ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 00859 1759
_ . #i-
-^ C/-« <^//
OF THE FAMILIES OF
EGBERT PATTERSON (the elder),
Emigrant from Ireland to America, 1774;
From Ireland, 1718;
LOUIS DU BOIS,
From France, 1660;
Connected by the Marriage of Uriah Du Bois with Martha Patterson, 1798.
EDITION OF ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY COPIES ; PRINTED FOR THE
USE OF THE FAMILY CONNEXION ONLY.
V/\/ I V U ou wv "^ u) I VN <;a "D V-- ^■- o ( 6
PRESS OF JOHN C. CLARK.
Ci 1131259 '
^ If this little family-book were likely to fall into the hands of
^ strangers, an apologetic preface would be necessary. " Why
should these families be signalized by a printed memoir?" There
J is no reason why they should ; and if due weight were given to the
^ principle which lies beneath this record, many a house would fol-
low the example, and we should be relieved from the singularity.
If it be right to put our household dates in the family Bible ; if it is
no breach of modesty to set up a tombstone ; no act of notoriety to
preserve the miniature and the lock of hair, then we may justify a
larger, more liberal, and more lasting memento of those who, living
or dead, are bound to us by ties which cannot be sundered, and
which ought to be kept firm and bright. But this book is no pub-
lication ; and this makes apology superfluous.
Amongst ourselves, however, it may still be asked what were the
motives which led to this undertaking. I could name so many,
as to make this salutatory of a weary length. It does seem
that a mind of ordinary candour and discernment must perceive
them, either before or after perusal of the book. Let a kind and
generous construction be put upon the whole, and every part; and
especially let me not be charged with a purpose of indulging va-
nity, or casting blame.
My helps have been as good as could be afforded in the case ;
perhaps no one in the connexion was more favourably situated for
procuring the requisite facts and evidences. The truth was
steadily aimed at; to be particular in stating the means by which
it was sought to be attained, would take up too much room.
There is a better test of accuracy.
It is not unusual for writers to extenuate the faults of their per-
formances, on gi-ounds which might have excused their labours
altogether. On my part, I am bound to say, that however dis-
satisfied with what is here offered, I have taken time enough to it,
and have done my best. To have done less, would have given a
wrong estimate of the regard in which I hold my subject, and
those who are expected to be my readers. To them, with the
cordial esteem of a friend and kinsman, I commit this record of
themselves and their progenitors, entreating them, if it be found
worthy, to preserve it for future generations.
WILLIAM EWING DU BOIS.
Philadelphia, November, 1847.
Through the lines of Patterson and Ewing, we partake largely
of the Scotch- Irish blood. The compound has an unmusical ex-
pression ; but its harshness is lost in the contemplation of a race,
who in the struggle for popular rights, were ever forward to take
the people's side ; whose cardinal principle was always the main-
tenance of real religion, and that undefiled ; and out of whose ranks
have stood forth many eminent characters, in affairs of both church
and state. How they came by this epithet, is known to every
body. It was not by the mixture of two opposite races, as might
at first be supposed; but, by a process of decanting from vessel to
vessel, they were first Scotch, then Irish ; and now, many of them,
American. But beyond this mere syllabus, their history is little
known ; and perhaps this ignorance is common, even amongst de-
scendants of the stock. A limited sketch is all that can be offered
in this place.*
The quarrels of James I. with the Roman Catholics in Ireland,
early in his reign, led to a conspiracy against British authority in
that island. Its detection forced the chief conspirators to fly the
country, leaving their estates at the mercy of a monarch, who only
waited a pretext for taking possession. A second insurrection,
limited to the province of Ulster, soon gave occasion for another
* A larger account of the colonization of Ulster, may be seen in the " His-
tory of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland," by Dr. Reid, of Carrickfergus
2 Vols. 1834—37. This book is scarce here.
6 SETTLEMENT OF ULSTER.
large forfeiture, and nearly six entire coiinties, in that district, were
thus subjected to the king's disposal.
But it was a territory which showed the effects of a long series
of lawless disturbances. Almost depopulated, and its resources
wasted, it had yet a few fortified cities, some insulated castles, and
cabins of the natives, too poor to be plundered. Cultivation of
the soil was visible only in some favoured spots, and the face of
the country seemed divided between woods and marshes. The
character of the population is variously represented. On one side,
the palm is awarded to Ulster, at this period, as " the most con-
stant in maintaining its liberty, and in preserving the Catholic re-
ligion;" while on the other, it is aiErmed, that the state of morals
and of society was in keeping with the physical aspect of the
For the improvement of the country, and firmer establishment
of British rule, king James resolved upon a plan of colonization;
and a liberal ofter was made to his subjects in England and Scot-
land, to settle upon the confiscated lands. The grounds having
been previously surveyed, emigration commenced about the year
1610. Of the settlers from England, many were non-conformists.
The arbitrary measures of the king gave them no peace at home,
and they were willing to seek for liberty of conscience in a cold
and unreclaimed Avilderness. But the vicinity of Scotland to the
north of Ireland, and the hardiness and enterprise of the Scotch
people, brought the principal body of emigrants from that king-
dom. A refuge from religious bigotry was not, however, at this
time, the main inducement to emigration. Many adventurers,
who had made shipwreck of fortune, or character, or both, retired
thither to begin the world anew ; and " going to Ireland" became
a bye-word of reproach. Sufferers from losses, or for conscience
sake, too often find themselves summarily classed with the im-
provident and vicious, and " exceedingly filled with the scorning
of those that are at ease."
Of rapid and beneficial revolutions, if our own country be set
aside, we seldom read of a greater, in every aspect, than that
which took place in the province of Ulster. The towns were re-
plenished with inbabitants, the lands were cleared, and houses
erected through the country. In 1618, a surveyor appointed by
tbe crown, reported 8000 settlers, of British liirth and descent.
ECCLESIASTICAL TROUBLES. 7
"capable of bearing arms," and what was better, capable of tilling
the soil.* Within a few years after, the arrival of a number of
Presbyterian ministers from Scotland, such men as Blair, Stewart,
and Livingston, was the means of a general and permanent re-
vival of religion ; a good tone of piety, morality, and social order,
pervaded the community; and thus, within twenty years of its
survey for resettlement, the province wore a new face, and of-
fered to its inhabitants every expectation of happiness and pros-
But it was a day in which the throne of Britain was a tower of
bigotry and despotism. In accordance with the ecclesiastical pre-
ferences of the king, the land was apportioned into bishoprics, and
an unwilling people were subjected to a spiritual lordship. But
the early prelates behaved with moderation; the ministers, on their
part, were wary and scrupulous ; and for some years, the church
government presented an anomalous and brittle mixture of episco-
pacy and presbyterianism. Such a constitution of things could
not last. When Charles I., or rather archbishop Laud, became
the head of the church, the condition of the colonists, in a religious
aspect, was materially altered for the worse, and soon grew per-
plexing, and vexatious. The bishops were imperious, the people
obstinate. We have an indication of the state of feeling, in an
angry annual charge, by one of the prelates, which declared, that
" the laity would hear no prayers at all ; while divine service was
reading, they walked in the church-yard; and when prayer was
ended, they came rushing in, as it were into a play-house, to hear
the sermon. "t
However, the rapid succession of great and stirring events, in
those troubled times, while it retarded the prosperity of the colony,
gave a check also to the consummation of high-church purposes.
The papal rebellion of 1 641 ; the overthrow of the royal despotism ;
* It was about this time that Moses Hill, a gentleman from England, took
a grant of land in county Down, on which was founded the handsome town
of Hillsborough ; in which neighbourhood, as will be seen, our Patterson
t Bishop Leslie, 1G38. — In the year following, a colony started for New
England, but were driven back by adverse weather. Many returned to
Scotland ; and it was a common thing for the Ulster Scots to cross the straits
on communion occasions, and to have their children baptized.
8 JOHN PATTERSON.
the administration of Cromwell; the restoration of Charles II.;
these great movements were felt in Ulster, with various and op-
posite effects. Strangely enough, the entanglements of state policy
were such, that while persecution raged in one part of the united
kingdom, it would be relaxed in another, and Presbyterians could
fly to Ulster, or retreat to Scotland, according to the emergency of
Very soon after the restoration, to which the Presbyterians so
largely and so blindly contributed, the need of an asylum was felt
more urgently than ever. The persecution began in Ulster ; during
1661-3, many ministers were deposed, and forced to retire to
Scotland. But the tide presently changed; Claverhouse and his
dragoons were sent upon the mistaken mission of converting the
Scots to episcopacy, and from 1670 until the death of Charles in
1685, the Presbyterians worshipped in hidden places, and at the
peril of their lives. Worn out by the unequal strife, many of the
people sought a refuge ; there happened to be, at this juncture, a
comparative immunity in the Irish colony, and thither they es-
caped as best they could, some crossing the narrow sea in open
Among the refugees of this era, was our ancestor, John Patter-
son. From what part of Scotland he went, or what was his age
and family, are facts entirely lost to us. The name is common
both in the highlands and the lower counties. It is reasonable to
conjecture, that he was born not far from the year 1640, and took
with him at least two sons. Whether he settled at Londonderry,
is also uncertain; we only know, that there he and his sons were
found, on a memorable occasion, as Avill shortly be related.
The refuge from persecution was not of long continuance. A
year or two before the death of Charles II., the wrath of the
tyrant was revisited upon poor Ulster ; in consequence of Avhich,
in 1684, a project of emigration to America was entertained, though
not carried into effect. One minister, harbinger of many others,
came over about this time, in answer to an appeal from Maryland.
The accession of such a prince as James 11. was an omen of
aggravated troubles. After a few months of respite, the rigours of
religious oppression were renewed ; they fell alike upon church,
and kirk, and meeting-house ; and the question presented itself
for a prompt reply, whether the united kingdom was to fall back
SIEGE OF DERRY. 9
to a state of superstition and despotism. At such a crisis, invol-
ving the fate of civil and religious liberty, and the advance of know-
ledge and civilization, throughout the world, William of Orange
accepted the invitation of British Protestants ; an issue was taken,
which no friend of truth or freedom could shrink from ; emigration,
or retreat, was now out of the question, and especially from Ire-
land ; for on this narrow theatre, it was plainly ordered that the
momentous question should be decided. The war, as to its most
critical part, began with the renowned Siege of Derry ; and, to
have had ancestors on two sides of our house (Patterson and
Ewing) among the besieged, is a sufficient apology for my dwel-
ling, for a page or two, upon that interesting event.
Derry, or Londonderry, is one of the principal ports, and the
most northern city, of Ireland. In the settlement of Ulster, this
town, with the county in which it is situated, was taken up by the
corporation of London, and thereafter it was called London-derry.
James II. had nearly secured to himself the whole of Ireland ; Wil-
liam was in England, and not in a condition to render speedy aid
to the Ulster Protestants ; and a detachment of James's army ap-
proached Londonderry, to garrison and secure that important post.
The magistrates and principal citizens of the place, unresolved
what to do, had nearly admitted this force within the walls, when
a party of apprentice boys, supported by the main body of the
people, boldly closed the gates in the very faces of the soldiers.
By this decided movement the town was thrown upon its de-
fence. Its reduction was of the utmost consequence, and the en-
ergy of the Irish army was bestowed upon the task. Week after
week, the men of Derry, sustained by hope or desperation, valiant-
ly repelled the besiegers. A tardy reinforcement from England
appeared in the bay, but timid apprehension kept the fleet at a dis-
tance ; and the brave townsmen were cruelly left to the continued
and accumulated devastations of battle, and disease, and famine.
In this dire extremity, their stores exhausted, and supplies with-
held, they were forced to feed on loathsome vermin, and to seek
sustenance from the very grass ; and John Patterson must have
realized how little he had gained by flight from his native land,
when, in addition to his own sufferings, he found the lifeless body
of a son, whose mouth filled with weeds, gave proof of his having
10 FIRST ROBERT PATTERSON.
undergone the most terrible of deaths.* The father, and another
son (we are not informed as to any others), survived this siege and
famine. But the vivid impressions of youth were carried down to
the grave; in the course of a long life after, Robert Patterson was
nervously timid of the least waste of food; and when an old man,
Avould take his grandchild, a namesake, on his knee, and instamp
upon his boyish memory the dreadful details of the Siege of Derry.
But to return; after the siege had continued fifteen weeks, Gen.
Kirk, ashamed or tired of so long delay, advanced to the rescue.
The fleet came up the river; an iron chain, or a Avooden raft, had
been thrown across to obstruct the passage of the ships. Aided
by a fair wind, the largest vessel was driven against the boom, to
break a way through. The experiment was witnessed by thou-
sands of anxious spectators on the tops of the houses. The effort
failed ; the ship rebounded, and by the force of the concussion was
driven aground. The besieged gave up all for lost. But a dis-
charge of the ship's artillery, in return for the fire from the ene-
my's fort, had the effect to set her immediately afloat again ; ano-
ther vigorous push was made ; the boom gave way ; the fleet passed
amidst shouts of victory up to the quays, and on the same day,
the last day of July, 1689, the Irish army abandoned the siege in a
precipitate retreat.t The deliverance of Derry was as momentous
to the nation as it was to the city. A Protestant army was after-
wards landed in Ulster ; about a year after the raising of the siege,
the decisive battle of Boyne-water (in which one of our ancestors
distinguished himself, as will be stated under the Ewing head) over-
threw the power of James, and established a Protestant prince and
Robert Patterson, Avho must have been an ungrown lad in the
* Robert Patterson (fifth) has given me anotlier incident, since the above
was written. To arrest the hungry clamours of the children, when starvation
was at its height, Mrs. Patterson would mix a few peas with a large quantity
of ashes; and in the eager but tedious employment of the little ones, to hunt
out the grains, the ingenious mother found the respite she aimed at.
t Grahame's Siege of Derry has been lately reprinted in this city. The
subject has also afforded to "Charlotte Elizabeth " a theme for one of her
popular stories. A society of descendants of the defenders of Derry, have
an annual celebration of the event, to this day, in Dublin. The ancients
starved, that they might dine.
SECOND ROBERT PATTERSON. 11
time of the siege, lived to a good old age; I can say nothing more
of him, except that he had a son, called after himself. This second
Robert was born, as near as we can jndge, about 1705. Marrying
betimes a young woman whose first name Avas Jane, (her last is
most likely irrecoverable,) he settled upon a leasehold farm near
Hillsborough, in county Down, about fourteen miles south-west of
Belfast; and raised a family of ten children. We may now begin
to be somewhat more minute ; although, as to a part of the family,
our information is almost limited to a list of names. Four of
them never left Ireland. The rest became Americans ; the occa-
sion will appear, as we enlarge upon the fourth child, the pioneer
of the emigration.
Of Robert the second (we are obliged to number them royally,
to avoid confusion) the common ancestor of many names to appear
in this book, we should like to have a more particular account than
is now attainable. A single anecdote of him, proving several in-
teresting facts and characteristics, must here be related.
It may be somewhat in point to premise, that about the time of
the birth of his fourth child (Robert) he made a change in church re-
lationship, without changing any thing of religious faith or practice.
The famous secession from the kirk of Scotland, of which Ralph Ers-
kine was the leader, soon extended its principles and organization to
the Presbyterians in Ireland. Without stopping to state what those
principles were, we infer from them that the seceding church inclu-
ded many of the most pious, and all of those who were unfriendly
to a state religion. Among them was our Robert Patterson ; his
American children, no longer Seceders wliere there is no ground of
secession, may be satisfied with the ground he took. The undue
rigidity of the sect (for they could hardly commune with other
Presbyterians, still less with other Christians,) is chargeable upon
the times, and perhaps upon Caledonian blood.
The incident just alluded to, was this. Every land-holder, no
matter what was his religious connexion, was liable to be elected to
the office of churchwarden, to serve in the Episcopal church ; his
alternative Avas to pay a penalty of five pounds ; and it was not
uncommon to select a Presbyterian, or (still better game) a stiff Se-
ceder ; not so much to obtain his services, as to get his money. To
this unwelcome honour, or dilemma, Mr. Patterson was chosen.
His own place and mode of worship were as dear as life to him ;
12 SECOND ROBERT PATTERSON.
but, on the other hand, the fine of five pounds (equal to twenty-fijur
dollars), was more than he could spare. We derive from this an
incidental proof that our ancestor, though a respectable man, was
in straitened circumstances. But native shrewdness is a good
committee of ways and means. The principal Sabbath-day's duty
of a church-warden, was to take up the collection ; and this was
to be attended to at an early stage of divine service. The Seceder
(to whom a liturgy was a dreadful thing) tarried somewhere about
the church door, waiting for the nick of time; then walked for-
ward, took the long-handled purse, and plied it up and down the
aisles in most churchman-like order ; returned the staff to its ca-
nonical place ; and then, very quietly, but very expeditiously, made
off for his own meeting-house, in time for an orthodox sermon ;
his oflfice fulfilled, his conscience pacified, and five pounds saved.
We can say no more of Robert, and his wife Jane, until we
have crossed over to the new world ; for hither they came in their
last days, and here they ended their lives. Their children come
now to be noticed in order.
I. William grew up, but died young, and unmarried. I could
wish some larger remnant of him had been handed down, than a
dying charge to his brothers — "not to follow his example in join-
ing the Freemasons."
II. Isaac has American descendants. His six children were
Robert, William, Martha, Jane, Ann, and Elizabeth. William
came over with his family in the summer of 1827, and settled in
Philadelphia. He also had six children; Isaac, John, Robert,
Martha Jane, William and Joseph. Isaac died while studying
divinity, in this city. Robert also died here, early in 1847. Mar-
tha Jane is the wife of William Frazier, also in Philadelphia.
William is a minister of the gospel, and has been settled for a
number of years, in the Presbyterian church of Poundridge, N. J.
Joseph was formerly an assistant in classical instruction, in Doyles-
town Academy, afterwards in Mr. Engles's Seminary, in Phila-
delphia; he is now a salesman or clerk in the mercantile house of
Mr. James Dunlap, in the same city.
III. John had four children ; Isaac, John, Rosanna and Jane.
Of this moderate list we have no particulars.
V. We place Jane a little out of order, to keep together the four
wliu did not emigrate. She was tlie wife of Robert Giljsou, and
THIRD ROBERT PATTERSON. 13
had four children ; Isaac, Robert, Elizabeth and Ann. Jane died
in 1833, in her ninetieth year, and was a pious exemplary person.
I know nothing to the contrary of the others ; it is likely the good
effects of religious training were visible in them.
IV. Robert Patterson, third of the name, was born May 30,
1743, on the farm near Hillsborough, in the province of Ulster.
In common with the other children, he enjoyed a careful indoctri-
nation in the truths of Christianity : but it would seem he was
distinguished by a very early inclination of heart towards those
truths. If a younger brother (Joseph) could date his first saving
impressions at the age of ten years, Robert, on his part, could
never remember the time, when he did not prefer the exercises of
public and private worship, to the things which usually attract,
and often mislead, young children. Nor, was it merely a child's
religion, put off in riper years — it grew with his growth ; we shall
presently find it sustaining him in the vicious atmosphere of a
military camp ; and we shall mark its governing influence in a
distant region, away from home and friends ; in a larger sphere of
life ; and down to the last hour of a long career.
Besides this characteristic, another, very strongly developed,
was a fondness for study. The pursuit of knowledge, especially
in the line of mathematical science, was his passion. But when
he had so far overtaken his teacher, as to be able to give him in-
structions, he sighed for larger facilities ; and at home they could
not be afforded.
Just at this time (he was now sixteen years old) an offer of
better tuition came to him, in a very singular form. The British
and French had, for years, been warring in America; but the war
was to be brought nearer home; and in 1759, a naval and military
armament, under Admiral Thurot, made a descent upon the north-
ern coast of Ireland. In anticipation of this movement, levies of
troops were made throughout Ulster. Hillsborough was one of
the recruiting stations ; the sergeant fell in with young Robert ;
and having learned his most assailable point, assured him that
there was to be special provision, in the army, for instruction in
the higher branches of mathematics. On the strength of this pro-
mise, too credulously entertained, aided unquestionably by a pa-
triotic sentiment, Robert enlisted himself, and became a soldier
while yet a boy. It is needless to say, that he heard no more of
14 ROBERT PATTERSON.
mathematics, during his term of service. This probably did not
much exceed a year, as the enhstment was for the special occa-
sion, and Thurot's expedition was begun and concluded within
that space. But the tour of military duty, in spite of its snares
and disadvantages, was not wholly lost time. He was, it is true,
thrown in the worst company, and was witness to such depths of
wickedness (so he has declared,) as had not entered into his ima-
gination. But it served rather to bring out his integrity and ener-
gy of character. Not only did he withstand the ridicule, heaped
upon his devotions and religious scruples, but if any one of them
were taken dangerously ill, he would attend at their bed-side with
prayers and Christian counsel; and, indeed, it is doubtful whether
there was any one but "civil Bob," who Avas competent and
willing to perform this sacred duty. The writer laments the
scantiness of his materials : some incidents of the life of such a
youth, at such a time, would have been interesting. We have but
a specimen in the above, and in another anecdote, that being de-
tailed to stand sentinel in the theatre at Belfast, (a theatre is hardly
complete without police or sentry,) he stood at his post, in view
of the stage, without once turning his eye upon the performance ;
regarding it as a temptation which he was bound to resist.
But his acquiring a knowledge of the drill and tactics, (in which
he was so ready, as to obtain the rank of sergeant, besides an offer
of promotion if he would enter the regular army,) Avas a direct
advantage, which he was enable to turn to good account, in ano-
ther and more interesting campaign.
We know nothing of the employments of the next seven or eight
years of his life. At the age of twenty-five, he determined to emi-
grate to the American colonies. Besides the hope of bettering his
own fortune, it is most likely, his object was "to spy out the land"
for other members of the family. His native force of character
fitted him for this enterprise ; but, without doubt, his main reliance
was upon the guidance of that Divine Being, with whom he took
constant counsel. As to his pecuniary resources, we have suffi-
cient intimation in the fact, that on the voyage, he shared his last
guinea with a fellow passenger. So that, whatever circumstances
of greatness may have attended hither the ancestry of other men,
it is certain that my grandfather came ashore an unknown youth,
without a coin in his pocket. Whether this should turn to our
ROBERT PATTERSON. 15
mortification, cannot fairly be affirmed, until the story is completed.
At present, it is enough to say, that a blank sheet is a convenient
starting-place, from which to estimate future progress, upward or
He arrived at Pliiladelphia, in October, 1768, and was kindly
received by some members of the same religious communion. A
wealthy merchant, named Stewart, was particularly interested in
him ; and it is presumed, that this was the individual who "offered
him the loan of a sum of money sufficient to establish him in mer-
cantile business."* But Mr. Patterson rightly judged, that he
had a surer capital in his capacity for teaching. He staid but one
week in Philadelphia, and then set out for Bucks County, on foot,
in the prospect of obtaining a school. The pedestrian, no doubt,
followed the course of the Easton road; it is interesting to contem-
plate him, crossing the Neshaminy creek and its little tributary,
and trudging over the hill whose house or two gave but poor pro-
mise of a handsome county-town ; little imagining that he passed
the future settlements of his own children.
His first school was in a Seceder neighbourhood, about thirty-
two miles north of Philadelphia, between Hinkletown and the
river. After a short stay, he removed to another, probably more
favourable, location, in the same county, the Low-dutch settle-
ment in Northampton township, near Newtown. Here he was a
boarder in the family of the pastor. Dominie Jonathan Du Bois,
of whom we have some account to give in another place. Among
his pupils were daughters of Judge Wynkoop ; who could remem-
ber, after they had become grandmothers, Avhat a singular talent
he had for enlisting the attention of the children, and inducing
them to take a pleasure in their studies.
A still better opening soon offered. The calculation of longi-
tudes from lunar observations was engaging the attention of our
navigators. Mr. Patterson was competent to give instruction in
this department of mathematics. Removing to Philadelphia, he
opened a school, and soon numbered among his scholars the most
eminent commanders sailing from that port.
■* From an Obituary Notice of Dr. Patterson, prefixed to Vol. II. New Se-
ries, of American Philosophical Society's Transactions, written by Chief
1& ROBERT PATTERSON.
