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Pennsylvania Women 





Harrisburg, Pa.: 



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13 J J 


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Little is known of many of the heroes of the " Days 
of Seventy-Six," and much less of the noble women of 
that most interesting period of our Nation's history. 
The object of the writer of these brief sketches is not 
only to present some facts concerning those to whom as 
Children of Revolutionary Sires we owe so much; but to 
bring, in sharp contrast, the patriotism, sufferings, and 
self-denials, of that band of American dames, with the 
frivolity and disloyalty of those women of the metrop- 
olis, which made the occupation of Philadelphia by the 
British in the Winter of 1777-78 a round of gayety. It 
is a well-known fact, lost sight of by many readers of 
historic fiction, that the saviors of our country at Valley 
Forge, in their raggedness and misery, would have 
starved, had it not been for that devoted band of true- 
hearted loving women whose homes were on or lying near 
the frontiers of our grand old Commonwealth. Without 
embellishment or fulsome laudation, facts are simply 
given — and these solely to teach that patriotism is one 
thing, while loyalty without philanthropy is another. 
These brief sketches of the Matrons of the Declaration 
are inscribed to "The Daughters" who will find harvest- 
fields in Pennsylvania revolutionary history which will 
yield them richer, nay, worthier gleanings than the too- 
oft threshed straw of New England fiction. 

**These are Deeds that shall not pass away, 
And Names that must not wither." 


Allison, Elizabeth Wilkins, 9 

Allison, John, 9 

Armstrong, Rebecca Lyon, 11 

Armstrong-, John, 12 

Atlee, Sarah Richardson, 15 

Atlee, Samuel John, 15 

Brady, Mary Quig-ley, 18 

Brad}', John, 18 

Brodhead, Elizabeth Depui, 22 

Brodhead, Daniel, 23 

Brown, Eleanor Lytle, 26 

Bro^^^l, Matthew, 26 

Bull, Mary Phillips, 29 

Bull, John, 29 

Burd, Sarah Shippen, 33 

Burd, James, 34 

Chambers, Katharine Hamilton, 38 

Chambers, James, 39 

Clark, Elizabeth Zane, 42 

Clark, John, 44 

Clingan, Jane Roan, 45 

Cling-an, William, Jr., 46 

Cook, Martha Crawford, 47 

Cook, Edward, 47 

Cooke, Sarah Simpson, 49 

Cooke, William, 49 

Corbin, ]\farg-aret Cochran, 58 

Corbin, John, 52 

Covenhoven, Mary Kelsey Cutter, 55 

Covenhoven, Robert, 55 

Crawford, Hannah Vance, 58 

Crawford, William, 58 

Davidson, Catharine Martin, 62 

Davidson, James, 63 


Davies, Annie Schenck, 65 

Davies, Hezekiah, 65 

Foster, Hannah Blair, 67 

Foster, William, 67 

Gibson, Anne West, 70 

Gibson, George, 70 

Graydon, Eachel Marx, 73 

Graydon, Alexander, 74 

Hand, Catharine Ewing-, 78 

Hand, Edward, 79 

Hamilton, Margaret Alexander, 81 

Hamilton, John, 81 

Hartley, Katharine Holtzinger, 83 

Hartley, Thomas, 83 

Hays, Mary Ludwig, 85 

Hays, John 85 

Henry, Ann Wood, 87 

Henry, William, 87 

Hepburn, Crecy Covenhoven, , 90 

Hepburn, William, 91 

Irvine, Sarah Harris, 92 

Irvine, James, 92 

Irvine, Anne Callender, 94 

Irvine, William, 95 

Irwin, Jean McDowell, 98 

Irwin, Archibald, 98 

Johnston, Alice Erwin, 100 

Johnston, Francis, 100 

Johnston, Martha Beatty, 103 

Johnston, Thomas, 103 

Lowrej'^, Ann West ( Alricks) , 105 

Lowrey, Alexander, 105 

McAlister, Sarah Nelson, 108 

McAlister, Hugh, 108 

McClean, Sarah Holmes, 110 

McClean, Alexander, 112 

McCormick, Martha Sanderson, 113 

McCormick, llobert, 113 

McFarland, Margaret Lewis, 115 

McFarland, Andrew, 115 


McKee, Martha Ilog-e, 117 

MeKee, Thomas, 117 

Macpherson, Margaret Stout, 110 

Macpherson, William, 1-0 

Magaw, ;Marritie Van Brunt, 122 

Magaw, liobert, 122 

Mickley, Susanna Miller, 124 

Mickley, John Jaeob, 124 

Mifflin, Sarah Morris, 127 

Mifflin, Thomas, 12S 

Montgomery, Rachel Rush (Boyce), 130 

Montgomery, Joseph, 131 

Moorhead, Elizabeth ThomjDson, 134 

Moorhead, Fergus, 134 

Morris, Mary AVhite, 137 

Morris, Robert, 13^' 

Murray, ^Margaret Mayes, 140 

Murray, James, 141 

Neville, Winifred Oldham, 142 

Neville, John, 143 

O'Hara, Mary Carson, 14.') 

O'llara, James, 14G 

Orth, Rosina Kucher, 148 

Orth, Balzer, 148 

Piper, Sarah McDowell, I'jO 

Piper, William, IjI 

Plumer, ^largaret Lowrey, 152 

Plumer, George, lo2 

Poe, Elizabeth Potter, 157 

Poe, James, 158 

Pollock, Margaret O'Brien, 100 

Pollock, Oliver, 101 

Porter, Elizabeth Parker, 104 

Porter, Andrew, 166 

Reily, Elizabeth Myer, 168 

Reily, John, 168 

Rosbrugh, Jane Ralston, 171 

Rosbrugh, John, 171 

St. Clair, Phoebe Ba3ard, 174 

St. Clair, Arthur, 174 


Simpson, Margaret Murray, 178 

Simpson, John, 178 

Sproat, Maria Tliomptson, 180 

Sproat, William, 180 

Stewart, Martha Espy, ... 182 

Stewart, Lazarus, 182 

Swetland, Hannah Tiffany, 184 

Swetland, Luke, 185 

Thomas, Ursula Muller, 187 

Thomas, Martin, 187 

Thompson, Catharine Eoss, 189 

Thompson, William, 190 

Thomson, Hannah Harrison, 192 

Thomson, Charles, 193 

Traill, Elizabeth Grotz, 195 

Traill, Robert, 195 

Wallis, Lydia Holling-sworth, 198 

Wallis, Samuel, 198 

Watts, Jean IMurray, 201 

Watts, Frederick, 201 

Wayne, Marj^ Penrose, 204 

Wayne, Anthony, 205 

Weyg-andt, Mary AgTieta Bechtel, 207 

Weygandt, Cornelius, 207 



Elizabeth Willdns, daughter of Eobert Wilkins, was born 
in Donegal township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, July 
7, 1749. Her parents were early settlers and prominent per- 
sons in that hive of Scotch-Irish pioneers. She was a 
woman of education and refinement. In 1762 she married 
John Allison, a native of the Cumberland Valley, where 
he was born December 23, 1738. His father, William Al- 
lison, was a native of the north of Ireland, came to America 
about the year 1730, located at first in Donegal, and subse- 
quently in what was afterwards Antrim township, Cum- 
berland county. John Allison, the second son, received 
a thorough English and classical education, and became 
a man of prominence on the frontiers. In October, 1764, 
he was commissioned one of the provincial magistrates, and 
recommissioned in 1769. At a meeting of the citizens of 
the county, held at Carlisle on July 12, 1774, he was ap- 
pointed on the committee of observation for Cumberland, 
and became quite active in the contest for Independence. 
He was a member of the Provincial Conference held at 
Carpenters Hall, 18th of June, 1776, and chosen by that 
body one of the judges of the election of members of the 
first Constitutional Convention for the second division of 
the county at Chambersburg. He commanded the Second 
Battalion of Cumberland County Associators during the 
Jersey campaigns of 1776 and 1777. He was a member 
of the General Assembly in 1778, 1780 and 1781. In the 
latter year he laid out the town of Greencastle which 
has grown to be one of the most prominent to^Tis in the 


Valley. In 1787 lie was elected a delegate to tlie Penn- 
sylvania Conyention to ratify the Federal Constitution, and 
in that body boldly seconded the motion of Thomas Mc- 
Kean to assent and ratify it. 

At the first Federal Conference held at Lancas- 
ter, in 1788, John Allison was nominated on the 
general ticket for Congress, but defeated through the 
efforts of both parties to "catch the German vote." 
He died June 14, 1795. No more patriotic servant to the 
State ever lived than Colonel Allison. Conservative to the 
highest degree, he was nevertheless firm in his convictions 
of duty, and to him the Federal Constitution was the great 
Magna Charta of the Confederated Union. 

Of Mrs. Allison, much of an historic character has come 
down to us through tradition. During her early years she 
lived on the frontier borders — when Indian maraud and 
savage cruelty held sway, desolating the homes of the back- 
woodsman. Twice during the later or French and Indian 
war was she obliged to leave her pleasant home and flee 
to the town of Carlisle, where there were friends to wel- 
come; and even after her marriage during the Pontiac war 
was she compelled, with her little ones, to seek safety in the 
stockade at Falling Springs (Chambersburg). During the 
frequent absence of her husband in the service of the 
State, Mrs. Allison had not only the care of a large farm, 
but assisted her neighbors in gathering their crops, as well 
as ministering to the wants of others, the absence of whose 
husbands and sons in the army really impoverished them. 
Sympathetic in the highest degree, she bestowed that 
charity which tended to lift up, with blessings on the 
humble giver. Mrs. Allison died at Greencastle, Novem- 
ber 15, 1815, and with her husband is buried at Mossy 
Spring graveyard, adjoining that town. 



Eebecca Lyon, daughter of William Lyon, was born in 
Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Province of Ulster, Ire- 
land, May 3, 1719. She died at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, No- 
vember 16, 1797. Her father was a large landed pro- 
prietor, who gave to his children all the advantages of a 
superior education and at his death left them a handsome 
competency. x\t about the age of twenty, Rebecca Lyon 
married John Armstrong, and, a few years after, with him 
and her little family, came to America. They settled in 
the Kittatinny Valley, west of the Susquehanna, then the 
frontier of the Province of Pennsylvania. During the 
period of the Provincial wars, and subsequently the war 
of the Revolution, Mrs. Armstrong, then residing at Car- 
lisle, became one of the most prominent women of the 
Cumberland Valley. Apart from her husband's distin- 
guished career, which made her more or less well known, 
it w^as chiefly owing to her services during the Indian wars 
in caring for the settlers, who fled to Carlisle from the dis- 
tant frontiers, that she became noted for her sympathy and 
great benevolence. 

T\Tien the war of the Revolution opened, she led the 
women of Carlisle into the active preparation for assistance 
to the patriots who had enlisted to battle for their country's 
independence. Organizing a societ}^, the first in Penn- 
sylvania, she superintended the furnishing of many of the 
comforts, as well as clothing, required by the soldiers of the 
Declaration; she was unstinted in her philanthropy, and was 
willing to sacrifice everything for the welfare of her fellow- 
eountr3^men. In the lapse of a centur^^, her deeds and her 


fame are contrasted favorably with, those of the women 
who have followed her in benevolent actions — and her glory 
has not been dimmed. So to the latest moment of her life 
no other woman was more respected — nor one whose pa- 
triotism and patriotic services were more highly appre- 
ciated. At the time of her death the Carlisle Gazette, 
among other things, said this of her: "This excellent 
woman in her very advanced age continued to enjoy the 
free exercise of a well-cnltivated understanding and of her 
every faculty with much liveliness and vigor. * * * jf 
a disposition, benevolent in a very high degree and ever 
ready to sympathize with and relieve the suffering; if a 
heart framed to delight in all the characteristics of social 
life, all the various and important duties of the consort, 
the mother and the friend; if a constant attendant to the 
duties and the piety, and the ordinances of that Divine Ee- 
deemer in whom she trusted for salvation, in perfect con- 
cert with the pious partner of her cares for the long period 
of half a century, can give ground for the most pleasant 
hopes, her surviving friends may solace themselves with this 
most important of considerations, that death is to her in- 
valuable and eternal gain."^ 

John Armstrong, was born in County Fermanagh, Ire- 
land, October 13, 1717, and died at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 
March 9, 1795. He was well educated, and by profession a 
surveyor, and emigrated to Pennsylvania with his brother- 
in-law, John Lyon, about the year 1740. When the county 
of Cumberland was formed by direction of the Proprie- 
taries, the town of Carlisle was laid out by Mr. Armstrong. 
Most of the land tracts west of the Susquehanna, in what 
is now Cumberland and Franklin counties, were surveyed 
by him. In 1763 his office in Carlisle, with all his books 
and papers therein, was destroyed by fire. This was a se- 
vere loss, and was the cause of very many land suits in the 


Cumberland County Courts. Upon the defeat of General 
Braddock, when the frontier settlements were overrun by 
savages, John Armstrong was commissioned captain of a 
company in the Second battalion of Provincial troops; 
and on the 11th of May, 1756, its lieutenant colonel. Of 
the expedition for the destruction of the Kittanning-on- 
the-Allegheny, by Colonel Armstrong, in September of that 
year, the various histories of the State give full accounts. 
For its success he was awarded the highest praise, and the 
corporation of Philadelphia presented him a silver medal. 
Upon recovery from his wounds received at the Kittanning, 
he was actively employed in defending the frontiers and was 
in the campaign of the army under General Forbes, which 
resulted in the fall of Fort Duquesne. During the Pontiac 
war he was sent against the Indian towns on the West 
Branch of the Susquehanna, and destroyed those at Great 
Island, and Mayanaquie. After the close of the war, he 
retired to private life; but, when the storm of the Eevo- 
lution burst upon the country, he became a prominent 
member of the County Committee of Correspondence. He 
was elected by Congress a brigadier general, February 29, 
1776, and directed to report to South Carolina, where he 
took command of the forces in that colonv. On the 4th of 
April, 1777, General Armstrong resigned his commission 
in the Continental service, and on the day following he was 
appointed brigadier general of the State of Pennsylvania. 
On the 5th of June the Supreme Executive Council com- 
missioned him major general and commander of the State 
troops, and General Washington expressed "his pleasure at 
this honorable mark of distinction conferred upon him by 
Pennsylvania." He directed the erection of the defensive 
works at Billingsport, and participated in the battle of 
Brandywine, and also at Germantown. In 1778 he was 


elected a member of the Continental Congress, and again 
in 1779 and 1780. He also served in 1787-88. 

At the close of his public career, he returned to Carlisle, 
where he resided nntil his death. The Gazette, in an ex- 
tended obituary, presented these characteristics of General 
Armstrong: "It may be truly said of this worthy citizen, 
that his life was eminently useful and exemplary. There 
are but few characters in which so many amiable and shin- 
ing qualities are found united. His easy and engaging 
manners, his sympathy for the distressed, and above all his 
unfeigned piety, gained him the love and esteem of all true 
judges of merit. He was the ever-zealous friend of liberty, 
learning and religion, the advancement of which in the 
world seemed to be the grand object of his habitual wishes 
and prayers. His mind was abundantly stored with 
useful knowledge, especially of the religious kind. 
He possessed a very clear and sound judgment, and 
had acquired the habit of communicating his ideas on every 
topic, in an easy, flowing and perspicuous manner. Al- 
though, as to his body, he experienced great debility — in 
the last weeks of his life — the powers of his mind seemed 
to be little, if at all, impaired. His conversation was as 
usual, mild, candid and edifying; and his character for real 
piety consistently supported to the last. Indeed his zeal 
for the glory of the Eedeemer, and delight in the duties 
and ordinances of religion, formed the fairest traits in his 
character; as they ever must in every character that will 
command the lasting admiration of mankind. His talents 
in the military line, have been abundantly conspicuous; and 
the world has been long acquainted with his spirited enter- 
prises against the savage tribes at an early period of his 
life, and his exertions and sacrifices in the common cause 
of American liberty and independence." 



Sarah Eicliardson, the daughter of Isaac and Alice 
Richardson, was born in Salisbury township, Lancaster 
county, Pa., September 7, 1742. Her father was a suc- 
cessful farmer, residing in the Pequea Valley. Although 
brought up on the paternal acres, the daughter received a 
good education, and became an accomplished woman. She 
was married April 19, 1762, by Rev. Thomas Barton, to 
Samuel John Atlee, then a prominent young officer in the 
Provincial service. At that period she was an exceedingly 
handsome woman, and just as lovely in disposition and 

Samuel John Atlee, son of William Atlee and Jane Al- 
cock, was born July 15, 1739, at Trenton, New Jersey, dur- 
ing the temporary residence of his parents at that place. 
Commencing at Lancaster the study of law at the breaking 
out of the French and Indian war, a sense of duty induced 
him to enter the military field. He was commissioned en- 
sign in the Augusta regiment, x\pril 23, 1756, and pro- 
moted to a lieutenancy December 7, 1757. He participated 
in the Forbes campaign of 1758, and for gallant service at 
the battle of Loyalhanna was commissioned captain May 
13, 1759. 

When the war of the Revolution came Captain and Mrs. 
Atlee were quietly residing with their little family on their 
farm in Salisbury township. It was then that the charac- 
teristics of the noble woman and patriotic wife and mother 
shone out resplendent. She bade that gallant officer God 
speed, as her husband, so well versed in arms, went forth 
to the field of war in behalf of his beloved country. Dur- 


ing liis service nothing came sweeter than the words of en- 
couragement from his home in Pennsylvania, and amid 
the darkest hours of the Eevolntion none so cheerfnl and 
hopeful as the loving wife. When the enemy occupied 
Philadelphia, and while some of her old school acquaint- 
ances were ministering to the frivolities of the British offi- 
cers — ^participating in that disgraceful affair "the Knights 
of the Blended Eose/^ Mrs. Atlee was exerting all her ener- 
gies to relieve the distress of her countrymen — and con- 
tinuously her industry was the occasion of gladdening the 
hearts of some of the needy soldiers of Washington's army. 
It was at a time when frugality was necessary, but gener- 
osity and hospitality were not wholly ignored. Her coun- 
try and its gallant defenders, of whom her husband was one, 
aroused her to a spirit of self-sacrifice, and thus throughout 
the long and weary struggle of eight years, Mrs. Atlee 
showed the highest type of true womanhood, never grow- 
ing weary in well doing. 

When the war was over, her husband settled down to the 
quiet of domestic life and enjoyment. But duty called 
him away to fresh fields of honor and usefulness. He had 
served during the latter period of the war in the Con- 
gress of the United States, and in the General Assembly 
of the State. In 1784 he was one of the commissioners to 
treat with the Indians at Fort Mcintosh, on the Ohio, dur- 
ing which time he contracted a cold from which he died 
suddenly in Philadelphia on the 25th of jN"ovember, 1786, 
and was there buried. Of him it was truly said, "the sa- 
cred pen of history will record and hand down to posterity 
his name among the foremost of those worthies to whom 
Pennsylvania is indebted for her liberties and independ- 
ence." Colonel Atlee was a prominent character in all 
public affairs, and his death in the prime of his career was 
a serious loss. After the decease of her husband the sub- 


sequent years of Mrs. Atlee were devoted to the care and 
education of her children. Her later years were spent with 
her daughter, Alice Amelia, who became the wife of Cap- 
tain Thomas Boude, of the Pennsylvania Line, at Colum- 
bia, where she died on the 27th of December, 1823, aged 
upwards of four score. She was a beautiful type of the his- 
toric dames of the Revolution, and one whose memory 
should be a household treasure in patriotic Pennsylvania 



Mary Quigley, daughter of James Qnigley, was born in 
what was subsequently Hopewell township, Cumberland 
county, Pa., August 16, 1735. Her parents emigrated from 
the North of Ireland three or four years prior to the birth 
of their daughter, and were well-to-do people in the Cum- 
berland Valley. The property on which her father settled 
is yet in the possession of his descendants. In 1755 Mary 
Quigley married John Brady, whose father, Hugh Brady, 
was a near neighbor. He was born near Newark, Del., in 
1733. He received a fair education and taught school in 
the Province of New Jersey prior to the settlement of his 
father in Pennsylvania, some time in the year 1750. John 
and Mary Brady^s first son, Samuel, who became so fa- 
mous in the border wars of Western Pennsylvania, was born 
in 1758, and it has been truly said of him that he came into 
existence " in the midst of tempestuous waves of trouble 
that rolled in upon the frontier settlements in the wake of 
BraddocFs defeat.^^ 

Soon after the breaking out of the French and Indian 
war he offered his services as a soldier, and on the 19th of, 1763, was commissioned captain in the Second bat- 
talion of the Pennsylvania regiment commanded by Colonel 
Asher Clayton. He was with Colonel Bouquet in the ex- 
pedition westward the year following, and participated in 
the land grant to the officers in that service. In 1768 Cap- 
tain Brady removed to the Standing Stone (now Hunting- 
don) — the year after settling upon a tract of land selected 
out of the survey on the West Branch, nearly opposite the 
present town of Lewisburg. In the spring of 1776 he went 


with his family to Miincy Manor. The Eevolution called 
him to the tented field, and as a Captain of the Twelfth 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line, Colonel William 
Cooke, he participated in the honors as well as misfortunes 
of that gallant body of soldiers. On the invasion of Wyom- 
ing Valley, in the summer of 1778, being at home he retired 
with his family to Sunbnry, and on the 1st of September 
following returned to the army. In the early spring of 
1779 he was ordered by General Washington to join 
Colonel Hartley's command, operating on the West Branch. 

On the 11th of April, not far from his residence, Cap- 
tain Brady was assassinated by a concealed body of Indians 
— and thus perished one of the most gallant warriors of the 
Eevolutionary era. His death cast a gloom over the set- 
tlement, as he was a man upon whom all relied for advice 
and assistance. This was a terrible blow to his heroic little 
wife, who was already bowed down with grief on account of 
the melancholy death at the hands of the Indians of 
her son James, near Sunbury, the 13th of August, 1778. 
Now her husband and protector was cruelly stricken 
down with the same bloody hand that had slain her beloved 
son. Hurriedly collecting her children together, ^Irs. Brady 
fled to the residence of her father in the Cumberland Yal- 
le}^ Here she tarried until October following, when she re- 
turned to the Bujffalo Valley, upon a tract of land her hus- 
band had located. It is stated that when she started home- 
ward Mrs. Brady performed the wonderful feat of carrying 
her youngest child before her on horseback and leading a 
cow all the way from Shippensburg. The animal was a gift 
from a brother. The journey was long, the roads bad, the 
times perilous, but her energy and perseverance sur- 
mounted all, and she and her cow and children arrived in 

If ever there was a true woman and loving mother, that 


brave little soul was Mary Brady. The winter of 1779 and 
1780 was a very severe one, and the depths of the snow in- 
terdicted all traveling. Neighbors were few, and the set- 
tlement scattered, so that the winter was solitary and 
drear}^ to a most painful degree. Her distinguished son, 
General Hugh Brady, in writing up his recollections of 
events, states that while the depths of snow kept the family 
at home, it had also the effect to protect them from the in- 
roads of the savages. But with the opening of the spring 
the marauding Indian returned and massacred some of 
their neighbors. This obliged Mrs. Brady to take shelter 
with ten or twelve other families about three miles distant. 
Pickets were placed around the houses, and the old men, 
women and children remained within door during the day; 
while those who could work and carry arms returned to 
their farms, for the purpose of raising something to subsist 
upon. Many a day the son Hugh walked by the side of his 
brother John, while he was plowing, carrying a rifle in one 
hand and a forked stick in the other to clear the plow-shear. 
Frequently the mother would go with her brave boys to pre- 
pare their meals, although contrary to their wishes, but she 
said that when she shared the dangers which surrounded 
them she was more content than when left at the fort. 
Thus the family continued until the close of the war, when 
peace, happy peace, again invited the people to return to 
their homes. 

After enduring, as we have seen, much suffering and 
hardships, Mrs. Brady died on her farm in Buffalo Valley 
the 20th of October, 1783, and was buried in the old Luth- 
eran gravej^ard at Lewisburg. Years afterwards her re- 
mains were carefully taken up, and those of her son John 
and wife, and tenderly laid in the new burial ground. Mr. 
and Mrs. Brady were the parents of thirteen children — 
Captain Samuel being the eldest, and Liberty, born August 


9, 1778, the youngest. The latter was so named because 
she was their first daughter born after Independence was 
declared and there were thirteen original States and thir- 
teen children. 



Elizabeth Depni^ youngest daughter of Nicholas Depui, 
was born in 1740, in what is now Monroe county, Pa. She 
was a descendant from Nicholas Depui, a Huguenot, who 
fled from France to Holland in the year 1685, at the time 
of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Little is known 
of her early childhood. She received a pretty fair educa- 
tion at one of the Dutch schools in New York — ^but the 
major portion of her youthful days were spent on the 
frontiers of civilization, the wily savage ever hovering 
around the settlements of the Minisink. On more than 
one occasion she was obliged to flee to either the block- 
houses or the more populous settlements for safety. 

Shortly after her marriage she accompanied her husband 
to the town of Eeading, where she made her home until 
after the promulgation of peace. During that trying pe- 
riod the care of a young family was hers, and yet among 
that coterie of bright and heroic women of the Eevolution 
who were in exile in Eeading, she shone with lustre. 
Nothing was too great for her to undertake — and her 
patriotic ardor was always aroused for the welfare of the 
soldier of the Declaration. She administered to the com- 
fort of the sick and wounded, who found their way after 
convalescence to their several homes upon the frontiers. 
In those days the women kept many in clothing, as well 
as the necessaries of life. Help was needed everywhere, 
and as we of the present day minister to our troops from 
our abundance, the women of the Eevolution did the same 
out of their poverty. It is true they accomplished much 
more than we at this distance of time can either appreciate 


or calculate. Theirs was a day of self-denial. They de- 
lighted in homespun dresses, while luxuries were prepared 
only for the sick and loving who were battling for the 
rights of mankind and the independence of their country. 
And yet, we must honor the women of all crises in the his- 
tory of our beloved land, who lead in every philanthropic 
work to alleviate distress. Their forbears during the strug- 
gle for independence were animated by that enlarged patri- 
otic spirit which will enshrine their names to the latest 
posterity. It was so eminently characteristic of them that 
a British officer, a prisoner of war, remarked that no sol- 
diers, whose mothers, wives and daughters were so devoted 
to the cause, and so self-sacrificing, could ever be conquered. 
Mrs. Brodhead died in the city of Philadelphia toward the 
close of the year 1799, but exact date, with place of burial, 
have not been ascertained. 

Daniel Brodhead, son of Daniel Brodhead and Hester 
Wyngart, was born at Marbletown, Xew York, May 20, 
1735. He was the fourth in descent from Daniel Brodhead, 
the ancestor of those who bear the name in the United 
States. Daniel Brodhead — who was the son of Eichard, 
who was the son of Daniel — came to Pennsylvania in 
1738, and settled on land known locally as the "Brod- 
head Manor." The son Daniel received a good edu- 
cation and learned the occupation of surveyor. Located 
upon the frontiers, he was in military service during the 
French and Indian wars. On the 11th of December, 1755, 
the Indians attacked the Brodhead house at Dansburv, 
which had been hastily fortified. The attack was a fierce 
one, but was unsuccessful, and the repulse which the In- 
dians met, ended the war for a long time in that section. 
To young Brodhead was given the credit for the defeat of 
the Indians. In 1771 he removed to Eeading and was ap- 
pointed Deputy Surveyor under John Lukens, who was 


then Surveyor General. In July, 1775, he was appointed 
a delegate from Berks county to the Proyineial Convention 
at Philadelphia. On March 13, 1776, he was commissioned 
Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Battalion of the Penn- 
sylvania Eifle Eegiment, commanded by Col. Samuel 
Miles. This regiment was raised in six weeks and given its 
first rendezvous at Marcus Hook, on the Delaware, where it 
was ordered to support the Pennsylvania State fleet in the 
attack on the "Eoebuck" and "Leonard," vessels which 
were menacing Philadelphia. After this attack, which 
served its purpose of preventing the enemy's advance, 
the regiment was sent to join the army near New York, and 
upon the capture of Colonel Miles at the battle of Long 
Island, the command of the remainder devolved upon 
Lieutenant Colonel Brodhead, who was in fact, after the 
battle, in command of the whole Pennsylvania contingent, 
being the senior officer remaining with the army. On the 
25th of October following, he was transferred to the Fourth 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line. Shortly after he 
seems to have gone home on sick leave, and when he re- 
joined the army in April, 1777, it was as Colonel of the 
Eighth Eegiment Pennsylvania Line, commissioned March 
12, 1777, to rank from September 29, 1776. 

The history of Colonel Brodhead during his connection 
with this regiment is given in the history of the Pennsyl- 
vania Line. While in command of the Western Depart- 
ment he made some important treaties with the Indians, 
but the honor of pushing west into the Indian country, 
greatly to his chagrin, devolved upon Colonel Clark, of 
Virginia. The war was now virtually ended. Colonel 
Brodhead was not again assigned to command. In the 
reorganization of the army, in January, 1781, he was trans- 
ferred to the First Eegiment. He served to the close of 
the war, and was brevetted a Brigadier General September 


30, 1783. He afterwards was elected a member of the Gen- 
eral Assembly. On November 8, 1789, General Brodliead 
was appointed Surveyor General of Pennsylvania, an office 
which he held during the incumbency of Governor Mifflin, 
who was a warm personal friend. He died at Milford, Pa., 
November 15, 1809. He was twice married, his second wife 
being Eebecca, widow of General Thomas Mifflin. 



Eleanor Lytle, daughter of Nathaniel Lytle^ was born 
January 7, 1739, in Donegal township, Lancaster county. 
As the wife of Matthew Brown she was called upon to 
endure much suffering and privation incident to the Revo- 
lutionary war, as well as the incursions of the savages into 
what was then the territory of Northumberland county. 
"We have no date of her marriage, but as her husband — ^^dio 
was born July 15, 1732, on the Swatara — settled near Car- 
lisle in 1760, it is probable that she was married about that 
time. As her youngest son, Matthew, was born in 1776, 
and seven children preceded him, we are warranted in fix- 
ing her marriage about that date. In the course of a few 
years Matthew Brown and his wife Eleanor, with their 
young family, were attracted to the West Branch Valley of 
the Susquehanna, and the}^ settled in White Deer Valley. 
The location, on account of its fertility and natural sur- 
roundings, is one of the most beautiful to be found on the 
river. As early as 1775, the name of Matthew Brown ap- 
pears on the assessment list of White Deer township as the 
owner of sixt}^ acres of land. That he was a representative 
man and a patriot is evidenced b}^ the fact that he was a 
member of the Committee of Safety of Northumberland 
county in 1776. In July of that year he was a member of 
the Provincial Conference that met in Philadelphia to 
form a State Constituton, and was one of the eight dele- 
gates from Northumberland county. On the 28th of Sep- 
tember, 1776, the first Constitution was adopted and signed 
by all the delegates present, the name of Matthew Brown 
appearing among those attached to that instrument. This 


great duty performed^ he hastened to join the army 
under Washington as a private soldier. Those were excit- 
ing and stirring times, and every patriot who couki carry a 
gun was in demand. During the severe campaign in New 
Jersey Mr. Brown contracted camp fever, and not receiving 
the attention which he shoukl, owing to the inadequacy ol* 
the medical department and hospital service, he applied for 
sick leave, which was granted, and he returned to his White 
Deer home in the autumn of 1776. The disease, however, 
had obtained siich a severe hold on him that it would not 
yield, and after lingering to the 2 2d of April, 1777, he died, 
aged nearly forty-five years. His faithful wife buried 
him on their own ground in a clump of trees which 
stood not far from their humble cabin on Spring creek, and 
watched over his grave with tender care until August 9, 
1814, when she was laid by his side, thirty-seven years after- 

Left with a family of eight children, the eldest scarcely 
sixteen and the youngest only about one year old, her trou- 
bles and sorrows commenced. Yet like the Eoman matron 
of old, she did not despair, but struggled along with a heroic 
devotion that was truly sublime, and cared for her family. 
Wlien the "Big Runaway^^ was precipitated and every set- 
tler had fled she reached her relatives in Paxtang, where 
she remained until the storm of war blew over. On 
the return of peace she made her way back to her desolated 
home in White Deer, with part of her family, and there she 
lived near the lonely grave of her patriot husband until 
death beckoned her to his side. 

In the later years of her life she became known as 
"iSTellie" Brown. Her youngest son, ^latthew, born in 
1776, less than a year before his father died, was adopted 
by an uncle, William Brown, of Paxtang, together with 
Thomas, who was a little older, and bv him raised. Mat- 


thew was educated at Dickinson College, graduated in 1794, 
studied theology and was licensed to preach by the Presby- 
tery of Carlisle in 1799. He became a distinguished Pres- 
byterian divine, and was the first president of Washington 
College, serving from 1806 to 1816. In 1822 he was chosen 
president of Jefferson College, which position he filled until 
1845, a period of twenty-three years. He died at Pittsburgh, 
July 23, 1853, in the 77th year of his age. As one of the 
old time Presbyterian divines, few stand higher in the an- 
nals of that church than Eev. Matthew Brown, D. D. 

Soon after her death her children erected plain tomb- 
stones to mark the graves of their parents, which bear the 
following inscriptions: 


Died April 22, 1777. 


Wife of Matthew Brown. 
Died August 9, 1814. 

As the ground came to be cleared around the graves, a 
rude, unmortared stone fence was erected as a protection. 
This, in time, tumbled into ruin, when a wooden fence was 
put up. This, too, has rotted down, and there is scarcely 
any protection now to the graves. The tombstones, much 
time-stained, remain. A clump of trees overshadow them, 
but as they are now in the midst of a cultivated field, the 
time will soon come when the srraves of the Eevolutionarv 
patriot and his heroic wife may be desecrated by the plow- 
share of civilization, which will rudely pass over them and 
remove every trace of their existence. B}^ a recent sub- 
division the graves now lie in Gregg township. Union coun- 
ty, close to the line of Washington township, Lycoming 
county. They should be marked by a permanent monu- 
ment to perpetuate the name and memory of an early pa- 
triot and his noble wife. 



Mary Phillips, daughter of James Phillips, a -Quaker emi- 
grant from Wales, was born in Chester county, Province of 
Pennsylvania, August 3, 1T31. Her mother dying when 
Mary was a small child, she was taken to the home of a 
maternal uncle, Mr. Bowen, who educated her as well as 
her brother Stephen, caring for them as if they were his 
own children. Xear neighbors to the Bowens were the Bull 
family, one of whom, John Bull, subsequently married her 
on the loth of August, 1752. John Bull was born in Provi- 
dence township, Philadelphia, now Montgomery county, 
Pennsylvania, June 1, 1731. His ancestors had come to 
Pennsylvania at a ver}^ early period. Of his youthful life 
we know but little. He was appointed captain in the Pro- 
vincial service May 12, 1758, and in June following w^as in 
command of Fort Allen, a very important post on the fron- 
tier. The same year he accompanied General Forbes ex- 
pedition for the reduction of Fort Duquesne, and rendered 
important service in the negotiations with the Indians. In 
1771 he owned the Morris plantation and mill, and was re- 
siding there at the opening of the Revolution. 

