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''They weakly err, cvho think there is no other use of government than correction. 
Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are 
made and moved by men, so by them are they ruined too. That, therefore, which makes 
a good constitution must keep it, vien of wisdom and virtue, qualities that, because they 
descend not with worldly inheritances, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous educa- 
tion of youth, for which after ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders 
and the successive magistracy than to their parents for their private patrimonies."' 

— William Penn. 











The Physical Features of Crawford County 


The Character of the Aborigines 12 

Attempts at Colonization 23 

Penn Comes with His English Quakers 37 

Controversy Over the Bounds of the Colony 50 

Planting of the Leaden Plates by Celeron ^y 

The Embassage of Washington to St. Pierre 78 

Washington's First Battles. 87 

Crawford County Shall Be an English and Not a French Speak- 
ing People 103 

FiN.AL Struggles of the Aborigines 1 13 

Crawford County Settled 126 

Virginia and Pennsylvania Controversy Finally" Settled 139 



Appeal to the Continental Congress for Justice 150 

Roads and Waterways in Crawford County 168 

Crawford County in Its Multiform Relations 178 

Crawford County Judiciary 193 

Crawford County Education 206 

Cr.\wford County in War Times 225 

Dedication of the Monument to Cornplanter, the Indian 
Sachem of the Six X^ations, AVho Saved the Early Settlers 
FROM Destruction 230 


Early Settlers of Meadville 245 

Education in Meadville 250 

Religious History of Meadville 276 



Petroleum and Our Connection Therewith 373 

TiTUSVILLE— Continued 428 





Athens Township 473 

Beaver Township 480 

Bloomfield Township 484 

Cambridge Township 490 

Conneaut Township 499 

Cussawago Township 503 

East Fairfield Township 509 

East Eallowfield Township " 515 

Eai^field Township 519 

Greenwood Township 526 

Hayfield Township 532 

Mead Township 537 

North Shenango Township 547 

Oil Creek Township 551 

Pine Township 563 

Randolph Township 567 



Ivicu.MoxD Township 575 

Rockdale Township 581 

Rome Township 586 

S.\DSBURY Township 591 

South Shenango Township 596 

Sparta Township .' 599 

Spring Township 604 

Steuben Township 617 

SuMiMERiiiLL Township 622 

Summit Township 625 

Troy Township 63 1 

Union Township 635 

Venango Township 640 _ 

Vernon Township 645 

Wayne Township 650 

West Fallowfield Township 655 

West Shenango Township 659 

Woodcock Township ■ ■ • ■ 662 


Biographical Sketches 675 



Map Showing Contests for Boundaries of Pennsylvania 50 

Fac-Simile of the Leaden Plates Buried by the French in the 

Ohio, 1749 67 

Map Showing Various Purchases from the Indians 126 

Manuscript Letter by Thaddeus Stevens in 1864 206 

Manuscript Letter by David Mead in 1793 225 

Dedication of the Cornplanter Monument 230 

The Edmund Greenlee Homestead 680 

Residence of Ralph S. Greenlee, Chicago 682 

Residence of Robert L. Greenlee, Chicago 683 



Caldwell, James H 882 

Chase, Edward H 929 

Curtis, Esther (Greenlee) 679 

Dick, John 952 

Emery, David 769 

Fertig, John 818 

Greenlee, Edmund 679 

Greenlee, The Family of Edmund. 681 

Greenlee, Jacob 679 

Huidekoper, Harm J Frontispiece 

Maxwell, Samuel G 904 

McKiNNEY, James C 858 

McKiNNEY, John L 72 1 

Roberts, Edward A. L 94^ 

Roberts, Walter B 937 

Stebbins, Lucinda (Greenlee) 679 


Abbott, William H., 411, 827. 
Abel, Barnard, Sr., 738. 
Abel, Barnard, Jr., 738. 
Abel, William G., 738. 
Akin, Aaron, 840. 
Alden, Roger, 250. 
Aldrich, F. H., 709. 
Ames, Judson P., 916. 
Anderson, Claes J., 872. 
Andrews, Frank W., 409. 
Andrews, William H., 887. 
Atherton, Stephen, 901. 
Austin, Hiram A., 744. 


Babcock, John W., 893. 
Bail, Harry L., 833. 
Bailey, Francis, 817. 
Bailey, Morris, 435, 698. 
Baker, Frank C, 818. 
Baldwin, Charles E., 896. 
Baldwin, Henry, 199. 
Bannister, Lee, 873. 
Barber, James R., 397, 746. 
Barker, John, 265. 
Barnsdall, Theodore N., 412. 
Barnsdall, William, 412, 765. 
Barr, George W., 433, 761. 
Barrett, Charles S., 411. 
Bartle, W. H., 903. 
Bartlett, George C, 720. 
Bates, Arthur L., 684. 
Bates, Henry R,, 960. 
Baugher, David R., 935. 
Baumgartner, Albert, 732. 
Beers, J. W., 840. 
Belknap, Asa N., 812. 
Bement, Daniel, 836. 
Bender, Philipp, 916. 
Benedict, Charles W., 429, 713. 
Benedict, John, 814. 
Benedict, Willis B., 410, 762. 

Bennett, A. P., 410. 
Benson, B. D., 402. 
Berly, Joseph J., 927. 
Best, Wesley B., 805. 
Best, William, 873. 
Bethune, George H., 845. 
Beuchat, Louis J., 857. 
Bidwell, Russell, 907. 
Binney, John, 735. 
Bishop, Zephaniah, 746. 
Black, C. A., 440. 

Blair, Andrew, 922. ^ 

Blatchley, David, 921. 
Bloomfield, Thomas, 485. 
Bloss, Henry C, TJZ. 
Bloss, William W., 774. 
Blum, Benjamin, 741. 
Bohn, J. S., 926. 
Bollard, Homer E., 898. 
Bookhammer, William, 803. 
Bortles, Charles A., 804. 
Bowman, Elisha K., 778. 
Boyd, James M., 906. 
Boyd. Miss S. L., 845. 
Boyer, Samuel P., 394, 817. 
Bradford. David, 731. 
Brawley Family. The, 876. 
Brawley, James, Jr., 568, 905. 
Braymer, Charles, 900. 
Bresee, George L., 896. 
Brittain, William C, 809. 
Bronson, A. H., 409. 
Broughton. Francis, 703. 
Brown, Fisher P., 406. 
Brown, George F., 430, 926. 
Brown, William, 873. 
Brownson, Marcus, 409. 
Brunson, Oliver L., 735. 
Bryan, George, 431. 
Bue, P. O., S16. 
Bugbee, Lucius H., 267. 
Burchfield. S. N., 437. 
Burger, How^ard W., 928. 
Burgeson, Samuel, 961. 



Burgess, Charles, 786. 
Burlingame, Henry H., 797. 
Burrows, James, 933. 
Burwell, Findley, 705. 
Burwell, James, 705. 
Burwell, Oliver E., 705. 
Burwell, Samuel, 705. 
Byham, John, Jr., 927. 
Byles, Julius, 428, 751. 


Cadwallader, J, A.. 393. 
Cady, D. H., 409. 
Caldwell, James H., 397, 882. 
Calvin, Abner C, 971. 
Campbell, Charles, 856. 
Campbell, Charles S., 846. 
Campbell, George C, 855. 
Campbell, Homer H., 849. 
Carkhuff, Dennis, 729. 
Carr. George P., 410. 
Carter, John J., 403, 756. 
Gary, George L., 756. 
Chapman.> Orson A., 919. 
Chase, Edward H., 929. 
Chase, George A., 429. 841. 
Chase, Joseph L., 740. 
Chase, Joseph T., 741, 
Chase, Luther, 937. 
Chess, Mrs. L. I., 852. 
Christy, George A., 910. 
Church, Gaylord, 203. 
Church, Pearson, 876. 
Church. Seth, 957. 
Clark. Curtis S., 878. 
Clark, Joseph N., 906. 
Cochran, J. J., 890. 
Cogswell, Joseph H., 774. 
Cole, Henry, 913. 
Coleman, John F., 8go. 
Colestock, Daniel, 787. 
Colter, James P., 749. 
Consider, Joseph G., 924. 
Coombs, W. M., 439. 
Cooper, James, 900. 
Cowles, Andre L., 837. 
Coyle. Hugh, 803. 
Crawford. Andrew J., 726. 
Crawford, Robert D., 836. 
Crawford. William, 178. 
Crawford, William H.. 268. 
Crider, John W., 832. 
Crocker, Frederick, 408. 

Crossley, James P., 411. 
Crowe, John, 779. 
Croxall, Edward, 779. 
Culbertson, John H., go8. 
Cummings, Barry, 807. 
Cummings, Curtis C, 857. 
Cunningham, Robert A., 848 


Daily, Allen E., 948. 

Dame, Waldron M., 430. 

Davenport, William, 811. 

Davenport, William A., 860. 

Davis, William H., 204. 

Day, Charles C, 922. 

Demary, Leonard C, 768. 

Derickson, David, 202. 

Dick, John, 952. 

Dickson, James, 533. 

Doane, W. A., 842. 

Dobbs, Michael, 477. 

Donehue, James J., 411. 
Donor, Henry, 855. 
Double, Hannibal, 926. 
Douglass, Joshua, 707. 
Drake, Edwin L., 382. 
Drake, James, 477. 
Drown, John S., 874. 
Drury, Judd C, 832. 
Dubar, Jules A. C, 431, 872. 
Dudenhoefifer, G. P., 924. 
Dunn, David C, 932. 
Dunn, James A., 437, 753. 
Dunn, James J., 854. 
Dunn, James L., 411, 436, 752. 
Dunn, Joseph M., 785. 
Dutton, William T., 932. 

Eason, John, 850. 
Edson, Eber E., 789. 
Edwards, Burton F., 719. 
Egan, Patrick W., 936. 
Eiler, Edward, 781. 
Eiler, Valentine W., 806. 
Ellicott, Andrew, 714, 
Elston, William R., 842. 
Emerson,_E. O., 411. 
Emery, David, 409, 769. 
Emery, Lewis, Jr.. 409. 

Farel, James, 411, 6gg. 


Farel, Nelson, 411. 
Farner, John T.. 918- 
Farrelly, David M., 203. 
Farrelly, Ellis M.. 932- 
Farrelly, John W., 203. 
Farrelly, Patrick, 201. 
Fertig, John, 390. 818. 
Fetterman, Ira, 966. 
Finney, Darwin A., 204. 
First, Joseph T.. 937- 
Fish, Benjamin O., 839. 
Fisher. Mrs. E. A.. 852. 
Fisher, Jacob. 891. 
Fitz Patrick. Hugh, 600. 
Fitz Randolph, Robert, I37- 
Flood, Theodore L.. 93°- 
Flower. William S.. 954- 
Fogle. Joseph W.. 945- 
Forkcr. William H., 895. 
Forsbloom. Peter A.. C51. 
Foster. David. 951. 
Fox. Francis. 683. 
Free. J. Laverne. 853. 
Fuller, A. M., 840., W. C. gcS. 


Gable, Burt G., 923- 
Gardner. Samuel L., 935. 
Gaston, F. D., 788, 
Gates, Luther, 696. 
Gehr, Baltzer, 701. 
Gehr, Josiah, 702. 
Gerlach, Joseph. 956. 
Gibbs, Charles L., 396, 783- 
Gibbs, Francis H., 782. 
Gilbert. Elisha M.. 868. 
Gill, James D., 794- 
Gilson Family, The, 552. 
Gilson, Richard B., gu- 
Gordon, Gilbert, 837. 
Graham. Richard, 835. 
Graves. Leonard C, 768. 
Gray. Alonzo, 874. 
Greenlee, Michael, 679. 
Griffiths, William T., 870. 
Grumbine, Samuel. 429. 747. 
Gutman, John G., 948. 


Haas, Henry, 844. 
Hamaker, Winters D.. 693. 
Hammon. William A.. 909. 


Hardv, William H., 897. 
Harris, Caleb P.. 718. 
Harris, Junius, 686. 
Harrison, Benjamin. 794- 
Hart, Henry. 891. 
Hart. John M., 9I9- 
Hart. Samuel, 918. 
Hart. William A.. 832. 
Harvey. W. C. 81.3. 
Hazen, Jesse. 884. 
Head. Holder T.. 831. 
Heath, William D.. 922, 
Hecker, George W.. 92°- 
Henderson. John J.. 732- 
Henne, S. S.. 411- 
Hettler. A, C. 958. 
Heywang, AL J.. 429- 
Hicks. Timothy B.. 956. 
Higgins. C. K.. 795- 
Hill. C. C. 825. 
Hilton, John H„ 900. 
Hines, John, 896. 
Hippie, Jacob M., 9I4- 
Hoag, Evalon C„ 781- 
Hoffman, Edwin, 922. 
Hollister, Orrin H., 875. 

Holman, David S,. 907- 

Hopkins, Orson, 935. 

Hopkins. R, E.. 402. 

Hotchkiss, H. V.. 947- 

Hotchkiss. J. S., 857- 

Houser. James H.. 715. 

Houser, John B., 952. 

Houser, John J., 811. 

Houtz, Delmer, 921. 

Hughes, Dennis D.. 685. 

Huidekoper. Harm J.. 675. 

Hull. Mrs. Juvia O.. 736. 

Humes, Homer J.. 691. 

Hummer, Elias W.. 724- 

Hunt. Ebenezer, 576. 

Hunt. William, 853. 

Hunter. A. M., 812. 

Hyatt, Jerome, 717. 

Hyde, Charles, 412, 764. 

Hyde, Louis K.. 699. 

Jackson, P. S.. 767. 
Jackson. William W,. 7iS- 
Jameson, Hugh, 437, 727- 
Jamison, James. 838. 
Jamison, William L.. 809. 



Jeanney. Francois, 913. 
Jennings, H. M., 710, 
Jennings, William iM., 431. 
Johnson, Mead, 889. 
Johnson, Nels A., 931. 
Johnson, Sara JNI., 742. 
Johnson, William F., 915. 
Johnston, William G., 437- 727- 
Jolly, James J., 861. 
Joy, Thaddeus C, 719. 
Jude, Stephen, 865. 


Kaster, Benjamin, 811. 
Kaster, Samuel, 811. 
Kean, John S., 902. 
Kebort, Frederick J., 780. 
Kellogg, Isaac, 300. 
Kellogg, Reuben L., 917.' 
Kendall, Celestia, 852. 
Kennedy, Joseph C. G., 838. 
Kepler, T. D., 759- 
Kerr, Chester L., 430, 
Kerr, James, 300. 
Kerr, Samuel, 296. 
King, George D., 914. 
King, John P., 751. 
King, Joseph L., 843. 
Kinney, William, 839. 
Kirk, M. Ethel, 869. 
Klippel, John, 837. 
Knntz, George J., 945. 


Laffer, Cornelius C, 807, 
Lake, C. F., 411. 
Lashells, Theodore B., 944. 
Le Conte A. C, 957. 
Lee, R. H., 397- 
Leffingwell, James G., 969. 
Lenhart, Joseph H., 725. 
Lester, Frank B., 894. 
Levy, S. S., 784. 
Ley, Charles H., 410. 772. 
Ley, John D., 410. 
Lincoln, Seth C, 854. 
Loomis, George, 266. 
Lord, William, 903. 

Mandell,- Arthur, 958. 
Mantor, Frank, 829, 
Mapes, James M., 925. 
Markham, Frank L., 830. 
Marshall, Robert P., 885. 
Marsteller, George W., 898. 
Martin, L. L., 965. 
Martin, Zadock, 964, 
Marvin, Charles, 754. 
Mason, E. T., 724. 
Mather, John A., 400. 
Maxwell, William H,, 743. 
Maxwell, Samuel G., 904. 
Maynard, John, y2i7- 
Maynard, William H., 7^7. 
McArthur, Emmett W., 902. 
McCauley, Elmer E., 925. 
McCombs, James, 920. 
McCracken, William, 802. 
McCrea, J. J., 743. , 
McCrum, Joseph J., 815. 
McDowell, E. Plummer, 959, 
!McFate, Robert, 926. 
McGill, Augustus, 689. 
McGill, W, R., 813. 
McGrath, Daniel, 713. 
McGuire, Sylvester, 727. 
McKinney, James C, 407, 858, 
McKinney, John L., 407, 721, 
McLachlin, James A., 745. 
McLaughlin, Lucius F., 851. 
Mead Family, The, 134, 
Medo, Earnest, 946. 
Merrell, Simeon, 928. 
Miller, James D., 855, 
Moody, George O., 432, 871. 
Moore, Jesse, 201, 687, 
Morris, Benjamin, 810. 
Morris, Lucius P., 901. 
Morris, Richard, 824. 
Morris, Thomas S., 803. 
Morris, William, 810. 
Morris, William S., 829. 
Moulthrop, Franklin, 742. 
Mullen, Lawrence E,, 892. 
Murdock, Thomas, 912. 
Murray, James T., 826. 
Murray, Robert, 814. 



Mackey, Eugene, 428. 
Magje, Francis, 843. 

Nason, William, 795. 
Nau. Joseph M,, 815. 
Neill, William T., 411, 826. 



Nelson, Francis, 956. 
Nelson, Horace F., 725. 
Nelson, Samuel H., 830. 
Netcher, F., 949. 
Northam, Henry JI., 825. 
Norton, Franklin N., 843. 
Norton, L. Frank, 863. 


Oakes, Ephraim, 760. 
Oakes, T. F., 432. 
O'Hare, Hugh, 399. 
Oliver, Moses W., 775- 

Roberts, Edward A.' L., 941. 
Roberts, Henry, 900. 
Roberts, J. K., 927. 
Roberts, Samuel W., 868. 
Roberts, Walter B., 937. 
Rogers, Willie E., 797. 
Rosaback, Benjamin, 863. 
Rose, Susan F., 948. 
Roser, Joseph A., 954. 
Rossiter, Albanas, 966. 
Rouse, Martin R., 723. 
Russ, James W., 917. 

Parker, M. Jennie, 917. 
Pastorius, J. B., 824. 
Patten, Thomas J., Jr., 962. 
Patterson, Elisha G., 785. 
Pease, Henry, 864. 
Peebles, W. J., 440. 
Pentz, William, 881. 
Perrin, A. N., 410. 
Peterman, John H., 923. 
Pettitt, Allen E., 897. 
Pettitt, Edward, 897. 
Philley, George J., 955. 
Porter, H. B., 410. 
Post, Samuel, 865. 
Potter, Alonzo A., 847. 
Powell Brothers, 609. 
Powell, Maurice M., 911. 
Powell, Z. R., 862. 
Pratt, Samuel, 881. 
Proper, James L., 728. 
Purdon, Henry, 788. 


Quick, Miles W., 396, 773. 
Quigley, Amos C., 863. 
Quinby, E. C., 437. 


Radebush, Harry, 897. 
Ralston, A. S., 410. 
Ray, John T., 894. 
Ray, Sylvester H., 864. 
Reynolds, William, 753. 
Richmond, D. S., 967. 
Richmond, Hiram L., 203. 
Ridgway, Charles, 703. 
Ridgway, Peter, 703. 

Sager, C. W., 439. 
Satterfield, John, 410. 
Schofield, Guy C., 967. 
Schwartz, Jacob, 755. 
Schwartz, Sidney A., 431. 
Scott, John W., 892. 
Selzer, Lawrence, 816. 
Shafer, Thomas, 933. 
Shaffer, Daniel, 949. 
Shaffer, William, 949. 
Shaffner, Nathan, 950. 
Shamburg, G., 409. 
Sharpe, John J., 410. 
Shauberger, John, 475, 910. 
Sheldon, Hiram, 834. 
Sherman, Roger, 798. 
Sherwood, C. L., 440. 
Shippen, Evans W., 709. 
Shippen, Henry, 202, 708. 
Shoffstall. John, 889. 
Shreve, Milo F., 898. 
Shreve, Richard, 485. 
Sikes, James L., 924. 
Sikes, S. S., 923. 
Silliman, Samuel, 386. 
Simons, John W., 822. 
Sinning, Francis H., 439, 740. 
Smith, David W., 792. 
Smith, Elbert, 878. 
Smith, Frank W., 972. 
Smith, George T., 950. 
Smith, Hiram C., 865. 
Smith, Jesse, 406, 710. 
Smith, Joseph, 739. 
Smith, William A., 384. 
Smith, W. S., 854. 
Snodgrass, Matthew R., 878. 
Sperry, Lewis, 865. 
Spicer, Clarence E., 438, 901. 



Squier, O. O., 771. 
Squires, Sidney W., 850. 
Stebbins, Delwin A., 880. 
Steele, Preston, 439, 732. 
Stephens, George, 736. 
Stewart, D. O., 913. 
Stewart, Lyman, 409. 
Stewart, Milton, 401, 726. 
Stolz, Andrew, 730. 
Stolz, Charles, 887. 
Stranahan, Chapman A., 766. 
Sturtevant, John C, 780. 
Sturtevant, Luman, 852. 
Sutton, F. A., 955. 
Sweetman, Charles H., 967. 
Sweetman, William B., 968. 

Tack Brothers, The, 395. 
Taft, Reuben E., 870. 
Tarbell, Franklin S., 407, 776. 
Tarbell, Ida M., 777. 
Tarbell, William W., 777. 
Tarr, George A. W, 866. 
Taylor, John, 834. 
Taylor, Silas, 476. 
Taylor, Sylvester, 805. . 
Teege, William E., 784. 
Tew, Joseph L., 791. 
Thackara, E. D., 717. 
Theobold, John, 727. 
Thomas, Frank J., 750. 
Thomas, James P., 397, 807. 
Thompson, Charles H., 791. 
Thompson, Charles W., 949. 
Thompson, W. W., 409. 
Tillotson, O. A., 796. 
Titus, Jonathan, 294. 
Todd, J. A., 440. 
Townsend, Abram P., 970. 
Tubbs, Elijah N., 909. 
Tucker, Homer P., 844. 
Tyler, Levi S., 810. 


Llllman. Jacob, 712. 


Vancise, John, 896. 
Van Horn, Cornelius, 136, 540, 646. 
Van Syckel, Samuel, 414. 
Varian, William, 432. 


Waggoner, Charles T., 825. 
Waid, John M., 436, 686. 
Walker, Catharine, 438. 
Walker, H. D., 918. 
Wallace, John B., 201-2. 
Walrath, Rensselaer, 750. 
Ward, Mark, 823. 
Washburn, Lorenzo, 866. 
Washburn, Willis O., 797. 
Watson, Jonathan, 408, 733. 
Wells, Obed, 828. 
Welton, Uri C, 761. 
Wentworth, George H., 971. 
Wesley, George W., 821. 
West, C. C, 936. 
Westgate, Theodore B., 783. 
Westheimer, Isaac, 886. 
Wheeler, Abraham, 475. 
Wheeler, Abram, 866. 
Wheeler, David H., 268. 
Wheeler, James M., 946. 
Wheeler, John F., 869. 
White, William, 728. 
Wilcox, George N., 860. 
Willson, Cathrine, 849. 
Wilson, J. C, 438. 
Winter, Franz, 906. 
Witherop, Peter T., 698. 
Wood, Charles M., 792. 
Wood, Eugene, 889. 
Wood, William H., 405. 
Woodward, Amos, 830. 
Wormald, John, 792. 
Wright, John W., 970. 


York, Joseph, 894. 
Young, Theodore J., 434, 835. 
Young, Jennie E., 867. 
Youngson, A. B., 912. 


No more interesting subject for investigation by the student of history- 
can be brought to his attention than the colonization of this continent. The 
colonization of a county was dependent upon the larger question of the success 
or failure of the three great nations — the Spanish, the French and the Eng- 
lish — which struggled for the mastery. Over the whole boundless expanse 
were scattered savage and warlike tribes whose trade was blood, and these 
had to be met. Penn had no sooner shaken the salt spray of the ocean from 
his locks, and set his foot upon the domain granted by royal charter, with 
bounds as fixed and unchanging as the sun and stars in the heavens, than he 
was confronted by Lord Baltimore, who disputed his occupancy, and. would 
be satisfied with nothing less than a sixth part of his possession, and for more 
than a century Penn and his successors were confronted upon the south, 
the west, and the north by parties claiming generous slices of his goodly 
heritage. To ward them off and hold their just rights, and to meet and pacify 
the red men of the forest, required the utmost stretch of the diplomacy of the 
peace-loving spirit of the founder. 

We who occupy in peace and contentment the fruitful acres of this great 
Commonwealth, brought largely from trackless forests under the hand of 
cultivation, have little conception of the toils and dangers of the early settlers 
in holding the colonial domain in its entirety, and in meeting the savages on 
their own hunting grounds, and braving them in their war paint, when they 
spared neither helpless infancy nor trembling age. It has been thought best, 
accordingly, to give generous space in this volume to these vital subjects, which 
will ever command the attention of the thoughtful, will daily increase in 
interest to the oncoming generations, and by means of which we trace the 
philosophy of the vital events of history that z:'"^ really useful. 

In preparing these pages for publication it has been decided not to 
incumber the text with marginal notes, and references to authorities ; buv to 
name authors, where their investigations have been used, and to make 
acknowledgments in a general way. It would be impossible to name all ; but 


the following have been found to be especially useful and have been freely 
consulted : The Histories of the United States by Bancroft, Hildreth, Spencer, 
Bryant, and Lossing; Irving's Life of \Vashington; Life and Writings of 
\^'illiam Penn; Colonial Records, and Pennsylvania Archives; History of 
Pennsylvania Volunteers; the Western Annals; the History of Western 
Pennsylvania ; the State Reports of Education from 1834 to 1898 ; Crumrine's 
History of Washington County ; Brown's History of Crawford County. 

The Indians never made this section their home, having few wigwams or 
villages in all its limits ; but from time immemorial they had kept this as a sort 
of park or preserve, for the breeding of their game. They may 'have felt ag- 
grieved in seeing their favorite hunting grounds broken in upon, and the 
game scared away by the ring of the settler's ax, the echo of his gun, and his 
frequent burnings. 

Hoping that this work will prove useful to the citizens of the county; and 
especially to the rising generation, and will serve to stimulate to further 
inquiry into the subjects which it touches, it is respectfully submitted to their 
considerate judgment. S. P. B. 

Meadville, January 29, 1899. 

Our County and Its People. 



THE territory of Crawford County is most fortunately located on the 
summit of the great watershed which divides the valley of the 
Mississippi from that of the St. Lawrence. The waters of the north- 
western section are discharged into Lake Erie, make the leap at Niagara, 
lap the shores of the Thousand Islands, and mingle with the turbulent 
ocean, as they round the stormy Cape Breton. While in the southern and 
eastern portions, the brooklets shimmer past forest and dell, orchards and 
green meadows, are gathered in the Venango and the Allegheny, the She- 
nango and the Beaver, flow onward by the banks of the Ohio and the Missis- 
sippi, and find their rest in Mexico's laughing gulf. 

In the central portion is that beautiful lake — the largest natural body 
of water in Pennsylvania — Conneaut, which discharges its waters both by 
the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence valleys. This lake is one of a system 
which are spread out upon the summit of the great water-shed be- 
tween these two valleys, along the central portion of New York State and 
by the tier of states farther west, the Chicago River flowing sometimes 
into Lake Michigan, and at others into the Mississippi River. 

B}^ this natural location, the airs are so tempered that the extremes of 
heat and cold are warded ofif, and while a blizzard is raging over the west- 
ern plains, and a great storm is lashing the ocean, and driving great ships 
in upon the shores, a grateful mildness is prevailing here. In all the broad 
domain of Pennsylvania none is more grateful for residence than this stretch 

of country with its broad acres and its crown of hills. 



The highways wind through its verdant valleys, or by the margin of 
its flashing streams, and everywhere is pleasing variety. The artist may 
find here worthy subjects for his pencil. The monotony which plagues the 
dweller in a prairie land, and in many portions of the Atlantic shores, is 
unknown to him here. Nor is there the other extreme, — the bald and 
shaggy mountain, with its inaccessible summits, forbidding intercourse from 
its opposing sides, given up to barrenness and sterility. 

Scarcely has the snow and ice of winter disappeared from the hillside, 
and the balmy breath of spring touched the meadow, when the wheatfield 
springs into verdure, and the rich pasturage cheers the palates of flocks and 

In summertime the heat is tempered by the dews of the morning, the 
well ordered shade from dense foliage at the noontide gives refreshing 
comfort, and at evening a cooling breeze catches the moistened brow, and 
affords sweet relief. 

The grasses, which yield the most nourishing pasturage, and the 
hays for the winter store, take deep root in the moist black mould, and the 
grains which wrap the well-cultured surface in their rich folds, with scarcely 
the chance of a failure, gladden the heart of the farmer. So numerous are 
the improvements of late years in farm machinery, that what was once one 
of the most laborious and wearing of employments has been facetiously 
designated a sedentary occupation. 

Water is abundant. From the farthest hilltops gush forth the cooling 
springs, at which man and beast may slake their thirst; from their descend- 
ing currents the slopes are made verdant and the valleys absorb their mois- 
ture the hot summer long. At convenient intervals medicinal springs break 
forth from the rock, where the invalid may come and partake of the health- 
giving streams, and where the pool is waiting for the impotent to be led 
down into their healing waters. 

Nowhere is the landscape more picturesque and charming. The dis- 
tant line of blue hills is hardly distinguishable from the clouds of heaven. 
Not infrequently in winding along the bold headland, one comes upon a 
hidden cascade as enchanting in its appointments as the cunningly devised 
imitation, planned with studied elegance for the gratification of an Oriental 
monarch. A valley may stretch away for a score of miles, through which 
a stream lazily pursues its tortuous course, and the bold hills close in at its 


mouth almost to its very margins, leaving scarcely room to make its way 
to the larger body. At some day in the distant past this vale may have 
been the bed of a great lake, but is now the seat of fat farms and smiling 

The forests, when in full leaf, spread an impenetrable shade, and pre- 
sent a crown of foliage to the eye of the beholder which, for grandeur and 
magnificence, is scarcely matched by any other object in nature. So com- 
mon is forest land, and so abundant is it in our midst, that we scarcely stop 
to consider its stately appearance or its miracle of growth. And yet that 

giant oak, 

Which nods aloft and proudly spreads its shade, 
The sun's defiance and the flocks' defence, 

was but a span of years ago only a tiny acorn; yet by minute accretions of 
impalpable particles of dust and moisture, and the subtle gases which the 
sunlight sets free, it has gradually clambered up toward heaven, has spread 
out its tiny sprays, has imperceptibly swollen to rugged branches and stands 
at length the broad, spreading tree, challenging the admiration of the 

The traveler never ceases to admire the varying line of the horizon, cut 
by the summits of remote ridges, sometimes jagged by a relentless peak, at 
others rounded out by a comely slope, never without its attractive features, 
and ever challenging our admiration. Such views are noted on any fine 
day, and are varied at every turn as the student of nature pursues his way 
over ridges and adown the valleys. To the attentive observer, no more 
beautiful scenes of nature's moulding are anywhere to be found, not even 
by the classic Tiber, or the fruitful Arno. 

We have thus far considered only the general aspects of the county. 
Its location, extent, and topographical features can be briefly recounted. It 
is situated in the northwestern portion of the State, immediately south of 
Erie County, which is the corner county. It is bounded on the north by 
Erie County, on the west by the State of Ohio, on the south by Mercer 
and Venango Counties, and on the west by Venango and Warren Counties. 
Its eastern boundary is irregular. From the southwestern junction with 
Mercer, it proceeds in a northeasterly direction by a series of nine zigzags 
eleven and a half miles, thence eleven miles due east, thence due north to 
the Erie County line. 


It contains within these boundaries 1,005 square miles, equal to 643,200 
square acres. With the exception of some marsh land, which is susceptible 
of being reclaimed, the entire surface is under cultivation, or can readily 
be brought so. It is forty-six miles from east to west on the Erie County 
line, and is twenty-four miles along the Ohio line. The Venango River, 
improperly termed French Creek, drains the major portion of its surface. 
This stream is formed by the east and west branches, which ha\-e their rise 
in New York State, and form junction just south of the village of Watts- 
burg, Erie County. It enters Crawford County in Rockdale Township, 
curves gently to the west, passes through Cambridge, leaves Woodcock, 
Mead, and East Fairfield Towwiships on the east side, and Hayfield, Vernon, 
Union and Fairfield on the west, and passes out through the southwest 
corner of ^\'ayne. From the junction of the two branches at Wattsburg to 
its junction with the' Allegheny River at Franklin, is a distance of some 
110 miles, though Washington, in his journey up this stream in December, 
1753, judged its length to be 130 miles. In spring time and at flood seasons 
it carries a vast body of water: but during the diw season it subsides to an 
insignificant stream, easily forded in many places. Congress made an 
appropriation at one time for rendering it navigable as far up as Waterford, 
and crafts of twenty tons burden have navigated its bosom, and, in the 
early days, rafts of lumber and flat-bottom boats bearing grains, potatoes, 
fruit and potash were often wafted down its current to market at the great 
cities on the Ohio and the Mississippi. Many articles of heavy merchandise 
were brought back in the same manner. Washington rode his horse up 
the valley in his embassy to Fort le Boeuf. but sent his horses back to 
Franklin bv his servant, and. securing a boat, navigated the stream on his 

The largest of the tributaries of the Venango River is the Cussawago, 
which has its sources in Spring and Cussawago Townships, flows in a mean- 
dering course in a southerly direction through Hayfield and Vernon, and 
enters the Venango just opposite the city of Meadville. In regard to the 
name of this stream, a weird tradition is preserved. A strolling band of 
Indians, on approaching the river, discovered a huge black snake in the 
branches of a tree with a white ring around its neck, and its body enormously 
distended, as though it had swallowed some large animal, as a rabbit, which 
caused them to exclaim Kossawausge, which in their language meant "big 


belly," and tliat name has l^een retained. This stream is very sluggish, and 
runs with a deep, full current. Dams have been built aloug its course, and 
numerous mill-wheels are turned by its forceful current. The valley 
through which it runs is a very beautiful one, some twenty or more miles in 
length, stretching out in some parts to two or three miles in width, and 
hemmed in on every side by heavy swells of land. 

As this valley is more elevated than the summit over which the pro- 
posed ship canal would pass in connecting the waters of the Ohio River 
with those of Lake Erie, it has been proposed tO' build a heavy dam across 
near the mouth of this stream, where the high hills close in on either side 
very near to its banks, and lay up in this valley during the wet season a vast 
body to supply the canal with water for the dry. 

A few miles to the south of the Cussawago valley is the charming 
valley of Watson's Run, which is principally confined to the western portion 
of Vernon Township. The \-iew of this valley from the headland on the 
lake road is one of the most entrancing in any land, the flocks and herds 
scattered up and down the intervale or reposing under ample shade, and 
the peaceful dwellings planted along all the distant hillsides complete a 
picture on which one ne\'er tires to gaze. 

The outlet of Conneaut Lake receives a stream which winds through 
a low stretch of country, familiarly known as Conneaut ]\Iarsh, which, by 
the gradual choking of the mouth, where it flows into the Venango, has 
forced the moisture to spread out over a vast tract, and has caused the 
cranberry, flag and rank meadow grass to take root, and Anally alder brush 
to spread over its entire surface, thus giving up to sterility a wide belt 
of fertile soil. 

By a joint resolution of the Legislature of 1868, provision was made 
for opening the channel and dredging the accumulations of years, so that 
the water is carried away, and the rank growth which has for msny gen- 
erations cumbered the surface can be cleared away, and brought under the- 
hand of cultivation, furnishing some of the most fertile soil in the county, — 
a tract some twelve miles long and one mile wide, comprising over six 
thousand acres. 

On the left bank of the Venango River the drainage is efifected in the 
northern section through Muddy Creek, which rises in Richmond, Steuben. 
Athens and Bloomfield Townships, flows northwesterly through Rockdale 


and ■Cambridge, and enters the Venango River some two miles above 
Cambridge Springs. The pine lumber along this stream was very valuable, 
but it has all been swept away, and its place has been assumed by well- 
fenced and tilled farms. 

Woodcock Creek rises in the northeastern corner of Richmond Town- 
ship, flows south, passes near Blooming \^alley, and from that point moves 
onward down a gently descending valley of rare beauty, dotted along its 
course by mills, passes in the rear of the County Infirmary, and drops into 
the Venango River just below Saegertown. In flood time this is a raging 
torrent, that carries awav acres of rich soil and uproots forest trees in its 
course, but subsides in the dr_\- time to a moderate brooklet that the bare- 
footed boy may safely ford. 

]\Iill Run is. for the most part, confined to Mead Township, and is 
the stream which, from its being easily controlled for power purposes, doubt- 
less influenced the first settlers to choose Meadville for their abiding place. 

Little Sugar Creek drains a portion of Mead, passes through Wayne, 
and empties into Venango River at Cochranton. This stream carries a large 
body of water, and its current is utilized for mill purposes. Through most 
of its course it moves through wild and rugged scenery. 

The Big Sugar Creek has its sources in the eastern portions of Troy, 
Wayne and Randolph Townships, yet it is, for the most part, a Venango 
County stream. 

Oil Creek Lake, which is fed by numerous brooklets that fall into it 
from Sparta and Bloomiield Townships, may lie regarded as the source of 
Oil Creek. It flows southeasterly through the margins of Athens, Steuben, 
Troy and Oil Creek Townships, passes through Titusville and makes a 
junction with the Allegheny River at Oil City. More than a century ago 
this stream was noted for the oil that was discovered along its margin oozing 
up out of the ground, and was seen floating away on its surface. The 
French, in their passage through this county, from Fort le Boeuf to 
Franklin, were familiar with this substance, and the Indians gathered it for 
medicinal purposes. It was known in commerce as Seneca oil, a name given 
it from the Seneca tribe of Indians. 

The Shenango River has its sources in Pymatuning Swamp, a vast 
tract of swamp land and water, once probably the bed of a lake. Tributaries 
from Conneaut Township flow into the swamp. The Shenango flows south- 


westerly through North Shenango until it passes into Ohio, in which state 
it flows for a short distance, but returns and forms the dividing line between 
South and West Shenango, passing out of the county through the village 
of Jamestown. It is a sluggish stream in its course through Crawford 
County, and in some seasons of the year floods the highways and bridges 
to such an extent that they are rendered impassable. This often occurred 
at the time of holding elections, and l^ecame a source of so much discjuietude 
that it resulted in a division of South Shenango Township and the erection 
of West Shenango. 

The vast area which is covered by this impenetrable swamp extends 
from the neighborhood of Linesville in Pine Township into Ohio and to the 
neighborhood of Espyville in North Shenango, estimated tO' form a sweep 
of nine thousand acres. Though there are portions of the surface sufticiently 
elevated to support forest vegetation, yet it cannot be entered with teams 
for removing logs, except in winter time, when it is frozen over. In a part 
of the swamp is a growth of tamaracks, where in the fall of the year vast 
flocks of wild pigeons from Canada and neighboring breeding places made 
it their roosting ground. In the hot sununer nights the constant flapping 
of their wings, produced by being crowded from their perches, gave forth 
a sound not unlike the distant roar of Niagara. Hunters would enter the 
swamp in the drouth of summer, and, aiming up at a limb bending down 
with the weight of the birds, would fire, and, having struck a light and 
picked up as many as could be discovered in the tall grass, would pass on 
for another shot. 

In the neighborhood of this swam]) are the remains of a fort, and pits 
in which are coals, showing that fires at some time were kept in them. It is 
well known that the Indians held their councils here. Probably game was 
plentiful, and they held their annual feasts on this ground. 

By a joint resolution of the Legislature, passed February i8, iSo8, a 
competent engineer was appointed to make a survey of the Pymatuning 
Swamp, and report. From that report it is shown that it has a fall of fully 
five feet per mile, and the wonder is that such a fall should not produce its 
complete drainage. The probability is that in many parts the channels 
have become choked so that the water is held by miniature dams. Capillary 
attraction, operating through the spongy growth of moss and rank swamp 
grass, would hold it, thus overcoming gravitation. If a careful survey were 


made and a wide trench were opened, giving the bottom an exact, regular 
fall of five feet per mile, with cross ditches at intervals, the whole swamp 
would be drained, and that vast area could l)e transformed into fruitful fields 
and be made to blossom like the rose. 

Conneaut Creek rises in Summit Township, flows northwesterly- 
through Summerhill, through the borough of Conneautville, and leaves the 
county near the northwest corner of Spring Township. It pursues its 
course through Erie County and empties into Lake Erie, its mouth forming 
Conneaut Harbor. By the \ast shipment of coal out, and the bringing in 
of iron ore, this is made a point of much importance. 

The soil of Crawford County is of great fertility, and when stirred by 
generous culture produces abundant crops. Every part of the surface is 
well watered by numerous springs and streams. In the neighborhood of 
Conneaut Lake, above Harmonsburg, are vast beds of marl, suitable for 
enriching the soil. Wh.en the first settlers came the}' found one vast forest 
of oak, maple, chestnut, black walnut, hickory, cherry, locust, poplar, ash, 
Ijutternut, ironwood, laurel and ba\-. In parts along the rich bottom lands 
were vast tracts of pine and hemlock and spruce. 

The observation may be made in this connection, though not strictly 
in ]:)lace here, thai the subject of forestry has been overlooked Ijy the 
denizens of Crawford Count}'. To the first settlers the deep, dense forest 
was regarded as the worst enemy of the farmer, standing in the way of his 
improvements, shutting out the sunlight from his vegetables and growing 
crops. Hence, to get the heavy growths out of his way, and prevent future 
growths, was his greatest care. The hardy axmen went forth at the first 
breaking of the day, and attacked the monsters of the forest, and until the 
dewy eve the giants were laid low. 

This is but the history of what was transpiring day after day, and year 
after vear. through all the early generations. It was too laborious and 
troublesome to chop the great trunks into sections fit for handling, so fire 
was brought into requisition, and at convenient interv-als along the trunk, 
burnings were made, when the dissevered parts could be swung around 
into piles and the torch applied. All through the dry season vast volumes 
of smoke would ascend heavenward, and at night the sky would be 
illumined by the flames leaping upward, and appearing like beacon lights 
<in every hill-top and down every valley. When the settler was in too much 


haste to cut and Inirn the cumljersome forest, he would rob the innocent 
trees of their Hfe by girdUng the sap, thus cutting off the Hfe-giving currents. 
By this process the fohage was forever broken, and the hght and genial 
warmth of the sun was let in upon the virgin mould, which was quickened 
into life as the husbandman dropped his cherished seed. But there stood 
the giant forest still, torn and wrenched by storm and lightning, stretching 
out its massive arms to heaven, bleached and whitened by sun and shower, 
like ghosts of departed greatness, and as if imploring mercy still. One can 
scarcely pass one of these lifeless forests without a sigh of pity for these 
decaying monarchs. 

A forest thus denuded of its foliage allows the sunlight to enter with 
all the force necessary to produce luxuriant crops, and the wheat springs 
into life and makes an enormous growth, maturing an abundant crop. The 
constant droppings from their decaying engender moisture, and give 
nourishment to the rich pasturage that springs like tufts of velvet beneath 
them; and when at length they yield to the lightning's crash, and the force 
of the storms, they are reduced to ashes and disappear from sight. Some- 
times the torch was applied while still standing, and scarcely can a more 
sublime sight be imagined than a great forest of lifeless trees in full blaze. 

^^'hat will be the consequence of this relentless war upon the forests and 
waste of lumber and fire-wood? In a few generations the hills, being en- 
tirely stripped and denuded of shade, will be jiarched by the burning suns 
of summer, and the streams will become less and less copious in the heated 
term, until they become entirely dry. On the other hand, in spring time, 
with no forests to hold the moisture, and yield it up gradually through the 
burning months when needed, the rains and melting snows will descend 
in torrents and Hood the valleys. The fertility of the soil will Ije soaked and 
drained out of it, the hill-sides will be gashed and seamed Ijy the descending 
torrents, and thus all the hills, burned in summer and flooded in winter, 
will become barren. The tiller of the soil will wonder at the scantiness of 
his crops, and his flocks and herds will 1)leat and bawl in hopeless starvation. 

Of late years an attempt has been made to excite an interest in forestry. 
The Legislature of this State has enacted some pro\-isions providing for 
the planting, and we have our forestry day. to which the Governor regularly 
calls attention. But the manner in which it is acted upon, instead of 
resulting in a public good, is likely to prove an injury. The planting, for 


the most part, has been confined to school grounds and dwellmgs. The 
result -will l)e that in a few years, when the trees have become grown, there 
will be excessive shade and moisture. Moss will accumulate upon the 
roofs, the sunlight will be entirely shut out, and the children will be pale 
and sickly in consequence. The school-room will become unhealthy for 
lack of sunlight, and the dwelling will be damp and gloomy. One tree for 
a school ground of an acre is ample shade. Excessive foliage must always 
prove injurious to health, while sunlight is a better medicine for failing 
strength than human ingenuity ever compounded. 

What is the ])roper remedy for the evil complained of? The forester 
should commence his work upon the far-off hill-tops, and with diligent 
hand should crown them with forests most useful and valuable to man, — 
the fine maple, comely in shape, challenging the painter's most gaudy pig- 
ments for color, close grained and unyielding in fiber for lumber; the walnut, 
cherry and ash, unrivaled for furniture and finishing; the chestnut, valuable 
for its nuts and for fencing; and pine and birch and hemlock, — useful all. 
For holding moisture and tempering the heats of sunmier. none are more 
useful than the evergreens. All the waste places, the ravines and rugged 
hill-sides, unsuitable for cultivation, should be planted. The sugar from a 
thousand good trees W'ill bring to any farmer a bigger income than the 
whole produce of his farm in other ways, and the labor of sugar-making 
comes at a time when he is not otherwise employed. The price of a good 
black walnut log is almost fabulous. A white ash of twentv vears' growth 
will yield a timber unsurpassed for the wheelwright or the piano maker, 
and pine of fifteen years' growth will produce timber which will be much 
sought for, and is year by year becoming more and more scarce. A good 
field of planted trees or sprout land, should be fenced and protected from 
the browsing of cattle, as energetically as a field of corn. It may seem an 
unpalatable doctrine to preach, that the forests, which our fathers worked 
themselves lean to subdue and eliminate, should be protected and matured 
and brought back to their old places. But it is a true gospel, and if we look 
carefully at it in all its bearings, we shall receive it and recognize it as 
possessing saving grace. 

Along the hills of southern Italy may be seen to-day an aspect which 
in a few years will be presented in the now fertile fields of Crawford County. 
The Italian hills, for centuries have been swept bare of forests. As a con- 


sequence, the soil is parched in summer time, and has become bare and 
barren. The streams wliich in other da\s were deep, and ran in full volume 
to the sea, and were the theme of extravagant praises by the Latin poets, 
are now for months together entirely dry, not a gush of water gladdening 
their baked and parched beds. Of the innumerable streams which fall into 
the Mediterranean on the western coast from Genoa to the Straits of 
Messina, there are only a very few like the Arno and the Tiber that do not 
in July and August cease to flow, the husbandman being obliged to resort 
to artesian wells to feed his vegetables and growing crops. 

We have thus far considered the general features of the territory em- 
braced in the limits of Crawford County. Before entering upon a descrip- 
tion of its settlement and growth of its institutions, it will be proper to 
consider some very interesting questions vitally touching its early occupa- 
tion. Who occupied the country when first visited by Europeans? How 
were they dispossessed of their inheritance, and driven towards the setting 
sun? By what means was the territory of Pennsylvania possessed, and its 
boundaries finally established? Why the dwellers in this valley are English 
rather than a French-speaking people? These were living questions which 
plagued our fathers, and were not settled without desperate struggles, 
which tested their patriotism and valor. 



BELIEVING in the rotundity of the earth, Cohmihus sailed westward 
with the expectation of reaching India. When he finahy came to 
the shores of the New World, he believed that he had reached the 
farthest east. Consequently, when he beheld the native inhabitants, sup- 
posing them to be the people of India, he called them Indians, a designation 
which has clung to them ever since, though entirely inappropriate. 

The natives who occupied that portion of the continent which became 
I'ennsylvania were known as the Lcni Lenape, the original people, or 
grandfathers. They were by nature fierce and warlike, and there was a 
tradition among them that the Lenapes, in ages quite remote, had emigrated 
from beyond the Mississippi, exterminating, or driving out as they came 
eastward, a race far more civilized than themselves, more numerous and 
skilled in the arts of peace. That this country was once the abode of a 
more or less ci\'ilized people, accustomed to manv of the comforts of 
enlightened communities, that they knew the use of tools and were numerous 
is attested by remains, thickly studding western Pennsylvania and the entire 
Ohio Valley: but whether their extermination was the work of fiercer tribes 
than themselves, or whether they were swept oi¥ by epidemic diseases, or 
gradually wasted as the fate of a decaying- nation, remains an unsolved 
problem. The three principal tribes of which the Lenapes were composed, 
— the Turtles, or Unamis; the Turkeys, or Unalachtgos; the W'olfs, or 
jMonseys, — occupied the eastern part of Pennsylvania, and claimed the 
territory from the Hudson to the Potomac. The English gave them the 
name of the Delawares, after Lord De la War, for whom the river and the 
three lower counties were named. The Shawnees, a restless tribe which had 
come up from the south, had been received and assigned places of habitation 
on the Susquehanna. Ijy the Delawares, and finalh- became a constituent 
part of their nation. 


But the Indian nationality which more nearly concerns the section of 
■which we are treating is the Six Nations, or, as they were designated by 
the French, the Iroquois. They called themselves Aqiranuschioni. or 
United Tribes, or, in our own parlance, the United States, and the Lenapes 
called them Mingoes. They originally consisted of five tribes, and hence 
were known as the Five Nations, — the Senecas, who were the most vigorous, 
stalwart and numerous; the Mohawks, who were the first in rank, and to 
whom it was reserved to lead in war; the Onondagas, who guarded the 
council fire, and from whom the Sachem, or the civil head of the confederacy, 
was taken: the Oneidas, and the Cayugas. Near the beginning of the 
eighteenth century the Tuscaroras, a large tribe from central North Caro- 
lina and Virginia, having been expelled from their former dwelling place, 
were adopted by the Five Nations, and this people, thus augmented, were 
thenceforward known as the Six Nations. They occupied the country 
stretching from Lake Champlain to Lake Erie, and from Lake Ontario and 
the river St. Lawrence on the north, to the headwaters of the Delaware, 
the Susquehanna and Allegheny Rivers on the south, substantially what is 
now the State of New York. It was a country well suited for defence in 
savage warfare, being guarded on three sides by great bodies of water. 
They were quick to learn the methods of ci\-ilized warfare, and securing fire- 
arms from the Dutch on the Hudson, they easily overcame neighboring 
hostile tribes, whom they held in a condition of vassalage, exacting an 
annual tribute, but protected them in return in the possession of their 
rightful hunting grounds. 

The Lenapes, or Delawares, were held under subjection in this manner, 
which gave the Six Nations, or Iroquois, semi-authority over the whole 
territory of Pennsylvania, and reaching out into Ohio. This humiliating- 
vassalage to \\hich the Delawares were subjected had been imposed upon 
them by the Iroqugis, as claimed by the latter, but the Delawares asserted 
that it had been assumed by them voluntarily, that "they had agreed to 
act as -mediators and peace-makers among the other great nations, and to 
this end they had consented to lay aside entirely the implements of war, 
and to hold and keep bright the chain of peace." It was the ofifice, when 
tribes had weakened themselves by desperate conflict, for the women, in 
order to save their kindred from utter extermination, to rush between the 
contending w?arriors and implore a cessation of slaughter. It became thus 


the office of women to be peace-makers. The Iroquois claimed that the 
Delawares had assumed the title of peace-makers, not upon principle but 
of necessity, and hence applied to them the title of "women" as a stigma, 
characterizing them as wanting in the quality of "the braves. The pious 
Moravian missionary, Heckewelder, who had spent much time among them, 
and knew their character well, believed that the Delawares were sincere in 
their claims, and from the fact that they had a great admiration for William 
Penn, with whom they were intimately associated, and imbibed his senti- 
ments of peace, it may be that they had come to hold his principles, even 
if they had formerly been engaged in the characteristic warfare of their 
race. General Harrison, who afterwards became the ninth President of 
the United States, in a discourse which he delivered on the Aborigines of 
the valley of the Ohio, observes: "I sincerely wish I could unite with the 
worthy German in removing this stigma from the Delawares. A long and 
intimate knowledge of them in peace and war, as enemies and friends, has 
left upon my mind the most favorable impressions of their character for 
bravery, generosity and fidelity to their engagements." Whatever may 
have been their original purposes, or their subsequent convictions, they did 
demand complete independence of the Iroquois in 1756, and had their 
claims allowed. 

Of the origin of the Indian race, little is definitely known. The Indians 
themselves had no traditions, and they had no writings, coins or monuments 
by which their history could be preserved. Ethnologists are, however, well 
assured that they came originally from eastern Asia. Without reciting the 
arguments which support this theory, it is sufficient for our present purpose 
to state that it seems well attested that the race has dwelt upon this continent 
from a period long anterior to the Christian era, obtaining a foothold here 
within five hundred years from the dispersion of the human race, and that their 
physical and mental peculiarities have become fixed by ages of subjection 
to climate and habits of life. Mr. Schoolcraft, a voluminous writer upon 
Indian afifairs, adduces the following considerations as proof of the fulfill- 
ment of that prophecy of Scripture recorded in the ninth chapter of Genesis: 
"And the sons of Noah that went forth of the Ark were Shem, Ham, and 
Japheth, God shall enlarge Japheth [Europeans], and he shall dwell in 
the tents of Shem [Indians], and Cannan [Negro] shall be his servant." 
"Assuming the Indian tribes to be of Shemitic origin, which is generally 


conceded, they were met on this continent in 1492 by the Japhetic race, 
after the two stocks had passed around the globe in opposite directions." 
Finding the Indians intractable as slaves, the Hamitic, or Negro, branch 
was brought over from Africa. The result of three centuries of occupancy 
on this continent by these three races is, Japheth has been greatly enlarged, 
while the called and not voluntary sons of Ham have endured a servitude 
in the tents of Shem. 

The Indian, as he was found upon this continent when first visited by 
the European, was very different in form, features, mental constitution and 
habits from the latter, and apparently unalterably different from any other 
race. The color of the skin was of a reddish-brown; the hair was black, 
straight, stiff, not plentiful, and the males had scarcely any beard; the 
jaw-bone was large, the cheek-bone high and prominent, and the forehead 
high, square and full over the eyes, showing a large development of the 
perceptive faculties; but narrow and sloping backward at the top, showing 
defective reasoning powers. The person was erect, well developed, and in 
movement quick, lithe and graceful. 

The Indian is, by nature and life-long habit, indolent. To take up a 
tract of land, build himself a house with the conveniences and privacies of 
civilized home-life, clear away the heavy forests which encumber it, plow 
and cultivate the sodden acres, fence in the many fields, dig for himself a 
well where he may have an abundant supply of cool water in the heats of 
summer and the colds of winter, get and care for flocks and herds and beasts 
of burden, and lay up for himself and family abundant supplies of food in 
suitable variety, would have been to entail upon him insufferable misery, 
and rather than undertake the first stroke of such a life of toil, he would 
lie down and die. They are a people, says Dr. Spencer, that "might 
be broken, but could not be bent." The early Spanish colonists attempted 
to make slaves of them; but they utterly failed, the natives refusing to take 
food, and actually died of starvation rather than be reduced to a condition 
of servitude. They believed that the fish of the stream, the fowls of the 
air, the beasts of the field, and the land where they should stretch their 
wigwams were as free and open to appropriation as the air we breathe or 
the waters that run sparkling to the sea. They ridiculed the idea of fencing 
a field, and depriving any who desired the use of it. The strong dominated 
over the weak. The male assumed superiority over the female, and made 


her in reality his slave. His grunt was law to her, and if he started upon 
a journey she must trot after, bearing the infant if she have one, and the 
burdens. If crops were to be planted, and cultivated and gathered, it was 
by the sweat of her bro\\- that it must be done. She must gather the fuel 
for the ilre, weave the mat on which to sit and sleep, fashion the basket and 
decorate it with fanciful colors. She was, in short, little less than the abject 
and degraded slave. 

Their methods of government were peculiar. If an Indian had received 
an injury or an insult, he took it upon himself to avenge without the forms 
of proof to tix the guilt, and if he was killed in the quarrel his nearest relatives 
felt themselves obliged to take up the avengement. Thus from the merest 
trifie the most deadly feuds arose by which the population was visibly di- 
minished. The warrior chiefs among them became such by superior skill or 
cunning, and not by any rule of heredity, descent or majority of voices. 
Matters of public interest were discussed in assemblies of the whole people. 
Decisions were generally in favor of him who could work most powerfully 
upon the feelings of his audience, either by his native eloquence or by 
appeals to their superstition, by which they were easily moved. It has 
been obsened above that the Indian was naturally lazy. To that assertion 
one exception should be made. To carry out his purpose of revenge, the 
Indian would make sacrifices, endure hardships and undergo sufferings un- 
surpassed by the most daring of the human race. To gratify his thirst for 
revenge he would make long and exhausting marches with scant food, sub- 
sist upon the bark of trees, the roots of the forest and such random game 
as he might come upon, would lie in wait for his victim for hours and days 
together, enduring untold sufifering. 

It is curious to observe the impression -which the natives made upon 
the first European visitants to these shores. Columbus, in his report to 
Ferdinand and Isabella after his first voyage, said: "I swear to your 
majesties that there is not a better people in the world than these, — more 
affectionate, afifable, or mild. They love their neighbors as themselves; 
their language is the sweetest and the softest and the most cheerful, for they 
always speak smiling, and. although they go naked, let your majesties be- 
lieve me, their customs are very becoming, and their king, who is served 
with great majesty, has such engaging manners that it gives great pleasure 
to see him, and also to consider the great retentive faculty of that people. 


and their desire of knowledge, \vhich incites them to ask the causes of 
things." If these were the real sentiments of the great navigator, we are 
forced to lielieve that he had never seen an Indian in his war-paint and 

The adventurers whom Sir Walter Raleigh sent out for discovery and 
settlement, Amidas and Barlow, gave a graphic report of their impressions 
of the natives upon their return, which Hakluyt has preserved in his annals: 
"The soile is the most plentiful!, sweete, fruitful! and wholesome, of all the 
worlde: there are above fourteene several! sweete smelling timl^er trees, and 
the most part of their underwoods are bayes and such like; they have such 
oakes as we have, but farre greater and better. After they had been divers 
times aboard our shippes, myselfe, with seven more, went twentie mile into 
the river that runneth towards the citie of Shicoak, which river tliey call 
Occam; and the evening following we came to an island, which they call 
Roanoke, distant from the harbor by which we entered seven leagues; and 
at the north end thereof was a village of nine liouses, built of cedar, and 
fortified round about with sharpe trees to keep out their enemies, and the 
entrance into it made like a turnpike very artificially; when we came towards 
it, standing neere unto the water's side, tlie wife of Granganamo, the king's 
brother, came running out to meete us very cheerfully and friendly; her 
husband was not then in the village: some of her people she commanded 
to draw our boate on shore, for the beating- of the billoe; others she 
appointed to carry us on their backs to the dry ground, and others to bring 
our oars into the house for fear of stealing. When we were come into the 
outer room, having five rooms in her house, she caused us to sit down by a 
great fire, and after took ofl our cloathes, and washed them and dried them 
againe; some of tlic women plucked off our stockings, and washed tliem, 
some washed our feete in warm water, and s!ie lierself took great jiaines to 
see a!! tilings ordered in tlie best manner slie could, making greate haste to 
dresse some meate for us to eate," 

"After we had thus dried ourselves she brought us into the inner 
roome, where shee set on the board standing along the house some wheate 
like fermentie; sodden \-enison and roasted; fish, sodden, boyled and 
roasted; melons, rawe and sodden: rootes of divers kinds, and divers fruits. 
Their drink is commonly water, but while the grape lasteth, they drinke 
wine, and for want of caskes to keepe it, all the yere after, but sodden with 


ginger in it, and black sinnamon, and sometimes sassaphras, and divers other 
wholsome and medicinable hearbes and trees. We were entertained with 
all love and kindnesse, and with as much bountie, after tiieir manner, as 
they could possibly devise. We found the people most gentle, loving and 
faithfull, voide of all guile and treason, and such as live after the manner of 
the golden age. The people only care to defend themselves from the cold 
in their winter, and to feed themselves with such meat as the soile affordeth; 
their meat is very well sodden, and they make broth very sweet and 
savorie; their vessels are earthen pots, very large, white, and sweete; their 
dishes are wooden platters of sweet timber. Within the place where they 
feede was their lodging, and within that their idoll, which they worship, of 
whom they speak incredible things. While we were at meate, there came 
in at the gates two or three men with bowes and arrows from hunting, whom 
when we espied we began to look one towards another, and offered to reach 
for our weapons; but as soon as she espied our mistrust she was very much 
moved, and caused some of her men to runne out, and take away their bowes 
and arrowes and breake them, and withall beate the poor fellowes out of 
the gate againe. When we departed in the evening, and would not tarry all 
night she was verry sory, and gave us into our boate our supper, half 
dressed pottes, and all, and brought us to our boatside, in which we lay all 
night, removing the same a ])rettie distance from the shore: she perceiving 
our jealousie, was much grieved, and sent divers men and thirtie women, 
to sit all night on the bankside by us, and sent into our boates five mattes 
to cover us from the raine, using very many wordes to entreate to rest in 
their houses; but because we were fewe men, and if we had miscarried the 
voyage had Ijeen in very great danger, we durst not adventure anything, 
although there was no cause of doubt, for a more kind and loving people 
there cannot be found in the worlde as far as we have hitherto had trial!." 

This passage from Hakluyt shows the disposition of the Indians to- 
wards Europeans at the earliest date of intercourse, before their minds had 
been soured by injury and w rong, which careless and brutal colonists subse- 
quently visited upon them; and it may well be questioned whether they 
would not have remained friendly and loving as here described had they 
received loving and Christian treatment in return. 

William Penn thus describes them; "For their persons, they are 
generally tall, straight, well built, and of singular proportion. They tread 


strong and clever, and mostly walk with a lofty chin. Their language is 
lofty, yet narrow: but, like the Hebrew, in signification, full. If an Euro- 
pean comes to see them, or calls for lodging at their house or wig- 
wam, they give him the best place and first cut. If they come 
to visit us, they salute us with an 'Itah,' which is as much as to say, 
'Good be to you," and set them down, which is mostly on the ground, close 
to their heels, their legs upright. It may be they speak not a word, but 
observe all passages. If you give them anything to eat or drink, well, for 
they will not ask; and be it little or much, if it be with kindness, they are 
well pleased; else they go away sullen, but say nothing. In liberality they 
excel; nothing is too good for their friend; give them a fine gun, coat or 
other thing, it may pass twenty hands before it sticks; light of heart, strong 
aft'ections, but soon spent. The most merry creatures that live, feast and 
dance perpetually; they ne\-er have much nor want much; wealth circu- 
lateth like the blood: all parts partake: and though none shall want what 
another hath, yet exact observers of property. Some kings have sold, others 
presented me with several parcels of land: the pay, or presents I made them 
were not hoarded by their particular owners; but the neighboring kinds, 
and their clans being present when the goods were brought out, the parties 
chiefly concerned consulted what and to whom thev would give them." 

"To every king, then. Ijy the hands of a person for that work appointed, 
is a portion sent, so sorted and folded, and with that gravitv that is admir- 
able. Then the king subdivideth it, in like manner, among his dependants, 
they hardly leaving themselves an equal share with one of their subjects; 
the kings distribute to themselves last. They care for little because they 
want little, and the reason is a little contents them. . . . We sweat 
and toil to live: their pleasure feeds them: I mean their hunting, fishing 
and fowling, and their table is spread everywhere. They eat twice a day, 
morning and evening: their seats and table are the ground. Since the 
Europeans came into these parts, they are grown great lovers of strong 
liquors, rum especially, and for it exchange the richest skins and furs. If 
they are heated with liquors, they are restless till they have enough to sleep: 
that is their cry, 'Some more and I will go to sleep:' but when drunk, one 
of the most wretched spectacles in the world." 

So philosophic and careful an historian as Bancroft, sifting his facts with 
unerring scrutiny, makes this statement concerning the Indians: "The 


hospitality of the Indian has rarel_v been questioned. The stranger enters 
his cabin, by day or by night, without asking leave, and is entertained as 
freely as a thrush or a blackbird that regales himself on the luxuries of the 
fruitful grove. He will take his own rest abroad, that he may give up his 
own skin, or mat of sedge, to his guest. Nor is the traveler questioned as 
to the purpose of his visit: he chooses his own time freely to deliver his 

The opinions which we have thus presented concerning the real char- 
acter and condition of the native inhabitants found on the North American 
continent upon the arrival of Europeans are given by men of good judgment 
and reliability, and whose writings upon almost every other subject are 
accepted as veritable. Why, then, are their characterizations so different 
from those usually attributed to Indians? The commonly accepted judgment, 
during the current century, has been that the North American Indian was 
a savage, given up to treacher\', and barbarity, whom human sympathy 
could not touch, as expressed by a recent annalist in portraying the rela- 
tions of the two nationalities: There was "the long and wasting conflict with 
the natives in which isolated pioneers, with their families, were exposed in 
their scattered cabins in the forest, to the fiendish arts of the stealthy and 
heartless savage, who spared neither the helpless infant, the tender female, 
nor trembling age." 

Has the character of the Indian changed since these writers noted him. 
or were they mistaken in their estimate of him? Both undoubtedly are 
true. On the first arrival of Europeans, the natives were seen in their most 
favorable aspects. Penn, for example, treated them as brothers: he was 
bargaining for their lands: he was giving them "heaped up presents;" they 
were charmed with his peaceful, loving disposition: they treasured his 
words, and repeated them in their councils. He, therefore, reported the 
best side of their character, and not their traditional qualities. Besides, it 
is probable that their characteristics gradually changed after continued 
intercourse with the pale face, who had come across the ocean. The two 
races were entirely different in their lives and occupations, and pursuits of 
happiness. Manual labor to the red man was misery; to the white man it 
was second nature and happiness. The one cleared the forests, scattered 
seeds, gathered luxurious harvests, nurtured flocks and herds, dammed the 
streams; the other, from time immemorial, had followed with noiseless step 


the game of the unbroken forest, had tempted the finny tribes by luring 
baits, in streams that run unvexed to the sea. 

\Vhen, therefore, the European came with his system of hfe radically 
different from that of the denizens of the forest, broke up their game pre- 
serves, hewed down their forests, kept destructive fires raging along all the 
hill-tops, and down the valleys, scaring away and driving out that which 
had been the support of their lives, is it any wonder that they became 
morose and vengeful, when they saw themselves despoiled of the heritage 
of their fathers, of those sports which had been the joy of their lives, and 
practically driven from the haunts where they had passed their childhood, 
and which had been rendered dear to them by tender associations? It may 
well be imagined that they would brood over their wrongs, as they gathered 
in their wigwams at nightfall and recounted all their woes, and realized that 
the manner of life which had come down to them from their ancestors and 
of which they had known no other, was to be taken from them, and they 
were to be compelled to bid good-bye to them for ever. 

But there is one phase of their lives which cannot be accounted for on 
any other principle than that of inborn savagery. The victims of their 
revenge, and putting to the torture their prisoners of war, were examples of 
relentless cruelty unexampled in all- the history of the human I'ace. Brebeuf 
has described their treatment in all its barbarity. "On the way to the cabins 
of his conquerors, the hands of an Iroquois prisoner were crushed between 
stones, his fingers torn oft or mutilated, the joints of his arms scorched and 
gashed, while he himself preserved his tranquillity and sang the songs of his 
nation. Arriving at the homes of his conquerors, all the cabins regaled him, 
and a young girl was bestowed upon him, to be the wife of his captivity and 
the companion of his last loves. ... To the crowd of his guests he 
declared: 'My brothers, I am going to die; make merry around me with a 
good heart; I am a man; I fear neither death nor your torments;' and he 
sang aloud. The feast being ended, he was conducted to the cabin of blood. 
They place him on a mat and bind his hands. He rises and dances around 
the cabin, chanting his death song. At eight in the evening eleven fires had 
been kindled, and these are hedged in by files of spectators. The young men 
selected to be the actors are exhorted to do well, for their deeds would be 
grate to Areskoni, the powerful war-god. A war chief strips the prisoner, 
shows him naked to the people, and assigns their office to the tormentors. 


Then ensued a scene the most horrible; torments lasted till after sunrise, 
when the wretched victim, bruised, gashed, half roasted, and scalped, was 
carried out of the village and hacked to pieces." From the venerable sachem 
to the infant in arms, the aged mother to the tender maiden, by all the tribe 
was this torture of the captive beheld. It was an occasion of feasting and 
rejoicing. The greater the power of endurance of the victim and the more 
fierce and terrible the torture invented, the more exquisite the enjoyment 
of the spectators. To add a pang to the sufferer was a subject of congratula- 
tion to the one who inflicted it. Often the greatest refinement of cruelty was 
devised and inflicted by the women. And when the last pang had been 
endured and all was over they feasted on the victim's flesh. 



COLUMBUS, upon his return from his voyage of discovery in 1492, 
gave glowing accounts of the lands he had reached and the peoples 
whom he had found inhabiting them; but, of the extent of those 
lands, their fertility, their mineral resources, or with what grasp they were 
held, none knew. These lands were fairly in the possession of the native in- 
habitants, and we may rightfully conclude that they had as good a right to 
hold them as any European nation had to possess its soil. But the rightful- 
ness of possession seems not to l^ave been taken into consideration, doubtless 
believing that might makes right. The sovereigns of three European 
nations, at that time most puissant, encouraged their subjects to make 
voyages of discovery, and issued patents empowering them to take posses- 
sion of such portions of the mainland in the new world, and the contiguous 
islands of the sea, as they might visit and explore. Spain, through Ferdinand 
and Isabella, having patronized the great discoverer, took the lead, assuming 
a pre-emption right to the continent, by virtue of discovery, and Cortes and 
Pizzarro did their work of slaughter and extermination upon weaker and 
inofi'ensive peoples, innocent of any crimes against their oppressors. 

Juan Ponce de Leon, who had been a companion of Columbus, having 
heard of a miraculous fountain upon the mainland, whose waters could 
impart life and perpetual youth, eager to bathe in the healing stream, sailed 
on the third of March, 15 12, in quest of it. It was the season when in that 
far southern clime the whole land was bursting into blossom, and as he 
coasted along a great country presenting one mass of bloom he thought 
indeed he had found the land of perpetual life, and accordingly named it 
Flor-ida or the land of flowers. But the weather was tempestuous, and 
returning to the West Indies he sought and obtained from Charles V., of 
Spain, authority to take and govern the country; but upon his second expe- 
dition he found the natives hostile, and upon giving battle was mortally 

wounded and returned to the islands to die. 



Vasquez de Ayllon, in quest of slaves to work m the mines of iA/[exico, 
came upon tliis coast, and having enticed numbers of natives on board his 
vessels, perfidiously sailed away; but one of his ships was lost in a storm, 
and the natives, who survived, disdaining to work, refused to eat, and died 
miserably of starvation. Not satisfied with his experience, de Ayllon ob- 
tained authority from Charles V. to conquer and govern the country, and in 
1525 again set sail with his colonists. But now he found his tactics reversed. 
for the natives were the enticers, and having invited the body of the visitants 
to a feast, gave them to slaughter and utter destruction. Again in 1528 de 
Narvaez with de Vacca and four hundred colonists sailed for Tampa Bay, the 
very grounds where recently were gathered the serried ranks of the United 
States in preparation for a descent upon the descendants of those same Span- 
iards who have provoked by their inhuman savagery inflicted upon a depend- 
ent race the righteous indignation of a civiHzed people; but after fruitless 
wanderings by sea and land, in which the leader was lost, de Vacca made his 
escape with but four of his companions alive, having spent ten years in fruit- 
less search for gold and booty. In his adventure he had traversed the whole 
southern border of what is now the United States, crossed the Mississippi, 
bent his steps onward to the Rocky Mountains, gladly performing the offices 
of a slave for sustenance and the poor boon of life, and arrived at last in 
Mexico, whence he returned to Spain. 

Undismayed by the ill fortune of others, and thirsting for riches, which 
he might have for the seizing, Hernando de Soto, invested with the patent 
of power and the title of Governor-General of Cuba and Florida, with some 
thousand followers in ten vessels, set sail in 1539, well armed and provided 
with the implements of mining, even to bloodhounds for capturing slaves, 
and chains for securing them. The first night on shore he was attacked 
by the Indians, lying in wait for him, and driven in disgrace to his ships. 
Returning to the land he commenced even wider search than de Vacca, and 
after three years of toilsome and fruitless wanderings, and incessant conflicts 
with the Indians, having crossed the Mississippi, and reached the great plains 
where grazed the countless herds of buffalo, finally, broken and dispirited 
by finding neither the wealth of gold which he sought nor the empire which 
he coveted, he died, and the waters of the Mississippi roll perpetually over his 
bones. Having but one purpose, that of escape from this hated country, his 
surviving followers floated down the river and retired to Spanish settlements 


in Mexico. Thus ended miserably tlie greatest expedition hitherto at- 
tempted upon the Florida coast. For a score or more of years rehg-ionists 
from France and Spain attempted permanent lodgment upon this territory. 
In the town of St. Augustine was founded the oldest town in the United 
States. But instead of practicing the mild and gentle precepts of their 
Master, they were torn by mortal feuds, and a large proportion perished in 
their deadly and treacherous conflicts. 

Thus, of the vast sums of money expended, and hardships endured, in 
which the greater part of the southern half of our country was overrun, and 
perpetual and wasting warfare for a quarter of a century was prosecuted with 
the natives, nothing good or lasting was the result, though there was exhib- 
ited a resolution, and unconquerable spirit by those proud cavaliers, who 
went forth clad in their habiliments of silk, rejoicing in their trailing plumes 
and glittering armor, truly worthy of a better cause. They expected to find 
great nations overflowing with gold and precious treasures, whom they could 
overcome and despoil where they might set up a kingdom. Unhappily for 
them they found no such people; the gold they coveted existed only in their 
imaginations, and the empire which they hoped to found vanished like the 
mists of the valley. Their cause was the cause of the gambler and the free- 
booter in every country and in every age, and the lesson is one which the race 
may well take to heart. 

Of the great European nations, France was the next to send out colo- 
nies to take possession of and settle the American continent. Moved by a 
knowledge of the misfortunes which attended Spanish settlement far to the 
south, the French sought a far northern latitude, and though on the same 
parallel as Paris, was swept by blizzards and bound in icy fetters such as 
were wholly unknown in sunny France. This very circumstance may have 
defeated the entire French plans of colonization, and changed the whole 
course of empire upon this continent. For the French possessed, in an emi- 
nent degree, the spirit of colonization, and were eager to push plans of 
empire. Had the first adventurers seated themselves upon the Potomac or 
the James, or along the shores of the Carolinas, they would have found so 
genial a climate, and so similar to their own, that they would have gained a 
foothold so firm and so long in advance of the English that they probably 
would not have been supplanted. 

The state of navigation at this time was so crude, the vessels so small 


and imperfect in construction, that a voyage on the open ocean across the 
Atlantic was attended with deathly perils, and solemn religious services 
marked the departure of the venturesome voyagers as they went down upon 
the seas, a large part of whom never emerged from the waves. Fishermen 
from Brittany, in France, as early as 1504, had discovered the rich fishing 
grounds on the Banks of Newfoundland, and had visited and named Cape 
Breton, a name which it still retains. Francis I. of France, a sovereign not 
unmindful of the growth of his kingdom, seeing the activity of neighboring 
nations in sending out their subjects on voyages of discovery and coloniza- 
tion, dispatched Juan Verrazzani, a Florentine navigator, in 1524, in a single 
vessel, the Dolphin, to discover and take possession in the name of France 
of lands in the famed New World. After "as sharp and terrible a tempest 
as ever sailors suffered," Verrazzani arrived upon the coast, touched at the 
Carolinas, at Long Island, at Newport, and skirted the coast to the fiftieth 
degree north, wlien he returned without having made a settlement. Ten 
years later, in 1534, Jaques Cartier was dispatched by Chabot, admiral of 
France, on an expedition to the northwest, and arrived at the mouth of the 
St. Lawrence. Returning to France with extravagant reports of the excel- 
lence of the country and the climate, he was dispatched in the following year 
with three large ships, and upon his arrival on St. Lawrence day gave that 
name to the gulf which he had entered, and the river which drains the great 
lakes. Ascending the river, he visited Hochelaza, now Montreal, and win- 
tered at the Isle of Orleans. The cold was intense, in marked contrast to 
his former visit, which was in the heat of summer, and his followers suffering 
from scurvy and the severity of the climate, clamored to be led back to 
France. In 1540 Cartier was again sent out, and now with five ships, and 
Francis de la Roque as Governor of Canada. But strife ensuing, the attempt 
at colonization was abortive. This put an end to further attempts at settle- 
ment in this latitude for upwards of half a century. 

In 1598 the great Sully, under Henry IV. of France, dispatched the 
Marquis de la Roche of Brittany to take possession of Canada and other 
countries "not possessed by any other Christian Prince." The expedition, 
however, failed utterly, though the enterprise of private individuals in trading 
with the nations for rich furs had in the meantime proved successful. In 1603 
Samuel Champlain was sent out, who carefully surveyed the river St. Law- 
rence and selected the site of Quebec as a proper location for a fort. At 


about the same time De Monte, a Huguenot of the King's household, was 
granted a commission to assume the sovereignty of Acadie, from the fortieth 
to the forty-sixth degree of north latitude, which meant from the latitude 
of Delaware Bay to the north pole — a glorious empire if it could be held and 
peopled. The expedition of De Monte, consisting of four ships, sailed in 
1604, and the right of trade proving lucrative, the monopoly was revoked. 
But Champlain continued his explorations, embracing the St. John's River, 
Bay of Fuuday and Island of St. Croix. By the advice of Champlain, Que- 
bec was founded in 1608 by a company of merchants from Dieppe and St. 
Molo. In the following year Champlain explorei;l the lake which bears his 
name, and, that he might secure the good will of the natives of Canada, he 
accompanied the Algonquins in a hostile campaign against the Five Nations, 
or Iroquois. This proved a fatal mistake, for it provoked the implacable 
hatred against the French of the powerful Indian confederacy which held in 
an iron grasp the whole stretch of country now the States of New York and 
Pennsyh-ania. Thus by an inscrutable Providence was France again cut off 
from taking that course of empire which would doubtless have given that 
nation preponderance upon this continent. Champlain was devoted to his 
religion, regarding "the salvation of a soul of more consequence than the 
conquest of an empire." His chosen servants, the Franciscans, later the 
Jesuits, assumed control of the missions to the Indians, and for a score of 
years threaded the mazes of the forests for new converts, pushing out along 
the great lakes by the northern shore, even to Huron, Michigan and Supe- 
rior; but in all their efforts to reclaim the Iroquois meeting with little suc- 
cess, and suffering at the hands of these savages, whippings and torments 
and deatli. With the tribes of the north and west even to the Chippewas 
and Pottawattamies, Sacs and Foxes and Illinois, they had better fortune, 
and with them made alliances against the Iroquois. From the Sioux they 
learned that there was a great river to the south, and this they were seized 
with a desire to explore. e 

In the spring of 1673 Jaques Marquette and M. Joliette, with attend- 
ants, embarked in two bark canoes at Mackinaw, and passing down the lake 
to Green Bay, entered the Fox River. Toilsomely ascending its current to 
its head waters, they bore with dif^culty their canoes across the ridge which 
divides the waters of the great lakes from the gulf, and having reached the 
sources of the Wisconsin River, launched their frail boats upon its turbid 


waters and floated onward upon the current, the stream studded with islands 
and the shores adorned with goodly trees and clustering vines, until on the 
17th of June, with "inexpressible joy and thankfulness to God for His mer- 
cies," they entered the lordly Mississippi. Marquette was frequently warned 
by the natives not to expose himself to the dangers of the voyage, and to 
desist from the further prosecution of his journey, but the reply of the pious 
priest was characteristic: "I do not fear death, and I would esteem it a hap- 
piness to lose my life in the service of God." 

Passing in turn the Des Moines, the Missouri with its turbid stream, the 
Ohio gently rolling, they proceeded as far south as the Arkansas. Here they 
were fiercely attacked by the natives. But ^Marquette boldly presented the 
pipe of peace, and called down the blessings of heaven upon his enemies, in 
return for which the old men received him and called off their braves, who 
were intent upon blood. But now the dangers seemed to thicken as they 
descended. Fearing that they might hazard all by proceeding further, and 
being now satisfied that the river which they had found must empty into the 
Gulf of Mexico, having made a complete map of the portion thus far ex- 
plored, Marquette determined to return and report his great discoveries to 
Talon, the intendant of France. With incredible exertion they forced their 
way against the current of the Mississippi, up the Illinois, across the Portage, 
down the Fox, by the same course that they had come, and reached Green 
Bay in safety. Though filled with satisfaction at the importance of his dis- 
covery, and extravagant in praise of the country which he had seen — "such 
grounds, meadows, woods, stags, buffaloes, deer, wildcats, bustards, swans, 
ducks, paroquetts, and even beavers," as he found on the Illinois River being 
nowhere equaled; yet he apparently felt a more serene and heartfelt satis- 
faction in the fact that the natives had brought to him a dying infant to be 
baptized, which he did about a half an hour before it died, which he asserts 
God was thus pleased to save, than in all the far-reaching consequences of 
his expedition. On the i8th of May, 1675, as he was passing up Lake Michi- 
gan with his boatmen upon the eastern shore, he proposed to land and 
perform mass. With pious and devoted steps, leaving his attendants in the 
boat, he ascended the banks of a fast flowing stream to perform the rite. 
Not returning as he indicated he would, his followers, recollecting that he 
had spoken of his death, went to seek for him, and found him indeed dead. 


Hollowing a grave for him in the sand, they buried him on the very spot 
which his prayers had consecrated. 

The report of the discovery of a great river to the west, draining bound- 
less territory, and a highway to the gulf, aroused cupidity, and the desire to 
enlarge the dominion of France. Robert Cavalier de La Salle, who had 
already manifested remarkable enterprise in his explorations along the shores 
of Ontario and Erie, and in his mercantile enterprises with the natives, was 
seized with the desire to follow the course of the Mississippi to its mouth. 
Returning to France he sought and obtained from Colbert authority to pro- 
ceed with his explorations and take possession of the country in the name 
of France. Returning to Fort Frontenac with the Chevalier Tonti and a 
picked band, he ascended to the rapids of Niagara, passed around the falls 
with his ec{uipment, built a vessel of sixty tons, which he named the Griffin, 
and began the voyage up the great lakes now for the first time gladdened 
by so portentous a craft, the forerunner of a commerce whose white wings 
ha\-e come to enliven all its ways. 

Arrived at Green Bay, he sent his boat back for supplies with which to 
prosecute his voyage down the broad bosom of the princely stream. Caught 
in one of those storms which lurk in the secret places of these lakes, the 
little vessel was lost on its return voyage. Waiting in vain for tidings of his 
supplies, he crossed over to the Illinois River, and in the vicinity of the pres- 
ent town of Peoria he erected a fort, which in consonance with his own 
disappointed spirit, he named Creve-Coeur, the Broken Heart. Leaving 
Tonti and the Recollect, Hennepin, to prosecute the explorations of the 
valley. La Salle set out with only three followers to make his way back 
through the somber forests which skirt the lakes, to Fort Frontenac, at the 
mouth of Lake Ontario. In the meantime Hennepin explored the Illinois 
and the Mississippi to the Falls of St. Anthony, accounts of which on his 
return to France he published. Gathering fresh supplies and men, La Salle 
started again upon his arduous and perilous voyage; but upon his arrival at 
Fort Crevecoeur, upon the Illinois, he found it deserted, and his forces 
scattered, Tonti, whom he had left in cliarge, having been forced to flee. 
Not dismayed, he again returned to Frontenac. having fallen in with Tonti 
at Mackinaw. Again provided with the necessary supplies, but now with 
less cumbersome outfit, he started ^again, after having encountered discour- 
agements that would have broken the spirit of a less resolute man, in August, 


1 68 1, and proceeded on his devious way. But now, instead of the course he 
had before pursued, he moved up the Chicag-o River on sledges, and. having 
passed the portage, found Fort Crevecceur in good state of preservation. 
Having here constructed a barge of sufificient dimensions for his party, he 
commenced the voyage down the Mississippi, and reached the gulf witliout 
serious incident. Overjoyed at having brought his projects to a successful 
consummation, he took possession of the river and all the vast territory 
which it drained — large enough to constitute several empires like France — 
with a formal pomp and ceremony which was sufficient, if it were to depend 
on pomp and ceremony, to have insured the possession of the country in all 
time to come. He thoroughly explored the channels which form the delta 
of the mouth of the stream, and having selected a place high and dry. and not 
liable to inundation, which they found by the elevation of the north star to 
be in latitude 27° north, they erected a column and a cross to which they 
affixed a signal bearing this inscription: "Louis le Grand. Roi de France et 
de Navarre, regne, le neuvieme. Avril, 1682." Then chanting the Te Deum 
Exaudiat, and the Domine salvam fac Regem. and shouting Vive le Roi 
to a salvo of arms. La Salle, in a loud voice, read his process verbal, as 
though all the nations of the world were listening: "In the name of the most 
high, mighty, invincible and victorious prince, Louis the Great, by the grace 
of God King of France, and Navarre, Fourteenth of the name, this ninth 
day of April, 16S2, L in virtue of the commission of his majesty, which I 
hold in my hand, and which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have 
taken, and now do take, in the name of his majesty and of his successors to 
the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana." Here follows a de- 
scription of the rivers and countries drained by them, which he claims; and 
that all this is by the free consent of the natives who inhabit these lands; a 
statement which would probably have been difficult of verification, and in his 
verbal process he inserts the name Colbert, the King's minister, for the name 
of the river, in place of ]\Iississippi. He claims besides that he and his com- 
panions are the first Europeans who have ascended or descended the stream, 
on the authority of the peoples who dwell there, a statement which would be 
uncertain of verification, and thus ends his process verbal, "hereby protesting 
against all those who may hereafter undertake to invade any or all of these 
countries, people or lands above described, to the prejudice of the right of 
his majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations herein named, of which. 


and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, 
and demand an act of the notary as required by law." In addition to this, he 
caused to be buried at the foot of the cross a leaden plate with this inscription 
in Latin: "Ludovicus, magnus reget. Nono Aprilis MDCLXXXII. 
Robertus Cavellier, cum domino de Tonty Legato R. P. Zenobi Membre 
Recollecto, et viginti Gallis primus hoc flumen. inde ab Ilineorum Pago. 
Enavigavit, ejusque ostium fecit pervivum, nono Aprilis, Anni MDCL- 

By the terms of international law, recognized by all civilized peoples, 
the nation whose subjects were the discoverers of the mouth of a river could 
rightfully lay claim to all the territory drained by that river, and all its trib- 
utaries, even to their remotest limits, provided such lands had not been occu- 
pied by any Christian Prince. Had this claim been successfully vindicated 
Louisiana would have been bounded by the Alleghany Mountains on the 
east, the Rocky Mountains on the west, and would ha\e embraced the bulk 
of the territory- now the United States, and thus Pennsylvania would have 
been despoiled of a large proportion of its proud domain, and Crawford 
county been a vicinage of France. But the claim of La Salle was not well 
founded, he not having been the original discoverer. For de Soto a hundred 
and forty years before had discovered the river, and. through his followers, 
had traced it to its mouth, and had taken possession of the river in the name 
of the King of Spain, with even greater pomp and ceremony than La Salle, 
setting up the cross and performing religious rites which the well-known 
painting repeated on the greenbacks of our national currency has commem- 
orated. Had this claim of Spain been maintained by force and followed by 
settlement, the people of Crawford county would to-day be under the 
dominion of Spain, or of a Spanish speaking people.. But if by the failure 
of Spain the French had been successful in establishing their claims, then 
the Bourbon lilies would have succeeded to power here, and French would 
have been the language. As we shall soon see, the chances by which it 
escaped that sway were for a time quite evenly balanced between the French 
and the English. 

La Salle returned to France with great expectations of empire for his 
country. With a fleet of thirty vessels, and people for a large colony, he set 
sail for the new possessions, four of which under his immediate command 
steered direct for the Gulf of Mexico, with the intention of entering the 


mouth of the ?ilississippi River; but he failed to find the entrance, and, after 
sufifisring untold hardships and privations on the coast of Texas by ship- 
wreck, dissensions among his followers and the tireless hostility of the sav- 
ages, his expedition came to an ignoble enW, he himself fortunate in escaping 
with his life. ]\Iay we not believe that Providence had other designs for this 

The third and last of the great European nations to engage in active 
colonization on the Xorth American coast was England. For, though Hol- 
land and other European nations sent out colonies, they all became subject 
to the English. Henry VH.. who had turned a deaf ear to the appeals of 
Columbus, saw with envy what he thought were great advantages being 
secured to neighboring nations through the discoveries of the great navi- 
gator. He accordingly lent a ready ear to the Cabots, of Bristol, his chief 
port. As early as 1497 they set out to share in New World enterprise, and 
in their voyages explored the coast from Labrador to the Carolinas, and 
subsequently South America, giving name to the great river of the south, 
Rio de la Plata. Frobisher followed, and Sir Humphrey Gilbert, half- 
brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, who aided Gilbert with his fortune, and his 
powerful influence at court, Init perished by shipwreck without efifecting a 
foothold upon the virgin soil. I 'nder the patronage of Raleigh, Amidas and 
Barlow, in 1584, were sent, who made a lodgment on the Carolinas; but 
instead of observing seedtime and harvest, they wasted their energies in 
the vain search for gold, which they probably hoped to pick up in great nug- 
gets all along the shore, and their attempt at settlement came to naught. 
Not discouraged Raleigh fitted out another expedition which sailed under 
Sir Richard Grenville, and exhausted his great fortune in the enterprise. A. 
lodgment was made at Roanoke, but the colony planted held a sickly exist- 
ence for a short time, when, after vast expenditures, it was forever aban- 
doned. Hendrick Hudson, under the patronage of London merchants, and 
subsequently of the Dutch, made voyages of discovery, and in 1609 entered 
Delaware Bay and made a landing on the soil of what is Pennsylvania, en- 
tered New York Bay and ascended the Hudson River, to which he gave his 
name, and took possession of all this country in the name of the Dutch, in 
whose employ he was then sailing. As yet nothing permanent by way of 
settlement had been achieved. 

But the English, having explored most of the coast from Halifax in 


Nova Scotia to Cape Fear in North Carolina, laid claim to all this stretch 
of the coast, and indefinitely westward. In the reign of the feeble and timid 
James I. this immense country was divided into two parts, the one extend- 
ing from New York Bay to Canada, known as North Virginia, which was 
granted for settlement to the Plymouth Company, organized in the west 
of England, and the other reaching from the mouth of the Potomac south- 
ward to Cape Fear, was called South Virginia, and was bestowed upon the 
London Company, composed of residents of that city. It will thus be seen 
that a belt of some two hundred miles was left between the two grants so 
that they should have no liability to encroach upon each other's settlements. 
The language of these grants by James was remarkable for every quality 
of style but perspicuity. The London Company were to be limited between 
the thirty-fourth and forty-first degrees of north latitude, and the Plymouth 
Company between the thirty-eighth and forty-fifth degrees. It will thus 
be seen that the two grants overlap each other by three degrees; but as 
neither company was to begin settlements within a hundred miles of the 
territory of the other it practically left the limits unconflicting. Previous 
to the active operations inaugurated by these companies frequent attempts 
had been made by the English at colonization; but hitherto, beyond a few 
fishing stations, and the fort which the Spanish continued to maintain at 
St. Augustine, no foothold had been gained by them along the whole stretch 
of the Atlantic, now occupied by the States of the Union. Tlie London 
Company in 1607 sent one hundred and five colonists in three small ships 
under command of Christopher Newport, to make a settlement in South 
Virginia. Among the number was Bartholomew Gosnold, who was the real 
organizer of the company, and the renowned Captain John Smith, by far 
the ablest. They entered Chesapeake Bay, giving the names Charles and 
Henry, the names of King James' two sons, to the opposite capes at the 
entrance, and having moved up the James River selected a spot upon its 
banks for a capital of the future empire, which, in honor of the King, they 
called Jamestown. The seat here chosen became the seed of a new nation.' 
The encounter with the powerful war chief, Powhatan, and the romantic 
story of his gentle and lovely daughter, Pocahontas, will ever lend a charm 
to the early history of Virginia. 

The Plymouth Company having made fruitless attempts to get a foot- 


hold upon their territory, apphed to the King for a new and more definite 
charter. Forty of "the wealthiest and most powerful men in the realm asso- 
ciated themselves together under the name of the council of Plymouth 
Company, and to them James granted a new charter, embracing all the 
territory lying between the fortieth and forty-eighth degree of north latitude, 
and stretching away to the Pacific — a boundless grant, little comprehended 
by the King and his ministers, they believing that the South Sea, as the 
Pacific was designated, which had been seen by Balboa from a high moun- 
tain in the isthmus, was close at hand. In 1620 a band of English Puritans, 
who had been persecuted and harried for non-conformity to the English 
church, having escaped to Holland, and there heard flattering accounts of 
the New World, conceived the idea of setting up in the new country a hom.e 
for freedom. Having obtained from the Council of Plymouth authority to 
make a settlement upon their grant, and having received assurance that 
their non-conformity would be winked at, a company of forty-one men, with 
their families, one hundred and one in all, "the winnowed remnants of the 
Pilgrims," embarked in the Mayflower, and after a perilous voyage of sixty- 
three days, landed on the shores of Massachusetts, at Plymouth Rock, and 
made a settlement which they called New Plymouth. Before leaving the 
ship they drew up, and the whole colony signed, a form of government, and 
elected John Carver Governor. The elder Brewster had accompanied them 
as their spiritual guide. And here in a mid-winter of almost Arctic fierce- 
ness, they suffered and endured : but sang the songs of freedom. By spring 
the Governor and his wife, and forty-one of their number, were in their 
graves; but not dismayed they observed seed time, and gathered in harvest; 
other pilgrims joined them; it also became the seed of a State. 

In the meantime the Dutch had planted upon the Hudson and the Dela- 
ware by virtue of the discoveries of Hudson in 1609. And now in succession 
followed the planting ofMaryland, 1634-5, Connecticut in 1632, Rhode Island 
in 1636, New Hampshire in 1631. Pennsylvania in 1682, the Carohnas in 
1680 and Georgia in 1733. 

But has it ever occurred to the reader when unfolding the charters con- 
veying unlimited possession of vast stretches of the new found continent, by 
ihe great sovereigns of Europe, to ask by what authority, or by what legal 
right they assumed to apportion out, and give away, and set up bounds in 
this land? Here was a people in possession of this country, whose right to 


the soil could not be questioned. True it was not so densely peopled as the 
continent of Europe; but the population was quite generally distributed, 
and they were organized into tribes and confederacies, and were in actual 
possession — a claim fortified by long occupancy. The European sovereigns 
were careful to insert in theiir charters, "not heretofore occupied by any 
Christian Prince." But the Indians believed in a Great Spirit whom they 

The answer to this question, whether satisfactory or not, has been that 
the civilized nations of Europe, on crossing the ocean, found here a vast 
country of untold resources lying untouched and unstirred, the natives 
subsisting almost exclusively by hunting and fishing, the few spots used for 
cultivation being very small in proportion to the whole, and consequently 
their right to the soil as being unworthy of consideration. They found a 
people grossly ignorant, superstitious, idle, exhibiting the fiercest and most 
inhuman passions that vex the human breast, their greatest enjoyment, their 
supreme delight being the infliction upon their victims such refinements of 
torment and perpetrations of savagery as makes the heart sick to contem- 
plate. Europeans have, therefore, held that they were justified in entering 
upon this practically unused soil and dispossessing this scattered, barbaric 

Justice Story, in his familiar exposition of the constitution, in com- 
menting upon this subject, says : "As to countries in the possession of native 
inhabitants and tribes, at the time of the discovery, it seems difficult to 
perceive what ground of right any discovery could confer. It would seem 
strange to us if, in the present times, the natives of the South Sea Islands, or 
of Cochin China, should, by making voyages to, and discovery of, the United 
States, on that account set up the right to the soil within our boundaries. 
The truth is, that the European nations paid not the slightest regard to the 
rights of the native tribes. They treated them as mere barbarians and heath- 
ens, whom, if they were not at liberty to exterminate, they were entitled to deem 
mere temporary occupants of the soil. They might convert them to Chris- 
tianity; and if they refused conversion they might drive them from the soil as 
unworthy to inhabit it. They affected to be governed by the desire to pro- 
mote the cause of Christianity, and were aided in this ostensible object by the 
whole influence of the papal power. But their real object was to extend 
their own power and increase their own wealth by acquiring the treasures, 


as well :vj, territory, of the New World. Avarice and ambition were at the 
):)ottom of their original enterprises." 

This may be a just view of the moral and primary estimate of the case, 
yet the Supreme Court of the United States passed upon the question. Chief 
Justice Marshall deHvering the opinion, holding that "the Indian title to the 
soil is not of such a character or validity to interfere with the possession in 
fee and disposal of the land as the State may see fit." In point of fact, ever)' 
European nation has, by its conduct, shown that it had a perfect right to 
seize any part of the continent, and as much as it could by any possibility get 
its hands upon, could with perfect impunity steal and sell into slavery the 
natives, drive them out from their hunting grounds, burn and destroy their 
wigwams and scanty crops on the slightest pretext, inflict upon them every 
species of injury which caprice or lust suggested. It is no wonder, therefore, 
tlial the Indians felt aggrieved, and that their savage instincts were whetted 
for their fell work of blood, and many of the massacres which were perpe- 
trated may be traced to a bitterness thus engendered. Generations of ill 
usage could scarcely be expected to bear other fruitage. 



PENNSYLVANIA was later in being settled as a distinct colony than 
most of the others upon the seaboard. The Dutch, who originally 
settled New York, had effected a lodgment upon the Delaware, and 
maintained a fort there for trading purposes. They eventually sent out Gov- 
ernors to rule there, with justices of the peace, constables and all the appur- 
tenances of civil government. In 1638 came the Swedes, the representatives 
of the great monarch, Gustavus Adolphus, and for several years there was 
divided authority upon the Delaware, the Dutch and the Swedes contending 
for the mastery. In 1664, upon the accession of Charles II. to the English 
throne, came the English with a patent from the King covering all the terri- 
tory between the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers; in short, all the territory- 
occupied by the Dutch. Seeing themselves likely to be overcome bv force, 
the Dutch quietl)- surrendered, and the colony upon the Delaware passed 
under English rule. In 1677 came three shiploads of emigrants, for the most 
English Quakers, who settled on either side of the Delaware, but the greater 
part in West Jersey. Some of this religious sect had preceded them, and 
in 1672 George Fox, the founder, had traveled through the Delaware coun- 
try, "fording streams in his course, camping out nights and visiting and 
counselling with his followers on the way." In 1664 Lord Berkeley and 
Sir George Carteret received from the Duke of York a grant of territory 
between the Delaware and the ocean, including the entire southern portion 
of New Jersey. After ten years of troublesome attempts to settle their coun- 
try, with little profit or satisfaction, Berkeley and Carteret sold New Jersey 
for a thodsand pounds to John Fenwick, in trust for Edward Billinge, both 
Quakers. The affairs of Billinge were in confusion, and upon making an 
assignment Gawin Lawrie, William Penn and Nicholas Lucas became his 
assignees. In the discharge of his duty as trustee for Billinge, William 
Penn. who was himself a convert to the doctrines of Fox, became greatly 
interested in the colonization of the Quakers in the New World, they having 

suffered grievous persecution for religious opinion's sake. In his devotion 



to their interests he spent much time and labor in drawing up a body of 
laws for the government of the colony, devised in a spirit of unexampled lib- 
erality anil freedom for the colonists. 

We, who are accustomed to entire freedom in our modes of worship, 
can have little idea of the bitterness and deadly animosity of the persecu- 
tions for religious opinion's sake which prevailed in the reigns of bloody 
Mary and her successors. Even as late as the accession of James II. to 
the English throne, over fourteen hundred Quakers, the most learned and 
intelligent of that faith, mild and inoffensive, were languishing in the pris- 
ons of England, for no other crime than a sincere attempt to follow in the 
footsteps of their Divine ]\Iaster, for Theeing and Thouing as they con- 
ceived He had done. To escape this hated and harassing persecution first 
turned the mind of Pcnn to the Xew World. If, thought he, I can secure a 
tract of a new counlr_\" where my people can begin life anew, and have per- 
fect freedom of worship, with no one to molest or make us afraid, it will be 
lik'e a heaven on earth. Penn had reason to expect favor at the hands of 
James II. His father, who was a true born Englishman, was an eminent 
Admiral in the British Na\'y, and had won great honors upon the seas for his 
country's flag. He had commanded the expedition which was sent to the 
West Indies by Cromwell, and had reduced the island of Jamaica to English 
rule. When James, then Duke of York, made his expedition against the 
Dutch, Admiral Penn commanded the fleet which descended upon the Dutch 
coast, and gained a great naval victory over the combined forces led by Van 
Opdam. For his gallantry in this campaign "he was knighted, and became a 
favorite at court, the King and his brother, the Duke, holding him in cher- 
ished remembrance." It was natural, therefore, that the son should seek 
favors at court for his distressed religious associates. 

Upon the death of Admiral Penn the British government was indebted 
to him in the sum of sixteen thousand pounds, a part of it money actually 
advanced by the Admiral in fitting out the fleet which had gained the great 
victory. In lieu of this sum of money, which in those days was looked 
upon as a great fortune, the son, \\'illiam, proposed to the King, Charles 
II., who was now upon the English throne, that he should grant him a prov- 
ince in America, "a tract of land in America lying north of Maryland, 
bounded east by the Delaware River, on the west limited as Maryland and 
northward to extend as far as plantable." These expressions "as far as plant- 


able," as far upward and northward as convenient, and the like, were ta\-orite 
forms of expression in cases where the country had been unex])Iored, and no 
maps existed for the guidance of the royal secretaries, and were the cause 
of much uncertainty in interpreting the royal patents and of long and wast- 
ing controversies over the just boundaries of the colonies. 

King Charles, who had trouble enough in meeting the ordinary ex- 
penses of his throne without proxiding for an old score, lent a read}' ear to 
the application of the son and heir of the oUl Admiral, antl the idea of paying 
off a just debt with a slice of that country, which had cost him nothing, 
induced him to be lil^eral, and he gave Penn more than he had asked for. 
Already there were conflicting claims. The Duke of York held the grant of 
the three counties which now constitute the present State of Delaware, and 
Lord Baltimore held a patent, the northern limit of which was left indefinite. 
The Is^ing himself manifested miusual solicitude in perfecting the title to 
his grant, and in many ways showed that he had at heart great friendship for 
Penn. All conflicting claims were patiently heard by the Lords, and that the 
best legal and judicial light upon the subject might be had, the Attorney- 
General, Jones, and Chief Justice North were called in. Finally, after careful 
deliberation, the Great Charter of Pennsylvania, conveying territory ample 
for an empire, holding unexamjded resources upon its surface, and within 
its bosom, gladdened on every hand by lordly streams, and so diversified in 
surface as to present a scene of matchless beauty, was conveyed to^ Penn 
in liberal, almost loving, words: "Charles IL, by the grace of God, King of 
England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith, etc.. To afl 
to whom these presents shall come, greeting." 

"Whereas, our trustie and well beloved subject, \\'illiam I^enn. sonn 
and heire of Sir William Penn, deceased, out of a commendable desire to 
enlarge our English Empire and promote such useful commodities as may 
bee of benefitt to us and our dominions, as alsoe to reduce the Savage Na- 
tives by gentle and just manners to the love of civill Societie and Christian 
ReHgion, hath humbly besought leave of us to transport an ample colonie 
unto a certain countrey hereinafter described in the partes of America not yet 
cultivated and planted. And hath likewise humbly besought our Royal! 
majestie to give, grant and confirm all the said countrey with certaine privi- 
leges and jurisdiccons requisite for the good Government and saftie of the 
said Countrey and Colonie, to him and his heires forever. Know yee, there- 


fore, that wee, favoring the petition and good purpose of the said Wilham 
Penn, and having regard to the memorie and merits of his late father, in 
divers services and particulerly to his conduct, courage and discretion under 
our dearest brother, James, Duke of Yorke, in the signall battell and victorie 
fought and obteyned againste, the Dutch fleete, commanded by Her Van 
Opdam, in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty-five, in considera- 
tion thereof of our special grace, certain knowledge and meere motion, Have 
given and granted, and by this our present Charter, for ws, our heires and 
successors Doe give and grant unto the said \\'illiam Pen, his heires and 
assigns, all that tract and parte of land in America, with all the islands therein 
conteyned, as the same is bounded on the east by Delawar River, from 
twelve miles distance Northward of New-Castle Towne unto the three and 
fortieth degree of northern latitude, the said lands to extend westwards five 
degrees in longitude to bee computed from the said Eastern Bounds, and 
the said lands to be bounded on the North by the jjeginning' of the three 
and fortieth degree of Northern latitude, and on the south by a circle drawn 
at twelve miles, distance from New Castle northwards and westwards unto 
the beginning of the fortieth degree of Northern Latitude, and then by a 
straight line Westwards to the limit of longitude above menconed." 

