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Full text of "Otzinachson : or, a history of the West Branch Valley of the Susquehanna ; embracing a full account of its settlement--trials and privations endured by the first pioneers--full accounts of the Indian wars, predatory incursions, abductions, and massacres, &c., together with an account of the fair play system, and the trying scenes of the big runaway, interspersed with biographical sketches of some of the leading settlers, families, etc., together with pertinent anecdotes, statistics, much valuable matter entirely new"

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Entered aeeording to Act of Congreis, in the year 1856, by 
J. F. MBGIirirESS, 

in the Clerk*s Office of the District Gonrt of the United States for the Eastern 

District of Pennsylvania. 


I '• 








The design of this work is to lay before the people of the West Branch 
Valley, and adjacent country, as full and accurate a history of the difficulties 
and privations endured by the early settlers, as we possibly can at this late day. 
It is to be regretted that the work was not undertaken years ago, when the 
old pioneers were living, and in the full enjoyment of their intellectual facul- 
ties ; when all the facts could have been collected and arranged with com- 
parative ease and accuracy. But the entcqirise has been neglected, till all, 
with two or three exceptions, of the survivors of the Revolutionary period, 
have been consigned to the tomb. 

Few people now living in this beautiful and romantic vale, are aware that 
it has been the scene of some of the most thrilling and bloody events in the 
early history of Pennsylvania ; and that it is a fruitful field for the researches 
of the historian, and possessed of sufficient material to make an exciting and 
entertaining work. 

The vale of Wyoming has been immortalized in song and story — the poet 
and the historian have given it a world-wide notoriety : the Valley of the blue 
Juniata, " where wild roved an Indian girl," has been the theme of polished 
pens, and is known throughout the Union ; but the picturesque Valley of the 
Otzinachson, as prolific as any of them in material, has been neglected, and is 
comparatively unknown. 

Much labor and expense have been devoted to the preparation of this work, 
and although every available effort has been made, and the co-operation of 
numerous well-informed persons been secured, it Li acknowledged that many 


errors will undoabtedly be detected. But upon the whole, it is believed that 
a greater amount of matter has been collected, and presented to the people, 
than has ever been published before respecting this Valley. The dates of surveys, 
early settlements, &c., may be implicity relied upon, as they have been taken 
from the official documents ; the accounts of the massacres, captivities, &c., 
are as correct as they can well be found at this late period. In fact, everything 
entering into the composition of the work, has been carefully digested, and 
the authorities sifted with care. 

Much valuable matter has been contributed by literary gentleman — residents 
of the Valley — ^who have manifested a lively interest in the work, and to whom 
I acknowledge myself deeply indebted. The assistance derived from the fol- 
lowing gentleman, I cannot appreciate too highly : James F. Linn, Esq., Mr. 
0. N. WoRDEN, J. F. WoLFiNOEB, Esq., Geo. A. Snyder, Esq., Mr. Thomas Wood, 
A. H. McHknrt, and H. L. Dieffenbach, Esqrs. All of my information in refer- 
ence to land titles, names of early settlers, boundaries of treaties, &c., is de- 
rived from Mr. McHenry, who, probably, is in possession of more facts of this 
kind, than any other man li\'ing in Northern Pennsylvania. Having devoted 
more than twenty years of his life to surveying, the study of land titles, and 
the acquisition of historical facts, he now possesses a vast fund of valuable in- 
formation. With the assistance of these gentlemen, and numerous others, and 
all the available documents of the State, Pennsylvania Historical Society, 
Philadelphia Library, &c., I feel that I have succeeded as well, at least, as any 
that have preceded me. 

But, notwithstanding all the care and research, as I have already observed, 
many errors will no doubt be detected by the careful reader. It is my desire 
that those who may discover errors, of any kind whatever, will inform me of 
them immediately, so that if a future edition should be put to press, they may 
be corrected. 

It has been the constant aim of the writer to preserve a plain, concise, and 
unostentatious style, without any attempt at fine writing or rhetorical flour- 
ishes, confidently believing that the people would be better pleased with such 
an effort, than if it was done up in the style of romance and the garb of fic- 
tion. This work is historical — nothing but facU have been narrated ; and 
whenever a do\ihi arose about an event or circumstance, such an intimation 
has been given. 

J. F. Meoinness. 

Jtnty Shorty Pa,^ Nov. 1, 1856. 



The West Branch Valley — Indian Name of the River — ^Reflec- 
tions — ^The Climate, 17 


The Aborigines of the Valley — ^Their Names, Character and 
Disposition, 20 


Indian Towns of the Valley — ^Their Places of Burial — Monnds — 
Remains of Fortifications — ^Discovery of an Indian Pottery — 
Curiosities — War Paths, 25 


Indian Treatieij — Purchases embracing the Susquehanna — Boun- 
dary Lines — Surveys — ^IVIanor of Pbmfret — Muncy Manor — 
Surveys at Lycoming Creek — Special Grants to the Officers 
of the French War, &c., :j;; 


Iiand History Continued — Notice — The Act of 1835 — Copy of 
an Application — Surveys along the River — Mistakes — Haw- 
kins Boone — Commencement of the Warrant System, . . 41 


First English in the Valley — The French — Count Zinzendorf — 
Rev. David Brainerd — Visitors to Long Island in 1745 — ^Thc 
Indian Chief gets drunk and falls into the Fire, 48 



First House Built by White Men at Shamokin — ^Its Size — First 
Settlers — Murder of Armstrong — Shikellemy — His Death and 
Character — Conrad Weiser sent to condole with his Family, . 54 


Settlement on Penn's Creek — ^Names of the Settlers — French 
and Indian War — Massacre of the Settlers — Harris' Party — 
Bloody Fight— The Linden Tree— Story of Duke Holland, 
showing the wonderful sagacity of an Indian, 60 


Andrew Montour visits the G-rcat Island — Proclamation of Gov. 
Morris — ^A Reward for Indian Scalps — Shamokin abandoned 
and burned by the Indians — Reflections, . .r ti9 


Colonel Clapham sent to build Fort Augusta — His Instructions — 
Difficulties at Fort Halifax — His Arrival — Troubles Continue 
— Meeting of the Officers — The Colonel's Pithy Letter to 
Governor Morris, 75 


Building of Fort Augusta Continued — Report of the Goods on 
Hand — Story of the Bloody Spring — Description of the Fort 
— Captain Hambright's Expedition up the West Branch — 
Materials of War on hand in the Fort in 1758 — The French 
Expedition — Job Chilloway, 83 


The Magazine at the Fort — Reinforcements — Shikellemy — ^The 
Liquor Trouble — Colonel Burd's Spicy Letter — Speech of 
King, the Indian Chief — ^The Indians want an honest man to 
keep Store — ^Expedition from Cumberland County — ^They go 
to the Great Island, 92 



The Me of Que — ^The French Name — ^Indian Relics — An Exten- 
sive Burying G-round — ^The First Settlers — The Weisers—pAn 
Indian's Revenge — John Snyder — Anthony Selin, the Founder 
of Selinsgrove — His History — Unexpected Arrival from 
Europe, 99 


First House in Selinsgrove — Jimmy Silverwood, Master of the 
Seven Islands — Story of (jahl, the Physician — Discovery of 
his Secret — ^Tommy Price — His Remarkahle Escape from an 
English Prison in Nova Scotia, ... - 106 


Murder of Ten Indians hy Frederick Stump — Great Excitement 
throughout the Province — Proclamation of Governor Penn — 
His Arrest and Confinement in Carlisle Jail — Rescued hy a 
Mob — His Description — Final Escape and Death, . . . .111 


Organization of Northumberland County — Its Original Boun- 
daries — Sunbury Founded — Names of the Settlers along the 
River — Troubles and Privations — The Grant Family — Doctor 
Plunkett — Sketch of his Life — Anecdotes, 120 


Derr's Old Mill still standing at Lewisburg — Settlement on War- 
rior Run — Names of the Settlers — Mrs. Derrickson — First 
Court in Northumberland — Names of the Officers — Original 
Townships — Names of the Constables — First Grand Jury — 
Maclay's Spicy Letter, 129 


Connecticut Settlement at Muncy — The Townships of Judea 
and Charleston — Difficulties — John Vincent a Justice — Procla- 
mation of Governor Penn — Troubles Increase — Zebulon Butler 
appointed a Justice — Governor Penn informs the people not 
to mind Him, • . . . . 138 



Troubles Continue — ^Arrival of an Armed Force at Warrior Run 
from Wyoming — ^Deposition of Peter Smith— Settlers driven 
off by Colonel Plunkett — Great Excitement — ^Plunkett's In- 
yasion of Wyoming — His Defeat and Sudden Retreat, . .143 


Indian Name of Muncy Creek — Muncy Manor — ^Names of the 
Settlers upon it — Muncy Farm — ^Number of Acres in it — Mon- 
tour's Reserve — ^Indian Names of Loyal Sock and Lycoming — 
Eel Town — ^Newalegan's Cabins, &c., ir>5 


Settlements West of Lycoming Creek — ^Names of the Settlers — 
Proclamation of Governor Penn — ^No attention paid to it — ^The 
Disputed Territory taken up — ^The Hughes' and Toner Settle 
near Pine Run, 1()0 


Names of the Settlers Continued — ^The Venerable Mrs. Hamil- 
ton — Fair Play Men — ^Their Manner of Doing Business — 
Mode of Ejectment — ^The Case of Clark — A Magnanimous 
Savage — ^Anecdote of Peter Rodey — First Wedding, . . . 1G7 


Pleasant Prospects — Conference with the Indians at Fort Augusta 
—They Retire— Derr "Dieete" Them— Brady Upsets the 
Barrel of Liquor — Committee of Safety — ^Names of Officers — 
Petition to the Central Committee — Serious Difficulty with 
Captain Robb, of Muncy Township — Explanation, . . . .173 


Young Samuel Brady at Boston — Hb Father Wounded at the 
Battle of Brandywine — ^Discussion on Independence at Nor- 
thumberland — ^Doctor Plunkett — ^Names and Localities of the 
Forts in the Valley — Colonel Antes — ^Anecdote of Job Chillo- 
way — His Wife Betsey — ^Murders, 184 



Declaiation of Independenoe on Pine Creek — Singular Coinoi- 
denoe — ^Bloody Tragedy Opposite Antes' Fort — ^Dewitt's Escape 
— ^Brown^s Hoose Burnt on Loyal Sock — Cruel Murder of Ben- 
jamin — Cooksey Long's Adventure — ^Pillage and Murder — 
The Ladian at Beed's Fort — An Lagrate Wretch, .... 192 


Murder of Winter's Party — Settlers carried into Captivity — 
Capture of Andrew Armstrong and his Son — Escape of his 
Wife — ^A hard case for her to Decide — ^The Surprise at Pine 
Creek — ^Escape of John Hamilton — ^The Covenhoven Family — 
Captain Berry's Expedition — Surprise at Loyal Sock — ^Death 
of James Covenhoven — Escape of Robert, 201 


Murder of Shoefelt and Thompson — Colonel Hosterman's Party 
— Cruel Massacre where Williamsport now Stands — Peter 
Smith and his Daughter — One Brave Man — Arrival of Col. 
Hepburn — Horrible Appearance of the Dead — King's Wife — 
Ordered to leave the Country — ^The Big Runaway — Colonel 
Hunter's Appeal, 211 


Arrival of Colonel Broadhead — Settlers return and cut their 
Harvest — Wallis' Letter — Melancholy Death of Young Brady 
—Grief of his Mother— Death of the Chief, Bald Eagle- 
Reinforcements — More Murders — Escape of Mrs. McNight 
and Child — Cruel Scalping of Mrs. Durham — Her Recovery, 220 


(Lionel Hartley's Expedition — ^Departure from Muncy — Follow 
the Sheshequin Path — Bad Travelling — Signs of Indians — A 
Skirmish — ^Towns Destroyed — Large Body of Tories — March 
from Wyalusing — A Severe Battle — Killed and Wounded, &c., 230 



Colonel Hartley leaves the Valley — Death of Captain Brady — 
Neglected state of his Grave — Samuel Brady's Vow — Captain 
Walker's Letter — McClay's Proposition to Hunt the Indians 
with Dogs — ^Battle near Munoy — ^A Tradition — ^Warrior Spring 
— ^Nature's Hotel — Fort Muney Evacuated Again — ^Terrible 
Scenes of Murder and Devastation Follow^ 230 


Covenboven as a Spy — Discovers the Enemy — Returns and gives 
the Alarm — ^Tbe Flight — They Approach and Bum Fort 
Munby — ^Fort Freeland Invested — ^The Battle and Surrender 
— Captain Boone's Spartan Band — ^List of the Killed — ^The 
Women and Children — Death of John Montour — His Burial 
at Painted Post, 247 


Daniel Vincent's Return from Captivity — Meeting between Him 
and his Wife — Captain Lytle's Wife Returns to Warrior Run 
— Is Deceived, and Marries another Man — The Captain Re- 
turns — ^Arrival of Troops — Captain Robinson — His Letter — 
More Murders — Scalping of Catherine Storm — Escape of her 
Comrade — Killing of Tate, &c., 256 


Interesting Account of the Captivity and Escape of Captain 
James Thompson — His Sufferings in the Canoe — Capture of 
Mary Young at the same Time — Her Return — ^The Mare and 
the Colt — A Singular Circumstance — ^The Klinesmith Family 
— Capture of the Two Sisters — One of them kills an Indian, 
4Uid both Escape, 265 


Murder of Sergeant Lee and John Walker — Captivity of Mrs. 
Lee and Two Children^ — Her Cruel Death — ^Pursuit of the 
Savages — Burial of the Dead — An Incident at Lee's Funeral — 
Recovery of Young Lee — ^Van Campen — Severe Battle on Bald 
Eagle — ^Defeat and Captivity — Narrow Escape, &o., . . . 273 



Ulrich and the Friendly Sayages — ^The Stock Family — Murder 
of Mrs. Stock — Her Heroic Defence — ^Pursnit of the Indians 
— ^The Surprise and Slaughter by the Whites — ^Lieutenant 
Cooke's Sufferings — Captain Boyd and Ross — The Latter 
Burned at the Stake near Sinnemahoning — Boyd's Life is 
Saved by a Squaw — Huling's Jump^ the Greatest on Record^ 281 


Capture of Robert Lyon — Carried to Canada — Unexpectedly 
Meets his Brother — His Faithful Dog Follows Him and Re- 
turns — ^Arrest of a Tory — His Death — Grove's Encounter 
with Indians on Sinnemahoning — A Bloody Deed — ^Dies in 
Nippenose Valley — Adventure in the Genesee Country — 
Peter Pence, 289 


The Treaty of 1784— The Real Tiadaghton made known— 
Hughes, Dougherty, Toner and Sweeny's Difficulty about 
Land — Settlers of 1786 — Dr. Davidson — Colonel Hugh White 
— Copy of his Commission — Sketch of the Montour Family — 
Their Grants of Land, 297 


Early Settlers in Northumberland — Dr. Joseph Priestly — Sketch 
of his Life — Thomas Cooper Settles there also — His History 
— Imprisonment under the Sedition Law — Appointed Judge — 
Removed by Governor Snyder — Amusing Anecdote of Jack 
Glover and the Judge, 307 


History of Governor Snyder — Mrs. Carson — Sketch of her Life — 
Bold Scheme to Abduct the Governor's Youngest Son — Her 
Imprisonment and Death — Joe Disbury, the Wonderful Thief 
— His Trick on the Farmer — ^Finally Sentenced to Twenty-one 
Years* Imprisonment — Serves out his Time and Returns, . . 318 



John Hannah — His Whima and Oddities — Gets into Trouble 
with Jadge Cooper — Had occasion to change his Opinion — 
Pompkin Flood — ^Indian Tradition that a Big Flood Occurred 
every Fourteen Years — ^Facts in the Case — ^Whiskey Riot in 
Northumberland — ^The Powerful Negro, 322 


Sketch of the life of Colonel John Kelly — ^Distinguishes Him- 
self in the Revolutionary War — ^Returns to Buffalo Valley — 
Buries the Dead at Freeland's Fort — Anecdotes — His Opinion 
of Evangelizing the Indians — Death and Burial — ^Monuments, 
&c. — ^History of Colonel Hartley, the Scholar, Soldier, and 
Statesman, 331 


The Brady Family — (jeneral Hugh Brady — His Life and Public 
Services — ^Description of their Trials in Buffalo Valley — The 
young Lad at Brandy wine — Hugh's Description of his Brothers 
—Death of the Mother at the early age of 48 — An Ancestry 
to be proud of, 337 


George Eremer — Sketch of his Life — Sent to the Legislature — 
Becomes a Member of Congress — Jackson, Clay and Adams — 
The Celebrated Letter — Charge of Corruption — Tremendous 
Excitement — Eremer becomes a Lion — Finally Declines and 
Sinks into Obscurity — His Character, 344 


Robert Covenhoven — ^His Age and Death — Peter A. Carthaus — 
How he got his Wife in Wilmington — His Improvements — 
The Dinner Party at Judge Potter's in Bellefonte — Peter and 
the Devil — ^Missionary sent to Sinneinahoning — ^Attempts to 
Preach— The Finale, 350 



Esther McDowell found before the Cabin Door of Martin Reese — 
A Bobbed and Injnred Female — Great Excitement Prevailed — 
She tarns out to be an Impostor — A Humbugged Community — 
EListory of the Walker Tragedy on Pine Creek — Statistics of 
Lycoming County, 85X 


Arrival of the Tomb Family on Pine Creek — ^The Woman and 
the Panther — ^A Great Hunter — Taming the Blue Dun — 
Catching a live Elk — Hunting Expeditions — Abundance of 
Fish — ^Immense Quantities of Snakes — ^An Adventure with a 
Bear — ^Narrow Eseiqpe, 36G 


Sketch of Sunbuiy and Northumberland — Blue Hill — John 
Mason — ^The Leaning House — ^His Grave — Churchville — 
Sodom — Origin of the Name — List of the Sheriffs of Nor- 
thumberland County — Statistics — ^The Coffin Fight — A Legis- 
lator of the Olden Time — Anecdotes, 374 


Eiarly History of Lewisburg — Valuable Facts — Religious Denomi- 
nations — History of the University — Division of the County — '- 
Statistics of Union County — A Deed that dates back to the 
Creation of the World — Sketch of Flavel Roan — Anecdote, . o'S^ 


Literesting History of the Presbyterian Church at Buffalo Cross 
Roads — Names of Pastors, &c. — The Raining Rock — The 
Indian Garden — Salt Works — An Old Graveyard — Conclusion 
of the Annals of Union County, with a Remarkable Case of 
Witchcraft in 1825, . . - 400 


First Settlers in Milton— Names of the First Borough Officers — 
Schools — Religious Denominations — Names of the Pastors — 


Literary Associations — ^When Organized — Benevolent Asso- 
ciations — Chronological Table of Events — Improvements^ 
PopolatioDy &e,, 412 


Modem History of Munoy — Early Times of Williamsport— ^ 
Trade and Improvements — Immense Lumber Depot — Rail 
Roads — Lycoming Creek — Villages — ^Larry's Creek — Jersey 
Shore— «-It8 History — Nipponese Valley — True Origin of the 
Name, 422 


Phelps* Mills — ^Lumber Trade of Pine Creek — ^The Big Island — 
Early Hbtory of Lock Haven — ^The Town Founded by Jerry 
Church — Interesting Sketch — ^His Folly — Population — The 
Lumbering Business — ^The Boom Erected — Extraordinary 
Facilities for Lumbering — ^Rail Roads, Canals, &;c. — Future 
Prospects — Statistics — Steamboats, &c., 438 


History of the Newspapers of Sunbury, Northumberland, Lewis- 
burg, Milton, McEwensville, Muncy, Williamsport, Jersey 
Shore, and Lock Haven ; showing their names, when estab- 
lished, by whom, how long continued, &c., 452 


History of the Northumberland Baptist Association, . . . .465 
Summary History of the M. E. Church in the West Branch 

VaUey, 471 

The Indian Hunter of the Susquehanna, 488 







On taking up this volume, the reader will probably 
ask, " Where is the West Branch Valley T Anticipating 
such an interrogatory, it is thought advisable to define 
its geographical position, previous to entering upon a 
history of its first settlement. 

The Susquehanna river flows through the interior of 
Pennsylvania. Two large streams running in opposite 
directions, unite at Northumberland, and form the main 
river. They are called the North and West Branches. 
The North Branch has its source in Otsego Lake ; the 
West Branch rises near the head waters of the Alleghany 
river, in the mountains of the same name. It flows 
almost in an easterly direction till opposite Muncy, when 
it sweeps around Bald Eagle Mountain, and runs directly 


south to its confluence with the other stream. The 
length of this branch is about two hundred miles. The 
Aborigines called it the Otzinachson — hence the title of 
this book. 

The Valley of the West Branch begins at Northumber- 
land, and properly ends at Lock Haven. At this point ■ 
the river bursts through a bold ridge of the Alleghanies, 
which rises from the water's edge to a great height. 

The Valley is not wide. Several smaller ones put 
into it at various points, the most extensive of .which is 
Buffalo. The spurs of the Appalachian chain are visible 
on every hand, lending an additional charm of beauty to 
the receding landscape. The scenery is varied, wild and 
. picturesque ; and it is impossible to form a correct idea 
of its variegated beauties without visiting the spot. The 
Valley is in a high state of cultivation, containing some 
of the finest farms and most flourishing towns in the 
interior of the State. It is embraced in the counties of 
Northumberland, Union, Lycoming and Clinton. 

What a contrast does the beautiful vale of the Otzin- 
achson now present, to the time when it was inhabited 
by the Aborigines? Let us, in imagination, look back 
to the period when the red man dwelt on the banks of 
the stream — roamed in the forest, or hunted the deer 
and the elk on the declivities of the siin'onnding moun- 
tains : when he built his humble wigwam in some shady 
dell, beueath the wide-spreading branches of the mighty 
oak. It was indeed a happy scene — his young papooses 
gamboled in their rude simplicity on the banks of the 
murmuring rivulet — the squaws cultivated their patches 
of corn and chanted songs of the spirit^land — and the 
dusky warrior plied his birch-bark canoe over the crystal 
waves of the beautiful Otzinachson. Happy scene ! 





hibiosb:^ orfmnsf heahot VAiunr. 19 

This Yalley was then a fairy land — an Indian paradii 
&e cherished home of the rnde, yet noble, children of the ' 
forest. But mighiy changes were destined to oecnr — 
tragedies calculated to cause a thrill of horror to run 
through the frame, must transpire before their cupg>f 
destiny is filled. 

The Valley has entirely changed, and the last red man 
has long since been gathered to his fathers. Highly 
eoltiyated &rms occupy the spot where the Indian vil* 
hge stood, and the busy hum of enterprise is heard on 
every hand. In summer time the luxuriant grain wavep 
mm the grnyes t^iat contain the cherished renttias <tf 
Utrir ancestors, and the rude hand of dvilisiticm has 
d«fiu)ed the last mementoes reared to perpetuate thmr « 
Aomoiy. '^ 

The GKmate of the Valley is truthfully portrayed* fm- 
ihe following lines : — 

** Beneath the temperate zone this vale doth lie, 
Where heat and cold a grateful change supply. 
To fifteen hours extends the longest day, 
When Sol in cancer points his fervid ray. 
Tet here the vrinter season is severe ; 
• And summer's heat is difficult to bear : 

But western vrinds oft cool the scorching ray, 
And southern breezes warm the winter's day. 
Yet of^ tho' warm and fair the day begun. 
Cold storms arise before the setting sun, 
Nay oft 80 quick the change, so great its pow'r, 
As summer's heat, and winter, in an hour 1" 





■ THE 

B From the most reliable accounts we have of the 

H Aborigines of the Valley, it appears that various tribes 

■ inhabited it at difl'erent periods ; and from traces of 
fortifications found at various points, it is evident that 
it was once peopled by a superior race, of whom we 
have not the least account. 

The earliest tribes of which we have any account^ 
that dwelt among the forests of New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania and Delaware, cjilled themselves the Lenni 
Lenape, meaning the original people. This was a 
general name comprehending a number of tribes, quite 
distinct in their character, yet speaking the sanie lan- 
guage and meeting around the same council fire. The 
dialect spoken by them was termed the Algonquin. 
Their grand council-house extended from the eastern 

■ bank of the Hudson river to the Potomac in Virginia. 
I The Lenni Lenape nation was divided into three prin- 
H cipal tribes, embracing in its subdivisions the Unamis, 
H or Turtle tribes ; the Unalachtgos, or Turkeys, and the 
H Monseys, or Wolf tribes. The former occupied the 
H country along the coast, between the sea and the Kit- 
H tatiuny or Blue Mountain. They were generally known 



among the whites as the Delaware Indians. The Mon- 
seys or Wolf tribes, the most active and warlike of the 
whole, occupied the mountainous conntry between the 
Kittatinny mountain and the sources of the Susque- 
hanna and Delaware rivers, kindling their great council 
fire at the Minisink flats. These three principal tribes 
were again subdivided into a variety of subordinate 
clans, assuming names suited to their character or 
station. The Lenni Lenape were afterwards conquered 
by the Six Nations, and became subject to them. 

Another great tribe, called by the French the Iroquois, 
but calling themselves tlie Aquanuschioni, or "united 
people," deserve particular attention, as they afterwards 
became identified to some extent with the history of 
this vjilley. They were called Mengwe by the Dela- 
wares ; Maquas, by the Dutch ; Mingoes, hy the English 
and Americans, They were a confederate nation, con- 
sisting of Mohawks, Oneida, Onondago, Cayuga, and 
Seneca. They were originally known by the title of 
the Five Nations. In 1712, the Tuscarora tribe was 
forcibly expelled from the interior of North Carolina, 
and flying northward was taken in and adopted as the 
Sixth tribe, making what was afterwards known as the 
Six Nations. 

The language of all these tribes, excepting the Tusca- 
roras, was radically the same, and diilerent from the 
Lenni Lenape. Their domain stretched from the borders 
of Vermont to Lake Erie, and from Lake Ontario to the 
head waters of the Alleghany, Susquehanna, and Dela- 
ware rivers. This territory they styled their long house. 
The grand council fire was held in the Onondago valley. 
The Senecas guarded the western door of the house, the 
Mohawks the eastern, and the Cayugas the southern, or 


that which opened upon the Susquehanna. The Mohawk 
nation was the first in rank, and to it appeitained the 
oflSce of principal war chief; to the Onondagos, who 
guarded the giand council fire, appertained in like man- 
ner the office of principal civil chief, or chief sachem. 
The Seuecas, in numbers and military energy, were the 
most powerful. 

The Seneca tribe frequently inhabited the valley of 
the West Branch, and used it as a favorite hunting 
groLuitl. The Cayugas also came here and dwelt for 
a thue. It seemed that the beautiful vale in later 
years was set apart for hunting purposes, and when the 
whites commenced encroaching upon these lands, the 
wrath of the Indians was speedily aroused, and they 
committed those bloody tragedies which were of 80 
frequent occurrence. 

The Monsey tribe, distinguished for their warlike 
character, also dwelt in the valley of the Otzinachson, 
and theii- name is now perpetuated in the beautiful 
village of the same title. Above Lock Port a short 
distance, ie a level spot of land, known at this day by 
the name of '" Monseytown," where tradition has it that 
an Indian village belonging to this tribe was located. 
The remains of their corn-fields were pointed out for n 
long time after the white settlers came and took posses- 
sion of the country. 

But the Aborigines of the Valley have long since 
disappeared, and scarcely a trace remains to indicate 
their former existence. The last straggling relics of the 
various tribes, that frequently passed through tliis way, 
long after they had evacuated their favorite hunting 
grounds, to cast a last lingering glance upon the spot 
they loved so well, and drop a t«ar upon the little 


mound that enclosetl the boues of their ancestors, are 
gone forever. 

Notwithstanding the Indians were denominated saVa- 
ges, and possessed of much ferocity, they were a noble 
race. They were the unsophisticated children of nature, 
and a close examinatiou of their character discloses 
iiol)le traits that are worthy of emulation by the more 
refined nations of the world. They considered them- 
selves created by an almighty, wise, and benevolent 
Spirit, to whom they looked for guidance and protection. 
Many of them were in the habit of seeking some high 
elevation, where they could commune with the " Great 
Spirit," and contemplate with awe and veneration the 
beauties of the surrounding landscape. While they paid 
their humble adorations at the shrine of the Great 
Manitou, they were not unmindful of their duties to 
one another. They looked upon the good things of the 
earth as a common stock, bestowed by the Great Spirit 
for the benefit of all. They held that the game of the 
forest, the fish of the rivers, and the grass or other 
articles of spontaneous growth, were free to all who 
chose to take them. They ridiculed the idea of fencing 
in a meadow or a pasture. This noble principle had a 
tendency to repress selfishness and foster generosity. 
Their hospitality was proverbiid. The Indian considered 
it a duty to share his last moi'sel with a stranger. 

When the first settlers aiTived, the Indians received 
them with open arms, supplied them with food, and 
shared with them the rude comforts of their humble 
wigwams. They were actuated by the noblest impulses 
of the human heart, and considered it their duty to take 
the white, strangers in and minister to their wants. But 
how was this noble spirit of generosity repaid? By 


treachery and deceit. They came to cheat the Indians, 
and when the latter became satisfied of their character, 
alft that instead of being friends, they were insidious 
enemies — ^their vindictive passions were aroused, and 
terribly did they exhibit the ferocity of their nature. 





The most important Indian town of which wc have 
anj account, was located where Sunbury now stands, 
and wfts called Shamokin. Rev. David Brainerd who 
visited it in 1745, snys : " This town, as I observed in 
my Diary of May last, lies partly on the east side of 
the river, partly on the west, and partly on a large 
island in it, and contains upwards of fifty houses, and 
nearly three hundred persons." 

Shamokin was a place of great note among the 
Indians, from its central position, near the confluence 
of the two streams ; and was the headquarters of distin- 
guished chiefs who presided over the Six Nations. 

AUamoppies, one of the Kings of tlie Delawares, 
dwelt here as early as 1728, as mention is made of him 
by Conrad Weiser, who visited the place in 1744. on a 
mission in reference to the murder of John Armstrong 
on the Juniata. The great and good chief, Shikellamy. 
also dwelt here. 

A town called Ostanwackin stood a short distance up 
the West Branch, and was visited by Count Zinzendorf 
as early as 1742. It was inhabited by a number of 



Europeans — French — who had adopted the Indian cus- 
tom; and the celebrated Madame Montour. Its exact 
^Wfcation is not known. 

Shikellamy had a small town at, or near, the mouth of 
Warrior Run. The Monsey tribe also had a village on 
the beautiful flats near the present town of Muncy. 

Conrad Weiscr, the Indian interpreter and agent, 
mentions that he once made a journey to the town of 
Otstuagy, forty-fi\e miles above Shamokin, for the pur- 
pose of assisting the Indians to fence in a cornfield. It 
was a town of some note, and stood on both sides of 
Loyal Sock Creek. The trading establishment in after 
years stood on the east side of the creek, between the 
village of Montour-sviUe and the river. It was inhabited 
by the Delawares. 

An Indian town also stood on the site now occupied 
by Dunnsburg. Another called "Patterson's town," was 
located opposite the mouth of Chatham's Run. 

The next most important one was located on the level 
bottom a short distance above Lock Port, and belonged 
to the Monseys. They also cultivated corn here. Traces 
of their village were perceptible long after the arrival of 
the whites, and some of the oldest inhabitants remember 
the little hillocks where the corn grew. The place is 
known at this day by the name of the " Monsey Town 

An extensive Indian burying ground was located at 
the upper end of Sunbury, where it seemed that hun- 
dreds, and for aught we know, thousands of Indians had 
been consigned to the grave from time immemorial. Years 
after the white settlers came they found large quantities 
of Indian relics and implements of wai', consisting of 
stone hatchets, pipes, wampum, &c., that were displaced 



by the spring freshets in the river, whloh washed iiway 
the hanks. Skeletons, too, in a perpendicular position, 
Were thus exhumed in great numbers. ^ 

The hills around Shamokin, in various places, bear 
Bjarks of having been excavated, but for what purpose 
it is now impossible to divine, and nothing is left but 
vague conjecture. It is alleged, by some, that the Indians 
were possessed of the knowledge of some kind of mineral 
which they used in considerable quantities. 

P. B. Masser, Esq., of Sunbury, describes the remains 
vof what appeared to have been a small furnace, covered 
by a mound, that was dicovered near the Bloody Spring, 
It was examined by him in 1854. The bed appeared 
-to have been about six feet square, and constructed of 
stone. It bore every trace of having been subjected to 

e action of an intense fire, as the sand was baked and 
blackened in such a manner as not to be mistaken. On 
giWng it a careful examination, several small particles 
.i)f gold were discovered, which he still retains in his 
^wssession. A tradition b preserved that three English- 
Bften, at a very early period, came here and erected the 

^Vn extensive Indian burying ground existed on the 
<&nn of Mr. Nesbit, opposite the mouth of Buffalo Creek. 
It consisted of a large mound, twenty-five or thirty feet 
fki diameter. Mr. Nesbit remembers when it was opened, 
flaod states that in the bottom was a floor of flat stones, 
'•n which the bodies appeared to have been ]jlaced in a 
I«ttiiig posture ; which he inferred from the fact, that 
'flie skulls were all on the top of the other bones. When 
expased to the air they soon crumbled into dust. The 
dbound contained no implements of war, only a few 
ttone pipes ; and on the summit, an ash tree was grow- 



ing, which was hollow, and outside of which the concen- 
t_jric circles indicated it to he seventy years old. 

' About 1833, or earlier, an oak was felled on the north 
side of Muncy mountain, the growths of which showed 
it to be four hundred and sixty years old; and to have 
been marked by a cutting instmment three hundred and 
ninety years ago. 

The next most extensive deposit of the dead, was 
on the Muncy Farm, or what is now known as "Hall's 
Farms," a short distance below Williamsport. A mound 
had been thrown up, and apparently filled with hundreds 
of bodies. In 1835, Mr, Fowler, the Phrenologist, visited 
it and cari'ied away a number of skulls. 

Traces of extensive burying grounds were visible, till 
within a few years, on Pine Creek, on the farm of Mr. 
Harvey Bailey on one side, and that of Mr. S. Simmons 
on the other. From the most reliable accounts I can 
glean respecting them, it seems that unusually large 
numbers were deposited there. On one side of the 
creek, a large trench was evidently dug and filled with 
a great number of dead, thrown promiscuously together, 
from the appearance of their remains, when laid bare by 
the action of the waters. Those buried on Bailey's 
farm seemed to have been deposited with a great deal 
4of care and afTection. 

A tradition is presen-ed, but in a very vague and 
tmsaiisfactory manner, that two ho.'^tile tribes met and 
fought a desperate battle at this point, which well nigh 
proved a war of extermination ; and the few survivors 
buried the dead in the trenches, which the waves of 
Pine Oeck in after years exposed to ■view. The man- 
ner in which they were buried, and the lai^e number, 
would naturally lead us to such a conclusion, but still 


ve have not the least authentic evidence that such was 
the fact. 

Ob the high point of the mountJiiu, not far from the 
residence of Mr. Jesse Vickers, on Pine Creek, is the 
remains of seven mounds, formed out of stone, and 
evidently placed there by human hands. They are 
about two hundred yards apart, and in a straight line 
up the ridge. They have been torn open for years. 
Nothing is known respecting them. The view from this 
point of the valley of Pino Creek, both up and down, 
is beautiful. Doubtless they were erected for burial 

On digging the canal through the rocks near Liberty, 
several skeletons were discovered, with Indian camp 
kettles, in a tolerably good state of preservation. They 
were sent to Peale's Museum in Philadelphia, 

A burying ground evidently existed where Lock 
Haven now stands, as the workmen in digging the 
canal, disinterred the remains of great numbers. 

In 1854, James Wilson and A. H, McIIenry, of Jersey 
Shore, discovered what was evidently an extensive Indian 
pottery, about fi\'e miles up Quinn's Run. A large de- 
tached rock stood at this point, underneath which was a 
CJive sufficiently large to shelter thirty men. It con- 
tained a great quantity of muscle shells. From appear- 
ances around the rock, the people came to the conclusion 
that some kind of mineral had been taken out. These 
gentlemen examined the ground, and found great quan- 
tities of broken pottery buried in a heap, and unmis- 
takable traces of a hearth, where they had been baked, 
' A doable curbing of stones was nicely set in tlie 
ground, in the form of an ellipsis, about ten feet in 
diameter, where the kiln was erected. Charcoal, and 




B other remains of fire, were distinctly I'isible. The mus- 

■ cle shells were carried there, pulverized, and mixed in 
I the clay, which formed their pots. On examining broken 

■ specimens, the pulverized shells can be perceived in the 
W form of small glistening particles. Various specimens 
I of their broken pottery was collected by Mr. McHenry, 
H and are now in his possession. Doubtless this was the 

■ manufactory at which all the pots for the inhabitants of 
I the Valley were made. The clay existed here also. 

I At another time Mr. Wilson discovered a number of 

I crucibles, at a place called the " Rock Cavern," on Tan- 

H gascootack Creek, that had evidently been used for 

H smelting some kind of mineral. 

I That the Valley of the West Branch was inhabited by 

I a superior race, of whom we have no account, appears to 

m be evident. Traces of peculiar fortifications, resembling 

those found in some of the Western States, are yet to be 

pointed out. One of these existed on the farm of Mr. 

I Shoemaker, on the north side of Muncy Creek. It was 

square, and consisted of embankments thrown up in 
regular order, covering about one-fourth of an acre. A 
similar one existed on the farm of Gov. Shultz, below 
Williarasport. On the other side of the river, nearly 
opposite the mouth of Lycoming Creek, was found 
another, resembling the one on Muncy Creek, ti'aces of 
which can probably be seen to this day. Mr. Shoemaker 
of Muncy, now an old man, but with memory bright 
and mind unimpaired, informs me that years ago he 

Lmade a personal examination of this latter fortification, 
and found all the embankments well defined. Large 
trees were growing upon them however, the concentric 
circles of which would indicate many hundred years' 
growth, and entirely preclude the idea of their having 


been thrown up by the Anglo Saxon race. Mr. S. also 
states that many years ago he made inquiry of an old 
Seneca chief concerning thera, but all the information 
the old Indian could give, was that he had it from his 
ancestors that they were erected by the white Indians. 
Of thera we have no definite knowledge whatever. 

Oo Mr. Simmons' farm, where the extensive Indian 
burying ground existed, are the remains of an ancient 
rarcular fortification, more properly resembling those 
found near Circleville, Ohio. Nearly all trace of it is lost 
by the action of the elements and the plow of the indus- 
trious farmer. In a few years more it will not be visible. 

Several years ago a singular curiosity was plowed up 
in Wayne township, CUnton county. It consisted of a 
female figure in a sitting posture on a pedestal, sculp- 
tured out of a very hard block of stone, about six inches 
in length, and highly polished. The work was neatly 
executed, and was evidently done by a superior work- 
nan. The figure was beautifully formed, and the tissue 
of a fine veil thrown over the face could be distinctly 
seen, traced in the hard stone. It passed into the hands 
of a gentleman of Jersey Shore, who deposited it in the 
Lancaster Museum. By whom was it made ? 

A sword was plowed up a year or two since on the 
ftmi of Mr. Callahan, on Pine Creek, which evidently 
Jb an old English blade. It was imbedded in the ground 
in nearly a perpendicular position. It was probably 
Oftrried there by Indians, as we have no accounts of 
English troops passing that way at any time. It was 
Tery much corroded by rust, and had undoubtedly laid 
in the ground for a long time. It is now in the posses- 
,aion of Dr. Lyraan of Jersey Shore. 

The Indian War Paths, leading through the Valley, 
and out of it, ran as follows : 


sr by the T 

I 32 

H The Shamokiii Pjitli continued up the river 

H mouth of Warrior Run, and Shikellamy's town, thence 

■ through the gap in the Muncy hills to the town of 

H Muncy, where the main road now passes. 

H The Wyoming Path left Muncy and ran up Glade Run, 

H then over to Fishing Creek, near where Millville now 

H stands — crossed the creek and went through Huntingdon 

H Valley, and Neseopeck Gap, up the river to Wyoming. 

H The Wyalusing Path continued up Muncy Creek to 

H the head, then crossed to Loyal Sock, half a mile from 

H where the Berwick turnpike now crosses, then passed 

I near where Dushore now stands, and struck the Wyalu- 

I sing Creek near the north-east corner of SuUivan county, 

m thence up to the flats. 

The path from Muncy up the river, crossed Loyal 
Sock at Montour's Island, near where the canal now 
runs, thence up to Bonser's Run, and on up along the 
river to Sinnemahoning. 

The Great Sheshequin Path ran up Bonser's Run, then 
over to Lycoming Creek, near the mouth of Mill Creek, 
thence to the head of Lycoming at the Beaver dams, 
thence down Towanda to Sheshequin flats. 

Another Great Path started from Shamokin and 
passed up through the ravine a few yards helow the 
bridge at Blue HiU, and continued up along the river 
through Buffalo Valley, then passed around the rocks 
and entered White Deer Hole Valley ; thence along the 
south branch of White Deer Hole Creek, near where 
Elamsport now stands, and over tlie mountain into Nip- 
penose Valley. Then out of the head of the Valley 
through the mountains, and on via Bald Eagle's Nest, at 
Milesburg, to Kittanning. 

These were the i)rincipal Paths of the Valley, and 
are laid down correctly. 





I NOW come to speak of the various treaties and 
purchases made from the Indians by the Proprietary 
Government, which will be found to embody much new 
and valuable information, not given in works heretofore 

On the 3d of September, 1700, the sachems of the 
Susquehanna Indians, deeded to William Penn, the said 
river Susquehanna, and all the islands therein, and all 
the lands lying on both sides of it, " and next adjoining 
to the same, to the utmost confines thereof." The sale 
was confirmed to Col. William Dongan, Earl of Lime- 
rick, and formerly Governor of the Province of New 
York, who acted as the agent for William Penn in this 
transaction. The deed may be seen in Book F., Vol. 8, 
page 242. 

This was the first deed conveying lands about the 
forks of the Susquehanna. It does not appear to have 
been the design of William Penn, at the time of this 
purchase, to soon settle the land, but it w^as evident that 
his design in purchasing, was to secure the right of way 
by the river through the Province. 


M niSToay of the west branch VALLKr. 

On the llth of October, 1736, a conveyance was 
made to John Penn, Thomas Penn, and Richard Penn; 
and signed by twenty-three Indian Chiefs of the Onon- 
tlago, Seneca, Oneida, and Tnscarora Nations, for all the 
said river Susquehanna, " with the lands lying on both 
sides thereof, to extend eastward as far as the head 
the branches or springs which run into the said Susqufr 
hannu, and all the lands lying on the west side of saiT 
river to the setting of the eun, and to extend from the 
mouth of said river northward up the same to the 
hills or mountains called in the language of the said 
nations Tar/amenarachta, and by the Delaware Indians 
the Kakachtanamin hills." 

Thk purchase is from the hills at and opposite the 
town of Dauphin, nine miles above Harrisburg, and 
south to the boundary of the Piovince. 

But notwithstanding the purchase reaching from the 
west side of the Susquehanna to the setting of the §uq, 
a large portion of the same territory was included in 
;mother purchase, made on the 5th of November, 1768, 
at Fort Stanwix. This deed conveyed all the land 
beginning on the north boundary line of the Province, 
to tlie east side of the east branch of the Susquehanna 
at the place called Oweg}', and running with the said, 
boundary line down this branch till it came opposite 
the mouth of a creek, called by the Indians Awandac^ 
(Towanda) then across the river, and up said creek on 
the south side thereof, and along the range of hills 
called Burnett's hills by the English, and by the Indians 

, on the north side of them to the head of a creek 

running into the West Branch, called Tiadaghion, and 
down it to the river ; then crossing and running up the 
south side, to the forks which lie nearest a place called 




he H 




Kittanning, ou the Ohio; from thence down the Ohio to 
the western bounds of the Province; thence around the 
southern boundary to the east of the Alleghanies, to the 
Une of the tract purchased in 1758, by the said Proprie- 
tary, and from thence along the line of a tract purchased 
in 1749, around to the place of beginning. Those who may 
have the curiosity to examine this deed in full, can find 
it recorded at Philadelphia, in tlie RoU Office, in Book of 
Deeds No. 3, page 23. 

From the boundaries laid down, it included some six- 
teen miles in widtli of the Province of New York, from 
the Delaware to the Susquehanna. 

On the IGth of June, 1786, David Rittenhouse and 
Andrew Ellicott were appointed Commissioners to run 
the northern boundary of this State. On the 11th of 
May, 1787, John Adlum was employed by order of 
Council, as a Sm-veyor, to attend the Commissioners 
appointed to run and mark out the line. In the spring 
of 1787, Mr. Rittenhouse resigned on account of ill 
health, which was much regretted, as he was a man of 
science. Col. Andrew Porter, the father of Ex-Go\'. 
Porter, was appointed Commissioner in his place, on the 
31st of May, 1787. In November of the same year 
they made their report to the Governor, that they had 
finished running the line. This line was run on the 
forty-second degree of north latitude, which intersected 
the Susquehanna, sixty-one miles from the Dekwai'o, 
and five and a half north of Tioga Point, 

From the head of Towanda along the north side of 
the hills called Burnett's Hills, would undoubtedly be 
the range now known as the Elk Mountains; and fur- 
ther west the Briar Hill, &c. This is an unbroken uioun- 
tain, till it is pierced by the second fork of Pine Creek, 



W 36 

I the stream called Tiadaghton. This arrangement would 

B harmonize the language used in the deed. No other 

H stream would answer; the head of the main hranch of 

I Pine Creek being some thirty miles north-west of the 

I head of the second fork, which could not be reached by 

W following the range of hills mentioned above, from the 

head of Towanda, The range of mountains extending 

westward from the head of Towanda Creek, crosses the 

* main branch of Pine Creek one mile below the Big 

Meadows, at the mouth of the third fork, and fifty-five 

miles from the river. 

From this geographical arrangement of the country, I 
can come to no other conclusion, than that the stream 
described as the western boundary of the purchase of 
1768, on the north side of the West Branch, was the 
•small stream now known as Yarnell's Creek, and down 
the same to the second fork of Pine Creek, and thence 
to the river, a distance of about fifty-three miles. The 
boundary, then, according to the deed, passed up the 
soulh side of the river to the forks of the West Branch 
at the Canoe Place, which is now the corner of Clear- 
field, Cambria, and Indiana counties. The line from 
this to Kittanning was run by James Galbraith, accord- 
ing to orders of Surveyor-General Lukens, bearing date 
April 17, 17G8. 

Having disposed, for the present, of the Proprietaries' 
Purchase of the Indians at the treaty of Fort Stanwix 
in 1768, I now propose to speak of the surveys made 
within that purchase. The first surveys made for the 
Proprietaries were called Manors, and in accordance 
with the custom established by William Penn, and con- 
tinued by his sons, till the close of the Proprietary 
Government. Commencing on the eouth side of the 


pafcbase, I find a warrant directed by John Lukens, 
Surveyor-General, to William Maclay, a deputy for the 
district immediately south of this, and within the Pur- 
chase of 1754. It was dated December 27, 1768, on 
which Mr. Maclay surveyed on the 18th of February, 
1769, a tract of 1328 acres, about one mile above the 
mouth of Penn's Creek, adjoining, on the south, the line 
dividing the Purchase of 1754 from that of 17G8, and 
extending up the Susquehanna, 966i perches. 

About the same time another survey was made at 
Shamokin, in pursuance of a warrant from John Penn, 
Lieutenant-Governor, for a tract embracing 1060 acres, 
and called the Manor of Pomfret. This tract was sur- 
veyed nearly in the form of a square, and included the 
land on which Sunbury now stands. 

The next is the Manor of Muncy, which was recom- 
mended by Job Chilloway. a friendly Indian. It was 
the most important point on the West Branch to the 
Proprietaries, on account of the fine location, the rich- 
ness of the soil, and the centre point of several great 
War Paths, leading east, west, north and south. The 
warrant was issued by John Penn the 25th of December, 
1768, and a survey of 1615 acres was soon made, nearly 
in a square form. 

On the 31st of January, 1709, a warrant for 1000 
acres was issued by the same, and as a portion of it has ^ 
been the subject of much litigation, I copy it verbatim : 

i L. 8. [ " PEMNHrLVANIA, M. 


These are to snthoriie and require jou to eurvey and lay out, or 

eansi! to bo sarrcjed and laid out for our use, the quantily of one tbou- 


I 38 

H Rand nercs of laod, viz. : — Five ha&Jred acreu thereof ut the nioath 

H of a creek known hy the nume of Ljcominp, nnd cxteniiing ihenee 

H down and flpon tlii; river Susquehanna, and the other five hundred 

H acres in any part of the purchuHe lately niudc at Fort Stanwix of the 

H Six Natiouii, that sliull not interfere with any previous warrant, nnd to 

H make return of the same in our Secretary's Office ; and for the 

H so doing this shall be your Hufficicnt narrant. Witness, John 

H Penn, Esq., Lieulenant-fiovernor and Couimissiouor of Vroperlj of 

^B the aaid Province, who by virtue of certain powers from said Proprie- 

^B ^ iaries, hath hereunto set his hand and caused the seal of the Land 

Office to be affixed at Philadelphia, this thirty-first day of January, 

one thonsnud seven liundrcd and aixty-uiue. 

To John Lukens, Esq., Surveyor- General, 

Joa» Penm. 
To William Scull, Deputy Surveyor, 

Execute this warrant, and roalce return of surrey into my office. 

N. B. The last above mentioned 500 acres mity be surveyed in 
the forks of Susijuehanna between two runs a little above the head of 
Shamokin Island, or at the place called the Narrows, running a mite 
or more along the river and back to the bill called Hence Michael's 


February 3, 17G9. 

P. S. If the land at Lycoming should be found lo belong to 
Andrew Montour, lay out on ibis warrant 500 acres at any place 

thereabouts not already appropriated.'' 

^L This is a true copy of the wannnt issued by Ihe 
Surveyor-General to his Deputy, filed in the oiBce of the 
County Surveyor of Lycoming. 

On the 22d of February, 1769, tliere were surveyed 
on this warrant, 180 acres, including the mouth of 

I Mahoning Creek, and the land where the town of Dfiu- 

ville now stands, hy William Scull, Surveyor-General, 
On the 28th of the same month, 320 acres were sur- 


Teyei] on the same warrant, at the mouth of Bulhilo 
CreL'k, by William Maclay, Surveyor-General. 

On the 20th of March, 1769, 579 acres were sur- 
veyed on this warrant at the mouth, and on the east 
side of Lycoming Creek, running down the river, whii'h 
includes at the present time, the farms owned i>v Oliver 
Watson, Esq., and Judge Grier of the Supreme Court. 
Thua ended the surveys of Manors in 1768, 

In relation to Manors it seems to have been a policy 
settled by William Penn, at an early period of the history 
of land affairs, to reserve out of each purchase from the 
Indians, one-t#nth of the lands, to be selected and laid 
out before the Land Office was opened fot the granting 
of appUeations or warrants to individuals, which was 
intended as the property of himself and successors. 
This is inferred from a wan'ant issued by WiUiam Peun 
on the 1st of September, 1700, to Edward Pennington, 
then Surveyor-General, to survey for the Proprietor, 
500 acres of every township of 5000 acres. This pnie- 
tace was continued, with some variations, up to thi; 
period of the American Revolution. 

At different times, between the confirmation of the 
Purchase of 1768, and the opening of the Land Office, 
a number of special grants to various individuals, for 
valuable services rendered the Proprietaries, were made; 
amongst which was one on the 29th of October, 1708j| 
to Andrew Moofour, who had proved himself trust- 
worthy and of eminent service to the Government. 

On the 4th of February, 1769, a special application 
was iseued in favor of the Rev. Dr. Francis Allison, 
being No. 2, for 1500 acres, aud a survey was speedily 
made, of 1620 acres, above the mouth of Bald Engle 
Creek, on that beautiful flat land. An Indian town 
also stood there. 



The next of these special grants, was the lands to the 
officers who had served^ in the French and Indian wars 
of 1755-8. This survey was made in the month of 
March, 1769, by John Lukens, commencing on the 
western boundary of Dr. Allison's tract, and embracing 
the land along the river and Bald Eagle Greek, for some 
distance. Ensign McMeens had a tract of 216 acres, 
Lieut. Hunseeker 282, including the site of the town 
of Flemington; Capt. Green, 524 acres, including the 
mouth of Fishing Creek. 

After these special grants were disposed of, preparar 
tions were made for the opening of the Land Office. 
In order to give a better understanding how business 
was transacted at that day, and applications granted, I 
copy the advertisement of the Secretary of the Land 
Office as follows : 

" The Land Office will be opened on the third day of April next, 

at 10 o'clock in the momingy to receive applications fiom all persons 

inclinable to take up lands in the New Purchase, upon terms of five 

pounds sterling per hundred acres, and one penny per acre per annum 

quit-rent. No person will be allowed to take up more than three 

hundred acres, without a special license from the Proprietaries or 

Governor. The surveys upon all applications are to be made and 

returned within six months, and the whole purchase-money paid at 

one payment, and patent taken out within twelve months from the 

date of the application, with interest and quit-rent from six months 

after the application. If there be a failure on the side of the party 

^ applying, in either proving his survey and return to be made, or in 

paying the purchase-money, and obtaining the patent, the application 

and survey will be utterly void, and the Proprietaries will be at liberty 

to dispose of the land to any other person whatever. And as these 

terms will be strictly adhered to by the Proprietaries, all persons are 

hereby warned and cautioned, not to apply for more land than they 

will be able to pay for, in the time hereby given for that pui-pose. 

}jy order of the Governor. 

James Tilquman, 

Secrotarx of the Land Ofioe. 
Philadelphia Land Office, Feb. 23, 1769. 




Notwithstanding the stringency of the conditions 
enjoined upon those taking up lands, it is satisfactorily 
ascertained that they never were altogether complied 
with. When the system became practical, and the 
conditions were not fully complied with, the Proprie- 
taries did not insist upon forfeitures being made. The 
conclusions, however, are plain, from the following 
notice issued by the Surveyor-General in 1774 : 

" That as the several Deputy Surveyors propose giving due attend- 
ance in their respective districts throughout the Province the present 
summer, all persons who have entered applications for land, and have 
not got them surveyed, are hereby desired to attend the Deputy- 
Surveyor in whose district the land may be, show the same, pay the 
charges for surveying, in order that the same may be returned into 
the Surveyor-General and Secretary's Offices, in order for Patenting, 
(agreeable to an advertisement lately published by the Secretary of 
the Land Office,) by order of his honor the Governor. 

John Lukens, S. G.*' 

It may as well be remarked here that, in many 
instances, the conditions of the advertisement never have 
been, to this day, complied with, so far as relates to the 



patenting of lands. The various acta passed by the 
Logislature to bring about a compliance, were in a great 
measure unheeded, and never enforced. In 1S35, an 
act was passed that it was supposed would induce per- 
sons holding unpatented lands to avail themselves of 
its lenient i)rovisions at once, as an effort had been 
making for more than sixty years to urge landholders 
to comply with the conditions they had agreed to on 
taking out their warrants, knowing, as they did, what 
was required of them; The act constituted the Board, 
or a majority, of the County Commissioners to appraise 
all such unpatented lands ; and they were directed to 
make a table of rates, numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4, and all 
lands valued at $10 per acre and upwards, should be 
rated No. 1, — all valued at more than S7, and less than 
$10, should be rated No. 2, — all valued at over $4, and 
not over $7, should be rated No. 3, — all valued at $4, 
or less, to he rated No. 4 : provided, that in making the 
valuation of lauds, the value of the buildings thereon 
should be deducted- The next section provided that 
all lands rated No. 1, shall pay the amount of the pui- 
• chase-money, with 6 per cent, interest per annum 

thereon ; No. 2, the purchase-money and 4 i per cent, 
interest -, No. 3, the fee money, and 3 per cent. ; and 
^ No. 4, the original purchase-money without interest. 

■ This act was to continue in force three years, but at the 

H expiration of that time it was extended, and has been 

H extended from year to year, up to the present time. 

H Yet thousands of dollars are due the Commonwealth for 

I purchase-money, interest and patent fees, in those coun- 

H ties that existed under the Proprietary Government. 

H In reference to the advertisement of the Secretary 

H of the Land Office, the time having arrived, prepara- 


tions were made for the commencement of business. 
Location books were opened, and the tract applied for, 
numbered and described. It being understood that great 
numbers would attend ready to give in their locations 
at the same time, it was decided by the Governor and 
his agents, that the most unexceptionable method of 
receiving the locations, would be to put them altogether 
— after being received from the people — into a box, 
mix them well together, then draw them therefrom and 
number them as they came; this plan it was thought 
would determine the preference, without any show of 

Below I give a copy of an application, as they were 
then issued : — 

"No, 1085. 

tieORQE GttANT, hath made applicalioo for three hnndrcd acres 
of Und, on the Dortli side of the West Brooch of Sus'iuebanna, 
joining and shove the Uonorable Proprietors land at Muncy Creek, 
inclnding Wolf Run. 

Dated at Philadelphia, this third daj of April, 1760. 

To William Rcull, Deputy Surveyor ; yon are to anrvey the land 
mentioned in this applictttion, and make retnni thereof into the 
Sanrcyor-GcnenJ'a Office, within six mootha from the above date ; 
and thereof fail not. 

John Lit ken b, S. G," 

When the office was opened on the 3d of April, 1769, 
there was issued ou that day, 2782 applications, directed 
to the Surveyor-Generals in their respective districts 
embraced in the purchase of 1768, including the terri- 
tory from Lycoming to Pine Creek. But before the 
sury'eys were made, the Proprietaries issued an order 
prohibiting any surveys being made west of Lycoming 
Creek, on the north side of the river, as the Indians 
claimed that territory, and expressed much dissatisfac- 



W 44 
I tio: 


tion.* A large number of applications had, however, 
been issued for lands between these two streams, and 
placed in the hands of the Deputy Sur^'eyor, {the ori- 
ginals are now in the office of the Deputy Surveyor of 
Lycoming county,) but were not made in accordance 
with the order. There was no action taken upon them 
till after the treaty of 1784, when the dispute was 
settled, and which wlU be referred to in another part 
of this work. 

Instructions were also issued by the Surveyor-General 
to the Deputy, accompanying the application. Four 
Surveyors were appointed by the Commissioners of 
Property, for the surveying of the lands embraced in 
the treaty of 1768, Their names were, Wilham Gray, 
for the south-eastern part; Charles Stewart, for the 
north part, up the North Branch; William Scull, for the 
north side of the West Branch above Chilisquaque ; 
and Charles Lukens, for the south side, bounded on the 
south by the treaty hne of 1754, and east by Buffalo 
Creek, His district also extended to the head waters of 
Bald Eagle Creek, and embraced the following valleys : 
Bald Eagle, Nittany, Sugar, Nippenose, White Deer 
Hole, White Deer, and the upper part of Buft'alo. 

Surveys had, however, been made by Thomas Smith, 
Deputy Surveyor of Cumberland county, in what is 
now Clearfield, in June, 1709. As soon as the appli- 
cations were issued, the Surveyors were put to work. 
In the same month and year they were in White Deer 
Hole Valley making surveys, and on tlie 1st of July, in 
Black Hole Bottom; on the 4th, 5th and 6th, in Nippe- 
nose. The first survey in this Bottom, was made on 
the application of Elizabeth Brown, numbered 44, and 

* This will be explained in its proper place. 



inclnded the mouth of the Creek. It was made on the 
4th of July, 1769. 

Od the 7th of the same month, the first survey was 
made in Nippenose Valley, on the application of Ralph 
Foster, and embraced the tract where Sanderson's Mill 
now stands. On the 8th and 9th, surveys were made 
along the river in what is now Wayne township, Clinton 
county, and so on up. 

In the month of October, 1769, surveys were made 
along the river, in the vicinity of Mosquito Creek, and 
various other places. This was in Charles Lukeus' 

In William Scull's district, we find them making sur- 
veys on Muncy Creek, including the land adjoining the 
borough of Hughesburg. The other surveyors were 
progressing with their work in a proportionate degree. 

Applications were issued until the 31st of August, 
1769, when they amounted to 4000. Surveys were 
never made, probably, on half of the applications issued, 
but as often as four or five times on the same tract. 
Priority seems to have been given in these cases, 
according to the prescribed rule for the regulation of 
6uch errors, and the first application generally prevailed. 
There were some five or six applications for the lands 
of John Cox, three miles above the mouth of Buffalo 
Creek, including an Indian town, and those of Elizabeth 
Brown, in Nippenose Bottom. Many of these applica- 
tions were surveyed on other tracts — several opposite 
the Long Island were surveyed in Nippenose Valley, 
and some of them in Buffalo Valley. A tract was 
generally found to suit the apphcation. These applica- 
tions only cost a dollar for office fees, and a trifling 
Bum to the first explorer or guide to the land, who was 



generally an expert woodsman, who sought out the best 
locations. Some lines were run and marked in order 
to define their locations to a particular spot. Hawkins 
Boone was the principal explorer and woodsman in Bald 
Eagle, Nittany, and other valleys. In some of his notes 
taken at the time, he mentions the Bald Eagle's Nest, 
near Milesburg, and a settler there named Huff, who 
had cut logs to erect a cabin. He was one of those 
eai'ly adventurers from Cumberland county, mention of 
whom will be made in tiie proper place. 

The application of Andrew Hackett, included "an 
old Indian cornfield, near a mile from where Bald Eagte 
Creek cuts thi'ough the hill, and where the Frankstown 
road leads through to the Great Island," What kind of 
a road existed at that time will afford some conjecture. 

In many eases the tracts were described by letters 
cut on a tree, standing in a particular place, or deer 
licks included, by which means they could be identified. 

Many of the surveys made on these applications 
were not found for many years afterwards, as the people 
were soon compelled to abandon the frontier, and in 
many cases never returned. The location of many of 
these surveys is not determined to this day. 

The year 17G9 closed the application system, and in 
1770, the Proprietaries commenced the issuing of war- 
rants, which was pretty much on the same principle. 
Conditions, however, were fully set forth in the warrants, 
signed by the Governor, with the seal of the Land OflSce 
affixed. The original was filed in the Sui-veyor-Geneml's 
Office, and a copy directed to the Deputy in the district 
where the land was supposed to lie. When it was 
dmibtful where the land was, they were in many cases 
directed thus : " To the proper Deputy Surveyor." I 



had intended to give a copy of a warrant herewith, but 
the limits of this work will not permit of it. 

Here I shall close the remarks in reference to the 
original surveys, warrants, &e. Much more valuable 
infonnatiiMi could be given, as the subject is not half 
exhausted. Allusion will be made again to the disputed 
territory, and the last treaty at Fort Stanwix. 







The Valley of the West Branch was visited at a very- 
early period by adventurers, and Indian traders. The 
eoverninent also sent special messengers on several 
occasions to confer with the heads of the various tribes. 
The earliest account on record that I have been able to 
find, that relates to the Susriuehanna and Shamokin, 
dates back as early as 1728. Gov. Gordon lays down 
certain instructions to Smith and Petty, who were 
about to make a journey to Shamokin. In this letter 
of instructions, the Governor particularly requests them 
to call upon his Indian friends Aliimmopees, Opekassel, 
Shachalawlin, and Shikellemy, and give them his par- 
ticular regards. The latter of these chiefs, it is known, 
resided at Shamokin. 

It appears that the Governor esteemed these Indians 
very highly, and hoped to hear from them soon. He 
also stated that he had learned of some injury being 
done them by the whites, whom he intended to punish 
if found out, as he could not tolerate any violations of 
good faith. 

The same month, September, Wright and Blunstone 




reported to Gov. Gordon, that they had learned from 
an Indian, that one Timothy Higgins had been hanged 
at Shamokin, but for what cause was not stated. He 
was the servant of an Indian trader named Henry 
Smith, who, it appears, had penetrated into that region. 

The report of the hanging, after being investigated by 
Smith and Petty, turned out to be incorrect. 

In the following year, 1729, Gov. Gordon wrote a 
letter of condolence to Shickelemy, and other chiefs at 
Shamokin, on the death of Carundawana. He also 
spoke feelingly of the death of a son of Shickelemy, 
which took place about that time, and sent a shroud 
to bury him in. 

Iq the year 1730, a letter was received by the 
Qoveraor from a number of Delaware Indians, describ- 
ing the manner in which a white man received serious 
injury. The report stated that John Fisher and .John 
Hartt, two of the Shamokin traders, accompanied a 
number of their tribe down the river on a hunting 
excursion. After having proceeded over one hundred 
miles, the Indians proposed to fire-hunt, by making a 
ring. The white men would go along with them, 
although they tried to dissuade them from it, alleging 
that they did not understand it, and might receive some 
injury. But they persisted in going. In the excite- 
ment of the hunt, John Hartt was shot in the mouth, 
the bullet lodging in his neck, which killed him. 

The French had penetrated into the valley of the 
West Branch in considerable numbers before the arrival 
of the English, having came through from the Lakes. 
Rev. Da^id Brainerd speaks oi' a number of Europeans 
found by him at the town of Ostanwackin, who had 
adopted the Indian method of living; amongst whom 


was the celebrated Madame Montour, a French woma 
■who was married to Caruudawana. She was previous! 
married to Eoland Montour, a chief of the Seneca trib 
hy whom she had several sous, that figure conepicuousi 
in the history of the Valley. 

Loskiel, in his history of Moravian Missions, stati 
that on the 28th of September, 1742, Count Zinzendoi 
accompanied hy Conrad Weiser, Martin Mack and h 
wife, and two Indians, named Joshua and David, after 
long and tedious journey through the wilderness, arrivt 
at the town of Shamokin. The chief. Shickekm 
stepped out and gave them a hearty welcome. 
savage presented the Count with a fine melon, for whi( 
the latter gave him his fur cap. Zinzendoi-f immediate! 
announced himself as a messenger of the living Go 
come to preach unto them grace and salvation. Shic 
elemy replied that he was happy to receive and ent* 
tain an ambassador from the Great Spirit, and wou] 
afford him all the assiatance in his |iOwer. As a pro 
of his integrity, it is stated that on one occasion wh( 
these pious missionaries were about goin^ to prayer 
the Indians were making a terrible noise with dmn 
and singing, the Count sent word to Shickelemy, wl 
immediately ordered silence. 

The Count, after remaining a short time in Shamoki 
crossed the river with a part of his company, and pr 
ceeded to the town of Ostanwackin, on the West Branc! 
where they were kindly received and entertained fi 
two days, by Madame Montour. 

Rev. David Brainerd visited Shamokin in 1745, fi 
the first time. He endured nuich suffering, being i 
delicate health. He was kindly received, and ent€ 
tained in true Indian style, but had little satisfactit 


1 account of the heathenish dance that occuiTed in the 
I hut where he was obliged to lodge. After preaching to 
} them, he went down to Juniata Island. 

He returned to Shamokin in August, 1746, and 
I preached to the Indians. The following extract is from 
' his journal : 

" Sept. 1. — Set out on a journey towards a plnce called the Great 
lalaad, about fifty miles from Sbaumoking, on the north-wcatcro 
bmuch of the SuEquchanna. At uight lodged in the woods. 

Sept. 2. — Rode forward, but no faBt«r than my people went on 
foot. Was very weak on this as well as the preceding days. I was 
M feeble and faint that I feared it would kill me to lie out in the open 
tax; and some of my company beiug parted from us, so that we had 
now no axe with us. I had do way but to climb into a young pine 
tree, and with my knife to lop the brani^hcs, and so make a shelter 
from the dew. But the evening being cloudy, with a prospect of 
rain, I was still under fears of being estremely exposed; sweat much, 
W that my linen was almost wringing wet all night. I scarcely ever 

I was more weak and weary than this evening, when I was able to sit 
vp at all. This was a melancholy situation; but I endeavored to 
qiiiet myself with considerations of my being in much worse circum- 
stances amongst enemies, &c. 

Sept. 3. — Hode to the Delaware town ; found many drinking and 

I dranken. Diseonrsed with some of the Indians about Christianity ; 

observed my interpreter much engaged, and agisted in his work. A 

* persons seemed to hear with great earnestness and engagement 

[ of soul. About noon rode to a small town of Shauwaunoes, about 
Mght miles distant ; spent an hour or two there, and returned to the 

I J)elaware town, and lodged there. Was scarce ever more confounded 

[■ with a sense of my own un fruit fulness and unfitness for my work 
than now. (!) what a dead, heartless, barren, unprofitable wretch did 

I I now see myself to be ! 

Sept. 5. — Ciot to Sbaumoking towards night; felt somewhat of a 
^irit of thankfulness that God had so far returned me. 
Sept. 8. — Left Sbaumoking, and returned down the river a few 

1 ^lee. Had proposed to tarry a considerable time longer among the 

I bdiana upon the Susquehanna, but was hindered from pursuing my 




^1 purpose from aiclineaa that prevailed there, tbe feeble state of my own 

^H people that were with me, and especially my own estraordioary weok- 

^1 ness, haviog been exercised with great Dot-tumal ewcats, and a cough- 

^H ing up of blood, almost the whole of the journey. I waa a great 

^H part of the time no feeble and faint, that it seemed as though I never 

^1 should be able to reach home; and at the same time very 

^B of the comforts, and even the neoesaariea of life." 

I ' 

I i 


In the year 1745, saya Loskiel in his history of 
Moravian Missions, Bro. Martin Slack and his wife went 
to Sliamokin, where they staid two months. During 
this time they not only suffered much lUness, and trou- 
hles of various kinds, but frequently were eye-witnesses 
to the most horrible and diabolical abominations, prac- 
tised by the savages more in this place than any other. 
Several times they were in danger of being murdered 
by drunken Indians. Yet their fervent desire to gain 
souls for Christ, inspired them with such consolation, 
that, according to Mack's own statement, their hard fare 
in an Indian cottage afforded them more real pleasure, 
than all the luxuries of the most sumptuous palace 
could have done. They spent a part of their time in 
assisting the Indians to cultivate their com. 

From Shamokin they went on a visit to Long Island, 
where they were received with much kindness, especially 
by the chief His drunkenness seemed to the Mission- 
aries to be the greatest obstacle in the way of the Gospel. 
He got so drunk one evening that he fell into the fire, 
and burnt the flesh off one of his hands. They then 
returned to Shamokin. 

In 1748, Shamokin was visited by Bishop Camerhoff, 
and the pious Zeisberger, who came for the purpose of 
establishing a Moravian Mission. They also speak of 
making an excursion up the river as far as the Long 




Islaui], opposite Jersey Shore, and the Great Island, a 
few miles above. 

These were the principal English adventurers, of whom 
I have any account, that first penetrated the wilds of 
the beautiful Otzinaehson Valley, previous to the first 
permanent settlements. It is to bo regretted tliat some 
of them did not leave behind them a full account of 
the appearance of the country at that day, and the 
various Indian towns with which the valley abounded. 


' 54 







^f The first house erected at Shaniokin was by Conrad 

^ Weiaer, for the Indiiiii Chief Shickelemy, who employed 

hini to build it. In Mr. Weiser's letter to James Logan, 

dated September 29th, 1744, he says : 

" Sir : — The day before yesterday I came back from Shohomokin, 
where I have been with eight young men of my country people, whom 
Shickitlemy hired to make a locke bouse for him, and I weut with them 
to direct them. We finished the bouse in 17 days; it is 49) foot 
long, and 17i wide, and covered with singels." 

This was unquestionably the first building, after the 
English plan, that was erected at that place — one hun- 
dred and twelve years ago. It was no doubt built of 
rough logs notched together, and the shingles with which 
it was covered, were probably what would be denomi- 
nated at this day, clapboards. 

For what purpose such a building was designed by 
Shickelemy, is not stated, further than it was a "lode 
house," in which, it is inferred, he intended to incarcerate 
some of his refractory subjects. 

At the time Mr. Weiser was building the house, the 
fever was very bad among the Indians, and five or six 



were carried off whilst he was there. Alumoppces, the 
Delaware King, was prostrated for a long time previous, 
but finally recovered. 

The first settlement made at Shamokin, was in the 
spring of 1747, by Martin Mack and his wife, who had 
visited the place in 1745. They were from the Mora- 
vian settlements below. Previous to their arrival, John 
Hagin and Joseph Powell, of the Mission, had built a 
house there, which, I presume, was the second one 

As Shamokin was an important point for the Indians, 
and used as a depot, or tarrying-place, for their war 
parties against the Catawbas of the south, they were 
very anxious to have a blacksmith to save them the 
trouble of long journeys to Tulpehocken or PhiLidel- 
phia, to got their implements of war repaired. On appli- 
cation to the Provincial Government, their request was 
granted, on condition that he should remain with them 
no longer than lliey proved friendly to the English. As 
all was peace and harmony among the two nations at 
that time, of course they assented to the proposition, 
and a gentleman named Anthony Schmidt, from the 
mission at Bethlehem, had the honor of being the first 
representative of Vulcan at Shamokin. 

In the spring of 1744, the first aggravated case of 
murder occurred on the Juniata. When John Arm- 
strong, an Indian trader, and his two servants, James 
Smith and Woodworth Arnold, were inhumanly and 
barbarously murdered by an Indian of the Delaware 
I tribe, named Musemeelin. The atrocity of this murder 
Was 60 aggravating, that a Provincial Council was held 
to take the matter into consideration, and it was finally 
ttsolved tliat Conrad Wei.ser should be sent to Shamokin 


to make demands, in the name of the Governor, for 
those concerned in the affair. 

Mr, Weiser arrived at Shauiokin on the second day 
of May, 1744, and delivered the Governor's message to 
Alumoppees, the Delaware Chief, and the rest of the 
Delaware Indians, in presence of Shickelemy, and a few 
more of the Six Nations. 

Alumoppees replied that it was true, that the evil 
spirit had influenced some of his tribe to commit the 
murder, and that he was very sony it had occurred; 
they had taken the murderer and delivered hini to the 
friends of the deceased to be dealt with according to 
the nature of the deed. 

After the conclusion of the address by Alumoppees, 
Shickelemy arose and entered into a full account of the 
unhappy affair, which ie very long and interesting. When 
the conference with the Indians was ended, a feast was 
prepared, to which the Governor's messengers were in- 
vited, Mr. Weiser states that there were about one 
hundred persona present, to whom, after they had in 
great silence, devoured a fat boar, the eldest of the chiefs 
made a speech. 

The Moravian Mission was kept open till Braddock's 
defeat in 1755, wben the alarming aspect of affairs 
caused the brethren to abandon it and fly to Bethlehem. 
What success they had among the Indians is nowhere 
positively stated, but it is presumed that they succeeded 
in converting several. As late as 1755, an individual 
named Grube, is spoken of as going up the river to 
QuenishachshachH — where Linden now stands — to see 
some baptized Indians that lived there. They also fre- 
quently made excursions to Long Island and Great 

HOmntT OF THE VEST bbahoh tallet. 


Shickelemy was a chief of the Cayuga tribe, who was 
stationed at Shamokin to rule over the Indians. He 
was truly an excellent and good man, possessed of many 
noble qualities of mind, that would do honor to many 
white men laying claims to greater refinement and intel- 
ligence. He was possessed of great dignity, sobriety 
and prudence, and was particularly noted for his extreme 
kindness to the whites and missionaries. He was the 
most intimate and valued friend of Conrad Weiser, who 
entertained great respect for him. On several important 
occasions he attended the sittings of the Provincial Coun- 
cil at Philadelphia, and performed embassies between 
the government of Pennsylvania and the Six Nations, 
Conrad Weiser visited him frequently at his house in 
Shamokin, on business for the government, and was in 
turn visited by him at Tulpehocken. He had several 
sons, one of which was " Logan, the Mingo Chief," and 
another named Taghneghdoarus, who assumed the duties 
of chief, after the death of his father. He was the 

Shickelemy died in 1749, and in his death the whites 
lost the best and truest friend they ever had among the 
tawny sons of the forest. Loskiel, who knew him well, 
thus describes his character : 

" BeiDg ihe first raagiBtrate and head chief of all the Iroquois In- 
dians living on the bauks of the Susquehnana, as far as Onondaga, 
he thought it incumbent upon him to be very circumspect in his deal- 
ings with the whit* people. He mifitmsted the brethren at fitat, but 
upon discovering their sincerity, became their firm and real friend. 
Being much engaged in politioal affairs, he hod learned the art of 
ioneealiD); his sentiments; and, iherefore, never contradicted those 
who endeavored to prejudice his mind against the misaionaries, though 
he always snspeoted their motives. In the last years of his life he 
hecame less reserved, and received those brethren who came to Sha- 


mokin into his house. Ho assiated them in building, nnd defended 
tbetii aguiiist the insulla of the drunken Indians j being himself never 
addicted to drinking, because, as he expressed it, he never wished to 
become n fool. He had built his house upon pillars for safety, in 
whieb be always shut himself up when any drunken frolic was soing 
on in the village. In this house Bishop Johannes Von Watteville 
and bis company visited and preached the Gospel to him. It was 
tben that the Lord opened hia heart ; be listened with great attention ; 
and at last, with tears, respected the doctrine of a crucified Jesus, and 
received it in faith. During his vi^lt in Bethlehem, a remarkable 
change took place in hia heart which he could not conceal. He found 
eonifort, peace, and joy, by faith in his Redeemer, and the Brethren 
considered him as a candidate for baptism ; but bearing that be bad 
been already baptized, by a Roman Catholic priest, in Canada, they 
only endeavored to iniprcas bis mind with a proper idea of bis sacnt- 
mcntal ordinance, upon wbicb he destroyed a small idol, which be 
wore about his neck. After his return to 8hamokin, the grace of God 
bestowed upon him was truly manifest, and bis behavior was remark- 
ably peaceable and contented. In this state of mind he was taken 
ill, was attended by Br. David Zeishcrgcr, and in his presence fell 
happy nslccp in the Lord, in full assurance of obtaining eternal life 
through the merits of Jesus Christ." 

Conrad Weiser was ordered to visit Shamokin in April, 
1749, oiv business for the government, in reference to the 
death of Shickelemy, and he wrote to Governor Hamil- 
ton, that he had met the eldest and youngest son of his 
deceased friend, at the trading house of Thomas MeKee, 
some twenty miles down the river, who informed him 
that all the Indians had left Shamokin for a short time, 
on account of the scarcity of provisions. Here he de- 
livered the message from the Governor to the young 
men, and three others of the Six Nations, one of whom 
was Toffanogon, a noted Cayuga. In reference to the in- 
terview, he says : 

" All what I had to do was to let the children and grand-cbildren 
of our deceased friend, ShickelJmy, know that the Governor of Pen- 



Bilvanla and hia Council eondokd with them for the death of their 
father, which I did accordinglj, and gave them a small preaeot, in 
order to nipe off their teaT», accorditig to the custom of the Indiansj 
the present consisted of six Strowd Matchcoats and seven Shirts, with 
K string of Wampum ; after thia was over, I gave another string of 
WampDiD to Tagheneghdaarui, Shickelimys eldest son, and desired 
him to lake upon him the care of a chief in the stead of liis deceased 
fkthcr, and to be oar true corespondent, untill there should be a meet- 
ing between the Governor of Pcnsilvania and some of the Six Nation 
Chiefs, and then he should be recommended by the Governor to the 
Six Kation Chiefs and confirmed, If he would follow the foot steps of 
his deceased father. He accepted thereof, and I sent a string of 
Wampum by Toganogon, (who was then eeting out for Cayuekquo)to 
Onantago to let the Counsel of the Sis Nation Know of SUickelimy's 
death and my transaction by order of the Governor. There was a 
nece^tj for my doing bo." 





When the first settlements were made at Shamokin, 
and on the west side of the river at Peun's Creek, these 
lands were embraced m the limits of Berks and Cumber- 
land counties. Berks was organized in 1752, and took 
in all the region of country on the east side of the river 
as far northward as the limits of the Province. Cumber- 
land was formed in 1750, and took in all the lands on 
the west side of the river. 

The feeling of amity that had existed between the 
whites and Indians for a period of upwards of seventy 
years, was about to be broken, and a spirit of hatred 
and revenge began to manifest itself. The Indians be- 
came dissatisfied with the whites on account of their re- 
cent treaties, wherein they discovered that they were 
cheated and deceived. The evil passions of the Indians 
once aroused, they were capable of committing the most 
horrid and fiendish crimes. Once they were estranged 
from the English, they united with the French, and 
shortly afterwards followed those terrible massacres, dur- 
ing the French and Indian wars. 




As early as 1745, an extensive settlement was made 
at Penn's Creek, a few miles below Sbamokin, on the 
west side of the river. The settlers were mostly Scotch- 
Irish, from the Kittatinny Valley. They pitched their 
tents in the wilderness, on the inviting land around the 
stream, and commenced to open up little patches of 
ground. They were hardy and industrious — well calcu- 
lated to endure the sufferings to be encountered in a new 
country, among painted savages and wild beasts. They 
enjoyed none of the comforts of refined life — they were 
the hardy pioneers of civiUzation. 

The proud savage viewed the gi-adual encroachment of 
the whites upon his favorite hunting grounds with feel- 
ings of distrust. He had been to them a friend — hud 
extended to them the hospitaUties of his humble wig- 
wam, and ministered to their wants. But they had 
cheated and deceived him in return. His proud nature 
could not endure such treatment — it was inconsistent 
with his views of justice and right. He turned away 
from them with feelings of scorn, deejdy tinctured with 
the malignaucy of vindictive passion. 

The names of a few of the first settlers at Penn's 
Creek have been preserved, and are as follows : Jacob 
Le Roy, Geoi^e Auchmudy, Abraham Sourkill, George 
Snabble, George Gliwell, John McCuhan, Edmund Mat- 
thews, John Young, Mark Curry, William Daran, John 
Simmons, George Aberheart, Daniel Braugh, Gotfriod 
Fryer, Dennis Mueklehenny, George Linn, and several 

The settlers soon became alarmed at the dark clouds 
that were fast gathering, and threatening them with dan- 
ger. Actual hostilities between the French and their 
Indian allies, had already commenced with the English. 




H An awful crisis was approaching — the frontier settlers 

^h were in a panic. The Indians, true to their chnracter, 

^K when enemies, struck whenever an opportunity presented 

^P — neither sex nor age was sparcJ — the vindictive savage 

m knew no pity. 

W Petitions were sent in to the Provincial Government 

praying for protection on the frontiers. The government, 
seriously alarmed, made some attempt to devise a plan 
for protection, but it availed but httle. 

In 1755, the disastrous defeat of Braddock occurred 
on the banks of the Monongahela, This unfortunate and 
unexpected event, cast a pall of gloom over the minds of 
the settlers, and they feared the worst consequences. 

True to their expectations, scarce three months had 
elapsed after this event, till a body of Indians from the 
West Branch, fell upon the settlement at Penu's Creek. 
The attack was made upon the 15th of October, 1755, 
and every person in Ihe settlement, consisting of twenty- 
five, including men, women and children, with the excep- 
tion of one man, who made his escape, though danger- 
ously wounded, were either killed or carried into capti- 
vity. The scene of havoc and devastation presented in 
this once bappy settlement, is described to have been 
mournful in the extreme, Tliey barbarously killed and 
scalped a large number, and carried the rest into capti- 
vity. Their houses were burned, and their fields laid 
waste. A number of settlers near the scene of the mas- 
sacre, immediately came up to bury the dead. They 
describe the scene as follows : 

" We fuund but thirteen, who were men and elderly womea. The 
children, we suppose to be carried away, prisonera. The Louse where 
we Buppoac they finished their murder, we found burnt up ; the niaa 
of it, named Jacob King, a Swisser, lying just by it. He lay on his 



back, barbaroualy burnt, and two tomahawkR sticking in hie forehead; 
one of those marked newly W. D. We have sent them to your 
Bonor. The terror of which, has driven away almost all the buck 
inhabitants, except the aubserihers, with a few niore, who are willing 
to Btay and defend the land ; but ns we are not at all able to defend 
it for the want of guns and ammunition, and few in numbers, so that 
without aasislancc, wo must flee and leave the country to the mercy 
of the enemy." 

Jacob King, alias Jacob Le Roy, who was so inhu- 
manly butchered, had only lately arrived from Europe. 
At tlie time of his murder, his daughter, Anne Mary Le 
Rny, and some others, were made prisoners and taken to 
Kittanning, where she was kept a captive for about four 

This massacre spread terror and consternation through- 
out the settlements ; and on intelligence being received 
telow, about the 20th of October, a party of forty-five, 
commanded by John Harris, set out from Harris' Ferry, 
(now Harrisburg.) and proceeded to the scene of thedis- 
aster, where they found and buried a number of the 
mangled bodies of the victims also. From this place 
they proceeded to Shamokin to see the Indians and pre- 
vail upon them, if possible, to remain neutral. This 
■visit, it is alleged, they were persuaded to make by John 
Shickelemy and Old Belt. Their reception at the vil- 
lage was civil, but not cordial, and they perceived, as 
they thought, that their visit had disconcerted the sa- 
vages. They reraaiued there till the next morning. 
During the night the/heard some Indians, about twelve 
in number, talking to this purpose : " What are the 
English come here for f Says another : " To kill us I 
Buppose ; can we then send off some of our nimble 
young men to give our friends notice,*that can soon be 
here t" They soon after sang the war song, and four 



I 64 

H Indians went off, in two canoes, well armed — one canoe 

H went down the river, and the other across. 

I In the morning they made a few presents to the In- 

I diansj who promised to remain neutral, and assist them 

H « against a large scalping ])arty of French and Indians, 

■ that they had learned were on their way across the Al- 

leghany mountains to attack the settlements. They 
were distrustful of the good faith of the Indians, after 
what they had heai'd the previous night, and were anx- 
ious to get away. Before leaving the village on their 
return, they were privately warned by Andrew Mon- 
tour, a half breed Indian interpreter, not to take the 
road on the western side of the river, but continue on 
down the eastern side, as he believed it to be dangerous. 
They, however, disregarded his warning, either relying 
on the good faith of the Indians at Shamokin, or sus- 
pecting that /ic intended to lead them into an ambuscade, 
and marched along the flats on the west side of the ri^'er. 
The fording place across Penn's Creek was then at the 
place where the stream divides, one part passing south, 
the other and main embouchure turning nearly due eaat, 
towards the Susquehanna — this was the branch which 
Harris and his party were to pass. The northern shore 
of the creek, where they entered the water, was low; 
on the southern side — the head of the Isle of Qucu — 
was a high and steep bank, near, and parallel, to which 
was a deep natural hollow where the savages, some 
thirty in number, lay concealedj Before the whites, 
partly on foot, and partly mounted, had well time to as- 
cend the bank, the savages rose and fired on them. Four 
were killed. Harris states that himself and about fif- 
teen of his men, immediately took to trees and returned 
the fire, killing four Indians, with the loss of three more 



men. They retreated to the river, and passed it with 
the loss of four or five men drowned. Harris was 
mounted, and in the flight was entreated by one of the 
footmen, a large fat man, and a doctor, to sufi'er him to 
monnt behind him. With some unwillingness he con- 
sented (fortunately for himself,) and they entered the 
river. They had not got entirely out of rifle distance, 
when a shot struck the doctor in the back, and he fell 
wounded into the river, from whence he never rose. The 
horse was wounded by another shot, and failing, Harris 
was obliged to abandon him and swim part of the way. 
The remainder of the party after several days of toil- 
some marching through the rugged country, reached 
home in safety. 

To mark the spot where this fight occurred, a party 
who came up to bury the dead, drove a wedge through 
tiie body of a Linden sapling, standing on the ground. 
This tree a few years ago was some eighteen or twenty 
inches in diameter, and still retained the marks of the 
wedge, about five or sis feet from the ground. 

The next day a party of Indians from Shamokin 
went down to where the engagement had taken place. 
They informed David Zeisberger that t/iey found three 
white men killed, lying near together ; and on the nver 
side they found another dead man, not shot, hut sup- 
posed to have been drowned trying to escape; a short 
distance further they discovered a suit of women's 
clothes, with a pair of new shoes, lying near the river, 
■which they thought must have belonged to some one 
who endeavored to escape by crossing the river. They 
then followed the trail further into the woods, where 
they espied a sapUng ait down, and near by a grub 
twisted. They were certain these marks indicated 


something, and on carefully searching around discovered 
a parcel of leaves carefully raked together, upon remov- 
ing Tvhich they found a fresh grave that contained an 
Indian who had been ehot. He was well dressed : all 
the hairs of his head were removed, with the exception 
of a small tuft on the crown, which indicated him to be 
a French Mohawk. 

They also found a glove, all bloody, lying by a tree 
that was much shot, which they supposed to have 
belonged to Thomas McKee, an Indian trader. From 
here they went down to George Gabriel's faim, where 
they saw Indian tracks in the plowed ground. His 
com was burnt and destroyed, and no person about. 

As the enemy wa.s prowling around the settlements, 
watching an opportunity to murder and scalp, it is 
impossible to imagine the fear and consternation that 
seized the inhabitants. Their only safety was to flee 
and leave all to the enemy. They had in vain looked 
for relief from the Government. Houses that had been 
occupied, bams that had been filled with the fruita of a 
rich and plenteous harvest, and newly sowed fields, and 
standing corn, were aJ] abandoned to the mercy of the 

A friendly Indian named Duke Holland, of the Dela^ 
ware tribe, who was much esteemed by the whites, was 
about tlie settlement at the time of the massacre. The 
surviving whites in their rage, partly resolved to satiate 
theii- revenge by murdering him. This Indian, satisfied 
that his nation was incapable of committing such a foul 
murder in time of profound peace, told the enraged 
settlers that he was sure the Delawares were not in any 
manner concerned in it, and that it was the act of some 
wicked Mingoes or Iroquois, whose custom it was to 


involve other nations in wars with each other by clan- 
destinely committing murders, so that they might fae 
kid to the charge of others than themselves. But all 
his representations were vain ; he could not convince 
exasperated men, whose minds were fully bent on 
revenge. At last, he offered that if they would give 
him a party to accompany him, he would go with them 
in quest of the murderers, and was sure he could dis- 
cover them by the prints of their feet and other marks 
well known to him, by which ho would convince them 
that the real perpetrators of the crime belonged to the 
Sis Nations. His proposal was accepted; he marched 
at the head of a party of whites, and led them into the 
tracks. They soon found themselves in the most rocky 
parts of the mountain, whore not one of those who 
accompanied hira was able to discover a single track, 
nor would they believe that ever a man had ti-odden on 
this ground, as they had to jump over a number of 
crevices between the rocks, and in some instances to 
crawl over them. Now they began to believe that the 
Indian had led them across those ragged mountains Jn 
order to give the enemy time to escape, and threatened 
him with instant death the moment they should be 
fhlly convinced of the fraud. Tlie Indian, tnie to his 
promise, would take pains to make them perceive that 
an enemy had passed along the places through which 
be was leading them ; here he would show thom that 
the moss on the rock had been trodden down by the 
weight of a human foot, then that it had been torn and 
dragged forward from its place ; further, he would point 
out to them that pebbles-or small stones on the rocks 
had been removed from their beds by the foot hitting 
against them, that dry sticks by being trodden upon 


I 68 

H were broken, and even that in a particular place, an 

I Indian's blanket had dragged oi'er the rocks, and re- 

I moved or loosened the leaves lying there, so that they 

m lay no more flat, as in other places ; all which the 

1^ Indian could perceive as he walked along, without ever 

W stopping. At last arriving at the foot of the mountain, 

on soft ground, where the tracks were deep, he found 
that the enemy were eight in number, and from the 
freshness of the foot-prints, he concluded that they must 
be encamped at no great distance. This proved to be 
the exact truth ; for, after gaining the eminence on the 
other side of the valley, the Indians were seen encamped, 
some having already laid down to sleep, while others 
were drawing off their leggings for the same purpose, 
and the scalps they had taken were hanged up to dry. 
•' See !" said Duke Holland to his astonished com- 
panions, " there is the enemy ! not of my nation, but 
Mingoes, as I truly told you. They are in our power ; 
in less than half an hour they will all be fast asleep. We 
need not fire a gun, but go up and tomahawk them. 
We are nearly two to one and need apprehend no 
danger. Come on, and you will now have your full 
revenge !" But the whites overcome with fear, did not 
choose to follow the Indian's advice, and urged him 
to take them back by the neai'est and best way, whieh 
he did, and when they arrived at home late at night, 
they reported the number of the Indians to have been 
so great, that they durst not venture to attack them. 

This story is said to be strictly true by Heckewelder, 
the Indian historian, and is illustrative, in a nice degree, 
of the wonderful sagacity and cunning of the Indians. 





The consternatioD und e.xcitement that prevailed 
throughout the country, at the time of the massacre 
on Penn's Creek, is better imagined than described. 
The most exaggerated rumors were put in circulation, 
many of which wore devoid of all truth. But, notwith- 
staudiug, they had reasons to be alarmed, as the danger 
was really great. 

About the latter part of October, 1755, Andrew 
Montour, and an Indian named Monagatootha, were 
sent for by the Delawarea to visit them at the Great 
Island. They started up, accompanied by three other 
Indians. On arriving there they found six Delaware 
and four Shawanese, who informed them that overtures 
had been made them by the French. Large bodies of 
French and Indians had crossed the Alleghany moun- 
I, for the purpose of murdering, scalping and burning. 
[•Montour reported to the Provisional Government, 
IjM'BIbo recommended the erection of a fort at Shamokin. 
It was the intention of the French to oveiTun this 
portion of the country, and erect fortifications at different 
points, making Shamokin their head-quarters. 

In the latter part of October, 1755, a few weeks after 



■ 70 

I the big massacre, the Indians again appeared in eon- 

I 8iderable numbers around the Shamokin region ; and 

I during the following month committed sevend barbarous 

I murders upon the remaining whites. No particulars, 

Hjg however, are preserved, and notwithstanding the most 

■ careful research, I have been unable to gather them. 

' During the montli of November, at a Council held at 

Philadelphia, the old Indian Chief Scarroyady, was pre- 
sent, and gave some interesting information. It was to 
the effect that two messengers had recently come from 
Ohio to the Indian town at Big Island, where tliey 
found a white man who accidentally happened to be 
there. These Indians were very much enraged on 
seeing him, and insisted upon having him killed. The 
other Indiana would not permit him to be injured, 
stating that they would not kill him nor allow ihon to 
do it, as they had lived on good terms with the English, 
and did not wish to shed blood. These messengers 
were sent by the French to estrange these friendly 
Indians if possible. 