We cannot doubt, that by this time he was giving favourable
accounts of the new country to the relatives whom he had left be-
hind. His representations were variously received. Isaac, John,
and Mrs. Gibson, Avere either well enough suited already, or un-
willing to assume the risk. William was deceased. The rest of
the children, with the parents, determined to bid farewell to Ire-
It is impossible now to ascertain how far they were influenced
by a remarkable turn of affairs, which happened in their neigh-
bourhood at this time, and which it is worth while to explain. It
is well known that the land in Britain and Ireland is owned by a
small number of proprietors, by whom it is rented to the labouring
classes, on leases for a life-time, or a long term of years. In
1771, the leases of an estate in the county of Antrim, the property
of the Marquis of Donegal, having expired, the rents and fees
were so much advanced, that most of the tenants could not comply
with the demands, and were thus deprived of their farms, and all
the improvements they had put upon them. An organized rebel-
lion was the consequence; and the "Hearts of Steel" were strong
enough to rescue one of their number from imprisonment. The
insurrection was local and temporary, but its effects were felt in
the adjoining counties, in stirring up a spirit of resentment towards
lordly oppression, and causing an immediate and prodigious emi-
gration to America. From 1771 to 1773, there sailed from the
three northern ports of Ireland, eighty-eight vessels, carrying, as
was estimated, as many as 25,000 passengers. They were all
Protestants, and mostly farmers and manufacturers ; and convert-
ing their property into specie, caused such an absti-action of
wealth, as well as industry, as pi'oduced a serious injury to the
country. And what was of still more moment to the whole na-
tion, leaving it in such a temper, they became (as is forcibly stated
in the authorities from which this account is taken) a powerful
contribution to the cause of liberty, and to the separation of the
colonies from the mother country.*
* History of Belfast, 1823. The account is there taken from tlie Gentle-
man's Magazine, and Freeman's Journal. This was the sr.cond great emigra-
tion from Ireland ; Ihejirst, which brought over our Ewing ancestor, ranged
from about !7IS to 1730; and is hereafter to be spoken of. However, there
was a gentle current westward, between these two eras. It is gratifying to
find all our people safely in America, before 1770.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 17
The members of the Patterson family who arrived at Philadel-
phia, were first, Joseph, with his wife, who came in the spring
of 1773 ; and next year the parents, and four other children ;
Martha, Elizabeth, Agnes, and Hugh. The parents, with their
younger children, settled near Milestown, about seven miles north
of the city, and resided there until Mr. Patterson's death, which took
place about the year 1778, when he was over seventy years of age.
The Avidow was then taken into the family of her son Robert, and
lived about three years longer. The remains of the former lie
buried in Abington church-yard ; those of the latter, in the ground
of a small church in Shippen street, Philadelphia. We dispose of
these facts somewhat in advance of our story.
If there are moments, when the most enthusiastic instructor of
youth gets tired of his profession, it was probably at such a time
that Robert Patterson took advice, as to the change of his employ-
ment. He was now twenty-nine years old, and had accumulated
some five hundred pounds in money. The counsel given, and taken,
was to invest his means in merchandise, and open a country store.
The place selected was Bridgetown (modernized into Bridgeton) the
county seat of Cumberland, N. J. The location was important,
in a genealogical point of view ; for if it did not make his fortune,
it determined him in the choice of a wife. Behold him, then, in
1772, a Jerseyman, and acting the country store-keeper. So illy
acted a part was seldom seen on the stage of life. To keep a day-
book and ledger, gave some play for a mathematical mind ; but to
be exposed to the intrusion of customers, to break away from an
absorbing theorem to draw molasses or measure tape, was such
a drudgery as his spirit could scarcely brook.
However, he had other susceptibilities, besides those for figures.
It is told of him, that he was apt to fall in love ; and even at the
prudent age of thirty, became involved in a " cross-action," which
it can be no harm to recal, for the entertainment of his own grand-
children. An interesting, pretty-looking, and very young lady,
Miss R. F., resided within visiting distance. Mr. P. was pleased,
became very attentive, and might have supposed himself in love,
had he not afterwards fallen in company with another young lady,
living at Greenwich (seven miles from Bridgeton), whose attractions
were more to his mind. The discovery was embarrassing ; but
a sense of honour directed his proposals. Miss F. professed her-
18 ROBERT PATTERSON.
self too young for him; the objection was perhaps coquettish, though
well founded; Mr. P. felt himself not bound to add entreaty to his
offer, but rather commended her discretion ; and the diplomacy
on both sides was at an end.* He was now at liberty to pursue
the acquaintance with the other lady, whom we may more fully in-
troduce as Miss Amy H. Ewing, who was then of the age of twenty-
two, and amongst other good qualities was amiable and pious, en-
gaging in person and manners, intelligent, and of respectable con-
nexion. But the course of such affairs never yet ran smooth.
There was a rival for Mr. Patterson, and a choice of suitors for
Miss Ewing ; and again the legion, whose names are in this book,
stood in jeopardy of their existence. Between an adventuring
foreigner, and a substantial young farmer, bred in the neighbour-
hood, and in the mother's judgment the better choice, prudence
might have claimed an easy settlement of the question. But taste
has loud pretensions at such a crisis ; there was also, no doubt, a
foresight of the fruits of native talent; the choice was ventured;
and our book rejoices in the united names of Patterson and Ewing.
In the interval between engagement and marriage, an entire turn
was given to Mr. Patterson's affairs. An imprisonment of two
years behind a counter, sharpened his hearing for the intelligence
that candidates were wanted for the place of principal of the Wil-
mington Academy. It was a tempting opportunity to return to his
favourite pursuit, and improve his prospects. A single obstacle in-
tervened ; the conditions exacted a qualification to teach the Latin
language, into which he had not yet taken a look. But he knew
his own capabilities, and could keep his own secret. The applica-
tion was successful; and early in 1774, we find him in another
town, and colony, teaching all that he knew before, and Latin into
the bargain ; perhaps as good an instructor in the language, by keep-
ing just ahead of his class, as if he had spent his days with Cicero.
On the 9th of May, 1774, he was united in marriage with the
young lady last mentioned. She of course took iip her residence
with him in Wilmington. There, in the month of March following,
their first child was born, and there, in less than a year from that
* The young lady remained single until she was past forty. She is still
living, a venerable widow of about ninety years.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 19
date, it was consigned to the grave. But the youthful wife and
mother had soon other anxieties to arrest and absorb her atten-
" About the time that Mr. Patterson took charge of the Academy
at Wilmington," (I quote from the obituary already mentioned)
" the differences between Great Britain and her colonies were
hastening to a crisis. The first congress, assembled at Philadel-
phia in the autumn of 1774, gave intimation to the people that it
would be prudent to prepare for the event ; and immediately after
the battle of Lexington, in April, 1775, the whole country by an
unanimous impulse, formed itself into associations for the purpose
of learning the military exercise. So ignorant were they of every
thing like military art, that every person who could perform the
common manual exercise, became a man of consequence, and was
looked up to by his neighbours. Then it was that Mr. Patterson
reaped the fruits of his youthful labours in Ireland. Ardently de-
voted to the cause of the colonies, he tendered his services as a
military instructor. Three companies were put under his direc-
tion, whom he attended before sunrise in the morning, and after the
dismissal of the school in the afternoon. As soon as the militia of
Delaware were organized, he received the commission of adjutant
in the regiment of Col. M'Kinley. Soon after the Declaration of
Independence, many students in the Academy were called home,
and the duties of the teachers were suspended. Under these cir-
cumstances, Mr. Patterson determined to share the fate of the
country." He returned to Greenwich with his wife, and after a
hasty medical education, took his place by the side of his brother-
in-law. Dr. Thomas Ewing, as assistant surgeon in the army. At
occasional intervals he was at home, but generally, from 1776 until
the evacuation by the enemy, of Philadelphia and New Jersey, in
1778, he was on military duty; being attached to the brigade of
Gen. Newcombe, first in the medical department, afterwards as
brigade major. A journal which he kept while in the army is un-
fortunately missing, and we are left without the particulars of his
tour of duty. We take a just pride in his patriotism, and his mar-
tial spirit in a righteous cause : but if a man is estimable in other
respects, his military virtues may be the less largely dwelt upon.
After nearly three years spent in the army, the gloomiest years
of the revolution, we find Mr. Patterson at the quiet business of
20 ROBERT PATTERSON.
farming, on a small place which he had purchased, in a retired part
of Cumberland county, near Rhoadstown.*
Daily observation proves, that a man may possess abilities, with-
out ever meeting an occasion to call them forth. Mr. P. might
have lived and died in this place and occupation, if his sheep had
not one day wandered off, and his lonesome wife had not borrowed
a city newspaper, to beguile the tedious hours of his absence.
Mr. P. came home disconsolate, after a long and weary search;
the sheep could not be found. But his true helpmate thought she
had discovered something better. The Trustees of the University
at Philadelphia had advertised for an instructor of mathematics ;
she advised him to make application for the place. Not rtiuch
urging was necessary. Mr. Patterson repaired directly to the
city, and had an interview with the provost, Rev. Dr. John Ewing.t
He met with a kind reception, and was encouraged to apply for
the Professorship. It was one of the most important movements
of his life. He received the appointment ; entered upon its duties
in December, 1779, J and therein continued, as we shall see, for thir-
ty-five years ensuing. The writer of his obituary, a disinterested
and competent witness, states that " during this long period he per-
formed his official duty with great integrity, industry, and ability."
We also know from other testimony, that he was fond of imparting
instruction, happy in his methods, and successful in gaining the
attention and esteem of the pupils.
Soon after his removal to the city, he was chosen an elder in
the Seceder's church (now "Scots' Presbyterian") in Spruce street ;
in which fact we find a pleasing testimony to his standing as a re-
ligious man. The duties of this post he of course continued to ex-
ercise, during the residue of a long life.
We now find him advancing by sufficiently rapid progress, into
public life. But elevated post is so often the fruit of restless im-
portunity, and withal so indifferently filled, that it is well to suspend
* His house was one of two, or three, which made up the village of Carltown.
The maps have slighted it; but I must honour my mother's birth-place.
t Of remote relation to our Ewings. He was himself just elevated to that
post, the college having been re-organized in 1779. He was a man of emi-
nent abilities both as a teacher and preacher. He died in 1802.
j But did not remove his family to the city till about the 1st March, 1780.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 21
admiration until we know all the circumstances. It is gratifying to
be able here to quote again the memoir by Judge Tilghman.
" Arduous as were his duties in the University, he found time
for other useful employments. Being highly esteemed by his fel-
low-citizens, he was elected a member of the Select Council of
Philadelphia, of which he was chosen President in 1799. In the
year 1805, he received from President Jejfferson, with whom he
had been in habits of friendship, the unsolicited appointment of
Director of the Mint. This office he filled with great reputation,
until his last illness, when he resigned."
The letter of the President (the original of which is before me)
was as follows :
" Washington, Apr. 27, '05.
Dear Sir,^ — I have learnt indirectly that mr. Boudinot will
shortly resign the office of Director of the Mint. In that event I
should feel very happy in confiding the public interests in that
place to you. Will you give me leave to send you the commis-
sion in the event of Mr. B.'s resignation ? I pray you to consider
this as confidential, as what you write me shall be. Accept my
P. S. I should be sorry to withdraw you from the college ; nor
do I conceive that this office need do it. Its duties will easily
admit your devoting the ordinary college hours to that institution ;
indeed it is so possible that the Mint may sometime or other be
discontinued, that I could not advise a permanent living to be given
up for it."
Endorsed, " Mr. Robert Patterson, College, Philadelphia."
" That he should be a Fellow of the American Philosophical
Society was a matter of course. He was elected in 1783, and
remained an active, zealous, and useful member to the time of his
death. He was chosen Secretary in 1784, Vice-President in 1799,
and ultimately in 1819 raised to the chair which had been fiUed
by Franklin, Rittenhouse, Jefferson, and Wistar."
Why he should be " as a matter of course," member of a
Society which is distinguished in both hemispheres, will not evi-
dently appear, unless we add, that he was of a philosophical turn
of mind ; eager in the pursuit of every kind of knowledge ; greatly
interested in new discoveries, inventions, and theories, and in the
progress of mechanic arts. If a scientific work came into his
22 ROBERT PATTERSON.
hands, which promised to be interesting, but was in an unknown
tongue, he would set to work upon it with grammar and dictionary.
With this sort of enthusiasm in the cause of science, his being a
member, and eventually president, of the American Philosophical
Society, was not a matter of compliment, or of routine, but a
result of real fitness and qualification.
The honorary degree of LL.D,, conferred on him in 1816, by
the University of Pennsylvania, gave occasion for the title of
" Doctor," by which he was familiarly known.
Some details of a personal and domestic nature, must conclude
As to his bodily frame, he was of middling height, strongly
built, and of a venerable and dignified appearance. There are
several good portraits of him. His deportment, in early and mid-
dle life, Avas cheerful and even animated ; in latter days, more re-
served, and absent. In conversation, he was ready, and often
witty, but not abundant. In dress, he was not disposed to change
with the fashion. He always recurs to our boyish remembrance,
as a gentleman of the old style, in snuff'-coloured coat and small-
clothes, and white-top boots.
He took a lively interest in national politics, as it was almost
incumbent upon every man to do, in the forming age of our re-
public. An enthusiast in the cause of political liberty, he re-
joiced, Avith the rest of his party, in the persuasion that revolu-
tionary France was following the lead of America; until the tri-
umph of anarchy and atheism, and particularly the abrogation of
the Sabbath, dispelled all such expectations. And upon a calm
review, we cannot doubt that he discovered, in other instances
of political aff'airs, a want of moderation and impartial judgment,
chargeable to a disposition naturally sensitive and irritable.
His humanity, modesty, and religious consistency, three con-
spicuous traits, may be illustrated by a few incidents.
* I must, in a note, append a pleasing instance of his patriotism, casually
met with in a newspaper of 1812. A number of citizens, exempted by age
from military duty, mustered themselves, for contingent defences, in the
war then just declared. The committee to take names in Middle Ward,
were Robert Patterson and Thomas Leiper. The former was then in his
ROBERT PATTERSON. 23
1. Disgusted with the oppressions of the old world, he liked
no better the slavery of the new. While Philadelphia was yet
the seat of government, a Senator from the South, a republican
nobleman, took an elegant residence in Fourth street, directly op-
posite to Mr. Patterson's house. Just before the close of the ses-
sion of Congress, his five slaves decamped, in a body; and the
most diligent search could not discover their retreat. Neverthe-
less, they were almost within call; some negro families, in an
alley just across the way, had them secreted and provided for.
The fact came to Mr. P.'s knowledge, and he took a good deal of
interest in having them scattered, and put out of reach. One of
them was sent to my father, at Deep Run. There were other in-
stances in which Mr. P., as a member of a charitable society for
that purpose, relieved fugitive slaves, and re-captured Africans.
But I must leave to tradition the stories of the ship Ganges, and
the flight of the Maryland girl ;* and only add, that he died before
the spirit of anti-slavery had assumed its disorganizing form, and
that, in the present and technical sense, we may be sure he was
not an abolitionist.
The law of kindness is apt to show its workings in little things.
The poorer class of hucksters, who sit at the corners with the
smallest imaginable stock in trade, were observed with compas-
sion (perhaps sometimes misplaced), in his daily walks. To one
of them, stationed near his house in Cherry street, he used to send
a dish of soup from his dinner-table ; an apple-woman, at one of
the corners of Market street, was bought out, day after day ; and
a comfortless seat of two bricks, was superseded by a wooden
stool. We mention these minutiae, simply because they are such.
It is one thing to give alms ; it is something more to consider the
2. His indifference, or rather repugnance, to public distinction,
was an undoubted and marked characteristic. It is a rule in the
Philosophical Society, that when its presiding officer dies, a public
eulogium shall be pronounced by a member designated to that
duty ; and the discourse is usually printed and circulated. Un-
* I thought this would hardly be complete as a family book, without men-
tion of Caroline and Patience.
24 ROBERT PATTERSON.
Avilling to accept the presidency on any terms, he consented only
upon condition that in his case, the eulogy should be omitted.
The engagement seems to have been understood in a Hibernian
sense ; good faith was kept during his life-time, but very soon after
his decease, a delicate evasion of the agreement appeared in an
extended " Obituary Notice," written by his successor, and pub-
lished in a volume of the Society's Transactions. It is said
that he seemed purposely to avoid the mention of his own his-
tory ; and the suspicion may be entertained, that his military
journal was put out of the Avay, lest it might be turned into ma-
terial by some one who Avould " attempt his life." The modest
purpose has been secured. Many an instructive and entertaining
memoir, and of good size too, has been constructed from materials
not more rich and various than his story would have afforded.
The third incident or illustration promised, was to show his
Christian consistency and firmness. The celebrated Dr. Wistar,
his predecessor as President of the Society just spoken of, was
accustomed to invite to his house, on a stated evening every week,
some of the more eminent literary and scientific characters, both
of the city and from abroad. The party was unostentatious, so-
cial, and highly intellectual ; it was such a recreation as Dr. Pat-
terson would naturally have chosen ; and yet it was observed, that
he did not respond to the invitations. After a time, the polite host
ventured to inquire the reason. It was frankly given. The parties
assembled on Sunday evening ; a time consecrated, in his belief,
to religious devotion, as a part of the Christian Sabbath. The re-
sult was one worthy of Dr. Wistar's courtesy, and a proof of
the estimation in which his friend was held ; namely, an imme-
diate and permanent change of the evening party from Sunday to
But the politeness of the one, is not more observable than the
firmness of the other, in standing up, alone, to maintain what was
then an unpopular, at least an unphilosophical, restriction in morals ;
in our own day apparently more respected.*
* After Dr. Wistar's death (1818.) a number of gentlemen united in an
association for maintaining the " Wistar Party," which assembly has been
kept up ever since ; though on a different scale from that of the founder.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 25
Though Dr. Patterson was of a robust constitution, he was not
exempted from some serious inroads of disease. A constitutional
malady, with him, was an agonizing cramp-colic ; in the paroxysms
of which he would roll on the floor, and only find relief in faint-
ing. On two occasions he was on the brink of the grave, and
those in comparatively early life. The first of these attacks was
from a typhus fever, Avhich occurred soon after his son Robert
was born (1787) ; in this he lay a long time, not expected to sur-
vive. The other happened six years after; but on account of its
attendant circumstances, investing it with a peculiar interest, we
shall venture a detailed account. (Our genealogical tree should
bear the intertwining of some episodes.)
In the summer of 1793, the two eldest girls, Mary and Martha,
had gone to pay a visit to their uncle Ewing, at Trenton ; not
knowing that they were taken away from the evil to come. The
rest of the family were in the city ; two parents, four children ;
these latter from three to eleven years old. They were living in
Fourth street below Spruce, in those times pretty far westward
from the river. It was a strangely oppressive summer ; a long
drought was attended by a stagnant, breathless atmosphere, under
which labourers gave out, even when the thermometer was no
higher than 84 degrees.
About the middle of August, three of the principal physicians,
coming out of a sick chamber in Water street, where they had
been in consultation, found upon interchange of remark, each as to
his own practice, that an unusual and malignant fever must be in
" Mrs. Wistar informed tlie writer, that in 1811, Saturday night was substi-
tuted for the Sunday evening assemblies. Invitations were then more fre-
quently and freely given, and the refreshments, though always simple, be-
came uniform. The Sunday parties were regaled xvith cakes and wine. To
these were added, for the Saturday meetings, raisins and almonds, varied by
domestic fruits and ice-creams. A table was seldom spread. The number
of guests varied from ten to fifty, but usually between fifteen and twenty-
five." (From a pamphlet " Sketch of the Wistar Party," 184G.) Tempera
niutantur. Crowded saloons, elegant entertainments ; company not rigidly
scientific, though polite and dignified; rooms full by nine ; supper at ten ;
then a speedy and general exeunt. The parties are given every Saturday
evening through the winter.
26 ROBERT PATTERSON.
the town. Further investigation discovered one of the wharves,
and the adjoining dock, between Arch and Race streets, to be in
the foulest condition from a deposit of coffee in a putrifying state.
Later in the same month, the fact, in spite of all unbelief, conten-
tion, and ridicule, was fully established ; and announced by the
proper authorities. From that time, for many Aveeks, the city
was in such a condition, as has made '93 a most memorable year
in its history. We have dwelt upon the distresses of the Siege of
Derry ; that was a falling into the hands of man, this into the
hands of God ; and we cannot say the choice was with the latter.
" The disease (says Dr. Rush*) which was at first confined to
Water street, soon spread through the whole city. After the 15th
September, the atmosphere of every street in the city was charged
with miasmata ; and there were few citizens, in apparent good
health, who did not exhibit the marks of their presence.
From that date, the disease spared no rank of citizens. Whole
families were confined by it. There was a deficiency of nurses
and physicians ; at one time, only three of the latter were able to
do business out of their houses, and at this time there were pro-
bably 6000 persons ill with the fever.
During the first three or four weeks, I seldom went into a
house without meeting the parents or children in tears. Many
wept aloud, in my entry or parlour, who came to ask for advice
for their relations. Grief after awhile descended below weeping,
and I observed that many submitted to the loss of friends without
a tear. A cheerful countenance was scarcely to be seen. I re-
collect, on entering the house of a poor man, I was strangely af-
fected by the sight of a child of two years old, that smiled in my
face. The father and mother of the little creature died, a few days
after. I was equally surprised, about the first of October, in seeing
a man busily employed laying in wood for the approaching winter.
I should as soon have thought of making provision for a dinner in
The streets every where discovered marks of the distress that
pervaded the city. More than one-half the houses were shut up,
although not more than one-third the inhabitants had fled into the
country. Few persons were met, except such as Avere in quest
of a physician, a nurse, or the men who buried the dead. The
hearse alone kept up the remembrance of the noise of carriages.
* "Medical Inquiries" of Dr. Benjamin Rush, Phil. 1805; in which is
contained a minute, interesting, and of" course authentic account, of the
ravages of the Yellow Fever. (Vols. HI &.1V.) Our extracts are condensed,
and not in the order of the original; there was a necessity of taking this
liberty. The words are his own.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 21
A black man, leading or driving a horse, with a corpse on a pair of
chair-wheels, met the eye at every hour of the day, while the noise
of the same wheels, passing slowly over the pavements, kept alive
anguish and fear in the sick and well, every hour of the night.
It was some alleviation of the distress, to observe the effects of
this mortal epidemic upon the obligations of morality and religion.
It was remarked by many, that the name of the Supreme Being
was seldom profaned, either in the streets, or in the intercourse of
citizens. Although many hundreds of houses were exposed to
plunder, but two trifling robberies occurred in nearly two months.
Many of the religious societies met two or three times a week,
and some of them every evening, to implore the interposition of
Heaven. Humanity and charity kept pace with devotion ; and it
was my lot to witness the uncommon activity of those virtues.
Necessity gave rise to an undisciplined set of practitioners, cler-
gymen, apothecaries, and many others, who came forward to sup-
ply the places of physicians who were sick or dead.
As for my own state of body and mind; from constant exposure,
my body became highly impregnated with miasmata. My eyes
were yellow, my pulse quick, and I had profuse sweats every
night, so offensive as to oblige me to draw the bed-clothes close to
my neck. But I went to bed in conformity to habit only, for it
ceased to afford me refreshment. When it was evening, 1 wished
for morning ; and when it was morning, the prospect of the la-
bours of the day caused me to Avish for the return of evening.
Having found myself unable to comply with the numerous ap-
plications that were made to me, I was obliged to refuse many
every day. My sister counted 47 in one forenoon before eleven
o'clock. In riding through the streets, I was often forced to resist
entreaties ; and I recollect, even yet with pain, that I tore myself
at one time from five persons in Moravian alley, who attempted to
stop me, by suddenly whipping my horse, and driving beyond the
reach of their cries.
The principal mortality was in the second week of October,
when it numbered over one hundred deaths daily. A general ex-
pectation had obtained, that cold weather, as well as heavy rains,
was fatal to this fever. The usual time for its arrival had come,
but the weather was still not only moderate, but warm. In this
awful situation, the stoutest hearts began to fail. Hope sickened,
and despair succeeded distress in almost every countenance."
At this point let us leave the general narrative, to inquire more
particularly after our friends. The Patterson family, did they re-
main in the city all this while ? They did, even up to the time at
which the above account is broken off. What their feelings and
fears must have been during these gloomy six weeks, may not
easily be imagined. We attempt no description. But we may
28 ROBERT PATTERSON.
believe that every recurrence of morning and evening worship came
vidth the feeling that it might be the last, and was correspondingly
serious and fervent. Let us also believe that there was an answer
of prayers. Meantime, there was a due attention to supposed
precautions ; the family were kept day and night up two pair of
stairs; an atmosphere of tobacco-smoke, filling the chambers,
ceased to be disgusting, in the belief that it was protective; and no
one went abroad, except the father of the family. But Avhy did
he not, like many others, seek safety in flight ? There are two
answers to this inquiry. First, the yellow fever was then a new
disease ; it was not yet ascertained that the infection did not spread
in the country, as in the city ; consequently there was a doubt, with
many, whether those who went away were anymore secure. But
with Mr. Patterson, there was a still more operative reason,
founded in his religious faith. He could not be satisfied that it
was lawful for a Christian man to fly from a visitation, believed to
be directly from God. It might imply a distrust of Providence ;
it might be a refusal to hear the voice of the rod ; it might be duty
to lie passive in the hand of God. We cannot tell exactly what
were his views ; we cannot in our day enter into them ; but they
were not unusual then. His wife however, was of a different
mind ; the little children Avere without a discretion in the matter ;
and the casting voice kept the whole house in peril.
A poor neighbour, who lived next door, a pious man we pre-
sume, seems to have argued the point with Mr. P. ; at any rate,
lent him a book, written about the time of the plague in London
(1665), in which the question was fully discussed. This brought
him to a decision ; but he had now outstaid all means of escape.
There were no public conveyances, and no place to be conveyed
to ; country people were hardly willing to look at a Philadel-
phian, reeking Avith fatal miasmata. At the outskirts of towns and
villages, all vehicles were intercepted by vigilant committees, es-
corted along the thoroughfare, and prevented from setting down
At this juncture, on a day in the middle of October, a knock
was heard at the front door ; an unusual sound. Grandfather went
down, and found there his brother-in-law, David Ewing, of Green-
wich. Captain Ewing, a roving, fearless spirit, then a little over
thirty, of whom we have some adventures to tell in another place,
ROBERT PATTERSON. 29
had just come up the river with a boat-load of wood ; fuel com-
manded a high price, and it was a temptation to brave the danger.