John Bull was a delegate to the Provincial Conference 
of January 18, 1775, a member of the Constitutional Con- 
vention of July 15, 1776, and of the Pennsylvania Board of 
War, March 14, 1777. On November 25, 1775, he was ap- 
pointed colonel of the First Pennsylvania Battalion, from 
which he resigned January 21, 1776, on account of some 
slight on the part of his officers. He was one of the com- 
missioners at the Indian treaty held at Easton January 20, 
1777; in February following he was in command of the de- 


fenses at Billingsport on the Delaware, and on the 16th of 
Jnly appointed Adjuutant General of the State. In Octo- 
ber of this year his barns were bnrned and stock carried 
away by the enemy. In December, when General James 
Irvine was captured. Colonel Bull succeeded to the com- 
mand of the Second Brigade of the Pennsylvania militia 
under General Armstrong. In 1778 and 1779 he was en- 
gaged in strengthening the defenses of Philadelphia, and 
in 1780 was commissary of purchases in that city. 

During the entire revolutionary struggle he was an ac- 
tive patriot. In 1785 he removed to jSTorthumberland 
county; in 1805 elected to the Assembly, and in 1808 was 
the Federal candidate for Congress, but defeated. He 
died at the town of JSTorthumberland August 9, 1824. 

Among the incidents connected with the life of Mrs. Bull, 
one or two must suffice in this sketch of her. The British 
General, Lord Howe, when in Pennsylvania, took posses- 
sion on a certain occasion of Colonel Bull's farm and store. 
Most of the contents of the latter had previously been dis- 
tributed among the soldiers of the patriot army. Upon 
the entrance of the British commander into her residence, 
Mrs. Bull retired to a little back room. Two days and 
nights did she watch the enemy's proceedings. She had 
her youngest child with her and begged Howe's washer- 
women for a piece of bread for her. The women gave her 
some bread, went into the room, opened the drawers and 
took all the sheeting, table linen and clothing. They 
dressed themselves in her best gowns and swore that "^^the 
rebel's clothes fitted very well." Subsequently General 
Howe came to Mrs. Bull and said: "Madam, if you will 
send or write to your husband and prevail upon him to join 
us, I will take you to England, present you to the King and 
Queen, you shall have a pension and live in style." Mrs. 
Bull looked him full in the face and said: "General, niv 


husband would despise me, and I should despise myself if 
I did so." He said no more. One of his aides came to her 
and said: "Madam, had you not better send and have your 
stock gathered somewhere out of the way to protect them?'^ 
This was done to save themselves the trouble, for they were 
taken directly to the slaughter. A large old-fashioned 
clock stood in one corner of the dining-room. One of 
Howe's aides went to open it. The General said, ''Let that 
alone," and it was not disturbed. In the bottom of this 
clock Mrs. Bull had, in a moment of desperation, thrown 
two hundred pounds in hard mone}^, paid her a few days 
before. \Yhen the stock had all been taken for the army 
and ever3^thing possible had been destroyed, the General 
came again to her and said: "Is there anything I can do for 
you, madam?" Mrs. Bull went to him and took hold of the 
buttons of his coat, looking him full in the face, said: "Gen- 
eral, I only wish you to deal by me as you would wish God 
to deal with you." He lowered his ej^es and said: "Madam, 
there shall be no further mischief done," and then left. 
However, a party of Hessians were sent back to burn what 
w^heat was left. Two thousand bushels of fine wheat were 
taken or destroyed by them. On hearing of the approach 
of Howe's army, a man employed by Mrs. Bull drove off a 
load of kitchen utensils and a young heifer, and these were 
all that was saved. The old negroes were left, but the 
young ones were carried off. Two young men, servants of 
Mr. Bull, dressed themselves in their master's clothes and 
bade their mistress farewell. They told her freedom was 
sweet and left. The officers put them on board a vessel 
and sent them to the West Indies, where they v/ere sold. 
Tliey had a petition sent back asking to be brouglit home. 
When Howie's army left, fire was found in the cellar, 
which was put out by Mrs. Bull with a bag of common salt. 
She then went out and threw herself down at the foot of a 


big tree, and prayed to God that if He took everything else 
from her. He would not take away His love and favor. She 
said afterwards that if any one had spoken to her, she could 
not have heard more distinctly these words, "I will be a 
father to you, and you shall be my daughter, saith the Lord 
Almighty.*^ Her remark afterwards was, "I have lived in 
the faith of that promise ever since/'' 

Upon their settlement at Northumberland, Mrs. Bull won 
the esteem and admiration of all her neighbors by her sweet- 
ness of disposition and charming manners. She died in 
that town on the 23d of February, 1811, aged nearly four 
score. Her husband, although much reduced by sickness 
at the time, was present at the funeral, and before the grave 
was closed he addressed the assembled friends in these re- 
markable words: " ^The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken 
awa}^, blessed be the name of the Lord;^ may we who are soon 
to follow be as well prepared as she was." Colonel and Mrs. 
Bull left seven children, of whom Eebecca married Capt. 
John Boyd, of the Eevolution; Maria, m. Jacob Eitten- 
house, brother of David Eittenhouse, the astronomer, and 
Anna, m. Gen. John Smith, of Winchester, Ya. 



Sarah Shippen, daugliter of Edward Shippen and his 
wife, Sarah Phimley, was born Februar}^ 22, 1730-1, at Phil- 
adelphia, and baptized March 21 following. Her father 
was a prominent man in the Province, and was generally 
distinguished from others of the name, as "Edward Shij)- 
pen of Lancaster." The daughter was educated in Phila- 
delphia, at the best of schools, and by private tutors. She 
was a young lady, quite handsome and much admired, when 
she married. May 14, 1744, the young Scottish cavalier, 
James Burd. It was a notable event in Philadelphia society, 
but the surprise was. greater wdien she accompanied her hus- 
band to the then frontiers of the Province of Pennsylvania. 

They settled first at Shippensburg, but a few years later 
at Tinian on a fine tract of land overlooking the Susque- 
hanna six miles below Harris' Ferry. Here, during the long 
years of the French and Indian war, while her husband 
was in the military service of his country, Mrs. Burd hos- 
pitably entertained many prominent personages. Forbes 
and Bouquet, of the English army, with the officers of the 
Proprietary government found at Tinian an accomplished 
mistress of the household, and away from the glare and 
glitter of city life in the metropolis, the moments passed 
only too rapidly. 

Among the unpublished Shippen correspondence are 
many entertaining references to social and domestic life at 
Tinian. For a period of ten years peace reigned on the 
frontier, and until the struggle for independence began, the 
mistress of Tinian was occupied solel}^ with the cares of her 
family, a stone structure giving place to the log building 


erected twenty years prior. Tlie War of the Eevolution 
brought new responsibilities, while the produce of a 
large plantation and the great assistance rendered by her 
negro slaves so well instrncted in homespun and other 
labors, was of the greatest benefit not only to her neighbors 
whose entire "help'^ were "off to the war/^ but to those who 
were in the military service of their country. Many a 
neighbor's field was plowed and harvests reaped by the 
slaves on Colonel Burd's farm. And it continued thns 
nntil long after the war was over, for some returned wound- 
ed or otherwise disabled, and assistance was really necessary 
for their support. 

After the peace, life at Tinian was not so gay as prior to 
the Eevolution. Mrs. Burd and her husband had grown to 
that age when the festivities of life had little enjoyment for 
them, but the friends of other days found the same hospita- 
ble welcome — the same enthusiastic greeting — while the 
reminiscences of an illuminated historic past were as enter- 
taining as ever. Mrs. Burd died at Tinian September 17, 
1784, and was buried in the Presbyterian graveyard at Mid- 
dletown. Her remains with those of her husband were re- 
moved to the cemetery at that place about twenty years ago. 

James Burd, eldest son of Edward Burd and his wife, 
Jean Haliburton, was born at Ormiston, in West Calder, 
Scotland, March 10, 1725. His parents belonged to the 
Scotch gentry, his mother being descended from the Bruce 
of Scotland. James Burd received a good education, came 
to America in July, 1747, and became a merchant in Phila- 
delphia. About the year 1751, he went to Shippensburg, 
where he was manager for his father-in-law. In 1755 he 
first entered the Provincial service when he received the 
appointment as a commissioner, with George Croghan, John 
Armstrong, William Buchanan and Adam Hoopes, to lay 
out a road from Harris' Ferry on the Susquehanna to the 


Ohio river. During tlie Braddock campaign he was com- 
missioned a captain, and it was fair to presume that he had 
received a military training before coming to Philadelphia. 
He was subsequently promoted major. In the year 175G 
he built Fort Granville, which he commanded for several 
months. He also laid out Pomfret Castle and was at Fort 
Augusta during 1756, and succeeded Col. William Clapham 
in command of that post on December 8, 1756, being then 
lieutenant colonel of the Augusta regiment. His journals 
of affairs transpiring there have been preserved to us. 
They give very interesting details of events during an 
eventful period of the French and Indian war. Colonel 
Burd was in command of that important post almost a year. 
On December 3, 1757, he was promoted colonel of the regi- 

In the Forbes' expedition of 1758 for the reduction of 
Fort Duquesne, three battalions were raised, of the second 
battalion of which James Burd was commissioned colonel 
commandant, May 28, 1758. He took part in the various 
skirmishes with the French and Indians, and to him is the 
credit due for the magnificent victory at the Loyalhanna, 
and which compelled the French army to evacuate their 
fort at the confluence of the Ohio, and made General 
Forbes' expedition so eminently successful. In 1760 we 
find Colonel Burd again in command at Fort Augusta, the 
most important post on the northern frontiers of Pennsyl- 
vania. During the Pontiac conspiracy of 1763 he was with 
the gallant Bouquet on his expedition for the relief of Fort 
Pitt, and in the following year accompanied that com- 
mander on his march to the Muskingum, where he com- 
pelled the savages to sue for peace, which virtually ended 
the Indian war. For his services in that war. Colonel 
Burd participated in the land grant by the Proprietaries. 

At the outbreak of the struggle for independence Colonel 


Burd was active in his efforts in behalf of the patriot cause. 
On the 8th of January, 1774, he was chairman of a meeting 
held at Middletown, where resolutions written by him were 
adopted endorsing the position taken by America in its op- 
position to the tyrannical proceedings of Great Britain. 
These resolves antedated any concerted action taken by the 
Whigs in Pennsylvania. In 1774 and 1775 he was on the 
Committee of Observation for Lancaster county, and when 
beleaguered Boston asked for help, none gave assistance 
more cheerfully than Colonel Burd and his neighbors, who 
collected large quantities of grain, had it ground in flour 
and expeditiously forwarded it to the poor of Boston. He 
was commissioned colonel of the Fourth Battalion of Lan- 
caster County Associators, September 18, 1775. During 
the following year his entire command was in service in the 
Jerseys, covering the retreat of the patriot army. Colonel 
Burd resigTied his position December 26, 1776, owing partly 
to the difficulty of getting his men into the field; too fre- 
quently were demands made and then countermanded. In 
the second place, some adverse criticisms were made by the 
Council of Safety, and a brave old soldier like Colonel Burd 
could not brook the manner of men who had "never set a 
squadron in the field.^' However, this did not change his 
enthusiasm, and as long as the war lasted that stalwart pa- 
triot rendered valiant service to the cause of his countrv. 
He was always in accord with the leading Whigs, as is fully 
shown by his correspondence, while his son and several of 
his sons-in-law served in the army. 

In civil affairs Colonel Burd filled the office of a justice 
of the peace during the Provincial era; was a commissioner 
to settle disputes with the Connecticut settlers, and held 
other positions of honor during the years which followed. 
His entire life was an active and eventful one. We con- 
sider him one of the heroes of Pennsylvania, whose services 


to the State have never been properly appreciated. His 
correspondence was extensive, and our Provincial records 
and the archives of the State prove what a 1)usy man he was 
in its affairs. Colonel Burd died at his residence, ''Tinian," 
October 5, 1793; and his remains rest beside those of his 
noble wife. 



Katharine Hamilton, only daughter of John Hamilton 
by his wife Isabella Potter, was born November 19, 1737, 
in Ballygally, County Tyrone, Province of Ulster, Ireland. 
Her parents came to America in 1741, her mother dying the 
day of the landing of the vessel at New Castle, Delaware, 
September 25, 1741, and was there buried. Mr. Hamilton 
first settled near New London Cross Roads in Chester coun- 
ty, and some years later in the Cumberland Valley region. 
This was shortly after his second marriage, to Jean Allen, 
sister of a captain in the English navy. Katharine was 
scarcely ten years old when her education and care were 
committed to her foster mother. The latter proved faith- 
ful, and throughout the daughter's long life she ever spoke 
of her in glowing terms as a woman notable for domestic 
virtues and force of character. At the age of twenty-two, 
Katharine Hamilton married James Chambers, of Loudoun 
Forge. This was at a time when the frontiers were exposed 
to the marauding savages. The people lived in constant 
dread, and very frequently were obliged to seek protection 
in the forts and blockhouses. We, who live in the quiet 
enjoj^nent of property and existence, cannot fully compre- 
hend the circumstances under which our ancestors lived — 
or comprehend the impending danger of the tomahawk or 
scalping knife — the destruction of homes and the ruthless 
desolation which tracked the march of the bloodthirsty In- 
dian. Only a few years of peace intervened when the thun- 
ders of the Revolution reverberated through the Kittatinny 
valley. Outside of the Quaker and Mennonite settlements, 
patriotism was a leading trait among the people of Penn- 


sylvania. Especially was this the case among backwoods- 
men who — as borderers and Provincial troops throughout 
the old French War, and the su])sequent harrassing Indian 
wars, and as independent maintainors of their isolated posi- 
tion — were conspicuous in bearing the severest portion of 
the defense of their arms; and it is not surprising that the 
dream of independence floated through the popular mind 
ere its national existence was clearly apparent. 

In June, 1775, James Chambers raised the first company 
in the Cumberland Valley against British aggression. From 
that time onward to near the close of the struggle, Mrs. 
Chambers saw but little of her husband. We have pre- 
served to us, however, many letters written throughout the 
war to his "Dear Kitty." Loving and dutiful wife and 
mother that she was, she had not only domestic cares but 
the management of an extensive farm, while the welfare 
of the families of many of the men who had enlisted with 
her husband and were at the front with him devolved upon 
her. In 1781 Colonel Chambers returned from the armv 
to the great relief of his noble and patriotic wife, although 
she had never tired in well-doing. After the death of her 
husband, Mrs. Chambers made her home with her daughter 
Charlotte, who had married Israel Ludlow, the man to 
whom the citizens of Cincinnati owe more than to any other 
individual, as its principal founder and benefactor. At 
what was called Ludlow Station, in the suburbs of Cincin- 
nati, the Queen City of the Ohio, Mrs. Chambers passed the 
remnant of her days — reaching a beautiful old age, amid 
the happy surroundings of her beloved and faithful daugh- 
ter and her grandchildren, dying January 14, 1820, aged 
eighty-two years. 

James Chambers, son of Benjamin Chambers, was born 
April 5, 1736, at Falling Springs, headwaters of the Cone- 
eochoague. His father was an earlv settler on the Susque- 


lianna, but removed in 1735 to the Falling Springs in the 
Cumberland Valley, where he subsequently laid out the 
town of Chambersburg. He was one of the most promi- 
nent citizens of the Cumberland Valley, and his son was 
no less distinguished; yet no biographical sketch of either 
of them has ever appeared in any of the numerous histories 
relating to that locality. James Chambers was brought up 
on his father^s farm, receiving the best education which 
the frontiers then afforded, including a private tutor. Early 
in life he established Loudoun Forge, and until the Eevolu- 
tion, operated it successfully. 

As previously stated, when the struggle for independence 
began, he entered heartily into the service, raised a full 
company in a few days and marched to Boston as a part of 
Col. William Thompson's battalion of riflemen. He took 
an active part in raising the siege of Boston and was pro- 
moted lieutenant colonel of the battalion March 7, 1776. 
On the re-enlistment of this battalion becoming the First 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line, Lieutenant Colonel 
Chambers continued in the same position under the new 
arrangement. He participated in the battle of Long 
Island and assisted that portion of the command covering 
the retreat. There never was a greater feat of generalship 
shown than this — to bring off an army of 12,000 men, with- 
in sight of the enemy, possessed of as strong a fleet as ever 
floated on our seas, and saving all the baggage. 

At the battle of Brandywine, Colonel Chambers received 
a Hessian bullet in his side which gave him a great deal of 
trouble in after years. With the exception of about one 
month. Colonel Chambers remained with the First Penn- 
sylvania, and the history of that famous regiment is so inti- 
mately connected with his own life, that reference must 
here be made to the history of the Pennsylvania Line. He 
was promoted colonel, to rank from September 28, 1776, 


and assigned to the Tenth Pennsylvania Regiment of the 
Line March 7, 1777. On April 12, 1777, he was transferred 
from that regiment to the First Pennsylvania, Colonel Hand 
having been promoted brigadier general. The Colonel dis- 
tinguished himself at the battle of Monmouth, and in the 
subsequent campaigns of the army participated with great 

Under the re-arrangement of the Pennsylvania Line, 
which went into effect January 1, 1781, Col. Chambers re- 
tired from the service, after six years unremitting devotion 
to it. Although starting with a liberal estate, his retirement 
at the close of the war was not marked by exemption from 
the melancholy fact of shattered constitutions and dilapi- 
dated fortunes which awaited the majority of the heroes of 
the Revolution upon their return to private life. During 
the Whiskey Insurrection of 1794, Colonel Chambers com- 
manded a brigade which marched to the seat of insubordi- 
nation. For several years he served in the capacity of As- 
sociate Judge, from 1785, of the Franklin Court of Com- 
mon Pleas. In 1798 he was appointed brigadier general 
of the Pennsylvania quota of militia called for by Congress 
in anticipation of difficulties with France. The brigade 
was organized and ordered for duty, but its services were 
not required in the field. 

General Chambers was one of the original members of 
the Society of the Cincinnati, and took great interest in its 
welfare. He lived in the bland consciousness of having 
clearly striven to promote his country's welfare, and en- 
couraged in his children and his neighbors by precept and 
example the sincere love of liberty and direct accountability 
to God. He died at his residence at Loudoun Forge on the 
evening of the 25th of April, 1805, and was buried with 
military and Masonic honors, in the last resting place con- 
secrated by his father in the churchyard at Falling Springs. 



Elizabeth Zane, the youngest daughter of Isaac Zane^ was 
born in Berkeley county, Virginia, about the year 1764. 
She was a sister of Col. Ebenezer Zane, celebrated in the 
history of our western frontiers, and the founder of the 
city of Wlieeling. In 1773 Elizabeth's father accompanied 
his sons to the Bedstone settlement in Pennsylvania, where, 
having married a second time, unhappily it seems, the 
daughter was sent to a school at Philadelphia. Upon her 
return she took up her abode in the home of her eldest 
brother, who previously had established his cabin on the 
Ohio river just above the confluence of Wlieeling creek. 
About sixty or seventy yards from Colonel Zane's cabin was 
erected just prior to the Bevolution, for the protection of 
the frontiers. Fort Henry, which commanded the river ap- 
proaches, chiefly as a refuge for the settlers. Only a guard 
of five or six soldiers was deemed sufficient. During the 
war an attack having been made by the savages. Colonel 
Zane having fled with his family to the fort, his cabin was 
burned by the marauders, whose assault against Fort Henry 
proved unsuccessful. In rebuilding his home everjrthing 
was done to make it defensible, for, as the brave colonel de- 
clared, that never again would he desert his cabin. Within 
the enclosure he erected a magazine for his own use as well 
as his neighbors. 

On the 17th of September, 1782, a spy on the frontiers 
gave the alarm that an Indian army was approaching. Im- 
mediately the women and children were gathered into the 
fort, which for some time previous had been garrisoned by 
a small body of men. Colonel Zane, with two or three 


others, remained within his own enclosure, while those who 
retired into the fort took with them what was considered 
an ample su23ply of ammunition. The savages made a ter- 
rific assault but were promptly repulsed. The fort had 
only about sixteen men all told. Elizabeth Zane occupied 
during the attack the sentry box with her brother, Jona- 
than, who was one of the pilots in the Crawford campaign, 
and John Saltar, loading their guns. This position was the 
post of observation, and the best riflemen and those having 
the most knowledge of the modes of warfare were selected 
for the place. Of course it was a prominent mark for the 
enemy, and the brave women, w4io were cooling and loading 
the rifles during the attack would frequently have to stop 
and pick the splinters out of their bodies, which the bullets 
split off and drove into their flesh. So secure was Colonel 
Zane and his little party that the Indians dare not venture 
near -without danger of being picked off by the gallant 
marksmen, the fire therefrom being very galling. The sup- 
ply of powder in the fort, however, by reason of the long 
continuance of the siege and the repeated endeavors of the 
enemy to storm the defenses, was soon almost exhausted; a 
few loads only remaining. In this emergency, it became 
necessary to replenish their stock from Colonel Zane's 
house. During the continuance of the last assault, ap- 
prised of its insecurity and aware of the danger which 
would inevitably ensue, should the savages after again be- 
ing driven back return to the assault before a fresh supply 
could be obtained, it was proposed that one of the fleetest 
men should endeavor to reach the' house, obtain a keg and 
return with it to the fort. It was an enterprise full of dan- 
ger, but many of the chivalric spirits then pent up within 
the fortress were willing to encounter them all. 

Among those who volunteered to go on this enterprise 
was Elizabeth Zane. She was then vouns:, active and ath- 


letic; witli precipitancy to dare danger and fortitude to 
sustain her in the midst of it. Disdaining to weigh the 
hazard of her own life against the risk of that of others, 
when told that a man would encounter less danger by reason 
of his greater fleetness, she replied, "and should he fall, his 
loss will be more severely felt. You have not one man to 
spare; a woman will not be missed in the defense of the 
fort.^^ Her services were accepted. Divesting herself of 
some of her garments, as tending to impede her progress, 
she stood prepared for the hazardous adventure; and when 
the gate was opened she bounded forth with the buoyancy 
of hope and in the confidence of success. Wrapt in amaze- 
ment, the Indians beheld her spring forward and only ex- 
claiming, "A squaw, a squaw," no attempt was made to in- 
terrupt her progress. Arrived at the door she proclaimed 
her embassy. Colonel Zane fastened a -tablecloth around 
her waist, and emptying into it a keg of powder, again she 
ventured forth. The Indians were no longer passive. Ball 
after ball passed whizzing harmlessly by. She reached 
the gate and entered the fort in safety. The effort had not 
been made too soon. Another assault was made by the sav- 
ages, with the former result. At this juncture relief came, 
and the Indians, dismayed, fled to the opposite side of the 
river. It was the last attack ever made against Fort Henry. 
In this signal victory credit was freely accorded to Eliza- 
beth Zane, and the pages of history may furnish a parallel 
to the noble exploits herein set forth, but such an instance 
of self-devotion is not to be found anywhere. Elizabeth 
Zane was twice married. Her first husband was Henry Mc- 
Laughlin, a man of some prominence on the frontiers. He 
died early; when his widow married secondly Capt. John 
Clark, who survived his brave-hearted wife several years. 
Mrs. Clark died about the year 1829 — a woman honored 
and revered for that one heroic act, which will be told of 
her in all the years to come. 



Jane Eoan, the second daughter of John Roan and his 
wife Anne Cochran (Leckey), was born May 3, 1753, in 
Derry township, Lancaster, now Dauphin, county, Penn- 
sylvania. Her father was for thirty years the honored and 
revered pastor of the united congregations of Derry, Pax- 
tang and Conewago, whose remains are interred in Derry 
church gravej^ard. Her mother was a daughter of James 
Cochran and his wife Anne Rowan, having for her 
first husband "William Leckey. She was a sister of Dr. 
John Cochran, one of the most distinguished surgeons of 
the Revolutionary army. Jane Roan, besides being one of 
the most beautiful of frontier women, was well educated 
and possessed of refinement. Her marriage, on the 11th of 
June, 1778, was the occasion of a notice in the "Pennsyl- 
vania Packet," which was so characteristic and unusual for 
that or any other newspaper of the period that it is here- 
with embodied: 

"Was married, last Thursday, Mr. William Clingan, jr., 
of Done^i^al, to Miss Jennv Roan, of Londonderry, both of 
the county of Lancaster — a sober, sensible, agreeable young 
couple and very sincere "Whigs. This marriage promises as 
much happiness as the state of things in this our sinful 
world will admit. 

"This was truly a Whig wedding, as there were present 
many young men and ladies, and not one of the gentlemen 
but had been out when called on in the service of his coun- 
try, and it was well known that the groom in particular had 
proved his heroism, as well as AYhigism, in several battles 
and skirmishes. After the marriage was ended, a motion 


was made, and heartily agreed to by all present, that the 
young unmarried ladies should form themselves into an 
association by the name of the ^Whig Association of the 
Unmarried Ladies of America/ in wdiich they should 
pledge their honor that they would never give their hand 
in marriage to any gentleman until he had first proved him- 
self a patriot, in readily turning out when called to defend 
his country from slavery, by a spirited and brave conduct, 
as they would not wish to be the mothers of a race of slaves 
and cowards/'' 

Mr. Clingan had already participated in the battles of 
Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown, and 
subsequently several tours on the frontiers. He was the 
son of William Clingan, of Chester county, whose services 
in behalf of his country are of permanent historic record. 
After the war of the Eevolution, Mr. and Mrs. Clingan re- 
moved to Buffalo Valley, where they resided until their 
death. Their home in that locality was, widely celebrated 
for its hospitality, and none shone the brighter in all that 
adorns woman than Jane Eoan Clingan. Mr. Clingan died 
May 24, 1822, aged sixty-six years, while his wife survived 
until May 7, 1838. They left seven children who reached 
maturity, five of whom married and left families. Their de- 
scendants are scattered over the Union. 




Martha Crawford, daughter of James Crawford and sister 
of Colonel Josiah Crawford, was born December 25, 1743, 
in the Cumberland Valley. Her father was an early pioneer 
in the Conecocheague settlement, and although brought up 
amidst the clearing of the forest and in the rude cabin of 
the frontiers, Martha Crawford received from her mother, a 
woman of superior mental endowments, every advantage of 
education which home training and the instruction of the 
minister, who was the school teacher of the neighborhood, 
could give. She inherited what is ever lovely in woman, 
amiability of temper, and was during her long life noted 
for her charming manners. 

She married, in 1770, Edward Cook, son of Joseph Cook, 
also born in the Cumberland Valle}^, January 1, 1739. In 
1772 they removed to the "Forks of the Yough," between 
the Monongahela and Youghiogheny rivers, now Fayette 
countv, and between that date and 1776 built a stone house, 
yet standing, where they lived and died. When he first set- 
tled in the western part of the State he kept a store, had a 
mill and owned slaves. He was a member of the Committee 
of Conference which met at Carpenter's Hall, June 18, 1776, 
and of the Convention of July 15, 1776. In 1777 he was ap- 
pointed by the General Assembly one of the Commissioners 
from Pennsylvania to meet those from other States which 
assembled at New Haven, Conn., November 22, 1777, to 
regulate the prices of commodities. In 1781 he was in 
command of the Battalion of Rangers for frontier defense; 
was appointed sub-lieutenant of Westmoreland county in 
1780-1, and lieutenant January 5, 1782, which latter office 


he held at the time of the erection of Fayette county in 

NoYember 21, 1786, Colonel Cook was appointed a jus- 
tice with jurisdiction including the county of Washington, 
and August 17, 1791, Associate Judge of Fayette county. 
He was a man of influence, and during the excise troubles, 
in 1794, was chosen chairman of the Mingo Creek meeting, 
and was largely instrumental in allaying the excitement, 
thus virtually ending the "Whiskey Insurrection." Colo- 
nel Cook died on the 28th of November, 1808. 

Prominent as he was during not only the early organiza- 
tion of Westmoreland county, but throughout the Eevolu- 
tionary era and the subsequent events of frontier warfare, 
his wife was no less distinguished for her patriotic zeal and 
her great hospitality. Amid these trying times with the 
cares of the family, as well as the work of the store, mill 
and farm, she was the same noble wife and mother. During 
her long life she was greatly beloved by the entire com- 
munity, and when on the 20th of April, 1837, she passed 
awa}^, in the old stone house into which she had moved, 
as she always said, in "Independence year,'' there was sor- 
row at many hearthsides. Colonel and Mrs. Cook left but 
one child, James Cook, who was born in 1772, and died 
in 1848. 



Sarah Simpson, daughter of Samuel and Eebecca Simp- 
son, was born in Paxtang township, Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, May 7, 1742. Her grandfather, Thomas 
Simpson, was one of the first settlers in that locality, his 
name being upon the assessment list of Conestoga township, 
Chester county, afterwards Donegal, and then Paxtang in 
Lancaster. The children of the first pioneers, whatever 
the circumstances of the parents, received a limited educa- 
tion. Mr. Simpson was a well-to-do farmer, and yet so re- 
mote was he from the town that his children were educated 
chiefly at home — a few months in the year of winter school 
scarcely amounted to more than the rudiments. In house- 
hold accomplishments, Sarah Simpson excelled. She could 
spin and weave, and was, therefore, personally fit for the 
wife of a frontiersman. 

She married, in 1762, William Cooke. He was the son 
of John Cooke, born about the year 1739, the father being 
an earl}^ emigrant into Pennsylvania, coming from near 
Londonderry, Ireland. In 1767 Mr. Cooke removed his 
familv to Fort Auo^usta, now Sunburv. He was elected 
the first sheriff of Northumberland county, October, 1772, 
and at the opening of the struggle for independence one 
of its firmest supporters. He was a member of the Com- 
mittee of Observation for the count}', of the Provincial 
Conference of June 18, 1776, and of the Constitutional 
Convention of July following. On the last day of the ses- 
sion of the latter body he was chosen and recommended as 
colonel of the battalion to be raised in the counties of 
Northampton and Northumberland. This became the 


Twelfth Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line, and being 
composed of riflemen, Avas employed upon picket dnty and 
covered the front of General Washington's army during the 
year 1777, while detachments were sent from it to General 
Gates, materially assisting in the capture of Burgoyne. 

His regiment was so badly cut up at the battles of Bran- 
dywine and Germantown,that it was disbanded and Colonel 
Cooke mustered out of service. He was appointed deputy 
quartermaster of stores during the years 1778, 1779 and 
1780. In 1781 and 1782 he was chosen to the General 
Assembly; commissioned one of the justices October 3, 
1786, and January 16, 1796, an Associate Judge of North- 
umberland county. He died at the town of Northumber- 
land April 22, 1804, the family having removed thither as 
early as 1775. It was during this year that the Eev. Philip 
Fithian, in his journal, alludes to the invitation of Sheriff 
Cooke to stop with him. Mrs. Cooke was certainly an 
agreeable woman — hospitable and kind in the extreme. 

During the war, her husband in the patriot army, many 
duties devolved upon her, apart from the care and educa- 
tion of her children. Amidst the gloom, her strong old 
Calvinistic faith buoyed up her heart, and her firm reliance 
upon the God of Battles nerved her for whatever might be- 
fall her. Finally her hu.sband returned from the war, re- 
lieving her anxiety. During the summer of 1778 their 
house was a hospital, as well as an asylum, where the 
wounded and sick, the helpless women and children re- 
ceived care and succor. 

Mrs. Cooke was never weary in well-doing. When peace 
dawned plenty was added to their stores, for in a letter to a 
brother in London, in 1786, Colonel Cooke writes declining 
the offer of money, but says: "You desire me to make out 
such a list of books as Johnny requires to complete his li- 
brary and you would send them in the spring, and I thought 


that would be sufficient at present, and yet I would take it 
as a kindness if yon would pack up a piece of chintz along 
with Johnny^s books that would make each of the girls a 
pattern of a go^wTi." He also adds, that he had "just com- 
pleted a grist mill two and a half miles from here, which 
goes very well/^ 

Mrs. Cooke died at Northumberland in 1822. The 
Johnny referred to was her second child who, as Mr. Linn 
so fitly observed, "was cradled amid the din of arms." It 
was while he had entered the practice of the law, in 1792, 
that a call was made upon him, and he received a captain's 
commission in the Fourth Sub-legion of the United States 
Army. His company was chiefly recruited at Northumber- 
land. It was under "Wayne at the Miami, and assisted in 
checking the power of the confederated Indians in the 
Northwest Territory. Upon his return from the army, he 
married and settled down to works of peace at Northumber- 
land. Colonel Cooke's daughter Mary married Eobert 
Brady, while Jane became the wife of William P. Brady, 
sons of the gallant Capt. John Brady. Eebecca Cooke mar- 
ried William Steedman, Elizabeth married Martin, 

and Sarah, the youngest daughter, married first, William 
McClelland, and secondly. Judge Samuel Harris, of Ly- 
coming county. William Cooke married Martha Lemmon, 
daughter of James Lemmon. The descendants of Colonel 
and Mrs. Cooke are among the best citizens of the State, 
people who appreciate and revere the patriotic virtues of 
their ancestors. 



Margaret Cochran, daughter of Robert Cochran, was born 
in what is now Franklin county, Pa., Noyember 12, 1751. 
During the Indian maraud of 1756 her father was killed 
by the Indians and her mother taken prisoner. In No- 
vember, 1758, the latter was seen one hundred miles west- 
ward of the Ohio. It is probable that Margaret and her 
brother John, were away from home at the time. In 1765 
nothing had been heard from the mother, and the children 
were yet under the guardianship of their maternal uncle. 
About the year 1772 Margaret married John Corbin. Of 
him or his antecedents little is known save that he was a 
Virginian by birth. 

At the commencement of the war of the Revolution, John 
Corbin enlisted as a matross in Captain Francis Proctor^s 
First company of the Pennsylvania Artillery, and his wife 
accompanied her soldier to the wars. Childless, she felt 
that the patriot cause demanded this self-sacrificing duty 
on her part, and as the sequel shows, she proved how brave 
a woman could become. At the attack upon Fort Wash- 
ington, a shot from the enemy killed her husband. There 
being no one to fill his place the officer in command directed 
the piece to be withdrawn. Hearing this order, Margaret 
Corbin unhesitatingly took her husband^s place, and hero- 
ically performed his duties with skill and courage, until 
seriously wounded. Her services were appreciated by the 
officers of the army. The State of Pennsylvania made 
prompt provision for her, but it was not until the Supreme 
Executive Council called the attention of Congress to her 
case did that body offer her any relief. 


On the 29th of June, 1779, the Council ordered: "That 
the case of Margaret Corbin, who was wounded and utterly 
disabled at Fort Washington, while she heroically filled 
the post of her husband, who was killed by her side serv- 
ing a piece of artillery, be recommended to a further con- 
sideration of the Board of War, this Council being of 
opinion that notwithstanding the rations which have been 
allowed her, she is not provided for as her helpless situation 
really requires." A few days afterward, in July, we have 
the first acknowledgment of her services by Congress, which 
unanimously resolved: "That Margaret Corbin, wounded 
and disabled at the battle of Fort Washington while she 
heroically filled the post of her husband, who was killed 
by her side serving a piece of artillery, do receive during 
her natural life, or continuance of said disability, one-half 
the monthly pay drawn by a soldier in the service of these 
States; and that she now receive, out of the public stores, 
one suit of clothes or value thereof in money." 

