maintain the Wyoming post, 
and when I came to Philadelphia in May following I represented to Council that the soldiers were 
unruly and claimed their discharges, as they heard and saw those of the Continental Army return 
home. General Irvine and some other members [of the Council] desired me then to try to keep 
the men together. I therefore looked upon myself as in duty bound to e.xer.t myself in procuring 
provisions, and purchased them on my own account; but as my troublesome and precarious 
situation would not permit me to leave my post to purchase to the best advantage, I had to paj- 
a high price for them. I had to get superfine flour, for want of other, in Northampton County, 
and paid £20 for the transportation of two loads. 

"In August [1783] I went to Sunbury to urge Mr. [John] Weitzel to forward provisions 
with the greatest expedition to Wyoming, and showed him my account of purchases. He then 
informed me that there was at that time a boat on the way up with some flour for the Garrison, 
but as my purchases came high he said he would have nothing to do with the contractorship. 
So circumstanced I felt much perplexed, and knew not what to do; but meeting Frederick Antes. 
Esq., of Northumberland, he kindly advanced me a sum of money, and on my return to Wyoming 
I despatched Lieutenant Erb to Philadelphia, acquainting His E.xcellency, the President, with my 
situation. I then received £300 from the Council." 

At an adjourned meeting of the Pennsylvania Assembly held at Philadelphia, 
August 19, 1783, the Commissioners, who had investigated affairs at Wyoming 
in the preceding April, made their report, which read in part as follows§ : 

"You will observe [in the accompanying papers submitted] the peaceable disposition of 
the settlers at Wyoming, and their readiness to submit to the Jurisdiction of this State, except 
only in the instance of their jjossessions, which they refuse to deliver up, notwithstanding the 
generous oiler of the citizens of this State. 

"Convinced of the policy and propriety of taking the most immediate measures of intro- 
ducing civil government into that part of the country, we have agreed upon a plan relative thereto 
which we herewith submit for your concurrence and approbation; lists of the early settlers and 
greatest sufferers at that place we also lay before you, as also a state of their civil policy under 
the Government of Connecticut, A few negro and mulatto slaves!] we find are in their possession. 

"We offer the following resolutions: (1) That the law pas.sed at the last session of this 
House, prohibiting ejectments being brought against the people from Connecticut settled at 
Wyoming, be repealed. (2) That all that part of the State generally known by the name of 
Wyoming be divided into two townships [here follows a description of their metes and bounds, 
as printed on page 1336], and that the Supreme Executive Council be requested to com- 
mission immediately four of the persons elected by the freeholders of said Districts on April 23 
last to serve as magistrates — two in each District, or Township. (3) That these two Townships 
form one District for the purpose of voting for Assemblymen, Sheriffs, etc., and that the place 
of holding such elections be at the town of Pennsbury.^ (4) That in consideration of the great 
sufferings of the settlers from Connecticut at Wyoming and the noble defence they have made 
against the Common Enemy, a Reasonable compensation in land within the Boundary of this 
State and upon Easy Terms shall be made to the Families of those who have fallen fighting in 
Defence of the Country; anel to such others as actually have a Title from the Government of 
Connecticut to lands at or near Wyoming, and did actually reside on the ground when the Decree 
was given in favour of the State of Pennsylvania by the Continental Court at Trenton — Provided 
they immediately Relinquish all claim to the soil where they now inhabit, and enter into contracts 
*See "Pennsylvania .A.rchives", Second .Series. XVIII: 655. 

tJoHN Weitzei. of Sunbury, Pennsylvania. In 178.^ he was "Contractor of provisions in Northumberland County", 
for the State Government. 

JSee page 1317. §See "Pennsylvania Archives," Old Series, XII: 73. 

I]. Slavery had been abolished by law in Pennsylvania in the year 1780. 

IWithout much doubt Pennsborough is here referred to. It was, in 1783, a small settlement on the West Branch 
of the Susquehanna in Northumberland County, about fourteen miles below the present city of Williamsport, twenty- 
four miles north of Sunbury, and fifty-one miles due west from W'ilkes-Barre ; although, by way of the river, it was 
distant about ninety miles from Wilkes-Barrd. Ft. Muncy stood between Pennsborough and the mouth of Muncy 
Creek, and in 1 783 there was a considerable population in that section of Northumberland County. Upon the erection 
of Lycoming County in 1795 Pennsborough was included within its bounds, and in 1827 the village was incorporated 
as the borough of Muncy. 



1343 

to deliver up a full and quiet possession of their present Tenures to the rightful owners under 
Pennsylvania by the First day of April next. (5) That a law be passed under proper Restrictions 
to enable such of the above settlers at Wyoming as shall become Citizens of this State to retain 
their Negroes and Mulattoes, in servitude, and continue actions brought in their Court and Pro- 
ceedings in their Register's office, and to remove them into the Court and Register's office for 
the County of Northumberland — there to be determined according to the Laws of the State." 

This report, together with a letter from Captain Shrawder concerning affairs 
at Wyoming, which had been received by President Dickinson a few days pre- 
viously, were referred to a committee. Under the date of .September 2, 1783, the 
committee reported to the Assembly in part as follows*: 

"The Committee have examined the several papers committed to them with care & attention, 
and are fully satisfied of the laudable Zeal and industry used by your Commissioners to effect 
the purposes of their Mission, and likewise with the generous offers made by the Pennsylvania 
Land holders to the settlers at Wioming. Your Committee are, however, sorry to find that the 
endeavours of your Commissioners and the offers of the proprietors of Lands at Wyoming have 
been rendered abortive by the interference of the State of Connecticut and the Susquehanna 
Company, so that our hopes of a friendly compromise seem now vanished. Your committee 
submit the following resolutions to the Honorable House. 

"Resolved, That a Committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill for repealing the 
Law of this State entitled 'An Act to prevent and stay suits from being brought against the in- 
habitants of Wioming, during the time therein mentioned, passed March 13th, last, and for con- 
firming the Township of Wyoming into three Distinct Townships, as laid out and divided by your 
Commissioners on the 22d day of April last past. 

"Resolved, That as well to discover the moderation and Equitable disposition of this House 
as in consideration of the sufferings of the Settlers at Wioming from the Common Enemy, a 
reasonable compensation in Lands within the Boundaries of this State upon easy Terms be made 
to the families of those who have fallen fighting against the Savages, and to such others as did 
actually reside on the Lands at Wyoming when the late Decree was given at Trenton. 

"Resolved, That no such settler be intitled to the benefits of this Resolution unless upon 
demand made he gives ui5 possession to the Claimant or Claimants under Pennsylvania." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of September 5, 1783, President Dickinson 
wrote to Captains Robinson and Shrawder at Wilkes-Barre, in part as follows:! 

"In consequence of a Conference with a committee of the General Assembly, it is judged 
proper that you should be reminded in a particular manner constantly to employ the utmost 
vigilance and alertness for the security of the Fort at Wioming, and for maintaining the post 
where you are now stationed. 

"It is expected that you will be in perfect preparation at every moment to resist any hostile 
attempt, whether openly or insidiously made. Among other attentions, it will be indispensably 
necessary for this purpose, that great care should be taken not to suffer the Soldiers, on any 
pretence whatever, to absent themselves from the Garrison, either in an indefensible situation, 
or beyond the reach of your immediate recall. 

"It is thought absolutely necessary by Council, that a supply of two Months' provisions 
for both companies, calculating upon the compleat establishment of sixty privates to each 
company, be immediately conveyed into the Fort; so that the Garrison may not in any manner 
depend upon the provisions from without during that period. 

"That a single moment may not be lost, the important charge of procuring this supply is 
principally committed to you; for tho', to guard against the expence of a double purchase, it may 
be highly necessary to consult Mr. Weitzel, and learn from him what stock of provisions he has 
now on hand, and what additional quantity he may engage to procure, yet it is intirely the sense 
of Council, that should he discover the least indifference in accepting the business, or delay in the 
execution of it, you will yourselves proceed to compleat his purchases, should they be deficient, 
and contract for their transportation. Money shall not be wanting to fulfill these engagements. 

"It is also our desire that, as long as it may be necessary to keep up the Garrison, after 
the expiration of the two Months provided for by this order, it shall at no future time be left 
without a supply of one Month's provision in stock. This you will regard as a standing order." 

Under the same date as the foregoing, President Dickinson wrote to John 
Weitzel, Esq., at Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in part as follows: 

"It is the sense of Council that a stock of eight weeks' provisions for the complete companies 
of sixty privates each be immediately laid in for Wyoming, for the subsistence of that Garrison. 
To this purpose Council have written to Captains Robinson and Shrawder — with directions to 
consult you upon the subject." 

September 9, 1783, the Assembly repealed the Act passed March 13, 1783, 
"to prevent and stay suits from being brought against the inhabitants of Wyom- 
ing" (see page 1320); confirmed the division of Wyoming into three Districts, 
or Townships, as made by the Commissioners ; confirmed the election of Justices 
of the Peace held at Wyoming by direction of the Commissioners, and instructed 

■»See "Pennsylvania .'Archives." Old Series, X: 552. tSec "Pennsylvania .-irchives". Old Series, X: 99. 



1344 



the Supreme Executive Council to commission four of the persons so elected. The 
next day the Council met, and, in pursuance of the foregoing action, Alexander 
Patterson, John Seely, David Mead and Robert Martin* were commissioned Jus- 
tices of the Peace in and for the county of Northumberland. "Alexander Patterson 
appearing before the Coiincil the same day, took the oath prescribed, and a dedi- 
mus potestatem was issued to Alexander Patterson and Samuel Hunterf, or either 
of them, to administer the oaths to the other Justices this day appointed." 

At Fort Dickinson, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of September 17, 1783, 
Captain vShrawder sent to President Dickinson the following- communication!: 

"In obedience to your Excellency's Order.s I have the Honor to transmit a Return of the 
Companies, arms and ammunition. Your E.xcellency's Letter to Mr. Weitzel I have forwarded 
to Capt. Robinson who is at present in Northumberland, to be delivered by him; but as we received 
no supply since June last, it is not probable Mr. Weitzel can have a stock on Hand. 

"I would beg Leave to inform your E-xcellency that to maintain this Post I have for better 
than two Months past extended my Credit as far as possible in purchasing Provisions for the 
Garrison and in order to be enabled to see the Troops supplied. I would beg your Excellency 
and the Honble. Board would be pleased to order £,^00 to be forwarded to me by Lieut. Erb, 
whom the utmost Necessity obliged me to send. 

Return of Captain Robinson's and Captain Shrawder's Companies of Pennsylvania Ran- 
gers stationed at Wyoming, Septr. 17, 17.S3. 















« 


















£ 




'C. 




m 


w 


^• 


g 


» 


=« 


£ 


• £ 




.^ 


'^ 


-^ 




^ 


a 


§ 


§ 






















c3 






s 












1 


1 


1 


1 


o 


Q 


CL, 


^ 


Capt'n Robinson's Comp'y Fit for Duty, 




Sick, 








2 


2 




's 




Capt'n Schrawder's Comp'v Fit for Duty, 


1 


1 




2 


2 




20 


1 


Sick, 














4 




Total 


: 


1 


1 


1 


6 


": 


''" 


1 



One Box of Cartridges, 66 Muskets 

[Signed] Phil. Shrawder, Captn. P. R. 

Justice Patterson arrived at Wilkes-Barre about September 20, 1783. bearing- 
his new commission, as well as documents accrediting him as agent for a very 
considerable number of Pennsylvanians claiming lands in Wyoming. Justices 
Seely and Mead soon followed Patterson, and it was not long until Wyoming 
"began to swarm with Pennsylvania land-claimants." Taking up his quarters 
in a house near Fort Dickinson, the first act of importance which the over-zealous 
Justice Patterson performed was the changing of the name of Wilkes-Barre 
to 'Xondonderry"! Then, fully armed with legal and illegal powers, he forth- 
with began to exercise them§. 

*RoBERT Martin, who came to Pennsylvania in early manhood, is said to have been a native of New Jersey. He 
was the first settler where the town of Northumberland now stands, having built a house there as early as 1 767. He kept 
, which was a place of much resort. He became a man of some prominence and considerable influence, and in 
'as a, member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Conference. He was paymaster of the Pennsylvania militia in 
in the campaign of 1776. He was a member of the State Convention to frame the constitution of 1776, and 
was a Representative in the State Legislature in 1778 and '79. Under the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 he held 
the office of Justice of the Peace for manv years. Colonel Franklin, in his "Brief", mentioned herein before, says 
that "Robert Martin had too much humanity to act under his commission [of September, 1783] with the other new- 
fangled Justices." 

Mr. Martin died at Northumberland about the year 1813. He had two daughters^ — one married to Dr. James 
Davidson of New Jersey and later of Lycoming County. Pennsylvania, and the other married to Capt. Thomas Grant 
of Northumberland County, a brief sketch of whom will be found in a subsequent chapter. 

tSee (t) note, page 1274. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 104. 

§Captain Patterson, in his "Petition", mentioned 
ing statement with respect to the work of the Pennsylv 



1776 



I election by the freeholders for Justices of the Peace in that hot-bed of sedition. The election 
was held, and your petitioner was elected a Justice, and a special Act was passed at the ensuing Legislature to confirm 
it. He attended the whole of the session in Philadelphia, and was commissioned the first magistrate for that refractory 
country [Wyoming], He proceeded to Wyoming, having a warrant-of-attorney from the owners of the land to lease 
or dispose of it on easy and moderate terms. Sundry of the intruders came under lease, but the undue influence of 
Franklin, Butler. Denison, Gore. Spalding and other evil-disposed persons, induced the lessees to forego their contracts. 
"On your petitioner's arrival at Wyoming as a Justice he found numbers very obstinate, in crowd-;, with Butler, 
breathing defiance to Pennsylvania and her laws. He was not intimidated, but committed their Colonel Butler to 
Sunbury jail, at the distance of sixty-five miles, where he was held in £5.000 hail," 



134.S 

During the Spring and Summer of 1783, the independence of the United 
States was acknowledged by several of the principal European powers, and on 
the 3d of September of that year, the definitive treaty of peace between Great 
Britain and the United States was signed at Paris by the representatives of the 
two powers. As those were the days of stage-coaches and sailing vessels, and 
not of steamboats and telegraphs, several weeks elapsed before news of the signing 
of the treaty was disseminated in this country. Meanwhile there was abroad 
in the land a sincere belief that the long and burdensome war was actually ended, 
and that ver)^ soon the armies of the United States would be disbanded. About 
the middle of September, the authorities of Pennsylvania began to take steps 
tending toward the disbandment of the States' troops of the line, and on October 
18th Congress issued a proclamation disbanding the Continental army. After 
November 3d the army was entirely discharged from service. 

At Philadelphia, September 22, 1783, the Pennsylvania Assembly passed 

the following: 

"Resolved, That the Supreme Executive Council are hereby empowered and required to take 
into the service of this State one Major, two Captains and four subalterns of the officers of the 
Pennsylvania Line, who are forthwith to be instructed to enlist two full companies of the soldiers 
who have served in the Pennsylvania Line, to serve such times as to the Supreme Executive Council, 
the succeeding Assembly, shall seem meet; and that one month's pay shall be advanced to the 
said officers and soldiers, who shall be armed and accoutered at the expense of the State." + * * 

Miner states ("History of Wyoming," page 330) that "this resolution was 
passed with closed doors, in secret session, and recorded on the secret journals 
of the House; and was regarded, when known, as a direct infraction of the Articles 
of Confederation." 

The Supreme Executive Council met on September 25th, and without delay 
elected, and immediately commissioned, the following-named officers: James 
Moore*, Major; James Chrystief and Philip Shrawderf, Captains; Blackall 
WilHam Ball§, John Armstrong||, Samuel Read^ and Andrew Henderson**, 

♦James Moore was a son — probably the second — of James Moore. Sr.. and his wife Elizabeth {]\'hilehill) Moore, 
of Chester County, Pennsylvania. James Moore, Sr., was possessed of considerable property in Chester County, 
bordering on the manors of Springton and Brandywine. May 23, 1770. he was appointed by the Supreme Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania a Justice of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and of the Court of Common Plea-^ 
of Chester County. 

In company with Gen. Anthony Wayne, Thomas Hockley and others Judge Moore was chosen a member of the 
Committee of Public Safety of Chester County in December. 1774. He was made a Justice of the Peace March .M . 
1777, hut resigned the office in November, 1 781 , to take his seat as a Representative from Chester County in the General 
Assembly of Pennsylvania, to which office he was re-elected in 1784, '85. '86. '87 and '88. He was reappointed a Justice 
of the Peace in November, 1782. and December 13. 1783. he was, with Gen. Anthony Wayne.- elected a member of 
the Pennsylvania Council of Censors. He was elected a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in 
October. 1785, and August 17. 1791, was appointed an Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He 
was a zealous patriot during the Revolutionary War. and was active in enlisting men for the Flying Camp and the 
Pennsylvania Line. 

Judge Moore lived in a fine, large stone mansion, on the crest of a hill overlooking the Brandywine. near the present 
village of Glen Moore, Chester County. He died there March 31, 1802. and his wife died there June 25. 1815. aged 
82 years- 

In June, 1773, Judge Moore purchased the rights of eight or ten men. under Pennsylvania grants, to lands in 
the Wyoming region. In 1802 David Moore, a son of Judge !Moore, claimed these lands. 

James Moore, Jr.. was bom in Chester County about 1756. He received a preparatory training in classical and 
scientific studies, and then, it is believed, attended lectures for a short time at the College of Philadelphia. At the 
call to arms in 1775 he quickly responded, and, on the recommendation of the Committee of Public Safety, was com- 
missioned January 5, 1776, Captain of the 7th Company in the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion, commanded by Col. (later 
Gen.) Anthony Wayne. In the Summer and early Autumn of 1776 certain companies of this battalion, including 
Captain Moore's were at Crown Point and Ticonderoga. The term of enli-^tment of the battalion expired January 
5, 1777. but the officers and men remained in service until January 24, in order to allow troops to come in and take 
the battalion's place. 

A large proportion of the men of the 4th Battalion reenlisted for three years in the 5th Pennsylvania Regiment. 
Continental Line, which was organized in January and February, 1 777. Captain Moore was recommissioned Captain, 
and given command of a company in this regiment. In May, 1777, the ■■5th" joined the main army at Morristown. 
New Jersey, and on the 1 1th of the following September participated in the battle of Brandywine in Captain Moore's 
native County. He was promoted Major September 20, 1777, and transferred to the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. 
Continental Line. The battle of Germantown soon followed, and then came Valley Forge, where the 1st Regiment 
spent the Winter of 1777-'78. At the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey. June 28, 1778, the 1st Regiment carried off 
the honors. 

In September. 1780, the "1st" was in camp at New Bridge, near Hackensacfc, New Jersey, and later it went South 
with Washington's army and took part in the siege of Yorktown. After the surrender of Cornwallis (October, 1781 i 
Major Moore went with his regiment to South Carolina. January 1, 1783, he was transferred to the 2d Pennsylvania 
Regiment. Continental Line. Early in the following July he was with his regiment at the barracks in Philadelphia, 
and soon thereafter was transferred to the First Pennsylvania Regiment, in which he held the rank of Major until 
his discharge from the service November 3 , 1 783, About that time he became an original member of the Pennsylvania 
Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati, 



1346 

Major Moore was made a Free Mason prior to June, 1780, in which month he and forty-seven other Brethren of 
the Craft (among whom were Capt. James Chrystie, Lieut. Erkuries Beatty, who had been an officer in the Sullivan 
expedition, Col. Caleb North. Col. Walter Stewart, Col. Josiah Harmer, Col. Francis Johnson. Col. Adam Hubley. 
Capt. John Boyd, Lieut. Benjamin Lodge, who had been Geographer of the Sullivan Expedition, Col. Thomas Craig, 
mentioned on page 1401 Col. Richard Butler and !Maj. Thomas Church), all officers "in the Pennsylvania Line 
of the American Army", petitioned the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Ancient York Mason?, for a warrant for a 
Military, or TraveHng, Lodge "to be styled Pennsylvania-Union Lodge." Major Moore was nominated by the peti- 
tioners to be Master of the proposed Lodge. Surgeon John Rogers to be Senior Warden, and Surgeon John Pratt to 
be Junior Warden. The petition was recommended and "countersigned" June 2. 1780, by Col. Thoma^ Procter, 
Worshipful Master of Military Lodge No. 19 (see page 1184, Vol. 11), and July 20, 1780, the Grand Lodge granted 
to the Brethren named in the petition a warrant for a Lodge to be known as "Pennsylvania-Union Lodge, No, 29, 
A. Y. M., in the Pennsylvania Line" Soon thereafter the Lodge was duly constituted, and its officers were installed 
by Colonel Procter, who made his report to the Grand Lodge December 18, 1 780. 

Under the date of December 26. 1783. at Philadelphia, four members of Lodge No. 29, "in behalf of eighteen 
raiembers of the Lodge (all that could be collected)", presented a petition to the Grand Lodge, in which appeared the 
following paragraph: "On the return of the warrant and Brethren to this place, a Lodge has never been called, and 
Major ]\ioore. who was continued Master, has taken the warrant with him, and the jewels, books and papers belonging 
to the Lodge, to his command at Wyoming, where there is but one member [Captain. James Chrystie] with him." + * * 
December 27. 1783, the Grand Lodge voted "that all traveling warrants heretofore granted by this Grand Lodge 
be called in by the Grand.Secretary." [See "Old Masonic Lodges of Pennsylvania", II: 66-77.] 

(The following paragraphs are from a sketch of the life of Maj. James Moore by W. S. Long, M. D. , published 
in The Pennsylvania Magazine. XII: 470.) 

"After his experiences at Wyoming Major Moore went to Philadelphia and entered the drug business. He moved 
in fashionable circles in society, and exhibited a taste for high living and the expensive refinements, whether of art 
or pleasure, which in the end resulted unfortunately both for himself and hiy family. October 17, 1787, in Christ 
Church, he was married to Sarah, eldest daughter of Col. Sharp and Margaret Delany, [For further references to 
Colonel Delany see a subsequent chapter] She was one of the belles of Philadelphia, and ably seconded the bent of 
his inclination for extravagant living. When they visited Judge and Mrs. Moore at their home near Springton Manor, 
Chester County, they rode in a handsome carriage drawn by fine horses, with everything to correspond in style, and 
were apt to astonish their neighbors, who lived in a plainer, though respectable provincial manner. 

"As a business man he was unsuccessful. January 2, 1798, the partnership of Goldthwaite & Moore was dissolved, 
their store being at the comer of Second and Walnut Streets, and Jame^ Moore, Jr., advertised the stock for sale, as 
he proposed retiring from business. His father assisted him on several occasions — on the last one, parting with most 
of his land rather than permit his son's name to be dishonored. 

"About 1800 Major Moore removed with his family to the neighborhood of Jamestown, Virginia, preferring the 
severing of family and social ties, and a life among strangers, to meeting in the walks of daily life those who had known 
him in more prosperous times. Only once — on the occasion of his son Sharp's visit to the home of his father's boyhood, 
about 1810 — has the veil which hid his further career from us been lifted." 

According to the "Decennial Register of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution", Philadelphia, 
1898, Major Moore died in 1813. 

i James Christie was bom near Edinburg, Scotland, in 1750. and came to Pennsylvania in 1775. Under a resolu- 
tion of Congress passed December 9. 1775, the Second Pennsylvania Battalion was raised, and on January 3, 1776, 
Col. Arthur St. Clair was elected and commissioned by Congress to command this battalion. Two days later James 
Christie was commissioned First Lieutenant of Capt. Stephen Bayard's company of the 2d Battalion, and on the 11th 
of the following November he was commissioned Captain (to rank from August 9, 1776) and transferred to the command 
of the company in the same battalion which had been formerly commanded by Capt William Butler, who had been 
promoted Major. 

The Second Battalion was in service at Crown Point, Ticonderoga, and other points in the north-eastern corner 
of New York nearer the Canadian border, during the Summer, Autumn and early part of the Winter of 1776, leaving 
Ticonderoga for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 24, 1777— their term of service having then expired. 

The Third Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, was formed in January and February, 1777, on the basis 
of the Second Battalion, Pennsylvania and was "arranged" in the Continental service March 12, 1777. Captain 
Chrystie was commissioned a Captain in this regiment, to rank from August 9, 1776 The Third Pennsylvania was 
in camp with the army near White Plains, New York, in July 1 778, on or about the first of which month the Twelfth 
Pennsylvania Regiment, which had been reduced to a skeleton regiment by heavy los,>-es, was incorporated with the 
"Third". Just about the time this consolidation took place Captain Chrystie and other officers of the "Third" were 
tried by court-martial. The findings of the court, promulgated in a General Order issued from the headquarters of 
the army at White Plains, under the date of August 1. 1778, are printed in "Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolu- 
tion", II: 294, and they read in part as follows: 

"At a Division General Court Martial, held at Peekskill July 16, 1778, * * Lieut. John Armstrong, of the 
3d Pennsylvania Regiment, tried for behaving in a scandalous manner in beating a number of persons, breaking windows 
and being guilty of other abusive treatment. After due consideration the Court are of opinion that Lieutenant 
Armstrong was guilty of beating Quartermaster Bradford, but think that the provocation was, in some degree, equal 
to the offense; that he was guilty of breaking cellar windows, and of other abusive treatment: but, upon the whole, 
cannot pronounce his behavior scandalous, though unjustifiable; and, notwithstanding his good character as an officer 
and soldier, he is sentenced to be reprimanded in General Orders. 

"At the same Court Captains James Christy and Thomas Moore of said regiment was tryed for said crime. The 
Court are of opinion that they are not guilty of behaving in a scandalous manner in beating a number of persons and 
breaking windows, but find them guilty of abusive treatment, and sentence them to be reprimanded iiy the command- 
ing officer of the Brigade. 

"The Commander-in-chief [General Washington] is sorry he has a reason to declare that Captains Christy 
and Moore and Lieutenant Armstrong were, through the whole of this affair, in circumstances that did them very 
little honor. He laments that they should suffer themselves so far to deviate from that line of delicacy and decorum 
which they owe to their own character, as to Engage in riot and tumult of singular complexion; especially as it rather 
appears by their own defense that they left their regiment without leave." 

It is stated in "Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution", I: 446. that in September, 1780. on the discovery 
of Benedict Arnold's plot at West Point, Captain Chrystie "was detailed specially by General Washington to visit 
all the [American] posts." 

Under the "arrangement" of the Pennsylvania regiments in the Continental Line, January 1, 1781, Captain 
Chrystie continued in command of a company in the Third Regiment. January 17, 1781, the Third was reorganized 
under Col. Thomas Craig (see page 670, Vol. II). and, after recruiting at Easton. Pennsylvania, accompanied Gen. 
Anthony Wayne on his southern campaign — or, at least, the larger part of the regiment was detached for that purpose. 

Prior to January I, 1783, Captain Chrystie was transferred to the Second Pennsylvania Regiment, where he con- 
tinued until his retirement from the service, June 3, 1783 — about which time he was brevetted Major, and also 
became an original member of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

As stated in the preceding foot-note Captain Chrystie was a charter, or warrant, member of Pennsylvania-Union 
Lodge. No. 29. Ancient York Masons of Pennsylvania. He was the father of Lieut. Col. James Chrystie of the 15th 
United States Infantry, who distinguished himself at Queenstown in the War of 1812. Both father and son were dead 
in 1824. 

JSee (*) note, page 1321. 

§Blackall William Ball was commissioned October 16. 1776 (to rank from October -1), an Ensign in the 12th 
Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, which was organized in the Autumn of 1776, as related on page 1329 
May 20, 1777, he was promoted Second Lieutenant, and July 1, 1778. was transferred to the Third Pennsylvania 
Regiment, Continental Line. He was promoted First Lieutenant September 11, 1778. In the "arrangement" of 
of the 3d Regiment January 1 , 1 78! , he was continued as First Lieutenant, but prior to January 1 . 1 783, he was trans- 
ferred to the First Pennsylvania. In 1783 he became an original member of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Society 
of the Cincinnati Prior to September 2Z, 1783, he had retired from the military service. December 13, 1783. he was 



1347 • 

Lieutenants. Major Moore was appointed to command the battalion, or corps 
of two companies that was to be organized, and under the date of September 
26th the Council issued to him the following instructions*: 

"Agreeably to our Communications of yesterday, you will proceed immediately to inlist 
and embody two Companies of Infantry consisting of one Serjeant Major, one Quarter Master 
Serjeant, eight Serjeants, eight Corporals, Two Drummers, Two Fifers, and one hundred and 
twenty-six privates, 

"In performing this service you will please to conform strictly to the following rules: 

"First, To guard against imposition, every Recruit, before his attestation be signed, is to be 
carefully examined, lest he should have a rupture, fits, or some other disease which may render 
hira incapable of performing the more active duties of the Soldier. All such are to be absolutely 
rejected, and those of the best Character, both as Soldiers and Men, to be selected. 

"Secondly, When an unexceptionable Recruit shall be engaged, you are to take or send 
him to some Justice of the Peace, who, finding him to be sober, and having read to him the form 
of the inlistment receipt and attestation, is to cause such Recruit to sign the said inlistment and 
receipt, and then to administer to him the oath herewith inclosed; duplicates of which attestation, 
inlistment and receipt the Justice shall witness. Of these one copy is to be transmitted to this 
Board; The other you will retain in your own hands. 

"Thirdly, The inclosed form of Enlistment receipt and attestation is to be invariably observed. 

"Fourthly, As an encouragement to such Recruit immediately to inlist, you are authorized 
to offer on the part of the State the following Ration; One pound of flour, one pound of beef, or 
three quarters of a pound of Pork, & one gill of whiskey per man per Day ; one quart of Salt & two 
quarts of Vinegar to every hundred rations; Eight pounds of Soap & three pounds of Candles to 
every seven hundred rations; one suit of Regimental Cloaths annually, consisting of one 
Regimental Coat, one woollen Vest, one pair of woollen Overalls, one blanket, two Shirts, two pair 
of Shoes, two pair of Socks, one Hat, and ten Watch Coats to each Company, and the following 
Monthly pay, to wit: Serjeant Major & Quarter Master Serjeant, each eight dollars; Serjeants, 
seven dollars; Corporals, five dollars; Drums and Fifes and Privates, four dollars. 

"Fifthly, As an additional encouragement to the service, you are at Liberty to give any 
sum not exceeding four dollars for every sufficient stand of arms and accoutrements furnished 
by the Recruit whom you may engage. 

"Sixthly, No furloughs to be given to any Recruit till the farther order of Council." 

The oath of enlistment prescribed by the Council to be taken by the recruits, 
was in the following formf : 

"I do swear to be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; that I will 
faithfully serve it in the corps of foot commanded by Maj. James Moore, for the space of two 

initiated into Lodge No. 22, Ancient York Masons, at Sunbury, Pennsylvania. He was still living in 1811, but when 
or where he died we are unable to state. 

ilJoHN Armstrong was a Sergeant in Capt. John Brady's company (enlisted along the West Branch of the Sus- 
quehanna in September and October. 1776), of the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment, previously mentioned. May 20, 
1777, he was promoted Ensign, and December 11 of the same year was promoted Second Lieutenant. July 1. 1778, 
he was transferred to the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment. Continental Line, upon the consolidation of the "12th' with 
it. (See note "t" above, for reference to Lieutenant Armstrong's trial by Court martial in 1778) 

Lieutenant Armstrong was promoted First Lieutenant May 12, 1779, and upon the "arrangement" of the 3d 
Pennsylvania January 17. 1781, and again on January 1, 1783, he was continued as Lieutenant. Sometime later he 
was promoted Captain by brevet. He retired from the service in the vSummer of 1783. 

Under a resolution of Congress adopted June 3, 1784, the several States of the Union were required to furnish 
quotas of troops for service under the orders of Congress for the space of one year. About the middle of August, 1784, 
the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania commissioned Lieut. Col. Josiah Harmar to raise and command a 
battaUon of troops, in compliance with the call of Congress. Among those selected as commissioned officers for this 
"Continental Regiment" was John Armstrong, who, at Sunbury, August 24. 1784, wrote to President Dickinson as 
follows: "By a letter from Colonel Harmar I find your Excellency and Council have been pleased to honor me with 
an appointment in the Continental Regiment under his command. After acknowledgements to your Excellency 
and Council for their confidence, I beg leave to obser^-e that I feel myself hurt in being only appointed Ensign after 
having served as Lieutenant in the Continental Army since September 11, 1777, and lately honored by Congress with 
a Captain's commission by brevet. While I accept my present appointment, I hope your Excellency' and Council 
will give me that rank I held in the Continental Army." 

At the beginning of December. 1784, Harmar's battalion was in camp near Fort Pitt (the present Pittsburgh, 
Pa.), and Ensign Armstrong was reported "sick, absent in Philadelphia." On December 5th, the battalion marched to 
Fort Mcintosh as a guard to the Commissioners appointed to hold a treaty with certain western Indians. January 
1, 1785, Ensign Armstrong was present at Fort Mcintosh, "sick." April 1, 1785, he was "on command down the Ohio 
River, about eighty miles from Fort Mcintosh." On the returns of July 1 and August I, 1785, made out at Fort 
Mcintosh, he was noted as being "on furlough." ■ 

USamuEl Re-U> was commissioned Ensign of the 5th Company in the "New Eleventh Pennsylvania Regiment" 
(referred to more at length in the notes on pages 1 108 and 1 179, Vol. II), and was with his regiment at Wyoming and 
on the Sullivan Expedition in the Summer of 1779. He was promoted Lieutenant October 2, 17S0. and on or about 
January 17, 1781, was transferred to the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line. Under the "arrangement" 
of this regiment January 1, 1783, he was continued as Lieutenant. Prior to September 23, 1783, he was transferred 
to the First Pennsylvania Regiment, and continued as a Lieutenant thereof until the regiment was disbanded, 
November 3, 1783. He died at Wilkes-Barre in September, 1784, of wounds received during one of the Pennamite- 
Yaiikee conflicts. 



**Andrew Henderson was appointed an Ensign in the Fourth Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, 
at Wilkes- Barre, October 9. 1 779, by order of General Sullivan, to rank from July 4, 1779, and was duly commissioned 
as such. He was promoted Lieutenant July 29, 1781, to rank from January 29, 1781. He was transferred as Lieuten- 
ant to the Second Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, January 1, 1783, and continued as a Lieutenant of that 
regiment until its disbandment. November 3, 1 783. About that time he became a member of the Pennsylvania Branch 
of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1799 Lieutenant Henderson was residing in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, 
and was Prothonotary of the County. 

♦See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 127. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 128. 



1348 

years from the date of this attestation, unless sooner discharged; and that I will be obedient to 
the orders of the Supreme Executive Council, the Legislature of the State, and the officers by them 
set over me, according to the Continental Articles of War, or such other Articles as some future 
Assembly of the State may establish for the government of the corps to which I belong. So help 
me God!" 

At Philadelphia, September 27, 1783, John Armstrong, Jr., wSecretary of the 
Supreme Executive Council, wrote to Capt. Philip Shrawder at Wilkes-Barre, 
in part as follows*: 

"You have been appointed to the command of one of the two companies to be raised for 
the further defense of this Commonwealth. The recruiting of this corps is specially committed to 
the commanding officer, Mai. James Moore of the Pennsylvania Line, whose orders you will here- 
after obey. Council conceive it necessary that you should continue at the Post, and proceed to 
act in that line of diligence and industry which has already so well deserved their approbation. 
Many reasons make it prudent, if not necessary, that this appointment should be concealed from 
the garrison. Among others, it is to be feared that if they were acquainted with it they might 
relax in their obedience." 

As noted on page 638, Vol. II, Col. Zebulon Butler returned from the army 

to Wilkes-Barre, August 20, 1783. Miner, referring to the condition of affairs 

in Wyoming about that time, states ("History of Wyoming," page 331): 

"Thelicentious soldiery, freed from the restraints of discipline, which the presence of an 
enemy tends to enforce, and encouraged by the civil authority [that is, the newly-commissioned 
Pennsylvania Justices of the Peace], became extremely rude and oppressive. They took without 
leave whatever they fancied. Several persons had been arrested and brought before Captain 
Shrawder. Colonel Butler, indignant at the treatment the inhabitants suffered, expressed his 
opinions freely. It was enough. A writ was issued, and Colonel Butler was arrested on the 24th 
of September for high treason, as it was said. Surrounded by a guard of soldiers he was conveyed 
to the fort [Dickinson], and was treated with great indignity." 

Colonel Franklin states that Colonel Butler was kept under guard in the 
fort for thirty-six hours, and then, "put under a guard of ruffian soldiers, in 
command of Ensign Chambers was sent on board of a canoe to Sunbury to be 
committed to gaol; and that he was thus sent without any civil officer, writ or 
mittimus." Col. John Henry Antest, was at that time vSheriff of Northumber- 
land County, and he not only refused to receive Colonel Butler into his custody, 
but directed him to return to Wilkes-Barre. A few days later Colonel Butler 
was again arrested, and was ordered to be committed to the jail at Sunbury. The 
original mittimusj, issued in pursuance of this mandate of the Justices, is now 
in the possession of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, and reads 
as follows: 

"Northumberland County, ss: 
[L. S.] 

To the Sheriff, Under Sheriff or Gaoler. These are in the name of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania to require and command you that you receive into your custody in the gaol of said 
County the body of Zebulon Butler, charged of Treason, and extremely dangerous, as appears 
to us the subscribers — Justices assigned to keep the peace for said County — from sundry deposi. 

'''See ihid., page 131. 

tJoHN Henry Antes, commonly known as Henry Antes, was bom near what is now Pottstown, Montgomery 
County, Pennsylvania, October 8. 1736. In early manhood he removed to the Susquehanna region and settled near 
the present town of Jersey Shore, in what later became Northumberland County, and is now Lycoming County, Penn- 
sylvania. July 29, 1 775. he was appointed a Justice of the Quarter Sessions of Northumberland County. In December. 
1775, he is said to have commanded a company in the Piunket Expedition, a full account of which is given on page 
859, et seq-. Vol. II. January 34, 1776, he was commissioned Captain of a company in the Pennsylvania Battalion 
of militia commanded by Col. James Potter. In May, 1777, he was commissioned by the Supreme Executive Council 
of Pennsylvania Lieut. Colonel of the 4th Battalion of Northumberland County militia. In 1779 he was "Conductor 
of Boats", with the rank of Colonel, on the staff of General Sullivan during the Sullivan Expedition— described in 
Chapter XVIII, Vol. II. In 1782 he was elected Sheriff of Northumberland County. He was re-elected in 1783 and 
again in 1784. 

In 1778 Colonel Antes erected near his home, for the occupancy of his family and his neighbors, a rude stockade, 
which became known as Fort Antes. It was located on a high bluff overlooking the river, in what is now Nippenose 
Township, Lycoming County. Colonel Antes became a member of Lodge No. 22, Ancient York Masons, at Sunbury, 
Pa., February 8, 1781, and in 1784 was vSenior Warden of the Lodge. He died at his home near the ruins of Fort 
Antes, May 13, 1820. "No name on the frontier shines with brighter luster than that of Henry Antes." 

For further and more detailed particulars concerning the life of Henry Antes, see "Frontier Forts of Penn- 
sylvania", I: 394, and Godcharles' "Free Masonry in Northumberland and Snyder Counties, Pennsylvania", I: 23. 

tA copy of the document was transmitted to the Supreme Executive Council by Alexander Patterson, and was 
received by that body December 1, 1783. 



1349 

tioni and informations before us. And that you safely keep said Zeliulon Butler in said gaol, 
until he is discharged therefrom by law, &c. 

"Given under our hands and seals October 9, 1783. 

ISigned] "Alkxaxder Patterson, 

"John Seely 
"David Mead." 

Relative to his re-arrest, Colonel Butler wrote from Wilkes-Barre under the 
date of October 11, 1783, to Col. E. Dyer and Jesse Root, Esq., at Hartford, 
Connecticut, in part as follows: 

"Yours of September 12 I received yesterday. I was a prisoner, sent to gaol about seventy 
miles, when the letter came, I was taken on a writ for treason against the State. The Sheriflf 
gave me a writing to return or go where I chose, only to come again to court. Immediately on 
my arrival at home I was taken by an under Sheriff for the same thing, and the Sheriff is now 
waiting to take me away. * * * The inhabitants are in the most distressed situation. 
Clairaers for lands under Pennsylvania are demanding and taking part of their crops of corn, &c. 
The inhabitants are almost drove to despair. God knows what will be the event." 

Once more, then, Colonel Butler was conveyed down the river to Sunbury, 
where, upon his arrival, he was bound over for his appearance at the next term 
of the Court of Oyer and Terminer — Messers. Shaw, Bonham and Espy becoming 
his sureties in the sum of £5,000. Returning to Wilkes-Barre, Colonel Butler 
was again, early in November, 1783, conveyed to Sunbur>' by a supposed process 
of law. The following, copied from originals now in the possession of The Wyom- 
ing Historical and Geological Society, will explain, in a measure, the why and 
wherefore of this third excursion to the county-seat of Northumberland County. 

"Northumberland, Nov. II, 1783. 

"Sir: — Upon reconsideration of the note I have wrote you by Mr. John Mead,* I do not 
wish you to consider it in any manner as a summons to come to Sunbury, and I hereby order 
John Mead, or any other messenger of mine who may have you in custody, immediately to enlarge 
you and suffer you to go home or elsewhere in the County of Northumberland until Court, or 
further orders from me. Witness my hand and seal the day and year above. 

"To Col. Zebn. BuUer. [Signed] "Henry Antes, Sheriff. 



"Northumberland, County, ss: — 
"John Mead, being at this time the gaoler of the County aforesaid, saith, That on the Sth 
November, iiist., being sent up to Wyoming by Henry Antes, High Sheriff of the County, the said 
Sheriff delivered him a paper directing him to apprehend Col. Zebulon Butler and bring him to 
Sunbury gaol and to keep him safely, agreeably to a mittimus which the Sheriff ackno%vledged 
to be in his hands. This deponent accordingly apprehended the said Butler at Wyoming, and 
brought him down with him to Northumberland town, where he was met by the Sheriff, General 
Potter, William Shaw, Esq., WLUiam Bonham and Captain Robinson. The Sheriff then took 
the said Butler from him [the said Mead], desiring him to let said Butler go, and he [Antes] 
would clear him [Mead] for so doing. The Sheriff afterwards delivered a paper to this deponent, 
by way of indemnifying the deponent for letting said Butler go. It seems to be a copy of an 
original given by the Sheriff to said Butler, but was signed by the Sheriff himself. 

[Signed] "John Mead" 

"Sworn and subscribed this 13 November, 1783, before John Buyers and Chn. Gettig, Esqs." 
On October 14, 1783, an election was held in Northumberland County for 
one member of the Supreme Executive Council of the State, two Representatives 
to the General Assembly, and a High Sheriff in and for the County. The voting 
took place at Pennsbury (see page 1342), and thither journej'ed Capt. Simon 
Spalding and twent^^-three other Yankee settlers of Wyoming to cast their 
ballots. After taking the oath of allegiance to Pennsylvania they were permitted 
to vote, but their ballots were placed in boxes separate from those in which the 
ballots of the other voters were deposited — the reason for this being that 
there was some question in the minds of the election officers as to the validity 
of these ballots, because those who cast them had not resided a year in Pennsyl- 
vania. The Constitution of the State required a year's residence in the State 
as one of the necessarv- qualifications to vote at elections; and tip to the Decree 
of Trenton, W^'oming had been under the jurisdiction of Connecticut. 

*.\ younger brother of David Mead. 



1350 

When the returns of this election were made to the General Assembly, that 
body rejected the ballots of the twenty-four Wyoming voters, whereupon twenty 
members of the Assembly protested against such action, assigning, among other 
reasons, the following*: 

"We whose names are hereto subscribed, considering the security of elections the only 
safeguard of public liberty and the peace of the State, do protest against the determination of 
the House on the Northumberland election, for the following reasons: 

"We conceive the twenty-four votes set aside as illegal were given by legal voters, inasmuch 
as the persons giving them were in fact in the Government (though not in the territory/ of 
Connecticut, which exercised full jurisdiction over them until the Decree at Trenton. 

"We observe that, allowing it to be Connecticut (as was contended) until the Decree at 
Trenton, then they may be deemed persons coming from another State, who, producing certificates 
of their having taken the oath to this State, became by law entitled to vote. This, it was fully 
proved, they had done. * * * 

"We cannot but lament the fatal policy by which, instead of conciliating these people and 
adopting them as our subjects and citizens and endearing them to us in political bands, we are 
straining the laws against them; * * * which in our judgment has a strong tendency to 
revive the dispute (which they may yet do under the Articles of Confederation) and drive them 
back to the jurisdiction of Connecticut, which will be more ready to receive them and renew the 
old claim when they find the actual settlers excluded from the common privileges of the citizens 
of this State." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of October 18, 1783, President Dickinson 
wrote to Maj. James Moore, then in Philadelphia, as follows! : 

"Council, fully confiding in your Integrity, Ability & Industry, commits to you the important 
charge, the Fort and Post at Wyoming, and wishes you and the other officers now in town [Phila- 
delphia] to repair to that place as soon as possible with the men that are inlisted. We do not 
doubt but the utmost care will be taken that the troops behave themselves regularly, and that 
not the least injury be done to any of the citizens of the State. 

"Upon your arrival there you will endeavor to complete the companies by enlisting such of 
the soldiers in the Garrison as may be approved, and agreeable to the instructions we have 
given, and who have no improper connection in the neighborhood. If a sufficient number of such 
men cannot be procured in the Garrison, we would desire that an officer may be sent down to this 
city to make up the-complement. As you go by Harris' Ferryj you will take with you such of the 
military stores at that place as may be necessary. 

"Peculiar circumstances strongly point out the propriety of desiring you, in a very particular 
manner, constantly to employ the utmost vigilance and alertness for the security of the fort and 
the maintenance of the station. It is expected that you will be in perfect preparation at every 
moment to resist any hostile attempt, whether openly or insidiouslymade. Among other atten- 
tions it will be indispensably necessary for this purpose that great care should be taken not to 
suffer the soldiers, on any pretense whatever, to absent themselves from the Garrison, either in 
an indefensible situation, or beyond the reach of your immediate recall. 

"It is our desire that as long as it may be necessary to keep up the Garrison it shall at no 
time be left without a supply of one month's provisions in stock for the complete establishment 
of the two companies. We should be glad to have a return of all the military stores, and early, 
frequent and exact intelligence of your proceedings and of every circumstance that may concern 
the interest of the State. 

"On your arrival at Wyoming you will please to muster and inspect the troops now there, 
making exact returns to us. You will then express to the officers and soldiers§ the grateful sense 
we entertain of their services, and discharge them." 

Under the date of October 20, 1783, at "Londonderry" (Wilkes-Barre) 
Alexander Patterson wrote to President Dickinson as follows : 

"Since Mr. Mead and I wrote you last (the purport of which was informing you of the 
measures taken to have in confinement that flagrant offender. Col. Zebulon Butler, who has 
threatened the dissolution of the citizens of this State and its laws), notwithstanding Colonel 
Butler was committed from under the hands and seals of three Justices of Peace for treason, he 
has found securitv, and is sent back to this place to the terror of the good citizens in this neighbor- 
hood. The Sheriff has not done his duty, nor do I believe he intends it — being a party man, 
among which I am sorry to see so little principles of humanity and honour, men who wish for 
popularity at the expense of the property, and perhaps blood, of their fellow-citizens. 

"Strange as it may appear, it is alDsolutely true that the banditti at Wyoming have been 
solicited for their votes at the election||, caressed and patronized in their villainy, and encouraged 
in their claims to land which they now withhold, in violation of all law, from men who have 

*See Miner's "History of Wyoming," Page 341. 

tSce "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 132. 

JNow Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

§The officers and men of Captain Shrawder's and Captain Robinson's companies of "Pennsylvania Rangers." 

I] The election held at Pennsbury. 



