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YRI&HT, 1886, BY M. L. l Mdi 

COPYRI&HT, 1886, BY M. L.%(5nTGOMEEY. 



The history of Berks County, one of the early political organizations in the 
State of Pennsylvania, is presented in this volume. It embraces the important 
facts, relating to the several affairs of the county, from the beginning of the eigh- 
teenth century until now, which the author collected during the past ten years ; 
and, upon having arranged them in a systematic narrative, he now submits the re- 
sult of his labors. 

The author acknowledges with pleasure the thorough co-operation of the 
publishers, Messrs. Everts, Peck & Richards, in its production ; for, through their 
enterprise and liberality, he has been enabled to issue it in a comprehensive plan 
much beyond his original intentions. The services of Mr. George R. Prowell, 
Mr. J. L. Rockey and Capt. Frank H. Cole, whom they sent into the county for 
the purpose of aiding him in the completion of his enlarged undertaking, are. worthy 
of particular mention. 

Many persons in every district of the county, and friends at Harrisburg, 
Philadelphia and Washington, encouraged the author in the course of his labors, 
and he recognizes their kindly attentions to him. 

M. L. M. 

Reading, May, 1886. 


Introduction . 



Chapter I. 
General History of Pennsylvania 

Early Settlers ; Dutch, Swedes, English, German, etc. 
— Provincial and Constitutional Government — Pur- 
chases of Territory from the Indians — Counties erected 
— Development. 

Chapter II. 

Physical Geography of Berks County 

Geology — Minerals — Botany — Mountains — Valleys — 
Streams — Relative Elevations. 

Chapter III. 

Indians . 



Origin — Delawares : Tribes, Clans and Sachems — 
Ganawese — Five Nations — Manners and ' Customs — 
Retreat of Indians — Present Location — Villages — In- 
dian Names — Indian Relics. 

Chapter I"V\ 

Swedes— Germans— English — Welsh— Irish— Hebrews 

— Negroes. 

Chapter V. 

Erection of County 

General Situation of Territory— Petitions for County- 
Act erecting County — Districts — Names of Townships 
and Towns— Reductions of Territory, Northumberland 
County and Schuylkill County— New Counties Pro- 

Chapter VI. 



Chapter VIII. 
French -and Indian War 104 

Military Periods — Cause of War — Officers, Supplies, 
etc. — Colonial Forts — Burd's Journal — Invasion of 
County by Indians — Numerous Letters on Sufferings 
of Early Inhabitants — Peace Declared — Persons Mur- 
dered, Taken Prisoners and Missing. 

Chapter IX. 
Revolution and Independence . 




General Condition and Progress — County Society and 
Exhibitions— Farms, Production, etc., of County, 1870 
and 1880. 

Chapter VII. 
Early and General Industries 87 

Early Furnaces and Forges of County — Production, 
1828-30— Industries in 1840— Comparative Statement, 
1860-76— Memorial for National Foundry— Summary 
of Present Furnaces, Forges and Mills— Comparative 
Table of Statistics for 1880— Production of Iron in 
County at three recent periods — General Industries- 
Statistics of Manufactures of County, 1870 and 1880. 

Revolution — Stamp Duty — Patriotic Spirit at Reading 
— Various Committees chosen — Battle at Lexington 
awakens County — Companies from Berks County — 
Conscientious Scruples against War — Tory Feeling in 
County — English Prisoners at Reading — Associators — ■ 
Brigadier-General Elected — Quota of County Exceeded 
— Patriotism of Joseph Hiester — Battle of Long Island 
— Deserters— Hessian Prisoners — Hessian Camp Sur- 
prised — Hessian Officer Drowned — Militia Refuse to 
March — Militia Returns of County — Army Supplies — 
Affairs at Reading in 1777 — Conway Cabal — Duel at 
Reading — Independence Won and Peace Declared — 
Revolutionary Survivers — Continental Paper Money. 

Chapter X. 
Whiskey Insurrection of 1794 167 

House Tax and Liberty Poles of 1799 — Embargo ot 
1807— War of 1812-15 and Companies of County En- 

Chapter XI. 
Mexican War 180 

Cause of the War— .Reading Artillerists Departure for 
Mexico — Participation in War — Battles Engaged In — 
Return of Artillerists — Brilliant Reception. 

Chapter XII. 
Civil War 186 

Introduction— Patriotism, of County— War Meetings 
and Appropriations — Ladies* Aid Society — Reading 
Hospital— Drafts and Quotas of Berks County — North- 
ern Men in Service — Summary of Battles — Paper 
Money — List of Companies from Berks County in Civil 
War —President's Call for Troops— First Companies in 
War — Ringgold Light Artillery the First Company — 
Statement of Captain McKnight — Soldiers of Berks 
County in Three Months' Service, 1861 ; Three Years' 
Service; Nine Months' Service; Volunteer Militia of 
1862; Drafted Militia of 1862; Volunteer Militia of 1863; 
One Hundred Days' Service of 1864 ; One Year's Ser- 
vice 1864-65— Miscellaneous Enlistments from Berks 
County — Soldier's Buried in Berks County — Grand 
Army Posts — Society oi Ex-Prisoner's of War. 


Chapter XIII. 



Legislative Provision — County Battalion of 1783 — 
County Militia proffer Services to President Adams in 
1798— County Military Division— Encampment at Read- 
ing in 1842— Battalion Day of 1843— County Militia 
Companies in 1856— State National Guard — Reading 
Artillerists — Military Cadets. 

Chapter XIV. 
Religious Denominations ... 

Lutherans — Reformed— Friends — Baptists — Dunkards 
— Moravians — Roman Catholics — Amish — Other De- 
nominations — Religious Excitement, Heidelberg and 
Exeter Meetings — Sunday Mails — County Bible So- 

Chapter XV. 
General Education . . 

Early Encouragement — Charity Schools — Common 
School Education — County Institute — Pay Schools — 
Comparative Table of Schools and Scholars. 

Chapter XVI. 
Language, Manners and Customs . . 

Chapter XVII. 
■ Newspapers 

Chapter XVIII. 
Internal Improvements 






Schuylkill River — Bridges, Roads and Turnpikes — 
Stages, Canals and Railways — Public County Build- 
ings — Post-Offices — Telegraph and Telephone. 

Chapter XIX. 
Politics and Civil List 


Election Districts— Political Sentiment of County- 
Prominent Representative Men — Offices by Special 
Legislation — Political Parties — Political Festivals — 
State Conventions and Mass Meetings at Reading — 
List of Officials — Biographical Sketches. 

Chapter XX. 
Judiciary — Bench and Bar 532 

Judges— Attorney-at-Law— Biographical Sketches. 

Chapter XXI. 
Medical Profession of Berks County . . . 

Early Medical History— Introduction of Medical Prac- 
tice into Berks County— Biographical Sketches— Med- 
ical Faculty of Berks County— Medical Society of Berks 
County— Pathological Society— Reading Medical As- 
sociation — Homoeopathy— Early History of Homoeo- 
pathy in Berks County — Hahnemann Medical Society 
—Biographical Sketches of Homceopathists — Medical 
Registry — Lenti stry. 


Chapter XXII. 
Census of Berks County 644 

Early Population of State— Rate of Increase of Popu- 
lation-Census Table of County, 1790 to 1880— Census 
of Villages, 1880— Table of Houses, Farms, etc., in 
County, 1850— Taxables and Voters of County, 1876 
and 1885— Property and Money Assessed, 1885. 

Chapter XXIII. 


Part 1.— Town from 1748 to 1783 . . • 650 

Selection of Town Site— Town laid out— Lots sold at 
Public Sale— First Patentees— Ground-Rent— List of 
Taxables, 1759— District of Reading Erected— Churches 
—Schools— Public Buildings — Markets and Fairs, 
CharLer to Reading for Them — Citizens against Change 
of Government — Early Innkeepers — Early Occupations 
— Rainbow Fire Company — No Newspapers nor Inter- 
nal Improvements— Fuel, Light and Entertainments — 
Hunting and Fishing — Indian Invasion — Revolution — 
Prominent Men — Pound Sterling — Old Style to New 

Part 2.— Borough from 1783 to 1847 666 

Charter of Incorporation — Election Districts — News- 
papers — Post-Office — Internal Improvements — Ferries 
and Bridges — Fire Companies, Banks and Water Sup- 
ply — Light — Public Buildings — Stages, Canals and 
Railway — Manufactures — Traffic — Merchants of Read- 
ing in 1830 — Occupations in 1839 — Distinguished 
Visitors — Memorial Services — Streets, Changes of 
Names — Executions — Early Exhibitions — Prominent 

Part 3.— City from 1847 to 1886 682 

Review of Reading in 1847 — Incorporation — Develop- 
ment — Riot in Reading, July, 1877. 

Part 4.— Manufacturing Industries 692 

Part 5. — Internal Improvements 744 

City Buildings, etc.— Post Office— Cemeteries— Gas and 
Electric Light— Halls— Private Market Houses— Hos- 
pitals— Private Parks— Street Railways. 

Part 6.— Churches 767 

Part 7.— Schools 793 

Part 8. — Associations sxi 

Part 9.— Officials 841 

Part 10. — Census 353 

Chapter XXIV. 
Boroughs of County §55 

Kutztown g65 

Womelsdorf , . g,™ 

Hamburg. . . . m 

Birdsboro - • • .... 893 

Boyertown ... .901 

Bernville .913 

Fleetwood . . gl „ 

T °P ton - • ... 926 

Centreport ... g2 * 





Chapter XXV. 

. . . 1067 

. . 1076 

Townships of County . 


Tulpehocken Section 

. 1082 

Manatawny Section . . 




Upper Tulpehocken .... . 

. . 1093 


Colebrookdale . . . 

... . . 962 


Douglass . . 

. . . . 967 

Heidelberg . 


Exeter ... 


Lower Heidelberg . 


North Heidelberg 


Muhlenberg .... 


Bern . ... 




Upper Bern . 


. 1(100 



Ruscomb-mano r 

. . . 1006 

Centre . .... 

. 1139 


. . . 1010 



District. . . . 


Schuylkill Section . . . 




Robeson ... 


Pike . 

... . 1018 

Caernarvon . . ... 


Ontelaunee Section . . . 


Cumru . 


. 1022 


. . 1170 

Ontelaunee . . 


Brecknock ....*•• 


Richmond . 

. 1035 

Union . . 


Maxatawny . 
Longswamp ... 

. . . 1040 


Windsor . 


Early Townships erected and Taxables 

assessed in 



. Schuylkill County before 1811. 

. 1191 



Adlor Building .895 

Arnold, William. . . . 708 

Arthur, John E. . . . 268 

Baer, George F. . . . 678 

Baird, Wm. M. . . . . 569 

Banks, John . . 541 

Barbey, Peter . . 723 

Barto, A. H . . 1006 

Batdorff, M. D. M. .... 622 

Bear, Benjamin C." . . . . 1057. 

Beidler, Conrad Y . . . 1169 

Bertolette, Levi J . . .935 

Bethany Orphans' Home . . . . . . 1112 

Bickel, Geo. H . 620 

Binder, Frank G., Kes. of . . ... . 911 

Birth-place of Daniel Boone 974 

Boas, F. S. . . 305 

Boas, Augustus F. . . . 744 

British Stamp. . . . . . . 136 

Brunner, D. B . ... ... 382 

Brooke, Geo. . . 895 

Brooke, Edward ... 894 

Buskirk, Daniel. . . . . 557 

Carpenter Hall . . . . . ... 15 

Clingan, Chas. M . . . . . . . . . 1189 

Clymer, Daniel K . 848 

Continental Currency. 166 

Court-Honse, The Old. . ... 403 

Delaware Indian Family. . . .... 58 

Delaware Indian . . • .... 57 

Dechert, Elijah ... * . . . . 563 

Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart, Building of 738 

Eckert, Henry S 835 

Eckert, Isaac ... 834 

Eckert, Geo. J .721 

JEgelman, Charles F . 407 

Ermentrout, Daniel . . . 512 

Ermentrout, John S . .... 380 

Ermentrout, James N . 546 

Evans, Charles V. K 1124 

Evans, Charles . . 757 

Fegley, L. P. G. . . . 967 

Ferguson, Nathaniel .... . . 1114 

Findlay, James • . ■ 1055 

First Befonned Church . . . 776 

Fisher, Eeily L HIS 

Focht, L. H .901 

Franklin, Benjamin ... 469 


Friends' Meeting-House, 1765 . . . . . .781 

Friends' Meeting-House, 1886 782 

Gerasch, CharleB A . . 599 

Getz, J. Lawrence . 410 

Getz, James K , 853 

Good, Bev. William A . . . . . 379 

Gordon, David F . ... 542 

Grim, D. B . . . . 1081 

Hagenman, J ... 543 

Harbster, William 701 

Harbster, M 702 

Harris, William 893 

Heinly, David .... 1075 

Heller, F. P 733 

Hendel, Henry B. & Co., hat-factory 711 

Hendel, John 710 

Hiester, Joseph ... 523 

Hix, Joseph S . . . . 1135 

Hoffeditz, J. C. A . . . 219 

Hottenstein, Edward .... 624 

Howe, M. A. De Wolfe . . . .... 786 

Iaeger, G. F. I 889 

Jail, the old 465 

Jones, Jonathan ... 
Jones, Jonathan, Kes. of . . 
Jones, J. Glancy . . . 

Keim, George De Benneville . . 

Keim, George May 

Keim, George De B 

Keim, William H 

Keim, John 

Keim, Nicholas 

Keller, D. C 

Keystone State Normal School 

Kline, Simon 

Knabb, Jacob 

Koch, Daniel 

Kraemer, Louis 

Kremp, Louis ... 

Krick, Adam B 

Kutz, David 

Lauer, Frederick 

Levan, Isaac W 

. 142 
. 1160 

. 516 

. 179 

. 608 

. 456 

. 205 

. 681 

. 664 

. 263 

. 867 

. 719 

. 402 

. 923 



. .555 

... 722 


Levan, Nathan 873 

Levan, Joseph ' 981 

LeoBer, Thomas S 185 

Lentz, Levi B 638 

Log House, the first in Pricetown 1009 


Lorah, George K . . . 

Lichtenthaeler, B 

Ludwig, Elam M . . . . . 

Map, outline of County . . . 
Map showing purchases from Indians . 
Map, Geological, of County . 

Marks, W. F 

Mauger, B. B 

McMichael, Richards ....".. 
McLean, Joseph A . 
McManus. John . . ... 

McKnight, David 

McHose, Isaac 

Miller, J. B 

MiBhler Academy, auditorium of . . 

Mishler Academy, stage of 

Montgomery, M. L . 

Muhlenberg, H. H . . . , . . . 

Muhlenberg, H. A . 

Muhlenberg, Henry A. . . 

Nagle, H. 31 . 

Nagle, Peter, Jr . . 

Nicolls, G. A 

Otto, John B 

Otto, Dr. Bodo 

Pearson, John S . . . . 

Penn, "William .... .... 

Plank, D. Heber 

Printz, John H . . . .... 

Prison, ground plan of . 

Bea, Samuel M . 

Reading PasBenger Station . 
Beading roads, plan of ... 
Heading, paper money . 
Reading, early surveys of . 
Beading, town plan of, 1748. 
Beading Hospital . 
Beading Hardware Company, . 

Beber, James T 

Reservoir and present jail . . 
Bhoads, Thomas J. B . 
Bhoads, Ezekiel. . . . 

Richards, John S . . 
Bitter, William S . . . 

Bittenhouse, S. B 
Bocks in Rockland 
Rosenthal, AV. 



. 734 



. . 837 



. 761 

. . 760 


... 833 

. . 515 




. . 454 

. . .593 






. 467 

. 1190 










. 909 


. 566 



. 1011 


Eowe, W. G. . . . . . . • 

Sanitary Fair Buildings 

Schwartz, John . . 

Schweitzer, Samuel Z. . . • 

Schneider, Ephraim . . 

Schmucker, E. Z 

Schaeffer, Lewis 

Schaeffer, John 

Schwartz, H. H. 

Seidel, Franklin . . 

Seyfert, Simon 

Shoemaker, Charles E. . ■ 

Shaffner, Jacob .... 

Shollenberger, J. M. .... 

Slegel, E. . . . . . 

Smith, George . .... 

Smith, L. Heber . 

Smith, Levi B . . 

Spohn, Daniel. . 

Stein, Adam ... 

St. Luke's Lutheran Church . 

Stitzel, George D . . . 

Stoudt, George K . 

Stuy vesant, Peter . . . . 

Swedes' Building . 

Swedes' Church.. . 

Times and Journal Building . 

Trinity Lutheran Church . 

Tyson, Henry A . 

Umbenhauer, William. . ... 

Van Reed, Henry. . 

Van Beed, Charles, residence and paper-mills of . 

Van Reed, Charles . 

Van Reed, Charles L . . 

Van Beed, Henry Z . r . 

Walter, Bobert 

Washington Grays ... . 

Weaver, Jeremiah . . 

Weidman, W. Murray . . 

Weidman, B. B . 

Wertz, Samuel ... 

Wheeler, Caleb . 

Whitner, George K. 

Wily, (). H . 

Wily, Penrose . .... 

Woodward, W. J . ... 

Yocum, William . 





. 1184 





. 547 

. 1028 



. 1093 




. 1156 

. 1154 


. 1080 



. 1092 







. 1138 


. 1120 

. 1121 

. 1123 


. 1125 

. 179 



. 1178 

. 1180 











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Ix the beginning of colonization in this sec- 
tion of the earth for several hundred miles 
round about us settlements were first made 
along the sea or prominent inlets, and after- 
ward, from decade to decade, they gradually 
advanced farther and farther into the interior, 
being influenced in their onward movement by 
flowing rivers and rolling valleys. The set- 
tlers found the country open, accessible and in- 
viting, with many valuable features, such as 
strong streams, fertile soil, great forests, inex- 
haustible beds of limestone, iron-ore, sand and 
clay, and numerous animals, fowls and fishes. 
These were conditions which gave the new 
country a strong character and inspired the 
early im migrants with hope and confidence ; 
these were considerations worthy of especial 
mention to kindred and friends who remained 
at home in the old country, and, fortunately for 
Pennsylvania, these were sufficient to exert a 
favorable influence upon the minds of such per- 
sons there as contemplated emigration. 

The early settlement of the country was 
slow. From its first possession till 1681 the 
number of inhabitants had not multiplied be- 
yond a thousand. Accordingly, its develop- 
ment during this time (about a half-century) 
was insignificant. The chief occupations were 

trading and commerce. But in 1681 a new 
era began in its eventful history, and thence for 
nearly a century its growth was marvelous, 
even though it continued under the sway of 
monarchic government. The constant influx of 
foreigners made all things active, especially 
such as related to the possession of land, its im- 
provement, etc. The people, however, did not 
obtain a higher plane of action in respect to 
motive-power. The physical forces, such as 
animal, wind and water, which had aided them 
and their progenitors time out of mind, still 
prevailed. Distance still separated them in 
their settlements, and travel and transportation 
remained slow; but during the next century 
many revelations were made. These superin- 
duced various improvements, which brought 
the people into a closer relationship and ele- 
vated them to a higher standard of life. The dis- 
covery of coal, and the appreciation of its mar- 
ketable value as a substance for fuel, quickened 
trade. It awakened genius in respect to the 
necessity for increased and convenient motive- 
power. This was supplied through steam, 
and iron then arose into greater prominence for 
its utility in connection with both. These 
three agents formed the great triumvirate in the 
increased development of the people ; and the 



acceleration of our movements as a people, es- 
pecially in respect to trade and transportation, 
necessarily developed a fourth agent. This was 
the telegraph. The results of their combined 
influences at the close of this century were val- 
uable beyond computation. 

In the march of improvements the district 
comprising the county of Berks has occupied a 
prominent position. The first active agent was 
iron. Indeed, the first forge and the first fur- 
nace in Pennsylvania for its manufacture were 
established and successfully conducted on its ter- 
ritory ; and it has continued active here for 
over one hundred and sixty years. The next 
agent was coal. This valuable mineral was dis- 
covered whilst the inexhaustible anthracite 
fields were a part of this county. Its transpor- 
tation developed the canal and the railway 
along the Schuylkill. The third agent, steam, 
was then utilized to cheapen and hasten its de- 
livery in and through the valley from the 
mountains to the sea, and also to stimulate 
manufactures, especially in the county-seat 
after 1835. And the fourth agent was intro- 
duced soon after its practical value had come to 
be recognized. 

Industry has ever been a prominent charac- 
teristic of our people. The most general em- 
ployment has been in agriculture, and the next 
in iron manufactures. These two have con- 
stantly created demands for diversified indus- 
tries, and have made us not only a prosperous 
but a contented people. Continuous employ- 
ment has kept us, as a whole, so engaged in 
private affairs as to be comparatively free from 
those ambitions and vanities of life which de- 
velop restless energy in the direction of per- 
sonal aggrandizement. It would have been 
better for us if a different spirit had prevailed 
to such an extent as to have led us into a more 
active zeal for the public welfare, and into a 
more general thinking for competent political 
representation. Here, as elsewhere, too few 
men of liberal mind and education have exer- 
cised thought for the whole community. A 
hope was expressed that general education 
would stimulate this weakness and agitate new 
impulses, looking to the greatest good for the 
greatest number. But an experience extending 

through the past fifty years has not improved 
us in this respect. It has rather licensed ambi- 
tion to run wild, and permitted men, more or 
less inexperienced, incompetent and irrespon- 
sible, to represent us in positions of trust and 

Our people in these two important particu- 
lars—labor on the one hand and government on 
the other — have moved along undirected. This 
is a common but an unfortunate weakness in 
the United States ; and through it the people 
of our county have not developed prominent, 
thoughtful men to lead us out of this social 
apathy and to agitate questions and measures 
relative to our common progress — that progress 
which concerns communities rather than indi- 
viduals, and develops public enterprise and 
equality rather than private enrichment and dis- 
tinction. This is surprising, especially when 
we consider the prominent territorial position 
which we have occupied, the large wealth 
which we have possessed and the high degree 
of business sagacity and social intelligence 
which we have enjoyed. It is a difficult mat- 
ter to determine just what caused this condition, 
except it be that we have been indisposed to 
political thought and feeling ; indisposed to ex- 
press ourselves with force and fearlessness in 
public measures ; indisposed to lead the way in 
some common purpose for the public good. 
Others round about us have created, but we 
have followed — we have imitated. Possibly 
this arose from the peculiar German element in 
our composition, which is so apt to be contented 
at labor with the certain profit that it yields. 
In the sense of untiring industry, of rigid econ- 
omy, of pure and simple religion, our people 
have displayed a remarkable degree of excel- 
lence. Indeed, a long observation leads me to 
say that in these several respects we have seen 
perfection. And if we were not now, and had 
not been for a hundred years past, living un- 
der a system of representative government of, 
for and by the people, in which all tax-payers, 
especially freeholders, should take an active 
and earnest interest, I could not persuade my- 
self to say anything else than that we have 
been worthy all possible commendation. But 
we have been existing under a political govern- 


ment; we have had legislation pertaining to 
our several rights ; we have borne taxation for 
our convenience, safety and progress, and yet in 
these important respects we. have been compara- 
tively indifferent and inactive, notwithstanding 
the prominence and necessity of these things 
before us. Hence, in a political sense, we have 
been slow and weak, considerably beyond what 
our age, wealth and intelligence should have 
permitted. We have not produced the charac- 
ters of political energy which our citizens in the 
enjoyment of suffrage should naturally have 

From these remarks it will be observed that 
I shall have much to say of our untiring and 
successful industry, of our practical, pure and 
simple religion and of our general education, 
from which we have realized such fruitful 
local results. But of our politics I can have 
comparatively little to say, because we have ob- 
tained so little worthy of especial mention. We 
have produced only a few men who have been 
leaders of prominence in a vast district of 
territory. We have developed little or no legis- 
lation for our own good or the good of our fel- 
low-citizens here or elsewhere. We have not 
taken a leading part in agitating public meas- 
ures. Our local pride should be awakened to a 
sense of our importance as a people possessing 
numbers, wealth and power. This should in- 
duce us to take a stand proportioned to our 
condition ; this should inspire us to raise up 
more sons and educate them to a proper appre- 
ciation of political duty, political knowledge 
and political progress. We cannot elevate our 
political sentiments by encouraging inexperi- 
enced and incompetent men to represent us in 
local or in legislative offices, or even to lead us 
in manipulating conventions and elections. 
The time has arrived for the better class of 
men, possessed of education, experience, influ- 
ence and wealth, to step forward and show a 
positive interest in the selection of officials. 
Through them must we direct our energy in 
the political channel, as it has been successfully 
directed in the industrial, and through them 
only can we expect to produce representative 
men who can create for us a new political life 
and lead us into a nobler political activity. 

We should therefore awaken them to a sense 
of their political duty, so that such men shall 
be produced for the strong spirit that they shall 
develop amongst us and for the true patriotic 
pride that they shall have to arise from us in 
the time of political revolution. 

With these general preliminary observations, 
it is my earnest purpose to present in this vol- 
ume a historical narrative of Berks County 
from the time of the first settlements upon its 
territory till now. I shall detail all the mat- 
ters which I could find relating to its develop- 
ment from a vast uncultivated wilderness, oc- 
cupied by a few non-progressive and. feeble 
Indian tribes, into a cultivated country, pos- 
sessed and enriched by thousands of civilized, 
progressive people. Nearly two centuries have 
elapsed since the first settlement was made by a 
small but zealous colony of Swedes on the east- 
ern bank of the Schuylkill, several miles above 
the mouth of the Manatawny Creek. In the 
history of the world this is an insignificant 
period ; but in these years a great work has 
been accomplished in this vicinity for twenty 
miles round about our county-seat. The period is 
therefore of great interest and significance to us. 
Besides increasing from two-score of people to 
a thriving population which exceeds in number 
one hundred and thirty thousand, and ad- 
vancing from a feeble association of individ- 
uals full of fear into a strong community of 
citizens who exhibit privilege and power in 
every action, we have passed from one stage 
to another, decade after decade, ever bringing 
our several districts into a closer relationship 
with one another, and we have realized all the 
material improvements which such a remark- 
able growth necessarily produces in the course 
of social progress. 

The first century was signalized by a number 
of important events, such as the immigration of 
many foreigners ; the founding of Reading ; the 
erection of Berks County, with its conveniences 
to the people through local courts, public build- 
ings, etc. ; the French and Indian War ; the 
Revolution, with its Declaration of Independ- 
ence, seven years of costly warfare and success- 
ful conclusion ; the introduction of the news- 
paper, stage-coach and post-office. 


But the second century, till now, has been 
signalized to a greater degree. The first fifty 
years were particularly fruitful of great results 
from well-directed energy. Our highways were 
improved into turnpikes ; bridges were erected 
to take the place of ferry-boats; canals were 
substituted for roads to facilitate the transport- 
ation of large quantities of materials at reduced 
cost ; railways were then introduced, which en- 
couraged travel, expedited traffic and increased 
carrying capacity to answer the demands of en- 
terprise ; steam not carrying our letters with suf- 
ficient speed, the telegraph was supplied ; and 
the message becoming too slow for our active 
minds, the telephone was produced, which en- 
ables us to speak, as it were, face to face. Con- 
trast the two extremes, then and now, in the 
single respectof communicating with one another, 
and behold the progress which we have made ! 

We passed through three wars, the last of 
which was especially costly to us in the lives 
that were sacrificed, the suffering that was en- 
dured and the great taxation that was borne. 
But I will not have any battles upon our terri- 
tory to recount, no dreadful losses, no violence 
from desperate, invading foes to narrate, — a cir- 
cumstance fortunate for our homes aud families, 
properties and lives. Industry gave us develop- 
ment in every department of life. Manufactures, 
especially at Reading, grew wonderfully and 
invited thousands of strangers to settle here. 
Labor-saving machinery for the work-shop and 
then for the farm was introduced ; and educa- 
tion was encouraged by legislation through 
general taxation. After the common school had 
become a fixed institution the English language 
began to obtain more extensively, and demand 
for English preaching in our growing community 
arose. Theretofore the German language was 
used almost entirely in the church and in the as- 
sociations of life. But in the courts, English 
speaking prevailed necessarily, owing to a col- 
onial law which required it, just as the laws 
were promulgated in the English language. I 
will not have a great park and fine monuments 
to mention, notwithstanding the Penns had set 
apart a fine tract of land along the western base 
of Penn's Mount, many years ago, for the for- 
mer, and our community afforded appropriate 

subjects for the latter. Our situation in these 
two respects must be deprecated by the intelli- 
gent people of this community. The newspapers 
will receive particular mention. They played 
an important part in our growing community, 
especially after 1820, when they began to devote 
more attention to local news and the discussion 
of measures of a public character. Societies of 
all kinds, especially secret and beneficial orders, 
were started here with peculiar but surprising 
energy. They grew rapidly after 1840. The 
Odd-Fellows developed a strong spirit in their 
behalf throughout the county, and influenced 
the formation of a great many associations for 
purposes of friendship, protection and assist- 
ance. The number of different societies now is 
very large. Steam would seem to have been at 
the bottom of these also, for they began in 
earnest just after its introduction; and during 
the last forty years, strange though the coinci- 
dence may be, the one multiplied in numbers and 
character just as the other expanded in utility 
and power. 

The building and savings associations must be 
mentioned for the prominence they have occu- 
pied and the good they have accomplished. They 
started with the incorporation of our city, and 
they have grown in number and influence with 
the development of the city. They have been, 
in this time, an important factor in building 
up many substantial homes for the industrious 
and economical working people. Their receipts 
and expenditures have increased from thousands 
of dollars into millions. The city is largely in- 
debted to them for many improved and inhab- 
ited sections ; and there is a feature in them 
which I cannot fail to observe — the laudable 
tendency to distribute and preserve property, 
influence and public interest in the hands of the 

In closing this introduction I refer with pride 
to our patriotism. From the beginning of our 
history till now we have exhibited a strong 
love for our country. We took an active and 
earnest part in its trying periods of warfare, 
contributing many companies of soldiers and 
large amounts of money towards upholding the 
general government,— first, in defending the 
early settlers from the barbarous incursions of 


Indians ; then in declaring and obtaining inde- 
pendence from the English, and afterward in 
maintaining this independence ; again in recog- 
nizing the measures of the national administra- 
tion against Mexico, which resulted in the an- 
nexation of Texas ; and lastly, in the Rebellion 
of the Southern States. Our services in the first 
and last periods were especially noteworthy, for 
in them many lives of our own people were sac- 
rificed. At least eight thousand men from the 
county were mustered into military service dur- 
ing the Rebellion. Our total population in 1860 
was ninety-three thousand eight hundred and 
eighteen ; over eight per cent, went to serve the 
government for the preservation of the Union. 
The number of our electors then did not exceed 
twenty thousand. From this it appears that we 
sent one man out of every three ; or, speaking 
more accurately, two out of every seven. 1 We 
did our whole duty. Our record in this great 
and costly struggle is noble and shows remark- 
able patriotism. And we sent the first company 
of volunteers, uniformed and equipped, in re- 
sponse to the President's call for troops — an 
honor worthy of particular mention. In order 
to present this important subject with the full- 
ness that it deserves, I will set apart a large 
space in this history for its extended considera- 



Early Settlers : Dutch, Swedes, English, Germans, etc. — 
Provincial and Constitutional Government — Purchases of 
Territory from Indians — Counties Erected — Development. 


Dutch. — The Dutch were the first explorers 
of this section of our vast country. They dis- 
covered the great inlet from the Atlantic Ocean, 
now called the Delaware Bay, in 1609. In that 
year the Dutch East India Company sent Cap- 
tain Henry Hudson, with a crew of English 
and Dutch sailors, numbering about sixteen 
men, on a voyage in search of the supposed 

'This proportion is too great if we take into account the 
numerous young men between the ages of sixteen and 
twenty-one who enlisted. 

short passage to India. Hudson entered the 
mouth of the bay ; but finding water shallow 
and suspecting danger ahead, he withdrew into 
the ocean and proceeded northwardly. He re- 
ported this discovery to the company. Some years 
afterward, the Dutch East India Company 
was incorporated and invested with great priv- 
ileges and powers, and this company, in 1623, 
took possession of the territory which adjoined 
the bay and river and called it " New Nether- 
land." The expedition was sent by it under the 
command of Captain Cornelius Jacobsen May. 2 
He and his crew had first landed at Manhattan 
(now New York). Some of the families were 
sent thence to the South (Delaware) River, 
where they erected a fort and carried on a peace- 
ful and successful trade with the natives. Dur- 
ing the summer of 1633 a commissary named 
Arendt Corssen bought from the Indians, under 
the direction of the company, a tract of land 
within the limits of Pennsylvania, along the 
Schuylkill river, and established a trading post. 
During these years the administration of affairs 
was not smooth ; the directors in charge were 
therefore frequently changed. In the sprround- 
ing territory, especially in the northern posses- 
sions of "New Netherland," considerable war- 
fare was carried on between the Indians and the 
colonists. It was estimated that sixteen hun- 
dred Indians were killed. Nearly all the 
Dutch settlements were attacked and visited 
with general destruction. The Schuylkill set- 
tlement was not molested. 

Swedes. — Whilst the Dutch were carrying 
on these settlements in the New Netherland, 
Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, was in- 
duced by William Usselincx, the person who had 
proposed the establishment of the Dutch West 
India Company, to entertain the notion of 
founding colonies in America. This was in 
1624. But Adolphus fell at Lutzen, in 1632, 
before he had completed his plans. His daugh- 
ter Christina, successor to the Swedish throne, 
and his chancellor, Oxenstiern, however, enter- 

2 The year 1624 may be taken as the era of a continuous 
civil government. May was the first Director. It had 
power to punish, but not with death. Judgments for cap- 
ital crimes were to be referred to Amsterdam. — 2 Ban- 
croft's "Hist, of D. S.," p. 39. 


tained the matter, and, in 1634, incorporated 
the Swedish West India Company. The news 
of this new enterprise induced the discharged 
director of the New Netherland colony, Peter 
Minuit, to offer his services, to this company. 
Finding him experienced, they fitted out an 
expedition of fifty emigrants and placed him in 
command. It was determined that they should 
settle in the. vicinity of the Delaware River. 
They sailed from Gottenberg in the latter part of 

1637, and reached their destination in April, 

1638. They proceeded up the Delaware River 
to a creek which they named " Christina," in 
honor of their Queen. There they met the 
Indians, made a treaty with them and succeeded 
in purchasing all the land which lay on the 
west side of the river in length from Cape Hen- 
lopen to the falls near Trenton, and as far west- 
ward in width as they wished to possess. They 
then established a trading post and erected a 
fort near the mouth of the creek, which they 
gave the same name. The territory they called 
New Sweden. This settlement awakened the 
opposition of the Dutch to such an extent that 
in May following they issued a proclamation in 
which they warned the Swedes to desist. But 
Minuit disregarded the proclamation and pro- 
ceeded in the more thorough settlement of the 
country. The colony prospered and its trade 
increased rapidly. Its great prosperity and its 
beautiful surroundings awakened a wonderful 
feeling in its behalf. In ] 639 new immigrants 
came at three different times and brought abun- 
dant supplies. In the fall of the year the ves- 
sels were so crowded with passengers that many 
persons who had also wished to emigrate from 
Europe could not be taken. 

From 1638 the Dutch and Swedes occupied 
the territory together ; but in respect to trade, 
the Swedes were superior. In two years the 
Dutch trade was reduced to a small amount. 
This was effected by the Swedes underselling 
them and depressing the market. It had fallen 
short thirty thousand beaver-skins. In 1642 
the English also tried to effect a settlement in 
this locality; but they were expelled by the 
co-operation of the Swedes and Dutch. In 1643 
John Printz became the Governor of the Swedes. 
He was a rough, bold officer, very large and 

heavy, having weighed over four hundred 
pounds and been fond of liquor; yet, withal, 
he possessed many admirable qualities. His 
management of the Swedish interests won the 
entire approbation of his superiors. He built 
a fort on Tinicum Island, and obliged every 
vessel that passed it to strike her colors, and 
he permitted no trade without tribute. He 
also erected a handsome dwelling, built of 
brick brought by him from Stockholm, which 
was called "Printz Hall." The Dutch ob- 
jected to his proceedings and demands; but 
they hesitated to oppose his administration; 
and they became alarmed at the wonderful 
growth and progress of the Swedes. During 
1644 the Swedish trade was very large. In 
that year two vessels were sent home with car- 
goes, which included two thousand one hundred 
and twenty-seven packages of beaver-skins and 
seventy thousand two hundred and forty-one 
pounds of tobacco. After governing ten years, 
he asked to be relieved, and John Claude Ry- 
singh was appointed his successor. 

Rysingh, on July 11, 1654, addressed a let- 
ter to the home government, in which he esti- 
mated the entire population at three hundred 
and sixty-eight persons. Of these, only sev- 
enty were Swedes. Through kindness, he re- 
newed the treaty of friendship with the Indians. 
His administration dawned with bright pros- 
pects; but these were soon blighted, for after 
governing less than two years, he and nearly 
all the Swedes were driven out of the settle- 
ment. The Dutch had been much displeased 
in the capture of one of their forts several years 
before (Fort Casimir, near the mouth of the 
Brandywine), and therefore had determined to 
revenge their wrong by driving the Swedes 
from the river, or compelling submission. In 
1655 this determination was renewed, and 
Stuyvesant, with over six hundred men, forced 
the surrender of the territory. And this was 
the end of the Swedish government in America, 
after having maintained a separate existence 
for more than seventeen years. Though the 
Swedes could not maintain their hold, they are 
nevertheless entitled to the credit of having 
effected the first permanent settlements in 
Pennsylvania, and of having given the terri- 


tory a commercial character which it never lost. 
These influences certainly tended towards the 
rapid enrichment of the settlements and the 
increase of their population. The number of 
inhabitants then was about seven hundred. 

Dutch. — -After the Dutch had re-possessed 
the settlements on the Delaware, John Paul 
Jacquet was appointed vice-director, the ap- 
pointment having been made on November 29, 
1655. Peter Stuyvesant, a brave soldier of 
experience and a man of some learning, was 
the director, located at Manhattan, afterward 
called New York. The Swedes, under the 
promise of protection and of quiet enjoyment 
of their estates, remained and gave their alle- 
giance to the Dutch government. The Dutch 
West India Company, in their efforts to re- 
possess this territory, had incurred a large in- 
debtedness. To satisfy this debt they sold to 
the city of Amsterdam, their creditor, all that 
portion south of the Delaware, from Christina 
Creek to the ocean. This sale was confirmed 
by the States-General on August 16, 1656, and 
the territory sold took the name of New Am- 
sterdam. The government was then vested in 
forty commissioners, who were to reside in 
Amsterdam. They appointed Jacob Aldrichs 
as director, and upon his arrival the authority 
of Jacquet ceased. He administered affairs for 
nearly two years, until towards the close of 
1659, when D'Hinyossa, the person recom- 
mended by him, received the appointment. 
Many evils existed during this period. They 
arose from the bad administration of Aldrichs. 

The year 1659 was one of great distress to 
the colonists. Sickness prevailed, the affairs of 
the government were unsettled, the crops were 
short, and the winter was severe ; the new im- 
migrants arrived without supplies, and the 
company made new and exacting conditions. 
All these things caused great discontent, and 
many of the colonists fled to English settle- 
ments in Maryland. 

The administration of D'Hinyossa was also 
turbulent, owing to conflicts between him as 
the representative of the city of Amsterdam 
and the collector of revenues for the West In- 
dia Company. He refused to recognize the 
authority of Stuyvesant, and his difficulties 

finally obliged him to visit Holland in 1663. 
Through this visit the city of Amsterdam ob- 
tained the entire government of all the settle- 


ments, and upon his return Stuyvesant made 
a formal transfer of all authority to him. This 
induced the colonists to return from Maryland. 
He held undivided authority till the conquest 
of all the territory of New Netherland, in 1664, 
by the English, when he returned to Holland. 

English.— The English had claimed the 
territory by right of discovery. Cromwell had 
planned its recovery, and similar plans had 
been renewed during the reign of his son, but 
forcible measures were not adopted. The dis- 
content of the colonists, however, caused the 
English to renew their claims. They sent 
commissioners to demand the surrender of the 
territory, but the Dutch succeeded in resisting 
these demands, and they held it till it was 
taken from them by the English by right of 
conquest in 1664. 

Soon after King Charles II. had ascended 
the English throne he granted by patent, dated 
12th of March, 1664, all the territory between 
the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers and the 
adjacent islands, including the possessions of 
the Dutch, to his brother James, the Duke of 



York and Albany. Colonel Richard Nicholls 
was sent, accompanied by three commissioners, 
to take possession. Before they began formal 
negotiations with Stuyvesant they had issued 
a proclamation to the people, in which they 
offered the most liberal regulations and entire 
security to them and their property if they 
would peaceably transfer their allegiance to the 
English crown. This was successful. The 
people did not encourage Stuyvesaiit in his pro- 
posed resistance of these demands, and he ac- 
cordingly surrendered possession on the 8th of 
September, 1664, when the New Netherlands 
passed to the English. 

In May, 1667, Nicholls was succeeded by 
Colonel Francis Lovelace. He administered 
affairs till he was forced to surrender to the 
Dutch in the fall of 1673. Captain John Carr 
then became the Governor of the settlements on 
the Delaware. 

In 1673 Louis XIV declared war against 
the Netherlands, and .in this declaration the 
English united. But the Dutch were victorious 
over the French and English, defeating them 
in three great naval battles, which were fought 
on the 7th and 14th of June and on the 21st of 
August in that year. During this time the 
Dutch had sent a squadron to recover the terri- 
tory of New Netherland. It arrived before 
the fort of New York on the 6th of August, 
shortly before the final naval battle, and a sur- 
render was demanded. After a brief resistance 
the surrender was made, and the entire terri- 
tory, as it had passed from Stuyvesant, was 
thus recovered. In honor of the Prince of 
Orange, it was called " New Orange." Peter 
Alrichs was appointed Governor of the terri- 
tory west of the Delaware, and he confiscated 
the property belonging to the English govern- 
ment. Scarcely had the authority of the Dutch 
on the Delaware been confirmed and settled 
when a treaty of peace was concluded on the 
9th of February, 1674, by which the territory 
of New Netherland was restored to the Eng- 
lish. King Charles then renewed his grant to 
the Duke of York, and Sir Edmond Andros 
was sent to repossess the government of the ter- 
ritory. On the 9th of November, 1674, he 
issued his proclamation whereby he reinstated 

affairs. Edmund Cantwell was commissioned 
to be captain and schout, and substantially in- 
vested with the power of a Deputy-Governor. 
On the 23d of September, 1676, John Collier 
was appointed to succeed him. Before a year 
expired Collier, on the 24th of August, 1677, 
was deposed by Andros because he had usurped 
the authority of a judge, and Christopher Bil- 
lop was commissioned in his stead. This 
authority continued till 1681, when the terri- 
tory, which included Pennsylvania, was granted 
to William Penn. 

Penn had become interested in the settle- 
ments in America, and especially in the prog- 
ress of civilization on the Delaware River, 
through the purchase of a part of New Jersey 
in company with eleven other persons. His 
father, Admiral William Penn, had distin- 
guished himself by meritorious services under 
the English government, whereby he became 
entitled to a claim of sixteen thousand pounds. 
This claim he bequeathed to his son, and the 
son, in satisfaction thereof, made application for 
a large grant of territory west of the Delaware. 
King Charles II readily consented, for he was 
in great need of money, and he regarded the 
payment of so large a claim against him in this 
manner as a most desirable performance. He 
accordingly granted to him by patent, dated the 
4th of March, 1681, the land applied for and 
named it " Pennsylvania." Penn himself had 
drawn the patent, but it was revised and 
amended by Chief Justice North, " to guard the 
sovereignty of the King and the commercial 
supremacy of Parliament." Many obstacles 
had been thrown in the way of its confirmation 
to him by Lord Baltimore, but his claims and 
solicitations finally prevailed. He then wrote, 
" God will bless and make it the seed of a na- 
tion." On the 2d of April, 1681, the royal 
proclamation announced to all the inhabitants 
of the province that William Penn was their 
absolute proprietary, with all the powers neces- 
sary for its government, and Penn himself also 
issued a proclamation on the 8th of April. It 
was in the following remarkable language : 

"My friends:— I wish you all happiness here 
and hereafter. These are to let you know that it 
hath pleased God in his Providence to cast vou 


within my Lot and Care. It is a business that though 
I never undertook before, yet God has given me an 
understanding of my duty and an honest mind to do 
it uprightly. I hope you will not be troubled at 
your change and the king's choice, for you are now 
fixed at the mercy of no Governor that comes to 
make his fortune great. You shall be governed by 
laws of your own making, and live a free and, if you 
will, a sober and industrious people. I shall not 
usurp the right of any or oppress his person. God 
has furnished me with a better resolution and has 
given me his grace to keep it. In short, whatever 
sober and free men can reasonably desire for the se- 
curity and improvement of their own happiness I 
shall heartily comply with. I beseech God to direct 
you in the way of righteousness, and therein prosper 
you and your children after you. I am your true 
friend, " Wm. Penn." 

Perm was not ready to visit his new province. 
He therefore deputized his kinsman, William 
Markham, a young man, to go and take formal 
possession thereof and act as Deputy-Governor 
until his arrival. Markham proceeded directly 
to New York with the two declarations. There 
he exhibited to the Governor the King's dec- 
laration, and the Governor gave him a letter 
addressed to all the magistrates in the new 
grant, requesting them to transfer their alle- 
giance to the new proprietor. This was on the 
21st of June, 1681. Markham then proceeded 
to the Delaware and made known the contents 
of the declarations entrusted to him. He was 
kindly received and his authority was accordingly 

Markham also had a letter addressed by 
Penn to Lord Baltimore in reference to a set- 
tlement of the boundary line between Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland. By the charter the 
southern line of the province was on the fortieth 
degree of north latitude. This extended upon 
the territory of the province of Maryland. He 
delivered the letter to Baltimore, but they 
could not agree. The controversy about the 
line was kept up for over eighty years. Finally 
an agreement was effected, which was much to 
the advantage of Maryland. The line was sur- 
veyed by two surveyors — Thomas Mason and 
Jeremiah Dixon — who were appointed for this 
purpose in 1763, and located on a line forty 
degrees forty-four minutes north latitude. It 
has since been known as " Mason's and Dixon's 

line," and it marked the division between the 
free and slave States for a hundred years. 

In the fall of 1681 certain commissioners 
from Penn arrived, having been sent by him to 
treat with the Indians, purchase lands from 
them and lay out a great city. In his letter to 
the Indians he addressed them as follows : 

" There is a great God and power that hath made 
the world, and all things therein, to whom you and I 
and all people owe their being and well-being, and to 
whom you and I must one day give an account for all 
that we do in the world. This great God hath written 
his law in our hearts, by which we are taught and 
commanded to love and help and do good to one 
another. Now this great God hath been pleased to 
make me concerned in your part of the world ; and 
the king of the country where I live hath given me 
a great province therein ; but I desire to enjoy it 
with your love and consent that we may always live 
together as neighbors and friends ; else what would 
the great God do to us who hath made us, not to de- 
vour and destroy one another, but to live soberly and 
kindly in the world?" 

After the management of affairs in the prov- 
ince by a Deputy-Governor for over a year, 
Penn himself arrived and assumed personal con- 
trol. He arrived at New Castle on the 27th of 
October, 1682. On the next day he met the 
neighboring inhabitants, consisting of families 
of various nations, — Dutch, Germans, Swedes 
and English. He produced before them his 
charter and deeds of feoffment and explained his 
system of government. The education of rich 
and poor was to be provided for ; justice was to 
be administered without delay ; prisons were to 
be regulated in such a manner as to lead to the 
reformation of criminals; and the penalty of 
death was to be abolished, except in the cases of 
murder and treason. Several days after this 
meeting the Assembly (which had been called 
by Markham to meet for the purpose) adopted 
his frame of government, and from that time 
onward the development of the province was 
wonderful. Philadelphia was then founded 
upon a plan which contemplated the growth of 
a magnificent city. The lands of the province 
were surveyed and settlements were located in 
various directions. Many houses were built; 
immigrants, mostly English and German, came 
in great numbers ; schools were founded ; a 
printing press was set up ; a post was estab- 



lished, and the great outposts of civilization 
were erected. 

Penn was particularly successful in his treaty 
with the natives. He won their unqualified 
confidence. In the following kind and re- 
markable language he expressed his ideas and 
intentions to them : 

" We meet on the broad pathway of good faith and 
good-will ; no advantage shall be taken on either 
side; but all shall be openness and love. I will not 
call you children, for parents sometimes chide their 
children too severely ; nor brothers only, for brothers 
differ. The friendship between me and you I will not 
compare to a chain, for that the rains might rust or 
the falling tree might break. We are the same as if 
one man's body were to be divided into two parts ; 
we are one flesh and blood." 

These words made a deep impression upon 
the Indians, and they replied, — 

" We will live in love with you and your children 
as long as the moon and the sun shall endure." 

And such was the introduction of the English 
government, such the beginning of the promising 
settlements superinduced thereby. Its language 
as well as its laws was the fixed medium of in- 
tercourse. And it could not be disturbed, not- 
withstanding the great immigration of other 
nationalities, especially Germans. These were 
encouraged by the English, especially by the 
policy of William Penn ; and they, acknowledg- 
ing the government as they found it, conducted 
themselves accordingly. And this accounts for 
the continuation of the predominance of Eng- 
lish in every department of life, particularly as 
it concerned trade, legislation and jurisprudence. 

A short sketch of the founder of Pennsylva- 
nia is appropriate in this connection. 

William Penn was born at London, Eng., on 
October 14, 1644. He obtained a thorough 
education at home under a private tutor and 
at Oxford University, and then entered Lin- 
coln's Inn for the purpose of studying law. 
After prosecuting his studies for a while he, in 
1665, accompanied his father, Admiral William 
Penn, to Ireland and took upon himself the 
management of a valuable estate. Subsequently 
he entered the army whilst visiting a prominent 
friend of the family in Ireland, and gained 
some experience as a soldier. Whilst in this ser- 


his portrait was painted, which is said to 
be the onlv genuine portrait of him ever pro- 
duced. He then united with the Society of 
Friends, having been imbued with the principles 
of this sect through the preaching of Thomas 
Loe. His earnest preaching at Cork, in 1667, 
caused his arrest and imprisonment. His re- 
lease was effected through the Earl of Orrery ; 
but he began again with more vigor. His re- 
ligious writings then led to his second arrest, 
when he was imprisoned in the Tower. Whilst 
there he wrote his distinguished religious work, 
entitled, " No Cross, no Crown." His father 
obtained his discharge, but he persisted in ex- 
pressing his opinions and beliefs on the highways 
and in public places, for which he was arrested 
in 1670, and committed to Newgate. He was 
indicted and tried. During the trial he pleaded 
his own cause and the jury acquitted him. But 
he was detained, nevertheless, for a time. The 
jurors were fined for returning such a verdict. 
In Newgate he also wrote a number of religious 
articles, which were published in tracts. In 
1674 he wrote and published an able defense of 
the freedom of conscience and the rights of 
Englishmen, which was entitled, "England's 
Present Interest Considered." In 1677 he ac- 
companied Barclay and others on a mission of 
preaching in Holland and Germany. 

In 1681 he obtained a charter from King 
Charles II for the province of Pennsylvania, 
in satisfaction of a large debt which had been 
owing to his father for meritorious naval services. 
He visited his province in 1682 and remained 
two years. In this time he did many things for 
the welfare of the province. He distinguished 
himself by his kindness to the Indians, who 
gave him in return their unqualified confidence 
and regard. His great treaty with them at 
Kensington in 1682 has been immortalized by 
a masterly painting by Benjamin West, the 
famous American artist. He prepared and pub- 
lished various important papers relating to the 
advantages of Pennsylvania for inducing emi- 
gration thither, in which he was very successful 
with the Germans. In 1686 he secured the 
liberation of over twelve hundred imprisoned 
Quakers, and in 1687 also the passage of the 
" Toleration Act." In 1688 he was tried for 

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treason and acquitted. In 1699 he visited 
Pennsylvania a second time, and, after remain- 
ing two years, he returned to England. In his 
efforts to establish a permanent government, etc. 
in Pennsylvania he became heavily involved with 
debts ; these pressed him so hard that in 1708 
he was imprisoned for debt. His friends, how- 
ever, united in his behalf and effected his release. 
He also had serious and extended litigation iD 
reference to the province, but he eventually 
succeeded in maintaining his grant and the 
rights secured to him under it. He died of 
paralysis at Rushcombe, on July 30, 1718, in 
the seventy-fourth year of his age. His chil- 
dren held, governed and disposed of the prov- 
ince till the Revolution, when they released 
their rights to the commonwealth of Pennsyl- 
vania. 1 

Germans. — Soon after affairs in the pro- 
vince had attained an acknowledged permanent 
character the influx of settlers was won- 
derful. They came over the ocean by ship- 
loads at a time. The Germans were especially 
numerous. In Germany a company had formed 
about 1684 for the purpose of influencing 
emigration. It was called the "Frankfort 
Land Company." It was composed of ten men 
who lived at Frankfort-on-the-Mayne, — G. Van 
Mastrick, Thomas V. Wylick, John Le Bran, 
F. Dan Pastorious, John J. Schuetz, Daniel 
Behagel, Jacobus Van Dewaller, John W. 
Peterson, Johannes Kimber, Balthaser Jowest. 
They entered into articles of association on No- 
vember 24, 1686, and then purchased large 
tracts of land from William Penn, — the Ger- 
mantown patent for five thousand three hundred 
and fifty acres, and the Manatawny patent for 
twenty-two thousand three hundred and sev- 
enty-seven acres. For more than fifty years 
emigration was encouraged. Thousands of the 
emigrants were Palatines ; many proceeded 
from the Palatinate to England upon the invi- 
tation of Queen Anne, and thence she trans- 
ported them to America. Among them were peo- 
ple of all religious denominations, — Mennonites, 
Moravians, Dunkards, Schwenkfelders, Lu- 
therans, German Reformed and Catholics. 

1 See Januey's ''Life of William Penn." 

The tide of emigration from Germany had 
become so great as to awaken apprehension on 
the part of the English, who controlled the 
government. In 1717, Logan, the secretary of 
the province, expressed his fears as follows : 
" We have of late a great number of Palatines 
poured in upon us, without any recommenda- 
tion or notice, which gives the country some 
uneasiness ; foreigners do not so well among us 
as our own English people." And, in 1755, 
Samuel Wharton said that they came in such 
numbers (estimated five thousand in 1754), "I 
see not but that they may soon give us law and 
language too, or else, by joining the French, eject 
all the English." In the years 1749, 1750, 
1751 and 1752 they were especially numerous 
(about twenty-five thousand). Many were poor 
and had not the means of paying their passage. 
Upon their arrival at Philadelphia they were 
sold for a term of years. Their services under 
these indentures discharged the cost of trans- 
portation. In this way they redeemed their 
freedom, and were called " redemptioners." 
The Palatine redemptioners were usually sold 
at ten pounds for a period varying from three 
to five years. The influx of these was particu- 
larly large in the years 1728, 1729, 1737, 1741, 
1750 and 1751. They generally proceeded 
northwardly and westwardly and settled in the 
districts now included in the counties of Mont- 
gomery, Berks, Lancaster, York and Cumber- 
land. Some of these Germans began to settle 
in Oley, Berks County, as early as 1712. They 
were industrious, and they, by their industry, 
soon had the country to show marked improve- 

The Germans were chiefly farmers. Gov- 
ernor Thomas alluded to them when he said, in 
1738: "This Province has been for some 
years the asylum of the distressed Protestants 
of the Palatinate and other parts of Germany ; 
and I believe it may be truthfully said that the 
present flourishing condition of it is in a great 
measure owing to the industry of those people; 
it is not altogether the fertility of the soil, but 
the number and industry of the people, that 
makes a country flourish." 2 

' 4 Col. Rec, 315. 



England encouraged the industrious Germans 
to emigrate to America, but she retained her 
own subjects ; and this class was at one time 
feared. The influx was so great that it was 
thought their numbers would soon produce a 
German colony here, and perhaps such a one 
as Britain once received from Saxony in the 
fifth century. 1 The personal description of the 
territory by Penn himself to the Germans, his 
kindly encouragement to them to emigrate and 
possess its fertile soil and his liberal promises 
of religious toleration and of self-government 
had made a deep impression upon their troubled 
minds ; and corroborating letters to them, sub- 
sequently, from those who emigrated had in- 
clined them to more freely entertain thoughts of 
emigration. And thus influenced, they came 
into Pennsylvania by thousands — by such a 
continuous tide of Immigration for a period of 
over fifty years, that the officers of the govern- 
ment became alarmed for the preservation of 
English laws and the continuation of English 
control. But their fears were not realized, 
though the province became German in charac- 
ter and industry, and in general social and re- 
ligious feeling. 

The Dutch had discovered the country; the 
Swedes had effected the first permanent settle- 
ments in it, but had lost control, not so much 
by want of energy and enterprise as by want of 
encouragement and support from their govern- 
ment; the English had defined the rights of 
property and government and characterized the 
laws, language and associations ; but it remained 
for the Germans to come after these, take pos- 
session of the great portion of its territory and 
control its destiny. This was a fortunate cir- 
cumstance for Pennsylvania. Who will say 
that either of the other nationalities mentioned, 
if they had kept control of the country in all 
its departments, would have shown a qualifica- 
tion to develop it in so great a degree and in 
such harmonious proportions as the German in 
respect to agriculture, industry and population ? 
Who will say that the people would have 
manifested the same general social, political and 
religious tendencies ? Who will say that they 

1 2 Watson's "Annals," 255. 

would have caused such a general distribution 
of land, wealth and power? And who will say 
that they would have created and maintained 
such general social and political equality? 
All these developments, proportions, tendencies 
and equalities are found here now, after the 
lapse of two hundred years. In all these years 
the German influences predominated. Her 
names of persons, her language and her manners 
have been preserved, notwithstanding the gov- 
ernment ordered the names changed to, and 
education taught, and the laws published and 
judicial proceedings recorded in, the English. 
This is an exhibition of inherent natural great- 
ness and power truly wonderful as it is admir- 

Welsh. — The Welsh made early purchases 
from Penn in England, amounting to forty 
thousand acres of land on the west side of the 
Schuylkill River. Their number of settlers had 
multiplied to such an extent before 1692 that 
they settled six townships in Chester County 
within ten years after it had been formed. 
They moved gradually northwardly, and took 
up lands along the head-waters of the Conestoga 
and vicinity. Some of the lands are now in- 
cluded in Caernarvon, Brecknock, Robeson and 
Cumru townships, in Berks County. In 1686 
and 1698 many Welsh families arrived. Among 
them were William Jones, Robert Jones, Thomas 
Evans, Robert Evans, Owen Evans, Cadwalla- 
der Evans, Hugh Griffith and John Humphrey. 
They took up lands by patent. Through them 
certain townships were named. And their de- 
scendants are still on the first settlements. Some 
of these Welsh immigrants moved to the east 
of the Schuylkill, into the district now included 
in Montgomery County, but none of them pro- 
ceeded so far northwardly as to enter the district 
now part of Berks County. Those who entered 
and settled in the county remained to the west 
of the Schuylkill. 

Irish. — Comparatively few Irish immigrants 
settled in Pennsylvania. They were not among 
the first, and their limited number could not 
and did not in the least affect the established 
laws, associations and institutions of the 
province. It was quite different with the Ger- 
mans. The English had possession of the 



territory ; they controlled the government and 
influenced the direction of all the affairs of the 
province. Still the Germans modified every- 
thing. This modification arose not only from 
their great numbers, but also their nature and 

The first Irish immigrants came into the 
province, about 1719. They located mostly 
near the Maryland line, in the territory which 
was then included in Chester County. In 1729 
Logan was apprehensive of evil from the Irish 
settlers. The common fear was that if they 
continued to come in such numbers as they 
were then coming, all Ireland would be here 
and they would eventually make themselves 
proprietors of the province. The Assembly 
deemed it advisable to levy a tax of twenty 
shillings on each servant in order to discourage 
their immigration. He thought it strange that 
they continued to crowd into places where they 
were not wanted. Many convicts were among 
them. This was the alarming feature. Even 
the Indians feared a breach between them and 
the settlers, because the Irish were rough to 
them. And in 1730 he complained of the 
audacious and disorderly manners of the Scotch- 
Irish in forcibly taking possession of Conestoga 
manor. They were dispossessed and their huts 
were burned. Thirty-three years afterwards 
they figured conspicuously in the cruel massacre 
of the Indians at Conestoga. 

In 1735 and 1740 Scotch-Irish immigrants 
settled in the territory beyond the Susquehanna 
River, in what was then Lancaster County, now 
in York and Adams Counties. They came 
from Scotland and the north of Ireland. The 
Germans had settled in the upper section, or 
York County, and the Scotch-Irish in the lower, 
or Adams County. Their respective nationali- 
ties preserved them distinct peoples and 
eventually led them to separate into two distinct 
county organizations. The names of the Scotch- 
Irish are particularly prevalent in Adams 
County. The settlers were principally of the 
better class of peasantry and the lands are to a 
great degree still possessed by their descendants. 
They were recognized for their intelligence, in- 
dustry and morality. These qualities have been 
very successfully transmitted to the present 

time and have exerted a beneficent influence 
over the people of the district in several re- 
spects, social, industrial and political. I could 
not discover any settlement of this class in 
Berks County. 


Penn's Charter. — The original charter, as 
prepared by Penn, supervised and amended 
by the crown officers, and granted by King 
Charles the Second on the 4th of March, 1681, 
is a long document. In order to avoid its en- 
tire publication in this history, to save time to 
the general reader in obtaining a knowledge of 
its contents and to make it more intelligible, I 
have condensed it in the following manner : 

In the preamble Charles II., King, etc., gives all 
people to know that William Penn, out of a com- 
mendable desire to enlarge the English empire and to 
promote such useful commodities beneficial to her do- 
minions, as well as to reduce the savage natives by 
gentle and just manners to the love of civil society 
and Christian religion — had applied for a grant of a 
certain part of America not yet cultivated and 

Section 1. — Recognizing the services of his father, 
Admiral William Penn, to the government in the war 
against the Dutch, in 1665, and favoring his petition, 
the King granted unto William Penn, his heirs and 
assigns, the large body of land now known to us as 
the State of Pennsylvania. 

Section 2.- — Grants all harbours, rivers, etc., fishes 
and ores, with free egress, ingress and regress. 

Section 3. — Creates Penn proprietary, requires alle- 
giance and the payment of an annual rent of two 
beaver-skins and of one-fifth of all gold and silver-ore 
found on the premises, and names the province 

Section 4. — Confers authority to make and execute 
laws, raise money for public use, etc. 

Section 5. — Grants authority to create courts with 
incidental powers. 

Section 6. — Grants authority to make ordinances 
for the government of the people, and direct the law 
of descent to continue as in England, until altered. 

Section 7. — Directs that a transcript of its laws shall 
be forwarded to the privy council of England, which, 
if found inconsistent with the government, shall be 
declared void. 

Section 8.— Gives the right to English subjects to 
emigrate to Pennsylvania. 

Section 9. — Grants license to carry on trade with 
any English ports, subject to customs, duties, etc. 



Section 10. — Grants the right to subdivide the terri- 
tory, to create boroughs, markets, etc. 

Section 11. — Requires all commodities, etc., ex- 
ported, to be unloaded in the ports of England, and, 
after one year, permits trade with other countries, 
subject to duties, etc. 

Section 12. — Grants power to erect ports, harbors, 

Section 13. — Grants power to assess and collect cus- 
toms, etc., at the port, etc. 

Section 14. — Requires an agent to be located at Lon- 
don to answer offenses, etc., against the laws of Eng- 
land, etc. 

Section 15. — Prohibits correspondence with any 
King, etc., at war with the English government , or 
warfare with any power at peace with the govern- 

Section 16. — Grants right to create military for pro- 
tection, and to pursue and vanquish enemies, robbers, 

Section 17. — Grants right to dispose of divided ter- 
ritory in fee or subject to rents, etc. 

Section 18. — Confirms all sales of estates to be made 
to purchasers. 

Section 19. — Grants license to purchasers to erect 
manors and establish courts-baron with incidental 

Section 20. — Prohibits the levy of customs or taxes 
without the consent of the proprietary and his Assem- 
bly, or of the English Parliament. 

Section 21. — Requires from all courts and judges a 
recognition of this charter. 

Section 22. — Provides for the sending of preachers 
on application of twenty inhabitants. 

Section 23. — Requires the most favorable construc- 
tion of the charter to be made for the proprietary, 
etc., but which shall not prejudice allegiance, rents, 

On the 11th of July, 1681, William Penn 
agreed upon certain conditions for the regula- 
tion of affairs in his province. These condi- 
tions consisted of twenty paragraphs. The first 
ten paragraphs referred to the location of a 
town, the laying out of roads, lots, etc., and the 
improvement of lots by possession, etc. 

The 11th and 12th provided for the purchase and 
sale of articles in a public market. 

In the 13th offenders, whether settlers or natives, 
were to be punished according to law. 

In the 14th Indian offenders were to be tried by a 
mixed jury of twelve men, half Indians and half 

In the 15th Indians were to enjoy equal rights with 
planters, for improving property, etc. 

In the 16th English laws relating to slander, drunk- 
enness, cursing, trespassing, etc., were to govern. 

In the 17th all live stock should be marked within 
three months, otherwise to be forfeited to the Gov- 

In the 18th every acre in five acres, in clearing off 
land, was to be kept in woods, especially oak-trees for 
shipping, and mulberry trees for silk. 

In the 19th shipmasters, upon their arrival, were 
to give names of passengers, describe freight, etc, with- 
in two days afterwards. 

And in the 20th all persons who intended to leave 
the province were to publish their intention. 

Subsequently Penn published three frames or 
plans of government, a table of laws and a 
Charter of Privileges. The first frame, with its 
preface, was published April 25, 1682; the 
table of laws May 5, 1682; the second frame 
April 2, 1683; the third frame November 7, 
1696 ; and the Charter of Privileges October 28, 
1701. All these charters, frames, etc., appear 
in full in the first volume of the Colonial Records 
of Pennsylvania and cover nearly fifty pages, 
closely printed. 

First Frame. — Penn introduces the first 
frame by a superior preface. In it he refers to 
the necessity of government through the sinful- 
ness and disobedience of man, and he regards 
government not only useful for purposes of cor- 
rection, but for the care and regulation of our 
many daily affairs which make up much the 
greatest part of it. Men entertained different 
notions about systems of government ; all sys- 
tems were modified in the course of time, and 
each system had its admirers. But he regarded 
that government free to the people under it, 
whatever its frame, where the laws ruled and 
the people were a party to the laws. 

" Governments like clocks " — said he — " go from the 
motion men give them, and as governments are made 
and moved by men, so by them they are ruined, too. 
Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than 
men upon governments. Let men be good and the 
government cannot be bad ; if it be ill, they will cure 
it. But, if men be bad, let the government be never 
so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to 
their turn. I know some say, let us have good laws 
and no matter for the men that execute them ; but let 
them consider that, though good laws do well, good 
men do better; for good laws may want good men, 
and be abolished or evaded by ill men; but good men 
will never want good laws nor suffer ill ones. It is 
true, good laws have some awe upon ill ministers, but 
that is where they have not power to escape or 
abolish them, and the people are generally wise and 



good ; but a loose and depraved people love laws and 
an administration like themselves. That, therefore, 
which makes a good constitution, must keep it, name- 
ly, men of wisdom and virtue — qualities that, because 
they descend not with worldly inheritances, must be 
carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth ; 
for which after ages will owe more to the care and 
prudence of founders and the successive magistracy 
than to their parents for their private patrimonies." 

These are certainly words of wisdom and 
worthy our sincere consideration even at this 
day, two hundred years after they were given 
to the first settlers. 

The English laws had prevailed over i 
the territory before the control of it 
passed to Penn. These are now known 
as the " Duke of York's Laws." They 
were published by authority of the 
State of Pennsylvania in 1789. They 
were considerably modified by the laws 
and privileges agreed upon and given 
by Penn. Under these provisions, 
privileges, etc., the government was 
continued till the people of the Ameri- 
can colonies declared their freedom 
from English rule and enacted laws 
by their own representation. 1 

The Continental Congress passed a 
resolution on May 15, 1776, recom- 
mending the total suppression of all 
authority under the King of Great Bri- 
tain. In pursuance of this recommend- 
ation, a Provincial Conference was held 
in Carpenter Hall, at Philadelphia, on 
Tuesday, June 18, 1776, which was 
attended by representatives from all 
the counties in the province, then eleven 
in number. The representatives — or 
delegates, as they were called — from 
Berks County were Jacob Morgan, 
Henry Haller, Mark Bird, Bodo Otto, 
Benjamin Spyker, Daniel Hunter, Val- 
entine Eckert, Nicholas Lotz, Joseph 
and Charles Shoemaker. 

This conference decided that a Provincial 
Convention should be called to meet on Mon- 
day, July 15, 1776, "for the express purpose 

of forming a new government in this province 
on the authority of the people only." It pro- 
vided the qualifications of electors, fixed the 
number of representatives from each county 
and the time of their election, ordered an address 
to the people to be prepared, and agreed upon a 
Declaration of Independence for the colony. 

At the time appointed the convention as- 
sembled. The delegates who represented Berks 
County were Jacob Morgan, Gabriel Hiester, 
John Lesher, Benjamin Spyker, Daniel Hunter, 



1 In reference to petitions to royal government for change 
of proprietary government, see Gordon's "History of 

Pennsylvania," pp. 413 to 423. 


Valentine Eckert, Charles Shoemaker 
Thomas Jones, Jr. 

Constitution op 1776. — A Constitution was 
adopted on September 28, 1776. It consisted 
of a Preamble, Declaration of Rights and Frame 
of Government, and it was signed by all the 
delegates present. There were some absentees, 
amongst them being two from Berks County, 



John Lesher and Daniel Hunter. The Declara- 
tion of Rights was reported by a committee of 
eleven delegates, including one member from 
Berks County, John Lesher. 

Representatives' Feame of Govern- 
ment. — The frame of government adopted by 
the representatives of the people provided, — 

" That the commonwealth should be governed by a 
single house of representatives, with the executive 
power vested in a president and council ; that courts 
of justice should be established in every county and 
judges commissioned, etc.; that militia should be 
trained ; that the electors, representatives and assem- 
bly should have certain qualifications, powers, etc.; 
that business should be done openly and published 
regularly; that representation should be rated ac- 
cording to inhabitants ; that the council should con- 
sist of twelve members (one from Berks), for three 
years, with certain powers; that officers should be 
liable to impeachment; that trials should be by jury ; 
that courts should be held quarterly, and be open, 
and administer justice impartially, without corrup- 
tion or unnecessary delay, and their officers be paid 
adequate, but moderate salaries; that debtors should 
not be imprisoned after bona fide surrender of their 
property, and prisoners , should be bailable without 
excessive bail ; that each district should elect a jus- 
tice of the peace for seven years, and a sheriff and 
coroner for one year ; that all elections should be by 
ballot, free and voluntary; that all office fees, etc., 
should be paid into the treasury ; that each county 
should have a register, a recorder and commissioners, 
all removable at pleasure; that printing presses should 
be free; that every freeman should have some trade 
or occupation, and that public offices of profit should 
be discouraged; that entails and penal laws should 
be regulated, and jails established; that officers should 
be qualified by oath ; that taxes should alone be lev- 
ied by law, with purpose expressed; that every for- 
eigner, after allegiance, should be permitted to hold 
property, etc. ; that inhabitants should be permitted 
to hunt and fish ; that schools should be established 
in each county; that virtue and religion should be 
encouraged and vice prevented, and that a council of 
censors — two from each county — should be elected, 
with certain powers, etc., to meet in 1783, and every 
seventh year thereafter." 

Censors. — By the forty-seventh section of 
this frame of government, a provision was 
made for the election of censors, who were "to 
inquire whether the Constitution was preserved 
inviolate in every part." James Read and 
Baltzer Gehr were chosen to represent Berks 
County. The council met in October, 1783. 
James Read was appointed on the committee to 

make the inquiry provided for. This commit- 
tee reported in August, 1784, against a con- 
vention. Both Read and Gehr agreed to the 
report. There were some dissenters. Reasons 
for and against it were entered. Gehr signed 
those for it, and Read those against it ; but he 
"would have it understood that he had senti- 
ments as favorable to the constitution as any 
from whom he dissented." Remonstrances, 
signed by eighteen thousand citizens, were pre- 
sented to the council, protesting against the 
calling of a convention for altering or amend- 
ing the constitution. An address to the free- 
men of Pennsylvania was then ordered to be 
published. Read voted for it; but Gehr did 
not vote. 

Convention of 1789-90. — The General 
Assembly of the State met on March 24, 1789. 
The representatives from Berks County were 
Joseph Hiester, Gabriel Hiester, Joseph Sands, 
John Ludwig and Daniel Brodhead. The 
Assembly determined that alterations and 
amendments to the Constitution of 1776 were 
necessary. Sands and Brodhead voted in the 
affirmative, Ludwig in the negative; both 
Hiesters were absent. 

The Assembly met again on September 15, 
1789. A resolution was reported by a com- 
mittee of the whole Assembly, favoring the 
calling of a convention to amend the Constitu- 
tion, which was adopted. Sands, Brodhead and 
Ludwig voted in the affirmative; Gabriel 
Hiester in the negative ; Joseph Hiester did not 
vote. Delegates were accordingly elected by 
each of the districts in the State. In Berks 
County they were Joseph Hiester, Christopher 
Lower, Abraham Lincoln, Paul Groscop and 
Baltzer Gehr. The convention assembled in 
the State-House, at Philadelphia, on November 
24, 1789, and a New Constitution was adopted 
and all the delegates subscribed it on September 
2, 1790. The delegates from Berks voted 
generally on v the same side of questions. It 
was then submitted to the people by a special 
election and adopted. 

Constitution of 1790.— This Constitution 
comprised nine articles : 

Article 1st provided for a Legislature tobe composed 



of two houses — Senate and Assembly— and fixed 
qualifications, powers, terms, etc. 

Article 2d vested supreme executive power in a 
Governor and fixed his qualifications, powers and 

Article 3d created elective franchise and fixed 
qualification of electors. 

Article 4th provided for impeachment of civil 

Article 5th vested judicial power in various courts 
and fixed terms and power of judges, and created 
office of register and recorder. 

Article 6th provided for appointment of sheriffs and 
coroners by the Governor for military discipline, for 
location of county officers, for State commissioners, 
for State treasurer and all other officers, State and 

Article 7th provided for the establishment of 
schools, promotion of arts and sciences, and preserva- 
tion of religious freedom and corporate powers. 

Article 8th provided qualification of Assembly and 
all State and county officers by oath. 

Article 9th provided a Declaration of Rights. It 
contained twenty-six sections, copied after the Decla- 
ration of 1776, but arranged differently, with some 
important amendments. 

A schedule was added, by which provision 
was made for the alteration and amendment of 
the Constitution. 

This Constitution was continued as the 
general political law of the State until the 
adoption of a new Constitution in 1873. In 
the mean time efforts were made to improve it. 
On March 28, 1825, an act of Assembly was 
passed providing for an election, at the next 
succeeding election, to ascertain the opinion of 
the people relative to the call of a Constitu- 
tional Convention ; but the people decided by 
ballot that such a convention should not be 
called. The vote was : For it — 44,474 ; against 
it, 59,884— a majority of 15,410. In Berks 
County it was : For it, 752 ; against it, 3757 — a 
majority of 3005. In 1837, however, such a 
convention was duly assembled at Harrisburg, 
and amended the Constitution in various par- 
ticulars, which amendment was adopted by the 
people at an election in October, T.838. The 
vote in the State was : For it, 113,971 ; against 
it, 112,759 — a majority of 1212; and in Berks 
County: For it, 5823 ; against it, 3883— a 
majority of 1940. The delegates from Berks 
County were John Eitter, George M. Keim, 
Win, High, Mark Darrah and James Donagan. 

Amendments. — Subsequently, until the adop- 
tion of the new Constitution of 1873, amend- 
ments were proposed by act of Assembly and 
ratified by election. 