Such is the introduction and deed of conveyance of the great charter by 
which Penn came into possession of that royal domain, Pennsylvania. But 
it was to be in the nature of a sale. To make this deed of transfer binding 
according to the forms of law, there must be a consideration, the payment 
of which could be acknowledged or enforced; so the King, in a merry mood, 
exacted the payment thus: "Yielding and paying therefore to us, our heires 
and successors, two Beaver Skins to be delivered att our said Castle of Wind- 
sor, on the first day of January, in every yeare." The King also added a 
fifth of all gold and silver v.diich might he found. But as none was ever 
discovered the sale of this great State was made, so far as this instrument 
shows, for two beaver skins, to be annually paid to the King. Penn had 
asked that his western boundary should be commensurate with' the western 
boundary of Maryland, but the King gave him a full degree of longitude 
more than he asked for. Had Penn recei\-ed only what he asked for, then 
Crawford, Mercer and Venango, indeed, the whole block of counties on this 
western border, embracing Pittsburg and Allegheny, would have fallen out- 
side of Pennsvlvania. 


Penn had proposed that his province should be called New Wales, but 
the King objected to this. Penn then proposed Sylvania, as the country 
was reputed to be overshadowed by goodly forests. To this the King 
assented, provided the prefix Penn should be given it. Penn vigorously 
opposed this, as savoring of personal vanity. But the King was inflexible, 
claiming this as an opportunity to honor his great father's name. Accord- 
ingly, when the charter was drawn, that name was inserted. Following 
the introduction are twenty-three sections providing for the government 
and internal regulation of the proposed colony, and adjusting with great 
particularity and much tedious circumlocution th.e relations of the colonv 
to the home government. It is not on this account thought best to quote 
the entire matter of the charter here, but any who may be curious to consult 
the document in its entirety will find the original, engrossed on parchment 
with an illuminated border, in the executive office at Harrisburg. If any- 
thing is wanting to show the heartfelt consideration of the King for Penn 
it is found in the twenty-third and last section: "And if, perchance, it should 
happen hereafter, any doubts or questions should arise concerning the true 
sense and meaning of any word, clause or sentence contained in this, om- 
present charter. We will ordain, and command that att all times and in all 
things, such interpretacon be made thereof, and allowed in any of our Courts 
whatsoever, as shall be adjudged most advantageous and favorable unto 
the said William Penn. his heires and assignes." 

It was a joyful day for Penn when he received at the hands of the King 
the great charter, conferring almost unlimited power, and with so many 
marks of the kindness of heart and personal favor of his sovereign. He had 
long meditated of a free commonwealth where it should be the study of the 
law-giver to form his codes with an eye to the greatest good and happmess 
of his subjects, and where tlie supreme delight of the subject would l)e to 
render impHcit obedience to its requirements. Plato's dream of an ideal 
republic, a land of just laws and happy men— "the dream of that city where 
all goodness should dwell, whether such has ever existed in the infinity of 
4ays gone by. or even now exists in the gardens of the Hesperides, far from 
our sight and knowledge, or will perchance hereafter, which, though it be 
not on earth, must have a pattern of it laid up in heaven"— such a dream 
was ever in the mind of Penn. The thought that he now had a new country, 
an almost unlimited stretch of land, where he could go and set up his repub- 


lie and form and govern to his own sweet will, and in conformitv to his 
cherished ideal, thrilled his soul and filled him with unspeakable delight. But 
he was not puffed up with vain-glory. To his friend Turner he writes: "My 
true love in the Lord salutes thee, and dear friends that love the Lord's 
precious truth in those parts. Thine epistle I have, and for my business 
here, know, that after many waitings, solicitings in council, this day my 
country was confirmed to me under the great seal of England, with large 
powers and privileges, by the name of Pennsylvania, a name the King would 
give in honor of my father. Thou mayest communicate my grant to Friends, 
and expect shortly my proposals. It is a clear and just thing, and my God, 
that has given it to me through many difficulties, will. I believe, bless and 
make it the seed of a nation." And may we not cherish the belief that the 
man}- and signal 1)lessings which have come to this Commonwealth in 
succeeding years, have come through the devout and pious spirit of the 

He had seen the companions of his religious faith sorely treated 
throughout all England, and for them he now saw the prospect of a release 
from their tribulations. Penn himself had come up through bitter perse- 
cution and scorn on account of his religion. At the age of fifteen he entered 
Oxford University, and for the reason that he and some of his fellow- 
students practiced the faith of the Friends, they were admonished and finally 
expelled. Returning to his home in Ireland, where his father had large 
estates, his serious deportment gave great offence, the father fearing that 
his advancement at court would thereby be marred. Thinking to break 
the spirit of the son, the boy was whipped, and finally expelled from the 
family home. At Cork, where he was employed in the service of the Lord 
Lieutenant, he. in company with others, was apprehended at a religious 
meeting of Friends, and cast into prison. While thus incarcerated, he wrote 
to the Lord President of Munster. pleading for liberty of conscience. On 
being liberated, he became more devoted than before, and so impressed was 
he with a sense of religious duty that he became a minister of the gospel. 
Religious controversy at this time, was sharp, and a pamphlet which he wrote 
gave so luuch offence to the Bishop of London that Penn was thrown into 
the Tower, where he languished for eight and a half months. But he was 
not idle, and one of the books which he composed during his imprisonment, 
— "No Cross, Xo Crown," — attained a wide circulation, and is still read 


with satisfaction by the faithful in all lands. Fearing that his motives mig-ht 
be misconceived, he made tliis distinct statement of his beHef, "Let all 
know this, that I pretend to know no other name by which remission, atone- 
ment and salvation can be obtained bnt Jesus Christ, the Savior, who is 
the power and wisdom of God," Upon his release, he continued to preach 
and exhort, was arrested with his associate Mead, and was tried at the Old 
Bailey. Penn plead his own cause with great boldness and power, and 
W'as acquitted; but the court imposed a fine for contempt in wearing his 
hat, and, for non-payment, he was cast into Newgate with common felons. 
At this time, 1670, the father, feeling" his end approaching, sent money 
privately to pay the fine, and summoned the son to his bedside. The meet- 
ing was deeply affecting. The father's heart was softened, and completely 
broken, and, as would seem from his words, had become converted to the 
doctrines of the son, for he said to him with his parting breath, "Son 
William, I am weary of the world. I would not live over again my days, if 
I could command it with a wish, for the snares of life are greater than the 
fears of death. This troubles me, that I have offended a gracious God. The 
thought of that has followed me to this day. Oh! have a care of sin! It 
is that which is the sting both of life and death. Let nothing in this life 
tempt you to wrong your conscience; so will you keep peace at home, which 
will lie a feast to yon in the day of trouble." Before his death he sent a 
friend to the Duke of York with a dying request, that the Duke would 
endeavor to protect his son from persecution, and would use his influence 
with the King to the same end. 

The King had previously given James, Duke of York, a charter for 
Long Island, with an indefinite western boundary, and, lest this might at 
some future day compromise his right to some portion of his territory, Penn 
induced the Duke to execute a deed for the same territory covered by the 
royal charter, and substantially in the same words used in describing its 
limits. But he was still not satisfied to leave the shores of the only navigable 
river communicating with the ocean, under the dominion of others, who 
might in time become hostile, and interfere with the free navigation of the 
stream. He accordingly induced the Duke to make a grant to him of New 
Castle and New Castle County, and on the same day a grant of the territory 
stretching onward to the sea covering the two counties of Kent and Sussex, 
the two grants together embracing what were designated the territories, or 


the three lower counties, what in after years became the State of Delaware, 
but by which acts became and long remained component parts of Pennsyl- 
■ vania. This gave Penn a considerable population, as in these three counties 
the Dutch and Swedes, since 1609, had been settling. 

Penn was now ready to settle his own colony, and try his own schemes 
of government. Lest there might be misapprehension respecting his pur- 
pose in obtaining his charter, and unworthy persons with unworthy motives 
might be induced to emigrate, he declares repeatedly his own sentiments. 
"For my country," he says, "I eyed the Lord in obtaining it, and more was 
I drawn inwards to look to Him and to owe to His hand and power than to 
any other way. I have so obtained and desire to keep it, that I may not 
be unworthy of His love, but do that which may answer His kind provi- 
dence and people." 

In choosing a form of government, he was much perplexed. He had 
thought the government of England all wrong, when it bore so heavily 
upon him and his friends, and he doubtless thought in his earlier years that 
he could order one in righteousness; l)ut when it was given him to dravv' 
a form that should regulate the affairs of the future State, he hesitated. 
"For particular frames and models, it will become me to say little. 'Tis 
true, men seem to agree in the end, to wit, happiness; but in the means they 
differ, as to divine, as to this human felicity ; and the cause is much the 
same, not alwavs want of light and knowledge, but want of using them 
rightly. Men side with their passions against their reason, and their sinister 
interests have so strong a bias upon their minds that they lean to them 
against the things they knovv . I do not find a model in the world that time, 
place and some singular emergencies have not necessarily altered; nor is 
it easy to frame a civil government that shall serve all places alike. I 
know what is said of the several admirers of [Monarchy, Aristocracy and 
Democracy, which are the rule of one. of a few, and of many, and are the 
three common ideas of government, when men discourse of that subject. 
But I propose to solve the controversy with this small distinction, and it 
belongs to all three; any government is free to the people under it, wliat- 
ever be the frame, where the laws rule and the people are a party to those 
laws, and more than this is tyranny, oligarchy, and confusion." 

"But when all is said, there is hardly one frame of government in the 
world so ill designed by its first founders that in good hands would not do 


well enough; and story tells us, the hest in ill hands can do nothing that is 
great and good: witness the Jewish and the Roman States. Governments, 
like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are 
made and moved by men, so by them are they ruined, too. Wherefore gov- 
ernments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men 
be good, and the government cannot be bad; if it be ill, they will cure it. 
But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor 
to warp and spoil to their turn." 

"I know some say, let us have good laws, and no matter for the men 
that execute them; but let them consider that though good laws do well, 
good men do better; for good laws may want good men, and be abolished 
or invaded by ill men; l)ut good men will never want for good laws, nor 
suffer ill ones. "Tis true, good laws have some awe upon ill ministers; but 
that is where they have not power to'escape or abolish them, and the people 
are generally wise and good; but a loose and depraved people, which is to 
the question, love laws and an administration like themselves. That, there- 
fore, which makes a good constitution must keep it, viz.; men of wisdom 
and virtue, qualities that, because they descend not with worldly inheritances, 
must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth, for which 
after ages will owe more to the care and prudence of founders, and the 
successive magistracy, than to their parents for their private patrimonies." 

These considerations, which stand as a preface to his frame of gov- 
ernment, are given to show the temper of mind and heart of Penn, as he 
entered upon his great work. He seems like one who stands before the 
door of a royal palace, and is loth to lay his hand upon the knob, whose 
turn shall give him entrance, for fear his tread should be unsanctitied by 
the grace of Heaven, or lack favor in the eyes of his subjects. For he says 
in closing his disquisition; "These considerations of the weight of govern- 
ment, and the nice and varied opinions about it, made it uneasy to me to 
think of publishing the ensuing frame and conditional laws, foreseeing both 
the censures they will meet with from men of differing humors and engage- 
ments, and the occasion they may give of discourse beyond design. But 
next to the power of necessity, this induced me to a compliance that we 
have (with reverence to God, and good conscience to men), to the best of 
our skill contrived and composed the frame and laws of this government, 
to the great end of all government, viz.: To support in reverence with the 


people from the abuse of power; that they may ht free by their just obedi- 
ence, and the magistrates honorable for their just administration; for liberty 
without obedience is confusion, and obedience without liberty is slavery. 
To carry this evenness is partly owing to the constitution, and partly to the 
magistracy; where either of these fail, government will be subject to con- 
fusion; but when both are wanting, it must be totally subverted; then 
where both meet, the government is like to endure. Which I humbly pray 
and hope God will please to make the lot of this of Pennsylvania." 

In such a temper, and with such a spirit did our great founder approach 
the work of drawing a frame of government and laws for his proposed 
community, insignificant in numbers at first, but destined at no distant day 
to embrace millions. It is not to be wondered at that he felt great solicitude, 
in view of the future possibilities. With great care and tenderness for the 
rights and privileges of the individual, he drew the frame or constitution 
in twenty-four sections, and the body of laws in forty. And who can esti- 
mate the power for good to this people of the system of government set 
up by this pious, God-fearing man, e^ery provision of which was a subject 
of his prayers and tears, and the deep yearnings of a sanctified heart. 

The town meeting works the destruction of thrones. Penn's system 
was in eft'ect a free Democracy, where the individual was supreme. Had 
King Charles foreseen, when he gave his charter, what principles of freedom 
to the individual would be embodied in the government of the new colony, 
and would be nurtured in the hearts of the oncoming generations, if he had 
held the purpose of keeping this an obedient and constituent part of his 
kingdom, he would have withheld his assent to it, as elements were im- 
planted therein antagonistic to arbitrary, kingly rule. But men sometimes 
contrive better than they know, and so did Charles. 

When finished, the frame of government was published, and was sent 
out accompanied with a description of the countr}-, and special care was 
taken that these should reach the members of the society of Friends. Many 
of the letters w-ritten home to friends in England, by those who had settled 
in the country years before, were curious and amusing, and well calculated 
to excite a desire to emigrate. Two years before this, Mahlon Stacy wrote 
an account of the country, which the people of our day would scarcely be 
able to match. "I have seen,"' he says, '"orchards laden with fruit to admir- 
ation; their very limbs torn to pieces with weight, most delicious to the taste. 


and lovely to behold. I have seen an apple tree, from a pippm-kernel, yield 
a barrel of curious cider, and peaches in such plenty that some people took 
their carts a-peach gathering. 1 could not but smile at the conceit of it; 
they are very delicious fruit, and hang almost like our onions that are tied 
on ropes. I have seen and know this summer forty bushels of bold wheat 
from one bushel sown. From May to Michaelmas great store of very good 
wild fruit, as strawberries, cranberries and hurtleberries, which are like our 
bilberries in England, only far sweeter; the cranberries, much like cherries 
for color and bigness, which may be kept till fruit comes again; an excellent 
sauce is made of them for venison, turkeys and other great fowl, and they 
are better to make tarts of than either gooseberries or cherries; we have 
them brought to our houses by the Indians in great plenty. My brother, 
Robert, had as many cherries this year as would have loaded several carts. 
As for venison and fowls, we have great plenty; we have brought home to 
our countries by the Indians seven or eight fat bucks in a' day. We went 
into the river to catch herrings, after the Indian fashion. We could have 
filled a three-bushel sack of as good large herrings as I ever saw. And as 
to beef and pork, here is a great plenty of it, and good sheep. The common 
grass of the country feeds beef very fat. Indeed, the country, take it as a 
wilderness, is a brave country." 

If the denizens of England were to accept this description as a true 
picture of the productions and possibilities of the New World, they might 
well conclude with this writer that, "for a wilderness," it was a "brave 
country," and we can well understand why they flocked to the new El 
Dorado. But lest any might be tempted to go without sufficient consider- 
ation, Penn issued a pronunciamento, urging every one who contemplated 
going thither to consider well the inconveniences of the voyage, and the 
labor and privation required of emigrants to a wilderness country, "that so 
none may move rashly, or from a fickle, but from a solid mind, having above 
all things an eye to the providence of God in the disposing of themselves." 

And that there should be no misunderstanding in regard to the rights 
of property, Penn drew up "Certain Conditions and Concessions," before 
leaving England, which he circulated freely, touching the laying out of roads 
and highways, the plats of towns, the settling communities on ten-thousand- 
acre tracts, so that friends and relatives might be together; declaring that 
the woods, rivers, quarries and mines are the exclusive property of those on 


whose purchases they are found; for the allotments of servants; that the 
Indians shall be treated justly; the Indian's fur shall be sold in open 
market; that the Indian shall be treated as a citizen, and that no man shall 
leave the province without gix'ing three weeks' public notice, posted in the 
market place, that all claims for indebtedness might be liquidated. These 
and many other matters of like tenor form the subject of these remarkable 
concessions, all tending to show the solicitude of Penn for the interests of 
his colonists, and that none should say that he deceived or overreached 
them in the sale of his lands. He foresaw the liability that the natives 
would be under to be deceived and cheated by the crafty and designing, 
being entirely unskilled in judging of the values of things. He accordingly 
devotes a large proportion of the matter of these concessions to secure and 
defend the rights of the ignorant natives. 

If it was possible to make a human being conform to the rights and 
privileges of civilized society, and make him truly an enlightened citizen, 
Penn's treatment of the Indian was calculated to make him so. He accepted 
the natives as his own people, as citizens in every important particular, and 
as destined to an immortal inheritance. He wrote to them, "There is a great 
God and power that hath made the world and all things therein, to whom 
you, and I. and all people owe their being and well-being; and to whom 
you and I must one day give an account for all that we do in the workl. 
This great God hath written His law in our hearts by which we are taught 
and commanded to love and help and do good to one another. Now the 
great God hath been pleased to make me concerned in your part of the 
world, and the king of the countrj- where I live hath given me a great 
province therein; but I desire to enjoy it with your love and consent that 
we may always live together as neighbors and friends; else what would the 
great God do to us, who hath made us not to devour and destroy one 
another, Init to live soberly and kindly together in the world? Now, I 
would have you well observe that 1 am very sensible of the unkindness 
and injustice that have been too much exercised towards you by the people 
of these parts of the world, who sought themselves, and to make great 
advantages by you rather than to be examples of goodness and patience 
unto you, which I hear hath been a matter of trouble to you, and caused 
great grudges and animosities, sometimes to the shedding of blood, which 
hath made the great God angry. But I am not such a man, as is well known 


in my country. I have great love and regard toward you, and desire to gain 
your love and friendship by a kind, just and peaceable life, and the people I 
send are of the same mind and shall in all things behave themselves 
accordingly; and if in anything any shall offend you, or your people, you 
shall have a full .and speedy satisfaction for the same by an equal number 
of just men on both sides, that l)y no means you may have just occasion 
of being offended against them. I shall shortly come to you myself, at 
which time we may more largely and freely confer and discourse of these 
matters. In the meantime. I have sent my commissioners to treat with you 
about land, and form a league of peace. Let me desire you to be kind to 
them and their people, and receive these tokens and presents which I have 
sent you, as a testimon\- of my good will to }-ou, and my resolution to live 
justly, peaceably, and friendly with you." 

Such was the mild and gentle attitude in which Penn came to the 
natives. Had the Indian character l)een capable of being broken and 
changed, so as to have adopted the careful and laborious habits which 
Europeans possess, the aborigines might have been assimilated, and become 
a constituent part of the population. Such was the expectation of Penn. 
They could have 1)ecome citizens, as every other foreign race have. But 
the Indian could no more be tamed than the wild partridge of the woods. 
Fishing and hunting were his occupation, and if any work or drudgery 
was to be done, it was shifted to women, as being beneath the dignity of 
the free savage of the forest. Two hundred and fifty years of intercourse 
with European civilization and customs have not in the least changed his 
nature. He is essentially the savage still, as he was on the day when 
Columbus first met him four hundred years ago. 

• But this fact does not change the aspect in which we should view 
the pious and noble intents of Penn, and they must ever be regarded with 
admiration as indicative of his loving and merciful purposes. He not only 
provided that they should be treated as human beings, on principles of 
justice and mercy, but he was particular to point out to his commissioners 
the manners which should be preserved in their jjresence. "Be tender of 
offending the Indians, and let them know that you come to sit down lovingly 
among them. Let my letter and conditions be read in. their own tongue, 
that they may see we have their good in our eye. Be grave. They love 
not to be smiled on." 



THE Colony of Pennsyh'ania was one of the last to be settled, yet 
scarcely had a century elapsed before it had outstripped in popula- 
tion all the others, and stood at the head of the thirteen which linked 
together in the patriotic struggle for independence. The census of i8o(j 
shows a white population for Pennsylvania of 586,095; New York, 557,731; 
\'irginia, 514,280: Massachusetts, 416,393; North Carolina, 337,764; Con- 
necticut. 244,721; Maryland, 216,326; South Carolina, 196,255; New 
Jersey. 194,325; New Hampshire, 182,998; Kentucky, 179,873; Vermont, 
153,908; Maine, 150.901; Georgia. 102.261; Tennessee, 91,709; Rhode 
Island, 65,438; Delaware. 49,852; Ohio. 48.028: Indiana, 5.343; Missis- 
sippi, 5,179. 

The growth of the province was something remarkable, and caused 
Penn to say. in a s|)irit of exultation unusual to him, "I must, without 
•\-anity say. I have led the greatest colony in America that ever any man 
did upon a private credit." Bancroft very justly observes. "There is noth- 
ing in the history of the human race like the confidence which the simple 
virtues and institutions of William Penn inspired. The progress of his 
province was more rapid than that of New England. In August, 1683, 
Philadelphia consisted of three or four little cottages. The conies were yet 
undisturbed in their hereditary burrows. The deer fearlessly bounded past 
blazed trees, unconscious of foreboded streets; the stranger that wandered 
from the river bank was lost in thickets of interminable forests; and two 
years afterwartl the place contained about six hundred houses, and the 
school-master and the printing press had begun their work. In three years 
from its foundation Philadelphia had gained more than New York had 
done in half a century. It was not long till Philadelphia led all the cities 
of America in population." 

Though Penn felt a just pride in the growth of his colony, the fertihty 

of the soil, and the mild and salubrious nature of the climate, yet he was 


*- E An 


not without deep anxiety about the estal)lishment of the boundaries of his 
province. Language could not l)y any possiI)ility l)e made more exact and 
definite than that employed by Charles II. in perfecting the great charter. 
That there might be no question as to its place on the face of the earth, 
lines of latitude and longitude from which there could be no variableness 
nor shadow of changing, were made to encompass it. The sun in his course, 
and the stars themselves were made to stand sentinels. Commencing at the 
beginning of the 40th parallel of north latitude, it was to extend to the 
beginnin.o; of the 43rd, and from the Delaware River, which was to form the 
eastern boundary, westward along these parallels five degrees of longitude, 
the western bound being such a meridian when ascertained by actual surve\ . 
It would seem that nothing could be more distinct and definite, absolutely 
incapable of varying, not dependent upon a monument subject to removal, 
or disintegration by time, but dependent ui)on the heavenly bodies, whose 
places change not from generation to generation, and from age to age. 

Penn was undoubtedly solicitous to have the southern boundary of his 
province the beginning of the 40th parallel, in order that he might have free 
access to the ocean by the Delaware Bay and River, as this would give 
him his only port of entry, which he could not be sure of if the two shores 
of this river were in the absolute possession of others. Besides, considerable 
settlements had already been made along the south bank, which were known 
as the three lower counties originally a part of Pennsylvania, now the State 
of Delaware. These three counties had been granted by King Charles to 
his brother James, Duke of York. Intent upon having an open waterwav 
to the ocean, Penn bought these three counties from the Duke, and secured 
a firm title duly recorded in the English office. 

Believing now that he had his title as secure as human foresight and 
legal forms could make it, he sent his cousin, ^^'illiam Markham, with three 
ship-loads, to take possession of his province. But the ink was scarcely 
dry upon the parchment which recorded the gift before the whisperings if 
counter claims were heard, and harl all the claims that were subsequently 
made been \erified he would have had scarcely a moiety left on which to 
have planted his own family. Markham, who, as Lieutenant Governor, was 
to take possession and commence surveys, had hardly shaken the salt spray 
from his locks before he was visited at Chester by Lord Baltimore, from 
jNIaryland, who presented his claim to all that country. 


The royal .gifts of land in the New World in the early days of settle- 
ment were lavish beyond comparison, the one overlapping another in the 
most lawless manner, the object seemingly being to secure the settlement 
of the country. There were no reliable maps of the continent, and the royal 
secretaries had little conception of the lands they were describing when 
they drew the royal charters. 

No one in England at this time seemed to have any conception of 
the width or extent of the continent. The shores of the Gulf of Mexico 
had been observed, and Balboa, ascending the mountain chain which skirts 
the narrow neck of land that joins North with South America, had beheld 
the vast expanse of peaceful waters which he named the Pacific, and it 
would seem that the popular belief was that the continent as it extended 
northward was comparatively narrow, and that when the royal gifts were 
made to extend from ocean to ocean, there was no conception that they 
stretched away three thousand miles. 

On the 20th of June, 1632, just fifty years before Penn had received 
the charter for his province, the King had granted to Lord Baltimore a 
charter for Maryland, named for Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV., 
and wife of Charles L, bounded by the ocean, the 40° of north latitude, the 
meridian of the western fountain of the Potomac, the river Potomac from 
its source to its mouth, and a line drawn east from Watkin's Point to the 
ocean, the place of beginning, on the thirty-eighth parallel. This territory 
was given to him, his heirs and assigns, on the payment of a yearly rental 
of two Indian arrows. 

Lord Baltimore exhibited to Governor Markham his claim, and to 
convince the Governor that his claim was valid, he made an observation of 
the heavens, which showed the latitude of Chester to be twelve miles south 
of the 41° north to which he claimed. Should this claim be allowed, the 
whole of the south shore of Delaware Bay and River, and hence the entire 
control of the navigation to the ocean bed, the three lower counties which 
Penn had bought from the Duke of York, now the State of Delaware, the 
sites of the cities of Philadelphia, York, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, indeed 
the whole tier of southern counties would have been cut off from Pennsyl- 
vania. As it will be seen, the allowance of this claim would have swallowed 
all the settlements that had been made for three-quarters of a century, all 
the wonderful emigration and growth which had now set in, including the 


great city which Penn had projected with so much satisfaction and cherished 
with his pains and prayers, the fairest section of his territory, and more 
than all. the way of navigation to the sea. 

Markham, on his part, exhibited the great charter of Penn, which ex- 
plicitly provides that the southern boundary shall be "the beginning of 
the 40th degree of north latitude. But this would have included the city 
of Baltimore, and even as far south as the District of Columbia, embracing 
all the growth of Maryland for half a century, and would have left for Mary- 
land a modicum of land east of the Potomac and south of the 39th degree 
north along either shore of the lower Chesapeake, an area about equal to 
the present State of Delaware. This Lord Baltimore regarded as an un- 
endurable hardship, and as his charter antedated that of Penn by fifty years, 
he held that the charter of the latter was invalidated, and that his own 
claim could be maintained. 

It was evident that neither of these claims could be justly vindicated 
in its integrity, as, if either were allowed, the other was virtually destroyed. 
In this condition, things rested until the coming of Penn. The new pro- 
prietary, soon after his arrival, learning of the! claims put forth by his 
neighbor at the head of the Chesapeake, determined to visit him, and for 
two days the clashing demands of the two Governors were talked over and 
canvassed. But, as the weather became cold, so as to preclude the possi- 
bility of taking observations to fix accurately the latitude, it was agreed to 
postpone further consideration of the question for the present. A picture 
of these two eminent men in this opening controversy would be one of 
great historical interest. We can well imagine that, while the representative 
of Pennsylvania presented throughout the conference a demeanor that was 
"child-like and bland," there was in the brain which the broad-brim sheltered, 
and in the heart which the shad-bellied coat kept warm, an unalterable pur- 
pose not to yield the best portion of his heritage. 

Early in the spring Penn invited Lord Baltimore to come to the 
Delaware for the settlement of their differences, but it was late in the season 
before he arrived. Penn proposed that the hearing be had before them in 
the nature of a legal investigation, with the aid of council and in writing. 
But this was not agreeable to Baltimore, and now he complained of the 
sultriness of the weather. Before it was too cold, and now it was too hot. 
Accordingly, the conference again broke up without anything being accom- 


plished. It was now plainly evident that Baltimore did not intend to come 
to any agreement with Penn, but would carry his cause before the royal 
tribunal in London. 

Penn now understood all the conditions of the controversy, and that 
there were grave difficulties to be encountered. In the first place, his own 
charter was explicit, and would give him, if allowed, three full degrees of 
latitude and five of longitude. On the other hand, the charter of Baltimore 
made his northern boundary the 40th degree, but whether the beginning or 
the ending was not provided. If the beginning, then Maryland would l^e 
crowded down nearly to the northern limits of the city of ^^'asllington, and 
Pennsylvania would embrace the city of Baltimore and the greater portion 
of what is now Maryland, and westerly beyond Maryland a solid portion of 
Virginia, now West Virginia. On the other hand, if the ending, then 
Philadelphia and all its southern tier of counties would have to be given 
up. By the usual interpretation of language, the charter of Lord Baltimore 
would only gi\'e him to the beginning of the fortieth degree. But he had 
boldly assumed the other interpretation, and hatl made nearly all his 
settlements abo\e that line. Again, it was provided in his charter that the 
boundaries prescribed should not include any territory already settled by 
any Christian prince. But it was well known that the settlements along the 
right bank of the Delaware, from the first visit of Hudson, in 1609, long 
before the charter of Lord Baltimore was given, had been made on the 
territory now claimed by him, settlements in which he had no interest, which 
he had done nothing to promote, and over which he had exercised no 
go\'ernmental control. 

On the other hand, there were difficulties in construing one portion 
of the charter of Penn, doubtless caused by the ignorance of the royal sec- 
retaries of the geography of the country, there having been no accurate 
maps made at this time. Consequently, when they commenced to describe 
the southern boundary of Pennsylvania they said, "and on the south by a 
circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New Castle, northwards and west- 
wards unto the beginning of the fortieth degree of northern latitude, and 
then by a straight line westwards to the limit of longitude above men- 
tioned," that is, to the panhandle line, as now ascertained. 

But this circle, which is here described at twelve miles distant "from 
New Castle northwards and westwards," to reach the beginning of the 



fortieth parallel, would not only have to be extended northward and west- 
ward but southward, and the radius of twelve miles southward would by no 
means reach the beginning of the fortieth degree, and hence would have 
to be extended from an indefinite point and in an arbitrary direction un- 
provided for in the charter. The royal secretaries seemed to have labored 
under the impression that "New Castle town," named in the charter, was 
about on the beginning of the fortieth ])arallel. whereas it was nearly two- 
thirds of a degree to the north of that line. 

Tt must be confessed that there were many grave difficulties in the 
way of a satisfactory adjustment of these counter claims, and it is reported 
that Lord Baltimore, on his first visit to Markham, after having found by 
stellar observation the true latitude of New Castle, and heard the provisions 
of Penn's charter read, dolefully but very pertinently asked: "If this be 
allowed, where then is my province?'" Baltimore, from the ver\- moment 
that he discovered what the claims of Penn were, had evidently resolved 
not to make any ettort to come to an agreement with Penn, which is 
abundantly shown by his frivolous excuses for not proceeding to business 
in their several interviews, but had determined to pursue a bold policy in 
]nishing the sale of lands on the disputed tract, constantly assuming that 
his interpretation was the true one. and even opening an aggressive policy, 
trusting to the maintenance of his claims before the officers of the crown 
in England. 

Accordingly. Baltimore issued proposals for the sale of lands in the 
lower counties, now the State of Delaware Territory, which Penn had 
secured by deed from the Duke of York, after receiving his charter from 
the King, offering cheaper rates for land than Penn had done. Penn also 
learned that Baltimore had sent a surveyor to take an observation and find 
the latitude of New Castle, had prepared an ex parte statement of his case, 
and was actually, by his agents, pressing the case to a decision before the 
Lords of the Committee of Plantations in England, without giving any 
notice to Penn. Believing in the strong point of possession, Baltimore 
determined to pursue a vigorous policy. He accordingly drew up a sum- 
mons to quit, and sent a messenger. Colonel Talbot, to Philadelphia to 
"demand of William Penn all that part of the land on the west side of said 
river that lieth to the southward of the fortieth degree of north latitude." 
Penn was absent at the time, and the summons was delivered to the acting 


Governor, Nicholas Moore. But upon his return, the Proprietary made 
answer in strong but earnest terms, showing the grounds of his own claim, 
and repelling any counter claim. The conduct of Baltimore alarmed him, 
for he saw plainly that if settlers from Maryland entered his province under 
claim of protection from its Governor, it would soon lead to actual conflict 
for possession. What he feared came to pass sooner than he anticipated, 
for in the spring of 1684, in time to ])ut in their crops, a company from 
Maryland came in force into the lower counties, drove off the peaceable 
Pennsylvania settlers, and took possession of their farms. Taking the 
advice of his council, Penn sent a copy of his reply to the demand that 
Talbot had brought, which he ordered to be read to the intruders, and 
directed William Welch, Sheriff of the county, to reinstate the lawful 
owners. He then issued his proclamation reiterating and defending his 
claims, and warning all intruders to desist in ftiture from such unlawful 

To the peaceful and loving disposition of Penn, this contention was 
exceedingly distasteful. As for quantity of land, he freely declared that he 
would have had enough if he had retained only the two degrees which would 
have remained after allowing Baltimore all that he claimed. But he was 
unwilling to give up the rapidly growing city which he had founded and 
colonies which he had rightfully acquired, and, more than all, to yield pos- 
session of Delaware Bay and River, the only means of communication with 
the ocean. He foresaw that if the two shores of this noble stream were in 
the possession of hostile States, how easy it would be for them to make 
harassing regulations governing its navigation. But Penn was a man of 
just and benevolent instincts, and he was willing to make reasonable con- 
cessions and compromises to secure peace and satisfy his neighbor in Mary- 
land. Accordingly, at one of their interviews, Penn asked Baltimore what 
he would ask per square mile for the territory south of the Delaware and 
reaching to the ocean, though he already had the deed for this same land 
from the Duke of York, secured by patent from the King, and Baltimore's 
own patent expressly provided that he could not claim territory already 
settled by any Christian prince. But this generous ofifer to purchase what 
he already owned was rejected by the proprietor of Maryland. 

Penn now saw but too plainly that there was no hope of coming to a 
peaceful and equitable composition of their differences in this country, and 


that if he would secure a decision in his interests he had no time to lose in 
repairing to London, and personally defending his rights before the royal 
commission. There is no question but that he came to this decision with 
unfeigned regret. His colony was prosperous, the settlers were contented 
and happy in their new homes, the country itself was all that he could 
wish, and he no doubt fondly hoped to live and die in the midst of his 
people. But the demand for his return to England was imperative, and he 
prepared to obey it. He accordingly empowered the Provincial Council, of 
which Thomas Lloyd was President, to act in his stead, and on the 6th of 
June, 1684, sailed for England. 

From on board the vessel before leaving the Delaware, he sent back 
an address to the Council, in which he expressed his regret at being com- 
pelled to leave them, and pointed out to them the only true source of light 
in the management of the affairs of the colony: "Dear Friends," he said, 
"my love and my life is to you and with you, and no water can quench it 
nor distance wear it out, nor bring it to an end. I have been with you, cared 
over you, and served you with unfeigned love, and you are beloved of me 
and near to me beyond utterance. . . . Oh that you would eye Him 
in all, through all, and above all the works of your hands, for to a blessed end 
are you brought hither. . . . You are now come to a quiet land; pro- 
voke not the Lord to trouble it, and now that liberty and authority are with 
you and in your hands, let the government be upon His shoulders, in all 
your spirits, that you may rule for Him, under whom the princes of this 
world will one day esteem it their honor to govern and serve in their places. 
. . . And thou, Philadelphia, the virgin settlement of this province, 
named before thou wert born, what love, what service and what travail has 
there been to bring thee forth, and preserve thee from such as would abuse 
and defile thee!" 

Upon his arrival in England, on the 6th of October, he took an early 
opportunity to pay his respects to the King, and the Duke of York, "who 
received me very graciously, as did the ministers very civilly. Yet I found 
things in general with another face than I left them— sour and stern, and 
resolved to hold the reins of power with a stiffer hand than before." In a 
letter to Lloyd in America, of the i6th of March, 1685, he says: "The King 
(Charles H.) is dead, and the Duke (James II.) succeeds peaceably. He 
was well on the First-day night, being the first of February, so called. 


About eight next morning, as he sat down to shave, his head twitched both 
ways or sides, and he gave a shriek and fell as dead, and so remained some 
hours. They opportunely blooded and cupped him, and plied his head with 
red hot frying pans. He returned and continued till Sixth-day noon, but 
mostly in great tortures. He seemed very penitent, asking pardon of all, 
even the poorest subject he had wronged. ... He was an able man 
for a divided and troubled kingdom. The present King was proclaimed 
about three o'clock that day." 

The new King, being a personal friend of Penn, he had hopes of favor 
at court, and did secure many indulgences for his oppressed Friends in the 
kingdom, but the ministry was bitterly hostile to dissenters, and he found 
his controversy with Lord Baltimore very difficult of adjustment. He con- 
cluded that the longer it was allow^ed to run the less likely he would be to 
secure justice, and accordingly pressed for a final settlement, and in Novem- 
ber, 1685, a decision was made in the English court compromising the 
claims of the two Governors, and providing that the territory between the 
Delaware and the Chesapeake should be divided by a line through the 
center, and that the portion bordering upon the Delaware should belong 
to Penn, and that upon the Chesapeake to Lord Baltimore. 

This settled the dispute in theory for the time, but upon attempting to 
measure and run a dividing line, the language of the act was so indefinite 
that the attempt was abandoned, and the old controversy was again renewed, 
for farmers on either side found portions of their farms lying upon either 
side of the line, and the act made no provision for running the line west- 
ward. Not wishing to press his suit at once while the memory of the 
decision already made was green. Lord Baltimore sufifered the controversy to 
rest, and each party laid claim to the territorj' adjudged to him by the royal 
decree, but without any division line. 

This was unsatisfactory to the inhabitants, and on the 28th of April, 
1707, the government of IMaryland presented to the Queen an address ask- 
ing that an order should be made requiring the authorities of the two 
colonies, Maryland and Pennsylvania, "to run the division lines, and ascer- 
tain the boundaries between them, for the ease of the inhabitants, who have 
been much distressed by their itlicertainty." It would appear that the con- 
troversy, — after \\'illiani Penn, in 1685, had secured the lands upon the right 
bank of the Delaware, — was left to work out its own cure, as a definite 


agreement was entered into in the life time of the founder that the author- 
ities in neither colony should disturb the settlers already located in the 
other, Penn no doubt believing that in the race for settlers he could dis- 
tance his antagonist. Repeated conferences were held and lines run, but 
nothing satisfactory was accomplished during the lives of the founders. But 
on the 4th of July, 1760, Frederick, Lord Baron Baltimore, and Thomas, 
and Richard Penn, sons of William Penn, entered into an elaborate and 
formal treaty by which the limits of the two provinces were finally settled, 
so far as these two provinces were concerned. The boundar\' lines were 
made mathematically exact, so that there could by no possibilitv be further 
controversy, provided surveyors could be found who had the skill and the 
instruments necessary for determining them. 

The line was to commence at Cape Henlopen, on the Atlantic coast. 
This cape, as originally located, was placed on the point opposite Cape 
]vlav, at the entrance to Delaware FJay. and Cape Henrietta was fifteen miles 
down the coast. By an error in the maj) used by the parties, the names of these 
two capes had been interchanged, and Henlopen was placed fifteen miles be- 
low Henrietta. At this mistaken point, therefore, the division commenced. 
WliL-n this was discovered, a complaint was made before Lord Hardwick. 
but in a formal decree, promulgated in 1750, it was declared "that Cape 
Henlopen ought to be declared and taken to be situated at the place where 
the same is laid down and described in the maps or plans annexed to the 
said articles, to be situated." 

The point of beginning having been settled, the dividing lines were to 
be as follows: Commencing at Cape Henlopen on the Atlantic, a due west 
line was to be run to the shore of Chesapeake Bay, found to be sixty-nine 
miles, 298 perches. At the middle point of this line, a line was to be 
run northwardly till it should form a tangent to the w'est side of a circle 
draw n with a radius of twelve miles from the spire of the New Castle court 
house as a center. From this tangent point a line was to be run due north 
to a parallel drawn from a point fifteen miles south of the most southern 
extremity of the boundary line of the city of Philadelphia, and the point 
thus reached should be the northeast corner of Maryland, and was m fact 
five miles, one chain and fifty links due north from the tangent point. If 
the due north line from the tangent point should cut off the segment of a 
circle from the twelve-mile circuit, then the slice thus cut oft' should be 


adjudged a part of New Castle County, and consequently should belong to 
Pennsylvania. The corner-stone at the extremity of the due north Hne from 
the tangent point was to be the beginning of the now famous Mason and 
Dixon line, and was to extend due west to the western limit of Maryland. 

This settled the long dispute so far as it could be on paper, but to execute 
its provisions in practice was more diiificult. The primeval forest covered 
the greater part of the line, stubborn mountains stood in the way, and 
instruments were imperfect and liable to variation. Commissioners were 
appointed to survey and establish the lines in 1739, but a controversy having 
arisen whether the measurement should be horizontal or superficial, the 
commission broke up and nothing more was done until 1760, when the fol- 
iowing-named surveyors were appointed: John Lukens and Archibald 
McLean on the part of Pennsylvania, and Thomas Garnett and Jonathan 
Hall for Maryland, who commenced to lay off the lines as provided in the 
indenture of agreement entered into by the proprietaries. Their first care 
was to clear away the vistas, or narrow openings, twenty-four feet wide 
through the forest. Having ascertained the middle point of the Henlopen 
line, as required, they ran an experimental line north until opposite New 
Castle, when they measured the radius of twelve miles and fixed the tangent 
point. There were so many perplexing conditions, that it required much 
time to perfect their calculations and plant their bounds. 

After these surveyors had been three years at their work, the proprie- 
taries in England, thinking the reason of their long protracted labors in- 
dicative of a lack of scientific knowledge on their part, or lack of suitable 
instruments, employed, on the 4th of August, 1763, two surveyors and 
mathematicians to go to America and conduct the work. They brought 
with them the best instruments procurable, an excellent sector "six feet 
radius, which magnified twenty-five times, the property of the Hon. Mr. 
Penn, the first which ever had the plumb line passing over and bisecting 
a point at the center of the instrument." They obtained from the Royal 
Society a brass standard measure, and standard chains. These surveyors 
were none other than Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, names forever 
blazoned upon the political history of the United States, magnates at home, 
but no more skilled nor more accurate in their work, over mountains and 
valleys, through the tangled and interminable forests of the American con- 


tinent, than our own fellow citizens. McLean and Lukens, and Garnett and 
Hall, who had preceded them. 

The daily notes of Mason and Dixon commence November 15th, 1763, 
and the first entry is: "Arrived at Philadelphia;" "i6th, attended meeting 
of the commissioners appointed to settle the bounds of Pennsylvania;" 
"22d to 28th. landed and set up instruments, and found they had received 
no damage." "December 5th, directed carpenter to build an observatory 
near the point settled by the commissioners to l)e the south point of the 
city of Philadelphia." which was to be one of the initial points of the line. 
\\ hen the obser\atory was finished, the instruments were mounted and 
otiservations taken to fix the latitude of the place. 

Nearl}' one whole, year was spent in ascertaining the middle point of 
the clue east and west line across the peninsula from Cape Henlopen on the 
Atlantic to the Chesapeake Bay, and running the line northward to find the 
tangent point on the twelve-mile periphery of a circle measured from the 
center of the Court Plouse at New Castle as a center, and on the 13th of 
November. 1764, they make the following entry in their notes: "From 
data in minute of ye 27th of August, we computed how far the true tangent 
would Ije distant from the post (show us to be the tangent point as ascer- 
tained bv the home surveyors. McLean, etc.), and found it would not pass 
one inch to the eastward or westward. On measuring the angle of our last 
line, with the direction from New Castle, it was so near a right angle that 
on a mean from our lines the above-mentioned post is the true tangent point. 
Thus It was shown that notwithstanding all the difficulties encountered by 
. the original appointees, the English surveyors found, after a year's careful 
labor, that the work of their predecessors was correct. 

On the 18th of June. 1765. Mason and Dixon made this entry in their 
notes: "We set seven stones, viz.: one at the tangent point, four iif the 
periffery of the circle round New Castle, one in the north line from the 
tangent point, and one at the intersection of the north line (from ye tangent 
point), and the parallel fifteen miles south of the southermost point of the 
city of Philadelphia, The Gent. Commissioners of both provinces present." 
Having now ascertained the exact location of the northeast corner of 
Maryland, which was to be the beginning of the dividing line between 
Pennsylvania and Maryland, which was found to be 39° 43' 26", these sur- 
veyors, Mason and Dixon, commenced running the line due west on 



this parallel. Along a portion of this line were clearings and cultivated 
fields, hut for the most part the dense forest was unbroken, necessitating the 
employment of a considerable company of axmen to open a vista and clear 
away the cuttings. This line thus formally determined extended o\-er hill 
and dale, across streams, everywhere rugged, and up the precipitous sides 
of the mountains. To keep on a due west line, observations had to be made 
nightly of the stars. 

That the reader may observe the methods by which these surveyors 
conducted their work, there is subjoined a table of one night's observations : 



^ :->() 

^ O 


h. ' 

<r Lyrre 18 29 

y Androniedre. . i 49 

ft Persei 2 53 

5 Persei ,! 26 

Capella 4 59 

cl Aurig;e 5 42 











■ t/i 











I 20+ 

\ 9 
1 II 








I 15— 

J 7 
/ 7 









/ 9 






7 5— 

S 8 
I 9 








5 50— 

/ 9 









4 55 + 




29. S 







On the -'jth of October, 1765, the following entry was made: "Captain 
Shelby again went with us to the summit of the mountain (when the air 
was very clear) and showed us the northermost bend of the Potowmack 
at the Conoloways; from which we judge the line will jiass about two miles 
to the north of the said river. From hence we could see the Alleghany 
Mountains for many miles, and judge it by its appearance to be about fifty 
miles distance in the direction of the line." 

On the 2(ith of September, 1766, the following important entry was 
made: "From an eminence in the line where fifteen or twenty miles of the 
visto can be seen (of which there are manv). the said line, or visto, verv 


apparently shows itself to form a parallel of northern latitncle. The line is 
measured horizontal (that is as though the surface was one dead level and 
not over hill and through valley) the hills and mountains with a i64-feet 
level, and heside the mile posts we ha\-e set posts in the true line (marked 
W on the west side) all along the line opposite the stationary points, where 
the Sector and Transit instruments stood. The said posts stand in the mid- 
dle of the Visto, which in general is ahout eight yards wide. The numher 
of posts in the west line is 303."' 

It will he understood that this "visto," or vista, projjerly, was a 
straight east and west helt of some twenty-five feet wide, cleared hy the 
axmen through the dense forest for the purpose of the survey. The view 
from these eminences to which they refer must have heen grand, the forest 
for the most part resting undisturbed, as it had been for ages, the two sides 
of the clearing seeming in the distance to approach each other and join, 
the silver current of the ri\er showing here and there, and the noisy brook 
tumbling down the mountain side. In the spring time the surveyors were 
often awakened in the morning by the gobbling of the wild turkeys, and 
the rattle of their chains chimed melodiousl}' with the distant drumming of 
the partridge. 

On the 14th to i8th of July, 1767, they make the following entries: 
"Xx if:8 miles 7S chains is the top of the great dividing ridge of the AUe- 
ghanv ^Mountains. At l(^g m. 60 ch. crossed a small branch of the little 
Yochio Geni. The head of Savage River, distant about a mile. This day 
(1 6th) we "were joined by fourteen Indians deputized by the chiefs of the 
Six Nations to go with us on the line. With them came Mr. Hugh Craw- 
ford, interpreter." August 17th: "At this station Mr. John Greene, one of 
the Chiefs of the Mohock Nation, and his neiiliew left us in order to return, 
to their own country." September 27th are the following notes: "About 
a mile and a half north of where the Sector stands the rivers Cheat and 
?ilanaungahela joyn. The mouth of Redstone Creek, by information, bears 
due north from this station, distant 25 miles. Fort Pit is supposed to be 
due north, distant al)Out 50 miles." September 30th: "At 222 miles 34 • 
chains 50 links the cast bank of ye River Manaungahela, breadth about 5 

It was deemed necessary to have delegations from the Six Nations, 
and from other tribes which had an interest in these lands, to accompany the 


surveyors, as they would doubtless have taken offense at what they might 
have conceived this clearing the forest from a track over mountain and 
through valley by this long vista to be an inexcusable interference with 
their rights of soil, and would doubtless have had recourse to the scalping 
knife before many monuments had been planted, or the gobble of many 
turkeys had been disturbed. In securing the co-operation of the Indians, 
Sir \\'illiam Johnson of New York, who had much influence with the Six 
Nations, was of great advantage. 

In all the work of the surveyors the Indians had preserved an attitude 
of awe and superstitious dread. They could not understand what all this 
peering into the heavens, and always in the dead of the night, portended (as 
all astronomical observations must be made at that time of night when the 
particular star desired came into view). They looked with special distrust 
on those curious little tubes provided with glass windows at each end, 
through which the surveyors stood, patiently watching somebody away in 
the far-off heavens. The Six Nations, who were supreme in those parts, had 
given permission by treaty to run this line; but when they heard of the 
methods adopted we may well imagine their speculations in their far-away 
council chambers, in the deep shadows of the wood, touching the purpose 
of these nightly vigils. They entertained a suspicion that the surveyors 
were holding communication with spirits in the skies, who were pointing 
out the track of their line. So much had their fears become wrought upon 
that when ]\Iason and Dixon had reached the summit of the Little Alle- 
ghany, the Six Nations gave notice upon the departure of their agents 
that the survey must cease at that point. But by the adroit representations 
of Sir William Johnson they were induced to allow the survey to proceed. 

No further interruption was experienced until they reached the bottom 
of a deep dark valley on the border of a stream, marked Dunkard Creek, 
on their map, where they came upon an ancient Indian warpath winding 
through the dense forest. Here the representatives of the Six Nations de- 
clared was the limit of the ground which their commission covered, and 
refused to proceed further. In the language of the field notes, "This day 
the Chief of the Indians, which joined us on the i6th of July, informed us 
that the above'mentioned War Path was the extent of his commission from 
the Chiefs of the Six Nations, that he should go with us to the line, and 
that he would not proceed one step further." 


For some days previous the Indians had been giving intimations of 
trouble, and when arrived at the banks of the Manaungahela "twenty-six of 
our men left us," say the notes. "They would not pass the river for fear of 
ihe Shawnees and Delaware Indians. But we prevailed upon fifteen ax-men 
to proceed with us: and with them w^e continued the line westward." There 
would have been no safety to the surveyors without the Indian escort, as 
they would have been at the mercy of wandering bands of savages who 
knew not the meaning of the word compassion or mercy, but who would 
dash the brains out of a helpless infant and tear the scalp from the head of 
a trembling and defenseless female with as keen a relish as they ever sat 
down to a breakfast of hot turtle soup. Therefore there was no alterna- 
tive, and though they were now within thirty-six miles of the end of the 
line, and in a few days more would have reached the limit, they were forced 
to desist; and here on the margin of Dunkard Creek, on the line of the 
famous Indian war-path, in Greene County, Mason and Dixon set up their 
last monumental stone 233 m. 13 ch. 68 links from the initial point of this 
now famous line which bears their name, and ended the survey. Returning 
to Philadelphia they made their final report to the commissioners of the 
two States, and received their final discharge on the 26th of December, 1767. 

The work of these surveyors was tedious and toilsome, being conducted 
in the primeval forest through which a continuous vista had to be cleared 
as they went, and in which they were obliged to camp out in all weathers 
of a changeable climate. To keep on a due east and west line they were 
exclusively guided by the stars, and their rest had to be constantly broken 
by these necessary vigils. 

By the terms of the agreement of 1732, and the order of the Lord High 
Chancellor Hardwick, every fifth mile of this line was to be marked by a 
stone monument engraved with arms of the Proprietaries, and the interme- 
diate miles by sipiilar stones marked by a P on the side facing Pennsylvania, 
and an M on the side facing Maryland. These stones were some twelve 
inches square, and four feet long, and were cut and engraved in England 
ready for setting. The fixing the exact location of these stones gave no 
little vexation to the surveyors. This formal marking, as directed, was ob- 
served till the line reached Sidelong Hill; but all wheel transportation ceas- 
ing for lack of roads, the further marking was by the " 'visto,' eight or nine 
yards wide," "and marks were set up on the tops of the high hills and moun- 


tains. Their entry on the 19th of November, 1767, was: "Snow twelve or 
fourteen inches deep: made a pile of stones on the top of Savage Moun- 
tain, or the great dividing ridge of the Alleghany Mountains." Mason and 
Dixon were paid twenty-one shillings a day for their labor, the entire expense 
to Pennsylvania being £34, 200, or $171, 000. 

It should here be observed that so far as Maryland was concerned the 
Avork of the survey should have ended where the western boundary of that 
State meets the southern boundary of Pennsylvania, though Maryland 
paid its share of the expense of the survey as long as Mason and Dixon were 
employed. Why the authorities continued the survey beyond the limits of 
their State is not evident, though it is probable that the western bound of 
the State had not yet been surveyed and determined, as it was to be depend- 
ent upon the most western source of the Potomac River, which had not 
probably been definitely ascertained, and they may have hoped that a more 
western spring than any then known would be found which might possibly 
carry them as far west as Pennsylvania. It is not clear either why the au- 
thorities of Pennsylvania proceeded further with the survey than the ending 
of Maryland; for their charter would give them to the beginning of the 40th 
degree for all territory beyond the limits of Maryland. 




AS HAS been previously observed, it was held as a principk of the law 
of nations that the discovery and occupancy of the mouth of a river 
entitles the discoverer to all the land drained by that river, and its 
tributaries, even to their remotest sources. By reason of the discoveries 
of Marquette and La Salle, and the formal possession taken of the Mis- 
sissippi River by them under the French Flag, France now laid claim to all 
the territory drained by this river. Had this claim been enforced all that 
portion of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia lying to the westward of 
the watershed formed by the Alleghany Mountains would have been in the 
possession of the French, and Crawford County would have been settled 
by a French-speaking people, subjects of the French King. 

In the early settlement of the North American Continent by Europeans, 
the French showed the greater spirit and enterprise, the propagators of the 
Catholic religion manifesting a zeal rarely equaled in any land. In 1688 
France commenced a wasting war against England, its allies, which was 
finally conckided by the treaty of Ryswick, by which France was confirmed 
in possession of Hudson Bay, Canada, and the valley of the Mississippi: 
but it was provided that neither party should interfere with the Indian allies 
of the other. Both parties laid claim to the Six Nations as allies. Jesuit 
priests were active in endeavoring to win these Indians over to the French 
which induced the New York Legislature, in 1700, to pass an act "to hang 
every popish priest that should come voluntarily into the province." In 
1698, through the offices of Count Pontchartrain, DTberville was appointed 
Governor, and his brother, De Bienville, intendant of Louisiana, and were 
sent with a colony direct to the mouth of the Mississippi to make a settle- 
ment there. 

Peace between France and England was of short duration, and in 1701 
war broke out again between them, which was waged along the border m 



America with sanguinarv" ferocity and crueltv'. It was concluded by the 
peace of Utrecht in 1713, by which England obtaiaed control of the fish- 
eries. Hudson Bay, and its borders, Newrfoundland and Nova Scotia, or 
-Vcadie, and it was expressly stipulated that "France should not molest 
the Five Nations, subject to the dominion of Great Britain, whose posses- 
sions embraced the whole of Xew York and Pennsylvania, though the 
French did not allow them that much territo^\^ But the valley of the Mis- 
sissippi still remained to the French, the English Ambassadors not being 
ahve to the importance of this magnificent stretch of countrv'. Williain 
Perm had ad\-ised that the St. Lawrence River should be made the boundar\- 
line on the north," and that the EngHsh claim should include the great valley 
of the continent. It "will make a glorious countrv'," said Penn. This 
advice was given by Penn when he had the ear of the English Monarch, 
and when he was much relied upon for private counsel. The failure to fix 
definitely the bounds caused another half century- of bitter contention and 
bloody strife, in which the ignorant savages were used as agents by either 
party. In 1748 a four years' war was concluded between the old enemies. 
French and Enghsh. by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which England 
was confirmed in her possessions in North America. But the boundaries 
v>-erc still indefinite. 

France claimed the Mississippi Valley in its entirety: that is. all the 
land drained by the tributaries of the great river. The British crown 
claimed the territory on the upper Ohio on the ground of a treaty executed 
at Lancaster. Pa., in 1744. at which the share paid by Virginia was £220 in 
goods, and that paid by Marydand £200 in gold. On this purchase the 
claim of the Iroquois as allies, and the claim of the settlements on the .At- 
lantic coast of territory westward from ocean to ocean, rested the right of 
the Enghsh in this imperial valley. The fact is, however, that the part}." 
which could show most strength in men and money was destined to hold 
it. By the middle of the eighteenth century the English, in respect to force, 
had greatly the advantage. As early as 1688 a census of French North 
America showed a population of 11.249. while the English pop-alation at 
this time was estimated at a quarter of a miUion. During the next half cen- 
tury both nationalities increased rapidly, but the English much the more 

Previous to the execution of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle adventurous 


traders from Pennsylvania had explored the passes of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains and pushed out to the borders of the Monongahela and the Ohio. Bv 
the good offices of the colonial Governors of New York and Pennsylvania. 
the Six Nations had been kept in firm alliance with the English. The French 
had sought to win them over to their power, and had distributed many 
showy presents. Thinking that the simple natives would never know the 
difference, the French had made a large gift of bright looking hatchets, but 
which, instead of being made of fine steel, were only soft iron. The Indians 
soon discovered the difference, and were more incensed than ever against the 
French. Lest the latter, who were active and vigilant, might gain an ad- 
vantage on the Ohio. Conrad Weiser was sent to Logstown. a few miles 
below Pittsburg, on the Ohio, in 1748, with valuable and useful presents to 
win the favor of the natives. It was seen, however, that the valuable trade 
with the Indians at this time was in the hands "of unprincipled men. half- 
civilized, half-savage, who. through the Iroquois, had from the earliest pe- 
riod penetrated to the lakes of Canada and competed ever\^where with the 
French for skins and furs." ^lore with the purpose of controlling and legiti- 
mizing this trade than of effecting permanent settlements, it was proposed 
in the \'irginia colony to form a great company which should hold the lands 
on the Ohio, build forts for trading posts, import English goods and estab- 
lish regular traffic with the Indians. Accordingly, Thomas Lee. President 
of the Council of \'irginia, and twelve other Virginians, among whom was 
John Hanbury, a wealthy London merchant, formed in 1749 what was 
known as the "Ohio Company."' and applied to the English government for 
a grant of land for this purpose. The request was favorably received, and 
the Legislature of Virginia was authorized to grant to the petitioners a half 
million acres within the bounds of that colony, "west of the Alleghenies, 
between the :Monongahela and Kanawha Rivers; though part of the land 
might be taken up north of the Ohio should it be deemed expedient." As 
it will be seen this act of the Virginia Legislature gave away this vast body 
of land, the most of which was within the State of Pennsylvania, and was the 
beginning of bitter contention between the two colonies for many years. 

It was about this period, in March, 1748, that a boy of sixteen years 
set out from the abodes of civilization with his theodolite to survey wild 
lands in the mountains and valleys of the Virginia colony. In a letter to 
one of his voung friends he savs: "T have not slept above three or four nights 


in a bed, I)ut after walking a good deal all day I have lain down before the 
lire upon a little straw, or fodder, or a liear skin, which ever was to be had, 
with man, wife and children, like dogs and cats; and happy is he who gets 
the berth nearest the fire." The youth thus early inured to hardship and 
toil was none other than George Washington, destined to great labors for 
his country, and a life of patriotism and unbending devotion scarcely 
matched in the annals of mankind. 

A condition of the grant of the "Ohio Company" was that two hundred 
thousand acres should be located at once. This was to be held ten years 
free of rent, provided the company would put there one hundred families 
within seven years, and build a fort sufificient to protect the settlement. This 
the company prepared to do, and sent a ship to London for a cargo of goods 
suited to the Indian trade. L'pon the death of Thomas Lee, the President 
of the Ohio Company, which soon took place, Lawrence Washington, a 
brother of George, was given the "chief management" of the company, a 
man of enlightened views and generous spirit. 

But the organization of this company, and the jjreparations to take pos- 
session of the Ohio country, did not escape the vigilant eye of the French, 
and if they would hold the territory claimed b}' them tliey must move at 
once, or the enterprising English would be there, and would have such a 
foothold as would render it impossible to rout them. 

Accordingly, early in 1749, the Marquis de la Galisonniere, Governor- 
General of Canada, dispatched Celeron de Bienville with a party of some two 
hundred French and fifty Indians to take formal possession of the Ohio 
country, the Allegheny River being designated by the French by that 
name. Father Bonnecamps acted as chaplain, mathematician and historian 
of the party. The expedition started on the 15th of June, 1749, from La 
Chine, on the St. Lawrence. Passing up the river through the network of 
islands and along the shore of Ontario to Niagara Falls, they commenced 
the labor of debarking and transporting their entire outfit around the cata- 
ract. In this work they were engaged for nearly a week: by the 13th of 
July they were again afloat; but now on the waters of Lake Erie. At a 
point nearest to Chautauqua Lake they landed and commenced transport- 
ing their boats and stores overland a distance of eight miles, and over a 
water shed more than eight hundred feet above the waters of Lake Erie. 
The party was accompanied by the two sons of Joncaire (Jean Coeur) who 


had lived with the Indians in this locality, and knew every path and water 
course. To them Celeron looked for guidance in this novel voyage over- 
land. When surveyors had marked the track, pioneers cut and cleared a 
road, over which the whole was transported to the shores of Chautauqua, 
where they again embarked, and passing down the Conewango Creek, the 
outlet of the lake, made their way to the confluence with the Allegheny 
River, near the town of \\'arren. Here they paused to commence the work 
of possessing the country. 

It may l)e i:)roper to observe in this connection that this experience in 
reaching Chautauqua Lake, with all their impedimenta, over the high ridge 
was so toilsome that in future expeditions they abandoned this route and 
went by the wav of Presque Isle (Erie) and W'aterford. wliere they struck 
French Creek, or the \'enango River, ilown which they floated to the Alle- 
gheny, at Franklin. In the deposition of one Stephen Coffin before Colonel 
Johnson of New York, he says: "From Niagara Fort we set off by water, 
being April, and arrived at Chadakoin (Chautauqua) on Lake Erie, "where 
they were ordered to fell timber and prepare it for building a fort there, ac- 
cording to the Governor's instructions: 1)ut ]\l. ]\loraug, coming up with 
five hundred men and twenty Indians, put a stop to erecting a fort at that 
place, by reason of his not liking the situation, and the river Chadakoins 
l)eing too shallow to carry any craft with provisions to Belle Riviere. The 
deponent says there arose a warm debate between Messieurs Babeer and 
Moraug thereon, the first insisting on building the fort there agreeable to 
his instructions, otherwise on Moraug's giving him an instrument in writing 
to satisfy the Governor on that jioint, which :Moraug did, and then Mon- 
sieur :\Iercie, who was both commissary and engineer, to go along said lake 
and look for a good situation, which he found in three days. They were 
then all ordered thither: they fell to work, and built a square fort of chest- 
nut logs and called it Fort le Presque Isle. ... As soon as the fort 
was finished they marched southward, cutting a wagon road through a 
fine level country twenty-one miles [15] to the river aux Bceufs [Water- 
ford] . Thus, though the distance to Chautauqua Lake was not so great 
as to Waterford, the road to the latter was "through a fine level country," 
and not over a rugged ridge, as at the former. Thus it was settled that the 
great traveled route to Fort du Quesne should l)e by Presque Isle and Ve- 
nango River, rather than by Chautauqua and the Conewango. 


Celeron and his party had not left the shores of Chautauqua, where he 
had encamped, probably in the neighborhood of Lakewood, before he dis- 
covered that his movements were being watched by the natives. Parties 
were sent out by Celeron to intercept the dusky warriors, but were unsuc- 
cessful. Having reached the Allegheny River at or near Warren, as we 
have seen, Celeron, with religious ceremon}', took possession of the river 
country and buried a leaden plate on the south bank of the Allegheny 
River, opposite a little island at the mouth of the Conewango, in token of 
French possession. Upon the plate was the following inscription in French; 
we give the English translation: "In the year 1749, of the reign of Louis 
XIV., King of France, We Celeron, commander of a detachment sent by 
Monsieur the Marquis de la Galissoniere, Governor-General of New France, 
to re-establish tranquillity in some Indian villages of these cantons, have 
buried this plate of lead at the confluence of the Ohio with Chautauqua 
the 29th day of July, near the river Ohio, otherwise Belle Riviere, as a 
monument of the renewal of the possession we have taken of the said 
ri\-er Ohio, and of all those wdiich empty into it, and of all the lands on 
both sides as far as the sources of the said river, as enjoyed, or ought to 
have been enjoyed, by the King of France preceding, and as they have 
there maintained themselves, by arms and treaties, especially those of Rys- 
wick, Utrecht and Aix la Chapelle." 

All the men and ofificers were drawn up in military order when the 
plate was buried, and Celeron proclaimed in a strong tone, "Vive le Roi!" 
and declared that possession was now taken of the country in behalf of the 
French. A plate with the lilies of France inscribed thereon was nailed to a 
tree near b}'. All of this officious ceremony did not escape the keen eyes of 
the ever \igilant and superstitious natives, and scarcely were Celeron and his 
party well out of sight in their course down the Allegheny before the leaden 
missive with the mysterious characters engraved thereon was pulled from 
its place of concealment, and fast runners were on their way to the home 
of the Iroquois chiefs, who immediately dispatched one of their number 
to take it to Sir William Johnson, at Albany. ^Ir. O. H. Marshall, in his 
admirable historical address on this subject, says: "The first of the leaden 
plates was brought to the attention of the public by Governor George Clin- 
ton to the lords of trade in London, dated New York, Dec. 19th, 1750, 
in which he states that he would send to their lordships in two or three 


weeks a plate of lead full of writing, which some of the upper nations of 
Indians stole from Jean Coeur, the French interpreter at Niagara, on his 
way to the river Ohio, which river and all the lands thereabouts, the French 
claim, as will appear by said writing. He further states that the lead plates 
gave the Indians so much uneasiness that they immediately dispatched some 
of the Cayuga chiefs to him with it, saying their only reliance was on him, 
and earnestly begged he would communicate the contents to them, which 
he had done, much to their satisfaction, and the interests of the English. 
The Governor concludes by saying that the contents of the plates may be 
of great importance in clearing up the encroachments which the French 
have made on the British Empire in America. The plate was delivered to 
Colonel, afterward Sir William Johnson, on the 4th of December, 175c 
[49] , at his residence on the Mohawk by a Cayuga sachem. 

Governor Clinton also wrote to Go\'ernor Hamilton of Pennsylvania: 
"I send you a copy of an inscription on a leaden plate stolen from Jean Coeur 
some months since, in the Seneca's countr)-, as he was going to the Ohio 
River, which plainly demonstrates the French scheme by the exorbitant 
claims therein mentioned; also a copy of a Cayuga Sachem's speech to 
Colonel Johnson, v>ith his reply." The Sachem's speech was as follows: 
"Brother Corlear and War-ragh-i-ya-ghey! I am sent here by the Five 
Nations with a piece of writing which the Senecas, our brethren, got by 
some artifice from Jean Coeur, earnestly beseeching you will let us know 
what it means, and as we put all our confidence in you, our brother, we 
hope you will explain it to us ingeniously." (The speaker here delivered 
the square leaden plate and a wampum belt, and proceeded): 'T am ordered 
further to acquaint you that Jean Coeur, the French interpreter, when on 
his journey this last summer to Ohio River, spoke thus to the Five Nations, 
and others in our alliance: 'Children — Your Father, having, out of a ten- 
der regard for you, considered the great difiiculties you labor under by 
carrying your goods, canoes, etc., over the great carrying place of Niagara, 
has desired me to acquaint you that, in order to ease you all of so much 
trouble for the future, he is resolved to build a house at the other end of 
said carrying place, which he will furnish with all necessaries requisite for 
your use!' He also told us that he was on his way to the Ohio River, where 
he intended to stay three years; .... that he was sent thither to 
build a house there; also at the carrying place between said river Ohio and 


Lake Erie (Presque Isle and Waterford), where all the western Indians 
should be supplied with whatever goods they may have occasion for, and 
not be at the trouljle and loss of time of going so far to market as usual 
(meaning Oswego). After this he desired to know our opinion of the affair, 
and begged our consent to build in said places. He gave us a large belt 
of wampum, thereon desiring our answer, which we told him we would take 
some time to consider of." 

Assuring the Indian chieftains of the unalterable friendship of the Eng- 
lish towards their people, and the enmity and duplicity of the French, of' 
which many exam])les were cited. Sir A\'illiam Johnson said: "Their scheme 
now laid against you and yours, at a time when the\' are feeding you u]) with 
line promises of serving you several shapes, is worse than all the rest, as 
will appear by their own writing on this plate." Here Johnson translated 
the French writing on the plate, commenting as he proceeded on the force 
and intent of the several parts, and explaining the purpose of the French 
in burying the plate. Proceeding, he said: "This is an af¥air of the greatest 
importance to you, as nothing less than all your lands and best hunting 
places are aimed at, with a view of secluding you entirely from us and the 
rest of your brethren, viz: the Philadelphians. the Virginians, who can 
always supply you with the necessaries of life at a much lower rate than the 
French ever did or could, and under whose protection you are and ever will 
be safer and better served in every respect than under the French. These 
and a hundred other substantial reasons I could give you to convince you 
that the French are your implacable enemies; but as I told you before, 
the very instrument you now brought me of their own writing is sufficient 
of itself to convince the world of their villainous designs; therefore, I need 
not be to the trouble, so shall only desire that you and all the nations in 
alliance with you seriously consider your own interest, and by no means 
submit to the impending danger which now threatens you, the only way 
to prevent which is to turn Jean Coeur away immediately from Ohio, and 
tell him that the French shall neither build there, nor at the carrying place 
of Niagara, nor have a foot of land more from you. Brethren, what I now 
say I expect and insist it being taken notice of and sent to the Indians on 
the Ohio, that they may know immediately of the vile designs of the 

Having presented a belt of wampum, by way of emphasis, and to con- 


vince the natives of the honesty and fidehty with which he spoke, the 
sachem rephed: "Brother Corlear and \\'ar-ragh-i-ya-ghey, I have with 
great attention and surprise heard you repeat the substance of the devilish 
writing whicli I brought you. and also with pleasure noticed your just re- 
marks thereon, which really agree with m)- own sentiments on it. I return 
you my most hearty thanks in the name of all the nations for your brotherly 
love and cordial advice, which I promise you sincerely, Ijy this belt of wam- 
pum, shall be conununicated inuucdiately and verbatim to the Five Nation? 
by myself, and, moreover, shall see it forwarded from the Seneca's castle 
with belts from each of our own nations to the Indians at Ohio, to strengthen 
vour desire, as I am thoroughly satisfied you have our interest at heart." 

This incident of the planting of the first leaden plate, and its possession 
*iy the Indians, and bringing it to the attention of the English government, 
-hrows a Hood of light upon the struggle for the possession of the Mis- 
sissippi \'alley between the English and the French, and shows the temper 
of the Six Nations. Better than whole chapters of description of the atti- 
tude of the two nations is th.e translation of the inscription, and the speech 
of this native orator of the forest. From this scene of the first planting- 
Celeron floated on down the Allegheny till he reached the Indian God, sotrie 
nine miles below Franklin (Venango), an immense boulder, on which liad 
Iieen cut rude figures held in superstitious awe by the natives, and here he 
planted the second of his plates with the same formal ceremonies, which 
were continued at each burial. At Logstown, some twelve miles below the 
confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela (Pittsburg), the third was 
planted. This had become a place of some importance. Here the agents 
of the English colonies upon the Atlantic were accustomed to meet the 
sachems of the surrounding tribes, and make their formal talks, smoke the 
pipe of peace, distribute the high piled presents and ratify solemn treaties. 
Here, too, the traders brought their goods and bartered them for valuable 
skins and furs, and, shame to say it, here these conscienceless traders 
brought kegs of fire-water, and when the poor Indians were made drunken 
were cheated and abused. Discovering a number of the English trading 
with the Indians Celeron's wrath was kindled. He expelled these "intru- 
ders," as he termed them, and made a speech to the assembled Indians of 
many tribes, telling them that all the country along the "Beautiful River" 
belonged to the French, and that they would supply the Indians with all the 


goods they needed. He forbade Ihem to trade with the English, and sent 
a curt letter to Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, informing him that he 
was here by authority of the Marquis de la Galissioniere, Commandant Gen- 
eral of New France, warning him against allowing English traders to tres- 
pass upon this country, which was clearly the rightful possessions of France, 
and threatening force if this notice was not heeded. 

Continuing his journey down the Ohio, Celeron and his party took 
formal possession of the country by bur>'ing plates at the mouth of the Mus- 
kingum River, another at the mouth of the Great Kanawha, and the sixth 
and last at the mouth of the Great Miami. Believing that he had now cov- 
ered all the territory that was likely, for the present, to be claimed by the 
English. Celeron paused in his course, and toilsomely ascended the Miami 
River till he reached the portage, where he burned his boats, and, procur- 
ing ponies, crossed over to the Maumee, down which he moved to Lake 
Erie, b}' which and Ontario he returned to F"ort Frontenac, arriving on the 
t)th of November. 

These metal plates, planted with so much formality, regarded as sym- 
bols of French power, which they were to defend by force of arms, remained 
for a long time where they were originally planted, with the exception of 
the first, which, as we have seen, was immediately disinterred and sent to 
Sir William Johnson. That buried at the mouth of the Muskingum was 
washed out b)' the changing of the banks in the floodtides. and was dis- 
co\-ered in 1798 by some Ijoys who were bathing at low water in summer 
time, and having no idea of its value, or the purjiort of the characters cut 
on its surface, they cut off a portion of it, and run it into bullets. The re- 
maining portion was sent to Governor De \\'itt Clinton, of New York, and 
is still preserved at Boston, Mass. That which was buried at the mouth of 
the Kanawha was found in 1846 by a son of J- ^^ ■ Beale, of Point Pleasant, 
\'a. In playing along the river bank he saw the edge of it protruding 
from the sand a little below the surface, where it had been carried bv the 
current. It was dug out, and has been preserved in its original foran. 

The intelligence of this expedition of Celeron, with the purpose of 
taking possession on this whole Ohio country for the French, aroused the 
attention of the proprietary of Pennsylvania, who at once brought it to the 
attention of the Duke of Bedford and Lord Halifax in London, and wrote 
to Governor Hamilton in Pennsylvania that if a house with thick walls of 


stone w itli small bastions could he built at Logstown or vicinity he would 
be willing to contribute four hundred pounds for the l)uilding, and one hun- 
dred pounds toward the expense of keeping up a small force and providing 
arms and ammunition. 

This recommendation looked to the building a fort on the Ohio, is 
was afterward done at Fort Pitt. Governor Hamilton conferred with his 
council: but the legislative body was at this period swayed by the Quaker 
element, which was opposed to spending any money which looked to the 
use of carnal weapons, and the Governor found himself powerless to accom- 
j.Iish the purpose of the recommendation. It will be observed that the 
proprietary himself had no scruples against the employment of force in 
maintaining his just rights, the sons of Penn having forsaken the religion 
of their father, John Penn, the grandson of the founder, showing a vigorous 
war spirit against the Indians, even going so far as to offer, without scruple, 
graduated bounties for their capture, scalping or death. 

It was ascertained through traders and scouts that the French had 
built forts at Presque Isle, at Aux Boeuf (Waterford), at Venango (Frank- 
lin), and that in the following spring they were intending to come in force 
to build a strong fort on the Ohio. Jean Coeur, who labored in the interest 
of the French, made a journey to Logstown, and after laboring with the 
Indians sent the following missive to Governor Hamilton: "Sir — Monsieur, 
the :\larquis de la Galissonier, Governor of the whole of New France, hav- 
ing honored me with his orders to watch that English make no treaty in 
the country of the Ohio, I have directed the traders of your government 
to withdraw. You cannot be ignorant, sir, that all the lands of this region 
have always belonged to the King of France, and that the English have 
no right to come here to trade. My superior has commanded me to ap- 
prise you of what I have done, in order that you may not affect ignorance 
of the reasons of it, and he has given me this order, with so much the 
greater reason because it is now two years since Monsieur Celeron, by order 
of the Marquis de la Galissoniere, then Commandant General, warned many 
English who were trading with the Indians along the Ohio against so doing, 
and they promised him not to return to trade on the lands, as Monsieur 
Celeron wrote vou." 



THE goodly lands along the "Beautiful River," and its many tribu- 
taries, seemed now more attractive than ever, and the next few 
years succeeding the planting of the plates by Celeron witnessed a 
vigorous and sanguinary struggle for their occupancy. And now com- 
mences the active operations of the Ohio Company, chartered by the Vir- 
ginia Legislature, by authority of the English government, previously de- 
tailed, for the settlement and permanent occupancy of this coveted country. 
How Virginia could lay claim to this section, so clearly embraced in the 
charter of Penn, is difficult to comprehend. 

Boldly assuming the right, the company sent out from Virginia, in 1750, 
as its agent, Christopher Gist, with instructions to explore the territory 
and sound the temper of the Indians towards its settlement by the whites. 
During this and the following year he traversed the country on either bank 
of the Ohio, as far down as the present site of city of Louisville, going even 
further than Celeron had done with his pewter plates, and making a far more 
extensive and thorough exploration of the country. In 1752 he was pres- 
ent at Logstown as commissioner, with Colonel Fry, in concluding the treaty 
with the chiefs of the Six Nations, which secured rights of settlement in 
this country. The French were ever watchful and the provisions of the 
treaty were not unknown to them, as well as the explorations of Gist. 

The English commanding officer at Oswego sent a missive to Sir Wil- 
liam Johnson in these words: "Yesterday. passed by here thirty odd French 
canoes, part of an army going to Belle Riviere to make good their claim 
there. The army is reported to consist of six thousand French." This intel- 
ligence was communicated to the Governors of Virginia, Maryland and 
Pennsylvania. It was found later that as to the numbers it was incorrect, as 
there were but twenty-four hundred, and eight pieces of brass cannon. This 
force was intended for manning the works at Presque Isle, Le Bceuf and 



Venango, and it was tlie intent to go in the following spring with a large 
force to build a fort on the Ohio. 

The systematic operations of the French in building a line of forts and 
providing cannon and a strong military force at each, substantially on the 
same line as Celeron had taken possession of with his plates, finally aroused 
the attention of the British government, and the Secretary of State, Earl 
Holderness, addressed the Governors of the several colonies urging that 
they be put in a state of defense. The communication to the Governor of 
Virginia was considered of so much importance as to be sent by a govern- 
ment vessel. It reached its destination in October, 1853, and was regarded 
of such pressing import as to require the sending of a special messenger to 
the French commandant, on this side of the great lakes, to remonstrate 
with him in an official capacity for intruding upon English territory, but 
probably more especially to ascertain precisely what had been done, and 
with what forces the French were preparing to contest their claims. 

Robert Dinwiddie, then Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia, made no 
delay in selecting a suitable person for this embassage, and his choice fell 
upon George Washington, then Adjutant-General of the Northern Division 
of the Virginia militia, and only twenty-one years of age. It should here 
be obser\ed that Lawrence Washington, the brother of George, who was 
President, and a leader in the Ohio company, had died July 26, 1752, and 
that by his will a large share of his estates and interests had fallen to George. 
He, consequently, had a pecuniary interest in holding the lands of the Ohio • 
Company, in addition to the patriotic one of discharging a public trust. It 
should also be observed that Dinwiddie was a large stockholder in the Ohio 

The youthful Washington made no delay in accepting the trust imposed 
on him, and though now the inclement season of the year, he quickly had 
his preparations completed for his departure. It appears from the follow- 
ing note to the Lords of Trade that the Governor had previously sent a 
messenger on a similar errand: "The person [Captain William Trent] sent 
as a commissioner to the commandant of the French forces neglected his 
duty, and went no further than Logstown, on the Ohio. Lie reports the 
French were then one hundred and fifty miles up the river, and I believe 
was afraid to go to them." But there was no fear on the part of George 
Washington, though then but a mere boy, and he was soon on his way. 


That we may understand precisely the nature of his mission, we present 
the commission' and instructions which he received: "Whereas, I have tc- 
ceived information of a body of French forces being assembled in a hostile 
manner on the river Ohio, intending by force of arms to erect certain forts 
on said river within the territory, and contrary to the dignity and peace 
of our sovereign, the King of Great Britain. These are, therefore, to require 
and direct you, the said George Washington, forthwith to repair to Logs- 
town, on the said river Ohio, and having there informed yourself where 
the French forces have posted themselves, thereupon to proceed to such 
place, and being there arrived to present your credentials, together with 
my letter, to the chief commanding ofificer, and in the name of his Britannic 
IMajesty to demand an answer thereto. On your arrival at Logstown you 
are to address yourself to the Half King, to Monacatoocha, and the other 
Sachems of the Six Nations, acquainting them with your orders, to visit 
and deliver my letter to the French commanding officer, and desiring the 
said chiefs to appoint you a sufficient number of their warriors to be your 
safeguard as near the French as you may desire, and to await your further 
direction. You are diligently to inquire into the numbers and force of the 
P rench on the Ohio, and adjacent country, how they are likely to be assisted 
from Canada, and what are the difficulties and conveniences of the com- 
munication, and the time required for it. You are to take care to be truly 
informed what forts the French have erected and where, how they are 
garrisoned and appointed, and \\hat is their distance from each other, and 
from Logstown, and from the best intelligence you can procure you are 
to learn what gave occasion to this expedition of the French, how they are 
likely to be supported, and what their pretensions are. When the com- 
mandant has given you the required and necessary dispatches you are to 
desire of him a proper guard to protect you as far on your return as you 
may judge for your safety against any straggling Indians or hunters that 
mav be ignorant of your character and molest you." 

It will be observed that the ship bearing the royal dispatch reached 
\'irginia in October. This letter of instructions was dated October 30, 
1753, and on the same day the youthful envoy left Williamsburg, reaching 
Fredericksburg on the 31st, Here he engaged his "old master of fence,'' 
one Jacob Van Braum, a soldier of fortune, as interpreter, though, as Irving 
observes "the veteran swordsman was but indifferently versed in the French 


or English." Purchasing horses and tents at Winchester, he bade good- 
Ine to the abodes of civilization, and ])ushed on over mountain and across 
stream, through the wilderness, on his important and perilous mission. 
At Will's Creek, now Cumberland, he engaged ;\Ir. Gist, who had been 
the agent of the Ohio Company in exploring all that region and negotiating 
with the natives, to pilot him on, and secured the services of John Davidson 
as Indian inter]jreter, and four frontiersmen. With this escort he set out 
on the 15th of November, but found his way impeded bv storms of rain 
and snow. Passing Gist's cabin, now Mount Braddock, and John Frazier's 
place at the mouth of Turtle Creek on the Monongahela River, and finding 
the river swollen by recent rains, he placed his luggage in a canoe, thus 
relieving the horses, and himself rode on to the confluence of the Monon- 
gahela with the Allegheny. "As I got down before the canoe." he writes 
in his journal, "I spent some time in view ing the rivers and the land at th.c 
fork [now Pittsburg], which I think extremely well suited for a fort, as it 
has the absolute command of both rivers. The land at the point is twenty 
to twenty-five feet above the common surface of the water, and a con- 
siderable bottom of flat, well-timbered land all around it, very convenient 
for building. The rivers are each a quarter of a mile or more across, and 
run here nearly at right angles, .Mlegheny bearing northeast, and ]\Ionon- 
gahela southwest. The former of these two is a very rapid and swift-running 
water, the other deep and still, without any perceptible fall," 

It had been proposed, l)y the agents of the Ohio Company, to build 
a fort two miles below the forks on the south side, where lived Shingiss, 
chief Sachem of the Delawares. But ^Vashington says in his journal, "As 
I had taken a gootl deal of notice yesterday of the situation at the fork, 
my curiosity led me to examine this at Shingiss more particularly, and I 
think it greatly inferior, either for defence or advantages." The good 
judgment of Washington in preferring the forks for a fort was subsequently 
confirmed by the French engineers, who adopted the site at the forks. At 
Logstown, which was twelve miles below the forks, Washington met ten 
Frenchmen, deserters from a party of one hundred, who had been sent up 
from New Orleans, with eight canoe-loads of provisions, to this place, 
where they expected to meet a force from Lake Erie. This showed un- 
mistakable evidence that the French were determined to take forcible pos- 
session of the country. The wily chieftains asked Washington why he 


wanted to communicate with the French commandant, and being naturally 
suspicious that they had not fathomed all the purposes and bearings of 
this mission the}- delayed him by their maneuvers. Indeed, an old Indian 
Sachem had previously propounded to Mr. Gist, while surveying the lands 
south of the Ohio, this question: "The French claim all the land on one 
side of the Ohio, the English claim all the land on the other side. — now, 
where does the Indian's land lie?" There was, undoubtedly, a suspicion 
in the minds of these dusky kings that the English as well as the French 
were preparing to occupy this delectable country. "Poor savages!" ex- 
claims ]\Ir. Irving. "Between their 'fathers,' the French, and their 'brothers,' 
the English, they were in a fair way of being most lovingly shared out of 
the whole country." 

Finally, after having been detained about a week by Indian diplomacy, 
Washington set out on the 30th of November with an additional escort of 
three of the Indian chiefs, — Half King, Jeskakake. and White Thunder, — 
and one of their l)est hunters. A toilsome journey of five days brought the 
, party to Venango, at the mouth of the Venango River, or French Creek. 
where the French flag was floating upon a cabin which had been occupied 
by the same John Frazier visited on the Monongahela. where he had plied 
the trade of a gunsmith, Init from which he had l)een driven by the French. 
Captain Jean Coeur was in command here, who said he was also in com- 
mand on the Ohio, but he advised Washington to present his credentials 
for an answer to a general ofhcer. who had his headquarters at "a near fort." 
"He invited me to sup with them," the journal proceeds, "and treated us 
with the greatest complaisance. The wine, as they dosed themselves pretty 
plentifully with it, soon banished the restraint which at first appeared in 
their conversation, and gave a license to their tongues to reveal their senti- 
ments more freely. They told me that it was their absolute design to take 
possession of the Ohio, and by G — d they would do it, for that, though 
they were sensible the English had two men to their one, yet they knew 
their motions \vere too slow and dilatory to prevent any undertaking of 
theirs." But the French had yet something to learn of the temper and 
steady endurance of the English in America. Washington ascertained that 
there had been some "fifteen hundred men on this side of Ontario Lake, 
l.)ut. upon the deatli of the General, all were recalled to about six or se\"eii 
hundred, who were left to garrison four forts, one on a little lake at the 


headwaters of French Creek, now W'aterford, another at Presque Isle, or 
Erie, fifteen miles away. Jean Coeiir was adroit in his influence over the 
Indians, and used his best arts to win the chiefs, who had accompanied 
Washington, from their allegiance to them, plying them with liquor, anci 
refusing to receive back the wampum belt which the Half King offered 
as a token of his tribe's allegiance to the French. But, after long parleying, 
they finally got off on the 7th. Washington records in his journal: "We 
passed over nuich good land since we left Venango, and through several 
very extensive and rich meadows, one of which I believe was nearly four 
miles in length and considerably wide in some places." This passage un- 
doubtedly refers to the valley where is now spread out the city of Mead- 

At the fort at Le Boeuf, now Waterford, Washington was courteously 
received by the general in command of all the forces south of the lakes. 
"The Commander," proceeds the journal, under date of December 12, "is 
a knight of the military order of St. Louis, and named Legardeur de St. 
Pierre. He is an elderly gentleman, and has much the air of a soldier. He 
was sent over to take the command immediately upon the death of the 
late General, and arrived here about seven days before me." In the letter 
w-hich Dinwiddie had entrusted to Washington the claim of the English to 
all this Ohio territory was reiterated, and a demand made that the French 
should depart from it, and no more molest its peaceful occupancy. The 
answer of the Chevalier was courteous, but firm. He said that the ques- 
tion of the rightful occupancy of this territory was not one which he could 
properly argue,- that he was an officer commanding a detachment of the 
French armv in America, but that lie would transmit the letter of the 
Governor of Virginia to his general, the 3.1arquis Du Ouesne, "to whom 
it better belongs than to me to set forth the evidence and reality of the 
rights of the King, my master, upon the lands situated along the river Ohio, 
and to contest the pretensions of the King of Great Britain thereto. His 
answer shall be law to me. . . . As to the summons you send me 
to retire, I do not think myself obliged to obey it. Whatever may have 
been your instructions, I am here by virtue of the orders of my general, 
and I entreat you, sir, not to doubt one moment but that I am determined 
to conform myself to them with all the exactness and resolution which can 
be expected from the best officer." 


Governor Dinwiddie liad added to the business part of his commu- 
nication the following request: "I persuade myself you will receive and 
entertain Major Washington with the candor and politeness natural to your 
nation, and it will give me the greatest satisfaction if you can return him 
with an answer suitable to my wishes for a long and lasting peace between 
us." In his response, the Chevalier added in reply to this clause: "I made 
it my particular care to receive Mr. Washington with a distinction suitable 
to your dignity, as well as his own quality and great merit. I flatter myself 
that he will do me this justice before you, sir, and that he will signify to 
you, in the manner I do myself, the profound respect with which I am, sir," 

His mission over, he sent his horses on in advance, and himself and 
party took to canoes, in which they floated down French Creek to Fort 
Venango, now Franklin. It may be ol)served, in passing, that Washington, 
in going upwards from Fort Venango, followed the Indian path, which 
crossed the river at a ford near the Mercer Street bridge in the city of 
Meadville. But finding the stream swollen by recent storms, he decided not 
to cross, but kept on up on the Meadville side, and a spring within the 
northern limits of the city is pointed out where he stopped to lunch and 
take a draft of the pure water, and a little hillock on the turnpike which 
overlooks Woodcock Creek as the place where he encamped for a night. 
In returning he took the more comfortable way by floating down in canoes, 
while the horses returned by the path over which they had come. 

On arriving at Fort Venango, finding his horses jaded and reduced, 
he gave up his own saddle horse for transporting the baggage. Equipped 
in an Indian hunting dress, he accompanied the train for three davs. Finding 
the progress very slow, and the cold becoming every day more intense, he 
placed the train in charge of Van Braam, and, taking his necessary papers, 
pulled off his clothes and tied himself up in a watch coat. Then, with gun 
in hand and pack on his back, he set out with Islr. Gist to make his way 
back on foot to the Ohio. Falling in with a party of French and Indians, 
lie engaged one of them for a guide, who proved treacherous, leading them 
out of their way, and finally turned upon and fired at Washington, "net 
fifteen steps otT." But he missed, or the Great Spirit guided the bullet 

Ridding themselves of him, they traveled all night to escape pursuit. 


Being obliged to cross the Allegheny River, with "one poor hatchet" they 
toilsomely made a raft. "Before we were half way over," proceeds the 
journal, "we were jammed in the ice in such a manner that we expected 
every moment our raft to sink and ourselves to perish. I put out my setting 
pole to try to stop the raft that the ice might pass by, when the rapidity of 
the stream threw it with so much violence against the pole that it jerked me 
out into ten feet of water. Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not 
get to either shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island, to quit our 
raft and make to it. The cold was so extremely severe that Mr. Gist had 
all his fingers and some of his toes frozen, and the water was shut up so 
hard that we found no difficulty in getting ofif the island on the ice in the 

Arrived at the Gist settlement, \\'ashington bought a horse and saddle, 
and on the i6th of January, 1754, he records, "We met seventeen horses 
loaded with materials and stores for a fort at the fork of the Ohio, and the 
day following some famiHes going out to settle. This day we arrived at 
Will's Creek, after as fatiguing a journey as it is possible to conceive, ren- 
dered so, by excessive bad weather. From the first day of December to the 
fifteenth, there was but one day on which it did not rain or snow incessantly, 
and throughout the whole journey we met with nothing but one continued 
series of cold, wet weather, which occasioned very uncomfortable lodgings, 
especially after we had left behind us our tent, which had been some screen 
from the inclemency of it. . . . I arrived at Williamsburg on the i6th, 
when I waited upon his Honor, the Governor, with the letter I had brought 
from the French commandant, and to give an account of the success of my 
proceedings. This I beg leave to do by ofifering the foregoing narrative, 
as it contains the most remarkable occurrences which happened in my 
journey. I hope what has been said will be sufficient to make your Honor 
satisfied with my conduct, for that was my aim in undertaking the journey 
and chief study throughout the prosecution of it." 

It must be confessed that this embassage, undertaken in the dead of 
winter, through an almost trackless wilderness, infested by hostile savages, 
by a boy of twenty-one, was not only romantic, but arduous and dangerous 
in the extreme, and in its execution showed a discretion and persistent 
resolution remarkable for so youthful a person, giving promise of great 
future usefulness. The information which he obtained, and which was 


embodied in a modest way in his journal, was of great importance. The 
journal was published and widely circulated in this country and in England. 
It plainly disclosed the fact that the French, in building strong forts and 
providing cannon and a military force for garrisoning them, meant to hold 
this whole Ohio country by force of arms, and that if the English would 
foil them in this design they must lose no time in preparation to oppose 
force to force. The lateness of the season and the coming on of severe 
weather alone prevented the French from proceeding down the Allegheny 
and taking post on the Ohio in the fall of 1753. The following spring 
would doubtless witness such a hostile movement. Here is the opening 
of one of the most interesting chapters in the history of the North American 
continent. Here are two great, proud European nations standing face to 
face, preparing to contend for the possession of the great Mississippi valley, 
well apprised that before the blossoms of another spring shall come will be 
heard the clash of arms. Thus far, the French had shown much the greater 
military activity, and their strong positions had been selected by competent 
engineers detailed from the French army, who had superintended the erec- 
tion of their strong forts. Arrived at the threshold of a great era, the near 
future will witness the decision whether this fair land, in the midst of which 
is what is now the County of Crawford, shall be peopled by the French, and 
be under the control of the lilies of France, or an English-speaking people 
shall spread over this broad domain, the whole Mississippi valley, the pride 
of the continent. 



AS WE have seen, Washington met a train on its way to commence 
the bnilding of a fort at the present site of Pittsburg. After his 
return, orders were given by the Governor of Virginia to enHst a 
company of a lumdred men and proceed without delay to the forks of Ohio 
and complete the fort there begun. Washington was empowered to raise 
another company of hke numJjer with which to coHect supplies and forward 
to the working party at the fort. In the meantime, Governor Dinwiddie 
convened the Virginia Legislature, asked for money with which to conduct 
the military operations, and called upon the other colonies to join him. Lack 
of funds, want of royal authority to enter upon this warfare and other excuses 
kept the other colonists from engaging innnediately, but the Virginia Legis- 
lature voted money, and the number of troops authorized was increased to 
300, to be divided into six companies, of which Washington was offered 
the command. But, on account of his youth, he declined it, and Joshua Fry 
was made Colonel, and Washington Lieutenant-Colonel. On the 2d of 
April, 1754, Washington set out with two companies of 150 men for the 
fort on the Ohio, Colonel Fry with the artiller}-. which had just arrived from 
England, to follow. But before Washington had arrived at Will's Creek 
intelligence was received that Captain Contracoeur, acting under authority 
of the Governor General of New France, having embarked a thousand men 
with field pieces upon sixty batteaux and three hundred canoes at the flood- 
tide in the Allegheny River, had dropped down and captured the meager 
force working upon the fort at the forks, both Trent and Frazier, the two 
liighest in command, being at the time absent. The garrison, of about fifty 
men, were allowed to depart with their working tools. 

Though bloodless, this was an act of hostility. The war was begun 
which was greatly to modify the map of this continent. "The seven years' 
war" says Albach, "arose at the forks of the Ohio; it was waged in all 



quarters of the world; it made Eng-land a great imperial power; it drove 
the French from Asia and America and dissipated their scheme of empire." 
Contracoeur immediately proceeded with the building of the fort which 
the Virginians had begun. He had issued before the surrender what he 
was pleased to denominate a summons, in which he "sirs" every sentence, 
and orders the English out of the Ohio country in the most absolute and 
authoritative way. "Nothing," he says, "can surprise me more than to see 
you attempt a settlement upon the lands of the King, my master, which 
obliges me now, sir, to send you this gentleman, Chevalier Le Mercier, 
captain of the artillery of Canada, to know of you, sir, by virtue of what 
authority you are come to fortify yourself within the dominions of the 
King, my master. . . . Let it be as it will, sir, if you come out into 
this place charged with orders, I summon you in the name of the King, 
my master, by virtue of orders which I got from my general, to retreat 
peaceably with your troops from off the lands of the King and not to return, 
or else I will find myself obliged to fulfill my duty and compel you to it. 
. . . I prevent you, sir, from asking one hour of delay." 

Washington, though but a stripling, determined to move Ijoldly for- 
ward, although his force was but a moiety of that of the French, and intrench 
upon the Redstone. To add to his perplexity, he received intelligence that 
a reinforcement of 800 men was on its way up the Mississippi to join Con- 
tracoeur at the forks. Sending out messengers to the Governors of Penn- 
sylvania, Virginia and Maryland to ask for reinforcements, he pushed on 
to the Great Meadows, arriving on the 27th. Here he learned that a scout- 
ing party of the French was already in this neighborhood. Not delaying a 
moment, he started with forty picked men, and though the night was dark 
and the rain fell in torrents, he came up with the French before morning, 
encamped in a retreat shielded by rocks and a broken country. Order of 
attack was immediately formed, the English on the right and the friendly 
Indians on the left. The French aroused, flew to arms, when a brisk firing 
commenced, which lasted for some time, and the French, seeing no way of 
escape, surrendered. In this spirited skirmish, Jumonville, the commander, 
and ten of his men were slain, and twenty-two were taken prisoners. Wash- 
ington's loss was one killed and two wounded. This was the young com- 
mander's first battle, and, if we may judge of it by the measure of success, 
it was the presage of a brilliant career. He naturally felt a degree of pride 


and exultation. In a letter to his iirother, he added a postscript in these 
words: "I fortunately escaped without any wounds, for the right wing, 
where I stood, was exposed to and received all the enemy's fire, and it was 
the part where the man was killed and the rest wounded. I heard the 
bullets whistle, and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound." 
When this was reported to the English King, George II., he dryly remarked, 
"He would not say so if he had been used to hear many." 

At the Great Meadows a fort was marked out and partially fortified, 
which was designated Fort Necessity. Supplies were scarce, and could be 
brought up with difficulty. Not satisfied to stop here, Washington pushed 
on to Gist's, at the headwaters of the Redstone, where some entrenchments 
were thrown up. But learning that the French were approaching in force, 
and seeing that no sufficient supply of provisions could be had, he was 
obliged to return to Fort Necessity, which he proceeded to strengthen. On 
the morning of the third of July, the French, under Captain de Villiers, a 
brother-in-law of Jumonville, with a force 900 strong, commenced an attack 
upon the fort. Outnumbered nearly three to one, Washington boldly ac- 
cepted the wager of battle, and all day long and until late at night made 
a gallant fight, when the French commander asked for a parley and de- 
manded a surrender, which was refused. Again the demand was made and 
again refused. Exhausted by the fatigues of the day and suffering for lack 
of provisions, Washington, on being offered the privilege of marching out 
with honors of war, decided to accept the terms, and on the 4th of July, a 
day memorable in the future annals of the country, though of humiliation 
now, departed with drums beating and colors tiying. In this engagement 
of 300 under Washington's command, twelve had been killed and forty-three 
wounded. The loss in Captain Mackay's independent company of South 
Carolinians was not known, nor the loss of the French, which was believed 
to have been much more serious. 

Returning to Will's Creek, a strong work, designated Fort Cumber- 
land, was constructed, which should be a rallying point. In the meantime, 
Colonel Fry had died, and Colonel Innes, of North Carolina, had been 
promoted to the chief command. The army which came under his orders 
was composed of the Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland Militia, and 
independent companies of South Carolina, New York and Virginia, under 
the pay of the King, and officered by soldiers bearing his commission. And 


now succeeded months of negotiation carried on between London and 
Paris; but nothing was definitely settled, and in the early spring of 1755 
it was decided in the British Cabinet to prosecute an active campaign against 
the French in America, with four objects in view: To eject the French from 
Nova Scotia, to drive them from Crown Point, on Lake Champlain; to 
gain possession of Fort \iagara, and to recover the Ohio country. For 
the accomplishment of these purposes Major General Edward Braddock 
was dispatched to America, with two regiments of the line, the Forty-fourth 
and Forty-eighth, commanded by Sir Peter Halket and Colonel Dunbar, 
with directions to take the supreme command of all the forces. Two ships 
of war and several transports were in the Chesapeake. Alexandria was 
made the rallying point, and here the regulars encamped. Commodore 
Keppel furnished four heavy pieces of ordnance, with a detail of tars to 
man the prolongs in passing the streams and mountains. Before starting 
on his campaign, the General held a conference at Alexandria with the 
Governors of the several colonies, — Shirley, of Massachusetts; Delaney, of 
New York; Sharpe, of Maryland; Dinwiddle, of Virginia; Dobbs, of North 
Carolina, and Morris of Pennsylvania. This conference considered little 
more than the question of furnishing troops and supplies for the expe- 

The force against Nova Scotia was earliest in the field, and was 
entirely successful, the country being reduced and placed under martial law, 
and two French men-of-war were captured by the English admiral, 
Boscawen. The force destined against the French on the Ohio, to be 
commanded by General Braddock in person, was slow in moving. Wagons 
and horses were not in readiness, and could not be procured. Two hundred 
wagons and two thousand horses must be had, or the General would not 
move; and when the expedition was on the point of failure for lack of them, 
Benjamin Franklin, then postmaster of Pennsylvania, appeare(5 and assured 
the General that he would provide the desired transportation if authorized 
to do so. That authority was quickly and joyfully given, and the desired 
horses and wagons were soon forthcoming. It should be observed that 
Braddock had studied the military art as practiced in the open countries of 
Europe, where smooth, hard roads everywhere checkered the landscape, 
and he made his requisitions for baggage, artillery and ammunition as 
though his expedition was to be made over such a country, instead of over 


one bristling with mountains and torrent streams through a trackless wilder- 
ness. Had he gone in light marching order, with ammunition and pro- 
visions on pack-horses, he would have been better prepared to meet the 
obstacles which impeded his way. But instead of this, the impedimenta of 
his little force of less than 3,000 men was greater than was taken by a full 
army corps of 20,000 men in many of the campaigns of the late War of the 

Before starting, Braddock organized his force in two divisions. The 
lirst, under Sir Peter Halket. was composed of the Forty-fourth regulars. 
Peyronie's and ^^"aggoner's \'irginia companies, Dagworthie's ^Maryland 
company, Rutherford's and Gate's New York companies, and Poison's 
pioneers. The second, under Colonel Thomas Dunbar, consisted of the 
Forty-eighth regulars, and the balance of the force. General William Shirley 
acted as secretary to the General, and Orme, Washington and Morris as 

On the 9th of April, Sir Peter Halket, with six companies of the Forty- 
fourth, moved by way of \Mnchester for Fort Cumberland, at Will's Creek, 
leaving Lieutenant Gage with four companies to escort the artillery. By 
the advice of Sir John Sinclair, who had been sent forward in advance to 
Winchester and Fort Cumberland to prepare the way for the march, the 
second division, under Colonel Dunbar, accompanied with the artillery and 
heavv trains, moved by way of Frederick, ]\Iaryland. But though the roads 
were better approaching Frederick than by \Mnchester, there were abso- 
lutely none beyond there crossing the Alleghany Mountains, and accord- 
ingly this wing was obliged to recross the Potomac and gain the Winchester 
road. Thev now marched on with all the "pride and circumstance" of 
S'lorious war. "At high noon," savs the chronicler, "on the loth of May. 
while Halket's command was encamped at the common destination, the 
Forty-eighth was startled by the passage of Braddock and his staff through 
their ranks with a body of light horse, one galloping each side of his travel- 
ing chariot, in haste to reach Fort Cumberland. The troops saluted, the 
drums rolled out the Grenadier's March, and the cortege passed. An hour 
later these troops heard the booming of artillery which welcomed the 
General's arrival at Fort Cumberland, and a little later themselves encamped 
on the hill sides about the post. In place of this vain display, Braddock 
should bv this time have been knocking at the gates of Fort Du Quesne. 


But arrived at Fort Cumberland, he sat down one whole month of 
the very best campaigning season, preparing for the execution of his plans 
after the methods of European warfare. His utter lack -of appreciation of 
the kind of warfare he was to wage is given in that delightful piece of auto- 
biography left us by Dr. Franklin: "In conversation with him one day, he 
was giving me some account of his intended progress. 'After taking Fort 
Du Ouesne," said he, 'I am to proceed to Niagara; and, having taken that, 
to Frontenac if the season will allow time; and I suppose it will, for Du 
Quesne can hardly detain m'e above three or four days, and then I can see 
nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara.' Having before resolved 
in my mind," continues Franklin, "the long line the army must make in 
their march by a very narrow road, to be cut for them through the woods 
and bushes, and also of what I had heard of a former defeat of fifteen hun- 
dred French, who invaded the Illinois countr)', I had conceived some doubts 
and some fears for the event of the campaign; but I ventured only to sa)-, 
'To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Du Quesne with these fine troops, 
so well provided with artillery, the fort, though completely'fortified and 
assisted with a very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resist- 
ance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march is from 
the ambuscades of the Indians, who, by constant practice, are dextrous in 
laying and executing them; and the slender line, nearly four miles long, 
which your army must make, expose it to be attacked by surprise on its 
flanks, and to be cut like thread into several pieces, which, from their dis- 
tance, cannot come up in time to support one another." He smiled at my 
ignorance, and replied: 'These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy 
to raw American Militia, but upon the King's regular and disciplined troops, 
sir, it is impossible they should make an impression!' I was conscious of 
an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his 

It was June before the army was ready to set forward. The wagons 
and artillery were a great hindrance in crossing the mountains, and it was 
soon found necessary to send them back, especially the King's wagons, which 
were very heavy. The horses became weakened by incessant pulling over 
rough and untraveled roads, and many died. The Little Meadows was not 
reached until the i8th of the month. Through the advice of Washington 
the General decided to change the order of march, and with a force of his 


picked men, witli as little incumbrance of trains as possible, to push forward. 
According-ly, with a force of 1.200 men. Braddock set out, leaving Colonel 
Dunbar with the balance of the command to bring on the heavy artillery 
and trains. At the camp near the crossing of Castleman's River, on the 
19th, \Yashington was taken violently ill. "Braddock," said Washington, 
in relating the circumstance afterward, "was both my general and my 
physician. I was attacked with a dangerous fever on the march, and he left 
a sergeant to take care of me, and James' fever powders, with the directions 
how to give them, and a wagon to bring me on when I would be able, whicli 
was only the day before the battle." 