1351 

distinguished themselves and taken a very decided part in the late Revolution. Sure I am that 
it would be an act of justice not to commissionatc [as Sheriff] Antes* — the other person on the 
return I do not know, but worse he cannot be. 

"Pardon this freedom. Nothing but a wish for the peace of the citizens would have induced 
me to have said so much upon this head. I have wrote the Chief Justice concerning Butler, and 
have prevailed upon Ihe bearer hereof, Capt. John Dickf to carry these despatches. He will 
return to this place, and may he depended on. I am very uneasy having heard nothing of Major 
Moore. I wish he was here. I hope your E.'^ccUency will think it right to order the troops for- 
ward as soon as possible." 

()f the two military companies which were to be stationed at Wilkes-Barre 
by direction of the vState Government, Captain Chrystie enlisted his men at 
and near Philadelphia, while Captain vShrawder enlisted his from the "Rangers" 
of his former command and that of Captain Robinson, who were discharged 
from the service of the State upon the arrival of Major Moore, at Wilkes-Barre 
early in November, 1783. Captain Chrystie, in command of his company, set 
out from Philadelphia for Wyoming, October 19, 1783. On October 22d, Easton 
was reached, when and where Captain Chr\'stie wrote to President Dickinson as 
f ollowsj : 

"I have arrived here this morning at 9 o'Clock, the Detachment in good order, only two of 
the soldiers which I shall take the liberty to discharge as unfit for service. The one has fits & 
the other is in such a situation from his own faults that he will be on the Doctor's list during 
the term of his inlistment. 

"Your Excellency will see the reason for the waggons being allovveji for six days. The two 
first days owing to the badness of the weather we got no further than Flower Town about twelve 
miles from Phila. & he is allowed two days to return. I expect to have everything ready to march 
this evening & will set out to morrow morning." 

Captain Chrystie and his men arrived at Wilkes-Barre (or "Londonderry", 
as they called it, in view of the rebaptism of the town by Alexander Patterson) 
on Wednesday, October 29, 1783. Owing to the lack of proper quarters at Fort 
Dickinson, Chrystie's men were, according to Colonel Franklin§, "turned in 
upon the inhabitants, ten soldiers with a family, in some small houses. Some 
families were dispossessed for the reception of the troops, there being at the same 
time convenient public buildings, which had been built [for barracks, etc.] in 
the time of the war, sufficient to have accommodated the whole of them without 
molesting a single family. Alexander Patterson was particularly active in this 
business of oppressing the inhabitants to accommodate the troops." 

Miner says ("History of Wyoming," page 332) that Col. Zebulon Butler — 
who lived within a few hundred feet of the fort — "yvas particularly distinguished 
(?) by having twenty [soldiers] billeted upon him. The houses being small, 
hastily erected after the conflagration of the savages, the people poor, and the 
soldiers insolent, their sufferings were exceedingly severe — too great for human 
nature patiently to endure. But, seeing it was the purpose to drive them to 
soine act of desperation, the injuries and insults were borne with forbearaace 
and fortitude." Sheldon Reynolds, Esq., in "The Frontier Forts of Pennsyl- 
vania," I: 465, says: "The soldiery, having no enemy to engage, either Indian, 
Tory or British, became rude, licentious and insolent, and were used almost 
exclusively for the oppression of the Connecticut settlers, in the hope of driving 
them to acts of violence wliich could be construed into resistance to the State 
Government." 

Miner making further reference to occurrences which took place in Wyom- 
ing almost immediately upon the arrival of Captain Chrystie's soldiers, says 

*Col. John Henry Antes, mentioned on page l.HS. 

tA resident of Northampton County, at or near Easton. His name is mentioned 0:1 pigei 626. 65^, 6'>->. 6S3. 
814, of volume U. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series, X: l.Vi. 

§"Plain Truth" article in The Luzerne FederalisI, October 21. 1804. 



1352 

("History of Wyoming," page 332): "His strength being now equal to any 
probable emergency, Justice Patterson proceeded to adopt measures of greater 
energy. October 31st, [1783], the settlement of Shawnee* was invaded by the 
military', headed by the Justice in person, and eleven respectable citizens were 
arrested and sent under guard to the fort. Among the prisoners was Maj. Prince 
Alden.t sixty-five years old, feeble from age and suffering from disease. Com- 
passion yielded nothing to alleviate his sufferings. 

"Capt. James BidlackJ was also arrested. He was between sixty and seventy. 
His son of the same name had fallen at the head of his company in the Indian 
battle; another son, Benjamin, had served in the army through the Revolu- 
tionary War. Mr. Bidlack himself had been taken by the savages, and suffered 
a tedious captivity in Canada. All this availed him nothing. Benjamin Harvey§, 
who had been a prisoner to the Indians, was also arrested. Samuel Ransom[|, 
son of Captain Ransom, who fell in the massacre, was most rudely treated on 
being taken. 'Ah! ha!' cried Patterson, 'you are the jockey we want; away 
with him to the guard-house with old Harvey, another damned rascal!' 

"Eleven in all were taken, and driven to the fort, where they were confined 
in a room with a mud floor, wet and comfortless, with no food and little fire. 
As they were sitting, around the fire Captain Chrystie came in, ordered them to 
lie down on the ground, and bade the guard blow out the brains of any one who 
should attempt to rise. Even the staff of the aged Mr. Allen was taken from him. 
On demanding what was their offense, and if it was intended to starve them, 
Patterson tauntingly replied: 'Perhaps in two or three months we shall be at 
leisure, and you may be set at liberty.' 

"At the intercession of D. Mead, Esq., three of the elder prisoners the next 
day were liberated; the remaining eight being kept in their loathsome prison — 
some a week, others ten days — and then dismissed without arraignment or trial. 
But the object had been accomplished; their several families had been turned 
out of their houses, and creatures of Patterson put in possession. 

"It is scarcely possible to conceive the insolence of manner assumed by 
Justice Patterson. Meeting by accident with Capt. Caleb Bates^, and learning 
his name, he demanded: 'Why have you not been to see me. Sir.' Captain 
Bates answered that he did not know him. 'Well, I will recommend myself to 
you, Sir — I am Esquire Patterson of Pennsylvania', and almost instantly ordered 
a Sergeant to take him [Bates] to the guard-house." 

Col. John Franklin, who was in Wyoming Valley in 1783, and was thoroughly 
familiar with all the occurrences which took place here then, dealt with them at 
considerable length in his "Plain Truth" articles published in The Luzerne Fed- 
eralist at Wilkes-Barre, in October and November, 1804. The following para- 
graphs have been taken from those articles. 

"Robert McDowel**, being sworn, deposedft that in October last [1783] he was standing 
at the Wilkes-Barre Garrison; was taken by Elisha Courtright and taken before Esquire Seely. 
When deponent came there he was told that a complaint had been made against him by Ezekiel 
Schoonover and Lieut. [Moses] Van Campen that deponent had said that the authorities here 
had no authority to act. The constable took deponent to the fort by Seely's orders. Captain 
Shrawder told deponent that for his conduct the corporal should take care of him until he could 

^Plymouth. tSee page 500, Vol. I. JSee page 999, Vol, 11. §See (§) note page 1260. ||See page 895, Vol. II 

•;C.4LEB Bates, of Connecticut, was one of the grantees named in the Indian deed of 1754 (see page 271, Vol. l) 
to The Susquehanna Company- In August, 1757, he was living at Coventry, Kent County. Rhode Island. He came 
to Wyoming first in .August, 1771, and in 1783 was living at Laclca wanna, in Pittston Township, some ten miles from 
Wilkes-Barre. 

**See note, page 730, Vol. II. 

ft Before a Committee of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania at Wilkes-Barre in December, 1783, as more fully 
related on page 1358. 



1353 

be sent to Sunbury. Deponent was sent by a corporal to Sunbury, to be committed by a mittimus 
from Seely. He (McDowel] got bail at Sunbury and returned home. 

"After being at home a day or two Constable Courtright came to deponent and told him 
that Esquire Patterson wanted to see him. Deponent went to John HoUenback's |inn] , went 
into the room where Patterson was and sat down. Patterson told deponent to stand up, which he 
did. Deponent was asked who was his bail at Northumberland. Patterson said, 'the authorities 
at Xorthumberland laugh at our authority here, therefore I will have you put in irons and will 
send you back again.' Upon which Patterson called the Sheriff a number of times, when the 
Under Sheriff, .Simms, came. Says Patterson, ' I command you in the name of the United States 
to take this man and put him in irons, and take him down to Sunbury. 

"The Sheriff took deponent into custody. On their way to Yarington's (at the Garrison) 
they met Captain Robinson, who told deponent to stay at Yarington's until next morning, and 
he would try to settle the matter. He advised deponent to take a lease of his house, or of a piece 
of land, and said that would settle the whole — the old and new affair. Deponent declined taking 
a lease, and then walked to HoUenback's with Captain Robinson; stayed there .some time with 
him and the Sheriff. After some conversation Captain Robinson and the Sheriff said to de- 
jjonent, 'You may go home and not meddle yourself any more with the affair; you may go and 
stay at home in peace.' Deponent went home. 

"Afterwards he was on his way from home to attend Court at Northumberland. He called 
at a public house in Salem; went in where there were a number of people drinking, and among 
them deponent saw Esquire Patterson, who, casting his eyes upon him said: 'So! So! McDowel, 
you are here. Will you sit in company with a tinker.' (Patterson was a tinker by occupation;. 
Deponent said: 'A body will do anything at times.' At that Patterson .said: 'You rascal, begone 
out of the house this minute', and at the same instant arose, and did not give deponent time to go 
out before he knocked off deponents hat, and then struck him twice on the side of his head, and 
then shoved him out of the house. Deponent went to Sunbury court, stayed there about three 
days, and then was discharged without any trial. 

"James Logan*, the Northampton mulatto and associate of Patterson, informed deponent 
that he had interceded with Esquires Patterson and Ssely and the States' Attorney, who had 
discharged the deponent. 

"Maj. Prince Alden, Sr., being sworn, deposed that on the 3Ist day of October, 1783, he 
went from his own house in Shawnee to the house of Preserved Cooley in company with James 
Logan, having some business with him, and had invited Logan to dine with him. When they 
came to Cooley's house they found Esquire Patterson, Esquire Seely, Lieutenant Ball, Lieutenant 
Erb, Ensign Chambers, and about twenty-five soldiers. Esquire Patterson came to the door 
and asked the deponent if he had any business there, and deponent replied that he had business 
with James Logan. 

"They went into the house and drank some liquor, and as deponent and Logan stepped out 
of the door to go to their dinner Esquire Patterson ordered a Sergeant to take deponent under 
,i;uard. Deponent asked what he had been guilty "of, and said that he knew of no crime. Esquire 
Patterson said: 'Damn him, take him along!' Deponent begged the liberty of going home to 
dinner, as he had invited Logan to dine with him. By the mediation of Logan deponent got 
permission to .go, and after dinner he returned. Esquire Patterson ordered him into the guard- 
house [in Plymouth] , where he went and continued with about ten of the inhabitants ; was kept there 
about an hour, when they were ordered out of the guard-house to the guard at the fort [Dickinson] , 
about five miles. Deponent objected, said he had been in poor health for about two months, and 
was not able to walk so far, and desired that he might provide a horse for himself. Esquire 
Patterson answered, 'Damn him. let him go along!' 

"After they marched off deponent's son overtook them with a horse and greatcoat. Deponent 
took the other sick man behind him on the horse, and then marched on to the guard-house. There 
they had but little fire and no fuel. The guard helped them to some fuel. They tarried there 
some time. The prisoners were talking civilly among themselves, when Captain Chrystie and 
Lieutenant Ball came in and told them not to say a word, and ordered them to lie down on the 
ground, which was a very unwholesome place. They immediately obeyed, and there they tarried 
until the ne.\t morning, at which time Esquire Patterson came to the guard-house. Deponent 
told Patterson he should be glad to know what their crimes were, and asked when they would 
come to their trial. Esquire Patterson answered: 'You may find that out by your learning.' 

"Deponent was denied provisions and drink the night he was confined. He never suffered 
more in his life. The guard-house was so open that a man might have crept through between 
the logs. Deponent sent his son to Esquire Mead, and got permission to go to a private house, 
where he tarried three or four nights, and then went home without leave or license, and no crime 
alleged against him. 

"Capt. James Bidlack, being sworn, deposed that he was taken at Shawnee by some of 
the soldiers by Esquire Patterson's orders; that he was drove in haste to the Garrison with other 

'Mentioned in the note on page 647, Vol. II Colonel Franklin, in one of his "Plain Truth " articles, printed 
in The Luzerne Federalist. December 39. 1804, describes Logan as "a mulatto of .\frican blood." .\s indicated in earlier 
pages he was active in behalf of the Pennamites in Wyoming affairs during the First Pennamite- Yankee War, In 
178.^-'84 he seems to have been acting at Wyoming as a sub-or deputy-sherifT under Pennsylvania authority. The 
writer of this has in hi-; possession an original petition made to the Hon, John Penn. "Proprietary and Governor of 
Pennsylvania", dated at Philadelphia. November 26. 1773. and signed by James Logan, "of Lower Smithfield Town- 
ship. Northampton County. Pennsylvania." It reads in part as follows: 

Your petitioner, since the year 1769 till in the Summer of 1772. has been employed in the Proprietaries' service 
again-t the Connecticut People at Wajomick, and has, at the end of this expedition, rendered his account of particular 
services and disbursements to Mr. Secretary Tilghman. who paid him £19 in part thereof: but there is still upwards 
of £100 due thereon, for the receiving of which balance your petitioner is now the sixth time come to Philadelphia. 
* * That he has on all occasions shown his zeal for the Proprietaries's service, and readily ventured his life in the 
same whenever it was required of him." * * * 



1354 

prisoners; that they were confined in the guard-hous:^, where he continued four nights and three 
days; that the first night was much as represented by Major Alden. The next day after 
their confinement Esquire Patterson came, and was asked by one of the prisoners how long they 
were to stay there and when they should have their trial. Esquire Patterson replied (as deponent 
thinks), 'in two or three months'. He (deponent! then asked what they should do for provisions. 
Esquire Patterson answered that he could find them only bread and water, and they must pay for it. 
"Benjamin Harvey deposed that he was taken at his own house, at the lower end of Shawnee, 
by Lieutenant Ball, Lieutenant Erb, Ensign Chambers and Ezekiel Schoonover. (Here deponent 
described the rough treatment he met with.) When deponent came to Cooley's house (this 
being the place of rendezvous), there stood Esquire Patterson, who ordered deponent into the 
house, where he tarried a little while. Then Esquire Patterson ordered him into the guard house 
with a file of men, where he tarried two hours. Then deponent and the other prisoners were ordered 
to march in a body to the Garrison at Wilkes-Barre, where they were put into a guard-house in 
the Garrison. Deponent was kept there eight days. He applied to Esquire Mead to know his 
crime. Mead sent for deponent and took him from the guard-house; said he did not know, but 
there might be a crime alleged against him. Then deponent entered into a recognizance in the 
sum of £30, for his appearance at Court. 

"When Esquire Mead was going to Court, deponent saw him at Shawnee, at Cooley's. 
Deponent was dismissed, Mead telling him that he had not found anything against him. After 
deponent was taken prisoner a family was put into his house by Esquire Patterson's orders. The 
three officers who took deponent told him that Patterson ordered the family into the house. 

"Samuel Ransom deposed that he was taken at Shawnee the last of October 1783, by Lieu- 
tenant Ball and Ezekiel Schoonover, and was roughly treated. When deponent came to Cooley's 
Esquire Patterson was there and asked deponent his name. Then says Patterson: 'Ahl ha! 
you are the jockey we want ; away with him to the guard-house with old Harvey, another damned 
rascal.' Deponent was there two hours; was then taken to the Garrison with the other prisoners. 
Deponent was then sick, and had been sick thiee months. After marching a little way deponent 
and Major Alden had liberty to ride on a horse. They were roughly treated on the way, were 
often called damned rascals, and were threatened by the officers to be horsewhipped, etc. 

"When they came to the Fort [Dickinson] they were conveyed into a guard-house which 
was open and cold, without any floor, and the ground very wet. They were kept there that night 
without any wood allowed them, or anything to eat or drink. The next day, about ten or eleven 
o'clock. Esquire Patterson came along. One of the prisoners says to him: 'Are you going to keep 
us here to starve, choke and freeze?' Esquire Patterson replied: 'Perhaps we shall be at leisure 
in about three months, and perhaps you may then be set at liberty.' Further, Patterson said 
they would be allowed bread and water. 

"That about 11 or 12 o'clock the next day after they- were confined, they received some 
flour for their support ; and some time the next day after this they received the bread they gave 
the flour for. While they were in the guard-house Captain Chrystie came and ordered every 
man to lie flat on the ground, and ordered the sentinel, that if any man should raise his head, to 
blow out his brains. Deponent was confined five days and nights, and had no crime alleged nor 
any authority shown him as to why he was taken. When deponent was taken his family was 
turned out of his house by force, and kept out to the time of taking this testimony. 

"It was proved by the testimony of James Mitchell, Abram Nesbitt and others that Samuel 
Ransom's family were turned out of their house while Patterson and his gang were present. 
Abram Nesbitt [twenty years of age], for speaking in favor of Mrs. Ransom, who was his sister, 
and endea\'oring to assist her, was taken prisoner, boimd with cords, and drove to the Garrison 
at Wilkes-Barre with the other prisoners, and confined in the guard-house twenty-four hours, 
and then turned out without any examination. He heard the order given to the prisoners to 
lie down, with orders to the sentinels to blow any prisoner through that should speak or make 
any rout. 

"In the month of October, 1783, a man of the name of Woodcock — as ordinary a fellow as 
any to be found — called on Solomon Cole, a respectable inhabitant of Wilkes-Barre, and took 
him a prisoner, saying he had a writ from Esquire Patterson. Mr. Cole refused to go with him, 
and disputed his being a proper officer. Woodcock returned, but shortly came a second time 
and informed Mr. Cole that Esquire Patterson wanted to see him. 

"He went to see Patterson; was going into the room where he was. 'Stop!' says the haughty 
magistrate, 'until I call for you.' He was soon after called in, when Patterson charged him of 
speaking slightingly of his authority. Cole denied it. The wife of Woodcock (more ordinary, 
if possible, than her husband) was called and sworn by Patterson to give testimony. She swore 
that she had heard Cole tell a man that Patterson was no more fit for an Esquire than the Devil. 
The witness could not tell who the man was, nor the time she heard the expression; however, 
the evidence was sufficient, for the lordly judge pronounced sentence against Mr. Cole, saying 
to Woodcock (his Constable), 'take this fellow and put him in the stocks for two hours!' Cole 
was ordered to go to the stocks with Woodcock, but after leaving Patterson he refused to go into 
the stocks, and went home. 

"In about half an hour Woodcock came again, with a Corporal and three soldiers. Mr. 
Cole was taken again before Patterson, and the guards were ordered to put him in the stocks for 
two hours. He was taken to the stocks, but the guards having more humanity than the Justice, 
refused to do the duty they were directed to do, saying that they were not Constables. Others 
were ordered to assist, but refused. Cole was then taken back to the guard-house, confined 
an hour and a-half, when Patterson came to the guard-house and, after some conversation on 
the subject of the accusation. Cole was told by Patterson that if he would behave as a good in- 



1355 

habitant, he (Patterson) would use him as such, upon his paying three shillings. Cole accordingly 
paid the amount to Esquire Seely, by orders from Patterson, and was dismissed and returned 
home." 

Colonel Franklin, in his "Brief," referred to in the note on page 1325, de- 
scribes at some length the condition of affairs in Wyoming during the Autumn 
of 1783. He states, among other things: 

"After the return of Colonel Butler [from Sunbury, where he had been under arrest, as 
hereinbefore related] the soldiers were removed from his house on the condition of his giving up 
the house — except a small room — to David Mead, Esq., for the reception of Mead's family — 
which Butler sulimitted to. Of two evils he chose the least. * * * Landlords warrants were 
often issued by the Pennsylvania claimants ; the property of the settlers taken and .sold on pretense 
of rents due; warrants issued by the Justices in favor of the Pennsylvania claimants against the 
settlers on pretense of debt; the settlers dragged before the Justices and not allowed to make 
any defense or even to exhibit a just account; judgments rendered against them, and their property 
taken and sold by executions. 

"Patterson and Seely were the most active in granting writs and judging causes of this 
kind. The Connecticut settlers were not allowed to convene together on any occasion. Any 
three found in company were immediately arrested as rioters! In a word — to enumerate the 
sufferings of the settlers under the administration of the Justices and the officers of the Garrison 
would fill a volume. 

"The settlers, about November I, 1783, stated their grievances in a letter directed to the 
Representatives to the General Assembly of Pennsylvania from Northumberland County, request- 
ing that the same should be laid before the Assembly. But the Wyoming votes having been 
rejected*, thos; to whom the letter was directed were excluded from their seats [in the Assembly] 
which were filled by others, the next highest on the election returns. The agent for the settlers 
(Mr. Hugh Forseman)t endeavored to have the letter stating the grievances taken up by the 
Assembly, but the same was rejected as not being brought forward in the proper mode. Mr. 
Forseman returned to Wyoming without any relief for the settlers. On his return a 'petition, 
address and remonstrance' was prepared and signed by upwards of sixty of the settlers (which 
they were obliged to do privately), dated November IS, 1 783, and sent to the Assembly by their 
agent, Mr. [John] Franklin." 

The above-mentioned petition, which appears to have been written by John 
Jenkins, St., and was signed by him. Col. Zebulon Butler and a number of others, 
"in behalf of themselves and the rest of the inhabitants of Wyoming," read in 
part as follows: 

"Since the D.;cree of Trenton we have considered ourselves as citizens of Pennsylvania, 
and have at all times, by ojr peaceable demeanor and ready submission to Government, duly 
submitted ourselve.s to th; laws of the State of Pennsylvania; and not only so. but as we were 
not made duly acquainted with the laws of the State, we have tamely submitted to every 
requisition of the executive and military authorities, although the same appeared to us in many 
instances to be unconstitutional and unlawful. 

"We beg leave to observe that nothing special happened until the Resolve of the Assembly 
appointing Commissioners, in which we observed that, after the report of those Commissioners 
so appointed, we were to have a time and place appointed for the choosing of authority, holding 
elections, etc. But to our great surprise and grief it seems that there was a choice made (by those 
that call themselves landholders — some from one part of the State and some from other parts; 
some from New Jersey and elsewhere, and principally not inhabitants of this County I of a number 
of persons to be commissioned in authority, all without our knowledge, and before the report 
of the Commissioners or the appointment of a time and place for that purpose; and a return of 
those persons was, by some way or means to us unknown, made to the Honorable the General 
Assembly of the State, and the same have since been commissioned, which has produced the 
following facts, viz.: 

"Some time in September, 1783, Col. Zebulon Butler was met at the ferry boat by a man 
that is called a Constable — but how he came by his authority we know not; however, this man. 
Brink by name, seized his (Butler's) horse by the bridle, told him he was his prisoner, took him 
into the fort and delivered him up to the martial department. He. the said Butler, was kept 
there twenty-four hours under guard; was then sent off under a strong guard of soldiers to North- 
umberland, without either civil officer or writ, and was not made acquainted with any crime for 
which he was taken. He has been taken three times since by different officers under pretenses 
of the same crime, and yet knows not what it is. although he got bail for his appearance at Court. 

"Since this the property of sundry persons has been taken by force, under a pretense, and 
the persons that take it say [they take it] by the advice of the authorities; and upon application 
to the authorities no redress can be had. That persons taken for pretended crimes have been 
told by the Justices that if they would take a lease, they should be set at liberty; and have, in 
fact, been obliged to comply, or suffer in prison in a guard-house. Widows and fatherless children, 
in a sickly condition, [have been] turned out of their houses and sick beds and drove off in a tedious 
storm — and this said to be done by the advice of the authorities ; and no redress could be obtained 

*See page 1350. 

tSee first paragraph, page Ills, \'ol. II. 



1356 

from the authorities, though apphcation was made. Some were taken under pretense of some 
crime, and, when confined, their wives were told [by soldiers] that if they would submit to their 
carnal desires their husbands should be set at liberty. Some taken by a guard of armed soldiers, 
in presence Of the Justices, and their wives and families turned out of doors. The possession of 
a grist-mill was taken away by force and given to another man, and although frequent application 
has been made to the Justices for redress, none can be had. * * * 

"That persons, when taken and brought before the Justices, have not been suffered to speak 
a word in their own defense, or to hear a witness, although (it was] requested. That writs are 
given out for sixpence against children fifteen years of age, although it was for one gill of whisky, 
and parents, guardians or masters never notified. * * * That one of the inhabitants having 
business with Captain Schott, Esquire Patterson being present asked his name. He informed 
him and then said, 'Patterson, I do not know you.' [To which Patterson replied] : 'I am Alexander 
Patterson, Esq., of Pennsylvania, one of the magistrates of this place. God damn you, I will 
make you know me!' He then called a guard of soldiers, took the man to the guard-house, confined 
him for twenty-four hours, and then dismissed him without any ceremony — all which facts we 
conceive to be done without law or right, and merely to distress the poor distressed inhabitants 
of this place, and is an infringement on the rights, liberties and privileges of free citizens of this 
State. 

"Therefore, we, as sincere friends to the rights, liberties and privileges of the United States, 
and citizens of this State, under our distressed circumstances gratefully request your Honorable 
body to take our distressed case under your wise and serious consideration, and in some way 
grant relief, as may appear most just and reasonable to your Honors ; hoping that every uncon- 
stitutional and unlawful act may be redressed and removed into oblivion." 

Relative to the foregoing petition, and to the condition of affairs in Wyoming 
in the Summer and Autumn of 1783, we find the following information in the 
journal of Christopher Hurlbut*, extracts from which are printed in Peck's 
"Wyoming; Its History, Stirring Incidents and Romantic Adventures." 

"All was peace that Summer [1783], and numbers of people moved in from Pennsylvania 
and New Jersey — mostly persons of no property or respectability. Toward Fall it appeared that 
a number of Pennsylvanians met secretly in the settlement and proceeded to elect Justices of 
the Peace ; and in September the Assembly of Pennsylvania passed a law authorizing the President 
and Council to commission those persons so unlawfully electedf, and they soon began to execute 
tie laws by suing every Yankee that they could by any means bring a charge against, and very 
soon the most violent proceedings took place. Men were imprisoned by the aid of the military, 
and sundry persons whipped with gun-rods, and otherwise most shamefully abused. A number 
of respectable men were confined in an old house without a floor, and mud shoe deep. In cold 
weather, in the Winter, they were obliged to lie down in the mud on pain of being shot. If three 
Yankees were seen together they were sure to be imprisoned and otherwise abused. 

"At last, as our situation was no longer to be borne, a number of us determined to draw up 
a petition to the Legislature, then in session, stating our usage and begging for protection. As 
not more than two of us dare be seen together, the difficulty was to confer together. Our object 
was effected by going around notifying a meeting in the evening; and, in order to prevent suspicion, 
the meeting was appointed within forty rods of the fort, where a number got together and darkened 
the windows, and then drew and signed a petition and engaged a man to carry it to Philadelphia." 

At the time the aforementioned petition was prepared the State troops 
stationed at Fort Dickinson — as shown by an official "return" J made under 
the date of November 20, 1783, by Maj. James Moore, commanding the Garrison, 
aggregated 110 officers and men; Captain Chrystie's company, numbering 
fifty-six, and Captain Shrawder's numbering fifty-four. 

As related on page 1338, the General Assembly of Connecticut, at its 
semi-annual session in May, 1783, appointed a committee to consider affairs 
at Wyoming, and report thereon at the next session of the Assembly. The 
report of this committee was "made, accepted and approved" at the regular 
semi-annual session of the Assembly held at New Haven, Connecticut, beginning 
on Thursday, October 9, 1783; and thereupon the following preamble and resolu- 
tion were adopted by the Assembly. 

"Whereas a large number of Inhabitants West of Delaware River, and within the Charter 
limits of this State, settled there under the Claim and Jurisdiction of the said State, having first, 
with the approbation of the General Assembly thereof, purchased the native right of soil, & for 
many years past have been incorporated and in the exercise of Government under the Laws of 
this State. And whereas, by a late decree of Commissioners appointed for settling a dispute 
■ *See page 1246. 
tSee page 1344. 
tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series, X: 301. 



1357 

relative to Jurisdiction between this State and the State of Pennsylvania, the tract of Land 
possessed by the sd. settlers is unexpectedly declared to be within the Jurisdiction of the Latter. 

"The said settlers, as it is represented, notwithstanding their having acquired the native 
& possessing right as aforesaid, and corroborated their title by vast Labor & expence in reducing 
the said Lands from a wilderness state, and stood as a Barrier to Pennsylvania and other interior 
settlements, thro' a long distressing war, in which most of their males, capable of labor or defence 
have been slain, (Circumstances which entitled them to expect as well from the Justice as clemency 
of that great and opulent State the fullest Protection for their Persons, & to be forever quiet in 
their Possessions; and for which they lost no time in applying to its legislature by humble 
Petitions) ; yet, notwithstanding, to their great astonishment and distress, they find themselves 
left to the mercy of men, who, claiming under the Proprietory Title of that State, are prosecuting 
against them suits of Ejectment, and in some Cases entering into their Possessions & Labors by 
Force; Whereupon, 

"Resolved by this Assembly, That it will in their opinion be expedient for the said settlers 
as the only Remedy left them, to apply to the Hon'ble the Congress of the United States, for a 
Court to be instituted to try their right of soil and possession, pursuant to the 9th of the Articles 
of Confederation. That it will be the Duty of this State to countenance and patronize them in 
such application; and that the Delegates of the State, that shall be in Congress, be directed to 
give them all necessary aid therein — ^And that His Excellency the Governor be desired to address 
a full State of their Claims & sufferings to Congress, and solicit the Protection of tht. Honl. Body, 
in their Behalf, untiU a final adjudication of the sd. Cause shall be had." 

Later in the same session the following was adopted:* 

"This Assembly being informed, since the Trial had in December last between this State 
and the State of Pennsylvania, of some Evidence material to said Cause, then concealed and 
suppressed from the knowledge of this State or its agents, and that there is a probability of ascer- 
taining other facts on which to ground a revision of said Cause — 

"Resolved, That Eliphalet Dyer, William Saml. Johnson & Jesse Root, Esquires, hereto- 
fore appointed, be & they are hereby continued Agents for this State in the matter aforesaid & 
that they pursue their Enquiries after Evidence, & make report to this or some future Assembly." 

Certified copies of these Acts were delivered by Gov. Jonathan Trumbull 
to the Hon. Roger Shermanf (one of the Representatives in Congress from 
Connecticut), to be by him delivered to the Hon. John Dickinson, President 
of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, together with the following 
letterl from Governor Trumbull, written at Lebanon, Connecticut, under the 
date of November 15, 1783. 

"The enclosed Acts of the Legislature of this State, passed in October last, will show the 
disposition of this State towards their friends and Brethem who are settled on the territor y 
of the Susquehanna, so long disputed between this State and that of Pennsylvania ; whose sufferings 
and condition under your State, since the Decree of the late Board of Commissioners, appear — • 
if truly represented to us — lo be very singular and extraordinary, and have tended to excite the 
commiseration of their friends, as well as to produce a determination in the Legislature to give 
them all the aid and support in their power. 

"Mr. Sherman, who does me the favor of conveying this to yoiu" Excellency, and who is 
going on to Congress (with whom he is instructed to give to these unhappy people all the aid in 
his power), being fully possessed of the subject, as well as of the views and determinations of 
the General Assembly of this State respecting the same, will, if you please, confer with you fully 
on the matter. * * * 

"The Decision in the Case of the disputed Territory between this State and that of 
Pennsylvania, was not only very unexpected to the Legislature of this State, but from some 
circumstances appears to them very singular indeed, and such as calls for their further prosecution 
and in which they hope to produce such Documents as shall obtain the further interposition of 
Congress. * * * 

"The Delegates from this State, who will attend in Congress this Winter, having been 
present in our General Assembly when the inclosed Resolutions were passed, are therefore fully 
possessed of the Subject; and as they are directed to agitate the flatter in Congress, it is 
urmecessary for me to enter into the details; leaving the subject therefore to their management 
and submitting it to the wise & judicious determination of Congress." 

Early in December, 1783, the foregoing documents were delivered by Mr. 

Sherman to President Dickinson, at Philadelphia, and a few days later Col. 

John Franklin arrived there with the "petition, address and remonstrance" 

which had been signed by John Jenkins, Esq., Col. Zebulon Butler and other 

Yankee settlers at Wyoming. This document was presented to and read in the 

Assembly December 8, 1783, whereupon it was ordered to be laid on the table. 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X; 116. 117. 

tSee page 839, Vol. II. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 147, 148. 



1358 

The next day, it having been taken up and read the second time, the following* 
was adopted: 

"Resolved, That the Members from Northampton County, or a majority of them, be a 
committee to enquire into the charges contained in a petition from a number of the inhabitants 
of Wyoming in the County of Northumberland, and report to this House at their next meeting; 
and that the said petition, and other papers accompanying it, be put into their hands." 

The Representatives from Northampton County at that time were Jacob 
Arndt, Col. Jacob Stroudf, Jonas Hartzel and Robert Brown, and at Philadelphia, 
on December 9th, they issued a notice to the effect that the committee, or a ma- 
iority of its members, would be at the house of Capt. John Paul Schott "in the 
township of Stoke (Wilkes-Barre)", on December 29, 1783, in order to inquire 
into the charges set forth in the petition of the Wyoming inhabitants. Copies 
of this notice they sent to John Jenkins, Esq., Col. Zebulon Butler, Alexander 
Patterson and the military officers at Fort Dickinson, Wilkes-Barre. 

At Fort Dickinson, under the date of December 29, 1783, Maj. James Moore 
wrote to President Dickinson as followsj : 

"By Mr. Shepardj I do myself the pleasure to write your E-xcellency, and as he has for some 
time Past been an inhabitant of this Place, and Possessed of a great share of the Confidence of 
Connecticut claimants, we will be able to give your Excellency just information of their Proceed- 
ings and intentions. 

"He is charged with the Petition|| I Hinted to you was in hands for the Hon'ble Assembly. 
It is signed by a few of the claimants, who disaprove of the measures laterly adopted by many 
of the People here. They are anxious to have the Benefits of former Resolves of the Hon'ble 
House extended to them'. How far they have complied with the intentions of the Assembly 
(altho at a late Hour) their Petition will evince. 

"The committee of Assembly appointed to Enquire into the Unconstitutional Proceedings 
of the judicial officers of this Place are arrived, and will Proceed to business this day. I trust 
their conduct will appear very different from what it has been Represented. _ _ ■ 

"How far the Military force may be Necessary to support the authority of the state in this 
Place, Mr. Shepard will be able to inform you." 

Three members — Messrs. Stroud, Hartzel and Brown — of the Committee 
of Inquiry of the Pennsylvania Assembly, arrived at Wilkes-Barre on Monday, 
December 29, 1783, as stated by Major Moore in the foregoing letter. They 
were accompanied, at their request, by Robert Martin, Esq., (see note, page 
1344), of Northumberland, whose services they desired to make use of in 
the ta'king of testimony. 

The committee immediately began its labors, which were continued for 
about ten days. The Connecticut settlers had previously appointed a committee 
to bring forward witnesses whose testimony would support their complaints. 
Testimony was produced on both sides of the case, but the Connecticut men 
were satisfied, when the work of the committee was completed, that the complaints 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 557. 

tFor prior references to Colonel Stroud see Vol. II, pages IM. 850. 851 1038, 1055 and 1148. 

According to an article in Pennsylvania Magazine, IV: 368. Jacob Stroud was bom January 15. 1735, at Amwell 
Hunterdon County. New Jersey, of English parentage, his father subsequently settling in Northampton County, 
Pennsylvania. Jacob remained on the paternal farm until the breaking out of the French and Indian War, when 
he enlisted as a private in the English army, and was at the storming and capture of Quebec under General Wolfe, 
Serving until the close of 1760 he returned home. Subsequently, in 1763, he accompanied Bouquet as a wagoner to 
Fort Pitt. In 1769 he acquired title to three parcels of land, aggregating about 300 acres, and including a frame grist- 
mill driven by fine waterpower at what is now Stroudsburg. 

As noted on page 258. Vol. I, Dansbury was the original name of the settlement in and around which Jacob Stroud 
founded Stroudsburg in 1769. Fort Penn was built, during the early days of the Revolutionary War, on a hill near 
the eastern part of Stroudsburg, and it was the home of Colonel Stroud until his death. 

Colonel Stroud was elected a member of the Convention of July 15, 1776, and in 1777 was appointed one of the 
commissioners to meet at New Haven, Connecticut, for the purpose of regulating the prices of commodities in the 
Colonies. From December, 1777, until the close of the Revolution, Colonel Stroud was in active service on the frontiers 
of Northampton County, watching the Indian marauders from the North. In 1781. and again in 1782 and 1783, he 
was elected a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly. 

In July, 1787, a traveler journeying through that part of Northampton County which is now Monroe County, 
Pennsylvania, wrote as follows concerning Colonel Stroud: "He keeps a store and a tavern and runs a grist-mill and 
a saw-mill, and keeps several boats, besides cultivating a large farm. He has between 200 and 300 acres of wheat no%v 
growing, from which fine crops are about to be harvested. He has the most hands I ever saw employed at one place. 
Colonel Stroud's house is a very large house, and stands on the very spot where Fort Penn formerly stood " 

Colonel Stroud was married April 6, 1761, to Elizabeth McDowel, mentioned in the note on page 730, Vol. II. 
He died July 14, 1806. 

XSee Ibid., 183. §Lieut, S.1MUEI. Shipp.\rd, see (*) page 1283. [Mentioned on page H6 1. 



1359 

of the settlers under 'I'he Susquehanna Company had been fully supported by 
competent testimony. Colonel Franklin declared — in his "Brief," previously 
mentioned — "to the honour of this committee of Assembly, their inquiries were 
held with the strictest justice and impartiality." Christopher Hurlbut — in his 
journal, mentioned on page 1356 — states: "The committee came to Wilkes- 
Barre, and by testimony we established all that we set forth in our petition, 
and much more. The committee returned and reported, but nothing was done 
to afford us redress." 

The committee set out from Wilkes-Barre for Philadelphia on Friday, 
January 9, 1784, on which day, at Fort Dickinson, Major Moore wrote to 
President Dickinson in part as follows* : 

"How far the testimony adduced [before the committee of the Assembly) in support of the 
charges may appear to criminate the Civil and Military officers, in takeing decisive Measures 
to diffuse & support the laws, we must leave the Hon'ble House to judge; but when they duly 
Consider the Testimony on Our part, evidently tending to discover that a dangerous insurrection 
was intended, I trust their Conduct will merit some applause. 

"As I am not charged with even the shadow of an offence (the measures complained of 
being done Previous to my arrival), I conceive myself the more at liberty to appear in their Behalf 

"By what I can learn from the Committee that was here it appears to be the intention of 
the House to dismiss the Troops at this place. It is observed by those who wish the dissolution 
of the Corps 'that the expence is great, and that there is no Necessity for keeping it up, as the 
People claiming under Connecticut disclaim a conduct inconsistent with the true interests of the 
State." 

"The expence in keeping up the corps for a few months, must be small, the men being already 
raised, clothed, and Provisions, agreeably to Contract, laid in for some months to Come. And 
should it be the intention of the Hon'ble the Assembly to invest the Proprietors under Penna. 
with the lands they have long since purchased, I must beg leave to Represent the Imediate 
Necessity of Troops being kept here to support the civil Jurisdiction, untill the Owners Can be 
put in Possession of their property — and to prevent Insurrections and Quarrels, which are much 
to be dreaded in the Spring, about who shall Cultivate the land. 

"Since the decision of the Commissioners at Trenton, and since the Garrison has been 
here, all the Pennsylvania landholders have been looking forward to the Happy Period that now 
offers of Giving them Quiet Possession of that Property which has, with equal injustice, been taken 
and kept from them this many years. They wish to avail themselves of the support of this 
Garrison, untill they get Possession and Grow numerous. Should it be deemed too expensive to 
support the present number of officers and men allotted for this Garrison, let it be reduced to a 
Capt., 2 Subs., and 75 men. That will be a force, not sufficient to supress Insurrections (should 
they be attempted), it will, at least, be sufficient to support the Garrison untill succor can be 
Had. It will also Give the Highest Confidence to the Pennsylvania Land holders, who will 
generally take Measures for Obtaining Possession of their Property in the spring (While they 
Otherways Would Not), and remove the Great object of Controversy, and Put the land under 
such Cultivation as would add much to the advantage of the State. 

"To facilitate the Improvement of this Country, and to alleviate the sufferings of Hundreds 
already born down with the oppression of those people, Might it Not be proper to recommend a 
Law making it Justifyable in the sheriff of the county, where an ample Title is produced, to put 
the Owner in Possession of his land without the slow and expensive process of the laws now in 
force, which many good citizens, from being so long debarred the use of their lands, are unable 
to support. A measure of this kind would most amply settle all disputes early in the Spring, 
when the troops might be dismissed and the country put under such improvement and cultivation 
as would enable the possessors to bear a proportion of the public debts. 

"Alexander Patterson, Esq., has made me acquainted with a petition presented to your 
E.xcellency and Council by Abel Yarington, respecting a house he formerly possessed in this 
Garrison, although he was ordered to remove to a house provided and put in repair by the troops 
for his reception before I arrived at this place. I must acknowledge it met with my warmest 
approbation, and I trust it will appear consistent with the verbal instructions not only delivered 
to me by Council, but those which Captain Shrawder had previously received. Those officers 
who directed his removal have made Esquire Patterson fully acquainted with their reasons. 
I must beg leave to refer you to his report. 

"Inclosed your Excellency will find a monthly return of the Corps. The muster and pay- 
rolls and the inspection return for the month of December I shall have finished and forwarded 
as early as possible. The situation of the sick has made it necessary for me to apply to a phys- 
icianf in the neighborhood; and as it will be attended with less expense to the State to furnish 
the medicines necessary in the cases that may appear, I have procured the inclosed list, which 
the physician says is necessary and immediately wanted." 
»Sce "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 187, 189. 

tDR. WiLLUM Hooker Smith of Wilkes-Baire May 1,^. 1784. Dr. Smith was paid £27. 14s, by the State. 
'In full for his account for medicine and attendance upon Major Moore'.s troops at Wyoming." — "Colonial Records 



1360 

The "return" of jSIajor Moore's corps, referred to in the foregoing letter, 
showed a total of ninety-one officers and men on duty at Fort Dickinson — 
Captain Chrystie being temporarily absent "on command," while two men had 
died and seven had deserted since the last return was made. Included in the 
total mentioned above were four subalterns, one sergeant major, one quarter- 
master sergeant, four sergeants, two drummers, two fifers, and six waiters to 
attend on the officers and the sick. 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of November 11, 1783, a "petition, remon- 
strance and address, to the Honorable the Congress of the United States," had 
been drawn up and signed by Col. Zebulon Butler and a considerable number 
of the most prominent inhabitants of Wyoming who had settled here during 
the period that Connecticut exercised jurisdiction over this region. This docu- 
ment, which was presented to Congress (then sitting at Princeton, New Jersey), 
early in January, 1784, set forth, briefly, that the petitioners claimed "private 
right of soil, under the State of Connecticut and within the jurisdiction of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the territory westward of the Delaware 
River which was formerly in controversy between the said States of Pennsyl- 
vania and Connecticut; that they were being disturbed in their rights by persons 
claiming under Pennsylvania, and therefore prayed that a Court might be in- 
stituted, under the IXth Article of the Confederation of States, for de termining 
the said right of soil." 

The petition was referred to a committee composed of Thomas Jefferson 
and Arthur Lee of Virginia and Hugh Williamson of North Carolina, who, on 
January 23, 1784, made a report, in pursuance of which Congress adopted the 
following:* 

"Resolved, That a Court be instituted, according to the IXth Article of the Confederation, 
for determining the private right of soil within the said territory, so far as the same is by the 
said Article submitted to the determination of such a Coiurt; that the fourth Monday in June 
next [1784] be assigned for the appearance of the parties, by their lawful agents, before Congress, 
or the Committee of States, wheresoever they shall be then sitting ; that notice of the assignment 
of the said day be transmitted by the Secretary of Congress to the Governors of Pennsylvania 
and Connecticut, with a request that they take proper measures for having the same served on 
the parties interested under their States respectively." 

Reference is made on page 1311 to a petition signed by certain Wyoming 
inhabitants which was presented to the Pennsylvania Assembly about the middle 
of January, 1783, and was formally referred to a committee of the House. 
Apparently nothing further resulted, for we find that a somewhat similar petition, 
signed by the same people, together with a considerable number of others, was 
carried down to Philadelphia from Wyoming by Lieut. Samuel Shippardf and 
presented to the Assembly, January 21, 1784; and having been read a second 
time on January 23d, was referred to a committee composed of Messrs. Jacob 
Rush, Moses McClean, Frederick Watts, Robert Brown and William Maclay. 
This committee reported to the House on January 29th, and the next day it was 
voted by the House, "by a considerable majority!," that Samuel Shippard, 
Simon Spalding, Stephen Fuller and certain others named, who had signed the 
petition in question, were "within the description of persons entitled to a reason- 
able compensation in lands within the boundaries of this State, agreeable to a 
resolve of the Assembly" of September 2, 1783 — as noted on page 1343. 

Thereupon the House resolved that the Secretary of the Land Office be 
authorized to deliver to Samuel Shippard, Simon Spalding, Stephen Fuller, and 

*See "Journals of Congress", IV: 331. tSee page 1358. 
+See "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series. XVIII: 635. 



1361 

each of the other persons named, certificates "importing that each of them is 
entitled to 300 acres of land, to be located anywhere within the purchased and 
unappropriated parts of the counties of Northampton and Northumberland." 
With reference to the aforementioned Shippard petition and the action of 
the General Assembly thereon, Col. John Franklin made the following state- 
ment in one of his "Plain Truth" articles, published at Wilkes-Barre in .September, 

1801. 

"A petition was started by Samuel Shippard, a New Jersey man, who never owned a foot 
of land at Wyoming under the Connecticut title. However, a meeting of the settlers was held at 
Wilkes-Barre to consult on the plan of Shippard's petition. It was unanimously rejected, [as] 
they had a petition then pending in Congress. Yet, by the industry of the said Shippard, aided 
by others opposed to the claim of the settlers, he procured near fifty names to his petition, mostly 
of foreigners who were not settlers at Wyoming at or before the Decree of Trenton. 

"Among others in Shippard's petition were the names of Simon Spalding and Stephen 
Fuller, but it is well known that Simon Spalding was absent from Wyoming, in the eastern part 
of Connecticut, at the time the petition was in circulation in Wyoming. He has ever declared 
and still solemnly swears, that he never signed the petition, or even saw it. Stephen Fuller also 
declares that he never signed it. Daniel Whitney and Preserved Cooley were Pennsylvania 
claimants — or, at least, pretended to be — who were active in expelling the Connecticut settlers 
from Wyoming after the Trenton Decree. * * * 

"Samuel Shippard, in the character of an agent, went off with his petition to the Legisla- 
ture some time about the last of the year 1783. The petition was presented to the Legislature, 
and a majority of the petitioners were rejected as not coming within the resolution proposing 
compensation. This was a speculating scheme. It was originated by persons opposed to the 
interest of the Connecticut claimants, for the purpose of defeating the petition of the settlers 
then pending at Congress. Certificates were issued [by the Land Office] and, as it was said, 
were delivered to Samuel Shippard for the persons concerned. Mr. Shippard left Philadelphia 
and returned to his place of residence in New Jersey, and has not been at Wyoming from that day to 
this time [1801]. A small part of the certificates were sent by Shippard to some of the persons con- 
cerned, at Wyoming. The others, it is supposed, he speculated upon to such use as suited himself." 