The first amendment was made in 1850. It 
provided for the election of all the judges of 
the commonwealth. The vote was : For it, 
144,578; against it, 71,982— majority, 72,596; 
and Berks County vote : For it, 5160 ; against it, 
3552 ; majority, 1608. 

This was considered a wise political move- 
ment. It is right in principle, but it is ques- 
tionable whether the people were then, or even 
in 1873, possessed of sufficient independence in 
political knowledge, thought and action as to 
have enabled them to dispose of so important a 
matter by the exercise of their political fran- 
chise. This amendment transferred the matter 
of the fitness of the candidate for judicial 
power from the lawyer and prominent citizen 
to the politicians, and of the appointment from 
the Governor to the people. 

The second amendment was made in 1857. 
It provided for — 

1st. The contraction of debts owing by the State. 

2d. The erection of new counties. 

3d. The apportionment of Representatives; and the 
term of State Senator to be three years. 

4th. The alteration or revocation of charters if 
found injurious to the people. 

And a third amendment was made in 1864, 
which provided for the right of suffrage to elec- 
tors in the military service. 

Besides these amendents the State Legislature 
ratified the several amendments of the Constitu- 
tion of the United States by Congress, relating 
to the abolition of slavery and to the exercise 
of political suffrage without respect to race, 
color or previous condition of servitude. 

Constitution of 1873. — The advancement 
of the people in wealth, of politicians in influ- 
ence, of corporations in power and of legislation 
in behalf of special classes and localities in a 
period of fourscore years had rendered a new, 
fundamental, general law necessary. The com- 
plaints had become both loud and numerous, 
and they had proceeded from all quarters of the 
State. The selfishness of men had grown be- 
yond their judgment and integrity. The good 



of the people had come to be of minor import- 
ance. Self-aggrandizement in wealth and power 
had been set up as the great idol of men who 
were at the head of the various important affairs 
and enterprises of the State. A general feeling 
had come to prevail throughout the State that 
political ambition and influence, corporate power 
and special legislation should have to be checked 
on the one hand, and considerably modified on 
the other, in order to have these important 
agencies to subserve the public welfare. 

An act of Assembly was therefore proposed 
and passed in 1871. It provided for the call- 
ing of a general convention to amend the Con- 
stitution of the State. It was submitted to the 
people at the October election of 1871 and 
ratified. The vote was: For it, 331,169; against 
it, 71,369,— majority, 259,800. Berks County 
vote : For it, 5269 ; against it, 10,905, — majori- 
ty against it, 5636. 

The following delegates were elected to repre- 
sent Berks County : Ceorge G. Barclay, Henry 
W. Smith and Henry Van Beed. 

The convention first assembled at Harrisburg 
in November, 1872. After sitting there two 
weeks it adjourned to reconvene at Philadel- 
phia on January 7, 1873. After reconvening 
it deliberated many weeks. It had a great work 
on hand, and many minds had to be satisfied in 
respect to many proposed improvements. Great 
discussions ensued. The proceedings are pre- 
served in nine large volumes. With all the 
ability, time and expense of the convention, the 
work was generally not satisfactory. But it was 
the best that so large and various a body could 
do. The Constitution as modified was submitted 
to the people on December 16, 1873, and rati- 
fied. The vote was : For it, 252,744 ; against 
it, 108,594,— majority, 144,150. Berks County 
vote : For it, 9114 ; against it, 1866, — majority, 

At best such a great body of laws cannot be 
perfect. The ingenuity of men to subserve their 
own ends and interests would seem to be equal 
to the task of discovering the weakness of the 
laws. In the language of Penn, — " If men be 
bad, let the government be never so good, they 
will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their 
turn." What the State needs more than a good 

Constitution is good men ; for if they find it 
weak, they will strengthen it for the common 
good of all. 


Immediately after Penn had obtained his 
charter for the province, and had begun his ad- 
ministration of its various affairs, he negotiated 
with the Indians for the purchase of their lands. 
He regarded them as the rightful owners of the 
territory by virtue of their possession. King, 
Charles disagreed with him, and claimed the 
territory by right of discovery. Penn won- 
dered then whether the King would admit title 
to England in the Indians if they should chance 
to discover it in the King's possession. 

Many purchases were made by him. He 
gave in consideration for the land mostly arti- 
cles which the Indians regarded as useful, such 
as blankets, coats, guns, powder, lead, etc. Com- 
paratively little money was paid to them. Bum 
was occasionally given. The accompanying 
map shows the extent and time of the various 

There are two deeds for lands, included in 
Berks County, in which we are particularly in- 
terested. 1 One is dated 7th of September, 1732. 
It is from Sassoonan, alias Allummapis, sachem 
of the Schuylkill Indians, in the province of 
Pennsylvania, Elalapis, Ohopamen, Pesqueeto- 
men, Mayeemoe, Partridge and Tepakoaset, alias 
Joe, on behalf of themselves and all the other 
Indians of the said nation, unto John Penn, 
Thomas Penn and Bichard Penn. The territory 
contained in the grant is described as follows : 
" All those tracts of land or lands lying on or 
near the river Schuylkill, in the said province, 
or any of the branches, streams, fountains or 
springs thereof, eastward or westward, and all 
the lands lying in or near any swamps, marshes, 
fens or meadows, the waters or streams of which 
flow into or toward the said river Schuylkill 
situate, lying and being between those hills 
called Lechay Hills and those called Keekach- 
tanemin Hills, which cross the said river Schuyl- 

1 The lower section of the county, lying southwardly of 
the South Mountain, or " Lechay Hill," was released by 
the Indians in 1718, it having been included in previous 
purchases of territory. 



kill about thirty miles above the said Lechay 
Hills, and all land whatsoever lying within the 
said bounds ; and between the branches of Del- 
aware river, on the eastern side of the said land, 
and the branches or streams running into the 
river Susquehannah, on the western side of the 
said land, together with all mines, minerals, 
quarries, waters, rivers, creeks, woods, timber 
and trees, with all and every the appurtenances, 

The consideration mentioned in the deed 
consisted of the following articles : 

" 20 brass kettles, 100 stroudwater matchcoats of 
two yards each, 100 duffels do., 100 blankets, 100 yards 
of half tick, 60 linen shirts, 20 hats, 6 made coats, 12 
pairs of shoes and buckles, 30 pair of stockings, 300 
lbs. of gun powder, 600 lbs. of lead, 20 fine guns, 12 
gun locks, 50 tomahawks or hatchets, 50 planting 
hoes, 120 knives, 60 pair of scissors, 100 tobacco tongs, 
24 looking-glasses, 40 tobacco boxes, 1000 flints, 5 
pounds of paint, 24 dozen of gartering, 6 dozen of rib- 
bons, 12 dozen of rings, 200 awl blades, 100 pounds of 
tobacco, 400 tobacco pipes, 20 gallons of rum and fifty 
pounds in money." l 

Lingahonoa, one of the Schuylkill Indians, 
executed the deed on the 12th of July, 1742, 
upon receiving his full share and proportion of 
the several goods mentioned, he " happening not 
to be present when his brethren signed and exe- 
cuted the same." His execution was attested by 
Benjamin Franklin, William Peters, Conrad 
Weiser and Lynford Lardner. 2 

The other deed is dated 22d August, 1749. 
It is from nine different tribes of Indians unto 
Thomas Penn and Richard Penn. The several 
tribes were represented by their chiefs, who ap- 
peared and executed the deed in their behalf, 
namely : 

Oneyders (Oneidas). 

* Tachneedorus. 

Anuchnaxqua. Sagoguchiathon. 

Saristagnoah. Cachnaora Katack-ke. 



Cayuikers (Cayugas). Backsinosa. 
Tawis Tawis. Mohocks. 

Kacnoaraaseha. Peter Ontachsax. 

Ta Kachquontas. Christian Diaryhogon. 

Tuscurrorows. Belawares. 

Tyierox. Nutimus. 

Ralichwananach-shy. Qualpaghach. 

Onontagers. Sinichers (Senecas). 

Canasatega. Cayianockea. 

Sataganackly. Hanatsany. 

Kanalshyiacayon. Agash Tass. 

Canechwadeeron. Caruchianachqui. 

The consideration was five hundred pounds 
lawful money of Pennsylvania. The tract of 
land conveyed lay north of the Blue Mountain 
and extended from the Delaware on the east to 
the Susquehanna on the west. It included the 
whole of Schuylkill County. 3 

Conrad Weiser was the interpreter for the 
Indians in this transfer. 


The following statement contains the coun- 
ties erected in the State and arranged in chrono- 
logical order : 

1682. — By order of William Penn, three counties 
were laid out in the southeastern section of Pennsyl- 
vania, in November, 1682, — Bucks, Chester and Phil- 
adelphia. Subsequently the counties were erected by 
the Assembly and the Legislature, upon petition from 
the inhabitants. 

1729. — Lancaster was formed from a part of Ches- 
ter, and erected May 10, 1729. 

1749. — York, part of Lancaster, August 10, 1749. 

1750. — Cumberland, part of Lancaster, January 27, 

1752. — Berks, parts of Chester, Philadelphia and 
Lancaster, March 11, 1752. Northampton, part of 
Bucks, same day. 

1771.— Bedford, part of Cumberland, March 9, 1771. 

1772. — Northumberland, parts of Lancaster, Cum- 
berland, Bedford, Berks and Northampton, March 21, 

1773—Westmoreland, part of Bedford, February 

26, 1773. 

These eleven counties participated in the 
Declaration of Independence and in the War of 
the Revolution for its establishment. They 
comprised the entire territory of the State, 
though many districts were not yet settled. 

The following fifty-six counties were erected 
after 1776. They are arranged chronologically 
to show the development of the State. The re- 
spective districts of the State were necessarily 
created into county organizations as they be- 
came well occupied by settlers. Certain counties 
at first included very great areas of territory, as 

*1 Penna. Arch., 344-345. 

* lb. 346. 

»2 Penna. Arch., 33-36. 



in the case of Northumberland, which, in 1772, 
included about a third part of the State ; but the 
remaining portions, which were left after the 
reductions had been made, generally indicated 
the locality of the first considerable permanent 
settlements. This is somewhat remarkable. 
Berks County at first included all the territory 
which lay between the present eastern and 
western boundary lines extended to the northern 
line of the State. The first settlements beyond 
the Blue Mountain were quite naturally made 
in that part now included in Schuylkill 
County, but Northumberland County was 
erected many years before Schuylkill County, 
not because it possessed more settlers, but be- 
cause they were so far distant from the county- 
seat (Reading), whereby they suffered great in- 
convenience and expense in attending to local 
affairs, requiring attendance at court, etc. The 
number of settlers was comparatively few, but 
the number of inhabitants in that district of 
Schuylkill, which was taken from Berks in 
1811, was over six thousand. It was not set 
apart into a separate county at an earlier time 
for the reason that the several townships were 
not considered inconvenient in respect to dis- 
tance from the county-seat. 

1781. — Washington was formed out of part of West- 
moreland, March 28, 1781. 

1783. — Fayette, also part of Westmoreland, Sep- 
tember 26, 1783. 

1784. — Franklin, part of Cumberland, September 
9, 1784. Montgomery, part of Philadelphia, Septem- 
ber 10, 1784. 

1785. — Dauphin, part of Lancaster, March 4, 1785. 

1786.— Luzerne, part of Northumberland, Septem- 
ber 25, 1786. 

1787.— Huntingdon, part of Bedford, September 
20, 1787. 

1788. — Allegheny, parts of Westmoreland and 
Washington, September'^, 1788. 

1789. — Mifflin, parts of Cumberland and Northum- 
berland, September 19, 1789. Delaware, part of Ches- 
ter, September 26, 1789. 

1795.— Lycoming, part of Northumberland, April 
13, 1795. Somerset, part of Bedford, April 17, 1795. 

1796. — Greene, part of Washington, February 9 

1798.— Wayne, part of Northampton, March 21 

1800.— Adams, part of York, January 22, 1800. 
Centre, parts of Northumberland, Huntingdon, Mif- 
flin and Lycoming, February 13, 1800. Armstrong, 

parts of Westmoreland, Allegheny and Lycoming, 
March 12, 1800. Beaver, parts of Washington and 
Allegheny, same day. Butler, part of Allegheny, 
same day. Crawford, part of Allegheny, same day. 
Erie, part of Allegheny, same day. Mercer, part of 
Allegheny, same day. Venango, parts of Allegheny 
and Lycoming, same day. Warren, parts of Alle- 
gheny and Lycoming, same day. 

1803.— Indiana, parts of Westmoreland and Lyco- 
ming, March 30, 1803. 

1804. — Cambria, parts of Bedford, Huntingdon and 
Somerset, March 26, 1804. Clearfield, parts of Nor- 
thumberland, Huntingdon and Lycoming, same day. 
Jefferson, part of Lycoming, same day. McKean, 
part of Lycoming, same day. Potter, part of Lyco- 
ming, same day. Tioga, part of Lycoming, same day. 

1810. — Bradford, parts of Luzerne and Lycoming, 
February 21, 1810. Susquehanna, part of Luzerne, 
same day. 

1811. — Schuylkill, parts of Berks and Northamp- 
ton, March 1, 1811. 

1812. — Lehigh, part of Northampton, March 6, 

1813. — Lebanon, parts of Lancaster and Dauphin, 
February 16, 1813. Columbia, part of Northumber- 
land, March 22, 1813. Union, part of Northumber- 
land, same day. 

1814.— Pike, part of Wayne, March 26, 1814. 

1820.— Perry, part of Cumberland, March 22, 1820. 

1831.— Juniata, part'of Mifflin, March 2, 1831. 

1836. — Monroe, parts of Northampton and Pike, 
April 1, 1836. 

1839. — Clarion, parts of Armstrong and Venango, 
March 11, 1839. Clinton, parts of Lycoming and 
Centre, June 21, 1839. 

1842.— Wyoming, part of Luzerne, April 4, 1842. 

1843.— Carbon, parts of Northampton and Monroe, 
March 13, 1843. Elk, parts of Clearfield, Jefferson 
and McKean, April 18, 1843. 

1846.— Blair, parts of Bedford and Huntingdon, 
February 26, 1846. 

1847.— Sullivan, part of Lycoming, March 15, 1847. 

1848.— Forest, part of Jefferson, April 11, 1848, 
(part of Venango added, October 31, 1866). 

1849.— Lawrence, parts of Beaver and Mercer, 
March 20, 1849. 

1850— Fulton, part of Bedford, April 19, 1850. 
Montour, part of Columbia, May 3, 1850. 

1855.— Snyder, part of Union, March 2, 1855. 

I860.— Cameron, parts of McKean, Potter, Clinton 
and Elk, March 29, 1860. 

1878.— Lackawanna, part of Luzerne, August 21, 

The State comprises sixty-seven counties. 


The development of Pennsylvania from a vast 
uncultivated wilderness in the possession of un- 



civilized Indians, through a period of two hun- 
dred and fifty years, into a productive country 
in the possession of progressive Christians lias 
been truly wonderful. The course of improve- 
ment in this long period of time is indescribable, 
— a period long, very long, to us who can at best 
comprehend only several scores of years in our 
lives and by our experiences, but when com- 
pared with the march in countries whence our 
early settlers emigrated it is small, and when 
compared with ancient countries, such as Greece 
and Egypt, it is insignificant. 

Population and Territory. — In 1681, 
when Penn obtained possession of the province, 
he estimated the population at one thousand, 
including all nationalities. Two hundred years 
afterward, by the census of 1 880, it was 4,282,- 
891 ; and now it is four and a half millions. 
Then all the territory in the actual possession 
of the early settlers amounted to only several 
hundred square miles, and this lay along the 
Delaware River, in the vicinity of and below 
Philadelphia, and it was improved merely with 
ordinary buildings for domestic use; and the 
combined wealth could not have exceeded a 
million of dollars. Now, the State comprises 
forty-five thousand square miles — an extent of 
country three hundred miles long and one hun- 
dred and fifty miles wide — and this vast area is 
improved with buildings of every description, 
and roads and turnpikes, and canals and rail- 
roads, which facilitate life and intercourse and 
transportation to a surprising degree, and the 
combined wealth counts into billions of dollars. 

First Century. — The first century was 
devoted almost entirely to rapid influx of set- 
tlers, to taking up land in tracts varying mostly 
from one hundred to four hundred acres and 
improving the same with dwellings and barns, 
to laying out public roads from settlement to 
settlement in every direction, and to organizing 
townships and counties and courts of justice. 
Agriculture was the principal employment of 
the inhabitants ; but numerous trades and voca- 
tions were pursued to supply necessary articles. 
In this time the population increased to about 
four hundred thousand. This was certainly a 
large increase ; and it can be said that immi- 
gration was the most marked feature during 

this century in the development of the pro- 

Second Century. — The second century 
began under a dark and threatening cloud. 
The inhabitants had grown in strength, not 
only in respect to number, but also in respect 
to industry and wealth, to social influence and 
to feelings for political independence and ambi- 
tion for local power. And this strength was 
being tested in their efforts to establish represen- 
tative government entirely from the people 
through the terrible trials and losses of war. 
It proved strong enough for victory. With the 
Revolutionary War over, in the first few years, 
this century then started out earnestly with 
grand prospects for the years to come, similar, 
at least, if not superior, to those foreshadowed 
by the liberal policy of Penn. From a single 
individual, who fortunately possessed excep- 
tional views in behalf of mankind, the power of 
government passed to the whole community. 
Under the beneficent influences which proceeded 
from this change these prospects have been 
fully realized ; indeed, the results have sur- 
passed the highest expectations of the most san- 
guine advocates of the new system. 

Government. — Government was the prin- 
cipal subject which engrossed the public atten- 
tion for the first decade and it was a compre- 
hensive one for the time. But how admirably 
the people came to master it, not by themselves, 
but through the fortunate selection of compe- ' 
tent representatives ! We may, indeed, ask 
how such men came to be selected, what senti- 
ments led public feeling in the right direction 
and created such a unanimity of purpose. It 
was not accident. It resulted from general re- 
spect for learning and fitness, which superinduced 
men who were not qualified for responsible 
positions to show no desire for office or polit- 
ical preferment. Our early Governors and 
judges were exceptional men. In respect to 
prominence, they stood out above the great mass 
of the people just as certain high oaks appear 
above the surrounding trees in a wide forest. 
In the course of time, as decade after decade 
passed away, it cannot be said that we have 
maintained this state of political affairs. Lat- 
terly, especially, men obtain offices through acci- 



dent, without any preparation for the positions 
which they are called upon to fill, and without 
any prominence to designate them as men for 
the times. And if recognized fitness and prom- 
inence were characteristics worthy of considera- 
tion in the early history of our representative 
government, when we had a population num- 
bering only four hundred thousand, how much 
more should they be now, when we have a popu- 
lation exceeding four million, with numerous 
interests which involve enormous appropriations 
of money and require the greatest possible exhi- 
bition of wisdom, honor and courage for their 
directions towards subserving the public wel- 

Internal, Improvements. — The next sub- 
ject in point of prominence was internal im- 
provements. When the century began we had 
nothing in this respect beyond public roads, 
not even bridges to facilitate the crossing of 
flowing rivers. But a decade had hardly 
passed before turnpikes and canals were sug- 
gested ; and the half of the century had not 
elapsed before we had turnpikes and canals, and 
bridges and railroads. These were, indeed, 
rapid strides in advance of the closing period of 
the first century. They were superinduced by 
the energy of trade and transportation, and by 
the great demands of the time for all kinds of 
manufactured articles, through rapidly increas- 
ing population. The discovery of coal and the 
•application of steam to motive-power encour- 
aged the development of these valuable im- 
provements. Rut in this behalf iron-ore exerted 
the strongest influence. These three agents 
placed the State foremost of all the States in 
respect to internal improvements, and brought 
her energy to such a condition of activity that 
her productions alone exceeded those of all the 
other States together. 1 In connection with this 
subject I must mention manufactures, — for in- 

1 This has been the case at least in iron articles, coal and 
petroleum. Pennsylvania has always produced one-half of 
the pig-iron cast in the United States, and more than one- 
half of the iron and steel rails, and of the steel ingots. In 
1883 the production was as follows : 

Tons Tons Tons 

Pig Iron. Rails. Ingots. 

United States . . 5,146,972 1,360,694 214,134 

Pennsylvania . . 2,638,891 857.818 136,020 

ternal improvements and manufactures in our 
great State have traveled together side by side. 
The latter necessarily preceded the former, for 
they required a way for convenient and rapid 
transportation so as to answer the demands of 
the growing communities. The life and wealth 
and progress of the State within the last fifty 
years are attributable mainly to them. Phila- 
delphia is particularly indebted to them for 
remarkable increase of wealth, influence and 
population. The county of Berks has ever been 
active in encouraging and carrying on industries 
of various kinds, such as furnaces, forges, mills, 
shops and factories, — especially the county-seat, 
Beading. In this respect our county stands out 
as boldly as any other district in the State. 

Education. — In looking over the various 
affairs of the State, the subject of education is 
prominent. Before 1834 there was legislation 
encouraging the education of children in the 
several counties throughout the State, but there 
was no fixed system for its regulation, and 
therefore its results were not successful. In 
1834 a general system was devised, but it was 
not compulsory. The spirit of improvement 
labored on, and through its influences amend- 
ments of the system were made at different 
times. Finally, in 1854, each county was re- 
quired to elect a superintendent for the purpose 
of supervising the system and of giving it 
proper direction ; and when this important 
factor was introduced the progress of general 
education began in earnest. The intellectual 
development of the people, through the increas- 
ing liberality of the State in this behalf for the 
last half-century, has been as remarkable on the 
one hand as successful on the other. In the 
matter of school buildings and teaching, es- 
pecially in the boroughs and cities, a great 
improvement is apparent in every section. The 
contrast of the present with the past is very 
marked. The education afforded by means of 
our colleges, academies, seminaries and numerous 
pay-schools is worthy of notice. They are an 
important element in this great cause, and are 
entitled to much credit in the intellectual pro- 
gress of the people ; indeed, the greater part 
of the credit for thorough and advanced 



The following statistics show the progress of common- 

school education in the State : 


No. of 

No. of 

No. of 

No. of 

from State. 


for building. 

for teaching, etc. 


2240 1 















5,403,636 2 

1 Not including Philadelphia. 

2 Total expenses, $9,463,221. 

Buildings. — The buildings throughout the 
State for the transaction of public business also 
exhibit great progress; and the private build- 
ings, both for business and domestic uses, are 
particularly expressive of taste, enterprise and 
liberality. Some of the buildings erected by 
corporations, such as railroad companies, bank- 
ing companies, insurance companies and pub- 
lishing companies, are imposing structures which 
call forth our admiration. This spirit is grow- 
ing so rapidly that, through active competi- 
tion, we are drifting into extravagance, if we 
have not already reached that point in improve- 
ments of this kind. It were well for us if the 
structures represented so much actual wealth, 
clear of debt; but, unfortunately, many of them 
are encumbered to such an extent as to amount 
to a burden upon our energy, especially that 
part which is carried away in rents and interest 
beyond the limits of the State. And the church 
buildings can be mentioned in this connection. 
Many of them are truly magnificent. But their 
magnificence is overshadowed by extravagance 
and expensiveness, and, in many cases, by ac- 
tual debt. We have a prevailing spirit that 
conceives and inculcates the idea that grand 
structures, with or without debts, will lead 
worldly people "unto the Lord," and direct 
their steps into paths of Christian virtue; yet 
this same spirit tolerates the suffering of many 
poor people and the gradual degradation of 
many poor children. And this spirit, besides 
exciting generosity in behalf of costly buildings 
with great spires, also gathers large sums of 
money, in every community, for foreign mis- 
sions, notwithstanding crimes and offenses and 
unlawful practices of various kinds blot our 

social life, and notwithstanding the tendency to 
continue them, if not to multiply them, obtains 
a stronger hold upon the present generation. 
The taxes, assessments and collections of all 
kinds, taken together, amount truly to an enor- 
mous sum. 

Railroad corporations are improving the 
State in every quarter. Their enterprise and 
generosity excite our amazement. But do we 
realize the debt which rests upon these improve- 
ments, — the interest which is carried away? 
Municipal corporations possess a similar spirit ; 
they have beautified towns and cities with mag- 
nificent structures. But what of the alarming 
debts ? what of the heavy taxes upon our en- 
ergy and industry? This spirit was actually 
running away with councilmen and legislators, 
and public sentiment finally arose and put a 
limit, if not a check, to their extravagance by 
legislative enactment. Insurance companies, ' 
against death and fire, display everywhere a 
similar spirit. What buildings, indeed, and 
what salaries and commissions to officers and 
agents ! Are they not a burden, instead of a 
benefit, as now conducted, taking away from 
us more than they are returning ? Their busi- 
ness is truly enormous. They are so success- 
ful, indeed, that from their collections they not 
only erect costly buildings and pay extravagant 
salaries, but return our money for our obliga- 
tions, thus leading us into paying interest be- 
sides assessments. Theatres and public halls 
could also be mentioned. Altogether, we have 
buildings that are truly wonderful. But what 
of the burdens which they have occasioned? 
What of the strain upon our energy ? What 
of the drain from our income ? What of the 



tendency to elevate and empower capital and 
to humiliate and weaken labor ? 

Under all we seem to thrive. The improve- 
ments are evidence of enrichment. But who 
can say that this condition of 'our State is not 
really an evil. If it is, what is the remedy to 
cure it? We must reverse the tendency of 
drawing our people from the rural districts, we 
must direct their energy back into simple and 
small communities, and the results of their la- 
bor into local improvements ; we must scatter 
the people more from the large cities into vil- 
lages and towns ; we must encourage numerous 
populous places throughout the, valleys ' of 
our State rather than boast of great cities with 
hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of in- 
habitants ; we must distribute wealth and politi- 
cal power more amongst our towns and town- 
ships and counties rather than concentrate them 
in one large metropolis, more amongst the people 
ratherthanina limited number of capitalists and 
party leaders. 

Inventions. — In referring to the several in- 
fluences' which have been incessantly at work in 
our gradual development as a State, I cannot 
overlook the productions of genius in respect to 
discoveries and inventions. A history of them 
in the order of their presentation to us would 
be not only very interesting, but also valuable. 
They have exerted a wonderful power over our 
actions. Our progress is mainly attributable to 
them. By comparing the situation of the 
people throughout the State in 1776, without 
the use of coal, steam, petroleum, gas and elec- 
tricity, railroads and bridges, telegraphs and 
telephones, and labor-saving machines — such as 
the mower, reaper, binder, planter and thresher, 
the sewing-machines and the machinery of var- 
ious kinds for manufacturing goods out of iron 
and wood, cotton and wool, etc., — with our sit- 
uation in 1876, in the possession of all these 
things, we can readily see and appreciate the 
great progress which we have made. 

The wealth which we now enjoy has come 
to us mostly through them ; and they are 
the things that continue from generation to 

i Railroads are draining income from labor more and 
more into large cities; but they are developing and popu- 
lating interior districts rapidly. 

generation. People come and go, wealth is 
unstable like water, government fluctuates with 
the passions of mankind ; but discoveries and 
inventions never leave us, — they contain those 
eternal principles which survive the revolutions 
of governments and the struggle of rival nations, 
and they witness the change and antagonism, 
of progressing and succeeding religions. These 
governments and nations and religions have 
their different measures and standards and 
theories, providing one set of opinions for one 
age and another set for another age ; but they, in 
the onward course of time, pass away like a 
dream. The discoveries of genius, the inventions 
of practical minds, alone survive. 

Patriotism. — The patriotism of Pennsylva- 
nia during the several trying periods of our 
country, especially during the Revolution and 
Rebellion, stands out like a bold, grand monu- 
ment above all our achievements. Her people 
have not only shown great ability in developing 
her resources, her influence and her power, but 
also devotion to the principles of political inde- 
pendence and unity. As her share of assistance to 
the general government in prosecuting the Civil 
War to a successful conclusion, she furnished 
millions of money and over three hundred and 
sixty thousand soldiers, a number exceeding one- 
tenth of her population. In the course of her 
brilliant history she has exhibited energy and 
liberality enough on the one hand to create a 
country; but, in the hour of peril, she has mani- 
fested power and devotion enough on the other 
to preserve it. 

Troops were furnished as follows : 

1861 130,594 

1862 , 71,100 

1863 43,046 

1864 91,704 

1865 25,840 

The population in 1860 was 2,906,215. 
Agriculture.— In concluding this brief 
narrative of the development of Pennsylvania, 
I must mention a subject which, if not more im- 
portant than the subjects already mentioned, is, 
nevertheless, equally prominent — it is agricul- 

The great majority of our people have been 



engaged from the time of our earliest settlements 
till now in this enriching department of labor. 
It was a necessary employment with which to 
begin the settlement and improvement of a 
new country. The immigrants came qualified to 
carry it on successfully. They possessed all the 
qualifications for pioneer farmers — physical 
strength and determination, industry and econo- 
my, and practical judgment and perception. 
Before the Revolution, everything was depend- 
ent upon them. They were the motive-power 
which set the whole community moving in the 
several avenues of life. In matters of labor, 
government and religion they constituted the 
one great element of society which was indis- 
pensable. If they had been taken away, the 
province would have returned to its primitive 
state. Hence they were the agency which ele- 
vated the country above the condition in which 
it had been held by the aborigines for centuries. 1 
Their improvements extended mostly throughout 
the eastern and southeastern sections, which lay 
to the east of and about the Susquehanna River, 
and comprised about one-fourth of the area of 
the province ; and these were effected altogether 
by actual manual labor, without the aid of labor- 
saving implements and machinery, a fact worthy 
of especial mention. After the Revolution, for 
at least fifty years, the general condition of agri- 
culture remained about the same in respect to 
influence. It was extended more thoroughly 
throughout the territory of the State beyond the 
Susquehanna River. But the genius of man 
then, decade after decade, began to introduce 
new subjects which invited capital and energy 
into new channels, especially for improved high- 
ways, and shops, mills and factories of various 
kinds. The spirit of concentration gradually 
led away a considerable part of this strong in- 
fluence from agriculture and directed it into 
capital and into political and social power, and 
it was made to subserve the welfare of persons 
rather than the welfare of communities. The 
majority of persons still continued for some time 

'Pennsylvania took the lead of all the colonies in agricul- 
ture. In 1751 the exports in grain were, — wheat, 86,000 
bushels; flour, 129,960 bushels; Indian corn, 90,743 
bushels ; and the total amount of exports then exceeded 
one million of dollars. — Eupp. 

in agriculture, and agriculture was benefited' 
in various ways by improved transportation and 
by labor-saving machinery. But its real inde- 
pendence grew less, and it would seem to have 
grown less as mechanical power developed itself 
into greater prominence and usefulness. The ten- 
dency of legislation was gradually directed to- 
wards capital through steam and coal and iron 
and manufactured products, rather than agricul- 
ture through manual labor and the products of 
the soil — towards towns and metropolitan places 
rather than towards the larger divisions of ter- 
ritory, such as townships and counties — towards 
the leaders of wealth rather than towards the 
people. Hence, the country districts did not ad- 
vance in as marked a manner in respect to pop- 
ulation and wealth as towns and cities advanced. 
The total productions of agriculture have in- 
creased wonderfully during this century, es- 
pecially during the last three decades. This 
arose mostly through the introduction of im- 
proved farming implements and machinery, the 
clearing of land and the increase of farms for 
agricultural purposes. The general live-stock 
and barns and dwellings have been improved in 
character and value. More attention has been 
directed latterly to the successful cultivation of 
fruit. The general condition of farmers has 
been elevated very much ; but as a prominent 
class in the State they do not give that direction 
to various important affairs — political, social 
and religious — which they naturally should give 
by reason of their number and wealth. 

The following statistics are submitted in this 
connection to show the general progress of agri- 
culture ; but they reveal also the power and 
profit of manufactures as compared with agri- 
culture. The investment in farms, implements 
and stock is over one billion dollars, the income 
not two hundred million, or one-fifth ; but the 
investment in manufactures does not amount to 
one billion dollars, and yet the income is nearly 
seven hundred and fifty million, or three- 
fourths of the investment. 

In 1880 the total population of the State 
over ten years of age, was 3,203,215. The 
number engaged in agriculture was 301, 112. 2 

* In manufacturing and mining industries, 528,277. 



Productions of grain, etc., for the following years 

. i 

Wheat, bushels 

Rye, bushels 

Oats, bushels 

Corn, bushels 

Potatoes, bushels 

Wool, pounds 

Hay, tons 

Tobacco, pounds 

Improved farms, acres 

Value of farms 

Value of implements, etc, 
Live stock 





















































Statistics on manufactures for comparison with foregoing table : 























Capital invested , 








Geology — Minerals — Botany — Mountains — Valleys — 
Streams — Relative Elevations. 


Science, in her survey of the earth, has recog- 
nized three kingdoms of nature — first, the an- 
imal ; second, the plant ; and third, the crystal. 
The animal and plant are both endowed with 
life. This life commences from a germ and 
grows by means of imbibed nutriment. In its 
growth it passes through a series of changes and 
a gradual development until it reaches the 
adult state, wherein it continues to death. In 
its adult state it evolves new germs or seeds, 
and thus it multiplies life after its own kind. 
But the crystal is a lifeless object. It begins in 
a nucleal molecule or particle, and it enlarges 
by external addition or accretion alone. There- 
fore it has no development. It simply exists. 
It does not reproduce particles after its kind. 

The earth in the beginning was like a germ. 

United States Census Reports, 1880. 

It was brought to its present condition through 
a series of changes or progressive formations. 
Like an animal or plant, it has its special sys- 
tems of interior and exterior structure, condi- 
tions, movements and changes. Under the 
guidance and the appointed law of an Infinite 
Mind it passed through a regular course of 
growth or history, and, like the animal or plant, 
it has also individuality. 

In the grand system of the universe, the earth 
holds a very subordinate position. The sun is 
the centre of this system, and the. earth is only 
one of his smaller satellites. The sun is four- 
teen hundred thousand times larger. It is esti- 
mated that this system has a radius of three 
thousand million miles. The nearest star to 
the earth is seven thousand times farther off 
than the planet Neptune, and Neptune is dis- 
tant two billion six hundred and fifty-five mil- 
lion miles. Thus it appears that the earth, 
though vast to us, is only a very little object in 
the universe. Through gravitation, light, me- 
teoric stones and the moon, we learn that there 
is oneness of law throughout space. From 
these we can say that the laws which govern 



the earth are the laws which govern the uni- 
verse; and, though it is but an atom in immen- 
sity, it is, nevertheless, immensity itself in the 
revelations of truth. 

The earth is in form almost a perfect sphere. 
It is somewhat flattened at its poles. Its equa- 
torial diameter is 7926 miles, and its polar 
7900 miles. Its circumference is 24,899 miles. 
Its entire surface comprises 197,000,000 square 
miles. The surface is composed of land and 
water ; about one-fourth part is land and three- 
fourths water. It is divided into two hemi- 
spheres — the eastern and western. The land 
surface of the western hemisphere comprises 
fourteen million five hundred thousand square 
miles. The whole of this hemisphere is called 
America. The northern portion is North 
America and the southern South America. The 
surface of North America comprises seven mil- 
lion nine hundred and eighty thousand square 
miles. The United States occupy the central 
part, and extend from the Atlantic Ocean on 
the east to the Pacific Ocean on the west, and 
from the British possessions on the north to 
Mexico on the south. They comprise two mil- 
lion three hundred thousand square miles. 
Pennsylvania is one of these States and com- 
prises forty-six thousand square miles. It is 
divided into sixty-seven counties. Berks County 
is one of them and comprises eight hundred and 
twenty-two square miles, or five hundred and 
twenty-six thousand square acres. To us this 
county is a great and important tract of country; 
yet, by comparison, what a speck it is on the 
earth ! But the natural laws which govern its 
people, its animals and plants, its waters, etc., 
are the same as those which govern the people, 
animals, plants and waters of the whole earth. 

In treating of the earth as an individual ex- 
istence in the universe, we must consider, first, 
its geology in respect to structure and develop- 
ment; second, its physiography in respect to 
surface arrangements and physical changes ; 
and third, its relation to man in respect to the 
distribution of races and their progression. Ge- 
ology has been divided into four sub-divisions 
— historical, lithological, dynamical and phy- 
siographical. The first treats of the successive 
stages in the formation of the earth's structure 

and the concurrent steps in the progress of life, 
through past time ; the second of the constitu- 
ents of this structure ; the third, of the active 
forces and mechanical agencies which were the 
means of physical progress ; and the fourth, of 
the systematic external form and feature of the 

The progress of the earth's development is 
marked by ages. These ages are not separated by 
distinct dividing lines. All efforts to make such 
divisions have been fruitless. The culminant 
phases of different periods are traced in the pro- 
gress of development, and each culmination is 
the centre of a separate period. But the germ 
of that period was long working onward in pre- 
ceding time before it finally came to its full 
development and stood forth as the characteris- 
tic of a new era of progress. Geologists recog- 
nize five ages. The first age is the Azoic. It 
is so called because it is without life. It is 
admitted that at one time the earth was in a 
state of universal fusion. The period inter- 
vening between this state and when the cli- 
mate and waters had become fitted for animal 
life is called the Azoic age. The second 
is the Palaeozoic, or ancient. In this age 
there are three periods : 1, the Silurian or 
period of Mollusks ; 2, the Devonian, or period 
of Fishes ; and 3, the Carboniferous, or period 
of Coal Plants. The third is the Mesozoic, or 
middle, the age of Reptiles. The fourth is the 
Cenozoic, or recent, the age of Mammals. And 
the fifth is the Age of Man, or era of mind. 1 

Professor H. D. Rogers made the First Geo- 
logical Survey of Pennsylvania during the years 
from 1836 to 1857 ; and published a geological 
map in 1858. In the section of the State which 
includes Berks County, there are four principal 
strata. These extend through the county from 
north-east to south-west. 

First. The Matinal, in trie northern section. It 
occupies about two-fifths part of the county. 

Second. The Auroral, in the upper central section. 
It occupies about two-fifths part. 

Third. The Gneiss and Primal, in the lower central 
section. It occupies about one-fifth part. 

Fourth. The Mesozoic Red sandstone, in the south- 
ern section. It occupies about two-fifths part. 

1 Dapa's " Manual of Geology." 



The first three are placed by him in the 
Lower Palaeozoic Age, and the last is placed in 
the Upper Palceozoic. 

The Azoic Age is also represented in the 
southern 'section, in the South Mountain and in 
the Welsh Mountain. By some geologists it is 
called the Laurentian system. The Palaeozoic 
or older secondary system, beginning with No. 
1 Potsdam sandstone, is represented in Penn's 
Mount, a spur of South Mountain, at the 
" White Spot." This system is magnificently 
developed throughout the entire State. 

Dr. John P. Hiester published a Geological 
Map of Berks County in 1854, which was 
copied from the Rogers Survey. A copy of 
this map is presented in this chapter. The 
streams and creeks on the map illustrate admir- 
ably the distribution of water and the general 
topography of the county. At that time there 
were twenty-five iron-ore mines in the county, 
as indicated on the map. Other mines have 
been opened since, especially in the East Penn 
Valley. The construction and operation of the 
railroad caused them to be developed rapidly. 
Several mines are not indicated on the map, 
though they were operated, at least had been 
discovered then, notably Boyertown (on Iron- 
stone Creek), Seisholtzville (at head-waters of 
Perkiomen Creek) and Heffner's (several miles 
east of Coxtown, now Fleetwood). 


Mineralogy is that branch of natural science 
which treats of the different kinds of ores, com- 
position of the rocks and stones, etc., and 
teaches us to distinguish their properties and 
classify them. There are sixty-eight different 
elements, or separate substances in the material 
world. Everything, therefore, must be com- 
posed of one or more of these elements. Oxy- 
gen comprises one-fifth of the air, eight-ninths of 
the water, three-fourths of all animal bodies 
and about one-half of the crust of the earth ; 
hydrogen, one-ninth of the water ; and carbon 
is a large constituent of limestones, marbles and 
magnesian rocks. The other elements are less 
abundant ; and as their abundance diminishes, 

1 From articles published in Spirit of Berks, at Reading, 
by Professor D. B. Brunner, in 1881, 

their value among mineralogists increases. 
Among the precious stones, the diamond is the 
most valuable, and among the metals, vanadium. 
Iron is worth one cent a pound, silver $18.60, 
gold $299.72, and vanadium $4792.40. To 
the best of the knowledge and belief of the 
mineralogists of Reading, vanadium has no 
existence within the confines of Berks County. 

About one-third of the elements form the 
mass of the earth, and these are found in Berks 
County. Most of the others are found only in 
a few localities in the world, and in very small 
quantities. The few simple elements met with 
everywhere are compounded by the operations 
of nature in wonderful and astonishingly fine 
and exact proportions. These elements are 
combined in an infinite number of ways, and so 
minutely that it requires the highest scientific 
skill to separate them. The crystallization in 
minerals, the result of a combination of the 
elements, is often so small that its forms can 
only be seen with a powerful microscope. So 
varied are they that Dana (who is one of the 
best authorities in mineralogy) has described 
six thousand five hundred ; and new ones are 
added yearly. 

Gold. — It is known to some persons, and to 
others it may be a great surprise, that we have 
gold in Berks County, in the immediate vicinity 
of Reading ; at least so says the eminent chem- 
ist, Professor Charles M. Wetherill, Ph.D., 
M.D. Dr. Wetherill made an examination of 
rocks, and reported the results of his search to 
the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 
December, 1854. In his report he says, — 

" Tn a paper upon the occurrence of gold in Penn- 
sylvania, I alluded to an auriferous quartz in the neigh- 
borhood of Reading, Pa., and the examination of 
which afforded me slight, though uncertain, traces of 
gold. I stated at the close of the article that I had 
no doubt that a more careful examination of the 
rocks in the vicinity would yield affirmative results in 
an examination for this metal. ... I have noticed 
this quartz scattered over the ground in various parts 
of Berks County, some bearing very strong gold charac- 
teristics ; they are partially water- worn, but the angles 
are moderately sharp. On breaking them open, the 
inclosed masses of dark oxide of iron are apparent." 

Silver. — The most reliable information 
about silver in Berks County is from the pen 



of Dr. Wetherill. In speaking of a heap of 
stones at the junction of Eighth and Ninth 
Streets, he says, — 

" Eighth Street quartz— 65 grammes x 130 litharge 
x 10 black flux gave a lead button of 14 grammes, 
and silver .0075, which contained gold beyond a 
doubt, as judged from its lustre and resistance to 
nitric acid. 

" Another portion of quartz from the same locality 
— 200 grammes x 400 litharge x.5 charcoal dust, gave 
lead 17 grammes, silver .00875, containing gold, 
though not as distinctly as the last. 

"Quartz from Jonathan Deininger's field — 185 
grammes, 370 litharge x.5 charcoal gave 20 grammes 
of lead, containing .00825 silver, in which no gold 
could be detected." 

By looking at the figures denoting the quantity 
of silver, it would, at first sight, appear to be 
infinitesimal ; but when it is remembered that 
the quantity of ore from which it was taken, 
was only one hundred and eighty-five grammes, 
and that a ton of the same rock would have 
produced over forty pounds of silver or seven 
hundred and fifty dollars, it will be seen that, 
if there were a large body of the argentiferous 
quartz, yielding the same per cent, of silver, the | 
mine would be a very remunerative one. 
Judging from the geological formation of North 
Reading, it is probable that the argentiferous 
quartz is not found in a body in or along the 
mountain, but in isolated fragments scattered 
over the alluvial soil in the valley. 

Professor H. W. Hollenbush, who had a 
large experience in mineralogy and visited every 
" nook and corner" in Berks County, exhibited 
a few years ago a beautiful globule of pure silver 
which he obtained from a fragment of a rock 
found in the northwestern part of Oley town- 
ship. He returned and investigated the local- 
ity for silver, but he found nothing. 

Some twenty years ago, there was found in 
Alsace township, a mile and a half north of 
Fies' Hotel, a combination of the elements 
among which silver was supposed to be con- 
spicuous. A small organization was formed to 
extract the silver from the refractory elements. 
The party secured the services of an expert, who 
had charge of the mining and smelting opera- 
tions. After a large amount of labor had been 
expended in drilling the hard rock and getting 

it out of its natural bed, it was thought advis- 
able to smelt the ore on hand and see what 
quantity of silver it contained. A foundry was 
rented at the foot of Penn Street, a crucible ob- 
tained and a quantity of the ore smelted. At 
the proper time the stockholders of the "Gneiss 
Silver Mining Company" were invited to see 
the shining metal poured out of the crucible, 
and behold ! there was enough silver in it to 
make a half-dollar! The operator asked for 
more funds to purchase the necessary apparatus 
to carry on the operations more successfully. 
The stockholders paid over the required amount, 
but the operator went to Philadelphia and 
never returned. It was supposed that the 
operator had put a half-dollar into the crucible 
with the ore. No further effort was made to 
obtain silver from the ore. 

Copper. — Copper combines with many of 
the other elements, and in consequence of this 
combination about fifty different minerals are 
found in which copper forms one of the con- 
stituents; six of these varieties are found in 
Berks, viz., — chalcopyrite, chrysocolla, mala- 
chite, azurite, oxyd of copper, bornite and ven- 

Copper is found at various places in the 
county, but there is only one locality, Jones' 
mine, in the eastern part of Caernarvon township, 
near Joanna Station, in which it has been found 
in such quantities as to make the mining re- 
munerative. There being no record of the 
opening of this copper shaft, we give only such 
information as we obtained from the oldest per- 
sons still living, who spent the earlier part of 
their lives in the vicinity of the mine. Mrs. 
Lavinia Simmers (nearly eighty-four years of 
age) said that she could remember distinctly 
when the first search was made for copper. It 
was about seventy-five years ago (1806) when 
the first mining operations began there, by Cap- 
tain Thomas, who had obtained the privilege 
from the owner of the land. Richard Trealich 
was the superintendent of the mine, and he was 
assisted by two men named Ryfert and Oldfield. 
These were Englishmen. A building was erected 
at the large excavation. The slate for the roof, 
some building material and the machinery for 
operating the mine were brought from Eog- 



land ; and it being before the time of railroads, 
they were conveyed from New York in wag- 


It appears that Richard Trealich was a miner 
of great experience, because subsequent excava- 
tions proved that he sank a shaft near the spot 
where the richest copper was deposited. The 
miners descended perpendicularly one hundred 
feet, then drove a short distance northeast and 
sank a shaft eighty feet, making the entire 
depth of the shaft one hundred and eighty feet. 
In the bottom of the shaft a very hard rock was 
met, showing that the miners had struck a 
different geological formation. In sinking the 
shaft Alexander Young lost an eye and another 
man was crippled by an accidental blast. Shortly 
afterward Anthony Petz, while looking down 
the shaft at the pumping machinery, inadver- 
tently got his head under the bob and had it 

A considerable amount of copper-ore was 
taken out of the shaft. They had no fur- 
nace to smelt the ore, so Thomas erected one 
about midway between the present house and 
barn. The ore was smelted in crucibles ; but 
the furnace and its fixtures being imperfect 
and the ore not yielding a very high percentage, 
it is believed Thomas did not obtain enough of 
copper to pay his expenses ; at least the mining 
was not profitable. In 1814 the machinery was 
taken away. The copper-mine was then idle 
until 1838, when it was operated by a man 
named Sands, who realized a considerable 
amount of money from the copper. In 1840 a 
Mr. Simons endeavored to get a lease on the 
mine ; but failing, after strenuous efforts, he 
commenced to take out ore and continued until 
1854 without paying a royalty. 

There were at that time only two copper fur- 
naces in this part of the country : one at Tyson's, 
in Baltimore, and the other in Jersey City. Mr. 
Simons hauled much, if not all of his ore, with 
wagons to Jersey City. With all this expense 
and inconvenience in transportation, he is said 
to have realized considerable money. He 
separated the copper from all the other minerals 
by a process called "jigging" and "bucking." 
These operations were performed as follows : 
The ore was taken to the Conestoga Creek, and 

there placed into sieves which were immersed 
in barrels filled with water, and by a "jig" 
movement the dirt was washed out and the re- 
fuse worked on the top and scraped off. The 
copper-ore, then almost free from impurities, 
was put into barrels, for convenience in trans- 

From 1850 to 1854 the mine was in the 
hands of the American Mining Company, 
whose branch office was in New York. This 
company also sent the ore to Jersey City, and 
was reported to have been successful. 

The mine was lying idle from 1854 till 1869, 
when it was operated by the Schuylkill Copper 
Company, of Phcenixville, under the superin- 
tendence of James Harvey. This company 
opened a place a little farther east of the shaft, 
and took out a copper clay, which yielded about 
six per cent, of copper. Some of this clay was 
sent to England and the rest to Jersey City, till 
the company at Jersey City broke up ; then the 
Copper Company at Phcenixville erected a 
furnace and smelted all the clay which the 
mine produced till 1878. They then abandoned 
the mine, and it has been idle since. This clay 
runs in veins a few feet thick. It is believed 
by some that it is far from being exhausted. 

At this mine are found fine specimens of 
malachite, chalcopyrite, chrysocolla, bornite and 

Iron. — Iron ore has been found in the county 
in very great quantities. It is not known when 
mining for this ore began in this vicinity. The 
first places were doubtless in Colebrookdale and 
Caernarvon townships. Its rich deposits have 
been a source of great wealth to the county. 
They have caused forges and furnaces to be 
erected in every section, which have been 
worked almost constantly till now. The Boy- 
ertown Mines and the Jones Mines are particu- 
larly prominent. The East Penn Valley has 
supplied immense quantities of this ore. The 
total weight carried away cannot be estimated. 

In 1882 there were over one hundred mines 
in successful operation, whose annual produc- 
tion exceeded three hundred thousand tons. They 
then furnished constant employment to over a 
thousand men and brought into our county over 
a million of dollars. The many improvements 



in Schuylkill and East Penn Valleys indicate 
the prosperity" afforded through this single 
source — iron-ore. 

The annual product of the county in 1880 
was two hundred and fifty-two thousand nine 
hundred and forty tons. The Census Report 
placed the county third in the list of ore-pro- 
ducing counties in Pennsylvania — Lehigh hav- 
ing been first and Lebanon second. In the en- 
tire country, our county was seventh. 

The following are the prominent mines in the 
county with the per centum of iron in the ore : ' 

Ikon Mines. — Primitive ore is designated by an 
asterisk (*) ; hematite ore is designated by a dagger (f). 


Per cent. 

1st Eange, Gap Mine* 30 

2d " Eock " * 39^1 

3d " Ginkinger Mine* 45-52 

4th " WeilerMine* 52 

Wetzel's* 38 

Miller* 48-53 

Dunkel* 40 

Gardner* 35 

Marateller* 42-57 

Mickley* 50 

Boyer* 43 

Frederick* 35 

Fritch & Bro* 22 

Tatham* 29 

Mertztownf 2 • 49 

Klein f 45 

Lewis f 44 

Trexler f 52 

Merkelf 47 

Zieglerf 45 


Farmingtouf (at least twenty) 


Kutzf 45 

Levanf 45 

Bieberf 45 

Matzf 45 

Miller f 45 


Moselem Mines (4)t 50 

Eothermelf 50 

Schaefferf 45 

Kieferf 50 

Old Heffnerf.' 45 

Heffnerf 45 

' See Geol. Survey Berks Co., vol.B. 3-ii. pp. 237 to 
2 Kaolin also. 

Ruscomb -manor. 

Clymer* 59 

Tunnel* , 35 


Schwartz & Kutzf 

Udreef 40 

Mellertf 45-50 

Medary f " 

Messersmithf " 

Kelchnerf " 

Schollenbergerf " 

Hochf " 


Siesholtzville* 22 

Bittenbender * 45 

Gehman* 41-66 



Landis* 56 

Barto* 38 

Stauffer* 39 

Gilbert* 49 

Gilberg* 49 

Sparr* 30 

Eline* 30 


Eohrbach* 60 

Lobach (red oxide) 45 


Beitler* 64 


Dotterer (red oxide) 30 


. Oley* 25 

Taliey* 30 

Weaverf 2 50 

Hunter f 

Manwiller f 


Hartman * 


Miller* 37 

Eckert* 37 


California* 40-50 

Gabel* " 




Jones * 


Fritz Island* 54 


Eureka f 48 


Wheatfield* 37 

Eaub* 37 

Buth* 42 

Seitzingerf 44 

Muhlenberg f 41 




The following alphabetical catalogue contains 
the names of all the minerals which have been 
found in Berks County : * 

Allanite is found on Haines', Rhoads' and Schrce- 
der's farms, near Pricetown, in Ruscomb-manor 
township. It is associated with magnetite and zir- 
con. The mineral is black, and was named after T. 
Allen, the discoverer. 

Allophane has been found, in small quantities, 
at Jones' mine, in the eastern part of Caernarvon 
township. It occurs in fine white and sky-blue mam- 
millary and stalactitic masses. 

Apatite is a phosphate of lime, and crystallizes in 
six-sided prisms of a greenish color. It is found in 
magnetite at Jones' Mine, and in serpentine in 
Ruth's Mine. 

Aeagonite. — (See Calcite.) 

Amphibole, — a hornblendic rock, which extends 
over a large portion of the county. The best speci- 
mens are found in the vicinity of Antietam Lake. 
It takes different forms, according to the locality, viz., 
that of Actinolite, at Jones' Mine ; Asbestos, at Earl- 
ville, on the Manatawny, and at Antietam Lake ; of 
Mountain Leather, at Boyertown, and on Mr. Ezra 
High's farm, a mile south of Reading, in a cut of 
the Pennsylvania Schuylkill Valley Railroad, from 
which specimens a foot square have been obtained; 
of Hornblende, a constituent of many of the South 
Mountain rocks, on Henry Ruth's farm, Mohnsville; 
and of Byssolite, at Antietam Lake and in Long- 
swamp township. 

Apophyllite. — (See Zeolites.) 

Aueichalcite is reported to have been found at 
Jones' mine and on Fritz's Island; but it has been of 
very rare occurrence. 

Aztjrite, in fine azure-blue crystallization, was 
obtained, a few years ago, at Jones' Mine and on 
Fritz's Island. 

Baeite occurs, abundantly associated with other 
mineral matter, at Mt. JEtna (Tulpehocken town- 
ship), which, when it is struck, emits an odor resem- 
bling sulphureted hydrogen, and hence it is called 
Fetid Baryta. 

Boenite is a sulphuret of copper of a brilliant red 
and blue color. Very fine specimens are found at 
Jones' Mine and on Fritz's Island. 

Beucite,— a hydrate of magnesia,— takes its name 
from Dr. Bruce, of New York, the discoverer. It is 
of a yellowish tint, and is met with on Fritz's Island, 
both laminar and botryoidal. A vein of this mineral 
was also struck in Ruth's Mine. 

Calcite,— a carbonate of lime,— is found in various 
forms through the extensive limestone formation of 

l The author is indebted to Professor D. B. Brunner, of 
Reading, for this catalogue of minerals, he having pre- 
pared it expressly for this history. 

the county. Very beautiful acicular crystals and 
botryoidal coatings of this mineral are found at 
Jones' Mine, which are called Aragonite, from Ara- 
gon, a place in Spain where the crystallization was 
first discovered. ; It is also found on Fritz's Island, 
Ruth's and Wheatfield Mines, and in Crystal Cave. 
From its peculiar crystallization at the Big Dam, 
Fritz's Island and Luckenbill's Cave, it is called 
Dog-Tooth Spar. It is met with in some parts of 
Bern and Cumru townships, in rhombohedral crys- 
tals, and is called Gale- Spar. 

Chalcocite — from chalcos, copper — is a sulphide 
of the mineral. It crystallizes in rhombs, and occurs 
sparingly at Fritz's Island and Jones' Mine. 

Chalcopieite — copper pyrites — occurs at Fritz's 
Island, Jones' Mine and Boyertown. 

Chloeite — from chloros, green — is found at Fritz's 
Island, Jones' Mine, Wheatfield and Ruth's Mine. 

Chloropal is a silicate of iron, and is found in 

the hills in the neighborhood of Longswamp Church. 

Cheysocolla — from chrusos, gold, and holla, glue 

— is a silicate of copper of a blue or green color^ and 

is met with at Jones' Mine and Fritz's Island. 

Chrysolite — from chrusos, gold, and lithos, stone 
— is composed principally of silica and magnesia, and 
occurs in thin layers on Fritz's Island and Ruth's 

Copper. — Large quantities of copper-ore were taken 
out of Jones' Mine some years ago. The iron-ore 
and rocks are saturated with copper, but the percent- 
age is too small, and the process of working the ore is 
too expensive, to be remunerative. Fritz's Island, 
Wheatfield and Boyertown also contain small veins 
of copper. 

Damourite — named after the French chemist, 
Damour— is found on Jacob Fox's farm, in Ruscomb- 
manor township; at the Rockland Forge of a yellow- 
ish pale-green color, with a pearly lustre, found in 
masses, with lilac quartz; on Levi Merkel's farm, in 
Oley township ; at the Wheatfield Mine and in the 
various limolite mines in the Limestone Valley. 

Datolite is a white mineral in small crystals, 
found only on Fritz's Island. 

Dendrites— from dendron, tree — are marks or im- 
pressions on rocks on Fritz's Island, at Ruth's Mine 
and in Albany township, resembling trees. 

Deweylite— named after Professor Dewey— is ob- 
tained in several forms in Ruth's Mine, and is a sili- 
cate of magnesia. 

Epidote abounds in masses and in crystals at An- 
tietam Lake and in Longswamp, two miles southwest 
from Mertztown, in masses at Fleetwood, Boyerstown, 
Pricetown, Hancock and at various places in the South 

Feldspar group forms the principal constituent 
of the South Mountain rocks and contains a variety of 
pyroxene, viz.: LabradorUe, from Labrador, where 
the mineral was first observed. It is found in small 
crystals in the rocks at Antietam Lake; Oligoclase or 



Albile at the Nestor and Gilbert Mines, in Washing- 
ton township ; at Siesholtzville, Orthoclase and other 
feldspar minerals at Antietam Lake. 

Fltjorite is composed of fluorine and calcium, 
and is.found in the limestones on Leinbach's Hill and 
at the Big Dam. The crystals are cubical, and of a 
deep blue color. 

Galenite— asulphide of lead— was found in a small 
vein on Fritz's Island. 

Garnets— garnatees, like a grain— are found both 
crystallized and massive, of a rich red color, in Al- 
sace township, east of Antietam Lake, at Hertzog's 
Mill, in Exeter township, and at Euth's Mine. The 
lime-alumina garnets of Fritz's Island are called 

Gold.— Dr. Charles M. Wetherill analyzed several 
rocks found in North Reading and discovered traces 
of gold and silver. 

Goethite is an iron ore of a peculiar crystalliza- 
tion found at the Udree Mine, one and a half miles 
south of Pricetown. Another variety of this ore is 
found at the head of Walnut Street, Reading, on the 
farm of P. D. Wanner, Esq., and is known by the 
name of lepidokrokite — from lepis, scale, and krokis, 

Graphite — from grapho, I write— is found in the 
vicinity of Boyertown, o/i the farms of Messrs. Fege- 
ley, J. Bechtel and Daniel Himmelreich, and at Dr. 
Funk's fish-pond, on Schmeck's farm, in Longswamp, 
in Magnetite, at Siesholtzville, and at Antietam 

Gypsum. — The name of this mineral is from the 
Greek word gupsos, and was anciently applied to the 
same mineral. It is a sulphate of lime and occurs at 
Bushong's Mine, north of their furnace, at Boyertown 
and in beautiful hexagonal prisons at Jones' Mine. 

Hematite is a very abundant ore in the East 
Penn Valley. When scratched or crushed it has a 
deep-red or blood color, and hence the name — haima, 
blood. The micaceous and specular varieties occur at 
Fritz's Island, at J. F. Dum's Mine, near Fleetwood, 
and in mas>es at Lobachsville. 

Kamererite — named after Kamerer, a Russian — is 
composed principally of silica and manganese, and 
is met with in small quantities only at Wheatdeld. 

Kaolin is derived from Kaul'vAg, a place in China, 
where the Chinese obtain the material for their fine 
ware. It is found at the foot of Mount Penn, at Boy- 
ertown, James F. Dum's mine at Fleetwood, at 
Mertztown, on Schmeck's farm in Longswamp, at 
Weaver's mine in Oley township, and at various 
other places in smaller bodies. 

Limonite is one of the most important iron- 
ores. It is a brown hematite, and was called limo- 
nite — from leimo,a. meadow — because it was first found 
in bogs and low places. 

Magnetite. — The iron-ore at Ruth's, Wheatfield, 
Fritz's Island, Boyertown and other places is mag- 
netite. It is crystallized in fine octahedrons and 

dodecahedrons at Fritz's Island, Boyertown and 
Jones' Mine. It is titani/erous at Treichlersville, at 
Huff's Church and at Pricetown. 

Magnesite is a carbonate of magnesia from Kauf- 
man and Spang's Mine, near Spangsville, in Earl 

Malachite is a green carbonate of copper from 
Jones' Mine, and Fritz's Island furnished some speci- 
mens some years ago. 

Marble. — A good quality is taken from Deppen's 
quarry at Wernersville, Dr. Eppler's quarry at Lees- 
port, and Hill's quarry at Shillington. 

Marcasite is a term of Arabic origin and is ap- 
plied to a sulphuret of iron found in Dr. Eppler's 
quarry and on Fritz's Island. 

Mica. — Group extends in small crystals over the 
whole South Mountain range. The largest specimens 
are found near Spangsville, in Earl township, though 
fair specimens are found on Furnace Hill, in Rus- 
comb-manor township. Muscovite and biotite occur 
near Huff's Church. 

Molybdenite. — This mineral is met with on Valen- 
tine Hartman's farm, and a number of other places in 
the vicinity, but only in foliated crystals. 

Ochre. — Small quantities of yellow and red color 
may be obtained at Noll's Mine, Fleetwood, Udree's 
Mine and at Siesholtzville. 

Prochlorite is a green foliated mineral and ap- 
pears very much like mica. Very excellent specimens 
have been collected at Wheatfield, Jones' Mine and 
on Fritz's Island. Its crystals are hexagonal and 
some have lines parallel to the sides. 

Psilomelane — from psilos, smooth, and melas, 
black — is a peroxide of manganese. The best speci- 
mens have been obtained near the Rockland Forge. 

Pyrites. — Sulphuret of iron abounds in many of 
the ore-beds of the county, and especially at Wheat- 
field, Jones' Mine, Boyertown and on Fritz's Island. 
Some fine octahedral crystals are found at these 
places. Globular radiating specimens are found in 
Centre and Windsor townships. 

Pyroxene. — This mineral is of a dark-green and 
black color. The largest crystals are found on Gott- 
schall's farm, in Alsace township. It is abundant in 
the vicinity of Antietam Lake and at Rauch's Mine, 
in Hereford. Sahlite, a variety of this mineral, is a 
frequent constituent of the syenites of the South 
Mountains. Augite, another variety, is found atBabb's 
tavern and around Antietam Lake. 

Pyrrhotite is a sulphuret of iron, slightly nickel- 
iferous. Its localities are Gottschall's Mine and other 
places in Alsace and at Boyertown. 

Pyrolusite is an oxide of manganese and is 
mentioned by Dr. Genth as occurring " in small rhom- 
bic crystals in geodes, frequently associated with 
turgite, in Kmonite beds'' in the county, but he states 
no locality. 

Quartz. — Transparent crystals are found on Lee's 
farm, southeast of Friedensburg, in Windsor and 



Greenwich townships; and fine doubly terminated 
crystals at Noll's Mine at Fleetwood. Smoky quartz 
crystals occur on Updegrove's farm in Union, on 
Berg's farm in Albany and on Flint Hill. Good 
specimens of ferruginous and drasy quartz may be 
obtained on Flint Hill and on Bomegratz's farm in 
-Ruscomb-manor. Chalcedony is found on Flint Hill, 
at Bomegratz's, Fleetwood, Fritz's Island, Friedens- 
burg and Mertztown. Oolitic Chalcedony at Moselem. 
Chalcedonic- Jasper, Jasper, Agate and Agate-Jasper are 
abundant at Wernerville, along the mountain, at 
Bomegratz's, Gottschall's, Flint Hill and in Long- 
swamp, two miles south of Mertztown. Hornstone 
occurs only at Friedensburg, and floatslone at Boyer- 

Basanite, Lydianstone or Touchstone is a companion 
of jasper and chalcedony, and is usually found in the 
same localities where they exist, but the largest and 
purest specimens are found in the Pennsylvania 
Schuylkill Valley cut southwest of Reading. 

Retinalite — from retina, resin— is a species of ser- 
pentine of a resinous color met with at Ruth's, 
Wheatfield, Jones' Mine and on Fritz's Island. 

Eipidolite occurs on Fritz's Island and at Jones' 

Serpentine. — Very excellent specimens of this 
mineral were taken out of the mines at Ruth's and 
Fritz's Island, and among them were some fine speci- 
mens of Precious or noble serpentine. The same 
mineral was found associated with soapstone at Jones' 
Mine, Boyertown and Topton. 

Siderite. — Dr. Genth found this mineral, a species 
of iron-ore, on Valentine Hartman's farm and at the 
Weaver Mine in Oley. 

Sphene — from sphen, wedge, because the crystal is 
wedge-shaped — is a variety of titanium, and is found 
in small crystals in magnetite south of Huff's Church, 
in Hereford. 

Stibnite is a tersulphide of antimony, very rare, 
only a few small crystals having been found on 
Fritz's Island. 

Talc or steatite is usually associated with the ser- 
pentines of Fritz's Island and Jones' Mine. 

Titanite occurs two miles northeast of Jones' 

Tuegite is a common iron-ore and generally forms 
thin black or red layers on limonite, on P. D. Win- 
ner's farm, at Moselem, and at many of the mines in 
the East Penn Valley. 

Veneeite is a clay of chlorite at Jones' Mine con- 
taining about five^>er cent, of copper. 

Wad is an earthy oxide of manganese, found at 
Lyons, at old Oley tunnel-mine and at the Half- Way 
House in Maiden Creek. It is frequently associated 
with the limonite ores. 

Watellite, named after Dr. Wavel, has a finely- 
radiated structure ; a few specimens were found at 

Xanthite is a Fritz's Island mineral of a yellow 
color and crystallized in cubes and hexagonal prisms. 

Xanthosideeite is an oxide of iron from a brown 
to a brownish red color ; occurs in mines in the East 
Penn Valley. The best specimens were from the vi- 
cinity of Fleetwood. 

Ziecon crystals of a deep wine color are found in 
the neighborhood of Pricetown, associated with 

Zeolite Family. — Ihomsonite, named after Dr. 
Thomson, and mesoliteare Fritz's Island minerals. The 
crystals of each are of a white or pearly color, round 
and radiating from a small nucleus in the centre. 
The Thomsonites are hard and solid, but the mesolites 
are generally softer and fibrous. 

Chabazite, principally a Fritz's Island mineral, 
crystallizes in cubes of a white pearly lustre and was 
quite abundant at one time. It was recently found 
at Euth's Mine. 

Apophyllite is also found exclusively on Fritz's 
Island. Its color is white and it crystallizes in various 

Stilbite — from silbe, lustre — is so called on account 
of its beautiful lustre. Some years ago Kaudebush's 
mine produced many specimens. It is found at 
Wheatfield, Fritz's Island, Birdsboro', and on Feg- 
ley's farm, near Bechtelsville. 

Undesceibed Zeolite. — A mineral belonging to 
this family is found on Fritz's Island ; the crystals 
differ from all others of the same family, and since 
no one has ever described them, they have always 
been called undescribed zeolites. 


Botanical research in Berks County was begun 
by Gerhard Gottlieb Bischoff, a native of Stadt- 
Ilm, in Thuringia, Germany, born May 18, 
1775. He was a brother of the distinguished 
Professor G. W. Bischoff, of the University of 
Heidelberg. After having received a good edu- 
cation he studied pharmacy with his father. 
From 1793 to 1817 he served as apothecary's 
assistant in various parts of Germany and 
Switzerland. His brother Frederick having 
come to this country and settled at Reading, he 
decided to leave his native land and join him, 
and accordingly sailed from Rotterdam on July 
29, 1817, arriving at Reading on the 23d day 
of October following. In time he established 
himself here as an apothecary, doing business 
on Penn Street, midway between Sixth and 

1 The author is indebted to Dr. Daniel B. D. Beaver, of 
Reading, for this article on the botany of the county, he 
having prepared it expressly for this history. 



Seventh Streets, where he resided till his death, 
in 1856. He left a well-preserved collection of 
European and American plants, which passed 
into the possession of Dr. Daniel B. D. Beaver. 
Among them are about one hundred and fifty 
specimens which were collected in this county. 

Next in order of time came Dr. John P. 
Hiester, whose professional career is mentioned 
in the chapter on the Medical Profession. He 
was an enthusiastic lover of the natural sciences, 
to which he devoted much time, although 
actively engaged in the practice of medicine. 
He made a collection of the plants of the coun- 
ty, which, after his death, was presented to 
Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. 
He also took a lively interest in the geological 
features of the county, and published a colored 
map illustrating them. 

Contemporaneous with Dr. Hiester was Rev. 
Dr. T. C. Porter, now holding the chair of 
botany in Lafayette College, Easton, whose 
reputation as a reliable observer and botanist 
needs no comment here. He resided at Reading 
during part of the years 1848 and 1849, and 
in that time collected many of the native 
plants. Of these a few specimens are pre- 
served in the Bischoff Herbarium. 

Another name that deserves mention is that 
of Hiram W. Hollenbush, a native of this 
county. He devoted his life to the study of 
the minerals of the county, and accumulated a 
mass of fragmentary knowledge of the subject, 
which, but for his lack of the distinguishing 
mental trait of the successful scientist — the 
faculty to generalize facts— and a life-long strug- 
gle with poverty, might have secured him a 
high position among the mineralogists of his 
State and day. He also took some interest in 
botany. He made a collection of the different 
kinds of wood growing in the county, and at 
one time gave some attention to the fungi, but, 
unfortunately, left nothing to indicate the extent 
of his labor, or point the way to his successors 
in the field of botany. 

At present there are many amateur botanists 
in this county, but their work has been done 
without organized effort — a consideration highly 
necessary for obtaining the most fruitful results. 
The first attempt to prepare a list of the known 

plants of the county was made by Dr. Daniel 
B. D. Beaver, when he presented a list to the 
Reading Society of Natural Sciences. Since 
then no further progress has been made. 

In regard to some of the conditions which 
determine the richness of the flora of a section 
of country, this county is unfavorably situated. 
The distribution and propagation of plant-life 
are largely dependent upon water-courses and 
the character of the soil. The former compris- 
ing the connecting links between highland and 
lowland, and draining large areas of territory 
varying in altitude and latitude, and diverse in 
geological character, they are the receptacles by 
which, during the wet season, numberless seeds 
and spores of plants are swept along and mixed 
in the surface washings and deposited elsewhere, 
frequently upon distant banks of the stream. 
In this manner the flora of lowlands is enriched, 
and usually in proportion to the surface drained 
by the streams which water them. In this re- 
spect, this county lacks the advantages of some 
others in this State. Its borders are on line 
with the water-shed between the main stream — 
the Schuylkill — and other streams on the east, 
west and south ; on the east, on the divide with 
the Lehigh; on the west, with the Susquehanna; 
and on the south, with the tributaries of the 
Delaware. From the north it receives the 
waters of the Schuylkill, which drains the east- 
ern two-thirds of Schuylkill County, and carries 
along a number of plants which are native in 
that section, the most conspicuous being Rhodo- 
dendron maximum (great laurel) and Rubus odo- 
ratus (purple flowering raspberry). The former 
does not grow on limestone soil. Both have been 
found here only on the banks of the Schuylkill. 

The flora of this county have received acces- 
sions by water channel from the north only ; 
and these it has transmitted, with its own pecu- 
liarities, to neighboring sections to the south- 
ward. In so far, then, as their native characters 
have been modified by the distributive effects of 
water-courses, they do not differ much from 
those of Montgomery, Chester and Schuylkill 
Counties, while with those of the counties bor- 
dering on the Susquehanna and Delaware they 
are in strong contrast, lacking much of their 



The county may be wanting in some respects, 
but it is peculiarly adapted for rich flora by its 
geological formation. It possesses unusual va- 
riety of soil. In the older formation of South 
Mountain, east and west of Reading, there are 
the old Laurentian gneiss and Potsdam sand- 
stone, which, by their disintegration, give a dis- 
tinguishing character to the soil. Immediately 
to the north of this is the belt of Trenton lime- 
stone, extending east and west through the 
county. Northwardly from Reading these lime- 
stones are overlaid by the Hudson shales, which 
become continuous on the surface with the Oneida 
sandstone of the Blue Mountains, but south- 
wardly the surface is composed mainly of the 
new red sandstone formation, with an occasional 
small area of trap rock. The most conspicu- 
ous trap formation is that of Flying Hill. 
This furnishes several plants which have not 
been found elsewhere in the county. With this 
varying soil for plants of different habits upon 
which to take root and flourish, the native flora 
of this county were probably enriched long ago 
by those agencies which serve to distribute the 
germs of plant-life independently of local con- 
ditions — such as the flight of birds, winds and 
the transportation of merchandise. They should 
therefore be expected to compare favorably with 
those of the adjoining counties. 

The plants which form the basis of this ar- 
ticle have been collected mainly west of the 
Schuylkill. A few were found on " Neversink 
Mountain" and " Penn's Mountain," and on the 
red shale in the southeastern part of the 
county. West of the Schuylkill they were ob- 
tained from all the various kinds of soil — on 
the South Mountain, on the limestone and shale 
in the valley, on the red sand and shale of 
Cumru and adjoining townships, and on the 
trap of Flying Hill — and may be taken to 
represent fairly the flora of the county, except- 
ing that part comprising the southern slope of 
the Blue Mountain. They include only the 
phamogamous and vascular cryptogamous plants. 
The mosses, fungi, liver-worts and lichens have 
not been studied sufficiently to warrant a report 
of what has been done. 

The progress made with the classes here pre- 
sented can be estimated only by comparison 

with what is known of the flora of neighboring 
counties. For this purpose Chester County 
will serve best, inasmuch as its plants have 
been studied more extensively than those of any 
other, which is shown by Dr. Darlington's 
"Flora Cestrica," a book devoted entirely to a 
description of the plant-life of that county, and 
recognized as one of the most complete works 
of its kind. 

Dr. Darlington enumerates ten hundred and 
seventy-six flowering plants, including all those 
in cultivation, which have been found in Ches- 
ter County. The list here given is not intended 
to include cultivated plants. The distinction 
between cultivated and wild is in some instances 
so difficult to make that hardly two observers 
would draw the line at the same place. Then, 
again, a plant may grow wild luxuriantly in 
certain localities, while in others, owing to dif- 
ferences of soil, it will flourish only under cul- 
tivation. To determine the relative value of 
our work, it becomes necessary to compare Dr. 
Darlington's list of cultivated plants one by one 
with ours. 

This comparison shows his list to contain nine- 
ty-two species which are known to be in cultiva- 
tion here, and which are therefore excluded from 
ours. Deducting these ninety-two from ten hun- 
dred and seventy- six, there remain nine hundred 
and eighty-four species as wild plants, according 
to our classification against which our list presents 
eight hundred and ninety-six species. Of vas- 
cular cryptogams, horsetails, ferns and club- 
mosses Dr. Darlington gives thirty nine spe- 
cies, whilst our list contains thirty-eight. Sup- 
posing the flora of each county to contain about 
the same number of species, there would remain 
undetermined in this county eighty-eight flower- 
ing plants and one cryptogam. 

The botanical work which remains to be done 
in this county lies chiefly amongst the trees, 
sedges and grasses. It is to be regretted that 
so little has been done with the lower forms of 
vegetable life. This is, probably, owing to the 
difficulty which the amateur encounters in the 
study of them. Few of them can be examined 
satisfactorily without the aid of a microscope. 