The army was attended on its march by a small body of Indians under 
command of Croghan. They had come into camp at Fort Cumberland 
attended hy their squaws. "These," says Irving, "were even fonder of loit- 
ering than the men about the British camp. They were not destitute of 
attractions, for the young squaws resemble the gypsies, having seductive 
forms, small hands and feet, and soft voices. Among those who visited 
the camp was one who, no doubt, passed as an Indian princess. She was 
the daughter of the Sachem, White Thunder, and bore the dazzling name 
of Bright L-ightning. The charms of these wild-wood beauties were so<3n 
acknowledged." "The squaws," writes Secretary Peters, "bring in money 
plenty; the oflTcers are scandalously fond of them! The jealousy of 
warriors was aroused; some of them became furious. To prevent discord, 
the squaws were forbidden to come into the British camp. Finally, it be- 
came necessary to send Bright Lightning, with all the women and children, 
back to Aughquick." 

Washington was disappointed by the manner in which Braddock acted 
upon his advice to move i-apidly with his best troops, and leave the heavy 
portion of his impedimenta to be moved more leisurely. Washington had 
given up his own horse for the use of the trains, and traveled with his bag- 
gage, half filling a portmanteau. But the officers of the line could not bring 
themselves to this simplicity. "Brought up," says Irving, "many of them 
in fashionable and luxurious life, or the loitering indulgence of country 
quarters, they were so encumbered with what they considered indispensable 
necessaries that out of two hundred and twelve horses generally appro- 
priated to their use, not more than a dozen could be spared by them for 
the public service." Nor was the progress even with these drawbacks at 


all in consonance with the wishes of Washington. "I found," he says, "that 
instead of pushing on with vigor, without regarding a little rough road, they 
were halting to level every mole-hill and to erect bridges over every brook, 
by which means we were four days in getting twelve miles." He had been 
about a month marching a hundred miles. Indeed, his movements were so 
sluggish as to cause impatience by his friends in Europe. "The Duke of 
Brunswick," who had planned the campaign, writes Horace Walpole, "is 
much dissatisfied at the slowness of Braddock, who does not march as if 
he \\as at all impatient to l)e scaljied." 

Though still weak, \A'ashington had come up with the advance; but 
on the 23d of June, at the great crossing of the Youghicjgheny, he was 
unable to proceed. Here General Braddock interposed his authority, and 
forbade his young aid to go further, assigned him a guard, placed him under 
the care of his surgeon. Dr. Craig, with directions not to move until the 
surgeon should consider him sufficiently recovered to resume the march 
with safety, at the same time assuring him that he should be kept informed 
of the progress of the column and the portents of a battle. He was, how- 
ever, impatient at the restraint, and regarded with distress the departure of 
the army, leaving him behind, fearful lest he might not be up in time for 
the impending battle, which, he assured his brother aid-de-camp, he would 
not miss for five hundred pounds." 

Indications of the presence of a hostile force of French and Indians, 
hovering upon the tianks of the column, hourly multiplied. On the 24th, 
a deserted Indian camp of 170 braves was passed, where the trees had been 
stripped of bark, and taunting words in the French language and scurrilous 
figures were paintetl thereon. On the following morning* three men, ven- 
turing beyond the sentinels, were shot and scalped. These hostile ])arties 
were often seen, but they always managed to elude the parties sent out to 
capture them. In passing over a mountain cpiite steep and precipitous, the- 
carriages had to be raised and lowered by means of halyards and pulleys by 
the assistance of the sailors. Such was the nature of the hurried march 
with his best troops which Braddock had consented to make. On the 26th, 
only four miles were marched, and the halt was at another Indian camp, 
wliicli the warriors had but just left, the brands of their camp-fire still Ijurn- 
ing. "It had a spring in the middle, and stood at the termination of the 
Indian path to the Monongahela. . . . The French had inscribed their 


names on some of the trees witli insulting l)ravadoes, and the Indians liail 
designated in triumpli tlie scalps they had taken two days previously. A 
party was sent out, with guides, to follow their tracks and fall on them in 
the night, but without success. In fact, it was the Indian boast that 
throughout this march of Braddock they saw him every day from the 
mountains, and expected to be able to .shoot down his soldiers 'like 
pigeons.' " 

Still the colunm went toiling on, in one whole day making barely two 
miles, men and officers alike all unconscious of the fact that a pitfall was 
being prepared for them into which they would plunge to destruction, and 
laying no adequate plans to guard and shield themselves from such a fate. 

On the 8th of July, \\'ashington found himself sufficiently recovered 
to join the advance of the army, at its camp about two miles from the 
Monongahela, and fifteen from Fort Du Quesne. Though they were now 
on the same side of the river as the fort, yet not far in advance, a precipitou.s^ 
bluff extended down close in upon the river bank, leaving little room for 
the march, and where a column would be exposed for a distance of two 
miles to a sudden attack from the heights. Accordingly, it was deter- 
mined to cross to tlie left bank of the river by a ford, move down five miles, 
recross to the right 1)ank. and then move on to the attack of the fort. 
According to orders. Gage, with two comijanies of Grenadiers, the company 
of Captain Gates, and two six-pounders, before daylight on the morning 
of the 9th, crossed and recrossed the river as planned, and took up a position 
favorable for covering the moving the remainder of the column. .\ party 
of some fifty Indians rushed out upon them, but were .soon put to flight. 
Knowing now the nature of the ground uixm which they had come, 
and realizing the hazards from a covert attack to which they were exposed, 
having come in such close proximity to the enemy, and doubtless recalling 
the buzz of the bullets and buck-shot about his ears in his fight at Fort 
Necessity, Washington ventured to suggest that as the Virginia rangers 
were accustomed to Indian warfare, they be given the advance. But 
the proposition was received with a sharp rebuke by the General, believmg, 
no doubt, that the young provincial aid was ignorant of the principles of 
high art in warfare, and indignant that any subordinate should pretend to 
advise him. 

Braddock was now near enough to the fort to anticipate the l)attle at 


any moment. He accordingly prepared to make a fine show. At sunrise 
the main body, all under his immediate command, turned out in full uniform. 
Their arms hafl loeen brightened the night before, and at the beating of the 
general, were charged with fresh cartridges. At the crossings of the stream, 
where it was supposed that the enemy would be on the watch to observe 
them, in order that they might make the greatest show of power and 
strength, they moved with fixed bayonets, colors gayly given to the breeze, 
the trumpet sounding and the fife and drum marking the measured tread. 
"Washington." says Irving, "with his keen and youthful relish for military 
afifairs, was delighted with their perfect order and equipment, so different 
from the rough bush-fighters to which he had been accustomed. Roused 
to new life, he forgot his recent ailments, and broke forth in expressions of 
enjoyment and admiration, as he rode in company with his fellow aids-de- 
camp, Orme and Morris. Often in after life he used to speak of the effect 
ppon him of the first sight of a well-disciplined European army marching 
in high confidence and bright array on the eve of a battle." 

Having now all crossed to the right bank, as was supposed within nine 
miles of the fort, the column was in battle order, Gage with his force pre- 
ceded by the engineers and guides, and six light horsemen leading; St. 
Clair, with the working party flanked with soldiers, and the wagons and 
two six-pounders following: then the General, with the main body, and 
the provincial troops bringing up the rear. Along the track they were to 
pursue was a plain for some distance, then rising ground flanked on either 
side by wooded ravines. At two o'clock the advance under Gage, having 
crossed this plain, was ascending the rise, the General himself having given 
the order to the main body to march, and being now under way, suddenly 
a heavy firing was heard at the head of the column, accompanied by un- 
earthly yells. Colonel Burton was immediately ordered forward to the 
support of Gage, who had been attacked by an unseen foe lurking in 
ambush, but drawn out in most advantageous order for extending their 
attack upon the flanks of the advancing English. They were commanded 
by a Frenchman, Beaujeu, attired in a "gayly-fringed hunting shirt," who 
led them on and directed the fight. The Indians observed no order, but, 
extending rapidly down the ravines on the flank of the column, poured in 
a murderous fire upon the regulars and pioneers, who stood out boldly, 
presenting themselves as targets for the concealed foe, who used their rifles 


with deadly effect. The firing on both sides was brisk. The Indian was 
accustomed to see his foe dodge behind trees and seek cover wherever he 
could. He had never seen such fine sport before, where the victim stood 
up boldly, giving a fair chance to shoot him down. The Indian war-whoop 
was something appalling, and the regulars seemed to dread it more than 
the bullets. Gage ordered his men to fix bayonets, and form for a charge 
up a hill whence was the heaviest fire; but all to no purpose. They were 
being surrounded by an unseen foe, which crept stealthily along the hills 
and ravines, keeping up a most deadly fire. A panic seized the pioneers, 
and many of the soldiers. Braddock and his officers behaved in the most 
gallant manner, exposing themselves to the fire of their dusky foes in their 
attempts to reform the shattered ranks and advance them to the attack. 
Washington suggested that the Indian mode of skulking be resorted to. 
But Braddock would listen to no advice, being reported to have said upon 
this occasion, "What! a Virginia colonel teach a British general how to 
fight!" But that young Virginian counseled wisely in this dire necessity. 
For three long hours Braddock saw the work of slaughter go on, while he 
attempted to form his troops in platoons, in the open ground, and advance 
them upon the concealed foe. The provincial troops, in spite of the General, 
shielded themselves behind trees and did greater execution upon the foe 
than all the firing of the regulars. The latter were thrown into great con- 
fusion by this sav.age style of warfare, where no foe could be seen, and 
where thev were only guided in directing their fire by the flashes and smoke 
from the rifles of the skulking enemy. The EngHsh soldiers huddled to- 
gether and fired at random, sometimes shooting down their own friends. 
The carnage of the regulars was terrible. Nearly one-half of all those who 
had marched forth in faultless uniforms, and whose bright armor had re- 
flected the morning sunlight, before nightfall lay stark and stiff in death, 
or were suffering from ghastly wounds. The foe was largely made up of 
Indians, and only about half of the number of the English, who were utterly 
defeated. Finally, General Braddock himself was mortally wounded, and 
immediately gave orders for the troops to fall back. Fortunately, the Indians 
fell to plundering the dead, and neglected to pursue the retreating army. 

General Braddock had five horses shot under him before receiving his 
death wound. It has been currently reported that he was shot by Thomas 
Faucett, one of the independent rangers. Braddock had given orders that 


none of his soldiers should take shelter behind trees or cover. Faucett's 
brother had sheltered himself, when Braddock, to enforce his order, struck 
the refractory soldier to the earth with his sword. Seeing his brother fall, 
Faucett shot the General in the back, and thereafter the provincials fought 
as they pleased, and did good execution. Sir Peter Halket was instantly 
killed, Shirley was shot through the head; Colonel Burton, Sir John St. 
Clair, Colonel Gage, Colonel Orme. Major Sparks and Major Halket were 
wounded. Five captains were killed, and five wounded; fifteen lieutenants 
were killed, and twenty-two wounded. The killed and wounded of the 
privates amounted to seven hundred and fifteen. Over four hundred were 
supposed to ha\e been killed. The very large and unusual number killed 
outright can only be accounted for on the supposition that the badly 
wounded, who were unable to get away, were murdered by the Indians when 
they came upon the field, as all were stripped and scalped. 

When the two aids, Orme and Sparks, were wounded, all orders upon 
the field had to be carried by Washington, who was conspicuous upon 
every part, behaving in the most gallant manner. He had two horses shot 
under him, and four bullet-holes through his coat. In a letter to his brother 
he wrote: "As I have heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial 
account of my death and dying speech, I take this opportunity of contra- 
dicting the first, and of assuring you that I have not composed the latter. 
By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected be- 
yond all human probability or expectation, for I had four bullets through 
my coat and two horses shot under me, and escaped unhurt, though death 
was levelling my companions on ever\' side of me." Many of the remarkable 
stories told of eminent men are of doubtful authenticity, but the following 
is unquestionably true. Dr. Craig, the intimate friend of Washington, who 
had attended him in his sickness on the march, and was present in this 
battle, relates that some fifteen years afterward, while traveling with 
Washington near the junction of the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers in 
exploring wild lands, they were met by a party of Indians with an interpreter, 
headed by a venerable chief. The old Sachem said he had come a long way 
to see Colonel Washington, for in the battle of the Monongahela he had 
singled him out as a conspicuous object, had fired his rifle at him fifteen times 
and directed his young warriors to do the same, but not one could hit him. 
A superstitious dread seized him, and he was satisfied that the Great Spirit 


protected the young hero, and ceased tiring at him. It is a singular cir- 
cumstance that in ah his campaignings Washington was never wounded. 

Of the conduct of the regulars in this battle some diversity of opinion 
exists. Washington, in a letter to his mother, which he never suspected 
would be made public, and in which he would be expected to tell his real 
sentiments, writes: "In short, the dastardly behavior of those they call 
regulars exposed all others wdio were inclined tO' do their duty to almost 
certain death; and at last, in despite of all the efforts of the officers to the 
contrar}', they ran as sheep pursued by dogs, and it was impossible to 
rally them." 

Braddock, though mortally wounded, was still able to give orders. 
After having brought off the remnant of his force and recrossed the river, 
he posted his command in an advantageous position, and put out sentinels 
in the hope of still making a successful advance when his reinforcements, 
under Dunbar, should come up; but before an hour had elapsed most of his 
men had stolen away, and tied towards Fort Cumberland. Indeed, the 
teamsters had, from the beginning of the battle, taken out the best horses 
from their teams and rode away. Seeing that no stand could be made, the 
retreat was continued, and Colonel Gage coming up with eighty men, whom 
he had rallied, gave some show of order. Washington was directed to pro- 
ceed to Dunbar's camp, forty miles away, and order forward trains and sup- 
plies for bringing off the wounded. This was executed. At Gist's plan- 
tation he met Gage escorting Braddock and a portion of the wounded. At 
Dunbar's Camp a halt of one day was made, when the retreat was resumed, 
and at the Great Meadows, on the night of the 13th, Braddock breathed 
his last. He had been heard to mutter: "Who would have thought it?" and 
"We shall better know how to deal with them another time," as if he still 
hoped to rally and to fight. Lest the Indians should be watching and know 
of his death and burial place, the ceremony of his interment took place just 
before dawn in the morning. The chaplain had been wounded, and Wash- 
ington read the burial service over his grave. He was buried in the road- 
way, and the trains were driven over the grave, so that the savages should 
not discover his last resting place. The grave is a few yards north of the 
present National road, between the fifty-third and i^fty-fourth mile stone 
from Cumberland, and about a mile west of Fort Necessity at the Great 
Meadows. "Whatever may have been his [Braddock's] faults and errors," 


says Irving, "he in a manner expiated them by the hardest lot that can 
befall a brave soldier, ambitious of renown — an iinhonored grave in a strange 

Dunbar seems to have been completely cowed by the misfortunes of 
the day and the death of his general. He hastily burst all the cannon, 
burned the baggage and gun-carriages, destroyed the ammunition and 
stores, and made a hasty retreat to Fort Cumberland. When all were got 
together he found he had fifteen hundred troops, a sufficient number to 
have gone forward and taken the fort. But the war-whoop of the savage 
seemed to be still ringing in his ears, and the fear of losing his scalp over- 
shadowed all. He continued to fall back, and did not seem quite at ease till 
he had reached Philadelphia, where the population could afford him entire 
security. The result of the campaign was humiliating to British arms, and 
Franklin observed in his biography, "The whole transaction gave us the 
first suspicion that our exalted ideas of British regular troops had not been 
well founded." Had Braddock moved in light marching order, using pack 
horses for transportation, and taken only so much baggage as was neces- 
sary for a short campaign, or, had he, when attacked, taken shelter and 
raked the ravines with his artillery, the fort would have been his with 
scarcely a struggle. 

It has since been disclosed with how slender a force Braddock was 
defeated. "The true reason," says Irving, "why the enemy did not pursue 
the retreating army, was not known until sometime afterwards, and added 
to the disgrace of the defeat. They were not the main force of the French, 
but a mere detachment, 72 regulars, 146 Canadians, and 637 Indians, 855 in 
all, led by Captain de Beaujeu. De Contrecoeur, the commander of Fort 
Du Quesne, had received information through his scouts that the English, 
three thousand strong, were within six leagues of his fort. Despairing of 
making any effectual defense against such a superior force, he was balanc- 
ing in his mind whether to abandon his fort without awaiting their arrival 
or to capitulate on honorable terms. In this dilemma Beaujeu prevailed 
upon him to let him sally forth with a detachment to form an ambush and 
give check to the enemy. De Beaujeu was to have taken post at the river, 
and have disputed the passage at the ford. For that purpose he was hur- 
rying forward, when discovered by the pioneers of Gage's advance party. 
Gage was a gallant officer, and fell at the beginning of the fight. The whole 


number of killed and wounded of French and Indians did not exceed 
seventy. Such was the scanty force which the imagination of the panic- 
stricken army had magnified into a great host, and from which thev had 
fled in breathless terror, abandoning the whole frontier. No one could have 
been more surprised than the French commander himself, when the ambus- 
cading party returned in triumph with a long train of pack horses laden 
with booty, the savages uncouthly clad in the garments of the slain — grena- 
dier caps, officers' gold-laced coats and glittering epaulettes — flourishing 
swords and sabres, or firing ofl:' muskets and uttering fiend-like yells of vic- 
tory. But when De Contrecceur was informed of the utter rout and de- 
struction of the much dreaded British army, his joy was complete. He 
ordered the guns of the fort to be fired in triumph, and sent out troops in 
pursuit of the fugitives. 

Braddock lost all of his papers, orders and correspondence, even to his 
own commission, his military chest containing £25,000 in money, and one 
hundred beeves. Washington lost his journal and the notes of his cam- 
paign to Fort Necessity of the year before. Indeed, with the exception of 
Orme's journal, and a seaman's diary, no papers were saved. In a letter 
to his brother, Augustine, Washington recounted his losses and privations 
in his several public services, in a repining strain: "I was employed to go 
a journey in the winter, \vhen I believe few or none would have undertaken 
it, and what did I get Iiy it? My expenses borne. I was then appointed 
with trifling pay to conduct a handful of men to the Ohio. What did I 
get by that? Why, after putting myself to a considerable expense in equip- 
ping and providing necessaries for the campaign, I went out, was soundly 
beaten, and lost all! Came in and had my commission taken from me; or, 
in other words, my command reduced, under pretense of an order from 
home (England). I then went out a volunteer with General Braddock, and 
lost all my horses and many other things. But this being a voluntary act, [ 
ought not to mention it; nor should I have done it were it not to show that 
I have been on the losing order ever since I entered the service, which is 
now nearly two years." 

Ah! George, this does look like a sad case to you now! You did lose 
a few horses and their trappings; you did suffer on a winter tramp through 
the forest, and were fired on by the savage, and hurled into the icy cur- 
rent of the deep flowing river. You did get entrapped at Fort Necessity. 


and on Braddock's field innumerable bullets were aimed at you. when, pale 
with sickness, you rode up and down that bloody ground. But, my young 
friend, did you ever cast up your gains in these campaignings? You did 
suffer some losses in horses and bridles and the like. But there was not a 
true breast in all America that did not swell with pride when it knew the 
fidelity and resolution you displayed in the trusts imposed upon you. and 
the gallant manner in which you acted on that fatal field, when all around 
were stricken with terror and dismay, and your General was bleeding with 
a mortal hurt. You did, indeed, lose some sleep, and disease preyed upon 
your system in consequence of exposure: but there was not an English- 
man in all the civilized world who was not touched with some share of 
your anguish when the story of your heroism was rehearsed: not a Chris- 
tian in all the land who could not join with the President of Princeton Col- 
lege, the Rev. Samuel Davis, who referred in a sermon preached not long 
after the event, to "that heroic youth. Colonel Washington, whom I cannot 
but hope Providence has hitherto preserved in so signal a manner for some 
important service to his country." 



THE disaster to Braddock touched the ])ride of the British nation, 
and war was promptly declared against France on the 17th of May, 
1756. Preparations were made to conduct a vigorous campaign. 
Ten thousand men were to attack Crown Point, six tliousand to advance 
upon Niagara, three thousand to move against Fort Du Ouesne, and two 
thousand were to descend from Kennehec u]3on tlie French upon tlie Cliau- 
diere River. But l)efore any movement could be made, the French, under 
Montcalm, crossed Lake Ontario, captured Fort Ontario, killing the com- 
mander. Colonel Mercer, took fourteen hundred prisoners, a c|uantity of 
arms and stores, and several vessels, and having destroyed the forts, re- 
turned to Canada without serious loss. This threw the whole frontier of 
New York and the Six Nations, who had remained loyal to the English, open 
to the French. 

The English army, upon the death of Braddock. having completely 
retired from the field, the whole frontier of Pennsylvania was open to the 
savages, who. having had the taste of blood, like wild beasts, would not be 
satisfied till they were gorged. The chieftain, Shingiss, with his braves, in 
their war paint, crossed the summits of the Alleghany Mountains and de- 
scended upon the defenseless pioneers. Being now upon the warpath, with 
stealthy step, the savage came upon the unsuspecting settler, and his stony 
heart was untouched by the cries for pity. The tender infant and trembling 
aged were mercilessly tomahawked and scalped, and their cabins burned. 
Manv women and children were borne away into savage captivity, and never 
returned to know home or friends again. The torch of savage warfare 
lighted up all the border, and even penetrated far into the settled portions 
of the country. An express to Governor Sharpe of Maryland says: "The 



Indians destroy all before them, firing houses, barns, stock yards, and 
everything that will burn." "The people," says Governor Morris of Penn- 
sylvania, in a communication to the Governor of Virginia, "are mostly with- 
out arms, and struck with such a panic that they flee as fast as they can 
from their habitations." 

Pushing forward at every point, they finally compassed the whole fron- 
tier east of the mountains, stretching from the Delaware Water Gap to the 
Potomac waters, a distance of 150 miles, and a breadth of 20 to 30 miles. 
So deadly had the Indian incursions become, and so threatening to the peace 
and safety of the colony, that the Governor, on the 14th of April, issued his 
proclamation declaring war against the Delawares, and ofifering a reward for 
Indian scalps and prisoners. Troops were raised, through the influence of 
Franklin, and a line of forts was erected along the Kittatiny Hills, extending 
from the Delaware to the Potomac, at a cost of £85,000, those on the east 
bank of the Susquehanna being Depui, Lehigh, Allen, Everitt, Williams, 
Henry, Swatara, Hunter, Halifax and Augusta, and those on the west 
bank Louther, Morris, Franklin, Granville, Shirley Lyttleton and Loudoun. 
]\Iuch dif^culty was experienced in overcoming the scruples of the Qua- 
kers; but Franklin issued and circulated a dialogue answering the objec- 
tions to a legalized militia, and at the earnest solicitation of the Governor 
he was put in command of the troops raised. Colonel John .Armstrong, 
who was in conmiand of the second regiment, stationed west of the Sus- 
quehanna, was ordered to proceed against King Shingiss, who had his home 
at Kittanning, on the banks of Allegheny River. Here he had quite a town, 
and here dwelt Captain Jacobs, chief of the Delawares. The French sup- 
plied them plentifully with arms and ammunition. The march was a toil- 
some one over mountains and unbridged streams. Armstrong's advance 
reached the Allegheny River "about one hundred perches below the main 
body of the town, a little before the setting of the moon, to which, rather 
than by pilots, we were guided by the beating of the drum, and the whoop- 
ing of the warriors at their dances. It then became us to make the best 
use of our moonlight; but we were aware that an Indian whistled in a very 
singular- manner, about thirty perches from our front, in the foot of a corn- 
field, upon which we immediately sat down, and, after passing silence to 
the rear, I asked one Baker, a soldier, who was our Ijest assistant, whether 
that was not a signal to their warriors of our approach. He answered, 'No;' 


and said it was the manner of a young fellow calling a squaw, after he had 
done his dance, who, accordingly, kindled a fire, cleaned his gun, and shot 
it ofif before he went to sleep." The night was warm, and the Indians pre- 
pared to sleep in different parts of the cornfield, building some light fires 
to drive away gnats. Sending a part of his force along the hills to the right 
to cut off retreat in that direction, Armstrong himself led the larger part 
below and opposite the cornfield, where he supposed the warriors lay. At 
the break of day the attack was made, advancing rapidly through the corn 
and sending a detachment to advance upon the houses. Captain Jacobs 
then gave the warwhoop, and, with other Indians, cried, "The white men 
have at last come; we will have scalps enough," but at the same time ordered 
the squaws and children to flee to the woods. The fire in the cornfield was 
brisk, and from the houses, which were built of logs and loopholed, the In- 
dians did some execution without exposing themselves. Accordingly, tht 
order was given to fire the houses, and as the flames spread the Indians were 
summoned to surrender, but one of them made answer, "T am a man, and 
will not be a prisoner." He was told that he would be burned. To this 
he replied "that he did not care, for he would kill four or five before he died." 
As the fire began to approach, and the smoke grew thick, one of the Indian 
fellows, to show his manhood, began to sing. A squaw in the same house, 
and at the same time, was heard to cry and make a noise; but for so doing 
was severely rebuked by the men; but by and by. the fire being too hot for 
them, two Indian fellows and a squaw sprang out and made for the corn- 
field, ^yho were immediately shot down; then, surrounding the houses, it 
was thought Captain Jacobs tumbled himself out at the garret or cockloft 
window, at which he was shot — our prisoners offering to be qualified to the 
powder-horn and pouch, there taken off him. which they say he had lately 
got from a French officer. "During the burning of the houses," says Colonel 
Armstrong, "which were nearly thirty in number, we were agreeably enU-s- 
tained with a quick succession of charged guns gradually firing off as they 
were reached by the fire; but more so with the vast explosion of sundry 
bags and large kegs of gun powder, wherewith almost every house abounded. 
The prisoners afterward informed us that the Indians had frequently said 
they had a sufficient stock of ammunition for ten years to war with the 

Great was the rejoicing at Philadelphia at the result of this expedition; 


the councils voted thanks for the success attending- the enterprise, and the 
sum of £150 for the purchase of presents for the officers, and for the relief 
of the families of the killed. On the commander was bestowed a medal 
bearing on one side the words, "Kittanning destroyed by Colonel Arm- 
strong, September, 1756," and on the other. "The gift of the corporation of 

On the 29th of June, 1757, William Pitt was called to the head of the 
British ministry, and the inefficiency which had marked the management of 
the war in America was at an end. Twelve thousand additional regulars were 
dispatched to America, and the colonies were asked to raise twenty thou- 
sand more, Pitt promising, in the name of Parliament, to furnish arms and 
provisions, and to reimburse all the money expended in raising and clothing 
them. The word of Pitt was magical, fifteen thousand volunteering from 
New England alone. Louisburg, Ticonderoga and Fort Du Quesne were 
to be the points of attack in the campaign of 1758. Admiral Boscawen 
arrived at Halifax in }ilay with forty vessels of war and twelve thousand men. 
Louisburg was invested, and though a vigorous defense of fifty davs was 
maintained by the French, it was compelled to surrender with a loss of five 
thousand prisoners, a large quantity of munitions of war and the destruc- 
tion of all the shipping in the harbor. But not so well fared the advance 
upon Ticonderoga, which was made by General Abercrombie and the young- 
Lord Howe, ^^'ith seven thousand regulars, nine thousand provincials and 
a heavy artillery train, an advance was made upon the fort defended by 
Montcalm, with scarcely four thousand French. The attack was vigorously 
made, but Lord Flowe was killed in a skirmish with a scouting party, and 
after four hours of severe fighting, and the loss of two thousand men, Aber- 
crombie, finding the work stronger than he had anticipated, fell back dis- 
comforted, and after sending out a force under Colonel Bradstreet, who 
captured Fort Frontenac, and subsequently built Fort Stanwix, and gar- 
risoned Fort George, he retired with the main body to Albany. The fall of 
FVontenac, with the loss of a thousand prisoners, ten armed vessels, fifty 
serviceable cannon, sixteen mortars, a large quantity of ammunition and 
stores, and valuable magazines of goods designed for trade with the Indians, 
was a heavy blow to the French, as it deprived them of their great store- 
house for supplies. 

The campaign against Fort Du Quesne was entrusted to General John 


Forbes, with about nine thousand men. inchuhng the Virginia militia, under 
Washington. Forbes was a sick man, and was detained on that account in 
Philadelphia, while Boquet, who was second, moved forward with his forces. 
Washington ia\ored an advance by the Braddock road, but Boquet chose a 
line more direct, further north. The labor of cutting an entirely new road 
through tlie trackless forest, and over craggy steeps, was toilsome. Colonel 
Boquet, who had prevailed upon General Forbes to allow him to cut a new 
road over the mountains, wholly in Pennsylvania, had made so slow prog- 
ress that so late as September he was still, with six thousand men, not over 
the Alleghanv Mountains. At Raystown. now Bedford. General Forbes, 
alreadv stricken with a mortal sickness, led by relentless resolution, came 
up with the column, and was joined by Washington from Fort Cumberland. 
To ascertain the condition of the country in front, and the temper of the 
foe, jMajor Grant, accompanied by T^Iajor Andrew Lewis of the Virgin.ia 
forces, with a detachment of eight hundred men. was sent forward on the 
nth of September to reconnoiter. On the third day out Grant arrived close 
in upon the fort without meeting any foe. \\\i\\ his main force Grant ap- 
proached under cover of darkness within a quarter of a mile, overlooking 
the fort. Earlv in the morning Major Lewis was sent, with four hundred 
men, to lay in ambush along the path by which they had come, and the re- 
maining force, with Grant, was formed along the hill facing the fort. Then, 
sending out a company under Captain McDonald, with drums beating, in the 
hope of drawing on the enemy, he awaited the result, hoping that the garrison 
was weak. But in this he was mistaken : for they followed the decoy in great 
numbers, and boldly attacked. The regulars stood up boldly and were shot 
down from the coverts. The Americans took to the woods and fought In- 
dian style. Major Lewis joined in the i^ght. :\[ajor Grant showed the most 
intrepid bravery, exposing himself to the enemy's fire, but to no purpose. 
Manv were drowned in attempting to cross the river. Seeing that he was 
outnumbered and hemmed in by the enemy standing on commanding 
ground, Grant retired to the baggage, where Captain Bullet had held his com- 
pany, and as the French came on with assurance, his little force made a deter- 
mined stand, doing good execution. Here Grant endeavored to rally his 
broken columns, Init the terror of the scalping knife had seized his men. and 
one by one they slipped away. Bullet, finding his force dwindling, finally 
o-ave the order to retire: the resolute stand he had made enabled the main 


body to move without molestation, and the hail of bullets he had poured into 
the faces of the foe left them no stomach to pursue. The loss in this ens"ap-e- 
ment was two hundred and seventy-two killed, forty-two wounded, and 
many, including Grant, taken prisoners. The loss in killed was out of all 
proportion to the wounded and the number engaged. 

Gathering confidence by the great slaughter and rout which thev had 
inflicted, the PVench determined to follow up their advantage, hoping to 
find the main body thrown into confusion and ready to retreat, as the Brad- 
dock army had done under the timid Dunbar. Accordingly, they came on, 
rejoicing in their strength, twelve hundred French and two hundred Indians, 
led by De Vetri, and boldly attacked the camp of Boquet, on the 12th of 
October. From eleven in the morning until three in the afternoon the 
battle was maintained with great fury, when the French, finding that the 
English were not likely to run, withdrew, but at night renewed the attack, 
hoping, between the terrors of the night and the wild whoop of the Indian 
brandishing his scalping knife, to start a stampede. But Boquet was pre- 
pared, and, "when, in return for their melodious music," says the chron- 
icler, "we gave them some shells from our mortars, it soon made them 
retreat." The loss in this engagement was twelve killed, seventeen wounded 
and thirty-one prisoners. 

General Forbes now pushed forward with the main body of the army 
from Bedford to Loyalhanna, where he arrived about the first of November. 
Here the wintry weather set in unusually early, and the summits were 
already white with snow. A council of war was held, and it was decided 
that it was impracticable to prosecute the campaign further before the open- 
ing of spring. But it having been learned from captives that the garrison 
at Fort Du Ouesne was weak, the Indians having mostly gone olif on their 
autumn hunt, preparatory for the winter, the decision of the council was 
reversed, and Forbes gave orders to push on with all possible dispatch. 
Colonel Washington was sent forward with a detachment to open the road. 
When arrived within twelve miles of the fort a rumor was current that the 
French, either by accident or design, had blown up the fort, and all had 
been burned. This was soon confirmed by the arrival of Indian scouts who 
had been near enough to see the ruins. A company of cavalry was dispatched 
with instructions to extinguish the flames and save all the propert}' possible. 
The whole army now pushed forward with joyous step, and arrived on the 


29th of Xovember: l)ut only the blackened chimneys of the quarters and 
the walls of the fort remained. It was found that a strong- work had been 
built at the point between the two rivers, and a much larger one apparently 
unfinished, some distance up the Allegheny River. There were two maga- 
zines, one of which had been blown up, and in the other were found sixteen 
barrels of ammunition, gun-barrels, a quantity of carriage iron and a wagon 
of scalping knives. The cannon had all been removed, probably taken 
down the Ohio to New Orleans. The garrison, which consisted of some 
live hundred French, had separated, a part having gone down the Ohio, 
a hundred had gone to Presque Isle b}' an Indian path, and the remainder, 
with the Governor, de Lignery, had moved up the Allegheny to Fort Ve- 

A somewhat more spirited account of this important event is given 
bv Mr. Ormsbv, as quoted in the ^^'estern Annals. "At Turtle Creek a coun- 
cil of war was held, the result of which was that it was impractical)le to 
proceed, all the provisions and forage being exhausted. The General, 
being told of this, he swore a furious oath that he would sleep in the fort 
or in a worse place the next night. It was a matter of indifference to him 
where he died, as he was carried the whole distance from Philadelphia and 
back on a litter. About midnight a tremendous explosion was heard from the 
westward, on which Forbes swore that the French magazine was blown 
up, which revived our spirits. This conjecture of the 'Head of Iron' was 
soon confirmed by a deserter from Fort Du Ouesne, who said that the 
Indians, who had watched the English army, reported that they were as 
numerous as the trees in the woods. This so terrified the French that they 
set fire to their magazine and barracks, and pushed off, some up and some 
down, the Ohio." 

Forbes now saw himself in possession of the fort and the commanding 
ground, which, for four long years, the English had been struggling for. 
Knowing that he could not subsist his army here, he rapidly threw up an 
earthwork on the Monongahela bank, and leaving Colonel Mercer in com- 
mand, with two hundred men, he retired with the army to Loyalhanna, 
where he built a block house, which he stocked with stores and manned 
with a garrison, and then moved back across the mountains. General Forbes 
died in the following March. The Gazette said of him: "His services in 
America are well known. By a steady pursuit of well concerted measures, 


in defiance of disease and numberless obstructions, he brought to a happy 
issue a most extraordinary campaign, and made a wilHng sacrifice of his 
own Hfe to what he vahied more — the interests of his King and country." 

The campaign of the Enghsh, in 1758, had proved very successful. 
L-ouisburg, Frontenac and Du Quesne were in their hands. Pitt liad now 
become master of Pariiament and the nation. Elated by his successes in 
America, he formed the bold plan of not only holding the Ohio Valley, 
but of conquering and possessing the whole of Canada. His plan was a 
bold one. Twenty thousand provincials and a strong detachment of land 
and na\al forces of regulars, under command of General Amherst, stood 
ready to execute his orders. Amherst took the field, and with 11,000 men 
moved upon Fort Ticonderoga, which the French abandoned without a 
struggle. Amherst pursued to Crown Point, which the French likewise 
aliandoned. Deterred from pursuing further by the heavy storms that now, 
October nth, began to prevail, he retired to Crown Point, where he built 
a fortress and placed his army in winter quarters. 

General Prideaux, with Sir William Johnson second in command, 
moved by transport from Oswego, by Lake Ontario, to Niagara, and laid 
siege to the fort. Prideaux was almost immediately killed by the bursting 
of a gun, and the command devolved upon Johnson. For three weeks the 
closely beleaguered garrison of French held out, when, on the 24th of July, 
a force of 3,000 French came to their relief. But Johnson so met them that 
they \\ere put to rout after a desperate and sanguinary engagement, and on 
the following day the garrison, some seven hundred men, surrendered. 
General Wolfe, with 8,000 troops, and a fleet under Holmes and Saunders, 
moved up the St. Lawrence, and landed on Orleans Island, a little below 
Quebec, on the 27th of June. Montcalm, with a strong body of French 
regulars, held the town, which, in the upper part, comprising a local plateau 
300 feet above the water, known as the Plains of Abraham, was fortified. 
By throwing hot shot from Point Levi, opposite the town, the English nearly 
destroyed the lower town, but could not reach the upper portion. An at- 
tempt to force the passage of the Montmorenci failed, with a loss of 500 men. 
For eight weeks all attempts to take the city proved fruitless. Finally, by 
the advice of General Tonsend, his faithful lieutenant, he determined to 
scale the rugged bluff which hems in the river, by secret paths. Accordingly, 
on the evening of the 12th of September, ascending the river with muffled 


oars to the mouth of a ravine, and following trusty guides, Wolfe brought 
his whole army, with artillery, by sunrise, upon the plains of Abraham, much 
to the surprise and discomfiture of the French, whose attention had been 
diverted by a noisy demonstration where a previous attempt had been made. 
Montcalm immediately drew up his entire force to meet the offered wager 
of battle. Long and fiercely the contest raged, but everj'where the French 
were worsted. Both generals w-ere mortally wounded. When, at length, 
Wolfe heard the glad accents of victory, he asked to have his head raised, 
and when he beheld the French fleeing on all sides, he exclaimed, with his 
failing breath, "I die content." 

The campaign of 1759, like the preceding, ended gloriously for the 
combined English and American arms, yet the French were not entirely 
dispossessed of power in Canada. Early in the spring of 1760 Vaudreuil, 
Governor-General, sent General Levi, successor to Montcalm, with six 
frigates and a strong force, to retake Quebec. He was met three miles 
from the city by General Murray, and a sanguinary Ijattle was fought on 
April 28th, in which the English were defeated, Murray losing a thousand 
men and all his artillery. Levi now laid siege to the city, and just when 
its condition was becoming perilous, from the lack of supplies, a British 
squadron with reinforcements and supplies appeared in the St. Lawrence. 
Whereupon Levi hastily raised the siege, and losing most of his shipping 
fled to Montreal. Vaudreuil now had but one stronghold left, that of Mon- 
treal, and here he gathered in all his forces and prepared to defend his "last 
ditch." Early in September three English armies met before the city. First 
came Amherst, on the 6th, with 10,000, accompanied by Johnson, with a 
thousand of the Six Nations, and on the same day came Murray, with 4,000 
from Quebec, and on the following day Colonel Haviland, with 3,000, from 
Crown Point. Seeing that it would be useless to hold out against such a 
force, Vaudreuil capitulated, surrendering Montreal and the entire Domin- 
ion of Canada, into the hands of the English. Thus ended the war upon 
the land. But upon the ocean, and among the West India Islands it was 
prosecuted until 1763, when a treaty of peace was signed at Paris on Feb- 
ruarj- loth, whereby France surrendered all her possessions in America east 
of the Mississippi and north of the latitude of the Iberville River, and Spain 
at the same time ceded to the English East and West Florida. Thus was 
the Indian war, virtually commenced by planting the leaden plates by the 


French along the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, and commonly designated 
in history as the Seven Years' War, brought to a close, by the vast plans 
of empire formed by the comprehensive mind of Pitt, though at a cost to 
the British nation of five hundred and sixty millions of dollars. And now 
was forever settled the question whether the population about to spread 
over the beautiful valleys bordering upon the Allegheny and Monongahela 
Rivers — La Belle Riviere — should be an English or a French speaking 



THE treaty of Paris put a period to the sanguinary campaigns of tlie 
Seven Years' War, so far as treaty stipulations could. But the In- 
dians, who had confederated with the French, could not be reached 
nor bound by stipulations made 3,000 miles away across the ocean, in which 
they had no voice. Though some of the tribes assembled and smoked the 
pipe of peace with the English, yet they had grown suspicious. The French 
had poisoned the minds of the savages against the English, telling them 
that the desire to obtain the fine lands was the motive which incited this 
deadly warfare, and that if the French were finally beaten, then the English 
would turn upon the natives and drive them from all their pleasant hunting 
grounds. Though the French in America had accepted the conditions of 
the treaty, and were, as a nation, willing to be bound by it, yet there were 
individuals in whose breasts the recollection of sore defeats still rankled, 
and who saw in the hostility of the red men a means of wreaking their ven- 

The thoughtful Indians saw, or fancied they saw, that daily coming 
to pass which the French had told them. They asked themselves, not with- 
out reason, why the English were so intent to drive the French from the 
Ohio Valley, spending freely hundreds of millions of money and sacrificing 
countless hves, if they did not expect to occupy these luxuriant valleys 
themselves; and when they saw the surveyor with his Jacob staff and chain 
advancing as the armies retired, blazing his way through the forests, and 
setting up his monuments to mark the limits of tracts, they were strongly 
confirmed in their suspicions. The English contemplated doing, so far as 
reclaiming the forests and settling the country, what was eventually done; 
but they indulged the hope that the red man and the pale-face could dwell 
together in peace and unity. But that dream had a baseless faliric. Hunt- 
8 '113 


ing, fishing and war were the occupations of the one. while the arts of peace 
on farm, in workshop and mill, were the delight of the other. 

The mutterings of discontent were heard among the Indians during 
the seasons of 1 760-1-2. and secret enterprises of dangerous consequence 
had been detected and broken up. Major Rogers, who, with a small de- 
tachment, had been sent to receive the surrender of the French posts along 
the great lakes of the Northwest, and raise the English colors, had met on 
his way the chief of the Ottawas, Pontiac, who dwelt on the Michigan Pe- 
ninsula, who demanded from Rogers why he was entering upon the land of 
the Ottawas with a hostile band without his permission. Explanations en- 
sued, the pipe of peace was smoked, and Rogers was permitted to proceed 
on his w-ay. 

But ill concealed disaffection existed among all the tribes as they saw the 
emblem of the power of Britain floating from posts along all the lakes and the 
great river courses. Even the Six Nations, who had always remained the 
fast friends of the English, especially the Senecas, showed signs of hostility. 
These, with the Delawares and Shawnees, for two years had been holding 
secret communications with the tribes of the great Northwest, laljoring to 
induce them to join in a war of extermination upon the English. "So spoke 
the Senecas," says Bancroft, "to the Delawares, and they to the Shawnees, 
and the Shawnees to the Miamis and \\'yandots, whose chiefs, slain in battle 
by the English, were still una\enged, until everywhere, from the falls of 
Niagara, and the ]iiny declivities of the Alleghanies to the whitewood forests 
of the Mississippi and the borders of Lake Superior, all the nations con- 
certed to rise and put the English to death," 

It was not easy to rouse the tribes to united action, many feeling them- 
selves bound to the English by treaties, and some by real friendship. It was 
necessar}- to work upon their superstition. A chief of the Abenakis declared 
that the great Manitou had shown himself to him in a dream, saying: "I am 
the Lord of Life; it is I who made all men. I wake for their safety. There- 
fore, I give you warning that if you suffer the Englishmen to dwell among 
yon, their diseases and their poisons will destroy you utterly and you shall 
all die." 

The leader in all these discontents was Pontiac. He was now about 
fifty }ears old. He had been taken a prisoner from the Catawbas, and had 
been adojited into the tribe of the Ottawas. instead of being tortured and 


burned, and had. by his cunning and skill, risen to be chief, and was now 
asserting his authority over all the tribes of the North. Pontiac had been a 
leading warrior, a sort of lieutenant-general, in the battle of the Monon- 
gahela, in which General Braddock had been worsted and mortally wounded. 
Seeing what slaughter his people had then wrought he doubtless thought 
that it would be easy, if all the Indians could be united, to utterly exter- 
minate the English and reclaim their country. Accordingly, he sent out his 
runners to all the tribes in the Northwest, wnth the black wampum, the 
signal for war, and the red tomahawk, directing to prepare for war, and on 
a day agreed upon they were to rise, overpower the garrisons, and then lay 
waste and utterly exterminate the English settlers. That he might rouse 
the entire people he summoned the chiefs to a council, which was held at 
the river Ecorces on the 27th of April, 1763. Pontiac met them with the 
war-belt in his hand, and spoke in his native and fierj' eloquence. He pointed 
to the British flags floating everywhere, to the chieftains slain unavenged. 
He said the blow must now be struck, or their hunting grounds would be 
forever lost. The chiefs received his words with accents of approval, and 
separated to arouse their people and engage in the great conspiracy. The 
plan was skillfully laid. They were to fall upon the frontiers along all the 
settlements during the harvest time, and destroy the corn and cattle, when 
thev could fall upon all the outposts which should hold out and reduce 
them, pinched with hunger. The blow fell at a concerted signal, and blood 
and devastation marked the course of the conspirators. So sudden and 
unexpected was the attack that of eleven forts only three of them were suc- 
cessfully defended— Venango, Le Boeuf, Presque Isle, Le Bay, St. Joseph's, 
Miamis, Ouachtunon, Sandusky and Michilimackinac, falling into their 
hands, the garrisons being mercilessly slaughtered. Detroit, Niagara and 
Fort Pitt alone holding out. 

Among the iirst to feel the blow was Michilimackinac. Major Ether- 
ington, who was in command, felt no alarm at the assembling of an unusual 
number of the tribes under their chief, Menchwehna, though he had been 
warned of their hostility. But, so confident was the }*Iajor of their pacific 
intentions, that he threatened to send any one who should express a doubt 
of their friendly purposes a prisoner to Detroit. On the 4th of June, the 
Indians, to the number of about four hundred, began, as if in sport, to 
play a game of ball, called baggatiway. Two stakes are driven into the 


earth something like a mile apart, and the ball is placed on the ground 
midway between them. Dividing their party into two sides, each strives 
to drive the ball, by means of bats, to the stake of the other. This game 
they commenced, and the strife became fierce and noisy. Presently the ball 
was sent, as if by accident, over the stockade into the fort, when the whole 
company rushed pell-mell into the fort. This maneuver was repeated sev- 
eral times without exciting anv suspicion. Finally, having discovered all of 
the interior desired, they again sent the ball within, and when all had gained 
admission, suddenly turned upon the garrison, ninety in number, and mur- 
dered all but twenty, whom they led away to be made subjects of torture 
or servitude. 

For several reasons the fort at what is now Detroit was among the most 
important of all the fortified posts. Its location on the river, which connects 
the upper with the lower lakes, gives it the command of these great water- 
ways, and along its margin ran the chief Indian warpath into the great 
Northwest. Attracted by the fertility of the soil and the mildness of the 
climate, the French farmers had early settled here. '"The lovely and cheer- 
ful region attracted settlers, alike \vhite men and savages; and the French 
had so occupied the two banks of "the river that their numbers were rated 
so high as twenty-fi\-e hundred souls. . . . The French dwelt upon 
farms, which were about three or four acres wide, upon the river, and eighty 
acres deep: indolent in the midst of plenty, graziers, as well as tillers of the 
soil, and enriched by Indian traffic." 

All this happiness and prosperity Pontiac regarded with an evil eye. To 
his mind all this country of right belonged to the red man. By the cutting 
down of the forests, and multiplying the sounds of husbandry, the game, 
which was their chief resource for living, was frightened away. The favored 
spots by the living springs and the fountains of sweet waters were grasped 
by the white man to make his continual abiding place, and would conse- 
quently be forever lost to the red man. If, by deep-laid strategy and un- 
blushing deception, they could once seize upon all the strongholds and put 
the defenders to the slaughter, they could then pursue their trade of blood 
upon the defenseless frontiers until the whole land would be cleared of the 
pale-face, and his race exterminated. 

The old fort was situated upon the banks of the river within the limits 
of the present city of Detroit. It consisted of a stockade twenty feet high, 


' some two hundred yards in circumference, and inclosing seventy or more 
houses. The garrison, under command of Colonel Gladwin, was composed 
of the remains of the eightieth regiment of the line, reduced now to about 
one hundred and twenty men and eight ofHcers. Two six-pounder and 
one three-pounder guns, and three useless mortars constituted the arma- 
ment of the fort, and two gunboats lay in the stream. Against this, Pon- 
tiac, with a smile on his face, but treachery in his black heart, came in per- 
son with fifty of his warriors on the first of May. He announced his pur- 
pose to come in a more formal manner in a few days for the purpose of 
brightening the chain of Friendship — which usually meant that the chiefs 
were ready to receive high piled up presents, and to renew pledges of lasting 
peace. As this was a ceremony of frequent occurrence Gladwin had no sus- 
picion of treachery. Tribes of the Pottawattamies and Wyandots dwelt a 
few miles below the fort, and at a short distance above, on the western side, 
the Ottawas, Pontiac's own tribe. The day was drawing near when the 
universal uprising, which had been agreed upon in council, should take place. 
Pontiac had laid his scheme skillfully, and as he thought there could be no 
possibility of failure. He had already been admitted to the fort, and had 
spied out its strength and appointments and had bespoken admittance with 
his warriors. He had agreed with his confederates that when he should 
rise to speak he would hold in his hands a belt of wampum, white on one 
side and green on the other, and when he should turn the green side upper- 
most that should be the signal for the massacre of the garrison. But, in 
savage as in civilized diplomacy, 

The best laid. schemes of mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley. 

A dusky maiden of the forest had formed an abiding friendship for Colo- 
nel Gladwin. She had often visited the fort, and had, with native art, executed 
pieces of her handiwork for the use of the Colonel. She had received from 
his hands a curious elk skin, from which she had wrought with her cunning 
art a pair of moccasins, and on the night previous to the contemplated mas- 
sacre she had visited the fort to carry the work and return the unused portion 
of the skin. So pleased was Gladwin with her skill that he asked her to 
take the skin and make him another pair, and if any were then left she might 
appropriate it to her own use. Having paid her for her work, she was sup- 


posed to have gone to her wig^vam. But when the watchmen, whose duty 
it was to clear the fort and shut the gates, went at the evening signal gun, 
they found this maiden lingering in the enclosure, and unwilling to depart. 
On being informed of this Galdwin ordered her to be led to his presence, 
and, in answer to the inquiry why she did not go away, as had been her 
custom, she made the lame excuse that she did not like to take away the 
skin which the Colonel seemed to set so high a value on, lest some injury 
or destruction might come to it. When asked why she had not made that 
objection before, seeing that she must now disclose her trouble, she in- 
genuously declared, "If I take it away I shall never be able to return it to 
you." Inferring that something unusual was foretold in this answer, she 
was urged to explain her meaning. \\'hereu])on she revealed the whole se- 
cret; that Pontiac and his chiefs were to come to the fort on the morrow, 
and while the dusky warrior was delivering his pretended speech of peace 
he was to present a white and green belt which, on being turned in a peculiar 
wav, was to be the signal for the murder of the commandant and all the 
garrison. That the hostile intent might be entirely hidden beneath the garb 
of peace the ingenious savages had cut off a piece from the barrels of their 
guns, so that they could carry them concealed beneath their blankets. Hav- 
ing given the particulars of the conspiracy she departed. 

Having been thus put in possession of the horrible purpose, Gladwin 
communicated the intelligence to his men, and sent word to all the traders 
to be on their guard. At night a cry, as of defiance, was heard, and the gar- 
rison anticipated an immediate attack. The fires were extinguished, and 
the men silently sought their places in readiness to meet the onset. But 
none came, and it was supposed that the chiefs were acting their parts by 
their camp fires, which they were to play on the morrow. 

At the appointed hour Pontiac came, accompanied by thirty-six chiefs 
and a cloud of dusky warriors bearing his speech belt and the pipe of peace. 
Gladwin was prepared to receive him, his men all under arms, guns cleaned 
and freshly loaded, and officers with their swords. On entering the fort Pon- 
tiac started back uttering a cry of anguish, convinced that he had been be- 
trayed by the evidences of preparation about him; but there was no way of 
retreat now. \\\\tn the number agreed upon had been admitted the gates 
were closed. When arrived at the council chamber Pontiac complained that 
the garrison was all under arms, a thing unusual in an embassage of peace. 


Gladwin explained that the garrison was that morning holding a regimental 
drill. But Pontiac knew better than that. He commenced his speech with 
that air of dissimulation which he had the ability to command, and expressed 
the desire for peace and friendship with the English, which he hoped would 
be as lasting as the coming and going of the night and morning. But when 
he advanced to present the belt the officers grasped their swords and drew 
them partially from their scabbards. Seeing that his treachery was known, 
l)ut not in the least disconcerted, he did not give the signal that he had 
agreed u])on, and closed his speech in the most friendly and pacific tone. 

When Colonel Gladwin came to reply he boldly charged the chieftain 
with his black-hearted perfidy. But the latter protested his innocence, and 
expressed a sense of injury that he should be suspected of so base a crime: 
but when Gladwin advanced to the nearest chieftain, and, pulling aside his 
blanket, disclosed his shortened gun with which each of them w^as secretly 
armed, his discomfiture was complete. He was suiTered to depart: but 
unwisely has been the unanimous judgment of historians. Indeed, so little 
reliance has come to be placed on the word of an Indian, that it has been 
declared that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." Hoping still to dis- 
arm the suspicions of the commandant, and gain admission to the fort 
through treachery, Pontiac came again on the following morning accom- 
panied by only three of his chiefs, and smoked the pipe of peace in the most 
innocent garb, and declared that his whole Ottawa nation desired to come 
on the follow-ing morning to smoke. But Gladwin declared that this was 
unnecessary, as he was willing to accept the word of the chiefs, and if they 
were so anxious to be at peace their own conduct would be the best pledge 
of their pacific intentions. 

Seeing that his treacherous purposes were understood, and that he 
could not gain admission to the fort by any professions of friendship, he 
threw off the cloak of deceit, under which he had intended to slaughter the 
garrison and possess the post, and attacked the fort with all his warriors. 
The few English who were outside were murdered, all communication was 
cut off. death was threatened to any W'ho should attempt to carry supplies 
to the garrison, and the keenest strategy was employed to tempt the troops 
to open combat. Carts loaded with comlntstibles were pushed up to the 
palisades in the attempt to burn them; but all to no purpose. Gladwin was 
wan-, and met every artifice of the wily foe with a counter check. In one 



part the savages attempted to gain entrance by chopping down the picket 
posts. In this Gladwin ordered his men to assist them by cutting on the in- 
side. When these fell a rush was made by the Indians to enter; but a brass 
four-pounder, which had been charged with grape and canister, and so 
planted as to command the breach, was discharged at the opportune mo- 
ment, which efifected great slaughter. Pontiac now settled down to a close 
siege. Unfortunately Gladwin had only supplies for three weeks. The sav- 
age chieftain, believing that he had learned something of civilized warfare, 
on the loth of May summoned the garrison to surrender. Gladwin asked for 
a parley, intimating, through the offices of a French emissary, that he was 
willing to redress any grievances of the Indians, not suspecting that the 
attack on him was a part of a deep-laid conspiracy reaching all the posts of 
the frontier. Pontiac consented, and Major Campbell and Lieutenant Mc- 
Dougal were sent. Hostilities were suspended and Gladwin improved the 
opportunity to lay in ample supplies for the siege, when he ended the confer- 

Embittered by the utter failure of his deep-laid schemes, Pontiac, who 
was the head and front of this far-reaching conspiracy, drew in from his 
tribe a heavy force of his best young braves, and watched closely for every 
opportunity to harass and compass the destruction of the garrison. On the 
29th of July Captain Dalzell, with 200 men, marched to the relief of the 
garrison, and, taking advantage of the darkness of the night, succeeded in 
eluding the vigilance of the dusky warriors, and entered the fort. Over- 
confident, he marched boldly out and offered battle. He was defeated, los- 
ing fifty-nine of his men, including the bold leader. 

The peace of Paris had been concluded in April, yet the French, on 
account of their hatred of the English, had still hope of driving them away 
through Indian warfare, which was still kept alive. But the stubborn de- 
fense of Detroit convinced the more considerate of the French that it was 
their best policy to submit. Accordingly, the French messenger, Neyon, 
informed Pontiac that no further assistance could be expected from the 
King of France, a tale of whose coming with a great army to annihilate the 
English having been persistently dinned into his ears, that peace had been 
concluded, that France had surrendered everything in America, and that the 
English were now the only rightful rulers. The sullen Pontiac received the 
tidings with disgust, broke the siege in no spirit of submission, and de- 



Glared that he would return again in the spring and renew his warfare. 

The settlers, supposing that the French, having surrendered in good 
faith, and that the Indians would not dare to continue the war on their 
own account, hastened back in fancied security to their cabins. But the 
decree of Pontiac disappointed all their hopes and made the summer of 1763 
the most bloody of all the seven. The whole country in Pennsylvania west 
of Shippensburg became the prey of the fierce barbarians. They set fire to 
houses, barns, corn, hay and everything combustible. The wretched inhab- 
itants whom they surprised at night, at their meals or in the labors of the 
fields, were massacred with the utmost cruelty and barbarity, and those who 
fled were scarce more happy. Overwhelmed by sorrow, without shelter or 
means of transportation, their tardy flight was impeded by fainting women 
and weeping children. Shippensburg and Carlisle became the barrier towns. 
On the 25th of July, 1763, there were in Shippensburg 1,384 of poor, dis- 
tressed, fleeing inhabitants, viz.: men, 301; women, 345; children, 738. 
many of whom were obliged to lie in barns, stables, cellars and under old, 
leaky sheds, the dwelling houses being all crowded. 

A concerted attack was arranged by the Indians on the 22d of June. 
Presque Isle, Le Boeuf and Venango fell. At Fort Pitt the demand for 
surrender was boldly made by the dusky warriors. But the commandant, 
Ecuyer, was of sterner stuff, and he made answer: "I will not abandon this 
post; I have warriors, provisions- and ammunition in plenty to defend it 
three years against all the Indians in the woods. Go home to your towns 
and take care of your women and children." 

The siege was now pushed with redoubled vigor, digging holes by 
night and running their trenches close up to the walls of the fort, and keep- 
ing up a galling fire of musketry and fiery arrows from their safe hiding 
places. For the relief of the fort. Colonel Boquet was dispatched with frag- 
ments of Forty-seventh and Seventy-seventh regiments of Highlanders. 
At Bushy Run, twenty-one miles from Fort Pitt, he was suddenly attacked 
by an unseen foe. A charge upon the attacking party sent them fleeing, but 
when pushed in one direction they appeared in another, until they had the 
little force of Boquet completely surrounded. He accordingly formed his 
forces in a circle facing outward, and drew up his trains in the center. Seeing 
that the savages were eager to rush forward whenever they saw the least 
disposition of the troops to yield, he determined to feign a retreat. He 


accordingly ordered, the two companies occupying the advance to retire 
within the circle, and the lines again to close up, as if the whole force was 
commencing the retreat. But he posted a force of light infantry in ambus- 
cade, who, if the Indians should follow the retreating troops, would have 
them at their mercy. The Indians, seeing the troops retreating and the 
feeble lines closing in behind them, as if covering the retirement, rushed 
forward in wildest confusion and in great numbers. But when the Grena- 
diers, who had been posted on either side, saw their opportunity they ad- 
vanced from their concealment and charged with the greatest steadiness, 
shooting down the savages in great numbers, who soon broke in confusion 
and disorderly flight. But now the companies of light infantry, which had 
been posted on the opposite side, rose up from their ambush and received 
the flying mass with fresh volleys. Seized with terror at this unexpected 
disaster, and having lost many of their best fighting men and war chiefs, 
they became disheartened, and seeing the regulars giving close pursuit, they 
broke and fled in all directions. All efforts of their surviving chiefs to rally 
and form them were unavailing. They could no longer be controlled, but 
breaking up they fled singly and in parties to their homes, many of them 
not pausing till they had reached the country of the Muskingum. 

General Gage, who had succeeded General Amherst in supreme com- 
mand of the English in America, sent two expeditions in 1764, one under 
command of Colonel Bradstreet to advance by Niagara, Presque Isle and 
Sandusky; and another under Colonel Boquet, by way of Fort Pitt and 
the country of the Muskingum. At Detroit, Bradstreet was met by the 
Ottawas, Ojibwas, Pottawattamies, Sacs and Wyandots, who made treaties 
of peace: but they were either unable to control their young warriors, 
or they never meant to comply with the terms they had agreed to, 
and the whole campaign proved fruitless, Bradstreet returning to Niagara 
and Gage issuing orders to annul all his treaties. 

Not so with Boquet, who knew the Indian tactics better. At Fort 
Pitt he had received a message from Bradstreet informing him that treaties 
of peace had been concluded with all the western tribes, and that it would be 
unnecessary to proceed further. But Boquet knew that the colonel had 
been duped, and pushed forward with his army. He here learned that the 
messenger whom he had sent to Bradstreet had been murdered, and his 
head had been set up upon a pole in the road. The chiefs of the Delawares, 


Senecas and Shawnees waited upon him and advised peace, and that he 
proceed no further, alleging that their young men had committed the out- 
rages charged without authority. Boquet boldly charged faithlessness, and 
asked why they did not punish their young men if they disobeyed. Disre- 
garding their entreaties, he marched boldly on down the Ohio into the very 
heart of the Indian country, and so stern were his words and so summary his 
threats, and the taste of his fighting had inspired such dread, that the tribes 
sent their chiefs to sue for peace. Boquet met them in the midst of his army. 
He charged them with constantly breaking their promises. "I give you," 
was his demand, "twelve days to deliver into my hands all the prisoners in 
your possession without any exception: Englishmen, Frenchmen, women 
and children, whether adopted in your tribes, married or living amongst 
you under an}- denomination or pretense whatsoever." The stern tone of 
the brave colonel had the desired effect. By the 9th of X'ovember, all the 
captives had been brought and delivered up,-»— Virginians, thirty-two males 
and fifty-eight females; Pennsylvanians, forty-nine males and sixty-seven 

The long captivity of many of those who were brought in had effaced 
from their minds recollection of former relati\es and friends, and they pre- 
ferred to remain with the savages, having now come to know no other way 
of life. The savages religiously observed their promises, bringing in all 
their captives, even to the children who had been born to the women during 
their captivitv. So wedded were many of the captives to the Indians, that 
the Shawnees were obliged to bind many of them in order to bring them 
in. Some, after being delivered up. escaped and returned to their life in 
the woods. The Indians parted with their adopted families not without 
manv tears. Manv affecting scenes transpired when the captives were 
brought, and those who had lost friends and relatives recognized their own 
after long separation. The children who had been carried away in tender 
years and had grown up in savage life, knowing no other, could not recog- 
nize their own parents, and timidly approached them. The Shawnee's chief 
gave those who had recovered children some good advice: "Father, we have 
brought your flesh and blood to you; they have all l)een united to us by 
adoption, and, although we now deliver them up to you, w^e will always 
look upon them as our relatives whenever the Great Spirit is pleased that 
we may visit them. We have taken as much care of them as if they were 


our own flesh and blood. They are now become unacquainted with your 
customs and manners, and therefore we request that you wiU use them 
tenderly and kindly, which will induce them to hve contentedly with you." 

Many of the Indians who had given up captives whom they loved fol- 
lowed the army back, that they might be with them as long as possible, 
bringing them com, skins, horses and articles which the captives had re- 
garded as their own, hunting and bringing in game for them. A young 
Mingo had loved a young Virginia woman and made her his wife. In 
defiance of the dangers to life which he submitted himself to in going among 
the exasperated settlers, he persisted in follotving her back. 

"A number of the restored prisoners were brought to Carlisle, and 
Colonel Boquet advertised for those who had lost children to come to this 
place to look for them. Among those that came was a German woman, a 
native of Reutlingen, in Wittemburg, Germany, who with her husband 
had emigrated to America, where two of her daughters, Barbara and Regina, 
were abducted by the Indians. The mother was now unable to designate 
her children, even if they should be among the number of the recaptured. 
With her brother, the distressed, aged woman lamented to Colonel Boquet 
her hopeless case, telling him she used, years ago, to sing to her little 
daughters hymns of which they were fond. The colonel requested her to 
sing one of the hymns, which she did in these words: 

Allein, iind doch iiicht ganz alleine 

Bin ich in meiner Einsamkeit; 
Dann wann ich gleich veriassen scheine, 

Vertreibt mir Jesus selbst die zeit: 
Ich bin bei ihm und er bei mir, 

So hommt mir gar nichts einsam fiir. 

Alone yet not alone am I, 

Though in this solitude so drear; 
I feel my Savior always nigh, 

He comes my dreary hours to cheer — 
I'm with Him and He with me 

Thus I cannot solitary be. 

And Regina, the only daughter present, rushed into the arms of the mother. 
Barbara, the other daughter, was never restored." 

Though Pontiac still persisted in his hostility in the Detroit country, 
yet he could have no prospect of success. Official notice by the French 
court was given of relinquishment of all power in Canada. De Noyen, the 


commandant at Fort Chartres, "sent belts," says Bancroft, "and peace pipes 
to all parts of the continent, exhorting' the many nations of savages to bui"y 
the hatchet, and take the English by the hand, for they would never see him 
more. . . . The courier, who took the belt to the north, offered peace 
to all the tribes wherever he passed: and to Detroit, where he arrived on 
the last day of October, 1764, he bore a letter of the nature of a proclama- 
tion, informing the inhabitants of the cession of Canada to England; 
another, addressed to twenty-five nations by name, to all the red men, and 
particularly to Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas; a third to the commander, 
expressing a readiness to surrender to the English all the forts on the Ohio 
and west of the Mississippi. The next morning, Pontiac sent to Gladwin 
that he accepted the peace, which his father, the French had sent him. and 
desired all that had passed might be forgotten on both sides. 

Thus ended the conspiracy of Pontiac, a warrior unexcelled by any 
of his race for vigor of intellect and dauntless courage. His end was ignol)le. 
An English trader hired a Peoria Indian, for a barrel of rum, to murder him. 
The place of his death was Cahokia. a small village a little below St. Louis. 
He had been a chief leader in the army of the French in the battle against 
Braddock at Monongahela, and he was held in high repute by the French 
general, Montcalm, and at the time of his death Pontiac was dressed in a 
French uniform presented to him b\- that commander. 



NO PERMANENT settlements had been made west of the Alleghany 
Mountains previous to 1768. The colonial governments held that 
settlers had no right to occupy any lands that had not been formally 
purchased of the Indians, and the purchase been confirmed by treatv stipu- 
lations. During the pendency of the operations under Colonel Boquet 
against the Indians in the Pontiac war, the King of Great Britain had issued 
his proclamation, in the hope of pacifying the Indians, forbidding settle- 
ments, in these words: '■^^d^ereas, It is just and reasonable, and essential 
to our interest, and the security of our colonies, that the several nations or 
tribes of Indians with whom we are connected, and who live under our 
protection, should not be molested or disturbed in the possession of such 
jiarts of our dominions and territories as not having been ceded to, or pur- 
chased by us, are preserved to them, or any of them, as their hunting 
grounds: we do, therefore, with the advice of our pri\-y council, declare it 
to be our royal will and pleasure . . . that no Governor nor Com- 
mander-in-chief of our other colonies or plantations in America do presume 
for the present, and until our further pleasure be known, to grant warrants 
of survey or pass patents for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any 
of the rivers which fall into the Atlantic ocean from the west or northwest, 
or upon any lands whatever, which, never having been ceded to or purchased 
by us, are reserved to the said Indians . . . and we do hereby strictly 
forbid, on pain of our displeasure, all our loving subjects from making any- 
purchases or settlements whatever or taking possession of any of the lands 
above reseiwed without our special leave and license for that purpose first 
obtained. And we do further strictly enjoin and require all persons what- 
ever who ha\-e either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any 

lands within the countries above described, or upon any other lands . . . 



which arc still reserved to the said Indians, forthwith to remo\-e themselves 
from such settlements." It will thus be seen that settlement on any land 
west of the summits of the Alleghany range was forbidden by royal proclam- 
ation. But so tempting were the fine lands about the tributaries of the 
Ohio that venturesome frontiersmen were willing to brave the displeasure 
of the King on his throne and the savage arts of the roving red men of the 
forest that they might possess their pick of the fat acres along the margins 
of these beautiful streams. At the opening of the legislative session of 
1768 the Governor of Pennsylvania called attention to these irregularities, and 
called upon the assenil)!}- to pass such a law as would efifectually remedy these 
provocations, and the first law of the session was one providing that if any 
person settled upon lands not purchased of the Indians by the Proprietaries, 
shall refuse to remove for the space of thirty days after having been re- 
quested so to do, or if any person shall remove and then return, or shall 
settle on such lands after the notice of the provisions of this act shall ha\-e 
been dul\- proclaimed, any such persons on being duly convicted shall Ije 
put to death without benefit of clergy. 

But the threat of death without benefit of clergy made by colonial 
enactment did not deter clouds of settlers from returning, who clung to 
their chosen homes, fast by some crystal fountain or quick-flowing stream. 
The English secretary was moreover jealous of the encroachments of the 
Spanish at St. Louis and Xew Orleans, who were bidding for the fur trade 
of the lakes and the western settlers. By establishing the native tribes in 
their rights he thought to cut ofif this trade through their country, and 
not only stop emigration to these western lands but clear off the few who 
had already made improvements. Hence, this savage act of the Pennsylvania 
Legislature, imposing death on these settlers if they did not leave, was well- 
pleasing to the English secretary. 

There was much contention at this time, both in the colonies and at the 
English court, to obtain grants of these western lands. The Ohio Company, 
Mississippi Company, and Walpole's grants, were specimens of this grasping 
spirit. Franklin was in England urging these grants, and was in corres- 
pondence with his compeers in this country. Sir \\'illiam Johnson was not 
without amliitious designs, and he had accordingly made arrangements for 
a grand conclave of Indians from far and near to be held at Fort Stanwix. 
now Rome, New York, in the mild October days of 1768. Thomas Walker 


represented Virginia; Governor William Franklin, New Jersey; Governor 
Penn was present from Pennsylvania, but was obliged to retire before the 
business was completed. Sir \\'illiam Johnson represented New York, and 
also the English government, orders having been transmitted to him early 
in the spring to make the proposed purchase of lands and settle all difficulties 
with the Indians. The numl)er of savages present was extraordinary, being, 
according to Bancroft, a little short of three thousand. "Every art," he says, 
"was used to conciliate the chiefs of the Six Nations, and gifts were lavished 
on them with unusual generosity. They, in turn, complied with the solici- 
tations of the several agents. The line that was established began at the 
north, where Canada Creek joins Wood Creek: on leaving New York it 
passed from the nearest fork of the west branch of the Susquehanna to 
Kittanning, on the Allegheny River, whence it followed that river and the 
Ohio. At the mouth of the Kanawha it met the line of Stewart's treaty. 
Had it stopped here, the Indian frontier would have been inarked all the 
way from northern New York to Elorida. But instead of following his 
instructions. Sir, William Johnson pretended to recognize a right of the 
Six Nations to the largest part of Kentucky, and continued the line down 
the Ohio to the Tennessee River, which was thus constituted the western 
boundary of Virginia." This was in contravention of Secretary Hills- 
borough, and again opened the extravagant claims of Virginia. 

Thus was acquired by the transactions of one day, the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1768, a day ever memorable in the annals of western Pennsylvania, 
this hilarious carnival day of the Indians, a vast tract stretching away a 
thousand miles or more, enough for an empire of the largest proportions. 
Still, all territory to the north of the line of the treaty of 1768 remained in 
possession of the Indians, and continued so until after the conclusion of the 
Revolutionary War, so that during all these years it was at the peril of life 
that any settlement could be made in any part of what is now Crawford 
County. But on the 22d of October, 1784, another great concourse of 
Indians was assembled at Fort Stanwix, and a treaty was consummated 
whereby the Six Nations relinquished all claim to lands in the State of 
Pennsylvania up to the southern boundarj- of New York. This treaty was 
ratified in January, 1785, at Fort Mcintosh, at the mouth of the Beaver 
River, by the southern Indians not present at the assembly at Fort Stanwix. 

It will be observed that the triangle in Erie County was not included 


in the lands given up by. the treaties of 1784-5 at Stanwix and Mcintosh. 
Massachusetts laid claim to this territory by virtue of her grant westward 
to the Pacific. But this State, as well as New York, yielded their claims 
to the United States government. By a treaty made on the 9th of January, 
1789, with the Six Nations, they acknowledged the right of soil and juris- 
diction to and over the triangle to be vested in the State of Pennsylvania. 
Some question having been raised as to the legality of this grant, the Legis- 
lature empowered the Governor to draw a wan-ant for $800 in favor of 
Complanter, Halftown and Big Tree, in trust for the use of the tribe and 
in full satisfaction of all demands, in consideration of which the said chiefs, 
on the 3d of January, 1791, signed a release of all claims against the State 
for themselves and their people forever. On the 3d of March, 1792, the 
triangle was purchased from the United States by the Commonwealth for 
the sum of $151,640.25, and a month later an act of Assembly was passed 
to encourage its settlement by white people. 

The Indians having now been placated, and all legal enactments 
against settlement having been annulled by the terms of purchase from 
the natives, enterprising frontiersmen began to turn their faces towards 
these delectable regions. As we have observed, when Washington, in 1753, 
had passed up the valley, he noted in his journal, "We passed over nuich 
good land since we left Venango, and through several extensive and very 
rich meadows, one of which I believe was nearly four miles in length, and 
considerably wide in some places."" This journal was published in England 
and widely circulated in this countr}-. portions fnuling their way into the 

In 1787, the very year in which ihc coiucntion mel which framed the 
Constitution of the United States, David and John Mead, who had been 
inhabitants of the beautiful Wyoming Valley, but at this time and for two 
years previous had been living in the town of Sunbur}-, attracted by the 
reports of a goodly country on the borders of the Venango River, bidding 
adieu to their families and turning their backs upon civilization, plunged 
into the then mibroken wilderness west of the Susquehanna, and, after a 
wearisome journey of many days over rugge<l mountains and across turbu- 
lent streams, following Indian trails and guided by that changeless star 
which glittered in the firmament then as now, finally reached that goodly 

valley, where since has grown the now busy city which bears their name. 


It was then covered by one dense forest; l)ut fortunately the flats, now 
known as Dunham flats, to the west of the stream and above the confluence 
of the Cussawago with the Venango, had been cleared and cultivated by 
some unknown hand, perhaps by the French or the natives, and was now 
covered by luxurious prairie grass, above which the brilliant wild flowers 
nodded a salutation to these lonel}^ visitants from the abodes of civilization. 
For many days they moved up and down the valley, examining and spying 
out the land, but no place seemed so inviting for habitation as these fat 
acres on Dunham flats, and here they determined to fix their homes. 

They returned to Northumberland, and so attractive and roseate was 
the picture which they drew of this country that several sturdy pioneers 
determined to join them in the following spring, in returning to the new 
country to strengthen their foothold and secure a permanent settlement. 
And now, the way being once trod and the paths beaten, the tide of emigra- 
tion began to set towards this land, whose praises were justly heralded, and 
in a little time nearly every section of the broad, rolling territon,^ known as 
Crawford County resounded with the ring of the settler's ax, and the blue 
smoke from the mud-chimney of his modest cabin curled among the trees. 

But for several years the settlements about Meadville and the river 
valley were much disturbed by Indian hostilities. The theories which had 
been entertained by Pontiac, that if the savages held out in their war upon 
the English they would eventually be driven away, and the natives would 
retain their favorite hunting grounds, were still rife. After the Revolution, 
the Indians still had hopes that the Enghsh would come with great armies 
and conquer the colonists. So troublesome had the tribes become during 
the ten years succeeding the close of the American war of 1783 that the 
o-overnment was obliged to send armed forces to hold them in check. 
Expeditions were sent out under Mcintosh in 1778, by Broadhead in 1780, 
by Crawford in 1782, by Harmer in 1789, by St. Clair in 1791, and by Wayne 
in 1792, which resulted with varying fortune. During all this time the 
frontier was lit up by the blaze of savage warfare, and the tomahawk and 
scalping knife were busy with their fell work. Finally, the campaign, con- 
ducted by General Anthony Wayne, with his characteristic energy and skill, 
ended in triumph in 1795, and the treaty by him concluded forever put an 
end to this sanguinary struggle, wherein neither helpless infancy nor trem- 
bling age was exempt, and was accompanied by every crime which debases 


manhood and effaces from the human character every trace of its heaven- 
born attributes. 

Hence, though the purchase was fairly made in 1785, it was ten years 
later before the territory could be said to be fairly open to settlement. It 
was well known, however, that the lands west of the Allegheny were of 
excellent quality, and naturally tempted the cupidity of the adventurous, 
though still subject to savage sway. Three separate companies, with large 
capital, each sought to secure vast stretches of this territory. They were 
the Holland Land Company, the Population Company, and the North 
American Land Company. By the act of 1792, titles to lands could only 
be perfected by actual settlement for the space of five years, which must be 
begun within two years from the date of its location. But an important 
proviso was attached, that if settlers were prevented by armed enemies of 
the United States from settlement, the title was to become valid the same 
as if settled. This left the question open and indefinite, and gave rise to 
endless litigation, the Holland Company contending that Indian hostilities 
having prevented actual settlement for the space of two years they could 
then perfect their titles without actual settlement, and without waiting for 
the end of the five years. It may be observed here that bona: fid6 settlers 
had little to complain of, and that it was the speculating class, who' wfere 
endeavoring- to gain titles to lands by bogxis settlement, who were loudest 
in their complaints. The question was decided pro and con in the' lower 
courts repeatedly, and taken up on appeal, until it finally reached' the 
Supreme Court of the United States, when Chief Justice Marshall delivered 
an opinion of the company, Mr. Justice Washington declaring: "Thbugh 
the great theater of the war lies far to the northwest of the land in dispute, 
yet it is clearly proved that this country during this period was exposed 
to the repeated eruptions of the enemy, killing and plundering' such of 
the whites as they met with in defenceless situations. We find the settlers 
sometimes working out in the day time in the neighborhood of forts and 
returning at night within their walls for protection; Sometimes giving up 
the pursuit in despair and returning to the settled part of the country, then 
returning to this country and again abandoning it. We sometimes' meet with 
a few men daring and hardy enough to attempt the cultivation of their lands, 
associating implements of husbandly with the instruments of war— the 
character of the husbandman with that of the soldier— and yet I flo not 


recollect any instance in which, with the enterprising daring spirit, a single 
individual was able to make such a settlement as the law required." 

Such "daring and hardy" men as are here referred to by Judge Wash- 
ington were those who first settled Crawford County. Upon the return 
of David and John Mead, in the spring of 1788, came Thomas Martin, John 
Watson, James F. Randolph, Thomas Grant, Cornelius Van Horn, and 
Christopher Snyder. With the exception of Grant, they all selected lands 
on the western side of the river, now Valonia, and the tracts above. Grant 
chose the section on which is now Meadville, and made his home at the 
head of Water Street. Soon tiring of the frontier, he transferred his tract 
to David Mead, who thus became the proprietor and real founder of the 
city which took his name. In the spring of the following year came the 
families of some of these men. Sarah ]\Iead, daughter of David, was the 
first child born within the new settlement. Subsequently came Samuel 
Lord, John Wentworth, Frederick Haymaker, Frederick Baum, Robert Fitz 
Randolph, and Darius Mead. There were a few families of Indians inhabit- 
,ing the neighborhood, who became the fast friends of the white men, prom- 
inent among whom were Canadachta and his three sons. Flying Cloud. 
Standing Stone and Big Sun, and Halftown, a half-brother of Complanter. 
Strike Neck and Wire Ears. 

To the beginning of 1791 few disturbances from hostile Indians 
occurred, and little danger was apprehended; but the defeat of the army 
under General Harmer, and subsequently that led by St. Clair, left the 
hostile tribes of Ohio and western Pennsylvania free to prosecute their 
nefarious schemes of murder, arson and fiendish torture upon the defence- 
less frontiersmen. Early in this year, Flying Cloud, the ever-faithful friend 
of the whites, gave notice that the savages were upon the war-path. For 
safety, the settlers repaired to the stockade fort at Franklin. It was seed 
time, and these provident men were loath to let the time pass for planting, 
and thus fail of a crop for the sustenance of their families. Accordingly, 
four of them, — Cornelius Van liorn, William Gregg, Thomas Ray and 
Christopher, — returned with their horses and commenced ploughing. Venge- 
ful Indians came skulking upon their track, and, singling out Van Hom 
when the others were away at the dinner hour, seized him and his horses, 
and commenced the march westward. Eight miles away, near Conneaut 
Lake, thev stopped for the night, when ^^an Horn managed to elude them. 


and made his way liack. \vlien he foutul that (iregg had been killed and 
Kay was made captive and led away to Detroit. 

The party, which had come with the design of making a permanent 
settlement, had followed the Bald Eagle and the Chinklacamoose path, and 
arrived at Meadville on the 12th of May, 1788, and passed the first night 
under the broad spreading branches of an old cherry tree, which stood near 
the western entrance to the Mercer Street bridge. They had come in ample 
season to plant and raise crops, and had brought with them the usual im- 
plements of husbandry, and withal four horses. Scarcely had they made a 
permanent camp before tliey commenced plowing on the flats which they 
foimd cleared and ready for cultivation. The four horses were brought into 
service, and David I\'Iead held the plow while Van Horn rode one of the 
horses and guided the team. In this way some eight or ten acres were 
broken up and planted to corn. It was up, and there was a fair prospect of 
a bountiful harvest, when a great June freshet came on, which washed out 
the entire planting. Nothing daunted, they replanted, and, favored by the 
golden autumn flays, the favored of the whole earth, they harvested a ^ 
good crop. 

David Mead. James Fitz Randolph and Cornelius Van Horn selected 
tracts that best suited their fancies, and prepared to make for themselves 
homes in the wilds of this then continuous forest. David Mead chose a 
stretch on the west bank of the Venango River. James Fitz Randolph 
selected a site two miles south of Meadville on the upland east of the river, 
w-ell suited to agriculture or fruit and landscape gardening. Thomas Grant 
took the tract on which now Meadville is spread out. Thomas Van Horn 
preferred a location nearly two miles south and west of the river, where the 
morning sunlight looks in with cheerful ray, and where a herd of fine cows 
then as now would fiu-nish milk for the city yet to be. Early in the fall of 
this year, Thomas Grant, tiring of the hardship of clearing the giant forest 
trees that covered all these acres, where now is the busy city, abandoned 
his claim and returned to Northumberiand. Fearing that the freshets in 
the river might give him trouble in the future as his experience had already 
been, David Mead, as we have shown, took up the tract that Grant 
had left, and built a substantial log-house on the bank ovedooking the 
river, near the site of James E. McFariand's present home. It was known 
as the block house, and became a place of refuge when threatened by 


Indian hostilities. In the autumn of 1788, David and John Mead returned 
to Northumberland for their families, and broug-ht them to their new homes 
on the Venango. In the following year, 1789, Darius Mead, the father 
of John and David, Robert Filz Randolph and Frederick Baum brought 
out their families. In this year occurred the first birth in the settlement. 
Sarah, daughter of David and Agnes (Wilson) Mead. She grew to woman- 
hood, and in 1816 was married to Re\-. James Satterfield, of Mercer 

In deciding upon this location for settlement, the Meads were influenced 
by several distinct considerations. In the first place, a fine valley some five 
miles long and "considerably wide in some places," says Washington in his 
journal. Here, then, was ample room for a great city. Then, there were 
three considerable streams here flowing into the Venango River that could 
be easily dammed and used for mill privileges, — Mill Run, Cussawago Creek, 
and Van Horn Run, — each of which have been extensively employed for 
mill purposes. The river itself could in time lie used, but a vast expense 
would have to be incurred to build a dam to hold a stream so strong and 
turbulent as it is at some seasons of the year. By a very simple and inex- 
pensive device. Mill Run was harnessed to yield power. By placing a log- 
so as to turn most of the water into a race, and in times of flood allow the 
great body to escape, with scarcely any expense the water was held in a 
pojid, where Park Avenue cuts through it between Randolph and North 
Street,s, and the necessary power was secured. David Mead built a saw-mill 
just below the intersection of Water and Randolph Streets very shortly after 
arriving, which was a great convenience to the early settlers for a wide 
circuit. . The saw-mill was standing and in use as late as i860. He also 
built a grist-mill, using the same power. 

l^-he question was early agitated what should l)e the name of the new 
town? David Mead had given it the name of Cussawago, which was quite 
appropriate. But here was Mead saw-mill, and Mead grist-mill; why should 
not the new town be Mead-ville? So thought the new settlers, and so it 
was, and has been to this day. 

The Mead familv came originally from Devonshire to the County of 
Esspx, England, during the reign of Henry VI., A. D. 1422, and first 
settled in Elmdon. There appears to have been eight distinguished fami- 
lies of the name in England, known by their respective coats-of-arms. four 


bearing the pelican and four the trefoil as their heraldic designs. Of the 
distinguished individuals who appeared among these English families were 
Rev. Matthew Mead, a celebrated divine in the reign of Charles I., and 
his son, Dr. Richard Mead, who was appointed Physician in Ordinary by 
King George II., and who first practiced inocculation in England. The 
name is spelled with and without the final "e." The descendants of the 
Irish branch of the family, from whom the Meads of Virginia are derived, 
always used the final "e." The first record of any of the name in this 
country is the following, among the Stamford, Connecticut, town records: 
"December 7th, 1641, William Mayd received from the town of Stamford 
a house lot and five acres of land." This William Mead, in company with 
his brother, John Mead, emigrated from England about the year 1640. 
William Mead settled in Stamford, where he died about 1670. His wife was 
Ruth Hardy, who died September 19th, 1657. John Mead, the brother, in 
1650 removed to Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut. 

I. John Mead, son of William, born about 1616; died in 1696. His 
wife was Hannah Potter, daughter of William Potter of Stamford. They 
had issue,— I, John; 2, Joseph; 3, Hannah; 4, Ebenezer; 5, Jonathan; 
6, David; 7, Benjamin; 9, Samuel; 10, Abigail; 1 1, Elizabeth; 12, Mary, 
— all Scripture names, a family no doubt of devout Christians. 

JI. David Mead, of this family, born 1666, settled in Bedford, West- 
%amtcr County, in the colony of New York. Of his children we have the 
names of William, David, Ebenezer. 

HI. Ebenezer was in the direct line the father of David, born 1702. 

IV. '"baivH-Mead married and had issue: 1, Darius, born March 25, 
1728, and married Ruth 'Curtis; 2, Ebenezer; 3, John; 4, William: 5, Eli, 
born 1740. 

V. Darius Mead, sixth in descent, born March 28, 1728, hi Stamford. 
Connecticut. In the year 1750 he settled in Hudson, New York. About 
1770 he removed with his children to the Wyoming settlement, Pennsyl- 
vania, but subsequently followed his sons, David and John, to the new lands 
on the Venango River, where he was killed by the Indians in 1791. His 
wife, Ruth Curtis, born May 27, 1734. in Connecticut, and died at Mead- 
ville in the summer of 1794, being the first death which occurred from 
natural causes among the white settlers of Crawford County. They had 
a larse familv of children, of whom we have only the names of the follow- 


ing: David, l)orn January 17, 1752: Jeanette Finney; Agnes Wilson; 
Asahel. born August 9, 1754, killed at Wyoming, July 3, 1778; John, 
born July 22, 1756, married Katharine Forster; Ruth, born April 16, 1761; 
Darius, born December 9, 1764; Elizabeth, born June i, 1769. 

David, eldest son of Darius, removed to \\'yoming Valley in 1770, 
and obtained a tract of land under the Pennsylvania title, from which he 
was subsequently evicted by the "Connecticut Intruders." He then took 
up his residence on the west bank of the north branch of the Susquehanna 
River, six miles north of the town of Northumberland. He served in the 
Revolutionar}- War as an of^cer, and was a justice of the peace. In 1795, 
General Mead's wife died, and in the following year he was luarried to 
Jeanette, a daughter of Robert Finne}-, to whom were born six children, five 
— Robert, Alexander, Catherine, Jane and Maria — growing to maturity. On 
the 31st of March, 1796, he was appointed by Governor Mififlin justice of 
the peace for the township of ]\Iead for a term "so long as he shall live and 
behave himself well." Mead Township at that time embraced the whole 
of Crawford and Erie Counties. The block house erected by Mead was 
designated as the place for holding elections. Upon the organization of 
Crawford County, in 1800, he was appointed one of the associate judges, 
an oiSce which he held, with the exception of a brief period, continuously 
initil his death. He was appointed major-general of the Fourteenth, and 
afterward of the- Sixteenth Division of the Pennsylvania Militia by Governor 
McKean, and was reappointed by Governor Snyder. During the war of 
1 812-15, he rendered important services to Commodore Perr\', in promptly 
marching- with his command to the defence of Erie in the summer of 1813, 
when the fleet in process of construction in Presque Isle Bay was threatened 
with destruction by the enemy. In 1797, General Mead built a spacious 
and substantial residence on the commanding ground at the head of Water 
Street, where he lived until his death, on the 23d of August, 1816, in the 
sixty-fifth year of his age. His appearance was striking, being six feet 
three and a half inches in height, well proportioned, and possessed of great 
bodily strength. 

Cornelius Van Horn, one of the most enterprising and active in the 
new settlement, was born in Huntington County, New Jersey, December 
1 6th, 1750, a son of Thomas and Jane (Ten Eyck) Van Home. He served 
in the Revolutionary' War, and upon the death of his father inherited 


several hundred acres of land in the Wyoming Valley. This land was 
located in Northampton County, and was held under Pennsylvania title, 
being ^ tract over which so much trouhle arose between Pennsylvania and 
Connecticut claimants. In 1784. he removed from Sussex County, New- 
Jersey, to his land in the Wyoming Valley; ])ut in the fall of that year he. 
with other Pennsylvanians, was driven off their lands by the claimants from 
Connecticut. In the fall of 1793, the Indians being troublesome in the 
Venango settlement, General Wilkins wrote to Van Home, asking him to 
raise a sergeant's command of fifteen men for guard duty, which he did, and 
continued in seiwice to the close of the year. In the summer of 1794, 
General Gibson sent him an ensign's commission, with instructions to enlist 
forty or fifty men for frontier duty. This company, to which nearly all the 
settlers on the Venango belonged, finding that the stockade and log-house 
which General Mead had erected on the west side of Water Street on the 
river bank was insecure, as the Indians might undermine it, erected a more 
substantial and secure log block-house on the northeast corner of Water 
Street and Steer's Alle}-. It was two stories, the second projecting over the 
first, and supplied with a small cannon capable of being moved to either cor- 
ner for service. This command was in active service from August 4 to Decem- 
ber 31, 1794, scouting through the surrounding forests and guarding against 
Indian surprises. In 1795, General Gil)son forwarded to him a captain's 
commission, with orders to raise a company which was to assist in i)ro- 
tecting surveyors and workmen then engaged in laying out and building 
a road from Waterford to Erie. Upon the expiration of this term of service 
he settled permanently on his farm of over 400 acres below Meadville, where 
he spent the remaining years of his life. He was married September 27, 
1798, to Sarah Dunn, daughter of James and Priscilla Dmin, and they had 
issue Jane, James, Priscilla, Harriet, Thomas and Comehus. He lived to 
nearly ninety-six years, and died July 24, 1846. 

Robert Fitz Randolph was born in Essex County, New Jersey, in 1741, 
of Scotch ancestry. He removed with his family to Northampton County 
in 1 77 1, and two years later to Northumberland County. Driven from his 
home by Indian hostilities, he fled, in 1776, to Berks County, but returned 
in the following year, and joined the regiment of Colonel William Cook, 
and with it fought in the battle of Germantown, October 3d, 1777. Having 
been dischargetl soon afterwards, he returned to his home; but the savages 


having made another fierce attack upon the settlement, he returned with 
his family to his native State, where he again enlisted in the Continental 
army, with which he ser\-ed to the end of the Revolutionary War. /i.t the 
return of peace, he returned to Northumberland County, and settled on 
Shamokin Creek, where he resided until 1789, when he removed to the 
Venango Valley with his family, and settled upon the tract which had been 
patented by his son James, one of the party of nine who were the original 
settlers. He was in his seventy-second year when the war of 1812 broke 
out. The blood of his younger days was stirred, and at the first call for 
troops he started for Erie, with four of his sons and two grandsons, to 
ofifer his services to his country. Upon his arrival at Lake Conneauttee, near 
Edinboro, he was persuaded by some of his friends to return home on 
account of his age. He died on the i6th of July, 1830, in the eighty-ninth 
year of his age. 

Of Robert Fitz Randolph's children, Edward took a prominent pai-t 
in the early settlement of the county. He was born in Lehigh County, 
March i, 1772, and was in his eighteenth year when the family removed 
to this county. ' He served as a volunteer in 1791. In 1792, he went to 
Pittsburg in the government employ, in transporting provisions to Fort 
Venango, near Franklin. In September of 1793, he was engaged to go 
down the Ohio, with Colonel Clark, in charge of a boat-load of ammunition 
for General Wayne's army, then organizing at Fort Washington, now Cin- 
cinnati. In the spring of 1795, Captain Russell Bissell commenced the 
erection of a fort at Erie, and in August, Edward and Taylor Fitz Randolph 
were employed as teamsters to go to Erie to assist in the construction of 
the fort. Their father furnished three yokes of oxen, and Cornelius Van 
Horn one yoke, for this purpose. Mr. Fitz Randolph was married, in 1797, 
to Elizabeth Wilson, daughter of Benjamin Wilson, and settled on a farm 
in Vernon Township, where he lived until his removal to the west, where 
he died. 




"\ T ^ HEN THE Virginia convention, on tiie escape of Lord Dun- 
Y y more, the Royal Governor, took the supreme authority of the 
V^irginia colony in its own hands, measures were adopted for re- 
taining the district of Pittsburg west of the Laurel Hills in its control, as 
though the matter of jurisdiction was already settled in favor of Virginia. 
Captain John Neville was authorized to raise a company of one hundred 
men and march to and take possession of Pittsburg. Another company 
was summoned from the Monongahela country. The colony of Virginia 
was divided into sixteen districts, of which West Augusta was one, com- 
prising all the territory drained by the Monongahela, Youghioghenv and 
Kiskiminitas and streams falling into the Ohio. A proposition w^as made 
by certain commissioners sent out by the Continental Congress, — Joseph 
Yates and John Montgomery for Pennsylvania, and Dr. Thomas Walker 
and John Harvey for Virginia, — to Pittsburg to treat with the Indians, that 
in order to settle the disputed authority temporarily, county courts should 
be held under the authority of Pennsylvania north of the Youghiogheny 
River, and of Virginia south of that stream; but no attention was paid 
to this advice, probably l:)eing ecpially distasteful to each party. 

At the session of the Virginia Assembly, held in 1776, the western por- 
tion of what is now Pennsylvania was divided into three counties, viz.: 
Yohigania, Ohio, and Mononghalia, and courts were established to be held 
monthly under justices of Virginia appointment. 

The Revolutionary War was now fairly inaugurated, and as the British 
were using every endeavor to enlist the Indians in their cause against the 
colonists, issuing commissions freely to disaffected Americans to lead them, 
and to fit out expeditions from Canada to attack the settlers from llic rear, 



it became evident near the close of 1776 tliat the Indians were standing in 
hostile attitude. Accordingly, Patrick Henry, then Governor of ^^irginia, 
wrote, under date of December 13th, to Lieutenant Dorsey Pentecost, 
advising him of the hostile temper of the savages, and that he had ordered 
six tons of lead for the West Augusta district, and counseling that he call 
a meeting- of the militia officers of the district to determine on safe places 
of deposit. "I am of opinion," he says, "that unless your people wisely 
improve this winter you may probably be destroyed. Prepare, then, to 
make resistance while you have time." 

According to the request of Governor Henry the militia officers desig- 
nated the points suitable for magazines, and called for three tons of gun- 
powder, ten thousand flints and one thousand rifles. 

On the 28th of February, 1777, Governor Henry again wrote, request- 
ing that a detail be made of a hundred men "to escort safely to Pittsburg 
the powder purchased b}" Captain Gibson. I suppose it is at Fort Louis, 
on the Mississippi, under the protection of the Spanish government. I have 
ordered four four-pound cannons to be cast for strengthening Fort Pitt, 
as I believe an attack will be made there ere long. Let the provisions be 
stored there, and consider it ns the bulwark of your coun.try." It will be 
observed that all this legislation and military preparation is had under the 
authority of the assembly and the Governor of Virginia, for the govern- 
ment and protection of territory rightfully belonging to Pennsylvania, which 
was at this time, and remained until 1780, a part of Virginia, which the 
authorities of Pennsylvania determined not to quarrel about until such time 
as its charter limits could be fixed and vindicated by competent authority. 

We come now to a passage in this early history which shows a phase 
that might have been realized, which would have changed the whole future 
of western Pennsylvania, — no less than the project for a new State, which 
was to be designated by the euphonious title of Westsylvania. A very 
elaborate petition was drawn, which recited the inconveniences on account 
of distance from the seats of government of Virginia and Pennsylvania, of the 
necessity of having to cross lofty and interminable ranges of mountains, of 
claims and counter claims to land, and the unsettled boundaries between 
the two States. This petition was presented to the Continental Congress, 
was received and ordered filed, but was never acted on, probably because 
a life and death struggle for existence with the mother country demanded 


all the attention of that body, and for the reason that the Congress had no 
jurisdiction as yet over territory beyond the united colonies. 

The language of this petition is unique, and, in detailing wrongs, 
cumulative. In reciting the effect of the authority of the two colonies, it 
proceeds to point out "the pernicious effects of discordant and contending 
jurisdictions, innumerable frauds, impositions, violences, depredations, feuds, 
animosities, divisions, litigations, disoi'ders, and even with the effusion of 
human blood to the utter subversion of all laws — human and divine — of 
justice, order, regularity, and in a great measure even of liberty itself." It 
details "'the fallacies, violences and fraudulent impositions of land jobbers, 
pretended officers aiid partisans of both land offices and others under the 
sanction of the jurisdiction of their respective provinces, the Earl of Dun- 
more's warrants, ofBcers' and soldiers' rights, and an infinity of other pre- 
texts." It gives the details of claims of private parties and companies to 
fabulous tracts of land, the titles to which rest on the pretended purchase 
of the Indians. "This is a country," it proceeds, "of at least of 240 miles 
in length, from the Kittany to opposite the mouth of the Scioto, seventy or 
eighty miles in breadth from the Alleghany Mountains to the Ohio, rich, 
fertile and healthy even beyond credibility, and peopled by at least 25,000 
families since 1768." It concludes by asking that "the territon.' embraced 
in the limits set below be known as the province and government of West- 
sylvania . . . the inhabitants be invested with evei-y other power, right, 
privilege and immunity vested, or to be vested, in the other American 
colonies; be considered as a sister colony, and the fourteenth province of 
the American Confederacy: beginning at the eastern bank of the Ohio, 
opposite the mouth of the Scioto, and running thence to the top of the 
Alleghany Mountains, thence with the top of the said mountains to the 
north limits of the purchase made from the Indians in 1768 at the treaty of 
Fort Stanwix aforesaid; thence with the said limits to the Allegheny, or 
Ohio River, and thence down the said river as purchased from the said 
Indians at the aforesaid treaty of Fort Stauwix to the beginning." There 
was another project for a new State to be known as Vandalia or Walpole, 
but none so formal or enforced with such elaborate argimients as in this 
petition for Westsylvania, though many members of the Walpole Com- 
pany were influential and possessed of wealth, both in England and the 


The interest which Virginia manifested for this Monongaheia and 
Ohio country was first aroused by the reports of the l:)eauty of the scenery, 
the fertility of the soil, and the salubrity of the climate. The desire; to 
obtain vast tracts of this country led to the formation of the Ohio Company 
with a grant of a half-million acres, which was s'.ibsequently swallowed up 
in Walpole's grant, of fabulous extent. To defend these grants against the 
French, Washington's embassy to Le Boeuf was authorized, and military 
expeditions of Washington, Braddock, Forbes, Boquet and Stanwix were 
undertaken. After the French had been finally expelled, Virginia was 
more eager than ever to hold these claims, to justify them, and to establish 
Virginia civil polity. But the failure of the British government to vindicate 
its authority broke the validity of the claims of these companies, and for 
eight years, while the Revolutionary ^^"ar lasted, it was left in doubt, whether 
these titles would eventually be established or lost. During that period, 
therefore, Virginia continued anxious to assert its authority. But w hen 
the surrender of Cornwallis and the breaking of the military force of Britain 
upon this continent led to a treaty of peace, which left the Continental 
Congress in supreme authority, then the titles of the Ohio and Walpole 
Companies, which claimed their legal status from the British government, 
were left without validity, and were valueless. 

When Lord Dunmore assumed the Governorship of Virginia, he pro- 
posed to assert his authority with a high hand, regardless of the rights of 
other parties, and Patrick Henry, who succeeded to the gubernatorial 
power, seemed disposed to take up the cudgels which Dunmore had 
dropped. But when the delegates from Virginia to the Continental Con- 
gress met those from Pennsylvania, the whole subject of disputed authority 
and mutual boundary seems to have been fairly and candidly canvassed and 
more moderate views entertained. And, as we have seen, the paper drawn up 
by the combined wisdom of these delegates was the first word that had a 
quieting effect. There were very able men in those delegations. John Dick- 
inson, the author of the Farmer's Letters, was an accomplished scholar 
and statesman, and Benjamin FrankHn was possessed of practical sense 
amounting to genius. Besides, the congress sat at Philadelphia, where a 
strong influence centered favorable to the claims of Pennsylvania. A senti- 
ment was early manifested on the part of both colonies to have commission- 
ers appointed to settle the dispute. 


The terms of the settlement between Pennsylvania and Maiyland were 
very explicit, with one exception. The terms proceeded upon the supposi- 
tion that the perimeter of the circle drawn with a radius of twelve miles 
from New Castle would at some point cut the beginning of the 40° of north 
latitude; whereas, this parallel fell far to the south of it. This left the be- 
ginning of the boundary unfixed and uncertain, and was the cause of much 
wrangling and contention, not only on the part of Virginia, but also of 
Maryland. But the matter of five degrees of longitude and three of latitude 
was as definite and unchangeable as the places of the stars in the heavens. 
Earthquakes might change the surface, and the subsidence of the land might 
yield the place to the empire of the waves, yet the boundaries unchanged 
could be easily identified. Some observations had been made at Logs- 
town, a few miles below Pittsburg, on the Ohio, by which it was evident 
that this place w-as considerably within the boundaries of Pennsylvania, both 
from the west and south. On any clear night the altitude of certain stars 
would give the latitude of the place, and a good chronometer would show 
by difference in time the longitude. The Virginia delegates in Congress 
were scholars enough to itnderstand that. It is probable that they saw at 
the outset that the Pennsylvania title was good, and would eventually pre- 
vail. This accounts for the conciliatory temper manifested in that com- 
munication quoted above. 

During the past few years the government of Pennsylvania have had 
commissioners engaged in rectifying the boundary lines of the State and 
planting monuments to mark them. By an act approved on the 7th day of 
May, 1885, the reports and maps of these commissioners, together with the 
complete journal of Mason and Dixon, from December 7, 1763, to January 
29, 1768, have been published. From that volume many facts upon this 
subject have been drawn. 

It appears that as early as the i8th of December, 1776, the assembly 
of Virginia passed a resolution agreeing to fix the southern boundary of 
Pennsylvania from the western limit of Maryland due north to the begin- 
ning of the 41st parallel, and thence due west to the western limit of the 
State. This was a concession on the part of Virginia, as it had previously 
claimed all west of the summits of the Alleghany Mountains to the New 
York line. This would have made a break northward from the western 
boundary of Maryland, and would have left the counties of Fayette and 


Greene, and a portion of Washington, in Virginia. The Pennsylvania au- 
thorities would not agree to this. Propositions and counter propositions 
continued to pass between the assemblies of the two colonies, resulting in 
nothing until the sessions of 1779, when it was determined to submit the 
whole matter in controversy to the arbitrament of commissioners. In a 
letter of 27th of May, 1779, Patrick Henry, Governor of Virginia, com- 
municated to the council of Pennsylvania the intelligence that commission- 
ers had been appointed. On the 27th of August, 1779, the commissioners 
of the two States met at Baltimore — James Madison and Robert Andrews 
on the part of Virginia, and George Bryan, John Ewing and David Ritten- 
house for Pennsylvania. Their proceedings were in writing. 

The first paper was drawn by the Pennsylvania delegates, in which the 
points in controversy were fully argued, and this demand made: "For the 
sake of peace and to manifest our earnest desire of adjusting the dispute on 
amicable terms, we are willing to recede from our just rights [the beginning 
of the 40° north] and therefore propose that a meridian I)e drawn from the 
head springs of the north branch of the Potomac to the beginning of the 
40° of north latitude, and from thence that a parallel be drawn to the west- 
ern extremity of the State of Pennsylvania, to continue forever the boundary 
of the State of Pennsylvania and Virginia." This would have made a break 
southward at the western extremity of Maryland and would have carried 
into Pennsylvania a large tract of what is now West Virginia, nearly the 
whole of the territory drained by the Monougahela and its tributaries, a 
tract equal to four counties of the size of Crawford. 