On January 19th and 21, 1784, the Pennsylvania Assembly received messages 
from President Dickinson conveying information relative to the action taken by 
the General Assembly of Connecticut with respect to Wyoming affairs (see page 
1357), and also information concerning the petition of Col. Zebulon Butler 
and others that had been presented to Congress, at Princeton. These messages 
were referred to a committee, and upon a partial report of this committee made 
January 29, 1784, the House adopted the following:* 

"It appears that the Government of our Sister State of Connecticut have not duly informed 
themselves of the resolutions and acts of this Commonwealth respecting the settlers at Wyoming; 

"Whereupon, Resolved, That it be recommended to the President in Council to furnish the 
Governor and Assembly of the State of Connecticut with the proceedings of the Council and 
Assembly of this Commonwealth respecting the settlers at Wyoming since the judgment at Trenton. 

"On the petition, remonstrance and address of Zebulon Butler, and others, to the Hon- 
orable the Congress of the United States, dated November U, 1783, your Committee would 
observe that it contains representations different from what appears on the files of this House 
from some of the subscribers, and other matters, neither founded in fact, supported by justice 
or by the spirit of the Confederation. On which your Committee offer the following resolution: 
Resolved, That the absolute right of preemption of the soil and lands at Wyoming, claimed by 
Zebulon Butler and others, as well as the right of jurisdiction, is vested in this Commonwealth ; 
and that a committee be appointed to draft instructions to our Delegates in Congress on those 
heads; setting forth, also, the humane proceedings and conduct of the State in protecting, and 
resolving to grant lands to, the actual settlers on the lands aforesaid at the time judgment was 
given respecting the claims of Connecticut." 

Subsequently the aforementioned committee made a further report on the 
matters set forth in President Dickinson's messages, and thereupon, on Februarj^ 
14, 1784, the House adopted several resolutions, in part as follows:! 

"Resolved, That the Delegates of this State be instructed to apply immediately to Congress 
for an explanation of their Act of the 23d of last month [January, 1784], it appearing to be un- 
certain whether the fourth Monday of June next is fixed for the purpose of appointing Com- 
missioners, or Judges, to constitute a Court, or for the purpose of deciding how far the same is, 
by the IXth Article of the Confederation, submitted to the determination of such a Court. 
* * That by the said Article of Confederation a Court is to be established for the trial of the 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 559. 

fSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X:559. 



1362 

private right of soil only where it is claimed under different grants of two or more Stales; so that 
Zebulon Butler and the other claimants cannot be entitled to such a Court unless they come 
within the description aforesaid — which it is apprehended they do not. * * * 

"That two Agents be appointed by the Supreme Executive Council for managing, under 
their direction, the controversy concerning claims of private right of soil in the territory hereto- 
fore in dispute between this State and Connecticut. And that the said Agents be instructed 
to prepare themselves for maintaining the right of soil within the territory aforesaid, to be vested 
in Pennsylvania and persons claiming under Pennsylvania; for justifying the conduct of this 
State from the charges contained in the Act of Assembly of the State of Connecticut of the 
second Thursday of October last; and for opposing the attempt of the said State to obtain a 
revision of the cause lately determined at Trenton." 

On February 16, 1784, President Dickinson wrote to the Pennsylvania 

Delegates in Congress, enclosing a copy of the foregoing resolutions, and stating:* 

"The attempts of Connecticut are very e.\traordinary, and are to be opposed with the most 
persevering vigilance! We wish you by all means to prevent any step being taken by Congress 
that may, in the smallest degree, lead towards a revision of the cause determined by the Court 
at Trenton. That business is complicated with such a variety of consideration and circumstances, 
arising from a multiplicity of sources, that it is incapable of being properly managed without 
diligent and long continued study and application to it. 

"Mr. Wilson, by his professional knowledge, and laborious preparation for the late trial 
between this State and Connecticut, has acquired a thorough acquaintance with the whole tran- 
sactions preceding your appointment. To you, Gentlemen, the subsequent [transactions] are well 
known. He is now nominated a Delegate, and will join you as soon as possible. With the mutual 
information and assistance which you will give each other, we do not question but that the 
designs of our opponents will be properly encountered. We shall be obliged to you if you will, 
by an early opportunity, send us a copy of any Remonstrance, Address or Petition to Congress 
by Zebulon Butler and his associates." 

On the same date. President Dickinson wrote to the Hon. George Clinton, 

Governor of New York, in part as follows: 

"This letter will be delivered to your Excellency by the Hon. Mr. Wilson, one of our 
Delegates, and Agents in the controversy for the territory of which the jurisdiction and pre- 
emption were, in December, 1782, adjudged unanimously by the Court at Trenton to be the right 
of this Commonwealth. We flattered our.selves that so truly respectable a determination would 
have put an end to all contests, and that the affair would have given us no further trouble than 
to settle private claims of soil upon equitable terms, which this State was resolved to do. But 
with regret we find that the Dispute is reviving in a variety of forms, and it becomes our duty 
to be prepared in the best manner we can for opposing attempts that threaten the Honor, the 
Peace and the Welfare of Pennsylvania. We therefore beg leave to request, and shall with just 
acknowledgments receive, any assistance which your State can afford to Mr. Wilson by access 
to your records and other Sources of information." * * * 

Early in January, 1784, Obadiah Gore and the other Wyoming inhabitants 
who, in March, 1 783, had petitioned the Legislature of New York for a grant of 
land, and had been voted certain privileges (see pages 1314, 1315), arranged 
to renew their efforts and push their project to a satisfactory conclusion. Con- 
sequently Mr. Gore journeyed to the seat of the New York Government, where, 
on January 26, 1784, he presented the following petition to the Legislature.! 

"To the Hon'ble the Legislature of the State of New York in Senate and Assembly met: 

"In Pursuance of a resolution of both branches of the Legislature passed the 21st day 
of March last, granting liberty to the Inhabitants of Wyoming to explore a Tract of Country 
of the waste and unappropriated lands of this State, to form a settlement, I have, with a number 
of said Inhabitants, surveyed and Designated six towns of six miles square — as laid down by a 
Sketch herewith Exhibited; and would point out a suitable Tract of land on the East side of 
the Cayuga Lake (at or near the Cayuga Town), to extend southerly by said Lake, to accom- 
modate the rest of said Inhabitants. 

"These are therefore to pray the Hon'ble the Legislature to grant and confirm the above 
described Land to said Inhabitants, on such Terras, Conditions and restrictions as shall seem 
meet, and your memorialist, as in Duty bound, shall ever pray, &c. 

"Dated New York, January 26, 1784. [Signed] "Obadiah Gore, 

in behalf of said Inhabitants." 

This petition was read in the Assembly on January 27th, and was duly referred 
to a committee composed of Messrs. Lansing, Rutgers and L Smith, who, on 
February 23, 1784, reported in part as follows: 

"That on examining the joint-resolution of March 21, 1783, it appears that O. Gore and 
partners were permitted to locate on any waste and unappropriated lands of the State, etc. That 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series. X; 204. 

1The original document was in the pos.session of M. M. .Tones, Utica, N. Y. in March, 1880. 



1363 

as by said resolution the faith of the State is pledged to O. Gore and partners, the Comtee. are 
of opinion that provision for that purpose ought to be made in the bill now before the House 
for the encouragement of the settlement of waste and unappropriated lands in the State."* 

At Fort Dickinson, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of February 1, 1784, 
Maj. James Moore wrote to President Dickinson, Philadelphia, in part as follows :t 

"The Snow is so deep in this Country that our Communication with the City has been 
totaly stop'd this sometime, Lieut. Armstrong is now willing to attempt the journey. Should 
he be able to perform it, he will deliver your Excellency this Letter with the several Inclosures. 
As Lieut. Armstrong goes to Philada. on Public Business, he wishes to know if he cannot obtain 
Pay for his expenses. 

"In my accounts I have charged the State with 22 Commissions on all the moneys I have 
Laid out, deducting my Month's Pay and Subsistence, which I trust your Excellency & Councill 
will not disapprove. It is a small compensation for the trouble I have had. Wood is now the 
only article of expence I shall be exposed to during the Winter. The severity of the weather 
will require 200 cords; that quantity is already cut and set up by the troops, but so remote from 
the Garrison that I am obliged to allow four shillings a cord for cartage. 

"Inclosed your Excellency will find a Coppy of Martin Tidd's deposition, respecting the 
opinion and advice of Colo. Strowd to those people, when here on the Committee. This testi- 
mony is corroborated daily by Information from the Pena Settlers. Since the Committee left 
this Iplace] those who had relinquished their Claims in favour of the Pena Landholders are now- 
attempting to regain possession; others who had engaged to deliver Quiet Possession in the Spring 
have determined otherwise, and from what I can learn every Person who has the leasf Preten- 
tions to lands in this Country under the Connecticut claim, are expected with all their Connec- 
tions in the Spring. Many of the Pena Settlers who had some time ago obtained Possession 
by consent, arc now forbid cutting fire wood on their Land. These and many other Reasons 
which Lt. Armstrong will be able to Inform you, point out the necessity of Continuing a Military 
force in this place. Should the Garrison be Dismissed in the Present Situation of afTairs, danger- 
ous consequences are to be dreaded. 

"Should Major Christie be in Philadelphia, Lieut. Armstrong will return Immediately to 
this place, but .should Lt. Armstrong find Major Christie out of town, I have directed him to 
wait on Council for the two months pay agreeably to the Inclosed Muster & Pay rolls." 

This communication was duly received by President Dickinson, and was 
"read and approved" in the Supreme Executive Council, February 6, 1784. The 
deposition of Martin Tidd, which accompanied Major Moore's letter, had been 
made before Esquire Mead, at Wilkes-Barre, January 30, 1784. It related to 
Col. Jacob Stroud, one of the Committee of inquiry from the Pennsylvania 
Assembly, and Tidd deposed that, while this committee was at Wilkes-Barre, 
he "heard Colonel Stroud tell Edward Spencer that all the people settled under 
Connecticut claims in Wyoming were fools for taking leases from the Pennsyl- 
vania landholders, as that was [equivalent to] relinquishing their claims; that 
those that had not taken leases should hold their possessions, and not give up 
by any means. The Pennsylvania landholders may try to alarm you," said 
Stroud, "but they cannot bring any ejectments against you, or dispossess you, 
until you have a Continental Court called for the trial of the right of soil. * * * 

*The House agreed to this report, and the .\ct "to encourage the settlement of waste and unappropriated lands' 
was passed by the House March 4. 1784, and by the Senate, April .1. 1784, March I. 1788. the Legislature of New 
York adopted the following: "Whereas the Senate and .Assembly in March. 1783, adopted a concurrent resolution: 
* * * Whereas O Gore and his several hundred associates have chosen lands between the Oswego and Susquehanna 
Rivers on the east and south-east, the boundary line between New York and Pennsylvania on the south, and the partition 
line between New York and Massachusetts, of the lands by them respectively ceded to each other, on the we t; .\nd 
Whereas the Indian title still remains to be extinguished; and whereas I^ebbens Hammond and others, petitioners 
with Robert Conat — who were also of the original associates of O. Gore and John Fuller and others — are either already 
settled on the above lands, or are about to remove there: and whereas the State has expended SI 600. for exploring 
the land and conciliating the Indians — and further expenses will be incurred in purchasing the land from the Indians — • 

"Therefore. Resolved, That intruders shall be expelled and punished: that treaties be made with the Indians for 
the purchase of 160.000 acres of land; that 13,000 acres be reserved and granted to Lebbens Hammond, and others, 
on the payment of 3s. and 6d- per acre; and the residue so to be purchased be granted to Obadiah Gore and his associ- 
ates at the rate of Is. and 3d, per acre." 

Under the aforementioned -•ict of March 4. 1784. Obadiah Gore. Matthias Hollenback. William Buck and .\very 
Gore bought .3,8.50 acres. Lot 142. Town of Chemung (later Big Flats. Chemung County, New YorkV The 
certificate of survey was filed November 5, 1788, and February 29. 17,89, O. Gore paid £294. 14i. 7d- in three per cent, 
stock to the Treasurer, at Is, and 6d. per acre, ."knother certificate of survey, for 7,680 acres. Lot 139 (Baldwin. Che- 
mung County), was filed the same day for Samuel Gore, .-Varon Dean. Thomas Foster. Jacob Snell. Lockwood Smith 
Timothy Tarring, Thomas Bennett and Tobias Wynkoop (of Gore's partvK and was paid for February 10. 1792. with 
£576, 

The emigrants from Wyoming under the "Gore project" settled mostly in the intervales of the Susquehanna 
in Tioga and Chemung Counties. New York, before the Indian title to the land had been extinguished. Big FLits, 
where Obadiah Gore and his partners bought their land, w-as already a settlement, Christian Miner, a Pennsylvanian, 
having established himself there in 1787. and being followed in 1788 by Caleb C.ardner. Henry .Starell and George 
Gardner, arid in 1 789 by Clark Winans — all from Pennsylvania. 

tSee "Pennsylvania .Archives", Old Series, X: 197. 



1364 

You will have a trial, and no one can dispossess you until that happens, and that 
Court cannot be called for this long time."* 

About the time that Major Moore wrote to President Dickinson the letter 
just set forth, the following document! was drawn up at Wilkes-Barre and signed 
by a number of the Yankee settlers living in the upper end of the township — in 
what is now Plains Township : 

"To the Hon. the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at their present 
Cession : 

"A Petition for Redress of Grievances by the Inhabitants of Jacobs Plains, in Wyoming, 
representing the ill treatment they have received from one Daniel Whitney. 

"Sometime in the month of April, 1783, this Daniel Whitney came into this Place, & in- 
formed the inhalMtants that he had bought a certain tract of Land, lying in the said Jacobs Plains, 
from one Mr. [John Maxweh] Nesbitt of Philadelphia. And he the said Daniel Whitney further 
informed the inhabitants on said lands that he was to take possession of said lands, according 
to a certain bargain made between him and the said Mr. Nesbitt, by the 15th or 20th of last 
April ; but finding a Proclamation and an Act of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania passed 
in March, 1 783, prohibiting such a procedure, he the said Whitney told us it was not in his power 
to obtain possession agreeable to the said Proclamation and Act, neither could he until the next 
setting of the Assembly; and he hoped that the inhabitants of Jacobs Plains would oppose him, 
and thereby prevent his getting possession, so that he might come upon his bondsman. 

"Upon these considerations he the said Daniel Whitney never warned any of the inhabi- 
tants of Jacobs Plains off said lands, or brought any writs of ejectment against any of the 
inhabitants of said lands. Yet some time in December last [1783] the said Daniel Whitney came 
into this place again and, without any ceremony, took all our hay, grain and creatures, viz.: 
Neat Cattle, Horses & hoggs; and he the said Daniel Whitney, when asked by what authority 
he thus distressed the Inhabitants of Jacobs Plains, replied it was by a Landlord's warrent — 
altho he never produced any Landlord's Warrent, or any other Lord's Warrent, to justify his 
Conduct. 

"And he the said Daniel Whitney did likewise proceed so far as to sell them at vandue, 
in seven Days, without so much as ever putting up any Advertisement; so that our Property 
was sold for little or Nothing in regard to the real value thereof. After some time we the In- 
habitants of Jacobs Plains thought it expedient, yea! the only Alternative left us, to procure 
Writs of Replevin, and get back what we could; but alass! before we were able to obtain writs 
a great quantity of our grain was threshed out & conveyed away, so that we could not get that 
which was taken away by the said Daniel Whitney or by his orders. So that; if the said Daniel 
Whitney had carried his avaricious & inhuman Plan into Execution, there must have inevitably 
perished upward of forty Persons, chiefly women & children. 

"These are Facts, Gentlemen, which we are able to support before the Impartial World; 
altho at the same time we think they are shocking to the feelings of Humanity, and we would 
not wish to dwell long upon them. But we would, with the utmost submission and Alacrity of 
Soul consign over our distressed situation to your Honors candid and impartial consideration ; 
praying that your Honors would in your wisdom point out a Modus of Redress for our grievances ; 
and we in duty bound shall ever pray, &c. 

"A'. B. — We would beg leave to represent to the Honorable House a few Instances of the 
procedure of the said Daniel Whitney in the taking of grain and cattle, & the appraisal of the same, 
in a few particulars, in order for a further illustration of the affair: — A barrack of wheat con- 
taining 100 bushels, belonging to Mr. Abraham Westbrook, appraised at £7, 10s., and sold for 
fifteen dollars; a barrack of wheat and rye containing 110 bushels, taken from Joshua Jewell, 
appraised at £5, and two stacks of oats containing 200 bushels, appraised at £5 — & all sold for 
£8, 1 5s. A stack of wheat taken from Mr. Leonard Westbrook, containing forty bushels, ap- 
praised at £3 — and many more such flagrant instances of cruelty we could produce, but for 
brevity's sake we omit. 

"We, the subscribers, were originally proprietors under Connecticut. 

[Signed] "Abraham Westbrook, "Joshua Jewell, 

"Daniel Gore, "George Cooper, 

"Leonard Westbrook, "John Smith 

"Ephraim Tyler, "Henry Starke. 

"John Kennedy, "Price Cooper, 

*Alexander Patterson, in his 'Petition" mentioned on page 626. Vol, II, and pages 1327, 1.328, made the following 
statement concerning Colonel Stroud "In this phrensv of the Legislature they sent Jonas Hartzel, Robert Brown 
and Jacob Stroud, Members from Northampton, to inquire into the conduct of the Pennsylvania officers, in consequence 
of a mock petition from the insurgents, Stroud had always been notoriously favorable to the intruders, and discovered 
great partiality in the investigation. Your petitioner, therefore, had him arraigned in the House the ensuing session, 
and substantiated by his colleagues the facts in this simple business. No blame did or could attach to the Pennsyl- 
vania officers, whose duty it was to rid the country of a most infamous set of wretches, 

"Stroud haying clandestinely furnished the intruders with public arms and ammunition, and having acknowledged 
a variance subsisting for fourteen years betwixt him and your petitioner, he was emphatically told by the Speaker 
of the House that he was an unfit person for a Commissioner in this instance. Your petitioner's duty demanding his 
attendence at Wyoming, further inquiry as to Stroud's guilt was postponed, or he would have been expelled with his 
usual infamy." 

tXhe original is in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and it is now printed for the first time. 



1365 

This document was taken to Philadelphia by Col. John Franklin, the agent 
of the Yankee settlers at Wyoming, and was duly presented to the Assembly, 
where it was "read the first time February 12, 1784." A few days later President 
Dickinson wrote to Maj. James Moore, at Wilkes-Barre, as follows:* 

"Havingconfi-Tred with Alexander Patterson & David Mead, Esquires, & Captain Armstrong, 
concerning the Behaviour of the Settlers at Wioming not claiming under this State, we think 
it proper to observe, that a very vigilant attention must be had to the Conduct of that People, 
and every Measure taken to guard against any hostile Enterprises. 

"At the same time, it is the Intention & Desire of Government that if they behave peaceably 
& inoffensively, they are to be in all Respects treated kindly, as persons whom we wish to become 
affectionate & faithful Citizens of this Commonwealth." 

On the same day President Dickinson wrote as follows to Alexander 
Patterson, David Mead, John Seely and Henry Shoemakerf, Esquires, Pennsyl- 
vania Justices of the Peace in and for Northumberland County, who were just 
at that time exercising their justicial fimctions at Wilkes-Barre. 

"Having conferred with two of you concerning the Behaviour of the Settlers at Wioming 
not claiming under this State, we judge it proper to observe, that as it is the Duty of persons 
in such offices as you hold, to render justice to all persons without Distinction as far as your 
Authority extends, and to preserve the Peace, the peculiar Situation of affairs in your neighbor- 
hood requires a particular attention to the Conduct of those who are disaffected to Pennsylvania, 
and that the earliest Intelligence should be communicated to us of any proceeding that threatens 
Injury to the Commonwealth. 

"But, if the said Settlers behave peaceably and inoffensively, it is the Intention & Desire 
of Government that they should be in all Respects treated with kindness, as persons whom we 
wish to become affectionate and faithful Citizens of Pennsylvania." 

The committee which had been sent to Wjsoming by the Pennsylvania 
Assembly (see page 1358) to investigate affairs here, made its report to the 
House February 3, 1784; and the same having been read the first time was re- 
ferred to a committee composed of Joseph Work, Henry Miller, James Johnston, 
Nicholas Lutz and John Carothers. 

At that time Col. John Franklin was still in Philadelphia, authorized, as 
the agent of the Yankee settlers at Wyoming, to look after their interests so far as 
possible. Therefore, on February 23, 1784|, he prepared and presented to the 
General Assembly the following petition§ : 

"To the Honorable the Representatives of the Freeman of the Commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania, in General Assembly met: — 

"The petition and address of John Jenkins, Nathan Denison, Obadiah Gore, Hugh 
FoRSE.MAN and John Franklin, inhabitants of Wyoming, in behalf of themselves and others 
inhabitants of said place, most respectfully sheweth, 

"That Whereas, upon a petition and remonstrancejl from divers inhabitants of Wyoming, 
bearing date November IS, 17S3, complaining of certain illegal proceedings had against them by 
Alexander Patterson, Esq., and others, your Honours, of your abundant goodness, by a resolution 
appointed a committee from your Honorable House to inquire into the charges contained in said 
petition. 

"That timely notice being given to the said Alexander Patterson, Esq., and others concerned, 
as well as to the petitioners, an inquiry was held at Wyoming by your committee [for] near ten 
days. Witnesses [were] called for and fairly heard, and depositions [were] taken, as well on the part 
of those complained of, as on the part of the petitioners. Liberty of questioning the witnesses 
when under examination in support of the petition was granted to the defending party, and a 
fair and legal hearing of all such witnesses as they saw fit to make use of. 

"That since the return of your committee from Wyoming we understand that sundry 
private letters, and a number of ex parte depositions taken since the inquiry aforesaid, have 
*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 207. 

tMentioned on page 1337. He was an inhabitant of Northampton County, ana ;ii 1780 and '81 was 
Captain of a company of Northampton County militia ("Rangers") in ijie ser\'ice of the United State>, (See "Pro- 
ceedings and Collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society". X: 118.) February 7. 1784. he was 
commissioned by the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania a Justice of the Peace in and for Northumberland 
County. He was dismissed from office by the Council December 24, 1784. 

JOn this same day, at Philadelphia, Maj, James Chrystie filed with President Dickinson a paper reading as 
follows: "I am ordered by Major Moore, commanding at Fort Dickinson, to apply to the Supreme Executive Council 
for some money on account, for the discharge of debts necessarily contracted for the use of the Fort — for the laying in 
of too cords of wood, for the payment of intrenching tools, and for hauling necessary for the repairing of the works. 
£101 will answer for the present." 

§See Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 336. 
See page 13.S.S. 



1366 

been presented to your House; reporting, or representing, to your Honours that the inhabitants 
of Wyoming who settled that territory under the Connecticut claim, do not manifest submission 
to the laws and authority of this State, but appear [to be] designing against the same, and that 
there is danger of ill consequences proceeding from the opposition of said inhabitants. 

"Conscious that no opposition from us has been made to the laws and authority aforesaid, 
and that no such designs are existing, we humbly conceive that such reports must have originated 
through misinformation or mistake. Wc have the highest esteem for the Constitution of the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and are well satisfied with the laws of this state. We are under 
your jurisdiction and protection — are subjects and free citizens of the State of Pennsylvania. 
We have voluntarily taken and subscribed the oaths and affirmations of allegiance and fidelity, 
as directed by a supplement to an Act of the General Assembly of this State ; and it is our will 
and pleasure to serve you in doing our duty as good and faithful subjects of this State, in support- 
ing the rights, liberties and privileges of the same. We have to look up to your Honours for 
protection, for justice, equity and liberty, on which we depend. 

"We have the greatest confidence that upon the examination of the depositions taken by 
your committee in their inquiry at Wyoming, your House will be satisfied that the charges con- 
tained in the aforesaid petition are fully supported, and that no opposition has been made on oui 
part. That by our peaceable demeanor and ready submission to Government, we have duly 
submitted to every requisition, whether civil or military, and that the proceedings had against 
us — and which we complained of — were unconstitutional and unlawful, and that we had the 
greatest reason to appeal to your Honours for redress. 

"Relying on the justice and impartiality of your Honorable House, we are assured that 
reports by private letters, and ex parte evidence, will not avail against legal and well-grounded 
testimony, either to condemn an innocent iieople, or screen the guilty from Justice. We humbly 
request to be protected and continued quiet and unmolested in our possessions — which is our 
all — until a legal decision shall be had thereon, with which we are ready to comply, and shall 
quietly resign to any claimant or claimants whose title shall be adjudged preferable to ours. 
We press your Honours to grant us protection and redress, and that the liberties and privileges, 
which subjects and free citizens of this State are entitled to, may not be denied to us. And your 
petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray. 

, [Signed] "John Franklin, 

"Philadelphia, February 23. 17S4, "Agent for the inhabitants of Wyoming." 

This petition having been read in the House the first time Februan" 25, 
1784, was referred to the committee which had in hand the report of the 
Assembly Committee of Inquiry into Wyoming affairs. 

There were other petitions prepared at Wyoming about this time, some of 
which were presented to the Legislature, and others of which failed to reach 
that body — as we learn from one of Colonel Franklin's "Plain Truth" articles, 
printed in The Luzerne Federalist, (Wilkes-Barre) September 21, 1801. The 
following paragraphs have been extracted from the article in question: — 

"The Legislature [of Pennsylvania] was in session from about the 13th of January. 
1784, until some time in April, during which time several petitions, represented to be the petitions 
of the Connecticut settlers at Wyoming, were set on foot, circulated, and signed with several 
hundred names, and sent to Philadelphia. Some were presented to the Legislature: others, 
after they had reached Philadelphia, were prevented (by the agent [Colonel Franklin] of the 
settlers who then attended the Legislature) from being presented. In these petitions it was 
set forth that the petitioners expected they had lost their lands by the decree at Trenton, and pray- 
ing for lands as a compensation for their sufferings by the calamities of war, etc. 

"These petitions were first set on foot, not by Connecticut claimants — they had petitioned 
Congress — but by persons opposed to the Connecticut claimants and to the .settlers under their 
claim. Some of the Justices of the Peace, who were Pennsylvania claimants, and had been forced 
upon the settlers, were particularly active in this business. Several of the petitions, if not all, 
were sent to Philadelphia by a Pennsylvania claimant. Dr. Joseph ,Sprague was the bearer of 
several of them. 

"A very small number of the Connecticut fathers being unwary, and off their guard, were 
deceived, and. not knowing the contents of the petition, placed their names thereto. The whole 
number did not exceed twenty — several of whom were minors, widows and children. The names 
of several others who were absent were affixed without their knowledge or consent. Those settlers 
who did sign, found they had been deceived, and expressed it in a remonstrance and petition 
directed to the Legislature. The petitions were signed by many of those persons who. in May 
following, assisted the troops in driving off and expelling the settlers from Wyoming. They were 
signed with the names of persons belonging in other Counties and States. The names of children 
and even of infants, and the names of many yet unborn, were inserted." * * * 

At Philadelphia, under the date of March 6, 1784, President Dickinson 
wrote with great care a very full and detailed reply to the communication which 
he had received from Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, in December, 1783. 



1367 

(See page 1357.) He began by expressing the hope that the Government 
of Connecticut, "upon being well informed" with respect to the proceedings 
on the part of Pennsylvania towards the Wyoming settlers, would "not persist 
in a conduct so extraordinary as that lately adopted." He then declared: 
"Whether this Hope be well founded or not, we shall enjoy the Satisfaction of 
having affectionately endeavoured to remove the prejudices of a sister State, 
& to prevent the Evils that must result from such a Revival of the late Contro- 
vers}'." He then continued, in part as follows*: 

"The Acts of the Legislature of Connecticut of October, 1783, and your Excellency's letters- 
contain two charges against this State: first, of suppression of evidence, & secondly, of cruelty 
towards the settlers of Wyoming. * * * However severe these Charges are, they meet on 
our part with a Consciousness that they are not merited. As to the former, it is so indefinite 
that we cannot imagine to what Evidence it alludes. As to the latter, the inclosed Papers & 
some corresponding Circumstances will evince how much it was undeserved. 

"It has been the constant Determination of this Government to treat with Benevolence 
& Generosity the Settlers at Wioming whose Cases were recommended by equitable Considera- 
tions; and we are persuaded that all who are described in the Resolutions of the second of last 
Septembcrf would have had their Possessions immediately confirmed to them, if it could be done 
without a Violation of the Rights of Property in a Multitude of Instances — those Lands having 
been heretofore granted by Pennsylvania to many Individuals who insisted on their Titles, 
and pleaded the sanction of Laws. 

"This Difficulty opposed itself to the kind Intentions of Government. In order to remove 
it Commissioners, who were Members of the Legislature, were appointed to repair to Wioming. 
Proposals of Accommodation were made, but not concluded. Several Papers were addresttothe 
Commissioners by the Claimants on each side. That from the settlers at Wioming, dated 23d 
April, 17S3t, and signed on Behalf of the rest by John Jenkins, put an End to all further Ex- 
pectation of Compromises, & the Commissioners soon after returned Home. * * * * 

"Upon the Report of the Commissioners, our General Assembly formed their Resolutions 
of the second of September; and tho' their 'Hopes of a friendly Compromise seemed then van- 
ished', yet still influenced by the same Equity that suggested the appointment of the Commis- 
sioners, & to encourage the Settlers to assent to Terms compatible with the legal Claim under 
Pennsylvania which had occasioned the before-mentioned Difficulty, they resolved that 
'a reasonable Compensation in Lands within the Boundaries of this State, upon easy Terms, 
be made to the Families of those who have fallen fighting against the Savages, & to such others 
as actually did reside on the Lands at Wioming when the late Decree was given at Trenton.' 

"The Good Faith & Liberality with which the present Assembly have adhered to this 
Engagement, wiU appear from the Resolutions of the 30th of last January§, by which three 
hundred Acres of Land are granted clear of -purchase Money to each of the fifteen Settlers therein 
mentioned. * * * 

"It is also evident from the recited Declaration of 'the Settlers' at Wyoming, that they 
are contending for other Claims than their own. Such Ideas have been successfully infused 
into their Minds, that their Contest extends to the Claims of 'a much greater Body of Joint 
proprietors than is there." 

"Thus, by their own Acknowledgement, the Question does not relate to the persons ex- 
pressly designated by your Legislature in these & several other words — 'whose suflerings & 
Condition under Pennsylvania have excited the Commiseration of their Friends,' but to the 
Claims that may be made by that 'much greater Body of Joint proprietors.' * * * 

"It is too plain what the Consequences will be, when a considerable Body of Men who have 
fixed themselves in a State in Defiance of her Authority, making common Cause with 'a much 
greater Body' residing in another State, tempting bold & needy Adventurers from every Quarter 
to join them (which we aver to be their practice) and meditating hostile Enterprise against us 
(which we know to be their Design), are taught to expect from that other State (and a very 
respectable one) 'all the aid and support in her power,' and see her making every Exertion to 
acquire for them the Jurisdiction over the Lands where they have fixed themselves. * * * 

"We ardently wish that the Citizens of a State united to us by so many strong Ties, would 
be pleased to afford some further Consideration to the Arguments of the Advocates for these 
Measures, and, with a serious and consciencious Attention, to weigh how far such proceedings 
are reconcileable with the Maxims of Reason and Justice, the Laws of Nature and Nations, the 
true interests of the State, the uniform and solemn declarations of their own ancestors repeated 
in their legislative and executive Acts of Government from Generation to Generation (without 
a dissenting Voice), the unanimous Determination of the most dignified Judges chosen by 
themselves, upon a Trial long prepared for and deliberately entered into, or, in brief, with the 
Principles upon which the Peace and Repose of Mankind are established. 

* * * "If any violent actions have been committed by Individuals, they have pro- 
ceeded from minds alarmed by apprehension of imminent Danger, or irritated by severe Injuries. 
We mean not to recriminate, but only to recall some past events into Remembrance; for, we are 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X; 213, 

tSee page 1343. 

JSee page 1334. §Sce page 1360. 



1368 

assured, that the Citizens of your State will not impute any peculiar want of 'mercy' to the people 
of this, when they reflect that the Emigrants from Connecticut seized by violence the Lands 
which are now claimed — at a time, too, when Pennsylvania was actually invaded by a formidable 
Enemy — 'entered by Force into the Possessions & Labors' of Pennsylvanians, plundered them 
of all their property, & drove them out of that part of the Country. 

"And when they reflect, also, that, at the Commencement of those Disturbances, the 
Government of Pennsylvania, in the most friendly and strenuous manner, cautioned Connecticut, 
by sending an Agent of Distinction and an official Letter, against countenancing the attempt, 
as leading (to use the words of the Letter) into, 'an endless scene of Trouble and Confusion', 
that might be very generally 'prejudicial'. 

"To conclude; let the whole series of transactions relating to the Intrusion upon these 
Lands be impartially considered, and we are perfectly convinced the People of this State will 
be regarded as much more trespassed against than trespassing. We shall not uselessly engage 
in the detail, nor in any Dispute upon the subject. Our sincere wishes are, that this unhappy 
affair may be closed in such a way as to cause as little Distress as possible to Individuals, and as 
little Detriment as possible to our Common Country." 

Major Moore, in writing from Wilkes-Barre to President Dickinson, at the 
beginning of February, 1784, referred to the severity of the weather, and the 
unusual quantity of snow which had then for some time covered the face of the 
country in north-eastern Pennsylvania. (See page 1364.) The Winter of 1783- 
'84 was, unquestionably, noted for its severity, as we learn from the writings 
of various persons of that period. About the middle of January, 1784, snow 
fell in Wyoming Valley and the surrounding country to the depth of four feet, 
cutting off all communication between the State authorities at Philadelphia and 
the Pennamite garrison in Wilkes-Barre. The inmates of Fort Dickinson were 
compelled to keep close quarters, and for some time were unable to visit the near- 
by forests for fuel. The scattered inhabitants of the valley were barricaded in 
their dwellings, and could not call upon or be called upon by their neighbors. 

In November, 1786, there was published in the Columbian Magazine an 
interesting article concerning a flood in the Susquehanna River in March, 1784, 
written by the noted Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, Professor of Chemistry 
in the University of Pennsylvania. After commenting at some length on the 
extremely cold weather of the Winter of 1779-80, Dr. Rush continued as follows: 

"The Winter of 1783-'84 was uncommonly cold, insomuch that the mercury in Farenheit's 
thermometer stood several times at 5° below 0. The cold was as intense but not so steady as it 
was in the Winter [1779-'80] that has been described. The snows were frequent, and in many 
places from two to three feet deep, during the greatest part of the Winter. All the rivers in. 
Pennsylvania were frozen so as to bear waggons and sleds with immense weights. 

"The Winter of 1783-'84 differed materially from that of 1779-'80 in one particular, viz.: 
there was a thaw in the month of January, 1784, which came on suddenly and opened our rivers 
so as to set the ice a-driving — to use the phrase of the country. In the course of one night during 
the January thaw the wind shifted suddenly to the north-west, and the weather became intensely 
cold. The ice, which had floated the day before, was suddenly obstructed, and in the Susque- 
hanna the obstructions were formed in those places where the water was most shallow, or where 
it had been accustomed to fall. * * * The ice in many places, especially where there were 
falls, formed a kind of dam, of a most stupendous height. 

"About the middle of March our weather moderated, and a thaw became general. The 
effects of it were remarkable in all our rivers, but in none so much as in the Susquehanna. 
* * * Unfortunately the dams of ice did not give way all at once, nor those which lay nearest 
the mouth of the river first. While the upper dams were set afloat by the warm weather, the 
lower ones, which were the largest, and in which, of course, the ice was most impacted, remained 
fixed. In consequence of this the river rose in a few hours — in many places above thirty feet. 
Rolling upon its surface were large lumps of ice, from ten to forty cubic feet in size. 

"The effects of this sudden inundation were terrible. Whole farms were laid under water. 
Barns, stables, horses, cattle, fences, mills of every kind, and, in one instance, a large stone house, 
40 X 30 feet in size, were carried down the stream. Large trees were torn up by the roots; several 
small islands, covered with woods, were swept away, and not a vestige of them was left behind. 
On the barns which preserved their shape — in some instances, for many miles — were to be seen 
living fowls; and, in one dwelling-house, a candle was seen to burn for some time after the house 

♦S^'e the references thereto on pages 1225 and 1226, Vol. II. 



1369 

was swept from its foundations. Where the shore was level the lumps of ice and the ruins of 
houses and barns were thrown a quarter of a mile from the ordinary height of the river. 

"In some instances farms were ruined by the mould being swept from them by the cakes 
of ice, or by depositions of sand; while others were enriched by large depositions of mud. The 
damage, upon the whole, done to the State of Pennsylvania by this freshet, was very great. In 
most places it happened in the day time, or the consequences must have been fatal to many 
thousands." 

Isaac A. Chapman of Wilkes- Barre, wrote his "JSketch of the History of 
Wyoming" (see page 19, Vol. I) in the year 1818. There were then living in 
Wyoming Valley many persons who were inhabitants of the valley in 1784 and 
earlier, and from them Mr. Chapman derived most of the information used by 
him in the writing of his history. Concerning the flood of 1784, Mr. Chapman 
wrote : 

"About the middle of March the weather became suddenly warm, and on the 13th and 14th 
the rain fell in torrents, melting the deep snows throughout all the hills and valleys in the upper 
regions watered by the Susquehanna. The following day the ice in the river began to break up, 
and the streams rose with great rapidity. The ice first gave way at the different rapids, and, 
floating down in great masses, lodged against the frozen surface of the more gentle parts of the 
river, where it remained firm. In this manner several large dams were formed, which caused 
such an accumulation of water that the river overflowed all its banks, and one general inunda- 
tion overspread the extensive plains of Wyoming. 

"The inhabitants took refuge on the hills and surrounding heights, and saw their property 
exposed to the fury of the waters. At length the upper dam gave way, and huge masses of ice 
were scattered in every direction. The deluge bore down upon the dams below, which success- 
sively yielded to the insupportable burden, and the whole went off with the noise of contending 
storms. Houses, barns, stacks of hay and grain, cattle, sheep and swine were swept off in the 
general destruction, to be seen no more. The plain on which the village of Wilkesbarre is built 
was covered with heaps of ice, which continued a great portion of the following Summer." 

Miner ("History of Wyoming," page 342), writing about the year 1843, 
and commenting upon Chapman's account of the 1784 flood said: 

"To this admirable and graphic description it may not be uninteresting to add several instan- 
ces of special adventure and loss. Abel Peirce*, Esq., had his residence on Kingston flats, opposite 
Wilkesbarre. Suddenly in the night the family was aroused by a rushing sound and mighty 
convulsions, which shook the house, when the waters — a dam having broken above — flowed in 
upon the floor, giving them scarcely time to ascend for safety to an upper chamber, rescuing a 
few things from destruction. 

"Huge masses of ice, one following another, struck against the side of the house, seeming 
to be rending it from its foundations, while the water had already risen nearly to the upper floor. 
A craft which they had secured the day before, tied to a tree close by the window, now afforded 
them the only ray of hope and shelter, as they were almost certain the building must be swept 
away. Passing through the chamber window into the boat, the family waited in intense anxiety 
the subsiding of the deluge and the break of morning. The waters suddenly fell, so that when 
light appeared aid arrived, and the family were saved; but their stock of cattle and horses were 
all lost in the deluge. 

"In Fish's Eddyt, at the lower point of the town, forty head of cattle were seen floating 
at one time. But one life, so far as we can learn, was lost, namely, that of Asa| Jackson, in the 
the upper part of Wilkesbarre (Jacob's Plains). He was the son of Mr. William Jackson, killed 
by the savages in 1778§. His fate was peculiar. Daniel Gore and Mr. Jackson were standing 
on the river bank observing the ice break up. when suddenly there came a rush of waters deluging 
the flats, and pouring in huge masses between them and the hill. Jackson sprang on a horse he 
had beside him and rode for life to reach the high lands, but, becoming entangled in the ice. he 
was borne away by the flood. Mr. Gore stood still; flight for him seemed impossible, when, 
providentially, a canoe of his own, broken from its moorings, floated near him, and he contrived 
by skill and care to reach the shore in safety." 

The Rev. Dr. Peck, in his "Wyoming" (see page 20, Vol. I), gives an account 
of the flood of 1 784, based on facts related to him in 1841 by Mrs. Martha {Bennet) 
Myers||, who, as a young woman of twenty-one years, had either witnessed or 
participated in some of the overwhelming and disheartening occurrences of 
March, 1784. Dr. Peck says: 

"At about two o'clock P. M. Colonel Denison and Esquire Meyers came riding down the 
river on horseback. Seeing the three families [of Thomas Bennet, Solomon Bennet and Stevens 

*See page 71!. Vol. II. tAt the bend of the river, at the foot of Ross Street. See page 59, Vol. I. 

tFrederic, not Asal. See page 1371. 

§See page 1106, Vol. II. [| See page 1241. 



1370 

at what is now Forty Port] apparently unapprised of their danger, one of them cried out, 'Bennet, 
what are you about? The ice will soon be upon you in mountains.' Mrs. [Thomas] Bennet 
had previously been urging her husband to take the family to the high bank across the creek. 
He, however, relied securely upon the tradition communicated to him from 'the oldest Indians,' 
that the water had 'never been over these flats.' 

"After the warning given by Colonel Denison and Esquire Myers, however, the old gentle- 
man gave up his policy of inaction, and 'began to stir about.' The big canoe was loaded, and went 
off carrying the old people and the children. The boys drove the cattle to Swetland's Hill, taking 
along the wagon and horses. They barely escaped, the water rising so rapidly that it came into 
the wagon-box just before they reached the hill. Martha [Bennet] staid at the house and assisted 
in loading the canoe, which Solomon Bennet and Uriah Stevens ran back and forth between the 
house and the bank. 

"As they were engaged in packing up, the ice above gave way with a tremendous roar 
Martha cried out,' Boys, we are gone!' She says, 'In an instant we were in the canoe— I cannot 
tell how — and were lifted up among the tops of the trees, and surrounded by cakes of strong 
ice. The boys rowed, and I pulled by the limbs of the trees, but in spite of all we could do we 
were driven down stream rapidly. It was now dark, and our people, with lighted torches, came 
along the bank in the greatest anxiety of mind, frequently calling out, 'Where are you.' As we 
were swept along by the terrible current, and unable to make much headway in consequence of 
the obstructions occasioned by the ice, we saw the lights following along the bank, and occasion- 
ally heard our friends shout out, 'Keep up good courage, you will soon reach the shore." 

"We struggled for life, and at eleven or twelve o'clock at night we reached the shore. Uriah 
Stevens sprang upon a log which lay by the shore, and thence upon the ground. I followed 
him, but the moment I struck the log it rolled, and I was plunged into the water. I was fortunate 
enough to rise within reach of the young man, and he pulled me out. Solomon, in the canoe, 
was then driven out among the ice, and it was an hour or more before he reached the shore." 

At Fort Dickinson, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of March 20, 1784 (five 

days after the great flood), Maj. James Moore wrote to President Dickinson, at 

Philadelphia, in part as follows*: 

"The people in this Country have suffered Exceedingly by the late fresh; not less than 150 
Houses have been carried away. The Grain is Principally lost, and a very considerable part 
of the Cattle drowned. The Water was thirty feet above Low Water Mark. * * * The 
water was so High in the Garrison that some of the ammunition was injured." 

It will be recalled that the garrison, or Fort Dickinson, stood on the River 
Common, near the foot of Northampton Street. 

At "Wyoming, on Susquehanna, March 24, 1784," the following letter was 
written and forwarded to Col. John Franklin, then in Philadelphia as the agent 
of the Wyoming Yankees: — 

"The late breaking up of the River Susquehanna (on the 15th inst.) has been the most 
uncommon, and attended with the most extraordinary effects, beyond what has been known 
in the memory of any man now living in this country. 

"The uncommon severity of the cold, congealing the ice to such an incredible thickness, 
and depth of the snow, together with the sudden thaws and rain, with a variety of other causes, 
contributed to the late uncommon inundation and swell of the stream, which came down in 
mountains of ice, and overwhelmed almost the whole country. The consternation of the inhab- 
itants was not more amazing than their salvation surprising, of which we cannot give a particular 
account, only observe to the public that their houses, most of them (where the flood came), 
were driven some of them one mile, some two, others five and seven miles, and some heard of no 
more. 

"In one settlement (within a mile square) containing twenty-seven houses and 172 inhabi- 
tants, there were lost by the flood 90 head of horned cattle (most of them oxen and cows), 
27 horses, 65 sheep, and 108 swine, with almost all their other effects. Five other settlements 
suffered much the same, excepting in live stock. And although the inhabitants were in the 
utmost danger of being swallowed up, some being in and some on their houses, some climbing the 
trees, some on floating islands of ice, and some saved the Lord knows how, yet none of them were 
lost, neither man, woman nor child, and one only missing, viz. Frederick Jackson. Thus, not 
unlike St. Paul's shipwrecked company — some on boards, and some on broken pieces of their 
houses — all came safe to land. A salvation never to be forgotten! 

"But alas! for the suffering inhabitants, the ruin of their houses, and loss of all their move- 
able substance, and support of life for themselves and families for this and the current year; 
for that the Flats (their chief improvement) are covered with ice to an incredible depth, that 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X :222. 



1371 

to appearance will forbid a former, if not even prevent a latter, harvest. The state of the in- 
habitants is very deplorable (at least a very considerable part of them), and calls for the help 
of all who can afford them any. The narrators were present, and eye-witnesses of this amazing 
catastrophe, which is, in very deed, beyond description. It bears no faint resemblance to Xoah's 
flood, or to the appearance of the frozen seas of Greenland. The ice went mountains high, and 
bore down all before it. The aboriginal natives tell us that once in about seventy years there is 
such a flood — that the mountains and hills only are seen. 
The above certified per 

[Signed] (Rev.) "Jacob Johnson, 

"John Jenkins, 
"Daniel Gore, 
"Inhabitants of Wyoming, on Susquehanna, in behalf of many other sufferers there." 

This letter was placed by Colonel Franklin in the hands of President Dickin- 
son on March 31st, and the latter, on the same day, transmitted it to the General 
Assembly with the following message: 

"The late inundation having reduced many of the inhabitants at Wyoming to great distress, 
we should be glad if your honorable House would be pleased to make some immediate provision 
for their relief." 

The House ordered that the message be laid on the table, and, so far as we can 
now learn, there it still lies! On April 1st the Assembly adjourned, and did not 
convene again until the latter part of July or the beginning of August, following. 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of March 24, 1784, the Rev. Jacob Johnson 
wrote to a friend in Philadelphia, in part as follows:* 

* * * "The vast depth of snow in the open ground and woods together with the sudden 
thaw and rain, contributed to the late amazing inundation and swell of the streams, the which, 
upon the breaking up came down in huge bodies, even mountains of ice, which being wedged up 
in the straits and narrows, caused a most extraordinary swell above and below us in the day time ; 
and about 1 1 o'clock at night all the waters confined by the amazing bodies of ice gave way in 
an instant, with the most alarming omens of destruction, devastation, and an entire depopu- 
lation of this country, and caused such an overflowing as might fitly be termed a deluge of waters 
and ice which covered the earth almost from mountain to mountain, to a most surprising breadth 
and depth, and the whole country became like the frozen seas of Greenland. 

"The rushing in of the waters and enormous loads of ice were so sudden, rapacious and un- 
expected that few could make their escape, which threw the inhabitants into the utmost con- 
sternation, amazement and anxiety of soul for their preservation. Such of them as could fled 
to the mountains and hills in a most confused and hasty manner, before the flood had surrounded 
them; but Oh alas! for the greatest part of the inhabitants, their retreat was cut off, and nothing 
but immediate death and watery graves before their eyes, occasioned by the rapidity and 
unexpected rise of the waters which were all around them 'ere they were aware of their danger; 
so that the distressed and almost despairing inhabitants had no other alternative but to implore 
the interposition of Almighty God for their deliverance and salvation, for they could make no 
escape either on foot, by horse, or boat, and were therefore under the fatal necessity to abide 
the consequence of the awful catastrophe, be it what it might. 