Among the rare plants here, the following 
may be mentioned : Arabia patens, one of the 



rarest, found on the banks of the Schuylkill, 
near Flying Hill ; Lepidum campestre, near 
Boyertown ; Viola rostrata, banks of the An- 
gelica; Impatiens pallida, banks of the Tulpe- 
hocken, in Heidelberg township ; Oxalis viola- 
cea, Spring township ; Agrimonia parviflora, 
copse near Bethany Orphans' Home; Rosa mi- 
craniha, Angelica Creek ; Hydrangea arbores- 
cens and Sambucus pubem, Flying Hill ; Dio- 
dia teres, hills near Fritztown ; Drosera rotun- 
difolia, Chamcelirium luteum, near Bethany 
Orphans' Home ; Rhododendron maximum, 
Asplenium trichomanes aud Woodsia obtusa, 
Flying Hill; Camptosorus rhizophyttus, Flying 
Hill and limestone ridge near Penn Street 
bridge, Reading; Aphyllon reniflorum, Obolaria 
Virgmica, Limnanlhemum lacunosum, Habena- 
ria lacera, Spiranthus latifolia, Pogonia verticil- 
lata, Aplectrum hymenale, near Hertzog's saw- 
mill, Cumru township ; Stachys palustris, Arisce- 
ma dracontium, banks of the Tulpehocken ; 
Gnaphalium polycephalum, Neversink Moun- 

The following list has been compiled mainly 
from the plants in the possession of Mr. T. J. 
Oberlin, at Sinking Spring, — who has probably 
the best collection of native plants in the coun- 
ty, from the Bischoff Herbarium, and from the 
collection of Dr. Daniel B. D. Beaver. Profes- 
sor Porter supplied some species in the latter's 
collection, which he and Dr. Hiester found 
here, and which are not in the other collections. 
The nomenclature used in the catalogue of 
plants is that of Gray, as given in his " Manual 
of Botany." 



verticillaris, DC. 

Virginiana, L. (common virgin's bower). 

Virginiana, L. (Virginian, A). 

nemorosa, L. (wind-flower). 

triloba, Chaix. 

anemonoides, Michx. (rue anemone). 

dioicum, L. (early M). 

purpurascens, L. (purplish M). 

Cornuti, L. (tall M). 


aquatilis, L., var. trichophyllus, Chaix. 
(common white water-crowfoot). 

Flammula, L. 

rhomboideus, Goldie. 

abortivus, L. 

sceleratus, L. 

recurvatus, Poir. 

Pennsylvanicus, L. 

fascicularis, Muhl. 

repens, L. 

bulbosus, L. (buttercups). 

acris, L. 

minimus, L. 

palustris, L. (marsh marigold). 

viridis, L. (green hellebore). 

Canadensis, L. (wild columbine). 

Consolida, L. (field larkspur). 

alba, Bigel (white baneberry). 

racemosa, Ell. (black snakeroot). 


tulipifera, L. 

triloba, Dunal. (common papaw). 

Canadense, L. (Canadian moonseed). 


thalictroides, Michx. (pappoose-root). 

peltatum, L. 

peltata, Pursh. 

odorata, Ait. (sweet-scented water-lily), 
var. minor, Sims. 

advena, Ait. (common yellow pond-lily). 

somniferum, L. (common poppy). 

majus, L. (celandine). 

Canadensis, L. 

Cucullaria, DC. (Dutchman's breeches). 





officinale, R. Br. (true water-cress). 

palustre, DO. (marsh-cress). 

Armoracia, Fries, (horse-radish). 

laciniata, Muhl. 

rhomboidea, DC. (spring-cress). 

rotundifolia, Michx. (mountain water-cress) 

hirsuta, L. (small bitter-cress). 

lyrata, L. 

patens, Sulliv. 

hirsuta, Scop. 

laevigata, DC. 

Canadensis, L. (sickle-pod). 

vulgaris, R. Br. (yellow rocket). 

officinale, Scop, (hedge mustard). 

nigra, Gray (black mustard). 

verna, L. (whitlow-grass). 

maritimum, L. (sweet alyssum). 

sativa, Crantz. 

Bursa-pastoris, Mcench. 

Virginicum, L. (wild pepper-grass). 

campestre, L. 


blanda, Willd. (sweet white violet), 
odorata, L. (English violet), 
palustris, L. 
cucullata, Ait. (common blue violet). 

var. palmata, Gray, 
sagittata, Ait. 
pedata, L. 

var. bicolor. 
canina, L. (dog violet), 
rostrata, Pursh. 

Canadensis, L. (Canada violet), 
pubescens, Ait. 

var. eriocarpa, Nutt. 
tricolor, L. (pansy, heart's-ease). 

var. arvensis. 



Canadense, Michx. (frost-weed), 
minor, Lam. 


ericoides, L. 
tomentosa, Nutt. 


rotundifolia, L. 

filiformis, Raf. 

angulosum, Michx. 

Canadense, L. 

corymbosum, Muhl. 

mutilum, L. 

var. gymnanthum, Gr. 

perforatum, L. 

Sarothra, Michx. (pine-weed). 

officinalis, L. (common soapwort.) 

stellata, Ait. (starry campion). 

Pennsylvanica, Michx. (wild pink). 

Armeria, L. (sweet William catch-fly). 

antirrhina, L. (sleepy, catch-fly). 

noctiflora, L. 

Githago, Lam. (common cockle). 

serpyllifolia, L. 

media, Smith (common chickweed). 

pubera, Michx. (great chickweed). 

longifolia, Muhl. 

uliginosa, Murr. 

viscosum, L. 

nutans, Raf. 

procumbens, L. 

rubra, Presl. 

arvensis, L. (common spurrey). 

dichotoma, Michx. 

annuus, L. 

verticillata, L. (carpet-weed). 

oleracea, L. (common purslane). 

Virginica, L. 

rotundifolia, L. (common mallow). 

sylvestris, L. (high mallow). 

crispa, Gray (culled mallow). 

moschata, L. (musk mallow). 

spinosa, L. 




Avicennse, Gsertn. (velvet-leaf). 

Trionum, L. (bladder ketmia). 
Syriacus, L. (shrubby althaea). 

Americana, L. (basswood). 
var. pubescens, Gray. 

Virginianum, L. 

maculatum, L. (wild cranesbill). 
columbinum, L. 
pusillum, L. 

Robertianam, L. (herb Eobert). 

pallida, Nutt. (pale touch-me-not), 
fulva, Nutt. (spotted touch-me-not). 

Acetosella, L. (common wood-sorrel), 
violacea, L. (violet wood-sorrel), 
stricta, L. (yellow wood-sorrel). 


Americanum, Mill, (northern prickly ash). 

graveolens, L. 

typhina, L. (staghorn sumach), 
glabra, L. (smooth sumach), 
copallina, L. (dwarf sumach), 
venenata, DC. (dogwood). 
Toxicodendron, L. (poison ivy). 

Labrusca, L. (northern fox -grape), 
aestivalis, Michx. (summer grape), 
cordifolia, Michx. (frost grape). 

quinquefolia, Michx. 

Americanus, L. (New Jersey tea). 

scandens, L. (climbing bitter-sweet). 

atropurpureus, Jacq. (burning-bush). 

trifolia, L. (American bladder nut). 

Halicacabum, L. 

Hippocastanum, L. (common horse-chestnut) 


Pennsylvanicum, L. (striped maple). 

spicatum, Lam. (mountain maple). 

saccharinum, Wang, (sugar maple). 

rubrum, L. (swamp maple). 

aceroides, Mcench. 


ambigua, Nutt. 
cruciata, L. 
lutea, L. 

paucifolia, Willd. 
polygama, Walt, 
ramosa, Ell. 
sanguinea, L. 
verticillata, L. 


perennis, L. (wild lupine). 

sagittalis, L. 

arvense, L. (stone-clover), 
pratense, L. (red clover), 
repens, L. (white clover), 
agrarium, L. (yellow or hop clover), 
procumbens, L. (low hop clover). 

officinalis, Willd. (yellow melilot). 

Pseudacacia, L. (common locust), 
hispida, L. (rose acacia). 

frutescens, DC. 

Virginiana, Pers. (catgut). 

acuminatum, DC. 
Canadense, DC. 
canescens, DC. 
ciliare, DC. 
Dilenii, Darl. 
humifusum, Beck, 
nudiflorum, DC. 
paniculatum, DC. 
pauciflorum, DC. 
rigidum, DC. 

procumbens, Michx. 
violacea, Pers. 
hirta, Ell. 
capitata, Michx. 

Cracca, L. 

palustris, L. (marsh vetchling). 
var. myrtifolius, Gray. 




tuberosa, Mcench. 

perennis, Walt, (wild bean). 

diversifolius, Pers. 

Mariana, L. 

monoica, Nutt. 

mollis, Michx. 

glabella, Michx. 

tinctoria, R. Br. (wild indigo). 

Canadensis, L. (red bud). 

Marilandica, L. (wild senna). 

nictitans, L. (wild sensitive plant). 

triacanthos, L. (honey locust). 

Americana, Marshall (red plum). 

pumila, L. (dwarf cherry). 

Pennsylvanica, L. (wild red cherry). 

Virglniana, L. (choke cherry). 

serotina, Ehrh. (wild black cherry). 

opulifolia, L. (nine-bark). 

salicifolia, L. (common meadow-sweet). 

Aruncus, L. (goat's beard). 

trifoliata, Moench (Bowman's root). 

stipulacea, Nutt. (American ipecac). 

Canadense, Gray. (Canadian burnet). 

Sanguisorba, L. 

Eupatoria, L. (common agrimony). 

parviflora, Ait. 

album, Gmelin. 

Virginianum, L. 

macrophyllum, Willd. 

fragarioides, Tratt. (barren strawberry). 

Norvegica, L. 

Canadensis, L. (common cinquefoil). 
var. simplex, T. & Gray. 

Virginiana, Ehrh. 

vesca, L. 

repens, L. 

odoratus, L. (purple flowering raspberry). 

triflorus, Richardson (dwarf raspberry). 

strigosus, Michx. (wild red raspberry), 
occidentalis, L. (black raspberry), 
villosus, Ait. (high blackberry). 
Canadensis, L. (low blackberry), 
hispidus, L. (running swamp blackberry). 

setigera, Michx:. (prairie-rose). 
Carolina, L. (swamp rose). 
lucida, Ehrh. (dwarf wild rose), 
rubiginosa, L (sweet-brier), 
micrantha, Smith (smaller flowering sweet- 


tomentosa, L. (black or pear thorn), 
var. pyrifolia, Gray, 
var. punctata, Gray. 

Crus-galli, L. (eockspur thorn). 

coronaria, L. (American crab-apple). 

arbutifolia, L. (choke cherry). 

Americana, DC. (American mountain-ash). 

Canadensis, Torr. & Gray (shad-bush), 
var. Botryapium, Gray, 
var. oblongifolia, Gray. 

floridus, L. 

hirtellum, Michx. 

rotundifolium, Michx. 

floridum, L. (wild black currant). 

arborescens, L. (wild hydrangea). 

Virginiensis, Michx. (early saxifrage). 

Pennsylvanica, L. (swamp saxifrage). 

erosa, Pursh. (lettuce saxifrage). 

Americana, L. (common alum-root). 

diphylla, L. 

Americanum, Schw. 

sedoides, L. 

acre, L. (mossy stone-crop). 

ternatum, Michx. 

Telephium, L. (garden orpine). 

Virginica, L. 

Lutetiana, L. 

alpina, L. 




biennis, L. 

angustifolium, L. (great willow-herb), 
hirsutum, L. 
palustre, L. 
molle, Torr. 
coloratum, Muhl. 

biennis, L. (common evening primrose), 
fruticosa, L. (sundrops). 

alternifolia, L. (seed-box), 
palustris, Ell. (water purslane). 

verticillata, H. B. K. 

yiscosissima, Jacq. (clammy cuphea) 

angulatus, L. 

Americana, L. 

Marilandica, L. 

carota, L. (common carrot). 

sativa, L. (common parsnip). 

hirsuta, Torr. & Gray, 
atropurpurea, Hoffm. 

aureum, Nutt. 
trifoliatum, Gray. 

integerrima, DC. 

rotundifolium, L. 

maculata, L. (spotted cow-bane), 
bulbifera, L. 

lineare, Michx. 
Crypto tffinia. 

Canadensis, DC. 

longistylis, DC. (smoother sweet cicely). 


spiriosa, L. (Hercules' club), 
racemosa, L. (spikenard), 
his'pida, Michx. (wild elder), 
nudicaulis, L. (wild sarsaparilla). 
quinquefolia, Gray (ginseng), 
trifolia, Gray (ground-nut). 


florida, L. (flowering dog-wood). 

circinata, L'Her. 

sericea, L. (silky cornel). 

stolonifera, Michx. (red osier dogwood). 

paniculata, L'Her. 

alternifolia, L. 

multiflora,Wang. (pepperidge). 



racemosus, Michx. (snowberry). 
var. pauciflorus, Bobb. 

sempervirens, Ait. (trumpet honeysuckle). 

trifida, Moench. 

perfoliatum, L. 

Canadensis, L. (common elder). 

pubens, Michx. (red-berried elder). 

Lentago, L. (sheep-berry). 

dentatum, L. (arrow-wood). 

acerifolium, L. (dock-mackie). 

Opulus, L. (cranberry-tree). 


Aparine, L. (goose-grass). 

asprellum, Michx. (rough bed'Straw)* 

trifidum, L. (small bed-straw). 

triflorum, Michx. (sweet-scented bed-straw); 

pilosum, Ait. 

circsezans, Michx. (wild liquorice). 

lanceolatum, Torr. (wild liquorice). 

boreale, L. (northern bedstraw). 

teres, Walt. 

occidentalis, L. 

repens, L. 

cserulea, L. 

olitoria, Vahl. 

radiata, Michx. 


sylvestris, Mill, (wild teasel). 
Fullonum, L. 


Noveboracensis, Willd. 




scariosa, Willd. 
spicata, Willd. 

ageratoides, L. (white snake-root), 
album, L. 

perfoliatum, L. (boneset). 
purpureura, L. (trumpet weed). 
rotundifolium, L. 
sessilifolium, L. (upland boneset). 
teucrifolium, Willd. 

scandens, L. 

conyzoides, Nees. 

cordifolius, L. 
corymbosu«, Ait. 
1 83 vis, L. 
linifolius, L. 
macrophyllus, L. 
miser, L., Ait. 
nemoralis, Ait. 
NovajAngliae, L. 
patens, Ait. 
prenanthoides, Muhl. 
puniceus, L. 
sagittifolius, Willd. 
simplex, Willd. 
tenuifolius, L. 
undulatus, L. 

Canadense, L. (butter-weed), 
bellidifolium, Muhl. (robins' plantain). 
Philadelphicum, L. (common fleabane). 
annuum, Pers. (daisy fleabane). 
strigosum, Muhl. (daisy fleabane). 

linarifolius, Hook, 
umbellatus, Torr. & Gray, 
amygdalinus, T. & Gray, 
cornifolius, Darl. 

altissima, L. 
arguta, Ait. 
bicolor, L. 
Canadensis, L. 
caesia, L. 
lanceolata, L. 
latifolia, L. 

neglecta, Torr. & Gray, 
nemoralis, Ait. 
odora, Ait. 
serotina, Ait. 

Helenium, L. (common elecampane). 

Uvedalia, L. 


trifida, L. (great rag- weed), 
artemisiaefolia, L. (bitter-weed). 

strumarium, L. (common cocklebur). 

procumbens, Michx. 

lsevis, Pers. 
hirta, L. 
fulgida, Ait. 
laciniata, L. 

annuus, L. (common sun -flower), 
decapetalus, L. 
giganteus, L. 
strumosus, L. 

tuberosus, L. (Jerusalem artichoke). 

tripteris, L. 

frondosa, L. (common beggar- ticks), 
connata, Muhl. (swamp beggar-ticks), 
chrysanthemoides, Mx. (larger bur-marigold), 
bipinnata L. (Spanish needles). 

autumnale, L. (sneeze-weed). 

Cotula, DC. (common May-weed). 

arvensis, L. (common chamomile). 

Millefolium, L. (milfoil). 

vulgare, Lam. (white daisy). 
Parthenium, Godron. (feverfew). 

vulgare, L. (common tansy). 

decurrens, Jves (everlasting), 
polycephalum, Michx. (common everlasting], 
uliginosum, L. (low cud-weed), 
purpureum, L. (purplish cud-weed). 

margaritacea, R. Br. (pearly everlasting), 
pkntaginifolia, Hook. 

Germanica, L. (herba impia). 

hieracifolia, Raf. (fire-weed). 

atriplicifolia, L. (pale Indian plantain). 

aureus, L. (golden rag-wort). 

Cyanus, L. (blue bottle). 




lauceolatum, Scop, (common thistle). 

discolor, Spreng. 

altissimum, Spreng. 

muticum, Michx. (swamp-thistle). 

pumilum, Spreng. (pasture-thistle). 

arvense, Scop. (Canada-thistle). 

officinalis, Allioni. 

Intybus, L. 

Virginica," Willd. 

Virginica, Don. 

Canadense, Michx. (Canada hawk-weed). 

scabrum, Michx. (rough hawk-weed). 

Gronovii, L. (hairy hawk-weed). 

venosum, L. (rattle-snake weed). 

paniculatum, L. 

albus, Hook (white lettuce). 

altissimus, Hook. 

Fraseri, DC. (gall-of-the-earth). 

Dens-leonis, Desf. (common dandelion). 

Canadensis, L. (wild lettuce), 
var. integrifolia, Torr. & Gray. 

leucophseum, DC. 

oleraceus, L. (common sow-thistle). 

asper, Vill. (spiny-leaved sow-thistle). 

cardinalis, L. (cardinal flower). 

syphilitica, L. (great lobelia). 

inflata, L. (Indian tobacco). 

spicata, Lam. 

rotundifolia, L. (harebell). 

aparinoides, Pursh. (marsh bell-flower). 

Americana L. (tall bell-flower). 

perfoliata, A. DC. 


brachycera, Gray (box-huckleberry). 

frondosa, Torr. & Gray (blue tangle). 

resinosa, Torr. & Gray (black huckleberry). 

Canadense, Kalm. (Canada blueberry). 

corymbosum, L. (swamp blueberry). 

macrocarpon, Ait. (American cranberry). 

Pennsylvanicum, Lam. (dwarf-blueberry). 

stamineum, L. (deerberry). 


repens, L. 

procumbens, L. (creeping winter-green). 

racemosa, Gray. 

calyculata, Don. 

Mariana, L. (stagger-bush). 

ligustrina, Muhl. 

alnifolia, L. 

latifolia, L. (mountain-laurel). 

angustifolia, L. (sheep-laurel). 

viscosa, L. (white swamp-honeysuckle). 

nudiflora L. (pinxter-flower). 

maximum L. (great laurel). 

rotundifolia, L. 

elliptica, Nutt. (shin-leaf). 

chlorantha, Swartz. 

secunda, L. 

umbellata, Nutt. (prince's pine). 

maculata, Pursh. (spotted winter green). 

uniflora, L. (Indian pipe). 

Hypopitys, L. (pine sap). 


mollis, Gray. 

verticillata-, Gray (black alder) 


Virginiana, L. (common persimmon). 

major, L. (common plantain). 

lanceolata, L. (rib-grass). 

Virginica, L. 

Patagonica, Jacq. 

•Americana, Pursh. (star-flower). 

stricta, Ait. 

quadrifolia, L. 

ciliata, L. 

lanceolata, Walt. 

nummularia, L. (money-wort). 

arvensis, L. (common pimpernel). 

radicans, Juss. (trumpet-creeper), 




bignonioides, Walt. 

Virginiana, Bart. 

uniflorum, Torr. & Gray (cancer-root). 

Thapsus, L. (common mullein). 

Blattaria, L. (moth mullein). 

Lychnitis, L. (white mullein). 

Canadensis, Spreng. (wild toad-flax). 

vulgaris, Miller (toad-flax). 

nodosa, L. 

glabra, L. 

pubescens, Solander. 

ringens, L. 

Virginiana, L. 
Ilysan the"s. 

gratioloides, Benth. (false pimpernel). 

Virginica, L. (Culver's root). 

Anagallis, L. (water speedwell). 

Americana, Schwein. (brooklime). 

scutellata, L. (marsh speedwell). 

oflicinalis, L. (common speedwell). 

serpyllifolia, L. (thyme-leaved speedwell). 

peregrina, L. (neckweed). 

arvensis, L. (common speedwell). 

Buxbaumii, Tenore. 

purpurea, L. 

tenuifolia, Vahl. 

flava, L. (downy false fox-glove). 

quercifolia, Pursh. (smooth false fox-glove). 

integrifolia, Gray. 

pedicularia, L. 

coccinea, Spreng. (scarlet painted-cup). 

Canadensis, L. (common louse-wort). 

Americanum, Michx. 

angustifolia, Michx. 

hastata, L. (blue vervain). 

urticifolia, L. (white vervain). 

Leptostachya, L. 


Canadense, L. (wood sage). 

dichotomum, L. (bastard pennyroyal). 

rotundifolia, L. 

viridis, L. (spearmint). 

aquatica, L. (water-mint). 

arvensis, L. (common mint). 

Canadensis, L. (wild mint). 

Virginicus, L. (bugle-weed). 

Europseus, L. 

Mariana, L. (common dittany). 

incanum, Michx. 

clinopodioides, T. & Gr. 

lanceolatum, Pursh. 

linifolium, Pursh. 

Serpyllum, L. (creeping thyme). 

hortensis, L. 

Clinopodium, Benth. (basil). 

officinalis, L. (common balm). 

pulegioides, Pers. (American pennyroyal). 

Canadensis, L. (rich-weed). 

lyrata, L. (lyre-leaved sage). 

didima, L. (Oswego tea). 

fistulosa, L. (wild bergamot). 

nepetoides, Benth. 

Cataria, L. (catnip). 

Glechoma, Benth. (ground ivy). 

vulgaris, L. (common self-heal). 

canescens, Nutt. 

pilosa, Michx. 

integrifolia, L. 

parvula, Michx. 

galericulata, L. 

lateriflora, L. 

vulgare, L. (common horehound). 

palustris, L. 

var. aspera, Gray. 

Cardiaca, L. (common motherwort). 

Marrubiastrum, L. 

amplexicaule, L. 





Europseum, L. 

vulgare, L. (blue- weed). 

officinale, L. (common comfrey). 

arvense, L. (corn gromwell). 
latifolium, Michx. 
canescena, Lehm. (hoary puccoon). 

palustris, Withering (true forget-me-not). 

var. laxa, Gray, 
arvensis, Hoffm. 

officinale, L. (common hound's tongue). 
Virginicum, L. (wild comfrey). 
Morisoni, DC. (beggar's lice). 
Virginicum, L. 

maculata, L. (wild sweet William), 
divaricata, L. 
subulata, L. (moss-pink). 

coronopifolia, Pers. 

purpurea, Lam. (common morning glory), 
pandurata, Meyer (wild potato vine). 

sepium, E. Br. (hedge bird-weed.) 
spithamsea, Pursh. 

Gronovii, Wild. , 


Dulcamara, L. (bittersweet), 
nigrum, L. (common nightshade). 

pubescens, L. 
viscosa, L. 
Pennsylvania, L. 

physaloides, Gsertn. 

vulgare, Dunal. 

niger, L. (black henbane). 

Stramonium, L. (thorn-apple). 
Tatula, L. 

rustica, L. (wild tobacco). 

ramosissima, Pers. 

crinita, Froel. (fringed gentian). 

ochroleuca, Frcel. 

Andrewsii, Griseb. 

Virginica, L. 

trifoliata, L. 

laconosum, Griseb. 

cannabinum, L. (Indian hemp). 

androssemifolium, L. (spreading dogbane). 

Oornuti, Decaisne (common milkweed). 

incarnata, L. (swamp milkweed). 

obtusifolia, Michx. 

phytolaccoides, Pursh. (poke milkweed). 

purpurescens, L. 

quadrifolia, Jacq. 

tuberosa, L. (butterfly weed). 


vulgare, L. (common privet). 


Americana, L. (white ash). 

Canadense, L. 

Serpentaria, L. (Virginia snakeroot). 

decandra, L. (common poke). 


album, L. (pigweed). 

murale, L. 

hybridum, L (maple-leaved goose-foot). 

Botrys, L. (Jerusalem oak.) 

ambrosioides, L. (Mexican tea). 

var. anthelminticum, G. (worm-seed). 

herbacea, L. 


paniculatus, L. 

retroflexus, L. 

albus, L. 

spinosus, L. (thorny amaranth). 


acre, H. B. K. (water smartweed). 
amphibium, L. (water persicaria). 
arifolium, L. (halberd-leaved tear-thumb). 



aviculare, L. (knot-grass). 


var. erectum, Roth. 

pumila, Gray (rich-weed). 

Convolvulus, L. (black birdweed). 


dumetorum, L. (climbing false buckwheat). 

cylindrica, Willd. 

Hydropiper, L. (water pepper). 


hydropiperoides, Michx. (mild water pepper). 

sativa, L. (hemp). 

incarnatum, Ell. 


orientale, L. (prince's feather). 

Lupulus, L. (common hop). 

Pennsylvanicum, L. 


Persicaria, L. (lady's thumb). 


sagittatum, L. (arrow-leaved tear-thumb). 

occidentalis, L. (sycamore). 

tenue, Michx. 


Virginianum, L. 



nigra, L. (black walnut). 

esculentum, Mcench (buckwheat). 

cinerea, L. (butternut). 



orbiculatus, Gray (great water-dock). 

alba, Nutt. (shell-bark). 

crispus, L. (curled dock). 

microcarpa, Nutt. (small-fruited hickory). 

obtusifolius, L. (bitter dock). 

tomentosa, Nutt. (mocker-nut). 

sanguineus, L. (bloody-veined dock). 

porcina, Nutt. (pig-nut). 

Acetosella, L. (sheep sorrel). 

amara, Nutt. (bitter-nut). 





officinale, Nees. 

alba, L. (white oak). 


coccinea, Wang, (scarlet oak).. 

Benzoin, Meisner (spice-bush). 

var. tinctoria, Gray (black oak). 


falcata, Michx. (Spanish oak). 


ilicifolia, Wang, (black scrub oak). 

palustris, L. 

macrocarpa, Michx. (bur oak). 


nigra, L. (barren oak). 


obtusiloba, Michx. (post oak). 

umbellata, Nutt. 

palustris, Du Roi (pin oak). 


Prinus, L. (chestnut oak). 


var acuminata, Michx. 

verna, L. 

rubra, L. (red oak). 




vesca, L. (chestnut). 

Cyparissias, L. 


hypericifolia, L. 

ferruginea, Ait. (American beech). 

Lathyris, L. 


maculata, L. 

Americana, Walt, (wild hazel-nut) 

marginata, Pursh. 

rostrata, Ait. (beaked hazel-nut). 



Virginica, L. 

Americana, Michx. (water beech). 

var. gracilens, Gray. 


Oaroliniana, Walt. 



gale, L. (sweet gale). 

fulva, Mich, (red elm). 

asplenifolia, Ait. 

Americana L. (white elm). 




occidentalis, L. (sugar berry). 

rubra, L. (red mulberry), 
alba, L. (white mulberry). 

lenta, L. (black birch). 

alba, (American white birch), 
nigra; L. (river or red birch). 


dioica, L. 

serrulata, Ait. (smooth alder). 



Canadensis, Gaudich. 

alba, L. (white willow). 



humilis, Marshall (prairie willow). 

spiralis, L. 

nigra, Marsh. 


sericea, Marsh. 


viminalis, L. (basket osier). 

wpectabilis, L. (showy orchin). 



tremuloides, Michx. (American aspen). 

blephariglottis, Hook. 

grandidentata, Michx. 

ciliaris, K. Br. 

balsamifera, L. (balsam poplar). 

fimbriata, R. Br. 

var. candicans, Gray (balm of Gilead). 

lacera, R. Br. (ragged-fringed orchis). 


psycodes, Gray. 


tridentata, Hook. 

rigida, Miller (pitch-pine). 


pungens, Michx. (table mountain pine). 

pubescens, R. Br. 

inops, Ait. (Jersey pine). 


Strobus, L. (white pine). 

latifolia, Torr. 


cornua, Richard. 

Canadensis, Michx. (hemlock spruce). 

gracilis, Big. 



Americana, Michx. (black larch). 

ophioglossoides, Nutt. 


divaricata, R. Br. 

communis, L. (common juniper). 

verticillata, Nutt. 

Virginiana, L. (red cedar). 



pulchellus, R. Br. 



triphyllum, Torr. (Indian turnip). 

lillifolia, Richard. 

Dracontium, Schott. (green dragon). 

Lcesclii, Richard. 



foetidus, Salisb. 

odontorhiza, Nutt. 


multiflora, Nutt. 

aquaticum, L. 



hyemale, Nutt. 

Calamus, L. 



parviflorum, Salisb. (smaller yellow L). 


pubescens, Willd. (larger yellow L). 

trisulca, L. 

acaule, Ait. (stemless L). 





latifolia, L. (common cat-tail). 

erecta, L. 



eurycarpnm, Engelm. 
simplex, Huds. 


versicolor, L. (larger blue flag). 

var. Nuttallii, Gray. 



Chinensis, Ker. 



flexilis, Bostk. 

Bermudiana, L. 



crispus, L. 
natans, L. 


villosa, L. (wild yam-root). 

perfoliatus, L. 


pusillus, L. 

Plantago, L., (var. Americanum, Gr). 


rotundifolia, L. (common greenbrier). 

tamnoides, L. 

herbacea, L. (carrion flower). 



variabilis, Engelm. 
heterophylla, Pursh. 


cernuum, L. (wake-robin). 

graminea, Michx. 


Virginica, L. 



Virginicum, L. (bunch flower). 

viride, Ait. (Indian poke). 

luteum, Gray (blazing star). 

perfoliata, L. 

sessilifolia, L. 

racemosa, Desf. (false spikenard). 

stellata, Desf. 

bifolia, Ker. 

biflorum, Ell. (smaller Solomon's seal). 

giganteum, Dietrich (great S). 

officinalis, L. (garden asparagus). 

Philadelphicum, L. (wild orange-red lily). 

Canadense, L. (wild yellow lily). 

Americanum, Smith (yellow adder's tongue). 

umbellatum, L. 

tricoccum, Ait. (wild leek). 

vineale, L. (field garlic). 

Canadense, Kalm. (wild garlic). 

botryoides, Mill. 

fulva, L. (common day lily). 

filamentosa, L. (Adam's needle). 

campestris, DO. 

spicata, Desv. 

acuminatus, Michx. 

var. legitimus, Engelm. 

bufonius, L. 

effusus, L. 

marginatus, Rostk. 

tenuis, Willd. 


reniformis, Ruiz. & Pav. 

graminea, Willd. 

Virginica, L. 

Virginica, L. (com. spiderwort). 

flexuosa, Muhl. 


diandrus, Torr. 
filiculmis, Vahl. 
navescens, L. 
strigosm, L. 

spathaceum, Pers. 

acicularis, R. Br. 
melanocarpa, Torr. 

obtusa, Schultes. 

palustris, R. Br. 

tenuis, Schultes. 

atrovirens, Muhl. 

debilis, Pursh. 

Eriophorum, Michx. (wool-grasi). 

planifolius, Muhl. 

polyphyllus, Vahl. 

Virginicum, L. 

graeile, Koch. 

alba, Vahl. 

glomerata, Vahl. 

triglomerata, Michx. 
Carex. - 

conoidea, Schk. 

crinita, Lam. 

debilis, Michx. 

gracillima, Schw. 

granulans, Muhl. 

hystricina, Willd. 

intumescens, Rudge. 

lanuginosa, Michx. 

laxiflora, Lam. 

laxiflora, Lam. (var. styloflexa, Boot). 

lupulina, Muhl. 

Muhlenbergii, Schk. 

Novs8-Anglise, Schw. 

oligocarpa, Schk. 

pedunculata, Muhl. 

Pennsylvanioa, Lam. 

pubescens, Muhl. 

rigida, Good. 

rosea, Schk. 

scoparia, Schk. 

sparganioides, Muhl. 

stellulata, L. 

stipata, Muhl. 

straminea, Schk. 

stricta, Lam. 

tentaculata, Muhl. 

triceps, Michx. 

varia, Muhl. 

virescens, Muhl. 

vulpinoidea, Michx. 




Virginica, Willd. (white grass). 

oryzoides, Swartz (rice cut grass). 

pratense, L. (timothy). 

vaginaeflora, Torr. 

vulgaris, With. 

alba, L. (white bent grass). 

Mexicana, Trin. 

Wildenovii, Trin. 

diffusa, Schreb. (trimble will). 

Canadensis, Beauv. (blue joint grass). 

dichotoma, Michx. (poverty grass). 

Indies, Gsertn. (wire grass). 

seslerioides, Torr. (tall red top). 

glomerata, L. 

mutica, Walt. 

nervata, Trin. (fowl meadow grass). 

fluitans, R. Br. 

annua, L. (low spear grass). 

compressa, L. (wire grass). 

serotina, Ebrh. (false red top). 

pratensis, L. (common meadow grass). 

pooeoides, Beauv. 

elatior, L. (meadow fescue). 

secalinus, L. (chess). 

ciliatus, L. 

perenne, L. (rye grass). 

repens, L. (quick grass). 

Canadensis, L. 

striatus, Willd. 

Hystrix, Schreb. 

spicata, Beauv. 

lanatus, L. (velvet grass). 

odoratum, L. 

arundinacea, L. (reed C). 


lceve, Michx. 

setaceum, Michx. 

agrostoides, Spreng. 

capillare, L. (old witch grass). 

clandestinum, L. 

Crus-galli, L. (barnyard grass). 

depauperatum, Muhl. 

dichotomum, L. 

latifolium, L. 

paueiflorum, Ell. 

sanguinale, L. 

verticillata, Beauv. 

glauca, Beauv. (foxtail). 

viridis, Beauv. (bottle grass). 

Italica, Kunth. 

dactyloides, L. 

furcatus, Muhl. 

scoparius, Michx. 

macrourus, Michx. 

nutans Gray. (Indian grass). 



arvense, L. (common horsetail). 

limosum, L. 

hyemale, L. (shave grass). 


vulgare, L. 

atropurpurea, Link. 

aquilina, L. (common brake). 

pedatum, L. 

rhizophyllus, Link. 
Asplenium (spleen-wort). 

Trichomanes, L. 

ebenium, Aiton. 

angustifolium, Michx. 

thelypteroides, Michx. 

Filix-foemina, Bernh. 

hexagonoptera, Fe"e. 
Aspidium (shield fern). 

arcostichoides, Swz. 

Noveboracense, Swz. 

spinulosum, Swz. 

var. intermedium, Willd. 

Goldianum, Hook. 

marginale, Swz. 




sensibilis, L. (sensitive fern). 

obtusa, Torrey. 

punctilobula, Kunze. 

pusilla, Pursh. 

regalis, L. (flowering fern). 

Claytoniana, L. 

cinnamomea, L. (cinnamon fern). 

ternatum, Swz. 

var. dissectum, Milde. 

Virginicum, Swz. 
Lyi opodiacew. 


lucidulum, Mx. 

inundatum, L. 

alopecuroides, L. 

dendroideum, Michx. (ground pine). 

clavatum, L. (common club moss). 

complanatum, L. 

rupestris, Spring. 

apus, Spring. 

lacustris, L. 


The Appalachian chain of mountains extends 
through the eastern territory of the United 
States from the St. Lawrence River on the 
north, to the State of Georgia on the south. 
The greatest heights are in North Carolina. 
There they are between six thousand and six 
thousand eight hundred feet above the sea. 
This chain includes all the ridges. Two ridges 
of this conspicuous chain extend through Berks 
County. They are the "Blue Mountain" and 
the "South Mountain." 

The Blue Mountain, in its course south twenty- 
five degrees west from the Delaware, at Easton, to 
the Susquehanna, at Harrisburg, forms the pre- 
sent northern boundary line of Berks County, 
It was a barrier to migration in the earliest set- 
tlements of this section of the State, and it was 
the limit of the earliest surveys which were 
made northwestwardly from the Delaware 
River. The earliest map of surveys was pre- 
pared by Lewis Evans, and published by him 
on March 25, 1749, pursuant to an act of Par- 
liament. This map is in the possession of the 

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, at Philadel- 
phia. Several drafts of earlier dates appear in 
the first two volumes of the Pennsylvania Ar- 
chives, and relate to purchases of land from the 
Indians. The apex of this mountain undulates. 
Its average height above the sea is about twelve 
hundred feet. The distinguishing peculiarities 
in the formation of the mountain in Berks 
County are the " Pinnacle" (a deep and rugged 
projection in the northeastern part, of equal 
height, extending southeast, about two miles in 
length, at an angle of about forty-five degrees), 
the "Schuylkill Gap" (a picturesque break in 
the northern part, several hundred feet wide at 
the base, through which the Schuylkill River 
flows), the " Round Head" (a similar projection 
in the northwestern part, extending southwest) 
and numerous ravines which were washed out 
in the mountain-side by rolling waters in the 
course of time, and came to be useful to man in 
having marked out for him easy passes over the 

A wonderful feature of this mountain is its 
intersection by five gaps at almost equal dis- 
tances for a length of one hundred and four 
miles, — first, the " Delaware Gap," at the State 
line on the east; second, the "Lehigh Gap," 
twenty-eight miles distant; third, the "Schuyl- 
kill Gap," twenty-six miles; fourth, the "Swa- 
tara Gap," twenty-eight miles; and fifth, the 
"Susquehanna Gap," twenty-two miles. At 
the " Schuylkill Gap" there are apparent in the 
outlines of the mountain ten curious hooks or 
coves, which were caused by geological disturb- 

In looking at the mountain from a dis- 
tant point it has a bluish appearance. Hence 
it was and is called "Blue Ridge." The first 
mention of this name appears in the printed 
draft of land which was purchased from the 
Indians in 1749. It is published in 2 Penn- 
sylvania Archives. In the Evans map men- 
tioned, it is called the " Kittatinny Mountain," 
corrupted from the Indian word "Kau-ta-tin- 
chunk," meaning endless. It is also sometimes 
called North Mountain. The grand succession 
of mountains to the northward for many miles, 
in almost parallel ridges, have been named "St. 
Anthony's Wilderness." 



The South Mountain extends through the 
county southeastwardly. It enters about the 
middle of the western boundary, near the cor- 
ner-stone of the dividing line between Lancaster 
and Lebanon Counties. At this point it is distant 
from the Blue Mountain about fifteen miles. It 
is called South Mountain because it lies south of 
the Blue Mountain. The distance between 
them increases as they diverge eastwardly. 
At Reading it is about twenty-three miles 
distant. The highest point in this mountain 
is near the county line in Lebanon County, 
on a spur extending several miles southwest- 
wardly. Its height is about twelve hundred 
feet. There is a prominent projection of large 
rocks near by in Berks County, somewhat less in 
height. It is called " Adler's Kupf " (Eagle's 
Head). Years ago many native eagles roosted 
there. Now they are seldom seen in the vicinity. 
Their departure was induced through the re- 
peated removal of the surrounding trees. The 
ringing axe of the woodman, the curling smoke 
of the coal-burner and the cracking gun of the 
hunter disturbed his wild solitude. 

In the southern section of the county this 
mountain has a greater width. It includes a 
succession of rolling hills, almost entirely 
covered with growing trees. Some portions 
have been cleared and converted into farming 
lands. This district, being thus covered and 
having the appearance of a forest, is called 
" The Forest." The " Welsh Mountain " and 
the " Flying Hills " are included in this range. 

The " Flying Hills " extend along the south- 
erly side of the Schuylkill River for several 
miles. They comprise a small ridge broken by 
gorges. They were given this name by the 
early settlers because numerous grouse were 
seen flying there. They are indicated on the 
Evans map, and also on a draft which shows 
the line of the Schuylkill from this point north- 
wardly about eight miles, having been made in 
the year 1743, by Nicholas Scull, in a survey 
for a road from Reading to Maiden Creek. 
From that time till now they have been so 
known and called. They can be seen and 
identified for forty miles down the Schuylkill 
Valley. From afar they resemble great monu- 
ments, and they were famous for game until 

recently. Of the gorges mentioned, the " Gib- 
raltar " is the most remarkable and picturesque. 
Its narrowness and steep hill-sides suggested its 

Numerous hills are scattered throughout the 
county. They subserve the agricultural dis- 
tricts admirably in respect to wood and water. 
Their natural arrangement and distribution are 
wonderful. The cupidity of man is, however, 
gradually breaking up this harmony of nature 
by cutting down the trees and tilling the land. 
The destruction of the woods has been consid- 
ered, for some years, as impolitic ; and it has 
become a subject of increasing concern. 

In the western section the most conspicous 
hills are " Stoudt's Hill," located at the great 
bend of the Schuylkill, about six miles north of 
Reading (named after the owner of the land), 
and " Scull's Hill," distant about five miles 
farther to the north (named after Nicholas 
Scull, the surveyor-general of the province from 
1748 till 1761). 

In the eastern section the county is consider- 
ably broken by intersecting hills which extend 
in different directions, mostly, however, to the 
north and south. The " Oley Hills " are most 
conspicuous in a historic aspect. They are men- 
tioned in patents and deeds of lands before 1720. 
Since 1783 the most prominent hill in that vi- 
cinity has been called "Earl Mountain," because 
it was cut from Oley and included in a new town- 
ship of that name then erected. The " Monocacy 
Hill," cone-shaped, is situated several miles 
southwardly, near the river. The "Reading 
Hills " are the most conspicuous in the central 
section in a natural aspect. They were included 
in the " Manor of Penn's Mount," a large tract 
which was set apart for the use of the Penns 
before the erection of the county, and included 
about twelve thousand acres. The hill, known 
by the citizens of Reading as " Penn's Mount," 
adjoins the city on the east. Its elevated top 
commands a magnificent view of the Schuylkill 
and Lebanon Valleys to the north and west, 
which are especially rich in agriculture, manu- 
factures and internal improvements ; and it 
overlooks an area of territory about five hundred 
square miles. It has two conspicuous spots at 
the apex, facing the west, which are called 



" White Spot" and " Black Spot." They are visi- 
ble to the naked eye for a distance of thirty miles. 
They were called so by the first inhabitants of 
Reading. Their general appearance does not 
seem to change any. They are bare spots on 
the hill-side, composed of stones and rocks. 
The " White Spot " is the nearer and more acces- 
sible. It has been for many years, and is still, 
resorted to for stones for building purposes, and 
it is frequently visited also by resident and 
stranger for the view it commands. The re- 
moval of the stones gives the spot a white ap- 
pearance. Time and the weather are not given 
an opportunity to darken the surface of the 
stones. The " Black Spot " has not been disturbed 
till recently ; hence its black appearance. Their 
elevation above the Schuylkill River at the foot 
of Penn Street is as follows: White Spot, 
767.64 feet ; Black Spot, 879.78 feet. The ele- 
vation of the higher point above the sea is about 
eleven hundred feet. 

The hill known as the " Neversink " adjoins 
the city on the south. Its highest point is 
somewhat lower than Penn's Mount. It com- 
mands a magnificent view of the Schuylkill 
Valley to the southeast for forty miles and of 
" The Forest " to the south and southwest for 
upwards of ten miles. It overlooks the double 
bend in the river, which forms a large S, both 
projections being mostly farming land ; the one 
extending northwardly being known as " Lewis' 
Neck" (from the first settler there), and the other 
southwardly as " Poplar Neck A (from the great 
poplar- trees) for more than one hundred and 
fifty years. The point of observation is called 
" Fairview." It also has been for years, and 
still is, frequently visited. This hill lies east 
and west and forms, with Penn's Mount, a large 
T. Its northern declivity is rather gentle, but 
the southern steep and rugged. It has been 
known by the name of " Neversink " for many 
years. It is mentioned in surveys of adjoining 
land which were made as early as 1714. An 
interesting, though ridiculous, tradition is con- 
nected with its origin. It was said by early 
settlers that an Indian had devised a " flying 
machine," by which he proposed to fly from 
the one hill 1 to the other and "neversink." 
1 Flying Hill at Poplar Neck. 

His effort proved a failure. Instead of flying 
into fame he sank into shame. The word is of 
Indian origin, "Navesink," and means fishing- 
ground. The Schuylkill River in this vicinity 
was formerly a famous fishing-ground for shad. 
Fisheries were carried on successfully until the 
construction of the canal, about 1820. 

"Schwartz-wald " is situated several miles to 
the east. It was included in the "Manor 
lands." The woods are dark and like a forest. 
This name was given by the early settlers in 
commemoration of their native place whence 
they emigrated. 

" Irish Mountain " is near the centre of the 
county. It is prominent and overlooks the 
Schuylkill Valley from the Blue Mountain to 
the South Mountain, especially the fertile lands 
which adjoin the Maiden Creek and its tribu- 
taries. The early settlers round about were 
mostly Germans. They named the hill after 
English settlers who had located or rather 
" squatted " there. The language and manners 
of the latter were more or less objectionable to 
them, and they among themselves entertained 
contempt for the intruders, and in conversation 
called them the " Irish." 

" Spitzenberg " is a cone-shaped hill near by 
the Pinnacle. Its peculiar shape makes it con- 
spicuous. It is not as elevated as the mountain 
to the north. 


Nature has arranged the earth's surface within 
the borders of Berks County in a superior man- 
ner. The arrangement is not surpassed by that 
of any county in the State. Its rolling charac- 
ter, interspersed with hills and mountains, and 
intersected by numerous irrigating rivulets and 
streams, renders it most admirable for success- 
ful cultivation with ordinary labor. The well- 
directed energy and enterprise of the farmers 
have enriched and improved it to a wonderful 

A depression in the central portion of the 
county extends from the Blue Mountain on the 
north to the boundary line on the southeast, a 
distance of thirty-two miles. It resembles an 
" L " irregularly drawn. It is called " Schuyl- 
kill Valley," and takes its name from the 
meandering river that flows through its bosom. 



It is not distinguished for width ; above Read- 
ing it is rather open, below rather confined. 
Valleys enter it on the east and on the west. 
The most conspicuous of the eastern valleys are 
the Maiden Creek, the Antietam, the Mouocacy 
and the Manatawny ; and of the western the 
Tnlpehoeken, the Wyomissing, the Allegheny 
and the Hay-Creek. All take their names from 
the streams which flow through them. On both 
sides they begin at the extreme limits of the 
county, excepting the Antietam and Monocacy, 
which begin in the central portion. Together 
they present a remarkable conformation ; they 
distribute the water supply equally. Their de- 
pression is from the limits of the county towards 
the centre, with a southern inclination. The 
principal valley has the lowest points of the 
county from the northern limit to the southern. 
The limits on the east, west and south are 
water-sheds to a great degree ; inside the waters 
flow inwardly; but at the lines, and outside 
thereof, they flow outwardly — on the east into 
the Lehigh River and Perkiomen Creek, and 
on the west and south into the Swatara Creek 
and Conestoga Creek, which empty into the 
Susquehanna River. These valleys, therefore, 
gather all the waters within the county and first 
direct them into and through its territory, for 
the great benefit of its industrious inhabitants, 
before they allow them to depart. Berks 
County occupies the central portion of the large 
district, in area forty-six hundred square miles, 
which lies between the Delaware and Susque- 
hanna Rivers. The plan of distribution of val- 
leys and waters between these rivers is marvel- 
And the leaders in the movement for the 


erection of the county in this large body of land 
displayed remarkable foresight and knowledge 
in obtaining such boundary lines. 

The " Tulpehocken Valley " forms the east- 
ern section of the Lebanon Valley, the Swatara 
Valley (which extends westwardly through 
Lebanon and Dauphin Counties) the western 
section. These two valleys are, together, about 
fifty-four miles long, and they take the name of 
Lebanon Valley from the town which occupies 
the highest point midway. 

There are other valleys, but they have only 
a local character and take their names from the 

respective streams which flow through them. 
The "Schuylkill Gap," in the Blue Moun- 
tain, where the Schuylkill River enters the 
county, is the only gap of marked features in 
the county. 


Springs are the great sources of all streams. 
They supply us with water for all purposes. 
They arise mostly in the mountains and ele- 
vated portions of country. They supply all the 
streams in Berks County, and almost the entire 
quantity flows from springs which are situated 
within its borders. This is exceptional ; com- 
paratively little water is drained from the ad- 
joining counties into Berks County, but a great 
quantity is drained from Berks County into all 
the adjoining counties, excepting Schuylkill 
County, on the north. This indicates that the 
borders of Berks County are higher than the 
surrounding territory. Bethel township, in the 
northwest, is entirely drained by the Little 
Swatara Creek, into the Swatara, and the wat- 
ers pass through Lebanon and Dauphin Coun- 
ties into the Susquehanna River. Caernarvon 
township, on the south, is entirely drained by 
the Little Conestoga and Muddy Creeks, into 
the Conestoga, and the waters pass through 
Lancaster County into the Susquehanna River. 
A part of Union township, on the southeast, is 
drained by French Creek, and the waters pass 
through Chester County into the Schuylkill 
River. Considerable parts of the eastern town- 
ships — Colebrookdale, Washington and Here- 
ford — are drained by Perkiomen Creek, and the 
waters pass through Montgomery County into 
the Schuylkill. And the greater part of Long- 
swamp township, on the northeast, and the re- 
maining part of Hereford are drained by the 
Little Lehigh into Lehigh River, and the wat- 
ers pass through Lfhigh County into the Dela- 
ware River. 

There are numerous large springs in the dif- 
ferent sections of the county. They are mostly 
situated in the valleys, though in elevated posi- 
tions compared with the Schuylkill River. 
Those worthy of particular mention are Silver 
Spring and Orphans' Home Spring, in Heidel- 
berg township ; Sinking Spring, in Spring town- 
ship, in the western section of the county ; 



Moselem Spring, in Richmond township ; and 
Hampden Spring, in Reading, in the eastern 

The streams of the county are numerous; 
they irrigate every section and contribute much 
to the natural fertility of the soil. The accom- 
panying geological map illustrates the whole 

The most conspicuous feature of the water 
system is the Schuylkill River. The streams 
flow into it from the east and from the west, and 
the territory on each side, thus supplied, is 
about equal in area. On the eastern side, be- 
ginning in the upper section, they are 1, Wind- 
sor; 1 2, Perry; 1 3, Maiden Creek, 2 which has 
two principal tributaries flowing into it, both on 
the east, Moselem and Sacony ; 4, Laurel Run ; 
5, Bernhart's Run ; 6, Rose Valley Run ; 7, 
Antietam ; 8, Monocacy, which has two prin- 
cipal tributaries flowing into it, — the Limekiln, 
from the east, and the Little Monocacy, from 
the west ; and 9, Manatawny, which has two 
principal tributaries flowing into it,- — the Iron- 
stone, from the east, and the Little Mana- 
tawny, from the west. Of these, the Maiden 
Creek and Manatawny are especially large. 
The Bernhart's Run and the Antietam (for- 
merly, for a time, known as Ohlinger's 
Creek) have been entirely appropriated by 
the city of Reading for a municipal water 

On the western side they are 1, Mill Creek ; 
2, Irish Creek ; 3, Tulpehocken, which has 
four principal tributaries flowing into it on the 
north (Mill, North and Plum) and three on the 
south (Mill, Spring and Cacoosing) ; 4, Wyo- 
missing ; 5, Angelica ; 6, Allegheny ; 7, Hay 
Creek ; 8, Six-penny ; and 9, Mill Creek.s Of 
these, the Tulpehocken, Wyomissing and Hay 
Creek are especially large. All the streams 

'These two streams have no particular names. I name 
them thus to identify them. The former passes through 
Hamburg and the latter through Mohrsville. 

2 At Lenhartsville, about twelve miles from its mouth, 
and thence northward, it is commonly known as the 
" Ontelaunee." 

3 The creeks by this name, " Mill," have been quadrupli- 
cated in the western section. The inhabitants in the re- 
spective localities named them for the water-power in run- 
ning grist and other mills. 

mentioned afford valuable water-power. They 
attracted the attention of the early settlers of the 
county. The first lands taken up by warrant, 
survey and patent were those through which 
these streams flowed. Their invaluable and in- 
exhaustible water-power was fully appreciated. 
It was appropriated immediately by the settlers 
and turned to account in running grist-mills 
and iron furnaces. Many of the early deeds on 
record relate to it. 

Schuylkill. 4 — The Schuylkill River rises 
in Schuylkill County. It flows generally in a 
southeasterlv direction and traverses the State 
for a distance of one hundred and twenty-five 
miles until it empties into the Delaware River, 
at Philadelphia. 

It has many important branches which flow 
into it on the east and on the west from its 
source to its mouth. These contribute much to 
the physical and productive welfare of the south- 
eastern section of the State. They together drain 
a very large area of territory. 

The important branches are the following : 
On the east, beginning in the north, 1, Main 
Branch ; 2, Little Schuylkill, formerly called 
Tamaqua; 3, Maiden Creek; 4, Manatawny; 
5, Perkiomen; and 6, Wissahickon ; and on the 
west, 1, West Branch ; 2, Bear Creek ; 3, Tul- 
pehocken ; 4, Wyomissing ; 5, French ; and 6, 
Pickering. Each is conspicuous for length and 
large flow of water, and in a general way they 
are about equal in these respects. This harmony 
in their proportions is wonderful. The earliest 
drafts show the Maiden Creek, Manatawny and 
Tulpehocken, which indicates that the surveyors 
regarded them of more than ordinary import- 
ance. The Schuylkill is not only the grand 
trunk of this system of water, but it occupies 
the central line of the territory in which this 
system is arranged. 

*The word " Schuylkill " is of Dutch origin. It means 
Hidden Creek, or Skulk Creek. The Dutch named the river 
when they took possession of 'the land about its mouth. 
The outlet is very wide and deceiving. It appears to be a 
part of the Delaware River, instead of being a tributary. 
By some persons it is said to be of Indian origin ; but this 
is not correct. The name given to it by the Indians was 
"Ganshowehanne," which means a roaring or falling 
stream. — Haldeman. Kupp says they called it " Mana- 
I jung," which means mother. 



In this magnificent arrangement nature would 
appear to have been wisdom herself. The sub- 
division of this comparatively small portion of 
the earth's surface in such a perfect manner can- 
not have been the result of chance. Some 
great sceptre marked out the courses for our 
mountains, valleys and streams. It was the 
finger of God ! It was He who indicated, by 
His prescient wisdom, the ways which we should 
follow for our welfare and progress. And, for- 
tunately for us, we have pursued these ways. 
Our roads, canals and railways are laid, as it 
were, in paths especially prepared for them. 
Nearly two hundred years have elapsed since 
settlements began in Berks County. In the 
course of events we seem to have developed in 
facilities for intercourse by periods of fifty years ; 
for, in the first period our prominent roads were 
marked out j in the second, our canals and turn- 
pikes ; and in the third, our railways. By the 
end of the fourth period, 1 900, all the natural 
ways will be fully appropriated. The tendency 
and the demands of the present time indicate 
such a result. 

Latitude and Longitude. — The county of 
Berks lies in the lower central portion of the 
north temperate zone, between 40° and 41° 
north latitude, and between |° and 1J° east 
longitude, reckoning from Washington. 

Relative Elevations. — The following 
statement exhibits the elevation, above mean 
ocean-tide, of the several places in Berks County 
and other places out of the county, as compared 
with Reading, in different directions, north, 
south, east and west. The figures to the left of 
the place indicate the distance in miles from 
Reading, and those to the right the elevation in 
feet above mean ocean-tide at Philadelphia. , 
Reading— 265 feet. 





Tuckerton 295 

Leesport 295 

Mohrsville 2 " 

Shoemakersville 311 

Hamburg 372 

Port Clinton 407 

Auburn 468 

Landingville 500 

Schuylkill Haven 523 

Mount Carbon 603 

Pottsville 611 

Port Carbon 620 

Tamaqua 800 

Ashland 856 

Frackville 1476 

Head of Mahanoy Plane 1482 

Foot of Mahanoy Plane 1129 


11 T V Hampton 220 

ISA White Bear 346 

15 T V Geigertown 429 

16& Cold Run 522 

19tV Joanna 624 

21 T % Springfield 642 

22 T V Conestoga 644 

Westchester 403 


8i Fritztown 469 

10 Deep Cut (South Mt. Summit) 570 

12| Reinhold's 446 

19| Ephrata 381 

35 Lancaster 309 

45| Columbia 261 


Glasgow 162 

Manatawny 189 

Iron Stone 309 

Colebrookdale 313 

Boyertown 386 

New Berlin 361 

Bechtelsville 398 

Barto 466 


5 Temple 384 

8 Blandon 415 

11| Fleetwood 446 

15 Lyons 468 

18£ Topton 482 

Trexlertown 411 

36 Allentown 254 


Swatara Gap 444 

Pine Grove 517 

Tremont 763 

Shamokin 735 

Mine Hill Gap 827 

Mine Hill Plane 1524 


6 Exeter 190 

9 Birdsboro' 170 

10i Monocacy 159 

131 Douglassville 158 

18 Pottstown 147 

30£ Phoenixville 107 

32| Perkiomen Junction 106 

41 Norristown 72 

53 West Falls 58 

58 Philadelphia 25 




Schuylkill Bridge 271 

6 Sinking Springs 345 

9 Wernersville 385 

121 Robesonia 438 

15 Womelsdorf 453 

17J Sheridan 456 

19 Richland 488 

211 Meyerstown 471 

24 Prescott 498 

26 Avon 484 

28 Lebanon 463 

Cornwall 600 

54 Harrisburg 318 



Origin — Delawares : Tribes, Clans and Sachems — Ganawese 
—Five Nations — Manners and Customs — Retreat of In- 
dians—Present Location — Villages— Indian Names— In- 
dian Relics. 

Origin. — Where the Indians of this vicinity 
came from and when they settled in this imme- 
diate section of country no one has yet deter- 
mined. It has been generally conceded that 
they migrated eastwardly hundreds of years 
ago till they reached the " Great Salt-water 
Lake," the large body of water which we call 
the Atlantic Ocean. As a nation they were 
known as the Lenni Lendpe'. 1 This general 
name comprehended numerous distinct tribes 
which spoke dialects of a common language — 
the Algonquin. According to the traditions 2 of 
their ancestors, the Lenni Lendpt were an un- 
mixed and unchanged race, residing many cen- 
turies ago toward the setting of the sun, some- 
where in the western part of this continent. 
For some reasons, not explained, they deter- 
mined to migrate toward the rising of the sun. 
iVfter journeying for a time they arrived at the 
Mississippi River 3 (Namasi Sipu, meaning 

1 This name signifies " original people." 

4 See Heckewelder's work on the " Indian Nations " (pub- 
lished by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania). 

'It has been asserted latterly that the Indians wandered 
eastwardly through the lower f xtremity of the territory 
which is now known as British America to the St. Law- 
rence River, and thence proceeded southwardly, scattering 
themselves through the territory which is now known as 
the Eastern and the Middle States. 

Fish Eiver). There they fell in with another 
nation of Indians, who were also in quest of a 
new home to the eastward. Those were the 
Mengwe, or, as they have been named by the 
French, the Iroquois. At that river both na- 
tions united their forces, because they antici- 
pated opposition to the east of the river from 
the Alligewi, who were a populous race of 
gigantic form. Shortly after their union, and 
before they had advanced any distance, they 
realized their anticipations, for they were com- 
pelled to fight many severe battles in carrying 
out their determination to march onward. At 
last their enemy, the Alligewi, to escape exter- 
mination, abandoned the country to them, fled 
far southward and never returned. The victors 
then divided the country between themselves— 
the Iroquois choosing the country to the north 
along the great lakes and their tributary streams, 
and the Lendpl taking possession of the country 
to the south of them, from the river eastward to 
the ocean. 

The Lendpi, on their way hither, became 
divided into three separate bodies. One body 
settled along the Atlantic Ocean and the country 
adjacent for some hundreds of miles to the west 
of the coast, comprising, it was supposed, one- 
half of the nation, and the other bodies settled 
to the east and to the west of the Mississippi 
River. That part of the body which was sit- 
uated in Pennsylvania became known as the 
" Delawares." 4 

Delaware Tribes. — The Delawares divided 
themselves into three tribes — the Unamis or 
Turtle, the Unaldehtgo or Turkey, and the 
Minsi 5 or Wolf. The first two were settled on 
the territory which lay nearest to the ocean, 
between the coast and the high mountains, and, 
as they increased in numbers, they extended 
their settlements from the Hudson 6 River to the 
Potomac. The Minsi lived back of the other 

*'-The word ' Delaware' is unknown in the Indian lan- 
guage. At first the Indians thought that the white people 
had given this name to them in derision, but when they were 
informed that they were named after a great white chief — 
Lord de la Ware— they were satisfied." — Heckewelder's 
" Indian Nations," xli 

5 Sometimes called Monseys. 

6 Mohicanmttuck, or river of the Mohicans. Subse- 
quently named " Hudson"" after the great navigator. 



tribes, to form, as it were, a bulwark for their 
protection and to watch the actions of the 
Mengwe. Their settlements extended from 
Minisink, on the Hudson (a place named after 
them where they had their council-seat), to the 
west, far beyond the Susquehanna. Their 
northern boundaries were supposed to be along 
the head-waters of the great rivers Delaware 
and Susquehanna, which flowed through their 
territory, and their southern boundaries along 
that ridge of hills known in Pennsylvania by 
the name of Lehigh. 

Many clans sprang from these three tribes. They 
selected distant spots as places of settlement, 
and gave themselves names or received names 
from other tribes. Their names were generally 
taken after simple natural objects or something 
striking or extraordinary. Though they formed 
separate and distinct clans, yet they did not 
deny their origin, retaining their affection for 
the parent tribe, of which they were proud to 
be called grandchildren. Many families of 
them, with their connections, lived by them- 
selves. They were settled along the larger and 
smaller streams throughout the country. They 
had towns and villages, in which they lived in 
separate clans, with a chief in each clan ruling 
over them. These chiefs were subordinate to 
the council which comprised the great chiefs of 
the nation. 

Minsi Clans — Lenape Sachems. — The 
clans of the Minsi Indians were the Schuyl- 
kills, Susquehannas, Neshamines, Conestogas, 
Assunpinks, Rankakos, Andastakas and Shack- 

These clans were regarded as the most war- 
like of all the Indians in these tribes. Each 
clan had a chief to control its actions. The 
chief of the Schuylkill clan, which was settled 
along the Schuylkill and its tributaries in this 
vicinity, was, for a time, Manangy ; and each 
chief was under the command of a " Grand 
Sachem." The sachems of the Lenni Lenap6, 
from the time of the first English settlements 
till the Indians retreated before the onward 
march of civilization and eventually disappeared 
entirely from this part of our country, were, in 
succession, Kekerappan, Opekasset, Taminent, 
Allumapees (who was afterward also called 

Sassoonau) and Tecdyuscung. They had their 
headquarters at Minisink, on the Delaware 
River, some miles above the Blue Mountains 
(now in Pike County), and also at Shamokin, 
on Shamokin Creek (at one time in Berks 
County for a period of twenty years, and since 
1772 in the eastern part of Northumberland 


Ganawese. — The Ganawese l were also one 
of the tribes of the Lenni LenapS. They had 
lived formerly along the Potomac River, and 
were permitted by the Governor of Pennsylva- 
nia to locate among the Schuylkill Indians, 
near Tulpehocken, in pursuance of a request 
from Manangy — the Indian chief in this sec- 
tion — with a guaranty of their friendship by 

1 Sometimes called Shawnees ; also Piscataway. 



the Conestoga Indians. This request was 
made in the year 1705, 1 because the Ganawese 
had been reduced by sickness to a small num- 
ber and had expressed a desire to settle here. 
It is not known whether they came here imme- 
diately or not ; but four years afterward they 
were classed with the Indians in this vicinity. 
In 1728 they were represented at Philadelphia 
by their king, Manawkyhickon, who was called 
Shekellamy, also Winjack. He was appointed 

(A reproduction from an old design.) 

by the "Five Nations," in 1728. It is sup- 
posed that he then lived at Shamokin, his 
tribe having by this time removed thither be- 
yond the Blue Mountains. After Conrad 
Weiser had settled in Tulpehocken, in 1729, an 
intimacy was cultivated between him and 
Shekellamy. In 1732 these two were ap- 
pointed to travel between the Indians and the 

1 This is the earliest reference made to any Indians in 
this immediate vicinity. 

settlers, "in order to speak the minds of each 
other truly and freely, and to avoid misunder- 
standings;" and as such agents they per- 
formed invaluable services in our early history 
by the satisfactory and amicable adjustment of 
disputes. " They were universally respected 
for their wisdom in council, their dignity of 
manner and their conscientious administration 
of public affairs." 

Five Nations. — The Five Nations were a 
confederacy of Indians which in- 
habited the territory now the State 
of New York. As confederates, they 
called themselves Aquanuschioni, or 
united people ; and the French called 
them Iroquois. They comprised the 
following five nations of Indians : 
Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onon- 
dagas and Senecas. 

The language of these nations 
was radically the same, but it was 
somewhat different from that of the 
Lenni Lenape. 

The Mohawks took the lead in 
matters pertaining to warfare, and 
the Onondagas in matters pertaining 
to the adjustment of their own per- 
sonal rights and difficulties. The 
Senecas were regarded as the most 
powerful nation in respect to num- 
bers and military energy. 

The grand council-fire of the con- 
federacy was held in the Onondaga 
Valley, and it was guarded by the 

The Iroquois (as they were mostly 
called by the settlers) were possessed 
of remarkable height, strength and 
symmetry of personal development. These char- 
acteristics distinguished them from other nations. 
They were as brave as they were strong, as cruel 
as they were ferocious and as overbearing as they 
were treacherous. They effected an early alliance 
with the Dutch settlers on the Hudson River, 
in the vicinity of Albany, and thereby secured 
the use of fire-arms. With this powerful auxiliary 
they were enabled to repel the encroachments of 
the French, and to exterminate or reduce to 
vassalage other nations of Indians. It is said 



that they even conquered the Lenni Lenape, 
and held this great and powerful nation under 
subjection till 1756, when Teedyuscung forced 
from them an acknowledgment of their inde- 

Manners and Customs. — The early set- 
tlers of Pennsylvania found the Indians pos- 
sessed of a kindly disposition and inclined to 
share with them the comforts of their rude 
dwelling-places. When they were guests of 
the Indians their persons were regarded as 
sacred. Penn said that they excelled in liber- 
ality ; that they never had much, for they never 
wanted much ; that their wealth circulated like 
the blood ; that none wished for the property of 
another ; and that they were exact observers of 
the rights of property. " They are not disquieted 
with bills of lading and exchange," said he, 
"nor perplexed with chancery suits and ex- 
chequer reckonings. We sweat and toil to 
live ; they take pleasure in hunting, fishing and 
fowling, which feeds them. They spread their 
table on the ground anywhere, and eat twice a 
day, morning and evening. They care for lit- 
tle, for they want but little. If they are ignor- 
ant of our pleasures, they are free from our 

The Indians loved rum. Traders generally 
carried quantities of it in bartering with them. 
It was to them — as they called it — " fire-water," 
for it inflamed their passions and made them 
savage and destructive. In 1731 their chief 
here (Sassoonan) complained to the provincial 
government about its introduction and sale. 
He then "desired that no Christians should 
carry any rum to Shamokin * to sell ; when they 
wanted auy they would send for it themselves ; 
they would not be wholly deprived of it, but 
they would not have it brought by Christians ; 
they desired that some rum might be lodged at 
Tulpehocken and Paxtang to be sold to them, 
so that their women might not have too long a 
way to fetch it." In purchases of land the 
Executive Council at times included rum as a 
part payment of the consideration. Doubtless 
the Indians asked for it. 

The Indians, in their peculiar savage life, 

1 Sassoonan lived at Shamokin. 

possessed, on the one hand, certain personal vir- 
tues, a high sense of honor (according to their 
perceptions of duty), mutual fidelity among 
individuals, fortitude that mocked the most 
cruel torments and devotion to their own tribe, 
for whose welfare they were ready to make any 
sacrifice ; but, on the other hand, they had no 
appreciation of domestic virtues, for they treated 
their wives with cruelty and their children with 
indifference. They were gloomy, stern and 
severe, and strangers to mirth and laughter. 
They permitted no outward expression of pain. 
Remarkable indifference to the good or ill of 
life was one of the grand elements of their 
character ; and they exhibited no pleasure in any- 
thing, save boisterous joy in the moment of vic- 
tory. They had a great aversion to regular 
labor, and yet they were capable of enduring 
the greatest possible exertions during the chase 
or times of war. They were extremely improv- 
ident. When they had an abundance of food 
and liquor they ate and drank great quantities, 
not thinking of the morrow and the famine 
they might have to endure. They recognized 
polygamy. They believed in the existence of a 
Supreme Being and of a Being in a subordinate 
position. The former was the Great Spirit to 
them which did not require prayers for aid and 
protection, but the latter was looked upon as 
hostile to them, and to this they addressed their 
worship. And they also believed in a future 
state, where the souls of brave warriors and 
chaste wives enjoyed a happy existence with 
their ancestors and friends. Their funerals 
were conducted with great decorum. They 
dressed the deceased persons in their best 
clothes, and buried them in various ways and 
in different places — some were buried in the air 
on scaffolds, some in the water and some in the 
earth. They also practiced cremation. 2 

The general dress of the Indians in the tem- 
perate and cold parts of the country, previous to 
the arrival of the Europeans, consisted of three 
ar ti c le S — a cloak of buffalo skin (which hung 
from the shoulder), a piece of skin used as an 

2 See interesting and valuable article on Mortuary Cus- 
toms, with numerous illustrations, by H. C. Yarrow, in 
Powell's Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1879-80, pp. 



apron, and a pair of moccasins or loose boots, 
manufactured out of undressed skin. The 
women wore a long robe of buffalo skin, which 
was fastened around the waist. 

Their habitations were huts or cabins, gener- 
ally of a circular form, constructed of poles 
fixed in the ground and tied together at the 
top. The outer covering consisted of the bark 
of trees. A hole was left at the top for ven- 
tilation, or for smoke to escape. Beds and seats 
were made out of skins. The width of some 
huts was thirty and even forty feet. 

The painting of their bodies was a universal 
custom. Tattooing was practiced; some painted 
only their arms, others both arms and legs; 
those who had attained the summit of renown 
in successful warfare had their bodies painted 
from the waist upward. This was the heraldry 
of the Indians. Besides this ornamentation, 
the warriors also carried plumes of feathers on 
their heads. 

Their weapons consisted of the tomahawk, 
knife, club and bow and arrow. When the 
Dutch arrived they introduced the rifle to them ; 
and then the Indians became as expert in the 
use of this weapon as they had been in the use 
of the tomahawk and bow and arrow. 

They subsisted chiefly on wild game and fish. 
They were great hunters and fishers. In the 
use of the spear in fishing they were very suc- 
cessful. They carried on agriculture to a lim- 
ited extent in raising maize, beans and pump- 
kins; but the labor was performed entirely by 
their women. 

Each tribe was governed by an elected chief 
and council. In matters of great importance 
all the warriors were consulted. In their delib- 
erations, questions were decided by the consent 
of all, not by a majority. Their assemblies 
were conducted with great formality. Their 
debates were carried on by set speeches which 
abounded in bold figures and bursts of impas- 
sioned eloquence. The oldest chief always com- 
menced the discussion of a question. The young 
men were permitted -to attend, but not to speak. 

They conducted their warfare in a particular 
and peculiar manner. They declared war by 
sending a slave with a hatchet (the handle of 
which was painted red) to the offending party. 

In taking the field for action, they proceeded 
in small squads, and from the time of entering 
the enemy's territory they killed no game, they 
lighted no fires, they made no disturbance of 
any kind ; but they advanced with the utmost 
caution, not even speaking to one another, only 
communicating by signs and motions. In mak- 
ing an attack, they would first lie flat a whole 
night, and at the break of day, upon the signal 
of the chief, rush upon the enemy. If they 
succeeded — as they generally did succeed in 
such a quiet, but deliberate, mode of warfare — 
their horrifying deeds baffled description. 

Purchases by Treaty. — The Indians 
owned this territory by right of possession. 
Penn's arrival found them occupying and 
claiming the land, he negotiated with them by 
treaties and purchased their title. In this way 
he won their high regard. They sold him large 
tracts at different times, and as they sold the 
land they departed. The first departure from 
land in this section was in 1718, the district 
lying to the south of South Mountain ; and the 
next was in 1732, when they left all that section 
lying between the South Mountain and the 
Blue Mountain. 

Having mentioned that Penn held certain 
treaties with the Indians in carrying on his 
negotiations with them, the following descrip- 
tion of a treaty by Penn himself in 1683 will 
be interesting in this connection : 

" Every king hath his council ; and that consists of 
all the old and wise men of the nation — which is per- 
haps two hundred people. Nothing of moment is 
undertaken — be it in war, peace, selling of land or 
traffic — without advising with them; and, what is 
more, with the young men too. It is admirable to 
consider how powerful the kings are, and yet how they 
move by the breath of their people. I have had occa- 
sion to be in council with them, upon treaties for 
land, and to adjust the terms of trade. Their order is 

" The king sits in the middle of an half-moon, and 
hath his council— the old and wise — on each hand. 
Behind them, or at a little distance, sit the younger 
fry in the same figure. Having consulted and resolved 
their business, the king ordered one of them to speak 
to me. He stood up, came to me, and, in the name of 
his king, saluted me. Then he took me by the hand 
and told me he was ordered by his king to speak to 
me and that now it was not he but the king that 
spoke, because what he should say was the king's 



mind. He first prayed me to excuse them that they 
had not complied with me the last time. He feared 
there might be some fault in the interpreter, 
being neither Indian nor English. Besides, it was the 
Indian custom to deliberate and take up much time 
in council before they resolve. And that, if the young 
people and owners of the land had been as ready as he 
was, I had not met with so much delay. Having thus 
introduced his matter, he fell to the bounds of the land 
they had agreed to dispose of and the price — which 
now is little and dear, that which would have bought 
twenty miles not buying now two. During the time 
that this person spoke, not a man of them was observed 
to whisper or smile — the old grave, and the young 
reverent, in their deportment. They speak little, but 
frequently, and with elegance. I have never seen 
more natural sagacity, considering them without the 
help (I was going to say the spoil) of tradition ; and 
he will deserve the name of wise that outwits them in 
any treaty about a thing they understand. When the 
purchase was agreed to, great promises passed between 
ua : 'of kindness and good neighborhood, and that 
the Indians and English must live in love as long as 
the sun gave light,' which done, another made a 
speech to the Indians in the name of all the Sachamakers 
or kings — first, to tell them what was done; next, to 
charge and command them to love the Christians, and 
particularly live in peace with me and the people un- 
der my government ; that many governors had been 
in the river, but that no governor had come himself to 
live and stay here before ; and having now such an one 
that had treated them well, they should never do 
him, or his, any wrong. At every sentence of which 
they shouted, and said amen in their way.'' 

Retreat of Indians.— The Indians hav- 
ing moved north of the Blue Mountain in 
1732, the "Friends" then entered and took up 
large and fine tracts of land in the Maiden 
Creek Valley. Within the previous decade, 
against the complaints of the Indians, a small 
colony of Germans had settled in the Tulpe- 
hocka Valley. Onward, persistently onward, 
along the flowing, meandering streams and 
toward their wild and rich sources, the early 
settlers proceeded. Were these enterprising 
Christians bent upon ascertaining where the 
streams rose, in their efforts to gratify a desire 
for the best settlements, and, consequently, their 
worldly enrichment, just as the Indians — the 
heathen, as they were called — were bent upon 
ascertaining where the sun rose in their journey 
around the world to gratify a desire for spiritual 
enrichment? Before 1750 these settlers had 
reached and occupied points beyond the Blue 

Mountain, lying towards the sources of the 
Schuylkill. And thus, as they came and pressed 
forward, the Indians went. The Indians had, 
indeed, reached the " Great Sea ; " but, for want 
of worldly cupidity or genius, they did not, or 
could not master its mighty rolling waters. 
Therefore, they began to return, not because 
they had no more worlds to conquer, not because 
they had completed their great journey, but be- 
cause they had met the Bible ! Wonderful 
revelation to them, indeed ! Return ? No, they 
had to retreat! The "Armor of God" pre- 
vailed against them ! Cupidity had found this 
great country of theirs, but persecution was 
peopling it. This persecution justified (?) the 
persecuted immigrants to take possession of 
their lands and homes and hunting-grounds, 
which they had possessed time out of mind, in 
order to spread the " Kingdom of God." These 
immigrants were forced to have a home where 
they could worship God freely, according to the 
dictates of their own consciences ; and they got 
it. But the Indians had to lose theirs ! The 
immigrants — moved more by cowardice than by 
enterprise in leaving their homes where they 
were born and where they expected to take 
affairs as they found them or improve them in 
the course of time if they could — reasoned ap- 
parently like the enterprising (?) men of the 
present generation in appropriating the property 
and possessions of others for the promotion of 
the public weal. First, the quiet possession of 
the Indians had to be disturbed by the 
Christians for the public advancement of civiliza- 
tion and the general improvement of morals ; 
then, that of the Christians by corporations for 
the general improvement of communities in re- 
spect to convenience and wealth. This is 
wonderful. What agency is coming in the 
future to disturb the corporations ? Two hun- 
dred years were required to develop the right 
and exercise of eminent domain. What right 
or rights will two hundred years more develop 
in the great interests of mankind, so that all 
men, irrespective of condition or position, will 
have justice pure and simple done to them in 
all departments of life, not through the law's 
delays, but by the natural and noble impulses of 
the whole community? 