This proposition the Virginia commissioners rejected in an elaborate 
argument, in which all the points made by the Pennsylvanians were consid- 
ered, and they close with the following counter proposition: "But we trust, 
on a further consideration of the objections of Virginia to your claim, that 
you will think it advantageous to your State to continue ]\Iason and Dixon's 
line to your western lim.its, which we are willing to establish as a perpetual 
boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania on the south side of the last 
mentioned State. We are induced to make this proposal, as we think that 
the same principle which effected the compromise between Pennsylvania 
and Maryland should operate equally as strong in the present case." This 
proposition was the line which eventually prevailed and is the present 


But the Pennsylvania commissioners were unwilling to give up the ter- 
ritory reaching down to the beginning of the 40°. They, accordingly, made 
this compensator}' proposition: "That Mason and Dixon's line should be 
extended so far beyond the western limits of Pennsylvania as that a meridian 
drawn from the western extremity of it to the beginning of the 43° of north 
latitude shall include so much land as will make the State of Pennsylvania 
what it was originally intended to be, viz: three degrees in breadth and five 
degrees in length, excepting so much as has been heretofore relinquished to 
Maryland." This would have put on to the western end of the State a nar- 
row patch embracing the Panhandle and a part of Ohio, stretching up to 
the lake, which should be equal in area to the block of West Virginia, which 
Pennsylvania would give up if Mason and Dixon's line should be adopted. 

This proposition was promptly rejected, and the following substituted: 
"Considering how much importance it may be to the future happiness of 
the United States that every cause of discord be now removed we will agree 
to relinquish even a part of that territoiy which you before claimed but 
which we still think is not included in the charter of Pennsylvania. We, 
therefore, propose that a line nm due west from that point where the merid- 
ian of the first fountain of the north branch of the Potomac meets the end 
of the 30' of the 39° of northern latitude, five degrees of longitude to be 
computed from that part of the river Delaware which lies in the same par- 
allel, shall forever be the boundaiy of Pennsylvania arid Virginia on the 
southeni [northern] part of the last mentio^ned State." This gave Penn- 
sylvania a break into West Virginia not to the amount of four counties, but 
less than two; but it also provided that the western boundary of Penn- 
sylvania should, instead of being a due north and 'south line, confonn to the 
meanderings of the Delaware, being at all points just five degrees from the 
right bank of that stream. 

To this the Pennsylvania commissioners made the following reply: "We 
will agree to your proposal of the 30th of August of 1779 for rtmning and 
forever establishing the southeni boundar}' of Pennsylvania in the latitude 
of thirty-nine degrees thirty minutes westward of the meridian of the source 
of the north branch of the Potomac River, uiion condition that )'ou con- 
sent to allow a meridian line drawn northward from the western extremity 
thereof as far as Virginia extends, to be the western boundary of Pennsyl- 


vania." Tliis wmild have g'iven a narrow slrip of Virginia westward of Mary- 
land and a due north and south line for the western Iwundan' as at present. 

This proposition was rejected b_\- the Virginia commissioners; but they 
submitted in lieu thereof the following: "We will continue Mason and Dix- 
on's line due west five degrees of longitude, to be computed to the river 
Delaware, for your southern boundary, and will agree that a meridian drawn 
from the western extremity thereof to the northern limit of the State be 
the western boundary of Pennsylvania forever." This ended the conference 
and forever settled the southwestern boundary of our good old common- 
wealth, and brought to an end a controversy that at one time threatened to 
result in internecine war. 

So far as it could Ijc dcjne in theory the contrcn-ers}- was now at an end, 
though the appro\-al of the two State governments was yet to be had, and 
when that was secured the actual running of the lines and marking the 
boundaries, which, as the secjuel proves, were subject to delays and irritating 
contentions. The la1)ors of the commissioners, who held their sittings in 
Baltimore, were concluded on the 31st of August, 1779. The Assembly of 
Pennsylvania, at the sitting of November 19th, 1779, promptly passed a 
resolution "to ratify and tinall}- confirm tlie agreement entered into between 
the commissioners from the State of A'irginia and the commissioners from 
this State." In good failli Pennsylvania promptly acted. But the Virginia 
Assembly delayed, and in the meantime commissioners had been appointed 
to adjust and settle titles of claimants to unpatented lands. Although the 
commissioners had come to settlement of difYerences on the last day of 
August, as late as December of this year Francis Peyton, Phillip Pendleton, 
Joseph Holmes and George Merryweather, land commissioners from Vir- 
ginia for the West Augusta district, embracing the counties of Yohogania, 
Ohio and Monongahela, \^irginia counties, but Westmoreland County, under 
Pennsylvania authority, came to Redstone, on the JNIonongahela, and held 
a court at which a large number of patents were granted to Virginia claim- 
ants to vast tracts of the choice lands along the Monongahela Valley to the 
prejudice of Pennsylvania claimants, though it was now known that all this 
country, by the award of the Baltimore conference, was within the limits of 
Pennsylvania. Though \'irginia could claim that the award had not been 
ratified by the Virginia Assembly, yet high-minded statesmanship would 
have held that all questions of the nature of actual sale of lands should have 


been held in abeyance at this stage of the settlement. The survey of lands 
thus adjudicated averaged in quantity from 400 to 800 acres to eacii claim- 
ant, and the number of claims passed upon was almost fabulous. 

Seeing that the Virginia parties were intent on pushing their claims. 
Joseph Reed, President of the Pennsylvania Council, addressed a letter to 
Continental Congress in these uncompromising- terms: "We shall make 
such remonstrance to the State of Virginia as the interest and honor of this 
State require: if these should be ineffectual we trust we shall stand justified 
in the eyes of God and man, if, availing ourselves of the means we possess 
we afford that support and aid to the much injured and distressed inhabit- 
ants of the frontier counties, which their situation and our duty require^" 
This was a liroad hint coming from the highest authority in the conunonr 
wealth, that the time might come when force would be necessary to enforce 
just rights. On receipt of this notice the Congress passed a resolution' rec- 
ommending that neither party dispose of any more of the disputed lands. 
But the Virginia commissioners, sitting at Redstone, refused to be .gov- 
erned by the recoinmeudation of Congress. .Vgain was Congress addressed 
on the 24th of March, 1780, in more forceful language by the Pennsylvania 
authorities. "If Pennsylvania must arm for her internal defense, instead: of 
recruiting her continental line, if the common enemy, encouraged by:Our 
divisions, should prolong the war, interests of our sister States and the com- 
mon cause be injured or distressed, we trust we shall stand acquitted before 
them and the whole world; and if the effusion of human blood is to be the 
result of this unhappy dispute we humbly trust the great Governor of the 
universe, who delights in peace, equity and justice, will not impute it to us." 
But still Virginia authorities would not desist. Finally Pennsylvania au- 
thorities, having promptly ratified the agreement of, the joint commission- 
ers to run out the Mason and Dixon line, the Virginia Assembly agreed to the 
provision if all the lands in possession of Virginia settlers should remain firm 
in their possession, on whichever side of the line their claims should be found. 

This, though unjust on the part of Virginia, was agreed to for the sake 
of peace, and on the 21st of February, 1781, John Lukens and Archibald 
McLean were appointed on the part of Pennsylvania, and on the 17th, of 
April James Madison and Robert Andrews, on the part of Virginia, to make 
the surveys. Thomas Jefferson was at this time Governor of Virginia, and 


he recommended that the five degrees of longitude be determined by astro- 
nomical observation, as' being the most accurate, though Mason and Dixon 
had measured actual distance and reduced to horizontal distance. This, if 
it had been continued, would have resulted the same. Governor Jefferson 
proposed that a temporary line be run, and Mr. McLean for Pennsylvania 
and the surveyor-general of Yohogania County for Virginia. But now a new 
difficulty arose. Some of the settlers were opposed to having any line run at 
all, preferring to remain under Virginia government. Mr. McLean writes to 
Governor Moore of Pennsylvania : "We proceeded to the mouth of Dunkard 
Creek, where our stores were laid in on the loth day of Jiine, and were pre- 
paring to cross the river that night, when a party of about thirty horsemen, 
armed, on the opposite side of the river, appeared, damning us to come over." 
Not being provided with the implements of carnal warfare they were obliged 
to withdraw. 

Finally Jolin Dickinson, having become Governor of Pennsylvania, 
issued his proclamation forbidding any interference %vith the duly apf>ointed 
surveyors for completing the Mason and Dixon line. To strengthen his 
hands, on the nth of September, 1783, John Ewing, David Rittenhouse, 
John Lukens and Thomas Hutchins, for Pennsylvania, and on August 
31 James Madison, Robert Andrews, John Page and Andrew Ellicott, for 
Virginia, were duly designated to make a final settlement of the bounds. At 
the Wilmington observatory the commissioners commenced their observa- 
tions at the beginning of July and continued observing the eclipses of Ju- 
piter's satelites till the 20th of September. At the other extremity of the 
line the observations were conimenced about the middle of July, and between 
forty and fifty notes of the eclipses of Jupiter's satelites, besides innumer- 
able observations of the sun and stars, were made, and thereby the south- 
west corner of the State, five degrees from the point assumed on the Dela- 
ware, was determined beyond the shadow of a doubt. 

But the western boundary was still unmarked, though this, bemg a 
simple meridian line, was not difficult of adjustment. Accordingly, a com- 
mission, consisting of David Rittenhouse and Andrew Porter, in behalf of 
Pennsylvania, Andrew Ellicott of Maryland and Joseph Neville of Virginia 
was constituted for this purpose, and on the 23d of August, 1785, made their 
report: "We have carried on a meridian line fro4n the southwest corner of 


Pennsylvania northward to the river Ohio, and we have Hkewise placed 
stones duly marked on most of the principal hills. From the Ohio River 
northward the line was surveyed by Alexander McLean and Andrew Porter. 
Rittenhouse and Ellicott were put upon the northern line, between New 
York and Pennsylvania, who made theirreport on the 4th of October, 1786. 
Thus was finally settled amicably the question of boundary, which, for the 
full space of a hundred years, had vexed the inhabitants of the border and 
the governments of three of the original colonies, and which had repeatedly 
been carried up to the place of last resort, the King in council. 



THE authorities of Pennsylvania scarcely had the subject of contention 
with Lord Baltimore settled before another arose which threatened 
to be more troublesome and dangerous than the first. Aside from 
the great impediments to settlement encountered in the rugged and moun- 
tainous country which had to be passed in reaching the western section of 
the State, and its great distance from the abodes of civilization, the emi- 
grants had to meet the counter-claims of the English and the French to 
this whole Mississippi Valley, which were fought out on this ground; then 
the hostility of the Indians in asserting their claims to this territory, which 
resulted in the conspiracy of Pontiac, likewise contended for with great bit- 
terness on this western ground, and finally settled by victories gained here. 
Scarcely had the Revolutionary war been fought out, and the inhab- 
itants of Pennsylvania knew that they had a country and felt the thrill of 
patriotism warming their l)osoms, than they were confronted in all this 
western section by the problem whether they owed allegiance to Pennsyl- 
vania or to Virginia, whether they should secure the patents to their lands 
and pay for them at the capital on the Delaware or on the James. It may 
seem strange to the present generation, when the well-defined limits of our 
good old Commonwealth are examined, as shown by any well-drawn map 
of the State, how any such controversy could have arisen. And it will seem 
even more wonderful when the precise and explicit words of King Charles' 
charter to William Penn are carefully read. But such a controversy did 
actually occur, which threatened at one time the pacific and friendly rela- 
tions of the two great Commonwealths. 

There can be no question but that the southern portion of this whole 
western half of Pennsylvania was originally largely settled by emigrants 

from Virginia and Maryland. Nor can there be any doubt but that the 



authorities uf Virginia entertained the l^ehef that this country was em- 
braced in the hmits of that colon}'. When, in T749, the "Ohio Cornpany" 
was chartered and authorized to take up a half million acres of choice land 
it was in the western section of Pennsylvania that these lands were located. 
Hence the original settlers could have had no question but their true alle- 
giance was due to Virginia, from whose constituted authorities they re- 
ceived their conveyances and paid their fees. 

But by what right did Virginia claim this territory? As we have al- 
ready seen, Queen Elizabeth in 1583, a hundred years before the time of 
Penn, granted to Sir Walter Raleigh an indefinite stretch of country in 
America which practically embraced the whole boundless continent, to 
_which he gave the name of Virginia, in honor of the Virgin Queen, that 
portion to the south of the mouth of the Chesapeake receiving the title of 
South Virginia and that to the north of it North Virginia. Raleigh spent a 
vast fortune and impoverished himself in attempts to colonize the county, 
but all in vain, and the title lapsed. In 1606 James I., who had succeeded 
Elizabeth, granted charters to the Plymouth Company, who were to have 
the territory to the north, and the Virginia or London Company to the 
south; but the boundaries seem to have been drawn indefinitely, the two 
grants overlapping each other by three degrees of latitude. In 1609 the 
London Company secured from the King a new grant in this most remark- 
able language, probably never before nor since equaled for indefiniteness: 
"All those lands, countries and territories situate, lying and being in that 
part of America called Virginia, from the point of land called Cape or Point 
of Comfort all along the sea coast northward two hundred miles, and from 
the same Point or Cape Comfort all along the sea coast to the southward 
two hundred miles; and all that space and circuit of lands lying from the sea 
coast of the precinct aforesaid up into the land tln-oughout from sea to sea 
west and northwest; and also the islands lying within one hundred miles 
along the coast of both seas of the precinct aforesaid." 

On this wonderful piece of scrivener work, which no doubt taxed the 
best legal acumen of all England in its composition, the authorities of Vir- 
ginia hung all their claims to western Pennsylvania and the entire North- 
west territory — on that fatal expression, "all that space and ciixuit of lands 
lying from the sea coast of the precinct aforesaid up into the land through- 
out from sea to sea, west and northwest." It does not say due west from 


the extremities of the four hundregL hne coast, which would have been in- 
telHgible, though preposterous, but it was to be "from sea to sea, west and 
northwest." This word northwest could not have meant to apply to the 
two extremities of the coast line, for in that case it would have formed a 
parallelogram having the coast line fixed on the Atlantic and an equal coast 
line somewhere in Alaska on the Pacific and the frozen ocean. If it meant 
that the southern boundary should be a due west line from the southern ex- 
tremity, and the northern boundary should be a line drawn due northwest 
from the northern extremity of the Atlantic coast line, then the limits of 
Virginia would have embraced all but a moiety of all the North American 
continent, as the coast line of four hundred miles would have embraced 
more than six degrees of latitude, from the 34° to the 40°, 
reaching from some point in South Carolina to the central part 
of the shore of New Jersey, and the due northwest line would have 
swallowed Philadelphia, two-thirds of Pennsylvania, a part of New York, 
all the great lakes except Ontario, and would have emerged somewhere in 
the North Pacific or the Arctic Ocean. It may seem strange that the 
sober-minded men who held the reins of government in Virginia should 
have set up so preposterous a claim. But if this claim was good for any- 
thing, and there seems to be no other authority upon which it was based, 
save the above recited grant of 1609, why were not Maryland, Delaware, the 
half of New Jersey and nearly the whole of Pennsylvania claimed at once? 
For this grant of 1609 antedated that of Maryland and was made before the 
foot of a white man had ever pressed Pennsylvania soil. This extravagant 
claim was not vindicated when the colonies to the north of it had become 
seated. But now, after it had been pushed down on the seashore from 
more than two-thirds of its northern claim — having left scarcely fifty miles 
above Point Comfort instead of two hundred — by the grants to Maryland 
and Pennsylvania, and been limited to the right bank of the Potomac, it 
now proposes to commence that northwest line at the headwaters of the 
Potomac instead of at the coast line. 

But this whole extravagant claim was settled before either Lord Balti- 
more or Penn had received their charters. On the loth of November, 
1623, a writ of quo warranto was begun against the treasurer of the London 
Company. The grounds for this action were the irregularities in the gov- 
ernment of the colony, which had invited the hostility of the Indians, re- 


suiting in massacres and burnings, which came near the utter destruction 
of the settlement, \vherel3y the stockholders of the Company in London 
saw their investments being annihilated. The party of Virginia made de- 
fense; but upon the report of a committee sent out by the King to make 
examination of the Company's affairs the King's resolution was taken, and 
at the Trinity term of 1624, June, "judgment was given against the Com- 
pany and the patents were canceled." "Before the end of the same term," 
says the record, "a judgment was declared by the Lord Chief Justice Ley, 
against the Company and their charter, only upon a failure or a mistake in 
pleading." The decree may not have been just, as disturbing vested rights, 
yet it was nevertheless law, and the Company was obliged to bow. The 
matter was brought before Parliament; but public sentiment was against 
the Company, and the application came to nothing. Henceforward the 
Virginia settlement became a royal colony, subject to the will of the 

Soon after the conclusion of the war with France, by which that nation 
was dispossessed of the Mississippi Valley and of Canada, the King issued 
his royal proclamation, in which, after making some restrictions regarding 
the newly acquired territories of Quebec and East and West Florida, he 
says: "We do, therefore, with the advice of our privy council, declare it to 
be our royal will and pleasure that no governor nor commander in chief of 
our colonies or plantations in America do presume, for the present and until 
our further pleasure be known, to grant warrants of survey or pass patents 
for any lands beyond the heads or sources of any of the rivers which fall 
into the Atlantic Ocean from the west or northwest, or upon any land what- 
soever which, not having been ceded to or purchased by us, as aforesaid, are 
reserved unto the said Indians, or any of them." 

But it may be said that this order would have applied to Pennsylvania 
as well as Virginia, and would then have confined the former to the eastern 
slopes of the Alleghanies. But there was this difference: Virginia, being 
now only a royal colony, was subject to the absolute will of the monarch, 
while Pennsylvania, having been* purchased for a price and confirmed under 
Proprietary government, was placed beyond the King's power to alter or 
annul. It will be observed that by the cutting off of West Virginia, which 
occurred during the war of the Rebellion, Virginia is now substantially 
confined to limits fixed by this royal proclamation. 


But the authorities of Virginia seem not to have been disposed to give 
heed to this royal decree, and continued to send out settlers to occupy the 
rich lands on the headwaters of the Ohio. Thomas Lee, who was the first 
president of I he Ohio Company, who seems to have been a fair-minded 
man, entertained doubts of the rights of his company to lands as far north 
as Fort Du Ouesne, where his company was preparing to build a fort, wrote 
to Governor Hamilton of Pennsylvania touching the Ijoundaries of his 
province. The Governor answered under date of Jan. _', 1749, proposing 
to run the State line. -Vfter the death, which occurred not long afterward, 
of Mr. Lee, Lawrence Washington, tlie elder brother of George, was 
elected president, and the Washingtons became largely interested in the 
lands of this company. \\'hen Governor Hamilton learned that it was the 
intention of the Ohio Company to erect a fort at the forks of the Ohio for 
protection against the Indians he again wrote, but now to Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor Dinwiddle, declaring that he had received instructions from the pro- 
prietaries to join in the work of surveying and establishing the line of sepa- 
ration of the two States "only taking your acknowledgment that the settle- 
ment shall not prejudice their right to that country." 

Without alluding to the matter of boundary, Dinwiddle wrote that he 
had already dispatched a person of distinction, none other than young 
George Washington, to the commander of the French to know upon what 
Wounds he was invading the lands of the English, and that he had sent 
working parties to erect a fort at the forks of the Ohio. When at Logs- 
town, as agent of Virginia, securing a treaty with the Lidians, Colonel 
Joshua Fry, who was accounted a good mathematician and geographer, 
had taken an observation by which it was found that the Indian village, 
which is nine miles below Pittsburg, was in latitude 40° 29', which showed 
that this was far to the north of the southern line of Pennsylvania. From 
calculations made it was evident to the mind of Governor Hamilton that 
the forks of the Ohio, as well as the French fort at Venango (Franklin), 
were far within the boundaries of Pennsylvania, and this conclusion he 
communicated to the Pennsylvania assembly and also to Governor Din- 
widdle. The latter subsequently responded: "I am much misled by our 
surveyors if the forks of the Mohongiale be within the limits of your pro- 
prietary's grant. I have for some time wrote home to have the line run, 
to have the boundaries properly known, that I may be able to keep magis- 


trates if in this government . . . and I presnme there wili be commis- 
sioners appointed for that service. . . . But surely from all hands as- 
sured that I.ogstown is far to the west of Mr. Penn's grant." 

It would seem from this letter that the Governor of Virginia was con- 
templating the establishment of local government in this portion of Penn- 
sylvania. It would appear also that after the organization of Bedford 
County, which was made to extend over all the western part of the State, 
and immediately after the purchase of these grounds from the Indians by the 
treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768, the settlers were called upon to pay taxes 
for the support of the Bedford County court. Bedford being a hundred 
miles away, they did not relish paying of taxes for the support of a court 
which afforded them so little convenience. Besides, being natives of Vir- 
ginia and having originally been led to suppose that this was a part of Vir- 
ginia, thev petitioned that colony for the organization of county govern- 

Early in this controversy over jurisdiction Col. George Wilson, a jus- 
tice of the peace of Bedford County, wrote a letter to Arthur St. Claire, of 
Bedford, in which he says: "1 no sooner returned home from court than 
I found papers containing resolves, as they call them, were handing fast 
about amongst the people, in which, amongst the rest, was one that they 
were resolved to oppose every of Penn's laws, as they called them, except 
felonious actions, at the rist|ue of life, and under the penalty of fifty pounds, 
to be recovered oti' the estates of the failure. The first of them I found 
hardy enough, to oi¥er it in public, I immediately ordered into custody, on 
which a large number were assembled, as was supposed, to rescue the pris- 
oner. I endeavored by all the rea.'^on I was capable of to convince them 
of the ill consequences that would attend such a rebellion, and happdy 
gained on the people to consent to relinquish their resolves and to burn the 
paper they signed. When their foreman saw that the arms of his country, 
that as he said he had thrown himself into, would not rescue him by force, 
he catched up his gun, which was well loaded, jumped out of doors, and 
swore if any man came nigh him he would put what was in his gun through 
him. The person that had him in custody called for assistance in ye King's 
name, and in particular commanded myself. I told him I was a subject, and 
was not fit to command, if not willing to obey, on which I watched his eye 
and held him, so as he could not shoot me, until more help got into my 


assistance, on which I disarmed him, and broke his rifle to pieces. I n 
ceived a sore bruise on one of my arms by a punch of the gun in the stru^ 
gle. Then I put him under strong guard and told them the laws of the 
country were stronger than the hardest rifle among them." After convim 
ing the discontented party of their error and inducing them to burn the n 
solves they had signed, the prisoner was discharged on his good behavio 
Wilson closes his letter in these words: "I understand great threats ai 
made against me in particular, if possible to intimidate me with fear, an 
also against the sheriffs and constables and all ministers of justice. But 
hope the laws, the bulwarks of our nation, will be supported in spite of tho; 
low-lived, trifling rascals." 

From this letter we can gather the spirit which actuated the parties 1 
the controversy and see the beginning of a bitter contention which vexed tl 
people of this section for many years. The idea that Pennsylvania did n( 
extend west of the Alleghany Mountains was studiously circulated. Micha 
Cressap and George Croghan, who were interested in land speculations her 
were suspected of being privy to these rumors. A petition signed by ov 
two hundred citizens was presented to the court at Bedford under date ' 
the l8th of July, 1772, charging the government and ofiflcers with great i: 
justice and oppression, and praying that directions might be given to tl 
sheriffs to serve no more processes in that country, as they apprehend* 
it was not in Pennsylvania." Mr. Wilson answered the allegations of tl 
petition before the court, and showed by documentary evidence that tl 
grounds on which petition rested were unstable, which had a very quieti'r 
effect upon the settlers and induced the court to reject the petition. 

Fort Pitt, which had been garrisoned by a detachment of British sc 
diers from the time of its erection in 1759 by General Stanwix, was, by ord 
of General Gage, in October, 1772, evacuated and "all the pickets, bricl 
stones, timber and iron which are now in the building or walls of the sa 
fort" were sold for the sum of fifty pounds. At about this time, upon tl 
death of Lord Bottetourt, Governor of Virginia, a new Governor was a 
pointed in the person of the Earl of Dunmore, a man of meddlesome disp 
sition and disposed to exercise the functions of his office with a high han 
In 1773, the year following the erection of Westmorela-nd County, wi 
capital at Hannastown, Dunmore made a visit to Fort Pitt, where he m 
Dr. John Connolly, a nephew of Colonel Croghan. It appears that the n( 


Goveriiur was determined to act upon the assumption, whatever may have 
been liis motive therefor, that all west of the Alleghanies and the whole 
boundless northwest belonged to Virginia. In Connolly he found a willing- 
tool for asserting his claims; for, soon after the departure of the Governor. 
Connolly issued a high-sounding proclamation assuming command under the 
appointment of Dunmore as Captain and Commandant of the militia of 
Pittsburg, proposing to move the House of Burgesses of Virginia for the 
necessity of erecting a Virginia County embracing Pittsburg and all this 
western country. 

A copv of this high-handed proceeding was immediately communi- 
cated to the court at Hannastown and to Governor Penn at Philadelphia. 
Before receiving instructions from the Governor, Arthur St. Clair, in his 
capacity as a justice under Pennsylvania authority, deeming that he was 
authorized by his commission to put a stop to such a procedure as was in- 
dicated in this proclamation, issued a warrant for the arrest of Connolly, 
who was apprehended and placed in confinement. Governor Penn wrote 
immediately to Lord Dunmore, informing him of his advices, quoted lan- 
guage of the charter which gave five full degrees of longitude for the east 
and west extent of the State, which would carry the western limit far beyond 
Pittsburg, and expressed the belief that the Governor could not have au- 
thorized the proclamation of Connolly. 

Connollv had been released from jail on his promise to return and de- 
liver himself up at the time set for his trial. But instead of observing in 
good faith the terms of his parole, he returned to Pittsburg and called out 
the militia and proceeded to drill them and put arms in their hands, and on 
the (lav of his trial appeared with 180 of his followers, fully armed and 
ec|uipped, daring the court to proceed against him. He had returned as he 
agreed, but not to put himself in the power of the court. Arrests and 
counter-arrests followed in rapid succession and prisoners were hurried away 
for trial at Staunton, Va., and to local courts. In the meantime a war of 
proclamations between Dunmore and Penn was hurled forth with all the 
forceful epithets of which language is capable. 

Seeing that the difficulties were thickening, and that a resort to arms 
was likely to follow. Penn sent judicious representatives, James Tiighman 
and Andrev,- Allen, members of the Council, to confer with Dunmore, in 
the h.ope of securing a temporary adjustment until agents of the Crown 


could he secured to make a final settlement. They were cordially received 
b\- Lord Dunmore, who agreed to unite in a petition to the King" for 
the appointment of a commission to establish the boundaries, but would 
not agree that Virginia should bear half the expense. The commissioners 
then pro])osed that a temporar}- line be fixed at five degrees of longitude 
from the Delaware and that the western line of Pennsylvania should follov. 
the meanderings of that stream. T^uimiore would not agree to that, but 
contended that the charter of Penn authorized five degrees to be computed 
from a point on the 42' parallel where the Delaware River cuts it, he believ- 
ing that the Delaware ran from northeast to southwest, which would carry 
the western boundary as far east as the Vlleghany Mountains, much to the 
advantage of Virginia claims. The commissioners promptly rejected this 
interpretation, but in the interest of jjeacc they offered that a temporary 
boundary might be settled to follow the Monongahela River down to its 
mouth. This would have left all west of that stream to Virginia. Dun- 
more now became arbitrary in his manner, charging the commissioners with 
unwillingness to make any concessions, and ended by declaring his unal- 
terable purpose to hold jurisdiction over Pittsburg and surrounding terri- 
tor}- until His Majesty should otherwise order. 

Until competent authority should establish the boundaries of the two 
colonies there was no hope of temporary agreement, as Lord Dunmore wa; 
dictatorial. Governor Penn saw l)ut too plainly that civil strife in the dis- 
puted district would unavoidably lead to a trial of force for the mastery. 
Dunmore was destined in a short time to quarrel with the Legislature ol 
Virginia, and for safety betook himself to a British man-of-war. Desiring 
to avoid a conflict over a dispute which charter stipulations would eventually 
settle. Governor Penn decided to bide his time, and according!}- wrote to 
William Crawford, the presiding justice of Westmoreland County, as fol- 
lows: "The present alarming situation of our afTairs in Westmoreland 
County, occasioned by the vevy imaccountable conduct of the government 
of Virginia, requires the utmost attention of this government, and there- 
fore I intend, with all possible expedition, to send commissioners to expostu- 
late with my Lord Dunmore upon the beha\ior of those he has thought 
proper to invest with such power as hath greatly disturbed the peace of that 
count}'. As the government of Virginia hath the power of raising militia, 
and there is not any such in this province, it will be in vain to contend with 


them, in the way of force. The magistrates, therefore, at the same time 
that they continue with steadiness to exercise the jurisdiction of Pennsyl- 
vania with respect to the distributions of justice and the punishment of 
vice, must lie cautious of entering into any such contests with tlie officers 
of my Lord Dunmore as may tend to widen tlie present unhappy breach; 
and, therefore, as things are at present circumstanced. I would not advise 
the magistracy of Westmoreland County to proceed by way of criminal 
prosecution against them for exercising the government of Virginia." 

Though it was humiliating for the legally constituted authorities of 
Westmoreland to ha\'e their authorit}- delied by a set of officers who received 
their orders to act from \'irginia, backed Ijy a lawless military force called 
out by direction of another colony, yet it was for the time being judicious 
not to provoke a contest. As we view it now, with State lines all fixed and 
all county governments crystallized, it seems strange that any such con- 
flict should have arisen. But it must be remembered that the matter of 
priority of charter, the impossibility of making the actual surveys conform 
to the language of the royal grants, and the fact that no accurate astronom- 
ical observations had been taken, left this whole subject of western boundary 
at loose ends. Until something detinite was settled, it was better, as Penn 
advised, that force be not resorted to, as the hot-headed Virginia Governor 
had done. This policy thus recommended, while it left the court at Hannas- 
town in operation, practically yielded all this jMonongahela country to the 
authority of the Virginian. 

The result of Dunmore"s dii)lomac}' was, of course, communicated to 
Connolly, and he was strengthened in asserting his authority He discarded 
the name "Fort Pitt" and gave the fort the name "Fort Dunmore," in 
honor of his chief. On the 21st of April, 1774, Connolly notified the set- 
tlers along the Ohio that the Shawnees were not to be trusted, and that the 
whites ought to be prepared to avenge the wrong done them by this tribe. 
This gave authority to the settlers for the taking of the right of punish- 
ment into their own hands and lighted anew the fires of Indian w^arfare. It 
was known as Dumnore's war. A boat containing goods was attacked 
while going down the Ohio by a party of Cherokees and one white man was 
killed. In retaliation, two friendly Indians of another tribe, in no way re- 
sponsible for the crime, were murdered. This was cause enough for the 
Indians to take up the hatchet, and terrible was the penalty paid. On the 


evening of the same day Captain Cressap, who had led in the affair, learning 
that a party of Indians were encamped at the mouth of Captina Creek, went 
stealthily and attacked it, kilHng several of them and having one of his own 
party wounded. A few days afterward Daniel Greathouse, with a band of 
thirty-two followers, attacked the natives at Baker's, and by stratagem, in 
the most dishonorable manner, killed twelve and wounded others. The 
murdered Indians were all scalped. Of the number of the slain was the 
entire family of the noted Indian chief Logan. 

The savage instinct of revenge was now aroused. Logan had been the 
firm friend of the white man and had done him many services; but left alone, 
all his family slain, he thirsted for blood. His vengeance was wreaked upon 
the inhabitants west of the Monongahela, along Ten Mile Creek, and he 
rested not until he had taken thirteen scalps, the number of his own family 
who had been slain, when he declared himself satisfied and ready for peace. 
The tidings of the hostile acts Cressap and Greathouse and the stealthy 
and midnight deeds of savagery by the red men spread terror and con- 
sternation on all sides, and the inhabitants west of the Monongahela fled, 
driving before them their flocks and herds, and bearing away their most 
easily transportable valuables. "There were more than a thousand people 
who," writes Crawford to Washington, "crossed the Monongahela in one 
day at three ferries that are not one mile apart." "Upon a fresh report of 
Indians, I immediately took horse," wrote St. Clair to Governor Penn, "and 
rode up to inquire, and found it, if not totally groundless, at least ver>' im- 
probable; but it was impossible to persuade the people so, and I am certain 
I did not meet less than one hundred families and, I think, two thousand 
head of cattle, in twenty miles riding," 

The Virginia authorities immediatel)' called out the militia. A force 
under Colonel McDonald assembled at Wheeling and marched against 
Wapatomica, on the Muskingum, The Indians, being unprepared for 
war, feigned submission, and gave five of their chiefs as hostages. But the 
troops destroyed their towns and crops and retreated. Sir William John- 
son counseled the Indians to keep peace. In the meantime Andrew Lewis 
had organized a force of 1,100 in the neighborhood of the since famed White 
Sulphur Springs and was marching for the mouth of the Great Kanawha, 
where he was to meet the force gathered in the northern part of the State 
under Dunmore in person. Before the arrival of the latter the Indians — 



Delawares, Iroquois, Wyandots, Shawnees — under Cornstalk, Logan and 
all their most noted chiefs, gathered in upon Lewis and attacked him with 
great furj-, the battle raging the entire day; but in the end the Indians were 
driven across the Ohio, though with a loss of Colonels Lewis (brother of the 
commander) and Field killed, Colonel Fleming wounded and seventy-five 
men killed and 140 wounded — a fifth of the entire force. The loss of the 
Indians could not be ascertained, though thirty-three dead were left behind 
them. Lewis was determined to follow up his advantage which had been 
gained at so grievous a loss; but Dunmore, who was now approaching with 
his division of the army, having been visited by the chiefs who offered 
peace, and himself having little stomach for fighting, accepted their terms 
and ordered Lewis to desist in his pursuit. Lewis refused to obey, and 
pushed on, determined to avenge the slaughter of his brave men, and it was 
not until Dunmore came up with him could he be prevailed upon to give up 
an attack which he had planned upon the Indian town of Old Chillicothe. 

The army now retired, though a detachment of one hundred men was 
left at the mouth of the Great Kanawha and small detachments at Wheeling 
and at Pittsburg. Thus ended as causeless a war, known as Dunmore's 
w-ar, as was ever undertaken, all induced by the meddling policy of Dun- 
more in a matter in which the Crown alone had the authority at that time 
to decide, and the ON-erofficiousness of Connolly, who, "dressed in a little 
brief authorit}'," exercised it in an arbitrarj- and anger-provoking way. The 
wrong, as the simple natives regarded it, rankled long in their breasts and 
was undoubtedly the cause of many acts of savagery on their part in later 
days. It was undertaken in the mistaken belief that all this beautiful coun- 
try west of Laurel Hill jjelonged to Virginia and, whether rightfully or 
wrongfully, the determination was to hold it. It was provoked by the 
Virginians, and was prosecuted wholly by Virginians, designated b}' the 
Indians as "Long-Knives." 

Having thus cut a large figure in a military way, Dunmore issued his 
proclamation denouncing the claims of the Pennsylvanians and says: "I 
do hereby in His Majesty's name require and command all His Majesty's 
subjects west of the Laurel Hill to pay a due respect to this my proclama- 
tion, strictly prohibiting the execution of any act of authority on behalf of 
the province of Pennsylvania at their peril in this country." 

Quite ready to join in this war of proclamations and not unprepared to 


wield the ponderous words of authority, Governor John Penn caught up 
the cudgel and hurled back his claims in a brave pronunciamento. 

After acknowledging the receipt of Dunmore's shrill blast, Penn re- 
cites the claims of the province as set forth in the great charter, shows that 
the settlers all over the western portion of the State have taken up their 
lands under Pennsylvania titles in good faith, and concludes thus: "In 
justice, therefore, to the Proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania, who 
are only desirous to secure their own undoubted property from the en- 
croachments of others, I have thought fit, with the advice of the Council, to 
issue this, my proclamation, hereby requiring all persons west of the Laurel 
Hill to retain their settlements as aforesaid made under this pi-ovince, and 
to pay due obedience to the laws of this government ; and all magistrates and 
other officers who hold commissions or offices vmder this government tc 
proceed as usual in the administration of justice without paying the least 
regard to the said recited proclamation, until His Majesty's pleasure shal 
be known in the premises; at the same time strictly charging and enjoining 
the said inhabitants and magistrates to use their utmost endeavors to pre- 
serve peace and good order." 

It will be noticed that in the matter of thundering with his wherease; 
and wherefores Penn is quite equal to Dunmore, and in that part where 
some doubt is thrown upon the statement of the latter, that he is acting 
under the instructions of the Crown, Penn has decidedly the advantage 
It had been the intention of Dunmore to open .a court at Pittsburg wit! 
Virginia magistrates and by Virginia authority. But the counter-proclama- 
tion of Penn had somewhat cooled his controversy, as he might be com- 
pelled to defend his usurpations by force. But when he discovered that th« 
Pennsylvania authorities were disposed to have their differences submittec 
to peaceful arbitrament he concluded that he might venture a little furthei 
on the scheme of holding possession of this fine country. He, accordingly 
had the court of Augusta County, which had formerly been held at Staun 
ton, adjourn to open its next term on the 2ist of February at Pittsburg 
Augusta County being made to embrace all the western part of Virginia anc 
Pennsylvania. On the day appointed the following named persons ap 
peared, took the oath of office and sat as justices of the Virginia court 
George Croghan, John Connolly, Thomas Smallman, John Cambell, Dorse: 
Pentecost, William Goe, John Gibson and George Vallandingham. Ther( 


were now two organized courts, assessors, tax gatherers, sheriffs and all the 
machinery for conducting a county government over the same territory, 
Virginia calling it Augusta and Pennsylvania Westmoreland. 

Having succeeded in setting up their court, the new officials bethought 
them that they must break up any vestiges of a rival court, and accordingly 
issued warrants for the arrest of Robert Hanna and James Caveat, which 
were served by the Augusta sheriff, and the two Pennsylvania officials were 
brought in and incarcerated in the Fort Dunmore jail, where they lan- 
guished for three months, in vain seeking for release. Finally the sheriff 
of Westmoreland County, assisted by a strong posse, proceeded to Fort 
Dunmore (Pittsburg) and released the prisoners and arrested John Con- 
nolly at the suit of Robert Hanna, who claimed damages for unlawful impris- 
onment. Incensed by this treatment of their leader, his adherents from 
Chartiers came in force a4id seized three of the party who had been engaged 
in the arrest of Connolly — George Wilson, Joseph Spear and Devereaux 

It was probably some time in June or July before Hanna and Caveat 
were set at liberty, as the records show that they were constantly entering 
complaints of their hardships and petitioning for relief. In the meantime an 
event had transpired which overshadowed all the petty strife of contending 
factions and united all hearts in a common cause. On the 19th of April of 
this year, 1775, the battles of Lexington and Concord had been fought, 
which aroused all hearts with singular unanimity to resistance to the British 
Crown all over the habitable portion of this broad land, even to the cabins 
of the frontiersman, far remote from towns or cities. The news of these 
bloody frays had no sooner reached Hannastown and Pittsburg than public 
meetings were held at both those places, at which Virginians and Pennsyl- 
vanians united in their approval of resistance and pledging support. These 
resolves are important and curious as showing the unanimity which they, 
laying aside domestic troubles, united in a common cause. The meet- 
ings were held on the same day, the i6th of May, 1775. The resolves of 
that at Hannastown, representing Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 
were conceived in these temperate words: "Resolved, unanimously, That 
the Parliament of Great Britain, by several late acts, have declared the in- 
habitants of Massachusetts Bay to be in rebellion, and the ministry, by en- 
deavoring to enforce those acts, have attempted to reduce the said in- 


habitants to a more wretched state of slavery than ever l)efore existed in any 
State or country; not content with violating the constitutional and char- 
tered rights of humanity, exposing their lives to the licentious soldiery and 
depriving them of the very means of subsistence. Resolved, unanimously, 
Tiiat there is no reason to doubt but the same system of tyranny and oppres- 
sion will (should it meet with success in Massachusetts Bay) be extended to 
other parts of America: it is, therefore, become the indispensalde duty of 
every American, of every man who has any public virtue or love for his 
country, or any bowels for posterity, by every means which God has put in 
his power, to resist and oppose the execution of it; that for us we will be 
ready to oppose it with our lives and fortunes. And the better to enable us 
to accomplish this we will immediately form ourselves into a military body, 
to consist of military companies to be made up of the several townships 
under the following association, which is declared to he the association of 
Westmoreland County." 

At Fort Dunmore (Pittsburg) not only the adherents of the Virginia, 
but the men acknowledging no government but that of Pennsylvania, 
joined in expressing the sentiment of firm resistance. A committee of some 
thirty members was appointed, in which not only the names of Connolly 
and Vallandingham, but also those of Devereaux Smith and George Wilson, 
appear, and they unanimously declare "that they have the highest sense of 
the spirited l^ehavior of their brethren in New England, and do most cor- 
dially approve of their opposing the invaders of American rights and priv- 
ileges to the utmost extreme." And they proceed to pledge themselves to 
assist by personal service, to contribute of their means and use their best 
endeavors to influence their neighbors to resist this attempt at subjugation. 
As an earnest of their determination they proposed to contribute half a 
pound of powder and a pound of lead, flints and cartridge paper, which they 
estimate will cost two shillings and sixpence, and accordingly advise the 
collection of this amount from each tithable person. It is indeed surprising 
that a little skirmish away in a distant part of New England should arouse 
a sentiment so strong and unwavering, and prompt them, laving aside col- 
onial quarrels, to unite as one man in aid of the struggle soon to open, even 
though they had scarcely a cabin to shelter their defenseless heads and were 
exposed on this distant frontier to the sudden incursions of the savages. 

In the meantime, in order to quiet any further local contention, in 


presence of the great peril that now confronted the United Colonies, the 
following named gentlemen, members of the Continental Congress from 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, viz.. John Dickinson. George Ross, Benjamin 
Franklin, James Wilson. Charles Humphreys, Patrick Henry, Richard 
Hcriry Lee. Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Jefferson, united in the follow- 
ing pacific advice addressed to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Virginia 
on the west side of the Laurel Hill: "Friends and Countrymen — It gives 
us much concern to find that disturbances have arisen and still continue 
among you concerning the boundaries of our colonies. In the character in 
which \\c now advise you it is unnecessary that we incjuire into the origin of 
these unhappy disputes, and it would be improper for us to express our ap- 
probation or censure on either side; but as representatives of two of the 
colonies united among many others for the defence of the liberties of Amer- 
ica \\c think it our duty to remove, as far as lies in our power, every obstacle 
that may prevent her sons from co-operating as x'igorously as they \vould 
wish to do towards the attainment of this great and important end. In- 
fluenced solely b}- this motive, our joint antl earnest request to you is that all 
animosities which have heretofore subsisted among you as inhabitants of 
distinct colonies may now give place to generous and concurring efforts for 
the ]ire\ention of everything that can make our common country dear to 
us. \\'c are fully persuaded that you, as well as we. wish to see your diiYer- 
ences terminate in this happy issue. For this desirable use we recommend 
it tc you that all bodies of armed men kejjt up under either province be dis- 
missed, that all those on either side who are in confinement or under Isail 
for taking part in the contests be discharged, and that until the dispute be 
decided every person be permitted to retain his possessions unmolested. 
By observing these directions the pul)lic tran(|uillity will be secured with- 
out injury to the titles on either side; the ])criod. we flatter ourselves, will 
soon arrive when this unfortunate dispute, which has produced much mis- 
chief and. as far as we can learn, no good, will be peaceably and constitu- 
tionally determined." 

This document has been quoted here in its entirety, not only because 
of the aliility and commanding influence of its authors — such as Franklin 
and Dickinson, and Henry and JetYerson — the very master spirits of this 
age. but on account of its timely wisdom and authoritative suggestions. If 
the title to their lands were to be valid and secure, as here intimated, from 


wJiichever colony secured, a great motive for keeping up the controversy 
would be removed. The assurance coming from such eminent men, mem- 
bers of the Congress that was likely to be supreme over all the colonies, had 
almost the deciding influence over the minds of the settlers that a legal en- 
actment would have had and must be regarded as a turning point in this 
heated controversy that was likely at any moment to have broken out into 
acts of sanguinary conflict. It should therefore be considered as a vital 
morsel in the history of these western counties. 

Dunmore had betaken himself on board a British man-of-war, Fowey, 
lying in Chesapeake Bay, and had taken with him the powder from the Vir- 
ginia arsenal. This Patrick Henry, at the head of the militia, just before 
setting out to take his seat in Congress, had compelled Dunmore to settle 
for, by the payment of £330 by the hand of Corbin, His Majesty's receiver 

As the war cloud of the Revolution thickened and the V'irginians had 
broken with their Governor, Connolly, probably listening to the suggestions 
of Dunmore, fancied he saw an opportunity of cutting a larger figure than 
contending for the right to act as a justice of the peace Avliere his authority 
was in ciuestion and might be successfully controverted. He accordingly 
abandoned his throne at Pittsburg", and having received instructions from 
Dunmore, who, as one of the royal Governors, represented the King, to 
repair to General Gage at Boston, commander in chief of His Majesty's 
forces in America, he was to make application for authority to raise "an 
army to the westward," in the name of the King, to fight against the col- 
onies. He fancied that he could induce a large force to join him from the 
neighborhood of Pittsburg, and southward, to espouse the Royal cause, and 
by making his headquarters at Detroit or in Canada, he could raise an army 
of disaffected whites and Indians with which to make war from the rear upon 
the colonies, and "obstruct communication between the Southern and 
Northern governments." 

Could anything evince the character of a black-hearted traitor more 
conspicuously than this? He received authority as desired, and was fur- 
nished with blank commissions, which he was to execute and bestow at 
his own discretion. But on the way to the field of his exploits, when ar- 
rived at Hagerstown, Maryland, he was captured, and, skilfully concealed 
]:)eneath his saddle, a paper was found disclosing all the details of his traitor- 


ous scheme. He was held as a prisoner of war until 1 780-1, together with 
his associates, when he was exchanged. In 1782 he was at the head of a 
force of British and Indians in the neighborhood of Chautauqua Lake on 
his way to reduce Fort Pitt, and establish himself there. But, probably 
finding his force too feeble for such an enterprise, he abandoned it. To the 
honor of the friends and relatives of Connolly it should be stated that while 
he was concerting measures for the destruction of his country, they were 
equally earnest in patriotic designs. 



WHEN the first settlers entered the domain of Crawford County 
there was not a road nor a bridge in its wide expanse with perhaps 
one exception. The French, in their attempts to hold the en- 
tire Mississippi Valley, had passed up the Chautauqua Creek to Chautauqua 
Lake, thence on down the outlet to Warren, where they struck the 
Allegheny River, and there planted the first of their leaden plates of occu- 
pancy, and then passed on down the river to Franklin. This was a vei-y 
toilsome way, inasmuch as the summit of the land between Lake Erie and 
Lake Chautauqua was some 800 feet above the former. In their campaigns 
against the English thej^ expected to make Fort Pitt their main point of 
possession, and hence would require much heavy transportation from their 
headquarters in Canada through western Pennsylvania. They accordingly 
abandoned the Chautauqua route and opened a road from Erie to Water- 
ford, where they struck the headwaters of the Venango River, down which 
they were expecting to float their heavy freight to the Allegheny, and 
then on down its current. But the Venango, except at flood stage, did not 
carry enough water for heavy transportation. The French were obliged, 
therefore, to seek some overland route. The Indians had a path along the 
\'enango Valley, but this was very circuitous, which Washington, in his 
journey to W'aterforcl in 1753 estimated at 130 miles, whereas in a direct 
line it was less than 90. The French engineers, accordingly, laid out a 
road substantially on a direct line from Waterford to Franklin, which was 
cut out corduroid and bridged the whole distance. If any one will draw 
a straight line on any map of Pennsylvania reaching from Waterford to 
Franklin, it will show the course which this French road followed. When 
the French gave up the contest, and abandoned the country, this side the 
Great Lakes, the bridges on this French road rotted down, trees grew up in 
its course, _ the floods in springtime tore up and carried away the road-bed, 

and when the surveyors and the new settlers came, thirty years later, scarcely 



any trace of this old road remained to tell the tale of its once brave existence. 

When the new settlers came and established themselves in the wilder- 
ness they were obliged to commence road-making and bridge-building de 
novo, just as though no French engineer had ever set his Jacob staff in 
these parts. But still the Venango River proved useful for heavy transpor- 
tation. It seems that every human being craves salt. Indeed, every ani- 
mal, of whatever species, seeks it, as the salt licks of the deer testify. The 
most convenient salt springs of consequence for the supply of settlers in 
the Mississippi Valley were at Salina, N. Y. In the then state of transporta- 
tion, the best means of supplying Pittsburg was to move it bv ox team from 
Salina to Buffalo, thence to Erie by sailboat, thence to Waterford by team. 
At Waterford it was loaded upon flat boats and taken by the Venango River 
to Franklin, and thence to Pittsburg and points below without breaking 
bulk. Gen. James O'Hara was engaged in this bu.siness from 1800 to 1819. 
The Crawford Messenger of December 12, 1805, says: "Eleven flat-bot- 
tomed and six keel-boats passed by this place (Meadville) during the last 
freshet in French Creek, th.e former carrying on an average 170, and the lat- 
ter 60 barrels of salt each, making in the whole 2,230 barrels. This, com- 
puted at $11 per barrel at this place, amounts to $24,530. The selling price 
at Pittsburg- is now $13 per barrel, which will make it amount to $28,900. 
During the preceding s]iring and winter more than double the foregoing 
quantitv has been brought across the carrying place between Erie and 
\A'aterford, which was either consumed in the county bordering on the 
the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers or in this and neighboring counties, amount- 
ing in the whole to upward of $80,000." In its issue of January i. 1807, the 
Messenger says: "During the late rise in French Creek (Venango River) 
we had the pleasing sight of witnessing twenty-two Kentucky boats, or arks, 
pass by this place loaded with salt for Pittsburg, carrying in the whole be- 
tween 4,000 and 5,000 barrels." The same paper, in its issue of November 
22, 1809, says: "There are at present at Waterford upward of 14,000 bar- 
rels of salt, containing 5 bushels each, or 70,000 bushels, awaiting for the 
rise of the waters, in order to descend to Pittsburg, Wheeling and Marietta." 

In 1815 a salt well was .struck in Beaver Township, and a good quality of 
salt was obtained. Hoping to strike a more powerful vein, the well was 
deepened to 300 feet, when, instead of salt, a current of petroleum was 
tapped and the salt business was at an end. Magaw and Clark were the 


original proprietors and subsequently Daniel Shryock became a partner. 
Salt was so much of cash value that it became a medium of exchange. Ham- 
lin Russell, of Belle Valley, Erie County, sold a yoke of oxen for eight barrels 
of salt, and Rufus S. Reed bought of General Kelso one colored boy, who 
was to Ije held to service until he was twenty-eight years old, for loo barrels 
of salt. 

The roads, in the early days of Crawford, were simply no roads at all, 
but the settlers would pick their way through the woods as best they could. 
In transporting the salt from Erie to Waterford the old French road was 
followed, but ha\"ing had no repairs for thirty 3-ears, in many seasons of the 
year it was next to impassable. The Erie and Waterford Turnpike Com- 
pany was chartered in 1805, with the intention of making it a link in the 
great thoroughfare contemplated from Erie to Philadelphia by the Venango, 
Juniatta and Susquehanna Valleys. Work was commenced in 1806, and 
the road was completed in 1809. In laying it out a circuitous route was 
followed to accommodate the settlers, many of whom were stockholders. 
In 1811-12 the Susquehanna and ^^'aterford Turnpike Company was incor- 
porated. The State agreed to appropriate $125,000, provided citizens 
would subscribe for 2,oco shares of the stock. The war which broke out 
caused delay. The stock was finally secured, and in Nos'ember, 1818, the 
several sections were offered for construction. In 1820 the road was com- 
pleted from \\"aterford to Bellefont, and in 1824 was completed through 
to Philadelphia, making a continuous turnpike from Erie, through Water- 
ford, JMeadville, Franklin, Bellefont and Harrisburg to Philadelphia. As it 
was a toll road the companies were obliged to keep it in repair, and it proved 
remunerative to the owners; but the tolls finally dropped ofif to such an ex- 
tent, as other roads were laid out and constructed, that it proved unprofitable 
and was abandoned, the gates were removed and the road was assumed by the 
townships through which it ran. The INIercer and Meadville Turnpike 
Company was incorporated in 181 7, and in 1821 was completed and opened, 
connecting at Mercer with a pike that had been constructed from Mercer 
to Pittsburg. ' 

As early as 1790 the Legislature had appropriated $400 for the im- 
provement of the navigation of the Venango River and Le Boeuf Creek, 
and in 1807, $3,000 more for improvement of the roads and streams west 
of the Allegheny. Of this latter amount $500 was used for improving the 


navigation of these streams, $450 for the pike from Meadville to Waterford, 
$400 from Meadville to Mercer and $400 from Meadville to Franklin. In 
iSio an appropriation of $2,000 was made, of which Crawford got $900, 
Erie $800, and \'enango S300. In these later days when the whole country 
is gridironed with railroads, and the steam whistle is heard in every hour of 
the day and night, we are disposed to smile at the simplicity of the Penn- 
sylvania Legislature in voting money for the improvement of the Venango 
River, a stream that in a dry time a barefoot boy could cross without wet- 
ting his knee-breeches. But, in reality, it was no simple thing to do, and 
if to-day the railroads and canals of the country should be swept from its 
surface, and it be again returned to the condition of the county in that early 
day, it would not be twenty-four hours before that despised stream would 
be appealed to for the means of heavy transportation. Nor would it be in 
vain, for if that channel were properly slackwatered and reservoirs were laid 
up for feeding, it would become a waterway on which great navies might ride, 
and a mighty commerce might be carried on its bosom. 

By act of Assembly of March 13th, 1817, commissioners were appointed 
to lay out a road from the northeastern limit of Crawford County on the 
Warren County border to Meadville. fifty feet in width, the survey to be 
made between April and November, 1817, and $3,000 was appropriated 
towards its construction. James Miles, John Brooks and Major McGrady 
were appointed to locate it. , Through the ignorance or pig-headedness of 
these men, forgetting the familiar principle that the bail of a kettle is no 
longer when lying down than when standing up, they struck an almost 
absolutely straight line, over precipitous hills, turning neither to the right 
hand nor to the left, and the penalty has been that generations have clambered 
up and down over those hills during all the succeeding years and will prob- 
ably to the end of time, some of the climbs being known as dead-horse hills. 

Though roads had been laid out from :\Ieadville to almost every point 
of the compass, and considerable amount of work had been expended upon 
them, yet in the spring of the year, when the frost was leaving the clay sub- 
soil which underlies the greater part of the county, they became almost im- 
passable. To remedy this difficulty resort was had to plank roads. Accord- 
ingly, the Meadville, Allegheny and Brokenstraw Plank Road Company 
was chartered in 1849, and the company was organized by electing John 
Stuart Riddle president, John Dick, AVilliam Sharp, Alfred Huidekoper, 


John M. Osburn, John McFarland and Wilham Reynolds, managers. A 
sawmih was estabHshed on the hne of the road, and the lumber for its con- 
struction was taken from the forest, and cut as required. It was finally com- 
pleted as far as Gay's Mills and was open to travel, but was not a profitable 
enterprise and was shortly abandoned. 

In the session of 1849-50 the Meadville, Klecknerville and Edinboro 
Plank Road Compan}- was chartered. Gaylord Church was elected presi- 
dent and Edward and Isaac Saeger and William Reynolds were directors. 
It was rapidly constructed, and at Edinboro connected with the Erie and 
Edinboro Plank Road. The grade was easy. The great omnibus, capable 
of carrying twenty persons, would start from Meadville at early dawn, 
drawn by four beautiful white horses, and make the run to Siverlings, where 
a relay of horses was in readiness, then to EdinJDoro, where another relay of 
horses was in waiting, and would run ])roudly into Erie in time tor the mid- 
day trains on the Lake Shore Road. When first constructed, a ride over 
the "Plank" was delightful. But when the fall rains came and the great 
Conestoga wagons, with their five or six tons of freight, began to roll over 
it with their narrow tires they very soon began to feel for the defective 
planks, which were quickly crushed to splinters, and were thrown out by 
the side of the road. This process was continued until finally there was 
but an occasional whole plank left, when it was abandoned to the townships 
through which it passed, and defects were mended with gravel, resulting in 
an easy grade highway between the two cities. 

The first bridge which spanned the Venango River was Iniilt by Thomas 
R. Kennedy in iSio-ii at the Mercer Street crossing, and was for toh. In 
1828 a free bridge was thrown across the river at the Dock Street crossing. 
In 1815 two more bridges were constructed, one at Broadford and the other 
at Cambridge, known as Deadwater. These have all been replaced by iron 
structures except the one at McGuffintown and that at Sagertown, which 
are of the old covered wooden patterns. Indeed, there is scarcely a stream 
of any account in the whole domain of the county that is not spanned by a 
substantial steel structure. 

A weekly mail route was established between Erie and Pittsburg by 
way of Meadville and Franklin, in 1801. In 1806 the route was changed 
to Mead\-ille and Mercer. The mail \\as carried on horseback, and when 
it increased in size, two horses were employed, one to carry the driver and 


the other tlie niail-l)ag'. -V semi-weekly mail was established through Mead- 
ville from Erie to Pittslnirg-, Harrisbiirg and Philadelphia in 1818, a tri- 
weekly in i8_'4 and a daily in 1827. The introdnction of stage coaches was 
a great advance in travel. The turnpikes became great thoroughfares of 
travel for emigrants working their way west, and hotels were opened along 
the route, until there was scarcely a mile without a place of entertainment 
for man and beast. 

Mr. Brown, in his history of Crawford County, quotes the following 
extract from the Crawford Messenger of December 4, 182S: "Cleared 
from the port of Meadville, the fast floating boat Ann Eliza: all the ma- 
terials of which this boat was built were growing on the banks of French 
Creek on the 27th ult. On the 28th she was launched and piloted to this 
place before sunset, by her expert builders, Messrs. Mattox and Towne. 
Her cargo consisted, among other things, of 300 reams of crown, medium 
and roval patent straw paper, with patent books and pasteboards. She left 
Meadville early on the 30th for Pittsburg, wi-th about twenty passengers on 
board." And in the issue of April ist, 1830, is the following: "We are in- 
formed on good authority that lietween Woodcock and Bemus' Mills, on 
Venango River, a distance of twenty-two miles, from ninety to one hun- 
dred flat-l)ottomed boats have started or are about to start for Pittsburg. 
These boats are built principally by individual farmers, and are freighted with 
hay, oats, potatoes and various other kinds of produce; also salt, staves, 
bark, shingles, cherry and walnut timber. The average capacity of these 
boats is twenty-seven tons, and the average value of boat and cargo at Pitts- 
burg is estimated at $500. Calculating the number of boats at one hundred 
the total tonnage would be 2,700 tons, and the product at Pittsburg $50,000. 
From Bemus Mills to the mouth of Venango River the number of boats of 
the above description is ecjual, if not greater, exclusive of rafts, which make 
a considerable, item, so that the trade of the Venango River this season may 
be safely estimated at $100,000." 

During the second quarter of the century heavy freightage by canal 
was the favorite sul)ject of enterprise throughout the length and breadth of 
the land. In August, 1824, General Barnard, Colonel Totten, Major Doug- 
lass and Captain Poussin, United States Engineers, under authority of the 
Government, while engaged in surveying the route for a canal between the 
Ohio River and Lake Erie, encamped on the west bank of French Creek, 


near the site of the Mercer Street bridge, opposite Meadville. General Bar- 
nard and Captain Poussin had been officers of distinction in the armies of the 
great Napoleon. In 1827 an act of the Legislature provided for the con- 
struction of a canal from the Ohio River, by the Beaver and Shenango 
Rivers, to the city of Erie, and sections were let during that year. The 
chief difficulty in operating the canal was in securing a sufficient supply of 
water to feed the locks. It Avas found that Conneaut Lake was on the sum- 
mit of the watershed between the Mississippi and the Saint Lawrence Val- 
leys, and that the Venango River at Bemus Mills was higher than Conneaut 
Lake. It was accordingly decided to build a substantial dam across the 
river at this point, which is two miles above Meadville, and carry the water 
by a canal seven miles below Meadville, build there an aqueduct across the 
river high above its current, and thence to the lake and pour its current into 
this great natural reservoir, for the steady feeding of the canal in both direc- 
tions, towards the river Ohio and the lake Erie. In order to make sure of 
abundant supply of water, an embankment was built across the outlet of the 
lake Conneaut, so that the surface was raised nine feet and thus nearly 
doubled its area. 

It was a joyous day for Crawford County when it became assured that 
the canal was to be a reality, and the breaking the ground, as it was 
celebrated at Meadville, was an event of a lifetime. The line of march was 
formed at the Diamond. The formation was announced by the booming of 
cannon and the clangor of bells. The procession was led by Captain Tor- 
bett's company of artillery. Captain Berlin's company of light infantry and 
a band of music, followed by a long array of teams, laborers and civilians. 
Arrived at the point of operations, which was in front of the residence of 
James White, now of A. C. Huidekoper, on the Terrace, the exercises were 
opened by prayer offered by the Rev. Timothy Alden, president of Allegheny 
College, who also delivered an address, which was succeeded by the event of 
the day, "the breaking ground." This was assigned to two aged pioneers, 
Robert Fitz Randolph, nearly ninety years old, and Cornelius Van Horn, 
who was eighty. The plow was drawn by seven pairs of oxen, and when 
the earth had been thus loosened eight laborers with their wheel-barrows 
appeared and removed a portion of the earth. The artillery was brought 
into play, and delivered thirteen rounds, which echoed along all the hills. 
Re-forming, the procession moved to Lord's spring, where a cold collation 


was served, and, in accordance with the customs of the times, the head of a 
barrel of fine old whiskey was staved, and the tin cups were merrily passed. 
Returning to the Diamond, the procession broke ranks, and the work of 
building the canal was fairly inaugurated. 

The work proved to be one of immense proportions. The Governor 
in his message to the Legislature of 1842-3', showed that 97f miles had been 
finished, from Rochester, on the Ohio, to the mouth of the Venango River 
feeder, and 49|- miles, including the feeder and the Franklin Division, leav- 
ing in progress and nearly completed the 38-J- miles. Up to that date the 
State had expended more than $4,000,000, and it was calculated that but 
$211,000 more would be needed to make the canal ready for boats. At the 
session of the Legislature of 1843 an act was passed incorporating the Erie 
Canal Company, and ceding to it all the work that had been done, on con- 
dition that the company would finish and operate the property. The first 
boats to reach Erie were the "Queen of the West," crowded with passen- 
gers, and the "R. S. Reed," loaded with Mercer County coal, which came 
in on the Sth of December, 1844. The canal did a profitable business until 
the completion of the Erie and Pittsburg Railroad, when the competition be- 
came too strong for a waterway of so light tonnage. It was proposed to 
deepen and enlarge it, but the expense was too great, and the promise of 
success too uncertain to warrant the undertaking, and the property was 
finally acquired by the railroad company. It was operated for awhile suc- 
cessfully; but finally the fall of the Elk Creek aqueduct, in Erie County, 
gave excuse for abandoning the entire property, and thus the enterprise 
which was rung in with so much enthusiasm and the booming of cannon 
came to an inglorious end. 

The attempt to secure the charter for and the construction of a railroad 
from Erie to Pittsburg, by the way of Meadville, was so far successful as to 
secure a charter, obtain subscriptions from individuals and from the county 
of $200,000. Contracts were let and some ten miles graded; but the pros- 
pect of success becoming dubious, the county authorities, after having ex- 
pended $30,000 of its subscription, applied to court for an injunction to re- 
strain them from issuing any further amounts of the subscription, and the 
cancellation of the agreement, which was granted. By act of the Legisla- 
ture of March 10, 1859, the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad of Penn- 
sylvania was incoi-porated, which, with the section in New York and Ohio, 


made a continuous line from Salamanca, on the Erie Road, to Dayton, Ohio, 
virtually Cincinnati, as a connection was there made with a local road be- 
tween Dayton and Cincinnati. Gen. C. L. Ward and William Reynolds 
visited Europe and it was largely by their personal influence that funds were 
secured from Spanish and English capitalists for the building this gigantic 
work. \\'ith such energy was the work pushed that by October 22, 1862, 
the road was completed to Meadville, and to the Ohio State line by January, 
1863. The road was originally six feet wide to conform to the track of the 
Erie Road, with which it connected Salamanca, but was subsequently 
changed to the standard gauge of the United States, as was the Erie, on 
January 6, 1880, and the name changed to the New York, Pennsylvania and 
Ohio Railroad Company, and in March, 1883, it was leased to the New 
York, Lake Erie and Western Company for ninety-nine years. By its con- 
nection with the Chicago and Atlantic Railroad, at Marion, which was also 
leased by the Erie, it gives the Erie a through run from New York to Chi- 
cago and it constitutes a trunk line. 

As early as 1845 the Pittsburg and Erie Railroad Company was char- 
tered, but nothing was accomplished until 1856, when a new charter was ob- 
tained, and as it failed to designate definitely the course it was to follow, a 
sharp rivalry arose between the Conneautville and Meadville routes. It was 
finally decided in favor of the former, and not until 1864 was the track com- 
pleted to New Castle, where it connects with the New Castle and Beaver 
\^alley Road, which connects with the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago 
at Homewood. This gave a continuous route from Pittsburg to Miles 
Grove, and by running on the Lake Shore to Erie, a continuous road be- 
tween the two cities. This road is now owned and controlled by the Penn- 
sylvania company. 

That portion of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia Railroad which 
extends from Corry to Titusville, or the Miller farm, Venango County, was 
completed in 1862. This road extends through the eastern tier of town- 
ships, following for the most part the valley of Oil Creek. The Union and 
Titusville Road extends from Titusville- to Union City, where it connects 
with the Philadelphia and Erie Road. It was begun in 1865 and was com- 
pleted in 1871. It crosses the townships of Bloomfield, Steuben, Troy and 
Oil Creek, running o^-er the track of the Oil Creek Road from Tryonville to 
Titusville. and is also a part of the Buffalo, New York and Philadelphia line. 


The Meadville and Lines\ille Railroad was built to secure a second connec- 
tion with a trunk line, and thus secure competition in rates of transporta- 
tion. The road was built by the canal tow-jiath and Conneaut Lake to 
Linesville, to connect there with the Pennsylvania system, a distance of 
twenty and one-half miles. The road was finished in 1881. On the 3d of 
January the road was sold to the Meadville Railroad Company for $150,000, 
by whom it has been successfully operated. The Dunkirk, Allegheny Val- 
ley and Pittsburg Railroad enters Titusville, crossing the southwest corner 
of Oil Creek Township, and a branch of the Lake Shore Railroad crosses the 
southwest corner of ^Vest Shenango Township in its entr\' into Jamestown, 

The Shenango and Allegheny Valley Railroad was originally a coal 
road, extending from tlie mines in Mercer and Butler Counties to the She- 
nango Junction, where it connected with the Erie, and also with the Erie 
and Pittsburg. Subsequently it was continued to Green\-ille and still later 
to the Exposition grounds at Conneaut Lake and to Conneaut Harbor, on 
Lake Erie. Here it delivered coal from the mines ami received rich iron 
ore from Superior mines. Andrew Carnegie, principal owner of the great 
steel works at Homestead, was in need of this ore, and cast longing eyes on 
this road, the shortest cut from his works to lake navigation at Conneaut 
Harbor. He secured a controlling interest in the road, spent vast sums of 
money in tumieling, bridging and extending the road to his works, renewed 
the track with extra heavy steel rails, enlarged the harbor at Conneaut, 
built a breakwater at its mouth, enlarged and improved the machinery for dis- 
charging the ore from shipboard, and loading on cars, making the road one 
of the most substantial and valuable properties in the world, giving it the 
name of the Pittsburg, Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad, characteristic of 
the business which it does, and the places it connects. 

This record in railroad construction is remarkable. In 1S60 there was 

not a mile of finished railway in the county. Li less than six years' time 

it was gridironed with tracks, and at present, with one exception, has more 

miles of railroad than any county in the State. 


NO COUNTY organization could have been legally attempted in the 
northwest corner of the State until after the purchase made of the 
Indians at Forts Stanwix and Mcintosh, in 1784. But on the 24th 
of September, 1788, Allegheny County was erected, which was made to em- 
l3race all the land north and west of the Allegheny River. Thus it remained 
until the 12th of March, 1800, when the Legislature passed an act erecting 
the counties of Beaver, Butler, Mercer, Crawford, Erie, Warren and Arm- 
strong from a portion of the county of Allegheny. By the same act, Arm- 
strong County for judicial purposes was provisionally attached to Westmore- 
land County; Butler and Beaver were joined with Allegheny, and the coun- 
ties of Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren and Erie, "shall form one 
county," was the language of the act, "under the name of Crawford." Three 
trustees were appointed by the act for each of the newly elected counties, 
those for Crawford being David Mead, Frederick Haymaker and James 
Gibson. On the 2d of April, 1803, Erie and Mercer were organized as sep- 
arate and distinct counties, Venango, April i, 1S05, and Warren, March 16, 

It was fitting that Crawford, the friend and companion of Washington, 
and the successful Indian fighter, should have his name given to one of the 
largest and most important counties in the State. His fate was peculiar and 
a sad one. William Crawford was born in Orange, now Berkeley County, 
Virginia, of Irish lineage. In 1749 the youthful George Washington be- 
came acquainted with the family, and it \vas from him that William Craw- 
ford learned the art of surveying, which, in connection with farming, he 
followed until 1755, when he received an ensign's commission in a company 
of Virginia riflemen, and served with Washington, under General Braddock, 
in the ill-fated and disastrous battle of the Monongahela. For gallantry in 
this battle he was promoted to be a lieutenant. In 1758 Washington, then 



commander-in-chief of the Virginia forces, obtained a captain's commission 
for Crawford, who immediately recruited a company of hardy frontiers- 
men for \\"ashington's regiment, and was, with his command, at the occupa- 
tion of Fort Du Ouesne, November 25th, 1758, the French having evacu- 
ated the post on the approach of the army under General Forbes. 

Early in 1767 he removed to a new location on the Youghiogheny, 
Pennsylvania, in the northern part of Fayette County, where he resided when 
not in the service of his country. He had previously married Sarah Vance, 
and they had issue of three cliildren — Sarah, John and Efifie. At the re- 
quest of Washington he selected and surveyed a tract of land for him, some 
twelve miles from his own, and on the 13th of October Washington visited 
him. and remained three days exploring the surrounding country. In com- 
pany with a party of friends they went to Fort Pitt, and, securing a large 
canoe, they descended the Ohio as far as tlie Great Kanawha River, visiting- 
the Indian village at ]\Iingo Bottom, on the route, going and coming. Horses 
having been Ijrought from Captain Crawford's home to Mingo Bottom, the 
party returned by land from that point. During the whole journey Wash- 
ington and Crawford were boon companions. On the 12th of January, 
1776, Crawford was commissioned lieutenant-colonel of the Fifth Virginia 
Regiment, and, on the nth of October following, colonel of the Seventh 
'Regiment of the Virginia Battalion. He participated in the Long Island 
campaign, and the famous retreat through New Jersey; crossed the Dela- 
ware with Washington, and commanded his own at the battles of Trenton 
and Princeton. He served continuously under Washington up to the fall 
of 1777, rendering important services while in command of a picked detach- 
ment of scouts, detailed to watch the movements of the enemy during 
Howe's advance upon Philadelphia. 

In November, 1777, Colonel Crawford was placed on detached service 
on the frontier and served in various capacities for the space of three years 
under Mcintosh, and was engaged in constructing Forts Mcintosh and 
Laurens. Hostilities still continuing, in the spring of 1782, Colonel Craw- 
ford, who yet held his commission in the regular army, was earnestly urged 
by many leading men to take command of the expedition, then organizing, 
against Sandusky, and, together with his son John and son-in-law, Major 
Harrison, volunteered to go. He left his house on the i8th of May, and 
after a consultation with General Irvine at Pittsburg, proceeded down the river 


to Mingo Bottom, the place of rendezvous. On the 24th of Alav Colonel 
Crawford was chosen by the volunteers as the commander-in-chief of the 
expedition, and on the following morning the whole command, consisting 
of 480 mounted men, began its march from the Mingo Bottom. Passing 
through the territory now embraced in the counties of Jefferson, Harrison, 
Tuscarawas, Holmes. Ashland, Richland and Crawford to the center of 
^^'yandot, the conmiand reached a point on the Sanduskv plains, some three 
miles and a half northeast of the present town of Upper Sandusky, where, in 
and around a grove, since well known as Battle Island, Colonel Crawford 
was furiously attacked by the Indians on the afternoon of June 4th, 1782. 
As night came on the advantage remained with the Americans, the Indians 
being beaten at every point. The next day desultory firing was indulged 
in by both sides, but no gerjeral engagement ensued. As the afternoon ad- 
vanced the Indians were reinforced by a detachment of an English mounted 
regiment called "Butler's Rangers." while bands of savages were constantly 
arriving to swell the numbers of the enemy. 

Upon discovering that his small force was greatly outnumbered. Colonel 
Crawford called a council of his officers, which decided to retreat during 
the night, but no sooner had the retrograde movement commenced than it 
was discovered by the Indians, who at once opened a hot fire. The retreat, 
however, continued, with the enemy in close pursuit, and on the afternoon 
of June 6th another battle was fought, which again resulted in favor of the 
Americans. The British Light Horse and mounted Indians hung on the 
rear of the little squadron, firing occasionally, until the morning of the 7th, 
when the pursuit was abandoned, the last hostile shot being fired near the 
town of Crestline. The remnant of the little force made its way to Mingo 
Bottom without further molestation. It immediately crossed the Ohio 
River, where the tired troops went into camp, and on the following day were 
discharged. In the darkness and confusion attending the beginning of the 
retreat, several small parties liecame separated from the main body of the 
troops, and the soldiers composing these were, with rare exceptions, killed 
or captured by the savages, who scattered through the forest for the pur- 
pose of cutting olif stragglers. All of the captured were put to death except 
Dr. John Knight and John Slover, the guide, both of whom escaped, after 
being condemned to be burned at the stake. Among the many who thus 
fell into tlie hands of the savages were Colonel Crawford, his son-in-law, 


Major Harrison, and liis nephew, William Crawford. Colonel Crawford was 
captured by the Delawares, whose principal chiefs, Captain Pipe and Winge- 
nnnd, decided to burn him at the stake. He was taken to a spot three- 
quarters of a mile from the Delaware village, on the bank of Tymochtee 
Creek, some eight miles northwest of the county seat of Wyandot County, 
Ohio. Here, on the nth of Jtine, 1782, the victim was stripped naked, his 
hands bound behind his back, and a rope fastened — one end to the ligature 
between his wrist and the other to the foot of a post about fifteen feet high. 
The rope was long enough to allow him to walk twice around the post and 
back again, the fire being built in a circle around the post. .According to 
the testimony of Dr. Knight, who was an unwilling spectator of the terrible 
scene, the Indians began the torture about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, first 
discharging about seventy loads of powder into the victim's body, and then 
cutting off his ears. .After tliis the faggots were lighted, and for more than 
three hours the unfortunate man walked around within the circle of fire. 
Burning sticks were continually applied to his naked tiesh, alread_\- burned 
black with powder, and, whichever way he turned the same fate met him. 
Live coals were thrown upon him by the squaws, until the space in which he 
walked was one Ijed of tire and scorching ashes. In the inidst nf his awful 
sufferings, Colonel Crawford begged of Simon Girty, the Tory renegade, 
who was present at the execution, to shoot him, but the white savage laughed 
at Crawford's misery. At last the victim's strength gave out and he lay 
down, when an Indian ran in and scalped him, and an old squaw threw coals 
of fire upon his bleeding head. After the victim expired the burning faggots 
were piled together and his body placed upon them, and around his charred 
remains danced the delighted savages for hours. 

No event in the Colonial history of this country more signally illustrates 
the barbaric and fiendish nature of the American Indian than this death 
meted out to Colonel Crawford. It would not seem possible for any human 
being to be so utterly lost -to every touch of kindly sympathy, as is evi- 
denced in tlijs sad, this distressing death. Even the women, who are sup- 
posed to have a preponderating possession of the milk of human kindness, 
were even more l)rutal and devilish than the men. When the distressing 
intelligence reached General Washington, he immediately addressed a note 
to Governor Moore, of Pennsylvania, which evinces the depth of the anguish 
which he felt. "It is with the greatest sorrow and concern that I have 


learned the melanchol)' tidings of Colonel Crawford's death. He was known 
to me as an ofBcer of much care and prndence, brave, experienced and active. 
The manner of his death was shocking to me, and I have this day communi- 
cated to' the Honorable, the Congress, such papers as I have regarding it." 
It is a matter of pride that our fathers chose a name for their county so 
worthily, and we, who live in peaceful times, and enjoy the fruits of such 
sufiferings and hardships, should regard with reverence the bright examples 
of heroism which they have ever before them. 

It is needless to observe that the colonies during the period of the Revo- 
lutionary war were very poor, and that when the authorities had not money 
to pay the soldiers they issued certificates of indebtedness, which, on being 
passed for money, depreciated, and in time from i to lOO per cent. In 1781, 
April 3d, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a law defining the degree of 
depreciation from one to seventy-five per cent, and accorded certain lands 
for their redemption. They were known as "Depreciation Lands." 

The State of Pennsylvania enacted other laws to pay its troops serving 
in the Continental army, and, at the end of the war, soldiers were allowed to 
draw by lot surveys of lands from 200 to 500 acres each, according to rank. 
A major-general was entitled to draw four tickets of 500 acres each, a briga- 
dier-general three, and so on down to privates, who were entitled to 200 
acres. These were called "Donation Lands," and tract number 2 as "Struck 
District," having been reported as worthless. 

At the close of the Revolution several wealthy gentlemen of Holland, 
who had loaned money to the Government to carry on the war, desiring to 
keep their money invested in this country, accepted lands in payment. The 
company holding these lands was known as the Holland Land Company, 
and their holdings in the northwestern corner of Pennsylvania were about 
900,000 acres. 

An association of capitalists, under the title of the Pennsylvania Popu- 
lation Company, took up a vast tract of land in the Erie Triangle, and on 
Beaver and Shenango Creeks in the western part of Crawford County. 
Lands were taken by citizens of Crawford in these several companies. Mr. 
John Reynolds, in No. 20 of his "Reminiscences of the Olden Time," says: 
"The prevention clause in the Act of Assembly of 1792 was productive of 
much dissension in the first years of the century. The opinion was indus- 
triously circulated by deputy-surveyors, and other interested persons, that 


every tract of 400 acres without a settlement commenced and continued, 
was open to the entry and occupancy of the first bona fide settler, without 
regard to the previous warrant. Settlers who had entered into contract with 
the several land companies to fulfill the terms of settlement for a part of the 
land were disposed to claim the wdiole, under the plea that the companies 
had incurred forfeiture of the land, and therefore the contract was obtained 
by misrepresentation, and was void. The warrantee was thus brought into 
conflict with the intruder upon his land. The latter, relying on the legal 
correctness of the opinion so universally promulgated, took possession of the 
first and best vacant tract he could find, built his cabin and commenced to 
clear and cultivate his farm; thus speedily the county was filled with a pop- 
ulation known as 'actual settlers.' The companies that claimed the land 
by warrant, purchased from the State, were not disposed to submit quietly 
to the intrusion. They appealed to the courts of law, and many writs of 
ejectment were served: the settlers held conventions, employed counsel, and 
prepared for a stubborn contest. Lawful and unlawful measures were can- 
vassed and approved by many during the excitement of the time; unscrupu- 
lous and desperate men were leaders in the controversy, who contended that 
.all means were morally right which would protect them in the possession of 
their land. Hence, in the heat of the excitement, a plot was formed to 
destroy evidence in the county records, and the offices of the land com- 
panies. A veritable gunpowder plot was projected to blow up the prothon- 
otary's office, and the several land offices in Meadville and Erie, when, on 
the eve of accomplishment, one of the conspirators relented, and with praise- 
worthy energy prevented the catastrophe by visiting and remonstrating with 
the leaders. By agreement a case stated was put at issue and argued before 
Judge Washington, of the United States Supreme Court, at Sunbury, Pa., 
and a decision made in favor of the warrantee," as stated on a previous page. 
"Subordinate questions continued to agitate and produce discord, and 
conflicts between settlers, arising from an entry upon an improved tract dur- 
ing a temporary absence of the first occupants, were frequent. Such a case 
is the following: A man without a family would select his tract, build his 
cabin, and make some improvements, and, in the autumn, revisit the settle- 
ments to find winter employment, and upon his return in the spring, find an- 
other in possession. Personal conflicts sometimes decided the question of 
ownership rather than await expensive litigation in court, while some more 


wisely canvassed the matter and settled by an amicable adjustment and pay- 
ment of a reasonable compensation by one party to the other. That a wide- 
spread excitement, involving vested rights so dear to the claimants, and in- 
tensified in asperity by a commingling therewith the partisan politics of the 
dav, should have been settled and finally disappeared with so little actual 
conflict, is, in the review, very wonderful, and may, I think, be largely at- 
tributed to the overpowering religious sentiment concurrent therewith, 
which tended to restrain and moderate the angry passions." The decision 
in the case submitted to the Supreme Court is doubtless a correct decision 
under the several enactments upon which it was based; but it resulted, in 
its operations, in securing the demands of the companies at the sacrifice of 
the dearest rights of many a poor pioneer. 

As all things have an end, so had the terrors inspired by the blood- 
thirsty savages, and the trouble in securing patents for their lands; but the 
mighty labors were now to begin. The hardy pioneer may have been suc- 
cessful in securing a well situated tract fast by some shaded fountain of pure 
water or at the margin of some fast-flowing stream, but the whole land was 
encumbered with one vast forest of heavy timber, through which not a ray 
of sunlight could peer. Wild animals ranged unchecked, and dangerous 
reptiles were peering out from every hiding place. Not a traveled road had 
been opened, nor a bridge built for crossing the numerous streams. The 
nearest neighbor was perhaps miles away, and a physician, if there were one 
at all, a Sabbath day's journey. The simplest food, during the first year or 
two, was difficult to command, and if he was fortunate enough to have a 
cow he had nothing with which to feed her. It would scarcely be thought 
that salt is the article of all others for which the frontiersman feels the most 
pressing need, and will make a journey by devious paths for a hundred miles 
on foot to secure a small sack full that he can carry on his back to his lonely 
cabin. The long winter's night is only cheered by the kindly blaze of a pine 
knot, while the howl of the hungry pack outside chimes angrily with the 
storm and the sullen bear thunders at the door for entrance. 

Having constructed a temporary shelter, much after the fashion 
of the Indians, by setting poles around a contracted space and joining them 
at the top, he covers them with bark, so as to shut out the rain, and commences 
preparation for a spring crop. But he cannot wait to clear a field of the 
heavy timber, as the family may starve for want of food. He, accordingly. 


resorts to the makeshift of girdling, cutting deep enough around the trunk 
to shut ofif the sap from rising. By ordinary diligence he can in a few- 
days girdle five or six acres, and after grubbing and clearing up the under- 
brush, he fires the dry leaves and other incumbrances, the accumulations 
of centuries, and the warm sunlight being now admitted he drops his seeds 
in the black mould, and, by ordinar}- care, and the blessing of heaven in 
sending the early and the later rain, he is tolerably sure pf a crop. And now, 
having made provision for his sustenance, he begins to look about him for 
neighbors; for he must build a substantial cabin for protection and a home 
during the long and dreary winter. For this he must have other hands than 
his own. He accordingly goes forth, and, selecting a tall, substantial tree 
standing close in upon the bank of the stream, with woodman's skill he fells 
it across the deep current, and thus provides the crossing that shall link 
him to a neighbor and give his longing for human sympathy a way to satisfy 

To build a good log cabin in any reasonable time requires the services 
of at least half a dozen strong men, and it is not difificult for the frontiersman 
to gather that number when ready to build. The morning is ushered in 
by the felling of a half-dozen tall, straight trees of ten to twelve inches in 
diameter, and cutting them into lengths of twenty feet. These logs are 
moved with cant-hooks. Two are laid parallel, twenty feet apart and the 
ends halved a thickness of six inches, a foot long at each end. Two logs 
similarly halved are matched and the first square is formed. By a similar 
process tier after tier is laid up, long skids being used as the walls rise. An 
auger is used to bore holes, and strong inch pins are driven at the splicings 
in the corners. The gables are more easily fitted, as the logs required are 
constantly growing shorter. Rafters are set at convenient distances, long 
poles are laid upon these, held in place by well-heated withes, and shingles 
for the roof are rived from the substantial oak, and poles are fastened upon 
the shingles, for nails are not obtainable and none are used. W'hen all is 
done the logs, which have been partially cut for the door and window, are 
finished. With some clay, found usually not far below the soil, a mortar 
is stirred, the interstices between the logs are pasted in and smoothed oi¥, a 
chimney is built of sticks and mortar on the outside up the gable, and a big 
opening is made for the fire-place; oiled paper suffices to admit light at the 
window; a strong door from rived oak swings on wooden hinges, and a 


wooden latch with a string that hangs outside, and the cabin is complete 
and ready for occupancy. Many a young wife views with complacency and 
pride such a home, and her step is light as she plans the conveniences and 
adornments. Should she be ambitious of a floor to her proud dwelling, in the 
long winter evenings, when the crops have been gathered, and the farm work 
completed, the opportunity will be afforded, and it will be the supreme de- 
light of the young farmer to rive the oak that shall form a substantial floor 
which will excite the pride and the satisfaction of his young helpmate, and 
where his offspring may creep and prattle in childish glee. Such was the 
history of the home life of the early settlers in Crawford County during the 
first quarter of a century, and in many such cabins was there cheerfulness and 
happiness. The labor of clearing the forests, building secure inclosures, 
breaking up the stubborn soil, and raising crops, securing flocks and herds 
was intense, for the improvements in farm machinery were then unknown; 
but the triumphs of his labor and skill were incentives to renewed exertions, 
his property was daily increasing in value, and he could point with pride to the 
changes which his own hands had wrought. 

The furniture of the cabin was simple and home-made, as none other 
could be had if the money was possessed to secure it. A simple made 
frame hung to the side of the cabin, and, arranged with slats, formed the 
bedstead; three-legged stools answered for chairs. A log split in halves and 
hewn smooth, into which holes were bored for legs, answered for table, and 
rude boxes were employed for storing the various articles of housekeeping, and 
for a seat as well. 

The utensils lor cooking were also simple and inexpensive — a kettle for 
boiling, a board for corn-cake, propped up with a stone before the embers, 
were the principal. The forest was ranged for game, and the streams were 
lashed for fish. Corn was eaten from the cob, as long as it was in milk, was 
grated when glazed, and pounded to meal when ripe. When mills were 
erected the housewife was relieved of the labor of pounding. Spinning and 
weaving and fashioning into clothing for the family, as in the primitive days 
of the race, were the occupations of the women. The men usually were clad 
in a simple hunting shirt, made of coarse linen, or dressed deer-skin, with 
the hair left on, and breeches of similar material. 

Cornelius Van Home planted some apple seeds in 1789, which made 
rapid growth, and from this little nursery orchards were planted. The po- 


tato was introduced in 1791. Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy brought two quarts 
of wheat in his saddle-bags, which he distributed among the settlers, and 
from this moderate supply in a few years rich harvests were gathered. Rye 
came next, and was soon in great demand for the manufacture of whiskey, 
which became of prime necessity. Buckwheat, and the flour from this 
grain, commanded better market than any other grain, and grew in great 
luxuriance. Horses and cattle were brought in with the first settlers, but 
they were in general of a very common breed, as were the sheep and swine. 
By the census of 1810, Crawford County was credited with 2,142 horses, 5,389 
head of cattle, and 4,120 sheep. In 1817 Mr. H. J. Huidekoper, with Judge 
Griffith, of New Jersey, brought a flock of fine Merino wooled sheep, which 
proved a most fortunate venture for the settlers, as the produce of wool soon 
became very valuable. Of swine the razor-back was the principal stock in 
trade. They were marked, and suffered to run at large, subsisting on nuts 
as they could forage for them, and were herded in winter and fed on milk 
and corn. Their color was of yellowish red, and they were often dangerous 
to meet. In strong contrast to these are the Chester Whites and the Berk- 
shires, and the China breeds of a later day. In 1820 the census showed 2,970 
horses, 18,081 cattle, 18,999 sheep and of swine the woods were full, too un- 
certain to enumerate. Of land under cultivation in that year there were 
51,322 acres. In 1850 the county produced 1,000,000 pounds, and had 
acquired a wide reputation for fine wool. Since that day the product fell off, 
until in 1875 the product did not exceed 200,000 pounds, and that of an 
inferior grade. Logan Brothers, of South Shenango, established a high 
reputation for importing and breeding draft horses; C. G. Dempsey, of Con- 
neautville, thoroughbred racers; Denny Brothers and Ambro Whipple, of 
Hayfield, roadsters and draft horses, and R. A. Stratton trotting stock, the 
latter's pacer Crawford attaining a wide reputation. 

"Shadeland, the great stock farm of the Powell Brothers, is located 
about one mile north of Springboro, in Spring Township. The estate com- 
prises over one thousand acres of choice land, improved by a handsome resi- 
dence and half a hundred capacious barns, stables and outbuildings, ad- 
mirably adapted to the various uses and purposes of the business, the 
whole, with its magnificent aggregation of stock, representing an invest- 
ment of more than a quarter of a milHon of dollars. The business embraces 
the extensive importation and breeding of pure bred live stock of various 

1 88 


classes, notably the celebrated Clydesdale draft horses from Scotland, the 
English draft horses, the Percheron-Norman draft horses from the best 
breeding districts of France, American trotting bred roadsters, imported 
coachers, and Shetland ponies; also Holstein and Devon cattle, and High-' 
land black-faced sheep, said to be the finest mutton sheep known. The 
Clydesdale stud book of Great Britain shows more animals registered byl 
• Powell Brothers than any other five firms in the world combined. This! 
book is published under the direction of the Clydesdale Horse Society ofl 
Great Britain and Ireland, and hence is absolutely authentic, and indeed! 
the ultimate authority on this subject. The sales of this firm often aggre- 
gate several thousand dollars a day, the purchasers representing nearly every 
State and territory in the Union, sometimes a score or more of them being 
there at once. They have also made various shipments of the trotting-bredl 
roadsters to Europe. As an evidence of the national repute of the establish- 
ment it may be mentioned that not long since the firm received a communi- 
cation from Dr. Loring, then United States Commissioner of Agriculture! 
at Washington, stating that a citizen of Japan was visiting this country fori 
the purpose of collecting for his government information concerning oufl 
agricultural and other industrial methods, and asking that he might be per- 
mitted to spend a few days at Shadeland as a means of informing himself as ' 
to American stock breeding. While draft horses are the special features thereJ 
all classes of their stock receive equal attention and only the very finest are] 
imported and bred." The gentlemen composing the firm are Watlun G., 
Will B., and James Uintner Powell, all of whom are natives of Shadeland, 
having been born on the estate, wliich they have always occupied and with 
which their names are indissolubly linked. Their father, the Hon. Howell 
Powell, occupied the place before them, and illustrated his love of good stock 
bv always keeping fine flocks and herds. 

In 1878 Mr. Edgar Huidekoper commenced the importation of Hol- 
stein choice breeds of cattle from Holland, and has increased his importa- 
tions from time to time since. His extensive stock farm is situated just 
across Venango River, opposite Meadville. A herd of some two to three 
hundred Holsteins is constantly found in stock and his sales reach to nearly | 
every part of the United States. William Skelton, of Mead Township, has , 
been a successful breeder of shorthorn cattle of the best type. J. W. Cut- 
shall, of Randolph Township, has also bred shorthorn stock with much 


credit, his cattle usually commanding tirst prizes at stock fairs. John Bell 
and David Gill, of Woodcock Township, have bred shorthorn stock of fine 
quahty for several years. G. W. Watson, of Hayfield Township, has bred 
high-grade jNferino sheep. 

The first fair association in Crawford County was organized at Conneaut- 
ville in 1852, and held its first meeting in that year, has proved the most suc- 
cessful of any since organized and has held annual fairs from that day to this 
with ever-increasing interest. The business management has been conducted 
with the strictest integrity, which has been the means of perpetuating it 
with success for nearh' a half a century. The celelirated stock of the Powell 
Brothers at Shadeland, only four miles away, which has been exhibited, has 
served to keep up a strong interest in attendance. The Crawford County 
Central Agricultural Association was organized in 1856. Its exhibitions 
were held on the island where now are the station and the shops of the Erie 
Railroad Company. When the railroad was located the fair grounds were 
sold and ground was acquired in Kerrtown, subsequently in the neighbor- 
hood of A'alonia, and fairs were held for a ]:)eriod of nearly a quarter of a 
century with varying success, but ne\er with the distinction which it ac- 
quired during the first five years on the original grounds. The Oil Creek 
Valley Agricultural Association was organized in 1875 and spacious grounds 
were acquired in the southwestern suburbs of the city of Titusville, where 
successful exhibitions have annually been held to the present time. A fair 
was held in Grange Hall in Woodcockboro, 1876, and subsequently the 
\\'oodcock Fair .Association was formed, suitable grounds were- acquired, 
and for several years stock, farm products and farm machinery were shown; 
but the expense exceeded income and the enterprise was finally abandoned. 

The Camljridge Agricultural Association in 18 — was organized and a 
tract of fine land was acquired along the shady bank of the Venango River, 
where well-managed exhibitions have been given annually ever since. The 
French Creek Valley Agricultural Society was organized in the summer of 
1877 and the first fair was held on excellent grounds acquired along the 
banks of Little Sugar Creek at Cochranton. The exhibition of cattle, sheep, 
swine and draft horses has been highly creditable. 

The agricultural implements of those early days were rude, and the 
labor required to use them intense. The plow was a wooden mould strapped 
with steel and required heavy draft, the grain was gathered with the sickle— 


the back aches at the remembrance — the grass was cut with a scythe chim- 
sily attached to the stick with a wedge, and a number of hands followed each 
other, keeping time in steady rhythm to the swing. The hay was dried by 
frequent turnings, gathered with small short-toothed rakes and pitched on 
and off the hay rack with a hand fork. The grain was separated from the 
straw with the flail, and as the two stalwart men faced each other with their 
well-worn implements and pounded with rhythmic measure the well-sunned 
sheaves arranged along the barn floor the grain rattled merrily and barn 
echoed to barn along the whole county. 

But how changed is the labor of farming now! The farmer mounts his 
sulky plow, takes his seat upon the easy cushion, with comfortably fitting 
back, and drives merrily away, the polished steel implement laying the fur- 
rows over as smooth and level as a house floor. With a gig ecpially easy 
in motion the seeds are dropped and covered, and when the grain has grown 
and ripened the reaper and binder, with almost human intelligence, gathers 
and binds and delivers in shocks, and the thresher separates the grain, win- 
nows it, measures it and deli\-ers it in bags ready for the merchant. The 
power fork raises the hay upon the rack and, in turn, raises in mass to the 
scaft'old, so that the entire work of harvesting is almost a holiday af¥air. 

Crawford was originally regarded as a grazing rather than a grain- 
growing county, on account of the abundance of the rich grasses which it 
produces and the pure water from the gushing fountains that pour down all 
the hills and water all the valleys. But of late years the more intelligent 
and thorough culture has given a rich return of grain. It still holds its place 
as one of the best butter and cheese producing counties in the Keystone 
State. One of the first cheese factories in the county was established by 
Clark & Stebbins at Mosiertown in 1849. Another factory in the same 
village was built in 1850 by Mosier & McFarland. The first factory under 
the new and more systematic system of cheese making was established at 
Cambridgeboro in 1867, and received the milk from 250 cows the first year, 
6co the third and 820 the sixth, the average price of cheese being some 
twelve cents. As late as 1870 there were only twenty-seven cheese factories 
in the whole State of Pennsylvania, eight of which were in Crawford County. 
In 1875 there were sixty-eight of these factories in Crawford Count}' alone, 
and there were made during that year 6,310,000 pounds of cheese. Through 
the influence of the State Dairymen's Association and the intelligent exer- 


tions of Messrs. A. M. Fuller and Leon C. Magaw and their associates the 
quality of the cheese product has been so improved that it is known and 
sought for throughout the length and lireadth of the land and commands 
the best prices. The quantity in later years has fallen, but the quality has 
correspondingly improved. Less attention has been devoted to butter 
making than to cheese, though of late years the patent "separators" have 
been largely introduced and much butter of excellent quality made. This 
will probably become the most popular method of butter making and will be 
one of the most prolific sources of wealth to the county yet devised. 

Mr. Alfred Huidekoper, in his lecture on Crawford County, mentions 
the following animals found here in the early day: "The elk, deer, panther, 
wolf, bear, wildcat, fox, marten, otter, polecat, beaver, ground-hog, opossum, 
raccoon, hare, rabbit; black, gray, red or pine, flying, chippy squirrels; 
nuiskrat, mink, weasel, porcupine, field mouse, deer mouse, common rat and 
mouse." The bear was specially fond of young pigs and strawberries. In 
the season the bear would steal out in the meadows where were the patches 
of wild strawberries and pick them by the hour together. He mentions of 
birds, "the bald and gray eagle, the hen hawk, fish hawk, pigeon hawk, night 
hawk, the Avhite, screech and cat owl; swan, wild goose, black duck, mallard, 
wood duck, sheldrake, teal, butter-bolt, loon, dipper, water hen or coot, 
plover, jacksnipe, sand snipe, kingfisher, turkey, pheasant, partridge, quail, 
woodcock, rail, pigeon, dove, w'hippoorwill, robin, thrush, catbird, cuckoo, 
lark, oriole, blue jay, fieldfare or red-breasted grostieak, martin, the barn 
swallow, bank swallow, chimney sw^allow, bluebird, wren, cowbird, bobo- 
link or reed bird, yellow bird, redbird, blackbird, redwing, starling, black or 
large woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, gray woodpecker, flicker, cedar- 
bird or toppy, crookbill, green bird, humming bird, and a variety of small 
birds." The snakes which he mentions "are the black and yellow rattle- 
snake, the water snake, a large black snake, the small black snake wath a 
white ring about its neck, the garter snake, the green snake and the adder." 

"The gnat was the most troublesome pest to the first settlers; so small 
as to be almost invisible, yet so tormenting by its sting as to render it nearly 
impossible during morning and evening hours or cloudy days^ in the sum- 
mer season, to do an}- such work as hoeing, weeding or milking without 
suffering great agony. In vain were attempts to sleep unless close to the 
entrance of the cabin the customary protection of a smouldering fire of chips 


was provided ere retiring. The wood-tick was another of these insect 
nuisances with which the pioneers had to contend. Although these insects 
were troublesome to horses and cattle, their chief plague was the large horse 
fly, which drove them in from the woods every clear day about eight or 
nine o'clock in the morning, and either smoke or stable were necessary to 
protect them until evening. Exposed horses died under the infliction 
through pain and loss of l)lood. Fires were made of rotten wood and chips 
and the cattle would run in as the morning advanced and hold their heads 
and necks in the smoke with self-protecting instinct. But as the forest was 
cut down and clearings became larger these insect pests disappeared." 



THROUGHOUT the counties of western Pennsylvania the court- 
house was the first and often the only pul^hc building erected in the 
county. These first courthouses were not, it is true, very elaborate 
buildings, but they are enshrined in memories that the present can never 
know. They were not confined alone to the special business of the courts, but 
were made general use of l^y the community. They were so constantly in 
use, day and night, when the court was in session and when it was not in 
session, for judicial, religious, poHtical and social purposes, that the doors 
of the pioneer courthouses stood open constantly and the amount in- 
vested- in those old hewn logs and rough benches returned a much better 
. rate of interest on the investment than do those stately piles of brick and 
granite that have taken their places. School was taught, the gospel was 
preached and justice was dispensed within the rough-hewn walls of the early 
courthouse, and as it was a building adapted to a multitude of purposes, it 
had a career of great usefulness. Frequently it served as the resting place 
of wearied travelers, and the old people of the settlement went there to dis- 
cuss their own affairs and hear the news of the outside world from the visit- 
ing attorneys. The courtroom, in addition to its regular uses as courtroom, 
schoolroom, church and town hall, became a sort of forum where all classes 
of citizens went for the purpose of gossiping and hearing and telling the 

During the first years of the settlement of the valley of French 
Creek, before the enforcement of the law had begun, the settlers did not al- 
ways live with one another in all the peace and harmony of the golden age. 
Fierce disputes and bitter differences of opinion often occurred, and these 
were settled sometimes by the first method of determining contests known 
to the common law— that is to say, by physical trial of strength— and some- 
times by referring the question under discussion to the judgment of the first 
13 193 


person who might pass Ijy for arbitration. William Miles, of Union City, 
often related during his lifetime an instance of this kind of arbitration, which 
was then in practice. He stated that the first time he visited Meadville he 
was traveling with a companion on foot, each wearing a heavy knapsack. 
Near the upper end of Water Street they came upon two men in hot conten- 
tion about a corn field which one had agreed to cultivate for the other. 
They were David ]Mead and John Wentworth, and, being unable to agree, 
they immediately referred the case to the two travelers for their decision. 
They unslung their knapsacks, upon which they seated themselves, and 
having thus improvised a bench of justice they heard the statement of each 
of the parties. After a short deliljeration they rendered a judgment, put on 
their knapsacks and continued their journey. Mr. Miles concluded his 
narrative by saying that "both the litigants were perfectly satisfied," a state 
of affairs not always arrived at by the more complicated trials of to-day. 

One of the first two commissioned justices of the peace in northwestern 
Pennsylvania was David Mead, and therefore to him was committed, as sole 
magistrate of what is now Crawford County, the enforcement of the laws of 
the Commonwealth. One of the first cases on his docket was an action of 
debt, in which he himself was plaintiff and Robert Fitz Randolph defendant. 
Very unfortunately, however, it happened that when the Governor gave the 
people a justice he forgot to give the justice a constable, and thereby arose 
a difficulty which would have puzzled one of our modern conservators of the 
peace and collectors of debts. Not to be deterred by such a difficulty. Jus- 
tice :\Iead issued the summons and served it on the defendant himself. 
When the day of hearing came a trial was had and judgment rendered for 
the plaintiff for the amount of his claim. Determined that no mere. tech- 
nicality should defeat the ends of justice, he then issued an execution and 
served it himself by levying on one of the horses of the defendant. He then 
advertised the property for sale, posted the notices himself, and when the day 
of sale came put up the horse and bought it in himself and paid the surplus 
money over to the defendant. 

This multiplicity of duties was not unusual in the newly settled coun- 
ties of the west, and the officials looked more to the enforcement of the 
law than the particular forms by which it was executed. The scales were 
usually held with an even hand. Those who presided often knew every man 
in the countv, and they dealt out substantial justice, and the broad prin- 


ciples of natural equity were followed as closely as their powers of discern- 
ment would allow. 

Until the erection of the old log courthouse on the west side of the 
Diamond, in 1804, the sessions of the courts of Crawford County were held 
in the upper story of the residence of William Dick, on the northeast corner 
of Water Street and Cherry Alley. This building was erected by Mr. Dick 
in 1798 and stood until recently. The prothonotary's of^ce was in the 
second story of a Iniilding which stood on the northwest corner of Water 
and Center Streets, and the postoffice was on the first floor of the same 
structure. The jail was located in the rear room of a log house on the south- 
west corner of Water Street and Steer's Alley, then owned by Henry Rich- 
ard. In 1 80 1 a high post fence was built by the county around the rear of the 
structures to inclose a jail yard, and the building itself somewhat repaired 
and strengthened. The front part of the building was occupied by a tavern, 
where those attending court could find refreshment for man and beast. 

The first session of the court in ]\Ieadville was held by David Mead in 
1800. Its jurisdiction extended over the newly erected counties of Craw- 
ford, Erie, Warren, Venango and Mercer, all of which were organized for 
judicial purposes under the name of Crawford County. Five attorneys were 
at this session of the court admitted to practice — Edward Work, Henry 
Baldwin. Steele Semple, George Armstrong and Thomas Collins. The time 
of the court during this session was principally devoted to the work of erect- 
ing townships, issuing licenses and appointing justices of the peace, con- 
stables, supervisors and overseers of the poor. Following is the record of 
this session: "At a Court of Common Pleas held and kept at Meadville, for 
the county of Crawford, the seventh day of July, Anno Domini, one thou- 
sand eight hundred, before David Mead and John Kelso, judges present, and 
from thence continued by adjournment until the ninth day of the same 
month, inclusive." 

William H. Davis, in a lecture on the history of Crawford County, de- 
livered in 1848, tells the following anecdote of an event which occurred at 
this first session: "The first- court ever held in the county of Crawford was 
in the year 1800, Judges Mead and Kelso presiding. Having a court, it was 
also necessary that they should have a jail. The building used for that pur- 
pose was somewhat better than the one proposed for the same purpose at 
the first court held in Butler County, as reported by Breckenridge in his 


'Recollections of the ^^'est,' although perhaps it was not any more safe. It 
was a log cabin which stood where the back part of the present residence of 
Michael H. Bagley now is [southwest corner of Water Street and Steer's 
Alley]. The first prisoner who was its occupant was put in for contempt 
of court. He was trolling forth some ditty in the true spirit of frontier 
liberty immediately in front of the room occupied by the court, to the great 
annoyance of judges, lawyers and suitors. The court sent the sheriff to 
silence him. The person requested the sheriff to take a trip to pandemon- 
ium, using those three short monosyllables so exj^ressive of a direction to 
visit that place, and kept on with his song. For this contempt the court 
ordered him to be committed to jail. He was accordingly taken by the 
sheriff and placed in the log cabin, Avhich was very securely locked. But, 
unfortunately for the court, it was found that the jail 'leaked.' The chim- 
ney to this cabin was an old-fashioned one, built of sticks, and large enough 
to have admitted a pair of horses. The prisoner clambered up the chimney 
on the inside and down on the outside, almost as easily as he could have as- 
cended and descended a ladder, and actually marched down the street a short 
distance in the rear of the sheriff caroling forth his song." 