With this documentary evidence, it is a strange thing 
that ]\Ir. Lossing, in his "Field Book of the Revolution," 
as well as other historians of greater or lesser note, should 
attempt to give the credit of these heroic achievements to 
some one else. On the rolls of the Invalid regiment in 
Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel Lewis Nicola, as it 
was discharged in April, 1783, is found the name of Mar- 
garet Corbin. She was properly pensioned by her native 
State at the close of the war and until her death, caused by 
her wounds received in battle. She resided in Westmore- 
land county, beloved, honored and respected by every one. 
She died about the year 1800, the precise date not being ob- 
tainable. For her distinguished bravery in these days 
when patriotism has to be taught, it would be well that the 
women of Pennsylvania, so proud of their Revolutionary 
ancestry, should honor her devotion and loyalty to country 


and liberty, by perpetuating her virtues in bronze or mar- 
ble. Mr. De Lancey, in writing of the eapitnlation of Fort 
Washington, enthusiastically wrote: "The deed of Au- 
gustina of Arragon, the Maid of Zaragoza, was not nobler, 
truer, braver than that of Margaret Corbin, of Pennsyl- 




Among the matrons of the Revolution who lived on the 
northern frontiers of the State during the dark and gloomy 
days of the struggle for liberty, there were few who en- 
dured more sufferings, trials and privations than Mercy 
Kelsey Cutter Covenhoven. She was born in New Jersey, 
January 19, 1755, and was raised in that Province. Very 
little is known of her parents. They emigrated to the West 
Branch Valley of the Susquehanna probably as early as 
1776, and settled near the mouth of Loyalsock creek, in 
what is now Lycoming county. About that time there was 
a large emigration from New Jersey to the West Branch, 
the attraction being the report of the fine lands in that sec- 
tion and the opportunity for acquiring homes. 

That the family yet lived in New Jersey when Washing- 
ton and the British were operating in that Province is at- 
tested by the story of a romantic incident in her life. It is 
related that Miss Cutter was captured by the Hessians near 
Trenton, robbed of her silver shoe buckles, partly denuded 
of her clothing and tied to a tree. In this condition she 
was found hj young Covenhoven and released. Soon after 
this both families emigrated to Pennsylvania and settled at 
Loyalsock, as stated above, for the records show that Robert 
Covenhoven and Mercy K. Cutter were married February 
22, 1778. The marriage evidently grew out of the roman- 
tic incident in New Jersey. He was the son of Peter Co- 
venhoven and born in ]\Ionmouth county. New Jersey, De- 
cember 7, 1755. At this period the times were perilous on 
the West Branch. The Indians were incited by the British 
to commit the most atrocious acts of butchery on the set- 


tiers, and soon the Big Ennaway followed b}^ tlie flight of 
all to Fort Augusta for safety. The savages soon followed 
and swept the valley as with a besom of destruction, leav- 
ing nothing but blackened ruins in their rear. Eobert 
Covenhoven early became a noted scout and partisan 
ranger. Active, fearless and sleepless, he rendered invalu- 
able service to the commander of the county militia, and 
the notches cut on the back of his big hunting knife (which 
has been preserved) clearly tell that he caused at least nine 
savages to bite the dust. He was most active preceding the 
Big Eunaway in warning the settlers of the approach of the 
large body of Indians, and in preparing them for the mem- 
orable flight down the river. Before the panic was fairly 
precipitated, he removed his wife and father's family to 
Fort Augusta, and it was while returning up the river, near 
where Watsontown now stands, that they met the motley 
procession of canoes, flat-boats and "hog troughs,'' loaded 
with women and children and household goods, fleeing 
down the stream for saftey. The men, armed with rifles 
and driving cattle, marched on shore to protect their fam- 
ilies from the lurking foe. 

Mrs. Covenhoven was a woman noted for coolness and 
personal bravery, and her presence always greatly aided in 
inspiring confidence among the weak and easily discour- 
aged, ^o woman of her time displayed more courage or 
truer heroism in those dark and gloomy days. Her hus- 
band accompanied Colonel Hartley in his daring march to 
Tioga Point as a guide and spy, and with his own hands as- 
sisted in burning the wigwam of the bloody Queen Esther. 
It would require the space of a whole volume to relate all 
the stirring incidents in the life of CoA^enhoven. As soon 
as the panic was over Mrs. Covenhoven returned to her 
home on the Loyalsock, and there she continued to live till 
independence was fairly won. 


On the restoration of peace Robert Covenlioven pur- 
chased a farm in what is called "Level Corner/' Lycoming 
county, in 1785, and there he and his wife — one of the true 
heroines of the Revolution — settled. In the later years of 
their lives their names were changed to Crownovcr, and as 
such their few male descendants are now known. On this 
farm the faithful, brave and courageous wife of the veteran 
ranger died November 27, 1843, and her remains were laid 
at rest in the old "Williamsport graveyard, where they were 
undisturbed until the "march of improvement" demanded 
their removal to Wildwood cemetery a few years ago. 
Borne down by the weight of years, her husband did not 
long survive her. Soon after the death of his wife he went 
to live with a daughter near Xorthumberland and there he 
died October 29, 1846, at the patriarchal age of ninety 
years. He was buried in the graveyard of the old Presbj^- 
terian church at Northumberland — now a common — and 
his plain marble tombstone may be seen standing alone and 
as erect as a sentinel on duty. It has always been a source 
of deep regret that the descendants of this hero and heroine 
of the Revolution permitted their remains to lie forty miles 
apart. They were the parents of eight children, three sons 
and five daughters. James, the eldest, was born September 
9, 1782, date of death unknown; and Maria, the youngest, 
was born April 4, 1804; was married three times, and died 
in Kansas, January, 1879. A fine painting of the old 
ranger, and his pistol, hunting-knife, axe and pocket com- 
pass are now in the possession of George L. Sanderson, a 
grandson, and are treasured as sacred relics of "the daj^s 
that tried men's souls," and for the thrilling associations 
that cluster around them. 



Hannah Vance, dangliter of John Vance, was born in 
the valley of the Shenandoah in 1732. Her father was an 
early settler there, and was surveyor. One of the principal 
assistants was William Crawford, the youthful companion 
of Washington, and it was through this circumstance that 
the daughter and the yonng surveyor became acquainted, 
and were subsequently married. When Crawford, in 1767, 
fixed his home upon the banks of the Youghiogheny, all 
around was to a great extent an unbroken wilderness. But 
there were many features of the country very pleasing to a 
newcomer. The fertility of the soil and the immense growth 
of the forest trees, so different from the eastern side of the 
mountain ranges, gave a romantic charm to this region. 
In June of that year the youthful enthusiast erected a cabin 
and immediately set to work clearing the forests. To this 
place he afterwards brought his little family. Here, from 
that time forward until the events which led to his death, 
Crawford lived, always taking an active and frequently a 
leading part in public affairs, and making his home "Craw- 
ford^s Place" — as it was known far and wide — a famous 
resort for backwoodsmen, and a tarrying place for new- 
comers to the valley. 

William Crawford, son of Valentine Crawford, an emi- 
grant from the North of Ireland, was born October 17, 
1732, in Orange county, Virginia. Young Crawford was 
brought up as a surveyor. His education seems to have 
been more or less limited, but his knowledge of men and 
affairs took a wide range. It was while acting in this ca- 
pacity, as a surveyor, that he became acquainted with 


George Washington. As an ensign in the Virginia forces 
which accompanied Braddock, he was specially distin- 
guished for gallantr}^, and subsequently promoted to a lieu- 
tenancy. He accompanied the Virginia troops under 
Forbes, and after the Bouquet expedition took up the tract 
of land in Pennsylvania already referred to, near New 

Mrs. Cra^vford was no less widely known for that gener- 
ous hospitality so dearly appreciated by pioneers in search 
of homes in the wilderness, and so, of all the women on the 
frontiers of Western Pennsylvania, none were more highly 
respected and lovingly remembered. During the years 
when her brave husband was serving his country faithfully 
as an officer in the struggle for independence, Mrs. Craw- 
ford kept faithful watch and ward over the younger mem- 
bers of her family, and to her they were largely indebted 
for their education, and what measure of life they entered 
upon. The war drawing to a close. Captain Crawford being 
declared a supernumerary officer, gladly accepted the op- 
portunity of returning to his home. Having, as he verily 
believed, done his whole duty to his country, he now thought 
only of spending the remainder of his days in quietude 
and peace. This was, unfortunately for him, to be ordered 
otherwise. The depredations of the Ohio Indians on the 
frontiers of Pennsylvania called loudly for redress. No 
one could remain an indifferent spectator of the terrible 
scenes then enacting in the exposed settlements, and much 
less Captain Crawford. When therefore the project of at- 
tacking the savages in their stronghold at Sandusky, all 
eyes were turned to that gallant officer who had served with 
such conspicuous daring on many a battle-field of the Revo- 
lution. Of the events which followed — of the disastrous 
ending of what should have been a brilliant campaign — 
of the inhuman death by torture of the lamented Craw- 


ford, it is not our province in this place to dwell. As long, 
however, as our country endures and the heroic deeds of 
the soldiers of the Eevolution shall be cherished by their 
descendants, so long will the sad, sad story of Crawford 
and his men live in kindly memory. 

Colonel Crawford perished at the stake on the afternoon 
of June 11, 1782. Washington, upon hearing of the ter- 
rible ending of his friend^s life, said: "It is with the great- 
est sorrow and concern that I have learned the melancholy 
tidings of his death. He was known to me as an officer of 
great prudence, brave, experienced and active." In a let- 
ter to General Irvine he says: "I am particularly affected 
with the disastrous death of Colonel Crawford." 

Of the fate of the expedition, intelligence was long in 
coming. However, of all those who suffered from hope de- 
ferred until the heart grew sick, indeed, and then when the 
facts vv^ere known, from a recital of them, none was more to 
be commiserated than the "wife of the unfortunate com- 
mander. Hannah Yance Crawford had parted from her 
husband with a heavy heart. As the volunteers one after 
another returned to her neighborhood, with what anxiety 
did she make inquiries of them concerning her companion. 
But no one could give the disconsolate wife a word of infor- 
mation concerning him. Her lonely cabin by the Youghio- 
gheny was a house of mourning now. 

After three weeks of dreadful suspense, she learned the 
sad news of her husband^s death in the wilderness, from 
her daughter. The widow was left in embarrassment as to 
property. Colonel CraAvford^s private affairs had come to 
be in a very unsettled condition on account of his military 
and other duties having called him so frequently from 
home. The result was that his estate was swept away, most 
of it by a flood of claims, some having no just foundation. 
For losses sustained upon the expedition, the State of Penn- 


sylvania afterwards reimbursed his estate. Mrs. Craw- 
ford drew a pension from the State on account of the mili- 
tary services of her husband; but Consrress seems to have 
turned a deaf ear to her application for relief, deeming, no 
doubt, the Pennsylvania pittance ample. It is related 
by a grandson that when he was a little boy his grand- 
mother took him behind her on horseback, rode across the 
Youghiogheny, turned to the left into the woods when they 
both alighted by an old moss-covered white oak log. 
"Here,^' said the good old lady, as she sat down upon the 
log and cried as though her heart would break, "here I 
parted with your grandfather!'^ Mrs. Crawford lived at 
her old home where she had resided nearly fifty years, until 
her death in 1817. The mournful fate of her husband 
saddened her declining years, for like one of old she would 
not be comforted, because he was not. 



Catharine Martin, daugliter of Robert Martin, was born 
May 16, 1768, on the site of the town of Northumberland, 
where her father was the first permanent settler. Mr. Mar- 
tin came originally from New Jersey, and had attempted 
to make a settlement at Wyoming nnder a Pennsylvania 
title, bnt this design was frustrated by the opposition of the 
^^Connecticut Intruders.^^ He built the first honse at Nor- 
thumberland, and at that time it was the only dwelling in 
sight of Fort Angnsta on the Sunbury side of the river. We 
first hear of his daughter Catharine during the summer of 
1778, when ministering to the relief of the distressed peo- 
ple who fled from Wyoming upon the terrible massacre 
there on the 3d of July, 1778. She was in verity an angel 
of consolation, assisting her mother and her younger sisters 
in ministering to the wants of the half-starved fugitives, 
and in caring for the sick and disabled who had crowded 
their house and barn. During the "great runaway" on the 
West Branch, of 1779, and the subsequent capture of Fort 
Freeland by the British and their savage allies, she was 
again called upon to minister to the relief and necessities 
of the many women and children who took refuge at Nor- 
thumberland. She was a woman of untiring devotion, and, 
like a sister of charity, was regarded by her friends and 
neighbors as one of the most philanthropic of women. 

After the Revolution, March 31, 1785, Catharine Martin 
married Dr. James Davidson, who was then temporarily lo- 
cated at Sunbury. Soon after their marriage, having pur- 
chased a farm near the mouth of Pine creek, about two 
miles above Jersey Shore, they located there, where her 


husband followed his profession, and for a long period was 
the only physician in that part of the country. Here Mrs. 
Davidson died about the year 1816 and was interred in the 
little cemetery on the farm, which her husband set aside 
for burial purposes. For many years it was known as the 
"Davidson Burial Ground'^ and now as the Pine Creek 
graveyard. A large number of the early settlers were buried 
there, and occasionally an interment is still made in it. 

Dr. James Davidson was born in 1750 in Essex county, 
New Jersey. His father was a man of means and gave his 
son a liberal education. Upon leaving school he studied 
medicine under Jonathan Dayton. After practicing two 
years in Orange county, New York, he entered the general 
hospital at Philadelphia, of which he was appointed assist- 
ant surgeon by Dr. William Shippen. On the 5th of April, 
1777, he was commissioned surgeon of the Fifth Eegiment 
of the Pennsylvania Line, commanded by Colonel Francis 
Johnston. Dr. Davidson served faithfully to the close of 
the war, and was one of the most successful surgeons of the 
Army of the Eevolution, doing most excellent service in re- 
lieving the wounded, the sick and suffering, on the various 
battle-fields during the struggle for independence. 

After the close of the war he w^as appointed surgeon of 
the Second Battalion of Infantry of Northumberland 
county by the Supreme Executive Council, and upon the 
erection of L3Toming county in 1795, commissioned by 
Governor Mifflin one of the first judges of the new county. 
He was a gentleman of culture, refinement, highly intelli- 
gent, modest and unassuming, fond of anecdote, cheerful, 
hospitable, and benevolent. He died on the 16th day of 
January, 1825, and was buried by the side of his wife in the 
Pine Creek graveyard. Dr. Davidson had five sons and 
three daughters. Eobert was appointed a lieutenant in the 
army on the breaking out of the War of 1812, and was killed 


at the battle of Lundy^s Lane^, while gallantly leading his 
company. Asher Davidson succeeded his father in the 
practice of medicine and became a prominent physician. 
The other sons were Oliphant, William P. and James. The 
daughters were Catharine, married Captain Eobert Eobin- 
son, of Pine Creek, the son of Colonel Robinson; Maria, 
married William Watson, of Watsontown, and Elizabeth, 
married William Epley, of Jersey Shore. 



Anne Schenck was born March 19, 1763, on Long Island. 
She was the daughter of Nicholas Schenck (1732-1810), and 
his wife, Wilhelmje Wyckoff. The Schencks, it is said, 
could trace their ancestors back to the time of Charlemagne, 
in the eighth century. They were a very prominent family 
in the early days of the settlement of Long Island. Anne 
Schenck was married October 29, 1780, at Flatlands, L. I., 
Kings county, by the Eev. Vansinder, to Hezekiah Davies. 
She was a young lady of good education, and a patriotic 
lover of her country. It has been stated in some of the his- 
tories that the Schencks were Tories. This was not cor- 
rect. So far as regards Anne's parents they were patriots, 
devoted to their country's cause. It may be well, perhaps, 
to refer to her husband's services in the War of the Eevolu- 

Hezekiah Davies, the son of Nathaniel and Hannah 
Davies, was born November 22, 1747, in Charlestown town- 
ship, Chester county, Pennsylvania. At the commence- 
ment of the war of the Eevolution he entered heartily into 
the service, and when the "Flying Camp" was formed, he 
was commissioned a lieutenant in Colonel Montgomery's 
Chester County Battalion of that formidable body. He par- 
ticipated in the battle of Long Island, where he was slightly 
wounded. Upon the surrender of Fort Washington to the 
British, on the 16th of November, 1776, he was sent to the 
prison ships then in Wallabout Bay. Subsequently he was 
paroled and allowed to remain on Long Island. 

It was during this period that he met Miss Schenck, a 
girl with such charming and winning manners that it was 


little wonder the patriot soldier ofiered his hand in mar- 
riage. There was some opposition on the part of her par- 
ents, and it is owing to this fact that the statement was 
made in regard to their Tory proclivities. The objection, 
however, was simply on account of the youth of their 
daughter and their want of knowledge of the personal char- 
acter of Lieutenant Davies, who was an entire stranger to 
them. The}^ were married at the time stated, but the 
lieutenant was not exchanged until the 7th of December 
following, when he returned to his home in Pennsylvania, 
taking his bride with him. 

Owing to the financial circumstances of her husband, 
Mrs. Bavies was obliged to practice much self-denial during 
the years of the Revolution which followed, from the fact 
that her husband was almost continuously in the service, 
and the pay being in Continental money was so depre- 
ciated as to be almost worthless. Their married life, how- 
ever, was happy and peaceful and quiet. After the close 
of the struggle for independence, Lieutenant Davies took 
an active part at the beginning of the present century in 
the political affairs of the day. He was elected a member 
of the General Assembly in 1803 and re-elected in 1804. 
In that body he was prominent on some of the most import- 
ant committees. Mrs. Davies died February 11, 1826. 
Her husband died December 27, 1837. They were both 
buried in the Presbyterian graveyard in the Great Valley, 
Chester count}^. Pa. They left a numerous posterity, some 
of whom have become prominent in the various sections 
of the Union where they reside. 



Hannah Blair, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Blair, was 
born in Fagg's Manor, Chester county, Pa., March 15, 1745. 
Her father dying in 1751, she was brought up under the 
careful training of one of the best of mothers, a daughter 
of Lawrence Van Hook, of New York. In 1767 she mar- 
ried the Rev. William Foster, recently licensed by the New 
Castle Presbytery, and then under a call to the congrega- 
tions of Upper Octorara and Doe Run. The Eev. William 
Foster was born in Little Britain township, Lancaster 
county, Pennsylvania, August 17, 1740. He was the son 
of Alexander Foster, who emigrated from the North of 
Ireland and settled in that township. He graduated from 
Princeton in 1764, having as his contemporaries David 
Ramsey, the historian; Judge Jacob Rush, Oliver Ells- 
worth, Nathan Niles and Luther Martin. In the war of the 
Revolution Mr. Foster engaged heartily in the cause of civil 
liberty, and encouraged all who heard him to do their ut- 
most in defense of their rights. In the beginning of 1776 
he preached a very patriotic and stirring sermon to the 
young men of his congregation and neighborhood upon the 
subject of their duty to their country, in its then trying 
situation. It had its effect in kindling the fire of patriot- 
ism, and many of his hearers joined the army of the Decla- 

On another occasion he was called to Lancaster to preach 
to the troops collected there previous to their joining the 
main army. It did much to arouse the spirit of patriotism 
among the people. Indeed, with all deference to those of 
our own fold, the Presbyterian clergymen contributed 


greatly to keep alive tlie flame of liberty, and frequently but 
for them it would bave been impossible to obtain sufficient 
recruits to keep up the patriotic forces requisite to oppose 
a too often victorious foe. 

It may here be stated, that it was a great object among 
certain British officers to silence the Scotch-Irish Presby- 
terian preachers as far as possible, and they frequently dis- 
patched persons into the country to surprise and take them 
prisoners. While the British were in possession of Wil- 
mington, Delaware, a party of light horse was sent one 
Sunday evening to take Mr. Foster prisoner and burn his 
church. Mr. Foster received word of it on the morning of 
that day at Doe Eun, and, hastening home called his neigh- 
bors, who removed his family and library remote from the 
public road. The expedition after proceeding twelve or 
fifteen miles on their way were informed by a Tory that 
their purpose was known, and that militia were stationed 
to intercept them. They then returned to Wilmington 
without accomplishing their object. 

Mr. Foster was much esteemed and beloved by his con- 
gregation for zeal, talents and piety, and at his death, 
September 30, 1780, at the early age of forty years, was uni- 
versally lamented. In the great respect of the people for 
Mr. Foster, his wife was a sharer. She was distinguished by 
an equanimity of temper that adorned those principles 
which she constantly practiced through life. 

After the close of the Eevolutionary war, and the quiet- 
ing of the Indian depredations on the western frontiers of 
Pennsylvania, Mrs. Foster removed to the Cussewago set- 
tlement (now Meadville) with her family. She died at the 
residence of a daughter in Mercer, Pa., on the 14th of 
May, 1810. Two of her sons, Samuel Blair and Alexander 
W., became members of the bar, were among the most 
eminent lawyers in Western Pennsylvania, and long recog- 


nized as the leaders of the profession in that section of the 
State. A son of the first named, Henry D. Foster, of West- 
moreland county, was a member of Congress, and promi- 
nent at the bar — the soul of honor, and a life without stain 
of reproach. 



Anne West, daughter of Francis West, Jr., was born at 
Clover Hill, near Sligo, Ireland, March 4, 1750. She re- 
ceived a fair education during her parents' residence in 
Philadelphia, which, in addition to her natural endow- 
ments of heart and mind, rendered her a most lovable 
woman. In 1772 she married George Gibson. He was the 
son of George Gibson, bom at Lancaster, Pa., October 10, 
1747; educated at Philadelphia, where he entered a mercan- 
tile house and made several voyages as supercargo to the 
West Indies. When the Eevolution began, living in that 
section of Western Pennsylvania claimed by Virginia, he 
raised a company which was credited to the Continental 
service. His men were distinguished for good conduct and 
braver}^, and known in the army as '^^Gibson's Lambs.'' In 
order to obtain a supply of gunpowder he descended the 
Mississippi river with twenty-five picked men, and after a 
hazardous journey, through the assistance of Oliver Pol- 
lock, succeeded in accomplishing his errand. On his re- 
turn he was commissioned colonel of the First Virginia 
Eegiment, joined General Washington before the evacua- 
tion of New York, and was engaged in all the principal bat- 
tles of the war. 

After the close of the contest. Colonel Gibson returned 
to his farm in Cumberland county, and received the ap- 
pointment of county lieutenant. In 1791 he accepted the 
command of a regiment in St. Clair's unfortunate expedi- 
tion against the Indians on the Miami, in which he was 
mortally wounded, dying at Fort Jefferson, Ohio, December 
14, 1791. He was one of the most brilliant officers of the 


V Mrs. Gibson, during the very frequent absence of her 
husband, busied herself with the cares of the farm, and it is 
said of her that following the flight of the settlers from the 
West Branch during the years 1778 and 1779, her hospita- 
ble house and surroundings furnished an asylum for many 
of the refugees. Her generosity was unstinted, and in the 
years when the patriot army required all the supplies ob- 
tainable, the granary of Gibson^s mill on Shearman^s creek, 
furnished large quantities of flour. It was never paid for, 
nor was it expected. It was given by that patriotic matron 
in aid of her suffering neighbors, who, with her husband, 
were struggling for libertyj At last independence dawned, 
yet after a brief term of peace came the Indian war, and 
that disastrous campaign which caused perchance the pro- 
foundest sensation of that decade in our history, the battle 
of Miami. The death of Colonel Gibson was a severe blow 
to that devoted and heroic wife and mother. Her position 
was assuredly a forlorn one, yet, the fact that there were 
those who required her maternal care, buoyed up her 
spirits, and although, from thence onward she lived in the 
sweet memories of the past, there were duties to perform — 
the education of her children. With the determination 
not to permit her sons to degenerate, she built a school 
house near the homestead and succeeded in educating her 
boys — and the prominent part those sons played in public 
affairs proved how well this was done. 

Mrs. Gibson was a devout member of the Episcopal 
church, and very frequently attended the services at Car- 
lisle fifteen miles distant. An incident in this connection 
is told of her. On one occasion meeting Bishop White at 
Carlisle she prevailed upon him to accompany her to Shear- 
man's Valley that he might baptize one or more of the boys 
who had not yet received that Christian rite. It so happened 
that all four of the boys were off that day on a hunt in the 


inountaiiis, and as they did not return until late, the house- 
hold with its distingnished visitor was sound asleep before 
they came in — the baptism was necessarily postponed nntil 
the morrow. The boys knew nothing of the arrangement, 
and as game tracked best in the early morning, they started 
before daj^break to conclude the chase abandoned the even- 
ing before. Just how the mother explained matters to the 
good Bishop at "coffee and muffins" that morning, and the 
boys absent from the table, has not come down to us. 

Mrs. Gibson survived her husband upwards of seventeen 
years, djdng on the 9tli of February, 1809, at the home farm 
on Shearman^s creek. Of her children, Francis, the eldest, 
entered the army, but relinquished the service after a few 
years and filled several civil positions with honor and fidel- 
ity. G-eorge, the second son, also entered the army, and for 
forty years was commissary general. William, the young- 
est, died earlj in life. John Bannister was her most distin- 
guished son. He became Chief Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Pennsylvania, a position he filled with such emi- 
nent ability that his name is revered wherever the common 
law is known. 



Rachel Marx was a native of the Island of Barbadoes, 
born August 22, 1734:. She was the eldest of four daugh- 
ters, all of whom, through marriage, were connected with 
some of the most influential families in Pennsylvania. Her 
father, who was engaged in the West India trade, was of 
German birth — her mother a native of Glasgow, Scotland. 
At the age of seven years her parents removed to Phila- 
delphia, where Rachel was well educated. She formed the 
acquaintance and married, about the year 1750, Alexander 
Graydon, a native of Longford, Ireland, doing business at 
that time in the old town of Bristol, Bucks county. Pa. He 
was a gentleman of considerable prominence, was thor- 
oughly patriotic, and in 1747, when there was threatened 
a general Indian war, he was colonel of the associated regi- 
ment of Bucks county. He died in March, 1761. At the 
time of her marriage Mrs. Graydon was considered the fin- 
est girl in Pennsylvania, "having," according to the cele- 
brated Dr. Baird, "'the manners of a lady bred at court." 
Left thus early in life a widow with four children, the eld- 
est being scarcely nine years of age, the estate being en- 
cumbered, it became expedient for her to remove to Phila- 
delphia, where there were greater opportunities for "widows 
reputably brought up," not only to obtain a livelihood, but 
also to educate her children. In this she succeeded, and 
when some fourteen years later, Mrs. Graydon found that 
her boys were nearly all able to take care of themselves, she 
removed prior to the breaking out of the E evolution to 
Beading, where during the contest for libert}^, she contin- 
ued to reside. Two of her children became prominent in 


tlieir lives, and it is of these, that in this connection, we 
essay to refer. Alexander, the oldest, was born at Bristol, 
Pa., April 10, 1752; educated in the academy at Philadel- 
phia, he studied law, hut the War of the Eevolution com- 
ing on, he accepted a commission as captain in the Third 
Pennsylvania Battalion, Colonel John Shee, January 5, 
1776. He served with distinction at the battle of Long 
Island, bu.t was taken at the surrender of Fort Washington, 
the 16th of November, 1776. He was confined some time at 
Flatbush, and while there a prisoner, we have the account 
of the efforts made by his most excellent mother to effect 
his release on parole. As it exhibits not only the strength 
of maternal affection, but the fortitude and patriotic spirit 
worthy of an American matron, we herewith give it as con- 
densed from that most excellent work of Captain G-raydon, 
"Memoirs of a Life Chiefly Passed in Pennsylvania." 

Addressing a letter to General Washington, who could 
do nothing to accomplish the release of her son, she re- 
solved on going herself to New York, notwithstanding the 
opposition of her friends, on account of the difficulties of 
traveling, for the purpose of soliciting his freedom on pa- 
role from the British commander. She accordingly set out 
for Philadelphia, and on her arrival in the city, a distant 
relative was over officious in tendering his service to drive 
her to New York. The offer was accepted, but when they 
nearly reached Princeton they were overtaken, to their great 
astonishment, by a detachment of American cavalry, the 
gentleman being a loyalist. Pound in such company, she 
was also taken into custody and obliged to retrace her way 
to Philadelphia, under an escort of horse. When they 
reached Bristol on their return, means were found for the 
prisoner to go on, while Mrs. Graydon was acompanied by 
an old friend to the headquarters of the American Army, 
where proper measures were taken for proceeding within 



the British lines. After being thence conducted, she was 
committed to the courtesy of some Hessian officers. It 
happened, during the ceremony of the flag, that a gun was 
somewhere discharged on the American side. This in- 
fringement of military etiquet was furiously resented by 
the German officers, and their vehement gestures and ex- 
pressions of indignation, but imperfectly understood, 
alarmed her not a little. 

She supported herself as well as she could under this in- 
auspicious introduction into the hostile territory, and had 
her horse led to the quarters of the general who commanded 
in Brunswick, where she alighted and was shown into a 
parlor. Weary and faint from fatigue and agitation, she 
partook of some refreshment offered her, and then went to 
deliver a letter of introduction she had received from Mr. 
Vanhorne, of Boundbrook, to a gentleman in Brunswick. 
Five of the Misses Vanhorne, his nieces, were staying at 
the house, and with them Mrs. Graydon became well ac- 
quainted, as they avowed Whig principles. 

After a detention of a week or more at Brunswick, Mrs. 
Graydon embarked in a sloop or shallop for New York. 
The vessel was fired upon from the shore, but no one was 
injured, and she reached in safety the destined port. She 
was allowed to occupy a part of Mr. Suydam's house during 
her stay at Flatbush. Here in the society of her son her 
accustomed flow of good spirits returned; she even gave 
one or two tea drinkings to the "rebel clan," and "learned 
from Major Williams the art of making Johnny cakes in the 
true Maryland fashion." These recreations did not inter- 
fere with the object of her expedition, nor could her son* 
dissuade her from her purpose of proving the result of an 
application. When she called in New York on Mr. Gal- 
loway, who was supposed to have much influence at head- 
quarters, he advised her to apply to Sir William Howe by 


memorial, and offered to draw up one for her. In a few 
minutes lie produced what accorded with his ideas on the 
subject, and read to her what he had written, commencing 
with: "Whereas, Mrs. Graydon has always been a true and 
faithful subject of His Majesty George the Third, and 
whereas, her son, an inexperienced youth, has been deluded 
by the arts of designing men — " "Oh, sir,^^ cried the 
mother, "that will never do! My son cannot obtain his re- 
lease on these terms.^^ "Then, madam," replied that gen- 
tleman, somewhat peevishly, "I can do nothing for you!" 

Though depressed by her first disappointment, she would 
not relinquish her object; but continued to advise with 
every one she thought able or willing to assist her. In 
accordance with the counsel received from a friend, she at 
length resolved upon a direct application to General Howe. 

After several weeks of delay, anxiety and disappoint- 
ment through which her perseverance was unwearied, the 
design was put in execution. Without having informed 
her son of what she meant to do, lest he might prevent her, 
through his fear of improper concessions on her part, she 
went one morning to 'New York, and boldly waited upon 
Sir William Howe. She was shown into a parlor and had 
a few moments to consider how she should address him who 
possessed the power to grant her request, or to destroy her 
hopes. He entered the room and was near her before she 
perceived him. "Sir William Howe, I presume?" said Mrs. 
Graydon, rising. He bowed; she made known her business 
— a mother's feelings doubtless giving eloquence to her 
epeech — and entreated permission for her son to go home 
with her on parole. "And then immediately to take up 
arms against us, I suppose," said the General. "By no 
means, sir; I solicit his release upon parole; that will re- 
strain him until exchanged." The General seemed to hesi- 
tate; bu.t on the renewal of her suit gave the desired per- 


mission. The mother^s joy at her success was the prelude 
to a welcome summons to the prisoner to repair to Xew 
York for the purpose of being transported in a flag-vessel 
to Elizabethtown. 

After some adventures the travelers reached Philadel- 
phia, where the}^ dined at President Hancock's. He had 
opposed Mrs. Graydon's scheme of going to N'ew York, and 
though apparently pleased with her success, could not be 
supposed cordially gratified by an event which might give 
to the adverse cause any reputation for clemency. Such is 
the policy of war, and so stern a thing is patriotism. 

Until the close of the Revolution Mrs. Graydon con- 
tinued to reside at Eeading, and while there her house was 
the seat of hospitality and the resort of numerous guests of 
distinction. The Baron DeKalb was often there, and be- 
tween her 0T\Ti and General Mifflin's family there was a 
strong intimacy existing. When the county of Dauphin 
was organized, the appointment of her son Alexander as 
prothonotary occasioned her removal to Harrisburg. She 
was a lady much devoted to her family, and yet in the early 
days of the Capital City of the State, she was prominent 
in deeds of love and charity. She died at Harrisburg, 
January 23, 1807, and is there buried. Of her children, 
Alexander, of whom much has already been stated, was in 
later years a frequent contributor to literary and political 
journals. In 1816 he removed to Philadelphia, where he 
died May 2, 1818. William, another son, born September 
4, 1759, was educated in Philadelphia, studied law, and was 
the author of several law books. He died at Harrisburg, 
October 13, 1840. He was a man of fine literary tastes, 
highly esteemed, a gentleman of the old school, in his man- 
ners refined and courteous, of unblemished integrity, and a 
worthy son of such a distinguished matron of the Revolu- 



Catliarine Ewiiig, only daiigliter of Jolin Ewing and his 
wife Sarah Yeates, was born March 25^ 1751^ in Philadel- 
phia. She died June 21^ 1805, at Eockford, near Lancas- 
ter, Pennsylvania. Her father dying in November, 1754, 
her mother removed to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The lat- 
ter was the sister of Jasper Yeates, who was one of the most 
eminent lawyers in Pennsylvania before the period of the 
Eevolntion. The daughter's early education was secured 
under private tutorage in Lancaster, and in one of the ad- 
mirable schools at Philadelphia. In the days of the Eevo- 
lution women were not "reformers," but they proved them- 
selves nevertheless "queens of society," and such was Mrs. 
Hand. Philanthropy was chaperoned by these matrons of 
'76. Now and then we hear of isolated cases in the pres- 
ent age, like Elizabeth Fry, Florence Nightingale, and Clara 
Barton, but the women of the Eevolution were just as self- 
denying. They were ministering angels to the sick and 
wounded, the convalescent and dying. The remnants of 
the forlorn hope of many a battle of the struggle for inde- 
pendence were accustomed to the day of their death to speak 
of the women of their era in terms of fervent gratitude and 

Of Mrs. Hand it may well be said, that she was an ad- 
mirable companion for a brave and gallant officer. Her 
home at Eockford near the Conestoga, was a most hospita- 
ble one, and out from it there went philanthropic deeds, 
which in the early days of the Eepublic made her the ad- 
miration of Whig and Tory. In her youth, Mrs. Hand 
was considered a beautiful woman, and the profile of her 


still in existence represents her with regular features and 
her hair worn over a cushion. She was frequently in camp 
with her husband, accompanied by her little daughter, then 
a baby. She was not "a woman of history" as one might 
suppose, but her husband was devotedly attached to her, 
and in his letters to Judge Yeates invariably mentioned 
her as his "dearest Kitty." 

Catharine Ewing married, at Lancaster, March 13, 1775, 
Edward Hand. He was born at Clyduff, Kings county. 
Province of Leinster, Ireland, 31st of December, 1744. 
He was educated as a surgeon, graduated from Trinity 
College, Dublin, and came to America in 1767, as a sur- 
geon's mate, of the Eighteenth Eoyal Irish Regiment, sail- 
ing from the cove of Cork, 20th of May, arriving at Phila- 
delphia, 11th of July. He was promoted to be ensign of the 
same regiment, February 27, 1772, and accompanied his 
command to Fort Pitt, returning to Philadelphia in 1774, 
when he resigned. In the same year he located at Lancas- 
ter, in order to practice his profession. At the beginning 
of the Eevolution he entered the Continental service, and 
was commissioned June 25, 1775, lieutenant colonel of Col- 
onel William Thompson's battalion of riflemen. He took 
part with his regiment in the battle of Long Island, and 
successfully assisted in protecting the retreat of the Ameri- 
can Arm}^ He subsequently took part in the battles of 
Wliite Plains, Trenton and Princeton. On the first of April, 
1777, he was promoted brigadier general, and was in com- 
mand of the troops at Fort Pitt. In May, 1778, he was re- 
called from the western army, and succeeded General Stark 
in the command at Albany. In the spring of 1779, he w^as 
ordered to take part in Sullivan's expedition and campaign 
against the Six N'ations. On the 8th of January, 1781, 
he was appointed Adjutant General of the Army of the 
United States, and was present at the siege of Yorktown. 