Present Location. — And having been 
forced, if not driven, out of the territory which 
we have come to occupy, where are the brave 
and strong Lenni Lenape now ? Back again in 
the vast wilderness which their great progeni- 
tors had occupied years and years before them. 
Like locusts before the storm, they were swept 
by the tide of civilization westward, westward 
beyond the Mississippi. Centuries elapsed, — how 
many, no one knows — between their march 
hither and thither. Their own energy and de- 
termination had brought them hither ; but the 
energy and determination of a mighty and pro- 
gressive element sent them thither. What a 
mistake they found that they had made in 
searching too persistently after knowledge, in 
going the way of the material world ! Instead 
of realizing their fond hopes of finding what 
they wanted to know, what they yearned to see, 
they could only look, look to the eastward into 
the restless sea, there to find at last coming to- 
wards them an " armor-bearer," with the " cross 
of salvation " before him, directed, as it were, 
by the King of Day, against the motion of the 
world and across the wide expanse of waters. 
And this was, apparently, the " light " which 
their tradition had inspired them to look for 
through centuries of time. 

In 1749 the Delaware Indians left the great 
region beyond the Blue Mountains for thousands 
of square miles. And they departed with the 
firm intention of remaining away. But, shortly 
afterward, having been deceived by misrepre- 
sentations of the French, they returned, not, 
however, to retake possession, but to murder 
the settlers, and in this malicious invasion they 
were very successful, and they kept the country 
in an unsettled and uncertain condition for 
eight years. 1 Then they fled, never to return 

In 1789 the general government placed them 
on a large reservation of land in the State of 
Ohio. But what was a reservation in or against 
the onward march of civilization ? It could 
not be firmly and certainly reserved. The 
Christians were too many and too powerful for 
them, even for the government which manifested 

1 See chapter on " French and Indian War." 

such a generous feeling in their behalf. The 
poor and powerless Indians — poor in the sense 
of possessions and powerless in the sense of or- 
ganized political combinations for influence and 
promotion— had to go, and they went. A gen- 
eration afterwards, in the year 1818, they were 
located in Missouri. Numerous removals fol- 
lowed during the next fifty years, when, in 
1866, they accepted land in severalty in the In- 
dian Territory. They then gave up tribal re- 
lations to settle down to civilized life, to do as 
civilized people do. And now, it is said, they 
are at last useful and prosperous citizens of a 
united people, numbering, it is estimated, one 
thousand. And there, it is to be hoped, after re- 
troceding for over one hundred years from 
stream to stream and from mountain to moun- 
tain, toward the setting sun, they will be per- 
mitted to grow, if not a stronger, a more sub- 
missive and a more honorable people, to be, 
nevertheless, a wiser, a better and a more culti- 
vated people after our own day and generation. 

A popular notion prevails that the Indian 
tribes are disappearing and their numbers grow- 
ing less. But it has been ascertained that, 
though certain tribes have decreased in num- 
ber, and others even disappeared entirely, many 
of the tribes have increased ; and therefore the 
Indian population, as a whole, in North Amer- 
ica has not decreased very much since the ad- 
vent of the Europeans. In 1880 there were in 
the United States three hundred and three 
thousand two hundred and forty-eight, and in 
the British possessions one hundred and three 
thousand nine hundred and sixty-nine — total, 
four hundred and seven thousand two hundred 
»nd seventeen. The general policy of our gov- 
ernment has been, for some years past, to 
treat with the Indian tribes in a respectful man- 
ner, purchase their lands, place them upon cer- 
tain reservations, where they are required to re- 
main, and appropriate supplies for them in the 
nature of food, clothing, arms and ammunition. 
In this manner the government has been humane- 
ly endeavoring to civilize them after our own pat- 
tern of civilization. And it has accomplished con- 
siderable good results in respect to some tribes, 
but failed in respect to others. 

Villages. — Some of the Minsi Indians had 



villages in this district of territory, now in- 
cluded in Berks County. These villages were 
numerous. They were located in different sec- 
tions of the territory, more particularly, how- 
ever, along the Schuylkill and its principal 
tributaries, and known as follows : 

Tulpewehaki — in the western section of the county, 
a short distance east of Stouchsburg, near the Tulpe- 
hocken Creek. 

Sakunk-^-va. the northern section, on the Maiden 
Creek, in Richmond township, at the mouth of the 
Sakunk Creek ; now called Sacony. 

Maschilamehanne — situate some mil? s east of 
Sahink, on the stream of the same name ; now known 
as Moselem. 

Machksithanne — still farther east, the place being 
now in Maxatawny township, near Kutztown. 

Oanshowehanne — in the central section adjoining 
the Schuylkill, near the northern base of " Neversink," 
at the mouth of Rose Valley Creek, the place being 
included in Reading. 

Angelica — opposite " Neversink," at mouth of An- 
gelica Creek. 

Navesink — a short distance below the southern base 
of " Neversink," near the " Big Dam," on the De 
Turck farm, and it is believed that a village was also 
in " Poplar Neck," on the High farm. 

Menhaltanink — at a large spring now in Amity 
township, several miles northeast from Douglassville. 

Ollnk — in Oley township, a short distance south of 
Friedensburg, on land included with the Bertolet 
farm ; and it is believed that a large village was sit- 
uated several miles to the eastward, on the Lee farm, 
adjoining the Manatawny Creek. 

Indian Names. — All the prominent streams 
in the county have been given Indian names j 
also two townships and two mountains. These 
names are as follows : 

Angelica. — 

Antietam. — 

Allegheny — Fair water. 

Oanshowehanne — Roaring or tumbling stream. This 
is now known as the Schuylkill. In old deeds it is 
called Manaiunk, the signification of which- word was 
a mother of streams. 

Gokhosing — Place of owls ; now Cacoosing. 

Kau-ta-tin-chunk— Endless (applied formerly, now 
changed, to Blue Mountain). 

Lechauweki — Place of Forks; now Lehigh. 

Machksithanne — Bear's-path Creek; now Maxa- 

Maschilamehanne — 'Trout Stream ; now Moselem. — Stream with large bends; now Mo- 

Navesink — Place of fishing ; now Neversink. 

Olink — Hole, cavern or cell ; also a cove or tract of 
land encompassed by hills ; now Oley. 

Ontelaunee — Little maiden ; now Maiden Creek. 

Pakihmomink — Place of cranberries; now Perki- 

Sakunk — Place of outlet, where a smaller stream 
empties into a larger; now Sacony; also Saucon. 

Sinne-hanne — Stony Stream ; now Stony Creek. 

Sipuas-hanne — A plum stream ; now Plum Creek. 

Tamaque-hanne— Beaver Stream — a stream across 
which the beaver throws a dam ; now Beaver Creek ; 
also changed to Little Schuylkill. 

Tulpewihaki — Land of turtles ; now Tulpehocken. 

Wyomissing. — 


Cbas. A. Klink, Douglassville . . 
Jonas D. De Turck, Neversink Station 
Isaac D. De Turok, Neversink Station 
A. J. De Turck, Neversink Station. 
Solomon H. Christian, Neversink Sta. 
Henry D. Dick, Neversink Station. . 

Amos Lewis, Big Dam 

Ezra High, Poplar Neck . ... 

Cyrus R. Yost, above Poplar Neck. . 

Charles W. Berg, Cumru 

Maj. S. L. Young, Beading 

Henry Weidensaul, Reading .... 
I. W. Keim, Reading. 

D. B. Brunner, Reading 

Society of Natural Science, Reading. 

J. H. Bubp, StouchBburg 

William Reith, Stouchsburg .... 
Franklin B. Reith, .Stouchsburg. . . 

H. L. Illig, Millbach 

Howard J . Herbein, Sinking Spring. 
Abraham H. De Turk, Leesport. . . 
W. J. Dreibelbis, Virginsville .... 
Alfred S. Dreibelbis, Virginsville . . 
Abraham G. Mengel, Virginsville . . 

Jonas J. Boyer, Virginsville 

L. H. Leaner, Perry 

Dr. C Wanner, Kutztown 

E. J. Sharadin, Kutztown 

Samuel C Bastif Kutztown 

William K. Deisber, Maxatawny . . 
Walter S. Fritz, Wessnersville. . . . 
A. F. Berlin, f Allentown 

Total 48 89 39 298 314 80 18195 19181 


S o o 
~ t.'s 


C o 

;- a. 













































-Where we drank liquor ; now Man- 

*Brunner's "Indians of Berks County," pp. 76, 77. 

■f- Estimated. 

X Present collection about six thousand. 

This statement is not intended to be a correct 
classification of the relics found in Berks 
County, but to exhibit, under a few heads, the 
total number at the present time (1881). Some 
of the collectors began to gather specimens re- 
cently ; a few are not ambitious to make large 
collections, and hence accept only the best 
specimens (this accounting for a few small col- 
lections), whilst others have many more than are 
indicated by the figures in the statement, such 
specimens not being from Berks County — gen- 



erally from the West. The statement is con- 
fined exclusively to Indian relics of this county. 

If the specimens recently carried away from 
the county were added, the total number would 
be largely increased. There are many single 
specimens of axes and small lots of arrow heads 
in the hands of farmers who do not make col- 
lections, but they cherish and hold them be- 
cause they found them on their farms. 

Messrs. Ezra High's, J. D. De Turck's and 
Isaac D. De Turck's collections have a peculiar 
value, because they were found on their re- 
spective farms. 

Mr. Cyrus R. Yost's specimens were all found 
by him on the lower part of Fritz's Island, a 
short distance below Reading. 

Mr. Charles W. Berg found his specimens on 
the farm of the Reading Land Improvement 
Company, on an area of six acres. This was 
also the site of an Indian village. 

Major S. L. Young's collection is remark- 
able for its many rare specimens and large pro- 
portion of fine axes. 

The collection of Mr. H. L. Illig, Millbach, 
Lebanon County, deserves mention here. It 
contains over five thousand specimens, and 
shows that Lebanon also had a large Indian 
population. Only a small portion of his col- 
lection is from Berks County. 

About one-third of Prof. Brunner's collection 
is from the vicinity of Virgiusville, one-third 
from Maxatawny, and the remainder from all 
parts of the county where relics have been 



Swedes —Germans — English — Welsh — Irish — Hebrews — 

Swedes. — The first permanent settlement 
along the Delaware, in Pennsylvania, was ef- 
fected by a small colony of Swedes in 1638. 
Ten years before this, the subject of encourag- 
ing Swedes to settle in Pennsylvania, for pur- 
poses of trade, had been discussed by the King 
of Sweden ; but his earnest engagement in war- 
fare with the Germans about that time, and his 

death suddenly, ended the matter, till it was 
reconsidered and revised by his lord chancel- 
lor, in behalf, and under the patronage of, his 
daughter, the young Swedish Queen, Christina. 
The whole number of settlers then in the new 
country (which they called New Sweden) did 
not exceed fifty. The Swedes effected the most 
of their settlements on the western side of the 
Delaware River, and extended them along this 
river and its prominent tributary, the Schuyl- 
kill. In ten years their number did not increase 
to one hundred. Notwithstanding their success 
in carrying on trade, they could not acquire 
such a firm hold upon the country as to con- 
tinue their government a score of years. In 
1655 their Governor surrendered to the Dutch, 
and this ended the rule of the Swedes in Penn- 
sylvania. But those who had settled and taken 
up lands along the Delaware and Schuylkill did 
not abandon their settlements. They remained. 
Penn, upon his arrival nearly thirty years after- 
ward, encouraged them to move towards the in- 
terior. The English settlers multiplied rapidly 
after Penn had given a fixed government to the 
province. Towards the close of the seventeenth 
century the Swedes began to consider the pro- 
priety of accepting Penn's offer. They, doubt- 
less, then moved up the Schuylkill and viewed 
the adjoining country. A small colony, under 
the leadership of Andrew Rudman, found suit- 
able land along the river, several miles above 
the mouth of the Manatawny Creek, and they 
petitioned for ten thousand acres. This was in 
1701. And immediately afterward, in pursu- 
ance of warrants, certain tracts, aggregating ten 
thousand five hundred acres, were surveyed and 
laid off for them. The names of these Swedes 
were Andrew Rudman, Andrew Bankson, Ben- 
jamin Burden, Peter Boon; Benjamin Boon, 
Mounce Jones, Justa Justason, Mounce Jus- 
tice, John Cock, Peter Cock, Otto Ernest Cock, 
Jacob Culinn, Matthias Holston, Morton Mor- 
ion, Richard Roads and Jonas Yocum. 

All of these, excepting Rudman, remained 
there and made permanent settlements. A 
building erected by one of them, in 1716, is 
still standing. It is the oldest building in the 
county. The descendants of some of them are 
still in the township, which was called Amity 



very shortlr afterward — notably the Joneses 
and Yocums, This was the only colony of 
them which came into the county, and the only 
section of the county in which they took up 
lands ; and they did not wander away, remain- 
ing in the township almost entirely. 

They were the first settlers who erected a 
building for religious worship in this county. 
They were members of the Lutheran denomina- 
tion. They possessed admirable characteristics 
to take up and develop a new country. They 
remained more immediately together than any 
other subsequent class of settlers in this terri- 
tory. The Indians must have appreciated their 
virtues in suffering them to remain unmolested 
before the land was released. Hence they were 
a peaceable people. The name of the township 
indicates the pleasant relation which prevailed 
between them and the Indians. There was 
amity between them, and so the township came 
to be named in 1720. They pursued the voca- 
tion of farming. 

Germans. — The German immigrants were 
the second to enter this section of territory after 
the Swedes. The first settlement was effected 
by them, in 1712, along the Manatawny, in 
Oley. Many arrived within the next decade. 
To the east of the Schuylkill Eiver they proceed- 
ed northwardly from Philadelphia. To the 
west, however, the first colony of Germans, be- 
fore 1730, entered from the west, proceeding 
from New York southwardly and from the 
Susquehanna River eastwardly into Tulpehocken 
Valley. The total number of Germans who 
settled in the county previous to 1752 cannot 
be estimated. They were certainly more numer- 
ous than all the other nationalities taken to- 
gether. In 1747 Governor Thomas wrote to 
the bishop of Exeter, in England, saying that 
the Germans of Pennsylvania comprised three- 
fifths of the whole population, or about one 
hundred and twenty thousand. 

Many of these German immigrants were re- 
demptioners, or persons who had bound them- 
selves or one or more of their children to the 
masters of vessels, upon their arrival, for a 
term of years, to pay for their passage across the 
ocean. The usual terms of sale depended upon 
the age, strength and health of the persons sold. 

Boys and girls generally served from five to 
ten years, till they attained the age of twenty- 
one years. Many parents were compelled to 
sell the service of their own children in order 
to satisfy their passage-money, so that they 
might be released from the vessel upon which 
they were brought to this country. Children ' 
under five years of age could not be sold to ser- 
vice. They were disposed of gratuitously to 
persons who agreed to raise them and give them 
their freedom when they attained the age of 
twenty-one years. In this manner the redemp- 
tioners came to occupy a very humble position ; 
but " from this class there have sprung some of 
the most reputable and wealthy inhabitants of 
the province." x 

Prior to 1727 most of the Germans, who 
immigrated, carried with them hither considera- 
ble means. But afterward, many of them were 
poor and they came to be redemptioners on that 
account. The years in which these arrived 
were 1728,1729, 1737, 1741, 1750 and 1751. 
The principal part of them were farmers ; but 
many were mechanics, who brought with them 
a knowledge of those arts which are necessary 
and useful in all countries, comprising weavers, 
tailors, tanners, shoemakers, (cordwainers) comb- 
makers, smiths of all kind?, butchers, paper- 
makers, clock-makers and bakers. 2 These Ger- 
mans became perfect mechanics and workingmen, 
through a custom of "Peregrination " ( Wander^- 
sehaft), which, as young men, just after the close 
of their apprenticeship, they carried on for one or 
more years, in order to make themselves more pro- 
ficient in their several trades. This was required 
of young mechanics .before they were permitted 
to set up for themselves. By this course they 
were afforded opportunities of acquiring much 
useful general knowledge which books could not 
supply, besides proficiency in their trade. They 
were called " Traveling Journeymen" (Hand- 
werhs-Bursch). The intention of this custom 
was' to enable them to gain experience, 
learn methods practiced in other countries 
besides their own, and acquire also a knowledge 

1 Gordon's " History of Pennsylvania,'' p, 556. 

2 " Manners of German Inhabitants," by Dr. Benjamin 
Rush. Written bj him in 1789. Annotated by Rupp and 
republished in 1875, p. 10. 



of the world. "It is nothing unusual to meet 
in Germany common mechanics who speak 
three and four different languages, are well in- 
formed as to the condition of most countries in 
Europe and possess a general fund of knowl- 
edge which is far superior to that in persons of 
the same class in England." l 

And many of the earlier immigrants were 
Huguenots, who had been encouraged by Penn 
and the English government to emigrate to 
Pennsylvania and New York. In France this 
name was used as a term of reproach for those 
who aimed at a reform of religion according to 
the principles enunciated by Calvin. The name 
attached itself to these reformers when they 
broke off all connection with Lutheranism and 
began to organize themselves both as a church 
and as a political body. Their churches sprang 
up with wonderful quickness during the middle 
of the sixteenth century ; but they became 
unpopular — bitterly disliked by the court and 
by the majority of the French people. During 
the reign of Francis I. the persecutions against 
them gave place to a vehement desire to crush 
" the rising heresy." After the massacre of St. 
Bartholomew's day, in 1572, the subordination 
of their religious interests to their political 
interests became inevitable, and, having become 
followers of Henry of Navarre, heir of the 
French crown, their subseqent discontent ob- 
tained from him, as King Henry IV., in 1598 
(April 13th), the famous "Edict of Nantes." 2 
But the provisions of this Edict were found 
as helpful for Catholics as for Protestants, and 
they were so modified as to show a decreasing 
favor of the Calvinists, who had dreamed of 
dominance and had hoped for equality, but were 
put off with tolerance. This situation caused 
them to become dissatisfied with the Edict • 
and the King then expressed a determination 
'• to reduce to nothing the Huguenot faction." 
About 1590the Huguenotscarried on worship 

1 Murray's Hand-Book, 218. 

» " This Edict was drawn up in 92 open and 56 secret 
articles. It was a code of old and new laws regulating 
the civil and religious position of Protestants in France, 
the conditions and guarantees of their worship, their liber- 
ties and their special obligations in their relations, whether 
with the crown or with their Catholic fellow countrymen.'' 
— Guizut's " History of France," vol. Hi. p. 444, 

in about thirty-five hundred chateaux and two 
hundred towns, which were situated chiefly in 
the south and west of France. In most parts 
of the north they had a place for worship in 
each bailliage. In 1598 the King granted a list 
of one hundred and fifty places to them for their 
safety, the chief groups being in the generalities 
of Bordeaux, Montpelier and Poitou. During 
the next quarter of a century their history passes 
through a series of outbursts indicating im- 
patience and dissatisfaction. In this time they 
had five hundred churches; in 1637 they had 
seven hundred and twenty. Richelieu and 
Mazarin treated them with prudence, but their 
synods were discouraged and their grumblings 
ceased. They grew in piety and purity as the 
political arena was closed to them ; and this was 
the time of their material prosperity. When 
Louis XIV. took up his reign the tranquillity of 
the Huguenots began to pass away. In 1657 
they were forbidden to hold colloquies, lest they 
might take to politics, and in 1659 they were 
told to hold no more synods. Soon the court 
went further, and conversions were undertaken. 
Wherever a pastor could be bribed, converted 
or got rid of, his temple was torn down. Their 
worship then became almost impossible in 
towns. As the King's conscience grew morbid, 
he became more eager to expiate his own crimes 
by punishing the heretics. Within twenty years 
seven hundred churches were destroyed. Through- 
out that trying period, whilst thousands of them 
yielded to oppression or bribery, thousands of 
others fled the land. The emigration began 
in 1666 and continued for fifty years. It 
is probable that in 1660 there were over two 
millions of Huguenots, who were regarded as 
the best and most thrifty citizens in that coun- 
try ; and of these it is said " fully a million of 
French subjects escaped from their inhospitable 
fatherland." At last the King revoked the Edict 
of Nantes, because he thought that the Hugue- 
nots were suppressed. This was on the 15th of 
October, 1685. " This revocation was the sen- 
tence of civil death on all Huguenots. It crushed 
more than half of the commercial and manufac- 
turing industry of the kingdom." The pre- 
amble was as follows : " Our pains havehad the 
end we had proposed, seeing that the better and 



greater part of our subjects of the religion styled 
the Reformed have embraced the Catholic ; the 
execution of the Edict of Nantes, consequently 
remaining useless, we have considered that we 
could not do better for the purpose of effacing 
entirely the memory of the evils which this 
false religion has caused in our kingdom than 
revoke entirely the aforesaid Edict of Nantes 
and all that has been done in favor of the said 
religion." ' 

"Whatever difference of opinions there may 
be as to the numbers who fled from the king- 
dom at this time, there can be no doubt as to the 
quality of them. They were the thriftiest and 
readiest hands in France ; they carried the arts 
and taste, which were till then the special gift of 
their country, to Spitalfields, or Amsterdam, or 
even to Berlin. They crowded into the armies 
which were arrayed against their oppressor; 
they helped to man the ships which destroyed 
the navy of France ; they planted their indus- 
tries in many places, and gave that wealth and 
prosperity to other lands which was driven from 
their homes." 2 

This was the class of Germans which settled the 
country along the Schuylkill and its tributaries. 
They were a valuable acquisition to Penn and 
his sons in the development of their great prov- 
ince. They were just what a new country 
needed to start it grandly in the march of ma- 
terial progress. Their labor, their economy, 
their perseverance and their stability added 
great and increasing wealth to the country, 
decade after decade. They prepared the way 
for the erection of a new county; and having 
fitted the settlements for a separate political or- 
ganization, they proceeded earnestly in behalf of 
its establishment. Their determination towards 
this end extends through a period of fourteen 
years, from 1738 to 1752, when the county was 
erected. They were largely in the majority. 
But they did not have this preponderance to 
appear by the name that was given to the coun- 
ty. Possibly they could not have secured a 
German name if they had desired to. In the 

1 Guizot's " History of France," vol. iv, p. 334. 

2 "Ency. Brit.," rol. ix. p. 510, France; and see Macau- 
lay's "Hist, of Eng.," vol. ii, p. 11, 12. 

vast sections of territory which they inhabited, 
only three townships had been named with Ger- 
man names, — Heidelberg, Bern and Alsace. The 
English influence is apparent. The previous 
counties, excepting Philadelphia, were given 
English names. — Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, 
York and Cumberland. 

The proprietary government was English, 
and an English name for the new county was 
to be expected ; and the Penns . having been 
at the head of provincial affairs, the name of 
their own shire naturally stood out with prom- 
inence as a proper name for the new organiza- 
tion. So it was named Berks. 

Before this event the Germans had done much 
for the territory in improving its soil, in erecting 
buildings, in laying out roads. They were along 
every stream, excepting the Wyomissing, Alle- 
gheny and Hay Creek, in the southern section. 
They were in the valleys and on the hills, rather 
than along the Schuylkill. This singular selec- 
tion of locality was not accidental. They found 
the best quality of land away from the Schuyl- 
kill. Our best farms in productiveness and in 
appearance, are in the localities where they 
settled — in Oley, in Maxatawny, in Heidelberg. 
In these respective localities we find the grand- 
children and great-grandchildren of the first 
German patentees. This adherence to the soil is 
not only a peculiar, but also an admirable quality 
of the German people. 3 

3 The following extract is taken from an article entitled 
" First Families," which I contributed to Historical Register 
(published by Dr. W. H. Egle, at Harrisburgy, January, 
1883, and copied in Reading Times, February 6, 1883. The 
great majority of the names mentioned are German. 


"In the several quarters mentioned, east, south, west, 
and north, the descendants of many of the first settlers are 
still nourishing in numbers, in industry, in wealth, and in 
social, religious, and political influence. In taking a hasty 
glance over its broad territory, I can mention in the east- 
ern district, along the Manatawny and its tributaries, the 
Baums, Bertolets, Boones, De Turcks, Egles, Griesemersi, 
Guldins, Hartmans, Herbeins, Hochs, Hunters, Kauffmans, 
Keims Knabbs, Lees, Leinbachs, Leshers, Levans, Lin- 
colns Lobachs, Ludwigs, Peters, Pottses, Reiffs, Rhoadses, 
Bitters, Schneiders, Spangs, Van Reeds, Yocums, Yoders, 
Weavers, and Witmans ; and. on the border along the head- 
waters of the Perkiomen, the Bauers, Bechtels, Boyers, 
Clemmers, Ehsts, Funcks, Gabels, Rushes, Sassamans, 
Schalls, Schultzes, and Stauffers ; in the southern district, 



In the representative positions, secured to the 
people by our Constitution, our officials have 
been mostly Germans, excepting in one partic- 
ular, the office of president judge. They were 
in Congress without interruption from 1789 till 
1847 ; and in the State Senate till 1856, except- 
ing one term, 1817-20. 

English.— The English entered this terri- 
tory and took up lands shortly before 1720. 
They were, accordingly, the third class of set- 
tlers, the first having been the Swedes, and the 
second the Germans. Their first families were 
the Boones, Ellises, Lees and Lincolns. They 

along the Allegheny, Hay Creek, Little Coneetoga and Wy- 
omi-sing, the Blands, Evanses, Geigers, Harrisons, Huyetts, 
Joneses, Mohns, Moores, Morgans, Planks, Redcays, Robe- 
sons, Scarlets and Ziemers ; in the western district, along 
the Tulpehocken and its tributaries, and the Little Swa- 
tara, the Adamses, Althouses, Batdorfs, Bergers, Boeshores, 
Bordners, Brechts, Conrads, Eckerts, Eplers, Deppens, 
Duudores, Ermentrouts, Fishers, Fitlers, Frantzes, Groffs, 
Hains, Hiesters, Keysers, Kissingers, Klingers, Kurrs, Liv- 
ingoods, Millers, Newcomets, Obolds, Potteigers, Reeds, 
Rebers, Rehrers, Riesers, Riegels, Scharfs, Seiberts, Selt- 
zers, Schaeffers, Speichers, Spohns, Tryons, Umbenhauers, 
Walborns, Weisers, Wenrichs, Wilhelms, Womelsdorfs, and 
Zerbes ; and, in the northern district, along the Maiden 
Creek and its tributaries, the Brobsts, Dav'ises, Dreibel- 
bises, Gernants, Greenawalds, Grims, Hahns, Heffners, 
Heinlys, Hottensteins, Kauffmans, Kaerchers, Kellers,' 
Kemps, Kiefers, Kirbys, Kuizes, Leibys, Levans, Merkels! 
Mertzes, Parvins, Penroses, Piersons, Prices, Rothenberg- 
ers, Rothermels, Saylors, Schaffers, Shalters, Starrs, Trex- 
lers, Wanners, Weilers, Wileys and Zachariases. Others 
could be mentioned. These, however, stand out promi- 
nently in the development of the county from the first set- 
tlements of the several districts to the present time. The 
great majority of the descendants have continued persis- 
tently engaged in agriculture upon or in the vicinity of the 
original settlements. Some moved to other districts of the 
county ; others to Reading. Many sons and daughters mi- 
grated to the West, and settled particularly in Ohio, Indi- 
ana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Colorado. 
Some of the sons turned to the professions— divinity, law, 
and mediciae— in which they shone with more or less dis- 
tinction ; others to trades and manufactures, in which they 
realized rich rewards for their industry and well-directed 
energy. In tracing down all the pursuits of life carried on 
in the county, it is only occasionally that a complete stran- 
ger appears and identifies himself with her onward move- 
ments for any considerable length of time. This is espe- 
cially the case in our politics. The names of the old fami- 
lies are continually on the surface. Not particularly 
demonstrative, they are like expert swimmers in deep 
water. They float onward majestically in the great stream 
of time; their hea.Js are always visible; their endurance 

settled in Oley, — the Ellises and Lees in the 
eastern section, along the Manatawny, and the 
Boones and Lincolns in the central and western 
sections, along the Monocacy and the Schuyl- 
kill. Witb-in ten years after their permanent 
settlement, they established a meeting-house 
for religious worship. This was about 1726, 
at a point where the present Exeter meeting- 
house stands, in an elevated position near the 
northwestern limit of the Swedes' tracts, then 
called Amity township. 

Shortly after 1730 they settled along and 
about Hay Creek and Allegheny Creek, to the 
west of the Schuylkill, and also farther north, 
along and about the Maiden Creek, immediately 
after the Indians had released their rights to 
the territory. The first families 1 in the for- 
mer settlements were the Embrees, Lewises, 
Humphreys, Scarlets, Harrys, Prices, Webbs, 
Hughes, Moores, Williamses and Thomases; 
and in the latter settlements the Parvins, Light- 
foots, Huttons, Starrs, Da vises, Penroses, Pear- 
sons, Wileys, Wrights, Willits, Harveys and 
Reeds, and these respective families also estab- 
lished meeting-houses in the midst of their set- 
tlements, about the year 1736,— the one at the 
cross-roads, near the centre/' of Robeson town- 
ship, and the other near the centre of Maiden- 
creek township. 

All these families were connected with the 
Friends. They exerted a strong influence in 
these three sections of the county. The numer- 
ous English names, given to the townships east 
of the Schuylkill, were suggested by them. 

George Boone was particularly prominent in 
the lower section, and Benjamin Lightfoot in 
the upper section, in respect to proceedings for 
setting apart new townships. They were sur- 
veyors and men of more than ordinary ability. 
And just as these two men were prominent in 
their branch of service, Anthony Lee and Jacob 
Parvin were equally, if not more) promineilt in 
these respective sections as justices of the sev- 
eral courts of the county. Indeed, for a time, 2 

] The Robeson, have been classed with the English or 
with the Swedish Church at Molatton 

frnJf ' f! R !r lu,i ° n - The y ™™ at the head of affairs 
from forty to fifty years. 



through the influence of the provincial govern- 
ment, the Friends exerted the most influence in 
the direction of our political affairs, notwith- 
standing their number was far less than the 
Germans. But during the Eevolution, and 
immediately afterward, the natural energy of 
the Germans carried them forward in political 
matters, just as it had carried them forward in 
agriculture and manufactures before the Revo- 
lution. Independence elevated them into po- 
litical rights, the exercise of which placed them 
in power. So the Friends lost their position in 
the community, and with it their public influ- 
ence. Before the Revolution, their number 
was strong and their religious meetings were 
active and successful. But since that time 
they have gradually decreased decade after de- 
cade till now. Indeed, they have become so 
weak that they can hardly carry on their meet- 
ings. This is a matter to be regretted ; for, 
whilst in influence and power, they conducted 
themselves with justice and ability. Their best 
men were always elevated to positions of re- 
sponsibility. The early county records are dis- 
tinguished for. neatness and legibility, this of 
itself indicating their carefulness and attention 
to business. This cannot be said of their suc- 

In looking over the lists of men who have 
held representative offices for the county since 
the Revolution, we find only a few who are 
distinctively English, especially of the families 
mentioned. The Germans have been our rep- 
resentative men almost entirely. 1 It is safe to 
assert that this would not have been the case 
if the Revolution had not terminated success- 

fully. _ 

During this trying period the Friends here 
were mostly, if not entirely, Tories. They 
were opposed to the war ; but the Germans 
were extreme Revolutionists, and they encour- 
aged the War for Independence to the utmost 
of their ability. Their conduct was admirable. 
When the struggle closed, with the acquisition 
of increased power to the people, they naturally 
asserted their rights and presumed to take posi- 
tions and power unto themselves. 

1 See "Political Hand-Book of Berks County," pp. 10-20. 

I cannot omit to add that there were English 
people here besides the Friends. At first, be- 
fore the erection of the county, they were in the 
southern and southeastern portions of the county. 
They manifested themselves in a religious way 
about the same time — between 1735 and 1740 
— the one body in Caernarvon township ' and 
the other in Amity township. 2 They were 
members of the Established Church of England, 
called Episcopalians. 3 Afterward, when the 
county was erected, they also appeared in Read- 
ing, though without sufficient strength to cause 
the erection of a church for themselves till 1824. 

Welsh. — Just as the Swedes settled in the 
county on the eastern bank of the Schuylkill, 
so the Welsh settled in the county to the west 
of this river. They migrated through Chester 
County lands till they crossed the South Moun - 
tain, and, though some of them reached a point 
beyond the mountain before the purchase of the 
territory from the Indians in 1732, yet the 
most of them entered this district immediately 
afterward. The Swedes did not have a town- 
ship named after any of their places in their 
distant home across the wide ocean. But the 
Welsh were more impressive ; they named three 
townships — Caernarvon, Cumru and Breck- 

The Welsh had purchased from Penn, in 
England, before 1700, a large body of land 
aggregating forty thousand acres, to be selected 
in Pennsylvania ; and these acres they selected 
to the west of the Schuylkill. They settled the 
country so numerously that, before 1698, they 
had named six townships in the county of Ches- 

Rowland Ellis was a prominent Welshman 
who induced a large Welsh emigration from 
Wales to this country. After having induced 
Thomas Owen and his family to emigrate and 
settle in Chester County, he, in 1686, embarked 
with one hundred Welshmen for this province. 
Some of the settlers were named Thomas Evans, 
Robert Evans, Owen Evans, Cadwallader Evans, 

1 Where Morgantown now is. 

2 At Molattou, now Douglassville. 

3 In the former localityl can mention especially the Mor- 
gans, and in the latter the Birds and Brookes. 



William Jones, Robert Jones, Hugh Griffith, 
Edward Foulke, John Humphrey. 

The district of territory which lay to the 
south of the South Mountain and west of the 
Schuylkill was gradually settled by these "Welsh 
people, and they migrated farther and farther 
up the river during the next fifty years. 

Before 1740 several hundred of them had 
settled in the district beyond this mountain. 
The following persons were some of the tax- 
ables : 

John Bowen. 
Edward Davis. 
Hugh Davies. 
Gabriel Davies. 
John Davies. 
Davis Davies. 
James David. 
John David. 
Alton David. 
Thomas David. 
Morgan Evans. 
David Evans. 
Nathan Evans. 
Eleazer Evans. 
David Edward. 
James Edward. 
Robert Ellis. 
William Griffith. 
Henry Harry. 
Hugh Hughes. 
William Hughes. 
Evan Hugh. 
Francis Hughes. 
Morgan John. 
David Jones. 

Thomas Jones. 
James Jones. 
William Jones. 
Watkin Jones. 
John Jenkin. 
Thomas Jenkin. 
George Lewis, Sr. 
George Lewis, Jr. 
James Lewis. 
John Lewis. 
Evan Lloyd. 
Thomas Lloyd. 
John Lloyd. 
Thomas Nicholas. 
John Persall. 
Edward Price. 
Evan Price. 
Griffith Rees. 
William Rettew. 
David Thomas. 
William Thomas. 
John Thomas. 
John Treeby. 
John Treeby, Jr. 

They were adherents of the Baptist denomi- 
nation. Their lands were taken up mostly 
along and in the vicinity of the Wyomissing 
and Cacoosing Creeks, and there they were 
most thickly settled. In their midst they 
caused a meeting-house to be erected. They 
took up many tracts of land, aggregating twenty 
thousand acres, before 1752. They were enter- 
prising, having a gristmill along the Wyomis- 
sing before 1740. This flowing stream was ap- 
preciated by them for its superior water-power, 
and they accordingly erected different factories 
along its banks for the manufacture of gun-bar- 
rels, files, etc, Agriculture was their principal 
employment. Like the Swedes, they remained 
in their first settlement, southwardly of the 

Schuylkill and Cacoosing. And they did not 
enter politics. They attended strictly to their 
personal affairs. They co-operated earnestly with 
the Germans in obtaining a new county out of 
the upper sections of Lancaster and Philadel- 
phia Counties. 

Irish. — Persons of Irish nativity did not 
settle in Pennsylvania for nearly forty years 
after Penn had obtained the province. During 
this time persons of other nationalities, espec- 
ially Germans and English, had been encour- 
aged to locate in Pennsylvania. Penn visited 
Germany in this behalf, kindling a strong interest 
for the province in his own country. But it 
would seem that he did not care for the Scotch or 
Irish, not having encouraged them to emigrate 
to his province ; and, accordingly, neither of 
these came till after his death ; and when they 
did arrive, they settled that portion of the prov- 
ince which lay mostly along the southern borders 
adjoining Maryland. Though some of them 
followed the course of the Susquehanna and 
settled in Lancaster County, the great body 
of them migrated into the country which lay 
west of the river. Very few, if any, proceeded 
up the Schuylkill Valley. 

Doubtless, the German element in this direc- 
tion, which composed the greater part of the pop- 
ulation, was not agreeable to them. Hence, 
they directed their way to the westward from 
Philadelphia, immediately after landing, rather 
than to the northward. No settlement was 
effected by them in any of the districts which 
are now included in Berks County. Possibly, 
single individuals or families of them came at a 
time and located within the county, but I have 
not been able to find any data worthy of special 

Hebrews.— And the same must be said of 
the Hebrews in this respect. Indeed, their im- 
migration into the country has been so limited 
and so quiet that no notice has been taken of 
them. They have made no impression at all as 
a class of people. They have not tilled the 
soil j they have not built any shops ; they have 
simply traded. Some of them have been in 
the county for many years, almost entirely, how- 
ever, at Reading. But they did not show en- 
ergy or devotion enough in this time to acquire 



even a church for religious worship till 1885. 
Their number was too small to associate to- 
gether successfully for such a purpose. 

A number of them settled along the head 
waters of the Tulpehocken, at or in the vi- 
cinity of Myerstown. Single individuals of 
this class wandered to Womelsdorf and even to 
Eeading. In 1836 there were eight Hebrews 
at Reading — Abraham Speier, John Siegel, 
Mayer Siegel, Mayer Arnold, Alexander Hey- 

man, Spiegel, Bernard Dreifoos, De 


The Jews 1 have been engaged almost exclu- 
sively in trading. They have used the Ger- 
man language entirely amongst themselves. 
Through their children and English education, 
the English language has made some progress 
with them. 

In 1864, the following Hebrews were in 
Eeading : B. Dreifoos, Sol. Hirsch, Abr. Speier, 
Mayer Einstein, Aaron Henlein, Sol. Weil, 
Marcus Lyons, Henry Loeb, Isaac Mann, Isaac 
Hirschland, Joseph Loeb, Jacob Levy, R. Aus- 
trian, Abr'm Arnold, Aaron Einstein, Isaac 

Negeoes. — The negro is worthy of special 
mention in the history of this county. Though 
living under political disability till a score of 
years ago, his labor, his patience and his integ- 
rity require respectful treatment. He has had, 
indeed, a great struggle with destiny in this 
vast country for nearly two centuries and a half. 
It is rather surprising that two great elements 
should have entered the country about the same 
time — the one a sentiment, the other a fact, 
the one moved by religious enthusiasm, the 
other by selfishness, the one for freedom, the 
other for slavery — and traveled through our 
wonderful history in direct antagonism to each 

Slavery existed to a very limited extent in 
Berks County. The slaves of which I found 
any notice were owned almost entirely by iron- 
masters. But they were few in number. This 
condition of servitude was incompatible with the 
notions of our early settlers; hence it was not en- 
couraged. The farmers had no slaves. 

Pennsylvania instituted an early movement 

1 They are commonly so known and called. 

for the gradual abolition of slavery. This was 
in 1780, during the progress of the Revolution. 
An act of Assembly 2 was passed on March 1, 
1 780, to this end. In the preamble, the Act set 
forth, among other things, — 

" We esteem it a peculiar blessing granted to us that 
we are enabled this day to add one more step to uni- 
versal civilization, by removing as much as possible 
the sorrows of those who have lived in undeserved 
bondage, and from which, by the assumed authority 
of the Kings of Great Britain, no effectual relief could 
be obtained. Weaned by a long course of experience 
from those narrow prejudices and partialities we have 
imbibed, we find our hearts enlarged with kindnes< 
and benevolence toward men of all conditions and 
nations, and we perceive ourselves at this particular 
period extraordinarily called upon, by the blessings 
which we have received, to manifest the sincerity of 
our profession, to give substantial proof of our grat- 

And then it enacted " That all persons, as 
well negroes and Mulattoes as others, who shall 
be born in this State from and after the passage 
of this Act, shall not be deemed and .considered 
as servants for life or slaves ; and that all servi- 
tude for life or slavery of children in conse- 
quence of the slavery of their mothers, in the 
case of all children born within this State from 
and after the passing of this Act, shall be and 
hereby is utterly taken away, extinguished and 
forever abolished ;" with the condition that such 
child should be a servant till the.age of twenty- 
eight years, after the manner of indentured 

The Act required the owner of slaves to file a 
statement in the Quarter Sessions' office, giving 
age, surname, etc., of each slave. I could not 
find a statement of this kind in the office of our 

There were some colored people in the county 
at an early period. They were in the service of 
iron men ; and they were at Reading soon after 
it was founded. It was not, however, till after 
1830 that they became sufficiently strong to 
form a society for religious purposes, and thence 
till now they have grown in number and influ- 
ence. In 1860 it would seem that they 
reached their highest number, four hundred and 

2 See Egle's " History of Lebanon County," pp.50, 51 in 
which a complete copy of the Act is published. 



ninety-seven; for in 1870 it was four hundred 
and twenty-four, and in 1880 four hundred 
and forty-nine. These were almost entirely at 
Reading, if not entirely. Some of them owned 
real estate here before 1800. As a class, long 
before their enfranchisement, in 1863, they were 
orderly, industrious and progressive. 



General Situation of Territory — Petitions for County — -Act 
erecting County — Districts — Names of Townships and 
Towns — Reductions of Territory, Northumberland County 
and Schuylkill County — New Counties Proposed. 

General Situation or Territory. — 
When the province of Pennsylvania was granted 
to William Penn by Charles II., King of Great 
Britain, in 1681, no township or county organi- 
zations existed in the province. There was no 
necessity for them. The settlements were lim- 
ited and they were confined to the immediate 
vicinity of the Delaware River. And the gov- 
ernment had no definite character. But the 
arrival of Penn was the dawn of government, 
progress and civilization. Within a month 
after his arrival he caused three counties to be 
laid out — Bucks, Chester and Philadelphia. 
County government then began, and county 
representation in the Provincial Assembly was 
inaugurated. During this period thousands of 
immigrants came into the province and effected 
permanent settlements; and each succeeding 
year found them farther removed from the 
county-seats of the counties named. They pro- 
ceeded up the courses of streams mostly. Very 
few followed the streams from their sources to 
their outlets. Only one colony came from New 
York overland, and this was nearly fifty years 
after the settlements had begun, and the govern- 
ment had been given a fixed character. Very 
nearly all landed at Philadelphia; and thence 
the great majority proceeded towards the inte- 
rior districts and the head-waters of streams. 
This is particularly the case with the Schuylkill 
River and all its tributaries. The settlements 

between the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers 
were numerous before 1700. Every decade 
thereafter found them farther northward from, 
the Wissahickon to the Perkiomen, from the Per- 
kiomen to the Manatawny, and from the Mana- 
tawny to the Maiden Creek. And so they pro- 
ceeded between the Schuylkill and Susque- 
hanna Rivers. 

Gradually those who had settled in the in- 
terior districts, toward the mountains, began to 
feel the inconvenience and expense incident to 
their location. They were compelled to travel, 
regardless of roads or weather, to the county- 
seat far removed from their settlements, and to 
haul their goods many miles to the market 
before they could realize any value for the pro- 
duct of their hard manual labor. Naturally, 
they felt inclined to improve their condition. 
A county organization was the first step to- 
wards accomplishing this object, as well to 
bring the county-seat into their midst as to 
create a market near by for the disposition of 
their produce. But, notwithstanding the nu- 
merous settlements and the large population in 
the great district of territory east of the Schuyl- 
kill and south of the Blue Mountain, no addi- 
tional counties were erected before 1750. It 
was different to the west of the Schuylkill. 
The tide of emigration seems to" have been 
greater in that direction. It pursued the Cones- 
toga Creek. And the people, if not more ener- 
getic, were disposed to have local government 
more convenient. They did not have the natu- 
ral facilities to enable them to reach their 
county-seat in Chester County, as the settlers did 
have in the districts to east of them, which lay 
in Philadelphia and Bucks Counties. In 1729 
they induced the Executive Council to separate 
them from Chester County and erect their set- 
tlements into a new county, which they called 
Lancaster. This county comprised a very large 
area of territory. Immigration into its rich 
valleys continued for twenty years. It ex- 
tended over and beyond the Susquehanna River. 
Then the settlers petitioned for another county 
and obtained it under the name of York. This 
was in 1749; and in 1750, other settlers, lo- 
cated to the north, also petitioned for and ob- 
tained a county under the name of Cumberland. 



The territory of both these counties lay west of 
the Susquehanna River. 

During the first quarter of the eighteenth 
century many immigrants proceeded to the right 
into Perkiomen Valley along the West Branch, 
and into Oley Valley along the Manatawny 
and its tributaries. These were mostly Ger- 
mans ; some were English and others Swedes. 
Other immigrants, mostly Welsh, proceeded to 
the left into Conestoga Valley. The settlements 
for miles on both sides of the river were mostly 
confined to the south of the succession of hills 
commonly called " South Mountain." This 
was especially the case to the right. In this 
district of territory the settlements were then 
known by the names "Amity," " Oley " and 
" Colebrookdale." But to the left a small set- 
tlement of Germans had taken place in the 
Tulpehocken Valley, — the enterprising settlers 
having come down the Susquehanna River from 
New York, and migrated eastwardly to the 
head- waters of the Tulpehocken Creek ; and 
another settlement of English (commonly called 
" Friends ") and Welsh had taken place along 
the Allegheny and Wyomissing Creeks. These 
settlements were known by the names "Tulpe- 
hocken" and " Robeson." An earlier settlement 
to the south was called "Caernarvon." Ac- 
cordingly, during the first quarter of that cen- 
tury six distinct settlements in this vicinity had 
come to be formed and recognized. 

During the second quarter, the way for settle- 
ments north of the " South Mountain " was 
opened by the purchase of the territory from 
the Indians. The " Friends " were the first to 
enter the new district to the right of the river. 
They took up large tracts of land along the 
Ontelaunee, called by them Maiden Creek. 
Many Germans followed immediately after- 
ward. And to the left many Germans, Friends 
and Welsh were added to the settlements along 
the Tulpehocken, Wyomissing and Allegheny 
Creeks. Improvements were carried on with 
great energy and success throughout the great 
valleys which lay between the South Mountain 
and the Kittatinny Mountain (sometimes called 
" North," but commonly " Blue Ridge "). These 
valleys extended from the east and from the 
west and united in the picturesque Schuylkill 

Valley, forming, as it were, a great cross, to 
symbolize the wonderful faith that directed the 
settlers iuto this new and fertile country for 
freedom and religious toleration. New districts 
were formed to encourage local government and 
to facilitate intercourse. To the right they 
were called Douglass, Exeter, Ruscomb-manor, 1 
Alsace, Maxatawny, Maiden-creek, Richmond, 1 
Longswamp 1 and Allemengle; and to the left, 
Heidelberg, Bern, Cumru, Bethel and Breck- 
nock. Altogether, till 1750, the districts were 
twenty in number. 

This was the territorial situation of the set- 
tlements in this section of the province towards 
the close of the second quarter of the eigh- 
teenth century. The settlers in the several dis- 
tricts had provided themselves with meeting- 
houses and schools for their religious and secu- 
lar education. In this respect they had 
exhibited commendable zeal. The German 
population predominated ; consequently, the 
preaching and teaching were mostly done in 
the German lauguage. But the Friends were 
not backward. They were prominent in Exe- 
ter, Robeson and Maiden-creek; and their 
schools were distinguished for excellence. 
Manufactures were carried on everywhere ; 
spinning was a common, if not a necessary 
employment in every household. Wearing 
apparel was home-made ; carpenters, masons, 
blacksmiths and shoemakers were in every 
locality ; and iron-ore mines and furnaces and 
forges were in operation to the north, south, 
east and west. But the great highways were 
comparatively few. The most prominent pub- 
lic road was the Tulpehocken road. It ex- 
tended from the Tulpehocken settlement in the 
west, in a southeasterly direction, via the ford 
across the Schuylkill (now the site of the Penn 
Street Bridge at Reading) and Pine Iron- 
Works, to Philadelphia. From this ford a 
prominent road extended to the north, on the 
eastern side of the river, called Maiden Creek 
road; and another to the south, on the western 
side, called Schuylkill road. This point of 
concentration naturally attracted attention to- 
wards this locality as a practicable place for a 

1 Named, bu( not regularly erected. 



town-site. Elsewhere, for many miles round- 
about, there was no town, not even a village, 
and there were then apparently no steps to- 
wards founding either. But just as the settlers 
had labored for years to establish a county out 
of the surrounding territory, similar efforts were 
expended for a town here. 

Petition for County. — The first efforts 
for the establishment of a new county out of the 
upper sections of Philadelphia and Lancaster 
Counties, adjoining the Schuylkill, were made in 
the latter part of 1738. On the 13th day of 
the Eleventh Month (January), 1738, the Hon. 
George Thomas, Lieutenant-Governor of the 
province, " laid before the Council two petitions 
addressed to him — one from the inhabitants of 
Providence, Limerick, etc., in Philadelphia 
County, and the other from the inhabitants of 
the northeast side of the county of Lancaster, 
(with a Map of the Province of Pennsylvania) — 
praying that a new county may be bounded 
as by the dividing lines in the said Map, for 
that they labor under great inconveniences and 
damage by reason of their distance from the 
Courts held at Philadelphia and Lancaster, and 
for many other reasons in the said petition men- 
tioned ; which were read and ordered to lie on 
the table for further consideration." l The pe- 
tition from the inhabitants of Providence, Lim- 
erick, etc., districts (now in Montgomery 
County) has not been found ; but a copy of the 
other is in the possession of the Pennsylvania 
Historical Society, at Philadelphia. It is as 
follows, including the names of one hundred 
and seventy-two subscribers, of which the first 
sixty-one were Welsh, the others Germans : 

"To the Hon. Geo. Thomas, Esq., Lieut. Govr. and 
Commander-in-Chief of the Province of Pennsylva- 
nia and counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex up- 
on Delaware, etc. 

" The petition of the Inhabitants of the North 
East side of the county of Lancaster in the said Prov- 

■' That whereas our Neighbours, the Inhabitants of 
the county of Philada., have petitioned Your Honor 
That the upper part of the said county may be made 
& erected into a County, We, Therefore, in considera- 
tion of our sufferings and by their approbation and 
consent, pray That part of this county may be Divid- 

UCol. Reo. 317-318. 

ed by a North West line at such a reasonable distance 
as you in your Wisdom shall think fit, upon a right 
angle from the river Schuylkill and added to the said 
proposed division and be made and erected into a 
County & allowed the usual priviledges for the fol- 
lowing reasons : 

" 1st. The Town of Lancaster, where the Courts of 
Justice and Publick Offices are held, is seated very 
advantageous for a Division, there being, according 
to the best account, three-fourths of the Distance be- 
tween Skulkill and Susquehanna on this side of it. 

" 2ndly. That our Trade and Commerce are equal 
with that of our neighbours, the Inhabitants of the 
Upper part of the county of Philada. aforesd, and 
[we] transport our produce by the same methods, so 
that we have [no] business nor trade at or near Lan- 
caster, save only to attend the administration of Jus- 
tice by reason [of] the disadvantage of their length 
of land carriage [and] will not allow us a market there 
for our produce and for the same reasons we cannot pur- 
chase such goods as our occasions require but at a 
very dear rate. 

" 3rdly. If the Seat of Justice were fixed upon 
Skulkill we could there cheerfully attend the Courts 
and dispose of our produce, or have it carried down 
by water for less than the fourth part of what we 
must pay for land carriage or store it there ready for 
markets, to wait the freshets, or if we travel with our 
wagons, having mist all the aforesd opportunities. 
Yet we are still in our way to Philada. 

" 4thly. That many of us are divided from Lancas- 
ter by vast ridges of mountains ; that the quiet and 
peaceable people rather choose to suffer thefts and 
abuses from the idle and dissolute people who always 
choose to resort to such places which are furthest 
from the Seat of Justice (Especially the Advantage of 
the River considered) than be at the expense and 
trouble of such a journey, the distance and difficulty 
thereof when attempted, oftentimes gives such oppor- 
tunities to escape. 

"5thly. That Whereas Skulkill is the principal 
River in the Province, We Humbly conceive that 
these proposed Divisions being annexed as aforesd 
and the Seat of Justice fixed as aforesaid it would be 
a great advancem't to trade and a benefit to the Prov- 
ince in General as well as to every particular within 
the proposed division and no detriment or disadvan- 
tage to any. 

" 6thly. That as our natural situation is such That 
we are a great distance from any Seaport and conse- 
quently it is with great labour & difficulty we trans- 
port the effects of our Industry, thereby yielding aben- 
efit to the other, our neighboring Counties, through 
which we travel and with whom we Barter, We There- 
fore hold ourselves excusable if not Commendable in 
craving the reasonable advantages we humbly con- 
ceive belong to a people deprived of equal advantages 
with their neighbors, so that being fully satisfied with 



the Justice of our Request, and that Your Honors' 
care and study is for the good of the Public Weal, We 
Therefore Humbly pray that our cases in conjunc- 
tion with our neighbours aforementioned may be 
equally considered. 

" And your petitioners as in duty bound shall pray, 

(Subscribed by) 
"Hugh Hughs. 

William Hughs. 

William Thomas. 

Edward Davis. 

Morgan Evans. 

Robert Ellis. 

Hugh Davies. 

Gabriel Davies. 

Morgan John. 

Evan Hugh. 

John Davies. 

John Bowen. 

David Davies. 

David Jones. 

James Jones. 

James David. 

David Evans. 

Thomas Jenkins. 

John David. 

Alton David. 

Thomas Lloyd. 

John Thomas. 

Thomas Jones. 

Henry Harry. 

John Davies. 

John Persall. 

James Edward. 

Evan Lloyd. 

Edward Price. 

Evan Price. 

David Lewis. 

" Johannes Bernard. 
John George Ceh. 
Cunradt Wiser. 
Johannes Rauhoose. 
George Heff. 
Michael Grove. 
Jacob De.rrup. 
Peter Ritter. 
Cunrad Sherf. 
Michael Bush. 
Henry Dun. 
Peter Vanbebber. 
Peter Faulk. 
Christopher Stump. 
Johannes Ritter. 
Hance Hitz. 
Hance Wire. 
Adam Shite. 
Antony Shad. 

Thomas Nicholas. 
George Lewis, Sr. 
John Lewis. 
George Lewis, Jr. 
William Jones. 
Griffeth Rees. 
John Lloyd. 
Thomas David. 
Watkin Jones. 
Nathan Evans. 
Eleazer Evans. 
David Thomas. 
William Griffith. 
David Edward. 
Thomas Immass. 
Israel Robison. 
Francis Hughs. 
John Treeby. 
Samuel Robison. 
James Lewis. 
John Treeby, Jr. 
Alexander Brindley. 
John Scarlet. 
Moes Martin. 
William Rattew. 
Christian Jonely. 
John Jenkin. 
George Hudson, Sr. 
Nicholas Hudson. 
George Hudson, Jr. 

Lodwick Kormen. 
Thomas Davis. 
Martin Fartrigher. 
Christopher Steep. 
Henry Grubber. 
Cunrad Sharf. 
John Michael Bush. 
George Adam Bush. 
Lodwick Bush. 
John Iste. 
John Zerpe. 
Philip Zerpe. 
Lodwick Butner. 
Zach. Wanger. 
John Michael Teeter. 
Herman Deedus. 
Adam Shrouf. 
Michael Lousereel. 
Michael Shouer. 

George Einer. 
Paul Engle. 
Frederick Pickle. 
Christian Pilgus. 
John Henry Rool. 
Henry Seller. 
Jacob Beyler. 
David Jones, 
Windel Loudermilk. 
John Loudermilk. 
John Michael Cap. 
Michael Neff, Jr. 
Johannes Ceddor. 
Michael Ceddor. 
John Adam Stumf. 
Johannes Lebo. 
Leonard Reed. 
Peter Rule. 
Michael Felgeller. 
Michael Platter. 
Johannes Teginham. 
Christian Ewig. 
Jacob Sensibach. 
George Fredk. Lapp. 
Michael Neff. 
Andrew Kolp. 
John Shinfelt. 
Andrew Boyer. 
Godfrey Fiddler. 
Jacob Mouts. 
George Lendel. 
Henry Shiggerd. 
George Dedrick Kohl. 
George TJnruh. 
John Craul. 
Jacob Wilhelm. 

Adam Shouer. 
Tobias Beoger. 
Jacob Koofer. 
Johannes Kirshner. 
Johannes Gutslinger. 
Cunrad Caplinger. 
Tobias Bickle. 
John Adolph Henry. 
John Mekur Huller. 
John Jost Hek. 
Nichs. Reem. 
Balser Reem. 
Johannes Reem. 
George Frick. 
Isaac Crooker. 
Henry Razer. 
Jacob Razer. 
Peter Herbein. 
John Epler. 
John Huster. 
Joseph Huster. 
Lawrence Thompson. 
Thomas Thompson. 
Jacob Bowman. 
John George Hege. 
Christopher Stoof'el. 
George Heil. 
Peter Fry. 
Peter Zoller. 
Henry Zoller. 
Youchim Ryman. 
Christopher Shaup. 
Yenik Hefft. 
Michael Eagle. 
Hermanus Edee. 
Peter Cry. 
Jacob Cry. 

John Shall. 

Several mouths afterward (on 19th of Third 
Month [May], 1739) Lieutenant-Governor 
Thomas addressed a message to the Assembly 
in which he referred to these petitions and said : 
" If it shall be thought likely to conduce to the 
security, ease and good order of that part of the 
government, I shall be willing to grant the 
prayer of the petitions ; and as a provision will 
be best made by a law for the establishment of 
Courts of Judicature, I shall also be willing to 
join with you in one for that or other necessary 

The Assembly did nothing in the matter. 
The petitioners waited six years and heard noth- 
ing. They then (25th of Second Month [April], 
1745) addressed another petition to the Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, and renewed their former re- 
quest for a new county. It was read to the 



Council, "and their case being thought proper 
to be recommended to the Assembly, the same 
was done," in a message similar to the first. 
The Assembly ordered it to lie on the table. 
It was signed by John Potts, Henry Harry, 
William Bird, Francis Parvin and numerous 
other inhabitants. On the 14th of the Eleventh 
Month (January), 1745, a similar petition was 
presented, in which the petitioners (the persons 
named " in behalf of themselves and a great 
many other inhabitants") prayed "that their 
former petition may now be considered, and 
that for the reasons therein contained a new 
county may be laid out and erected," according 
to the lines drawn in a map then laid before 
the House, or in such other manner as to the 
House shall seem meet. It was read and 
ordered to lie on the table. The next day, 
(15th) it was again read, but referred for fur- 
ther consideration. In two weeks afterward 
(on the 30th) another " petition from a consid- 
erable number of inhabitants of Philadelphia 
and Lancaster Counties, praying to be set off 
into a new county," was presented, read and 
ordered to lie on the table. On the 28th of 
Twelfth Month (February), 1745, sundry per- 
sons appeared before the House and urged the 
matter of the erection of this new county, when 
a resolution was passed, " That the House will, 
at their next sitting, take the said petition into 
consideration." The matter seems to have been 
dropped then for five years more. Nothing is 
recorded in the " Votes of the Assembly." A 
diligent, but fruitless search was made for these 
petitions, in order to ascertain the names of the 

In the mean time settlements had been ex- 
tended westwardly and northwestwardly beyond 
the Susquehanna River. York County had 
been erected on the 19th of August, 1749, and 
Cumberland County on the 27th of January, 
1750, both out of the westerly part of Lancas- 
ter County. This successful action on the part 
of the German settlers west of the Susquehanna 
seems to have awakened a new interest in behalf 
of the new county between the Susquehanna 
and the Delaware ; for, some months afterward, 
on the 7th of the Third Month (May), 1750, 
there was presented — 

"A petition from a great number of the back in- 
habitants of Philadelphia County and the adjacent 
parts of Cheater, Lancaster and Bucks Counties, set- 
ting forth that by their remote situation from their 
respective county towns (where the courts and public 
offices are kept), they are put to such extraordinary 
expense of money and time in their long journeys 
thither, as parties in causes, witnesses, jurymen, con- 
stables, etc., that their burthen on that account is al- 
most double to what those bear who are so fortunate 
as to live within a convenient distance of their coun- 
ty town ; that their being at a great distance from the 
metropolis of the province, and the charge of carriage 
of their produce to market, make the burthen still 
more heavy upon them ; that as the other remote in- 
habitants of the province, who were lately in the same 
circumstances, have obtained laws to have new coun- 
ties erected, they are encouraged to expect the like 
favor; humbly praying that this House would take 
their case into consideration, and grant them a law 
for erecting them into a distinct county of such extent 
and in such manner as to their wisdom shall seem 

It was read, but it was not effective. The 
House was not in the proper spirit. Its mem- 
bers may have thought — as their successors 
thought a hundred years afterwards — that coun- 
ties were becoming too numerous, that the people 
were getting too many offices and office-holders, 
and that the taxes would become too burden- 
some. The very argument which the petition- 
ers had so ably and truly set forth in their 
petition, and used in their behalf, seems to have 
moved the House against them. They ordered 
the petition to lie on the table. Here was a 
clear case of partiality. The petitioners must 
have been bitterly disappointed. What was 
the reason of the refusal? The settlers of the 
districts erected into York and Cumber'and 
were not removed from Lancaster, the county- 
town, more than an average distance of thirty 
miles ; yet the average distance of the settlers in 
this district, especially those situated east of the 
Schuylkill, exceeded sixty miles, or twice the 
distance from their county-towns. Had they 
not used enough money ? Had they not first 
fed the politicians before asking a favor at their 
hands? Or were they wanting in policy? 
Their representatives, Potts, Harry, Bird and 
Parvin, who can be presumed to have taken 
an active interest in this petition also, were 
wise, as they were wealthy and influential, and 
the conclusion must therefore be expressed that 



the Assembly deemed the erection of a new 
county so soon after York and Cumberland as 

If they were then disappointed, they were 
not discouraged. Their determination prepared 
them for another effort. A year afterward they 
tried it again. They caused their petition to be 
brought up before the Assembly on the 16th of 
Sixth Month (August), 1751, and read a second 
time ; but it was " referred to the consideration 
of the next Assembly." 

When the next Assembly met, these earnest 
petitioners were on hand. They prepared the 
way by presenting still another petition. This 
was on the 4th of February, 1752. It repre- 
sented — 

" That they were inhabitants of Reading-town, upon 
the Schuylkill. That they had settled in the said 
town, expecting that it would be a great place of trade 
and business, and had put themselves to vast ex- 
penses in building and removing thither with their 
families, several of whom had left tolerably good 
plantations ; that though the said town had not above 
one house in it about two years ago (1750), yet it now 
consisted of one hundred and thirty dwelling-houses, 
besides forty-one stables and other out-houses ; and 
that there were one hundred and sixty families, consist- 
ing of three hundred and seventy-eight persons, settled 
therein ; that they had good reason to believe that in 
another summer they would be much increased, as the 
chief part of the province that could be settled was 
already taken up, and the settling of the town would 
be of great benefit to tradesmen and others who are 
not able to purchase tracts of land to live on; that 
they humbly conceived it their interest, to the hon- 
orable proprietaries as well as to themselves, and 
that unless this House would be pleased to erect part 
of the counties of Philadelphia, Chester and Lancas- 
ter into a separate county, they should be entirely 
disappointed in their expectations, notwithstanding 
all the cost and trouble they had been at; they there- 
fore prayed that this House would take their case into 
consideration and grant them relief by erecting such 
parts of said counties as they should think most proper 
into a new county, with the same privileges that the 
other counties of this province enjoyed ; and that the 
seat of judicature should be fixed within the said 
town of Reading." 

And on the following day (oth) another 
petition was presented, in which they stated 
that — 

" Although their grievances were laid before the 
Assemblies of this Province several years past, and 
their petition again renewed at the last sitting of the 

Assembly, yet as they find the causes of their com- 
plaint still continue growing, they humbly beg leave 
further to represent that they are settled at a very 
great distance from the place of judicature, many of 
them not less than one hundred miles, which is a real 
hard>hip upon those who are so unhappy as to be sued 
for debts, their charges in long journeys, and some- 
times in severe weather, with the officers' fees, amount- 
ing to near as much, if not more, than the debts ; that 
the hardships on jurymen, constables, etc., in being 
obliged to attend when required, is also very great ; 
that now there is a new town laid out by the Proprie- 
taries' Order, within fifteen perches of the division line 
between Philadelphia and Lancaster counties, and 
above one hundred and thirty houses built, and near 
as many families living therein ; it is very easy for 
rogues and others to escape justice by crossing the 
Schuylkill, which has already been their practice for 
some years ; that, though their grievances when laid 
before the Assembly some years past were not re- 
dressed, because of other weighty affairs being at that 
time under consideration, yet the prayer of their pe- 
tition was thought reasonable, and the number of pe- 
titioners being since doubled by the increase of the 
back inhabitants ; they therefore pray that this House 
would grant relief in the premises, by erecting 
them into a separate county, bounded as to the wis- 
dom of the House shall seem best." 

In pursuance of the reference, the petition 
was read on the 5th, and referred for the next 
day. The 6th arrived and it was read again 
and referred. On the 12th the same proceed- 
ings were had. And finally, on the 13th, the 
monotony of reading and reference was broken ; 
for then the House, after having considered the 
petition and also the petitions from Reading, 
" Resolved, that the petitioners have leave to 
bring in a bill pursuant to the prayer of their 

On that day some of the petitioners presented 
themselves before the House " and desired 
leave to be heard respecting the bounds which 
they understood the House proposed for a new 
county in case it should be granted." Their 
objections were heard ; and, after answering 
such questions as were put to them, they with- 

On the 18th the bill was read the first time 
and ordered to lie on the table. On the 19th 
it was read a second time, considered paragrapli 
by paragraph, and, after some debate, ordered 
to be transcribed for a third reading. On the 
20th it was read a third time, and, upon the 



question, " Resolved, that the Bill do pass/' it 
was " Ordered, that Henry Pawling and George 
Ashbridge do carry up the same to the Gover- 
nor and desire his concurrence thereto." On 
the 21st "the gentlemen named reported that 
they had delivered the Bill according to Order, 
and that the Governor was pleased to say he 
would give it all the dispatch he could." On 
the 6th of March, the Governor, by his secre- 
tary, sent down the bill with some amend- 
ments ; it was read and agreed to by the House 
and ordered to be engrossed ; and on the 11th 
day of March, 1752, the Speaker reported to 
the House that the bill was assented to by the 
Governor and enacted into a law. 

At last, after the lapse of fourteen years, the 
zeal and persistent determination of the peti- 
tioners were rewarded with success. The act 
fixing the boundary lines of the county, and 
authorizing the erection of county buildings 
for the public service, etc., was as follows : 


" Whereas a great number of the back inhabitants 
of the county ot'Philadelphia, and the adjacent parts of 
the counties of Chester and Lancaster, by their peti- 
tion, have humbly represented to the Governor and 
Assembly of this province their remote situation from 
their respective county-towns, where the courts of 
justice and public offices are kept, whereby they are 
frequently put to extraordinary expense of' money, 
and loss of time, in their long journeys thither, as 
parties in causes, witnesses, jurymen, &c. : For 
remedying which inconveniencies, and relief of the 
inhabitants in those remote parts in the premises, be 
it enacted by the Hon. James Hamilton, Esq., Lieu- 
tenant-Governor, under the Hou. Thomas Penn and 
Richard Penn, true and absolute proprietaries of the 
province of Pennsylvania and of the counties of 
New Castle, Kent and Sussex, upon Delaware, by 
and with the advice and consent of the representa- 
tives of the freemen of the said province, in general 
assembly met, and by the authority of the same — 
That all and singular the lands lying within the prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania aforesaid, within the metes and 
bounds as they are hereinafter described, be erected 
into a county, and the same are hereby erected into a 
county, named, and henceforth to be called BERKS ; 
bounded as follows : by a line, at the distance of ten 
superficial miles southwest from the western bank of 
the river Schuylkill, opposite to the mouth of a creek 

■Dallas' " Laws of Penua.," vol. i. pnges 347 to 351. 
Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 are abbre- 

called Monocasy, to be run northwest to the extremity 
of the province, and southeast, until it shall intersect 
the line of Chester county ; then on one straight line 
crossing the river Schulkill aforesaid to the upper or 
northwestward line of McCaU's manor ; then along 
the said line to the extremity thereof, and continuing 
the same course, to the line dividing Philadelphia 
and Bucks counties ; then along the said line north- 
west, to the extent of the county aforesaid. 

" Sec. 2. The inhabitants empowered to elect one 
representative in the Assembly. 

"See. 3. Taxes already laid in the county of Berks, 
to be paid to the Treasurers of Philadelphia, Chester 
and Lancaster counties. 

" See. 4. Jurisdiction of Supreme Court extended 
to Berks County. 

" Sec. 5. County Courts established, which shall sit 
in May, August, November and February. 

"See. 6. It shall and may be lawful to and for 
Anthony Lee, Francis Parvin, William Maugridge, 
William Bird and Joseph Millard, or any three of. 
them, to purchose and take assurance to them and 
their heirs, of a piece of land, situate in some con- 
venient place in the said town of Reading, in trust, 
and for the use of the inhabitants of said county, and 
thereon to erect and build a court-house and prion, 
sufficient to accommodate the public service of the 
said county, and for the ease and conveniency of the 

" Sec. 7. Charges for these purposes to be assessed 
on the inhabitants, but not to exceed three hundred 

"Sec. 8. Suits commenced to be prosecuted in the 
counties where instituted. 

" Sec. 9. John Hughes appointed collector of excise 
with power to collect the same, &c. 

"Sec. 10. Said collector shall apply to collectors of 
Philadelphia, Chester and Lancaster Counties for 
lists of excise, etc. 

"Sec. 11. Collector to give bond for performance 
of duties. 

"See. 12. Sheriff and Coroner of Philadelphia to 
officiate till the same officers be chosen in Berks 

" Sec. 13. Boundary lines of county to be run with- 
in six months by Edward Scull, of Philadelphia 
County; Benjamin Lightfoot, of Chester County; 
and Thomas Cookson, of Lancaster County, commis- 
sioners specially appointed, etc.'' 

The surveying commissioners surveyed the 
boundary lines of the county, and extended the 
easterly and westerly lines to the Susquehanna 
River, which was then the limit of settle- 
ments. The settlers having ascertained that 
the lines of the new county had been run 
extended their settlements rapidly. But com- 
plaints arose. The adjoining counties claimed 



the right of levying taxes on the inhabitants 
and their property along these lines, and this 
caused dissatisfaction. An Act was therefore 
passed on the 18th of February, 1769, which 
authorized commissioners (William McClay, 
William Scull and John Biddle) to run the lines 
between Lancaster, Cumberland and Berks 
Counties, and also between Berks and North- 
ampton Counties, by actual survey, and extend 
them in a northwestwardly course as far as the 
lands extended, which were purchased by the 
proprietaries from the Indians in 1768. 

The most extended limits of the county in- 
cluded about one-tenth part of the province, or 
five times the present area. As the State is at 
present subdivided, the vast tract of land cut 
away from Berks County constitutes the follow- 
ing twelve counties, either in whole or in part, 
as now bounded : All of Montour and North- 
umberland, 1 the greater part of Schuylkill, 2 
Union, Lycoming, Clinton and Potter, and part 
of Columbia, Snyder, Tioga, Cameron and 

The population of the county at the time of 
its erection cannot be approximately estimated. 
The records at Philadelphia and Lancaster were 
thoroughly examined for the assessments 
of the years 1750 and 1751 without success. It 
may have been about twelve thousand. 

The territory which comprised the county 
upon its erection was taken from Philadelphia 
County to the east of the river Schuylkill, and 
from Lancaster and Chester Counties to the west. 
The estimated area of land contributed by the 
several counties named to the county, as it is at 
present enclosed by boundary lines, is as fol- 
lows : 


Philadelphia County 280,000 

Lancaster County 238,500 

Chester County 7,500 

Total area of county 526,000 

Districts. — At the erection of the county, 
in 1752, there were twenty districts or town- 
ships. Taking the river Schuylkill as the di- 
viding line which separates the county into two 
great divisions, they were as follows : 

1 Erected partly from Berks County in 1772. 
1 Erected mostly from Berks County in 1811. 

Eastern Division (twelve). 

Amity. Maiden-creek. 

Oley. Maxatawny. 

Colebrookdale. Albany. 

Douglass. Eichmond. 

Exeter. Euscomb-manor. 1 

Alsace. Longswamp. 1 

Western Division {eight). 
Caernarvon. Bern. 

Robeson. Cumru. 

Tulpehocken. Bethel. 

Heidelberg. Brecknock. 

Immediately after the erection of the county 
townships were formed ; and the formation con- 
tinued for a period of one hundred years. They 
were as follows : 

Eastern Division {eleven). 

Hereford. Pike. 

Greenwich. Washington. 

Windsor. Perry. 

Bnckland. Ontelaunee. 

District. Muhlenberg. 

Western Division {ten). 

Union. Heidelberg, Lower. 

Bern, Upper. Heidelberg, North. 

Tulpehocken, Upper. Marion. 

Penn. Spring. 

Centre. Jefferson. 

The following districts were erected from the 
townships as named : 

Eastern Dioisi m. Western Division. 

Bsading from Alsace. Birdsboro' from Eobeson 

BoyertownfromColebrook- and Union. 

dale. Bernville from Penn. 

Fleetwood from Eichmond. Centreport from Centre. 

Hamburg from Windsor. Womelsdorf from Heid- 

Kutztownfrom Maxatawny. elberg. 
Topton from Longswamp. 

The total number of territorial districts in 
the county is fifty-one. 

Names of Townships. — The great majority 
of the early settlers in the county were Germans. 
From this fact it might be supposed that the 
majority of the names given to the townships 
erected upon application to court would be 
German. But this was not the case ; for there 
was only one township to the east of the Schuyl- 
kill named by the German influence, and this 
was Alsace, and only two to the west, and these 

'So known before 1752. 



were Heidelberg and Bern. The English were 
more successful in this respect to the east of the 
river, they having named the following nine 
townships : 







And the Welsh 
named three, — 


The other townships were named after their 
several localities or prominent individuals. 

to the west, they having 



East of River. 

West of River. 



Amity. 1 












East of River. West of River. 

Douglass. Robeson. 

Washington. Penn. 

Earl. Jefferson. 

Muhlenberg. Marion. 

Names of Towns. — In the county there 
are one hundred and twenty towns. 2 The 
greater number of them are named after indi- 
viduals. They are well distributed throughout 
the county. For convenience I have arranged 
them in two classes in the two divisions and 
four sections of the county according to my his- 
torical narrative 3 The names of the one class 
were given to the towns after the individuals 
who laid out the town-plans or owned the land 
in the vicinity, and sold off lots or first began 
local improvements, and are called " personal ; " 4 

1 From friendship with Indians. 
» Including all classes — city, boroughs and villages. 
3 See narrative of townships. 

* Several have been named after prominent railroad men 
— Tuckerton, Fleetwood and Lyons. 

and the other class after localities or some 
feature of the neighborhood, and are called 


East of Schuylkill. 