"Such a night never was known here! Oh! the cries and screeches of mothers and children, 
together with the beasts groaning and bellowing — yea, every creature crying out with fear; 
while the people's houses, and all their substance, were enveloped with mountains of ice and , 
a deluge of waters, all in motion and convulsion, sweeping all before them like a second Noah's 
flood. Some were in their houses, racking and tumbling in pieces around them; others in their 
houses and on the roofs, hurrying along with the impetuous torrent; some in boats and canoes, 
wedged up and driving with the ice ; some climbing and hanging on the limbs of trees in utmost 
jeopardy; others on islands of ice, driving in hideous commotion. In short, keen despair brooded 
upon every brow, for all human assistance was denied the people, and nothing but immediate 
death appeared to be their portion. 

"In this important crisis it pleased God to rebuke and stay the proud waters in almost 
the twinkling of an eye! The whole body of ice stopped, and removed no more, which finally 
proved the salvation of many hundreds of the people ; for had the waters and ice made a second 
movement, the people must have all perished. This great salvation, we trust, God was pleased 
to grant in answer to the prayers and cries of the distressed, otherwise, to all appearance, every 
soul must have perished, excepting those who had made their escape to the mountains in season. 
But Oh! who is able to delineate, to point out, the horrors of that never-to-be-forgotten night, 
or even realize them, though present, much less such as were absent, or believe one-half when 
told them! God was pleased in the midst of wrath to remember mercy. For ever blessed be 
His name! 

"We expected that the greatest part, if not all, who had not made their escape in season 
has perished; but to our great surprise and joy there was but one person lost, who is since found 

"This letter was printed in the Pennsylvania Packet, Philadelphia, May 27, 1784. 



1372 

dead; but the situation of hundreds was indeed tremendous. Some were taken from their houses 
all in ruins; numbers of families were taken from their houses after being driven and hurried 
along the impetuous torrent, some one mile and others two miles, and their houses all broken 
in pieces; some from limbs of trees, others off islands of ice, and some the Lord knows how. Some 
were 24 and others 48 hours in the wrecks of houses (wedged up in the ice and water) before 
they could be relieved, and were almost perished, 

"But to behold the desolation made — houses and effects mostly swept off and destroyed — 
cattle, horses, sheep and swine mostly drowned — clothing, household furniture, provisions, 
flax, farming utensils, and other necessaries of life, mostly driven down the torrent and forever 
lost — our fences all gone — our fields of winter grain and grass loaded with ice from 10 to 30 feet 
thick, which threatens the loss of our former harvest, if not even forbid the later. Upon the whole, 
at a moderate computation, there are not half the necessaries of life to support the inhabitants. 
However, we trust in the mercies of God, that He who hath in a wonderful, if not even in a 
miraculous manner, saved so many lives from such apparent awful death, will still in mercy 
provide for them. 

"The inhabitants were settled in several small districts up and down the River, extending 
in the whole about fifteen miles in length, and had built houses on the low-lands near the river, 
and in compact bodies, for better defense against the savages. The uppermost district is 
Lackawanack*, and consisted of about 20 families. Their houses all swept off and destroyed 
except four; the principal part of their cattle, horses, and other effects lost. The settlement 
known by the name of Wintermoot's Fortf consisted of about 20 houses, and contained up- 
wards of 20 families, every house gone, their goods, provisions and other effects almost totally 
lost, except cattle and horses, a considerable number of which were driven to the hills when the 
flood was coming on. 

"In the neighborhood of Jacob's Plains were about 30 families, every house gone and 
destroyed except three, and they much damaged; the greatest part of their cattle, horses, and 
other effects lost and destroyed. In the lower part of Kingston were 27 houses and upwards of 
30 families; every house carried off and laid in ruins; their cattle, horses and other l^easts totally 
drowned even to a single creature (except the cattle and horses belonging to three families) ; 
all other of their effects almost totally lost. At Shawanese district (Plymouth] were upwards 
of 40 families, living in 30 houses, on the lowlands, 20 of which houses were swept off and destroyed, 
and the others much damaged; cattle and horses almost totally drowned, and the greatest part 
of their other effects lost and destroyed. 

Wilksbarrel district is the largest neighborhood, and is built on high lands, was about 
five feet under water, several houses damaged, and some cattle and horses and other effects 
drowned and lost. A number of houses in other parts of the settlement were swept off and torn 
in pieces, cattle, horses, goods, provisions, and other effects lost. The greatest part of the sheep 
and swine, in all our settlements, are drowned. In the whole settlements there are at least 150 
dwelling houses swept off and rendered unfit to live in, besides all other buildings; numbers of 
houses driven a mile, others seven miles, and there left in ruins; others lying in pieces all over the 
lowlands, and some not heard of yet. 

"The distresses of the war obliged us to build on our lowlands, yet few or none were ever 
exposed to danger before this time — the water and ice have risen 12 or 15 feet higher than ever 
was known in our days, and in .some turns of the river 25 feet higher than what it usually raised 
in former freshes, and was so sudden that, after the banks were overflowed, and the water had 
begun to be in the houses, it raised 10 feel perpendicular in 15 minutes, and almost from mountain 
to mountain! 

"This is the distressed and unhappy situation of the unfortunate inhabitants of Wyoming, 
who have suffered every danger this side death during the distresses of the war, many of their 
most near and tender connections having bled and fallen, and their whole country laid waste by 
the relentless fury of the savages." 

At Philadelphia, April 5, 1784, Col. John Franklin and Robert Martin, 
Esq. (see page 1344), addressed the following memorial§ to the Supreme Execu- 
tive Council of Pennsylvania. 

"The Memorial of Robert Martin and John Franklin on behalf of the distressed People 
of Wyoming humbly sheweth: 

"That on the 15th of March last the River Susquehanna rose into a flood exceeding all 
Degrees ever before known; that its rise was so sudden as to give no time to guard against its 
Mischief; that it swept away about 150 Houses, with all the piovisions. House furniture, farming 
Tools and Cattle of the Owners, and gave but just opportunity for the Inhabitants to fly for 
their lives to the high Ground; that by this dreadful Calamity 1000 Persons are left destitute 
of Provisions, Cloathing and every means of Life; and to add to the Calamity, the Winter Crop 
of Grain on the Ground is so harrowed up l)y the Ice as to be nearly ruined. Their deplorable 

*Now the city of Pittston. 

tSee page 1013. Vol. II, and other references in Vol. 11. as to the location of Wintermute's Fort 
JThe principal part of the villat;e of Wilkes-Barre at that time lay between the present Market and South Streets 
and the River Common and Washington Street. 

§.See "Penn.sylvania .Archives". Second Scries. XVIII: 636. 



1373 



Case was laid before the late Assembly for their consideration, but Ihey Adjourned without taking 
.any resolution thereon. 

"Your Memorialists therefore pray that these suffering People may be recommended to 
publick Charity, or such other method for their relief may be adopted as your wisdom shall devise; 
and your Memorialists shall ever pray." 

Concerning the foregoing memorial, Pelatiah Webster* wrote as follows, 
from Philadelphia, under the date of April 20, 1 784, to the Hon. Roger Sherman, 
Delegate from Connecticut in the Congress of the United States, then sitting 
at Annapolis, Maryland. (Some years ago the original letter was in the possession 
of the late Hon. George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, who furnished the present 
writer with a copy of the same.) 

* * * "The Wyoming people have been Dreadfully ruined by the Inundation of the 
River, as you have doubtless heard. 150 houses, with all the stock, farming Tools, Furniture 
&: provisions were swept away, and the people are left in the most Distressed Condition, and 
the humanity of our people toward them I think somewhat Sparing. Their Case was Laid before 
the Assembly by ye President & Council, but they adjourned without Taking the matter up 
or forming any resolution. 

■^Peuatiah Webster was bora in Lebanon. Connecticut, in 1 725 ; was graduated at Yale College in 1 746; studied 
theology, and preached for a time in 1748-'49 at Greenwich. Massachusetts. About 1755 he removed to Philadelpha 
where he engaged in business and soon accumulated a small fortune. At the same time he devoted himself to study 
and literary work. In 1767. as noted on page 446. Vol. I. he was voted by The Susquehanna Company one share in 
the Company's Purchase. During the Revolutionary War Mr, Webster was an active patriot, aiding the .\merican 
cause with pen and purse, which resulted in his being seized by the British in February, 1778. and imprisoned in the 
Philadelphia city jail, where he was confined for 132 days. In addition, part of his property was confiscated by the 
British 

Mr Webster gave much time to the study of the currency, finance, and the resources of the country, and was often 
consulted on these matters by the members of Congress, His "Dissertation on the Political Union and Constitution 
of the Thirteen United States of North -America", published at Philadelphia in 178.3. is mentioned by President James 
Madison as having an influence in directing the public mind to the necessity of a better form of Government. By 
more than one writer he has been given priority in inventing "the idea of the Supreme federal Government, strictly 
organized, and operating directly on the citizens and not on the States composing the federation," 

In the Spring of 1784 Mr, Webster retired from business, leasing his house, stores and wharf in Philadelphia to 
Major Lockwood, Thereafter he devoted himself to writing and publishing. He published essays on Public Credit. 
Public Finances, Money, etc. He died at Philadelphia in September. 1795, He had a daughter Sophia, who was the 
wife of Thaddeus Point, 




CHAPTER XXIV 

EVENTS OF THE SECOND PENNAMITE-YANKEE WAR — OPPRESSIONS OF 
SETTLERS BY PENNAMITES MULTIPLY— THE INTERVENTION OF CON- 
GRESS AGAIN INVOKED— YANKEES, DRIVEN FROM THEIR HOMES, 
ESTABLISH FORTS LILLOPEE AND DEFENSE — SKIRMISHES 
BETWEEN THE CONTENDING PARTIES CAUSE A DIS- 
ASTROUS FIRE — THE FIGHT AT LOCUST HILL. 



"They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge. They 
turn the needy out of the way; the poor of the earth hide themselves together. * * * 
They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold." 

—Job, XXIV: 3, 4, 7. 



"They were driven forth from among men, * * to dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in 
caves of the earth, and in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles the>; 
were gathered together." — joj_ XXX: 5, 6, 7 . 



And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword." 

— Leviticus, XXVI:7. 



Early in March, 1784, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania appointed 
a committee of its members to confer with the Supreme Executive Council of 
the vState respecting the proper time for withdrawing the troops stationed at 
Wyoming. On M^rch 25th the committee reported in part as follows: "That 
they have performed that service, and find Council unanimously of opinion 
that it would be highly improper to remove the troops before the first day of 
December next; but notwithstanding the opinion of that honorable body, which 
seems to be founded upon no other reasons than those already mentioned, and 
fully debated by this House, your committee beg leave to offer the following 
resolution: Resolved, That the blank in the resolution of the 11th instant, re- 
specting the discharge of the troops now stationed at Wyoming, be filled up 
with 'the first day of June next.' " 

This resolution was adopted by the House, and the fact was duly communi- 
cated to the Supreme Executive Council; which body, under the date of March 
30th, informed Major Moore (who about that time had been promoted Lieut. 
Colonel) and John Weitzel, (contractor for provisions at Fort Dickinson) that 
the garrison at Fort Dickinson would be discharged on June 1, 1784, and that 

1374 



1375 

it was the sense of the Council that no provisions should be furnished "to the 
troops stationed at that place after that day." 

The committee of the Pennsylvania Assembly, to which had been referred 
the report of the Committee of Inquiry into Wyoming affairs, and certain letters 
and memorials relating to the same subject made its report to the House on 
March 19, 1784. Having been read, it was laid on the table till March 31st, 
when it was read the second time and the resolution attached to it was adopted 
by the House — but not unanimously. The report and the resolution read as ' 
follows* : 

"The committee to whom was referred the report of the committee on the charges contained 
in the petition from divers inhabitants of Wyoming, the letter from Alexander Patterson, Esq., 
and two petitions from the inhabitants of Wyoming, beg leave to report: 

"That after examining the different depositions accompanying the report of the committee 
on the charges contained in the petition from the inhabitants of Wyoming, they do not find that 
the same contain any matter of complaint but such as, if true, the laws of this State are fully 
sut^cient to redress, and that, therefore, an application to this House was unnecessary and im- 
proper. A greater part of the irregularities alleged against Alexander Patterson, Esq., appear 
to have been done by people in his name; but no order or warrant appears to have been given 
by him for any such acts. Your committee therefore offer the following resolution to the House: 

"Resolved. That the petition from divers inhabitants of Wyoming, presented to this House 
on the Sth day of December last, be dismissed, and that the parties be referred to common 
law for redress of any injuries they may have sustained." 

It will be noticed that this resolution was adopted by the House on the same 
day that it ordered the message of President Dickinson, concerning the inunda- 
tion of Wyoming, to be laid on the table. 

The foregoing report and resolution provoked considerable discussion in 
the House, some members being in favor of indefinitely postponing the subject 
under discussion; but this was objected to by a number of the members, who 
called for a reading of the depositions which had been taken at Wyoming by 
the Committee of Inquiry. Col. Daniel Ctymer, a Representative from Berks 
County, took up the deposition of Robert McDowel, which he read in his place, 
and then declared: "There is evidence enough in that alone to show that Alexan- 
der Patterson ought to be removed from his office of Justice of the Peace!" 
Colonel Clymer insisted that all of the depositions should be read, but this was 
opposed by several, especially by the Speaker of the House. 

Gen. Robert Brown, of Northampton County, then arose and said he was 
certain that no member of the House could imagine him to be in the interest 
of the people of Wyoming beyond the bounds of truth and a desire to do justice. 
He reminded the House that he had visited Wyoming as a member of the Com- 
mittee of Inquir}', and had heard all the evidence on both sides. "The wrongs 
and sufferings of the people of Wyoming," he emphatically declared, "are in- 
tolerable! If there ever on earth was a people deserving redress, it is those people. 
Let the depositions lying on the table be read, and the House afforded an op- 
portunity to judge." Speaker Gray, somewhat irregularly, stated from the 
chair that Justice Patterson had returned to Wyoming from Philadelphia, that 
he could not be prosecuted without being present, and that the session was 
drawing to a close and important business was pressing, which would have to 
be laid over if the Wyoming aflfair was taken up by the House. f 

"See "Penn.sylvania Archives" Old Series X: 557 558. 

tThe following interesting account of the manner in which business was transacted in the General .\ssembly of 
Pennsylvania in 1 784. as observed by Dr. Johann David Schopf, is taken from the journal of his travels; 

"The Assembly of Pennsylvania, which, as I have mentioned, was at this time in sessioUj held its sittings in a large 
room in the State House Th^ doors are open to everybody, and I had thus the pleastu-e of bemg several times in attend- 
ance; but I cannot say that, in the strict sense, I saw them sitting. 

"At the upper end of the room the Speaker, or President, of the .\ssembly sits at a table, in a rather high 
chair. He brings forward the subjects to be considered, and to him and towards him the speakers direct themselves 
when they open their minds regarding questions pending. He calls the .\ssembly to order when he observes inattention 



1376 

Col. John Franklin, in his "Brief," heretofore mentioned, states that while 
the petitions of the Wyoming settlers and the report of the Assembly Committee 
of Inquiry were in the hands of the special committee of the House, the Yankees 
at Wyoming enjoyed a fair degree of peace and quiet. This condition of affairs 
continued until about April 10, 1784, when, as Franklin states, "the neglect 
of the Legislature to hear or redress the grieyances of the settlers, encouraged 
the Pennsylyania claimants, as well as the Justices and the officers of the Garrison, _ 
to take the most cruel measures to distress the settlers. 

"The soldiers were set at work remoying the fences from the inclosures 
of the inhabitants, laying fields of grain open to be devoured [by stray cattle]; 
fencing up the highways, and between the houses of the settlers and their wells 
of water, so that they were not suffered to procure water from their wells, or to 
travel on their usual highways. The greatest part of the settlers were in the most 
distressed situation, numbers having had their houses and property swept away 
by the uncommon overflowing of the river Susquehanna in March; numbers 
were without shelter, and in a starving condition, but they were not suffered to 
cut a stick of timber or make any shelter for their families. They were forbid 
to draw their nets for fish, and their nets were taken away from them by the 
officers of the Garrison. Settlers were often dragged out of their beds in the 
night season by ruffians, and beaten in a cruel manner." 

We learn something further concerning the condition of affairs at Wyoming 
at this period from a letter written here April 27, 1784, by a Yankee settler, 
addressed to a friend in Connecticut, and published in The Connecticut Journal 
June 2, 1784, in The Boston Gazette of June 7, 1784, and in other New England 
newspapers. The letter reads in part as follows: 

"I sit down to give you a description of the distresses of the inhabitants of this place, tho 
they are beyond expression. The late flood was such as stripped the greatest part of them o 
houses, clothing, provisions and stock; but it being at this season of the year, and hopes of the 
produce of the earth, kept them in some spirits until about ten days ago. They are forbid making 
any improvements, even in their own gardens, and the soldiers have sent and took away the 
garden fences, and have fenced in the town-plot [of Wilkes-Barre] into large fields, and have 
forbid any inhabitants going into them on their peril. Sentries are placed with such orders that 
no one dare to go into where their own gardens were. It is the same in general through the fields 
— the people all at a stand. 

"In several instances, where the inhabitants' went to get some logs to make them a hut 
to cover their poor distressed wives and children after their houses and cattle were driven away 
by the flood, have been sued for trespass, and are bound over to Court. Patterson has forbid 
any one hauling a seine to catch fish, upon their peril, so that people will fall short of their support 
which God and Nature allows them; and at this time, when they have lost their meat by the 
flood, it is most shocking. 

"The soldiers made a fence on the well-sweep that supplies the most of the inhabitants 
near the fort with water, and swore that if any one moved a rail of the fence the sentry would 
shoot them, which made some obliged to make use of the muddy water in the river. Two young 
men, passing by the fort the other day, were taken up and carried into the fort and whipped, 
for no other reason than that they had some feathers, or a cocade, in their hats. In short, I do 
not think that history or the memory of man can afford another such scene (except the taking 
of life) of barbarous and cruel treatment as the poor, distressed inhabitants of this place have 
daily. 

"And their daily insults are beyond anything that could be believed. The soldiers walk 
about with what they call shillalahs, and say they have orders that if any inhabitant gives them 
a wry word, to knock him down and beat him as they please. The insults and abuses are too 
numerous to repeat; and these abuses are all done by order and under the eyes of the military 
officers and some of the civil." 

or talk that is disturbing, and he puts the question when the matter before the House has been sufficiently discussed 
pro and contra, and is now to be decided by a majority of the votes. 

"The members sit in chairs at both sides of the [Speaker's] table and of the room, but seldom gmelty, and m all 
manner of postures; some are going, some are standing, and the most part seem pretty indifferent as to what is being 
said if it is not of particular importance or is for any reason uninteresting to them. When the votes are to be taken 
those in the affirmative arise, and those in the negative remain sitting. The members of German descent (if. as is 
sometimes the case, from a lack of thorough readiness in the English language they do not properly grasp the matter 
under discussion, or for any other reason cannot reach a conclusion) are excused for sitting doubtful until they see 
whether the greater number sits or stands, and then they do the same, so as always to keep with the larger side, or the 
majority." 



1377 

Chapman, speaking of conditions in Wyoming Valley in March and April, 
1784, says, in his "History of Wyoming": "The freshet created so great a 
scarcity of provisions that the prospect of approaching want produced the most 
gloomy apprehensions among the inhabitants ; and the soldiers, in order to provide 
sufficient stores for themselves, became more ungovernable than before in their 
acts of indiscriminate plunder upon such property as the more merciful elements 
had neglected to destroy." 

On April 20, 1 784, President Dickinson wrote to Colonel Moore, at Wilkes- 
Barre, directing him, in pursuance of the resolutions of the General Assembly 
(hereinbefore mentioned), to make such arrangements that the garrison could 
be "entirely withdrawn from Wyoming on or before June 1, 1784." Continuing, 
President Dickinson said: "The cannon, arms and military stores we wish to 
have deposited at Sunbury, in some proper place and under the care of some 
suitable person. It may be advisable to consult General Potter and William 
Maclay, Esq., on this subject. * * The removal should begin so early that 
the troops, after being discharged, may reach the respective places of their 
residence by the first day of June, to which time they are to be supplied with 
rations, and their pay to be continued." 

Congress was in session at Annapolis, Maryland, in April, 1784, and on the 
24th of that month resolutions were introduced by Brig. Gen. Edward Hand, 
one of the Delegates from Pennsylvania, which read in part as follows: 

"Resolved, That the resolution of the 23d day of January last, directing the institution 
of a Court for determining the private right of soil within the territory formerly in controversy 
between the States of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and appointing the fourth Monday in 
June next for the appearance of the parties before Congress, or a Committee of the States, be, 
and it is hereby, suspended, until Zebulon Butler and the other petitioners, claimants as afore- 
said, exhibit to Congress, or a Committee of the States, schedules particularizing their claims. 

"Resoked, That the parties, claimants as aforesaid, be informed that their appearance 
by agents before Congress, or a Committee of the States, as specified by the resolution of Congress 
of the 23d of January last, will not be necessary until the further determinations of Congress, 
or a Committee of States, in the premises, be made known to them." 

After some discussion a motion was made that these resolutions be "com- 
mitted," and, a vote being taken, the motion was carried by twenty-one ayes to 
four noes.* 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of April 29, 1784, Alexander Patterson 
wrote to President Dickinson, in part as followsf : 

"The settlements upon the River have suffered much by an Innundation of Ice, which 
has swept away the Greatest part of the grain and stock of all kinds, so that the Inhabitants 
are Generally very poor. 

"Upon my arrival at this Place the fifteenth Inst. I found the People for the most part 
Disposed to give up their Pretentions to the Lands Claimed under Connecticut. Having a 
Pretty General Agency from the Land-holders of Pennsylvania. I have availed myself of this 
Period, and have Possessed in behalf of my Constituents the Chief part of all the Lands occupied 
by the above Claimants. Numbers of them are going up the River to settle. In this I give 
every Incouragement in my power, and Take care to fill up their Vacancy with well Disposed 
Pennsylvanians. I think it is right to Dispose of the others in such a manner as will be most 
Conducive to the Peace of the state, by granting them Leases and settling them remote from 
each other; yet, notwithstanding this situation of affairs, I am not out of apprehension of Trouble 
and Danger arising from the ring-leaders of the old offenders, who still stand out and are coun- 
tenanced and Incouraged by their friends down the River. 

"They are waiting untill the troops are discharged, when they expect to have recourse to 
their former factious practices. In the mean time there is no doubt but that they will Endeavour 
to spread every Vileanous report that Malice can Suggest, to Endeavour to prepossess the minds 

*It may be stated in this connection that, when the fourth Monday in June. 1784, came around. James Wilson 
and Winiam Bradford, Jr., Esquires (who had represented Pennsylvania in the trial before the Court of Commissioners 
at Trenton, in November and December, 1782), appeared at Annapolis as agent ■; and counsellors for Pennsylvania 
Finding that Congress had adjourned on the 3d of June, that a quorum of the Committee of the States was not 
present, and that neither the petitioning settlers at Wyoming nor the authorities of the State of Connecticut were 
present in person or by agents, Messrs, Wilson and Bradford returned to their homes. In consequence, the "Wyoming 
case" lay in a quiescent state — so far as either Connecticut or Congress was concerned. 

TSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: .S74, 



1378 

of the Publick against our Proceedings. Experience has taught us that they are but too apt to 
succeed in those cases; but I hope their Base designs will appear so Conspicuous to all public 
Bodies and the People in General, that they will no longer become Dupes to their Artifice. 

"My Coadjutors, with myself, have no new Claim to a Citizenship in this State, I there- 
fore Humbly hope (if any Dangerous or S;dicious Commotion should arise in this Country so 
Remote from the seat of Government) that it may not be Construed a Want of Zeal or Love 
for the Commonwealth if we should, through dire Necessity, be obliged to do some tilings not strictly 
consonant -witli the Letter of the La^a! I call Heaven to wittness that nothing shall Induce me to do 
one single Act but what I conceive will tend to the good of the State and the Happiness of its 
faithful Citizens; and it shall be my study to have all my actions to harmonize with its Peace 
and safety, so as to Merit the aprobation of Government. 

"If the Troops were to be settled with and Discharged here it would answer a Valuable 
Purpose, as a good many of them would incline to stay at this place." 

Two days after the foregoing letter was written, a petition to Coagress was 
prepared* and signed at Wilkes-Barre by Col. Zebulon Butler, Col. Nathan 
Denison, John Jenkins, Sr., Obadiah Gore, Hugh Forseman, Jamj3 Sutton, 
Phineas Pierce, Benjamin Bailey and Ebenezer Johnson — -all early and prominent 
settlers at Wyoming under the auspices of The Susquehanna Company. With 
a considerable number of changes in spelling and punctuation, the petition 
reads in part as follows: 

* * * "We would crave leave to say that in the Fall of the last year, and soon after th e 
Justices, who were appointed and commissioned and set over as without our choice or knowledge, 
had come to this place, we, by our peaceable demeanor and ready submission to Government, duly 
submitted to every requisition, whether civil or military; yet the most tyrannical and arbitrary 
proceedings were introduced by the said authority to add to our distress, so that numbers of 
families were forcibly turned out of their houses and possessions without the least regard to age 
or sex, widows or fatherless children, in sickness and distress. Many of the inhabitants had their 
grain and other effects forced from them; others were taken in numbers by a military force, drove 
to the fort by the soldiers with fixed bayonets, and accompanied by Justices Patterson and Seely, 
when and where the said inhabitants, by order of the said authority, were forced into a guard- 
house in the fort, where they were confined in a dismal prison unfit for Human creatures to lay 
down in — some confined six and others nine days, when they were turned out without any crime 
being laid to their charge. 

"That while in Confinement they received the greatest abuse and insults from the Justices, 
officers and soldiers; and in the meantine their families were turned out of doors and their property 
forced from them and never returned. Others were taken by orders of the authority under the 
pretense of some crime (though none was alleged against them) and confined in the said guard- 
house; from thence sent to Sunbury to be committed (to jail], and, laid under large bonds, per- 
mitted to return home ; taken a second time by the said authority for the same pretended crime, 
and confined in the said guard-house, when offers were made them by the Justices, that, if they 
would take leases [from the Pennsylvania land-claimers for the Wyoming lands they were occupy- 
ing and tilling], they should be released from their bonds and confinement. Some were actually 
forced to take a lease in order to gain their liberty — and all this barbarous treatment was inflicted 
upon the inhabitants of this settlement without Law or even the colour of Law or Justice. 

"In order to obtain some redress and respite from their tyrannical proceedings, we petitioned 
the Honorable Assembly of this State for, and in hopes of, some mitigation of our intolerable 
sufferings and insupportable insults which we the inhabitants were continuahy receiving from 
the authority aforesaid, as well as from the Pennsylvania land-claimers; and the Assembly, by 
a resolve passed the 9th of December last, appointed the Members from Northampton County 
a committee to enquire into the facts as stated in our petition, who met about the 29th of the 
same month at the house of Capt. John P. Schott, innkeeper in this place. To the immortal 
honor of that committee we can with Justice say that their enquiry was made with the strictest 
Justice and impartiality; but alas! to our great surprise and mortification, after keeping an agent 
at the Assembly near three months, the Petition was shuffled from committee to committee, 
and finally was postponed to the next session, and nothing done for our relief. 

"After the Resolve of Congress our agent petitioned the Assembly of this State to be quieted 
in our possessions until the trial of the right of soil should be determined; but alas! all to no purpose. 
Our prayers and intreaties were rejected and contemned, and we are now left to the tender mercies 
of the wanton and avaricious wills of the land-claimants, whose tender mercies are cruelty in the 
abstract. And we would further observe, that the civil and military authority who are set over 
us here lay claim to large interests in lands in this place under the Pennsylvania claim, and those 
[who compose] the civil authority were our most vindictive enemies. 

"The land-claimants still say that the whole was determined by the Decree of Trenton, 
and they are at this present time introducing a Banditti of men, together with the Soldiers (who 
have no right or claim to any land here under any State), to take our lands and possessions by 
force; and the said banditti and Soldiery are now wantonly, without either law or right, pulling 
down our fences, laying our fields and grain open to the wide world, fencing across our highways, 

in the possession of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. It i-s in the hand' 



1379 

securing our wells of water from our houses, inclosing our gardens and home lots for their own 
use, so that we are deprived the privilege of passing in our publick highways; the privilege of 
taking water from our wells, improving our gardens and home lots and other lands, is also denied 
us; and that upon our peril many of our inhabitants, that have attempted to improve in our 
gardens, have been drove out by a band of Soldiers armed with clubs. 

"And we are not only threatened of being beat and abused with Clubs, but are often threat- 
ened to be shot and put to immediate Death. Many of our houses, lots, wells and gardens lie 
near the Garrison and under cover of their cannon; by which means we are continually receiving 
the greatest abuses and insults from some of the Justices as well as from the officers and soldiers. 
The said soldiers are continually walking the streets, and through every part of our settlement 
that is any way near the Garrison, as well by night as by day — some armed with Guns and Bay- 
onets, and others with Clubs, insulting and assaulting whomsoever they please. Some of the 
inhabitants have been met in the street by this Banditti, and been beaten with Clubs until their 
lives were despaired of. Others have been taken and carried into the fort, and there beat with 
Clubs by the officers and Soldiers in a most Cruel manner, and then dismissed. 

"One of the inhabitants, of a respectable character, a few days since made application to 
one of the Justices for a warrant against Alexander Patterson Esq., in order to get redress in law 
for an assault and Battery made upon him by the said Patterson. The Justice to whom applica- 
tion was made, living near the Garrison, a party of soldiers, armed with Clubs and other weapons, 
were immediately sent in pursuit of this Inhabitant. Their pursuit continued for two days, 
waylaying his house, field and the highways, &c., and on the night of the 30th of April a party 
of armed soldiers, waylaying the house, took him by force and carried him near the Garrison, 
when they beat him severely with clubs. This man made immediate application for redress to 
one of the Justices, but was referred to the commanding officer (Lieut. Col. James Moore], to 
whom he also made the same application — but not any redress could be obtained. 

"Some of the Justices, together with the officers and soldiers, and others of their banditti 
of men, are threatening to pull down our houses and turn our distressed families out of doors. 
The inhabitants who ha\'e lost their houses and all their effects by the late inundation of the waters, 
are forbid cutting a stick of timber in order to make a shelter for their families, oi even to repair 
their houses that were wracked in pieces by the water and Ice. Some have been taken before 
the Justices by a warrant, and laid under large Bonds, for cutting timber on their own possessions 
for the purpose of Building. Others are laid under Bond for cutting a stick of fire-wood. We 
are also forbid to draw our seines in the river for fish, which will add greatly to our Distresses — 
having lost most of our provisions by the inundation of water ; and to add to all our distresses the 
soldiers are Continually Plundering the inhabitants, taking from them the little provisions they 
had left them, and killing our cattle, sheep and swine which escaped the flood. 

"Repeated application has been made by the inhabitants to the authority here, in hopes 
to obtain redress for the abuses and insults which we are daily receiving, but we can get no redress. 
* * * Yet notwithstanding all this these Barbarous men still 'oppress the afflicted in the 
gate.' Our blood and treasure has been Expended in our Country's cause — we have stepped forth 
& fought for the golden tree of Liberty, which, as a Country, we have obtained. We have suffered 
every Danger this side of Death; many of our nearest and tenderest Connections have bled and 
fallen. 

"It fills our hearts with grief when we take a serious view of our unhappy situation — that 
we, who have stood forth in our country's cause, must now continue under the Iron Rod of Tyranny 
and Oppression, and by those who should have been first to step forth for our protection and safe- 
guard; and now — while others are enjoying the inconceivable Blessings of peace and plenty, 
and set under their own fig tree, and have none to make them afraid, but are singing a Quietum 
to all their troubles — we are under the galling yoke of Despotism, and the cruel, malicious and 
tyrannical proceedings had against us, and which we are continually receiving from the Civil 
and Military authority as well as from the common soldiers. 

"The merciless and mercenary Land Claimants have drove us almost to Desperation, 
and unless we can have some speedy relief we are inevitably ruined, and we must fly from this 
place with our Distressed families, leaving our all behind us, our children crying for bread, and we 
shall have none to give them. 

"We would further observe, that whUe this was being written, and but a few minutes since, 
a number of the inhabitants have been Drove from their labours by the soldiers and beat with 
clubs from house to house in a most cruel manner. 

"Therefore, we do, with deference and humility, lay this our distressed situation before 
your Honorable Body, praying your Honors seriously to take our unhappy circumstances into 
your wise and equitable Consideration, and weigh the Justice of our Complaints, and grant us 
relief or mitigation; and that we may be quieted in our possessions until we can have a fair and 
impartial trial for the right of soil. * * * 

"N. B.; — This day the only grist-mill in the settlement was taken by force from the in- 
habitants by the Soldiers, with Large Clubs." 

This petition was placed in the hands of Col. John Franklin, and the next 
day, (Sunday, May 2, 1 784) he set out from Wilkes-Barre for Annapolis, Mary- 
land, where the Congress was then sitting*. Having been formally presented 

*From the following extracts from Colonel Franklin's "Journal" we leam something about the route he traveled, 
and the amount of time occupied by him, in journeying from Wilkes-Barre to Annapolis. 

May 2, 1784, I set out for Annapolis with a petition to Congress; May 3d. went to Middletown; 4th, left my 
canoe at Conewago Falls, and traveled by land afoot twelve miles below Little York [the present city of York, York 
County, Pennsylvania]: 5th went within six miles of Baltimore: 6th, went on board a schooner at Baltimore; 7th, arrived 



1380 

to that body by the Hon. Roger Sherman, one of the Delegates from Connecticut, 
the petition was duly referred to a committee of which the Hon. Thomas Jefferson 
of Virginia, was Chairman. 

Chapman, writing about the occurrences in Wyoming, in March and April, 
1784, says (in his "Sketch of the History of Wyoming") that "the inhabitants 
finding at length that the burden of their calamities was too great to be borne, 
began to resist the illegal proceedings of their new masters, and refused to comply 
with the decisions of the mock tribunals which had been established. Their 
resistance enraged the magistrates, and on May 12th the soldiers of the garrison 
were sent to disarm them, and under this pretense 150 families were turned out 
of their dwellings, many of which were burnt, and all ages and sexes were reduced 
to the same destitute condition." 

Capt. (formerly Lieutenant) John Armstrong and Lieut. Samuel Read of 
Lieut. Colonel Moore's corps, were sent out from Fort Dickinson early in the 
morning of May 12th, in command of detachments of troops, to round up certain 
of the Yankee settlers. Later in the day Lieutenant Read reported to Colonel 
Moore, in part as follows*: 

"Agreeably to your Orders I marched with the detachment under my command to the 
neighborhood of Abraham's plains. Upon entering that settlement (which was before day light i 
I found two men in arms, with their horses saddled, and supposing them to be belonging to the 
party said to be in arms, I marched them under guard in order to prevent as far as possible my 
being discovered. Shortly after I perceived some men running to the mountain, with whom I 
exchanged a few shots, without receiving any damage. 

"The men were in general absent with their arms, and, from Reports, I had reason to expect 
opposition. 

"I proceeded with great caution to take the Locks off all the arms I could find, until I 
joined Capt. Armstrong. Our numbers was then respectable, which I firmly believe was the only 
Reason that prevented them from commencing Hostilities." * * 

The same day Captain Armstrong reported to Colonel Moore in writing, 

in part as follows : 

"Agreeably to your Instructions, I proceeded with the party under my command to 
Abraham's Plains, & from thence through the settlement to execute my orders. I found the men 
generally absent with their arms, and had frequent Reports they were assembled on the Hills, 
and that they intended opposition. I was shortly after joined by the party commanded by 
Lieut. Read, Our formidable conjunction I conceive to be the Reason why we were not attacked 
by the Connecticut Settlers, who, I presume, were perfectly disposed to do us every injury." 

Turning again to Chapman, we find the following — with respect to the goings 
on in Wyoming on May 12th, 13th and 14th: 

"After being plundered of their little remaining property, they [the Yankee 
settlers] were driven from the valley and compelled to proceed on foot through 
the wilderness, by way of the Lackawaxen, to the Delaware, a distance of about 
eighty miles, j During this journey the unhappy fugitives suffered all the miseries 
which human nature appears to be capable of enduring. Old men, whose children 
had been slain in battle, widows with their infant children, and children with- 
out parents to protect them, were here companions in exile and sorrow. One 
shocking instance of suffering is related by a survivor of this scene of death. 
It is the case of a mother, whose infant having died, roasted it by piecemeal 
for the daily subsistence of her remaining children." 

at Annapolis, I found Esquire [Roger] Sherman and General Wadsworth; gave my petition to Esquire Sherman, which 
was laid before Congress and referred to a committee. The lOlh, wrote a letter to His Excellency the Governor of 
Connecticut, in which I gave an account of the proceedings of the State of Pennsylvania toward us from the Decree 
of Trenton to this time. 10th, left Annapolis and set off for Sunbury. Pennsylvania. / got no business completed in 
Congress! May 25th, I arrived at Sunbury. The Court of Quarter Sessions of Northumberland County being held.', 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, XI: 435, 436. 

tThe old and then little-used "Upper Road to the Delaware", mentioned on page 646, Vol. II. 



1381 

Miner, referring to those unhappy May days of 1784, says ("History of 
Wyoming," page 344): 

"On the 13th and 14th of May the soldiery were sent forth, and, at the point of the bayonet, 
with the most high-handed arrogance, dispossessed 150 families; in many instances set fire to 
their dwellings, avowing the intention utterly to expel them from the country. Unable to make 
any effectual resistance, the people implored for leave to remove either up or down the river, 
in boats, as with their wives and children it would be impossible, in the then state of the roads, 
to travel. A stern refusal met this seemingly reasonable request, and they were directed to take 
the Lackawaxen road, as leading the most directly to Connecticut. But this way consisted of 
sixty miles of wilderness, with scarce a house — the road wholly neglected during the war. 

"They then begged leave to take the Easton or Stroudsburg road [the Sullivan Road], 
where bridges spanned the larger streams, still swollen with recent rains. All importunities 
were in vain, and the people fled towards the Delaware, objects of destitution and pity that 
should have moved a heart of marble. About 500 men, women and children, with scarce pro- 
visions to sustain life, plodded their weary way, mostly on foot, the road being impassable for 
wagons. Mothers carrying their infants, and pregnant women, literally waded streams, the 
water reaching to their armpits, and at night slept on the naked earth, the heavens their canopy, 
with scarce clothes to cover them. 

"A Mr. Gardner and John Jenkins, Esq., (who had been a Representative in the Connecti- 
cut Assembly, and was chairman of the town-meeting which, in 1775, had adopted those noble reso- 
lutions in favor of liberty ) , both aged men and lame, sought their way on crutches. Little children, 
tired with traveling, crying to their mothers for bread, which they had not to give them, sank 
from exhaustion into stillness and slumber, while the mothers could only shed tears of sorrow and 
compassion, till in sleep they forgot their cares and griefs. Several of the unhappy sufferers 
died in the wilderness; others were taken sick from excessive fatigue, and expired soon after 
reaching the (Delaware River] settlements. A widow, with a numerous family of childern. whose 
husband had been slain in the war, endured inexpressible hardships. One child died, and she 
buried it as best she could beneath a hemlock log — probably to be disinterred from its shallow 
covering and be devoured by wolves. 

"Wherever the news extended of this outrage, not ou the Wyoming settlers alone, but on 
the common rights of humanity and justice, feelings of indignation were awakened and expressed, 
too emphatic to be disregarded. In no part of the Union were the sympathies of the people more 
generously aroused than among the just and good people of Pennsylvania." 

Elisha Harding (mentioned in the note on page 993, Vol. II) returned 
from Connecticut to Wyoming about May 12, 1784, and in a letter which he 
wrote some years later he made the following statement relative to the expulsion 
of the Yankee settlers from Wyoming : 

"When I arrived at Pittston I there found that the Pennsylvania party, so called, had 
raised an armed force and turned out men, women and children into the streets — many widows 
(whose husbands had fallen at the hands of the Savages) with their helpless children — old men 
and women — all in a drove, compelled to leave their all behind and travel on, followed up by 
the bayonets, and so drove through the wilderness to the Delaware River, a distance of sixty 
miles. It was a solemn scene — parents, their children crying for hunger — aged men on crutches 
— all urged forward by an armed force at our heels. 

"I asked for permission to stay a few days, and I would then leave the settlement. The 
answer was. 'You shall go now!' which went down heavy. Resistance was in vain, and I had to go. 
I thought it was well for me that I had no one to provide for. I had a horse, and I saw an old 
man on crutches making the best of his way. I put my horse to a wagon where there were three 
families. The old man and his wife got into the wagon and I on foot, and so continued to do until 
we arrived in Orange County in the State of New York. The first night we encamped at Capouse 
[within the present limits of the city of Scranton]; the second, at Cobb's; the third, at Little 
Meadows, so called. Cold, hungry and drenched with rain, the poor women and children suffered 
much. The fourth night at Lackawack; the fifth, at Blooming-grove; the sixth, at Shohola; 
on the seventh, arrived at the Delaware, wheic the people dispersed — some going up and some 
down the river." 

Colonel Franklin, who was nothing if not bitter in his feelings and sentiments 
with respect to the Pennamites, wrote as follows concerning the expulsion of 
the Yankees. 

"The demons' disorder having come to its full height in the tools of Government placed 
at Wyoming, and in their regiment of assassins, actuated by the overbearing influence of their 
Luciferian Master [Alexander Patterson,] they proceeded to the most cruel inhuman and bar- 
barous acts ever committed by a set of beings in God's creation — acts which drew sackcloth 
over the face of human nature, and would have distorted the countenance of an Algerian pirate, 
or the most barbarous savage. A bloody flag being hoisted in the Garrison, Col. Zebulon Butler 
was first taken bail-prisoner and confined in his own house with eleven others of the inhabitants, 
under a guard of assassins, and treated in an inhuman manner. Small parties were sent through 
the different parts of the settlements, who disarmed the settlers before they could be apprised 
of what was going on. A small number, about twenty, of the settlers made their escape to the 
mountains with their arms." 



1382 

At Fort Dickinson, Wilkes-Barre, under the date of Saturday, May 15, 
1784, Lieut. Col. James Moore wrote to President John Dickinson, at Philadel- 
phia, in part as follows* : 

"In consequence of various Reports, corroborated by the inclosed depositions of two men, 
that a number of Connecticut Claimants were in arms at Abraham's Plains, six miles distant 
from the Garrison; that they had in a very hostile manner surrounded several peaceable 
Citizens (who were pursuing their Industry) to the great Terror of their persons ; and that numbers 
from the other settlements were to assemble there with their arms, in the night (which the General 
Commotion of the Connecticut Faction give grgat Reason to suspect), I conceived it necessary 
to detach Captain Armstrong and Lieutenant Read, (each with a detachment of fifteen men) 
silently in the night, to guard the Roads, and Ferries, to prevent any dangerous combination 
that might be intended; and in the morning to proceed through the settlement and secure the 
locks of all arms they could find, until some inquiry could be made into their conduct and designs. 

"The officers made use of every precaution to prevent their parties being discovered, and 
a little before day made prisoners of two men in arms, with their horses saddled, in the neighbor- 
hood where it was said the Rioters lay, which they conceived were acting as Centinels. Although 
no intelligence could be obtained from the men they had taken, they shortly after had information 
that the men in that country were principally assembled on the mountain very contiguous, with 
their arms. This information they found too true, as they marched through the settlement 
to execute their instructions; some parties were discovered marching to the Hills, and a few 
shots were exchanged, but at so great a distance that no injury was done on either side. The 
officers were anxious to take some of the men they discovered making to the Hills that they might 
obtain some certain accounts of the number that were in arms and where they lay. 

"One of the party [from the Garrison] some time after was made a prisoner and disarmed 
by a party of the Rioters in arms. He was told by his Captors that a very considerable party 
was assembled and that serious consequences might be expected. 

"Permit me to refer your Excellency to the inclosed Reports of the officers ordered on this 
service, for further information on the subject. I am happy to inform you, that by their prudence 
the effusion of Blood, which from my information I much dreaded, has been happily prevented. 

"As your Excellency and Council have a just claim upon me for every information respect- 
ing the situation of this country, I have made it my Business to obtain as perfect an accouilt of 
the late Revolution that took place here as was possible to collect from the number of people 
engaged in executing. 

"I anticipate the intention of the Citizens, in laying [before you] this short detail of the 
circumstances and motives that induced them to adopt the measures. The hostile appearance 
of the Connecticut Claimants in the neighborhood of Abraham's Plains already mentioned, 
their repeated Jhreats, and the frequent Reports of the support that was expected from their 
State, filled the minds of the Pennsylvania Land-holders and settlers with serious apprehensions 
of being forcibly dispossessed, if not before, immediately after, the dismission of my corps. 

"Their alarming situation became the subject of serious consideration, when the former 
cruelties of those people occurred to their minds. They found, however anxiously they wished to 
cultivate that Cordiality and Friendship, so necessary to promote the benefits of society, there was 
not the least probability of its subsisting during the stay of those factious people among them. And 
now, that they were about to be denied that support they humbly conceived they had a claim 
to from Government, until the controversy was finally determined, they found themselves drove 
to the painful alternative of taking measures to remove the more dangerous part of the claimants 
out of the country, or bring them to explicit declarations of their Intentions. This determination, 
unanimously adopted by the Landholders and settlers under the jurisdiction of this State, was 
immediately made known to the claimants under Connecticut, with an earnest entreaty that they 
should avail themselves of the time (some days being allowed) given them in which to either 
remove their families and property or accede to such measurers as would fully convince them 
[the Pennsylvanians] of their [the Connecticut claimants] attachment to the State and its citizens. 
The well-disposed availed themselves of this notice, and either removed up the River, at some 
distance, or made such explicit declarations of their intentions to adhere to the interests of the 
State as entitled them to every indulgence. 

"A number of those who were concerned in promoting the first Troubles in this country, 
and were still fanning the Embers of Contention, were conceived too dangerous to be permitted 
to remain, and the Landholders and settlers [under Pennsylvania) were compelled to adopt the 
measures they had previously conceived necessary to promote the Peace and Tranquility of 
this country and the Happiness of the State. * * * The Business is effected, and from every 
information I have been able to obtain, their conduct [i. e. the conduct of the Peimamites] has 
been peculiarly marked with the highest degree of Lenity. 

"The above is the only circumstance I have been able to collect respecting the late Revolu- 
tion, which I conceive it to be my duty to forward to the Council." 

On the same day that the foregoing letter was written, Alexander Patterson, 
at Wilkes-Barre, wrote out his resignation as a Justice of the Peace, and a Justice 
of the Court of Common Pleas and of the Orphans' Court of Northumberland 
County. Undoubtedly Patterson resigned these commissions so that he might 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, XI: 436. 



1383 

devote himself, untrammeled and with all his vigor, to the interests of the Penn- 
sylvania land-claimers in Wyoming. 

The letter of Colonel Moore and the resignation of Alexander Patterson 
were carried to Philadelphia by Capt. John Armstrong and delivered to President 
Dickinson, by whom, they were placed before the Supreme Executive Council 
on May 24th, when Patterson's resignation was immediately accepted. 

At Wyoming, under the date of May 20, 1784, some one (presumably 
Colonel Moore, judging by the contents as well as the phraseology of the letter) 
wrote to a friend in Philadelphia relative to Wyoming affairs. Extended extracts 
from this letter were printed in the Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia) of May 
27, 1784, and also in the Connecticut Journal at New Haven, Connecticut. vSome 
of the extracts were as follows : 

"The dangerous disposition of the Connecticut faction in this country has lately been 
very alarming. On the 1 1th insl. a number of them, armed for the purpose, dispossessed some 
of th.^ Pennsylvania settlers who were peaceably cultivating their farms at Abraham's Plains, 
offering gr^at violence to their persons, and repeatedly venting threats against the officers of 
Government acting in this country. This, and many other instances of outrage, which have 
mirked the .general conduct of this factious people, tilled the minds of our good citizens with 
just apprehensions of being forcibly driven from this country as soon as our only support (Colonel 
Moore's corps] should be removed — the time for the removal of which being fixed and at hand 
— brought their former measures and repeated cruelties with fresh horror to our minds. 