On the oOtli of September, 1783, General Hand was com- 
missioned Major Greneral of the Pennsylvania Line, and at 
the close of the war resumed the practice of his profession 
at Lancaster. He was a delegate from Pennsylvania to the 
Continental Congress in 1784-5, a member of the Assem- 
bly in 1785, and an elector in 1789. He was a member of 
the convention which framed the Constitution of 1789-90. 
March 21, 1781, he was appointed by President Washing- 
ton, Inspector of Eevenue, and retained that ofhce until the 
end of his life. In 1794 he was major general of the Sec- 
ond Division, Pennsylvania militia, and in 1798 appointed 
a major general in the Provisional Army of the United 
States. General Hand was an original member of the So- 
ciety of the Cincinnati, and in 1799 was elected president 
of the State Society of Pennsylvania. As a citizen he was 
highly esteemed; as a physician greatly sought after and 
beloved. His public services are part of his country^s his- 
tory. He died at Roekford on the Conestoga, September 3, 
1802, and his remains, with those of his wife, are buried 
in St. James^ church-yard, Lancaster. 



Margaret Alexander, daughter ol: Hugii Alexander and 
Martha Edmeston, was born in Shearman^s Valley, Cum- 
berland, now Perry, county, Pennsylvania, March 17, 1754. 
Her father was one of the representative men of Cumber- 
land county during the Revolutionary era. The daughter 
received a fair education, probably among her relatives, the 
Edmestons, of Chester county, in addition to the home 
training of a most excellent and accomplished mother. In 
December, 1772, she married John Hamilton, and it was 
during the Revolutionary era, notwithstanding the cares of 
a small family, she assisted her neighbors and acquaint- 
ances, while the fathers, husbands and brothers were at the 
front, in the Jerseys or around Philadelphia. Few can 
have the remotest idea of the patriotic services, of the pa- 
tience and self-denial practiced by the women on the fron- 
tiers during the war of the Revolution. All the able- 
bodied men served their various tours of duty, and, apart 
from family cares, the duties of the farm required their 
constant attention. And yet this was all done uncom- 
plainingl}^, for they were none the less brave than were the 
men, and it may well be said that had it not been for the 
women of the Revolution, independence never would have 
been a successful issue. Wlien the war was over and peace 
came, and business resumed its usual sway. Captain Hamil- 
ton removed to Harrisburg, dying there early in life. His 
widow remarried, but survived her second husband, Andrew 
Mitchell, ten years, and died in Fermanagh, Juniata county, 
August 22, 1835. 

John Hamilton was born June 17, 1749, in New London, 


Chester countyj Pennsylvania. He was educated at the 
celebrated academy of Eev. Dr. Alison. Having inherited 
a plantation on Shearman's creek, he went into the Juniata 
Valley, where he purchased a tract of land and erected a 
stone mansion. During the war of the Eevolution he 
raised a company of associators, and was in service in two 
or three campaigns. It may be mentioned to Captain 
Hamilton's credit, that at the outset of the struggle for in- 
dependence, when the people of Boston were asking for aid, 
he with some of his neighbors collected in the Juniata set- 
tlement money and grain in aid of the beleaguered people 
of Boston. Interior Pennsylvania has never received the 
credit for her generosity at that period of our Nation's his- 
tory which she should have, the larger towns and cities 
claiming the honor. 

A few years after the town of Harrisburg was laid out, 
Captain Hamilton removed thither, purchasing several lots, 
upon which he built. Several years after, the town was 
scourged by a pestilence resembling yellow fever, an epi- 
demic that then prevailed at Baltimore, Philadelphia and 
ISTew York. Among its victims was Mr. Hamilton, dying 
August 28, 1793. Few men were more greatly esteemed, 
not only in the Juniata Valley, but in the new town on the 
Susquehanna. He was a patriot and a man of mark, es- 
teemed and honored by all who knew him. 



Katharine Holtzinger, daughter of Bernhart and Eliza- 
beth Holtzinger, was born in the town of York, September 
26, 1750. Her parents were among the earliest settlers of 
York and natives of Germany. The daughter was well 
educated, and on reaching womanhood married Thomas 
Hartley. During the occupancy of York by the Conti- 
nental Congress, in the winter of 1777 and '78, the home 
of Mrs. Hartley was one of generous hospitality, and few 
women of her native town left a more enduring impress of 
her character upon her friends and acquaintances than did 
she. Mrs. Hartley died on Tuesda}^ the 2d of October, 
1798, in the town of York, and, we can give no better sum- 
mary of her excellent qualities than set forth by the news- 
paper of her day: "It may be truly said of her that she 
was a loving wife and tender parent, an intelligent mistress, 
a sincere friend, and a benefactress of the poor. Her breast 
was a fountain of mercy ever open to the call of distress. 
In this," continues the contemporary account, "reader, copy 
her example and the blessing of him who sanctifieth the 
gift and the giver, will light upon you." Mrs. Hartley was 
a member of the Episcopal Church of St. John at York, 
and her remains are interred in the graveyard attached 

Thomas Hartley, son of John Hartley, was born Sep- 
tember 7, 1748, near Reading, Berks county, Pennsyl- 
vania. He received the rudiments of a classical education, 
and at the age of eighteen removed to York, where he be- 
gan the study of law under Mr. Samuel Johnson. He was 
admitted to practice in the courts at York, July 25, 1769. 


It lias been stated that his success at the York bar was due 
to the fact, chiefly, that haying spent his early days in 
Eeading, he was from childhood acquainted with the Ger- 
man language, which he spoke with the fluency of an orator. 
Mr. Hartley was early distinguished as a warm friend of his 
countr}^, and was elected in 1774 a member of the Provin- 
cial Meeting of Deputies, held on the 15th of July, that 
year, at Philadelphia. In the year following he was a 
member from the same count}^ of the Provincial Confer- 
ence, which was also held in Philadelphia. Wlien the war 
of the Eevolution began he was recommended to Congress 
by the Committee of Safety of Pennsylvania, and was com- 
missioned lieutenant colonel of the Sixth Pennsylvania 
Battalion, January 10, 1776. He subsequently was pro- 
moted to colonel of one of the additional regiments. 

For an account of his military operations on the "West 
Branch, in 1778 and 1779, reference is made, fully, in the 
first series of Pennsylvania Archives. He resigned his 
commission February 13, 1779, having been elected a mem- 
ber of the State Assembl}^, in October, 1778. In the year 
1783 he was elected member of the Council of Censors and 
was also a delegate to the State Convention which ratified 
the Constitution of the United States. He was elected a 
member of the First Congress and continued a member of 
that illustrious body for about twelve years, when he was 
compelled to resign owing to ill health. Colonel Hartley 
died at his residence in York on the morning of December 
21, 1800, and his remains were deposited besides those of 
his wife in the burying ground of St. John's Church. 
Colonel Hartley was a representative man of Pennsylvania, 
and his services rendered the nation and his State during 
the struggle for independence entitle him to a high place 
among the statesmen and heroes of '76. 



- Mary Ludwig, the daughter of John George Ludwig, was 
born in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, October 13, 1744. 
Her parents were emigrants from the Palatinate, Germany. 
Mary's early years were sj^ent in the family of afterwards 
General William Irvine, then residing at Carlisle. Here 
she became acquainted with John Hays, to whom she was 
married July 24, 1769. AATien the struggle for independ- 
ence began, John Hays enlisted in Captain Francis Proc- 
tor's independent artillery company. \ With almost every 
command a certain number of married women were al- 
lowed, who did the washing, mending, and frequently the 
cooking for the soldiers Among these was the wife of 
John Hays, who gladly availed herself of the privilege of 
sharing the privations and dangers of war with her hus- 
band. Two years had passed, of march, bivouac and bat- 
tle, and the devoted wife followed the fortunes of her part- 
ner in life. 

It was preserved for her, however, to immortalize her 
name by one heroic deed. It was in the action at Mon- 
mouth that her conduct became conspicuous. Sergeant 
Hays, who had charge of one of the guns, was severely 
wounded, and being carried away, the wife took his place 
in the forefront, and when the conflict was over assisted in 
carrying water to the disabled. This won for her the sou- 
briquet of "^loll Pitcher." \ There may have been other 
"Moll Pitchers," but this heVoine of Monmouth was none 
the less than Mollie Ha3^s. For her brave conduct, upon 
coming to the attention of the Commander-in-Chief, Gen- 
eral Washington, he personally complimented her, as she 


departed for her liorae in Pennsylvania with her wounded 
soldier^ to show his appreciation of her virtues and her 
valuable services to her country. Hays never returned to 
the army, and died a few years after the close of the war 
from the effects of his wounds. Owing to the fact that 
other women were credited with this heroic act at Mon- 
mouth the State of Pennsylvania, as well as the Federal 
Government, in recognition of her distinguished services 
as herein set forth, granted her annuities for life. 

Mrs. Hays subsequently married George McCauly, and 
was afterwards familiarly known as Molly McCauly. She 
was a woman highly respected by the citizens of Carlisle, 
and at her death, January 22, 1833, was buried with the 
honors of war. In 1876 the patriotic people of Cumber- 
land county appropriately marked her grave, and the day is 
coming when the name of Molly McCauly will be honored 
and revered by patriots throughout the land. Inured to 
hardships, privations and sufferings in her life, she was a 
true matron of the Eevolutionary era. Poor, it is true, but 
conspicuous in her loneliness and poverty. Peace to her 



Ann Wood, the daughter of Abraham Wood and his wife 
Ursula Taylor, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, Janu- 
ary 21, 1732. Her emigrant ancestors on her paternal side 
as well as maternal were English Quakers, who settled in 
the county of Philadelphia in 1690. Her paternal great- 
grandfather was John Bevan, who came to Pennsylvania 
from Grlamorganshire, Wales, in 1683, and took up a tract 
of three thousand acres in the "Welsh Tract," in Eadnor 
and Haverford townships, now Chester county. He was a 
justice of the peace and associate judge in 1685; member 
of Assembly for a long period, and returning to Wales, died 

Upon the death of Abraham Wood, his widow some years 
later married Joseph Eose, of the Lancaster bar, removing 
thither. It was here that Ann Wood became acquainted 
with William Henry, and whom she married in January, 
1756, and "hereby hangs a tale." Henry's housekeeper was 
his sister. On a certain occasion the latter invited a few 
friends to tea, among them Ann AVood. In the entry of 
the house leading to the garden a broom had accidentally 
fallen to the floor. All of the young ladies either stepped 
over it or pushed it aside except Miss Ann, who picked it 
up and put it in its place. William Henry observed this 
and told his sister later that this trait of character had im- 
pressed him, and he would endeavor to make her friend his 
wife. He succeeded. 

William Henry, son of John Henry and his wife Eliza- 
beth Devinney, was born in Chester county, Pennsylvania, 
May 19, 1729. By occupation he was a gunsmith, and 


located at Lancaster prior to the Braddock expedition of 
1755, of wliieli lie was the armourer, and again under 
Forbes. In the year 1758 he was commissioned one of the 
justices of the peace; and in 1777 a commissioner to ex- 
amine the water way between the Delaware and Ohio rivers. 
He was a member of the Assembly in 1776; and treasurer 
of the county of Lancaster from 1777 to 1786. During the 
Eevolution he filled the positions of commissary, armourer, 
&c. He served in the Congress of 1784-85. Under the 
Constitution of 1776, he was commissioned president judge 
of the Lancaster courts. He was a member of the Ameri- 
can Philosophical Society, one of the founders of the Juli- 
ana Library, and the inventor of several mechanical appli- 
ances, the principal of which was the screw auger. Mr. 
Henry died at Lancaster Decem^ber 15, 1786. 

Mrs. Henry vied with her husband in all those character- 
istics which go to make up a patriotic woman of the Eevo- 
lution. During that momentous period in our history her 
children, being young, required her attention, and yet it is 
well known that she aided her husband in all the various 
duties assigned to him — in his business, and while State 
Armourer and Assistant Commissary. During the occu- 
pation of Philadelphia by the British, they entertained at 
their house David Eittenhouse, the State Treasurer (who 
had his office in one of the rooms on the first floor) and 
Tom Paine, who wrote his "Fifth Crisis" in the second 
story room, which he occupied. The habits of the latter, 
however, gave so much offense that finally he had to seek 
a home elsewhere. On the death of Mr. Henry, who was 
treasurer of Lancaster county, his widow was continued in 
office for nearly a year. 

Mrs. Henry died at Lancaster March 8, 1799, and is 
buried by the side of her husband in the old Moravian 
graveyard in that city. It can be well said of her that she 


was a typical matron of the devolution, a "woman of great 
energy of character, and in full sympathy with her hus- 
band's active and patriotic life. They were the parents 
of the distinguished John Joseph Henry, the second son, 
who volunteered in Captain Matthew Smith's company in 
1775, went to Boston, and from thence accompanied the 
expedition to Quebec under General Arnold, an account of 
which, the best ever written, was prepared by him. He 
subsequently studied law, was admitted to the Lancaster 
bar, and afterwards appointed by Governor Mifflin presi- 
dent judge of the Dauphin courts. Another son, William, 
removed to Northampton county, a few years later erected 
the Boulton gun works, Avhich are still conducted by his 
descendants of the name. He was judge of the Northamp- 
ton-Monroe district, and a Presidential elector for Wash- 
ington's last term, for whom he voted. 



Crecy Covenhoven was born in Monmouth county, New 
Jersey, January 19, 1759. Her parents removed to the 
West Branch Valley some years after her birth, and the 
daughter was thus reared amidst the privations and self- 
denials of a pioneer life, with but little advantages of edu- 
cation save that derived from the home training of one of 
the best of mothers. She inherited from the latter an amia- 
bility of temper, and yet with all an energy which was an 
important factor in the make-up of a woman on the fron- 
tiers of civilization. She married, in the summer of 1777, 
William Hepburn. He was the son of Samuel Hepburn, 
born in the north of Ireland in 1753, coming with his father 
and brothers to Pennsylvania about the year 1773. Shortly 
after locating on the West Branch, William became identi- 
fied with the ranging companies on the frontiers. In 1778 
he commanded a company stationed at Fort Muncy, and 
had charge of the garrison there upon the departure of 
Colonel Hartley. 

During the Eevolutionary struggle Captain Hep- 
burn did valiant service. After the war he was 
appointed a justice of the peace. In 1794 he was 
elected a State Senator, and was chiefly instrumental 
in securing the erection of Lycoming county. Gov- 
ernor Mifflin appointed him, in 1795, one of the associate 
judges of the new county. In 1807 he was commissioned 
major general of the Tenth Division of militia. He died 
at Williamsport, June 25, 1821, aged sixty-eight years. It 
has been well said of Judge Hepburn, by Mr. Meginness, the 
historian of the West Branch, that "no man of his time of 


that section of the State, figured more prominently that he." 
He was universally loved and respected. Mrs. Hepburn, dur- 
ing the eventful years when Indian forays almost depopu- 
lated the settlement of the West Branch, was one of the 
most heroic of women. She rendered great assistance to 
the helpless in their flight down the river to Fort Augusta, 
and years after it was related of her, by those who knew 
her well, that for thoughtfulness, tender care and strong 
womanly sympathy, Mrs. Hepburn was not excelled. A 
patriotic matron indeed! She died April 8, 1800, aged 
fifty-one years, and was the mother of three sons and seven 
daughters, some of whose descendants have become promi- 
nent and influential in this and other States of the Union. 



Sarali Harris, daughter of William and Catharine Harris, 
was born on the Swatara, in Lancaster county, Pennsyl- 
vania, March 20, 1741. Her father was a native of Ayr- 
shire, Scotland, and came to Pennsylvania about the year 
1725. They were among the first members of the old Derry 
church, and their remains rest within the little stone-walled 
graveyard close by. Sarah was a young woman of varied 
accomplishments, when in 1760, by the Eev. John Elder, 
she was married to James Irvine. The bride was arrayed 
in a linen dress (her own handiwork from the loom), the 
material bleached to a snowy whiteness, and fifty couple of 
friends on horseback escorted the happy twain to their 
future home on the Conedoguinet creek, where her hus- 
band possessed a fine tract of land, well improved, and a 
comfortable stone dwelling, yet standing. Mr. Irvine was 
a brother of General William Irvine of the Eevolution, and 
also served as an officer during the same war. He was a 
native of Ireland, born in 1726, died May 5, 1811, and is 
buried in Silvers Spring graveyard. Influential in public 
affairs, he was none the less potent in the desperate struggle 
which freed America from the tyrannical dicta of Grreat 

A woman of culture, of refined tastes, Mrs. Irvine shone 
resplendent as wife and mother; and down to the close of 
her long life her endearing ways and manners made that 
life the more beautiful. She died at Carlisle on the 5th of 
March, 1837, and was there buried. During the French 
and Indian War, when from the marauding savage were 
laid waste the settlements on the Juniata, her house and 


barn were frequently filled with fugitives. At those times 
none was more hospital)le, none whose loving sympathy 
amid distress more appreciated. A noble wife and mother, 
among a brave and hardy people, too often were demanded 
her ministering care and charity, and many are the little in- 
cidents which tradition has handed down through a cen- 
tury of descendants concerning that pioneer wife on the 
Conedoguinet. / During the Eevolutionary era she was 
none the less faithful, as she vied with her neighbors in 
assisting to supply clothing and food to the little army as it 
lay enshrined among the hills at Valley Forge — hungry and 
wan, and almost naked. One shudders when reading the 
story of that winter of suffering, and yet when the self- 
sacrifice and devotion of a thousand noble women in Penn- 
sylvania is rehearsed, one cannot but thank God that there 
was a struggle for independence, and that the women of 
the Eevolution assisted to make the Declaration possible. 
Of such was Sarah Harris Irvine. 





Anne Callender, dangliter of Robert Callender and his 
wife Mary Scull, was born in Middlesex, afterwards Cum- 
berland, county, Pennsylvania, February 18, 1758. Her 
father was an extensive Indian trader, and built several 
mills at Middlesex; and in his day was one of the most 
trusted on the frontiers by the wily Indian as well as the 
Provincial authorities. He was a man of means and sent 
his children to Philadelphia, where they received a good 
education. The daughter, Anne, was exceedingly bright, 
quick-witted, and although all her early years were spent 
in the "backwoods," as the frontiers were thus uniformly 
termed, she grew up to be a woman of refinement, bright 
and intelligent in conversation and manners, and it is not 
surprising that the young surgeon of the British army 
should have taken interest enough in her to make her his 

Her mother dying when Anne was only in her teens, it 
left her in custody of the mansion at Middlesex. As her 
father's second wife came into charge, she passed out there- 
from to preside over that of the brilliant physician at Car- 
lisle, Doctor Vfilliam Irvine. Here for a period of forty 
years she was the loving wife and faithful mother. During 
the davs of the Declaration, when her husband was servim^ 
in the patriot army as a military officer of distinction, her 
energies were enlisted in the cause of humanity, and every 
endeavor m^ade to relieve distress and suifering. The lit- 
tle family of the soldier at the front received her first ^are, 
and out from the Middlesex mill, as w^ell as from the^'e^-- 
joining well-productive farm, went supplies. Wool ^i^cl 


flax were furnished to those who could use them, and many 
stockings through this source went to the ahnost Ijare- 
footed soldiers during the winter cantonments. Mrs. Ir- 
vine thought little of self in that long stretch of 5^ears cov- 
ering the struggle, and her generosity was remarkable for 
the time and circumstance, ^^^e frequently read of the 
great philanthrophy of wealth when little is given out of 
an abundance, but in her case almost her entire substance 
was contributed to the support of the little patriot army. 
It is well, in all eras, to call to mind these narrations of the 
Eevolutionary days, not only as incentives to their descend- 
ants for a higher order of patriotism, but as examples for 
them to follow in every hour of their country's need and 
demand. Humanity and loyalty go hand in hand, and 
these are duties every American should be taught. Mrs. 
Irvine survived her husband nearly twenty years, dying at 
PhiladeljDhia, October 15, 1823. In Eonaldson cemetery 
that city, is a tombstone with this inscription: 

"Within the narrow lining which encloses the ashes of 
my beloved husband and son, lie also the remains of Ann 
Irvine, born at Carlisle, Pa., February 18th, 1758. Died 
October loth, 1823, aged 65 yrs. 8 m. 7 d. Exemplary in 
every relation of life, she was as a wife faithful, attentive 
and affectionate; as a mother, tender, anxious and indul- 
gent; as a friend, disinterested, ardent and sincere; as a 
benefactress, kind, condescending and liberal; and above 
all she was distinguished as a Christian matron of a re- 
signed, meek and humble spirit, and for fervent faith in the 
Redeemer of the World." 

AYilliam Irvine, son of James Irvine, was born near En- 
niskillen, County Fermanagh, Ireland, November 3, 1741. 
His ancestry came originally from Scotland. His father 
was a prosperous physician of the neighborhood of Ennis- 
killen, and the son was educated for the same profession. 


After completing Ms studies at the College of Dublin, lie 
secured the appointment of an assistant surgeon of a Brit- 
ish ship of war. At the close of the old French war he re- 
signed, came to Pennsylvania with several members of his 
family, and settled at Carlisle in the practice of his pro- 
fession. He became a successful physician and had the 
utmost confidence of the people. 

At the outset of the Eevolutionary struggle he took a 
decided stand, and was chosen one of the Provincial depu- 
ties from Cumberland county to the Conference which met 
at Philadelphia July 15, 1774. To this and subsequent 
conventions he proved an influential member. On Janu- 
ary 6, 1776, the Congress authorized him to raise the Sixth 
Pennsylvania Battalion, of which he was commissioned the 
colonel on the 9th following. In March his command was 
ordered to join the Canada expedition. A record of its 
services there is published in the "History of the Pennsyl- 
vania Battalions and Line." On its return to Pennsyl- 
vania upon the expiration of service, the battalion re-en- 
listed for three years, or during the war, as the Seventh 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line. At the battle of Mon- 
mouth, Colonel Irvine commanded a brigade. On May 12, 
1779, he was commissioned a brigadier general, and served 
in Major General Wayne's division, until after the revolt 
of the Line in January, 1781; subsequently being placed 
in command of the Western Department, headquarters at 
Fort Pitt. It was while on this duty that General Irvine 
took the most active measures for the security of that post, 
and the defense of the frontiers then threatened by the sav- 
ages of the Northwest who were the allies of the British. 
He remained there in command until October 1, 1783, 
when he turned over the post to the Continental officer sent 
to relieve him, returning to his home at Carlisle, with 
health much impaired by exposure in the service. He was 


an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati. 
Pennsylvania acknowledged her gratitude for his labors by 
the donation of a valuable tract of land on Lake Erie. 

General Irvine was a member of the Council of Censors, 
1783-84, and in 1785, appointed by the State to examine 
and select the donation lands promised the troops of Penn- 
sylvania. It was chiefly through his influence that the 
State acquired by purchase from the United States of "The 
Triangle,^^ which gave the former one of the best harbors 
on Lake Erie. He was chosen by the Assembly a member 
of the Continental Congress, serving from 1786 to 1788, 
and elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 
1789-90. In 1791 he was on the commission to establish 
the boundary line between Huntingdon and Mifflin coun- 
ties; was a member of the commission to arrange the ac- 
counts between the States and the general government; 
and in 1794, a member on the State Commission to lay 
out the towns of Erie, Waterford and Franklin; as well as 
to lay out a road from the eastern part of the State to 
Presqu' Isle. He served as a member of the third Con- 
gress, 1793-95; v/as senior Major General in command of 
the troops raised by Pennsylvania in the so-called "Whiskey 
Insurrection;^' was a presidential elector in 1797; and in 
1798 appointed commander-in-chief of the Pennsylvania 
forces ordered by Congress for the expected French war. 

Under President Jefferson, General Irvine was appointed 
superintendent of military stores at Philadelphia Arsenal, 
and occupied that position until his decease, which occurred 
in that city July 29, 180-4. At the time of his death it was 
well said of him: "In him neither disguise nor chicanery 
superseded the honest integrity of the heart; sincere in his 
friendships and as sincere in his dislikes — he respected 
none but those he deemed worthy, and those he despised he 
shunned in silence.^' 


JEAN McDowell irwin. 

Jean McDowell was born in the Conecoclieague settle- 
ment April 19, 1736. Her parents were emigrants from 
the north of Ireland, and came to Pennsylvania prior to 
1730. Her father, William McDowell, remained in Ches- 
ter connt}^ a few j^ears, but we find him in 1733 seated upon 
a tract of land near Parnell's Knob, in the Cumberland 
Valley. Little is known of her early history, but it was 
probably during a temporary sojourn on or near the Sus- 
quehanna during the French and Indian war that she mar- 
ried, in 1757, Archibald Irwin. He was the son of James 
Irwin, near neighbor of the McDowells, who also came from 
the province of Ulster, Ireland, and located in what was 
subsequently Peters township, Cumberland county. Archi- 
bald was probably born in Ireland in 1734. He grew up to 
man's estate on the confines of civilization, with only the 
meagre knowledge of books acquired through the teachings 
of his parents and occasional instruction from some itiner- 
ant Presbyterian minister, who saw that the youthful pio- 
neers were not allowed to grow up without being able to 
read and understand the Westminster catechism. In the 
desolating war which followed Braddock's defeat, every 
able-bodied man on the frontiers grasped his musket and 
joined in making a determined stand against the French 
and Indians. In April, 1756, Archibald Irwin was com- 
missioned an ensign in Eev. John Steel's company of the 
Second Provincial Battalion of Pennsylvania, under com- 
mand of Lieutenant Colonel John Armstrong, and partici- 
pated in the expedition which resulted in the destruction 
of the Kittanning. It is more than probable that he re- 


tired from the service after that campaign. However, we 
find that when the Revolutionary struggle came on Mr. 
Irwin entered into the contest with his entire soul. He 
w^as largely instrumental in organizing the associated bat- 
talions, and was on several tours under Colonel Samuel 
Culbertson as quartermaster of the battalion, and through- 
out the war was a firm patriot. Prior to the Revolution he 
operated a grist and saw mill, and was prominent and in- 
fluential in the settlement. He was, as early as 1772, a rul- 
ing elder in the church at Mercersburg. He died at his 
residence in the winter of 1798-99. 

Mrs. Irwin, it may here be stated, was one of the most 
noted women in the valley. In Provincial times none so 
brave or self-sacrificing as she, and so when the thunders 
of the Revolution reverberated along the Cumberland Val- 
ley, when all the able-bodied men were on the frontiers 
watching the marauding Indian or with Washington in the 
darkest hours of the country's peril, she and her children 
operated the mill, cultivated the farm in her husband's fre- 
quent absence, assisted her distressed neighbors, whose ne- 
cessities were so frequent, and that with her duties to her 
own household, show full well her thrift and benevolence, 
apart from her loyalty to the patriot cause. 

Mrs. Irwin did not long survive her distinguished hus- 
band. She died about the year 1805, and is buried in the 
Presbyterian graveyard near Mercersburg. They left a 
laro-e familv of children. Their dau^-hter Nancv became 
the wife of "William Findlay, afterwards Governor of Penn- 
sylvania, while their granddaughter, Jane Findlay, was the 
wife of Governor Francis R. Shunk. A daughter of their 
son Archibald Irwin, Elizabeth Irwin, married John Scott 
Harrison, who were the parents of Benjamin Harrison, 
President of the United States, 1889-93. Few families 
have been more distinguished in the annals of our State — 
worthy children of noble sires. 



Alice Erwin, daughter of James Erwin^ was born circa 
1754^ in Wliiteland township^ Chester county. Brought 
up on her father^s farm^ she was educated at one of the 
Friends^ schools for which that county was then so emi- 
nently distinguished, in ante-Eevolutionary times. De- 
cember 15, 1775, she married Francis Johnston, and they 
resided during the greater part of their liyes on the plan- 
tation near New London Cross Eoads, Chester county. 
During the Eevolutionary period, unlike the majority of 
her neighbors, which settlement was pre-eminently a 
Quaker one, she manifested great interest in the welfare of 
many whom she knew had accompanied her husband 
to the field of battle. In her patriotic ardor during the 
occupancy of Philadelphia by the British, her actions were 
in strange contrast to the conduct of the women in the city 
who showered favors upon the British officers, little think- 
ing of the sufferings, the sacrifices and the daring of their 
sisters in the interior of the State, whose husbands and sons 
were battling with the enemy of their country. Mrs. John- 
ston never wearied in philanthropic work, whether to those 
who were in the service of their country or to her less for- 
tunate neighbors. During that terrible winter at Valley 
Forge, she greatly assisted in gathering and sending sup- 
plies to the half-fed soldiers. Her husband not returning 
until the close of the war, the entire management of the 
estate and the care of her little family devolved upon her. 
When Colonel Johnston was appointed Eeceiver General 
of the Land Office, the family removed to Philadelphia, 
where they resided until the close of life, Mrs. Johnston 


died in. that cit}^, but we have no record of the date of her 
death or where interred. 

Francis Johnston, son of Alexander and Martha Johns- 
ton, was born near New London Cross Eoads, Chester 
county, October 17, 1748. He received a liberal education, 
was an excellent classical scholar and ^reatlv distino^uished 
in life for his drollery and humorous anecdotes, sung a 
merry song, and was the life of the dinner party. His wit 
was proverbial. He entered the study of the law, and was 
admitted to the Philadelphia bar in August, 1771. It is 
not known if he continued in the profession. He was 
among the earliest and most earnest of the Whigs of Ches- 
ter county, w^ho led the opposition to the measures of Great 
Britain, vrhich resulted in the War for Independence. 
When the master spirits of that day assembled to organize 
resistance to tyranny, we almost invaria1)ly find the name 
of Francis Johnston in some official capacity. On January 
2, 1776, the Committee of Safety recommended Francis 
Johnston for lieutenant colonel of the Fourth Pennsylvania 
Battalion, then to be raised, and he was accordingly ap- 
pointed by the Continental Congress January 4, 1776. Sep- 
tember 27, 1776, he w^as commissioned colonel of the Fifth 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line. He had previously 
served in the Canada Campaign of that year. He partici- 
pated in the battles of Brand3^wine, Germantown, Mon- 
mouth and Stony Point, and continued in active service 
until January 1, 1781, when he retired, the Fifth and N'inth 
Pennsylvania Eegiments being consolidated. 

Colonel Johnston was one of the original members of 
the State Society of the Cincinnati, in 1783 was its assist- 
ant treasurer, and in 1785 treasurer. In 1784 he was ap- 
pointed by the general government one of the commission- 
ers to treat with the Indians when the treaty of Fort Stan- 
wix was executed. L'nder the Constitution of 1790 he 


was appointed Eeceiver General of the Land Office and held 
that office during the administration of Governor Mifflin. 
During the Whiskey insurrection of 1794 he offered his 
services to the Government. 

In 1810 he was chosen to the office of sheriff for the city 
and county of Philadelphia — elected by those who differed 
with him in political opinion, thereby showing, however 
true the charge of ingratitude may be against republics 
generally, that the people of Eepublican America had not 
then forgotten the services of those to v/hose exertions 
they were indebted for the liberty they enjoyed. 

He died at Philadelphia February 22, 1815. Colonel 
Johnston was a member of the First City Troop, of the 
''State in Schuylkill," and of the Friendly Sons of St. 
Patrick. His services in the war of the Eevolution were 
ably and zealously rendered, and highly appreciated. He 
ventured his life and spent his fortune for liberty. 



Martha Beatty, daughter of James Beatty, was Lorn in 
Antrim township, Cumberland county, Pa., May 21, 1748. 
Her parents were emigrants from the Province of Ulster, 
Ireland, and were the first settlers in that locality, some 
three miles south of the present town of Greencastle. The 
daughter was the youngest of a large family of children, 
grew up to be a woman of education and refinement, and 
about the year 1T?0 married Thomas Johnston, the son of 
James Johnston, an intelligent farmer, also an early settler 
in the neighborhood. 

Thomas Johnston was brought up on his father's farm in 
Antrim. At the close of the French-Indian war, which 
harrassed that localit}^ for so many years, Thomas was sent 
by his father to Philadelphia, where he was educated at the 
Academy in that city. Returning to his home he was 
given a portion of a tract of land upon which his father had 
originally settled; and here we find him as a sturdy farmer 
on the frontiers when the news of the battle of Lexington 
spread through the Cumberland Valley. Brought up 
from infancy to the clash of arms, Mr. Johnston enlisted 
in the patriot army as an associator. In 1776 he 
was commissioned an ensign in the Flying Camp, and 
January 21, 1777, first lieutenant in the State regiment 
commanded by Colonel John Bull, afterwards Colonel 
Walter Stewart's, and subsequently in the re-arrangement 
of the Line, transferred to the Thirteenth Pennsylvania. 
At the close of the war he was commissioned a colonel in 
the militia. He was a gentleman of dignified manners, 
very hospitable and a representative man of the Cumber- 
land Valley. 


Of Mrs. Johnston, during those troublous times, we have 
little information. It relates chiefly to her domestic life, 
and yet much of that life is but the story of the vast ma- 
jority of frontier dames — so different, alas, from those who 
"sow not nor do they reap'' — but philanthropic and pa- 
triotic women, who, although dwelling on the rugged edge 
of civilization were living examples for the ages to come. 
Such a one was Mrs. Johnston, generous, honorable, self- 
sacrificing, and withal a woman of amiability and in whose 
veins coursed the best blood of the defenders of London- 
derry^ in 1689. She was of dignified bearing, and yet of 
sweet and amiable disposition, loved and beloved by all 
who knew her. She died August 13, 1811, her husband. 
Colonel Johnston, surviving her until the 3d of December, 
1819, at the age of seventy-four. Both lie interred in the 
Johnston burying ground, near Shady Grove, in a secluded 
spot some distance from the road. In the same enclosure 
is buried Dr. Eobert Johnston, a surgeon of the Army of 
the Declaration, brother of Colonel Thomas, and an es- 
teemed friend of General Washington. 



Ann West, daughter of Francis West, Sr., was born about 
the year 1730, at Clover Hill, Sligo, Ireland. Her father 
came to Pennsylvania when she was a few months old, and 
settled in Philadelphia, where the daughter received a fair 
education. Upon the organization of Cumberland county 
Mr. AYest was appointed one of the first justices, an official 
position he held until his death about 1770. In the year 
1765 Ann West became the wife of Hermanns Alricks, and 
they had four sons and a daughter. Mr. Alricks died De- 
cember 14, 1772, in Carlisle. The year after his wddow 
married Alexander Lowrey, of Donegal, who probably had 
become acquainted with her on his frequent visits to Car- 

Alexander Lowrey, son of Lazarus Lowre}', was born in 
the north of Ireland in December, 1725. Two years after- 
ward his parents came to America and took up land in 
Donegal township, Lancaster county. Pa. Alexander fol- 
lowed the occupation of his father, who was an Indian 
trader, at that period the fur trade being quite lucrative. 
When the contest with Great Britain assumed alarming 
proportions, Mr. Lowrey was outspoken and ardent in his 
support of the common cause. In 1774 he was placed on 
the Committee of Correspondence for Lancaster, and was a 
member of the Provincial Conference held in Philadelphia 
on the 15th of July, of that convened in Carpenter's 
Hall on the 18th of June, 1776, and of the Constitutional 
Convention on the 15th of Julv following-. He was chosen 
to the Assembly in 1775, and, with the exception of one 
or two years, served as a member of that body almost unin- 


terniptedly until 1789. In May, 1777, lie was appointed 
one of tlie commissioners to procure blankets for the army. 
In 1776 he commanded the Sixth Battalion of the Lancas- 
ter County Associators, and was in active service in the 
Jerseys during that year. As senior colonel he commanded 
the Lancaster county militia at the battle of the Brandy- 
wine. At the close of the Kevolution, Colonel Lowrey re- 
tired to his fine farm adjoining Marietta. Under the Con- 
stitution of 1789-90 he was commissioned by Governor 
Mifflin a justice of the peace, an office he held until his 
death, which occurred on the 31st of January, 1805. 