Manatawny Section (27). Ontelaunee Section (24). 


Coxtown (now Fleet- 
Grims ville. 
(now Klinesville. 





























West of Schuylkill. 
Tulpehocken Section (14). Schuylkill Section (13). 

Hetrichstown (now 

Mt. Pleasant). 
Winters ville. 
Wohlebertstown (now 

Mt. Aetna). 

Beckers ville. 












Weitzel ville. 




East of Schuylkill. 
Manatawny Section (16). Otdelaunee Section (13). 

Amity ville. 
Antietam (now Stony 

Creek Mills). 
New Berlin. 
New Jerusalem. 
St. Lawrence. 
Stony Point (now 

Wood ville. 
Yellow House. 

West of Schuylkill. 
Tulpehochen Section (5). Schuylkill Section (7). 


Buena Vista. 

Esgle Point. 










Windsor Castle. 

Bern ville. 
West Leesport. 

Mt. Airy. 
Mt. Pleasant. 
Sinking Spring. 
Port Union. 


Northumberland County, 1772. — As 
near as it was possible to do so, the provincial 
government kept the settlers from going beyond 
the limits of the purchases from the Indians. 
After the purchase of 1749, the settlers extended 
the settlements beyond the Blue Mountain. 
Within the next score of years, numerous set- 
tlements were made in that territory, especially 
in the district which lies between the Blue 
Mountain and " Schne^d Berg," or Sharp 
Mountain, — named so from the sharpness of its 
apex. Many persons located beyond the pur- 
chase, in the vicinity of the great fork in the 
Susquehanna ; and this induced the additional 
purchase of 1768. Within the next four years, 
the Governor was persuaded to feel the necessity 
of erecting another county, even in that remote 
locality, notwithstanding a much larger popu- 
lation existed within the limits of the purchase 
of 1749. Its distance— averaging seventy-five 
miles— from the county-seat, Reading, was the 

principal cause of complaint, and the prime 
reason to the Assembly in granting the prayer 
of the petitioners for a new county. Northum- 
berland was erected on March 21, 1772. It 
comprised about one-third of the whole State, 
including the entire northwestern section. Over 
three-fifths part of Berks County was cut to it. 
No townships had been formed in that section. 
Immediately after the erection of the new 
county, townships were formed, and a county- 
seat was established and laid out at Shamokin. 1 
The place was named Sunbury. Names, statis- 
tics, etc., were not obtainable to show who were 
the first settlers, what was their number and 
wealth, and what amount of taxes they contrib- 
uted to Berks County in 1771. Fort Augusta, 
at the fork of the river, was a conspicuous 
place during the French and Indian War. It 
was erected in 1756. 

In the first efforts towards erecting the 
county of Dauphin, in 1782 a proposition was 
made to cut off a portion of the western sec- 
tion of Berks County. But the citizens of the 
county generally remonstrated, and their oppo- 
sition was successful. It caused the political 
movement in behalf of the new county to con- 
fine itself within the limits of Lancaster County ; 
and it was erected several years afterward, 
in 1785. 

Schuylkill County, 1811.— A score of 
years had passed by when Berks County was first 
reduced in area by contributing territory to- 
wards the erection of a new county. After two- 
score of years more elapsed there was a second 
reduction. In these sixty years many surpris- 
ing developments were made, not only in settle- 
ments and population, but more especially in 
internal resources. The condition of affairs in 
Berks County was equal to that of any sec- 
tion of the State. Coal was discovered as early 
as 1775, along the head-waters of the Schuyl- 
kill. Its need had come to be felt. It quick- 
ened enterprise in developing new means of 
transportation. Agriculture had enriched the 
land wonderfully. Numerous furnaces and 
forges were carried on successfully, not only in 

1 Not present Shamokin, but near Great Fork in the Sus- 
quehanna River. 



the more populous parts of the county south of 
the Blue Mountain, but north of it, even in the 
vicinity of the coal region. The population 
and improvements in the county beyond the 
purchase of 1749, when Northumberland was 
erected in 1772, were comparatively trifling. 

But within this purchase they had grown to 
a surprising proportion when the second county 
was taken from it, for the population numbered 
about six thousand, and the several townships 
together contributed over eight hundred dollars 
in taxes. 

(For the erection of townships in the terri- 
tory beyond the Blue Mountain till 1811, the 
first taxable inhabitants in the several townships 
erected, etc., see Appendix). 

New Counties Proposed. — Before a score 
of years more had elapsed, movements began to 
further reduce Berks County. They were con- 
tinued with marked determination for thirty 
years ; but, fortunately for her territory and 
people, fortunately for her wealth and influence 
and fortunately for her greatness in the family 
of counties which comprise our grand common- 
wealth of Pennsylvania, they all failed. 

In 1824 three different movements were made 
to cut off parts of Berks County : 

One, for the formation of a new county, which 
was to have been called Penn, out of the follow- 
ing territory: Albany, Greenwich, Windsor 
(part), Maiden-creek (part), Richmond, Max- 
atawny, Longswamp, Rockland, Ruscomb- 
lnanor (part) and Oley (part), with Kutztown 
as the county-seat. This met with great oppo- 
sition, representations having been made that it 
would be impolitic and very expensive, that 
Reading, the county-seat, was in the central 
position of the county, and that the project was 
the result of a few ambitious, designing and 
speculating individuals who wanted profit in 
increased value of property, and who doubtless 
wauted place also for political power. 

A second, for the erection of part of Berks, 
Montgomery, Chester and Lancaster into a new 
county. And a third for the annexation of part 
of Berks to Lehigh County. 

In 1825 the spirit continued, and it advanced 
so far as to have bills presanted to the Legisla- 
ture : 

1. To erect part of Berks into a new county, with 
Kutztown as the county-seat. 

2. Td erect part of Berks and Montgomery into a 
new county, with Pottstown as the county-seat. 

3. To erect part of Berks, Chester and Lancaster 
into a new county, with Churehtown as the county- 

And petitions were circulated for the annexa- 
tion of part of Berks to Lebanon, and thus was 
there " a disposition to clip old Berks in every 
direction." But these bills having been earn- 
estly opposed, they were dropped. 

In January, 1838, after slumbering thirteen 
years, the feeling manifested itself again. Peti- 
tions and remonstrances from Berks County for 
and against a division of the county were pre- 
sented almost daily to the Legislature. And 
besides the new counties named, a fourth ap- 
peared, which was to be erected out of part of 
Berks and Schuylkill, and to be called " Wind- 
sor." If the prayers of all the petitions had 
been granted, Berks would have only comprised 
Reading and several adjoining townships. Bills 
were reported for all the projects, and many 
persons were at Harrisburg urging their pas- 

In March following, the Kutztown party 
came very near accomplishing their scheme. 
Mr. Samuel Fegely, a resident of that borough, 
and then one of the Assemblymen, opposed the 
matter. His pleasing personal appearance and 
acknowledged good character carried great 
weight before the Legislature. On the 2d of 
March, 1838, the bill for "Penn County" was 
submitted to a vote; thirty-nine voted aye and 
thirty-nine voted nay. Fegely received much 
denunciation from his neighbors for his action. 
He was somewhat like the property-holders of 
Rehrersburg. But his conduct won the favor of 
politicians at and surrounding Reading. Soon 
afterward he was promoted from the Assembly 
to the Senate, and he was kept in this office for 
two terms,— 1841 to 1846. 

In February, 1841, another bill was reported 
by Mr. Daniel B. Kutz (of Kutztown), then in 
the Assembly, for the erection of a new county 
out of part of Berks and Lehigh, with Kutz- 
town as the county-seat. By this scheme four- 
teen townships were to have been cut from 
Berks. But it was tabled. 



On November 15, 1845, there was a grand 
meeting at Pottstown to encourage a new county 
which was to have been formed out of part of 
Berks, Chester and Montgomery, and named 
"Jackson." The townships to have been taken 
from Berks were Amity, Douglass, Earl and 
Colebrookdale. William Johnson, from Berks, 
was president of the meeting, and on this occa- 
sion Dr. Andrew Bush, of Chester County, 
" made an eloquent address favorable to the new 
county." Resolutions were adopted with great 
unanimity and enthusiasm, in which there were 
expressed "the grievances and inconveniences 
which the people suffered from their remoteness 
from the seat of justice, county records, etc., and 
their indisputable claims to a new county by 
reason of their business resources, locality and 
population," the population of those three parts 
having then been estimated at thirty thousand, 
and capital in business upwards of three mil- 
lions of dollars. This aroused great feeling and 
caused meetings in opposition to be held at 
different places for four successive weeks : in 
Amity, November 22d ; in Earl, November 29th ; 
in Douglass, December 6th ; and in Caernarvon, 
December 13th. The bill for this new county of 
"Jackson" passed through the committee, but 
" it was killed on the second reading," the vote 
by the Assembly having been, — yeas, twenty- 
one; nays, sixty-one. 

In December of that year there was also an 
application for a new county out of part of 
Berks, Chester and Lancaster, to be called 
" Conestoga," with Churchtown as the county- 
seat, but it was not encouraged. 

In 1847 the leaders for the new county of 
" Jackson " were again at work before the Leg- 
islature. Their efforts stirred up opposition in 
all parts of the county. On the 4th of January, 
1847, a large and enthusiastic meeting was held 
in the court-house at Reading, and resolutions 
were passed in which determined opposition to 
this movement was expressed. Citizens from 
all parts of the county attended the meeting. 
At that session also, on the 15th of January, 
1 847, Mr. Jacob Graeff, then in the Assembly, 
presented a bill for the new county of " Penn," 
to be erected out of a part of Berks, but it was 
referred to a select committee of three. A third 

new county was applied for, to have been 
formed out of parts of Berks, Chester and 
Montgomery, and named " Madison," with the 
connty-seat at Pottstown. The part to have 
been taken from Berks comprised all of Union, 
Douglass, Colebrookdale, Washington, Here- 
ford, District arid Earl, half of Amity, two- 
thirds of Pike and half of Longswamp. The 
efforts for the new counties of " Madison " and 
" Penn " were so great and persistent at that 
session that fears were entertained that the bills 
would pass. The opponents accordingly de- 
veloped a feeling against them by public meet- 
ings which they caused to be held in Windsor 
on the 16th of January, in Pike on the 19th of 
January, and in Maiden-creek on the 23d of 
January. The bill for " Penn County " was 
voted for on the 1st of March and defeated by a 
vote of nineteen ayes to forty-four nays ; and 
the bill for " Madison " was voted for on the 
3d of March and defeated by a vote of forty- 
two ayes to thirty-six 'nays. The leaders for 
'' Madison " had apparently worked very hard, 
and, securing such a strong vote — nearly two- 
thirds — they must have been greatly disap- 

In 1849, the subject of new counties was 
agitated with renewed vigor ; but earnestly and 
sincerely as the one party worked for them the 
other party worked against them. During the 
winter and spring of that year, numerous oppo^ 
sition meetings were held at different places. 
The most conspicuous and enthusiastic meeting 
favorable to a new county was one held at 
Kutztown on the 16th of February, 1849. It 
was for the " County of Penn." Very appro- 
priate resolutions were reported and adopted. 
The proposed division was to have cut off fif- 
teen townships. But their enthusiasm passed 
away with general satisfaction to the county. 

In November, 1849, the people of Hamburg 
were also seized with this ambitious feeling. 
They, too, wanted their borough to become a 
county-seat, and accordingly prepared a petition 
for the erection of a part of Berks and Schuyl- 
kill into a new county, to be called " Windsor," 
which they circulated for subscribers, in antici- 
pation of the next meeting of the Legislature. 

In February, 1850, bills were reported to the 



Legislature for the new counties "Madison," 
" Penn " and " Windsor." 

And besides " Windsor," a petition for 
another county in the same region of territory — 
to have included part of Berks and Schuylkill, 
and to have been named "Fulton" — was pre- 
sented to the Legislature; but on the 1st of 
May, 1850, Henry A. Muhlenberg (the State 
Senator from Berks County) reported adversely. 

And still another new county was to have been 
formed. It would seem that the circle about 
Reading had to be completed in the numerous 
efforts to cut off the surrounding territory. The 
citizens in and about Bernville caught the spirit 
at last, and they, too, had a bill presented, in 
March, 1852, for the erection of a new county 
out of part of Berks, which was to have been 
called " Lee," with Bernville as the county-seat. 
No particular excitement followed this applica- 
tion. The intelligence from Harrisburg, com- 
municating to the people of Beading that 
" there were no hopes of the passage of the bill," 
must have had a cheering, if not a soothing, 
effect upon their agitated minds. 

At the session of 1854, and also of 1855, re- 
newed applications were made for the county of 
" Madison," but without any progress. Sud- 
denly, however, all these movements collapsed, 
as a bellows would have done from a break. 
What struck the wind out of them? From 
the adoption of the Constitution of 1790, for a 
period of three score-years, the spirit for new cou n- 
ties had passed through the whole State like fire 
through a woods. The year 1800 was especially 
prolific. In these sixty years forty-three new 
counties had been erected. The politicians and 
men of public spirit at Kutztown, Hamburg 
and Bernville had apparently started too late. 
The growth of the number of counties and the 
consequent increase in representation, in offices 
and in local taxation had been gradually formu- 
lating legislation against this evil, and finally 
the bold genius of Charles R. Buckalew broke 
the storm by a constitutional amendment, which 
thus set the minds of ambitious, designing men 
at rest. The citizens of the county are to be 
congratulated in having had preserved for them 
such a magnificent natural arrangement of ter- 
ritory for their political existence. 



General Condition and Progress— County Society and Ex- 
hibitions—Farms, Productions, etc., of County, 1870 and 

General Condition and Progress. — 
When the first settlers entered this territory 
they found it entirely without cultivation or 
improvement of any kind. The land along the 
Schuylkill and its tributaries was in a primitive 
state in every respect. But it was in a good 
condition for farming purposes. Its location 
was fine, its irrigation was superior. Alto- 
gether it was very inviting to them. Labor 
stood out prominently before them as the one 
thing necessary to cause it to become fruitful. 
Fortunately for them, they possessed this per- 
sonal quality in the highest degree ; and with 
this quality they also possessed other qualities 
equally important in taking hold of an unculti- 
vated country, — economy, perseverance and 
patience. They were in every way adapted to 
their situation. Their preparation was of the 
best order ; and driven from home by religious 
persecution or intolerance, they must have re- 
joiced in finding such a pleasing situation, such 
inviting conditions. After the beginning had 
been made, can we wonder that immigrants came 
by the thousand ? They knew their sufferings, 
their uncertain condition at home. Their sense 
of well-being induced them to leave. But in 
leaving the valleys and hills so dear to them, 
they came to possess and enjoy a country equal- 
ly favored for beauty, for health and for profit ; 
but more highly favored in respect to a con- 
dition which was to them more important than 
all the others combined— freedom. It is sur- 
prising to find in the course of time and govern- 
ment the development of a condition for man- 
kind so unfortunate, so objectionable, so dis- 
couraging ; but it is equally surprising to find 
in the same course of time and government, 
though in a country far removed, over a thou- 
sand miles across a dreaded sea, a condition ex- 
actly opposite, fortunate, acceptable and encour- 

The condition of the settlers was encouraging, 
not only in respect to an acceptable country, 



but also in respect to their own constitution, 
physically, mentally and morally. They were 
strong and enduring in physical development ; 
they were sensible and practical in thought and 
feeling; they were sound, hopeful and trustful 
in religious convictions. These fitted them ad- 
mirably for their vocation. 

.The land was cultivated then as it is now — 
by manuring and enriching the soil, by turn- 
ing the sod, by sowing and planting seeds, by 
rotating crops ; but the manner was infinitely 
more laborious. Every act was performed by 
muscular exertion and endurance, with the assist- 
ance of horse-power. The plow, the harrow, the 
scythe, the sickle and the rake were important 
then. By comparison of the past with the pres- 
ent, we can readily appreciate the vast difference. 
The farming implements were rude and simple 
in construction and continued so for many years. 
The whole of the eighteenth century passed 
away without any improvement. The farmer 
labored on earnestly and faithfully year after 
year, and decade after decade, with the same 
muscular exertion. These rude implements re- 
quired him to be at his place all the time, if he 
wished to be in season. His devotion was equal 
to the task. He was up with the sun in the 
morning, and he was up with the moon in sea- 
son. He was never behind ; he could not be, 
without great loss and inconvenience. His im- 
plements were satisfactory to him, because he 
gave them no thought beyond the assistance 
which they afforded ; and sons followed in the 
footsteps of their fathers — by imitation. Half 
of the nineteenth century passed away without 
any material advancement in this vicinity be- 
yond the days of 1700, of 1750 and of 1800. 
Labor-saving machinery had begun to be intro- 
duced within a score of years before 1850, and 
this naturally led to an improvement in farming 
implements. The mower came to be substituted 
for the scythe, the reaper for the sickle and the 
drill for the hand. Improved plows of various 
patterns were introduced. And now we have 
the combined reaper and binder — a machine 
truly ingenious. 

The same slowness, simplicity, but earnest 
labor, followed the threshing of grain after it j 
had been harvested. The flail and the walking i 

of horses on the barn-floor were continued for a 
hundred and fifty years. Indeed, some of the 
poorer, non-progressive farmers in districts dis- 
tant from railroads and prominent highways still 
carry on this laborious performance. For long 
straw the flail is still indispensable. But about 
lSSO'thethreshing-machine was introduced, and 
also the horse-power machine for running it with 
speed and success. Patent hay-rakes, hay-forks, 
corn-shellers and implements and machines of 
various kinds are also used in every section of 
our county. All these things were developed 
from the easy manufacture of iron into any 
shape. Accordingly, the model and the foundry 
played an important part in these improve- 
ments. And at the bottom of all this progress 
to and for the farmer we find iron, coal and 

We no longer see from ten to thirty and 
forty persons engaged in hay-making and har- 
vesting on our surrounding farms as they were 
seen one hundred, indeed, only thirty years 
ago. A farmer and his own family, with the 
aid of his horses and improved farming ma- 
chinery, can carry on all the work, from begin- 
ning to end successfully. He has little or no 
hired help to deal with. This is certainly a 
great consideration to him. His investment in 
improved machinery is therefore profitable; 
and it is always reliable and ready. During 
the last thirty years numerous manufacturing 
establishments were erected in our country. 
They caused a great demand for working-peo- 
ple, and this demand was supplied to a great 
degree from the farming districts. The manu- 
facturer paid higher wages than the farmer, 
and limited the time of daily labor to ten hours. 
Towns and cities, at which these establishments 
were almost entirely erected, afforded the work- 
ing-people more and better advantages and 
facilities in respect to schools, churches, pleas- 
ures and associations. These naturally inclined 
them to quit laboring on farms in the country 
and enter establishments in populous places. 
Accordingly, farm-laborers began to grow 
scarce, and farmers became alarmed, but for- 

i Possibly 1840. Between 1840 and 1850 they were 
manufactured at Reading. 



innately for farming, whilst enterprise was 
drawing one way against its interests and wel- 
fare, genius was acting with equal force in the 
other for them. The result has actually come 
to be beneficial to the farmer, especially in 
respect to making him more self-dependent. 

County Society and Exhibitions. — A 
society, formed for the purpose of promoting 
the interests of farmers through the progressive 
cultivation of land, may not be strictly regarded 
as an intellectual association. But it is cer- 
tainly intended for the discussion of matters 
whose principal object is the improvement of 
farmers, as well respecting their condition as 
the ways by which they can conduct their op- 
erations with greater ease and success ; and the 
process is purely intellectual — the direction of 
affairs through an improved understanding. 

In 1823, a State Agricultural Society was sug- 
gested to the people of the State by an Act of 
incorporation ; but nothing resulted from the 
legislative movement. Nearly thirty years 
elapsed before a successful movement was made. 
A public letter was addressed to the farmers of 
the State, in May, 1850, which suggested a 
convention to be held at Harrisburg, in January, 
1851, for the purpose of forming a State Agri- 
cultural Society. There were delegates from 
the several counties in attendance, — those from 
Berks County having been Henry A. Muhlen- 
berg, John C. Evans, Jacob Reifsnyder, Alex- 
ander S. Feather, William D. Robesou and 
Samuel Fegely. It resulted successfully, and 
the first State Fair was held in October, 1851. 
This movement having met with success, a pre- 
liminary meeting for organizing a society in the 
county was held at the Keystone House, in 
Reading, on December 20, 1851. It was at- 
tended by fifteen prominent citizens 1 of the 

1 There were present at this meeting Dr. John P. Heis- 
ter, Hon. Charles Kessler. General William H. Keim, Ja- 
cob Gehr, Peter Filbert, Augustus F. Boas, Frederick 
Lauer, Hon. J. Pringle Jones, George W. Oakeley, Samuel 
L. Young, Edward M. Clymer and Jacob Knabb. 

Dr. John P. Hiester was elected chairman, aud Peter 
Filbert, Esq., secretary of thi3 first meeting, and a call was 
issued for a county meeting, which was held at the court- 
house, in the city of Reading, on Tuesday afternoon, Jan- 
uary 13, 1852, at which Henry Flannery, Esq , of Union, 
presided. A constitution and rules of order were pre ■ 
seuted by A. F. Boas, Esq., and adopted. L The election for 

county, all from Reading excepting two, who 
caused a public address to be issued. A formal 
organization was effected at the court-house on 
January 13, 1852, and one hundred and eight 
persons subscribed the constitution. The first 
exhibition was held on 17th of August, 1852, in 
the parlors of Hou sum's new hotel (now 
American House), on the southwest corner of 
Fourth and Penn Streets, Reading. It was 
confined principally to grains, vegetables, fruifs 
and flowers ; and, though small, it exceeded all 
expectations and was an entire success, having 
attracted a large number of visitors from Read- 
ing and all parts of the county. This was a 
"horticultural fair." The first "agricultural 
fair" was held in October, 1853; the exhibi- 
tion of speed took place on a large lot on the 
northeast corner of Sixth and Walnut Streets ; 
of farming implements, stock, poultry, etc., in 
the lot on southeast corner of Fifth and Elm 
Streets ; and of grain, fruits, flowers, fancy arti- 
cles, etc., in the Academy building, on north- 
east corner of Fourth and Court Streets. It 
was a great success, — the attendance was esti- 
mated at twenty thousand. 

In the spring of 1854 (April) an exhibition 
was held with success on a lot below Laurel 
Street, between Fourth and Fifth Streets. 

In a report to the society, made April 5, 1853, 
a recommendation was made that the public 
park and parade-ground be obtained as a suit- 
able locality for the erection of buildings, etc., 
to promote agricultural science. This recom- 
mendation was acted upon, and on May 13, 
1854, the county commissioners leased to the so- 
ciety the ground known as the '-'commons," 
for the purpose of holding its annual fairs, for 
the term of ninety-nine years. The third an- 
nual fair was held there 2 in October, 1854 ; and 

officers resulted in the choice of Dr. John P. Hiester as 
president ; Colonel Henry Shubert, of Bethel, and Major 
Henry S. Kupp, of Union township, vice-presidents ; 
Thomas Penrose, of Maiden-creek, as recording secretary ; 
A. F. Boas, of Reading, as corresponding secretary ; and 
Adam Leize, of Reading, as treasurer. The terms of 
membership were ore dollar per annum, which entitled 
the member to a family ticket to the society's exhibitions 
during the year. 

2 On part limited by Washington Street on north ; sub- 
sequently the fence was removed to Walnut Street. 



every succeeding year till now the fairs have 
been conducted with increasing success on the 
" Fair Ground " excepting during the Civil 
War for three years (1862-3-4), when 1 it was 
taken and held by the United States govern- 
ment for the purposes of a military hospital and 

The exhibitions of the society since its organ- 
ization have been held altogether at Reading. 

The annual " Fair " is one of the principal 
objects of the society. But beyond this, there 
is an important feature — monthly meetings for 
the discussion of topics which pertain to the ag- 
ricultural and horticultural progress of the 
farmer. These are interesting and profitable in 
various ways. They have been held in the third 
story of the court-house for some years past. 
Formerly they were held at different places, 
prominent among them being the "Keystone 
House " and " Keystone Hall." 

The society is collecting an agricultural li- 
brary, the books now numbering several hun- 

A similar society was formed at Kutztown in 
1870, and its exhibitions have been very success- 
ful. The success of this society should stimulate 
the residents of the county at and in the vicinity 
of the several boroughs, Boyerstown, Hamburg, 
Birdsboro', Bernville and Womelsdorf, to organ- 
ize similar societies and conduct annual exhibi- 
tions for the encouragement of local interest in 
the progressive development of agriculture and 
of everything connected with its profitable di- 

The "Patrons of Husbandry" was organized 
into a prominent and influential association at 
Washington, D. C, in 1867. The first subor- 
dinate organization of this kind in Pennsylvania 
was called a " grange." The " State Grange " 
was organized at Reading, on September 18, 
1873. Delegates from twenty-five granges were 
in attendance. Shortly afterward local granges 
were formed in different parts of the county. 

Farms, Productions, Etc., of County. — 
The following statement exhibits the number, 
acreage, value and productions of the farms in 
the county at two periods. Some marked 

1 Taken in June, 1862. 

differences appear, as in value of farms, live 
stock and farm products, which doubtless arose 
from a different process of ascertaining them. 

Farms, number l 

Land in farms, acres 472,008 

Improved land 374,560 

Woodland 70,932 

Unimproved 26,516 

Value of farms 143,638,465 

Value farm implements, etc.. $1,753,750 

Value live stock $4,544,490 

Value farm products $9,150,789 

Value orchard products $171,215 

Value garden products $36,224 

Horses 16,783 

Mules and asses 1,333 

Working oxen 37 

Milch cows 32,112 

Other cattle 19,178 

Sheep 5,610 

Swine 37,553 

Wheat, bushels 930,653 

Rye, bushels 281,867 

Oats, bushels 1,425,157 

Buckwheat, bushels 4,992 

Barley, bushels 411 

Corn, bushels 1,267,194 

Potatoes, bushels 400,846 

Tobacco, pounds 1,000 

*Not given in U.S. Census Reports. 






























Early Furnaces and Forges of County — Production, 1828-30 
— Industries in 1840 — Comparative Statement, 1850- 
1876 — Memorial for National Foundry — Summary of 
Present Furnaces, Forges, and Mills — Comparative Table 
of Statistics, for 1880 — Production of Iron in County at 
three recent periods— General Industries — Statistics of 
Manufactures of County, 1870 and 1880. 


The county of Berks was formed out of parts 
of Philadelphia, Lancaster and Chester Coun- 
ties in 1752. In each part there were iron in- 
dustries at an early period in the history of the 
county, especially in the lower portion of the 
part taken from Philadelphia County. They 
were scattered many miles from one another, 

■' "Penna. Mag. of Hist.," vol. viii., p. 56-81 ; prepared by 
the author of this history and published in March, 1884. 


extending from the southern boundary to the 
northern, and from the eastern to the western. 
All were located along strong streams which 
afforded cohstant water-power, and in the midst 
of thickly-wooded territory which furnished an 
inexhaustible supply of charcoal. The greater 
number were east of the Schuylkill. The eight 
following streams were occupied before the 
Revolution : Manatawny and its tributary, — the 
Ironstone, West Branch of Perkiomen, French, 
Hay, Allegheny, Tulpehocken and its tributary, 
— Spring. 

South of the "South Mountain" were the 
following : Furnaces, — Colebrookdale, Mount 
Pleasant, Hopewell and Oley ; Forges, — Pool, 
Pine, Hay Creek, Oley, Spring, Mount Pleasant 
and Gibraltar. 

North of this mountain, however, there were 
one furnace, Roxborongh or Berkshire, and two 
forges, Charming and Moseleni. 

The following historical facts are submitted, 
relating to the industries named. They conflict 
with and antedate numerous statements hereto- 
fore made and published. They were gathered 
almost entirely from the recorded deeds, etc., 
in the recorder's office of Berks County. For 
this reason they can be generally relied upon as 
correct. Notwithstanding my diligent search, 
this narrative is incomplete. Further investi- 
gation will doubtless reveal additional facts with 
respect to some of the industries named, both 
before and after the Revolution, and these may 
modify certain statements made and opinions 


Colebrookdale Furnace. — The Cole- 
brookdale Furnace was situated on the Ironstone 
Creek, an important branch of the Manatawny, 
in Colebrookdale township, within a mile to the 
south of the borough of Boyertown. A valua- 
ble deposit of iron-ore there induced its erection 
at that point. It is supposed to have been 
erected in the year 1720, " or a year or two 
earlier," by a company comprising, among 
others, Thomas Rutter, Anthony Morris, James 
Lewis and Thomas Potts. Especial mention of 
it is made in Watson's "Annals," in the " Potts 
Memorial," by Mrs. James, and in the able and 
exhaustive chapter on " Iron-Making in Penn- 

sylvania," by Mr. James M. Swank, in " Penn- 
sylvania and the Centennial Exhibition," vol. i. 
The transmission of title to this furnace proper- 
ty is complicated. The facts about its inception, 
operation and abandonment are involved in con- 
siderable obscurity. A correct statement of 
facts about it will therefore not be attempted. 
It is generally conceded to have been the first 
furnace which was erected in Pennsylvania. 
Thomas Rutter died in 1730. In November, 
1728, he executed a last will, by which it would 
appear that he owned two-thirds of a furnace 
and of a forge ; the former, it is supposed, was 
this furnace, and the latter " Pool Forge." In 
1731 it was owned in one-twelfth parts, as fol- 
lows — the Rutter family apparently not owning 
any interest : Anthony Morris, one-twelfth ; 
Alexander Wooddross, three-twelfths ; Samuel 
Preston, one-twelfth ; William Attwood, one- 
twelfth ; John Leacock, one-twelfth ; Nathaniel 
French, three-twelfths; George Mifflin, one- 
twelfth ; Thomas Potts and George Boone, one- 

About that time the furnace was carried on 
extensively. Pig-iron was manufactured and 
sold in large quantities. The price was fifteen 
dollars a ton. " Country castings " — articles of 
iron used by farmers in the vicinity — were also 
made, the price of which was twice that of pig- 

A stove-plate, inscribed as having been cast 
at this furnace in 1763, was exhibited at the 
" Centennial Exhibition" in 1876. It is sup- 
posed that the furnace was abandoned soon after 
this cast was made. 

The furnace was named after one of the same 
name in Shropshire, in England. The sur- 
rounding territory naturally took the same 
name; and, subsequently, in 1736, upon its 
erection into a township, it was called " Cole- 

Mount Pleasant Furnace. — The Mount 
Pleasant Furnace was situated on the West 
Branch of the Perkiomen Creek, in Colebrook- 
dale (now Washington) township, about five 
miles north of Colebrookdale Furnace, at a 
point a short distance beyond Barto, the term- 
inus of the Colebrookdale Railroad. It is said 
to have been erected by Thomas Potts, Jr., in 



1738. The first blast was made ou the 12th of 
October, 1738, and continued to the 11th of De- 
cember following, during which time there 
were manufactured : Pig-iron, 85 tons ; country 
castings, 6 T. 1 cwt. 2 qr. 2 p. ; and forge cast- 
ings, 7 cwt. 3 qr. 6 p. — altogether 91 T. 9 cwt. 
1 qr. 8 p. Six blasts were made to the 20th 
of July, 1741 — a total of four hundred and 
seventy days — during which time six hundred 
and ninety tons of iron were produced. The 
subsequent history of the furnace is not known ; 
at least it has not as yet been published, perhaps 
not even investigated thoroughly, owing to the 
absence of unrecorded agreements and title-pa- 
pers. Its exact locality can still be identified 
by the base of the stack. 

Hopewell Fuenace. — The Hopewell Fur- 
nace is situated ou French Creek, in Union 
township, near the county line. It is said to 
have been erected by William Bird in 1759. 
This is possible, but not probable. He died 
November 16, 1762. But this furnace was not 
then part of his possessions. And yet he then 
owned the Roxborough Furnace, in Heidelberg, 
distant at least fifteen miles from Birdsboro'. If 
he had owned it, why should he have sold it 
just before his death, inasmuch as it was only 
five miles distant, whereas the Roxborough was 
situated three times as far off? But there is 
no title of record from him to any one. It is 
more than likely that Mark Bird built this 
furnace after his father's death, say about 1765. 
He was then twenty- six years old. He held it 
for twenty years. The first mention of it is 
made in a mortgage, dated in 1772, made by 
him to his sister Mary and brothers William 
and James to secure the payment of certain 
trust moneys. Becoming subsequently em- 
barrassed, he, in 1785, was first compelled to 
borrow money (two hundred thousand Spanish 
milled dollars) from John Nixon, a merchant, 
of Philadelphia, on a mortgage, in which 
(among other properties) he described the Birds- 
boro' Iron- Works and eight thousand acres of 
land, which included the Hopewell Furnace 
property ; and then, finding himself insolvent, 
he, in 1786, transferred the property to Nixon, 
in trust, to sell and satisfy debts, etc. Nixon 
accordingly exposed it to public sale, and in 

1788 transferred one-third to Cadwallader Mor- 
ris and two-thirds to James Old, both iron- 
masters. At that time the furnace lands comprised 
altogether five thousand one hundred and 
sixty-three acres. In 1790 Cadwallader Morris 
sold his one-third of the premises to Benjamin 
Morris; and in 1791 James Old sold his two- 
thirds to the same person. In 1793 Benjamin 
Morris resold the entire furnace property to 
James Old. After the lapse of seven years 
Old became embarrassed and was forced to yield 
up his title through the law and the sheriff to 
his creditor, Benjamin Morris, who bought it at 
the sale. This was in 1800. In August, 1800, 
Morris sold it to Daniel Buckley, of Lancaster 
County, Thomas Brooke, of Montgomery 
County, and Matthew Brooke, Jr., of Berks 
County, for ten thousand pounds. The furnace 
was rebuilt in that year. The Brookes subse- 
quently sold out their interests, and Dr. Charles 
Clingan acquired an interest in it. Edward S. 
Buckley is now a joint owner with the estate of 
Dr. Clingan. Charcoal has been used from the 
beginning till now. It may be the oldest furnace 
in the county now in existence. The " Oley " 
was built about the same time. The "Hope- 
well" has been in the Buckley family over 
eighty years. The " Joanna " has been in the 
Smith family nearly ninety years. 

Oley Fuenace. — The Oley Furnace is 
situated on Furnace Creek, a branch of the 
Little Manatawny, in Oley township, a short 
distance north of Friedensburg, and near the 
line between Oley and Ruscomb-manor town- 
ships. It was built most probably by Dietrich 
Welcker, an iron-master of Skippack, between 
1758 and 1768, say about 1765 ; and it is pos- 
sible that William Mayberry was a joint owner 
with him in the beginning. In 1768 the 
furnace was certainly in existence and in active 
operation, for Welcker then borrowed one hun- 
dred pounds from John Lesher, an iron-master 
of Oley, and executed a mortgage to him, in 
which the furnace is mentioned and five tracts of 
land, together 558 acres, 110 perches He had 
borrowed money from others, who sent the sheriff 
after him. Subsequently Daniel Udree came to 
own this furnace, and carried it on in connection 
with the " Rockland Forges," situated several 



miles to the northeast, till his death in 1828. It 
is flow, and has been for years, owned by the 
" Clymer Iron Company." . A plate, with an 
inscription " 1770," is built in the stack of the 
furnace ; but this must certainly relate to some 
other fact than the date of the beginning of the 
furnace. An ore-bank is near by. But iron- 
ore was also supplied in its early operation from 
the Moselem Mine, in Richmond township, 
distant about eight miles to the northwest. 

Berkshire Furnace. — The Berkshire Fur- 
nace was situated on a branch of Spring Creek, 
in Lower Heidelberg township, about two miles 
southwest of Wernersville. It was erected by 
William Bird about 1760. It was part of his 
estate at the time of his death in 1762. The 
name first given to it was Boxborough. It is 
not known when the name was changed to 
Berkshire. About 1790 George Ege purchased 
the furnace property and carried it on for 
several years, when he abandoned it, doubtless 
owing to scarcity of water. During the Revo- 
lution cannon-balls were manufactured at this 
furnace. Ege carried it on under a lease with 
the widow of ¥m. Bird — intermarried with 
John Patton — from 1774. She owned it from 
1764 to 1790. Mr. Ege rendered an account to 
the " United States" April 3, 1783, in which it 
appears that he furnished the government, 
November 14, 1780, with the following shells 
and shot, altogether of the value of £2894 
lis. 6d. : 

Shells : 867, 10 in. ; 714, 8 in. 

Shot: 843, 24 pd. ; 2137, 18 pd.; 289, 12 pd. 

Pool Forges. — Pool Forge was situated on 
the Manatawny Creek, a short distance below 
the point where the Ironstone flows into it ; and 
another of the same name on the Manatawny, 
several miles below. The latter is supposed to 
have been the first of the two, and erected in the 
year 1717. This would be a few years before 
the time generally allowed as the date of the 
erection of the Colebrookdale Furnace. It is be- 
lieved that the remarks of Jonathan Dickinson 
in a letter written in 1717, related to this forge. 
He said:- "This last summer one Thomas 
Rutter, a smith, who lived not far from Ger- 

mantown, hath removed farther up in the 
country, and of his own strength hath set upon 
making iron. Such it proves to be, as it is highly 
esteemed by all the smiths here, who say that the 
best of S weed's iron doth not exceed it. And 
we have accounts of others that are going on 
with iron- works." It is not known when the 
former forge began. Thomas Rutter was in- 
terested in one, or perhaps both, of these forges. 
A forge is mentioned in his last will, dated 
1728, in which he disposes of two one- 
third interests. In 1731 a "Pool Forge" 
was owned in one-sixteenth parts, as follows : 
Anthony Morris, two-sixteenths ; Alexander 
Wooddross, two-sixteenths ; Samuel Preston, 
one-sixteenth ; William Attwood,' one-sixteenth ; 
John Leacook, one-sixteenth ; Nathaniel 
French, one-sixteenth ; George Mifflin, one- 
sixteenth ; Thomas Potts and George Boon, 
one-sixteenth ; Rutter's estate, six-sixteenths. 

The subsequent history of this forge is un- 
known. It is possible that Pine Forge was 
built in ] 740, near by, to take its place in the 
manufacture of blooms. 

Pine Forge. — The Pine Forge was erected 
in 1740, by Thomas Potts. It was situated on 
Manatawny Creek, in Douglass township, very 
near the line of Amity. One of the Pool Forges 
was situated a short distance above and the 
other some distance below. His son, John 
Potts, succeeded him. After the forge had been 
carried on for some years by him, it was sold 
in 1769 to David Potts, Jr. In 1783 David 
Rutter bought it at public sale, and he carried 
it on till his death in 1815, when his son John 
became the owner of the property. Subse- 
quently Joseph Bailey came to own the works, 
and in 1845 he converted the forge into a roll- 
ing-mill. There was a " Little Pine Forge " 
not far distent, but its locality and history have 
not been ascertained. 

Hay Creek Forge.— William Bird ob- 
tained land along Hay Creek, in the eastern 
extremity of Robeson township, in 1739, the 
patent therefor having been taken out three 
years before by Francis Hughes. In the fol- 
lowing year he began the iron business in this 
locality by the erection of a forge on Hay 
Creek, about half a mile above the Schuylkill. 



He then took up additional tracts of land by 
warrant and survey, and by 1756 he had se- 
cured about three thousand acres. This forge 
was carried on by him till his death in 1762. 
Subsequently his widow owned it for some 
years. His son, Mark Bird, carried on business 
there till he failed in 1788, and was sold out by 
the sheriff. At that time it is supposed that 
Mark Bird had about eight thousand acres of 
land in connection with his iron industries. 

In 1764 the iron-works there comprised three 
forges, corn (grist) mill, saw-mill and about 
two thousand four hundred acres of land. 

The pig-iron was probably obtained at Cole- 
brookdale Furnace, distant about ten miles, for 
about twenty-five years, till the erection of Hope- 
well Furnace, five miles distant to the south. 

Mr. Bird laid out a town below the forge 
towards the is believed about 1750, and 
called it Birdsboro.' In 1751 he erected, 
within the limits of the town-plan, a fine two- 
story, cut^stone mansion-house. This building 
is still standing, and is now the Birdsboro' 

At the sheriff's sale in 1788, the forge property 
was purchased by Cadwallader Morris, James 
Wilson and others, of Philadelphia; and in 1796 
John Louis Barde became the owner. Mat- 
thew Brooke married a daughter of Barde, and 
subsequently purchased the property. It has 
since remained in the Brooke family. Edward 
Brooke and George Brooke, brothers, began 
business here in 1837. The iron- works then 
comprised two forges, with a capacity of two 
hundred tons of bar-iron per annum. In 1846 
they erected a charcoal furnace, called 
"Hampton;" in 1848 a rolling-mill and nail- 
factory ; in 1851 an anthracite furnace, and 
some years afterward two additional furnaces. 
Their total annual capacity is about thirty-eight 
thousand tons of pig-iron and one hundred and 
seventy-five thousand kegs of nails. After the 
death of Edward Brooke in 1788, the Brooke 
Iron Company was instituted ; and this com- 
pany is now carrying on the business. The 
iron industry at Birdsboro', which, in the 
course of one hundred and forty years, has been 
so admirably developed out of the " Hay Creek 
Forge" of William Bird, was in 1878 the 

largest and richest personal enterprise in this 
section of the State. 

Oley Forge.— The Oley Forge was situated 
on the Manatawny Creek, about ten miles from 
its confluence with the Schuylkill, and about 
a half-mile south of the "Oley Churches." It 
continued in active operation for one hundred 
and twenty years. 

In 1744, John Ross, gentleman, of Philadel- 
phia, and John Yoder and John Lesher, of 
Oley, entered into a joint partnership for erect- 
ing a forge for manufacturing pig-metal into 
bar-iron. They then purchased from Sebastian 
Graeff a tract of one hundred and ninety-seven 
acres of land, situated in Oley township, on the 
Manatawny Creek, adjoining lands of Robert 
Stapleton and John Yoder, and the " Great 
Road " leading to Philadelphia, and thereon 
erected a forge, constructed a water- pond, water- 
courses and the necessary buildings, and sup- 
plied the utensils for the business of making 
bar-iron ; and they also purchased warrants for 
taking up land on the hills adjacent to the 
forge, in order to supply it with charcoal. In 
1750 John Yoder sold to John Lesher his 
one-third interest " of said tract and of the 
forge, working-gears, tools, implements, dams, 
etc." Lesher and Ross held their respective 
interests in the forge till Ross' death. In 
the settlement of the partnership affairs, 
litigation arose between Lesher and the Ross 
estate. This was being conducted in 1784, 
when Lesher sold his two-thirds to his son, 
Jacob Lesher, an iron-master, and his sons-in- 
law, John Potts, a miller, and Jacob Morgan, 
a merchant. In 1794, Frederick Spang, an 
iron-master of Oley, obtained an interest in this 
forge property, and some years afterward secured 
all the interests. He and, after his decease, 
his son Jacob, and grandson of the same name, 
carried on the iron business there for seventy 
years, until the close of the Rebellion. During 
this long interval, especially for fifty years, the 
forge was known as the " Spang Forge." It 
was abandoned about 1870. Nothing is left to 
mark the spot excepting the dam. In the 
transfer by Lesher to his son and sons-in-law 
in 1784, mention is made of a furnace. It was 
situated in District township, near the head- 



waters of Pine Creek, a tributary of Mana- 
tawny. The Oley Furnace was then in opera- 
tion several miles to the northwest. Lesher 
loaned money on it in 1768, and between that 
time and 1784 he may have come to own it, 
but the titles of record do not disclose the fact. 

Spring Forges. — A Spring Forge was at 
one time in existence on the Manatawny, not 
far from "Pool Forge." It was owned by 
Anthony Morris, and in operation in 1729. 
Pig-metal was supplied -from Colebrookdale 
Furnace. No definite information in relation to 
it has as yet been developed. 

Another Spring Forge was situate on Pine 
Creek, a branch of the Manatawny, in District 
(now Pike) township, about four miles north of 
the " Oley Churches." Its early history is in- 
volved in obscurity. In 1760 Rebecca Potts 
purchased at sheriff's sale a one-sixth interest 
in it. She died possessed of this interest, and in 
1773 her executor sold it, and a like interest in 
six tracts of land, together containing eight 
hundred and thirty-eight acres, to John Old, an 
iron-master, resident in District township. Old 
subsequently obtained an increased interest in 
this industry, and in 1778 sold seventeen twen- 
ty-sevenths parts to Mark Bird. During its 
later history it was owned successively by Wil- 
liam Schall, Jacob Deysher and Francis R. 
Heilig. It was abandoned by Heilig about 

A third Spring Forge was erected by John 
Schenkel Bertolet about 1812. It was situated 
on the Manatawny Creek, in the southern ex- 
tremity of Earl township, near the line of 
Amity. He carried it on till his death in 
1828. Then his son, Dr. David K. Bertolette, 
took the forge property under his last will and 
continued operations till 1840. Subsequently 
it passed through various hands, and was finally 
abandoned about 1860. It is possible that the 
forge first mentioned of this name was situated 
here or near by. But it (the first) may have 
been the second mentioned. And this is prob- 
able, for it existed before 1760 ; it occupied a 
superior site, ore was not far distant and wood 
was abundant in the immediate vicinity. 

Mount Pleasant Forge. — A forge, it is 
believed, was connected with the Mount Pleas- 

ant Furnace ; but there is no definite knowledge 
concerning its early history. It, stood on the 
West Branch of the Perkiomen, about a mile 
above the furnace. If it was not erected and 
carried on by the Potts family, it is probable 
that it was by either Nicholas Hunter or his 
son-in-law, John Fisher, about fifty or sixty 
years afterward. Mr. Fisher, it is certain, car- 
ried it on for a number of years, till his decease 
in 1828, when his estate continued operations 
for over twenty years, — latterly by a son, J. N. 
H. Fisher, and son-in-law, Abraham B. Bech- 
tel. On the 25th of March, 1854, it was sold 
to Samuel W. Weiss, and then operated by 
him till the close of the Rebellion. The dam 
was washed away by a freshet several years 
ago. The Dale Iron- Works were situated a 
mile above it, on the same stream. 

Gibraltar Forge. — Mark Bird, it is sup- 
posed, in connection with his other enterprises, 
began a forge on the Allegheny Creek, about a 
mile from the Schuylkill, in Robeson township, 
and named it Gibraltar. The year of its erec- 
tion is not known, — though it is supposed to be 
about 1770, — nor its subsequent history for 
many years; but this supposition is questionable. 

It is more than probable that this industry 
was founded by Thomas Bull, John Smith and 
Thomas May about the time that they erected 
the Joanna Furnace, about six miles to the 
south in the same township. They were in-, 
terested then in Dale Furnace, and probably 
prepared the way for selling it by first erecting 
the Gibraltar Forge, which was to be used in 
connection with the Joanna Furnace. 

In 1827 the estate of Thomas May owned it. 
In 1828 his two sons, Newton and Addison, 
by their guardians, sold it and four hundred 
and forty-four acres of land to Simon Seyfert 
and John Schwartz, for six thousand five hun- 
dred dollars. These two iron-masters then 
operated it in connection with the Mount Penn 
Furnace, several miles to the west on Flying 
Hill Creek. In 1835 they dissolved partner- 
ship, Schwartz taking the furnace and Seyfert 
the forge. Subsequently, the forge property 
was transferred to Seyfert, McManus & Co. 

Charming Forge.— The Charming Forge 
is situated on the eastern border of Ma- 



rion township, on the Tulpehocken Creek, 
several miles north of Womelsdorf. It was 
erected by John Gqorge Nikoll, a hammer- 
smith, and Michael Miller, in 1749. Then, in 
pursuance of an agreement entered into shortly 
before, they, " at their joint expense, erected an 
Iron work or Forge and Dam, and dug a 
Race or water-course, and made other great 
improvements for the commencing of forging 
and the manufacturing of iron." After passing 
through several parties, Henry Wm. Stiegel be- 
came the owner in 1763. It was known as the 
Tulpehocken Forge. Soon afterwards he sold an 
undivided half-part of the forge property and 
of eight hundred and fifty-nine acres of land to 
Charles Stedman and Alexander Stedman, mer- 
chants, of Philadelphia. By 1770 the quantity 
of land used in connection with the forge had 
increased beyond three thousand seven hundred 
acres. In that year Charles Stedman bought 
his brother's interest in the forge property at 
sheriff's sale. In the sheriff's deed-poll to 
him, the forge is called, for the first time, in 
the title, Charming Forge. It had been so 
known and commonly called for some years 
previously. Its name arose from the picturesque, 
charming locality. In 1773 the sheriff of the 
county sold Stiegel's undivided half-interest in 
the forge property (then comprising one thou- 
sand two hundred and ninety-one acres) to Paul 
ZeDsinger, merchant, of Lancaster, for one thou- 
sand six hundred and sixty pounds. Zensinger, 
on the same day that he obtained the sheriff's 
deed-poll for the property (February 9, 1774), 
conveyed his interest to George Ege, iron-mas- 
ter, of York County, for eight hundred and 
thirty-eight pounds, fourteen shillings and nine 
pence. Nine years afterward Ege bought Sted- 
man's interest in the property for one thousand 
five hundred and sixty-three pounds, thirteen 
shillings and six pence. From this time on- 
ward, for nearly fifty years, Mr. Ege was very 
prominently identified with the industrial life 
of Berks County. From 1791 to 1818 he was 
an associate judge. In 1804 he built and oper- 
ated the Schuylkill Forge, which was situated 
on the Eittle Schuylkill (Tamaqua Creek), a 
short distance north of Port Clinton. At that 
time he was doubtless the largest land-holder 

in the county. His possessions then were, — 
Charming Forge, with four thousand acres ; 
Reading Furnace, with six thousand acres; 
Schuylkill Forge, with six thousand acres; also 
four large and valuable farms, situated in Hei- 
delberg and Tulpehocken townships, comprising 
together nearly a thousand acres, and known 
in the vicinity as the Spring, Sheaff, Leiss and 
Richard farms. In 1824 he was forced to 
make an assignment. His debts and expenses 
exceeded three hundred thousand dollars. But 
his estate' proved entirely solvent. Through 
the prudent management of his estate, for a 
period covering fifteen years, by his acting as- 
signee, Andrew Taylor, all the debts were sat- 
isfied, and a large balance was left for distribu- 
tion to his heirs. He died in December, 1830. 

This forge property then passed through a 
number of parties until 1855, when it became 
vested in Andrew Taylor and his two sons, 
William and B. Franklin. In 1866 Mr. Tay- 
lor died, and his interest passed to the sons 
named by devise. They have since held and 
operated the forge. They own in connection 
with the forge about thirty-six hundred acres of 
land. Five-sixths of this large quantity lie in 
the Blue Mountain range. The land extends 
from " Round Head " eastwardly in an unbrok- 
en tract for seven miles. 

In 1777 Ege improved the property at the 
forge by the erection of a large, commodious 
and conveniently arranged cut-stone two-story 
mansion-house. It is still standing in fine 
order. At that time he hired from the govern- 
ment thirty-four Hessian prisoners, for the pur- 
pose of cutting a channel from twelve to fifteen 
feet deep and two hundred and fifty feet long, 
through a bed of limestone, in order to supply 
with water-power a " slitting-mill " which he 
had erected. The channel is still used. No- 
vember 5, 1782, he allowed the United States 
government £1020 for their services. 

In 1780 he owned ten slaves — seven males 
and three females — certified of record in the pro- 
thonotary's office of the county. 

Moselem Forge. — There was a forge, 
known by the name of " Moselem Forge," sit- 
uated on the Moselem Creek, in Richmond 
township, probably in the vicinity of the Moselem 



iron-ore mine. In August, 1767, Jacob Shoffer, 
of Maxatawny, yeoman, for the consideration of 
five hundred pounds, sold one undivided fourth 
part of a tract of land, containing one hundred 
and seventy-five acres, situate on the Moselem 
Creek, in Richmond township, and also one- 
fouth part of all forges, mills, etc., thereon 
erected, to Christian Lower, of Tulpehocken, a 
blacksmith. And I found the forge referred to 
in the description of a road laid out in 1768, 
leading from the " Moselem Forge " to Read- 
ing. I could not find any additional facts in 
connection with this early industry. It is 
probable that the forge was erected some years 
before 1767. Iron-ore had been discovered 
there before 1750, and doubtless this discovery 
led to the early erection of a forge near by. 


Furnaces and forges were erected in different 
parts of the county during or subsequent to the 
Revolution and before 1800. Among them 
there were the following : Furnaces — Union, 
District, Sally Ann, Joanna, Dale, Mary Ann, 
Reading and Greenwood ; Forges — Brobst's, 
Rockland, Burkhart's, Dale and District. 

Union Furnace. — The Union Furnace is 
mentioned in connection with the Union or 
" Brobst's Forges." 

District Furnace. — The District Furnace 
was situated on Pine Creek, in District township, 
about a mile from the line of Pike township. 
The time of its erection is not known, nor the 
builder, though it has been asserted that Jacob 
Lesher erected it previous to 1797. It was 
owned by John Lesher, father of Jacob, previous 
to 1784. He may have erected it about the 
time of the erection of the Oley Forge. This 
is possible, even probable. The distance be- 
tween the two industries was about six miles. 
The pig metal was obtained from some furnace. 
He was a man of wealth, energy and enterprise; 
and it is more than likely that he supplied his 
own pig metal rather than purchase itatthe Cole- 
brookdale and Mount Pleasant Furnaces (which 
were situated across the " Oley Hills," and dis- 
tant from eight to ten miles), and haul it over 
rough and steep roads. In 1791 he conveyed 
it to his son Jacob, " out of love and affection," 

together with a grist-mill, saw-mill and three 
tracts of land. The " furnace tract " in Dis- 
trict comprised fifteen hundred and eighty-two 
acres one hundred and four perches. The other 
tracts were in Earl, and contained two hundred 
and thirteen acres sixty perches. Its subsequent 
history is not known. On a county map of 
1820 it is marked as"Lesher's Furnace." It 
is supposed to have been abandoned about 1797 
by Jacob Lesher, because he could not satisfac- 
torily work up to the primitive rock-ore of that 
vicinity. (By a deed of record dated in 1793 
it would appear that John Lesher sold one-third 
of this furnace to John Teysher, it having been 
called " German " or District Furnace.) 

Sally Ann Furnace. — The Sally Ann 
Furnace was erected, it is supposed, by Valen- 
tine Eckert, an iron-master, about 1791. It is 
situated on the Sacony Creek, in the northern 
section of Rockland township. This supposi-. 
tion is, however, doubtful, if not erroneous. 
Previous to 1811 Abraham Biever, a farmer, 
owned the tract of ninety-four acres upon which 
the furnace stands. In the year named he sold 
this tract to Nicholas Hunter, an iron-master. 
There was no furnace on then. It is, therefore, 
probable that Mr. Hunter erected this furnace 
soon after the purchase of the land. Subse- 
quently he transferred the furnace and lands to 
his son, Jacob V. R. Hunter, whose estate still 
holds it. Active operations were discontinued 
about 1869. It was leased in 1879, but work 
was carried on for only a year. 

Joanna Furnace. — The Joanna Furnace 
was erected in 1792, by Potts & Rutter, and 
named after a daughter of the former. It is 
situated on Hay Creek, in Robeson township, 
near the line of Caernarvon. In 1796 it was 
purchased by Thomas Bull, John Smith and 
Thomas May. Subsequently Levi B. Smith, 
son of John Smith, became the owner, and 
operated it till his decease in 1876, when it 
passed to his sou, L. Heber Smith, who is the 
present owner. Nearly six thousand acres of land 
are connected with the furnace, lying together 
in a great, irregular tract, and situated in Robe- 
son, Caernarvon and Brecknock townships. 
The furnace was rebuilt in 1847. It is run by 
water and steam-power. 



Dale Furnace. — The Dale Furnace was 
situated on the West Branch of the Perkiomen 
Creek, two miles above the Mt. Pleasant Fur- 
nace. It was erected about 1791 by Thomas 
Potts, Joseph Potts, Jr., and John Smith, iron- 
masters. In the year named they purchased 
from Lewis Walker a tract of one hundred and 
fifty acres in Hereford township (but since 
1839 in Washington), and doubtless imme- 
diately proceeded to erect thereon a furnace. 
In 1793 it was certainly in existence, for then 
Joseph Potts, Jr., sold his one-third interest to 
Robert E. Hobart. In 1811 it was owned by 
Thomas Bull, Robert May, John Smith and 
John Thompson, iron-masters. About that 
time, probably soon afterward, a forge was 
erected near by. Then this enterprise took the 
name of " Dale Iron-Works." In 1819 these 
works were in active operation. The furnace 
was abandoned about 1821. In 1822 they 
were owned by Dr. Jacob Loeser. In 1826 
they were purchased by George Schall and 
David Schall for eleven thousand nine hundred 
dollars, comprising a forge, a large dam cover- 
ing fourteen acres, a fine commodious stone 
mansion and tenant-houses and other buildings 
and over six hundred acres of land. Subse- 
quently David Schall became the sole owner of 
the works and operated them till the year 
1868, when he abandoned the manufacturing 

Mary Ann Furnace. — The Mary Ann 
Furnace was situated in Longswamp township, 
on the head-waters of the Little Lehigh. It 
was erected before 1797, possibly about 1789, 
by Jacob Lesher, and carried on by him active- 
ly till 1808. He then sold it to his son-in-law, 
Reuben Trexler. It was operated by Mr. Trex- 
ler till 1837, when he transferred it to his son 
Horatio, who carried on work till a suspension 
of business there was forced in 1869 by the 
scarcity of wood, high price of labor and the 
increased demand and cost of the Longswamp 
ore, superinduced by the introduction of the 
East Penn Railroad, through the East Penn 
Valley, from. Reading to Allentown. The rail- 
way, instead of benefiting the " Mary Ann," as 
it had been argued and hoped that the result 
would be, actually robbed her of glorious and 

profitable activity, and transferred the life of 
industry into the Lehigh Valley. 

The first " stone coal " stoves manufactured 
in Pennsylvania were made at this furnace by 
Reuben Trexler. They were called the " Le- 
high Coal Stoves." The plates of these stoves 
were first made in the open sand about 1820 ; 
subsequently flasks were introduced. They 
were made here till 1857, but the development 
of foundries for this purpose caused the dis- 
continuance of this branch of industry. 

Reading Furnace. — Upon the abandon- 
ment of the "Berkshire" Furnace by George 
Ege, he, in the same year, 1794, erected a fur- 
nace several miles to the west, on Spring Creek, 
in Heidelberg township, and carried it on suc- 
cessfully till his assignment for the benefit 
of creditors, in 1824. In 1807 he improved 
the property by the erection of a mansion-house 
(similar to the one occupied by him at Charm- 
ing Forge) for the manager of the furnace, An- 
drew Taylor. It subsequently became vested 
in Robeson & Brooke, who abandoned it about 
1850. They improved the property by the 
erection of an anthracite furnace in 1845, and 
another in 1858. It was then purchased by 
White, Ferguson & Co. 

Greenwood Furnace. — In 1796 Lewis 
Reese and Isaac Thomas erected a furnace near 
Schuylkill Gap, on the north side of Sharp 
Mountain, and carried on the manufacture of 
iron till 1806. They then sold it to John Pott, 
of District township, in Berks County. In 
1807 Pott tore it down and erected in its stead 
another furnace which he named " Greenwood." 

Near the mouth of the Little Schuylkill, a 
short distance above Port Clinton, George Ege, 
it is said, erected the " Schuylkill Furnace " 
about 1804. 

These two furnaces are also mentioned in 
this narrative because they were included in the 
territory of Berks County, beyond Blue Moun- 
tain, till 1811, when Schuylkill County was 

Brobst's Forges. — In Albany township, in 
the northern section of Berks County, on a 
branch of Maiden Creek, called Pine Creek, 
there were two forges and a furnace. It is not 
definitely known when or by whom they were 



erected. In 1780, Arnold Billig sold to Mich- 
ael Brobst two tracts of land in this township, 
one of one hundred and fifteen acres and the 
other of fifteen acres, with the buildings, im- 
provements, etc., for the sum of eleven thousand 
pounds. No iron-works are mentioned, as they 
generally are in deeds conveying property in- 
cluding such important improvements. But 
why should Brobst pay such a large considera- 
tion for one hundred and thirty acres of land 
if there had not been erected thereon valuable 
improvements, such as iron-works ? Accord- 
ingly, it may be inferred that there were iron- 
works in this township then. Billig, however, 
is not described as an iron-master, nor Brobst. 
But Brobst was subsequently engaged in the 
manufacture of iron in this locality with his 
brother, John Brobst ; and in 1818 they were 
sold out by the sheriff, the properties sold com- 
prising one furnace, two forges and three thou- 
sand six hundred and forty-six acres of land. 
These iron-works were subsequently know by 
the name of " Union," and operated for a num- 
ber of years by George Reagan. 

Rockland Foeges. — The Rockland Forges 
were situated in the southern section of Rock- 
land township, on Beaver Creek, a tributary of 
Manatawny. One of the forges was erected by 
John Truckenmiller, an iron-master of Rich- 
mond township, in the year 1783; and shortly 
afterward he erected a second forge about one- 
fourth of a mile farther up the creek. In 1788 
he was sold out by the sheriff of the county, and 
Richard Lewis, an iron-master of Robeson 
township, bought the forges. Ten years after- 
ward, in 1798, he sold them to Daniel Udree, 
who operated them continuously till his decease 
in 1828. 

They, in connection with a very large estate, 
then passed to his son-in-law, J. Udree Schnei- 
der, and were operated by him also till his 
death in 1834. Subsequently the Udree estate 
became involved by its management, and in 
1841 these forges were again put under the 
hammer by the sheriff and sold. After passing 
through several hands they were finally aban- 
doned about 1850. A third forge stood on the 
same creek a short distance above these forges. 
It was erected about 1830 by Daniel Oyster, 

and operated ten years. Its site was just above 
the"Rohrbach Mill." 

Bubkhabt's Foege.— The Burkhart's Forge 
was situated in Alsace township, on Antietam 
Creek, about one hundred and fifty yards north 
of the " Stony Creek Mill." It was erected by 
Philip Seidel, an iron-master, resident in this 
township about 1792. He, in 1791, had pur- 
chased tract No. 82 of " Penn's Manor," con- 
taining fifteen acres one hundred and eigh- 
teen perches. By the record it would appear 
that he erected forges on this tract. On 
the 12th of March, 1796, he sold these forges 
to Samuel Burkhart, of Bern township. Burk- 
hart operated them — at least one of them — sub- 
sequently for a number of years. In 1830 one 
forge was operated by Burkhart & Keen. It 
was known as the " Green Tree," having taken 
its name from the evergreen trees on the steep 
hillsides in the vicinity. It was abandoned 
about 1850. 

Dale Foege. — The Dale Forge is mentioned 
in connection with the furnace of same name 
constituting "Dale Iron-Works." 

Disteict Foeges. — The District Forges com- 
prised two forges situated on Pine Creek, in 
District township. The first of these forges 
was erected about 1793, by Jacob Lesher. About 
fifteen years afterward he conveyed it to his son- 
in-law, Reuben Trexler, who carried it on till 
about 1830, when he demolished it, and erected 
in its stead a large stone grist-mill. Another 
was built by Jacob Lesher, a half-mile farther 
up the stream, about the year 1812. He built 
it for his son-in-law, Samuel Sands. It was 
discontinued several years afterward. A third 
was built (it is supposed) by Jacob Else about 
the same time, lower down the stream, in what 
is now Pike township. Subsequently it was 
operated by William Schall, Jacob Deysherand 
Francis Heilig. This supposition must be 
erroneous. This forge was known in the vicin- 
ity as the " Pott Forge," formerly the " Spring 
Forge" hereinbefore mentioned. A fourth 
forge was erected by Reuben Trexler, in 1828, 
a half-mile distant to the north. He carried it 
on till 1846, when he sold it to his son, Horatio 
Trexler. This also subsequently became vested 
in Francis Heilig. He operated both for some 



years, till about 1865, when he gradually dis- 
continued active operation, and finally aban- 
doned them. They were latterly known as 
" Heilig's Forges." 

Speedwell Forge. — The Speedwell Forge 
was erected, it is supposed, by Philip Seidel, 
about 1800. In 1815 it was purchased by 
Nicholas Yocum, who operated it for some 
years. It was situated in Cumru township on 
Angelica Creek, about five miles south of Read- 
ing. Speedwell, No. 2, was built by Mr. 
Yocum in 1835. Moses and Daniel Yocum, 
his sons, then operated them separately till 
about 1870, when they were abandoned. 

Recent Industries. — Among the more 
recent furnaces and forges in the county, there 
were the following, the date after the name in- 
dicating the year of erection : 




Moselem 1823 

Mount Penn 1825 

Earl 1835 

Mount Laurel 1836 

Henry Clay 1844 

second stack 1854 

Monocacy 1852 

Leesport 1853 

Maiden Creek 1854 

Reading (Seyfert, 

McManus & Co.)..1854 

second stack 1873 

Temple 1867 

Keystone 1869 

second stack 1872 

Topton 1873 

East Penn (2 stacks). 1874 

Kutztown 1875 

Bechtelsville 1875 


Do-Well 1825 

Meyer's 1825 

Moselem 1825 

Sixpenny 1825 

North-Kill 1830 

Bloom 1830 

Exeter 1836 

Mount Airy 1840 

Seidel's 1853 

Keystone 1854 

Reading 1857 

Douglassville 1878 

Ikon-Masters. — The iron-masters of the 
county comprise many men distinguished for 
their energy, enterprise, success and wealth. 
They extend through the history of the county 
from its earliest settlements till now. A great 
proportion of the material prosperity and en- 
richment of the county has been contributed by 
them. They have, to a great degree, influenced 
its social, political and industrial welfare. In 
the settlement and development of its several 
sections, south, east, west and north, they have 
been pioneers. Though their great and influen- 
tial industry does not antedate agriculture in the 

affairs of the county, it has, nevertheless, been a 
traveling companion ; and, like agriculture, it 
has been transmitted from grandfather to son and 
grandson. Their names reveal the fact that the 
great majority of them have been Germans or 
of German origin. 

In the year 1806 Berks County was distin- 
guished for its numerous manufacturing estab- 
lishments, its trade and enterprise. The follow- 
ing iron industries were then in operation : 

Tilt hammers 9 1 Furnaces 8 

Slitting-mill 1 I Forges 20 

Other industries of the county : 

Grist-mills 155 

Tanneries 49 

Oil-mills 20 

Hat factories (Read- 
ing) 40 

Powder-mills 4 

Fulling-mills 14 

Hemp-mills 2 

Paper-mills 10 

Saw-mills 235 

Distilleries 212 

(These were reported by assessors and 
published in the Reading Adler April 22, 1806.) 

The county at that time was evidently a great 
industrial centre. In the manufacture of iron 
alone it contained thirty-eight establishments. In 
1 830 there were eleven furnaces and twenty-four 
forges ; in 1850, thirteen furnaces and twenty- 
three forges ; and in 1876, twenty-seven fur- 
naces, but only four forges. The great decrease 
of forges is accounted for by the introduction of 
rolling-mills, of which there were ten in the 
year last named. Water-power was apparently 
supplanted by the introduction of steam-power ; 
and instead of being located in many places 
throughout the county, as theretofore through a 
period of one hundred years, they were concen- 
trated in several places. 

The only industries of those named which 
were begun before 1800, now still in operation, 
are the following: Furnaces — 01ey,'Hopewell, 
and Joanna; Forges— Charming and Gibral- 

Production, 1828-30. — The following two 
tables were arranged by Daniel M. Keim, to 
show the furnaces and forges in operation in 
Berks County for the years 1828, 1829 and 
1830, number of hands employed, the amount 
of production, etc., and published in the Berks 
and Schuylkill Journal, from which they were 
copied : 






ent per- 

No. of 

Cords of wood. 

Todb of pig 

Tons of 

Wheat, rye, 

and corn 


Beef and 
pork used. 






























































Buckley & Brooke .. 
William Darling.... 
Seyfert & Schwartz. 
J. Udree Schneider. 
J. V. R. Hunter 

Reuben Trexler 

Jones, Keim & Co... 
N. V. R. Hunter ... 

Jonas Kern & Co... 




Mount Penn 




Sally Ann 

Mary Ann 



















Gibraltar (2) 






Green Tree 


Rockland (2) 




New District 

District (2) 

Mount Pleasant (3). 






George Ege 

Seyfert & Schwartz, 

Jonathan Seidel 

George Zacharias... 
Heirs of M. Brooke 

Daniel Yocum 

B. & J. Seyfert 

Keen & Burkhart.., 

N. & J. Hunter 

J. Udree Schneider, 

George Reagan 

J. S. Bertolette 

Jacob S. Spang 

William Schall 

Reuben Trexler 

David Schall.. 
Daniel Oyster. 
J. Rutter 






ent per- 






No. of 



Cords of wood. 



Tons of 
bar iron. 


Tons of 




















Wheat, rye, 
and corn 





















Beef and pork 




Industries in 1840. — In 1840 1 there were 
in the county eleven furnaces and thirty-six 
bloomeries, forges and rolling-mills ; total num- 
ber of iron industries, forty-seven. The pro- 
duction, investment, men employed, etc., were 
as follows: 

Tons of cast-iron 9,165 

" bar-iron 6,569 

" fuel consumed 45,765 

Men employed 1,245 

Capital invested $367,444 

Value of mine product $54,800 

Capital in mines $32,100 

Other industries in county then : 

Flour-mills 27 

Grist-mills 114 

Oil-mills 15 

1 Berks and Schuylkill Journal, December 20, ] 840, 

Stores 119 

Saw -mills 108 

Paper-factories 5 

Potteries 3 

Powder-mills 3 

Pounds of powder 549,000 

Distilleries 29 

product (gals.) 54,644 

Breweries 6 

product (gals.) 61,600 

In 1851 there were forty-one iron-works in 
the county, a larger number than in any other 
county of Pennsylvania; and there was no 
county in the United States which contained 
more. Lancaster County had thirty; Chester 
County, twenty-five. The whole number in the 
State was five hundred and four. The capital 
invested in iron-works in the county then was 



Comparative Statement, 1850-1876. — 
The following statement shows the number of 
iron-works in Berks and adjoining counties for 
the years 1850 and 1876, respectively : 







Lancaster .... 




Total of State... 


1850. 1876 



















1850. 1876. 



















Memorial for National Foundry. — 
In February, 1845, 1 a "memorial" was pre- 
pared by a committee of citizens of Reading, 
appointed at a town-meeting, setting forth rea- 
sons why Reading should be selected as a site 
for one of the national foundries, and it was 
presented to Congress. The committee referred 
to the security of Reading in time of war, its 
central position with regard to points of defense 
and supply of ordnance, its facilities of trans- 
portation, its supply of iron, coal and other 
materials and its low wages of labor. John 
Banks, Isaac Hiester and Isaac Eckert were on 
this committee — theothers not being mentioned. 2 
A statement of the furnaces and forges in the 
county was added, including those along the 

1 There had been a movement in this behalf seven years 
previously, the completion of the Reading Railroad having 
suggested the feasibility of procuring at Reading the estab- 
lishment of a National Foundry, the building of which was 
then being agitated in Congress. A large meeting of the 
citizens of Reading was held in March, 1838, with this 
object in view, at which meeting General George M. Keim 
was appointed the chairman of the committee to present a 
memorial to Congress, and Henry A. Muhlenberg and John 
Ritter accompanied him to Washington to urge the claims 
of Reading. 

'Reading Gazette, February 1,1845. The entire memo- 
rial appears in this issue. Fifteen members were on the 
committee. The committee who carried the memorial to 
Washington were Wm. Darling, Wm. Strong and J. Pringle 

Schuylkill Canal, in Schuylkill County, and 
also those along the Union Canal, in Lebanon 
County. They afforded employment to about 
eleven hundred hands. 

The following statement 3 comprises only the 
furnaces and forges in Berks County in 1845: 

DiBtAnce from 
Furnaces. Owners. Miles. 

Mount Penn John Schwartz 3 

Joanna Darling & Smith 11 

Hopewell Brooke & Buckley 14 

Reading D. R. Porter & Co 12 

Alsace J. & S. Kauffman 4 

Moselem N. V. E. Hunter 12 

Sally Ann J. V. R. Hunter 15 

Mary Ann Horatio Trexler ,.18 

Oley JacobS. Spang 10 

Windsor Jones & Co 16 

Schuylkill Schuylkill Nav. Co 18 

Oley J. Udree Snyder 8 

Glasgow Jacob Weaver 15 

Union George Reagan 24 

Henry Clay Eckert & Bro.... [Reading] 

Speedwell (1) Nicholas Yocum 2 

Speedwell (1) Daniel Yocum 2 

Gibraltar (3) Simon Seyfert 3 

Allegheny (1) — — -Thompson 3 

Birdsboro' (2) E. & G. Brooke 10 

Clinton (1) George Zacharias 11 

Pine (1) .' Joseph Bailey 15 

Charming (1) David R. Porter 11 

Spring (1) D. K. Bertolette 11 

Oley (1) Jacob S. Spang 10 

Rockland (2) Snell & Co 14 

Araminta (1) Gottlieb Moyer 3 

Maiden-creek (2).Merkel & Co 20 

Union (2) George Reagan 24 

Mt. Pleasant (l)..John Rush 20 

Glasgow (1) Jacob Weaver 15 

Do-Well (2) J. Seidel 4 

Dale (1) David Schall 16 

Green Tree(l) J. W. Burkhart 6 

Sally Ann (1) J. V. R. Hunter 15 

District (1) Jacob Deisher 15 

Iron and nail-works, Reading, Whitaker, Seyfert 
& McManus, 

Total — 15 furnaces and 21 forges (including nail- 

Summary of Present Furnaces, Forges 
and Mills. — Statement of iron furnaces, 
forges and mills in county, including size, 
capacity, etc., as published in " Directory of 

' Reading Gazette, February 1, 1845. 



Iron and Steel-Works in United States," by 
American Iron and Steel Association, 1884 : 


BechtelsviUe Furnace, at Bechtelsville ; now known 
as Norway Furnace. One stack, 58 i x 14, built in 
1875; open top; one iron hot-blast stove; ore, Berks 
County magnetic ; product, foundry and mill pig- 
iron ; annual capacity, 16,000 net tons. Brand, " Nor- 

Fast Perm, Furnaces, at Lyons Station, owned by 
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. 
Two stacks, each 48 x 12 ; built by East Penn Iron 
Company in 1874-75 ; injured by fire in 1881 ; closed 
tops ; annual capacity, 17,000 tons. 

Henry Clay Furnaces, at Reading, owned by Eckert 
& Brother. Two stacks, each 57x13; one built in 
1842, and blown in in August, 1844; the other built 
in 1855, and blown in in September, 1856; four iron 
hot-blast stoves; closed tops; fuel, anthracite coal 
and coke ; ores, hematite and magnetic from Berks 
and Lebanon Counties ; product, No. 2 foundry and 
gray forge pig-iron ; total annual capacity, 22,000 net 
tons. Brand, " Henry Clay." 

Keystone Furnaces, at Birdsboro', owned by E. & G. 
Brooke Iron Company. Three stacks ; one, 50 x 12, 
built in 1853; one, 55x15, built in 1871; one, 
60 x 16, built in 1873 ; closed tops ; fuel, anthracite 
coal and coke; ores, principally magnetic, with a 
mixture of hematite ; product, forge pig-iron ; annual 
capacity, 50,000 net tons. Brand, " Keystone." 

Keystone Furnaces, at Reading, owned by Keystone 
Furnace Company. Two stacks ; one, 50 x 15, built 
in 1869 ; the other, 50 x 14, built in 1872-73 ; blown 
in during June, 1873; closed tops; total annual 
capacity, 20,500 net tons. 

Leesport Furnace, at Leesport, owned by Leesport 
Iron Company. One stack, 55 x 15, built in 1852; 
first blown in in 1853, and rebuilt in 1871 ; closed 
top ; fuel five-sixths anthracite coal and one-sixth 
coke ; ores, three-quarters hematite from Moselem, 
Berks County, and one-quarter magnetic from Corn- 
wall, Lebanon County ; specialty, foundry pig-iron ; 
annual capacity, 14,000 net tons. Brand, " Leesport." 