But David had with this a more generous purpose. "I have come
to take you all down to Greenwich ; my shallop lies at Arch
street wharf; you must get ready immediately, and if possible go
this evening, as my men are not willing to remain." Grandfather
dropt on his knees and gave thanks to God, as if the first response
should be in that direction. By nine o'clock, all were ready ; the
house was locked up, and the two parents, with their children,
William, Emma, Robert, and Susanna (little flaxen-haired lass, for
whom it was but a respite of two years,) set out, by the light of a
full moon ; and in a walk from Fourth and Spruce streets, to the
wharf at Arch street, nearly a mile, through a densely settled part
of the city, they met not a single person. It seemed as if Bun-
yan's allegory was literalized ; a family of pilgrims escaping from
the city of Destruction.
We have little more to add, though in that little lies the crisis
of the story. At Greenwich, they were near fifty miles from the
city, and among friends. A probation of nine days, such was the
popular notion, would clear both them and the neighbourhood of
all danger. Nine anxious days passed, and all were well. But
at the end of two weeks from the time of their departure, Mr. Pat-
terson was taken ill, very ill ; it must be something else than yel-
low fever, thought all Greenwich ; and so all Greenwich kept un-
disturbed. Nevertheless it was that very disease, and in its most
malignant form ; the patient, after much suffering, was at last left
insensible, and scarce a hope remained.
Let us for a moment leave him there, for the sake of a single
reflection, interesting to all of us. Suppose the balance, now
equipoised, should, by a single hair, go down upon the fatal side.
In what condition will be left a widow and her six children ?
With not much property, in possession or expectation, they may
be obliged to recede from that position to which the abilities and
success of their lost head was raising them. Let us not be flat-
tered. We see the force of native powers constantly overcome
by adversities ; and many a man or woman, fitted to shine in so-
ciety, is nevertheless bound over to hopeless obscurity and obliv-
ion. Yet let us judge of benefits by a sound standard, and esteem
that the best portion which is best improved. Nor let us think all
30 ROBERT PATTERSON.
lost, when the head of the family is taken. Twenty-eight years
later, one of these children had to undergo what is here only
imagined. She, and her family of children, have somewhat to
think of, in the manner they have been dealt with, by a divine,
and ever-special Providence.
While Mr. Patterson was slowly recovering, the city, by fa-
vourable turns of weather, was rapidly improving ; and when the
cold had fully set in, the family was restored to its place ; and un-
like most other families, not one member of it missing.*
In regard to his domestic habits, we have the following portrai-
ture from my brother Robert, who was taken into his grand-
father's family, for the completion of his education. It must be
noted, that this refers to the last years of Dr. Patterson's life ; he
being, at the time Robert went there, in his 79th year ; his wife
was in her 70th year; and the protege was just turned of 16.
These three made up the family at that time.
" Their habits were very regular. Every morning we had wor-
ship, the reading being from Home on the Psalms, or Scott's
Commentary ; then breakfast ; after which he went regularly to
the Mint, where he remained until dinner-time, which Avas at two
o'clock. In the afternoon he went sometimes to the Mint, but I
believe not often. In the evening we had worship again, the do-
mestics always being present, unless for sufficient reason. He
did not use to sit up late. What studying he did at home, was in
his bed-room, where he had an old secretary, full of papers. His
library was quite small for a man of letters, most of the books
being of a religious character. [He made constant use, however,
of the Franklin and Philosophical Libraries.] His evenings were
mostly spent down stairs, reading the daily paper, Walsh's Na-
* Some statistical facts of tliis terrible fever will be in place. It continued
to re-visit the city nearly every summer and autumn, until 1H05; but the
worst years were 1793 and 1798. In the former year, the number of deaths
was 4040; in the latter, under 4000 (not exactly registered;) but the num-
ber of people sick with it, was four times as great in '93 as in '98, as in the
latter year the city was nearly deserted.
The cholera of 1832 carried off 750 of the inhabitants. The population of
the city was then four times as great as in '93 ; consequently the fever was
incomparably the most terrible visitation.
ROBERT PATTERSON. 31
tional Gazette. Much of this he read aloud to his wife, occasion-
ally making remarks. He seemed particularly interested in articles
relating- to new inventions and discoveries, labour-saving machines
and such like. On Friday evenings he generally went to the
Philosophical Society ; and on Saturday evenings, he sometimes
attended the Wistar parties. One or two of these parties were
held at his house while I was there. He often stopped in at
Peale's Museum, and took a deep interest in the Deaf and Dumb
Asylum, then in its infancy.
" In his family he was rather taciturn, seeming to be absent in
mind. His temperament was nervous, and consequently he was
unusually sensitive to any sudden noise. If the tongs fell down,
or a stick at the fire, or if a cup of tea was upset, he would start
from his s§at and jump out on the floor. Even the misplacing of
one of his papers would produce a nervous agitation. We were
consequently very careful about disturbances of such kind.
" On Sabbath, he and grandma went regularly to the Spruce
street church. This was a long walk, but he never failed to go if
he was well. The intervals of the day were spent in religious
reading. I always went with him in the day-time, but was per-
mitted to go to other evangelical churches in the evening, if I
wished it. Beyond the instructions of the sanctuary and the
family altar, I do not recollect any given to me personally, of a
religious nature, in the way of catechising or conversation. I was
left to myself very much, except that inquiry was often made
where I had been, on coming in. I was not allowed to go to the
theatre, but I remember that he permitted me to go to the circus
for once, regarding that as on the same footing with an exhibition
of animals. As I was more under the supervision of grandma, he
seldom talked with me, nor did he seem to take much interest in
my studies. I had a room to myself, with a fire in the winter
At the age of eighty, none of the vital powers had begun to give
way, and he was still a hale and active old man. But there was
a rapid and remarkable change, very soon after that point had been
turned. In May, 1824, he sat as a lay-delegate in the General
Assembly of the Presbyterian Church. The effort of mind, and
close confinement, had a visible effect upon his health ; and from
that time the decays of old age hastened upon him. In the loss
32 ROBERT PATTERSON.
of strength and appetite, he could be sustamed only by highly
concentrated aliments. His last recorded letter, as Director of the
Mint, bears date the 27th of June ; in a few days after, he re-
signed that office. For two Aveeks preceding his death, a parched
and swollen tongue prevented him from all communication except
by signs. In other respects, he was not exposed to very severe
sufferings. His course was finished on the 22d of July, 1824, in
his eighty-second year.
His remains were deposited in the church-yard in Spruce
street; but on the death of his Avidow, twenty years after, they
were taken up, and both bodies were interred in one grave, in the
cemetery at Laurel Hill.
A word is due to Dr. Patterson as an author. He was not ad-
dicted to Avriting, but his style was singularly easy and perspicu-
ous. Several scientific papers Avere communicated by him for the
Philosophical Transactions. In 1809, he prepared for the press,
the lectures of Dr. EAving (then deceased) on Natural Philosophy
and Astronomy; and in 1818, published a Treatise on Arithme-
tic, from his own written compends, previously used in the Uni-
I have recalled an attempt to name the various houses occupied
by the family, at different times in the city, nine in number, and
not all extant. The house in Cherry street above Third, Avhere
my father was their boarder — the dAvelling in South Fourth, No.
148, Avhere he Avas married, — and that in Chestnut above Ninth,
No. 285,t the last and longest occupied, are still standing.
* This Treatise, tliougii lucid and ingenious, was rather difficult for be-
ginners. Theji7'st question in Addition reads thus: — " Sixteen years ago I
was 59 years old ; what age will I be seven years hence, if I live so long?"
It is observable that the case was literally his own; except that he did not
quite complete the seven years.
t This number brings to mind a characteristic anecdote. Like other peo-
ple, grandfather had a bad memory for numbers; and rather exceeded the
most of townsfolk, in not being able to remember the number of his own
house. At length he devised a mncnwnic, worthy of a mathematician: —
" the second figure was the cube of tlie first, and the liiird was the mean of
the two." Nothing but S.^jf) will answer to these data. Some would walk
the streets in despair, if they had no other clue for getting home than the
evolution of a cube root.
AMY PATTERSON. 33
His style of living was plain, yet genteel. His property, at
death, was somewhat over twenty thousand dollars. Something
had been made, and something lost, by adventures of various
kinds ; on the whole, it was mainly the long and moderate accu-
mulation of the surplus of income.
We have incidentally spoken of his partner; we have now to
take up her story more particularly, and follow her also to the
final resting-place. Amy Hunter, born at Greenwich, Cumberland
County, N. J. the 20th January, 1751, was the fourth child of
Maskell and Mary Ewing. She received the name of the wife of
their pastor; the worthy and childless couple would have gladly
adopted her as their own ; but, after a trial of a year or more,
the little girl deploring the lonesomeness of her lot, was rejoiced
to be taken back again, where there was a house-full of brothers
and sisters. Her early education would have been better attended
to, if she had continued at the parsonage ; but who can blame her
choice? However, as she belonged to a reading family, and was
herself eager in the pursuit of knowledge, the loss was in a good
measure repaired. History and geography were her favourite
studies ; English classic literature was hardly less familiar. But
it was also a working family; Maskell Ewing, at that part of his
life, was rich only in children; the clothing department of a large
household kept the seven daughters in employment; and they had
to devise ways to learn, while the needle was plying, or even
while the spinning-wheel was in motion. By day, a book was
posted up somewhere near the wheel ; and it was usual of a win-
ter's evening, for the girls to be at work around, the table, while
the father, with book in hand, afforded them matter for improvement.
Having stated what was Amy's natural turn, and what her op-
portunities in her father's house, we have only to superadd the
fact of her union, and its long continuance, with such a man as
Robert Patterson, to account for that large and varied store of
knowledge, which made her so entertaining and instructive, espe-
cially in her venerable widowhood. It was before intimated, that
his reading was always done aloud ; and she was a good listener.
After her husband was taken, the entertainment of Mrs. Patter-
son's remaining years was still very much drawn from books ;
and when, after a faithful service of ninety years, her powers of
vision declined, she had at hand a daughter, whose tas.tes in this
34 AMY PATTERSON.
respect were concurrent with her own, and who was " as eyes to
In other important particulars, the feelings and views of Dr.
Patterson and his wife were just as much in unison. I can only
take room to mention two. She was a pious woman; and her
piety was fervent and consistent. There was evidently a real
and habitual interest in religion ; all her conduct and conversation
proved that it was uppermost in her affections. On this point, it
would be superfluous, however agreeable, to enlarge ; and we may
pass to another characteristic, namely, her generosity. In por-
traying a character, even of one who seems to be religious, it is
sometimes necessary to conceal the want of this lineament, lest
the picture should be spoiled. I am under no such necessity.
For the advancement of the gospel, for the relief of the destitute,
for the more delicate cases of assistance, there was an open purse,
and an open heart. No more need be said, than that, in the dis-
posal of superfluous income, it was her study to be impartial.
It would be looked upon as a serious omission, if I were not to
say, that she was remarkable for an affectionate disposition, and
tenderness and gentleness of manners. As a wife, she deserved,
and received, strong proofs of unremitted love. As a mother, a
grandmother, a great grandmother, — what shall we not say ? her
heart was a fountain of fondness, open to all of us. None of us
will think of it without emotion.
Wherever there is a constitutional activity of feeling, Ave may
expect to find some strong and habitual dislikes. The Avriter re-
members but one or two, which she was accustomed to indulge.
Keeping a constant eye upon the train of national affairs, she had
not much mercy for the opposite side in politics. Still more so-
licitous about the spiritual interests of the country, she was every
inch a Protestant; the dread of an adverse influence Avas much in
her thoughts, and often in her conversation ; the subject never
grew stale ; and in this particular she seemed the relic of a past
generation, or possibly, the harbinger of one to come. Yet her
antipathy was not directed against individuals, but against a sys-
tem. Her personal kindness knew no difference between the
Protestant and the Catholic servant.*'
* This ihe writer had occasion to witness, while with her a boarder at Dr.
AMY PATTERSON. 35
I have inquired for faults ; (the character of my book requires
impartiality ;) an ungrateful task, if it had been more fruitful.
Can any one remember aught against her, unless it was, that she
was too yielding, too deficient in parental firmness ? And even
this was perhaps not habitually true. t_ j_3'^^3c3
To resume the narrative. At her husband's decease, Mrs.
Patterson was seventy-three years old, and alone. An early ar-
rangement was made for giving up housekeeping, and she thence-
forth boarded with her children ; by a pleasant alternation, spend-
ing the cold season in town, with Dr. Moore's family ; and the
summer, either at Greenwood (Dr. Harris's residence), in Chester
county, or at Doylestown, with my mother. We remember with
what pleasure her visit was looked for, and how fully the anticipa-
tion was realized. Her cheerful presence gave new animation to
the family group. A serene and steady routine filled up the days
of her sojourn. In the morning, she had her chair and footstool
in the entry of the house, where there was a current of air ; con-
versation, or reading aloud by some member of the family, gave a
zest to her favourite occupation of knitting, to which many a
little foot owed its winter covering. After dinner, and just as es-
sential, came a nap ; then the unfinished stocking was resumed ;
and the calls of friends, with perhaps a short walk, carried her
through the long summer twilight, to an early bed-time.
But the time drew on, when this pleasant routine of change
must be arrested. Her last summer spent in the country was that
of 1836, at which time she had attained her 86th year. A pro-
tracted and serious attack of sickness, at Doylestown, convinced
her that it would thereafter be most prudent to remain quietly, the
year round, in the city, where she would be near her medical
adviser, Dr. Harris.
As year was heaped upon year, without bringing with it the
usual imbecilities of old age, she became increasingly the object
of affectionate interest and admiration. Her rocking-chair, in the
parlour, or in the chamber, — which ever one happened to be filled,
— was a centre of attraction. Let the reader, who was not ac-
quainted with her, imagine a rather short, stout, well-featured
lady, whose appearance might indicate the age of seventy-five
years, while really it was ninety ; of courteous and polished man-
ners, without affectation ; communicative, without being talkative ;
36 AMY PATTERSON.
little impaired in bodily faculties, and in full vigour of mind ; let
him also consider the attainments of an inquiring, elevated mind,
and the stores of a retentive memory, at the summing up of four-
score and ten years ; let him add to these the qualities of heart,
and the spiritual graces, by which she was adorned; and he must
assent to the expression which Ave were accustomed to reiterate to
each other, that our grandmother was a wonderful woman.
She continued to read, until past her ninety-first year ; growing
cataracts upon both eyes then obliged her to lay aside the book
and newspaper ; and it was aflfecting to observe how cheerfully
she submitted to this capital' privation. Whenever she spoke of
it, her language was that of thanksgiving for the long-continued
blessing, and never of pining at the loss. She could still welcome
her friends and children by their respective tones of voice ; and
the little faces could be felt, and kissed, after they had ceased to
With all the comforts of her situation, she Avould occasionally
confess that the time seemed loixg, and that the summons to de-
part would be welcome. That s'he did not deceive herself, was
evident from all the particulars of her last hours. A brief sketch
of these will conclude our notice of this most precious and in-
On the 20th January, 1844, she entered upon her ninety-fourth,
and last year. There were some indications of disease in her
system ; a rheumatic gout, manifesting itself in a swelling of the
wrists, tried her powers of endurance for months. At length,
about the 19th of May, this symptom disappeared, but an unusual
expectoration immediately following, indicated that the disease
had probably shifted its place to a more vital point. She im-
mediately understood that the end was at hand ; the great event,
greatest that can befall a mortal, was anticipated with solemnity,
■;.'but not with apprehension or regret. All her children living were
about her, except two ; Mrs. Du Bois was within reach of a mes-
sage, and being immediately sent for, arrived in time ; Mrs. Fisher
'^vas in France.
On Tuesday, .May 22d, a painful struggle, caused by exceeding
difficulty of respiration, gave as it were, the final warning. This
passed, she felt quite comfortable ; and some adjustment of her
last will being judged proper, she gave attention to it, being, al-
MARY P. MOORE. 37
tlioiigli within a few hours of her end, possessed of all the sound-
ness of mind and memory required by the law. After this, Mrs.
Harris and Mrs. Du Bois conversed with her awhile at the
bed-side, until she said — " I feel drowsy, and will take a little
sleep." Her daughters then sat a little way off, and continued
their conversation, while she slept. It was a falling asleep in
a double sense. So quietly did the spirit leave its earthly
abode, that those in the room knew nothing of it, and when Mrs.
Moore, who had been for sometime absent, returned, she went to
the bed and found only the lifeless body. The event took place
at the house of Dr. Moore, in Spruce stjeet above Third (No. 61,)
on the 23d May, 1844. Her remains (with those of her hus-
band, removed from the church-yard at the time) were deposited
in the cemetery at Laurel Hill. The place is indicated by a
single marble obelisk, with an appropriate inscription ; a mural
stone also remains, as a memorial, in the ground adjoining the
Spruce street church, below Fourth street.
The children of this union were eight ; six of whom lived to
mature age, and five were, married.
I. Thomas E., born at Wilmington, March 4, 1775, was a
healthy infant, but lived only till January 1 9, following.
H. The next child, Mary, was born at Greenwich, March 20,
1777. She soon after became a Philadelphian, and grew to wo-
manhood in the city. She enjoyed the advantages of the best
schools of the day ; but French and music were less to her taste,
than the more solid branches of knowledge ; a fondness for read-
ing distinguished her youth, and has not declined with age.
At the age of sixteen, a very precarious state of health induced
a seriousness on the subject of religion ; in the doctrines of which
she had been carefully trained. After two years, this concern of
mind eventuated in the profession of Christianity. The influence
of this step, upon her own family, and in a larger sphere, remains
for some other record.
At twenty-one years, she was married to Samuel Moore, a
young physician from West Jersey, who had boarded in the family.
Dr. Moore was the son of David and Lydia Moore, and was born
at Deerfield, Cumberland, the 8th February, 1774. Sprung from
the Scotch-Irish stock, so ready to contend for right, his father en-
gaged with alacrity in the cause of his country, and in the revolu-
38 DR. SAMUEL MOORE.
tionary army was an officer of artillery. He took part in the
battle of Brandywine, and was witli Wayne when surprised at the
Paoli ; a thrilling event, usually called " the massacre of Paoli."
The battle of Germantown, which took place not long after, was
anotlier important scene in which he was an actor. In that con-
flict he was struck by a grape-shot ; but the wound was not mor-
tal, and he obtained leave to be nursed at home. After a ride of
forty miles, he presented himself, in bloody garments, to his
terrified family ; and upon the memory of young Samuel, then
under four years of age, the spectacle left an indelible impression.
Having recovered from the wound, he returned to the army, and
was in the battle of Monmouth. After the war was over, he was
advanced to the rank of colonel, and is commonly spoken of by
this title. He died in 1803.
Samuel's education was finished at the University of Pennsyl-
vania, where he graduated in 1791. He was afterwards a tutor
in that Institution, and in an academy at Bordentown, N. J. Sub-
sequently he attended medical lectures in the University, and in
1796 was licensed as a physician, by a Board of Examiners con-
stituted under a law of New Jersey.
From his youth upward, he was familiarly acquainted with the
family of my grandfather DuBois, and quite intimate with my
father. In their courtships, marriages, and settlements in life,
they seemed to be almost in a partnership ; and the warmest per-
sonal attachment subsisted always between them.
Dr. Moore and Miss Patterson were married on the 14th March,
1798. It was only three months in advance of the marriage be-
tween Mr. Du Bois and the next daughter. The two couples di-
rectly settled in the same location, the litde village of Dublin, in
Bucks county, 30 miles north of Philadelphia.
In September following, it was found that a better prospect of-
fered at Trenton, N. J., and to that place Dr. Moore removed.
But the contracting of a severe cold, about Christmas, arrested his
plans. Symptoms of a rapid consumption were manifest ; and
upon the advice of Dr. Rush, he determined to leave wife and
infant, and sail for Canton. He returned from that long voyage
with health re-established, and with it, a determination to change
his pursuits. Engaging in the Eastern trade, he made four voy-
ages to Canton, and a fifth to Calcutta; being absent about one
DR. SAMUEL MOORE. 39
year at a time, and remaining at home about the same space, in
His home, however, was, until 1808, an unsettled place; the
summers were passed in Deerfield, the winters in Philadelphia;
and then a year at Bustleton. In the year just mentioned, a per-
manent settlement was made in Bucks county. Purchase was
made of a considerable tract of land at the junction of the Nesha-
miny with a tributary creek, on the Easton road, where there was
a good water-power, and a large flouring mill. To this, a saw-
mill, with sundry shops and dwelling-houses, store, and school-
house, were added by him ; and on an elevated and beautiful site,
a large stone mansion was built for his own family. The plea-
sant, and rather romantic little town, thus aggregated, was appo-
sitely and in good taste named Bridge-Point. The two creeks are
here spanned by bridges, one of them a solid piece of masonry.
Perhaps a life of extensive travel, may have given the spring
to a natural fitness for novel and large enterprises. Thus a con-
siderable proportion of his farm was set off for an orchard, and
stocked with the finest Virginia crab-apple; from which was
manufactured, in a wholesale way, and for many years, as deli-
cious and pure a beverage as ever was placed upon a table. This
celebrated cider was chiefly sold at the South, and commanded a
high price. He also took advantage of the demand for cloths, oc-
casioned by the war of 1812-15, and carried on the manufacture
of woollen goods, in a building adjacent to the flouring and oil-mills.
This branch of industry, then almost new in our country, was
profitable while the war lasted.
The erection of a Presbyterian church at Doylestown, to which
Dr. Moore gave much attention, and was the largest contributor,
is a matter of which we are to speak more at large, in another
In the fall of 1818, while absent at the West, seeking a market
for his woollen fabrics, his fellow-citizens at home placed him in
nomination for a seat in Congress, vacated by the resignation of
Mr. Ingham; and elected him during his absence. He was
twice re-elected, without material opposition ; and it is but truth
to say, that his capacity as a representative at Washington, earned
him a reputation which had its weight in his appointment, a few
years later, to a still more important public trust. In the summer
40 DR. SAMUEL MOORE.
of 1822, (having served four sessions) before the completion of the
third term, he resigned the place, and returned to private life.
In July, 1824, upon the resignation of Dr. Patterson, he -was ap-
pointed by President Monroe, to the office of Director of the Mint.
Soon after this date his family removed from Bucks county, and
thereafter belonged to Philadelphia. During his occupancy of this
office, there was a steady increase in the operations of the JVIint,
and consequently in the importance and responsibility. of his duties.
A prominent incident of his administration was the erection of a
spacious and elegant Mint edifice, for which chiefl}Vby his own per-
sonal exertions and influence, the necessary appropriations were
obtained, and which, under his immediate superintendence, Avas pro-
secuted to its completion. The corner-stone was laid on the 4th
July, 1829, and the building was completed in four years from that
time. A rigid watchfulness over the public interests committed to
his care, and a disposition to inquire after and embrace real im-
provements in the various processes connected with the art of
coinage, were characteristic of his directorship.
In May, 1835, he announced in a letter to the President, his
purpose of retiring from office on the first ,of July. The accept-
ance of his resignation was accompanied with a complimentary
testimony to his faithfulness in the administration of the trust
confided to him.
Since that time he has been engaged in the management of
mining operations; and for the last eleven years has been Presi-
dent of the Hazleton Coal Company, a corporation owning some
of the best mines in the anthracite region of Pennsylvania, and
actively employed in bringing their coal into market.
His healthy appearance, and active habits, might create a doubt,
at least a surprise, at the date -assigned for his birth. Few of us,
old or young, would make so little account of an office vigil, or a
journey of a hundred miles.
The children having all married and departed, the death of
Mrs. Moore's mother left no one in the house, but the doctor and
herself. They therefore gave up housekeeping, and have since
been boarding at the U. S. Hotel. Aunt M. hoAvever, who is also
not afraid of a journey, spends a good share of her time with her
daughters, who are living almost at opposite extremes of the
country. She is enjoying good health, better than in former
EMILY M. BEATTY. 41
years; and though not able to give the same attention, manil'ests
the same interest, in the various operations of religious benevo-
lence. But a conservative rule, not to say much of the living,
obliges me to add no more.
Of their six children, one died in infancy, one unmarried, tAvo
after marriage ; two are living.
1. Emily, born March 9, 1799, was married April 16, 1828,
to John Beatty, a farmer, son of the late Dr. Reading Beatty, of
Bucks county, and grandson of the Rev. Charles Beatty, an emi-
nent minister, whose biography may be found in Dr. Alexander's
" Log College." Upon their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. J. Beatty
settled on a farm near Attleborough, in Bucks. The settlement
was a brief one. In the year following, two weeks after giving
birth to a daughter, Emily died, at her father's house in Philadel-
phia, July 17, 1829. To characterize her in a few words, she
Avas by the combined force of nature and education, a very intel-
ligent woman ; in manners and appearance, agreeable and dignified ;
of an amiable and mild temper; and a skilful manager in the af-
fairs of the house. On the occasion of the revival of religion in
1822, she, with three younger sisters, united with the Presbyte
rian church at Doylestown. But I do not know that there could
l)e offered so intimate and accurate a view of Emily's character,
as one taken at a moment when character is most severely tested,
and Avhich is found in a letter, written by her father to Rev.