Colonel Lowrey was a remarkable man in many respects, 
and his life was an eventful one, whether considered in his 
long career in the Indian trade, a patriot of the Eevolution, 
or the many years in which he gave his time and means to 
the service of his country. By a former marriage he left 
five children, some of whose descendants have been promi- 
nent in public affairs. Upon his marriage with Mrs. Al- 
ricks, Colonel Lowrey brought to his home in Donegal all 
her children, and there they remained until they married 
and settled. 

Mrs. Lowrey was a person of wonderful energy and in- 
domitable will, and a great many incidents are extant illus- 
trative of these characteristics. As may be imagined. 
Colonel Lowrey, from the commencement of the Eevolu- 
tionary war, was a ver};^ busy man. When Congress was 
in session at York there was a constant stream of distin- 
guished officers and men from the North who came to cross 
the Susquehanna at Anderson's Ferry. If there was any 
delay, on account of floating ice in the river or other causes, 
the more noted travelers were sure to go to Colonel Low- 
rey's, who resided about half a mile back from the ferry. 
Mrs. Lowrey, therefore, had to entertain a great deal of 
company, which she did with grace and dignity. No more 


hospitable home was known in the Colonies. During the 
contest, she was active in collecting contributions for cloth- 
ing for the army, and assisted in making up the material, 
exerting herself to interest others in the same good work. 
In the latter part of the war, Colonel Lowrey removed to 
Lancaster to be near the committee. During the temporary 
residence there, Mrs. Lowrey was prostrated, and becoming 
quite helpless, the family returned to Donegal, where she 
died November 21, 1791, and with her husband the re- 
mains lie within the graveyard walls of old Donegal church. 
With her passed away one of the best known patriotic dames 
of the Revolutionary era, a woman highly esteemed and re- 
spected by the many who crossed the threshold of the most 
charming home in that eventful era. 



Sarah Nelson, daughter of Eobert Nelson, was born in 
Fernianagh township, then Cumberland, now Juniata 
county. Pa., about the year 1740. Her parents came from 
the north of Ireland and were early settlers on Lost creek, 
in the Juniata settlement. In the year 1760 she married 
Hugh McAlister, of the same locality. He was a soldier 
in the French and Indian wars, and served as an of&cer in 
the Eevolutionary army with distinction. He participated 
in the Jersey Campaign of 1776 and in that of the sum- 
mer of 1777 in and around Philadelphia. He was a man 
of prominence in the church and in public affairs, and no 
one in the settlement commanded a higher respect for in- 
tegrity and virtue. He died at his residence in Lost creek 
Valley, September 32, 1810, aged seventy-four years. 

Mrs. McAlister, during the period of the struggle for in- 
dependence, when, in the fall of 1776, the able-bodied 
men of the neighborhood had departed on the service of the 
common cause, vied with her patriotic countrymen in pre- 
venting the evil which would have followed the neglect 
of putting in the fall crop in season, joined the ploughs and 
prepared the fallows for seed, so that should their fathers, 
brothers and lovers be detained abroad in defense of their 
liberties, they determined to put in the crops themselves. 
In numerous instances this was necessary, as many of the 
associated companies did not reach their homes until the 
winter had set in. 

No woman in all the settlement was regarded with greater 
esteem than Mrs. McAlister. She possessed in a large 
measure all the rare qualities which characterized the de- 


voted wife and mother and truly Christian woman. In the 
home and the frontier neighborhood she was easily a leader 
and a help-mate in the gloomiest hours of the war. Her 
dispensations of hospitality were always distinguished — ex- 
tended, alas, so frequently to the helpless stranger fleeing 
before the ruthless savage of the forest. She died at her 
home, in Fermanagh, July 6, 1802. 

Of Captain and Mrs. McAlister's descendants Hugh kel- 
son McAlister was probably the most illustrious. He died 
while a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1873. 
As a man he was just, upright and inflexibly honest — as a 
Christian, he was sincere, faithful and most exemplary. 
His eldest dauo-hter became the wife of General James 
Addams Beaver, Governor of Pennsylvania, 1887-1891. 



Sarah Holmes, daughter of Joseph Holmes, was born on 
the loth of October, 1750, in the Cumberland Valley. Her 
father in 1774 removed to ^'The Glades," near Stoystown, 
in "Western Pennsylvania. Here she married in 1775, 
Alexander Mc Clean. In the spring of 1776 they removed 
to the vicinity of what is now Uniontown, oh a tract of land 
which her husband had warranted and surveyed. Three 
years later they moved into the town, and continued there 
to reside. Sarah Holmes was brought up in the frontier 
settlements of Pennsylvania, but received an excellent edu- 
cation. Her mother, being a bright intelligent woman, 
early instilled into the mind of her eldest daughter those 
principles which made her so prominent in the social fron- 
tier life of Western Pennsylvania. During the Eevolu- 
tionary struggle we find that she was left for a long period, 
almost a year, alone, with the care of her little family, and 
was at the same time not unmindful of the wants or of the 
welfare of her neighbors who were less fortunate than she. 
Constantly menaced by Indian marauds, it was frequently 
her lot to flee with her little ones to the nearest block- 
house for protection, where she would remain for some 
time until the danger had passed over. 

The life of most of the women on the frontiers was one 
of toil almost constantly, with the fear of danger from the 
wily Indian every moment. Many there were, however, 
who like Mrs. McClean, braved the dangers that they might 
minister to the comfort of their loved ones who stood be- 
tween their households and the scalping knife and toma- 
hawlv of the red savage. In every line of family duty and 


service they bore more of the Ijurdens of the war than 
fell to the lot of those who Avere residing in the interior 
counties. The patriot who shared the fatigues of the most 
difficult campaigns of the Eevolution was not a greater wit- 
ness of the sufferings and fortitude of his countr3^men than 
were the devoted women on the frontiers of Pennsylvania 
who thought only of the labor of love required at their 
hands to minister to the wants and necessities around them. 
Mrs. McClean was one of the most noble women of the 
frontiers, and, as in the case of many others, the story of 
her life was one of great self-denial and struggle. Such 
w^omen we cannot call soldiers, but they were nevertheless 
patriots, true womanly patriots, and when at the age of 
sixty-five years, Sarah Holmes McClean passed to the world 
beyond, she left behind her a memory which will remain 
forever green in the ages coming on. 

Alexander McClean was born November 20, 1746, on 
Marsh Creek, York (now Adams) county. Pa. Prior to the 
formation of Westmoreland county he was a resident be- 
yond the Alleghenies. He had served with his brothers, 
assisting Mason & Dixon in running the celebrated line 
between Pennsylvania and Maryland and Virginia in 
1766-67. His brother Archibald had a great deal to do 
in running the line between Marjdand and Delaware, and 
between ]\faryland and Pennsylvania before j\Iason & 
Dixon were employed, and Alexander accompanied him. 
Such were the schools and instructors he enjoyed in ac- 
quiring the art of surveying. As early as 1769 he was with 
others employed in executing orders of survey in Western 
Pennsylvania. In 1776 he was one of the Westmoreland 
members of Assembly, and as well one of the justices of 
the peace for that county. From 1776 to 1784, owing to 
the Land Office being closed, surveying as an occupation 
in Western Pennsylvania was gone. In the meantime he 


became a soldier on tlie frontiers and served as an officer 
in the Westmoreland Connty rangers^ especially partici- 
pating in General Mcintosh's campaigns of 1780. In 
1782 he was appointed a snb-lientenant for the connty 
of Westmoreland^ hence his rank of lient. colonel. Prior to 
that he was appointed by the Supreme Execntive Council 
to rnn a temporary boundary between Pennsylvania and 
Virginia, which had been agreed npon in 1779. This was 
delayed until the winter of 1783-3, when, with Joseph E'e- 
ville, of Virginia, the task was executed. 

[Jpon the erection of Fayette connty in 1783, Colonel 
McClean was appointed presiding justice of the Fayette 
Court of Common Pleas, and presided in these courts from 
December of that year u.ntil April, 1789. In December, 
1783, he was appointed to the office of Eegister and Ee- 
corder of the county — offices which he held uninterrupt- 
edly until his death, amid all the political vicissitudes of 
that long period. He was an expert and elegant penman, 
and could crowd more words distinctly in a line than most 
modern writers would put into three. He was a quiet, un- 
obtrusive man, devoted to the duties of his office, and caring 
for little else than to discharge them with diligence and ac- 
curacy and fidelity. As Eegister and Eecorder and sur- 
veyor for more than half a century, he had been conversant 
with all the titles and lands of the county, with all their 
vacancies, defects and modes of settlement, yet, with all these 
opportunities of acquiring wealth, he died in comparative 
poverty — a sad monument to his integrity. Colonel Mc- 
Clean died at IJniontown on the 7th of January, 1834, aged 
a little over eighty-eight years, and was buried beside his 
wife in the old graveyard at IJniontown. They left a num- 
erous family, most of whom are now dispersed in the West- 
ern States; a few yet remain in Fayette county. Pa. 



Martha Sanderson, youngest daughter of George Sander- 
son and his wife, Catharine Ross, was born in 1747 in the 
north of Ireland. Her parents were natives of Scotland, 
who shortly before her birth had removed to the Province 
of Ulster, Ireland, where they tarried a few years, then emi- 
grating to America, settling in the Cumberland Valley. 
Her father was an elder of the old Monaghan Meeting 
House, and prominent in early Provincial affairs. She re- 
ceived the limited advantages of education to be acquired in 
frontier settlements, but with her natural gifts of speech 
and manners, she became an accomplished woman. In 1770 
she married Robert McCormick, son of Thomas McCor- 
mick and his wife, Elizabeth Carruth, both natives of north 
of Ireland. He was born in Lancaster county. Pa., in 1738, 
but about the vear 1755 settled on a tract of land in the 
Juniata Valley, adjoining those of his brothers, William 
and Hugh. To this place, on the far frontiers of Cumber- 
land, he took his bride, and there for a period of eight years 
the charming wife and devoted mother shone resplendent 
in her cabin home. 

During the early 3'ears of the struggle for independence 
Mr. McCormick served several tours with the Associators 
and was in the Jersey campaign of 1776. In 1779, how- 
ever, he sold his land, and in company with several neigh- 
bors removed to the Valley of A^'irginia, where he purchased 
four hundred and fifty acres near the town of Midway, situ- 
ated on both sides of the line between the counties of Au- 
gusta and Rockbridge. Making comfortable his little fam- 
ily, he entered the Virginia Line, and served in the South- 


ern campaign of 1781, participating in the battle of the 
Cowpens. During this enforced absence of her husband, 
Mrs. McCormick took active charge of the plantation, and 
so directed the cultivation and management that apart from 
the wants of her family there was a large amount of pro- 
duce furnished the commissary of purchases of the patriot 
army. Altogether she was a model wife and mother — a 
woman in striking contrast with the city dames of the 
period, who neither sowed, reaped or spun. 

At the close of the Southern campaign, Mr. McCormick 
returned to his home. He was an elder in the Presbyterian 
church and a man well versed in the Scriptures, and in con- 
versation on religious subjects able and entertaining. His 
wife was no less so. She died in Augusta county, Va., 
prior to 1808, and he the 13th of October, 1818 — both 
buried in the old Providence Presbyterian burying ground, 
about two miles from the homestead. Of their children 
the youngest, Kobert McCormick, became celebrated in the 
annals of invention by the construction of a reaping ma- 
chine, which gave fame to him and fortune to his family. 



William Lewis, one of the famous Virginia famil}^ of the 
name, was the father of three daughters; the eldest, Mar- 
garet Lynn Lewis, born in 1756, married Andrew McFar- 
land, of Pittsburgh, and immediately after moved to the 
Kittanning, where her husband was engaged in the Indian 
trade. We are unable to give the exact date, but previous 
to December 26,1775, (see Pa. Arch, v., 135); when William 
Lochrv and John l\Ioore wrote a letter to Thomas AYharton, 
President of the Council of Safety, in which they men- 
tioned Andrew McFarland^s fears of being plundered by 
the Mingoes is alluded to. 

On the 4th of March 1777, several of the Delawares ar- 
rived at Fort Pitt and informed Colonel George Morgan, 
the Indian agent, that the "Mingoes proceeded directly to 
Kittanning and there took Mr. McFarland and carried him 
to Niagara, and that thc}^ told our young people and 
women, for none others were at home, that the commanding 
officer at Niagara sent them for the above purpose, in order 
to hear the news in these parts. They were directed not to 
hurt him. Had our head men been at home we should 
have brought him back, for we will not allow this bad work 
to pass through our towns." 

Colonel John Montgomery, one of the Indian commis- 
sioners, wrote to Judge Jasper Yeates, the other commis- 
sioner, under date of March 7th, 1777: "A few weeks ago 
four Indians came opposite Kittanning and called for a 
canoe. Andrew McFarland went over and as soon as he 
landed the Indians seized him and turned the canoe adrift 
and carried McFarland prisoner, it is thought to Niagara 
or Detroit." 


On learning of the capture of lier husband Mrs. Mc- 
Farland with her infant and maid servant fled from the 
Kittanning. After starting, the servant reminded Mrs. Mc- 
Farland of her hnsband^s money and valuable papers, but 
she desired the girl not to mention anything of that kind 
to her at sneh a moment; yet regardless of the command 
of her mistress the servant returned to the dwelling and 
brought all the money and as many papers as she could 
carry in her apron overtaking in a short time her mistress, 
as the snow was very deep. After incredible fatigue they 
reached the house of Colonel William Crawford, at Stew- 
art's Crossing, on the Youghiogheny, where ISTew Haven 
now stands. Here the attention of friends soon restored 
her from the exhaustion caused by carrying her infant such 
a distance through the isnow. She remained at Colonel 
Crawford's until her father, hearing of her situation, sent 
her brother. Colonel William Lewis, to bring her home. 
Intelligence was received that her husband had been carried 
captive to Quebec, and the Indians had agreed that if a 
heavy ransom was paid they would restore McFarland to 
his friends. Of course this was done, his brother went to 
Quebec, paid the ransom, and returned with Mr. McFar- 
land to Staunton, Va., to the great joy of the brave Mar- 
garet McFarland. 

Mrs. McFarland remained with her kin in Virginia, 
while Mr. McFarland served two years as sergeant in the 
Eighth Pennsylvania Eegiment of the Line, commanded 
by Colonel Daniel Brodhead. It was not until the end of 
the war of the Eevolution that Mr. McFarland and his 
heroic wife returned to their cabin on the Allegheny. Here 
they resided until the close of a long life surrounded by a 
happy family, honored and respected for their bravery and 
good deeds, Mrs. McFarland dying September 13, 1804; 
her husband surviving two years. 



Martha Hoge, daughter of Robert and Letitia Hoge, 
was born December 17, 1759, in the Juniata Valley. Her 
parents were natives of South Scotland, coming to America, 
however, from the province of Ulster, Ireland, where they 
had some time resided, in the summer of 1752. They re- 
mained in Philadelphia until the year 1754, when they lo- 
cated on a tract of land in the Tuscarora Valley, then in 
Cumberland county, Pa. In June, 1756, owing to the In- 
dian incursion into the Juniata Valley, Mr. Hoge fled with 
his little family to Carlisle, returning only in the fall of 
that year. Cn two other occasions did this early pioneer 
seek safety in the then principal place of refuge west of the 

Martha Hoge married, in the winter of 1777-78, Thomas 
McKee, who was born in 1749 in County Down, Ireland. 
He emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1774, and located near 
the Hoges in the Juniata Valley. At the beginning of 
the struggle for independence he entered the ser- 
vice and for a time was under Morgan, in one 
of the Pennsylvania companies attached to the corps of 
that brave partisan leader. In the summer of 1777 he 
served a tour in Captain James Powers^ company of the 
Second Battalion, Cumberland County Associators. Sub- 
sequentl}^, when in July, 1778, a call was made for the 
frontier riflemen to go to the Standing Stone (now Hunt- 
ingdon), he marched with his neighbors, and in the fall of 
the same year served as first lieutenant in the Seventh Bat- 
talion. These really were not the only periods when he 
was in arms, for the frontiersmen being threatened fre- 


quently by tlie wily savages, numerous calls were made on 
them for protection in gathering the crops. 

About the year 1795 Mr. McKee remoYed to Western 
Pennsylvania and the year following settled upon a farm 
near the present town of Butler, where he died in the year 
1814. During the most trying period of our history his 
wife vied with the women of her neighborhood in their pa- 
triotic endeavors to cheer the hearts of the heroes who were 
gradually achieving the independence of their country. 
Wliile the dames of the Quaker City were lavishing their 
smiles upon the officers of the British army, these back- 
woods women were spinning the flax they had raised to 
make the material to clothe their fathers and brothers, hus- 
bands and sons, wintering at Valley Forge. Trying times 
these were on the frontiers, and yet the brave women forgot 
cares, trials and deprivation, in the thought that the loved 
ones periling their lives in the common cause, were being 
ministered to. I^one were more active in these deeds than 
the women of the Tusearora Valley, and their descendants 
have a heritage grand and ennobling. Mrs. McKee died 
on the home farm near Butler, Pa., July 26, 1836, and her 
remains rest beside those of her patriotic husband. 



Margaret Stout, daughter of Joseph Stout and his wife, 
Mar}^ Keen, was born in Philadelphia in 1764. Her father 
was a sea captain in the merchant service of Philadelphia, 
and afterwards lieutenant in His Majesty's Navy. Her 
mother was a daughter of Peter and Margaret Keen. She 
died in 1767; the former in 1773. After the death of 
her parents, Margaret Stout resided with her uncle, Rey- 
nold Keen. She received a good education. It has been 
well said of her, she was possessed of those rare graces of 
character — sweetness of disposition, simplicity and be- 
nignit}^ — becoming woman under all circumstances. There 
were also blended in her individuality, energy of purpose, 
with remarkable courage and firmness. At the age of 
eighteen she married William Macpherson. From the out- 
set of the struggle for independence she was decidedly a 
lover of her country. When the British occupied Phila- 
delphia, her uncle sent her with members of other patriotic 
families to Reading, where she remained until the evacua- 
tion of Philadelphia. 

Mrs. Stout was a young woman who had not a particle of 
sympathy with those who, during the "occupancy" showed 
so much favor to the British officers, and which tended to 
make Philadelphia, during the winter of 1777-8, the gay- 
est city in America. Although at the time of her marriage 
the struggle for independence was almost over, yet she was 
not slow in rendering that assistance to those who needed 
help in the darkest hours of the Revolution. Having been 
left a competency by her parents, she became noted for her 
great charity, and at the time of her death her loss was one 


greatly to be lamented. She died in Philadelphia Decem- 
ber 25, 1797, and was buried in Gloria Dei churchyard, 
Wicacoa, Philadelphia. 

William Macpherson was born in the city of Philadel- 
phia in 1756. He was the son of John Macpherson and 
Margaret Eodgers. The father was a noted privateer sman 
during the French and Spanish wars, while his mother 
was a sister of the Eev. John Eodgers, D. D., both natives 
of Londonderry, Ireland. The son was educated partly in 
Philadelphia and at the College of I^ew Jerse}^ On the 
4th of March, 1769, he was appointed an ensign in the Brit- 
ish Army, a,nd in his eighteenth year, July 26, 1773, he was 
commissioned a lieutenant in the Sixteenth British Eegi- 
ment, of which he became adjutant. When the Eevolu- 
tionary v^ar began, his sympathies were with his country- 
men, although his allegiance to his sovereign retained him 
in the British service. 

The death of his brother. Major John Macpherson, in 
front of Quebec, who had espoused the cause of his country, 
completely changed his feelings. Tendering his resigna- 
tion, he found his way into the patriot lines in 1778; 
and was, on the recommendation of the Supreme Executive 
Council of Pennsylvania, commissioned by Congress a ma- 
jor by brevet in the Continental Line. He served as aide 
on the staff of General Lafayette, and also on that of Gen- 
eral St. Clair, with distinction. He was one of the original 
members of the Society of the Cincinnati; served as a dele- 
gate to the Pennsylvania Convention to ratify the Federal 
Constitution in 1787; and was a member of the General As- 
sembly in 1788-89. He was appointed, September 19, 1789, 
by President Washington, Surveyor of Customs at Phila- 
delphia; inspector of the revenue, March 8, 1792, and on 
the 28th of November, 1793, naval officer, which latter po- 
sition he held until his death. During the Wliiskey in- 


surrection, in 1794, he commanded the Philadelphia Bat- 
talion, which went by the name of "Macpherson Blues." 
President Adams commissioned him, March 11, 1799, one 
of the brigadier generals of the Provisional Army, and in 
the so-called "Fries Insurrection," or "Hot-water War," 
he was in command of the few volunteers called into that 
service. He died at his residence, near Philadelphia, No- 
vember 5, 1813, in his fifty-eighth year. 



Marritie Van Brunt, daughter of Entgert Van Brimt and 
his wife, Altje Cortelyon, was born near New Utrecht, N. 
Y., Jannar}^ 9, 1762. Her father^s ancestors came from 
the Netherlands and were among the most influential in 
the early settlement of Long Island. Entgert Van Brunt 
owned a farm in G-rayesend, known as the Pennoyer patent. 
He held the office of sheriff of the county from 1768 to 
1777; was colonel in the militia and generally known as 
Colonel Yan Brunt. In addition he served as a member of 
the New York Assembly, and filled other positions of honor 
in the county. His daughter, Marritie (or Marietta, as she 
was sometimes called), was a young lady of prepossessing 
appearance, well educated, and a brilliant conversational- 
ist; and in 1779, when she married Colonel Eobert Magaw, 
she was considered one of the handsomest women of Long 

Eobert Magaw, a son of William and Elizabeth Magaw, 
was born in Philadelphia in 1738, where his father had first 
settled on coming from the north of Ireland to America. 
He located at Carlisle about the time of the formation of 
Cumberland county. The son, Eobert, was educated at the 
academy in Philadelphia, studied law, and was in the active 
practice of his profession when the War of the Eevolution 
summoned him to take up arms in the cause of his country. 
In 1775 he was commissioned major in Colonel William 
Thompson's battalion, with which he continued in active 
service until he was appointed, January 3, 1776, colonel of 
the Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion. He participated in the 
battle of Long Island, and his fame for cool, personal 
bravery in that disastrous encounter and good conduct 


comes forth unsullied. "VYlien it was determined on the 
16th of October following to abandon N'ew York Island to 
the enemy, Colonel Magaw was left in command of the gar- 
rison at Fort Washington, while the army marched to 
King's Bridge and afterwards to Wn.iite Plains. Howe not 
being able to force Washington into an engagement, turned 
his attention to Fort Washington, and upon its investment 
sent a messenger to Colonel ^lagaw, demanding its surren- 
der in peril of massacre, if his demands were not complied 
with within two hours. Magaw's reply is historical, "actu- 
ated" he said "by the most glorious cause that mankind 
ever fought in, I am determined to defend this post to the 
very last extremity." The sequel is well known. Magaw 
disposed of his men to the best advantage and did his duty 
faithfully. Overwhelming numbers swept all before them 
into the fort, and the gallant Magaw after much parley, sur- 
rendered, having been betrayed by Bement. 

Colonel Magaw remained a prisoner on Long Island until 
his exchange, October 25, 1780. In the meantime, he 
made the acquaintance of the patriotic Marritie Van Brunt, 
and after a short courtship, married her. Of this event, 
Graydon says in his delightful "Memoirs," Magaw com- 
forted his captivity on Long Island, by taking of its fair 
daughters a wife. Upon Ijeing exchanged. Colonel and 
Mrs. Magaw went to their home at Carlisle, Pa., where 
she shone with as much brilliancy as in her native place. 
So charming were her manners, that tradition gives it she 
was the life of that fascinating coterie of women which 
made that town's society so delightful for a hundred years 
or more. Colonel Magaw died suddenly at Carlisle, Jan- 
uary 5, 1790, and was buried by the honors of war. Mrs. 
Magaw survived her distinguished husband thirteen years, 
dying at Carlisle, August 15, 1803. They left two chil- 
dren. Van Brunt and Elizabeth, the former of whom in- 
herited the Van Brunt estate at Gravesend. 



Siisanna Catherine Miller was born November 6, 1743. 
She was the daughter of Christian and Barbara Miller, who 
came from Switzerland to Pennsylvania in October, 1737, 
and settled in Lynn township, Northampton connty. On 
the 20th of April, 1741, her father took up a tract of land, 
on which he erected his cabin, and where he resided all his 
life. Susanna being probably the eldest daughter, had 
fewer advantages of education than the other children, as- 
sisting the mother in their charge, and these with various 
household duties required of the daughter of a pioneer con- 
stant care. Nevertheless, quick perception, an aptness to 
take hold and securely acquire gave her certain endow- 
ments of speech and manner, which made her a leader 
in the settlement, and in which, during her married life, 
she shone resplendent. 

In November, 1760, Susanna Miller married John Jacob 
Mickley. He was born December 17, 1737, in Whitehall, 
Northampton county. Pa. His father, of the same name, 
came to Pennsylvania in August, 1733, being then twenty- 
two years of age. The son upon his marriage settled upon 
a tract of land now between the villages of Hokendauqua 
and Mickle3^s, where their large family of children were born. 
In 1763 occurred the massacre of so many of the White- 
hall families and the escape of John Peter Mickley, who 
fled from the savages and came with the news to his 
brother's house. About this period Mr. Mickley, who was 
a carpenter by occupation, assisted in the construction of 
Zion Eeformed church in Allentown, and it was through 
the knowledge gained therein that he suggested the con- 


cealing of the old Liberty and Christ church bells beneath 
its floors in the summer of 1777. He was an early adherent 
to the cause of Independence, and in November, 1776, was 
chosen on the committee of observation for the county of 

During the struggle for independence the services of his 
horses and wagons were frequently given to the use of the 
patriot army, while he was appointed commissary of issues 
in January, 1778. He was an influential citizen of the 
county, and a gentleman highly esteemed for his benevo- 
lence, high honor and probity. He was accidentally killed 
by a tree falling upon him the 13th of December, 1808. 

In the early days of Mrs. Mickley's married life the 
homestead was frequently stockaded as a protection 
against the ruthless savage from the Minisink. It 
was the custom during the Indian marauds for the man of 
the house before retiring to take his gun and walk around 
the premises to ascertain if there were lurking Indians or 
prowling wolves near by, and also to overlook the country 
whether there were fires or danger abroad. The nightly 
agony endured by the family may be imagined. It is true, 
the Indians of the Lehigh were not considered dangerous 
"if well treated,'^ and the people made it a point to give 
to their utmost. This, in fact was alas, too frequently a 
blind, and the red savage was always treacherously in- 
clined. As an illustration of the darins^ of our Eevolution- 
ary ancestry an incident in the life of the subject of this 
sketch may not be uninteresting. 

It is stated that upon one occasion, her husband being 
away from home, Mrs. Mickley, observing the sheep and 
lambs hurrying towards the barn, upon investigating the 
cause found a wolf concealed in the brush. Taking her 
husband^s gun she shot the animal, and calmly returned the 
weapon to its accustomed place, feeling she had merely 


performed lier duty. It is a pity the stories of the pioneer 
period of our history have not been preserved to ns. What 
an insight they wonld have given ns of the daring of onr an- 
cestors. Dnring the Revolutionary struggle and the fre- 
quent absence of her husband^ Mrs. Miekle}?", beside the 
care of her family, had the management of a large farm, 
and also the oversight of a grist mill. The end of the 
struggle came at last, and for many years the Micldeys lived 
in the enjoyment of peace and plenty. She died December 
16, 1807, and her remains rest in the family bur^dng ground 
beside those of her husband. 



Sarah Morris, daughter of Morris Morris, and his wife, 
Elizabeth Mifflin, was born 4th mo. 5, 1747, (0. S.), in 
PhiladeliDhia. She died in that city, August 1st, 1790, and 
lies buried in Friends' graveyard. All descriptions of 
Sarah Morris, state that she was a very lovely woman, al- 
though in delicate health, and belonged to a prominent 
Quaker family. In many respects she was a remarkable 
woman. She married, at Fair Hill Meeting, on March 4, 
1767, Thomas Mifflin. After her marriage her life up to 
the period of the Eevolution was very quiet. She had no 
children of her own, but there were those around her, near 
and dear, to whose comfort she was constantly minister- 
ing. At the commencement of the War of the Revolution 
Mrs. Mifflin in writing to a friend in Boston said: "I have 
retrenched every superfluous expense in my table and fam- 
ily. Tea I have not drank since last Christmas, nor bought 
a new cap or gown since the affair at Lexington, and what 
I never did before, have learned to knit, and am now making 
stockings of wool for my servants; and this way do I throw 
in my mite to the public good. I know this, that as free 
I can die but once; but as a slave I shall not be worthy of 
life. I have the pleasure to assure you that these are the 
sentiments of my sister Americans. They have sacrificed 
assemblies, parties of pleasure, tea-drinkings and finery, to 
that great spirit of patriotism which actuates all degrees of 
people throughout this extensive country." Prior to the 
occupancy of Philadelphia by the British, Mrs. Mifflin re- 
moved to Reading, where she mostly resided during the 
struggle for Independence. Her home Avas a notable one 


in that Provincial German town; and, it has been stated by 
historians, that it was at her residence that the noted "Con- 
way cabaF^ was organized. But this falsehood was ex- 
ploded a century ago. Like the lives of all the patriots^ 
wives, hers was a very quiet one at Eeading, but she ac- 
complished much good with the aid of her neighbors there, 
in the preparation of delicacies for the sick and wounded 
who were quartered in the neighborhood. At the close of 
the war she returned to Philadelphia, where she remained 
until her death. 

Thomas Mifflin, son of John Mifflin and his wife, Eliza- 
beth Bagnell, was born in Philadelphia, January 10, 1744, 
of Quaker parentage. Upon the completion of his edu- 
cation at the College of Philadelphia, now the University 
of Pennsylvania, he entered a counting house. In 1764 
he visited Europe, and returning went into mercantile pur- 
suits. These were thoroughly successful. He was « man 
of decided mental power and strong convictions, and liv- 
ing in an atmosphere which frequently suggested the com- 
ing storm of the Eevolution, he was not of the tempera- 
ment which would produce a quiet spectator. In 1771 he 
was chosen to the Provincial Assembly, and in 1774 was 
elected a delegate to the First Continental Congress. His 
S3nnpathies were promptly and strongly enlisted for decisive 
action against the tyranny and misrule of Great Britain, 
and the stand he took was far-sighted and courageous. 
With the first mustering of troops for the Eevolution he 
was appointed an aide-de-camp, June 20, 1775, on the staff 
of the commander-in-chief, accompanying Washington to 
Cambridge. In August he was made quartermaster gen- 
eral; shortly afterwards adjutant general; May 16, 1776, 
brigadier general, and commanded the covering party dur- 
ing the retreat from Long Island. He was promoted major 


general February 19^ 1777. After the battle of German- 
town he resigned his position in the army. 

In 1783 General Mifflin was elected a delegate to Con- 
gress, of which body he became President, and in that ca- 
pacity received Washington's resignation, as commander- 
in-chief of the army. He was a member and speaker of the 
Pennsylyania Assembly in 1785; was a delegate to the con- 
vention to frame the Federal Constitution in 1787, and 
was elected President of the Supreme Executive Council 
in October, 1788, remaining in that official position until 
December, 1790. He was president of the convention 
which framed the Constitution of 1790, and the first Gov- 
ernor of the Sate, elected under the same. He was twice 
re-elected, serving a period of nine years. He rendered 
a ready and efficient support to the administration of Presi- 
dent Washington during the so-called "Whiskey Insurrec- 
tion,'' and promptly took command of the troops from 
Pennsylvania. After the expiration of his term of office 
as Governor he was elected to the Legislature, but within 
a few days after taking his seat was prostrated by a sud- 
den illness and died at Lancaster, Pa., on the morning of 
January 21, 1800. His remains are interred close to the 
walls of Trinity Lutheran church, that city. In person 
General Mifflin was remarkably handsome; although his 
stature did not exceed five feet, eight inches, his form was 
athletic and was capable of bearing much fatigue. His 
manners were cheerful and affable, his elocution open and 
distinct — a man of ready apprehension and brilliancy. 



Eachel Eush, the eldest daughter of Thomas and Eachel 
Rush;, was born at Byberry^ in Pliiladelphia county, Pa., 
May 7, 1741. Her grandfather, John Eush, commanded 
a troop of horse in the army of Oliver Cromwell, and on the 
restoration of the monarch}^, emigrated to Philadelphia in 
1683. He had been personally known to the Protector. 
She was a sister of the celebrated Dr. Benjamin Ensh, 
the signer of the Declaration of Independence. Eachel 
received an excellent education, and was a woman of re- 
fined taste and manners. She married yonng in life, about 
1761, Angus Boyce, a prominent merchant of Philadelphia. 
He died a few years later, leaving one child, Malcolm. 

Mrs. Boyce married, secondly, July 11, 1770, Eev. Joseph 
Montgomery, then pastor of the Presbyterian congrega- 
tions of New Castle and Christiana Bridge, Del. At the 
outset of the war, going into service as chaplain in the pa- 
triotic army, Mr. Montgomery removed his little family to 
Paxtang, Lancaster count}^, where he owned a farm, and 
it was here they remained during the struggle for inde- 
pendence. Apart from the care of the farm, with but fee- 
ble assistance, owing to the fact that all males over sixteen 
had gone into the militar}^ service, her help depended upon 
women almost entirely, yet she greatly assisted in caring 
for the men at the front, who were combatting the enemies 
of her country. Food and clothing, the latter her own 
handiwork, were forwarded. It was necessary for her to 
practice a great deal of self-denial, and this she did, the 
cause of her country being pre-eminent. 

L^pon the restoration of peace and the return of her hus- 


band, Mrs. Montgomer}^ remained on the farm, he being 
in public service. In 1785 the family removed into the 
new town of Harrisburg, Mr. Montgomery having been ap- 
pointed one of the county officers. Here she remained 
until her death, which occurred Saturday, July 28, 1798. 
The Oracle of Dauphin, gives this estimate of her char- 

*^'In her were united those virtues which beautify and 
adorn the Christian and human nature. She was invaria- 
bly mild and affable, amiable and courteous to all. Her 
communicative and sweet disposition, her benevolent and 
beneficent heart, led her at last to attempt the character 
of her blessed Lord, going about doing good. In her 
friendships she was sincere, cordial, and constant — in her 
domestic connections she was yet more affable and amiable, 
and unoffending; as a wife, she was endowed with all 
the tender sensibilities which complete matrimonial hap- 
piness. As a mother, she was remarked b}^ others, and 
loved by her children for the constant and engaging dis- 
charge of all those maternal offices which are generally seen 
to attract and command respect; and as a mistress humane 
and indulgent. * * * g]-^g supported with serenity 
the approach of death, leaning upon the blessed Eedeemer 
as the hope of her soul, and slept in the arms of Jesus with 
the blessed hope of immortalit}-, aged about fift3'-seven 

Joseph Montgomery, son of John and Martha Montgom- 
ery, emigrants from Ireland, was born September 23, 1733, 
(0. S.) in Paxtang township, then Lancaster, now Dauphin 
count)^. Pa. He was educated under private tutors and at 
the College of Kew Jersey, from which he graduated in 
1755. Afterwards he was appointed master of the grammar 
school connected with that college. In 1760 the College at 
Philadelphia and Yale College conferred upon him the 


Master's degree. About this time lie was licensed to preach 
by tlie Presbytery of Philadelphia^ and by request entered 
the bounds of the Presbytery of Lewes, from which he was 
transferred to that of New Castle, accepting a call from 
the congregation at G-eorgetown, oyer which he was settled 
from 1767 tol769. He was installed pastor of the congre- 
tions of Christiana Bridge and New Castle, Delaware, on 
the 14th of August, 1769. At the outset of the Eevolution 
he took an actiye part in the organization of the Sons of 
Liberty^ — the Associators — and delivered a very patriotic 
address before the First Battalion of Delaware Associators. 