Kutztown Furnace, at Kutztown ; owned by Phila- 
delphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. One 
stack, 55 x 15, built in 1875, by Kutztown Iron Com- 
pany ; closed top ; annual capacity, 8300 net tons. 

Monocacy Furnace, at Monocacy ; owned by Mono- 
cacy Furnace Company. One stack, 50 x 13, built at 
Hopewell in 1852; removed to Monocacy in 1854; 
specialty, foundry pig-iron ; annual capacity, 10,000 
net tons. Brand, "Monocacy.'' Formerly called 
Theresa Furnace. 

Moselem Furnace, at Moselem, owned by Leibrandt 
& McDowell. One stack, 49x12, built in 1823 for 
charcoal, and rebuilt several times; two Ford hot- 
blast stoves ; closed top ; fuel, anthracite coal ; ores, 

three-quarters Moselem hematite and one-quarter 
Cornwall magnetic; specialty, foundry pig-iron ; an- 
nual capacity, 8000 net tons. Brand, " Moselem." 

ML Laurel Furnace, one mile east of Temple; 
owned by Clymer Iron Company. One stack, 50 x 11, 
built in 1836, rebuilt in 1847; changed to anthracite 
in 1873, but not blown in afterwards until February 
1, 1880 ; closed top ; annual capacity, 5000 net tons ; 
two hot-blast stoves; ore principally hematite; pro- 
duct, foundry pig-iron. 

Reading Iron- Works Furnace, at Reading; owned 
by " Reading Iron- Works." Two stacks, 55 x 15 and 
55x16, built in 1854 and 1873, respectively; closed 
tops; ore, principally hematite from Lehigh and 
Lebanon Counties ; product, foundry and mill pig- 
iron ; total annual capacity,' 20,000 net tons. 

Robesonia Furnace, at Robesonia ; owned by Fer- 
guson, White & Co. One stack, 80 x 18, built in 
1858, and rebuilt in 1874, and again in 1884; three 
Whitwell hot-blast stoves; closed top; fuel, anthra- 
cite coal and coke; Cornwall ore is exclusively used; 
product, red-short pig-iron for Bessemer steel and bar- 
iron ; annual capacity, 25,000 net tons. Brand, "Rob- 
esonia." A furnace, built here in 1845, was aban- 
doned in 1880. 

Topton Furnace, at Topton ; owned by Topton Fur- 
nace Company. One stack, 55 x 16 ; built in 1873, 
by Topton Iron Company. 

Temple Furnace, at Temple ; owned by Temple Iron 
Company. One stack, 55 x 14, built in 1867, and 
rebuilt in 1875 ; two iron hot-blast stoves ; closed top ; 
ores, from Lehigh, Berks and Lebanon Counties, and 
from New Jersey ; specialty, foundry pig-iron ; an- 
nual capacity, 12,000 net tons. 


Hampton Furnace, at Birdsboro', owned by E. and 
G. Brooke Iron Company. One stack, 30 x 8, built in 
1846, and rebuilt in 1872 ; closed top ; cold blast ; ore, 
principally hematite, obtained in the vicinity of the 
furnace ; product, car-wheel iron ; capacity, 1500 net 

Hopewell Furnace, in Union township, south of 
Monocacy, owned by Edward S. Buckley. One stack, 
30 x 7, built in 1765, and rebuilt in 1800 ; cold blast; 
water and steam-power ; ores, hematite and magnetic, 
obtained in the neighborhood ; product, car-wheel pig- 
iron ; annual capacity, 1200 net tons. 

Joanna Furnace, at Joanna, owned by L. Heber 
Smith. One stack, 30 x 8, built in 1792 by Potts & 
Rutter, and rebuilt in 1847; cold blast; water and 
steam-power; open top; ores, local magnetic and 
hematite; specialty, car-wheel pig-iron ; annual capac- 
ity, 1200 net tons. Brand, " Joanna." 

Mary Ann Furnace, in Longswamp, owned by 
Horatio Trexler. Built in 1793. Out of blast since 

Maiden-creek Furnace, at Lenhartsville, owned by 
Jacob K. Spang. One stack, 33 x 9, built in 1854; 



cold and warm blast ; water and steam-power ; open 
top ; annual capacity, 1600 net tons. 

Mount Perm Furnace, in Cumri* township, owned 
by W. M. Kaufman & Co. Built in 18^0. One stack, 
80 x 8£. Abandoned in 1883. 

Oley Furnace, in Oley township, near Friedensburg, 
owned by Clymer Iron Company. One stack, 30 x 8, 
built in 1772 ; open top ; cold blast ; steam and water- 
power ; ores, three-quarters hematite and one-quarter 
primitive ; specialty, No. 1 dead gray iron ; annual 
capacity, 2000 net tons. 

Sally Ann Furnace, latterly called Rockland, in 
Rockland township, owned by Hunter estate. Built 
in 1791, rebuilt in 1879, and burned in 1881. 


Birdsboro' Nail-Works, at Birdsboro', owned by E. 
& G. Brooke Iron Company. Built in 1848 ; 2 single 
and 11 double puddling furnaces ; 2 scrap and 4 heat- 
ing furnaces, 113 nail-machines, and 5 trains of rolls ; 
steam and water-power; product, nails; annual ca- 
pacity, 250,000 kegs. Brand, " Anchor." 

Blandon Iron- Works, at Blandon, owned by Maiden- 
creek Iron Company. Built in 1867; 11 single pud- 
dling furnaces, 2 heating furnaces and 3 trains of 
rolls; product, round, square, flat, hoop, band and 
skelp-iron ; annual capacity, 8000 net tons. 

Gibraltar Iron-Works, at Gibraltar, in Robeson 
township, owned by S. Seyfert & Co. Built in 1846, 
and completely rebuilt in 1883-84, and new machinery 
erected; 2 heating furnaces and one 18-inch train of 
rolls; product, boiler-plate and boiler-tube and pipe- 
iron ; annual capacity, 3000 net tons. 

Keystone Iron- Works, at Reading, owned by J. H. 
Craig and Jacob Snell. Built in 1854; 1 double and 
5 single puddling furnaces, 2 heating furnaces and one 
18-inch train of rolls; product, boiler-plate, skelp, 
tank, chute, stack, pipe, boat and car-iron and muck- 
bars; annual capacity, 3600 net tons. 

Mcllvain & Sons' Boiler-Plate Mill, at Reading 
owned by Wm. Mcllvain & Sons. First put in opera- 
tion in 1857 ; 2 double and 4 single puddling fur- 
naces, 3 heating furnaces, 2 trains of rolls (break- 
down rolls, 52 by 25 inches, and finishing rolls, 81 by 
25 inches) and one 3-ton hammer ; product, every 
variety of plate-iron ; annual capacity, 6000 net tons. 
Brand, " Mcllvain.'' 

Philadelphia and Reading Boiling-Mill, at Reading, 
owned by Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron 
Company, built in 1868 ; 12 single puddling furnaces, 
10 heating furnaces and 3 trains of rolls (one 12, one 
23 and one 24-inch) ; product, rails, splice-bars, and 
muck-bars; annual capacity, 50,000 net tons. Spe- 
cialty, reheated iron rails. Bessemer steel rails are 
rolled from purchased blooms. Brand, " P. & R." 

Reading Bolt and Nut Works, at Reading, owned 
by J. H. Sternbergh. Established in 1865 ; enlarged 
in 1872 and 1881 ; 4 heating furnaces, 3 trains of 
rolls (one 9, one 10 and one 12-inch,) and 1 hammer ; 

product, refined merchant bar, band and skelp-iron ; 
also, bolts, nuts, washers, rivets, etc. ; annual capacity, 
about 8000 net tons. 

Rending Iron- Worts, at Reading, owned by " Read- 
ing Iron-Works." Flue-iron mill built in 1836; 12 
single puddling furnaces, 4 heating furnaces, 1 rotary 
squeezer, 3 trains of rolls, 28 nail-machines and 1 
spike-machine; product, cut nails, bar, band, hoop 
and skelp-iron; annual capacity, 7000 net tons. 
Plate mill built in 1863 ; 8 double puddling furnaces, 
4 heating furnaces, 1 hammer and 4 trains of rolls ; 
product, sheet, plate and bar-iron ; annual capacity, 
10,000 net tons. 

Seyfert Rnlling-Milh, at Seyfert Station, W. & N. 
R. R., in Robeson township, owned by Samuel R- 
Seyfert. Built in 1880-81, and started in March, 
1881 ; 4 double puddling furnaces, 4 forge fires, 3 
heating furnaces, one 4-ton hammer and 2 trains of 
rolls; product, boiler-plate, boiler-tube and pipe-iron, 
blooms, and puddled bar ; annual capacity, 5,000 net 


Charming Forge, in Marion, near Womelsdorf, 
owned by W. & B. F. Taylor. Built in 1749; 5 
forge fires, 1 heating furnace, 1 refinery and 1 ham- 
mer ; water power ; product, charcoal and coke blooms 
for boiler-plate and sheet-iron, made from pig-iron ; 
annual capacity, 1000 net tons. 

Gibraltar Iron- Works, at Gibraltar, in Robeson, 
owned by S. Seyfert & Co. Built in 1846 ; 1 coke run- 
out, 4 charcoal forge fires and 2 hammers; water- 
power; product, charcoal blooms for flue-iron and 
boiler-plate; annual capacity, 500 net tons. 

Mount Airy Forge, on North Kill, in Tulpehocken 
Upper, nearShartlesville, owned by Robert C. Green. 
Built about 1840 ; 2 forge fires, one 4-tuyere run-out 
and 1 hammer ; water-power ; product, run-out anthra- 
cite, charcoal and scrap blooms and billets for boiler- 
plate, sheets and wire; annual capacity, 450 net tons. 

Moyer's Forge, on Antietam Creek, in Exeter, south 
of Jacksonwald, owned by Morgan J. Althouse. Built 
in 1825; 3 fires and 1 hammer; water-power; product, 
charcoal blooms for steel, made from pig-iron and 
steel scrap. Abandoned in 1883, and converted into 
a chopping-mill. 

North Kill Forge, near Shartlesville, on North Kill, 
owned by M. B. Seyfert & Co. Built in 1830, and re- 
paired and started in 1879 after a long idleness. Pro- 
duct, run-out anthracite blooms. 

Schuylkill Steam Forge, at Douglassville, owned by 
B. F. Morret. Completed in 1878; 8 fires, 1 double 
run-out and 1 hammer; product, charcoal blooms for 
boiler plate and sheet iron, made from charcoal pig- 
iron and scrap-iron. 


1880. — Statistics relating to iron establishments 
and their production in Berks and surrounding 
counties for the year 1880, : — 

1 From United States Census Report, I860. 



Number of establishments. 

Capital invested 

Hands employed 

Wages paid..... 

Value of all materials.... 

Value of all products 

Total weight of " (tons 










































1876. 1882. 

Pig Iron. Net tons. 2 Net tons. 

Anthracite and coke 55,962 148,359 

Charcoal 2,679 8,391 

Net tons. 

Total 58,641 156,750 135,947 

The following table shows the production of 
all forms of rolled iron, including bar-iron, 
plate-iron, nail-plate, sheet-iron, and iron and 
steel rails. (No steel was produced in Berks 
County. Steel for rails bought elsewhere.) 

y ears Net tons. 

1876.' 31,799 

1882 94,996 

1884 49,795 

Years. Hammered Iron Blooms. Net tons. 

1876 460 

1882 3,457 

1884 2,185 

General Industries. — The industries pre- 
viously mentioned were prominent in their sev- 
eral sections on account of the capital invested 
and the men employed to carry them on success- 
fully. But besides these there were many other 
industries in the several townships. Blacksmith- 
shops and wheelwright-shops were located and 
conducted in every community. They were 
necessary for the accommodation of the settlers. 
Thev were not large. Only a few individuals 
worked together — mostly a master-workman and 
his apprentice. Grist-mills for flour and feed 
were situated along all the large streams. The 
mill of George Boone, Esq , on the Monocacy, is 
the earliest one of which I found any notice — it 
having been referred to in 1 727 ; and the 
Price Mill, at the mouth of the Wyomissing, was 
one of the earliest, having been erected about 
1735. The Welsh were mechanics who con- 
ducted their trades in small factories along the 

Wyomissing. Eope-makers were common in 
every section. Ropes and cords were largely 
used in the daily affairs of life. This industry 
was conducted for many years by individuals at 
their homes; but improved machinery and 
steam caused its decline, and small ropewalks 
were compelled to discontinue. Carpenters and 
builders were numerous. They were finished 
workmen, preparing every article out of wood 
by hand. Some of the old buildings, still in a 
good state of preservation, attest the excellence 
of their workmanship. Doors and windows and 
frames of all kinds used in .building opera- 
tions were hand-made. This custom amongst 
them continued till the introduction of the 
planing-mill about 1835, and then it began to 
decline. The country saw-mill, run by water- 
power, was active then in preparing lumber ; but 
great steam mills in the lumber regions have 
caused them to become less and less active. 
Great rafts of logs are no longer towed down 
the canals to Reading, especially the Union 
Canal from the Susquehanna River, to afford 
employment to our saw-mills. The railroads 
instead deliver finished lumber. 

Every community had a weaver, who con- 
ducted his business at his home. He wove car- 
pets and coverlets (plain and fancy) and linen 
and cotton stuffs for domestic use. He did not 
carry a large stock on hand ; he manufactured 
articles to order. 1 And so with 'other trades. 

Fulling-mi lis, paper-mills, oil-mills and distil- 
ling-mills were conducted for cloths, paper, oil 
and whiskey, but they were limited in capacity. 
Statistics of Manufactures of County, 
1870 and 1880. — Two tables are introduced for 
the years 1870 aud 1880. The statistics were 
taken from the Census Reports of the United 
States : 

1 Furnished by James M. Swank, vice-president of 
American Iron and Steel Association. 

2 A net ton consists of two thousand pounds. 

1 County industries are described in the districts where 
they were or are situated. Full statistics of county pro- 
ductions were not ob ainable, 



Manufactures of Berks County, 1870* 




Agricultural implements 


Boots and shoes 

Brass founding, etc 

Bread and bakery products 


Brooms, etc 

Carpets (rag) 

Carpets (other than rag) 

Carriages and wagons 

Cars (freight and passenger; 


Clothing (men's) 



Cordage and twine 

Cotton goods 


Flour-mill products 

Furniture -. 



Hats and caps 

Hubs and wagon material 

Iron (bloom*) 

forged and rolled 

bolts, nuts, etc 

nails, etc 

wrought, tubes, etc 



stoves, heaters, etc 

Leather (tanned) .-. 



Liquors (distilled) 


Lumber (planed) 


Machinery (not specified) 

(engines and boilers) 

Malt . 

Marble and stone work (not specified) 


Masonry (brick and stone) 


Oils (vegetable and linseed) 

Paper (not specified) 


Saddlery and harness 

Sash, doors and blinds 

Scales and balances 

Stone and earthenware 

Tin, copper and sheet-iron ware 

Tobacco and cigars 

Woolen goods 





























































































Capital invested. 







































































■ 54,647 




























































] 14,800 




































































































* For year 1860 : Number of establishments, 679 ; hands employed, 5,009 ; capital invested, $5,829,440 ; wages, $1,313,568 ; 

material, $4,268,210; products, $6,821,840. 
•f Males above sixteen, 7,671 ; females above sixteen, 701 ; youths, 619. 



Manufactures of Berks County, 1880. 


Agricultural implements 

Boots and shoes 

Boxes (cigar) 

Bread and bakery products 

Brick and tile 

Brooms and brushes 

Carpets (rag) 

Carriages and wagons 

Clothing (men's) 


Cordage and twine 

Cotton goods 

Flouring and grist-mill products 

Foundry and machine-shop products.. 



Iron and steel 

Iron forgings 

Iron pipe (wrought) 

Leather (curried) 

Leather (tanned) 

Liquors (distilled) 

Liquors (malt) 

Lumber (sawed) 

Marble and stone work 

Mixed textiles 



Printing and publishing 

Saddlery and harness 



Spectacles and eye-glasses 

Tin, copper, and sheet iron ware 

Tobacco, cigars, etc 

Woolen goods 

Wool hats 






























Total I 1044 






































Capital invested. 







• 171,760 



$13,026,331 $20,143,164 

* Hands employed : males above sixteen, 8,307 ; females above fifteen, 890 ; youths 811. 



Military Periods— Pause of War— Officers, Supplies, etc.— 
Colonial Forts — Burd's Journal — Invasion of County by 
Indians— Numerous Letters on Sufferings of Early In- 
habitants — Peace Declared — Persons Murdered, Taken 
Prisoners and Missing. 

Military Periods. — Like every other 
country, ours has also its military periods. 
They are very interesting to us, and the interest 
is not of an ordinary kind. Its nature is more 
or less thrilling. Nothing in the progress of 
our country is more so. Our growth in popu- 
lation and wealth, its fluctuations from different 
causes, losses by storm and fire, and death by 

famine and pestilence, awaken in us great interest. 
As we advance step by step in our researches, 
from interest we grow into eagerness, and from 
sympathy we are carried into a sort of terror 
at the wonderful power of an apparently inex- 
plicable and uncontrollable law. But when we 
get beyond the agency of natural forces, study 
the actions of man against man, tribe against 
tribe or nation against nation, incited by inter- 
est or hate in the onward movements of our 
social organization, and see that at times they 
result in war, bloodshed and death, our interest 
becomes intense and thrilling sensations move 
us into inexpressible pity or revenge. 

The citizens of Berks County participated in 
the following five wars, in which our country 



was engaged during its eventful history, from 
the beginning till now : French and Indian 
War, 1755 to 1762 ; Eevolution, 1775 to 1782 ; 
English War, 1812 to 1815; Mexican War, 
1846 to 1848 ; War of the Eebellion, 1861 to 

At present we have a strong feeling of secu- 
rity in the enjoyment of life and property. This 
is a great blessing. It is both inspiring and en- 
nobling. It conduces to the persistent direc- 
tion of labor in the various channels of indus- 
try, and to the development of our general life 
as a free people. This feeling did not exist one 
hundred and thirty years ago. Then, for some 
years, our people were in constant alarm and 
great dread of loss and death. Our county or- 
ganization had just been established after re- 
peated efforts in the Colonial Assembly running 
through a number of years. Before this the pros- 
pects for rapid improvement were bright and 
promising. But these prospects were darkened 
by a cruel foe. The inhabitants had confidence 
in themselves, but they needed protection. The 
colonial government was weak. It could not 
extend its power effectively over the entire 
State. They were, therefore, discouraged. 
Driven by dread, and suffering from loss, they 
were obliged to petition the Governor for pro- 
tection. In pursuance of their petitions, forts 
were erected along the Blue Mountain, and 
small detachments of soldiers were stationed in 
them to guard the neighboring settlers from the 
atrocious cruelties of the Indians. Formerly 
the Indians and settlers were on the most 
friendly terms. They associated and dealt with 
each other in the most satisfactory manner. 
The change from friendship and peace to hate, 
revenge and war was most surprisiug. It was 
produced by the wicked misrepresentations of 
the French, and terminated in what is known in 
our history as the "French and Indian War." 

Cause of War. — Whilst the Penns were 
endeavoring to locate a town on the eastern 
bank of the Schuylkill at the " Ford," war was 
being carried on between England and France, 
and the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was formed 
between them in the same year in which the 
town was laid out. But this treaty of peace 
did not settle the controversy between them in 

respect to territory on the American continent. 
The English colonies were originally planted 
along the sea-coast. But they advanced west- 
wardly. The English, therefore, claimed the 
right to extend their settlements across the con- 
tinent, from ocean to ocean. The French, how- 
ever, had possessed Canada to the north and 
Louisiana to the south. They, too, claimed the 
intervening territory which lay along the Ohio 
and Mississippi Rivers. Both parties claimed 
the same country, and, in order to maintain 
their respective rights, they " rushed into a 
fierce and bloody war for lands which belonged 
to neither, and which, in twenty years after the 
termination of hostilities, passed away from 
both and became vested in a new power whose 
national existence, by a mysterious Providence, 
in a great measure, grew out of their conten- 
tions." ' It was accelerated by a large grant of 
six hundred thousand acres of land in that dis- 
puted territory by the English to certain per- 
sons who associated under the title of the " Ohio 
Company." This great company agitated a 
scheme for the settlement of the land .granted to 
them, which alarmed the French. Remonstrances 
and complaints having proved fruitless, each 
party seized and plundered the subjects of the 
other ; and hostilities ensued which resulted in 
the defeat of Braddock in the western section 
of the province in 1755. 2 

The Indians, having united with the French 
through misrepresentation, and finding the fron- 
tier open, proceeded eastwardly to recover and 
repossess the territory which had formerly been 
theirs, and out of which they believed they had 
been swindled. 3 On their way they committed 

1 Ramsay's " History of United States," 276. 

2 The declaration of war was published at Eastou by the 
Governor, on the 30th of July, 1756, and at Philadelphia in 
August following. It was issued by King George on the 
17th of May, 1755. See 2 Penn. Arch., 735. 

3 In a message to the Executive Council on the 3d of 
November, 1 755, Governor Morris said, — 

" This invasion was what we had the greatest reason to 
believe would be the consequence of General 'Braddock's 
defeat and the retreat of the regular troops, and had my 
hands been properly strengthened, I should have put this 
province into such a posture of defence as might have pre- 
vented the mischiefs that have since happened. 

" It seems clear, from the different accounts I have re- 
ceived, that the French have gained to their interest the 



depredations and cruelties which resulted in a 
great loss of li fe and property. Notwithstanding 
forts were erected by the provincial govern- 
ment along the Kittatinny Mountain, from the 
Delaware to the Susquehanna, to afford pro- 
tection to the settlers in the vicinity, and were 

Delawares and Shawanese Indians under the ensnaring 
pretense of restoring them to their country, their intimate 
knowledge of which will make them dangerous enemies to 
the colonies in general, and to this in particular.' - 

The Governor doubtless founded his opinion upon the 
following report which was made to him by a committee of 
three persons (Robert Strettell, Joseph Turner and Thomas 
Cadwalader), who had been appointed to make a full in- 
vestigation for the purpose of ascertaining the causes that 
occasioned the defection of the Indians : 

"And wefurther beg leave to remind yourhonor, that, at 
one of the conferences held with Scaroyody, one of the Six 
Nation chiefs, and Andrew Mountour, in the council 
chamber, they being particularly asked if the Delawares or 
Shawanese had any cause of complaint given them by this 
government, they declared that those Indians never men- 
tioned any to them, and that they never heard or did be- 
lieve they had any; but that they attributed their de- 
fection wholly to the defeat of General Braddock, and the 
increase of strength and reputation gained on that victory 
by the French, and their intimidating those Indians and 
using all means by promises and threats to seduce and fix 
them in their interest, and to the seeming weakness and 
want of union in the English, and their appearing unable 
or unwilling to protect them, and particularly this govern- 
ment, who had constantly refused to put the hatchet into 
their hands ; and we beg leave to say we are entirely of 
opinion that this is the true and sole cause of their de- 

Teedyuscung, the chief of the Delawares, referred to this 
treaty with the Indians at a meeting in Easton, June 28, 
1762, in a speech to Governor Hamilton, of Pennsylvania, 
and Sir William Johnson, of New York, when he said,— 

"At a treaty held here; about six years ago I made a 
complaint against the proprietors and charged them 
with depriving us of our lands by forgery and fraud, 
which we did at a time when we were just come from the 
French, by whom we were very much incensed against our 
brothers, the English. This matter was afterwards, by our 
mutual consent, referred to the great King George over the 
waters, who directed you, brother, to enquire into the cir- 
cumstances of the case and make a report to him that he 
might see what was just therein. 

"You have taken the trouble to come for this purpose 
and many days have been spent in this affair. It now ap- 
pears, by sundry old writings and papers which have been 
shown by the proprietary commissioners and read at this 
conference, that the said charge of forgery was a mistake 
into which mistake we were led by the accounts we had re- 
ceived from our ancestors concerning the lands sold 
by Maykerikishe, Sahoppey and Tahaughsey to old Wil- 
liam Penn in the year 1686." 

garrisoned with twenty-five companies, compri- 
sing one thousand four hundred men, they 
even crossed the mountain and carried their 
wickedness, arson and murder into the counties 
adjoining. Berks County was entered. Nu- 
merous persons, including men, women and 
children, were killed, and many dwellings and 
barns were burned. This naturally spread 
consternation throughout the county. The 
settlers along the mountain fled and abandoned 
home and property. The enemy extended their 
incursions to a point near Reading. The in- 
habitants of the town became alarmed for their 
safety. They armed and organized themselves 
to defend the town, and even marched to the 
mountain to assist in driving the cruel foe out 
of the county. Many letters have been pub- 
lished which describe the wretched state of the 
people who lived in the townships to the north 
and west of the town. 

The cruelties of the Indians and the unsettled 
condition of the inhabitants of the upper sec- 
tion of the county continued during the years 
1755, 1756 and 1757. During these years the 
English were unsuccessful in their campaigns 
against the French and Indians. Their affairs 
here were in an alarming situation. Their 
efforts had produced only expense and disap- 
pointment. But in 1758 the tide turned in 
their favor through the vigorous administration 
of a new leader, William Pitt. The Indians 
retreated and victory crowned the British 
armies everywhere during the succeeding years 
till 1760, when the French were dispossessed of 
all the territories in dispute and forced to surren- 
der Canada. Peace was declared in 1763. 

The town of Reading had just been fairly 
started when this terrible shock fell upon the 
inhabitants. Though discouraged, they did 
not abandon their new settlement and its bright 
prospects, as the settlers were forced to do along 
the mountain. They remained, they perse- 
vered, they succeeded. It is probable that the 
unsettled condition of affairs during that period 
in the townships bordering on the mountain, 
which arose from the incursions and cruelties of 
the Indians, contributed much towards the rapid 
growth of the town. 

The Friends, through Christopher Sauer, 



the publisher of a German newspaper, at Ger- 
mantown, induced the German settlers to 
co-operate with them. They persuaded them 
to believe that the Provincial Council intended 
to enslave them, enforce their young men to 
become soldiers and to load them down with 
taxes. These representations induced the Ger- 
mans to travel to Philadeiphia from all parts in 
order to vote, and they carried all the elections. 
Almost to a man, the Germans refused to bear 
arms in the French and Indian War. 

Officers, Supplies, etc., in County. — 
The provincial military officers of Berks 
County in 1754 were : Lieutenant-Colonel, Con- 
rad Weiser : Captains, Christian Buss6 (at Fort 
Henry), Frederick . Smith, Jacob Orndt, Jacob 
Morgan (at Fort Lebanon) ; Lieutenant, Philip 
Weiser; Ensigns, Harry (at Fort Leb- 
anon), Edward Biddle ; Sergeant, Peter Smith ; 
Corporal, Schaeffer. 

Weiser was lieutenant-colonel of the Second 
Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment, which 
consisted of nine companies. This was a por- 
tion of the troops which were ordered by the 
Governor and provincial commissioners to be 
raised for the purpose of repelling the invasion 
by the Indians, the total force to comprise, twen- 
ty-five companies, numbering fourteen hundred 
men. Of the nine companies under Weiser, 
one and one-half companies were at Fort 
Henry, and one company was at Fort Williams. 

In March, 1756, an independent company 
of grenadiers, in General Shirley's regiment, 
was stationed at Reading on duty. Upon re- 
ceiving orders to march to New York, twenty- 
five men, under the command of a lieutenant, 
were ordered to Reading to remain on guard 
till further orders. 

In June, 1756, the town was occupied by a 
company of men, under the command of Con- 
rad Weiser. It was composed of two sergeants 
and twenty-eight privates. Shortly before, an 
independent company of grenadiers, from 
General Shirley's regiment, had been stationed 
here on duty. The ammunition at Reading 
then consisted of twenty-five good muskets, 
twenty-five muskets out of repair, eleven broken 
muskets, nine cartridge-boxes, two hundred and 
forty pounds of powder, six hundred pounds 

of lead. In August, 1757, "fifty men, from 
Cumru and other townships near Reading, set 
out in expectation of bringing in some Indian 

In February, 1758, Fort Williams was gar- 
risoned by Captain Morgan and fifty-three men ; 
and Fort Henry was garrisoned by Captain 
Busse with eighty-nine men, and Captain Wei- 
ser with one hundred and five men ; and Fort 
Augusta with eight companies, numbering three 
hundred and sixty-two men. 

The whole number of men receiving pay 
then in the province was one thousand two 
hundred and seventy-four. 

In June, 1758, Berks County had in the ser- 
vice fifty-six good and strong wagons. Each 
wagon was completely furnished with four able 
horses and an expert driver. These wagons were 
formed into two divisions, — the first division 
containing twenty-six wagons, and the second 
thirty wagons. A deputy wagon-master, ap- 
pointed by Colonel Weiser, was over each divi- 
sion. Their names were John Lesher and 
Jacob Weaver, who were reported to be free- 
holders and able to speak the English and Ger- 
man languages and to understand smith and 
wheelwright work. 

In 1761 the inhabitants of Tulpehocken 
and Heidelberg townships raised one hundred 
and fifty men as rangers to guard the county 
lines of Berks and Lancaster Counties. 

The following is from a return of troops, 
commanded by Major Asher Clayton, stationed 
on frontiers of Lancaster, Berks and Northamp- 
ton Counties, dated Juue 1, 1764: 

In Berks County. 

At Fort Henry, Bethel township, Captain John 
Philip De Haas ; one sergeant, eighteen men. 

(Conrad) Rehrer's, Bethel township, Lieutenant 
Christopher Seely ; fourteen men. 

Christopher Young's, Tulpehocking township, En* 
sign William Wild [Wiles] ; one sergeant, thirteen 

Kauffman's Mill, Bern township, Captain Jacob 
Kern ; one sergeant, fourteen men. 

Hagabaugh's, Albany township, Lieutenant John 
Sitzhoupt; fifteen men. 

John Overwinter's, Albany township, Ensign 
George Nagle; twelve men. 

, Bern township ; one sergeant, ten men. 



, Heidelberg township, Captain Nicholas 

Houssegger, Endgn William McMean ; one sergeant, 
twenty-six men. 

Colonial Forts.— When the officials of the 
provincial government learned that the Indians 
and French had united for the purpose of co- 
operating against the English on this continent, 
they decided to afford protection to the settle- 
ments near the frontiers by the erection of forte ; 
and the number of settlers who had gone beyond 
the Blue Mountains till this time having been 
small, they determined to locate these forts 
along this natural boundary line from the 
Delaware on the east to the Susquehanna on 
the west. 1 The object of these forts was simply 
for refuge, as places to which the inhabitants 
could retreat when danger was imminent. They 
were erected hastily to serve a temporary pur- 
pose. Unfortunately for the people, they were 
too few in number and too far apart to serve the 
purpose for which they were intended, especially 
to those who were somewhat removed. The 
Indians did not march over the mountains in 
large numbers together, and they did not attack 
the forts. They came quietly and in small par- 
ties. Without any warning they fell upon the 
unprotected families like a thunderbolt, and af- 
ter murdering men, women and children indis- 
criminately and setting fire to dwellings and 
barns, they departed like a flash. And their 
success in these wicked incursions was truly 

The following forts were erected in the terri- 
tory which was embraced in Berks County, 
the first four having been along the Blue Moun- 
tain, and the last at Shamokin (now Sunbury) : 

Fort Henry, Fort Dietrich Snyder, Fort North- 

1 In 1758, the location and distances were reported to be 
as follows : 


From Wind Gap to Doll's Block-House 20 

Thence to Fort Leychy 8 

" " Fort Allen ...10 

" " Block-House 20 

" " Fort Everit 10 

" " Fort Williams 12 

" " Fort Henry 22 

" " Fort Swatara 14 

" " Fort Hunter, on Susquehanna 24 

Total distance 140 

kill, Fort Lebanon, Fort Franklin and Fort 

Fort of 1754. — The house within the stock- 
ades was built of logs, and often crowded uncom- 
fortably by the neighboring inhabitants in times 
of danger. The stockades were logs, about 
eighteen feet long, cut in the woods where the 
forts were built, and planted in the ground as 
closely as possible. They were intended to 
protect the house and prevent the Indians from 
shooting its occupants when they stepped out of 
the house. 

Fort Henry was situated in Bethel township, 
in what was, and still is, commonly known as 
" The Hollow," about three miles northwardly 
from the present village of Millersburg, some 
fifty yards to the east of the " Old Shamokin 
Road," which leads over the mountain. The 
spot was somewhat elevated, to enable the guard 
to look out some distance in every direction. 
There is no particular mention of this fort in 
the Colonial Records, which omission induces 
the belief that it was a fort erected by the 
people of that vicinity for their protection. It 
was sometimes called " Dietrich Six's," doubt- 
less because it stood on the land of Dietrich Six. 
The records mention several times that the 
people fled to Dietrich Six's, but the place was 
not indicated as a military post. The field where 
it was situated has been under cultivation for 
many years. Not a single mark remains to 
indicate where it stood. It was erected some 
time before June, 1754. 

In the beginning of June, 1757, the Gover- 
nor of the province visited Fort Henry, having 
been escorted thither by sixty substantial free- 
holders of the county on horseback, completely 
armed. " They presented a very dutiful ad- 
dress to his honor, in which they expressed the 
warmest loyalty to the King and the greatest 
zeal and alacrity to serve His Majesty in defense 
of their country." 

Michael La Chauvignerie, a French officer, 
was captured at Fort Henry, and examined in 
Reading, October 16, 1757, by Conrad Weiser, 
James Read and Thomas Oswald, but nothing 
of any particular importance was developed 
except that he had been in this part of the 
country once before and that his party killed 



and scalped a German and took seven children 
prisoners. He stated that the Indians had a 
great number of prisoners which they would not 
part with. 

Fort at Dietrich Snyder's. — A fort was situ- 
ated on the top of the Broad Mountain, north of 
Fort Northkill. It occupied one of the most 
promiuent spots on the mountain. Being within 
two miles distant from Fort Northkill, it is 
supposed that this fort was designed for an 
observatory or watch-house. It is mentioned 
in the "Historical Map of Pennsylvania." 

Fort Northkill was situated in Upper Tulpe- 
hocken township, near the Northkill — a branch 
of the Tulpehocken Creek — about two miles 
east of Strausstown and about a mile south from 
the base of the Blue Mountain. It was built in 
the early part of 1754. 

With regard to the dimensions of the fort 
Commissary Young says, June 20, 1756 : "The 
fort is about nine miles to the westward of the 
Schuylkill, and stands in a very thick wood, 
on a small rising ground, half a mile from the 
middle of Northkill Creek. It is intended for 
a square about 32 feet each way ; at each corner 
is a half-bastion of very little service to flank 
the curtains — the stockades were ill fixed in the 
ground, and open in many places — within is a 
very bad log-house for the people; it has no 
chimney and can afford but little shelter in bad 

Ensign Harry had command of the fort in 
June, 1754. " Harry marched out of the fort 
about 12 o'clock with his men to Fort Lebanon, 
according to orders. Provisions I found in the 
fort as follows: 5 pounds of powder, 198 
pounds of flour, 10 small bars of lead, 15 
pounds of beef and pork, 3J pounds of can- 
dles." * 

In 1879 there was a heap of ground close by. 
This was caused by the excavation of the cellar 
or underground chamber into which the women 
and children were placed for security. Some 
of the ground has fallen into the opening, and 
the autumn leaves have been blown into it for 

1 2 Penna. Arch, 159. He delivered possession of the 
fort to his successor on the 15th of June, 1754 ; the name 
of the commander is not mentioned. 

one hundred and twenty-five years, so that now 
it is nearly full. Mr. Jonathan Goodman, of 
Strausstown, a man nearly eighty years of age, 
who was born and who lived all his lifetime in 
the neighborhood of the fort, said then that he 
remembered that the stockades were still in 
position, higher than the ceiling of a room, and 
that the form of the fort could still be seen in 
his younger days. 2 

There was an attack in the neighborhood of 
Fort Northkill on the 1st of October, 1757. 
Application was made to Conrad Weiser (who 
was in Reading at the time) for immediate as- 
sistance. Captain Oswald (who commanded the 
guards about Reading) sent two lieutenants 
with forty men to their relief. 

Fort Lebanon was situated " on the forks of 
the Schuylkill," in that section of the county 
beyond the Blue Mountain, near the outlet of 
the " Little Schuylkill." This was at a point 
just above Port Clinton. It was erected in the 
beginning of the year 1754. In 1758 it was 
known as " Fort Williams ; " and it was also 
called sometimes " Fort Schuylkill." It is 
frequently mentioned in the Pennsylvania Ar- 
chives. Two years after its erection it was 
described as follows : " Fort Lebanon, about 
24 miles from Gnadenhutten, in the line to 
Shamokin. Fort 100 feet square. Stockades 
14 feet high. House within built 30 by 20, 
with a large store-room. A spring within. A 
magazine 12 feet square. On a barren, not 
much timber on it. One hundred families pro- 
tected by it within the new purchase. No 
township. Built in three weeks ; something 
considerable given by the neighbors towards 

Fort Franklin. — The fourth and last fort on 
the frontier of Berks County was situated sev- 
eral miles above the Blue Mountain, on Lizard 
Creek. It was built about two years later than 
the other forts. It was sometimes called Fort 
Allemangael, or Fort above Allemangael, or 
Alle Mangel (all wants), afterward changed into 

The first information of this fort is from Ben- 
jamin Franklin, who (while superintending the 

2 Brunner's " Indians of Berks County," p. 23. 



erection of Fort Allen, where Weissport now 
stands) wrote to Governor Morris after it was 
finished, and said : " Foulk is gone to build 
another between this (Fort Allen) and Schuyl- 
kill Fort (Lebanon), which I hope will be 
finished (as Texter is to join him) in a week or 
ten days. As soon as Hays returns I shall 
detach another party to erect another at Surfas' 
which* I hope may be finished in the same time, 
and then I hope to end my campaign." This 
letter was written January 25, 1756. A 
"Block-House" and several other buildings 
stood between Fort Franklin and Fort Allen, 
in which soldiers were stationed, and Surfas was 
evidently the name of a man upon whose prop- 
erty one of the forts was located. The fort was 
named in honor of its projector, Benjamin 

James Young, " commissary of ye Musters," 
visited the fort on June 21st. He reported the 
road from Fort Lebanon " a narrow path, very 
hilly and swampy ; about half-way we came 
through a very thick and dangerous pine 
swamp ; very few plantations on this road, 
most of them deserted and the houses burnt 
down ; half of a mile to the westward of this 
fort is good plantation ; the people retire to the 
fort every night. This fort stands about a mile 
from the North Mountain ; only two planta- 
tions near it. This fort is a square of about 
forty feet, very ill stockaded, with two log 
houses at opposite corners for bastions ; all very 
unfit for defence ; the stockades are very open 
in many places ; it stands on the bank of a 
creek, the woods clear for 120 yards; the lieu- 
tenant (Igle) ranges towards Fort Lebanon 
and Fort Allen about four times a week; much 
thunder, lightning and rain all night." 

Fort Augusta. — The first allusion to this fort 
is in a letter by Governor Morris, on 1st of 
February, 1756, in which he states that he pro- 
posed to build a fort at Shamokin, at the forks 
of the Susquehanna, as soon as the season would 
admit a passage of that river. And in a letter 
dated July 20th following, he stated that a fort 
was then building at Shamokin (where a camp 
was stationed for some time) by Colonel Clap- 
ham, who had five hundred men with him. 
Shortly afterward (August 14, 1756), the colo- 

nel addressed a letter to the Governor, dated at 
"Fort Augusta," in reference to a necessary 
supply of military stores. This fort was there- 
fore built during July and August, 1756. No 
dimensions are given. But it was large and 
commodious, affording room for many men and 
a large quantity of military stores at a time. 
Frequent reports of the supplies on hand and of 
the forces stationed there appear in the records 
and archives ; and cruelties by the Indians 
were committed in the vicinity. These matters 
are not included in this narrative. Though 
the fort was within the territorial limits of the 
county, it was many miles beyoud the settle- 
ments of its inhabitants. 

In order to give some idea of the activity of 
the soldiers in the northwestern part of the 
county, the journal of the commander 1 at Fort 
Northkill is presented in this connection. It 
begins June 13, 1754, and ends on August 31st. 
It contains an account of what was done every 
day during this time, and it also furnishes the 
first information relating to the actual invasion 
of the county by the Indians so far as to and 
even on this side of the Blue Mountain, and to 
the murders committed upon our inhabitants. 

The commander says in his journal 2 — , 

" Accordingly I set out from Reading by break of 
day on the 14th, and arrived at Lieut-Colonel 
Weiser's, where I received orders to march with the 
company, or detachment, to Fort Henry, and from 
there take a detachment of twenty men and continue 
till to Fort on Northkill. Accordingly, on the 

" 15th. — In the morning I took the said twenty men 
from Fort Henry of the new levies, and marched 
straitway to the said fort (Northkill), accompanied 
with Captain Busse and Captain Smith. As soon as I 
arrived, I gave ensign Harry (then commander at 
Fort Northkill) notice of my orders, and sent off two 
men immediately to Col. Weiser with a report of the 
condition I found the fort in, and sent him a list of 
the new levies who were detached from Captain 
Busse's fort (Henry) with me to this fort. 

" 16th. — Captains Busse and Smith set off about 10 
o'clock with a scout often men, which Captain Busse 
had ordered of his company on the 15th. [Here a 
description of the fort appears, quoted before]. 

" 17th. — I, with a corporal and twenty men, accord- 
ing to orders from Lieut.-Col. Weiser, went a scouting 

1 Name not given in Archives. 

2 2 Pennsylvania Archives, 159-166. Some of the days 
have been omitted, being of no interest or consequence. 



and ranging the woods till to Fort Lebanon, where we 
arrived at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. We staid there 
all night, being not able to scout any farther or return 
home because of a heavy rain. 

" 18th. — Ret off from Fort Lebanon in the morning, 
being rainy weather, and ranged the woods, coming 
back, as before, with the same number of men, and 
arrived at Fort on Northkill about 4 o'clock in the 

" 19th. — Gave orders to Sergeant Peter Smith to 
scout to Fort Lebanon and to bring me report the 
next day of his proceedings. Accordingly he arrived 
on the 30th about 3 o'clock in the afternoon and made 
report that he had done according to his orders, and 
that he had made no discoveries. Received a letter 
from Captain Morgan, * informing me that he had no 
news, &c. 

"20th. — Sent off Corporal Shafer to scout as be- 

"21st. — Minister Shumaker' 2 came and preached a 
sermon to the company. The scout arrived from Fort 
Lebanon. The corporal reported that nothing strange 
had come to his knowledge. A scout of Captain 
Busse's arrived about 11 o'clock, and returned about 
4 towards their fort, but upon the Indian alarms, they 
immediately returned back to my fort and gave me 
notice ; in the midst of the rain I sent on the first 
notice Sergeant Smith with eighteen men, and ordered 
them to divide themselves in two parties. 

" 23d. — Sergeant Smith returned and made report 
that he arrived at Dietz's house about 10 o'clock in 
the night, where they heard a gun go off at Jacob 
Smith's, about a mile off. They immediately set off 
again from said Smith's towards the place where the 
gun went off, and surrounded the house (according to 
my orders). They searched all the house but found 
no marks of Indians. From this they .marched to 
Falk's house in the Gap, and surrounded it, but found 
no Indians. From there they went to the mountain, 
and arrived there at 2 o'clock in the morning, where 
Sergeant Smith, according to orders, waylaid the road 
in two parties, and as soon as it was day went back 
and buried the man that was killed, to wit: Peter 
Geisinger, who was shot and killed the day before. 
At burying him, they heard five guns go off about 
two miles from said place, whereupon Sergeant Smith 
immediately repaired to the place, and divided them- 
selves into two parties. (I have sent off Corporal 
Shafer with eight men, on the 22d, to their assistance). 
Sergeant Smith also makes report that this morning, 
about 7 o'clock, a girl about 15 years, daughter of 
Balser Schmidt, was taken prisoner by two Indians, 
whose tracks they saw and followed, but to no pur- 
pose. A party of Captain Busse's company went 
along from this and remained with my men all the 
time. Fifteen or sixteen of the inhabitants came to 

1 Commander at Fort Lebanon. 

2 Pastor of Trinity Lutheran congregation at Reading. 

me and applied for assistance. I ordered out several 
detachments to assist them. 

"June 24. — I set off with twenty men from this to 
Captain Busse's fort, along the mountain, and called 
at the place where the murder was committed. Went 
up as far as the gap of the mountain, but as I found 
no tracks there I thought the Indians would be on 
this side the mountains, therefore I went up along the 
mountains without opposition, till to Captain Busse's 
fort, and as it rained very hard all day and we went 
far about, we arrived there towards the evening. 

"June 25. — Set off in the morning with the same 
number of men, and scoured the woods nearly the 
same way back again, and arrived towards evening in 
the fort, being rainy weather. 

" June 26. — Received in the morning aletter for me, 
positively not to neglect my scouting toward Fort 
Lebanon ; accordingly, immediately called in my de- 
tachments. This afternoon a woman living about one 
and a half miles from here came to the fort and said 
she had seen an Indian just now in her field, almost 
naked, and had a gun, but said she did not stay to 
look long. ' I immediately sent off Sergeant Smith 
with two parties, consisting of about 20 men. They 
searched the place and found nothing, but saw two 
bare feet tracks. They divided into small parties, and 
scoured the woods till evening and then returned to 
the fort, and as I had to-day but men sufficient to 
guard the fort, I sent out no scout. This evening in- 
telligence came to me from the Colonel [Weiser] in- 
forming me that he had notice from Captain Orndt of 
fifteen going to fall on this settlement on hereabouts. 
He ordered me therefore immediately to send notice 
to Captain Busse's fort, in order that it might be from 
there conveyed to Fort Swatara. I did accordingly. 

"June 27. — Gave orders to Sergeant Smith to go 
scouting the woods between this and Fort Lebanon, 
and, if Captain Morgan thought that it wasserviceable, 
to range some way up Schuylkill (as that gap is their 
common rendezvous). 

June 28. — A scout of Captain Busse arrived in the 
forenoon, and set off again this afternoon. 

" June 29. — In the evening there came two men to 
the fort, and reported that the Indians had invaded 
about six miles from this, about nine o'clock this 
morning. I was somewhat concerned that I had no 
sooner intelligence of it; however, I immediately 
sent off twelve men under two corporals. 

" June 30. — About noon the two corporals returned 
and made the following report: That yesterday they 
could not reach the place, as they were tired, but staid 
at a house till nigh break of day, and then set off again. 
He did not immediately go to the place where the man, 
etc., were killed, but went somewhat further down 
towards the Schuylkill, thinking that the Indians 
had invaded lower down, but as it was not so he took 
another route towards the place where the murder 
was committed, and as he came there he found the 
man's wife (Frederick Myers), who had been at a 



plough, and shot through both her breasts and was 
scalped. After that he went to look for the man, 
whom they found dead and scalped some way in the 
woods. They took a ladder and carried him to his 
wife, where the neighbors came and helped to bury 
them, after which they went towards the mountain, 
and scouted along the same and arrived here about 
four o'clock in the afternoon. It is reported by the 
farmers who saw the deceased a short while before, 
that he was mowing in his meadow, and that his 
children were about him, which makes them believe 
that the man, after he had heard the shot which 
killed his wife, went to run off with only the youngest 
child in his arms, as the man was shot through his 
body, and the child is one anda half years of age and 
is scalped, but yet alive, and is put at a doctor's. The 
other three, who were with their father, are taken 
prisoners ; one of them is a boy about ten years old, 
the other a girl of eight years and the other a boy of 
six years. There was a baby, whom they found in a 
ditch, that the water was just to its mouth. It was 
lying on its back crying. It was taken up, and is like 
to do well. A boy of one Reichard, of eight years, 
was taken prisoner at the same time. This was all done 
within half an hour, as some neighbors had been there 
in that space of time." 1 

A squad of soldiers were ranging the woods 
daily between Forts Henry, Northkill and 
Lebanon, but no Indians were seen for three 
weeks. On the 23d of July the commander of 

> This heart-rending tragedy occurred about a mile and 
a half north of Shartlesville, in Upper Bern, on the farm 
owned by Frederick Moyer, the grandson of the little child 
that had such a narrow escape from cruel death. 

Tradition says that the child found in the ditch was 
scalped and otherwise hurt, and died afterwards. 

The child Frederick, who was scalped and put to a doctor, 
was also shot through the arm, probably pierced by the 
bullet that killed the father, but recovered and in due time 
became the owner of the farm and died at the age of seventy- 
eight years. The property then came into the possession 
of his son, Jacob M., and after his death into the possession 
of his grandson, Frederick, who is the present owner. 

The Reiohard mentioned in the report belonged to a 
family living on the farm owned by Mr. Daniel Berger. 
Tradition says that the Reichard family was murdered 
except one of the boys, whom the Indians had intended to 
take prisoner. Mr. Reichard used to tell his children that 
if the Indians should come and attempt to take any of them 
alive they should resist to their utmost. This young boy, 
wishing to carry out his father's request, resisted the Indians 
who, after conveying him as far as to Moyer's, and, chafed 
by his insubmission, killed him with their tomahawks and 
scalped him. 

It was also about this time that the Hostetter family was 
killed near the forge west of Shartlesville.— Brunner's 
''Indians of Berks County,'' p. 29-30. 

Fort Northkill marched along the mountain as 
far as to the east side of the Schuylkill, and re- 
mained at Fort Lebanon during the night. 
Then he continues in his journal, — 

" July 24th. — Returned, and as soon as we came 
over on this side of the mountain (it being yet early 
in the day), I took quite another route through the 
woods, but made no discovery, so we arrived at Fort 
Northkill in the evening. I had not been there one- 
half an hour before three farmers came and informed 
me that this morning the Indians had taken a boy of 
about 14 years prisoner, but had done no other dam- 
age. I immediately sent off a party, but as it hap- 
pened, the boy being taken prisoner in the morning, 
night came on before my men could get there. 

"25th. — In the morning I heard that the boy had 
escaped, and that he made report, and that there 
were four white men and four Indians with him, and 
that at night he escaped ; they had tied him and he 
was obliged to lie between them, but as they all got 
drunk and fast asleep, he untied himself and ran off. 
He further says that when he was taken prisoner he 
made a noise, and that they struck him and told him 
to be silent. I imagine they saw me with my men go 
over the day before yesterday. The Indians were 
this night about the fort, but it was very dark, there- 
fore I did not sally out. 

"26th. — This morning sent out Sergeant Smith 
with five men to search about the fort for tracks, but 
he only found one which was in a muddy place. 
But it being nothing but stones, he could not follow 
the tracks. It rained all day, therefore I could send 
no scouts. 

[Scouts were sent out every day, but nothing was 
seen of the Indians for a week.] 

" August 4th.— A scout of Captain Busse arrived 
and returned the same day. The inhabitants desir- 
ing assistance to bring in their harvest, I gave them 
some men, and went scouting, but as I left few men 
in the fort I returned this evening." 

[The soldiers often guarded the fields while the 
farmers took off their grain and hauled it away, 
because when they were engaged in this work, the 
Indians could approach them more closely without 
being observed.] 

"7th.— This being Sunday, I took a party and 
went to church, 2 as the church lies near the moun- 
tain and the minister could not come without a 

" 8th.— The sentry fired at an Indian. The Indian 
stood behind a bush about 300 yards off, and was 
viewing the fort. I went off with eighteen men, and 
parted them in six parties, and went after the In- 
dians, but could not come up with them. Went to 
clearing about the fort, it being thick of bushes. 

2 The old church situated half a mile east of Strausstown. 



"9th. — Continual clearing and burning bush. 
" 10th. — Sent off a scouting party who returned and 
brought no intelligence. This night the sentry about 
an hour after dark perceived that a fire which had been 
kindled to burn brush, but was before night gone out, 
began to burn afresh, upon which he called the Ser- 
geant of the guard, who, perceiving the same, ordered 
the guard to fire, on which the Indians ran off. The 
dogs pursued them and kept barking after them about 
half a mile. I had the men all under arms, but 
everything being now quiet, dismissed them, ordering 
them to be in continual readiness with their accoutre- 
ments on. In about an hour the Indians returned 
and took a fire-brand out of the fire and ran off. 
They were immediately fired on, but in vain. 

" 14th. — Being Sunday, Minister Shumaker came 
here and the soldiers being fatigued with continual 
scouting, there was no scout to-day. 

" 20th. — Sent a scout of fifteen men to range the 
woods towards Schuylkill, into Windsor township, 
and with orders to call in some detachments lying in 
the said township, according to Lieut.-Colonel's 

" 23d. — A scout of Captain Busse arrived. The 
sentry heard the Indians distinctly whistle this night. 

" 26th. — Ensign Biddle returned from his scout 
having been at Captain Morgan's Fort [Lebanon], 
and thence scouted over the mountains into Al- 
bany, and thence along the foot of the mountain 
till here." 

In June, 1756, James Young, "commissary 
general of ye musters," was sent "to examine 
into the state and condition of the forts, arms, 
ammunition, provisions, blankets, accoutre- 
ments, tools and other stock and things belong- 
ing to his majesty or the province," and report 
to the Governor. He rendered his report July 
2, 1756. That part of the journal * which re- 
lates to the forts of Berks County is as fol- 

" Reading, June 19. — At 11 o'clock in the morn- 
ing I came to Reading. I sent an express to Lieut. - 
Col. Weiser, to acquaint him of my intended journey 
to the northern frontier, that I inclined to muster the 
company here, and that I should want some men to 
escort me to the next fort. Ammunition at Reading, 
25 good muskets, 25 muskets want repairs, 11 broken 
muskets, 9 cartouch boxes, 250 pounds of powder and 
600 pounds of lead. 

" At 6 p.m., Col. Weiser came here, I mustered his 
company that is posted for a guard to this place. 
They consist of 30 men, viz : two sergeants and twen- 
ty-eight private soldiers ; two of them were absent at 
Col. Weiser's house. 

i 2 Penna. Arch. 675-677. 

" Fort Northkill. — June 20, at 2 p.m. I set out 
from Reading, escorted by five men of the town, on 
horseback, for the Fort at Northkill ; at half-past 6 
we came to the fort, it is about 19 miles from Bead- 
ing, the road very hilly and thick of woods. When I 
came here the Sergeant, who is commander, was ab- 
sent and gone to the next plantation, half a mile off, 
but soon came when he had intelligence I was there; 
he told me he had 14 men posted with him, all de- 
tached from Captain Morgan's company, at Fort Leb- 
anon, five of them were absent by his leave, viz., 
two he had let go to Reading for three days, one he 
had let go to his own house, ten miles off, and two 
more this afternoon, a few miles from the fort, on 
their own business ; there were but eight men and the 
Sergeant on duty. I am of opinion there ought to be 
a commissioned officer here, as the Sergeant does not 
do his duty, nor are the men under proper command 
for want of a superior officer; the woods are not 
cleared above forty yards from the fort ; I gave orders 
to cut all down for two hundred yards; I inquired the 
reason there was so little powder and lead here, the 
Sergeant told me he had repeatedly requested more of 
Captain Morgan, but to no purpose. Provisions here, 
flour and rum, for four weeks ; Mr. Seely, of Reading, 
sends the officer money to purchase meal as they want 
it. Provincial arms and ammunition at Northkill 
Fort, viz., eight good muskets, four rounds of powder 
and lead, per man, fifteen blankets and three axes. 

" June 21. — At eight o'clock, a.m., Captain Busse, 
from Fort Henry, came here with eight men on horse- 
back, he expected to meet Conrad Weiser here, in or- 
der to proceed to the several forts on the northern 
frontier, but Colonel Weiser wrote him that other bus- 
iness prevented him, and desired Captain Busse to 
proceed with me, and return him an account how he 
found the forts, with the quantity of ammunition and 
stores in each, of which I was very glad, as the escort 
on horseback would expedite our journey very much, 
and be much safer. 

" Fort Lebanon. — Accordingly, we set out for 
Fort Lebanon ; all the way from Northkill to Lebanon 
is an exceedingly bad road, very stony and mountain- 
ous. About six miles from Northkill we crossed the 
North Mountain, where we met Captain Morgan's 
lieutenant with ten men, ranging the woods between 
the mountains and Fort Lebanon; we passed two 
plantations, the rest of the country is chiefly barren 
hills ; at noon we came to Fort Lebanon, which is sit- 
uated in a plain ; on one side is a plantation, on the 
other a barren, pretty clear of woods all round, only 
a few trees about fifty yards from the fort, which I de- 
sired might be cut down. . . . The fort is a little 
too much crowded on that account; I acquainted 
Captain Morgan that the Sergeant at Northkill did 
not do his duty, and I believed it would be for the good 
of the service to have a commanding officer there, on 
which he ordered his Lieutenant, with two men, to go 
and take post there, and sent with him four pounds 




of powder and ten pounds of lead. Provincial arms 
and ammunition: 28 good muskets, 10 wanting re- 
pair, 9 rounds of powder and lead, 4 pounds of pow- 
der, 24 pounds of lead, 30 cartouch boxes, 40 blankets, 
1 axe, 1 wall piece. 

" By Captain Morgan's journal, it appears he sends 
a party to range the woods four or five times a week, 
and guard the inhabitants at their labor. At 1 P. M. 
I mustered the people and examined the certificates 
of enlistments which appear in the muster roll, after 
which I ordered the men to fire at a mark ; 15 of 28 
hit within two feet of the centre and at the distance 
of 80 yards. Provisions here— flour and rum for a 
month ; the commissary sends them money to pur- 
chase meal as they want it. 

"Fort above Alleminga (Albany). 1 — At one- 
half past three p.m. we set out with the former 
escort and two of Captain Morgan's company for the 
fort above Alleminga, commanded by Lieutenant 
Engle. Provincial stores — 28 good muskets, 8 want- 
ing repair, 16 cartouch boxes, 8 pounds of powder, 24 
pounds of lead, and twelve rounds for 36 men, 36 
blankets, 1 axe, 1 adz, 1 auger, 2 planes, 1 hammer, 2 
shovels, 9 small tin kettles. 

" June 22 — At 6 a.m. I ordered the people to fire 
at a mark ; not above 4 in 25 hit the tree at the dis- 
tance of 85 yards ; at 7, mustered them ; found 25 
present, 2 sick, 2 absent on furlough, 2 sent to Read- 
ing with a prisoner, and 5 at Port Allen on duty. Pro- 
visions — one cask of beef, exceedingly bad, flour and 
rum for three weeks.'' 

In 1758 the number of men in the pay of 
the province was one thousand two hundred 
and seventy-four men. These were employed 
in garrisoning the forts and ranging. In the 
limits of Berks County, there were at Fort 
Henry two companies, comprising one hundred 
and five men; at Fort William (Forks of 
Schuylkill), one company, fifty-three men; and 
at Fort Augusta, eight companies, three hun- 
dred and sixty-two men. These were reported 
at Philadelphia, on the 9th of February, 1758, 
by James Young, commissary of the musters. 

Bued's Journal. — During the month of 
February of that year Colonel James Burd 
visited the forts between the two rivers. That 
part of his journal which relates to the forts in 
Berks County is as follows : 

"Tuesday, 21st February.— March'd at 1 p.m. for 
Fort Henry (from Fort Swatara) ; at 3 p.m. gott to 
Soudder's (7 miles); left Lieutenant Broadhead to 
march the party 4 miles to Sneevly's, there to hault 

• About nineteen miles northeast from Fort Lebanon. 

all night, 'and to march to Fort Henry in the morn- 
ing (6 miles). The roads being very bad, marched 
myself with Adjutant Thorn and 8 men on horse- 
back; arrived at Fort Henry at 5 p.m.; found here 
Captain Weiser, Adjutant Kern and the ensigns Bid- 
die and Craighead doing duty with 90 men. Ordered 
a review of the garrison to-morrow at 9 A.M. 

" Wednesday, 22d. — Had a review this morning at 
9 A.M.; found 90 soldiers under good command, and 
fine fellows; examined the stores and found about 2 
months' provision in store, and am informed by the 
Commanding Officer there is 2 months' more about 
6 miles from hence, at Jacob Myers' Mill ; no poud- 
der; 224 lbs. of lead; no flints; about 80 province 
arms, belonging to these two companies, good for 
nothing; ordered Ensign Craighead, with 18 men of 
this garrison, to march to-morrow morning to Fort 
Swettarrow, and there to apply to Captain Allen, and 
to receive from him 7 men, and with this party of 25 
men to march from thence to Robertson's Mill, there 
to take Post, to order from thence a Serg't, Corporall 
& 8 men to the house of Adam Read, Esq., and to 
employ his whole party in Continuall ranging, to 
cover these Fronteers. This I found myself under a 
necessity of doing ; otherwise several townships here 
would be evacuated in a few days. Ordered Ensign 
Haller to march back my escort to Hunter's Fort 
to-morrow morning, and Captain Weiser to continue 
to range from this to Forts Northkill & Swettarrow ; 
to employ all his judgment to waylay the enemy & 
protect the Inhabitants. This is a very good stock- 
aded fort, & everything in good order, & duty done 
pretty well; marched to-day at 11 a.m., & arrived at 
Conrad Weiser, Esqr.'s, at 3 p.m. (14 miles), where I 
found 4 quarter-casks of poudder belonging to the 
province, 3 of which I ordered to Fort Henry, and 1 
to Fort Swettarrow; no lead here; very bad roads & 
cold weather; stayed all night. 

" Thursday, 23d.— Marched this morning, and ar- 
rived at Reading at 3 p. m., found Capt. Morgan 
here ; this is 14 miles from Mr. Weiser's. Examined 
the stores here and found 77 blankets, 8 pounds of 
powder, 300 pounds of lead, and half a cask of flints. 
Ordered 56 blankets to be sent to Captn. Patterson's 
Co. and 11 to Capt. Lieut. Allen's; 200 pounds of 
lead to Fort Henry, and 100 pounds to Swettarrow ; 
gave the 8 pounds of poudder to Captn. Morgan, and 
400 flints to each company. 

"Before I came to Reading, Adjutant Kern had 
sent by Lieutenant Engle blankets for four companies, 
viz: Ornd, Weatherholt, Davis and Garaway, 224, 
and one-quarter cask of poudder, 300 bars of lead, 
and 1600 flints. 

"Friday, 24th.— This morning set out for Fort 
William, arrived at Peter Rodermil's at 2 p. m., 15 
miles from Reading ; it snowed and blew so prodi- 
giously, I stayed here all night. 

"Saturday, 25th.— Marched this morning, the snow 
deep, for Fort William, arrived at Fort William at 12 



m. ; here was Lieut. Humphreys and Ensign Harry ; 
ordered a review of the garrison at 2 p. m. ; at 
2 p. m. reviewed the garrison and found 53 good 
men, but deficient in discipline ; stores — 3 quarter 
casks of poudder, 150 pounds of lead, 400 flints and 
56 blankets, no arms fit for use, no kettles, nor tools, 
nor drum ; two months' provisions. 

" Here I found a target erected, ordered the com- 
pany to shoot at the mark, set them the example my- 
self by wheeling round and firing by the word of 
command. I shot a bullet into the centre of the 
mark, the size of a dollar, distance 100 yards. Some 
of them shot tolerably bad ; most of their arms are 
very bad. 

" Ordered Captain Morgan to continue to patrol to 
Northkill and Allemangel." 

Invasion of County by Indians. — The 
English, under General Braddock, were de- 
feated by the French and Indians on the 9th 
of July, 1755, in the western part of the prov- 
ince. This victory encouraged the Indians to 
move eastward, and it was this movement by 
them which threw terror into the quiet rural 
districts of this vicinity. The news of their 
shocking cruelties to the inhabitants of the 
province on their way had been carried before 
them. We cannot appreciate the excitement 
that prevailed. Preparations for defense were 
made, but these were feeble. The forts along 
the frontier were either too distant from the 
settlers or too far apart to be serviceable. The 
community were not organized to carry on vig- 
orous measures against the approaching foe. 
Arms and ammunition were scarce. Weak- 
ness was apparent on every side, and, conscious 
of this weakness, all the inhabitants trembled 
with fear and many fled from their homes. 


The following important and interesting cor- 
respondence by prominent persons is submitted 
to show the state of affairs which existed during 
this trying period of our early history. 

The earliest information on the subject of 
departing residents of Berks County, who feared 
the Indians, is contained in a letter addressed to 
the Pennsylvania Gazette, dated 25th of August, 
1755. It stated that there were then several 
families in Reading on their way to New Jer- 
sey, who had left their habitations on the frontiers, 

and that forty more were expected some time 
during the same week, thinking that it was not 
safe to stay any longer on account of the scalp- 
ing Indians. 

Weiser Letters. — The first remarkable 
letter from a resident of this county — which re- 
lated to the approaching Indians and their 
cruelties — was by Conrad Weiser to Governor 
Morris, — 

" Honored Sir, — 

" I take this opportunity to inform you I received 
news from Shamokin that six families have been 
murdered on John Penn's Creek, on the west side of 
Susquehannah, aboutfour miles from that river, several 
people have been found scalped and twenty-eight are 
missing; the people are in a great consternation and 
are coming down, leaving their plantations and corn 
behind them. Two of my sons are gone up to help 
one of their cousins with his family down. I hear of 
none that will defend themselves but George Gabriel 

and . The people down here seem to be 

senseless, and say the Indians will never come this 
side of Susquehanna River, but I fear they will since 
they meet with no opposition nowhere. I don't doubt 
your Honor heard of this melancholy affair before 
now by the way of Lancaster, perhaps more particu- 
larly, yet I thought it my duty to inform you of it, 
and when my sons come back I will write again if 
they bring anything particular. I have heard noth- 
ing of the Indians that are gone out to fight against 
the French on Ohio. Their going I fear has been the 
occasion of this murder. I have nothing to add, but 


" Honored Sir, Your very humble servant, 

Conrad Weiser." 
"Reading, October 22, 1755." 

Several days afterward Weiser's two sons 
returned. He then addressed another letter to 
Governor Morris, as intimated in his previous- 
letter to him. It was as follows : 

' " Heidelberg, in the County of Berks, 

Oct. 26, 1755, at 5 o'clock in the evening. 
« £(,. : — j us t now two of my sons, to wit, Frederick 
and Peter, arrived from Shamokin, where they have 
been to help down their cousin with his family. I 
gave them orders before they went, to bring me down 
a trusty Indian or two to inform myself of the present 
circumstances of Indian affairs, but they brought 
none down ; they saw Jonathan but he could not 
leave his family in this dangerous time. Whilst they 
were at Geo. Gabriel's, a messenger came from Shamo- 
kin, sent by James Logan, one of Shickelamy's sons, 
and Cacachpitow, a noted Delaware always true to 
the English, to let Geo. Gabriel know that they had 
certain intelligence that a great body of French and 



Indians had been seen on their march towards Penn- 
sylvania at a place where Zinaghton river or rivers 
comes out of the Allegheny hills, and that if the 
white people will come up to Shamokin and assist, 
they will stand the French and fight them. They 
said that now they want to see their brethren's faces, 
and well-armed with smooth guns, no rifled guns — 
which require too much cleaning. They in particular 
desired the company men gathered at George Gabriel's, 
Captain McKees' and John Harris', they being in- 
formed that people had gathered there, and that they 
are extremely concerned for the white people's run- 
ning away, and said they could not stand the French 
alone. This message was delivered to George Gabriel, 
and about ten whites more, among them were my two 
sons, by a Delaware Indian named Enoch, and a 
white man called Lawrence Bork, who came with the 
Indians as a companion. The Indians' messenger 
that brought the news to Shamokin from the Indians 
living up the river Zinachtow (the North West 
Branch of the Susquehanna) arrived at Shamokin at 
midnight before the 23d of this instant. The Indians 
are extremely concerned, as my sons tell me, people 
are coming away in great hurry, the rest that stay 
plundering the houses and make the best of other 
people's misfortune. The French want to see Jona- 
than taken prisoner, etc. All this in great hurry. I 
pray, good sir, don't slight it. The lives of many 
thousands are in the utmost danger. It is no false 

"I am, Honored and Dear Sir, your very obedient, 
"Conrad Weiser. 

"P. S. — If a body of men would go up they could 
gather plenty of Indian corn, beef and other provi- 
sions; now everything is in the utmost confusion. I 
suppose in a few days not one family will be seen on 
the other side of Kittatiny Hills." 

On the same day, at eleven o'clock at night, 
he addressed the following letter to James Eead, 
Esq., at Beading, whereby he communicated 
the first intelligence pertaining to the arrival of 
the Indians across the Susquehanna Eiver. 

"Loving Friend .-—This evening, about an hour ago, 
I received the news of the enemy having crossed the 
Susquehanna and killed a great many people, from 
Thomas McKee down to Hunter's Mill. Mr. Elder 
the minister at Paxton, wrote this to another Presby- 
terian minister in the neighborhood of Adam Read, 
Esq. The people were then in meeting, and immedi- 
ately desired to get themselves in readiness to oppose 
the enemy, and to lend assistance to their neighbors. 
Mr. Read sent down to Tulpehocken, and two men- 
one that came from Mr. Read— are just now gone, 
that brought in the melancholy news. I have sent 
out to alarm the townships in this neighborhood, and 
to meet me early in the morning at Peter Spicker to 

consult together what to do, and to make preparations 
to stand the enemy with the assistance of the most 
high. I write you this that you may have time to 
consult with Mr. Seely and other well-wishers of the 
people, in order to defend your lives and others. For 
God's sake, let us stand together and do what we can, 
and trust to the hand of Providence. Perhaps we 
must in this neighborhood come to Reading, but I will 
send armed men to Susquehanna, or as far as they 
can go, for intelligence. Pray let Sammy have a copy 
of this, or this draft for his Honour, the Governor. I 
have sent him about three hours ago express to Phil- 
adelphia, and he lodges at my son Peter's. Dispatch 
him as early as you can. I pray beware of confusion. 
Be calm, you and Mr. Seely, and act the part as fath- 
ers of the people. I know you are both able ; but 
excuse me for giving this caution — time requires it. 

" I am, Dear sir, Your very good friend and humble 
servant, " Conrad Weiser. 

Mr. Eead received this letter the next morn- 
ing (Oct. 27th), and he immediately addressed 
the following brief letter on the same sheet of 
paper to Governor Morris : 

"Sir: — I must not detain the bearer a moment. I 
have sent the original letter from Mr. Weiser, that no 
mistake may arise by any doubts of the justness of a 

" I shall raise our town in an hour, and use all pru- 
dent measures for our defense. I could wish that 
your Honour could order us two or three swivel guns 
and blunderbusses, with a few muskets, and some 
powder and swan shot. Nothing shall be wanting in 
me — who has the misfortune of being Major of two 
associated companies ; but I know not how my people 
will behave, as they are under an infatuation of an 
extraordinary sort. 

" I am, May it please your Honour, Your Honor's 
most obedient and most humble servant, 

" James Read. 

" [P. S.] Many wagons that are got thus far are 
bound back again immediately upon hearing the 

On the 30th of October, which was four days 
after he had addressed the foregoing letter to 
Eead, Weiser communicated additional news to 
the Governor in a letter, which was as follows : 

" Reading, October 30, 1755. 

" May it Please Tour Honor .-—Since the date of my 
last letter, which I sent by express, by Sammy 
Weiser, dated last Sunday evening, 5 o'clock, and 
about 11 o'clock the same night, I sent a letter to Mr. 
Read in this town, who forwarded it to your honor, 
by the same opportunity. 

"The following account of what has happened 
since, I thought it was proper to lay before your 



honor, to wit : — after I had received the news that 
Paxton people above Hunter's Mills, had been mur- 
dered, I immediately sent my servants to alarm the 
neighborhood. The people came to my house by the 
break of day. I informed them of the melancholy 
news, and how I came by it, &c. They unanimously 
agreed to stand by one another, and march to meet 
the enemy, if I would go with them. I told them 
that I would not only myself accompany them, but 
my sons and servants should also go — they put them- 
selves under my direction. I gave them orders to go 
home and get their arms, whether guns, swords, 
pitchforks, axes or whatever might be of use against 
the enemy, and to bring with them three days' pro- 
vision in their knapsacks, and to meet me at Benja- 
min Spicker's, at three of the clock that afternoon, 
about six miles above my house, in Tulpehocken 
township, where I had sent word for Tulpehocken 
people also to meet. 

" I immediately mounted my horse, and went up to 
Benjamin Spicker's, where I found about one hun- 
dred persons who had met before I came there ; and 
after I had informed them of the intelligence, that I 
had promised to go with them as a common soldier, 
and be commanded by such officers and leading men, 
whatever they might call them, as they should choose, 
they unanimously agreed to join the Heidelberg peo- 
ple, and accordingly they went home to fetch their 
arms, and provisions for three days, and came again 
at three o'clock. All this was punctually performed ; 
and about two hundred were at Benjamin Spicker's 
at two o'clock. 

" I made the necessary disposition, and the people 
were divided into companies of thirty men in each 
company, and they chose their own officers ; that is, 
a captain over each company, and three inferior offi- 
cers under each, to take care of ten men, and lead 
them on, or fire as the captain should direct. 

" I sent privately for Mr. Kurtz, the Lutheran min- 
ister, who lived about a mile off, who came and gave 
an exhortation to the men, and made a prayer suita- 
ble to the time. Then we marched toward Susque- 
hanna, having first sent about fifty men to Tolheo, in 
order to possess themselves of the gaps or narrows of 
Swatara, where he expected the enemy would come 
through ; with those fifty I sent a letter to Mr. Par- 
sons, who happened to be at his plantation. 

" We marched about ten miles that evening. My 
company had now increased to upwards of three hun- 
dred men, mostly well armed, though about twenty 
had nothing but axes and pitchforks— all unani- 
mously agreed to die together, and engage the enemy 
wherever they should meet them, never to inquire the 
number, but fight them, and so obstruct their way of 
marching further into the inhabited parts, till others 
of our brethren come up and do the same, and so 
save the lives of our wives and children. 

"This night the powder and lead came up, that I 
sent for early in the morning, from Reading, and I 

ordered it to the care of the officers, to divide it 
among those that wanted it most. On the 28th, by 
break of day, we marched, our company increasing 
all along. We arrived at Adam Read's, Esq., in 
Hanover township, Lancaster County, 1 about ten 
o'clock. There we stopped and rested till all came 
up. Mr. Read had just then received intelligence 
from Susquehanna, by express, which was as fol- 
lows : 'That Justice Forster, Capt. McKee, John Har- 
ris and others, to the number of forty-nine, went up 
to Shamokin to bury the dead bodies of those that 
had been killed by the enemy on John Penn's creek, 
and, coming up to George Gabriel's, about five miles 
this side of Shamokin and on the west side of Sus- 
quehannah, they heard that the dead bodies had been 
buried already, and so they went along to Shamokin, 
where they arrived last Friday evening and were 
seemingly well received, but found a great number of 
strange Indians, though Delawares, all painted black, 
which gave suspicion, and Thomas McKee told his 
companions that he did not like them, and the next 
morning — that is, last Saturday — they got up early 
in order to go back, but they did not see any of the 
strangers ; they were gone before them. Andrew 
Montour was there, painted as the rest ; advised our 
people not to go the same way they came, but to keep 
this side of Susquehanna and go the old road ; but 
when they came to the parting of the roads a majority 
of them was for going the nighest and best road, and 
so crossed the Susquehanna contrary to Andrew Mon- 
tour's council, in order to go down on the west side of 
that river as far as Mahoning. When they came to 
John Penn's creek, in going down the bank they were 
fired upcn from this side by Indians that had way- 
laid them. Some dropt down dead ; the rest fled and 
made towards Susquehanna and came to this side, 
and so home as well as they could. Twenty six of 
them were missing and not heard of as yet (last Mon- 
day evening).' 

" Upon this we had a consultation, and as we did 
not come up to serve as guards to the Paxton people, 
but to fight the enemy, if they were come so far, as 
we first heard, we thought best to return and take 
care of our own townships. 