Joseph Patterson. I extract from it copiously, being glad to pre-
sent, aiid to preserve, a detail so interesting, even at the risk of tres-
passing upon intended limits.
" On Saturday morning, the 4th of July, a few days after Emily
had arrived with a view to her confinement here, that event took
place with rather less than the usual suffering. She gratefully ex-
pressed her surprise that she had suffered so little ; she felt re-
markably well; and all our fears on her account seemed to have
been mercifully disappointed. This cheering prospect, however,
was suddenly clouded by the occurrence of a strong convulsion, in
which we believed she was expiring. This was in the afternoon.
She slowly recovered her consciousness, and was again tranquil
and nearly free from uneasiness, when a second paroxysm suc-
ceeded, less severe however than the first. The succeeding night
passed anxiously, but with no new alarm, and in the morning (Sun-
day) there was no vestige of these distressing events, but a slight
exhilaration, indicative of a state of die l)rain a little excited.
42 EMILY M. BEATTY.
She was remembered by Mr. M'Calla in the morning service, in
compliance Avith our request ; and as Mr. Engles informed us, in
a very feeling manner. In the evening, every thing seemed fa-
vourable. This favourable aspect continued until the evening of
Wednesday ; when she had a chill. [We omit a detail of symp-
toms at this point.] From that distressing night, the whole ner-
vous system exhibited an excitable state, giving origin to many
unpropitious symptoms. The slightest cause would induce a re-
newed feverish state. But the most distressing symptom was an
invincible wakefulness, which resisted all remedies during four
days and nights.
She was perfectly rational all this time, and her patience most
exemplary ; but she began to feel a confused sensation, threaten-
ing some alienation of mind, which she most feared, lest she
should do or say something improper. ' Have I,' she anxiously
inquired, ' said any thing during my illness, to reflect dishonour
on my Saviour V She was at this period disturbed also by a be-
wildered feeling, that all perception of the lapse of time was gone
from her. The moment an event had occurred, it seemed as if it
had passed some years before. She was equally perplexed by
another illusion, which made it impossible for her to feel certain
whether she was living or had died. On this point she listened
to arguments, but the sensation of doubt remained. Still she was
From the distressing night in which she had her chill, she con-
sidered her case as offering a hope of being allowed to depart.
This she evidently wished, and would willingly have conversed
on it continually. She yielded to our request not to converse
much, as the physician strongly recommended silence ; but her
thoughts were busy on this subject, and in whispers, a portion of
some hymn or text was often repeated, with ejaculations of hum-
ble but fervent confidence in her Redeemer. On the morning of
the 13th, she for the first time evinced a slight wandering of the
mind, by some hesitation in giving answers. * * At evening,
a question being proposed by her physician, she made no reply,
but turning to her mother, said, ' oh mother, it is only heaven that
The succeeding night passed in silence, and as usual without
sleep. On the morning of the 14th, while her mother, her sister
Mary, and myself, were about her, she suddenly broke the long
silence by singing that sweet chorus which she had often sung
with her Sabbath-school classes, —
Oh, who's like Jesus! Hallelujah,
Praise ye the Lord.
Theres none like Jesus ! Hallelujah,
Love and serve the Lord.
Her manner was slightly wild, but surely never in earthly notes
was breathed a strain more touching. It was a lovely instance of
the ruling passion strong in death.
EMILY M. BEATTY. 43
Once more in the evening of this day she again broke silence,
by asking in pathetic accents — ' Am I near heaven V Here w^as
the same all-absorbing thought. She seemed unconscious of our
presence, and probably the inquiry was not intended for mortal
ears. These were her last words, except the incoherencies of a
state most heart-rending to us all, which suddenly occurred on the
following morning, and did not fully subside until near midnight.
A lingering hope survived all these afflicting scenes, and on the
evening of the 16th, the physician felt encouraged. As the night
advanced, however, this hope receded, and the powers of life
seemed to be yielding to the force of the disease. At four in the
morning of the 17th, Dr. Harris was called for the last time. * *
She expired about noon of that day. In the evening of the next
day she was interred in Mr. Beatty's family ground at Newtown.
Another very dear child has thus been removed from us ; but
mysterious and mournful as the event is, we do not feel it as we
did the decease of her sister. The family chain was broken when
Lydia died; it has seemed worth less care since. The severed
links can be reunited only in our Heavenly Father's house.
Her removal has not been by surprise ; her feelings early in-
dicated to her that she should not recover. When I could see no
special cause of alarm, this precious child looked to a different re-
sult; entreating her husband to give her up, and consent that she
should leave him, and expressing her willingness, dearly as she
loved her litde babe, to commit it to her Lord and Saviour and be
separated from it.
How ungrateful to murmur at such a death as this. Cheered
through the dark valley by a steadfast hope, surrounded by all that
could avert or diminish bodily sufferings, she has died among her
kindred, in the midst of objects nearest to her earthly affections.
The little babe was remarkably healthy for the first ten days. She
has lately been less so, but not apparently in danger. We trem-
ble, however, at every thing which concerns this child. We were
gratified at its being a girl, and Mrs. Moore and I had instantly
thought of giving it the name of our dear Lydia. Another name
has now become equally dear to our feelings, and she will pro-
bably be named Emily. Precious children, — they were lovely in
their lives, and in death they are not divided. They shall never re-
turn to us ; God grant, for Christ's sake, that we may go to them."
The daughter, now grown up, was educated at Steubenville
seminary, and resides with her father at Abington, Pa.
2. What has just been recorded, may prepare us for another,
equally interesting, equally painful memorial. Lydia, was born
January 27, 1801. In point of intellect, she was a remarkably
forward, almost precocious child ; yet not at the expense of bodily
health and development. She arrived at womanhood with the
combined attractions of personal grace and beauty, of winning
44 LYDIA M. BE\TTY.
manners, and cultivated mind. An aptness for study, was per-
haps the prevaiUng characteristic. She was famihar with the
French and Latin languages, with classic authors, and with sub-
jects of general information ; and was a good Avriter, both in prose
and poetry. At the age of twenty-one, she made a profession of
religion. Two years later (June 30, 1824), she was married to
Rev. Charles C. Beatty, a cousin on the Ewing side, of whom
we have to speak elsewhere. They settled in Steubenville, Ohio,
where Mr. B. was called to a pastoral charge. She died there in
the next year (May 28, 1825) in giving birth to an infant, which
survived her but a few weeks.
But here again we have the advantage of a manuscript record,
written at the time, by her husband : from which, having obtained
leave, we shall extract without apology. Another heart is here
unfolded to near inspection ; the reader can scarcely give it atten-
tion without deriving benefit.
" Being blessed with a religious education, she imbibed the
most correct notions of religion ; yet, though never disposed in
any great degree to mingle in the dissipating gaieties of the world,
her heart was devoid of real piety. Other subjects engrossed her
attention. To use her own language, she 'sacrificed at the shrine
of knowledge.' In the pursuit of this, her soul was ardently en-
gaged. Her mind was indeed, at times, seriously impressed, but
this generally lasted but a few days ; and, relapsing into her former
listlessness, the most solemn truths of the gospel were heard with-
In this state of feeling she continued until April, 1822, when
she returned from the city to Bridge-Point, where a revival of re-
ligion was just commencing. At this she looked with an inex-
plical)le feeling ; astonishment, mingled with a serious awe. It
was on a Saturday evening, at a private house, that she first felt
her heart touched : and these impressions were fixed the following
evening, at the school-house, under a sermon from ' Choose ye
this day whom ye will serve.' From this time, convictions of sin
continued ; not pungent, but constant ; and such as gave her very
humbling views of her own character before God. Indeed her
chief lamentation was that she did not feel such conviction as she
ought ; and once she said — ' If I could only have such views of
sin, and of myself, as J — D — has, I would be willing to suffer
all that she has suffered.' On being urged to go to the Saviour,
and cast her soul on him, her reply was ' I do not feel properly
awake to the dreadfulness of my situation ; I wish I could feel.'
She Avas told that such a feeling could exist without a spark of
true piety, and that this was rather a desire to bring some price to
LYDIA M. BEATTY. 45
the Saviour. Her answer was ' I know salvation is free ; but
till my heart feels more, it will never go to Christ.'
She continued in this disposition for several weeks. Her mind
seemed stationary, if not retrograding On the 4th June, she and
the writer went to pay a visit ; there was a free conversation on
the subject, going and returning ; and I told her plainly of the
danger in Avhich I conceived her to be. The same evening, before
retiring, I said ' Lydia, the crisis has arrived ; and if you do not
embrace the Lord Jesus Christ to-night, I should almost despair
of you.' Our feelings were deeply moved ; we both wept much ;
and at her request, we joined in prayer. In the morning I saw
her countenance had assumed a calm if not joyful serenity ; and in
a walk after breakfast, she informed me that she trusted she had
submitted herself to Christ, and felt relieved in casting the burden
of her sins on him. A few days after, she unfolded her mind
more fully, and I found that her hope was strengthening, though
interrupted by doubts and fears."
Such is the condensed account of her conversion ; not in any
respect remarkable, and for that reason the more likely to interest
the larger number, who have felt the same things. With the same
salutary mixture of hopes and misgivings, she offered herself to
the church session at Doylestown, and, on the 28th July, joined in
the sacrament for the first time. There was no prophetic voice
to warn her, that she had barely three years left, in which to try
her strength and courage in the Christian race. For those of us
who have been these twenty, forty years in Christian profession,
it will afford matter for reflection, to read a little farther, and see
how this short pilgrimage went on, and finished.
We pass the account of the engagement and accomplishment of
marriage, and follow her, home-keeping girl, who hardly had
known what it was, or thought that it was possible, to live out of
her mother's sight, — a distance of more than four hundred miles,
to a town on the Ohio river.
" As she drew near the place of her future residence, innume-
rable thoughts crowded upon her mind, and almost overpowered
her. But there was relief in finding herself among an affectionate
people, towards whom her heart was drawn out. Her constant
and earnest desire was, that she might do this people good ; and
she commenced with the determination to shrink from nothing
which she saw to be her duty.
Her first trial was her attendance upon the female prayer-
meeting. Here she was soon called on to engage in active duty,
46 LYDIA M. BEATTY.
and she did not once shrink from it. Those who attended with
her, were witnesses of the simpUcity and fervency of her petitions.
An old Christian remarked, after her first effort, ' Seldom have I
felt so much under any prayer. If she is not accustomed to pray
with others, yet she evidently lives near to God by secret prayer.'
This meeting was one in which she took a lively interest, and out
of her own house, her best place. But in her domestic circle did
she show forth most of that benign spirit which influenced her.
She was the life and joy of that little circle. Her conversation
was sprightly, entertaining, and instructive ; evincing a fund of in-
formation, and an aptitude of quotation and reference which was
often astonishing. But it was especially her dehght to converse
on the things of Christ's kingdom ; to retrace the hand of a won-
der-working Providence; to review her own experience, and the
experience of others. On one occasion, I told her the remark of
Mr. , a pious man, that he found it so difficult to communi-
cate with his wife upon their own religious experience, and on
heart-religion. She replied, ' it would make me very unhappy
to think it would ever be so with us ;' and it never was."
We come now to a passage (it is the concluding one) which
would have been suppressed, were it not that the book is for
friends only, and that the narrative exemplifies much nobleness of
soul. Those considerations, fortified by consent from the proper
quarter, must prevail. We repeat it, nobleness of sold; we be-
lieve it compares with any kind of heroism, for a delicate female,
in an hour otherwise sufficiently trying, to receive such tidings, in
such a spirit.
" As she drew near the period of her confinement, her mind
would often be anxious ; but she found relief in God's word, and
at a throne of grace. The word of God was her constant com-
panion. About nine o'clock in the morning of the 25th May, she
was safely delivered of a living female infant. Immediately it
was discovered that the child was not perfectly formed ; and the
thought of communicating to her the affecting intelligence of its
deformity, struck every one with pain. The task devolved upon
me. Soon after I entered the room, she spoke of the infant, and
repeated a request which she had before made, that she might
I replied, ' my dear, you must prepare your mind to receive af-
She closed her eyes for a moment, and seemed to lift up a silent
I soon asked, ' are you prepared for it V
' She replied, ' yes ; I suppose it is not completely formed.'
MARY M. FINLEY. ' 47
I then told her all the case,* and endeavoured to give her con-
solation, but soon found it was afforded from above. She felt it
to be an affliction, and a chastisement, but uttered no murmuring
word. She seemed rather disposed to dwell on the mercies of the
Lord, of which she spoke often ; while the gratitude which filled
her heart seemed to shed a lustre over her countenance. She
would mention every particular which she thought favourable or
In the afternoon she requested to see the babe ; I brought it in
to her, and laid it in her arms. She looked at it, and said in the
most affectionate manner, while she pressed it to her bosom,
' my poor afflicted baby, I love you.' We conversed several times
both on this and the following day concerning it ; said she, ' it is
our child, and we can and will love it, though it is thus deformed.
If it lives, it will probably be an affliction to it and to us all our
lives, but I trust it will be sanctified to us, and to the child.' She
then mentioned an instance of such deformity being blessed to
lead the individual to great piety.
That night she rested sweetly. In the morning there was an
unfavourable change, and towards noon, a chill, succeeded by fever.
[Some details omitted.] She herself appeared more sensible of
her danger than those around her ; spoke seldom, but manifested
great patience, and submission to the will of God. At night, about
eleven o'clock, her mind became flighty, and from that time she
continued in a state (for the most part) of insensibility, or heavy
slumbering. This was interrupted by but few lucid intervals, and
those short. In one of these, being asked if she felt the Divine
Presence, she replied, ' I hope I do.' In another, seeing us weep-
ing, she said, ' it is sinful; it is wicked!' and then relapsed. In
the morning, she looked at me weeping, and laying her hand on
mine, said ' my dear, you must command your feelings.'
She never spoke afterwards, except when she was asked if she
was willing to depart and be with Christ, she replied, evidently
composed in her mind, ' yes.' She appeared to be dying from
six o'clock till eight, when she breathed out her spirit."
3. William Ewing, the only son, was born August 3, 1803,
and died January 9, following.
4. Mary E., born January 12, 1805, was married — , 1840, to
Dr. James Finley, of Indiana. The father of Dr. F., General
Samuel Finley, was nephew of Rev. Dr. Samuel Finley, who was
elected President of Princeton College in 1761, and was in other
* The malformation was a double hare-lip ; and with it was a consequent
inability to take the natural nutriment. The child lived only about six
48 MATILDA H. MOORE.
respects an eminent man ; a sketch of his life may be seen in Dr.
Alexander's " Log College." The family is of the Scotch-Irish
Presbyterian stock. Gen. Finley was named after, and educated
by his uncle. He was a major of the Virginia line in the time of
the Revolution, and commanded a regiment of riflemen in the last
war. He died in 1828, in Philadelphia, and was buried in the
ground of the Scots' church in Spruce street. His wife was Mary
Brown, a cousin of Rev. Dr. Matthew Brown, (with whom we
are more nearly connected in another line, as will be shown ;) she
was born in Cumberland, Pa., and died in 1838, at the .house of
her son James, with whom she was living.
Dr. James Finley Avas born in Cumberland county. Pa., and
educated at Dickinson college. He studied law, and was admitted
to the bar ; afterwards took up the study of medicine, and practised
that profession a number of years in Circleville, Ohio. His first
wife was Maria Theresa Brown, by whom he had children. In
1838 he removed to South Bend, in northern Indiana, where his
wife died the same year.
The children of Dr. F. and his present wife are, 1. Amey.
2. Theresa. 3. Anna, deceased. 4. Charles Beatty.
Dr. F. and wife are members of the Presbyterian church.
5. Matilda Harris, was born July 11, 1807, and died in her
twenty-fourth year, April 1, 1831.
Reviewing what has been said of Emily and Lydia, and con-
sidering what is to be said of Matilda, the writer feels the neces-
sity of clearing himself of the suspicion of mere obituary exaggera-
tion, and bespeaking the confidence of the reader afresh. If, in
nothing else, these parents Avere distinguished, it was first in the
possession, then in the loss, of three such daughters.
She began early to manifest a fondness for reading ; a pleasant
sign, even though the taste is liable to misapplication. But with
it there was a balancing power, not very observable in children, —
a disposition to attend to religious instruction, whether in the Sun-
day-school or at home. No yearning heart of a parent could de-
sire a happier union of developments. She was not less in-
telligent than any of her sisters ; but probably more seriously
inclined, up to the memorable awakening of 1822. That was a
deciding time for her, along with many others. In the circle of
very young girls who privately met in her father's barn to pray.
MATILDA H. MOORE. 49
she was present and active; and when a large group presented
themselves, in July, for the communion of the church, there were
among them four sisters, of whom Matilda, just fifteen years old,
was the most youthful.
It is hard to estimate, how much good was secured, and how
much evil barred out, by this early and whole-hearted consecration.
A Christian at fifteen, a thorough convert, thenceforth lives in a
happy ignorance of the vulgar pleasures of a life of gaiety ; exempt
from the dressing, and dancing, and absorption in novel-reading,
which by an unaccountable spell, seem even to allure sensible
From that time, religion Avas the ruling principle. Sabbath-
school teaching was her favourite field of usefulness, but a self-
sacrificing spirit led her out in other modes of benevolence, in one
of Avhich, as will be seen, she lost her life. The most conspi-
cuous traits of Matilda's character, both before and after conversion,
were her gentleness of temper, and correctness of deportment ; in-
somuch that it is said, her parents never had occasion for the re-
proving inquiry, "why do you do so." Her personal appearance
was prepossessing, and a fit introduction to a better acquaintance.
While we do not yield to a common opinion, or superstition,
that the world is most apt to lose those whom it can least spare,
we find here an instance in favour of that sentiment. Yet there
was no likelihood of Matilda's early death, Avhen, in the bloom of
health, she went to spend a night in nursing a neighbour's child
ill with scarlet fever. But the benevolent office imparted the in-
fection of that fearful disorder, and soon Matilda needed the same
attentions she had been bestowing. For a few days the physician
apprehended no fatal consequences ; but the disorder suddenly as-
sumed a malignant form. A wandering and incoherent mind af-
forded nothing but anguish to those who stood around the sick bed ;
there was not even a transient verbal assurance of a soul prepared
for eternity ; but the better evidence prepared in a day of health,
was a light behind the cloud. Thus went the third of three daugh-
* I partly borrow this from her obituary. " Though habitually cheerful,
the gay circle and the giddy dance had no allurenients for a mind like hers.
Domestic employments, benevolent offices, the house of prayer, the Bible-
class, and the Sabbath-school, were the circle familiar to her feet."
50 ELIZABETH M. FINLEY.
ters, whose lives and death impart an interest and dimity to our
history, and whose memory it is gratifying to cherish. Matilda's
remains lie in the church-yard at Doylestown.
6. Elizabeth Seeley, born February 24, 1812, was married in
June, 1832, to Dr. Clement Alexander Finley, younger brother of
Dr. James, above mentioned, and now a surgeon of advanced rank
in the U. S. Army. She has consequently partaken of the vicissi-
tudes of military life, having already resided, by turns, at Green
Bay; at Jefferson Barracks, near St. Louis; at Buffalo; at Car-
lisle ; and now at Fortress Monroe, Virginia. The life and adven-
tures of her husband would make an interesting episode in our book;
but in the hope that they are yet a good way from being com-
pleted, and that amongst his children there will one be found to do
them justice, as well as to arrange for a memoir other materials of
the Finley family, we enter into no detail. But for the conve-
nience of that future chronicler, we may as well preserve a rapid
outline which is at hand.
Dr. Finley was born in Cumberland, Pa. in 1797; graduated at
Washington, Pa. ; received a medical education and degree ; and
joined the army in 1818. Baton Rouge, Forts Claiborne and Sel-
don, (these last near Natchitoches,) were his first stations. In 1819,
he was sent with an expedition to remove squatters from the coun-
try intended for the Cherokees ; and falling short of provisions, they
were glad to shoot alligators for food. Returning from this excur-
sion, he was stationed on the Sabine until 1822, when he was re-
moved to the Sulphur Fork, on the Red river, just above the Raft.
Fort Smith on the Arkansas, Fort Gibson, Pensacola, Tampa Bay,
were successively the next sojourning places. From the latter
place he marched through Florida ; and after this critical tour of
service, he was allowed, for the first time in eight years, a furlough
of six months. Jeft'erson Barracks and Chicago, brought him to
1831, and another furlough; during which he visited Philadelphia,
and left it with the promise of a wife. In June of the next year,
he returned from Green Bay, and was married. His wife, and her
sister Mary, in the rapid whirl of military movements, presently
found themselves left on Mackinaw Island, while the doctor was
ordered off to the Black Hawk war. The expedition which he
attended, saw no fighting, but the cholera broke out among the
troops, and raged fearfully. The other surgeon died of it, and Dr.
DR. C. A. FINLEY. 51
Finley had to attend upon the sick day and night, himself bent
down with the premonitory symptoms. Ahiiost dead, from mere
want of rest, he was directed by the commanding officer to go into
his tent and sleep, while a sentry at the door excluded all applica-
tions for medical service. This sleep probably saved his life.
In October he returned to his post and his family at Green Bay,
but with such shattered health, that he was allowed to repair to
Philadelphia on furlough, in July following. Whilst here, in the
ensuing winter, he made a profession of religion in the Scots' Pres-
byterian church, of which his wife was already a member. In
March, 1834, he accompanied the dragoons under Col. Dodge to
the western prairies ; in the autumn was ordered to Jefferson Bar-
racks, and there continued until the spring of 1836, when he par-
ted from his wife to go to the Sabine, and she returned to Philadel-
phia. In the spring of 1837, he was sent to the Florida war, and
was there the medical director, about two years. From thence he
was transferred to Fortress Monroe, Buffalo, Carlisle, and back
again to the fortress ; there his family have since continued, while
he has been, most of the time, in the Mexican campaign; being at
the last accounts at Vera Cruz.
The children of Dr. Clement Finley are the following: — 1. Mary
M'Calla, born January 27, 1834. 2. Matilda Harris, August 3,
1836. 3. Lydia Moore, May 18, 1839. 4. Samuel Moore, De-
cember 22, 1841. 5. Clement Brown, May 14, 1844. 6. Wil-
liam Harris, October 8, 1846.
III. Martha, third child of Robert and Amy Patterson, became
a Du Bois, and is reserved for that branch of our history.
IV. William Ewing, the first son, was born March 29, 1782.
A life of forty-seven years, which might have reached to seventy ;
eventful, sorrowful, and instructive. We shall be brief. En-
dowed with an active spirit, and a healthy constitution, industrious,
yet fond of sport and company, inclined to read, but reluctant to
study, wayward and open-hearted, it is not easy to tell what course
of training such various traits required. If there were any mis-
takes in the measure of paternal rigour, or maternal allowance, it is
not for us to speculate upon them. Growing to manhood, he
showed a decided inclination towards mechanical pursuits ; for car-
penter's and printer's work, there was intuitive readiness ; for
dead languages, and a college degree, there was a settled antipathy.
52 DR. W. E. PATTERSON.
His father therefore set him up in a printing-office ; the adven-
ture was every way unprofitable ; among the workmen were some,
whose society did no good to young WilUam. This abandoned,
he asked to be put to the study of medicine ; the study pleased
him, and good progress was made. Coming of age, and having at-
tended two courses of medical lectures, he commenced practice at
Wheeling, in the summer of 1803. His stay at that new settle-
ment was of no sort of benefit. Returning home, he earnestly re-
quested to be sent upon a voyage as surgeon; which was permit-
ted. Sailing to St. Domingo, in 1805, at a time when a revolution
in the government, the triumphs of negro monarchy, and the ne-
glect of the plantations, had thrown commerce out of course, the
vessel was detained in Haytien ports some eighteen months. In
the incursions of yellow fever, as well as ordinary sickness, the
young doctor had exercise for his skill, and gave proof of it ; but
there was far too much leisure upon his hands ; temptation was
abundant, restraint was distant; and upon his return, the family
were startled by some tokens of dissipation. But they were oc-
casional, and not flagrant ; he was young and open to admonition ;
clever, obliging, and affectionate as ever; in another employment,
in a country place, he would be likely to do well. The selection
was store-keeping, and the place was Durham, in Bucks county ;
far enough from the city, too far from home. But it was a store
of the old fashion, — contained the very article it should not ; there
came very bad news ; and the establishment had to be broken up.
An indispensable, and most urgent appeal, from one of his sis-
ters, proved that there was penitence, and a wish to reform. In
fact, a reformation did take place, and inspired new confidence.
His father, ever anxious to do what might be for his benefit, at
whatever cost, gave him a new start, in the fall of 1810, in a cot-
ton factory at Bridge-Point. For a year or more, things went on
well; until a business trip to New York betrayed him into a re-
lapse, and from that time all was over. Mismanagement and dis-
aster made it imperative upon his fixthcr to wind up the concern ;
and although William was liarcly tliirty years of age, this was his
last undertaking. The war of 1812 took him to camp Dupont,
as a member of a rifle corps; on his return, ho boarded at our
house (Doylestown), and there lived the remainder of his days.
There was never another determined olfort at reform, at any rate
DR. W. E. PATTERSON. 53
no successful one; but there were considerable intervals of pain-
ful recovery, and indispensable abstinence, lengthened out, no
doubt, by good purposes. At such times he was useful, agreeable,
and estimable. Something was done in the practice of medicine.