"In this alarming situation of affairs it was conceived necessary to adopt some measures 
to avoid dangers so justly to be apprehended. Although we ardently wished to cultivate cordi- 
ality and friendship, we found, upon mature deliberation, such blessings could find no existence 
while we permitted thos; pests lo society to remain amongst us. We therefore conceived — how- 
ever painful the alternative — that the removal of the most dangerous part of this faction would 
be the only resource which could lead to the establishment of that peace and good order we so 
anxiously wish for. This opinion being unanimously adopted by us (who pride ourselves upon 
ever being faithful subjects of this State), we proceeded to take such measures as we thought 
alisolutely necessary to our safety. Some days were given to the Connecticut settlers 
in which to move off, with their families and property, or to produce such proofs of their peaceable 
intentions towards this State and its citizens as would quiet our apprehensions, and accordingly 
qualify them to remain peaceably in their habitations. 

"Those whose designs were good readily complied with one or the other of these reasonable 
proposals; many moved up the river, whilst others, from explicit declarations of their good in- 
tentions, received every indulgence. However, many old offenders, notorious for the part they 
had ever taken in the many unjustifiable acts of violence committed upon the persons and pro- 
perty of the Pennsylvania settlers in this country, and who, from their obstinately persisting to 
stay, we strongly suspected of promoting further disturbances — these circumstances marking 
them out as persons too dangerous to remain — we found ourselves drove to the necessity of 
expelling them out of this place. 

"This disagreeable business is now effected — a measure deemed necessary by the unanimous 
voice of the citizens, and carried into execution by them with great spirit and decision. At the same 
time the highest degree of lenity marked their proceedings — treating the widou'S and the intinn 
'<i.'ilh tenderness and attention! 

"I flatter myself that this revolution, so long and so devoutly wished for. will entitle those 
who brought it about to much merit and applause. It met with my approbation so heartily as 
to make m? take a part in it. Official characters may be deemed reprehensible for this late revolu- 
tion. I assure you that they are in no instance culpal)le. They were never consulted or con- 
cerned in the measure." 

In the same issue of the Packet was printed the following "Extract from a 
letter from a gentleman at Wyoming to his friend in this city [Philadelphia]." 

"The contests between the Pennsylvania settlers and Connecticut claimants have at length 
grown to such a height that there was no medium whereby both parties could exist in this country. 
Nothing but mutual contentions have subsisted for some time past. The Connecticut people 
betook themselves to arms, being alarmed at such great numbers of Pennsylvanians arriving 
with implements of husbandry, so that they became by far the most numerous. 

"Many threats were thrown out, and outrages committed, by the Connecticut people — 
such as their lying in ambush to murder some of the officers, S:c. This induced the Pennsyl- 
vanians to avail themselves of a favorable opportunity and disarm most of their opponents: and 
as they justly conceived that peace was not to be expected whilst such outrages and restless men 
remained in their neighborhood, they therefore gave them notice to move off their families with 
all their property. * * * When the Connecticut people saw they were in earnest, numbers of 
those who had their arms remaining betook themselves to the woods, and left their families to 



1384 

be disposed of by a people justly enraged and provoked at the murderous massacres and cruel- 
ties of every species, commilted by those rioters for more than fifteen years past! 

"Notwithstanding all this they proceeded in an orderly and humane manner, and moved 
off all those from whom danger was to be apprehended ; gave them every assistance in their power, 
and have cleared this country of a set of men who have long troubled the peace and tranquillity of 
this State by abusing its laws and citizens in every shape. It would be doing the Pennsylvanians 
great injustice not to mention the very particular marks of attention and lenity shown to the widows 
of every denomination. They have continued them in their habitations, and are giving them every 
support in their power — three widows only excepted, who were no objects of charity, and too haughty 
to ask favors. 

"Thus is the country once more clear of those pests to society, and now inhabited by citizens' 
numbers of whom have held honorable commissions in the Continental Array since the commence- 
ment of the war, and all of them distinguished patriots in their country's cause. It is more than 
probable that those wretches so justly expelled, with their unprincipled patrons — of whom there 
are but too many in this State — will, to satisfy their vindictive dispositions, use every endeavor 
to misrepresent and villify the needful measures taken as above. But Truth alone will bear the 
test! They expect but little credit will be given to their calumny as far as they are known — 
and I am willing to believe that is pretty far; for the trouble they have so long given this State 
is undoubtedly conspicious to all in the Union. 

"I hope the expulsion of those disturbers of the peace will be a warning to the country not 
to suffer bodies of men to associate and live, as they have done, for four years without govern- 
ment and in contempt of all law and authority; but that when any such flagrant breaches of the 
Confederation appear, they may be taken in the bud and corrected." 

The Hon. Charles Biddle, a prominent Philadelphian, who, in October, 
1785, was elected Vice President of the Supreme Executive Council, wrote his 
autobiography about the year 1804. Some years later it was published. In it, 
after referring to the Pennamite-Yankee contests of 1783-'84, the writer says: 

"In order to give the citizens of Pennsylvania quiet possession of their lands, the Legislature 
passed an Act for raising two companies of infantry. The command of these men was given to 
Col. James Moore. Shortly before the time for which they were enlisted expired, they marched 
a number of Connecticut families (said by Colonel Moore to be very turbulent) out of the settle- 
ment, and a few were sent to Easton (?) gaol. * * * These people complained of being treated 
with great barbarity. From my knowledge of Colonel Moore I do not believe he would have 
suffered them to be treated with cruelty. When the troops were disbanded [about June 1, 1784] 
the Connecticut people returned to their former habitations, and fresh disturbances soon ensued. 

In their flight from Wyoming towards the Delaware River, on May 13th and 
14th, several of the bolder men in the body of exiles left their companions in misery 
and made their way to Sunbury, where they arrived on Sunday, May 16th. 
Among these was Col. Zebulon Butler, who, as previously related, had been put 
under bonds to appear at the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Northumberland 
County, which was to sit at Sunbury on Monday, May 31st.* As noted by 
Colonel Franklin in his "Journal" the Court of Quarter Sessions of Northumber- 
land County was sitting when he arrived at Sunbury, on May 25th. 

Upon the arrival at Sunbury, on May 16th, of the Yankee refugees from 
Wyoming, they sought out their friends who resided in that locality, and com- 
municated to them a detailed account of the direful doings of their Pennamite 
oppressors. Whereupon, at Sunbury, on May 17th, John Buyers, Frederick 

*In preparation for his expected trial at Sunbury. Colonel Butler, at Wilkes- Barre. April 28, 1784. wrote to Col. 
Jonathan Trumbull. Jr., who. during the last two years of the Revolutionary War. had been the private secretary of 
General Washington — as stated in the note on page 471. Vol, I. The original draft of Colonel Butler's letter — which 
is now in the collections of The Wyoming Historical and Geological Society — reads in part as follows: "I ha\e to 
ask a favor of you. I have a cause to be tried at the Supreme Court in this State, either for misdemeanor or treason 
(as they say), and my attorney tells me that my character as a friend to my country and an officer in the army. &c., 
will be of service to me on tryal. if I should come to tryal I have taken one [certificate of character) from Generals 
Parsons and Huntington, which will accompany this. If His Excellency. CTcneral Washington, would sign one for me 
it will be of great service to me before a Whig jury, which I hope it will be if the case should come to tryal Vour 
attention to this will greatly oblige me. and. if obtained and delivered to Mr, HoUenback — who will wait on you — 
will be gratefully acknowledged," 

The "Mr HoUenback" referred to above was Matthias HoUenback. later Colonel and Judge, of Wilkes-Barre. 
He journeyed to Philadelphia where Washington and Trumbull then were, temporarily, and later returned to Wilkes- 
Barre bearing a letter reading as follows: "To Whom il may Concern — I do certify that Colonel Zebulon Butler, 
the bearer hereof, hath served as Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel in the Connecticut Line of the Continental Army, 
from January. 1 777. to the close of the war. In which capacities he discharged his duty, so far as came to my knowledge 
with honor as a brave officer and with esteem for his attention to decency and good order. 

"Dated at Philadelphia, this 10th day of May. A. D. 1784. 

[Signed) "Go. Washington." 









r^ 












i 



.^ 



<'*3^*-" — r- 



^ f^P.e/'C^-^^^^^'T-^ 



Honorable Discharge of Col. Zebulon Butler [I7i>4] 

(Original in possession of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society) 



1385 

Antes*, Christian Gettigt and Robert Martainlj, all Justices of the Peace in and 
for Northumberland County, prepared and sent to Philadelphia, by an express, 
a letter addressed to President Dickinson, and reading in part as follows§: 

"We arc exceedingly sorry that there is occasion to transmit to Council evidence of so dis- 
agreeable a nature as they will be furnished with by the enclosed letters and depositions; but 
conceiving it to be of the first moment to Government, and being called on officially for the pur- 
pose, it becomes our indispensable duty. * * * Wg are altogether at a loss to account for 
this outrageous conSuct of the soldiery [at Wyoming] — the civil officers being intimidated, and con- 
fined under a close military guard, for serving the processes of the Commonwealth. The Garrison, 
instead of aiding the Civil Authority, set it at defiance, and place themselves above the Laws. 

"Lawrence Myers||, from whom two letters have been received by the High Sheriff and 
herewith forwarded, is the Sub-Sherifi'. The complexion of those letters will (independent of 
anything else) enable Council to form an idea how far the Civil Officers can act with efTect in 
their several departments, * * * jn order that a timely provision may be made for the 
injured and oppressed citizens in that part of the State, and the dignity of the Government 
supported and maintained." 

Colonel Franklin, in his "Brief" and in his "Plain Truth" articles, (both 
frequently referred to hereinbefore) states that formal complaint was made to 
the civil authorities at Sunbury, by the Wyoming refugees, "against Alexander 
Patterson and others, for their violent conduct in dispossessing the inhabitants, 
and the Justices at Sunbury pledged thems.^lves that the laws of the Common- 
wealth should be immeiiately executed; that those who had been violently 
dispossessed should be reinstated in their possessions, and that the perpetrators 
of the violent acts should be brought to justice." 

Colonel Franklin further states that a Court of Quarter Sessions for Xorth- 
umberland County was to be held during the week beginning May 24, 1784, at 
Sunbury, but as a term of Oyer and Terminer Court was to be held there by the 
Judges of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth during the ensuing week, 
"it was thought advisable that the complaints against the rioters should be 
made to the highest Court." 

On May 29th, Sheriff Henry Antes despatched an express from Sunbury to 
Wyoming, with a message to a number of the Yankee inhabitants who, with their 
arms, had fled to the mountains, as hereinbefore related. The Sheriff called 
upon these men to "desist from any hostile measures", so that there might be 
a full and free operation of the law — advising them of "the intention of the civil 

*Philip Frederick Antes, or Frederick Antes, as he was commonly known, was an elder brother of Col. Henry 
.\ntes (See [tl note, page 1348). and was born July 2. 1730, in what was later Frederictown. Montgomery County 
Pennsylvania. He was a delegate from Philadelphia to the Provincial Conference of June 18. I 775, held at Carpenter's 
Hall, and also to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention of July 15. 1776. He was Lieut. Colonel in 1776, of the 
battalion of Philadelphia County Militia commanded by Colonel Pott, and at the same time was a member of the 
Committee of Safety of Philadelphia County. May 6. 1777. he was commissioned Colonel of the Sixth Battalion. 
Philadelphia Associators. 

Soon after the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, Frederick Antes "was induced to undertake the task of 
providing cannon for the American army, and it was but a short time before he succeeded in casting an efficient four- 
pounder at Valley Furnace. This was the beginning of the manufacture of cannon in the United States. " .\bout 
I 778, Colonel Antes disposed of his farm and mill near Valley Forge and removed to the village of Northumberland, 
near Sunbury, Pennsylvania. November 18. 1780. he was appointed a Justice of Northumberland County, and later 
was made President of the County Courts. In July. 1784. having been elected a Representative to the Pennsylvania 
.\ssembly , he resigned his commissions as a Justice of the Peace and as a "Justice and President of the County Court of 
Common Pleas, the Court of General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, and of the Orphans' Court of Northumtierland 
County." He was Treasurer of the County from February. 1782. to December, 1784. and from 1788 till 1801. He 
was elected a Representative from Northumberland County to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1 784. '85 and '86, 

Frederick Antes was one of the original members of Lodge No. 22. Ancient York Masons, at Sunbury. and was 
Worshipful Master of the Lodge from June, 1780. to December. 1784. For several years the meetings of the Lodge 
were held in his house in Northumberland. 

He was twice married, and his only daughter by his second wife became the wife of Simon Snyder, who was three 
times Governor of Pennsylvania. Colonel Antes died September 20, 1801. at Columbia. Pennsylvania, while there 
on business. His widow. Mrs. Catherine Antes, died at Selinsgrove. December 15. 1816. aged 71 years. 

.For fuller details concerning the life of Colonel .\ntes see "On the Frontier With Colonel Antes", by Edwin Mac- 
Minn, and Godcharles' "Free Masonry in Northumberland and Snyder Counties", II: 545. 

tCHRISTlAN GetTIG was au innkeeper in Sunbury. in I 784. and later years, as well as a Justice of the Peace, He 
had been a First Lieutenant (commissioned October 14. 1776) in the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment. Continental Line; 
was wounded in one of his legs in a skirmish May 1 1 . 1 777. in New Jersey; was taken prisoner by the British, and while 
in their hands had his leg amputated. Upon his discharge from the military service he returned to Sunbury. where 
he continued to reside until his death. July 2,, 1790. 

JSee (*) note, page 1344. 

§See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, XI: 438. 

!!See page 837, Vol. II and bottom of page 1240. 



1386 

authorities to reinstate them in their possessions and grant them complete 
redress." 

A few days later, the Sheriff also sent an express (Robert McDowel) to the 
Delaware, to give notice to the Wyoming refugees in that locality that they might 
prepare to return to their homes, inasmuch as "the law relative to forcible entry 
and detainer would be immediately put in execution at Wyoming." 

Barnabas Cary, aged fifty-one j^ears, in 1 784, in a deposition which he made 
before Jlistice Seely at Wyoming, August 14, 1784, declared that toward the 
latter end of May, 1784, he had seen a letter sent by Lawrence Myers, then a 
Deputy Sheriflf under Sheriff Antes, "inviting the people that were dispossessed 
by the Pennsylvanians to return back to Wyoming; that Sheriff Antes would 
be on the ground about the middle of June, with two magistrates, and would 
give them all possession again; that this statement induced the deponent to 
return to Wyoming again ; that the letter [referred to] was handed about by one 
John Jenkins." 

The communication from Justices Buyers, Antes, Gettig and Martin was 
received by President Dickinson, at Philadelphia, on Saturday, May 22d, and was 
immediately laid before the Supreme Executive Council. Judge George Bryan 
of the Supreme Court, being then in Philadelphia, was conferred with by the 
Council, and the same dav President Dickinson wrote to Messrs. Buyers, Antes, 
Gettig and Martin, that it was the joint opinion of Judge Bryan and the Council 
"that the steps proper to be taken would be that the Magistrates and the .Sheriff 
of the county should exercise the authority vested in them by law for preserving 
the peace and apprehending, committing and punishing those who break the 
same." 

The same day President Dickinson wrote "to the Magistrates at and near 
Wyoming, in Northumberland County", as follows*: 

"We have this day received a letter from Messrs. Buyers, Gettig, Antes and Martin of 
your County, complaining of great disturbances at Wyoming. 

"The magistrates near that place ought to have given us intelligence of these proceedings, 
and we now enjoin you to make every exertion in your power for restoring the peace of the County, 
and for preserving the same. Any neglect on this head will not only be a failure in the Duty 
you owe to the State, but will most certainly be attended by consequences that will too plainly 
evince the extreme Imprudence of such conduct." 

To Chief Justice Thomas McKean, and Judges William Augustus Atlee 

and Jacob Rush, of the Supreme Court, President Dickinson wrote, on May 

2 2d, as follows: 

"We have this day received a letter from Messrs. Buyers, Gettig. Antes and Martin, of 
Northumberland County, informing us of a very alarming disturbance of the peace, which may 
be attended with unhappy consequences if prudent steps are not immediately taken for prevent- 
ing further mischief. As you gentlemen will be at Sunbury, we understand, the week after next 
we desire that you will make use of the opportunity of being there to make all due inquiries 
and thereupon to direct the most effectual legal measures to be pursued for restoring and pre- 
serving the peace of the County." 

President Dickinson and the Supreme Executive Council, having received 
on May 24th, Lieut. Colonel Moore's report of May 1 5th, the President wrote to 
Lieut. Colonel Moore, on May 25th, in part as followsf : 

"We have received your despatches by Captain Armstrong. The Honorable the Chief 
Justice, Mr. Justice Atlee and Mr. Justice Rush will be at Sunbury the 31st of this month, and 
we have desired them 'to use the opportunity of being there to make all due enquiries. & there- 
upon to direct the most effectual legal measures to be pursued for restoring and preserving the 
peace of the County.' We therefore would have you to give notice of these circumstances to the 
Persons concerned in the late disturbances at Wyoming, so that they, or some of them, may at- 
tend at the time and place before mentioned, to give all proper information to the Judges." 

*See "Pennsylva 
tSee "Pennsylva 



1387 

On the same day, President Dickinson wrote to the Judges of the Supreme 
Court, in part as follows*: 

"Last Saturday we wrote to you conccrniiii; the Disturbances in Northumberland Co. 
We have since received information from Colonel Moore and Captain Armstrong, by which it 
is confirmed that those disturbances have been occasioned by the fears & jealousies entertained 
on account of interfering claims of persons under Pennsylvania Rights and of Connecticut settlers. 
We have written to Col. Moore, informing him that we had desired you to make all due enquiries, 
and thereupon to diri.>ct the most effectual legal measures to be pursued for restoring and pre- 
serving the Peace of the County, and we have required him to give notice to the persons concerned, 
that they or some of them may attend at Sunbury on this business. 

"We rely much upon your prudence in advising such proceedings as will have the most 
happy tendency to promote the public tranquillity." 

At Philadelphia, on May 28, 1784, Ebenezer Johnson, one of the Yankee 
settlers who had been driven out of Wyoming, presented to the Supreme Executive 
Council, a petition signed by Col. Zebulon Butler and others, "in behalf of the 
Connecticut people lately driven from Wyoming, stating their grievances and 
praying protection from the vState." This petition having been read, the Council 
directed that a letter be written to the Judges of the Supreme Court, at Sunbury, 
"desiring them to take the most efTectual legal measures for restoring and 
preserving the peace of the county." 

This letter was immediately written by President Dickinson, as well as one 
of a similar character addressed to Justices Martin, Buyers, Antes and Gettig. 
In the letter to the Judges, the President said: "This letter will be delivered to 
you by Mr. Johnson, and express sent to us by the persons lately removed from 
Wyoming, As he can himself give a good deal of information, and can be service- 
able in obtaining it from others, we have wished hirh to attend at Sunbury," 
Mr. Johnson was paid by the Council £10, to remunerate him for going with the 
aforementioned letters from Philadelphia to Sunbury. f 

At Wilkes-Barre, under the date of Sunday, May 30, 1784, Alexander 
Patterson addressed a long communication to the Judges of the vSupreme Court, 
which he sent to Sunbury by the hands of Capt. John Armstrong, who had 
just returned to Wilkes-Barre from his mission to Philadelphia. This com- 
munication, expurgated in .spots, and improved somewhat in grammar, punctu- 
ation and spelling, reads as follows| : 

"Whereas your Duty to the State, and attention to the Rights and Privileges of its Citizens, 
demands your attention in this country at a period when a great part thereof is in inevitable 
trouble, it will no doubt be necessary for the peace and safety of the Commonwealth for your 
Honours to make every enquiry from what source such troubles flow. The origin, rise and pro- 
gress thereof have hitherto been so conspicious as to want no illustration. 

"It now only remains that your Honours do obtain the proper information and causes 
which have produced the present commotions, and that prudent and wise measures be adopted 
to stop the impending calamities that threaten this large tract of country. You will no doubt 
hear that great Outrages have been committed by the Pennsylvanians against the Connecticut 
claimants, in violation of law and good government; but I trust it will be made to appear that 
the measures taken, llwiigh not strictly consonant with the letter of the Law, were the result of absolute 
Necessity, and dictated solely by the principles of self-preservation. 

"Certain it is that no human policy could govern or reconcile both parties to remain peace- 
ably in this country. The rancorous dispositions of the contending parties but too well evince 
the catastrophe that must have happened, had not the measures been adopted that have been 
taken by the Pennsylvanians There was no medium to save the Effusion of much Blood. 

"The Pennsylvanians who had come into this Country in great Numbers, found that the 
Lands they had so long since bought and suffered for were Generally Clear of hou.ses or fences 
They therefore fell to work to Improve, and in a Peaceable manner Endeavoured to Repossess 
themselves of their Property, which was wrested from them many years ago by Lawless Banditti 
The malcontents betook themselves to their ancient Resources (that of armst and Threatened 
the Pennsylvanians in a Daring and Outrageous manner. All hopes of peace being vanished, 
it was adjudged the m.ost Prudent step to seize a favourable moment and Disarm the most violent 

»See ibid.. 442. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Colonial Record", XIV: 120, and Pennsylvania .\rchives". Old Series. XI: 472. 

JSee "Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series, X: 617 



1388 

of the Intradcrs; upon which Notice was given them tcrmove off th.ir Effects & Famili.s. The 
siason being so far advanced that there was no danger of their Cattle suffering by the way, this 
and every other prtcauticn was taken to prevent the Idea of Cruelty: though in similar cases 
the Pennsylvanians had n^ver Rcc-iveel any thing like similar Treatment. On the Contrary, 
they have been Robbed & murdered, and have suffered every species of Cruelty by those Troublers 
of the state and their Quiet — who now would wish to have Government believe that they are 
Inoffensive Citizens and strict Conformists to the Laws of this State, which they have held in 
the greatest Contempt for upwards of fifteen years. Had they an alternative they would Trample 
it as usual. 

"Your Honours will please to view the Difference between the Parties — the one having 
Troubled the Happiness of the State for such a series of years, and Committing every outrage 
that malice could suggest against its faithful Inhabitants; the other supporting the Dignity of 
the Statj and Rights of the Peoijle. having at all times Evinced their Zeal for its Wellfare. The 
Pennsylvanians who have been active in the late movements are aware of the situation in which 
th;y are Placed, having a strong Party in Northumberland against them, who have taken part 
with those restless people. Had it not been for their Interposition, actuated. I fear, by bad Prin- 
ciples, there would have been no trouble in settling this Country with the Rightful owners; and 
it is more than Probable (their views of Popularity being now at an End by Losing their Darling 
object, the votes of those Exiles at Elections) that they will use Every Endeavour to stimulate 
your Honours, together with the Government, to measures that will Perhaps Terminate in our 
ruin. We hope you will be aware of those Incendiaries, whose wish is to Irritate instead of 
salving the sore. 

"If the views of the New settlers of this country have in an> wise been mistaken, they will 
be very unhappy, for I am well Convinced that there are no People on Earth who have a greater 
veneration for the Weal of this Commonwealth, of which they deem it their Greatest Honour 
to be Citizens. Business of such a Complicated Nature could never have been effected with more 
caution; there is no Blood spilt, and it will not be the blame of the Present Inhabitants if there 
ever is upon any occasion. 

"As few, or Perhaps none, of the Inhabitants from hence may be Down at Sunbury, and 
Numerous Complaints will be exhibited, I am solicited to make this representation of facts — 
which I pledge my.self deviates nothing therefrom — in order that your Honours may be aware 
of the cunning of designing men. The matter is rested entirely with you, that from a perfect 
knowledge, and dependence on your abilities, such measures will be taken by Government as will 
tend to the tranquillity of its people. The present settlers beg that no harsh step may be taken, 
and that the Sheriff and some of the Justices in his vicinty may not drive to extremes, and cause 
mutual dissensions to arise among a people whose strength and welfare depend on unanimity. 

"I know that it will be said that I have given my sanction to the measures adopted. It 
would be uncandid to say that they had it not. However, / have done loathing officially, having 
some time since resigned my commission of the Peace*. But, having some consequence among 
the people, I have frequently given them permits and papers that have generally answered the 
purposes intended, viz. the accommodations of persons apparently in distress. 

"You will please to observe that the Pennsylvanians conceive that the determination of 
the Congressional Court at Trenton, touching the jurisdiction and preemption of this country, 
was final and decisive, and that further pretentions to tryal upon the subject was in too great a 
degree tampering with their Patience and Property; and they are determined to defend it against 
any pretentions or people claiming under the State of Connecticut, should they be so unjust as 
to persevere in so iniquitous a measure." 

Chief Justice McKean and Judges Atlee and Rush, with Edward Burd, 
Esq., as Clerk, opened a "Court of Oyer and Terminer and General Gaol Delivery, 
in and for the county of Northumberland " at Sunbury, on Monday, May 31, 
1784. The sittings of the Court continued until Friday, June 4th, and the Judges, 
in making a report to President Dickinson of the proceedings of the Court, made 
the following statementt: 

"Among a variety of other Prisoners at Sunbury, forty-five persons were indicted for a riot, 
assault and false imprisonment of divers Inhabitants formerly of Connecticut, and five oflSeers of 
the Garrison at Wyoming for a Rescue. We wish most sincerely there was no cause of censure 
of the officers there, both civil and military. Every thing has been done by us for preserving the 
public Tranquillity in that county that we could think of, and we are induced to believe that the 
measures pursued will answer the Ends designed. * * * 

"In addition, we would mention that Lieutenant Col. James Moore has entered into a 
Recognizance with good bail before the Chief Justice, to answer to the Indictment found against 
him and 44 others for a Riot and false imprisonment of divers Inhabitants at Wyoming, in the 
County of Northumberland. In the Case of all the rest of the persons indicted for the same 
offense, as well as those indicted for the rescue from the under-sheriff, we have instructed David 
Mead, Esq., one of the Justices of the Peace, &c., residing at Wyoming, to take the recogniz- 
ances from them severally in five hundred pounds, with at least one good surety in Two hun- 

*He had written out his resignation just fifteen days previously to the writing of this letter, as hereinbefore noted. 
This, of course, was subsequently to the wholesale expulsion of the Yankees from Wyoming; while his resignation had 
been accepted by the Supreme Executive Council only six days prior to the writing of this letter. 

tSee "Pennsylvania .Archives". Old Series. XI: 414. 484. 



1389 

dred and fifty pounds, to appear and answer, &c., at the next Court of Oyer and Terminer and 
General Gaol delivery, to be held at Sunbury, for the County of Northumberland. We have 
reason to believe that most, if not all, the parties will comply with this measure, and that Peace 
and Tranquillity may be restored to that part of the State. 

"As Judges, we cannot determine who have been the first or the greatest aggressors in this 
E.vtraordinary violation of order and good Government until after the Trial, but we conceive 
it will be necessary to be very attentive to the conduct of the people in this part of the State for 
some time, and we beg leave to assure you that nothing shall be wanting on our part to protect 
the innocent and obedient, and to discountenance the Refractory, and to punish the Transgressors 
of the Law." 

The names of forty-seven (all that can now be ascertained) of the persons 
indicted as aforementioned were as follows: Lieut. Col. James Moore, Capt. 
John Armstrong, Ivieut. Blackall William Ball, Lieut. Samuel Read, Lieut. 
Andrew Henderson, Alexander Patterson, Esq., John Seely, Esq., Henr\^ Shoe- 
maker, Esq., Ebenezer Taylor, Silas Taylor, Peter Taylor, Joseph Montanye, 
Samuel Van Gorden, Wilhelmus Van Gorden, James Brink, Nicholas Brink, 
Henry Brink, William Brink, John Cortright, Benjamin Hillman, Martin Tidd, 
Daniel Swartz, Nicodemus Tarvis, James Culver, Isaiah Culver, Isaac Clinkefoos, 
Joseph Solomon, Obadiah Walker, Ezekiel Schoonover, James Grimes, James 
Covert, John Borland, Abraham Van Cortright, EHsha Cortright, Beniah Mun- 
day, Jacob Tillbury, Luke Brodhead, Lawrence Kinney, Preserved Cooley, 
Robert Biggers, Gabriel Ogden, David Ogden, Garrett Shoemaker, Jr., Jacob 
KHne, Rudolph Litz, William McDonald and Isaac Van Norman. 

About the first of June, 1784, in pursuance of the resolution adopted by the 
Pennsylvania Assembly in the previous March, the soldiers composing the gar- 
rison at Wilkes-Barre were paid off and discharged from the service of the State. 
A considerable number of them, however, were immediately employed by Alex- 
ander Patterson, for and in behalf of the Pennamite land claimers. They re- 
mained on the ground, in possession of Fort Dickinson, and according to Miner, 
"set at once the settlers and the Commonwealth at defiance." Patterson, himself, 
referring to this matter in his "Petition" to the Pennsylvania Legislature, pre- 
viously mentioned, declared: "In that season [the Summer of 1784] your peti- 
tioner supported upwards of 120 men at his own expense, in defence of the rights 
of Pennsylvania, for more than four months, besides exposing his life and expend- 
ing his time and property against a set of abandoned desperadoes, excluded from 
vSociety in every part of the Union, whose practice had long been to bully the 
State and pillage its citizens"! 

It is doubtful if Captain Patterson had as many as 120 men in his pay and 
under his orders at any one time during the Summer of 1784, as the foregoing 
statement would lead one to believe. During a period of four months he may 
have had altogether 120 Pennamite myrmidons under his control, but never 
at one time. In a letter to President Dickinson, dated July 12, 1784, he stated 
that he then had "a. guard of near fifty men", which he had kept "ever since 
Colonel Moore left this place" (Wilkes-Barre). 

It may be stated here that Lieut. Colonel Moore went from Wilkes-Barre 
to Sunbury in the first week of June, 1784, when and where he was indicted 
and then entered bail for his appearance at the next term of Court, and it is 
doubtful if he ever again returned to Wilkes-Barre. 

Colonel Franklin states that about June 13, 1784, some thirty men of the 
Yankee settlers who had been driven out of Wyoming, left their families at 
the Delaware and returned to Wyoming Valley, in pursuance of the information 
which had been sent to them by Sheriff Antes. "Finding," says Franklin, "that 



1390 

they could not take possession of their houses and farms without having re- 
course to hostile measures, which they were desirous, if possible, to avoid, this 
vanguard of Wyoming Yankees repaired to the [Wilkes-Barre] mountain, about 
three miles from Wilkes-Barre Garrison, where they took possession of the rocks 
— a natural fortification — to which they gave the name of Fort Lillopee, a place 
well known in this dav (1805)." 




The Site of Fort Liulopee 

(As it appeared in \82'l\ 

The place thus referred to was exactly two miles east of Fort Dickinson 
in an air-line ; or, by way of the road leading to it, was nearly three miles distant 
from the fort. At that period the locality in question was known to the people 
of Wilkes-Barre as the "coil-beds". It was a small rocky ravine in the foot-hills 
extending along the base of Wilkes-Barre Mountain, and through it ran a small 
stream of water, in later years known as Coal Run and Coal Brook. In the 
western wall of this ravine there was an out-cropping of a very thick stratum, 
or vein, of coal, from which, during several years prior to 1784, a considerable 
amount of coal had been dug for the use of the blacksmiths of Wilkes-Barre. 

These primitive mining operations had resulted in a good sized cave being 
«xcavated in the coal vein. Years later, when mining operations of a somewhat 
■extensive character were carried on in that section of the township of Wilkes- 
Barre, the old cave of 1784 was converted into a tunnel, or slope, while other 
openings of a similar sort were made adjoining and connected with it. These 
"openings," as they appeared in 1867, are shown in the picture on page 457, 
Vol. 1. Since about the year 1880, however, the physical conditions at the "Old 
Opening" have been very much changed, owing to the cutting down of nearly 
all the trees thereabouts, mine-cavings and fires, in and about the mines. 

Pearce, in his "Annals of Luzerne County," referring to the return of the 
Yankees from the Delaware, says: "After an absence of several weeks the 
Yankees returned, and fortified themselves under a cliff of rock on the Eastern 
or Wilkes-Barre Mountain. This, Mr. Miner says [in his 'History of Wyoming'], 
they called Fort Lillopee, but we have in our possession several orders sent by 



1391 

John Franklin, John Jenkins and ot'iers fro n this cave-fortress to Matthias 
Hollenback, in Wilkesbarre, for rum, tea, sugar, etc., and these orders are dated 
at Fort Defence." In making this statement Mr. Pearce fell into an error, for 
the reason that "Fort Defence" was the name given to a group of houses in 
Kingston Township, which the Yankees took possession of and fortified at the 
beginning of July, 1784 — as related on page 1394. 

Elisha Harding, in his letter referred to on page 1381, makes mention 
of the fortified encampment at Coal Brook in these words: "We went into the 
woods to a place called the coal-beds, back of Wilkesbarre, where we continued 
about three weeks. Our living was not of the best. It consisted of chopped 
rye (about as fine as is ground for horse-feed), without salt. Our appetites were 
good, and when we drank our slop we did it in hopes of better fare. We were 
waiting for orders from the authorities to arrest those who had drove us ofi" and 
taken possession of our houses and lands." 

The men at Fort Lillopee were well armed and provided with a plentiful 
supply of ammunition, and were commanded by duly chosen officers who main- 
tained a quasi-military discipline. 

Relative to conditions in Wyoming Valley in May and June, 1 784, Christo- 
pher Hurlbut states in his journal — mentioned on page 13,56: 

"In May, after the ice had melted away and the people had begun to put up their fences, 
the Pennamites, with the soldiers, went through the settlement in considerable bodies and took 
all the good guns, and the locks from others, from every Yankee who had one; and directly after 
this they turned all Yankee families into the street, taking them under guard. A few only were 
aljle to flee up or down the river; all the rest were forced to go out East by the Lackawaxen. 
Thus the Pennamites got full possession of the country. Shortly after this the soldiers were 
discharged, but many of them continued in the country, and the Pennamites kept up a garrison 
in the fort. 

"The first of June |17S4] the Yankees began to assemble in the woods, in order, if possible, 
to regain their possessions. It should be remembered that all along, from the first beginning 
of the outrages, applications had been made to the legislative, executive and judicial authorities 
of the State for protection and redress, but none was obtained. Also, let it be understood, that 
those pretended Justices, before referred to as having been unlawfully appointed. Iheaded by 
Alexander Patterson, a man of considerable abilities, but bold, daring and completely unprin- 
cipled; aided by David Mead, insinuating, plausible and flattering covering his enmity by pre- 
tended friendship — a most designing enemy to the Yankees; and John Seely, with just information 
enough to act out the villain without disguise), had no idea of doing justice to the Yankees; 
but their object was to compel them to leave the country." 

Immediately after the adjournment of the Court of Oyer and Terminer 
at Sunbury on June 4th, SheriflF Antes started for Wilkes-Barre, having in his 
possession warrants of arrest issued by the Court against all the men (save 
Lieut. Colonel Moore, who had appeared at Sunbury and entered bail) who had 
been indicted for rioting, etc., as related on page 1388. It was the intention 
of the Sheriff, in pursuance of directions given to him by Chief Justice McKean, 
to serve these warrants upon the several defendants, who would then be expected 
to go before Justice Mead, at Wyoming, and enter bail for their respective appear- 
ances at the next term of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. 

Colonel Franklin says that upon the arrival of Sheriff Antes at Wyoming 
' to take the rioters, he found them in their stronghold, the Garrison [Fort Dick- 
inson] at Wilkesbarre, where he was refused admittance, and th^- refused to 
be taken. Alexander' Patterson would not suffer the Sheriff to execute his 
warrants, and he was compelled to return to Sunbury without having it in his 
power to arrest one of the rioters." 

The Sheriff made a second visit to Wyoming on June 14th, accompanied by 
the Coroner of the county, and made another attempt to serve his warrants, 
but was prevented in the same manner as before. At this time some of the 



1392 

Yankees at Fort Lillopee joined the vSheriff and the Coroner at Wilkes-Barre, 
at their request, and accompanied them to the neighborhood of Fort Dickinson. 
Benjamin Harvey — then within a few weeks of his sixty-second birthday; — was 
unfortunately for himself, one of those who thus ventured into the village. 
Notwithstanding the presence of the Sheriff and the Coroner, he was seized 
before their very eyes "by the hired myrmidons of Patterson, dragged to the 
Garrison, and beaten and abused in the most cruel manner." 

The Sheriff and the Coroner, being thus set at defiance by the lawless Penn- 
amites in Fort Dickinson, returned to Sunbury, while Mr. Harvey returned 
to Fort Lillopee smarting in mind and in body, and bearing to his fellow-cave- 
dwellers a cheerless message from Sheriff Antes, which, according to Colonel 
Franklin (who was there on the ground), was to this effect: That he, the Sheriff, 
could not take the Pennamites at Fort Dickinson at that time without the assist- 
ance of the posse comitatus; that the Yankees gathered at Fort Lillopee should 
remain quiet for about twelve days, by which time he, the Sheriff, hoped to 
receive "orders from the Government to enable him to call assistance to execute 
the laws at Wyoming." 

Colonel Franklin, writing about the events of this particular period, stated, 
in a "Plain Truth" article printed in The Luzerne Federalist of June 5, 1805, 
that "the unhappy sufferers continued on the mountain without shelter except 
the heavens to cover them; without blankets, and thinl}' clothed, and almost 
destitute of every necessary to support life. Several had taken up their residence 
in the woods from about the 14th of May — their families being at the same time 
at and near the Delaware River, suffering for the necessaries of life, while the 
rioters lived at ease in the dwellings of the Yankees." 

During this time the Pennamites on the ground were busy locating tracts 
of land in the Wyoming region, either for themselves or their friends and principals, 
in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Having made applications to the State Land 
Office, and paid the small fees required, land warrants were issued to the 
applicants, and on these warrants surveys were made. The following is a list 
of some of the tracts which were surveyed (either in 1784 or in later years) on 
warrants dated July 1, 1784. Five tracts lying along the Lackawanna River, 
as follows: To Lieut. Andrew Henderson, 499 acres; Sarah Delany, 400 acres; 
James Moore, Sr., 419 acres; William Henderson, 425 acres; James Denney, 
402 acres. One tract of 301 acres "on Sullivan's Road, at Bear Creek", to 
Alexander Patterson. Nine tracts, of 400 acres each, on the waters of Toby's 
and Bowman's Creeks, to the following-named: Jacob S. Howell, Edward 
Duffield, Lieut. Lawrence Erb, Patrick Moore, Samuel Nichols, Samuel Morris, 
William Sims, Margaret Delany and William Nichols. One tract of 427 acres 
and 70 perches (on the Lehigh River, below the mouth of Choke Creek, in Buck 
Township, Luzerne County) to George Shaw; surveyed November 2, 1789. 
One tract of 424 acres and 102 perches (on the Lehigh River, at and including 
"the great falls" where the village of Stoddartsville is now located) to James 
Shaw, surveyed May 9, 1790. One tract of 401 acres and 28 perches (west of 
the Lehigh River — in what is now Buck Township — "and nearly two miles north 
of the mouth of Tobyhanna Creek") to David Thomas, surveyed August 9, 1785. 

According to the custom of that period, distinctive names* were given to 
the aforementioned tracts of land when they were warranted and surveyed. 

*.See pages 690 and 776, Vol. II. 



1393 

The following were some of the names used: "Bethlehem", "Astronomy", 
"Common Sense", "Pulpit", "Priesthood", "Roguery", "Rich Soil", "Widow's 
Provision", "Widow's Assistance", "Good Plan", "Charitable Scheme" and 
"Orphans' Relief."" 

Franklin says that about the 20th of June, Alexander Patterson, at P'ort 
Dickinson, sent to the Yankees at Fort Lillopee "proposals to have them return 
lo their dwellings in the neighborhood of the Garrison, with the condition that 
they should return unarmed, and he pledged himself, sacredly, that the persons 
so returning should not be molested, but should remain in quiet possession of 
their homes until the pleasure of the Government at Philadelphia should be known. 

"Two persons — Capt. Jabez Fish, of Wilkes-Barre and Mr. John Gore, of 
Kingston — whose families were at that time in the neighborhood of the Garrison, 
being too credulous in relying on the honor of Patterson", declares Franklin, 
left their friends at Fort Lillopee to visit their families. The honor of Patterson 
proved a cheat, as it ever had done before, for they had no sooner arrived in 
sight of the Garrison than they were seized by ruffians, by Patterson's orders, 
tied up, flogged severely with ramrods, and then banished from the town." 

About that time the number of Yankees at Fort Lillopee had increased 
to si.xty or more able-bodied men, well armed and equipped. Chafing at their 
uncomfortable situation, incensed at the indignities which had been laid upon 
Messrs. Harvey, Fish and Gore, and disappointed at the failure of Sheriff 
Antes to appear on the ground with the posse comitatus, they unanimouslv 
concluded that the time had arrived for them to be up and doing; and so, during 
the latter days of June, they made forays into the valley, in detachments of 
twenty or more men, and harrassed the Pennamites outside Fort Dickinson 
who were get-at-able. We get some idea of their doings during those davs from 
a deposition made by Garret Shoemaker, a man fifty years of age, who was one 
of the Pennamites who had been indicted at Sunbury, but had not yet entered 
bail for his appearance at the next term of Court. Mr. Shoemaker deposed 
belore Justice Seely, August 12, 1784, as follows :t 

"That some time in June [1784], after the Supreme Court at Sunbury, the deponent was 
going to Shawnee to get two bushels of rye to carry to mill, when John Inman and a young man 
by the name of Corey took him prisoner and carried him down below Nanticoke Falls. Some 
time after he was taken John Swift joined the party. The deponent heard Swift, Inman and Corey 
threaten that they would be the death of every Pennamite on the ground. They particularly 
mentioned Captain (Blackall William] Ball, Henry Shoemaker, Esq., and Alexander Patterson, 
Ksq., whom they threatened not only lo murder, but to roast into the bargain! 

"Below Nanticoke Falls near forty well-armed men, who had been out in different parties, 
came together. John Swift (who is a deputy of Sheriff Antes) and John Franklin had the command 
of the men. One [Lawrence] Myers, another deputy of Sheriff Antes, was also there, and joined 
in threatening with the others. Myers seemed exceedingly intimate and friendly with the Con- 
necticut men, and abused the deponent and two other prisoners very much. Swift, Inman and 
Corey beat the deponent with their iron ramrods, then knocked him down with their guns, mashed 
his foot, and broke one of his thumbs and two of his ribs. The deponent demanded their authority 
for using him in the manner they did, but they could show none. Then they carried him to 
Sunbury Gaol, but he was soon released. A man who is a stranger to this deponent was his 
security. 

"After the deponent returned home one Burnham came to the deponent's house and threat- 
ened that if the deponent did not instantly remove his family he would kill him and bum his house. 
The deponent was forced to remove, and came up to the fort as the only place of safety, where 
he has remained ever since. The party of Connecticut people have robbed him of everything 
he had in the world, and destroyed his garden and crops in the ground." 

Another affidavit, made by Jonathan Marsh about the same time as the 

foregoing one, set forth the following facts: 

*Some years later the titles to nearly all the aboveni 
son. a noted land speculator of Philadelphia, who was 
Escheator-General from 1787 to 1795. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series, X: 64.^. 



1394 

"That the deponent has repeatedly seen the people called Connecticut settlers drive away 
his neighbors' cattle, hogs and sheep and kill them. That some time in June |17S4] he was at 
the house of Jacob Stroud in Northampton County, where he saw one Stoddart and one Peirce 
with about eight or ten other Connecticut people. The deponent was then driving up some cattle, 
sheep and hogs, and they asked him where he was going with them. He answered, 'To the Sus- 
quehanna.' Then some of them said, 'Get along with them; we wish you had ten times as many, 
for we design to have them all soon.' The deponent then came along. 

"After his arrival at the Susquehanna, in conversation with one Chester Peirce, the de- 
ponent asked him how he thought matters would go. He answered: 'By God, the woods will 
be as full of white Indians this Summer as ever they were of red ones. We intend to lie out in 
the woods, if nothing else will do, and shoot the heads off the Pennamites.' The deponent about 
two weeks ago heard Benjamin Harvey say: 'God damn the laws of this State and all those 
who made them!' 

About July 1, 1784, according to Colonel Franklin, "Benjamin Harvey 
was sent express by the Yankees at Fort Lillopee to the Sheriff and authorities 
at vSunbury, with orders not to return until he should receive a positive answer 
whether the laws would protect the Connecticut settlers or not, so that they 
might know what to depend upon." From Sunbury, Mr. Harvey was sent by 
the vSherifT to Philadelphia, with letters to the Supreme Executive Council and 
to Chief Justice McKean, for directions and advice — "stating the complaints of 
the Wj'oming settlers, and that he [the Sheriif] could neither grant relief nor 
execute his warrants against the rioters without the assistance of the posse 
comitatHS." 

Franklin states that the weather being wet and unfavorable, and the campers 
at Fort Lillopee being without adequate shelter, and suffering for lack of the 
necessaries of life, "some of the party grew sickly and all grew weary of their 
solitary and cheerless habitation." In consequence, they resolved to evacuate 
Fort Lillopee, which they did on the night of Saturday, July 3d. 

Quietly marching to the river, to a point above the mouth of Mill Creek, 
they crossed over into Kingston Township and established themselves at a point 
three and a-half miles northwest of Fort Lillopee, in a bee-line, and about three 
miles, in a bee-line, north of Fort Dickinson. Here, on a level plot of ground, 
slightly elevated, yithin the present bounds of the borough of Forty Fort, near 
where the highway (Wyoming Avenue) crosses Abraham's, or Tuttle's, Creek, 
stood four unoccupied log houses in a group. These the Yankees fortified and 
occupied as a garrison — naming the same "Fort Defence."* Within a short 
time the defenders of this new fort were increased in number by the arrival of 
a few other men who had been evicted from their homes in May. 

At Fort Dickinson, under the date of July 12, 1784, Alexander Patterson, 
wrote to President Dickinson as followsf : 

"Whereas I have, for some fifteen years past, been interested in the affairs of Wyoming 
— and more particularly so since the late Commotions became serious — I therefore humbly 
hope that it will not be deemed Impertinent if I assume the freedom to state some facts relative 
to the situation of this country as it now stands. 

"What Happened before Colonel Moore left this place, he has undoubtedly faithfully rep- 
resented to your Excellency and Council; since which we have been continually surrounded by a 
Body of armed men, who say that they are under the Direction of the sheriff of this County. 
There has not one day passed that they have not Committed some outrage upon the peaceable 
and Industrious Inhabitants, by Beating, Robbing and Plundering them of their property. They 
have stolen Thirty-one Horses out of the settlement, besides a Number of Cattle & sheep. This 
day they took Mr. Shoemaker, one of our Justices who had just returned from Sunbury and Enter'd 
into recognizance, and beat him in a Cruel and Barbarous manner. We have born with every 
Species of Insult. 

"Their Horrid Threats to murder me and several Gentlemen at this place, has Induced me 
to keep a Guard of Near fifty men ever since Colonel Moore left this place, for the safety of our 
lives. We have carefully avoided all acts of Hostilities, and thereby, I hope, Evinced to the world 
our good Intentions. God knows that we wish to get Clear of those Runegadoes without Blood- 
shed, but I fear it is not Possible. They will commit some Crueltys that will Eventually bring 
*Fort Defence stood on the level plot shown in the foreground of the picture facing page 786, Vol II, 
tSee "Pennsylvania Archives," Old Series. X 619 



1395 

on Bloodshed. There is nothing more they wish than to act the Part of the savage. They have 
Blacked their faces, and abused our People with Towmehacks; they have had recourse to the 
Law, but find its Operations too slow to answer their purpose; they are Determined to repossess 
themselves tho' at the risk of Life; they have Duped the state in their Pretence of applying to 
the Laws; they never Intended the least good to the state; they ought to be exploded from Citizen- 
ship — their actions has always shewn it. 