In the autumn of 1777 Mr. Montgomery resigned his 
pastoral charge, and accepted the commission of chaplain 
of Colonel Small wood's (Maryland) regiment of the Conti- 
nental Line, and served with distinction for a period of 
three years. On the 23d of ISTovember, 1780, he was chosen 
by the General Assembly of Pennsylvania one of its dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress, and re-elected the fol- 
lowing year. His services in that body were quite distin- 
guished, but owing to the fact that the journals confound 
his name with that of John Montgomery, of Carlisle, his 
name, until recent years, was omitted from the lists. He 
was elected a member of the Assembly of Pennsylvania in 
1782 and served during that session. That body on Feb- 
ruary 25, 1783, selected him as one of the commissioners 
to reconcile the difficulties between the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania and the Connecticut settlers of Wyoming. 
When the county of Dauphin was erected, the Supreme 
Executive Council appointed him Eecorder of Deeds and 
Eegister of Wills for the county, which office he held from 
March 11, 1785, to October 14, 1794, the date of his death. 

Mr. Montgomery filled conspicuous and honorable posi- 
tions in church and state in the most trying period of the 
early history of the country. In the church he was the 


friend and associate of men like Witherspoon, Rodgers and 
Spencer, and his bold utterances in the cause of independ- 
ence proved him a man of no ordinary courage and decision. 
He enjoyed to an unusual degree the respect and confidence 
of the men of his generation. The Rev. Mr. Montgomery 
was twice married; first, in 1765 to Elizabeth Reed, who 
died March, 1TG9. She was the daughter of Andrew and 
Sarah Reed, of Trenton, N". J., and a sister of President 
Reed, of Pennsylvania. She left two daughters. Mr. 
Montgomery married secondly, Rachael (Rush) Boyce. 
They had one child. 



Elizabeth Thompson, daughter of Joseph Thompson, was 
born in the Cumberland Valley May 18, 1748. Her father 
was a native of the north of Ireland, and an early settler in 
what is now Franklin county. The daughter received the 
benefit of a good home education, was a woman of consid- 
erable natural ability and of great force of character. In 
1768 she married Fergus Moorhead, of the same locality. 
In May, 1772, Mr. Moorhead, with his wife and three chil- 
dren, his two brothers, Samuel and Joseph, and his wife's 
brother, James Thompson, set out from their homes in the 
Cumberland Valley for the ^^new country," west of the Alle- 
gheny Mountains. Though the thought of acquiring pos- 
sessions and wealth for themselves and posterity might 
buoy up the adventurous spirits of the Moorhead brothers, 
it may well be imagined that Mrs. Moorhead left home and 
all its endearments with a heavy heart. Being a woman, 
however, of great energy of character, as is shown in the 
sequel, and filled with that romantic spirit peculiar to that 
period in which she lived, she pressed forward with a firm 
step and resolute heart, determined to share with her hus- 
band the dangers and trials of the wilderness. The Moor- 
heads took with them three horses and a wagon which con- 
tained their provisions, the family effects and the household 
utensils. Their other live-stock consisted of a yoke of 
oxen, milk cows, sheep, hogs, and a lot of fowls. Mr. 
Moorhead had been to the country by himself before, made 
a cabin in a clearing and then went back to the Cumberland 
Valley for his little family. Beaching their Western Penn- 
sylvania home, they planted a small patch, which they had 


cleared, with potatoes and corn, and prepared another for 
a garden. Joseph and Samnel Moorhead left their brother 
and his family to return home. For that harvest Fergus 
Moorhead cut the grass growing on the land, which in that 
day in some sections of the country resembled prairies, be- 
ing open and treeless, rank with grass and in some instances 
swampy. In the patches north of the Conemaugh, the wild 
grass grew luxuriantly. In the beginning of the Eevolu- 
tionary war, Mr. Moorhead was in command of the frontier 
fort at the Kittanning, while his brother Samuel, the com- 
mandant, was seriously ill from an attack of small-pox. 
Upon his brother's recovery, Captain Fergus Moorhead 
started for home, accompanied by a soldier by the name of 

Arriving at "Blanket Hill" on the Kittanning, they were 
wajdaid by the Indians, who shot both their horses and 
killed the private soldier. Moorhead was taken prisoner, 
and after arriving at his captors' camp, was compelled to 
run the gauntlet. He was then taken to Quebec and sold 
to the British, who kept him in close confinement on mis- 
erable food for eleven months. At the end of this time he 
was exchanged and sent to Xew York, from which place 
he set out on foot for his former home in the Cumberland 
Valle3^ His wife had accompanied her brother back to 
the Cumberland Valley, and while she was at his father's 
house she had the unmistakable delight of again meeting 
her husband, who after many adventures had returned from 
his caj)tivity. 

In 1781 Mr. ]\Ioorhead, with his wife and children, re- 
turned to their Westmoreland county home. It may be 
here stated that during the time of her husband's capti\T.ty 
there devolved upon Mrs. Moorhead the sad duty, ^nthout 
any assistance whatever, closing the eyes of her own child, 
making its coffin and depositing it in the grave she had dug 


for it. It was subsequent to this that she had returned to 
the Cumberland Valley, for, having no word from her hus- 
band as to his whereabouts, no information was obtained 
as to what had really become of him. The sore trials which 
this typical pioneer woman underwent during the Eevolu- 
tionary struggle, the pen is too weak to describe, and, yet, 
Mrs. Moorhead was only one of the many noble women, 
wives of the patriots of the Declaration, who suffered dur- 
ing the war for independence. Mr. Moorhead lived to the 
ripe old age of eighty-nine, dying in 1831, his wife preced- 
ing him ten years. They left a numerous and respectable 
progeny, and some of their descendants occupy prominent 
positions in the Western States of the Union. 



Mary White, daughter of Colonel Thomas White and his 
wife Esther Hillings, widow of John Newman, was born 
April 13, 1749, in the city of Phihidclphia. She died in 
that city January 16, 1827. Mary White was a sister of 
William White, first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in Pennsylvania. Under the teachin«:s of an ex- 
emplary mother, a woman whom her dutiful son says "pos- 
sessed an excellent understanding, with sincere but unos- 
tentatious piety," Mary White became one of the most ac- 
complished women of that day. She was a woman of great 
beauty of face and form, and when, on March 2, 1769, she 
became the wife of Robert Morris, the financier of the Revo- 
lution, she was well calculated to preside over her husband's 
luxurious home durng his days of prosperity. 

Mrs. Morris was a woman of peculiar amiability and 
sweetness of temper, and during her thirty-seven years of 
wedded life, she proved a true wife of that steadfast patriot. 
In his hours of home gladness she shared his joys. In his 
years of patriotic devotion to his country's inter- 
ests, she cheered his labors. In his weary days of 
trouble, when misfortune and poverty came upon 
them both, being past the prime, she never fal- 
tered in her love, and when at last, he, broken in his 
health, had escaped his cruel imprisonment, his wife re- 
ceived him and cherished him in his declining years. There 
was, indeed, in this a chivalry of devotion unequalled in the 
long list of patriotic women. During her husband's im- 
prisonment, Mrs. Morris received an urgent letter from 
General and ^frs Washington, urging her to pay them a 


visit at Mount Yernon, and to make as long a stay under 
tlieir roof as slie would find it convenient. 

Having through certain interests in the Holland Land 
Compan}'^;, bequeathed to her by Gouverneur Morris, she 
obtained from that corporation a life annuity, and it was 
through this decision and forethought that she secured for 
her husband a home in the last years of his life. 

Eobert Morris, son of Eobert Morris, was born at Liver- 
pool, England, January 20, 1733-4 (0. S.). His father 
came to America when the boy was about six years of age 
and settled on the Eastern Shore, Maryland. The son at 
an early age entered the counting house of Mr. Charles Will- 
ing, in Philadelphia, and at the age of twenty entered into 
a partnership which was maintained until 1793, a period 
of thirty-nine years. Although warmly attached to the 
mother country, Eobert Morris opposed the stamp act, and 
signed the non-importation resolutions of 1765. Upon the 
organization of the Committee of Safety, in June, 1775, Mr. 
Morris was made president. On the 3d of November, that 
year, the Assembly of Pennsylvania elected him as one of 
the delegates to the Second Congress, then in session in 
Philadelphia. He voted against the resolution of July 2, 
1776, and on the 4th when the Declaration was submitted 
for approval he absented himself from his seat in Congress. 
His reason therefor was, that at that time he considered the 
act premature and unnecessary, that the colonies were not 
yet ready for independence. Subsequently, however, on 
the 2d of August, when the engrossed Declaration was laid 
upon the table to be signed, he subscribed with a firm hand 
and unfaltering heart, his signature to our Magna Charta. 
He was re-elected to Congress in 1777, and again in 1778. 
On the 9th of July he led the Pennsylvania delegation in 
signing the "Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union 
between the States." 


In February, 1781, Congress appointed liim to the im- 
portant office of Superintendent of Finance, and he filled 
that arduous and responsible post until November 1, 1784. 
He was truly termed "The Financier of the Revolution," 
for to his exertions and his services was the country in- 
debted for the helpfulness in the successful campaigns of 
1780-81, which secured the independence of America. He 
was a member of the Convention which formed the Con- 
stitution of the United States, and was elected a member 
of the first United States Senate, which position he retained 
until 1795. In 179 5 the North American Land company, 
in which Mr. Morris, with John Nicholson and others, was 
largely interested, wrought his financial ruin, through the 
dishonesty and rascality of some of the members of that 
company, and his closing years were spent in utter poverty. 
For a period of three years and over he was an inmate of a 
debtor's prison, and the Government which he had carried 
on his own shoulders through adversity to prosperity, al- 
lowed him to remain therein. Mr. Morris survived his im- 
prisonment not quite five years. He died in Philadelphia 
May 7, 1806, and with his wife, buried in Christ Church 
graveyard, in Philadelphia. 



Margaret Mayes, b. Feb. 2, 1738, in the north of Ireland, 
was the daughter of Andrew and Rebecca Mayes, who 
came to America the same year. Her parents settled in 
Lancaster county within ten miles of the present city of 
Harrisburg, and it was here on the frontiers that the daugh- 
ter reached womanhood. She married Dec. 29, 1762, John 
Murray, who resided near by. In common with the women 
of the backwoods districts she endured the hardships and 
the sufferings from which there was no alleviation for a 
period of almost twenty years. During the struggle for 
independence and the absence of her husband from the 
hearthstone, she did her part nobly and well. The men 
at the front fighting the battles of their country, knew 
that the cause was just and that God was with them. Yet 
they acted not alone in all that fearful drama, for the 
mothers, wives, daughters and sisters, left behind, helped 
them in their devotion. It is true, that their exertions were 
devoid of the pomp for which most men strive and few 
obtain, but the conduct of the women, although silent, 
was none the less potent in acts of heroism. It was then, 
as it is in this era, that noble woman worked to alleviate 
the sufferings of mortals, and performed deeds of hero- 
ism and benevolence, looking beyond the grave for the 
blessed reward. It is said that "the good deeds which men 
do live after them," but, it may be fairly stated that the 
services rendered by philanthropic women in all the ages 
of the world will only be known when time shall be no 
more. Notwithstanding the sufferings and trials during 
the early period of her life, Mrs. Murray lived to a green 
old age and died on the 22d of June, 1807, in Upper Pax- 


tang township, Dauphin county, Pcnn'a, and is buried 
b}^ the side of her husband in the okl cemetery near Dau- 
phin borough. 

John Murray was born circa, 1731, in Scotland. His 
parents, William Murray and Isabella Lindle}^ emigrated 
to America in 1732. They settled in the Province of Penn- 
sylvania on the Swatara, and here their son John was 
reared. In 1766 John ]\rurray took up a tract of land 
called ^'The Indian Burying Ground,'' lying on the Sus- 
quehanna immediately above his brother James' farm, 
which adjoined the present town of Dauphin. In the 
spring of 1776 he raised a company, of which he was com- 
missioned captain, March 7, 1776. This was attached to 
Col. Samuel Miles' Penn'a Eifle Eegiment, which partici- 
pated in the battles of Long Island, White Plains, Tren- 
ton and Princeton. On the 18th of March, 1777, Capt. 
Murray was promoted ]\Iajor of the Pennsylvania State 
Eegiment of Foot, commanded by Col. Walter Stewart. 
Upon the organization of the 13th Penns^dvania, which 
was formed on the basis of the State Eegiment, he vras 
transferred to First Major, and with this command he 
fought at Brandy wine and Germantown. Upon the 13th 
being incorporated with the Second Pennsylvania, July 
1, 1778, he was transferred to that comm.and, and subse- 
quently promoted, Dec. 10, 1779, to lieutenant colonel; and 
in the re-arrangement of the Pennsylvania Line, was re- 
tired Jan. 1, 1781. He then returned to his familv and 
farm. Governor Mifflin, a very warm friend, appointed 
him Justice of the Peace August 29, 1791, the only politi- 
cal office he ever held, and it may be here st'^ted that all 
other positions tendered him were refused. He was an 
ardent Whig of the Eevolution, and a brave and gallant 
officer in that struggle for independence. Col. Murray 
died February 3, 1798, near Dauphin, Penn'a, and was 
buried in the old cemetery there. 



Winifred Oldliam^ danghter of John Oldham and his 
wife Anne Convfay, was born November 19, 1736, in West- 
moreland county, Virginia. She was descended from John 
Oldham, who emigrated to the colony of Virginia in March, 
1635. His son, Thomas Oldham, was the father of Colonel 
Daniel Oldham, who married Elizabeth Newton, and their 
son John Oldham was the father of the subject of this 
sketch. Winifred received a good education at the hands 
of private instructors and grew up, not only a handsome 
woman, but one of culture and bright of thought and man- 
ners. On the 24th of August, 1754, she married John 

Prior to the Revolution they resided at Winchester in 
Virginia, but when the war threatened and her husband, 
with his military command, took charge of Fort Pitt, she 
removed thither, and the remainder of her days was passed 
in Pennsylvania. Little need be said of the experience of 
a woman at a frontier post or town at this critical era of our 
country's history. It was a life full of care, deep anxiet}^, as 
well as self-sacrifice. Of determined spirit, she was equal 
to the emergency, and ever}^ demand upon her industry and 
philanthropy was cheerfully acquiesced in. She was a 
loyal woman at all times, more especially when to be loyal 
required a full measure of duty and devotion and patriot- 
ism. At the dawn of peace her cares were none the less, 
her hospitality was too frequently put to the severest tests. 
Her husband's prominence required this, even had she not 
that indwelling spirit which prompted it. 

During the days of misrule, leading up to the so-called 


"Whiskey Insurrection/'' her trials and hardships were 
great, sympathizing so strongly with the dangers threaten- 
ing her husband. Absent from home at the destruction of 
her dwelling, her spirits kept up, for she was always hope- 
ful, even cheerful. To her life's close she was the center 
of attraction at every social gathering, and her narration 
of events of almost half a century, in which she or her hus- 
band were active participants, was listened to with the 
greatest interest. She died on Montour's Island in 1797, 
and was buried in the First Presbyterian graveyard at Pitts- 
bur di. 

John [N'eville, son of George Neville and Ann Burroughs, 
who was a cousin of Lord Fairfax, was born July 26, 1731, 
on the head waters of Occoquan river, Virginia. His 
father's residence is laid down on Governor Pownall's, and 
Fry and Jefferson's maps, also on map in Spark's "Life and 
Writings of Washington." On the map in Jefferson's 
"Notes on Virginia," edition of 1787, it is laid down near 
the head of Bull Eun, a branch of the Occoquan. He was an 
early acquaintance of Washington, and served with him in 
Braddock's expedition. He subsequently settled near AVin- 
chester, Frederick county, where he held the office of sher- 
iff. He was in Dunmore's expedition of 1774. Prior to 
this he had made large entries and purchases of land on 
Chartiers' creek, and built a house, now owned and occupied 
by Mrs. Mary Wrenshall, and was about to remove there 
when the Eevolutionary troubles began. He was elected a 
deleo'ate from xlus-nsta countv to the Provincial Conven- 
tion of Virginia, which appointed George Washington, Pey- 
ton Eandolph and others to the first Continental Congress, 
but was prevented by sickness from attending. On the 7th 
of August, 1775, the Provincial Convention of Virginia 
ordered him to march with his company and take posses- 
sion of Fort Pitt. December 23, 1776, he was appointed a 


justice of Yoliogania county court, but considering the dis- 
tracted state of the country, occasioned by the boundary 
dispute, and his position as commandant at Fort Pitt, he 
prudently declined the appointment. He was colonel of 
the Fourth Virginia Eegiment in the Eevolutionary War.^ 
Subsequent to the Eevolution he was a member of the Board 
of Property, and of the Supreme Executive Council of 
Pennsylvania, and of the Pennsylvania Convention which 
ratified the Federal Constitution; he was also a member of 
the Convention which formed the Constitution of Pennsyl- 
vania in 1789-90. In 1791, at the urgent solicitation of the 
President and the Secretary of the Treasury, he accepted 
the appointment of Inspector of the Eevenue in the Fourth 
Survey of the District of Pennsylvania, which he held until 
after the suppression of the "Whiskey Insurrection" and 
establishment of the supremacy of the laws of the United 
States. He was appointed agent, at Pittsburgh, for the sale 
of lands, imder the act of Congress, passed May 18, 1796, 
entitled "An act for the sale of the lands of the United 
States in the Territory northwest of the Ohio, &c.''' He 
died on Montour's Island, now Neville township, Allegheny 
county. Pa., July 29, 1803, and was buried in the First Pres- 
byterian church yard, Pittsburgh. 



Mary Carson was born in Philadelphia, December 11, 
1760. She was the daughter of William Carson, who kept 
the "Harp and Crown,^^ on Third street and Ell)ow lane, 
that city. Mr. Carson was a native of County Antrim, Ire- 
land, became a well-known and much respected citizen, and 
filled several important positions by appointment of the 
Committee of Safety during the War of the Revolution. 
The daughter was the pride of her father, who had bestowed 
upon her all the culture and educational advantages which 
he could jDrocure at*the period antedating the Revolution- 
ary war. She grew to be a stately, dignified and beautiful 
woman, and during the struggle for independence it is said 
that she greatly assisted her mother and sisters in their 
handiwork — the making of clothing and other necessaries 
for the soldiers of the Revolution. She was an expert in 
that almost forgotten art the knitting of stockings, and 
many the pairs which came from her dexterous hands. 
Prior to the occupancy of Philadelphia by the British 
troops in 1777, her father sent her with her sister, Elizabeth, 
who had recently married Colonel Christian Febiger, of the 
Virginia Line, to Lancaster, where they resided during the 
winter of 1777-78. ITpon her return to the city, the good 
work which she had begun was continued; and from that 
time until her marriage, towards the close of the war, to 
James O'Hara, she did her duty faithfully and well. Re- 
moving to her western home at Fort Pitt, it is recorded of 
her that she was a woman celebrated for loveliness, ele- 
gance and refinement; was a good matron and enjoyed the 
respect of her neighbors. She was a loved and honored 


wife, as well as a tender and most judicious mother. She 
survived her husband over tvv^elve years, and died in the 
city of Pittsburgh, on the 8th day of April, 1834. 

James O'Hara, of a distinguished Milesian family, was a 
native of County Mayo, Ireland, where he was born in the 
early part of the year 1743. He received a classical educa- 
tion, and was intended for the priesthood. It was sup- 
posed that he had been a subordinate ofhcer in the British 
service, but the records do not bear this out. In 1770 he 
was in a counting house in Liverpool, and a year or two 
after came to America along with some mercantile friends, 
and resided .for a |)eriod in Philadelphia. In that city he 
became acquainted with persons engaged in the then lucra- 
tive occupation of Indian traders, and entered their service. 
For several years subsequently he was at Kaskaskund, an 
Indian town situated on a branch of the Big Beaver, in now 
Lawrence count}^, Pennsylvania. When the war of the 
Eevolution began, his sympathies were with the colonies in 
that struggle, and his every exertion was used in behalf of 
preserving peace with the Indians on the western frontiers, 
vdio were chiefly inimical, being under the influence of the 
British military authorities on the Lakes. Familiar with 
gathering supplies for the frontiers, it is not surprising that 
his assistance was desirable in the crisis of affairs. In the 
journal of Congress, under date of J^ovember 6, 1777, it is 
ordered, "that two thousand dollars be advanced to Captain 
James O'Hara, at the request of the Board of War, for the 
purchase of supplies for the use of the independent com- 
panies at Fort Pitt under the command of Brigadier G-en- 
eral Hand.^' From that period until the close of the war, 
he was an important personage upon the frontiers, and un- 
til the treaty at Fort Mcintosh, in 1784, when money was 
placed in his hands by the Government for the purchase 
of Indian goods, he is designated as "Captain." From this 


we would infer that lie had received the appointment of 
commissary of purchases, this being the special rank of that 
officer. The valuable services of Captain O'Hara were 
properly appreciated by the authorities; and later on, when 
it was found necessary to defend the frontiers from the 
savages from the northwest of the Ohio, he was appointed 
Quartermaster General of the Army. After the successful 
termination of General Wayne's campaign against the In- 
dians, General O'Hara resigned, but continued as a con- 
tractor for supplying the Western Army until 1802. In 
1796, in connection with Major Isaac Craig, he erected the 
first glass works at Pittsburgh. He was also engaged in 
commercial pursuits on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. 
He was chosen a presidential elector in 1789. In 1802, 
and again in 1804, he was a candidate for Congress, but 
failed in an election, his party being in a hopeless minority. 
In 1804 he was appointed a director of the Branch Bank of 
Pennsylvania, established that year in Pittsburgh, and sub- 
sequently entered into various enterprises. He purchased, 
from time to time, large tracts of land from the State, and 
in all his business ventures was remarkably prosperous. 
He died at Pittsburgh, December 21, 1819, in the 67th year 
of his age. Few men in the West stood higher in the re- 
spect and confidence of the community than General 
O'Hara. He was the forerunner of that class of successful, 
energetic men who took early and firm hold of affairs and 
made Pittsburgh the great manufacturing emporium of 
Western Pennsylvania. 



Eosina Kucher^ second daugliter of Peter and Barbara 
Kucher^ was born in Lebanon township, then Lancaster 
county, Pennsylvania, March 19, 1741. Her parents emi- 
grated from the Palatinate, Germany, about the year 1737, 
and settled in Pennsylvania, where most of their large 
family of children were born. Educated under the care of 
the Moravian minister of the neighborhood, together with 
the instruction and example of a truly pious mother, Eosina 
became a woman of more than ordinary culture. 

On the 26th of April, 1763, in Hebron church, near Leb- 
anon, she was married by Rev. Zahm, to Balzer Orth, also 
a native of the locality, where he was born July 14, 1736. 
His father, of the same name, came from the Palatinate, 
Germany, to Pennsylvania in 1730, where in 1735 he had 
warranted to him three hundred acres of land, on which he 
had been some time settled. The son was a man of promi- 
nence during the Eevolutionary period, had served in the 
Bouquet expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and 
early espoused the cause of the colonies in their struggle 
for independence. He was an officer in one of the asso- 
ciated battalions of Lancaster county, and after the victory 
at Trenton was in command of the company which was di- 
rected to guard the Hessian prisoners of war, confined at 
Lebanon. He was commissioned major of the Second Bat- 
talion, Colonel Greenawalt, August 26, 1780, and was in ac- 
tive service that year guarding the frontier settlers while 
gathering their crops, owing to the numerous marauds of 
the Indians from the northern lakes. 

During this period Mrs. Orth was not a disinterested wit- 


ness of transpiring events. True to her matronly duties, as 
well as the patriotic inspiration of the times, no one was 
more diligent in laboring for the relief of the American 
soldiery. Skilled in spinning and weaving, an accomplish- 
ment in which she justly prided herself, large quantities 
of clothing material were sent by her to the badly clothed 
men of the army of the Declaration. To her, and others 
of her neighbors (she was but one of the many), too great 
honor cannot be rendered, and it is only proper that their 
descendants cherish the patriotic self-devotion of these 
mothers of the Eopublic. Major Orth died October G, 
1794, his wife surviving until April 3, 1814. Both lie in- 
terred in Hebron church vard, near Lebanon. Of their 
eight children who reached maturity, the eldest son, Got- 
leib, was the father of Hon. Godlove S. Orth, the famous 
Indiana statesman; while their eldest daughter, Maria-Bar- 
bara, v/as the maternal ancestor of the distinguished sur- 
geon, Prof. S. J. Jones, M. D., LL. D., of Chicago. 



Sarali McDowell^ daughter of Wiiliam McDowell, and 
sister of the wife of Archibald Irwin, was born, November 
30, 1738, upon her father's farm near ParnelFs Knob, in 
the Cumberland Valley. With slender chances of educa- 
tion, except that afforded by careful home-training and in- 
struction, the early childhood of Sarah was spent on the 
frontiers, until after the defeat of General Braddock, when 
her family fled towards the Susquehanna, and for sometime 
resided in the vicinity of Carlisle. It was here, possibl}^ 
she became acquainted with William Piper, who was an 
officer in the Provincial service. They were married De- 
cember 29, 1759. They continued to reside in the Cum- 
berland Valley, near Shippensburg, until after 1768, when 
they removed to a tract of land in Northumberland county. 

The first information that we have of Mrs. Piper is from 
the notes of the Eev. Mr. Fithian, then on a missionary 
tour to the West Branch Valley. Under date of July 12, 
1775, he says: "I jogged along a narrow bridle road, logs 
fallen across it, through bushes, until I came at last to Cap- 
tain Piper's, at Warrior Eun. The Captain was out reap- 
ing. Mrs. Piper received me kindly." He further states 
under date of July 13: "There is no one in the society but 
my little Wain that can tell you what is ^effectual calling.' 
Indeed, his little Wain is a lovely girl. She is an only 
child just ten years old. She seems to me to be remarkably 
intelligent; reads very clear, attends well to the quantity 
of words, has a sweet, nervous accent. Indeed, I have 
not been so lately pleased as with this rosy-cheeked Miss 
Peggy Piper." 


One has only to read Mr. Linn's "Buffalo Valley," or Me- 
ginness' ^'History of tlie West Branch Valley/' to learn of 
the hardships and the trials, with the self endurance of the 
backwoods inhabitants during the early years of the strug- 
gle for independence, in all of whicli ^Irs. l^ii)er was an 
active participant. During the "Big Runaway" of June, 
1778, she fled, with other settlers, to escape the fury of the 
Indians, and until the close of the Revolution, Mrs. Piper 
and her little family resided among their friends in the 
Cumberland Valley. Mrs. Piper died September 25, 1805, 
and was buried in the Upper West Conecocheague grave- 

William Piper, son of James and Margaret Piper, was 
born October 31, 1735, in W^est Pennsboro', Cumberland 
county. His parents came into the valley two years prior. 
When the French and Indian war broke out, he enlisted in 
the Provincial service, and in 1764 rose to be a captain in 
the force raised to accompany Colonel Bouquet on his ex- 
pedition westward, his commission bearing date July 20, 
1763. For his services he received two tracts of land. One 
of these tracts lay in Bald Eagle Valley, just above the 
mouth of Beech creek. The other was situated on the 
West Branch of the Susquehanna including the mouth of 
Delaware run. Here Captain Piper removed from his old 
home near Shippensburg, and took up his residence in a 
log house which he erected on the present site of the village 
of Dewart. In 1778-9 Captain Piper was in active military 
service, assisting in the protection of the frontiers con- 
stantly threatened by the Indians, as an olBcer of one of 
the associated battalions. He vras appointed a collector 
of excise in Xovember, 1779, and a year or two after re- 
moved to the Cumberland Valley, to a farm near Shippens- 
burg. Subsequently he purchased a tract of land in Peters 
township, Cumberland county, not far from Mercersburg. 

(152) I 

He died on liis farm January 7, 1798, and was bnried in the 
graveyard there. It may be noted in this connection that 
the "little Wain," Captain Piper's daughter Margaret, of 
whom the Eev. Mr. Fithian wrote so charmingly, subse- 
quently became the wife of James Irwin, brother of Archi- 
bald Irwin, the grandfather of ex-President Harrison. 



Margaret Lowrey, daughter of Alexander Lowrey and his 
wife Mary Waters, was born September 5, 17G5, in Donegal 
township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Of Colonel 
Lowrey it may be here stated that he was one of the most 
prominent citizens of Pennsylvania, having been an influ- 
ential Indian trader prior to the Revolution, and during 
that era one of its foremost advocates. About the close 
of the Revolution Miss Lowrey crossed the mountains on 
a visit to her sisters, Mrs. Daniel Elliott and Mrs. John 
Hay, who resided on Puckety creek, Westmoreland county. 
It was during that visit that Miss Lowrey first met George 
Plumer. They shortly became engaged, but Mrs. Hay, with 
whom Margaret was making her visit, opposed the match, 
and threatened to send her sister home. Accordingly, the 
young lovers made a runaway match and were married. 

George Plumer was the son of Jonathan Plumer and his 
wife Annie Farrell. He was born Decemxber 5, 1762, in a 
cabin, now within the limits of the city of Pittsburgh, and 
the second white child born there under the English domi- 
nation. The son became a noted hunter and scout, and 
occasionally accompanied parties of surveyors. He built a 
log cabin on Puckety creek, where he had taken up eight 
hundred acres of land, of which he cleared thirty. Here 
the young couple struggled against cares and trials new 
to the wife, with no hope of the father's forgiveness. The 
husband worked hard, clearing and cultivating his land. 
Game was abundant and afforded them all the fresh meat 
they required. However, they were often annoyed by the 
Indians, and frequently were compelled to take refuge at 


night in tlie adjoining woods, and occasionally find shelter 
in Fort Crawford. 

George Plnmer being called on to perform a month of 
military services as scout, during his absence an attorney 
of Pittsburgh took advantage thereof, sent a surveyor to 
survey his lands and had taken it before he knew anything 
about it. Up to this time Mr. Plumer had never met Colo- 
nel Lowrey, his father-in-law, and their meeting was a curi- 
ous one. The old Indian trader had a body of land north 
of Hannastown about which there was some litigation. 
Preparatory to the trial of the case he was out with the 
surveyors when George Plumer, who was hunting in that 
direction, accidentally met the party. The surveyors, with 
whom he was well acquainted, after shaking hands, intro- 
duced him to his astonished father-in-law, but the Colonel, 
having been prejudiced against him, was cold and distant, 
yet eyed him sharply. Mr. Plumer, however, maintained 
his serenit}^, and making gradual approaches to the Colonel, 
finally invited him to go home with him to see his daughter 
and grandchildren, but the Colonel declined, and after 
shaking hands they separated. However, the old gentle- 
man^s heart was touched, and he followed his son-in-law in 
a day or two, entering the cabin unannounced, overwhelmed 
his daughter and her little ones with embraces, and all was 
well again. 

After spending some days with them, he told Mr. Plumer 
that there were three fine tracts of land near the mouth 
of Big Sewickley creek, belonging to a gentleman with 
whom he was in extensive business relations, and directed 
him to go and make a selection and he would give it to 
him and his wife. This was speedily done, and in 1791 
George Plumer built a house on that tract at the mouth of 
the Sewickley, and moved into it. After the Plumers had 
been two years on their new place Colonel Lowrey made 


them another visit, and was so much pleased by the im- 
provements made by Mr. Plumer's energy and industry that 
he gave him money to erect mills. The next year the saw 
mill was running and masons were at work upon the iuun- 
dation of the grist mill. 

The year following, Mrs. Plumer and her sister Mary 
went east to see their father, and just before they started 
for home he gave each of them a large sum of money. Soon 
after his wife^s return Mr. Plumer was taken down with 
fever, from which he recovered slowly. During his pro- 
tracted illness a freshet swept away the mill-dam which in 
his weak condition, discouraged him, and, finally obeying 
his physician^s warning against hard work, he was induced 
to sell his mills. In the yeav following he built a large 
square log house on the upper portion of his farm in which 
he moved and in it he spent the remaining portion of his 

In 1812 Mr. Plumer was elected to the Legislature, and 
re-elected the five following years. In 1820 he was elected 
a Eepresentative in the Seventeenth Congress, and subse- 
quently to the Eighteenth and Nineteenth. In 1832 Mr. 
Plumer was again urged to permit his name to be used as 
a candidate for Congress, but, declining further service, he 
spent the remaining portion of his years in the quietude of 
private life. He died near West ISTewton on the 8th of 
June, 1843, in the eighty-first year of his age. Mrs. Plumer, 
who preferred to share the dangers and privations of a life 
on the frontiers with the man she loved than give him up 
for the luxuries of an eastern home, fully exemplified iv her 
noble course the highest character of the pathetic seldom 
read of, save in romance and song. She was a woman of 
cultivated, refined taste, and well suited for the higher 
duties which in the latter years of her life she was called 
upon to perform. She died at the residence on the Sewick- 


ley on the 24th of June^ 1818. She left a large family of 
children, some of whom became distinguished in the his- 
tory of western Pennsylvania, and whose descendants to- 
day are numbered among the most prominent people of the 
State. A grandson was the late Mr. George Plnmer Smith, 
of Philadelphia. 



Elizabeth Potter, only child of James Potter by his first 
wife, Elizabeth Cathcart, was born October 17, 1755, in An- 
trim township, Cumberland county. Her father was an 
officer in the French and Indian war, was under Colonel 
Armstrong at the destruction of the Kittanning, and dur- 
ing the War of the Eevolution early enlisted in its cause. 
The services of General Potter in the Pennsylvania cam- 
paign of 1777 were very distinguished, and in the spring of 
1778 Washington wrote from Valley Forge that "if the 
state of General Potter^s affairs will admit of his return to 
the army, I shall be exceedingly glad to see him, as his ac- 
tivit}'' and vigilance have been very much wanted during 
the winter." 