Tlie second session of the courts of Crawford County was held in Oc- 
tober, 1800, Hon. Alexander Addison on the bench, when the first grand 
jury of Crawford County met. being composed of the following citizens: 
William Hammond, John Williamson, Aaron Wright, John Little, John 
Walker, John Davis, Lewis Dunn, Abraham W^illiams, Archibald Davidson, 
Jabez Colt, James Herrington, William Clark, James Fitz Randolph, Nathan 
Williams, Thomas Campbell, James Ouigley, William Armstrong and John 
Patterson. Seven indictments were found by this graixl jury — one for 
larceny, two for assault and battery, one for forcible entry and detainer, and 
three for riot — which fairly demonstrates that the pioneer fathers readily 
took the law into their own hands. In fact, the large majority of the cases 
jjrought before the courts during the early years of the settlement were 
those necessary to restrain the rougher element, a state of affairs not un- 
common in a newly settled country. The second grand jury, composed of 
nineteen representative citizens, met on Jan. 5, 1801. 

On the 6th of January, 1801, the first trial by jury in Crawford County 
took place. The case was the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. Hugh 
Johnston, indicted by the inquest of October, 1800, for assault and battery 


on the body of John Sherman. Hon. Alexander Addison presided dnring 
the trial, the jury being composed of Robert Stitt, James Dickon, Alexander 
McNair, William Herriott, Theodorus Scowden, Joshua Hale, Alexander 
Dunn, Lawrence Clancy, Hugh Montgomery, George McGunnigle. Robert 
Bailey and Robert Kilpatrick, who returned a verdict of not guilty. 

The bench and bar contained many men of eloquence and learning 
when the settlement was young and isolated, and legal science flourished 
with a \-igor unusual in rude societies. Many curious incidents are still re- 
lated, produced by the collision of such opposite characters and the gen- 
erally unsettled state of the country. In those days — when the country 
was thinly settled, the people poor and the fees correspondingly small — the 
practice of the law was a very different business from what it is now. The 
lawyers were obliged to practice in a dozen different counties in order to 
gain a livelihood, and some of them were away from their homes and offices 
more than half the time. They traveled on borseliack from one county seat 
to another, carrying their legal papers and a few law books in their saddle 
bags. A number of lawyers usually rode the circuit together and had their 
regular stopping places. Here they were usually expected and on their ar- 
rival they made havoc with the chickens, dried apples, maple sugar, corn 
dodgers and old whisky, while the story tellers of the company regaled them 
with their choicest humor and anecdotes. 

The Court of Common Pleas was held by the president judge, aided 
by two associate judges — usually farmers of good standing — until May, 1839, 
when the accumulated business in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango 
Counties led to the erection of a District Court. Hon. James Thompson, of 
Venango, was appointed to the District judgeship, and filled the position 
until :\Iay, 1845. The term, which at first was for five years, was extended 
one year at the request of the bar. Before the constitution of 1838 all judges 
were commissioned to serve for life, but that instrument limited the terms 
of president judges to ten years and of associate judges to five years. The 
first election of judicial officers by the people occurred in October, 1851, 
previous to which time l)Oth president judges and associate judges were ap- 
pointed by the Governor. The office of additional law judge was created 
in 1856 and expired by the operation of the constitution of 1873. Hon. 
David Derickson, of Crawford County, was the first to hold this office. The 
associate judgeship was abolished by the same instrument, and since that 


time the entire duties of the court have been performed by the president 
judge. All district judges in the Commonwealth are elected for a term of 
ten years. 

The sixth judicial district was composed of Crawford and Erie Counties 
until 1870,, when they were separated, and Crawford was created as the 
thirtieth. Walter H. Lowrie was elected the same year as the first president 
judge of the new district. The following have served as presiding judges 
over the several districts in which Crawford County has been incorporated: 
Alexander Addison, 1791-1803; Jesse Moore, 1803-1825; Henry Shippen, 
1825-1839; Nathaniel B.'^Eldred, 1839-1843; Gaylord Church, 1843-1851; 
John Galbraith, 1851-1860; Rasselas Brown, appointed to fill a vacancy 
caused by the death of Judge Galbraith, i860; Samuel P. Johnson, 1860- 
1870; Walter H. Lowrie, 1870-1876; S. N. Pettis, appointed to fill a vacancy 
caused by the death of Judge Lowrie, 1876- 1878; Pearson Church, 1878- 
1888; John J. Henderson, 1888- 1898; Frank J. Thomas, 1898. 

David Derickson served as additional law judge from 1856 to 1866, 
being succeeded b\' John P. ^'incent. who filled the office until it was abol- 
ished by the constitution of 1873. James Thompson was the onlj' District 
judge, serving six years. Four president judges, Jesse IMoore, Henry 
Shippen. John Galbraith and Walter H. Lowrie, have died in 
office. One president judge, Hon. Alexander Addison, wa§ im- 
peached and removed from office on account of his absolute refusal 
to allow one of the associate judges to charge the jury after his 
own charge had been delivered. "Judge Addison," says Mr. Hall, of 
Pittsburg, in writing of our first president judge, '"possessed a fine mind and 
great attainments. He was an accomplished scholar, deeply versed in every 
branch of classical learning. In law and theology he was great; but, al- 
though he explored the depths of science with unwearied assiduity, he could 
sport in the sunbeams of literature and cull with nice discrimination the 
gems of poetry." 

Two of the judges of Crawford County have been promoted to seats on 
the Supreme bench of the State. James Thompson was in 1856 elected one 
of the justices of the Supreme Court and held the position the full term of 
fifteen years, the last five years presiding as chief justice. In 1858 Gaylord 
Church was appointed a Supreme judge to fill a vacancy caused by the 
resignation of one of the members of the court, but he retained the place 


for a brief period only. Nathaniel B. Eldred, who resigned the judgeship 
in 1843, was appointed naval appraiser of Philadelphia and was afterward 
appointed judge of the Dauphin district. 

From the organization of the county until the office was abolished by 
the constitution of 1873 there were two associate judges to assist the presi- 
dent judge. These were appointed by the Governor until 1851, when the 
oflfice was made elective. The men who filled these positions were in every 
instance either substantial farmers or intelligent business men. as it was not 
necessary for them to be learned in the law. ^^'illiam Davis and Edward H. 
Chase were the last to hold the office of associate judge, being elected in 
1873. The latter died before the expiration of his term of office, the former 
serving until 1878. The office now known as district attorney was until 
1850 known by the title of deputy attorney general, and the incumbents 
were appointed by the attorney-general of the Commonwealth. In 1850 
the office was made elective and the title changed to district attorne}-. 
Phili]) \Mllett is the present incumbent. 

A history of the judiciary of Crawford Count}- would be incomplete 
without a short sketch of those who were prominent in organizing the first 
court. Hon. David Ivlead, one of the associate judges of the court held in 
July, 1800, and the leading sjiirit in the pioneer settlement on French Creek, 
will be found fully spoken of in another chapter. Hon. John Kelso, the 
other associate judge, was a pioneer settler in Erie County and was thor- 
oughly identified with its early settlement. He occupied a prominent place 
in its civil and military history, being a brigadier-general of militia in the 
war of 1812. 

Hon. Henry Baldwin was a native of Connecticut and graduated at 
Yale College in 1797. He read law in Philadelphia, but came to Meadville 
in 1800 and assisted in organizing the first court, being one of the first to be 
admitted to practice before it. About 1804 Judge Baldwin removed to 
Pittsburg, and in 1816 was elected to Congress, serving continuously in that 
body until 1828, where he signalized himself as a champion of domestic 
manufactures, being conspicuous as the chairman of that committee. In 
1830 President Jackson, with whom he was on the closest terms of friend- 
ship, appointed him a Supreme judge of the United States, which position he 
occupied until his death. He returned to Meadville in 1842 and erected the 
residence on the Terrace now the home of Hon. William Reynolds. He died 


while at court in Philadelphia, in 1845. Judge Baldwin was a jovial, gen- 
erous and high-minded gentleman; an eminent lawyer, a rough but powerful 
and acute speaker, and was recognized as one of the greatest legal lights of 
his day. 

Of the other four attorneys admitted at the first session of the court 
Steele Semple, Thomas Collins and George Armstrong were members of the 
Pittsburg bar who rode the circuit in early times. jNIr. Semple was a man 
of great genius and was regarded by his contemporaries as a prodigy of 
eloquence and learning. Edward Work was for many years a resident of 
Meadville and the second postmaster of the village. His law practice here 
was not extensive, and he removed to Jamestown, N. Y., where he passed 
the remainder of his life. 

The first prothonotary and clerk of court in Crawford County, Dr. 
Thomas Ruston Kennedy, deserves mention in this connection. In 1794 
he was appointed surgeon of Captain Denny's command at Fort Le Boeuf, 
and located at ]\Ieadville the following year, being doubtless the first physi- 
cian to settle in northwestern Pennsylvania. He was a gentleman of great 
energy, being- identified with all of the leading enterprises of his day in this 
portion of the State. He died at Meadville in March. 1813. Alexander 
Stewart, of Meadville, was the first sherift". 

The bar of Crawford County gradually increased in numbers and al- 
ways contained some members who stood among the eminent lawyers of 
northwestern Pennsylvania. Alexander \^^ Foster was a prominent and 
aljle lawyer who came to Meadville in the summer of 1800 and was admitted 
to the bar in Octol:)er of that year. In 1804 he ind Roger Alden were the 
principals in the only duel ever fought in Crawford County. The meeting 
took place about a mile and a half below Meadville, on the banks of French 
Creek, and Major Alden was wounded in the encounter. Mr. Foster after- 
ward removed to Pittsburg, where he attained a high standing in the legal 
profession. Col. Ralph Marlin came to ]\Ieadville in 1801, having been 
a practicing attorney before coming here. \\'hen the war of 181 2 broke 
out he received a major's commission in the regular army, and was at Erie 
during the building of Perry's fleet in 1813. When the war ended he re- 
signed his commission and returned to Meadville. was a member of the 
Legislature from 1815 to 1818. but with the passing years became somewhat 
dissipated and aljout 1826 removed to one of the eastern counties. 


Hon. Patrick Farrelly was born in Ireland, where he received his edu- 
cation. In 1798 he came to America and settled at Lancaster, Pa., where he 
teg'an the stud}' of the law. In 1802 he came to Meadville and was ad- 
mitted to practice law the next year. In 1805 he was appointed register 
and recorder of Crawford County and afterward clerk of the Orphan's Court. 
He was married twice, his first wife being a daughter of General David Mead 
and the second a daughter of Timothy Alden, the founder and first president 
of Allegheny College. He was chosen as a member of the Legislature hi 
181 1, served as major of militia during the war of 1812, and was elected to 
Congress in 1820. He was twice re-elected, and died at Pittsburg Feb. 
12, 1826, while on his way to ^^'ashington. He was buried in the Catholic 
cemetery at Pittsburg, of which church he had been a consistent member 
throughout life. He built up a large law practice in Crawford and the sur- 
rounding counties, probably the largest in this portion of the Common- 
wealth. Probably no man in northwestern Pennsylvania at the time of his 
death wielded a more powerful influence in the political affairs of the State 
than Patrick Farrelly. Possessing a brilliant mind, a fine classical educa- 
tion and high legal abilities, and being a clear, graceful, fluent writer and a 
good, forcible speaker, having always at his tongue's end an abundance of 
Irish wit, he was regarded during his Congressional career as one of the 
leading members of the United States House of Representatives. 

Hon. Jesse Moore was a practicing attorney at Sunbury, Pa., when, in 
1803, he was appointed president judge of the sixth judicial district. He re- 
moved to Meadville and entered upon the duties of his office, which he filled 
until his death in 1824. He was a well-educated man, and by the upright- 
ness and impartiality of his judicial decisions at all times sustained the honor 
and dignity of his profession. Col.' Richard Bean was a leading member 
of the bar at this time, and died about the same time as Judge Moore. R. L. 
Potter was a pioneer lawyer and justice of the peace in ]\Ieadville and was 
prominently identified with the early improvements of the town. George 
Selden came to Meadville in 1819, having been admitted to the practice of 
the law in Philadelphia two years before. He ranked high as a lawyer, 
but devoted so much of his attention to other business that his law practice 
was not extensive. He removed to Pittsburg in 1830. returning to Mead- 
ville a few weeks before his death in 1835. 

John B. Wallace was l)orn in New Jersey anfl read law with his uncle. 


Hon. John Bradford, at one time attorney-general of the United States. 
Removing to Philadelphia, where he married a sister of Hon. Horace Bin- 
ney, he practiced law there until 1821, when he came to Meadville. He 
was a very able lawyer and became eminent in the profession, acting as at- 
torney for the Holland Land Company for several years. Mr. Wallace 
served in the Legislature from 183 1 to 1834. He took a deep interest in 
public affairs and greatly beautified the town by planting a row of trees 
around the Diamond. 

Hon. David Derickson, born in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, 
was admitted to the bar in 1823. He was soon afterward appointed deputy 
attorney general, which office he filled five or six years. In 1824 President 
Monroe appointed him collector of internal revenue for this district, and 
he rapidly established a remunerative law practice. He was diligently en- 
gaged in the successful prosecution of his profession when in 1856 he was 
elected additional law judge for the district composed of Crawford, Erie 
and ^^'arren Counties, and served on the bench the full term of ten years. 
Few members of the bar could boast of a more thorough knowledge of the 
law than Judge Derickson. He possessed a well-balanced, judicial mind, 
was a deep student and logical reasoner. He was recognized as an efficient 
judge whose charges were noted for impartiality. In 1878 he retired from 
active practice. In 1884 the degree of LL. D. was conferred upon him 
by Allegheny College, where he was graduated in 1821. He died Aug. 13, 
1884, at the advanced age of eighty-six. John Stuart Riddle read law in 
Chambersburg and came to Meadville about 1824. He was a successful 
lawyer and also accumulated considerable wealth as a land speculator. He 
died while on a visit in Philadelphia about 1850. 

Hon. Henry Shippen was born in Lancaster, Pa., where he read law 
and was admitted to the bar. He had graduated from Dickinson College 
in 1808, and was a captain in the war of 1812, James Buchanan, afterward 
President of the United States, being a private soldier in his company. He 
built up a successful practice at Lancaster, afterwards removing to Hunting- 
ton, where he followed his profession until 1825, when he was appointed 
president judge of the district composed of Crawford, Erie, Venango and 
JNIercer Counties. He presided over the courts of this district until his 
death in 1839. Judge Shippen was recognized as a man of good mind and 
strong common sense. While on the bench he displayed those legal qual- 


ities which distinguisli the tliorough lawyer and able jurist, and his charges 
and decisions are said to have been remarkable for their justness and integ- 
rity. Samuel Miles Green read la\\' in Bellefonte, Pa., where he was ad- 
mitted to practice, removing to JMeadville about 1825. He was a fair lawver 
and good speaker, but did not make a success in his Aleadville practice. 

Hon. John W. Farrelly, son of Hon. Patrick Farrelly, was a native of 
]\Ieadville and a graduate of Allegheny College. He was admitted to the 
bar in 1828 and soon took a leading position in the profession and obtained, 
a large and lucrative practice. In 1837 he was elected to the Legislature, 
in 1842 to the State Senate, and in 1846 to. Congress, serving one term in 
each. In 1849 President Taylor appointed him sixth auditor of the Treas- 
ury, which office he filled four years. Mr. Farrelly, like his father, was re- 
garded as one of the eminent lawyers of Pennsylvania, possessed a discrim- 
inating, technical mind, was clear in his ideas and correct and logical in his 
conclusions. His brother, David ^I. Farrelly, was admitted to the practice 
of the law in 1830, having the year before been elected register and re- 
corder of Crawford County. He was a member of the constitutional con- 
vention of 1837-38 and ranked high in his profession. 

Hon. Gaylord Church, born in Oswego, N. Y., in 181 1, removed with 
his parents to Mercer County in 1816. He was educated in Mercer, where 
he studied law, being admitted to practice la^w in 1834. The same year he 
came to IMeadville, where he opened an office. In 1837 he was appointed 
deputy attorney-general for the Crawford County district, and in 1840 was 
elected to the Legislature. He was appointed president judge of the sixth 
judicial district in 1843 and served until the ofifice was made elective, in 
185 1. Judge Church returned to the practice of the law, to which he ap- 
plied himself with diligence, but was in 1858 appointed to fill a vacancy on 
the Supreme bench of the State, which he occupied only a short time. 
Judge Church was thoroughly versed in the law, was an excellent lawyer 
and an efficient judge. His death occurred in 1869. 

Hon. Hiram L. Richmond was born in Chautauqua County, New York, 
and came to Meadville in 1834. He spent two years at Allegheny College, 
after which he read law and was admitted to practice in 1838. He opened 
an office in Meadville and gradually gained an extensive and lucrative 
practice which with the passing years increased with the growth and pros- 
perity of the county. In 1872 he was elected to Congress. Mr. Richmond 



was known tliroughout the district as a fluent talker, a hard student and a 
good lawyer. William H. Davis, a native of Meadville. was admitted to 
practice law in 1838. He was a man of determined character and great 
tenacity of purpose, of fine education and a good law-yer. Mr. Davis was 
of a literary turn of mind, and in 1848 gave a lecture on the history of 
Cra\\'ford County which was replete with information of early events of this 
locality. On the breaking out of the Rebellion he entered the army, and at 
the close of his service removed to Illinois. 

Hon. Darwin A. Finney was another prominent attorney of the Craw- 
ford County bar. He was born in Vermont in 1814 and came to Meadville 
about 1840. He was graduated at Allegheny College, and read law in the 
office of Hon. H. L. Richmond. He served in the State Senate from 1856 
to 1861, and in 1866 was elected to Congress. Before the expiration of 
his term in Congress he went to Europe to try to recuperate his health, 
where he died in 1868. He was a very able lawyer and had a fine analytical 
mind and was regarded by his brother attorneys as an ornament to the pro- 

The following is a list of the attorneys of Crawford County now in active 
practice, with the date of their admission to the bar: 

G. W. Hecker. Feb. 13, 1845. 

A. B. Richmond, Apr. 5, 1848. 

S. Newton Pettis. Nov. I4, 1848. 
D. C. McCoy. Aug. 9. 1853- 
Joshua Douglass. Apr. 4, 1854. 

B. B. Pickett, Feb. 14, 1855. 
Myron Park Davis, Nov. 23, 1859. 
James W. Smith, Apr. 9, 1862. 
Frank P. Ray, Aug. 11, 1862. 

D. T. McKay. Sr.. Aug. 11, 1862. 
J. N. McCloskey. Aug. 17, 1866. 
Geo. W. Haskins, Aug. 22, 1867. 
Jolm J. Henderson, Aug. 22, 1867. 

C. M. Boush, June 11, 1868. 
Geo. A. Chase, June 13, 1S68. 
C. W. Tyler, June 23, 1868. 
Julius Byles, June 14, 1869. 
Thomas Roddy, July 6, 1870. 
James P. Colter, Aug. 14, 1871. 
H. J. Humes, Nov. 11, 1871. 
Geo. F. Davenport, Apr. 17, 1872. 

Jas. R. Andrews. May 16. 1884. 
W. W. Henderson. Sept. 28, 1885. 
Otto Kohler, Sept. 28. 1885. 
Wesley B. Best, May 11. 1886. 
John A. Northam. May 11, 1886. 
Charles K. Richmond. May 11. 18 
Sidney R. Miller. Nov. 30, 1886. 
C. W. Benedict, Jan. 10, 1887. 
Isaac Monderau, May 20, 1887. 
Eugene Mackey, March 19, 1889. 
Sion B. Smith, May 16, 1889. 
Otto A. Stolz, Nov. 18, 1889. 
John E. Reynolds, Nov. 21. 1890. 
B. B. Pickett. Jr.. May 20, 1891. 
Jules A. C. Dubar. Sept. 22, 1891. 
Willis R. Vance, May 20, 1892. 
P. C. Sheehan, Dec. 14. 1892. 
Philip Willett, Dec. 14. 1892. 
John L. Emerson, Dec. 14. 1892. 
Terrence Henratta, Sept. 10, 1894. 
Curtis L. Webb, Sept. ic, 1894. 


M. C. Powers, June ii, 1872. Geo. Frank Brown. Feb, 25, 1S95. 

A, G. Richmond, Aug. 6, 1873. Manley O. Brown, Feb. 25, 1895, 

Alfred G. Church, Aug. 16, 1875. Geo. W. Porter, Oct, 14, 1895. 

John O. AlcChntock, Sept. 18, 1875. Walter Irving Bates, Nov. 25, 1895. 

M. J. Heywang, Nov. 17, 1875. John Schuler, Nov. 25, 1895. 

Samuel Grumbine, Nov. 17, 1875. Chester L. Kerr, June 2, 1896. , 

James D. Roberts, Aug. 14, 1876. A. M. Fenner. June 2, i8g6. 

F. H. Davis, Feb, 24, 1881. Thos. A. Prather, June 2, 1896. 

R. G. Graham, July 14, 1881. George Bryan, Sept. 14, i8g6. 

L. H. Landerbaugh, Sept. 27, 1881, Sidney A. Schwartz. Sept. 28, 1896. 

Arthur L. Bates, Sept, 25, 1882. Hugh G. McKay, May 26, 1897. 

Gilbert .A. Nodine, Nov. 26, 1883. Clinton M. Dickey, May 31, 1898, 

E. W. McArthur. Feb. 25, 1884, 




R. JUSTICE WASHINGTON, one of the judges of the Supreme 
Court of the United States, in an opinion dehvered upon settlers' 
titles in Crawford County, uses the following language: "It is 
clearly proved that this country during this period was exposed to the re- 
peated eruptions of the enemy [Indians], killing and plundering such of the 
whites as they met with in defenseless situations. We find the settlers 
sometimes working out in the daytime in the neighborhood of forts and 
returning at night within their walls for protection; sometimes giving up the 
pursuit in despair, and returning to the settled parts of the country; then 
returning to this country, and again abandoning it. We sometimes meet 
\\ith a few men daring and hardy enough to attempt the cultivation of their 
lands; associating implements of husbandry with the instruments of war — 
the character of the husbandman with that of the soldier." 

In this picture, drawn by the skillful hand of Judge Washington, from 
indubitable testimony in the case before him, we perceive the difSculties and 
hardships and dangers under which the early settlers labored to establish 
themselves in this then wilderness, and may fairly infer the resolute purpose 
with which they were inspired. From the summer of 1787, when John 
and David Mead first visited this section, the very period when the conven- 
tion met which framed the constitution of the United States, to the spring of 
1 791, there was comparative quiet among the Indians, the chiefs Cone- 
daughta and Half Town and their followers being friendly to the whites. 
In the year 1791 two armies of the United States, the one under Harmer and 
the second under St. Clair, were in succession defeated by the Indians, and, 
being whetted in their trade of blood by their success, white settlements 
were everywhere menaced by their dusky foes. In this and the two following 
years several cold-blooded murders were perpetrated. It was with the fore- 


yi^ ■ z:-^ <£ •y 


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^ ^ 

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Manuscript Letter by Thaddeus Stevens, in 1864. 


horling-s of evil that the settler went to the field and along with the ax, the 
hoe or the scythe was carried the musket and the powder horn, and eager 
glances were often cast towards the humble cottage, where were the busy 
feet of the young wife and the cradle of the sweet-lipped babe. 

For protection David Mead erected on the site of the present residence 
of James E. McFarland a double log house, the first building in the limits 
of Meadville, which was so built as to be capable of defense against small 
arms. This house was occupied by the company of twenty-four men sent 
under Ensign Bond, in the spring of 1793, by Gen. Anthony Wayne, who 
had succeeded to the command of the army sent against the Indians. But 
Wayne, contemplating active operations, soon ordered this detachment 
away. Early in the following year, being unable to secure any military 
force for their protection, the settlers determined to unite for their own 
safety, and organized themselves into a militia company, choosing Cornelius 
Van Home their captain, and built a blockhouse for rendezvous and de- 
fense just north of the Eagle Hotel. It was two stories in height, the second 
l)rojecting over the first, was surmounted by a watch tower, was loopholed 
for musketrj' and provided with a small cannon. It served as a rallying 
point in times of danger, and here, as was natural, being the most secure 
place, was the first school — this the fountain head of instruction in Crawford 
County. The signal victory of General Wayne over the Indians on the 20th 
of August, 1794, quieted apprehension and, though two settlers were in- 
humanly murdered and scalped in June of the following year within six 
miles of Meadville, yet the hostile natives rapidly disappeared, and hence- 
forward'a feeling of security more and more prevailed, buildings were better 
and erected with an eye to permanence, and the foresight to make substan- 
tial provision for the education of the oncoming generation now began to be 

By the wise foresight of some Meadville Solon, by whom the scheme 
was doubtless framed, when the Legislature passed the act of the 12th of 
March, 1800, providing for the erection of the counties of Beaver, Butler, 
Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren and Erie out of portions of Westmore- 
land, Washington and Lycoming, a proviso was attached to that portion of 
the act defining the limits of Crawford, which fixed the county seat at Mead- 
ville if the inhabitants would contribute $4,000, either in money or land, to- 
wards the founding of a seminary of learning in the county, and authority 


was given to locate the county seat within four miles of Meadville if the 
condition was not complied -with. It was doubtless difficult to raise money 
for institutions of learning then as now, but the man who conceived that 
proviso understood human nature and plainly foresa^v that by bringing a 
pressure to bear which would come of seeing the county seat liable to be car- 
ried four miles away he would surely fetch out the needed resources. It was a 
condition intended to confer lasting benefit and secure that virtue and intelli- 
gence in the population which should make the town a fit place for the 
habitation of justice, and its conception evinced a foresight and pohtical 
wisdom worthy of imitation b}- the founders of States. 

David I\Iead. Frederick Hamaker and James Gibson were constituted 
trustees for the county and empowered to receive and hold in trust for the 
benefit of the contemplated institution property of any description, and to 
sell and reinvest in such manner as to them should seem judicious. Gen- 
eral Mead donated to the town for educational purposes the triangular piece 
of land bounded by Water and Second Streets and Steer's Alley, on which 
-the blockhouse stood. At a subsequent period, however, this ground was 
transferred to the female seminary, with power to sell, and it was conveyed 
to Thomas Wilson. It may be observed", in passing, that this blockhouse 
stood until 1828, when, with its memories of Indian warfare, of early strug- 
gles and the initial of school instruction, it vanished before the hand of im- 
provement and a rickety blacksmith shop took its place. 

By an act of the Legislature, passed on the 2d of April, 1802, the num- 
ber of trustees was increased and more ample powers w-ere conferred for ac- 
quiring property and establishing a school, and by the act of April 4, 1805, 
their numbers, powers and duties were still further enlarged, the provision 
requiring them to give bonds being repealed. In the meantime ground had 
been acquired at the corner of Chestnut and Liberty Streets, where is now 
the residence of James Davis, occupied by the Conservator}- of Music, and 
in the fall of that year a one-story brick building, with two rooms, was 
erected thereon, in which a school was opened, presided over by the Rev. 
Joseph Stockton, a man of varied accomplishments, who taught the ancient 
languages and purposed maintaining a school of a high grade. By the act 
authorizing its establishment it was designated the Meadville Academy. 
But, in that early day, there was greater demand for primary than for sec- 
ondary or higher instruction. It soon became overcrowded with pupils of 


all grades, those who had contributed towards the building claiming the 
right to send their children of every degree of advancement. Some who had 
thus contributed were unable to gain admission on account of its crowded 
state, and after the exhibition of some temper withdrew and established a 
school for themselves in Kerrtown. As population gathered in different 
sections of the county, contiguous families employed teachers to instruct 
their children for a few months in the year in such rooms as could be se- 
cured, and in some sections small schoolhouses were erected. By the act of 
the 24th of March, 1807, Meadville Acadeniy ^vas formally incorporated, 
and fifteen trustees were constituted a quorum. A year later, 28th of 
March, 1808, the numljer constituting a quorum was reduced to eleven, and 
the act of incorporation was re\-i\-ed,- from whicli we may infer that it had 
been suffered to lapse. 

During the first thirty-four years of the present century, the means of 
education throughout the county were such as the enterprise and foresight 
of the settlers, burdened with ceaseless toil, and beset with poverty, prompted 
them voluntarily to provide. The forest had to be leveled, the stubborn 
glebe broken, the rough places made even, and the crooked made straight. 
The family had to be clothed and fed. and provision made in the years of 
plenty for the years of famine ; and it is a wonder, amid trials so great, that 
the subject of the education of their children arrested the thought of the 
settler, and a matter of pride and congratulation that the generation which 
grew up in this se\'ere school attained to so good a degree of instruction 
knd training as they did. It was the good seed that fell on good ground, 
;\vhich sprang up and in these later years has brought forth some thirty, 
some sixty, and some an hundred fold. 

A general law was enacted in 1809, which provided for the education 

of the poor gratis, and the assessors in their annual levies were enjoined 

to enroll the names of all indigent parents, and the tuition of children 

of such parents in the most convenient schools was provided for out of 

the county treasury. Under this law the Meadville Academy was rechar- 

tered by act of March 20, 181.1, and $1,000 appropriated on condition that 

It should instruct five indigent pupils. But there were few families who 

were willing to have it blazoned upon the records of the county that they 

were too poor to pay the tuition of their children. The native pride and 


self respect inherent in all noble souls revolted at such a declaration, and 
Thaddeus Stevens in his great speech in the House of Representatives said 
that such a law as that instead of being called a public school law ought 
to be entitled: "An act for branding and marking the poor, so that they 
may be known from the rich and proud." 

Mr. Stevens was greatly excited in the delivery of this speech. It was 
a trying moment for the interests of common school education. The battle 
cry in the recent election had been opposition to tine common school law 
which had been passed the ye^r before. 1834, and an overwhelming majority 
had been elected in opposition to it. He left his seat and descended into 
the open arena in front of the speaker's desk, and in the freedom of action 
which he there had he poured forth such burning elocjuence as was never 
heard in that chamber Ijefore. Air. Stevens was a Whig, and Governor 
Wolf was a Democrat, but was in favor of the school law. In the course 
of his speech Mr. Stevens said. "I have seeii the present chief magistrate 
of this commonwealth violently assailed as the projector and father of 
this law. I am not the eulogist of that gentleman: he has been guilty 
of many deep political sins: but he deserves the undying gratitude of the 
people for the steady, untiring zeal which he has manifested in favor of 
common schools. I will not say that his exertions in that cause have cov- 
ered all, but they have atoned for many of his errors. I trust that the people 
of this State will never be called on to choose between a supporter and an 
opposer of free schools. But if it should come to that: if that should be 
the turning point on which we are to cast our suffrages; if the opponent of 
education were my most intimate ]iersonal and political friend, and the free 
school candidate my most obnoxious enemy. I should deem it my duty as 
a patriot, at this moment of our intellectual crisis, to forget all other con- 

I have been informed by one who was present in the chamber when 
this impassioned speech was delivered, that when Mr. Stevens, with all the 
force of eloquence of which he was capable, uttered the words. "I should 
place mvself in the ranks of him whose banner streams in light," the whole 
vast audience was moved as by an unseen power, and burst into a perfect 
storm of approval. That speech saved the school law, and that burst of 


eloquence was really the initial point from which our school law, of unex- 
ampled excellence, had its origin. 

This Act of 1809 was perhaps the best that could be done for the time, as 
population was too sparse, and the resources too slender to think of estab- 
lishing a general sj'steni with any prospect of success. In many parts of 
the State it was taken ad\'antage of, and I find on an examination of the 
records there were a few in almost all the old townships who were educated 
under its provisions. But as population and wealth increased, and there 
was a gradual approach to the possibility of a public system, the deleterious 
influence of this system was more and more apparent, and was becoming 
day by day stronger. It exerted a deadening influence upon the sensibili- 
ties of the people as to the \'alue of education, and during the progress of 
the quarter of a centur\- that it was in operation a lethargy gradually settled 
down upon them that required a herculean effort to throw off. 

But in 1834. through the firmness and resolution of Governors Wolf 
and Ritner, and the sturdy \-irtue and powerful appeals of such men as 
Stevens and Breck and Dr. Smith and Burrowes, the common school system 
• — free alike to rich and poor, the high and the low — was firmly established, 
and from that day to this has been increasing in strength, and power, and 
perfection. But the law was not absolutely imposed. Its acceptance was 
left to a vote of the people. That first vote of tlie people in November, 
1834, disclosed singular results. There were in the State 987 districts, and 
of these only 742, but a trifle more than three-fourths, accepted its provi- 
sions. It is a matter of pride to reflect upon that not one of the twenty- 
seven districts of Crawford Count)' rejected the free school system when 
offered. The citizen of to-day may throw up his hat for that. 

But the population was still sparse, the people for the most part very 
poor, and the schools at first had to ho. economically conducted. It was 
the period of the little red school house with two diminutive windows on a 
side, surmounted by a little cob of a chimne}-. Within was a fire upon the 
hearth, or a box stove in the center; but, there are many who have become 
good men and women, and not wanting in integrity and the best graces 
of head and heart, who were, nevertheless, nurtured there. Yea, indeed, along 
with the knotty sums in arithmetic, and the tangled clauses in grammar, 
there was not wanting tender sentiment and those emotions common to 
the youthful maiden and the blushing boy in all ages and climes; and while 


the stern master in his innocence believed that they were deep in the intri- 
cacies of their lessons, they perchance were exchanging the sidelong glance 
of love. 

The qualifications of the teachers of that day were in the main quite 
limited. Many of them were educated in the old country, and some were 
capable of giving good instruction; but it was characterized more by rigid 
discipline, and a few things well beaten into the pupil, than by breadth of 
culture or liberality of view. The rod was looked upon as an indispensable 
element in successful school teaching. As a type of the school of that day 
— the uncompromising severity of the teacher, and the stoical temper of 
the boy — the following veritable incident may be taken: In a school taught 
in a rural neighborhood a mile or two out from the city of Meadville, over 
sixty years ago, there occurred one wintry morning some misdemeanor, 
which, on being traced to its author — a square headed chunk of a boy — 
was not denied. The master was greatly incensed and determined that his 
absolute authority and mastership must be vindicated. He takes down his 
hickory rod, he draws it deliberately through the hot ashes till it crackles, 
to temper it and insure its yielding power : he summons the boy onto the 
floor, and, with, that rough implement, he welts and whales his back until 
that formidable rod is broken and broomed past possessing any pain in- 
flicting power: but, through it all, and while the master is exhausting his 
breath and strength, that boy stands unmoved, not shedding a tear, nor 
uttering a whimper. \\"hen authority has been sufficiently asserted the 
pupil is remanded to his seat, the school is dismissed, the master departs, 
and the boys, with subdued step and softened hearts, gather sympathetically 
around the fire to partake of their midday lunch. The boy who with such 
fortitude has withstood the terrible infliction, casually puts his hand in his 
pocket and draws forth the fragment of a stick which he knew not was there. 
He examines it to see whence it came. It is a piece of the identical master's 
rod, forced there b}- his powerful I)lows. He regards it for a moment in 
silence. The sight of that ugly fragment is too much for him. He breaks 
forth in a paroxysm of grief, and he who had without a murmur withstood 
the painful infliction, is completely broken down by this significant reminder, 
and his companions — moved by his passion and touched by his sorrow — 
mingle their tears with his. The circumstances here narrated were given 
me by a citizen of Meadville, now a gray-haired man, then a boy who wit- 


nessed the punishment, and was one of the circle who sat in sympathy with 
that bold youth around the wintry fire. 

The schools of that period may have been good for teaching endurance 
with an unflinching spirit, and what was lost in mental insight was gained in 
toughening and thickening of the cuticle, and in place of the passion for 
science there was engendered fear of the rod which was constantly before 
their eyes. Indeed, the mental fare was probably in an inverse, ratio to the 
belaboring one. Still, the instruction may have been as good as could 
have been expected for the compensation. 

I have said that it recjuired a supreme effort to lift the incubus into 
which the system of 1809 had grown. To the credit of our State be it re- 
corded that for the accomplishment of that purpose the leaders of all parties 
— the Democrats, the Whigs and the anti-Masons — came together on com- 
mon ground and joined hands for a common good. In the opinion of 
many James Buchanan was guilty of political sins; but there was one senti- 
ment which he uttered at this period of his life that must ever stand in 
letters of light. It was in a speech delivered at West Chester in the canvass 
preceding Governor Wolf's first election in 1829. Wolf was known to be the 
staunch friend of common schools. Mr. Buchanan said: "If ever the pas- 
sion of envy could be excused a man ambitious of true glor)% he might al- 
most be justified in envying the fame of that favored individual, whoever he 
may be, whom Providence intends to make the instrument in establishing 
common schools throughout this commonwealth. His task will be ardu- 
ous. He will have many difficulties to encounter, and many prejudices to 
overcome; but his fame will even exceed that of the great Clinton, in the 
same proportion that mind is superior to matter. Whilst the one has 
erected a frail memorial, which, like everj^thing human, must decay and 
perish, the other will raise a monument whiclj shall flourish in immortal 
youth, and endure whilst the human soul shall continue to exist. 'Ages 
unborn and nations yet behind' shall bless his memory." 

George Wolf was a Democrat. He was succeeded by Ritner, an anti- 
Mason, but no more uncompromising friend of the school system ever drew 
breath than Joseph Ritner, and to the day of his death he remained the 
active friend and promoter of public schools. When the normal school of 
this district was recognized, in i860, Governor Ritner, then past eighty years 
of age, was one of the committee appointed to examine and report upon 


its fitness, and made the long journey from Cumlserland County, where was 
his home, to Edenboro, and manifested in the discharge of its duties the 
earnestness and zeal of a youth of twenty. 

But though the common school system was adopted and sustained by 
legislation, it had at first a hard struggle for existence. Where school build- 
ings had been erected they were unfit and inadequate: but in the greater 
part new buildings had to be provided for, and hence the first expense was 
without immediate fruit. But the greatest drawback to the success of the 
system was the lack of suitable teachers. To be sure the compensation was 
very small, and little inducement existed for securing the requisite culture. 
By the report of 1836 it is shown that there were in Crawford County eighty 
male teachers and ninety female teachers, and their average salaries were 
$12.03 fo^ the males per month and $4.75 for the females. The Legislature 
made some provision for colleges and academies in the hope that they would 
do something towards fitting common school teachers. The academies 
really accomplished little, and though the colleges wrought better, and not- 
ably the college in this county, yet it was not much that they did in raising 
up the great body of the common school teachers to that grade of knowledge 
and scholastic culture necessary to attain satisfactory results. It was 
like attempting to make watches with only rough, coarse, unskilled work- 
men to execute the delicate mechanism. The first hopeful sign of radical 
improvement among the common school teachers was their attempts at 
organization — a groping for means of improvement — and an indication that 
they really felt the need of bettering their condition. Crawford County has 
the honor of having had the first Teachers' Institute ever convened in the 
borders of the State outside the city of Philadelphia, and even then the 
associations which were organized as early as 181 3 partook little of the 
nature of an institute. The first meeting was held on the 25th of March, 
1850, at Meadville. Philadelphia Association of Principals of Public 
Schools was formed September, 1850. An. institute was held in Erie in 
September, 1851. In June, 1851, a preliminary meeting was held in Lan- 
caster County, out of which grew a permanent organization in 1853. These 
were the first. In the wake of these came in the order named Schuylkill. 
Allegheny, Lawrence, Warren, Wayne, Washington, Indiana, Westmore- 
land, Chester, Fayette, Beaver, Berks and Blair. The history of its origin 
is interesting and sounds more like the annals of the earlv missionaries to 


heathendom than of the labors of a Christian in a civihzed land. The late 
Dr. John Barker^ president of Allegheny College, a man eminently of 
scholarly tastes, a most sensible and engaging speaker, and of the noblest 
impulses of heart, drew up, in 1853, an account of that work, from which 
I give the following extract: "The past history of the Crawford County 
Teachers' Institute is one on which every friend of popular education, in- 
deed, every friend of humanity and of his race, must dwell with unalloyed 
pleasure, while the omens of its future prosperity give us reason to expect 
that it is destined to enjoy a long career of usefulness and honor. It is 
now nearly three years since several young men (all of whom were more or 
less intimately connected with the business of teaching in our public 
schools), deploring the public apathy in regard to the common schools in 
this and adjoining counties and the lamentable deficiency in knowledge, 
unity of action and sympathy apparent among teachers, began to cast about 
to find an appropriate remedy for existing evils. Foremost among these 
praiseworthy young men was Mr. J. F. Hicks, who, unsolicited and with- 
out the expectation of receiving any return of honor or emolument for his 
labor, set out as a missionary of education on a tour of exploration through- 
out Mercer and Crawford Counties. He visited in person a large number 
of schools and conversed with teachers and parents on the subject of popular 
education, travelling, for this purpose, on foot in the depth of a most in- 
clement \vinter. Thanks to his most philanthropic efforts, and those of a 
few others associated with him, the attention of teachers was so far aroused 
and so much interest was elicited that they responded in large numbers to a 
call for a public meeting to be held in the village of Exchangeville, in Mer- 
cer County, on the third of February, 1850. That meeting, after a delib- 
erate survey of the system of pul^lic schools and of the imperative duty 
devolved on them as teachers to do what lay in their power to render their 
schools more efficient nurseries of morality and knowledge, solemnly united 
in a fraternity for this purpose, and drew up a constitution which contem- 
plated permanent organization. They adjourned to meet again on the 25th 
of March following, in Meadville, and at this place accordingly was held the 
first regular meeting of the association. 

"It is unnecessary to pursue this history further. Suffice to say that each 
successive half year has witnessed the reassemblage of a large number of 
actual teachers inspired with a common zeal and laboring in a common 


cause — the cause of truth and virtue. Thus far harmony, no less than en- 
erg)-, has marked the dehberations of this laody, progress has been its 
watchword, and under its auspices a vast amount of information has been 
diffused through the community at large in regard to the proper province 
of pul)lic schools. To the body of teachers it has been, from the beginning, 
an occasion of a most pleasing reunion — a l)ond of sympathy, — a wise friend 
and counselor, and a voice of admonition and exhortation gently chiding our 
past delinquencies and urging us forward with a spirit more earnest and 
more enlightened in our career of noble and benevolent efforts." 

The earnest and purely philanthropic efforts of this humble young man 
travelling in the depth of an inclement winter an his self imposed mission, 
foreshadowing that super^•ision of school interests which in time was to 
be secured by law, the gathering of that little company of young men in the 
humble village of Exchangeville and the standing up and solemnly pledg- 
ing to each other faith in maintaining of their organization, have doubtless 
effected for the cause of education amongst us what we can at this day but 
poorly estimate. They were the pioneers, — the\- laid the keel of our goodly 
craft. A permanent organization was then effected, now nearly half a 
century ago, which held semi-annual meetings of a week's duration from 
that time to within a few years past, and since then annually. For the first 
fifteen years of its existence the writer had the privilege of ministering at 
its altars and can testify to the uniform zeal and interest with which teachers 
participated in its deliberations, and the citizens co-operated in maintain- 
ing and upholding it. The exertions thus put forth by teachers for their 
own improvement were promptly seconded by the constituted authorities, 
both legislative and local. For, close upon the heels of this general awak- 
ening throughout the State there was enacted in 1854 the revised school law 
which gave new life and power to school officers and engrafted upon the 
system the office of county superintendent, whereby the examination of 
teachers upon a uniform method throughout the county was authorized, 
the supervision of schools secured, the proper oversight of reports en- 
sured, and the conducting of teachers' institutes provided for. Provision 
was also made for the preparation and publication of a finely illustrated and 
carefully edited School Architecture at the public expense, and a copy put 
in the hands of every board of directors in the State; the school journal 
was made the organ of the school department and a copy sent to directors 


at the State expense, — a measure which has proved a powerful agency in 
disseminating sound knowledge upon educational topics and keeping the 
executive agents of the schools throughout the whole commonwealth, even 
to its most obscure nooks and comers, well informed in respect to laws and 
decisions, the manner of making out reports and affidavits and the instruc- 
tions for administering the system. 

The School Architecture proved particularly useful and important, and 
came at a most opportune time. The hour was ripe for improvement — for 
overturning the old and building up the new. The little red school house 
had fulfilled its mission, a most useful one: but it was outgrown, it was quite 
too small for the crowds of pupils that now thronged its portals, and it was 
terribly dilapidated and far on the road to ruin. The new architecture fur- 
nished plans for houses suited to the most humble neighborhood, and from 
that on up through all the grades of wants to those of the most populous 
cities, with full directions and specifications for building, suitably dividing 
and for fitting with the most improved furniture, with cuts representing all 
the needed apparatus, globes, charts and furnishings for the most advanced 
school known to the system. It had the effect not only to enlighten those 
who were charged throughout the State with erecting school buildings, but 
it greatly stimulated the resolution to build: for, here they saw spread out 
before them the latest improvements in school architecttire, and could, by 
comparison, realize the total unfitness of the buildings in use. Great ac- 
tivity sprang up throughout the whole commonwealth, and the sound of the 
builder's hammer was heard in the crowded city and by the far off forest 

The class of structures which were erected, both for the graded schools 
and for the sparsely peopled district, was in this county highly commend- 
able, the latter especially being generally creditable for size, light and airi- 
ness, with proper furniture, black-boards (things entirely unknown to the 
little red school house), maps and charts; and withal, ample grounds for 
shade and play, buildings tastefully painted, the windows of many provided 
with blinds and the roofs surmounted by bells. 

In 1857 were enacted two measures deeply affecting the vitality and 
strength of the common school system, that of the i8th of April, providing 
for an independent school department with a superintendent, a deputy, and 
suitable clerical force, the duties having been previously performed by the 


secretary of the commonwealth as an appendage tovhis office; and that of 
the 20th of May, providing for the establishment of normal schools for the 
special training of teachers and dividing the State into twelve normal dis- 
tricts of about equal population, with the design of ultimately having one 
such school in each. These schools were rapidly established and are already 
in full operation in all of the twelve districts. 

But the feature of the common school system, which, in this county, 
as throughout the State, excited the most lively discussion at its incep- 
tion, and which won its way to usefulness with the most difficulty and labor, 
was the county superintendency. The people, ever watchful of the en- 
croachments of power, viewed with jealousy the multiplication of offices. It 
was claimed on the part of its champions that such an office was imperatively 
demanded to make a careful, thorough and uniform examination of teach- 
ers; to reject the unworthy and grade the certificates of those approved by 
a system of figures, so that those employing could instantly judge of the 
relative merits of applicants: to visit the schools and note and comment 
upon the methods of government and instruction; to deliver public ad- 
dresses in various sections of the county, bringing to the attention of the 
people the aims and needs of education; to point out the means of remedy- 
ing defects, and to warm the popular heart to the importance of a correct 
training of the rising generation; to be responsible for the management and 
instruction of the county institute; to keep a record of and certify to all 
reports and affidavits sent up to the department from the local boards, and 
finally, at. the end of the year, to make a statistical and a detailed report 
of his own work, and the operation of the schools under his charge, for pub- 
lication in the State volume, which should form a permanent and reliable 

On the other hand, it was claimed by those opposed that it was im- 
possible for one man to do all that was expected of him in a county so 
large as Crawford, and that the work could be better done by a local agent. 
But in the face of many difficulties its duties were executed, and it is gen- 
erally admitted to have been an important aid in improving the grade of 
instruction and elevating the character of the schools. 

The first officer, elected in 1854, was a man of broad mind and large 
attainments, Mr. S. S. Sears, who labored zealously; but resigned on account 
of inadequacy of pay, having spent more for travelling expenses than the 


amount of his salary, $400 per annum, and was succeeded by a gentleman 
of equally liberal culture, Mr. J. C. Marcy. Of the incumbent for the sec- 
ond term, from '57 to '60, it is perhaps unnecessary to speak, as it would 
involve too much the repetition of the first person. The recollection of 
those three years of toil is so vi\'id, ho\\ever, that I shall be pardoned for 
briefly alluding to it. Crawford is one of the largest counties in the State, 
having more arable acres than the whole State of Rhode Island, and at the 
time referred to had not a mile of railway in its borders (though within three 
years after the close of my term it had more miles than an}- county in the 
State, with one or two exceptions). To hold two examinations of teachers 
a year in each township and perform the required school visitation exacted a 
large amount of travel. The salary, though increased, was still entirely in- 
adequate to travel in much state, so the only alternative was to take the 
foot train, which, in one respect, was of great advantage. It was sure to 
start at an hour that was entirely convenient and was never ofif time. There 
were other casual a(h-antages. If it was a wintry day, one was spared the 
pain of seeing the poor beast stand exposed to the bitter blast or the cutting 
storm. But there was one advantage of the small salary that is worthy of 
special consideration, and may have proved one of the elements of success. 
With no railroad train and no carriage, I was obliged to start ofif on Mon- 
day morning and not return until Saturday night, and not unfrequently 
two and even three weeks were consumed in the trip. The consequence was 
that I was much in the homes of the people, formed valued and enduring- 
friendships, became familiar with their feelings and opinions, and came to 
know every little brook and school house the county over. This life was 
not wanting in its romantic and poetic side. I was at sunrise on Dunham 
Heights, and beheld the glorious orb of day come riding up the heavens 
in majesty, and gazed at the rosy fingered goddess tinge the tips of the 
peaks and the spires of the cit\' with saffron colored light, waking all to 
life and beauty. I beheld from afar the noble river rolling on in majesty. 
1 approached the lake, then in its pride, from every quarter of wood and 
headland, and could tell its beauties as a lo\'er the brow of his fairy; deer 
dashed past me as I picked my way in the uncertain paths of the forest. 
I stood amid acres of pits hollowed and lined with the halved trunks of 
trees — monuments of the laljor and skill of unknown hands in the dim 
past, before the advent of English speaking people; I peered into Indian 


mounds and tumuli, and picked up relics of the rude workmanship of that 
now departed race; and I studied elements of beauty as they revealed them- 
selves in the bubbling fountain, the purling brook, the dashing waterfall, 
the dark ravine, the groves of towering pine, the dense shade of the hem- 
locks, orchards and green meadows, the fields of waving grain, all golden 
and ready for the harvest, the flocks upon the hills rejoicing in their fleeces 
rivalling the snow for whiteness, the herds cropping the rich pasturage, re- 
velling in pure streams or reposing beneath ample shade; all these as I 
moved on through the circling seasons were mine to gaze upon and enjoy 
to the fill. The painter, in the most sanguine stretch of his imagination, 
knew no such elements of simple beauty, of grandeur, and of sublimity as 
were spread out before me on every side. In vain is his cunning in the mix- 
ing of colors. He can not rival the tints of its autumn leaves, or the 
glories of its sunset hues. There are indeed few stretches of countrv pos- 
sessing scenes fit to live on canvas that excel those in this goodly county. 
In my early visits to the different sections I recall some incidents that 
were amusing. On one occasion I had a considerable distance to walk 
before reaching the place where I was to hold my examination. It was 
raining heavily, and I waited until I could just have tiine to reach the town, 
in the hope that the rain would cease; but there was no diminution, and 
by the time I had arrived at my destination I was pretty well bedraggled. 
A number of farmers who had brought in their daughters to be examined, 
and directors who had come to employ teachers, were gathered in the 
bar-room — the common assembly room of the little hotel, — when I entered 
and joined the company around the cheerful fire. Conversation soon turned 
on the superintendent, whom they had never seen and who was coming 
for the first time. Speculation was rife as to whether he avouM come outj 
in such a storm. One gave the opinion that if he had a closed carriage 
and a good horse he might get there. I joined in the conversation and 
expressed the belief that he would be at his post at the appointed hour, but 
the majority shook their heads, and inclined to the opinion that he would 
not come. Curiosity was manifested as to his personal appearance, and 
whether he "would be good for anything." Ah! there was the rub. the 
pivot on which turned the whole matter. But I was resolute, hopeful, and 
determined then, and such considerations did not disturb me. Could the 
whole burden of the labor and responsibility I was to encounter during the 
three years upon which I was then just entering have been rolled upon 



nie I would doubtless liave been less buoyant. At the appointed hour I 
was at my post plying the questions (as the stranger at the hotel had pre- 
dicted), and the old farmers were there, too, and had a hearty laugh at the 
close over their incredulity. 

I was succeeded by a man admirably c[ualified for the work. Prof. Sam- 
uel R. Thompson, for some time principal of the State Normal School of 
Nebraska, and subsequently appointed superintendent of the schools of that 
State, who served one complete term and part of a second, Messrs. H. R. 
Stewart and D. R. Coder com[)leting" the term. I\Ir. H. D. Persons was 
elected in 1866, and served two full terms, when, in 1872, he was succeeded 
by James C. Graham, who served two terms. In 1878 C. F. Chamberlan 
was elected and served till 1884, then J. C. Sturdevant, who was succeeded 
in 1890 by George I. ^^'right, who in 1896 was succeeded by E. M. Alixer, 
present incumbent. 

In the grading of schools and the erection of substantial and costly 
edifices most has been done within the last ten years. Grading had been 
commenced at an earlier date, but for want of enough and suitable buildings 
it was imperfect. Meadville, Titusville, Conneautville, Saegertown, Venan- 
goboro, Cambridge Springs, Gravel Run, Hartstown, Evansburg, Har- 
monsburg. Springboro, Spartansburg, Cochranton, Mosiertown had their 
schools more or less perfectly graded twenty years ago. New buildings 
were erected in 1858-9 in the south ward, in ]Meadville, of brick, in Titus- 
ville of wood, and in several other of the places named at about this time. 
In the north ward, as in the early days, when a building was no longer 
needed for martial purposes, it \\as taken for school purposes, so now the 
State having no more use for it the old arsenal was transferred to the city 
for the purposes of education, and where the rumble and clatter of artillery 
and caisson carriages had resoundedwas now heard the word of instruction 
and the responsive voice of the pupil. — the bullet yielding to the book. The 
arsenal property where now stands the north ward building was donated to 
the city by the State through the influence of the late Darwin A. Finney, 
who was then a State Senator and secured the passage of the act of donation. 

On the 1st of May, 1861, all the schools of Meadville were organized 
under one management, the two ward organizations uniting in the Board 
of Control, and it was decided in the September following to grade the 
schools of both wards upon the same basis, which previously had been un- 


equal and diverse, and to establisli a Union High School. The law author- 
izing this consolidation had been just previously passed and Dr. Burrowes, 
who had sketched with such enlightened and broad minded views the 
towering system in 1836, but which till now it had been impossible to real- 
ize, had just come again to the head of the school department, after the 
lapse of nearly a quarter of a century, and displayed in his executive capac- 
ity all the fire and zeal of his more youthful days and all the power of his 
eminently organizing mind. He had done me the honor to select me as his 
deputy and I can bear testimony to his talent for laying out work and 
keeping all the forces in his department up to the full stretch of their 
capacity for executing it. One of his first measures was to unite all the 
wards in cities under one common management, and this action of the Mead- 
ville boards was in response to his appeals. Another of his cherished pro- 
jects was to look up all the old academy and worn out college properties 
and have them transferred to the Boards of Control for public high schools. 
Many of these institutions had lands and endowment properties which had 
become cjuite valual)le: Ijut in the majority of cases were accomplishing 
little in the way of elevated culture. In 1864 the Meadville Academy 
property was transferred to the Board of Control, together with invested 
funds, and the high school was permanently established. In 1870 this 
building, which was sadly dilapidated, was temporarily abandoned and the 
school was continued in the south ward building, while it was undergoing 
thorough repairs and refurnishing. In 1888 a fine high school building, 
containing offices, chapel and seating capacity for 200 pupils, was erected 
on the site of the old building. In Titusville the building which had been 
erected in 1858 was enlarged by the addition of four rooms. Two years 
later this building was destroyed by fire, but was replaced by a much finer 
structure which was taken for a public high school, and three other jjuild- 
ings were subsequently erected of brick, fine substantial structures, alto- 
gether capable of accommodating 1,600 pupils. The schools of that city are 
admirably graded and managed under able superintendents. 

In Meadville the south ward building of brick, three stories in height, 
capable of accommodating 700 pupils, was erected, and ten years later an ad- 
dition, two stories, containing eight rooms, was made, and the north ward 
building, also of brick, two stories in height, but covering more ground sur- 
face, with capacity for a like number of pupils was entered, in September, 


1869, and in 1896 an elegant new building with eight rooms was erected on 
the same lot. A superintendent was elected 1867 who at first taught a portion 
of his time in the high school, but subsequently devoted all his energies to 
the duties "of his ofifice. Prof. G. W. Haskins was the first superintendent, 
who, from his organizing mind and thorough scholarship, was able to bring 
form out pf chaos. He was succeeded by Mr. W. C. J. Hall in 1869, who, 
from his military education, was able to bring many improvements into the 
order and method of the schools, and especially in handling quickly and 
quietly a regiment of young Americans, numbering daily nearly 800, as is 
found gathered in each ward. He was. too, an enthusiast in natural science, 
and did much to popularize this branch. He was succeeded in 1872 by his 
predecessor. Prof. Haskins, and he in turn by myself on the ist of January, 
1875. The schools were organized on two entirely different systems. In 
the south ward from beginning to end each room has a teacher and a 
school independent of every other. In the north, after the third year, the 
pupils study in a large room, and are sent out by classes to recitation where 
teachers are in waiting to instruct them. Each plan has its advan.tages. 
The latter requires more teaching force: but there is a great advantage 
in having all the study done under the eye of one person whose duty it is to 
watch and keep them in order, and the teachers are not troubled with 
looking after an}' pupils l)ut the class wliich is sent to her. In the former, 
where each room has a separate school, the teacher in addition to teaching 
has the rest of her school to look after and govern: but she has the advant- 
age of having constantly the same pupils with her, and can exert her per- 
sonal influence over them more directly tlian she could if her classes were 
constantl}' changing. The credit for the ])uilding and fitting of so good 
and substantial buildings and the organizing of so excellent a system of 
schools was largely due to yiv. Alfred Huidekoper, Professor Frederic 
Huidekoper. Prof. Marvin, Prof. Tingley, Dr. A. B. Robins, Joshua Doug- 
lass, Dr. Li\-ermore, Arthur Cullum, who were all members of the board 
during this period when the iiattle was fough.t, and when opposition was 
encountered at almost every turn. The fund donated by Mr. George B. 
Delamater to the north ward and a similar fund to the south ward by Mr. 
A. Huidekoper for the purchase of reference books, apparatus and works of 
art have been productive of untold good. These books are in daily and 


almost constant use, and fill an ofiice which could be supplied in no other 

^^''e have thus seen how the matter of public education has progressed 
from the feeble beginnings in the block house on Water street to its present 
fair proportions. Few, if any, statistics were kept before the year 1836, 
when the common school system began to get into successful operation, but 
from that time forward we have complete returns. I have chosen three 
typical years, 1836, infancy or birth of the system; 1856, youth, when it took 
on a new mantle and the system was revived, and 1876 and '96, its man- 
hood, to exhibit its comparative workings. 

"2 5 S o £^ S--„ 3-g 5»; 22J - I _; o ^ 


■5 w -■ 

■y) IX" 

1836 25 123 4.1-S 80 90 $12.03 $4-75 2.342 1.947 $1,033.67 $3,115.20 $3.11500 

1856 41 322 5 133 269 20.86 9.82 6,710 s,8i8 23,270.18 3,362.10 $18,683.90 7.11S.11 

1876 63 413 6 142 344 38.18 23.10 8,839 7,679 133.551.00 14,145.69 74,582.00 14,434.00 

1896 64 497 7-35 149 362 34.15 27.66 7,407 6,956 130,961.00 38,645.00 

/i<.-ya^;Sp«^^ /«; <ig-/*i^ ^ t/^^u^^i^s??- (^.^^^.^^a^-W? ^?'^2S^t7^^^ 

Manuscript Letter by David Mead, in 1793. 



THE close of the American Revolution left the United Colonies very 
poor. Alexander Hamilton, as secretary of the treasury, estab- 
lished the credit of the United Colonies, and Albert Gallitin, as his 
successor, kept down eveiy expense of the new nation, until its indebted- 
ness was liquidated. The consequence was that its preparation for war 
was neglected. Not so the English nation. Along the whole Canada 
frontier a line of military posts was kept up, the Indians w-ere studiously 
kept in the interest of the English military force, and upon the ocean the 
naval commanders were arrogant, searching our merchantmen and taking 
away our seamen with a high hand. Remonstrances brought no relief, and 
war was the result, in resources the British nation was superior; but in 
resolute men the United States then, as now, was not inferior to any nation 
on the face of the earth. ■' 

Governor Snyder, who was then in the guljernatorial chair of Pennsyl- 
vania, organized the militia into two grand divisions, one for the east and 
another for the west. The western division was under the command of 
Maj.-Gen. Adamson Tannehill, of Pittsburg. The State was afterwards 
subdivided into several military districts, and Maj.-Gen. David Mead, of 
Meadville, was assigned to the command of the sixteenth division. In 
August, 1812. Capt. James Cochran's company of riflemen, recruited in 
Crawford County, marched to Erie. Portents of war thickening, orders 
were received from Harrisburg, on September 14th, to Brigade Inspector 
William Clark, of the sixteenth division, to call out the quota of 2,000 men, 
to be taken from counties west of the Alleghany Mountains to rendezvous 
at Pittsburg and Meadville. Instructions were issued for recruits to as- 
semble at Meadville for immediate service, and for the formation of a 
brigade. A camp was laid out on ground tendered by Samuel Lord, south 
15 225 


and west of the college campus. In this camp were companies commanded 
by Captains Sample, Miller, Warner, Thomas, Buchanan, Forster, Vance, 
Patterson, McGerry, Kleckner and Derickson. Two rifle regiments, com- 
manded by Colonels Irwin and Piper, and the first regiment of infantry, 
commanded by Colonel Syder, left for Buffalo, on the 25th of October. 
At Waterford the second infantry regiment, under Colonel Purviance, joined 
the column. Before the close of 1812 the detachment of General Tanne- 
hill had dwindled down tO' 200 men, which was left to the command of 
Major James Harriott, General Tannehill being absent on furlough. This 
force was soon discharged. 

In the summer of 1812 Captain Daniel Dobbins was sent by Gen. 
David Mead as bearer of dispatches to the general government, which got 
from the captain the first reliable information of the loss of Mackinaw and 
Detroit. At a meeting of the cabinet he was asked to give his view of the 
requirements on Lake Erie. He earnestly advocated the establishment of 
a naval station and the building of a fleet powerful enough to cope with the 
British upon the lake. These suggestions were adopted. A sailing mas- 
ter's commission was given him and he was ordered to proceed to Erie and 
commence the construction of gunboats, and report to Commodore Chauncy 
at Sackett's Harbor. The command on the lake was assigned to Lieut. 
Oliver Hazard Perry, who arrived at Erie on the 27th of March, 1813. 
■He had served as a midshipman in the war with Tripoli. He was but 
twenty-seven years old. His first step was to provide for the defense of 
the post. In consultation with General Mead it was decided to call a 
thousand militia to rendezvous at Erie before the 20th of April. One 
artillery company came up from Luzerne County, which was ordered to 
take the four brass field pieces belonging to the State stored at Waterford. 
Of practical ship builders at this time at this place there were few, and Perry 
and Dobbins were obliged to accept the services of carpenters and black- 
smiths. The timber needed for the gunboats was still standing in the 
neighborhood when wanted, and had to be felled and used green. Iron 
had to be gathered up wherever it could be found. A considerable stock 
was bought in Pittsburg and was brought in flat boats up the Allegheny 
and Venango Rivers. Fortunately these streams remained at flood tide 
long after they had usually dropped down to a stage insufficient for boat- 
ing. The British fleet came down, as if to spy out what was being done. 


To give the impression that a much larger force was in hand than there 
actually was the columns were kept marching. 

Having been completed and lifted over the bar, the American squadron 
left on a cruise in search of the enemy, and found them in the mouth of 
the Detroit River, but they could not be tempted out. On the 6th of Septem- 
ber the entire American fleet, with the exception of the Ohio, which had 
been sent to Erie for provisions, was anchored in Put-in-Bay, on the south 
shore of Kelley's Island. "Believing," says Brown, "that the crisis was near 
at hand. Perry, on the evening of the 7th, summoned his officers on board 
the Lawrence, announced his plan of battle, produced his fighting flag, ar- 
ranged a code of signals, and issued his final instructions. On the loth, 
at the rising of the sun, the lookout shouted the thrilling words, 'Sail, hoi' 
and the men of the squadron, who were almost instantly astir, soon saw 
the British vessels, six in number. Still feeble from sickness as he was, 
Perry gave the signal immediately to get under way, adding that he was 
determined to fight the enemy that day! The battle took place about ten 
miles north of Put-in-Bay, and the action began, on the part of the Amer- 
icans, at five minutes before 12 o'clock. In less than four hours the boasted 
prowess of England had been swept from the lake, while the following 
famous dispatch to General Harrison sent a thrill of patriotism through 
every loyal heart in the land: 'We have met the enemy and they are ours; 
two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop; yours with great respect 
and esteem, O. H. Perry.' " It appears from correspondence between Gen- 
eral Mead and the State Department at Harrisburg that when Perry was 
ready to sail he was deficient in men, and that he requested the General to 
induce some of his troops to volunteer for service on his vessels, and that 
100 of the militia did volunteer and serve in that glorious achievement. 
When all was done, General Harrison wrote to Governor Snyder the fol- 
lowing commendatory note of the Pennsylvania troops: "I can assure you 
there is no corps on which I rely with more confidence, not only for the 
fidelity of undaunted valor in the field, but for those virtues which are more 
rarely found amongst the militia — patience and fortitude under great hard- 
ships and deprivations — and cheerful obedience to all commands of their 

There were no organized bodies of troops that served in the Mexican 
war from Crawford County, though there were some individual enlistments. 


When, however, the news that war had been declared was received notice 
was sent out for the First BattaHon, Crawford County Vohmteers, to as- 
semble for parade and review. Col. James Douglass was in command, and 
on Tune 6, 1846, the command came with full ranks and was reviewed 
upon the Diamond at Meadville. A public meeting was held, patriotic 
speeches were made and a series of resolutions adopted in which the gov- 
ernment was sustained in its war policy. The battalion again paraded and 
at the call of Colonel Douglass each of the six companies volunteered their 
services by marching ten paces to the front. 

The election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States 
was made the pretext for rebellion. The first hostile shot was fired at Fort 
Sumter on the 12th of April, 1861. Three days thereafter the President 
called out 75,000 volunteers for a period of three months, "to assist in 
putting ddwn obstructions to the laws by combinations too powerful to be 
suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings." 

On Saturday, April 27, the Meadville company of volunteers estab- 
lished a camp at the fair grounds on the Island and on the following Sunday 
afternoon the Stars and Stripes was raised on the ground by Colonel Came- 
ron, of Toronto, Canada, in whose honor the camp was named Camp 
Cameron. Before the end of April five companies had been raised in Craw- 
ford County and their services tendered to the Governor: The JMeadville 
Volunteers, Capt. Henry C. Johnson, 95 men; Allegheny College Volun- 
teers, Capt. Ira Ayer, 78 men; Conneautviile Rifles, Capt. J. L. Dunn, 80 
men; Titusville \'olunteers, Capt. Charles B. Morgan, 100 men; Spartans- 
burg Volunteers, 80 men. The companies of Captains Dunn and Morgan 
were mustered into the Erie regiment.- The Meadville Volunteers, under 
Capt. Samuel B. Dick, Captain Johnson having resigned, was finally mus- 
tered into the Thirty-eighth regiment for three years' service, and Captain 
Ayer's company was given a place in the Thirty-ninth regiment. The Erie 
regiment remained in camp near Pittsburg until the expiration of its term 
of service, when it was mustered out. 

It is difficult tracing the record of recruitsJor the three years' service 
from any one county. It was very rare that an entire regiment came from 
any county. And even if it did, the recruits which were added from time 
to time were taken here and there as thev could be secured. 






3 „ 


E 6 

































































\ ears 













































S. B. Dicks Company 

,38th Regt., 9th Reserve Co. F 

39th Regt., loth Reserve Co. I 

57th Regt Co. K 

59th Regt.. 2d Cavalry Co. I 

83d Regt Co. A 

83d Regt ■ Co. B 

83d Regt Co. F 

83d Regt Co.H 

1 1 ith Regt Co. D 

iiith Regt Co. F 

113th Regt., I2th Cavalry 

136th Regt Co. I 

137th Regt Co. B 

145th Regt Co.H 

1 50th Regt Co. C 

150th Regt Co.H 

150th Regt Co. I 

150th Regt Co. K 

163d Regt., i8th Cavalry Co. B 

*i90th Regt 

*i9ist Regt 

21 Ith Regt Co. A 


I Year 

* The greater portion of these two regiments were captured and imprisoned 
at Belle Isle and Saulsbury and not released except by death till the end of 
the war. 





THE writer was present in the Senate chamber of Pennsylvania, on the 
25th of January, 1866, when Solomon O'Bail, a grandson of Corn- 
planter, the great Sachem of the Six Nations, the friend of Washing- 
ton and of the United States, at the invitation of the Senate, appeared in his 
war paint and feathers, and in the Indian dialect delivered an address. He 
was in full native costume and in the fiery eloquence of the woods he spoke 
in that august assembly. Not a single word he uttered was intelligible, 
but it was evident that he was alive with his subject and in deep earnest. 
His countenance was flushed, his action noble and dignified and he spoke 
with great power. 

His purpose was to bring to the attention of the Senators the fact that 
his grandfather, who had died in 1836, at the advanced age of 105 years, 
was resting in an unmarked grave which would, in a few years, be entirely 
obliterated and become unknown. He spoke in fitting terms of the noble 
character of his great ancestor and the eminent services he had rendered 
to our country in the hour of its tribulation, and had advocated among his 
own people the duty of industry and education and the virtues of justice, 
truth and temperance. 

On the i6th of March, 1796, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania had 
granted to the Seneca tribe of Indians, to which Cornplanter belonged, a 
tract of land on the Allegheny River above Warren, designated the "Plant- 
er's Field," where he had lived a life graciously lengthened out, and where 
he lies buried. Reciprocating the sentiments of the native orator, and in 
acknowledgment of the virtues and friendship of the aged chieftain, the 

Senate passed the following joint resolutions: 






Whereas, Solomon O'Bail, a grandson of Cornplanter, an Indian who 
rendered eminent services to the State and nation during the Revolutionary 
war and the early history of Pennsylvania and ]\Iark Pierce, his interpreter, 
have just had a hearing before the Senate: 

And, Whereas, A recognition of the eminent services of Cornplanter is 
due from the government of Pennsylvania; therefore, 

Be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in Gen- 
eral Assembly met that the State Treasurer shall pay to Solomon O'Bail the 
sum of five hundred dollars out of any moneys in the Treasury not other- 
wise appropriated, and the further sum of five hundred dollars to Samuel 
P. Johnson, to be expended in erecting and inclosing a suitable monument 
in memory of Cornplanter. 

Judge Johnson performed the duty imposed upon him with great skill 
and abilitv. The monument is of Vermont marble, is over eleven feet in 
height, and stands on a handsomely cut native stone base four feet in diame- 
ter by one and a half feet deep. It is located immediately between the grave 
of Cornplanter and that of his wife, from whom he was separated by death 
but about three months. On the second section are four well carved dies 
in the form of a shield. Upon the spire facing west is cut in large raised 


Upon the die on the same side is inscribed 


(died at Cornplantertown, February 18, 1836,) 

aged about 100 years. 

On the die fronting south the following inscription is handsomely 

Chief of the Seneca tribe, and a principal Chief of the 

Six Nations from' the period of the Revolutionary 

War to the time of his death. Distinguished 

for talents, courage, eloquence, sobriety and 

love of his tribe and race, to whose 

welfare he devoted his time, his 

energies and his means, 

during a long and 

eventful life. 


On the die upon the east side is engraved: 

Erected by authority of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 
By Act January 25, 1866. 

The dedication of this monument occurred on the i8th of October 
following, in presence of the family and descendants of Cornplanter, about 
eighty in number, and a large assembly of native Indians, remnants of the 
formidable Six Nations, from the Allegheny, Cattaraugus and Tonawanda 
reservations in the State of New York, and a large concourse of the pale 
faces from the surrounding country. The dedicatory address was delivered 
by Hon. James Ross Snowden, an eminent citizen of Philadelphia. Re- 
sponsive addresses, in the Seneca language, were delivered by John Luke, 
of the Cattaraugus reservation, a Councillor of the Seneca Nation, and 
by Rev. Stephen S. Smith, a native of the Tonawanda reservation, Gene- 
see County, N. Y., also a Seneca chief of the Six Nations. The speeches 
in the native tongue were interpreted by Harrison Half Town, an educated 
native of the Seneca nation. Before the dedicatory services commenced the 
assembly was addressed in the Seneca language liy Solomon O'Bail, a grand- 
son of Cornplanter, and a cliief of his tribe, dressed in the full regalia of 
alioriginal royalty. 

Judge Johnson records in his report to the Legislature: '"Three of 
Cornplanter's children still survive, and were present, and by them I was 
solemnly charged to communicate to your honorable iDodies their sincere 
and reiterated thanks for the distinguished honor thus rendered to their 
ancestor. I have seldom seen deeper gratitude in human hearts than swelled 
the bosoms of these now veneral)le children, and those of many grand- 
children of the hero whose virtues and memory it has delighted you to 
honor. Of the excellent music, by a native brass band, that enlivened the 
occasion, the picnic that followed and the exciting war dance that closed 
the exercises of the day I will not stop to speak." 

The dedication of this monument was no ordinary occasion. So far as 
known no other Lidian chieftain has ever been honored by a monument 
erected to his memory a quarteY of a century after his death by authority of a 
great State like Pennsylvania. 

The Six Nations w-ere undoubtedly the most powerful of all the native 
tril:)es in North America at the time of the American Revolution. They 
held swav from the St. Croix to the Albemarle, which extended even to New 


England and Virginia. As early as 16S4 the Governors of New York. 
A-lassachtisetts and Virginia met in council with the representati\-e chiefs, 
"to strengthen and Ijurnish the covenant chain and plant the tree of peace, 
of which the top should reach the sun anrl tlic branches shelter the v.ide 

Of the Six Nations the Senecas, to which Cornplanter belonged, and 
over whom for long years he held sway, was the most numerous and power- 
ful and by far the most exposed. The Senecas were charged with guarding 
the western door of "Long House," by which name their original possessions 
were designated, which embraced the entire State of New York. They were 
known as the Senecas, Oneidas. Mohawks. Onondagas and Cayugas. To 
these were added the Tuscaroras in 1712. These six tribes or nations 
formed a powerful confederacy. The Senecas, occupying the Niagara end 
of the State, were exposed to the influences and wiles of the French from 
Canada, and on the south from the English at Pittsburg and farther east. 
"Their principal seats," says Morgan's League of the Iroquois, "were in 
western New ^'ork and northwestern Pennsylvania. They were thus situ- 
ated between the advancing column of emigration and settlements of the 
English from the Hudson, the Delaware, the Susquehanna and the Poto- 
mac on the one hand, and the French from Canada, the St. Lawrence, and 
the great Lakes on the other. A territorial position alike perilous to their 
aboriginal habits, customs and means of subsistence, as to their existence 
as a free and independent nation. And yet. notwithstanding these adverse 
circumstances, they stood for nearly two centuries with an unshaken front 
against the devastations of war, the blighting influence of foreign inter- 
course and the still more fatal encroachments of a restless and advancing 
border population. United under their federal .system they maintained 
their independence and their power of self protection long after the New 
England and A'irginia races had surrendered their jurisdiction and fallen 
into the condition of conquered and dependent nations. And they now 
stand forth upon the canvas of Indian history prominent alike for the wis- 
dom of their civil institutions, their sagacity in the administration of the 
affairs of the League and their courage in its defense." 

It will be seen, therefore, that Crawford County was a part of the terri- 
tory covered by the Indian government of Cornplanter. Indeed, it was by 


the authority of the Six Nations that Mason and Dixon were stopped in 
their survey at Dunkard Creek in Greene County. 

The Seneca tribe was at an early day much under the influence of the 
French. Jesuits labored much among them, came to speak the Indian 
tongue, and even entered into tribal relations with them and became one 
of them. French officers, both civil and military, brought them "high 
pi!ed-up presents," such as were useful and pleasing to these simple natives 
of the forest. On the other hand, the English did not reach them except 
to trade for their skins, and these English traders were often given to over- 
reaching these simple-minded sons of the forest before they had become 
schooled in the wiles of the white man. The consequence was that the - 
Senecas joined the I-'rench with their young braves in that terribly disas- 
trous battle of the Monongahela A\hich cost the life of General Braddock 
and the lives of the large body of his troops. It was such a sweeping 
slaughter as is rarely recorded in the history of warfare, and. what i.s more 
remarkable, it was gained by Indians almost entirely, over the King's 
regulars aided by colonial volunteers. Among the leaders of the Indians 
were Pontiac and Cornplanter. This was Cornplanter's first battle, as it 
was Washington's. They were about the same age, having been liorn in 
1832. The result of this battle was very injurious to the English, for it in- 
spired the savages with great confidence in themselves, as it was gained 
over superior numbers, and with the greatest ease. They ever after boasted 
tliat at any time that they would be thoroughly united they could sweep the 
pale faces from the face of the earth, and it was with that object in view and in 
full confidence in their power that Pontiac formed an alliance of all the tribes 
with the intent of breaking the power of the English. That victory was the 
seed which ripened into many a massacre of defenceless settlers. 

Cornplanter was possessed of great native shrewdness, and it was not 
long till he became satisfied that the English were to become the masters 
and that the French would be compelled to withdraw from this side of the 
great lakes. There is naturally a vein of superstition in the nature of the 
Indian. Washington had been noted in that terrible day with Braddock. 
The report had been circulated among the natives that one of their Sachems 
had fired repeatedly at Washington and had called on the braves of his 
tribe to do the same, but not one could hit him, and the belief became preva- 
lent that he was under the special protection of the Great Spirit, and was 


proof against mortal strife. Cornplanter had become the firm friend of 
Washington, and through the Indian wars which followed he remained 
firm in his adli^erence to the side of the English. 

When, therefore, the Thirteen Colonies rebelled against the King of 
England, the Indians could not understand where their allegiance was due. 
Cornplanter was opposed to joining in the conflict, inasmuch as the Indiansj 
had nothing to do with the difficulties that existed between the two parties. 
If he had more clearly understood the points in dispute his opposition might 
have been more effective. The emissaries of the British in the Revolution- 
arv W'ar made every exertion to secure the powerful Six Nations on their 
side. "The King," they said, "was rich and powerful both in money and 
subjects. His rum was as plenty as the water in Lake Ontario, and his 
men as numerous as the sands upon its shore, and the Indians were assured 
that if they would assist in the war and preserve their friendship for the King 
until its close they never should want for goods or money." In an inter- 
view with General Herkimer, of the Revolutionary army, Cornplanter said: 
"The Indians were in concert with theia' King of England, as their fathers 
had been. The King's lielts of wampum are yet lodged with them, and they 
cannot ^•iolate their pledges. General Herkimer and his followers have 
joined the Boston people a^gainst their sovereign. And although the Bos- 
ton people were resolute, yet the King would humble them. That Gen- 
eral Schuyler was very smart on the Indians at the treaty of the German 
Flats, but, at the same time, was not able to afford the smallest article of 
clothing, and finally that the Indians had formerly made war on the white 
people when they were all united, and they \'\-ere now divided the Indians 
were not frightened." 

But when the representatives. Chiefs of the Confederacy, at Oswego, 
at a general council held in the summer of 1777. decided to take up the 
hatchet for the King of England, Cornplanter and his tribe considered 
themselves liound l^y the decision. His nation was at war, and he had to 
go with his nation. In his address to Washington, at Philadelphia, in 1790, 
he justifies, or at least palliates the conduct of his nation, in taking the side 
of the King, in the following eloquent and impressive words: 

"Father, when you kindled your thirteen fires separately, the wise men 
assembled at them, told us you were all brothers — the children of one great 
Father, who regarded the red people as his children. They called us chil- 


clrcn and invited us to their protection. They told us that he resided be- 
}ond the great water, where tlie sun first rises, and that he was a King, 
whose power no people could resist, and that his goodness was as bright 
as the sun. What they said went to our hearts. We accepted the invita- 
tion and promised to obey him. What the Seneca nation promise they 
faithfully perform. Wlien you, the thirteen fires, refused obedience to that 
King, he commanded us to assist his beloved men in making you sober. In 
obeying him we did no more than yourselves had led us to promise. We 
were deceived, but your people teaching us to confide in that King had 
helped to deceive us, and we now appeal to your heart. Is all the blame 

Cornplanter had made out a list of grievances in this speech which he 
presented in an eloquent and well digested manner. To this speech Presi- 
dent Washington made a formal reply, taking up each item of the com- 
plaints and answering in their order. To this reply of the President the 
Sachem commences his rei>l)- in these words: "Father! Your speech, 
written on the great paper, is to us. like the first light of the morning to a 
sick man whose ]5ulse beats too strongly in his temples and prevents him 
from sleep. He sees it and rejoices, but is not cured." One of the com- 
plaints made in his original address he thus alludes to in his response to 
President Washington's reply: "Father! There are men that go from 
town to town and beget children, and leave them to perish, or, except better 
men take care of them, to grow up without instruction. Our nation has 
looked around for a father, l)ut thev found none that would own them for 
children until }ou tell us that the courts are open to us as to }'Our own 
people. The joy which we feel at this great news so mixes with the sor- 
rows that are past that we cannot express our gladness, nor conceal the 
remembrance of our afflictions." .\nd in concluding his response Corn- 
planter says: "Father! You give us leave to speak our minds concerning 
the tilling of the ground. We ask you to teach us to plough, and to grind 
corn; to assist us in building sawmills, and to supply us with broad axes, 
saws, augers and other tools, so as that we make our houses more com- 
fortable and more durable: that you will send smiths among us, and above 
all, that you will teach our children to read and write, and our women 
to spin and to weave. The manner of your doing these things for us we 
lea\'e to you, who understand them: but we assure you we will follow your 



advice so far as we are al)Ie." This conference of Cornplanter with Presi- 
dent Washington was held at Philadelphia, then the seat of the General 
Government, in the year 1790, in the second year of the President's first 
term, and is remarkable as showing the mental acumen possessed by one of 
the red men of the forest who had none of the advantages of mental cul- 
ture. In lucidity of statement and subtlety of argument he showed himself 
the full equal of the President. 

During the Revolutionary ^A'ar the Six Nations at first favored the side 
of the King for the reason assigned in the opening of Cornplanter's ad- 
dress to Washington, though Cornplanter himself favored taking no part 
in the contest. He was, however, overruled and the red men \\ere found 
contending with the King's forces. Their hostile temper against the colo- 
nies had become so forceful in 1779 that General Sullivan was sent with a 
sufficient force to check them. Cornplanter was present and took part in 
the battle of New Town, the present site of Elmira, N. Y., where the 
Indians and British troops, the latter under the command of Col. John 
Butler, were signally defeated. "The decisive action on the Chemung was 
followed by the devastation of the Indian towns and settlements through- 
out the country of the Senecas and Cayugas. They had several towns 
and many large villages laid out with a considerable degree of regularity. 
They had framed houses, some of them well finished and painted, and 
having chimneys. They had Ijroad and protected fields, and in addition an 
aliundance of apples and orchards of peaches, pears and plums. But after 
the battle of New Town terror led the van of the invader, whose approach 
was heralded by watchmen stationed upon every height, and desolation 
followed weeping in his train. The Indians everywhere fled as Sullivan 
advanceil, and the whole country was swept as with the besom of destruc- 
tion. Towns were burned, fields laid waste, cattle destroyed and the or- 
chards cut down. Cornplanter was a sad witness to the destruction of his 
ov\n home and village and that of his people. He refers to these seasons 
most eloquently in his address to Washington in 1792. 'When your army 
entered the country of the Six Nations we called you the town destroyer, 
and to this day, when that name is heard, our women look behind them 
and turn pale and our children cling close to the necks of their mothers. 
Our councillors and warriors are men and cannot be afraid, but their hearts 
are grieved with the fears of women and children.' " 


The expedition of General Sullivan sobered the Indians and gave 
Cornplanter power over his people. He became convinced that it was fruit- 
less to attempt to combat the colonies, who were every year growing 
stronger and increasing in population. Accordingly, when the great gath- 
ering of the native chiefs assembled at Fort Stanwix, at the close of the 
Revolutionary War, Cornplanter favored the peace policy and the giving 
up their vast territories which they did not occupy rather than to attempt 
to hold them by force, which he plainly saw would result in disaster. By 
the treaty there concluded vast stretches of land were sold. In that treaty 
his voice was potential and bj' the position which he there took he lost 
the friendship of many of the braves of his triiDC who were ambitious to 
fight for their ancient inheritance. It was by the treaty there concluded 
that Crawford County came into possession of the State of Pennsylvania. 
When the western Indians united in one grand conclave to fight and drive 
back the settlers in 1 790-1 strenuous efforts were made to induce the Six 
Nations to join them, but Cornplanter, who was now in his full strength and 
influence, held back his people and succeeded in preventing them against 
the wishes of some of the most powerful chiefs of his nation. Great solici- 
tude was felt by the government of the young nation lest the Six Nations 
would be prevailed upon to unite with the western tribes in a general war 
which they had inaugurated. Had this been accomplished, Crawford 
County, and indeed the whole northwestern portion of Pennsylvania and 
New York, would have been swept with Indian warfare, and the torch and 
the scalping knife would have been the ready instruments of savage warfare. 

Recognizing the necessity of prompt action, Washington employed 
Cornplanter, in 1791, to proceed in behalf of the government of the United 
States into the country of the northwestern Indians on an embassy of peace 
and reconciliation. He was unsuccessful in inducing the western Indians 
to make peace, l>ut he held his own nation in check and prevented the war- 
like attitude which Brant and Red Jacket were intent upon assuming. 

In 1802 Cornplanter visited President JefTerson and in reply to the 
Sachem's address the President said: "Go on then, brother, in the great 
reformation you have undertaken. Persuade our red men to be sober and 
to cultivate their lands, and their women to spin and weave for their families. 
It will be a great glory to you to have been the instrument of so happy a 
change, and your children's children, from generation to generation, will 


repeat your name with love and gratitude forever. In all your enterprises 
for the good of your people you may count with confidence on the aid and 
protection of the United States, and on the sincerity and zeal with which I 
am animated in the furthering of this humane work. You are our brethren 
of the same land; we wish you prosperity, as brethren should do." 

When the war of 181 2 broke out the patriotism of the old chieftain was 
aroused, and though he was now 80 years of age, he gathered together 
200 of his young braves and marched to Franklin, Venango County, where 
Colonel Samuel Dale was about to march with his regiment to the frontier. 
Cornplanter offered his men, but Colonel Dale not having authority to ac- 
cept them, persuaded the old chieftain to return, promising him that if 
needed his braves would be called for. Before leaving he asked the Colonel 
to explain the causes and objects of the war, which was done, and Corn- 
planter made the following reply: "Many years ago a boy came over the 
great waters and settled among his people of the Six Nations; some time 
thereafter the father followed to keep him in subjection. The Indians helped 
the father, but the boy was too much for ]:)oth, and drove the father home. 
And now, when the father had become an old man and the boy a strong- 
man and a good neighbor to his nation, he wished to show his friendship 
for the Thirteen Fires by taking his two hundred warriors to assist to drive 
the old man across the great waters." Cornplanter insisted that his war- 
riors ought not to stay at home and live idly in their wigwams whilst their 
white friends and brothers were upon the war path. But upon the promise 
of the Colonel that they would be sent for he was pacified and returned home. 

Thomas Struthers, Esq., of W'arren, paid a visit to Cornplanter in 
1 83 1 at his home on the banks of the Allegheny River and gave the follow- 
ing account of his interview: "I accompanied some gentlemen, residents 
of Pittsburg and Butler, who desired to pay their respects to him. It was 
a pleasant day in May when we called on him. He talked no English. I 
introduced the gentlemen through an interpreter, whom I had engaged, and 
informed him that they had called to pay their respects to him. He seemed 
much pleased that his white friends were inclined to pay him such attention. 
The introduction took place in front of his log cabin, on the bank of the 
Allegheny River. He gave orders to some young Indians, the import of 
which we soon ascertained, by the fact that they immediately collected 
some boards and placed them for seats around a log sled in the form of 


a hollow square. This clone, the old chief pointed out to each of the party 
his seat, and all sat facing inward. He then took his seat in the center and 
announced that he was ready to hear any communications we had to make. 
I told him we had not come to buy lands or timber, nor to trade for furs and 
skins, but had called on him in the spirit of friendship, to pay our respects 
to the great Indian chief whom we had learned to admire as a warrior, and 
especially as the friend of the United States, who had inculcated the 
principles of peace and Christianity among the people. I referred briefly to 
the schools established among his people by the Friends of Philadelphia. 

"The old chief replied in a speech which would compare well with 
man\- of our best State papers. His manner was dignified and eloquent and 
his eye lit up, as if by inspiration, so that it was very interesting to listen to 
what he said, although we could not understand it, until the interpreter 
rendered it to us. He spoke of the relations between the white men and 
the red men — the war and bloodshed caused by the former, to displace the 
latter from their hunting grounds — the peace effected with the Six Na- 
tions — dwelt particularly on the virtues of General Washington, the great 
and good white Father. He brought forth from a well covered valise, in 
which they were carefully wrapped in linen cloth, two or three 'talks,' as he 
termed them, on parchment, to which was appended the autograph of 
Washington. He said he had met Washington a number of times and 
treated with him. His single eye sparkled with animation when his name 
was mentioned. And in conclusion, he thanked the Great Spirit that there 
were now no wars or blood-shedding going on, but that peace and good 
will existed amongst all men and all nations, so far as he could hear. He 
spoke as a statesman and philanthropist whose mind was occupied with the 
weighty interests of mankind rather than with merely the affairs and con- 
cerns of a family or tribe. He thanked us for our call upon him, and in- 
vited us to dine with him, which we accepted. The bill of fare was jerked 
venison and corn mush: the latter was prepared in the Indian manner, each 
guest having a tin pan about half full of hot water, in which the Indian meal 
was mixed at the pleasure of the guest. 

In 1822, when he was 90 years old, Cornplanter became possessed of a 
religious temper, and bringing out a sword and pistols and some other 
military accoutrements which had been presented to him by Washington 
broke them in pieces, and a gold laced hat which was given him by 


Governor Mifflin, also a French flag and superl) belt of wampum, trophies 
of valor which he destro3-ed. It appears that imder the influence of Chris- 
tianity, particularly as evinced in the teachings of the society of Friends, who 
had established schools in his nation, he became so firm an advocate of peace 
that he wished to remove from him all the memorials that recalled to his recol- 
lection the scenes of war and blood through which he had passed. 

Judge Thompson, of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, thus speaks: 
"I once saw the aged and venerable chief and had an interesting interviev/ 

with him about a year and a half before his death ^^^^en I saw 

him he estimated his age to be over one hundred years. I think one hun- 
dred and three was about his reckoning of it. This would make him one 
hundred and five at his death. His person was much stooped and his stature 
was far short of what it once had Ijeen — not being over five feet six inches 
at the time I speak of. He was constitutionally sedate; was never observed 
to smile, much less to indulge in the luxury of a laugh. Mr. John Struthers, 
of Ohio, told me some years since that he had seen him nearly fifty years 
before, and at that period he was about his own height, viz.: six feet one 
inch. Time and hardship had made dreadful ha\-oc upon that ancient form. 
The chest was sunken and his shoulders \\ere drawn forward, making the 
upper part of his body resemble a trough. His limbs had lost their sym- 
metry and become crooked. His feet, too (for he had taken off his mocca- 
sins), uere deformed and haggard by injury. I would say that most of his 
fingers on one hand were useless; the sinews had been severed by a blow 
of the tomahawk or scalping knife. How I longed to ask him what scene 
of blood and strife had thus stamped the enduring evidence of its existence 
upon his person. But to have done so would in all probability have put 
an end to all further conversation on any subject. The information de- 
sired would certainly not have been received and I had to forego my curi- 
osity. He had but one eye and even the socket of the lost organ was hid 
by the overhanging brow resting upon the high cheek bone. His remain- 
ing eye was of the brightest and blackest hue. Never have I seen one, in 
young or old, that equaled it in brilliancy. Perhaps it had borrowed luster 
from the eternal darkness that had rested on its neighboring orbit. His 
ears had been dressed in the Indian mode, all but the outside had been cut 
■away; on the one ear the ring had been torn assunder near the top, and 

hung down his neck like a useless rag. He had a full head of hair, white as 


the driven snow, which covered a head of ample dimensions and admirable 
shape. His face was not swarthy. He told me that he had been at Frank- 
lin more than eighty years before the period of conversation, on his passage 
down the Ohio and Mississippi with the warriors of his tribe, on some expe- 
dition against the Creeks or Osages. He had long been a man of peace, 
and I believe his great characteristics were humanity and truth. As he 
stood before me — the ancient chief in ruins — how forcibly was I struck with 
the truth of the beautiful figure of the old aboriginal chieftain, who, in 
describing himself, said, 'he was like an aged hemlock, dead at the top, and 
whose branches alone were green.' After more than one hundred years of 
most varied life — of strife — of danger — of peace — he at last slumbers in deep 
repose on the banks of his own beloved Allegheny." Dr. Irvine, of Broken- 
straw, son of Gen. C. Irvine, an intimate friend of the chief, in a letter says: 
"I frequently heard my father say that Cornplanter was one of the most 
honest and truthful men he ever knew, whether white or red." Judge John- 
son, under whose direction the monument was erected, states, "So far as 
Cornplanter was personally known to residents in this section of country 
he was regarded as a living example of integrity, truthfulness, purity, tem- 
perance, fatherly affection for his tribe and race and a generous hospitality 
to all. He possessed the universal affection and veneration of his tribe and 
of all men who knew him." 

In closing his dedicatory address, Mr. Snowden thus spoke: "This is 
no ordinary occasion. A great Commonwealth, by a solemn act cf legisla- 
tion, and by her agents here this day, honors the memory of the distin- 
guished Indian chief whose mortal remains lie mouldering in this grave. 
We this day dedicate this monument to the memory of Cornplanter, an 
Indian chief of the Seneca tribe of the Six Nations — and may we, both white 
and red men, and our children's children, as long as this beautiful river bears 
its waters to the ocean, venerate his memory and emulate his virtues." 

part n. 

^eabville anb XTitusvUle, 



THE first settlement in northwestern Pennsylvania, as has been already 
obser\'ed, was at and in the vicinity of Meadville, long known as 
"Mead Settlement." The original plan of Meadville was conceived 
in 1793, by David Mead, though the town was not named until after the 
first sale of lots. In an old account book, in General Mead's own hand- 
writing, is the following entry: "Journal of the town — laid out by David 
Mead, at Cassawago, and commencement of the sale of lots on the 20th 
day of February, 1793." The purchasers of lots during this year were 
William Gill, Thomas Ray, John Ray, Robert Finney, Lewis Bond, Samuel 
Lord, Hugh Dupray, Ebene^er McGufifin, James Campbell, John Beals, 
Frederick Haymaker, William Jones, John Wentworth, William Black, 
Thomas Black, Andrew Robinson and Luke Hill. In 1794 the following 
persons bought lots in the newly laid out town: William Dick, John 
Wilkins, Jr., Jesse Barber, John Polhamus, John Smith, John Brooks, 
James Dickson, John Clows, Cornelius Van Home, John Mead, Abner 
Evans, Barnabas McCormick, James Findley, Joseph Grifihn, Robert Wil- 
son, Ebenezer McGuffin, Jennet Finney, Edward Cannon, William Clemens, 
Samuel Lord, Nicholas Lord, John Hawk, George Roberts, Joseph Arm- 
strong, John Barclay, Henry Richard and Frederick Baum. In 1795 lots 
were purchased by William Gill, Jacob Raysor, John Welford, John Davis, 
John Stewart, Solomon Jennings, Robert Finney, Jennet Finney, Alexan- 
der Power, Frederick Baum, Robert Johnson, John Johnson, John Morris,* 
Henry Marly, Robert Wilson, John Wilson, Charles Sweeney, John Mc- 
Addon, Archibald Bruce, John Brooks, William Johnson, Robert Burris, 
James Heatley, Alexander Linn, Roger Alden and Joseph Osborn. 

The block of lots on Walnut Street, between Market and Park Avenue, 
now occupied by the residence of D. G. Shryock, Esq., was in the original 



plan of General Mead intended for a public square. Henry Marley, one 
of the pioneers of Crawford County, acted as chain bearer for the General in 
the survey of the town. He used to relate that they commenced at Mead's 
Mill, a log building then standing near the site of the "Red Mill," standing, 
until within a few years past, at the head of Water Street, and ran south, 
cutting out the hazel brush in their progress. It was late in the afternoon 
before they reached the point where Mill Run crosses. Water Street, when 
Mead, looking at his watch, exclaimed, "Well, Henry, we'll stop here. I 
guess the town will never go further south than this creek." He, however, 
lived to see the village pass the boundary he had established. But what 
would be the old General's surprise if he were to return and view the city 
he founded more than a century ago? Many of those who purchased lots 
of General Mead, in 1793-4-5, were non-residents, while others are well 
remembered pioneers of different sections of the county. The following 
purchasers, however, located permanently in Meadville, and the majority 
of them lived and died here: Samuel Lord, Frederick Haymaker, William 
Dick, John Brooks, Henry Reichard, Jacob Raysor. John Davis and Roger 
Alden. Between 1794 and 1800 several other pioneers settled in the vil- 
lage; among them were Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy, James Herriott, Samuel 
Torbett, Capt. Richard Patch, James Gibson, Col. Joseph Hackney, John 
Carver, William McArthur, David Compton, Patrick Davis, Lawrence 
Clancy and Alexander Buchanan. 

In 1795 the town plat was resurveyed, remodeled and enlarged by 
General Mead, Dr. Thomas R. Kennedy and Maj. Roger Alden. The 
town was divided into seventy-five squares, by streets, alleys and lanes, and 
one square, known as the Diamond, was laid off for public buildings, in the 
.form of a parallelogram, measuring 300 feet east and west and 600 feet 
north and south. By the close of the eighteenth century scattering cabins 
dotted the site of Meadville from French Creek or Venango River to the 
Diamond, and the little hamlet began to exhibit signs of a healthy growth. 
The erection of Crawford County, in 1800, and the location of the seat of 
justice at Meadville gave it an impetus that for some years made it the 
leading town in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

For the five years after the county was organized the buildings on 
Water Street, previously mentioned, were rented, repaired and utilized for 
county purposes, but on the 5th of March, 1804, the Legislature passed an 


act ordering the commissioners to erect a court house and pubHc offices. 
In compHance with this law a two-storied hewed log building was erected 
that year on the site of Haskins and McClintock's law office, which stands 
immediately between the residences of the late Judge Derickson and the 
late Hiram L. Richmond. The lower story was used for a jail and a jailer's 
residence and a small lot in the rear of the building was enclosed with a 
high post and picket fence for a jail lot. In the second story was the court 
,room, and was accessible by an outside stairway in front of the building. 
This room was utilized by the pioneers wherein to hold meetings of various 
sorts, and here, too, they met for religious worship. It therefore served the 
two-fold purpose of a training place for imparting both civil and religious 
teachings. The lot on which the court house and jail stood was purchased 
of David Mead for $100, he having previously donated the Diamond for 
that purpose. The clearing and grubbing and erecting the building was 
done by William Dick at a cost of $2,493. John Grier was paid $100 for 
sinking a well in the jail lot, so that the total cost of the first court house 
and jail was $2,593. Upon the erection of the next court house, in 1824, 
all the old building was converted into a jail and used as such until the 
present stone structure was built in 1849, when it was removed. 

The erection of the present court house was commenced in the fall 
of 1867. The cornerstone was laid May 27, 1868, and the building was 
completed in October, 1869. It is located on the east side of the Diamond, 
and is constructed in the renaissance style, of pressed brick, with stone 
trimmings. It has tesselated floors, an iron roof, and is considered fire proof 
throughout. It is heated by steam, and its total cost, including fencing, 
flagging and furnishings, was $249,000. On the first floor are located the 
offices of county commissioners, register and recorder, sheriff, treasurer, 
clerk of courts, county superintendent of schools, district attorney, court 
stenographer and arbitration room. The court room, prothonotaries' office, 
jury rooms, law library, presiding justice's office, and consulting rooms 
occupy the second floor. The janitor's residence is in the third story. 

For more than fifty years after the organization of the county each 
township cared for its own poor; but on the 15th of April, 1851, an act 
was passed by the Legislature, "To provide for the erection of a house for 
the employment and support of the poor of the county of Crawford." 
Isaac Saeger, James D. Mclntire, James Cochran, Hugh Brawley, H. B. 


Beatty, Anson Leonard, William McLean, and John Reynolds were ap- 
pointed by the act commissioners to purchase land for the purpose, and 
the county commissioners were instructed to erect suitabl.e buildings 
thereon, and were designated as managers of the institution from that 
time forward, known as "The Directors of the Poor and of the House 
of Employment in the County of Crawford." The commissioners named 
purchased ninety-nine acres and eighty perches of land adjoining the 
borough of Saegertown, in the lieautiful valley of Woodcock Creek. Li 
1852 the directors entered into a contract with James A. McFadden and 
Joseph Balliet to erect a two-story and a half brick structure 42x90 feet, 
with a kitchen 22x36 feet, for $7,250. In 1868 a three-storied brick build- 
ing 45x68 feet, adjoining the old structure, was built at a cost of some 
$20,000. In 1869 a further purchase of land was made of 138 acres, which, 
together with outbuildings, makes the entire cost to the county of some 

In May, 1888, occurred the one hundredth anniversary of the settle- 
ment of the county. As was proper, the event was celebrated by a vast 
gathering of citizens from all parts of the county. In the morning an 
historical and a patriotic address were delivered in the Academy of Music, 
a poem was recited; an original song, set to music by a citizen, was sung. 
An oak tree was planted on the public square in front of the court house 
with proper ceremonies of speech-making and music. In the afternoon 
throngs gathered in front of a stage erected at the northern end of Dia- 
mond Park, where a monument consisting of a pioneer, life size, gun in 
hand, cut in granite, standing upon a pedestal of the same material, in 
the rough, resting upon a proportionate base, had been erected to mark 
the event- — to listen to a dedicatory address and songs by the school 
children of the whole city, who had been marched from their several schools 
to the grounds. Rarely, if ever, had such a throng, so happy and joyous, 
been seen in Crawford County before. 

To crown all a procession representing the trades and manufactures 
of the entire county, with flats on which the diiiferent workmen were at 
their trades, and as the procession moved the products of their handiwork 
were handed out to the wonder-gaping crowds. The principal streets 
were passed over and the mechanical skill displayed was indeed well worth 
a long journey to observe. General Mead's first mill was upon wheels, 


turning out meal as they moved along, just as they did in the olden time. 
Remarkable enterprise by the proprietor of the Tribune-Republican was 
shown in issuing a memorial number of his paper, finely illustrated, con- 
taining a history of the county, the addresses delivered and a full account 
of the services. Altogether it formed a unique volume, well worthy of being 
bound for preservation. 

Not long afterward enterprising citizens of the G. A. R. corps pro- 
cured a soldiers' monument that was erected on the opposite end of the 
park, which was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. It represents an 
infantry soldier armed and equipped for service, bearing aloft the flag of 
his country and standing upon a beautifully wrought monument of the 
finest granite, decorated with appropriate military emblems. In front of 
this elegant monument there were subsequently placed two long-range 
thirty-pounder Parrott guns from the War Department, one of them manu- 
factured in 1862 at the West Point foundry. Cold Springs, N. Y., and the 
other by the same company in 1864. They are mounted on cut-stone 
foundations, pointing southward, and between the two is a pile of solid shot 
arranged in pyramidal form. 



THE preliminary steps towards the founding of Allegheny College were 
taken at a meeting convened at the old log courthouse in Meadville, 
on the 20th of June, 1815. At this period Meadville contained less 
than eighty families, and about 400 inhabitants, very nearly the present 
population of Kerrtown. The whole population of Crawford County was 
only about six thousand, and the number of taxables was less than twelve 
hundred. Curiosity is excited to know what the inhabitants of this insignifi- 
cant village, around which the stumps still stood like grim sentinels, 
and population for a long reach around had hardly enough of the forest 
cleared to eke out a scanty subsistence, wanted with a college, and how 
they ever expected to support it. Was it like the penchant of one of Mark 
Twain's heroes for Echoes? But men sometimes build better than they 
know, and such must have been the case with the pioneers of collegiate 
education. It was doubtless in answer to- a noble aspiration. When we 
behold this exhibition of their pluck and courage we are led to wonder if 
they would have stumbled before the establishment of a public library. 

The meeting was organized by appointing Major Roger Alden chair- 
man and Mr. John Reynolds secretary. A statement of the sentiment of 
the meeting, and the motives which actuated its members, was formally 
offered and unanimously adopted, which, though a little high sounding, is 
nevertheless a faithful expression, doubtless, of the feelings which moved 
them. "Be it known." is the language of this paper, "to all whom it may 
concern, that we. whose names are affixed to this instrument, have volun- 
tarily associated ourselves together for the purpose of establishing a colle- 
giate institution. 

"The importance of advantages for a classical education, and the want 

of an institution where such an education may be obtained, in the extensive 



region watered by the Allegheny River and its numerous contributory 
streams, and destined, in all human probability, to be overspread, at no 
great distance of time, with as many inhabitants as any interior section of 
the United States, of equal magnitude, are a sufificient reason for awakening 
our attention to this subject. 

"The example of our venerable ancestors, who early made provision 
for the liberal and pious education of their sons; the nature of our govern- 
ment, the welfare of which depends, in no small degree, under Almie-htv 
God, on the prevalence of knowledge, virtue and religion; the eventful pe- 
riod in which we live, plainly indicating that the time is nigh at hand when 
there will be an unprecedented call for the labors of the heralds of the gos- 
pel, afi'ord additional argument on the expediency of our picsent under- 

From this pronunciamento we discover that, in prophetic vision, they 
beheld the teeming populations eventually to fill this broad domain, and, 
acting upon the example of pious ancestors, they built, not to meet a present 
need, but for a probable future want, and especially were they mindful of 
the pressing demands of the church. From its being in the midst of the 
Allegheny basin, of territory drained by the Allegheny River, it was namexl 
Allegheny College, and located at Meadville. 