"Your Excellency will Easily Perceive that this Business has cost me a large sum of money. 
and if effected will doubtless cost something Considerable. We have Various Reports of a Body 
of men coming from Connecticut. It will Doubtless be Necessary for this State to Interpose. 
I have, besides the support of the Guards alluded to, supported the familys of our People who 
hold Possession, with Bread to a Considerable amount. 

"Permit me to give it as my opinion that Government ought to Interpose in our behalf, 
and give an Immediate support to our Possessions — the malcontents having done Flagrant offences 
sufficient to warrant such interposition for the safety of the Commonwealth. A small support 
now may Save the State a world of Trouble and Expence." 

Shortly after Capt. John Armstrong retired, or was discharged, from the 
miHtary service of the State, at Fort Dickinson, about June 1, 1784, he went up 
the Susquehanna to Tioga Point to see about certain lands in that locality in 
which he was interested under Pennsylvania claims. Returning down the river, 
he arrived at Wilkes-Barre on July 1 2th — the same day on which Alexander Patter- 
son wrote to President Dickinson, as above noted. In a deposition* which 
Captain Armstrong made before Chief Justice McKean, at Philadelphia, July 
28, 1784, he testified as follows respecting affairs at Wyoming: 

"On the 12th day of this present month, as he was traveling from Tioga to Sunbury, he 
was obliged by indisposition of health to stop at Wyoming |Wilkes-BarreJ, where he found the 
inhabitants in great commotion, a camp being formed by a number of people who, he under- 
stood, had arrived there from the State of Connecticut and other parts, at a place called Forty 
Fort. That he was there told that the said party had committed various acts of outrage on the 
inhabitants of that neighborhood, such as insulting and beating them, stealing their horses & 
cattle, &c. 

"That this deponent having recovered a little, he went to Forty Fort by water, and on his 
landing there he was met by Giles Slocum, Waterman Baldwin, William Smith, John Inman, 
Edward Inman, Richard Inman. Ishmael Bennett, Sr., John Jenkins, Phineas Stevens, Daniel 
Peirce and others, in all about thirty or forty, armed with rifles, muskets, &c. After his being 
among them some time he found, by their general conversation, that they were determined to 
drive off all the people who had possessed themselves of lands in that country under titles from 
the Government of Pennsylvania, and that they only waited for reinforcements to enable them 
to execute this purpose. That he apprehends, from the conversation he then had with them, 
that their party at that time consisted of about sixty men. This deponent further saith, that 
he returned afterwards to his quarters [in Wilkes-Barre] contiguous to the late Garrison, and 
remained there a few days." 

Occtirrences of more than ordinary importance were now happening nearly 
every day in Wyoming Valley. The Pennamites under Patterson, hoping for 
substantial aid from the Government at Philadelphia, pretty generally confined 
their activities to the village of Wilkes-Barre where, if necessity demanded, 
they could easily and quickly avail themselves of the protection afforded by Fort 
Dickinson. The Yankees rendezvoused at Fort Defence (which they made as 
comfortable and secure as their limited facilities and conveniences would permit) 
and from it small parties of armed men were sent forth nearly everj' day to recon- 
noitre, and to spy upon and harass the Pennamites — especially those living at 
some distance from Fort Dickinson. 

Concerning the doings of the Yankees in Wyoming, from about the middle 
of July till the 24th or 25th of the month, we learn something from certain 
affidavits, which were sworn to by a considerable number of Pennamites before 
Justice of the Peace John Seely, at Wyoming, on and about August 10, 1784.t 

Abraham Goodwin, thirtj'-four years of age, who, with his wife Catherine 
(daughter of John and Lois King), had settled in the upper end of Kingston 
Township in the Spring of 1784, on lands which he had either leased or purchased 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 623. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 639. et sf(j. 



1396 

from certain Pennsylvania claimants, deposed as follows: 

"About the middle of July Giles Slocum, Gideon Church &: eight others came to the house 
of the Deponent about Noon and Plundered the house of two Rifles and some Ammunition., 
and went off. About a week afterwards Came one Phelps and seven others, and Demanded 
of the Deponent's wife the keys of the Chest. Mrs. Goodwin being Terrified by their talk and 
appearance, opened the Chest, out of which they took some Ammunition. The Deponent also 
heard one Tyler swear they would storm the Fort and put every one to Death; the Children 
they would Tawmehack. The Deponent asked Timothy Underwood August 11, 1784, for his 
(Goodwin's) Rifle, and said Underwood cocked his Rifle to shoot the Deponent." 

Mrs. Lois King, who, with her husband, John King, had settled in Wyoming 
Valley in the Spring of 1 784, deposed : 

"Her husband's house is just above Forty Fort. Some time in the middle of July Phineas 
Stevens, Edward Inraan, Elisha Satterlee and Ishmael Bennett, Jr., came to her house and threat- 
ened to set fire to it, with many other threats to throw her into the river. Being afraid of her 
life if she staid, the deponent came down to the town of Wyoming |Wilkes-Barre] to ask advice 
as to what she should do. When she went back to her hou.se she found the roof tore off and the 
house plundered. Benjamin Jenkins, Gideon Church and William Jacques were in her house 
when she returned from the fort. 

"The deponent, when she went back, collected what few things she could find, and came 
down about half a mile below her home to the house of the Widow Harris. When she came to 
the Widow Harris' she saw Gideon Church, who had come on before her, and Waterman Baldwin. 
When she had passed a little distance from Harris' house Waterman Baldwin shot at her. The 
ball missed her, but went through the thigh of her dog that was walking close by her side. She 
knows Baldwin fired at her, for she turned around instantly and saw him with his gun in his 
hand and the smoke of the powder over his head." 

Pamelia Taylor deposed: 

"About the 16th of July came one Stevens and several others to the house of deponents' 
father, and threatened to kill the old man — that they would cut him into inch pieces and burn 
him; any other death would be too good for him. Further, they said they would drive every 
one to the fort, and they would put men, women and children to death; that they disregarded 
the laws — there were none for them or against them; that they had kept the ground by the point 
of the sword, and were determined to keep it so still." 

Colonel Franklin states that on July 18th, Benjamin Harvey returned from 
his mission to Sunbury and Philadelphia, bearing a letter from Sheriff Antes to 
Colonel Franklin, "giving information that he could grant the Yankees at Wyo- 
ming, no relief without assistance, which he could not then obtain ; that he had not 
been able to obtain orders to raise a military force — without which it was in vain 
for him to attempt to execute his warrants against the rioters at Wyoming, or 
to grant relief to the unhappy sufferers; that he (the vSheriff) had received no 
answer in writing to the letters which he had sent by the hands of Mr. Harvey 
to the Supreme Executive Council and to Chief Justice McKean." Colonel 
Franklin further states, in his "Historical Sketches": "Mr. Harvey also in- 
formed us that the Chief Justice sent directions verbally to the Sheriff to do 
his duty, and not to send to him for orders." 

According to Colonel Franklin (who seems to have been in command of 
the Yankees at Wyoming at this time), Maj. Joel Abbott, commanding a 
detail of twenty-three armed men, was sent out from Fort Defence on Tuesday, 
July 20, 1784, for the purpose of inspecting the growing grain on the "Shawnee", 
or Plymouth fiats, which had been sowed by the Yankees in the Autumn of 17S3, 
was now believed to be nearing maturity, and which they purposed harvesting. 
News of the movements of this reconnoitering party having, by some means, 
reached Fort Dickinson, Alexander Patterson despatched about forty of his 
henchmen, under the command of Capt. Henry Shoemaker (one of the North- 
umberland County Justices of the Peace), to intercept the Yankees. This they 
did by going into ambush alongside the highway near Ross Hill*, not far from 
Shupp's Creek, in the eastern end of Plymouth Township. 

Major Abbott's party, unsuspicious of danger at that point, were marching 
quietly along, when, without warning, they were fired upon by their hidden 

♦See pictures facinK pages 52. 72 and 208. Vol. I, and 1090, Vol II. 



1397 

foes. Two young men of the party were shot — EHsha Garrett being instantly 
killed, and Chester Peirce* being so severely wounded that he died the next 
morning. The Yankees immediately fired into the bushes, whereupon the 
Pennamites, without returning the fire, fled with precipitation and returned 
by devious ways across the river to Fort Dickinson. However, they left behind 
them at the scene of action two of their band — Henry Brink and Wilhelmus 
Von Gordenf — who had been badly wounded by the fire of the Yankees, while 
a third member of the band returned to the fort with one of his arms broken 
and swinging at his side. 

Franklin says that "the Yankees were by this time convinced that they musr 
either be massacred, quit the country or, like Yankees, defend themselves. They 
resolved on the latter. The first law of Nature — the law of self-preservation — 
called them to arms!" Therefore, on July 22d, they first sent a messenger from 
Fort Defence to Fort Dickinson, to inform Patterson and his adherents that all 
the Pennamites who had families in the valley were at liberty to leave the fort 
and, without interference, remove their families and take all their movables 
out of the valley. "Their families," says Franklin, "were at that time living 
in every part of Wyoming, and a number of the men came to Shawnee from Fort 
Dickinson on the 22d, took off their families and furniture, and promised to leave 
the settlement. However, they removed no farther than the Garrison at Wilkes- 
Barre." 

Then, the same day, sixty-two Yankees in command of Colonel Franklin, 
marched forth from Fort Defence and proceeded down the west side of the river 
to Plymouth, dispossessing every Pennamite family — excepting, on the score of 
humanity, the families of Henry Brink and Wilhelmas Van Gorden, who had 
been wounded two days previously, as related, and were then lying at their 
respective homes. Crossing over to Nanticoke, Colonel Franklin and his men 
marched up towards Wilkes-Barre, turning out every settler who did not hold 
under a Connecticut claim. The majoritv of the people thus dispossessed made 
their way to Fort Dickinson. 

Referring again to the affidavits of the Pennamites, we find the following: 

"William Brink, one of the Constables near Wyoming, and particularly for the Shawanese 
Township, in the County of Northumberland, personally appeared before the Hon. Thomas 
McKean, at Philadelphia. July 27, 17S4, and made oath that on Tuesday, July 20, he and divers 
other inhabitants of the aforesaid Shawanese Township were informed that divers persons from 
Connecticut and Vermont were coming to Wyoming armed, and under the command of a certain 
Maj. Joel Abbott; and that a certain John Franklin was also coming there with another party 
of armed men. 

"That he, this deponent, and between twenty and thirty of his neighbors, assembled together 
in the township aforesaid, armed with their muskets and bayonets, and staid in a body until 
about three o'clock, when they concluded that the Connecticut and \"ermont party were not com- 
ing, and they thereupon set out for Fort Dickinson. Having marched about half a mile beyond 
the flat lands, commonly called the Shawnee Flats, and were got into a wood vcr>' thick with 
brush, they were fired upon by a party of men who lay in ambush, and three of them were wounded 
two mortally and one slightly. That some of the party with this deponent returned the lire, 
and then they all retreated back across the Susquehanna River and up to the Fort [Dickinsonl, 
where they all — or at least the greater part — remained, until Thursday, July 22d, when this de- 
ponent's wife sent his son, about twelve years of age, with a horse for him to ride home; but he 
left his horse at the Fort and returned home by water in a canoe. 

"At the river's side he found his wife and family, also Ezekiel Schoonover's, Joseph Alon- 
tanye's, James Grimes's, Peter Taylor's. Preserved Cooley's. John Cortwright's and Nicholas 
Brink's families, and some others, standing there, women and children, under the guard of John 
Swift, Giles Slocum, Waterman Baldwin, Elisha Satterlee. John Inman and some others, armed 
with rifles and guns, who had driven them from their habitations, w ithout suffering them to bring 
*See page 711, Vol. II. 

tSome years later Wilhelmus Van Gorden applied to the State of Pennsylvania for an annuity, on the ground 
that he had been wounded in the hip "in an action with the Connecticut settlers at Wyoming July 20. 1784. while 
serving under Capt. Henry .Shoemaker." — See "Pennsyhattiii Arclliirs". Second Sfrie!;. X\': 770. ~ 



1398 

anything with them except the Clothes they wore, and a few bed clothes for two or three of them- 
That this deponent then spoke to John Swift, and the others, and told them they had had recourse 
to the Law, and did they now mean to act arbitrarily and by force. He thought they had been 
contented; but they severally replied that they expected no satisfaction from the Law, and were 
therefore resolved to take their own satisfaction; that they meant to kill every man they saw 
carrying arms. 

"They then asked the deponent whether he intended to take his wife and family into the 
Fort, to which he answered that he did not, but to take them out into the country down to the 
Delaware. They then told him they meant to take the Fort, and to show no quarter to those 
whom they should find in it, men women or children. That this deponent thereupon went with 
his family to Justice Seeley's, about four or five miles from that place, where they remained all 
night, and the next morning proceeded with his family, cattle, and a little provisions, together 
with a blanket and coverlid, to the house of Mr. Tillbury, near the Delaware River, in Northamp- 
ton County, where he left them while he set oiH for Philadelphia— which was ycstcrdav morning 
[Monday, July 26, 1784]." * * * 

Hen^y Brink, aged twenty-two years, deposed as follows: 

"That on July 20 as he the said deponent was marching in company with one Wilhelmus 
\'an Gordtn from Shawnee towards Kingstown flats, being about 100 yeards in front of Squire 
.Shoemaker and some others, near two miles from Shawnee Garrison*, the deponent spied a dog 
in the road before him. He then turned to Van Gorden and asked what was the meaning of that 
dog being in the road. Van Gorden said he did not know, but believed it belonged to the house 
above. The dog then turned into the bushes, and the deponent looking at the bushes saw them 
shake. He told Van Gorden he believed there were Yankees there, but Van Gorden said it 
was nothing but calves. Immediately on mentioning this the second or third time there were 
eight or nine guns fired at the said deponent and Van Gorden, four shots of which hit and 
wounded the deponent — two through the left arm, one in the breast and one through the right 
arm, and one shot wounded Wilhelmus Van Gorden. 

"The deponent further saith, that after the first eight or nine guns were fired the Yankees 
raised the Indian yell, and fired about fifteen guns before any of the Pennsylvanians fired a gun. 
The deponent further .says that he and Van Gorden never discharged their guns. Van Gorden's 
rifle fell off his shoulder when he dropped." 

Pamelia Taylor deposed : 

"That on July 20 she went to [the house of Frederick Eveland] to see Wilhelmus Van Gorden, 
a man that was wounded by the Connecticut party. Among some discourse she heard the wounded 
man say to one Thomas Heath, Jr., that the Yankees fired first. Further, he said that as they 
were walking along the road he |Van Gorden) spied a dog in the bushes, anci was turning towards 
Henry Brink, who was next to him, to tell him he believed it was a Yankee dog; that, just as he 
was going to speak, he and Brink were shot; and, looking towards Heath, who was sitting on the 
bedside, he said; 'You are the person that was going to blow out my brains as I was lying there 
wounded; and you would have done it had it not been for one of your party that struck away 
your gun and reprimanded you.' " 

Catherine Courtright, aged twenty-two years, deposed : 

"On July 20th I was at the house my mother lived in. Thomas Heath, Jr., and Phineas 
Stevens, with four others, came into the house, while there was a great body of men out about 
the street. This was just at dark. The party ordered me out of the house, immediately, when 
one of said party took a chunk of fire and tried to kindle a blaze in one corner of the house, but 
could not. Stevens at the same time ordered him to burn it down, and then went off. Soon after 
Leonard Cole came, and swore he would have satisfaction if he killed every Pennamite on the 
ground. Then he went off. Then one Thomas Heath, Jr., came and told about the shooting 
of Brink and Van Gorden. Heath said he drew his tomahawk and ran up to Van Gorden to 
tomahawk him, but Van Gorden begged for quarter. Heath .said he then drew back into the 
bushes to load his gun again. Then guns began to be fired from all quarters. 

"John Franklin, who was commander of said party, came to the door and ordered my mother 
and myself to be off by daylight, or be prepared for what would follow. One of the party said: 
'Damn their souls, nail them up in the house and burn them all up alive!' " 

Mary Cooley (the wife, undoubtedly, of Preserved Cooley), being duly 
sworn, deposed: 

"About the 20th or 21st of July, as I was dressing the wounds of Henry Brink who had 
been shot in four places by a party of the Connecticut settlers, John Swift, William Slocum, 
Wm. Smith, Mason Fitch Alden & a number of other men, to the number of fifteen, came to 
my house. Swift ordered me to be out of the house by the next morning; I told him I could 
not go & leave the wounded man, & likewise ask'd him by what authority he ordered me out. 
.Swift damn'd me and said it was by his own. Further, he said with a Severe oath, if I was not 
out by Nine o'clock to morrow he would burn i.he house over my head, I said I had but one life 
to lose; if it was my fate to be kill'd by him. I could not help it. Swift then ask'd where Mr. 
Cooley was; I told him I did not know but that he had kill'd him. Swift said, let him be where 
he would, if he could find him arm'd or unarm'd he would kill him — and then went off. 

"The second Day after. Prince Alden, William Jones, Waterman Baldwin. Daniel Peirce, 
Phineas Stephens and one Bennet came to my house. Wat. Baldwin told me the half hour was 

*Thi» was Shawnee Fort, niJntioned on page 886, Vol. 11. It was undoubtedly not much more than a ruin in 1784. 



1399 

Expired & I must march. I begged for time to move my things off. Peircc & Baldwin told me 
I should have none, & Immediately Threw my things out of the house and marched me off with a 
Guard to the River, 1 begged of them to let me have my cows, which they utterly Refus'd. I 
ask'd Phineas Stephens & William Jones how they Expected to hold the Lands. They said no 
other way than by the Point of the Sword. Before I cross'd the River I saw William Smith, 
one Brown S: Ishmael Bennet Plunder & carry off my meal, &c. I then Crossed the River and 
came to the fort for my further Safety." 

Charles Manrow, aged thirty-five years, deposed: 

"That on July 22, 1784, about 100 of the New England party, among whom were John 
Franklin, Giles Slocum, John Hollenback, John Ryon, one Bumham and Abraham Westbrook 
came to the house of this deponent, living in Stoke Township, near Nanticoke, in said County 
of Northumberland, all with arms. That John Franklin, when he came up to this deponent's 
house, spoke to him and ordered him to march; upon which the deponent replied that it was just 
night, and that he could not get his creatures so that he could get away. Giles Slocum immediate- 
ly says: 'March away with your family up to the fort!' The deponent still desired to remain 
until morning, and go down the river, but Giles Slocum insisted that if he did not go that night, 
and should remain there till morning, he would make a corpse of him — and afterwards went away 
towards the fort. That this deponent, not thinking himself safe to stay in his house, left it and 
his family in it, and returned to his family about a week after." 

Hannah Schoonover deposed as follows : 

"On July 22nd, about sunrise, I saw Waterman Baldwin, Doctor [George] Minard, and a 
number of others belonging to the Connecticut party, coming towards my house. I stepped 
out of the door and ordered my sister-in-law to stay in the house and bar the door with an iron 
bar which was used for that purpose, and by no means to open the door for them. When they 
came up Waterman Baldwin asked me if there were any men in the house or about it. I told 
him there were not. He then asked me to open the door. I told him I would not. He then said 
he would soon find a way to open it, and he broke it open. Said Baldwin then asked me to open 
the chests, and I told him I would open none for him nor no other person. He then broke open 
the chests and plundered them of all the most valuable effects. 

"Baldwin with his party then went off, and in about an hour after returned with a number 
more; then ordered me to take my effects and march off to the fort, or through the Swamp. I 
refused to do either; upon which they took and threw aU my goods out of the house, and went 
off. Immediately afterwards one Inman came with three or four others, and ordered me to go 
with them to Shawnee Garrison. I refused, and they told me that if I did not I should fare 
worse. When I saw there was no help for me I went with them down to the Garrison, where I 
saw John Franklin with about forty men. Said Franklin commanded the party, and told me 
to march through the Swamp or to the fort. If I did not, I would be abused." 

, William Hartman deposed as follows: 

"About July 22d Josiah Pell, three of the Inmans, one William Jones, and a number of others 
of the Connecticut claimants, came to the house of the deponent with John Franklin their com- 
mander, who ordered him to move off immediately. The deponent heard numbers of the party 
say they intended to drive all the inhabitants into the fort, and after they had done that they 
intended to storm the fort and kill every man, woman and child. The deponent further heard 
Elijah Harris say that a number of them lay in ambush to shoot the Pennsylvanians who were 
coming up that way, and would have killed them all, but were discovered by a dog, which caused 
them to fire sooner than they would have done; and that their party had the first fire, and shot 
down but two — Wilhelmus Van Gorden and Henry Brink." 

In the morning of Friday, July 23, 1784, Colonel Franklin and his command 
marched into the village of Wilkes-Barre and prepared to lay siege to Fort 
Dickinson. Franklin, in one of his "Plain Truth" articles and in his "Brief," 
previously mentioned, states: That when the Yankees entered the village the 
Pennamites fired upon them several times with the field-pieces in the fort, but 
they received no injury; that the fort was equipped with two 4-pounder cannon 
(field-pieces) two swivel-guns and one wall-piece; that four small block-houses 
on the River Common, occupied as outposts, formed part of the defenses of 
the fort; that these outposts and the fort contained in the aggregate about 
100 men. 

The only firearms possessed by the Yankees were muskets, rifles and pistols, 
but nevertheless they surrounded the fort and its outposts. The same day thev 
took possession of a grist-mill, about a mile from the fort, at Mill Creek, and 
the only one then in the valley that was in condition to be operated. Thev 
also took possession of several houses in the village, at no great distance from the 
fort, which they occupied as places of defense. In order to dislodge the Yankees 



1400 

from these houses, the Pennamites made a sortie from Fort Dickinson on 
July 24th, and, setting fire to one or two houses adjacent to those occupied 
by the Yankees, a general conflagration took place, in which twenty-three houses 
were burnt to the ground. 

Franklin says; "This did not intimidate, but exasperated, the Yankees, 
and on the same day, July 24th, Capt. John vSwift was detached with twenty-six 
Yankees to take post on the west of the garrison to annoy the enemy in their 
block-houses on that quarter, when he attacked two of the block-houses near 
the bank of the riv^er, thirty-five rods from the garrison, guarded by ten men 
in each. The enemy were compelled to retire to the garrison, when Swift took 
possession of their posts. We surrounded them on every quarter, and we en- 
trenched so near their garrison that we silenced their field-pieces and compelled 
them to block up their port-holes. By this time the wheels of Government begayi 
to move!" 

On Sunday, July 25th, William Smith, a son of William and Margery (Kellogg) 
Smith (early Connecticut settlers in Wyoming Valley), and one of the Yankees 
in the detachment commanded by Captain Swift, was killed by a shot from Fort 
Dickinson.* 

The investment of Fort Dickinson by the Yankees was still eff'ective on 
July 27th, when a letter was sent to the occupants of the fort, reading as follows! ; 
•■Guntlemen, "Wyoming, July 27th, 1784. 

In the name and behalf of the Inhabitants of this place, who held their Lands under the 
Connecticut Claim, and were lately, without Law, or even the Colour of Law, drove off from their 
Possessions and Property in a hostile and uncon.stitutional manner — we, therefore, in the name 
of those injur'd and incens'd Inhabitants, demand an immediate Surrender of your Garrison into 
our hands, together with our Possessions and Property; which, if Compli'd with, you shall be 
treated with Humanity and Commiseration; otherwise the Consequences will prove fatal and 
bloody to every person found in the Garrison. We give you two Hours for a decisive answer, 
and will receive the same at Mr. Bailey 's.j 

[Signed] "John Franklin, in behalf of the injured." 
"To the Officers at the Garrison in Wyoming. By the hands of M. Hollenback." 

Referring once more to the aflSdavits mentioned, we learn that at Philadel- 
phia, under the date of July 28, 1784, Capt. John Armstrong, who had just 
returned from Wilkes-Barre, deposed before Chief Justice McKean as follows: 

"The party from Connecticut fired upon the fort, where some of the settlers under Penn- 
sylvania, whose lives had been threatened, were assembled for safety. That on Thursday last, 
the twenty-second day of this present month, a number of men, women and children flew into 
the Fort for protection, who reported that they were expelled their houses by an armed force, 
plundered of every species of property, and that their lives were threatened by the settlers under 
the State of Connecticut and a party lately from Vermont. That on the twenty-third of this 
month a large party appeared embodied near Fort Dickinson, and soon after fired upon the 
inhabitants, who had fled there for safety. 

"This deponent further saith, that reflecting on the unhappy situation of the women and 
children who lived near to the Fort, in being e.vposed to the fire of both parties, he begged of a 
widow, that had two sons with the aforesaid party, to desire that they would cease firing, until 
she and some more in a similar situation could be removed to a place of safety, which she accord- 
ingly did; and thereupon they sent her word that there should be no firing for two hours. He 



;re interred the same day in the old grave-yard on East Market Street. Wilkes-Barre. and a gre y 
Hagslone bearing the following in.scription was subsequently erected at his grave: "1784 1 HERE lies the Body of | 
Wll.i.i.AM Smith [ Mortals attend he was ( call'd forthwith | He left the world at — | twenty-five I A warning to all I 
that's yet alive j His zeal for justice tho | hard to relate | It caus'd his flight from I his mortal state." 

About 1867 the remains of William Smith, and the old gravestone above mentioned, were transferred to the new 
Wilkes-Barre cemetery — now known as the "City Cemetery" — on North River Street, where, twenty-five or thirty 
years ago, the present writer copied from the original stone — which was then standing there, and may be still — the 
inscription as herein printed. 

Miner states in his "History of Wyoming", page 360. that William Smith (known as "Big William") was shot 
through the body while attempting to obtain water from the river, during the investment of Fort Dickinson by the 
Yankees in the latter part of September, 1784. Undoubtedly Mr, Miner fell into an error in stating that September 
was the month in which the death of this man occurred, inasnuich as Colonel Franklin recorded the incident in his 
journal at the time it took place — !■/:.. July 25. 1784. 

tSee "Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series, X: 621, 

|Mr, Benjamin Bailey is here referred to. His house, at that time, was at the corner of North Main Street and 
Public .Square 



1401 

tlKii went to assist a certain Mrs. Spaulding, a lone woman, to remove her family and property, 
but he had scarce left the gate of the Fort when he was fired upon by the aforesaid Connecticut 
party. That they continued to fire upon the inhabitants, wounded a boy of about twelve years 
old, an old man above sixty-five years of age, and shot at a very young boy riding on a horse, 
and wounded the horse; and that Hostilities had not ceased on Sunday morning, the twenty- 
fifth instant, when he left the place." 

Samuel Kerr deposed as follows : 

"On July 23rd Lord Butler took him, the deponent, prisoner to John Franklin where he 
received considerable abuse and was ordered to turn off from his premises. Likewise Ishmael 
Bennet threatened to blow out his brains if ever he, the deponent, was seen on the ground again." 

Mrs. Catherine Sims, aged thirty years, a resident of the village of Wilkes- 
Barre, and undoubtedly, the wife of William Sims, who was an inmate of Fort 
Dickinson during its investment, deposed as follows: 

"In the forenoon of the twenty-third of July last, the deponent saw a number of the Conn- 
ecticut settlers coming from the Woods southward of the house in which the deponent lived in 
Wyoming [Wilkes-Barre]. As they directed their course towards the house, the deponent fastened 
the door. When they came up they ordered her to open the door & let them in; she refused, 
and then they attempted to force the door open, but failing in that, they burst open & broke a 
Window, at which one entered & opened the door inside & let the rest in. William Slocum burst 
open the Window. When the party came in they turned her out, & ordered her to go into the 
Fort, which she said she would not do, as she had rather stay in her own house. 

"They then went to the Window and began to fire upon the Fort. They fired several guns 
upon the fort before one shot was returned. W'illiam Slocum and William Ross were the only 
two of the party that Deponent knew. After firing pretty briskly for about half an hour they went 
otT, leaving the Deponent and her children in her house. The next morning Giles Slocum and 
Phineas Pearce came to the Deponent's about breakfast time, and asked for Deponent's Hus- 
liand. She informed them that he was not at home. Giles Slocum looked about the house, 
and observed to the Deponent that she had removed some of her Effects; she answered no, that 
she had taken her Bed & slept with her children in the Cellar, as she was afraid to stay up stairs. 
Giles Slocum and Phineas Pearce, who both had fire-arms, went into the Garden and crept through 
the potatoes up to the head of the Garden toward the fort, and laid down under the fence. 

"While Slocum & Pearce lay in the Garden, Phineas Stephens and two others came to the 
door and, seeing the Deponent's two Cows at the door, Stephens ordered the other two that 
were with him to take oiT the Cows. The Deponent entreated them at least to leave her one Cow, 
but they would not. The deponent took hold of the Rope of one of the Cows, but Stephens 
struck her away, & ordered her to remove with her children, for if he caught her in the house 
again it would be worse for her. The deponent was forced to remove. While she was trying 
to get a few of her things out of the house, Nathan Carey, Richard Inman, one Hibbard, one 
Gore, Wm. Ross, Nathan Walker & many others came up to the house. A short time after she 
removed into the fort. A smart firing begun soon after. 

"The Deponent before she went to the fort went to John Franklin who commanded 
the Connecticut party to endeavour to get her Cows. He gave her no satisfaction. Every 
thing the Deponent left in her house was plundered and her garden destroyed." 

Elizabeth Van Norman deposed as follows: 

"On Saturday, the 34th of July, as I was helping Mrs. Sims to move her effects to the fort. 
I heard Richard Inman & William Hibbard, in Company with a Number of others. Declare that 
as long as there was six of them Living they would lay in the woods and would kill and Destroy 
all they could. At the same time Richard Inman told me to move away, for there was one of 
their men gone to John Swift for orders to shoot at Women & Children. During this time the 
Connecticut People kept up a constant fire towards the fort. The Tuesday following, as I was 
fetching a Pail of Water, there was Eight guns fired at me by the aforesaid Connecticut Party." 

The Supreme Executive Council met at Philadelphia, on Saturday, July 
24, 1784, when several letters from Northumberland County were read. They 
had been brought to the city by Justice David Mead, were addressed to Lieut. 
Col. James Moore, and gave accounts of the recent disturbances at Wyoming 
— dwelling in particular on the skirmish at Ross Hill, on July 20th. The Council 
immediately ordered that the Sheriff and magistrates of Northumberland County 
"be directed and required to exert every legal means in their power to suppress 
these or any future outrages, and if possible, bring the authors of them to im- 
mediate punishment." The Council also ordered that Col. Thomas Craig*, 
Lieutenant of the county of Northampton, be instructed "to hold some part 
of the militia of the said county in readiness to march at a moment's warning, 

'»Sse note, pajje 6711. Vol. 11 



1402 

should the temper of the malcontents at Wyoming make a military interference 
necessary." 

The same day Lieut. Col. John Armstrong, Jr., Secretary of the Council, 
wrote to the magistrates and the Sheriff of Northumberland County as follows;* 

"We are sorry to learn that the disturbances in the neighborhood of Wyoming have within 
these few days revived under so serious a form & that the two parties have proceeded to actual 
hostilities. In this situation it becomes the duty of Council to require you, by every legal means 
in your power, thoroughly to investigate the facts & to proceed with the utmost vigor & impar- 
tiality so that every Person committing an outrage upon the peace of the County & the dignity 
of the State may be duly punished. The more effectually to countenance these proceedings 
Council have thought proper to direct the Lieutenant of Northampton County to hold a militia 
detachment in immediate readiness to proceed to your aid, should any assistance of this kind be 
thought necessary." 

This letter was placed in the hands of David Mead, who, without delay, 
set off for Sunbury. Meanwhile Capt. John Armstrong and Constable William 
Brink were hastening from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia, where Brink arrived 
July 26th, and the next day went before Chief Justice McKean and made the 
affidavit printed on page 1398. Armstrong having left Wilkes-Barre on July 
25th, reached the city on the 28th, and the same day made the affidavit printed 
on pages 1395 and 1400. 

When the Supreme Executive Council met on July 29th, a number of papers 
including the depositions of Armstrong and Brink — relating to the disturbances 
at Wyoming, were laid before it. Chief Justice AIcKean (having just been re- 
appointed to his office) attended in Council, and was instructed to issue writs 
forthwith upon the depositions of Armstrong and Brink. The Council then adop- 
ted the following preamble and resolutions:! 

"The Council taking into consideration the evidence before them, and the emergency 
not permitting to wait any longer for the sense of the Honorable the General Assembly — 

"Resolved, That the peace and good order of Government are interrupted by sudden and 
dangerous tumults and riots near Wioming in the county of Northumberland for the suppression 
of which the immediate aid of the militia is expedient and necessary. 

"Resolved, That the Lieutenant of the county of Northampton be directed immediately 
to draw forth a detachment of 300 infantry and twelve or fifteen light dragoons, properly officered 
and equipped, from the militia of the said county. 

"Resolved, That the Sheriff of the county of Northumberland immediately raise the posse 
of that county, and that the Lieutenant thereof add his authority to that of the Sheriff, so that 
the aid of the militia of the said county may be forthwith and effectually obtained, as the exigency 
requires. 

"Resolved, That the militia and posse aforesaid act under the direction of the Commissioners 
hereinafter appointed for suppressing the tumults and riots aforesaid, and in duly executing 
the laws of the State. 

"Resolved, That the Hon. John Boyd| and Lieut. Col. John Armstrong, Jr.,§ be appointed 
Commissioners for carrying into execution such measures as shall be judged necessary and ex- 
*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 295. 
tSee "Pennsylvania Colonial Records". XIV- 167. 

tJoHN Boyd. Jr., who, at the time of his appointment, was a member of the Supreme Executive Council, was 
bom in Chester County, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1750, the third son of John and Sarah Boyd, who had immigrated 
to America from the North of Ireland, in 1744. Some time prior to the erection of the county of Northumberland, 
the Boyd family removed from Chester County to what is now the borough of Northumberland. William Boyd, 
who was a Second Lieutenant in the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, and was killed at the battle of 
Brandywine, September 11, 1777, and Lieut. Thomas Boyd, who was an officer in the Sullivan Expedition, and was 
taken prisoner and put to death by the enemy (as related on page 1215, Vol. II), were sons of John and Sarah Boyd. 
John Boyd Jr was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, 
October 16, 1776. Col. WiUiam Cooke {not "Cook", as erroneously printed in the note on page 818, Vol. II) command- 
ed the "12th" at that time, and among its hne officers were Capt. Alexander Patterson and Lieutenants Blackall William 
Ball, Christian Gettig and John Armstrong, mentioned hereinbefore. Lieutenant Boyd was promoted First Lieu- 
tenant and transferred to the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment, Continental Line, in July, 1778, and was promoted Captain- 
Lieutenant, August 13, 1779. During his connection with the 12th and 3d Regiments, Captain Boyd took part in the 
battles of White Plains, Germantown, Brandywine and Stony Point. At the last-mentioned place he was one of the 
fifty men who composed the "forlorn hope" led by Gen. Anthony Wayne. January 17, 1781, Captain Boyd was re- 
tired from the 3d Regiment and appointed Captain of a company of Pennsylvania Rangers raised in Bedford County. 
Linn, in his "Annals of Buffalo Valley", Pennsylvania, says that some time in 1781 Captam Boyd marched with 
his Rangers numbering about forty men, on an expedition to the Juniata River. Near Raystown they were surprised 
by a large body of Indians, who, after a sharp fight, compelled the Rangers to flee in disorder, leaving Captam Boyd, 
sev erely wounded in his head, a prisoner in the hands of the savages. He was placed in charge of an old Oneida squaw, 
who dressed his wounds and attended him with care during the march of the war party back to Canada. She accom- 
panied him to Quebec, where he gained admission to a hospital, and, attended by a British surgeon, soon regained his 
health. He remained at Quebec until he was exchanged." . 

Captain Boyd was retired from the military service of the State in the latter part of 1783, and about that time 
became a member of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1 784 and later years he was fre- 
quently referred to as "Major" Boyd. He was a member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania in 1784, 



1403 

pedieiit for the support of the civil authority, by establishing peace and good order in the county 
of Northumberland. 

"Resolved, That John Van Campen*, Esq., be appointed Commissary to furnish provisions 
to said troops." 

Immediately upon the adoption of the foregoing resolutions, Colonel Arm- 
strong sent a copy of the same to the Lieutenant of Northampton County, 
Col. Thomas Craig, at Easton, together with a letter reading as foUowsf: 

"Captain Boyd and myself have already directed a supply of ammunition to be forwarded 
to you. We shall exert ourselves to procure an immediate conveyance for it. The resolutions 
which regard the county of Northumberland are dispatched thither by Express, & we hope that 
an immediate co-operation may be brought about. I have now to request, from personal as well 
as public motives, that you will make choice of such officers as, from your acquaintance with 
them, will best merit your nomination & the confidence of the State. * * * We propose 
to set off to-morrow [Thursday, July 30th] or next day, at farthest, and hope to find ourselves 
enabled to proceed without any great delay. 

On the same day (July 29th) Colonel Armstrong wrote to the Sheriff at Sun- 
bury, and sent with the letter, several writs to be executed at Wyoming. He also 
wrote to Capt. William Wilson, Lieutenant of the county of Northumberland, 
as followsj: 

"Enclosed you have a copy of some resolutions of Council of this day. They are of such 
a nature as to require your greatest possible industry & attention. 

"In addition to them I have to tell you — that Council, from the confidence they have in 
your capacity & Attachment, wish you to engage for the supply of the Troops which may be called 
forth by your Order. The price they propose to give is lOi pence per Ration. The quantity to be 
procured must depend upon your own Calculations — for as this business will be subject to much 
Contingency, it is impossible for Council to hazard a single conjecture on that score. 

"I have also to communicate their wishes that you will not only pay the greatest attention 
to the Character of the Officers nominated to the Command of the men (& by all m^ans avoid 
such as have been distinguished by their predilections to either side of the Question), but that 
j'ou will also come on with the troops yourself to the ground opposite to ye mouth of Nescopeck 
Creek, where we will endeavour to meet you with the Northampton Detachment. As it is im- 
possible to calculate with much precision upon the movements of Militia, we cannot venture to 
name the day on which we shall be there, but the probability is that we shall reach it before you; 
as it is our intention to move as expeditiously as possible. If so, we will communicate with you 
by letter, or otherwise, & direct to what other point you are to shape your movements. 

"The Sheriff of your County will receive the Orders of Council to co-operate with us, & 
under the countenance we shall afford, be prepared to execute the writs which have been issued 
by the Judicial authority. 

"You will remember, also, to bring with you whatever ammunition or other public stores 
that may be deposited at Sunbury. If you should have no powder, you will make a purchase 
of such quantity as will be necessary for your party, as it might be imprudent to come forward 
without it. 

"I have only to add, yt. if you should be at the place of Rendezvous before us, you will 
take such steps as will best secure you against disasters of any kind. All this command, however, 
you are to exercise with great address, & let it appear to be rather the effect of advice & persuasion, 
than the result of authority." 

At Philadelphia, on July 29th, President Dickinson, of the Supreme Executive 
Council, issued a letter of instructions to Commissioners Boyd and Armstrong, 
reading as follows§: 

, "You are so well acquainted with the intentions of Council in appointing you Commissioners, 
that it is unnecessary to say much to you upon the subject. You will use the utmost diligence 
to forward the embodying and equipping of the Militia, so that they may march with all possible 
expedition. We doubt not but you will so effectually guard, that, in their movements, the Troops 

'85 and '86, and in December, 1787, was a member of the Pennsylvania convention which ratified the Federal constitu- 
tion. He was a Presidential Elector in 1792, and was appointed by President Washington an Inspector of Internal 
Revenue for Pennsylvania. He was Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds for Northumberland County from Decem- 
ber. 1805 to January 18, 1809. At the cloie of the war. Captain Boyd engaged in mercantile business at Northumber- 
land in partnership with Capt. William Wilson. They also built at Chilisquaque, in 1791, a mill which they operated 
for a number of years. 

Captain Boyd was initiated a member of Lodge No. 22, Ancient York Masons, at Sunburv-. Pennsylvania, January 
27. 1780, being the first person made a Free Mason in this Lodge. In the following July he became one of the original 
members of Pennsylvania-Union Lodge. No. 29. A, Y. M , referred to in first paragraph on page 1346. He was re-admit- 
ted to member hip in Lodge No. 22. May 2, 1787, and was Worshipful Ma.ster of the Lodge in 1789. 1799. 1800 and 1801, 

Captain Boyd was married May 13, 1794. to Rebecca, daughter of Col, John Bull, of N'ortham'jerland. and they 
became the parents of five daughters and two §ons. Captain Boyd died at Northumberland. February 23, 1831. 

^Colonel Armstrong was at this time Secretary of the Supreme Executive Council. 

*.\ resident of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, whose name is several time; mentioned in these pajes. He 
a.greed to furnish rations to the troops for the sum of ten and one half pence per ration. 

tSee "Penn sylvan is Archives". Old Series, X: 303. {See ibid. 304. 

§See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series. X 591. 



1404 

are not exposed to any surprizal; and that the Mihtia of the Counties of Northampton and North- 
umberland may support each other. 

"You will act in such manner as to convince the Insurgents that while we are determined 
to have Justice rendered to all persons without distinction, we are also resolved to preserve peace 
and good order within the Commonwealth. If this end cannot be attained without employing 
force, you will give such orders as shall appear to you most advisable for executing the laws of 
the State and impressing a just Respect for them." 

Returning now to Wilkes-Barre, we find that on July 29th, the following- 
named persons arrived here from Sunbury, to wit: John vScott, Coronor of 
Northumberland County ; Thomas Hewitt, a Justice of the Peace ;and William Mc- 
Cord, an influential citizen of the county. From the headquarters of the Yankees 
(by whom they were well received) these gentlemen, on July 30th, addressed a 
Communication to Alexander Patterson, Blackall W. Ball and Samuel Read, 
at Fort Dickinson, in which they set forth that, at a recently-held meeting of 
the magistrates, county officers and a number of the leading citizens of Northum- 
berland County, the "distressed situation" of the inhabitants of Wyoming 
— "both New Englanders and Pennsylvanians" — had been taken into consider- 
ation, and Messrs. Scott, Hewitt and McCord had been appointed a committee 
to repair to Wj^oming and "request both parties to cease hostilities until the 
further mind of the Council and Assembly be known." 

In conclusion the committee wrote: "In pursuance of the above, we, the 
subscribers, are arrived for that purpose, and do crave a conference with you, 
either by committee — to meet a committee from the other party — or otherwise, 
as you shall think most proper. We would wish you to be as expeditious as 
possible, as we are under an obligation to make our return as soon as possible." 

To this communication Messrs. Patterson, Ball and Read responded im- 
mediately, as follows*: 

"We are honored by yours of this date, and conceive ourselves much obliged by the trouble 
you and the magistrates of this county have taken in this instance. There will be no hostilities 
commenced on our parts, and we shall be happy to see you al lite Garrison when you think proper 
to honor us with a visit. Everything that may tend to the good of this Government, and the 
safety of the lives of the citizens, shall be strictly observed on our part. We wish a conference 
with you, as soon as may be, at this place. Capt. [Andrew] Henderson waits upon you for an 
answer, or to accompany you to the Garrison." 

To this the committee sent a reply by the hands of Captain Henderson, 

to the effect that they would like to meet the representatives of the Pennamite 

party at three o'clock in the afternoon of that day at the inn of John Hollenback; 

and stating, further, that the committee had "the utmost assurance from Mr. 

John Franklin, Mr. John Swift, Mr. Phineas Peirce and others" that those 

persons who should represent the Pennamites at that meeting would be "treated 

with the utmost civility." To this Captain Patterson and his associates answered: 

"We would be happy to meet you at Mr. Hollenback's, But we wish first to know wheth'er 
yoH are the only Persons thai we are to meet: and whether you, as an Embassy from the Magistrates 
of this County, are restricted from having Egress and Regress to any part of said County. Per- 
mit us to observe, that we cannot conceive it consistent with our duty to meet at the place apiioint- 
ed, being at too Great a distance from the Garrison." 

In reply to this the Sunbury Committee of Mediation sent to the fort a 
messenger carrying a flag of truce and a brief communication to the effect that, 
inasmuch as the committee was "not permitted to enter the Garrison," and as 
the house of Mr. Hollenback was declared "to be too far from the Garrison," 
the occupants of the garrison were desired to send. a committee as soon as possible 
under a flag of truce, to the house of Mr. Slocum, to meet the Sunbury Committee. 
To this a reply was sent the same day (Friday, July 30th), signed by Alexander 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 625 



1405 

Patterson, B.W. Ball, Samuel Read and Andrew Henderson, and reading as follows: 
"We received your last, per Flag. We will meet you instantly at the place appointed. 
In the interim we expect all hostilities to cease. It shall be strictly observed on our part, Ijut we 
are sorry to inform you that this instant our people were fired upon." 

Colonel Franklin states, in one of his "Plain Truth" articles, that the meeting 
arranged for through the foregoing correspondence duly took place, and "a 
cessation of arms was agreed on between the Yankees and the party in the Garri- 
son." Two da)^s later (Sunday, August 1st), at three o'clock in the afternoon, 
the same parties met again by agreement, under a flag of truce, at the house of 
Giles vSlocum, (on River Street, just north of South Street), and later in the day 
the Sunbury Committee set out on their homeward journey. 

As noted on page 1401, Lieutenant Colonel Moore was in Philadelphia, 
when, on July 24th, the Supreme Executive Council resoH^ed that the County 
Lieutenant of Northampton should be instructed "to hold some part of the 
militia of the said County in readiness to march at a moment's warning," etc. 
The resolves of the Council were placed in the hands of Colonel Moore, and he 
immediately repaired to Easton. 

I'pon his arrival there he received some fresh news from the seat of war 
at Wilkes-Barre, brought by Isaac Van Norman; whereupon Colonel Craig 
(the County Lieutenant) and Colonel Moore, conceiving that in all probability 
it would soon be necessary to send a force of militia to Wyoming, resolved to 
immediately embody some twenty or twenty-five volunteers, place them under 
the command of Capt. William McDonald*, and send them forward to some 
point of vantage on the Sullivan Road, there to go into camp, guard the only 
approach to Wyoming Valley from Easton and the lower end of Northampton 
County, and await further orders. 

Captain McDonald and his party (several of whom were New Jerseymen), 
accompanied by Isaac Van Norman, marched from Easton on Wednesday, 
July 28, 1784, and following the Sullivan Road, proceeded to a point on the road 
about one-half mile from the south-eastern end of Locust Hillf, in what is now 
Tobyhanna Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Here there was a clearing 
of some size — made about a year before J — in which there stood a small log house, 
occupied then or later by a man named Brown. This place was forty-three 
miles from Easton and twenty-two and three-quarters miles from Fort Dickinson, 
at Wilkes-Barre. About the time the party reached this point — which was in 
the afternoon of Friday, July 30th — they were joined by Colonel Moore. 

Leaving this vanguard of Northampton County Pennamites at Locust 
Hill, let us turn our attention again to Wilkes-Barre, where, on July 30th, as before 
stated, repre.sentatives of the Pennamites in Fort Dickinson, under the command 
of ,\lexander Patterson, and of the Yankees garrisoned in certain houses in the 
village of Wilkes-Barre, under the command of John Franklin, held a conference 
with the Committee of Mediation from Sunburv. 