" After I had given the necessary caution to the 
people to hold themselves in readinesss, as the enemy 
was certainly in the county, to keep their arms in 
good order, and so on, and then discharge them — and 
we marched back with the approbation of Mr. Read. 
By the way, we were alarmed by a report that five 
hundred Indians had come over the mountain at 
Tolheo to this side, and had already killed a number 
of people. We stopped and sent a few men to dis- 
cover the enemy, but, on their return, proved to be a 
false alarm, occasioned by that company that I had 
sent that way the day before, whose guns getting wet, 
they fired them off, which was the cause of alarm — 

1 Now in Lebanon County. 



this not only had alarmed the company, but the 
whole townships through which they marched. In 
going back, I met messengers from other townships 
about Conestoga, who came for intelligence, and to 
ask me where their assistance was necessary, promis- 
ing that they would come to the place where I should 

" I met, also, at Tulpehocken, about one hundred 
men well-armed, as to fire-arms, ready to follow me; 
so that there were in the whole about five hundred 
men in arms that day, all marching up towards Sus- 
quehanna. I and Mr. Adam Eead counted those who 
were with me — we found them three hundred and 

" I cannot send any further account, being uncom- 
monly fatigued. I should not forget, however, to in- 
form your Honor that Mr. Eead has engaged to keep 
proper persons riding between his house and Susque- 
hanna, and if anything material shall occur, he will 
send me tidings to Heidelberg or to Reading, which 
I shall take care to dispatch to you. I find that great 
trouble has been taken at Reading to get the people 
together, and nearly two hundred were here yester- 
day morning; but upon hearing that the people attend- 
ing me were discharged, the people from the country 
went off without consulting what should be done for 
the future, through the indiscretion of a person who 
was with them and wanted to go home; and near the 
town they met a large company coming up, and gave 
such accounts as occasioned their turning back. I 
think most of the inhabitants would do their duty, 
but without some military regulations we shall never 
be able to defend the province. 

"I am sure we are in great danger, and from an 
enemy that can travel as Indians. We may be sur- 
prised when it would be impossible to collect any 
number of men together to defend ourselves, and 
then the country would be laid waste. I am quite 
tired and must say no more than that. 

" I am your Honor's most obedient servant, 

" Conkad Weisee." 

Parsons' Letter. — On the 31st of October, 
1755, William Parsons 1 wroteto Richard Peters, 
at Philadelphia. His letter communicated the 
first direct intelligence of murder within the 
borders of Berks County, in the year 1755, 
after it was apparent that the Indians had de- 
termined to invade the county for the certain 
purpose of committing as many outrages upon 
the inhabitants as possible. It was as fol- 
lows : 

" When I wrote last to you, I informed you that I 

was engaged in laying out the road from Easton to 

. Heading. ... On Monday (whilst at Reading) 

1 Then atStrong-kill, in Lancaster County (now Lebanon). 

I heard a rumor of Thomas McKee's engagement with 
some strange Indians. I had heard before of some 
murders having been committed by them on the west 
side of Susquehanna, near Shamokin. Monday 
evening I received an express from Mr. Weiser, in- 
forming me that he had summoned the people to go 
and oppose the Indians, and desired me to meet a 
large company near the foot of the mountain in the 
Shamokin road, 2 while he went with about 300 to 
Paxtang. When I came to the company at the foot 
of the mountain, about 100 in all, I found one-half of 
them without any powder or lead. However, I ad- 
vised them to go forward, and those that had no am- 
munition I advised to take axes, in order to make a 
breastwork of trees for their security at night ; and 
the next day advised them to go forward to the Upper 
Gap of Swarotawro, and there to make another breast- 
work of trees, and to stay there two or three days in 
order to oppose the enemy if they should attempt to 
come that way ; which, if they had done, I am inclined 
to think what has since happened, would have been 
prevented. I promised them to go to Tulpehocken, 
and provide powder and lead, and a sufficient 
quantity of lead to be sent immediately after 
them. But they went no further than to the top of 
the mountain, and there those that had ammunition, 
spent most of it in shooting up into the air, and then 
returned back again firing all the way, to the great 
terror of all the inhabitants thereabout, and this was 
the case with almost all the others, being about 500 
in different parts of the neighborhood ; there was an- 
other company who came from the lower part of Bern 
township, as far as Mr. Freme's Manor. So that 
when I came to Tulpehocken I found the people 
there more alarmed than they were near the moun- 
tain. For when they saw me come alone they were 
overjoyed, having heard that we were all destroyed, 
and that the enemy were just at their backs, ready to 
destroy them. At Tulpehocken there was no lead to 
be had; all that could be had from Reading was 
taken to Paxtang. I therefore sent an express over 
to Lancaster to Mr. Shippen that evening, desiring 
him to send me some lead. He sent me seven pounds, 
being all that the town people were willing to part 
with, as they were themselves under great apprehen- 
sions. I also procured 20 pounds of powder, papered 
up in one quarter pounds, and ordered out a quantity 
of bread near the mountains, but when I returned 
home I learned that my people had given over the 
pursuit, in the manner above mentioned. I have 
since distributed a good deal of the powder and lead, 
and the bread I ordered to the poor people who are 
removing from their settlements on the other side of 
the mountain, from whence the people have been re- 
moving all this week. It is impossible to describe the 
confusion and distress of those unhappy people. Our 

2 This place was in the upper section of Bethel township, 
Berks County. 



roads are continually full of travelers. Those on the 
other side, of the men, women and children, most of 
them barefooted, have been obliged to cross those 
terrible mountains with what little they could bring 
with them in so long a journey through ways almost 
impassable, to get to the inhabitants on this side. 
While those who live on this side near the mountain 
are removing their effects to Tulpehocken. Those at 
Tulpehocken are removing to Reading, and many at 
Reading are moving nearer to Philadelphia, and 
some of them quite to Philadelphia. This is the 
present unhappy situation of Pennsylvania. 

"Yesterday afternoon I was informed that A dam 
Reed was come from over the mountain and reported 
that he had been at the house of Henry Hartman, 
whom he saw lying dead, having his head scalpt. 1 I 
sent for him, and before five o'clock this morning he 
came to me and told me that between eleven and twelve 
o'clock yesterday — being then at home on his planta- 
tion on the west side of Swatawro, about nine miles 
from my house and about five miles from the nearest 
settlement on this side the hills, he heard three guns 
fired toward Henry Hartman's plantation which made 
him suspect that something more than ordinary was 
the occasion of that firing. Whereupon he took his 
gun and went to Hartman's house — being about a 
quarter of a mile from his own, where he found Hart- 
man lying dead, with his face to the ground, and all 
the skin scalpt from his head. He did not stay to 
examine in what manner he was killed, but made the 
best of his way through the woods to this side of the 
mountain. He told me further that he had made 
oath before Adam Reed, Esq., of the whole matter. 
This day I set out with some of my neighbors to go and 

i The Indians performed the operation of scalping in the 
following manner : They placed their foot on the neck of the 
victim, seized the hair with the left hand, and twisted it 
very tight together, in order to separate the skin from the 
head. Then they cut it all around with a sharp knife, and 
tore it off. This operation was often performed in a min- 
ute. Under certain circumstances it was fatal, though not 
always. The scalp was painted red, placed upon a red pole in 
token of victory, to the great satisfaction of the whole 
nation, and carefully preserved in memory of their courage 
and prowess, in avenging the cause of their country. They 
like to carry off their prisoners alive, but bound, till they 
were not in fear of their pursuers. In the night they 
fasten them to the ground, with their arms, legs and necks 
bound to large stakes, and, for greater security, a cord 
passed from them to a free Indian, who was immediately 
awakened if they attempted to move. Notwithstanding 
these precautions, prisoners sometimes escaped. The 
European prisoners were immediately shorn after the man- 
ner of the Indians, and their heads and faces painted red, 
so as hardly to be distinguished from the Indians them- 
selves. If any dispute arose between two warriors about a 
prisoner, he was immediately killed, to put an end to 
it. — Loskiel. 

view the place and to see the certainty of the matter 
and to assist in burying the dead body. Mr. Reed had 
appointed the people about him to go with him for 
that purpose, and we intended to meet him at the place 
by way of Shamokin road. When we got to the 
top of the mountain we met with seven or eight 
men who told us that they had been about two or 
three miles further along the road and had discovered 
two dead men lying near the road about two hundred 
or three hundred yards from each other and that both 
were scalpt, whereupon I advised to go to the place 
where these two men were, and with great difficulty 
we prevailed with the others to go back with us — being 
then twenty-six men strong. When we came to the 
place, I saw both the men lying dead and all the skin 
of their heads was scalpt off. One of them we perceived 
had been shot through the leg. We did not examine 
further, but got some tools from a settlement that was 
just by and dug a grave and buried them both together 
in their clothes just as we had found them to prevent 
their being torn to pieces and devoured by wild beasts. 
There were four or five persons, women and children 
yet missing. One of the dead men had been over on this 
side of the mountain with his family and was return- 
ing with his daughter to fetch some of their effects 
that were left behind. She is missing for one. It is 
not for me to describe the horror and confusion of the 
people here and of the country in general. You can 
best imagine that in your own mind. But where will 
these proceedings end? For myself I do not know 
whether 1 shall stay where I am or leave all that I 
have to be destroyed by those barbarians, or to be 
plundered by wicked people amongst ourselves." 

A letter dated November 3, 1755, stated that 
two men had been lately killed and scalped near 
the first branch of the Swatara, on the road to 
Shamokin, one being named Odwaller, the other 
unknown; that both had families and that it 
was supposed that their missing families had 
been carried off by the Indians. 2 

On the 31st of October, at eight o'clock, at 
Reading, five of the county justices (John Potts, 
Conrad Weiser, "William Maugridge, Jonas 
Seely and James Reed) prepared a paper of in- 
telligence, in which they stated, among other 
things, — > 

" We are all in uproar, all in disorder, all will- 
ing to do, and have little in our power. We have no 
authority, no commissions, no officers practiced in 
war, and without the commiseration of our friends in 
Philadelphia, who think themselves vastly safer than 
they are. If we are not immediately supported, we 

2 Pennsylvania Gazette. It is probable that these two 
men are the same to which Parsons refers in lus letter. 



must not be sacrificed, and therefore are determined 
to go down with all that will follow us to Philadel- 
phia, and quarter ourselves on its inhabitants and 
wait our fate with them." 

This was addressed to the Executive Council 
and read at a meeting on the 2d of November, 
1755, whence it was sent by expresses from town- 
ship to township, into all parts of the western 
counties, in order to put the inhabitants upon 
their guard. 

On the 16th of November, 1755, a party of 
Indians crossed the Susquehanna, and fell upon 
the county of Berks. They murdered thirteen 
persons, burnt a great number of houses, de- 
stroyed vast quantities of cattle, grain and fod- 
der, and laid waste a large extent of country. 

Morgan Deposition. — The following de- 
position (relating to certain murders which 
were committed in Berks County, but not men- 
tioned by Weiser or Parsons) was taken at 
Reading, on the 18th of November, 1755, and 
published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, on the 
20th of November, 1755 : 

" Berks County, Pennsylvania, ss. 

" Jacob Morgan, a captain in Col. Weiser's regi- 
ment, being sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Al- 
mighty God, doth depose and say, that on Sunday, 
the 16th November, 1755, at about five o'clock p.m., 
he, the deponent, Mr. Philip Weiser and Mr. Peter 
Weiser, set out from Heidelberg towards Dietrich 
Six's, to get intelligence of the mischief done at Tol- 
heo, or thereabouts, and to get a number of men to 
join them to go and seek for the persons scalped by the 
Indians ; and to help in the best manner they could, 
the poor distressed inhabitants. That about nine 
miles from Mr. Weiser's they found a girl about six 
years old scalped, but yet alive, and a vast number of 
people there ; but he knows not at whose house it was 
nor the name of the child. That at the request of the 
people there, Mr. Weiser's son and deponent, went back 
to Mr. Weiser's for powder and lead. That at or about 
two o'clock yesterday morning they were alarmed 
at Mr. Weiser's with an account that the Indians had 
beset George Dollinger's house, and his family were 
fled; whereupon Philip Weiser, and the deponent, 
and a person whose name deponent does not. know, 
set off immediately, and at Christopher Weiser's 
overtook a large company, consisting of about one. 
hundred men, and with them proceeded to George 
Dollinger's, and surrounded his house, where they 
found a good deal of damage done, and in the gar- 
den, a child about eight years old, daughter of one 
Cola, lying dead and scalped, which they buried. 

"That the whole company went on to a plantation 

of Abraham Sneider, and found in a corn-field the 
wife of Cola, and a child about eight or nine years 
old, both dead and scalped, and in the house they 
found another child of the said Cola's about ten years 
old, dead and scalped ; but the deponent knows not 
of what sex either of these two children was. That 
while they were preparing the grave, they were 
alarmed by the firing of a gun, and flying to their 
arms, they went (a few staying to take care of the 
dead) to the place from whence the sound came, and 
about half a mile from the place they came from, they 
met the company, one of whom had indiscreetly dis- 
charged his musket, and then went back to bury the 
dead ; on their return they found the scalp of a white 
person. That having buried the woman and children, 
they went to Thomas Bower's, in whose house they 
found a dead man, scalped, whose name the deponent 
thinks was Philip, by trade a shoemaker, but knows 
no more of him. 

" That the company increased fast, and were now 
about one hundred and thirty men, who marched on 
the Shamokin road to near Dietrich Six's ; about half 
a mile from whose house they found Casper Spring 
dead and scalped, and having buried him, they 
marched about one hundred rods and found one Bes- 
linger dead and scalped — they buried him. That at 
the same distance from Beslinger's they found an In- 
dian man dead and scalped, which Indian, it was 
generally believed, was a Delaware. Mr. Frederick 
Weiser scalped him the day before. 

"That twenty of their body, who had gone a little 
out of the road, about two miles from Dietrich Six's, 
found (as the deponent and the rest of the company 
were informed, and as he believes without any doubt) 
a child of Jacob Wolf — he cannot say whether a boy 
or a girl — which was scalped ! Its age the deponent 
does not know, but the father carried it in his arms 
to be buried, as they were informed. That the de- 
ponent was informed by Mr. Frederick Weiser, that 
a company, with whom he had been the day before, 
had buried John Leinberger and Eudolph Candel, 
whom they found scalped. 

" That the deponent and company finding no more 
scalped or wounded, they returned, being then by the 
continual arrival of fresh persons, about three hun- 
dred men, to George Dollinger's. That Casper 
Spring's brains were beat out ; had two cuts in his 
breast ; was shot in his back, and otherwise cruelly 
used, which regard to decency forbids mentioning ; 
and that Beslinger's brains were beat out, his mouth 
much mangled, one of his eyes cut out, and one of his 
ears gashed, and had two knives lying on his breast. 
That the whole country thereabouts desert their in- 
habitations, and send away all their household goods. 
The horses and cattle are in the cornfields, and every 
thing in the utmost disorder, and the people quite de- 
spair. And further that he heard of much mischief 
done by burning houses and barns ; but not having 
been where it was reported to have been done, he 



chooses not to have any particulars thereof inserted 
in this deposition. 

"James Morgan. 
" Sworn at Reading, the 18th of November, 1755, 

before us. 

" Jonas Seely. 

" Henry Harry. 

"James Read. 
"Besides the persons mentioned in the above de- 
position, one Sebastian Brosius was murdered and 
scalped, whose scalp was brought to Philadelphia, 
having been taken from an Indian." 

Biddle Letter. — The following letter, writ- 
ten by Edward Biddle, of Reading, to his father 
in Philadelphia, expresses the perturbed state of 
feeling in the city of Reading. There is no 
date attached to it, but it is supposed to have 
been written on the 16th of November : 

" My Dearest Father — I am in so much horror and 
confusion I scarcely know what I am writing. The 
drum is beating to arms, and bells ringing and all the 
people under arms. Within these two hours we have 
had different though too certain accounts, all corrob- 
orating each other, and this moment is an express ar- 
rived, dispatched by Michael Reis, at Tulpehocken. 
eighteen miles above this town, who left about thirty 
of their people engaged with about an equal number 
of Indians at the said Reis'. This night we expect 
an attack ; truly alarming is our situation. The peo- 
ple exclaim against the Quakers, and some are scarcely 
restrained from burning the houses of those few who 
are in this town. Oh, my country! my bleeding 
country ! I commend myself to the divine God of 
armies. Give my dutiful love to my dearest mother 
and my best love to brother Jemmy. 

" I am, honored sir, your most affectionate and obe 
dient son, " E. Biddle. 

" Sunday, 1 o'clock. I have rather lessened than 
exaggerated our melancholy account." 

Weiser Letters. — The following letter de- 
scribes the condition of the settlements beyond 
the Blue Mountain during this exciting period ; 
and it also shows to some degree a want of pa- 
triotic feeling on the part of the inhabitants, 
notwithstanding their perilous situation. It 
was addressed to Governor Morris by Conrad 
Weiser, from his home, on 2d of November, 
1755, at night: 

" I am going out early next morning with a com- 
pany of men, how many I can't tell as yet, to bring 
away the few and distressed families on the north side 
of Kittidany Hills yet alive (if there is yet alive 
such). They cry aloud for assistance, and I shall give 
as my opinion to-morrow, in public meeting of the 
' 16 

townships of Heidelberg and Tulpehocken, that they 
few who are alive and remaining there (the most part 
is come away) shall be forewarned to come to the south 
side of the hills, and we will convey them to this side. 
If I don't go over the hills myself, I will see the men 
so far as the hills and give such advice as I am able 
to do. There can be no force. We are continually 
alarmed; and last night I received the account of 
Andrew Montour. . . . My son Peter came up 
this morning from Reading, at the head of about fif- 
teen men, in order to accompany me over the hills. I 
shall let him go with the rest ; had we but good reg- 
ulations, with God's help we could stand at our places 
of abode, but if the people fail (which I am afraid 
they will, because some go, some won't, some mock, 
some plead religion and a great number of cowards), 
I shall think of mine and my family's preservation 
and quit my place, if I can get none to stand by me 
to defend my own house. But I hope you will excuse 
this hurry, I have no clerk now, and had no rest these 
several days nor nights hardly." 

And two weeks afterward he addressed the 
following two letters to the Governor in refer- 
ence to the murders committed upon the settlers 
in the county south of the Blue Mountain, — 

" Honored Sir : On my return from Philadelphia, I 
met in Amity township, Berks County, the first news 
of our cruel enemy having invaded the county this 
side of the Blue Mountains, to wit: Bethel and Tul- 
pehocken. I left the papers as they were in the mes- 
senger's hands, and hastening to Reading, where the 
alarm and confusion was very great, I was obliged to 
stay that night and part of the next day, to wit : the 
17th inst., and set out for Heidelberg, where I arrived 
that evening. Soon after my sons, Philip and Fred- 
erick, arrived from the pursuit of the Indians, and 
gave me the following relation : That on last Satur- 
day, about four o'clock in the afternoon, as some men 
from Tulpehocken were going to Dietrich Six's place, 
under the hills on the Shamokin road, to be on the 
watch appointed there, they were fired upon by the 
Indians but none hurt nor killed (our people were but 
six in number, the rest being behind), upon which our 
people ran towards the watch-house, which was one- 
half of a mile off, and the Indians pursued them, and 
killed and scalped several of them. A bold, stout 
Indian came up to one Christopher Ury, who turned 
about and shot the Indian right through his breast. 
The Indiun dropped down dead, but was dragged out 
of the way by his own companions (he was found next 
day and scalped by our people). The Indians divided 
themselves into two parties. Some came this way, to 
meet the rest that were going to the watch, and killed 
some of them, so that six of our men were killed that 
day and a few wounded. The night following the 
enemy attacked the house of Thomas Brown, on the 
Swatara Creek. They came to the house in the dark 



night, and one of them put his fire-arm through the 
window and shot a shoemaker, that was at work, dead 
on the spot. The people being extremely surprised 
at this sudden attack, defended themselves by firingout 
ofthe windows at the Indians. The fire alarmed aneigh- 
bor who came withtwoor threemoremen. They fired 
by the way and made a great noise, scared the Indians 
away from Bower's house, after they had set fire to it, 
but by Thomas Bower's dilligenceand conduct it was 
-timely put out again. So Thomas Bower, with his 
family, went off that night to his neighbor, Daniel 
Schneider, who came to his assistance. By eight 
o'clock parties came up from Tulpehocken and Heid- 
elberg. The first party saw four Indians running off. 
They had some prisoners, whom they scalped imme- 
diately ; three children they scalped yet alive, one 
died since and the other two are likely to do well. 
Another party found a woman just expired, with a 
male child on her side, both killed and scalped ; the 
woman lay upon her face; my son Frederick turned 
her about, to see who she might have been, and to his 
and his companion's surprise they found a babe about 
fourteen days old under her, wrapped up in a little 
cushion, his nose quite flat, which was set right by 
Frederick, and life was yet in it and it recovered 
again. Our people came up with two parties of In- 
dians that day, but they hardly got sight of them. 
The Indians ran off immediately. Either our people 
did not care to fight them, if they could avoid it, or 
(which is more likely), the Indians were alarmed first 
by the loud noise of our people's coming, because no 
order was observed. Upon the whole, there were 
fifteen of our people killed, including men, women and 
children, and the enemy not beat but scared off. 
Several houses and barns are burned. I have no true 
account how many. We are in a dismal situation. 
Some of these murders have been committed in Tul- 
pehocken township. The people left their planta- 
tions to within six or seven miles from the house. I 
am now busy putting things in order to defend my 
house against another attack. Guns and ammunition 
are very mui-h wanted here. My sons have been 
obliged to part with most of that which was sent up, 
for the use of the Indians. I pray your Honor will 
be pleased, if it is in your power, to send us up a 
quantity upon any condition. I must stand my ground, 
or my neighbors will all go away and leave their 
habitations to be destroyed by the enemy or our own 
people. This is enough of such melancholy account 
for this time. I beg leave to conclude, who am, sir, 
" Your very obedient, 


" Heidelberg, Berks County, November 19, 1755. 

" P. S — I am creditably informed just now that one 
Wolfl 7 , a single man, killed an Indian at the same 
time when Ury killed the other, but the body is not 
found yet. The poor young man since died of his 
•wound through his belly." 

" May it please the Governor : That night after my 
arrival from Philadelphia, Emanuel Carpenter and 
Simon Adam Kuhn, Esqrs., came to my house and 
lodged with me. They acquainted me that a meet- 
ing was appointed (of the people of Tulpehocken, 
Heidelberg and adjacent places,) in Tulpehocken 
township, at Benjamin Spicker's, early next morning. 
I made all the haste with the Indians I could, and 
gave them a letter to Thomas McKee, to furnish 
them with necessaries for their journey. Scarujade 
had no creature to ride on. I gave him one. Before 
I could get done with the Indians, three or four men 
came from Benjamin Spicker's to warn the Indians 
not to go that way, for the people were so enraged 
against all the Indians, and would kill them without 
distinction. I went with them, as also the gentle- 
men before named. When we came near Benjamin 
Spicker's 1 saw about four or five hundred men, and 
there was a loud noise. I rode before, and in riding 
along the road (and armed men on both sides of the 
road), I heard some say, Why must we be killed by 
the Indians and we not kill them ? Why are our 
hands so tied? I got the Indians to the house with 
much ado, when I treated them with a small dram, 
and so parted with them in love and friendship. 

" Captain Dieffenbach undertook to conduct them 
(with five other men), to the Susquehanna. After 
this a sort of a council of war was held by the officers 
present, the gentlemen before named and other free- 
holders. It was agreed that 150 men should be 
raised immediately, to serve as out scouts, and as 
guards at certain places under the Kittatinny Hills 
for 40 days. That those so raised to have two shil- 
lings per day, and two pounds of bread, two pounds 
of beef and a gill of rum, and powder and lead. 
Arms they must find themselves. This scheme was 
signed by a good many freeholders and read to the 
people. They cried out that so much for an Indian 
scalp they would have (be they friends or enemies) 
from the Governor. I told them I had no such 
power from the Governor or assembly. They began, 
some to curse the Governor ; some the assembly ; 
called me a traitor to the country, who held with the 
Indians, and must have known this murder before- 
hand. I sat in the house at a low window. Some of 
my friends came to pull me away from it, telling me 
that some of the people threatened to shoot me. I 
offered to go out to the people and either pacify them 
or make the King's proclamation. But those in the 
house with me would not let me go out. The cry 
was : The land was betrayed and sold. The common 
people from Lancaster County were the worst. The 
wages, they said, were a trifle, and said somebody 
pocketed the rest, and they would resent it. Some- 
body has put it into their heads that I had it in my 
power to give as much as I pleased. I was in danger 
of being shot to death. In the meantime a great 
smoke arose under the Tulpehocken Mountain, with 
the news following that the Indians had committed 



murder on Mill Creek (a false alarm) and set fire to a 
barn. Most of the people ran, and those that had 
horses rode off without any order or regulation. I 
then took my horse and went home, where Iintended 
to stay and defend my own house as long as I could. 
There is no doings with the people without a law or 
regulation by Governor and Assembly. The people 
of Tulpehocken have all fled ; till about six or seven 
miles from me some few remain. Another such attack 
will lay all the country waste on the west side of the 
Schuylkill. I am, sir, "Your most obedient, 

" Conrad Weiser. 
"Heidelberg, Berks County, Nov. 19, 1755." 

Spicker Letter. — Three days before these 
letters were addressed to the Governor, Conrad 
Weiser received the following letter from Peter 
Spicker (who resided on the Tulpehocken road, 
near the western boundary line of the county), 
detailing the great anxiety of the community in 
that vicinity, and the losses which the people 

suffered : 

" Tulpehocken, Nov. 16, 1755. 
"Conrad Weiser, Esq. 

" John Anspack and Frederick Read came to me 
and told me the miserable circumstances of the peo- 
ple murdered this side of the mountain yesterday. 
The Indians attacked the watch, killed and wounded 
him at Dietrich Six's, and in that neighborhood a 
great many in that night. This morning our people 
went out to see ; came about ten o'clock in the morn- 
ing to Thomas Bower's house, finding a man dead, 
killed with a gun-shot. Soon we heard a firing of 
guns ; running to that place and found four Indians 
sitting on children scalping; three of the children are 
dead; two are alive; the scalps are taken off; here- 
after we went to the watch-house of Dietrich Six, 
where the Indians first attacked, finding six dead 
bodies, four of them scalped ; about a mile this side 
of the watch-house as we went back the Indians set 
fire to a stable and barn, where they burned the corn, 
cows and other creatures, where we found seven In- 
dians, five in the house eating their dinner and drink- 
ing rum, which was in the house, and two outside the 
house ; we fired to them but in vain ; the Indians 
burned four plantations more than the above account 
told me. Peter Anspack, Jacob Caderman, Christo- 
pher Noacre, Leonard Walborn told me in the same 
manner; George Dollinger and Adam Dieffenbach 
sent me word in the same manner. 

" Now we are in a great danger to lose our lives or 
estates, pray, therefore, for help, or else whole Tulpe- 
hocken will be ruined by the Indians in a short time, 
and all buildings will be burned down and the people 
scalped, therefore you will do all haste to get people 
together to assist us. The Assembly can see by this 
work how good and fine friends the Indians are to us, 
we hope their eyes will go open and their hearts ten- 

der to us, and the Governor's the same. They aTe 
true subjects to our King George the Second, of 
Great Britain ; or are willing to deliver us into the 
hands of these miserable creatures. 
"I am your friend, 

"Peter Spicker. 
"N.B. — The people are fled to us from the hills. 
Peter Kryger and John Weiser are the last." 

Report of Cruelties. — On the 24th of 
November, 1755, Conrad Weiser, IJnianuel 
Carpenter and Adam Simon Ruhm subscribed 
and addressed a communication to the Gov- 
ernor, which set forth to him the result of 
their deliberations upon the " miserable condi- 
tion of the back inhabitants of these parts," and 
the means which should be adopted in order "to 
withstand our cruel Indian enemy." 

" First. — Since the last cruel murder committed by 
the enemy, most of the people of Tulpehocken have 
left their habitations ; those in Heidelberg moved 
their effects ; Bethel township is entirely deserted. 

"Second. — There is no order among the people; 
one cries one thing, and another another thing. They 
want to force us to make a law, that they should have 
a reward for every Indian which they kill ; they de- 
mand such a law of us, with their guns cocked, point- 
ing it towards us. 

"Third. — The people are so incensed, not only 
against our cruel enemy the Indians, but also (we 
beg leave to inform your Honor) against the Governor 
and Assembly, that we are afraid they will go down in 
a body to Philadelphia and commit the vilest out- 
rages. They say they will rather "be hanged than 
to be butchered by the Indians, as some of their 
neighbors have been lately, and the poverty that 
some are in is very great. 

"Fourth. — Yesterday we sent out about seventy 
men to the mountain to take possession of several 
houses, and to range the woods along the mountain in 
Berks County, on the west side of Schuylkill. The 
same number are sent to the back part of Lancaster 
County, we promised them two shillings per day, 
two pounds of bread, two pounds of beef, and a gill 
of rum a day, and ammunition, and that for forty 
days, or till we shall receive your Honor's order. We 
persuade ourselves your Honor will not leave us in 
the lurch; we must have such a thing done or else 
leave our habitation, if no worse ; and all this would 
not do, we and others of the freeholders have been 
obliged to promise them a reward of four pistoles for 
every enemy Indian man that they should kill. 
Many things more we could mention, but we don't 
care to trouble your Honor any farther." 

And Conrad Weiser added the following 
postscript : 



" I cannot forbear to acquaint your Honor of a cer- 
tain circumstance of the late unhappy affair : One 
Kobel, with his wife and eight children, the eld- 
est about fourteen years and the youngest fourteen 
days, was flying before the enemy, he carrying one, 
and his wife a boy, another of the children, when 
they were fired upon by two Indians very nigh, but 
hit only the man upon the breast, though not danger- 
ously. They, the Indians, then came with their 
tomahawks, knocked the woman down, but not dead. 
They intended to kill the man, but his gun (though 
out of order, so that he could not fire) kept them off. 
The woman recovered so far, and seated herself upon 
a stump, with her babe in her arms, and gave it suck; 
and the Indians driving the children together, and 
spoke to them in high Dutch, be still, we won't hurt, 
you. Then they struck a hatchet into the woman's 
head, and she fell upon her face with her babe under 
her, and the Indian trod on her neck and tore off the 
scalp. The children then ran : four of them were 
scalped, among which was a girl of eleven years of 
age, who related the whole story; of the scalped, two 
are alive and like to do well. The rest of the chil- 
dren ran into the bushes and the Indians after them, 
but our people coming near to them, halloed and 
made a noise. The Indians ran and the rest of the 
children were saved. They ran within a yard by a 
woman that lay behind an old log, with two children; 
there were about seven or eight of the enemy." 

The onward movement of the Indians and 
the terrifying reports of their barbarity excited 
the settlers to such a degree that the sections of 
the county near by and beyond the Blue Moun- 
tain became almost entirely deserted. Even 
the inhabitants of Reading, though they were a 
considerable body together, manifested much 
anxiety for their welfare. Conrad Weiser 
stated in a letter from Reading, dated 13th of 
December, 1755, — 

" The people of this town and county are in very 
great consternation. Most of this town are but day- 
laborers, and owing money, are about to leave it, they 
have nothing at all wherewith to support their fami- 
lies. All trade is stopped, and they can get no em- 
ployment, and unless the Government takes about 
thirty or forty of them into pay to guard this town, 
they must go off and the rest will think themselves 
unsafe to stay, and the back inhabitants will have no 
place of security left for their wives and children, 
when they are out either against their enemy, or tak- 
ing care of their plantations and cattle, and when 
things should come to extremity." 

The massacres by the Indians continuing 
month after month, the Governor visited Read- 
ing in the latter part of December, for the pur- 

pose of acquainting himself with the situation 
of the people, and, after an examination, he 
found that the policy of defense was not satis- 
factory, and that new measures had to be taken 
to subdue the Indians. Whilst at Reading he 
also consulted with the Executive Council and 
the commissioners in respect to a proper dis- 
tribution of the regular troops which had ar- 
rived at Carlisle from New York. The Gren- 
adiers were ordered to be quartered at Reading. 
Their rations were three pounds of pork, three 
pounds of beef, one pound of fish, ten and one- 
half pounds of bread or meal for a week, and 
one gill of rum per day. 

Premium for Scalps. — In pursuance of 
this spirit of carrying on active measures against 
the Indians, the board of commissioners de- 
cided on the 9th of April, 1756, to recommend 
to the Governor that bounties, or premiums, be 
paid for prisoners and scalps, — 

For every male Indian prisoner above ten years 
old, that shall be delivered at any of the gov- 
ernment forts or towns $150 

For every female Indian prisoner or male pri- 
soner, of ten years old and under, delivered as 
above ... 130 

For the scalp of every male Indian above ten 
years old..: 130 

For the scalp of every Indian woman SO 

Probst Letter.— By the foregoing letters 
and others, it would seem that the Indians con- 
fined their invasions into the county beyond 
the Blue Mountain before 1756, to the west of 
the Schuylkill. But in the beginning of 1756 
they reached the district along the mountain to 
the east of the river, and committed similar 
outrages upon the unprotected settlers. Valen- 
tine Probst, a resident of Albany township, ad- 
dressed the following letter to Jacob Levan, 
(one of the justices of the county, who resided 
in Maxatawny township,) on the 15th of Feb- 
ruary, 1756, in which he mentions the horrible 
murders committed upon the Reichelderfer and 
Gerhard families : 

Me. Levan— I cannot omit writing about the 
dreadful circumstances in our township, Albany. The 
Indians came yesterday morning about eight o'clock, 
to Frederick Eeichelderfer's house, as he was feeding 
his horses, and two of the Indians ran upon him, and 
fo.lowed him into a field ten or twelve perches off; 



but he escaped and ran towards Jacob Gerhard's 
house, with a design to fetch some arms. When he 
came near Gerhard's he heard a lamentable cry, 
' Lord Jesus ! Lord Jesus ! ' which made him run back 
towards his own house ; but before he got quite home, 
he saw his house and stable in flames, and heard 
the cattle bellowing, and thereupon ran away again. 
"Two of his children were shot; one of them was 
found dead in his field, the other was found alive and 
brought to Hakenbrook's house, but died three hours 
after. All his grain and cattle are burned up. At 
Jacob Gerhart's they have killed one man, two women 
and six children. Two children slipped under the 
bed; one of which was burned; the other escaped, 
and ran a mile to get to the people. We desire help, 
or we must leave our homes." 

Muhlenberg Letter. — The Rev. Henry 
Melchior Muhlenberg described this shocking 
affair as follows :■ 

"In New Hanover (Mont. Co.) I had confirmed 
two grown daughters of Frederick Reichelsdorfer. 
This man subsequently bought a tract of forest land 
near the Blue Mountains, which he cultivated suc- 
cessfully, with much toil and great sacrifice, to enable 
him to support his family. But fearing the Indians, 
who scouted the region, sacking, burning and mur- 
dering, he removed his family back to New Hanover, 
whilst he journeyed to and fro to attend to his place. 
In the month of March, after he and his daughters 
had threshed out his wheat, .on a Friday morning, 
they suddenly felt an uncomfortable presentiment of 
fear. Entering upon their evening devotions, they 
joined in singing the old hymn, ' Wer weiz wie nahe 
mir mein Ende.' Committing themselves to God, 
they retired. On the following Saturday morning, as 
the father had gone upon the open field to bring in 
his horses, and on the eve of starting for home, he 
was surrounded by Indians. From sudden fright, in 
view of his great peril, he could neither utter a cry, 
nor move a limb. As the savages were within twenty 
paces, he turned his thoughts to God, and was enabled 
to cry : 'Jesus ! I live by Thee ! Jesus ! I die in Thee !' 
In the moment of this exclamation, he felt himself at 
once endowed with superhuman energy, in virtue of 
which he turned, became swift-footed as a deer, and 
winged, like the ostrich. He escaped from their sight 
and reached his home ; but, alas ! his hut lay in ashes ; 
the cattle were bellowing in a sheet of flame, his eld- 
est daughter lay a crisp, and the younger, partly 
alive, scalped and horribly mutilated, had barely 
strength to relate the harrowing circumstances, and 
to impress a dying kiss upon the distracted brow of 
her father, bending over her." 

Gerhart Murder. — The Gerhart murder 
was committed on a farm in the extreme north- 
western section of Albany township, owned by 

George Bolich. A house was immediately 
afterward built on the spot where the original 
house stood. It was toru down by Mr. Bolich, 
who erected a handsome dwelling in its stead. 
The traditional account of the murder, one hun- 
dred and twenty years after it occurred, as 
given by Mr. Bolich, was as follows: 

" While the whole family was in the house, quietly 
enjoying the comforts of a rural home in the wilder- 
ness of Albany in the month of February, an unusual 
noise was heard in the vicinity of the house. Noth- 
ing was known of the presence of the Indians or of 
any other person, until they heard a suspicious noise 
which excited their fears at once that a sad fate was 
awaiting them. Mr. Gerhart, solicitous about the 
safety of his beloved family, opened the door and 
peeped out, but saw no one. He quietly stepped out- 
side of the door to make a closer inspection of his 
premises, when a concealed Indian shot him and he 
fell dead at the door. The women dragged Mr. Ger- 
hart into the house. The Indians knowing that the 
head of the family was killed, had less to fear, aj- 
proached the house and set it on fire. The women 
and children knew that a horrible death was staring 
them in the face — that they must either be burned 
alive, or leave the house and submit to a death fully 
as revolting. They chose the first alternative. A 
boy of about twelve years of age, whose hair had 
already been burned off his head, and had seen suffer- 
ing among his mother, little brothers and sisters, 
which no pen or human tongue can portray, jumped 
out of a window on a side of the hou-e opposite the 
Indians. He ran to a family over a small hill south 
of this place to give the alarm, but when assistance 
came the house was consumed by the flames and the 
Indians had made their escape." l 

This occurrence naturally alarmed the neigh- 
borhood and many of the settlers moved away 
to places where they could feel secure in the 
enjoyment of life and property. A letter 
dated 24th of March, 1756, describes the fatal 
consequences to a party in an attempt at remov- 
ing :— 

"Ten wagons went up to Allemaengel to bring 
down a family with their effects; and as they were 
returning, about three miles below George Ziesloff's, 
were fired upon by a number of Indians from both 
sides of the roads, upon which the wagoners left their 
wagons and ran into the woods, and the horses 
frightened at the firing and the terrible yelling of the 
Indian*, ran down the hill and broke one of the 
wagons to pieces. The enemy killed George Ziesloff 
and his wife, a lad of twenty, a boy of twelve, also a 

1 Brunner's "Indians of Berks County,'' p. 47. 



girl of fourteen years old, four of whom they scalped. 
Another girl was shot in the neck and through the 
mouth and scalped, notwithstanding all this she got 
oft'. A boy was stabbed in three places, but the 
wounds were not thought to be mortal. They killed 
two of the horses and five are missing, with which it 
is thought the Indians carried off the most valuable 
goods that were in the wagons." 

In March, 1756, the Indians burned the 
house and barn of Barnabas Seitel and the mill 
of Peter Conrad, killed Balser Neytong's wife 
and took a son eight years of age captive. 
Captain Morgan sent seven men in pursuit; 
but they failed to overtake the Indians. 

Kltjck Murder.— On the 24th of March, 
the house of Peter Kluck (about fourteen miles 
from Reading) was set on fire by the savages, 
and the whole family killed; while the flames 
were still ascending, the Indians assaulted the 
house of one Linderman, in which there were 
two men and a woman, all of whom ran up- 
stairs, where the woman was shot dead through 
the roof. The men then ran out of the house 
to engage the Indians, when Linderman was 
shot in the neck and the other through the 
jacket. Upon this, Linderman ran towards the 
Indians, two of whom only were seen, and shot 
one of them in the back, when he fled, and he 
and his companion scalped him and brought 
away his gun and knife. 

The report of the several preceding massacres 
is not definite with, regard to the locality; but 
it is probable that they occurred within the 
limits of Albany township. 

At the same time 1 the Indians carried off a 
young lad, named John Shoep, about nine years 
old, whom they took by night seven miles be- 
yond the Blue Mountain ; but where, accord- 
ing to the lad, the Indians kindled a fire, tied 
him to a tree, and took off his shoes and put 
moccasins on his feet; that they prepared them- 
selves some mush, but gave him none. After 
supper they marched on further. The same 
Indians took him and another lad between 
them, and went beyond the second mountain; 
having gone six times through streams of 
water, and always carried him across. The 
second evening they again struck up fire, took 

Time of the Ziesloff murder. 

off his moccasins, and gave him a blanket to 
cover himself; but at midnight, when all the 
Indians were fast asleep, he made his escape, 
and at daybreak had traveled about six miles. 
He passed on that day, sometimes wading 
streams neck deep, in the direction of the Blue 
Mountain; that night he sta'yed in the woods. 
The next day, exhausted and hungry, he ar- 
rived by noon at Uly Meyer's plantation, 
where Charles Folk's company lay, who wished 
him to remain till he had regained strength, 
and they would conduct him to his father. He 
was accordingly sent home. 

The eastern part of the county was disturbed 
only once by the Indians during the French 
and Indian War. They would not, in their 
invasions, go any distance into" a country settled 
by the white people where it was possible to 
intercept their retreat. In March, 1756, they 
ventured as far south as Hereford. On the 
22d of that month (March) one John Krausher 
and his wife, and William Yeth and his bov 
about twelve years old, went to their place to 
find their cattle, and on their return were fired 
upon by five Indians, who had hid themselves 
about ten perches from the road, when Yeth 
was mortally wounded in the back; Krausher's 
wife was found dead and scalped, and had 
three cuts in her right arm with a tomahawk. 
Krausher made his escape, and the boy was 
carried off by the enemy. 

Indian Treaty. — During the war, messen- 
gers were sent by the Governor to the chiefs of 
the Indians, and the Indians sent representa- 
tives of their tribes to Philadelphia or some 
place midway between Philadelphia and the 
council fires of the Indians. One of the most 
important treaties was held at Easton in the 
latter part of July, 1756. Teedyuscung, with 
fourteen other chiefs, was present. He said he 
was an ambassador appointed by ten nations, 
and authorized to treat with the Governor of 
Pennsylvania. In attempting to palliate the 
breach of former treaties and the numerous 
massacres of settlers upon lands bought of them, 
he assured the Governor that the "present 
clouds " owed their origin to the custom of their 
ancestors from having a " multitude of kings." 
He made strong professions of friendship, de- 



plored the hostile feelings between the white 
people and the Indians, and said that all the 
harm inflicted upon the white people was com- 
mitted by the French Indians who lived on the 
Ohio. After faring well for a week at the ex- 
pense of the government, and receiving a large 
quantity of presents, the chiefs took " some of 
that good tobacco that the Six Nations put into 
our pipe," and all parties smoked the pipe in 
turn ; and, according to their custom, a lasting 
peace and friendship was to be maintained. But 
the fumes of " that good tobacco " had scarcely 
disappeared when the Indians again fell upon 
the settlers of Berks County, burned their 
buildings and cattle, lurked behind the thickets 
and shot men at work in their fields, scalped 
women and children alive and captured others, 
many of whom were subjected to great hard- 
ships and cruel sufferings. 1 

Two Women Scalped. — Three months 
afterward, Conrad Weiser addressed the follow- 
ing letter (dated at Heidelberg, 19th of October, 
1756,) to Governor I>enny : 

" Honored Sir : Last night about 10 o'clock I 
received the melancholy news that the enemy Indians 
had again made an invasion in Berks county, and 
killed and scalped two married women and a lad of 
fourteen years of age, and wounded two children of 
about four years old, and carried off two more ; one 
of the wounded is scalped and like to die, and the 
other has two cuts on her forehead, given her by an 
Indian boy in order to scalp her, but did not ; there 
being eight men of Fort Henry posted in two differ- 
ent neighbors' houses about one and a half miles off, 
when they heard the noise of the guns firing they 
made towards it but came too late. 

"The people are moving away, leaving their barns 
full of grain behind them ; and there is a lamentable 
cry among them. It is with submission a very hard 
case that so many men are taken away to protect Sha- 
mokin (a wilderness) and the inhabited part be with- 
out it. I have ordered eighteen men out of the town 
guard of Reading to re-enforce Fort Henry im- 
mediately, of which I hope your honor will ap- 
prove. ..." 

Culmore and Fell Murder.— On the 
4th of November, 1756, Jacob Morgan, the 
commander at Fort Lebanon, addressed the fol- 
lowing letter to the Governor in reference to 
outrages committed in Albany township: 

i Brunner's " Indians of Berks County," p. 51. 

"Yesterday morning at break of day one of the 
neighbors discovered a fire at a distance from him ; 
he went to the top of another mountain to take a bet- 
ter observation, and made a full discovery of the fire, 
and supposed it to be about seven miles off, at the 
house of John Fincher ; he came and informed me of 
it; I immediately detached a party of ten men (we 
being about 22 men in the fort) to the place where 
they saw the fire, at the said Fincher's house, it being 
nigh Schuylkill, and the men anxious to see the 
enemy, if there, they ran through the water and the 
bushes to the fire, where to their disappointment they 
saw none of them, but the house, barn, and other out- 
houses all in flames, together with a -considerable 
amount of corn ; they saw a great many tracks and 
followed them, and came back to the house of Philip 
Culmore, thinking to send from thence to alarm the 
other inhabitants to be on their guard, but instead of 
that found the said Culmore's wife and daughter and 
son-in-law all just killed and scalped; there is like- 
wise missing out of the same house Martin Fell's wife 
and child about one year old, and another boy about 
seven years of age, the said Martin Fell was he that 
was killed, it was just done when the scouts came 
there, and they seeing the scouts ran off. The scouts 
divided in two parties, one to some other houses nigh 
at hand, and the other to the fort (it being within a 
mile of the fort) to inform me. I immediately went 
out with the scout again (and left in the fort no more 
than six men), but could not make any discovery, but 
brought all the families to the fort, where now I 
believe there are upward of sixty women and children 
that are fled here for refuge." 2 

Ten Women and Children Rescued. — 
On the 14th of the same month, Lieuten- 
ant Samuel Humphreys, who was stationed at 
the fort above Northkill, wrote to Conrad 
Weiser as follows : 

"May it please the Colonel: — Yesterday we were 
alarmed by a number of Indians who came and took 
a child away. Immediately upon hearing the news, 
I, with nine men, went in pursuit of them, leaving a 
number of farmers to guard the fort till we should re- 
turn. But we found nothing till this morning, we 
went out again ; and, in our return to the fort, we were, 
apprized of them by the firing of several guns; when 
I ordered my men to make what speed they could. 
We ran till we were almost out of breath, and, upon 
finding Nicholas Long's house attacked by the In- 
dians, the farmers who were with us to the number of 
twenty, deserted and fled, leaving the soldiers to fight/ 
We stood in battle with them for several minutes till 
there were about sixty guns discharged, and at length 
we put the Indians to flight. 

2 3 Pa. Arch. 30. Subsequently, in September, 1763, 
Fincher and his family were murdered by the Indians. 



" We have one man wounded, and my coat was shot 
through in four places. The number of the Indians 
was twenty. Our number at first was twenty-four. 
But they all deserted and fled except seven. Two old 
men were killed before we came, one of whom was 
scalped. Ten women and children were in the cellar 
and the house was on fire ; but we extinguished it and 
brought the women and children to the fort. I desire 
the Colonel to send me a reinforcement, for the men 
solemnly say they will not go out with the farmers, 
as they deserted in the battle and never fired a gun. 
The Indians cried the halloo during the battle. We 
have one of their guns and a blanket which had two 
holes with a -bullet in it, and is bloody. The Indians 
had all red hats and red blankets.'' 

Girl taken Captive. — A letter was ad- 
dressed to the Governor from Bethlehem, on the 
30th of November following, stating the com- 
mission of another murder in Albany township : 

"John Holder came here this evening from Alle- 
mangle and informed me that last Sunday evening, 
the 28th instant, three Indians came to the house of a 
certain man named Schlosser and knocked at the 
door ; the people within called who is there. Answer 
was made, a good friend ; they within not opening the 
door, they knocked again ; they within asked who is 
there ; no answer being made from without, then one 
of the men named Stonebrook looked out of the win- 
dow, when an Indian discharged a gun and killed him 
on the spot. They then opened the door, the woman 
and two children endeavored to escape, and the In- 
dians pursued and took both the children. One of 
the men fired at the Indians and saw one of them fall, 
when one of the girls he had possession of made her 
escape from him, but the other they took away. The 
Indian that was fired at fell, cried out very much 
but in a short time he got up and made off." 

About this time the Indians also appeared in 
this township and carried off the wife and three 
children of Adam Burns. The youngest child 
was only four weeks old. 

Petition for Fort.— At a meeting of the 
Executive Council, held on the 7th of May, 1757, 
a petition, addressed to the Lieutenant-Governor 
was read, setting forth, — 

"That your petitioners are informed that Fort 
Franklin is to be removed to this side of the Blue 
Mountains, and a considerable way into Albany town- 

" That, if in case the said Fort is to be removed 
your petitioners will be obliged to desert their plan- 
tations, for their lives and Estates will then lay at 
stake, and a great part of this province will lay 
waste, and your petitioners will become a burden to 
the other inhabitants. 

" That your petitioners humbly conceive that it 
would be the safest way to have the said Fort con- 
tinued and rebuilt, as it is very much out of order and 

" Therefore your petitioners humbly pray your 
Honor to take the premises into consideration and 
issue such orders as will prevent the removal of the 
said Fort, and order a sufficient number of men in it, 
and to grant your petitioners such other relief as to 
you in your wisdom shall deem meet. 

" This petition was signed by George Gilbert and 
Adam Spittlemeyer, at the request and in behalf of 
the following persons, ' all inhabitants of Berks 
County, within four miles of and about Fort Franklin 
over the Blue Mountains ' : 

" George Gilbert. 
Adam Spittlemeyer. 
Henry Hauptman. 
Casper Langeberger. 
Nicholas Kind. 
George Merte. 
Henry Norbeck. 
Widow of Mark Grist 

(deceased). 1 
Widow of Geo. Krammer 

(deceased). 1 
William Ball. 
Philip Annes. 
Jacob Leisser. 

William Weigand. 
Anthony Krum. 
Philip Scholl. 
Jacob Keim. 
John Frist. 
William Gable. 
Philip Kirsbaum. 
John Wissemer. 
George Wartman. 
Jacob Richards. 
Christopher Sprecher. 
John Scheefer. 
George Sprecher.'' 

Peter Gersinger was shot and scalped about 
the middle of June, 1757, while plowing in a 
field. The place of this murder is not named, 
but the report of it seems to indicate Bethel 

Trump Murder.— James Read, Esq., ad- 
dressed the following letter from Reading on 
the 25th of June, 1757: 

"Last night Jacob Levan, Esq., of Maxatawny, 
came to see me, and showed me a letter of the 22d 
inst.,.from Lieutenant Engel, dated in Allemangel,by 
which he advised Mr. Levan of the murder of one 
Adam Trump, in Allemangel, by Indians that even- 
ing, and that they had taken Trump's wife and his 
son, a lad of nineteen years old, prisoners ; but the 
woman escaped, though upon her flying she was so 
closely pursued by one of the Indians (of which there 
were seven) that he threw his tomahawk at her, and 
cut her badly in the neck, but 'tis hoped not danger- 
ously. This murder happened in as great a thunder- 
storm as has happened for twenty years past; which 
extended itself over a great part of this and Northamp- 
ton Counties-for I found much mischief done as I 
came from Easton, Northampton County, to this 

» ''Which said Grist, and Krammer have lost their lives in 
the defense of their country last fall." 



town, the length of fifty-two miles — the day before 
yesterday, and which I hear has broken down the 
dams of seven forges and six grist-mills on Maxa- 
tawny Creek, chiefly in this county, the rest in Phila- 
delphia County. 

" Mr. Levan told me that at the same time that the 
Indiansdid themischief in Allemangel, another party 
killed and scalped a man near Fort Henry, in this 
county, and the next day carried off a young woman 
from the same neighborhood. I am told too — though 
I cannot tell what credit is to be given to it — that 
two persons were killed and scalped near the Fort at 
Northkill, in this county, Wednesday evening last, 
at the time of the thunderstorm. 

" I had almost forgot to mention (for I am so hur- 
ried just now, 'tis no wonder) that the Indians, after 
sGalping Adam Trump, left a knife and a halbert, or 
a spear, fixed to a pole of four feet, in his body." 

In a letter from Tulpehocken, dated 4th of 
July, 1757, to the Pennsylvania Gazette, it was 
stated, — 

" If we get no assistance from the county all the 
inhabitants of Tulpehocken will move away. The 
county should rise and send a large body to drive the 
Indians off, and keep a strong guard in the houses on 
the frontiers besides the soldiers, or all will be lost." 

On the 4th of July, 1757, two Indians were 
seen near Reading. 

Seven Persons Murdered —On July 5, 
1757, "seven persons (three men and four chil- 
dren), who had been murdered and scalped all 
in one house, were brought to our burying- 
ground for burial. They were killed by the 
Indians yesterday, about sun-down, five miles 
from here." This was at Tulpehocken church. 1 

Mother's Defense of Children. — The 
following extract is taken from a letter dated at 
Heidelberg, on 9th of July, 1757 : 

" Yesterday, about three o'clock in the afternoon, 
between Valentine Herchelroad's and Tobias Bickel's, 
four Indians killed two children, — one about four 
years old and the other five. They at the same time 
scalped a young woman of about sixteen, who, with 
proper care, is likely to live and do well. A woman 
was terribly cut with the tomahawk ; but she was not 
scalped — her life is despaired of. Three children 
were carried off prisoners. Christian Schrenk's wife 
— who was among the party — bravely defended her- 
self and her children for a while. During an assault 
upon her, she wrested the gun out of the Indian's 
hands, and also his tomahawk and threw them away ; 
and in the meantime, whilst saving her own life, two of 

i rennsyloania Gazette, July, 1757, 

her children were taken captive. In this house there 
were also twenty women and children who had fled 
thither from their own habitations to take shelter. 
The men belonging to them were distant about one- 
half a mile, engaged in picking cherries. They came 
as quickly as possible and went in pursuit of the In- 
dians, but to no purpose, for the Indians had concealed 

Appeal for Aid. — It would seem that as- 
sistance was asked generally from the people of 
the province by the inhabitants of Tulpehocken 
township during their terrible sufferings and 
losses. A notice to this effect was advertised in 
the German newspaper, published at German- 
town by Christopher Saner, in July, 1757. It 
was as follows (being translated from the Ger- 
man) : 

" The distant inhabitants of Tulpehocken would 
pray for assistance to enable them to give more atten- 
tion to their security, inasmuch as the forts lay so far 
from one another, and the persons therein do little 
service. Whoever may be willing to give anything, 
can inform Eeverends Otterbein and Gerock, Lutheran 
ministers in Lancaster; Revs. Muhlenberg and Leydig, 
at New Hanover and Providence ; Dr. Abraham 
Wagner in Madetsche.; Mr. Michael Beyer, in Gosch- 
enhoppen ; Christopher Sauer, Sr., at Germantown ; 
and Rev. Handschuh, in Philadelphia, and write also 
how much they may have given. And these persons 
can forward the same to Col. Conrad Weiser or Peter 
Spycker, or Eev. Kurtz, as each may be pleased to 
do. Those who have been able to carry on their har- 
vest in peace and security, cut and deliver it at home, 
have reason to be thankful to God." 

Four Killed and Srx Scalped. — A letter 
from a place in Lynn township (now included 
in Greenwich) reported the following cruelties: 

"Adam Klaus and his neighbors were surprised by 
a party of Indians on the 9th of July, whilst they 
were engaged in reaping rye ; two men, two women 
and a young girl escaped; Martin Jaeger and his 
wife were killed and scalped ; John Kraushaar's wife 
and child, Abraham Seckler's wife and one of Adam 
Clauss's children were scalped, but they still lived, 
though badly wounded ; one of the women is wound- 
ed in the side and the other in the hip ; two of Kraus- 
haar's children were killed, and one of Seckler's and 
one of Philip Eschton's, but these were not scalped. . 
The alarm being raised, a party went in pursuit of 
them, and, overtaking nine, fired upon them. But 
they soon eluded the pursuit of the whites." 

Conrad Weiser, whilst at Easton for the pur- 
pose of conferring with the Indians, detailed the 
circumstances connected with a murder of ten 



people, in a letter to the Governor on the 15th 
of July, 1757: 

" In coming along through Maxatawny I heard a 
melancholy account often people being killed by the 
enemy Indians. They passed by two or three planta- 
tions on this side of the mountain before they at- 
tacked. A certain woman ran off towards her place 
and told her husband of the attack, who cut the gears 
off his horses then in the plow, and rode as fast as he 
could to Lieut. Wetherholt, about three miles off. 
Lieut. Wetherholt, with a small detachment. I am told 
seven in number, came away immediately, and came 
to the place where the murder was committed, where 
by that time a number of people had gathered. Weth- 
erholt proposed to pursue the enemy, but none would 
go with him, so he took his seven men and pursued 
the enemy a few miles from the house and found the 
place where they rested themselves, and in about 
three miles he overtook them in thick bushes, at a 
Very little distance. It seems they saw one another 
at once. One of the Indians was beforehand with 
Wetherholt and aimed at him, but his gun flashed. 
Wetherholt, a moment after, fired at the Indian, and 
thinks he hit him, but is not sure. Several guns were 
fired by our people, but did no execution, and the In- 
dians' guns missing fire, they ran off and left two 
horses behind them, one belonging to the man they 
killed, laden with the best of his household goods." 

Morgan Journal. — A monthly journal, 
kept by Jacob Morgan, for the month of July, 
1757, indicates that considerable vigilance was 
exercised in this vicinity, and yet the outrages 
just mentioned were committed by the Indians. 
The journal records the following circum- 
stances : 

" July the 1st. — Sent a corporal with 11 men on a 
scout to Clingaman Hausabough's, at Allemingle, who 
staid all night. 

" 2nd. — The scout returned from Allemingle and re- 
ported that they had made no discovery of the 

" 3rd. — Sent a party to range to Allemingle. 

"4th. — Our men returned from Allemingle and re- 
ported that some of the inhabitants, who were afraid 
near the mountain, were removing downwards. 

" 5th, 6th and 7th. — Was exceeding heavy rain and 
waters very high. 

"8th. — Being a day of humiliation we applied our- 
selves thereto. 

" 8th. — Rainy weather, we could not scout. 

" 10th. — I sent out a party to range to Allemingle. 
This day Sergeant Matthews returned from Colonel 
Weiser's with orders for me to station 10 men in 
Windsor township, and to keep 10 men in readiness to 
go to Easton. 

"11th. — The scout returned. I prepared the men 

in readiness according to orders ; and sent some men 
to guard the farmers in their harvest. 

" 12th.— I went with ten men to Windsor township 
and stationed them there, where I found, the most 
proper. In the evening very heavy rain and thunder, 
obliged me to stay all night ; we sent some parties to 
guard the farmers. 

"13th.— I returned in the morning to the fort. . . . 
Parties went to guard the farmers, and this day in mv 
return I met the scout which I had posted in Windsor 
township, ranging about the farmers' houses. 

"14th. — Parties ranged and guarded the farmers. 

" 15th.— Being all day heavy rain, and the creeks so 
high that the Schuylkill rose perpendicularly fifteen 
feet in nine hours' time, being considerably higher 
than ever was known in these parts ; the guards could 
not return, and we remained in the fort with only 
eight men to guard." 

During the remainder of July soldiers were 
sent out daily to guard the farmers in their ag- 
ricultural work, but no Indians came to molest 

On the 27th of July, 1757, James Read, Esq., 
at Reading, wrote to the Governor stating that 
white men had appeared in Bern township and 
were co-operating with the Indians. His ac- 
count is as follows : 

" It is with great uneasiness I must inform your 
honor that the day before yesterday four white men 
took away from a plantation in Bern township, about 

thirteen miles from this town, one Good (I think 

that is the surname), a lad about sixteen years old, 
and carried him to four Indians about eight miles 
from the place where he was taken. The white men 
and Indians all got very drunk, and the lad happily 
made his escape in the night. Of his being taken I 
heard the evening it happened ; of the rest I was in- 
formed by Robert Smith, a sergeant, who came yes- 
terday from Fort William (Lebanon), and on his road 
was told by one Peter Rodermel, a farmer of very 
good credit, who had seen and conversed with the 
lad. Monday, in the afternoon, an Indian was seen 
near Sinking Spring, five miles from the town, by 
Peter Rood, a person of as high credit as is in the 
county. Some of the inhabitants went immediately 
in pursuit of the Indian, but returned without having 
overtaken him. I have taken care ever since the 9th 
of this month to keep a patrol of ten of the inhabit- 
ants every night about this town ; and, as our people 
are very uneasy upon hearing that white men are 
among the Indians, we purpose to have a guard to- 
night of twenty-one,-— seven at either end of the town 
and seven in the centre,— who will keep out a patrol 
all night. In this service I am cheerfully assisted by 
Mr. Seely and Mr. Biddle. We hope our very dan- 
gerous condition will be considered and some measures 



will be taken for our security. ... I am sorry to 
have occasion to assure you that if our defense be 
committed to the soldiers now in these parts, our 
people will be still as uneasy as they are now." 

By the latter statement it would appear that 
the soldiers were not thoroughly patriotic, hav- 
ing doubtless done something to sacrifice the 
confidence of the people. There is no published 
information on the subject. Read added in his 
letter that he would not then assign reasons, 
though he might "some time next week acquaint 
him with the principal grounds of their objection 
to such a protection." 

In August, 1757, fifty men from Cumru and 
other townships near Reading set out in expec- 
tation of bringing in some Indian scalps. 

Alarming Condition of People. — The 
following earnest, pathetic letter was addressed 
by Conrad Weiser from his home in Heidel- 
berg on the 4th of October, 1757, to the Gov- 
ernor's secretary. It narrates the alarming 
condition of the people at that time, showing 
that the Indians were still active in their cruel- 
ties, notwithstanding treaties or the protection 
afforded by forts and scouting-parties : 

"Sir: — I did not think of the post till he entered 
my door, else I would have written particularly to the 
' Governor, though I have been very busy with writing 
to the commanding officers of the several forts under 
my care. It is now come so far that murder is com- 
mitted almost every day; there never was such a 
consternation among the people ; they must now 
leave their houses again, with their barns full of 
grain ; five children were carried off last Friday ; some 
days before a sick man was killed upon his bed ; he 
begged of the enemy to shoot him through his heart, 
which the Indian answered, I will, and did so. A girl 
that had hid herself under a bedstead in the next 
room heard all this ; two more families were about 
that time destroyed. Inclosed is the journal of last 
month of my ensign at Northkill. Captain Busse lies 
dangerously sick at John Harris'. I hear he is tired 
of everything. I have neither men nor a sufficient 
number of officers to defend the country. If his honor 
would be pleased to send orders to recall all the men 
belonging to my battalion from Fort Augusta he 
would justly bring upon him the blessings of the 
Most High. I cannot say any more. I think myself 
unhappy ; to fly with my family in this time of dan- 
ger I can't do. I must stay if they all go. I am now 
preparing to go to Fort Henry, where I shall meet 
some officers to consult with what, may be best to be 
done. I have ordered ten men, with the Governor's 
last order, to Fort Augusta ; I shall overtake them 

this evening at Fort Henry and give them proper in- 
struction. For God's sake, dear sir, beg of the Gov- 
ernor, press it upon him in my behalf, and in behalf 
of these distressed inhabitants, to order my men back 
from Fort Augusta. I will give my reason afterwards 
that I am in the right. I conclude with my humble 
respects to his honor." 

Petition for Soldiers. — In March, 1758, 
Conrad Weiser forwarded to the Lieutenant- 
Governor a petition subscribed (in German) by 
a number of the inhabitants of Bern township, 
with the recommendation that they be favored 
with soldiers, to be stationed for their defense 
in some of the most exposed farm-houses. The 
petition set forth — 

" That from the beginning of the Indian incursions 
into this province, the neighborhood wherein your per 
titioners live hath been frequently harassed by the 
enemy, and numbers of their neighbors cruelly mur- 
dered, others captivated, and many of your petition- 
ers obliged to fly from their dwellings to avoid the 
same unhappy fate, to their unspeakable terror and 
distress. That during this winter the severity of the 
weather had prevented those barbarians from commit- 
ting their wonted cruelties ; but, as the snow is now 
melting and the weather is growing fair, your peti- 
tioners are every moment dreading an attack from the 
enemy, and find themselves less secure than hereto- 
fore from their attempts, as the block-house at North- 
kill is destroyed and no garrison kept in those parts. 

" Your petitioners, in the deepest distress, implore 
your honor's protection, and most earnestly beg that 
they may not be left a prey to the savage enemy, pro- 
testing that, without assistance from the public, they 
are utterly unable to defend themselves, and must, on 
the first attack, abandon their habitations and rather 
embrace the most extreme poverty than remain sub- 
ject to the merciless rage of those bloody murderers. 
And that they have the greatest reason to expect an 
attack is obvious from the many former successful at- 
tempts of the enemy— three or four Indian-paths lead- 
ing into their neighborhood." 

In the following month, (April, 1758,) the 
people of Reading were likewise alarmed, and 
thev, too, sent a petition to the Governor, setting 
forth their dangerous situation and praying for 
assistance. The Governor, in pursuance of its 
earnest representations, said, in a message to the 
Assembly on the 27th of April, 1758 : "We 
have just received a petition from the distressed 
inhabitants of the town of Reading ; their un- 
happy situation seems to be more easily con- 
ceived than described, occasioned by the want of 
a due exertion of the military force in that 



quarter." He therefore entreated the Assembly 
to order provincial forces to be sent to their im- 
mediate relief. Their prayer was granted and 
a hundred men were sent. 

Liebenguth Murder. — About this time 
the Indians again divided themselves into small 
parties and surprised the settlers unawares. At 
Tulpehocken they killed and scalped a man by 
the name of Liebenguth and his wife ; and at 
Northkill they killed and scalped Nicholas Gei- 
ger's wife and two children and Michael Ditzel- 
er's wife. 

The following correspondence in German is 
added, relative to the murders just mentioned: 1 

"Wichtige Nachrichten aus Sauer's 'Pennsyl- 
vanische Nachrichten,' von dato lsten April 1758. 

" Am verwichenen Montag sind abermahl bei zvvan- 
zig ganz fremde Indianer zu Bethlehem angekom- 
men, welche auch willens sind mit den Englischen in 
Frieden und Freundschaft zu leben. Wie man ver- 
steht so haben sie der Tidiuskung's Sohne berednet 
zum Frieden, und haben sie mitgebracht. Sie mel- 
den auch, dass dem Tidiuskung sei angesagt worden 
dass der so sehr beruffene Indianer Captain Sohingas 
auch kommen wollte, und wieder mit den Englischen 
in Fried und Freundschaft leben. Darauf habe 
Tidiuskung fuer Freiden einen hohen Luft-Sprung ge- 
than, welches er kaum vermuthet hat. 

"Und also dorfften die Forten an der Grenze mit 
ihren Garisonen von wenig Nutzen sein, und viele 
von unsern L'indes-Leuten aus ihrer Gefangenschafft 
losz und wieder heim kommen. 

" Auszug eines Briefs von einem Officier in dem 
Dienst dieser Provinz geschrieben zu Dolpehacken 
den 8. April 1758. 

"Ich und Mr. Kern sind soeben bei Jacob Scher- 
man angekommen, da hat man uns berichtet, dasz 
den vorigen Abend eine Frau von den Indianern ge- 
todtet und gescolpt worden, von feindlichen Indianern 
etwa drei Meilen von hier. 

"Wir sind soeben bereit ihnen nachzufolgen. . . . 
Die Liste von denen die getodtet worden, nebst einer 
die sie mitgenommen haben lautet wie folgt, nehm- 
lich: zu Schwatara sind zwei ledige Bursche zwei 
Brueder mit Namen Schnatterle getodtet, Michel Sau- 
ter und William Hardt sind auch todt, und eine 
Wittfrau haben sie mitgenommen In Dolpe- 
hacken istein Mann mit Namens Liebegut und seine 
Frau getodtet und gescolpt worden. ... An der Nord- 
Kill ist des Nicolaus Geigers Frau und ihre zwei Kin- 
der getodtet, und auch Michel Ditzeler's Frau, die 
sind all gescolpt. 

"Die Indianern haben sich in kleinen Partheien 

'Taken from Penna. Gazette, printed by Benjamin 
Franklin, 1707-58. 

vertheilet und kriechen durch das Gebuesch zu den 
Plantaschen. Esgiebt verschiedene Muthraassungen : 
Einige dencken es seien von den Indianern welche 
schon Frieden gemacht. Andere aber glauben : Weil 
die, Franzosen wissen, dass eine grosse Macht von 
Krieg-Schiffen und Landvolkern aus England kommt. 
und hier viel Volker angewerben werden, welche alle 
gegen die Franzosen fechten sollen, so hatten die 
Franzosen eine sehr grosse Menge Indianer, welche 
mit ihnen nicht nur in Freundschaft sondern gar in 
Verwandtschaft stehen, die schickten sie an die Grenze 
um Schaden zu thun, damit die Volker in den Forten 
bleiben sollen und nicht gegen ihre grosse Festungeu 
hinziehen sollen u. s. w. Die Todten konnen eben 
nicht sagen wer die sind die sie getodtet haben, und 
wann wirs wustzen, so hatten wir wenig Nutzen dafon. 
Nur selig sind die im dem Herrn sterben. Sie ruhon 
ihrer Arbeit, und ihre Wercke folgen ihnen nach. 

" Im ubrigen gehen schwere Gerichteueber den Erd- 
boden und das Gericht der Verstockung ist ein sclrwe- 
res Gericht. Man sollte auf die Hand sehen, die mit 
der Ruthe streichet, und nicht auf die Ruthe wie ein 
Hund, der in den Stein beiszt, womit er getroffen ist. 
Juni, den 16ten. 1758. Wir horen dass seither noch 
mehr Botschafter von fremden Indianern nach Phila- 
delphia gekommen sind, welche sich auch erbieten, ' 
dass sie mit den Englischen in Freundschaft leben 
wollen. Es sei ihnen aber nicht gar zu freundlich 
geantwortet worden. Doch werde eine grosse Menge 
kommen um ein Traty halten. Ob aber die hin- 
tern Einwohnern diesen Sommer so ruhig sein wer- 
den wie den Winter das ist ungewisz, ueberhaupt mo- 
gen wir wohl ein hartes Jahr haben." 

Frantz Murder.— Captain Busse, at Fort 
Henry, wrote to Conrad Weiser on 19 th of 
June, 1758, — 

"At noon I received news that this morning about 
eight o'clock the Indians took and carried away the 
wife of John Frantz, with three children, six miles 
from here, deep in the country. I sent momently 
Lieutenant Johnston with a party of nine men to go 
along the mountains and to stay at the Hole to inter- 
cept them. They being gone, a farmer who was fol- 
lowing on horseback, came back and told me that he 
saw three Indians near the Fort at Six's (Dietrich 
Six's or Fort Henry, in Bethel township). Being not 
able to spare more men, as just a detachment was out 
to meet the wagon with provision, I sent Sergeant 
Christ. Mowrer with only two men to look for their 
tracks. It is a cruel fate that we are brought to ; we 
shall fight without powder and lead. If some is there, 
be pleased to send it to us. . . . 

"Just now I received news that the son of John 
Snabele, not far from Dub's, is killed and scalped, 
having five shots in his body. As this has happened 
at the same time there must be undoubtedly a good 
number of the Indians. It is probable that they are 
still m the country, all the tracks going in and none 



out. I suppose, according to the tracks, that there 
are ahout twenty in the country. I believe that our 
very good allies at Wyoming have done this service 
to us, as all the tracks over the mountains come from 
the east. 

" The farmers of Tulpehocken have brought up 
some men toward the Hole, and desired me to join 
them with a part of the garrison, whereupon I have 
sent them a sergeant with eight men." 

A letter from the same place about the same 
time mentions that the wife of John Frantz and 
three children were carried off by the Indians, 
and that the woman was murdered a little way 
from Frantz's house, she having been weakly 
and not able to travel. Also, that the son of 
Jacob Snavely, a shoemaker, was killed and 
scalped about the same time. From the tracks 
of the enemy, their number was supposed to be 
about twenty. (Penna. Gazette, June 29, 1758). 

" The Indians burnt a house on the Swatara 
and killed one man. Three men are missing. 
Two boys were found tied to a tree and re- 
leased. We are alarmed in the fort almost every 
night by a terrible barking of dogs; there are 
certainly some Indians about us. " ' 

After General Forbes had taken possession of 
Fort du Quesne, 25th of November, 1758, 
many of the soldiers were marched to and 
quartered at Lancaster and Reading. They 
were quartered among the inhabitants, and their 
conduct caused grievous complaints. To rem- 
edy the evils, the Assembly caused a barracks to 
be erected at Lancaster, in 1759, large enough 
to accommodate five hundred men. 

Horses Stolen. — In the middle of Sep- 
tember, 1759, three Delaware Indians were 
hunting near Tulpehocken, and whilst there 
stole six horses. The owners pursued them as 
far as Fort Augusta and there informed Major 
Orndt of their loss. Upon making inquiry the 
major discovered the thieves. In their confes- 
sion they expressed themselves sarcastically that 
when any of their property was taken very 
little was said about it, but when they took a 
few horses a great noise was made. An order 
was given that they restore the horses to the 
owners; but they went away without compliance. 

Fincher Murder. — For several years after 

i Letter to Penna. Gazette, Oct. 1758. 

the terrible excitement which prevailed in the 
county during the years 1755, 1756, 1757 and 
1758, there would seem to have been no invas- 
ions or losses in life and property worthy of 
mention. No letters have as yet come to light 
indicating that the Indians had been on this 
side of the Blue Mountain. But, whilst all 
was quiet with the settlers along the frontier, 
and they were busily and hopefully carrying on 
their daily labor on their farms and intheirshops, 
how they must have been shocked by a sudden 
invasion over the mountain and into Albany 
township during the month of September, 1763, 
when a party of Indians fell upon and murdered 
John Fincher and his family, and this, too, 
within a mile from the place where a small 
body of soldiers were stationed under the com- 
mand of Ensign Shaffer ! The following letter 
from Jonas Seely (one of the justices of the 
county), at Sinking Spring, dated 10th of Sep- 
tember, 1763, communicated the sad intelligence 
to the Governor, John Penn : 

"Honored Sir: I am sorry I have to acquaint 
your honor of the following melancholy account 
which I received from Captain Kern .last night : On 
the eighth instant a party of Indians came to the house 
of one John Fincher, about three-quarters of a mile 
distant from Captain Kern's men, commanded by 
Ensign Shaffer ; they killed Fincher, his wife and 
two of his sons, his daughter is missing ; one little 
boy made his escape from the savages and came to the 
ensign, who immediately went to the place with his 
party. But the Indians were gone, and finding by 
their tracks which way they went, pursued them to 
the house of one Nicholas Miller, where he found 
four children murdered ; our party still pursued, and 
soon came up with the enemy and fired on them. 
They returned the fire, but the soldiers rushed on 
them so furiously that they soon ran off and left behind 
them two prisoners, two tomahawks, one hanger and 
a saddle ; the Indians were eight in number, and our 
party seven ; three of the enemy were much wound- 
ed. The two prisoners that our party recovered were 
two of said Miller's children that they had tied to- 
gether and so drove them along. Miller's wife is 
missing; in all there are eight killed and two missing 
in that neighborhood." 

And on the following day he addressed 
another letter (then at Breading) to the Governor, 
relatingto an attack upon Frantz Hubler's house, 
in Bern township — the premises being now in 
Upper Bern. It was as follows : 



" Honored Sir : This moment, at Reading, as I 
was sending off the express, certain intelligence came 
that the house of Frantz Hubler, in Bern township 
about 18 miles from here, was attacked Friday even- 
ing last by the Indians; himself is wounded, his wife 
and three children carried off, and three other of his 
children scalped alive, two of whom are since dead." 

Small-Pox. — During November, 1763, the 
small-pox prevailed at Fort Augusta. James 
Burd, stationed there, informed the Governor 
that volunteer parties had brought the disease 
there, and that sundry of the soldiers were down 
with it ; that a great number of the men never 
had it, and he expected all would be infected ; 
and having no medicine, Nature would have to 
effect a cure. 