Ill 1750, the Governor of the Province of Pennsyl- 
vania, on account of the hostility of the Indians, was 
obliged to issue the following proclamation, which I copy 
from the 7tb volume of the Colonial Records, page 88; 


" Wherra*, the DolawBrc tribe of IndioDS, and others in confcdcnej 

with thew, ba»e for some time past, witliout tbe least provocation, 
and contrary (o their moat aolemn treaties, fallen upon thin province, 
BDd in a most crue), savnge and perfidious manner, killed and butchered 
great numbers of tbe icbabitants, and carried others into barbarous 
cijptivitj; hnrning and destroying their habitAtions, and Inyiog ffa$t« 
tbe country, ^n*^ vAn-eai, notwitha tan ding the friendly remon- 
strances made to them by this GoTcmment, and the iuterpositioti and 


poeitive orders of our faithful fricuds and allies the Six Nations, to 
whoiu tbe; owe obedieace and Bubjcctioa, requiring and commanding 
them to desist from any further acts of hostility against us, and to 
return to their ailegiauce, the said Indians do etill continue their 
cruel murders and ravages, sparing neither age nor ecx. ; I have, 
therefore, by and with the advice and consent of the Council, thought 
fit to issue this I'roclamation ) and do hereby declare the said Delaware 
Indians, and all others who, in conjunction with them, have com- 
mitted hostilities against Hia Majesty's subjects within this Province, 
to be enemies, rebels, and traitors to His Moat Sacred Majesty; and 
I do hereby require all Hia Majesty's subjects of this Province, and 
earnestly invite those of the neighboring Provinces to embrace all 
opportunities of pursuing, taking, killing, and destroying the said 
Delaware Indians, and all others confederated with them in coramii- 
ting hostilities, incursions, murdera, or ravages, upon this Proviuce. 

" And whereoji, many Delawares and other Indians abhorring the 
ungrateful, cruel and perfidious behavior of that part of the Delaware 
tribe and others that have been concerned in the late iuhumau ravages, 
have removed into the settled and inhabited parts of the country, put 
themselves under the protection of this and the neighboring govcrn- 
meote, and live in a peaceable manner with the King's subjects; / '/o 
therefore dec/are, that the said friendly Indians that have so sepanited 
themselves from our said enemies and all others who shall join or act 
with us in the prosecution of this just and necessary War, are ex- 
pressly excepted out of this Deelaration, and it is recommended to all 
officers and others to aflTord them protection and assistance. And 
KliTTcat, the Commissioners appointed with nie to dispose of the si'jrfy 
ikouMind povttdi lately granted by act of General Assembly for U'n' 
WajcHty's use, have, by their letters to me of the tenth inst., agreed 
to pay out of the same the several rewards for prisoners and scalps 
herein after specified; and, therefore, as a further inducement and 
encoaragement to all His Majesty's Liege People, and to all the seve- 
ral tribes of Indians who continue in friendship and alliance with us, 
to exert and use their utmost endeavor to pursue, attack, take, and 
destroy onr said enemy Indians, and to release, redeem, and recover 
mch of his Majesty's subjects as have been taken and made prisoners 
by the same enemies ; / do hereby declare and promise, that there 
shall be paid out of the said sixty thousand pounds to all and every 
person aud persons, as well Indians as Christians not in the pay of 


the province, the several and respective pveminms and bonnties fol- 
lowing, that is tri any : For every male IniliBQ eoeniy above twelve 
years old who sLall be taken priaoner and delivered at aiiy forta gar- 
risoned by the troops in the pay of this Province, or at any of the 
County towns, to the keepers of the common jails there, the sum of 
one hundred and fifty Spanish dollars or pieces of eight; for the 
seolp of every male Indian enemy above the age of twelve years, pro- 
duced as evidence of their being killed, the sum of one hundred and 
thirty pieces of eight ; for every female Indian taken prisoner and 
brought in as aforesaid, and for every male Indian prisoner under the 
age of twelve years taken and brought in as aforesaid, ODC hundred 
and thirty pieces of eight ; for the sealp of every Indian woman, pro- 
dnced as evidence of their being killed, the sum of fifty pieces of 
eight ; and for every English subject that has been taken and carried 
from this Province into captivity that shall be recovered and brought 
in and delivered at the city of Philadelphia to the Governor of this 
Province, the sum of one hundred and fifty pieces of eight, but no- 
thing for their scalps; and there shall be paid to every officer or sol- 
dier as are or shall he in the pay of this Province who shall redeem 
and deliver any English subject earned into captivity as aforesaid, or 
shall take, bring in and produce any enemy prisoner, or Boalp as afore- 
said, one half of the raid several and respective premiums and 

Giveit under my hand and the Great Seal of the Province, at 
Philadelphia, the fourteenth day of April, in the twenty-ninth year 
of His Alajcsty's reign, and in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-six. 

" By His Honor's Command, 

Richard Peters, Secretary. 


From this document it will be perceived that the 
whites were encourageil to scalp the Indians, by a re- 
ward oiTered by the Governor. It is thought to huve 
been very barbarous for the Indians to scalp the killed, 
but at the same time it is not generally known that the 
English were hired to do the .same. Such being the 




fact then, are the Indians to be blamed for their conduct? 
Certainly not. But it will be ai^ued, probably, that 
they first commenced the barbarous practice. Granting 
such to be the fact, was that any reason that people 
claiming to be enlightened, should adopt the custom of 

About this time the Indians abandoned the town of 
Shaiuokin, probably on account of fear of the English, 
who were expected there in considerable force, to erect 
a fort, and make preparations for the defence of the fron- 
tier. On the third of June, 1756, a scout, consisting of 
George Allen, Abraham Loverhill, James Crampton, 
John Gallaher, John Murrah, and Robert Egar, were 
sent up the river to reconnoitre the enemy at Sbamokin. 
They reported that they arrived there on Saturday 
night, and not observing any enemy, went to the place 
where the town had been, but found all the houses con- 
sumed, and no trace of it left. They remained there 
till ten o'clock the next day, but observed no signs of 

Shortly after the massacre on Penn's Creek, the Mo- 
ravian Mission at Shamokin was broken up, and the 
settlers fled to Betlilehem. This they were compelled 
to do in order to save their Uves, as the Indians were 
very rude, and probably would have murdered them if 
they had remained much longer. 

Thus was the ancient town of Shamokin de.stroyed 
by its own inhabitants. It seemed that they were anx- 
ious to obliterate all trace of their settlement at this 
point, when they found that the whites were encroach- 
ing so rapidly upon their lands. Like the Russians, 
th«y were determined to leave nothing behind, that 
could be of any benefit to the enemy. 




Shamokiu having been such au important point among 
them from time immemorial, no doubt they left it with 
regret, and the dusky warrior a.s he turned into the 
forest, could not refrain from looking back at the spot he 
loved so well, that was to be abandoned forever. The 
flames of the burning wigwams lighted up the gloom of 
the surrounding wilderness — the little pappooses clung 
closer to their mothers, and looked wistfully around. 
This closed the first act in the drama. The curtain will 
rise upon a new scene. 

'V nrtiti liMittlti 







It beiDg fully determiDed by the Provincial Govern- 
ment to erect a fort at Shamokin, instructions were 
issued to Col. William Claphnm, by Gov. Morris, in 
June, 1756, as follows : 

" Herewith ynu will also receive two Planna of Porfs, the one a 
Pentagon, the othor a Square wilh one Ravelin to Protect the Curtain 
w)iere the gate is, with a ditch, covered way, and Glacis. But as it 
is impORsible to give any explicit directions, the Particular form of a 
fort, without viewiDg and Considering the gronud on which it is to 
Stand, 1 muat leave it to you to build it iu such form ua will best 
answer for its own Defen('e, the command of the river and of the 
Country in ils neighborhood, and the Plans herewith will serve to 
shew the Proportion that the Different parts of the worts should bear 
to Each other. 

" As to the place upon which this fort is to be ereoted, that must 
be in a great measure left to your Judgment; but it is ncceasury to 
inform you that it must be on the East side of the Susnuehanna, the 
Lands on the West at ye forks and between the branches not being 
purchased from the Indians, besides which it would he impossible to 
relieve and snpport a garrison that side in the winter time. From nil 
the information that 1 have been able to Collect, tlie I^and on yc soutlt 
aide of the east branch, opposite the middle of the Island, is the highest 
of any of the low land thereabout, and the best place for a fort, as the 
Gnus you have will form a Rampurt of a moderate highth^ couimaud 


but as these InfonoatioiiB come from persons not 
til the nature of such things, I am fearful! they &re oot 
depended on, and your own Judgment must therefore 

" When you have completed the fort you wHl cause the ground to 

cleared about it, so to a convenient distance and openings to be 
made to the river, and you will Erect such buildings within the fort 
and place them in such a manner as you shall Judge best. 

"Without the fort, at a convenient distance, under the command 
of the Gnus, it will be necessary to build some log houses for Indians, 
4hat they may have places to Lodge in without being in the fort 
where numbers of them, however friendly, should not be admitted 
but in a. formal manner, and the guard turned out, this will be 
esteemed a complimcut by our friends, and if enemies should at any 
time be coucoaled under that name, it will give them proper notions 
of our vigilance and prevent them from attempting to surprise it. 

" As soon as you are in possession of the Ground at Shamokin, yoa 
will secure yourself by a breastwork in the best manner jou can, so 
thsit JOU ever may work in safety, and you will infonn me of every- 
thiug committed to their care." 

This extract embraces the principal part of the instruc- 
tions relating to this point, and may be found at length 
in the Archives of the State, page 668. 

When Col. Claphara received these instructions, he 
was at Fort Halifax, at the mouth of Armstrong's Creek, 
thirty-two miles below Shamokin, with a body of several 
hundred men. He had a number of mechanics also 
engaged in building boats for the transportation of their 
provisions, and munitions of war. These boats were 
pushed against the current. Navigating the river at 
that time, and in such a manner, was very laborious as 
well as dangerous; for the savages were constantly on 
the look out to surprise them. He also manufactured 
carriages at this place for his cannons, but the number 
is not given. It is inferred, however, from letters, that 
he had a number of pieces. 



It appears that the CoIoDel had some difficulty with 
his men here, on account of pay already dne them. Not 
being able to pay them, on account of the scarcity of 
funds, some of the soldiers, and the bateau-men, became 
very obstreperous, and refused to jjcrform their duty. 
The latter were Dutchmen, according to his account, 
and twenty-six in number. They were arrested, and 
confined for mutiny. 

The march was continued under great difficulty, an* 
in July, 1750, the Colonel arrived at Shamokin with 
a command of about four hundred men. Temporary 
breastworks were hastily thrown up for their better 
protection, and preparations made to build a fort with- 
out delay. The men, however, were much dissatisfied 
about their pay, and it was witli great difficulty thtit 
they could be restrained from returning. Matters finally 
assumed such a serious aspect, that on the 13th of July, 
a council was held in the camp, to take into considera- 
tion what was best to be done. As it shows clearly the 
troubles encountered by the commander, and forms an 
important feature in the history of Fort Augusta, I copy 
it entire, as follows : 

" Present — all the Officers of Colonel Clapliam's Regiment, except 
Capt. Milct), wbo C'ummands the Garrison at Furt Halifax. 

"The Suhnlterns cninplain, that after expectation given them by 
screrat Gentleiueo, Com mission ers, of reeeiving seven Shillings and 
Six Pence each Lieut,, &. five Shillings & Sis Pence each Ensign per 
(lay, the Commiesajy has received Instructions to pay a Lieut, bnt five 
shilling and six pence, and an Ensign four Shillings, 

"Capt. Salter afiirms, that the Gentlemen Commissioners assur'd 
bim that the Subalterns pay was Augmeutcd from five Shillings and 
SIX pence, and four Shillings to the sums mention'd above. 

" Lieut. Daviea reports, that Mr. Fox assured him that the pay of 
a Lieut, in this Regiment woud be Ealablished at seven Shillings & 



aiK Pence per Day, and that Mr. Peters, the Provincia! Secretary, told 
him tho a&me as a thiag ouDcluded apon, but hinted at the samo time 
tUat lie might expect but live shiilinjip and aispenco per Day, before 
he came into the Kegimcat. 

"Lieut. Garrawaj says, that Mr. Hamilton told him at Dinner, at 
Mr. Cunninghams, that the Pay of a Captain in thia Regiment was 
to be ten Shillings, a Liut«nants seven Shillings & six pence, & an 
Kusigns five Shillings & Sixpence. 

" Capt. Lloyd says, that Mr. Uughs, one of the Genllemen Comuiis- 
sioncrs tuld him the same thing, 

" The Gentlemen Officers beg leave to Appeal to bis Honor, the 
Governor, as an Evidence that that Opinion Universally Prevailed 
tliTo'uat the Regiment, and tbiDking themselves unjustly dealt ivth 
by the Gentleiuen Comraisare., are Unanimously Delenntned not to 
Honor their most hearty and sincere thanks for the Fuvours rtweivcd, 
the grateful impressions of web they shall never forget, and at the 
same time request a permission from your Honor (o Resign on the 
ISrentieth day of Augst next, desiring to be relieved accordingly. 

"[Signed] Levi Trump, Patrick Davis, Daniel Clark, Chas. Garra- 
way, AKber Cla3rton, Wm. Anderson, John Hambright, William 
Plunkett, Sam. Juo. Atlee, Chas. Drodhcad, Wm. Patterson, Joseph 
Scott, John Morgan, Samuel Sliles, James liryan, Pat. Allison." 

From thi.5 dueument, which may be foim<l on page 
700 of the Pennsylvania Archives, anil volume first, it 
will be perceived that considerable difficulty existed 
between the government and the officers, which threat- 
ened seriously to impair the harmony that should exist 
between them. 

James Young, who appears to have been a paymaster 
in the service of the government, visited Shamokin about 
this time, and found great confusion and dissatisfaction 
existing among the officers. On the 18th of July, 1756, 
he wrote a long letter to Gov. Morris, detailing the trou- 
bles in the camp. Col. Clapham, he states, was much 
displeased, on account of there not being a sufficiency of 
money forwarded to pay the troops. lie complained 



loudly, of what he termed his ill usage, and went so far 
as to threaten to leave the service, and join the Indians, 
if something nas not done soon. 

Young, it appears, did not pay any of the officers, on 
acfoimt of their claiming more than he was instructed 
to allow them. All of them, with the exception of three 
or four, had been under arrest by order of the Colonel, 
and released at his pleaaui'e without trial. He much 
doubted the propriety of building a fort at this point, as 
there was great danger of it being deserted by the men, 
and given up to the enemy. 

On the same day Colonel Clapham and James Burd, 
wrote a long letter to Governor Morris, setting forth their 
grievances as follows : — 

" Shamokin, July 18th, 1766;» 
" SiBi 1 am deair'd herewith to Transmit to your Honor the re- 
sults of a Council held at the Oamp at Shaniokio, July the 13th, iu 
conaequence of a disappuintmcnt iu the I'ay of yc Subalterns, from 
wch it will appear to your Honor that they think Tliemselvea iU- 
treated by the Gentlemen Commissioners, whose Honor they rely'd 
on and several uf whose promises they recite in Regard to their Pay, 
and that they are unanimously determined to resign their Commis. 
■ions on the iiOth day of August next if tho rcspoctive l*roiuisc» and 
Assnrances of the Gentlemen Commissioners on tliut Head are not 
folly Comply'd with before that time. 

" I fiirther beg leave to address your Honor wth a Complaint in 
behalf of myself, and the other Captains and Officers of this Ucgi- 
munl. I bad the honor to receive from you, Sr., a Commission as 
Captjiin in the Regiment under my commnud, dated March tbc 21Jth, 
for which the Gentlemen Commissioners, notwithstanding it was re- 
presented to them, biivc been pleased to withhold my pay and As- 
■fcn'd as a Reason that a man can execute but one Office at a time, 
and ought to devote his whole service to it, which is not only an uu- 
josl remark, but aflroutiug to all Gentlemen who buvo the Honor to 
bold directly from his Majesty or from any of bis Majesty's Officers 
more than one Commission at the same time, by supposing them dc- 


I 80 

H ficient ID Bomc part of their Dut;, and is virlunliy an invective againal 

H the Government of Groat Brituin itself. They have likewisi; been 

H pleased to deal with Major Burd upon the same principles and have 

H paid him only as a Captain, which must be confessed is a very con- 

H else method of reducing without the Sentence or even the Sanction of 

H a Court Martial. 

H " The several Captaina think theiUBclves affronted by the Com- 

^ missrs Instructions to the Coniraissary to pay but two Serjeants and 

forty-eight Private Men in each Company, notwithstanding two Cor- 
poralla and one Druinmcr were appointed in each Company by your 
Honor's express Command, this instruction appears to them also u a 
conlcmpt of your Honor's Orders, and have accordingly paid these 
non-cummissioned officers out of their own Pockets. 

" I entered into this service at the Solicitation of some of the Gen- 
tlotaen Com mission era, in Dependence on Promises, which they have 
never performed, and have acted ever since not only in two Capacities 
but in twenty, having besides the Duties of my Commissions m CoL 
& Captain been obliged to discharge those of nn Engineer and Over- 
seer at the same time, and undergone in the Service incredible Fa- 
tigues without Materials and without thanks. But as I am to be paid 
only as a Col. I intend while I remain in this Service only to fulfill 
the Duties of that Commi.ssion, which never w.ia yet supposed to in- 
clude building forts and ten thousand other Services which I have 
performed, so that the Gentlemen Commissioners have only to send 
Engineers, Pioneers and other Laborers, with the necessary Teams 
and Utensils, while I, as Col. preside over the Works, see that your 
Honor's orders are punetuully executed, & only Defend the Persons en- 
gaged in the Execution of them. In pursuance of a resolution of your 
Honor and the Gentlemen Commissioners to allow me an Aid-De- 
Camp who was to be paid as a Supernumerary Capt. in the liegi- 
ment; I ftceording appointed Cnpt. Lloyd as my AJd-Dc-Camp on 
April 2nd, 1756, who has ever since acted as such in the most Fa- 
tiguing and disagreeable Service on Earth, and received only Gap- 
ttun's Pay. 

" Your Honor was pleased to appoint Lieut. Clayton Adjutant t« 
the Regiment under my command by a Commission, bearing date the 
24th day of May, 1750, but the Gentlemen Commissrs have, in De- 
fiance of all known rules, resolved that an Officer can Discharge but 
one duty in a day, and have paid him only as a Lieutenant. Im- 
powercd by your Honor's orders, and in Compliance with the Exigcn- 


eic9 of the Servicee, I hir'd a number of Battoe men at 2-0 per J^y, 
ms will appear hj the rotnm made herewith to your Honor, sod upon 
dtmnndiDg from the Paymasler Genera] money for the Payment of 
the respective Ballances due lo them, was surprized to find that the 
Comuiissy had by their instructiona reatraing him from Paying any 
incidental Charges whatever, as thinking them properly Cogniiable 
only by tbcmselres. 

" 'Tis extremely Omel, Sr, and nnjust to the Inat degree That men 
who cheerfully ventured their lives iu the most dangerous and Pa- 
tigaing Berviees of their Country, who have numerous Families de- 
'pendant on their labor, and who hare many of them while they were 
luffercd more from the neglect of their 
than the Value of their whole pay. In 
ined by the Services done their Country 
e no pay at all for those services, if this is 
that all Service is at an end, and foresee 
id of this Garriaon will inevitably be 
Post very shortly for want of a Suply of 
ill not ho surprized to hear that in a t;ov- 
well rewarded I have but one Team 
ing to the Commisaionera remark. 

engaged in that servi 
Farms and Crops at 1 
•hoft, whose^ Affairs a) 
diould some of them r 
tbe case I plainly pcrc 
tliat whoever has the 
Obligt^d to Abandon 
Provisions. Your Hour will i 
emmdot where its Servanta arc 
of Draught Horses, which, ace 

but do the Business of one Team in a day from whence you will 
w^ly Judge that the Works must proceed very slowly and the Es- 
penee in the end be proportionable. 

'• Permit me, Sr, in the most grateful manner to thank your Hour 
Sir the Favour conferred on me and on the Regiment under my Com- 
mand which I am sensible were meant as well in Friendship to the 
Province as myself. I have eiecnted the trust Reposed in me wth 
til Possible Fidelity and to the best of my Knowledge, but my en- 
deavourB aa well as those of every other Officer in the Service have 
tnet with bo ungenerous a Return so coutraetcd a Reword that we can 
■0 linger serve with any Pleasure on such terms. And if we are not 
tat tbe Future to receive from your Ilonr our Orders, our Supplys 
tnd our Pay beg Leave unanimously to resign on the Twentieth of 
August nejt, 4 will abandon the Post accordingly at that time, in 
vhicb Case I would recommend it to the fjentlemen Commiaeioners 
to take great Care to prevent that universal Besertion of the men 
Hhich will othorwi»e certainly ensue. 

" Thus mnoh I thought it necessary to sny in my own Vindication, 




and I am besides by the rest of the Gentlemen requested to add, that 
they have still further cause of Caaiplaiiit from a Quarter where tbey 
little expected it, & are conscious to themBelves they never deserved 
it, eateemiog much lighter their Treatment from the other Gentlemen 
Commiasioners in regard to their Pay than the ungenerouB Reflecliona 
of one of thoso Gentlemen on the Conduct of an Espedition which 
it too plainly appears it was never bis Study to Promote, and will 
Appeal to their Country and to your Honor for ye Justice of ihelr 
Conduct in the present Step, 

" 'Tls wth utmost concern &, Iteluctauce that the Gientlein«n of thi< 
Re^'imcnt sec themselves reduced to the necessity of this Declaration 
and assure your Honr that nothing but such a Continued series of Dis- 
couragements could have ever extorted it from those who hope that they 
have not used any Expressions inconsistent wth that high Regard they 
have for your Honor, and beg leave with mo to Subscribe themselvee, 
" Your Honor's 

Most obedient humble Servant, 


Notwithstanding these complaints, government waa 
slow to supply the wants of the soldiers, occasioned no 
doubt by the scarcity of funds and provisions. The 
command of Colonel Clapham still remained at Shamo- 
kin, and on the 14tli of August, 1756, he again ivrites 
to Governor Morris that their wants were stUl unsup- 
plied, and that they only had about half a pound of 
powder to each man, and none for the cannon. Their 
stock of provisions was also low — winter was approach- 
ing, and the prospect of famine stared them in the face, 
uidess a supply was laid in. Boats had been despatch- 
ed to llarris' for flour, but they encountered so much 
danger in passing down to Halifax, that their safe return 
was almost despaired of. 

In this same letter the Colonel informs the Governor, 
that he was obhged to put Lieutenant Plunkett under 
arrest for mutiny, and only awaited the arrival of the 
Judge Advocate, to have him tried by Court Martial. 






Notwithstanding the difficulties that existed in the 
command of Colonel Ckpham, and the threats of the 
officers, that they would throw up their commissions, and 
ahandon the post by the 20th of August, if they were 
not paid, it nowhere appears that any of them carried 
this threat into execution. The commanding officer, no 
doubt, on more deliberate and calm reflection, came to 
the conclusion that they had a saiage and wily enemy 
to contend with, and that it was absolutely necessary for 
their own preservation, that defences should speedily be 
erected, to guard the frontier against their incursions. In 
view of this, and the more patriotic feeUngs that tri- 
umphed over the minor considerations of personal bick- 
erings, the work of erecting Fort Augusta steadily pro- 
gressed. In September, they received some supplies 
from below, which tended to revive their drooping spirits. 
Previous to this, the men were placed upon short allow- 
ances of flour. 

Peter Bard writes to Governor Morris, September 14th, 
1756, and states, that " the fort is now almost finished, 




Jiud a fine one it is ; we want a large flag to grace it." 
They had labored, it appears, indefatigably, for some six 
weeks upon the works. The commanding officer was io 
a better humor, and about this time informs Benjamin 
Franklin, that in his opinion, this post is of the utmost 
consequence to the Province, and that it is defensible 
against all the power of musketry. From its position, 
however, he feared that it was more exposed to a de- 
scent on the West Branch, and recommended that it be 
made stronger. 

It may be interesting to the people of Sunbury, to 
know what kind of provisions, the quantity, and the 
materials of war, were possessed by the garrison of Fort 
Augusta one hundred years ago. In view of this, I 
transcribe the first report of the Commissary, Peter Bard, 
made in September, 175G, as follows : 

FrOVlBiODB 1e 


September je Ist. 

4G bba. beef and pork. 

5 Do. of peas. 

9 Do. of flour. 

1 Bullock. 


up September je Ut. 

3 owt. powder* 

11 frjiogpans. 

6 Do. of Lead. 

1 Stock Lock. 

92 Pair Shoei. 

,A Lump of Chalk. 

4 Lnn thorns. 

27 bags flour about 5000 cwt. 

01 Grape shot. 

4 Iron Squares. 

46 hand graoitdee. 

12 Carpentcr'A Compasses. 

58 Cannon bull. 

1 ream writing paper. 

50 bknkeU. 

4 quires Catcridge Do. 

4 brnaa kettles. 

Some match rope very ordinary 

6 falling axes. 

33 head of Cattle. 

S^ Indians watched them very closely, and it was 
not safe to venture far from the main body. About this 
time a soldier was murdered and scalped, a short distance 



down tlie river. His body was afterwards found and 
buried by Captain Lloyd and party. 

One of the men attending the cattle outside of the 
fort, on Sunday, went to a very fine spring, half a mile 
distant, to get a drink. Whilst in the act of drinking, he 
was shot by Indians, and immediately scalped. A party 
came out and pursued them, but without success. TMs 
occurred in September, 175G. 

This is supposed to be what is known at the present 
day as the "Bloody Spring," at the upper end of Sun- 
bury. A tradition is handed down by the old settlers,. 
that several men were shot here in harvest time, where 
they had gone to eat their dinner. The story is related 
that the blood of the murdered men ran into the spring 
and colored the water a crimson hue ; and when their 
friends came and found them, they named it the " Bloody 
Spring," in commemoration of the tragical event. The 
name is preserved to this day, and many curious legends 
are related concerning it. It is on the original Grant 
farm, now owned by Peter Baldy, Esq. The peculiar 
rocks around the Spring have been disturbed in building 
the railroad, and mucli of its romantic beauty is lost. 

Whether there was more than this one man murdered 
here, there is no account upon record. This single mur- 
der is well authenticated, however, and it is supposed 
that it alone gave rise to the name. 

About this time William Denny was appointed Gov- 
ernor of the Province of Pennsylvania. Colonel Clap- 
ham wrote him a long letter, stating the condition of (lie 
garrison, and the amount of pay due them. Many of 
the soldiers left families that had become very destttnte, 
and the government should do something to alleviate 
their wants. The Colonel stated that he had advanced 



all the money he could raise, hesides borrowing, and now 
as without a single farthing in his pocket. His men 
frequently deserted, and no wonder. At this time he 
had three hundred and twenty under his command, which 
was an inadequate number to protect the frontier, and 
cai-ry on the work on the fort at the same time. One 
hundred men were constantly employed in transporting 
provisions for the rest ; and yet, owing to the difficulties 
they had to encounter, they never were able to get much 
of a supply aliead ; and it was very necessary that a 
stock of provisions to last six months should be on hand. 
A short time after this, in another letter to Governor 
Denny, Colonel Clapham says, in conclusion : 

" Two busliels of Blue Grass Seed are necessary wherewith to sow 
the Slopes of the Paiupct & Glacia, and the Banks of the River — in 
eightortenDajsmoretiioDitcb will be carried qui to round the Parapet, 
the Barrier Gates finiahed and Erected, and the Pickets of the Glacis 
completed — after which, I shall do myself the Honor to attend jour 
commands in person." 

In due course of time Fort Augusta was completed, 
and was one of the strongest, as well as most important, 
of all the frontier forts built at that gloomy period of our 
history. The foUowiug description of it is taken from 
the original drawing in London, a copy of which may be 
found in the State Library at Hiirrisburg, and is un- 
doubtedly correct in every respect : 

" Fort Augnstft stands at about forty yards distance from the rirer 
on a bank twentj-four feet from the surface of the water. The side 
which fronts the river is a strong pallisade, the bases of the logs be- 
ing sank four feet into tho earth, the tops hollowed and spiked into 
etroQtfribbond which run transversely and aro mortiued into several 
logs ct twelve feet distance from each other, which aro larger aad 
higher than the rest, the joints between each pallisade with five logg 
well fitted on the inside and supported by tho platform — the other 

S^^^fflWESTimSSdK VALLEY. 87 

tbree sides are oomposed of loga laid borizoDtoliy, neatly dovetailed 
tod trunnelled doirn, they arc squared; some of the lower end tbree 
feet diameter, the least from two feet and a half to eighteen inches 
diameter, and are mostly white oak." 

Doubtless the action of the water has considerably 
worn away the banks, from what they were at that day, 
for it is now less than " forty yards" from the spot where 
the fort stood to the bank of the river. 

On the 8th of November, 1756, Colonel Clapham in- 
forms the Governor, that about fifty miles above Fort 
Augustji, on the West Branch, was a town containing 
ten Indian families, from whence paitles were continually 
annoying them, and that it was some of these Indians 
that killed the man at the Bloody Spring. These In- 
dians haling once lived at Shamokin, were well ac- 
quainted with the country, and from their knowledge of 
all the defiles in the neighborhood, could lay in ambush, 
sally forth and commit depredations, and escape with 
impunity. They at length became so mischievous that 
Colonel Clapham resolved on sending a force against 
them for the purpose of their destruction. Captain 
Hambright was selected for the performance of this duty. 
His instructions were as follows : 

"Sir: You are to march with a Party of 2 Scrjta, 2 CorpontU & 
38 Private men, under your command, to attack, burn Bad destroy, 
an Indian Town or Towns, with their inhabitants, on the West Branch 
of Susquehanna, to which Monsieur Montourc will conduct you, whose 
advice you are directed to pursue la every Caae. You are to attack 
the Town ngrccabic to the Plan and Disposition herewith given you, 
observing to intermix the men with Bayonets equally among the three 
Partys in the attack, and if any Indians are found there yoB ore to 
kill. Scalp, and captivate as many as you can, and if no IndliQs are 
there you are to endeavor to act in such manner, and with such Cau- 
tion, as to prevent the Discovery of your having been there by any 


Party, which lanj arrive Shortly after you, for which Reason you are 
strictly forbid to burn, take away, Destroy or Meddle with any thing 
found at such I'laccs, and imtnediatcly dispatch Monsiour Montour 
wilh one or two wore to me with Intelligence; when je come near 
the Place of action you are to detach Mon,«icur Montour, with as 
many men as he shall Judge necessary to reconnoitre the Part£, and 
to wait in conccalmeut in the mean Time with your whole Party till 
his Heturn, then to form your nieaaurca accordingly; after having 
burnt and destroyed the Town, you ate in your Retreat to post an 
officer and twelve men in Ambush, close by the Road side, at the 
moat convenient, Place for snch Purpoeo which may offer, at about 
Twelve miles Distance from the I'luco of action, who are to surprise 
and cut off aoy Parly who may attempt to pursue, or may happen to 
be engno^ in Hunting thereabouts, and at the same Time secure the 
Retreat of your main Body. 

" Tia very probable, that on these Moon Light Nights, you will find 
them engag'd in Dancing, in which case embrace that Opportunity, 
by all means, of attacking them, which you are not to attempt at a 
greater Distance than 20 or 25 yards, and be particularly carefuU to 
prevent the Escape of the Women and Children, whose lives Humanity 
will direct you to preserve as much as possible ; if it does not happen 
that you find them Dancing, the attack is to be made in the morning, 
just at a season when you have Light enough to Execute it, in which 
attempt your Party are to march to the several Houhcs, and bursting 
open the Doors, to rush in at once ; let the Signal for the general 
attack be the Discharge of one Firelock, in the Centre DivlsiouB. 

" If there are no Indians at the Several Towns, you are in such 
case, to proceed with the utmost Caution and Vigilance to the Road 
which leads to Fort Duqueanc, (bei-e to lye in Ambush, and to inter- 
cept any Party or Partya of the Enemy on the march to or from the 
English Settlements, and there to remain wilh that Design till the 
want of Provisions obliges you to return. 

" I wish you all imaginabje Success, of which the Opinion I have 
of yourself, the Officers and Party under your Command, leave me no 
Room to doubt, 

" Your Humble Servant, 
S "William Clapuam." 

Where the Indian town was located, alluded to in the 


above instructions, I have been unable to ascertain; 
notwithstanding the most careful research, as all traces of 
it were mniouhtetlly obliterateJ more than three-quarters 
of a century ago. The probability is, however, that it 
might have stood at the mouth of Loyal Sock Creek. 

As to the success of Captain Hambright's expedition, 
and whether he burned the town, and scalped the 
inhabitants, is no where pointed out. If he executed 
the orders, he undoubtedly made a report, which would 
give his operations in detail, but I have searched for it 
in vain. An accurate report of such an expedition, up 
this river at that early period, would certainly be possessed 
of deep interest ; and if it ever was made and lost, it is 
to be very much regretted. But as it is, we have to con- 
tent ourselves with nothing but conjecture concerning it. 

Considerable sufforing was experienced among the 
garrison at Fort Augusta for the want of a physician, as 
no one had been provided for that post for a long time. 

In 1757 or 1758, Major James Burd succeeded Col. 
Clapham, in the command of Fort Augusta. At this 
time they had the fort placed in a good condition, to 
resist the attack of an enemy. Below I annex a copy 
of the report of mihtary stores, made December 0, 1758, 
by Adam Henry : 

" 12 Pieces of Cannon in good order. 
2 Swivels in good order. 
4 BloDderbnsses in good order. 
700 Rounds of caoDon balls. 
123 Bags of grape eliot. 
383 Cartridges of powder, made for cannon. 
112 Cartridgea of powder, made for swivcla. ^ 

12 Barrels of powder. 
46 Hand granades. 
2ft Rounds of cut shot." 


With this amount of materiel of war on htmd, there 
is no doubt but the garrison would have made a formid- 
able show of resistance. 

About this time Major Bord received intelligence that 
the French had commenced to build a fort at a place 
called by the Indians, Achtschingi Clammui, which the 
whites corrupted into Chingledamoose. This was on the 
site now occupied by the flourishing village of Clearfield. 
The design of the French in erecting a fortification at 
this point, was with the view of making it a depot, from 
whence they intended to start on an expedition against 
Fort Augusta. The expedition was fitted out, and passed 
down the West Branch on rafts and boats. Tradition 
says that it numbered about eight hundred French and 
Indians. Be this as it may, it is pretty well authenti- 
cated that they came to the point of the high lull, o^"er- 
hangiug the river, and directly opposite the fort, from 
whence the French engineers took such observations as 
satisfled them, that no effective attack could he made 
against it without the aid of cannon, which they were 
unable to bring with them through the wilderness. 

The French did not remain long, but the ludians con- 
tinued about the hill for several days, amusing them- 
selves by trying to shoot poisoned arrows across the 
river with powerful bows. The distance was too great, 
however, and their missiles fell short of the mart. They 
occasionally expressed their supreme contempt of the 
whites by turning up (heir posterior extremities in an 
insulting manner. A round shot was fired from the fort 
one day, and cutting off a large limb immediately over 
their heads, so frightened them that they suddenly 
abandoned this kind of amusement, gave a terrific whoop, 
and scampered off into the woods. 



Peace having been concluded with the Delawares and 
Shawaneese, the Governor of Pennsylyania invited them 
to make a settlement at Shamokin. It was to be under 
the charge of Thomas McKee, the Indian trader, who 
writes that he had arrived with the Indians, " who had 
drunk much on the road ; and had mostly gone on, but 
few stiying." Conrad Weiser afterwards recommended 
a trading house here. 

On the 20th of January, 1758, Capt. Joseph Shippen 
writes to Major Burd, who appears to have been absent, 
probably at the seat of government, that several small 
parties of Delaware Indians had anived at the fort, witli 
ekins to trade at the store. Among them also came old 
King Neatimus, Joseph, and all their families, amounting 
to forty-three in the aggregate. 

Job Chilloway also came here, from the Monsey coun- 
try, about this time. He spoke the English language 
well, and gave the Captaiu some important information. 
Job was a firm friend of the English, and always proved 
true. He was born and bred at a place called Egg-Harbor. 
He had a brother Bill. He informed Capt. Shippen that 
the Monsey tribe, on the West Branch, were determined 
to continue the war against the EngUsh. He intended 
to return to the Monsey country in a few days, to bring 
away his effects, when he would hve among the whites. 

Job Chilloway acted a conspicuous part in the history 
of the Valley, and proved himself of great use on several 
occasions. Further mention will be made of him at the 
proper place. 






Time passed on. Nothing very remarkable occurred 
at Fort Augusta for several years. We have accounts 
of various Indian meetings being held here, howeverj 
speeches made by the chiefs, and other business trans- 

Captain Gordon, who acted in the capacity of Engi- 
neer, recommended that a substantial magazine should 
he erected in one of the bastions of the fort. His de- 
scription of the manner in which it shouUl be constructed 
is very precise, and as it is in a tolerably good state of 
preservation, I copy his specification as follows : 

"A I^Iagazinc ought to be built in the Soutli Bastion, 12 bj 20 feet 
in the clear, also a Laboratory of the same dimension!) in the East 
Baation, The Wall of the Magazine to be 2) Foot thick, with three 
Buttresses, 2 Foot thick at the bottom, levelling to 9 ioehes at Top, 
in each side. The breadth of Buttresses, Si Ft. Tlie Magazine to 
have an ai||h of 2^ Brick thick, and to be under ground within 1) 
Foot of the Top of the Arch, The Walls seven foot high from the 
Level of the Floor, and to have a Foundation 2 Foot below the Floor; 
great care token to lay the Joists, and to fill up between with Ktib]c 



8tone and GraTe], rumiued; the Joiata to be covered with Plaak2i 
inch thick. An Air Hule 1 foot Square to be practised in ihe Gavel 
end, opposite the Door. Tbe Paasagc to tbo Magazine t« have a ilg- 
»g, and over the Arch some Fine Piaiater laid, then covered with 
Fine Gravel and 4 foot of Earth a Top. 

" The Laboratory likewise to be arched, hut with U Brick, and 
without ButtreaacH. 

" A Fraiae ought to be compleated round the Fort, to be introduced 
upon the Horizontal Line, at SO Degrees of Elevation, or as much as 
will be sufficient to discover it underneath from the Flanks. This 
Fraise to be 21 feet in the Ground, 3} without, not to exceed 5 inches 
in Thickness, the Breadth from 4 to 7; a number of these Fraises 
ought, before aet in the Wall, to be tunnelled on a Piece of Slab or 
Plank, of 5 inches broad, witjiin C inches of the ends, which ^ves 
an iuch at the end clear of the Slab; the distuuce from one another, 
2i. After made fast to this Slab, to be introduced in the Wall, and 
the Eufth ramm'd well between. When the Earth is well Hxed and 
the whole set round, or a considerable way, another Piece of 3 inches 
broad and 2 thick, should bo nailed al along close to the wall, which 
will hind the whole very fast together." 

This ilocument bears date, May Gth, 1758. It is ren- 
dered more interesting at the present day, as the maga^ 
zine can yet be seen. It will probably last for many 
years to come. 

In July following, a small reinforcement arrived at the 
fort- The total number of available men, including 
officers, in the garrison, at this time, amounted to but 
one hundred and eighty-nine. They were pretty well 
supplied, however, with munitions of war, and could have 
made a formidable stand against superior numbers. 

Tbe commanding officer received instructions to con- 
fine all the French deserters, that had been enlisted as 
fioldiers, and send them under guard to Lancaster jail. 
This was to prevent them from again joining the Freuch, 
on their expedition from C/imgkclamoose. 

About this time a new flag staff, seventy feet in height, 



was erected, but unfortunately their old colors were en- 
tirely worn out, and they had to wait some time for the 
arrival of new ones. 

John Shikellemy, who, during the French and Indian 
war, had became estranged from the English, appears 
again about Shamokin in 1759 or 1760. The Governor, 
it seems, sent him a string of wampum, and solicited his 
attendance at a council to be held at the fort. He also 
extended to him his hand, thanked him sincerely, and 
greeted him as a friend. This was to gain his esteem, 
for Shikellemy had been a little treacherous. He at- 
tended the conference, and, after it was over, requested 
some provisions to last him home. They gave him a 
hundred weight of flour and some meat, and he started 
in fine spirits. 

Nothing further of any importance is reported to have 
transpired about the fort, till July 12th, 1762, when 
quite an excitement was raised on a report of liquor be- 
ing furnished tlie Indians. The Indian Agent informed 
Lieutenant Graydon, who had command in the absence ■ 
of Colonel Burd, that he had detected his (Col. Burd's) 
storekeeper in selling liquor to them, and had sufficient 
proof to convict him. He demanded of the Lieutenant 
that the liquor be seized, and as the instmctions from the 
Governor were strict, he was obliged to do it. The store- 
keeper, however, denied the fact. It appeared that Mr. 
Holland, Colonel Burd's good friend, had been posted at 
a " peep hole" made in the wall, in the adjacent house, 
from whence he could see in the Colonel's store ; and the 
proof ivas that he saw some squaws in the house with 
the storekeeper — that one of them asked for rum, and 
showed a dollar, on which the door was closed, and the 
rum delivered to her. Lieutenant Graydon was accused 



of being in the store at the same time. He was very 
much incensed about it, and admitted having been there, 
but saw no liquor sold to them. He forthwith informed 
Colonel Biu-d of the accusation, who wrote from Lancas- 
ter under date of July 18th, 17G2, as follows : 

" I am pestered with that fellow Nathaniel HoUand, Clerk to the 
Indiiut Store at Fort AugUBta. He has accused Mr. Dennis SlcCor- 
mai^k. my clerk, for Issuing ProTiaiona at that place, with having car- 
ried on A trade with the Indians, in Conseqnence of wlicii he hae 
seised all the Bum in Store, and he further Bays that this Clandestine 
Trade is carried on by my Particular orders. Mr, Holland has sent 
an Express to Philada., and Mr. McCormack has come down to me 
here, and in order that this letter may come to jOnr hand soon and 
safe, I hare sent him with it to yon. 

" Inclosed is Mr. McCormack'a Deposition, which was taken here, 
aa I intended to have sent him back to Augusta, if I could have for- 
warded mj letters by a safe hand to Philadelphia, but faiUng of this 
I tm tmder the Necessity of sending himself. 

" Now Sit, as to a trade being carried on with the Indiana By me, 
for me, by my Clerk, by the Officers, or Garrison of Fort Augusta, or 
IB snj maoner, or way whatsoever, at Fort Augusta, to my know- 
I'led^ I hereby declare to be absolutely False, & to the truth of this 
T UB ready &, willing to take my oath in any words that the Commis- 
•ODers, or even that Scoundrcll Hollaud would Commit to paper, and 
ibnber, I can procure if Necessary the oaths of the Offiecrs and Gar- 
riaon of AuTUBta to the same purpose, & of every person living on 
Ae Soeqnebanna from Harris's to Augusta, that I never brought a 
Am or arty other Indian Commodity whatever to their knowledge from 

" You will observe by the Deposition that Mr. McCormack did 
want of an Indian Squa a thin Indian dressed winter Skin to line a 
fur of plusb britches for himself which ho was getting; if this is 
Ihe ground of the Complaint it must appear to His Hour tho Govr & 
Gonunissrs to be intirely malitious in Holland, & not from a well 
pounded zeal of serving bis Country. 
1 " It Really vexes me much to be eternally plagued in this manner 

V Hollaod, and the more so that it is an accusation of the highest 





brealoU of trust for me to break a well known Lnw of tbut Govern- 
ment whose bread I dailj cat. 

" I must tberefore beg your friondlj offers in laying the state of 
the case clearly before the Govenior if Necessary; and if thb affair 
is mentioned to my disud vantage, that you would represent it aa it 
really is, & you are fully at liberty to show this letter to any Person 
whatsoever, aa I shall support it in every particular, &e." 

From the tone of this letter it will readily bo inferred 
that Colonel Buril was not in the best humor when he 
wrote. How the matter was finally adjusted, or whether 
anything further grew out of it, does not appear upon 

At a conference with the Indians, held at Lancaster, 
on Monday, the 23d of August, 1702, Gov. Hamilton 
presiding, Thomas King, one of the chiefs and repre- 
sentatives of the Six Nations, rose and said : 

" Now all the different tribes of us present, desire that you will call 
your flolciiers away from Sliamokin, for we have concluded a, peace, 
and are as one brother, having one head and one bean. 

" If you take away your soldiers, we desire you would keep your 
trading bouse there, and have some haneit man in it, because our 
cousins follow tbeir bunting there, and will want a. trade. This is 
the way for us to live peaceably together. 

"Brother Onos: (The name for Penn.) 

"I must tell you again these soldiers must go away from Shamokin 
fort; I desire it, and let there only be traders living there; you know 
who are the honest people ; we desire that only Itonett people may Hto 
there, and that you will not be too hard with us, when they may buy 
our skin^ and furs, and such things as we may have to sell, This wUI 
be the way for us to live peaceably together; but for you to keep 
soldiers there, is not the way bt live peaceable. Your soldiers are 
very often unruly, and our warriors are often unruly, and when such 
get together they do not agree, for as you have now made peace with all 
our nations, there is no occayiou for soldiers to live there any longer." 

There is no doubt that the Indians would have been 


<JLEV. 97 

mncli graliiied to have had the garrison removed from 
Shamokin, as it was a cherished spot where they loved 
to dwell, and where reposed the mouldering bones of 
Uieir ancestors. The proposition to place an "holiest" man 
there to keep a store, is a scathing commentary upon the 
probity of the whites, in their deaUngs with these dusky 
children of the forest. Judging from the manner in 
which they dealt with them, it is doubtful whether a 
man could have been found that would have conducted 
business in accordance with this old Indian's idea of 
"fionest^." It seemed that they were destined to be 
cheated on every occasion, and in the most shameful 
manner too. 

The soldiers were not removed from Fort Augusta. 
Snch a course would have proved very bad policy, for 
the cup of the Indian's destiny was not full, and bloody 
scenes were yet to be enacted, before he turned his face 
for the last time upon the blue hills of Sharaokin. 

In 17C5, a number of men from Cumberland, in the 
neighborhood of Carlisle, went up to Shamokiu; for the 
purpose of murdering what Indians they might find 
there. On the alarm being given, they hastily collected 
their families together and fled. 

They came to Shamokin, and appeared on the oppo- 
site side of the river, next the Blue Hill. Three of 
them, says Lieut. Graydon, came over to the fort and 
reported that they were from Cumberland county, and 
that there was fifty of them in company. They alleged 
that their object was to look at the land on the river, 
and at the Great Island, where some of them proposed 
to go and settle. Some of the party returned before 
they got ihat far — others went on^to the Great Island. 
Some of them settled where Lock Haven now stands. 




'< We caDDot oonjeoture/' continues the Lieutenant, '^ what these 
people's intentions were, but they seemed very inqnisitive about 
Indians, which made us suspect that they had a design against those 
who were about us." 


The names of the three men that came over to the 
fort were, John Woods, James McMein, and James 

About this time a number of Indian families intended 
settling on the Great Island, and erecting cabins. 
Whether they went is not definitely known, but it is 
supposed they did. 

William Maclay seems to have been the next com- 
mander of Fort Augusta, and Col. Hunter succeeded 
him. The time when Col. Hunter assumed the com- 
mand is not stated, but it was probably about 1770. 



This beautiful and fertile island consists of a sandy 
alluvion, resting upon a compact clay, and appears to 
have Leen formed by the wash of the Susquehanna, 
after the occupation of the country by the Indians, for, 
(when the canal was being dug,) on amving at the clay 
bed, numerous hearths of stones, with charcoal remain- 
ing in the interstices, were found, near which were frag- 
ments of Indian pots made of ialc, stone hatchets, arrow 
heads of flint, &c., precisely such as were found in use 
among the savages, on the arrival of the whites in 

Had the inquiry been made by the first settlers, it is 
not improbable that some account of the inundation by 
which the island was formed, might have been given by 
the Aborigines. A thousand years, however, would not 
be too remote a date to assign to the event. The oaks, 
buttonwoods, and other trees on the isle, have long since 
attained the largest size to which they ordinarily reach; 
and the vegetable mould is of a thickness which proves 
that vast quantities of trees, and other plants, must 
have perished; consequently, many centuries must have 
elapsed since the isle was a barren sandbank. 

At the early period of which I speak, game was plenty 
in the forest, and fish were taken in abundance in the 
river. A tradition is handed down that the place was 
very unhealthy at a certain season of the year, and the 
Indians generally left the place about the beginning of 
August, and retired to the hilly country, where they 
remained until the fall of the leaf. During the inter- 
Tening period, the only human being to be seen, was 
occasionally a hunter, whom the game had drawn from 
the hills, and who always avoided sleeping in the low 
grouud. The children were carefully kept in their 

. • 

History of the west branch valley. 101 

aoountain retreats, for the malaria was particularly fatal 
to them. 

The general burying ground of the Indians was on 
the Isle of Que, near its southern extremity, and must 
contain hundreds, nay thousands of bodies; for the skele- 
tons have been found over a quarter of a mile in length 
and breadth. In digging for the foundation of Christian 
Fisher's house, seven skeletons were found, and at the 
other end of the lane leading from said house to George 
Fisher's, several more were found. Others were dug up 
at various places between the above-mentioned points. 

The country, after it came into the hands of the 
whites, continued to be sickly, but for how long I am 
unable to tell. It became healthy, however, and so con- 
tinued until the year 1800, when agues became very com- 
mon, and the proper treatment of bilious diseases being 
Kttle understood, many cases of obstinate and lingering 
sickness occurred. 

The first white settler on the Isle of Que, is beheved 
to have been Christian Fisher. Christian, in his youthful 
days, was not what his surname would indicate. In fact 
he was a hard goer, a prime hand at a fight, a horse race, 
or a drinking bout. At length his father finding reraon- 
Btrauces unavailing, notified him that he must now shift 
for himself. At the same time he offered him the fee 
simple of a large tract of land on the Isle of Que — then 
in the heart of the wilderness — which Christian accepted. 
Having tied himself for better or for worse, to the 
daughter of one of his neighbors, Christian set out, his 
whole worldly wealth consisting of a horse, a rifle, an 
axe, and n bed. With these he landed on the '' isle, far 
off and alone" truly, though neither on a " blue summer 
oc«an," nor in any other respect resembling the isle of 


Tom Moore's fancy. Christian's bed was spread for the 
first night at the foot of a tree. Next morning he com- 
menced a hut, in which for a yeai- or two he found shel- 
ter, and commenced cultivating and populating the isle. 

His descendants, in considerable numbers, continue to 
flourish in this vicinity, and his tract of land, divided 
into small farms, makes many of them pass for rich 

Conrad Weiser, grandson of the celebrated Indian 
Agent and interpreter of that name, was an early settler 
here also. He was a great landholder, owning in con- 
nection with his brother Jabez and his cousin BenjamiU; 
a tract about twelve miles long on the river, and of seve- 
ral miles in width from east to west. Conrad being well 
acquainted with several of the Indian languages, and 
possessing their confidence, through his honesty and fair 
dealing, was much esteemed by them. He died about 
the year 1802, leaving his family in good circumstances, 
as to landed property, which, had they properly taken 
care of, would have been, by this time, of great value. 

Jabez Weiser, it appears, never resided in this part of 
the country, although he owned a large body of land. 

Benjamin lived on the Isle of Que, and must have been 
fond of shade, for he suffered the elder bushes to grow 
up around his cabin until it was entirely concealed from 
the view of the passer-by. You might, perchance, on 
walking along the shore of the river, says Mr. Snyder 
in his reminiscences, have observed a narrow path lead- 
ing from the wafer's edge into the forest. Following this 
through the thickly growing elders and other shmbs, the 
traveller would find himself suddenly brought up by 
Benjamin's door, for the shrubs grew so closely around 
the house that there was not room for a cat to run 



■round after her tail, anywhere nearer than on the pebbly 
beach of the river. 

Jacob Fry, of Middletown, Datiphin county, was a 
trader frequently associated with Conrad Weiser, senr., 
ID his dealings with the savages. John Esh, a tall and 
very strong young man, was for some years in Fry's em- 
ploy. After the removal of the Indians from their 
foothold in the north of Pennsylvania, Esh removed to 
Kentucky, and settled near KnosviUe, where he was 
murdered by an Indian. The savage was given up by 
his tribe to the civil authorities, tried and sentenced to 
death. Before his execution, he stated that he had com- 
mitted the murder out of revenge, Esh having flogged 
him ou the Susquehanna, and that he had travelled three 
hundred miles to effect his purpose. 

John Snyder, brother to the Governor, was one of the 
early settlers on the Isle of Que. He was a man of 
great strength and resolution, but addicted to gaming. 
A short time before the Revolutionary War, an o iiccr of 
a body of British soldiers who were stationed in Lancas- 
ter, happened to make some insulting expressions con- 
oeming the Americans, in John's presence. He not only 
repelled his insults, but attacked and flogged him sound- 
ly. The consequence may readily be guessed. A num- 
ber of British soldiers pursued hiiu with fixed bayonets, 
determined to wash out the insult to their commander in 
blood. John was, however, too swift for them, and 
effected his escape. This occurred in his nineteenth 

He settled on the Isle of Que, on which, and the main 
land, he owned a large tract of land. He was consider- 
ed rich, and might have been richer, but for his inordi- 
nate love of gaming. He was the original proprietor of 


Selinsgi'ove. Soon after the town was laid out, he wa- 
gered one of the lots upon the result of a horse race at 
Stumpstown, but was unfortunately thrown from his 
horse and killed. This lot was for many years known as 
the " unfortunate lot," 

Anthony Selin, the founder of the present town of 
Selinsgrove, was a Swiss, who bore a captain's commis- 
sion in the American army during the Revolution. When 
the war was over he came to this part of the country — 
then called Shamokin — and being a handsome, active 
young man, captivated the affections of a young lady 
named Agnes Snyder, who was a sister of the Governor's, 
and married her. This happened near the time of John 
Snyder's unfortunate death. Simon Snyder and John 
Miller were appointed administrators of the estate of 
John Snyder, and after a few years found that the estate 
was encumbered with debt to such a degree that it be- 
came necessary to sell the whole of it. This was ac- 
cordingly done, and Selin became the purchaser, at a 
price which was then considered high. John Snyder's 
widow had, meantime, married a man named Jacob Ken- 
dig, who hved upon the fine farm lying at the eastern 
end of the long bridge across Pemi's Creek, about one 
mile above Selinsgrove. 

Selin, finding that the draft of John Snyder's town 
would not fit the ground, caused the whole to be resur- 
veyed and laid out anew, and named it Selinsgrove. 
What name John Snyder had given, or intended to give 
the town, does not appear. 

Selin had two children, Anthony Charles and Agnes. 
After he had lived for some time on the farm adjoining 
the northern line of SeUnsgrove, a young Swiss, of about 
seventeen years, made his appearance and saluted him 



with the endearing name ai father! and indeed it proved 
that master Zifhareus Selin, was veritably the son of 
Anthony ; and tliat his mother, lawful wife to the said 
Anthony, was alive, and living amid the romantic raoun- 
iMns of Switzerland, and sent her respectful compliments 
to her truant husband ! 

Selin's mortification and distress on this occasion was 
so great, as to produce a fe^■er, which shortly resulted in 
his death. Fortunately for the children, Anthony and 
Agnes, their half brother, Zifhareus, was not of sound 
mind. Had he been, he would probably have remained 
here long enough to establish himself in the possession 
of hia father's estate. His claim could not have been 
contested, for Sehn had acknowledged him. Being, how- 
ever, but little removed from absolute idiocy, he only 
claimed and received liis father's "Decoration," as mem- 
ber of the Cincinnati — and contented with this high and 
important acquisition, he set out for Europe. He never 
afterwards returned to claim his inheritance, and in fact, 
was never heard from, so that it is impossible to say 
whether he arrived at his home, or perished at sea. 

•* • 




The first house built in the town of Selinsgrove, was 
erected by a man named Kern, a cloekmaker. At what 
time it was built I did not learn, but presume it was at 
a very early period. It stood on the street leading to 
the Isle of Que, and was a few years ago still in the 
possession of his widow, who, after his death, married a 
man named Rhoads. When asked why he had not built 
upon the main street of the town plot, Kern answered 
that it could be of no advantage to him, for there never 
would be a street there. This occurred immediately 
after the town had been laid out, and the whole ground 
was as yet covered with a forest of pines, and a dense 

The cluster of islands, in the Susquehanna, opposite 
the Isle of Que, were first settled and cultivated by old 
Jimmy Silverwood, an Englishman, who used pompously 
to entitle himself " master of the seven islands ;" which 
title borne across the Atlantic in his letters, gave his 
English relations and friends au undue idea of his wealth 
and consequence. Could the old man have transferred 
his islands to England, their extent and fertility would 
have made their possessor a rich landholder; and even 


♦ * 



here, had he known how to fake care of his property, he 
might have became a man of considerable fortune. 

Soon after Silverwood eame into possession of the 
islands, the country began to be filled with people, and 
shad became a good article in the home market, and Sil- 
verwood's islands presented several excellent localities 
for fisheries. Immense numbers were caught; three, 
four, and five thousand at one haul of the seine being not 
uncommon — and even at the low price of six dollars per 
hundred, they were a source of profit. Silverwood made 
money, but, alas ! he did not make provision for the fu- 
ture ; he spent, and suffered his sons to spend, as if the 
shad fisheries were an inexhaustible mine of wealth. Of 
course he died poor, and left a poor family behind him. 

These islands were originally covered with a heavy 
growth of excellent timber, and almost entirely free 
from underbrush. The banks were clear, and presented 
no obstruction to the vision, besides their steepness, and 
the overhanging, in some parts, of the sod sustained by 
the roots of the huge trees. Cultivation has, however, 
worked material changes here. The trees having been 
cut away, the banks have become more sloping, by the 
crumbling of the upper portion. The cattle being kept 
off by the fences and the care of the farmer, seeds of 
divers sorts of trees have lodged and been permitted to 
grow, and the islands are now surrounded by an impene- 
trable thicket, presenting in summer an encircling wall 
of the liveliest verdure. But for their loneliness and 
seclusion, I know of no more desirable residence than 
these islands would furnish. 

At an early period a man named Gahl, who afterwards 
became the first curer of agues and intermittent fevers 
in the Shamokin region, came and settled with his 


father uear where Suubury now stands. The old man 
purchased a farm soon after his location; and before 
Peter commenced practice as a physician, his mother 
died. The intelligence having been spread, many of the 
neighbors called at the house to condole with the 
afflicted husband, but found no living being at home. 
After waiting for some time, the old man came in from 
the fields, where he had been at work, set down for a 
few minutes, and then rose to return to bis work, saying, 
" Well, neighbors, just try and amuse yourselves as well 
as you can till Peter comes in, and then he'll play the 
fiddle for you !" 

When agues in that region of country became com- 
mon, and the proper treatment of bilious diseases being 
httle understood, many cases of extreme and lingering 
sickness occurred. The physicians generally adminis- 
tered Peruvian bark, but not being aware of the necessity 
of previously freeing the stomach from bile, the bark 
frequently failed of the desired effect, Peter Gahl, who 
was a French West Indian, commenced the practice of 
medicine. Although an arrant quack, he was the only 
person who generally succeeded in curing agues and 
intermittent fevers, having probably acquired his know- 
ledge in St. Domingo. His remedy he kept a profound 
secret, and the other physicians of the country were too 
little acquainted with chemistry to be able to discover 
the real nature of his nostrum, through the disguise in 
which he had s-hrouded it. The remedy was contained 
in a gallypot, and the directions to the patient were that 
he should take the contents in three rather unequal 
portions, on three consecutive days. The first day's 
dose made the patient vomit, the second purged him, 
and the third and largest dose produced the cure. 


The compoBition of this prescription was discovered 
in a singular manner. There was, about that time, living 
with Simon Snyder, a nephew, a rough lad of fifteen or 
sixteen, named George Kremer, who, on one occasion, 
was sent to Gahl to procure some of the famous medi- 
cine. It so happened that he had none ready, and 
therefore mixed a gallypot fiiU in George's presence. 
George, who was naturally a remarkably shrewd boy, 
was attentive to the process, and asked the name of 
each ingredient used. Gahl, tmsuspectingly told him 
the names, which George did not fail to remember. 
First in the gallypot was an ounce of bark, above this 
was a portion of some active cathartic — calomel and 
jalap — and at the top was an emetic. A little essence 
of cinnamon was added to disguise the nature of the 
ingredients. The next time that Dr. YouDg, Snyder's 
family physician, came to the house, the important secret 
was imparted to him. lie forthwith imparted it to his 
brotluen of the medical profession, and they were soon 
able to treat agues and fevers more successfully than 
GahL Being acquainted with medicine as a science, 
they were able to apply the remedy more judiciously 
than the ignorant West Indian, 

Tommy Price, another old settler, hved on Water 
fitreet, Selinsgrove. In Ids younger days he had been a 
soldier, and on one occasion was made prisoner by the 
British, and carried to Halifax, in Nova Scotia. There 
being a vast extent of forest intervening between Nova 
Scotia and the nearest American settlements, it was not 
deemed necessary to be particularly watchful on the 
laud side. Of which circumstance. Tommy taking advan- 
tage, eluded the sentries and made for his home. Travel- 
ling westward, he was stopped by the waters of the Bay 


of Fuiidy, but not being discouraged by this check, he 
travelled round the head of the bay, and after a journey 
of many hundreds of miles, through a wilderness, during 
which he was exposed, without arms, to the mercies of 
savages, and wild beasts, he arrived at the settlements 
in New England. 

After the Revolutionary War he came to Selinegrove, 
where he built a small log-house, and resided during 
the balance of his life. Notwithstanding the decision of 
character indicated by Tommy's remarkable escape from 
Nova Scotia, he was a very idle personage — in fact an 
inveterate fisherman, and would sit on the bank of the 
creek for hours, patiently waiting for a nibble. 

In due course of time, Tommy died and was buried. 
Some days after his death, some one on seeing the 
widow looking very sad, inquired of her, "Well, Rosina, 
what is the matter?" "Oh!" said she, whining and 
shaking her left foot, "Tummas is ded and I's got de 





Peace having been restored with the Indian tribesj 
settlers gradually came forward, pitched their tents in 
the wilderness, and commenced to make improvements. 
Nothing unusual occurred till early in the winter of 1768, 
when an event transpired that caused great excitement 
in the settlements around Shamokin, and gave the 
Governor great uneasiness. 

It appears from the records of that early period, that 
a man named Frederick Stump, a German of Penn's 
township, in the county of Cumberland, (now Snyder,) 
not far from where Selinsgrove stands, and near the 
mouth of Middle Creek, did, in violation of the public 
faith, and in defiance of all law, inhumanly and wickedly 
kill, without any provocation, four Indian men, and two 
Indian women, in his own house, on Sunday, tho 10th 
day of January, 1768. Not content with this inhuman 
murder, he went the next day to an Indian cabin four- 
teen miles up the creek, and there barbarously put to 
death, and burnt, an Indian woman, two ^Is, and a 
young child ! 


As soon as this cool, deliberate, and bloody murder 
became known, the most intense excitement prevailed 
throughout the country. The people were astounded at 
the magnitude and relentless barbarity of the act. The 
Indians, who were friendly, and had come from the 
Great Island, and pitched their rude wig^vams on the 
creek, in order to be near and claim the protection of 
the whites, had given him no cause for thus barbarously 
murdering them. The whites were alarmed, too, for fear 
that when the sad intelligence reached the friends of 
these Indians, that they would rise up and commence to 
burn, murder and scalp all that they could find, in order 
to be revenged. 

Stump had an accomplice in this bloody tragedy, named 
John Ironcutter, who acted in the capacity of a servant 
to him. He was a German also. 

A few Indians being in the neighborhood, on repairing 
to the spot, found the remains of their friends, and being 
apprised that Stump was the murderer, forthwith pro- 
ceeded to look for him. He fled to Fort Augusta, and 
entering a house in the occupancy of the mother and 
aunts of the late Mrs, Grant, claimed their protection ; 
alleging that he was pursued by Indians. The ladies, 
noticing from his countenance that all was not right, at 
first refused to have anything to do with him, fearing 
that the Indiana might come and murder them, too, on 
finding him secreted in the house. He begged so pit- 
eously, however, for protection, that they relented, and 
snugly stowed him away between two beds. But a few 
minutes elapsed before the arrival of the infuriated In- 
dians, who had tracked him to the house. They inquired 
if he had been seen there, and blustered and threatened 
considerably, but the ladies insisted that they knew no- 


thing about him, when they were reluctantly coiupelled 
to depart without finding him. Before leaving, however, 
they picked up a cat, pulled out all her hair, and tore 
her to pieces before the family, by way of illustrating 
how they would have treated Stump if they had caught 

The only excuse Stump had to offer for the murder, 
was, that the Indians came to his house on Sunday eve- 
ning in a state of iiito>dcation, and were somewhat dis- 
orderly. He endeavored to persuade them to leave, but 
they refused to do it, and being apprehensive that they 
intended to do him some harm, killed them all ; and in 
order to conceal their bodies, dragged them down to the 
creels, made a hole in the ice, and threw them in. Fear- 
ing that the killing of them might come to the ears of 
some of their friends near by, he went the nest day 
fourteen miles up the creek, to two cabins, where he 
found one squaw, two gii'ls, and a small child, whom he 
killed, and setting fire to the cabins, consumed their 

The inteUigence of this inhuman butchery coming to 
the ears of John Penn, Governor of the Province, ac- 
companied by numerous depositions, so shocked him, that 
he felt himself in duty bound to have the murderer 
speedily brought to justice. The matter was laid before 
the Council, then in session in Philadelphia, and resolu- 
tions were passed instructing the Governor to write to the 
magistrates of Cumberland county, requiring them to 
exert themselves, and have him arrested immediately. 
Also, to acquaint the sheriffs of the adjoining counties of 
Lancaster and Berks, to be on the lookout, and arrest 
him, should he come into their districts. 

The Council fiirther advised the Governor to write to 



General Gage and Sir William Jolmson, acquaintlDg them 
with the unhappy event, and request them to communi- 
cate the same as soon as possible to the Six Nations, in 
the most favorable manner in their power, to prevent 
their taking immediate revenge for this great injury 
committed on their people ; and to assm^e them of the 
firm and sincere design of the government to give them 
full satisfaction at all times, for all wrongs done to them, 
and that they would leave nothing undone to bring the 
murderer to condign punishment. 

On the 19th of January, 1768, Governor John Penn 
addressed himself in a long letter to the ma^stxates of 
Cumberland county, giving them the necessary instruc- 
tions how to act. Amongst other things, he says : — 

"I am persuaded G«ntlemeD, that the Love of Jnatice, a eense of 
Duty, and a regard for the Public Safety, will be suiEcient induce- 
ments with you to exert jouraelvea in such a manner as to leave no 
measures untried which may be likely to apprehend aod bring to pun- 
ishment the Perpetrator of so horrid a Crime, which, in ita conse- 
qaenees, will certainly involve ua again iii all the Calamities of an In- 
dian War, and ho attended with the Effusion of much innocent Blood, 
unless by a proper Exertion of the I'owers of Government, and a due 
Ezeeutiou of the Laws, we can satisfy our Indian Allies that the 
Government docs not countenance those who wantonly Spill their 
Blood, and convince them that we think ourselves bound by the 
Solemn Treaties made with them. I have this matter so mncb at 
heart, that I have determined to give a Reward of Two Hundred 
Pounds to any Person or Persona who shall apprehend the a^d Frede- 
rick Stump, and bring him to juatice," &c. 

A similar letter was also forwarded to the magistrates 
of Berks and Lancaster counties, enjoining upon them 
the necessity of acting with promptitude, should the 
mui'derer escape into their territory. 

Accompanying this letter was a public proclamation, 


issued in a formal maimer, bearing the broad seal of the 
Piovince, in which it was strictly commanded, " that all 
Judges, Justices, Sheriffs, Constables, Officers Civil and 
Military, and all other, his Majesty's faithful and Liege 
Subjects within this Province, to make diligent search 
and enquiry after the said Frederick Stump, and that 
they use all possible means to apprehend and secure him 
in one of the Public Gaols of this Province, to be pro- 
ceeded against according to Law." 

Governor Penn also sent a message by an Indian 
named Billy Champion, to Newaleeka, the chief of the 
Delawares, and other Indiana, residing at the Great 
Island, acquainting them with the cruel murder of their 
friends ; and assuring them that the most speedy mea- 
sures would be taken, to have the ends of justice accom- 
plished. For carrying this message, the Council allowed 
Billy for his services, a " blanket, a shirt, a hat, a pair of 
shoes, a pair of Indian stockings, a breech cloth, and four 
pounds two shillings and six pence, in cash." 

Stump was finally arrested and lodged in the jail at 
Cartble. The account of his capture is given as follows : — 

" Captain William I'atWraon, lately in the Provincial service, now 
living on Juniata, about twenty miles from Frederifk Stumpa, hear- 
ing of the murder oommilted by hira and his servant, on the bwlicB 
of a number of Indianfl, engaged nineteen men, at two shillings and 
sis pence per diem wages, to go with him to take them. On their 
approach. Slump fled to the woods ; hut Patteraon pretended to the 
people in the house, that he cnme there to get Stump to go with them 
ud kill the Indbns at the Great Island ; this decoy had the desired 
effect. Some one went out, found and brought Stump to the house. 
On hifl coming in, Patterson arrested, bound and brought him, with 
big servant, John Ironcutter, without delay, to Carlisle jail, where he 
was lodged on Saturday evening, the 23d of March, 1768." 

Thus it seemed that the ends of justice were about to 




be accomplished, and the murderers receive the punish- 
ment which they so justly deserved. A difficulty, how- 
ever, arose among the magnates of the law at Carlisle, 
about where he should be tried. 

It was intended to him to Philadelphia for trial, 
and a discussion arose upon this point. The account is 
continued as follows ; 

"The Court just then concluding, all the justices were in town. 
The Monday morning followiug, the aheriff was preparing to carry 
him to Philadelphia, agreeable to the express mandate of the chief 
justice's warrant ; but a doubt otobc amongst the justices and tewus- 
people, as 16 pretended, whether the eheriff had a right to remove him, 
he being committed to their jail by two justices, Armstrong and 
Miller. But the truth was, they apprehended a design to try him at 
Philadelphia, though the chiiif justice's warrant espressly commanded 
that he should be brought down for esaminalion — and thereupon the 
sheriff was directed to proceed in his duty. 

" Wednesday, several justices again met, to consult about sending 
him down ; while they were consulting, about forty of the country 
people assembled, and marched near the town, declaring they would 
take him out of jail, aa they understood he was to be taken to Phila- 
delphia. A gentleman advised them not to go into town, but send in 
two of their party, to know the sentiments of the magistrates on that 
head. The two messengers eame into town, and received aasuranoea 
that Stump should not be scut to Philadelphia, but receive his trial 
at Carlisle, upon which the messengers returned, and the company 
dispersed, and went to their respective dwellings. 

" Thua matters quietly rested until Friday, when a company from 
Sherman's Valley, about fifteen miles from Carlisle, and Stump's 
neighborhood, assembled, aod came near the town, about eight of 
whom came in by couples; the first two that entered the prison, 
asked the jailer for a dram, or some liquor ; which ho went to get for 
them, and when he brought it, the others entered. They directly 
drew a cutlass, and presented a pistol, swearing they would kill him, 
if he resisted, or made the least noise ; the same care was token as 
to the jailer's wife. Immediately came up the general company, of 
about sixty armed men, and surrounded the jail ; the riotfiis within 



bad a, sledge, crowbar, and asu, with trhicb (as some eay) they broke 
ibe inner jail door; while othera assert, that tbey bad procured the 
kep of the dungeon from a girl in the jail. Tbey proceeded down to 
the dungeon, where Stump lay handcuffed, the chain which fastened 
bim to the floor having been taben off two days before. They then 
brought biin up. In the meantime came the sheriff, Col. John Arm- 
strong, Robert Miller, Esq., and Parson Steel, who were admitted 
within the circle of armed men round the jail, but not knowing of 
others being within, went on the steps of the jail, and deetared tbey 
would defend it with their lives. By this time those within came 
with Stump to tbe door — the sheriff seizing him, when one of the 
men made a thrust with a cutlass, wbicb passed close by his throat, 
and immediately the whole body surrounded the sheriff and jnstices, 
and carried them to the middle of tbe street, but happily did not 
toncb a bair of their beads, and went olF with Stump, greatly shout- 
ing ; but first took him to a Bmith, whom they obliged to cut off bis 
irons. The sheriff and justices immediately went after them, and 
overtook one-half of the company ; but the rest, with Stump, were 
gone over tbe hiUs to Sherman's Valley. 

" Some of them declared they would pve Mr. Patterson tbe interest 
of his .£'200 reward, which should not he of any service to him, and 
great danger wan apprehended to his person and property, for his 
upright and spirited behavior in tbe cause of virtue and bis country." 

Ironcutter was also rescued at the same time, and 
carried o£F with Stump. 

This violent demonstration, on the part of the people, 
against the enforcement of the civil law, as may be 
expected, caused a tremendous excitement throughout 
the Province. The Governor was astounded, and scarcely 
knew how to act. Not daunted by the violence of the 
people, a party, composed of the sheriff, clergy, magis- 
trates, and several other reputable inhabitants, speedily 
assembled and proceeded to Shennan's Valley, to remon- 
strate with those that rescued Stump, against such law- 
less proceedings. They represented to them tbe dan- 
gerous consequences of such conduct, and the bad 


example they were setting. They manifested some 
contrition, and partially promised to return him in three 
days. They did not do it, however. 

The people of the frontier were vefy much alarmed 
at this lawless demonstration, and many of them left 
their homes. Captain Patterson being threatened by 
the rescuers of Stump, was obliged to keep a guard in 
his house night and day. 

The reasons given by the mob for their conduct, was, 
that the government always manifested a greater concern 
at the killing of an Indian than a white man. That 
numbers of the whites had been barbarously murdered 
and no lamentations were made, nor exertions of the 
goverment to bring their murderers to justice. That their 
wives and children must be insulted by Indians, and a 
number of them recei^'c the fatal blow, before they dare 
say it is war. In view of this they were determined no 
longer to submit. 

Governor Penn ordered proceedings to be instituted 
against those who had thus violated the law, and forcibly 
rescued Stump. Testimony was speedUy obtained against 
twenty-one of them, including the ringleaders, and war- 
rants issued for their arrest. Whether they were arrested 
does not appear. 

The most positive instructions were issued by the 
Governor for the re-arrest of Stump and Ironcutter, 
and a warrant from the chief justice forwarded to 
the authorities, to convey them to Philadelphia, accom- 
panied by a second proclamation, offering an additional 
reward of two hundred pounds for Stump, and oue 
hundred for Ironcutter. He also caused a description 
of their persons io be published, to assist in their appre- 





The description of the culprits is as follows, and is 
copied from the official records of the State : 

" Frederick Stump, born in Heidleburg township, Lancaster county, 
in Fenusylvonia, of German parente. He is about 33 years of age, 
5 feet 8 nches higb, a stont fellow, and well proportioned ; of a brown 
complexioo, thin visaged, has small black eyes, with a downcast look, 
and wears short black hair ; be speaks the German language well, and 
tbe Eaglisb but indifferently. He had on, when rescued, a light 
brown cloth coat, a blue great coat, an old hat, leather breeches, blue 
teggins and moccasins. 

"John Ironcutter, born in Germany, is about 19 years of age, 5 
feel 6 inches higb, a thick, clumsy fellow, round shouldered, of a dark 
brown complexion, haa a emootb, fiill face, grey eyes, wears short 
brown hair, and speaks Tcry little English. He bad on, when rescued, 
z blanket coat, an old felt hat, buckskin breeches, a pair of long 
trousers, coarse white yarn stockings, and shoes with brass buckles." 

After their rescue they c.ime back to the neighhorhood 
in which the murder was committed. From thence 
Stump went to his father's, in Tulpehockon. Ironcutter 
was carried off, and secreted by some Germans, After- 
wards they escaped to Virginia, and never were arrested 
again. Stump, it is said by an old settler, died there 
only twenty-five or thirty years ago, at a very advanced 
age. So ends the history of Stump, the Indian kUler. 







The County of Northumberland was organized, March 
12th, 1772, out of Lancaster, Cumberland, Berks, North- 
ampton and Bedford. It embraced a large extent of 
territory. The following description of its boundaries Is 
from the first section of the act erecting it : 

" That all and ringulnr tlie lands Ijing and being witliin the boun- 
daries following, that is tr> a/iy, beginDing at tbe mouth of Alshon- 
t«ngo creek, on the west side of the river Susquehanna^ thence up 
the south side of said crecli, by the several courses thereof, to the 
bead of Robert Metoer's npriag; tbenco west bj north to the top of 
Tussey's mountain; thenec south westerly, along the summit of the 
mountiiin to Little Juniata; thence up the north-eaBterly side of the 
main branch of little Juniata, to the head thereof; thence north to 
the line of Berks county; thence east along the said line, to the ex- 
tremity uf the Province; thence east along the northern boundary, to 
that part thereof of the Great Swamp; thence south to the most 
northern part of the Swamp aforesaid ; thence with a alxaight line to 
the head of the Lehigh, or Mill creek; thence down the said creek 
so far, that a line mn west south-west will strike tbe forks of Slahon- 
tongo creek where Pine creek falls into the same, at the place called 
the Spread Eagle, on the east side of the Suaqaobanna, thence down 
the southerly aide of said creek to the river aforesaid ; thence down 
and across the river to the place of t 


It was directed by the Provincial authorities, that the 
courts be held at Fort Augusta, tiU a Court House, and 
the necessary pubHc buildings, could be erected. A com- 
mittee compoaed of William Maclay, Samuel Hunter. 
John Loudon, Joseph Wallis, and Robert Moody, were 
appointed to purchase a piece of land, in some convenient 
place in the county, subject to the approval of the Gov- 
ernor, on which to erect a court house and jail, 

Joshua Elden, James Patten, Jesse Lukens and Wil- 
liam Lukens, were appointed " to run, mark out and dis- 
tinguish the boundary lines between Lancaster, Cum- 
berland, Berks, Northampton, Bedford, and Northumber- 
land counties." 

At that time Northumberland embraced all of the 
"West Branch Valley, as far as Lycoming creek. The 
river above that point was the boundary on the south 
side. The north side was in dispute. Most of the ter- 
ritory was a dense forest, where the red man had roamed 
with untrammeled freedom, from time immemorial, but 
the onward march of civilization was about to drive him 
from these favorite haunts, and compel him to seek a 
new home in distant wilds. He sullenly retired from the 
cherished scenes of his childhood, after being oven^ome 
by the superior numbers and intelligence of the race that, 
it seemed, were destined to dispossess him. Such seemed 
to be his fate. But the vindictive passions of his savage 
breast were aroused, and he fought for his home and 
bunting grounds. It was natural that he should do so — 
the present race of whites, claiming a greater amount of 
refinement and intelligence, would do the same. They 
would scalp, too, before they would surrender their 
hearths and fli-esides to another race, and leave all the 
endearing associations of home. The territory of the 
Indian was acquired hy purchase and aggression, trear 




chery and duplicity. His noble nature knew no guile — 
he thought the white man was honest ! Alas ! what a 
sad mistake. 

The territory on the north side of the Otzinachson — 
now called the West Branch — was not included in the 
purchase of 1768, at Fort Stanwix, further west than 
Lycoming creek, which was supposed to he the Tiadagh- 
ton of the Indians. The mistake was not discovered till 
at the treaty of 1784, held at the same place, when the 
Indians informed the Pennsylvania Commissioners that 
what the whites called Pine creek, was the real Tia- 

The town of Sunbury was laid out in the same year 
that the county was erected, 1772, by John Lukens, the 
Surveyor General, on the beautiful plain one mile below 
Fort Augusta. He erected a frame house, which was, 
probably, the first building put up in the town. William 
Maclay, of whom mention has already been made, shortly 
afterwards erected a stone building, which is still stand- 
ing, fronting on the river. 

At this time Mungo Reed resided on what was then 
called Shamokin island, near the confluence of the two 
rivers, and a few yards above the fort. Thomas Grant 
and CoJjimeLHunter, commander of the fort, lived on two 
farms which they~had taken up close by. Robert Mot* J 
dock also had a farm here. These gentlemen are eoiH 
sidered among the first ^i^na^e settlers at this pointy, 
who formed the nucleus around which the other iOiaSf 
grants clustered. 

The Grant family were identified, to a considerable ex- 
tent, with the history of the eventful period of the Re- 
volution. Mr. Grant was a Captain in the Revolutionary 
War, and had command of a frontier fort. His widow 



■was a remarkably fine woman, of great mind and resolu- 
tion, and universally esteemed and beloved by all who 
knew her, for her many social virtues. She is well re- 
membered, and feelingly spoken of, by many of the old 
people now living. When Sherman Day visited her, 
about 1840, he describes her as a venerable old lady, 
rJi'ving in a fine mansion, surrounded by her children and 
grandchildren. Her memory extended back for a pe- 
'jriod of eighty years, yet she did not appear to be over 

Robert Martin, originally from New Jersey, was the 
i&thcr of Mrs. Grant. He first settled at Wyoming 
iSmder the Pennsylvania title, but being unable to live 
^ihere in peace, abandoned his farm, and removed to 
Horthumberland. He erected a house, and kept tavern 
Siere, previous to the purchase of 1768. His house, at 
^that time, was the only one to be seen about Northum- 
^berland Point, or even on the other side, except in Fort 
Augusta, He was undoubtedly the first settler on the 
of Northumberland, near eighty years ago. After 
.flie purchase of 1768, his house was thronged with 
jmmerous speculators, pioneers, sun'cyors, and adven- 
fterers, who came to view and settle upon the lands of 
ike West Branch. — 

' Colonel Hunter is distinguished in the history of that 
^period. He had command of Fort Augusta during the 
time of the Kevolution. when it was the great point to 
which all the settlors of both Branches converged, when 
fiompeUed to abandon their homes in the wilderness, by 
tfte attacks of the savages. All the forts erected along 
•iflie West Branch were under his supervision, and the 
duties that devolved upon him were great. He may be 
considered the watchful guardian of the frontier. Scenes 


of the most thrilling character were enacted at that 

A fine brick mansion now stands on the identical spot 
formeriy occupied by the fori,. It is owned by Miss 
Hunter, a lineal descendant of the old Colonel. Truly, 
it is built on sacred ground. 

In 1772, according to the best and most reliable in- 
formation that I have been able to collect, there was but 
one house where Sunbury now stands, one at Fort Au- 
gusta, and one on the Grant farms, one on Shamokin 
island, one in Northumberland, and but four between 
that point and where MUton now stands, where there 
was one. Between Milton and Muncy hills there were 
six families, and not more than eight or ten on the 
river above. 

Captain Lowden, and a Mr. Patterson, it appears, be- 
came owners of the land at Northumberland. They 
afterwards sold a part to Reuben Haynes, a brewer from 
the city of Philadelphia, who laid out the town of 
Northumberland, in 1775. This was at a very gloomy 
period of our history, and it made but slow progress for 
several years. The settlers were often compelled to 
abandon their homes, and fly to Fort Augusta for pro- 

Ludwig Derr, a German, settled in Buffalo Valley, 
where Lewisburg now stands, about 1772 or 1773. A 
patent for a tract of land containing three hundred and 
twenty acres, was granted to Richard Peters, August 
11th, 1772 ; and on the 17th of November, 1773, it was 
deeded to Ludwig DeiT. 

Colonel John Kelly, a distinguished hero of the Re- 
volutionary period, settled in Buffalo Valley, as early as 
1768, immediately after the purchase from the Indians. 


He was one of the first pioneers in this region, and en- 
dured many hardships. 

Captain John Brady, with a large family, also immi- 
grated to the West Branch, about 1772, and located 
opposite where Lewisburg now stands. This family was 
one of the most remarkable that ever resided in the 
romantic vale of the Otzinachson, and their history, 
replete with some of the most daring and thrilling events, 
will occupy a large space. 

The following persons were also among the early 
settlers : — Samuel and Joseph Wallis, William, Hutchin- 
son^ Cornelius Atkinson, Moses Kirk, John and Robert 
Eson, Captain Gray, Robert Frait, Walter and William 
Clark, William Wilson, Robert Clark, James Steedman, 
Scotts, &c. 

Captain Simpson was among the first settlers in 
Sunbuiy. He participated in the disastrous battle of 
Wyoming. His descendants still live there. 

Paul Baldy also located here at a very early period. 
He erected a log-house, and it is related by some of the 
citizens of the present day, that he traded with the 
Indians through the cracks of the building, not daring 
to permit them to enter at the door. 

Of the troubles and privations endured by those set- 
tlers, we can scarcely form a just conception. It is 
related that during the time of the Indian wars, when 
hideously painted savages skulked like demons through 
the forest, many of the first settlers about Sunbury, 
were often obliged to take their families in canoes, and 
moor them in the middle of the river during the night, 
to escape the scalping knife of the ever-vigilant foe. 
Contrast those times with the peace and comfort now 
enjoyed, gentle reader, and rejoice that you did not 
live at that day. 



Amongst the early settlers at Sunbury, it must not 
te forgotten to mention the name of Dr. William Plun- 
kett, sometimes culled Colonel Plunkett, for ha"\ing com- 
manded an expedition against Wyoming, and also one 
against the Connecticut settlers on the West Branch, 
The Doctor, as he was familiarly called, was quite a 
character at that time, and was extensively known. He 
is said by some to have been an Englishman, and, by 
others, an Irishman. 

Many anecdotes are related concerning him, one of 
which is, that once upon a lime in England, in a public 
house, he was in aiyadjoining room, where a number of 
gentlemen were assembled, with several fiiends, talking 
in a loud tone of voice. One of the gentlemen in the 
adjoining room, observed to his companions, that he did 
not believe the loud-talkmg man could tell the time of 
day by the watch, and taking a valuable one from his 
pocketj sent it in with his servant to see. The servant 
informed the Doctor of his errand. Being somewhat 
irritated, he took the watch, and assuming a very defiant 
attitude, held it out and exclaimed: "Here is a watch, 
sent to see if /can tell the time of day by it; will the 
owner please step forward, and ImU_satm inform him!" 
The gentry became alarmed at his bold appearance, and 
the owner was a/raid to make himself known, fearing a 
flogging for thus trying to insult him. "As nobody will 
own the watch," said the Doctor, "IieiU keep if," and 
quietly putting it in his pocket, went about his business! 

The Doctor was compelled to leave Europe rather 
abruptly,* for being concerned with one James Maclean, 
in committing a robbery on Lord Eglintoun. He was 
arrested and thrown into prison, but escaped, and wm 


• Miner's Ilietorj Wyoming, page 179-80. 

if and WMh 


inaroBr op the west branch 12" 

gled on shipboard in a barrel, and brought to 

His loyalty to the king was so great, that "neither 

the blandishments of ambition, the persuasions of in- 

!st, nor the terrors of proscription could shake him 

a moment." Up to the day of his death he never 

ik the oath of allegiance, which would concede the 

["lleath of royalty in America. Being free-spoken and 

ft&rless, he was frequently assailed. He went armed 

with the loaded butt of a riding whip, prepared to defend 

or chastise. Pre\ious to the Revolution, he acted for a 

time as a Justice of the Peace. His ftianner of inflicting 

punisliment was odd, if not arbitraJy and severe. As 

the old English whipping-post and stocks were never 

it«d in Sunbury, the Doctor had a stout worm fence, 

id he sometimes placed the neck of the culprit between 

rails, making them both pillory and stocks at the 

iC time ! He was for many years one of the Associate 

odgcs of Northumberland county. 

Plunkett was afterwards recognized in America by a 
person who had known him in England, and who kept 
Ilia secreL He regretted this action, as one of his youth- 
ful crimes, and afterwards became a very useful member 
of society. His services as a physician were invaluable 
un many occasions, in the dressing of wounds. 

The Doctor is said to have been acquainted with 
WTeral Indian languages, and when travelling up the 
lirer one day on a lonely path, met an Indian. Ho 
sddressed him in all the languages he was master of, with- 
out making him understand ; when, as a last alternative, 
he spoke to him in Englbh, and strange enough the 
Indian understood him. He inquired what tribe be 
belonged to, and on being informed, exclaimed, " Verff 



■ had; very dad tribe." The Indian in turn asked him 
I what nation ^e belonged to, and on feeing informed that 
[ it was the English, looked him in the face and said, 

" Ah, le%ry had tribe, berry had indeed, more ladder dan 

poor Indian .'" 

The Doctor was an old bachelor, and lived to a great 

age. Some say that he became blind. lie died at 

Sunbmy in 1801 or 2. 


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Meanwhile their families awaited their arrival with great 
suspense, and when the canoe hove in sight with its 
scanty supply of flour, joy and gladness rang through 
the humble dwelling. Then again how often were they 
disappointed, on receiving the sad intelligence that the 
husbands and fathers were killed and scalped, and the 
little children were obliged to go supperless and father- 
less to bed. 

I now come to an important point in the history of 
the West Branch Valley, tIz : to give an account of the 
first white settlement on Warrior Run, where Fort Free- 
land was erected, and where some bloody scenes were 
enacted. I am pleased to be able fo give a correct 
account, having obtained the particulars from Mrs. Mary 
Derrickson,* a daughter of Mr. Cornelius Vincent, one 
of the original settlers. 

In 1772, they immigrated from Essex county, New 

■ On viHiting this Tenerable old lady in July, 1856, I foand lier wilh a 
mind bright nnd uuim paired, and able to folate the thrilling Bcenea enacted 
at Fort Freeland, with remarkable accuracy. She could give the dates of 
the occurrences, and remembered tbe incidents of the battle, the naniee of 
the principal actors, and everything else of importance, in a manner that 
waa truly aetonishing. She was the sister of BethucI Vincent, a name 
veil remembered throughout this region of country. She was very iimal! 
at the time of the taking of the fort in 1TT8, but being a sprightly child, 
everything was bo etrongly impreBsed upon her mind, that death aione can 
obliCcmte it. Her father had five Buns and four daughters. Tbe sons 
were named, Isaac, Daniel, Bethuel, Benjamin, and John ; the daughlert. 
Sarah, Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Mary, Of this number, but two or three 
survive. Mary, of whom I obtained this information, is in her 78th year, 
and onjojing the comforts of a bale old age, surroundod by her chililrea 
and grandchildren. She is a woman of extensive and varied informaliuo, 
free to converse upon the topics of the day. The only difadvantage under 
which she labors is a slight deafness. The name of the Tinceni« ia 
inseparably associated with the history of this Valley. Their deacendanli 
are very numerous. Mrs. Derrickson resides in the family of her son-in- 
law, Jacob Sensenbach, of Williamsport. 




Jersey, Their names were : Jacob Freeland, John Vin- 
cent, Cornelius Vincent and Peter Vincent, with their 
families. The nest year they were reinforced by Timo- 
thy Williams with a very large family, together with 
Samuel Gould and family. Freeland settled on Warrior 
Ran, a few miles above its mouth. The Vincents set- 
tled one mile below the mouth, on the river. This was 
the first nucleus of a settlement formed in this part of 
the country, around which other settlers clustered, till 
they had quite a little commumty. 

These hardy pioneers pitched their tents in the wil- 
derness, and commenced to make improvements. They 
were men of nerve, resolution and daring, and soon be- 
came inured to the hardships and privations incident to 
the settlement of a new country. 

In 1773, Jacob Freeland commenced to buUd a small 
Tnill on Warrior Run, having brought the necessary irons 
with him the previous year from New Jersey. The mill 
was completed, and proved a valuable acquisition to the 
settlement. The fort was built in 1775, about half a 
mile north-east of where the Warrior Run Church now 
stands. It was a Stockade fortification, not very strong, 
and destitute of cannon. 

About this time, 1772, the Connecticut people from 
Wyoming, commenced to settle on the West Branch, 
about the Muncy flats and vicinity. As the difficulties 
that took place between them and the Pennsylvanians 
were long and serious, it is thought best to devote a 
chapter or two exclusively to them. 

The first Court in Northumberland County was held 
, it Fort Augusta. Thinking that the record, together 
I with the names of those concerned as officers, jurymen, 
I kc., would be interesting at the present day, and also 


show who were the first settlers, I have transcribed it 
from the old books of the County, in the office of the 
Prothonotary at Sunbury. It is as follows : 


" At a Court of private sessinna of the peace held at fort Augusta 
for the County of Nortliuioberland on tbo nintb day of April in the 
twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Third by 
tbo Grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, de- 
fender of the Faith, and in the year of our Lord God one thousand 
seven hundred and ecvcuty-two, before 'William Plunkett, Eaq., and 
his Associate Justices assigned, &c., within the suid County of North- 
umberland, viz : 

" A Commission from bis Honor the Governor, bearing date the 
24th day of March anno domini one thousand seven hundred and se- 
Tcnty-two, appointing William Plunkett, Turbutt Francis, SjjnueJ 
Ifiip^pr. James Potter, William Maclay, Caleb Graydon, Benjamin 
Allison, Robert Moodic, John Lowdon, Thos. Lemon, Ellie Hughes 
and Benjamin Wciser, Esqrs., Justices of the Court of General Quar- 
ter Sessions of the Peace and jail delivery for the said County of 
Northumberland was published in Court. 

" On motion made, the fcuid Connly of Northd., or aa much of the 
Extent of the same aa is now purehuHcd from the Indiana, ib dirided 
into the follawing towasbipa, to be hereafter culled and knowa by the 
nameB of Feno'atwp.* — Augusta twp. — Turbutt tw p. — Bufialo twp. 
— Bald Eagle twp. — Muncy twp, — and Wyoming twp., each described 
&nd bounded as follows : 


"Beginning at the mouth of Penn's creek at the bead of the isle 
of Que, thence up the same to the forks, thence by a north line to 
the West Braneh of Susquehanna, thence down the West Branch of 
Susquehanna to the forks, thence down Snsqnehanna to place of be- 

"description of bald eaole township. 

"Beginning at tbo forks of Penn's creek, thence by a north line 

* The descriptions of Peon's, Augusta, and Wyoming townships, are 
omitted, as not being pertinent to the Talley of the West Branch. 


to the West Branch of SosTjuefaaDDa, thcnc« up the game to where 
the County line crossea it, thence by the County line south to the 
head of little Juniata, thence down the same to the end of Tusscy's 
mountain, tlienoe along the top of the same easterly to the place of 


"Beginning on the east side of Susquehanna at Fort Augusta, 
thence up the easterly side of the N. E. Branch to tbc old line for- 
merly mo for a division between Berks and Northampton counties, 
thence by the sanie line North West to the top of Muncy hill, thence 
along the top of the same westerly to the West Branch of Susque- 
banna, and crossing the sume to the west side and down the same to 
the janctjon of the branches, and crossing Susquehanna to the place 
of beginning — so aa to include the forks and ii'Iand. 


" Beginning on the west side of the West Branch of Susquehanna, 
opposite the end of Muncy hill, thence up the West Branch to oppo- 
ate the month of Lycoming,* thence crossing the branch, up Lycom- 
ing to the heads thereof, thence by a south-east line to the Muncy 
Ull, thenee along the top of the same to the West Branch, and cross- 
ing to beginning." 

The names of the Constables appointed for these 

respective townships, on the same occasion, were as 
follows : 

" TurbuU twp. William McMein. 

Boffalo " Robert King. 

Bald Eagle " Samuel Long. 

Muucy " James Rohb." 

This appears to have been all the business transacted 
at this Court — which was of a preliminary character — 
it least nothing else appears upon the record. 