He had the eye and the hand of a workman, and kept things in
repair about the place. These voluntary labours were alternated
with reading, of which he was very fond, and by which, coupled
with his personal adventures and observations, his mind was
stored with various information ; and being ready in conversation,
and of a naturally good mind, he could make himself very enter-
taining. As a visitor he was welcomed by the neighbours, espe-
cially some favourite farmers, living near the town. Our sighs
and regrets are useless ; but what might he not have been, had he
lived to a day, when reform is practicable, is common, is brought
to a system?
If these terrible lapses are some times chargeable upon the want
of faithfulness in near friends, it is evident, from letters addressed
to him (Avhich now lie before the writer), that there was every
proper effort, on the part of members of his family, to bring him
back to the right way. Hear the language of a sister (Martha),
writing to him in September, 1812.
" Once more I am going to write, but not with pleasure ; for
alas ! all my letters to you are upon the same subject. But bear
with me this once, when I promise you it shall be the last of the
kind you will ever receive from me. Let me be explicit. You
have again begun the dreadful career which I fear will end in —
I cannot finish the sentence. Oh William ! if you had heard our
dear mother (as I did) expressing her gratitude for the greatest
earthly happiness that a mother can enjoy — that of beholding all
her children happy, and comfortably situated in life : ' Robert's
return is a great source of joy to us all,' said she, 'but the restora-
tion of William is by far the greatest satisfaction to me.' Alas,
my dear mother, thought I mournfully, I hope there may be no
alloy to this happiness. But why should I write thus? your
mother's peace of mind is a motive I have always urged upon
you, but without any lasting effect."
Let us also quote a few words of his father, writing in January,
" I was much pleased with the letter I received from you some
time ago, in answer to one from me — and had fondly flattered
54 LR. W. E. PATTERSON.
myself that I might still live to see in your future conduct an
answer to my earnest and repeated prayers ; but alas ! ! !
* * * Let me entreat you, Avhile you refer your case to God
in prayer, that you join Avatchfulness against that besetting sin ;
for unless you join a holy resolution with prayer, this exercise
will be but solemn mockery."
So his brother Robert, writing in June 1817 :
" However painful to me, it is necessary that I should be candid.
* * * * I have written you this note, my dear brother, in
haste. In your resolutions to break down a habit which you
know to be ruinous, always recollect that such resolutions have
often succeeded, and that your friends are all ready, as soon as
they shall be convinced of a total reform, to come forward ge-
nerously, for your advancement, which would be certain."
It seems unnecessary to cite another most forcible and affec-
tionate appeal from his father, in December 1823.* But here let
me simply allude to one more effort, probably the last, which was
made in April, 1828, just a year before his death, by an excellent
person then residing in our house, Miss Caroline Hyde. It was
about the time when the drugging of intoxicating liquors, to pro-
duce nausea and disgust, had come into use, with considerable
success. Some of this mixture was enclosed in a note, wherein,
very modestly, yet faithfully, she urged him to make a trial of it.
But her request was not complied with.
On Sunday, the 12th April, 1829, he was perfectly himself, but
singularly quiet and sad ; and sat nearly the whole day by the
kitchen stove, reading the Bible. His countenance wore an un-
natural expression; perhaps from some inward premonitory feel-
ing, understood by himself. In the afternoon, rising to go to his
own room (the little " study" on the ground floor) he required as-
sistance ; two of the family supported him ; he was evidently in
pain, but said nothing ; he sat down on the bed-side ; was still ;
* I may mention that in 1820, several short letters passed between him
and his father, called forth by this request from the latter: " Let me have
your thoughts on this highly important question. How can God be just, in
the justification of a sinner?" Twice he expresses satisfaction with the
answers. It is worthy of note, that uncle W. carefully kept all the letters
DR. W. E. PATTERSON. 55
was dead. Nature had done all she could ; there remained only,
for his friends, the last offices.
Perhaps I have done wrong, in relating these particulars ; yet
to this point a word must be allowed me. Certainly it would not
be justifiable in another case, as where a wife or child remained.
But there is a growing generation amongst us, who have a right to
the benefit of warning, as well as of example ; and the nearer
home these are, the more they are felt. At present (we reverently
say, the Lord be thanked for it !) we know of not one individual,
of the name or of the blood, in any way tainted with this vice.
But who can tell what may be ; and who can help trembling at
bare possibilities ? Besides, there is such a thing as being over
sensitive. What we think to bury in oblivion, the world remem-
bers, and will hand down without deduction. The gifted poet,
Coleridge, who destroyed himself by the use of opium and spiri-
tuous liquors, was not ashamed to say — " After my death, I ear-
nestly entreat that a full and unqualified narration of my wretched-
ness, and of its guilty cause, may be made public, that at least
some little good may be effected by the direful example." Lastly,
let us consider, that the kinsman whose ruin we have here most re-
luctantly recorded, was a person who had many redeeming quali-
ties. The reader will be struck by two passages from letters
found in his secretary. They shed beams of light upon his me-
mory, while they render his fate the more deplorable. The first
is from his mother, while he was at Wheeling; November, 1803.
" Madam de Genlis, in her Castle of Truth, makes a good mother
say — ' I am not ambitious, not even for my children.' For myself,
I have no ambition ; but for my sons, I own I could wish them to
excel. * * * J have just now taken leave of . She
calls you one of the best young men she ever knew, and praised
you so much that I have forgiven all she has ever said of any of
us." The other extract is from a letter of Dr. Moore, written to
him from Philadelphia, May, 1810 ; Dr. P. being then at Bridge-
Point. " I expect to sail [for Canton] next week. * * Take
care of all our affairs, and all our people. On you I rely for the
safekeeping of all my interests ; and it will be my constant con-
solation that I leave to my family and affairs so good a protector."
Strong language from a man habitually vigilant of his property and
56 EMMA P. FISHER.
After coming to live with us, he saw but little of his parents ;
indeed, although within a short journey from the city, he never
visited it but once (the occasion of his father's funeral) in about
fourteen years. It was an overpowering affliction to the parents,
and it seemed best, in fact, necessary, that he should be absent
from their sight. But a son, however wayward, cannot be out of
the mind of a mother. Writing to her remaining son, shortly
after William's death, she expressed herself in these touching
words : — " Your consoling letter to me, after William's death, was
kindly meant, and kindly taken ; but oh, it was an awful stroke ;
and though neither unthought of, nor unexpected, has made me
old indeed !"
V. The next child was born September 4, 1784 ; and by a
slight modification (followed in many cases since), received the
name of her mother. The accounts of Emma's early days are,
that she was of an agreeable appearance, very animated in com-
pany, but apt to be depressed when alone. At the early age of
twelve and a half, she was characterized by a friend who seemed
to speak con amore, as " sprightly, affectionate, sensible, and
every thing else that was agreeable."* She was married (1807)
to Samuel J. Fisher, a merchant of Philadelphia. They con-
tinued to reside in this city until the spring of 1825 ; when, for
the advantage of Mrs. Fisher's health, and for the education of
their daughters, they determined upon a removal to Paris. With
the exception of one year, passed in Philadelphia after having been
that length of time in Europe, they have been abroad ever since,
and are now living in Paris. Aunt Fisher has been for many
years an invalid, generally with some respite in the summer
months. Mr. Fisher is possessed of a competent estate, wholly
invested in this country. His tastes are literary, but he Avrites not
much, for one who knows how to write so well ; a volume of his,
on the Culture of the Grape-vine, has been published in this city.
He is most at home in letter-writing ; his correspondence is in an
easy, humorous, rapid style, displaying acquaintance with every
subject, and Scriptui-e among the rest. Without any special gusto
* I find this in a letter of my father's, December, 1796 : the remark was
made to him, and by him endorsed, as she seems to have been a favourite.
CHILDREN OF S. J. FISHER. 57
for medicine, he has always shown a fondness for practical ana-
tomy ; and his OAvn head was once brought low, by his dissect-
ing the head of another, who had died of small-pox. The taste
still abides by him ; and to use his own words, though dwelling
in the metropolis of amusements, he " visits no theatre but the
They have four children.
1. Joseph Coleman^ only son, born in May, 1809, graduated at
the University of Pennsylvania, 1827 ; studied law with John
Sergeant, Esq., and was admitted to the bar. He then made a
visit to the family, in France, and with them travelled over a con-
siderable part of the continent. On returning to Philadelphia, he
commenced the practice of law ; was elected to the State Legisla-
ture in the fall of 1838, and again in the year following ; in 1840,
was chosen Clerk to the Select Council of Philadelphia, to which
office he was annually re-elected, until his resignation in 1845.
In the spring of that year, he married Sarah Lindsay, of Cham-
bersburg. Pa. ; and in the autumn, removed to a farm which he
had purchased, near La Fayette, in the north-western region of
Indiana, and contiguous to a settlement made by some family
connexions. (See Curwen, under Ewing.) Mr. Fisher has a
daughter, named Ellen Lindsay, born in the spring of 1846.
2. Mary, after some years' residence in Paris, was married
there to William Burns, merchant, of New York ; and thereupon
returned to America. She has since resided in New York. Her
husband died in the autumn of 1845, leaving two sons, William
3. Emma was married in Paris (about the spring of 1838), to
Dr. F. Campbell Stewart, of Virginia. They also reside in New
York, where Dr. S. is engaged in the practice of medicine. They
have two children, Emma and Ferdinand. Dr. S. appears credit-
ably as an author and editor of various medical works ; and was
one of the secretaries to the Medical Convention of the United
States, assembled in Philadelphia, in May, 1847.
4. Helen is with her parents in Paris.
VI. Robert Maskell, was born in Philadelphia, March 23,
1787. If the disposition of a student was not early developed, it
was perhaps from a settled and singular unwillingness to go to a
" madam's school," in those days the invariable starting-place in a
58 DR. R. M. PATTERSON.
course of education. By special favour, he was allowed to begin,
even with the alphabet, at the preparatory school of the University ;
where was prosecuted his English education. Early attention
was given to Latin and Greek ; but there was a decided prefer-
ence manifested for mathematical studies. The development of
this hereditary taste, accompanied by an amiable and affectionate
temper, and free from a disposition to boyish mischief, had the
effect to secure to him the favour, and indeed the companionship,
of his father. At the age of 17 (1804), Robert took his first de-
gree in the Arts, at the University of Pennsylvania.* Making
choice of medicine as a profession, he pursued that study under
the instruction of the eminent Dr. Benjamin S. Barton ; and after
attending the usual routine of lectures, was advanced to the degree
of M. D. in April, 1808.
In the summer of 1809, his father having consented to the
further prosecution of medical and scientific study in foreign
parts, he sailed for Europe. Two years were spent in Paris, in
attendance upon the lectures in medicine, chemistry, natural phi-
losophy and natural history, at the celebrated schools of that city.
This was during the height of Napoleon's power atid grandeur,
and Dr. P. had some opportunity of observing a course of events,
which was destined to furnish an inexhaustible fund for history
and memoir. His own letters of that date, written to friends at
home, are preserved, and will afford materials for another day.
To enliven this barren sketch, one anecdote may be introduced,
and one letter copied.
On the departure of Gen. Armstrong, the American Envoy at
Paris, Dr. P. was nominated to act as Consul-General of the
* Dr. S. Jackson, upon an occasion hereafter to be named, spoke to this
effect : — " Dr. Patterson is associated in my earliest recollections ; school-
fellows and class-mates, I witnessed the commencement of his career in life.
* * * He was never known as the leader of the tumultuous frolic or the
athletic game, but he was ever foremost in the classical exercise of the
school, and bore away the palm in the themes of his class. Yet his success
inspired no envy, for it was unaccompanied with arrogance," «S:c.
Just after graduating, he spent some weeks as an amateur instructor in
the school at Doylestown, to relieve my father, then busy with the erection
of an academy, and dwelling-house.
DR. R. M. PATTERSON. 59
United States. The name struck the Emperor's ear ; his brother
Jerome had, seven years before, married a lady of the name of
Patterson, and from the United States. Further inquiry was un-
necessary. The exequatur was refused. The Emperor could
not consent that a Patterson should condescend to the office of
Consul-General. The decision, arbitrary and absurd as it was,
was the word of Napoleon ; and Dr. Patterson had no resource,
but silently to execute the office, and receive the emoluments,
without troubling his imperial majesty any farther.
The following lively and familiar letter, written about this time,
was recently found amongst the papers of his brother William, to
whom it was written,
^^ Paris, November 15, 1809.
My dear Brother, — I think we parted last at Amsterdam. I was
detained there a month, and had nothing to do but to see the place,
and yet I cannot tell you much about it. It is certainly a very
beautiful city. The principal streets have canals running through
them, and a spacious one surrounds the city walls. I have strolled
more than a mile about the town, and then, when tired, have
jumped into a boat, and had a bouncing, jolly Dutch girl, to row
me home to my door. They have hackney-coaches, too, for this
convenience ; but, would you believe it, they have no wheels, they
go on runners ; the coachman walking along side, with a bundle of
greased rags, which he throws under the runners occasionally, to
make them slip on smoother. Even the burdens are drawn on
sleds without wheels.
While speaking of Dutch absurdities, another occurs to me
which is astonishing. They build the fronts of their houses,
which are immensely high, not perpendicular, but leaning forward
to the street. This fashion is almost universal. I never could
learn the reason of it. Some say, it is to gain room ; others, for
the convenience of hoisting fuel, &c. into the garret, as they have
no cellars. I believe they don't know why they do it; but their
fathers built so before them, and they will build so, as long as they
are Dutchmen. [Here follows some account of the palace ; ' said
to be the most beautiful in Europe.']
But a thousand curious things in Amsterdam now occur to me,
which I cannot possibly describe till I see you. I had the honour
to see his majesty, Louis Napoleon. He is quite a good looking
man ; the Dutch like him pretty well.
Gonda, Antwerp, Bruxelles, Valenciennes, Cambray, &;c. some
Napoleon is now at Paris, and five kings ; some others are
coming. Every thing is to be magnificent this winter. I intend,
from curiosity, to see their several majesties ; but I do not expect
60 DR. R. M. PATTERSON.
they will excite in me more interest than Haiiy, &c. among the
philosophers. They are not, Napoleon himself excepted, greater
men. Haiiy has discovered the secret laws which govern the
ultimate molecules of inanimate matter ; Napoleon, the more noble
secret of those hidden motives that always control the human
heart ; and knows how to direct their motives. I have seen him,
but not very satisfactorily. He is to show himself soon, on several
I wish you to write me very long letters. * * * *^ j ^^
determined to spare no labour or pains, to become acquainted
with chemistry and natural philosophy.
Mr. R. writes me that Dr. Moore continues his improvements
at Bridgepoint. You say he intends beginning a cotton factory.
I wish indeed that you would be concerned in it. Our country
possesses every advantage ; no one knows it, that has not left it.
I have frequently described, in England particularly, the character
of an American farmer. I did not exaggerate, but I was not be-
lieved. ' Why, sir, you would persuade us that they are lords !'
' Pardon me, sir, they are kings.'
Farewell ! It makes the warm blood hasten through my veins
with redoubled ardour, to write to my friends, and about my
Your brother and friend,
R. M. PATTERSON."
Leaving Paris in 1811, Dr. P. spent a year in London, and
heard the last course of chemical lectures delivered by the dis-
tinguished Sir Humphry Davy. The completion of his plans en-
abled him to turn homewards, in 1812 ; and the news of the out-
break of war, which the vessel received on her way, proved that
he had embraced a final opportunity. It was now his intention
to enter upon the practice of medicine ; but an entirely different
direction to his whole subsequent life, was given by the appoint-
ment, in 1813, to a professorship (of Natural Philosophy) in the
Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania ; and a
subsequent election (March, 1814,) to the chair of Mathematics
and Natural Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts ; in which he was
successor to his father. A month later, he was also elected Vice-
But we must not omit to mention, that within the period just
noticed, that is, in 1813, while the invading army of the British
Avas in possession of Baltimore, and threatening an attack upon
Philadelphia, Dr. P. was actively employed in his country's
DR. R. M. PATTERSON. 61
cause. The Committee of Safety, in the latter city, having de-
termined upon throwing up fortifications, to protect the approaches
to the city by the south and west, appointed Dr. P. to the chief
superintendence of this work ;* and on its accomplishment,
awarded him a vote of thanks for his services.
In the next year (April 20, 1814), he was married to Helen
Hamilton Leiper ; a lady of whom we may be permitted to say,
that she was then remarkable for personal attractions, and always
for kindness, hospitality, and active energy. She was born in
Philadelphia, April 20, 1792, and was the daughter of Thomas
and Elizabeth C. Leiper. Mr. Leiper was an emigrant from
Scotland ; first to Virginia, thence to Philadelphia, where he ac-
cumulated a fortune in the manufacture of tobacco. He was one
of our most eminent townsmen, both in the walks of business, and
in political life ; presided some years in Common Council, and
was often called to the chair in town meetings, especially those of
the party with which he acted.
Dr. Patterson was now permanently settled, and fully at work.
During fourteen years of college instruction, and more public lec-
tures in natural philosophy, he acquired a reputation, which, as
he is living, must be passed without remark, while it is open to
inference. Ours is only a rapid syllabus of facts.
Within the term just mentioned (1814-28), we find him con-
nected with various other institutions, chiefly scientific. The ap-
plication of science to the mechanic arts, being a subject in which,
like his father, he always took especial interest, he was one of the
originators, and has constantly (while in Philadelphia) been an
active member and officer of the Franklin Listitute. This so-
ciety, which was founded in 1823, now enrols a very large and
most intelligent membership, and has acquired a reputation com-
mensurate with its great industry and usefulness.
A part of this period, he was president of the Pennsylvania Life
* A friend, who was then a boy, but did his share with the spade, gives
me ^ lively representation of the scene of labour. Citizens of all ranks turned
out, by thousands, to dig ditches and cast up embankments. One of the
earthen forts, erected at Fairtnount to command the Schuylkill, was chiefly
the work of ministers and school-teachers.
62 DR. R. M. PATTERSON.
Annuity Company, a respectable post, to which some emolument
In 1820, Di\ Patterson took part in the organization of the
Musical Fund Society,* a permanent institution, which was the
first of its kind in this country, and has made Philadelphia pre-
eminent, in musical skill and taste. Of this society he is the
But the institution with which Dr. Patterson is most thoroughly
identified, is the American Philosophical Society. His member-
ship in this, began in 1809, at the unusually early age of twenty-
two. He was subsequently elected one of the Secretaries ; then
a Vice-President; and in 1845, the previous occupant of the chair
(Mr. Du Ponceau) being deceased, he was chosen President ;
which office, under all the circumstances, he saw fit to decline.
The meetings of the society occur every two weeks ; and Dr. P.
is scarcely ever absent.
In 1826, he was appointed by Gov. Shulze upon a commission
for ascertaining the most practicable route for the State canal ; a
tour of duty which gave him a little experience of frontier, or
rather pioneer, hardships.
Before proceeding to his removal from Philadelphia, we must
be indulged in a paragraph, which, if it descends from public to
private affairs, is nevertheless in keeping Avith the intention of this
book. When my father died, in September, 1821, we Avere a
family of children, illy able to do without such a protector and
provider as we had lost. Two, especially, were lads just in the
forming and critical period, on which the pursuits and capabilities
of after-life usually depend. It was an act of generosity in the
grandfather, to take and educate the elder ; it was surely not less
for the uncle to send for the other, and for five years, to do all for
him that he did for his own children, even to the completion of a
college education. But the circumstance will be referred to in
In 1828, Dr. Patterson was elected to the Professorship of Na-
tural Philosophy, in the University of Virginia. As soon as it
* " Dr. Patterson's favourite child/' said Mr. Du Ponceau, in his dinner
speech. See farther on.
DR. R. M. PATTERSON. 63
was understood that he had decided to accept it, a number of our
most eminent citizens tendered to him the compHment of a fare-
well dinner ; which took place on the 20th August, at the Mansion
House. It was reported in the newspapers, and from a copy-
now before us, we may simply say, that it was such a flattering
conge, as one would almost shrink from. Mr. Du Ponceau was
in the chair, and a number of our best speakers on the floor. The
testimonials of regard were expressed in the most forcible terms,
and with the warmest feeling ; the modest response was that of a
man tearing himself from cherished associations.
Dr. Patterson removed with his family to Charlottesville the
same autumn; and was there seven years, fulfilling the office
already stated ; part of that time he was also Chairman of the
Faculty. Meantime his two sons were educated, and advanced to
their college degrees ; the eldest daughter was married ; and the
doctor with his whole family might have been evermore Virginians,
but for an important circumstance, which comes next in order. A
letter was received in May, 1835, written at the instance of Presi-
dent Jackson, through the proper Department, informing him that
the Directory of the Mint would soon be vacant, and inquiring
whether he would accept that situation. It was a gratifying,
though rather unfashionable mode of going into office ; and the
offer happened to suit his plans and preferences. An affirmative
answer being returned, a commission was soon after forwarded ;
and on the 18th July, he was legally qualified. His departure
from Charlottesville was the completion of twenty-two years' ser-
vice as a teacher ; his return* to Philadelphia was the initiation
* Perhaps the best summing-up of his professional course in Virginia,
which we could give, would be a simple copy of a Resolution of the Board
of Visitors of the University. It reads as follows : —
" Dr. R. M. Patterson having resigned the Professorship of Natural Philo-
sophy, in the University of Virginia, which for the last six [seven] years he
has filled with such distinguished ability and success, the Board of Visitors
cannot permit his connexion with the Institution, of which they are the
guardians, to be dissolved, without expressing the high sense they entertain
of the valuable services he has rendered it, — tendering him the cordial sen-
timents of esteem and respect with which his character and conduct have
inspired them, — and assuring him of the lively interest they will continue to
64 DR. R. M. PATTERSON.
into a national trust, and a sphere of duty, which has always
sought an incumbent from the ranks where science and statesman-
ship were found in combination. The range of political economy
scarcely includes a more important and delicate interest, than the
conservation of the standards and relative values of real money,
and the faithful execution of monetary laws. In this office he
has since continued, under various and even opposite administra-
tions ; and it is little enough to say, with the official confidence of
each. Dr. Patterson's political preferences have never been car-
ried so far as to make him a " politician ;" indeed, we may here
state the fact, that a simple repugnance to political life, decided
him, in the period of his former residence in Philadelphia, to de-
cline a nomination to Congress, by the party which then had the
power to elect.
Within the term of his directorship, various important measures
have been adopted in relation to the Mint and coinage. We can
mention but two, the first of which was due to his agency, while
the other has greatly added to his responsibility. 1. A carefully
digested and consolidated code of Mint Laws was drawn up by
him, submitted to the action of Congress, and passed in January,
1837. The benefits of this act were numerous ; one of them, of
more public concern, was the simplification of the standards of
gold and silver coin, and the modes of expressing them.* 2. The
lake in his prosperity and happiness, wheresoever his duties and the course
of events may call him.
The Secretary will enter this expression of the sentiments of the Board
on the journal, and communicate a copy thereof to Dr. Patterson."
Dated July, 1835, and attested by Dr. Frank Carr, Secretary.
Here we may add, that on his return to Philadelphia, another celebration,
of the sort already mentioned, took place (October, 1835,) at the Mansion
House. Mr. Du Ponceau and Dr. Chapman presided at the table.
* To exemplify this briefly ; our silver coin, by an early legislative blun-
der, was fixed at such a rate of fineness, that there was no way of expressing
it but by a long show of figures, an impracticable nicety of arithmetic ; tho
gold coin had originally been of an easy proportion (eleven-twelfths fine), but
in 1834, in tlie eager haste to lower its standards, and bring it into circula.
lion, another error in the law-making power (for which Dr. Moore, then
Director, was no way responsible) affixed an equally inexpressible ratio upon
that metal. If any one inquired the alloy of our coinage, he was not likely
DR. R. M. PATTERSON. 65
addition of three southern branches, to the Mint establishment,
took place after his assuming the directorship, and the whole being
under his supervision, there is of course a large addition to the
amount of official care and labour.
We conclude this imperfect sketch, by noticing, since his re-
turn to Philadelphia, his election as a member of the American
Academy" of Arts and Sciences (Boston) in 1839 ; and his en-
gaging, with lively interest, in the management of the Pennsylva-
nia Institution for the Blind.
Perhaps if we should take an account of those who had devoted
as much attention to the advancement of knowledge, we should
find that a majority of them had been contributors to the press.
For reasons of his own. Dr. P. has refrained from authorship.
But we are not without some specimens of his facility in this line,
in various printed addresses ; the most elaborate of which was
the Discourse delivered before the Philosophical Society in May,
1843, at the celebration of its hundredth year. The discourse
embodies a history, and the only one, of that society.
The personal appearance of the living, it is not our plan to de-
scribe ; Ave should be allowed to say, that Dr. P. is of a strong
and healthy constitution, a temperate liver, active and prompt in
his business habits, walks the streets with the rapidity of a trades-
man, and in his general appearance, would be taken for a man of
several years younger than the actual mark.
Dr. Patterson has had six children.