The opportunity for female education being very limited 
in those early days, Elizabeth Potter of course enjo3^ed very 
few advantages. She was not fond of study, but dreaded 
being thought ignorant. She read all the books that came 
in her way, and thus acquired much miscellaneous knowl- 
edge. She had a ver}^ quick perception and intuitive com- 
prehension of all that w^as said around her by wiser heads, 
and had great tact and ready adaptation to persons and 
circumstances. She was peculiarly an intelligent listener, 
and often created astonishment by the readiness with which 
she seized upon an idea. All this, joined to a retentive 
memory and great fluency and even elegance of speech, 
made her one of the most brilliant conversationalists of her 

On the eve of the Revolution Elizabeth Potter married 
James Poe. He was among the first to volunteer in the 


cause of freedom, and, far from holding him back or la- 
menting over his determination, his yonng and spirited 
wife did her best to encourage and to help him. The ser- 
vices of her husband were chiefly on the frontiers and on 
several occasions when it was necessary for the Eangers to 
go into camp for the winter, Mrs. Poe always rejoined her 
husband, enduring very cheerfully the narrow quarters and 
camp fare. Her courage and her spirits, however, never 
failed her, and in the cold and comfortless camp, as in her 
happy home at Antrim, she made sunshine for all around. 
Of her services and of her self-denials during the "War of the 
Eevolution, they were in common with the settlers on the 
frontiers, ministering to the comfort of those who were 
struggling for their country's independence. Her after 
life was one chiefl}^ of struggle and sorrow, for it was dur- 
ing the second war for independence that her well-beloved 
son. Adjutant Thomas Poe, fell at the battle of Chippewa, 
on the 6th of July, 1814. Mrs. Poe died on the 11th of 
September, 1819, and was buried at Brown's Mill grave- 

James Poe, son of Thomas Poe, was born in what is now 
Antrim township, Franklin county, Pennsylvania, April 
15, 1748. He was brought up on his father's farm as was 
most of the sons of the pioneers, and found it necessary to 
earn his bread "by the sweat of his brow." As early as the 
26th of July, 1764, although but a lad of sixteen years, he 
formed one of a party of settlers who, under the command 
of Lieutenant James Potter, pursued the savages who had 
massacred the schoolmaster and scholars at Gruitner's school 
house. When the war for independence became an estab- 
lished fact, James Poe was among the first to offer his ser- 
vices to his country. He assisted in the organization of a 
company of associators in 1776, of which he was a lieuten- 
ant. He was commissioned July 31, 1777, captain of the 


Third Company, Eighth Battalion, Cumberland County 
militia, commanded by Colonel Abraham Smith. He held 
the same position in May, 1778, and from that on until the 
close of the Revolutionary struggle he was in active service, 
especially on the frontiers. At the close of the war Captain 
Poe returned to his farm in Antrim. His military services 
were, however, supplemented in after life by important 
business of a civil character. 

On the 22d of October, 1783, Mr. Poe was appointed by 
the State authorities Commissioner of Taxes for Cumber- 
land county. Upon the formation of the new county of 
Franklin, he was chosen its first county commissioner, and 
served in that capacity from 1785 to 1787. In 1797 he was 
once more chosen for a term of three years. In 1796 he 
was elected a member of the Assembly, and served in that 
body again from 1800 to 1803. Under the act of March 21, 
1808, Franklin county was made an independent Senatorial 
district, and Captain Poe was chosen the first Senator under 
that apportionment, serving in the Senate from December, 
1811, to December, 1819. With the close of his last Sena- 
torial term he retired from public service. He died at his 
farm on the 22d of June, 1822, surviving his admirable wife 
but three years, and was buried by her side in Brown's Mill 
graveyard, and a broad stone slab bears the following in- 


to the Memory of 

JAMES POE, Esquire, 

Patriot of the Revolution of 1776, 

a sincere friend and honest man 


a professor of the Christian Religion, 

who departed this life June 22d, 1822, 

aged 74 years. 



Margaret O'Brien was a native of Ireland, born in the 
year 1746, in County Clare. She descended from a noble 
family by both her parents — O'Brien of the House of Clare 
and Kennedy of Ormond. Her father was an officer in the 
"Eegiment de Clare/' belonging to the Irish Brigade in the 
service of France. The daughter was educated at one of 
the convent schools at Paris, and upon her father being or- 
dered to America, accompanied him thither. It was at 
Kew Orleans that she met Oliver Pollock, then one of the 
most prominent merchants in the ISTew World, and about 
the year 1765 they were married. She was a woman en- 
dowed with a well cultivated mind, of an excellent under- 
standing, and just such a helpmate for an active and ener- 
getic soul as Pollock. Her conversation was ever engag- 
ingly instructive and desirable, and her domestic life was a 
resplendent one. She greatly aided her husband in his 
patriotic work to serve his adopted country in its struggle 
toward liberty, and at times was undoubtedly the star of 
hope which lightened his way in the darkest hours of his 
life, for it must needs be that in every praiseworthy, even 
God-like effort, the sunshine is at times overshadowed by 
clouds. The War of the Revolution was especially so, and 
even the most hopeful of the patriots had their hours of 
despondency and gloom, and Mr. Pollock's ventures fre- 
quently were disastrous failures — it was at these times that 
the true wife and loyal woman that she was, helped to buoy 
up, as it were, the fainting heart. She appreciated his self- 
denial in the cause of America, and sympathized with him 
when the hours of ungratefulness came. She realized what 


sacrifices her husband had made; when, had he been less a 
lover of his country, wealth would have remained and like 
that other great financier of the Eevolution, not ended his 
days in almost poverty. 

Mrs. Pollock was truly one of the women of the period 
of the Revolution of whom her descendants may be justly 
proud. Distant from the din of battle, the trials, suffer- 
ings and hardships encountered by Washington's little army 
of ragged Continentals, it was through her husband's energy 
and patriotic valor that some help was given the struggling 
colonies. Safe from danger she was, yet her womanly sym- 
pathies went out to her sisters, suffering in the northland, 
and her advice had weight — it was loyal confidence and 

When his labors were ended, and peace dawned, Mr. Pol- 
lock came back to Pennsylvania with his wife and family. 
Here Mrs. Pollock again exhibited those many excellent 
traits of goodness which illumined her whole life. She 
died at the family residence, January 10, 1799, and her re- 
mains were interred in the graveyard at Silvers Spring 
church. The "Carlisle Gazette" of the 23d, among other 
precious words in her memor}^, says: "In her we saw the 
faithful, the tender, the affectionate wife — a parent, most 
fond, indulgent and kind — a friend, cautious, just, sincere 
and warm — a Christian, engagingly pious, benevolent and 
liberal. She sought the tear of misery and relieved it — her 
soul melted at the misfortunes of others, and made them 
her own — her mind was great and happy; and she was 
blessed with a memory both fertile and pleasingly useful 
to rear the tender thoughts of youth, and with a talent pe- 
culiarly her own." 

Oliver Pollock, son of James Pollock, was bom in Ire- 
land about 1737. His father and family came to America 
and settled near Carlisle shortly after the formation of the 


county of Cumberland. The son had previously received 
good training, and was brought up in mercantile pursuits. 
In 1763-3 he went to Havana, Cuba, where he was connected 
with a prominent firm in that city. After the cession of 
the Louisiana territory by France to the king of Spain, Mr. 
Pollock removed to the town of 'New Orleans, where he en- 
gaged in mercantile transactions and established a high 
rejDutation in business circles. On a venture, in 1769, he 
purchased the brig "Eoyal Charlotte," at Baltimore, loaded 
her with flour and set sail for E"ew Orleans. Owing to the 
recent occupation of that place by the Spanish troops, food 
was scarce, and it was at this juncture that the load of 
bread stuffs arrived at JSTew Orleans. Not desiring to take 
advantage of the distress of the people, his flour was offered 
at a nominal price. 

In 1775, when the American Eevolution began, Mr. Pol- 
lock was one of the most prominent and energetic mer- 
chants at New Orleans. His sympathy was at once enlisted 
in favor of independence, and many were the services ren- 
dered secretly and effectively. During that critical period, 
perchance there is no story of a life more interesting than 
that of Oliver Pollock, especially as connected with his 
transactions in Spanish circles, as well as his great assist- 
ance to the struggling colonies. It may be here stated 
that Mr. Pollock greatly assisted Col. George R. Clark with 
the sinews of war for capturing the Illinois. His un- 
swerving devotion to the United States so often manifested 
forbids the suspicion that his motives were not thoroughly 
loyal to his allegiance. His services to his adopted coun- 
try have never been appreciated. No better estimate of 
his character can be furnished than that of Miro, the Span- 
ish governor of New Orleans, in a letter to Governor Ean- 
dolph, of Virginia: 

"The just integrity evinced by this gentleman in the 


faithful discharge of his engagements entered into for the 
service of his country, strongly interests me in his favor 
and induces me to pray you have the goodness to receive 
him under your Excellency's protection, and I trust you 
will be pleased to give him as speedy a reimbursement of 
the monies due him from the United States, and the State 
of Virginia, which I shall esteem as a personal favor con- 
ferred upon myself/' 

As the financial agent of the United States at iSTew Or- 
leans during the Eevolution, it is greatly to be regretted 
that the Colonies never properly reimbursed him, and he 
died comparatively a poor man; whereas, through his suc- 
cessful transactions in mercantile pursuits in the Spanish 
possessions, he could have been one of the wealthiest men 
in the United States. In 1792 he returned to Cumberland 
county, Penns3dvania, purchasing the property known as 
Silvers Spring. In 1795 he was a candidate for Congress, but 
was defeated, as also in 1804; the latter j^ear owing to a di- 
vision of votes in the county. He was quite popular in the 
locality. In 1806 he was again nominated, but withdrew in 
favor of Eobert Whitehill. After the death of his wife, he 
removed to Baltimore, where he again married. About 
the close of the war of 1812-14, he removed to the residence 
of his son-in-law. Dr. Samuel Eobinson, Pinckneyville, 
Mississippi, where he died December 17, 1823. Next to 
Eobert Morris, the great financier of the Eevolution, come 
the services of Oliver Pollock, and to him the country owes 
very much of its success in the struggle for independence 
against Great Britain. 



Elizabeth Parker, daughter of Alexander Parker, was 
born NoYember 15, 1750, in now Montgomery connty, 
Pennsylvania. She was the sister of Lieutenant, after- 
wards Captain and then Major Robert Parker, of the Con- 
tinental Army. She was a woman of more than ordinary 
endowments. As her face is portrayed on the canvas it 
wears a tinge of sadness, but her clear blue eyes and high 
forehead and the finely chiseled features indicate strong in- 
tellectual qualities. She was evidently a woman of un- 
usual prudence in the conduct of her household affairs. 

On the 20th of May, 1777, Elizabeth Parker married 
Captain Andrew Porter. She was his second wife. Dur- 
ing her husband's long absences, she managed his business, 
superintended the farm and instructed her children with 
beautiful devotion and fidelity. Her husband was heard 
to say, that, during the war, he never wore a garment which 
did not display the evidences of her skill in needlework. 
On attending a dinner party given by some of the of&cers, 
one of them. General Knox, it is traditional in the family, 
said to him: "Porter, how does it happen that you look so 
genteel when the rest of us are in rags, and you are receiv- 
ing no better pay than we.'' "You must ask my wife," he 
replied. "I thought this coat had seen its best days, but 
recently she took it home, took it apart, turned the inside 
of the cloth outward, and now you see it is almost as good 

as new." 

Mrs. Porter seems also to have been a person of more 
than ordinary intellectual culture. She, of course, had her 
Bible, and she read it devoutly. She had also those old- 


fashioned books of devotion by Baxter and Bunyan, which 
were more read during the last century than now, and never 
read too often. There is another book which seems to have 
been her constant companion, "Paradise Lost." She read 
this as a means of recreation down to the day of her death, 
and was familiar with its finest passages. It thus happened 
that these passages were occasionally quoted with accuracy 
by some of her descendants, who never concerned them- 
selves with the original work. 

This lady had a real adventure to relate. While the 
army lay at Valley Forge, she was accustomed to visit her 
husband, carrying with her some small delicacies for his 
use, or garments made with her own hands, and these visits 
were generally made on horseback. One evening, on ap- 
proaching the camp, she met a gentleman in undress uni- 
form, of whose rank she was ignorant. He adjusted for her 
some part of the trappings of the horse, and paid a com- 
pliment to the animal, vvdiich she informed him was of 
their own rearing. On learning her name he Avalked slowly 
beside the horse to the camp, asking her, on the way, a 
variety of questions respecting the inhabitants, and especi- 
ally their feeling towards the army and the war. On reach- 
ing the encampment he said: "I think I see your hus- 
band," and bowing pleasantly, turned away. The face of 
the latter wore an unusually pleasant smile. "Well, my 
good lady," said he, "you come into camp highly escorted." 
"Bv whom?" said she. "Bv the Commander-in-Chief," 
was the reply. "Not by Washington!" said his wife. It 
was even so. She turned to taken another look, but her 
escort had disappeared. This was an incident of which 
neither her children nor her grandchildren spared her the 
repetition, and, as a faithful chronicler, we are bound to 
state that she did not avoid any proper occasion for repeat- 


ing it. Mrs. Porter died at Norristown, May IS^, 1821, and 
is there buried. 

Andrew Porter, son of Kobert Porter, was born on his 
father's farm in Montgomery county, Pennsyh^ania, 34th 
of September, 1743. Early developing a taste for mathe- 
matics, npon the advice of David Eittenhonse he was sent 
to Philadelphia, where he opened an English and mathe- 
matical school. This he conducted with much reputation 
until the spring of 1776, when at his country's call, he bade 
farewell to his peaceful avocation to enter into her service. 
He was commissioned by Congress, 19th of June, 1776, cap- 
tain of marines, and ordered to the frigate "Efnngham." 
He was shortly after, at his own request transferred to the 
artillery, where he continued to serve as captain until the 
loth of March, 1782, when he was promoted to a majorate, 
to rank as such from the 19th of April, 1781. He was sub- 
sequently promoted successively to the ranks of lieutenant- 
colonel, lieutenant-colonel commandant and colonel of the 
Pennsylvania regiment of artillery. He participated in the 
cannonade at Trenton, and in the battles of Princeton, 
Brandywine and Germantown, and was attached to the 
Sullivan expedition against the Indians in 1779. Towards 
the close of the war he was ordered to Philadelphia to super- 
intend the laboratory at that point. 

When the army was disbanded in 1783, Colonel Porter 
retired to private life, and to the cultivation of his farm. 
In 1784 he was appointed by the Supreme Executive Coun- 
cil of the State one of the commissioners for laying, by 
astronomical observations, the line between Pennsylvania 
and Virginia, and Pennsylvania and what is now Ohio. 
This work was completed in 1787. The western boundary 
of Pennsylvania having been fixed, all controversy with 
Virginia respecting it ended. In the year 1800 he was ap- 
pointed on the commission to settle the controversy of the 


Pennsylvania claimants in the "Seventeen Townships/' bnt 
shortly after resigned. In the same year he was appointed 
brigadier general of Pennsylvania militia, and subsequently 
made major general. In April, 1809, Governor Snyder ap- 
pointed him to the office of Surveyor General, which situa- 
tion he held until his death. In the year 1812 he was ten- 
dered the office of brigadier general, U. S. A., which he de- 
clined, as also that of Secretary of War under President 
Madison. He died at Harrisburg, November 16, 1813, and 
his remains rest in the Harrisburg cemetery. Of the chil- 
dren of Andrew Porter and his wife, Elizabeth Parker, 
David Eittenhouse became Governor of Pennsylvania; 
George Bryan Governor of the Territory of Michigan, and 
James Madison an eminent lawyer and judge, who was Sec- 
retary of War under President Tyler. 



Elizabeth Myei^ daughter of Isaac Myer, the founder of 
Myerstown, Pa., was born April 2, 1755, in Heidelberg 
township, Lancaster, now Lebanon county, Pennsylyania. 
She was educated in Philadelphia, and on the 20th of May, 
1773, married, at Lancaster, by Eev. Thomas Barton, John 
Eeily, a native of Leeds, England, where he was born on the 
12th of April, 1752. He was the son of Benjamin Eeily, 
who emigrated soon after, and became a gentleman of some 
note in the Province of Pennsylvania. John Eeily received 
a classical education, studied the law, and was admitted to 
the bar on the eve of the Eevolution. He was commis- 
sioned, October 16, 1776, first lieutenant in the Twelfth 
Eegiment of the Pennsylvania Line, Colonel William 
Cooke, and served in the Jersey campaign of the winter of 
1776-77. He distinguished himself at the skirmish with 
the British at Bound Brook, April 2, 1777, and was severely 
wounded at Bonhampton, New Jersey, on the succeeding 
15th. The following contemporaneous account of that af- 
fair from an officer in the camp at Bonhampton, under date 
of the 15th of April, 1777, is important in this connection: 
"A detachment under the command of Captain Alexan- 
der Patterson, of the Pennsylvania Twelfth Eegiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Cooke, attacked the Piquet G-uard of the 
enem}^ at 2 o^clock this morning about four hundred yards 
from Bonhampton and after a short but obstinate engage- 
ment the whole guard, twenty-five in number, were either 
killed or taken prisoners. Lieutenant Frazier, of the Sev- 
enty-first Eegiment, was killed on the spot. The enemy, 
though advantageously posted, did not attempt to support 
their guard, but retired with precipitation to their works. 


Our officers and soldiers behaved with the greatest coolness 
and courage on this occasion. Their conduct would do 
honor to the best disciplined troops. Av e had Lieutenants 
Eeily and McElhatton, of Colonel Cooke's regiment, 
wounded, not mortally." 

Eeturning home, he slowly recovered, was promoted cap- 
tain, and on the 1st of July, 1778, transferred to the Third 
Pennsylvania Regiment of the Line — subsequently, August 
12, 1780, to the Invalid Corps under Colonel Nicola, remain- 
ing in that command until the 3d of December, 1784. He 
then resumed the practice of his profession, was present 
and took part in the organization of the first court in 
Dauphin county in May, 1785. In 1795 he published at 
Harrisburg ^'A Compendium for Pennsylvania Justices of 
the Peace," the first work of that character printed in 
America. He had an extensive practice at the Lancaster, 
Berks and Dauphin courts, was a polished writer and a 
MSS. book and literary excerpts in the possession of his 
descendants show a refined and cultivated taste. Captain 
Eeily died at Myerstown, May 2, 1810. 

During the Eevolutionary period, Mrs. Eeily was not 
only a devoted wife and mother, but an ardent patriot. 
^Tiile the army lay at Valley Forge, during that severe 
winter, she vied with her neighbors in preparing clothing 
and forwarding food to the little army under Washington. 
The teams belonging to her family were constantl}^ em- 
ployed in this service. She was a w^oman who had so en- 
deared herself to all who knew her that it required only 
her appeal to her countrywomen to assist in whatever 
would relieve the distress of the patriot army and add to 
their comfort. She was a noble type of those heroic 
women of the days of the Eevolution, whose self-sacrifice 
and devotion to the cause cheered the spirits of their sons, 
husbands and brothers, and made the struggle for inde- 


pendence a success. She was a sincere Christian woman. 
She died at Myerstown, April 2, 1800, and was interred in 
the Eeformed church cemetery, three miles east of that 
town. Of her large famil}^, her sons, William and Luther, 
were the most distinguished. William Eeily was a member 
of the Legislature, and for many years an officer of the 
militia, holding the position of brigadier general at the 
time of his death; while Dr. Luther Eeily was a member 
of Congress and a physician of prominence. 



Jane Ralston, daughter of James Ealston and his wife 
Mary Cummock, was born in the "Irish Settlement/' 
Northampton county, Pennsylvania, in the year 1731. Her 
parents were early settlers in Allen township, the vanguard 
of that emigration of Scotch-Irish which for almost three- 
fourths of a century, up to the eve of the Revolution, kept 
flowing into Pennsylvania and the valleys of the South, and 
made that struggle for independence, so far as a successful 
contest, possible. Mr. Ralston was one of the prominent 
leaders in the church and public afl'airs of the "Settlement*' 
— intelligent, energetic and patriotic. He died in July, 
1775, aged seventy-six years. His daughter, Jane, was a 
vounc^ woman of more than the ordinarv intellectual en- 
dowments, her personal beauty was remarkable, and with 
these there was quiet demeanor and Christian amiability 
about her manners which made her a fit life companion for 
a minister of the Gospel of Christ. In the year 1766 she 
married the Rev. John Rosbrugh. Mr. Rosbrugh was born 
in the north of Ireland in 172-1, and came to America when 
quite young, settling in the Jerseys. He entered the Col- 
lege of New Jersey, and graduated in 1761. He studied 
theology under the direction of the Eev. John Blair, of 
Fagg's Manor; was taken on trial by the Presbytery of 
New Brunswick, and licensed to preach on the 18th of 
August, 1763. In October, 1764, he was called to the con- 
oreo^ations of Mansfield, Greenwich and Oxford, New 
Jersey. On the 18th of April, 1769, he accepted a call to 
the Forks of the Delaware, subsequently installed as their 
pastor, where he remained during the rest of his life. In 


1776, after the defeat on Long Island, the surrender of 
Fort "Washington and the retreat of the little army of 
"Washington across the Jerse3^s, urgent calls were made for 
reinforcements. At this juncture Mr. Rosbrugh assembled 
his congregation and spoke patriotically of the demands 
and the duty of the hour. Immediately a military com- 
pany was organized, and when they marched, he accom- 
panied them, carrying a musket. Upon reaching Philadel- 
phia he was commissioned chaplain of the battalion. His 
command joined Colonel Cadwalader, at Bristol, where 
they crossed the Delaware into the Jerseys to operate 
against Count Donop, leader of the Hessians. 

On the 2d of Januar}^, 1777, coming near the stone 
bridge of the Assunpink, Mr. Eosbrugh being wear}^, got 
off his horse and fastened him under the shed and went to 
get a cup of tea, of which he was fond. While at the table 
the cry was heard "that the Hessians were coming." He 
ran out for his horse, but found that it had been taken. He 
then went to the bridge, but cannon were placed to sweep 
it, with orders to let no one pass, and the men were already 
breaking it up. He then went half a mile down the stream 
to a ford, but finding it in the possession of the enem}^ 
turned back into a piece of woods, when he was confronted 
by a platoon of Hessians under command of a British 
officer. He surrendered, offering his gold watch and his 
money to spare his life on his family's account. But seeing 
they vt^ere preparing to kill him, notwithstanding, he knelt 
down at the root of a tree, and, it is said, was praying for 
his enemies, v/hen the order was given and he was bayon- 
etted. The officer then went to the same house which Mr. 
Eosbrugh had left so short a time before, and showing the 
watch, boasted that he had killed a rebel parson. The 
woman who kept the place knew Mr. Eosbrugh, and recog- 
nizing the watch, said: "You have killed that good man, 


and what a wretched thing you have done for his helplet^s 
family this day." This enraged the officer, and he threat- 
ened to kill her if she said more, and then he ran away, as 
if fearing pursuit. 

Captain John Hays found the body where it lay, and 
buried it there, wrapped in his chaplain's cloak. Some 
time afterwards Rev. Dulfield, also a chaplain, took up the 
body and removed it to Trenton. They found seventeen 
bayonet holes through his waistcoat, and one bayonet 
broken in his bodv: also three sabre slashes throu<2:h his 
horse-hair wig, which he wore, as was customary at that 
time. Fresh blood flowed from the wounds, which was 
looked upon as strange. Mr. Duffield had been tutor at 
Princeton, was personally acquainted with Mr. Rosl)rugh, 
and was prompted by friendship to give his body decent 
burial. His death was a most inhuman transaction. 

Dark as was the sorrow that fell upon his bereaved wife, 
she braved the storm for the sake of the little ones left to 
her solitary care. Eminently faithful to all the demands 
of life, she was none the less so in the discharge of parental 
duty. She survived her martyred husband upwards of 
twenty years, and although of a feeble constitution, she 
went in and out before her neighbors, ministering to the 
wants of the sick and distressed — a charming example of a 
patriotic Christian woman. On the 27th of March, 1800, 
she gently passed away, and none in the "Irish Settlement" 
were ever more loving-lv remembered than Jane Ralston 



Phoebe Bayard was born in the Massachusetts colony 
September 14, 1743. She was the daughter of Balthasar 
Bayard and his wife Mary Bowdoin, was well educated, and 
a woman of superior accomplishments. Arthur St. Clair, 
son of William St. Clair, born at Thurso, Caithness, Scot- 
land, March 23, 1736, was educated at the University of 
Edinburgh, graduated in medicine, but preferring the mili* 
tary he relinquished his scientific calling and accepted an 
ensigncy in the Eoyal American Eegiment of Foot. Dur- 
ing his service with the British army and frequent visits 
to Boston, where he was sent on military business, the 
young ensign made the acquaintance of the Bowdoins and 
Bayards, and improved the opportunity of falling in love 
with Miss Phoebe. They were married in May, 1760, by 
Eev. William Hooper, rector of Trinity church, Boston 
By his marriage St. Clair received the sum of fourteen 
thousand pounds, being a legacy to his wife from her grand- 
father, James Bowdoin. This, added to his own savings, 
no doubt were the inducements for him to resign his com- 
mission, which he did in 1764. Having been stationed 
some time at Fort Ligonier, in western Pennsylvania, he 
was familiar with the country, and a year or two later, with 
his young wife, St. Clair removed to that locality, where 
he had acquired a large body of land chiefly by purchase 
and partly by grant. 

It has been wondered by writers in general what could 
have induced a man of St. Clair's acquirements and wealth 
to settle on the confines of civilization and thus deprive 


himself and little family of the advantages of society and 
the comforts thereof; but charmed with that valley and 
the constant influx of Scotch-Irish emigrants, enjoyment 
of life seemingly held out brighter inducements than 
among Puritan surroundings. Here the War for Indepen- 
dence found one of its most brilliant officers. He yielded 
to the summons of his countr}', and took leave not only of 
his wife and children, but in effect of his fortune from that 
very hour, to embark in the cause of liberty. He held that 
no man had a right to withhold his services when his coun- 
try needed them. 

In Julj^, 1775, St. Clair was made Colonel of the Militia, 
and in the autumn he accompanied the commissioners that 
were appointed to treat with the Western Tribes at Fort 
Pitt. On Jan. 3, 1776, Congress appointed him Colonel 
of the Second Penn'a regiment; and being ordered to 
Canada, he joined General John Sullivan after the disas- 
trous affair at Three Kivers, and aided that officer by his 
counsel, saving the army from capture. He was appointed 
Brigadier General Aug. 9, 1776, having resigned his civil 
office in the previous January. Joining General Wash- 
ington in Xovember, he was directed to organize the New 
Jersey militia, and participated in the battles of Trenton 
and Princeton. On the latter occasion he rendered valu- 
able assistance by protecting the fords of the Assunpink. 
On February 19, 1777, he was appointed Major General, 
and after serving as Adjutant General of the Army suc- 
ceeded General Gates in command at Ticonderoga. Owing 
to the approach of an overwhelming force, he was obliged 
to evacuate the fort. He remained, however, with the 
army, and was with Washington acting as a volunteer aide. 
He assisted General Sullivan in preparing his expedition 
against the Six Xations, and was a member of the court 
martial that condemned Major Andre. He succeeded to 


tlie command at West Point in October, 1780, and subse- 
quently was active in raising troops and in forwarding 
them to the Sonth in 1781; and in October joined Wash- 
ington at Yorktown a few days before the surrender of 
Lord Cornwallis. 

The story of St. Claires life from this time forward was 
in some respects a brilliant one, but pitiful in the disasters 
which shadowed his after-revolutionary career, and the 
sad ending of a life, not wasted, for he gave so much of that 
life to his country, but there was none who was so poorly 
and so m^eanly recompensed. It is true he died poor, but 
in such poverty there was no shame. As a member and 
president of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati, 
none could so appropriate the motto which encircled the 
medallion on the breast of the eagle of their decoration: 
"Omnia relinquit servare rempublicam." At length that 
life, of which want, neglect, contumely, ingratitude and 
injustice so largely made a part, came abruptly to its close, 
on the 31st of August, 1818. 

It is especially of the estimable lady who so sweetly 
adorned the early home of St. Clair in the Ligonier Valley, 
and through the long years of the Eevolution cheered that 
brave officer in his devotion to the cause of his country, that 
we prefer to write. Notvfithstanding the adverse circum- 
stances which surrounded her home at the close of the war, 
and her delicate health, she bore all with calm resignation. 
At last, however, when the hungry creditors hounded their 
victim to the last extremity, and her little family were 
turned out of house and home, the mental energies gave 
way, and the former highly educated and refined woman 
became an intellectual wreck. She ended her days in the 
log house which her son Daniel bought as an asylum for 
his aged father and mother. Here to nurse life a little 
longer, to keep his family together, the hero of many wars 


cared for his wife. On the 18th of September, 1818, only 
eighteen days after her husband, death claimed the beauty 
of 1760, Phoebe Bayard St. Clair, her remains being in- 
terred by the side of the GeneraL So deeply interwoven 
are the lives of husband and wife, that in this our day as a 
century ago the impress of one is but the reflex of the 
other. A fitting close to this sketch is General St. Clair's 
own words in acknowledging the receipt of four hundred 
dollars sent him bv the o^ood ladies of IN'ew York — "Tr* 
soothe affliction is certainly a happy privilege. * * * and 
though I feel all I can feel for the relief brought to myself, 
the attention to mv dau^^hters touches me the most. Had I 
not met w^ith distress I should not have perhaps known 
their worth. Though all their prospects in life (and they 
were once very flattering) have been blasted, not a sigh, 
not a murmur has been allowed to escape them in my pres- 
ence, and all their pains have been directed to rendering 
my reverses less affecting to me, and yet I can truly testify 
that it is entirely on their account that my situation ever 
gave me one moment's pain." Grand old patriot! 



Margaret Murray, eldest daughter of James Murray and 
Ms wife, Rebecca McLean, both natives of Scotland, was 
born in Paxtang township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, 
February 3, 1756. She was a full cousin of Lindley Murray, 
the grammarian, who was born on the Swatara, a few miles 
distant. Margaret was a woman of strong force of char- 
acter and possessed qualities of head and heart which en- 
deared her greatly to all in the frontier settlement. She 
was a member of Rev. John Elder's church at Paxtang, and 
was noted for her sincere devotion and piety. On the 7th 
of May, 1776, she was married by her revered pastor to 
John Simpson. 

John Simpson was born November 23, 1743, in Bucks 
county, Pennsylvania, but had settled on the Susquehanna 
in 1763. He was the son of John and Mary Simpson. His 
parents went South, and were residing in North Carolina 
in 1783, and in Georgia in 1791. The son learned black- 
smithing, and had established himself in business prior to 
his marriage. On the 15th of August, 1775, he was com- 
missioned second lieutenant of Captain James Murray's 
company in the Fourth Battalion of Lancaster county Asso- 
ciators, and was in active service in New Jersey during the 
autumn of the following year. In January, 1777, he was 
ordered to remain in the Continental smith-shop at Bristol. 
Here he was probably on duty until the threatened attack 
upon Philadelphia, which culminated in the battles of 
Brandywine and Germantown, and the occupation of that 
city by the British troops. During this period the wife 
joined with her neighbors in not only securing the crops 


for their own sustenance, but also in administering to the 
comforts of their brave husbands and sons who were strug- 
gling for the liberties of their countr3^ 

When peace came, none more greatly rejoiced than those 
self-sacrificing women of the frontiers. To them it was a 
re-union of family ties, rudely interfered with and broken 
by the stern necessity of war. In the spring of 1793, Mr. 
Simpson removed to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, where he 
died February 3, 1807. His wife vsurvived him nearly twenty 
years, passing hence April 27, 1826, full of years and 
crowned with all the glory of true womanhood. She raised 
a large family of children, some of whom rose to distinc- 
tion in public life. Through the youngest daughter is de- 
scended John Simpson Africa, formerly Secretary of In- 
ternal Affairs, and a prominent man in public life in Penn- 



Maria Thompson, only daughter of Colonel John B. 
Thompson, of the Maryland militia of the Eevolntion, was 
born in Kent connty, Maryland, in the year 1767. Her 
ancestors were quite prominent in the early history of that 
Province. Deprived of her mother at an early period in 
life, her father being engaged in the service of his country, 
Maria was carefully trained and educated by her maternal 
grandmother, Mrs. Penelope Haley. The family removed 
to Philadelphia about 1776, where we find an uncle, John 
Hale}^, admitted to the bar the following year. Here she 
had the advantage of good schools; and, although for a 
brief period, they were obliged to flee the city, the me- 
tropolis remained her home during life. She was a mere 
child during the struggle for independence, and only 
"sweet sixteen'^ when peace came. In the years which fol- 
lowed, however, the wounded soldier of the Declaration, 
as well as his little family, were frequently the objects of 
her philanthropic care. 

On October 11, 1792, Maria Thompson married Major 
William Sproat, of the Eevolutionary Army. They were 
residing in Philadelphia during the fall of 1793, when that 
terrible scourge, the yellow fever, desolated the city. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Sproat succumbed to that dread disease, the 
latter dying October 16, 1793. In the "Ladies' Magazine" 
we have this description of Mrs. Sproat: "She had dark 
eyes, a rosy complexion, a round, full form, and was of 
medium height." She was peculiarly a woman of marked 
amiability of temper, and beloved by many for her deeds 
of charity and pure beneficence. Both she and her husband 


were "lovely in tlieir lives, and in death they were not di- 

William Sproat, son of Eev. James Sproat, D. D., was 
born at Guilford, Connecticut, in the year 1757. His father, 
who was a Presbyterian minister, preached in Philadelphia 
twenty-five years, dying there of yellow fever in 1793, sur- 
viving his son William only a few days. The latter received 
a classical education, but before being allowed to enter a 
business or professional life, the mutterings of the coming 
storm of the Revolution arrayed him on the side of his 
country. While temporarily residing with some of his rela- 
tives in Maryland, he enlisted, July 2G, 1775, in the Asso- 
ciated company, of which he was afterwards an ensign. 

Returning to Philadelphia, after the expiration of his 
tour of dut}^, he was commissioned first lieutenant in the 
Fourth Regiment of the Pennsylvania Line, January 3, 
1777; promoted captain lieutenant and subsequently cap- 
tain, April 17, 1779. Captain Sprout was transferred to 
Third Regiment of the Line, January 17, 1781, and partici- 
pated in all the campaigns of the army until his retirement, 
January 1, 1783. Under the act of Congress granting retir- 
ing officers a brevet rank one grade above last rank held, he 
was breveted a major. He was one of the original members 
of the Society of the Cincinnati. 

At the close of the war, and the establishment of peace. 
Major Sproat made his home in Philadelphia, and here, 
surrounded by all the endearments of life and a host of 
faithful friends, he resided his latter years in domestic en- 
joyment. In the fall of 1793, the yellow fever became epi- 
demic in that city, and many of its best and truest citizens 
fell victims, among them ^lajor William Sproat, on the 
11th of October that year, a man who had greatly endeared 
himself to all who knew him, and especially by his com- 
panions of the Society of the Cincinnati. 



Martha Espy daughter of James Espy and his wife 
Elizabeth Grain, was born January 12, 1741, in Derry town- 
ship, Lancaster county. Her grandfather came to the 
Province of Pennsylvania as early as 1739, from the North 
of Ireland. Amidst the struggles and self-denials of pioneer 
life Martha Espy was reared to womanhood, and at the age 
of twenty married Lazarus Stewart, of the same neighbor- 
hood. Of the eventful life led by that bold partisan, no 
doubt her sympathies were with those of her husband and 
neighbors — and during the marauding expeditions of the 
red savages following Braddock's defeat, she shared the 
dangers and the privations of the pioneers. Few have any 
conception of the horrors constantly menacing the Scotch- 
Irish settlements, and at last when the Indian war ceased, 
the persecution of her heroic husband endued her heart 
with that womanly loyalty which buoyed the patriot and 
nerved his arm for the right. Again after the slaughter of 
her husband and his brave men by the relentless Tories and 
red savages on that fatal field of Wyoming, she faced and 
braved trials and dangers which none save a noble-hearted 
woman could endure. Yet at the last, the dawn of peace 
came down upon the homes of those who struggled for in- 
dependence, and Mrs. Stewart, venerable and stately, saw 
her children's children, contented and happy. She died in 
Hanover on the of 1804. 