The second Court was held at the same place in Aa- 

* The reader will observe that Lycoming was the line of the County on 
lilt north side of the river, and was supjioscd to bo the Tiadaghion of the 





gust following, of the same year. The record runs as 
follows : 

" At a Court of General Sessions of the Peace, beld at fort Au- 
gusta for the County of Northd., the fourth Tuesdnj in August, in 
tho twelfth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, Geo. the Third, 
by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, 
defender of the faith, &c.. Before William Plunkctt, Esq., and his 
Associates, Justices assigned, &c., within the said County of Northd., 

" Upon petition to the Court, Adam Haveling, Slarcus Hutings, 
Jr., Martin Kost, Samuel Weiscr; and John Alexander, are recom- 
mended to his Honor the Governor for his license to keep public 
houses where they respectively dwell in this County, they giving bond, 
kc, agreeahle to the taws of this Province in suoh cases made, &e." 

The ^sl Granrl Jury in the County was empaiineled 
at this Court. Their names are given below. I copy 
from the record : 

" George Nagel, Esq.,* High Sheriff for the County aforesaid, re- 
turned his writ of venire to him directed, with the panel annexed, 
which being called over after proclumaiiou, made the following per- 
sons appear, who were accordingly sworn on the grand inquest for our 
Sovereign Lord the King, for the body of the County. 
John Brady, Foreman, Geo. Ean, 

Geo. Overmyer, And. Heffer, 

John Hhowick, Hawkins Boon, 

Leonard Peter, George Wolf, 

Gerhard Freeland, William Cook, 

John Jofit, John Kelly, 

William Grey, James Poke, 

Ludwig Dorr, Jtihn Walker." 

At the November Sessions of 1775, the report for the 
^rat road, up the river, was received as follows : 

* George Nagol was Sheriff of Berks counly when Northumberknd 
was organiBod. He, however, served in Northurahorlnnd, till William 
Cook was elected in October, 1TT2. 


"The report of Henry Antes, Cookson Long, Samuel Horn, Ales- 
mdcr HamiltoQ, Jonathan Albridge, and Samuel Harris, the six men 
■ppoinUid at August Sessions to view and, if they saw cause, to lay 
out a Britilr Road from the moutii of Bald Eagle creek to the town 
of Sunbary, was read in Court, by which it appears that they have 
thought it necettar^, and have according laid nut a Bridle Roitd as 
IbUowa: 'Beginning at a post at the mouth of Bald Eagle Creek, 
thence north 81 deg.,' &c., on to a Black oak on the Wea Braneh of 
Sasquehaniia oppaaite the town of Sunbury." 

These names also go to show who were among the 
first settlers of the County at that early period, some 
eighty-four years ago. Of these men, not one is now 
living — they are all numbered with the dead, and the 
wild flower blooms on their graves. 

It may be interesting to belligerent gentlemen of the 
present day, to state that the early Coui-ts of Northum- 
berLind county, only fined a man/ce shillings for assault 
and haiicry. The luxury of fightmg being so cheap then, 
it was very much indulged in, and sparring matches were 
common. Such a law would suit the chivalry of this 
period. They could cane one another to their hearts' 
content at a very trifling expense ! 

They appear to have had some trouble at Fort Au- 
gueta, in reference to their public buildings, and the 
want of a jail, as may be inferred from the following 
apicy letter, written by William Maclay, to J. Tilghman, 
April 2d, 1773 :— 

"Sir: I inclose to yon a Letter from three of the Trustees for the 

pablick Buildings of this County, respecting some measures which 

>e have lately fallen on to rescue us from the scandal of living in- 

tir«l; without any Place of coufincoicnt or punishment for Villains j 

P Ctptain Hunter had address enough to render abortive every attempt 

■ iW was made last summer, for keeping a regular Jail, even after I 

B W been &t considerable expense in fitting up this filagazine, under 




which there is a amal! But coinpleat DuugeoD, I am sorry to inform 
you That ho has given our present Measures iho most Obstinate Ke- 
Biatanco in his power and impeded Us with every cnibarraaameut in 
the Compass of his Inveation, we know nothing of the Footing on 
which Captain Hunter has posseasion of these Buildings, and only 
beg that the County may ho acconiniodated with this old Magarine, 
with the addition proposed to be made to it, and with the Houae in 
which I now live, to hold our courta in ; I have repaired the House 
in which I now live, But expect to have an Houae ready to remove to 
in Sunhury, before our November Court. As the present repairs are 
done intirely by subscription, you will readily guesa that Captain 
Hunter is not among the number of subscribers. As there are many 
pieces of old Iron, &c,, which formerly belonged to the fort, not of 
any use at present, the Truateea propose using any of them which can 
be converted to any advantage, for Grates, &c., for our temporary 
Gaol, unless they receive contrary Directions from Philada. If Hell 
is justly considered as the rcndivous of Rascals, we cannot entertain 
a doubt of Wioming being the Place. Burn'd Hands, cut Ears, &o., 
^re considered as the certain certificates of superior merit j we have 
certain Accounts of their having had several meetings lately to chuse 
a Sovereign and settle the State, &c., for it seems they have not now 
any Dependance on the Government of Connecticut. The Time of 
the Descent on the West Branch, Fort Augusta, &c,,is now fixed for 
May next; I have no Doubt but the Desperate Tempers of these 
People will hurry them .into some tragical affair, which will at last 
rouse our Government, when it may be too laic to repair the mischief 
done by them. At the same time I am told there are some among 
them, who would willingly become quiet subjects, and are afraid to 
own their sentiments. Patterson has the other day been offered 
1200 0, for the same number of acres, not far from your Land. I 
would not have you sell. Doctor Plunkett goes down in a few dapj 
'tis likely I may send another long letter by him. 
"And am with the greatest Esteem, 
Tour most Obedient humble Servant, 


It appears that Mr. Maclay had a particular aversion 
to the settlers at Wyoming, and regarded them as the 


most arrant knaves. This is illustrative of the feeling 
that existed between the two parties. 

As to the particulars in reference to the difficulty with 
Colonel Hunter, they are nowhere preserved, or, at least, 
I have been unable to find them. 







The Connecticut settlement at Wyoming was extend- 
ed to the West Branch at a very early period. As early 
as 17G9, says Colonel Franklin in his journal, the Sus- 
quehanna Comiiany passed a vote to send on 540 set- 
tlersj 300 of whom were to have lands as a gratuity on 
the West Branch. The settlement was made on tbe 
beautiful rolling plain around where Muncy now stands, 
and was called the " Muncy Settlement." Two town- 
ships were surveyed here as early as 1771. One was 
named Charleston,* and the other Judea. The namesof 
the actual settlers are lost. 

This settlement was not at first included in the Uioit! 
of Westmoreland, by the Connecticut grant, which ex- 
tended only fifteen miles beyond the North Branch — not 
reaching within twenty miles of Muncy. In May, 1775, 
an act was passed by the Connecticut Council to extend 
the limits of the town of Westmoreland, as far westffw^ 
as the Une fixed upon with the Indians at the trea^ 
Fort Stanwix, in 1768. This, then, included the 

• Miner's Hist. Wyoming, p. 166, 7, i 

two ^H 


tlements on the West Branch, as far up as Lycoming 

The name of John Vincent appears as one of the 
actors in the Connecticut, or Wyoming, troubles on the 
West Branch, In 1775, he was appointed a Justice of 
the Peace for Litchfield county. In August of the same 
year, it is alleged that said Vincent, with several others, 
went to Wyoming, and requested a number of people to 
go on to the West Branch and settle, in order to extend 
the jurisdiction and authority of Connecticut to that 
place as soon as possible. In answer to his appeal, 
William Judd and Joseph Sluman, Esqrs., with a company 
of about eighty others, proceeded to the West Branch 
in September, and commenced to make a settlement. 

A bad feeling existed between the Connecticut settlers 
at Wyoming, and those of Pennsylvania, The latter 
looked upon the former as invaders of a territory that 
in no wise belonged to them, and their settlements were 
viewed with a jealous eye. Serious difficulties ensued 
between the two parties, which assumed quite a bellige- 
rent attitude, and in one or two instances resulted in loss 
of life. It is very difficult, at this late day, to get a 
correct version of the troubles that ensued, as but little 
was written and preserved concerning them. Some ac- 
count is found in the Colonial Records, and in Miner's 
History of Wyoming, but neither of them give the de- 
tails in full. I shall endeavor to give an account of these 
difficulties, in accordance with what data I have been 
able to collect. 

The feeling of jealousy assumed such a pitch, that the 
inhabitants of Northumberland remonstrated against the 
Connecticut claimants, and went so far as to send in a 
petition to Governor Penn, as follows : 


" That yonr Petilijnera beiag seated, in Consequence of regular 
Purchaae from the Proprietarica of Pennsylvania, in the said County 
of Northumberland, within the known Limiu, and under the Protec- 
tion of the Laws of the Province of Penosjlvania, have ncvertheleas 
been under the necessity of Combatting and Btruggling with many 
Difficulties and Embarrassments of so alarming a nature as scarce to 
he paralleled in the History of any Civilized Country; that the Colony 
of Connecticut sets up a Claim to the lands seated, improved, and 
rendered VaJmihle by your Petitioners' Labour; happy might your 
Petitioners he, would those Claimants bring their Pretensioaa to some 
Tribunal whose decision would equally bind both Parties, but with 
them Violence usurpB the Place of Ai^ument, and force, of Legal De- 
cision ; that about two years ago a number of your Petitioners were 
in a Hostile manner ousted of their Possessions at Wyoming, and 
Cruelly Stripped and Plundered of their Effects; that, not content 
with the acquisition of Wjominj^ and the Parts adjacent, sundry at- 
tempts have been made to eslend their Conquests. A large Body of 
Armed Men from Connecticut in June last attempted to dispOHess the 
Inhabitants of the West Brjacb of Susquehanna, and, though pre- 
vented, it was not without much Fatigue, Expcnce, and Great Danger 
of Bloodshed; these People, lawless among themselves, afford an 
Assylum and secure Retreat to disorderly Persons, not only of this 
Government, but of all the neighboring Provinces, by which acces- 
sions, and the Constant Countenance of the Colony of Connecticut, 
their numbers have of late greatly increased ; that the avowal of thdr 
Intentions is uniformly the same, especially since the account from 
Connecticut that ' the Government has openly espoused their Cause, 
and taken them under their Protection.' Deplorable indeed must he 
the situation of your Petitioners, if cdled on to defend by Force of 
Arms their Infant Settlements against the Power of a whole Colony; 
that the Consequence must be ruin to their fortunes and families in 
their Present distracted Situation ; as common subjects of the Pro- 
vince^ and entitled to the protection of the Laws, your Petitioners 
cannot help looking up to your Honor for the aid of Government; 
they have hitherto maintained an unetjual Contest, possessed of pro- 
perly themselves, they have been obliged with arms in their hands to 
defend it against those who had no property, subject themselves to 
Law, they have had to Contend with those who refused Subjection to 
any Law, and have not been able to reduce them to order, which ia 
confessing a Weakness they can no longer conceal; that the whole 

Poesc of the County is not BufEcfcDt to enforce the Laws at Wyoming, 
as the laliabttaDts have not hitherto been able to prevent tlie Conti- 
niiiace of the Connecticut Intruders in that Part of the Province 
contnu-y to Lav, and the Repeated Proclamationa of GovernincDt, 
they fear their utmost Efforts will not be sufficient to keep their Pos- 
seseions without the lutcrpoaition and Protection of the Legieluture, 
which, therefore, they Implore, and from the Known Clemency and 
Justice of the adminiatration, consider themselves as having reason tc 

This petition was signed by the magistrates, grand 
jury, and other principal inhabitants of Northumberland, 
and laid before the Board of Council, by the Governor, 
in session at Philadelphia, December 9th, 1773. After 
receiving due consideration, it was the opinion of the 
Council that it should be laid before the Assembly, 
accompanied by a message from the Governor, to 
enforce it. 

On the 14th of December, the message from the 
Governor was kid before the Assembly, and reads as 
follows : 

" Gentlemen : — The distresses of the Inhahitnnts of the County of 
North ombertand, expressed in their Petition, which wilt be delivered 
to you by the Secretary, oppcar to be of a very alarming Nature, and 
juBtlv to call for the particular attention of this Government. 

" The Insolent Outragea of a. act of Men who have long bid de&- 
unee to the Lawa of the Conotry, and have afforded Protection to 
Offenders of the moat Hcinoua Kind, ought not, Certainly, in a Well 
regulBt«d Society, to be suffered to paee with Impunity; hut when 
ibese men embody themselves, sally forth with arms in their Hands, 
and tQ a Warlike Manner attempt to dispossess the peaceable Inhabtt- 
aotaof the Counly lately laid out and EstabliBhed by Act of Assembly, 
within the known bounds of the Province, it is a procedure of so dan- 
gerous a Tendency &a not only to threaten the Destruction of that 
Infant County, but strikes at the Peace of the whole Province. 

" I think it therefore Incumbent on me, Gentlemen, to recommend 
this Matter to yonr most seriouB Consideration, and to requeiit you 


will Fall upon sueli Mcasorea aa will Strengthen the Hands of Govem- 
ment on this Eitmordinary and Alarming Occasion, repel the Violence 
of these lavflesa Introders, and afford the Petitioners that Immediate 
Protection and Relief which Necessities and Situation Require. 


A long and spirited correspondence took place between 
the Governor of the Colony of Connecticut, and John 
Penn, in reference to the pending difficulty, which may 
be found at length, commencing on page 118 of Volume 
X., of the Colonial Records. All propositions to settle 
the difficulty proved unavailing, and the Assembly finally 
instructed the Governor to issue a proclamation to the 
magistrates and officers of Northumberland county, to 
be vigilant in the discharge of their duty, and see that 
the intruders from Wyoming no longer impose upon 
the Pennsylvania settlers. The proclamation is long 
and quite spicy. It may be found on the 153d page of 
the same volume. 

It appears that Zebulon Bntler, of Wyoming, had 
issued a notice and distributed it through Northumber- 
land county, that he was appointed a justice by the 
authorities of Connecticut, whereupon Governor Penn, 
in his proclamation, most strictly forbids the people to 
pay any attention whatever to him , as he has no right 
to act in this Province. 







The spirit of the respective parties ran high. The 
Connecticut people were determined to occupy the 
valuable lands of the West Branch, and the Pennsyl- 
yania settlers were determined that they should not. 
The former claimed the land as belonging to them, and 
the latter insisted that they had no right to it, and 
determined to resort to force for their expulsion, if 
they did not peaceably leave. A crisis was inevitably 
approaching which could not be averted. The authori- 
ties of Pennsylvania had issued instraetions to the 
officers of Northumberland county, which could not be 

On the 22d of September, 1775, William Slaclay 
writes from Sunbury to J. Shippen, Jr. The following 
extract from his letter is in reference to the Connecticut 
Itoublea : 

"The Congress at the last meeting ordered the Memorials regpectiog 
the Conoecdcnt IntruBioQ, to lye on tbeir Table to the nest Meeting, 
n the &th of Sepr, in the mean Time their Delegates were directed 



to enjoin a Peaceable Behaviour on their People; the 5th of Sepr is 
come and past, the Injunction therefore is no longer binding, accord- 
ing to their mode of rcusoning — we never had more rumor about 
them, and their Designs ; Sam Wallis has just now been vith me 
respecting the Conduct of one Vincent, who lives near Mr. ^lodie — 
this man vfaa somo time ago appointed a Connecticut Magistrate, and 
is now at Wioming, in order to pilot down 300 of them to the West 
Branch, his eon was with him, and is returned, and gives out, that 
his Father only waited untill the Armament would be ready. WaUiB 
Eays be has taken some Pains to examine into the story, and for his 
part verjly believes it to bo true; if so, we shall soon hear of tbem, 
they have lately been at great pains to enlist their Adherents among 
Us into the 24th or Butler's Begiment, It is highly probable that 
every motion of the People at Wioming, is in Consequence of Orders 
from the Colony of Connecticut, if bo, it is incontrovertible Thai they 
intend, perfas nefasquc, to possess themselves of the Country. It 
Beems mysterious Tbey should be so intent upon pushing their In- 
oroachments so far Southward into the Pennsylvania Settlement, 
while the Lands west of Wioming, large and quite unoccupied, are 
quite disregarded; perhaps a west Line from the most Southern Set- 
tlement they can effect, hy Art or Force may be contemplated by 
them, aa the Boundary of their future Empire, That is, in case they 
intend to leave Pennsylvania a name or Place at all among thu 
Colony B." 

It appears that his fears were justly founded that an 
armed body of men, from Wyoming, iverc about to make 
a descent upon the West Branch. The following letter, 
however, from J. Sluman and William Judd, two of the 
Connecticut leaders, addressed to William Plunkett, at 
Sunbiiry, on the 25th of September, from Warrior Run, 
would not tend to create that impression. But it was 
doubtless intended to deceive them : 

" Sir, — This acquaints you that we arrived at this place on Saturdij 
Evening last, with a number of other men, purposing to view the 
Vacant Lands in this Branch of the Susqhh lUver, and to make t 
Settlement on the Vacant Lauds if we find any place or places that 



•haU be agreeable. And oa this ma; be a matter of mucb Conversa- 
tion among the prei<ent Inh^ibitants, we are willing to acquaint yoD 
(he principles on which we are come. In the first place we Intend no 
Hostilities, we will nut Disturb, Molest or KnJcavor to Dispossess any 
Person of his property, or any ways abuse his person by Threats or 
Rbj action that shall tend Thereto. And as we are Commissioners of 
tte peace for the Colony of Connecticut, we mean to be governed by 
tke Laws of that Colony, and shall not Kefuae the Exercise of the 
I Tmv to those of the Inhabitants that are now Dwellers here on their 
'Bequest, aa the Colony of Connectieut Extended last May their Juris- 
diction over the Land. Finally, as we are Determined to govern our- 
~*elTca as abovementioned, we Expect that those who think the Tittle 
of this Land is not in this Colony, will give us no unessiness or Dis- 
tarbance in our proposed settlenicnt." 

Contrary to the declarations expressed in this com- 
municutioQ, "that tee intend no hostilities," but one or two 
dayji elapsed before intclligonce reached Siinliury, that 
an armed force, supposed to consist of three hundred 
men, had, arrived at Freeland's Mill,* on WaiTior Run. 
It was suppo!5ed to be a detachment from Colonel But> 
ler's regiment, and made up of " Connecticut intruders," 
as they expressed it. They brought neither women nor 
duldren, and, immediately on their arrival, commenced 
intrenching themselves in a strong position. 

The report of the arrival of this armed band, spread 
through the thinly settled county, with the rapidity of 
wild fire. Preparations were speedily made to resist 
lliem with force of arms, if necessary. A company of 
fifty men immediately left Fort Augusta, to unite with 
other companies, from various parts of the county, to 
"meet and demand the reason of this intrusion and hos- 


le appearance. 
The following deposition of Peter Smith, taken before 

• Vide Pennsvh-onia Archives. Vol. III., ].age GC2. 3, 4, 5. 




Robert Robb, Esq., one of the Justices of the Peace for 
the County of Northumberland, will throw some addi- 
tional light on t-bis matter : 

" Northumberland County, hs. 

" Before me, one of hia Majesty's Justices assigned to keep the 
Peace for s^d County, personally appeared, Pel«r Smith, who being 
according to Law, Dcposeth and saith, that on the evening of 
Monday, the twenty-fifth of September last, this Deponent went to 
the house of Garret Freeland, of the Warrior's Run, and there saw a 
number of men from Wyoming on Guard in a School house, who 
pressed him much to join with them, and aojuainted him that thej 
were come to enforce the Conneeticut Laws, and Settle thu Vacant 
Land, and sundrie fair promises to him if he would juiu with ihem. 
This Deponent sailh he was then advised to go to the house of Juho 
Vincent, on the Warrior's Run, which he did, and there saw a num- 
ber of men paraded and under arms, amongst whom waa one they 
called the Major, who informed the men that he expected they would 
be attacked that night or the next Morning, and exhortod them to 
Btand together like men, that they were come to enforce the Connee- 
ticut Laws, & Settle the Voeaot Lauds, and that they would do it 
or die every man on the spot, and for the honor of their Country, 
that they would behave better than a party of them that had gone 
before some time ago, who run away or were taken prisoners, and 
also if this party were too small to effect their design, they would 
send to Connecticut, and their Government would send them Two 
Thousand men. He the said Major, advised the men to sleep wilh 
their arms by them, and their Pouches and Horns about their Neets, 
that tbey might be ready in a minutes notice. And further, thie 
Seponeut heard one whom he took to be a Captiun, speak to Uijor 
Judd, and say that there was a fence that would be much in the way, 
if they were obliged to draw up their men in that place, and thsl he 
thought it would be proper to move it away, and Major Judd said he 
would speak to Mr. Vincent about it, so he bid the men good nigbt, 
and went into the house. This Beponent followed him into tbt 
house, and desired to speak with him j Major Judd asked if he, thii . 
Deponent, and was answered he was no foe ; then Major Judd mi 
this Deponent a number of Papers, which he said was ordetE &os 
Government, the contents of which this Deponent cannot reoalleotj 


1 then Ba!d if he vnuld join with him, he would wtirrHnt him a huD- 
nA acres, as also every one that would do ro and come noder their 
iws, which this Deponent refused, ao the Major said they that ar.' 
rt for us, are against ub, and likewise said the Major, those that will 
at joyn us if we get the Land, we will use them accordingly ; Thi^ 
iepou«Qt then said, that if he could not get Land without fighting 
E it he would take what he had and leav the parts eotirely." 

This deposition was duly signed, and swom to, the 5tli 
■y of October, 1775. 
"Whatever became of this large force, or whether i( 
IBB an exaggeration, is nowhere stated. It is evident 
bat some mistake must exist, or the facts have been 
(Dsslj" per\'erted, Mr. Miner, in his history of Wyo- 
dug, when speaking about the dif&culties on the West 
Irancb, does not allude to an armed force having been 
tepatched there. 
Strange as it may seem, afler having positive evi- 
nce that a large body of armed men actually came 
) Wyoming, Mr. Miner goes on to state, that in Sep- 
; the " settlement was comparatively email and 
ted, and offered an inviting prize to the cupidi- 
f^'&ese who, at some risk, should think proper to 
le it. And that in the same month, September, 
p, Colonel Plunkett, under orders from the Govern- 
, detailed a strong force from the Northumberland 
and marched to break up the settlements at 
Beston and Judea. The spirit or extent of resistr 
ftis no where preserved, but is presumed to have 
Inconsiderable. One life was lost, and several per- 
If the Connecticut party were wounded. It hae 
^n ascertained whether any loss was sustained by 
isylvania troops. After burning the buildings, 
iering together, for distribution among the vie- 


tors, all the moveable property, the men taken were 
marched as prisoners, and confined in Sunbury jail ; 
while the women and children were sent to Wyoming, 
where most of them had relations and friends. 

Where was the brave filajor Judd, who harangued 
hiK men so valorously a few days before at Warrior 
Run, and desired them to fight till they would die, be- 
fore they should yield to the Northumberland militia ? 
Where was he, with his warlike party, that the resist- 
ance offered to Colonel Pluukett should have been "in- 
considerable ?" He must have been there, for Colonel 
Franklin states in his journal that he was taken prisoner 
with Joseph Stuman, Esq., and sent to the Philadelphia 
jail ! 

Franklin's account of this affair was, that Plunkett 
had a force of about five hundred men, and that the 
Connecticut folks were only about eighty strong. lie 
is evidently in error, too, for it is doubtful whetlier so 
large a force could have been raised on the West Branch 
at that time. I am satisfied that the accounts on both 
sides were very much exaggerated. But it is nevertlie- 
lesa true, that Plunkett did march against them and 
drove them off by force. Numbers were carried to Sun- 
bury and imprisoned, Plunkett acted under the in- 
structions of John Penn, Governor of the Province, who 
ordered that the laws must be obeyed, and that all 
expence incurred in this duty would be defrayed by the 

Thus was the Connecticut settlement on the West 
Branch broken up, and never afterwards renewed, leav- 
ing the disputed territory in full possession of the Penn- 
sylvania claimants. 

On the 27th of October, 1775, the Assembly of the 

SBT of the west branch V.4LLEY. 149 

' Province of Pennsylyatiia, having had the subject nf 
these troubles under consideration, came to the conclu- 
sioD that the settlers had done their duty, and resolved, 

"That the Inhabtlanta of the County of Norlhumberland, settled 
nndcT the Jurisdiction of this Province, were justifiable, and did their 
dntj in repelling the said Infrudera, and preventing the further Ei- 
t«D&ion of their gettlements," &c. 

Great escitement prevailed on both sides, and a num- 
ber of boats belonging to AVyoniing, and trading down 
the river, were seized as they passed Fort Augusta, and 
tiieir cargoes confiscated. Colonel Plunkett, probably 
elated with his lat« success, commenced making prepa- 
rations to march against Wyoming itself, for the pur- 
pose of driving the settlers therefrom. 

On receipt of the contemplated invasion, the greatest 
excitement prevailed throughout the settlement at Wyo- 
ming, and an agent was sent to lay the condition of 
things before Congress, and solicit their friendly inter- 
position. Preparations, however, were made to resist 
the expected attack, and every man capable of bearing 
arms, was directed to hold himself ready at a moment's 
notice. It was in the winter time. Between two and 
three hundred men enrolled themselves. 

On the 20th of December, the invading army was 
reported to be approaching the settlement as rapidly as 
Ibey could, considering the great quantities of ice in the 
river. The prayers of the people went up, in humble 
petitions, for the ice to prevent their further progress. 

About this time Congress interposed, and adopted the 

lowing important resolution : 

" Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Congress and it is sccord- 
111^5 recommended, that the contending parties i m media tetj cease nil 




hostilities, and avoid every nppearnticc of force until the dispute can 
be legally decided. That all property taken and detained, be imme- 
diately restored to the original owners; thnt no interruption be given 
to either party, to the free passing and repassing, if behaving them- 
selves peacciibiy, through the disputed territory, as well by land aa 
by water, without molestation of either persons or property ; that all 
persons seized and detained on account of said dispute on either side, 
be dismissed and permitted to go to their respective homes, and that 
things being put in the same situation they were before the late un- 
happy contest, they continue to behave themselves peaceably on their 
respective poaseaaiona and improvements, until a legal decision can be 
had on said dispute, or this Congress shall take further order thereon, 
and nothing herein done, shall be construed in prejudice of the claim 
of either party." 

This important resolution did not come in time to 
arrest the attack of Plunkett and his army on Wj'oming 
— he had arrived on the 23d of December, near to the 
settlement. The account of the battle is given as fol- 
lows by Mr. Miner in his History of Wyoming : 

" Col. Zebulon Butler, who commanded the Yankees, by the most 
strenuous exertions had mustered about three hundred men and boys, 
but there were not guns enough to arm the whole, and several ap- 
peared on the ground with scythes fastened upon handles projecting 
straight as possible; a formidable weapon in the hands of tin adm 
soldier, if they should be brought to close quarters, but otherwiee 
useless. These weapons (he men sportively called ' the end of time.' 
On the night of the 23d, he encamped on a flat near the nnioD o{ 
Harvey's creek with the river. From this point he despatched Major 
John Garrett, his second in command, to visit Col. Plunkett wilh * 
flag, and desire to know the meaning of his extraordinary movement^ 
and to demand his intentions in approaching Wyoming with so aa- 
posing a military array ? The answer given was, that he came pwcfr 
ably as an attendant on Sheriff Cook, who was authoriEed to «r«' 
several persons at Wyoming, for violating the laws of Penn^IvsaUp 
and he trusted there would be no opposition to a measure so reBsoiuH* 
and pacific. Maj. Garrett reported that the enemy outnumbered die 
Tankeeu more than two to one. ' The conflict will be a sharp o^'i 


Ikijs,' said he. ' I Tar one am ready to die, if need be, for mj coun- 
ttj.' Thingfl vore a different aspect from wliat thej had done for- 
' iserly. Men then, were nimoat the only inhabitunta. Now the Vai- 
ls; abounded with old mea, women and children, brought uut by the 
Knfidence inspired by three years of peace and proflpcrity. It wa« a 
Huon of gloomy apprehension. 

" Col. Butler was humane as he was brave — polite as he was nn- 
dannted. Several positioDs existed below the Naoticoke falls whore 
tbe river leaves the valley, and takca its way for four or five miles be- 
tween precipitous mountains, where a stand might have been made 
with alukost certain success. It was thought better, however justilia- 
ble aa would have been such a course, to wait the attack within the 
valley itself. Orders were also given to this effect — not to take life 
unless rendered unavoidable in self-defence. Leaving En.iign Mason 
Rtch Alden, with eighteen men on the ground where he had bivou- 
acked, Cot. Biitler retired on the morning of the 23d, and detached 
Capt. Sl«wart with twenty men across to the east side of the river, 
above the Nanticoke falls, with orders to lie in ambush, and prevent 
any boat's crew from landing on that shore. 

" On the morning of ihe 2+th, about 11 o'clock, Ensign Alden was 
apprised of the approach of Plunkett and his army, who came up 
with martial musio playing. Keeping at a respectful distance, no shot 
WIS fired from either side, and Alden joining Ool. Butler, reported 
the approach of the foe. 

" Displaying his columns on the flat just abandoned by the Yan- 
kees, Col. Pluukett directed a spirited advance in pursuit of Alden, 
not doubting but the main forces of the Yankees were near, and the 
hour of battle bad come. In less than thirty minutes the advancing 
line was arrested by the word, Halt 1 and Plunkett, who was in the 
&ont a little on the right, ubserving Col. Butler's position, was heard 
to exclaim, ' My God ! what a breastwork !' 

" Harvey's creek coming in from the north, cuts the high moun- 
tain whieh here approaches the river, deep to its base. A precipitous 
Mge of rocks, from near the summit, runs southerly to the river, 
presenting to the west by south a lofty natural barrier, for a mile along 
the ravine; and where the defence was not perfect. Col. Butler had 
made it so by ramparts of logs, so that it would require a powerful, as 
well OS bold enemy, to dislodge him. Nothing could have been more 
perfectly military than the selection of the spot, and the whole prepa- 
rations of defence. So it was regarded by his soldiers. Mr. John 





Corey Bays in reepect to the condact of Col. Butler, in all that atTuir : 
' I loypj the man — he was an honor to the human species.' Such a 
declaration speaia the merits of Col. Butler in language more impres- 
sive ihnn the moBt labored oulogium. To take life was not the object, 
but orders were given for a general discharge all along the line of tht 
defence by platoons, so as to impress Col. Plaokett with a. proper idea 
of the strength and spirit of its defenders. No one wua hnrt, but 
considerable confusion waa seen to prevail in his ranks aa Flunkett's 
men recoiled from the formidable breastwork. A boat was forthwith 
despatched by him, with a number of sotdiera to the opposite shore, 
it being the intention of the invaders to cross over and enter the set- 
tlement by a way apparently less obstmcted, for Sheriff Cook to serve 
his civil process. Tlie passage of the boat and crew was watehed by 
both parties with intense aDxioty. A few minutes decided its fate. 
As it iipproaohed the shore, Capt. Stewart opened a fire, which wound- 
ed one man, and killed a dog that was on board, probably spe- 
cially aimed at, when instantly pulling their oare with a will, the 
men gained the suction of the falls, through which Ihey sped among 
the breakers with the rapid Sight of an arrow, fortunately without 
fiirther injury. 

" Thus closed the battle for the day. Col. Plunkett retired and 
encamped on the ground occupied by Col. Butler two nights pre- 
viously. Early on the ensuing morning the contest was renewed. Col, 
Plunkett rcturniDg to the attack, and determining to outflank llic 
Yankees, while at the same moment he would storm the breastwork. 
His troops displayed ; they approached the line of Yankee defence, 
covering themselves by trees and loose rocks which lay below, and 
opened a spirited fire all along the lino. While he thus assailed Col. 
Butler in front, a detachment of his most determined and alert men 
was sent op the mountain on the left, by a rapid march, concealed u 
much as possible, to turn the right flank of the Connecticut people. 
But this danger having been foreseen, and guniiled against, the flunk- 
ing party was repelled. During this contest several lives were loet, 
and a number on both sides woanded, how many, do record ha« beea 
kept, A son of Surveyor General Lukens fell in the engagement; i 
fine young man deeply lamented on all sides; but it was the fortune 
of war. 

" A circumstance truly affecting grew out of this battle. A grett 
portion of the male population on the upper waters of the Susqoe- 
hanoB, it is known, in after times sawed lumber during the winter, 



and dL'sccndcd with it in rafts to market in the spring. The most 
cordial good understHnding hnd for many years subsisted between the 
Yankee raftsmen and the inhabitants below ; the latter being remark- 
mble for their hospitality and kindness. A person who was in the 
bottle saw one of Plunkett's men approach with great intrepidity very 
near the Yankee line, who, taking shelter behind a rock to load, would 
»t«p out and fire wherever he could bring his rifle to bear. Already 
■everal men had fBllcn — the blood was up ; it had become a matter of 
life or death, and the aims became more close and deadly. The re- 
lator watched the opportunity, and as the head of Plunkett's brave 
nldier rose above the rocks, he fired, and the man fell. After the 
Wttle was decided, going to the place, the relator found a hat-band 
tat by a bullet ; the man and the hat were gone. 

" Being down the river on a raft, many years afterwards, and stay- 
hg all night with a fine hospitable old gentleman, they talked of Wy- 
oming, and the ancient troubles there. ' I lost a beloved sou in the 
Plnnkett invaeion,' eaid the aged father, as a tear fell. '8cc here,' 
producing a hat perforated by a ball, ' the bullet uinst hare cut the 
band.' The narrator said he never before espcricnced the depth of 
the calamities of war — the scene was most painful. Of course he 
did not avow the deed, but most deeply deplored it, although never 
doobtjng he was doing right at the time, and under the eireum stances, 
in defending his home from the invuders. 

" Finding Col. Butler's position too strong to be carried by storm, 
Col. Plonkett concluded his rash enterprise by a retreat. On Christ- 
mas day he withdrew bis troops, they marching as they had oome up, 
on the west side of the river. In the mean time, a party of the Yan- 
kees followed on the east side, with a view to capture one of the boats, 
bnt Mr. Harvey, who was a prisoner on board, calling to them not to 
ire, for they might injure their friends, they returned and left the 
Mreating army to pass down without further pursuit." 

Thus ended the memorable Plunkett invasion of Wy- 
oming, in December, 1775. It was certainly iU-timed, 
lash, and injudicious, but such was the character of the 
man, " when invested with a little brief authority." He 
letarned to Fort Augusta with his army, considerably 
chop fallen in spirits, and a worse opinion of the " Yan- 
kee intruders" than ever. 



The difficulties between the two States, Connecticut 
and Pennsylvania, after long, intricate, and tedious litir 
gation, were ultimately decided in favor of the latter, in 
1801 ; and so the trouble ended. 


veyors, giving the size of the lots, and the settlers 
thereon, which accompanies the draft. It may be relied 
upon for correctness. It is a valuable, as well as inter- 
esting, document : 

"No. 1. — Containing Three hnndred acrea and 139 perches and an 
allowance of six per cent. &c. Settled on and improved by Mordecai 

"No. 2. — Containing Two hundred and ninety-nine aores & an half 
and allowance, &e. Settled on k improved bj Peter Smith & Paalm 

"No. 8. — Containing Three hundred acres and seventy-eix perches, 
and allowance as afd. Settled on and improved by John Brady. 

No. 4. — Containing Three hnndred acres & 61 perches & allowance, 
&c. Settled on and improved by Caleb Knapp. 

"No. 5. — Containing Three hnndred & one seres & 105 perches & 
allowance, &c. Settled on and improved by John Scudder who is 
displeased with the manner in which it is laid out alledging there is 
not Timber sufficient on it for Fencing &c. and desires his Lott may 
be laid out agreeably to the red lines (which contains Two hnndred & 
fifty-four acres & 74 perches &. allowce &c.) which would greatly lesson 
the value of the Lott Brady possesses — The S SO E Line runs thro' 
of Brady's Improvement & takes near all the Rail Timber from Bra- 
dy's Lott, that is on the south aide of the Glade Run, so that upon the 
whole we judge it most cnnveniept, and to the general advantage of 
the Plantations that the black line shnw'd remain as the Boundary 
between Brady S Scudder, we have therefore laid down Scudder's 
complaint that it may be judged of by Hia Honour the Governor. 

"It is by no means convenient that any of the Phintations show'd 
cross the Creek as the banks on the north side are high, and the Credt 
in time of Freshets flows ao very Considerable that it is thereby iw 
der'd impassable for sevcrul days — It is settled on & improved b^ 
Jerome Vanest & John Young as described in the Draft Ac. — is 
Young's Improvt, thirty acres & in Vanest's sixty-seven acres." 

Jo. J. WALLI6, 

Jno. Hknderso\. 

To Jno. Lokens, Esqr., Surv'r General. 


The large tract of land called the Sliincy Farm, but now 
better known as "Hall's Farms," contained thirty-nine 
hundred acres, and originally belonged to Samuel Wallis. 
Fort Muncy was built on It, near where the old mansion- 
house stands, on Carpenter's Run. In 1802, it was sold 
at sheriff's sale, as the property of Samuel Wallis, by 
Sherifl" Vandershce. It is now divided and subdi\ided 
into numerous fanus, all owned by Mrs. Hall. 

Andrew Montour, the Indian interpreter and agent, 
who always proved friendly to the whites, and was 
much esteemed by them, had a grant of land, from the 
go\'emment, at the mouth of Loyal Sock Creek. It con- 
tained eight hundred and eighty acres, including both 
. sides of the creek, and was given to him in consideration 
of his valuable services. It was surveyed the 3d of 
November, 17G9, and called "Montour's Reserve." The 
name of Andrew Montour is perpetuated in the beautiful 
and flourishing village of Montoursville, which is located 
apon his "Reserve." 

As eaily as 17G9, Thomas Brown settled and made 
an improvement two miles up Loyal Sock. He was one 
of the first settlers in that region. The Indian name 
for the creek was Stonehau^e. 

A large and populous Indian town was located at the 
mouth of Loyal Sock Creek, on the north side. It is 
supposed to have been the Otstuagy, raentionetl by Conrad 
Weiser. The land here was applied for by John Campbell. 
Joseph Bonser was an early settler above Loyal Sock, 
un the small stream that still bears his name. At the 
point where the great Shesheciuin path intersected the 
run, Rev, David Brainerd first met, and preached the 
Gospel, to the Indiana west of Muncy hills. This was 
in 1746 — more than one hundred years ago. 



A manor, contaiiiing five hundred and seventy-nine 
acres, was surveyed on the east side of Lycoming Creek, 
the 20th of March, 1769, by William ScuU, for the 
Proprietary, John Penn. 

A man named Thonipson, settled at an early day on 
Lycoming Creek, about five miles from the mouth, where 
an Indian village called Eel town stood. It was in a 
sharp bend of the stream. A settlement was also made 
at a place called Newalegan's cabins, one mile above Eel 
town, at an early period. 

The Indian name for Lycoming Creek appears to haw' 
been Lacomick. It is spelled various ways in the old 
papers, however, but this appears to have been the most 
generally used. Hence it will readily be perceived how 
easy it was for the whites to corrupt the name into 

It would have been much better to have preserved 
the original names of the streams, as there is always a 
peculiar beauty about them that is to be admired. Tliese 
names, although they may appear outlandish to some, 
and hard of pronunciation, always had a meaning whicli 
was significant. I regret exceedingly that I am unaWe 
to give the translation of any of them. I will give a 
few of the names of those persons who made eaiiy im- 
provements on the south side of the river. 

In 1768, Edward Burd, settled and made a sma" 
improvement on the river, five miles above the moutl 
of Bufialo Creek. His claim included an Indian town, 
probably where New Columbia now stands. 

Richard Steel made an improvement in White Deer 
Hole Valley, before 1769. An Indian named Coclmehav, 
had a wigwam, for a long time, near the mouth of White 
Deer Hole Creek, for hunting purposes. An Indian 


town, and the remains of a fortification, also stood on 
Black Hole Bottom. At this time White Deer Creek 
was called White Flint Greek. 

Edmund Hnflf, as early as 1768, settled and made an 
improvement on the land now embraced in the farm of 
General McMicken, in Nippenose Bottom. 

As Lycoming Creek was the boundary of the Province 
on the north side of the river, and occupied by the 
Indians, it is thought best to devote a chapter or two to 
that portion, and enumerate the names of the principal 
original settlers who took possession of the land in 
violation of the laws of the State, as forming a very 
interesting part of the work. 




That portion of the West Branch Valley above Ly- 
coming Creek, had frequently been visited by the Scotch- 
Irish rangers from Kittatinny Valley, long before any 
permanent settlements were made, in their excursions 
after the Indians ; and they did not fail to notice its 
romantic beauty and extreme fertility. No sooner was 
the purchase of 1708 known, than a crowd of hardy 
adventurers pushed westward, to occupy the land. 
So great was the pressure when the land office was 
opened in April, it was found necessary to decide the 
priority of location by lottery. The purchases were also 
limited to three hundred acres for each individual, at £5 
per 100 acres, and one penny per acre quit-rent. An 
allotment was also made of 104,000 acres of land to the 
officers of the Provincial regiments who had served 
during the Indian campaigns, and were desirous of setr 
tling together. About this time the dispute arose whe- 
ther Lycoming was the Tiadaghton of the Indians, or 
Pine Creek, which was the boundary of the purchase, 
mentioned in the treaty. The question remained unset- 
tled for sixteen years. During this time it was not the 


desire of the government that the land should be occu- 
pied for fear of insulting the Indians, and inciting them 
to violence. 

Notwithstanding this fact, however, the temptation was 
too great, and settlers commenced locating upon the dis- 
puted territory, and made improvements. Joseph Haines 
appears to have been the first settler, at the mouth of 
the creek, on the west side. He located there in 1773, 
and made an improvement. 

Captain Simon Cool settled at the mouth of Larry's 
Creek in 1772. This creek, it may as well be men- 
tioned here, inherits its name from an Indian trader 
named Larry Burt, who was married to an Indian wo- 
man, and had a cabin, which stood a few yards above 
where the bridge now crosses the stream. It is nowhere 
stated at what time he located here, but it is presumed 
to have been about 1770. In 1768, John Henry made 
an improvement nearly opposite the mouth of Nippenose 

As early as 1 770, James Armstrong settled on the 
land at the upper end of Jersey Shore, now embraced 
iutlie farm of Mark Slonaker, Esq., where he erected a 
cabin and cleared a patch of ground. In 1773. James 
Alexander ascended Pine Creek, to where Henry Tomb 
now resides, and made an improvement. 

In 1773, Robert King, John King, and Adam King, 
™me and settled on the west side of Pine Creek, where 
they only remained about a year, when they abandoned 
'te place under the impression that the land was not 
?TOd, and located below Larry's Creek on the hills. They 
ifere much mistaken. The land above Pine Creek at 
that time was destitute of large timber, and covered with 



small bushes and underbrush, familiarly known as 
"barrens." Now, this beautiful plain coatains some of 
the best farms in the State, 

William McElhattan settled on the south side of the 
river, on the sti-eam of water now bearing his name, at a 
very early period. Mention is made of him having a 
smull mill there in 1771-2. This was in Northumber- 
land county, it will be observed. 

In 1772, an improvement was made opposite the 
Great Island, by Samuel Harris. On the 20th of No- 
vember, 1774, he conveyed it to William Dunn. The 
tract embraced three hundred acres, and included the 
Indian village, which stood, probably, where Dunnstown 
now stands. Dunn also became the owner of tlie island, 
which was a famous place with the ludijins. It contains 
three hun<lred acres. 

The earliest settlement, of which I have any account, 
that was made up the river on the south side, was by a 
man uiimcd Clarey Ciimpbell, from tlie Juniata. His 
cabin stood on the river, in the upper part of Loik 
Haven. In 1776, a trial took place between him and 
William Glass, who claimed his land. Charles Lukens, 
Deputy Surveyor of Berks county, being a witness, tes- 
tified as follows: "When I went up in March, 1769, to 
make the Officers' Surveys, I found Clarey Campbell liv- 
ing on this land with his family." 

John Long, a silversmith, from Juniata also, settled 
above and adjoining Clarey Campbell, about the same 

Two families settled about the mouth of Young Wo- 
man's Creek, as early as 1770, or 1771, and made some 
improvements. One of their names was Reed, 


The settlements on the north side of the river, and 
west of Lycoming Creek, were made in violation of the 
laws of the Province, on land j'et nnpurcKased from the 
Indians. It seemed that the hardy adventurers of that 
period, knowing the danger that they would incur, could 
not resist the temptation of taking possession of these 
beautifid lands. The Indians looked upon these en- 
croachments with alarm. They beheld their favorite 
hunting grounds taken and appropriated by the whites. 
True to the Indian character, tliey remonstrated, hut in 
rain. On complaint being made, the Provincial Govem- 
ment became alarmed, and at a meeting of the Council, 
held at Philadelphia, the 18th of September, 1773, re- 
ference was made to this matter, as follows : 

" The Govyrnor ipfonned tho Board that he had received Informa- 
tion thai eeveral Families had lately sealed themsclTes od Lands OQ 
the North side of the West Braoch of SusquchuQDti, beyond the 
Boundaries of the last purcha»e uiade of the Indians at the Treaty of 
Port Stanwix, sod it bein^ Considered that the making BettlementsoD 
llie Indian's Luods would create Great uoeasiDera among them, and if 
not immediately removed, and prevented for the future, might be at- 
iMided with Fatui ConaequtnceH, it was the opinion of the Board that 
% IVidanuilion, comiuoji Jin^ the Magistrates and other Peace Officers 
to enforce and Curry the Laws for preventing Persons settling on any 
of the unpurcbaaed Lands in this Province into Execution, against 
all Persons who had already made any such settlemente, or should 
hereafEer Trausf^css the eanie Law ; The Secretary was accordingly 
directed to prepare a Draught of a Proclamation for that purpose." 

I The Proclamation was immediately drawn up by the 
Secretary, and approved by the Governor, on the 20th 
of September, 1773. Orders were given forthwith, to 
have it published throughout the Province. It is given 
as follows, in full ; 




" fiy the Honourahlc John Pean, Esquire, Governor and Onnmnii- 
da-'in-Chw/ of Ae Province of Penmj/hania, and Countlei of 
New-(kutU, Kent, and Susiex, on Ddaioart. 

"a proclamation.* 

" Whereas, I have received information that severaJ HI disposed 
PeraonB, in Disobedience to His Blajesty'a express orders, and in di- 
rect Tiolatjon of the Laws, tave Lately presumed to aeat tbenisches 
upon Lands within the Limits of this Province, not as yet puroliased 
of the Indians : And Whereas, the making such Settlenientfl doth 
greatly tend to irritate the minds of the Indians, and may be produc- 
tive of dangerous and Fatal conseqiienoea to the Peace and Safety of 
His Majesty's good Subjects : And Whereas, by an Act of Generai 
Assembly of this Province, passed in the ninth year of His Majesty's 
Keign, for preventing Persons from Settling upon Lands not pnr- 
chused of the Indians, it is enacted, ' that if any Person or Persons, 
after the Publication of this Act, either singly or in Companies, shall 
presume to settle upon any Lands within the Boundaries of this Pro- 
vince, not purchased of the Indians, or shall make, or cause any Sor- 
Teys to be made of any part thereof, or mark or cut down any Trees 
thereon, with design to settle or appropriate the some to his own, or 
the use of any other Person, or Persons whatsoever, every such per- 
son or persona bo offending, being legally Convicted thereof, in any 
Court of Quarter Sessions of the County where such offenders shall 
be apprehended (in which said Court the said offences are hereby 
made Cognizable,) shall forfeit and pay for every such offence the suio 
of Five hundred Pounds, and suffer Twelve Month's Imprisonment, 
without Bail or Main-Prize, and shall moreover find Surety fur GofA 
Behavior during the space of twelve Months from and after the Ex- 
piration of the Term of such Imprisonment. I have therefore thought 
Proper, by and with the advice of the Council, to issue this my Pro- 
clamation, hereby strictly enjoyning and requiring all and every Per- 
son and Persons, already settled or Residing on any Lands beyond the 
Boundary Line of the Last Indian Purchase, immediately tu evacuate 
their illegal Settlements, and to depart and remove themselves front 
the said Lands without Delay, on pain of being prosecuted with the 

• Vide Vol. X. Col. Records, and 95th 




ntmost rigour of the Law. And I do hereby prohibit and forbid oil 
Hia ^fajeaty's Subjects of thia, or iloj other Proritice or Colony, on 
any pretence whatsoever, to intrude upon, Settle or Possess any of the 
tforesaid unpurchaaed l.ands, as they will answer the Contrary at their 
Peril, And 1 do also hereby strictly Comrannd and require all Ma- 
^trates, Sheriffs, and other Peace officers within this Province, to 
enforce and Carry into strict eiecution the said Act of General As- 
Mmbly, aa well against the present. olTendors in the Prenuses, as all 
others who may hereafter Transgress the same. 

" Given under my Hand, and the Great Seal of the said Pro- 
Tince, at Philadelphia, the twentieth day of September, in 
the thirteenth year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord 
George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, 
France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and so 
forth, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hun- 
dred and sevonty-three. 


" By Hia Hononr's Command, 
" Joseph Shippkn, Junioi 



_ Xot withstanding this proclamation, and the punish- 
ment that was to he inflicted upon all who violated it, 
it appears that not the least attention whatever was paid 
to it, and settlens quietly came in, and seated themselves 
upon the forbidden lands. Whether any arrests were 
aiade, does not appear, but it is presumed there were none. 

In 1774, after this sharp proclamation had been 
fcsued, Thomas Ferguson settled west of Lycoming 
ereek, on the farm now owned by James Grier. A 
bmily of Kings, named William, Joseph, and Reeder, 
also settled near the mouth of the creek. Edmund Huif 
settled one mile above the mouth, in the same year. 
William McMein located here in 1774. Henry Dough- 
erty came in 1775, and made some improvements. 

In the same year, 1775, Andrew Armstrong settled 



at a place called the " hig spring" below Linden, on the 
farm now occupied by Colonel A, Stewart. 

John, James, and Thomas Hughes settled a short dis- 
tance west of Linden in 1774. Bratton Caldwell, after- 
wards noted as a fair play man, settled where John 
Hughes now resides, the same year. Joha Toner also 
settled in this neighborhood in 1773. 




Michael Seely settled and miide some improvements 
as early ns 1775. about half a mile below where Jersey 
Shore now stands, on the bank of the river. During 
the same year, Jacob Mattox settled on the land now 
occupied by the town, and made an improvement also. 

George Morrison settled on the land embraced in the 
farm of Mrs. Ferguson, at the upper end of the town, in 
1774. About the same time, Thomas Nichols settled 
and made an improvement on the small stream now 
bearing his name, antl emptying into Pine Creek. 

Benjamin Walker settled on the flat on the west side 
uf the first fork of Pine Creek, near where the M. E. 
Church now stands, as early as 1775, and made an im- 

Fmncis Clark settled on the farm now owned by 
John Pfouts, a short distance above Jersey Shore, in 
1774. Mention will be made of him again. 

Edward McMa.sters settled on the point of land on 
the west side of Pine Creek, in 1774. Robert Pluukett 




also made some improvements there the same year, on 
what is now known as the Crist and Simmons farms. 
McMasters, it appears, left the settlement in 1775, and 
immediately joined the American army at Cambridge. 

Amongst other early settlers along the ri^er, above 
Pine Creek, may be mentioned the following : William 
Campbell, Alexander Donaldson, Alexander Hamilton, 
John Jackson,* Adam Carson, Henry McCracken, Rev. 
Cornelius Kincaid, Adam Dewitt, and James Parr, after- 
wards Captain Parr, in the Revolution. 

I have been more particular in giving the names of 
the settlers west of Lycoming Creek, and the time they 
came, than at any other point, from the fact that this was 
the dispnted territory, and not recognized by the Pri>- 
vincial government. From this fact originated the Fair 
Play system, which forms such an interesting feature in 
the history of the Valley. These names and dates m«y 

• Four miles aboTe Jeway Shore, on the right of the main road leading 
to Lock llftven, residea the venerablp Mrs. Iliimilton, in the 89th year of 
her age. She was the daughter of Mr. Jackson, and came to this place 
in 1773, from Orange county, N. Y., whore she haa lived till tJve present 
time. She becanie the wife of Ruhert Hamilton, who ie now dead. 

When I visilcd this Tenerable old lady in June last, T found her with 
her faculties bright and unimpaired, and aa free and communicative aa a 
woman of fifty. She ia an extraordinary woman, poasessed of a atrung 
mind and very retentive memory. The BcencH of ilie " Big RuDaway." 
and the privations endured at that period, were in her wind, und 
she could relate thom with remarkable accuracy and minulenese. All 
the old settlers, already alluded to, were acquaint&ncea of hern, and she 
feelingly spoke of them. She is the only survivor, and gave me much 
valuable information. 

Mrs. Hamilton is a woman much esteemed and respected by a large 
circle of acquaintances, for her many virtues and social qualities which 
she pOBseasea in an eminent degree. She is living in her mature old 
age in cotaibrtable uircum stances, xurroiinded by her numerous deticead- 
ants, wheft'S amongst the most respectable citizens of this part of th« 


be relied upon as being strictly correct, as they were 
taken from the official papers. Many more names 
might be given, but these are deemed sufficient. 

As I have already sfaited, this part of the Valley 
being in dispute, and supjwsed to belong to the Lidians, 
the settlements were made in direct opposition to the 
proclamation of the Governor, and the laws of the Pro- 
vince, quoted in the foregoing chapter. Such being the 
fact, then, they were considered a class of outlaws, liv- 
ing beyond the pale of civilization, without any govern- 
ment or organization. 

In view of this fiict, and being impressed with the 
necessity of entering into some measures whereby an 
oi^anizatioQ and code of laws could he effeetad and 
adopted for their better government and preservation, 
as an independent republic in the midst of the wilder- 
ness, the Fair Play system was first adopted. 

The following note, from the 195th page of the second 
volume of Smith's Law,s, gives a very clear idea of the 
fair play system : 

"There existed a great number nf locations of tie 3c! of April, 
1760, for the chniceat lands on tbe West Branob of SuBquehanoa, 
between the mouths of Lycoming and Pine Creeks, but the proprie- 
taries from extreme cautiou, the result of (hat experience, which had 
»1m produced the very penal laws of 1708 and 1769, and the procla- 
nitttioD already stated, had prohibited any surveja being made beyond 
, the Lycoming. In the meantime, in violation of all law, a set of 
hardy adyenturers bad from time to time seated themselves on this 
doubtful territory. They made improvements, and formed a very 
considerable population. It is true, ao far as regarded the righta of 
Rid properly, they were not under the protection of the laws of the 
country ; and were we to adopt the visionary theories of some philoso- 
pbera, wbo have drawn their arguments from a supposed state of na- 
ture, we might be led to believe that the state of these pflople would 
hxTe been ■ state of continual warfare ; and that in contcsta for pro- 



perty the weakeet must give way to the strongeat. To prevent the 
consequewes, real or supposed, of this state of things, they furmeJ a 
mutuul compact amuQg themselves. They annually elected a tribu- 
nal, iu rotation, of three of their seltlerB, wlinm they caHed /air-j'/ay- 
Mfn, who were to decide all controversicB, nnd settle disputed boun- 
daries. From their decision there vas no appeal. There conid be 
no resistance. The decree was enforced by the whole body, who 
started up in mass, at the mandate of the court, and execution and 
conviction was as sudden and irresistible as the judgment. Kvery 
new coiner was obliged to apply to this powerful tribunal, and upon 
his solemn enga^ment to submit in all respects to the law of the 
land, he was permitted to take posRession of some vacant spot. Their 
decrees, were however, just; and when their aettleiaentB were recog- 
nised by law, and fair play had ceased, their decisions were received 
in evidence, and confirmed by judgments of courts." 

Many of the names mentioned in this, and the pre- 
vious chapter, were prominent fair flay men. They 
had a regular code of laws for their own government, 
but it has been lost. I have made the most diligent 
search and inquiry for it, but it never was preserved. 
This is to be much regretted, as It would now be looked 
upon as an interesting document. 

It is stated in some authorities that the place of 
holding the fa^ play courts, was where Chatham's mill 
now stands, on the stream of the same name, some 
distance below Lock Haven. But it is pretty clearly 
established that they had no regular place of meeting, 
or .stated periods either, for the transaction of business. 
The court could be convened at any place within the 
territory over which it exercised jurisdiction, and on 
short notice, to try any case that might be on hand. 
In other words, the sittings of ^% fair flay courts were 
convened to suit the exigency of the case, without 
regard to time or place. 

When any person in the territory of the fair 2>lay men. 

msroBT or thb weot branch tallet. 171 

refused to be governed by their decisions, and the laws 
they had established for their guidance, it is stated that 
he was immediately ejected from the district by being 
placed in a canoe and rowed down to Lycoming Creek, 
the boundary of civilization, and there sent adrift. 

Many interesting cases, settled by the fair play men, 
together with anecdotes, are related. Joseph Antes, 
Esq., son of Colonel Antes, relates the following: — 
Francis Clark, who, the reader will remember, was men- 
tioned in the previous chapter, settled on the land now 
owned by John Pfouts, a short distance above Jersey 
Shore. By some means or other he got a dog in his 
possession that belonged to an Indian. On learning 
where the dog was, the Indian complained to the fair 
pla^ nien that he had stolen it. They forthwith had 
him arrested and tried for the alleged theft. lie was 
convicted, and sentenced to receive a certain number of 
lashes. It was decided by lot who should flog him, by 
placing a grain of com for each man, together with one 
red grain, in a bag, and drawing them therefrom. The 
man that would draw the red grain was to do the whip- 
ping. It was drawn by Philip Antes, and preparations 
were immediately made to carry the sentence into execu- 
tion. On seeing that the punishment was about to be 
inflicted, the Indian, who seems to have been a very 
magnanimous savage, became sympathetic, and made a 
proposition that if he would abandon the land where he 
had settled, the punishment should be remitted. A few 
minutes were allowed him for consideration, when he 
acted upon the suggestion, and left. He settled in 
Nippenose Valley, in 1795. 

lie conveyed the land he had taken up to Andrew 
Boggs, who afterwards disposed of it to Samuel Canij> 
bell, and he conveyed it to James Foster, &c. 



An anecdote is related — which is illustrative of fair 
play principlcK — that once upon a time when Chief Jus- 
tice McKean was holding Court in this district, he 
inquired, partly from curiosity, and partly in reference 
to the case before him, of a shrewd old Irishman, named 
Peter Rodey, if he could tell him what the provisions 
of the fair pla^ code were. Peter's memory did not 
exactly serve him as to details, and he could only con- 
vey an idea of them by comparison, so, scratching his 
head, he answered : 

"All I can aay ia, that since yonr Honor's coorts have 
come among us, fair play has entirely ceased, and law 
has taken its place." 

This sharp rejoinder created a good deal of merriment 
in court, and the judge was satisfied to ask no more 
impertinent questions, reflecting upon the legal tribunal 
over which Peter had in turn presided. 

The first wedding west of Lycoming Creek is said to 
have taken place in the winter of 1775, The parties 
married were Bratton Caldwell, and Miss Elcy Hughes. 
The wedding took place at a cabin on the farm now 
owned by Colonel George Crane. The party crossed 
the river on the ice, and had quite a jolhflcation on the 






The settlements rapidly extended up the valley — 
houses were built — fields were cleared, and improve- 
ments made. Everything betokened peace and pros- 
perity. Although the hardy pioueors had many priva- 
tions to endure, they were contented, and labored 
assiduously to clear the ground and sow their fields. 
They looked forward with joy to the ripening of their 
crops, when they would be able to obtjun flour and 
provisions of their own raising. They had brought 
their families to the valley, and where the pappooses 
of the Indians had played under the wide-spreading 
branches of the mighty oak, the white children now 
Bport«d, and made the forest resound with the melody of 
their voices. The axe of the sturdy pioneer resounded 
on every hand, and the crash of the falling monarchs of 
the forest, that had withstood the storms and tempests 
of ages, caused the wild beasts to start from their lairs 
&nd plunge further into the gloomy depths of the wilder- 
ness. The proud Aborigine beheld the onward march 

► ^ 


of civilization — he plainly saw the tracings of myste- 
rious characters by the hand of destiny — he turned 
aside and groaned in spirit that he must soon depart 
towards the setting sun, and bid farewell forever to the 
cherished scenes and happy associations of his youth, i 
It was a hai'd lot, but such was the decree of fate. 

Tlie \aUey filled up very rapidly with settlers from 
one end to the other. All was hope, and excitement. 
Contrasting their pleasures and enjoyments, with (he 
hard lot fate had in store for them, how appropriate 
are the following beautiful lines from Gray : ( 

" Fair Inughfl the morn, ftod raft the lephjr blows, 

While proudly riding o'er the azure reaJm 
Id guliant trim the gilded vessel goes. 

Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm ; 
HcgardlexB of the awoepiiig whirlwind's sway, 

That, hushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey." 

But the settlers on the West Branch Valley, were not 
to remain long in this happy state of mind. The war 
of the Revolution had now commenced, and the clangor 
of arms resounded in the east. Soldiers were wanted 
to fight the battles of liberty and freedom. The whole 
country was in a state of confusion, which extended to 
this region, and materially afieeted the settlements. Ab 
the colonies were weak, and had a powerful foe to con- 
tend with, almost superhuman exertions were made 
to repel the invaders. It was alao feared that they 
would tamper with the Indians, and once more im-ite 
them to deeds of violence and bloodshed. This was a 
fearful anticipation,, but hope, the anchor of the soul, 
could not roll back the cloud that hung suspended over 
the frontiers. Their anticipations were too true. 

At this time the Seneca and Monsey tribes were in 


considerable force, and Pine and Lytoming Creeks were 
almost navigable to the State line for canoes. Furt 
Augusta at that time was gamsoned by about fifty men, 
under Col. Hunter. They were called "afearlvm/cw." 

Captain John Brady, at this time, suggested to his 
friends at Fort Augusta, the propriety of making a treaty 
with the Seneca and Monsey tribes, knowing them to be 
at variance with the Delawaies. By doing so, it was 
tbought that their friendship and assistance might be 
BCfureil against the Delawares, should thei/ commence 
any inroads upon the settlements. Ilis proposition was 
approved of, and petitions were sent to the Council pray- 
ing that Commissioners might be appointed, and Fort 
Augusta designated as the place of holding the con- 
ference. The request was granted, and Commissioners 
were appointed. Notice was given to the two tribes, by 
Brady and two others, selected for the purpose. 

They met the chiefs and laid before them the propo- 
sition. They appeared to be delighted, and listened to 
the proposal with pleasure. After smoking the jiipe of 
pence, and promising to attend at Fort Augusta on the 
tppointed day, they led them out of the camp, shook 
bands with them cordially, and parted in seeming 

Brady, who was very shrewd, feared to trust the 
friendship so warmly expresHod, and took a dillerent 
mate in returning with his company, to guard against 
being waylaid and surprised. 

On the day a|ppointed for holding Uie trealy, the 
Indians appeared with their wives and children. The 
warriors numbered about one hundred, and were dressed 
in their war costume. Care had been taken to make 
the fort look as fierce as possible, and every man was at 
his post. 


176 HisToay of the west brancu valley. 

In former treaties, the Indians had received large pre- 
sents, and were expecting them here ; but finding tlie 
fort too poor to give anything of value, (and an Indian 
never trusts,) all efforts to form a treaty with them 
proved abortive. They left the fort, however, apparently 
in good humor, and well satisfied with their treatment, 
and taking to their canoes, proceeded homeward. The 
remainder of the day was chiefly spent by the officers 
and people of the fort in devising means of protection 
against anticipated attacks of the Indians. Late in the 
day, Brady thought of Derr's trading house, and fore- 
boding evil from that point, mounted a small mare he had 
at the fort, and crossing the North Branch, rode with all 
possible speed. On his arrival, he saw the canoes of 
the Indians on the bank of the river near Derf s. "When 
near enough to observe, he saw the squaws exerting 
themselves to the utmost, at their paddles, to work the 
canoes over to his side of the river ; and that when they 
landed they made for thickets of sumach, which grew in 
abundance on his* land to the height of a man's head, 
and very thick upon the ground. He was not slow in 
conjecturing the cause. He rode on to where the 
squaws were landing, and saw that they were conveying 
rifles, tomahawks and knives, into the sumach thickets, 
and hiding them. He immediately jumped into a canoe 
and crossed to Derr's trading house, where he found thfr 
Indians brutally drunk. He saw a barrel of rum stand- 
ing on end before Derr's door, the head out. He 
instantly overset it, and spilled the rum, saying to_ 
Derr, "My God, Frederick, what have you done?" 
Derr replied : '''' Dey dells me you gif wn no dreet town <m 

* The reader will remember tbls waa where Braiiv first settled wh«n 
he oame to the Tallej. 



de fort, SO dinks as I gif um one here, als he go home in 
hease !" 

One of the Indians, who saw the rum spilled, but was 
unable to prevent it, told Brady he would one day rue 
the spiUing of that barrel. Being well acquainted with 
the Indian character, he knew death was the penalty of 
his oilence, and was constantly on his guard. 

Next day the Indians started off. They did not soon 
attack the settlements, but carried arms for their allies, 
the English, in other parts. 

As the Revolution had become generiJ, the most ac- 
tive preparations were made to devise means of defence. 
Companies of volunteers were raised, and every laudable 
effort used to induce the patriots of that period to march 
to the defence of their country. A central Committee 
of Safety was established at Philadelphia ; and Com- 
mittees in the various counties were organized and under 
the control of the Central Committee. The subordinate 
Committees were in correspondence with the Central 
one, and kept it posted up in every movement in their 
respective districts. 
I A Committee of Safety for Northumberland county 
rWae appointed. They held regiUar meetings, and kept a 
■ record of their proceedings in a large book, kept for the 
purpose. This book was given to Joseph G. Wallace, of 
Lewisbur^. (deceased,) mauy years ago, by his uncle, 
Captain Gray, a Revolutionary hero. It contained the 
names of the principal men of the County, the business 
transacted at their meetings, &c., which was very inter- 
peeting. This book, it is to be regretted, has been car- 
I ried off and probably lost. The family should spare no 
[ efforts to recover it, and preserve it as a precious relic 
f of the olden time. 



Sherman Day esamined the book some fifteen years 
ago, when he was collecting materials for his ''Histori- 
cal Collections of Pennsylvania," and made a few ex- 
tracts from it. He was compelled to be as brief as 
possible, as the limits of his work would not permit of 
lengthy extracts. To him, then, are we indebted for all 
that has been taken from that interesting, as well as 
official document. 

From it I learn that on the 8th of February, 1776, 
the following gentlemen, being previously nominated by 
the respective townships to serve in the Committee for 
the space of six months, met at the house of Richard 
Maloae, at the mouth of Chilisquaque Creek : For 
Augusta township, John Weitzel, Esq., Alexander 
Hunter, Esq., Thomond Ball ; Mahoning township, Wil- 
liam Cook, Esq., Benjamin Alison, Esq., Mr. Thomas 
Hewet; Turbut township, Captain John Hambright, 
Wm. McKnight, William Shaw; Muncy township, 
Robert Robb, Esq., William Watson, John Buckalow ; 
Bald Eagle township, Mr. Wm. Dunn, Thos. Hughes, 
Alexander Hamilton; Buffalo township, Mr. Walter 
Clark, Wm. Irwin, Joseph Green ; White Deer town- 
ship, Walter Clarke, Matthew Brown, Marcus Hulings, 

Captain John Hambright was elected chairman, and 
Thomond Ball, clerk. The field officers of the battalion 
of the lower division of the county, were Samuel Hunt- 
er, Esq., Colonel ; Wm. Cook, Lieutenant Colonel ; Cas- 
per Weitzel, first Major; Mr. John Lee, second Major. 
Those of the upper battalion appear to have been Wm. 
PJunkett, Colonel ; James Murray, Lieutenant Colonel ; 
Mr. John Brady, first Major; Mr. Cookson Long, second 

Each Captain was ordered to return at least forty pri- 


vates. Each battalion cnnsisted of six companies. The 
Captains of the lower battalion were Nicolas Miller, 
Chas. Gillespie, Hngh White, Win. Scull. James 
McMahon, Wm. Clarke, and afterwards. Captain John 
Simpson ; and of the upper, or Colonel Plunkett's bat- 
talion, Henry Ante.s, Esq., Samuel Wallis, John Robb, 
Wm. Murray, Wm. McElhatten, Simon Cool, David 

Many of the proceedings consisted of forms possessing 
no special interest, Kefcrence was frequently made to 
their difficulties with Wyoming. 

On the 13th of March, 1776, in their despatch to the 
Committee of Safety at Philadelphia, they made certain 
complaints of grievances, suffered in their infant settle- 
ment, on account of so many recruiting officers sent 
among them. On the 27th of the same month, they sent 
in the following petition : 

"We nre now, geatlemen, to inform jciu of vbat we think a. 
grieTaoce to this joung and thinly inhabited couoty, viz : A constant 
mccearaoD of recruitiog officers from different counties in this Pro- 
rince. Our zeal for the cause of American Liberty has hitherto pre- 
vented our taking any steps to binder the raising of men for its ser- 
vice; but finding the evil increasing so fast upon us as almost to 
ihrcateo ibe depopulation of the county, ne cannot help appealing to 
the wisdom and justice of your oomntittee to know whether the quota 
of men that may be demanded from this county aoder their own 
ifficera is not as much as can reasonably be expected from it. Whe- 
tlier — at a time when we are uncertain of peace with the Indians, 
(well knowing that oar enemies are tampering with them) und a claim 
^ set np to the greatest part of the I'rovince by a neighboring colony, 
who have their hostile abettors at our very breasts, as well as their 
i^inisBaries among us — is it prudent to drain an infant frontier county 
|)f its strength of men ? and whether the safety of the interior parts 
uf the province would not be better secured by adding strength to the 
frontier? Whether our honourable assembly by diapoaing of com- 






DitBaioDB to gontlenien in different counties to raise compaDies, wlich 
Hre to form tlie number of battalions tliougbt necessarj for the de- 
fence of this province, did not intend that the respective f aptaioB 
should raise their Companies where (hey were appointed, and not dis- 
tress one Count}' by taking from it all the men necessary for the bnai- 
ness of agriculture, as well as the defence of the same. From our 
knowledge of the state of this County, we make free to give our opi- 
nion of what would be most for its advantage, an well ns that of the 
province — between which we hope there never will bo a difference — 
and first are to inform you of the poverty of the people, many of 
whom came bare and naked here, being plundered by a banditti who 
called tliemselves Yankees; and those who brought some property 
with them, from the necessary delay of cultivating a wilderness before 
they could have any produce to live npon, together with the neeessiij 
of still eontinuin^ tbe closest application to labor and industry for 
their support, renders it morally improbable that a well dbjciplind 
militia eon be established here, as the distance which some men are 
obliged to go to muster is the loss of two days to them ; which not 
being paid for, they will not, nor indeed can they, so often attend 
as is necessary to complete them even in the manual esercise. We 
would recommend that two or more companies be raised, and put in 
pay for the use of the proviaee, to be ready to march when and whvre 
the service may retiuire them, and when not wanted for the service of 
the public at any particular place, to be stationed in this county, in 
order to be near and defend our frontiers should they be attacked by 
our enemies of any denomination ; the good effect of which we ima^e 
would be considerable — as, though they may be too few to repel, they 
may stop the progress of an enemy until the militia could be raised to 
assist them. Should this proposal appear eligible, please to inform 
us thereof, and we will recommend such gentlemen for officers as ire 
think will be most suitable for the service, and agreeable to the peo- 
ple. We are, gentlemen, with due respect, i!kc. 
Signed for and in behalf of the Committee." 


It is believed that the Committee partially acceded to 
the requests of the petitioners, as companies were aftfr- 
wards stationed in the Valley. 

The Committee changed once in six months, wheo 


tea 1 


only a part of the fonner members seem to have been 
re-elected. They oft«n met at Laughlau McCartney's, a 
member of Mahoning township. 

On the 10th of September, 177G, the Committee 
learned that Levy & BalHon had a quantity of salt on 
hand, which they refused to sell for cash — as it seems 
they had been ordered by a former resolution of the 
Committee — whereupon they ordered Mr. William Sayers 
to take posses-sion of it, and sell it at the rate of fifteen 
shillings per bushel, and not above half a bushel to each 
family, and return the money to the Committee. 

This Cfimmittee also attended to receiving from the 
Philadelphia Committee, their share of arms and ammu- 
nition, iron, and salt, for this Comity, and distributed it 
very carefully among the soldiers and people. 

Captain Robert Robb, of Muncy township, formerly 
one of the Committee, seems to have given them a deal 
* of trouble. He was charged with having in hi.i posses- 
sion, " a paper supposed to be from Lord Howe, eon- 
cerning conditions of peace," of which said Robb said, 
" this is the very thing I would be at ;" and said further, 
that " Ml', Fraukling (Dr. FraiJtlin,) was a rogue, he well 
knew, and that he had led the government into two or 
three scrapes already known to him ; also, it was thought 
Frankliug hjW a pension from homo ; likewise it was 
thought the Convention was bribed." Also, that said 
Robb says, " tliat Lord Howe used the members of 
Congress politely that was sent to treat with him, but 
that they used him ill." 

It appears that the Committee ordered, that Robb 
should "either take his gun and march with the militia 
of the County into actual service, to prove his attach- 
ment to the American cause, or else be confined until 
released by further authority." 




Colonel James Murray was appointed to arrest and 
confine him ; who, having full confidence in Robb's pa- 
triotism, and " out of lenity to said Robb's family, saw 
fit to appoint the mansion liouse of said K.obb as a pri- 
aon for him, on a promise of his good behavior for the 
future." • 

Robb, however, seems to have practised good beha- 
vior — as he understood it ; for when one Peter Smith had 
intruded himself several times into the company of Robb 
and another gentleman, who were *' drinking a half pint 
together," Robb knocked him down, and bruised him 
fleverely — and thereupon further " said, that the Com- 
mittee were a set of rascals — some of them were rob- 
bers, some were horse thieves, and some of them were 
murderers — and further saith not." 

This 80 incensed the Committee, that they ordered 
Colonel MuiTay to take him to Philadelphia ; Murray 
resigned, however, and two other men were appointed to 
perform the unpleasant duty.* 

Here, Mr. Day ceased with his extracts from the re- 
cord, and it is not known how the diflBculty was settled, 
or whether he was taken to Philadelphia. It is to be 
regretted exceedingly, that the book was suffered to 
be carried off, as it would unquestionably have thrown 
much light upon that interesting period of our history. 

From the records of the same Committee, it appears 
that a great scarcity of grain prevailed in 1777. In 

* There appears to be eame mistake with this ftfair, and aiace vriiing 
the abuve, 1 have learoed that Kobb tctu a patriotic citizea ; that the dif- 
ficulty grew out of the Cuuimittee winhing to force him into some meo- 
Bures in reference to the loool dispute with Wyoming. He wni taken a 
prisoner to Lancaster, where, after the uiaHar was explained to tlie au. 
thorities, ha was honoraUy acquitted and returned. I am happy to make 
this correction, in juslico to hin descendants, who are very respet'tahle anJ 
patriotio citizens of the same toifpdii^p. 



February of the same year, they ordered, "that no 
stiller in Bald Ekgle township shall buy any more grain, 
or still any more than he has by him, during the sea- 

It appears that they were somewhat inclined to mo- 
rality, too, and exercised their authority to stop " a cert J' 
tain Henry Sterret, of the same township, from profan- 
ing the Sabbath, in an unchristian and scandalous man- 
ner, causing his servants to maul rails, &c., on that day, 
and beating and abusing them if they oifered to disobey 
such his unlawful demands." 

Sterret, probably, resided on Long Island, opposite 
Jersey Shore, at this time, when the Committee were 
compelled to have a change effected in his morals. 

No doubt, they had their hands full to attend to the 
affairs of the County at that time, and the history of 
their proceedings would be full of interest to the people 
of the present day. 






Although the settlements on the West Branch were 
comi)arativeIy weak, the call for men, for the Revolution, 
was nobly responded to, and volunteers flocked to the 
American standard. Captain John Lowden raised a 
company of volunteer riflemen, seventy in number, all 
unmarried, and marched to Boston. Young Sam Brady,* 
son of John Brady, was one of the number. It was the 
intention of the Captain that he should be an ofl[icer, but 
his father objected, saying, " let him first learn the du- 
ties of a soldier, and then he will know how to act as an 

Whilst the riflemen lay in the vicinity of Boston, 
many skirmishes took place. On one occasion, Lowden 
was ordered to take some able-bodied men, and wade to 
an islandj and drive off some cattle belonging to the 
enemy. Brady was considered too young for the ser- 
vice, and was left behind ; but to the astonishment of 

* For fait particulani of the during ciploita of yoang 6nd,v in tbf 
West, the reader is referred to the articles of Kishkemmotaa in the 9iti 
and 10th vulamea uf Haiard'H Register. 

1^ ■ "1 


• • ■- 

the Captain, he followed, and was the second man on ^fc 

the island. In 1776, he was appointed a 1st Lieutenant 

in Captain Doyle's company from Lancaster county. He 

was -mih the army in all the principal engagements, till 

after the battle of Monmouth, when he was promoted to J 

a Captaincy, and ordered to the West under General ■ 

Broadhead. fl 

During the same year, his father was appointed a 
Captain in the 12th Pennsylvania regiment, and was 
badly wounded at the battle of Brandywine, after which 
he returned home. 

At this time, the question of Independence, or no In- 
dependence, became so warm at Northumberland, that it 
, was decided to have a discussion on the subject. A 
scaffold was erected, near where the market house now ^ 
Btand.s, and the discussion took place. Colonels Cooke 
and Hunter took the stand on the side of Liberty and 
Independence, and Dr. Plunkett and Charles Cooke took 
the side of loyalty. Considerable warmth was manifest- 
ed on both sides. 

In 1778, Cooke received orders to join General Wash- 
ington with his regiment, which was composed in part of 
three companies, raised in Northumberland county, com- 
manded by Captains Gray, Buyers, and Brady. 

In 1779, Colonel Cooke asked leave to resign his 
Commission, on account of ill health, occasioned by a 
pulmonary disease. He was appointed Commissary, 
however, for the army of the north, which office he held 
during the war. He died in 1804. 

Charles Cooke and Dr. Plunkett, on account of their 
loyal sentiments, were ordered by the government to 
leave ffie country in ten days. Not being prepared to 
leave on such short notice, they kept themselves secreted 


J' ■ . 

^ for a long time. Colonel Cooke accompanied his brother 
Charles to New York, to sail for Europe. There they 
exchanger! watches its a token of remembrance of each 
other. CharloB was afterwards sent as an ambassador 
from England to France. 

As the struggle for Liberty increased, and the infant 
Colonies were straining every nerve, a new danger, of & 
very alarming character, began to exhibit itself on the 
northern and western frontiers. The British had tam- 
pered with the Indians, and induced them to take up the 
hatchet against the whites. A stipulated price was also 
paid for scalps, as an inducement for them to kill and 
destroy. The West Branch Valley was an exposed and 
defenceless frontier, at the mercy of the infuriated sar 
vages. Great consternation prevailed among the in- 
habitants, and the government was petitioned for assist- 

It was found necessary to construct forts at different 
points, where small bodies of men were stationed, to 
guard the settlements. On an alarm of Indians being 
given, the settlers fled to these stations, for refuge and 
protection. Colonel Hunter commanded at Fort Au- 

Freeland's Fort, it \rill be remembered, was built on 
Warrior Run, in 1773. A small stockade was erected 
one mile above Milton, and called Fort Schwartz. This 
was probably in 1777-8. Boon's Fort stood at the mouth 
of Muddy Run. It was commanded by Captain Boon. 
Fort Menninger was at the mouth of Warrior Run. Fort 
Rice was on Chillisquaque Creek, near where Washing- 
tonville now stands ; it became the frontier Fort, and held 
out until the close of the war. 

John Brady, who had removed from opposite Lewis- 

msroKr of the west branch tallet. 187 

bui^, and settled on the Muncy manor, erected a small 
fortification for the proteotion of hia own family, and that 
of his neighbors, on the south side of Muncy Creek, near 
where the town now stands. It was called Fort Brady, 
and has often been confounded with Muncy Fort, The 
latter, as I have already observed, was erected on the 
Muncy farm, some miles above the town, near the old 
mansion of Mrs. E. Hall. It was often called Fort 
Wallis, after Samuel Wallis, who took up the land, now 
embraced in Ilalls' farms. It was ijuite an important 

. A small enclosure was erected near the mouth of Ly- 
coming Creek, where Jaysburg stands, and called Fort 

^Ha(^, after a settler of that name. 

Lieutenant Colonel Henry Antes,* a famous character 
in the history of the Valley, erected a fort on the high 
gntuod, near where the mill now stands, at the mouth of 
Hippenose Ci-eek, a short distance above Jersey Shore, 
in the summer of 1776. It was a very important place 
during the terrible times previous to the iig runaway, and 
was a picketed enclosure, defended by a regular garrison 

' of militia. He also built a mill on the site occupied by 
tile present one. It is related that when they were 
building it, they made their flour by grinding the wheat 
in an old iron coffee mill, and removed the bran with a 
hair sieve. One man was kept grinding nearly all the 
time. The old coffee mill was preserved in the family for 
many years. 


* Colonel Antes was bom in 1736. near Philadelphia. lie was distin- 
guished duriaj; the war fur bia serTicee at this point. Ue had ai large 
aotnber of children. Jos. Antes, Esq., is the youngest now Burriving. 
fle died. July 13th. 1820, aged 83 jeara and niue munths. iiis descend- 





Horn's Fort was built on the south side of the river, a 
short distance below the mouth of Chatham's Run, on 
what is now known as Crispin's Run. In 1777, Eliza- 
beth Carson was outside of the fort ; an Indian, lying 
in ambush, fired upon her — the bullet passed through 
the folds of her dress, making fourteen holes, and left 
her uninjured ! 

Reed's Fort was erected on the site now occupied by 
J. Grafius' house in Lock Haven. It was a place of 
some importance at first, being the most advanced on 
the frontier. It was commanded by Colonel Long, 
familiarly known among the old settlers as " Cookey" 

Adam Carson had a small fortification, midway be- 
tween Reed's and Harris' Forts, on the same side of the 
river, but it was almost immediately abandoned on the 
commencement of the troubles, on account of water. 

These were the fortifications of the West Branch Val- 
ley. It is time, that they scarcely merited the name, 
with the exception of one or two, and were destitute of 
cannon, but they served admirable purposes at that time. 
The settlers were obliged to abandon their rude cabins, 
their httle fields of gi'ain, and seek refuge within these 
enclosures from the scalping knife of the savage. The 
women and children remained in the forts, whilst the 
men, in armed companies, would venture to their fields 
and houses, and cut their crops. Those who refused to 
seek the forts, generally paid for their rashness with 
their lives. 

These, indeed, were terrible times, and the quiet occu- 
pants of this beautiful and fertile Valley, at the present 
day, cannot form the most remote conception of the pri- 
vations and sufferings that were then endured. It was 


unsafe to venture any distance from the forts, unarmed 
and alone. The wily Indian lurked in ambush — quietly 
he watched his approaching and unconscious victim, till 
within range — then the sharp crack of his rifle awoke 
the echoes of the forest — his -victim fell pierced through 
the heart — a savage yell followed, and the scalp was 
rudely torn from his head, and borne ofl' in triumph. 

In the year 1777, a company of men under Colonel 
Kelly, were stationed for three months on the Great 
Island, to guard the advanced settlements. Nothing re- 
markable, however, occurred at that time. Moses Van 
Campeu, afterwards a distinguished Indian killer and ad- 
venturer, was among them. This was his first service. 

Previous to this year, in 1776, the Indians at the 
Great Island, removed their squaws and children, and all 
their effects. They also cut down their corn and de- 
stroyed everything they could. During the next year, 
they had abandoned the entire Valley, and retiretl back 
in the wilderness, where they were making prepiiratious 
to fall upon the settlements. 

Job Chilloway, a friendly Indian, who frequently vi- 
sited Fort Antes, informed the whites that the Indians 
would shortly make a descent upon the Valley, Job 
frequently gave valuable information, and always proved 
to be what he pretended — a friend to ike settlers. At 
this time he was compelled to leave his hunting cabins 
in Nippenose and Sugar valleys, and remain about Fort 
Antes, for fear of the Indians, for they would have mur- 
dered him also. Job had a handsome young squaw 
]iamed Betsey, for a wife, but she was treacherous to the 
whites, and would give all the information she could to 
tiie Indians. This was a source of much vexation to her 
husband, and at length he was compelled to inform fheni 




to keep her as much in ignorance as 
could not be trusted. She was continually roving about, 
and would frequently make journeys to Philadelphia 
alone, and return loaded with trinkets and finery. She 
finally abandoned her husband, and joined the Indians. 
Some say, she never returned, and others that he got 
her again. 

Job Chilloway ia described as being " a tall, muscular 
man, with his ears cut so as to hang pendant, like a pair 
of ear-rings." He hved much in the Juniata Valley. In 
his old age he was much addicted to strong drink. He 
is said to have been found dead in his cabin, about the 
close of the last century. He went with Colonel Potter's 
regiment to Delaware — rendered essential service, and 
was in the company commanded by Lieutenant Daniel 
McHenry, at the battle of Red Bank. 

Shaney John, one of his compatriots, is often alluded 
to by the old people. He was a friendly Indian also. 
After the Revolution he frequently visited Robert 
Hamilton, above Pine Creek. He is said to have been 
very pious, and what was peculiar about him, always 
removed hie shirt before saying his prayers, on retiring. 

Mr. Joseph Antes relates an anecdote about Job, 
that he heard from his father. One day he was walk- 
ing about the fort, and discovered a sentinel — one of 
the outposts probably — asleep, leaning against a tree. 
Quietly sUpping up behind him, he reached around the 
tree and grappled him like a bear. The man could not 
see who it was, and was terribly frightened, and strug- 
gled hard to get away. On seeing it was Job, be begged 
him not to inform Colonel Antes, as the punishment for 
such an offence would be severe. Job promised that he 
would not He also censured the man for being so 



careless, and informed liiui that he might have been 
killed and scalped. " Yes," replied the sentinel, '• I 
might have been caught by an Indian, and killed and 
scalped before I had known anything about it," 

" It was an Indian that caught you," replied Job, 
" but you may thank God he was your friend !" 

This circumstance so amused Job, that he would fre- 
quently burst out into the most violent fits of laughter 
during the day, which attracted the attention of Colonel 
Antes. He inquired what amused him, but no persua- 
sion or offer of reward would induce him to tell. At 
length he informed the Colonel that a curious circum- 
stance had occurred with one of his men, but he had 
pledged his word not to tell. He informed him, how- 
ever, that he could detect it in the countenance of the 
man when they were paraded. They were scrutinized 
sharply, and this man at last confessed to his commander. 
He did not punish him, but gave him some wholesome 
nd^ice not to be caught so again. 



WITT'e ESCAPE — brown's HODSE burned ON LOYAL SOCK — 



Early in the summer of 1776, the leading fair plai/ 
men, and settlers, along the river above and below Pine 
Creek, had received intelligence from Philadelphia, that 
Congiess had it in contemplation to declare the colonies 
independent, absolving them from all allegiance to Great 
Britain. This was good news to the little settlement 
up the West Branch, that was considered out of the 
jurisdiction of all civil law, and they set about making 
preparations to endorse the movement, and ratify it in a 
formal manner. Accordingly, on the 4th day of July, 
1776, they assembled on the plains above Pine Creek 
in considerable numbers. A good supply of "'old rye" 
was laid in as a »ine qua non on this momentous occasion. 
The subject of independence was proposed, and freely 
discussed in several patriotic speeches ; and, as their 
patriotism warmed up, it was finally decided to xvdfy 
the proposition under discussion in Congress, by a formal 
declaration of independence. A set of resolutions win 
drawn up and passed, absolving themselves from all alle- 


giance to Great Britain, and henceforth declaring them- 
selves free and independent.' What was remarkable 
about this declaration was, that it took place about the 
same time that the Declaration was signed in Philadel- 
phia ! It was indeed a remarkable coiocidence that two 
auch important events should take place about the same 
time, hundreds of miles apart, without any communica- 
tion. When the old bell proclaimed, in thunder tones 
to the citizens of Philadelphia, that the colonies were 
declared iBdependeut, the shout of liberty went up from 
the banks of Pine Creek, and resounded along the base 
of Bald Eagle mountain. 

The following names of settlers that participated in 
this glorious festival, have been collected ; 

Thomas, Francis, and John Clark ; Alexander Donald- 
son, William Campbell, Alexander Hamilton, John Jack- 
son, Adam Carson, Henry McCracken, Adam Dewitt, 
Robert Love, Hugh Nichcl, and many others from below 
the creek not now remembered. 

One fine Sunday morning in June, 1777, Zephaniah 
Miller, Abel Cady, James Armstrong, and Isaac Bouser, 
left Antes' Fort with two women, and crossed the river 
to milk the cows that remained on the opposite side, on 
what is now known as Pfouta' farm. The settlers all 
around here bad fled to the fort for safety. 

When they landed, all the cows were found but the 
one with the bell, which they heard back in the hughes. 
The idea never occurred to them that Indians were 
about. They were there, however, and managed to 
keep tiiis cow back about thirty rods from the river, so 
that they would be obliged to come for her. Cady, 
Armstrong, and Miller, started after her. As soon as 
they went hack there, they were fired upon and severely 


wounded. Miller was scalped immediately, Cady was 
also scalped and left weltering in his blood, Armstrong 
was severely wounded in the back of his head, but ran 
a short distance. 

As soon as the firing commenced, the women ran with 
Bouser and secreted themselves in a rye field close by. 
The garrison in the fort were alarmed, and rushed forth 
immediately, regardless of the orders of Colonel Antes, 
who feared it might be a decoy to draw them away from 
the fort, when it would be assailed from the other side. 
They paid no attention to his orders, however, and seiz- 
ing upon the canoes, crossed the river immediately to 
the relief of their comrades. They went and found 
Miller and Cady where they fell. Cady was not dead. 
They carried him to the river bank, where his wife met 
him. On seeing her he reached out his hand and imme- 
diately expired. He had recently returned from the 
army, and was one of the original settlers along the river. 
Armstrong was taken over to the fort, where he lingered 
in great agony tiU Monday night, when he expired, 

A party immediately pui-sued the Indians, and coming 
on them at a place called the " Race Ground," they stood 
and fired — then broke and fled — pursued by the whites. 
They ran across what is now the upper part of the town 
of Jersey Shore, and escaped into the swamp, a short 
distance above where Lawshe's Tannery now stands. 
The whites fired upon them several times, and probably 
did some execution, as marks of blood were visible 
where they had apparently dragged away their killed 
or wounded. 

In the winter of the same year, three men left Horn's 
Fort, and proceeded across the river to the Muncy town 
flats, above Lockport. They were fired upon by a lurk- 
ing party of Indians, and one man killed near Sugar 


Rim. The other two fled, and were pursued across the 
iee. One of them, named Dewitt, in the hurry of the 
flight, ran into an air hole. He caught hold of the edge 
of the ice, however, and managed to keep his head above 
water. The Indians were afraid to venture too near. 
They commenced firing at his head, but watching the 
flash of the gun, he dodged under water Hke a duck, 
and eluded the hall. Several shots were fired at him, 
when, thinking he was dead, they left. Dewitt, in an 
exhausted state, succeeded in crawling from the water 
on the ice, and escaped to the fort. 

The other man having crossed to the south side of the 
river, was pursued by a single Indian, who gained on 
him rapidly. He had a gun which was supposed to be 
worthless, but as the Indian neared him, he turned and 
pointed it at him, thinking to intimidate hira, but did'nt 
pull the trigger. This he repeated several times, when 
the savage thinking it was unloaded, would point his 
tomahawk at him in derision, and exclaim, "pooh, poo ft'* 
The pursuit continued, and the Indian came up close, 
feeling certain of his victim. As a last resort, he 
instinctively raised his gun, as it were, and pulled the 
trigger, when, to his astonishment, it went off and shot 
the Indian dead. He escaped to the fort in safety. 

A party turned out and pursued the Indians as far as 
Youngwoman's Creek. They noticed that they had car- 
ried and dragged the body of the dead Indian all the 
way with them, from the marks in the snow. 

The next attack made by the Indians in the autnmn 
of 1777, was on Loyal Sock Creek, on the families of 
Brown and Benjamin.* Daniel Brown, it will be remem- 

* The Beiyainiii familj lived back of Wiiliamaport; tlie Indiana came 
ind ftttaclced them. Three brotbeTB, aad a small sister, were carried into 



bered by the reader, settled at a very early period at this 
place. He had two daughters, married to two brothers, 
named Benjamin. Ou the alarm of the approaching 
Indians beiug given, the Benjamins, with their wives 
and children, took refuge at the house of Mr. Brown, 
and made preparations to defend themselves. The 
enemy came, and assaulted the house. A brisk resist- 
ance was maintained for some time, during which an 
Indian was killed by a shot from Benjamin's rifle. 
Finding they could not dislodge them, they set the 
house on fire. The flames spread rapidly, and a horrid 
death stared them in the face. What was to be done? 
Remain inside and be burned, or come forth to be 
despatched by the tomahawks of the savage? Either 
alternative was a fearful one. 

The Benjamins at length determined to come forth 
and trust themselves to the mercies of the Indians. 
Brown refused, and remaining in the burning building, 
with his wife and daughter, was consumed with them^ 
preferring rather to meet death in tliis way, than fall 
into the hands of the enemy and be tortured in a horri- 
ble manner. 

When the Benjamins, with their families, came forti, 
one of them was carr)-iug his youngest child in his arms. 
The savages received them at the door, A big Indian 
brandished his tomahawk aloft, and with a fiendish jell 

captivity. Tbeir dhdisi were William, Nathan, and Ezekiel. The bubi 
of ciie Bietet is out aiitr remembered. Tlie biijra returned in a few jftm. 
hut the sinter remainpd. She grew up smong them and married it chfefi 
and hod Eeveml children. Ypart ftfter peace wan made, William wen) 
after her, and brought her to Willianigport, where she remained some tJOT. 
but in a verj unhappy Blat« of mind. Mr. Calvert, of Jersey Sbera, tt* 
menilierp seeing her, nnd states that «he was very wild, and shuniied lU 
Fuciety. It WH« difficnlt to get a view of her face. On acooant of bar 
unhappinesB, she wan permitted tu return to her Indian cumrades. 



that made the forest resound, baried the glittering steel 
in his brain. As he fell forward, his wife, with a shriek, 
caught the little child in her arms. His scalp was imme- 
diately torn from his head, and exuKingly shook in her 
face. The remainder of the survivors were carried int« 
captivity. This bloody massacre occurred on what is 
I now known as the Buckley Farm, on Loyal Sock. 
1 A man named Cook, with his wife, were taken by the 
Lmne party, and carried into captivity, 
ft- The report of these murders spread terror throughout 
■ne settlements along the river. Most of the families 
wBed to the different forts for protection, leaving their 
K^Kmses, fields and cattle, to the mercy of the savages. 
' About the close of the year, the Indians killed a man 
named Saltzman, on the Sinnemahoning. About the 
same time, another named Daniel Jones, who owned 
what the settlers called "the little mill," on a stream 
this side of FarrandsWlle, was murdered also, with 
another man. His wife escaped to the fort. These 
settlens had been warned to leave, hut refused to do it, 
aHeging there was no danger. Their lives paid for their 

At this time Colonel Cooksey Long gathered a com- 
pany of about twenty men, and went up to Young- 
woman's Creek, to look for Indians. They suddenly 
etpied a number of warriors on the opposite side, march- 
ing along in file, painted and dressed in war costume. 
The whites being undiscovered concealed themselves. 
The men were very anxious to select each his man, and 
fire upon them, but the brave Colonel refiised. There 
was not more than twenty or thirty Indians, and the 
whites could undoubtedly have done good execution. 
The Colonel remained in his concealed position till 


k* could get II 

^L were ail tl 



they had passed by, when he returned to the fort, and 
reported that a large body of savages were approaching. 
It was probably one of the scalping parties. 

Notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, a man was 
killed on the 23d of December, 1777, near the month of 
Pine Creek ; and about the 1st of January, '78, one was 
killed two miles above the Great Island. Their names 
are not now remembered. 

Petitions having been sent in to the Council, praying 
for some plan to be devised for the defence of the in- 
habitants of the Valley, instructions were at length for- 
warded to Colonel Hunter, ordering out the fifth class of 
the militia of the County. On the 14 th of January, 
1778, Colonel Hunter writes to President Wharton, and 
informs him what orders he had given. Colonel Antes 
also came down to Fort Augusta to consult what was 
best to be done, as parties of Indians were constantly 
seen prowUng around. Three companies of Colonel 
Long's battalion were ordered to hold themselves in 
readiness at a moment's warning, subject to the order of 
Colonel Antes. 

The party of Indians that murdered the man about 
the 1st of January, above the Great Island, were eleven 
in number. They were pursued by Antes' command, 
and as a light snow had fallen, were tracked easily. 
The whites came up with them, and succeeded in killing 
two. The rest fled, and could not be overtaken, although 
they followed them for a long distance. 

Arms were very scarce. Colonel Hunter informs 
President Wharton, on the 28th of March, 1778, that 
he had endeavored to purchase " some good guns," but 
could get none. Two rifles and sixty ordinary muskets 
were all the public arms in the County at that time. 


It is supposed, however, that nearly all the settlers had 
private arms of their own. All the guns worth repair- 
ing were being put in order, and, says Colonel Hunter, 
" I have promised the gunsmiths their pay for so doing." 
It appears that the fifth class of militia, as they were 
called, were only to serve two months. As soon as 
their term expired, the sixth class were ordered to re- 
Keve them. The people complained that if no troops 
■were stitioned above Muucy, they would be obliged to 
abandon their settlements, and go down the river. 

On the 5th of May, Colonel Hunter writes, that he 
could get no provisions to buy for them. All that could 
be obtained was some beef and pork, that had been pur- 
chased, by Colonel Hugh White, for the Continental 
stores. Of flour there was a small quantity. 

About this time Colonel John Kelly's battalion was 
ordered to Penn's Valley, to perform duty for two 
months, where Jacob Stanford, his wife and daughter, 
were inhumanly killed and scalped, and his son, a lad of 
ten years, carried into captivity. 

Some time in the year 1778, an Indian suddenly ap- 
peared on the bank of the river where Lockport now 
stands — having come down the deep ravine at that place 
— and made signs to the garrison at Reed's Fort to come 
with a canoe, and take him over. They feared, however, 
that he might be a decoy, and refused to venture for 
him. He insisted, however, and to show his good in- 
tentions, waded out into the river as far as he could. 
One of the women, supposed to be Mrs. Reed, seeing 
that none of the men would venture, jumped into a 
canoe, crossed over alone and brought him with safety. 
He proved to be a friendly Indian, and had travelled a 
long way to warn the settlers that a powerful band was 




preparing to make a descent upon the Valley, for the 
purpose of exterminating the settlements. 

Being much exhausted, and feeling perfectly safe, 
after delivering his message, he went and laid down to 
seek some repose, and was soon buried in a profound 

A number of men about the fort were shooting at a 
mark, amongst whom was one named Dewitt, who was 
slightly intoxicated. Loading his rifle, he observed to 
some of them that he would make the bullet he was 
putting in, kill an Indian. Little attention was paid to 
the remark at the time. He made good his word, how- 
ever ; and instead of shooting at the mark, fired at the 
sleeping Indian, and shot him decui! A baser act of 
ingratitude cannot well be conceived. The murder was 
unprovoked and cowardly, and rendered doubly worse, 
from the fact that the Indian had travelled many miles 
to inform them of their danger ! 

The garrison were so exasperated at this inhuman and 
ungrateful act, that they threatened to Ijmch him on the 
spot ; when, becoming alarmed, he fled, and was suffered 
to escape. He never was heard of more, and probably 
fell, as he richly deserved, by the tomahawk of the 

A party of Indians having penetrated into Buffalo 
Valley, and secured a large amount of plunder, were 
hotly pursued by Lieutenant Moses Van Campen, with 
a party of men. They came so close upon them that 
they were obliged to abandon their ill-gotten booty, at a 
large spring near the residence of Mr. George Brown, 
back of Jersey Shore. It is stated that several valuable 
articles, such as silver tankards, &c., were recovered at 
this place. 


p -:i 





instead of burying them, covered them carefully with a 
large quantity of freshly mown hay. Then proceeding 
as quickly as possible to the river, they raised their 
canoes that had been sunk to conceal them, and sorrow- 
fully commenced their return. 

The following spring he returned with a body of 
armed men, and strange to relate, found the bodies of 
the aix men undisturbed, just as he had placed them, 
and in a remarkably good state of preservation. Very 
little, if any, change having taken place. 

Their bodies were taken, and carefully buried in what 
is now the old Lycoming graveyard. Probably they 
were the first interred there. 

^ An Indian war had now commenced, and was ra^ng 
along the Valley. All improvements were at an end, 
and most of the settlers' houses burned, whilst the terri- 
fied inhabitants were fleeing from the country. 

In May, the sixth and seventh classes of Colonel 
Long's battalion were ordered to be embodied by Colo- 
nel Hunter, and scout along the frontier, until the sixth 
and seventh classes of Colonel Murray's and Ilosternian's 
battalions should arrive at the Great Island, to cover 
the frontier there. 

Colonel Hunter writes to Mr, Wharton, President of 
the Council, under date of May 14th, 1778, as follows, 
concerning these detachments : 

" These last Classes would have marched before this time only fur 
want of ProTisioDa, as for meat there is very little to be had id this 
County, and that very dear; Bacon sells at is Gd "^ poand, and Sower 
at three pounds ten shillings ^ Hundred wt. I have ordered sotno 
People that lives nigh the Great IsLnd to preserve Shad nad Barrel 
them up for the use of the Militia that will he stationed there this 

• •# . 


Col. William Cook will undertulie to provide Provisione for the 
Militia of tliis Conntj, in case be waa supplied with CiiBh at thia pre- 
sent time, tie be would go to .^ome other County to purchase some 
meat, for I am certain it will be Very macb wanted, id cose the 
SftTages Commeiice a war with the frontiers, all most tuni out to pre- 
Tent if possible, snch a Crual Enemy from makeiug inroads into our 
part of the Country. We are scarce of Guns, not more than one half 
of the Militia is provided with Arms, and a number of tbpm Very 
OrdJBary; Our Powder is Exceeding Bad, and not fit for Rifles in 
any shape. And as for Flints we can get none to Buy; all tlib I 
think proper to acquaint the Council with, &e." 

On the 16th of May, near the mouth of Bald Eagle 
Creek, three meti who were at work putting io a small 
field of corn, were attacked by a party of Indians, killed 
and scalped. Two days following this, near Pine Creek, 
a man, woman, and child, were taken prisoners, probably 
by the same party, and carried off. 

On the 20th of the same month, two men, and seven 
women and children, were taken from one house, near 
Lycoming Creek, TJiey were all earned away as pris- 

About the same time, tJiree families, consisting of six- 
teen in number, were killed and carried away from Loyal 
Sock. A party that went up from WaUia' only found 
two dead bodies, from which they supposed the re- 
mainder were taken prisoners. Their houses were all 
reduced to ashes. 

It is to be very much regretted that the names of all 
those mentioned above, who were killed or carried into 
captivity, were not preserved. 

Aboot this time, Andrew Armstrong, who settled at 

I " big spring," below where Linden now stands, was 
TTsited by a party of Indians. They came very sud- 
denly. On the alarm being given, Mrs. Armstrong, who 



was eneiente, slipped under the bed. The Indians en- 
tered the house, and seizing Armstrong, his little son, 
and a woman named Nancy Sunday, made preparations 
to carry them away. Armstrong told his wife to lay 
still, which she did, and escaped. They were in a 
great hurry, on account of a small body of men being 
stationed a short distance below, and did not take time 
to fire the building. They turned up the creek with 
their prisoners. Mrs. Armstrong crawled from her hid- 
ing place, and looking out of the window, beheld her 
husband and little son di.?appear in the forest with them. 
Years rolled away, and no tidings were had from An- 
drew Armstrong. No doubt they had cruelly murdered 
him. The little son was also given up for lost, and the 
mother had ceased to mourn, and became resigned to her 
hard lot. 

Many years after peace had been restored, and the 
settlers had returned to their homes, an aged Indian, 
with a young man by his side, bearing unmistakable 
signs of having white blood in his veins, knocked at the 
cottage door of the widow Armstrong, one pleasant au- 
tumn afternoon. He alleged that this was her son that 
had been carried off years ago, when a mere child. But 
he was grown to manhood, and partook so much of the 
character and disposition of an Indian, that she could 
not recognize him as her long lost son. The scenes of 
that sorrowful day were brought fresh to her mind, and 
her heart yearned for the little flaxen haired boy. Cool^ 
this noble youth, of athletic form, and piercing eye, b#^ 
he ? Could he be so changed ? Thus she reasoned. 
She could not feel positive that he was her son — neitha* 
was she certain that he was not. If she was to own him; 
and he was not hers, she neyer could extend to him the 



affectioDB of a mother ; and if she turned him away, and 
he teas her son, oh ! what remorse of conscience would 
she feel. A terrible conflict was going ou in her mind. 
She never could bring heraelfj however, to beheve that 
he was in reality her boy. Doubts still remained in her 
mind. He remained about the settlement for some time, 
but had all the manners and habits of an Indian, and 
never seemed to readily embrace the usages of civilized 
life. He finally left the neighborhood, ou finding that 
she would not recognize him as her son, and returned 
to bis tawny comrades of the forest. He never came 

It was e%ident that white blood coursed in his vein.'^, 
but he wae in every other respect an Indian. Many of the 
old settlers believed that he was, in reality, the lost boy. 
About this time, in the same year, four men, named 
Robert Fleming, Robert Donaldson, James McMiehael, 
and John Hamilton, started from Fort Antes, to go to 
Horn's Fort, in a canoe. Nothing occurred till they 
came opposite the mouth of Pine Creek, when they were 
Buddeniy fired upon by a party of Indians, who lay con- 
cealed in a siuk hole on the south side of the river, and 
all were killed but Hamilton. He immediately sprang out 
of the canoe into the water, and keeping it between him 
and the Indians, by holding on with one hand, managed 
with the other to work his w^ay across the river. Several 
shots were fired at him without eff"ect. He managed to 
dodge bis head behind the canoe. As soon as he reached 
the shore, he sprang out and ran through the "barrens," 
till he came opposite to Fort Antes, where he cried for 
assistance, and was speedily brought over. Nearly all 
the clothing was stripped from his body In his rapid flight 
through the hushes. 



The same day that this melancholy affair took place, 
a party of men were driving some cattle down from above 
the Great Island. Crossing the plains near where Liberty 
now sbinds, they were fired upon by a party of Indians. 
The whites immediately returned the fire, when an In- 
dian was observed to fall, and was carried off. A man, 
named Samuel Fleming, was shot through the shoulder. 
The Indians fled very precipitately, and abandoned a 
large amount of plunder, principally consisting of blankets, 
which fell into the hands of the whites. 

Andrew Fleming settled on Pine Creek, in the vicinify 
of w^here Matthew McKinney's house now stands. On 
Christmas-day, 177S, he took down his rifle, and observ- 
ed to his wife, that he would go and kill a deer. He 
started up the ravine, and had not been gone long, before 
the report of a gun was heard. The day wore away and 
he did not return. His wife became alarmed at his pro- 
tracted absence, and feared that evil might have befallen 
him. Proceeding up the ravine to look for him, she sud- 
denly perceived three savages skulking in the bushes, 
and her worst suspicioDS were at once aroused. Return- 
ing hastily, she gave the alarm, and a number of neigh- 
bors collected, and proceeded to search for her husband. 
They had gone but a short distance, when they came to 
his dead body. Three balls had passed through him,— t 
one having entered his eye. The scalp was removed. It | 
was supposed that the guns had been fired simultaneous- 
ly, making but one report. 

About the commencement of the Revolution, the ffr I 
ther of Robert Covenhoven, immigrated from New Jm*> I 
sey, and settled on Loyal Sock Creek. He had threfi ' 
sons, named respectively, James, Thomas, and Robert. 
The latter became distinguished as a guide, a spy, and 


Inilian killer ; and was in several battles of the Revolu- 
tion. Shortly after coming to this Valley, the old man 
lost all his eSects by a sudden freshet in the creek. 

Late in the year 1777, Robert returned to the West 
Branch, from the Continentjvl army, his term of enlist- 
ment having expired. His extensive knowledge of the 
country, the character, habits, and disposition of the 
Indians, acquired whilst serving with surveying parties, 
was of great service, and he was disposed to make good 
use of it for the benefit of the settlement. 
" An old man named WychofF, who appears to have been 
an ancle to the Covenhovens, also settled about Loyal 
Sock. He was a Tanner by trade, and soon erected a 
rude tannery, and commenced making leather for the 
settlement. One day, in the summer of 1778, the Co- 
venhoven boys were mowing in a meadow, and the old 
man WychofF, was at work in his tannery. A dog sud- 
denly commenced barking, and exhibited great symptoms 
of alarm ; he would run towards the woods, snuff the 
»ir, and return. The boys were satisfied that Indians 
were lurking near. They took their rifles and warned 
the old man to leave ; this he at first refused to do, 
alleging that there was no danger. They finally induced 
him to go with them ; they had not proceeded far, till 
one of them hissed the dog, when he bounded into the 
bashes, and seized an Indian by the leg, where he was 
lying concealed. He rose immediately, and shot the 
faithful animal. The whites, who were in all, six in 
number, immediately jumped to trees — the Indians did 
the same, and the firing commenced. Wychoff, who was 
very much hump-backed, got behind a tree that was too 
BOiall to hide all of his person. Fortunately for him, 
Mother small tree stood between him and the Indians, 


f : 


and as they fired at him, their bullets struck this tree, 
and made the bark fly around Robert Covenhoi'en who 
was near. He yelled at the old man to stand up straight, 
or he would be hit. As he was loading his rifle, his 
ramrod was shot in two, but luckily he had a wiper, with 
which he rammed down the bullet. Just at this mo- 
ment, he observed au Indian stealthily creeping round 
'to get a fair shot at old Wychoff j watching him closely, 
till he attempted to crawl over a log, he fired, and shot 
him through the body. He sprang in the air, gave a 
tremendous yell, aud fell. His comrades rushed up and 
bore him off, when the whites made away as rapidly as 
possible. He appeared to be the chief, or commander of 
the party, and no doubt it was lucky for the whites that 
he was shot. 

The danger became so great, and such a panic seized 
the inhabitants, that nearly all of them about Muncy 
fled to Brady's Fort. Those above that, up to Lycom- 
ing creek, took refuge at Wallis'. All above Lycoming 
and Pine creeks, were at Antes' and Horns Forts. The 
inhabitants of Penn's Valley, gathered to Potter's Fort. 
Those below the Muncy Hills, to Chilisquaque, were as- 
sembled at Frecland's and Boon's Forts, and Sunbury. 
Those in White Deer, and Buffalo Valleys, fled to the 
river, and fovted themselves at various points. This took 
place in the summer of 1778.* Colonel Hunter, in a 
letter to John Hambright, says, that it was very distress- 
ing to see the poor settlers flying and leaving theb 
homes. The immigrants from New Jersey, who had 
come up that spring and winter, set off' again as rapidly 
as they could travel to their old homes. 

Colonel Hepburn, afterwards Judge Hepburn, was eta- 

• See page 570 of Penna, ArfhiveH fur 1TT7-S. 


tioned for a while at Muncy Fort, and commanded it. 
Colonel Hosterman, Captain Kej-nolds, Captain Berry, 
and others, were sent up soon after, to assist in protect- 
ing the frontier. 

A number of horses had strayed away, and were sup- 
posed to have gone to Loyal Sock. Captain Berry was 
ordered to take a company of twelve men, and look aft*r 
them. Robert Covenhoven, his two brothers, Jame-s and 
Thomas, and his uncle, William Wyehoff, were in the 
expedition. They proceeded to Loyal Sock, where, it 
appears, they separated. Peter Shoefelt, "William Wy- 
chofl", and a man named Thompson, went above the creek, 
towards Williamsport, to Thompson's house, for the pur- 
pose of saving some of his property. 

The remainder of the party continued up the creek. 
They proceeded cautiously through the narrows, but saw 
no signs of Indians. Not finding the horses, it was con- 
cluded to return. Covenhoven was suspicious that In- 
dians were about, and advised Captain Berry not to re* 
turn by the path they had come, as he feared an ambus- 
cade. Berry thought there was no danger, and paid but 
little attention to him, who stUl iims/c*/ on taking another 
route over the mountain. Berry at length accxised him 
of cowardice, and being needlessly alarmed. This irri- 
tated him very much, but he insisted no more, and going 
to his brothers, communicated to them his fears that they 
would be attacked by the enemy and probably all killed. 
He requested them to keep a sharp lookout, and if the 
flash of a gun was seen, to jump to trees immediately. 

They travelled on without any molestation, till they 
came to the narrows, and true to Covenhoven's expecta- 
tion, were suddenly fired upon by a party of savages in ' 
ambush. Most of the party, including the reckless 





Capt. Berry, were shot down. James was shot through 
the shoulder, and disabled. He cried to Robert that he 
was wounded, and could do nothing, who inmiediately 
told him to run across the creek, and he would try and 
cover his retreat. He succeeded in getting to the oppo- 
site side, when a ball struck him on the back part of the 
head, and he fell back on the edge of the creek dead. 
Robert ran for life, and jumped into an old tree top, 
where he loaded his rifle. He had not been there many 
minutes, till a big savage came and stood on a log within 
a few feet of where he lay, looking all around and up 
the hill. He watched his eye, and was prepared to shoot 
the moment he was discovered, and then run for his life. 
Had the Indian but cast his eye down at his feet, he 
would have beheld Covenhoven. He soon ran back over 
the creek, where they were scalping the killed. The 
shrieks of the wounded, and the j'ells of the savages, 
were terrible. Covenhoven soon crawled out of the tree 
top, and worked his way carefully up the mountain. An 
open spot of ground was before him, which he dare not 
cross, for fear of being seen and pursued. Coming to 
where an old tree had been blown out of root, he lay 
down in the hole and remained there till dark, when hfl 
started across the hills and reached Wallis' Fort in safe^j 
and reported to the garrison the melancholy fate of the 

His brother Thomas, with several others, was taken 
prisoner and carried into captivity. He returned after 
the war. 





When Wychoff", Thompson, and Shoefelt came to 
Thompson's house, it 13 said they hitched their horses — 
fi>r they appeared to have been riding — and went in and 
commenced cooking their dinner. The Indians having 
been quietly observing the movements of the two par- 
ties, sent a party to capture them. When they came in 
nght, the horses snorted and gave the alarm. Seizing 
their rifles, they attempted to run for the woods, but the 
Indians were too quick, and firing a voUey, killed Thomp- 
wn and Shoefelt, and shot "Wychoff through the shoul- 
der, wounding him severely. He was taken prisoner, 
and returned after a captivity of two years. 

A story is related in connection with this tragical 
affair, but with how much truth I cannot say. that when 
Wychoff was taken prisoner, he was quite bald headed; 
bok when he returned from captivity, he had a fine head 
rf hair. , • 

On the same day that this sad disaster befell Captain 



Beny, Colonel Hosterman,* with Captain Reynolds, and 
a party of thirteen men, set out from Muncy Farm, to 
go to Antes' Fort and the Great Island, with ammunition 
for those places. When they came to Loyal Sock, they 
heard considerable firing and yelling up the creek. They 
supposed it to be nearly a mile distant, and proceeded ae 
rapidly as possible in that direction. When they came 
to the place where they supposed the firing to have been, 
no Indians were discovered. They had probably seen 
them and made off, A noise was heard by them, how- 
ever, as of some one striking on a hollow tree with a 
club, some distance ahead. A stroke appeared to be 
given for each man in the party. They tlien returned, 
and continued on to the residence of Thorap.son. When 
they arrived, the barn was on fire, but the house remain- 
ed untouched, Thompson's powder horn was found near 
the house, with a bullet hole through it, and several moc- 
casin and shoe tracks were observed. Nothing could be 
seen or heard of Thompson, Shoefelt, or Wychoff; the 
three men that were known to have gone there. Before 
they came to the house, however, they heard the death 
yells, and one that they took to be for a prisoner, given 
by Indians in the woods, which now impressed them with 
the idea, that the three men were killed or taken pri- 

On the same day, the 10th of June, 1778, Petw 
Smith,-!- his wife and six children ; William King's wife 
and two children ; Michael Smith, Michael Campbell^ 

* See Penan. Archives for 1777-8, page 589. 

t Colonel HoBtermiiD, in bia letter gitiug aa account of tins a^^. 
lUtes that the purtj in the wagon were travelling to Lycoming. Thi> it 
tfridentlj an error, na the settlers bad mostl; fled at this time, uid tbaf 
were probably flying sho, and trying lo reach fort UuDcy. 



David Chambers, Snodgrass, and Hammond ; 

being seven men, two women, and eight children in all, 
started from Lycoming Creek to go to Muncy fort in a 
four horse wagon. They had got but a short distance, 
when they were met by a messenger and informed that 
considerable firing had been heard about Loyal Sock 
that day. and it was not considered safe for them to pro- 
ceed. Peter Smith informed the messenger that he 
would not be stopped by the firing, and would continue 
on. He returned and reported Smith's intentions, 
whereupon a party pushed on to meet them. This 
party is supposed to have been Colonel Hosterman's. 
It was near night, however, and they did not reach 

When the men with the wagon, and the women and 
children, reached the spot of ground now said to be oc- 
cupied by Hall's foundry, in Williamsport, they were 
fired upon by a body of Indians, supposed to have been 
about twenty in number. At the first fire Snodgrass 
fen dead. The Indians only discharged two guns, when 
they made a rush, tomahawk in hand, for the wagon. 
They were not observed till the fire had been given, 
when the remaining white men immediately jumped to 
trees, and commenced fighting for their lives and their 
t women and little children. The Indians closed in and 
ttdeavored to surround them, when all the men, with 
I the exception of Campbell, ran, and abandoned the de- 
fenceless women and children to the horrible fate that 
I «waited them ! A little boy escaped, and running to 
j Lycoming, informed some men there of what had hap- 
I pened. The men that escaped, state that they looked 
I bark, and saw the savages tomahawking the women and 
[children; and Campbell was closely engaged with an 
I Indian fighting nobly. 





Peter Smith ran into a rye field close by, and on look- 
ing back perceived something following him ; supposing 
it to be an Indian, he ran as fast as possible, but od 
climbing the fence discovered that it was his little 
daughter, who, with arms stretched towards him, was 
following as fast as she could, and imploring him to wait 
and save her ! It is scarcely necessary to add that the 
flying father's heart was deeply touched, and waiting a 
moment, snatched the child up in his arms and fled for 
life ! He escaped to fort Muncy. What became of the 
other men is not stated. 

When the boy gave the alarm at Lycoming, they mis- 
understood him, and thinking it was a canoe that had 
been attacked in the river near where they lived, ran 
there at once. It was now dark, the massacre having 
occurred about sundown, when Colonel Hepburn, with a 
party that had started out, on the alarm being given by 
the fugitives flying from Loyal Sock, came to the spot 
They ibund the body of Snodgrass and another, but it 
was too dark to do anything, and they pushed on to 
Lycoming Creek, where they remained tUl morning. 
The next day, being the 11th of June, they returned to 
the scene of the massacre, and there beheld a revolting 
and horrible sight. Peter Smith's wife was found shot 
through the body, stabbed, scalped, and a knife by her 
side. William King's wife was tomahawked and scalped, 
but still survived, and was sitting up when they came. 
Her husband came to her, when she leaned on him, and 
almost immediately expired. She appeared to be sensi- 
ble, but could not speak a word, and presented a sickeo- 
ing sight, her face being covered with clotted blood. 

A Uttle girl was found killed and scalped, and a boy 
the same. CampbeU was found killed, stabbed, and 
scalped — he had also been shot in the back, and a knife 



was sticking in his body. Everything around him in- 
dicated that he had maintained a fearful struggle with 
anperior numbers, and sohl his life as dearly as possible. 
An Indian gun was found near him broken to pieces. 
EDs gtrn was gone. What became of the remainder of 
the children is not stated, but they were probably car- 
ried into captivity. The Indians took but a few things 
out of the wagon, which they left standing. They pro- 
bably took the horses. 

A party under Captain Shaffer, it is stated, went to 
Thompson's house and searched for him. At length 
they found him and Shoefelt outside of a field among 
some pine grubs. Thompson had been shot through the 
aide — Shoefelt was shot through the shoulder — they 
were both scalped, and lay but a short distance apart. 
They appeared to have been so near Thompson when he 
was shot, that his jacket was burned. 

This was indeed a bloody day — the savages glutted 
themselves with murder and plunder, and returned in 
triumph. A gloomy paU seemed suspended over the 
infant settlement, and weeping and wailing was heard 
on every hand. Children were murdered before their 
parents' eyes ; husbands were compelled to witness the 
horrid deaths of their wives — and in turn children were 
eompelled to gaze upon the mangled bodies of their 
parents. Neither age, sex, nor condition was spared. 
The wails of helpless infants ; the imploring cries of de- 
I fenceless women, failed to awaken a chord of pity in the 
idamantine bosom of the tawny savage — he laughed 
ribeir pitiful appeals to scorn, and with a fiendish grin of 
I ]Aeasure, plied the knife, and tore the reeking scalp from 
fifiieir beads. 

How many of the present inhabitants of the bcanfiful 


216 HisToar of the west branch valley. 

and flourishing town of Williamsport, are aware that on 
the 10th day of June, 1778, such a fearful and bloody 
tragedy was enacted upon the site of that town, and the 
cry of helpless innocence mingled with the whoop of the 
savage, awoke the echoes of the forest, and ascended to 
the azure-realms of heaven? 

On the intelligence of these murders reaching Colonel 
Hunter, at fort Augusta, he became alarmed for the safe- 
ty of those that remained above fort Muncy, and sent 
word to Colonel Hepburn to order theto to abandon the 
country, and retire below. He was obliged to do this, as 
there was not a sufficiency of troops to guard the whole 
frontier, and Congress had taken no action to sujiply 

' him with men and supplies. Colonel Hepburn had some 
trouble to get a messenger to carry the order up to 
Colonel Antes, so panic-sti'icken were the people on 
account of the ravages of the Indians. At length 
Robert Covenhoven, and a young millwright in the em- 
ploy of Andrew Culbertson, volunteered their senices. 

r and started on the dangerous mission. They crossed 
the river and ascended Bald Eagle mounfaiUj and kept 
along the summit, till they came to the gap opposite 
Antes' fort. They cautiously descended at the head of 
Nippenose Bottom, and proceeded to the fort. It was 
in the evening, and as they neared the fort, the report 
of a rifle rang upon their ears. A girl had gone outside 
to milk a cow, and an Indian being in ambush, fired 
upon her. The ball, fortunately, passed through her 
clothes, and she escaped unharmed. The word was 
passed on up to Horn's fort, and preparations made for 
the flight. Great excitement prevailed. Canoes were 
collected, nifts hastily constructed, and every av^laUe 
craft that would float, pressed into service; and the 



goods, and also the wives and children of the settlers, 
plnced on board. The men armed with their trusty 
rifles, marched down on each side of the river to guard 
the convoy. It was indeed a sudden, as well as melan- 
choly, flight. They were leaving their homes, their 
cattle, and their crops, to the mercy of the enemy, and 
fleeing for their lives. Nothing occurred worthy of note, 
during the passage to Sunbury, as the Indians did not 
venture to attack the armed force that marched on 

t shore. It is said that whenever any of their crafts 
irould ground on a bar, the women would jump out, and 
putting their shoulders against it, launch it into deep 

The settlements above Muney Fort were all aban- 
doned, and the Indians had full possession of the coun- 
try once more. Companies came up as soon as possible 
to secure and drive away their cattle. They found the 
Indians burning and destroying. When they came to 
Robert King's improvement — where Robert King, Junr., 
now lives — they found the remains of his house and bam 
yet smoking. Passing on to Antes' Fort, they found the 
mill, containing a quantity of wheat, and the surround- 
ing buildings, reduced to ashes. As the smouldering 
ambers were not yet extinct, the air for some distance 
around, was ta,inted with the odor of roasted wheat. 
They gathered up what cattle they could as soon as pos- 
sible, and drove them off from this scene of desolation. 

Fort Muncy, Freeland's Fort, and all the intermediate 
foints, were abandoned about the same time. Thus was 
le Valley of the West Branch evacuated. This flight 
'as called by the people of that period, the " Big Run- 
itpaff," a name which it bears to this day. 

Shortly after the Bi^ Runaway, the attention of the 





savages was attracted to the memorable descent upon 
Wyoming, which took place the 3cf of July, 1778. But 
few remained on the West Branch, nearly all having 
gono to participate in that bloody massacre. 

Petitions wore immediately dra^vn up and signed, and 
letters written, importuning the government to send 
troops to Northumberland county, to protect the settlers 
whilst they returned to cut their harvests. The har\'est 
was ripe — the settlers had fled, and dare not return with- 
out an armed force. What else could they do ? 

On the 12th of July, Colonel Hunter drew up and 
forwarded the following pathetic appeal to the Executive 
Council, which will be read with interest : 

" To Sit ExceOsacy The Freddent and The BonhU The Eiccutivt 

Cmmcilofthe Convmoiiwealih, of Pennsylvania. 
" The Calamities bo long dreaded, and of whicli ye have been more 
than once informed muat fall upon this County if not aaaisf-ed bj 
Contincnlal Troop or the Militia of the neighboring Counties, now 
appear with all the Horrors attendant on an Indian war; at this daU 
the Towns of Sunbury and Northumberland on the Frontiers where 
a few Virtuous Inhabitants and fugitives seem determined to stand, 
Tho' doubtful whether To-morrow's sun will rise on them, freemen, 
Captives or in eternity. Yet relying on that being who never for- 
aakes the virtuous, and the timely assistance of the Government, 
which they have with Zeal and vigor endeavoured to anpport, they 
say they will remain so long as they can without incurring the cen- 
sure of suicide. The Carnage at Wioming, the devastations and mur- 
ders upon the West branch of Susc|uehanna, On Bald Eagle Creek, 
and in short throughout the whole County to within a few milea of 
these Towns (the recital of which must be shocking) I suppose most 
have before now have reached your ears, if not you may figure your- 
selves men, women, and children, Butchered and aoalped, many of 
them after being promised quarters, and some scalped alive, of which 
we have miserable InatanceB amongst us, People in crowds driven 
from their farms and habitations, many of whom have not money to 
purchase one day's provisions for their families, which must and has 

^9 ■ 


iJready obliged maay of them to Plunder and laj waste the famtB as 
they pass uiong. These Calamities must if not speedily remedied by 
s reiDfoTvement of men from below inevitably ruin the frontier, aud 
incumber the interior Counties with such numbers of indigent fugi- 
tives unable to support themselves as will like locusts devour all be- 
fore them. If we are assisted to stand and save our crops, we will 
h&ve enough for ourselves and to spare, you need be under no appre- 
hension of any troops you send here Buffering for want of provtsione 
if they come ip time, before the few who yet remain are obliged to 
pye way, with men it will be necessary to send arms and ammnni- 
tion M wo are ill provided with them. Gentlemen, je must all know 
that this Couuty canuot bo strong in men after the number it has 
fiimished to serve the uiiit«d states. Their applications to us for 
men were always complyed with to the utmost of our abilities and 
with tbe greatest alacrity; should our supplications now be rejected I 
think the survivors of us, (if any) may safely say that Virtue is not 
rewarded, I have only to add that A few Hundreds of men well armed 
and immediately sent to our relief would prevent much bloodshed, 
confusion and devastation through many Counties of this State, as 
the appearance of being supported would call back many of our fugi- 
tives to save their Harvest for their aubsisteace, rather than sufTcr the 
inconveniences which reason tells me they do down the Oouutry and 
their with their families return must ease the people below of a heavy 
ud unprofitable Burthen. These opinions I submit to your serious 

" Signed. 

" Sunbory, 12th July, 1778." 








Colonel Broadhead having been ordered to the asaiet- 
ance of the settlement at Wyoming, and on hia arrival 
at Sunbury, finding it was too late to be of any service 
there, marched his command up to Fort Muncy, and to<dt 
po.ssession of the deserted country. The appearance rf 
an armed force, and the assurance of protection, induced 
most of the settlers to return and cut their grain, Ths, 
Colonel was very active in scouring the country, ani 
stationing men at various points, for the protection of the 
harvesters. He despatched a Captain, and twenty-five 
men, to take post at General Potter's fort, in Penn'l 
Valley, and protect the reapers there. This left him 
one hundred and twenty at Muncy. 

On the evening of the 23d of Jflly, an Indian was 
discovered by one of the sentinels approaching the fort, 
in a skulking manner. He fired on him at the distance 
one hundred and fifty yards, when he made off. 

Samuel Wallis, (who appears to have returned also,) 


writes to Colonel Matlack, on the 24tb of July, from 
Fort Muncy, and finds a great deal of fault with Colonel 
Hunter; who, he alleges, on hearing of the massacre at 
Wyoming, became alarmed and ordered all the troops off 
the West Branch. This move created so much alarm, 
that a great number of the people of Sunbury fled, and 
when he (Wallis) reached that place with bis family, he 
found that Colonel Hunter had removed his family and 
effects, and was ready at a moment to fly himself; and 
had it not been for Colonel Broadhead, he is of the 
opinion, not ten families would now have been found in 
the county. He was exceedingly anxious to have Bome 
regular troops sent up, as he had no dependence in the 
militia. Concerning them, he says : 

" Sach confiuioii has already happcoed by trusting to the Militia 
here, that I can & do declare for myself, that I will not staj a single 
moment longer than I can help after being assured that we are to be 
protected by them only. We were arauscd some time a^ by a re- 
tolve of Congress for raising 100 six months men in this County, & 
Col. Hunter was pleased to assure the CouDsil that the men would be 
leadyly raised, when he at the same time knew, k wus pleased to de- 
clare, in private conversation, that it was Impossible to raise 100 men 
unongst People so much confused and alarmed. This kind of Cob* 
duct from Col. Hunter, as well as a number of our other leading men^ 
has brought ns to the pass you now find us, & unless some speedy In- 
lerposition in our behalf, I do again with great Confidence assure yo^ 
that we shall be no Longer a People in this County, k when the mat- 
ter will end God only knows." 

Such was the independent, yet mournful tone of Wal- 
Jb' letter, which no doubt gave a pretty correct account 
flf the state of affairs. 

General Potter returned to Penn's Valleyj on the 25th 
jtf July, having been absent on duty, and ioime^ately 
Vrites that the people are pretty generally returned and 




catting their harvest. The loss sust^ned to the county, 
by the Biy Runaway, he sets down at ^640,000. 

The appeals of the people to Congress, were not all in 
vain, and that body at length ordered Colonel Hartley to 
the West Branch, with his regiment. He arrived in 
August, and immediately took measures for strengthen- 
ing the fort on Muncy Farm. A body of militia were 
ordered out in the county, amounting to three hundred 
men. The people seemed much encouraged, and return- 
ed in greater numbers. 

Nothing unusual occurred till the 8th of August, when 
a party of Indians fell upon a number of reapers, a short 
distance below WiUiamsport, and cruelly murdered young 
Brady. The circumstance is about as follows : 

A Corporal and four men, belonging to Colonel Hart- 
ley's re^ment, and three militiamen, were ordered about 
two uules above Loyal Sock, on the 8th of August, 
1778, to protect foxu-teen reapers and cradlers, who 
went to assist Peter Smith, the unfortunate man that 
had his wife and four children murdered about a montii 
previous, to cut his crop. Smith's farm was on Turkey 
Run, not far from WiUiamsport, on the opposite side of 
the river. 

James Brady, son of Captain John, the younger bro- 
ther of Captain Sam. Brady of the Rangers, was ffitti 
the party. According to custom in those days, wien 
no commissioned officer was present, the company gene- 
rally selected a leader, whom they styled " Captain," 
and obeyed him as such. Young James' Brady was se- 
lected Captain of this little band of about twenty men. 

On arriving at the field they placed two sentinels at 
the opposite ends, the sides having clear land around. 
The day being Friday, they cut the greater part of the 



grain, and intended to complete it the next morning. 
Four of the reapers improperly left that night, and re- 
turned to the fort. A strict watch was kept alt night, 
but nothing nnusual occurred. In the morning they all 
went to work ; the cradlers, four in number, by them- 
seTves, near the house ; the reapers in another part of 
the field. The reapers, except young Brady, placed 
their guns round a tree. He thought this was wrong, 
and placed his some distance from the rest. The morn- 
ing proved to be very foggy, and about an hour after 
sunrise, the sentinels and reapers were surprised by a 
^number of Indians, under cover of the fog, quietly ap- 
proaching them. The sentinels fired and ran towards 
the reapers, when they all ran, with the exception of 
young Brady. He made towards his rifle, pursued by 
three Indians, and when within a few yards of it was 
fired upon by a white man with a pistol, (probably a 
tory,) but falling over a sheaf of grain, the shot missed 
him. He rose again, and when almost within reach of 
tiie rifle, was wounded by a shot from an Indian. Here 
Another sentinel fired his gun, but was immediately, 
with a militiaman, shot down. Brady succeeded in 
getting his rifle, however, and shot the first Indian 
dead. He caught up another gun, and brought down a 
second savage, when they closed around him in num- 
bers, but being a stout active man, he struggled with 
them for some time. At length one of them struck a 
tomahawk into his head, when he fell, and was wounded 
with a spear* in the hands of another. He was so 
stunned with the blow of the tomahawk, that he re- 

• Penna. Archires for 1777-8, page 689^ nnd page 307, ii. ToLflaiacd's 



mained powerless, but strange as it may seem, retained 
his senses. They ruthlessly tore the scalp from his 
head as he lay in apparent death, and it was a glorious 
trophy for them, for he had long and remai-kably red 

The cradlers, who it appears were in a low spot, in a 
distant part of the field, on hearing the alarm, ascended 
an eminence and partly beheld this unhappy affair. 
The Indians, as soon as they accomplished their bloody 
work, left Instantly, probably fearing an attack from the 

The Corporal and three men, with the cradlers, pro- 
posed to make a stand, bnt the others thought it impru- 
' dent, and they all immediately left. The cradlers being 
acquainted with the country, took the nearest way to 
Wallis'; the Corporal and his three men pushed right 
down the road. At Loyal Sock they were fired upon 
by a party of Indians, probably the same that killed 
Brady. They returned the fire, when the Indians fled, 
and they retook three horses from them, and brou^ 
them to the fort in safety. 

After Brady was scalped, he related that a little 
Indian was called and made to strike the tomahawk into 
his head, in four separate places. He was probably 
taking lessons in the art of butchery. 

After coming to himself, he attempted, between walk-'? 
ing and creeping, to reach the cabin, where an old man 
named Jerome Vaness, had been employed to cook ftf 
them. On hearing the report of the guns, he had iai 
himself, but when he saw Brady return, he came to 
him. James begged the old man to Qy to the fort, say- 
ing, " (he Indians will soon be back and will kill you." 
The worthy man positively refused to leave him alone. 



but stayed and endeavored to dress his frightful wounds. 
Brady requested to be assisted down to the river, where 
he drank large quantities of water, when he still insisted 
on the old man leaving him and trying te save himself, 
but he would not do it. He then directed hia faithful 
old friend to load the gun that was in the cabin, which 
was done, and put into his hands, when he laid down 
and appeared to sleep. 

Ab soon as the sad intelligence reached the fort, Cap- 
tain Walker mustered a party of men and proceeded to 
the spot. When they came to the river bank, Brady 
heard the noise, and supposing it was Indians, jumped to 
his feet and cocked his gun. But it was friends. They 
made a bier and placed him on it, and brought hJm 
away. He requested to be taken to Sunbury to his 
mother. His request was granted, and a party started 
with him, amongst whom was Robert Covenhoven. He 
became very feverish by the way, and drank large quan- 
tities of water, and became partly delirious. It was late 
at night when they .irrived at Sunbury, and did not in- 
tend to arouse his mother, but it seemed she had a pre- 
sentiment of something that was to happen, and being 
awake to alarms, met them at the river and assisted to 
convey her wounded son to the house. He presented a 
frightful spectacle, and the meeting of mother and son is 
described to have been heart-rending. Her heart was 
wrung with the keenest anguish, and her kmentations 
were terrible to be heard. 

The young Captain lived five days. The first four he 
was delirious, on the fifth his reason returned, and he 
described the whole scene he had passed through very 
liridly, and with great minuteness. He said the In- 
dians were of the Seneca tribe, and amongst them were 


two chiefs ; one of whom was a very large man, and 
from the description was supposed to be Cornplanter ; 
the other he personally knew to be the celebrated 
chief Bald Eagle, who had his nest near where Miles- 
bnrg now stands. 

On the evening of the fifth day, the young Captain 
died, deeply regi'etted by all who knew him, for he was 
a noble and promising young man. Vengeance, "not 
loud, but deep," was breathed against the Bald Eagl«, 
but he laughed it to scorn, till the fafeil day at Brady's 
Bend on the Alleghany.* 

Small parties of Indians were continually skulking 
about, and it was very unsafe to venture from the forts. 
Having gained so much plunder recently, it seemed that 
they had become bolder, and committed greater depreda- 
tions with impunity. 

On the 20th of August, Colonel Hunter writes, that 
in accordance with the resolution of Congress, and the 
instructions of the Council, he had succeeded in raising 
a company of volunteers to serve six months, and had 
appointed the officers. The Company was now doing 
duty, and numbered about sixty men. The expense of 
raising the company was considerable. Each man thai 
furnished himself with a good riQe and accoutremenU, 
was to have eighty dollars ; this was the basis upon 
which it was raised. 

• Several years after the death of James Brady, a large party « 
under tbe command of Complanter. were marohiog atoog the . 
river oa their way to Bald Eagle's nest. Captain Sam. Brady i 
the Bald Eagle that day, and tited at him. When the battle vm uiertit 
searched for his body and found it. Tbe ball had pierued his heart. U° 
the blood of the youDg Captain at Loyal Sock was fatally avenged hj il 
haods of his brother on the banka of tbe Allegbany.- 
poge 237, Tol. ix. 

ghany. — Ifazard'i Segitlr, ^M 





The militia who had served their turn, complained 
loudly about their pay. Most of them were very poor 
on account of losing all their property, particularly those 
about Loyal Sock. 

At this time, one hundred men belonging to Colonel 
Hartley's regiment ; two hundred and twenty of Lancas- 
ter County militia ; one hundred and seventy of Berks 
County; and one hundred of the Northumberland militia, 
and between sixty and seventy of C.iptjiin James Mur- 
ray's company of six months' men, was the number of 
men enrolled in the Valley — amounting to upwards of 
seven hundred. This was a pretty effective foroe, and 
it was stationed to the best advantage, throughout the 
County, by Colonel Hartley. 

On the first of September, Colonel Hartley informed 
the Executive Council, that he considered it highly im- 
portant to have a small body of horse ordered to the 
County, He also wrote to the Board of War, requesting 
ttiem to be sent. 

From his letter, we learn that Captain Walker had 
succeeded in making the necessary repairs at Fort Muney, 
md had a four pounder mounted on the walls. He had 
slso succeeded in inducing some of the people to put in 
their fall crops. 

Three German militia men, without arras or permis- 
sion, went out from the fort, on the last day of August, 
to dig potatoes. Although they were in sight of the 
garrison, they were immediately attacked by the savages, 
who were lying in ambush. The Indians discharged all 
their guns at once. One militia man was killed and 
Scalped, and another was seized and had a hard strug- 
gle with a stout Indian, for a few minutes, when the 
garrison came to his relief. 



Some days before this alFair — the 23d — a man Tiamed 
Cottner, was killed near the fort, and on the same day, 
Captain Martel was woimded. From these circumstances 
it can be inferred how exceedingly dangerous it was to 
venture out of the fort in those days, A large number 
of the descendants of Cottner still Uve about Jluncy. 

When the settlers at Fort Freeland returned after the 
Big Runaway, Jacob Freeland picketed in half an acre 
of ground around the fort, into which the people all col- 
leeted with their families. 

Some time in the autumn of 1778, Mrs. McNight,aud 
Mrs, Durham, with small children in their arms, ami 
mounted on horseback — with a number of men on foot 
— started from Freeland's Fort, to go to Northumber- 
land. They met with no interruption till they had got 
one mile below the mouth of Warrior lluu, when they ' 
were imexpectedly fired upon by a party of Iniliane. 
Mrs. McNight's horse suddenly wheeled and galloped 
back. She came very near losing her child, hut caught 
it by the foot, and held it firmly, dangling by her side. 
till the frightened horse brought her to the fort. Mrs. 
Durham's infant was shot in her arms, when she fell 
from the horse. She was immediately scalped and led 
for dead. 

Two young men, sons of Mrs. McNight, ran, on the 
alanh being given, and tried to secrete themselves under 
the bank of the river. Their place of concealment. liDir- 
ever, was discovered by the Indians, and they were 
taken and earned into captivity. 

Two men, named Peter and Elias Williams, were lie 
first to find Mrs. Durham. On coming up to where sh 
lay, they were greatly surprised to see her rise up anii 
call for a drink of water ! She had received no otifl i 


injury, save the loss of her scalp. They took her to 
Sunbury, where her wounded head was dressed by Dr. 
Pluakett. It wa-s a long time before it healed up com- 
pletely. She finally recovered, and lived till within a 
few years. Many of the settlers about Warrior Run re- 
member her well. 







In September, 1778, Colonel Hartley planned an ei- 
pedition to Tioga and the North Branch, to destroy some 
Indian towns, and break «p some of their principal 
places of rendezvous. The following is bis report of the 
expedition, which will be found to be very interesting; 


"With a. Frontier from Wionning to AHegnny, we were senabletlit 
few regular Troops we had could not defend the necessary posts, fff 
thought (if it were practicahle,) it would be best to draw the Prind- 
pal part of our Force together, aa the Inhabitants would be in no 
great danger during our ab.'ience. I made a stroke at some uf itif 
nearest Indian towns, especially as we learnt a hondsome delacliniMt 
had been sent into the Enemy's Country by the way of Cherrj Vil- 
ley. We were in hopes we should drive the Savages to a greater ii* 

" With Volunteers and others we reckoned on 400 Rant & File for 
tbo expedition, besides 17 Horse, which I moanted from mjo'" 
Regt., under the command of Mr. Carbery. 

" Our Rendezvous was Fort Muncy, on the West Brancb, mWn"' 
ing to penitrate, by the Sbeshccunuunk Path,* to Tioga, attbeJuii!' 

• Sheahequin Path, struck up Bouser's run below Williomsport, «"" 
came out on the head waters of Lycoming. 


lion of the Cayuga, with tlie main North-Eost Branch of Snsquehan- 
nsli, from thence to act as circumstancea might require. 

"The TmopB met at Mnncy the 18 Septr., when we came to cooirt 
ujij array our Force for the Expedition, they amounted only to ahont 
^00 Rank & File. We thought the number small, hut as we pre- 
sumed the Enemy had no notice of our Designs, we hoped at ieast to 
muke a good DiTeraion if no more, whilst the Lnhiibitants were saving 
their grain on the Frontier. 

" On the morning of the 21st, at four o'clock, we marched from 
Muncy, wilh the Force 1 have mentioned, we carried two Boxes of 
spare smmuaitina and Twelve days Provisions, 

" In our Rout wo met with grcot Ruins k prodigious Swamps, 
Mountains, Defiles & Rocks impeded our march, we hud to open and 
clear the way as we passed. 

" We wadoil or awam the River Lycoming upwards of 20 Times. 
1 will not trouble your honourable Body with a tedious Detail, but I 
cannot help observing that, I immagine, the Difficulties in Crossing 
the Alps, or passing up Kennipcck, could not have been greater than 
those our men experienced for the Time. I have the pleasure to say 
they surmounted them with great Resolution and Fortitude. 

" lu lonely woods and groves we found the Haunts and Lurking 
Places of the savage Murderers who had desolated our Frontier. We 
aaw the Huta where they had dressed and dried the scalps of the help- 
less women & Children who had fell in their bands. 

" On the morning of the 2(3tb our Advance Party of 19 met with 
an equal Number of Indians on the Path, approaching each other, our 
People had the first Fire, a very important Indian Chief was killed 
and scalped, the rest fled. 

" A few Miles further we discovered where upwards of 70 Warriors 
bftd lay the night before, on their March towards our Froo^Us, the 
Panick commanicateJ, they fled with; their ]3rethren. 

" No Time was lost, we advanced towards Sheshecunnunck, in the 
Neighborhood of which place we took 15 Prisoners from them, we 
learnt that a Man had descried from Capt. Spalding's Company at 
Wioming, after the Troops had marched from thence, & had given the 
enemy Notice of our intended Expedition against them. 

" We moved with the greatest Dispatch towards Tioga, advancing 
our Uorsc, and some Foot in Front, who did their duty very well; a 
number of the Enemy fled before us with Precipitation, it was neor 



dark when we came to that town, our Troops were much fatigued; it 
was imposaible to proceed further that Night. 

' " We took another Prisoner, upon the whole Information, we were 
clear the Savages had' Intelligence of us some days — That the Indians 
had been towards the German Flats — had taken S scalps & bronghl 
of 70 oxen intended for the garrison of Fort Stanwii — That ou their 
Return thej were to have attacked Wioming and the settlements on 
the West Branch again — That Colo. Morgan or no other Person had 
attempted to penetrato into the Enemy's Country, as we had been 
given to understand, and that the Collected force at Cbemuug woald 
be upwards of 600, & that they were building a fort there. 

" We also were told that young Butler had been at Tioga a few 
Hours before we came — that he had 300 Men with him, the most of 
them Tories, dressed in frreen— that they were returned towards 
Chemung, 12 Miles off, & that they determined to give as Buttle iu 
some of the Defiles near it. 

" It was soon resolved we should proceed no further, but if possible, 
make our way good to Wiomiop. We burnt Tioga, Queen Hesta'i 
Palace or Town, & all the settlements on this side ; several Canoes 
were taken and some Plunder, Part of which was destroyed. 

" Mr. Carbery with the Horse only, was close on Butler, he was in 
Possession of the Town of Shawnee, 3 Miles up the Cayuga Branch, 
but as we did not advance, he returned. 

" The Consternation of the Enemy was great, we pushed oor good 
Fortune as far as we dare, nay, it is probable the good countenanM 
we put on saved ua from destruction, as we were advanced so far into 
the Enemy's Country & no return hut what we coold make with the 
aword. We came to Sheshecunnunk that night. 

" Had we had 500 liegular Troops, and 150 Light Troops, with ono 
or two Pieces of artillery, we probably might have destroyed Chemung, 
which is now the recepticle of allViilainous Indians & Tories from (be 
different Tribes and States. From this they make their Eientsioui 
against tho Frontiers of N. York and Pennsylvania, Jersey & Wio- 
ming, &. commit those horrid Murders and Devastations we have heud 
of. Niagra and Chemung are the assilums of those Tories who canDot 
get to New York. 

"On the Morning of the 28th, we crossed the River and Marches! 
towards Wyalusing, where we arrived that night at eleven o'Cioct; 
our men much worn down — our Whiskey and Flour waa gone. 



"On the Morning of the 29th we were obliged to stay 'till eleven 
o'clock to kill and cooko Beef. This necessary stop gave the Enemy 
Lea^ure to approach. 

"Seventy of our Men, from real or pretended Lameness, went into 
the Canoes, others rode on the empty Pack Horses, we had not more 
tb&Q 120 Rank & File to fall in the Line of March. 

" Lt. Sweeny, a valnable officer, had the Rear Ouard, consisting of 
30 >Ipn, besides five active Runners under Mr. Cnmplen. The ad- 
vanced guard was to consist of an officer & 15. There were a few 
Flankers, but from the Difficnlty of the ground & Fatigue, they were 
■eldom of use. 

" The rest of our Little army was formed info three Di%-i8ionB, those 
of my Regmt composed the first, Oapt Spalding's the 2d, Capt Mor. 
WW's the 3d. The Light Hor^e was equally divided between front 
>nd rear. The Pack Horses and the Cattle wc had collected, were to 
follow the advance guard. 

"In this order we moved from Wyalusing at twelve o'clock, a 
slight attack was made on our Front from a Hill, half an Hour after- 
wards a warmer one was made on the snme quarter, after ordering the 
2d and 3d Divisions to out Flank the Knemy, we soon drove them, 
bnt this, as I ejtpeeted, was only amusemeDt, wc lost id IJttle time 
•a possible with them. 

" At two o'clock a very heavy attack was made on our Rear, which 
obliged the most of the Rear guard to give way, whilst several Indians 
appeared on our Left Flunk. By the weight of the Firing we were 
toon convinced we bud to oppose a Largo Body. 

"Capt Stoddard commanded in Front, I was in the Centre; I ob- 
ferved some high ground which overlooked the Enemy, orders were 
immediately given for the first & 3d Division to take Possession of it, 
whilst Copt Spalding was dispatched to support the Hear Guard. We 
guned the Heights almost unuotioed hy the Barbarians, Capt Stod- 
dett sent a small Party towards the Enemy's Bear; at this critical 
moment Gapts Boone & Brady, k Lt King, with a few Brave Fellows, 
landed from the Canoes, joined Mr. Sweeny, and renewed the action 
there. The War Whoop was given by our People below and coromu- 
nicatnl round, we advanced on the Enemy on all sides, with great 
skonting & Noise, the Indians after a brave resistance of some minutes, 
nneeived themselves nearly surrounded, fled with the utmost Haste, 
by the only passes that remained, & left ten dead on the ground. 



" Our Troops wished to do tlieir duty, but they were much overcome 
with Fatigue, otherwise (as the ludiana immagined themselves sor- 
rounded), wc ehould drove the Enemy iuto the River. 

" From every account these were a select body of warriors, scut 
after us, consisting of near 200 Men. Their Coofidence and Impotu- 
oeity probably gave the victory to us. 

"After they had drovo our Bear some Distance their Chief was 
heard to say, in the Indian Language, that which is interpreted thus : 
mi/ Brave Wurriorx toe drive them, be bold and strong, the day is 
ours, upon this they advanced very quick without sufficiently regard- 
ing their Hear. 

"We had no alternative but Conquest or Death, they would have 
luurdered us all had they succeeded, but the great God of Battles pro- 
Srted us in the day of Danger. 

'' We had 4 killed and 10 wounded. The Enemy must h&ve had 
at Icart treble the number killed & wounded. 

'' They received such a Beating as prevented them from ^ving ns 
any further trouble during our March to Wioming, which is more 
than 50 Miles from the place of action. 

"The offioera of my Eegiraent behaved well to a Man. All the 
parly will wknowledge the greatost merit and Bravery of Capt Stod- 
dert, I csaaot say enough in his favor, he deserves the Esteem of Itis 

" Mr. Carbery with his Horse, was very active, and rendered im- 
portant services, 'till his Horses were fatigued. 

" Nearly all the other officers acquitted themselves with Repatatioa- 

" Capt Spalding exerted himself as much as possible. 

" Capt Murrow, from his knowledge of Indian affairs, and tbeir 
Mode of fighting, was serviceable. His Men were MarkHmea ud 
were useful. 

"The men of my Kep;t were armed with Muskets & Bayonets, tbej 
were no great marksmen, and were awkward at wood Fighting. Tk 
Bullet, and three Swan shot in each Piece, mode np, in some meaeure, 
for the want of skill. 

" Tho' we were happy enough to succeed in this Aotjpn, jet I w 
convinced that a number of Lifthter Troops, under good officers, hk 
necessary for this Service. On the 3d the Savages killed andswlp™ 
3 men, who had imprudently left the garrison at Wioming lo go i" 
search of Potatoes. 



" From oar observations, we imagine that the game partj who had 
fonght us, after taking C&re of thuir Dead <£■ 'Wouniied, had come on 
towaids Wyoming, and arc now in that Neighborhood. 

'* I left half of my detachment there with five of my own officers, 
tiiiould they attempt to invest the place when their number is iucreaa- 
ed, I make no doubt but they will be disappointed. 

'• Our GarriBoas have plenty of Beef & Salt, Tho' Flour is aoarce 
at Wioming. 

" I arrived here with the remainder of the detachment on the 5th, 
we have performed a Circuit of near 300 miles in about two weeks. 
We brought off near 50 Head of Cattle, 28 Canoes, besides many 
other articles. 

" I would respectfully propose that the Congress would be pleased 
to send a Connecticut Regiment t« Garrison Wyoming as soon as pta- 
■ible, it is but 120 mUes from Fish Kills. I have done all I can for 
the good of the whole. I have given all the support in my Power to 
that Post, but if Troops are not immediately sent, these Settlements 
will be destroyed in Detail. In a week or less a Regiment could 
march irom Fish Kills to AVyoming. 

" My little Regiment, with two Clsssea of Lancaster and Berks 
County Militia, will be scarcely sufficient to preserve Ae Posts from 
Nescopake Falls to Muncy, and from thence to the Head of Penn's 

" I am with the greatest Respect, 
Your most obedt. 
Humble Serrt, 


'■ Sunbury, Octr. 8th, 1778." 

An unanimous vote of thanks was passed by the Exe- 

cative Council, for Colonel Hartley's " brave and pru- 

p dent conduct in covering the North Western frontiers," 

&c. See Col. Rec, Vol. XI., p. 640. And, for this re- 

LArchives for 1778-9, p. 5. 





On the 7th of October, 1778, two Serjeants belonging 
to Colonel Hartley's regiment, stationed at Muncy, were 
surprised by the Indians a short distance from the fort, 
and one of them killed and scalped. The other was 
supposed to have been taken prisoner and carried off, as 
he could not be found. 

As Colonel Hartley had left a portion of his regiment 
at Wyoming, the West Branch was again destitute of 
the requisite number of troops to guard the settlers, and 
it was necessary that a fresh supply should be sent. The 
volunteer company raised for six months' service, and 
commanded by Captain Murrows, had refused to do their 
duty, tQl the sum of eighty dollars per man, promised 
them by the government, was paid. 

In view of this state of affairs, and the urgent neces- 
sity for fresh troops to be sent to protect the Valley bora 
the daily inroads of the savages, a number of prominent 
citizens were induced to reiiuest Colonel Hartley to send 

ii':-i:»<. . :• . 'ii: \. *:. -v ■ ■. . ,. ■■ ■■; ' . ■:\ 

I ■ 

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was merely a local affair, and garrisoned by the inhabit- 
ants for their own protection. 

In April, 1779, it became necessary to go up the river 
some distance, to procure supplies for the fort, and Cap- 
tain Brady, taking with him a wagon, team, and guard, 
went and procured what could be had. As he was return- 
ing in the afternoon, riding a fine mare, and near where 
the road forked, being some distance behind the team, J 
in conversation ivith Peter Smith, he suggested the pro- 1 
priety of taking a diflFerent route from the one the wagon J 
had gone, as it was shorter. They travelled together,/ 
till they came to a small stream of water, where the othw j 
road came in. Brady observed,* " this would be a good f 
place for the Indians to secrete themselves." Smith .said; 
"Yes." That instant three rifles cracked, and Brady 
fell dead ! The mare ran past Smith, who threw himself 
upon her, and was carried to the fort in a few seconds. 
The garrison hearing the report of the rifles, nn out, and 
on seeing Smith coming at fuU speed, anxiously inquired 
for Captain Brady. His wife was amongst the foremost, 
and feai'ed the worst. Smith replied, " in heaven or hell 
or on his road to Tioga !" Meaning he was either killed 
or taken prisoner by the Indians. 

The men unmediately ran to the spot, to which the 
wagon guard had also been attracted by the firing, and 
found the brave Captain lying in the road, his scalp taken 
off, and his rifle gone. The Indians were in such haste, 
that they had not taken either his watch or shot pouch. 

This was a hard stroke on Mrs. Brady, bowed down 
as she was in mourning for theFdeath of her beloved son 
James, the previous year. Now, her husband and pro- 

Soe [he article by Kiskcmiiietas, Vol. IX. llazard's Register, p. 3UT. 


lector was cruelly murdered by the same relentless baud. 
Truly, her lot was hard. 

The Peter Smith in company with him, was the same 
whose wife and children were killed near Lycoming, 
and on whose farm his sou James was so barbar- 
ously murdered, when assisting to cut his harvest. It 
seemed that bad luck attended this unfortunate man 
wherever he went.* 

The place where Captain John Brady was killed, was 
little more than a quarter of a mile from the fort, by the 
old path, and near where the main road, from Muncy to 
WiUiamsport, now crosses Wolf Run. He was taken 

■Uld buried iu the graveyard on Muncy Farm. For 

-piany years, all trace of the hero's grave was lost, and 
ioB son, General Hugh Brady, frer[uently sought for it 

Tin vain. One of his daughters, the wife of Major Backus, 
was providentially made acquainted with the spot, during 
« visit a few years ago, where her grandfather was in- 

, terred. An old Kevolutionary soldier, named Henry 
Lebo, who was well acquainted with the Captain, and 
served in his company, had known and marked the spot, 
und on his death-bed, described it, and requested to be 
buried by his side. His request was granted ; aud there 
lie side by side, the Captain and his brave compatriot. 

The grave, I am sorry to say, is shamefully neglected, 
and can only be found by the marks of the latter. The 
people of Lycoming county, cannot show a better ap- 
preciation of true patriotism, than by erecting an humble 
slab, at least, in perpetuation of the memory of the gal- 
lant Brady. Let the sacred spot where his ashes re- 
pose, he marked in this way, with a tablet on which to 
inscribe tho many virtues of the noble dead. 

* Afier the war. Smitli is wiid lo Imve s-ettleJ in the GeneasoL' Country, 
tod become a weiLlih; nan. Good luck returned. 



The death of Brady took place on the 11th of April. 
1779. His son Stimuel was at Pittsburg when the sad 
intelligence reached hiin. He also mourued the death 
of his brother James, but this news served to fill his 
cup of sorrow, and, in the first phrensy of grief, he 
is said to have raised his hand on high, and swore: 
"Aided by Him who formed yonder Sun and Heavens, I 
mil revenge the murder of my father; nor while I live trill 

1 ever he at peace mth the Indians of any tribe!" This 
fearful vow was uttered in the first moments of anguished 
feeling, but it was neier effaced from his memoiy. He 
became a devoted man-killer, reckless of all sympathy, 
and destitute of all bumanity towards the Indian race. 
The vow was fearfully fulfilled, and many a dusky war- 
rior bit the dust. His daring adventures on tie Alle- 
ghany would fill a volume. They may be found at 
length, in the numbers by Kiskeminetas, in the nintli 
and tenth volumes of Hazard's Register. 

On the 17th of April, Captain Andrew Walker, whn 
commanded Fort Muncy, writes to the Executive Coun- 
cil, giving them an account of the repairs done to the 
fort, and the sufferings endured by the garrison. His 
letter is quite interesting, I quote the greater part of 
it, verbatim, as follows : 

" Ou the 2d of Augt, wee ware ordrcd by Colonel Hartley to build 
this Fort; wee Immeadktelj begon and Finniab'd by the 18lh of 
Sepr, with these Exueptions — There was but one row of AlWe^ 
round it, wee had built Neither Barrack's Store or MagHzine. 

"On the 20th of Sepr, the Gorraauu, wbioh Consifted of 1 C»pl, 

2 Subs, 4 Sergts, & 60 Rank and File, ware drawn out (Eioepll 
Subn & 18) on an Jispedition under the Commnnd of Col. Hartley— 
ou the 9th of Sepr wee Again marched into it; bad weather comeiiig 
ou we begau our Barraks Magazine, Storehouac, &c ; wbeo 
KneBh'd, wee ware Comfortably Prepared Again the w 
the Spring I found the Works much Impcaredj I then MVtbefiif- 


rcsoD to Repair the Works, and raised them Eighteen Inches ; Then 
wee put two rowes more of Abberties round the works — this is Just 
now Fiueah'd ; it is to be Observ'd that in the Course of this time, 
one third of our mea ware Constantly Iinployed aa Guards to the 
lohabitants, and, I may Aferm, in Harvest the one holfc ware Im- 
plojed the same way, nor can anny man in the County say bo ever 
aaked a guard Cwheu he had a Just Occntion) and was denied. Dure- 
ing tbia time the Troops ware not supplied even with Ration Whiskey, 
allmoBte Neakcd for want of Blankets and Clonthes, and yet I have 
the Satiafection to infonrm you they done their Duty Cheerfully. I 
&om time to time did promise them some Compensation for their 
Troble and Industrey. The works are now finished, and, in my 
oppinioD, Taneble again anny nombcr our Savage Knemy can bring 
again it; as to my own part, I begg lave to observe That I neithet 
clame Meret or Reward for what I have done — it's anough that I 
have done my Duty. Yet, Sir, aa I have Promised these men a Com- 
pensation for there Industry, I begg jou will Please to lay before the 
Hon'ble Counccl, the Inclosed Flan, which will Inahle thorn to Judge 
wheather the Troopa deserve a Reward for their labour or not, 

" The sole cost this fort is to the States is, to building two Boomes 
for the Officers. Makeing the gate & two Sentry Bosea. 

" (Signed) 

• Capt. Com'g Fort Muncy." 

I Captain Walker certainly deserved oiuch credit for 
hia services at this post, and although he claims neither 
"Meret or Reward," was eminently entitled to some- 
thing. Whether government gave him a vote of thanks, 
even, does not appear. 

On the 2Gth of the same month, a party of Indians, 
supposed to be thirty or forty in number, suddenly 
appeared in the vicinity of Fort Freeland, and succeeded 
in killing and capturing seven men belonging to that 
place. Among those taken prisoners was James McNight, 

,£sq.,* one of the Assemblymen for the county of Nor- 

• Bee Pennsylvania Archives for 1778-9, page 346. 




thumberland, aud ^frohaUy the husband of Mrs. McNight, 
who made such a uarrow escape from the Indians, some- 
time before. 

The same day a party of thirteen men went in search 
of their horses, about five miles from Fort Muncy, 
They were fired upon, probably by the same partv 
of Indians, and all killed or taken prisoners, excepi 
one man, who made his escape. Captain Walker, on 
hearing the firing, inuuediately turned out with a coiu- 
pany of thii-ty-four men, and proceeded to the spol, 
where he found the bodies of four men lying deaii. 
and their scalps taken. 

It appeared that great preparations were making bv 
the various tribes to unit«, and make a sudden desceol 
upon the valley in overwhelming numbers, and exter- 
minate the infant settlements at one fell swoop. Ther 
seemed to be resolved upon thuir destruction, and tie 
people were justly alarmed, for in all probability, if 
strong measures were not taken to guard against it, the 
tragedies of Wyoming would be re-enacted in the beau- 
tiful vale of the Otzinaehson. 

The great danger, and the urgent necessity of speedy 
action, induced William Maelay to submit a proposition 
to Council for employing dogs to hunt the savages. The 
following extract is taken from his letter, bearing dale 
the 27th of April, 1779 : 

" I have auataincd booig Ridicule for n Scheme wMcIi I hare lon^' 
reot^UDcndetl, Viz., that of buntiog the Scalping parties of ladiw 
with Horsemen & DogB. The imincnt Services which Dogs bin 
rendered to our People in some late instaDces, seems to open Praple'' 
Eyes to a Method of this kind. We know that Di^ will foll'>* 
them, that thoy will discover them and even seize them, when hanieii 

on bj their Masters. 


" History informs us That it was in thia Msnncr That the Indians 
were eslirpsvted out of whole Country's in South America, It may 
be objected That wc have not Proper Dogs, It is trtie that every 
new thing must be learned; But we Lava, even now, Dogs that will fol- 
low them, and the amtutest Cur will both follow and fight in Company. 
I uannot help being of opinion that a. Single Troop of Light Horse. 
Btteadeil by Doga, fand who might occaHionally curry a footman be- 
hind theui, that the purenit might not he interrupted by Morjsses or 
Mouniaiua, ) under honest and active officers, would destroy more 
Indians than five thousand Men stationed in forts along the Frontiers ; 
I am not altogether singular in this opinion, could not such a Thin^ 
be tryed ?" 

This letter was written from Sunbury. It nowhere 
appears how his views were received by the Executive 
Council ; but it is certain that the scheme was never 
Ihdopted and "tryed," 

* About this period a battle was fought near the summit 
of the Sluncy lliUs, on the War Path leading from Muney 
to Shamokin, between a party of Indians and whites 
that accidentally met there. It is said the whites be- 
haved giillantly, and gained a complete victory. They 
were under the command of William Patterson, grand- 
father of the late J. Potter Patterson, of Muncy. The 
numbers engaged on each side, and the losses sustained, 
it is to be regretted, have not been preserved. Toma- 
hawks, and other relics of the contest, have often been 
found on the spot. 

A tradition is handed down to this day, that at a very 
■■rly period, a party of Indians massacred a white man 
'401 this sjiut, by burning him at the stjike. They^ptock 
his body full of pitch pine splinters, and danced around 
him in fiendish glee, awaking the echoes of those dismal 
mountain solitudes with their demoniac yells. A little 
superstition is also blended with the tradition, to the 



244 histoet'of the west bbasch valley. 

effect that no herbage has ever been known to grow in 
the circle where the teiTible deed was consummated. 

The Indians that met the whites on this lonely path, 
had lain the previous night, at the Wairior Spring, near 
Fort Brady, It was a great place of resort, and rose in 
the bank of the river near where Port Penn now stands, 
and is the largest head of spring water known in the 
Muncy Valley at the present day. The quality of the 
water has no superior, both for its low degree of tem- 
perature, and crystalline appearance. 

At this spring, old Egohowen, a Muncy Chief, and his 
compatriots, exhibited their hospitalities to Newaleeka, 
of the Great Island, and his other allies and friends. It 
was one of Nature's Hotels, at the head of Muncy Rip- 
ples, The Elm tree that overhung the shore was both 
hitehing-post and manger, whilst the voyagmr was regaled 
at the gravelly bar. 

The ravages of the Indians had become so great on 
both branches of the Susquehanna, that it was resolved 
to march a large army into their country, and destroy 
their villages and cornfields. It was thought that by so 
doing, their arrangements would be so disconcerted that 
they could no longer carry on their system of warfare 
with advantage, and would be compelled to abandon their 
designs. The command of the expedition was given to 
General SuUivan, and it proved pretty successful. He 
marched up the North Branch in June. 

General Sullivan required all the available troops thai 
could be spared for him in this Valley. In view of this, 
the garrison was withdrawn from Fort Muncy, being tlie 
second time it was evacuated during the Revolutionaiy 
war; and the settlements above Freeland's Fort were 
again left in a defenceless and unprotected condition 


But few settlers remained, however, to trast themselv 
to the roving bands of savagea. 

The troops were scarcely withdrawn from this post 
till the enemy appeared in considerable numbers, and 
commenced to bum, murder, and destroy everytliing 
before them. On the third of the month, (June, 1779,) 
they killed two men, and took three prisooors, at Lyco- 
ming Creek. Their names are not given. Following 
np their work of destruction, they burned the widow 
Smith's mills, and killed one man, on the 8th. These 
mills are said to have stood where the White Deer Mills 
now stand. The irons were discovered a few years ago 
ID a slough near the river. 

On the 1 7th they penetrated near Fort Brady, where 
they killed two men, and took three prisoners ; burned 
Starrets' flouring mill, and all the principal houses in 
Muncy township. This mill stood where the Muncy 
mills now stand, near the centre of the valley. Desola- 
tion and blood marked their course. Many families 
Were carried into captivity, amongst which was the 
' fcmily of Joseph Webster, who lived on Muncy Farm. 
Four of his children were attacked. The eldest, a son, 
was killed, and the others, two daughters, and a son, 
were carried into captivity. Some of the descendants 
reside near Muncy at the present time. 

Poshing on their ravages with impunity, they appeared 
near Fort Freeland on the 21st, and surprised several 
men at work in a cornfield. A son of Jacob Freeland, 
and Isaac Vincent, were killed ; and Michael Fraeland 
:«ld Benjamin Vincent taken prisoners. 

It is related of young Fi-eeland, that on the alarm 
being given, he ran towards a stone quarry, but was 
pursued and speared in the thigh. He fell near the 

bemselves ^ 



edge of the quarry, when the Indian pounced upon Mm, 
but suddenly rising with him on his shoulders, pitched 
him over the precipice, and would have escaped, but 
another Indian came running up, and killed him. 

Great alarm existed among the few remaining settlers, 
and they scarcely knew what to do. Savages lurked 
behind every bush, and no man was safe when absent 
from the Fort. It was also rumored that an extensive 
body of British and Indians were making preparations to 
descend upon the Valley, whilst Sullivan was marching 
up the North Branch, and penetrate to Fort Augusta, 
kill and burn everything before them, and take posses- 
sion of that stronghold. 

A recital of the bloody scenes that followed must be 
I for another chapter. 


247 ■ 




As the rumor of the approaching body of British and 
Indians increased, it was determined to send an active 
man, well acquainted with all the paths and defiles, as a 
spy, to see what intelligence he could glean of their 
movements, Rohert Covenhoven, who was then acting 
as a guide and scout for the garrison, being an ex- 
pert woodsman, was selected for the dangerous task. 
He started alone, preferring no company, as he thought 
he could better elude observation, than if accompanied 
by several men, who might not obey his instructions. 
Purposely avoiding all the Indian paths, he shaped his 
course through the wilderness, towards the head waters 
of Lycoming Creek, and travelling all night, soon arrived 
in the vicinity of the enemy's camp. Secreting himself 
in a secure position, he lay, during the day, and heard 
several hundred shots, from which he judged that they 
Were cleaning their guns. Being satisfied that a large 
body was about to advance, he started back over the 



W rugged mountains, hungry and fatigued, and made as 

rapid progress as the nature of his path would admit. 
Striking an Indian path near Loyal Sock, it forcibly oc- 
cun-ed to Mm that he might meet Indians if he continued 
in it, and stepping out behind a tree to rest himself, had 
been there but a few minutes, till two Indiajis rapidly 
passed him, humming a tune as they went. Had he 
continued on without stopping, they would have met 

When he arrii'ed at the settlements, he gave the 
alarm, and the terrified women and children were hastily 
put in boats, and sent down to Fort Augusta, under his 
charge. Fort Sleninger, at the mouth of Warrior Run, 
was abandoned, and intelligence sent up to FreelaDd's 
Fort, to make preparations to leave as soon as possible. 
Thinking, probably, that he was magnifying the danger, 
they were slow to move. The garrison at Boon's For^ 
at the mouth of Muddy Run, also remained behind. 

In the meantime the enemy, consisting of about three 
hundred British and Indians ; the former under the 
command of Captain McDonald, and the latter under 
Hiokoto, a veteran bra\'e of the Seneca tribe, were 
rapidly advancing. They burned fort Muncy on their 
way down, and laid the country waste. 

They approached Fort Freeland, and appeared Here 
early on the morning of the 29th of June, 1779. The 
k inhabitants were not aware of their being so near, and 

fancied themselves secure. Delusive fancy ! 

About dayhght, on the morning of that memorable 
day, an aged man, named James Watt, left the fort to 
look for his sheep, and had proceeded but a short & 
tance in the direction of the creek, when an Indian, 
named John Montour, who was lying in ambush, snd- 



denly sprang upon him, and attempted to drag him off, 
but Watt resisted and cried loudly for assistance. The 
Indian then felled him with his tomahawk, and attempts 
ed to scalp him, when he was wounded in the back by 
a rifle ball fired from the fort, which compelled him to 
fly. Two young men were also out at the same time, 
but immediately nm in. One of them stopped in the 
gate to look back, when a ball struck him in the fore- 
head. The other pulled him in and closed the gate. 
Thus the attack commenced. 

The fort only contained twenty-one effective men, 
and a large number of women and children. The names 
of a few are given as follows : Captjiin John Lytic, John 
Vincent, Cornelius Vincent, Daniel Vincent, Bethuel 
Vincent, George Pack, Elias "Williams, Henry Gilfil- 
leo, &c. 

As soon as the attack began. Mary Kirk and Phcebe 
Vincent, commenced to run bullets, and continued as 
long as they had a dish or spoon that would melt. 
Heroic women! 

The savages set up a tenible yell, and advanced to 
the attack, under cover of trees, bushes, &c. Those in 
the fort also maintained a stout resistance, and fired 
vigoroasly upon the enemy, but with httle effect. After 
continuing the assault for some minutes, and finding 
that little impression could be made upon the works, 
Captain McDonald hoisted a white flag, and proposed 
terms of capitulation. Captain John Lytle, accompa- 
nied by John Vincent, went out and held a conference 
,irith McDonald, who proposed the following terms : 

1. That Lytle should give up the fort, without fiarther 

2. That for so doing, McDonald would take no prison- 



ers but the able-bodied and efficient men, and aU the 
women, children, and old men, would be permitted to 
leave the place, without danger or molestation. 

In the event of refusing these terms, McDonald stated 
that he should renew the attack, and if his party were 
victorious — as he doubted not they would be — ^it would 
be out of his power to prevent a general massacre of aO 
who were fouod in the fort, not excepting the women 
and children. 

Thirty minutes being allowed Captain Lytle to de- 
cide on the expediency of accepting the proposed terms, 
he immediately returned to the fort for consultation with 
his friends. The fortification was poorly constructed, 
being nothing more than three logs laid one upon an- 
other, and it covered more space than there were men to 
man it. The garrison, therefore, believing there was no 
possible chance for success, if a battle ensued, resolved 
to surrender the fort, aa soon as the thirty minutes ex- 

These thirty minutes were not, however, spent in 
idleness by the females in the fort. Every woman put 
on as much clothing as she could possibly wear, taking 
care also, to load her pockets with every little thing of 
value that she could lay hands on. William Kirk, a 
young man of feminine appearance, was dressed in 
female costume, by his mother, and escaped with the 
women. This is the onlt/ case of this kind that acluai^ 
took place, although several have been published. 

It was about nine o'clock in the morning when tie 
articles of capitulation were signed, and the prisoners 
marched forth, McDonald was true to his word, and 
no massacre took place. 

As soon as the Indians took possession of the fort, 


the squaws began to display tbeii" inherent mischievous 
disposition. They took all the feather beds they could 
find, ripped them open, emptied the feathers in a heap, 
Bet them in a blaze, and danced around them with tre- 
mendous yells of satisfaction. They then packed the 
ticks full of clothes and goods, destroying everything 
that was too unwieldy for removal, preparatory to their 
retreat. One of the squaws, in passing a white girl, 
snatched a handkerchief from her neck, and refused to 
give it up. McDonald very generously gave the poor 
girl his own, in lieu of it, and appeared to be much exas- 
perated against the thievish disposition of the savages, 
which he found impossible to control. 

The Indians ha-ving rifled the fort of all that was val- 
I nable, and having gathered together all the provisions 
' they could find, proceeded to the creek below the mill — 
the squaws riding away on the side-saddles they had 
stolen, in mockery of the white females — where they 
kindled their fires, cooked their meats, and made prepa- 
rations for a sumptuous repast. Their enjoyment, how- 
ever, was of short duration. 

News of the attack having spread around the neigh- 
' borhood, and the firing being distinctly heard at Boon's 
Fort, caused Captain Hawkins Boon to set himself 
vigorously to work to collect a party and proceed to 
the assistance of the garrison. In a short time he col- 
lected together thirty-three as daiing patriots as ever 
fired a gun, out of the Chihsquaque settlement, and 
marched to the scene of action. 

About 11 o'clock, whilst the Indians were enjoying 
their meal, this Spartan band reached the opposite side 
<rf the creek, within seventy-five or eighty yards of 
the enemy, without being discovered. Each man was 



cautioned to take sure aim, and when all were ready, at 
a given signal thoy fired, and at least thirty of the 
savages fell dead without a moment's warning. As soon 
as they could reload, they crossed the bridge, and made 
directly for the fort, but when they had run about half 
way across the meadow, they discovered it to be on fire. 
As this was evidence that the fort had been abandoned, 
Boon ordered a retreat to the woods, where he felt con- 
fident that he could better cope with the savages iu 
their own peculiar way. The Indians seeing the white 
men so few in number, endeavored to cut off this retreat 
by throwing themselves before the bridge, but they were 
unsuccessful. One of Boon's men, named Dougherty, 
^nade a short cut for the creek, and while endeavoring 
to cross it, got entangled in some vuies. WliUe In this 
situation, an Indian called to him to surrender, but he 
answered with an oath that he would not, and taking 
his hunting-knife, with a few vigorous blows, cut his way 
out, and reached his companioua in safety, who gave him 
a hearty cheer. 

A brisk fire was now kept up across the creek, until 
two o'clock in the afternoon, the whites ■ fighting agailist 
the odds of mne to one ! They stood their ground nobly, 
until seventeen of their number, including the brave Cap- 
tain Boon, were slain, when the survivors gave up the 
fight, and each man made the best escape he could 
All of these brave fellows were closely hunted by the 
savages, and several of them made very narrow escapes. 
A man named Doyle, darted in among a hunch of hazel- 
bushes close by where he had been fighting, and remaiDed 
in safety until night, although Indians passed several 
times within a few feet of him. 

During the fight, WiUiam Hood and Major McJIahon! 



crossed the creek to where the women were 
together, spoke a few words with them, and retreated 
with safety, 

Samuel Brady, brother to Captain John, who was 
killed at Wolf Run, and the uncle of the celebrated 
Samuel Brady of the Rangers, was at Fort Freeland 
the day of its capture. He was determined not to be 
carried off as a prisoner, and watching an opportunity, 
suddenly dashed into the hazel-bushes and ran for life. 
He escaped through the bushes and came upon a plain, 
hotly pursued by several Indians. He was determined, 
as he was afterwards heard to eay, to "make his eternal 
escape !" 

After running a considerable distance, he looked bacif 
id found himself pursued by two Indians, one a large 

igerous looking fellow, the other of small stature. 
He renewed his speed, and was getting along pretty 
well, when his foot slipped into a hole, and he fell down. 
The large Indian was foremost, but Brady had fallen 
with a loaded rifle in his hand, with which he shot at 
the savage, who gave a wild yell and fell dead. The 
other, fearing that there might be more rifles about, 
gave np the pursuit and returned. Brady yelled after 
him at the top of his voice — " You murdering thief- — you 
didn't know it was Brady !" 

The only one of the band taken was Henry Gilpin, 
who was caught the next day in a dilapidated fort — 
probably Fort Muncy — while in the act of milking a 
cow to obtain some nourishment, which he had not 
1a.<;ted for twenty-four hours. He was tomahawked on 
tile spot. 

The survivors of this Spartan band took an active 
part in the skirmishes which took place during the re- 

263 ■ 

collected ^ 



mainder of the war. Many of their descendants still 
reside in Chilisqnaque, and no doubt inherit the same 
patriotism and love of liberty, that distinguished their 
heroic ancestors. 

The following is a list of the names of those killed 
in the fort: — James Watt, John McCUntock, William 
McClung, James Miles, Henry Gilfillen. The names of 
all the killed in Captain Boou's company are not now 
remembered. The following is a part of them ; — Capt. 
Boon, Capt. Samuel Dougherty, Natte Smith, John Jones. 
Edward Costikan, Ezra Green, Samuel Necl, Matthew 
McClintock, Hugh McGill, Edward Woods. 

rifty-two women and children, and four old men, were 
permitted to depart for Sunbury, by Captain McDonald. 
Great consternation prevailed throughout the country 
after this hatUe, and the road leading to Fort Augusta 
was filled with the terrified and unprotected women and 
children. John Vincent was one of the old men allowed 
to remain — his wife was a cripple, and unable to wallc. 
He carried her to the lower end of the meadow, and laid 
her down, where they remained till morning, without any 
covering; during the night it rained on them. He caugit 
a horse that came to them, and making a bridle out uf 
hickory bark, succeeded in getting her to Sunbury. 

The enemy burned and destroyed all the houses, 
bams and stacks of hay, leaving behind them one dread 
scene of devastation and ruin, which remained untouched 
for several years, as a memento of their cruelty. 

The first night after the surrender, the prisoners were 
confined in an ash-house near Muncy. One of them bad 
attempted to escape during the day, and was placed on 
the second floor of the building, when John Montour 
came in. and pointed his gun at him, as if about Co 



shoot. He was followed by old Catrcen — his sister — 
who exclaimed to him, "Ah! you debil, you tschot me." 
Fr^htened until his knees knocked together, he rephed, 
"No, I never shot anybody." "You lie, you debil; I 
got my wrist cut by you," and she waved her tomahawk 
as if about to hm-l it at his head. " I've a good mind to 
Bcalp you," she continued, after looking at him until she 
thought him sufficiently frightened not to attempt run- 
ning away again. It is said that such was the fright he 
received at this time, that for years he could not divest 
himself of the idea that the rustling of the leaves as he 
passed through the woods, was the noise of the tread of 
,the Indian in pursuit. 

L John Montour suffered much from the wound he 
.Teceived when attempting to scalp old Mr. Watt, and 
.finally had tn be carried on horseback. The second or 
■ third day he is said to have died. A post was erected 
■near his grave, and painted red, and the place to this 
day is known by the name of the "Painted Post." 
Montour was a distinguished warrior, and his death was 
much regi'etted by the Indians. 


256 mSTORT OF the west branch VALLE7. 



The enemy seemed contented after capturing Free- 
land's Fort, and did not continue their ravages any 
further down the river. It is not known why they 
retreated so precipitately, as the expedition was obvi- 
ously planned for the purpose of trying to capture Fort 
Augusta; and had they advanced rapidly against it^ 
after the fall of Freeland's Fort, there is but little doubt 
that they would, with their superior numbers, have given 
it' a hard brush. 

Of the Vincents, Bethuel, Cornelius, and Daniel, were 
taken prisoners. Benjamin, a lad of only eleven years, 
was taken at the first attack on the 21st of July. He 
remained in captivity for five years, when he returned. 

The captives were taken to Tioga river, thence into 
the Genessee country, and from there to Niagara, and 
Lower Canada. The country through which they passed 
was one vast wilderness, and they did not see a white 
man s dwelling, after they left Lycoming Creek, unt3 



they arrived at Fort Niagara. A Kttle beef without 
salt, roasted on the end of a stick, was their chief article 
of food. They were treated as well as they had reason 
to expect, and much better than many others in similar 

Daniel Vincent had been recently married, and after 
the capture, his wife, fiill of sorrow and grief, worked 
her way back to New Jersey, to her father s house. 
Three years rolled away, and no tidings came from her 
captive husband, but she still hoped to see him again. 
One evening in winter time, a sleighing party were 
about leaving a house in New Jersey to go on a short 
excursion. The young wife had been induced to go 
with them, for the first time. As they were on the eve 
of starting, a neighbor, in company with a roughly 
dressed man, with a heavy beard, rode up. He inquired 
for Mrs. Vincent, and informed her that here was a man 
that could tell her something about her husband. The 
stranger stepped forward and shook her warmly by the 
hand, and entered into conversation with her. She 
made many anxious inquiries respecting him, when, find- 
ing that she did not recognize him, on account of his 
changed appearance, he could restrain his pent up feel- 
ings no longer, and calling her by name, exclaimed, ''Do 
you not know your husband; I am hef With a shriek 
of joy, she bounded into his arms, and wept tears of 

Cornelius, the father of Daniel, returned about the 
same time from captivity. He was heavily ironed, for a 
period of eighteen months. When he died, the marks 
of the British fetters were still plainly visible on his 

Previous to the return of the captives, some of their 



wifes ventured back to their desolated homes. Amongst 
these — it is said by a writer on the 88th page of the 
tenth volume of Hazard's Register— came the wife of 
Captain Lytle, and her children, in company with a 
single man of good reputation, w^ho was a cropper. After 
some time, this man became attached to Mrs. Lytle, and 
in consequence, made proposals of marriage, which were 
rejected with a declaration of her determination never to 
accept the addresses of any man, while in her breast she 
could cherish the fond hopes of the return of her hus- 
band from captivity. To effect his purpose, certain let- 
ters were circulated, stating that Captain L. was cer- 
tainly dead at the time ; and after giving her time to 
mourn the death of her husband, still alive, the young 
man resumed his addresses, which were then accepted, 
and they were finally married. But time at length re- 
leased Captain L. from captivity, and with fond antici- 
pation, hastened his return to the caresses of his \rife 
and little children, from whom he had been so long se- 
parated. But what were his feelings when he first heard 
of the marriage of his wife to another man ? It is said 
that he refused to see her, until an understanding was 
effected by some well-disposed persons, who investigated 
the matter, and discovered that the letters were basely 
forged for the purpose of deceiving her. On being satis- 
fied of this fact, Captain Lytle became reconciled to 
his wife, and her deceiver was compelled to fly, in opder 
to escape the rigor of the law. Captain Lytle and fam- 
ily resided in the Warrior Run settlement for a number 
of years. He has been dead for half a century. 

The distress of the inhabitants was great, and on the 
oOth of July, Colonel Hunter writes, that Northumber- 
land town was the frontier the previous night. The en- 
tire Valley of the West Branch was abandoned. 



Preparations were speedily made to follow the enemy, 
for the purpose of trying to recover some of the cattle, 
as they had driven all away they could find. On the 3d 
of August, Colonel Matthew Smith arrived at Sunbury, 
with sixty Paxton boys, and several more companies 
were expected from neighboring counties. These de- 
tachments came without special orders from the Execu- 
tive Council. By the 5th, they numbered five hundred 
strong, and marched immediately for Muncy, under com- 
mand of Colonel Smith, determined to seek the enemy. 
But they had retired far in the wilderness, beyond the 
reach of all pursuit. 

General Sullivan having commenced his march into 
their country, attracted their attention, and they were 
compelled to fly before him, and abandon their towns. 
He destroyed everything in the shape of Indian wig- 
wams, cornfields, &c., which so disconcerted them, that 
but few predatory bands appeared on the West Branch 
for a year or two. The blow given them by Sullivan. 
was such a severe one, that they never finally recovered 
from it. 

In the fall of 1779, Henry McHenry,* with a party 
of ten men, came to Loyal Sock from Fort Rice, to thresh 
some grain. Sentinels were carefully posted. McHenry 
was one, and took up his position in a thick clump of 
bushes. He soon observed an Indian creeping along on 
his hands and feet, to get a shot at the men in the bam. 
Watching an opportunity, he fired and shot him through 
the small of the back, when he sprang olT a short dis- 
tance and fell. His comrades were observed to carry him 
oif. They did not return. 

During the year 1780, we have but few accounts of 

* See Archives for 1781-3, p. 70. 

. » 


Indian depredations. The inhabitants, encouraged by 
the prospect of protection, and the absence of the enemy, 
again returned slowly to their deserted homes, and com- 
menced improving. 

On the 14th of July of this year, however, one man 
and three children were murdered by Indians, near the 
mouth of Buffalo Creek ; and on the following day. Cap- 
tain McMahou was taken prisoner, by an Indian and tory, 
six miles from Northumberland, on the West Branch, 
but he escaped by killing the tory when the Indian had 
gone to his company, that lay near at hand. This toiy 
was Captain Caldwell, a noted villain. 

Early in the spring of 1781, Captain Robinson came 
to the county, and commenced raising a company. Gen- 
eral Potter also returned about the same time, and on 
the 12th, he writes to President Reed, that Robinson 
had succeeded in enlisting forty men, but many of them 
were so destitute of clothing, that they were unfit for 
duty. Not a blanket was found among them ! 

In the month of March, a small band of savages pen- 
etrated into Chilisquaque or Buffalo Valley, and attacked 
an old man, his son and d.aughter. The boy was shot 
dead, and scalped, and the girl made a prisoner. The old 
man had a stick in his hand, with which ho stoutly de- 
fended himself against one of the Indians, w^ho had a 
tomahawk, and made him drop his weapon. Colonel 
Kelly, and a few of his neighbors, being in a house at a 
short distance, heard the alarm, and came running to his 
assistance. They obliged the Indians to fly so suddenly 
that they left the young girl, and all their blankets, and 
the brave old gentleman with his stick, behind them. 
They outran Colonel Kelly and his party, and got off 
safe. The name of the old man is not given in General 


Potter's letter,* and I have been unable to ascertain it. 
On the 8th of the same month, a party came to the 
house of a man named Darmes, about five miles from 
Sunbuiy, on the Sabbath-day. Immediately on enter- 
ing, they shot Darmes, and plundered the house of every 
thing valuable. There were four women there, and a 
number of children ; and what is strange, they took all 
the plunder, leaving them behind. They were pursued 
early the next day, but elTected their escape. 

Colonel Joseph Solomon, living about five miles from 
Northumberland, on the main road leading to Danville, 
was surprised by the same party of Indians and made 
prisoner. His wife escaped to the woods, where, that 
nigh};, she brought forth her first born ! A hired girl 
escaped by running up stairs, and shutting down a trap 

They travelled with Solomon four days, when they 
met another party of Indians, and turned him over to 
them. One of them was called Shenap, and said. 
" Solly, you shan't be hurt." They soon fell in with a 
large body of savages, who had another prisoner, named 
Williamson. They were to run the gauntlet. William- 
son refused, and was beaten to death. Solomon siarted 
very rapidly, and plunged through fearfully, receiving 
but a few trifling bruises, when Shei'iap came up, and 
shaking him by the hand, laughingly said, " Solly, you 
ran like debil — ^you run like boss." 

He was exchanged in a short time, and returned to his 
home in safety. He lived and died on Fishing Creek, 
and left a very respectable family. 

On the 15th of June, 1781, Captain Thomas Robin- 
son wrote to President Reed, as follows : 

* lie was the father of A. H. McIIenry, Esq., of Jersey Shore. 