1. Elizabeth Leiper, born April 17, 1815, was married on the
14th February, 1832, to John Taylor, Jr., an extensive planter of
Caroline county, Va., and grandson of the well known statesman
of the same name. Her health after marriage was interrupted by
severe attacks of disease ; it was to recruit from one of these, that
she made a visit, which proved to be the last, to her friends in
to remember the answer, i. e. the gold, 21 carats and 2 14-43 grains, fine; the
silver, 10 ounces, 14 dvvts. 4 5-13 grains, fine, in a pound. The calculations
were toilsome, and mathematical ingenuity could not give much relief in de-
vising " short methods." Dr. P.'s code introduced the simple and beautiful
proportion (already used in France, and tending to universal adoption) of
nine-tenths fine, both in gold and silver; and that without disturbing the
existing relations or values of our metallic currency.
66 CHILDREN OF R. M. PATTERSON.
Philadelphia, in September, 1844. On the evening of the 27th,
although apparently well, a slight, perhaps ominous, sense of in-
disposition, restrained her from going abroad with the rest of the
family. The morning found her in a state of unconsciousness,
not even able to recognise her husband, who had just arrived from
Virginia; and on the same day (28th) she died.
Elizabeth was a favourite in our family connexion. To good
sense, and gentle manners, were united a warm heart, and a lovely
disposition. But we would dwell upon the fervent and mature
piety, as the most comforting and elevating trait of character. She
had, from a child, felt the worth, and the need, of religion. The
little school-girl of six or eight years, who was supposed to be
giving her solitary hours to her lesson, was in truth spending half
those hours in secret worship. The birth and death of an infant,
events sadly brought in close proximity, freshly admonished her
of the duty of taking decided ground ; and in Virginia she united
herself to the Episcopal church. Large and whole-hearted plans
of usefulness, were checked by desperate and protracted illnesses ;
but intention is every thing. Sufficient on this point has been
said ; yet we cannot withhold a most impressive incident ; a bril-
liant ray from a setting sun. A young woman in humble life,
wasting Avith consumption, and known to the family, called at Dr.
Patterson's house. Elizabeth was alone with her, embracing the
opportunity to give some needed and wished-for counsel on the
subject of preparation for eternity ; and which, we may here say,
the girl afterwards declared, had proved of infinite service to her.
Among other things (at this interview), she confessed to a dread
of dying. " That," said Mrs. Taylor, " is a feeling to which I
am entirely a stranger. I have no fear of death, and would even
prefer that it should come suddenly. If it were the will of God,
I could cheerfully depart this night." It was the will of God; it
was her last night.
2. Thomas Leiper, born August 16, 1816; was educated at
the University of Virginia ; thereupon studied civil engineering,
and in the practice of that profession, was employed upon the
Philadelphia and Baltimore Rail-road (his division of work being
near Havre-de Grace), until its completion; and afterwards upon
the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. With some intermission (con-
sequent upon the suspension of that work, in 1846,) this has been
CHILDREN OF R. M. PATTERSON. 67
his most permanent engagement, and he is now upon that line of
work. On the 20th July, 1847, he married Louisa A., daughter
of the late Hon. M. C. Sprigg, of Cumberland, Md., who, in his
life-time, was an eminent citizen of that place, having represented
his district in Congress, and also filled the place of President of
the Canal Company. Louisa Avas born February 18, 1825. Their
present residence is at Cumberland,
3. Robert, (by a pleasant coincidence, ^^if A in lineal descent
of the name of Robert Patterson,) was born February 4, 1819;
educated at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in
law, and other branches of study; read law in the office of Judge
Kane, and was admitted to the Philadelphia bar, in 1840. In
June, 1845, having been discouraged by increasing deafness from
the practice of his profession, he accepted the place of clerk to
the Director of the Mint. Married, October 7, 1845, to Rebecca,
daughter of Mr. Samuel Nevins, of Philadelphia. She was born
December 8, 1821. Emma, their daughter, was born August 4,
4. Emma was born November 14, 1821. In 1841, on the 20th
January (the day was chosen because it was the birth-day of her
grandmother Patterson) she was married to John G. Campbell,
merchant, of Philadelphia. It was an affecting coincidence, that
on the same day, two years after, Emma departed this life. Pos-
sessed of superior personal attractions, gay, buoyant, and confident,
she was called to resign earthly anticipations, and become a
learner in the weary, salutary, discipline of affliction. In a marked
contrast to the case of her elder sister, just related, death came
with slow advances, and allowed time for the most untiring assi-
duity of friends, and every effort of medical skill; but vain was
the help of man. But in a long sequestration from the world (so
alluring to the young), there was opportunity for revolving the
concerns of a life to come; there was much consideration; much
religious counsel; much attention to the teachings of the Bible;
and it was the declared conviction of an evangelical minister who
saw her often, that she was prepared to die. The remains of the
two sisters lie in the same ground, at Laurel Hill.
5. Helen Hamilton, born May 11, 1825, is with her parents.
6. Mary Gray, born April 10, 1828, was married October 7,
68 MATILDA P. HARRIS.
1847, to Samuel Field, merchant, of Philadelphia. Mary is in
the communion of Rev. Dr. Bethune's church.
VII. Susanna Jinn, seventh child of Robert and Amy Pat-
terson, was born August 25, 1790 ; and died August 1, 1795. She
is represented as a very interesting and bright little girl, a favourite
of brothers and sisters ; knew half of the Shorter Catechism ; and
was as likely to live as any. But in the course of human life it is
so, that death claims a share from among the little children, and
in a large family, some are almost sure to fall early. Her disease
VIII. The youngest of the children, Elizabeth Matilda, (usu-
ally known by the second name) was born February 13, 1794.
Being so much younger than her sisters, who were all married
before she had grown up, and her mother being now Avell advanced
in years, she fell heir at an early age to the cares and honours of
the house ; and to the handsome fulfilment of this duty, then and
since, a constitutional love of order and neatness has successfully
contributed. It is hardly neccessary to say, that she received the
best education which the city afforded ; and from what has been
shown of her father's house, it seems equally unnecessary to add,
that she possessed all the advantages of a refined circle of society,
and of Christian training and example.
A considerable repugnance to life in the country, was van-
quished by an agreeable offer from that direction ; especially as
the proposed migration, though "to the westward," Avas not to a
cabin in Illinois, but to a mansion in the valley of Chester; a rich
and charming region, then distant only sixteen miles, now (by
the railroad) only an hour, from Philadelphia. On the 20th April,
1820, she was united in marriage (my father officiating) with Dr.
William Harris ; of whom, and whose parentage, we have some-
what to say.
From that enterprising and prolific hive in Northern Ireland,
which has furnished America with so many good citizens, came
Thomas Harris, in the early tide of emigration, and setded in
the fertile valley just mentioned, where he became a large land-
holder. On the same soil his son JViUiam was reared; a lad,
who at the age of eighteen, found himself strong enough, and in
his country's cause willing enough, to bear the brunt of war. He
joined the revolutionary army at the interesting period when
DR. W. HA.RRIS. 69
Washington was slowly forcing the enemy out of Jersey; took
part in several memorable battles ; and in fact continued in the
service until the close of the war. He came back to the home-
stead and the plough; got married, and reared a family of six
sons ; and had he lived to this day, to see what stations they fill
in life,* would have acknowledged that republics are grateful, or
that Providence is kind. His wife was Mary, daughter of Rev.
John Campbell, Presbyterian minister at Charlestown, in the
same neighbourhood. She was yet but two years old, when her
father, reading from the pulpit a verse in metre from the 116th
Psalm — " precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his
saints" — dropped down, and presently expired.! To this sudden
and appalling termination of a life of forty years, her own case was
in entire contrast. She had been twenty-five years a widow, and
was in her eighty-fourth year, when, in 1838, she was quietly
called away. She was for many years a member of Great Valley
Presbyterian church. Her husband (usually spoken of as Gen-
eral Harris, having passed to that rank as a citizen soldier since
the war) died in 1812, in his 53d year. At the time of his
death, he was a member of the State Legislature.
William, their third son, was born August 18, 1792. After re-
* Campbell and James are substantial farmers on the Genesee flats, New
York; the former is father-in-law of the present Governor (Young) of that
state. Thomas, one of our most eminent medical men, is chief of the bureau
of medicine and surgery in the navy. John is major of marines; an elevated
grade in that branch of the service. Stephen is a well-established physician
in the Great Valley.
t Since the above was written, the following was found in No. 18, of
*' Glances at the Past," a series of original articles in the Presbj'terian. " In
May, 1747, Charlestown and New Providence petitioned New Brunswick
Presbytery, that if Mr. John Campbell was licensed at that meeting, he
might be sent as their supply. He was born in Scotland in 1713, came to
America in 1734, studied at the Log College, and was licensed October 14,
1747. He immediately accepted the call from Charlestown and New Pro-
vidence, and was installed on the 27th of the month he was licensed. He
was struck with palsy in the pulpit, on the first of May, 1753, while com-
mencing the morning services, and giving out these words in the 116th
Dear in thy sight, is thy saints' death,
Thy servant, Lord, am 1."
70 DR. W. HARRIS.
ceiving a classical education at Brandywine Academy, he entered
upon the study of medicine, and took the degree of M. D. at the
University of Pennsylvania in 1812 — at an earlier age than the
regulations allow. He entered upon the practice, in his own
neighbourhood ; and if, for eight years, he deferred an almost in-
dispensable requisite for a full doctor, it was not for want of pros-
perity in his profession. Having purchased a house and farm in
an eligible position, and " taken to himself a wife," his business
continued to progress, until it reached as large a compass as he was
capable of fulfilling, and as extensive and lucrative as can well be
attained in a country place. His range of daily and nightly travel
ran over a circuit of about six miles from his own house, in every
direction, with occasional calls still farther ; and this in a populous
and wealthy district. He had also, continually, a number of
students under his instruction, and generally under his roof.
When a man has arrived at this point of consideration, his cha-
racter and influence commonly induce other demands, and other
engagements, than those which are merely professional. After
some years' service as captain of a troop of horse, he was chosen
colonel of the Chester county regiment of volunteers, a very re-
spectable command, which he retained until his removal from the
county. Owning and superintending an extensive dairy farm (156
acres), he took hold of agriculture as a science, and availed him-
self of every improvement to bring the place into the finest order.
He was consequently well known amongst liberal cultivators, and
was an active member, and a vice-president, of the Pennsylvania
His influence was also felt in the church. About five years
after their marriage, Mrs. Harris, after a long consideration, and
much feeling, on the subject of religion, made profession of her
faith. Some four years later, her husband came to the same de-
cision, and united with the Presbyterian church under the care of
Rev. Dr. William Latta. He was chosen ruling elder in the
same congregation, not long after.
If to these things we were to add a description of his elegant
place, of the surrounding country, of the state of society, and of
other advantages, we should show reasons enough why the doctor
and his family might wish, as no doubt they did expect, to con-
tinue in that location indefinitely. But we are not our own mas-
DR. W. HARRIS. 71
ters, and the smallest incident may suffice to overturn all our ex-
pectations. In their case, we may say, the mere hoisting of an
umbrella, changed entirely the scenes and plans of life ; and if
this change was beneficial, it is none the less impressive, as a
lesson upon the uncertainty of human affairs. How small a hold
have we upon any thing, if a mere flurry of wind can bring us to
the ground, to rise again in a new and strange place, to renew the
battle of life in a most doubtful arena 1
On a cloudy morning, in May, 1833, the doctor mounted his
horse to start upon the usual round of visitation. The animal was
young and gay, and so much the more to the rider's mind. As
the doctor was seating himself in the saddle, a gust of wind forced
open his umbrella ; the horse, startled by the sight and sound,
made a sudden plunge, and threw his rider, nearly head-foremost,
upon a heap of stones. Had it only finished his plans for the day,
it were of little moment ; it had like to have terminated his days.
He was carried into the house ; and to his own apprehension,
and in the fears of the family, and of medical attendants, was a
dying man. The fluctuations of the sick bed were afterwards
fully detailed by the patient himself, in an article which may be
read in a medical journal.* But the statement is professional and
technical, and we see there nothing of the anxieties, the heart-
strokes, attendant upon his precarious state. The family was not
consigned to widowhood and orphanage. The doctor slowly re-
covered ; but his stature, hitherto erect, was slightly bent forward ;
there was something not right, either at the spine or in the heart.
The toils and jolts of riding about the country, became all but in-
tolerable ; and after the deliberations of a year, he resolved to seek
relief in an easier sphere of practice, where population is con-
densed, and streets are paved. It was a confident movement, to
come to a place already overstocked with physicians, many of
whom would have been satisfied to exchange for a fragment of what
he was leaving. But in 1834, we find him a Philadelphia doctor,
established in Spruce street. The following year, he purchased a
house in Walnut street, corner of Twelfth ; there he has since re-
sided, and in the rapid and solid accumulation of business, has
Medical Examiner, Vol. II., 1839.
12 DR. N. D. BENEDICT.
exceeded all expectations, and probably rivalled any other ex-
We have not much more to add. Besides his round of practice,
he is engaged in a summer course of lectures, and constantly
trains a few students for graduation. His eldership in the country
church being vacated by removal, he was elected to the same
office in the Tenth Presbyterian church. An injury to his knee,
which happened while getting into his carriage (December, 1838),
though it laid him by for some weeks, had a good effect upon the
weakness in his back; so that he now enjoys good health, except
from an occasional attack of rheumatism, which neither gives nor
receives any quarter. His habits are active to the last degree ;
and his energies are ever ready to promote the interests of a
friend, or of the public, as well as those of his own house. He
writes occasionally for the press, on medical subjects, and has
recently edited, with approbation, a reprint of an important and
considerable French work. A series of original lectures on a
kindred subject, published by request of his class, was also well
Dr. Harris has had six children.
1. Emma Ewing, was born January 27, 1821. At the age of
nineteen, she made profession of religion, in the Tenth Presby-
terian church of Philadelphia. On the 25th April, 1844, she was
married to Dr. Nathan D. Benedict, of the same city.
Dr. Benedict comes from a highly respectable New York
family,* who have set us an example in tracing and recording
their own genealogy ; so that his children will be able (in due
time) to study their descent on both sides. His paternal grand-
father was a Congregationalist minister in Connecticut ; his father,
Mr. Robert Benedict, is a farmer in Otsego county. New York,
not far from Utica. Dr. B. was born April 7, 1815, in Tompkins
county of that state, but removed, or was moved, at the age of two
years, to Otsego ; which he rather looks upon as his starting-
place. He was prepared for college at the seminary of Rev. Dr.
* Among his near connexions, are Mr. James Brown, and Rev. Drs. Nott
and Phinney, of New York; Mr. James Neilson, and Rev. Dr. Miller, of
New Jersey; Bishop Potter, and Mr. James Hunter, of Pennsylvania.
DR. N. D. BENEDICT. 73
Phinney, of Newburg ; and graduated at Rutgers' College, New
Brunswick, in the summer of 1837. It was while he was in this
institution, that an extraordinary revival of religion took place ;*
in the progress of which, Dr. B. became personally interested in
the matter, and united with the Presbyterian church, under the
care of Rev. Joseph H. Jones. He is at this time a member of
the Sixth Church of Philadelphia, enjoying the same excellent
ministry. Pursuing the study of medicine here, under the direc-
tion of Dr. William Harris, and in attendance upon the lectures
delivered in the University of Pennsylvania, he took his medical
degree in 1839.
In our day, it does not suffice to open an office, advertise, and
then sit down to wait for business. Dr. B. took the wiser course
of having something to do from the first, even if it presently
brought nothing in. He accordingly obtained a suburban district
of the City Dispensary, walked his daily rounds, and had at least
the satisfaction of healing the sick poor. Where there is diligence,
determination, and real fitness for the work, the walks of the pro-
fession in good time melt into a figure of speech, and the rising
doctor finds himself in a cab. An important auxiliary to the
courses of medical lectures in our city, is found in schools or
classes of examination, founded by voluntary association of phy-
sicians, generally of the younger, always of the more industrious,
sort. In one of these Dr. B. took a part; and the "quizzing
class" which his partnership established, was well attended, and
inferior to none in reputation.
On entering into married life. Dr. B. settled himself in a house in
Spruce street near Broad, and had been there about eighteen months,
when he was elected, by the board of managers, chief resident
physician to the Blockley Hospital of the city and county of Phi-
ladelphia. The compliment of the choice is not lessened by the
handsome compensation annexed to the office, which Dr. B. ac-
cepted, and in which he is now wholly engaged.
They have two children : 1. William Harris, born July 29,
1845; 2. Clara, born January 4, 1847.
* Of which an interesting narrative, drawn up by Rev. Dr. Jones, was
74 CHILDREN OF DR. HARRIS.
2. Robert Patterson, was born November 15, 1822. His
preparatory classical studies wei'e pursued at Mr. Engles's school,
from whence he entered the University of Pennsylvania, and
graduated in the summer of 1841. His medical course was com-
pleted by a degree in the same Institution, in the spring of 1844.
He was directly chosen resident surgeon in Wills' Hospital ; and
at the expiration of the term (one year) was elected to the same
post in the Pennsylvania Hospital, and re-elected the year fol-
lowing. Such a tour of practice and experience is justly con-
sidered an important sequence to the taking of a degree ; and those
situations, though the compensation is merely that of free resi-
dence, are eagerly contended for, and subject necessarily to rapid
rotation. He has commenced practice in this city, with favoura-
3. Of John Campbell we have more to say, because his course
is finished. He was born in Chester county, the 3d of May,
1824. Those who visited at his father's house within a few
years after, Avill remember a chubby, ruddy little fellow, not very
lively, and compared with the others, not bright ; but of a good
disposition, and singularly incapable of fear. He was ten years
old when the family came to the city, and was put to the same
school with his elder brother. His progress in learning was
rather discouraging, until after his entering college, where he
seemed to take a new impulse ; and while the professors were
gratified, the parents were animated, to observe that his lessons,
especially mathematical, Avere comprehended, relished, and mas-
tered. Meanwhile he had grown up a fine lad, of agreeable coun-
tenance and behaviour, and in disposition unaffected, frank and
ardent. The question began to be revolved, for what profession
shall we fit him ? what is to be his cai-eer in life ? — a question,
the solution of which was already anticipated by higher counsels.
In the summer of 1841, being then seventeen years of age, John
was taken with measles, not in a serious form ; from Avhich he
recovered sufficiently to be abroad. Being fond of swimming, he
ventured out to the Schuylkill river, and went in; became exhausted
and chilled ; returned home, and to his bed, no more to rise from
it. An attack of dysentery, too malignant to be met by any
remedy of medicine, soon left him in a hopeless case ; and the
young man, who had hoped by that time to have been in his col-
MARTHA P. BOYD. 75
lege class again, was overheard in the sad soliloquy — " this day I
must die." The religious impressions which he had received a
few months before, during a revival, and which had partly faded,
were now powerfully revived ; he blamed his own backwardness
on that occasion ; but there was satisfactory ground to believe
that his spiritual exercises were those of a renewed heart. After
much suffering, he expired, June 30, 1844 ; and his remains were
deposited in Laurel Hill Cemetery. Thus (vanity of vanities !)
some are called to die, just as they are learning to live.
4. Mary i^ts/ter, born November 27, 1826; 5. Matilda iJ/oore,
born April 24, 1829 ; and 6. William Wirt, born December 20,
1831, are with their parents. The first is a member of the church
which the family attend. The last is in the Sophomore class in
VI. Thus we have given account of five of the children of Ro-
bert Patterson the second, and their descendants ; we come now
to Martha, of whom not much can be recorded. She was born
about 1745, and emigrated hither with her parents. While on
the passage, an attachment sprung up between her and another
young emigrant, named Boyd, to whom she was married, soon
after their arrival. They settled near Camden, South Carolina.
In the revolutionary war, Boyd took up arms against the mother
country, and joined an American company at the time when South
Carolina was in the possession of the British. Taking occasion
to visit his family, a troop of tories surrounded the house, and him-
self and one child Avere murdered. His wife and a female servant
escaped ; and for them remained the painful task of digging a
grave, and interring the dead, without any help. Martha bore it
with the spirit of a Christian heroine. Writing of the event to
her father's family, and borrowing a figure from the loom (with
which, as well as the plough, they were all familiar) she used this
remarkable expression: — "The pattern of my chequered web
would not have been complete, Avithout those two red stripes."
She was afterwards married to a person named Norton, and had
children; but we have no further information, either of her or
VII. Elizabeth died unmarried, in the summer or fall of 1777,
nearly at the same time with her father, and at his house in Abing-
ton. She must have been 29 or 30 years of age, at her death.
76 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
She is well spoken of, especially for piety ; it was to her instruc-
tions that Nancy Bias* (a name familiar to all of us) owed her
religious impressions ; for which she was ever held in the most
VIII. Joseph was born March 20, 1752. The events of his
life were varied and interesting, and himself a remarkable man.
From a printed memoir, contained in an Extra of the Pittsburg
Christian Herald, of the date of March 17, 1832, written by Rev.
Dr. Swift, and from other authentic materials, we condense the
following sketch, which, however imperfect, is as large as will be
consistent with our general plan.
The first we hear of him, after the initial event, is his running
alongside of his father at the plough, inquiring, and hearing the
explanation, of the way in which sinners may be saved. The
docile lad of ten years could understand and feel it all ; and its
effects began to be shown by his joining with some other children
in a prayer-meeting, held in the secret places of a thorn hedge.
The next important circumstance was his marriage, February
27, 1772; an early one, for both parties, as Joseph was not quite
twenty, and Jane Moak was short of eighteen. If in this he ran
the risk of uniting himself with one who was not yet pious,t it
must have been through the force of an early and strong attach-
ment, a conviction of the suitableness of the match in all other re-
spects, and a hope that they would soon be of the same mind in that
particular also. A year had scarcely elapsed, before they resolved
to seek their fortune in the new world ; following in this respect
the example of his elder brother, and anticipating other members
of the family. They arrived at Philadelphia early in 1773; and
after a short stay in Pennsylvania, settled in Saratoga county, New
York. The arrival of his parents the next year, led him to return
* Nancy Bias, originally a redeinptioner from Ireland, was domesticated in
our Patterson family for many years. It was to please her that the last child
of Robert and Amy Patterson was named Elizabeth; belter known to us by
her second name, Matilda.
t " Blessed be God, that ever his free grace has provided you a better,
though a second husband. What a pity that the worst should have been the
first; and the infinitely better, kept years standing disregarded." (Letter to
his wife, Feb. 1780.)
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 77
to Pennsylvania; and from that time until the commencement of
the war, he was chiefly employed in teaching school near Ger-
mantown. Entering heartily into the republican feeling, he stood
amongst the crowd which listened to the first public reading of the
Declaration of Independence, at the State-house door; gave up his
school ; and took a tour of duty as a common soldier. What
other narrow escapes he had, we are not informed ; but as he was
praying one day in a rough shed where the troops were quartered,
the rifle of a neighbouring soldier went off by accident, and shiver-
ed a board just in the line of his person; a circumstance which
doubtless added something to his petitions, and to his unusually
clear impressions of the particular providence of God. This last
was one of the strongest points in his character, as we shall have
occasion to show.
He left the army in 1777, and removed westward to York
county ; and two years later, still farther west, to the wilderness
of Washington county. This latter emigration was made up of a
number of pious families from York. A rude church was erected
in the woods ; but the settlers, held in jeopardy of their lives by
crafty and cruel Indians, could not even venture to the house of
God without the accompaniment of loaded rifles.
In the fall of 1785, he being then thirty-three years old, it was
advised by the Presbytery of Redstone, that he should qualify
himself for the gospel ministry. The advice was a sufficient tes-
timony to his fitness, and he took it as a sufficient indication of his
duty. In company with a few others, he engaged in a course of
preparatory study with Rev. Joseph Smith, a pastor and com-
petent instructor living in the same county, though not in the same
neighbourhood. If a man were not sometimes sundered from his
wife and children, we might be left without that particular kind of
record, both of facts and of character, which is generally the most
intimate and accurate. The letters which Mr. Patterson wrote
home, at this time, have been preserved,* and bear testimony to
* A transcript of these, and of some others, is in possession of his nephew
and namesake, Mr. Joseph P. Engles, of this city, to whom I am indebted
for the perusal of then).
78 JANE PATTERSON.
an eminently fervent, devoted, unaffected piety ; and in connexion
with later correspondence, will again be noticed.
After three years of study, he was licensed, August, 1788, to
preach the gospel. In April following, he accepted a call to the
charge of the united churches of Raccoon and Montour's Run, in
Washington county, the former of them eighteen miles west of
Pittsburg. He had served these congregations ten or twelve
years, when it was found that each had become large enough to
sustain a minister, and he accordingly resigned the care of the
He had already lost two children by death, and was now called
to the affliction of parting with his wife, who died on the 4th
February, 1808. Of this excellent person we have the following
sketch, in a letter written by Mr. Patterson to a friend, four years
" From her first acquaintance with Christ, I do not believe she
could ever be denominated a backslider, but appeared to grow in
grace and in the knowledge of God. It is truly rare to find a per-
son who pays as strict attention to the aff'airs of both worlds as
she did. * * * It was usual with her, when I would tell her
of any of my difficulties, to reply — ' Well, let us go and pray.'