The chairman of the meeting. Major Alden, was fully alive to the im- 
portance of the enterprise, mainly, doubtless, from a purely philanthropic 
motive, though possibly incidentally with an eye to business, as he was 
the first agent of the Holland Land Company, and was, from the first, very 
energetic in bringing out the hidden resources of this region. He had foug'ht 
as a private in the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, and when the army 
was organized he entered it as adjutant. He was in the battles of Flat Bush, 
Long Island. White Plains, the capture of Burgoyne, and at the battle of 
Monmouth. He was aid-de-camp to Benedict Arnold at the time of 
his treason at West Point. He afterward made the campaign 
of the South, under General Green, and was at the surrender of Cornwallis. 
having been, as described by one of his intimate friends, "in the first platoon 
that fired a shot at Lexington, and among the last in the action at York- 
town." Full of enterprise and public spirit, he expended a competent for- 
tune in endeavoring to improve the county by erecting grist mills, saw- 
mills and in laving out roads. He built the first mills at Saegertown, and 


was the mover in several similar enterprises in various localities. He, in 
conjunction with Dr. Kennedy, gave to Meadville the impress of regulai-ity 
in its laying out. 

There is little doubt, however, that the aspirations of the early citizens 
of Meadville for an institution of a high order — a full-fledged college — were 
given form and reduced to method by him who became its first president, 
and was its guiding genius, Timothy Alden, a cousin of the Major, who 
had been a student of Phillips Academy, at Andover, Mass., a graduate 
of Harvard University, an enthusiast in lingual studies, and had had large 
experience as a teacher in Portsmouth, N. H., Boston, Newark. N. J., and in 
New York City. 

In this first meeting the plan of operations was very completely 
sketched. It was resolved that the college have a president, a vice-presi- 
dent, professors and tutors; that the Rev. Timothy Alden, late of the city 
of New York, be president of the cohege and professor of Oriental languages 
and ecclesiastical history, and the Rev. Robert Johnston vice-president and 
professor of logick, metaphysicks and ethicks, all with a k; but while their 
heads were swimming in the regions of Oriental languages, ecclesiastical his- 
tory, logick, metaphysicks and ethicks, they bethought themselves that as 
yet there were neither students nor local habitation, and they prudently 
added that the president and vice-president be the sole instructors for the 
present in all departments of literature and science. It was further resolved 
to appoint a committee to prepare an address to the Legislature, requesting 
a charter, another tO' draft a code of laws and regulations for the govern- 
ment of the college; that John Re3'nolds, who was chosen treasurer, should 
open subscription books for donations in any kind of property which may 
be useful to^ the institution; and that the president-elect be commissioned to 
go forth as agent of the college to solicit means from abroad. His territory 
was not circumscribed, as are agents nowadays, but he was given the whole 
boundless continent. The wording of his commission is unique: "We rec- 
ommend,'' it proceeds, after the statement of the fact of his appointment as 
president, "that you personally become the organ of communication to the 
citizens of the United States, and, with your own arguinent and eloquence, 
declare the motives and objects of establishing a collegiate institution in this 
new and delightful country, acknowledging, with the utmost frankness and 
sincerity, that if the associators did not judge you in every respect com- 


pletely qualified for presiding they would not have presumed to commence 
an undertaking so necessary and important. Having the utmost confidence 
in your integrity, and knowing your zeal in the cause of science, morality 
and religion, the board have committed tO' you a most sacred charge, and 
you are authorized to solicit benefactions in any part of the United States." 

But there was one provision made in this first meeting more far-reach- 
ing in its purpose, and which evinced a deeper insight into the wants of the 
college, than any of these. It was that "the publick academies now in exist- 
ence, or hereafter to be established in the counties of Crawford. Erie, War- 
ren, Venango, Mercer and Butler, composing the northwestern judicial dis- 
trict of Pennsylvania, may be so far connected with Allegheny College as to 
receive probationers for matriculation in this seminary, and in this case that 
the principal instructor, being a man of competent classical education, and 
of good character, be considered as one of the faculty, and be added to the 
list of tutors of the college." The end contemplated by this provision was 
to raise up and cement together a large number of preparatory schools, cov- 
ering all this whole northwestern section of the State, which should serve 
as feeders to the college, and by giving the principals a semi-ofiicial connec- 
tion \\\t\\ the faculty, induce them to labor for its upbuilding, and to^ enable 
the facultv to exert a reflex influence in securing a uniform standard of 
preparation, conditions most useful as affecting its life blood — a relation 
which has for a long time subsisted in the English schools and universities, 
l)ut never, to my knowledge, attempted in this country but in this instance. 
The crying evil in American colleges at the present time is the lack of suit- 
aljle schools for preparing youths for college, organized for this special func- 
tion, and not transcending it. A\'e have good primary schools, and we have 
good colleges and universities, but our secondary or intermediate schools, 
with few exceptions, like Phillips Academy, have no standing and scarcely 
no existence. 

Dr. McCosh, president of Princeton College, said last summer before 
the National Teachers' Association: "The grand educational want of Amer- 
ica at this present time is a judiciously scattered body of secondary- schools 
to carry on our brighter youths from what has been so well commenced in 
the primar}' schools, and may be so well completed in our colleges. How 
are young men to mount from the lower to the higher platform? Every 
one has heard of the man who built a fine house of two stories, each large 


and commodious, but who neglected to put a stair between them. It ap- 
pears to me that there has been a Hke mistake committed in most of the 
States of the Union. We need a set of intermediate schools, to enable the 
abler youths of America to take advantage of the education provided in the 

To show how fully European countries are provided with this class of 
schools, I give the statistics gathered by Superintendent \\'ickersham : 

Secondary schools 

Population. for boys. Teachers. Students. 

Germany 41,000,000 1.043 12,000 177.379 

Austria 27,000,000 383 18,852 

Netherlands .... 3,674,402 219 1.390 i4-5oo 

Sweden 4,250,452 103 1 1.874 

Switzerland 2,669,147 375 1,000 12,750 

The public high school must do what it can towards feeding the college, 
though it is not its special function to fit boys for college; but rather to do 
the best possible for that great class which cannot take a collegiate educa- 
tion. Schools to do this special work must he created, and this was the far- 
reaching aim of the provision incorporated in these resolves. In the early 
histor}' of this county there were learned clergymen, who- were accustomed 
to take a few young men into their families and fit them for college. Such 
a man was the Rev. Mr. Gamble, father of Dr. Gamble of Mosiertown, who 
had his home in South Shenango, near Jamestown: but t\tn this practice 
has died out. The action of the college last season in establishing a pre- 
paratoiy department is in the rig-ht direction. 

The resolves of this little assembly on that June evening of 1815 were 
conceived in a spirit of noble philanthropy, and when adjourned as they 
blew out the lights and walked through the quiet streets, where, as Irving 
would say, the buzz of a blue-bottle fly of a summer afternoon could be 
heard from one end of the main street to the other, I have no doubt that 
they viewed their evening's work with complacency, and felt assured that a 
college was to be — just how was not yet so apparent. But there was 
one in that company to whom toil and privation and patient waiting were a 
real joy, a quid which in his young manhood he rolled as a sweet morsel 
under his tongue, and that was President Alden. 

He soon started out on his mission to the United States, and. judging 


by the long list of donations, varying from 20 cents up to $5, $10 and even 
$100, little money, mostly books, and ranging through the princi- 
pal towns of the North and East, he religiously carried out his instructions 
to present his case to the people of the United States. The first* name on his 
paper is that of John Adams, ex-President of the United States, who sub- 
scribed $20 in books. Then follow the solid men of Boston, sixty-six in 
number, the Frothinghams, the Channings, the Davises, the Lorings, the 
Lowells, the Ticknors, the Greenleafs, the Parkmans and the Thayers. One, 
D. D. Rogers, gave 500 acres of wild land on the Little Kanawha, estimated 
at $2,000. Then follow the men of Cambridge, Charlestown, Dorchester, Mar- 
blehead, Medford, Plymouth, Salem, where the learned Dr. Worcester 
resided, Sandwich, Worcester, where Dr. Aaron Bancroft lived, Yarmouth, 
Bristol, R. L; Pawtucket, where Dr. Benedict, the historian of the Baptists, 
gave $5; Providence, where Brown and Ives, the patrons of Brown Univer- 
sity, gave him $50 in money; Albany, N. Y., Brooklyn, Hudson, Mewburg, 
New York City, with its twenty-nine subscribers, among whom was Dr. 
Harris, president of Columbia College; Schenectady, where we find Dr. 
Nott, president of Union College; Troy, Burlington, Newark, New Bruns- 
wick, Harrisburg, Pa., Lancaster, Philadelphia and Pittsburg. The net 
results of the^ mission were: 

Land $2,000.00. 

Books 1,642.26 

Cash 461.00 

Total $4,103.30 

A rather small amount of money with which to found a college, and 
bearing the proportion to unproductive funds that Falstaff's bread did to his 
sack. But the result of this tour is not represented by these figures above; 
for he paved the wa\- for bequests that were princely. Besides, he procured 
sundry interesting relics for a cabinet and museum, and seeds from the pro- 
fessor of natural history at Cambridge for the commencement of a botanic 
garden. Those seeds have probab|y not yet been put to sprouting. Among 
the articles for the cabinet were specimens of mosaic, and of plaster from 
Pompeii, of marble broken from a pillar of the amphitheatre at Hercula- 
neum, discovered one hundred feet below the surface of the lava; sulphate 
of iron from Stromboli; pomice stone from /Etna; plaster broken from the 


inside of the tomb of Virgil- — nothing is said about the morality of such a 
gift; sundry seashells from the coast of Carthage; marble broken from a 
pillar, which tradition states to have belonged to Dido's temple, perhaps a 
token of the' love of ^'Eneas; of caxa, the current coin of the Chinese Em- 
pire, ten of which are equal to a Massachusetts penny; a quarter of a dollar, 
with the head of the ex-King, Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, dated 1813, etc., 

In the meantime the subscriptions here at home to the books of Treas- 
urer Reynolds went bravely on. These were in cash: Hon. William B. Grif- 
fith and John B. Wallace, $1,000; Roger Alden, $500; H. J. Huidekoper, 
Daniel Bemus, Daniel Le Fevre, General JNIead, Jesse Moore, John Rey- 
nolds and Jared Shattuck, $300 each; Patrick Farrelly, Samuel B. Magaw, 
Colonel Ralph Marlin and James White, $200 each; Samuel Torbett, $150, 
and Jared Shattuck. Timothy Alden, $120; Joseph T. Cummings & Co., 
$110; Thomas Atkinson, Henrs' Hurst, $100 each, and smaller sums from 
Moses Allen, Eliphalett Betts, David Compton, John Cotton, Hugh Cotton, 
Jr. and Sr., James Foster, James Hamilton. Robert and John Johnston, 
Alexander IMcDowell, Joseph Morrison, Lewis Neill. Daniel Perkins, Alex- 
ander Power, Noah Wade and William \\' . White. Samuel Lord and Dan- 
iel Le Fevre presented 225 acres of land, valued at $450. The total of the 
Meadville subscriptions was $5,685, which, with the foreign contributions, 
made a grand total of $9,788.30, with which to start the college. 

The matter of securing a charter was vigorously pushed; but such is 
almost always the delay in securing general legislation, the bill was not read 
in place till the 12th of December, 1816, and was not finally acted on until 
the 24th of March, 1817, -when it became a law. The Governor, Chief Jus- 
tice and Attorney-General of the commonwealth were constituted trustees, 
ex-officio. Two thousand dollars were appropriated, to be paid in three 
equal annual installments. A shade of disappointment can be detected in 
President Alden's announcement of the passage of the act, for the appro- 
priation was reduced from three thousand dollars, which was contained in 
the original bill, to two, and the section granting all undrawn sections of 
land in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth donation districts was stricken 
out entirely. But he speaks in that gracious, hopeful way which, under 
all circumstances, seemed to characterize him. "It is to be remarked," he 
says, "that the Legislature of the extensive, opulent and rapidly increasing 


commonwealth of Pennsylvania has taken this infant seminary under its fos- 
tering- care, and has granted a charter predicated on as liberal principles as 
could reasonably have been desired, b)- the warmest friends of the institu- 
tion. The pecuniary appropriation actually made, in connection with the 
aid of private munificence, is sufficient for a commencement of operation; 
and it would be unbecoming to doubt the future disposition of the honorable 
Legislature more than the ability of the State, which is richer in funds than 
any other in the Union — to do evei-ything proper to build up this college, 
now under its patronage, so as to render it a blessing to present and future 

The charter having been finally secured, on the 28th of July following 
(1817), amid much ceremony, the Rev. Timothy Alden was inaugurated 
president of the faculty and professor of the Oriental languages, ecclesiasti- 
cal history and theology of Allegheny College, at the old log courthouse 
in ]\Ieadville. It will astonish the conceited scholars of to-day, who think 
they have made great advances in learning over that of this benighted pe- 
riod, to read the programme of exercises on this occasion: 

1. "An address in Latin, to the president and professor-elect, an- 
nouncing his appointment to these offices, by Patrick Farrelly, Esq." 
Scholarship was in repute in those days in courthouses. 

2. "A reply in Latin, by Mr. Alden, declaring his acceptance of these 

3. "A prayer, by Mr. Alden." 

4. "Sacred musick by a choir of singers unde the direction of Colonel 
Robert Stockton and Mr. John Bowman." 

5. "Inaugural oration in Latin, by Mr. Alden. ' 

6. "A Hebrew oration, a Latin oration, an English oration, a Latin 
dialogue, a Greek dialogue, an English dialogue and an English oration, by 
the probationers of Allegheny College." You will observe that even the 
probationers only occasionally condescended to speak in their mother 

7. "Sacred musick, probably in English, though not so stated." 

8. "An address in English, in reference to the occasi.'vn, by Mr. Al- 
den." This was probably for the ears of the groundlings. But the most 
marvelous part of this programme is to come. To be sure, the college was, 

in law, only about two hours old; but it proceeded to cast around over the 


United States its honorary degrees of LL. D., D. D., S. T. D., with all the 
grace and dignity of the most venerable seat of learning. It may he with 
quite as wise discrimination as many of the later day. 

9. "The degree of LL.D. was conferred upon Ebenezer Pemberton,' 
Esq., of Boston, and the Hon. James Winthrop of Cambridge, and that of 
S. T. D. upon the Rev. Joseph McKean, successor to his excellency, John 
Quincy Adams, in the professorship of rhetorick and oratory in Harvard 
University; and the Rev. Alexander Gunn, one of the ministers of the Re- 
formed Dutch Church, in the city of New York." 

It is not surprising that the historian. Day, in noticing this programme, 
should declare that "Mr. Alden was inaugurated amid an astonishing dis- 
play of the dead languages." It should be observed that the lower storj' of 
the courthouse was used for a jail, and that the prisoners must have got the 
benefit of these intellectual pyrotechnics. But though these proceedings 
may appear mirth-provoking to the uninitiated, yet there was a "method 
in the madness," and certain munificent bequests which followed hard upon 
is proof of the forecast and wisdom of this world in Dr. Alden's proced- 
ure. Besides, he was exceptionally fond of the Oriental languages, and in 
presenting so strong an array of such learning in this public way he meant 
to convince people that his college was to be no two-penny afifair; but that 
the highest order of scholarship was to form the substratum, and that he 
was abundantly able to im.part it. and form his scholars after his mould. 
There is hardly on record a case of such abounding faith and resolution, 
and of moving straight fonvard to success in the face of unbounded difificul- 
ties and discouragements. As illustrative of his passion for the languages. 
Dr. Hamnett, in his lecture on the college, mentions the fact that at the 
commencement at Harvard, on the occasion of the graduation of the class 
to which Dr. Alden belonged, his oration was written in the Syriac lan- 
guage, and that "when he submitted his paper to the president for his ap- 
proval, the president, being altogether ignorant of the language, said: 'Come, 
Alden, sit down and construe it for me.' ^^' hen reduced to the form of good 
Anglo-Saxon it was heartily approved." 

President Alden's untiring zeal and enterprise convinced people that 
his project would succeed, and that it was worthy of their benefactions. The 
first large contribution to the college was bequeathed by the will of the Rev. 
Dr. William Bentley, a Unitarian clergyman of Salem, Mass., "who," says 


the historian. Day, "had spent his Hfe in amassing one of the most rare col- 
lections of theological works in the country. Harvard University had set 
her eyes upon this collection, and having hestowed the preliminary plum 
in the shape of an LL.D diploma, patiently awaited the doctor's demise. 
She occupied, however, the situation of Esau before Isaac, for Mr. Alden 
had previously prepared the savory dish and received the boon; and the 
name Bentley Hall now records the gratitude of Allegheny College." This 
collection embraced all his theological works, said to contain such a treas- 
ure of the ancient Latin and Greek Fathers of the church as few of the 
colleges of the United States possessed, all his lexicons, dictionaries and 
Bibles, and was valued at $3,000. Isaiah Thomas, LL.D., of Worcester, 
the founder and president of the American Antiquarian Society, also do- 
nated a considerable collection of miscellaneous literature. Then came the 
most important bequest of all, that of Hon. James Winthrop, LL.D., of 
Cambridge, Mass., who, as the Boston Patriot of that day said, has be- 
queathed his library, one of the best private libraries in the Union, to the 
Allegheny College, at Meadville, where the late learned and reverend, and 
we will add uniformly patriotic, Dr. Bentley, sent a part of his very valuable 
collection." These books were characterized as most rare and valuable, 
and were valued at $6,400. When all the donations were collected and ar- 
ranged a catalogue was made (Catalogus Bibliothecae Collegii Alleghenien- 
sis, etypis Thomas Atkinson et Losii, opud Meadville, 1823, pages 136), 
a copy of which was sent to President Jefferson, which drew from him a 
letter of thanks, in which he says: "Mr. Winthrop's donation is inappre- 
ciable for the variet}' of branches of science to w'hich it extends, and for the 
rare and precious works it possesses in each branch. I had not expected 
there was such a private collection in the United States. W^e are just com- 
mencing the establishment of an university in Virginia, but cannot flatter 
ourselves with the hope of such donations as have been bestowed on you. 
I avail myself of this occasion of tendering to yours, from our institution, 
fraternal and cordial embraces, of assuring you that we wish it to prosper and 
become great, and that our only emulation in this honorable race shall be 
the virtuous one of trying which can do the most good." President Madi- 
son responded in a similar vein: "The trustees," he says, "were not mis- 
taken in the belief that it would give me pleasure to know that a learned in- 
stitution had been so promptly reared in so favorable a position, and under 


such happy auspices. No one who regards pubHc Hberty as essential to pub- 
lic happiness can fail to rejoice at every new source of that intellectual and 

moral instruction, without which liberty can neither last long nor be fruitful 
of its proper blessings while it does last. This college may be very justly 
congratulated on the nuniJier and value of the l)ooks. so munificently con- 
tributed to its infant library." 

The location selected for the college buildings, out of the tract donated 
by Samuel Lord, upon the northern hillside, giving a southern exposure, 
with the whole broad valley spread out at its foot, the river, skirted by ven- 
erable shades winding through it like a thread of silver, w ith Imld head lands 
towering up on eveiy hand, interspersed with pleasing variety of meadow 
and forest, and the city seated in queenly beauty — such a situation is not 
excelled for natural advantage by the site of any college in the land, if at 
all equaled. The main building was well planned and substantially con- 
structed, and reflects honor upon the broad and liberal views of the gener- 
ation which conceived it. 

In the history of the Presljytery of Erie is mentioned the fact that the 
trustees, in gratitude to Mr. Lord for his valuable gift of the campus, upon 
the execution of the legal papers of transfer, caused to be procured at an 
outlay of fifteen dollars, a handsome Canton crape dress, and presented to 
Mrs. Lord. 

The laws of the college, adopted on the 4th of Jul\-, 181 7, are very 
full and explicit. The qualifications for admission to the freshman class were 
an ability to construe and parse the select orations of Cicero, the ^Eneid 
of Virgil and the Greek Testament, and to write Latin grammatically. The 
freshman class was required to study Horace, Sallust, Homer's Iliad, Xeno- 
phon's Anabasis and the rules of prosody, with their application. They 
were also to write exercises in Latin and Greek, and re\iew the Greek Tes- 
tament and stud}- the Hebrew, French and German languages, English 
grammar, rhetoric, chronology and arithmetic: the sophomores, Latin, 
Greek, Hebrew, French and German languages, English composition, logic, 
geography, mensuration and algebra; the juniors, Latin, Greek, Heljrew 
and other Oriental languages, metaphysics, ethics, algebra, geometry, trig- 
onometry, conic sections, surveying, book-keeping, mensurations of heights 
and distances, navigation, English composition and systematic theology; 
and the seniors, the ancient and modern foreign languages, such portion 


of the time, not exceeding two days a week, as"the prudential committee 
may direct ; Ijelles-lettres, English composition, universal grammar, ele- 
ments of natural and j^olitical law, ancient and modern history, dialling, pro- 
jection of the sphere, spherick geometry and trigonometry, with their appli- 
cation to astrftno-mical problems, natural iihilosophy and theology." It 
must be confessed that this was no milk and water diet, but good, strong 
meat, and abundance of it, and, considering the fact that there were only two 
professors, at most, during the early years of the college, the wonder is 
how all this load of learning was imparted. It was good to set up a high 
standard: but does it not appear, considering the sparseness of population 
and the lack of primary training, that the mark was overshot? It appears 
from the oiTicial records that there were graduated with the degree of A. B. 
the following numbers during President Alden's administration: 1821, 4; 
1822. o: 1823, o: 1824, i: 1825, o: 1826, 3: 1827, o: 1828, o: 1829, o; 
1830, o: 1831, 2: 1832, o: 1833, o — a period from that memorable July day 
when, with the artillery of Latin, Greek and Heljrew, the birth of the col- 
lege was heralded, to the close of his labors of fifteen years, with only twelve 
graduates, less than one a year. But the number of graduates by no means 
represents the actual work done by the college. The course of study, as we 
have seen, was a severe one, and a high standard of scholarship was faith- 
fullv maintained. The consequence was that, while few held out to the end, 
numl)ers received limited training. In 1829 an attempt was made to change 
the character of the institution and make it a military school. An expe- 
rienced ofificer, a pupil of the then celebrated teacher of tactics, Captain 
Partridge, was employed to take charge of the institution and introduce the 
military system of his master. To this procedure Dr. Alden raised his sol- 
emn protest, and he could with propriety have adopted the language of Dan- 
iel Webster in the Dartmouth College case, argued before the SuiM-cme 
Court at Washington: "It is, sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet 
there are those who love it. . . . Sir, I know not how others may feel, 
but for myself when I see my Alma Mater surrounded, like Caesar in the 
Senate House, by those who are reiterating stab upon stab, I would not 
for this right hand have her turn to me and say, 'Et tu, quoque, mi fili!' " 
President Alden finally became discouraged. Having spent the best years 
of his life in, to a large extent, unappreciated service, having labors im- 
posed upon him till they became irksome and a drudgery, he was moved to 


resign, which he did in 1832. It may seem strange, but I am informed by a 
member of that body, that when Dr. Alden asked of the Erie Presbytery, the 
religious organization to which he belonged, and for which he zealously 
labored all his life, for a letter of recommendation to enable him to solicit 
money for the college it was denied him, many of the ministers of the 
Presbytery having" been graduates of either Washington or JefTerson. and 
desiring to throw all their influence in favor of these institutions, even though 
to the choking out of one of kindred faith. He left the college in 1832, and 
spent the remainder of his days in preaching, but devoting some time still 
to teaching, having been settled near Pittsburg, where he died in 1839 at the 
age of sixty-eight years. 

After an interregnum of one year, during which time the college was 
turned over to the Pittsburg Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
embracing in its bounds a portion of western New York, western Pennsyl- 
vania, eastern Ohio, and western \^irginia, since separated into the Erie Con- 
ference, the Pittsburg Conference and the West Virginia Conference, the 
college was again opened, under the presidency of the Rev. Martin Ruter, 
D. D., assisted l)y the Rev. Homer J. Clark, vice-i)resident and professor of 
mathematics, and A. B. Rutter, A. M., professor of languages. In 1836-7, 
by the indefatigable labors of Dr. Burrowes, then at the head of the State 
Department, quite full and complete reports were made from all the col- 
leges of the State, and from these, fortunately in my possession, we learn that 
in 1836-37— 

The whole number of students was 120 Chemical apparatus $ 400 

Number entered 44 Volumes in library »*^'°°° 

Number to teach 35 Value of same f "i'2°° 

Price of tuition 18 Value of whole property *4D.»oo 

Annual expense 140 Debt $ 3.™o 

Proportion paid by labor 30 Annual receipts lecture room $ 1.700 

Acres of land 60 Expenditures $ 2.500 

Valued at $2,400 Received from the state $19,000 

Buildings '. $20,000 

These figures doubtless show the actual status of the college at this 
period pretty accurately. It appears that a college in those days had a debt 
just as now, and I presume just as disagreeable and hard to manage. It ap- 
pears from this statement that the college had received in money from the 
State treasury $19,000, which had doubtless been employed in completing the 
building and in making up deficiencies in salaries, and this sum exactly co- 
incides with the provisions of law which I have taken the pains to look up. 


By the act of March, 1817, it received $2,000 in three annual instalhnents. 
Building of l.M-ick, trimmings of stone, 100 ft. long-, 38 ft. wide. B\' act of 
January 1st. 1820, $1,000 per annum for five years, $5,000; May 1st, 1834, 
$2,000 annually for four years, equal $8,000. A general law was passed in 
1838 giving to all colleges which had fo'Ur professors and one hundred stu- 
dents $1,000 annually for ten years. But in 1844, at the end of six years, this 
law \\as repealed, and that, if f mistake not, was the end of State aid to col- 
leges. By the act of 1835 the use of the Arsenal was granted, prol.)ably with 
the intention of fitting up dormitories therein, Init was never carried out. 
By the act of 1843 the college was prohibited from transferring any of its 
property of anv kind, e\'idently to prevent debts from becoming a lien 
upon it. 

The report of Dr. Burrowes furnishes some interesting notes respecting 
the then status of the college. The course of study was, somewhat modified 
from that originally prescribed. It embraced: i. A thorough course in 
Latin and Greek, and, when desired, Hebrew, French and German. 2. In 
mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, mensuration, navigation, 
surveying and conic sections, and, when desired, fluxions and civil engineer- 
ing. 3. In natural sciences, ])hilosophy, chemistry, botany, mineralogy and 
geology. 4. Moral and mental philosojihy. elements of criticism, universal 
history, rhetoric, logic, natural theology, political economy and national law. 
Under the head of improvements: Completed, one college building; in prog- 
ress, finishing dormitories; yet required, a fire-proof building for library, 
and an addition for the preparatory department. The government is by 
trustees. The faculty consists of a president, who is professor of moral 
science; vice-president, professor of natural philosophy and chemisti7; a 
professor of Latin and Greek, and one tutor. 

Under the head of future prospects: "It is, perhaps, proper to remark 
that heretofore the availalile funds of the institution have been necessarily 
expended in the purchase of lands, with a view to a manual labor depart- 
ment, in the erection of buildings and in making other necessary improve- 
ments; also, to meet a part of the current expenses, which the receipts from 
tuition, etc., were not entirely sufficient to defray. The trustees and faculty 
strongly feel the importance of a permanent fund invested in some produc- 
tive stock, the avails of which, with the tuition moneys, may in future cover 
all the expenses of the college. To accomplish which they are making 


vigorous efforts, through travehng agents, to bring to their assistance in- 
dividual benevolence. But after three or four years of trial, it is manifest to 
them that the amount which can be raised by this method will be entirely in- 
sufficient to secure the proposed end. Their ultimate reliance for success 
is, therefore, on the patronage of the Legislature. The location of Allegheny 
College places it among the most important in the State. All the north- 
western part of the State could more conveniently send to this college than 
to any other, which renders it important that it should be furnished with 
the necessary advantages. At present the institution labors under serious 
embarrassment, from want of complete apparatus for the illustration of the 
various subjects of natural philosophy and chemistry with a suitable cal)inet 
of natural histor}^ a branch of education daily growing in public estimation. 
The library, extensive and valuable as it already is, requires the addition of a 
few hundred volumes, of modern and recent productions, to bring it up 
with the present state of literature. One additional professor is immediately 
needed to^ fill necessary departments." 

The note under the head of the college in 1837, is: "The improvements 
in progress are dormitories for sixty-eight students; $3,000 are required to 
make all improvements complete. Hitherto the income has been less than 
the expenditure. The deficiencies have been paid by subscriptions. Faculty 
of instruction are five professors, including president and A'ice-president." 

Dr. Ruter was a man of large attaiiuiients and had some experience in 
working up infant educational institutions at Augusta, Kentucky. He was 
seconded by Rev. Homer J. Clark, who had also seen service in similar labor 
at Madison College, in Fayette County, Pa., who was vice-president. A 
Roberts professorship, named in honor of .Bishop Roberts, was endowed, 
which, together with tuition of pupils and rents, gave a more liberal support 
than it had Ijefore enjoyed. The number of graduates during his presi- 
dency were: 1834, 3; 1835, 4: 1836, i: 1837, 6; and in that year Dr. Ruter 
was succeeded by the vice-president. Dr. Clark. Through the powerful ap- 
peals of Thaddeus Stevens, who, in behalf of higher education, as he had done 
in 1835 for the common schools, had put his shoulder to the wheel, a law 
was passed in 1838 giving to each college which had four professors and one 
hundred students, $1,000 annually for ten years. At the end of si.x years that 
law was repealed. During the period from 1838 to 1844, in which State aid 
^\■as regularly received, there was a good degree of prosperity: but upon 


the withdrawal of that, it was seen that tlic college could not be supported 
without some other means than the uncertain amounts received from tuition 
of students. Accordingly the college was for a time, from 1844 to '46, closed 
and the president went forth among the friends and ]ialrons of the college 
to solicit endowment funds. As a result of his e.xertions a hundred thousand 
dollars were subscribed, of which ($60,000) sixty thousand dollars were col- 
lected and in\-ested. The plan of the endowment was by the purchase of 
scholarships, which practical!)- cut off all hope of revenue from tuition. 
"Any person subscribing and paying $35 to the Centenar\- Fund Society of 
either the Pittsburg or Erie Conference secured a perpetual scholarship in 
the college. The two Centenary Fund Societies were regularly incorporated 
and. through their lioards, elected annually by the Conferences, one having 
its seat in Pittsburg and the other in Meadville, received and invested the 
funds and collected and applied the proceeds. For the funds invested security 
was taken on productive real estate to three times the aiuount loaned. The 
interest, when collected, was paid o\-er to the college treasurer to defray the 
expenses of the instruction. Thus, by a large permanent and productive 
endowment, the salaries of the professors were ]iaid and tuition offered with- 
out charge." 

During the ten years in which Dr. Clark ])residcd, from 1837 to '47, the 
number of graduates was as follows: 1838, 6; 1839, 10; 1840, 15: 1841, 15; 
1842, 9: 1843, 4: 1844. o; 1845, 2: 1846, 4; T847, 10. He appears to have 
been a man with the real missionar\- sjiirit and accomplished a great g^ood 
for the college. Whether the plan of endowment was the most judicious 
form in which aid could have been secured is susceptible of cjuestion, l)ut it 
is probable that in the straitened circumstances of those who were disposed 
to give and the scarcity of money it was the only practical plan. 

In 1847, Rev. John Barker, D. D., was called to the presidential chair. 
He was a native of East Riding of Yorkshire, England, hut came with his 
parents to this country when three years of age, and was educated at Geneva 
College, N. Y. From 1840 to 1845 li^ was vice-president of Alleghenv 
College, and professor of natural philosophy and chemistry, from which 
position he went to be professor in the Transylvania University at Lexing- 
ton, Ky., but returned at the end of two years to the presidency of the col- 
lege upon the retirement of Dr. Clark. He was a man of strong mind, of 
varied, almost unbounded knowledge, and, what was of the last importance 


to him as a teacher, his knowledge was all pigeon-holed, and eveiything 
filed under its proper head, all ready to be pulled out as occasion required. 
Uninterrupted prnsiierit}- attended the entire course of his management of 
the college. The second l^uilding was completed in 1852. The following 
table shows the number of year!}- graduates: 1847, 10; 1848, 9; 1849, 10; 
1850, 10; 1851. 13: 1852, 22; 1853, 17; 1854, 10; i855> 21; 1856. 18; 
1857, 22; 1858, 25; 1859, 17; i860, 22. His useful work was brought to 
a sudden termination by death, while in the midst of his labors — for he passed 
the e\'ening in examining the pa]}ers of his class — and soon after retiring was 
stricken with apoplexy and in a few hours after 'quietly breathed his last. 

He was succeeded by Rev. George Loomis, D. D., a native of New York 
State, born in 1817; graduated at Wesleyan University, at Middletown, 
Conn.; was principal of the seminar}' at Lima, N. Y. ; chaplain to the post 
of Canton, China, and president of the Female College, Wilmington, Del., 
before coming to Meadville. His presidency occurred, in some respects, at 
an unfortunate period, the fires of civil war at its opening being just then 
beginning to be lighted, and the attendance in colleges for the next half- 
dozen years greatly disturbed thereby: but it was in many respects success- 
ful and highly beneficial to the college. The number of graduates were as 
follows: 1861, 17: 1S62, 19; 1863. 14; 1864, 11: 1865, 7; 1866, 11; 1867, 
8; 1868, 14; 1869, 21; 1870, 15: 1871, 20; 1872, 9; 1873, 15; 1874, 15; 

1875, lb. During his term the endowment fund of the college was largely 
increased, nnich of his time having been given to the labor of soliciting. By 
the annual report published by the superintendent of public instruction, it 
is shown that in 1863 this fund was increased $25,500; in 1864, $3,500; in 
1865, $85,000; in 1866, $50,000; in 1867, $25,000; in 1870, $40,000, an 
aggregate of $229,000, more than a quarter of a million — a sum which would 
have set President Alden to talking in all the ancient languages at once — 
and, added to the $60,000 reported by President Clark, would give $289,000. 
But this sum must have been subject to considerable shrinkage, as the 
amount reported by Dr. Hamnett in his histon^ of the college, published in 

1876, it is set down as Erie Conference, $85,000, and Pittsburg, $75,000, an 
aggregate of $160,000. The campus was much enlarged upon the south, 
extending towards town, and a third building. Culver Hall, with the grounds 
reaching from North Maine Street to Highland Avenue, was acquired. The 
reports also show that during Dr. Loomis' administration the value of ap- 


paratus which, in 1863, is set down at $1,000, and which I presume includes 
the entire cabinet of natural history, was increased in 1865 to $15,000: in 
1869 to $18,000, and in 1875 to $65,000. This collection embraces, in addi- 
tion to all the ordinary philosophical and chemical apparatus, several costly 
'and comparatively rare pieces, the Prescott cabinet of 2,400 shells, the Halde- 
man cabinet of 550 minerals and 2,000 shells, the Alger cabinet of 5.000 rare 
mineral specimens, which is said to have cost the collector $35,000, and is in 
manv respects unique; the cabinet of Ward casts in lithology and paleontol- 
ogy. the Smithsonian collection from Panama, Vancouver's Island, and the 
West Indies; the Currier entomological cabinet of 3,000 specimens, and a 
growing collection of specimens gathered by the Scientific Club, together 
with a museum of art history, embracing engi-avings and photographs in 
architecture, sculpture, painting, copies of celebrated statuary, a portion 
presented by the Royal Museum of Berlin. Had not certain reverses over- 
taken the plans of Dr. Loomis they would have resulted in princely munifi- 
cence. As it is. the resources and material indispensable to a successful col- 
lege were greatly enlarged during his administration. 

After the withdrawal of Dr. Loomis the management devolved upon 
the vice-president. Dr. Hamnett. 

In July. 1875. Rev. Lucius H. Bugbee. D. D., of Cincinnati, who had 
been chosen in the February previous, w^as inaugurated president. The re- 
sults of his labors and those of his associates have been felt. The buildings 
were thoroughly repaired and renovated, three rooms 20x40 feet, with fur- 
naces, water, gas, and all the material for performing chemical analyses, have 
been furnished in the basement of Bently Hall. A chapel, which is a credit 
to the institution, has been fitted and hung with portraits of the presidents, 
the beginning of a complete overhauling and rejuvenation of the library was 
begun, and two able and efficient agents were placed in the field soliciting 
funds for the increase of the endowment. 

The number of graduates during Dr. Bugbee's presidency was: 1876, 14; 
1877. 12; 1878, 12; 1879. 16; 1880, 15: 1881, 21; 1882, 26. During Dr. 
Bugbee's administration females were admitted to the regular college 
classes on the same conditions as males. This necessitated a suitaljle build- 
ing for a home for them. Through the resolute and energetic exertions of 
President Bugbee, Hulings' Hall, a four-storied building of brick, was erected, 
80x100 feet, on the line of the original building. It was provided with 


dormitories and conveniences for cooking and caring for a hundred pupils. 
It was largely paid for by one man — Marcus J. Hulings, of Oil City. Dr 
Bugbee was a native of Gowanda. New York. He was educated at .\m- 
herst College, where he graduated in 1854. He had been president of the 
Northwestern Female College, at Evanston. 111., and subsequentjy president' 
of the Female College at Cincinnati. In June, 1882, on account of failing 
health, he resigned and in 1883 he died. For a year the duties of president 
devolved upon the vice-president. Dr. Hamnett. 

The Rev. David H. Wheeler, D. D., LL. D., was elected president in 
April, 1883, and was inaugurated on the J/th of June following. He was 
born in Ithaca, New York, in 1829. His life has been devoted to education 
and authorship. He taught Latin in the Rock River Seminary, served two 
years as superintendent of schools in Carroll County, Illinois; five years as 
professor of Greek in the Cornell College, Iowa, and eight years as professor 
of English literature in Northwestern University, at Evanston, Illinois. 
Between his services at Cornell College and that at Evanston, he filled the 
oiSce of United States consul at Geneva, where he pursued historical and 
linguistic studies. The degree of D. D. was conferred upon him bv Cor- 
nell College and that of LL. D. by the Northwestern University. During 
his administration the following have been the numbers of graduates: 1883, 
32; 1884,24; 1885,25; 1886,30; 1887.21: 1888,33. For the year 1888-9 
\\'ilbur G. Williams, D. D., was placed in the presidential chair and the 
graduates of that year were 2ic>- -^t the of the year Dr. \\'heeler was 
reinstated as president and the graduates were: 1890, 42; 1 891, 29; 1892, 
29; 1893, 35. At the close of 1893 Dr. Wheeler resigned and gave his atten- 
tion exclusively to literary pursuits and to authorship. During his admin- 
istration, Wilcox Hall, devoted to chemistr}' and the natural sciences, was 

At the opening of the academic year of 1893-4 the Rev. William H. 
Crawford, D. D., was called to the presidency of the college. He was an 
eminent scholar, a graduate of the Northwestern University at Evanston, 
had had experience as an educator, and was especially distinguished by his 
oratorical gifts. The graduates during his services thus far have been: 
1894, 24; 1895, 23; 1896, 32; 1897. 35; 1898, 32. In addition to his 
services in the executive management of the college and the instruction in 
his department, he has secured the erection of a gymnasium which, in addi- 


tion to Us special uses, is provided with a number of rooms for tlie general 
purjioses of the college. He has also devoted much time and tireless energy 
in canvassing for an endowment and has been successful in securing $100,000. 
Allegheny College has a record of over eighty years, written in much 
tribulation, and in the face of many discouragements, but with much in that 
history to encourage to faithful effort. Alden labored when the stumps 
had not been cleared away from where now are the fine streets and the 
proud residences of the inhal:)itants of Meadville. Rutter and Clark came at 
a period when the pecuniary resources were most difficult to command, and 
the needs were most pinching. Barker was at the helm when the demands of 
a scholar and a great teacher were most pressing. Loomis had the depress- 
ing influence of war time; but his hand in securing funds and in placing price- 
less collectious in natural sciences and the fine arts will perpetuate his name 
as long as Allegheny College shall exist. Bughee and Wheeler and Craw- 
ford were called when eminent scholarship was needed to cement and make 
strong the mighty colunui w Inch a century has been far spent in building. 

In connection with the subject of the origin of education in the county, 
\ ga\e the provisions of law by which Meadville Academy was founded and 
subsequent legislation by which its operation was eft'ected. In 1825 the 
building and grounds at the corner of Chestnut and Liberty Streets were 
. sold to Air. Arthur Cullum and the property on Second Street, now 
known as the High School, was acquired, and the building now standing 
thereon was erected in 1826, For a quarter of a century some portion of the 
Iniilding was used for primary English instruction and for some part of the 
lime this was the onl}- grade of instruction, though a teacher of the ancient 
languages taught at times for such compensation as he could command from 
the tuition of his pupils. Trustees were regularly elected; jjut they did lit- 
tle more than keep up their organization and take charge of the invested 
fund, of which there was a small one. John Reynolds and David Derickson 
were among its classical teachers, as were Messrs. Leffingwell, Donnelly, Pike, 
Rodgers, and the Misses Benedict, 

In Dr. Burrowes' report of 1836, Meadville Academy is set down as 
having a Iniilding worth $4,000 and invested funds to the amount of 
$1,781.14, all the other items which would show its condition, if it had any 
status, are left blank. Under the head of donations there are reported as 
having been given by the State $1,000 to the academy and $1,000 to the 


Meadville Female Seminary. Under the head of remarks it says of A'lead- 
ville Academy: "The course of instruction not specified. The improve- 
ments are a brick building, 24x48 feet, two stories high, valued as above. 
The pecuniary affairs are managed by six trustees. Prospects not good." In 
the following year no report whate\"er was made, from which we ma}- infer 
that it was at a low ebb. 

In the year 1852 the building was repaired, an addition providing for 
stairway outside of the main building was made, and a well-organized acad- 
emy under the principalship of Mr. Thomas F. Thickstun and Samuel P. 
Bates, was opened. In tlie course of the following year modern furniture 
was inserted, of which it had ne\-er had any other than long benches and 
desks; a library of 500 well selected volumes was procured, several hun- 
dred dollars' worth of new' philosophical apparatus was purchased of the 
Wightmans, of Boston, and improvement of the grounds made. By refer- 
ence to the annual catalogue we find that the numl^er of instructors, includ- 
ing the principals, was eight, besides assistant pupils: number of students in 
the classical department, 39; English department, 289; annual aggre- 
gate, 522; males, 168: feinales, 128. Average age, males, 18 years; females, 
17. Proportion of pupils outside of Meadville, three-fourths. In the fol- 
lowing year the number of males was 184; females, 198; total, 382. Annual 
aggregate for the four terms, 668. Increase over last year, 28; number in 
teachers' course, 217. There were three courses of study, a teachers' 
course covering three years, commencing with algebra, physiology and 
French or Latin, the latter being continued through the course — a ladies' 
course of three years varying but little from the teachers' course, and a 
classical course of two years just covering the ground for entrance to college. 
Courses of lectures were delivered on the theory and practice of teaching, 
on natural philosophy, experimental; on Roman history, on chemistry, and 
on Grecian and Roman mythology. In 1857 S. P. Bates was elected county 
superintendent of schools and in the following year Mr. Thickstun was suc- 
ceeded in the principalship by Mr. A. D. Cotton, assisted by Mr. J. W. Wither- 
spoon. During all this time from 1852 the teachers were paid entirely by 
tuition of pupils. 

From a historical note prefixed to the rules and regulations of the 
Board of Control of the Public Schools, published in 1862, prepared by 
Joshua Douglas, Esq., then secretary, it appears that the Board was or- 



ganizecl on the 21st of May, 1861, and among the first labors of the Board 
was the preparation of a plan for the establishment of a high school. Ac- 
cordingly, on the 9th of September, it was nnanimously resolved to estab- 
lish such a school and to keep it open at least nine months in each year. 
This school went into operation on the 21st of Octoljer, 1861, with fifty 
scholars, under the instruction of Professor A. D. Cotton. This took the 
place of the academy, and not long thereafter the entire property and in- 
vested funds was, by provision of law, transferred to the Board for public 
school purposes and the academy ceased to exist. 

The Meadville Theological School was founded in 1844. It is pro- 
vided in the act of incorporation that no doctrinal test shall e\-er be made 
a condition of enjoying any of the opportunities of instruction in the school, 
except a belief in the divine origin of Christianity. At one time five dif- 
ferent denominations were represented among its students, though the 
school was founded mainly by the Unitarians with some co-operation with 
members of the Christian denomination. The brick building erected for 
the Cimiberland Church, opposite the northwest corner of the first Presby- 
terian lot, was used for chapel, library and class-rooms until 1853, when the 
commodious building, known as Divinity Hall, erected upon a site on the 
eastern hill, as Allegheny College was upon the northern hill, and command- 
ing a full view of the city and a wide stretch of varied landscape to the west, 
was occupied. The grounds, four acres in extent, were contributed liy Rev. 
Frederic Huidekoper and the building was erected at an expense of $16,000. 
It contains a neat chapel, with dormitories for students and apartments for the 
family of steward and for boarding. In 1893 a commodious library building- 
was erected, with ample compartments for books, and light and airy rooms, 
provided with consulting tables, for the accommodation of visitants who do 
not wish to take the books from the building. 

During the early years of the school it was supported by an annual con- 
tribution from three churches in the city of New York of $1,000, $500 an- 
nually from the American Unitarian Association, the proceeds of a fair held 
in Boston, and sundry smaller subscriptions. In 185 1, as a result of the 
strenuous exertions of the friends of the school, an endowment of $50,000 
was raised and advantageously invested. This sum has been more than 
doubled since by legacies, donations, profits of fortunate investments, and 
savings from income. The unproductive assets — as the building, profes- 


sors' residences, library-^are estimated at $32,000, and the productive assets 
at about $108,000, making a total of $140,000. About three-fifths 
of this amount came from New York, New England, and Unitarian friends 
elsewhere, one-fifth from the accumulated results of good investments, and 
the remaining fifth from the family of the late H. J. Huidekoper, to which the 
school is largely indebted in the founding, and in the judicious manage- 
ment of its funds and of its affairs. 

The Rev. Rufus P. Stebbins, D. D., was the first president and to his 
popularity as a speaker and practical methods of instruction for all grades of 
students, is largel}- due the measure of success attained during its early 
years. He was succeeded in the presidency in 1856 by Rev. Oliver Stearns, 
D. D., and he in turn, in 1864, by Rev. A. A. Livermore, D. D. The Rev. 
Frederick Huidekoper, as professor of ecclesiastical history of the first 
three centuries, for many years gave his services gratuitously to the school. 
The present Board of Instruction are Professor George L. Gary, L. H. D., 
who succeeded Dr. Livermore in 1890, literature and theolog}' of the New 
Testament; Henry H. Barber, homiletics and the philosophy of religion; 
Francis A. Christie, A. B., church history, and associate professor of the 
literature and theology of the New Testament; Mrs. George R. Freeman, 
Hebrew, literature of the Old Testament, and history of religion; Nich- 
olas P. Gilman, sociology and ethics. 

The first class graduated in 1846 — 3 members; 1847, 3; 1848, 9; 1849. 
5; 1850,8; 1851,7; 1852,5; 1853,7; 1854, 11; 1855,3; 1856, 5; 1857,0; 1858, 
10; 1859, 5; 1860,6; 1861,8; 1862,7; 1863, 5; 1864,4; 1865,5; 1866,3; 1867, 
4; 1868, 7; 1869, 5; 1870, 2; 1871, 3; 1872, 3; 1873, 5; 1874, 3; 1875, 5; 1876, 
o; 1877 3; 1878, 4; 1879, i; 1880,4; 1881,4; 1882,2; 1883,2; 1884, i; 1885, 
7; 1886,4; 1887, I ; 1888,2; 1889,6; 1890,9; 1891,2; 1892, 3; 1893,6; 1894, 
9; 1895, 12; 1896, 9; 1897, 9; 1898, 4; total, 251. It will be understood that 
these received full diplomas. Others in various degrees received certifi- 
cates of study, making the entire number of different students from its origin, 


In addition to their legitimate duties to the school the trustees hold in 
trust a fund of $23,000, bequeathed by the late Joshua Brooks, (i) to aid 
Western ministers whose salaries are inadequate to their support; (2) to nn- 
prove the libraries of ministers by a loan or gift of books; (3) to aid libraries 



which may be formed bj' associations of Western ministers; (4) to aid 
parishes in forming or increasing permanent ministerial libraries. In the 
execution of this trust about 40,000 volumes of standard works have 1)een 

In 1867 was organized the Literary Union, an association of gentle- 
men united for the purpose of delivering a course of lectures during the 
winter season for the elevation of the pulilic taste, and the diffusion of in- 
formation among the people. The only meetings held were those for se- 
lecting and designating those of its members who should be the speakers. 
The lectures were delivered in the court-room, which was usually packed to 
its utmost capacit}- and were free to all. Perhaps this last consideration 
was the one which induced the fine attendance, on the principle of the man 
who advocated a free salvation, having been a member of the church thirty 
odd years and never having cost him a cent. These lectures were, for the 
most part, of a high order. Drs. Stebbins and Barker were then in their 
prime, and there' was a generous rivalry in this intellectual arena, and many 
of the members of a subsecjuent club wtYG members of that and ably ser\-ed 
on these annual occasions. These lectures were continued until i860. 

In the fall of 1857 a vigorous effort was made to start a public lil)rary 
and reading room in Aleadville. A meeting was held at the court house, 
at which William Reynolds acted as chairman and R. Lyle White, secretary, 
and spirited addresses were made by Dr. Livermore, Mr. Zachos, Dr. Rey- 
nolds, Dr. Loomis, Dr. ]\Iarks, Professor Marvin, Mr. Delamater, ^Ir. 
Douglas, Mr. Richmond, Islr. Shippen and Mr. Coffin. The principal point 
of difference seemed to be whether the library should be free, or a fee should 
be charged for its use. A committee of organization was appointed, con- 
sisting of Mr. Reynolds, chairman; ^Messrs. Delamater, Comfort, Robbins, 
Magaw, White, Winslow, Richmond. Shippen. and Livermore. The first 
meeting of this committee was held on the 7th of November, 1867, at the 
ofRce of Mr. Delamater, and subsequent meetings were held November 12, 
November 13, November 19, January 2, 1868, and January 8, at which plans 
were discussed, a constitution adopted and committees appointed to solicit 
funds. It was named the Meadville Atheneum. Upon the payment of $10 
a person became a member of the association and for every $10 paid was to 
have one vote. The subscriptions were made payable when $10,000 were 


subscribed. In the meantime Mr. Joseph Shippen dehvered a pubhc ad- 
dress upon the subject, which was pubhshed. The first sentence of that 
address was: "The estabhshment of a pubhc hbrary in this cit}' has long 
been talked of, and earnestly wished for," and the last sentence: "Let the 
trumpet sound — forward." But the difficulty of raising the desired funds 
caused the enterprise to fail, and on leaving town Mr. Winslow, the secre- 
tary, in handing over the record book and constitution to Mr. Richmond, 
closed his note with these words: "Trusting that it is not dead, but only 
sleepeth, I am, etc." 

In the winter of 1867-8 our fellow-townsman. Dr. E. H. Dewey, attend- 
ed medical lectures at Detroit, where he had the advantage of a public library, 
and on his return, feeling the need of a like institution here, called together a 
number of his friends at the insurance office of L. F. Margach to consider the 
matter of starting one. An adjourned meeting was held in the room of King 
Solomon's Lodge in the Bett's Block, over which Dr. Dewey presided, at 
which a constitution and by-laws were adopted and an organization was per- 
fected. The plan was simple. Each member was to furnish annually one 
book and pay one dollar. Shelving was put up in the office of Mr. Margach, 
A\hich was had rent free, and he served as librarian without pay. Three or 
four hundred volumes were riuickly gathered, and with the money paid new 
books were bought. From this office it was removed to the Porter Build- 
ing, where a librarian waited upon the patrons twice in the week. From 
this it was taken to the Richmond Block in 1872, where it was domiciled 
in the Derickson Block. It was opened from 2 to 9 p. m. daily except Sun- 
days, a reading- room well supplied with papers, magazines and reviews was 
added, the books were classified and catalogued and the catalogue published 
in a neat bound form. The membership fees have never reached $200 a year, 
while the expense annually is over $700. The deficit was supplied for sev- 
eral years by an organization of ladies and gentlemen known as the Library 
Sociable, by the efforts of two ladies, who. by personal solicitation, raised 
over $1,200, in the afternoons of three days, through courses of lectures and 
by the voluntary contributions of friends. In 1879, realizing the necessity of 
a permanent abiding place for the librar}-, a movement was made towards ac- 
quiring a suitable property. General Henry S. Huidekoper, who owned the lot 
on the corner of Park Avenue and Centre Street, on which was the building 


originally erected for a public hall and markets, offered to sell the property for 
$8,500, and to make a donation towards its purchase of $1,000. This offer 
was accepted, a charter was Secured, and the necessary funds for the purchase 
and improvement of the building were raised, amounting to $14,362.70. A 
nominal fee of $1 per annum was charged for the privilege of taking books 
till the current year, when it was made free. 



IN all departments of human enterprise the outward expression will in time 
come to conform to the inward life or appreciation. In that state, or 

society, where wealth is not more lavished upon social luxury than upon 
those institutions which have for their aim the elevation of the people morally 
and intellectually, we may safely look for a commonwealth in which all truly 
wise parents will gladly place their children. To a stranger in lier midst who 
is weighing these serious considerations, Meadville may, without boasting, 
say: "Look at my churches and my schools." Shall we essay to honor 
the men who year after year have helped, by wise counsel and wiser action, 
to uprear these structures devoted to learning and religion? Lo! their 
works praise them. Tower and spire, and firm foundation stone are mute 
but eloquent eulogists. 

This high moral and intellectual standing as a community has con- 
tributed largely towards the growth and development of the city, and will 
undoubtedly in the future, as in the past, attract as residents a most desirable 
class of citizens. There is no department of society more worthy of serious 
consideration, and hence it deserves a prominent space in historical com- 

First Presbyterian Church. — The first public religious services in Mead- 
ville were held in the old Gill House, situated on Water Street, and subse- 
quently in the court- room over the old jail, that stood on the ground now oc- 
cupied by the law office of Haskins & McClintock, on the Diamond. Elisha 
McCurdy, a member of the Presbytery of Ohio, and Joseph Stockton, a licen- 
tiate of the same Presbytery, were the first ordained ministers who preached 
within the bounds of what is now Crawford County. They were sent out on a 
missionary tour in 1799, and, among other places, preached in Meadville. The 
next year Mr. Stockton received an invitation to preach statedly at this place, 



and in the fall of 1800 left his home in Washington County, and, with his 
young wife and some household goods, came on horseback to establish himself 
in Meadville. Over this church, in connection with that of Little Sugar 
Creek, now Cochranton, he was ordained as pastor on June 24, 1801. His 
duties as pastor of these charges continued until June 27, 1810, when the 
Erie Presbytery dissolved the relation. While still officiating in Meadville 
he traveled through and preached at different points in Erie and Mercer 
Counties, and was the first principal of the Meadville Academy, opened in 
1805. John Cotton. Robert Stockton and Hugh Cotton were the first 
elders of the Meadville Church. 

Robert Johnston, the second pastor of the church, was installed over 
the churches at Meadville, Little Sugar Creek and Conneaut Lake on, Oc- 
tober 15, 181 1, and divided his time equally between Meadville and the other 
two churches. During his pastorate Mr. Johnston organized a Sunday- 
school, which was opened in December, 1814. Thomas Atkinson, of the 
Messenger, assisted in the undertaking. It had no official board, but was a 
spontaneous effort to bring the youth of the village undei» the influence of 
moral teaching. Mr. Johnston served as pastor until April, 181 7. 

At their meeting in January, 181 5, the Board of Trustees fixed the 
pastor's salaiy for the Meadville Church at $200 per annum, from which one 
can infer that the position was not a bonanza. Soon afterwards it was de- 
cided to build a church, and a building committee was appointed, consist- 
ing of the following well-remembered pioneers: William Clark, William 
Foster, Samuel Tqrbett, Daniel Bemus and John Reynolds. It was to be 
a brick building, 60x70 feet in dimensions, finished within two years, and at 
a total cost of $6,500. On the 5th of February, 18 18, a contract for the 
erection of the church was let to George Davis. It occupied the site of the 
present church, and the building was completed and the pews sold on Au- 
gust 14, 1820. This building was the only place for public worship in the 
village until 1825, when the Methodists fitted up a room on South Main 

John Van Liew began his pastorate in Meadville in August, 1821, and 
continued three years, when, owing to impaired health, the relation was dis- 
solved. He was succeeded by Wells Bushnell, who remained seven years, 
when he went as a missionary to the Indians, his congregation reluctantlj' 
consenting to his withdrawal. Nathaniel West, the next pastor, remained 


two years. He was succeeded by John V. Reynolds, D. D., who for thirty 
years filled the pulpit of the First Presbyterian Church, the Presbytery' dis- 
solving the relation, at his request, in April, 1869. James G. Carnachan, 
LL. D., succeeded him, and continued his pastorate twelve years. It was 
during his pastorate, in 1874-75, that the present handsome edifice was 
erected, at a cost of about $43,000, and it was dedicated on August 22, 1875. 
It stands on the southwest corner of Liberty and Center Streets, has a seat- 
ing capacity of 750, and is regarded as one of the finest church properties 
in Meadville. The pastor's residence is on the opposite corner from the 
church, and is a comfortable two-story frame. 

In the spring of 1881 the membership was greatly reduced by the 
withdrawal of a large number of the members and congregation in the organi- 
zation of the Park Avenue Congregational Church. In November of the 
same year Edward P. Sprague became pastor. He was succeeded six years 
later by Ken. C. Hayes, D. D., who is still in charge. Dr. Hayes is a native 
of Butler County, and was educated at Waynesburg College. He served as 
pastor at Middlesex five years before locating at Meadville. He is chaplain of 
the Fifteenth Regiment. N. G. P., and as such served in the United States 
service during the war with Spain. 

The present membership of the church is aljout one hundred and fifty; 
and the Sunday School, which was first opened in 181 4, and regularly or- 
ganized in 1819, contains about one hundred and thirty-five scholars. The 
church disposes of a substantial fund for the use of the poor, donated by the 
late Alanson Lindley, and named the "Alanson Lindley Fund for the Poor,"' of 
which only the interest can be used. 

Central Presbyterian Churcli. — A difference of opinion respecting doc- 
trines and church government culminated in the year 1838 in the division of 
the Presbyterian sect into two branches, commonly known as the Old 
.School and New School. The division continued until 1869, when the two 
bodies were happily reunited. This difference of opinion affected the Mead- 
ville Church, the adherents of the New School going out to form a new or- 
ganization under the title of the Second Presbyterian Church. It was tem- 
porarily ministered to by Revs. Lyon, Anderson, West and Kellogg, until, in 
June, 1841, Robinson S. Lockwood was called to the pastorate. In 1842 
there was an extended revival, during which o\-er fifty were added to the 
membership. Mr. Lockwood was dismissed from the pastoral charge of the 


church in 1843. The first meetings were held in the lecture room of the 
First Church, and subsequently the brick building on Center Street, no^v 
used as the barn of the Central Hotel, was fitted up for a place of wor- 
ship. Afterwards the building of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, op- 
posite the jail, was used for worship. Their own church on Center Street 
was completed in 1844, at a cost of about $15,000. In 1869 the building was 
considerably enlarged, and a tower built on each front corner, at a total cost 
of about nine thousand dollars. 

In November, 1843, Richard Craighead, D. D., became' pastor of the 
church, a relation which was continued with mutual satisfaction to both 
pastor and congregation during thirty-one years. During his pastorate the 
present church was built and enlarged, and it is to his earnest labors that 
the Second Presbyterian Church is indebted for its present flourishing con- 
dition. He was succeeded in 1874 by Thomas D. Logan, a graduate of the 
Western Theological Seminary, who remained until 1888, when Jonathan 
Edwards, D. D., LL. D., became pastor. Dr. Edwards was a man possessed 
of broad charity, his sermons appealing to reason rather than prejudice. He 
was broad and liberal minded, and a theologian with few superiors. Not 
only with the members of his own church, but with the community in general, 
he was respected and loved. He was greatly interested in educational work, 
and had, prior to his ministerial work in this city, been president of Wash- 
ington and Jefferson College. He died at Peoria, 111., on July 13, 1891. Joseph 
S. Malone was called in 1891, and six years later was succeeded by Donald C. 
McLeod, the present pastor. The church has a membership of about three 
hundred, and is in a flourishing condition. Early in 1892 the name was 
changed from the Second Presbyterian to the Central Presbyterian Church. 

The Cumberland Presbyterian and United Presbyterian Churches had 
each a society here for a few years. The former erected a brick building on 
Center Street in the summer of 1834, but after an existence of about two years 
the society disbanded, and the building was sold to the Unitarians, who, in 
October, 1844, dedicated it as Divinity Hall. The United Presbyterians never 
had a building in Meadville, but worshipped in a frame s-tructure owned by 
the Old School Presbyterians, which stood on what is now the corner of Park 
Avenue and Center Street. The society was occasionally attended by John 
Findley, of Waterford; H. H. Thompson, of Cochranton; and Joseph B. 
Waddle, of Evansburg. The cliurch was organized about 1840, but it grad- 


ually went down, and finally ceased to exist after a struggle of eight or ten 

First Methodist Episcopal Church. — The Methodists held a camp meeting 
near Meadville as early as 1812, in which Bishop McKendree took part. This 
was while the soldiers were encamped at Meadville, and was probably held 
to give them a place to worship. Robert C. Hatton preached in Meadville 
in 1824, and early in the following year a class was organized, consisting of 
John Lupher, leader, and wife, Wesley Bowman and wife, Griffith Bennett 
and wife, Hannah Lowry, Sarah and Margaret Johnson. Other members 
were soon added to the class. The society was small and poor and unable 
to erect a place of worship, but soon after its organization Mr. Lupher fitted 
up a room over his blacksmith shop, at the corner of Arch and South Main 
Streets, and for nine years this was their place of meeting, the little church in 
the meantime increasing in numbers and wealth. In 1830 they began the 
erection of a brick building on Arch Street, which cost $3,000, and was fin- 
ished in 1834. Although never formally dedicated, this building was used by 
the Methodists of Meadville for thirty-two years. Early in 1866 it was sold 
to St. Bridget's congregation. On June 5 of the same year the cornerstone of 
the large, massive stone structure on the southwest corner of South Main 
Street and the Diamond was laid by Bishop Calvin Kingsley, and it was dedi- 
cated July 29. 1868. Bishop Simpson preached in the morning, and Rev. 
Punchon, of Ontario, Canada, at the evening service. During the latter ser- 
vice the building was presented by Hon. H. L. Richmond, in behalf of the 
congregation, to Bishop Kingsley, who thereupon performed the ceremony of 
dedication. Its total cost when completed, including the lot, was over $84,- 
000. It has a seating capacity of 1,200. 

The church, organized by Robert C. Hatton in 1825, has been attended 
by the following ministers: 1826, J. W. Hill and I. H. Hacket; 1827, C. 
Brown, J. Leach and I. H. Hacket; 1828, Job Wilson and W. R. Babcock; 
1829, N. Callender and A. Callender; 1830, A. Callender and A. Plimpton; 
1831, J. S. Barrie; 1832, D. Preston; 1833, H. J. Clark; 1834, J. Robin- 
son; 1835, R. Clapp; 1836-37, E. Birkett; 1838, J. J. Steadman; 1839, 
Solomon Gregg; 1840, J. H. Whallon; 1841-42, B. S. Hill; 1842, C. Kings- 
ley; 1843. J. R. Locke; 1844, Alfred G. Sturgiss; 1845, M. Hill and A. 
Callender; 1846, M.Hill; 1847, T. Graham; 1848, H. M. Bettes; 1849-50, 
John Bain; 1851-52, E. J. Kenney; 1853-54, N. Norton; 1855, G. B. Haw- 



kins; 1856-57, G. W. Maltby; 1858-59, E. A. Johnson; 1860-61, T. Stubbs; 
1862, J. E. Chapin; 1863-65, W. F. Day; 1866-67, Joseph Excdl; 1867, 
L. D. Williams; 1868, J. Peate and L. D. Williams; 1869-71, Alfred Wheeler: 
1871, L. D. Williams; 1872. W. W. Wythe and L. D. Williams; 1873, 
W. W. Wythe; 1874-76, W. F. Day; 1877-79, T. L. Flood; 1880-82, J. G. 
Townsend; 1883-84, E. D. McCreary; 1884, G. W. Clark; 1885-86, A. C. 
Ellis; 1888-90, E. C. Hall; 1891-93, T. C. Beach; 1893-96, J. Bell Neff; 
1896-98, A. M. Courtenay. The present membership of the church is about 
six hundred. 

The State Street Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in June, 
1869. and soon afterwards a substantial frame edifice was completed at a cost 
of about $9,000. It stands on State Street above its intersection with North, 
and will seat about four hundred persons. T. P. Warner was the first pastor 
of this church, serving through 1869, and has been succeeded as follows: 
1870-71, W. Sampson; 1872, J. S. Albertson and N. Norton; 1873, J- S. 
Albertson; 1874, W. H. Wilson; 1875, R. M. Bear; 1876-77, O. Babcock; 
1878, A. S. Dobbs; 1879, J. B. Espy; 1880-81, A. J. Lindsey; 1882, Q. W. 
Decker; 1883, O. L. Mead and G. W. Clark; 1884, O. L. Mead; 1885, W. O. 
Allen and W. P. Arbuckle; 1886-87, Manassas Miller; 1888, J. H. Heron; 
1889, James Clyde; 1890-92, J. H. Laverty; 1893-96, Wm. Branfield; 1897- 
98, J. H. Bates. 

Free Methodist Church. — The Meadville branch of this denomination 
was organized by Jeremiah Barnhart, with sixteen members, Sept. 2, 1883. 
The meetings were at first held in a hall on Market Street called Temperance 
Hall. R. H. Bentley was the first pastor, preaching once every two weeks for 
two years, and was followed by R. H. Bentley and Wm. Ha^-vey, who served 
one year each. O. J. Berlin, the next pastor, remained two years. He was 
succeeded by A. Falkner, who officiated four years. During his pastorate a 
small frame church, 24x36, was erected on North Street, at the foot of State, 
and was dedicated free from debt in July, 1892, at a cost of $900. In 1893 
I. Hodgkins became pastor of the Meadville circuit, including Blooming Val- 
ley, Pine Grove, Cochranton and Meadville, serving for one year. In 1894 
M. L. Schooley became pastor. The membership is small, numbering about 
twenty-five at the present time. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1850 with 
five members, by Jacob Palmer, who became the first pastor. Their first 


services were held in a small brick building in the rear of the Lutheran 
Church, on Arch Street, until in 1853 they purchased from the Baptists, for 
$500, their present property on the northeast corner of Liberty and Arch. 
The Ijuilding- was repaired in 1867, partially destroyed by fire in 1876, and 
rebuilt the same year. The church records extend only from 1861, since which 

time the following ministers have had charge : John Franklin, • Hanfield, 

John Gibbons, W. H. Brown, Benj. Wheeler, W. J. Phillips, AV. V. Ross, 
E. C. Herbert, J. M. GriiTen, John Russell, J. M. Palmer, R. H. Jackson. 
L B. Till, R. Brown, S. C. Honesty, S. C. Goosley, J. W. Lavatt, J. \\\ Jef- 
fries, and P. A. Scott. 

Christ Protestant Episcopal Cluirch was organized Jan. 25, 1825, by J. H. 
Hopkins, of Pittsburg. He came to Meadville at the solicitation of Hon. 
John B. Wallace, a leading attorney of the town ; and the first services were 
held in the old Presbyterian Church. He remained about two weeks, during 
which time he preached frequently, receiving into the church thirty-two adults 
and forty-three children. The next year Charles Smith was appointed to take 
charge of the newly organized congregation, and at once entered upon his 
labors. In August of the same year it was decided to erect a house of wor- 
ship, and on the nth of April, 1827, the cornerstone was laid. The building 
committee in charge of its' erection consisted of Llenry Shippen, Jared Shat- 
tuck, William Alagaw, David Dick, and Robert L. Potter, and Aug. 16, 1828, 
tlie church, \\hich stood on the site of the present one, was dedicated by 
Bishop W. H. Underdonk, who. in his remarks, said that in point of archi- 
tectural beauty the building was the finest in the diocese. It was the first 
Protestant Episcopal church erected in the State, west of the Allegheny River ; 
would seat 500 .persons and cost about eight thousand dollars. The growth 
of the congregation led to its enlargement in 1832 and again in 1863; but in 
April, 1883, it was torn down to give place to the new and more elegant struc- 
ture occupying its site. 

Mr. Smith served until April 27, 1829, and the following rectors have 
since had charge: J. W. James, 1829-32; Edward Y. Buchanan, 1833-34; 
Thomas Crumpton, 1834-40; John P. Hosmer, 1840-41; Orrin Miller, 1842- 
44; Alexander Varien, 1844-46; Wm. Carmichael, D. D., 1846-50; Alex- 
ander Varien, 1851-58; R. W. Lewis, 1858-59; Marison Byllesby, 1859-69; 
Geo. C. Rafter, 1869-70; W. G. W. Lewis, 1871-75; Daniel I. Edwards, 


1876-78; G. A. Carstensen, 1878-82; W. H. Lewis, 1882-85; Rogers Israel, 
1885-92; F. M. Kirkus, 1892-96; George S. Richards, 1896. 

Tlie cornerstone of the new and elegant stone edifice at the northwest 
corner of the Diamond was laid July 14, 1883. by the rector, W. H. Lewis, 
assisted by Marison Byllesby and G. A. Carstensen. On Sunday, March 23, 
1884. the church was formally opened for services by Bishop Whitehead, 
assisted by Dr. Herron, of New Castle, and Mr. Lewis. The building and 
furnishings cost about thirty thousand dollars, of which about two thousand 
fi\'e hundred dollars consisted of memorial and family gifts, which decorate 
the interior. The bell, which cost $225, was presented by the teachers and 
scholars of the Sunday School. On the same lot is a comfortable rectory 
built in 1878 at a cost of $2,700, and a handsome parish building has since 
been added to the property of the church. The church building is a beavitiful 
piece of architecture; has a seating capacity of 425, and reflects great credit 
on the architect, builder and congregation. 

■ The Unitarian, or Imlcpcndcnf Congregational Church, of ]\Ieadville, is 
one of the few of that denomination in western Pennsylvania. It was 
founded in 1825, chiefly through the efforts and influence of H. J. Huide- 
koper. who had settled in Meadville early in the century. His religious beliefs 
agreed substantially with those Christians in England and America who were 
beginning to be called Unitarians. Through the influence of Dr. Priestly, 
who had been driven from his home in England for his devotion to political 
and religious freedom, several Unitarian churches had been founded in Amer- 
ica, and their doctrines had obtained a firm foothold in New England. In 
selecting instructors for his children, ]\Ir. Huidekoper naturally selected yoiuig 
men who were graduates of Harvard L^niversity. which was then, as now, 
largel\- under the control of L'nitarians. They were frequently candidates for 
tlie ministry, and were at length engaged with reference to their willingness 
to hold services in this place. 

The first meetings were held in the old Presbyterian Church, and subse- 
quentl\- in the courthouse, John M. Merrick, the first pastor, who entered 
upon his duties in 1825, holding services on alternate Sundays for two years. 
After him \\^ashington Gilbert officiated, and during his ministry, in 1829, 
the church was more fully organized, with the name of the Independent Con- 
gregational Church of Meadville. Mr. Gilbert remained until 1830, and the 
following were his successors: Ephraim Peabody. 1830-31 ; George Nichols, 


1831-32; Alanson Brigham, 1832-33: A. D. Wheeler and W. H. Channing, 
1834: John O. Day. 1834-37; Henry Emmons, 1837-43; E. G. Holland, 
J843-44; Rufus P. Stebbins, D. D'., 1844-49; Nathaniel S. Folsom, 1849-53; 
C. A. Staples, 1854-57; Oliver Stearns, D. D., 1858; R. R. Shippen, 1859; 
Richard H. Aletcalf, 1860-65; John C. Zachos, 1866-68; Henry P. Cutting, 
1870-73; Robert S. Morrison, 1874-78: James T. Bixby. 1879-83; William 
P. Tilden, 1884; H. H. Barber, 1885-90: T. J. Volentine, 1891-93: James 
M. \Miittier, D. D., 1893 ; and William I. Lawrance from 1894 to the present 

The present church edifice on the southeast corner of the Diamond was 
commenced in 1835. and was dedicated on August 20. 1836. The building 
cost $3,500. exclusi^■e of the lot. which was donated T)y !Miss Margaret 
Shippen and H. J. Pluidekoper. Miss Shippen subsequently gave her house 
adjoining the church to the society for a parsonage. The building committee 
of the church consisted of General (then Captain) George W. Cullum, Horace 
Cullum, and Edgar Huidekoper, and it is interesting to note that the plans 
for the church were made by Captain Cullum. Substantial gifts toward the 
building came from the Unitarian Church in Philadelphia and other friends. 
The organ was presented by the Unitarian Church in BuiTalo. Substantial 
repairs and changes were made in the church in 1S74 and again in 1897. In 
1876 the Unitarian Chapel, a substantial two-story brick building, was erected 
immediately east of the church, at an expense of about six thousand dollars. 
It is used for Sunday school purposes and social gatherings, and the interior 
arrangements are complete for the end contemplated. 

First Baptist Church. — In the summer of 183 1 Adrian Foote, of Ripley, 
N. Y., came to Meadville for the purpose of organizing into a congregation 
the few Baptists then living in this vicinity. He obtained the use of the First 
Presbyterian building, where he preached on four successive afternoons, as- 
sisted in the work by W^illiam Gildersleeve, of Allegheny. In August, 1831, 
a number of those who had taken part in the meetings assembled and formed 
the "Baptist Conference of Meadville." On August 27 Rev. Gildersleeve 
baptized seven persons in a small lake east of town, and on the same date it 
was voted to call a council from eight of the nearest Baptist churches to as- 
semble a month later to consider the subject of organizing an independent 
church in Meadville. Revs. Foote and Gildersleeve returned in four weeks 
and held a series of meetings in the Academy, on ]\Iarket Street. On Septem- 


ber 27, 1 83 1, representatives of four churches met and formed the First Bap- 
tist Church of Meadville. There were fourteen original members, and the 
first meeting of the church after its organization was held at the house of 
Samuel Kirkpatrick, on Arch Street, as the use of the Academy building could 
not be obtained. 

On May 12, 1832, Adrian Foote became the settled pastor of the church, 
and in August of the same year steps were taken to procure a lot and erect a 
house of worship. A lot was purchased at the northeast corner of Arch and 
Liberty Streets and a small frame Iniikling was erected, which was first opened 
for service in June, 1833. It was used for about twenty years, when it was sold 
to the A. M. E. Church. Elder Fopte served until 1834. when he was suc- 
ceeded by E. Hicks, who officiated as a supply. In 1838 Edward M. Miles 
was engaged to preach, dividing his services between the churches at Mead- 
ville and Georgetown, Mercer Count)-. After he left the church was without 
a pastor for some time, and dwindled down to four active members, but these 
kept up the organization, and in 1841 William Look was secured as pastor, 
remaining two years. Another ^■acancy in the pastorate then occurred, regu- 
lar services were abandoned and a state of great depression existed, almost 
leading to disorganization. In June Franklin Kidder took charge of the 
church, remaining one year. Since then the following ministers have served 
the church: John Nicholson, 1847; G. L. Stevens, 1848-51 ; I. M. Chapman, 
1851-52: William M. Caldwell, 1852: J. H. Hazen, 1853-55: Geo. W. Fuller, 
1855-58; I. M. Chapman. 1858-60; William Look, 1860-62: B. C. Willough- 
by, 1862-64; R. B. Kelsey, 1864-66; R. H. Austin, 1866-71; J. H. Langille, 
1871-72; W. B. Grow, 1873; Wm. M. Young, D. D., 1874-79; George 
Whitman, 1879-82; E. M. Haynes, 1882-89; Wm. H. Marshall, 1889-92; 
and \\\\\ C. King from May, 1892, to the present time. Mr. King is a native 
of Trumljull County, Ohio ; was educated at Colgate University, New York ; 
ordained in 1886, and for four years prior to coming here was pastor of the 
Baptist Church at \\'arren, Pa. 

In April, 1852, the lot on which the present building stands, on Center 
Street, was purchased for the sum of v$i,050, and the erection of a brick edi- 
fice commenced that year. The work was pushed forward through 1853, and 
though the building was enclosed only the basement was carried to comple- 
tion, being occupied and dedicated in the summer of 1854. The next year 
the main audience room was completed, and was dedicated on February 19, 


1865. In the summer of 1875 an addition of thirty feet was made to the build- 
ing, heating; furnaces put in. and other improvements carried out at an expense 
of $5,500. The building has a seating capacity of about 400, and the mem- 
bership of the church is 350. while the average Sunday-school attendance is 
about 250. A brick parsonage has been erected on the rear end of the church 
lot. on Walnut Street, at an expense of $3,500. The entire propertv. which 
is valued at $14,000. is free from all debt. 

Lutheran Evangelical Trinity Church. — The first German congregations 
in this county were usually composed of the adherents of both the Lutheran 
and German Reformed denominations, neither being able to maintain public 
worship as separate bodies. In 181 5 Charles W. Colson preached to the few 
Germans then living in this vicinity, and the next year cnme permanently to re- 
side among them. He formed churches at Meadville. Erie. Conneaut Lake 
and Saegertown. of which little is now known, as upon the death of Mr. 
Coleson in 1816 they gradually disbanded. Occasionally a German Reformed 
or a Lutheran minister would visit this county and preach to the Germans, 
among them being Philip Zeiser. David Mock and John Kugler. For some 
time before 1847 occasional union services were held in the courthouse, and in 
that year the Lutherans and Reformers united in purchasing a lot on Pine 
Street, between South Main and Liberty, where they erected a frame building 
at a cost of about $1,800. The church was dedicated December 19. 1847, t>y 
Jacob Zeigler, a Lutheran minister, and Benjamin Boyer of the Reformed 

From that time forward separate organizations existed, each congrega- 
tion occupying the building e^ery alternate Sunday. Mr. Zeigler ministered 
to the Lutherans for six or seven years, after which a state of disorganization 
began to exist in both congregations, brought about by some independent 
preachers, among whom were Revs. Ritter, Ablee and Claraluna. About 1856 
Re^^ Bierdemann reorganized the Lutheran Church and served the congrega- 
tion until his death, in 1869. In the spring of 1866 the Lutherans purchased 
the interest which the Reformed congregation had in the building, and the 
latter erected a house for themselves. Since Mr. Bierdemann's death the 
church has been in charge of the following ministers : J. G Behen. G. A. 
Bruegel. W. F. Deiss, George Kittle, Powell Doepken, John Schmidt, Rev. 
Fickeisen, Henry Peters and Joseph Orr. A lot was purchased on Park Ave- 
nue, near Baldwin, and on November 19, 1893, the corner-stone of the present 


handsome brick edifice was laid. The building was completed during the fol- 
lowing year at a cost of about $8,000, and was dedicated July 4, 1894. Ser- 
vices are held alternately in German and English. 

St. Paul's Reformed Church. — As early as 1818 Philip Zeiser, a minister 
of the German Reformed Church, traveled through northwestern Pennsyl- 
vania on foot, preaching and forming churches at different points in Crawford 
County. In Meadville the Germans of the Reformed and Lutheran faiths 
worshiped together for many years, and were usually ministered to by the 
same preachers. In 1847 they purchased a lot on Pine Street, on which they 
erected a frame church, at a cost of about $1,800. each denomination contrib- 
uting an equal share of the expense. Both denominations had independent 
organizations, using the church on alternate Sundays. The Reformed Church 
had, however, been organized five 3'ears before. Benjamin Boyer, who. with 
Jacob Zeigler of the Lutheran Church, officiated at the dedication ceremony 
on December 19, 1847, '^^'^s the first pastor, and served from 1847 to 1850. 
He was succeeded by D. B. Ernst, who remained until 1854. After Mr. Ernst 
a number of independent preachers ministered to both congregations, and a 
general disorganization took place. In 1859 D. D. Leberman, a regular Re- 
formed minister, reorganized the Reformed congregation, receiving for his 
first year's salary the sum of $53.75. Mr. Leberman served until 1865. when 
he was succeeded by John W. Ebinghaus. 

Early in 1866 the Reformed congregation sold their interest in the old 
church to the Lutherans, and during the year erected a brick building im the 
southwest corner of Park Avenue and Poplar Street. The church and ground 
cost $12,000, and the building, which has a seating capacity of 600, was dedi- 
cated in the spring of 1867. Soon after the dedication a portion of the con- 
gregation seceded, on account of their opposition to English sermons, and or- 
ganized an Independent German Reformed Church. After this an occasional 
sermon was preached in German until 1889, since when they have been only 
in English. In July. 1867, Mr. Ebinghaus was succeeded by D. D. Leberman, 
who continued as pastor for nineteen years. He was succeeded in 1886 by 
F. B. Hahn, and was followed in 1889 by Thomas S. Land, who remained 
about six years. A. M. Schaffner. the present pastor, has served the congre- 
gation faithfully and acceptably during the past three years. In the winter 
of 1879-80 a frame Sunday-school chapel was erected close to the churcli at 
a total cost of $1,400. 


The First Evangelical Protestant Church was organized in 1867 by about 
fifty of the congregation of St. Paul's Reformed Church, who seceded from 
the latter because of the preference shown for the English language in the 
services. The seceders wanted the services conducted in German, and for that 
purpose established the present church, in 1868 erecting a frame building on 
the northwest corner of South Main and Poplar Streets, at a total expense of 
about $4,500. In the spring of 1869 the church was incorporated as the "In- 
dependent German Reformed Congregation," but changed to its present title 
under the pastorate of G. F. Kauffmann. The first pastor was Robert Koch- 
ler, who acceptably filled the position until his death, in 1870. G. F. Kauff- 
mann was the next pastor, and he has been succeeded by A. Gillis, Jacob Blass 
and P. Krauss, the present pastor. During the term of service of the latter a 
handsome brick building has been erected on the lot originally occupied, and 
the position of the church much strengthened in the community. 

The German Lutheran Church occupies a small frame building on the 
eastern side of Liberty Street. It was organized by members of the Lutheran 
Church who objected to the use of English in the services, and therefore or- 
ganized an independent society. The congregation is small, J. G. Trautman, 
the present pastor, holding services every two weeks. 

St. Agatha's Catholic Church {German). — The absence of a Catholic 
church in Meadville during its early history deterred the members of that faith 
from settling here in larger numbers, and we therefore find that nearly all the 
first Catholics located in the northern or eastern portions of the county during 
the last decade of the eighteenth century and the first quarter of the nineteenth. 
The few who settled here, in the absence of a Catholic priest to minister 
to the spiritual wants of their children, soon united with other denominations 
or removed from the town. In 1845 Mark de la Roque, pastor of St. Hyppo- 
lytas Church at Frenchtown, visited Meadville, where there were then but two 
Catholic families, George and Patrick Riordan and George and Conrad Fish- 
er, who attended services at Frenchtown, of which Meadville was then a mis- 
sion. Within a few years a number of others located in the borough, and in 
February, 1849, ^n organization was effected, under the name of St. Agatha's 
Church, by Nicholas Steinbacher, a Jesuit missionary. 

Mass was celebrated at private houses until the completion of the frame 
building on the northwest corner of Pine and Liberty Streets. The corner- 
stone of that structure, which was the cradle of both St. Bridget's and St. 


Agatha's churches, was laid by Father Steinbacher on September 25, 1849, 
and the building was completed and dedicated on August 10, 1850. Joseph 
Hartman was the first regular pastor of the little congregation, serving from 
1850 to 185 1, when Peter Lechner became pastor. The pastors since then have 
been: Father Schifferer, 185 1 ; Anton Reck, 1851-64; Peter Kline, 1865-66; 
Anton Reck, 1866-68; Michael J. Decker, 1868-71; George Meyer, 1871-78; 
Melchoir Appel, 1878-83; Anton Reck, 1883; and Father Franz Winter from 
1S83 to the present. 

The congregation grew rapidly through the passing years, and in 1862 
the English-speaking portion, who did not understand the German language, 
organized St. Bridget's church. In a few years the old frame building was too 
small to accommodate the increasing flock, and on the 8th of August, 
1869, tlie corner-stone of the present imposing brick edifice on the northeast 
corner of South Main and Pine Streets was laid by the Right Reverend To- 
bias Mullen, assisted by the pastor, Father Decker, and other priests of the 
diocese. The building was completed under the pastorate of Father Mever, 
at a total expense of $60,000, and dedicated by Bishop ^Mullen October 19, 
1873. It is one of the finest church edifices in ]\Ieadville, is handsomely fres- 
coed throughout the interior, and has a seating capacity of over one thou- 
sand. St. Agatha's Church embraces 250 families, or about twelve hundred 
souls, and has also a flourishing Sunday-school. The St. Agatha's cemetery, 
which adjoins Greendale. contains three acres, and was purchased by Father 
Reck in 1856 at a cost of $375. 

In 1865 Father Kline established the parish school. He erected a one- 
siorv frame building next to the church, and employed lay teachers to con- 
duct the school, but the Sisters of St. Joseph were finally engaged as assist- 
ants. When the new church was opened in 1873 the old frame church was 
converted into a schoolhouse. In 1884 Father Winter secured a male teacher 
t(.) take charge of the larger boys, while two Sisters looked after the other 
classes. Besides the usual branches taught in the public schools, the children 
are carefully instructed in the divine precepts of religion, secular and reli- 
gious instruction thus going hand in hand. A substantial parsonage was built 
in 1889-90 in the rear of the church at a cost of $4,000; and in 1894 the old 
Trinity Lutheran Church, on Pine Street, was purchased for $1,000, to be 
added to the school buildings. Since then an unique metal steeple, 150 feel 

in height, has been placed on St. Agatha's Church, at a cost of $2,800. 


St. Bridget's Catholic Clinnii. — All the Catholics in this vicinity belonged 
to St. Agatha's Church until the spring of 1862, when St. Bridget's was or- 
ganized by the English-speaking Catholics of the community. Some of the 
original members were John Riordan, Thomas McGuigan, James O'Connor, 
Walter Furlong, Richard ^\'halen and Thomas Breen, with their families. In 
May, 1862, Thomas ]\IcGuigan and James O'Connor, on behalf of the con- 
gregation, rented the building known as "Divinity Hall," which was after- 
wards purchased for the sum of $750. It was dedicated by Bishop Young, of 
Erie, and the congregation placed under the charge of Mark de la Roque, 
of Frenchtown. It was principally attended by his assistant. Father Gilibarti, 
Avho finally in 1863 was appointed resident pastor. An influx of English- 
speaking Catholics, in 1862, swelled the numbers of the little congregation. 
In 1864 two Franciscan Fathers, James Titta and Samuel Fayella, of 
Allegany College, near Olean, N. Y., conceived the idea of founding a Catholic 
institution of learning at Meadville, and were given charge of St. Bridget's 
Church. Their enterprise did not succeed, however, and they removed from 
the town. During their pastorate they bought a large two-story brick house 
on. North Main Street for a pastoral residence, which, with their other prop- 
erty, was sold at the time of their removal. 

In 1865 Father de la Roque again took charge of St. Bridget's, and was 
settled here as resident pastor. Three years later he was placed in charge of 
St. Joseph's Church, at Warren, Ta., and afterwards officiated at Titusville. 
Early in 1866 Father de la Roque purchased the old Methodist Church and 
jKirsonage on Arch Street, near the corner of Liberty, for the sum of $7,000. 
It was fitted up and dedicated the same year by Bishop Domenee, of Pitts- 
burg. The old property on Center Street was then utilized for school pur- 
poses, but was subsequently sold for the original purchase money. James 
Perry was assistant in 1865 and James Haley in 1866. The latter was suc- 
ceeded by John L. Finucane, who became pastor in 1868. He was a native of 
Ireland and was a well-known lecturer and an eminent pulpit orator. He 
served as pastor of St. Bridget's until June, 1871, when he was succeeded l)y 
John L. Madigan, also a native of Ireland. During his pastorate a school 
liuilding was erected. 

In March, 1874, Father James J. Dunn became pastor of St. Bridget's 
and furnished and opened a school in the following September. In 1877 he 
purchased the lot on the northwest corner of Arch and Liberty Streets for 


$1,500, and moved the old parsonage on to it. The time had now come wlien 
St. Bridget's needed a new church; and on Sunday, August 11, 1878, the 
corner-stone of the present beautiful brick edifice was laid by the Right Rev- 
erend Tobias Mullen, of Erie, in the presence of a large concourse of people, 
who had gathered from every portion of the county to witness the impressive 
ceremonies. It was carried to completion, and dedicated November 24, 1881, 
by Bishop Mullen, assisted by a large number of priests of the diocese, and 
Bishop Gilmour, of Cleveland, Ohio, who preached the dedicatory sermon. The 
church cost complete about $15,000, and has a seating capacity of 600. The 
church is beautifullv decorated with scenes from the Bible, the frescoine 
being such as to compare favorably with the finer churches of metropolitan 
cities. A handsome brick parsonage was erected in 1891 at a cost of $7,000, 
and the church and premises have recently been greatly improved. 

Father Dunn, to whose indefatigable labors is due the rearing of the hand- 
some structure dedicated to the service of God, was born in Dublin County. 
Ireland, June 10, 1841. He came to Baltimore in 1849, ^"''1 resided there 
until 1857, when he entered Mount St. Mary's College, Emmettsburg, Md., 
where he was graduated in June, 1863, with the degrees of A. B. and A. M. 
In September of the same year he entered the Theological Seminary attached 
to the college in order to prepare for the priesthood, meanwhile teaching Latin 
and Greek in the college. He was ordained as a priest in October, 1866, but 
remained in the college during the succeeding year as professor of Latin and 
Greek, after which he went to Oil City as assistant priest in St. Joseph's 
Church. In 186S he went to Petroleum Center, where he remained until his 
removal to Meadville, in 1874. He still ofiiciates as pastor of St. Bridget's 
Church, which embraces about 800 souls. 

St. Bridget's cemetery is located a short distance south of Meadville, and 
consists of a handsome plot of five acres. It was purchased in 1866 by Father 
de la Roque, at a cost of $500. The parish school had its inception in 1866, 
being opened in the old building on Center Street, and taught by the Sisters 
of St. Joseph for three or four years. Father Madigan erected a two-story 
frame schoolhouse in the rear of St. Bridget's Church in 1873, which was fur- 
nished and opened by Father Dunn in September, 1874. The attendance is 
considerable, and besides the usual branches taught in the public schobls, the 
course of instruction embraces a thorough religious training. 

The Meadville Hehrezi' Society was organized in 1866, and holds its 


services in the Shryock block, on ^^'atel■ Street. The society has liad several 
ministers and teachers, the Rev. Victor Caro being the most prominent. The 
membership was at one time considerable, but has been much reduced by re- 
movals from the city. The Hebrews own a small cemetery southwest of 

The Park Avenue Congregational Chureh was organized on May i8, 
1881, by the withdrawal of the majority of the congregation and 132 of the 
members of the First Presbyterian Church of Meadville, "who, for conscience 
sake, felt it to be their duty to renounce the Presbyterian form of church 
government." The church was recognized by an ecclesiastical council com- 
posed of Congregational ministers from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio, 
which met October 12, 1881, when James G. Carnachan, LL. D., who for 
twelve years had been pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, was installed 
as pastor of the new organization. Until February, 1884, the congregation 
worshiped in Library Hall, when, having purchased the lot on the corner of 
Chestnut Street and Park Avenue, it entered upon the occupancy of its chapel, 
which was built at a cost of over $6,000, and was dedicated free of debt on Feb- 
ruary 3, 1884. The chapel is conceded to be one of the finest edifices of its 
kind in this portion of the State. 

A leasehold on the building occupying the church lot delayed somewhat 
the erection of the church proper, but as soon as this had expired the main 
building was erected, the whole cost being more than $26,000. On October 
2, 1887, it was consecrated in the presence of an immense audience by G. F. 
Wright, D. D. It is a fine brick structure, handsomely finished and furnished 
in the interior, and is a credit to Meadville progressiveness. The organ is one 
of the finest in the city, having 1,388 pipes. Dr. Carnachan, under whose 
ministration the church was founded, served as pastor until 1889, when he 
was succeeded by Ward T. Sutherland. He remained until 1894, when R. 
R. Davies was placed in charge. He was succeeded in 1897 by Clinton W. 
Wilson, the present pastor. The Park Avenue Church, as it is usually called, 
has a membership of about three hundred, and is one of the most flourishing 
of Meadville's churches. It has a prosperous Sunday-school, and is promi- 
nent in all branches of church work. 




NEAR the close of the eighteenth century two stalwart men, equipped as 
surveyors, appeared in the southeastern part of Crawford County, in 
the state of Pennsylvania. They were in the employ of the Holland 
Land Company, in making surveys of the company's lands in Crawford and 
adjacent counties. The country here was covered by primitive forests, a dense 
wilderness, where the foot of a white man had very rarely, if ever, trod 
before. The Seneca Indians, under the celebrated chief, Cornplanter, hunted 
in this wilderness, where game existed in abundance. At this time the Indians 
in the eastern part of the county were apparently more friendly to the whites 
than were their brothers farther west. 

The two surveyors traveled in an emigrant wagon, drawn by a yoke 
of oxen. Th.e wagon, in which the men lodged at' night, was roofed with 
canvas. Attached to the train was a cow which supplied the men with 
milk. Panthers and other dangerous beasts of prey prowled through the 
wilderness, and the surveyors, before retiring to their cot in the wagon for 
rest at night, fastened their team near at hand, built a large smouldering fire, 
which would last until morning, and scattered upon the fire asafetida, whose 
odors frightened or disgusted the savage beasts, and kept them at a safe 
distance throughout the night. 

These two surv-eyors came to a beautiful sloping plain, on which now 
rests the city of Titusville. They were at once charmed by the location. 
Virgin forests, with giant trees, rising with straight trunks and pointing with 
tapering spires to the skies; birds of song trilling their notes from every 
direction; pheasants abounding everywhere, showing little or no fear of the 
strangers, and many other things local conspired to attract the newcomers and 
fasten them to the spot. They were not long in selecting the plain and 
driving stakes for their future homes. The names of these two men were 
respectively Jonathan Titus and Samuel Kerr. 



The men spent their first night, and perhaps every other night during 
their stay here at that time, by the side of a high bank, situated not far from 
the present coal ofifice of Mr. Edwards. On this spot Jonathan Titus located 
his home, where he continued to reside until his death, over sixty years after- 
ward. This homestead continued in the possession of the Titus family until 
destroyed by fire in March, 1866, nine years after the death of its distinguished 
founder. The large tracts of land selected by Kerr and Titus for their re- 
spective occupancy joined each other. 

Kerr fixed his home on the south side of the street now known as 
Central Avenue, between Drake and Kerr streets. Here he first built an 
humble cabin, but afterward a long, two-story house, where he continued to 
live until late in life, and where he raised a large family of children. This 
house, a few years ago, was purchased, with the lot on which it stood, by ]\Ir. 
Junius Harris, who cut this building in two, and, swinging the parts around 
so as to front with their ends to the street, converted them into two tenement 

As the names of Samuel Kerr and Jonathan Titus will appear many times 
in these pages, as the first two pioneer settlers in eastern Crawford, it is well 
to give here a genealogical sketch relating respectively to the two men. The 
sketch, giving the history of the Titus family, was written about a lialf a 
century ago by Mrs. Olivia Moore, as dictated personally by her father, and 
this paper has been sacredly kept by Mrs. Moore ever since. Mrs. Moore, 
now of this city, is the only surviving child of Jonathan Titus, and to her 
especially the writer is indebted for much interesting and highly valua1)le 
information. It is proper, also, to remark in this connection that the two 
sketches about to be presented contain much of importance which never be- 
fore has seen the light in public print. The two papers have also led to the 
discovery of other important information which will be read for the first time 
in these pages. 

The sketch dictated by Jonathan Titus, giving the genealogy of his family. 
is as follows : 

"Peter Titus emigrated from Germany with three brothers, and settled 
first on Staten Island, about the middle of the eighteenth century. A few years 
afterward he moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It is supposed he married 
Mary Williams before leaving Staten Island, or soon after his arrival at 
Carlisle. His family consisted of three sons, John, Daniel and Peter, and 


three daugliters, Olivia, Mary and Sarali. Jolin married and had a family of 
eighteen cliildren. Daniel married and had seven or eight children. Peter 
married Jane Kerr in the year 1766. He had two sons, Jonathan and Daniel, 
and fonr daughters, Ruth, Fanny, Olivia and Susan. Jonathan Titus married 
Mary Martin on May 10. 1804. of Turtle Creek. Pennsylvania, living near 
Pittsburg. They had born to them three sons and six daughters. The names 
of the sons were : Peter Augustus, Maxwell and John Alartin. The daugh- 
ters were Susan Jane, Sarah Ann, La\-inia. who died at the age of three years; 
Lavinia (named after the deceased), Mary Lewis, who died aged one year and 
eight months, and 01i\-ia. Susan Jane married Joseph L. Chase ; Sarah Ann 
married Edward H. Chase; Lavinia married Parker McDowell and Olivia 
married John Moore. The three sons all died without issue." 

Mr. Titus also says parenthetically that Olivia, daughter of the first Peter 
Titus, married a Mr. Evans : Mary, the second daughter, married a Mr. 
Clawson ; and Sarah, the third daughter, married Midian Garwood, Imt 
nothing more was know n by him concerning the three. 

While Mr. Titus says that the first Peter Titus emigrated from Germanv. 
it is not doubted that this ancestor was a native of Holland. It seems not 
unlikely that he included Holland as a part of Germany. Mary Martin, 
the wife of Jonathan Titus, was the daughter of John Martin and Susan 
(McDowell) Martin, the sister of Alexander McDowell, agent of the Holland 
Land Company at Franklin, Pennsylvania. Parker McDowell, who married 
Lavinia Titus, as stated above, was a son of Alexander McDowell, aforesaid. 
He was therefore the first cousin of Mary (Martin) Titus, the mother of his 
wife. It is interesting to note the repetition of family names in genealogical 
descent. Peter Wilson, now deceased, the man who aided Drake in sinking 
the first oil well, was related by blood to Jonathan Titus, as will be hereafter 
shown. Beginning with the children of the first Peter Titus, the names of 
Sarah and Olivia are found in three successive generations. Peter Titus 
Witherop, now of Titus\ille, who writes his name P. T. Witherop, was named 
after his great-grandfather, the father of Jonathan Titus. Susan Jane, the 
oldest daughter of Jonathan Titus, was probably named after her two grand- 
mothers, Susan (McDowell) Martin, and Jane (Kerr) Titus; or the name 
Susan may have been adopted from her father's sister, Susan Titus. 

The other genealogical paper, that relating to the Kerr family, will now- 
be given. It was written by Samuel Kerr himself, in the last years of his 


life, and it is now in the possession of his sole surviving son, Mr. Marshall 
Kerr, now residing in Cherrytree Township, Venango County, at the age of 
seventy-two. This paper shows good scholarship for one whose early years 
were all spent in Pennsylvania woods. Samuel Kerr was doubtless a thor- 
oughly self-educated man. This is the account, as it appears in Mr. Kerr's 
own handwriting : 

"My father, James Kerr, was born in Ireland, whence he emigrated for 
America. He first settled in about 1732 in Donegal Township, Lancaster 
County, Pennsylvania, at about the age of thirty. There he married a woman 
named Stewart, who died there after having borne to him ten children. 
Not long after her decease he married my mother. Susanna Stevenson, by 
whom he had two sons and one daughter, of whom I was the youngest. My 
sister died in childhood. My father moved from Lancaster County about the 
year 1766, and, after stopping a few months in Canogocheague settlement, 
where he buried my mother, he continued his course westward to a place on 
the Juniata River, now in the bounds of Huntington County, where he com- 
menced a settlement, on a tract of land near to what was called Franks- 
town, an old town, where he continued to reside until the Indians invaded that 
neighborhood, when his children all left him alone, he utterly refusing to 
leave his own house, and fled to Cambria County. This was in December, 
1777. He continued alone in his house in very feeble health until some time 
in January, when he was taken to Fitter's Fort, where he soon afterward 
died. My father was an elder of the Presbyterian church for about forty 
years. He was a man of temperate and industrious habits, and he was 
accounted by all his connections and acciuaintances an honest man and sin- 
cere Christian." 

Jane Kerr, the wife of the second Peter Titus, was a half-sister of 
Samuel Kerr, thus making Samuel Kerr the maternal uncle of Jonathan 
Titus. Tames Kerr was the only full brother that Samuel Kerr had. He 
settled in the early years of the present century on what is now the McCombs 
place, south of Woodlawn cemetery, in Oil Creek Township, and further 
mention of him will appear later on. The four daughters of Peter Titus, 
the father of Jonathan, all married. Ruth married James Curry, Fanny 
married Charles Ridgway ; Olivia married Robert Curry, and Susan married 
John Ridgway. John Curry married a half-sister of Samuel Kerr. Robert 
Lewis, father of the present Robert Lewis, who has lived in Oil Creek 


Township all his life, now eighty-five years of age, married Jane Curry, a 
daughter of John Curry and wife, the half-sister of Samuel Kerr, just spoken 
of. It will be seen that Samuel Kerr and his brother James, together with 
all their descendants, are related by blood to Jonathan Titus and all his 
descendants.- So also were all the children of the second Peter Titus, by 
his wife, Jane Kerr, related to the first James Kerr and all his descendants. 
And, singular as is the fact, not many of the present descendants of the first 
James Kerr, who came to America from Ireland in about the year 1732. and 
also not many of the present descendants of Peter Titus and Jane (Kerr) 
Titus seem to have any idea of this relationship. 

The wife of Samuel Kerr, who with Jonathan Titus began the settle- 
ment on which was founded Titusville, was Catharine Coover. Their chil- 
dren were Andrew, James K., Michael C, Alarshall, Joseph, Joanna. Eliza- 
beth and Amelia. Michael and Marshall were twins. Michael C. was the 
speaker of the National House of Representatives in the Fourty-fourth 
congress. James K. became one of the distingiushed lawyers of the state, 
with his home in Pittsburg. He commanded a regiment and served with 
distinction in the Union army in the late civil war. Marshall, as already 
stated, the only surviving son, lives in Cherrytree Township, Venango County, 
with his postoffice in Titusville. Amelia, Mrs. Elliott, the youngest child 
and the only surviving daughter, lived with her husband in Erie many years, 
but since the death of her husband she has made Titusville her home.* 

Jonathan Titus was a man of heroic mould. While the Indians in the 
locality of his forest home were generally peaceful, whiskey sometimes made 
them troublesome. The manufacture of whiskey in those days was com- 
mon, and trade in the article was as general as in any other commodity. 
The early merchant always kept his store stocked with it, without the restraint 
of a public license, or of public opinion. It was not necessary for the dealer 
to resort to anything clandestine in the traffic. Both the trade and the use 
of alcoholic liquors were reputable. The intemperate use of liquor was alone 
against the sanction of society. Whether intemperance was greater then 
than afterward, when temperance movements had been organized, and the 
traffic was regulated by license laws, it is not necesary here to inquire. It is 
certain that alcohol was a most ruinous evil to the red man. An incident 
relating to the subject may here be given. 

^ Since writing the above Marshall Kerr has died. 


In the early settlement of eastern Crawford, it became customary among 
the pioneers in the fall of the year to collect in turn at their cabins and have 
a chopping "bee," in cutting firewood in quantity for the coming winter. 
Once, as Mrs. Olivia J\Ioore informs us, when there was such a "bee" at 
the home of John Watson, the father of the late John ^^'atson and Hon. 
L. F. Watson, near what is now East Titusville, a few Indians, attracted 
perhaps by the expectation of getting a drink of whiskey, which was always 
to be found at such a social gathering, made their appearance, and shared 
in the hospitality of the occasion. It was the custom for the woodchopper 
who worked longest and stayed until all the rest of the neighbors had gone, 
to take home with him all the whiskey which might be left. The Indians 
spoken of had doubtless come to know of this custom, for when all the wood- 
choppers had left, except a man named Ross, who lived in Cherrytree, the 
Indians, who had been treated to liquor in the afternoon and had gone away, 
returned and demanded of Ross that he give them more whiskey. Ross 
happened at the moment to be splitting open a large log. So he told them 
to assist in opening the log by pulling it open by main strength, that is, by 
slipping their fingers into the large crack, made by large wedges still in the 
wood, and instructing them, when he gave the word, to pull with all their 
might. When all was ready, the Indians having their hands in the opening, 
Ross shouted the word and struck the principal wedge, which, as he intended 
it should, flew out, the log closed together, fastening the hands of the Indians 
as in a vise. Ross, taking his tools and remnant of whiskey, hurried away 
as night was coming on, leaving the poor red men writhing in pain. Their 
cries doubtless brought Mr. Watson to their assistance who, as soon as he 
could, set them free, but not until their fineers were badly crushed and 
lacerated. The Indians were naturally terribly enraged, and they imme- 
diately started in pursuit of Ross, following the direction which tJiey had 
seen him take until he went out of sight. It would have been l;)ad with 
Ross if they had overtaken him. But he probably increased the distance 
between him and the Indians as rapidly as possible. They, however, made 
their way to the house of Mr. Titus, thinking that either he was Ross, or that 
he was concealing the man who had tricked them. When they reached the 
door and angrily demanded admittance, Mr. Titus, expecting trouble, caught 
hold of a large iron poker, and speaking to his wife (whose name was Alary, 
but whom he called Polly), said: "Polly, keep a brave heart." Then he 


unfastened the door, and, seeing the Indians with their knives on the point 
of attacking him, he suddenly dealt two of them each a powerful blow with 
the poker, prostrating them senseless, telling the third and last one to come 
on, and he would serve hiiu in the same way. The third one, however, 
desisted. Mr. Titus made him give up his weapons, and, taking those of the 
other two, he put them all aside, and bidding the unhurt one tO' assist, he 
dragged the two helpless ones into the house, through the kitchen and into 
the parlor, locking all three in the room, and keeping guard himself all night, 
while sitting in the kitchen. The next morning, after shooting off the 
loaded guns of the Indians, he gave them a breakfast, and delivering to them 
all their effects he sent them away, threatening them that if they should ever 
return in the manner of their approach the night before he would kill them 
all. They kept away and he never saw them again. 