" I take this opportunity of adressiDg your Excellency and Coun- 
cil in order to Inform you of the Present state of my Company. I 
have used every exertion in Recruiting that my Cercumstances would 
admit of. I Have Engaged 52 men During the war the want of ne- 
cessary Clothing and money puts it out of my Pour to Render that 
service to this Distressed part of the Country I Could otherwise do 
most of them are naked they have not a sufficiency to Cover them- 
selves. Bknkits they have none. I Hope Council by this time will 
be able to afford me sufficient Clothing and what money is due them 
to the first of June this will not only be Doing Proper Justice to the 
Company but will enable me to fill my Company very soon. Lieut 
Grove has Raised 17 men for seven months. Mr. Saml. McOredej 
has Raised 20 men for the same time and has been extreamely active 
with them. I have with the «|^dvice of Gen. Potter nominated him as 
a Lieut, to command that Detachment I hope this will meet with your 
Excellences approbation. I Have Raisd 14 men for 7 months and as 
we have mostly Been Devided in small Detachments it was Impossi- 
ble for Mr. Vancamp & myself to Do the necessary duty. I have 
therefore with the advice of Col. Hunter and the approbation of GenL 
Potter nominated Mr. Sam'l Quinn as an Ensn he has been Doing the 
Duty of an officer since the first of May this I Hope will also be ac- 
ceptable to you if the number of our men would admit^ it would be 
more agreeable to me to Confer the Rank of Lt on him. The Coun- 
try being without a Pay master I suppose severals will be applying 
for that office whose abilities will not allow them to do that Duty, if 
your Excellency should think proper to confer that office in addition 
to the other on the Bearer Mr. Quinn I know he can Execute it with- 
out preventing him from doing Duty as an officer or at least to tbe 
appointment of Paying my men and the Present Temporary troops 
in the County I think allowing him some Pay for the Extra Duty will 
be Cheaper to the County than appointing one merely for that Pur- 
pose — another thing I Beg Leave to Inform your Excellency and 
Earnestly beg your' attention thereto is the appointment of a sui^d 
there is not one in the County not within forty miles that I know. 
Some Incouragcment given for that Purpose a Surgeant might be had- 
I know of none that would be willing to Com here but Michael Jcn- 
neys or Doctor Smith of Lancaster County. 

" One thing more I Beg your attention to is the Establishing the 
Posts in this County. I have for sometime had in Contemplation to 


Relmild Fort Muncy, this Gen. Potter is extremely fond of and looks 
upon it as the most advantages Post in the County for many Koasons ; 
should this meet with your approbation, I Request your Instructions 
therein by the Bearer in this and aney other thing necessary for me 
to know. 



P. Hangers.'' 

Captain Johnson came to Sunbury, on the 18 th of 
July, with twenty-six militiamen, to serve the balance 
of their time in the County. Fourteen of them were 
destitute of guns, and no ammunition could be furnished 
them, even if arms could be secured. Colonel Hunter 
wrote respecting them, that they had " no stores of any 
kind, not even provisions." 

A few miles above Northumberland, on what was 
known as Judge McPherson's farm, resided a man named 
John Tate ; probably in 1780 or 1781. A large field of 
flax grew near the house. It was harvest time, and a 
number of men were eng<aged in the field, some distance 
from the house. The path ran by this field of flax, 
where a party of Indians came out and laid to watch for 
the men returning from dinner. Owing to some cause 
or other, they went to the field another way, and they 
missed their victims. Waiting for some time, they at 
length rose and went to the house, where they found a 
young woman named Catharine Storm, and another, en- 
gaged in spinning flax. Miss Storm was knocked over, 
with a tomahawk, and scalped ; the other girl secreted 
herself behind the door and escaped. They then went 
to the field, and killed Tate. 

Catharine Storm was not killed by the blow of the 
tomahawk, only stunned. She finally recovered, and 


lived for many years. No hair grew on her head where 
the scalp was removed. 

A law having been passed for the furnishing of sup- 
plies, and the levying of tax from each County, it was 
found to require more tox from Northumberland than 
could be raised from the sale of all the property in the 
County. William Clark and William Antes, the Com- 
missioners, immediately wrote to President Reed of the 
Council, as follows : 

** Believe us, sir, it is with the utmost pain, and yet greatest tmth, 
that we are obliged to declare onr utter inability to Comply with the 
Demands of that Law. We now know that all the inhabitants in 
this County are not Equal in number to those of some Townships in 
the interior Countys. Those who have property sufficient to support 
themselves are removed and gone. Shall then the Quota of the Coantj 
be Levyed on the miserable few that remain. Their whole penonal 
property, if removed to a place where hard Cash could be had for i^ 
and sold, would not pay the tax. The old returns will not do, as t 
Rule to lay a Tax on Asentees. The improvements are grown up, 
burnt or destroyed, the personal property removed and now paying 
tax in the lower Countys. As to the men for the Supply of the Fed- 
eral Army, (if those already inlisted are excepted) they are not to be 
here without taking the heads of Familys, and those we well know, 
cannot be had, as no money whatever would induce them to abandon 
their Familys in our Situation. We Sincerely wish to render a Ready 
Obedience to all Laws of the State, But in our Circumstances, it in- 
tirely puts it out of our power. We beg you. Sir, to Consider thi« 
as the Language of Genuine Truth, Extorted from us by Distressing 
Necessity," &c. 

This letter shows in plain language, the miserable 
condition of the settlers in this beautiful Valley, three 
quarters of a century ago. It shows the promptings of 
honest hearts, clothed in the language of "genuine 




Captain James Thompson was an early settler in 
Buffalo VaDey, and during a predatory incursion of 
savages, was taken, and carried into captivity. Several 
incorrect publications of his sufferings have been made, 
but the following is believed to be correct, as it was 
taken down from his own lips, in 1832, by James F. 
Linn, Esq., of Lewisburg, and entered in his journal. 

Some time previous to his capture, he had removed 
his wife and children to Penn's Creek, for greater secu- 
rity against the Indians. In March, 1781, he was going 
from Lewisburg (then Derr's town,) to his farm, prepara- 
tory to moving down the country. On the road between 
the farms of John Linn and Colonel John Kelly, ho was 
suddenly surprised by four Indians, and compelled to go 
along with them. When they came to the hollow, half 
a mile from Kelly's house, they discovered a fresh track 
in the soft clay. One of the Indians exclaimed, ''H^iuawr 
Two of them immediatelv set off on a run, and two re- 
mained to guard him, one behind and one before. They 


soon heard a female scream, when the one behind struck 
him on the back with his gun and cried, " Waugh^' (run.) 
They started off on a run, and on coming to the top of 
the hill, saw the other two with a woman, when they 
pushed off immediately for an Indian town on Towanda 

They crossed the White Deer, and other mountains, 
north of Buffalo Valley, and came to the river near the 
mouth of Lycoming Creek, which they crossed in canoes. 
During the night they tied his arms behind him, and 
fastened the cord to grubs in the ground. 

One night while encamped on Lycoming Creek, not 
being tied very securely, he succeeded in releasing his 
arms. Two of the Indians lay on one side of the fire 
with the girl,* and two on the other side with him. He 
first endeavored to get one of their tomahawks, but he 
discovered that they were all lying on their arms. He 
then got a stone, which they had used for crusliing com, 
and raised on his knees, preparatory to giving one of 
them a mortal stroke on the temple, and securing a toma- 
hawk. But on account of his head being wrapped in a 
blanket, he struck too high to effect his object. The In- 
dian gave a yell, which awoke the other. He now at- 
tempted to run, but the cord, witli which he was tied, 
and stretched between the two grubs, intercepted him, 
and as he stepped back to get around it, one of the sa- 
vages caught him by the collar of his coat, and in the 
struggle, tore it to the bottom. He drew his tomahawk 
to strike him on the head, but desisted, and spoke to the 
one he had wounded in his own language, and then drew it 
again, desisted, and spoke to the wounded Indian, and 

* Tl 

The name of the young woman was Mary Young, the daughter of 
Matthew Young, who lived on a farm adjoining Captain Thompson's. 


then drew it the third, time. He expected to receive it 
this time, and was resolved to try and catch it and wrest 
it from his hand. But they finally concluded not to kill 
him, reserving him for a more formal execution. They 
then tied a hollow gourd containing shot, to his waist, 
telling him this was his death warrant. 

He could have easily escaped himself, but his object 
was to kill the Indians, and thereby rescue the young 
woman also, but he failed in the attempt. 

After this they tied him so tight that he lost all feel- 
ing in his hands and arms. They continued on towards 
their place of destination. One day they shot a wild 
turkey, and taking out the entrails, rolled them round a 
stick without any cleaning, roasted them in the fire, and 
gave them to the prisoners to eat. Before this they had 
only a few grains of com per day, and this change of 
diet, said Mr. Thompson, was quite a delicacy ! 

When they got to Towanda the Indians became less 
careful, thinking he would not attempt to run away 
again. In the evening they made him gather wood for 
their night fires. On one occasion when gathering wood, 
he managed to go further away for each load, till he got 
as far as he thought it was prudent to try, and watching 
an opportunity when they were not observing him, 
darted off into the woods as fast as he could run, with 
twenty4wo grains of corn in his pocket, for provision, to 
travel a journey of many miles through the wilderness. 

He said he could have made his escape on several 
occasions before, but he could not think of leaving Mary 
Young a prisoner with them. She frequently told him 
to escape, and not try to rescue her, as it would only 
defeat both. She was resigned to her fate. 

He took a different route at first from that toward home, 


to deceive the Indians in pursuit. In running, he stepped 
on a rotten stick, which broke, and made a noise ; at the 
same time he heard two trees rubbing together with the 
wind, which he took to be the Indians in pursuit. Being 
terribly frightened, he ran into a pond, and hid himself 
in the brush, with nothing out but his head, where he 
lay till he was satisfied they were not coming that way. 
He then proceeded on his journey, keeping along the 
mountains, lest he might meet Indians in the valleys. 
One night he ran almost into an Indian encampment 
before seeing it. He went a little higher up the hill, 
where he could plainly see the Indians pass between him 
and the fire. At another time he came very near an 
encampment, when an Indian gave a yell. He supposed 
he was discovered, but squatted down immediately and 
remained quiet in the bushes ; in a short time one of the 
Indians commenced chopping wood, when he knew they 
had not seen him, and carefully passed around them. 

He struck the West Branch a few rods above where 
they had crossed it going out, and found one of the 
canoes on the bank, the river having fallen. Being 
so weak, he was unable to push it in, but getting two 
round sticks under it for rollers, with the aid of a hand- 
spike, succeeded in launching it. On getting in, he dis- 
covered the other canoe sunk, when he went to work and 
bailed it out, and lashing the two together, started with 
two paddles on his voyage. He rowed to the middle of 
the river, so that if the Indians should pursue him and 
shoot, they w^ould not be so likely to hit him. One of 
his paddles accidentally dropped out and floated off, 
which he regretted very much, but, on getting into an 
eddy, it came floating up to his canoe, and was recovered. 

When his craft got opposite to where Watsonto^ 


now stands, he was discovered, and relieved by some 
friends. He was so weak that he lav in the canoe, and 
waved his hand to them on shore, which attracted their 
attention. When taken ont, he was so weak that he 
could not relate his adventures,'for several days, having 
to be nourished with sweet milk till he gained strength 
sufficient to talk. After getting able to walk, he went to 
his family, and removed to Chester county, where they 
remained till the close of the war. 

The Indians took Mary Young to their towns, and set 
her to hoeing com. An old negro, who was also a pri- 
soner, told her to dig up the beans that were planted 
with the com, and they would think her too dumb to 
learn agriculture, and sell her to the English. She took 
his advice, and was eventually sold to an English Cap- 
tain, with whom she remained several years, when she 
was liberated and returned home. Having been so much 
exposed during her captivity, her constitution was so 
shattered that she survived her return but a short time. 
On their way out, she was obliged to wade through deep 
creeks, and, as the weather was very cold, her clothes 
were often frozen into a solid mass of ice. 

She informed Captain Thompson that two of the 
Indians pursued him part of two days, but returned 
without success. They regretted his escape very much, 
as they intended to torture him. The wounded Indian 
left them soon after his escape, and she never heard of him 
afterwards, but supposed he died, as he was badly injured. 

Captain Thompson informed Mr. Linn at the same 
time, that he went with his stejhfather, — ^who drove a 
team, — to Fort Cumberland the time of General lirad- 
dock's disastrous campaign. He was then a lad of only 
ten years of age. 



At that time he saw a woman, a cousin to James 
Cornelius, who resided in BuiMo township, that had 
been taken a prisoner by the Indians during the French 
war. When they had taken her a great distance from 
home she managed to effect her escape, and made her 
way through the woods alone. The first day she came 
up with a mare and colt, and getting on her rode all day. 
When night came she turned her out to pasture, laid her- 
self down by a log for the night, and never expected to 
see her again. When she awoke in the morning, the 
mare and colt stood by her side !- She rode her all that 
day, and turned her out to graze whilst she slept, but 
the next morning the faithful animal was there, as usual, 
to receive her rider. She rode her each day till she 
arrived at the fort. By some, this peculiar circumstance 
would be termed an interposition of Divine Providence, 
to preserve the life of the woman. It is also stated that 
when she came to the fort the mare would allow no other 
person to approach, and when she was turned out to 
graze that night, made her escape, and was never heard 
of again. 

In 1832, Captain Thompson w^ent to reside with his 
son-in-law, Boyd Smith, in Jersey Shore, where he died 
in 1837, aged 93 years, and was buried in the graveyard 
now embraced in the limits of that borough. He was a 
fine old gentleman, and is distinctly remembered by a 
large number of people. 

Early in the spring of 1782, Captain Robinson was 
ordered to Fort Muncy with his company, for the pur- 
pose of rebuilding and repairing that fortification. His 
head-quarters were at this station, and he rendered 
A aluable services to the country, by the vigilant watch 
he kept on the Indians. Scouts were constantly kept 


out, and whenever a body of wandering savages appeared, 
they were pursued immediately, and obliged to fly. 

In October of this year, a small body of savages came 
to the house of John Martin, in the Chilisquaque settle- 
ment, near the residence of Colonel James Murray, and 
barbarously murdered him and his wife. They also took 
from the house two young women, and a liltle girl, seven 
years of age, and carried them off. 

On the 24th of the same month, two men named Lee 
and Caruthers, were sent out as spies from Fort Rice. 
They were waylaid, and fired upon. Lee was killed, and 
CSaruthers taken prisoner. 

About this time there lived near where the town of 
New Berlin now stands, a family named Klinesmith. 
A small party of Indians coming upon their dwelling, 
whilst the males of the family were busy in the harvest 
field of a neighbor, plundered the house, and carried 
away two of Klinesmith's daughters, one sixteen, the 
other fourteen years old. The party retreated to a 
spring north of New Berlin — now called the Still-House 
Spring — where they halted, and, not satisfied with the 
trifling mischief they had done, left their prisoners and 
booty in the care of the oldest man of the party, whilst 
the main body proceeded to the harvest field, in the hope 
of getting some scalps to carry home as trophies of their 

The old man lighted his pipe, and sat do^vn at the foot 
of a tree, keeping an eye upon his prisoners. After 
some time the rain began to fall, when Betsey, the 
eldest girl, intimated to the sentinel that she meant to 
cut down some branches from the trees, and cover a 
small bag of flour which the Indians had brought from 
her fathers house. The Indian, little suspecting her 


real intention, assented, and permitted her to take one 
of the axes or tomahawks. She pretended to be very 
busily occupied with her task, but contrived to get be- 
hind the old man, and buried the axe in his head ! 

By this time the scalping party, finding the harvest- 
ers too numerous and well armed for their purposes, 
were on their return, and had already approached near 
enough to hear the groan or cry of the old Indian as he 
fell. The girls fled — ^the savages pursued, and fired. 
The younger girl, just as she was in the act of springing 
over a fallen tree, was pierced with a bullet, which en- 
tered below the shoulder blade, and came out at iiie 
breast. She fell, and immediately rolled herself under 
the log, which at that point was raised a little from the 
ground. The savages sprang over the log, in chase of 
her sister, without observing that any one lay under it 

Betsey being a strong and active lass, gave them a 
hard run, so that the harvesters, alarmed by the firing, 
came to the rescue in time to save her, and change the 
pursuers into fugitives. They found the little girl under 
the fallen tree, much terrified and weakened by loss of 
blood, but fortunately not dangerously wounded, tlie baD 
having passed through her body without touching any 
vital organ. She recovered, and afterwards married a 
man named Campbell. Becoming a widow, she married 
again. Her last husband's name was Chambers. Betsey 
also married, and, with her husband, removed to one of 
the Western States. 

». .^:*'if Vav : 

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■ • N.5 --.v •:■ • Y'V AT 

■"■■;■■ :<\'it.: 
. \ 


r-. f»» 

1 ■ 

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was instantly tomahawked and scalped, and an old man 
named John Walker, shared the same fate. A Mrs. 
Boatman and daughter were also killed. Mrs. Lee, 
with her small child, and a larger one, named Thomas, 
were led away captives. The savages took the Great 
Path leading up that side of the Valley, crossed the 
White Deer mountains, came to the river, and crossed 

One of Lee's sons, named Robert, happening to be 
absent at the time, escaped the fate of his parents. He 
was returning, however, and came in sight of the house 
just as the Indians were leaving it, but they did not 
observe him. Knowing that they were there with evfl 
intentions, he immediately turned and fled to Northmn- 
berland, where he gave the alarm. A party of about 
twenty men* were hastily collected by Colonel Hunter 
at Fort Augusta, and started in pursuit. On arriving at 
Lee's house, they beheld the sufferers writhing in agony. 
Lee was not dead, and Mrs. Boatman's daughter also 
survived. Litters were hastily constructed, and they 
were sent to Fort Augusta, where Lee soon expired in 
great agony. Miss Boatman finally recovered, and lived 
for many years afterwards. 

Colonel Hunter, and his party, without delaying to 
bury the dead, pushed after the savages as rapidly as 
possible, with a view of overtaking them. They came 
in sight of them above Lycoming Creek. 

Li crossing the mountains, Mrs. Lee was accidentally 
bitten by a rattlesnake on the ankle, and her \ef 
became so much swollen, and pained her so severe- 
ly, that she travelled with great diflBculty, Pindii^g 

* Henry McHenry, the father of A. H. McHenry, of Jersey Shore, m* 
in this expedition, and gave an account of it to his son. 


themselves pursued^ they urged her along as fast as 
possible, but she failed rapidly. When near the mouth 
of Pine Run, some four miles below Jersey Shore, she 
gave out, and seated herself on the ground. The whites 
were rapidly approaching, and the Indians were afraid 
she would faU into their hands. One of them stealthily 
slipped up behind her, and placing the muzzle of his 
rifle close to her head, fired. The whole upper portion 
of her head was blown off! One of them then snatched 
up her little child by the heels, and hastily dashed it 
against a tree, when they fled with renewed speed, and 
orossing the river at Smith s fording, ran up through 
Nippenose Bottom. 

When Colonel Hunter and his men came up to where 
the body of Mrs. Lee laid, it was yet warm, and the 
trains were smoking ! The sight was a horrible one to 
look upon. The child was but little injured, and was 
found moaning piteously, and staring wildly around. 

Crossing over the river as rapidly as possible, they 
pursued the Indians up through the Bottom, and were 
so close on them, that when they came to Antes' Gap, 
they separated and ran up both sides of the raountain, 
into the swamp. Colonel Hunter considered it impru- 
dent to follow them into the interminable thickets of 
the swamp, for fear of an ambuscade; and being much 
exhausted, they reluctantly gave up the chase, and slow- 
ly returned. Passing down, they buried the body of 
Mrs. Lee, and cared for her child. When they came to 
Lee's house, they halted, and. buried the dead there. A 
hole was dug alongside of Walker, and his body rolled 
into it. 

When Lee was buried at Fort Augusta, a little circum- 
stance occurred worthy of being related. Two soldiers, 


having a spite at each other, were selected to bear one 
end of the coffin. On the way to the grave they got to 
quarreling, and commenced kicking at each other under 
the coffin. John Hunter, the Adjutant, perceiving their 
conduct, seized a rattan and gave them a sound thresh- 
ing. This was a curious performance to take place at a 
funeral, and over the coffin ! 

Young Thomas Lee, who was taken prisoner and car- 
ried into captivity, was not recovered for many yean 
afterwards. The son who gave the alarm on the fatal 
day of the murder, made arrangements with certain 
Indians to bring his brother to Tioga Point, where he 
was delivered to his friends. Such was his love of 
Indian life, however, having been raised amongst them, 
and being very reluctant to return, they were obliged to 
tie him, and place him on board a canoe. When near 
Wilkesbarre, they untied him, but as soon as the canoe 
touched the shore, he was out, and off like a deer. It 
was several hours before they succeeded in taking him 
again. On arriving at Northumberland, he evinced all 
the suUenness of a captive. Indian boys and girls, near 
his own age, were made to play about him for several 
days, before he showed any disposition to join with 
them. At last he began to inquire the names of things, 
and by degrees became civilized, and obtained a good 

Nearly all the old people, yet living on the West 
Branch, are familiar with the names of Moses and Jaco- 
bus Van Campen. They were remarkable adventurers, 
as well as noted Indian killers, and distinguished them- 
selves in many a well fought battle. Their services were 
very valuable in the protection of the frontiers. 

In 1838, Major Moses Van Campen was living in the 



town of Dansville, N. Y., when he applied to the govern- 
ment for a pension. His petition to Congress is a very 
interesting document. The following extract relates to 
the Valley of the West Branch : 

" In February, 1781, 1 was promoted to a Lieutenancy, and entered 
upon the active duty of an officer by beading scouts ; and as Capt. 
Robinson was no woodsman nor marksman, be preferred tbati should 
enconnt4}r the danger and bead the scouts. We kept up a constant 
chain of scouts around the frontier settlements, from the North to 
the AVest Branch of the Susquehanna by the way of the head waters 
of Little Fishing creek, Chilisquaque, Muncy, &c. In the spring of 
1781 wc built a fort on the widow McClure's plantation, called 
McClure's fort, where our provisions wore stored. In the summer of 
1781, a man was taken prisoner in Buffalo Valley, but made his es- 
cape. He came in and reported there were about 800 Indians on 
Sinnemahoning, hunting and laying in a store of provisions, and 
would make a descent on the frontiers ; that they would divide into 
small parties, and attack the whole chain of the frontier at the same 
timc^ on the same day. Col. Hunter selected a company of five to 
reconnoitre, viz. : Capt. Campbell, Peter and Michael Groves, Lieut. 
Cramer and myself. The party was called the Grove party. We car- 
ried with us three weeks' provisions, and proceeded up the 'Went 
Branch with much caution and care. We reached the Sinnemahon- 
iog, but made no discovery but old tracks. We marched up the Siu- 
nemahoning so far that we were siiti»fied it was a false report. We 
returned ; and a little below the Sinnemahoniug, near night, we dis- 
covered a smoke. We were confident it was a party of Indians, which 
we must have pas.sed by, or they got there some other way. We dis- 
covered there was a large party — how many we could not tell — but 
prepared for the attack. 

'' As soon as it was dark we new-primed our rifles, sharpened our 
flints, examined our tomahawk handles; and all being ready, we wait- 
ed with great impatience till they all lay down. The time came, and 
with the utmost silence we advanced, trailed our rifles in one hand, 
and the tomahawk in the other. The night waA warm : we found 
some of them rolled in their blankets a rod or two from their fires. 
Having got amongst them, we first handled our tomahawks. They 
rose like a dark cloud. Wc now fired our shots, and raised the war- 


yell. Thoy took to flight in the utmost confusion, but few taking 
time to pick up their rifles. We remained masters of the ground and 
all their plunder, and took several scalps. It was a party of 25 or 
80, which had been as low down as Penn's creek, and had killed and 
scalped two or three families. We found several scalp& of difierent 
ages which they had taken, and a large quantity of domestic doth, 
which was carried to Northumberland and given to the distressed who 
had escaped the tomahawk and knife. In Dec. 1781, our Company 
was ordered to Lancaster. We descended the river in boats to Mid- 
dletown, where our orders were countermanded, and we were ordered 
to Reading) where we were joined by a part of the third and fifth 
Pennsylvania regiments, and a Company of the Congress regiment 
We took charge of the Hessians taken prisoners with Gen. Burgoyne. 
In the latter part of March, at the opening of the Campaign in 1782, 
we were ordered by Congress to our respective stations. I marched 
Robinson's Company to Northumberland, where Mr. Thomas Cham- 
bers joined us, who had been recently' commissioned as an ensign of 
our Company. We halted at Northumberland two or three days for 
our men to wash and rest. From thence Ensign Chambers and my- 
self were ordered to Muncy, Samuel Wallis' plantation, there to make 
a stand and re-build Fort Muncy, which had been destroyed by the 
enemy. We reached that station and built a small block house for 
the storage of our provisions. About the 10th or 11th of April, 
Capt. Robinson came on with Esquire Culbertson, James Dougherty, 
William McGrudy, and a Mr. Barklcy. I was ordered to select 20 or 
25 men, with these gentlemen, and proceed up the West Branch to 
the Big Island, and thence up the Bald Eagle creek, to the place 
where a Mr. Culbertson had been killed. On the 15th of April, at 
night, we reached the place and encamped. On the morning of the 
16th we were attacked by 85 Indians. It was a hard fought batde. 
Esquire Culbertson and two others made their escape. I think we 
had nine killed, and the rest of us were made prisoners. We were 
stripped of all our clothing excepting our pantaloons. When they 
took off my shirt they discovered my commission. Our commissions 
were written on parchment, and carried in a silk case hung with a 
ribbon on our bosom. Several got hold of it ; and one fellow cut the 
ribbon with his knife, and succeeded in obtaining it. They took us t 
little distance from the battle ground, and made the prisoners sit down 
in a small ring ; the Indians forming another around us in close order, 
each with his rifle and tomahawk in his hand. They brought up five 


Indiaiis we had killed and laid them within the circle. Each one re- 
flected for himself— our time would probably be short ; and respect- 
ing myself; looking back upon the year 1780, at the party I had killed, 
if I was discoTered to be the person, my case would be a hard one. 
Their prophet, or chief warrior, made a speech. As I was informed 
afterwards by a British Lieutenant^ who belonged to the party, he 
was consulting the Great Spirit what to do with the prisoners — ^whether 
to kill us OB the spot, or spare our lives. He came to the con- 
clusion that there had been blood enough shed ; and as to the men 
ihey had lost, it was the fate of war, and we must be taken and adopt- 
ed into the families of those whom we had killed. We were then 
divided amongst them, according to the number of fires. Packs were 
prepared for us, and they returned across the river, at Big Island, in 
bark canoes. They then made their way across hills, and came to 
Pine creek, above the first forks, which they followed up to the third 
finrk, and took the most northerly branch to the head of it — and 
thence to the waters of the (Genesee river." 

Van Campen and his feUow-prisoners were marched 
through the Indian villages. Some were adopted^ to 
make up the loss of those killed in the action. Van 
Campen passed through all their villages undiscovered ; 
neither was it known he had been a prisoner before, and 
only effected his escape by killing the party, until he had 
been delivered up to the British, at Fort Niagara. As 
soon as his name was made known, it became public 
among the Indians. They immediately demanded him 
of the British officer, and offered a number of prisoners 
in exchange. The commander on the station sent forth- 
with an officer to examine him. He stated the facts to 
the officer concerning his killing the party of savages. 
The officer replied, that his case was desperate. Van 
Campen observed, that he considered himself a prisoner 
of war to the British ; that he thought they possessed 
more honor than to deliver him up to the Indians to be 
burnt at the stake ; and in case they did, they might de- 


pend upon a retaliation in the life of one of their officers. 
The officer withdrew, but shortly returned, and informed 
him, that there remained no alternative for him to save 
his life, but to abandon the rebel cause, and join the 
British standard. A further inducement was offered, that 
he should hold the same rank in the British service that 
he now possessed. The answer of Van Campen was 
worthy the hero, and testified that the heart of the pa- 
triot never quailed under the most trying circumstances: 
" No J sir, no — my life belongs to my country ; give me the 
stake, the tmnahawky or the scalping-knifej before I wiU dis- 
honor the character of an American officer r 

In the month of March, 1783, Van Campen was ex- 
changed by the British, and returned home. He was 
immediately ordered to take up arms again, which he 
did, and joined his company the same month at North- 
umberland. About that time Captain Robinson received 
orders to march with his company to Wyoming. Van 
Campen and Ensign Chambers accompanied them, and 
remained there till November of the same year, when 
the army was discharged, and they retired, poor and 
penniless, to the shades of private life. 







An old settler near Selinsgrove, informed Mr. Snyder, 
some fifteen or twenty years ago, that when his father, 
Mr. Ulrich, came to the country, several Indians still 
remained in the neighborhood. They came frequently 
to their house, and were always treated with great kind- 
ness. They had a particular liking for bread and butter, 
which was never refused them. In return, they brought 
game, maple sugar, and Indian baskets. By this kind- 
ness shown them, Ulrich's family acquired the affection- 
ate attachment of these swarthy children of the forest; 
a feeling which was of infinite service to them, and in 
all probability, was the shield between them and the 

On one occasion, when two Indians came to the house 
of Mr. Ulrich, Jbis son George, a small lad, was much 
amused at the manner in which one had beautified him- 
self. He had painted a bright red circular patch about 
his mouth, leaving the remainder of his face plain. He 


observed the lad laughing at him, when he said : " Well, 
little George, what are you laughing for? You are ad- 
miring my handsome mouth, I suppose?" This was 
spoken in German, which these Indians had learned from 
their intercourse with the whites in that settlement. 

These Indians, on one occasion, requested Mr. Ulrich 
to leave, as a large party of hostile Indians were expect- 
ed to attack the settlements. "You are our friend," 
said they, " and we are desirous of saving you — so you 
had better go to your friends in Tulpehocken." He in- 
formed them, that he could not leave his crops to be de- 
stroyed, and would rather take the risk of staying where 
he was. " I will send my children to Tulpehocken, 
said he, " and trust to your friendship." They warned 
him to be on his guard, however, and promised to do 
what they could to save him from their red brethren. 
They counselled him to keep as much as possible within 
doors, and promised to drive his cattle homewards, if they 
found them straying too far in the woods. They could 
not warrant his safety, however, for the red man, when 
out on a scalping party, is not e^isily restrained. The 
war parties came and ravaged the country, but during 
the continuance of hostilities, Ulrich remained undis- 

One of the most remarkable murders which occurred 
at that time — about 1781 — was that of the Stock family, 
who resided about two miles west of Selinsgrove. Stock 
was particularly disliked by the Indians, on account of 
his harsh and inhospitable conduct towards them. 

On the day of the murder. Stock and three of his 
sons, were occupied in clearing a field in a deep nanow 
valley, about a mile from the house ; when a scalping 
party of about thirty Indians was drawn by the sound 



of the axes to the edge of the hill, overlooking the field 
where they were at work. Seeing that there were four 
stout men, armed, tmd on their guard, they passed on 
without molesting them, and proceeded to the house. 
In a field near the dwelling, they found another son, 
ploughing, whom one of the party shot and scalped, while 
the remainder entered the house, where they found none 
but Stock's wife and her daughter-in-law, recently mar- 
ried. The mother, a strong and courageous woman, es- 
caped from the house, and defended herself with a canoe 
pole, as she retreated towards the field where her hus- 
band was. She was, however, killed by a tomahawk, 
thrown by one of her pursuers, and scalped. The house 
was hastily plundered, and the young woman carried off. 
It appeared by the footprints, that her strength failed 
from terror, in a newly ploughed field through which they 
were leading her, when two Indians took her between 
them, and supported her until they got into the woods, 
about one hundred yards from the house, where they 
killed and scalped her. 

When Stock returned home, he found his house plun- 
dered, his son lying on his face in the field, dead — the 
young woman in the woods, inhumanly butchered, and 
his wife, with a deep wound in her forehead, lying on her 
back, with the canoe pole by her side. What a sight for 
the husband and father ! 

The neighborhood was quickly alarmed, and three ex- 
perienced Indian fighters, named Grove, Pence, and 
Stroh, set out in pursuit of the enemy. The speed with 
which the Indians travelled, and the care required to 
'keep on their trail, and avoid an ambuscade, prevented 
the white men from overtaking them, until they had got 
into the State of New York, somewhere on the head 


waters of the North Branch, where they found the party, 
encamped for the night, on the side of a hill covered with 
fern. Here the Indians fancied themselves safe. The 
distance they had travelled in safety, warranted them in 
believing that they had not been pursued, and they there- 
fore kept no watch. Grove, leaving his gun at the foot 
of the hill, crept up through the ferns, and observed that 
all their rifles were piled around a tree, and that all but 
three or four were asleep. One of them, a large and 
powerful man, was narrating in high good humor, and 
with much impressive gesticulation, the attack on Stock's 
family, and described the manner in which Mrs. Stock 
defended herself. Grove lay quiet until the auditors 
fell asleep, and the orator, throwing his blanket over his 
head, slept also. He then returned to his comrades, 
Stroh and Pence, informed them of what he had seen, 
and concerted the plan of attack, which was put in exe- 
cution, as soon as they thought the orator and his hearers 
fast asleep. They ascended the hill, when Grove plied 
his tomahawk, while Stroh and Pence took possession of 
the rifles, and fired among the sleepers. One of the first 
to awake was the orator, whom Grove despatched with 
a single blow, us he threw his blanket from his head, and 
arose. How many they killed I do not know, but they 
brought home a number of scalps. The Indians think- 
ing they were attacked by a large party, fled in all di- 
rections, and abandoned everything. A white boy, about 
fifteen years of age, whom they had carried oflF, was 
rescued and brought back. 

The survivors having fled, they selected of the best of 
the rifles, as many as they could conveniently carry, 
destroyed the remainder, and made their way to the Sus- 
quehanna, where they constructed a raft of logs and em- 


barked. The river was so low, that their descent was 
both tedious and slow, and their raft unfortunately strik- 
ing a rock at Nanticoke Falls, went to pieces, and they 
lost all of their rifles and plunder. From this place they 
returned home on foot in safety. 

In 1781, the people of Northumberland were much 
alarmed on the report of a body of Indians having been 
seen in the neighborhood. They were informed of their 
approach by a man named Frank Ore}', who was riding 
to town, but perceiving a couple of Indians jump a fence, 
turned and rode swiftly in another direction, and gave 
the alarm to a party of men working in a field, a short 
distance up the North Branch. They immediately fur- 
nished Pompey, an old negro belonging to Captain Cook, 
with a gun, and started him to give the alarm in another 
direction. Going along the river, he perceived two In- 
dians standing under the bank, leaning on their rifles, 
and pointing in the direction of Fort Augusta. Pompey 
ran back very much frightened, when David Steedman 
jumped into a canoe, crossed over, and went down and 
informed the people in the fort. The following day, John 
Hamilton was shot, whilst at work, in a field, a short dis- 
tance from town. 

About the same time. Lieutenant John Cook of Nor- 
thumberland, a full cousin of Colonel Cook, belonged to 
tlie company of Captain Boyd. The Captain started 
with a company of about forty men on an expedition to 
tlie Juniata to look for Indians. They were suddenly 
surprised by a lai^ body in ambush, and fired upon. 
A smart engagement took place, but the whites were 
OYercome by superior numbers, and after losing several 
men, were compelled to fly. Cook received several 
wounds, and was taken prisoner. Four Indians took 


him in charge, and started oflf, he knew not where. On 
the third night of his captivity they began to amuse 
themselves by burning his legs with firebrands, and as 
he was much exhausted from loss of blood from his 
wounds, was scarcely able to move. After travelling 
through the wilderness for about twenty days, fed on 
the entrails of wild animals, they brought him to Niagara. 
He was brought out one day to run the gauntlet, but 
being unable to run^ as his legs were so badly burned, 
the savages at length took mercy on him, and let him 
oj0f. He was then confined in prison till he was finally 
exchanged and returned. He is said to have had an ex- 
ceedingly sharp pair of legs from the knees down, pro- 
bably occasioned by the burning. 

Previous to this. Cook captured an Indian near Nor- 
thumberland, and brought him to town a prisoner. The 
scuffle between them was animated and severe, but he 
succeeded in getting the Indian s gun, tomahawk, and 
knife away from him, and finally overpowered him. 
The Indian remained at Northumberland for many years, 
and became quite civilized. Cook died in March, 1822, 
aged seventy-six years. 

Several accounts of Captain Boyd's captivity have 
been published, but are said to be incorrect. The fol- 
lowing account was furnished me by Mr. Jacob Cook, 
of Muncy, and is claimed to be con-ect : 

After the defeat of Captain Boyd's party, he tried to 
make his escape by running, but was pursued and re- 
ceived three severe gashes in his head with a tomahawk, 
when he was taken. The Indians immediately stru(i 
across the country, and came to the West Branch, near 
the mouth of the Sinnemahoning Creek. They also had 
another prisoner, named Ross, who was wounded veiy 



badly. Being unable to travel further, they determined 
to massacre him in a very cruel and inhuman manner. 
He was fastened to a stake, and his body stuck full of 
pitch pine splinters, when fire was apphed, and they 
danced round him, making the woods resound with their 
hideous yells. His tortures were terrible, but at length 
death put an end to his sufferings. 

During this time Captain Boyd, faint from the loss of 
blood, was tied to a small white oak saphng, and com- 
pelled to be a silent spectator of the diabolical scene. 
His turn was to come next, and he summoned up cour- 
age, and quietly resigned himself to his fate. Whilst 
these incarnate fiends of Pandemonium were making 
preparations to torture him to death by inches, he sang 
a very pretty Free Mason song, with a plaintive air, 
which attracted their attention, and they listened to it 
very closely, till he was through. At this critical mo- 
ment an elderly squaw came up, and claimed him as her 
son. The Indians did not interfere. She immediately 
dressed his wounds, and attended to him carefully dur- 
ing their journey to Canada. She accompanied him to 
Quebec, where he was placed in the hospital, and attend- 
ed by an English surgeon, and rapidly recovered. He 
was then turned out into the street without money or 
friends. As he passed along, a large sign, with the let- 
ters, " Masonic Inn," painted on it, attracted his atten- 
tion, and observing the landlord standing in the door, 
gave him the sign of the Order, which was recognized. 
He was kindly taken in, and cared for till he was ex- 
changed. The wounds on his head occasioned him to 
keep up a continual winking. 

The old squaw who was the means of preserving his 
life, belonged to the Oneida tribe. Boyd remembered 


her as his best friend, and often sent her presents of 
money. On one occasion he made a journey personally 
to visit her. Boyd died in Northumberland. 

A story is related,'*' that about the time of the Indian 
troubles, a man named Marcus Huling, living in the 
town of Northumberland, was on the west side of the 
river, when he was suddenly chased by a niunber of In- 
dians. He ran as swiftly as he could towards the pre- 
cipice at Blue Hill, but they gained so rapidly upon him, 
that he expected to be taken there. They also fancied 
him secure in their grasp. Being drove to the edge of 
the frightful precipice, with the savages yelling in his 
rear, he determined to make the dreadful leap, preferring 
to die in this manner, rather than fall beneath the toma- 
hawk of the Indian. Seizing a large branch of a tree in 
his hands, he jumped over, and landed some ninety feet 
below, on a shelf of the rock, unhurt ! From this point 
he jumped forty feet further, and escaped with only the 
dislocation of his shoulder. The savages were obliged 
to run round for a mile, when he escaped. This jomp; 
if true, is certainly the greatest one on record. It is 
supposed the branch broke his fall, and saved his Ufe. 
Huling, on being asked about it, replied, that he ^"jump- 
ed for a great wageT — ^he jumped for his life !" 

* By Jacob Cook, Esq., of Muncy. 


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This he seized and endeavored to defend himself. The 
three Indians attacked him, and a dreadful struggle en- 
sued. He managed to floor two of them, when the third 
one sprang upon his back, aud endeavored to pinion his 
arms. The old case knife was used vigorously, and he 
tried, with all his strength, to thrust it into their bodies. 
but it was too blunt. K he had been in possession of a 
good knife, there is but little doubt he would have des- 
patched all three. In the midst of the struggle, four 
more Indians came to the door, and one of them cried 
out in English, " Give up, Lyon, you sha'nt be hurt" 
Seeing the number increasing, he yielded, and suffered 
himself to be bound and led away. 

The 0rst night he was bound hand and foot, and placed 
between two Indians, in a thicket of underbrush, about 
seven miles from where he was captured. The notorious 
Sheuap commanded this marauding band ; he could telt 
English sufficiently plain to be easily understood, and 
informed his prisoner that his life would be spared, bnl 
he would be compelled to run the gauntlet, when thej 
got to the end of their journey. 

After many days of toilsome traveling, through swamps. 
and over hUls, Lyon became much exhausted, and hk 
wrists and ankles became very sore and much swollen. 
from the effects of the cords used in tying him at nigbt. 
At length they arrived at the Niagara river, about three 
miles above where the town stood. He was placed in » 
canoe, and conveyed down to the village to run the 
gauntlet. A long row of warriors, squaws, and young 
ones, were drawn up ready for the amusement, armed 
with clubs, stoQes, and all manner of weapons, Shenip 
pointed to the door of the Council House, and mfonoed 
him if he reached it, he was safe, and encouraged him t* 


run rapidly. Lyon was well aware of his situation, and 
knew that if he attempted to run round them, his life 
would be the forfeit. He plunged in between the two 
ranks, knocking and kicking them about at such a fu- 
rious rate, that he only received two or three light 
strokes, and arriving at the goal, was safe. 

After the race was over, he was taken and placed in 
prison, where he remained about two weeks, without 
seeing the face of any person, save his keeper, when he 
was visited by a very gentlemanly officer, clothed in the 
uniform of the British army, who asked him many ques- 
tions concerning himself, his brothers, sisters, &c. Lyon 
informed him that he was an Irishman by birth, and 
when a small lad had come to America with his brother 
Benjamin, but what had become of him he was unable 
to say. At this juncture the officer abruptly turned 
away and left, without saying another word. When the 
keeper came, he inquired if he had been visited by an 
officer, and on being answered in the affirmative, said, 
" You will fare well ; that officer is ymir own brother .'" 
He was thunderstruck, as it were, and could scarcely 
believe that such was his good fortune as to fall into the 
luinds of his long lost brother so unexpectedly. He had 
lot seen him since he was seven years of age, and had 
most entirely forgotten him. In three days' time he 
i released from prison, and set at Uberty. 
"Whilst he was confined, the jailor informed him that 
k large yellow dog had come to the door of the prison, 
1 remained there manifesting much uneasiness. From 
s description, he knew him to be his own faithful ani- 
, that he had not seen since he left him with his rifle 
ll the canoe at Fishing Creek, and was satisfied that he 
followed him through the wilderness to this place. 




He desired the keeper to take charge of hun, which he 
promised, hut he disappeared suddenly that night. 

The people of Northumberland and vicinity, had not 
learned the fate of Lyon, and wondered what had he- 
come of him. One day, his dog came to the house of 
Mr. McKee, in Buffalo Valley, apparently much distress- 
ed and half starved. He acted very strangely, and seemed 
as if he wanted to tell them something. The faithful 
animal was returning from the door of his master's pri- 
son in Canada, to inform them of his captivity, btd he 
was not gifted with the 2>ower of speech, and had to mani- 
fest his errand by signs ! They offered him food, bat 
he refused to eat. Mr. McKee knew the dog, and judg- 
ing there was something wrong, mounted his horse and 
rode to Northumberland to make inquiry, where he 
learned that Lyon was supposed to be a captive. 

"When Lyon returned home, his noble dog was lying 
behind the house, but he scented him when fortv yards 
distant, and running to meet him, placed his paws on his 
shoulders, and licked his face with gladness ! 

The fact of Lyon having disappeared so mysterioasly 
from the house of Cooper, together with other endences, 
convinced the people that he was a tory, and endeavor- 
ing to further the interest of the enemy. A party of 
men from Northumberland, proceeded to his house and 
arrested him as a traitor, and placed him in a boat to 
convey him to Sunbury jaU. On their passage down, a 
rifle belonging to a man named Doyle, was accidentally 
lost overboard. Doyle in hia fury, accused Cooper of 
throwing it in, which he denied, and an altercation tak- 
ing place, he seized a hatchet, and buried it in Cooper's 
skull. The unfortunate man lived about twenty days, 
when he expired in prison. 


Lyon afterwards mamed a young lady of another 
family, and resided in Northumberland county till his 
death, which took place in 1822. He left two song; 
one named Robert, still survives, and lives on the main 
road leading to Milton, about five miles above Northum- 

In 1781 or 1782, a party of Indians suddenly made 
a descent upon Buffalo Valley, and succeeded in killing 
and scalping one or two. To avenge this outrage. Cap- 
tain Peter Grove, Lieutenant Cramer, William Campbell, 
and Michael Grove, followed them, resolved not to re- 
-tom without at least some scalps, even if they had to 
f jmrsue them to their towns. In the afternoon of the 
third or fourth day after they had left Northumberland, 
they came in sight of the Indians. At this time 
they were between the Great Island and Toungwomans- 
town, and ascertained them to be forty or fifty in 

As the Indians did not consider themselves sufficient- 
ly safe to kindle their fires that evening, our heroes de- 
layed their attack on that account, and patiently awaited 
a more favorable moment. They stealthily pursued them 
all the next day, resolved to attack them the first favor- 
able opportunity, notwithstanding their numbers. This 
was aflTorded them that evening, when the Indians en- 
camped on the bank of Sinnemahoning Creek, about 
- twelve miles from its mouth, and fancying themselves 
I Bccure, kindled their fires for the first time. 
I The desires of the pursuers were now accomplished, 
and silently creeping up,_they observed the number of 
Indians, the position of their arms, and ttie manner in 
which they had retired to rest. They now patiently 
waited till they were all wrapped in sleep before com- 



menoiag the attact. One old Indian annoyed them very 
much. He was troubled with a severe cough, and fre- 
quently rose up and looked carefully around, seeming 
from his peculiar actions, to anticipate danger. At 
length the old man fell asleep, when they commenced 
creeping up, intending to use their tomahawks first. One 
of them unexpectedly crawled over an IndLin, who had 
laid himself down some distance from the rest, and the 
old man also rose up at this moment. Finding them- 
selves discovered, they rushed on them. Michael Grove 
with a powerful stroke of his hatchet, clove the skull of 
the old Indian in twain, and dexterously striking it into 
the back of another, was unable to withdraw it, when 
the Indian drew him over the bank into the creek, where, 
however, he succeeded in killing and scalping him. They 
plied their tomahawks to the best advantage, and then 
used their riQes. Several Indians were killed, when 
they fled to the opposite side of the creek, and finding 
that the attacking party was small, commenced a brisi 
fire, and being between them and the light, had the ad- 
vantage, which prevented them from returning to scalp 
the killed. They bore off two scalps, however, and com- 
menced theii' retreat immediately. To avoid pursuit, 
they waded down the creek to its mouth, and taking the 
hills, continued to where Lock Haven now stands, when 
they passed up over "Proctor's Farm,"* to the smnmit 
of the Bald Eagle Kidge, and continuing along it for se- 
veral miles, reached their homes in safety. 

Groi'e was a celebrated Indian kOler, and many a ss- 

* T!ie traTeller along the river, when near the Groat Island, will obsertt 
a large bure apot of land covered with otonca, on tbo north side «f BiU 
Eftgle Mountain. This ia callw! "Proctor's Farm," and taku iM nuM 
from a land speculator, who first ownod it. 


vago was made by him to pay the death penalty. He 
was an inveterate hater of the race, and never let an 

I opportunity slip to give one of them a passport to the 
Bpirit-land, Ho was one of the first settlers in Buffalo 
Valley, about two and-a-half mUes east of Mifflinburg. If 
all his daring deeds, hair-breadth escapes, and remarkable 

I adventures had been preserved, they would fill a volume. 

['But they are obscured by the dark curtain of eternity. 
Visiting a daughter who resided in Nippenose Valley, 

■ st an advanced age, he was suddenly taken ill, and 

Pahortly afterwards expired. He was attended in his last 
moments by Dr. A. Davidson, of Jersey Shore, to whom 
he related the bloody affair on Sinnemahoning, and gave 

^a vivid account of his killing the old Indian. This was 
jttie only act of his life that worked upon his mind, and 
be seemed to manifest some contrition of spirit for the 
tinceremonious manner in which he had launched the 
spirit of thp old man into eternity. His death took 

I place about 1827. 
Another adventure of this Indian-hnnter is preserved, 
which I will here relate : 
On one of his hunting excursions he wandered into 
the Genesee county, where he lost himself, and was 
under the necessity of entering an Indian village for 
information. During his conference with them, he re- 
marked that the attention of the Indians appeared to be 
directed very particularly to his hunting-pouch and horn. 
These articles he had taken from a renowned warrior, 
whom he had slain some years before; and he now con- 
jectured that he was of this tribe, and they knew who 
they had among them, and would certainly have blood 
vfor blood, if an opportunity offered. Grove kept his 
■ oountenaoce and his counsel, and, having received his 



directions, set out. He walked very qnietly and uncon- 
cernedly away, but so soon as out of sight, put forth his 
speed and strength — in which he had never found his 
superior — and fairly outran his vindictive foes. This 
he considered the most imminent danger to which he 
had ever been exposed. 

There was another remarkable hunter and Indian- 
killer in this valley, named Peter Pence, of whom manj 
wonderful stories are related. He is described by those 
who remember him, as being a savage-looking customer, 
and always went armed with his rifle, tomahawk and 
knife, years after peace was made. 

The accounts of his adventures with the Indians being 
in such a vague and unsatisfactory form, I have eoo- 
eluded to omit them altogether, rather than detail then 
incorrectly. I much regret this, since I made scm 
effort to get a correct sketch of them. It is said that 
an account of his life was published some thirty yeais 
ago, and is remembered by some, but the most careful 
research has failed to develop it. 


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name of Burnett's Hills, left blank in the dcedlbf 1768. 
The Indians informed them Tiadaghton was what the 
whites called Pine Creek, being the largest stream 
emptying into the West Branch. As to Sumetfs ffUb, 
they called them the Lone/ Mountains, iind knew them 
by no other name. 

At this treaty a purchase was made of the residue 
of the Indian lands within the limits of Pennsylvania, 
and the deed signed by the chiefs of the Six Nations, 
is dated October 23, 1784. The boundaries axe tins 
described : 

" Bcgianiag on the south eido of the rirer Ohio, where the weatera 
boundary of the State of PeaDEylyuoia croeses the eaid river, netr 
ShJngo'a old town, lit the mouth of Beuver Creek, and thence bji 
due north line to the end of the forty-second and beginning of tie 
forty-third degrees of north latitude, thence by a due east line lepi- 
rating the forty-second and forty-third degrees of north latitnde, U 
the east side of the cost branch of the river SusquehaDDa, thence bj 
the bounds of the late purchase made at Fort Stanwi^c, the fiflh dij 
of November, Anno Dom'int, one thousand seven hundred and »ii^- 
^ght, as follows : Down the said cast brunch of Susc^uehaDni, on Uit 
east side thereof, till it eame opposite to the mouth of a creek allH 
by the ladians, AKandur, and across the river, and up the said cmk 
on the south side thereof, all along the range of hilla called Bnmrid 

Hilh by the English, and by the Indians , on the north sJt 

of them, to the head of a creek which runs into the west branch of 
Smqaehanna, which creek is by the Indians called Tindaffhlan, bol 
by the Pennsjivanians, Pine Creek, and down the eaid creek autit 
south side thereof to the said west branch of Sus<(uehBnna, then croo- 
ing the said river, and running up the same on the south side ibcreuf 
to the fork of the same river, which lies nearest to a place on the tiiei 
Ohio, called Kitlanning aforesaid, and then down the said river G^v, 
by the several courses thereof to where the western bounds of the sii 
State of Pennsylvania crosses the same river, at the place of bcgtu- 

At a treaty held at Fort Mcintosh, with the Wyandott 


and Dalaware Indians, by the same Commissioners, 
January, 1785, a deed was executed by those nations, 
ibr the same lands, in the same words, with the same 
Iwundaries, dated January 21st, 1785. Both of i 
deeds, with the treaties, or conferences, are printed at 
large in the appendix to the Journal of the Assembly 
for February, 1785. 

Thus, in a period of about one hundred and two years, 
was the whole right of the Indians to the soil of Penn- 
^Irania extinguished. The Legislature, at the time of 
fliis last treaty, being apprehensive that the directions 
given to the Commissioners to ascertain the precise 
boandaries of the purchase of 1768, might produce 
;fOme inconveniences, passed an act as follows : 

" That the said direcbira did not give, dot ought not to be ooDstrued 
lo ^ve to tho said commissioners, aiij authority to asccrlfiin, defi- 
utely, the boundary lines aforesaid, aod that the lines of the purchase 
so made, as aforesaid, in the year one thousand seven hundred and 
nzty-eight, striking the line of the west branch of Susquehanna, at 
ibc mouth of Li/comick or Lycominij creek, shall be the boundaries of 
the same purchase, to all legal intents and purposes, until the general 
usembly sbull otherwise regulate and declare the game." 

^k This last accession of lands was called by the whites 
Hue ''New Purchase," and when the land office opened 
in 1785, settlers rapidly flocked to the "West Branch 
above Lycoming Creek, to take up the choice lands in 
that region. Nearly all the original settlers, or squaitcrs, 
on this disputed territory, previous to the "Big Run- 
away," now returned and claimed their lands. 

The dispute about this territory being settled, some 
trouble was likely to arise with the original settlers. In 
view of this, the Legislature passed the following act, 
which may%e found in Smith's Laws, Vol. II., page 195 : 




"And whereas divore persons, who have heretofore ooo^ied and 
oultivatcd small tracts of lands, without the bounds of the purcbsw 
made as aforesaid in the year 1708, and within the purchase made ur 
now to be made, have, by their rcsolnte stand and iuffcringi dumg 
Ae late, irar, merited, that those settlers should have the pre-emptioa 
of their respective plantationa, it is enacted, that all and every person, 
or persons, and their lei/al repregentativet, who has, or have heretofore 
settled, on the north side of the West Branch of Susijuehanna, between 
Lt/MniiiJi or Li/coming Creek on the east, and Tyadaghton, or Pine 
Creek, on the west, oa well as other lands within the said restJaiirj 
purchase from the Indiana, of the territory within this State, (except- 
ing alwaya the lands hereinbefore excepted,) shall be allowed a right 
of pre-emption to their reapectivo possessions, at the price aforesaid." 

No person was to be entitled to the benefit of this pre- 
emption act, unless he had made an actual settlement 
before 1780, and no claim was to be admitted for more 
than 300 acres of land, &c., and the consideration there- 
of tendered to the Receiver General of the Laud OfBoe, 
on or before the 1st of November, 1785. 

Several cases of litigation took place between some of 
these settlers, tliat were decided under the pre-emption 
clause. The first was John Hughes, against Heurj' 
Dougherty, tried in 1791. The plaintiff claimed under 
a warrant of May 2d, 1785, for the premises, and a sur- 
vey made thereon the 10th of Jan., 1786. On the 20tli 
of June, 1785, the defendant entered a caveat against 
the claims of the plaintiff, and on the 5th of October fol- 
lowing, took out a warrant for the land in dispute, on 
which he was then settled. Both claimed the pre-emp- 
tion of 1784. The facts given in evidence are as follows: 

" In 1773, one James Hughes, a brother of the plainUff, settled oB 
the land in (jnestion, and made bouiq small iniprovouicnts. Id tlie 
next year he enlarged hia improvement, and cut logs to build a honW. 
In the winter following, he went to his father's, in Donegal, in Lan- 
caster Co., and died there. His elder brother, Thomas, woe at tlul 



time settied on the Indian land, and one of the fair play men, who 
assembled together and made a resolution, (which tbey agreed to en- 
force OS tJie law of the place,) that < if any person was absent from his 
■ettlement for six weeks, he should forfeit his right.' " 

In the spring of 1775, Dougherty came to the settle- 
■aent, and was advised by the fair play men to settle on 
the premises which Hughes had left. This he did, and 
built a cabin. The plaintiff soon after cajne, claiming it 
in right of his brother, and, aided by Thomas Hughes, 
took possession of the cabin. But Dougherty collecting 
his friends, a fight ensued, in which Hughes was beaten 
off, and he remained in possession. Ho continued to im- 
prove ; built a house and stable, and cleared about ten 
, acres. In 1778 he was driven off by the enemy, and 
TTcnt into the army. At the close of the war, both par- 
ties returned and claimed the land. After hearing the 
Bi:gument, the jury decided in favor of Dougherty. 
The next case was between John Toner and Morgan 

iweeny. Toner went upon the Indian land in 1773, 
made a settlement j but he exchanged it for another, 
l^ch he continued, with a view to make a settlement 

ff his family, till the war broke out, and there was a 
for soldiers. He inclined to Ust, but was afraid of 

laing his land, and his friends attempted to dissuade 
kim. However, they promised to preserve his settle- 
rlnent for him, and he enlisted. 

In 1775, Sweeny went up, and there was some con- 
tract in writing, by way of lease, between him and 
Toner, and by virtue of that he entered into possession 
of the premises. The terms of the lease were, that he 
should make certain improvement^ on the place for the 
benefit of Ipner. This lease was deposited in the hands 
of a third person, and Sweeny's wife, by a trick, ] 



hold of it, and she and her husband determined to des- 
troy it, and so make the place their own. They con- 
tinued there till driven olT by the Indians. During all 
this time, Toner was absent from the settlement, but in 
the service of Ms country. The suit was decided ib.I 
favor of Toner. 

The Valley rapidly filled up with settlers — improve* I 
ments were made, barns and houses erected, and in 1 1 
short time peace and plenty abounded. 

Amongst some of the settlers, after the war, I w9l 
mention the names of Stewart, Davidson, and "White. 

Samuel Stewart came with his father, and settled < 
the river, in Nippenose Bottom. De became quite ftJ 
leading man in after years, and was one of the I 
sheriffs of Lycoming county. He fought a duel, wift 
pistols, opposite the town of Lewisburg, with Johi^ 
Binns, a printer of Nortliuniberland, Neither one was 
injured. Mr. Stewart lived till an advanced age, and 
only died a few years ago. 

Dr. James Davidson settled a short distance below the 
mouth of Pine Creek in 1785. He was a surgeon in the 
army during the Revolutionary period, and was present 
at a number of battles. A case of surgical instrumente 
used by him at the battle of Eutaw Springs, is now in 
the possession of his son, Dr. A. Davidson, of Jersey 
Shore. They are carefully preserved as a valuable relic 
of that dark and gloomy period. Dr. Davidson was a 
useful man in his time, and filled several important 
oflBces. He was one of the first Associate Judges of 
Lycoming County, and afterwards a. member of the 
State Legislature, ^""or many years he enjoyed an ex- 
tensive practice of medicine, and was beloved and re- 
spected for his many acts of benevolence and humanity. 


His death occurred in 1825, at the age of 73, when his 
mantle descended upon his son, who has been a success- 
ful practitioner forty years, and yet enjoys the confi- 
dence and respect of the community. 

Colonel Hugh White,* who held a comuKssion in the 
I army of the Revolution, settled, about this time, some 
1 five miles above Jersey Shore. He acted for some tune 


■ A correct oopj of Colonel White's c 
\ ftppcnded, to show tlie manner nnd Btjle of oommii 
^ittdividuals at that da;. The original documont is n 
I Of his son, Henry White, of Williameport: 

n tlie posaeBEion 

" Pfmiiiflvania »*. 


April 19th, 17TC. 
To Hugh While, Esq. 
WE reposing especial Trust and confidence 
in juur PatriolifiDi, Yalour, Conduct nnd Fi- 
delity, DO, bjr those Presents, constitute and 
appoint you to be Captain of a Company of 
Foot in tho 1st Battalion of AsHociaturs in the 
Couutyof Norlhumborland, fur tho Protection 
of thin Province, against all hu.stile Entcrprixcs, and for tho Defence of 
American liberty. You arc therefore carefully and diligently to dis- 
cborge the Duty of a Captain as aforesaid, by doing and performing all 
I Muioer of Things thereunto belonging. And we do, strictly chorj^ and 
I nquire oil Officers and Soldiers, under your Command, to bo obedient to 
ryour Orders as their Captain. And you are to observe and follow such 
Orders and Directions, from Time to Time, as you shall receive from the 
AMembly during their Sessions ; and. in their Itecess, from the present or 
snj future Committee of Safety appointed by tho Assembly of this Pro- 
TiDce, or from your superior Officer, according to the Kulca and Regula- 
tions for the better Oovernment of the Military Association in Pennsjl- 
Taoia, and pursuant to the Trust reposed in you. This Commisaion to 
continue in Force until revoked by tho Aasenibly, or by the present or 
I my gucceeding Committee of Safety." 

I ' Signed by Order of Ike Aitembli/, 

■ JO^ MORTON, Speaker. 

He proved |||Melf a faithful, as well as valuable Officer, and subse- 
•qoentlj rose to the rank of Colonel. 



in the capacity of a Commissaiyy and mention is fire- 
quently made of him in the Colonial Records. He was 
an active, as well as useful man, in his time^ and was 
untiring in his efforts to provide supplies for the starv- 
ing army of Washington. He is described, by those 
who remember him, as being an exceedingly polite and 
gentlemanly man. He died in 1822, at the age of 85 — 
from injuries received by being thrown from a horse^ 
leaving behind him ten sons and two daughters^ who are 
amongst the most respectable and leading citizens of the 

Colonel John Chatham took up land in 1785, and 
settled at the mouth of Chatham's run^ where Judge 
Crawford now resides. 

1 might mention many others, and give interesting 
biographical sketches of their lives, but the limits of this 
work will not permit of it, and I must forego that plea- 
sant duty, and hasten on to more general topics of his- 


Of the Montour family I have failed to glean much of 
the history, as they floiuished at such an early period, 
that no record appears to have been kept of them. John 
and Roland Montour were two roving braves of the 
Seneca tribe. They also had a sister named Catrina, 
who was a remarkable woman, and unrelenting, like her 
brother John, in her hatred to the whites. 

Roland Montour married a French woman, by whom 
he had three sons, Andrew, Henry, and Robert If 
they had any mom children, mention is not made of 
them. They lived at Shamokin when U^ place was 
first visited by the English. The two orothers are 


described to have been men of fine propditions — ^noble 
specimens of the Indian race — and inveterate haters of 
the English. 

Roland appears to have died at quite an early period, 
and his widow, who always went by the name of 
Madame Montour, shortly afterwards married another 
Indian, named Carondowana, alias Robert Hunter, but 
soon afterwards lost him in a war against the Catawbas. 
Madame Montour was a remarkable woman, and contra* 
ry to the disposition of her husband, very friendly to 
the English. When Count Zinzendorf visited Shamokin, 
he crossed the river and went to the town of Oston- 
wackin, where she resided, and was very kindly received 
and entertained by her for several days. 

John Montour was frequently engaged in predatory 
incursions against the settlers on the West Branch, and 
was at the taking of Fort Freeland, where he received a 
wound that proved mortal. He is said to have been 
buried at the " Painted Post." Catrina was also there. 
She had a village on the banks of Seneca Lake. 

Whatever became of Madame Montour, is not stated ; 
but it is probable that she lived and died at Shamokin, 
from the fact that her sons became the fast friends of the 
English. Her sons were what was called, " French half- 
breeds." They became the friends of the whites on 
their first arrival, and always remained steadfast through 
the trying wars that ensued. Having acquired the Eng- 
lish language, they soon became interpreters, and were 
employed by the government in that capacity. After a 
long and tried apprenticeship, they were found to be 
genuine friends, and never were kiu)wn to betray the in- 
terests of their employers. For tneir fidelity and satis- 
factory performance of duty, they were much esteemed, 


and as a recompense for their services, the Colonial Gov- 
emment made them large grants of land. Andrew had 
a tract at the mouth of Loyal Sock, and the village there 
now bears his name. Henry had a tract in Chilisqna- 
que,* and the other, I believe, had a grant westward, 
near the Ohio river. ' 

The name of these two Seneca warriors is perpetuated 
in the iron mountain, called, ^^ Montour's Ridge," that 
runs from Northumberland to Danville. 

* See Jadge Haston's Land Titles of Pa.» p. 319. 




NoBTHUMBEBLAND^ which had been partially abandoned, 
was re-occupied by the returning inhabitants, in 1785. 
It soon became the stopping place of several distinguish- 
ed exiled foreigners, who came and resided here, amongst 
whom may be mentioned Mrs. Dash, Mr. Russell, Dr. 
Priestly, and Dr. Cooper. 

Mrs. Dash was a very enterprising woman. She was 
the wife of an English banker, who failed in business ; 
and whilst he was settling up his affairs, she came out 
to America, in 1794, with her three daughters, and pur- 
chased a farm of about one hundred acres of land, near 
Northumberland. She immediately had some twenty 
acres cleared, and sown in wheat — had a comfortable 
stone cottage erected, where she welcomed her husband 
on his arrival. Verily, she was a wife worth having. 

Mr. Russell was an Englishman, who resided here, 
and purchased, in connection with a number of land spe- 
culators, large tracts of land in the north-eastern counties 
of this State. 

Dr. Joseph Priestly, the distinguished philosopher and 


theologian, spent the latter years of bis life in Northum- 
berland. His sons preceded him to America, and coming 
to the Susquehanna, made a large purchase of land, with 
a view of making it the asylum of English Dissenters, 
and other distinguished European exiles. Many Eng- 
lishmen, friends of Dr. Priestly, removed here about the 
same time, amongst whom was Dr. Cooper. 

Dr. Joseph Priestly was bom at Fieldham^ in Eng- 
land, in March, 1733. His father was a clothier of the 
Calvinistic persuasion, in which he was also himself 
brought up. After he had attained a respectable degree 
of classical acquirement, he was finally placed at the 
Dissenters' academy at Daventry, with a view to the 
ministry. He spent three years at this school, where he 
became acquainted with the writings of Dr. Hartley, and 
was gradually led into a partiality for the Arian hypo- 
thesis. He became minister of Needham Market, in 
Suffolk, but falling under the suspicion of Arianism, he 
left there and took charge of a congregation at Nantwich, 
to which he joined a school. In 1761, he was appointed 
tutor in the languages at Warrington academy. Here he 
published his essay on government, and several other 
useful works on education and history. His History of 
Electricity, published in 1767, procured him an admis- 
sion into the Royal Society ; he had previously obtained 
the title of doctor of laws from the University of Edin- 
burgh. In the same year he took charge of a church at 
Leeds, where his opinions became decidedly Socinian. 
Here his attention was first drawn to the properties of 
fixed air, and he also composed his work on Vision, Light, 
and Colors. In 1773, he went to live with the Marquis 
of Landsdown, as librarian or literary companion. He 
travelled over Europe with this nobleman, and also occu- 


pied himself with scientific pursuits. In 1773, he fur- 
nished a paper in the Philosophical Transactions, on the 
different kinds of air, which obtained for him a gold me- 
dal. This was followed by three volumes, the publica- 
tion of which forms an era in the history of aeriform 
fluids. He published several metaphysical works, and 
an edition of Hartley's Observations on Man, to which 
he annexed a dissertation savoring strongly of Material- 
ism. This doctrine he still more forcibly supported in 
his Disquisitions on Matter and Spirit, 1777. These 
works resulted in a dissolution of the connection between 
himself and his patron, and he took chaise of a dissent- 
ing congregation at Bumingham. At length, when seve- 
ral of his friends at Birmingham were celebrating the 
destruction of the Bastile, a mob assembled and set fire 
to the dissenting meeting-houses, and several dissenters' 
houses ; among which was that of Dr. Priestly, although 
he was not present at the celebration. He lost his valua- 
ble library and apparatus, and although he obtained a 
l^al compensation, it fell far short of his loss. On 
quitting Birmingham, he succeeded his friend, Dr. Price, 
as lecturer in the dissenting college at Hackney, where 
he remained some time in the cultivation of scientific 
pursuits^ until he was goaded by party enmity to seek 
an asylum in the United States. He arrived at North- 
umberland, and fixed his residence there, in 1794. Here 
he dedicated himself for ten years to his accustomed 
pursuits, until his death on the 6th of February, 1804, 
in his 71st year. 

Dr. Priestly was an ardent controversialist, chiefly in 
consequence of extreme simplicity and openness of cha- 
racter; but no man felt less animosity towards his oppo- 
nents, and many, who entertained the strongest antipa- 


thy to his opinions, were converted into firiends by his 
urbanity in personal intercourse. As a man of science, 
he stands high in the walk of invention and discovery : 
he discovered the existence of oxygen gas, and other 
aeriform fluids. As a theologian, he followed his own 
convictions wherever they led him, and passed through 
all changes, from Calvinism to a Unitarian or Socinian 
system, in some measure his own ; but to the last, re- 
mained a zealous opposer of infidelity. In his family, 
he ever maintained the worship of Ood. His works 
amount to about seventy volumes, or tracts ; and em- 
brace essays on history, politics, divinity, (practical and 
controversial,) metaphysics and natural philosophy. His 
life, edited by his son, was published in 1806. The me- 
moirs are written by the Doctor himself, down to the 
year 1795, and are embraced in two volumes. 

The descendants of Dr. Priestly still reside at North- 
umberland. J. W. Priestly, Esq., Cashier of the North- 
umberland Bank, is one of his grandsons. 

Thomas Cooper,* another distinguished Englishman, 
who came and settled in Northumberland, was bom in 
London, October 22, 1759. Having been educated at 
Oxford, he became a proficient in Chemistry, and acquired 
a knowledge of the Law and Medicine, and brought these 
acquisitions to America, where he joined his friend Dr. 
Priestly, having been driven from England by the part 
which he took in reference to French politics, in becoming 
the agent of an English democratic club to a revolution- 
ary club in France, and writing a pamphlet in reply to 
an attack on him by Burke, which was threatened with 
prosecution. In the United States, he became a Jeffer- 
sonian politician, and attacking Adams in a newspaper 

* See Enoyclopsedia ( f American Literature, Vol. 11., Page 331. 


oommunicationy which he published in the Pennsylvania 
Reading Weekly Advertiser of October 26, 1799, was tried 
for a libel under the sedition law in 1800, and sentenced 
to six months' imprisonment, and a fine of four hundred 

The Democratic party coming into power, Governor 
McKean appointed Cooper, in 1806, President Judge of 
the Common Pleas District, embracing Northumberland 
county. He filled the office with energy, but was re- 
moved from it in 1811 by Oovemor Snyder, at the 
request of the Legislature, on representations chiefly of 
an overbearing temper. He afterwards became Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry in Dickinson College at Carlisle, 
and subsequently in 1816, held a Professorship of Min- 
eralogy and Chemistry in the University of Pennsylvania, 
and shortly after, in 1819, became at first. Professor of 
Chemistry, then, in 1820, President of the South Caro- 
lina College. He also discharged the duties of Professor 
of Chemistry and Political Economy. Retiring from 
this post on account of age in 1834, he was employed 
by the Legislature of South Carolina in revising the 
Statutes of the State. He died May 11, 1840, at the 
ripe old age of eighty-one. 

Judge Cooper was a man of letters, and the author of 
several valuable works. But being so petulant, he was 
much disliked by those who had business with him. 
¥rhen he was Judge at Northumberland, he used to fine 
a man one dollar for the most trifling ofience, and the 
attorneys disliked him very much. The following anec- 
dote concerning him is related : 

Jack Glover was a singular genius that used to attend 
the courts at Sunbury, whither business sometimes took 
him, and whither he more frequently took business. 


Jack was apparently possessed with an uncontrollable 
propensity to make a noise. When he had been expelled 
by the constable from the court-house for his loud talk- 
ing, he would go to the hucksters shop, purchase a bag of 
chesnuts — perhaps a bushel — ^shoulder it and march to 
the court-house, followed by all the idle boys of Sunbury. 
When anived there he would cut a hole in the bottom of 
the bag and run round the house ; then came the scram> 
ble, the uproar and the battle ; out came the constable, 
and then came the chase, until Jack was run down, 
brought before Judge Cooper, fined, and imprisoned for 
twenty-four hours. 

On one of these occasions, Jack having served out his 
time, came into the court-house in the morning very mudi 
intoxicated, and as usual made himself rather too con- 
spicuous for his own good. 

" Bring that man before the Court," cried the Judge. 
Jack was brought up, when Cooper peered at him through 
his eye-glass, and exclaimed : 

" Ah, Jack ; is that you— drunk again ! The Court 
fines you one dollar, and sentences you to be imprisoned 
for twenty-four hours !" 

" P-1-e-a-s-e your Honor," replied Jack, " it is hard to 
be punished twice for the same oflfence !" 

" Ah, Jack ; but you are drunk to-day again," retorted 
the Judge. 

" P-1-e-a-s-e your Honor," said Jack, " I hav'nt been 
sober yet." 

The Judge was posed, and after studying a moment, 
said : 

" Well, well. Jack ; get about your business, and try 
to keep quiet if you can." 

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owner of a mill. He soon became usefiil as a scrivener, 
and as the friend of the poor and distressed; and so 
generally was he respected for his modesty and unas- 
suming worth, that he was unanimously elected by the 
freeholders of a large district of country, a justice of 
the peace. In this capacity he continued to officiate for 
twelve years, under two commissions. The first was 
granted under the constitution of 1776, and the second 
under the constitution of 1790. So universally were 
his decisions respectod, that there never was an appeal 
from any judgment of his to the Court of Common Pleas, 
and but one writ of certiorari was served on him during 
all that time. 

Though the inhabitants consisted of that description 
of persons, amongst whom quarrels and disputes are veiy 
frequent, yet so great was his personal influence, and so 
strenuous his efforts to reconcile contending parties, that 
he generally prevailed ; and so great was his influence, 
that during the whole period of his administration, of 
the many actions for assault and battery brought before 
him, he mada return to the court of but two recognizances. 
These are evidences of an extraordinary degree and ex- 
tent of public confidence in the judgment and general 
good character of Mr. Snyder, which his whole life 
proved to have been well deserved. 

In 1789, he was elected a member of the convention 
which framed the constitution of this State. Thong^i 
but a novice in politics, his votes point him out as the 
supporter of those principles best calculated to promote 
the happiness of the free people of this country. 

In 1797, he was elected a member of the Legislature, 
and in 1802 became speaker of the House of Represen- 
tatives. As speaker, he presided with much dignity, 


. full knowledge of his duties, and a most accurate 
(Ction and prompt application of the rules of the 

li him originated the arbitration principle, first 
(Nrated with other wholesome provisions for the 
ment of controversies brought before justices of 
ace, in a law commonly called the $100 act. After 
years' experience, this salutary principle was en- 
1 upon our judiciary system. By this teuly patri- 

mode of deciding controversies, more cases are 
d than by ordinary mode of trial by jury, 
continued to preside m the chair tiU 1805. During 
ission he was taken up as a candidate for (Governor, 
n against Thomas McKean, who was re-elected by 
ousand majority. 

.806, Mr. Snyder was again re-elected to the House 
presentatives, and again chosen speaker, and was 
ted to both stations in 1807. 
1808, he was again taken up as a candidate for 
lor, and after an arduous contest, was elected by 
rity of 28,000. In 1811, he was re-elected; and 

1814. His conduct during the war of 1812, was 
ic, and worthy of a Governor of Pennsylvania. 
Hie session of 1813-14, a very large majority of 
ouses passed the bill to charter forty btmks ! The 
ate for Governor was at that time nominated by 
ambers of the Legislature. Having assembled in 

for that purpose, it was remarked after the meet- 
d been organized, that the bill to charter forty 
was then before the Governor, and that it would 
ident to make no nomination till it was seen 
nr he would sanction it. 
lin three days (Governor Snyder returned the 


bill, with his objections, and it did not pass that session. 
His independence ^vas the theme of universal praise, and 
he was that year re-elected by a majority of near 30,000. 

Having served the constitutional period of nine years, 
he retired to his former place of residence in Selinsgrove, 
where, at the next general election, he was elected a 
Senator of the State of Pennsylvania, and served one 

The last half year of his life was evidently vay 
unhappy. His long residence at the seat of govern- 
ment, during which he had not the leisure necessary for 
managing his extensive estate, and the liberal assistance 
afforded by him to his relatives and friends, had greatly 
embarrassed liis aifairs ; and the death of his son Frede- 
rick taking place at this time of anxiety, broke his fipiit 
and prepared his system for the disease which finally 
carried him off. He died in November, 1819. 

During the time Simon Snyder was Governor, a bold 
scheme was concocted by a woman to abduct his youngest 
son, and retain him as a hostage, till a pardon was granted 
which she sought. The nccount of this affair forms an 
interesting feature in the life of the Governor ; and in 
order to elucidate the case more clearly, it is necessaiy 
to give a sketch of the woman also. 

Mrs. Ann Smith, alias Carson, was in many respects 
a remarkable woman, and during her life made consider- 
able noise in the world. She was first married to a isea 
captain named Carson, and during his last voyage, whidi 
lasted something over two years, she pretended to 
believe that he was dead, and married a man named 
Smith, who had been a lieutenant in the army. Shortly 
after the marriage Carson returned, and of course took 
possession of his house and wife, and gave Smith notice 


to quit. The latter, however, manifested a diBposition 
to keep possession of the woman. The parents and 
friends of Mrs. Carson endeavored to accommodate mat^ 
ters, and had at length succeeded, as they imagined, in 
prevailing upon her to renounce Smith. The latter, 
however, coming into the house of Carson one day, 
when Mrs, Carson's parents and one or two other friends 
were present, was ordered by Carson to leave the house. 
The order being disregarded, Carson advanced towards 
him and repeated the command, when Smith turned to 
Mrs. C. and said, "Shall I go, Ann?" "No: stay," was 
her reply ; upon which he drew a pistol and shot Carson 
dead ! For this offence he was tried and executed. 

Pending the sentence of death, Mrs. Carson wrote to 
Mrs. Snyder, praying her to interfere in behalf of Smith, 
and be instrumental, if possible, in procuring from her 
husband a remission of the sentence. She likewise got 
up a petition to the Governor for the same purpose, 
tolerably well filled with respectable names. The appli- 
cation, however, signally failed. 

Being disappointed in her efforts to procure a pardon 
in the usual manner, she had recourse to a bold, as well 
as quite romantic, scheme. The plot was discovered, 
however, and the Governor speedily apprised of it. It 
was as follows : 

Governor Snyder was at Selinsgrove, where he usually 
spent the summer months, when letters arrived from 
Philadelphia, notifying him that Mrs. Carson, in conjunc- 
tion with two or three associates, was on her way to 
Selinsgrove for the purpose of seizing his youngest son, 
and detaining him as a hostage for the life of Smith. 
This scheme so pleased her that she could not keep it a 
secret^ but boasted of it till it reached the ears of the 
civil authorities. 


On receipt of the intelligenoe, the Goyemor imme- 
diately set out for Harrisburg, leaving his three sons, 
Henry, George and Frederick, to guard the house. On 
his arrival there, his friends put themselves on the 
watch, and after two or three days, Mrs. Carson and two 
men arrived, and were recognized. They were permitted 
to proceed as far as Hunter's Falls, ten miles above the 
Capitol, where they stopped for the night at the public 
house of Mr. Armstrong. One of them opening his 
trunk in the bar-room, displayed three pistols to the by- 
standers. Armstrong remarked, ^^ You are well armed." 
'^ Yes," replied the man, ^^ if I had one of these pistols in 
my hand, and Governor Snyder in the other, the ques- 
tion of Smith's pardon would soon be settled." 

They then proceeded to make many inquiries about 
the age of the Governor's youngest son, whether he was 
going to school, and divers other particulars. Soon aila 
the party had retired to rest, a constable and posse 
arrived from Harrisburg, and arrested the whole three. 
On searching their trunks, a good stock of gimblets, 
saws, screw-drivers, and other house-breaking tools, 
were found. 

It was now ascertained that the male conspirators had 
been but recently liberated from the penitentiary. The 
conspiracy to capture the young man having been clearly 
proved, the two men were soon safe within the walls of 
the penitentiary again. Mrs. Carson was convicted and 
sentenced to one of the city prisons of Philadelphia, 
where she had not long remained till she contrived a 
plan for her escape, which probably would have proved 
successful, but for her uncontrollable propensity to talk. 
She boasted in the presence of her keeper, that she pos- 
sessed the means of effecting her escape at any time she 


thought proper. The keeper rightly judging that his 
empire was rather less pleasant than a state of freedom, 
grew suspicious and inquisitorial ; and it was not long 
before he found the impression of his prison key upon a 
piece of soap which she had sent out with her clothes to 
the washerwoman. She was accordingly very carefully 
looked to, and served her time regularly. 

Some years after these occurrences, she was convicted 
of passing counterfeit bank notes on an extensive scale, 
and sentenced to the penitentiary, where she died. 

There was a notorious character named Joe Disbury, 
who flourished about Selinsgrove and Sunbury, near the 
dose of the last century, concerning whom many inter- 
esting stories are related. He was possessed of prodi- 
gious strength, and had few superiors in running and 
skating, and in thieving and lying, was considered a 
natch for the prince of darkness ! 

So bold was he, that he has been known to enter the 
kitchen of a house when the family were in bed, kindle 
a fire, cook a meal, and eat it at his leisure before de- 
camping. On one or two occasions he was interrupted 
in this agreeable occupation, but such was his reliance 
<m swiftness and stratagem that he cared little for that. 

As Joe could tell tremendous tales about the Indian 
wars in which he had performed numberless incredible 
feats of heroism, he was a welcome guest of a long 
winter's evening, at the fireside of those who did not 
know him well. But he seldom suffered them to remain 
long in ignorance of his character and propensities — ^that 
18^ if they had anything worth stealing in the house. 

One day, when the river was tolerably high, Joe called 
on one of the lovers of the marvelous, and told him how 
the Indians, once upon a time, when hard pressed by 


their white pursuers, had buried a quantity of money, 
plat«, watches, &c., on a certain island nearly opposite 
the house of his eager hearer ; and that he thought he 
could find the exact place where the treasure was depo* 
sited. It was, therefore, agreed that the farmer should 
take Joe to the island in his canoe, and that they shodd 
*^ share the labor and the spoil." To the island they 
went, and dug divers holes without success, though Joe 
cheered his companion with assurances that the treasure 
must be at last discovered. Having worked until they 
were hungry, Joe proposed to return in the canoe to the 
house for refreshments, while his companion waited for 
his return. He went to the house, procured a loaf of 
bread, a piece of cold meat, and a bottle of whiskey, 
and stepping into the canoe, left the credulous fanner 
digging on the island, and set off on a voyage of dfe- 
covcry down the river, " and in those parts was never 
heard of more." 

Joe became at length so notorious for his crimes, that 
the whole country was on the qui vive ; he was finally 
taken and imprisoned in Sunbury jail, from which, how- 
ever, ho quickly escaped, and was honored by having a 
reward offered for his apprehension by the sheriff. He 
fled to the Isle of Que, and took refuge in a dense thicket 
of laurel that then grew on the isle, where he fancied 
himself secure. 

He might have remained undiscovered and escaped, 
but for his inordinate love of perpetrating jokes, which 
proved his ruip at last. Lying on the watch near the 
main road cut through the thicket, Joe heard the tread 
of a horse, and slyly peeping from his covert, espied the 
sheriff's wife, on horseback, approaching him. Stepping 
into the road before her, he pulled off his hat, made a 
very polite bow, and again disappeared in the thicket. 


The lady pushed on to Selinsgrove, giving the alarm 
as she went, and Joe was, after much chasing, ferreted 
out and captured by George Kremer, Fancying himself 
secure in that hiding place, he for a moment forgot his 
caution, and Kremer, having been led by Joe's evil 
genius to the spot, almost at the same moment, was en- 
abled to seize him. 

He was remanded to jail — ^had his trial on three sepa- 
rate indictments, and was convicted on each. The Judge 
on summing up, sentenced him to seven years, imprison- 
ment on each count. " That, may it please your honor," 
said Joe, with great coolness, ^^ makes jmt twenty-one 
years /" 

He served out the long term of his imprisonment, and 
again appeared in the neighborhood of his former ex- 
ploits, an aged man, but as merry as a cricket. His long 
confinement had not served to eradicate his inordinate 
thievish propensities, and he would steal whenever he 
had an opportunity. What became of him is not known 
by the writer. 



When Judge Rush left the bench in Northumberland 
county, and Cooper succeeded him, John expressed 
great pleasure at the change. As he had his Irish pre- 
judices and prepossessions hanging thickly about him, he 
did not like the informal and unostentatious manner in 
which justice was administered in America. He would 
have liked to see the bench crowned with wigs, and 
surrounded by an array of armed police, as he had been 
used to seeing it in the " ould coontry." 

It being announced that Cooper was appointed, and 
tiiat he would on the next Monday take his seat, John 
drew his hands from his capacious pockets, rubbed them, 
chuckled, and said exultingly, " Now, be the power iv 
the Vargin Mary, ye'U see bisiness done in the right 
style. The Americans are not fit for judges ; they dinna 
how to presarve orther, but now ye'll see what a quiet 
Coort an ould coontry Judge will kape." 

On Monday morning, John put his hands into his 
huge pockets — ^whence he had extracted them for the 
purpose of eating his breakfast — and straightway walked 
over to Sunbury, full of the grandest ideas of his new 
dispenser of justice. He walked into the Coiu-t House 
without thinking for a moment that his honor would 
take oflfence at his covered head. The Judge, however, 
quickly noticed him, and called, " Constable, Constable, 
there is a man with his hat on — bring him before the 
Court." John was forthwith marched up. The pur- 
blind Judge took aim with his glass, and recognizing an 
old acquaintance, repented somewhat of his projected 
severity of tone, and said peremptorily, though not an- 
grily, ^' John 'Annah, pull 'hoflf your 'at." 

John declined the proposal, saying something about 
the " 'at" being his own, whereupon the Judge's wrath 
was provoked, and he cried aloud — 


" John 'Annah, the Court fines you one dollar, and 
sentences you to twenty-four hours imprisonment. Take 
him to jail, Constable 1" 

John Hannah's exalted opinion of European Judges 
ceased to exist from that day ; and at the expiration of 
his sentence, he returned home a wiser, if not a better, 

In 1786 a great flood occurred in the Susquehanna, 
which endangered the towns of Sunbury and Northum- 
berland to a considerable extent. It is stated that a 
heavy rain commenced to fall on the 5th of October of 
that year, and on the following day grew more violent 
The river rose rapidly, and that night forced itself over the 
banks, carrying everything before it. Many houses were 
soon surrounded by the rushing flood, and the inmates 
were unable to escape therefrom. A man and his wife, 
near Fishing Creek, on the North Branch, were drowned, 
together with a son ; the daughter, a girl about seven- 
teen years of age, becoming terrified at the rising waters, 
took three young children and fled to the hills, and es- 
caped the fate of her unhappy parents, and brother, who 

The waters rose with the greatest rapidity all Friday, 
making, in the fore part of the day, nearly twelve in- 
ches perpendicular, in the space of an hour ; the rain 
continued, but not with the same violence. The condi- 
tion of the town of Sunbury was truly alarming; its situ- 
ation on an island occasioned by a gut from the main 
branch, emptying into Shamokin Creek below the town, 
rendered an escape impossible. 

In the lower part of the town the water was up to the 
first story of many of the houses, so that the inhabitants 
were obliged to land with their canoes on their stairs, or 


t the upper window. A few acres in the middle of the 
&wn, on which were three or four houses, being situated 
igher than the rest, showed above the water. The 
Cegister and Recorder was obUged to abandon his house, 
nd it was feared the records of the county would be 

The town of Northumberland suffered considerable 
)ss, an unfinished ferry-house, erected on the point at 
lie confluence of the two streams, was carried off. The 
offerings of the farmers on the creeks and along the 
iver, was great, their fences, bams, &c., being swept off. 

A tradition existed among the Indians, that a great 
cod occurred in the Susquehanna at regular intervals 
f fourteen years, swelling the waters six or seven feet 
bove the average height of the freshets of the interme- 
iate time. Subsequent experience seemed to verify 
bis, and prove that the Indian tradition was founded on 
orrect observ^ation. The first regular flood on record, 
mong the whites, occurred in 1744 ; the second in 1758; 
hie third in 1772; the fourth, known as ^Uhe great 
umplcin freshl' happened in 1786; and the fifth took 
lace in the spring of 1800, after a heavy rain, which 
ontinued three days and three nights, and carried off a 
>lerably deep snow ; and the sixth occurred in August, 
814, occasioning much damage along the course of the 
tream. According to the rule, another should have fol- 
>wed in 1828, but the freshets of that year were nowise 
^markable — leaving the inference that the Indian rule 
f a flood every fourteen years, had failed and run out. 
Hiether this failure has been caused by the clearing of 
16 country, the extension of agriculture, and the altera- 
on in our climate ; or whether these causes have merely 
^tended the period ; or, finally, whether the regular re- 
irrence of the great floods was not altogether fortuitous. 

' ,j 


I shall leave for the investigations and decisions of those 
inclined to construct theories and philosophize. There 
is no doubt but the old Indian tradition was well found- 
ed, and the fact of those floods occurring at the stated 
periods, would go to confirm it. Perhaps the great flood 
of 1817 ought to be considered the first deviation from 
the rule, which has occurred at irregular periods down 
to the flood of 1847, well remembered by the people of 
the Valley. If the rule holds good, the next great flood 
will be about 1859. 

Each of these floods is stated to have swelled the 
river to an average height of at least six feet above ordi- 
nary high water mark. 

Some years after the conclusion of the Revolutionary 
war, Captain McDonald, the oflBcer that commanded the 
British and Indians at the taking of Fort Freeland, hav- 
ing occasion to visit Washington, ventured to travel from 
Canada, down Lycoming Creek, and pass the site of the 
old fort where he achieved such a victory. Coming to 
Northumberland, he concluded to tarry there for the 
night, and had his horse put up for that purpose. To- 
wards night it leaked out that the stranger was the 
famous Captain McDonald, and groups of men were ob- 
served putting their heads together, and talking in a 
serious manner. Becoming alarmed at these demonstra- 
tions, and fearing that they were concocting a plan to 
give him a coating of tar, the brave Briton quietly hired 
a man to row him down the river in a canoe, and left 
immediately, as the saying is, " on suspicion." Whether 
the citizens seriously meditated anything, is not positive- 
ly known, but he felt guilty, and did not like their ac- 
tions. His horse remained unclaimed in the possession 
of the landlord for near a year, when he was sold for his 


In 1794 quite a diflBculty took place at Northumber- 
land, familiarly known as the " Whiskey Insurrection." 
The participants hoisted a Liberty Pole, which stood at 
the south-east comer of Second and' Market streets. 
The Arsenal, or place where the public arms were stored, 
stood close by, and was under the charge of Robert 
Irwin. The pole was driven full of nails from the 
ground, ten feet upwards, so that it could not be cut 

The insurrectionists took possession of the Arsenal, 
and distributed arms to the people, who resisted the law. 
Matters became serious, and it was feared that a bloody 
scene would ensue. A guard was placed round the pole 
day and night. Those friendly to the government could 
not stand the outrage any longer, and were determined 
to give battle, and protect the house and property of 
Captain John Brady, Jun., who was the district Mar- 
shal. The swords of the officers that had been sheathed 
since the war, were drawn from their scabbards, to pro- 
tect the laws and the government. As the trouble in- 
creased, a collision was considered inevitable, if some- 
thing was not done ; many of the more peaceably dis- 
posed persons, together with the ladiesy interfered to 
prevent shedding of blood. Matters remained unsettled, 
however, for several days, till the arrival of an armed 
Company of ninety-nine men and officers, from Lancas- 
ter, under the command of Captain Robert Cooke. 

The pole was still guarded, and the Marshal's procla- 
mation to clear the streets unheeded. The mob being 
well armed, seemed determiDcd to maintain the position 
it had taken. Cooke ordered them to disperse, which not 
being obeyed, he commanded his company to charge 
them at the point of the bayonet. The order was exe- 


cuted, and the bayonets were already at their breasts, 
when they broke and fled in all directions. An axe was 
called for to cut the pole down. Barney Hoobley's wife 
came running with one, when she was met by Jacob 
Welker's wife, who resisted her, and a desperate fisticuff 
ensued between these two women about the axe. The 
battle was a hard contested one, but Mrs. Hoobley, who 
wa5 the least of the two, succeeded, and the pole was 
cut down. These ladies were sisters, and much respected 
by the people. 

Several of the ringleaders in this insurrection, were 
arrested and conveyed to Philadelphia, to stand their 
trial for resisting the laws of the United States. They 
were tried, convicted, and sentenced to pay a fine of one 
hundred pounds each, and undergo an imprisonment of 
six months. 

The following persons were convicted and sentenced : 
Robert Irwin, Daniel Montgomery, John Frick, William 
Bonham, James Mackey, Sen., and S. McKee. 

When they were marched into the presence of General 
Washington, the old hero was so affected that he shed 
tears. He pardoned them all at the end of twenty days, 
and they returned home, deeply impressed with the good- 
ness and magnanimity of that great man. 

In the spring of 1793, Captain John Cooke, son of 
Colonel Cooke, raised a company of one hundred and 
twenty men, in Northumberland county, and marched 
under General Wayne to the Miami, and participated m 
that bloody campaign. He returned in the autumn of 
1794, with but twenty of his brave volunteers! He 
escorted General Wayne into Philadelphia, and was 
introduced to Washington by him. He died in 1824, 
aged fifty-nine years. 


The Duke of Rochefoucauld Liancourt, a distinguished 
French traveller and exile, visited Dr. Priestly at Nor- 
thumberland in 1795, and tarried several days. He 
afterwards published an account of his travels in Ame- 
rica, and spoke of Northumberland as follows : 

" The average price of lands about the town is $20 to $24 per acre, 
near the river. Farther up the river from $4 to $6. Town lots sell- 
ing at $48 to $50. Houses chiefly built of logs — two only of stone, 
and one of brick, ' large and convenient,' lately sold at $5,200, and 
rented for $80 — the highest rent in town. The inhabitants mostly 
foreigners — ^Irish, Dutch, and English ; and Germans about Sunbury. 
People here were much in favor of the Whiskey insurrection. The 
island of 250 acres is now the property of an aged man, who lives on 
it in a small log-honse. He bought it some seven years since for 
$1,600, and lately refused $3,300." 

More than half a century ago, there resided in Nor- 
thumberland, a gentleman named Jenkins, who owned a 
slave called 'Siizs^ (Josiah.) He is said to have been 
a negro of Herculean strength, and almost incredible 
agility, over whom his master could exercise but little 
control. Some of the most wonderful anecdotes, and 
feats of strength, are related about black 'Sias, still 
fresh in the memories of the oldest citizens. 

He occasionally officiated as a waterman, and when 
grog got the headway, or the whim seized him, he would, 
with a single jerk, snap off the stem of an oar-blade where 
it worked on the pivot ! These stems are made of a pine 
log about ten inches in diameter, and from twenty-five 
to thirty feet in length. 

On one occasion, being pursued by the constable and 
posse, he escaped by leaping across a deep mill-race, a 
distance of about thirty feet! He was subsequently 
seized, convicted and imprisoned. During the winter — 


for his conviction took place late in the year — ^he escaped 
from prison in the evening, secured a pair of skates, 
went to Harrisburg and got a fiddle he had left there, 
and returned to Northumberland before morning ! 

On another occasion, it is saidy that he skated to Ear- 
risburg, stole a loaf of bread, which a woman on the 
river bank had just taken from the oven, put it under 
his coat, and returned to Northumberland before it had 
grown cold ! ! The distance was about fifty-five miles. 




John Kelly was a native of Lancaster county. He 
was bom in February, 1747. After the purchase from 
the Indians, by the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, in 
1768, he left Lancaster county and settled in Buffalo 
Valley. Here he endured the hardships common to all 
settlers in new countries. He was well calculated for a 
new settlement, however, being about six feet two inches 
in height, well proportioned, vigorous and muscular, with 
a body inured to labor, insensible of fatigue, and fearless 
of danger. 