The gracious anecdotes respecting these short prayers, and their
answers, may yet aff'ord matter of conversation. Often have I
heard her say that she was rarely troubled with a wandering mind
in time of solemn worship ; nor ever heard her husband or son
preaching ; for as soon as they entered the sacred desk, relation-
ship was absorbed in the ambassador of Jesus Christ. She had
much more gravity than I, and was often a check on the levity
and unprofitableness of my conversation ; as well as a stimulus to
religious exercises, and ministerial duties. About ten months
before her departure, when I was from home, she was seized with
a long and violent cholic, from the effects of which she never re-
covered. From this time she was under the care of a physician,
who would sometimes say, after praying and conversing with her
(lor he would do both), ' it is in vain to try to recover a patient
who is so desirous to die.' She could usually ride in fine weather,
and sometimes attend the ordinances ; but her mind was peculiarly
fixed in ardent longings to be with Christ, to behold his glory, and
to be perfectly like him. * * * On Sabbath, October 18, I
preached on Nahum i. 7. This was the last sermon ever she heard.
From that night, death made the most formidable approach I ever
witnessed. Racking heart-sickness was almost constant. Two
of the four that then composed the family, alternately sat by her
dav and night, and very frequently changed her position, endea-
JANE PATTERSON. 79
vouring to alleviate her extremity of pain ; the short intervals of
which Avere sweetly filled with expressions of patience, resigna-
tion to the will of God, her own exceeding vileness, and the pre-
ciousness of Christ, for whom she greatly longed. She would
often say to me in the evening, ' my dear, don't you think I shall
get home to-night V For three weeks before her departure, I am
persuaded she did not take one ounce of solid food ; but in the
last two of them, the racking sickness abated, and she rather sunk
into debility, but still retained her full exercise of mind. On her
last Saturday evening, Robert came to see her, and she desired to
converse with him alone ; on which occasion she told him she
had known more of Christ and of the glory of Redemption that
week, than in twenty years past ; ' yes,' said she, ' I thought this
morning, in time of worship, my heart should have bursted under
the view.' She then appeared to regret her telling him, and re-
quested that he should not mention it, lest any should think of her
more than was meet. * * *
On her last evening, I told her, ' I believed she should cer-
tainly get home to-night, for she was evidently dying,' She
looked at me and smiled, but spoke no more. She lay on her
right side, her eyes set. Just at that time I remembered an agree-
ment we had made years before, that whoever of us should attend
the other's dying bed, should talk of Christ and glory directly to
the dying, while life remained. I went instantly close to her. I
cannot now tell what sweet suitable things God gave me to say on
that occasion. There was a dawn of heaven in the room. The
tears burst from her set eyes and continued flowing until she de-
parted. At that moment all appearance of disease left her coun-
tenance, and a full smile settled on her face. I know not if ever
I had such thoughts of God's wiping away all tears.
On the Sabbath following I preached on Job xiv. 14. Views
of the glory she was advanced to, and hopes of being soon in it,
dulled the edge of sorrow, so that I scarcely felt its sharp cutting.
I think it was near two years before my affliction on account of
my bereavement came to its height. * * * "
Four years after (May 9, 1812), Mr. Patterson was married a
second time ; and in Rebecca Leech, found, as he had expected, a
no less suitable partner.* She was from Abington, Pa., and is
In the fall of 1816, being then in his 65th year, his bodily in-
* " 1 enjoy much happiness with my precious companion, whom the Lord
has made acceptable to my friends, and to the church of God." (Letter to
his brother Robert, July, lti24.)
80 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
firmities rendered it necessary to retire from pastoral duty, and
the charge which he had held for twenty-seven and a half years,
was resigned. The growth of the church, the esteem of the
people towards him, and the frequent and powerful revivals of
religion, were so many proofs that, in spite of any disadvantages
from the want of a college education, and from having entered the
ministry rather late in life, he was as truly called to the work " as
It should not be omitted, that during this period, he also took a
leading part in the great moral enterprises of the day, and of that
region of country. He was one of the founders of the Western
Missionary Society, and was in the habit of collecting funds for its
support ; and was equally engaged in promoting the interests of
the academy at Canonsburg, now Jefferson College, of which he
was a trustee. He also took missionary tours, for the purpose of
visiting new settlements, and is said to have preached the^rs^
sermon, to a congregation of white people, in the region north and
west of the Ohio river. In the summer of 1802, he spent several
months among the Shawnee Indians, on the branches of the Miami
river ; and has left a journal of that missionary excursion, which
is said to be full of useful information, and interesting incidents.
We have the summing-up of his sermons and lectures, during
his pastorship ; they amounted to 2572, exclusive of exhortations
and occasional addresses. It is stated also, that he seldom preached
twice from the same text, and when he did, it was seldom sub-
stantially the same discourse. To an active mind, capable of ap-
preciating and unfolding its treasures, the Bible is an inexhaustible
mine. If a preacher finds himself obliged to resort again to the
old stock of sermons, the cause is not to be found in the book from
which the texts were furnished.
On resigning his charge, he changed his residence to the city of
Pittsburg. The change did not diminish his usefulness to the
cause of religion. " No man, at his time of life (says the narra-
tive already mentioned), could have been more actively engaged
in his Master's work, than was this excellent man during the
fourteen years which he dwelt in this city." Without, it is be-
lieved, any formal rule on the subject, Mr. P. was accustomed to
divide his time in such a way, as to give to every day its appro-
priate share in the three following employments : —
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 81
1. Reading, meditation, and prayer.
2. Social religious intercourse, in which he received and con-
versed with his friends, and those Avho sought his advice, and an
interest in his prayers ; also friendly visits to the sick and be-
reaved. His reputation for wisdom and prudence, deep experi-
mental knowledge of religion, and accessibility to all classes,
naturally led persons of various ages and stations in life to spread
before him their peculiar difficulties, and solicit his advice on
points of duty ; he entered feelingly into their trials and perplex-
ities, and never betrayed the trust reposed in him.
3. Active labours in the distribution of the Holy Scriptures ; in
watching over the interests, and transacting a large share of the
business of Bible, Missionary, Sabbath-school, Tract, and other
" At some seasons of the year, almost every day of the week,
would find him passing along the shores of our rivers, entering
hundreds of boats containing families of emigrants from various
parts of the world, kindly inquiring after the temporal and spiritual
welfare of these often destitute and afflicted strangers, giving them
such advice as to their secular concerns as they needed, and
making sure that they were supplied with a copy of the Bible.
There was a familiarity, an affection, and an irapressiveness in
these brief communications, so benevolent, pains-taking, and cor-
dial in themselves, as often made a deep impression upon the
Sometimes they would follow him from boat to boat, to listen to
his brief and appropriate instructions ; at others, they would be-
tray a strong curiosity to know what could be his motive, in taking
so much pains, at his advanced age, to ascertain whether they
possessed the Bible, or wanted any thing which he could supply ;
but, at all times, they treated him with great respect, and often ex-
pressed their obligations in the most grateful manner.
He acted as agent for the receipt and distribution of Bibles, to a
greater or less extent, for the Pittsburg, the Young Men's and
Female Bible Societies of this city, and for the Philadelphia and
American Bible Societies, which occasionally placed donations of
the sacred volume at his disposal, as did the British and Foreign
Bible Society, on one occasion, 100 Irish Testaments. During
his fourteen years' residence in this city, it appears from his en-
tries, that he received and distributed 3920 Bibles, and 2943 Tes-
taments, making a total of 6863 copies. When it is considered,
that most of these were accompanied with his affectionate and
faithful counsels and fervent prayers, we see what a noble monu-
ment to his industry and usefulness is here reared.
82 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
Among no class of persons was he more highly respected,
and sincerely loved, than the youths and children of our Sabbath
schools. He had a faculty of interesting and gaining the attention
of children, as valuable as it is rare.
Thus on the verge of eighty, and with bodily infirmities which
would have entirely laid aside any man of ordinary resolution,
this venerable minister of Christ was in these useful employments
exhibiting a pattern of industry and of method in the despatch of
business which often astonished and delighted the observer. Nor
was this all. Besides a great number of addresses and exhorta-
tions delivered in public assemblies, and in more private circles
of social worship, he preached 170 sermons during his residence
in this city ; and almost always bore a large share of the labours
attendant on the administration of the Sacramental supper in our
We now approach the concluding scene of his life — a life which,
as in the case of so many members of his family, was singularly
lengthened out. He had some sharper afflictions to contend with,
than the usual infirmities of old age. In May, 1829, after he had
barely recovered from aweary spell of sickness, a mis-step on the
pavement gave a wrench to one of his ankles, which sent him back
to the sick room for eight or nine weeks longer, with excessive pain
for a part of the time. This trial led to a thorough work of self-
examination, which caused him to conclude in these remarkable
terms : " I thought God called me to read and pray, and ' prepare
stuflT for removing.' I have found this a difficult work. I cannot
mention the painful particulars, but so it is, and I believe the view
is just and true, — that my whole heart, life, and ministry, is one
horrid mass of abominable filth of moral pollution. Every minute
of my seventy-seven years deserves the eternal wrath of God, and
strange to tell, I am not afraid. I long to see Jesus Avhom I think
I can trust to do what he pleases with me." (Letter to J. P. En-
gles.) The language will be intelligible or not, according as the
reader is personally interested in the subject. To some minds
it will even prove comfortable and encouraging.
In the May following (1830), when he was a year older, we
find him in a better case. Writing to his sisters, he says — •' God
is dealing strangely with me at tliis time. For many years I was
obliged to sit when preaching, and often in time of prayer ; but
last Sabbath I preached twice, standing, and walked near two
miles, and did not feel much fatigued."
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 83
We expect of aged persons, who have almost lost their hold on
life, that they should look upon approaching death with compo-
sure. But if we could enter into the real feelings of such, we
would often perceive, that old age loves to be flattered out of its
realizations and alarms, and without piety, is an uncomfortable
and pitiable case. Such passages as the following, written in
April, 1831, when Mr. Patterson had entered his eightieth and last
year, enable us to understand that " the hoary head is a crown of
glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness." To his sister,
Mrs. Engles: — "There is a glorious prospect before the rising ge-
neration ; but I would rather be in heaven, than in the best days of
the church on earth ; for nothing can satisfy me but perfect holi-
ness." — To his nephew, Joseph P. Engles : — " I do not find that
my increased health and strength, and all the abundant comforts
and endearing blessings of life which I enjoy, and all the glorious
prospects of the church in this dawn of the latter-day brightness,
has the effect to fix my desire to remain."
On Monday, January 30, 1832, at the close of a series of reli-
gious meetings in the church with which he worshipped, he gave
a solemn exhortation, which proved to be his last public act. Up
to Friday night of the same week, he appeared as well as usual.
On that day he took the final sitting for his portrait; and after
contemplating the work a little while, he turned to the artist, and
in his own impressive manner, urged him " to make application to
the Holy Spirit, to have the Divine image dawn upon his heart;"
or to that purpose. The painter, who was of infidel sentiments,
probably despised the counsel, and might soon have forgotten it,
but for the following event, which brought it home to him with in-
In the evening, at family worship, he requested his wife to read
the 103d Psalm; that beautiful and sublime effusion which
begins " Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!" When she had concluded, he remarked —
" I have been trying all my life to come up to the tone and spirit
of that psalm; and at length I believe lean." After some com-
* So we may fairly presume; for subsequently the individual abandoned
his sentiments, and made a profession of religion.
84 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
ments, he knelt down ; and in a very ardent petition, commended
many interests at the throne of grace. At the conchision, he
needed assistance to rise and resume his seat.
Twenty years before, he had said — "I still live in hopes of dying
soon and suddenly, as I have long done."* The extraordinary
wish Avas a constant one, and now at length it was to be realized.
"About one o'clock, on Saturday morning, (February 4, 1832,)
he awoke unwell, and arose, expressing the hope that he should
feel better by so doing. Soon after, however, he said to Mrs. Pat-
terson, with great composure, ' I am dying ; call in the doctor,
and my son Joseph ;' these gentlemen occupying the dwellings
imm.ediately adjoining his own. He again asked, 'is Joseph
coming?' and on being answered in the affirmative, he simply
added, ' the time is come ; Lord, help !' and closing his eyes, sunk
without a struggle into the sleep of death."
Such is a rapid sketch of his life ; but justice requires that we
should dwell for a moment upon certain traits of character, which
rendered him so remarkable and exemplary a man. In doing this,
we shall relate a few anecdotes, which deserve attention.
1. That Mr. P. was a man of uncommon piety, sufficiently
appears from the preceding narrative. Religion was his element;
it was to him what business is to the merchant, or politics to the
politician. We give expression to this not only as a fact, but as an
encomium ; and if some will undervalue it, yet it is certain, that
nothing is more indicative of a greatness and nobleness of soul,
than a high tone of piety ; a habit of near approach to the Most
Yet his religion did not crowd out those avocations, interests,
and enjoyments, which we call worldly ; it rather assimilated
them, and made them a part of the life of godliness. This dif-
ficult achievement was the grand peculiarity of his character ; we
will consider it specially and by itself, as
2. His trust in God, in all the affairs of life. While we
commit to God our spiritual welfare, and are willing to consult
him about the more weighty of our temporal affiiirs, we have
enough of independence left, to prefer the management of the
Letter lo Rebecca Leech, Id 12.
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 85
every-day matters ourselves. Under an appearance of honouring
God by avoiding the mention of apparent trifles, we gratify our-
selves with the idea of being not absolutely dependent in every
thing. It was not so with Mr. Patterson ; and for the sake of
some, who think that it should not be so with them, a few illustra-
tions will be given. And in this I shall not discuss the question,
whether the issues of secret prayer ought not in most cases to be
kept secret. Mr. Patterson chose to tell some of them ; let him
Some time after his removal to the west, he and some others
made a purchase of land, and paid the money. It was soon dis-
covered that the seller was not the owner, and consequently, that
the title was worthless, and the money lost. How much Mr.
Patterson's investment amounted to, is not exactly known to the
writer, nor is it material to the story ; only that it was a greater
loss than he could well bear. The other purchasers had recourse
to law, and advised him also to " employ counsel." " I have read
in the Bible of a Wonderful Counsellor," was the quaint reply,
"and my application shall be to Him." He thereupon made it a
matter of earnest and repeated prayer ; not, we presume, for a
specific restitution of the money ; which no intelligent Christian
could do in absolute terms, but that by some Providential inter-
ference, this serious loss might be made up to him, .or that he
might be duly reconciled to it, and eventually none the worse
for it. The prospect of a specific answer was small, for M'C,
the man who obtained the money, had absconded both from the
neighbourhood and from his family. But as Mr. P. was passing
near M'C.'s house, not long after, a child, running up to him,
begged him to come in. As he did so, the wife, handing him the
identical bag, with the identical dollars, explained the strange
action in such words as these : " when my husband went away,
he charged me to give this money back to you ; for, said he, I
am afraid the man will pray me to death." Thus his suit was
gained ; the others, it is said, never got any thing.
Another incident, more minute, and therefore more to the point,
we take from one of his letters. The poor student •f divinity,
whose course of study must have lessened his means of living,
regarded with mortification the napless, woi"n-out hat, not fit to
appear at presbytery. But if it was of sufficient importance to
86 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
give him concern, it was a fit subject for prayer ; and so he writes
to his absent wife as follows: — " In retirement for special prayer
yesterday, the Lord let me talk familiarly with him about many
things, particularly about a hat ; and he made me Avilling to go to
presbytery with my old one. I came away with a pleasant hope,
and well pleased with all his government ; and this day there was
one bought for a guinea, sent to me a present by A. S."
A school-master may with all dignity pray for the prosperity of
his school ; but may he make mention of the lost penknife, with-
out which he cannot mend the children's pens ? " For want of a
nail, the shoe was lost ; for want of a shoe, the horse was crip-
pled ; the messenger was delayed ; and the city obliged to sur-
render." It was a backwoods settlement, and his the only pen-
knife in it ; if the knife were not found, the pens could not be
made, the writing must stop, and the school must break up. His
trouble was carried to the accustomed place, and spread out in
plain terms ; a last resource, for it had been hunted up and down
to no purpose. Truly all the searching in the world will not find
it ; for it lies buried under the winter's snow, along some road or
bridle-path ; dropt first, and snowed upon afterwards. What
thereupon happened, might indeed have happened without prayer ;
and it might not. As he was riding along, the horse's hoof lifting
up a cake of snow, turned up something else, with a slight jingle.
It was an answer to his requests.
Without multiplying this class of anecdotes (of which there are
more at hand), a deference to truth obliges us to say, that one or
two instances plainly descend below the seriousness of the sub-
ject ; or at least, ought not to have been told. Further, it is ap-
parent that he leaned strongly upon an old Puritan sentiment,
technically called particular faith in prayer ; that is, that be-
lievers may expect a special impression upon their minds, that the
particular mercies which they seek, will be granted. It was for
animadverting against this " unwarrantable notion," tliat the emi-
nent Howe, chaplain to the Protector, lost favour at court ; yet
the general voice of the church, certainly in our day, sustains his
view. Me> like Brainerd, and Martyn, seem to have supported
a high tone of piety without supernatural impressions. On the
other hand, there were some circumstances in Mr. P.'s life, which,
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 87
if correctly apprehended, or transmitted, would prove, that in
special and rare cases, such things may happen.
3. But not to extend this class of anecdotes any farther, we
must mention one circumstance to exemplify a third peculiarity —
his fearlessness in doing what he judged to be his duty. The
distribution of the Bible, along the landings of Pittsburg, was of
course attended with some expense, and as his own means were
always moderate, he was obliged to make collections to defray the
charges. In such a cause, he felt as if he had a claim upon any
citizen who could spare a dollar. In one of these collecting
rounds, he was met by an acquaintance. " Well, father P., what
errand are you on to-day." " I am going to the man that keeps
store over there, to get a dollar for my Bible distribution." "Why
certainly you will not go to such a man as that ; an open infidel,
and scoffer; you'll not get a cent from him." " Yes I will ; I'll
get a dollar ; come along and see." They walked into the store ;
the old gentleman was not welcome from the first ; but upon
opening his request, was treated with positive scorn. The in-
dignant man behind the counter would give nothing for any such
purpose. " Do you say you won't?" "I say I won't." "Well;
I will go home, with my subscription-book, and lay it before the
Lord ; and I will tell him, that Mr. absolutely refused to
give any thing towards the distribution of the Bible." There was
a solemnity and reality in this rejoinder, which seemed to frighten
the man, unbeliever as he was. Opening the money-drawer, he
threw out a piece, saying with a subdued scowl, " here, take your
4. The last thing we shall mention, as a peculiarity, was his
freeness from faults. We might speak of his social qualities,
polished manners, cheerfulness, tenderness, exemption from love
of money and thirst of praise, and many such like characteristics
of all thorough Christians. On the other hand, there were evils
in his heart, occasionally appearing in overt acts, as it is with
other men, and the best of them. Under this head, it seems
hardly just to mention an artlessness and transparency of cha-
racter, which sometimes made him appear frivolous (we use his
own acknowledgment) even while serious. This fault chiefly
appears, where it was likely to appear, in a series of letters writ-
ten in a time of courtship. But as I do not intend to condemn
88 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
my own father, by a certain roll of love-letters, so neither shall
any decision be framed from similar evidences, in the present
case. We find something more serious, first, in an undue self-
will, and secondly, in too great irritability of temper. Let him
speak for himself, on both points. " A wretched impatience, and
urgency for the accomplishment of any thing I had taken in hand,
has always been my disposition ; and when unguarded, has often
brought me into deep mire." To the second point : " Now I
shall drop two little hints of truth respecting my dreadful temper.
I am not conscious of having felt it irritated to passion, or sunk to
a sour, sullen humour, these five years or more. I have heard
my companion observe, that I had such an art of hiding my ill
temper, that we were seven years married before she knew I had
such an article in possession. I do think, if I was condemned to
be a man of contention, it would soon kill me ; my weak nerves,
and strong passions, would produce a mortal explosion." This
was written in 1812. As it respects this failing, it is often ob-
served to increase upon a man, as he grows old ; it was so with
Robert Patterson ; but of Joseph, there is this remarkable testi-
mony, that for twenty years preceding his death, he seemed en-
tirely to have conquered it.
These no doubt are ofF-sets to the character of a good man ; but
they are all that we know of in this case ; and what are they in
comparison of what we see elsewhere ? And when so powerfully
kept down, do they not rather increase our admiration, both of the
man, and of the grace that made such a man ?
We are reluctant to part with a good subject ; but we can only
add a grateful contemplation of the uniformity and singleness of
his whole course. Many good people do seem almost to get tired
of their religion, at least to let down the tone of it ; and an expan-
sive charity pleads that there may be grace without growth. But
here we see Joseph Patterson a praying lad at ten years ; at
twenty, seeking opportunities for the conversion of others ;* at
* Of wliich a curious anecdote is preserved. Wliile on a journey in the
west, he stopped at a cabin, where he was immediately recoornised. " You
don't remember me ?" said the woman. " No." " Well don't you recollect,
when you were coining across to America, there was a poor girl of sixteen
JOSEPH PATTERSON. 89
thirty-three, preparing for the sacred ministry ; at fifty, labouring
for Christ, amongst white men and red men ; at seventy, going
down to the river-side to put the Bible into the hands of neglected
emigrants and boatmen ; at eighty, requiring help to be lifted off
his knees; and desiring to depart, though comforts were many,
and anticipations for the church were bright.
We are not aware that any thing has been set down to Mr.
Patterson's account, which was not due. It is not pretended that
he had any marked abilities as a preacher, or that his mind was
above the common order. A man cannot have every thing, and
his portion was enough. Yet we would not seem to undervalue
him in any respect. Certainly there was, in the pulpit, a sub-
stance of matter, and a tenderness of manner, which made him
very acceptable and successful. As for his grade of miiid, it may
be judged of by passages from his letters, of which a few have
been given, and another is to conclude this notice.
In personal appearance he resembled his brother Robert ; had
perhaps a heavier eye, and a more benevolent expression of
countenance ; darker hair, and more of it; was of a large, athletic
frame ; fleshy, but not corpulent ; altogether, a venerable and
agreeable person to look upon.
His extant letters may be thus classified. 1. A series of twen-
ty-two, written to his wife during his preparation for the ministry,
and in his old age collected and transcribed by himself. A copy
is in the possession of Mr. Joseph P. Engles.
2. The letters written to Miss Leech, to whom he was after-
wards married. These are fifty in number, and were written in
about eleven months ; 1811-12.
3. A miscellaneous collection, dating from 1816 to 1831, a
on the ship, among the emigrants; you went up to her one day and said,
" Somebody told me that you had a bad heart." " I answered (for I was the
girl), how did you hear such a thing." "An old Jew told me," you re-
plied. Then my curiosity and anger were both raised, and I insisted on
knowing more about it ; and then you opened to me the whole truth of my
case; and it was the means of my conversion."
Here we will add, that in almost every instance, persons who came to live
with him as domestics, if they remained any time, became pious; and this
through a blessing upon his faithfulness towards them.
90 JOSEPH PATTERSON.
transcript of which is also in the possession of Mr. Engles.
No doubt there are others, which have not come under our ob-
We can hardly characterize these letters in a passing comment.
A heart full of affection, towards God and man, here lets itself
out, and expatiates. There is no dragging in of religion, to save
conscience or appearances. " My dear friend in Christ Jesus,"
is the common salutation, and he springs at once into the spiritual
world, as if that had always the first claim, and the largest in-
terest. Whoever turns over these manuscripts, M'ill be likely
to ask himself, " what man among us writes thus to a wife or
friend ?" But withholding any other quotations, we give a part
of a letter, written under peculiar and affecting circumstances.
His elder brother Robert lay in a lingering and last illness ; and
upon the sad intelligence, the pen of the ready writer is set to
work. The two were four hundred miles apart, and other com-
munication was not practicable.
''Pittsburg, July 8, 1824.
" My Dear Brother, — I embrace the opportunity by Miss M. of
sending a few lines, as to one on the confines of glory, owing to
the riches of grace through Christ Jesus our redeeming Lord.
What should such sinners do without his mediation ? sink, for-
ever sink under his just displeasure. Surely we have a right to
be ashamed of all our ways ; and especially that with the means
enjoyed, we have made such slow progress in sanctification, and
are not yet fit to take possession of the inheritance of the saints in
light. Surely the covenant of grace is well ordered in all things,
and sure. In it, every thing ,is provided that we need, for time
and eternity. And the disposition to know, receive, and rest upon
Christ, and all his blessed fulness, is also the free gift of God, and
without which all would be forever lost. The best spent minute
of our lives would not dare to show its face in the presence of the
holy law of God ; how then should we appear with all the sins of
seventy or eighty years. Oh how salutary, how suitable under
the oppressive view of our sins, is the heart-cheering promise,
' My grace is sufficient for you.' And ' the blood of Jesus
Christ, his Son, cleanses from all sin.' There is a peaceful con-
solation not easily described, in the soul's trusting Christ to do
what he pleases with us, and with all that does or ought to con-
cern us. Rest assured in him, my dear brother, that there is good
news ahead, and that not one word shall fail of all the precious
things that the Lord has promised. * * * * *
With sincere affection to all my friends,
I remain, my dear brother, yours,
CHILDREN OF J. PATTERSON. 91
It is in the closing years or hours of men's lives, that, to use
the terras of art, we find the best point of sight, and the most
impressive attitudes. The two brothers, once poor young emi-
grants, have run, or nearly run, their mortal course. In their re-
spective callings, and in the long lapse of years, they have attained
to eminent consideration. Revered by the younger generations
among whom they linger, the obscurity of their origin is forgotten,
or remembered only to enhance their honours by the contrast.