Mr. Titus kept for some time an "open house" in his first log cabin, and 
hospitably entertained many as they passed that way. His homestead be- 
came a station, which took the name of ''Titus'," and the spot has carried the 
name ever since. Very naturally, without legislative or judicial decree, tlie 
settlement took the name of Titusville. The settlement grew into a hamlet 
and from a hamlet to a village, which was governed by a borough corpora- 
tion and finally came the high towers of a city. More than a century has 
passed since Samuel Kerr and Jonathan Titus set their stakes and established 
a settlement. 

These men were not reckless in the selection of a site. They had trav- 
eled long through virgin forests in several counties, and examined many dif- 
ferent localities, thus becoming well qualified to choose the spot best suited 
for a town. Undoubtedly when they located two large tracts of land, side 
by side, for themselves respectively, they expected that they were laying the 
foundations of a town. Their properties crossed Oil Creek and covered 
the junction of Oil Creek and Pine Creek. Each of these streams had large 
water sheds, with valleys connecting the high lands with the centraf point 
selected by the two pioneers. These two men were in pursuit of such a 
location for a year before they agreed that they had found the natural 
requisites of a town. While they surveyed wild lands, they studied zw\ 
compared the several locations through which they passed. They chose out 
of all the localities with which they became acquainted the spot where now 
is Titusville. 


Despite the privations of a forest life at a distance from civilization, there 
were attractions and comforts even to be found in the dense woods where 
Titus and Kerr began their settlement. There was game in profusion. Wild 
turkeys, pheasants and deer furnished the settlers with abundance of meat. 
The ax of the woodman leveled the giants of the forest. The fallen timber 
was piled in heaps and burned. The cleared land was sown with the seeds 
of wheat or planted with corn. Year after year, though slowly at first, the 
clearing of land increased. The settlement grew, and the lumberman was 
soon on the ground. Saw-mills were built and sawed lumber found its 
way down Oil Creek, down the Allegheny River and down the Ohio, to mar- 
ket. The sale of lumber brought money, or supplies purchased with money, 
into the settlement. 

As early as 1809 Mr. Titus planned a town, a large part of which 
remains the same as in the plat which he caused to be made. Franklin 
Street is the Franklin Street of almost ninety years ago. Spring Street, 
Water Street, Pine Street, and Washington Street were as to their place on 
the map the same then as now. Village property, however, came slowly 
into the market. Jonathan Titus sold the first village lot by contract to Dr. 
Isaac Kellogg in 1818, though the deed for the property was not executed 
until twenty years later, 1838. Another singular circumstance connected 
with this real estate transaction was the fact that this deed signed and properly 
acknowledged by Jonathan Titus and his wife ]\Iary in 1838, though sold to 
Dr. Kellogg in 1818, was not recorded at the Recorder's office in Meadville 
until 1870. 

Dr. Kellogg came from the state of Vermont, and settled first at James- 
town, New York. He probably made a short stay there and came to Titus- 
ville not far from the middle of February, 1818. It is trustworthy tradi- 
tion that when Dr. Kellogg and his family were approaching Titus\'ille they 
saw a funeral procession following — as they learned after their arri\'al in 
the settlement — the remains of James Kerr to the burying ground at the 
head of Franklin Street. 

James Kerr, father of the present Adam Kerr, was the brother of 
Samuel Kerr, the pioneer. He settled on what is now the McCombs place, 
near Woodlawn cemetery, early in the century. Immediately adjoining on 
the north the lot in Woodlawn, containing the mausoleum, latel)' erected by 
Mr. James C. McKinney, is the family burial lot of James Kerr aforesaid. On 


this lot is a marble monument bearing among other inscriptions the following: 
"James Kerr, died February 10, 1818, aged 58 years." It is probable that 
the liurial of Mr. Kerr did not occur later than February 14. So that the 
advent of the Kellogg family to Titusville was not later than the middle of 
February. Dr. Kellogg first occupied a log house on what soon afterward 
became the property of ^^'illiam Kelly, a prominent pioneer settler of Oil 
Creek, whose well known home, the Kelly farm, on Perry Street hill, a little 
north of the city boundary, continues to stand, occupied by John, Hannah 
and Mary Kelly, surviving children of William Kelly. 

The property described in the deed to Isaac Kellogg, spoken of as the 
first village lot sold by Jonathan Titus, is mentioned as beginning at a post 
on the south side of Spring Street, on the west side of Spring alley, and 
running one hundred and eighty feet southwardl}- to a post on the north 
side of \^'ater Street, thence one hundred and eighty feet westwardly to a 
post on the east side of \\'ashington Street, thence northwardly one hundred 
and eightv feet to a post on the south side of Spring Street, thence one hun- 
dred and eighty feet to the place of beginning. 

The place of beginning, that is the post on the northeast corner, was 
the northeast corner of the present European Hotel. The property thus 
purchased embraced three full village lots, each sixty by one hundred and 
eighty feet in dimension. Tt seems that Water Street has ne\-er been opened 
west of Franklin Street. 

Dr. Kellogg, while living in the log house on what was afterward the 
Kelly homestead, built a one story and a half frame house, where is now the 
European Hotel block, owned by Mr. E. T. Roberts of Titusville. In this 
house Dr. Kellogg lived with his family for several years until he bought 
himself a home on the northwest corner of Pine and ^\'ashington streets, 
and in this house were born all his children, except the two oldest, Isaac. Jr., 
and Charles. Charles was less than a year old when the family came to 
Titusville, in February, 18 18. In 1865, Charles Kellogg, who then owned 
the eastern lot of the property, erected on the northeast corner a three story 
brick edifice, known as the Kellogg block. Subsequently the Roberts brothers 
purchased the land and enlarged the block to more tlian double its ongnial 
dimensions, by adding to the south side, making the width twice what it had 
been before, and increasing the height of the whole building to four stones. 
In the south part of the edifice was for many years the Roberts Bank. 


On the ground floor of the Kellogg block, fronting Spring Street, was first, 
in the fall of 1865, a dry goods store, the proprietor paying to Mr. Kellogg 
a rental of $2,500 per annum. But the dry goods dealer did not stay many 
months. The quarters vacated by him were leased by Patrick Goodwin, 
together with other parts of the building, for a hotel, and here has been kept 
a hotel ever since. The present European Hotel occupies the entire eastern 
half of the block. When Goodwin kept the hotel the floor next above in 
front was occupied by dental parlors, owned first by Drs. Luce and Thurston 
and afterward bv Dr. Willard, and next bv Dr. Downes. The followine 
taken from the Kellogg family record will be of interest to those who study 
the pioneer history of Titusville: "Isaac Kellogg, Sr., was born August 
4, 1784. Harta Westcott, w^ife of Isaac Kellogg. Sr.. was born March 21. 
1789. Isaac Kellogg, Jr., was born February 13. 1814. Charles Kellogg 
was born May 11, 1817. Maria Kellogg was born August 11, 1819. Amos 
Kellogg was born February 5, 1822. John Kellogg was born March 19, 
1824. Lovisa Kellogg was born September 5, 1826. Emily Kellogg was 
born February 5, 1829. Vara Kellogg was bom June 5, 1S31. Isaac Kel- 
logg, Sr., died January 4, 1841. Harta Kellogg, wife of Isaac Kellogg, 
Sr., died March 27, 1867." 

Isaac Kellogg w^as the first resident physician of Titusville. After 
him came Drs. Gillett, E. P. Banning, Orson and Heffron. Dr. Banning 
afterward accjuired distinction in New York City by the invention and con- 
struction of certain anatomical supports. Dr. E. P. Banning. Jr.. is an 
instructor in one of the medical schools of Cleveland, Ohio. 

The first store in Titusville was located on the southwest corner of 
Spring and Franklin streets. It was a log building, opened in 1816 by 
William Sheffield, who employed as clerk Joseph L. Chase, who afterward 
became a prominent citizen of the town, and largely identified with its for- 
tunes. Chase soon became a partner in the establishment. Sheffield in about 
1820 sold his interest to Chase, Sill and Company, who moved the store to 
the northwest corner, where the concern grew to large proportions, Joseph 
L. Chase continuing to be its principal proprietor nearly all the time until 
the large building containing the large establishments, together with its con- 
tents, was destroyed by fire in February, 1866. Titusville at that time was 
"the gathering place of many rough characters. On a Sunda}- evening, while 
the citizens were engaged in extinguishing a fire on Alartin Street, between 


Main and Walnut, the fire bell gave a fresh alarm, when flames snddenlv 
lighted the sky in the central part of the town. Crowds rushed toward the 
new conflagration, when it was discerned that the great Chase store and the 
buildings adjoining it on Franklin Street would be burned to the ground. 
Little or no air was stirring and the fire did not spread. But the inhabitants 
of the town were frightened. It was believed that the fires coming so nearly 
at the same time were the work of incendiary design. So large a number of 
suspicious characters known to be in the town, without visible employment, 
had already caused uneasiness in the community. On Monday morning, 
following the fires, a vigilance committee of citizens was organized. After 
the fire, the whole space now- occupied by the Chase and Stewart block was 
a vacant lot. Upon this lot later on Monday afternoon a gallows was erected, 
in full view of all who passed in that vicinity on Franklin, Spring or Pine 
streets. One "Stonehouse Jack" was regarded as a desperate character. 
Whether he deserved all that was suspected of him, it has not lieen since 
shown. He was, however, taken into the confidence of the Vigilantes and 
informed by them that his departure from the town would be compatible with 
the peace of the community. Encouraged by this assurance, he left for other 
parts, and, so far as is publicly known, he has never since returned. A refer- 
ence here to this episode is made for the purpose of recording some of the 
experiences of the community in the period of the great oil excitement when 
Titusville was flooded by a large floating population. 

The second store in Titusville was opened in 1832, on East Pine Street, 
between Drake and Kerr, by Parker McDowell. L. F. Watson, son of John 
Watson already spoken of, was his clerk. L. F. Watson afterward went to 
Warren and made 1;he place his permanent home. He has since represented 
his district several terms in congress. McDowell was joined several years 
after by John Robinson, in a partnership firm. After the firm had erected a 
new store building on the northwest corner of Pine and Franklin streets, 
Robinson purchased ^McDowell's interest and carried on the business alone 
there for many years. In 1864 L. C. Pendleton bought the property and 
converted it into a hotel. In the summer of 1865 Pendleton re-constructed 
and enlarged the building. Later on Mr. Z. Martin still further enlarged the 
hotel, giving to it the name of the "Mansion House," and this name the 
house has retained ever since. In 1897 its present proprietors, Gleason & 
Lockwood, took down the main part of the wooden edifice and erected in its 


place the present elegant brick structure, a credit to the city and a highly 
attractive and comfortable, as well as ];opular, hostelry. 

James Brawley was perhaps the first established carpenter of the settle- 
ment. Charles Gillett had the first blacksmith shop. \\'illiam Barnsdall 
came in 1833 and made shoes. In the same year Arthur Robinson built the 
American Hotel, the first hotel pro]:)er started in the place. The building 
continued to be a hotel for nearly half a century. In 1880 it was taken away 
to make room for the present Oil Exchange. At about 1835 a chair factory 
was built and operated liy Roswell C. Sexton, on the east side of Franklin 
Street, between Main and Pine — the latter now known as the Central A\-enue. 

Up to the beginning of oil development in 1859, the principal staple 
production, which brought money to the inhabitants of Titusville and \-icinity, 
was lumber. Boards and shingles found an easy transit to market by raft 
on Oil Creek and the Allegheny River. The thrifty settler paid for his land 
by the sale of lumber from it, manufactured into products which were called 
for in the market. The vocation of raftsman on the river became an estab- 
lished one. The raftsman earned his money easily and spent it freely. Trade 
at Titusville during the decade in which Drake made his discovery must have 
been a good deal. It was destined soon to expand to large proportions, when 
oil became almost the only topic of interest. 


By act of Assembly, appro\-ed March 6, 1847, Titusville was made a 
borough. In accordance with the provisions of the act, William Robinson, 
John M. Titus and S. S. Bates were appointed commissioners to establish 
the boundary lines of the new borough. In March, 1848, a charter election 
was held, of which Joseph L. Chase was chosen Burgess, and S. S. Bates, 
William Barnsdall, James R. Kerr and G. C. Pettit members of the Council. 
The Council organized April ist following, appointing Robert L. Robinson, 
Clerk, and E. H. Chase, Treasurer. In 185 1 Jonathan Titus was elected 
Burgess; Samuel Silliman, in 1852: A. B. Hubbard, in 1853; J. M. Allen in 
1854; James Parker in 1856; Joseph L. Chase in 1857-9; Z. Waid, i860; 
John Moore, 1861 ; N. Kingsland, 1862; O. K. Howe, 1863; F. W. Ames, 
1864-5; Joel N. Angler, 1866. 

By act of Assembly, approved February, 1866, Titusville became a city. 
Soon afterward a municipal election was held, resulting in the choice of J. 


N. Angier for Mayor and the following members of the City Council : First 

\\'ard, J. H. Bunting and George Custer; Second Ward, Thomas Goodwin 

and H. B. Ostrom; Third Ward, A. W. Coburn and R. D. Fletcher; Fourth 

Ward, ^^^ W. Bloss and J. J. McCrum. Angier was re-elected in 1867. 

In 1868 Henry Hinkley was chosen Mayor and re-elected the following year. 

Next. Fred Bates was Mayor for 1870 and 1871. W. B. Roberts was Mayor 

for 1872. John Fertig was chosen Mayor in 1873, I'e-elected in 1874, and 

again re-elected in 1875. D. H. Mitchell was Mayor for 1876, and David 

Emery for 1877. The next year, by a change of the city charter, the term 

of the Mayor's office was increased from one to two^ years, when William 

Barnsdall was chosen Mayor for 1878-9. In 1880 A. N. Perrin was elected 

for 1880-1. In 1882 James H. Caldwell was chosen for 1882-3. In 1884 

James P. Thomas was chosen for 1884-5. ^""^l i''^ 1886 he was re-elected for 

two years more. In 1888 John Schwartz was elected for 1888-9. I" 1890, 

another year having been added to the term of office, E. O. Emerson was 

chosen Mayor for three years, 1890- 1-2. In 1893 Joseph C. Robinson was 

chosen for 1893-4-5. In 1896 W. B. Benedict, the present incumbent, was 

chosen Mayor for 1896-7-8. 

In 1 87 1 the Legislature of the state amended the city charter of Titus- 

ville, providing' for the construction of sewers, the paving of streets and the 

election of a City Auditor. The act provided for the first election to be 

held in June following. At that election R. D. Fletcher was chosen Auditor. 

The term of the Auditor's office was fixed at three years, and Mr. Fletcher 

was re-elected at the regular charter election in 1874. In 1877 Joseph Stett- 

heimer was chosen Auditor for the next three years. In 1880, legislation 

having converted the office into that of Comptroller, making the term of 

office two years, T. J. Smiley was chosen. He was re-elected four times and 

held the office of Comptroller for ten consecutive years — from 1880 to 1890. 

Then, the term of office having been increased one year, A. C. Harton was 

elected Comptroller for three years — 1890-1-2. In 1893 Jules A. C. Dubar, 

the present incumbent, was chosen, and re-elected in 1896. Since the office 

of City Treasurer became elective by popular vote, William M. Henderson 

was first chosen to the position. He was elected in 1878 and held the office 

two years. William Barnsdall was elected for the next two years. C. M. 

Hayes next held the office for eight consecutive years, four terms, from 1882 

to 1890. The term was then increased one year and Eugene Mackey was 


Treasurer from 1890 to 1893. Thomas W. Main was elected in 1893 and 
re-elected in 1896, and he is the present incumbent. There are two branches 
of City Councils, the Select and the Common. The Select Council has five 
members and the Common Council eight, two from each of the four wards. 
J. C. McKinney represents the whole city in the Select Council. The other 
members of the Select Council are Samuel Stinson, First Ward; George J- 
Kuntz, Second Ward; Edward Allen, Third Ward; C. J. McCarthy, Fourth 
Ward. The members of the Common Council are L. E. Andrews and John 
McKay, First Ward ; V. E. Ward and Peter Hancox, Second Ward ; John 
Coots and Benjamin Lang, Third Ward ; Edward Brennan and Frank Fleurv, 
Fourth Ward. 

The present city officers are Willis B. Benedict, Mayor; Jules A. C. 
Dubar, Comptroller; Thomas W. Main, Treasurer; Waldron M. Dame, 
Clerk and Secretary of the Water Department; George F. Brown, Solicitor; 
A. M. Hunter, Water Superintendent; J\I. R. Ronse, Street Commissioner; 
Daniel McGrath, Chief-of-Police. 


The city is supplied with water by the Holly system, which delivers water 
to consumers directly through the mains, instead of pumping it first into an 
elevated reservoir, from which the water descends by gravity in mains to 
consumers. Titusville has never tried the reservoir system, but the citizens 
of Titusville generally believe that the Holly system is preferable to the 
other. They urge that water pumped directly from the ground to con- 
sumers is likely to be purer for use than water standing in a reservoir, into 
which impurities, such as the bodies of dead animals, are liable to be — and 
sometimes are — thrown. They think also that there is less expense of power 
in the direct delivery than in lifting water to the reservoir, to say nothing 
of the convenience in general use of receiving water under light pressure, as 
against the uniformly high pressure in the reservoir system. At any rate the 
citizens of Titusville are strongly attached to their water plant. The con- 
struction of the works was begun in 1S72, and finished in the spring of 1874. 
The pump works are located about a mile and a c[uarter west of the City 
Hall. At first two large cisterns, into the sides and bottom of which the 
water entered, after being filtered by the gravel through which it passed, 
were sunk from ten to twenty feet below the surface of the ground. The 


interior of the cisterns was walled with brick, laid without mortar, so as to 
admit water through the joints. Afterward large artesian wells were sunk 
to a depth of nearly a hundred feet. Those wells proved to be flowing ones. 
At first the water from them was received into the cisterns, and then pumped 
the same as the filtered water. But now the pumps are connected directly 
with the flowing wells, so that consumers get water fresh from its source. 
The \\'orl<s have been owned from the beginning by the municipal corporation. 
The rates to consumers have always been moderate, but the plant has become 
an important source of revenue to the city. The management of the water 
works for many years has been excellent. The First Engineer, John Smith, 
and George Pastorious, Second Engineer, of the works, have long held 
their present positions. 


From 1867 to 1882 the department was composed of volunteer com- 
panies. Barney Bosch was foreman of the first company, which was organ- 
ized and equipped with a hand engine and hose cart in 1865. The next year 
another engine and a hook and ladder truck were purchased. In 1867 the 
Titusville Fire Department was organized and placed under the control of 
the city authorities, with Thomas Goodwin, Chief Engineer; Dennis Reagan, 
First Assistant ; W. J. Stevens, Second Assistant ; B. Bosch, Foreman of En- 
gine Company No. i ; James Reardon, Foreman of Engine No. 2, and J. W. 
Morrison, Foreman of the Hook and Ladder Company. Before the con- 
struction of the city water works, three steamers were purchased. After- 
w ard one of them was sold. The two retained by the city, the "Amoskeag" 
and the "City of Titusville," are kept in first-class working order, for emer- 
gencies. Ordinarily in case of a fire there is sufficient service got by con- 
necting the hose with the mains, when on the notice of less than three min- 
utes the pressure is raised, by the powerful pumps at the water works, to 
one hundred pounds a square inch. Early in the seventies there were sev- 
eral well equipped hose companies under excellent discipline. Most of them 
had elegant quarters at their respective hose houses. They became social 
Drganizations, the members of which respectively vied with one another 
in gentlemanly conduct, as well as in generous competition in the proper 
service of firemen. The Courier Hose, the Bloss Hose, the Bates Hose, the 
Drake Hose will long be remembered. At the last celebration of Fourth 
of July, a large number of the old members of the Titusville fire depart- 


ment marched as a body in the general procession through the streets of the 
city. The fact that so many of the old department still survi\'ed, and 
that so many on a short notice could be collected and presented to the 
community was a pleasant surprise, especially to the veterans themselves. 
During the last sixteen years, of those still living, many had gone to other 
localities, and not a few to distant parts, while others — not a few — had 
eone to the "undiscovered countrv." Still the veteran firemen on that 
occasion made an imposing appearance. The reunion demonstrated the last- 
ing attachment of the citizens of the "Queen City," whether still residing 
in Titusville or elsewhere. 

The paid fire department was organized May 9, 1882. Augustus 
Castle, who had been for several years Chief Engineer under the old sys- 
tem, was appointed Chief Engineer and Fire Marshal, with Daniel Haley 
as First Assistant Engineer, and H. Butler Second Assistant Engineer. J. 
R. Riley was appointed Engineer of the Steamers; J- W. Beck, John Noel 
and James Corbett were appointed drivers of the hose carriages and hook 
and ladder truck, with nine minute men and a foreman. The officers of the 
department in 1898 are W. T. McKenzie, Chief Engineer and Eire Mar- 
shal; First Assistant Engineer, W. A. Lee; Second Assistant Engineer, C. 
H. Henderson; Engineers of the Steamers, D. H. Herron and Joseph Hofel- 
der ; Drivers, James Corbett, John W. Beck and C. C. Felton, with fourteen 
minute men and four hose carts. 

It is proper to state that the practical operation of the paid fire depart- 
ment has been throughout, as a whole, highly satisfactory to the com- 
munity. The discipline of the department at present seems to be excellent. 
Temperate habits are made a condition in the selection of both officers and 
minute men. 


An extensive svstem of sewerage was begun in 1871. In the same 
year a main sewer was constructed beneath Central Avenue, which, running 
eastward, deflected and emptied into Oil Creek. The walls of this sewer 
are brick, laid with water-lime masonry. Connecting with this sewer, which 
i^ four feet in diameter, is another, laid also with brick masonry, and three 
feet in diameter, running under Monroe Street, as far north as Main Street. 
Then there are miles of street sewers laid with terra cotta pipe, with a vitri- 
fied surface. Scarcely a year passes without the construction of some addi- 


tional sewer line. At every street crossing, where the sewers run, there is 
a catch basin, whicli receives the water from tlie street gutters and strains 
it into the sewer. 


Wooden pavements were first laid in 1873. Spring Street was paved 
that year from Monroe eastward as far as Martin Street with wood ; also 
Franklin Street between Central Avenue and the O. C. R. R. from Franklin 
to its intersection with Central Avenue. Diamond Street was paved with wood 
the same year from Franklin to its intersection with Central Avenue, and 
the pavement of Central Avenue extended eastward to Church Run. 
Then there was a section of wooden pavement laid in 1873 from 
Spring Street south on Washington to the side track of the O. 
C. R. R. It may be said in brief that the experiment of wood- 
en pavements in Titusville was a failure. The result to several per- 
sons owning property abutting on the streets thus paved was disastrous. 
They were taxed to pay for the pavement, which from its poor quality added 
nothing to the value of their property. The city subsequently at its own 
expense, as fast as the wooden pavements rotted away, laid in their place 
blocks of native sandstone, cut into the shape of Belgian blocks used for 
pavement in the large cities. While not as good as desired, this kind of 
pavement is much superior to the wooden ones laid in 1873. But, begin- 
ning in 1893, some miles 'of vitrified brick pavement have already been laid. 
The whole of Washington Street has been covered with this kind of pave- 
ment. Perry Street, from its junction with Union, has been pa\-ed with 
vitrified brick as far south as Spring. Union Street has the same pavement, 
Franklin Street from Church Run has been paved with this brick as far south 
as the ^^'. X. Y. & P. railroad. Central Avenue has been paved with the 
same from its junction with West Spring almost to Drake street. Diamond 
Street is also paved with the same, and Spring Street, between Washington 
and Martin, is covered with the same. 


On most of- the business streets the sidewalks are made of flag-stones, 
cut to the desired shape by the stone mason's chisel. Plank sidewalks in 
front of pri\-ate residences are fast giving way to large rectangular sawed 


flag-stones, or, of late especially, neat and smooth walks are made from cement. 
This latter kind of walk is also laid before some business blocks, and it may 
come into general use on the business streets. Sidewalks made from vitrified 
brick are also laid, especially in the business parts of the town. 


In 1872 the city purchased the old Bush House, on the south side of 
Franklin Street, between Main and Pine streets, and converted the property 
into public buildings and grounds. The hotel proper was made the City 
Hall. The long dining-room was enlarged and made the Common Coun- 
cil hall, where the Common Council hold their meetings. As the hall is 
spacious it is used for many gatherings in which public interests are con- 
cerned. The Select Council hold their meetings in another large room. 
The Mayor, the City Clerk, the Comptroller, and the City Treasurer have 
offices in the building. Also the City School Superintendent has his office 
in the Cit}- Hall, on the second floor. The public library also 
occupies rooms on the second floor. The electrician of the street lights 
has a laboratory in the building. Adjoining the City Hall are outside brick 
buildings, one for the city prison, in the chamber of which are the police 
headquarters, and the others for fire steamers, hose wagons, quarters for 
firemen, hook and ladder truck, stables for the city horses, etc. On the 
same grounds is a high tower, in the top of which is the city fire-bell. On 
the corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street is another hose house, con- 
taining hose wagons, quarters for the firemen, stables for the horses, etc. 


Lighting the streets with lamps on the street corners began in 1868, by 
illuminating gas manufactured by the Titusville Gas and Water Company. 
This system continued until 1889, when machinery for producing electricity 
was put into the water works, poles erected on street corners and wires 
strung for the purpose of electric illumination. From 1889 to August, 1897, 
fifty-eight lamps were used. The machinery is in charge of the engineers 
of the water works, who operate both plants, thus saving to the city a good 
deal of expense in labor. In 1897 a larger engine and larger electric motor 
were added, additional wires stretched, and the number of street lamps in- 
creased to one hundred and fourteen. Previous to this the cost per lamp of 


operating the plant was comparatively moderate, but upon the addition of 
tifty-six lamps the expense per lamp was greatly reduced, the average being 
$31.88 a year, a total for twelve months of $3,635.32. Probably no other 
city of the size in the United States is so well lighted, on so small expense, 
as is Titusville. No attention is given to moonlight. The lamps give light 
from the beginning of darkness in the evening until daylight in the morning, 
every day of the year. 


In 1894 the city purchased of ;\Ir. E. T. Roberts the entire sijuare, 
bounded by Oak Street on the north, by Monroe on tlie east, by Elm on the 
south, and by First Street on the west, for $5,000, Mr. Roberts himself con- 
tributing $1,000 toward the purch'ase, making the net cost to the city $4,000. 
Since then the city has expended various sums for building a wall around the 
park, and for other improvements. 


There are at present two large banks in Titusville, the Second National 
and the Commercial. Each of these banks does a very extensive business, 
and they are both among the most solid banking institutions of the country. 
The Second National was chartered February 11, 1865. and rechartered 
February 11, 1885, twenty years later. It is located in a very fine building 
of its own, on the northwest corner of Spring and Washington streets. This 
palatial edifice was erected thirty-three years ago. The bank opened its 
doors for business immediately after it received its charter, in a smaller 
building, a little north on the same side of the street, and continued there 
through the summer of 1865, and until the present edifice was completed in 
the following fall. The capital of the bank is $300,000, and its surplus 
$100,000. The bank is now one-third of a century old. Charles Hyde 
founded the institution, and he has been the main spirit of it ever since. 
The officers of the bank at present are Charles Hyde, President; F. DeL. 
Hyde, Vice-President ; Louis K. Hyde, Cashier. The directors are Charles 
Hyde, Louis K. Hyde, P. T. Withrop, F. DeL. Hyde and William Bayliss. 

The Commercial Bank of Titusville was organized under the banking 
laws of Pennsylvania, receiving its charter in the early part of 1882. Its 
offices are in the southeastern part of the Oil Exchange, on the ground floor. 
Its capital is $150,000, and its surplus $100,000. Its officers at present 


are John L. McKinney, President ; John Fertig, Vice-President ; E. C. Hoag, 
Cashier. Tliese three men have held the same positions respectively since 
the first opening of the bank. The present directors are E. T. Roberts, 
John Fertig, Jesse Smith, W. J. Stevens, Joseph Seep, John J. Carter, J. C. 
McKinney, John L. McKinney and C. N. Payne. This bank is a strong and 
exceptionally well managed institution. It is especially useful to the com- 
munity, in that its officers, including the directors, all live in Titusville and 
are personally acquainted with the business men of the city and \-icinity. 
Few banking institutions in the country are more fortunate in this respect. 


Some of the larger and more prominent hotels of Titusville may be 
mentioned in this history. The American Hotel, as already stated, was 
the first public inn started in the place. Among its several proprietors were 
Major Mills and the late W. P. Love. During the last several years, pre- 
vious to the time when it was closed and moved away, to make room for the 
Oil Exchange, in the spring of 1880, Archie Johnston was its landlord. The 
Titusville House, the old Kerr homestead on Pine Street, between Kerr 
and Drake, a long building, was among the early hotels. The Eagle, per- 
haps one hundred feet west of Franklin Street, on the south side of Spring 
Street, was subsequently built, and it had at one time for its proprietor the 
veteran landlord, Mr. Z. Martin. It disappeared in the summer of 1865, 
to give .place for a brick edifice. When Major Mills had charge of the 
American, the house became a kind of oil exchange. Oil dealers and ship- 
pers congregated there, and daily carried on their market transactions in 
oil. The practice led ultimately to the organization of the first oil exchange, 
in the winter of 1870-1. During 1864 and 1865, when speculation in oil 
territory rose to its highest point. Major Mills was proprietor of the Moore 
House. The place was the old homestead of Jonathan Titus. It was 
owned at the time by John Moore, who had married Olivia, the youngest 
daughter of Jonathan Titus. The Moore House was crowded to its utmost 
limits during Major Mills' incumbency. The house was burned in March, 

The Pendleton House was also crowded during the same period, as 
was also every other hotel in the town, and there were many, some small, 
others large. The passenger station of the Oil Creek Railroad was at the 


foot of Monroe Street. It was moved to its present location in 1870 and 
1871. Near the old station were the Morey House, and the Lowrey Hotel. 
On the corner of Spring and Monroe streets the Monroe House was built 
in 1865. The house has been a hotel ever since. Its present proprietor, 
Mr. Frank Netcher, during the last few years has greatly improved the prem- 
ises. The McCray House, on the southwest corner of Spring and Washing- 
ton, where afterward stood the Parshall House, was a popular hotel in 

1864, 1865, and the ne.xt year, when it was destroyed by fire in the fall. 
The Bush House, built originally for a private residence, was con\'erted into 
a hotel in the spring of 1865. Its first proprietor, Mr. Bush, in February, 

1865, paid $25,000 for the property as it then stood. But before the house 
could be used for a hotel of much size it had to be enlarged. It is not un- 
likely that the enlargement of the building, together with the furnishing of 
it, cost at least $10,000 more. The front part of the basement was con- 
verted into a bar-room, and rented for $2,500 a year. The bar of the Pen- 
dleton — where now is the Mansion House — was first leased in 1865 for 
$2,000 a year. But the rent in both cases was toO' high, and the lessees of 
both failed in their undertakings. The prices of liquors and cigars were at 
least twice as large as at the present time in Titusville. But the bars in the 
town were more numerous than the hotels. While few travelers were strictly 
temperate, few drank liquors to excess, and a drunken man was rarely seen. 
The Bush House was kept as a hotel about seven years, when the city bought 
the property, and converted the building into a city hall, reconstructing the 
dining-room on the west side for the Common Council Chamber. The 
Brawley House on West Spring Street is an old hotel. It is an inn proper. 
It is now kept by Mr. McClelland. There are many who regret the disuse 
of the word "tavern" for a pulilic house. A tavern suggests accommodations 
for man and beast. The Spring Hill House, on \\'est Spring Street, has been 
in operation several years. It is kept by Mr. John Gutman. The largest 
hotel Titusville ever had was the Parshall House, extending from the south- 
west corner of Spring and Washington west to the Brunswick and south as 
far as the south side of the present opera house. It was built of brick, and 
four stories high. It was erected by Mr. James Parshall, who came from 
Tidioute, bringing the money which he had acquired from oil production 
in the Tidioute fields, and investing heavily in Titusville. The block haci 
upon its west side, adjoining the Brunswick Hotel, a beautiful opera house. 


In that hall devoted to tlie muses have appeared Joseph Jefferson, Janau- 
scheck, John McCulIoch, Lawrence Barrett, William J. Florence, Nilson, 
Kellogg, Carlotta Patti, Jolm Owen, Sara Bernhardt and other celebrities 
of the drama. The Parshall Block was burned April 14, 1882. The Crit- 
tenden House at one time was the leading hotel of the city. It was built in 
1865 and opened in the following winter. E. H. Crittenden erected the 
house, and he was the first proprietor of the hotel. In 1870 William H. 
Abbott and G. W. Deans purchased the property, and, after re-fitting and re- 
furnishing it, leased the hotel to Charles W. Mathews. The name of the 
hotel was changed to that of the Abbott House. The house had its front 
on Pine Street, between Martin and Drake, and extended through to Spring. 
It was burned in the fall of 1872. The Brunswick Hotel, immediately west 
of the Parshall House, on the south side of Spring Street, was opened in the 
summer of 1880. The upper stories of the palatial block, which had been 
finished in the fall of 1873, had been occupied by people who wanted elegant 
rooms in which to live, but preferred to board outside, either at a restaurant 
in the building, or elsewhere in the vicinity. The lower floors of the edifice 
were occupied principally by stores. The building was owned by \X. B. 
and E. A. L. Roberts. The latter, who had charge of the property, in 1880 
converted the building into a hotel. It was burned at the Parshall House 
fire, in April, 1882. Previous to this the main building had a mansard roof 
on top of four stories in height. E. A. L. Roberts died in the spring of 
1881. W. B. Roberts, the surviving brother, re-built the edifice, whose walls 
remained standing after the fire, putting a fifth story in place of the mansard 
roof. Previous to the fire the hotel had been leased to Mr. Z. Martin, who 
had sold the Mansion House to Mr. W. P. Love. Dr. Roberts, after build- 
ing the Brunswick, re-furnished it in elegant style. Mr. Martin kept the 
house several years afterward. He had owned and kept the Mansion House 
for about fourteen years, before selling to Mr. Love, and going to the Bruns- 
wick in 1 88 1. Mr. Love owned and operated the Mansion for nearly nine 
years, when he sold the property to Mr. Frank Hill, who, after making some 
repairs and changes, sold to Gleason & Lockwood, the present proprietors. 
In the summer of 1897 Gleason & Lockwood began re-construction of the 
building, by taking down sections in turn, and re-building with a brick struc- 
ture, while continuing the hotel in operation Avithout interruption, until the 
whole front upon Franklin Street and the main part on Central Avenue were 


rebuilt, with porciies and balconies, presenting, with the light colored brick 
surface, a very beautiful edifice. The interior of the house has been finished 
with corresponding elegance. The office and main lobby of the hotel is 
spacious, and a model provision for the comfort of guests. The proprietor 
of the Brunswick, Mr. E. T. Roberts, son of the late Dr. W. B. Roberts, also 
last fall and winter made a thorough overhauling, re-fitting and re-furnishing 
of the hotel in truly magnificent style. Mr. J. P. King is the present popular 
lessee and manager of the Brunswick. As a matter of fact, no other hotel in 
northwestern Pennsylvania approaches the Mansion and the Brunswick in 
elegance and in appointments for the comfort of guests. Other hotels in the 
city may still be mentioned. The European, already referred to, has good 
appointments. The American, on East Central Avenue, enjoys a good repu- 
tation. The United States, corner of Martin and East Spring, is well 
spoken of. The Erie Hotel, on North Franklin Street, kept by George J- 
Kuntz, and the Central Avenue House, kept by Jacob Schwartz, ha^•e recently 
been opened, and they doubtless get a fair share of public patronage. The 
Buffalo House, on South Franklin Street, has an excellent reputation. 


The first board of trade in the world organized distinctively as an oil 
exchange was established in Titusville in January, 1871. L. H. Smith was 
the first President, G. Shamburg, Vice-President, J. F. Clark, Treasurer, and 
J. D. Archbold, Secretary. The Exchange occupied, the first year, a hall on 
the ground floor in the Parshall Block, fronting Washington Street, near 
where the present opera house now stands. At the end of the year it moved 
across the street, and occupied the first floor of what is now the Knights of 
Labor Building. The building was then owned by L. H. Smith. The Ex- 
change continued in that building about three years, when it moved to the 
Ralston Block, where it remained until absorbed by a second organization 
in 1 88 1. The second Exchange was organized upon a broader basis than 
the first. It was incorporated February 14, 1880, upon a capital stock of 
$40,000—400 shares of $100 a share. Its first officers were John L. Mc- 
Kinney, President; H. F. Sweetser, Vice-President; A. P. Bennett, Treas- 
urer; J. A. Pincott, Secretary. It purchased the ground on which the 
American Hotel stood, and several feet adjoining on the west side, the whole 
extending from Spring Street to Pine, which is now Central Avenue. Upon 


this site was erected a magnificent edifice, three stories high, of red pressed 
brick and sandstone trimmings. This strncture, with its interior finishings 
and furniture, was a model of beauty. The construction of the ethfice and 
the arranging of its furniture occupied nearly a year. The entire cost of 
the ground, the building and its furniture was about $62,000. The assembly 
room is on the west side. In the southeastern part, on the ground floor, is 
the Titusville Commercial Bank. There are three fire proof vaults, one 
above another, for each of the three floors respectively, the bank using the 
lower one, and the Carter Oil Company the next above. Upon the ground 
floor, opposite each other in the main hall, and adjoining the assembly room 
of the Exchange, are the two telegraph offices, the Western Union and 
the Postal. The rooms on the second and third floors are used for offices. 


The history of the press in Titusville possesses not a little interest. The 
first paper published in Titus\-ille was issued in 1859, not long after Drake's 
discovery. James B. Burchfield moved a printing office from Meadville in 
the fall of that year and started a weekly. He however sold the establish- 
ment to Albert M. Fuller and C. M. Allen, who continued to publish the 
weekly and do a general job printing business for some time, perhaps two or 
three years, until the plant was destroyed by fire. About the fall of 1863 
Mr. Fuller purchased a new outfit for a newspaper office, and published the 
"Petroleum Reporter," until the next year, when he sold the plant to I^ake 
and Martin, who continued to issue the weekly until February or March, 
1865, William W. and Henry C. Bloss from Rochester, New York, bought 
the establishment and continued the weekly until June following, when 
they brought out the "Titusville Morning Herald," the first daily paper 
of the oil region. This daily paper has since been uninterruptedly issued 
for upward of thirty-three years. Its publishers were first Bloss Brothers. 
J. H. Cogswell came to Titusville and bought an interest in the paper in the 
fall following. The name of the new firm was Bloss Brothers & Cogswell. 
This partnership coutinued until the spring of 1872, when W. W. Bloss 
retired from the association. The new firm of "Bloss & Cogswell" con- 
tinued until 1883, when Cogswell retired. Henry C. Bloss continued after- 
ward sole proprietor of the Herald until his death in January, 1893. Since 
that time the widow of H. C. Bloss, Mrs. S. A. Bloss, has been proprietor of 


the paper, while Joseph M. Bloss, her son, has been the editor. The Herald 
has always had a weekly edition, which circulates principally in the sur- 
rounding- townships of Crawford, Venango and Warren counties. The 
Herald was the first paper to institute daily and monthly reports of oil pro- 
duction, runs, shipments, etc. For more than thirty years it has published 
daily all the important telegraphic news issued by the Associated Press. The 
Herald has always supported the policy of the Republican party. 

Early in 1866 J. B. Close and O. B. Lake started an afternoon jxiper, 
called the "Evening Journal." During the summer following several of the 
leading Democrats of the city purchased Lake's interest in the concern, and. 
with the consent of Close, made the Journal a campaign paper. After the 
fall election Close continued to publish the paper for perhaps a year longer, 
but finally closed the oflice. In 1868 an attempt was made to start another 
Democratic organ. But the parties active in the undertaking had no capital, 
and the project had a speedy failure. In the spring of 1869 W. C. Plummer 
and Charles C. Wicker began the publication of a daily paper, called the 
"Morning Star." The paper was Democratic in politics. But the proprie- 
tors lacked capital, and the publication was discontinued in the fall following. 
In the summer of 1870 James T. Henry came from Jamestown, New York, 
and helped to organize the Titusville Printing Association. Mr. Henry had 
no capital, but he was known as a journalist of some ability in the State of 
New York. The Printing Association was incorporated, with a capital of 
$25,000. William H. Abbott was president of the company, and at the be- 
ginning, its largest stockholder. Other leading stockholders were the Rob- 
erts Brothers, F. B. Guthrie, F. H. Gibbs, Henry Hinkley, George S. Stewart, 
John Fertig, Roger Sherman, C. C. Dufiield and M. N. Allen. The com- 
pany purchased a large outfit of materials and machinery for a first-class 
newspaper and job office, and on October i, 1870, issued the first number of 
"The Titusville Daily Courier," a morning daily paper. Democratic in poli- 
tics, and devoted to the advocacy of principles enunciated by the fathers of 
the Democratic party. The company also published a weekly edition of the 
paper. The first editor was James T. Henry. He was assisted by an able 
corps of writers and reporters. The Courier published daily the reports of 
the Associated Press, and bestowed a good deal of work in collecting and 
pubHshing oil news. In the spring of 1871 Mr. Henry retired from the 
editorial chair, and be was succeeded bv W. C. Plummer, who remained 


with the paper during the rest of its history, doing editorial work the greater 
part of the time. In pubhshing the Courier its managers never spared ex- 
pense. It was never the recipient, in the smahest degree, of pubhc patronage. 
As a result, when the financial crash of 1873 came, the finances of the 
Courier suffered. By common consent, an arrangement was made by which 
AI. N. Allen, who had advanced, from time to time, large sums of money, 
bought the outstanding claims against the company, and, uniting these with 
his own claims, he asked and obtained from the officers of the company a 
confession of judgment for the entire amount. He then proceeded by execu- 
tion to close matters and purchased the whole at an official sale, and con- 
tinued the publication of the Courier, the issue of which was not once inter- 
rupted during the legal proceedings. By the legal sale Mr. Allen became 
sole proprietor. This was in January, 1874. He continued to publish the 
Courier until the middle of September, 1877, when he sold the whole estab- 
lishment to Bloss & Cogswell, and the Courier ceased to exist. The date of 
the last issue of the Courier was September 17, 1877. The "Long Roll" was 
started at about 1869, Ijy W. C. Allen, as an organ of the Soldiers' Orphans' 
School, then in existence at Titusville. It was afterward changed to tlie 
"Sunday News," and published by the same proprietor, Mr. \X. C. Allen. 
who sold the paper to Mr. James T. Henry, in the fall of 1871, who con- 
tinued its issue until the summer of 1872, when he sold it to Mr. W. W. Bloss, 
late of the Herald. Mr. Bloss not only published the Sunday paper, but he 
started the same year the "Press," an evening paper. Then Dr. Roberts built 
for 'Sir. Bloss' printing establishment the three-story brick edifice now owned 
and occupied by the "World." The "Press" had a limited existence, but 
while it lasted it was edited with ability. Mr. Bloss kept the Sunday paper 
about two years after he first became its owner. In June, 1880, the "Pe- 
troleum Daily World" was launched upon the waves of journalism. It was 
an "anti-Standard" organ, supported by some who subsequently became a 
somewhat prominent part of the Standard association. Like some other 
Titusville papers it was founded on "great expectations." It had a fine equip- 
ment of printing materials and machinery', and abundance of capital at the 
start. R. W. Crisweli, a journalist by profession, was editor in chief, and 
J. M. Place business manager. Frank W. Truesdell was the first foreman 
nf the news room. The establishment was owned and controlled by the 
"World Publishing Company." In 1880 the "Sunday Newsletter" also was 


established, owned and published by J. W. Graham and E. W. Hoag. In 
the winter of 1 880-1 the \\'orId Compan}' absorbed the Newsletter, and in 
its stead issued the "Weekly World." Henry Byrom succeeded Place as 
manager in December, 1881. and he in turn was succeeded by George E. 
Mapes. Criswell was succeeded by S. L. Williams, as editor. The Daily 
World suspended at the end of the year 1881. On the first of March, 1882, 
Frank \\'. Truesdell & Co. bought the Weekly World, converting it into the 
"Sunday World," and a Sunday paper it continues, although its title is "The 
Titusville World." Mr. Truesdell continued at the head of the paper until 
his death, in the summer of 1894. Not long afterward, Messrs. Walter Izant 
and ^^'. R. Herbert purchased the institution, and they have continued the 
publication of the Titusville World ever since. On the first day of January, 
1885, H. C. Eddy & Co. issued the first number of the "American Citizen," 
a weekly paper. Roger Sherman was the "Co.," and the "Co." was the 
American Citizen. He wrote the editorials, while Mr. Eddy, a practical 
printer, had charge of the mechanical part of the establishment. About the 
year 1889 Eddy bought Sherman's interest in the plant, which meant finan- 
cially nearly the whole. A1x)ut a year later Eddy sold the whole to William 
McEnaney, who published the paper until December, 1894, almost five years, 
when James H. Caldwell and John L. IMcKinney came into possession of 
the institution. The new proprietors changed the name of the paper to that 
of "The Advance Guard," and this title the paper still carries. The present 
proprietor and publisher, Geo. A. Hughes, purchased the establishment in 
December, 1896. The politics of the paper, which is now nearing the fifteenth 
year of its existence, has always been Democratic. In 1896 the Ad\'ance 
Guard absorbed the "Saturday Review," a populist organ, whose editor, 
E. C. Bell, in 1897, started "The Bugle," a weekly paper. The Bugle is a 
hornet with a sharp sting for all kinds of abuses. About the first of Sep- 
tember, of the year 1898, the "Evening Courier," issued by the "Courier 
Publishing Company," made its appearance. It is managed by two young 
men, brothers, Messrs. Crosby. The paper has a neat appearance. Its tone 
is decent and conservative. Its politics is Democratic. 

It is possible that some other newspapers may have escaped the search 
of the present historian, who will greatly regret to learn, should others be 
discovered, that he has omitted the mention of any. But what the misfortune 
a thousand years hence? 



As early as 1817 Titusville had a school house. It was a log building, 
south of Oil Creek, and west of Franklin Street. Pupils came a long distance 
to this primitive institution. Then there was a log school house on the 
north side, a little beyond the Kelly farm. This was built about 1820. N 
third school building was erected on the west side, near the present cemetery, 
m 1823. The first teacher, a Mr. Wylie, died during the term of his ser- 
vice. Mr. Joseph L. Chase was among the early teachers. Charles Plum and 
Daniel Jones also taught in the early days. William Kelly, a native of Ire- 
land, who settled on, and gave the name to, the well-known Kelly farm, on 
Perry Street Hill, a little north of the city limits, was a teacher of distinction. 
He began the settlement of his farm about' the year 1822. He had a good 
education. He taught in the vicinity about eight winter terms. During the 
rest of the time he was mainly engaged in clearing and cultivating his farm. 
He taught one winter in a log building on the southwest corner of Spring and 
Franklin streets, where now is E. O. Emerson's three-story brick block. Miss 
Sarah A. Titus, who afterward married E. H. Chase, taught in 1830, in the 
old Presbyterian church at the head of Franklin Street, a log building erected 
in 1815. The names of other teachers of the period and later on were Wil- 
liam Martin, Joseph Nonrse and Maria Tripgay. There were also, from 
time to time, several private schools. 

On a lot donated by Jonathan Titus for the purpose, near the southeast 
corner of Pine and Perry streets, was erected in 1837 a large frame school 
building. The expense of construction was met partly by tax and partly by 
private contribution from leading citizens, and the school at first was sup- 
ported from the same sources. In 1839 William Sweatland was the teacher. 
Besides teaching in the day time, he had a night school. He had in all from 
100 to 120 pupils under his instruction. In 1841 Aspinwall Cornwall taught. 
Then for several years Moses Porter, E. P. Byles and M. C. Beebe respec- 
tively were teachers. Mr. Beebe taught as late as 1847. The summer terms 
were taught by women. Among the number are mentioned Mary Morse 
and Elizabeth Watson. 

Titusville became a borough in 1S47. Previous to this time the public 
school in Titusville was under the authority of the township directors. 
Afterward the inhabitants of the borough elected a board of directors who 


managed the public schools within the borough limits. Among the early 
school directors of the borough were E. H. Chase. William Barnsdall. Joseph 
L. Chase, S. S. Bates, John Robinson, William Robinson, F. B. Brewer, 
E. P. Banning, James K. Kerr, Charles Kellogg, R. C. Sexton and R. L. 
Robinson. Besides the public schools, there were private schools, or select 
schools, academies on a small scale, in which higher branches than were re- 
quired in the public schools were taught. A Rev. Mr. Bailey had such a 
school on Union Street from 1854 to a1x)ut 1857. The population increas- 
ing in 1859, a two-story wooden building was erected on the southeast corner 
of Main and Washington streets, and in 1863, with the rapidly growing 
needs, an important addition was made to the building, and the school was 
at about this time graded into departments, forming a union, or graded 
school. P. H. Stewart was chosen Principal soon afterward. The numljer 
of pupils still increasing, outside rooms were rented for temporary use, and 
more teachers were employed. In January, 1866, the union school building 
was burned to the ground. The directors at once decided to rebuild with a 
much larger structure upon the site of the old building, upon an estimated 
cost of $18,000. The work of re-building was rapidly pushed, and before 
the end of summer the new edifice, two stories high, with eight large rooms, 
was completed. At the opening of the fall term in 1866 the attendance was 
much larger than ever before. The number of pupils constantly increased. 
Additional rooms from year to year were obtained outside, and still more 
teachers hired, until 187O, when a large three-story brick building, on the 
north side of Walnut Street, between Drake and Kerr streets, was projected. 
At first there were five rooms on the first floor, and four on the second. But 
the attendance was so large that it became necessary tO' make a fifth room 
out of the hall on the second floor, making ten rooms in all. The building- 
was occupied by nine schools in April, 1871. In 1872 a two-story wooden 
school-house was erected in the south side of Oil Creek, in the Fourth Ward. 
In 1874 a room was added to the building, and the next year still another, 
making four in all. In 1873 a two-story brick school building was erected 
in the Second Ward, on the southeast corner of Third and Elm streets, upon 
a plan for eight rooms. But only half of the edifice was built at the time. 
In 1883 the building was burned, but it was immediately rebuilt, the brick 
walls not falling. In 1897 the other half was built, the whole having eight 
rooms. In 1891 a two-story brick school house in the Fourth Ward was. 


built upon the north side of the wooden building, and perhaps twentv feet 
away, containing four school rooms. One of the rooms in the old building 
is still used, making five in all. And still the necessity for more room in- 
creased. In 1892 there was begun the erection of a large High School 
building at the head of Washington Street. At this time the High School, 
with all its departments, had long occupied the upper part of the Commercial 
Block, on Diamond Street. But the High School, which for many years had 
occupied the Main Street building, and had subsequently been crowded out 
of its charters, w^as soon to have a home of its own. The large brick struc- 
ture at the head of Washington was finished in time for the High School 
to take possession in the fall term of 1893. This building has a fine interior 
finishing, as well as fine furniture. It has an elegant assembly room. It has 
eleven large school rooms. The assembly room is also used constantly for 
the recitation of classes, making in fact twelve school rooms. 

It seems that educational affairs have always engaged the attention 
.of the inhabitants of Titusville, from its earliest history as a settlement until 
the present time. At no period of business depression have the citizens been 
willing that their schools should suffer from the want of necessary pecuniary 
support. They pay their school taxes, however high, without a murmur, 
when they might complain, if the burdens they are asked to carry related to 
some other matter of common interest. It matters little what may be the 
divergency of opinion and feeling upon other subjects, the people of Titus- 
ville have ever been known to rally with singular unanimity and loyalty in 
sustaining their public schools. Political controversies, however heated, in- 
stantly subside, if they seem to threaten the welfare of the schools. 

Jonathan Watson, one of the best known citizens of Titusville, years 
ago donated to the Board of Directors, for the use of the schools, a splendid 
geological cabinet. John L. McKinney, and his brother, J. C. McKinney, 
not long since presented to the school board $1,000 for the purpose of pur- 
chasing chemical apparatus for the use of the High School. The educational 
advantages in the High School and in the Ward schools of Titusville have 
attracted from time to time many outside pupils, who, by the payment of 
moderate charges for tuition, are admitted to the instruction of teachers in 
any department. 

After the erection of the Union School building on Main Street in 
1859, with the additions to it in 1863, attention was soon given to the intro- 


duction of higher branches of study than were pursued in the common 
schools. P. H. Stewart was principal of the Titusville schools nearly all the 
time from 1S64. to 1869. His place was filled for a short time by E. W. 
:\Iathews, before his final resignation. Mr. Stewart's administration, under 
the many disadvantages of inadequate supply of school rooms, with the 
rapidly increasing number of pupils, when the directors were obliged to take 
the best, however unacceptable, quarters that could be found, was very cred- 
itable. He was fortunate in having, at an early date, the assistance of other 
well qualified teachers. Prof. A. Wedge, a graduate of Rochester University, 
was one of his assistants. Latin and Greek, algebra and geometry, physiol- 
ogy, natural philosophy, chemistry and other advanced branches soon came 
to be taught. After the Main Street building, with enlarged dimensions, 
had been restored, and the rapidly growing attendance had made it neces- 
sary to rent several outside buildings to accommodate the pupils, the directors 
decided to employ for principal a college graduate of first-class standing. 
As soon as this became known, there were several applications for the posi- 
tion. But the board by a unanimous vote chose Mr. H. C. Bosley, of Roches- 
ter, New York, a late graduate of Rochester University. The salary paid 
him for the first year was $1,800, with the promise that, after a trial of one 
year, if matters should be mutually satisfactory, the salary should be raised 
to $2,000. Upon the recommendation of Mr. Bosley, Miss Kate Lapp, of 
Buffalo, was elected preceptress. The two began to teach in the fall term of 
1869. Mr. Bosley continued at his post one year. Besides supervising all 
the schools, he taught Latin and Greek, and some other of the higher branches. 
Miss Lapp continued to fill the position of preceptress perhaps a year and a 
half, when she was married to Mr. William H. McDonald. At the open- 
ing of the Elm Street schools, in 1873, in the new edifice, she was appointed 
principal of the schools there. She held the position for the next four 
years. In September, 1877, she was appointed principal of the schools on 
the south side, and continued in charge there for four to five years. From 
1870 to 1 87 1, one year, Mr. A. O. Newpher was principal. But in the 
summer of 1871, Mr. Bosley was re-elected principal, upon an annual salary 
of $2,000. He was also appointed by the Board of Directors, superintendent 
of the city schools. He was re-elected in 1872 for the term of three years, 
and in 1875 '^^ ^^'^s again elected superintendent for another three years. 
The next superintendent was Mr. H. H. Hough, who held the office from 


1878 to 1879, one year. In his last term of office, Mr. Bosley, in view of the 
existing financial stringency, had voluntarily asked the directors to reduce 
his salary to $1,750 a year, and his request was acceded to. The salary for ■ 
Mr. Hough was fixed at the same rate. In the summer of 1879 ^J^^- R- ^• 
Streeter was appointed to fill the vacancy, caused by the resignation of Mr. 
Hough, of two years, upon the same salary of $1,750. At the end of the 
term, in 1881, he was re-elected for the following term of three years, and 
his salary raised to $2,000 a year. In 1884 he was again re-elected, but at 
his request his salary was reduced to $1,800. He continued to hold the 
office of superintendent upon an annual salary of $1,800 until 1893. Fol- 
lowing Mr. Streeter, Mr. R. D. Crawford held the office of superintendent 
for the next four years, upon a yearly salary of $1,800, leaving, by resigna- 
tion, a vacancy in his second term of two years. Mr. Henry Pease in 1897 
was elected to fill the vacancy, and he is now in the second year of his service. 
His salary has been raised to $2,000 a year. 

In tlie fall term of 1871, Miss Letitia M. Wilson, assisted by Miss A. M. 
Clark, began first as preceptress what has become a remarkable period of 
service as an instructor in the highest department of the Titusville schools. 
A few years ago her health, from the strain of constant work for many 
years, had become impaired, and she asked for and obtained from the school 
board a leave of absence for a year, the board very properly voting to con- 
tinue to her the payment of her salary during the vacation. Then by order 
of her physician she remained out of school another year. In 1873 she was 
elected principal of the high school, and she continued to hold that position 
for the next twenty-four years. In 1897 she requested the board to relieve 
her of the principalship and a part of her duties as an instructor. The 
board granted her request, and at the same time elected her principal 
emeritus. Miss Wilson still continues as an instructor in the high school. 
Excepting the two years of her vacation, she has taught in the department 
twenty-seven years, and she has now begun upon her twenty-eighth. It 
ought to be stated that the long-continued success of the Titusville schools 
has been largely due to the efficiency of the women teachers. In fact, since 
the founding of the Union School, when Titusville was a borough, much the 
larger part of the teachers have been women. Some of the more prominent 
ones may be given. Miss M. L. French was long in the early years a strong 
teacher. Miss H. E. Livingston taught many years, giving good satisfac- 


tion. Miss Clara J. Perkins, beginning in 1868. taught many years, and she 
was regarded as an efficient teacher. Miss A. M. Clark in the high school 
made a good record. Later on Miss Henrietta G. MetcaJf taught thirteen 
years in the high school, closing her services in 1897. She was an excep- 
tionally efficient instructor. ]\Irs. Ver Valin began teaching in the spring 
term of 1877, i" charge of the schools on the south side. She ga\'e so good 
satisfaction there that the school board elected her principal of the Elm 
Street school. Beginning with the fall term, she occupied that position for 
the next twenty-one consecutive years. The incumbency of an important post 
for so long a period is evidence of the good satisfaction given. Miss Addie 
R. Potter, the present principal of the Drake Street school, has taught many 
years with apparently good success. Miss Iris Barr taught in the Ward 
schools several years, until promoted to her present position as instructor in 
the high school. 

The number of graduates from the Titusville high school from 1871 
to 1898, inclusive, is five hundred and ninety-one — four hundred and two 
girls and one hundred and eighty-nine boys. 

The present Board of School Controllers of the Titusville School Dis- 
trict is composed as follows: First Ward, John J. Carter and L. W. Brown; 
Second Ward, F. P. Brown and T. W. Renting; Third Ward, C. B. Fried- 
man and John Gahan; Fourth Ward, William Brady and E. A. Edwards. 
The board meets regularly on the third Monday of each month at 7 130 p. m. 
The officers of the board are : John J. Carter, President ; John C. Edmond- 
son, Secretary; Henry Pease, Superintendent; J. A. C. Dubar, Controller, 
and T. W. Main, Treasurer. The school calendar for the present year is 
as follows: First Term, from September 5th, 1898, to December 23d, six- 
teen weeks; Second Term, from January 9th, 1899, to March 25th, eleven 
weeks; Third Term, from April 3d to June i6th, eleven weeks. 

The present corps of teachers is: Henry Pease, A. M. (Rochester), 
Superintendent. (Let it be understood that the words in parenthesis follow- 
ing the names of teachers indicate the institutions respectively from which 
they have been graduated; as for instance, the word Rochester, in paren- 
thesis, after the name of Henry Pease, A. M., means that Mr. Pease is a 
graduate of Rochester University.) 

High School. — H. D. Hopkins, A. M. (Hamilton), principal, Greek and 
Latin; Miss L. M. Wilson (Granville Seminary and Chautauqua College of 


Liberal Arts), principal emeritus, English; Miss Iris Barr, A. B. (Alle- 
gheny), mathematics; Miss S. A. Davidson (Titnsville High School), mathe- 
matics; Miss Mabel Jones (Vassar), natural sciences; Miss Mary Young 
(Wellesley), history and English; Miss Anna Farwell (Titusville High 
School and New York Training School), natural sciences and English; I\Irs. 
Emily T. Wakefield (Queen's College, London, England), supervisor of 
music for city and teacher of elocution in the high school; Mrs. Carrie Reid 
(Titusville High School and Pratt Listitute), supervisor of drawing and 
teacher of drawing in the high school; Miss Mary L. Varian (Titusville High 
School and Berlitz School), French and German. 

Ward Schools. — Miss Jennie Allen (Titusville High School and pupil 
of Lyman Wheeler, Boston), teacher of music in the Ward schools. 

Drake Street School. — Miss Addie R. Potter, principal, second and third 
grade; Miss Eleanor Hanna, third grade; Miss Margaret Gray, seventh 
grade; Miss Genevra Seibert, sixth grade; Miss Alice R. Eaton, fifth grade; 
Miss Mary E. Bruce, fourth grade; Miss Kate Seibert, fourth grade; Miss 
Hester H. Burdette, second grade; Miss Mary A. O'Neil, first grade; Miss 
Elizabeth Smith, first grade; Miss Josephine Nelson, principal's assistani. 

Main Street School. — Miss ^laud Parshall, principal, eighth grade; 
Miss Adelaide L. Chase, principal's assistant ; Miss Margaret J. Condra, sev- 
enth grade ; Miss Inez Guist, sixth grade ; Miss Diana Ver Valin, fifth grade ; 
Miss Harriet J. Smith, fourth grade; Miss Harriet S. Crane, third grade; 
Miss Harriet E. Bates, second grade; Miss Mary A. Condra, first grade. 

Elm Street School. — Miss F. A. Herlehy, principal, sixth grade; Mrs. 
Nancy McCrea, fifth grade; Miss Pearl Taft, fourth grade; Miss Carrie 
Robinson, third grade; Miss Isabella Shepherd, second grade; Miss Susie 
E. Willard, first grade. 

Fourth Ward School. — Mrs. A. L. Bettes, principal, first grade; Miss 
Lenora M. Brown, sixth grade ; Miss Edyth Palmer, fourth and fifth grades ; 
Miss Myrtle Bishop, third grade; Aliss Mabel M. Crane, second grade. 


The following prescribed courses of study to be entered upon during the 
present year are elective. The pupil. on entering the high school, may select, 
under the advice and consent of tlie parents or guardian, any one of the four 


/. College Preparatory Course. — First year, first term, Latin, algel)ra, 
English composition ; second term, Latin, algebra. English composition ; third 
term, Latin, algebra, English composition. Second year, first term, Latin, 
algebra, rhetoric ; second term, Latin, algebra, Greek history ; third term, 
Latin, L^nited States history, Roman history. Third year, first term, Latin, 
Greek or German, plane geometry; second term, Latin, Greek or German, 
plane geometry; third term, Latin, Greek or German, plane geometry. 
Fourth year, first term, Latin, Greek or German, literature; second term, 
Latin, Greek or German; third term, Latin, Greek or German. Another 
study is required throughout this year. Each iiupil is to select that which 
may be required at the college which he intends to enter. If a pupil wishes to 
enter college with two modern languages, four years of German may be 
taken instead of the four years of Latin ; and two years of French mav be 
taken instead of two years of Greek or German. Music and drawing for 
three years, optional the fourth year. Rhetoricals throughout the course. 
Literature once a week during the first three years. 

//. Latin Coiir.sw — First and second years the same as the College 
Preparatory course. Third year, first term, Latin, geometry, chemistry; 
second term, Latin, geometry, chemistry ; third term, Latin, geometry, chem- 
istr}'. Fourth year, first term, Latin, physics, literature; second term, Latin, 
physics, literature or English history. Third term, Latin, physics, literature 
or English history. Music, drawing or rhetoricals throughout the course. 
Literature once a week during the first three }ears. 

///. Modern Language Course. — First year, first term, German, al- 
gebra, English composition ; second term, German, algebra, English compo- 
sition; third term, German, algebra, English composition. Second year, first 
term, German, algebra, rhetoric ; second term, German, algebra, Greek his- 
tory; third term, German, United States history, Greek history. Third 
year, first term, German or French, geometry, chemistry; second term, Ger- 
man or French, geometry, chemistry; third term, German or French, geom- 
etry, chemistry. Fourth year, first term, German or French, physics, litera- 
ture ; second term, German or French, physics, literature or English history ; 
third term, German or French, physics, literature or English history. Music, 
drawing and rhetoricals throughout the course. Literature once a week 
during the first three years. 

IV. English Course. — First year, first term, English composition, al- 


gebra, physical geography; second term, Enghsh composition, algebra, phys- 
ical geography ; third term, English composition, algebra, physical geography. 
Second year, first term, rhetoric, algebra, geology one-half year, botany one- 
half year; second term, Greelv history, algebra; third term, Roman history, 
United States history. Third year, first term, plane geometry, chemistry, 
Mediaeval history; second term, plane geometry, chemistry, English history; 
third term, plane geometry, chemistry, English history. Fourth year, first 
term, literature, physics, book-keeping and commercial arithmetic, or eco- 
nomics; second term, literature, physics, book-keeping, and commercial arith- 
metic or comparative constitutional law; third term, literature, physics, book- 
keeping and commercial arithmetic or comparative constitutional law. Music, 
drawing and rhetoricals throughout the course. Literature once a week 
during the first three years. Book-keeping may be taken out of this course, 
as hereafter it will be given in the eighth grade. 

It ought to be stated that Miss Mabel Jones has been granted by the 
School Controllers, because of ill health, a leave of absence for the entire 
present year. Her position as teacher of natural sciences is filled in her 
absence by Mr. R. B. Brownlee, a graduate of Rochester University, New 

St. Joseph's Coiifciif. Sisters of Mercy. — The order of the "Sisters of 
Mercy" was founded in Ireland, in the early part of the century, by the 
venerable Catherine McAuley, whose aim was to succor the poor and afflicted 
by spiritual and physical works of mercy. 

Right Rev. Michael O'Connor, when Bishop of Pittsburg, saw the need 
of such a noble band of women in his vast diocese, and to secure such an 
agency he visited Ireland, and earnestly entreated the sisters to establish in 
his diocese a community such as existed under the Archbishop of Dublin. 
His appeal prevailed. When in 1843 the sisters, under tlie Right Rev. 
Bishop O'Connor, as their spiritual head, sailed for America, the present 
Bishop of Erie, Dr. IMullen, then a young man, came in the same ship, 
"Ocean Queen," as a student with the Bishop, and the brave little band of 
Sisters of Mercy that has since spread itself in many dioceses throughout 
this country, performing the beneficent work intended by its founder of 
blessed memory. 

In September, 1870, Right Rev. Tobias Mullen, Bishop of Erie, applied 
at the Pittsburg convent for Sisters of Mercy to come into his diocese, seven 


sisters were sent by the Pittsburg Superior, Mother EvangeHst Kinsella, 
who. with tlie venerable Sister Isadora Fisher, acompanied the seven pioneers 
to tlieir field of labor. They came to Titusville, where they were warmly 
received by Bishop Mullen and the priests of the city where they were to 
found an institution of their order. The convent of the Sisters of Mercy 
in Titusville had for its first .superior Mother M. Nolasco Kratzer, who con- 
tinued from September 24, 1870, to preside over the institution until her 
death, September 8, 1872. She is described as the embodiment of many 
virtues, and in her death the sisters sustained a sad loss. She was succeeded 
by Mother M. Celestine Rafferty, who developed remarkable executive abil- 
ity, and under whose administration for many years was erected that great 
brick pile on '\^'est Main Street, as well as the establishment of an institution 
of learning. She was Mother Superior from September 9, 1872, to May 

25, 1882. Mother M. Evangelist Milligen was Mother Superior for the 
next three years. Mother M. Celestine was again Superior from May 21, 
1885, to July 30, 1891. From that date until her death, November 7, 1892, 
Mother M. Evangelist was Superior. From November 12, 1892, to July 

26, 1894, Mother Celestine was Superior. For the next three years, Mother 
M. Basil O'Brien was Superior. The present Superior entered upon the 
duties of her office July 29. 1897. Mother Celestine died August 3, 1897. 
The present Superior is Mother M. Austin Kratzer. She has long served in 
the St. Joseph's Convent. She is a younger sister of Mother M. Nolasco, 
the first Su])erior in this diocese, who gave her life to works of mercy. Al- 
most thirty years apart, the two Kratzer sisters were at the head of the same 
community of Sisters of Mercy. 

It ought to be understood that the headquarters of the Sisters of Mercy 
of the entire Erie diocese are at Titusville, the mother home being at St. 
Joseph's Convent, so that all the institutions of the order in the diocese are 
now under the authority and administration of Mother M. Austin. The 
community o\-er which she presides at present numbers sixty sisters. 

The strongest and most conspicuous figure of the community, since its 
establishment in the diocese twenty-eight years ago, was Mother M. Celestine. 
Her executive ability was extraordinary. A good deal of her work in the 
diocese was outside of Titusville. As before said, the great brick edifices 
of St. Joseph's Convent are very largely the work of her administration. At 


her death she had filled the office of Mother Superior almost two-thirds of the 
time since the beginning of the community in the diocese, in 1870. 

The schools of St. Joseph's Convent are in part parochial and in part 
general ; but the instruction imparted in the schools is strictly non-sectarian. 
The large edifices are amply provided with accommodations for boarding 
pupils, and the institution has always had a large number of pupil boarders. 
The instruction embraces both primary and higher branches, the latter in- 
cluding English literature, langaiages, natural sciences and higher mathe- 
matics. By the system followed it is expected that pupils will be under the 
care of the sisters as boarders at the convent, or under the eye of their parents 
at home. But pupils from abroad, if under the custody of proper authority, 
may be admitted to the tuition of the schools, though not boarding at the 
institution. Great care, however, is exercised in this respect. 


The earliest religious association in the Titus settlement was begun by 
the Presbyterians. It ought to be understood that the Titus settlement was 
the central point, from the first, of all Oil Creek Township. The place was 
sometimes called '"Oil Creek," and sometimes "Titus's." No church records 
of the early doings of the faithful ones, who came together in the name of 
their Master, now exist. Upon tradition alone is the first information 
respecting the first religious work in the settlement founded. By tradition 
we learn that the Rev. Richard Stockton, of Meadville, and Rev. Samuel 
Tait, of Cool Spring, Mercer County, held communions among the Presby- 
terians of Oil Creek in the early years of the century. Religious services 
were held in a log barn belonging to Jonathan Titus, on the east side of 
Franklin Street, between Pine Street and Spring. The Kerrs and the Currys 
were Presbyterians, as, in fact, were perhaps most of the settlers in Oil 
Creek in the first two decades of this century. Finally came Rev. Amos 
Chase, the progenitor of the many Chases of the present generation in eastern 
Crawford, from Connecticut. He came as a missionary under the auspices 
of the Presbyterian denomination, and in 181 5 he organized the first Pres- 
byterian church, as a regular ecclesiastical body, in the Titus settlement. He 
continued the pastor of this church for about fifteen years, but at the same 
time performed missionary labor in the surrounding country. The first 
church at the start had forty members. Rev. Chase divided his time, gi\'ing 


to the Oil Creek church one-half, to a congregation at Centreville one-fourth, 
and to missionary work the remaining time. In 1830, when at the age of 
seventy, he resigned at Oil Creek and settled at Centreville. He was suc- 
ceeded at Oil Creek by Rev. George W. Hampson, who began to minister in 
September, 1830, but was not regularly installed as pastor until nearly two 
years afterward. He continued pastor for about twenty-two years. His 
ministry ended ]\Iarch i, 1853. For the next five years and three months 
the church was without a pastor. It may be noted that the Presbyterian 
church of Titusville, which has had an actual existence for almost a century, 
has many times during the last fifty years gone for a considerable period 
without a pastor. During the last forty years the church has been especially 
strong. Its contributions for both home and foreign missions have been 
exceptionally large. But during this period its pastoral vacancies have been 
numerous. It has two church edifices, and a highly comfortable and pleasant 
parsonage. It pays its ministers much larger salaries than any other religious 
society in the community. It supports an excellent choir at a good deal of 
expense. Its principal house of worship is almost palatial in external beautv 
and interior elegance and comfort. But its pastors often resign and accept 
calls to other fields of usefulness. It is true that the pastors who go else- 
where have usually improved their own interests by making the change. And 
it is also true that the ministers of other denominations in Titusville resign 
their pastorships. But no other denomination is able to pay its pastors as 
large salaries as the Presbyterians can do. The ]\Ieth6dists, by their system, 
are obliged to change pastors. 

The Presbyterian church, by the interregnum from March i. 1853, to 
July I, 1858, suffered much from apathy. The fold in the long absence of a 
shepherd became sadly scattered. Finally two elders, AVilliam Kelly and 
C. M. Allen, called a church meeting in the fall of 1858, and something like 
a reorganization was effected. Rev. George H. Hammer had begun to 
minister to the church July i, 1858. But his work was not easy, and in 1861 
he resigned to take the command of a cavalry company, enlisted in Crawford 
County. He was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Wykoff, who officiated until 
1863. Rev. W. C. Curtis served from 1863 to May, 1865. Re\-. W. H. 
Taylor ministered from November, 1865, to 1869. Rev. Alexander Sinclair 
was pastor from November, 1869, to May, 1874. Rev. Robert Sloss from 
January, 1875, to 1877. Rev. W. J. Chichester, from November, 1877, to 


^larch, 1881. Rev. J. L. Maxwell, D. D.. from May, 1881. to April, 1887. 
Rev. M. D. Kneeland, D. D., from December, 1887, to October, 1890. Rev. 
W. P. Stevenson, from May, 1891, to June, 1898. When the division of the 
Presbyterian church occurred in 1837, into the old and new schools, the 
Titusville church joined the new school, and continued with that branch until 
a reunion of the parts in 1870. 

Soon after the beginning of the century the little congregation held its 
meetings in private houses, in barns, in school houses, and sometimes in 
groves. At about the year 1812 a log church was built upon the east side of 
the old burying ground, near the head of Franklin Street. In 1837 there 
was finished a frame church building immediately west of the old log church, 
and directly at the head of Franklin Street, where now is the German Re- 
formed church. The site of the church was the gift of Jonathan Titus. The 
cost of its construction was $1,500. As the prices of lumber and labor at 
that time were low, it may be inferred that the edifice was a very respectable 
one. In 1863 the building and part of the lot were sold for $1,000, and a 
lot on the southeast corner of Franklin and Walnut streets was purchased 
for $1,100, and upon this site a handsome wooden edifice was finished in the 
summer of 1865. The organ was donated the same summer by Dr. William 
M. Jennings, who died suddenly in Titusville in the winter of 1868-9. T"he 
same organ is now in use in the beautiful new church. The wooden church 
building which had been occupied as a house of worship since 1865 was 
moved southeastward in 1887, to make room for a more commodious struc- 
■ ture. as required by an increasing congregation. After the old edifice had 
been moved it was thoroughly repaired, and it has since been used as an 
annex of the new building, for the many purposes of common meetings, 
connected with the church, for lectures, concerts, etc. The new edifice was 
dedicated in May, 1889. Its walls are constructed of Medina red sandstone. 
It is a beautiful structure. The parsonage, on the west side of Franklin 
Street, directly opposite the rectory of St. James church, is a large two-story 
residence, both attractive and comfortable. It was purchased in 1870. Mrs. 
Charles Hyde made the generous contribution of $1,000 toward the pur- 
chase. Since the resignation of Mr. Stevenson, to accept a higher charge at 
Syracuse, New York, the church has been without a pastor. It might seem 
that the Titusville church has a system of graduating its ministers for more 
important posts elsewhere. 


Methodist Church. — Among the early settlers of what is now Oil Creek- 
Township, there were se\-eral Methodist families, but not many of the persua- 
sion at the central point, or "Titus's." It seems that the first class at Titns- 
ville was organized in October, i860. This class was composed principally 
of women, and its leader was James H. Davis. The Titusville Circuit had 
been formed in 1857. In i860 it became a four weeks circuit, including in 
its points Titusville, Hydetown, Riceville. Centreville, Spartansburg, Bethel 
and Chapman's. In 1861 it was reduced to two points, Titusville and Bethel, 
the latter in the northern part of Oil Creek Township. In 1864 the branch 
at Titusville became a distinct established church. After the forming of the 
class in i860, meetings were held in the school house, in the Presbyterian 
church and in the Universalist church on Pine Street. The ministers who 
rode the circuit from 1857 to 1863 inclusive were Revs. X. \\\ Jones. W. 
Hayes, J. C. Schofield, D. M. Stever and T. Stubbs. The latter was pastor 
of the Titusville church in 1864-5, two years. His successors have been 
Rev. N. G. Luke, 1866-7, two years; Rev. W. P. Bignell, 1868-9-70, three 
years; Rev. D. C. Osborne, 1781-2, two years; Rev. A. N. Craft, 1873-4-5, 
three years; Rev. J. N. Fradenberg, 1876-7, two years; Rev. W. W. Painter, 
1878-9, two years; Rev. W. F. Day, 1880-1-2, three years; Rev. J. N. Fraden- 
berg, 1883-4, two years; Rev. C. H. Hall, 1885-6, two years; Rev. J. W. 
Blaisdell, 1887-8, two years; Rev. John Lusher, 1889 to 1893 inclusive, five 
years; Rev. C. W. Miner, 1894-5, two years; Rev. W. \\'. Dale, 1896-7-8. 
Rev. Dale is therefore the present pastor. 

In 1863 two lots were purchased by the Methodist Society on the north- 
west corner of Perry and Pine streets, on which to erect a church and a 
parsonage. The church edifice, as first built, was 40x93 feet, in width and 
length. Its length was subsequently increased many feet. It was sur- 
mounted by a beautiful tower. It was first occupied in February, 1864, but 
it was not dedicated until November following. The distinguished Bishop 
Simpson preached the dedicatory sermon. The interior of the church was 
beautifully furnished. The cost of both church and parsonage was $16,000. 
The first church bell to send out its inspiring tones to the people of Titusville 
was purchased by private contribution, and hung in the tower of the Metho- 
dist church. 

Among the more active members of the Methodist congregation at this 
time w^ere James H. Davis, A. B. Funk, Charles Burtis, James Burtis, John 


Brown and J. W. Wilcox. Tlie death of Mr. Funk soon afterward was a 
loss to the church and to the community. He was a man of sterling char- 
acter. He was especially devoted to church matters. He not only con- 
tributed liberally of his means, but he participated actively in all parts of 
church work. James H. Davis for a quarter of a century was a pillar of the 
Methodist denomination in Titusville. Mr. Z. Waid for a generation has 
been an active member. H. C. Bosley, the first superintendent of the Titus- 
ville schools, was especially useful in church work. The present' school 
superintendent, Henry Pease, belongs also to the Methodist denomination. 
Jesse Smith, W. B. Benedict, C. S. Barrett, Norris Grossman, and others 
might be mentioned as prominent representatives of the Titus\-ille church 
at the present time. The distinguishing quality of the Methodist denom- 
ination, throughout the world, zvarmth, has always characterized the Metho- 
dist church in Titusville. Heat is life, and the remarkable success of Meth- 
odist work everywhere is largely due to this principle prevailing almost 
universall}- in the Methodist system. 

Univevsalist Church. — The Universalists were not numerous in the early 
history of Titusville, but they displayed a zeal born of conviction. This 
fact is evident from their erection of a house of worship as early as 1844, 
when Titusville was a small village. This church was a frame building, 
on the north side of Pine Street, between Franklin and Martin. Rev. C. L. 
Shipman and others had previously preached the faith of Universalism in 
the community. It is probable that the congregations which assembled in 
the new meeting house were composed largely of people who had come some 
distance from the surrounding country. This and the Presbyterian edifice at 
the head of Franklin Street were the only two meeting houses in Titusville, 
until the completion of the St. James Memorial church in 1864. This little 
chapel was long a useful building to the community. It was occupied fre- 
quently by other denominations. It was sold about the year 1862 to the 
German Reformed Society. 

In 1865 the Universalists erected on the southeast corner of Perry and 
Main streets a very solid brick edifice, and hung in its tower a deep-toned 

The first pastor who ministered in the new church was Rev. F. Stanley 
Bacon, who entered upon his duties in the winter of 1865-6, and continued 
as pastor for about a year. Afterward for several years the pulpit was ir- 


regularly supplied by various preachers. Rev. J. Murray Bailey was elected 
pastor June i, 1871. He held the office until ]\Iarch i, 1874. Rev. Charles 
E. Tucker was pastor from September, 1875, to January i, 1879. Regular 
services were resumed in November, 1884, by Rev. H. W. Hand, state super- 
intendent of the Universalist convention, who preached until May following. 
After this Rev. C. L. Shipman supplied the church the same year until August 
2d. Rev. S. A. Whitcomb preached from August 2d, 1885, to June i, 1886. 
Rew A. U. Hutchins ministered from August, 1886, to July, 1887. Rev. 
E. F. Pember was pastor from October i, 1887, to April i, 1890. Re\'. '\l. 
H. Houghton was pastor immediately afterward luitil October. 1892. He 
was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Mclnarney, who was pastor from October 
1892, to July, 1893. Rev. I. K. Richardson, the present pastor, has min- 
istered since November, 1895. 

The St. James Memorial Church, Protestant Episcopal, had its begin- 
ning in 1S62, when Rev. Henry Purdon came to the oil country as a mission- 
ary. Soon after his arrival he established a mission in Titus\-ille, and at 
once entered upon what has resulted in a life work. In 1863 he founded a 
church, of which he has ever since been the rector. The massive church 
editice, within whose walls of solid cut stone the St. James congregation has 
worshipped more than one-third of a century, symbolizes the character of the 
religious work and life of Rev. Dr. Purdon in Titusville. During this period 
of more than thirty-six years the many upheavals, the vicissitudes and the 
shiftings in the oil country have been sudden and often terribly destructive 
in their results. A few of the poor, it is true, have become rich. But many 
who were wealthy thirty-six years ago, have long since become poor. In the 
numerous disasters which, from time to time, have swept over the oil region, 
St. James ]\Iemorial Church has often suffered. But during all its trials 
Dr. Purdon has stood constantly at his post, and unflinchingly grappled with 
misfortunes, which, if met with less heroic courage, patience and calm judg- 
ment, would ha\'e overwhelmed his charge. 

Among Dr. Purdon's active supporters in the early days was Edwin L. 
Drake, whose discovery in Titusville in 1859 had opened to the world a won- 
derful industry. William H. Abbott, George M. Mowbray and F. W. Ames 
gave him assistance and valuable co-operation. Jonathan Watson was also 
a generous friend. St. James Memorial Church was chartered in 1863. The 
cornerstone of the church edifice, on the northeast corner of Main and 


Franklin streets, was laid in September, 1863, by Bishop William Bacon 
Stevens, and it was dedicated by Bishop Alonzo Potter in October, 1864. 
It is gothic in architecture, with walls of cut blocks of sandstone, laid in solid 
masonry, presenting a very substantial, as well as beautiful, structure. The 
interior of the church was decorated and furnished in a style corresponding 
to the external beauty of the building, and with special regard to the comfort 
of worshippers. It has now a very fine slate roof. In 1893 a campanile, 
one hundred feet high, from the summit of which are heard the tones of the 
St. James bell, was erected. The church was decorated by the Lambs of 
New York in 1896 and all the present handsome furniture placed in position, 
the memorial gifts of many friends. In the same year a new stone porch 
on the west side of the church was built, as a gift by Mr. J. C. AIcKinney. 
The chancel window i^ a gift of the Roberts family, in memory of the late 
Dr. W". B. Roberts. Also a beautiful window on the south side of the church 
is the gift of Edward Griswold HoUister in 1896 to his wife, Elizabeth 
Boyer. On the east side of the church is a very substantial, commodious brick 
building, a chapel, or annex of the church, erected in 1864. North of the 
church, on Franklin Street, is the rectory, spacious and comfortable, the main 
part of which was erected in 1868. The L part next to the church was built 
by Dr. Purdon at his own expense. The beautiful grounds on which all the 
above described structures stand, embrace four full sized city lots, almost an 
acre in area — one hundred and eighty feet on Main Street and two hundred 
and forty on Franklin. This property was purchased of Jonathan Watson 
in 1863 for $i,20O---$300 a lot. When it is remembered that Franklin and 
Spring had always, since the opening of the Titus settlement, been two most 
important streets of the place, and that the oil development had made Titus- 
ville, in 1863, an active and growing town, it would seem that Mr. Watson 
generously parted with his lands at a low price. But this was only the be- 
ginning of his generosity toward Dr. Purdon's church enterprise. He con- 
tributed $1,000 toward the construction of the church. In view of the inter- 
esting auspices under which the founding of St. James Church began, it seems 
fitting to mention some of the events and some of the men connected with the 
undertaking. Dr. Purdon was sent to the oil country by the Bishop of 
Pennsylvania, the illustrious Alonzo Potter, the father of several illustrious 
sons, among whom may be named the present Bishop Potter of New York. 
In August, 1861, Bishop Bowman, assistant bishop of the diocese of 


Pennsylvania. wliile journeying toward the oil country, suddenly dropped 
dead on a railroad tracl< near Kittanning, P'ennsyh-ania. The sad occurrence 
produced a great shock among the people of his church, liy whom Bishop 
Bowman had been beloved. Moved by a feeling of deep regard for the mem- 
ory of the deceased prelate, in response to an appeal by the senior bishop for 
contributions for the purpose of erecting a memorial church in the region 
where Bishop Bowman, while on an episcopal mission, had lost his life, the 
people had sent offerings to the amount of $4,000. The money was placed 
on deposit at six per cent interest until a location could be selected. In 
April. 1862, Dr. Purdon received the following appointment: 

■"The Rev. H. Purdon is hereby appointed to minister at Franklin, Titus- 
ville, etc. He is a Presbyter in regular standing, enjoying the confidence of 
his bishop antl brethren of the clergy, and is commended to the cordial regard 
and affectionate co-operation of the people among whom he is to labor. 

"Alonzo Potter, Bishop, etc." 

In a private letter accompanying this commission, Bishop Potter wrote 
to Dr. Purdon: "It is a very critical and important time for the church in 
the oil regions. Wt have collected some $4,000 for a memorial church to 
Bishop Bowman in that region. At one ix)int named in your commission, 
Titusville. a large sum additional is promised in case the church is erected 
there. \\'e need greatly a resident minister on the ground, who. by thor- 
ough survey of the different points and by intercourse at large with the 
people, and familiar with the probabilities of the future, shall be able to aid 
us in choosing wisely for all time the location of the church, and superintend 
the erection of it." 

Dr. Purdon came forthwith to the oil country and held his first service 
at Franklin on Sunday, May 7, 1862, and came on to Titusville the next 
day. The actual residents of the place did not then exceed six hundred, 
but there was a large crowd of strangers present, a floating population in 
pursuit of wealth from the production of oil. Then followed a remarkable 
missionary work at different points of this section of country. After supply- 
ing a pulpit in a temporary absence of the rector at Meadville, during the rest 
of May, Dr. Purdon was again at Franklin on Sunday, June ist, and on tlie 
afternoon of the same day he conducted services at Oil City. The next 
Sunday, June 8, he preached his first sermon at Titusville, in Crittenden Hall. 
For many weeks he was constantly on horseback, rain or shine, riding at a 


single stretch thirty miles, from point to point, between Franklin and Tion- 
csta, and between both of these places and Titusville, and ministering" in turn 
to several congregations. In 1862 he established, as already stated, a mis- 
sion in Titnsville, and organized a vestry. Both Warren and Franklin were 
anxious to get the Bowman Memorial Fund, but they were unable to add to 
it a domestic endowment, such as Titusville was prepared to guarantee. For- 
tified by this guarantee, under the direction of the Titusville vestry. Dr. 
Purdon went alone at the beginning of December, 1862, to Philadelphia, 
and presented Titusville's claims. As a result of Dr. Furdon's appeal, 
Tittisville was selected as the site of the Memorial Church, $3,000 of the 
fimd was appropriated by the diocese to that end, and subsequently the rest 
of the fund was given toward the erection of the Trinity Memorial Church 
at Warren. \\'hen the Titusville Church was completed it received $552.50 
from the Society for the Advancement of Christianity in Pennsylvania. 

St. Tifus Catholic Church. — This church was the outgrowth of St. 
Stephen's Church built in 1827 about two miles northeast of Titusville. At 
an early day Father Ratigan from Philadelphia visited all this section of 
country in looking after the many scattered members of the church. Among 
those who ministered in the early periods were Fathers Brown and McCabe 
of Erie. Then Bishop Kenrick of Philadelphia from 1834 to 1840 visited 
St. Stephen's and made c<infirmations. Afterward, up to 1849, the mission 
was attei^ided by priests from the various sections of the State. In 1849 
it was officiated over by Rev. Joseph Deane of Erie for about a year. Next, 
Rev. T. A. Smith attended for two years. He was succeeded by Rev. 
Arthur McConnell, from Crossing\-ille, who remained about a year. In the 
beginning of 1854 the church was attended by Father Berbiger. He was 
immediately succeeded by Father De La Roque, who remained until 1861. 
Father De La Roque in that year began the organization of the St. Titus 
Church at Titusville. He said mass in a cooper shop near the head of Frank- 
lin Street. About the fall of 1862 he broke' ground for a church building on 
the present location of the church. This edifice was completed in the latter 
part of 1864 under Father Napoleon Mignault, who had been sent to the 
parish that year by Bishop Young, of Erie. John ;\I. Kuhn, of Erie, was 
the contractor who built the church. The church was dedicated in 1865 by 
Bishop Young. Father Mignault remained the rector until the summer 
of 1871. 



In the interregnum which followed Very Rev. P. I. Sheridan, now 
\'icar General of the diocese, ministered. Very Rev. John D. Coady was 
l)astor from October i, 1871, to March, 1892. Rev. Joseph M. Dunn has 
been rector ever since. Father Dunn's pastoral work has been eminently 
successful and he has the confidence in a strong- degree of his people. Dur- 
ing the last three years he has had the assistance of Rev. D. F. Curley, a young 
priest of much promise. 

Father Coady in his two decades of ministration was a' most faithful 
pastor. He was not only beloved by his parishioners, but he was universally 
respected in the community, and his memory wall long remain fragrant with 
the people of Titusville. St. Titus' Church has long had the benefit of an 
excellent choir. To Mr. Joseph Seep's guardianship and training the suc- 
cess of the choir is largely due, and the church owes a great deal in other 
respects to Mr. Seep for his generous support and earnest co-operation. 

The devotedness of the communicants of St. Titus' Church ought to be 
a lesson to people of other denominations. When several hundred worship- 
ers congregate not on Sundays alone, but on every day of the week, at an 
early morning religious service, as are seen assembling every morning in 
all kinds of weather the year round, at St. Titus', it must be that the pro- 
fessed religious belief of such people has a deep meaning. 

St. ]Valburgas Church, Catholic. — The German congregation of Titus- 
ville was organized in the latter part of the year 1871. After a consultation 
with the bishop of the diocese, the German Catholics, anxious to have a 
church of their own, began to build on the northern part of the town, on 
Brook Street, a small wooden edifice. The frame building was finished in 
the beginning of the year 1872, and on February 25 following, it was dedi- 
cated to God by Right Rev. Tobias Mullen, bishop of the diocese. 

The first pastor of the congregation was Rev. George Meyer, who was 
afterward stationed at Meadville. He was succeeded by Rev. James Lach- 
ermaier, who ministered from 1872 until October i, 1885. Under his ad- 
ministration a parsonage and later a schoolhouse was built. A great deal of 
energy was manifested by the congregation in the early years, when the 
number of members was small, but with the assistance of the good citizens of 
the town, irrespective of religious belief, the little church, the parsonage and 
the schoolhouse were all paid for. 

Father Lachermaier was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Nan, the present 


pastor, on October i, 1885. Under his administration, the congregation, 
having increased in nnmbers, became more ambitious, and they planned the 
erection of a new church. The cornerstone of this was laid September 20, 
1 89 1, by Bishop Mullen, assisted by several priests. In the cornerstone 
was placed a statement written in the German language, giving the date 
of the ceremony, the name of Pope Leo XIII., the name of the bishop of the 
diocese, the name of Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore, the names of the pres- 
ent and former pastors, and the names of the President of the United States 
and the Governor of Pennsylvania and the Mayor of the city of Titusville. 
After this the work was pushed forward to the completion of the church in 
the summer of 1893, when the handsome edifice was solemnly dedicated to 
divine service, on August 27, by Bishop Tobias Mullen. There were pres- 
ent on this solemn and joyous occasion, besides the resident pastor and sev- 
eral other friends, the former pastors of the congregation. Solemn high 
mass was celebrated by Father Lachermaier, and the sermon preached by 
Father Meyer. The new church is a beautiful and imposing structure, 
veneered with brick, an honor to the congregation and to the city. It is sur- 
mounted by a very fine spire covered with aluminum, containing a sweet- 
toned bell, which was presented to the church in December, 1895, by the 
former pastor. Rev. James Lachermaier. On the 25th of February, 1897, 
the congregation celebrated the silver jubilee of their organization, by a sol- 
emn high mass at 9 o'clock A. M. A large concourse of people partici- 
pated in the solemn services, thanking God for the benefits received for a 
quarter of a century. 

Baptist Church. — About the month of February, 1864, two Baptist cler- 
gymen. Revs. B. C. Willoughby and H. H. Stockton, began a series of 
meetings in the old Universalist church on Pine Street. A paper to organize 
a Baptist church in Titusville was signed by fifteen persons on February 15. 
On May 9, 1864, an organization of a church society was effected with eleven 
members, as follows: Russell Chappel, James Parker, David Hanna and 
wife, Henry J. Esler and wife, Mrs. G. W. Hughson, L. S. French, D. K. 
Williams and wife, and John R. Madison. Of these original members. D. 
K. Williams and wife alone remain. Rev. J. J. Gundy was the first pastor. 
He assisted in the organization of the church society, and remained pastor 
until July, 1865. He was succeeded by Rev. J. L. Hayes, who resigned the 
next year. Rev. J. N. Webb was the next pastor, serving from February, 


1867, to November, 1869. Next, Rev. Andrew Murdock was pastor from 
May, 1870, to April, 1875. Then Rev. William Gilkes served from October, 
1S75, to 1877. In April, 1877, Rev. J. H. Gunning succeeded and served 
two years. In 1879 Rev. Frank H. Rowley became pastor, and served until 
1885. He was succeeded by Rev. L. D. Lamkin, who served for the next 
five years. Rev. F. W. Lockwood next served five years. From 1895 to 
1897 Rev. J. C. Thoms ministered. Since then the church has been without 
a pastor. But recently, Rev. Owen James, D. D., of Nashville, Tennessee, 
has accepted a call from the church, and he is expected to enter upon his duties 
during November, 1898. 

The present beautiful and imposing church edifice was begun in the 
summer of 1865. But after finishing the basement and beginning the brick 
walls of the superstructure, a temporarj' roof over the whole was constructed 
and the work suspended until after the Rev. J. N. Webb entered upon his 
pastoral work. Mr. Webb soon began the completion of the church and 
after two years of hard effort he succeeded. The church was dedicated in 
the summer of 1869. Mr. Webb is entitled to a great deal of credit for his 
indefatigable perseverance, in giving to his people a home for, divine wor- 
ship. The church now has a fine slate roof. The church building is situated 
on the southeast corner of Walnut and Perry streets. 

St. Paul's Reformed Church. — In 1861 the congregation, afterward 
known as the German Reformed Church of Titusville, was organized by 
fifteen original members. Not one of the persons who entered into a com- 
pact as a church society is now living. Rev. Zischka was the first shepherd 
of this fold. Besides him, the following ministers served up to 187 1 : Revs. 
Leberman, Ebbenhaus, Bemer, Masaltsky and Kraus. Their first church, 
the old Universalist church, was on Pine Street, — now Central Avenue — 
on the north side, near the northwest corner of Pine and Martin. In 1871 
the society sold this church and purchased a site at the head of Franklin 
Street. At this time the society had about one hundred members. The new 
organization then took place, with the name of the German Reformed Church 
of Titusville, Rev. Fuendling being the first pastor. The church at the 
head of Franklin Street was finished and dedicated in 1872. The Emperor 
of Germany made to the congregation the present of a cannon, captured in 
the Franco-Prussian war. This cannon was melted and cast into a church 
bell which now hangs in the church whence it sends forth, not the roar of 


angry battle, but notes of peace and mercy. "Following Mr. Fuendling. Rev. 
J. H. Eberly ministered to the congregation. From 1878 to 1881 Rev. John 
Roesch was pastor. From 1882 to 1886 Rev. John Niehoff. From 1886 to 
1893, Rev. Henry Dieckmann. Since 1893. Rev. Loren Selzer, the present 
pastor, has ministered. 

In 1897 the congregation, by more than a two-thirds vote, decided to 
change the name of the church and, in part, the mode of worship. Previous 
to this, the services had been in the German language. It was decided at this 
meeting that the morning services should be in German, and all others in 
the English language; also that the name of the society should be "The Re- 
formed Church of Titusville." 

B'Nai Zion, Hebrew. — The first meeting of the Jewish Reformed So- 
ciety was held August 2, 1863. A Strasburger was chosen president and 
Jacob Strauss, secretary. On September 6 Felix Jesselsohn was elected 
teacher and reader. On November 15 the name of "The Titusville Hebrew 
Congregation" was adopted. The congregation first worshiped in a build- 
ing where the Palace Livery Stable now stands, on Exchange Alley. The 
next place of worship was in the Merchants' Exchange building, on the 
north side of Spring Street, and immediately east of Exchange Alley. The 
next place was in a building where the Exchange Block now stands. They 
next held meetings where now is the building of James Brown, on Diamond 
Street, until 1872, when the B'nai Zion Temple was completed on the east 
side of Franklin Street, a short distance south of Spruce. This temple was 
dedicated by Dr. J. A. Wise of Cincinnati, on June 28, 1872. 

Rabbi Jesselsohn remained pastor until 1869. Rabbi Joseph Swed next 
officiated two years. Then Rev. Dr. Eger ministered three years. He was 
succeeded bv Rev. Felix Jesselsohn, who remained until 1887; but his ser- 
vices during this time had several intervals. From 1887 Rev. M. Faber 
served constantly for the next ten years. At the present time the temple is 
without a rabbi. The congregation owns the house of worship, the temple, 
and the building adjoining it on the north side, and a burying ground on 
Cherrytree Hill, a little south of the city limits. This property was pur- 
chased at the first organization of the society. The congregation was char- 
tered under the laws of the State, and the name of the society was changed, 
in 1871, from the "Titusville Hebrew Congregation" to the "B'nai Zion 
Congregation of Titusville." 


B'liai Gciiiiluth Chcscd Orthodox Hcbrci^' Church was first organized 
in 1863. Ill 1870 the church was chartered. The first rahbi was Mr. Bern- 
stein. Another Avas Mr. Sigel. After 1870 among the pastors were Revs. 
Jacobson, M. G. Levensohn, H. Cohen and H. Le\in. Tlien there were Rev. 
M. Mendelsohn, and Rev. Levensohn again. The present pastor is Rev. J. 
Newman. At first the congregation met in different hahs. Then they built 
a synagogue near the northeast corner of Martin and Water streets. In 
1880 they sold the synagogue to the D. A. V. & P. R. R., and built the pres- 
ent synagogue on North Martin Street, and in that temple they have wor- 
shiped since. The present officers of the church are E. Steinfirst, president; 
M. Berwald, vice-president; F. Phillips, treasurer, and H. Gerson, secretary. 

The Szvcdish Evangelical Lutheran Iimnanuel Church was organized 
October 10, 1871, in the basement of the j\I. E. Church, corner of Perry and 
Pine streets. Rev. C. O. Hultgren, of Jamestown, N. Y., presided, and 
Rev. H. O. Lindeblad, of Sugar Grove, acted as secretary. It started with 
forty communicants. Its first trustees were Rev. C. O. Hultgren, G. F. Palm- 
quist, John Henrickson, John Peterson, L. J. Cederquist, P. J. Hultgren and 
Jacob Svenson. Its first recording secretary was John Peterson. A con- 
stitution and by-laws were adopted, and by vote it was decided to ha\-e the 
congregation incorporated. Its first deacons were L. J. Cederquist. N. P. 
Ekman and A. Ryden. 

The first church edifice was a frame building on the northeast corner of 
Oak and Second streets, built in 1872, at a cost of about $3,000. Here the 
congregation worshiped nineteen years. Then, as the location was not quite 
convenient, and the building in need of repairs, it was decided at a congre- 
gation meeting on September 30, 1890, to buy the corner lot on the northeast 
corner of Elm and Perry streets, and upon it erect a new church building. 
The lot was purchased and a new church built. It was finished in 1891, but 
was not dedicated until 1893. The new lot is 90x90. The church is a 
wooden structure with its walls veneered with brick. Its dimensions are 
38x60x20. The entire cost of building and lot was $8,000. The congrega- 
tion owns a parsonage at 166 North Monroe Street, bought in 1886. On 
Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11, 1896, the church celebrated its 
twenty-fifth anniversary. 

The names of the pastors and their respective terms of service are as. 
follows: Rev. J. W. Kindborg, from 1872 to 1875; Rev. A. J. Ostlin, from 


i?>77 to 1879; Rev. M. U. Norberg, from 1880 to 1881; Rev. N. G. John- 
son, from 1882 to 1886; Rev. J. A. Hultkrans, from 1886 to 1889; Rev. A. 
J. Ryden, from 1892 to 1894; Rev. A. P. Sater, its present pastor, has min- 
istered since 1894. This church seems to be in a prosperous condition. 

Tlie Sivcdish Congregational Church was organized February i, 1893, 
with ten members. Their first minister was Rev. C. O. Seaburg, who served 
eight months. The next and present pastor is Rev. A. J. Isaacson, who has 
served during the last five years. The church lias now thirty-five communi- 
cants, and the number is steadily growing. 

The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized about 1869. 
Rev. Benjamin Wheeler was the first pastor. He served until 1872. The 
colored people had held religious meetings before 1869, but not with a reg- 
ular organization. The erection of a house of worship was begun in 1870, 
but it was not completed until the following year. Its first location was on 
the southeast corner of East Elm and Myrtle streets. It was called "Trinity 
Chapel," and it was dedicated in August, 1871, by Right Rev. D. A. Payne, 
D. D., bishop of the diocese. It was subsequently moved to its present site, 
on the north side of Spruce Street, between Kerr and Brown. Mr. W. J. 
Booth contributed the lot on which the parsonage stands, adjoining the church 
on the west side. Rev. J. ]\I. Morris was the next pastor, serving from 1872 
to 1875. Next, B. Wheeler, from 1875 to 1877. Next, W. A. J. Phillips, 
from 1877 to 1879. Next, J. M. Morris, 1879 to 1880. Next, A. B. Palmer, 
1880 to 1883. Next, S. T. Jones, from 1883 to 1885. Next, I. N. Ross, from 
1885 to 1889. Next, W. S. Lowery, 1889 to 1893. Next, George C. Sampson, 
1893 to 1898. Rev. Ishmael D. Till, B. D., is the present pastor. 

The Free Methodist Cliurch, whose house of worship, a brick structure 
with a slate roof, stands on the southeast corner of Perry Street and Central 
Avenue, is described by a prominent member of the denomination, as follows : 
"The organization of the Free Methodist Society of Titusville is coincident 
with the first camp-meeting held by the Oil City district of the Pittsburg 
Conference of the Free Methodist Church in Roberts' Grove about ten years 
since. This meeting continued for eight days and was emphasized by a sim- 
ilar meeting one year later, the converts of said meetings being the nucleus of 
the present organization, which holds regular services in its neat brick church, 
corner Central Avenue and Perry Street, under the pastorate of Rev. F. E. 
Glass. The principles and issues of this denomination are so rigid and an- 


tagonistic to the popular mind and the general trend of men's everyday hfe, 
that their growth is small in comparison with some other bodies of Chris- 
tians, and, because of their rigid adherence to the doctrines and practices of 
original Methodism, they are now by many regarded as peculiar and unneces- 
sarily particular. But they steadfastly refuse to change and alter either 
their doctrines or practices, to conform to meet the caprices, demands and 
styles of what to them is this ungodly "worldly"' nineteenth century. For 
several years they met from place to place, at a "jiilgrim's house, empty store- 
room or hall, easily accommodating their demands. Six years since, their 
Pittsburg annual conference met and was entertained here, Iiolding their 
business sessions and religious services in Armory Hall. Many converts were 
made at this time, and steps were immediately taken for the erection of a suit- 
able place of worship. The same was consummated a year later under the 
pastorate of Rev. J. M. Critchlow. The short itinerant system of pastorates 
obtains with the Free Methodist Church, never exceeding two years. This 
has given Titusville the services of several representative men of this de- 
nomination. We recall in order, Revs. D. B. Tobey, now presiding elder of 
the Oil City district; A. C. Shower, S. M. Sandy, now of Hope Mission, 
Pittsburg; R. H. Bentley, now of McKeesport; J. M. Critchlow, now of 
Franklin ; \\'. B. Roupe, now of Hite and Tarentum ; Thomas Wain, now of 
Bolivar: C. F. Reid, now of Leechburg, and F. E. Glass, the present pastor." 