He was a Major in the Revolutionary war, and distin- 
guished himself in the brilliant actions at Trenton and 

In the course of one of their retreats, the commander- 
in-chief. Colonel Potter, sent an order to Major Kelly, to 
have a certain bridge cut down to prevent the advance 
of the British, who were then in sight. The Major sent 
for an axe, but represented that the enterprise would 


be very hazardous. Still the British advance must be 
stopped, and the order was not withdrawn. He said he 
could not order another to do what some would say he 
was afraid to do himself — ^he would cut down the bridge. 
Before all the logs on which the bridge lay were cut off, 
he w\as completely within the range of the British fire, 
and several balls struck the log on which he stood. The 
last log broke down sooner than he expected, and he fell 
with it into the swollen stream. The American soldiers 
moved on, not believing it possible for him to make his 
escape. He, however, by great exertions, reached the 
shore, through the high water and the floating timber, 
and followed the troops. Encumbered as he must have 
been with his wet and frozen clothes, he made a prisoner 
on the road of a British scout, an armed soldier, and 
took him into camp. History mentions that our retreat- 
ing army was saved by the destruction of that bridge ; 
but the manner in which it was done, or the name of the 
person who did it, is not mentioned. It was but one of 
a scries of heroic acts, which occurred nearly every day; 
and our brave soldiers were more familiar with the use 
of the sword than the pen. 

After his discharge, Major Kelly returned to his farm 
and his family, and during the three succeeding years 
the Indians were very troublesome to the settlements 
on the West Branch. He became Colonel of the Regi- 
ment, and it was his duty to guard the Valley against 
the incursions of the savages. When the "Big Run- 
away" occurred. Colonel Kelly was one of the first to 
return. For at least two harvests, reapers took their 
rifles to the fields, and some of the company watched 
whilst others wrought. 

At one time Colonel Kelly had the principal command 


of scouting parties in the Valley, and very often was out 
in person. Many nights he has laid on the branches of 
fallen trees to keep himself out of the mud, without a 
fire — because it would have indicated his position to the 
enemy. He became well skilled in Indian warfare, and 
was a terror to their marauding bands. 

One circumstance in his life deserv^es particular notice. 
So greatly was he feared by the savages, that they were 
resolved on his destruction, and being too cowardly to 
attack him openly, sought his life by stealth. One 
night he had reason to believe that they were prowling 
around. Rising early the next morning, and looking 
through the crevices of his log-house, he ascertained 
that tw^o of them, at least, were lying with their arms 
in such a position as to shoot him when he opened the 
door. Being of a quick turn of mind, he determined to 
thwart their design, and fixed his own rifle, and took a 
position so that he could open the door with a string, 
and watch them at the same time. The moment he 
pulled the door open, two balls came into the house, and 
the Indians rose to advance. He immediately fired and 
wounded one, when they both retreated. After waiting 
to satisfy himself that no others remained, he followed 
them by the blood — but they escaped. 

After the capture of Freeland's Fort, Colonel Kelly, 
with a company of men, w^ent up to bury the dead. On 
the way, along a narrow path, a deer started up. The 
man immediately behind him was a great ^^fist hullyi^ 
but on hearing the noise, instinctively seized Kelly's 
coat-tail, and held on. On learning that the noise was 
not occasioned by Indians, he exclaimed : " L(yrd Gody 
John, what a soldier you are r 

The Colonel was a fearless man, and not to be intimi- 


dated by trifles. A neighbor once tried his bravery by 
painting himself like an Indian, and hiding behind a log 
to await his return from a scout up Spruce Run. When 
Kelly came opposite the log, he raised his head, but was 
almost immediately detected, and Kelly's gun was level- 
ed upon him, and he would have received the contents, 
had he not made himself known speedily. 

For many years. Colonel Kelly held the oflBice of a 
magistrate. In the administration of justice, he exhib- 
ited the same anxiety to do right, and disregard of self, 
which had characterized him in the military service of 
his country. He would at any time forgive his own fees, 
and, if the parties were poor, pay the constable's cost, to 
procure a compromise. 

He Avas a member of the Presbyterian Church, and a 
devout Christian, but to show the strong force of habit 
in men, I will relate an anecdote concerning him. 

About forty years ago, a mission was set on foot in 
the Northumberland Prcsbyijery, to evangelize the sa- 
vages. Colonel Kelly was called on to make a contribu- 
tion. He said he w ould not give a cent to send preach- 
ers to the Indians, but he would give any sum required^ to 
buy ropes to hang them I 

lie died the 18th of February, 1832, universally hoa- 
ored and respected, at the good old age of 88, and was 
interred in the Old English burying-ground in Lewis- 
burg. On the 8th of April, 1835, amid a grand militaiy 
display, a plain monument was erected to his memoij, 
and an appropriate oration delivered by Jaiues Merrill, 

Early in the spring of 1856, the monument, together 
with his remains, was removed to the cemetery, west of 
the town. It is said that a few large bones virere all the 


visible memorials of the once powerful Indian fighter — 
the brave compatriot of Washington in the glories that 
followed the darkest night of our country's history. 

Colonel Kelly left several sons, who reside on the old 
farm, and vicinity, about seven miles from Lewisburg. 
They are highly respectable and intelligent men, and in 
every respect worthy of their illustrious father. His 
name is also perpetuated by one of the most fertile and 
productive townships on the banks of the Otzinachson. 

Colonel Thomas Hartley, whose name frequently oc- 
curs in the history of this Valley, and who was station- 
ed for a while at Fort Augusta, was bom in Berks coun- 
tyy in 1748. He received the rudiments of a classical 
education in the town of Reading, and went to York, at 
the age of eighteen, where he commenced the study of 
law, under Samuel Johnson. He pursued his studies 
with great diligence for three years, when he was ad- 
mitted to the bar, and commenced the practice of his 
profession in 1769. 

Young Hartley was early a distinguished and warm 
friend of his country, and signalized himself both in the 
cabinet and field. In 1774, he was elected by the citi- 
zens of York, a member of the Provincial meeting of 
Deputies, held at Philadelphia, in July of the same 
year. The subsequent year he became a member of the 
Provincial Convention, held in the same city. 

The clangor of arms now began to resound in the east. 
Hartley espoused the cause of Liberty, and soon distin- 
guished himself as a soldier. The Committee of Safety 
recommended a number of persons to Congress, for 
Field OflScers of the sixth battalion ordered to be raised. 
Congress, on the 10th of January, 1776, elected Wil- 
liam Irwin, as Colonel ; Thomas Hartley, as Lieutenant- 

336 niSTOBT OF the west branch yALLE7. 

Colonel ; and James Dunlap, as Major. Hartley was 
soon afterwards promoted to the full degree of Colonel. 

After three years' service, he wrote to Congress, ask- 
ing permission to resign his commission. His resigna- 
tion was accepted. In 1778, he was elected a member 
of the Legislature from York county. In 1783, he was 
elected a member of the Council of Censors. In 1787, 
he was a member of the State Convention, which adopt- 
ed the Constitution of the United States. 

In 1788, he was elected a member of Congress, and 
he continued a member of that august body for about 
twelve years. 

In 1800, Governor McKean commissioned him a Ma- 
jor General of the fifth Division of the Pennsylvania 
Militia. Soon after receiving this appointment, he died 
at York, on the 21st of December, 1800, in his fifly- 
third year. 

The name of this distinguished scholar, soldier and 
statesman, is perpetuated in the enterprising town of 
Hartleton, in Snyder county. 




Perhaps there was no family on the West Branch, 
more identified with its history, and deserving of a more 
extended notice, than the Brady family. It furnished 
some of the most remarkable men of that period — ^men 
whose deeds of heroism and daring, would fill a volume, 
and should be emblazoned on the broad page of History. 
The descendants of this illustrious family, now living 
throughout the Valley, are numerous, and respectable 
members of society. 

Many writers, in speaking of the Bradys, have ran 
into errors, on account of several of the same name, and 
confounded them in such a manner as to render it ex- 
ceedingly annoying to their descendants. I flatter myself, 
that I will be able in these pages to give a correct sketch, 
as I obtain the facts from the papers of General Hugh 
Brady, who died at Detroit, in 1851. Concerning him- 
self, and the family, the General says : 

'< I was bom on the 29th day of July, 1768, at the Standing- 
Stone, in Huntingdon county, Pa., and was the fifth son of John and 



Mary Brady. They had six sons and four daughters. My brothers 
all lived to be men, in every sense of the term, and at a period when 
the qualities of men were put to the most severe and enduring teste. 
While I was yet a child, my father moved on to the West Branch, and 
pitched his tent about eight miles above Northumberland. At this time, 
titles to wild lands could be obtained by erecting a log house, and 
girdling a few trees, by way of improvement, or cultivation. In this 
way, my father, John Brady, took up a vast quantity of land ; and, 
had he not fallen in the war of 1776, would have been one of the 
greatest land-holders in the State. But, owing to the dishonesty and 
mismanagement of those connected with him, his family received but 
little benefit from his exertions. Soon after the commencemeDt of 
the war of 1776, ho was appointed a Captain in the 12tli Pennsylyania 
Regiment; and in a few weeks having recruited his Company, joined 
the army and remained with it till after the battle of Brandywine. 

At this time the Indians had become very troublesome in the set- 
tlements on the Susquehanna — so much so, that application was made 
for regular troops to protect the frontier. Gen. Washington not being 
in a condition to spare any troops at that moment, ordered home Capt. 
John Brady, Capt. Boone, and Lieuts. John and Samuel Dougherty, 
to use their influence in inducing the people to sustain themselves 
until he could afford them other relief. And nobly did they execute 
his design. All that brave and experienced men could do, was done 
by them, even to sacrificing their lives in the defence of their country; 
for, in less than two years from that date, Capts. Boone and Brady, 
and Lieut. Samuel Dougherty, had fallen by the hands of the savages. 
Ten months before the death of Capt. John Brady, his son James had 
fallen, (an account of which has already been given.) Another son, 
Samuel, was tlien an officer in the U. S. Army. . John was then at 
home, in charge of the family, and in his sixteenth year. 

After the fall of Capt. Brady, my mother removed, with her 
family, to her father's place in Cumberland County, where she arrived 
in May, 1779, and where she remained till October of that year. She 
then remaved to Buffalo Valley, and settled on one of our own farms. 
We found the tenant had left our portion of the hay and grain, which 
was a most fortunate circumstance. The winter following — 1779 and 
'80 — was a very severe one, and the depth of snow interdicted all 
traveling. Neighbors were few, and the settlement scattered — so that 
the winter was solitary and dreary to a most painful degree. But, 


whilst tho depth of the snow kept us confined at home, it had also the 
effect to protect us from the inroads of the savages. But, with the 
opening of the spring the savages returned, and killed some people 
near our residence. This induced Mrs. Brady to take shelter, with 
some ten or twelve families, about three miles from our home. Pickets 
were placed around the houses, and the old men, women, and children 
remained within during the day ; while all who could work and carry 
arms, returned to their farms, for the purpose of raising something to 
subsist upon. Many a day have I walked by the side of my brother 
John, while he was plowing, and carried my rifle in one hand, and a 
forked stick in the other, to clear the plowshare ! 

Sometimes my mother would go with us to prepare our dinner. 
This was contrary to our wishes ; but she said that, while she shared 
the dangers that surrounded us, she was more contented than when 
left at the fort. Thus we continued till the end of the war, when 
peace — ^happy peace — again invited the people to return to their 

In 1783, our mother was taken from us. In '84 my brother John 
married, and soon after, my eldest sister followed his example. All 
the children younger than myself, lived with them. I went to the 
western country with my brother Capt. Samuel Brady. He had been 
recently disbanded, and had married a Miss Swearingen, in Washing- 
ton County, Pa. He took me to his house at that place, and I made 
it my home until 1702, when I was appointed an Ensign in Gen. 
Wayne's army. Previous to this my brother had moved into Ohio 
County, Ya., and settled a short distance above (^harlestown. At 
that day the Indians were continually committing depredations along 
the frontier. 

I joined with several parties in pursuit of Indians, but only met 
them once in action. In 1792 I was placed in a rifle company com- 
manded by Capt. John Crawford." 

The General participated in the campaign that follow- 
ed under Wayne, and he gives an interesting description 
of it, but as it is not in the province of this work, I ani 
obliged to omit it. At the conclusion of the war, he re- 
turned and visited the widow of his brother, Captain 
Samuel, in Virginia, who had died some time previous 


Having been absent for ten years, he had a desire to see 
his brothers and sisters, and having resigned his com- 
mission in 1795, started for home. Remaining some 
time in Kentucky and Virginia, he iSnally arrived at 
Sunbury in 1797. He thus continues : 

'< I reached home about the 21st of July. I went first to Capt. 
William Gray's, my brother-in-law. My sister, Mrs. Gray, came to 
the door, and, as I enquired for Mr. Gray, she put on rather an im- 
portant look, and replied — ' I presume you will find him at the store' 
— and turned into the parlor. I was about turning on my heel, when 
I heard steps in the entry, and, turning round, I saw my sister 
Hannah. She immediately raised her hands, and exclaimed — ' Mj 
brother Hugh !' and flew into my arms. This was not a little sur- 
prising, as when she saw me last, she could not have been more than 
eight years old. She knew me by my resemblance to my twin sister 
Jane. I found my connections all living happily, and moving at the 
head of society. I passed a happy three or four months with them, 
when I became weary of an idle life, and b^an to look for mjpro- 
miiicd fortune V 

He remained with them till the winter of 1798-9, 
when he was appointed a Captain in Adams' army, and 
in less than two years was disbanded. He then went 
with his brother William to make an improvement near 
Pittsburg. In 1805 he married, and resided there till 
1810, when he retm'ned with his family to Northumber- 
land, and remained till the war of 1812, when he again eii- 
tered the army, and distinguished himself ^in the briUiant 
actions at Lundy's Lane and Bridgewater, where he was 
severely wounded. He subsequently rose to the rank 
of Brevet Major General in the United States Army, 
and his name stands indelibly recorded in the annals of 
his country's fame. He died in 1851. A beautiful and 
pathetic poem, on his death, was written by Rev. George 
DufField^ a few verses of which I give as follows : 


** A woe is on the Nation's soul, 

And soldier-hearts are sad and sore, 
As through the land the tidings roll — 

Our gallant Brady is no more ! 
* * * * * 

** But fife, nor drum, no more shall wake 

The Warrior from his dreamless sleep ; 
Life's battle fought — the victory won — 

His feet now press Fame's highest steep." 

** Then kindly wrap the Nation's flag 

Around the Hero's honored clay — 
Fit shroud for soldier such as he. 

Who knew no joy save in its ray !" 

** And manly eyes may weep to-day, 

As sinks the Patriot to his rest ; 
The Nation held no truer heart 

Than that which beat in Bradt's breast /" 

Speaking of his brother James, who, the reader wiU 
remember, was killed below Williamsport, he says : 

'' James Brady was a remarkable man. Nature had done much for 
him. His person was fine. He lacked but a quarter of an inch of 
six feet, and his mind was as well finished as his person. I haver ever 
placed him by the side of Jonathan, son of Saul, for beauty of person, 
and nobleness of soul, and, like him, he fell by the hands of the Phi- 

He makes allusion to his brother John as follows : 

"My brother Jonn, in his fifteenth year, was in the battle of Brandy- 
wine, and was wounded. On the retreat, he would have been cap- 
tared, had not his Colonel (Cooke) taken him up behind him. 

John had gone to the army with my father, in order to take home 
the horses ridden out, and was directed by my father to return. But 
John heard from Ensign Boyd, that a battlo was expected to be fought 
soon. He, therefore, remained to see the fun ; and when my father 
took command of his company, on the morning of the battle, he found 
John in the ranks, with a big rifle by his side. My father was wound- 


ed in the battle j Ensign Boyd was killed ; and John received a woand 
during the retreat. 

As one good turn deserves another, two of my brothers many yean 
after, married two of the ColoneFs daughters." 

He thus describes his brother Captain Sam., the great 
warrior and Indian-killer : 

" Never was a man more devoted to his country, and few — ^very 
few — have rendered more important services, if we consider the na- 
ture of the service, and the part performed by him personally. He 
was 5 feet 11} inches in height, with a perfect form. He was rather 
light — his weight exceeding, at no time, one hundred and sixty-eight 
pounds. As I have said before, there were six brothers, viz : Samuel, 
James, John, William P., Hugh and Robert. There was but half an 
inch difference in our heights. John was six feet and an inch, and I 
was the shortest of them all. Is it not remarkable that I, who was 
considered the most feeble of all, should outlive all my brothers, after 
having been exposed to more dangers and vicissitudes than any, except 
Samuel ? Is it not a proof that there is, from the beginning, ' a day 
appointed for man to die ?' It is said — * the race is not to the swift, 
or the battle to the strong; but safety is of the Lord.' That has ever 
been my belief 

Captain Sam. Brady was a remarkable man, and in 
many a bloody skirmish. He was in the surprise at 
Paoli, and made a narrow escape. As he jumped a 
fence, the skirt of his great coat, w^as pinioned to the rail 
by a bayonet in the liands of a British soldier, who made 
a thrust at liim. He afterwards was appointed to a 
Captaincy, and given the command of a Company called 
the Rangers. He was under General Wayne, and ren- 
dered efficient service in protecting the frontiers. He 
continued to command them to the time of his death, 
which occurred on Christmas day, 1795, in the 39th 
year of his age. He left a widow and two sons. 

Mary Brady, the mother of thife illustrious family. 


weighed down with grief and care, died in 1783, at the 
early age of forty-eight, and was buried in the old Eng- 
lish Burying Ground in Lewisburg. Her son John, the 
heroic lad, who remained and fought with his father at 
Brandywine, died at the same age, in 1809, and was laid 
by the side of his beloved mother. 

In the spring of 1856, their remains were taken up 
and deposited in the Cemetery, where they will probably 
remain till the Archangel's trump shall awaken them to 
glory and to life again. 

The numerous descendants of this heroic family in the 
enchanting vale of the Otzinachson, have just reasons to 
feel proud that they sprung from such a noble ancestry ; 
and he who can stand up at this day and say that the 
patriotic blood of Mary and John Brady courses through 
his veins, should scorn to tarnish that immortal name by 
a base action. 

Within a year or two, a township in Lycoming County 
has been formed out of Washington, and named Brady, 
in commemoration of the revered name. 




George Kremer, well remembered by the older resi- 
dents of the Valley, became quite distinguished in the 
political world, and attracted considerable attention. A 
biography of his life and pubhc services may prove in- 
teresting at this period. For the material facts, I am 
indebted to George A. Snyder, Esq., who is competent 
to detail them correctly. 

George Kremer was the nephew of Governor Snyder, 
and came to reside with him when a mere lad. He was 
very ill-formed, but not the least ashamed of his ugli- 
ness, and rather inclined to feel proud of his distinction 
in this respect. He grew up to be stout, and soon be- 
came able to fight his own battles, in an age and a dis- 
trict where broils were of daily occurrence. This re- 
gion, then called by the general name of Shamokin, was 
in those days the frontier, and looked upon by the 
dwellers on the sea-board, as we look upon Iowa and 
Kansas at the present time. It served as a place of re- 


fdge for all runaway and desperate characters from the 
south-eastern counties. The sheriff and constable sel- 
dom ventured into the wilds on this side of the river, 
which acquired the significant title of Rascal's creek ! 

George was remarkable for shrewdness, no less than for 
courage and bodily strength, and he became in a short 
time, a person of great influence among the hardy inhab- 
itants of the new country. In addition to his other 
good qualities, he was strictly honest, and his word was 
his bond. Whatever he did, he did it with all his might. 
With such qualifications and endowments, it is no matter 
of wonder that he became a leading man so soon as he 
embarked in politics. 

After serving several terms as a member of our State 
Legislature, he was elected to Congress, and here ac- 
quired the distinction which he enjoyed. 

In 1825, it having been ascertained that neither of 
the candidates for the Presidency had received the con- 
stitutional majority of votes, the mattel* was referred to 
Congress. Mr. Adams, General Jackson, Mr. Clay, and 
Mr. Crawford, were the candidates, and as the choice of 
Congress lay between the two first, there was, of course, 
considerable intriguing on the part of the two latter 
and their friends. The friends of Jackson finding that 
Mr. Clay and his friends were decidedly hostile to their 
candidate, and, indeed, made no secret of their aversion 
to him, resolved, after in vain trying the arts of persua- 
sion, to resort to intimidation. They caused a letter to 
be written and published in the Columbian Observer^ of 
I^adelphia, which stated that a corrupt bargain had 
been made between Messrs. Adams and Clay, in pursu- 
ance of which the latter was to transfer his vote, and 
the vote of his friends to Mr. Adams, who was to make 
him Secretary of State as his reward. 


On the day after the appearance of the letter, Mr. 
Clay, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, 
moved that a committee be appointed to inquire into the 
truth of this charge. Mr. Kremer seconded the motion, 
stating that he was ready with the proofs, and willing to 
meet the inquiry. The motion was opposed by Mr. 
McDuffie, and some others — friends to Jackson — on the 
ground that there was not sufficient reason to consume 
the time of the House in investigating a frivolous news- 
paper charge — a charge which no one acquainted with 
the parties concerned, would believe. Mr. Clay had 
even insisted on his right to clear his character from the 
stain thus publicly attempted to be fixed on it^ and Mr. 
Kremer eagerly seconded him, exulting in the anticipated 
certain confounding of the Clay and Adams party. 

Not one, however, of those who had put him upon 
writing the letters, supported him, or manifested any 
anxiety for the proposed inquiry. The committee was 
appointed. On the evening of the same day, Kremer 
discovered that his friends could furnish him with no 
evidence to support his charge, and that he must get out 
of the scrape as well as he could. On the succeeding 
day the committee notified him they were ready to pro- 
ceed, in answer to which he wrote a long letter to the 
chairman declining to appear, alleging that as he had 
made no formal charges, the committee could have no 
jurisdiction — that his charge was made for the public, 
&c. This special pleading was so nearly identified with 
the argument of Mr. McDuflfie on the preceding day — in 
the motion for inquiry — as to lead some to suspect that 
he (Mr. McDuffie) was its author ; but the character of 
Mr. McDuffie forbids us to harbor any such suspicion. 
It was probably the production of Mr. Ingham, who, as 
afterwards appeared, was Kremer's chief prompter in 


this business. It was natural for him to adopt Mr. 
McDuffie's arguments, being the best, and indeed only- 
mode of getting clear of the difficulty. 

One might have supposed that this disgraceful retreat 
would have convinced the whole public of the falsehood 
of Kremer's charge ; but political faith covers mountains, 
and the charge was eagerly entertained and reiterated 
by the disappointed partisans of Jackson. Kremer him- 
self, as appears from the testimony of Mr. Crowninshield, 
doubted, at the last, and had a letter of apology ready 
for Mr. Clay, which Mr. Ingham found means to suppress. 

Such was the eagerness with which the Pennsylvanians 
received the corruption story, and such the cloud of 
incense with which Kremer was fumigated, that it is no 
wonder that his brain was effected, and he really believed 
himself the saviour of his country's liberty ! His vanity 
became excessive, and as Cicero of old continually rung 
the changes in his latter orations, on the names of Len- 
tulus, Cethugus, and Catiline, so Kremer made corrup- 
tion, and his famous letter, the eternal burden of his 
song. He fancied that he smellcd corruption in every 
breeze that blew along Pennsylvania Avenue, and had 
Mrs. Adams invited him to tea, he would have fancied 
he discovered corruption in her card. 

On his return home he visited Philadelphia, Harris- 
burg, and other places, where he was feasted and flat- 
tered by the Jacksonians, until he believed himself to 
be, what they pretended to think him, one of the most 
remarkable men of the age. 

Finding that the corruption story was unsparingly 
used against him by the Jacksonians, notwithsUmding 
the way in which they had backed out of the charge ; 
and that even General Jackson had condescended to 


lend the authority of his name to this shameless calum- 
ny, Mr. Clay took the trouble to collect the letters, cer- 
tificates, and affidavits of almost every one who could 
have any knowledge of the matter in agitation, and pub- 
lished them in a pamphlet. These testimonials, coming 
from upwards of fifty persons of all parties, formed a 
most triumphant refutation of the corruption story. But 
it was all in vain for Messrs. Adams and Clay ; the popu- 
lar mind had been roused to phrensy, and was utterly 
inaccessible to all reason. Jackson was elected in 1828 
by a decided majority, and Kremer, having answered 
the purpose of the party, was forgotten at once. Too 
honest to take a part in the intrigues of his fellow-parti- 
sans at Washington, he could not make himself of any 
further use to them, and was pushed aside to make room 
for those who knew how to make the best use, for selfish 
purposes, of his services. 

For some years after he was left out of Congress, he 
continued to make speeches at public meetings, the bur- 
den of which was corruption, and — "Jbfy letter to the 
Columbian Observer .'" His action, in speaking, was ve- 
hement and ungraceful — his voice loud, and his accentu- 
ation false and ranting, such as schoolboys are apt to 
acquire under the tuition of an injudicious teacher. His 
honesty and zeal no one doubted, but designing dema- 
gogues contrived, by dexterous management, to keep 
him back, as he was too straightforward for them, and 
if admitted to their counsels, would mar the harmony of 
their best laid plans, by denouncing their selfishness and 
unfair dealing. There was neither selfishness nor mean- 
ness about him ; and had he condescended to cringe to 
the party leaders in 1828-9, when his name was in the 
mouth of every one ; or had he intimated that his influ- 


ence might possibly be turned agaiust Jackson, there is 
no doubt but that he could have obtained the highest re- 
ward in the form of poUtical preferment. Indeed it was 
matter of wonder and remark, among his unsophisticated 
constituents, that he remained without office. They lit- 
tle thought that their favorite was altogether thrust 
aside by the throng of hungry office-hunters, who assail- 
ed the President with their importunate cries for the 
spoils of victory. He was not blind to the intrigues and 
foul play going on at the seat of government, for on his 
way home once, he met an acquaintance whom he mis- 
took for one of his own political cast, and to whom he 
said: ^ 

" Adams and Clay were corrupt^ but their corruption 
was child's play to what is going on at Washington 
now !" 




Robert Covenhoven, of whom mention has ab-eady 
been made in several places, was bom of Low Dutch 
parents, in Monmouth County, New Jersey. The name 
has since been corrupted to Crownover, and by it his 
descendants Jire known at the present day. 

In his youth, Robert was much employed w4th sur- 
veying parties on the North and West Branches, in the 
capacity of hunter and axeman. By this means he 
acquired his great famiharity with all the paths and 
defiles of the wilderness, which rendered him so valua- 
ble afterwards as a scout and guide. It is needless to 
add, that the graduate of such a school w^as fearless and 
intrepid — skilled in all the wiles of Indian warfare, and 
possessed of an iron constitution. 

At the coniniencement of the Revolution, he joined 
the standard of General Washington, and participated in 
the brilliant actions at Trenton and Princeton. In the 
meantime the family had left the arid sands of New Jer- 
sey, and sought a home on the West Branch. His 
father joined the army, and Robert was permitted to 


return and protect his mother. Most of his adventures 
have been given ah*eady in their proper place. He was 
one of those men who were always put forward when 
danger was to be encountered, but always forgotten 
when honors and emoluments were to be distributed. 
Nevertheless, he cheerfully sought the post of danger, 
and never shrunk from duty. Few men in those peril- 
ous days passed through more deadly encounters, or had 
more hairbreadth escapes. 

He was very useful to General Sullivan as a spy and 
a guide, in his celebrated expedition up the North 
Branch in 1779, to the Indian country. It is said that 
he was in the unfortunate company commanded by Lieu- 
tenant Boyd, and was one among the few that escaped 
the dreadful massacre. 

When the din of battle ceased, and peace was restored 
to the land, Covenhoven came and settled permanently 
on the West Branch. His old farm is four miles below 
Jersey Shore, on the right of the road, and is owned at 
the present time by William McGinness, Esq. He re- 
sided there till declining age admonished him to relin- 
quish the pursuits of the agriculturist, and seek a more 
quiet and sedate life. For a part of the time he resided 
with his son-in-law. Colonel George Crane, near Jersey 
Shore ; and the other part in the family of Mr. Pfouts, 
another son-in-law, near Northumberland, where he died 
in October, 1846, at the ripe old age of 90 years, 10 
months, and 22 days. His remains were deposited in 
the grave yard at Northumberland. 


Who has not heard of the " Carthome^' as it is fami- 
liarly termed by the up-river folks ? The title is derived 


from a remarkable old Dutchman, whose name is ^ven 
above. A short sketch of his life may not prove mim- 

When Peter A. Carthaus landed in the United States, 
he was a widower of some forty-five years of age, with 
a number of little children. In Wilmington, Del., he 
saw a very pretty lady of some eighteen or nineteen 
summers, and was immediately smitten with her charms, 
and grew very matrimonial in his ideas. He applied to 
the lady's father, who, of course, thought some little 
upon the subject of the disparity of years, and the num- 
ber of pre-existing issue. But Peter was very rich, and 
his dollars were broad enough to hide all his impeifeo- 
tions — age, children, stinginess, ugliness, boorishness, 
&c., with which he was endowed. The prudent fisither 
did not, however, neglect the main chance — ^he insisted 
on a marriage settlement of $20,000. Peter made faces 
— he was a capital hand at driving a bargain, and so was 
the father. After considerable parleying, Peter, sorely 
straitened between his love of money, and his desire for 
matrimony, consented to a settlement of $15,000. He 
got his wife, but never forgave either her or her father, 
for getting, what he termed, so good a bargain out of 
him ! 

He carried his new wife, escorted by his numerous 
small children, triumphantly home to his paradise in the 
wilds of Clearfield County, where the Wiknington beauty 
was each night lulled to rest by those forest nightingales, 
the wolves ! How time passed with her, history saitii 
not, but we may readily divine the feelings of a city 
belle, espoused to a bear and serenaded by wolves ! 

Shortly after his arrival in this country, he purchased 
a large tract of land in Clearfield County, which was 


found to be well supplied with iron ore, coal, timber, &c. 
Being possessed of plenty of capital, he resolved to be- 
come richer by means of the aforesaid ore. Accordingly 
he laid out many thousands of his dollars in erecting a 
furnace, a forge, a large grist mill, a convenient wharf, 
and several large houses, all of stone. Being built in an 
unsettled country, they cost an immense sum of money. 
Peter manufactured iron, but behold ! there was no way 
to get it to market — he made ready his mill, but alas ! 
people grew no grain in the woods, and of course his 
toll-dish was not often filled. His works were very 
complete, but soon fell into disuse, and rapidly went to 
decay. They yet stand in a dilapidated condition, a 
monument of his folly — ^and the place is universally 
known by the name of the " Carthomer 

Many amusing anecdotes are related of Peter, a few 
of which I will give, to illustrate more fiilly his cha^ 

About a year after his marriage, the father of his 
pretty wife, accompanied by ten or twelve brothers, 
sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, &c., paid a visit to the 
happy couple, to witness their connubial happiness, eat 
venison, and listen to the music of the Clearfield night- 
ingales. No sooner were they safely landed in Cart- 
haus' paradise, than Judge Potter, one of the most 
hospitable and friendly of men, paid his respects to the 
new-comers, and invited them to dine with him at his 
residence in Bellefonte. They went, of course, and par- 
took of the Judge's meat and drink, in company with 
twenty or thirty of the most respectable persons of the 
vicinity. When the cloth was removed, and after the 
wine had begun to loosen the tongues and warm the 
hearts of the company, some one, meaning to compliment 


the fair Mrs. Carthaus, remarked to Peter, that he be- 
lieved the Wilmington ladies were very handsome. 

" Yes," growled Peter, " dey ish very pretty, but dey 
sell dem d h high T^ 

Peter once went to the house of Governor Snyder, in 
Harrisburg, with the model of a boat which he had con- 
structed. It had a water wheel at the head, connected 
with which was a lever, to the ends of which were at- 
tached poles, whereby the boat was to be shoved against 
the stream. It is unnecessary to attempt a more minute 
description of the contrivance — suffice it to say, that it 
was constructed upon the very philosophical principle 
that the force of the current would turn the wheel, 
which would set the lever and poles in motion, and pro- 
pel the boat against the stream. Something like mount- 
ing a chair to look over the top of one's own head ! 

Once upon a time he had occasion to go to Bellefonte, 
where a newly-established wagon maker had just finished 
a large wagon, the outside whereof was painted sky-blue, 
and the inside a beautiful pink ; and Peter was in rap- 
tures with the glorious sight. To his eager inquiries, 
and offers of purchase, he was answered that this jewel 
upon four wheels had been made to order, and was not 
to be had. " Make me a new one den directly, as pretty 
as dis," said Peter. The promise was given, and in due 
time performed, though to the impatient Peter the time 
seemed long enough to build fifty wagons. The wagon, 
in all its splendor, was sent home, and its first errsind 
was into the woods for a load of charcoal. There being 
no road, the vehicle had to wind its devious course 
among the forest trees, between two of which it got 
inextricably jammed with its dusty cargo, on the way 
homeward. Peter backed his horses and swore — ^he 


and his man next applied their shoulders to the wheels, 
and swore again; but neither backing the horses, nor 
pushing with the shoulders, sufficed, when he wished 
the devil might come and burn his wagon, and unhitch- 
ing his horses went home to supper. The next morn- 
ing, with a reinforcement of horses and men, and a suffi- 
cient reserve of curses, Peter returned for the wagon. 
But alas ! the charcoal had not been rightly looked to — 
a spark lurked in the huge mass — the night wind fanned 
the flame, and on his arrival he foimd nothing but a heap 
of ashes. His first impression was, that the devil had 
taken him at his word, and he yelled with mingled terror 
and wrath, till the woods resounded to the echo ! 

Whilst up in this region, I may as well relate another 
amusing circumstance, which is said to have been a fact. 
It relates to a settlement on the Sinnemahoning Creek 
at quite an early day, when morals and religion were 
little known and practised there. Some humane per- 
sons having heard of the heathenish condition of the 
people, straightway made arrangements to send a mis- 
sionary amongst them, for the purpose of enlightening 
them. In due course of time he came, and made arrange- 
ments to convert the heathen. The account of the mis- 
sion is described as follows : 


There is a place called Sinnemahone, 
Of which but little good is known : 
For sinning, ill must be its fame, 
Since Sin begins its very name. 
So well indeed its fame is known, 
That people think they should begin 
To drop the useless word Mahone, 
And call the country simply. Sin ! 


But to my tale — Some years agODe 
The Presbytery — Shaving heard 
Of the sad state of Sin — ^resolved 
To send some one to preach the word. 
And Mr. Thompson was bid see then 
To the conversion of the heathen. 
I shall not linger long to tell 
Of all that on the way befell ; 
now he was lost among the bushes, 
And floundered through the reeds and rushes ; 
Or how, when hungry, down he sat 
To corn-cobs fried in 'possum fat I 
How his black coat's unusual hue, 
Caused a grim hunter to pursue 
And cock his gun to blow him through, 
Believing, as I've heard him swear. 
Our missionary was a bear. 
" 'Tis true," he said, " I never counted 
On seeing such thing as a bear 
Upon a good stout pony mounted ; 
But yet I can with safety swear 
That such a very wondrous sight, 
We might expect by day or night. 
Rather than, in our hills, to note 
A parson with a rale black coat I" 

The news soon spread around the land, 
That Parson Thompson, on next Sunday, 

Would in the school-house take his stand, 
And preach to them at least for one day. 

The Sunday came, and with it came 
All of the ragged population ; 

Men, women, children, dogs to hear 
The tidings of salvation. 

The women came in linsey-woolsey. 
And tall wool hats increased their stature ; 

The men in shirts and leather leggins ; 
The brats and dogs in dress of nature ! 

The men who seldom stop at trifles. 
Brought tomahawks and knives and rifles. 


Service began — the parson "wondered 
To hear the singing that they made- 
Some Yankee Doodle— some Old Hundred. 
The hounds, astonished, howled and thundVed 
Until the forest shook with dread. 
The singing o'er — the prayer was said, 
But scarcely had the text been read. 
When, panting with fatigue and fear, 
Rushed past the door a hunted deer ; 
Prayer, hymn and text, were all forgot, — 
And for the sermon mattered not, — 
Forth dashed the dogs — not one was mute — 
Men, women, children, followed suit. 
The men prepared the deer to slaughter, — 
The girls to head it to the water. 
None staid but lame old Billy French, 
Who sat unwilling on his bench. 
Not for the sake of hymn or prayer, 
Did Billy keep his station there ; 
But, as he said, with rueful phiz — 
" For a darned spell of roomatiz P 


The Parson groaned with inward pain. 
And lifting up his hands amain. 
Cried, dolefully, " 'tis all in vain!" 

Up starting nimbly from his bench, 
" 'Tis not in vain^'' cried old Billy French, 
" When my good hound old Never-fail, 
Once gets his nose upon the trail, 
There's not a spike buck anywhere, 
Can get away from him, Fll swear /'* 




About the year 1803, a remarkable circumstance 
transpired at the upper end of the borough of Jersey 
Shore,* well remembered by all the old people living at 
that time. Pine trees, in considerable numbers, were 
then standing on the spot which I now speak of. An old 
Dutchman, named Martin Reese, had built a cabin near 
where the public road crosses the canal, on the farm 
now owned by Mark Slonaker, Esq., and made some 
improvements. Rising very early one frosty morning 
ill October, he was sm-prised on going to his door, to 
tind a beautiful female in a state of nudity, with her 
hands tied behind her back, and a gag in her mouth, 
standing in front of the cabin, against a tree. He 
relieved her from this uncomfortable position as soon 
as [)Ossible, and tendered her the hospitalities of his 
humble cabin. She appeared to be completely chilled 
through with the cold, and could scarcely speak for 

*■' Sherman Day, in hi? Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, falli 
into a great error in stating that this circumstance occurred near Willianu- 
]K>rt. Such is not the fact; it occurred as stated above, at Jersey Shore. 


some time. On recovering sufficient strength, she related 
that she had been travelling on . horseback from her 
father's house in Montreal, to visit an uncle that resided 
in Kentucky, in charge of a young man named Benjamin 
Connett, who was sent expressly to attend her. But 
having a large amount of gold in her possession, an evil 
spirit prompted him to rob her; and in a lonely spot 
near Pine Creek, he presented a pistol to her breast, 
compelled her to dismount and deliver up what money 
she possessed ; when he immediate!}' stripped her, tied 
her, and left her in this shameful and denuded condition, 
to starve with hunger or be devoured by wild beasts. 
She had remained in that condition nearly all night, 
when, Jifter the most desperate struggles, she had re- 
leased herself and made her way to his cabin. After 
being refreshed, she willingly went with the family to 
the spot, and pointed out the place where she had been 
tied, and the path she had beaten round the tree trying 
to free herself 

There was something artless in lier appearance ; and 
her modest demeanor and delicate frame, left no doubt 
in the minds of those who saw her. that her statements 
were true, and that she had been foully dealt with. 
She appeared to be overwhelmed with distress at the 
thought of her situation among strangers. She gave 
her name as Esther McDowell. 

Rev. Mr. Grier, father of Judge Grier of the Supreme 
Court, resided close by, and took her into his family and 
kindly provided for her wants. A great deal of sympa- 
thy was excited in her behalf, and the neighbors vied 
with each other in making her presents of clothing. 
Several gentlemen, now living, presented her with valua- 
ble silk dresses, and other articles, which she accepted, 
and kindly thanked them for their liberality. 


Meanwhile the news spread throughout the country, 
and the public indignation was highly excited against 
the villain Connett. Handbills, offering a reward for his 
apprehension, word put in circulation, and the chivalry of 
the West Branch started in all directions to look for the 
scoundrel. He had twenty-four hours' start, however, 
and being well mounted, eluded all observation and 
effected his escape. 

The artless girl remained in the neighborhood, caressed 
and entertained by the sympathising people, who could 
not do enough to alleviate her wants. Her manners 
were so simple, her actions so lady-like and refined, and 
her description of the thief so minute, that no doubt was 
left of her being badly treated. Letters in the mean- 
time were despatched to her father at Montreal, but 
weeks elapsed and no answer came. Still the pubHc 
confidence in her was unshaken. 

The intelligence having spread far and near, strangers 
in great numbers flocked to see her, and loaded her with 
presents. They were always fascinated with her beauty, 
her simple and captivating charms. Being at the hotel 
kept by Duffies, at Larry's Creek, a gentleman named 
Hutchinson, from Milton, called to see her. She eyed 
him closely, and seemed to keep shy of him, which 
attracted his attention, and he thought he detected 
something familiar in her countenance. He requested 
to have some private conversation with her, which she 
positively refused, when he exclaimed, calling her by 
name, — "I believe you are the identical young man that 
once tvorked for me in Milton as a journeyman tailor f 
This was a poser, and she became greatly excited, which 
aroused a suspicion among the people that she might be 
an impostor. And such it ultimately turned out to be. 


The pretty Esther McDowell had deceived and hum- 
bugged them in a shameful manner, and never was robbed 
as she represented. 

A bundle of men's clothing had also been found near 
the spot where she was found, secreted in a hollow log, 
which went to confirm the suspicion. At length she 
confessed that such was the fact — that she had been 
playing the impostor, being of a romantic turn of mind, 
and had actually passed herself off as a young man, and 
worked as a journeyman tailor. 

It was now remembered that a young man answering 
her description, had crossed the White Deer Mountains 
into Nippenose Valley, and staid 'over night with the 
family of a farmer. The evening of that day she (he) 
came to the house of Joseph Antes, Esq., where Major 
McMicken now resides, and he ferried her over the river, 
when she doffed her male attire and placed herself in the 
position in which she was found. 

Whatever became of her is not distinctly known, 
though it is asserted that she left the country soon 
afterwards, and went to the West under another name, 
where she shortly afterwards married and became a 
highly repectable woman. 

The case of Esther McDowell afforded much amuse- 
ment for many years among the people, and when the 
subject is broached to the old people at the present day, 
their mirthfulness is at once excited, and they recount 
the circumstance of being so nicely humbugged with 
considerable gusto. 

About the year 1790, a circumstance occurred on 
Pine Creek, a few miles above Jersey Shore, known as 
the "Walker Tragedy," which was a bloody, as well as 
an aggravated case, on both sides. Three brothers, 


named Benjamin, Joseph, and Henry Walker, lived on a 
farm not far from the mouth of the creek. Their father, 
John Walker, was barbarously killed and scalped near 
Turtle Creek, the same time the Lee family was mur- 

About the time I speak of, two Indians— one a mere 
youth, and the other a middle-aged man, tall and well 
proportioned — came into the neighborhood. They re- 
mained for some time. Being at a public house, called 
Stephenson's Tavern, near the mouth of the creek, on a 
certain occasion, where a number of people were con- 
gregated, amongst whom was the Walkers, they became 
intoxicated and performed many antics. The old Indian 
threw himself down before the Walkers, and went through 
several performances, exhibiting the most horrid grim- 
aces and contortions of the face, remarking to them : — 
" This is the way your father acted whefi I killed and 
i^ealped him /" 

The brothers were aroused at this savage and tanta- 
lizing demonstration. The murderer of their beloved 
ftither stood before them, and in mockery and derision, 
exhibited his death struggles. Their blood boiled with 
indignation, and they swore vengeance upon the savage 
fiend, and would have rushed upon him at the time and 
put an end to his existence, but were restrained by the 
crowd. That evening they persuaded a man named 
Samuel Doyle, to accompany them a short distance up 
the creek, where they planned the destruction of these 
Indians. Coming upon the encampment, they made 
known their intentions. The young Indian, who was a 
noble youth, remonstrated, cried, and begged for his 
life, stating that he was not concerned in the murder of 
the old man, but his pleadings were all in vain, and he 


was immediately tomahawked. They then attacked the 
old man, and a fearful struggle ensued with knives and 
tomahawks. He fought desperately for his life, and 
severely wounded two of the Walkers, and probably 
would have killed them, had they not succeeded in 
shooting him through the head. Their bodies were then 
taken and sunk in the creek not far from where Phelps' 
Mills now stand. 

The people wondered at the sudden disappearance of 
the Indians from the neighborhood, and suspicion pointed 
to the Walkers, but the people considered that they got 
what they deserved, and it was soon forgotten. In 
course of time a freshet came, and washed their bodies 
ashore on a gravel bar near where Mr. H. Bailey now 
resides. Complaint was made to the Walkers, and, it is 
said, they went and buried them. 

The murder now became the subject of much conver- 
sation through the neighborhood ; some alleged that they 
were justifiable, under the circumstances, in committing 
the deed ; and others that it was in time of peace, and 
a violation of the civil law. Thus matters rested for 
some time, till at length it came to the ears of the autho- 
rities, and proceedings were at once instituted against 
the murderers. So flagrant a violation of law, and the 
treaty now existing between the whites and Indians, 
could not be permitted to go unpunished. The sheriff 
was ordered to arrest them, and confine them in Sun- 
bury jail for trial. They had good friends, however, 
and were advised of his coming in time to escape from 
the country. A reward was offered for their apprehen- 
sion, but they never were taken. 

Doyle was not so fortunate — ^he was taken and incar- 
cerated in jail, charged with participating in the bloody 

364 msTOBT OF the west branch valust. 

tragedy. His trial came on — great excitement pre- 
vailed throughout the country, and hundreds were pre- 
sent, determined to rescue him in case of his conviction; 
alleging that he had been forced into it, and that it was 
right to kill the savages, under the circumstances. He 
was acquitted, however, and returned in triumph to his 
home. The Walkers were seldom heard of, not daring 
to venture back into the countryt 

When the intelligence of the murder of these Indians 
reached their friends west of the AUeghanies, they were 
highly incensed, and true to the vindictive character of 
the savage, resolved on revenge. Preparations were 
immediately made to invade the settlement ; and it is 
said that a large body of warriors were on their way, 
when the Chief, Complanter, on learning that the autho- 
rities sought the murderers for punishment, considered 
it best to recall them, and despatching one of his swift 
footed young men, ordered them to return. They were 
bound to obey him, and reluctantly gave up the expe- 

The County of Lycoming was taken from Northum- 
berland, by the Act of the 13th of April, 1795. It is a 
large County, embracing an area of about 1500 square 
miles, and is one of the most important in Northern Penn- 
sylvania. According to the census of 1850, the popula- 
tion was 26,257. It has probably increased at the rate 
of six per cent, since that time. It also contained 
113,264 acres of improved land; and 90,997 unim- 
proved. The cash value of the farms was estimated at 
$4,110,234 ; and the value of farming implements, ma- 
chinery, &c., at $164,611. At that time the County 
contained 4,066 horses ; 14,230 sheep ; 4,940 milch 
cows. Total value of all live stock, $429,332. Bushels 



of wheat raised, 285,925; rye, 95,274; Indian com, 
262,456. The' County also contained 4 Baptist, 1 Epis- 
copal, 1 Friends, 1 German Refonned, 8 Lutheran, 15 
Methodist, 8 Presbyterian, 2 Roman Catholic, 2 Union, 
and 1 Minor Sect, Churches; the aggregate value of 
which was $63,000, with accommodations for 15,815 

This estimate was for the year ending the 1st of 
June, 1850, when the last census was taken. There has 
been a considerable increase since that time. 




Amongst some of the earliest settlers on Pine Creek, 
after peace was declared, was the Tomb family. Philip 
Tomb, one of the descendants, known as a great hunter 
and adventurer, recently published a work entitled, 
" Pioneer Life : or, Thirty Years a Hunter," which con- 
tains some remarkable statements. I shall quote libe- 
rally from it in reference to the Pine Creek region. 
Speaking about the arrival of the family, Mr. Tomb 

"In 1701, my father purchased some laud seventy miles up the 
West Branch, in the wilderness. He hired men and paid them in 
advance to build a house. They did not fulfil their contract, hut hav- 
ing raised and enclosed it, left it without chimney, door, window, or 
floor, while the bushes, ten feet high, were left standing in the mid- 
dle of the house. On the first of November my father start^id for his 
residence, and loaded a keel boat with provisions sufficient for one 
year, irons for a mill, and a supply of clothing. He was six days 
going fifty miles. He then arrived at the mouth of Pine Creek, ax 
miles from his destination, but could proceed no farther with his boat, 
on account of low water. He then hired ten canoes, and started with 
such articles as he most needed. He arrived at his house the 20th of 
November. It was very cold — the men had been dragging the boats, 


and the women were nearly frozen. When within two miles of the 
house, two of the men who assisted in huilding it, asked the privilege 
of going ahead to make a fire. When we arrived in sight we saw a 
large fire, which revived our spirits greatly, for the snow was felling 
ra{»dly, the wind blew cold, and we were chilled through. A hole 
had been left for a chimney, and a fire built on that side of the house, 
and when we arrived the men were cutting out the brush. My father 
laked why things had been left in this state. They replied that they 
oould not induce the other men to proceed any farther with the job. 
Father was inclined to be angry, when my mother interposed, and said 
if we could get through the first night it would do. We soon became 
warm, had our supper, went to sleep and passed the night vciy com- 
fortably. The next morning all hands went to work and made a floor 
and chimney, and plastered the house, which was accomplished in two 
days. On the 25th my father commenced his mill. He had to hew 
and split out all the timbers to be used for building. He had also a 
race to dig and a dam to build, and he had it all finbhed by the first 
of March. 

At that time game, such as bears, elk, deer and wild turkeys were 
very plenty in that section of the country. I had two brothers old 
enough to hunt, but they had no gun except an old musket which my 
fether had used while training. In the morning we would frequently 
find the deer feeding within twenty rods of the house. Sometimes 
we would see a drove of elk, fifteen or twenty in number, crossing the 
creek. At other times we saw bears traveling back and forward. 
But we had no hunters among the six men, and no gun but the old 
musket, and that was out of order. On the 5th of December two of 
onr nearest neighbors — who lived twelve miles distant— came to see 
OB, bringing two guns and two dogs, but no ammunition. There was 
no powder or lead in that part of the country, except what my father 
had, and he supplied them what they needed. They then hunted 
about two days for my father to procure him a supply of wild meat. 
They killed four deer, and two fat bears." 

Speaking about the inconveniences of obBiining flour, 
before his father s mill was in running order, he says : 

" The nearest grist mill was thirty miles distant, and no road or 
otiber means of getting to it — nor had we any grain except a little 
which we raised in the same manner as the Indians. Every family 


had what was called a 'family block' or mortar, into which they 
pounded their com into meal and samp." 

Wild animals were numerous and dangerous at that 
time, judging from the following adventures, which he 
relates : 

^' A woman belonging to a family, living half a mile above the first 
fork, was washing at the creek, accompanied by four or five small 
children, when one of them looking up exclaimed, ' What a handsome 
big red dog is coming !' The animal stopped within fifty feet of .the 
children, and stood looking at them. Another boy cried, ' It isn't a 
dog ; it is a panther !' At that moment a cat came out of the house, 
and attempting to run up a tree, was caught by the panther and de- 
voured. The family hurried into the house, closed the door and es- 
caped. Shortly afterwards a man came along with a dog and gun, 
and shot the panther. It measured four and a half feet in length." 

<' Two miles from that place, on the main creek, lived a family con- 
sisting of a man and three females. The house stood on the flat Ijing 
between the river and the rock}' bluff, which rose to the height of 
fifty feet. In the month of January the man was absent teaching 
school, and no one was left at home but the women. One of the 
women, on going to the creek one morning for a pail of water, heard 
a scream like the voice of a woman in distress. She hastened hack 
and told the others. They all went to the door to ascertain the cause, 
when they saw an animal moving towards them, which they at first 
took for a dog. When it approached near enough, they saw, to their 
horror, that it was a panther. They retreated into the house and 
closed the doors. Three geese which belonged to the family, were on 
the ice of the creek — the panther captured one and carried it off. 
After he had been gone some time they went out together and pro- 
cured wood and water enough to last till the next day. The next 
morning at the same hour the panther returned, utt^iring the same 
terrific cries, and carried away another goose. On the third morning 
he came and took the last one. He had become acquainted with the 
vicinity, and the terrified women knew not what to do. Their near- 
est neighbor was two miles distant. In order to prevent the animal 
from entering by the chimney, they covered it with boards, and kept 
up a fire all night. He returned the next morning, when they let 


oat their dog. The panther closed in with him, drove him against 
the door, and afler a short stiaggle killed and carried him off. The 
following morning a man named Rice Hamlin, happened to come to 
the house — he found the women almost frightened to death. On 
looking for the panther he discovered and shot him. He weighed two 
hundred pounds." 

He describes an elk hunt as follows, which will be 
read with interest : 

" In August, 1795, my father, Jacob Tomb, Jerry Morrison, and 
myself, started on an elk hunt. Taking provisions vrith us we pushed 
up to Round Island, but found no elk there. Morrison proposed to 
go to Stony Lick, near the second fork of the creek. All hands con- 
sented. When we arrived near the place, tracks were discovered. 
We followed them some distance, and found that one of them had 
been attacked and killed by a panther, and completely disemboweled. 
We skinned and salted the elk in the skin and placed it between two 
logs, and resumed our route. Early the next morning we heard the 
roar of an elk, and on proceeding to look for him found a large one, 
which we killed and salted. It weighed five hundred pounds. The 
horns were upwards of six feet in length, and had eleven branches, 
six on one, and five on the other. 

'' When they finished salting the meat, Morrison proposed to go 
over to Mud Lick himself and look for elk, leaving me and my father 
to watch Stony Lick. We went and concealed ourselves behind a log — 
my father commenced mending his moccasins, and directed me to 
watch. A small stream ran below me, containing some large trout. 
It occurred to me if I could build a dam across the stream I could 
take some trout. Slipping down, I threw an old log across, made a 
dam, and in a few minutes had threw out thirty large trout. My 
fiither on finding me asked if that was watching the lick, I told him 
I wanted some trout for supper. While I was stringing my fish I 
heard a stone rattle about a hundred yards below, and on looking up, 
beteld a panther gazing at me ! I sprang up the bank and informed 
my father what I had seen. Telling me to keep quiet, and make the 
dog lie down, he stationed himself behind a root having a hole in it, 
through which he pointed his gun and awaited the panther's approach. 
When it came within three rods of us, it paused, with its fore feet on 
the bank, and its mouth open, displaying a formidable array of glisten- 



ing teeth. My father fired, and it fell dead. It was a very large 


The following description of taming a vicious horse, 
and capturing an elk alive, is very interesting : 

"In 1799, my father being at Irving Stephenson's tavern at the 
mouth of Pino Creek, found a large collection of men there. A 
hoi'se called the Blue Dun, was kept there. It was a very large and 
powerful horse, and it was with difficulty three men could take it from 
the stable. My father witnessed the operation and laughed, saying 
he could take it from the stable without any assistance. The others 
disputed this stoutly, saying the horse would kill him if he attempted 
it — ^upon which he offered to bet twenty dollars that he could do it 
The bet was taken and the money staked, when he went in to the 
horse, struck him a few times on the flank, completely subdued him, 
brought him forth, and rode him round to the surprise of the crowd, 
and took him back, and won his money. 

'^The whole party began to drink pretty freely and talk about elk 
hunting. Stephenson asked my father if he could take an elk alive. 
He replied that he could, when Stephenson offered to bet him on it. 
My father asked him what he was willing to bet. He said he would 
bet 250 pounds. It was accepted. Stephenson pledged a house, lot 
and tanyard worth the amount, and my father gave seven hundred 
and fifty dollars' worth of lumber, and two satisfactory sureties afi 
security for the performance of the contract. The elk was to be 
between fourteen and sixteen hands high, cxiught alive, and brought 
home by the first of March, allowing some six months to take it in. 
Articles of agreement were duly drawn. It was then considered im- 
possible to take an elk alive. 

"The first of January, 1800, he prepared for his hunt, and started, 
taking two of his boys and a man named Maddock, with a horse, four 
dogs, and ropes sufficient to hold an elk. They ascended the ice eight 
miles to Morrison's, and desired him to go along, but he declined, 
alleging that an elk was a very powerful and dangerous animal, and 
its capture alive attended with a good deal of peril. The party con- 
tinued on. The weather was very cold, and snow began to fall. On 
the second or third day an elk was found and the pursuit commenced. 
He ran for many miles back and forth across the creek. The plan to 
take him was to throw a rope over his horns when he got on a rock to 


fight the dogs. He was finally hunted so severely that he took refuge 
on a large rock in the evening. A fire was built near the rock and 
kept up all night. The next morning, after considerable manoeuver- 
ing, a noose was finally thrown over his horns, and the rope made fast 
to a tree. The dogs were set on behind to drive him off the rock, and 
when he came to the edge a sudden pull was given which jerked him 
off. He plunged and fought tremendously, but they succeeded in 
getting another rope on him, and fastening it some distance ahead 
managed to drive him down the hill, by untying and fastening alter- 
nately. This was a slow as well as difficult process, as he was con- 
stantly becoming entangled in his struggles. The ropes were unloosed, 
and two men to each end and a dog let loose to keep him going. When 
he went too fast, we could check him by snubbing the rope round a 
tree. He started and walked very gently till he reached the creek, 
which was covered with ice. We fastened one rope across the creek, 
keeping the other in our hands, and drove him upon the ice when he 
slipped and fell. We all went to the other side and dragged him 
across. As soon as he gained a footing he sprang up and walked to*- 
wards us. We then fastened the ropes in opposite directions to give 
him no play, and as it was four o'clock in the afternoon, determined 
to let him remain here until we could bring a horse from Mprnson's 
to take him home. The horse being brought the next day, we cut a 
road through the underbrush about one mile to the big creek. We 
now secured him close up to a tree, and placed a large rope about 
forty feet long over his horns, down near to his head, and then tied a 
smaller rope to the upper part of each horn. We then attached the 
horse to the large rope behind, and one of the hands started the horse. 
When he first started ho plunged about considerably, and became 
entangled in the rope. At the end of three hours we reached the 
creek, a distance of one mile. Here we met with no further obstruc- 
tion, as the ice was slightly covered with snow, and he found a good 
footing. We proceeded without much more trouble to Morrison's, 
and placed our captive in a stable. A heavy rain now came on and 
broke up the ice in the river— -our horse ran off and was drowned, and 
we took the elk down on a float. Stephenson was informed of the 
capture, when he cheerfully gave up the stakes. 

" This was the first grown elk caught alive on the waters of the 
Susquehanna. It was sixteen hands high, and had horns five and 
a-half feet long, with eleven branches.'' 


Philip Tomb, who was along in this expedition, after- 
wards became a very successful elk hunter, and took 
several alive. 

Fish were very plenty in those times, in the creek, as 
we would naturally conclude from the following account 
by Mr. Tomb, of taking them in a fish basket : 

« We were so abundantly supplied with fish from this source that 
we used them to feed our hogs, and found them very useful for that 
purpose. A slight rise coming in the creek, the eels began to run tcij 
fast, and the other fish came in so rapidly as to dam up the water, and 
let the eels go over the sides of the basket. Finding that we were 
losing many eels in this way, my brother brought the canoe and placed 
it under the basket and raked the eels in as they came. In about ten 
hours the creek had rose so Sigh as to overflow the basket and put in 
end to our operations. We had then carried out about twelve vHxgtm 
lodds of suckers, three barrels of eels, and two barrels of salmon and 
rock fish, besides throwing a great quantity out of the basket to ke^ 
it from overflowing." 

This may be considered a pretty large fish story, 
nevertheless Mr. Tomb relates it as a fact in his work. 
Fish were very numerous in those days before the river 
was obstructed by dams, booms, &c. 

Rattlesnakes were very numerous also, in those days. 
He speaks of them thus : 

"In 1794, Mr. Jas. King and Mr. Manning went on an exploring 
expedition up the creek. They found the rattlesnakes so numerous, 
that they were obliged to anchor their canoe in the creek and remab 
in it over night. About the third day they arriyed at the larger 
rock on the west side of the creek, and found as many as thirty snakes 
lying on it sunning themselves. They pushed their canoe to the 
other shore, and when passing the smaller rock, they discovered on 
the top, a pile of rattlesnakes as large as an out-door bake oven !" 

This is undoubtedly a pretty tough snake story, 
although they were very numerous, and were a great 
annoyance to the settlers for many years. 


King and Manning proceeded as far up as the Big 
Meadows, that had evidently been an Indian cornfield. 
They found a plum orchard there, supposed to contain 
about twenty acres, bearing plenty of fruit. 

He states that there were six rattlesnake dens on 
Pine Creek. Some distance up the creek was a large 
rock, about forty feet long by fifteen wide, called Rat- 
tlesnake Rock. On this the snakes would often lie in 

Being engaged lumbering some twenty miles up the 
creek, Mr. Tomb once had an adventure with a bear, 
which he describes as follows : 

** A large bear was passing near where I was at work. I threw 
stones at him^ but he paid no attention to them and kept on his 
coarse. I was thinking of retreating, when I thought I would throw 
one more ; and picking up a large stone, threw it and hit him on the 
forehead. He raised up, uttered a savage growl, and rushed towards 
me. I ran to the logs, caught up mj axe and sprang upon a pair of 
timber wheels. Before springing on the wheels, I looked round and 
he was close at my heels. I raised my axe, intending to plunge it 
into his brain ^ but in the excitement missed my aim, and the handle 
struck his feet, which caused him to give another cry of pain. I was 
now on the wheels, and taking off my hat shook it at him, causing 
him tb step back a little. I saw death staring me in the face. In a 
short time he moved off. I never was so badly frightened in my life." 

His work is filled with marvelous stories about hunt- 
ing and trapping, and much more might be selected, but 
the foregoing must suffice. He mentions having disco- 
vered a remarkable cave near Tumbling Run, with square 
rooms, stone benches, &c., bearing unmistakable signs of 
having been cut by hand. Considerable inquiry has re- 
cently been made concerning it, but no person in that 
neighborhood seems to have any knowledge of its ex- 




SuNBURY is one of the oldest towns in Northern Penn- 
sylvania. Fort Augusta having been erected here one 
hundred years ago, rendered it in early times, and dur- 
ing the Revolution, a place of great importance, from its 
central position at the confluence of the North and West 
Branches of the Susquehanna. It was the grand depot 
for troops and supplies for all this region — wfis the point 
from which the emigrants radiated. Being located, too, 
on a beautiful rolling plain, with excellent facilities for 
water communication, and contiguous to the immense 
coal fields, Sunbury at one time seemed destined to be- 
come a great central emporium of trade. All such anti- 
cipations, in course of time, were dispelled, and for a 
long time the wheels of Progress seemed stayed, and 
the town remained in statu quo. 

Within a few years, Sunbury has been roused Trom 
its Rip Van Winkle sleep of half a century, and has 
taken a fresh start in improvement. Being the con- 
verging point of several important railroads, a new im- 
petus has been given to business, fresh energy seems 


infused into the citizens, and it bids fair to be an im- 
portant place ere many years. It is the starting point 
of the Sunbury and Erie Raikoad, which runs through 
the entire length of the West Branch Valley. The 
Susquehanna Railroad also terminates here, and a rail- 
road to Mount Garmel and Shamokin, is in operation. 
Immense quantities of coal are shipped here. It also 
possesses fine advantages for water power, and I know 
of no place in the State better adapted, from its location, 
means of communication, and natural facilities, for the 
erection of saw mills, manufactories of cotton, iron, &c. 

As the majority of buildings were erected years ago, 
and the people not having kept pace with the improve- 
ments of the age, of course the style is somewhat quaint^ 
and antiquated in appearance. The buildings are sub- 
stantial and comfortable. The Court House, and other 
public buildings, are of brick. The latter stands in the 
centre of a square or diamond. The town contains some 
fourteen stores, and a number of good hotels. Supreme 
Court, of the Eastern District, sits here. According to 
the census of 1850, it contained a population of 1218. 
It has increased much since that time. 

An old gentleman resides here named John Colsher, 
Esq., in the 96th year of his age, with memory bright 
and unimpaired. He is a remarkable man — can write 
a plain legible hand, tell a good joke, and walk around 
the streets as comforfcibly as many men of younger 
years. He has never worn glasses in his life, and can 
see to read well — ^he can hold his arm outstretched for 
several minutes, without the slightest tremor. 

A fine bridge is thrown across the North Branch at 
this point, and a few yards below it, a fine structure has 
recently been erected by the Sunbury and Erie Railroad 


Company. A large dam was placed in the river here, 
by the State, for the benefit of the canal. ^ 

The site of Fort Augusta is occupied by a fine brick 
mansion, one mile above the town, owned by Miss Hun- 
ter. Every vestige of the fort is gone, with the excep- 
tion of the magazine, which can be seen in the yard, 
resembling a cave. It is used for various purposes. 

Many relics of the olden time are plowed up every 
year on this farm, consisting of hatchets, gun barrels, 
cannon balls, camp kettles, &c. But the most interest- 
ing of all, is a little article called a " Crow's foot y This 
was a piece of iron made with three prongs, very sharp, 
and barbed at the points, and so constructed, that when 
thrown on the ground one of them would point upwards. 
Great quantities were made and strewn around the fort 
for the Indians to step on. They would go through a 
moccasin, and penetrate the foot for an inch. They were 
quite an ingenious contrivance, and capable of inflicting 
great pain. Bushels of them are plowed up at the pre- 
sent time. 

Shamokin Creek empties into the river at Sunbuiy, 
and fourteen miles up the Creek is located the town of 
Shamokin, which is growing rapidly, being in the coal 
region. Sunbury should have been called Shamokin, as it 
stands where the original town of that name was situated. 

Passing over the river we come to Northumberland, 
located in the forks of the two branches. It is a very 
old town also, and has not improved much for many 
years, although it has had immense advantages. 

Northumberland was incorporated as a borough in 
1828. It contains four churches — Old and New School 
Presbyterian, German Reformed and Methodist. The 
Bank of Northumberland, a very old and popular insti- 


tation, is located here. According to the census of 1850, 
it contained 1041 inhabitants. The citizens are intelli- 
gent and refined, and probably more newspapers are taken 
here than in any other town of similar size in the State. 
Extensive wharves for shipping coal have recently been 
erected here by Messrs. Cochran, Peale & Co. They 
are deeply interested in the coal trade, and send large 
quantities to Elmira. I believe they were the first to 
send coal to the Empire State over this road. 

The first iron foundry in the Shamokin region, was 
established here in 1827-8. An ingenious workman 
from New York, named David Rogers, came to the place, 
bringing with him a quantity of patent scale-beams, of 
which he was the inventor, or owned the right for this 
portion of the State. Mr. Shannon assisted him in 
erecting a small foundry for the purpose, specially, of 
casting the necessary irons. As he succeeded very well, 
it was his intention, in conjunction with Mr. Shannon, 
to enlarge the business, and make other and larger cast- 
ings. Owing to cruel and wicked tricks played on him, 
Rogers became deranged and left his plans, and the 
business was discontinued, Mr. Shannon not being ac- 
quainted with the business. 

The locality is inviting to the recluse. The country 
expands behind the town in a semi-circular form, rising 
in gentle swells towards Montour's ridge. Opposite the 
town, in the North Branch, is a long and beautiful island, 
called Lyon s Island. A fine bridge crosses the West 
Branch at its mouth, with the towing path for the Canal. 
At the western end of this bridge rises the high and pre- 
cipitous sandstone of " Blue Hill," from which a mag- 
nificent prospect is enjoyed of the valleys of both rivers. 


whilst the town lies hundreds of feet beneath you, 
spread out like a map. The precipice of Blue Hill is 
several hundred feet in perpendicular height. The town 
is well laid out, with spacious streets, and to those who 
love quiet and seclusion, is a pleasant place to reside. 

A traveller visiting this region a few years ago, thus 
describes a scene he beheld : — 

'^ I ascended a hill called Mount Pleasant this morning, just as the 
sun was ri»ing. The scene was enchanting — at my feet as it were, 
lay the borough (Sunbury) in quiet repose, embowered in shade and 
foliage, and surrounded on three sides with rich fields, pastures and 
herds. In front of the town was the river, which being raised by the 
Shamokin dam, looked like an immense mirror, or a glassy lake, 
more than like a river. On the opposite side of the river, the land 
rose abruptly into a craggy mountain : looking further up the stream, 
I saw two branches gradually approach each other, till they met and 
mingled their waters. Over each of these were long bridges leading 
to and from the village of Northumberland, back of which and be- 
tween the two branches, the country rose gradually from the plain, 
till it became almost mountainous, yet covered to the very tops witk 
fields, pastures, flocks and herds. Turning again to the left, and 
looking down the Susquehanna, a sort of vista was presented, bound* 
ed on each side with romantic hills, and finally appearing to end in 
the blue tops of the mountains. Never have I beheld a more varied 
or beautiful landscape than was here presented." 

Travellers passing up the West Branch, on leading 
Northumberland, will observe two small square buildings, 
or towers, on the edge of the high precipice of Blue Hill, 
overlooking the country for miles around. One of them 
leans over the precipice, apparently ready to fall and be 
dashed to pieces on the rocks below. A single breath 
of air would apparently blow it over. It inclines proba- 
bly at an angle of 35°, and strange as it may seem, was 


built in that manner, by an eccentric individual named 
John Mason. The building is firmly fixed on a solid 
foundation, and fastened down with strong iron bolts, or 
it would have been precipitated over the rocks long ago. 
It had a railing around the top, and visitors could go 
up and view the prospect ; but few had the nerve to 
approach the edge and gaze below. The other building 
stands a few yards from this one, and not so near the 
edge. It was finer, much higher, and had an observa- 
tory on the top, where visitors could go with perfect 
safety. It does not lean like the other. The view 
afforded from this height is superlatively grand, and no 
just conception of its beauty can be formed, without visit- 
ing the spot. 

John Mason owned the land here, and had these build- 
ings erected to gratify his peculiar whims, being quite 
eccentric. He was reputed wealthy, but would always 
travel to Philadelphia and other places on foot, and many 
anecdotes are related of him. Being an old bachelor, he 
lived hermit-like, on this high elevation ; but the pecu- 
liar oddity of his - buildings attracted large numbers of 
visitors. He had finely laid out grounds around them, 
and seemed to enjoy himself well. He died in 1849. — 
The buildings are neglected, and rapidly going to decay j 
one of them is quite dilapidated, and cannot be ascended 
with safety. 

Immediately in rear of the leaning building, under the 
wide-spreading branches of a chestnut, is the grave of 
the eccentric John Mason. The hand of affection has 
fitted it up with care, and planted sweet-flowering shrubs. 
On visiting the spot in June last, I copied the following 
inscription from the neat tomb stone, placed at the head 
of the grave : 



of Blue mU 

Bom in Philada, Dec, 

7th 1768 

Departed this Life 

At Long Reach Farm 

Near Newberry 

Lycoming Co. April 25th 


Aged 80 years, 4 mos. 

and 18 days. 

In 1833, a town was laid out at the end of the bridge 
opposite Lewisburg, and named Churchville, by an indi- 
vidual well known as Jerry Church. Respecting this 
town, Mr. Church, in his Autobiography, says : 

''The next town we made our appearance (he was aooompanied Iij 
his brother,) in was Lewisburg, formerly called Derrstown. We then 
made a purchase of one hundred and twenty-five acres of land, ci 
General Green, at forty-five dollars per acre, lying on both sides of 
the cross-cut, from the end of the bridge to the Pennsylvania canal, 
opposite the town of Lewisburg. Having been in the habit of making 
towns, we concluded that we could make one most anywhere, and we 
thought we would try a small one in opposition to the one on the other 
side of the river — Lewisburg. However, we did not frighten them 
much as a rival, but we got their feelings raised and blood up, so that 
they bought of us at beautiful prices. There was one gentleman who 
purchased seventeen acres at one hundred dollars per acre, the next 
day after we had bought it at forty-five. We laid out the balance 
into streets, alleys and out-lots, and called it Churchville. We sold 
out the whole purchase in two weeks, and made some money, bat not 
much of a town. It was a very pleasant place for a town, bat ihtn 
were no houses built in it but one, I believe, and that was a hotel; 
and in order to let the people know that that was the town of Chordi* 
ville, the proprietor of the house had the name written on a large 
sign — 'Churchville Hotel,' and I am very thankful to the gentleman 
for keeping up appearances." 

The original plot of this town is now in the possession 
of James F. Linn, Esq., of Lewisburg. 



East of this place, a mile or two, is a small straggling 
village called Sodom. It takes its name from an Irish- 
man named Lot Carson, who lived here, and frequently 
imbibed large potations of whiskey. On one occasion 
he got intoxicated and tumbled into the well in the even- 
ing, where he remained till morning, when he was taken 
therefrom a corpse. The place was afterwards caUed 
Sodom, because Lot had resided there. There was pro- 
bably a wide difference between the two men, however. 

The following table will show the names of all the 
Sheriffs of Northimiberland county, and the time elected, 
from its first organization down to the present day. The 
facts are obtained from the Prothonotary's Office in Sun- 
bury, and are correct : 


G«>.Nagel«(fromAp'ltoOct.) 1772 

WilliAm Cook, 1772 

WmUun ScqU, 1775 

JoiiAtliaii Lodge, 1776 

James Crawford, 1779 

Henry Antes, 1782 

Thomas Grant, 1785 

Martin Withington, 1788 

Harel Roan, 1791 

John Bradj, Jr. 1794 

Robert Irwin, 1797 

Henry VandersUce, 1800 

Andrew Albright, 1803 

Jared Irwin, 1806 

Daniel Lebo, 1809 


Thomas Painter, 
Walter Brady, 
William Shannon, 
James R. Shannon, 
Martin Weaver, 
Jacob McKinncy, 
Peter Lazarus, 
Henry Reader, 
George W. Keihl, 
Henry Gosler, 
Felix Maurer, 
T. A. Billington, 
James Covert, 
W. B. Kipp, 
Henry Weise, 



According to the census of 1850, Northumberland coun- 
ty contained 23,272 inhabitants. Number of acres of im- 
proved land, 135,086 ; unimproved, 62,682. Cash value 
of fisirms, $5,766,803 ; total value of farming implements 

* Nagel was Sheriff of Berks county when Northumberland was stricken 
off, but serredTin the latter, till the election of Cook. 


and machinery, ^242,407. The county also contained 
525 horses, milch cows, 5,794, sheep, 9,980; total value 
of all live stock, $548,073. Bushels of wheat raised, 
289,522, rye, 120,354, corn, 282,087. The county also 
contained 7 Baptist, 2 Episcopal, 11 German Reformed, 8 
Lutheran, 9 Methodist, 13 Presbyterian, and 1 Roman 
Catholic, churches ; the total value of which was esti- 
mated at $103,000, with a capacity for 17,910 auditors. 
During the time of the construction of the canal, 
quite an amusing incident occurred on the farm of Mr. 
Nesbit, opposite Lewisburg, denominated the "Cofl&i 
fight." Mr. N. describes it as follows : 

'^ One foggy morning as I was plowing, and came to turn my honei 
on the side of the field next to the river, I espied a coffin lying in the 
middle of the road. I at once came to the conclusion that it had 
been lost by some of the Irish canal-laborers on their way to the 
Catholic burying ground in the neighborhood of Milton. Crossing 
the fence, I drew it aside out of the way of wagons, conclading that 
they would soon discover their loss and return for it. I had nd 
waited long before I saw them on their way back ; but unluckily tt 
the same time, another company with a corpse in a cart, going to the 
same cemetery, met them nearly opposite the place where the fos/ c(^ 
lay in the fence-corner ! Without a "good morning," the losing party 
of disconsolate mourners accused the advancing party of having Btolea 
their corpse — for the pleasure of acting the mourners and tasting the 
joy of grief and a little whiskey — and before I could make them hear 
my voice, the lie was given, and copious volleys of blows, kicks and 
curses were exchanged. It was for sometime in vain that I shouted— 
but having at length turned the attention of one of the females to the 
l(M cofl&n, order was gradually restored — they shook hands — apolo- 
gized for the mistake, took a friendly drink together, and marched oi 
very amicably to perform the last rites for their dead 1" 

Many years ago, when Northumberland county eiB- 
braced a great extent of territory, and when it was 
found necessary for our State Legislature to resolve that 


no member of their body should come to the House bare- 
footed, nor be allowed to eat his bread and cheese on the 
State-House door-steps, there was sent, as a representa- 
tive from this county, one Jacob FoUmer, Esq., who faith- 
fully represented a constituency possessed of more prac- 
tical wisdom than book-learning. Jacob, however, thought 
himself, by virtue of his office, entitled to be critical upon 
occasions. He one day. called at the lodging of one of his 
co-laborers for the public good, to look over some memo- 
rial relative to the building or incorporating of a church. 
As it was to be presented on that day, he was naturally 
anxious that the matter should be in good shape — so as 
to do no discredit to him — for he intended to support 
the application. Carefully scanning the paper, his criti- 
cal eye fell on the barbarous word '^gurggh^' (meaning 
church.) "Ah!" cried he, "you must take better care 
of your spelling — ^you have put a double G, where there 
ought to be but one, this way — 'gurghj — ^that's the way 
I spell it !" 

During one of the winter's of his service, there were 
two or three lawyers — young men — who, a little vain of 
their learning, interlarded their speeches with long quo- 
tations from the Latin authors. This gave some offence 
to Jacob, who thought, and very justly, if he was to be 
reasoned with, it ought to be done in a language that he 
could understand. He, therefore, in his reply, com- 
menced by remarking, that as it w^jis the fashion to make 
speeches in unknown tongues, he must be excused if he 
spoke in the Delaware Indian dialect, for he could not 
pretend to anything so ''high lamed*' as the Philadelphia 
lawyers spoke. He accordingly drew very liberally on 
his stores of savage clasmcality. The effect was quite 
decided — " the Latin fled and never was heard of more." 



Once in a contest for the Legislature, he was opposed 
by a gentleman named Bull, whom he defeated. After 
serving out his term, and the time of election drawing 
near again, he was asked by one of his neighbors, if he 
intended to be a candidate again. He replied — 
"Veil, I guess I'U have to kiU another Bull dis faU!" 
Mr. Follmer was a very honest and faithful repre- 
sentative, and discharged his duties in a satisfactory and 
efficient manner. His descendants are among the most 
respectable citizens of the West Branch Valley. 


: ■ ■ = I ' 

I • I . I * ■ ■ 

I I 1 » ■ • 

; "V. , .- ; 

: • • ' 


The proprietors thus dying, and removing away, and 
the lot owners living principaUy in Philadelphia, and not 
paying attention to their claims, the citizens fenced up 
the lots, with the view of holding them by possession right. 
In 1814, Robert E. Griffith, of Philadelphia, brought an 
ejectment for a large number of lots, which was defeated 
in the Supreme Court in 1823, on account of the defec- 
tive proof of the execution of the letter of attorney to 
Peter Borger. The ejectments were renewed in 1824 ; 
and from 1827 to 1832, the cases were all compromised, 
by the defendants paying a small sum to the plaintiflf for 
each of the lots. In 1841, George W. West, and others, 
brought an ejectment for one hundred lots against John 
Lawshe and Charles Beyer, neither of whom were in 
possession of any of the lots. The writ was set aside for 
informality, and never renewed, which was the last diffi- 
culty in lot titles, originating out of the EUinckhuysen title. 

In consequence of this defect of title, very few build- 
ings were erected previous to 1830, which proved an 
advantage to the place, as by that time, those who built 
were able to erect much better edifices than they would 
have erected years before. Hence the reason of Lewis- 
burg having such good buildings, and being such a clean- 
ly town. 

In 1826, there were two wooden church edifices ; the 
Methodist Episcopal, which now constitutes a part of 
Geddes & Marsh's foundry, on the corner of Front and 
St. Lewis streets, and the Christian, near the north end 
of Fifth street. 

In 1812, a M. E. Church was organized; Messrs. 
Dawson and Ross had preached occasionally in the place 
for some months before. In 1818, the Saints, with the 
assistance of other denominations^ erected the house 


spoken of above. In 1832, they erected a brick chapel 
on Third street, which they took down in 1854, and 
rebuilt it. Rev. Mr. Dashalle is now the pastor. 

In 1833, a colony from the old Buffalo Church, at 
Buffalo X Roads, was organized, by the name of the 
Lewisburg Presbyterian Church, and the same year 
erected a brick chapel on the N. W. comer of Front and 
St. Lewis streets. A few years ago, an old deed to 
trustees, for the use of a Presbyterian Church and grave 
yard, for the lots occupied by the English grave yard 
on Market street, was found among the old papers of 
William Wilson, late of Kelly township, deceased, on 
the grant of his son William of this place. The Presby- 
terians of Lewisburg and vicinity, during the summer of 
1856, erected a magnificent brick church on the site of 
this old grave yard. The Rev. P. B. Marr was the first 
pastor, who was succeeded in the autumn of 1852 by 
the Rev. James Clark, D. D., who is the present pastor. 

In 1834, the German Reformed and Lutherans erect- 
ed a brick Union Chapel on the German grave yard, on 
the corner of South Third and St. Lewis streets. In 
1847, the German Reformed seceded from the Union, 
and built a brick chapel on the corner of North Third 
and St. John s streets. The Rev. J. H. Fries was the 
first pastor, who had preached here many years before. 
1834, in a log school house on the German grave yard, 
succeeded by the Rev. R. A. Fisher, and others, till 
1844, when the Rev. Henry Harbaugh was installed 
pastor, who was succeeded, in 1850, by the Rev. D. T. 
Heisler, who was succeeded, in 1853, by the Rev. Ben- 
jamin Bousman, the present pastor. 

The Lutherans having bought out the interest of the 
German Reformed, to the church on the grave yard lots, 


in 1852, took down the old church, and rebuilt a brick 
chapel on the same lot. The Rev. R. A. Fink is the 
present pastor. 

The Christian Society was organized in 1820, under 
the auspices of the quite celebrated Elijah Bacon. 
While he was in the South, collecting funds to erect a 
meeting house, Messrs. Bussell and Badger took his 
place, changed the mode of worship from a room wUhout 
seats, to that of one with seats, and in 1822 erected a 
wooden chapel on the north end of Fifth street. In 
1854 the society purchased a lot on Third street, north 
of Market, and built thereon a brick church of very res- 
pectable appearance. 

In January, 1844, the Baptists organized a church in 
this place, and in 1845, built a chapel on South Third 
street, in the cupola of which is placed the town clock. 
Rev. Isaac W. Hayhurst is the present pastor. 

At a meeting of the Northumberland Baptist Associa- 
tion, held in Milton, August 1832, it was 

'' Revived, That the exigencies of our denominatioii require that 
an effort be made to establish a Manual Labor Academy in the inte- 
rior of this Commonwealth, for the education of our sons, and to fur- 
nish facilities for Literary and Theological improvement to brethren 
who may have been approbated to preach." 

In October, 1834, however, the Association waived 
their plan, by passing a Resolution, highly approving of 
an eflFort then put forth by the Philadelphia Association, 
to establish a Literary and Theological Institution at ' 
Haddington, near Philadelphia. In 1835, a similar Re- 
solution was again adopted. 

The Philadelphia effort, however, proved an entire 
failure; and in August, 1845, the Northumberland Asso- 
ciation resumed their . original design. They Resolved, 


(through a committee for the purpose, composed of Rev. 
Charles Packer, Dr. W. H. Ludwig, Rev. Joel E. Brad- 
ley, Rev. J. Green Miles, and Dr. James Moore, Sr.,) 
in favor of establishing, "In Central Pennsylvania, a 
Literary Institution, embracing a High School for male 
pupils, another for females, a College, and also a Theolo- 
gical Institution, to be under the control of the Baptist 
denomination." Committees were appointed to cany 
out the object. 

In the fall of 1845, Stephen W. Taylor, LL. D., a 
devoted and successful educator of Hamilton, N. Y., was 
employed as a General Agent, and drew up, and in the 
winter of 1846 obtained from the Legislature of Penn- 
sylvania, a liberal charter for the " University op Lewis- 
burg."* Rev. Messrs. Eugenie Kincaid and William 
Shadrach, were subsequently appointed Canvassing 
Agents, and in 1849, had raised, by subscription, the 
sum of $100,000 as an endowment for the University; 
of which $20,000 were from the funds of the Associa- 
tion. Additional sums were subsequently secured for 
the endowment of Professorships, giving it a solid foun- 
dation and permanency of financial condition, hardly 
surpassed by any literary institution in the State. A 
large Academic building was afterwards erected at an 
expense of $8,000, and the west wing of the main edifice 
at an expense of $12,000. 

The plan for the main University Edifice was kindly 
presented by Prof. Thos. U. Walker, Ph. D. The central 
edifice and the east wing will be erected this year. The 
buildings are of the best and most approved models.— 
Located in a native grove of unequaled beauty, on a 

* I am indebted to 0. N. Worden, Esq., for the history of the Universi- 
ty, from the first inception of the design, to the present time. 


gentle hill overlooking the boroughs of Lewisburg, Mil- 
ton and other towns — on every hand fruitful fields, 
bounded by mountains in the distance— I know of no 
more attractive or delightful view from any " Hill of 
Science," than that to be furnished from the elevated 
dome of the University Buildings. 

In the fall of 1846, Prof. Taylor commenced a High 
School, with a handfuU of pupils, in the basement of a 
house of worship, and soon organized a Freshman class. 
Other instructors were engaged, and in 1851, President 
Taylor had the satisfaction of graduating the first class 
of six young men ; when he resigned, having accepted 
the Presidency of Madison University, Hamilton, N. Y. 
He was succeeded by Howard Malcom. The Instita- 
tion is now in successful operation, under the direction 
of a learned and substantial faculty, composed of the 
Rev. Howard Malcom, D. D., President, and the Rev. 
Gteo. R. Bliss, D. Ph., Charles E. James, D. Ph., and 
Justin R. Loomis, D. Ph., as assistant Professors in the 
Collegiate Department. In 1855, Thomas F. Curtis, A. 
M., was appointed Professor of Theology. H. D. Walk- 
er, A. M., is Principal of the Academy. The University 
Female Institute, under the charge of Miss. A. Taylor, 
is located in town. There are three or four teachers in 
this department. 

Between the town and the University ground proper, 
the flat is beautifully studded with the dwellings of the 
various Professors, and other private residences, con- 
structed in a unique and attractive style of architecture. 

There are several Literary and other Societies con- 
nected with the University and Institute. Also a supe- 
rior Philosophical Apparatus, interesting Cabinets, and 
Museum — a Library of over 3000 volumes, a Man- 


niken for physiological studies, and in fact^ as large a 
store of advantages for acquiring a good education as at 
any other institution of a similar age. It has been 
blessed with a large share of prosperity, and promises 
lasting benefits to the favored country by which it is 
surrounded and nurtured. 

The log cabin Academy, in Lewisburg, was built about 
the year 1805^ by a joint stock company, on thc'Comer 
of the English Graveyard, where it now stands a monur 
ment of olden times. 

In the year 1839, a new joint stock company built 
the brick Academy on the comer of North Front and St 
Mary streets. In September, 1845, it was sold to pay 
a debt^ and purchased by six individuals, who have since 
sold out their interest, and it is now owned by the pre- 
sent Principal, Mr. John Randolph, who has in it a 
flourishing school. James McClure, Esq., Rev. Hugh 
Pollock, John Robinson, Esq., Rev. Samuel Shaffer^ and 
Robert C. Ross, were successively the conductors of it 
previous to the present incumbent. 

James Black, John Metzger, Henry Spyker, George 
Links, and Hugh Wilson, were among the earliest mer- 
chants of the place. In 1826, nearly all the business 
was done by William Hays and Alexander Graham.— 
Daniel Beyer and Jacob Bogar had small stores, but 
they both died that year, after which a number from a 
distance came in and erected stores. There are now 
nine dry goods stores, three drug stores, one hardware 
store, and a number of other establishments, in the 

Union County was formed out of Northumberland by 
the act of 22d March, 1813. Seth Chapman was the 
first President Judge, and Hugh Wilson and Bo- 


lender were the first Associate Judges. Ellis Lewis 
succeeded Judge Chapman in 1832, and he was suc- 
ceeded by Judge Wilson in 1842, who presides at the 
present time. 

Under an act of Assembly, passed March 2d, 1855, 
Union County was divided. The division is called Sny- 
der, in honor of the Governor, and embraces Middleburg, 
and the southern part of the old County of Union. The 
question of division occupied the minds of the people for 
several years, and was stoutly contested on both sides. 
The excitement engendered at the time will long be re- 
membered by the people. 

Lewisburg became the capital of Union County by 
ballot, and on the 3d of December, 1855, the records 
were removed to the new seat of justice. The first 
Court was held in the basement of the M. E. Church, 
commencing on the 17th of December, 1855. 

By private subscription, a Court House and Jail are 
being erected in Lewisburg, and are expected to be com- 
pleted in time for December term of Court, 1856. The 
building will be a model of neatness. It is one 
hundred feet front, and fifty feet back. The first story 
will contain the cells for prisoners — the second story the 
County Offices — ^the third story the Court and Jury 

According to the census of 1850, Union County con- 
tained 132,049 acres of improved land, and 74,881 un- 
improved. The cash valuation of farms was $5,800,718. 
Value of farming implements, machinery, &c., $1 84,087. 
The County also contained 5,295 horses, 6,283 milch 
cows, 9,931 sheep, and 13,616 swine. Total aggregate 
value of all live stock $471,390. Bushels of wheat 
raised 353,095, rye 78,304, and com 180,563. The 


County also contained 1 Baptist, 1 Christian, 10 Ger- 
man Reformed, 13 Lutheran, 9 Methodist^ 1 Moravian, 
4 Presbyterian, and 1 Union, Churches, the aggregate 
value of which was 878,200, with accommodations for 
17,800 people- The population of the County was 
26,083. Lewisburg had 2,012, which is more than 
doubled at the present day. 

The County having been divided, since the above cen- 
sus was taken, a great change has been effected in the 
figures, yet there has been a gradual increase. 

Buffalo Valley is one of the best wheat-producing re- 
gions in Pennsylvania, and contains as fine farms as can 
be found anywhere. Lewisburg is the grand depot for the 
trade of this, as well as several other extensive valleys, 
and does an immense business. Thousands of bushels 
of wheat are annually shipped at this point. 

The following indenture, which, upon examination, will 
be found to be a curious instrument, is a bona fide docu- 
ment, the original copy of which is still preserved in 
Lewisburg. The ground referred to is now part of the 
lot occupied by the Foundry of Messrs. Geddes & Marsh, 
which was formerly the Methodist House of worship.— 
It is certainly a rare curiosity in the conveyancing line. 
It is doubtful whether any other town has as clear a 
chronicle of possession from the original parents of man- 
kind, downwards — and question if any borough in 
America has the " documents" to prove itself as venera- 
ble as Lewisburg : 

WxlS HVitStVLtViXt — Made the ninth day of October, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three, Be- 
tween Clara Helena Ellinkhuysen, of the town of Louisburg, in the 
township of BufFaloe, in the county of Northumberland and common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania, widow, of the one part, and Flavel Roan, of 


the town of Sunbury, in the county and commonwealth aforesaid, 
Esquire, of the other part. Whereas, the Creator of the earth, by 
parole and livery of seisin, did enfeoff the parents of mankind, to wit, 
Adam and Eve, of all that certain tract of land, called and known in 
the planetary system by the name of The Earth, together with all and 
ungular the advantages, woods, waters, water-courses, easements, 
liberties, privileges, and all others the appurtenances whatsoever 
thereunto belonging, or in any wise appertaining to have and to hold 
to them the said Adam and Eve, and the heirs of their bodies lawfully 
to be begotten, in fee-tail general forever, as by the said feoffment 
reoorded by Moses, in the first chapter of the first book of his records 
oommonly called Genesis, more fully and at large appears on reference 
being thereunto had : And Whereas, the said Adam and Eve died 
seised of the premises aforesaid in fee-tail general, leaving issue, heirs 
of their bodies, to wit, sons and daughters, who entered into the same 
premises and became thereof seised as tenants in common by virtue of 
the donation aforesaid, and multiplied their seed upon the earth : And 
Whereas, in process of time, the heirs of the said Adam and Eve 
having become very numerous, and finding it to be inconvenient t^ 
remain in common as aforesaid, bethought themselves to make nir- 
tadon of the lands and tenements aforesaid to and amqngst themsel^hi, 
and they did accordingly make such partition : And Whereas, Sy vir- 
tue of the said partition made by the heirs of said Adam and Eve, all 
that certain tract of land called and known on the general plan of the 
said Earth by the name of America, parcel of the said large tract, was 
allotted and set over unto certain of the heirs aforesaid to them and to 
their heirs general in fee-simple, who entered into the same and be- 
came thereof seised as aforesaid in their demesne as of fee, and peopled 
the same allotted lands in severalty, and made partition thereof to and 
amongst their descendants : And Whereas, afterwards, (now deemed 
in time immemorial,) a certain united people called '' The Six Nation 
of North America,'' heirs and descendants of the said grantees of 
America, became seised, and for a long time whereof the memory of 
man runneth not to the contrary, have been seised in their demesDA 
as of fee, of and in a certain tract of country and land in the north 
division of America, called and known at present on the general pbtt 
of the said north division by the name of Pennsylvania: And WheraaSy 
the said united nations, being so thereof seised, afterwards, to wik 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-eig^f 
their certain deed of Feoffment with livery of seisin did graa^ 

396 msTOBT OF the west branch yallet. 

gain, sell, release, enfeoff, alien, and confirm unto Thomas Penn and 
Richard Penn, otherwise called The Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, 
(among other things) the county called BuffiJoe-Yalley, ntnate on 
the South side of the west branch of the river Susquehanna, parcel of 
said country called Pennsylvania, to hold to them the said Proprieta- 
ries, their heirs and assigns forever, in their demesne as of fee, as by 
the same Feoffment more fully appears; which last mentioned tract of 
country was afterwards, with other tracts of country, by the said Pro- 
prietaries by the advice and consent of Uicir great council in goiersl 
assembly met, erected into a county called Northumberland aforesaid, 
of which the said Buffaloe valley was and is parcel by the name of 
Buffdoe township: And Whereas, the said Proprietaries, by thdr 
letters patent bearing date the eleventh day of August, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-two, did grant and 
confirm unto a certain Richard Peters in fee-simple a certain parcel of 
the said township, called Prescott, situate at the mouth of Spring 
Run, adjoining and below the mouth of Buffaloe creek, on the sontli 
side of the west branch of Susquehanna aforesaid, in the townsUp 
and county aforesaid, by metes and bounds in the said letters set 
forth, coDtaining three hundred and twenty acres and allowance, &e., 
as by the same letters patent inrolled at Philadelphia in patent book 
AA., vol. 13, page 265, more fully and at large appears: And 
Whereas, the said Richard Peters, by his certain indenture bearing 
date the seventeenth day of November, in the year of our Lord 1773, 
did grant, bargain and sell the last mentioned tract and parcel of land, 
containing 320 acres and allowance, with the appurtenances, unto i 
certain Ludwig Derr in fee-simple, as by the same deed recorded is 
the office for recording of deeds in and for the county of Philadelphii,* 
in deed-book No. 22, page 444, appears at large on reference there- 
unto had : And Whereas, the said Ludwig Derr, being so mad 
thereof, did lay out a town called and known by the name of Xfwtf- 
hur(/, consisting of three hundred and fifty lots or parcels of land, with 
suitable and proper streets, lanes and alleys, containing about one 
hundred and twenty-eight acres, parcel of the said tract last herds- 
before mentioned, as by the general plan of the said town appeals: 
And Whereas, the said Ludwig Derr afterwards died intestate, (harisg 
previously disposed of divers of the said lots to divers persons,) leaving 
a widow (who is since deceased,) and issue, his only child Gkorge, IJB 
heir at law : By Virtue and reason whereof the lands, tenements sod 
hereditaments aforesaid, whereof the said Ludwick was seised at tke 


time of his death, and which he had not aliened, descended to and 
became vested in the said George Derr in fee-simple, who entered into 
the same and became seised in his demesne as of fee : And Whereas, 
the said George Derr being so thereoff seised, by his certain indenture 
bearing date the twentieth day of December, in the year of our Lord 
1788, did grant, bargain and sell all his estate and interest in the 
town aforesaid, with the appurtenances, unto a certain Peter Borger 
in fee-simple, as by the same deed recorded in the office for recording 
of deeds in Philadelphia, in deed-book No. 22, page 442, and at Sun- 
bury in Northumberland county aforesaid, in deed-book D, page 397, 
appears : And whereas, the said Peter Borger, and Florinda his wife, 
by their certain indenture bearing date the second day of January, in 
the year of our Lord 1789, did grant, bargain, sell and confirm the 
town, lots, lands, tenements and premises whereof they were so seised, 
unto a certain Carl Ellinkhuysen of the city of Rotterdam, in the 
province of Holland, in the United Netherlands of Europe, merchant, 
in fee-simple, as by the same deed recorded in the office for recording 
of deeds in and for the county of Northumberland, in book E, page 
231, &c., appears : And Whereas, the said Carl Ellinkhuysen, being 
seised of the premises aforesaid by virtue thereof, by his certain deed 
in writing called a letter of attorney, sealed and delivered, bearing 
date the eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord 1789, did con- 
stitute, appoint, and authorize the said Peter Borger (among other 
acts and things) to sell, dispose of, and convey and assure to such 
persons as should agree for the same, all such lots of land in the said 
town as the said Peter Borger should deem expedient, as by the said 
letter of attorney recorded at Philadelphia in letter of attorney-book 
No. 3, page 84, reference being thereto had appears : And Whereas, 
the said Carl Ellinkhuysen (by his said attorney, Peter Borger, con- 
stituted as aforesaid, unrevoked,) by certain indenture bearing date 
the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord 1790, did grant, 
bargain, and sell unto Matthias Joseph Ellinkhuysen, late husband of 
the said Clara Helena Ellinkhuysen, and to the said Clara Helena, 
wife of the said Matthias Joseph, All that certain lot or piece of land, 
(kmong other things,) parcel of the said town, not disposed of by the 
said Ludwig Derr, situate in the said town of Louisburg, and known 
on the general plan of the said town by the number 51, to wit, fifty- 
one, containing in breadth on Front street and Walnut alley sixty-six 
feet, and in depth on St. Louis street and lot No. 52, one hundred and 
fifty-seven feet and six inches, bounded on the south by Front street 


aforesaid, on the north hy the said Walnut alley, and on the east by 
lot No. 52 aforesaid, To Hold to them the said Matthias Joseph ElliDk- 
huysen and Clara Helena his wife, their heirs and assigns forever : By 
Virtue whereof, the said Matthias Joseph Ellinkhuysen and Clara Hele- 
na his wife, became seised in their demesne as of fee of the lot of ground 
aforesaid, with the appurtenances in Joint Tenantcy, to wit, to them 
and to the survivor of them, his or her heirs and assigns for ever, as 
by the said deed recorded in the office for recording of deeds in and 
for Northumberland county, in book E, page 84, reference being there- 
unto had more fully and at large appears : And Whereas, afterwards, 
the said Matthias Joseph Ellinkhuysen died seised as aforesaid of the 
premises aforesaid, leaving the said Clara Helena his wife, By reason 
whereof, the said Clara Helena Ellinkhuysen became sole seised of the 
same premises in her own right and demesne as of fee : NOW, This 
Indenture Witncsseth, that the said Clara Helena Ellinkhuysen, for 
and in consideration of the sum of sixteen pounds and ten shiilings, 
lawful money of Pennsylvania, to her in hand well and tmly paid by 
the said Flavel Roan at the execution hereof, the receipt whereof is 
hereby acknowledged, Hath granted, bargained, sold, aliened, enfeoffed, 
released and confirmed, and by these presents, Doth grant, bargain, 
sell, alien, enfeoff, release and confirm unto the said Flavel Roan, hia 
heirs and assigns, All that the aforesaid described lot of ground. 
Together with the appurtenances, rights, easements, liberties, privi- 
legcs, and hereditaments whatsoever thereunto belonging, or in any 
wise appertaining, and the reversion and reversions, remainder and 
remainders, rents, issues and profits thereof. To Have and To Hold 
the aforesaid described lot or piece of ground numbered as aforesaid 
51, hereby granted, or meant, mentioned or intended so to be, with 
the appurtenances, unto the said Flavel Roan, his heirs and assigns, 
to the only proper use, benefit and behoof of him the said Flavel Roan, 
his heirs and assigns forever. In Witness whereof, the said parties to 
these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals, interchangeably 
the day and year first above written. 