From Colonel Franklin's "Brief" and "Plain Truth" articles we learn that 
late in the evening of July 29th an express from Easton arrived at Wilkes-Barre, 

*Colonel Franklin, in his "Brief", refers to McDonald as "a noted villain from New Jersey who had been active 
in driving off [from Wyoming] the Yankee women and children, and had made his escape from the valley the morning 
the Yankees surrounded the Garrison." 



tLocusT HlLl,. sometimes erroneously called Locust Ridge, is referred to hereinbefore on pages 1172 and 1175. 
It is a distinct hill, having a base of about a mile in diameter and an elevation of 600 or 700 feet above the surrounding 
count.-y. It was originally covered mostly with locust trees, but to-day there are ver>' few growing there On its 
■^outh-easterly face it is free from rocks and ledges. The old Sullivan Road, still a traveled highway at that point, 
runs along the face of the hill near its base. The hill is about four milei east by south from the village of Thornhurst. 
on the Lehigh River. 

iUndoubtedly by one of the settlers mentioned by Dr. Schiipf. 



1406 



with a letter for the Pennamites in Fort Dickinson, informing them that Captain 
McDonald's company of volunteers had set out from Easton on July 28th, and 
would -probably march to Wilkes-Barre. Before the express was able to reach 
the fort he was intercepted by some Yankee scouts in the outskirts of Wilkes- 
Barre, and the letter which he carried being secured and read, the leaders of 
of the Yankees were aroused to immediate activity. It was soon agreed that 
a company of forty or more men, under the command of Capt. John Swift*, 
should march forth from Wilkes-Barre "to view and watch the movements" of the 

*JoHN Swift was the third child and second son of EUsha and Mary (Ransom) Swift. EHsha Swift who was the 
eldest child of Jabez and Abigail Swift, was born at Sandwich, Massachusetts, May 16. 1731. 

Heman Swift (bom at Sandwich in 1733; died at Cornwall, Connecticut, November 14. 1814) was a brother of 
Elisha Swift, At an early age he became a Lieutenant in the Provincial forces during the French and English War, 
serving on the northern frontier. During the Revolutionary War he served as Colonel of a Connecticut regiment 
in the Continental Line. After the war he resided in Cornwall, Connecticut, where he held various civil oflSces. For 
twelve years in succession he was a member of the Governor's Council, and at the same time, or later, was a Judge of 
the Litchfield County Court. 

About 1735 Jabez Swift removed with his family from Sandwich to Kent. Litchfield County. Connecticut. He 
was a Representative from Klent to the General Assembly of Connecticut in 1757, '58. '59 and '60, while his son EUsha 
held the same office in 1768. '69 and 70. 

Elisha Swift was married at Kent December 13, 1756, to Mary Ransom, (born December 4, 1737), and they be- 
came the parents of the folio wing- named children: (i) Heman; (ii) Roxalana; (iii) John; (iv) Phileius; (v) Alice; (vi) 
Philea; (vii) Jabez; (viii) Severus; (ix) Lewis; (x) Elisha- 

Elisha Swift, Sr., made his first appearance in Wyoming, so far as existing records show, in June, 1772, when 
he came as a settler under the auspices of The Susquehanna Company. At Wilkes-Barre, on October 2, 1772, he and 
his sons Heman and John signed the memorial to the Connecticut Assembly printed on page 751, Vol. II. Shortly 
afterwards the family took up their residence in Kingston Township, where on July 20. 1772, Elisha Swift had pur- 
chased from John Jenkins, Sr., an original proprietor. "House Lot No. 14", containing upwards of four acres and 
lying near the bend of the river, in what is now the borough of Forty Fort. In February, 1773, he bought for £100 
certain lands in Wilkes-Barre which originally had been allotted to Thomas Stephens. 

In 1773. Elisha Swift presided as Moderator at several town-meetings, and when the town of Westmoreland was 
organized in March, 1774, he was elected to several offices. In December, 1774, he was a member of the School Com- 
mittee of the town, and in the Summer of 1 776, was a member of the Westmoreland Committee of Inspection. He died 
at his home in Kingston Township in the Winter of 1776-'77. His widow continued to reside in Kingston until after 
the battle of Wyoming, when, it is presumed, she returned to her old home in Connecticut, accompanied by her younger 
children — at all events their names do not appear in later Wyoming records. 

(i) Heman Swift first came to Wyoming in 1772. In March, 1776. he was one of the Westraorelanders who offered 
their services as soldiers to the Continental Congress, as related on page 870, Vol, II. In the following August (being 
then in his twentieth year) he was appointed by Congress and duly commissioned Ensign of the "First Westmoreland 
Independent Company", commanded by Capt Robert Durkee. (See page 892, Vol. II.) How long he continued 
in the military service, or what ultimately became of him, the present writer has been unable to ascertain. 

(iv) Phileius Swifl. next younger brother of John Swift, was a private in the 2d Connecticut Regiment, Contin- 
ental Line, commanded by his uncle. Col. Heman Swift, in the Revolutionary War. In later years he became a Briga- 
dier General of militia. 

(iii) John Swift, son of Elisha and Mary (Ransom) Swift, was born June 17, 1761, at Kent. Litchfield County. 
Connecticut, and accompanied the other members of his father's family to Wyoming Valley, when they removed 
hither in the Summer of 1 772 — he being then eleven years of age. Four years and three months later he enlisted as a 
private in the "Second Westmoreland Independent Company" 
(see page 894. Vol. II). commanded by Capt. Samuel Ransom 
— who was in some wise related to his mother. He served in 
this company up to the time it was united with Captain Dur- 
kee's company and placed under the command of Capt. Simon 
Spalding, as narrated on page 978, and then he served under 
Spalding at Wilkes-Barre until January 1 781 . 

Upon the reorganization of the Connecticut Line in Janu- 
ary. 1781. John Swift became a private in the company com- 
manded by Capt. John Durkee. Jr., in the 1st Regiment, Con- 
necticut Line, commanded by Col, John Durkee, the founder 
and namer of Wilkes-Barre. He continued in this regiment (see 
page 1329) until it was mustered out of the Continental service 
in the Summer or early Autumn of 1783. 

Upon leaving the army John Swift went to his old home 
(Kent) in Connecticut, where, undoubtedly, his mother and 
his younger brothers and sisters were then living There he was 
married to Rhoda Sawyer, March 6, 1784. About that time 
the people of Connecticut were beginning to hear a good deal ] 
concerning the pernicious activities of the Pennamites at Wyo- 
ming, and soon thereafter John Swift determined to take a trip 
to the valley, ally himself with the distressed Yankees, and aid 
their cause to the best of his ability. He joined them while they 
were occupying "Fort Lillopee", and in a very short time, by 
reason of his bravery, earnestness, good judgment, and loyalty 
to his associates and their cause, he became one of the Yankee 
leaders in Wyoming, and was dubbled "Captain". He was at 
that time only twenty-three years old. 

During the next few years Captain Swift took a very ac- 
tive part in Wyoming affairs, and his name appears often on 
the pages hereinafter. He made his home in Kingston Town- 
ship, whither he had brought his wife after the close of the 
Second Pennamite-Yankee War. In April, 1788, he sold his 
land in Kingston to John Pierce, and removed with his family 
to Athens. Pennsylvania, where he owned several lots of land 
As noted on page 806, Vol. II. John Jenkins, Jr., and John Swift 
purchased a township of land in Ontario County. New York, 
the same now being Palmyra, Wayne County, New York, on the 
southern shore of Lake Ontario 

During the Summer of 1 789, Captain Sw-ift moved into this 
township, erecting the first house — which was of logs — and a 

store house, at what i^ now the corner of Main and Canal streets, Palmyra. The district of Tolland (which embraced 
what is now Palmyra) held iti first town-meeting in April, 1 796, and Captain Swift was chosen Supervisor. The dis- 




(Photo-reproduction of a portrait in oils,) 



1407 

"band of ruffians from New Jersey and elsewhere"— as Colonel Franklin puts it. 

The party chosen for this reconnoissance was composed of the following- 
named tried, true and ''effective" Yankees: Capt. John Swift (Commander). 
Maj. Joel Abbott, Prince Alden, Jr., Waterman Baldwin, Lord Butler, Ishmael 
Bennet, Jr., Jonathan Burwell, Leonard Cole, Gideon Church, Reuben Cook, 
Nathaniel Cook, Joseph Corey, John Fuller, John Gore, Justus Gaylord, Elisha 
Harding, Thomas Heath, Jr., Elisha Harris, John Hurlbut, Richard Hallstead, 
William Hyde, Edward Inman, William Jenkins, Benjamin Jenkins, William 
Jackson, Dr. George Minard, William McClure, Abram Nesbitt, Abraham Pike, 
John P^atner, WiUiam Ross, Thomas Read, Elisha Satterlee, William vSlocum, 
Walter Spencer, Phineas Stephens, Thomas Stoddard, Daniel SulHvan, William 
Smith, Jr., Moses Sill, Jeremiah White and Nathaniel Walker^forty-two in all. 

Late in the night of July 29th, or early in the morning of the 30th, Captain 

Swift detached from his party Gideon Church, Jonathan Burwell, 

Jenkins, and eight or ten others, with Waterman Baldwin* in command, and 
sent them out on the Sullivan Road as scouts. Some time during the morning 
of Friday, the 30th, this detachment arrived at the house of Eliphalet Emmons, 
at Bear Creek, ten miles from Wilkes-Barre. Emmons, and his wife Silence, 
occupied a small log house and kept a tavern — undoubtedly one of the places 
mentioned by Dr. Schopf in his journal. Making inquiries there relative to 
the Easton part}'-, and learning nothing, Baldwin and his men proceeded on their 
way. They went as far as the Lehigh River, without making any discoveries, 

trict assumed the name of Palmj-ra in 1 797. In 1 799, John Swift was Superintendent of Highways. The first saw-mill 
in the place was erected by him. and for a few years he was engaged in mercantile business. John Swift's wife was 
the first woman who ventured a residence in this then unbroken wilderness. There were still many Indians wander- 
ing through that section of New York. 

John Swift gave lands for the first saw-mill, the first graveyard, the first school-house and the first church edifice 
in Palmyra. From 1790 till 1812, he was connected with every enterprise of consequence— pecuniary, political and 
religious — which had its being in Palmyra. When the militia system of New York was reorganized John Swift wa^ 
commissioned Captain, and at his house the first '"training" of the company which he commanded took place. He was 
promoted through the various grades of military rank in Ontario County until, at least as early as October, 1808, he 
became Brigadier General commanding the Ontario County Brigade in the 5th Division of the New York Militia 

In the War with Great Britain (1S12-'I4) General Swift was commissioned a Brigadier General of New York 
Volunteers. During the campaign on the Niagara frontier in the Summer of 1814. he led a detachment of troops on 
a reconnoitering expedition to Fort Greene. They surrounded and captured a picket-guard of sixty men. and while 
in the act of receiving the arms of the prisoners one of them shot General Swift through his breast. An attack from 
a superior British force occurred about this time, but General Swift rallied his men and began what proved to be a 
successful engagement, but he soon fell to the ground exhausted. He was borne to a nearby house, where he died 
July 13. 1814. aged fifty-three years and twenty-five days. '■Never", declared a writer of the day, "was the country 
called upon to lament the loss of a firmer patriot or braver man " He was buried near where he died, but after the war 
the citizens of Palmyra disinterred his remains and deposited them m the old cemetery of their village. The Legisla- 
ture of New York voted a sword to his oldest male heir, and also directed that a full-length portrait of General Swift 
should be hung up in the City Hall of New York. The sword was handed over to Asa Ransom Swift, General Swift's 
third child and eldest son. who was the first male child born in Palmyra. Upon his death the sword passed into the 
possession of his son, Henry C. Swift, a resident of Phelps. New York. 

At Washington, D. C. under date of April 7. 1814, the Hon. Timothy Pickering, then a Representative in Congress 
from Massachusetts, but who, when he lived at Wilkes-Barre. had known John Swift very well, wrote to him as follows: 
enclosing a copy of his (Pickering's) speech on the "Loan Bill." "I learn from my friend Mr, Howell of Canandaigua 
that you live in his neighborhood, and that you entertain those political opinions which, had they generally prevailed 
for the last seven years, would have saved our country from the oppressions of embargoes and other measures destruc- 
tive of its best interests, and from the calamities of war." 

General Swift and his wife Rhoda (Sawver) Swift, were the parents of the following-named children: Sally. Polly. 
Asa Ransom, Marcus G. B. (died at Fall River. Massachusetts. February 22, 1902), and Orson Ross. After the death 
of Mrs. Rhoda (Sazvyer) Swift, which occurred subsequently to 1 794, General Swift was married to Hepzibeth Treat 
Davidson, and they became the parents of the following-named children: Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Martha, 
and John Leonardus. 

The following article was printed in The Susquehanna Democrat, Wilkes-Barre, February 22, 1823 "Drowned, 
in October last, in Sodus Bay, Lake Ontario, Asa Ransom Swift and Ashley Van Duzer, Esquires, of Palra>Ta. Ontario 
County, New York. A long communication on this subject was handed to us soon after this event took place, but a 
press of other matters has hitherto excluded it from our columns. We have concluded to abridge the article and 
insert merely the substance, without going into all the particulars. 

"Capt. Asa R. Swift, one of the persons drowned, was the eldest son of Gen. John Swift, formerly of Luzerne County, 
whose gallantry as a soldier and virtues as a citizen will long be remembered by his fellow citizens. General Sw4ft 
was treacherously killed during the late war by a British prisoner after his siurender to a detachment of Americans 
commanded by General Swift, 

"His son. Asa R. Swift, the immediate subject of this memoir, served as a First Lieutenant of cavalry in a twelve 
months' campaign during the late war, and was in service at the time of his father's death. He was afterwards promoted 
to a captaincy, and. as well for his own gallantry and -good conduct as from respect to the memory of his father, the 
Legislature of New York presented him with an elegant sword, as a testimonal of the high estimation in which they 
held his character and services. As a private citizen he was much esteemed, and as a faithful, brave and meritorious 
officer he was much respected and highly valued," 

*Waterman Baldwin, as noted on page 902. Vol. II, was bom at Norwich. New London County. Connecticut 
January 8. 1758. the third child of Isaac and Patience (Ralhhun) Baldwin. Isaac Baldwin, bom June 12. 1730. was 
a descendant in the fourth generation of Henry Baldwin, who was a freeman in 1652 at Woburn. Massachusetts. Patience 



1408 

and then retraced their steps to Emmons', where they arrived shortly after 
sunrise on Saturday the 31st. 

About a half-hour later who should walk up to the tavern but Isaac \'an 
Norman, on his way from the Pennamite camp at Locust Hill to Wilkes-Barre, 
presumably for the purpose of notifying the occupants of Fort Dickinson of the 
presence at Locust Hill of a body of men friendly to their interests. Van Norman 
being known to the Yankee scouts as a Pennamite who, only a short time before 
had been living in Wyoming, they questioned him sharply and learned that a 
force of twenty-five Pennamites was stationed at Locust Hill. They learned, 
also, "that there was a dispute among the men at the Hill as to whether or not 
they should then advance towards Wyoming, or remain where they were." 

Captain Swift, with all the members of his command (except the scouts, who 
were in the neighborhood of Bear Creek), left Wilkes-Barre in the afternoon of 
Saturday, July 31st. The men departed quietly and without any display, in 
order not to attract the attention or arouse the suspicions of the Sunbury Com- 
mittee of Mediation, still on the ground. Marching to the western border of 
Bear Swamp, about nine and a-half miles from Wilkes-Barre, Swift and his men 
bivouacked there. The next day, (Sunday, August 1st) they were joined by 
Waterman Baldwin and his scouting party, and were informed of the presence 
of the Pennamites at Locust Hill. Thereupon a discussion arose as to whether 
the party should wait there at Bear Swamp, the coming of the Pennamites 
return to Wyoming, or "advance to Locust Hill and attack and disperse such 
men as were there collected."* It was unanimously voted to advance, and 

Rathhun. who became the wife of Isaac Baldwhi. was of Exeter. Rhode Island, where she was born September 13, 
1734. Isaac and Patience (Rathbun) Baldwin were the parents of eleven children. They lived for some time at Can- 
terbury, Windham County, Connecticut, whence they removed to Wyoming Valley in 1772 or 73 and settled in Pittston 
Township. Upon the organization of the town of Westmoreland in March, 1774, Isaac Baldwin was elected one of 
the Surveyors of Highways. He was living in Pittston at the time of the battle of Wyoming, and with other survivors 
he and his family fled from the valley after the surrender of the various forts. 

Inasmuch as the name of Isaac Baldwin does not appear in the existing Wyoming records of 1779 — 1782 it is 
quite probable that he did not return to the valley until early in the year 1783. He and his sons Thomas, Waterman 
and Isaac, Jr.. signed in February, 1783, the petition to the New York Legislature before mentioned. Isaac Baldwin 
removed to Newtown (now Elmira). Tioga Co.. New York, prior to 1791. in which year he died there, on June 9th. 
His wife died there July 24, 1823. 

Rufits Baldwin, eldest child of Isaac and Patience (Rathbun) Baldwin, came to Wyoming with the other members 
of his father's family. His name appears in the Pittston tax lists of 1776. 1777 and 1778. In March. 1776. he was one 
of the Westmorelanders who offered their services as soldiers to the Continental Congress, as related on page 870, 
Vol, II. 

Thomas Baldwin, second child of Isaac and Patience, was born in 1756. He, also, was among those who offered 
their services as soldiers, as mentioned above. Upon the organization of Captain Durkee's Westmoreland Independ- 
ent Company (see page 892), Thomas Baldwin enlisted and was appointed 3d Sergeant. He served with this company 
until it was united with Ransom's company and placed under the command of Captain Spalding, and then he continued 
in the Continental service as a Sergeant under Spalding until some time in 1782 He took part in numerous battles, 
including the battle of Wyoming. He settled in Sheshequin, in what is now Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in May. 
1783; but he did not remain there very long. While there a son— Vine- — was born to him, who was said to be the first 
white child bom in the Sheshequin Valley after the Revolution. Later Thomas Baldwin removed with his family 
to a farm near the present town of Ashland. Chemung County, New York, where he lived until his death. 

Isaac Baldwin. Jr.. a son of Isaac and Patience, was living in Newtown, New York, in 1795, in which year he sold 
to Elisha Satterlee 100 acres of land in Pittston. Wyoming Valley. In July. 1802, at Newtown, he sold to Isaac Dow 
Tripp "Town Lot No. 47", in Wilkes-Barre. His wife was Alice, daughter of Jonathan and Anna Haskill of Wvoming 
Valley. 

AJfa Baldwin, fourth child of Isaac and Patience, was married (first) to Benjamin Jenkins, and (second) to John 
Harding. See pages 805 and 993. Vol. II. 

Ada Baldw'in. fifth child of Isaac and Patience, was born in Connecticut September 30, 1763. She became the 
wife of William Jenkins of Southport. New York, and died March 1. 1845. 

Waterman Baldwin, third child of Isaac and Patience, came with his parents and the other members of their 
family to Pitt.-ton, he being then about fifteen years of age In 1776 he served a short term of enlistment in a Con- 
necticut regiment in the Continental army, and January 7. 1777, he enlisted as a private in the Westmoreland Inde- 
pendent Company commanded by Capt Robert Durkee (See pages 894 and 902, Vol. II.) With this company 
he served — participating in the several battles and the various hardships which it experienced — -until it was consolidated 
with Captain Ransom's company and placed under the command of Captain Spalding. 

He was still a member of Spalding's company when it was at Fort Wyoming, Wilkes-Barre. in January, 1781, 
but upon the reorganization of the Connecticut regiments of the Continental Line, in January. 1781. Waterman Baldwin 
was assigned to the company of Capt John Durkee. Jr.. in the 1st Connecticut Regiment, commanded by Col. John 
Durkee. With this regiment he remained until its term of service expired, in 1782. when he returned to Wyoming 
Valley. In February. 1783. he was one of the Signers of the petition to the Legislature of New York, previously 
mentioned. He was married to Celinda Hazen, and they had two daughters and two sons. John, the elder son. was 
married to Mary Jenkins, and Henry, the younger son, was married to a daughter of Wilkes Jenkins. 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 656. 



1409 

so, after nightfall, the party marched to within about a mile and a-half of the 
camping-place of the Pennamites, and bivouacked. 

The next morning, (Monday, August 2d), between nine and ten o'clock, 
Captain Swift advanced with his men to within a short distance of the camping- 
place of the Pennamites, unobserved by the latter, and shortly afterwards, 
without warning, began an attack upon them. As to the character and results 
of the fight which ensued, the following extracts, from depositions* made about 
the time the affair occurred, will best tell the story. 

Abraham Pike, one of Swift's party, deposed as follows: "Finding the party 
lying and sitting in a dispersed manner under the trees and bushes, they [the 
Yankees] fired upon and drove some of them into the house of one Brown, and 
others into the woods, from whence they began to return the fire; that this 
engagement lasted for some considerable length of time; that John Swift then 
called off his party, and returned with them to Wyoming." 

Lieut. Col. James Moore deposed as follows: 

"That being at Locust Ridge, in the county of Northampton, with a small party of men 
there stationed in consequence of the directions of Commissioners John Boyd and John Arm- 
strong. Jr., Esquires, on Monday, the 2d day of August last, about ten o'clock in the morning, 
he, the deponent, was alarmed by the discharge of fire-arms; that upon seeking the cause of it 
he discovered the men of McDonald's party running toward the house without arms, and followed 
by others who were firing upon them as they Red: that among the number of those who took 
refuge in the cabin, in which the deponent was, came Jacob Everett, t who soon afterwards received 
a ball in his forehead, by which he expired in about half an hour; that the firing continued after 
this for some time, by which two men were wounded; that after it had ceased, the body of the 
abovementioned Everett was interred near the hut in which he was killed." 

Harmon Brink deposed as follows: 

"On Monday, the 2d day of August |17S4|, he was in a house at a place called Locust Hill, 
in Northampton County, where Col. James Moore lay sick at that time; there were several others 
lying under the trees, and under the shade before the door. The deponent heard two or three 
guns fired, and immediately heard one Michael i\IcCartley (who was under the shade before the 
door) call to the deponent to come and carry him away, for he was wounded and was not able to 
get into the house. The deponent went to help him in, and asked him how he came to be wounded, 
not suspecting any evil-minded persons being around. As he spoke to the wounded man there 
were thirty or forty guns fired towards the house, which the deponent supposed to be chiefly 
at him. He then called to the rest that were around to make the best of their way into the house. 
After the people were got into the house one Jacob Everett, standing opposite a window, was 
shot through the head, and died in a few minutes. Two others, besides the first-mentioned 
were wounded. After the Connecticut claimants (which I afterwards found then to be) had 
continued their firing on us about two hours, they retreated back towards Wyoming." 

John Stickafoos deposed as follows : 

"On the 2d day of August last he was at a place known by the name of Locust Hill, in the 
County of Northampton, in company with several people. That in the forenoon of said day the 
deponent was asleep under the shade of a tree, and was alarmed by the firing of musquetry ; upon 
which he fled to a small log cabin which was near. That the persons who fired killed a certain Jacob 
Everett, by shooting him through the head, and wounded three others, viz.: Michael McCartley. 
John Shuboy and David Morris. That the persons so surrounding continued to fire one hour 
and a-half longer. That he supposed they consisted of twenty or thirty men, some of whom he 
knew, !■/;.; Jonathan Burwell and 'W'illiam Slocum. That he has good reason to believe that said 
Burwell and Slocum. with their associates, who perpetrated this unprovoked murder, were all 
of the party called the Connecticut claimants." 

Col. John Armstrong, Jr., and Capt. John Boyd, writing to President 
Dickinson from "Learns," under the date of August 7, 1784, had the following 
to say about the fight at Locust Hill.f 

"The late affair at Locust Hill was one of the most impudent and improvoked attacks that 
has yet been made, and shall become an early object of our enquiries. The circumstances were 
as follows: 

"Colonel Moore, agreeably to a plan which we had concerted in Philadelphia, had collected 
about twenty volunteers, with whom he had taken possession of a little height about midway in 
the Swamp, merely to command the avenue by which we proposed to march. The Colonel 

"See 'Pennsylvania .■\rchives," 656, 657. 661. 667, 632. 
tColonel Franklin states that Everett was a New Jerseyman. 
JSee "Pennsylvania Archives, Old Series, X: 633. 



1410 

had lain there some hours, believing himself to be perfectly secure (as they were still in North- 
ampton County), when, without any provocation on his part or previous notice on theirs, he 
was fired upon by the insurgents, driven into a little hut, and there obliged to sustain a two hours' 
attack of great violence, in which three of his men were wounded and one killed. The assailants 
then withdrew into the Swamp, and the Colonel retired hither. 

"This little rencounter would have been much more equal had not Moore himself been ill 
of a fever, and his party so much dispersed." 

Upon reading the foregoing depositions of Colonel Moore, Harmon Brink 
and John Stickafoos, and the letter of Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd, 
one could easily conceive that the Pennamites gathered at Locust Hill were on 
a Sunday School excursion, for no mention is made in those documents of the 
fact that McDonald and his men were supplied with fire-arms and ammunition, 
which they used against the Yankees as effectively as the circumstances permitted. 
It was their use of fire-arms that caused the fight to last for about an hour and 
a-half. They defended themselves well, and the Yankees were unable either to 
dislodge them from Brown's log house, or to force them to surrender. However, 
only one of the Yankee party was wounded — Dr. George Minard* being shot 
in one of his legs. 

About noon, Captain Swift and his men ceased firing at the Pennamites 
in the log house and in the woods beyond (to which some had retreated), and 
without further ceremony marched off in the direction of Wyoming. About 
five o'clock in the afternoon they arrived at Emmons' house at Bear Creek, 
where they partook of food which had been prepared for them in advance of 
their coming. Two hours later they again took up their line of march, and upon 
reaching the place where the}' had spent the preceding Sunday, they bivouacked 
for the night. Bright and early the next morning (August 3d) they set off for 
Wilkes-Barre, where they arrived in the course of three or four hours. 

*His name frequently appears in the early Wyoming records as "Doctor Minor" and "George Minor." His sur" 
name was Minard. and he was probably originally of New London. Connecticut, a descendant of William and Lydia 
(Richards) Mynard- (See Caulkin's "New London", page 354.) In 1787 he was living at Manville, Connecticut, 
and through his son Lemuel he lodged with the Confirming Commissioners, at Wilkes-Barre, a claim for certain "original 
proprietor's" rights in the township of Newport, 

At Wilkes-Barre. under the date of June 12, 1793. Col Zebulon Butler, of a Committee representing The Sus- 
quehanna Company, certified that "George Minard was one of the first 200 settlers in the Susquehanna Purchase, 
and had his right in Wilkes-Barre; but. by reason of absence, lost that right But, by order of the Company, he is 
entitled to a suffering right, to be taken up in any of the Proprietors' townships" (See page 713, Vol. 11.) 





CHAPTER XXV. 

PENNSYLVANIA MILITIA REACH WILKES-BARRK FROM EASTON— A DISAS, 
TROUS TRUCE ARRANGED— HOSTILITIES AGAIN PROVOKED— SEVENTY- 
TWO YANKEES SENT TO THE EASTON AND SUNBURY JAILS— THE 
INJUSTICES DONE CONNECTICUT SETTLERS EXCITE GENERAL 
INDIGNATION— JOHN FRANKLIN'S OATH— FORT DICKIN- 
SON EVACUATED BY THE HATED ARMSTRONG AND 
HIS MILITIA, THUS ENDING THE SECOND 
PENNAMITE- YANKEE WAR— GREAT RE- 
JOICING AS THE SETTLERS RAZE 
THE FORT. 




"On roUs the stream with a perpetual sigh ; 

The rocks moan wildly as it passes by ; 

Hyssop and wormwood border all the strand. 
And not a flower adorns the dreary land." 

Bryant. 



'This hand, to tyrants ever sworn the foe. 
For freedom only deals the deadly blow ; 
Then sheaths in calm repose the vengeful blade, 
For gentle peace in freedom's hallowed shade." 

Adams. 



Upon the departure of the Yankees from Locust Hill, August 3, 1784, 
Colonel Moore, Captain McDonald and their Pennamite associates made pre- 
parations to march back to Easton. However, upon arriving at Sebitz's, or 
Leam's, they ascertained that the Northampton County militia, who were to 



1412 

proceed to Wyoming under the direction of Commissioners Boyd and Armstrong, 
were about to rendezvous at Sebitz's, whence they would begin their march to 
Wilkes-Barre. Whereupon Colonel Moore decided that he and McDonald's 
band would remain at that point until the arrival of Boyd and Armstrong. 

The reader will recall that the Sunbur)' Committee of Mediation set out 
from Wilkes-Barre, on their homeward journey, in the afternoon of August 1st. 
Thev had accomplished about half their journey, when they met David Mead, 
Robert Martin and Christian Gettig, Esquires, Justices of the Peace, and Col. 
Henrv Antes, Sheriff, of Northumberland County, on their way to Wilkes- 
Barre. The Committee of Mediation retraced their way and journeyed with 
Justice Mead and his party hither, where they all arrived late in the afternoon 
of August 2d. The next day, to their amazement, they learned of the Locust 
Hill fight, which had taken place only a few hours before their arrival at Wilkes- 
Barre. 

After looking the ground over, Justices Hewitt, Mead and Martin served, 
on August 5th, the following notice on John Franklin, Phineas Peirce, Giles vSlocum 
and John Swift, as representatives of the Yankees.* 

"lu obedience to our instructions from the Supreme E.xecutive Council of the State of 
Pennsylvania, we have repaired to this place, and find two parties in actual hostilities. There- 
fore, in the name of the Commonwealth, we command you — and that without delay — to deliver 
to us the arms of your party, together with such a number of your men as we shall think proper, 
to put in charge of the High Sheriff of the county until the pleasure of the Chief Justice in this 
case shall be known; and if required, those that remain, to be bound to the peace and good be- 
havior, with sufficient security." 

Without dela}' Franklin and his associates replied to this communication 
in the following words: 

"We received yours of the present date as Magistrates, and as such we revere you in your 
exalted sphere; and as you have, in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, made a 
demand for our arms, we declare our prompitude to comply with your requisition. We shall 
rely, Gentlemen, upon your honors, that we shall have the benefits of the laws of this State in 
all respects for the future — at the same time lamenting the neglect of the law in times past, 
which has been the occasion of all the hostilities with which we are charged." 

The same day. Justices Martin, Hewitt and Mead sent to Fort Dickinson, 
addressed to Alexander Patterson, B. W. Ball, vSamuel Read and Andrew Hender- 
son, a communication reading as follows: 

"In consequence of our instructions from the Supreme Executive Council of the State of 
Pennsylvania, we have demanded of the Connecticut party their arms, and such a number of 
their men, as we think proper, to be put in charge of the High Sheriff of the County until the 
pleasure of the Chief Justice in the case shall be known; and those that remain to be bound to the 
the peace. &c. — which they have complied with. Therefore, in the name of the Commonwealth, 
we demand the same of you and your party; also, the delivery to us of all State property, and 
your flag lo be taken down!" 

Colonel Franklin, in his "Brief", makes the following reference to the 
occurrences at Wilkes-Barre on August 5-7, 1784. "The Justices informed 
us that they were clothed with authority to execute the laws and to quell all 
hostilities. That as they had found us under arms, they required us to give 
up our arms and surrender our persons submissive to the laws of the State, and 
they engaged that they would also disarm Patterson and the Pennsylvania 
party at the garrison, and that our possessions should be restored to us according 
to law. That they had come to Wyoming for that purpose. We complied 
with their requisitions on August 5th — gave up our arms and surrendered our 
persons. 

"The Justices proceeded to the garrison, accompanied by the Sheriff and 
the Coroner. They returned in a short time and informed us that Patterson 

*.See Pennsylvania Archives". Old Series. X: 529. 



1413 

and his party were obstinate, had refused to surrender themselves to the .Sheriff 
(he having warrants against many of them), or to give up their arms. We de- 
manded protection of the Justices, offered to give bail for our appearance at 
Court, or remain in the custody of the Sheriff, if required. The Justices told us 
that we had complied on our part; that the}' were fully satisfied with our peace- 
able disposition. They also requested us to cease all hostile measures, to with- 
draw from the neighborhood of the garrison and repair to our several houses, 
farms and possessions, secure the grain then on the ground, and prepare to bring 
back our families. 

"They also informed us that about 400 Northampton militia were on their 
march — or, at least, had collected to come — to Wyoming to quell the disturb- 
ances, and that they, the said Justices, should send an express to have the militia 
proceed immediately; that Patterson and his party would positively be taken 
and dispersed from Wyoming; that when the militia should arrive they would 
undoubtedly call upon us to assist in putting the laws into execution. They 
also advised us to send for our families to return to our possessions, &c. We 
accordingly dispersed to our former sei'eral places of abode, and proceeded seciirina 
the '^rain, dfc, in peace." 

At Wilkes-Barre, on August 6, 1784, Justices Hewitt, Mead and Martin 
prepared and signed a communication to the Supreme E.xecutive Council, which 
read as follows:* 

"In obedience to the Instructions of Council of 24th July, we Repaired to this Place and 
found the Two Parties in actual Hostilities, and yesterday made a Demand of the Connecticut 
Party a Surrender of their arms and submission to the Laws of this State, which they Complyed 
with, reference being had to the Inclo.sed papers. 

"We also made a Demand of the same nature of the Party in the Garrison, but have Re- 
cei\ed no direct, but evasive, answers — at the same time expressing fear of their lives; in reply 
to which they were promised Protection agreeable to Law in every respect, but they still hold the 
Garrison and have not Dispersed. 

"We Believe that a Due execution of the Laws will be the most effectual measure to Quiet 
the Country. As to the Pretended Claim or Title of the Connecticut Party, we have nothing 
to fear, and are Convinced that, had it not been through the cruel and Irregular Conduct of our 
Own People, the peace might have been established long since, and the Honor and Dignity of 
Government supported as well." 

This document was placed in the hands of Capt. John Paul Schott of Wilkes- 
Barre, who immediate!}' set out for Philadelphia by way of the Sullivan Road 
and Easton. 

The next day (August 7th), the Justices made further efforts to get at the 
Pennamites in Fort Dickinson, but with no more success than before — as is 
shown by the following affidavits, sworn to before Justices Mead and Martin, 
at Wilkes-Barre, August 7, 1784. 

"Charles Manrow, Constable, doth depose and say, that he this day went to the Garrison 
at Wyoming, or as near as he could, and was ordered to stand by Elisha Cortright, who asked 
him his business. When this deponent replied that he wanted admission to the Garrison in order to 
serve civil processes for debt, said Cortright replied that he would inform Captain Patterson of 
his business that he might have an answer. He (Manrow) stood there a few minutes, and then 
received orders to be gone. Delaying a little, he received a second order to be gone immediately. 
He accordingly went, being afraid to make any further attempt to serve the processes." 

"Samuel Kerr doth depose and say, that this day, .soon after the Constable attempted to 
serve processes, and could not on any person in the Garrison, considering himself a friend of theirs, 
at the request of the Justices went to the Garrison in order to persuade them to submission to 
the law, and to admit the civil officer to serve process therein; and after using many arguments 
with sundry of the principal men, received for answer by Captain [Preserved] Cooley that Captain 
Patterson desired him to inform this deponent to go home about his business — if any he had- 
that no person should be admitted into the Garrison." 
*See "Pennsylvania .Archives", Old .Series, X: 6,^(1. 



1414 

Without further ado, Justices Mead and Martin wrote the following letter 
to Commissioners Boyd and Armstrong, which they placed in the hands of an 
express, who, the same day (August 7th), hurried off to Easton. 

"We are sorry to have occasion to write to you on so disagreeable a subject as the hostilities 
of this place. We have dispersed the Connecticut party, but our own people we cannot [disperse]. 
Yesterday, when we despatched a message to Council, we had some expectation of introducing 
the laws of Government here; but this day, when a civil officer attempted the service of legal 
process on persons in the Garrison, admission and service were denied — the proper depositions 
of which we have taken in order to transmit them to the Chief Justice. Therefore, we think 
it our indispensable duty to request you to come forward with the militia, with as much despatch 
as possible!" 

Upon the refusal of the Pennmites in Fort Dickinson to yield obedience 
to the demands of the law, the Northumberland magistrates permitted the 
Yankees to resume their arms for self defence. 

Let us now turn our attention to Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd. 
On Sunday, August 1, 1784, they arrived from Philadelphia at Easton, where 
they found that Colonel Craig, the County Lieutenant, was carrying on, under 
somewhat discouraging circumstances, the work of enlisting the Northampton 
militia for the Wyoming expedition.* On August 2d, at Easton, the Commissioners 
wrote to President Dickinson, as follows: 

"In our haste to accomplish some part of the preparatory business which we h.ave taken 
upon ourselves we have only time to inform your Excellency & Council that we got to this place 
early on yesterday & that we purpose to leave it early on to-morrow. 

"There has a late Account been received from Wyoming which left them in almost the same 
situation as those Accounts we saw in Philadelphia. A 2d summons has been sent to Patterson, 
offering Money to Him & his followers, if they surrender, & threatening them all with the sword 
if they do not. Some Women & one Child have been wounded within a few days. 

"We propose to write you again in a day or two — when we shall be better able to determine 
the temper as well as preparation of the Troops with whom we are to act, & of whom our accounts 
(at this moment) are not the most promising." 

The Commissioners arrived in the morning of August 4th, at Sebitz's, where 
they found Colonel Moore and his party, and also some of the militia who had 
been summoned to take part in the Wyoming expedition. During that day 
and the next two days other militia arrived at the rendezvous, so that by the 
morning of Saturday, August 7th, a force of nearly 400 had assembled. On the 
7th Captain Schott arrived at Sebitz's, en route to Philadelphia from Wilkes- 
Barre, with the letter from the magistrates to the Supreme Executive Council, 
to which reference has heretofore been made. The Commissioners opened and 
read this letter, and then prepared the following letter to President Dickinson, 
which Captain Schott agreed to deliver with the letter which he had brought 
from Wyoming, upon his arrival at Philadelphia. 

"Till to-day we have had no easy mode of communicating with your Excellency nor was 
our intelligence such as would have authorized the trouble and expense of employing an Express. 
We are this morning however so fortunate as to meet with Captain Schott by whom we must 
beg leave to state in a very hasty way the proceedings which have already been taken & those 
we have it in contemplation yet to take. 

"Upon our arrival at Easton we found neither the temper nor preparation of the militia 
such' as we had expected to find them. The first (to which no service would be very acceptable) 

*Muster-rolls of two of the companies that took part in this expedition have been preserved. (See "Pennsylvania 
Archives", Second Series, XIV. 589, 590 ) 

(1) "Muster RoU of Capt. John Van Etten's company of the 5th BattaUon of Northampton County MiHtia, 
commanded by Col. Nicholas Kern, on the expedition to Wyoming, 1784. Captain, Johannes Van Etten; Lieutenant, 
ComeUus Decker: Sergeants, Jacob Decker, Adam Shenk and Jasper Edwards; Corporals. Lodwick Hover and Abraham 
Decker; Privates [twenty-one in number, among whom were], Andrew Dingman, James Van Etten, Gideon, Levi, 
David and Cornelius Cortright, Benjamin and Ehjah Decker, Gilbert, Moses and Alexander Van Gorden, David and 
James Vanaken, and Peter Quick." All the officers and men of this company were enlisted for service July 31, 1784. 

(2) "Muster Roll of Capt. Lewis Stecher's company of the 6th Battalion of Northampton County Militia, now 
in the service at Wyoming, commanded by Col. Nicholas Kern, commandant. Captain. Lewis Stecher; Ensign, George 
Gross; Sergeants, John Knouss and George Neighhard; Corporal, John Deets; Privates [twenty-eight in number, and, 
judging by their names, all Pennsylvania Germans]. 

"August 20, 1784. Mustered then Capt. Lewis Stecher's company of Northampton County Militia, as specified 
in the above roll. [Signed] "Philip Shkawder, Deputy Muster Master." 

All the officers and men of Stecher's company were enlisted for service on either July 30 or 31 , 1784. 



141,5 

had been particularly set against this by the agency of some fellows who, with influence enough 
to mislead the people, have had wickedness enough to misrepresent the object & intentions of 
Government. We everywhere met the following objections: 'That it was the quarrel of a sett 
of Land jobbers; that the whole Country was not worth the life of a single man, or the labor of 
the many who were now called out to quiet it; & that they were drawn forth not merely to supi)ort 
the laws, but to extirpate the whole race of Connecticut claimants &c. &c.' 

"Idle and absurd as these objections were, & much as Colonel Craig & others had exerted 
themselves to obviate them, yet such was their effect upon the minds of the people that not 
more than one-third of the number warned appeared at the place of Rendezvous — & among 
these but very few declared themselves to be perfectly willing to go farther. Disagreeable as 
we felt this want of disposition, it was not however more unpromising than their almost total 
want of preparation. Out of 70 men who came from the 6th Northampton Battalion, there 
were but 40 who had brought their arms — accoutrements, kettles, &c., &c., there were none. 

"This must have necessarily produced a delay, had one not arisen from another source. 
Colonel Craig, having in the first instance counted upon a more exact compliance with his orders 
than they afterwards met, had made a vgry extensive arangement of three detachments, which 
were to move by different routes very widely apart & entirely out of reach of each other. This 
supposed that each would be equal if not superior to the whole force of the insurgents, which 
your Excellency will find generally stated at 250 or 300 men. We need, therefore, enter into 
the reasoning which induced us to alter this plan, & instead of committing ourselves by detail, 
to bring the whole force to some advanced point, from which we might operate as contingency 
would direct. This place, which entirely commands the entrance of the Swamp, was thought 
the most proper for this purpose, & we have accordingly drawn them hither. 

"In this situation an account of the half finished negotiation of the Northumberland Magis- 
trates has found us. We could wish it had been more compleat. but from some private evidence 
which we shall soon be at liberty to communicate, we are led to apprehend that the principles 
upon which it has been conducted were neither very fair to individuals nor honorable to the 
State, & cannot, therefore, be either very lasting or satisfactory. Some part of this opinion we 
have formed upon the magistrates own letter to your Excellency, which we took the liberty to 
open and which we again enclose. We propose, therefore, to proceed immediately and endeavor 
to execute the further intentions of Council. We shall move the troops at sunset, and hope to 
get through the Swamp at daybreak to-morrow." 

About sunset, on Saturday, August 7th, the Pennamite forces, headed by 
Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd, began their march for Wyoming from 
Sebitz's. INIacDonald's Locust Hill party formed part of the command, but 
Lieut, Colonel Moore proceeded to Philadelphia in company with Captain Schott. 

As the Commissioners set off on their march, they sent forward an express, 
bearing letters addressed to the Pennamites in Fort Dickinson and the Con- 
necticut settlers in Wyoming, and stating (according to Colonel Franklin, in 
his "Brief") "that thej^ (the Commissioners) were on their way to Wyoming 
clothed with authority from Government as Commissioners of Peace, to quell 
disturbances, repress violence from whatever quarter, establish order, and restore 
the reign of Law; that they should do the most perfect and impartial justice; 
that the innocent should meet with protection, and the guilty be brought to punish- 
ment. They demanded an immediate cessation of hostilities and the surrender 
of the arms of both parties." 

On their way through the Great Swamp, the Commissioners were met bv 
the express from Wilkes- Barre bearing the request from Justices Mead and Martin 
to the Commissioners "to come forward with the militia, with as much despatch 
as possible." In consequence, the march of the little army was quickened, 
and it reached Wilkes-Barre in the middle of the afternoon of Sundav, August 
8th. Proceeding down Northampton Street to the River Common, it deployed 
before the wooden walls of Fort Dickinson. 

A formal demand for the surrender of the fort being made bv the Commis- 
sioners, it was complied with forthwith, and thereupon detachments of the 
Northampton militia were put in possession of the fort and the neighboring 
block-houses. The same day the Commissioners, at their request, were furnished 



1416 



by Alexander Patterson and his lieutenants with a document reading as follows:* 
"List of the Men who have been shut up in the Garrison at Wyoming with the Subscribers 

and the Numbers of Arms & ammunition Public & private property. 

Luke Brodhead, Gabriel Ogden William McKinney 

James Melvin George Tanner, Junr. William Miller 

Daniel McLaskey Joseph Montanye Alex. Hoover 

Joseph Cavana James Covert Abm. Hammond 

Joseph Marshall John Potman Alex. Strickland 

Abm. Courtright James Johnson Jacob Van Horn 

Elisha Courtright Ehpm. Van Norman George Yoman 

John Courtright Isaac Van Norman John Pinsell 

Ezekiel Schoonover John Van Norman Daniel Swartz 

Peter Cousan Henry Wynn Joseph Biggers 

Saml. Vangorden Obadiah Walker John Boreland 

Enos Randle Jacob Woodcock George Tanner 

Laurence Kinney Richard Woodcock Edward Cavana 

Garrett Shoemaker, Jun. James Culver Garrett Shoemaker 

Jacob Tillbury Isaiah Culver James Stagg 

Abraham Tillbury Preserved Cooley Richard Savage 

Peter Stagg Peter Taylor Laurence Osbourne 

Jacob Cramer Silas Taylor Patrick Dunlevey 

Jacob Klyne Ebenezer Taylor Joseph King 

David McCartney Benj. Hillman Nicholas Brink 

John Lasley John Hillman Juba 

Robert Clark William Sims 

"2 Kour-Pounders State Property. 

1 Swivel ditto 

1 Wall Piece Private property. 

98 stand of arms Public property. 

33 stand of Arms Private property. 

1 Box of Cartridges State property. 

"We the subscribers do Certify upon our Honor, that the above is an exact and true Return 

of the Men, arms & ammunition that were in Fort Dickinson on the arrival of the Commissioners 

from the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania at this place. 

[Signed] "Alexander Patterson 

"Blackall W. Ball 
"Samuel Read 

"Wyoming, August 8, 1784. "Andrew Henderson." 

The attention of the reader is drawn to the fact that several of the men 
whose names appear in the foregoing list of Pennamites had served during the 
Revolutionary War, as privates either in Captain Spalding's Westmoreland 
Independent Company (see page 980, Vol. II) or in Capt. John Franklin's 
company of Connecticut Militia, stationed at Wilkes-Barre (see pages 1229 
and 1230, Vol. II) — some of them being as follows: John Borelen or Boreland, 
Preserved Cooley, Abraham Tillbury, Jacob Tillbury, Isaac Van Norman, 
Obadiah Walker and Richard Woodcock. 

Colonel Franklin, writing about the surrender of Fort Dickinson, said: 
"It was reported to us that Patterson and the other rioters at the Garrison were 
all made prisoners; that they would either be committed to gaol, or required 
to give security for their appearance at Court; that they were to be sent from 
Wyoming, and that the Yankees who had been forcibly dispossessed of their 
property were to be reinstated in their possessions. I suspect that at this time 
Patterson and his host of rioters entered bail for their appearance at Court to 
answer the indictments for 'riot, assault and false imprisonment' of sundry 
inhabitants of Wyoming, which indictments had been found at the Court of 
Oyer and Terminer, held at Sunbury in June, 1784t. 

"The next day" [to wit, August 9th], continues Colonel Franklin, "Messrs. 
Armstrong and Boyd, through the medium of Robert Martin and David Mead, 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series. X: 321, 

t-^t Wilke.s-BarTe, August 12.1 784. in pursuance of written direction that day received from Chief Justice McKean- 
Justice John Seely delivered to Sheriff Henry Antes of Northumberland County a list of all the indicted Pennamites 
(thirty-eight in number) who had entered bail before him the said Seely. 



1417 

Esquires, requested me to call all the Connecticut party to assemble under arms. I 
wished to know the occasion for this, and Messrs. Giles Slocum and Simon Spalding 
had an interview on the subject with Mead and Martin, who stated that Arm- 
strong and Boyd had communicated to them that they were clothed with au- 
thority from Government, and had instructions to disarm both parties who had 
been under arms at Wyoming; that they had already disarmed Patterson and 
his part}^ and laid them under sufficient security to answer for the crimes alleged 
against them; that they were fully satisfied with our good conduct and peaceable 
disposition in laying down our arms and showing our submission to the Justices 
on August 5; that they' (Armstrong and Boyd), however, wished for an ocular 
demonstration of our submission, that they might make a favorable report to 
Government, and had pledged their honor that not any advantage should be 
taken of our assembling; that they should require us to lay down our arms; 
that some of our leading characters who had warrants against them would be 
required to give bail for their appearance at Court — in which case they should 
not have any difficulty with respect to securing bail ; that our arms would posi- 
tively be restored to us within ten days; that we should be reinstated in our 
possessions according to law," &c. 