But the aged divine looks upon the more aged philosopher, and
upon himself, as divested of all factitious dignity. He talks to
him in the plainest terms ; offers no flattering unction, no specula-
tions ; but uses the very words which any Christian, passing
through the dark valley, would most like to hear and entertain.
He would first have him humbled as a sinner, laden with the
account of fourscore years ; and then he would lift him up, and
cheer him up, as a redeemed sinner. Venerable men, and ven-
erated sires, farewell ! You have left us a name that we can bear
and transmit with honest pride. Your gifts and graces illuminate
our history. Your example animates, reproves, directs, our
course through life.
The children of Rev. Joseph Patterson were all by his first
wife, eight in number, and all born in America; of whom four
I. Robert, was born April 1, 1773 ; married August 27, 1801,
to Jane Canon, daughter of a gentleman from whom the town at
which Jefferson College is located, takes its name. Robert is an
ordained minister of the Presbyterian church, and was formerly
pastor of a church about seven miles from Pittsburg. He was
also for a number of years the first partner in a very extensive
book establishment, comprising a paper-mill, printing office, bin-
dery, and bookstore. He is at present living a short distance
from Pittsburg. He has had eight children, six of whom are
living. 1. Juliet. 2. John, died at the age of eighteen months.
3. Jane, married May 1, 1828, to Thomas S. Clarke, merchant,
of Pittsburg ; died February 18, 1830, leaving one child, Maria,
then six months old, that died at the age of nine months. 4. Jo-
seph, married January 1, 1840, to Mary C. Baird, daughter of
Judge Baird ; they have three sons, Robert, Thomas, and Joseph.
5. Rebecca, married July 6, 1835, to John D. Baird, merchant,
92 CHILDREN OF J. PATTERSON.
of Pittsburg. Mr. B. died June 9, 1841, leaving an only son,
Harvey. 6. Sabina. 7. Matilda. 8. Robert.
II. Nancy, born February 1, 1775, died March 17, 1796.
III. Benjamin, born June, 1777, died December, 1779.
IV. Martha, born January 39, 1780 ; married to David Gra-
ham. Mrs. G. is a widow, lives at New Lisbon, Ohio, and has
two children, Margaret and David. 1. Margaret, is the wife of
Rev. John Graham, of New Lisbon ; they have had seven child-
ren, five of whom are living. 2. David, married M'Mahon,
of Cumberland, Md. ; the children of this union were three, one
of whom is living.
V. Joseph was born April 10, 1783. He was educated for the
legal profession, and entered upon its practice with good prospects ;
but a dislike to some parts of the business suddenly determined
him to abandon it. He then gave his attention to the purchase
and sale, on his own account, of lots in the vicinity of the growing
city of Pittsburg ; a pursuit that has largely repaid the foresight
and cautious management which he brought to it. Mr. P. made
profession of religion many years ago, and during his residence in
Philadelphia, was a member of the Walnut street Presbyterian
church. He returned with his family to Pittsburg, in the spring
of 1846, and continues to reside there, a short distance from the
city. By his first wife, Jane M'Crea, of Philadelphia, there were
no children.. His second wife is Esther Hoge, daughter of the
late Rev. Thomas Hoge, of Philadelphia. Their children are,
Elizabeth H., Joseph and Jane.
VI. Jane, born October 26, 1785, was married to Dr. John
Thompson, also of New Lisbon. They have six children ; Jo-
seph, Jennings, Calvin, Jane, Rebecca, and Martha; perhaps
not just in this order. Jane was married in 1835 to Dr. Snod-
grass, of New Lisbon ; they have had four children, of whom one
VII. and VIII. Samuel, and Esther, twins, were born Octo-
ber 4, 1789; the former died December 14, 1811, the latter
February 21, 1813. This entry concludes our account of Joseph
Patterson and his family.
IX. We come back to Philadelphia, for the next family, which
sprang from second Robert Patterson. Agnes, Anna, or Anne,
(her first name appears in all these cognates) was born in county
ANNE P. ENGLES. 93
Down, Ireland, in 1756. Of her childhood we only know that
she formed one of lier brother Joseph's infantile prayer-meeting,
already mentioned. At the interesting age of eighteen, and of
course without a governing choice in the matter, she bade farewell
to her native land, and with her parents, and other members of
the family, came to America. In 1776 she was living at Miles-
town with her father ; and in those stirring times, carried the
spirit of a patriot, and was all but a soldier. She was near enough
to the battle of Germantown to hear the noise of artillery ; a
thieving Hessian, straying over to her father's premises, yielded
to her superior wrench, in the contest for a copper kettle. While
the city was in possession of the British, she was a secret bearer
of letters to the American party within the enemy's lines, riding
in and out on horseback, and managing to elude the vigilance of
The tedious war was yet in progress, when she became inti-
mately known to Capt. Silas Engles, of Philadelphia, a whig and
a widower. Mr. Engles, who was born in this country, and as
long ago as 1731, was of Swiss descent; the family were settled
in the neighbourhood of Germantown for many years ; the original
spelling of their name, Engel, has been variously modified into
Engle* and Engles. Like other worthy heads of houses in this
book, Mr. E. worked his way upward. Commencing life with
the trade of a carpenter, he became in due time a master-builder
of reputation ; from thence passed to the lucrative employment of
measuring carpentry, and finally was chosen to the responsible
place of City Surveyor, which office he filled until his decease.
The proposals of a person agreeable in other respects, were
allowed to outweigh some disparities ; Mr. Engles was forty-six
years of age. Miss Patterson twenty-three ; Mr. E. was an Epis-
copalian, and held a pew in St. Paul's ; Miss P. was a Seceder, the
straitest sect of Presbytery. But a concord of disposition crum-
bles all such impediments. The match was accomplished, and a
* James Engle, Esq. formerly a presiding officer in our State Legislature,
was of the same stock. Engel is certainly the true spelling ; a good Ger-
man word, and of very good signification. It comes direct from the Greek
94 ANNE P. ENGLES.
union of twenty-six years was harmonious and happy. Mr.
Engles kept his church relation ; the two walked together to the
ground of Christ church, to bury a child. By degrees he became
attached to Presbyterian order, and often went Avith his wife to
Spruce street church ; on festivals, the children would go with
him to St. Paul's. In his last sickness, (which was protracted,)
he requested and obtained the ministerial visits of Dr. Gray, and
was not attended by the Episcopal clergyman. He died January
19, 1805, in his 74th year, professing his faith " in the blood of
Mr. Engles was a person of amiable and mild manners, very
skilful in his business, and of singular uprightness and veracity.
An occurrence in our Supreme Court rencAved the famous anecdote
of Petrarch. Mr. Engles was called to the witnesses' stand, per-
haps on some interlocutory proceeding ; the clerk was about to
administer the usual oath, Avhen Judge M'Kean called out, " That
is unnecessary ; Mr. Engles's word is sufficient." His patriotic
spirit was conspicuous ; his title of Captain was due to a com-
mand which he had of a company raised by his own efforts and
liberality, during the revolutionary war.
In a widowhood of twenty-eight years, Mrs. E. found comfort
and satisfaction of her children. She lived to see one of her sons
arise to the position of a classical teacher of the first rank and
reputation, in his native city ; chosen to the office of ruling elder
in his and her church ; and giving the scanty remnants of leisure
to other ways of advancing the interests of religion and of society.
Another son became a minister of the gospel, pastor of a church
in the city ; and still lived with his mother. A daughter was
married to another settled clergyman, and living close at hand;
and all the daughters, married or single, following a maternal in-
stinct or example, had made themselves known in the walks of
benevolence, going about systematically, to search out, and relieve,
the impoverished and distressed. For the living, our book has
no encomiums ; it will not conceal the facts.
We know, from sources independent of her obituary notice, that
" Mrs. Engles was a woman of more than common intellectual
powers." In her younger days, she made the best English
authors her study ; and from the stores of a surprising memory,
could cite, in after life, large passages from Young, Cowper, and
GEORGE C. POTTS. 95
Hervey. Much of her reading was of a religious character ; the
rehgion she professed, interested her ; and her children learned
divinity from her lips. A conspicuous trait in her character was
that of kindness to the poor, and the sick. Her conversation was
entertaining, with an occasional spice of humour. But those of
us who knew her only in old age, and remember only her con-
tinued aspect of distress, have not a fair impression of what she
was in earlier years. Like two of her brothers, she was naturally
irritable ; but beyond this, her life was embittered by a painful
chronic ailment, which, if it caused an eminent saint to feel him-
self a dying man, while yet he had the hand of a master, and
could indite his "Dying Thoughts," might leave upon her coun-
tenance, and tone of voice, its impress of sadness. " She had
long been exercised," says the obituary, " with painful doubts and
misgivings as to her own personal interest in Christ ; but as the
closing scene approached, she appeared to have gained a victory
over them. When no longer able to speak, being asked by one
of her sons ' is it peace V she gave an affirmative nod." She died
on the 12th May, 1833, in her 78th year, and was " the last sur-
vivor of a large family."
The children of this union were seven ; of whom five are
I. Silas, born in 1781, married in Fredericktown, Md., and
soon after removed to Pittsburg, where he lived a number of
years, and where his remains lie. As in the case of William E.
Patterson, and from the same cause, his life was parsed under a
cloud. There were six children ; of whom I have no particulars.
II. Mary was born in 1783; was married, in 1801, to George
Charles Potts, whose history is an interesting one. When the
army of Cromwell made its memorable incursion into Ireland
(1649), it left there an English officer, of the name of Potts, who
remained in the island, and became the head of an Irish house.
From him descended the individual just named, who was born in
Clontibret, county Monaghan, in 1775. His parents were re-
spectable and pious, of the Presbyterian persuasion ; and by them
he was early set apart for the ministry. His education was pro-
secuted and completed at the University of Glasgow ; and he was
licensed by the presbytery of Monaghan to preach the gospel.
About this time his country was making her memorable struggle
96 GEORGE C. POTTS.
for freedom. Into this cause he entered with characteristic ardour;
joined the society of United Irishmen ; and in 1795, visited Paris
as the bearer of an important communication to the French Na-
tional Convention. While on this embassy he extended his
travel into Switzerland. But Ireland could not escape her iron
bonds ; and Irish patriots could not safely remain upon their own
soil. In July, 1797, he arrived in the United States.* After
preaching for some time in various vacant churches, in Pennsyl-
vania and Delaware, he chose Philadelphia as the field of his per-
manent labours, and with the sanction of the Presbytery, gave his
personal efforts to the organization of a new church, in the south-
ern part of the city. In June, 1800, he Avas ordained and in-
stalled pastor of the Fourth church ; which, from a small beginning,
grew to a large and well-established congregation ; a substantial
monument to his acceptableness and industry as a Christian
After a service of thirty-six years, his infirmities rendered it
necessary to resign his charge, and nearly all active ministeriar
duties. For three years preceding his death, he was an invalid,
suffering from nervous debility, and occasional acute attacks. As
the event drew nearer, his sufferings increased greatly. Some of
the most afflicting symptoms of death were upon him for twelve
days before his final release. Eetaining his consciousness, but
scarcely able to articulate, he could yet afford satisfactory evi-
dences to those who were with him, that his hopes were un-
shaken. " Christ will never leave me ; I feel that I have an
interest in his precious promises ;" such were some of his ejacu-
lations. He died on Sabbath evening, September 23, 1838, in
his 64th year.
There was nothing remarkable about him as a preacher: but
he Avas a man of kind and social manners, agreeable and easy in
conversation ; affectionate in his family ; laborious in ministerial
duty; exemplary in attentions to the sick and dying; a friend to
* After his arrival here, he continued lo correspond with some of the
leaders of the •' rebellion." His widow, in burning a trunk-full of old let-
ters, noticed several with the signature of Archibald Hamilton Rowan.
GEORGE POTTS. 97
ihe poor, and especially ready to seek out means whereby they
might procure an honest livelihood.
After his decease, his widow continued to reside in the city,
and of late years has been, with two daughters, at boarding ; alter-
nating between town and country according to the season.
They had twelve children, six of whom are living.
1. George, their first-born, occupies a prominent place among
our American clergy. He was born in Philadelphia, March 15,
1802; graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1819; and
was a student in Princeton Theological Seminary, 1820 to 1823;
receiving his licensure in the meanwhile (October 16, 1822) from
the Presbytery of Philadelphia, then in session at Doylestown.
His ordination took place at Philadelphia, September 9, 1823;
and accepting a call from the Presbyterian church at Natchez,
Mississippi, he was installed as pastor, December 5, 1823. On
the 26th April of the next year, he married Matilda R. Postle-
thwaite, of that place, then in her 18th year.
In the pastoral charge of that church he continued for twelve
years. On his retiring from it, in 1836, the communicants num-
bered 135 ; and it may be recorded as a signal proof both of the
ability and liberality of the congregation, that in the same year, its
benefactions to religious objects amovmted to fourteen thousand
dollars. His leaving Natchez was to take the pastorship of the
Duane street church, New York; a new organization, which then
included only sixty members. His installation there occurred in
During his connexion with this church, he was taken with that
affection of the throat, which has in so many instances interrupted
the labours of our ministers. A voyage to Europe, and a course
of travel there, which detained him abroad a year or more, was
the means of restoring him to health, and the exercise of his office.
In 1838, he received the honorary degree of D.D.
In 1845, he resigned the charge of the church in Duane street,
whose numbers had increased to 467 members. November 26,
of the same year, he was installed as pastor in University-Place
church, New York, where he continues.
This merely chronologic notice might have been made more in-
teresting, had we dwelt upon Dr. Potts's standing as a preacher,
and his style of preaching ; upon his famous controversy with Dr.
98 CHILDREN OF G. C. POTTS.
Wainwright, of the Episcopal church ; and upon other incidents
and topics proper to a memoir. But at the age of forty-five, and
as we trust, only in the midst of his course, it seems premature,
and at any rate would not be consistent with our plan, to give a
more extended notice. We continually recur to the sentiment,
that it is after the " knell of parting day," that the account is most
satisfactorily made up.
His children are — 1. Mary Engles, born July 9, 1827; ad-
mitted to the communion of the church in 1846. 2. William,
deceased. 3. Arthur, born February 8, 1832. 4. Annie Dun-
bar, born February 6, 1835. These four were bom in Natchez.
5. George Ewbank, born February 24, 1839. 6. Alexander Dun-
bar, born June 6, 1843. These two were born in New York.
2. Silas Engles, second child of Rev. G. C. Potts, graduated
at the University of Pennsylvania in arts and in medicine. Mar-
ried Frances Bohannon, of Kentucky ; settled at Natchez ; and
died there in the early part of 1839, in his 33d year; leaving a
widow and two children.
3. John Campbell, was also a graduate of the same University,
and admitted to the bar in Philadelphia. Married Sarah Gustin,
of Natchez. They are living on a plantation in New Eiver Set-
tlement, Louisiana, 90 miles S. W. of New Orleans.
4. Robert Patterson, deceased.
5. Thomas Reed, is a physician practising at Galena, 111. ; un-
6. 7, 8. William Latta, Joseph Engles, Benjamin Rush,
9. Sarah Ann, lives with her mother.
10. Martha Mary, married to ^S*. Lisle Smith, attorney at law,
formerly of Philadelphia, now settled at Chicago. They have
two children, George P. and Graeme.
11. Elizabeth 3I^Clelland, is with her mother.
12. Emma, died in infancy.
III. Ann, third child of Silas and Ann Engles, after the death
of both parents, removed with her sister to Illinois. (See farther
IV. Robert, died in infancy.
V. Martha, continued at housekeeping with her sister Ann, for
some time after their mother's deadi ; and upon her marriage with
JOSEPH P. ENGLES. 99
Alexander Anthony Niewiardowski, the three went together to
tlie west, and purchased a farm in Marine Settlement, Madison
Co. 111., about 25 miles from St. Louis. Mr. N. was a refugee
from Poland, having been engaged in an unsuccessful attempt to
rid his country of Russian tyranny. The arrival in Philadelphia
of a numerous band of the Polish patriots, strangers and friendless,
excited the active sympathies of many of our citizens, especially
those who were accustomed, from a Christian principle, to "go
about, doing good," This was the origin of the acquaintance in
the present case. Mr. N., who was an educated and respectable
person, was not only put in the way of gaining a livelihood, but
was led to a careful examination of the doctrines of the church
(Roman Catholic) in Avhich he had been bred, which resulted in
his conversion to Protestantism, and he thereupon made profession
of faith in the Presbyterian church. His after life gave sufficient
proof of sincerity in this step.
The three had enjoyed their western home eight or nine years,
in comfort and competence, when the incident of an hour changed
the face of things, and left a painful story to relate. In the effort
of yoking one of his cattle, a refractory animal, Mr. N. received
some internal hurt, in the chest, the nature of which seems not to
have been ascertained. From that time, although able to attend
to his aff"airs, his health was gone ; and an apprehension that his
death would occur suddenly, and perhaps soon, kept the ladies in
a constant uneasiness, and fearful to trust him out of their sight.
The apprehension was well founded. On the second of December,
1846, Miss Ann, in going towards the barn, discovered the lifeless
body of Mr. N. lying on the ground. His death must have been
instantaneous, and the result of the injury already alluded to. Mr.
N. had lived long enough to disappoint the apprehensions which
any of us may have entertained, upon the introduction of a stranger
and foreigner into the connexion : he was an excellent husband,
an industrious and skilful manager, and a conscientious man. But
otherwise, and looking away from the designs of a Divine Provi-
dence, we might be tempted to say, he had not lived long enough ;
his death has left the two sisters in a labyrinth.
VI. Joseph Patterson^ born in Philadelphia, January 3, 1793,
received a name in baptism which he loves to cherish. He
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania, in July, 1811, and
100 JOSEPH P. ENGLES.
two years after, was appointed co-master of the grammar school
in that institution, with Mr. (now Rev. Dr.) How. After the
resignation of that gentleman, Rev. J. Wiltbank joined with Mr.
Engles in the mastership. In 1817, Rev. Dr. Wylie and Mr.
Engles founded an academy under the name of the Classical In-
stitute. The prosperity and reputation of this school gave sub-
stantial proof of the skill and fidelity of the teachers. Here Mr.
E. spent twenty-eight years ; continuing as sole principal, after
the appointment of his colleague (1828) as Professor and Vice-
provost in the University.
January 25, 1826, he married Harriet P., daughter of Solomon
Mien, of Philadelphia. She was born in Hudson, N. Y., the
12th April, 1804.
Mr. Engles made profession of religion, in the Scots' Presby-
terian church, at an early age ; and while comparatively a young
man, was chosen an elder, in the same church. In addition to
this duty, he had the superintendence of the Sabbath school for a
number of years. He was also active in the support of the Ame-
rican Sunday School Union, and in that truly catholic and useful
institution, represented the Presbyterian interest, in the committee
of publication, in which he served for many years, and up to the
time of his taking the office to be named directly. To this labo-
rious and gratuitous supervision, he seems to have been chosen on
the principle that they who have the most to do, have the most time
to spare. In February, 1845, he was appointed Publishing Agent
of the Presbyterian Board of Publication ; and relinquishing his
school, therefrom gave his whole time to that business, in
which he continues. In the midst of all his engagements, Mr. E.
found time (at what recess of the day, or night, we cannot tell)
to edit a pocket edition of the Greek Testament, with various
Of ten children, five are living. 1. S. Mien, born January 9,
1827 ; now a student of medicine. 2. Anna P., born September
5, 1828; died July 27, 1844. 3. S. Weir, born January 5, 1830,
died February 9, following. 4. Susan Mien, born January 5,
1831, died February 11, 1832. 5. William, born Augusts, 1833,
died December 3, 1846, of scarlet fever. " On Tuesday after-
noon, he occupied his place at school, and in the play-room. On
Thursday night, his spirit forsook its clay tabernacle. * * *
WILLIAM M. ENGLES. 101
During most of the time of his illness, he was deprived of reason,
and did not even know his parents. During a brief lucid interval,
on Thursday morning, in the temporary absence of his father, he
asked his mother if she would not pray for him. On being asked,
for what she should pray, he answered, ' that God would make
me a good boy, and give me a new heart.'" 6. Thomas Men,
born July 29, 1835. 7. Prisdlla C. born April 6, 1838. 8. Alex-
ander Macklin, born January 22, 1840; died March 30, 1841.
9. Robert Patterson, born May 2, 1842. 10. Mary Potts, born
July 9, 1847. .
VII. William M., youngest child of Silas and Anna Engles,
and youngest of the many grandchildren of second Robert Patter-
son, was born in Philadelphia, October 12, 1797. He took his
first degree in the University of Pennsylvania, January 10, 1815;
and thereupon entered upon the study of divinity, and preparation
for the ministry in the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Pres-
byterian church, under Dr. Wylie, where he passed the next three
years. October 21, 1818, being then barely of age, he was
licensed by the Presbytery of Philadelphia; and July 6, 1820,
was ordained and installed first pastor of the seventh Presbyterian
church of that city.* In this charge he continued during fourteen
years. On tendering his resignation, (September 4, 1834,) the
roll of church members numbered three hundred and twenty-eight
names. Mr. E. retired from the pastoral office to give his atten-
tion to the editorship of the " Presbyterian" newspaper, to which
post he had been invited. It seems superfluous to suggest, that
the circulation, influence, and general reputation of this the princi-
pal journal of the Presbyterian church (of the old school) in the
United States, are in a great measure to be ascribed to the ability
and industry with which the editorial functions have, for these
thirteen years past, been discharged.
August 8, 1836, he married Charlotte, eldest daughter of James
Schott, an eminent citizen of Philadelphia, and for many years
President of the Girard Bank.
* The church edifice was generally known as the Tabernacle ; and was
the usual place of meetings of the General Assembly. It is now taken
down, and a new building has been erected on Penn Square.
102 HUGH PATTEUSON.
In May, 1838, he was appointed Editor of the Board of Publica-
tion of the Presbyterian church, which office he has fulfilled ever
since. The same year he received the honorary degree of Doctor
of Divinity. At the meeting of the General Assembly, in May,
1840, he vi^as elected Moderator; and at the close of the session,
was chosen Stated Clerk to that body.
The position which Dr. Engles occupies, in the church and the
community, may be inferred from the foregoing memorials. A
partial loss of bodily health, (not betokened, however, in his ap-
pearance) has long restrained him from preaching ; but we may
express the belief, that it has only added to the strength and im-
pressiveness of what he writes.
X. Hugh, the last Patterson whom we have to mention, de-
serves this monument, and can have no other, since his youthful
bones lie buried in the deep. He was born in Ireland about 1760 ;
was an American at fourteen, and at seventeen was in the revolu-
tionary war. He is described as a ruddy, healthy, pock-marked
young Irishman, fond of the rougher paths of life, devoted to the
American cause, and from his heart a soldier. We could wish
that a narrative of his adventures and endurances had been left
behind him. The winter of 1779-80 was passed in the famous
Jersey prison-ship, in New York harbour. The intolerable and
gratuitous rigours to which he and his fellow-captives were sub-
jected, are scarcely exemplified by a specimen like this : it was a
common thing to starve the prisoners for two days at a time, and
then bring in a caldron of soup, boiling hot, with nothing to take
it out ; and a mean pleasure was derived from witnessing their
efforts to get at it by making spoons of their hands, and scalding
themselves. Such traits of British domination (and there were
plenty of them) help to reconcile us to its overthrow. In the fol-
lowing spring, upon an exchange of prisoners, Hugh was set at
liberty. But a repose of six or nine months gave him a fresh
longing for the melee, and he obtained an appointment as lieuten-
ant of marines. One of my best informants, who was then a little
girl of three and a half years, remembers a visit which he made at
his brother's, in the city, just before starting upon a cruise. It
was " killing time," or early in the cold season; a cow, which the
late farmer, now professor, had brought with him from Carltown,
had been despatched ; grandmother was seasoning the blood-pud-
Hugh -attersoin. 'U.J
dings ; ond Hugh, being a sanguinary sort of man, w.s iuvitrd to
pass judgment upon thcirn. Tlie drcumstance was trifling ; but
the visit was memorable, as being the last. He was soon nfter
at sea; they were met. by a superior vessel of the enemy, and
captured. He and some others obtained leave to remain on the
prize until morning, probably hoping to get her off; a storm arose
in the night, the vessels were parted, and the prize, never being
heard of again, undoubtedly foundered. Thus Hugii perished,
when not over twenty years of age. And herf" "' ■ <■ "-^^lo*.. t; -
first division of our book.
It is impressive to take a look, by imagination, into the habita-
tion in Ireland, where these ten growing children of Robert Pat-
terson were training under one roof; and then, dropping- down-
ward in the course of time, to see how wide apart they were dis-
persed, and where their mortal remain.-- do lie. And as of the
family that was, so of those that are : wfiere will their various
branches be scattered ? — and in tVie end, where gathered ?
EM) OF PART FIRST.
P. S. Having by this time found the need of a partner in this work, it
gives ine pleasure to say. that the rnalfciials for the EWING division have
been entrusted to Maskeix Ewinq Cirwen, Esq. of Dayton, Ohio, who
v/ill write out that branch of the history. I do not believe that it could be
in better hands. Tlii? arrangement leaves mo free to prosecute the DU
BOlfcs memorials; with the hope of getting through in reasonable time.
W. E. D.
0" it is 6uo-gcsted to those tvii" intcrd to prescve iinv nionioir, fhal it
be interleaved, in binding, with bhnk pajjer ; oa which corrections jnay be
made, and the .record kept up.