G. B. Van Capel, [l. s.] 

Scaled and delivered in the presence of 
Jno. Hayes, 


[Purchase money received as above — acknowledged before Wm. 
Gray, J. P. — and recorded by J. Simpson, at Sunbury, Deed-book F, 
page 280, 3d Nov. 1793.] 


The author of this curious " Indenture" was Flavel 
Roan, a witty and rather eccentric gentleman, the son of 
a clergyman in Lancaster. His education was good, 
and his penmanship superior. It is said that he kept a 
trading house near the mouth of Buffalo Creek, at a very 
early day. He was one of the first sheriffs of Northum- 
berland County, and subsequently one of the original 
commissioners of Union County. He died among his 
kindred, the Clingans, and was buried at the Buffalo x 

Many anecdotes are related concerning him, one of 
which I will give. He was travelling in Union County 
once in company with John Strubble, when the conver- 
sation turned upon making rhymes, and it was proposed 
that each should make a couplet, and submit it to the 
landlord, where they intended to stop that night, for 
his decision, and the one having the least merit, should 
pay the bill for both. Rising early the next morning, 
they proceeded to a large spring to perform the neces- 
sary ablutions, when Strubble commenced his rhyme 
thus : 

" Our forefathers who were so wise, 

First drank their bitters, then washed their eyes." 

Whereupon Flavel Roan struck in as if by inspira- 
tion — 

" But we, the younger race, wiser still, 
First wash our eyes, then drink our fill !" 

The landlord decided that Strubble lost the bet — ^the 
bill was paid, and they both departed. 




The Presbyterian Church at Buffalo x Roads, is pro- 
bably the oldest in the West Branch Valley, the history 
of which dates back before the Revolution. For the 
facts in the following interesting sketch of its history, I 
am indebted to an article published a few years ago, in 
the Family Presbyterian, by Rev. Isaac Grier. 

On examining the records of Carlisle Presbytery, I 
find that it was organized by the Synod of N. T. and 
Philadelphia, in 1786. It appears, on reference to the 
Minutes of that Synod for May 1765, that owing to 
difficulties in the Presbytery of Donegal, they deter- 
mined to create the members living on the West Branch 
into a new Presbytery, to be called the Presbytery of 
Carlisle. We find there the following record: ^*The 
Synod having maturely considered the situation of 
affairs in the Presbytery of Donegal, agreed to erect the 
members of that Presbytery, that live on the western 
side of the Susquehanna, into a new Presbytery, to- 
gether with the Rev. Andrew Bay, by the name of the 


Presbytery of Carlisle, and appoint that their first meet- 
ing be at Philadelphia, the 23d of May, 1765 ; and the 
remaining members are hereby annexed to the Presby- 
tery of New Castle." This caused considerable dissatis- 
faction among some of the members of the old Donegal 
Presbytery, and the next spring, 1766, a petition was 
presented to the Synod, requesting them to review their 
decision ; and after various plans were proposed and de- 
bated, the Presbytery of Donegal was restored to its 
former state. So it appears that this Presbytery existed 
at that time for only one year, and was not again or- 
ganized till the spring of 1786, when the Presbytery of 
Donegal was divided into two Presbyteries, one to be 
known by the name of the Presbytery of Baltimore, and 
the other the Presbytery of Carlisle. From this it ap- 
pears that the congi*egation of Buffalo, if organized in^ 
1773, must have been organized by Donegal Presbytery. 
From the records of the various Synods, I find that 
as early as 1774, supplies were sent more than fifty 
miles higher up the West Branch. At the meeting of 
the Synod in May, 1774, "a petition was brought in 
and read from the Bald Eagle settlement, up the West 
Branch, earnestly praying for supplies to be sent to 
these parts. Mr. Latta is appointed to supply up the 
West Branch five Sabbaths in the months of October 
and November, and Mr. Samuel Dougal, a probationer 
under the care of New Castle Presbytery, seven Sab- 
baths in July and August." The earliest appointment 
of supplies for this part of Pennsylvania by the Synod, 
that I have been able to find, was in the spring of 1770, 
at a meeting in New York city, where it is stated, 
^ Messrs. Elder, State, and Steel, are appointed to sup- 
* ply between Augusta Fort, and Juniata, and places ad- 


jacent, each two Sabbaths before next Synod." Any 
earlier supplies must have been under the appointments 
for the frontier settlements and Indians. 

According to Mr. Hood's statement^ Buffalo was or- 
ganized in 1773, and James McClenahan and Samuel 
AUen were its first ruling elders ; the former had been 
ordained in Deny, Dauphin county, and the latter in 
Silver Spring, then under the pastoral care of Mr. 
Waugh. These gentlemen continued to officiate as 
elders, and the congregation to receive supplies, until 
1781, when it was broken up on account of the countiy 
being overrun by Indians. 

In 1783, the people returned, and in the same year 
Mr. McClenahan died ; and as Mr. Allen had died whfle 
the people were away, the congregation was without 
elders till 1785, when Matthew Laird, who had been a 
ruling elder in Big Spring, came to reside in the congre- 

In 1787, they were visited by Mr. Hugh Morrison, a 
probationer from Ireland, to whom they gave a call, and 
he appears to have been their first pastor. The names 
of the prominent pew holders at that time, were as fol- 
lows : Robert Clark, Samuel Maclay, Christopher John- 
son, James Forster, Andrew Forster, William Irwin, 
John Reynor, W. Marshall, Jonathan Holmes, Alexan- 
der Kennedy, Geo. Knox, John Linn, James Magee, 
Col. John Kelly, William McClenahan, James Fleming, 
Walter Clark, Da^dd Watson, Richard Shearer, Capt 
W. Gray, W. Wilson, Matthew Laird, Robert Fruit, 
John and James Thompson, Joseph and James Roach, 
Christopher Baldy, Thomas Hutchinson, Flavel Roan, 
Andrew McClenahan, Paschal Lewis, Joseph Grier, Wii- 
liam Linn, &c. The names of the following persons' 


were pew holders at an earlier date : James McClelland, 
Col. W. Chamberlin, Robert Forster, Alexander Steele, 
Matthew Irwin, Robert Chambers, James Black, Hamil- 
ton Shaw, Roan McClure, Samuel Dale, Gideon Smith, 
Thos. Howard, Thos. Elder, Patrick Mecklin, Hugh 
Wilson, and Hugh Wilson, Jr., Nathaniel Strahan, Ga- 
briel Morrison, &c. 

In the records of ihe church for May 22d, 1788, is 
the following : " Carlisle Presbytery reported that they 
have ordained to the work of the gospel ministry, Mr. 
Samuel Wilson, in the pastoral charge of Big Spring 
congregation, and Mr. H. Morrison in the charge of 
Sunbury, Northumberland, and Buffalo Valley." As 
this report was made in May, 1788, it is probable that 
he was installed in the year '87, when he first visited 
them. Shortly after he came, there was an election for 
elders, and Walter Clark, John Linn, William Irwin, 
David Watson, John Reynor, and Joseph Allen, were 
chosen, and ordained ruling elders. Messrs. Clark and 
Allen, some years after, removed to the West, the others 
continued to act as elders till their death. About the 
year 1795, Mr. Clingan was added to the session. The 
Presbytery of Huntingdon was organized this year, and 
the congregations in this section of the State fell within 
its bounds. 

Mr. Morrison continued pastor until 1801, when the 
relationship existing between him and the membei^ was 
dissolved, on account of a difficulty that had existed for 
more than a year. Had temperance societies existed in 
those days, there would not have been so much drinking, 
probably, at weddings ; and clergymen would not have 
been charged with taking too much ! 

In 1802 or 3, the congregations of Buffalo, and Wash- 



iogton, in White Deer Valley, were visited by Mr. James 
Magraw, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Castle, to 
whom they gave a call, but he did not accept. 

Mr. Morrison died in Sunbury, on the 15th of Sep- 
tember, 1804, and was buried in the lower graveyard. 

In the winter of the same year, Mr. Thomas Hood, a 
licentiate of the New Castle Presbytery, visited the two 
congregations, to whom they gave a call that summer, 
which he accepted at the fall meeting of the Presbytery, 
and was at that time dismissed to put himself under the 
care of the Huntingdon Presbytery, at Spring Cre^ 
April 16, 1805, and was ordained and installed Oct 2d, 
of the same year. Soon after Mr. Hood's settlement in 
Buffalo, Thomas Howard, Andrew McClenahan, James 
McClelland, and Samuel Templeton were elected and 
ordained ruling elders. 

At the next election, some years after, Thomas Cling- 
an, James Geddes, and Robert Forster, were chosen 
and ordained. 

In 1816, the congregation erected a stone Chapel, the 
original house of worship being a small log building. 

In 1832, Samuel Barber, William Forster, and Robert 
G. H. Hayes, were elected and ordained ruling elders. 

In the spring of 1808, Mr. Hood commenced to preach 
one fourth of his time in Mifflinburg, leaving but one 
fourth to Washington. In 1812, he received a call from 
the church at Milton for one fourth of his time, the por- 
tion which he had given the four years previous to 
Mifflinburg, and he was installed in Milton, Oct. 1812. 
The people of Milton had made application to the Pres- 
bytery of Huntingdon, in the spring of 1811, to be 
organized into a Church, which was not granted at that 
time, and before the next meeting, the Presbytery of 


Northumberland was organized, and the application was 
renewed at their first meeting in Oct. 1811. 

As it may be satisfactory to the reader to see the 
Minute of the Synod, organizing the Northumberland 
Presbytery, I shall copy it It reads as follows : 

'^ Bj a resolution of the Synod of Philadelpliia at their Sessions, 
Hay 16, 1811| the request of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, to be 
divided by the following line, was granted, viz. : — ^Beginning at (he 
month of Mahantango Creek, proceeding a Northwesterly course so 
as to strike the West Branch at the line which divides Lycoming 
and Centre counties, so as to leave to the eastward the following 
members : The Rev. Messrs. Asa Dunham, John Bryson, Isaac Grier, 
John B. Patterson, and Thomas Hood, with their respective charges, 
together with the vacant congregations of Oreat Island, Pine Creek, 
and Lycoming. And it was further resolved, that the above named 
ministers and congregations be named the IVesbytery of Northum- 
berland, and meet at the Presbyterian Church in the town of North* 
omberland, on the first Tuesday of October next, ensmag the date of 
this resolution, at 11 o'clock, A. M." 

Presbytery met in accordance with the above resolu- 
tion, and was opened by the Rev. Asa Dunham with a 
sermon from Eph. 2 : 14. The members that constitu- 
ted that Presbytery, were the Rev. Messrs. Dunham, 
Bryson, Grier, Patterson, and Hood ; with the elders, 
James Sheddan, James Hepburn, William Montgomery, 
and Thomas Howard. As the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don had not granted the request of the people of Milton, 
and a part of White Deer township, to be organized into 
a Church in Milton, at ,the first meeting of the North- 
umberland Presbytery, the application was renewed by 
Messrs. Bethuel Vincent and James P. Sanderson. — 
Presbytery agreed to meet in Milton on the first Tues- 
day in December, to take the matter into consideration, 
and hear the parties both pro and con. At that meeting. 


Messrs. Vincent and Sanderson appeared again in be- 
half of the people desiring an organization, and Messrs. 
James Moodie and Joseph Kerr appeared in behalf of 
those opposed to it, and laid before Presbytery a re- 
monstrance. The Presbytery granted the request, and 
a Church was organized in Milton. The next spring a 
call was made for one fourth of Mr. Hood's time, and 
he was installed. In 1819, he retired from the charge 
of the Washington congregation, and devoted the whole 
of his time between the congregations at Bufialo and 

At the installment of Mr. Hood, there were sixty 
members in Buffalo Church; the largest number added 
at any one time, was thirty-five, in the fall of 1824. ht 
the year 1828, there were two hundred and seventy- 
three members. At the time Mr. Hood left, the mem- 
bers were reduced to fifty-eight, owing to the organization 
of four or five other Churches, chiefly formed of members 
from Buffalo Church. 

Mr. Hood retired from the pastoral charge of Buffalo 
Church in April, 1835, and died in Lewisburg, March 
17th, 1848, at a good old age. 

Rev. Isaac Grier supplied the pulpit from 1835 to 
the spring of 1853, when he left, and the Rev. Philip 
W. Malick supplied it one year, when he returned in 
the spring of 1854, was installed, and is officiating at 
the present time. 

In 1846, the stone building was taken down and the 
present beautiful brick edifice erected in its stead. So 
ends the history of the Church at Buffalo x Road. 

Dr. Robert Vanvalzah, of Buffalo x Roads, and Dr. 
Charles Beyer, of Lewisburg, were the first prominent 
physicians in Buffalo Valley. They both died at an 


advanced age: the fonner April 18, 1850, and the latter 
September 30, 1830. 

The "Driesbach" German Refonned and Lutheran 
Churches, fotir miles west of Lewisburg, were organized 
about the close of the last century. A log building was 
first erected : in 1844, its place was supplied with a 
neat brick building. Rev. J. H. Fries, and Rev. Geo. 
Heim, preached there for many years. The Lewisburg 
German Reformed Church was a colony from it. 

The oldest mill on Bufialo Creek is six miles from 
Lewisburg. It was built by a man named Bear at an 
early day, and is owned at the present time by the heirs 
of John A. Vandyke. It is supposed to be as old as 
Derr's mill. 

A large Furnace was erected at the mouth of Turtle 
Creek in 1854-5, by Messrs. Beaver, Geddes, Marsh, 
& Co., and is doing a profitable business.. 

There is a place called the " Indian Garden," about an 
acre of cleared land, surrounded by thick woods, on 
Thomas Howard's farm, three miles above Lewisburg, 
on Buffalo Creek. Indian relics, such as darts, &c., have 
been found in great abundance. A few years ago, what 
was supposed to be the thigh bones of a Mastadon, were 
found on the same farm, in digging a ditch through a 

On David Linn's farm there used to be what was call- 
ed the " Raining Rock." A rock projected about six feet 
over the Creek, and about the same distance above the 
water, and about ten feet long, from the whole face of 
which — except in very dry weather — there flowed coft- 
tinned streams and drops of water. It was destroyed 
by the opening of a stone quarry a few years ago. 

There is a remarkable " Sink Hole," three miles from 
town, on Dale's hill. It has been descended to a great 


depth without finding bottom, and a stone thrown in 
can be heard rumbling for a long time. 

In quarrying limestone, near Winfield, in Dry Valley, 
a few years since, a large cave was discovered, filled with 
beautiful stalactites. 

There is a graveyard on the banks of Turtle Creek, 
near Jenkins' Mill, that all recollection of who was buried 
there is lost, with the exception of a boy killed by the 
running away of a plow-team, some sixty years ago. 

In 1822-3, there was a joint stock company raised 
to erect Salt Works, eight miles north-west of Lewisbuig. 
They bored a hole into the earth some 600 feet, from 
which has nm a constant stream of water ever since. 
It produced no salt, but has a strong sulphurous taste. 
I have no doubt its medicinal qualities are as wholesome 
as some of the far-famed watering places. 

The parents of John Foster, Esq., of Buffalo x Roads, 
lived at an early day on Buffalo Creek, nearly opposite 
Vanvalzah's Mill. He remembers many incidents of 
Indian history, one of which is as follows : — One night 
the family were alarmed by Indians, and fled to a rye 
patch adjoining the house, where they passed the night 
A small dog, that was usually very vociferous at night, 
stayed with them and made no noise. The family 
always considered it a special act of Providence. Next 
morning plenty of Indian tracks were found around the 
house. It was a log building, and is standing at the 
present day. 

I might give many more interesting reminiscences of 
Buffalo Valley, as it is a fruitful field, but the limits of 
this work forbid it. I will, however, give a remarkable 
case of witchcraft, by way of concluding the annals of 
Union county. 

About the year 1825, a remarkable farce of witchcraft 


was played in the family of a man named Kern^ in 
Beaver township. He had a wife and two daughters, 
and followed the occupation of farming. In his imme- 
diate vicinity lived a man named Eomig, who, from some 
miknown cause, became a hypochondriac, and the impres- 
sion got abroad that he was bewitched. Soon after this 
the milk in Kern's spring-house became sour, within a 
few hours after it was placed there. This occurred daily 
until the farce was concluded, which was in two or three 
weeks. The next act played was of a more remarkable 
character. Kern's tables, and kitchen furniture, were to 
be seen flying in all directions, thrown, it was supposed^ 
by supernatural means. Knives, forks, spoons, ladles, 
&c., never remained more than five minutes on the dres- 
ser after having been placed there, but were thrown in 
various directions about the house; and, as the more 
hetieving portion of the neighbors asserted, it was no 
uncommon thing to see them thrown through the solid 
wall of the house without leaving any mark of their 
passage in the wall ! A peddler, who stopped for the 
purpose of trading some of his notions to Kern, asserted 
that he had not been in the house ten minutes, before his 
hat and dog were thrown through the wall of the kitchen, 
into the adjoining yard ! It is not to be presumed that 
he was influenced in propagating this story by the hope 
of assembling a crowd around his wagon. 

During these transactions, Kern had a numerous 
crowd daily at his house ; and on Sundays there was 
a gathering at his door, such as the most eloquent 
divine would have failed to assemble. Of these, the 
major part came prepared to believe all they saw and 
all they might hear ; of course there was no lack of true 
stories. The unbeUeving portion of the visitors— a very 


small number^ for men of sense generally staid at home- 
kept their eyes open, and readily discovered that the old 
woman and the daughters were the witches, and threw 
the knives, forks, &c. A witch doctor was called, who 
proceeded, with great solemnity, to expel the evil spirit 
Divers magical and mysterious rites were performed, 
exorcisms were chanted, and texts of scripture nailed 
to every door and window in the house. The witches, 
however, set the doctor at naught, and baffled all his 

At length a party of young men, residing in New 
Berlin, resolved to try their skill at taking evil spirits. 
One of them having procured a mask, a huge flaxen wig, 
a pair of furred gloves, and other necessary apparatus, 
set out with the rest, in the afternoon, and arrived at 
Kern's early in the evening. At their request, the 
witches performed, to their great satisfaction, until a 
late hour. At length, when all the visitors, except the 
young witch doctors, had left the house, it was resolved 
to commence operations. They desired to see how 
the witches acted above stairs, and were accordingly 
conducted up the ladder, accompanied by the whole 
family. In the meantime, one of the party who had a 
remarkably hoarse and deep-toned voice, and who was 
to act the part of the Devil, was notified by a precon- 
certed signal — for he had not entered the house — to 
prepare for action. He accordingly put on his wig and 
mask, which he rubbed with phosphorus, and wrapped 
himself in a buffalo skin. The party up stairs were well 
provided with squibs. One of them had a piece of phos- 
phorus, with which he wrote on the wall such words as 
"Devil," "Hell," &c., in a number of places. The signal 
being given, the candle was extinguished, the squibs dis- 


tributed most copiously, and the horrid words on the wall 
shone out in liquid fire ! The barrels and furniture in 
the room were trundled about the floor, and an astound- 
ing uproar was kept up for some minutes. Presently a 
terrific roar was heard from below; aU parties ran to the 
stair-door, and saw at the foot of the ladder his grim 
majesty in all the terrors of flames, flax, fur and horns. 
Satan made an appropriate speech on the occasion, and 
then retired. His address was followed by a most edify- 
ing exhortation by the wag of the party on the sin of 
deceiving, and the danger of another visit from old Nick, 
if the present practices should be persisted in. The 
terrified witches made a full confession, and so ended 
the enchantment. 

As the people became enlightened and refined, the 
belief in witchcraft declined. Ignorance and supersti- 
tion go hand in hand. 






For the information in this chapter, I am indebted to 
J. F. Wolfinger. Esq., who has kindly furnished it. 

In 1772, the place where the town of Milton now 
stands was covered with a dense forest, and no sound 
was heard save that of the wild beast or bird, or that of 
the Indian as he roamed over the grounds in quest of 
prey, or paddled his light canoe over the rippling waters 
of the Otzinachson. 

In 1775, Marcus Huling built a log cabin ne^r the 
western curve of Limestone Run, and occupied it as a 
tavern stand. His son, Marcus Huling, Jr., also erected 
a similar cabin on the river bank, near Broadway, and 
occupied it as a blacksmith shop. These were the first 
buildings erected by the white man. When the British 
and Indians, under McDonald, captured Fort Freeland 
in 1779, they burned these buildings, and the Hulings 
took their canoes and fled to Duncan's Island. 

In 1780, another and larger log house was erected on 
the site of Milton, and occupied as a fort, by a little band 
of soldiers stationed there to guard the slowly returning 


settlers. In 1790, Andrew Straub, millwright, from Lan- 
caster county, and one Christian Yentzer, purchased at a 
Sheriff's sale, among other lands adjoining, all the ground 
forming that portion of Milton south of Broadway. It 
was sold as the property of Turbutt Francis, deceased, 
one of the early Associate Judges of Northumberland 
county Courts. In 1791, Yentzer conveyed all of his 
interest to Straub, who, in 1792, laid out the town of 
MUton, and built a small log grist-miU on Limestone 
Run, then diverted from its original course to the river, 
for the accommodation of the future town and people. 

August 11th, 1795, all that portion of the town north 
of Broadway was laid out by its proprietor, James Black, 
of Sunbury. The town for some years continued to in- 
crease rapidly, and enterprising settlers from New Jer- 
sey, and the Counties of Chester, Delaware, York, 
Lancaster and Berks, in our own State, flocked in. — 
Bethuel Vincent was also one of the early settlers. 

On the 26th of February, 1817, Milton was incorpo- 
rated into a borough by the Legislature. The first 
borough officers elected in pursuance of this act, were as 
follows : 

Chief Burgess^ . . . Arthur McGowan. 

Assistant Burgess ^ - - Robert McGuigan. 

cr . /i 7> 7 ) Jno. Jones, 

fSupertnsors of Eoads. - ^ tv • j t\ • i 

^ "^ ' j David Demckson. 

High Constable^ - - - James Sharp. 

Constable^ . - . . Joseph Hartman. 

Toum Council — Joseph Rhoads, Daniel R. Bright, 
Samuel Hepburn, Daniel Scudder, Christopher Woods^ 
George Eckbert and Thomas Comly. 

The first settlement of the borough accounts was 
made on the 29th of April, 1818, from which it appears 


that the taxes levied and collected for the year 1817, 

amounted to $739 04 i 

Expenses for same year - - . 691 56 i 

Leaving a balance in the Treasury of - $ 47 48. 

The taxes of 1817 were oppressively high, to raise 
funds in order to repair the heavy damage done by the 
great Limestone Run flood, which occurred on the 9th of 
August, 1817, and destroyed the Front street bridge, 
and washed out the great ravine now crossed by it. — 
The mill and several houses were swept off. The burst- 
ing of a water spout is supposed to have occasioned such 
an immense flow of water. The Legislature granted the 
borough $5000, and the County a larger sum, to aid m 
replacing the bridge. 

The first educational institutions in Milton were an 
old log school house, erected on Lower Market street in 
1796, and a frame building on Broadway in 1802. — 
Here most of the children of the first settlers obtained 
what little education they got. The first German setr 
tiers had a school for the instruction of their children in 
their own language, but it gradually dwindled away for 
the want of support. 

About the year 1816, Joseph D. Biles began to in- 
struct the sons of a few of the wealthier families, in the 
Latin and Greek languages, in the old Broadway school 
house, which thenceforward received the more dignified 
title of " The Milton Academy." The venerable log 
school house of Lower Milton was, in 1858, removed to 
Eckbert's mill and converted into a blacksmith shop; 
while its younger rival, the old frame Academy, was also 
removed from its site in 1849, by the colored people and 
converted into " The African Church." In place of these 
buildings, fine brick school houses were erected. 


The higher and more successful Milton Academy was 
erected in 1823, on a rising ground, and stiU stands, 
where the Rev. David Kirkpatrick taught the classics 
with brilliant success to many, if not most, of the pro- 
fessional characters throughout the West Branch Valley. 
But the glory of this good old institution has departed 
never more to return, until another Kirkpatrick is found 
to take the youth by the hand and lead them gently up 
the rugged hiU of science. 

The Lancasterian school house was erected in 1830, 
and so called because it was designed to introduce the 
Lancasterian system of conducting schools, which was 
soon abandoned for want of support. The Prospect Hill 
school house was erected on a high and beautiful piece 
of ground near the northern limits of the town. The 
present schools are respectable, but fall far short of what 
they ought to be for such an enterprising town. 

The Churches consist first of the English Protestant 
Episcopal church, called Christ Church. They had a 
log meeting house erected in 1795, in Morris Lane, but 
long since torn down and supplied by a new brick church 
of the same name, erected in upper Market street in 
1849. The Methodist Episcopal Church, likewise a log 
building, was erected somewhere between the years 
1802-15, and torn down about 1834, and a new brick 
edifice substituted. 

The German Reformed, German Lutheran and English 
Presbyterian church, a union, styled " The Harmony 
Church," was commenced in 1817, and finished in 1819. 
It was considered a building of much splendor for that 
time. It is still standing on the eastern end of Maho- 
ning street, where the three respective congregations 
worshipped till 1832, when the English Presbyterians 


withdrew, and in 1837-8, built themselves a new brick 
church on Front street, which was recently torn down 
and a magnificent edifice erected in its stead, during the 
summer of 1856. 

After this, the German Reformed and Lutherans wor- 
shipped in the Harmony Church, on alternate Sabbaths, 
till 1850, when the Lutherans also withdrew and built 
themselves a new brick church. 

In addition to these Churches, there is the Associate 
Reformed Presbyterian Church, erected in Church Lane 
in 1820, and afterwards called the Seceder, and then the 
Covenanter Church — but recently sold to the Sunbury 
and Erie Railroad Company, and supplied in 1854, by a 
new brick building in Walnut street, now styled The 
First Reformed Presbyterian Church. 

The Baptist Church, a brick edifice, was erected in 
1829, in Church Lane, and is still standing. The Ro- 
man Catholic Church, likewise a brick building, was 
erected in 1844. 

The Rev. Caleb Hopkins was the first and, indeed, 
only settled pastor of the old Episcopal Church, for his 

successors, the Revds. Elijah D. Plumb, Wiltber- 

ger, Smith, Carter, B. Eldridge, Wistar Mor- 
ris, William Montgomery and John G. Furey, were only 
supplies for a short time. They have no pastor now. 

The first regular pastor of the German Reformed 
Church, was the Rev. Justus Henry Fries, and his suc- 
cessors were, the Revds. Martin Bruner, Samuel Gute- 
lius, Henry Wagoner, Daniel Gring, Henry Harbaugh, 
Ephraim KielTer, Edwin M. Long and Albert G. Dole, 
the present pastor. 

The first regular pastor of the German Lutheran 
Church, was the Rev. Philip Repass. His successors 


were the Revds. Frederick Waage, Ghurman, Chas. 

P. Miller, John George Anspach, Charles F. Stoever, 
Eli Swartz, Frederick RuthraufF, John J. Reimensnyder, 
and Christopher C. CuUen, the present pastor. 

The first regular pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
was the Rev. Thomas Hood. His successors were the 
Revds. James Williamson, David Longmore, D. D., and 
James C. Watson, D. D., the present pastor. All the 
other occasional preachers were supplies. 

The first regular pastor of the Associate Reformed or 
Seceder Church, was the Rev. Geo. Junkin, D. D., hia 
successors were the Revds. William Wilson, John Mc- 
Kinley, John Agnew Crawford, Matthew Smith, and 
William Theodore Wiley, the present pastor. All the- 
others were supplies. 

The first regular pastor of the Baptist Church was the^ 
Rev. Eugenie Kincaid, his successoirs were the Revds. 
Geo. Higgins, Thomas Brown, David C. Waite, Collins. 
A. Hewit, J. E. Bradley, and Howard Malcom, D. D.. 
the present pastor. 

The names of the pastors of the M. E. Church cannot 
be given for the want of correct data. This is piuch re- 

The first regular priest of the Catholic Church was. 
John C. Flaunigan, his successors were John Hamiigan,. 

O'Keefe, Kinney, Daniel Sheridan, Basil 

Shorb, and George Gostenschnigg, the present one ini 

Among the early literary associations, may be named 
the Franklin Reciting and Debating Society, established 
about the year 1816, in which such spirits as Joseph B. 
Anthony, James Armstrong, William Cox Ellis, Elijah 
Babbitt, Daniel Scudder, William H. Wilson, and their 


youthful associates, measured their inteUectnal strength, 
and gave free scope to their wit, fancy and eloquence. — 
The Philomathean Society, was formed in 1821. The 
next was the Milton Book Society, formed in 1822, 
which gave rise, the same year, to the Milton Circulating 
Library. This was followed in 1828, by the Milton 
Library Association, the members of which contributed 
one dollar each annually to keep up a regular and fresh 
supply of the best library books for the benefit of them- 
selves and families. The next was the Franklin Junto, 
a debating society, organized in 1832 ; and the Miltcm 
Lyceum, for lecturing purposes, formed in 1837. The 
Milton Literary Association, organized in 1840, was de- 
signed to purchase and encourage the reading of tl^ 
standard literary periodicals of the day, by its members 
and their families. At a more recent date, the Franklin 
Institute of Milton was formed for the purpose of encou- 
raging lawyers, physicians and literary men generally, 
to meet together to listen to lectures, participate in de- 
bates, &c. 

The earliest known Benevolent Association was the 
Milton Bible Society, organized in 1815. The Auxiliary 
Missionary Society of Milton, was formed in 1824, and 
the Milton Tract Society in 1828. These Societies were 
designed to distribute the Bible and Tracts, and also aid 
in sending Missionaries from our land to preach the Gos- 
pel to the heathen. The Milton Temperance Society 
was organized in 1830 — the Milton Reformed Tempe- 
rance Society in 1835. 

The Milton Sabbath Association was formed in 1844, 
in order to promote the better observance of the Sab- 
bath; and the Milton Female Bible Society in 1845, 
still in active operation, for the distribution of the word 
of God. 


The following larger, or more general. Societies have 
been located at this central point, to wit : The Susque- 
hanna Bible Society, organized in 1815— -the Northum- 
berland Missionary Society in 1818 — ^the Milton Sunday- 
school Union in 1827, and the Susquehanna Tract So- 
ciety in 1828. These Societies were designed to aid in 
exploring and supplying the Bible throughout the Val- 
ley,, and the adjoining counties of Union, Lycoming and 
Columbia, and to supply the destitute with preachers. 

The various Sunday-schools of this wide r^on, in- 
duding those of Milton, met in one harmonious Union 
for several years. Reports were received from each 
school, giving its name, nimiber of scholars and teachers, 
supply of books, present condition and future prospects, 
&c., and then forwarded, in the shape of a general report, 
to the American Sunday-school Union, at Philadelphia. 

The honor of originating, and giving life and energy to 
these noble institutions, belongs exclusively to the Pres- 
byterians of this region, acting through their ecclesiasti- 
cal court, styled The Presbytery . of Northumberland, 
which then enrolled among its members such venerated 
names as those of the Rev. John Bryson, Rev. John B. 
Patterson, Rev. Thomas Hood, Rev. George Junkin, 
D. D., and Rev. Dr. Elirkpatrick. But of all these, the 
Rev. Dr. Junkin was evidently the master spirit, who 
set the wheels of Christian improvement and social re- 
form in motion ; and although he was at times severe, 
and perhaps extra strict, yet the citizens have reasons 
to rejoice at the results of his persevering labors. 

The first Sunday-school was established by a little 
band of Presbyterian ladies, about the year 1815 ; and 
the first Infant Sunday-school established here in 1826, 
was a Presbyterian one. The Northern Temperance 


Conventions, commencing with that held at Danville in 
1841, and afterwards held at Milton, Lewisburg, New 
Berlin, Northumberland, Muncy, Williamsport and Lock 
Haven, were also of Presbyterian origin, originating out 
of a resolution offered by Mr. Wolfinger, before the Sfil- 
ton Temperance Society, in 1840. 

The following chronological table will serve to show 
the dates of some of the leading events in Milton : 

1815 — George Eckbert's water power grist mill erected. 
1816 — The Northumberland, Union and Columbia Bank, 

commonly called the Old Milton Bank, es- 

1816 — ^Miltonian newspaper commenced by Gen. Frick. 
1818— New bridge built on Front street by James 

1820— Population of Milton 1015. 
1822 — Lightning strikes the Harmony Church, doing 

much damage. 
1825 — Great hailstorm. 
1830 — First Furnace or Foundry erected by Joseph 

1830 — ^West Branch Canal completed to Milton. 
1830 — John Deeter runs the first canal boat, named the 

West Branch, to Northumberland. 
1830— Population 1352. 
1832 — Bridge across the river completed. 
1885— Steam Grist Mill erected by F. W. PoUock. 
1840— Population 1508. 
1841 — First Steam Saw Mill erected by Evans & 

1841 — Bounds of Milton diminished. 
1845 — Second Foundry erected by White ^ Mervine. 


The town of Milton is twelve miles from the junction 
of the two rivers, and has always transacted a large 
amount of business, especially in grain. The farmers of 
this region, at an early day, had to transport their grain 
during the winter on sleds to Reading. After the place 
had sufficiently increased in population to luive boat- 
builders and boatmen, they commenced running it to 
Baltimore in boats on the river. After the completion 
of the canal^ they preferred to send it to Philadelphia, 
which was a better market. 

Since the completion of the Catawissa, and Sunbury 
and Erie Bailroad to this point, the price of real estate 
has greatly advanced, and lands that could have pre- 
viously been bought for ^50 and ^75 per acre, now 
readily bring $100 and upwards. 

The country around Milton is very extensive as well 
as fertUe— the principal commodity raised is wheat. 

ful and diversified scenery. 

The town is rapidly improving, and numerous fine 
brick buildings are erected annually. It is well supplied 
with first class stores, and excellent hotels. 

His Excellency, the Hon. James Pollock, Governor of 
the State, resides in Milton. 

The population in 1850, was 1649, and at the present 
time it is considerably over 2000. 




McEwENSViLLE^ named after Alexander McEwen, is a 
flourishing village, on the main road to Mmicy, iliree 
miles north of Milton, in a rich and well cultivated 
country. It does not improve much, being an old place, 
and contains about fifty dwellings, and several fine 
churches. It also contains several stores, and a good 
hotel. A very excellent and popular institution of 
learning is located here. The principal, at the present 
time, is C. Low Ryneirson. 

New Columbia is a pleasant little village, one mile 
above Milton, on the Union county side of the riyer. 
It is s<aid that an Indian town once stood here. 

Watsontown, named after a Mr. Watson, is on the 
river, a short distance above the mouth of Warrior Run. 
It contains upwards of 40 dwellings, several stores, &c. 

Uniontown is a smart village, on the west side of the 
river, in Lycoming county, on the road to Williamsport 
over the mountain. A fine bridge of recent construc- 
tion, connects it with the other side of the river. 

The town of Muncy is located in the rich and fertile 


raUey bearing the same name, about one mile from the 
rive/ It Z a„t co^Meooed in Pern,'. Manor, by 
Benjamin McCarty, in 1797, and called Pennsboro', 
which name it bore till its incorporation in 1826, when 
the title was changed. In 1832, the population was 
479, in 1850, 910, and at the present time about 1500. 
It contains five licensed hotels, and fifteen stores. 

The first building, for pubUc worship, was put up in 
1825, and dedicated by the name of the Union School 
House, denoting that it was for the use of all denomina- 
tions, as well as for school purposes. In 1829, the first 
Methodist Episcopal Church was erected. It was a 
single story frame building, and was displaced in 1854 for 
the present elegant brick edifice. The Episcopal Church 
was erected in 1831, to which, in 1855, was added a 
neat and commodious parsonage; and preparations are 
now being made to substitute a new church for the old 

In 1834, the Presbyterian, in 1841, the Baptist, and 
in 1851, the Lutheran, Churches were erected. 

The Lycoming Mutual Insurance Company went into 
operation in 1840, and by their twelfth annual report it 
appears that they have property insured to the amount 
of 824,818,758 56, with a capital of $2,134,872 00. 

The Muncy canal is a side cut from the West Branch 
Canal to the borough, about one mile in length, built by 
an incorporated company in 1848, at a cost of about 

Penn's Plank Road connects Muncy with Hughesville, 
five miles distant. It was built in 1853. 

The Muncy bridge, crossing the river, was erected in 
1854, at a cost of $27,000. 

Hughesville is an incorporated borough, located at the 


point where Big Muncy Creek enters into the hill coun- 
try^ and contains several hotels and stores, and a Metho- 
dist and Lutheran Church. Considerable business is 
done in the lumber trade. John Lukins Wallis, claimed 
to be the first white male child bom north of Muncy 
Hills, resides here. He is an old man. 

PennsviUe is situated about three miles north of 
Muncy, and has a store and one hotel. It is noted for 
being the centre of the Friends' settlement here, and 
their church stands at the west end of the village. 

Muncy Creek, about three miles from its junction with 
the river, separates into two branches, called Big and 
Little Muncy. Both branches extend into some of the 
best timber lands of the State, where numerous saw 
mills have been erected ; and it is estimated by those 
capable of judging, that from twelve to fifteen millions 
of feet of lumber are manufactured annually. 

The hills on the north of Muncy are often regard- 
ed as the base of the Alleghany mountains, but reaUy 
are of a different formation, and separated by a valley 
called Mill Creek, which is from one to two miles wide; 
on the north of which the Alleghanies rise up in majestic 
grandeur far above all other hills. 

The geological formation of Muncy Valley, by Rogers* 
system, consists of stratas V. VI. VII. VIII. and IX., 
proceeding from the mouth of Muncy Creek northward, 
to the base of the Alleghany mountains; and east or 
south it is limited by passing the out crop of the same 
stratas to No. VIII., which is the formation of the Muncy 
Hills — and west, notwithstanding its elevation, the Bald 
Eagle mountain is found to be only No. III. This sin- 
gular elevation of No. III., which comprises the Bald 
Eagle throughout its range to HoUidaysburg, commences 


opposite the mouth of Muncy Creek, and the conse- 
quence is, that each strata laps in a semi-circle round its 
east base, thereby making the rocks on the north-east 
and south dip in opposite directions. No. V. is princi- 
pally covered by the bottoms and river, which probably 
conceals the corresponding locality of the valuable iron 
ore of Montour's ridge, which has only been discovered 
in small quantities. No. VII. composes the best fistrm 
land of' the valley, and is as valuable as the limestone 
deposit. Lead, in small quantities, has been taken out 
at the Lime Blu£fs, about three miles from Muncy. It 
was found in the white seams between the rocks. This 
&ct gives strength and probability to a tradition from 
the Lidians, that they knew a valuable mine of lead on 
Glade Run, within a short distance of the town. It was 
said that they visited Muncy to get supplies of the ore, 
but refused all knowledge of its location to the whites. 
The confidence reposed in its existence was so strong by 
the early settlers, that considerable time and expense 
was incurred in efforts to find it. If at any future time 
a discovery shall be made, it will no doubt be where for- 
mation No. VI. crosses said run, which is now known to 
be in the locality of this tradition. 

A discovery has lately been made of what is believed 
to be valuable deposits of iron ore in Muncy township, 
about eight miles north of the town, in formation IX. ; 
and in the same, on Big Muncy Creek. In Shrewsbury 
township, two or more locations of copper ore have been 
known for several years, from which small quantities of 
the metal have been manufactured. 

It has been suspected strongly that coal exists in for- 
mation VIII., and examinations were made about twenty 
years since, in the shales at the base of Muncy Hills, on 


k . 

I t 


f • 






area in front is . covered with a substantial brick pave- 
ment, and adorned with handsome shade trees ; while 
the Court yard is neatly laid out and surrounded with a 
beautiful iron railing, and the ground planted with trees 
and shrubbery in great variety. 

The first Court was held in the house of John Win- 
ters, near the old Lycoming grave yard. Mr. Winters 
was one of the early sherifis, and had a family of twenty- 
two children ! The second Court was held in Septem- 
ber, 1796 — and for several years afterwards — ^in the old 
log building on the comer of the street opposite the resi- 
dence of General Packer. It yet stands, in a good state 
of preservation. The first presiding Judge was William 
Hepburn, with Dr. James Davidson, Robert Fleming, 
and John Adlum, as Associates. Gov. McKean also 
presided in that venerable old building. 

Williamsport has improved very rapidly during the 
last four or five years, and now contains four first class 
hotels, three taverns, eight eating saloons, six ice-cream 
saloons, and sixty-eight stores, including those of every 
style and variety, among which may be found some 
rivaling in size and splendor, as well as amount of trade, 
many of our city establishments. 

There are located here three Foundries and Machine 
Shops, with appliances and facilities for manufacturing 
all kinds of machinery, steam engines, &c. ; two steam 
Tanneries, a hot blast Anthracite Furnace,* with a car 
pacity for making 140 tons of iron per week; two exten- 
sive steam Planing Mills, for the manufacturing of sash, 
blinds, doors, &c. ; one Flouring Mill, with a capacity for 
making one hundred barrels of flour per day. 

Besides these varied interests, Williamsport is the 

* Since burned down and entirely destroyed. 


centre of an extensive lumber trade, and the facilities 
for its manufacture in the vicinity are unrivaled. With- 
in three miles of the borough are nine steam saw mills ; 
and just above and within the borough limits, are two 
mammoth water-mills, one containing eighty-eight, and 
the other one hundred saws. The latter is capable of 
manufacturing 60,000 feet per day. Some idea of this 
heavy interest may be formed from the raw materials 
annually lodged in the boom, some three miles above 
town. It is estimated that over 200,000 logs were 
lodged therein at the last spring freshet, and that to con- 
vey the same to the several mills, manufactilre and 
deposit it upon the bank of the canal ready for transpo^ 
tation, will give employment to 1000 men during the 
whole year. At the usual estimate of population, this 
would give support to 5000 persons, and produce from 
forty to fifty millions of feet of lumber for the market. 

Williamsport enjoys admirable business facilities from 
its location upon the line of the Canal, and at the inter- 
section of several lines of railroad. It may be regarded 
as the terminus of the WiUiamsport and Elmira Railroad, 
and th§ Catawissa, Williamsport and Erie Railroad, 
whilst the Sunbury and Erie Railroad, now in process 
of construction, passes through it ; Williamsport being 
the only intermediate point made in the charter. These 
facilities have had their influence in promoting the 
growth and prosperity of the borough. In 1840, the 
population was about 1300; in 1850, 1615; June 1st 1855, 
4043, and the present population is not less than 5000. 

In 1833, Jeremiah Church purchased a farm adjoining 
Williamsport, containing about one hundred acres, and 
laid it out in town lots, and called it " Church's addition 
to -Williamsport." 


From the continuous advancement of every interest^ 
it is probable that the time is not far distant when it 
will burst its present barriers and expand to the full pro- 
portions of an inland city. 

Williamsport contains one Old School, and one New 
School Presbyterian Church, one Methodist, one Episco- 
pal, one German Reformed, one English Lutheran, one 
Catholic, one Evangelical, and one African Church; 
whilst the Baptists and Unitarians have each their adhe- 
rents, and hold regular services. 

Due attention is also given to education, Dickinson 
Seminary is located at this place, and enjoys a liberal 
patronage. The last catalogue gives 419 students for 
the past academic year, and the institution holds a high 
rank among the Seminaries of the State. 

The public Schools of Williamsport rank deseiTedly 
high. A large brick building is in course of construction, 
designed to accommodate all the schools of the borough ; 
and the School System bids fair to be properly appreci- 
ated and rendered highly efficient. 
. The West Branch Bank, with a capital of ^200,000, 
is located here. A. UpdegrafF, Esq., is President. 

Supreme Court, for the Western District, sits in Wil- 
liamsport a portion of the time. 

A fine bridge is thrown across the river at this point. 
The railroad bridge is also a substantial structure. 

Preparations are now making to have the town lighted 
with gas, and the necessary buildings are in course of 
construction. Arrangements have also been entered into 
for supplying it with water, to be conducted across the 
river in a pipe, from a mountain spring. 

Williamsport is distant from Washington 220 miles, 
Philadelphia 197, Harrisburg 90, Elmira 78, Niagara 


Falls 244, New York 287 ; all of which points can he 
reached by railroad. 

What it is destined to be in the future, it is difficult 
to predict ; but if energy, intelligence and moral worUi 
do not prove unavailing, we may safely anticipate for it 
a high and proud pre-eminence. 

Newberry is a small village two miles west of Wiir 
liamsport. It contains Methodist and Presbyterian 
Churches ; three hotels, several stores, and two very ex- 
tensive flouring mills. It was laid out about the same 
time with Williamsport, and was a competitor with it 
for the honor of the County Seat. Jaysburg, a small 
village nearer the river, was also intended for the County 
Seat, and quite a strife existed among the various rivals 
till the location was definitely fixed on. 

The commencement, at this point, of the old road to 
Painted Post, commonly known as the Block House road, 
gave to Newberry considerable importance at an early 
day. The road was laid out by Mr. Williamson, an 
agent of Sir William Pulteney, about the year 1795. 

Lycoming Creek empties into the river near this point. 
Four furnaces, two forges, and one nail factory, are loca- 
ted on the Creek, and large quantities of iron are manu- 
factured. Iron ore of a very superior quality, exists in 
great quantities in this region; and a few years ago, 
when the United States Government tiUked of establish- 
ing a National Foundry for the manufacturing of cannon, 
it was strongly argued that this iron was better adapted 
to such purposes than any other, and it was contended 
that the Foundry should be established at this point— 
The project failed, however, or Lycoming would proba- 
bly have been selected. 

Bituminous coal is taken out in considerable quantities, 


and salt is said to exist here also. Large quantities of 
lumber are manufactured annually, but iron is the great 

The Valley of Lycoming Creek is quite an important 
region, surrounded by rugged mountains, however, but 
possessing some of the most charming and diversified 
scenery in the country. It is traversed by the Elmira 
railroad, making it easy of access from the north or 

Linden, a small village at the mouth of Quenishach- 
shachki Creek, contains two stores, two hotels, one church, 
and a number of dwellings. It is six miles from Jersey 

Larry's Creek, emptying into the river two miles be- 
low Jersey Shore, is quite an important stream. An en- 
terprising village, called Salladasburg, is located four 
miles up the Creek. It is supplied with stores, hotels, 
two churches, and a number of shops of various kinds. 
One of the largest Tanneries in the State is located here. 
It is owned by Messrs. John A., James, and Matthew 
Gamble, of Jersey Shore. 

The Larry's Creek plank road, commencing at the 
mouth, and running through to Englishtown, on Little 
Pine Creek, passes through the village. It is eighteen 
miles in length, and cost $36,000. 

A large amount of lumber is manufactured annually 
on this stream. The number of saw mills on the Creek, 
and its tributaries, amount to over thirty. Several of 
them are driven by steam. The first saw mill was 
erected by Capt. Isaac Seely, at the mouth of Seely's 
Run, in 1785. The first grist mill was erected on the 
site now occupied by Hillier's Woolen Factory, in 1788, 
by Andrew Stroub. 


Iron ore also exists in considerable quantities on the 
Creek, and has been mined to some extent. 

All the lumber is hauled to the Canal and piled there, 
where it is loaded into boats and conveyed to Baltimore, 
Philadelphia and Reading. It is estimated that from 
ten to fifteen millions of feet are manufactured annually. 

Jersey Shore, fifteen miles west of Williamsport, is an 
enterprising village of near two thousand inhabitants. — 
The land on which the town stands was purchased, after 
the treaty of Fort Stanwix, by Jeremiah and Reuben 
Manning, who came from New Jersey — ^hence the name 
which it took in after years. They laid out the town 
and called it Waynesburg, but so accustomed were the 
people to calling it Jersey Shore, that the name was 
never eradicated, and in 1826, it was incorporated as the 
borough of Jersey Shore. 

Ill 1800, the toum consisted of four houses. The first 
public house was opened in that year by Gabriel Morri- 
son. It improved slowly for a number of years. At 
the present time it contains three hotels, four eating 
saloons, fourteen stores, one iron foundry, two tanneries, 
and a large number of shops. The store rooms are, 
without exception, the most elegant to be found in any 
town in Northern Pennsylvania. Immense quantities of 
^oods are annually disposed of. 

Within a radius of six miles from Jersey Shore, there 
are six excellent flouring mUls. Several of them were 
a)nstructed at great expense, and furnished with all the 
modern improvements in machinery, for the manufactu- 
ring of flour. 

The first Church was erected by the Methodists in 
1830, where they continued to worship till 1845, when 
they erected a more elegant and imposing structure on 


Main street. The old building is now occupied by the 
Africans, as a Church. 

In 1832, the old brick Church, now occupied by the 
High School, was erected by the Presbyterians and 
Baptists, and called a " Union Church," where both con- 
gregations continued to worship till 1844, when the 
latter erected the fine frame edifice on Main street, now 
occupied by them. 

The old building was occupied by the Presbyterians 
till 1850, when they also erected a more elegant brick 
Church, on Main street. 

The first Presbyterian preacher in this part of the Val- 
ley, was Rev. Isaac Grier, who came in 1791, and took 
charge of the Pine Creek Station. He was the father 
of Judge Grier, of the Supreme Court, who was born 
near Jersey Shore. He was succeeded by John H. 
Grier, who took charge of the Pine Creek and Great 
Island Stations in 1814. He officiated as pastor, at the 
former place, for eleven years, and thirty-seven at the 
latter ; Rev. D. M. Barber was a co-laborer with him for 
nine years. They both were succeeded by Rev. Joseph 
Stevens, the present pastor, in 1851. 

These two persons, though of the same name, were 
not related. Rev. John H. Grier was bom in Bucks 
County in 1788, and is a licentiate of the Presbytery of 
New Castle. He resides in Jersey Shore, much esteem- 
ed and respected by his numerous friends. The old 
gentleman has always been exceedingly popular with the 
young folks, and whenever the marriage ceremony is to 
be performed, his services are generally sought. Up to 
the 1st of September, 1856, he had umrned four hundred 
and sixty couples ! 

The first regular pastor of the Baptist Church was 


Rev. George Higgins. His successors were the Revds. 
Charles Tucker, Cyrus Shuck, George W. Young, J. 
Green Miles, and Allan J. Hires, the present pastor. 

The West Branch High School or Seminary for young 
ladies and gentlemen, is located at this point. This in- 
stitution was founded by the Presbyterian Church of 
Jersey Shore, in 1852, and although its origin is of su^ 
recent date, and it has had to contend with the diffi- 
culties which usually beset the career of every young 
institution, yet it has made very commendable progress, 
and attained a high position among the schools of the 
higher order in this section of the country. 

This school is designed to give pupils of both sexes 
an efficient education, in all the higher branches of the 
English language, with an especial aim at fitting them 
for respectably discharging the duties of practical life; 
and also to prepare young men for any of the advanced 
classes of College. The male and female departments 
are in organic connection; but each has its separate 
rooms, and intercourse is not allowed, except by special 
permission of the Principal. The course of instruction 
is complete and thorough. With regard to the efficiencj 
of this school, I take the following from the Pennsylva- 
nia School Journal for November, 1853. 

^^ We had the- pleasure of attending the semi-annual examination of 
the Students of the West Branch Seminary on the 26th, 27th, and 
28th days of September. This examination, in justice to the teachers 
and pupils, deserves more than a passing notice. It was continued s 
sufficient length of time to test the proficiency and accuracy of the 
students. The examinations were thorough. The pupils gave abnod- 
ant evidence that they were well acquainted with the different studies 
to which they had given their attention during the Session. We 
have never attended an examination where the students answered more 



accurately or correctly. Time and space ?K11 not allow us to enter 
into details of t^ie different classes examined. Among them we were 
particularly interested in the examination of the classes in practical 
Geometry, Physiology, and the classes in the Bihle. We heard classes 
questioned for the space of an hour which did not miss a single ques^ 
tion ; be it said to the honor of the West Branch Seminary, this we 
never heard before." 

The buildings of this school are correctly exhibited in 
the engraving given in this work. They consist of a 
Seminary building conveniently arranged for the purpo- 
ses of instructing the pupils, hearing recitations, keeping 
the Library and apparatus, and public examinations, &c ; 
and also a boarding house of fine appearance, well 
arranged, and capable of accommodating from eighty to 
one hundred pupils. This latter building has been re- 
cently erected by the liberality of the citizens of Jersey 
Shore and vicinity, and is highly creditable to their zeal 
in the cause of education, and to the town. The Board- 
ing house is managed by a Board of Managers separate 
from the Directors of the School. The Principal and 
his assistants board in the establishment with the pupils, 
and have the constant supervision of them. The present 
Principal is the Rev. William W. Howard, a gentleman 
of fine abilities, and large experience in conducting such an 
institution; in every respect abundantly qualified for 
his position, and eminently successful in the business of 
educating youth. 

The common schools of the borough are carefully at- 
tended to, and a large brick building was erected some 
years ago for school purposes. It embraces several 
rooms, with a commodious hall for town purposes. 

A beautiful Cemetery, on a commanding eminence, to 
the west of the town, was laid out and arranged in 1854, 


by Mark Slonaker, Esq. It will soon make one of the 
handsomest in the country. Mr. S. deserves great credit^ 
and the thanks of the people, for this much needed im- 

Jersey Shore, at one time, bid fair to be an important 
place, and had opportunities, and enjoyed facilities, that, 
if embraced, would have tended to place her in a pre- 
eminent position. Being the central depot for the imr 
mense lumbering regions of Pine and Larry's Creeks, 
her trade was good, and if mills had been erected at this 
point, the town would rapidly have grown in wealth, 
population and importance. Her chances are excellent 
yet. Large deposits of iron ore are found to exist in 
the adjacent hills, with plenty of limestone, and compa- 
nies have already commenced working them. They are 
contiguous to the Canal, and every opportunity desired 
for easy shipment, and favorable locations for the erec- 
tion of furnaces are found here. In fact, advantages ex- 
ist here, worthy of the careful consideration of capitalists 
and iron manufacturers. 

Long Island, opposite Jersey Shore, was quite an 
important place with the Aborigines. It is a beautifiil 
spot of ground, composed of rich alluvial soil, and highly 
productive. It makes a beautiful farm. — There is but 
little doubt that the island originally extended nearly, 
if not altogether, as far down as Stewart's Ripples. 
Then it was emphatically a hnff island. 

A few miles south of Jersey Shore is a very peculiar 
valley, called Nipponese. It is an oval basin surround- 
ed by a chain of high mountains, containing about 13,000 
acres. The land is good, and produces heavy crops rf 
wheat. Limestone abounds in great quantities, and the 
valley underneath is evidently filled with fissures and 


caverns to a great extent. The name is corrupted from 
an old Indian called Nippenucy, who had his wigwam 
there^ and in the Bottom of the same name, where he 
lived and hunted alternately. This is the true origin of 
the present title. 

The first improvement was made in 1776, by John 
Clark, on the farm now owned by David Shaw. He was 
driven off with his family during the war, but returned 
in 1784. 

John and William Winlin lived in the Valley in 1790. 
They commenced to sink a well, and after digging some 
distance came to a flat rock that . resisted all further 
progress. One of the workmen commenced striking on 
it with a sledge, when a hole was broken through, and 
there appeared to be a large cavern underneath. A 
plummet, thirty feet in length, was let down, without 
finding bottom. They became alarmed and filled it up 

The Valley is very thickly populated, and contains 
several villages and hamlets, with stores, hotels, church- 
es, mills, &c. 

Most of the streams, running down from the moun- 
tains, sink and disappear under the Valley. There 
appears to be only one place of outlet, called Antes' 
Greek, through the Gap of the same name. It is a small 
stream, abundantly filled with trout, notwithstanding 
they are constantly fished for, and great numbers caught ; 
yet the supply seems inexhaustible. It is supposed that 
they multiply in great numbers under the Valley^ and 
come forth in the Creek. The theory, it must be ad- 
mitted, looks plausible. 






Two miles west of Jersey Shore, we come to Phdps' 
Mills on Pine Greek. Operations were commenced hare 
in 1847, and the following year, a large saw mill was 
started. Within the last two or three years, quite a 
village has grown up, wearing a business aspect. In the 
spring of 1856, the company put in operation a lai^ge 
steam saw mill for manufacturing boards, shingles, lath, 
palings, &c. The two mills number, in the aggregate, 
sixty-four gang and English saws, with eight circulars. 
They are capable of making 8,000,000 feet of lumber 
per annum. The Company also erected a fine flouring 
mill, and two miles further up the Creek they have 
another. They have a fine store in the village, and a 
Church has been recently erected. A neat and substantial 
bridge has been thrown across the Creek, at an expense 
of nearly $5,000, which was borne exclusively by 
the Company, for their own, and the accommodation of 
the surrounding country, free of toll. All the buildings 
erected, are beautiful frame edifices. See engraving op- 
posite title page. 


This is the most extensive lumbering establishment 
on Pine Greek, and the site is one of the best in the 
country. They have excellent facilities for the harbor- 
ing of their logs — ^have extensive booms ; and, in fact, 
every natural and artificial advantage to be desired. A 
railroad has been built to the Canal, a distance of two 
miles, where their lumber is transported and deposited 
upon the wharf ready for shipping. Since the starting 
of their first mill in 1848, to the present time, they have 
sent 22,000,000 feet of lumber to market. 

Mr. J. C. Howard, an eastern gentleman of much ex- 
perience, has control of the sawing department. 

The general agent and superintendent for this immense 
establishment, is E. B. Campbell, Esq., who is well fitted 
for the station. Few men, probably, could conduct the 
business as successfully and satisfactorily, as he does. 
He seems to be in his sphere. 

The village is named after the late Anson G. Phelps, 
of New York, who is well remembered throughout the 
United States for his many acts of public and private 
benevolence. While living, he was the head of the firm. 
The present head is Willum E. Dodge, Esq., a very 
worthy man, and a philanthropist. 

The Company have it in contemplation to make fur- 
ther improvements at this point. They are also interested 
in extensive operations in different parts of the United 
States, and in Europe. These works have been a material 
benefit to the country, and they give employment to 
upwards of seventy men. 

One nule below this establishment is another large 
mill, owned by McEldry, Trump & Co., of Baltimore. 
They run about thirty-eight saws, with a capacity of 
about 4,000,000 feet per annum. 


Pine Greek is a great lumbering region, and is dotted 
with saw-mills. The total number on the creek, and its 
various tributaries, is about one hundred and thirty-four; 
and not less than 60,000,000 feet of lumber, including 
boards and logs, are run out to market annually. 

A few miles above the First Fork, is another extensiye 
mill, owned by Stoddard, Magraw, & Co., with a run of 
thirty-eight saws, and a capacity of 4,000,000 feet p^ 

These three mills are the leading ones on the stream. 
There are other good ones of a less capacity, and I r^ret 
that I cannot notice them in detail. 

At the Forks of Pine Greek, twelve miles from the 
mouth, is a pleasant and flourishing village named Wat6^ 
ville, containing two hotels, two stores, church, shops, 
&c. The location is very pleasant. The scenery along 
the creek is wild and diversified. 

Charlton, on the road to Lock Haven, is a small village 
containing one store and a tavern. 

New Liberty is a place of similar size, containing one 
store and tavern, and ten or twelve dwellings. 

Dunnstown, near the Great Island, was laid out in 
1794, by William Dunn, in the hope that it might become 
the county seat of Lycoming. He was disappointed, 
however, and the town never improved much. In later 
years, an effort was made to have the capital of Clinton 
located there, but it failed. 

The Great Island was a very important place with 
the Indians one hundred years ago. It was to them « 
perfect Paradise — an elysian home — where they loved 
to dwell and offer up their orisons to the Great Spirit 
No lovelier spot can be imagined — a luxuriant alluvial 
soil — wide-spreading trees — enchanting scenery — hrm- 


ble wigwams — the smoke gracefiiUy curling on the 
breeze. Near this lovely spot, encircled by the crystal 
waves of the Otzinachson, on the opposite side, was a 
village where the Chief, BaJd Eagle, frequently dwelt. 
The mountain range from Lock Haven to Muncy, takes 
its name from him. 

The Great Island contains about three hundred acres 
of very fertile land, in a high state of ctdtivation. It is 
divided into two farms. The first settler was William 
Dunn, who purchased it, according to a tradition, from 
the Indians, for a barrel of whiskey, a rifle, and a hatchet ! 
It would take a great many such articles to buy it now. 
It is also said that the Indians became dissatisfied with 
their sale, and frequently laid on the rocks on the north 
side of the river, watching an opportunity to shoot him. 
They never succeeded. One of the farms at the present 
day is owned by William Dunn, a grandson. Two fine 
bridges have recently been erected, connecting the island, 
on both sides, with the main land. 

Lock Port is a small village on the river, directly 
opposite Lock Haven, containing two hotels, two stores, 
&c. It is an important point with the lumbermen during 
the spring freshets. A substantial bridge crosses the 
river to Lock Haven. 

The flourishing town of Lock Haven is located on the 
south side of the river, on the beautiful undulating plain, 
at the mouth of the rich and fertile valley of Bald Eagle. 
It will be remembered that the land in this vicinity was 
embraced in the grant to Rev. Dr. Allison, by Richard 
Penn. Judge Fleming, and the McCormicks, were among 
the earliest settlers, and were heirs of Dr. Allison. Wil- 
liam Reed had a cabin on the site of Lock Haven in 
1778. His neighbors were Cooksey Long, 'Squire Flem- 
ing, and a man named McGormick. 


The present enterprising town owes its paternity to 
Jerry Church, who seems to have a sort of mania for 
founding towns. Its early history is very interesting. 
I copy from Mr. Church's Autobiography, as follows : 

<< After I arriyed at New Cumberland, where my brother Robert 
lived at that time, and had stayed a few days to rest myself, I left and 
went np to a place called Milton, on the West Branch. I there found 
a younger brother by the name of Willard Church, who had come down 
from the State of New York into the old Keystone State to tiy his. 
fortune, and was ready for anything that presented itself that he conU 
do without capital. He told me that he knew of a splendid plaee for 
a town, if we could get the land. He said it was located at the head 
of the West Branch Canal, on the pool of the Bunnstown dam, and 
they were working on the Spring Creek and Bald Eagle cross-cut that 
emptied into the pool, and run through the place or farm, that we 
must purchase. I asked him how much he thought it worth per acre. 
He said he thought it worth one hundred and fifty dollars an acre f<ff 
as much as we would want for the town lots, and that would be about 
fifty acres. I told him that was a. beautiful price to think of giving; 
and, in particular, when we had not much money. He said that if 
I would go with him and look at it and make the purchase, be 
would risk his capital at any rate. I concluded that I would go np 
and view the place. So we got aboard of the stage and went up to 
Williamsport, and from thence to Dunnstown, twenty-eight miles, 
crossed the river at that place, went up about one mile on the oppo- 
site shore, and put up with a man named Develin, who lived on the 
farm as a tenant. The farm belonged to Dr. John Henderson, of 
Huntingdon, and there were two hundred acres in the tract. We 
took a walk over the premises, and found it to be a delightful spot ; 
two hundred acres of the best kind of ground, beautifully located 
between two rivers, the Susquehanna and the Bald Eagle, and the 
scenery nature had formed around it, could not be excelled in the 
State. I stood and looked at it with delight, and told my brother 
that we must have it in some way. 

" We then left the place, and went down to Williamsport. There 
I met with a gentleman lawyer who I had been some time acquainted 
with, and I told him that I had been viewing up at or near the Big 
Island, and would like to purchase it if I knew where to get the 
money; and also told him the object: that I intended to lay oat a 


town on it, if I could obtain it. He said he thought the money oould 
be got, and he would be willing to be a private partner — ^what I would 
oall a sleeping partner. He proposed to put one-third of the purchase 
money in, and give me a letter to Dr. Henderson to that effect. I 
then left Williamsport and went to Huntingdon to see the Old Dootor. 
When I arrived there I called on him, and introduced myself, and 
handed him the letter the lawyer had given me at Williamsport. 
That informed him what my business was. He replied, that it ap- 
peared by the letter that I wished to purchase his farm, near the Big 
Island, or a part of it. I told him that was my intention, if we oould 
' agree. He then said he would not sell a part. If he sold any it must 
be the whole farm, and he had his price set and could not be changed. 
I asked him what it was. He said $20,000, and not a dollar less. I 
told him it was a beautiful sum for one &rm. However, I said I had 
made up my mind to give him $18,000, if I could make the payments 
to suit him. I told him also that I was not rich, and had not the 
money, even at that price, in hand. He then repeated that his mind 
was made up not to take anything less than he had above stated. I 
saw that there was no use to parley any longer, so I told him that I 
would close the bargain, if the payments I could make would suit him. 
He asked me how I wished to make them. I told him that I could 
pay $5,000 in hand, or when I took the property in possession, and 
the balance in two years. He said that would do, but he could not 
give me full possession until the Ist of April, 1834. This was in 
October, 1833. I gave the Old Doctor a fifty dolkr bill to bind the 
bargain, and then went into a lawyer's office and had our bonds made 
bj a gentleman by the name of Steel — a very honest man, considering 
all things. 

^' After we had all our writings finished, and took a few glasses of 
old rye, we got aboard of the stage and went to Bellefonte, and from 
there down to the river Susquehanna, on the property. The Dr. went 
with me in order to give the tenant notice that he must leave by the 
first of April — ^that the property was to pass into other hands, and was 
no longer his — that he had sold the farm to Jeremiah and Willard 
Church. I got permission of the Dr. and the tenant to plot out a 
town on paper, and make a sale, if we thought proper, immediatelyi 
and give our titles and possession on the first day of April. We did 
so, and called the town Lock Haven. We made a public sale on the 
4th of November, 1833, and sold a number of lots, receiving ten per 
iDent. on the purchase money, and the balance <Ai the Ist of ApriL 


That was the time we were bound to meet oar old fnend the Dr., and 
I knew by the out of his jib, that he would be on the ground at the 
proper time. 

^< I then (sailed on my sleeping partner for his shai« of the puidiase 
money, but I could not wake him up for any part of it. 'He sent me 
his resignation in writing, stating that he had changed his mind on 
the subject, and could not put up the money, but idshed to be ex- 
cused from any further liability. A beautiful note to write at that 
stage of the game ! However, I told my brother we must try and 
make the payment ourselves ; we had gone so fiur with it, there was 
no backing out ; that he must watch while I would pray. I said I 
would go to Williamsport and try to make a raise of money to meet 
the Dr. on the first day of April, which was then drawing very near, 
and I was very doubtful whether we could meet our engagements or 
not. Accordingly, I went down to Williamsport, and there met with 
a gentleman who had money. I told him that I wanted $8,000 for a 
few weeks, and that I would give him for the use of it, (&00, and he 
let me have the money. I was very thankful for the accommodation, 
for it saved my credit, and that was worth more to me at that time 
than the 8500 were. In that way we met our first payment. Then 
we made all the sales we possibly could in town lots, and the back 
land we sold to a gentleman from Chester County, by the name of 
James Jeffries. He paid us about $9,000 in cash at one time, and 
that saved us the second time with the Doctor. 

'' About that time my brother married a lady near Milton. His wife 
had an interest in a store with her brother, Robert Montgomery. Of 
course my brother became a partner in the store, in the town of Mil- 
ton, as large as life. They concluded they would move their store to 
our new town of Lock Haven, and did so ; but it did not last long. 
They had to break the first year. They all lived together, and too 
fast for their income ; so the sheriff came on them to show cause why 
they did not pay for their goods. They could not show any reasona- 
ble excuse, only that they had not the money; so the sheriff seized the 
goods and sold them for what he could get, and turned them out to 
the mercy of the world. My brother had all his interest in the town 
of Lock Haven sold for his debts, together with his dear brother-in- 
law's, and both were left even with the world once more. My brother 
then left the new town and went to the west, to the state of Missouri, 
and settled down with his family. 

^' I then undertook to manage the town of Lock Haven myself. All 


my sleeping partners had left me, and I had to be all the society there 
was at that time in town. K there was any music to be played, I had 
to be a full band myself, having no person to assist me. I now un- 
dertook to divide the Counties of Lycoming and Centre, and make a 
new County to be called Clinton. I had petitions printed to that 
e£fect| and sent them to Harrisburg, to have them presented to the 
Legislature, and then went down myself to have the matter repre- 
sented in good order. My friend John A. Gkimble, was our member 
from Lycoming at that time, and he reported a bill. The people of 
the town of Williamsport, the County seat of Lycoming, and Belle- 
fonte^ the County seat of Centre County, then had to be up and be' 
doing something to prevent the division ; and they commenced pour- 
ing in theb remonstrances, and praying aloud to the Legislature not 
to have any part of either County taken off for the purpose of making 
a new one, for it was nothing more or less than some of Jerry 
Church's Yankee notions. However, I did not despair. I still kept 
asking every year, for three successive years, and attended the Legis- 
lature myself every winter. I then had a gentleman who had become 
a dtizen, by the name of John Moorhead, who harped in with me — a 
very large portly looking man, and rather tb^ best borer in town ; 
and, by the by, a very clever man. We entered into the division 
together. We had to state a great number of facts to the members 
of the Legislature, and jperhaps something more, in order to obtain 
fall justice. We continued on for nearly three years longer, knock- 
ing at the mercy seat, and at last we received the law creating the 
County of Clinton. In the year 1839, the County was organized by 
the Hon. Judge Bumside. 

'^ I then concluded that having a county seat and law and justice so 
handy, we could get judgment against our neighbors almost any time. 
However, I was mistaken about that, for when I went to law I could 
not obtain it, in consequence of not having just claims, as the lawyers 
told me. I then concluded I would change it, and have a suit on jus- 
tice alone, which I could not obtain according to law. I soon found 
out that the less a person has to do with law and attending courts, the 
more money he can have in his pocket, and the happier man will he be. 

<^ We had three Commissioners appointed to locate the County seat 
Their names were Col. Cresswell, Maj. Colt and Joseph Brestel. 
These gentlemen met at Lock Haven, and viewed the different places 
that were offered for the County seat, but there was none to be com- 

)d to Lock Haven. So they made up their minds that Lock Haven 


should be the pkce, and sdeoted the square for the public bufldingL 
My friend Moorhead was displeased with the location^ and had a spe- 
cial law passed allowing the Commissioners to alter the location, for 
his own interest and others, without mj knowledge, and ofiered a 
bonus to the County to have it moved into another part of the town. 
But it would not do. The people sustained me ; and the square I had 
located in the first place was retained. We went on and buih Uie 
Court House, as good a one, perhaps, as any in Northern Pennsylva- 
nia. The inhabitants numbered about 700 at this time, vis., in 1844. 
Ten years ago there was but one house, and probably about a dosen 
inhabitants in the place, and now (1845) it is a beautiful Tillage, and 
a place of considerable business. It has seven retail stores and gro- 
ceries, one drug and two candy shops, three preachers, two meeting 
houses, (and one 'Jerry Church,') six lawyers, two doctors, and two 
justices of the peace, and the balance of the inhabitants are what I 
call a fur community." 

The first County Commissioners were Col. Kleckner, 
Col. Hugh White, and Robert Bridgens. Mr. Church 

made a donation of the land for the public buildings. It 
was his design to remain here. He says : 

^^I stated in the commencemeDt of this little book, (His life,) 
' that I intended to stop at Lock Haven for the present.' I will here 
further describe some of my works at that place. In order to cany 
out my originality, I built an office in the town, standing eight feet 
above the ground, on thirteen large posts, or pillars, to represent our 
thirteen Continental States. In the first place it is made by placing 
thirteen large pine trees, five feet in the ground, and thirty feet long, 
in their natural state, with the exception of taking the bark off, and 
painting them in imitation of marble, with a fourteen feet room formed 
inside of the posts, so as to form a balustrade all around it ; and the 
roof projcctiDg over so as to protect the building. I concluded when 
1 was making it, that it was an odd looking office, and different from 
any one I had seen in this country. And as I was no lawyer, and 
could not expect any notice or business in that way, I concluded that 
I would build my office so that clients might look at it without any 
expense. If I am not very much mistaken, they would make as much 
at that, as they would if I had been a lawyer myself. I had a num- 
ber of scientific gentlemen to view the little building, and they always 


asked what wder I intended it to be. I told them I never did any 
thing according to order — it was all a matter of taste — ^that I never 
learned anything by note, and therefore, could not inform them any 
more, than that it was my own order, and that appeared to satisfy 
their inquiries always. I had always concluded that there was no 
chance for me to have any kind of a monument erected in remem- 
brance of me, unless I should place some of my odd matters and 
things before the public myself, so that they could not all pass by 
without observing that some person had been there before. 

'^ I had a summer seat built in the first place, at Lock Haven, so 
that if I got tired I could go up and take a rest. It was formed in a 
duster of black walnut trees. It was twenty -five feet from the ground, 
forty feet long, and seven feet wide, placed so as to be supported by 
the trees, bannistered, and a seat running all around^ and winding 
stairs up one of the trees. And I must say, that when I went up on 
to the upper seat I felt like a bird. I had it painted by a (German 
painter, and I told him I would like to have it made like marble ; but, 
as he did not understand English very well, he made it what I call 
Jhttch marble, all full of white and black spots. The natives of that 
countrj thought it was a wonderful thing, that I should throw away 
my money so, to make a nice seat to sit on, and asked me why I did 
so. I told them that I sat far more comfortnble on that seat, than I 
could on a bag or dollars. So they gave it up. It has ever since 
gone by the name of ' Church's folly.' However, all were willing to 
take a seat with me now and then." 

Mr. Church did not remain long in Lock Haven ; in 
1846, he went to the west, and has already founded two 
or three different towns. Ten years have produced a 
great change in Lock Haven. His ^^ summer seat" is 
gone, but the unique looking office yet stands, in a good 
state of preservation, near the Court-house. It is occu- 
pied by a femily — ^is quite a curiosity, and goes by the 
name of "Jerry Church's folly." 

The following sketch, of the history of Lock Haven 
since 1850, is from the pen of H. L. Dieffenbach, Esq. : 

'^In 1850, the population of Look Haven did not exceed 800. At 
the preseiit time it ia estimated at from 2,500 to 3,000, not ineluding 


the adjacent villages of Lock Port and Boyd's Hill. This fact suffi- 
ciently indicates the rapidity of its growth, which is progressing with 
more speed at the present time than at any former period. There 
are now four large steam saw-miUs-— exclusive of the one at Reed's 
Basin — ^in suocessfol operation. 

''There are also two large steam mills on the canal below Lode 
Haven, which depend upon the Boom, at the latter place, for their 
supplies, and are capable of manu&cturing 5,000,000 feet per annum. 
But while the capacity of aU the mills may safely be estimated at 
from fifty to sixty milhons of feet annually, their actual work has not 
as yet much exceeded 30,000,000. 

« A company of gentleman interested in the lumbering businesB, 
have made a fine basin, which is filled from tho Bald Eagle Oanal, 
immediately adjoining the town, and which covers several acres of 
ground, with high natural banks on both sides. It is estimated that 
this basin will hold 2,000,000 of feet of saw logs. The company are 
also authorized to connect their basin, by canal, wiih the boom and 
river, thus aflfording extraordinary facilities for lumbering operatioos. 
Another large basin, covering ten to twelve acres, oould be con- 
structed, at small cost, extending from the canal to the Bald Eagle 
Creek, about one mile above ite confluence with the river. 

'< Clinton Harbor, the large basin below Lock Port, half a mile 
below Lock Haven, and directly on the West Branch Canal, from 
which it receives its water, will contain 1,500,000 feet of saw logs, 
aod has abundant facilities for additional saw-mills or other manafto- 
turing operations. 

• "For a hundred miles west of Lock Haven, there is but little 
tillable land along the West Branch, or its tributaries; but this moun- 
tainous district is well covered with a great variety of the finest timber, 
and abounds in excellent veins of bituminous coal, iron ore, and fire 
clay. The principal business of the lumbering and mining operations 
is transacted at Lock Haven ; and from this point all supplies most 
necessarily be obtained. The valleys around the town abound in 
limestone, and hence all the facilities for the manufacture of iron maj 
readily be obtained at this point. 

" The principal cause of the rapid growth of Lock Haven heretofore, 
however, must be attributed, besides the proverbial energy of its citi- 
zens, to the manufacture of lumber, and the facilities it affords for 
that purpose. Immense quantities of timber are fioated into the pool 
of the Dunnstown dam, on which the town is located, by eveiy flood. 


In consequence of the demand of rafting hands at such periods, and 
the comparative certainty of obtaining a market at or from this point, 
the rafts are nsoallj tied np here until all or nearly all the lumber 
from above is brought down. Being at the head of the market, where 
such immense quantities are landed on every flood, lumber dealers 
could name no better place for making advantageous purchases. 

" In the fall of 1848, Col. Johnson, of New Hampshire, who had 
purchased considerable quantities of timber land in Clinton county, 
suggested to some citizens of Look Haven, that if they would obtain 
a charter for a company, a boom could be constructed in the river 
above the town, which would attract lumber manufacturers, and, be- 
sides proving a profitable investment, would give an impulse to the 
growth of the town, which would in time make it the principal town 
in this part of the State. The gentlemen to whom the suggestion 
was made, obtained the charter — not, however, without vigorous oppo- 
sition on the part of some ^' old fogies," who could see nothing but 
private speculation in the effort — and soon afterwards transferred it, 
without price, to Peter Dickinson, Esq., one of the most enterprising 
aad accomplished business men in Lock Haven, upon the sole con- 
dition that he would erect the boom within a given period. Faithful 
to his contract, Mr. Dickinson soon had the boom built and filled with 
logs. From this period the rapid growth of Lock Haven commenced — 
property doubled, trebled and quadrupled in value, and soon the fields 
around the town were dotted with houses, and the streets filled with 
an industrious, energetic and prosperous population. The boom was 
sold last spring to a stock company, and is now valued at $100,000. 
At some periods it contained nearly 200,000 saw logs — thirty-five to 
forty millions of feet of timber. 

<< The Lock Haven Bank, with a capital of $200,000 paid in, is in 
successful operation. L. A. Mackey, Esq., is President. 

'< One of the largest and finest hotels in the State — the Fallon 
House — ^is now being erected in Lock Haven, and is nearly com- 
pleted. It is estimated to cost upwards of $26,000. 

''There are two public halb in the place— one large three-story 
building erected by Clinton Lodge of Odd Fellows, at a cost of near 
$5,000 — one large and elegant Presbyterian Church, and three other 
very fine ones in the course of erection — a large and commodious Court- 
house, and Academy, and a Common School building, two stories 
high, containing four large rooms, the ample grounds of which are 



enclosed by a neat high fence. This school is conducted on the union 
graded plan, and has the reputation of being one of the best con- 
ducted schools in the State. 

''There is also a large steam flouring mill, a large foundry, a 
planing mill in course of erection, and other manufactories usoal in 
towns, in successful operation. The mercantile business is carried on 
with great success, and immense quantities of goods are annually sold. 
There are eighteen stores in the place. The yarious mechanical arts 
are also pursued with great energy and success. 

" The Bald Eagle Canal, commencing at Milesburg, Centre county, 
intersects the West Branch Division of the Pennsylvania Canal at 
Lock Haven, and a steamboat plies regularly between 'the latter 
place and Queen's Run,'*' Farrandsville and Tangascootack, the prin- 
cipal points for lading boats with bituminous coal and fire brick. 
The Sunbury and Erie Bail-road will soon be finished to these points 
Ample arrangements, too, have been made to construct the Lock 
Haven and Tyrone Bail-road, as soon as the Sunbury and Erie Is 
finished to the former place. This will ^ve Lock Haven an easten, 
western, and north-western rail-road connection ; and the Sunboiy 
and Erie will traverse one of the richest mineral and agricultnni 
valleys in the State. The principal depot of the Tyrone Bail-road 
will necessarily be at Lock Haven, as will probably that of the Son- 
bury and Erie road. 

" The citizens of Lock Haven will not admit that there is another 
town in the State so favorably located in all respects for every variety 
of business, and especially for large business operations. Time alone 
can test the accuracy of this judgment ; but, even the rival towns are 
free to admit, that Lock Haven, at least, possesses extraordinary 
facilities for business." 

According to the census of 1850, Clinton county con- 
tained 11,207 inhabitants — 44,982 acres of improved 
land, and 38,229 unimproved. Cash value of the farms 
$2,028,610 — value of farming implements, machinery, 
&c., $73,555. The County also contained 1,795 horses, 
2,413 milch cows, 6,116 sheep. Total value of a// live 

* The proper name of this stream is Quinn's Rmi. It was named after 
Samuel Quinn, a Surveyor, who had a camp on it in 1788. 


stock $201,530. Bushels of wheat raised 191,065, rye 
36,798, com 115,760. The Churches were as follows : 
Two Baptist, 1 Gerpoian Reformed, 2 Lutheran, 6 Meth- 
odist, 3 Presbyterian and 1 Union. Total value of 
church property $21,280 — aggregate accommodations 

A steamboat named the Farrand, plied on the river 
between Farrandsville and Muncy in 1831-2. On her 
first trip in 1831, she brought up some sixty men, 
amongst whom was S. G. Allen, of Jersey Shore, on 
their way from the east, to commence operations at 
Farrandsville. Mr. Allen had charge of the company of 




[Note. — ^When this work was commenced, it was not desigpied to giro a hii- 
toiy of the newspapers ; and the proposition has onlj been entertained fi>r a 
few weeks, hence the facts have been harriedlj collected, and some errors maj 
occur ; but, it is believed that the history of the leading papers is correct — 
Many papers published at an early period, and continued for a short time, hare 
almost been forgotten, and in many instances the files have been lost I am 
indebted mainly for the facts to publishers in the respectiye localities.] 

The first newspaper published in Sunbury, was called 
the Freyheitsvogel^ printed in the German language. It was 
established in 1800, by a gentleman named Breyvogel, 
during the exciting presidential contest between Jeffer- 
son and Adams, and continued but one year, when it 
was suspended. 

The next paper was called The Times, and established 
by William F. Byers, in 1812. It was printed in English. 
The career of this paper was attended with many changes 
and vicissitudes. At the end of three years Byers reti- 
red from it, and it passed through a great many differ- 
ent hands. Samuel J. Packer was interested in it at 
one time, and W. F. Packer at another. The name 


was finally changed to the Gazetteer ^ by William Shan- 
non. It expired in 1833. 

The old Ramage press, and materials, remidned for a 
long time as rubbish in an upper room of a buUding 
belonging to the Shannon family, and were finally bought 
by H. B. Masser, Esq. It is quite a curiosity, in com- 
parison with the presses of the present period. 

In 1812, about three months after the commencement 
of the Timesy John G. Youngman — whose uncle, Gotleib 
Youngman, printed the first paper in the city of Reading 
—came from Baltimore, and established the second Ger- 
man paper, called the Narthumberlaad Republican. This 
name was continued four years, when it was changed to 
the JVarth Western Post, Sunbury being considered 
quite a north western town at that time. 

This name was continued till the commencement of 
the construction of the Canal, when, to suit the feeUngs 
of the times, it was re-christened the Canal Boat. With 
this name the publication of the German paper was dis- 
continued, and an English paper, called the Working- 
men's Advocate^ started in 1832. In 1838, it was enlarged 
and the name changed to the Gazette^ which title it con- 
tinues under at the present time. 

From 1812, up to the present time, John G. Youngman 
has been connected with the Guzette printing office, 
under the the various names which the paper has under- 
went. In 1840, Geo. B. Youngman took charge of the 
editorial department of the paper, and was succeeded in 
1855, by John Youngman, the present editor. 

There were two other papers published in Sunbury, 
the dates of which I cannot ascertain. Oiie was c&lled 
the Beacon, by Gciorge Lathey, and the other by Ezra 
Grassman, called the Emporium. Mr. Grassman is now 
an extensive printer in New York. 


In 1840, the Sunbury American was established by H. 
B. Masser and Joseph Eisely. Mr. Eisely went out of 
the' establishment in 1849, and since then Mr. Masser 
has been sole editor and proprietor. The same gentle- 
man is also publishing a German Americany started about 
twelve years ago. 

On the 1st of January, 1866, Bachman & Co., com- 
menced printing the German Democrat. At the present 
time there are two German and two English papers pub- 
lished in Sunbury. 

The first paper in Northumberland was called the 
Northumberland Gazette, and established in 1797 or 1798, 
by Andrew Kennedy, and continued till 1819 or 1820. 

The Republican Argus was commenced by John Binns 
in 1803, and discontinued in 1816 or 1817. He is 
well known to the old people of the Valley. He 
afterwards published a paper in Philadelphia, where he 
is now living, at an advanced age. 

The first paper established in Lewisburg was called 
the News-Letter, by William Carothers, in 1824-5. It 
continued about eighteen months. It was followed by 
the Union Hickory, by the same publisher, and con- 
tinued from May 5, 1829, till April 13, 1830. 

Next came the Lewisburg Journal, by Daniel Got- 
shaU, who controlled it from May 1, 1830, till February 
18, 1833, when it passed into the hands of Geo. M. 
Miller and Edward S. Bowen. It was discontinued 
February 22, 1834. 

On the 20th of June, 1835, G. K Barrett, Esq., start- 
ed the Lewisburg Democrat, which lived till May 1836. 

The next was the Lewisburg Standard, by D. G. 
Fitch, who published it till the 1st of September, 1839, 
when it passed into the hands of H. L. Diefienbach, 
Esq., a forcible writer, who, at the end of three months, 


discontinued it and took charge of a paper in a neigh- 
boring county. 

Jonas Kelchner soon after commenced the publication 
of the Peopk's Advocate^ which was discontinued April 
12, 1841, "for re^ons best known to ourselves," as Mr. 
K. remarked in his va^dictory. 

September 4th, 1841, The Independent Press made its 
appearance, edited for a time by S. K. Sweetman, and 
then Sweetman & Maize, and also Sweetman & Busch. 
Its career was terminated, Dec. 16, 1842. 

After a vacancy of some months, W. B. Shriner & S. 
A. Burkenbine, started the Lewisburg Chronicle^ Septem- 
ber 23, 1843. March 16, 1844, Mr. Burkenbine retired 
discouraged. Mr. Shriner plucked up courage and con- 
tinued the paper, which was printed a part of the time 
for him by Samuel Shriner, till December 25, 1847, 
when he sold out to 0. N. Worden, who conducted it 
till January 1st, 1850, when H. C. Hickock became 
principal, editor, and continued till 1855, when he was 
appointed Deputy Superintendent of Common Schools 
by Gov. Pollock. 

Mr. John R. Cornelius, soon after, became associated 
with Mr. Worden in the publication of the paper, by 
whom it is continued at the present time, and seems 
established on a permanent basis. 

In 1845, R. I. Nesbit & Co., published The Humorist, 
a small sheet devoted to ftm. It had a ^^ short but 
a merry life." 

In January, 1850, Rev. Henry Harbaugh issued The 
Guardian, a monthly magazine, devoted to social, litera- 
ry and religious interests of young men and ladies. It 
was printed in the Chronicle office by 0. N. Worden, for - 
one year, when Mr. Harbaugh removed to Lancaster, 
where he still continues its publication. 


About September, 1850, the Leimhvrg Democrat made 
its appearance. It was edited and published, by Samuel 
Shriner. It was discontinued in 1854. In the summer 
of 1855, a few numbers were issued by Messrs. D. C. 
Kitchen and John Harbeson, when . Mr. Harbeson re- 
tired. Mr. Kitchen continued the publication a few 
weeks longer, when he retired, and transferred his sub- 
scription list to the Argus, a rival paper. 

In 1851, The Union Weekly Whig was started by R. 
I. Nesbit and Daniel Bower. Mr. Bower soon retired, 
when it was continued about a year by Mr. Nesbit alone. 

July 31, 1855, The Union Argus was commenced by 
F. M. Ziebach and Peter Stout. At the end of two or 
three months Mr. Stout retired, and was succeeded by 
J. Merril Linn, who continued a few months, when he 
was succeeded by H. W. Crotzer, as associate editor. It 
is now published by Ziebach & Crotzer, and has entered 
on its second year. 

In April, 1856, The American Flag^ of New Berlin, 
was discontinued, after ten months' publication, trans- 
ferring its subscription list to the Lewisburg Chronicle. 

The first newspaper in Milton, was The MiUonian, 
established in 1816, by Gen. Frick. The following table 
will show its history at a glance : 

September 21, 1816 to Apnl 21 

April 21, 1827 to April 16 

AprU 16, 1831 to April 20 

April 20, 1833 to Oct. 18 

Oct. 18, 1834 to June 3 

June 3, 1837 to June 3 

June 3, 1840 to Jan. 1 

Jan. 1, 1842 to Majr 5 

May 12, 1843 to July 14 

July 14, 1843 to Dec. 31 

Jan. 7, 1853 to Aug. 26 

Sep. 2, 1853 to Jan. 1 

1827, by Henry Frick. 

1831, by Henry Frick k Montgomery Sweny. 

1833 bv i ^^^'y Frick, Robt. Bennett k Jno. 

^\ W. Correy. 

1834 by H. Frick & R. Bennett, 
1837 by Henry Frick alone again. 
1840 by H. Frick k Jno. H. Brown. 

1842 by John H. Brown. 

1843 by John Frick k Edward B. Hunter. 
1843 by John Frick alone. 

1852 by John k Robert M. Frick. 

1853 by Robert M. k Henry Frick, Jr. 

1854 by Henry Frick, Jr. 

Jan. 1, 1854 to present time, by John Robins. 


The next in order is The States Advocate^ established 
in 1826. Its history is as follows : 

Febmaiy, 36, 1826 to Aug. 13, 1829 bj William Tweed k E. H. Kincaid. 
August, 13, 1829 to Aug. 15, 1833 bj William Tweed alone. 
August, 15, 1833 to Nov. 13, 1834 hy William Tweed & Jonas Kelcbner. 
NoYomber, 13, 1834 to Not. — , 1838 by Jonas Kelchner alone, when he re- 
moved the press to Lewisburg. 

The West Branch Farmer and True Democrat^ was 
commenced September 3, 1834, by Montgomery Sweny, 
and continued two or three years. 

The Northumbrian was established, Nov. 20, 1837, 
by Hamlet A. Kerr, and discontinued in a short time. 
It was a very neat paper. 

Tho MSton Ledger was established in the summer of 
1888, by McGee & Wilson. In 1839, Wilson retired, 
and was succeeded by Mr. Ceilings. They were suc- 
ceeded by H. L. Dieffenbach in Dec. 1839, who left it 
in March 1843. John M. Porter then became publish- 
er, and was followed by Brewer & Armstrong in 1844. 
They were succeeded a short time by a man named 
Frank, when the paper ceased to exist. 
' December, 1844, The Advocate and Day-Springy a 
temperance paper, was started by Rev. W. H. T. 
Barnes, who continued it about two years, when he 
went to Mexico, during the war, and died at Vera Cruz. 