As stated, Martha Espy married in 1751 Lazarus Stew- 
art, born July 4, 1734, in Hanover township, Lancaster 
county, Pennsylvania. His maternal grandfather was one 
of the earliest settlers on the Swatara, where he took up sev- 


eral tracts of land. Lazarus was well grounded in the essen- 
tials of a good English education and was raised a farmer. 
In 17To, after the defeat of Braddock, he raised a company 
for the defense of the frontiers, and performed valiant ser- 
vice as a ranger. The part Captain Stewart took in the 
transactions at Conestoga and Lancaster in the destruction 
of the vagabond and murderous Indians there kept and pro- 
tected, in December, 1763, made him a prominent person- 
age in the history of Pennsylvania during that period. He 
subsequently, in company with a number of Hanover fam- 
ilies, removed to Wyoming, where he took sides with the 
Connecticut settlers. So highly esteemed and appreciated 
was Lazarus Stewart, that he was commissioned lieutenant- 
colonel of the Second regiment of Connecticut militia. 

In the Eevolution he was an active partisan, but fell at 
the head of his troops in that terrible onslaught, the mas- 
sacre of Wyoming, July 3, 1778. Captain Stewart was un- 
doubtedly one of the bravest heroes of "seventy-six," al- 
though impetuous and rash at times. Despite all the 
calumny Quaker historians can heap on his prominent po- 
sition in the history of the Province, there are thousands 
who honor and revere his memory for the part he took in 
the defense of their ancestors from the Indian's tomahawk 
and scalping-knife. 




Hannah Tiffany, daughter of Thomas Tiffany, was born 
July 15, 1740, in Lebanon, Windham county, Connecticut. 
She married April 1, 1762, Luke Swetland, and they settled 
in Wyoming, in the year 1776. Here harrassed not only by 
the marauding Indians, but by the Pennamites, who sought 
to dispossess the Connecticut settlers, there was consider- 
able hardship and suffering. Not only were the necessaries 
of life, but powder and lead, so necessary for their protec- 
tion, scant; and it is not surprising that to the women es- 
pecially were the settlers indebted for assistance in securing 
^these. "Justice," says Mr. Miner, "demands a tribute to the 
praiseworthy spirit of the wives and daughters of Wyom- 
ing. While their husbands and fathers were on public duty 
they cheerfully assumed a large portion of the labor, which 
females could do. They assisted to plant, make hay, 
husked and garnered corn. As the settlement was mainly 
dependent on its own resources for powder, Mr. Hollen- 
back caused to be brought up the river a pounder, and the 
women took up their floors, dug out the earth, put in casks, 
and ran water through it — as ashes are leached — took ashes 
in another cask and made lye, mixed the water from the 
earth with weak lye, boiled it, set it to cool, and the salt- 
peter rose to the top. Charcoal and sulphur were then 
used, and powder produced for the public defense!'' Mrs. 
Swetland vied with her neighbors in the performance of 
these duties. 

When in the spring of 1778 danger threatened the 
Wyoming settlement, Mr. Swetland hastened his wife and 
little ones to their friends in Connecticut, keeping his old- 


est son of fifteen years with him. They were both in Forty 
Fort at the time of the massacre, but both escaped. Some 
weeks after, liowever, Mr. Swetland was taken prisoner by 
the Indians and remained in captivity until the year fol- 
lowing. In the meantime the anxious wife and mother re- 
mained in Connecticut, only returning to Wyoming upon 
the declaration of peace. She was a notable woman, pa- 
triotic as well as philanthropic, and the evening of her 
days was spent in the satisfaction of a life of domestic en- 
joyment. She died on the Swetland farm, January 8, 

Luke Swetland, son of William Swetland, was born in 
Kent, Litchfield county, Connecticut, June 16, 1729. Of 
his early life we laiow little save that he was brought up as 
a farmer, and resided on the old homestead in Litchfield 
county until he joined the early settlers in Wyoming. He 
signed the agreement of June 29, 1776," and by the advice 
of the proprietor's committee, "pitched" on land some thirty 
miles above Wyoming near Mehoopany. In the winter of 
1777 Luke Swetland was a private in Captain Durkee's in- 
dependent company of patriots, encamped at Morristown, 
New Jersey, having enlisted September 17, 1776. Owing to 
threatened dangers at home, he was discharged January 8, 
1778, and returned at once to Wyoming. As stated before, 
his family was sent to Connecticut, and owing to some disa- 
bility, he was in Forty Fort at the time of the massacre and 
did not participate in the engagement. Subsequently, on 
the 25th of August, 1778, he was captured with a neighbor, 
Joseph Blanchard, by the Indians at the mouth of Fishing 
creek, and remained for a considerable period a prisoner at 
different Seneca villages in the State of New York. Says 
Miner, "a man of ardent piety, the confidence and hope 
imparted by religion sustained him. To trace his weary 
days of captivity would be but a repetition of ever-recurring 


sorrows. After having failed in several attempts to escape, 
he was at length rescued by our army nnder General Sul- 
livan/^ Eetnrning to his native Connecticut he had a nar- 
rative of his captivity and sufferings published, copies of 
which are extremely rare. He afterwards returned to his 
farm at Mehoopany, and was the first person in that section 
who established a nursery for fruit trees. He lived to a 
great age, well beloved by the community, and died Jan- 
uary 30, 1823, and his remains lie beside those of his wife. 
A grandson, William Swetland, rose to prominence and 
wealth, and was a member of the Constitutional Convention 
of 1837. 



Ursula Muller (Miller), the eldest daughter of John 
George and Barbara Muller, was born in Switzerland on the 
15th of December, 1740. Her father emigrated with his 
family to America in 1752, coming with a colony of German 
Palatinates. He had served as an officer in the Swiss army 
and was evidently a gentleman of education and refine- 
ment. During the French and Indian wars he was com- 
missioned a lieutenant in the Provincial forces May 8, 1760, 
and was in service as a captain in October, 1764. He died 
in the spring of 1765 from exposure during the Forbes and 
Bouquet expeditions. Although brought up in the frontier 
settlements of Pennsylvania, inured to all manner of hard- 
ship, his children received at his hands more than the rudi- 
ments of an ordinary education, being well instructed in 
every branch of German literature. 

In 1767 Ursula Muller married Martin Thomas, whose 
parents had emigrated from the Palatinate in 1736. He 
was born March 15, 1738, in Heidelberg township, then 
Lancaster county, son of Martin Thomas, an officer in the 
frontier service (1756-7). He had served in the French 
and Indian war in his father's ranging company, and was 
at the period of his marriage a well-to-do farmer. In the 
fall of 1772 he removed with his wife to the new county of 
Northumberland, where he established the first iron indus- 
try in that locality. The war of the Revolution coming 
on, the works were shut down and Mr. Thomas entered the 
s-ervice of his country, serving with distinction. In the 
meantime, Mrs. Thomas with her little family were dwell- 
ing on the badly-protected frontiers, patient and self-sacri- 


ficing, as the Spartan mother of old, cultivating the soil 
as best she could. When, however, in that eventful July, 
1778, the perfidious savage laid waste the fields of Wyom- 
ing, with her children she sought safety in flight by raft 
and boat down the Susquehanna to Harris' Ferry, where 
she was within the reach of her more fortunate relatives. 
Here she remained until the following autumn, when her 
husband came back from the army. Not venturing to re- 
turn to their former home on account of the threatened 
attitude of the Northern Indians, Mr. Thomas purchased 
a mill site three miles west of Harris' Ferr}^, where he con- 
structed a stone mill which remains to this day. Here he 
and his wife spent the remainer of their days in the sun- 
shine of peace and plenty — and at last rested from their 
labors. Mrs. Thomas died on the 25th of June, 1807, 
and was buried within the shadows of Friedens Kirche, in 
East Pennsboro' township, Cumberland county, of which 
her husband was one of the organizers, and both devout 
members. He died prior, July 15, 1802, due chiefly to ex- 
posure during the war. 



Catharine Eoss was born January 3, 1?39, in New 
Castle, Delaware. She was the daughter of the Rev. 
George Eoss, rector of that parish, by his second wife, 
Catharine Yan Gezel, the granddaughter of Gerrit Van 
Gezel, secretary to the Dutch Governor of New Nether- 
lands. Through her father, who was the second 
son of David Eoss, second laird of Balblair, head 
of one branch of the Highland Clan Eoss, she 
was a lineal descendant of the chiefs of that ancient 
Scottish clan, the Eosses of Balnagowen, Earls of Eoss. 
She was a sister of George Eoss, of Pennsylvania, a signer 
of the Declaration of Independence, while her sister Ger- 
trude became the wife of George Eead of Delaware, also 
a signer of the Declaration. Miss Eoss was highly edu- 
cated, and when on March 29, 1762, at Lancaster, Pa., she 
married Captain William Thompson, was considered the 
handsomest and most brilliant woman in Pennsylvania. 
Full of information, and of excellent conversational power, 
she was always the center of attraction. Shortly after her 
marriage she removed to Captain Thompson's country seat 
near Carlisle. It was here that during the closing years 
of the French and Indian war, the decade of peace which 
followed, and the numerous trials amid the struggle for 
freedom, surrounded by a large family, that as wife, 
mother and neighbor, she shone resplendent in her domes- 
tic life. She was dearly beloved for her many deeds of 
philanthropy, and during the whole period of the Eevolu- 
tion almost the entire products of a large and well culti- 
vated plantation were sent forward to the army of Wash- 


ington^ always badly in need of food and clothing. Upon 
the return of her husband from captivity on parole, broken 
in health and spirits, the loving wife's care was greatly in- 
creased. With his death all their fortune seems to have 
been swept away, and like many another heroine of the war 
for independence when peace was at last guaranteed by the 
enemy, she was obliged to appeal to the proper authorities 
for assistance. Mrs. Thompson died March 24, 1808, at the 
residence of her daughter Catharine, wife of James Orbison, 
at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

William Thompson, son of Eobert Thompson, was born 
in the north of Ireland, June 5, 1736. His parents emi- 
grated to Pennsylvania when he was a young man. He 
had learned surveying, and upon coming to America pushed 
toward the frontiers. He settled on a farm which he sub- 
sequently called "Soldiers^ Eetreat," near Carlisle, Cum- 
berland county. After the ill-fated Braddock expedition, 
he entered into the Provincial service and was commis- 
sioned captain May 4, 1758. He participated in the land 
grants made under a proclamation of the King of Great 
Britain, and by direction of the Council of Virginia was to 
have received certain lands lying in the District of Ken- 
tucky, that Colony. These, however, were lost to him and 
his heirs. At the outset of the Eevolution, following the af- 
fair at Lexington, he was commissioned colonel of the First 
Pennsylvania Battalion. These were the first troops raised 
under the direction of the Continental Congress, and which 
arrived at the camp in Cambridge, Massachusetts, prior to 
the 14th of August, 1775. On the 10th of November fol- 
lowing, this regiment drove back a British landing party at 
Lechmere Point. 

Colonel Thompson was promoted a brigadier general 
March 1, 1776, and on the 19th of March he relieved Gen- 
eral Charles Lee of the command of the forces at New 


York. In April following lie was ordered to Canada, to re- 
enforce General John Thomas. He met the remnant of 
the Northern army on its retreat from Quebec, and assumed 
the chief command, yielding the same on the 4th of June 
to General John Sullivan, by whose orders he made a dis- 
astrous attack on the enemy at Three Eivers, and was there 
made a prisoner. His captivity was long and embittered. He 
returned to Pennsylvania on parole, but was not exchanged 
for two years. During that period his sensibility, generous 
and keen, was chiefly wounded by the reflection that he 
was precluded from signalizing himself in the defense of 
his country. In his brief military experience he was greatly 
distinguished for his intrepidity, generosity, hospitality 
and manly candor, which rendered his character the object 
of uniform admiration and esteem. It was not until Octo- 
ber, 1780, that he was liberated by exchange. During the 
last year of his life he was severely afflicted with rheumatism. 
He died on his farm near Carlisle, September 3, 1781, and 
was buried in the cemetery of St. John's Episcopal church, 
in that town. The Pennsylvania Packet in a notice of his 
decease, says: ^^His death is a subject of universal concern 
and lamentation. His funeral was the most respectable 
that has ever been known in Carlisle. In the great number 
that assembled on the melancholy occasion scarcely was 
there one person to be found who did not drop a tear to 
the memory of the soldier, the patriot, and the friend." 
General and Mrs. Thompson left a large family of children. 



Hannah Harrison^ dangiiter of Richard Harrison, of 
Harriton, and his wife, Hannah Norris, was born December 
23, 1728, in the county of Philadelphia. Her parents were 
Friends, and the only daughter was educated in the best 
schools of the Quaker City. She was quite a leader in social 
circles, and when at the outset of the Revolution, as mistress 
of Harriton, at the age of forty-seven, she married Charles 
Thomson, there was indeed a commotion among those who 
had known her so many years as a confirmed maiden lady. 
Charming in conversation, of remarkable intellectuality, 
she found in Mr. Thomson one worthy of the highest ap- 
preciation. Their love for each other was the offspring of 
true friendship, founded upon mutual respect and esteem 
inspired by virtues which both possessed and admired; and 
that love endured as long as their lives. 

During the entire period of the Revolution Mrs. Thom- 
son assisted her husband in the philanthropic work he had 
undertaken — that of secretary of the Congress. In every 
way she aided the patriotic women of the Province in the 
multifarious labors devolving upon them. During the oc- 
cupancy, when her home near Fair Hill, previously occupied 
by them, was burned by order of General Howe, and the 
enemy despoiled whatever was in their reach, she thought 
only of the sufferings of those who were holding the Brit- 
ish at bay, prayerfully believing in the Lord of Hosts, and 
that the victory of battle was not always to the strong and 
mighty. Energetic and none the less brave, she was one 
of the model women of the days of '76. 

Every crisis in the affairs of nations brings to the front 

(193) • 

Just siTch noble women as Hannah Thomson, but not since 
those memorable days has it ever become necessary for 
them to suffer and yet be strong, to be so abjectly self-deny- 
ing and yet brave and suffering, and hopeful in the most 
trying hours. Our Revolutionary ancestors, whether on 
the battlefield or amid the despondency of Valley Forge, 
well knew tliat beyond were the tender loves, the sympa- 
thizing hearts, the self -devoted labors of the mothers, wives 
and daughters of liberty, and that eventually the sun of 
independence would dawn upon their long night of strug- 
gle. When peace came and the government of the colonies 
became firmly established under the Constitution, Congress 
in appreciation of Mr. Thomson's labors, complimented his 
wife, of whom they had deprived so much of his company, 
and asked her to receive from them a silver vessel of any 
form she might choose. She accepted the gift and chose 
an urn. Mrs. Thomson died at Harriton, September 6, 

Charles Thomson, son of William Thomson, was born 
in Maghera, County Derry, Ireland, November 29, 1729. 
He emigrated with an elder brother and sisters, at the age 
of eleven years, his widowed father dying within sight of 
the shores of America. The son was a bright boy, very af- 
fectionate in disposition, and became a favorite in the fam- 
ily of a blacksmith in whose care the captain of the vessel 
had placed him. Overhearing a conversation in regard 
to apprenticing him to the former, the boy resolved not 
to be chained to a forge, and left Xew Castle in the direc- 
tion of Philadelphia. The next day he was accosted by a 
lady proceeding along the same road, and being asked what 
he would like to be when he became a man, he promptly 
replied, ^^to be a scholar." This pleased the good woman, 
who took him home with her and sent him to school. His 
elder brother afterwards assisted him to acquire a classical 


education under the celebrated Eev. Francis Alison. He 
taught some years in the Friends Academy at New Castle, 
and afterward went to Philadelphia, whehe he became an 
intimate friend of Dr. Franklin. Mr. Thomson became a 
profound Greek scholar, and his subsequent translation of 
the Septuagint is a monument to his classical learning. 

On September 1, 1774, he married Hannah Harrison, 
two years his senior in age, and John Adams alludes to it 
in his diary, and calls Mr. Thomson the Sam ildams of 
Philadelphia. About this time the first Continental Con- 
gress was held in Carpenter^s Hall, of which Peyton Ean- 
dolph, of Virginia, was chosen president, and Charles 
Thomson, on motion of Mr. Mifflin, secretary. The latter 
was sent for. When the messenger arrived he was just 
alighting from a chaise Ynth his bride, whom he had just 
brought from Harriton. He hastened to the hall, where 
he found the Congress awaiting him. "Mr. Thomson," 
said Mr. Eandolph, "we have sent for you to keep the 
minutes of the proceedings of this Congress." He con- 
sented, and for fifteen years was the trusted secretary of 
that body. He was undoubtedly the soul of that remarka- 
ble assemblage, and very frequently acted as a peacemaker 
between the hotspurs that from time to time appeared in 
that body. It may truly be written of him that he was 
"the enlightened benefactor of his country in its day of 
peril and need." He died at Harriton, August 16, 1824, 
full of honors and of years. 



Elizabeth Grotz, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Grotz, 
was born in Easton, July 7, 1751 (0. S.). Her parents were 
emigrants from Germany. The daughter was a woman of 
intelligence and energy, and on the 3d of March, 1774, mar- 
ried Eobert Traill. Robert Traill was born xVpril 29, 1744, 
(0. S.), in Sanda, one of the Orkney Islands. He was a son 
of Rev. Thomas Traill, and his mother, Sabilla Grant, 
daughter of the Rev. Alexander Grant, of South Ronaldsay. 
He was educated at Kirkwall, Orkne}^ where there was a 
good grammar school and suitable library for the use of the 
pupils. At the age of fourteen he entered the mercantile 
business, but being dissatisfied with the narrow boundaries 
of the small island, he sailed for Philadelphia in October, 
1763, where he arrived after a voyage of ten weeks. After 
a few years spent in mercantile pursuits at Easton, he en- 
tered the law office of Lewis Gordon, and was admitted to 
the bar of Northampton county in 1777. He was a member 
of the Committee of Observation for the countv, which 
was chosen December 21, 1774, and served as clerk of that 
body. He was largely instrumental in the organization of 
Colonel Kachlein's battalion of the Flying Camp. 

On the 21st of May, 1777, Mr. Traill was commissioned 
major of the Fifth Battalion of the Northampton county 
militia, and was also appointed one of the justices of the 
peace for the county, June 3, 1777. He w^as subsequently 
appointed military store-keeper at Easton, but declined. 
On the loth of October, 1781, he was elected sheriff of the 
county, which position he held until November 5, 1784. 
He was chosen a member of the General Assemblv in 


1785-6 and at the close of his Legislative career was chosen 
a member of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsyl- 
vania^ which office he held two years, and was afterwards 
prothonotary of the county. Under the Constitution 
of 1790 he was commissioned by Governor Mifflin one of 
the associate judges of Northampton. 

Judge Traill died at Easton on the 31st of July, 1816. 
'No citizen was ever more honored than he. He began his 
official career before he was admitted to the bar, and seems 
to have received every mark of confidence almost down to 
the close of his long life. A contemporary newspaper in 
the notice of his death said: "He was an honest and virtu- 
ous citizen, much esteemed by his fellov/ citizens, venerated 
for his uniform morality and punctuality in business.^' 

Mrs. Traill was a helpmeet to her Scotch husband, and 
filled an honored place as his wife. As popular as was 
Robert Traill, she certainly could not be unknown to the 
community in which she lived, and it was naturally ex- 
pected that she should with him occupy a social position 
which would be respected by their fellow citizens. During 
the Revolutionary days the wife invariably represented the 
husband in carrying forward the good work when attention 
to public matters demanded his time. The cares of the 
household were met by her as a loving and devoted wife 
and mother. Ten children were born to them, seven girls 
and three boys; the latter dying in infancy. Eive of the 
daughters were married. Many of the descendants of 
Judge Traill reside in Easton, and none more prominent 
and eminent in his profession than the late Dr. Traill 
Green, a grandson. Mrs. Traill was a woman of positive 
character and transmitted her energy to her children. 
Among them, when one exhibited some decision in their 
conduct, it was very common to hear: "Well, there is 
mother," or "grandmother," according to the relation in 


which they stood to her. An individuality so positive ex- 
erted such influence upon her children that it proved a 
]DOwer in forming their characters. Mrs. Traill died the 
31st of May, 1816, preceding Judge TrailFs death by two 
months, and her remains rest beside those of her hoilored 



This distinguished lady of the Kevolutionary period was 
born in Philadelphia in 1743. Her father^ John Hollings- 
worth, was of Quaker extraction and a friend of the Penns. 
On the 1st of March, 1770, Miss Hollings worth married 
Saninel Wallis, and soon afterwards they took np their 
residence on the West Branch of the Susquehanna, where 
Mr. Wallis had acquired about 7,000 acres of land, which 
came to be known as the "Muncy Farms." As early as 
1769 he built a stone house on his farm, which is still 
standing, and is now regarded as the oldest house in Ly- 
coming county. Here Lydia Hollingsworth came as a 
bride, and soon afterwards she planted four elm trees near 
the house, which are still standing, stately and rugged in 
their mature grandeur. 

Samuel Wallis was of Quaker descent, born in Harford 
count}^, Md., about 1730. He received a good education, 
and entered into active business in early life, and was 
largely engaged as a shipping merchant. He studied sur- 
veying, became interested in land speculations, and the 
first we hear of him in Pennsylvania was with the surveyors 
on the Juniata, up at Frankstown, as early as 1768. In 
1769 he commenced to take up tracts of land in Muncy 

When the Eevolution broke out, Samuel Wallis at once 
became identified with the patriotic movement, and on the 
24th of January, 1776, he was appointed captain of the 
Sixth Company of the Second Battalion of the Northum- 
berland associated militia, and became one of the most 
active officers in the defense of the frontiers. He was in 


constant communication with the authorities at Philadel- 
phia and kept them advised as to the condition of affairs 
in that part of the Province. His house became a rallying 
point for the settlers when the Indians made their forays. 
Within a few hundred 3'ards of his stone residence Fort 
Muncy was erected, destroyed and afterwards rebuilt. The 
Wallis home was regarded as a haven of rest, and there Mr. 
Wallis dispensed a liberal hospitality for the times. When 
it became necessary to abandon his home on account of the 
approach of the savage enemy, Mr. Wallis took his family 
and fled to Elkton, Maryland, his place of nativity. As 
soon as it was safe he returned and took an active part in 
the direction of public affairs. 

Mrs. Wallis did not return until peace was declared. 
The home of Lydia Wallis is now looked upon as one of 
the most historic points on the river on account of its as- 
sociations with the dark and bloody days of the Eevolution. 
She was the mother of six children, two sons and four 
daughters. Cassandra, her third child and second daugh- 
ter, was born at Muncy farm, October 6, 1776. She be- 
came the wife of David Smith, a prominent attorney in his 
time. Sarah, the third daughter, was born at Elkton, 
Maryland, August 19, 1778, whither the family had fled 
for safety just before the Great Eunaway. She became 
the wife of General Hugh Brady, a noted and distinguished 
officer of the United States Army, and died at Detroit, 
August 25, 1833, at the age of fifty-five. Samuel Wallis 
died in Philadelphia in 1798, of yellow fever. He was one 
of the most noted land speculators of his da}^ and owned 
many thousands of acres at the time of his death. He was 
closely associated in land operations with James Wilson, a 
signer of the Declaration of Independence, and the sudden 
death of the latter, also in 1798, caused the financial ruin 
of the Wallis estate. Soon after the death of Mr. Wallis, 


his magnificent landed estate was hopelessly involved. It 
was then that L3^dia Wallis realized her true condition. 
After all that she had endured and suffered during the 
Eevolutionary period^ she found herself almost penniless. 
All the property left by her husband was soon swept away 
by the stern decree of the law. From affluence she was 
suddenly reduced to poverty, and in her straitened circum- 
stances she went to live with her daughter, Cassandra, at 
Milton. She survived her husband fourteen years, and 
died September 4, 1812, aged sixty-eight years and five 
months. Her remains were laid at rest in the old Chillis- 
quaque graveyard, where so many of those who took an 
active part in the Eevolution lie buried; and thus closed 
the mortal career of Lydia Hollingsworth Willis, one of 
the noblest, most devoted and self-sacrificing women of the 
times in which she lived. 



Jean Murray was born in the north of Ireland about 1725. 
She was a niece of the celebrated David Murra}^ Marquis 
of Tullibardine, a partisan of the Pretender, Charles Ed- 
ward, who, after the fateful battle of Culloden, fled into 
France. Of her early histor}^, her parentage, we know but 
little. She was well educated, was a woman of rare accom- 
plishments and beauty. She married Frederick Watts in 
1749, and with him came to America about the year 1760, 
where they located upon a tract of land about three miles 
above the mouth of the Juniata in Cumberland, now Perry 
county. Brought up in luxury, and the refinement of an 
aristocratic family, like the wives of many other of the 
earlier settlers in America, she became equal to the emer- 
gency; was dutiful, loving and serving. During the war of 
the Revolution while her husband was in patriotic service, 
she managed carefully a large farm and was enabled not 
only to assist many of the families of her neighbors, who 
had accompanied her husband to the army, but united with 
the women of the Juniata in making clothing and other 
necessaries for the soldiers at the front. In a dozen and 
more ways she assisted in ministering to the wants of her 
neighbors as well as to those who were engaged in fighting 
the battles of her country. She lived a long and useful life, 
and survived her husband only a few years. 

Frederick Watts, a native of Wales, was born June 1, 
1721. He received a good English education. In his early 
manhood we find him in the north of Ireland, where he 
married Jean Murray. Participating in the political and 
religious controversies of the time, he was obliged to flee 


with liis little family to America. It was not surprising 
therefore, that when the mutterings of the Eevolution 
were heard, that Mr. Watts was a strenuous advocate for the 
right, and, true to his manhood ranged on the side for inde- 
pendence. He was a member of the committee for Cum- 
berland county, assisted in organizing the associated bat- 
talions, and as the lieutenant colonel of the First Battalion, 
represented the same at the military convention of July 4, 
1776, which met at Lancaster for the purpose of choosing 
two brigadier generals. On the formation of the "Flying 
Camp,'^ he was then transferred and was in command of the 
battalion assigned to Cumberland county. He was cap- 
tured at the surrender of Fort Washington, November 16, 
1776, but shortly afterwards was exchanged. 

Colonel Watts was commissioned' one of the justices of 
the peace for Cumberland county April 1, 1778; chosen a 
representative to the Assembly in 1779; appointed sub-lieu- 
tenant of Cumberland county April 18, 1780; brigadier 
general of the Pennsylvania militia May 27, 1782, in which 
capacity he did excellent service in protecting the frontier 
counties of the State from the marauding savages and 
Tories. He was a member of the Supreme Executive Coun- 
cil from October, 1787, until its abolition by the State Con- 
vention of 1790. During this time he was a member of the 
Board of Property, December 31, 1787, and August 31, 
1790. At the close of his official life General Watts re- 
tired to his farm in the Juniata Valley, where he died on 
the 27th of September, 1795. The Carlisle Gazette of a sub- 
sequent date, says: "In the various walks of life assigned 
to him by Providence, the duties of all were discharged with 
faithfulness and reputation. An honest and impartial 
magistrate, a brave and active officer, an upright legislator, 
in him, candor, sincerity, affability and simplicity were 


united with the most determined bravery and a manly 
spirit of independence/' 

The remains of General Watts and those of his wife were 
interred upon the farm graveyard. No stone marks either 
one, nor have we accurate record of the dav of the death of 
Mrs. Watts. They were ancestors of some of the prominent 
citizens of the State, distinguished not only in its councils, 
but also in those of the nation, and many are now repre- 
sentative people of several localities. 



Mary Penrose, daughter of Bartholomew Penrose, a 
prominent merchant of Philadelphia, was born in that city 
February 18, 1746. When she married Anthony Wayne, 
in May, 1766, she was esteemed as a young lady of modest 
demeanor and amiability, as well as loving and sympathetic. 
Accompanying him to his well-cultivated farm at "Waynes- 
borough,^^ she soon became quite prominent at all social 
gatherings, and so, when the first mutterings of the storm 
of the Revolution broke, Mrs. Wayne was the leader in ren- 
dering patriotic assistance to those around, and many a 
soldier, as also the family left behind him, were recipients 
of her thoughtfulness and characteristic benevolence. She 
vied with her neighbors in every good word and work. As 
far as her domestic duties allowed, she was devotion itself 
to the patriotic cause, and until the closing days of the 
struggle never swerved in her help to those requiring it. 

During the campaign in and around Philadelphia, un- 
daunted she remained with her little family at Waynes- 
borough. A neighbor writes the G-eneral that "a number 
of the British troops surrounded your house in search of 
you, but being disappointed in not finding you * * * 
behaved with the utmost politeness to the women, and said 
they only wanted the General." "Dear Polly" and "My 
Dear Girl," show Wayne^s devotion to his wife. When 
peace came no one could have been more delighted than 
Mrs. Wayne. And yet once again his country called; he 
promptly responded, but his "Dear Polly" never saw him 
again. Mrs. Wayne died at the family residence, April 18, 
1793, aged forty-four years, and her remains lie interred in 


the cemetery of St. David's Episcopal church, Radnor 
township, Delaware county. 

Anthony Wayne, son of Isaac Wayne and his wife Elizabeth 
Iddings, was born January 1, 1745, in Easttown township, 
Chester county, Pennsylvania. His grandfather, William 
Wayne, came from County Wicklow, Ireland, to Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1722, and shortly after purchased an estate in 
Cliester county, portions of it yet remaining in possession 
of his descendants. Isaac Wa3'ne was a member of the As- 
sembly and a captain in the Provincial service. The son, 
Anthony, inherited his father's fighting qualities, and early 
displaA^ed his fondness for a military life. Adopting the 
profession of a surveyor, he remained in this field of use- 
fulness until his marriage, when he settled down to the 
cultivation of his farm at Waynesborough. He was brought 
into public life by being elected to the Provincial Assem- 
bly in 1774:. He was chairman of the county committee 
13th July, 1774, which proposed the resolutions con- 
demning the course of the British ministry; member of 
the Committee of Safety in July, 1775; and recruited the 
Fourth Battalion, of which he was commissioned colonel, 
January 3, 1776. His regiment participated in the Canada 
campaign of that year, and particularly distinguished him- 
self at Trois Eivieres, where he was wounded. In the fall 
he was placed in command of Fort Ticonderoga, was pro- 
moted brigadier general February 21, 1777, and took a 
prominent part in the battles of Brandywine and German- 

At the Paoli, on the night of September 20, 1777, his 
force was attacked by a greater number of the enemy, but 
his bravery and skill compelled the British to retreat. He 
was with the patriot army at Valley Forge in the winter of 
1777-78; and his brigade opened the battle of Monmouth. 
On the night of July 15, 1779, he captured Stony Point, 


one of the most brilliant engagements during the war, and 
Congress ordered a gold medal strnek in his honor. 

When, in January, 1781, through utter disregard for 
their men, the officers of the Pennsylvania Line attempted 
to retain in service those who had enlisted for "three years 
or during the war,^^ their enlistment having expired, the so- 
called revolt was quieted by the efforts of General Wayne. 
There was a magnetism about him which captivated his 
men — he had their confidence, and he was loved as was 
no other officer in the Pennsylvania Line. 

In the Southern campaign of 1781 and 1782 General 
Wayne took a conspicuous part, and at the close of the 
Eevolution, next to Washington, no officer stood higher in 
the affections of the soldiery and people. October 10, 1783, 
he was made a major general by brevet, and retired to his 
farm in Chester county. He was chosen a member of the 
Assembly in 1784, and was a delegate to the Pennsylvania 
Convention which ratified the Federal Constitution. The 
State of Georgia having presented him with a large rice 
plantation in 1786, he undertook its management, but the 
financial difficulties attending it, resulted at last, in saving 
his Pennsylvania estate by sacrificing that in Georgia. On 
April 3, 1792, by the appointment of President Washing- 
ton, he succeeded General Harmar as commander-in-chief 
of the United States Army. His victory over the hostile 
Indians in the Northwest secured permanent peace. On 
returning to the East he died at Presqu' Isle, December 15, 
1796. In 1809 his remains were removed to the church at 
Eadnor, by the State Society of the Cincinnati, who erected 
a monument to that most skillful, discreet and successful 
general officer of the War of the Eevolution. 



Maria Agncta Beclitcl was born in Frankenthal in the 
Palatinate, Germany, September 19, 1719. She was the 
daughter of Eev. John Bechtel and Mary Apollonia ^lar- 
rett, his wife, who in 1726, with three children, emigrated 
to America and located in Germantown, Philadelphia, 
where her father became one of the pioneer Eeformed min- 
isters in America. On July 5, 1739, she was wedded by her 
father to Cornelius Weygandt, a turner, of Germantown, 
who had emigrated from the Palatinate in 173G. The Eev. 
Bechtel having made the acquaintance of the ]\Ioravian 
disciples Spangenberg and Zinzendorf, he inclined towards 
their belief, and in 17-14 v/ithdrew from the Eeformed 
church, and united with the Moravians. In September, 
1746, he removed to Bethlehem, whither Cornelius We}^- 
gandt and his family followed, locating on the Lehigh Hill- 
(now Fountain Hill), South Bethlehem, on the site of the 
present Bishopthorpe Seminary. Whilst here Mrs. Wey- 
gandt united with the Brethren's church at Bethlehem, 
on the opposite side of the Lehigh river. In 1762 the Wey- 
gandts removed to Forks township, Xorthampton county, 
Pennsylvania, on the banks of the Bushkill creek, adjacent 
to the lands of the Delaware Indian Chieftain Tatamy. The 
ancient stone dwelling which they occupied is at this writ- 
ing being demolished. Here the family resided during the 
trying periods of the Indian troubles and the Eevolution- 
ary War. 

On May 30, 1776, Cornelius Weygandt was elected a 
member of the County Committee of Safety, serving on the 
Standing Committee to the end of his term in November of 


that year. It was a critical period^ and two sons are known 
to have entered the militia service, Cornelins, Jr., joined 
Captain John Arndt's company of the "Flying Camp/^ and 
Jacob became a captain of militia, entering into active ser- 
vice a number of tours. When the Moravian congregation 
was commenced at Shoeneck (near Nazareth, Pa.) in 1762, 
Mrs. Weygandt was received as a member there, and on 
August 6, 1763, partook of the Lord^s Supper at the first 
communion. She was a truly sincere Christian, strongly 
devoted to her church and to her family. She died at her 
home, on the Bushkill, having nearly completed fifty years 
of married life. Her husband survived her ten years, dy- 
ing at nearly eighty-seven, and both are buried in the little 
shaded churchyard of the Moravians at Shoeneck. In this 
union they were blessed with eight children, seven of 
whom and thirty grandchildren survived her. Her eldest 
son, John, became closely connected with the Moravians 
and lived at Bethlehem in single retirement until his death 
in 1806. He frequently accompanied the Moravian mis- 
sionaries, Heckewelder and Bull, in their journeys to the 
West and Northwest. Jacob founded the first newspaper 
published in Northampton county (1793); was a member of 
the State Legislature (1808-9-10-11); and Presidential 
elector (1809). He died in 1828, aged eighty-six. Cor- 
nelius, Jr., Peter Maria Agneta (m. Henry Freas) and 
Susan (m. Peter Ihrig), removed to Washington county, 
Pennsylvania, and settled in Carroll township, about 1790. 
Descendants of Cornelius, Jr., still occupy the old home- 
stead near Monongahela City, and nuumerous others live 
in western Pennsylvania and Ohio.