Captain Spalding and Giles Slocum having reported to John Franklin 
the result of their interview with Justices Mead and Martin, Franklin and the 
other Yankee leaders held a conference, and it was decided that the Yankees 
should assemble with their arms at Wilkes-Barre in the morning of August 10th. 
"I gave notice to Armstrong and Boyd", writes Colonel Franklin, "that we 
should meet at a certain place named at ten o'clock the same da}', to comply 
with their requisition, but I wished an interview with them previous to laying 
down our arms. This was granted, and I waited on them at the Garrison and 
requested to know the reason for their requisition. They gave the same in- 
formation that Mead and Martin had given — that no advantage would be taken 
of our resigning our arms, &c., that there were warrants against four of our 
leading characters, who would be required to give bail for their appearance at 
Court; that the others would be set at liberty, our arms would be restored to 
us within ten days, and that the Justices of the County would proceed to execute 
the laws for forcible entry and detainer, and restore us to our possessions." 
At this interview, Franklin delivered to Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd 
a list of the Yankees in Wyoming who had borne arms during "the late outrages." 
This list is printed in "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 638, and with 
some corrections in spelling, and a change to an alphabetical arrangement, 
it reads as follows: 

Abbott, Joel Cook, Nathaniel Hopkins, Robert 

Alden. Mason, Fitch Cook, Reuben Hurlbut, John 

Alden, Prince, Jr. Corey, Joseph Hebard. William 

Baldwin, Waterman Cole, Leonard Halstead. Richard 

Butler, Lord Cary, Nathan Hyde, William 

Budd, Frederick Cary. Samuel Inman, Edward 

Blanchard, Benjamin Comstock, Peleg Inman, John 

Blanchard, Laban Drake, Elisha Inman, Richard 

Bennett, Ishmael Franklin, John Johnson, Ebenezer 

Bennett, Elisha Fuller, John Jenkins, John, Jr. 

Burnham. Asahel Gore, Avery Jacques, William 

Bennett, Ishmael, Jr. Gore, John Jenkins, William 

Brown, Cornelius Gaylord, Justus Jackson, William 

Brown, James Harding. Elisha Jones, William 

Burwell, Jonathan Heath, Thomas, Jr. Jenkins, Benjamin 

Church, Gideon Harris, Elisha McClure, William 



1418 

Minard, George Roberts, Sale Stoddard, Thomas 

Nesbitt, Abram Rosecrance, Sullivan, Daniel 

Neill, Thomas Read, Thomas Stiles. Joseph 

O'Neal, John Ryon, John Sill, Moses 

Peirce, Phineas Swift, John Tyler, Joseph 

Peirce, Daniel Slocum, Giles Underwood, Timothy 

Phelps, Joel Slocum, William Wade, Nathan 

Phelps, Noah Satterlee, Elisha Westbrook, Abraham 

Pell, Josiah Stephens, Phineas White, Jeremiah 

Pike, Abraham Smith, Benjamin Walker, Nathaniel 

Platner, John Smith, William, Jr. (Total S^) 

Ross, William Spencer, Walter ' " 

Again taking up Colonel Franklin's narrative of the occurrences of August 
10th, we have the following: "I returned from my interview with Messrs. Arm- 
strong and Boyd and informed our party as to what had taken place. They 
were fully satisfied. We met at the hour and place appointed. Armstrong and 
Boyd, accompanied by about 400 militia, appeared a short distance from us. 
We marched into an open field* and grounded our arms, then marched from 
them a small distance, paraded in form, and halted. The militia surrounded us, 
and Colonel Armstrong ordered them to advance and take up our arms. Then 
Colonel Armstrong addressed himself to us in a sovereign manner, to the effect 
that we must consider ourselves his prisoners. Upon viewing the militia I 
found that the party [of Pennamites] from the Garrison, who had driven oif 
our families, and who we expected were prisoners, were paraded under arms to 
guard us. We were soon after marched to the vicinity of the Garrison, to the 
tune of 'Yankee Doodle', played by the drummers and filers of the militia." 

Colonel Armstrong, on horseback, took up his position "in imposing state," 
facing the Yankee prisoners, and then ordered his Adjutant to. call oS the names 
composing the list of those who had borne arms during "the late outrages;" 
which list, as previously mentioned, had been delivered to Colonel Armstrong 
by Colonel Franklin. When the Adjutant called the name of a man who was 
known to Armstrong as having been a member of the Locust Hill party, Arm- 
strong nodded his head towards Giles Slocum's housef, whither the man was 
immediately sent under guard; and when the name was called of one who had 
not been at the Hill — so far as known to the Pennamites — Armstrong nodded 
towards Col. Zebulon Butler's housej, whither the man was sent — and so on, 
imtil all the names had been called and the men who responded had been duly 
divided off. 

Colonel Franklin had not designated the men of the Locust Hill party on 
his list, and their names were not all known to the Pennamites. Moreover, sev- 
eral of the party who were known to the Pennamites as having been at the Hill, 
did not put in an appearance at Wilkes-Barre on August 10th — their names 
being as follows: John Swift, Ishmael Bennett, Jr., FHsha Satterlee, Phineas 
Stephens, Moses Sill and George Minard (who was still disabled by the 
wound which he had received). In consequence, it came about that only thirty 
of the "Hill" party were consigned to the Slocum house, their names being: 
Joel Abbott, Prince Alden, Jr., Waterman Baldwin, Lord Butler, Jonathan 
Burwell, Gideon Church, Nathaniel Cook, Joseph Corey, John Gor< , Justus 
Gaylord, Elisha Harding, Thomas Heath, Jr., Elisha Harris, John Hurlbut, 
Richard Hallstead, Edward Inman, William Jenkins, Benjamin Jenkins, William 

*The place was a large level field lying between Old River Road and Careytown Road (now Carey Avenue) in 
the present Twelfth Ward of the city of Wilkes-Barre. This locality was chosen — undoubtedly by the YanJjeeS — 
because it was somewhat remote from Fort Dickinson. 

tOn River Street, just above South Street. A few years later it was the home of William Slocum. 

t.^t the comer of River and Northampton Streets. 



1419 

Jackson, Abram Nesbitt, Abraham Pike, John Plainer, William Ross, Thomas 
Read, William Slocum, Walter Spencer, Thomas vStoddard, Daniel Sullivan, 
Jeremiah White and Nathaniel Walker. 

So far as the present writer knows, the names of only a few of the forty- six 
men who were consigned to the Butler house have been preserved. They are: 
John Franklin, Giles Slocum, Phineas Peirce, John Jenkins, Jr., Ebenezer Johnson, 
John Inman, Richard Inman, Nathan Can,', Samuel CarA^ Josiah Pell and Robert 
Hopkins. 

Colonel Franklin, writing about the imprisonment of the Yankees on this 
occasion, stated: "Thirty, who had been in the action at Locust Hill, were 
confined in a house owned by Mr. Slocum; while myself and some forty others 
were confined in the house of Colonel Butler — both of which had been occupied 
as part of the Garrison. We were all robbed of our knives, while the Locust 
Hill party — so called — were immediately put in irons. The house of Colonel 
Butler, in which more than forty were confined, was full of human excrement 
and all manner of filth, having been occupied by a large number of Patterson's 
party as a block-house during the siege.* 

"Yet however numerous, we were compelled to lie down in the filth, with 
sentinels set over us, and suffered to rise during the night only under penalty 
of death. The doors and windows were made fast, and there was no avenue 
for fresh air. We were kept without food for twenty-four hours, our friends 
not being suffered to bring us either food, drink or clothing. In a word, during 
the confinement of the prisoners at Wyoming they were treated in the most 
cruel and barbarous manner. They suffered with hunger and were suffocated 
in a nauseous prison for the want of fresh air, and were insulted by a banditti 
of ruflSans. The prisoners [in the Butler house] were not even suffered 
to go out of their house for the term of nine days to perform the most necessary 
calls of Nature. 

"The first night of our confinement small parties of militia were sent through 
the settlement, who made prisoners of all the Connecticut party they could 
find, whether they had been under arms or not. Armstrong and Boyd had also 
pledged their honors that those who were our enemies should not be set to guard 
us; but their honor proved a cheat in that case, for our enemies were set over 
us with our own rifles, to guard and insult us. The second day (August II th) 
of our confinement, near night, we were furnished with a scant half meal of 
bread and beef. The next day following, John Franklin, Ebenezer Johnsonf, 
Phineas Peirce and Giles Slocum were admitted to bail (entering security for 
their appearance at the next term of Court at Sunbury), and were released from 
confinement. They (Armstrong and the others in authority) refused to take 
bail for any of the other prisoners." 

It may be stated, on the testimony of FUsha Harding and others of the 
Locust Hill party, that the men who were confined in the Slocum house were 
treated with the same degree of severity as the men in the Butler house, with 
the exception that their imprisonment lasted for a shorter time. 

During the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th days of August, Justices John Seely 
and Henry Shoemaker were kept busy at Wilkes-Barre taking the depositions, 
under oath, of twenty-five or more Pennamites, relative to certain alleged seditious 

♦From about the middle of May until late in November, or early in December, 1 784, Colonel Butler was absent 
from Wyoming Valley — for the greater part of the time being with his wife at her former home in New York State. 
t-Vo/ Jehoiada Pitt Johnson, as stated by Miner in his "Historj' of Wyoming", page 356. 



1420 

language and acts of a number of Wyoming Yankees. These depositions are 
printed in full in Vol. X of "Pennsylvania Archives", Second Series, and the 
following extrabts from some of them will give the reader a good view — at least 
from the standpoint of the Pennamites — of some of the goings on here at that 
period. 

James Landon, aged thirty-four years, deposed as follows: 

"That John Franklin and John Jenkins several times lately, with Joel Phelps, had ordered 
this deponent to move out of the house he lived in since last Spring in Shawanese Township, 
for that they would suffer no one to live in this country who would not join them. That 
Elijah Phelps and one [Frederick] Budd, about three weeks ago (July 20, 1784], came to 
deponents house and took away his rifle gun (threatening that if he did not let them have it 
they would taken ten times the value of it), and also his powder-horn and about one-half pound 
of powder and ten or twelve bullets; and they said they intended to disarm the Pennamites. 
"That about an hour afterwards deponent went to John Franklin and told him about his 
gun being taken from him. With Franklin there was one Richard Inman, who .said to deponent: 
'If you will join us you shall have your gun.' That Franklin told him (the deponent) he should 
not have his gun — neither did he ever get it again — and said he must either go and join those at 
the Fort [Dickinson], or get out into the country, and added: 'By the eternal God! if we have to 
storm the Garrison we will sacrifice every man we find therein that has taken up arms against 
us.' * * * That whilst the Fort was being besieged deponent heard Caleb Forsythe say that 
if the Pennsylvanians were so stubborn, and would not deliver up the Fort, they would be put 
to the sword, and he did not know whether they would spare women and children. And deponent 
heard Waterman Baldwin say that if they could not hold the lands at Wyoming by law, they 
would by force of arms." 

John King, of Kingston Township, deposed as follows: 

"That on August 6, 1784, William Jacques came to the house of deponent with John Swift, 
William Slocum and Elisha Satterlee, and gave him notice that he should move out of his house 
and begone off the premises and leave the place in two days, or that they would burn the house 
down, or words to that effect; and then they gave a great shout and rode off. That on this Uth 
day of August, deponent, with Abraham Goodwin [his son-in-law], was riding along the road 
coming to Wyoming, when a man, whose name deponent has since been informed is Timothy 
Underwood, was standing by a house where one Woodworth lives. He was armed, having a 
rifle with him belonging to Abraham Goodwin, Upon Goodwin calling to Underwood to bring 
to him the rifle — which Goodwin said was his — Underwood made no answer, but put the rifle 
to his shoulder and presented [aimed] it at Goodwin and this deponent; whereupon they put 
themselves on the defence, and Underwood perceiving it, went behind the house and ran off." 

Henry Birney, aged forty-four years, deposed as follows: 

"About the beginning of July [1784] deponent, living in Shawanese Township in said county, 
saw John Swift, Elisha Satterlee, William Jacques, and a number of other persons, and at different 
other times, pass along the road near where this deponent lives, with arms in their hands, .to and 
fro to what they called headquarters, about a mile distant from his house. That this deponent 
had frequent conversation with Swift and Satterlee and one Joel Phelps, who had ordered him 
often to go out of his house, and threatened that if he did not go away and move into the Fort 
they would abuse him by beating him, &c. — insomuch that he was afraid of his life. 

"That Daniel Peirce and others frequently told deponent that they intended to storm the 
Fort where the Pennsylvanians were, if they did not deliver it up in a few days; and that the Penn- 
sylvanians in the Fort must abide by the consequences if they were stormed therein. That 
Daniel Peirce, Elisha Satterlee and others swore that they were determined to clear the ground 
at Wyoming [Wilkes-Barre]. and the other settlements in the vicinity, of the Pennsylvanians, 
for they would not suffer any of them to remain thereon." 

Isaac Taylor, deposed as follows: 

"That on August S, 1784, he heard Phineas Stephens say that if the Connecticut claimants 
could not now obtain their lands they would lie in ambush and fight as long as they lived. I 
likewise heard one Abraham Pike swear by his Maker (on hearing of Ezekiel Schoonover coming 
into Shawnee) that he would shoot said Schoonover. I told Mr. Schoonover of said Pike's design, 
and he kept out of his way. This was done by Pike this day — August 10." 

Mary Long deposed: 

"That on August 4, 1784, Benjamin Harvey said I should move out of my house. If I 
did not, the Yankees would set it on fire. I likewise heard a number of the Connecticut people 
say that if the lands at Wyoming were not given back to them, they would fight as long as there 
were three of them living." 

John Kraun, deposed as follows : 

"On Saturday, August 7, he heard Leonard Cole say they had sought for law these nine 
months, but could find none, and were now determined to find law ; also, that it was against the 
orders of Government to keep a fortification, and, if it [Fort Dickinson] was not demolished, 



1421 

they would demolish it and would likewise take Alexander Patterson, for he deserved to be torn 
to pieces by horses. On Monday following deponent heard Nathaniel and Reuben Cook say they 
had killed but few, and would give them another Indian blast." 

Thomas Brink, deposed as follows: 

"That about July 30, 1784, he was at the house of Lucy Harvey, at the lower end of Shaw- 
anese Flats, in company with Jonathan Marsh, where also was one Benjamin Harvey; and said 
Harvey, speaking of the laws of Connecticut Government and the laws of Pennsylvania, and 
comparing them with one another, got up in a rage and damned the laws of Pennsylvania and them 
that made them. That four or five days ago (August 7 or 8) a certain Reuben Cook, in this 
deponents house at Shawanese, told him that the houses standing near the hill on the Shawanese 
Flats must be pulled down, for they should not stand there — and in particular, James Benscoter's 
house, for neither he nor his family should stay there. 

"That some time last week (August 6 or 7] the High Sheriff of said County, Henry Antes, 
Esq., having three other persons in company with him, passing by this deponent's house stopped 
there to feed his horse. Deponent, desirous to know how matters were like to go on, asked 
a few questions of Sheriff Antes, who informed deponent that he had ordered the New England 
people to take their arms and go to their possessions, and take care of their grain and grass, for 
that people were not to stand still and be killed; that there was to be no more turning out of 
houses by either party, but matters wer- to be decided by Law. The Sheriff said that the people 
here (and the deponent apprehended that by 'the people' he meant those in the Fortj had a 
wrong apprehension of the militia that were coming up to their assistance, for that they (the 
militia) were coming up to put the Law in force; that two Justices had been left at Wyoming, 
and another would be sent immediately, and that would make a Quorum." 

Jonathan Marsh, deposed as follows : 

"That about August 7, at the house of Thomas Brink, in Shawanese Township, he heard 
Henry Antes say that he had ordered the Yankees to come home and take their respective pos- 
sessions as heretofore, and ordering them to go to harvesting the grain and cutting the hay; and 
further, he said he had ordered the Yankees to take their arms, for men were not to stand still 
and be killed. That a short time after the scrummage of Locust Hill, in Northampton County, 
deponent heard Thomas Heath, Jr., and Ishmael Bennet, Jr., boasting and laughing, and said 
that they were there themselves; that they came on the Pennsylvauians in three parties, and 
approached very nigh them before the Pennamites saw them, and fired on them and left eight 
of the Pennsylvanians on the ground to keep possession." 

At Philadelphia, under the date of August 10, 1784, President Dickinson 
wrote to Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd, at Wilkes-Barre, as follows*: 

"We have received your Letter by Captain Schott, and are in Hopes that, when the In- 
surgents are convinced of the determined Resolution of the Government to insist upon a due 
submission to the authority of the people of Pennsylvania, they will desist from further violences. 

"As soon as they are in that Disposition, you will please to have the proper legal steps 
taken, that those who have disturbed the Peace (of whatever party they are) may be rendered 
answerable for their Conduct. It shall be our Endeavour, as it is our Duty, to impress this 
Principle, that it is extreme folly for men to expect, they shall promote their real Interests by a 
Contempt for the Laws of their Country. 

"The Fortifications at Wyoming we would have leveled and 'otally destroyed, & the Cannon 
and arms removed to Sunbury, & there safely deposited." 

This letter was brought to Wilkes-Barre bj^ an express, who reached here 
on Saturday, August 14, 1784. On that day, at Wilkes-Barre, Robert ^Martin, 
Esq., one of the Northumberland County Justices of the Peace, hereinbefore 
mentioned, wrote the following letterf to Gen. James Potter and Col. William 
Montgomery, the two Northumberland County members of the Pennsylvania 
Council of CensorsJ. Justice Martin forwarded the letter to Messrs. Potter 
and Montgomery, then at Philadelphia, by the hands of Ebenezer Johnson. 
"I beg leave to give you a detail of matters at this place. I must confess I am much dis- 
appointed as to the conduct of the Commissioners, to wit: Captain Boyd and Colonel Armstrong. 
Esquire Mead and myself repaired to this place in obedience to our instructions from the CouncU. 
* * ■* At our arrival we found that both the Pennsylvania and Connecticut parties had actual- 
ly proceeded to hostilities, which we are well assured began a few mUes from the Garrison on 
Shawnee Plains about July 20 last. Which party first began the fire at that time we cannot with 
certainty say; but we view both parties guilty of hostilities. It can be proved that previous 
to this numbers of the Connecticut party had been fired upon by the other party, when they 
were about their lawful business. 

"Soon after we came to this placfe we called on the Cormecticut party, in the name of the 
Commonwealth, to lay down their arms and submit themselves to the laws; which they accord- 

*See "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 307. 

tSee Miner's "History of Wyoming", page 357. 

JSee later mention for fuller references to this body. 



1422 

iiigly did, and at the same time declaring their willingness at all times to be law abiding. We 
accordingly made a demand of the like nature on Patterson and his party. Their answer was 
that they would comply, but said they would every one be murdered by the Connecticut party. 
We, in answer to them, said we did not apprehend the least danger from their opponents, as they 
had solemnly engaged to us they would not molest or hurt one of them on any pretense whatever. 
We further assured them that we would not ask them to deliver their arms to us before we put 
the arms of the Connecticut party on board the boat*, within sight of the Garrison — but all 
our arguments and proposals were to no purpose. 

"Then, as we were of the opinion that it would not be prudent to disarm one party and not 
the other, we returned to the Connecticut party and informed them that they were at liberty 
to take up their arms and disperse, and go to their habitations about their lawful business; which 
we believe they did. Our proposals to both parties were, that if they would submit to the laws 
and deliver up their arms to us, we would put as many of the leading men of both parties, as 
we should see proper, in custody of the Sheriff, to be taken to Sunbury. 

"Had these proposals been complied with by Patterson and his party, we should have had 
no use for the Commissioners or the militia — which plan we thought most likely to answer the 
objects of Government and quiet the minds of the people, and at the same time we would' be 
acting up to our instructions from Council. 

"We had solemnly engaged to the Connecticut party that, on their submission, they should 
have equal justice with the other party, and the benefit of the Law — which engagement we made 
known to the Commissioners on their arrival, who approved of our conduct, and assured us 
that they had been sent here to do complete justice, without distinction of parties. This gave 
us the highest expectations that matters would soon be settled in such a manner as would do 
honour to Government; but to our astonishment, no sooner had the Connecticut party yielded 
themselves prisoners and laid down their arms to the Commissioners, than they were marched 
under a strong guard, and crowded into two small houses, unfit for the reception of any human 
being. At the same time, to the great mortification of those prisoners, and contrary, as they say, 
to the promise of the Commissioners, they were insulted by the other party, with their arms in 
their hands — which we think by no means accords with the declaration of the Commissioners, 
that they were sent here to do complete justice. 

"It appears very clear to us that the proceedings now at this place are carried on in so unfair, 
partial and unlawful a manner, that we despair of establishing peace and good order in this part 
of the country; therefore, for my own part, I think it not prudent to act for the future in my office 
unless properly supported, as we are very sure nothing short of law, impartially distributed 
without distinction, will restore peace and quiet the minds of the people in this place. 

"Sorry we are, and with reluctance we mention the partial proceedings here by the officers 
of Government; but at the same time we think it our indispensable duty to bear testimony against 
them. We are much alarmed at the horrid abuse of power lodged in the hands of designing and 
biased men. We fear eventually it may bring on an intestine war between the States — to pre- 
vent which we hope the authority of Pennsylvania will execute justice to every citizen thereof. 
The Connecticut party have generally declared themselves as such by taking the oath of allegiance 
to this State, as directed by law. 

"God forbid that I should have any desire or inclination to favor the Connecticut party or their 
claims! I can honestly declare that I should be as well pleased to see them legally removed 
from this place as any man in the State, as my interest here is under the Pennsylvania right. It 
must appear, to every one acquainted with this circumstance, that it is much to my interest to 
have them dispossessed. 

"I again say, that I have nothing in view respecting the unhappy disputes here but to do 
equal justice to every person, as I hope my conduct will at all times stand the test, and I be 
esteemed a faithful servant to the Government. Gentlemen, you may make what use you please 
of this letter, either public or private." 

On the same day that the foregoing letter was written, preparations were 
completed at Wilkes-Barre to march the thirty Locust Hill men to the jail of 
Northampton County, at Easton, distant sixty-five miles, via the Sullivan Road. 
The prisoners, still handcuffed, were formed in column of twos, and between 
each two were placed the same number of militia men. All were bound together 
by a long rope running from the head to the rear of the column, and they were 
flanked on both sides by a strong guard of armed militia, with bayonets fixed. 

When they were ready to take up the line of march, Colonel Armstrong 
gave orders to the guards that, if any one prisoner should attempt to make his 
escape, the whole body of prisoners should be put to death immediately, and the 
Government would "indemnify" the guards for such procedure. Notwith- 
standing these orders, and all the precautions taken by the guards, three of 
the captives escaped while en route to Easton, and were not recaptured — Joel 

*To be taken down the river to Sunbury. 




Thu Start of the Yankee Prisoners to Easton, (17S-)) 



1423 

Abbott and Waterman Baldwin, by superior activity, escaping at .Sebitz's, 
or Learn's, and William Ross taking French leave at Heller's. 

The remaining twenty-seven unfortunates were safely conducted to their 
destination and lodged in jail, where they were confined together in two small 
rooms. The Easton jail of that period was a two-story stone structure, which 
had been erected about 1753, and stood on the east side of South Third vStreet, 
near the present Pine Street. The daily rations of the Yankee prisoners were 
limited to one pound of bread per man, and a modicum of water; "but", wrote 
(in 1838) EHsha Harding, who was one of the prisoners, "I must record the 
generosity of a Jew, Michael Hart by name, who, by Jewish custom, was taught 
to feed the poor. Every Friday he sent two young women to the jail with two 
wooden vessels filled with fresh beef soup and with beef and bread — a very 
comfortable meal. He has been long dead, but his memory will live with me 
while I have life." 

On August 19th, the forty-two Yankees who had been confined in the house 
of Colonel Butler for nine Gays were taken out, bound together with ropes, in 
a team, and marched off down the river to Sunbury jail, under a strong guard 
of militia, commanded by Col. Nicholas Kern, of Northampton County. Lieut. 
John Armstrong (see page 1347) was one of the subordinate officers of this 
military escort. 

Colonel Franklin states that vSheriff Antes proposed at Wyoming to take 
charge of all the prisoners who were to be sent to Sunbury, and be accountable 
for them, but was not permitted to do so. 

At Sunbury, under the date of Sunday, August 22, 1784, Colonel Kern 
wrote to Colonel Armstrong, at Wilkes-Barre, as follows*: 

"I have to inform you of my arrival at this place with the prisoners under my command. 
Yesterday morning Josiah Pell and another made their escape; the remainder I delivered to 
Sheriff Antes, called the roll, and saw them put in prison. The Sheriff said the prisoners were 
now under his care. A few minutes after I saw many of the prisoners at liberty, and this morning 
when I went to the gaol I found eleven of the number I delivered absent. Inclosed you have 
their names. You have much to fear from those men, as I presume they are gone to Wyoming. 
I march to-morrow for Northampton." 

At Sunbury, on August 23, 1784, Capt. William Wilson, Lieutenant of 
Northumberland County, wrote to Colonel Armstrong, as follows: 

"The prisoners arrived here yesterday, and after they were delivered into the Sheriff's 
custody he gave them permission to go at large, which alarmed the inhabitants exceedingly. 
One of the magistrates last evening ordered them to be closely confined, and ten of them are 
missing this morning. There are a number of the prisoners now at the Sheriff's house, and I 
have the greatest reason to imagine that he has paroled some of them. In consequence of an 
application from the most respectable people here, I have ordered a Sergeant's guard to be mount- 
ed at the gaol. This step I hope will meet with your approbation, as the present condition of the 
gaol is such that it renders a measure of that nature indispensably necessary." 

Immediately upon receipt of the two foregoing letters. Colonel Armstrong 
despatched them to President Dickinson, accompanied by a letter reading as 
f ollowst : 

"The enclosed letters contain some intelligence very closely connected with the peace 
and happiness of this unfortunate country; and which, if I may hazard an opinion, will deserve 
the immediate attention of Government. I have, therefore, despatched them to your Excellency 
by express. 

"The whole of the militia has been dismissed some days since, and your Excellency's 
orders concerning the zi'orks, arnjs &c., executed. These events, you will readily conceive, have 
left the Pennsylvania claimants in a very disagreeable situation; which, joined to the conduct, 
will induce, I'm afraid, to a very general desertion of the countrj-, or, what is perhaps more to be 
dreaded, an immediate appeal to arms. I would only further observe to your Excellency that 
*S€e "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 654. 
tSee "Pennsylvania Archives", Old Series, X: 653. 



1424 

the hands which have been already loosed by the vSheriff are among the most dangerous of the 
whole number; and that I have every reason to believe they will be joined to those of [John] 
Swift and [Joel] Abbott before this letter can reach Philadelphia. 

"Enclosed is a list of those persons who have attached themselves to the fortunes of those 
two desperate villains [Swift and Abbott], and are now collected at Bowman's Creek." 

With respect to two of the matters treated of in the foregoing letter, we would 
say: (1) Although President Dickinson, in pursuance of a vote of the Supreme 
Executive Council, had ordered that Fort Dickinson and the block-houses ad- 
joining it should be "leveled and totally destroyed", yet Commissioners Arm- 
strong and Boyd had not strictly carried out those orders, but had ef- 
fected the demolition only of the block-houses and a small part of the fort. 
(2) About the time of the arrival of Commissioners Armstrong and Boyd, at 
Wilkes-Barre, John Swift, Ishmael Bennett, Jr., IJlisha Satterlee, Phineas Steph- 
ens, Moses Sill, George IMinard, William McClure and one or two others, who had 
been members of the Locust Hill party, retired up the Susquehanna to the 
neighborhood of Bowman's Creek, twenty-six miles from Wilkes-Barre. There 
they were joined, later, by Joel Abbott, Waterman Baldwin and William Ross, 
upon their escape from the custody of the Northampton militia while en route 
to Easton. Some days later other Yankees, who had been active in the hostil- 
ities against the Pennamites, attached themselves to the Bowman's Creek partv. 

Captain Boyd was temporarily in Philadelphia when Colonel Armstrong 
wrote the last-mentioned letter to President Dickinson, and on August 27th the 
latter, before he had received the letter in question, wrote to Colonel Armstrong 
that it was the sense of the Council that, until further measures could be pursued, 
"the wheat lately reaped on the disputed lands should be secured for the use 
of the persons who sowed the same"; and Colonel Armstrong was directed to 
"immediately give strict directions for this purpose." 

Three days later, having received Colonel Armstrong's letter and enclosures. 
President Dickinson wrote to him, as follows: 

"We have received your Letter of the 24th Instant with the inclosures, & have this Day 
put them into the Hands of a Committee of the General Assembly. 

"That Committee is appointed for the purpose of bringing in a Bill to prevent any In- 
terruption by suit of Certiorari, or other writ, to legal proceedings for restoring forthwith to the 
persons who w-ere violently dispossessed in May last the Lands & Tenements which they then 
occupied. 

"This Measure is adopted in Conformity to the sentiments of the Board & the Chief Justice, 
as well as of the Legislative Branch of government, and the Insurgents may be convinced, by 
considering the circumstances existing at the Time when it was adopted, that nothing but a 
Regard for Equity has prompted it. If they repeat their violences, they will at length render 
themselves answerable to public Justice for so many oiTences, that they must expect a very different 
Treatment, which it is in the Power of this Commonwealth to inflict at the Instant when it is 
in her Inclination. 

"We therefore desire that you will order the men who are collected at Bowman's Creek 
immediately to disperse; & to inform them and others what will be the Consequences to them- 
selves if they continue to disturb the Peace of the State. 

"Captain Boyd proposes to set off for Wyoming in a Day or two, who will bring more particu- 
lar Intelligence." 

On the same day (August 30, 1784) that this letter was written, the Yankee 
prisoners in the jail at Sunbury were released under bail, and they returned 
to Wyoming Valley as expeditiously as possible. Colonel Franklin states that 
several of them upon arriving here "were fired upon by the Pennsylvania party, 
and were obliged to fly from Wyoming" — undoubtedly to Bowman's Creek. 

At Philadelphia, September 7, 1784, the Pennsylvania Assembly considered 
"the subject of reinsta^ting those tenants in Northumberland County who" 
had been forcibly dispossessed of their lands; whereupon it was resolved that 
"the President and the Supreme Executive Council be requested to appoint 



1425 




Commissioners to obtain the most exact Jcnowledge they can get of the names 
of the widows and children of such persons as were lately settled at or near 
Wyoming, and who have fallen fighting against the savages; and also of all 
such others as did actually reside on the lands at or nea'r Wyoming when the 
Trenton Decree was given." * * * 

On September 9th the Supreme Executive Council "took into consideration 
the resolutions of the General Assembly, 
authorizing them to appoint Commis- 
sioners to proceed to Wyoming for the 
purpose of obtaining the most exact 
knowledge possible of the claims of the 
people," and resolved that the Hon. 
John Boyd, Lieut. Col. John Armstrong, 
Jr.,* Lieut. Col. James Read, and John 
Okely, Esq., be appointed Commis- 
sioners for carrying into execution the 
said resolutions — any two of the Com- 
missioners being empowered to act in the 
premises. On September 10th President 
Dickinson wrote to these gentlemen as 

follows : 

"You will perceive by the resolutions of the 
General Assembly of the 7th instant, and our .\ct 
of yesterday, inclosed, that you are appointed 
Commissioners for executing a Trust of Great Im- 
portance. Relying on your Integrity, Prudence 
& Zeal for the public interest, we shall only say 
that we wish the business may be soon completed. 
It may be of considerable use if you could obtain 
a list of the names of those persons not claiming 
under Pennsylvania who have settled at or near Wyoming since the Decree made at Trenton." * * * 

*JoHN Armstrong, Jr., was bom at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. November 25, 1758, the youngest son of John .Arm- 
strong, Sr. The latter was born in Ireland in 1725, and, coming to this country prior to 1748, settled in that part of 
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which in January, 1750, became Cumberland County. His name first appears in 
the annals of Cumberland County as that of a surveyor under the Proprietary Government. As noted on page 259 
Vol. I, he was not only a surveyor, but a member of the Provincial .Assembly, in 1 754. He was also, about that period, 
a Justice of the Peace and an IJlder in the first Presbyterian Church organized in Carlisle. The town of Carlisle, the 
county-seat of Cumberland County, having been laid out in 1751, was, together with its adjacent lands, resurveyed in 
1 762 by John .Armstrong. 

As early as the Spring of 1756 John Armstrong, Sr., held a Commission as Lieut. Colonel of the First Battalion 
of the Pennsylvania Regiment, and in August, 1756, he was selected to command an expedition against the Indian 
town of Kittanning, in what is now Armstrong County, Pennsylvania — which county was erected in March, 1800, 
and named for John .Armstrong, Sr. Kittanning was the headquarters of "King" Shingas and "Captain Jacobs" of 
the western Delawares, and the Indians who resorted there were chiefly Delawares and Shawanese who were friendly 
to the French. (See note "J" on page ."526, Vol. I.) 

Armstrong's expedition marched from Fort Shirley, in what is now Huntington County, .August 30, 1756, and 
consisted of 307 men. .Among the Captains in command of companies was Hugh Mercer, mentioned in the note on 
page 361, Vol. I. Early in the action at Kittanning Mercer was wounded in the arm, but was carried off by some of 
his men to a point of safety: while later in the day Colonel .Armstrong was wounded in his shoulder "by a large 
mu3ket-ball." The Indians were defeated, and those who were not killed were dispersed, while their town was 
destroyed. Colonel .Armstrong's official report concerning this expedition is printed in full in "Frontier Forts of 
Pennsylvania", II: 453, and is complete and interesting. 

On account of this victory, the Common Council of Philadelphia, on January 5. 1757. addressed a complimentary 
letter to Colonel Armstrong, thanking him and his officers for their gallant conduct, and in addition presented him 
with a piece of plate. .A silver medal was also struck by order of the Council, bearing on the obverse, in addition to 
an appropriate sculptured design, the legend: "Kittanning destroyed by Colonel Armstrong, September 8, 1756." 
On the reverse of the medal the arms of the corporation were shown, with this inscription; "The gift of tile corporation 
of Philadelphia." These medals were presented to Armstrong and all the commissioned officers of his expedition. 
A small sum of money was also presented to each officer. In June, 1779, a stockaded fort was erected at Kittanning 
by order of the Continental authorities, and was named Fort .Armstrong in honor of Colonel (then Brig. General) 
Armstrong. 

Lieut. Colonel Armstrong was promoted and commissioned "Colonel commanding" the "First Battalion of the 
Pennsylvania Regiment", December 2, 1757, and the same day Capt. Hugh Mercer was promoted Lieut. Colonel of 
the battalion. As to some of the military activities of Colonel Armstrong in 1 763, see pages 426 and 427, Vol. I. He 
appears to have been always ready, in those perilous times on the frontiers of Pennsylvania, to go on the war-path 
against the inimical Indians. That he had no particular love for them is shown by a letter to Governor Penn of Penn- 
sylvania, which he wrote at Carlisle in February, 1768. It was undoubtedly called forth by the .Act of Assembly men- 
tioned on page 447, Vol I, and it read in part as follows: "They [the inhabitants! tell us that the Government always 
manifest a greater concern at the killing or death of an Indian than at the deatli or killing of any of them [the in- 
habitants]; tJjat the Indians first break the peace, and have, since the last establishment thereof, kUled a considerable 



Brig. Gen. John Armstrong, Jr. 

From a portrait in oils in the War Department, 
Washington, D. C. 



1426 

number of Pennsylvanians at different times and places, and that no lamentation has been made, nor exertion of the 
power of Government to bring those savage butchers td account." 

Colonel Armstrong was, at the breaking out of the Revolutionary War, a member of the Committee of Corres- 
pondence of Cumberland County. He was commissioned a Brigadier General by the Continental Congress. March 
1, 1776, being the first officer of that rank to be commissioned by the Congress. It having been resolved by Congress 
in the Summer of 1775 that a certain number of Brigadier Generals for the Continental army should be appointed and 
commissioned, Washington, at his headquarters in Cambridge. Massachusetts, wrote to the Congress on August 23, 
1775, relative to the appointment of these officers, as follows: "Col. John Armstrong of Pennsylvania * * * served 
during the last war in most of the campaigns to the southward, was honoured with the command of the Pennsylvania 
forces, and his general military conduct and spirit [were ] much approved by all who served with him; besides which 
his character was distinguished by an enterprise against the Indians which he planned with great judgment and ex- 
ecuted with equal courage and success. It was not till lately that I had reason to believe he would enter again on 
publick service." 

Colonel Armstrong was in Philadelphia when he was appointed and comm ssioned Brigadier General, and having 
accepted the appointment and received his commission on March 2nd he was directed by the President of Congress 
to repair immediately to South Carolina to take command of the Continental troops there. In August, 1776, General 
.\rrastrong was at Charleston, South Carolina. He resigned his commission April 4, 1777, and the next day was ap- 
pointed a Brig- General of the Pennsylvania militia. In the following October he commanded the Pennsylvania militia 
engaged in the battle of the Brandyvvine. He also commanded them at the battle of Germantown. At this time 
he also heM the office of Lieutenant of Cumberland County. January 9, 1778, he was promoted Major General of 
the Pennsylvania mihtia, and served in that rank till the close of the war. He was a Delegate from Pennsylvania 
in the Continental Congress in the years 1778-'80. He died at Carlisle, March 9, 1795. 

John Armstrong, Jr.. in the Summer of 1775. being then in the seventeenth year of his life and a student at the 
College of New Jersey (Princeton), enlisted in the regiment of Pennsylvania militia commanded by Col. James Potter 
of Northumberland County. Later in the same year he served as a volunteer in the Canada Expedition and at Quebec. 
The next year — in June or July — he became an aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer (see page 361. Vol. 1), with 
the rank of Major, and served as such until Mercer's death, January 3, 1777. He was then — ^about March, 1777 — 
made an aide-de-camp on the staff of Gen. Horatio Gates, and was with him until the close of the campaign against 
Burgoyne (which ended at Saratoga. October 17, 1777), and during the ensuing Winter and the next Spring. 

When in the Summer of 1780, General Gates was appointed by Congress to the command of the Southern army. 
Armstrong accompanied him as his Adjutant General and served in that capacity until, by reason of the ignominious 
defeat of Gates by Comwallis near Camden, South Carolina. August 15, 1780, Gen. Nathaniel Greene was appointed 
to supersede Gates. Armstrong then became Greene's Adjutant General, with the rank of Major. Gates lost his 
laiu-els by his defeat, and was compelled to undergo a trial by court-martial; but, having been acquitted in 1782 of the 
charges upon which he had been tried, he was given a command suitable to his rank, and Armstrong again became a 
member of his staff, still with the rank of Major. 

Under the date of October 15. 1782. Major Armstrong, being then in Philadelphia, applied to the Supreme Execu- 
tive Council of Pennsylvania for the office of Secretary of the Council, In his application (see "Pennsylvania Archives", 
Old Series, IX: 650) appeared the following paragraph: "I am sufficiently aware that I stand unsupported by any 
claim which another applicant may not urge with equal propriety. My pretensions rest chiefly upon my attachment 
to the State and my reverence for the Government. To these I may add (and perhaps to some effect) a long, unre- 
warded service in the field — convinced that to a patriotic Council the claims of a soldier can neither be offensive nor 
indifferent." 

At that time the main body of the American army was encamped along the Hudson in the neighborhood of New- 
burgh, New York, at which place Washington maintained his headquarters until the army was disbanded in November, 
1783. Throughout the Winter of 1782-'83 the conditions in the country were full of danger. There was no assurance 
that the war would not be renewed, and it was necessary still to maintain the army. The patience of the soldiers had 
been marvelous; but now that peace was believed to be at hand they were growing weary of want and penury. The 
officers had been promised half-pay for life, by a resolution of Congress passed in 1780, but no move had been made 
to carry out the pledge. In fact, Congress had done nothing for the claims of the army, and it seemed highly probable 
that it would be disbanded without even a settlement of the accounts of the officers. 

Alarmed and irritated by the neglect of Congress; destitute of money and credit, and of the means of living from 
day to day, and oppressed with debts, the Continental officers presented a memorial to Congress, in December, 1782, 
in which they urged an immediate adjustment of their dues. The friends of the army in Congress did the best they 
could in the proposed adjustment of arrears of pay and the question of future pensions, "but party politics had too much 
weight even upon a question which should have been settled upon the single principle of common justice." While 
Congress was discussing the subject and lamenting its inability to do the proper thing, affairs at Newburgh put on a 
more threatening aspect than ever. The almost universal judgment of the officers was that Congress would disband 
the army, and what, in that event, would become of their hardeamed pay, so long overdue.. In their opinion it was 
clearly the policy of Congress to postpone all action in the matter till after the peace, and then turn the soldiers adrift 
to starve, or live as best they could on the charity of the country. 

At no time during the Revolution was the American cause in a more desperate situation than in the early part 
of 1783. "The camp at Newburgh was a powder-magazine, which needed only a torch, applied at the right place 
and the right moment, to produce a terrible explosion." The torch was lighted, but fortunately there was a strong 
hand ready to extinguish it on the instant. 

On March 10, 1783, an anonymous address was circulated among the officers at Newburgh, calling a meeting of 
the general and field officers and of one officer from each company and one from the medical staff, to consider the late 
letter from their representatives at Philadelphia, and to determine what measures, if any, should be adopted to obtain 
that redress of grievances which they seemed to have solicited in vain. It was written with very unusual skill and in 
language calculated to excite the anger and awaken still further the resentment of the officers of the army, who with 
much justice felt that they had sacrificed their comfort and were now treated with scorn and contumely. "Can you, 
then, consent to be the only sufferers by this Revolution", was the language of the address, "and, retiring from the 
field grow old in poverty, wretchedness and contempt. Can you consent to wade through the vile mire of dependency, 
and owe the miserable remnant of that life to charity, which has hitherto been spent in honour. * 

"If you can. go! and carry with you the jest of Tories and the scorn of Whigs; the ridicule and (what is worse) 
the pity of the world. Go. starve, and be forgotten! But if your spirit should revolt at this — if you have sense enough 
to discover, and spirit enough to oppose, tyrrany under whatever garb it may assume (whether it be the plain coat 
of republicanism or the splendid robe of royalty) — if you have not yet learned to discriminate between a people and 
a cause, between men and principles — awake! Attend to your situation, and redress yourselves! If the present moment 
be lost, every future effort is in vain; and your threats then will be as empty as your intreaties now. I would advise 
you, therefore, to come to some final opinion on what you can bear and what you will suffer. If your determination 
be in any proportion to your wTongs, carr>' your appeal from the justice to the fears of Government." 

This document was read by the officers with strong manifestations of approval. But Washington met the crisis 
with firmness, although with a spirit of conciliation, and on the day following dissemination of the address he issued 
a general order forbidding an assemblage of his officers at the call of the writer of an anonymous circular, and directing 
the representatives of the officers to assemble on March 15, to deliberate upon what further measures ought to be adopt- 
ed as most rational and best calculated to obtain the just and important object in view. On the day after this order 
was issued, a second anonymous address from the same writer appeared. In this paper he affected to consider Wash- 
ington's order as a sanction of the whole proceeding which he, the anonymous writer, had proposed. But, to learn 
the truth, the army had to wait only until Saturday the 15th. 

On that day the officers assembled in the "temple" at Newburgh. and General Gates was called upon to preside 
at the meeting, At the appointed hour Washington appeared. "The scene is one of the most dramatic in our his- 
tory", says A. C. McLaughlin in his "The Confederation and the Constitution". "As he [Washington] took his place 
at the desk he drew his written address from his coat pocket, and his spectacles, with his other hand, from his waist- 



1427 



coat pocket, and then addressed the officers in the following manner: 'Gentlemen 
spectacles, for I have not only grown gray, but almost blind, in the service of my 
the mode and manner of delivering it. drew tears from many of the officers." 

The paper which Washington then proceeded to read was a manly, eloquent, telling appeal to the patriotism, 
judgment and patient generosity of the officers. It was a stinging rebuke for the cowardly conspirators who were 
plotting to disgrace the army and ruin the country. 

"My God!" exclaimed Washington, "what can this writer have in view by recommending such measures? Can 
he be a friend to the army? Can he be a friend to this country? Rather, is he not an insidious foe — some emmissary. 
perhaps, from New York — plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discord and separation between the civil 
and military powers of the Continent? And what a compliment does he pay our understandings, when he recommends 
measures, in either alternative, impracticable in their nature? * * * Let me conjure you, in the name of our 
common country, as you value your own sacred honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard 
the military and national character of America, to express your utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishe;, 
under any specious pretences, to overturn the hberties of our country, and who wickedly attempts to open the flood- 
gates of civil discord and deluge our rising Empire in blood!" 

"Upon the conclusion of the address." says McLaughlin, "the whole assembly was in tears. Washington with- 
drew, and resolutions were then adopted expressing unshaken confidence in the justice of Congress and the country, 
declaring that the officers of the American array received %vith abhorrence and rejected with disdain the infamous 
proposals of the anonyynous circular, and respectfully requesting Washington to urge upon Congress the prompt atten- 
tion to their claims. And thus that body of officers, in a moment, damned with infamy two publications which, during 
the four preceding days, most of them had read with admiration and talked of with rapture." 

These two circulars were soon referred to and are still known as the "Newburgh Addresses." McMaster. in 
his "History of the People of the United States", says: "Who wrote the Newburgh Addresses was long as much in 
dispute as who wrote the Letters of Junius. Gordon, whose "History of the American Revolution", came out a few 
months later, says that they were known to be the work of Maj. John Armstrong, Jr. But Johnson, the author of 
a life of General Greene, many years later attributed them to the last man who would have written them— Gouvemeur 
Morris. This was too much for Armstrong, and. in a review of the book that pame out in the United Stales Magazine 
for January-, 1823. he labored hard to prove a claim to the authorship of the Addresses. He was successful. But he 
gained small credit. There is now no doubt that Armstrong wrote them, that Gates set him on, and that Barbar. 
the Assistant Adjutant General, copied and distributed them through the army." 

At Salem. Massachusetts, under the date of May 6, 1823 (see the "Pickering Papers", XV^ 303, mentioned on 
page 29, Vol. I. of this work), Col. Timothy Pickering, who was Quartermaster General of the American army in 1783. 
and was present in the "temple" at Newburgh on March 15, wrote to Gen. John Brooks, Governor of Massachusetts, 
as follows: "You will have seen that Judge Johnson, in his 'Life of General Greene." has ascribed the Xewbiu-gh an- 
onymous letters to Gouvemeur Morris as the author. His reasoning on the subject is absurd in the extreme. A review 
of his work has appeared in the United Stales Magazine (New York) for January last; of which review General Arm- 
strong is the reputed, and doubtless the real, author. The review pronounces that those letters were written by Arm- 
strong. I had never a doubt of it; nor do I suppose that a single officer in the army ever doubted it. About a month 
ago. in transferring some pamphlets and papers from a trunk to a closet. I met with the manuscript copy of the letters 
taken at the time by one of my clerks from the copies circulating among the officers. On the cover of my copies it is 
noted, in my own hand, tha*. the letters were 'written by John Armstrong, Jr." But the reviewer, at his 43d and 44th 
pages, gives a letter from General Washington, dated at Philadelphia. February 25. 1793, in which Washington states 
that, at the time of writing his address [of March 15. 1783], he "did not regard Armstrong as the author of the letters." 

The letter written by Washington to Armstrong, as stated above, contained, among other matters, the following 
(see the "Pickering Papers", XLI: 318) : "I do hereby declare that I did not. at the time of writing my address, regard 
you as the author of said letters. *