April 17, 1852, the first number of The Milton Demo- 
erat was issued by John R. Eck, by whom it is con- 
tinued at the present time. 

About 1849 or 1850, a paper called the West Branch 
Intelligencer was started in McEwensville by a gentle- 
man named Case. It lived about eight months and 
then expired. 

The first paper established in Muncy was called The 


Muncy Tekgraph. It was commenced the 9th of Octo- 
ber, 1831, by J. Potter Patterson, and continued by him 
till the 7th of April, 1835, (the time of his death^) when 
J. K. Shoemaker took the establishment, and continned 
the paper till 1841. 

The Muncy Luminary was commenced April 10, 1841, 
by W. P. I. & G. L. I. Painter, who continued together 
till 1846, when the former withdrew. It has been con- 
tinued to the present time by G. L. I. Painter. 

During the summer of 1844, a paper called The OJwe 
Branchy was started by J. M. Newson. It was discon- 
tinued at the end of a year. 

Next in order we come to notice the papers of Wil- 
liamsport. The Lycoming Gazette is the oldest existing 
paper in the valley, having been published for over half 
a century, without change of name or suspension. Many 
other papers have been established in Williamsport, but 
after living for a brief period, they ceased to exist, and 
have been forgotten, whilst the Gazette continues on in 
the even tenor of its way. 

The early history of the Gazette is involved in much 
mystery, as no regular files, from the commencement, 
are to be found. After 1821, the exact dates and changes 
can be given accurately, as the files are preserved from 
that time. After much research and inquiry, I have 
obtained the following account, which is believed to be 
very nearly correct : 

The Lycoming Gazette was established in 1802, by 
William F. Buyers, who continued alone till about 1808. 
when William Brindle became associated with him as a 
partner. Buyers then appears to have retired, and I. 
K. Torbert took his place, and the publication of the 
paper was continued for some time under the firm of 


Brindle and Torbert. Brindle having retired, Torbert 
continued alone till 1819, when Ellis Lewis — ^now Judge 
of the Supreme Court — ^became a partner with him. 
How long they continued together is not known, but 
Torbert appears to have retired in the meantime, and 
Lewis conducted the paper alone till July 1821, when 
he disposed of the establishment to T. Coryell, who con* 
tinued it alone till the 1st of August, 1823, when it was 
purchased by Henry Miller and John Brandon. It was 
continued by them till the 1st of August, 1827, when 
Miller, retired, and James Cameron became associated 
with Brandon. This firm dissolved on the 19th of 
December, 1827, when W. F. Packer purchased Came- 
ron's interest, and the paper was published by Brandou 
and Packer till the 17th of August, 1829, when Packer 
became sole owner and publisher. He continued alone 
till December 19, 1832, when John R. Eck became a 
partner with him, and they continued together till May 
11, 1836, when Packer retired, and Eck conducted it till 
the 21st June, 1837, when it was consolidated with the 
Chronicle — a rival paper — and continued by John R. 
Eck and C. D. Eldred, under the titie of the Gazette and 
ChrondcUy till May 9, 1838, when Eck again became sole 
editor, and continued till the 20th of June, 1838, when 
Eldred became the owner, and it was published by him 
under the titie of the Lycoming Gazette^ till the 13th of 
August, 1840. At this time, C. W. Fitch purchased the 
establishment, and published the paper till February 10, 
1842, when John F. Carter became associated with him,, 
and they continued it till May 7, 1842, when Fitch 
retired and Carter became sole publisher. He continued 
the paper till February 11, 1843, when John B. Beck 
became a partner with him. This firm lasted till the 


4th of Maxchy 1843, when Beck hecame publisher, and 
Carter editor, which arrangement continued till Novem- 
ber 18, 1843, when Carter retired, succeeded by Hamlet 
A. Kerr, (Beck still publisher,) who edited the paper 
till August 17, 1844, when he retired, and the firm 
changed to Beck & Co. On the 24th of June, 1846, C. 
D. Eldred, (who formed the Co. with Beck,) became 
editor and publisher, and continued till February 17, 
1850, when P. T. Wright became associated with him, 
and continued till February 17, 1851, when Eldred re- 
tired, and Wright continued the paper till February 17, 
1855, when J. W. Clark became a partner. This firm 
lasted till August 17, 1855, when Wright retired. Claik 
continued the paper till February 17, 1856, when he was 
succeeded by Atwood and Wilson. The latter retired 
on the 18th of August, 1856, and it is continued at the 
present time by N. L. Atwood alone. 

This is a correct history of this old paper since 1821 — 
previous to that time the periods when changes took 
place had to be guessed at, but the names of the pub- 
lishers are correct. 

The Lycoming Advertiser was commenced in 1815, by 
Simpson and Gale, and continued about six months. 

The Lycoming Chronicle was started September 26, 
1829, by A. Boyd Cummings, and continued till Januaiy 
9, 1833, when he was succeeded by Alexander Cum- 
mings, Jr., now of the Philadelphia Bulletin, and pub- 
lished by him till September 7, 1836, when C. D. Eldred 
became a partner. This firm continued till April 12, 1837, 
when Cummings retired, and Eldred conducted the paper 
till it was consolidated with the Gazette, June 21, 1837. 

I have been unable to find complete files of the follow- 
ing papers which had but an ephemeral existence, and 


the information had to be obtained from the old citizens, 
and the dates guessed at. 

The Free Press was commenced in July, 1836, by R. 
F. Middleton, who published it about one year, when it 
went into the hands of Cramer and Reed. It was also 
published by Loehr and Middleton. Discontinued about 

The publication of The Freeman was commenced about 
1839, by John R. Eck, and continued till 1840, when W. 
P. and James R. Coulter, purchased the materials and 
commenced the. publication of the West Branch RepuJh 
licanj which lived till about 1842. About this time the 
materials were purchased by John Sloan, who started 
the Lycoming Sentinel. It lived about one year, when 
The North Pennsylvanian was established by John F. 
Carter, who let it die in about six months. 

The Jackson Democrat was started in 1845, by J. M. 
Newson and G. W. Armstrong. It was afterwards pub- 
lished for a short time by S. S. Seely, and by Q. W. 
Armstrong. It lived about a year. 

Thf Lycoming Democrat was started June 4, 1851, by 
John F. Carter. June 28, 1851, John R. Eck became a 
partner^ but retired November 29, 1851, when it was 
continued by Carter till the fall of 1852, when it was 
discontinued, aged a year and a half 

The Independent Press was established out of the ma- 
terials of the Democrat, in 1852, by J. W. Barrett. In 
the fall of 1855, he disposed of the concern to a company, 
and F. A. Van Cleve became the editor, who discontinued 
it after issuing a few numbers. No paper was issued till 
the spring of 1856, when the publication was resumed 
by Barrett and Butt. Barrett retired, Oct. 18, 1856, 
and was succeeded by Jesse Fullmer. 

462 msTORT OF the west branch tallet. 

The first paper in Jersey Shore was started on the 
8th of January, 1827, by Daniel GotshaU. It was called 
the West Branch Courier, and continued till about 1830. 

In 1828, a little sheet, called The Nose, was com- 
menced by William Piatt, Jr. It was printed in the 
offioe of the Courier, and continued but a short time. 

Alexander Hamilton commenced the publication of 
The Anti-Masonic Advocate, about 1830, and continued 
it till the winter of 1834, when he was succeeded by 
Loehr and Middleton, who discontinued it in 1835. 

No paper was then published till January 1846, when 
The Jersey Shore BepubUcanwHS established by S. S. Seely, 
who continued it till October, 1850, when the office was 
destroyed by the big fire of that year. The town was 
again without a paper till June, 1851, when the Repub- 
lican, in an enlarged form, was revived by its old pub- 
Usher. In September, 1851, R. Baker became associated 
with Seely in the publication of the paper, and it was 
continued by them till June 9, 1852, when Seely dis- 
posed of his interest to Jacob Sallada, Jr., and it was 
published under the firm of Baker and Sallada, till June 
9, 1854, edited by J. F. Meginness ; when both Sallada 
and Meginness retired, the former having disposed of 
his interest to R. Baker, who became sole owner. On 
the 9th of June, 1855, R. Baker associated with him his 
son, F. A. Baker, as a partner in the establishment, and 
it is continued at the present time under the firm of 
R. &. F. A. Baker. 

On the 29th of June, 1854, the first number of The 
News Letter was issued by Seely & Meginness, by whom 
it was continued till the 30th of August, 1855, when 
Meginness retired, and Seely became sole publisher.— 
On the 6th of December, 1855, James Jones became 


associated with him as a partner. Jones retired from 
the firm on the 18th of September, 1856. Seely contin- 
aes it alone. 

The National Vidette was commenced on the 15th oi* 
May, 1855, by H. J. B. & L. J. Cummings, by whom it 
was continued for a period of six months, when H. J. B. 
Gummings retired. A few numbers were issued by L. 
J. Gummings, when he retired also, and the paper ceased 
to exist. On the 25th of September, it was resuscitated 
by James Jones. 

The first paper started in Lock Haven was called The 
Eaghy by William A. Kinsloe. This was in August, 
1838. It advocated the formation of a new county to 
be called " Eagle." When the county of Clinton was 
formed in 1839, the name was changed to TJie Clintonian. 
At the close of the campaign of 1840, it was suspended. 
In a short time it was resuscitated, however, by Robert 
McCormick and J. B. G. Kinsloe — ^brother of the former 
— and the name changed to Clinton County Whiff. Kin- 
sloe soon went out, and was succeeded by I. B. Gant, 
who remained with McCormick for a short time. In 
1843, W. P. Coulter and John W. Ross became the 
publishers. In the spring of 1845, Ross was alone, 
Coulter having retired. About the 1st of May, 1845, 
I. B. Gara took the paper again and continued it until 
the 6th of November, when he retired, and H. E. Shoe- 
maker became the publisher, and continued till the 17th 
of October, 1847, when the press and materials were 
taken to Jersey Shore. In December, 1849, Adam J. 
Greer brought on a new establishment, and on the 26 th 
of the same month issued the first number of a new pa- 
per, entitled The Clinton Trihune. He was assisted in 
its publication by H. E. Shoemaker. At the close of a 


yeax, Greer sold out to R. W. Rothrock, who continued 
the paper till the 6th of April, 1852, when Col. W. T. 
Wilson became a partner. On the 1st of September fol- 
lowing, Rothrock retired, having disposed of his interest 
to his brother, W. P. Rothrock. Wilson conducted the 
paper till the 15th of February, 1853, when he sold out 
to C. Gather Flint, and his brother H. M. Flint, but the 
name of the former only appeared at the head of the 
paper. On the 18th of July, 1853, C. Gather Flint reti- 
red, and was succeeded by his brother, who contioued 
the paper till the 10th of October, 1854, when he retired, 
followed by Daniel Bower, who continued a short time, 
when Thomas Martin came, and changed the name to 
The Watchman. Mr. Martin retired from the paper on 
the 3d of October, and was succeeded by D. S. Dunham. 

The Clinton County Democrat was started by Wilbur 
& Shriner, in 1839 or '40, and continued a year or two. 
In 1843, it was revived by John R. Eck. 

The Clinton Democrat was published till the fall of 

1844, by S. S. Seely. In December of that year it 
passed into the hands of H. L. Dieflfenbach, who, in June, 

1845, united the two rival papers. On the first of Jan- 
uary, 1850, he sold out to Geo. A. Gmwford, who, at 
the end of one year, received Lyons Mussina as a part- 
ner. At the end of two years Grawford & Mussina 
were succeeded by Henry Frysinger, who continued two 
years, and then gave way to Atwood & Wilson, who 
also continued two years, and were succeeded on the 1st 
of January, 1856, by James W. McEwen, the present 






It is believed there were some members of the Bap* 
tist denomination in the West Branch Valley, before the 
Revolution, emigrants from New Jersey, and the lower 
coonties. In the Minutes of the Philadelphia Associar 
tion for the year 1774, it is stated that ^Metters from 
well disposed persons in Tolbert, in Northumberland in 
the Province of Pennsylvania," were read, and it was 
" voted that Brothers David Sutton, William Worth and 
Elkana Holmes, are to visit the inhabitants of Tolbert 
township, at times to be fixed upon by themselves." In 
1775, " supplies were granted to Tolbert township, Bal- 
timore town. Oyster Bay," and other places. 

We observe no further notice of Baptist labor in this 
region until 1792, when the same Association recom- 
mended that ^^ Elders Patten, Clingan, and Vaughn, 
agree to travel for three months in the ensuing year, 
about Juniata and the West Branch of Susquehanna, to 


preach the Gospel to the destitute ; and this Association 
recommend that a sufficient sum be subscribed by the 
Church, and paid immediately into the hands of Colonel 
Samuel Miles, to bear their expenses." 

In 1794, the Association record that ^^A letter 
was received and read from the Church in Buffalo Val- 
ley, in Northumberland county, Pennsylvania, request- 
ing to be received into this Association. Postponed, no 
messenger appearing to receive the right hand of fellow- 

In 1796, "a Church newly constituted at Shemokin 
(in 1794,) was received into the Association, and the 
Churches recommended to aid them in building a meet- 
ing house." That year, the Church reports 34 baptized, 
8 received by letter, 1 deceased, 50 whole number — 
John Patten, pastor. In 1799, the Churches of the 
Association contributed $60 02 to " aid the Shemokin 
Church ;" and the same year, 46 baptisms were reported, 
and a membership of 101. under Elder Patten s pastoral 

It is supposed that " Tolbert," or " Talbert," and Tur- 
but, are the same names, and that scattered through the 
then large township of Turbut, were several persons of 
Baptist sentiments. Some of them, it is known, were 
driven from the present township of Shamokin, back 
into " the Jersies" during the Revolution. 

There were also a few Baptists, and preaching stations, 
in Buffalo Valley, after the Revolution, but whether a 
church was really formed there, (as would appear from 
the foregoing extFact,) or whether those composing it 
were the same as immediately afterwai'd organized in 
Shamokin, is not clear from the record. There is no 
knowledge of any Baptist church in what is now called 


Buffalo Valley, until the formation of the Lewisburg 
church, in 1844. 

The Shamokin church is the fruitful mother of most 
of the churches from Milton eastward, in Northumber- 
land County. 

In 1808, Elder Thomas Smiley, originally a Seceder 
from Virginia, organized some scattered Baptists into a 
church in White Deer Valley, Lycoming County, where 
he served for twenty-three years, until his death in 
1832. His remains lie unmarked in the grave yard in 
front of the third meeting house built by this churchy 
The church-book kept by Elder Smiley, is a repository 
of ecclesiastical and personal history, local and general, 
and from this source a considerable portion of the infor- 
mation contained in this article has been derived. 

About 1817, a church was formed on the head waters 
of Little Muncy Creek, of which Elder H^enry Clark, 
late of White Deer, was pastor, reporting 8 baptized, 
and 14 members in all. This church, with the White 
Deer, joined the Chemung Association, extending up 
the head waters of the Chemung river in New York 

In 1820, the Northumberland Baptist Association was 
formed, comprising the Shamokin, White Deer, and Lit- 
tle Muncy churches, which had obtained letters of per- 
mission from their respective Associations for that 
purpose. They convened in a meeting-house in More- 
land township, Lycoming County, and for the benefit 
of those who are curious in such matters, as well as for 
future reference, we have thought pioper to subjoin the 
following table, giving the names of the churches, and 
the delegates or messengers from each church present at 
the organization of the Association : 


Ghubohes. Messengers. 


Bee. by I 

Dis. by L 





Shamokin. John Woolvebton, 





John Moore. 

Charles Saxton. 

Isaac Woolverton. 

David Kelly. 

Gideon Chamberlain. 

White Deer. Thomas Smiley, 



John Lewis. 

John Oakes. 


Philip Gibbon. 

tUUe MwMy, Henby Glabk, 




SUm E. Skqtard. 

James Moore. 

Richard Demutt. 

James Halit. 

Powel Bird. 

6 3 3 2 1 124 

The progress of the Association, since its organization 
thirty-six years ago, in that then wild part of the coun- 
try, may be inferred from the following condensed tabular 
summary, which has been carefully compiled from its 
Annual Minutes, and which may be relied upon for cor- 
rectness. The table, upon examination, will be found to 
embody much valuable information, and may be interests 
ing to those members of the Baptist persuasion who are 
anxious to post tl^mselves up in the statistics of their 
Church : 



ilSiiSi ISSIIIS §Si§g§iiig§ggig§§gSg3S 



•'8 si? 

^^i*iil III!, 












!3SSSS8tSBI8 8ooSS»Sc« MO«o»*«*«*«*«*«*«AOiOiOiOiiK,^C«C«C«C« 




iiiiiiii iiiilii sgassisissessssgassss 



The Summary of Changes among the Membership for 
thirty-six years, is as follows : 

Received by Baptism, . - - 3338 

Do. by Letter, - - . 847 

Do. by Restoration, - - 113 

Dismissed by Letter, - - - 1579 

Excluded or Erased, ... 651 

Deceased, - - - - • - 318 

The Association was an early and active advocate of 
special efforts for Revivals — of Temperance— of Foreign 
and Home Missionary enterprises — and of all means cal- 
culated to benefit the human family. The churches are 
nearly all supplied with houses of worship, yet have 
rarely been blessed with a " stated ministry" of long 
continuance. The instability of the pastoral relation, 
(from whatever cause,) and the constant losses by emi- 
gration to the westward, have caused the churches to be 
less efficient than the large numbers from time to time 
added to them by baptism, would seem to promise. No 
church formed within the bounds of the Association has 
become utterly extinct, although several are very feeble, 
and nearly half of them are without pastors. 







Bt a. H. MoHENRT. 

At the close of the wax of the Revolution, in which 
the West Branch Valley had become almost entirely 
depopulated, the people, upon receiving the joyful news 
of peace, began to make preparations to return, and re- 
possess the territory from which they had been driven 
by the Indians in 1777-8-9. They began to return in 
the autumn of 1784, and established themselves perma- 
nently in the West Branch, Bald Eagle, and Penn's Val- 
leys ; and subsequently in Nittany Valley. 

At that early period, but little information is to be 
had respecting the formation 'of any church, or ministe- 
rial effort, amongst the people, in these respective val- 
leys. I remember, some ten years since, of seeing the 
original manuscript of a subscription, dated 1784, the 
funds of which were — ^as set forth — for the support of a 
Presbyterian minister, to preach at Mahomng, (now 
Danville,) Warrior Run and Muncy. It was among the 


papers of Gen. William Montgomery, dec'd, and appear- 
ed to have been carried into effect. But as regards the 
Methodist Church, the first authentic information of 
their efforts to promote the Gospel in this region, is 
from the Minutes of the Conference held at Baltimore, 
May 6, 1791.* A new Circuit — ^with others in different 
parts— called Northumberland, was formed, and two 
preachers appointed, viz : — ^Richard Parriott and Lewis 
Browning. The county had previously been explored 
by the former without receiving or asking any compen- 
sation for his services or expenses. This Cirgoit, from 
the time of its formation, till 1806, extended over the 
following territory : From Wilkesbarre down the Valley 
of the North Branch to Northumberland — ^then up the 
West Branch, including White Deer Hole Valley, and 
up the Bald Eagle about four miles above Milesburg, 
and the same distance up Spring Creek from Bellefonte, 
to Penn's Valley, near, and south of Potter's Fort — 
thence by the old horse path to Buffalo Valley and 
Northumberland . 

Each preacher traveled around this Circuit in four 
weeks, preaching every day except when the distance 
was too great, as from Penn's to Buffalo Valleys, thus 
supplying each appointment once in two weeks. Dur- 
ing the first part of the year 1791, there was no regular 
preaching place from Northumberland to Lycoming 
Creek, which was at the house of Arad Sutton. This 
house, or a part of it, is yet standing on the east bank 
of Lycoming Creek, on the main road from Williamsport 
to Jersey Shore, and is now owned by Oliver Watson, 

* This year was distinguished by the death of that eminent man of 
God, and founder of Methodism, the Rev. John Wesley — also, by the es- 
tablishing of Methodism in Canada. 



Esq., of the former place. At this place was formed 
the first society above Northumberland. After a lapse 
of sixiy-five years, it would not be expected to find 
many of the members of that society living ; yet two 
still survive, viz : Letitia Williams, of Montoursville, aged 
82 years 1 month, and Rebecca Smith, of Lycoming 
township, aged 94 i years. She came to Lycoming in 
1774. Mrs. Williams did not join the society till about 

The names of the members of the first class are given 
entire, as follows : 

James Bailey — ^Leader. Eve Updegraff. 

Rhoda Bailey. Susanna Updegraff. 

Amariah Sutton. Hannah Sutton.* 

Martba Sutton. Eebeooa Smith, (living.) 

John Sutton. Alexander Smith. 

Dorothy Sutton. Ebenezer Still. 

Harman Updegraff. Lois Still. 

Letitia Williams, (living.) 

Soon after the organization of this class^ societies 
were formed at various other points. At Larry's Creek 
was one of the earliest above, or perhaps at a yet earlier 
time, Antes' on Bald Eagle. 

In the month of August, 1806, a Camp Meeting was 
held on Chilisquaque Creek, half a mile from the river. 
This was the fi/rst Camp Meeting held in this section of 
the State. 

I herewith give the names of the Preachers appointed 
from time to time, on the several Circuits and Stations, 
embracing the West Branch Valley. 

* Died April, 1855, in Indiana, aged 94 years 4 months. 



Ho. of XembOTt. 


WbiU. Colond. 

1791 — ^Baltimore District, Northumberland Circuit — 
Richard Parriott, Lewis Browning, 

1791— Baltimore Districir— Nelson Reed, P. E. North- 
umberland Circuit — ^Richard Parriott, Lewis 
Browning, 250 

1792 — ^Baltimore District — ^Nelson Reed, P. E. Northum- 
berland Circuit — James Campbell, William Col- 
bert, - - 170 1 

1793— Wyoming Districlr— Valentine Cook, P. E. Nor- 
thumberland Circuit — James Campbell, James 
Paynter, 310 1 

1794 — Another change this year. The District was com- 
posed of Bristol, Chester, Lancaster, Northum- 
berland and Wyoming. Valentine Cooke, P. £. 
Northumberland Circuit — Robert Manley, John 
Broadhead, 310 3 

1795— Wyoming, Tioga and Seneca District — ^Valentine 
Cook, P. E. Northumberland Circuit — James 
Ward, Stephen Timmons, - - - - 260 1 

1796— Philadelphia District— Thomas Ware, P. E. Nor- 
thumberland Circuit — John Seward, Richard 
Sneath, 264 2 

1797— Philadelphia Districlr-Thomas Ware, P. E. Nor- 
thumberland Circuit — John Lackey, Daniel 
Higby, 231 1 

1798— Philadelphia District^Thomas Ware, P. E. Nor- 
thumberland Circuit — John Lackey, John 
Leach, 229 

1799 — ^This year they were connected with Albany Dis- 
trict — Wm. McLenahan, P. E. Wyoming and 
Northumberland connected, and three preachers 
formed a six weeks' circuit, viz. : James Moore, 
Benjamin Bidlack and Daniel Stevens. Nor- 
thumberland 244 members, Wyoming 193. 

1800 — Connected with Philadelphia, &c. — Joseph Everett, 
P. E. Northumberland and Wyoming, Ephraim 
Chambers, Edward Larkins and Asa Smith. 
Northumberland 215, Wyoming, - - - 190 


No. of Members. 
White. Colored. 

1801 — ^This year, for the first time, the field was divided 
into regular and fixed districts. 
Philadelphia District — Joseph Everett, P. E. 
Northumberland Circuit — Johnson Dunham, Gil- 
bert Carpenter, 175 

1802 — ^Philadelphia Conference, Philadelphia District, 
Northumberland Circuit — Anning Owen, Jas. 

Aikens, 261 2 

1803— Philadelphia Conference, Susquehanna District, 
Northumberland Circuit — Daniel Ryan, James 

Ridgeway, 480 8 

1804 — ^Baltimore Conference, Susquehanna District — 
James Smith, P. E. 
Northumberland Circuit — ^Thomas Adams, Gideon 

Draper, 400 2 

1805— Baltimore Conference, Susquehanna District — 
Anning Owen, P. E. 
Northumberland Circuit — Christopher Fry, James 

Saunders, 518 5 

1806— Susquehanna District — Anning Owen, P. E. 

Northumberland Circuit — ^Robert Burch and John 

Swartzwelder, 841 1 

Lycoming — ^TRmothy Lee, Jesse Pinnel, - - 522 8 
1807 — ^Baltimore Conference, Susquehanna District — 
Anning Owen, P. E. 
Northumberland Circuit — ^Nicholas Willis, Joel 

Smith, 480 1 

Lycoming — James Charles, William Wolfe, '- 530 10 
1808 — ^Philadelphia Conference, Susquehanna District — 
James Herron, P. E. 
Northumberland Circuit — ^Thomas Curren, John 

Rhodes, 532 

Lycoming — ^Anning Owen, Daniel Stansbury, - 553 14 
1809 — ^Philadelphia Conference, Susquehanna District — 
Gideon Draper, P. E. 
Northumberland District — ^l^mothy Lee, Loring 

Grant, 586 

Lycoming — John Rhodes, Jacob Barnhart, - 557 14 

476 APf^NDIX. 

ITo. cf 

White. Colorad. 

1810 — Genesee Conferenoei Snsqaehaiuia Distriet— 
Gideon Draper, P. B. 
Northumberland I>btrict — Abraliain Dawson, 

Isaac Poffer, - .... -622 
Lyooming — ^Timotliy Lee, Samuel Boss, - - 428 
1811 — Genesee Oonferenoe, Susquehanna District — 
Gideon Draper, P. E. 
Lycoming — George Thomas, Abraham Dawson, 472 2 
Northumberland — ^B. G. Paddock, J. H. Baker, 

B. Lanning, 688 1 

1812 — Genesee Conference, Susquehanna District^-Qeo. 
Harman, P. E. 
Lycoming — John Hazzard, James S. Lent, - 481 1 
Shamokin — James H. Baker, James Hickcoz, 189 
Northumberland — G^rge Thomas, Ebeneaer 
Doolittle, 688 

1813 — Gknesee Conference, Susquehanna District — Geo. 

Hairman, P. E. 
Lycoming — George Thomas, Israel Cook, - 480 

Shamokin — Abra. Dawson, Nathaniel Reader, 183 
Northumberland-Joseph Kinkead, Israel Cham- 

berlin, 483 6 

1814 — Genesee Conference, Susquehanna District — Geo. 

Harman, P. E. 
Lycoming — Peter Jones, James Bennett, - 824 4 
Shamokin — Marmaduke Pearce, - . - 162 
Northumberland — John Hazzard, Abraham 

Dawson, - - - - . . - 467 2 

1815— Genesee Conference, Susquehanna District — Mar- 
maduke Pearce, P. E. 
Lycoming — John Thomas, Wyatt Chamberlain, 429 
Shamokin — ^Benjamin Bidlack, - - • - 159 
Northumberland — Benaldo M. Everetts, Israel 

Cook, 416 

1816 — Susquehanna District — Marmaduke Pearce, P. E. 
Lycoming — ^Israel Chamberlain, Renaldo M. 
Everetts, 420 1 


No. of Mnnbon. 
White. Colored. 

Shamokin — Benjamin Bidlaoky .... 170 
Northumberland — John Thomas, Alphena Davis, 501 

1817 — Susquehanna I>btrict — Marmaduke Pearoe, P. E. 

Lycoming — John Thomas, John B.hode8, - - 407 10 
Shamokin — ^Abraham Dawson, - - - - 166 
Northumberhmd — ^Benj. Bidlaok, Peter Baker, 456 

1818 — Susquehanna District — Marmaduke Pearoe, P. E. 

Lycoming — John Bhodes, Benjamin Bidlack, - 418 6 
Shamokin — ^Israel Cook, .... 131 
Northumberhmd — Gideon Lanning, Abraham 
Dawson, - - - • - - .422 

1819 — Susquehanna District — George Lane, P. E. 

Lycoming — ^Israel Cook, Thomas McGke, - 418 6 
Shamokin — ^Elisha Bibins, .... 188 
Northumberland-*^. Rhodes, Darius Williams, 470 

1820 — ^Northumberland-*^ohn Rhodes, Israel Cook, . 551 
Lycoming — John Thomas, Robert Menshall, - 481 
Shamokin — ^Marmaduke Pearce, - - . . 217 

1821 — ^Northumberland District, Baltimore Conference — 
Henry Smith, P. E. 
Northumberland — ^Ma. Pearce, J. Thomas, - 551 
Shamokin-*^ohn Rhodes, .... 280 
Lycoming — Robt. Menshall, Jacob R. Shepperd, 

1822 — ^Northumberland District — ^Henry Smith, P. E. 

Northumberland — J. Thomas, Mordeoai Barry, 682 2 
Shamokin — John Rhodes, .... 800 
Lycoming — ^Robert Caddon, William McDowell, 471 10 

1828— Northumberhmd District— Henry Smith, P. E. 
Lycoming — ^Robert Cadden, Nathaniel Mills, 

Jno. Thomas, Sup., 477 8 

Northumberland — Jacob R. Shepperd, Mordeoai 

Barry, - - - - . - - - 600 1 
Shamokin— David Steel, - - - - 806 

1824— Northumberhmd District— Henry Smith, P. E. 

Lycoming — John Thomas, Thomas McGee, - 576 10 
Nordiumberland — ^R. Caddon, F. McCartney, 

R. Bond, 675 8 

Shamokin— Jacob R. Shepperd| • - - 807 


Ho. of 


White. Colond. 

1825— Northumberland Dist. — ^Marmaduke Pearoe^ P. £. 
Bald Eagle — John Rhodes^ (this year extended 

to Great Island.) 343 10 

Lycoming — ^Thomas MeOee^ Francis McCart- 
ney, 644 13 

Northumberland— Robt Cadden^ Bich'd Bond, 683 
Shamokin — John Thomas, . . . ^ 287 
1826 — Northumberland Dist. — Marmaduke Pearoe, P. E. 

Shamokin — John Taneyhill, - - - 266 

Northumberland — John Thomas, Geo. Hildt, - 691 3 
Lycoming — ^Amos Smith, John Bowen, - - 580 12 
(Bald Eagle changed to Bellefonte) — Jc^ 

Roads, 346 6 

1827 — ^Northumberland Dist. — Marmaduke Pearce, P. E. 

Shamokin — Jonathan Munroe, ... 287 3 
Northumberland — John Thomas, David Shaver, 657 3 
Lycoming — John Bowen, Henry Tarring, - 706 8 
Bellefonte— Amos Smith, Edward E. Allen - 364 11 
1 828 — Northumberland Dist. — Marmaduke Pearce, P. E. 

Shamokin — Henry Tarring, - - - - 316 3 
Northumberland — Chas. Kalbus, Wm. James, 660 2 
Lycoming — Edward E. Allen, Robt. Kemp, - 708 10 
Bellefonte — Amos Smith, David Shaver, - 402 16 

1 829— Northumberland Districtr— David Steele, P. E. 

Shamokin— Edward E. Allen, - - - 340 3 
Northumberland — James W. Dunahay, Josiah 

Forest, 820 

Lycoming — William Pretty man, Charles Kal- 
bus, . - - - - - - 692 7 

Bellefonte— S. Ellis, James H. Brown, - - 450 6 
1.S80— Northumberland District— David Steel, P. E. 
(Shamokin changed to Sunbury,) Josiah For- 
est, - - 423 5 

Northumberland — James W. Dunahay, Alfred 

B. Eskridge, 1030 

Lycoming — William Prettyman, James H. 

Brown, 776 17 

Bellefonte — Isaac Collins, Oliver Ega, - - 549 9 


No. of Hemben. 

White. Colored. 

1831— Northumberland Distridr— David Steel, P. £1 

Sunbury — Oliver Ega, James H. Brown, - 466 2 
Northumberland — ^David Shaver, - - - 273 
Lyooming — James W. Dunahay, William Ev- 
ans, 676 20 

Bellefonte — Samuel Bryson, A. Brittain, - 566 9 
[A new circuit taken off Northomberland this year, 
and called Berwick.] 

1832— Northumberland District— David Steel, P. E. 

Sunbury— Wesley Howe, J. Clark, - - 530 3 
Northumberland — ^M. Pearce, Josiah Forest, - 611 
Lycoming — ^D. Shaver, John R. Tallentyre, - 521 10 
Bellefonte— S. Ellis, James Sanks, - - 656 7 
1833 — Northumberland District — ^William Prettyman, 
P. E. 
Sunbury — ^Thomas Taneyhill, John R. Tallen- 
tyre, .--.--. 530 3 
Northumberland — Josiah Forest, J. Reed, jr., - 611 
Lycoming — S. Ellis, Oliver Ega, - - - 521 10 
Bellefonte — R. Barnes, James Sanks, - ^ G66 7 
1834 — ^Northumberland District — ^William Prettyman, 
P. E 
Sunbury — ^Thomas Taneyhill, John Guyer, - 473 
Northumberland — Henry Tarring, Oliver Ega, 624 
Lycoming — James Sanks, Joseph S. Lee, - 587 15 
Bellefonte — David Shaw, J. Forest, - - 715 3 
1835— Northumberland District — William Pioityman, 
P. E. 
Sunbury — Oliver Ega, J. Anderson, - - 436 
Northumberland — Henry Tarring, John Guyer, 

R. Beers, T. Myers, 627 

Lycoming — James Sanks, S. Ellis, - - 518 1(> 
Bellefonte — J. Forest, A. G. Chenowith, - 558 4 
1836 — Northumberland District — William Prettyman, 
P. E. 
Sunbury— Oliver Ega, G. C Gibbons - ^ - 536 3 
Northumberland — Charles Kalbus, J. T. Cha- 
ncy, 644 


wo, cf Memben. 


Wldto. CdoNd. 

Ljooming — ^Thomas Taneyhill, Isaac T. Stmt- 

ton, - - 589 17 

Bellefonte — John Rhodes, Thomas Myers, - 560 3 
lg37_Northamberland Bistrictr-^ohn Miller, P. E. 

Sunhnry— Henry O. Dill, Charles E. Brown, - 581 3 
Northnmberland — Charles Kalbus, John Hall, 460 
Lycoming — ^Thomas Taneyhill, Isaac T. Strat- 

ton, 590 11 

Bellefonte-^ohn Rhodes, B. W. H. Brent, - 581 1 
1888— Northumberland Districlr-John Miller, P. E. 
Sunboiy — Henry G. Dill, John W. Hangha- 

want, 494 

Northnmberland — James Sanks, Isaac T. Strat- 

ton, . . - - . - - 581 

Lycoming — James Ewing, George L. Brown - 647 11 
Bellefonte — ^Thomas Taneyhill, George Gnyer, 540 1 
1889— Northumberland Districtr-John Miller, P. E. 
Sunbury — John Rhodes, William Hirst, 
Northamberland-*^ames Sanks, Isaac T. Strat- 

ton, 580 

Lycoming — James Ewing, George Guyer, - 694 12 
Bellefonte — ^Thomas Taneyhill, George Bergs- 

tresser, 552 

1840— Northumberland Districtr-nJohn Miller, P. E. 

Sunbury — John Rhodes, John Ball, - - 554 
Northumberland — ^Thomas Taneyhill, William 

Hirst, 611 2 

Lycoming — Charles Kalbus, John W. Haugha- 

want, 794 10 

Bellefonte— William Butler, 8. V. Blake, - 723 2 
1841— Northumberland District— George Hildt, P. E. 

Sunbury — John Ball, Gideon H. Day, - - 550 
Northumberland — Thomas Taneyhill, James W. 

Miles,* 411 5 

'*^Jame8 W. Miles remained but a short time. About the month of Jolj, 
Northumberland and Milton were again united, and were supplied the balance 
of this year, (1842,) by Taneyhill, Brown, and Hirst. 


No. of Mcmben. 

TBAft. ^ White. Colored. 

Lycoming — Robert T. Nixen,* John W. 

Haugbawaut 915 10 

. Bellefonte— William Butler, Elisha D. Owen, 829 10 
Milt(m--John Bowen, WiUiam Hirst, 
1842— Northumberland Districtr-George Hildt, P. £. 

Sunbury — Gkorge Bergstreaser, Wm. S. Baird, 640 
Northumberland — James Ewing, William R. 

Mills, 664 1 

Lycoming — Greorge Guyer, Ephraim McCollom, 574 9 
[March of this year, the Lycoming circuit was 
divided at Quamhaehthaehki creek, (near Linden,) 
and the new circuit called West Branch. It took 
in Nippenose valley, Wayne township, Dunns- 
burg, and up Pine creek to the First Fork. In 
1843, it was extended up this Fork as far as Eng- 
lish Centre.] 

West Branch— William Hirst, L H. Torrenoe, 713 
Bellefonte— Francis M. Mills, W. T. D. Clemm, 794 a. 

Milton — John Bowen, Thomas M. Reese, - 527 5 

1843 — ^Northumberland District — George Hildt, P. E. 

Sunbury — Alem Brittan, Jacob Montgomery, 626 1 
Northumberland — James Ewing, W. T. D. 

Clemm, 515 

Milton — George Guyer, George A. Coffey, - 515 
West Branch — William Hirst^ James Ghiyer, - 647 
BeUefonte— F. M. Mills, Ephraim MoOollom, 772 2. 
Lycoming — John Bowen, W. R. Mills, - - 612 9 

1844— Northumberland District— George Hildt, P. E. 

Sunbuiy-f— Alem Brittan, John W. Tongue, - 609 

Northumberland — ^B. H. Crever, James Guyer, 482 3 

Milton — (}eorge Guyer, Alfred Wiles, - - 517 
[March, 1844, Lycoming Circuit was again divided 
at Loyal Sock, and the new circuit called Wil- 
Uamsport. It extended westward as £&r as New- 
berry, and northward as far as Balston, on 
Lycoming Greek, and southward to Bald Eagle 

^ In July of this year, R. T. Nixen left the circuit, on account of ill health, 
and George Guyer was appointed to supply his place. 



No. of Members. 
TBAft. White. Colorta. 

Williamsport — Jolin Bowen, .... 280 
Lycoming — J. A. Robs, John J. Pearce, - 430 

West Branch*— Thomas Tanoyhill, S. G. Hare, 580 
[March, 1844, Bellefonte Circuit was divided at a 
point in Nittanj Yallej, about three miles below 
Washington Furnace, and at Mill Hall, in Bald 
Eagle Vallej, and the new circuit called Lock 
Hayen. It included the east part of Nittanj and 
Bald Eagle Valleys to the mouth of Bald Eagle 
Creek, and the West Branch Valley from Lock 
Port on the east, and westward to and including 
Cook's Run ; also including Kettle Creek VaUey.] 
Lock Haven— W. R. Mills, John W. Elliott, 274 1 
1845— Northumherland District — Samuel Biyson, P. B. 
Sonbory — John W. Haughawaut, Jacob 8. 
McMnrray, - - - . - - 656 1 

Northnmberland — ^B. H. Greyer, N. S. Buok- 
inoKani - 414. 

Milton— Alem Brittan, E. F. Busey, - - 518 
Williamsport — Mayberry Goheeii, - - - 281 2 
Lycoming — J. A. Ross, John W. Elliott, - 475 
Jersey Shore— Thomas Taneyhill, J. W. Tongue, 580 
Lock Haven — P. B. Reese, (no report.) 

1846 — ^Northumberland District — Samuel Bryson, P. E. 

Sunbury — J. W. Haughawaut, Thos. Bamhart, 510 1 
Northumberland — P. B. Reese, J. J. Pearce, - 440 1 
Milton— Alem Brittan, J. W. Tongue, - - 520 
Williamsport — Mayberry Qoheen, - - - 310 2 
Lycoming — James Elwing, W. L. Murphy, - 440 
Jersey Shore — Joseph A. Roes, Chas. Maclay, 855 
Lock Haven — John Stine, .... 350 

1847 — ^Northumberland District — Samuel Bryson, P. E. 

Sunbury— Peter McEnally, H. Huffman, - 458 1 
Northumberland— W. R, Mills, J. W. Elliott, 440 
MQton— H. G. Dill, J. J. Pearoe, - - - 456 
Williamsport — John Gruyer, Charles Maclay, - 410 
Jersey Shore — Joseph A. Roes, N. S. Buck- 
ingham, 795 

^ On the 19th of August, 1844, the name was changed to Jersey Shore. 


No. of Membtn. 
TSAB. White. Colored 

Lock Haven — J. W. Haughawaut, - - 345 3 
LjcomiDg — James Ewing, ... - 492 

1848 — ^Northumberland District — Samnel Bryson, P. E. 

Sunbury — James Ewing, J. P. Simpson, - 491 
Northumberland — J. 8. Lee, S. A. Wilson, - 446 
MUton— H. G. Dill, B. B. Hamline, - - 447 
Lycoming — John Stine, Thomas Bamhart, - 359 
Williamsport — John Ouyer, Charles Maclay, - 430 
Jersey Shore — S. L. M. Conser, I. H. Torrenoe, 667 
Lock Hayen — J. W. Haughawaut, - - . 334 

1849 — ^Northumberland District — John A. Gere, P. E. 

Sunbury — James Ewing, William Gwynn, - 705 
Northumberland — J. S. Lee, B. B. Hamline, - 452 
Milton — M. G. Hamilton, David Castleman, - 552 1 
Lycoming — John Stine, .... 366 

Williamsportr-H. G. Dill, Samuel Wilson, - 385 2 
Jersey Shore — John Guyer, Thomas Bamhart, 616 
Lock Haven — ^T. H. Torrence, - - - 42S 

1850 — ^Northumberland District — John A. Gere, P. E. 

Sunbury — John Stine, William Gwynn, - - 683 
Northumberland — S. L. M. Conser, H. W. 

Belhnan, 841 2 

Milton— M. G. Hamilton, (Station,)* - - 160 
Lewisburg — John Guyer, (Station,)* 
Lycoming — ^Thomas Taneyhill, Justus A. Me- 

lick, 460 

WilHamsportr-H. G. Dill, A. M. Bamitz, - 436 2 
Milton — John Moorhead, .... 300 
Jersey Shore — G. H. Day, Thomas Bamhart, -^ 687 
Pine Creek— W. E. Buckingham, - - - 220 
Lock Haven — I. H. Torrence, A. T. Ewing, - 416 

* This year, these two Stations were connected with Huntingdon District, 
of which T. H. W. Monroe was Presiding Elder. 

484 • APPENDIX. 

YBAK- Mmumcs. Prob. 

Ig51 — ^NoTthumberlaDd District — John A. Gkre, P. E. 

Sunbury — John Stine, Albert Hartman, - 450 100 
Northumberland — S. L. M. Conser, - - 299 81 
Lewisburg Station — John Guyer, - - - 159 66 
Milton Station— P. B. Reese, - - - 175 92 
Milton Circuitr-John Moorhead, W. E. Clark, 342 43 
Lycoming — Name changed to Muncy. 
Muncy— Thomas Taneyhill, F. M. Slusscr, - 327 43 
Williamsport — ^Thompson Mitchell, B. B. Ham- 
line, 378 54 

Jersey Shore— G. H. Day,* B. H. Crever, - 511 43 
Pine Creek— JTohn H. C. Dosh, W. E. Buck- 
ingham, 149 47 

Lock Haven — Joseph 6. McKeehan, H. W. 

Bellman, 406 73 

1852 — ^Northumberland District — John A. Gere, P. E. 

Sunbury— nJos. A. Ross, T. M. Goodfellow, - 346 112 
Northumberland — John Moorhead, F. M. Slusser, 319 

Lewisburg Station — S. L. M. Conser - - 190 90 

Milton Circuit — John Stine, Joshua Kelly, - 331 95 

MiltoD Station— P. B. Reese, - - - 214 16 

Muncy Circuit— Jos. S. Lee, J. Y. Rothrock, 320 80 
Williamsport Station — Thompson Mitchell, B. 

B. Hamline, 392 37 

Jersey Shore — B. H. Crever, J. J. Pearce, - 494 119 

Pine Creek-^. H. C. Dosh, W. C. Gantt, - 180 60 

Lock Haven — I. G. McKeehan, A. G. Murlatt, 377 66 
1853— Northumberland Dist.— Thos. B. Sargent, P. E. 

Sunbury — Jos. A. Ross, - - ' - - 500 42 
Northumberland — Thos. Barnhart, J. Y. Roth- 
rock, 287 191 

Lewisburg Station — S. L. M. Conser, - - 239 60 

Milton Station— J. S. McMurray, - - - 203 5 

Milton Circuit — John Stine, S. Barnes, - . - 371 55 

* About the 1st of May, Mr. Day was appointed General Agent for 
Dickinson Seminary, at Williamsport, and immediately entered upon the duties 
of his appointment ; and B. H. Crever became preacher in charge, and J. J- 
Pearce preacher of the Jersey Shore Circuit. 




. 350 


- 237 


■ 330 


- 204 


- 172 


- 107 


. 404 


Muncy — T. H. Switzer, E. Eakle, - 

Williamsport Station — J. France,* - 

Newberry — Jos. S. Lee, Thos. Sherlock, - 

Jersey Shore Station — P. B. Reese, 

New Liberty — John H. C. Dosh, - 

Pine Creek — I. G. McKeehan, 

Lock Hayen — J. J. Pearce, W. C. Gantt, 
[In March, a new District was formed, called Belle- 
fonte, taken from Korthamberland and Hunting- 
don Districts. There were incladed within this 
District, three Circuits, and one Station, that 
were nearlj all within the West Branch Vallej, 
viz. : — Pine Creek, Lock Haven, Great Island, 
or New Liberty, and Jersey Shore Station.] 
1854— Northumberland Dist.— Thos. B. Sargent P. E. 

Northumberland — ^Thos. Bamhart, ... 

Sunbury — J. G. McKeehan, James Cums, 

Lewisburg Station — Benjamin B. Hamline, - 

Milton Station — J. S. McMurray, ... 

Milton Circuit— Thos. Taneyhill, C. C. Maybee, 346 

Muncy — ^T. H. Switzer, Samuel Barnes, - 

Williamsport Station — John Stine, - 

Newberry — J. S. Lee, J. Y. Bothrock, - 
1854— Bellefonte Dist.— John Poisal, P. E. 

Jersey Shore — John W. Elliott, 

Great Island — Greorge Warren, 

Lock Hayen — Justus A. Mclick, - 
1855— Northumberland Dist.— T. B. Sargent, P. E. 

Sunbury — J. G. McKeehan, B. P. King, 

Northumberland — Joseph A. Ross, 

Lewisburg — B. B. Hamline, ... 

Milton Station — Franklin Dyson, - 

Milton Circuit — ^Thos. Taneyhill, - 

Muncy — ^Joshua Kelly, Thos. Sherlock, - 

Williamsport Station—- John Stine, 

Newberry — J. S. McMurray, C. C. Maybee, 

*In the month of September, of this year, the health of Mr. France failed, 
and his place was filled the balance of the year by Edward E. Allen. 








































1855— Bellefonte Dist.— John Poisal, P. E. 

Jersey Shore— John W. Elliott, - - - 178 12 
Pine Creek— Albert Hartman, W. M. Showal- 

ter, 91 24 

Great Island — reorge Warren, ... 181 84 

Lock Haven— J. Melick, T. A. Gotwalt, - 844 18 


In 1806, Lycoming Circuit embraced all of that part 
of Northumberland Circuit west, and south, of the town 
of Northumberland. 

In 1812, Shamokin Circuit embraced all the territory 
east of the Susquehanna to the Broad Mountains, south 
to Mahantongo Creek, and north to Nescopeck Creek. 

In 1815, Bald Eagle Circuit was formed out of the 
Lycoming Circuit west of Beech Creek, and in 1825 it 
was extended east to the Great Island. 

About 1827, Northumberland Circuit was extended 
west, taking from Lycoming Circuit all the territory to 
Muncy Hills, north of the river, and all that south to the 
mouth of White Deer Creek. 

About the close of the year 1831, another part was 
taken from Lycoming, and added to Northumberland, 
taking in Washington and Clinton townships, Lycoming 

Having pursued the progress of the Chuixh for a pe- 
riod of sixty-five years, — from May 1791, the time of the 
organization of the Northumberland Circuit, with two 
preachers — we find in March, 1856, the same territory 
divided into twenty-five Charges, viz : — 18 Circuits, 6 


Stations, and 1 Mission, with a membership of 7170 in 
full connection, 1063 on probation, and 11 colored mem- 
bers, making a grand total of 8244, with 43 travelling or 
stationed preachers. 

The membership, in what is denominated the West 
Branch Valley, from Sunbury to Lock Haven, in March, 
1856, was as follows : 3223 members, 21 preachers, in- 
cluding 1 Presiding Elder, with 37 Churches. 

C|( Inbtan ^mdtx of i\t $nsjqiu|anm 

The following interesting sketchy of some of the 
adventures of Capt. Brady, was originally published in 
the Blairsville AjjpcUachian. The manuscript was found 
among the papers of a near relative of Brady, and is the 
narrative of Peter Grove, an ancient hunter and ranger 
of the Susquehanna, detailing a series of thrilling isnter- 
prises against the Indians by Brady, in which he parti- 
cipated. Their adventures extended through the pre- 
sent coimties of Huntingdon, Clearfield, Centre, Ly- 
coming, Clinton, and Union. 

The incidents are related in so probable and likely a 
manner, that there can be but little doubt of their actual 
occurrence. No dates are given, but it is quite likely 
that the year following Broadhead's expedition up the 
Alleghany river may be assumed. 

It will be observed that Peter is fond of repeating the 
name " Sam," and uses it with unnecessary frequency. 
But the person who copied the manuscript for the press, 
did not feel at liberty to alter or vary from the original, 
except in the arrangement of paragraphs, (the original 
consists of one,) correction of errors in spelling, and, in 
a few instances, supplying a word where it was evident- 
ly required to perfect the sense, and had been omitted 
through mistake. 



A Story as related hy Peter Grove, a man well known for his bra- 
very as a Warrior and Hunter ^ on the Susquehanna, at an early 

The old gentleman says, at one time when Grove 
called at my house for refreshment, after four weeks' 
hunt up the river, I persuaded him to remain over 
night, which he did with a good deal of reluctance. 
His character was to be moving to nightfall, then it 
made no diflTerence to Grove where he was. 

In that evening's conversation, I inquired of him if 
he had ever seen Captain Samuel Brady, of the Rangers. 
He rose from his seat ; his eyes glistened with pleasure. 
His countenance evinced to me I had struck a string on 
which he liked to dwell. He replied, " Oh, yes ! — ^Poor 
Sam is dead, so they teU me," and seated himself, his 
countenance changing to a cast or two past its natural 
gravity, to gloom and deep thoughtfulness. 

After meditating for a short time, he cast his eyes 
around the room, with quickness, arose, put up his rifle, 
which was standing in the comer, placed it on the hooks, 
walked to the door, called up his dogs, gave them some 
food, and bade them go back to the canoe, which com- 
mand they promptly obeyed. He then returned to the 
fire, then stirring it up, got his blanket and spread it 
upon the floor, and rested upon it with peculiar compo- 
sure. " Yes," said he, " Mr. Porter, I have seen Sam, 
(so I always called him, except in the presence of 
strange officers.) I could tell you many of Sam's ex- 
ploits, but one or two will suffice for the present even- 
ing. It gives me great pleasure to relate these things 
to a man that appears to take interest in our welfare. 


The day was, when we were all as brothers along these 
waters. I see a change, but I shall not long have to 
witness these unfriendly habits. 

" I was well acquainted with John Brady, who was 
killed at Wolf Run — ^the father of Sam. Also with all 
the boys. John, the brother of Sam, was wounded at 
Brandywine, fighting by the side of his father, at the 
age of sixteen. James was killed by the Indians, and 
after the murder of Sam's father and brother, there was 
ugly play between the Bradys and their friends, and the 

^^ There was an uncle of Capt. Sam's whose name was 
also Sam Brady ; and to distinguish them we called him 
^ Uncle Sam.' He was a man of the largest size, and of 
peat activity; a great friend to liberty, and he proved 
it, for many a red coat he gave a deeper dye ; and many 
a lowering savage he laid low. 

" It was him that taught the boys in their youth, to 
run, jump, swim, shoot, and all exercises that he thought 
would be of use, in case the storm would burst that was 
then gathering over our country. It did bursty and 
Uncle Sam's country was rewarded for his pains, in the 
service of his nephews. 

"Brave Uncle Sam! — ^long may you live! for you 
were a protector to the unprotected ! 

" I had been up through Pennsylvania on a hunt and 
lookout, and I discovered Indian signs ; and, from what 
I saw, was convinced that there were Indians between 
the West Branch (of the Susquehanna) and the Jimiata 
river. I returned with all speed to Buffalo, (valley we 
presume,) to communicate to Captain J. Foster and 
others, my suspicions, that the Indians were working 
around us. 


" On my way down I had discovered a man's track, 
at different times, which astonished me, for T had taken 
a route I thought no man would have travelled, red or 
white, except aney and he was far distant west of Alle- 

'^ I observed the size of the track, and the length of 
the step — a thought struck me. But it could not be ! 

^^•I found after I got into the valley, and on the path, 
that the traveller ahead had deviated from his path, 
which gave me great uneasiness^ and caused me to quit 
the path and take another route through the woods. 

" I called on Capt. John Foster, and informed him of 
the discovery I had made. His countenance was fired 
in an instani He was a brave, steong, and active man, 
ever ready to perform his duty. His rifle was a fatal 
one to the enemies of his country. I have seen it so in 
many instances. 

" The Captain observed to me, ' Peter ! Peter ! I fear 
there has been sad work west of the mountains. The 
tracks you saw on the path coming down, must have 
been the tracks of one of Brady's Rangers.' ' No, Cap- 
tain,' 1 replied, * there is no man living who ^ould have 
taken the route I did, but Sam, himself.' * They could 
have travelled it by his direction,' said the Captain. 
* No, never,' I replied. ^ WeD, well, Peter ! we will not 
differ long ; to-morrow we will know. So go to the top 
of the ridge, and discharge your rifle three times. They 
(i. e. Foster's spies) will collect in a short time.' 

' I did as I was directed ; and in a short time twenty 
of our men made their appearance. The Captain in- 
formed them of the discovery I had made, so far as 
related to the Indian signs, but nothing in relation to 
his apprehensions about the West. After he had given 


them their orders to keep strict watch about their 
houses, for the night, and to be ready to march in the 
morning, at a moment's warning, he dismissed them for 
the night. 

" When they were gone, the Captain observed to me, 
* Peter, we must go to the Widow Brady's, and I think 
we will there find one of the brave fellows from the At 
leghany river. 

" When we approached the house, our path was crossed 
by a man, whom the Captain hailed in a low tone of 
voice. The man advanced to us — ^but what was our 
surprise to find in him the brave Sam Brady. 

" Our surprise I have not language to tell you. He 
accoutred as a hunter — ^his blanket on his back. He had 
just arrived ; having been detamed by avoiding the patti, 
and hearing the shots I had fired so soon after my arri- 
val at Foster's. 

. " He and the Captain walked aside, and after a mo- 
ment's absence, returned, and we made the best of our 
way back. 

" I observed to Sam, ^ will you go to see your mother 
and children?' ^No, Peter,' said he, ^I understand 
they are well yet, and for their preservation I must be 
off.' This brought tears to my eyes, and I cannot now 
relate it without weeping. To think of the hardships he 
had undergone, of his long absence, and widowed moth- 
er — ^her little, fatherless flock, who had been made so by 
the merciless savages, during his absence. Yes, sir, 
these scenes are now forgotten by many, but they are 
yet fresh in my memory ; and while my heart beats, I 
cannot forget them. 

" We travelled back in silence, save that our brave 
Captain Foster's feelings gave way, and he moaned 


aload. When we got into the house, *Weep not, breth- 
ren,' observed Sam to us, ^ It is better that my mother 
and the family should be ignorant of my being in this 
part of the country, for by to-morrow's dawn we must 
be off, at least I, and one man, with your permission. 
Captain.' ^ Give us the news, first, from the West,' re- 
plied Captain Foster, stepping up to Sam, and laying 
his hand on his shoulder. ^ And tell me,' says I, ^ how 
old TJnde Sam is— or is he yet alive V ' ' Yes, Peter,' 
said Sam, ^and spoiling a great many countenances in 
that part of the country.' ^ We seldom hear of him,' I 
said, ^ since you got a command.' ' You know, Peter,' 
said Sam, ^ he always goes in a gang by himself, and 
picks those whom he knows to be leaders. You wish to 
have news. I have none, but that we are fighting when- 
ever we meet, and we generally beat them.' 

^^ The Indians have disappeared of late to the number 
of one hundred and fifty. They have some grand project 
in view ; and my opinion is, it is a descent on this part 
of the country. This is a conjecture of my own, and 
has caused me to cross the mountains at this time. — 
They have been informed of men having been drawn off 
from this section of the country ; and, by quitting the 
Alleghany in small parties, they expect to surprise you, 
and disappoint us. I crossed the trail of thirty west of 
the Mountains ; I crossed it again near the Standing 
Stone, and on this side of the Juniata. I am convinced 
of their leading to the ^ Bald Eagle's Nest,' but they must 
now be on the waters of the Juniata, hunting, and re- 
freshing themselves. 

" The party I trailed is headed by two brothers — 
young warriors of uncommon skill and bravery. I be- 
lieve they were both present at the murder of my friends, 


and they have sworn vengeance against me and my kin- 
dred. Since I was here. Uncle Sam and I have caused 
their nation to bleed in its most vital pcurts. 

'^ The Panther and the Blacksnake, who are the lead- 
ers of the party nearest us, are men of uncommon strength 
and action — ^first-rate rifle shots, that seldom fail at two 
hundred yards. The Panther and the Blacksnake shall 
never taste the waters of the AUeghany again ! 

" Two weeks before my departure for this part of the 
country, I was dogging them, and ky so close to their 
fires as to witness them go through the tragic scenes of 
my father's and brother's death. This induced me to 
think they were engaged in those murders. On the 
night I mentioned, I had determined to send the Pan- 
ther to another world, but a squaw placed herself by his 
side with a papoose in her arms, and in such a position 
that I should have sent them along as company. But 
no blood but that of a warrior shall ever stain my skirts. 
It was hard to let them slip, for he boasted in his dance 
that the day would come when he would dance the 
death of Uncle Sam and I. So I determined he should 
fall by my hand. The Blacksnake danced the Susque- 
hanna murders, and vaunted the exploits he would per- 
form on his next visit. The death of my mother and 
children was threatened ; after which I would weep 
through the woods, and he would take me prisoner ; and 
how he would triumph over me. 

" Blacksnake ! — the day is not far distant when you 
shall coil around the pit of your own stomach, and vomit 
blood for the wolf and panther to roll upon !" 

" Sam cast his eyes upward, and with devotion I never 
before witnessed, called upon God who had preserved 
his kindred and neighbors, to look down with an eye of 


mercy upon our devoted country. * My brethren/ said 
he, ^ it is in Him alone I confide for the preservation of 
our country. It appears to me Government has given 
us up as unworthy of its protection.' 

" * No, Captain/ replied Foster, * Gen. Potter says 
that in a conversation he had with Gen. Washington, re- 
specting the frontiers ; Gen. Washington remarked ^ you 
have an army in Captain Sam Brady and his Rangers.' " 

" * I hope/ replied Sam, ' they have a devotion not 
excelled by any now combating for the rights of man. 
Oh ! may Liberty blossom ! Her roots shall be watered 
by crimson streams ! Her branches may yet flourish in 
the wilderness ! Future generations may enjoy the 
firuits of our labors, and our names live in the memory 
of our countrymen. We have a warfare never before 
witnessed. Degenerate Britons ! why do you excite a 
savage people to acts that must draw upon them the 
vengeance of the Uving God ! ' 

^^We made the necessary preparations that night; 
Sam and I were to march as soon as he thought best. 

" Before we lay down, he asked me for my rifle. * Is 
she good, Peter ? ' * Yes — no better.' * Who owns the 
gun I heard the reports of, this evening ? ' * You have 
her in your hand.' ^ She will do,' says Sam, handing 
her back to me. 

<< We lay down, and Sam soon fell into a sound sleep, 
but I could not rest. 

^^ About two hours before day^ Sam sprang to his feet 
with the nimbleness of a cat, crying ' Arise, Peter, we 
must be off.' 

'^ Captain Foster bounced from his bed, with the force 
of a horse. ^ You come down heavy. Captain,' says I. 
^ It is the way I awake my family/ says he. And it 


was not long till we had a proof of their early rising. — 
Our breakfast was on the table in a crack ; and a part 
of our treat was a cup of coffee — a thing which Sam had 
not tasted for six months. It made him speak ; he had 
been silent from the time he bade me arise, till we had 
placed ourselves around the hospitable board of our ho* 
mane and gallant Captain Foster. 

^^ I observed Sam's countenance had a smile upon it. 
' You look pleased/ said I. ' And I am pleased/ said 
he, ^ that you have yet some of the comforts of life with 
you in this country. 

" ^ They are few/ observed Foster, ' but while we have 
them, we will not deny ourselves. I hope the day is 
not far distant when comforts wUl abound in this land ; 
and though we may not live to see it, I trust in God our 
children will. Then, with the fullest confidence in His 
Providential care, let us thank him for what we have.' 

" After we rose from the table, the Captains laid their 
plans. They were to be secret with us. Sam and I 
were to go and kill some meat, and have it coUected for 
the party, at a run in Penn's Valley, called Elk nm ; 
also at Spruce Creek, or a place called ^ The Clear Foun- 

" Foster was to start, after two days, with fifteen 
men, and send the remainder up the river as far as the 
mouth of the Bald Eagle. 

" Our arrangements being completed, we bade the 
little flock farewell. I observed that when Sam bade 
the lady of the house to be kind to his mother, he wept. 
And he wept not alone, for our hearts sympathized with 
his, and we all with one voice called on God to be a hus- 
band to the widow, and a father to the fatherless. 
: "I bounced out of the door, and got into the path. — 


Sam sprang from the door to the middle of the enclosure, 
and from thence over the fences into the path before me. 
I do believe the fence was eight feet high. He could 
spring like a panther, and run like a buck. 

"We got to Elk Run in time to dress a deer apiece. 
The next morning we killed five, and moved off in time 
to reach the Fountains that day. Here we hung up some 
meat, after which we took the scout. 

"We soon found * signs' after we got to the Juniata 
hills. We were to return to the Fountains and let Foster 
know, as soon as we had discovered the lurking places 
of the Indians. 

"When at our fire at night, Sam related to me some 
astoniBhing feate performed by him and his men. It was 
seldom he would speak of himself — ^he left that for others. 
He took great pleasure in relating the hair-breadth escapes 
of his brave companions. 

" One evening while at rest, we were disturbed by the 
screams of a panther. I wanted to go and kiU it, but 
Sam told me, * Peter, beware of that fellow — I have heard 
his screams west of the mountains !* 

"He covered what little fire we had, and told me to 
follow him. We slipped through the woods in a different 
direction from where the panther was, and on the top of 
the ridge lay down. Sam slept sound until his usual 
time of awaking, which was about the time I generally 
fell asleep. But sleep was far from my eyes, which he 
discovered. ^ Peter,' said he, ^you are alarmed at the 
hints I gave you yesterday and last night.' (We had 
found some meat of a very fat deer, and I wanted to 
take a piece to cook for supper ; but he forbid me, saying, 
never touch their meat.) ^ If you had eaten their meat, 
you never would have seen this morning's sun rise. I 


lost two brave fellows — ^young men who had come on, 
voluntarily, to join us ; they were from Virgima. In my 
precautions to them, I neglected to charge them respect- 
ing the danger in eating the meat hung up by the Indians. 
It is a contrivance of the warrior Wamp, who is with this 
party. It would have proved a fatal thing to us, had I 
not discovered its effects on one of their own dogs, and 
two wild cats that I found lying dead by the meat that 
they had hung up.' 

^* ' Blast me,' said I, ' but I will Wamp him to the d — ^1, 
if ever I get my eyes on him.' ^We will see, then, to- 
night,' said he. ^This day we must travel with the 
greatest precaution.' 

^^ We struck into a run that led into the river, in a 
winding direction, through the hills. We had not ad- 
vanced far when we discovered meat hung up; we 
examined it, and found that it had been killed the day 

" We then concealed ourselves in the laurel, and while 
in the laurel, says Sam — ' I thought I was not mistaken 
in the Panther ; he and some of his party have been to 
Sinnemahoning, and are now just returning. They are 
m this neighborhood, and they will be here for this meat 
to-day. We must dog them to their camp, and ascertain 
their numbers.' 

" I asked Sam why these devils delighted in murder- 
ing their old neighbors ? ' They are encouraged by wicked 
men,' he replied, ' in the service of the King of England.' 
' That can't be, Sam,' said I ; ' the Indians have got to be 
devils in human shape. Oh, God ! Little did I think, 
when Wamp lay sick with the small-pox, that he- would 
be so wicked. Your brother James and I killed his 
winter meat, for he was not able to hunt. We divided 


with his family, Logan and his squaw; also, the Eagle 
and his people ; and now he would poison me with what 
I gave him to keep him alive. Logan is true, but the 
Eagle is off. ^Yes/ said Sam, ^ he is out of sight, but 
not without marking uncle Sam, by shooting off the 
lower part of his ear. They were watching each other, 
and as uncle Sam peeped round a tree. Eagle fired, but 
it was his last shot. The next moment he was wallowing 
in his own blood — ^his head cleft with the force of the 

^^ ^ I am determined to kill Wamp. You must kill the 
man I point out. And when with me in ambush, you 
must watch my motions.' Which I did. His countenance 
would tell me, without an order, when he desired to strike 
a &tal stroke. 

"We espied three Lidians coining; two squaws, and an 
old man, who was a camp-keeper. They had not got to 
the meat before I discovered that Wamp's squaw was 
with them ; which I told Sam. He told me there were 
twenty choice warriors he knew. 'There must be about 
thirty. Their spies must be Wamp, Hawk, Muncy, Snow, 
and Greatshot. They must fall first, and before they 
form a junction with the Sinnemahoning party, they wiU 
be but few.' 

"We watched their movements, and in the evening 
discovered their fire. They thought themselves in per- 
fect safety; their fires were brisk, which is a thing 

" After looking at them from the top of a hill, Sam 
observed— 'Providence is smUing upon us— a good Hght 
for us, but bad for them.' 

" While they were yet moving about the fire, Sam told 
me to ' come on.' ' Won't you wait till they lie down ?' 
said I. 'No, now is the time,' said he, 'follow me.' 


" We advanced to a tree-top, and there we stayed till 
we had counted every man, and Sam told me the name 
of every one. The Panther he particularly pointed out. 
Also the Blacksnake. We saw them step to the fire 
together ; and two better-proportioned men never stepped 
ttie earth. *Now/ says Sam, *we could drop them.* 
*Well,' said I, *let us do it. Give me the right hand 
fellow, and I'll insure him bounce into the air ten feet.' 
With that they wheeled off. * Their time is not yet,* 
said Sam. ^ There comes the Panther, with his rifle. 
Peter, draw on that warrior that is resting his arm on 
his gun ; thai is Wamp. Hold, Peter, that old man wiU 
save the Panther once more. I will let him go; it would 
be too nice work, through the blaze of that fire, to graze 
the old man and kill the Panther. Make ready, and fire f 

^' I saw them both bound, and light in the fire. In an 
instant the war-whoop was ringing through the hills. 
Sam held me by the arm for the space of a minute, then 
dropped down; I did the same, and twenty bullets 
whistled over us. 

" We bounced to our feet ; they were all in a bustle. 
' Now, Peter, follow me, and load as you run.' 

" We had not gone a hundred yards, when Sam stopped 
and bade me run in a line with the North Star. I went 
a short distance and halted. In a few minutes, Sam 
rushed by me with the speed of a frightened deer. I 
took after him, but soon found my error in not obeying 
his order. He was out of hearing in a crack, and the 
warriors at my heels. I thought I could run with any 
man, but that night I was convinced how inferior I was 
to my savage pursuers and my brave leader. They 
were coming up fast, when I heard a whoop ahead, (not 
like Sam's,) which induced me to believe I was sur- 
rounded. There was no reply to the whoop ; and this 


created in me strange thoughts. I turned from the 
course, and lay down by the side of a large tree that 
had fallen out of root. I had just got placed, when four 
warriors bounded over the body of the tree, within a few 
feet of my place of concealment. They rushed through 
with the force of elks and the swiftness of arrows. Soon 
after they left me, I heard the report of a rifle, which I 
feared had laid my brave leader low. But soon after I 
heard the strange whoop, at a greater distance, and I was 
induced to believe that Sam whooped in that strange 
way to deceive the Indians in his race ; to let me know 
that he was safe, and that he considered me so. The 
shot they fired was to lead him to think they had killed 
me, and by that means get him to risk his life for his 

^^ In an hour they returned from the chase, and passed 
within fifty yards of where I lay. I understood their 
talk, and heard them say they thought we were from 
the mouth of the Juniata; that we had some place 
appointed to meet in the night, and would then take the 
right course for home. 

"When they got by me a Uttle, they halted. The 
talk then was as to which course I had taken. They 
concluded it was the swiftest runner they had neared so 
fast, and that I only then laid out my strength at that 

"After they had disappeared, I got up and steered 
the course Sam had directed; but had not gone far 
before I met Sam. He complained of my not obeying 
his orders. I told him I had thought I could run as 
fast as him, or the Indians, but I was convinced that I 
couldn't. * No,' said Sam, ^ neither is there a man living 
that can beat me running through the woods. Peter, I 


would be doubtfiil of your speed in daylight/ ^Fear 
not, Sam, I will obey you after this ; and would like to 
try them fellows to-morrow night again.' ^ We will let 
them rest to-night,' said he ; ^ to-morrow we will try them 

" We then went to hunt a place to rest ourselves, and 
prepare for to-morrow's work. We had not travelled 
far until we found a place every way calculated for our 

"We then examined our arms. I repaired my moo- 
casins, and, after refreshing ourselves, Te reWd to 
where we had a view of the enemy. 

"^I think, Peter, I sent the Hawk after the Eagle! 
^Yes, Sam, and Wamp has accompanied him.' ^They 
fell in the fire, which was in our favor. I knew they 
would do so. from the positions they stood in. You 
should never attempt to load or run when you fire upon 
them as we did to-night. The first thing they do, after 
the report of the gun, is to give the war-whoop ; there 
is then a few minutes meditation with them ; they then 
direct their pieces for where the flash was. Therefore 
it is better, after night, to stand in ambush and shoot. 
You can have a better view of them and who they are ; 
you can discover when they raise their rifles, and then, 
as we did to-night, drop to the earth, and you are safe 
from that round. The instant the report of the guns is 
heard, bounce and be off; You then have the advant^ 
of the smoke between you and them ; and also the con- 
fusion of re-loading their guns, which will be heard above 
the sound of your feet. By observing these rules, I 
have picked out five choice shots in one night. We got 
through well, to-night ; but I was determined the Pan- 
ther's earthly career should be at an end to-night, if he 


joined pursuit, which he did. I passed you without 
observing where you stood, and that ruined my calcula- 
tions. I thought you were ahead, until I ran as far as I 
thought you could have reached, taking your speed into 
consideration. The whoop I gave to let you know I was 
ahead and safe. You say it is a strange one to you. It 
is the way they mimic our young warriors, and was such 
as fhey would not take for mine. They will think I was 
a young hand, and the other they will take for you, when 
they see your tracks where we crossed the run.' 

" We ttoth fell asleep, but before day Sam waked me 
up. We moved to a more favorable position to watch 
their motions, and at daylight we saw them packing 
their things for a move. 

"My heart was wrung to tears with the cries of 
Wamp's squaw. But after considering that we had 
always treated Wamp as a brother, and that he would 
conduct a party to destroy his old neighbors and best 
friends, the companions of his youth, (for we had often 
hunted with Wamp,) I did not regret his death. I well 
knew she would soon forget poor Wamp, and find a com- 
panion in the person of some other wanior. 

" They moved off, as we expected, in a direction for 
tlie Eagle's Nest. 

" After they had got out of view, we took a circuitous 
route, and got to a spring which we expected they would 
refresh at. After we had got ourselves fixed, Sam in- 
quired of me how far I thought we were from the Clear 
Springs. I told him, ^ not more than eight or ten miles.' 

" After sitting silent for a short time, Sam observed 
to me, * If you are willing, Peter, we will take a shot at 
them here, win or lose.' I told him I was. He then 
gave me his commands, pointed out the course I was to 


run, and stated what he thought the distance would be, 
which was one hundred and fifty yards. 

" ^ Now, Peter, this will be quick work. They have 
but two guns that can hurt us above one hundred and 
fifty yards, so you may see we have twenty-five yards 
to gain before we are safe from their shortest shots. We 
will drop the Panther* and the Blacksnake, but you 
must shoot the man I point out, be he whom he may.' 
I told him I would be particular. 

^^ They soon made their appearance, descending the 
hill to the spring. 

"The Panther led the way — ^terrible in appearance. 
Their step was hurried and unsteady, which proved 
their uneasiness of mind, and anxiety to join their bre* 

"We heard the Blacksnake say, as he came up, *We 
will not delay long here ; to-morrow night we must be 
with Jacket's party/ 

" ' You see that man that is talking T ^ Yes, I do.' 
^ That is your mark. The signal will be the pressing of 
my foot against yours ; when it stops, the trigger must 
go. Hold, Peter! The Panther is preserved again, the 
papoose is on his lap, and the squaw holds his gun. He 
must again slip. I have his brother,' and with that, off 
goes our rifles, and we to our heels. 

" I led the way, which raised my pride. I was deter- 
mined Sam should not pass me. I never looked behind 
until I had made not only twenty-five yards, but five 
hundred, good measure. I then looked down the hill 
and saw Sam coming, bounding over the bushes with 
the ease of a buck, and at least two hundred yards be- 
hind me. 

"I could not help but laugh, to see Sam coming. 


But my laugh was soon changed by the appearance of 
the whole party, (excepting the two squaws and an old 
man, who remained with the children.) They came 
like as many wild horses. 

''One was advanced fiur ahead of the rest, and I 
thought it was best to be off, if I wanted to keep the lead, 
and save my credit. When I got to the top of the hill^ 
I ioiued round and discovered that they were coming 
up with me, fast. I heard them holla, ' Petey, Petey, 
Petey/ which was the name they had for me. I dashed 
down the other side of the hill from where they were ; 
and when I thought I had made my distance again, I 
halted. I looked back, and, to my surprise, spied the 
Panther on the ridge, not three hundred yards from me, 
and Sam was out of view. 

'' The first thought that struck me was, that Sam had 
met his fate ; and I had just determined to await mine, 
and avenge his, by the death of the Panther, when I 
heard the report of Sam's rifle. I saw the Panther 
bounce into the air, and behold Sam run up to him and 
speaking for a moment. Then he snatched up his rifle, 
and with the speed of the eagle's flight he passed me. 
The Indians in an instant sent a volley of balls after us, 
and in an instant after, it was returned by the brave 
Capt. Foster and his party, who rushed by like hungry 
wolves. Then it went belter skelter ; crack after crack 
we had it from behind the trees. But the Indians had 
to turn out and receive the messengers of death; for 
Sam, ever ready and thoughtful, had connected a fire 
round and got between them and their baggage. It was 
then the Indians gave way to despair, and rushed 
through the woods for life. 

''We found ten on the ground, besides Blaoksnake 
and Greatshol^ whom Sam and I had shot at the spring. 


^^We found the Panther dead; but the Blacksnake 
was yet alive, and vomiting blood. We took the old man 
and squaws prisoners, whom Captain Foster released. 
We made all dead shots that day. 

^' The Indians were buried as well as we could bury 
them. Our men all escaped with sound hides. 

^ I shall always think Foster and Sam had laid the 
plan to meet at the spring. But Sam told me, after the 
battle, that the Captain had got uneasy about us. He 
had heard the reports of our guns the idght before. 

^ The men told me the Captain had been absent the 
night before. As it was, we had defeated the Indians, 
which was all we desired. 

^^ I well remember the looks of the Blacksnake, and 
old man. When Sam ^topped to them, the Chief looked 
with astonishment ; with a sullen composure, he named 
* Sam Brady,' and departed. 

" * He is gone,' said Sam, * to appear before that bar 
where his brethren and I will have to be judged for the 
deeds done in the body.' 

"Sam examined the prisoners' stock of provisions, 
which he did not consider sufficient to last them to 
where they could be provided for. He added of ours 
to their stock until he thought the supply amply suflS- 
cient. He then told them if they would go to one of 
the forts and remain until a treaty was made, they 
would be well treated ; but if they did not, they must 
expect great difficulties before they again found their 
people. He gave the old man a rifle and plenty of 
ammunition, and bade him travel for Chinklecamoose. 
We then marched for the Nest, (Bald Eagle's,) and 
reached it by ten o'clock at night. 

" The Indians were far ahead of us, and our rest was 


but short ; we were kept on the move by that industri- 
ons warrior^ Sam. By ten o'clock the next day, we 
were on the waters of Panther Run — ^now called Beech 

'^ After we had crossed the creek, Sam, Bob Lyon, 
and myself started on ; we went at a quick pace, and 
found, by signs, that we were coming up with the Indians. 

^* At nightfall, we went to the highest peak near us ; 
from thence we could see the fire of our party far behind 
us, and that of the enemy before us about three miles. 
We saw another light in the direction for the Sinnema- 
honmg.. Also, a glimmering light, on the ground, about a 
mile from the furthest light, and to the left of our line of 
march. Sam appeared to observe the small light parti- 
cularly. He was silent for a long time. At length he 
arose and told us we would go nearer the first Indian 

** ' There are,' said he, ' two Indian lights before us ; 
the small light has disappeared ; I suppose it was a star.' 

" We went within half a mile of the Indians' fire, and 
to where we had a fair view of them. There were but 
five of them, and they were all standing up. ^ It would 
be hard to get a shot at them to-night,' said Sam ; ' they 
are keeping a sharp watch, and will soon be off to the 

" We lay down. I looked in an hour afterwards — 
there was a large fire, but the Indians had disappeared. 

"Lyon observed this and awakened Sam, and told 
him we had better go down to the fire, it would be more 

***If we do,' says Sam, 'we will perhaps find our- 
selves placed alongside of a fire before morning that 
would not feel any better than these cold rocks.' 


^^ In the morning we started by sunrise, and had not 
advanced far when we discovered a man descending a 
hill in front of us. Sam asked me who would be ihe 
spies from the other party. I told him I thought Peter 
Vincent would be the only man out from that party, and 
that must be him. We soon met. He was much sur- 
prised to meet Sam, as all the party were, the day be- 

^' He informed us that the Indians were collecting at 
Upper Youngwoman's Creek; that there were some 
hunting on the Sinnemahoning, and up Kettle Creek; 
that their party were waiting at Muncytown until they 
could hear from us. 

" * You have had a brush with them, I think, from 
their movements,' said Vincent, ^ I saw ten this morning 
who appeared to be limber in their joints ; they walked 
slowly and in silence, as if they thought the race over, 
and they were mourning their departed friends.' 

"Vincent hated them beyond my power of expres- 

" We were soon led off by Sam, at a smart gait, and 
in a different direction. In about two hours we reached 
a run that formed a gap in one of the many mountains 
in that part of the country. We climbed up the side of 
the mountain next the run. We had but just placed 
ourselves to take a view, when Vincent spied them — 
told us he saw them, and pointed to the direction in 
which he saw them coming. 

" Sam led off and descended the mountain to where 
he thought they would pass. We then got our orders, 
and placed ourselves in ambush. 

" The direction we were to run, if there were more 
than twelve, was down a descent, and along a deer path 


which wound around the side of the mountain. If Uicro 
were twelve or any number below it, we were to take 
trees which we had picked out— every man knowing his 
tree. After the second fire we were to close with the 

^^ I noticed Lyon looking at the stock of his rifle, very 
attentively. Says I, ^Bob, is there any thing wrong 
with your gun?' He had fell that morning, and I 
thought he had cracked it. ^ No/ said he, ^ I am look- 
ing to see how it will do to club with. I have had two 
hard races, in consequence of breaking my gun in these 
d— — d closing scrapes.' 

*' We took our stations, and they soon came ; but, to 
our surprise they were fifteen in number. They moved 
in the utmost silence within seventy yards of us. Vin- 
cent was next to Sam, and I was next to Vincent, con- 
sequently Lyon was to take the ninth man. The pressure 
of the foot was from Sam ; it continued for the space 
of a minute, when o£f goes our rifles, and we to our 

^^ I was again in the lead, and before I heard a shot 
firom the enemy I was two hundred yards around ih$ 
side of the mountain. I looked around and saw Lyon 
at my heels, bounding like a Conestoga horse* Vioeenfc 
was a short distance behind him, and Sam wmb liid from 
me by the mountain, as I supposed ; he always would 
be hindmost, and generally stayed till he saw wliai Ih^ 
would do. 

^ By taming my head to look^ it oansad Lyon to bik 
around also and brought me so close to the body ef m 
tree which lay across the path, that when I jonpedy &• 
toe at my moccasin toocheil a knot on the body of ih§ 
tne, and I fSell across the path, and ooi of Lyon'a 

510 . AFPENDDC. 

When he turned his head I was gone. He sprung over 
the log, and lit fair on my shoulders ; he lost his balance, 
and fell with his head against the root .of a tree. 

'^ In the meantime Vincent came on ; he cleared me, 
but Bob in his struggle, threw up his leg, which Vincent's 
foot took and he went cantering down the mountain 
like a bear, on all fours. 

^' I was not able to rise for some time, and when I did 
rise to my seai^ I saw Bob getting up and rubbing his 
head with, both hands, and with a rueful countenance he 
says, ^ Orove, what made you lie across the path V 
With this Vincent came up in a terrible rage, saying, 
^ And what the plague did you trip me for ? I saw you 
laughing as I ran by you.' 

" * You are d — dably mistaken, Vincent,' said Bob. — 
(They were both hard swearers, and Vincent was a man 
of quick and violent passion.) ^ Come,' says I, ' this is 
no time to wrangle ; let us be off, or the Indians will be 
upon us.' ' Darn them, let them come,' says Lyon, 
' they will find the work half done mth me, for verily I 
believe my skull is cracked.' ' It was dam thin,' said 
Vincent, ' ever since I knew you.' 

" At this, Sam bursted out laughing. I thought he 
would never get over it. He had sefen Vincent take the 
pitch, and concealed himself, — knowing Vincent's temper. 

*^ ' It must have been Bob's grinning with the pain in 
his head you took for laughing, Peter,' said he to Vin- 
cent. ' I don't know,' said Vincent, ' but one thing I do 
know ; I took a darned hard fall from his foot.' We 
were soon reconciled. 

" The Indians took off — ^leaving their dead — four in 
number. We laughed about an hour ; and I have often 
laughed out when by myself, when this came into my 


*^ We letmnedy bat Ind nol tnTeOed &r l»e£H« we 
met our paiij. whidi bad been fired apoQ bjr one of 
their spieB, but no baza me done. Cq»t. Foster woold 
not let our men porsne, for fear of being ambosbed. 

^ We encamped and set our mtcbes. This was tbe 
first night Sam and Ibad the benefit of a good firo^ since 
we left the Clear Fountains. 

^ Sam was a great qniz, and there£ue. we bad made 
him ]m>miee not to teQ oar tnmbling scrape to the party. 
But it was too good for him to keep. Yineent could not 
stand it so well as Lyon and I, which made Sam more 
severe on him. Vincent told Sam that he thought him 
a better warrior since he had been over the mountains 
— ^ But^' said he, * the older jou grow, the darned si(^t 
bigger fool yon are.' 

<< In the morning the watch told us they had seen 
lights on the rirer hilly and one that appeared at a great 
distance, and was soon out of sight. Vincent said he 
had observed that light the two preceding nights. There 
were many remarks about that light Irom the men ; but 
I noticed that Sam and Foster said nothing about it. 

" Sam, Vincent, Lyon, and I, started for the river. — 
After travelling for an hour together, we parted ; Vin- 
cent and Lyon steered for Youngwomanstown, and Sam 
and I for the Sinnemahoning. 

^^ As we parted, Sam said, ^ Vincent, try and keep 
your feet' ^ I'll take care,' said Vincent, ' that Lyon 
don't take them if it comes to running.' Bob hallooed — 
^ This darned critter will tomahawk me to-night.' 

^^ We struck the river between the mouth of the Sin- 
nemahooing and Kettle Greek. The mountain is 
We sat down and took a view of the country, 
mountainous and broken. The mountains butt in 



to the water's edge, with here and there a small bottom. 
The Indian path runs along the opposite side of the riv- 
er from where we were seated. The comitry had a 
dreary aspect, beyond anything I ever saw. 

^ We sat in silence for some time. Sam says, after 
we had taken a view of things, ^ Peter, it seems hard 
we can never leave the savages in peaceftd possession of 
this co^iii^, which appears so rough and terrible to us, 
^^t sallfil adapted to their habits of life. It appears 
to me as if the Great Creator of the Universe, who pro* 
videth for all creatures, had formed this for their partic- 
ular use ; those smaU bottoms to raise their com, the 
river their fish, and the mountains their deer.' ' Yes, 
Sam, and if they would quit murdering our families and 
friends, and stand by us in obtaining the object for 
which we are now fighting, they would find us brothers, 
and they might roam in safety through the land.' 

" ' Now, Grove/ observed Sam, ^ we will soon be with- 
in the range of some as brave warriors as ever stepped. 
We must proceed with the utmost care, and if we are 
surprised do as you see me do ; and my orders obey. — 
If you are shot, I will stand by you till you die, or die 
in your defence. But I wiU not cross that river until 
you promise me that if I fall by a bullet, you will leave 
me to my fate and risk nothing for me. Bear to my 
friends the tidings of my death ; tell them I fell fighting 
for the rights of my oppressed country, and in defence 
of the unprotected inhabitants of Pennsylvania.' * This 
is hard for me to do,' said I, ^ I would rather stick to 
you to the last.' Sam replied, ' I will not cross on any 
other condition.' I made the promise, determined to 
stick to it, as I knew Sam was determined to stick to 
his to me. 


^^ He then opened his wallet^ from which he drew a 
handle that he opened and spread upon a stone. He 
then painted my face and hands, and after he was done 
he handed me a small looking-^ass to see myself. There 
I was, a complete Indian, painted for war, with the mark 
of my tribe. 

^' I gave him the glass, and as quick as a cat could 
wash herself, Sam was painted. His mark was differ- 
ent from mine ; he told me the meaning of the marks. 
We now ate some jerk, and prepared for a move. 

^^ Sam looked down the mountain — ^ Peter,' said he, 
^ here is the Rubicon' — ^he then looked up and down the 
river — ^ and, as Caesar said, ^ the die is cast.' 

^' We crossed the river at a ripple near the mouth of 
the run, and on the path, and along the beach, we saw 
^ signs.' We rushed into the bushes, and put to the top 
of the mountain, to where we had a view of the sur* 
rounding country £Eur up the run. Sam told me he had 
a camp far up this run. ***** 

^^ We avoided the path, and all soft ground. Sam was 
in the lead, as usual, when four bullets went whistling 
past our heads, and rattled in the leaves far beyond us. 
Sam bounced into the air and fell as if to rise no more 
until the day of the resurrection — ^from what cause I 
know not. I was by his side and ready for the enemy. 
They came bounding like panthers, two abreast. I got 
the touch of the foot. Whang goes our rifles. The first 
two dropped — giving the death scream ; in a crack we 
were engaged with the other two, whom we soon laid 
dead at our feet, and we were off for the Sinnemahoning. 

'' We had not run far when we heard whooping, which 
Sam answered, and made motions to these Indians which 
way their enemy ran. They took us for their own people. 


We continued our own course for a short time, till we 
were hailed again ; we made no answer, but altered our 
course and travelled at a slower pace. 

^^Says Sam, ^this shirt that Mr. Foster gave me, had 
nearly cost us our lives. The collar is too clean, which 
I saw when I looked in the glass ; I intended to color it, 
but forgot to do so.' 

^^ I looked at the shirt, and saw that it was bloody. 
* Sam,' says I, ^you are wounded, let me look,' which I 
did. He was grazed by a baU, but would not let me say 
it was a wound. Many a deep scratch Sam got, but 
would never acknowledge he was wounded, while I was 
with him. 

^^ We struck the Sinnemahoning at the lead mines or 
'copperas works,' ascended the highest mountain in the 
neighborhood, and stopped for the night. We had shot 
a deer and cut out the rounds of jt, and, by making a 
low j&re among the rocks, we feasted well. After our 
feast, we put out our fire, and moved away from where 
it was. Then we climbed into a tree, for the purpose of 
watching for lights. 

"We saw lights descending the Sinnemahoning, and 
reflections of lights on the river, (Susquehanna,) up 
against the clouds. Also, one light over on the run 
where we had the last skirmish. And north of that 
light we saw the faint glimmer, for a minute, when it 
disappeared, and we saw it no more. 

" Sam heaved a sigh when the small light flashed ; it 
appeared to me to be far above the earth, and caused me 
to think strange thoughts ; but I trusted in Sam's spirit, 
and was not afraid. I asked Sam what he thought they 
were about. He said they would now collect in a body, 
and descend the river to murder and ravage the country, 
or re-cross the mountains to the AUeghany river. 


"Sam named to me a chief, (whom I will not now 
name,) who he said was the deepest villain amongst 
them. He was cowardly, avaricious, and cruel. He 
was well known as one of the murderers of his brother 
James. Had taken his scalp, and owing to his cowardice, 
had lived to this day. Said Sam, ^many of the whites 
believe he is friendly inclined. He wears- the mantle 
of peace before them ; but I have seen his cloven foot. 
And if he ever dares to stand in battle where I am, he 
shall bite the dust, and know who caused him to do it. 
But he ever keeps a strong party of his warriors around 
him. He is more afraid of me than he is of the bad 
spirit. He knows if he ventures from safety, uncle Sam 
or I has him. Then he is lost to his people, though they 
should suffer famine.' We descended the tree and lay 
down to rest. Before day we were off, and soon came to 
the run where the Indians had fired on us the day before. 
We found they had started in the night. We kept west 
and north of their trail. We crossed the Kettle (creek) 
about three miles above the mouth, and by four o'clock 
we were on the highest land between Kettle Creek and 
Toungwoman's Creek. We pushed on with speed ; also 
in different directions. We slipped through the bushes 
until we got to where we could count their number^ 
which was one hundred and twenty-five. 

" ^ This is a fearful, odds,' says Sam, ' what will be the 
number from Fort Augusta ?' I told him about fifteen. 
Vincent told us Captain Color was on Pine Creek when 
he left the party, for the first scout; that Reed had 
killed two of their spies up the creek; and that the 
party would remain there until we sent them word. 

^^ Sam and I then lay down. About the middle of the 
night we got up, and all the fires were out. ^ Now, Peter/ 

516 ' APPENDIX. 


said he, ^ they are for the other side of the mountains/ 
I told him I thought not. ^ We will soon see/ said he. 

"We travelled so as to intercept them or cross their 
trail by daylight, if they had steered for the Alleghany. 

^^At daylight we spied them. Sam told me we must 
get in front of them, which would be fast travelling. 
They went on at a quick pace. We put oflF, and soon 
got even with them. We were hailed by one of them 
that was on the scout. Sam stopped and looked at him, 
telling me to keep moving on. He soon came up to me. 
* That fellow is deceived,' said Sam. With that we heard 
the crack of a rifle — another, and all was silent for the 
space of a few moments. 

"We stepped by the side of two trees that stood close 
together. We saw the Indian running to join his com- 
panions that had hailed us. I told Sam I could drop that 
lad. ' He will stop presently,' which he did, by a tree. 

"We now heard the firing of rifles in the rear of the 
Indians. Sam took off*, and I after him. We were hailed 
three times, which we both answered, without ever turn- 
ing our heads. We stopped behind trees in line with 
the Indians, and in front. We waited until they were 
within one hundred yards, when I got the signal from 
Sam. We fired and kept our station. We heard two 
rifles go off* on their left, and three on their right. The 
Indians halted ; we re-loaded and fired again. The 
Indians gave the war-whoop, and the bark of the trees 
behind which we stood whistled round our ears. We 
wheeled to run, when we spied two Indians running for 
life. We made for them; they stopped, and in an instant 
they were laid low, but not by us. We wheeled again, 
and just in time to have a chance for our lives — three 
Indians, of unconmion size, were in the act of tomahawk- 


ing US. I punched the muzzle of my rifle in the stomach 
off one, which caused him to bend forward, and with my 
tomahawk I laid him. One of the others hounded against 
me with the force of a wounded buck, which knocked me 
off my feet, and I lit on my knees. He was shot through 
the heart. Sam and a mighty warrior were standing 
with their tomahawks hooked, and * • * • * 

[The manuscript is here mutilated. Three inches, or 
about twelve lines, are lost. At the top of the next 
page, the narrative thus proceeds :] 

" ^ Devil' — with that he tore the scalp off. I looked 
at Sam ; his whole frame shuddered. 

" In the meantime, up comes Vincent holding up his 
arm with his hand full, saying, ^ here, Sam;' with that 
Sam takes oflF, and Lyon tells Vincent, * you're a darned 
hog.' The latter replied, * hold your tongue, or by thun- 
der I'll skin them every one, and send their skins to the 
fort.' *If you do,' says Lyon, *m shoot you the first 
time you come down to the Point.' (Northumberland.) 

"Uncle Sam and Vincent were great friends, and 
hated the Indians about equally. 

" We now went to the river. We found the Indians' 
canoes, which they had not destroyed. We remained 
four days. The second day, Sam disappeared, and I 
never saw him again till after -the war. 

" I was walking down the street in Carlisle. I heard 
he was there. I spied a number of gentlemen coming 
up street. I knew Sam by his walk ; he was walking 
alongside of the brave and humane General Potter. 

As Orove spoke it, (saith the MSS.) I will give it to 

" * I thought Sam youm darned brout. I see he look 
on the side of his het to me. I hat mine hundin shirt 

518 AlfSNDIX. 

on^ and rifle gun on my sholder. All the shentiiemens 
but Sam and General Botter look on the odder side of their 
hots, Sam look pig — ^I get tarn mat. I go to dnm up 
anoder street^ Sam esj, ^ma, ma/ I does shtop and say 
^ma.' Sam jamb to me in doo jumb. Well, it dook all 
bat Botter a long dime to walk. Sam and de General 
dake me to a dabren, where we had one d— d hard frolic 
on wine^ — de General bay for allP* 

pt was now nearly day — ^my wife and children gath- 
ered aroand him while he related these expeditions.] 

"I' told Grove, if he woald call, I would write this 
down ; it might be of use in a future day. He called 
at different times, and I continued the subject until I 
got it all, which I reserved, believing the day would come 
when it would be wanted." 

Cbrove related to me his massacreing the Indians on 
the * * * You shaD also have it if you give * * * * 

[And here it ends — ^the lower end of the page being 
off, as before observed.] 





57 .S9 M4 C.I 


61 OS 037 285 892 






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