The Titusville Iron Company. — The foundation of this institution was 
laid more than a generation ago. In i860 an iron foundry was erected on 
the spot which has ever since been occupied as an iron industry, which every 
year, since its beginning, has turned out large quantities of manufactured 
products. Among those who, in the early days of the plant, after a machine 
shop was added to the foundry, were interested in the works, was Jonathan 
Locke, who subsequently continued during the remainder of a long life to 
operate a machine shop at Titusville, Pleasantville and Bradford. John C. 
Bryan was many years a prominent figure as one of the proprietors and 
managers of the works. With him was long associated Captain John Dil- 
lingham. The institution has finally passed into the hands of some of Titus- 
Ville's wealthiest and most enterprising citizens. Under their direction for 
nearly ten years, the plant has prospered and grown to large proportions. 


The present owners of the industry, on October 20, 1889, organized 
themselves into an association under the name of "The Titusville Iron Com- 
pany, Limited." On January i, 1896, the association reorganized as a cor- 
poration, under the laws of Pennsylvania, absorbing at the time and adopting, 
as one of its component parts, the Joy Radiator \\^orks, with the new name of 
"The TitusviHe Iron Company," and with an addition of $250,000 io its 

The executive officers of the company are : John Fertig, president ; J. 
C. McKinney, vice-president; D. Colestock, secretary; B. F. Kraffert. treas- 
urer. The board of directors are John Fertig. J. L. AIcKinney, J. C. McKin- 
ney, John J. Carter, E. C. Hoag, B. F. Kraffert and D. Colestock. The 
company manufactures as specialties the Acme steam engines and boilers, the 
Olin gas engines, steam pumps, stills, agitators and blowers, tanks, tank 
cars, general plate workers, eccentric powers, pumping jacks, brass and iron 

This institution has done more work in the construction of oil refineries, 
that is, in the construction of stills, engines and boilers, pumps, and brass 
fittings of all kinds, etc., than any other similar plant in the United States. 

At the radiator branch of the company's works, are made steam and 
hot water heaters and radiators. The Joy radiators are gaining a world-wide 
reputation. The demand for them comes not only from all parts of the 
United States, where the heating of rooms is necessary, but from several 
foreign countries. The radiator branch has eight acres of land, which the 
compan}' is rapidly covering. The heavy increase of orders for the radiators 
has caused the company to give a contract for a large addition to its build- 
ings, as well as to order a large amount of new manufacturing machinery. 
The company has secured control of the Bryant moulding machine, a re- 
markable contrivance, one of which does the work of one hundred men. 

The company has branch offices at 152 Centre Street, New York City; 
82 Lake Street, Chicago, and 10 and 12 Wood Street, Pittsburg, Pennsyl- 

The first engineers in the world have made thorough practical tests of 
the Joy radiators, in comparison with others, and as a result they certify to 
its superior merits. It is not by favor or courtesy to individuals, that the 
Joy radiators are selected for heating such wonderful edifices as Ivin's Syn- ' 
dicate Building, now in process of construction, on Park Row, New York, 


thirty stories high, the highest building in tlie world ; or the Standard Oil 
Company's new building in New York, or the Hotel Waldorf, or the St. 
James Building, or the Produce Exchange, the Lorillard Building, the 
University of the City of New York, the Barnard College new buildings, the 
Bank of New York, the Hotel Marie Antoinette, the Buttenweiser Building, 
the W. W. Astor Apartment Building, the Lowe Building, Manhattan Eye 
and Ear Hospital, all of New York City. In Philadelphia the Joy radiators 
heat the Pennsylvania Railroad's Broad Street Station, Reading Railroad 
Terminal Station, Drexel Building, Drexel Institute, Pennsylvania Institu- 
tion for Deaf and Dumb, th.e Presbyterian Hospital, Hotel Lafayette, Glad- 
stone's Apartment House. Then may be mentioned St. Mary's Maternity 
Hospital in Brooklyn, New York; Delaware & Hudson Canal Company's 
buildings, Albany, New York; L'^nited States Hospital, Fort Wadsworth, 
New York Harbor. The above are a few of the public buildings which are 
heated by Joy radiators. In England, Marlborough House, the London 
residence of the Prince of Wales, uses these radiators. They were adopted 
and installed by the eminent firm of engineers, John King, Limited, London. 
In this country might be mentioned the residence of John Jacob Astor, Rhine- 
cliff, New York; the residence of Mrs. Robert Garrett, Baltimore, Maryland, 
and a great many others. The company is behind in its orders, and the works 
are crowded to their fullest capacity. The central institution, with its great 
brick pile, occupies a whole square, in Titusville, on Franklin, Mechanic, 
^\'ashing■ton streets, and Water Street, on the north. 

Queen City Tannery. — In 1889, Mr. Samuel G. Maxwell, of Boston, 
Massachusetts, made a tour through several localities of Pennsylvania, and 
other parts of the country, in search of a desirable location for a large tan- 
nery. Among the places wliich he visited was Titusville, and upon investi- 
gation he became impressed with the apparent advantages of the point for 
a tanning establishment of large dimensions. He conferred with certain 
members of the Titusville Board of Trade, in reference to the starting of a 
tannery here. Encouraged by what he saw and heard, he returned to Bos- 
ton and consulted with the firm of Lucius Beebe & Sons, upon the proposi- 
tion to join with them in building and operating a tannery at Titusville. As 
a result of the discussion, the Beebes proposed to Maxwell, who had a thor- 
ough experience in the tanning business, that he, with the assistance of Titus- 
ville citizens through their local Board of Trade, build the tannery, and they 


furnish the working capital for operating it, he to superintend its con- 
struction and its manufacturing business, and they to market its product. 
Should the project be consummated, the profits of the business, after allowing 
the Beebes a commission of fi\e per cent of the sales, should be divided equally 
between Mr. Maxwell and the Beebes. 

Mr. Maxwell then returned to Titusville. and again conferred with the 
Board of Trade. The result was that the Board of Trade agreed to furnish 
the site for a tannery and the necessary funds for constructing the tannery 
buildings. The money expended by the Board of Trade was to be a loan to 
the Beebes for the period of ten years, at six per cent interest a year, the 
interest payable semi-annually. The Board of Trade, through its trustees, 
five in number, should continue to own the lar.d. as real estate, on which the 
tannery should be located, until the end of ten years, when upon payment of 
the loan by Beebes, they would become owners of the real estate as well as 
owners of the manufacturing plant. This proposed agreement was consum- 
mated. The Board of Trade has furnished land for the tannery works to 
the amount of ten acres. The present trustees, \vho represent the Board of 
Trade in the contract with the Beebes, are L. K. Hyde, treasurer ; Junius 
Harris, James H. Caldwell, E. O. Emerson and E. T. Roberts. The trustees 
have loaned in all, to the Beebes, $35,000. They divided the loan fund into 
shares, each share $100. Those investing in the fund receive on the first day 
of January, every year, six per cent interest on their investment. 

The grounds of the tannery begin at the northwest, where the W. N. 
y. & P. R. R. crosses Central Avenue, and now extend eastward about to 
Monroe Street. The building of the tannery began in January, 1890, and 
the manufacture of leather at the works began in July following. For the 
first three years, the production consisted exclusively of upper leather for 
boots and shoes. Since then the tannery has manufactured only sole leather. 
In 1892 the company was incorporated under the laws of Pennsylvania, 
taking the name of "The Queen City Tannery." The plant has gradually 
grown to large proportions. For the last two years it has consumed annually 
16.000 cords of hemlock bark, and at present it is turning out 1,400 sides of 
leather a day. During the last two years its production of sok leather ex- 
ceeds by far that of any other tannery in the United States. It uses the best 
machinery and the best processes of tanning known in the trade. The com- 
pany carries in stock, bark, raw hides and leather, over $1,000,000. It ships 


to the leather centers in all parts of the United States, besides exporting 
largely to Great Britain, Germany and other foreign countries. Among other 
parts of machinery at the works, there are five one hundred horse-power boil- 
ers. The tannery uses only foreign hides. At the last session of Congress 
Titusville was made a port of entry for the receipt of foreign hides and for 
the export of leather to foreign countries. This adds a good deal to the 
advantages of the tanning business in Titusville. 

E. R. Young & Sons. — The plant was founded in 1878 by Edmund 
R. Young, who has been at the head of the plant ever since. In 1879 he took 
Robert D. Locke into partnership, which lasted about seventeen years, with 
the firm name of Young & Locke. In 1896 Mr. Young purchased Mr. 
Locke's interest, and took his sons into partnership. Since then the firm 
of Young & Sons have operated the plant. The business consists of a ma- 
chine shop, boiler shop and foundry. The works are located on 68 and 70 
South Franklin Street. The company deals extensively in second-hand oil 
\\-ell supplies, second-hand machinery, pipes, fittings, engines and boilers, 
etc. The institution has been in operation for twenty years, and it has always 
done a good business. It is proper to say that Mr. Young is highly respected 
in the community, both as a business man and as a citizen. 

Cyclops Steel Works. — These works_ manufacture superior grades of 
crucible tool steel and extra refined hammered iron. They were established 
in 1884, and were operated for two years by the firm of Burgess, Garrett & 
Co. In 1886 the firm dissolved, and Mr. Charles Burgess has been sole pro- 
prietor ever since. The steel produced is of a very superior cjuality, equal 
to the best in the market, whether imported or of domestic manufacture, 
and is made for all kinds of tools. A specialty is made of self-hardening 
steel, and other grades for purposes in which extreme hardness, a fine cut 
and smooth finish are required. It is coming to be universally used in many 
of the largest works of the country. A grade of extra refined hammered 
iron of exceptional purity and strength is also produced in considerable quan- 

The TifusviUe Eorgc Company. — This is one of the manufacturing 
plants established in the city under the auspices and support of the Titusville 
Industrial Fund Association. It has been two years in operation. Its pres- 
ent exgcutive officers are J. T. Dillon, President; Willis E. Fertig, Secretary 
and Treasurer. The Board of Directors are J. T. Dillon, W. E. Fertig and 


W. D. Kernochan. The works produce iron and steel forgings. The plant 
is being enlarged and in a short time it will give employment to sixty skilled 
mechanics, with twice its present production. It will then turn out from 
1,500 to 2,000 tons of finished work a year. It will then consume 7,500 tons 
of coal and 250 tons of sand a year, also work 3,000 tons of crude iron and 
steel annually, also use 25,000 fire bricks a year. The forgings manufactured 
are crank shafts and cranks for steam and gas engines, steamboat shafts, and 
cranks and other marine forgings, locomotive and car axles, heavy forgings 
for steam shovels, and mining and dredging machinery. Also forgings for 
cotton and sugar presses. 

The Barnes Smith Company has an iron foundry near Junius Harris' 
property on East Spring Street. 

The Smith Pump Company, in the same vicinity, manufactures pumps 
for tanneries, paper mills, sugar mills, etc. W. J. Smith is at the head of 
the business. 

Mr. Ed Herlchy has a repair and machine shop in the same locality. 
The Keystone Brass and Iron Works, on South Washington Street, have 
been in operation for many years. The plant has made a specialty of brass 
products. W. G. Abel is the present proprietor and manager. 

Titusville Chemical Works. — The construction of this extensive plant 
began in the fall of 1871. Its first proprietors were Rennie, Roberts & Dunn. 
The works were finished and put into operation the following summer. At 
that time there was a large oil refining capacity in Titusville which consumed 
the greater part of the sulphuric acid manufactured by the plant. But not 
long after the works had begun production, an establishment for restoring 
spent acid used at the refineries was built at Boughton, two miles south of 
the city. Previous to this the refiners had discharged their spent acid into 
some stream of water which carried it into Oil Creek, or directly into Oil 
Creek, when the works were situated upon its banks. This was absolute 
waste. When Hutchings & Farrar started the restoring works at Boughton, 
they bought all the spent acid at the Titusville refineries, took it to their works 
and there re-distilled it, with a small percentage lost. The restored acid was 
bought back by the refineries. This business not only reduced the amount of 
sales by the Chemical Works to the refiners, but lowered the price, as a result 
of competition, and hurt the profits of the large plant. There was also some 
competition from the manufacturers of acid at Cleveland and Pittsburg. 


Finally two rival chemical works at Cleveland combined and bought the 
Titusville plant. This was in 1874. The combination afterward bought the 
Boughton works, and it has oijerated both plants ever since. The name of 
the new association was "The Titusville Chemical Company." Its first offi- 
cers were D. j\I. i\Iarsh, president: C. A. Grasselli, treasurer; J. H. Mansfield, 
secretar}-. Its head office and its largest works are at Cleveland, Ohio. It has 
other branches at Xew York ; Olean, Xew York ; Chicago, Illinois; Parkers- 
burg, ^^"est \^irginia, and Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. It manufactures sul- 
phuric acid, muriatic acid, nitric acid, mixed acid, aqua ammonia, sulphate 
of .soda, refined glycerine, blue vitriol, sal soda, soda ash, glauber salts, sul- 
phate of zinc, etc. 

Titusville Elastic Chair Company, Limited. — This company was or- 
ganized March 3, 1884, on a capital stock of $20,000. Its first board of man- 
agers comprised J. H. Dingman, James H. Davis, E. T. Hall, J. R. Barber, 
N. Grossman, L. P. Scoville, E. J. Smith. Its executive officers were J. H. 
Dingman, chairman: L. P. Scoville, treasurer; J. H. Cogswell, secretary. 
The present board are E. O. Emerson, J. H. Cogswell, N. Crossman, C. S. 
Barrett, R. L. Kernochan. Theodore Renting and S. S. Bryan. N. Cross- 
man is chairman and C. S. Barrett secretary and treasurer. The works of the 
company extend on West Central Avenue, a little west of the Methodist 
church, to Reuting's planing mill, and to the north as far as Cherry Alley. 
It has extensive buildings, with careful provisions against fire. In the summer 
months the works manufacture elastic chairs. But during the rest of the 
year they make principulh' upholstered and cobbler-seat chairs. The elastic 
chairs are very popular, especially for easy chairs for school rooms, churches 
and public halls. The company has employed as many as eighty hands, but 
now it has about forty employees. A large part of its work is done by 

The plant originally known as The Titusville Furniture Company. Lim- 
ited, is now owned and operated solely by F. O. Swedborg. It is located 
on West Central Avenue, between Washington and Perry streets. It manu- 
factures most kinds of domestic wooden furniture, not including chairs and 
liedsteads, using a great deal of the native wood. The plant seems to be 
well managed, running constantly on full time, from year to year, an evidence its products have an established demand. 

The Specialty Manufacturing Company. — This institution was incor- 


porated in 1892 under the laws of Pennsylvania. Its lirst officers were L. T. 
Gorenflo, president; R. L. Rice, treasurer; D. J. Whitney, secretary. Its pres- 
ent officers are L. T. Gorenflo, president ; Joseph Seep, vice-president ; j\I. J. 
Hughes, secretary and treasurer. The industry turns out a large variety of 
domestic articles of wooden material, with iron connections. In 1897 there 
was a large addition of buildings and machinery. The demand for its prod- 
ucts is rapidly growing and its business is now crowding. It uses a good 
deal of machinery, and employs at present thirty-five hands. It is located 
above Hale's lumber yard, in the west end. 

The Titusville City Mills. — This industry is more than fifty years old. 
It asks no odds of steam or electricity. Its motive power is water, water, 
water, flowing perpetually through a conduit, a river diverted from Oil 
Creek by a dam across the stream at the west end, turning at the mills wheels 
and wheels, grinding and grinding grain. This is what the mills have been 
doing more than one-half of a century. For many years genial Jolm Eason 
has been at the head of the establishment. The wheels go round and round, 
and John Eason goes around, to see that not a screw is loose, or a cog broken. 
Long before Titusville had become a city, and before Drake had tapped the oil 
fountain, these mills were pulverizing the gifts of Ceres. Titusville may go 
to decay and John Eason be gathered to his fathers, but the water in his mill 
race will continue to flow, either in its present channel, or perhaps over the 
native bed of Oil Creek, forever. Generations will pass before the old mills 
shall be forgotten. Franklin Street is old. But Eason's Mills are the oldest 
industry by far in the city. 

Castle Brothers have long manufactured carriages at their present quar- 
ters on Central Avenue, facing the Oil Exchange. For more than a quarter 
of a century they have been engaged in the business. During this time they 
have given employment to many men. They have gained a reputation for 
good work. 

The Stevens' Barrel Works'. — Until within the last twenty-five years 
the manufacturing of oil barrels in Titusville was for the most part a profit- 
able industry. It is true that as early as 1873 the importance of white oak 
staves had become necessary. The forests in the vicinity of Titusville were 
originally well stocked with white oak. But from i860 to 1867, the great 
bulk of crude oil, as w-ell as refined, was shipped in barrels. Wooden tanks 
mounted on flat cars were gradually introduced, and these in turn soon gave 


place to iron tanks, long horizontal cylinders, which have been in use ever 
since. But for some time after this, refined oil continued to be shipped from 
the refineries in barrels, and as a result the woods near the oil country came 
to be stripped of white oak timber. But still the coopers were able to do a 
good business until the introduction of machine-made barrels, manufactured 
often and shipped into the country from places outside. The result was to close 
down domestic barrel shops. The large cooper shop of C. J. McCarthy on 
South Monroe Street has done very little business during the last five years. 

Mr. George Stevens, who has made oil barrels for more than thirty 
years, has continued to turn out some work during the dullest periods, by pur- 
chasing choice timber lands,' outside of the State, in forests which abounded 
in white oak. But barrels made by machinery were offered on the market 
at prices which largely shut his work out. Finalty, becoming tired of the 
disadvantage, the firm of George Stevens & Company decided to rig up their 
works, located on Kerr, Spring and Brown streets, with machinery and pro- 
duce barrels at as low a figure as any one outside could. Having done this, 
the firm sold the plant to Mr. W. J. Stevens, son of the founder. The new 
proprietor now proposes to carry on a large business, and employ as many 
men as formerly. If this is done, the production will be largely increased, 
and the institution become a benefit to the coopers of Titusville. 

Cold Storage. — This plant is a large concern. It was begun in 1897, 
and completed and put into operation in April following. . Its proprietors are 
Pastorious & Wager. Their building is on Diamond and Martin streets and 
Central Avenue. It is built of brick, constructed very substantially, five 
stories high, including the basement. By the use of chemicals and ma- 
chinery it makes its own freezing agents. It stores on commission meats, 
eggs, dressed poultry, butter and all other products which require protection 
against heat, and it buys and sells on its own account, whenever it can do 
so at some advantage. Its principal motor is a powerful gas engine. It has 
also a large stationary steam engine, for use in an emergency. It has a large 
artesian water well, sunk to the proper depth for supplying an unlimited 
quantity of pure water. The plant manufactures the purest of ice in large 
quantity. During the summer and fall it has turned out from five to eight 
tons a day. The great purity of the ice has created for it an unexpectedly 
large demand. The coming summer the proprietors intend to double their 
capacity for ice production. An elevator running from the bottom of the 


basement to the highest floor is worked by machinery propelled by the main 
motor. There is other machinery for pumping water from the artesian 
well, moving ice, etc. This plant promises to become a very useful institution 
for the city and the inhabitants of the surrounding country. 

Tlic Charles Horn Silk Company was organized in 1897 under the laws 
of Pennsylvania. Charles Horn is its president and general manager. The 
building of the works was begun in 1896, and finished the next year. They 
are located at the head of Brown Street. The main building is 408x60 feet, 
two stories high, with walls. It has an addition about 60 feet square, which 
contains the engines and the dye-house. The motive power of its machinery 
consists of five gas engines, manufactured in Titusville, each of thirty horse- 
power. The plant employs at present about two hundred hands. Its produc- 
tion is constantly increasing. The plant manufactures silk ribbons exclusively. 
The works were built largely by the money of the local Industrial Fund 

The Titusville Gas Company is the present title of the company which, 
until the present association came into possession of the institution, was 
known as the Titusville Gas and Water Company. The charter of that com- 
pany permitted the corporation under it to sell water to consumers, as well 
as gas. But, as the owners of the charter had never availed themselves of 
the privilege, and manufactured and sold illuminating gas only, and as the 
municipal plant furnishes to the inhabitants of Titusville an exceptionally 
fine quality of water, the present company decided to drop the word "water" 
from the title of the association. The original charter was obtained in 1865. 
The mechanical works of the plant were constructed in 1866, and the mains 
laid so as to be ready for commercial service in the spring of 1867. From 
that time until the present the plant has furnished the community with manu- 
factured illuminating gas. It continued to light the streets until 1889, when 
electric street lighting came into use, and for a time afterward when the early 
electric plant occasionally was interrupted by a break in the machinery, or 
some other cause, a return was made to gas for street lighting. 

The executive officers of the present company are William E. Fricht- 
man, president; Charles E. Fennessy, secretary; James H. Fennessy, treas- 
urer. The works are located in the west end. 

Renting' s Planing Mill and Sash Works. — At the death of George Reut- 
ing, in November, 1887, his youngest son, Daniel F. Renting, succeeded to 


the lumber business which the father had carried on for about half a century. 
In 1888 the son erected a planing mill, and a sash and blind factory, upon 
a part of the ground of the lumber yard, which he has operated ever since. 
The entire works and tlie lumber yard occupy the entire space west of the 
chair factory, between Central Avenue on the south side and Cherry Alley 
on the north, almost to ]\Ionroe Street. •iMr. Reuting carries a large stock 
of seasoned lumber of all kinds, not only at his mill, on Central Avenue, but 
on the west side of ]\Ionroe Street, between Spruce and Elm. He also has a 
considerable quantity piled at the sidetracks of the W. N. Y. & P. R. R. 
His planing mill business has grown to large proportions. During the past 
season his orders for dressed lumber have crowded his works to their full- 
est capacity. He gives constant employment, summer and winter, to be- 
tween thirty and forty men. He buys the greater part of his lumber in the 
winter time, and when the close of fall comes he finds his stock worked down 
to what it was twelve months before. 

Shank's Planing Mill. — I. L. Shank, a lumber man, opened a lumber 
yard in 1897 on East Central Avenue, west of Drake Street, which extends 
through. to East Spring Street. During the summer of 1898 he erected a plan- 
ing m.ill in connection with his lumber yard. During the time his planing 
mill has been in operation it seems to have had plenty of work. 

Hale's Planing Mill. — Mr. Edgar Hale has carried on at the west end, 
near the W. N. Y. & P. R. R., a planing mill, sash and blind works, as well 
as a lumber yard, for many years. His plant is among the best known in- 
dustries in the city. 

Titiisville Tabic JJ^orks. — This plant was the successor of the Union 
Furniture Company, started in 1883. Mr. C. P. Casperson, the superintend- 
ent, had prospered so well in the management of the business of the company, 
making the industry highly successful, that he was able to absorb nearly all 
the stock of the plant. But in the tide of his prosperity he was ruined in a 
single night by the great flood and fire of June, 1892. Not only was his 
industry and his home destroyed, but his wife was drowned and in trjdng 
to save her he nearly lost his own life. The local relief committee subse- 
quently gave him enough money for the construction of a new building and 
new machinery. But he needed capital for operating the plant. So that 
after rebuilding and putting in new machinery, he did little in reviving the 
business until about two vears ago, and even then he worked only in a lim- 



ited way. But the last two years he lias done something. He has taken into 
partnership Mr. P. Poulson, who, like Mr. Casperson, is a practical mechanic, 
and the prospects of the new firm begin to have a more encouraging look. 

Trolley Railroad. — Beginning in the summer of 1897 the Titusville 
Electric Traction Company built first a road to connect Pleasantville with 
Titusville. The privilege of constructing a tramway through the streets of 
Titusville was granted by the municipal government in 1897. It was ex- 
pected that the line, after its completion between Pleasantville and Titusville, 
would be extended to Hydetown. The building of the road from Titusville 
to Pleasantville was somewhat tardy. But during the winter the company 
built an electric power plant near East Titusville. Xot, however, until the 
summer of 1898 were the trolley cars running between Titusville and Pleas- 
antville. The western terminus of the line was at first between Perry and 
Monroe streets. The track entered the city on the line of the old plank road 
and then ran into Central Avenue at the old toll-gate. Continuing westward 
it enterecl Diamond Street at the junction with Central Avenue, and then 
passed on to Spring Street at the crossing with Franklin. Then it ran up 
West Spring, stopping, as stated, first between Perry and Monroe. It was 
then extended slowly on Spring Street up to within a short distance east of 
the entrance into Woodlawn Cemetery. It took a long rest at this point until 
about the first of September, when work was resumed, and during the latter 
part of the month the cars were running as far west as Bucklin House. Then 
a larger force of workmen were put on the track, and by the middle of October 
the rails were laid as far as Hydetown. It should also be stated that a track, 
connecting with the main line, was laid in the summer from Spring Street 
on Franklin as far south as the main line of the W. N. Y. & P. R. R. The 
company already has; over two miles of track in the city, and next year it is 
expected that the line will have branches and connections in several other 
streets. In the short time of its operation the business of the road has yielded 
unexpectedly large receipts from its passenger traffic. 

Titusville Electric Light and Poiver Coiupany. — This company was 
instituted in the summer of 1892. A franchise was granted by the city coun- 
cils, approved by the Mayor, permitting the company to erect poles of suffi- 
cient height, size and strength, and string wires at a minimum distance above 
the ground in all the streets and alleys of the city, as needed. The company 
erected a very substantial brick building on South \\'ashington Street, on 


the west side, near the passenger station of the W. N. Y. & P. R. R., planted 
its poles and stretched its wires over a large part of the city, so that early 
in 1893 it was in full operation. The work of the plant so far has been 
confined principallj- to the production of both incandescent and arc lights. It 
lights all the city buildings, the city hall, the engine and hose houses, etc. It 
has also by special contract, from time to time, furnished street lights. Many 
halls, churches and stores are lighted by the plant, and many hotels have 
either incandescent or arc lamps or both. A large number of private houses 
are lighted with incandescent burners. The plant has abundance of excellent 


A writer has said that the character of a community is indicated by its 
burial grounds. A stranger visiting Titus^■ille might accept the above pre- 
cept as true, by an inspection of its principal cemetery at the present time. 
The first burying ground was a little at the east of the head of Franklin Street. 
A Mr. Blood, a soldier of the Revolutionary war, and Mrs. Ruth Curry, it is 
said, were the first persons buried there. i^Ir. Janies Kerr, a brother of Mr. 
Samuel Kerr, the founder, with Jonathan Titus, of Titusville, was ])uried 
there in the spring of 1818. His remains were afterward removed to Wood- 
lawn, where they now rest. But the remains of Samuel Kerr, the distin- 
guished pioneer, still sleep in the old cemetery. Upon the headstone of the 
grave it is recorded as follows: "Samuel Kerr died August 29, 1839, aged 
y2 years." Upon another headstone is recorded: "Robert Lewis died Jan- 
uary 18, 1813, aged 25 years." The late Robert Lewis, who died September 
20, 1898, was his son. He was born July 18, 1813 — six months after his 
father's death. Xot a few other names of old residents are still to be seen 
in the old cemetery. The land for this first cemetery was donated by Jona- 
than Titus. 

JJ'oodlazun Cemetery. — This beautiful "silent city of the dead" is situ- 
ated at the northwest, a little outside the city limits. In November, 1870, 
Jonathan Watson, E. H. Chase and R. D. Fletcher purchased of the late 
Samuel Kerr, the oldest son of James Kerr, above spoken of, and a brother 
of the present Adam Kerr, seventeen acres of land for the purpose of erect- 
ing thereon a cemetery. The plan of the cemetery was drawn by William 
Webster, of the firm of Coutant & Webster. In 1882 an addition of land was 
purchased by Mr. Kerr, making a total of the cemetery grounds of thirty 


acres. Subsequently ]\Ir. Fletcher purchased the interests of Chase and Wat- 
son, and he has ever since been sole proprietor and manager of the property. 
Mr. Fletcher has expended large sums of money in improving and beau- 
tifying the grounds. The many costly monuments in the cemeterv are evi- 
dence that he has not spent his money in vain. The mausoleum lately built 
by Mr. J. C. AIcKinney is immediately adjoining on the south side of the 
family lot of James Kerr, who. as related above, died in 1818, — eighty years 
ago. In this lot are buried the remains of the late Samuel Kerr, who sold 
the thirty acres of land to Messrs. Watson. Chase and Fletcher for the cem- 
etery. The McKinney mausoleum is a remarkable piece of art. Its cost 
is about $20,000. 

Calvary Cemetery is the burying ground of St. Titus congregation. It 
is situated on the south hill, a little outside of the city limits. On the same 
hill, further west, are two Hebrew burying grounds, one for the B'nai Zion 
Congregation and the other for the B'nai Gemiluth Congregation. The St. 
Walburga Cemetery is alx)ut a mile west of the cit}-, on the Hydetown road. 


The oldest of public halls of note in Titusville was the Crittenden. It 
stood immediately east of the brick building now occupied by Barber & 
Ccoley, fronting upon both Diamond and East Spring streets. It was burned 
down in the winter of 1860-61. The building at the time was not finished, 
and the floor of the hall, whicli was in the second story, was not properly 
supported to hold an audience. For the purpose of rendering the hall floor 
more secure against the weight of a crowd of people upon it at a concert, 
upright props were placed beneath it. But, when pressure came from a 
crowd above, it acted unequally. The result was that one prop becoming 
loose, by too much weight upon others, fell down. Then, by a little shifting 
of the pressure from above, another prop disappeared, then another, and next 
the flooring, where a large stove filled with burning coal was standing, broke 
down, precipitating a number of people, together with the stove, to the floor 
of the room below. Of course the stove emptied its burning coals, setting on 
fire a pile of shavings on the lower floor. The stove stood near the entrance 
at the top of the stairs, so that the fire from the shavings cut off egress by 
the stairway. There was something like a panic, but fortunately no one was 
seriously injured. Several were slightly burned, but none severely. Some 


jumped out of windows to the ground, and escaped with slight bruises. One 
or two perhaps had an arm broken. People from outside came to the assist- 
ance of those struggling to escape, and in a short time all were out of danger. 
The flames made quick work in reducing the building to smoke and ashes. 
Mr. Jeremiah Crittenden, the proprietor, immediately began a new edifice 
in the place of the one destroyed, and after a few months he had completed 
what now still stands on Diamond on one side and on East Spring on the 
other, the Crittenden Hall. It was ready for Dr. Purdon's first sermon in 
Titusville, on Sunday, June 8, 1862. The Crittenden Hall was in constant 
request for several years afterward, for concerts, theatrical plays and all 
kinds of public meetings on secular days and evenings, and for religious ser- 
vices on Sundays and Sunday evenings. 

It may interest some readers to know that the concert at Crittenden 
Hall, which suddenly came to an end because of the fire spoken of, was given 
by Miss Juvenilia Tinker, afterward Mrs. Hull, the distinguished vocalist, 
and her sister, afterward Mrs. John Porter, whose husband was once a well- 
known citizen of Titusville. 

The Bliss Opera House was built in the summer of 1865 and opened to 
the public in the winter following. It remained a public hall for several years 
afterward. It stood on the north side of Central Avenue, a short distance 
east of Martin Street, until finally absorbed by E. T. Hall's business block. 
Its builder was Mr. James Bliss. 

In the same year — 1865 — Corinthian Hall, now Academy of Music, was 
built by Frey & Bear and on the south side of Spring Street, between Frank- 
lin Street and Exchange Alley. Until the opening of the Parshall Opera 
House, in the winter of 1870-71, Corinthian Hall for five years was the most 
important public hall in Titusville, for theatrical plays, political mass meet- 
ings, concerts and various gatherings at which the leading representatives 
of the community are accustomed to assemble. Then came 

The Parshall Opera House, of which mention has already been made. 
This was the high temple of the muses in Titusville from 1870-71, to April 14, 
1882, upward of eleven years, when the Parshall block was burned. Messrs. 
McCrum, Mathews and Smith were the first lessees and managers. After 
their incumbency, which lasted several years, Mr. James Parshall, the owner 
of the building, managed the institution. Interesting reminiscences cluster 
about the Parshall Opera House, where the best theatrical talent, with few 


exceptions, in the land, played in rapid succession to crowded houses. Shake- 
sperian tragedy drew large audiences in those days. The "sweet, entrancing 
voice of the awakening viol," in the hands of Ole Bull, enthralled a delighted 
audience in the Parshall Opera House twenty-seven years ago. 

The Emery Opera House. — The next opera house was opened in the 
spring of 1886 by Messrs. David Emery and C. F. Lake, on the south side of 
East Central Avenue, near where is Shank's planing mill. Mr. Emery had 
converted a battery building which belonged to him into the Opera House, 
and he took Mr. Lake into association with him to manage the Opera House 
business. The location of the building was not quite favorable in all respects, 
but the performances in it were generally well patronized. It burned down, 
however, on February 2, 1887. 

Tlie Titiisz'iUc Opera House. — Soon after the burning of the Emery 
Opera House Mr. Lake purchased the \-acant lot on which the Parshall House 
had stood, on the southwest corner of Spring and Washington streets, and 
upon the south end of it, on the west side of Washington Street, he erected 
a very substantial brick edifice, for a first-class opera house. The interior of 
the house is ver}' attractive. It is well arranged, especially the acoustic requi- 
sites. It was opened to the public in September, 1887. It has been honored 
by such celebrities of the drama as Richard Mansfield, Frank Mayo, Janaus- 
chek and others of equal rank. Mr. Lake subsequently sold the property to 
Mr. John J. Carter, who has since sold it to Mr. John Gahan, his manager, the 
present owner. 

Armory Hall. — Several vears ago, Mr. M. R. Rouse erected on the north 
side of Central Avenue, between Drake and Kerr streets, an Armory for the 
accommodation of Company K, National Guard, which has recently returned 
from service in the West Indies war, of which he was long its captain. 
He continued to hold the ofiice until a few years ago. On the floor of the 
building Mr. Rouse built and furnished a public hall. This hall has always 
been in mucii request. Also connected with it is a large dining-room, with 
kitchen accommodations, for entertainments which require suppers and other 
refreshments. The hall is a pleasant and con^•enient one for lectures, amuse- 
ments, etc. 

Music Hall, on the north side of West Spring Street, between Perry and 
Monroe, is well patronized. It is largely used as a dancing hall. It is owned 
and managed by Mr. Benjamin Lang, who has ample provision for furnishing 


large or small parties with food refreshments. The hall is also used for lec- 
tures, concerts, etc. It was built about thirty years ago, by Mr. Carl Dufft, 
father of Carl Dufft, the New York vocalist. 

Tlic TitusviUe Woman's Club is one of a large number of similar or- 
ganizations, extending over nearly all parts of the United States, and joined 
together in confederation. The institution had its beginning in 1868, in the 
city of New York, when was formed there a woman's club, a sisterhood that 
took the name of "Sorosis." It announced as the object of its organization: 
"The promotion of agreeable and useful relations among women of literary, 
artistic and scientific tastes; the discussion and dissemination of principles 
and facts, which promise to exert a salutary influence on women and society 
in general, and the establishment of an order which shall render the female 
sex helpful one to another and actively benevolent in the world." 

In spite of newspaper ridicule and popular prejudice against the under- 
taking, Sorosis prospered, and gradually won the confidence of many women 
in several parts of the country, and by degrees clubs similar in character to 
Sorosis were instituted in \-arious cities. The rapid growth of these clubs 
led to combination, or association. In 1890 began a national federation which 
now embraces a union of five hundred and eighty-two clubs. The general 
work of the clubs composing the federation has also gradually come to em- 
brace a wide range of subjects. At the biennial convention, which met at 
Denver last June, twelve hundred delegates were present, representing re- 
spectively nearly all the localities of the Union. The TitusviUe Woman's Club 
is an integral part of the great federation. In March, 1892, a meeting of 
Titus\'ille women was called for the purpose of forming a distinct organiza- 
tion. About thirty women responded by their presence to the call. On March 
26, a constitution was adopted and club, officers elected. Since then the club 
has steadily increased in membership, and interest in its work. Its standing 
in the community has also steadily grown, and its influence in society as a 
useful institution is sensibly felt. At first its meetings were held from house 
to house at the homes of the members. Then for some time they were ac- 
commodated in the Thistle Club rooms, the Presbyterian Chapel and St. 
James Parish House. The club has now rented commodious rooms in the 
new Odd Fellows' Block, fronting on Central Avenue, near the Oil Ex- 
change, and furnished them with elegant taste. The quality of the club's 
work has kept pace with the increasing membership and improved facilities. 


Carefully prepared yearly programmes have embraced as subjects discussed 
by members, respectively appointed to the task, on "Eminent American 
Women," "France," "Greece," "Nineteenth Century Literature," "Educa- 
tion," and "Our Country." In addition to the regular work, club classes 
numerously attended have been held during the last two years, for the spe- 
cial stud}' and discussion of subjects relating to literature, history and art. 
The progress made, in these exercises has been so highly satisfactory that 
they will be continued. The aim of most of the club's work is by study, reci- 
tation, mutual criticism and co-operation to advance in intellectual and 
aesthetic culture. Experience so far demonstrates that most members of the 
club court, rather than shirk, duties which might seem as tasks, in the work 
of intellectual training. 

The club realizes an obligation on its part of assisting to promote the 
local interests of the community of Titusville. One of its late questions to 
be discussed is : "How can we make our city more desirable as a place of 
residence?" About two years ago the club was mainly instrumental in re- 
opening the Titusville Public Library, which had been closed for several 
years, from the lack of necessary support. The session period of the club 
lasts six months — from the close of October to the first of May, each year. 
During the six months of vacation an executive board, which at all times 
exercises supervision over the affairs of the club, takes care of temporary 
business which may require immediate attention. The regular meetings of 
the club are bi-weekly. 

The Titusville Library Association was organized in 1876, but the library 
was not opened to the public until the following year. Its first ofificers were 
B. D. Benson, president ; Roger Sherman, secretary, and J. A. Neill, treasurer. 
The original fund of the institution was the gift of $100 each by thirty in- 
dividuals. The library has always been a circulating one. Tickets were is- 
sued at $2 each, good for one year. The holder of a ticket was permitted to 
draw a fresh book every two weeks, on returning the one last issued. If the 
book was kept beyond two weeks the delinquent had to pay five cents a day 
as long as the return was delayed. The library was kept open many years. 
For some time a free reading room, containing newspapers and magazines, 
and other current periodicals, was kept with the library, and under the charge 
of the librarian. But the income from the sale of tickets was never sufficient 
for the current expenses of the institution and the purchase of new books. In 


time the generosity of contributors of money sliowed weariness, and finally 
the sale of tickets ceased, and the managers of the library closed its doors. 

About three years ago the Woman's Club began to urge upon the com- 
rnunity the importance of restoring the institution to the public. For about a 
■ year following the subject was discussed, until the women carried their point. 
The association was reorganized by the election of Dr. George W. Barr, 
president ; R. L. Kernochan, secretary, and E. T. Roberts, treasurer. Rooms 
on the second floor of the city hall were procured, and on January i, 1897, 
the library was reopened to the public. Of course the generosity of wealthy 
citizens had first been revived. The price of tickets was reduced to $1.50 
each. Mrs. C. J. Allen has been librarian under the new administration. 
Since the reopening there have been se\-eral creditable additions of new books, 
late publications, to the new library. The officers of the association, as well 
as some others, have shown laudable zeal and generosity in fostering the in- 
stitution. It is due especially to the memory of the late Roger Sherman to 
record the constant support which he gave to the library from the beginning 
until its suspension several years ago. He was not alone in good offices ; but 
his efforts to sustain the institution were unceasing, and they seemed to ex- 
ceed those of anv other citizen. 


The citizens of Titus\'ille have long co-operated in aiding the starting of 
manufacturing industries in their town. At about 1880 there was organized 
a Board of Trade in Titusville. In 1879 the leading citizens had assisted 
with their capital in the founding of the Petroleum Iron Works. The Board 
of Trade rendered material aid to Mr. T. C. Joy in the starting of his works 
for the manufacture of heaters. Following the Board of Trade was the 
"Merchants' Association," whose objects related to an increase of local in- 
dustries. The merchants of the city organized themselves into a body under 
the name above mentioned for promoting the end stated. Finally 

• "Tlic Titusville Board of Trade" in 1889 was chartered as a permanent 
organization for the purpose of caring for all legitimate manufacturing busi- 
ness in Titusville, to exercise a general guardianship over the establishing 
of new manufacturing plants in the city. The first board of executive offi- 
cers were E. O Emerson, president; \\'. B. Roberts, first vice-president; J. J. 
'Carter, second vice-president; J. H. Caldwell, third vice-president; W. H. 


Andrews, fourth vice-president; R. D. Fletcher, treasurer; E. T. Hall, secre- 
tary. The board of directors were Jolm L. JVIcKinney, James P. Thomas, 
David McKelvy, David Emery, F. O. Swedborg, Joseph Seep, E. T. Rob- 
erts, H. C. Bloss, John Schwartz, A. S. Ralston, S. S. Fertig, A. H. Steele, 
R. L. Kernochan, W. H. Cornell, Junius Harris, F. P. Brown, James R. 
Barber, George W. Barr, W. B. Benedict, S. S. Bryan, Jr., C. F. Lake, E. O. 
Emerson, Jacob Ullman, W. T. Scheide, R. E. Hopkins, U. C. Welton, J. G. 
Benton, J. C. McKinney, John Fertig. 

The present officers are Samuel G. Maxwell, president ; Daniel F. Rent- 
ing, \ ice-president ; A. P. Cooley, secretary and treasurer. The directors are 
Charles Burgess, W. B. Benedict, S. S. Bryan, John Fertig, James R. Barber, 
James H. Caldwell, John L. Emerson, E. T. Hall, Junius Flarris, E. T. Rob- 
erts, Jacob Ullman, \Y. W. Tarbell, A. S. Ralston. 

As a result of the work by the Board of Trade the citizens helped to 
organize and start in 1882 the Titusville Furniture Company, with a capital 
of $10,000, the plant already described as owned now solely by Mr. F. O. 
Swedborg. The Union Furniture Companv, which started in 1883, with a 
capital of $8,000, was aided in the same way. Also the bedstead works, with 
a paid-up cash capital, which began in 1883, had similar assistance. The 
Titusville Elastic Chair Company, Limited, was founded in 1884, and since 
operated by Titusville capital. The foregoing mentioned establishments are 
gi\'en as instances of co-operation by citizens of means, under the auspices 
of Ihe Board of Trade, in fostering home industries. But the most important 
of such plants is. the Queen City Tannery, an account of which has already 
been given on preceding pages. 

The Titusville Industrial Association, Limited, organized and chartered 
in 1896, is by far the most important institution established for building and 
supporting domestic manufacturing industries. It is to a given extent under 
the Board of Trade direction ; that is, the Board of Trade is its agent in in- 
vestigating and passing upon applications from various manufacturers for aid 
in starting plants in Titusville. The Lidustrial Association has a capital of 
S250.000, to the total amount of which the directors of the association may 
make loans on interest in limited sums respectively to new local manufactur- 
ing enterprises. The stock is widely distributed throughout the community, 
in large and small amounts, a share being $100. Several of the citizens sub- 
scribed each for one hundred shares, or $10,000. The institutions, which 


iinoii the recommendation of the Board of Trade, have so far received loans, 
are the Forge Works, the Horn Silk Mill and the Cold Storage Plant. The 
first officers of the association were Jolm L. McKinney, chairman; John J. 
(?arter, secretary and treasurer. The directors were E. O. Emerson, John 
Fcrtig, Joseph Seep, Louis K. Hyde, Charles Burgess, Samuel G. Maxwell, 
Junius Harris, John J. Carter and John L. McKinney. The present officers 
are John L. McKinney, President; John J. Carter, First Vice-President; 
Louis K. Hyde, Second Vice-President; Samuel G. Maxwell, Third Vice- 
President; D. F. Renting, Fourth Vice-President; E. C. Hoag, Treasurer; 
A. P. Cooley, Secretary. The Directors are John Fertig, Joseph Seep, James 
H. Caldwell, J. C. McKinney, Charles Burgess, E. T. Hall, W. W. Tarbell. 
Junius Harris, W. B. Benedict, James R. Barber, John L. Emerson, E. T. 
Roberts, S. S. Henne. 


Social organizations in Titusville are legion. Some' of these are more 
strictly fraternal. Others are co-operative in the way of rendering assist- 
ance to brethren in affliction, in sickness or perhaps even in extreme want. 
Others are organized to insure the families of members a given sum of 
money in case of death, life insurance companies. Others combine with 
fraternal association the guarantee of given sums in case of sickness of a 
member, or a member's wife, and a moderate sum, intended to cover funeral 
expenses, when a member, or his wife, dies. Of course, fraternity char- 
acterizes all, but it is more distinctively the end of association in some than 
in others. 

Chorazin Lodge, No. 507, /. 0. 0. F., appears to be the oldest fraternity 
now in existence in Titusville. Its first stated meeting was held on Wednes- 
day evening, June 28, 1854, when the following officers were elected and 
installed : J. H. Clement, N. G. ; J. G. Burlingham, V. G. ; G. E. Brewer, 
Secretary ; Z. Waid, Treasurer. The lodge meets every week on Wednesday 
evening, at its hall in the Chase & Stewart block. Its present officers are 
Thomas Murdock, P. G. ; William Falkinburg, N. G. ; Samuel R. Paist, V. G. ; 
J. A. Palm, Secretary ; W. P. McCutcheon, A. S. ; J. A Todd, Treasurer. 

Oil Creek Lodge, No. 303, F. & A. M., was chartered December i, and 
instituted December 22, 1856. The charter officers were Truman Pierce, 
Master ; Jonathan Watson, S. W. ; Warner Perry, J. W. Its present Master 
is C. F. Lake. 


Shepherd Lodge, No. 463, F. &■ A. M., was instituted April 7, 1870. 
The following officers were installed : James R. Barber, W. M. ; F. A. Hall, 
S. W.; C. P. Hatch, J. W. ; J. J. Carter, Treasurer; Theo. J. Young, Secre- 
tary. Its present officers are James R. Barber, W. M. ; Samuel G. Max- 
well, S. W. ; Charles H. Henderson, J. W. ; Thomas W. Main, Treasurer; 
J. A. Palm, Secretary. 

Aaron Chapter, No. 207, R. A. M., was chartered May 3, 1866. Its 
first officers were C. L. Wheeler, H. P. ; J. F. Cheshire, K. ; David Crossley, 
Scribe. Its present officers are R. E. Taft, H. P.; William G. Abel, King; 
Samuel G. Maxwell, Scribe; John Kellogg, Treasurer; John S. Bradley, Sec- 

Rose Croix Commandery, No. 38, K. T., chartered April 11, 1871. 
The first officers were John Fertig, E. C. ; Hezekiah Dunham, Gen. ; R. H. 
Boughton, Jr., C. G. ; James R. Barber, Prelate; A. A- Aspinwall, Treasurer; 
H. B. Cullom, Recorder. The present officers are J. J. McCrum, E. C. ; 
R. E. Taft, Gen.; L. L. Shattuck, C. G. ; Henry Kehr, Treasurer; J. S. Brad- 
ley, Recorder. 

Occident Council, No. 41, R. & S. M., chartered June 13, 1871. Its 
first officers were A. A. Aspinwall, T. I. G. M. ; J. J. McCrum, D. I. G. M. ; 
James W. Graham, P. C. of W. ; R. W. Holbrook, M. of Ex. ; A. D. Hat- 
field, Recorder. The present officers are Reuben E. Taft, T. I. G. M. ; J. J. 
McCrum, D. I. G. M. ; C. E. Spicer, P. C. of W. ; John Kellogg, Treasurer; 
J. W. Graham, Recorder. 

Shepherd Lodge, No. 74, A. 0. U. W., was instituted May 30, 1874, 
when the following officers were elected and installed : C. L. A. Shepherd, 
P. M. W. ; W. C. Plummer, M. W. ; A. O. Paul, Foreman ; Eli Parsons, Over- 
seer; A. G. Davis, Guide; V. A. Haines, Recorder; J. R. Levan, Financier; 
Daniel Wingart, Receiver; Andrew Robinson, Watchman. The trustees 
were C. L. A. Shepherd, A. O. Paul and C. H. Smith. Its present officers 
are G. Bodamer, P. M. W.; Fred Schultz, M. W.; C. D. Mook, Foreman; 
G. Hofifman, Overseer ; J. A. Palm, Recorder ; J. A. Mather, Financier ; C. M. 
Hayes, Receiver; W. J. Curry, Guide; H. Volkstadt, I. W. ; W. N. Hancox, 
O. W. The trustees are F. H. Aldrich, B. Abel and George W. Barr, M. D. 
The Medical Examiner is George W. Barr, M. D. J. A. Palm, representa- 
tive to the Grand Lodge. 

Queen City Lodge, No. 304, L O. 0. P., was chartered April 19, il 


and instituted May 8, the same year. Its first officers were T. W. Main, 
N. G. ; R. B. McDannell, V. G. ; M. C. Robinson, Secretary ; C. W. Newton, 
Assistant Secretary; R. D. Cooper, Treasurer. Its present officers are Jacob 
Rupersberger, N. G. ; Frank Robinson, V. G. ; W. S. Strong-, Secretary ; 
Elam Davidson, Assistant Secretary; C. B. Friedman, Treasurer. 

The Queen City Lodge is exceptionally a prosperous institution. The 
number of its members is larger than that of any other social organization 
in Titusville. In 1894 it erected a large three-story brick block on the south- 
east corner of Central Avenue and Washington Street. This block is in 
several respects the handsomest in the city. The lodge, with its halls and 
quarters, occupies the entire third floor, and rents all the rest of the building 

TJie Western Pennsylvania Odd Felloivs' Relief Association, which has 
its home office in Titusville, was organized November 21, 1872, and char- 
tered in April, 1873. It insures Odd Fellows, their wives and daughters 
only. Its general office is in the Queen City Odd Fellows' Building. Its 
present officers are R. D. Crawford, President; Joseph Henderson, Vice- 
President; R. D. Cooper, Treasurer; W. W. Pennell, Secretary; J. M. Waid, 
M. D., Medical Inspector. 

Titusville City Lodge, No. 2gi, K. of P., was chartered April 15, 1871. 
It surrendered its charter in 1877, but regained it in 1879, and reorganized 
by the election of the following officers : Thomas Allison, C. C. ; Simon 
Strauss, Jr., V. C. ; Thomas Whitby, K. of R. and S. ; Robert H. Bailey, 
K. of F. ; John Bentz, K. of Ex.; A. H. Stein, Prelate; John H. Smith, M. 
at A. At present P. J. Corell is C. C, and Thomas Whitby, K. of R. and S. 

Also No. 329, K. of P., was instituted in May, 1898, with H. M. Sackett, 
C. C, and W. W. Pennell, K. of R. and S. 

Also as auxiliary to the two lodges of K. of P., the Rathbone Sisters 
were organized in October, 1898, with Mrs. Gardner as E. C, and Miss 
Dane, Secretary. 

The Uniform Rank, No. 2p, K. of P., was organized in 1887, with 
Simon Strauss, Jr., Captain, and Thomas Whitby, Recorder. The present 
officers are John G. Dane, Captain, and Thomas Whitby, Recorder. 

Endowment Rank, K. of P., insurance branch of No. 29, composed of 
the members of that lodge, was organized in 1881, with S. Strauss, Jr., 
President, and D. P. Roberts, Secretary. The present officers are John H. 


Smith, President; S. Strauss, Jr., Secretary. The order has paid to Titus- 
ville members in death claims from $12,000 to $15,000. 

The Hcbrexv Ladies Benevolent Society was organized in 1866. It is 
auxiliary to the B'nai Zion Congregation. 

Titusvillc Lodge, No. 264, B. P. 0. E/^.^.— This branch of the order 
was organized June 21, 1893. Its first officers were W. W. Tarbell, E. R.; 
George H. Coburn, E. L. Kt. ; William McEnaney, E. Loyal Kt. ; R. L. Rice, 
E. Lect'g Kt. ; William Schwartz, Secretary; George A. Chase, Treasurer; 
A. C. Love, Tyler. The present officers are C. F. Lake, E. R. ; Samuel G. 
Maxwell. E. L. Kt. ; J. A. Dunn, M. D., E. Loyal Kt. ; C. H. Ley, E. Lect'g 
Kt. ; H. W. Brann. Secretary ;. G.- H Chase, Treasurer; Hugh Boylen, Tyler. 

Titusville Branch, No. i, C. M. B. A. — On April 15, 1877, this branch 
organized with fifteen charter members. The first officers chosen were Rev. 
J. D. Coady, Spiritual Adviser; C. B. Friedman, President; Joseph Fleming, 
First Vice-President; T. F. McManus, Second Vice-President; John Coots, 
Recording Secretary; David Shannahan, Assistant Recording Secretary; 

D. D. Hughes, Financial Secretary; John Theobald, Treasurer; William 
Lynch, Marshal ; William Dillon, Guard. The Board of Directors were 
Joseph Fleming, Hugh O'Hare, John F. Theobald, William Dillon and T. F. 

On June i, 1877, Deputy L. J. McParlin, of New York Grand Council, 
organized the branch with a charter and installed the first officers. This 
branch was the fourth branch organized. It was the first branch of the 
order organized in Pennsylvania, and on April 7, 1878, it was designated 
as Branch No. i, under the jurisdiction of Pennsylvania Grand Council, 
which had just been organized. This branch has the honor of receiving 
the first benefit, amounting to $2,000, paid by the order. The number of 
deaths in this branch is twenty-two in all, on which have been received in 
benefits a total of $43,000. 

Officers for 1898 are: Chancellor, Francis McDonald; President, M. 
Ouinlan ; First Vice-President, H. A. O'Hare; Second Vice-President, Jas. 

E. Gray; Recording Secretary, P. J. Callahan; Assistant Secretary, F. A. 
Doherty; Financial Secretary, P. Cummisky; Marshal, Frank Reardon; 
Guard. Isl. Curtin ; Trustees, Henry Seep, Peter McDonald, Peter Mullen, 
John Coots. James Kennedy. 

Tlic St. JJ'alburga Branch. No. 12 j, was instituted November, 1892. Its 


first officers were ReA^ Joseph Nati, Spiritual Adviser; John S. Bohn, Presi- 
dent; Henry W. Mayer, Jr., First Vice-President; John W. Andres, Second 
A'lce-President ; J. T. Geser, Recording Secretary; A. E. Vinopal. Assistant 
Secretary; P. J. Hoenig, Financial Secretary; B. Dorschel, Treasurer; George 
J. Dartois, Marshal ; John Leisgang, Guard. Trustees, P. J. Hoenig, Henry 
W. Mayer, Jr., B. Dorschel, Casper Graf, A. Faremyer. The present officers 
are: Rev. J. Nau, Spiritual Adviser; Charles Fuchs, Chancellor; H. Bes- 
selman. President; Edward J. Mayer, First Vice-President; H. C. Roueche, 
Second Vice-President ; J. T. Geser, Recording Secretary ; Assistant Secre- 
tary, H. A\\ Maier ; Financial Secretary, Karl Schoppert ; B. Dorschel, Treas- 
urer ; ^^'. R. Buser, Marshal ; W. A. Maier, Guard. Trustees, George Man- 
gel, John Geser, A. E. Vinopal, John Rombach, H. W. Mayer. 

The St. Titus Branch, No. 144, C. M. B. A., was instituted November 
12, 1895. Its first officers were M. H. Acton, President; L. L. Gilson, First 
Vice-President; Samuel Kerr, Second Vice-President; J. J. O'Hearn, Record- 
ing Secretary; M. O'Hearn, Assistant Secretary; John M. Dunn, Financial 
Secretary: John P. McGrath, Treasurer; Joseph Moran, Marshal; James 
Nash, Guard. Trustees, John BIy, V. S. Fuller, F. L. Kelly, George 
Popeney. John McGrath. The present officers are M. J. ]\IcMahon, Pres- 
ident ; T. J. Callahan, First Vice-President ; A. Hanovan, Second Vice-Pres- 
ident; Francis H. Powers, Recording Secretary; J. J. O'Shaughnessy, As- 
sistant Secretary; R. J. Fisher, Financial Secretary; John McGrath, Treas- 
urer; J. Hanovan, Jr., Marshal; Thomas Donohue, Guard. Trustees, M. H. 
Acton, Samuel Kerr, A. Hanovan, J. J. Shaughnessy, M. J. Lynch. 

Charter Branch, No. j, L. C. B. A., was instituted February 23, 1890. 
Its first officers were Mrs. Margaret Seep, President; Mrs. Anna Condra, 
First Vice-President ; Mrs. Julia Maier, Second Vice-President ; Miss Susie 
Nugent, Recording Secretary; Miss Fannie Herlehy, Financial Secretary; 
Mrs. Kate Seep, Treasurer; Mrs. Ella Kelch, Marshal; Mrs. Mary Arm- 
buster, Guard. Its present officers are Mrs. Margaret Franz, Past Presi- 
dent; Mrs. Frances Callahan, President; Mrs. Mary Flynn, First Vice-Pres- 
ident; Mrs. Johanna O'Rourke, Second Vice-President; Mrs. Josie Jennings, 
Recording Secretary; Mrs. Josie Gahan, Assistant Secretary; Mrs. Letitia 
Reardon, Financial Secretary; Mrs. Mary Breen, Treasurer; Mrs. Mary 
Andrews, Marshal; Mrs. Margaret Smith, Guard. The Trustees are Mrs. 


Mary McDonald, Mrs. Ellen Lowman, Mrs. Jennie McMahon, Mrs. Alice 
Lynch, Mrs. Mary Willoughby. 

Santa Maria Branch, No. iiy, L. C. B. A., was instituted March 17, 
1894. The first officers were Miss Lilian Seep. President; Miss Mary Pow- 
ers, First Vice-President ; Miss Anna Fisher, Second Vice-President ; Miss 
Mary O'Neill, Recording Secretary; Miss Mary Gallagher, Assistant Secre- 
tary ; Mrs. Mary Taylor. Financial Secretary ; Mrs. Nellie Brann, Treasurer ; 
Miss Margaret Moran, Marshal ; Miss Mary Oxner, Guard. The trustees 
were Miss Mary Seep, Miss K. Taylor, Miss Margaret Bergen, Mrs. Anna 
Keating, Mrs. Louisa Potts. The present officers are Miss Mary Taylor, 
President; Miss Alice Whalen, First Vice-President; Miss Elizabeth Maurer, 
Second Vice-President ; Miss Margaret Bergen, Recording Secretary ; Miss 
Catherine Loehr, Assistant Secretary; Mrs. Margaret McDonald, Financial 
Secretary; Miss Elizabeth Lang, Treasurer; Miss Anna Fisher, Marshal; 
Miss Teresa Lacey, Guard. The Trustees are Mrs. Carrie Fleming, Mrs. 
Anna Keating, Mrs. Mary Edmonds, Mrs. Mary Lee, Miss Mary Welsh. 

PetroUa Encampment, No. 226, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted March 30, 
1872. Its first officers were W. R. Weaver, C. P. ; N. A. Lanphear, H. P. ; 
George R. Oliver, S. W. ; J. S. Merrill. J. W. ; J. T, McAninch, S. ; F. M. 
Hills, T. ; S. B. Logan, L S. At the present time J. W. Wood is C. P., and 
W. W. Pennell, Secretary. 

Tifnsz'ille Council, No. log. Royal Arcanum, was chartered May 3, 
1880. Its present officers are Charles Stingle, Regent; W. E. Thompson, 
Post Regent; C. M. Robison, Secretary; J. C. Edmondson, Jr., Collector; 
C. F. Lake, Treasurer; J. A. Todd, Chaplain; A. K. Howard, Guide; G. G. 
Mack, \W-irden: A. C. Lang, Sentry; William M. Varian, M. D., Medical 
Examiner; J. A. Todd, Deputy Grand Regent. 

Rebecca Lodge, No. 149, Odd Fellozvs' Auxiliary, has for N. G. Mrs. 
Mary Meyers, and Miss Susie Hayes for Secretary. 

St. Joseph's J'erein is a local benevolent association, composed of the 
members of St. Walburga's congregation. This society is twenty-six years 
old. and it is in a highly prosperous condition. It has accumulated a fund 
of good size, showing thrifty management. It extends a helping hand to 
persons in distress. It pays to sick members $5 a week for six months, 
and for six months more $2.50 a week, ^^'hen a member dies the society 
pays $65 to the family for the funeral expenses. 


Scandia is a benevolent organization connected with the Swedish 
Lutheran cong-regation, similar to St. Joseph's Verein of St. Walburga's 
church. The members pay an admission fee of $1 each, and 25 cents a month 
as dues. A member who is confined to his home by sickness draws $5 a 
week for thirteen weeks. In case of death the society pays $50 for funeral 

The Maccabees, Titus Tent, No. 24. K. 0. T. M.„ started October 9, 
1885. The first Commander was R. P. Halgren, and the first Record Keeper 
was R. S. Hampton. The present Commander is Walter J. Smith, and the 
Record Keeper is Simon Strauss, Jr. The total benefits received up to the 
present time b}' the widows of deceased memliers in Titusville amount to 
nearly $20,000. 

L. 0. T. AL. Hive No. 2Q. was instituted in 1893. This is a woman's 
branch of the ]\Iaccabees. The present officers of the society are Alary E. 
Locke, Commander: Loretta ]\Iur])hy, Record Keeper: Margaret Kelly, 
Financial Record Keeper. 

L. 0. T. M., Hive No. g2, was instituted in 1895. The present officers 
are Carrie Crone, Commander: Eliza Aldrich, Record Keeper: Nellie Marsh, 
Financial Record Keeper. 

Petroleum Lodge, No. 462, The Knights of Honor, was instituted Octo- 
ber 12, 1877. The Silver Creek Lodge, started in 1880, was subsequently 
absorbed by this first one. The present officers are S. Stettheimer, Dictator ; 
H. W. Fisher, Reporter: William Falkinburg, Treasurer: D. P. Johnson, 
Financial Reporter. 

St. Titus Council, No. fi^o, C. B. L., was instituted June 3, 1895. Its 
first officers were Rev. Joseph M. Dunn, Spiritual Adviser; M. J. Hughes, 
President: Daniel Foley, Jr., A'ice-President : George A. Hughes, Orator; 
John J. Hartery, Chancellor; George A. McAnarny, Secretary: Julius Franz, 
Collector: H. ^^'. Brann, Treasurer; Napoleon Antill, Marshal; Frank Mack, 
Guard. The Trustees were E. F. Hughes, E. M. Herlehy and Thomas 
Kennedy. The present officers are Rev. Joseph M. Dunn, Spiritual Adviser; 
\\'illiam F. Besselman, President: William Fews, Vice-President; John J. 
Daily, Orator: M. J. Hughes, Chancellor; George A. McAnarny, Secretary; 
J. Franz, Collector; H. \\'. Brann, Treasurer; Napoleon Antill, Marshal; 
Patrick O'Neill, Guard. The Trustees are William Fews. William Smith 
and Thomas Kennedy. 


Titusz'illc Lodge, No. 120, D. 0. H., was instituted September 14, 1865. 
The Harugari Society of Germans is a benevolent order. It pays to a siclt 
member $5 a week. If a member dies the lodge pays the surviving members 
of the deceased $300. If a member's wife dies it pays to the surviving" hus- 
band, $100. As reported to the Grand Lodge at its meeting in August, 1898, 
the Titusville Lodge had in its treasury at the time $3,167.38. During its 
existence in Titusville, a period of thirty-three years, it has paid in benefits 
from $35,000 to $40,000. The showing is exceptionally creditable to frater- 
nal association. The present officers of the lodge are John Knapp, O. B. ; 
John Hartwig, U. B. ; John Blinzig, Secretary ; S. Shertzinger, Financial 
Secretary ; John Gutman. Treasurer. 

Lnisc Lodge, No. ig, D. 0. H., was instituted March 25, 1891. It is 
a woman's branch of the Harugari, in the "Hertha Degree." It is strictly 
independent in its functions. A sick member receives a benefit of $3 a week, 
and when a member dies the sur\'iving family receives $50. The lodge has 
at present in its treasury $837.40. 

C. S. Chase Post, No. ^0, G. A. R., was first instituted not long after 
the close of the late Civil War. Business excitement, however, at that period 
tended to cause a neglect of social organizations, and because of this the 
charter of the Chase post was surrendered. But it was afterward recovered, 
and a reorganization took place on June 21, 1879, with the following officers: 
Joseph H. Cogswell, P. C. ; \\'illi?m H. Wisner, S. V. C. ; C. M. Coburn, 
J. V. C. ; Robert P. Halgren, Adjutant; Ed. W. Bettes, Q. M. ; Dr. J. L. 
Dunn, Surgeon; Norris Grossman, Chaplain; L. L. Shattuck, O. D. ; P. N. 
Robinson, O. G. ; E. R. Sherman, S. M. The present officers are George W. 
Barr, M. D., P. C. ; John B. Wheaton, S. V. C. ; H. W. Beverly, J. V. C. ; 
L. L. Shattuck, Adjutant; W. P. McCutchen, O. M. 

Titusville Council, No. 1,54, Knights and Ladies of Security, was or- 
ganized November 19, 1895. Its officers are H. W. Brann, President; Mrs. 
Rosa Matson, First Vice-President ; Mrs. P. Brice, Second Vice-President ; 
W. J. Davidson, Secretary ; J. H. Main, Financial Secretary ; W. H. Bevins, 
Treasurer; Miss Kate Hancox, Prelate; Mrs. Wakeman, Conductor; B. 
Dorschel, Guard; C. W. Sager, M. D., Medical Examiner. The Trustees 
are H. W. Brann. B. Dorschel and J. B. Bratt. 



By M. N. ALLEN. 

KNOWLEDGE of petroleum is perhaps as old as civilization. Long- 
before the beginning of the Christian era, it was found in Persia, in 
China, in India and other ancient countries. In later times it is known 
to have existed in several parts of the globe. But up to the present period of 
less than forty years the product had been collected only upon the surface of 
water, springs or streams, and then in small quantities. The origin of the 
substance is not known, though various theories upon the subject have from 
time to time been suggested. Previous to 1859, so far as is now known, 
because of its limited production, it had not been an article of general com- 
merce. Before proceeding" to an- account of the oil trade which relates to 
Titusville, Pennsylvania, it is proper to describe the chemical character of 
petroleum. As expressed by the etymology of the word, it means rock oil. 
From the Encyclopedia Britannica the following quotation is made: 
"The proximate principles of petroleum have been determined and exam- 
ined chiefly by Schorlemmer in Eilgland, Pelouze and Cahonis in France, 
and C. M. Warren and S. P. Saddler in the United States. Many other 
chemists have contributed valuable assistance to the work. These researches 
have established the fact that Pennsylvania petroleum consists chiefly of two 
homologous series of isomeric compounds, having the general formula Cn 
H2nT2, at one extremity of which marsh gas is found, and solid paraffine 
at the other." In other words, petroleum is a compound of a series of 
hydro-carbons, beginning with a union which contains the smallest possible 
quantity of carbon with the largest possible quantity of hydrogen which 
could unite with such an infinitesimal particle of carbon, and* descending in 
the series with each union in the course containing less hydrogen and more 
carbon than the one above it, until the union last formed is all carbon, except 
the faintest conceivable trace of hydrogen. This last in the series is solid 



paraffine, while the beginning, next to pure hydrogen, is the hghtest of gases. 
Petroleum therefore inchides, not only oil of various gravities in a liquid 
state, but also the substance spoken of in the oil country as "natural gas," 
and also paraffine, whether in a semi-liquid or in a solid condition. Heavy 
oils contain more carbon and less hydrogen than oil of lighter gravity. Ohio 
oil and Baku oil are noted for the large amount of carbon in their composi- 
tion, while most of the oil produced in western Pennsylvania, excepting the 
Bradford field, has less carbon. The yield of illuminating oil is, of course, 
greater from Pennsylvania oil than from that produced in Ohio. This is 
because of the excess of carbon in the latter. It is well to note the fact that 
the great bulk of oil produced in the United States is found on the western 
slope of the Alleghany Mountains, or upon the plane of their base, though 
in part, as in Ohio and Indiana, some distance westward from the foot of 
the slope. Oil is found in Colorado, Kansas and California in paying quan- 
tities, but the production in these localities is limited tO' small areas and 
small deposits. 

As early as 1833 the older Silliman, of Yale College, contributed to 
the "American Journal of Science" an interesting account concerning a 
petroleum spring in Allegany County, New York, after he had in person 
visited the spring and examined the oil upon its surface. Nearly fifty years 
later there was opened in the vicinity of this spring, a large territory of oil 
production. In 1855 the younger Silliman made a thorough chemical analy- 
sis and test of oil brought from Venango County, Pennsylvania, the results 
of which he embodied in a report to Eveleth & Bissell, of New York, who, 
with others, afterward sent Drake to Titusville to aid in increasing the 
production of oil already begun by the dipping process. 

In 1846 Samuel AI. Kier, of Pittsburg, a druggist, began to collect 
oil. which rose to the surface of salt wells, at Tarentum, Pennsylvania, twenty 
miles above Pittsburg on the Allegheny River, and, from a knowledge of 
some of the medicinal properties of petroleum, he bottled the liquid, adver- 
tised and sold it as a healing remedy. In this connection it may be said that 
the product was then called "Seneca Oil," from the fact that the Seneca 
Indians, a tribe in Venango County, had long used it as a medicine. For years 
after Drake's discovery the inhabitants of the oil country continued to speak 
of petroleum as "Seneca Oil." The association represented by Drake in 
his original venture called itself the "Seneca Oil Company." 


A contract by and between Brewer, Watson & Co., and T- D. Ano-ier, 
for procuring oil from the spring at which Drake subsequently located his 
initial well, read as follows : 

"Agreed this fourth day of July, A. D., 1853, with J. D. Angier, of 
Cherrj'tree Township, in the county of Venango, Pennsylvania, that he shall 
repair up and keep in order the old oil spring on land in Cherrytree Town- 
ship, or dig and make new springs, and the expenses to be deducted out of the 
proceeds of the oil, and the balance, if any, to be divided, the one-half to 
J. D. Angier, and tiie other half to Brewer, Watson & Co., for the full term 
of five years from this date, if profitable. 


"J. D. Angier." 

Oil had previously been collected by absorbing it into blankets spread 
upon the water. After the oil had come to the surface and filled the blanket, 
it was expressed and caught in a tub. Pits were also dug in the soil, into 
which oil and water mixed entered by seeping through the ground. The oil 
rose to the surface and was then dipped or skimmed off. Angier dug 
trenches and then pumped the oil and water into a basin. The pump was 
worked by machinery in a saw-mill belonging to Brewer, Watson & Co., near 
at hand. After the oil settled at the surface of the water in the basin, it 
was skimmed off. 

It is rational to assume as a theory that, whatever natural forces have 
created petroleum, the formation occurred far below the earth's surface, 
and where intense heat acted. The petroleum thus formed was in a gaseous 
state, and by its expansive force it was pressed into all the openings in the 
rocks. As the gas rises toward the surface, the temperature falls and con- 
densation begins, the heavier hydro-carbons in the series first becoming 
liquid. The gas, as it rises through fissures in the rocks, sometimes finds 
its way into porous sand-rocks, where it is sometimes imprisoned by imper- 
vious rock above, and at other times the gas makes a partial escape upward, 
the more volatile parts being the last to condense. Petroleum thus coming 
to the surface, either as a liquid or as a gas, strikes a water course, and then 
there is found a gas spring, or an oil spring. Sometimes the oil oozes 
through the soil. In 1877 there was opened in the vicinity of East Titus- 
ville a considerable production of oil found in the ground fifteen or twenty 
feet below the surface. This was first discovered by accident, in digging 


a hole for a water well, or some other purpose. Afterward pits were sunk 
expressly to find the oil. Whence the oil came no one knew. 

In 1854, about a year after Angier entered into an agreement with 
Brewer, Watson & Co., as mentioned above, George H. Bissell, of the firm 
Eveleth & Bissell, New York, gave his attention to the subject of petroleum. 
He was led to believe that a production of important magnitude could be got 
from the undertaking begun by Angier. It has been reported that a certain 
Professor Crosby, of Dartmouth College, from which Bissell had been 
graduated, to get a place for his son, induced Bissell to interest himself in 
forming a stock company for procuring oil by the Angier process. Late in 
the fall of that year Brewer, Watson & Co. sold to Eveleth & Bissell, as in- 
dividuals, the Willard farm, on which was the oil spring and appliances for 
gathering oil, already described, containing one hundred and five acres. The 
consideration named in the deed was $25,000, while the real price was $5,000. 
As had been the intention, the deed was transferred to a stock company. 
The fiction resorted to as to the purchase price of the property was enacted 
for the purpose of helping the sale of stock. 

In the following January, 1855, Eveleth & Bissell deeded the property to 
a corporation formed in New York City. The trustees of the corporation 
had among their number, Francis B. Brewer, of Titusville, with Eveleth & 
Bissell at the head. The name of the corporation was the "Pennsylvania 
Rock Oil Company." The capital stock was fixed at $250,000; the num- 
ber of shares, 25,000, at $10 a share; the age of the company, fifty years. 

Eveleth & Bissell had much trouble in placing the stock. To add to 
their troubles they accidentally discovered an old Pennsylvania statute, which 
provided for the forfeiture to the State of the lands owned within its limits 
by a foreign corporation. But fortunately neither the deed to them exe- 
cuted by Brewer, Watson & Co., nor their deed to the corporation had been 
put upon record. They therefore made haste to have the company transfer 
by deed the property to Asahel Pierpont and William A. Ives, of New 
Haven, Connecticut, who in turn leased it to a new company for the term of 
ninety-nine years. The new association was formed on a capital of $300,000, 
divided into 12,000 shares of $25 each, Eveleth & Bissell taking a majority 
of the stock. The headquarters of the new company were fixed at New Haven. 
The title of the corporation was the "Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company." Mr. 
Pierpont, a practical mechanic, was sent to Titusville to assist Mr. Angier 


in improving the machinery for collecting the oil. But the company failed 
to furnish the requisite funds, and Pierpont seems to have accomplished 
nothing. Disagreement among directors checked practical operations. An- 
gler with the rude appliances continued to gather a few gallons of oil each 
day. Dr. Brewer, though having no stock in the company, felt an interest 
in the success of the undertaking, and wrote to the managers that by a 
judicious expenditure of five hundred dollars, from fifty to one hundred 
gallons of oil a day could be collected. But the expenditure was not made. 
Mr. Angier was discharged from service, and the company's affairs con- 
tinued to drag. 

In the previous transfer of the property care had not in all cases been 
exercised to have conveyed a perfect title as to dowry interests, and this 
fact caused some delay in starting operations. Under an excuse to correct 
the neglect of the purchasers to get from those who had sold the Willard 
farm the signatures of their wives to the deed. Colonel E. L. Drake was 
sent to Titusville, but, as may be believed, for the real purpose of inspecting 
artesian wells, and investigate the feasibility of boring a well on the property 
of the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company. Accordingly, Drake, on his way 
from New Haven to Titusville, stopped at Syracuse, New York, to examine 
the salt wells there, and learn something of the mode of boring and pumping 
them. He arrived in Titusville in December; 1857. After completing the 
legal business of his mission, so far as could be done at Titusville, and study- 
ing briefly the oil indications there, he went to Pittsburg to secure the signa- 
tures of Mrs. Brewer and Mrs. Rynd, whose husbands had joined in a deed 
of the Willard farm, as already stated, and on the trip he inspected the salt 
wells of Tarentum, from which Kier got the oil, which for about ten years 
he had been selling as a medicine. On his return to New Haven Drake 
made such an encouraging report of his investigations that the three New 
Haven directors, who were a majority of the governing board, executed on 
the 30th day of December a lease to Edwin E. Bowditch and E. L. Drake 
for a term of fifteen years, the lessees binding themselves to pay to the Penn- 
sylvania Rock Oil Company a royalty of five and a half cents a gallon for all 
the oil produced by them on the lease during its term. The other two 
directors, Bissell, of New York, and Jonathan Watson, of Titusville, who 
together represented a majority of the total stock of the company, refused, 


their consent to the contract. But at the annual meeting in January follow- 
ing, 1858, the lease was ratified over the protests of Bissell and Watson. 

After, however, Bissell and Watson had withdrawn from the meeting, 
the consideration was changed from five and a half cents a gallon to one- 
eighth in kind of all the oil, salt or paint produced. Bissell threatened sum- 
mary resistance in the courts, but finally there was a compromise. The time 
of the lease was extended to forty-five years, and the royalty was fixed at 
twelve cents a gallon, giving to the lessees one year in which to prepare for 
beginning operations. The lessees and some others organized themselves 
into the "Seneca Oil Company." Drake was made to appear as the main 
stockholder. He had been for several years a railroad conductor, and had 
not much experience as a business man. He was now employed by the 
Seneca Oil Company as superintendent on a salary of one thousand dollars 
a year. He had little or no means of his own. He moved to Titusville with 
his family in May, 1858, bringing a thousand dollars which had been pro- 
vided for him to begin work with. His first work here was to revive the old 
works which had been abandoned by Angier, and he began to dig a well, at 
the same time making preparations for boring one on the same spot. He 
contracted for an engine to be ready by the first of the coming September. 
He engaged a driller. The engine was slow in coming and there were other 
delays, so that the driller, upon some excuse, got employment elsewhere. 
Summer and fall wore away. The company became remiss in sending money, 
and Drake was obliged to suspend active work until the next spring. 

A Mr. Peterson, who had salt wells near Tarentum, recommended Drake 
to employ Mr. William Smith and his sons, practical drillers, who had worked 
for him, and accordingly Drake engaged them. Mr. Smith, with his young- 
est son, Samuel, came to Titusville about the middle of May, 1859, bringing 
a full set of tools, which had been made in Mr. Smith's shop at Salina, near 

In the district where Smith had operated the soil was only a few feet 
above the rock, so that the first thing to do in starting an artesian well was 
to dig a pit down to the rock. After this had been done, the drill, suspended 
at one end of the walking beam, began to cut its way vertically into the rock. 
But at the Drake well Smith found a deeper soil, which was porous and filled 
with water. Smith, as had been his method on the Allegheny River, began 
to crib the pit with timbers, to prevent the dirt from coming in. But he had 


gone down only a few feet in the ground, when the water came in so rapidly 
that he was forced to stop. (Drake then resorted to an expedient which is said 
to ha\-e been his invention. He doubtless consulted Smith before making the 
experiment. He had cut a soil pipe, with an interior diameter of about six 
inches, which he attempted to drive vertically into the ground. The shell of 
the first pipe which he tried proved to be too light, as it broke easily. He then 
increased the thickness of the shell, and the new pipe withstood the blows of 
the battering ram, as the block, which was dropped on the end of the vertical 
pipe, was called. Smith used four joints of this cast iron driving pipe, each 
joint ten feet long, before striking the rock. From the upper end of the last 
joint to the derrick floor the distance was seven feet. This space was supplied 
with a wooden conductor. The drill descended into the rock, before striking 
oil, twenty-two and one-half feet, making the total depth of the well sixty- 
nine and one-half feet. 

The use of cast iron pipe, which Drake originated and made a practical 
success, for penetrating the soil down to the rock, continued in sinking oil 
wells many years. It is reported that in driving a soil pipe near East Titus- 
ville, in 1865, a hemlock log, imbedded at a depth of one hundred and fifty 
feet below the surface of the ground, was cut in two. In later years a wrought 
iron soil pipe is used. This has at the lower end of the first joint a steel shoe. 
The drill goes down inside the pipe and cuts away boulders and other obstruc- 
tions, while the pipe, as fast as the drill clears the way, is pushed, or driven, 
down to the rock. 

After the pipe had been driven in the Drake well, the drill was lowered 
into the hole, and set to work on Thursday, August 25. At about four o'clock 
in the afternoon of .Saturday, the 27th, following, the drill dropped into a 
crevice of the rock. The tools were then drawn from the well, the measure- 
ment showing a depth of sixty-nine and one-half feet below the surface. Mr. 
Smith and his family lived in a shanty built for their temporary use, adjoin- 
ing the derrick. On going to the well the next morning, Sunday, Mr. Smith 
found that the oil had risen in the driving pipe and wooden conductor to the 
derrick floor, and, in fact, both oil and water flowed out of the top of the 

Although it was Sunday, the news of the discovery spread rapidly 
through the village of Titusville and the surrounding country. Large crowds 
of people rushed to the well, and they continued to surround the spot for sev- 


eral da)'s afterward. The community was naturally excited upon the subject 
and little else was talked of. Eager, however, as was their curiosity, the 
people scarcely dreamed of the momentous results which were to follow the 
sinking of this first small oil well. 

On Monday morning a temporary pumping apparatus was rigged. A 
tin pipe, attached to a pitcher pump, was let down into the hole. Then by a 
lever attachment with the engine, the pump was worked. The process was 
continued from ten days to two weeks, the well yielding from twenty to thirty 
barrels of oil a day, until tubing and a working barrel could be got from 
Pittsburg. Then after the well had been tubed, and the tubing seed-bagged, 
the pumping was done by sucker-rods, connected to the walking beam, as 
at the present time, lifting the oil from a working barrel placed at the bottom 
of the well. At first a large hogshead was used for receiving the oil and water. 
The oil was drawn from the hogshead into barrels, and the water discharged 
from an opening near the bottom of the hogshead, and carried away in a ditch. 
Every kind of a barrel which would hold oil was brought into service. 
Finally, a wooden tank, a rectangular box, like a vat, was substituted for the 
hogshead, and a cooper a few miles away, who manufactured white oak butter 
tubs, supplied Drake with new barrels made from the same material. 

At this point a brief rest may be taken, and the attention of readers 
directed to the immeasurable results achieved by the experiment which Drake 
executed at Titusville less than forty years ago. An industry, which for 
more than a generation has furnished light for the nations, had its begin- 
ning here. Chemical skill and mechanical invention since Drake's discovery 
have drawn from the parts of petroleum a large number of highly interesting 
products of great practical utility and convenience. Upon a conservative 
estimate, it may be said that since the sinking of the Drake well the total 
sales of petroleum products of the United States have yielded more than 
one thousand millions of dollars, and perhaps more than double that sum. It 
is submitted that the man, who for more than a year was regarded by many 
of the citizens of Titusville and vicinity as a hmatic for his persistence in 
clinging to his experiment of boring for oil into the rock, who submitted 
patiently to derision, exhausting his means, not only for carrying on his 
undertaking, but for the support of his family, and experiencing as he did 
the pangs of poverty, the company that had employed him losing confidence 
in the mode undertaken and stopping his supply of funds — it is submitted 


tliat the man, whose dogged perseverance succeeded in accompHshing a work 
of such infinite importance in its results, is entitled to a monument erected 
to his memory at the spot where the achievement was wrought. 

It costs no effort to use an invention after it has been made. Many an 
inventor, while engaged in studying a theory and making experiments to 
test its mechanical merits, has been an object of ridicule. Until he achieves 
success, his efforts are regarded as visionary. For a long time Edwin L. 
Drake struggled against obstacles large and small of a most discouraging 
character. His associates in the East, who had agreed to supply him with 
necessary ftnids, evidently lost faith in the experiment which he was making 
and finalh' ceased altogether to send him money. Most of the people at 
Titusville distrusted the success of his undertaking. He had no financial 
credit in the community. He could scarcely buy a pound of tea, a sack of 
flour or a pound of nails solely on his promise to pay. Deserted by his back- 
ers and derided by many of the inhabitants of the locality where he was strug- 
gling with his experiment, with constant uncertainty as to its fate overhanging 
him, it may be imagined that Drake suffered a mental strain which did actually 
break down his constitution. 

Tliere were, however, a few citizens of Titusville, who in his sore dis- 
tress stood by him, aiding him throughout his trials until his triumph came. 
Two merchants, R. D. Fletcher and Peter Wilson, were especially his stead- 
fast friends. They endorsed his paper and helped him in other ways. But 
for such assistance Drake must have failed. Some years afterward when 
on a visit to Titusville, while referring in particular to Mr. Fletcher, Drake 
said: "There was the friend of my life. He it was that saved me." He 
had not forgotten Wilson, his other benefactor, when he asked him years 
later to stand with him in front of the old well for a picture. He would have 
the photograph tell positively what was due to his friend in need. What a 
debt does the world owe R. D. Fletcher and Peter Wilson, as well as E. L. 
Drake! Both Drake and Wilson have long since crossed the dividing river. 
Fletcher still survives, managing the same mercantile establishment which 
he founded in Titusville more than forty years ago. 

It has been urged that Drake ought to have followed up the opportunities 
created by his discovery in leasing oil territory and seizing upon other advan- 
tages, connected with the oil development within his reach. On the contrary, 
it is said, he permitted others to reap all the benefits of his successful experi- 


ment in boring for oil. In reply, it may be offered that, when Drake finished 
his well and saw the pump lifting and pouring the liquid treasure into a tank, 
he was covered with debts. His opportunities for leasing land were no better 
than those of any other man. He did not patent his method of boring for oil. 
His invention brought him no royalty. It is quite possiljle that Drake was 
not a good business man. Few inventors are. If he succeeded in paving all 
the debts, which he was owing when he finished his well — as undoubtedly 
he did — he spent nearly all the rest of his life in straitened circumstances, and 
at one time in ruined health he suffered with his family extreme poverty, 
until, when his condition became known, the oil men collectivelv raised him 
a few thousand dollars. In 1873 the Legislature of Pennsylvania voted him 
an annual pension of $1,500, the pension to last until the death of both him- 
self and his wife. When he moved away from Titusville in the early sixties, 
he took with him perhaps $20,000. and perhaps more. But if he had carried 
away $100,000, he might easily have lost it all in unfortunate investments. It 
was not his fault that nature had not created him a financier. He did stand . 
patiently and Iieroically on guard until he ga\'e to the world a discovery of 
infinite value, and for his fidelity to a theory he deserves the honor and grati- 
tude of mankind. 

The following biographical sketch, from the pen of Mr. John A. ]\Iather, 
in his published work of original photographic views, taken by himself, in 
the early years of petroleum development, accompanied by explanatorv notes 
and observations, is quoted here because of its supposed accuracy : 

"E. L. Drake, otherwise known as Colonel E. L. Drake, was born at 
Greenville, Greene County, New York, March 29, 1819. His parents were 
respectable farmers, and gave their son a common school education. At the 
age of nineteen he left home to seek his fortune, which meant go west. At 
Buffalo he obtained the position as night clerk on the steamer "Wisconsin," 
running between Buffalo and Detroit, Michigan, and remained with it until 
the season closed. He then went to Ann Arbor and worked upon a farm 
about a year. He then obtained a situation as clerk in a hotel at Tecumseh 
for two years, when he returned to his parents in Vermont. He next went to 
New Haven, Connecticut, where he served as dry goods clerk for three years, 
and. hoping to better his prospects, accepted a similar position with a retail 
dry goods store on Broadway, New York City. Next he got a job as ex- 
press agent on the Boston and Albany Railroad, at a salary of $50 per month, 


and resigned in 1849 to accept another position as conductor on the New 
York and New Haven Railroad, which he held to the entire satisfaction of his 
superior officers of that corporation, and only resigned to take charge of 
the de\-elopments on Oil Creek, in Pennsylvania. His friend, James M. Town- 
send, New Haven, induced him to purchase five hundred shares in the Penn- 
sylvania Rock Oil Company. This was the beginning of his connection with 
the business that has rendered his name famous. About this time he married 
Laura Dow, of New Haven, a young woman of most excellent character, who 
was ever to him a friend and guide. In 1857, he moved to Titusville to be 
paid a salary of $1,000 a year by the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company, to*put 
down the first artesian oil well, called, after his name, the Drake well. In 
i860 he was elected justice of the peace for three years. In 1863 he sold his 
entire property in the oil regions for a fraction of what it was worth, realizing 
about $20,000, and went into Wall Street speculations, which financially and 
speedily swamped him. Pie removed with his wife and family to Vermont 
and thence to a cottage on the highlands of Navesink, New Jersey. Having 
had serious attacks of neuralgia of the spine and partial paralysis of the lower 
limbs, here he suffered for many years, his wife supplying the wants of him 
and family by her needle. He visited New York ostensibly to obtain 
a position for one of his sons, where he met and recognized 'Mr. Z. Martin, 
of Titusville, who noticed his wretched appearance, donated him a dinner 
and $20, and cheered him with the hope of getting further help. His dis- 
tressed condition became known in Titusville, and a subscription was raised 
of $4,200 by friends and oil producers with a generosity for which they have 
ever been famed. This fund was committed to the care of Mrs. Drake, who 
frugally hoarded it, and yet continued to meet a part of the family expenses 
with the wages of her needle. In 1873 the Pennsylvania Legislature passed 
a law granting him a pension of $1,500 a year, which he enjoyed up to the 
time of his death, which occurred on or about No\ ember 20, 1880, in the 
sixty-second year of his age." 

Mr. Mather, the author of the foregoing sketch, was an intimate personal 
friend of Colonel Drake, from whom by word of mouth he received verbatim 
the entire first part of the atove narrative, down to the removal to Vermont, 
following the disastrous speculations in Wall Street. Of the remaining part 
of the biography, Mr. Mather speaks with assurance, because of the general 
knowledge of the rest of Colonel Drake's life. It should be added that the 


widow witli four children moved in 1895 from Bethlehem to New England, 
where at last accounts she still resides. 

The office of Justice of the Peace in Titusville when Drake held it was 
lucrative, because of the acknowledgment of deeds, when a great deal of 
property changed hands, following the discovery of oil. Drake probably 
wrote many conveyances himself, for which he received fees. During this 
time he purchased from Jonathan Watson twenty-five acres of land in the 
borough of Titusville. He subsequently sold the same to Dr. A. D. Atkinson, 
realizing several thousand dollars on the investment. He was also employed 
foi^ a time by Schieffelin Brothers, of New York, in buying oil for the firm. 

In the papers left by Thaddeus Stevens at his death, in 1868, was 
found the draft of a bill, prepared by himself, which he intended to present 
to Congress, providing for an appropriation of $250,000 for the Pennsyl- 
vanian, who had made one of the great discoveries in the history of the world. 
But Stevens went to his grave, and the national government has done nothing 
in recognition of Drake's remarkable achievement. 

It is proper now to speak of those who, so far as their names can be 
ascertained, were employed upon the first oil well. Coryden Redfield had 
helped Angier in getting oil from the trenches at the oil spring, and he gave 
some assistance to Mr. Smith. 

^Vi]liam A. Smith, who superintended the entire operation of sinking 
the Drake well, was especially well qualified for the work. He was a good 
mechanic and a man of character. He had gained experience at Tarentum 
and Salina, where he lived, in drilling artesian wells. Drake was very for- 
tunate in procuring the services of so good a man. When the inflow of water 
drove him from the pit which he and his men were digging toward the rock, 
he undoubtedly concurred with Drake as to the use of a soil pipe for overcom- 
ing the difiiculty. They used the best pipe they could find ; but, as previously 
stated, it was too light. Then Smith constructed a pattern for casting a heav- 
ier pipe. A thicker pipe was cast, and it answered the purpose. After drilling 
several wells in different parts of the oil region, he retired to his farm in But- 
ler County, where he continued to reside the remainder of his life. He was 
born in Butler County in 1812. He died July 27, 1890. 

His three sons, James P., William B. and Samuel B., assisted in drilling 
the Drake well. They were all born in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, respectively 
in 1837, 1839 and 1843. The second son, William B., now lives in Rochester, 


New York. The other two continue to reside in Titusville. James lives on 
West Elm Street, between First and Second streets, and Samuel at the corner 
of Elm and Third. 

One day, while pumping the Drake well, William Smith, the father, 
lighted a match, which ignited the gas in the atmosphere, causing an explosion 
and conflagration, which destroyed everything combustible on the premises. 
A piece of timber fell upon the safety valve, and the result was an explosion 
of the boiler. A flying missile struck James upon the back, severely laming 
him, and leaving a bunch as large as a hen's egg between his shoulders, which 
he carries at the present time. 

When Mr. Smith and his son James came out of their shanty at the 
well on the Sunday morning, August 28th, and saw the oil bubbling over the 
mouth of the conductor, he said to James : "Jimmy, run up to town and tell 
Mr. Drake to hurry down and see the oil." James made haste in going to 
Drake's house and delivering the message. He found Drake sitting down 
to his breakfast. He told James to take a chair and wait till he was through 
with his meal, when he would harness his horse and carry him back to the 
well. As soon as he had finished breakfast, he hurriedly hitched his horse 
to a carriage and rapidly drove with James to the well. James says that when 
Drake arrived, and saw the oil actually flowing from the hole, he was like 
one inspired. That anxious, weary, painful look, which for months his coun- 
tenance had worn, suddenly disappeared, and he walked erect, his stature 
seemingly two feet higher than it had ever appeared before. 

The following entries in Mr. Smith's own handwriting are copied from 
a small account book, which he carried in his pocket while employed on the 
Drake well. Because they were in his pocket, they escaped the fire above 
spoken of. In this fire, James, the son, lost a diary which he was then keep- 
ing. The records copied from Mr. Smith's book are as follows : 

May 14, 1859. 
Mr. Drake, 

To making boring tools the full set. 


2 spear boxes, 


4 spear pins, 
16 sucker joints, $1.50, 




On the next page is the following : 

"May the 20, 1859. Commenced work for Mr. Drake.'' 

And then follows an entry for each day's work done continuously for 
the next several months, at $2.50 per diem. On another page are found 
credits, without dates, as follows : 

Cash from Drake. 
20 in cash. 
20 in cash. 
25 in cash. 
10 in cash. 
20 in cash 


50.00 in cash. 

50.00 in cash. 
200.00 in cash. 
232.00 in cash. 


Another name deserves mention. Samuel Silliman, a landmark, who 
spent the greater part of his life in Titusville, a highly respected citizen, built 
the derrick, engine house, the shanty which the Smith family temporarily 
occupied as a residence, the walking beam and other parts of the wooden 
structure of the Drake well. Mr. Silliman a few years ago went West, and 
he is now living with his wife at Spokane, Washington State. Both he and 
his wife are octogenarians, he having reached the age of eighty-six, and his 
wife eighty-two. 

Jonathan Locke, of whom subsequent mention will be made in these 
pages, had a turning lathe in a saw mill near the Drake well. He repaired 
tools and some other work in his shop for the drillers. 

The general excitement which followed the success of Drake's experi- 
ment may, in a measure, be imagined. The wonderful discovery became 
almost the universal subject of conversation. Mr. Smith, who had skimmed 
a few gallons of oil a week from salt water at Salina and Tarentum, was 
astonished to see thirty barrels a day from a single artesian well. Mr. 
Angier had succeeded in dipping half a dozen gallons a day from his 
trenches. But Drake had tapped the fountain of supply in the rock. Noth- 
ing like it had ever before been known. There was then no end to speculation 


as to the limit of the product. At this point, with only one well sunk, the 
location of oil below the surface was a question of uncertainty. It was not 
doubted that in the Oil Creek valley the product existed in abundance. Sur- 
face manifestation at the first was the guide in selecting the spot for sinking 
an oil well. Drake very naturally had located his oil well at the oil spring 
on the Willard farm. The practice of following surface indications for locat- 
ing wells continued several years. But now for a long time past the omni- 
present "wild-catter" has blazed the path leading to the oil producing terri- 
tory. At first certain kinds of rock upon the ground, as well as oil upon the 
surface, were thought to indicate the existence of oil below. But in time it 
came to be known that no kind of surface evidence was to be relied on. The 
test is the drill sunk hundreds, of feet into the earth. 

x\lmost immediately after it became known that the Drake well was 
pumping from twenty to thirty barrels of oil a day, many parties hastened 
to obtain leases of property on which to drill wells. Jonathan Watson 
leased the ground containing an oil spring near Rouseville. Mr. Bissell 
leased a large amount of territory. 

The second well sunk, following the Drake, was owned by William 
Barnsdall and William H. Abbott, of Titusville, and Henry R. Rouse and 
Boone Mead, of \A^arren. It was upon the James Parker farm, within the 
borough limits of Titusville, not far from where is now the Burgess Steel 
A'Vorks. The well was "kicked down." It was begun in September, 1859, 
and finished February 18, i860, at a depth of one hundred and twelve feet. 
It had a production of fifty barrels of oil a day. 

The third well was owned by William H. Abbott, William Barnsdall, 
P. T. Witherop and David Crossley. It was situated near the present 
Boughton station of the W. N. Y. & P. Railroad, perhaps half a mile from 
Drake's well. This well was also "kicked down." It was finished March 
14, i860. This well had a depth of one hundred and sixty feet, and it 
started pumping at sixty barrels of oil a day. Another well was sunk in 
i860 on the John Watson farm by Watson and Tanner. It produced one 
hundred barrels of oil a day. 

The "kicking down" process employed in the early days of drilling oil 
wells may here be described. The mode was practical where light tools were 
used and the depth of the well only a few hundred feet, as was the case in 
territory worked in the first period of oil development, where the oil-bearing 


sand was rarely reached by the drill lower than six hundred feet below the 
surface of the ground. Operators in those days located wells in valleys, 
ravines, by water courses, or sometimes on the pl'ains, and not on the sum- 
mits of high land, as is done now, in some cases for the sole purpose of 
obviating the necessity of driving soil pipe. When engines and boilers 
first came into use for drilling purposes the tools were still light, and the 
wells still shallow, as compared with the tools in general use and the wells 
sunk in the last twenty years. The use of casing, begun over thirtv years 
ago. required an increase of the caliber of the artesian well. Deep wells 
and speed in drilling required a large increase in the weight of tools. 
The sets of drilling tools employed in the early sixties, as compared with 
those now used in the Alleghany Mountains, are like pygmies in the presence 
of giants. 

The "kicking down" appliance consisted of a spring pole of considerable 
size and sufficient strength for the purpose, and an attachment at the small 
end of the pole, which held the tools suspended vertically. The large end 
of the pole was fastened firmly to perhaps a tree, while the high stump of 
another tree was used as a fulcrum, upon which the pole midway rested. 
The tools were hung to the small end of the pole by a chain or rope, so as to 
have in the suspension free play, in order to get a strictly vertical line for 
the tools in their descent. Attached to the upper end of the rope or chain 
was a flat piece of solid wood, which passed upward through a correspond- 
ing flat mortise in the pole. This piece of wood was bored with holes, per- 
haps an inch apart, or more. A strong movable pin, passing through one 
of these holes, supported on the top of the pole the entire string of tools. 
As the drill descended into the hole, it was gradually lowered by drawing 
out the pin and slipping it into another hole, higher upon the stick. When 
the last hole in the perforated slat had been used, a short joint of sucker 
rods was inserted between it and the chain or rope below, ^\'hen the last 
hole of the slat was reached the second time, a longer joint of sucker 
rods was substituted for the shorter ones. Then, as was the practice at 
first, a string of sucker rods, piece by piece introduced, connected the tools 
and the attachment at the pole, until the drilling was finished. But ex- 
periment led to the use of a strong rope, instead of a string of sucker rods, 
for letting the tools down into the well. Afterward the temper screw came 
into universal use in drilling, and this appliance is likely to continue. 


Xear the small end of the pole a chain or rope was attached, and to 
this saddle stirrups for the feet of the workmen, two or three in number. 
The drillers placed each a foot in the stirrup and by a sudden simultaneous 
kick downward the pole was bent, letting the tools with the steel edge drop 
into the hole and cut the rock, the elasticity of the pole lifting the tools back 
into their place. In this way. round holes, a few inches in diameter, were 
cut vertically into the rock, to the depth of about one-eighth of a mile. 
Instead of a stirrup, a platform, fastened on one side by a hinge, was also 
used. To the opposite side was attached a chain or rope, connecting with 
the small end of the spring pole. The workmen, standing upon the platform 
near the hinge, suddenly stepping together and throwing their combined 
weight upon the opposite side, bent the pole and let the tools drop, when 
the pole wQuld spring upward and lift the tools for a succeeding drop. 

In driving soil pipe for a well, where there was no steam engine, a 
horse was employed in raising the battering ram. Horses were also used 
for motive power in drilling, walking in a circle, or upon a treadmill, as in 
the old style of threshing machines. 

The engines and boilers first used in drilling and pumping oil wells 
were stationary. The boiler at the Drake well had two flues. But portable 
engines and boilers afterward came into general use in the business. The 
engine was placed upon the top of the boiler, but it could be detached and 
placed upon another bed, when by reason of too close exposure to the fire it 
became necessar\' to move the boiler to a place of greater safety, or from 
any other cause. Sometimes gas has risen unexpectedly out of the well, 
and. igniting from the fire in the furnace under the boiler too close at hand, 
the whole rig has been Ijurned. At the present time the boiler is put into a 
safe place before the rise of gas can occur. 

The wooden tanks first used in holding oil were not the truncated 
cone-shaped ones, bound by iron hoops, which afterward were generally 
adopted, Ijut rectangular boxes held together and made licjuid tight by 
clamps fastened by keys. 

The object of the foregoing minute descriptions is to put on record 
an accurate account, as is believed, of the methods employed in the early 
days of petroleum production. 

In the summer of i860, when the price of oil was falling, a settlement 
was made in which the Seneca Oil Company surrendered its lease, receiving 


therefor a small part of the Willard farm. George H. Bissell was the 
purchaser, and the price named was $50,000. But, when it is remembered 
that Eveleth & Bissell had bought the \A'illard farm from Brewer, Watson 
& Company for $5,000, while the price named in the deed was $25,000, it 
might be suspected that fiction in this transaction was resorted to. Mr. 
Bissell became a heavy operator in oil property, and doubtless he operated 
with highly lucrative results. But, that he originated the method of boring 
into the rock, which was executed by Drake, the only successful mode for 
obtaining petroleum in quantity, is highly improbable, since such a claim is 
wholly wanting in support from the records of the Pennsylvania Rock Oil 
Company, and those of the Seneca Oil Company, from first to last. The 
credit of discovering Drake's method of producing oil is due to Drake him- 

Of the dozen wells which Mr. Bissell put down on the Willard farm 
only one-half were paying producers. Even at $5 a barrel it would have 
taken a long time for them to earn $50,000. It is probable that the total 
sales of oil produced on the property have not aggregated $25,000. 

The developments for the first few years, after the striking of the 
Drake well, on Oil Creek, between the Willard farm and the Foster farm 
below, as a whole were light. On AVatson Flats the yield of oil has been 
considerable. The wells there, though small, have been numerous. The 
quality of the oil produced there is excellent for refining purposes. During 
the first five years following Drake's discovery, the amount of oil discovered 
within the vicinity of Titusville \yas important. 

In gi\'ing some account of the oil operations of Titusville citizens, it 
will be impossible to name all, and difficult to mention definitely what each 
has accomplished. The aim will be to refer to the work of representative 
operators who have made Titusville their home, and are prominently identi- 
fied with the history of the town. 

The name of Jolni Fertig is first introduced, because Mr. Fertig repre- 
sents all periods of the oil producing business, beginning a few months after 
'Drake's discovery, and continuing actively engaged in the industry every 
year until the present time. A special biography of Mr. Fertig appears in 
this work, but a reference to his oil history is pertinent here, because of his 
work at the very beginning of the industry. His subsequent operations 
have been constant in Crawford, Venango, Butler, Clarion, McKean, War- 


ren and Allegheny counties, this State, and the Allegany district in the State 
of New York. To say nothing of producing companies, in which he has 
been interested, John Fertig has been an oil producer for thirty-nine years 
and, outside of producing companies with which he has been connected, he 
has been engaged as an individual in the drilling of more than two thousand 
wells. Captain A. B. Funk, who afterward became a resident of Titusville, 
in the fall of 1859 came into possession of the upper and lower Mcllheney 
farms, on Oil Creek, seven or eight miles below Titusville. In December, 
1859, Funk executed a lease of several acres on the upper farm for oil pur- 
poses, to John Fertig, David Beatty and Michael Gorman, of Warren County, 
and Dr. John Wilson, of Pleasantville. The next spring the four lessees, 
using a hemlock tree for a spring pole and the "pole tools" — that is, the 
sucker rod connection between the tools and the spring pole — sunk a well on 
their lease on the upper farm, to the depth of two hundred feet, but. finding 
no oil at that depth, they abandoned the well for the time. Captain Funk, 
in the same summer, sunk a well with a spring pole on the lower farm, also 
two hundred feet, witliout finding oil. He decided in the following fall to 
procure an engine and boiler with which to drill the well deeper. At that 
time it took months for purchasing and placing well machinery, which now 
would be done in as many weeks, or perhaps in as many days. In the spring 
following Funk, having obtained the engine and boiler, increased the depth 
of the well two hundred and forty feet, making the total depth four hun- 
dred and forty feet, when he opened a flowing well, the first flowing well 
ever struck. This was in May, 1861. The well flowed one thousand bar- 
rels of oil every twenty-four hours. 

Immediately thereafter Fertig and his associates placed an engine and 
boiler at their well, which they had left as a dry hole, on the upper farm, 
pushing operations until the fourth of July following, when the same depth 
as that of the Funk well, that is, four hundred and forty feet, was reached. 
Mr. Fertig himself had hold of the temper scre\\-. when he felt the drill drop 
into a crevice. The fire under the boiler was immediately extinguished, 
but not a minute too soon, for with a roar the oil shot upward far above the 
derrick. The well started at five hundred barrels a day, and it flowed for 
the next nineteen months. \Mien the well began its production oil was 
selling at Si. 50 a barrel, hut before the close it sold as low as twenty-five 
cents a barrel. This was the second flowing well. The first was called 


"Fountain \\'ell No. i," and the second. "Fountain Well No. 2." The 
latter was about six hundred feet south of the Sherman well, struck in May, 
1862, on the Foster farm. To the northeast was the Noble well, on the 
Farel farm, about six hundred feet. This latter well was opened in 1863. 
These three wells — Fountain No. 2, the Sherman and the Noble — formed 
almost an equilateral triangle, the wells situated respectively at the three 
angles. Both the Noble and the Sherman wells were wonderful producers, 
and their products, especially the oil of the former, sold for a very large 
amount of money. The Sherman well had a long life, and it gave to J. W. 
Sherman, from whom it was named, a resident of Titusville, a fortune. 
Mr. S. S. Fertig, another resident of Titusville, drilled the Noble well, and 
he owned an interest in it. ^Ir. William H. Abbott, another resident of 
Titus\-ille, had a large interest in it. Excepting pe