Three Men Killed.— On the 25th of No- 
vember, 1763, Jonas Seely addressed a third 
letter to the Governor, in which he stated that 
three men were murdered by the Indians on the 
north side of the mountain, in the forks of the 
Schuylkill, about twenty-two miles from Read- 
ing. These men were on their way returning 
to a plantation, which they had deserted. Cap- 
tain Kern, immediately after hearing of the 
murder, marched in pursuit of the enemy for two 
days, but, a very heavy snow having fallen and 
the Indians having fled a considerable distance, 
he desisted from further pursuit upon reaching 
the place where the murder had been committed. 
This is supposed to have been the last murder 
committed in the county. 

Peace Declared. — After the French had 
receded into Canada before the advancing army 
of English soldiers, the Indians naturally fol- 
lowed their allies. Hence the cruelties here 
ceased after 1758. And when Canada was sur- 
rendered in 1760, the peace and safety of our 
community were assured. The declaration of 
peace was delayed for three years. When it was 
published in 1763, only a few Indians remained 
in the eastern section of Pennsylvania. A small 
settlement of them, who were friendly to the 
government and the inhabitants, remained at 
Shamokin ; and some families were scattered 
in different parts of the county, where they 
remained for many years afterward. 

Before the war considerable trade had been 
carried on successfully between the settlers and 
the Indians, continuing indeed without inter- 

ruption from the time of the first settlement 
till 1744, and even a decade .afterward. The 
relations had become so pleasant and firm that 
certain Indians remained iu the county unmo- 
lested during the war, and carried on their 
peaceful vocations, such as basket-making, bead- 
work, etc. ; and after the war traveling parties 
of them frequently visited the county and sold 
articles of their handiwork. 

During the French and Indian War the In- 
dians killed about one hundred and fifty, and 
captured thirty inhabitants of the county. Sev- 
eral of those who were taken captive returned 
after the war. But, strange to say, during these 
eight years, only four of the Indians were 
killed in the county. We may well ask what 
enabled the Indians to be so successful in their 
warfare against the colonial government. The 
protection afforded by the government was 
wholly inadequate. The forts were too few in 
number for the one hundred and forty miles of 
frontier which they were designed to protect ; 
they were too far apart to render assistance to 
fleeing, terror-stricken people when danger was 
upon them. But the Indians were cunning, 
fleet and enduring. They approached settle- 
ments stealthily, committed outrages, arson and 
murder, and then departed speedily. They 
were always in small parties of three, four or 
six. Being thoroughly acquainted with the 
mountains, they were enabled to escape pursuit 
by various routes. 

Persons Murdered, taken Prisoners 
and Missing.— The following persons were 
murdered by the Indians in the county during 
the "French and Indian War," the number 
being about one hundred and fifty. The exact 
number cannot be stated, because in four in- 
stances a man and his family were killed— but 
the number was not mentioned in the report. 
Twenty-seven persons were taken prisoners and 
eight were reported as missing. Many persons 
were wounded, some of whom doubtless died 
from their wounds : 


June, 1754.— Peter Geisinger, Tulpehocken. 
June, 1754.-Fred. Myers and wife, Tulpehocken. 
June, 1754,-Young girl, Tulpehocken. 
June, 1754.— Hostetter family, Bern. 
June, 1754,-Sebastian Brosius, Bethel. 



October, 1755. — Henry Hartnian, Bethel. 

October, 1755. — Two men (unknown), Bethel. 

October, 1755. — Odwaller and another unknown,' 

November, 1755. — Thirteen persons unknown, 

November, 1755. — Child, eight years old, daughter 
of a man named Cola, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Cola's wife and two children 
older, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Philip a shoemaker, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Casper Spring, Bethel. 

November, 1775. Beslinger, 2 Bethel. 

November, 1755.— Child of Jacob Wolf, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — John Leinberger, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Rudolph Candel, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Sebastian Brosius, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Six men killed, 3 Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Unknown man, a shoemaker at 
Brown's house, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — A child scalped and died, 4 

November, 1755. — A woman 5 and male child, Bethel. 

November, 1755. — Fifteen persons (excluding five 
preceding), Bethel. 

November, 1755 — Christopher Ury, Bethel. 

November, 1755. Youngman, Bethel. 

November, 1755.— Wife of Kobel, 6 Bethel. 

February, 1756. — Two children of Frederick Rei- 
chelderfer, Albany. 

February, 1756. — One man, two women and six 
children, 7 Albany. 

February, 1 756. — George Zeisloff and wife, two boys 
and a girl, Albany. 

February, 1756. — Wife of Balser Neyfong, Albany. 

March, 1756. — Peter Kluck and family, Albany. 

March, 1756. — A woman at Linderman's house, 

March, 1756.— William Yeth, Hereford. 

March, 1756. — Wife of John Krausher, Hereford. 

October, 1756. — Two married women and two boys, 8 

Possibly these two and the two immediately before are 
the same. 

2 Near by an Indian was found dead and scalped — of 
Delaware tribe — scalped by Frederick Weiser. Another 
was shot and scalped several weeks afterward. 

3 Supposed to have been soldiers. 

4 Two others also scalped, who doubtless recovered. 

5 Under this woman her babe only fourteen days old was 
found. It was alive, wrapped up in a little cushion. 

6 Four of their children were, scalped at the same time. 
They had eight children with them. Two probably died. 
The father was wounded. 

7 All killed at house of Jacob Gerhart, situate in the 
upper section of the township, commonly known as the 
'•Eck" (corner). Eight of them were burned. 

8 One of them reported as likely to die from scalping. 

November, 1756. — Wife, daughter and son-in-law of 
Philip Culmore, Albany. 

November, 1756.— Martin Fell, Albany. 

November, 1756. — Two old men, 9 Bethel. 

November, 1756. Stonebrook, Albany. 

June, 1757. — Man unknown, near Fort Henry, 

June, 1757. — Two persons near Fort Northkill, 

June, 1757. — Adam Trump, 10 Albany. 

June, 1757. — Peter Geisinger, Bethel. 

July, 1757. — Three men and four children, 11 Bethel. 
. July, 1757. — Two children near Biekel's. 

July, 1757. — Martin Jaeger and wife, 12 Greenwich. 

July, 1757. — Two children of John Krausher, 

July, 1757. — One child of A. Sechler, Greenwich. 

July, 1757. —One chi Id of Philip Eshton, Greenwich. 

July, 1757— Ten people. 13 

September, 1757. — A man shot in bed whilst sick. 

September, 1757. — Two families. 14 

April, 1758. — Jacob Lebenguth and Margaret his 
wife, Tulpehocken. 

April, 1758. — Wife and two children of Nicholas 
Geiger, Tulpehocken. 

April, 1758.— Wife of Michael Ditzeler, Tulpe- 

June, 1758. — Wife of John Frantz, Tulpehocken. , 

June, 1758. — Son of John Snabele, Tulpehocken. 

October, 1758. — A man, Bethel. 

September, 1763. — John Fincher, wife and two 
sons, Albany. 

September, 1763. — Four children at house of 
Nicholas Miller, 15 Albany. 

September, 1763. — Two children of Frantz Hubler, 

November, 1763. — Three men near forks of Schuyl- 
kill. 16 

9 Ten women and children were rescued at this place 
from the cellar of a burning building. 

10 Found with a knife and a spear (fixed to a pole four 
feet long) in his body. 

11 All murdered and scalped in one house. 

12 John Kraushaar's wife and child, Abraham Sechler's 
wife, and a child of Adam Clauss were scalped at the same 
time and badly wounded. 

13 Alluded to in Weiser's letter. Probably he referred to 
party killed in Greenwich. 

14 No number mentioned. 

is Two of Miller's children were prisoners, but were 
rescued. When rescued they were tied together, in which 
manner they had been driven along. 

16 These are supposed to have been the last persons killed 
by the Indians at this time. But during the Revolutionary 
War, in August, 1780, John Negman and his two young 
children were cruelly murdered by the Indians thirty- 
three miles from Reading on road to Shamokin; and at the 
same time a little girl was carried off. (8 Pa. Arch., 529:) 




June, 1754.— Daughter of Balser Schmidt (fifteen 
years old), Tulpehocken. 

June, 1754.— Three children of Frederick Myers 
(two boys, ten and six years old, and a girl eight 
years old), Tulpehocken. 

June, 1754. — Son of Eeichard (eight years old), 


February, 1756 — Son of Balser Neyfong, Albany. 

March, 1756.— Son of "William Yeth, Hereford. 

November, 1756. — Girl named Stonebrook, Albany. 

June, 1757. — Son of Adam Trump, Albany. 

Tune, 1757. — Young woman from near Fort Henry, 

July, 1757. — Three children from near Bickel's. 

July, 1757. — Two children at same time. 

September, 1757. — Five children. 

June, 1758. — Three children of John Frantz, Tul- 

- September, 1763. — Wife and three children of 
Frantz Hubler, Bern. 


November, 1756. — Wife and child of Martin Fell, 

November, 1756. — A boy seven years old, Albany. 

October, 1758. — Three men missing, Bethel. 

September, 1763. — Daughter of John Fincher, 

September, 1763.— Wife of Nicholas Miller, Albany. 



Revolution — Stamp Duty — Patriotic Spirit at Reading — 
Various Committees Chosen — Battle at Lexington 
awakens County — Companies from Berks County — Con- 
scientious Scruples against War — Tory Feeling in 
County — English Prisoners at Reading — Associators — 
Brigadier-General Elected— Quota of County Exceeded — 
Patriotism of Joseph Hiester — Battle of Long Island — 
Deserters. — Hessian Prisoners — Hessian Camp Sur- 
prised — Hessian Officer Drowned — Militia Refuse to 
March — Militia Returns of County — Army Supplies — 
Affairs at Reading in 1777— Conway Cabal — Duel at 
Reading — Independence Won and Peace Declared — 
Revolutionary Survivors — Continental Paper Money. 

The consternation incident to the invasion of 
the county by the Indians had not fully sub- 
sided before the inhabitants of the town came to 
be agitated about a proposed change of provincial 
government. Their opposition was active and 
the preservation of the prevailing form was 
doubtless gratifying to them. Numerous things 

were being conducted in their midst to keep 
them interested in public progress. But fol- 
lowing the "Indian Invasion," the establish- 
ment of the " District of Reading," the proposed 
change of government, the erection of the court- 
house and the opening of the public offices, 
etc., public matters one succeeding the other in 
quick succession, together with many private 
enterprises, there came a subject which developed 
a general excitement surpassing all the previous 
subjects combined. The way was unconsciously 
prepared for them by foreign legislation, and, 
though it resulted in no increased burdens, it 
stimulated the discussion and appreciation of 
personal rights to such a degree during the next 
decade as to develop in them a wonderful energy 
and combined resistance which carried them 
through suffering warfare for seven years, 
and eventually realized the establishment of au 
independent, representative government. 


Stamp Duty. — The Parliament of Great 
Britain passed an act on March 22, 1765, which 
required all instruments of writing, such as 
deeds, bonds and promissory notes, to be written 
on parchment or paper and stamped with a 
specific duty, otherwise they were to have no 
legal effect; but this measure met with such 
general opposition in Great Britain and through- 
out the American colonies, and was found to be 
so unpopular, that the act was repealed in the 
following year, February 17, 1766. 1 This oppo- 
sHion, however, led the Parliament to pass a 
declaratory act— which accompanied the repealing 
act — asserting the power over the colonies " in 

' The cheapest stamp was of the value of one shilling. 
The stamps on documents increased in value according to 
their importance. All the colonists manifested unbounded 
joy over the repeal of this odious law. 



all cases whatsoever." And then an act was 
passed which imposed a tax on tea, glass, paper 
and painters' colors imported into the colonies. 
"Legislation without representation," as this 
was, awakened in the colonies a great spirit of 
resistance ; and this grew year after year till it 
finally culminated in a violent demonstration at 
Boston in December, 1773, when certain men 
in the disguise of Indians went upon three 
vessels loaded with tea at the wharf in the night 
time and threw the tea overboard. This act led 
to the passage of the " Boston Port Bill " on the 
14th of March following, which provided that 
after the 18th of June, 1774, no person should 
load or unload any ship in that harbor. In this 
manner it was thought that the customs and 
commerce would be transferred from Boston to 
Salem. And other acts were passed in reference 
to the government of Massachusetts, the trial of 
the offenders, etc. Through these acts the people 
of Boston were visited with suffering and loss. 
But their situation won the sympathy of all the 
colonies. The colonists expressed themselves 
with disgust and rage at this treatment, and 
formed associations for their relief. 

Patriotic Spirit at Reading. — When the 
news reached Reading, in Berks County, the 
citizens manifested great excitement and sym- 
pathy. Meetings were held at which the action 
of the British government was condemned. 
These meetings were called by notices headed 
" Boston Port Bill " and posted throughout the 
town. The following report of one of these 
meetings at Reading has been preserved, and is 
presented in this connection to show what action 
the people, of the town were inspired to take, 
and what expressions they were led to make in 
the matter : 

"At a meeting of a very respectable body of free- 
holders and others, inhabitants of the county of Berks, 
at Reading, the 2d of July, 1774, Edward Biddle, 
Esq., 1 in the chair. 

'Edward Biddle was born in 1732. He entered the 
provincial army in 1764 and became an ensign. In 1759 
he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1760 he was com- 
missioned captain. Resigning from the army, he studied 
law, and, after the usual course of study, established him- 
self as a lawyer at Reading. He represented Berks County 
in the Assembly of Pennsylvania from 1767 to 1781 — 
having been Speaker in 1774. During his service he was 

" This assembly, taking into their very serious con- 
sideration, the present critical situation of American 
affairs, do unanimously resolve as follows, viz. : 

" 1. That the inhabitants of this county do 
owe, and will pay due allegiance to our rightful 
Sovereign, King George the Third. 

"2. That the powers claimed, and now attempted 
to be put into execution, by the British Parliament 
are fundamentally wrong, and cannot be admitted 
without the utter destruction of the liberties of 

"3. That the Boston Port Bill is unjust and 
tyrannical in the extreme. And that the measures 
pursued against Boston are intended to operate 
equally against the rights and liberties of the other 

" 4. That this assembly doth concur in opinion with 
their respective brethren of Philadelphia, that there 
is an absolute necessity for an immediate congress of 
the deputies of the several advices, in order to 
deliberate upon and pursue such measures as may 
radically heal our present unhappy disturbances, and 
settle with precision the rights and liberties of 

"5. That the inhabitants of this county, confiding 
. in the prudence and ability of the deputies intended 
to be chosen for the general congress, will cheer- 
fully submit to any measures which may be found 
by the said congress best adapted for the restoration 
of harmony between the mother-country and the 
colonies, and for the security and firm establishment 
of the rights of America. 

" 6. That as the people of Boston are now suffering 
in the grand and common cause of American liberty ; 

"That it is the duty of all the inhabitants to con- 
tribute to the support of the said sufferers, and that 
the committee hereafter named do open subscriptions 
for their relief. And further, that the said committee 
do lay out the amount of such subscriptions in pur- 
chasing flour and other provisions, to be sent by them 
to our said suffering brethren. 

"7. That Edward Biddle, James Reed, Daniel 
Brodhead, Henry Christ, Esqs., Christopher Schultz, 

placed upon the most important committees. In July, 1774, 
he, with seven others, was elected to represent Pennsylva- 
nia in the First Continental Congress. He was re-elected 
to Congress in December, 1774, in November, 1775, and in 
November, 1778. In January, 1775, on his way to Phila- 
delphia from Reading in a boat, he fell overboard. Through 
this accident he contracted a weakness from which he 
never recovered. He died at Baltimore, September, 5, 1779. 
"Love of country, benevolence and every manly virtue ren- 
dered him an object of esteem and admiration to all that 
knew him." He had two sons, Nicholas and Charles, the 
latter paving represented Berks County in the General 
Assembly in 1788. (See "Autobiography of Charles Bid- 
dle," pp.74, 127, 389-391.) 



Thomas Dundas and Jonathan Potts, gentlemen, be, 
and they are hereby appointed a committee to meet 
and correspond with the committees from the other 
counties of the Province." 

The thanks of the assembly were unanimously 
voted to the chairman, for the patriotic and 
spirited manner in which he pointed out the 
dangerous situation of all the American colonies, 
occasioned by the unconstitutional measures 
lately adopted by the British Parliament with 
respect to Boston ; expressing, at the same time, 
the greatest loyalty to our sovereign, and the 
most warm and tender regard for the liberties of 

There never appeared to be greater unanimity 
of sentiment upon any occasion than in the 
resolves made by the freemen of this county, 
all cordially agreeing to sacrifice every tempo- 
rary advantage for the purpose of securing 
liberty to themselves and their posterity. 

From this meeting to the close of the Revo- 
lution, the people of the town and of the county 
participated actively in all the affairs of the 
province which were conducted towards the 
establishment of independence. They were rep- 
resented by delegates at the several conferences 
held ; and they contributed their quota of men, 
money and supplies in the successful prosecu- 
tion of the war. 

Various Committees Chosen.— The depu- 
ties chosen to represent the county at the pro- 
vincial meeting, held at Philadelphia, on July 
15, 1774, were Edward Biddle, James Read, 
Daniel Broadhead, Thomas Dundas, Jonathan 
Potts and Christopher Schultz. 

Pursuant to advertisements scattered through- 
out the county, a respectable number of the inhab- 
tants met on the 5th of December, 1774, at the 
court-house, in Reading, and proceeded by bal- 
lot to the election of a committee, as recom- 
mended by Congress, when the following gen- 
tlemen were duly chosen : Edward Biddle, 
Christopher Schultz, Dr. Jonathan Potts, "Wil- 
liam Reeser, Baltzer Gehr, Michael Bright, John 
Patton, Mark Bird, John Jones, John Old, 
Sebastian Levan, George Nagel, Christopher 
Witman, Jacob Shoemaker and James Lewis. 

The Committee of Correspondence for the 
county appointed in reference to the safety of the 

colonies, etc., met at Reading on January 2, 1775, 
and unanimously agreed to the proposed Provin- 
cial Convention, to be held at Philadelphia on 
January 23, 1775, and they appointed the fol- 
lowing delegates to represent the county at the 
convention : Edward Biddle, Mark Bird, Balt- 
zer Gehr, Sebastian Levan, John Patton, Jona- 
than Potts and Christopher Schultz. 

And they also then appointed a Committee of 
Correspondence for the county, — Edward Biddle, 
Mark Bird, Jonathan Potts, William Reeser 
and Christopher Witman. 

This committee addressed a letter to the com- 
mittee of Lancaster County, dated January 5, 
1775, in which, among other things, they said : 
" When we consider that our disputes are drawing 
fast to a crisis, and that the most cordial unanimity 
is absolutely necessary for our preservation, we can- 
not doubt but that your respectable committee will 
without hesitation appoint deputies to attend the pro- 
vincial congress. The neglect of any one county 
may have the most fatal consequences. And we well 
know the pleasure it would give our enemies to see 
even the appearance of disunion at this very impor- 
tant time." 

The following letter, in reference to sheep 
and wool in the county, was circulated through- 
out the county during January, 1775 : 

"To the Farmers of Berks County : 

" Reading, January 16th, 1775. 

" The Committtee of the County of Berks having 
considered the association of the butchers of this 
town not to kill any sheep whatsoever till the first 
day of May next, take the liberty earnestly to recom- 
mend to the inhabitants of this county not to sell any 
sheep whatsoever to any butcher from Philadelphia 
or elsewhere till the first day of May. The preserv- 
ing of wool being an object of the greatest conse- 
quence, the committee flatter themselves that the far- 
mers will cheerfully observe this recommendation, 
and as the committee will meet in Reading, on Tues- 
day, the 14th day of February, if any inhabitants 
have any objections to make to the measure hereby 
recommended, such inhabitants are requested to at- 
tend the committee, to make their objections, that the 
same may be maturely considered. 

"Any person having wool which he cannot dispose 
of in the country, may bring it to the house of Mr. 
Mark Bird, in Reading, who will give fourteen pence 
per pound for any quantity. 

" By Order of the Committee. 

"Jonathan Potts, Secrrtary." ' 

1 1 American Achives, p. 1144. 



From the patriotic spirit that prevailed, this 
recommendation was doubtless observed. 

Battle at Lexington Aavakens County. 
— The battle of Lexington was fought on the 
19th of April, 1775. When the news of the 
battle reached Reading, about a week afterward, 
a company of men was formed, who wore crape 
for a cockade in token of the sorrow for the 
slaughter of their brethren. Each township in 
Berks County resolved to raise and discipline its 
company. On the 25th of April, a town meet- 
ing was called at Philadelphia, when thousands 
of the inhabitants assembled, and agreed to 
associate for the purpose of defending with arms 
their lives, their property and their liberty. 1 
This patriotic feeling prevailed at Reading and 
in the county. The following extract of a let- 
ter from Reading, dated 26th of April, 1775, 
presents it forcibly : 

" We have raised in this town two companies of 
foot under proper officers ; and such is the spirit of 
the people of this free county, that in three weeks 
time there is not a township in it that will not have 
a company raised and disciplined, ready to assert at 
the risk of their lives the freedom of America." 2 


A number of companies from Berks County 
were enlisted and served in the great struggle 
of the colonies for independence. A record of 
their respective services has not been published, 
and I have not been able to ascertain satisfact- 
orily what they did or where they served. 
This will account for the want of an introduc- 
tory narrative with the„ several rosters. The 
companies, so far as I have been able to ascer- 
tain them, were the following. I made diligent 
search amongst the records of our county 
in order to ascertain what companies were fur- 
nished by the county in this period, but I could 
not find any statement or evidence of any kind 
relating to this subject. 

Captain George Nagel, Thompson's Battalion of 

Captain Jonathan Jones, D. Haas' First Pennsyl- 
vania Battalion. 

Captain Henry Christ, Miles' regiment Pennsyl- 
vania Riflemen. 

i4 Bancroft's "Hist, of U. S.," p. 549 (Centenary Ed., 
2 2 American Archives, p. 400. 

Captain John Spohn, Magaw's Fifth Pennsylvania 

Captain Peter Decker, Magaw's Fifth Pennsylvania 

Captain John Lesher, Patton's regiment. 

Captain Jacob Moser, Harmar's Sixth Regiment 
Pennsylvania Continental Line. 

Captain Jacob Bauer, Von Ottendorff 's corps Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line. 

Captain Benjamin Weiser, Hjausegger's regiment. 

Nagel's Company of Riflemen. — On 
June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress passed 
resolutions requiring twelve companies of expert 
riflemen to be raised for the purpose of joining 
the army near Boston. Eight of these compa- 
nies were to be raised in Pennsylvania, formed 
into a battalion, and commanded by officers 
recommended by the Assembly or convention 
of the province. The officers were recom- 
mended and commissioned; and the command 
formed of these companies was called "Colonel 
Thompson's Battalion of Riflemen." Each 
company consisted of one captain, three lieuten- 
ants, four sergeants, four corporals, a drummer 
or trumpeter and sixty-eight privates. The 
pay was as follows : Captain, f 20 a month ; 
lieutenant, $13^; sergeant, $8; corporal, $7£; 
drummer, $7 J; private, $6§. 

They supplied their own arms and clothes. 
The term of enlistment was one year. 

One company in this battalion was from 
Reading. It was Captain George Nagel's. 



George Nagel, commissioned June 25, 1775 ; promoted 
major of the Fifth Battalion, Colonel Robert Ma- 
gaw, January 5, 1776. 

Morgan Conner, commissioned January 5, 1776 ; March 
9th called from camp by Congress, and sent into 
the Southern Department; afterwards lieutenant- 
colonel of Colonel Hartley's regiment. 

First Lieutenants. 
Morgan Conner, commission dated July 17, 1775 ; 

promoted captain. 
David Harris, appointed January 5, 1776. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Peter Scull, commissioned July 17, 1775 ; promoted 
captain of Third Pennsylvania Battalion, Colonel 
John Shee's, January 5, 1776. 

3 Penna. Archives (2d series), vol. x. p. 34 For his- 
tory of this battalion, see same volume, pp. 3-13. 



Benjamin Chambers, Sr., from private, Captain 
Chambers' company, January 5, 1776; subse- 
quently first lieutenant First Pennsylvania. 

Third Lieutenants. 
Peter Grubb, com. July Peter Weiser, appointed 
17, 1775 ; appointed to January 5, 1776. 

Miles' rifle regiment. 

Dr. Jonathan Potts. 
Jacob Bower, appointed John McKinty. 

quartermaster. Alexander Brannon. 

Hananiah Lincoln, see Philip Gibbons. 
Twelfth Pennsylvania. 

James Williams. Henry Senevely. 

Hugh Hughes. Casper Heiner. 

John Molay. 


Thomas Bain. 
Christopher Baldy. 
Yost Berger. 
Conrad Bourke. 
Peter Bowman. 
Peter Brough. 
James Brown. 
John Bermeter, living in 
Berks County in 1810. 
Michael Ceney. 
Casper Cool, or Kool, 
died in Berks County 
in 1807. 
John Cox. 
Robert Creed. 
William Crowley. 
Henry Deckert. 

Christian Derr, re-enlist- 
ed in old Eleventh, Col. 

Hugh Dennison. 

John Dombaugh. 

Jacob Duck. 

Jacob Elgerts. 

Jacob Ebright. 

Andrew Engel. 

Peter Felix. 

George Fisher. 

Christian Fought. 

Michael Foust. 

Lewis Franklinberry. 

George Gearhart. 

Charles Gordon. 

Daniel Gorman. 

Daniel Graff. 

John Grant. 

Abraham Griffith. 
John Grow. 
Timothy Harris. 
John Huber. 
William Jones. 
George Kemmerling. 
John Kerner, wounded at 
Lechmere Pond, Nov. 
9, 1775 ; re-enlisted in 
Sixth Pennsylvania in 
Charles Kleckner, pro- 
moted ensign of Ger- 
man Regiment. 
Nicholas Leasure. 
John Learn an. 
Casper Leib. 

Harmon Leitheiser, en- 
sign Sixth Pennsylva- 
John Lewis. 
Samuel McFarland. 
Christopher Martin. 
Michael Miller. 
Peter Mingle. 
Alexander Mogey [Mc- 

Adam Moyer. 
Christian Moyer, or Chris- 
topher Myer. 
Michael Moyer. 
Ernst Nibber [Lawrence] 
Frederick Nipple. 
Henry Orwig. 
Samuel Parks, 
Adam Pickle. 

George Spotts. 
John Stone. 
John Streker. 
Frederick Tueo. 
Abraham Umstedd. 
Philip Waggoner, of Tul- 

Nicholas Waltman. 
Christian Wander. 
John Weiser. 
Isaac Willey. 

Elias Reiger, discharged 

July 1, 1776; resided 

in Union County in 

Thomas Reilly. 
John Rewalt. 
William Robinson. 
Christian Rone. 
Nicholas Shanefelt. 
Andrew Shirk. 
Joseph Smith. 
Henry Senevely, Sr. 

A return of March, 1776, states the strength 
of the company as follows : One captain, 
three lieutenants, four sergeants, four cor- 
porals, one drummer and sixty-five privates 

In Massachusetts Campaign. — "Within 
three weeks from the time of their enlistment 
some of the companies took up their line of 
march to the Hudson River on their way to the 
army at Cambridge, Mass. During July and 
August, 1775, they passed through New Wind- 
sor — n the Hudson several miles above West 
Point. Nagel's company, from Reading, re- 
ported at headquarters, at Cambridge, on the 
18 th of July. 1 The last of the battalion arrived 
on the 18th of August. The. appearance of the 
men was described as follows : 

"They are remarkably stout and hardy men, many 
of them exceeding six feet in height. They are 
dressed in white frocks or rifle-shirts and round hats. 
These men are remarkable for the accuracy of their 
aim, striking a mark with great certainty at two hun- 
dred yards distance. At a review, while on a quick 
advance, a company of them fired their balls into ob- 
jects of seven inches diameter at the distance of two 
hundred and fifty yards. They are now stationed in 
our lines, and their shot have frequently proved fatal 
to British officers and soldiers who expose themselves 
to view even at more than double the distance of com- 
mon musket-shot." 2 

" Each man bore a rifle-barreled gun, a toma- 
hawk or small ax and a long knife, usually called 
a ' scalping-knife,' which served for all purposes 
in the woods. His underdress — by no means in 
military style — was covered by a deep ash-colored 
hunting-shirt, leggins and moccasins — if the latter 

'A letter, dated July 24, 1775, from the camp at Cam- 
bridge, stated — "The Reading Company of Kifles got into 
camp last Tuesday (18th)." 

2 Thatcher's " Military Journal of Revolution," August, 



could be procured. It was the silly fashion of those 
times for riflemen to ape the manners of savages." l 

The battalion was first actually engaged and 
sustained its first loss in killed and wounded on 
the 27th of August, whilst covering an intrench- 
ing party. Captain James Chambers, of Cum- 
berland County, described the engagement in a 
letter, dated 29th of August, as follows : 

" On the evening of the 26th instant (Saturday) I 
was ordered to draw fifty men out of each of the Cum- 
berland companies and to be ready to march at sun- 
set. I did so, and marched, without beat of drum, to 
Prospect Hill, and thence proceeded with the riflemen 
stationed there (in all about four hundred) to Ploughed 
Hill and then to the hill within three or four hundred 
yards of the enemy's strongest works, to cover a party 
of about two thousand musketmen, who were at the 
same time to entrench on Ploughed Hill. They la- 
bored hard all night and at daybreak had the redoubt 
nearly completed. The English began a heavy can- 
nonading, which continued all day. They killed one 
adjutant and one soldier with cannon and wounded 
three others with musket-balls. William Simpson, 
of Paxtou, was struck by a shot and his foot carried 

Simpson was a young man in Captain Smith's 
Company, from Lancaster County. During his 
illness he was visited and consoled by General 
Washington, in person, and by most of the offi- 
cers of rank belonging to the army. Every 
exertion was made to save him, without avail. 
He died on the 29th of August, 1775, and his 
death became a theme of common sorrow in an 
army of twelve or fourteen thousand men. He 
was the first Pennsylvania soldier who fell in 
the War of the Revolution. 2 

Jones' Company. — The campaign for the 
conquest of Canada was conducted during the 
year 1776. The company of Captain Jonathan 
Jones, of Berks County, participated in it. In 
January, 1776, he and his company, number- 
ing eighty-three men, set out upon the long 
march of six hundred miles to Canada, pro- 
ceeding by way of Easton, the Hudson River 
and Albany, and arriving at Quebec in the lat- 
ter part of March. They suffered much cold 
and sickness and endured many hardships. 

1 Description by Judge Henry, of Lancaster, who, when 
but a boy, was one of the riflemen. 

2 '' History of Lancaster County " (Everts & Peck, 1883), 
pp. 39-40. 

After their retreat from Quebec, they returned, 
at the risk of capture, and secured valuable 
papers which had been left behind. They par- 
ticipated in the battle of Three Rivers, on June 
8, 1776, and accompanied the army in its dis- 
astrous retreat to Ticonderoga. 




Jonathan Jones. 



Jacob Candy. 


Matthew Clark. 


George Alexander 

Patrick McLaughlin 

John Brown. 

Clement Merls. 

James Dagley. 

Philip 0. Miller. 

Brice Dunlap. 

Robert Murdock. 

Joseph Fullerton. 

James Murphy. 

Robert Gougher. 

Albert Pearson. 

Daniel Leary. 

Ezra Shea. 

James McCorley. 

Joseph Skelton. 

John McGregor. 

William Tennent. 

Robert McKillup. 

William Walker. 

Joseph McMuller 

i. Thomas Walters. 

Jonathan Jones was a son of David Jones, 
one of the earliest settlers of Caernarvon town- 
ship. He was born in this township in 1738. 
Upon the breaking out of the Revolution he 
raised a company of Associators in that locality, 
and was appointed a captain in the First Penn- 
sylvania Regiment of the regular Continental 
army, October 25, 1775, and ordered with his 
company to the " British Barracks," at Phila- 
delphia. He acted as part of the escort of 
Martha Washington into Philadelphia, and in 
December was ordered into Northampton Coun- 
ty, Va., to protect it against Lord Dunmore. 
The alarming state of affairs in Canada led to 
the revocation of this order, and, by command 
of Congress, he marched with his company of 
eighty-three men for Quebec, over the snow and 
" frozen lakes." This terrible mid-winter march 
consumed two months. After the precipitate 
retreat from Quebecj he voluntarily returned, 
at the risk of capture, and recovered valuable 
papers. He was with Arnold in his pursuit of 
the British, after the battle of the Cedars, and 
took part in the battle of " Three Rivers," June 

a 10 Pa. Arch. (2d ser.) 57. Roll incomplete. 



8, 1776. He shared the terrible and distressing 
sufferings of the army in its disastrous retreat to 
Ticonderoga, and underwent at that post the 
severe and exacting routine of military duty in- 
cident to its fortification and defense to resist 
the attack of General Carleton. He was stationed 
there from July 9 to November 15,. 1776. 
On October 27th the time of enlistment of his 
men ran out, but through his exertions they 
consented to remain as long as the enemy was 
in their front. After a year's active service he 
was promoted to the rank of major, October 25, 
1776, and to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment, 
which had become the second under the new 
arrangement, March 12, 1777. His constitu- 
tion was so shattered by the hardships and ex- 
posure of the campaign against Canada that he 
was obliged to return home to recruit his health 
in the winter of 1 7 7 6-7 7 . Having partially re- 
covered, he rejoined his regiment in the spring 
of 1777, the command of which devolved upon 
him after the resignation of Colonel James Ir- 
vine, June 1, 1777. Two companies of the 
regiment were then on duty in Philadelphia 
and the remainder were guarding the upper 
ferries of the Delaware. Increasing ill-health, 
however, obliged him to resign his commission 
in-the latter part of July. In December, 1778, 
he was appointed by the Assembly a commis- 
sioner under the test laws, and he was a member 
of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania from 
Berks County from October, 1779, to October, 
1780. His health continued steadily to decline, 
and he was shortly afterward stricken with 
paralysis, of which he died, after a lingering 
illness, on September 26, 1782, at the early age 
of forty-four. He was buried at Bangor Church, 
Churchtown, of which members of his family 
had been wardens and vestrymen from its 
earliest foundation. 

Christ's Company. — The following is the 
roll of Captain Henry Christ's company in 
Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, under command 
of Colonel Samuel Miles : 

Henry Christ, Jr., Berks County, March 9, 1776 ; 

resigned March 19, 1777. 

First Lieutenant. 
Daniel Topham, March 28,1776; captured August 

27, 1776 ; exchanged April 20, 1778. 

Second Lieutenant. 
Jacob Maess, March 16, 1776. 

Third Lieutenants. 
Abner Davis, March 28, 1776; resigned October 

19, 1776. 
George Gyger, from sergeant October 24, 1776. 


George Gyger, April 1, 1776 ; promoted third lieu- 
tenant October 24, 1776. 

Matthew Whitlow, April 20, 1776; missing since 
the battle, August 27, 1776. 

Jeremiah Geiss, March 29, 1776 ; missing since the 
battle, August 27, 1776. 

Adam Christ, from private; wounded, ball passing 
through his breast at Brandywine. 

Joseph Starke. 

Drum and Fife. 

Samuel Keiser. Matthias Rehrer. 

Nathan Hinkel. 

William Albert, March 29, 1776. 

Henry Alter, April 8, 1776. 

Michael Arnold. 

William Butler, April 12, 1776 ; re-enlisted in Second 

Adam Christ, March 18, 1776 ; promoted sergeant. 

Melcher Close. 

Godfry Dering, April 11, 1776. 

John English, April 22, 1776. 

Francis Fisher. 

Henry Fisher, April 11, 1776. 

Godfrey Fister, April 20, 1776. 

Henry Frederick, April 17, 1776. 

Paul Frederick, May 4, 1776 ; missing since the bat- 
tle, August 27, 1776. 

Yost Fuchs [Fox], March 23, 1776 ; missing since 
the battle, August 27, 1776. 

Hermon Geiss, April 11, 1776. 

John Green, April 9, 1776. 

Peter GrofT, April 6, 1776. 

Michael Groff. 

Valentine Gyger, of Shamokin, April 13, 1776. 

John Hambright, of Shamokin, April 15, 1776. 

Nicholas Hamm, March 26, 1776. 

William Harbert, March 24, 1776. 

Jacob Heckman. 

Yost Heck, April 2, 1776. 

George Heffner. 

John Hermon, April 8, 1776. 

Michael Hienerleiter. 

Henry Hill, March 25, 1776. 

Nathan Hinkel, April 12, 1776. 

Daniel Houseknecht, March 23, 1776. 

John Hummel, March 23, 1776. 

George Jones, April 7, 1776. 

Francis Keehl. 

Second Penna. Regt. Continental Army. 



Christian Kemmeror, May 8, 177t>. 

George Kettner, March 25, 1776. 

Christian Kreamer, April 5, 1776. 

Simon Kreisher, March 22, 1770. 

Abraham Lantsert, March 25, 177(1. 

Henry Leffler, March 24, 1776. 

George Lehnig, April 13, 1776. 

Isaac Linwill, April 9, 1776. 

Emanuel Lippert, April 5, 1776. 

John Long. 

Philip Lott, April 22, 1776. 

John Lutz, April 22, 1776. 

Gotlieb Mack. 

Simon Maderia, April 9, 1776. 

George Mengel, April 13, 1776. 

Henry Merts, April 14, 1776. 

Philip Miller. 

Joseph Muffly. 

Daniel Nitterhous, April 8, 1776. 

John Nothstein. 

Frederick Poust [Boust], March 22, 1776. 

Matthias Rehrer, April 10, 1776. 

Charles Reichard, April 3, 1776. 

Jacob Reiff, March 26, 1776. 

Jacob Riegle. 

David Seebold. 

Yost Seyler, April 28, 1776 ; resided in Centre County 

in 1830. 
Adam Shaffer, April 22, 1776. 
Joseph Stark, May 14, 1776. 
Adam Streckdefinger. 
Frederick Struble, April 26, 1776. 
Peter Treher, March 25, 1776. 
Christian Walk, April 6, 1776. 
John Weaver, April 7, 1776 ; discharged January 1, 

1778 ; resided near Germantown in 1821. 
John Weidman, April 10, 1776. 
Henry Weiss. 
George Whitman, March 24, 1776 ; his wife, Maria, 

shared with him the fatigues of army life; died 

in 1823. 
Michael Wissler. 
Henry Wolf, April 8, 1776. 
George Zenig. 
Philip Zott. 

Spohn's axd Decker's Companies. — In the 
Fifth Pennsylvania Battalion, under the com- 
mand of Colonel Robert Magavv, there were 
two companies from Berks County, one from 
Reading, Captain John Spohn's; 1 and the 
other, mostly composed of men from the county, 
Captain Peter Decker's. 2 

1 Penna. Arch. (2d ser.), vol. a. p. 151. 

2 Same, p. 155. For history of battalion, see same volume, 
pp. 103 and 137. 


[This roll is incomplete.] 
Enlisted at Reading, Pa. On the 28th of May, 
1776, his company, officers and men, numbered seventy- 


John Spohn, Reading, commissioned January 5, 1776 ; 
resigned November 4, 1776. 

First Lieutenant. 
John Morgan, Philadelphia, commissioned January 
6, 1776 ; taken August 16, 1776 ; same day pro- 
moted captain, vice Miller, killed June 1, 1778, 
became supernumerary; exchanged August 26, 

Second Lieutenant. 

William Stanley, commissioned January 8, 1776 ; 
taken August 16th; same day promoted first lieut- 
enant ; exchanged August 25, 1780. 
John Gansel, commissioned January 8, 1776. 

Sergeant- Major. 
Enoch Wright, appointed November 16, 1776. 

Jacob Vanderslice, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Adam Ruth. 


Henry Vanderslice, Reading, taken November 16; 

1776 ; residing at Sunbury, 1792. 
Henry Goodheart, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
James Campbell, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 


Jacob Albert, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 

John Allison, subsequently sergeant-major of Fourth 

John Barnhest, taken November 16, 1776; paroled 
December 26, 1776. 

Richard Barington, Cecil County, Md., taken No- 
vember 16, 1776. 

Anthony Bishop, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 
paroled December 26, 1776. 

George Cole, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 
paroled December 26, 1776 ; residing in Berks 
County, 1811. 

William Collins, taken November 16, 1776. 

Timothy Carney, Cecil County, Md., taken November 
16, 1776 ; paroled December 26, 1776. 

Dennis Calaghan, enlisted June 1, 1776. 

Valentine Dengler, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 

Peter Duck, Philadelphia, taken November 16, 1776. 

William Fletcher, Cecil County, Md., taken Novem- 
ber 16, 1776 ; paroled December 26, 1776. 

Henry Goodhart, residing at Sunbury, 1791. 

Christopher Havener, Reading, taken November 16, 

George Heilman, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 
paroled December 27, 1776, 



CHristian Holick, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Jacob Hausknecht, Reading, taken November 16, 

George Hoffner, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

paroled December 27, 1776. 
Martin Link, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Nicholas Mann, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

paroled December 26, 1776. 
George Marshal, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Jacob Miller, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; re- 
enlisted in Colonel Hartley's regiment; discharged 

1781 ; died in Walker township, Centre County, 

1822, aged sixty -seven. 
Peter Miller, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

paroled December 26, 1776. 
John Nair, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
John Rangier, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Michael Raume, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
John Rheam, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
Michael Selser, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 
John Shelson, Cecil County, Md., taken November 

16, 1776. 
Michael Whitmer, taken November 16, 1776 ; residing 

in Cumberland County, 1809. 
George Whitmire, Reading, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

died in New York, two days before exchange. 
Benjamin Ziegler, Reading, taken November 16, 

Michael Zurn, Reading, taken November 16, 1776. 

On May 26, 1776, Decker's company num- 
bered eighty-six officers and men. Decker was 
from Reading ; commissioned January 5, 1776 ; 
taken prisoner November 16, 1776 ; broke his 
parole, and resigned February 1, 1777. 

In a return dated October 7, 1776, Spohn's 
company was reported to have had seventy 
officers and men, of whom fifteen were sick and 
absent, and Decker's seventy-four, of whom 
nine were sick and absent. On November 15th 
following, Spohn's had one first lieutenant, one 
second lieutenant, four sergeants, and of rank 
and file, twenty present fit for duty, and nine- 
teen sick, present; and Decker's had one captain, 
first lieutenant and second lieutenant, each, four 
sergeants, two drum and fife, and rank and file 
thirty-seven present fit for duty, and six sick, 


[This roll is incomplete.] 
Peter Decker, Reading, commissioned January 5 
1776 ; taken November 16, 1776 ; broke his par- 
ole; resigned February 2, 1777. 

First Lieutenant. 
Charles Phile, Philadelphia, commissioned January 
6, 1776; taken November 16th; promoted cap- 
tain February 1, 1777; exchanged August 26, 
1778 ; became supernumerary. 

Second Lieutenant. 
John Rudolph, Darby, Chester County, commissioned 
January 8, 1776; taken November 16th; promoted 
to first lieutenant February 1, 1777 ; exchanged 
October 25, 1780. 


James Mulloy, commissioned January 8, 1776. 

James Forsythe, Cumru, Berks County, taken No- 
vember 16, 1776. 

Michael Gabby, New London, Chester County, taken 
November 16, 1776; paroled December 26, 1776. 

Christopher Weiser, residing in Buffalo township, 
Union County, 1792. 

Philip Duck, Cocalico, Lancaster County, taken No- 
vember 16, 1776 ; paroled December 26, 1776. 

Abraham Brosious, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776. 
Michael Burkhart, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

died in prison. 
Jacob Cherchner, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776; 

died in prison. 
Andrew Cook, Darby, taken November 16, 1776. 
Leonard Dell, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776 ; 

died in Penn township, Snyder County, 1792. 
James Finerty, Mildrick, Del., taken November 16, 

Robert Fry, Philadelphia, taken November 16, 1776. 
George Huber, taken November 16, 1776; residing 

in Dauphin County, 1806. 
George Huber, taken November 16, 1776; residing 

in Dauphin County, 1807. 
Anthony Lehman; Pennsylvania pension, York 

County, in 1818, aged sixty-five. 
Peter Moyer, taken at Fort Washington ; exchanged 

1778 ; re-enlisted in Captain Bankson's company. 
Matthias Spang, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776; 

paroled December 26, 1776. 
Leonard Strow, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776. 
Edward Welsh, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776. 
Jacob Young, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776; 

paroled December 26, 1776. 
Michael Zeller, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776; 

residing in Dauphin County in 1807. 
John Zuier, Cumru, taken November 16, 1776; died 

in prison. 

Lesher's Company.— The following is a 
copy of the roster of a company from Berks 
County which served during the campaign com- 



mencing with the battle of Long Inland (dated 
Perth Amboy, August 27, 1776) : 


John Patton. 

First Major. 

Joseph Thornburgh. 

Second Major. 

Christian Lower. 

Staff Adjutant. 

Henry Spyker. 

Quarter -master. 

George Lechner. 


John Lesher. 

First Lieutenant. 

Jacob Rehrer. 

Second Lieutenant. 

John Anspach. 

Jacob Bortner. 


Valentine Beuler. 
Francis Zeller. 

Wm. Eichberger. 
Conrad Sherman. 

Philip. Eichberger. Peter Weis. 

Henry Krum. Jacob Read. 


Andrew Zeller. 


John Weis. 


Ludwig Wirtenberger. 
Lorentz Wolfe. 
George Fisher. 
John Gebhart. 
Peter Mayer. 
John Reinhart. 
Jacob Megant. 
George Brobst. 
Christian Emerich. 
Baltzer Houtz. 
Frederick Young. 
Michael Katterman. 
Nicholas Stouch. 
Peter Forney. 
Conrad Wentzel. 
Samuel Read. 
Jacob Hitzman. 

Baltzer Noll. 
John Teisinger. 
Philip Weber. 
Henry Snyder. 
Jacob Brown. 
Godfried Seltzer. 
Nicholas Teisinger. 
Hieronymus Schrift. 
Nicholas Smith. 
Ludwig Ohrenbaum. 
George Paffinger. 
Leonard Emerich. 
Abraham Snyder. 
Peter Pontius. 
Nicholas Bressler. 
Henry Sterner. 

"Rations furnished to Colonel Patton's Regiment, 
at Womelsdorf, 1068. 

" Record of March to Long Island. 
" At Womelsdorf, from August 1st to 9th, getting 
cloth for tents and making tents. August 11, marched 
at 12 M. from Womelsdorf to Sinking Spring, nine 
miles. August 12, to Reading, five miles, and detain- 
ed there by Committee 13th and 14th. August 15, 
inarched to Levan's (Kutztown), eighteen miles. 
August 16, to Bethlehem, twenty-four miles. August 
17, to Straw's Tavern, fifteen miles. Next day, Sun- 
day, remained there, raining all day. August 19th, 
inarched to South Branch of Raritan River, twenty 
miles. August 20th, to ' Punch Bowl,' twenty miles. 
August 21st, to Boneantown, seventeen miles ; and on 
22d arrived at Perth Amboy, seven miles ; total dis- 
tance marched, one hundred and thirty-five miles.'' 

Mosee's Company. — The following is the 
roll of Captain Jacob Moser's company in Sixth 
Pennsylvania Regiment of Continental Line : 

Jacob Moser, February 15, 1777. 

First Lieutenants. 
George Will, Berks County, February 14, 1777 ; had 
been eleven years in Prussian and English ser- 
vice ; left the regiment October 7, 1777. 
Samuel Smith, October 8, 1777. 

Second Lieutenants. 
Samuel Smith, promoted October 8, 1777, first lieu- 
Farquhar McPherson, October 8, 1777. 

Ernest Greese, February 15, 1777. 

Peter Sackville, April 30, 1777. 
John Albright, March 26, 1777. 
John Gallagher, April 30, 1777. 

Dennis Carroll. 


Dennis Carroll, April 28, 1777. 

Jacob Boyer, March 10, 1777 (three years). 


Jacob Busvalt. 


Francis Parvin, April 28, 1777. 


William Adam, Maxatawny, June 9, 1778 (three 

Martin Armfighter, April 30, 1777. 
Charles Bates, May 1, 1777. 
John Barnhart, April 10, 1777. 
Jacob Bower, April 25, 1777. 
Samuel Boyer, March 10, 1777. 
John Boyd, April 12, 1777; missing June 26, 1777. 
Edward Brown, March 13, 1777. 



George Camp, Maxatawny, June 28, 1778 (three 

John Casedy, Maxatawny, June 9, 1778 (three 

Adam Decker, Maxatawny, July 9, 1778. 
James Dietrick, Maxatawny, May 15, 1778 (three 

John Dumb, April 2, 1777. 
Phineas Eachey, September 18, 1777. 
David Gibson, March 8, 1777. 
Jacob Glasmire, May 3, 1777. 
John Glasmire, May 8, 1777. 
Ludwick Guthbroad, Reading, May 28, 1778. 
John Hawkins, May 11, 1778 (three years). 
John Herman, March 10, 1777. 
Henry Hopper, May 1, 1777 ; transferred to artillery 

in October, 1777. 
John Howard, Reading, July 27, 1778 (three years). 
Daniel Keel, May 5, 1778. 
Henry Kelchner, Maxatawny, May 11, 1778 (three 

John Kerner, March 10, 1777; promoted sergeant 

(see general list). 
Casper Knorr, Maxatawny, May 19, 1778 (three 

Conrad Kline, Maxatawny, March 12, 1778 (three 

John Leslie, February 23, 1777 (for three years). 
Jacob Leimmes (Lemer), May 5, 1777. 
James Mathews, Reading, April 25, 1778. 
John Metz, April 22, 1777. 
Adam Meyer, Maxatawny, May 5, 1778 (three 

Thomas Mitchell, May 17, 1777. 
Isaac Muller. 

Jacob Oswald, April 30, 1777. 
Thomas Pickworth, Reading, May 7, 1778. 
Abraham Py ke, Reading, May 7, 1778. 
John Reedy, April 5, 1777. 
Daniel Reel, May 5, 1777. 
John Roland, Maxatawny, April 30, 1778. 
Balther Sheaf, May 1, 1777. 
Jacob Schrader, Maxatawny, May 15, 1778 (three 

Michael Stainer, May 3, 1777. 

Philip William Stewart, Maxatawny, June 17, 1778. 
Peter Ulrick, May 8, 1778. 
Peter Wendland, May 4, 1777 ; missing September 11, 

Jacob Wetzel, Maxatawny, July 16, 1778 (three 

Jacob Welrick, March 30, 1777 (for three years). 

James Wilson, May 5, 1777. 

George Wright, Maxatawny, June 30, 1778 (for three 

Jacob Young, Sr., pioneer, April 1, 1777. 
Jacob Young, Jr., April 27, 1777. 
Michael Zern, Maxatawny, June 9, 1778 (three 


(Those not marked three years were enlisted " dur- 
ing the war"). 

Bauer's and Weiser's Companies. — These 
two companies were also doubtless from Berks 
County. The following is the roll of Captain 
Jacob Bauer's company in Von Attendorff's 
corps, Continental Line : 


Jacob Bauer. 1 

First Lieutenant. 

Lewis Aug. de Mechtritz. 

Second Lieutenant. 

John Sharp. 

George Bamberg. Jacob Young. 


Andrew Hornberg. John Mannerson. 


Andrew Ransier. 

Charles Butner. 
George Eirich. 
Charles Feidler. 
Jacob Fernecorn. 
John Geisel. 
John Geo. Klein. 
Jonathan Lynch. 
John Mitchell. 


John G. Neimrich. 
John Pattis. 
Andrew Rebourg. 
William Roch. 
Jacob Shafer. 
Adam Sypert. 
John Shepherd. 
John Walch. 

The following is the roll of Captain Benjamin 
Weiser's company, in German Begiment, com- 
manded by Colonel Nicholas Haussegger. . Cap- 
tain Weiser resided in Heidelberg township and 
was a son of Conrad Weiser : 


Benjamin Weiser. 

First Lieutenant. 

Jacob Bower. 2 

Second Lieutenant. 

Frederick Yeiser. 

Jacob Kreamer. 
Charles Glichner, July 10, 1776. 
Stewart Herbert, July 15, 1776. 

1 Also spelled Bower. 

2 A resident of Heidelberg township. In a deed on rec- 
ord his name is spelled Bauer. He was promoted to cap- 



John Benkler, August 15, 1776. 
Joseph Miller, August 19, 1776. 


Nicholas Waldman, July 10, 1776. 
George Price, July 14, 1776. 
Conrad Eahn, August 15, 1776. 

William Marx, July 25, 1776. 

Adam Bush, July 12, '76 ; disch. Sept. 16, '76. 

John Barnheisell, July 22, 1776. 
John Bishop, July 28, 1776. 
John Christman, August 6, 1776. 
John Derr, August 25, 1776. 
George Fick, July 10, 1776. 
John Heier, July 25, 1776. 
John Henry, August 12, 1776. 
Casper Kealer, August 23, 1776. 
Philip Killmar, July 14, 1776. 
Peter Lesher, August 15, 1776. 
John Lorash, August 6, 1776. 
Joseph Mast, July 19, 1776. 
John Maurst, August 15, 1776. 
Eberhart Mayer, August 27, 1776. 
Jacob Mickley, September 1, 1776. 
Baltzer Newfang, July 15, 1776. 
John Portner, August 3, 1776. 
Abr. Price, August 9, 1776. 
John Eazor, July 24, 1776. 
Michael Eiegel, July 20, 1776. 
Martin Eeiskell, August 6, 1776. 
Joseph Eomick, August 6, 1776. 
Adam Eosemeisell, July 12, 1776. 
Peter Shiffer, July 12, 1776. 
Benj. Servey, July 19, 1776. 
Henry Seyfert, July 22, 1776. 
Jacob Smith, July 21, 1776. 
John Snyder, August 16, 1776. 
Frederick Spire, July 15, 1776. 
Adam Stull, July 20, 1776. 
Peter Toney, August 2, 1776. 
Frederick Trester, July 26, 1776. 
Conrad Treywitz, August 18, 1776. 
John Tudro, July 15, 1776. 
William Wallman, July 27, 1776. 
Philip Warley, July 22, 1776. 
Christopher Weigle, July 28, 1776. 
Frederick Williams, August 9, 1776. 
Vincent Williams, August 19, 1776. 
Michael Yeisley, August 9, 1776. 

The following is the roster of the Berks 
County regiment in the Revolution, August 27, 

First Battalion. — Colonel, Daniel Hunter; Lieuten 
ant-Colonel, Jacob Boyer ; Major, Martin Kercher 
Adjutant, Philip Berlet; Chaplain, Jacob Michael 
Quartermaster, Isaac Feeder; Surgeon, Dan'l Velcher 
Captains, Conrad Geist, Joseph McMurray, Charles 
Krause, John Lesher, Jacob Whetstone, Christopher 
Foulke; Lieutenant, Henry Knauss. 

Second Battalion. — Colonel, Daniel Udree; Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel, John Guldin ; Adjutant, George 
Eelhm ; Surgeon, John Umstead ; Surgeon's Mate, 
Thomas Kerlin ; Quartermaster, Conrad Foose ; Cap- 
tains, Stephen Krumrein, John Eeitmeyer, George 
Battorf, John Eisington, Peter Smith, Conrad Minich; 
Lieutenant, Joseph Colier. 

Third Battalion. — Colonel, Michael Lindemuth ; 
Captains, Sebastian Lentz, Daniel Deturck, Jacob 
Eothermel, David Strouse, Sebastian Miller, Jacob 
Shartly, George Souter, George Beaver ; Lieutenants, 
Daniel Womelsdorf, Francis Umbehacker, William 
Williams, Philip Boenig. 

Fourth Battalion. — Colonel, Joseph Hiester; Cap- 
tains, Sebastian Emerick, Peter Nagle, George Grant, 
Conrad Weiser; Lieutenants, Isaiah Davis, Jacob 

Fifth Battalion. — Lieutenant-Colonel, Geo. Miller ; 
Captains, Michael Bretz, George Eeihm ; Lieutenants, 
Kerper, Joseph Talbot. 

Sixth Battalion. — Colonel, Henry Spyker ; Cap- 
tains, Michael Vogge, Jacob Ehoads, Jacob Shap- 
pell, Henry Weaver, Conrad Eckert, Jacob Hill. 

Seventh and Eighth Battalions. — Colonel, Jacob 
Weaver; Major, John Cinte; Adjutant, Leonard Ger- 
ber; Captains, Daniel Eeif, John Eagner, Ferdinand 
Eitter, Philip Creek, David Morgan, Jacob Kremer, 
Philip Filbert, Conrad Mingle ; Wagonmaster, John 
German; Sergeant, James Lone; Ensign, John Kidd. 

Captain Joseph Hiester's Company. — 
Joseph Hiester raised a company of eighty men 
at Reading about June, 1776, and commanded 
it in the battle of Long Island. No record of 
this company has been preserved. 

Captain Jacob Mauree's Company. — 
Jacob Maurer also raised a company of men at 
Reading, and it was also engaged in the battle 
of Long Island, but no roll of it has been pub- 

Captain Jacob Livingood's Riflemen. — 
By the colonial records it would appear that 
Jacob Livingood, of Middletown (Womelsdorf), 
had formed a company of riflemen in Heidelberg 
township during the latter part of September, 
1781, who were enlisted to serve till the succeed- 
ing January. He was appointed captain of this 
company. I could not find the roster. They 



performed service, and the Executive Council 
passed orders in January, 1782, to satisfy them. 

Other Teoops from County. — On No- 
vember 18, 1777, Morgan reported that he had 
sent to camp four hundred militia, out of the 
Fifth and Sixth Classes, under the command of 
Colonel Henry Spyker. 

In January, 1 778, General Washington recom- 
mended that Captain Edward Scull recruit one 
hundred and fifty men in Berks County for the 
battalion of the State in the Continental 

Jacob Morgan reported to Council, on the 16th 
of August, 1778, that he had sent from Berks 
County, pursuant to orders, one hundred and 
eighty men, including officers, to Sunbury, and 
one hundred and twenty-three to Easton. He 
also reported, on the 26th of June, 1780, that 
he had sent to Philadelphia a company of 
twenty-five men with a muster-roll, — these hav- 
ing been raised as volunteers in Berks County. 

The Fifth Regiment of Infantry in the 
Pennsylvania Line was ordered on the 23d of 
January, 1781, to be recruited at Reading. And 
on the 30th of January following an order for 
five hundred pounds was drawn to Henry 
Christ for enlisting men into this regiment. 

Valentin eEckert (lieutenant of Berks County) 
reported to President Reed, on the 8th of Oc- 
tober, 1781, that he had sent to Newtown, 
Bucks County, upwards of three hundred men, 
exclusive of officers. Three companies were 
composed of Berks County men — two of which 
were armed, the other was not armed — and 
three more companies were then forming. 

In August, 1782, the Indians invaded Berks 
County, and the lieutenant of the county was 
required to call into service a lieutenant and en- 
sign with twenty-five men for the defense of 
the frontiers of the county. Shortly afterward 
he was ordered to send fifty men to defend the 
frontiers of Berks County in parts adjacent to 
Northumberland County, and thence to march 
to Sunbury, where they were to be placed under 
the command of Colonel Samuel Hunter. And 
in September following he was ordered to call 
into service immediately one hundred and 
twenty-five of the county militia, who were to 
march to Northumberland, and rendezvous at 

Muncy. On the 2d of October, 1784, a de- 
tachment of fifty men out of Berks County 
militia was ordered to be sent to Wyoming to 
quiet the disturbances there and support the civil 

Daniel Broadhead was born probably in Al- 
bany, N. Y., 1725. In 1738 his father migrated 
to Pennsylvania, and- settled in Monroe County, 
now East Stroudsburg. He grew up in a frontier 
settlement. Their house was attacked by In- 
dians in 1755. In 1771 he removed to Read- 
ing, and soon afterward was appointed deputy- 
surveyor under John Lukens, surveyor-general. 
In July, .1775, he was appointed a delegate 
from Berks County to the Provincial Convention 
at Philadelphia. In March, 1776, he was ap- 
pointed lieutenant-colonel of Miles' rifle regi- 
ment ; and in October following he was trans- 
ferred to the Third Pennsylvania Battalion, 
known as Shee's. He was then promoted to col- 
onel of Eighth Pennsylvania Continental Line, 
March 12, 1777, to rank from September 29, 
1776. He joined this regiment in April, 1776; 
and in January, 1781, he was transferred to the 
First Pennsylvania Line, and he was still colo- 
nel of the regiment in September, 1783. Upon 
the capture of Colonel Miles, at the battle of 
Long Island, the command of the remainder of 
the battalion devolved upon him ; and he was, 
in fact, after the battle, in command of the 
whole Pennsylvania contingent, being then the 
senior officer remaining in the army ; shortly 
afterward he went home on sick-leave, and 
when he rejoined the army it was as colonel of 
the Eighth Regiment. He made some import- 
ant treaties with the Indians, and for this he 
expected to be ordered to move into the Indian 
country, but he was disappointed, the command 
having been given to Colonel Clark, a Virginia 
officer. The war having then been virtually 
ended he was not assigned to any command. It 
is believed that he received the appointment of 
brigadier-general before the close of the war. 
In 1789 he represented Berks County in the 
General Assembly and participated in the im- 
portant discussion relating to the alteration and 
ammendment of the Constitution of 1776. He 
voted in the affirmative. Subsequently, in the 
same year, when the Assembly reconvened, he 



voted for the calling of a convention to amend 
the Constitution. In 1789 he received the ap- 
pointment of surveyor-general of Pennsylvania, 
which he held for eleven years. He then re- 
moved to Milford, Pike County, Pa., where he 
died November 15, 1809. He was twice mar- 
ried, his first wife having been Elizabeth Depin, 
and his second the widow of Governor Thomas 

William Adams, of Maxatawny, private, Sixth Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, in Humphrey's com- 
pany, September, 1778 ; resided in Henry County, 
Ky., 1832, aged eighty-six years. 
Matthias Babb, the first private who enlisted in Cap- 
tain Hiester's company ; was a tall, well-propor- 
tioned and handsome man, and a coppersmith by 
occupation at Beading ; he died in 1825, at an 
advanced age. 
Matthias Baughter, sergeant, Captain Scull's com- 
pany, in Fourth Pennsylvania Continental Line ; 
enlisted in 1777 ; discharged January, 1781 ; re- 
sided in Berks County, 1814. 
David Bloom, private, German Kegiment, Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, August 8, 1776 ; three 
Detner (Botmire) Bonser, private Second Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line, from German Regi- 
ment; discharged January 14, 1781; died in 
Brecknock, Berks County, 1790. 
Jacob Botamer, private, German Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, August, 1776, in Cap- 
tain Bergen's company ; wounded at Trenton, 
N. J., January, 1777 ; resided in Westmoreland 
County, 1813. 
Jacob Bower, Reading, quartermaster, Thompson's bat- 
talion of riflemen ; lieutenant January 18, 1776 ; 
afterward captain in Plying Camp ; captain 
Sixth Pennsylvania Continental Line February 
15, 1777 ; transferred to Second Pennsylvania 
Continental Line January 1, 1783 ; died in Berks 
County, 1822. 
Edward Burd, major, First Pennsylvania Line. 
Peter Cryolick, private, Von Heer's dragoons Conti- 
nental Line ; pensioner. 
Sebastian Cunitz, Reading, private, Von Heer's 

dragoons, Continental Line, April 1, 1780. 
Peter Decker, captain, Sixth Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line ; prisoner of war. 
Samuel Dewees, captain in the Eleventh Regiment, 
superintendent of certain hospitals ; died at Al- 
lentown, 1777. 
Samuel Dewees, fifer in Eleventh Regiment, enlisted 
when a boy fifteen years old ; born at "Reading 
Furnace," Heidelberg township, in 1760 ; son of 
Captain Samuel Dewees. 
Jacob Dodridge, private, Hazen's regiment, Conti- 
nental Line, December 4, 1776 ; discharged at 

end of war, June 20, 1783, with two wounds in his 
arm; resided in Berks County, 1835, aged ninety., 

John Dougan, of Cumru, private, Fourth Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line; died 1787 and left a' 
widow, net Mary Evans. 

David Edgar, private, Second Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line; died in Berks County January 15, 
1822, aged seventy-one years. 

Michael Engle, sergeant, Nicholas' company Artillery 
Artificers, Continental Line. 

Andrew Fox, private, Von Heer's dragoons Conti- 
nental Line , pensioner. 

David Fox, Reading, trumpeter Von Heer's dra- 
goons Continental Line, 1778; pensioner; in 
Berks County, 1835, aged sixty-nine years. 

Jacob Fox, Reading, private, Von Heer's dragoons 
Continental Line, 1778 ; pensioner. 

George Fricker, private, Von Heer's dragoons, Con- 
tinental Line ; resided in Reading, 1787 ; pen- 

Peter Fricker, private. Von Heer's dragoons, Conti- 
nental Line ; pensioner ; died in Berks County, 
1827, aged sixty-two years. 

Stephen Gilbert, private, Third Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line; died in Berks County November 8, 
1819, aged sixty-three years. 

Jacob Glassmire, private, Second Pennsylvania Con- 
tinental Line, also private Sixth Pennsylvania 
Continental Line; resided in Berks County, 1835, 
aged eighty-one years. 

John Gohoon, corporal, German Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, August 6, 1776. 

John Gonter, farrier, First Partisan Legion, Conti- 
nental Line, May 27, 1782, for eighteen months. 

Frederick Graff, private, Von Heer's dragoons, Con- 
tinental Line; resided in Berks County, 1787 ; 

Adam Grawley, private, Artillery Artificers ; resided 
in Berks County, aged seventy-seven years. 

Ernest Greese, ensign, Sixth Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line February, 1778 ; captured at Short 
Hills and made his escape ; served in Royal 
American Regiment in French War; became 
supernumerary 1778; resided at Reading, 1814. 

Ludwig Gutbreath, ofReading, private, Sixth Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line. 

Andrew Hagar, German Regiment Pennsylvania 

Continental Line. 
Thomas Hartley, colonel, Eleventh Pennsylvania 
Continental Line January 15, 1777 ; previously 
of Sixth Battalion ; he was born near Reading 
September 7, 1748, and removed to York, Pa., 
when eighteen years old ; he there studied law 
and was admitted to the bar s 1769. He was a 
prominent representative man in York till his 
decease in 1800. 
Jacob Hartman, private, Captain Douglass' company 
wounded above knee at Brandywine and dis- 
charged 1779 ; resided at Reading, 1792. 



William Henderson, captain, Fourth Pennsylvania 
Continental Line; from lieutenant May 16, 1778, 
succeeding Captain Edward Scull. 

John Herman, private, Hazen's regiment, Continen- 
tal Line ; resided in Berks County, 1812. 

John Hess, private, Captain Bower's company, Sixth 
Pennsylvania Continental Line, April 28, 1777. 

John George Hiller, Reading, trumpeter, Von Heer's 
dragoons, Continental Line, January 1, 1778. 

Jacob Holder, private, Second Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line ; wounded at Brandywine ; resided in 
Berks County, 1820, aged seventy-five years. 

William James, a Revolutionary survivor, died on 
the 24th of February, 1850, in the ninety-third 
year of his age. 

Henry Kalkner, Maxatawny, private, Harmar's com- 
pany, Sixth Pennsylvania Continental Line, Sep- 
tember, 1778. 

Peter Keplinger, private, Captain Davis' company, 
Ninth Pennsylvania Continental Line, 1777; 
discharged February, 1780, time expired. 

John Kerner, sergeant, Captain Nagle's company ; 
re-enlisted in Captain Moser's company ; wounded 
October, 1777, and lost two fingers; transferred 
to Captain Finney's company; discharged 1781; 
died in Union County, 1829, aged eighty-four 

John Keim, private, Captain Peter Nagle's company, 
in Colonel Joseph Hiester's regiment. 

Francis King, private, First Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line; died in Berks County, July 3, 1825, aged 
eighty-five years. 

Samuel Kline, private, First Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line, January 1, 1777; January 18, 1781; re- 
sided in Berks County, 1834, aged seventy-four 

Adam Koch, private, Armand's Legion, Continental 
Line ; died in Berks County, 1827. 

Herman Leitheiser, of Reading, ensign, Sixth Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, February, 1777 ; died 
in Berks County February 11, 1829, aged seventy- 
seven years. 

Michael Lenig, of Bethel, private, Seventh Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line. 

William Marks,. Reading, drummer in Selin's com- 
pany, Von Ottendorfs corps, Continental Line, 
March 21, 1777. 

James Matthews, Reading, private, Sixth Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line. 

Alex. McQuillon, private, Captain Scull's company 
and transferred to Tenth Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line. 

John Mears, of Reading, captain, Fourth Pennsylva- 
nia Continental Line, July 3, 1777; served till 
May 26, 1778 ; resided in Reading 1781 ; com- 
manded Captain Tudor's company till his return 
from captivity. 

Peter Meyer, Heidelberg, private, German Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Continental Line. 

Jacob Miller, Reading, private, Captain Spohn's com- 
pany, Fifth Pennsylvania Continental Line; died 
in Centre County, 1823, aged seventy years. 

Abel Morris, second lieutenant; from lieutenant of 
Flying Camp to Second Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line, 1777; became supernumerary. 
Frederick Miiller, Reading, private, Von Heer's dra- 
goons, Continental Line, August 1, 1780. 
Wm. Muneback, private, Artillery Artificers; resided 
in Berks County, 1835, aged seventy-three years. 

George Nagel, major in Magaw's Fifth Pennsylvania 
Battalion, commissioned January 5, 1776; lieute- 
nant-colonel Ninth Pennsylvania Continental 
Line, October, 1776, to rank from August, 1776 ; 
promoted colonel Tenth Pennsylvania Battalion, 
February, 1778 ; became supernumerary July 1, 

Philip Nagle, private, First Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line; resided in Berks County, 1835, aged 
eighty-one years. 

Dr. Bodo Otto, Reading, hospital physician, Septem- 
ber 30, 1780. 

John Pearson, Reading, first lieutenant Eleventh 
Pennsylvania Continental Line, 1776 ; promoted 
captain September 7, 1777 ; transferred to Ninth 
Pennsylvania July 1, 1778. 

Abraham Pike, Reading, private, Sixth Pennsylvania 
Continental Line; resided in Luzerne County 

Thomas Pikeworth, Reading, private, Sixth Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line. 

Dr. Jonathan Potts, Reading, surgeon, Canada De- 
partment, 1776; deputy division-general North- 
ern Department, April 11, 1777 ; resigned. 

Daniel Rightmyer, Reading, private, Von Heer's 
dragoons, Continental Line, 1778. 

John Roland, Maxatawny, private, Sixth Pennsylva- 
nia Continental Line. 

Jacob Ruppert, private, Von Heer's dragoons, Conti- 
nental Line, August, 1778; resided in Berks 
County, 1831. 

Edward Scull, of Reading, captain, Fourth Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line; from Adjutant of Colo- 
nel Haller's battalion, Flying Camp, January 3, 
1777; resigned May 16, 1778, and appointed sec- 
retary of Board of War. 

Peter Scull, captain in Shee's Third Pennsylvania 
Battalion, commissioned January 4, 1776; ap- 
pointed brigadier major March 23, 1776. 

Charles Shumann, Reading, private, Von Heer's Dra- 
goons, Continental Line, April 1, 1780. 

John Smeltzer, Tulpehocken, private, German Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Continental Line, February, 

Conrad Smith, private, Third Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line, February 29, 1777 ; died Oct. 15, 1778 ; 
his widow, Elizabeth, resided at Reading, 1794. 

Henry Snyder, Reading, private, German Regiment, 
Pennsylvania Continental Line, July, 1776. 



Henry Swetzgay, private, German Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line ; died in Berks County, 
1825, aged seventy-seven years. 

Frederick Tisius, Reading, private, Von Heer's dra- 
goons, Continental Line, March 15, 1780. 

Bartholomew Von Hear, Reading, captain, Provincial 
Guard Dragoons, Continental Line ; removed 
with family from Berks County, in 1785, to near 
Falls of Schuylkill, Philadelphia County. 

Michael Wallizer, of Heidelberg, private, Captain 
Scull's company, Fourth Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line; transferred to Third Pennsylvania, 1781. 

John Weidman, private, German Regiment, Pennsyl- 
vania Continental Line, August, 1776 ; promoted 
to first lieutenant May 14, 1777 ; retired January 
1, 1781 ; died June 9, 1830, aged seventy-four 
years ; buried in Lutheran Cemetery, Reading. 

Christopher Weigel, private, Weiser's company, Ger- 
man Regiment, Pennsylvania Continental Line ; 
wounded in ankle ; discharged at Valley Forge, 
1778 ; resided in Berks County, 1835, aged seven- 
ty nine years. 

Benjamin Weiser, captain, German Regiment, Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, 1776 ; resided after 
the war at Selin's Grove. 

Peter Weiser (grandson of Conrad Weiser), second 
lieutenant First Pennsylvania Continental Line ; 
wounded and captured at German town. 

Jacob Weisler, Reading, private, German Regiment 
Pennsylvania Continental Line, October, 1776. 

George Whitman, private, from Rifle Regiment to 
First Pennsylvania Continental Line ; re-enlisted 
1776 ; discharged July, 1781 ; resided in Berks 
County in 1813. 

Jacob Michael Wilhelm, private, Armand's -Legion, 
Continental Line. 

Henry Willhausen, Reading, private, Von Heer's 
dragoons, Continental Line, April 1, 1780. 

Thomas Williams, private, First Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line ; died in Berks County, 1792. 

Jacob Wirtz, private, Fifth Pennsylvania Continen- 
tal Line ; resided in Berks County, 1835, aged 
seventy-seven years. 

Peter Withington, captain, Twelfth Pennsylvania 
Continental Line, October 1, 1776 ; took sick in 
Philadelphia, December, 1776, and sent home to 
Reading and died May 11, 1777. 

William Witman, second lieutenant, Ninth Penn- 
sylvania Continental Line, February, 1777 ; shot 
through the body with a musket-ball at German- 
town ; taken prisoner and paroled ; left out in 
arrangement in 1778; resided in Berks County in 
1789; died October 12, 1808. 

Michael Youse, private, from Lowdon's company in 
Thompson's Rifles to First Pennsylvania Conti- 
nental Line, 1776-83; resided in Maxatawny, 
Berks County, 1817. 

Henry Ziegler, Reading, private, Von Heer's dra- 
goons, Continental Line. 

Conscientious Scruples against "War. — 
A meeting of deputies of divers inhabitants of 
the county, who were conscientiously scrupulous 
against bearing arms, was held at Reading, on 
September 1, 1775. They passed certain reso- 
lutions, which, briefly stated, were as follows : 

1. Agreeing to voluntary subscriptions for the uses 
pointed out by the recommendations of the Assembly, 
on June 30, 1775, and of the Continental Congress, on 
July 18, 1775. 

2. Ordering accounts of moneys received and ex- 
pended to be kept by a treasurer. 

3. Submitting the moneys to the disposal of the 
Committee of Safety as a part of the share to be ac- 
counted for by Berks County. 

4. Agreeing to answer requisitions on them by the 
Committee of Safety. 

These resolutions were signed by Wm. Reeser, 
as president of the meeting. On September 11, 
1775, he sent a copy of them to the Committee 
of Safety, stating in his accompanying letter 
that they were conscientiously scrupulous of 
taking up arms, though fully sensible of the 
justice of our cause, but that they were willing 
to contribute to its support. ' He acknowledged 
to have received in hands the sum of one hun- 
dred and fifty-two pounds for the Committee of 
Safety, and assured the committee that they 
would ever cheerfully contribute their propor- 
tion towards the safety and welfare of the 

On the 20th of January, 1776, the people of 
the county were asked by the Committee of 
Safety to sign the Articles of Association. 1 

Tory Feeling in County. — About this 
time it would seem that certain persons in the 
county possessed the " Tory " feeling, and, under 
its influence, endeavored to depreciate the "Con- 
tinental currency." Two men were apprehended 
for doing this, but they were discharged, having, 
on 30th of January, 1776, at Reading, publicly 
acknowledged their error, begged the pardon of 
the community and promised to conform to the 
rules and regulations that existed. Their ac- 
knowledgment was then published "so as to 
deter others from following the same shameful 
and wicked practice." 2 

1 3 American Archives, 795. 


2 4 American Archives, 887. 



English Pkisoners at Reading. — The 
Committee of Correspondence at Reading ad- 
dressed a letter to the Pennsylvania delegates 
in Congress, dated 4th of February, 1776, in 
which they stated that " a number of English 
soldiers, lately taken prisoner in Canada, ar- 
rived at Reading with their wives and children. 
The committee were surprised at the arrival of 
so large a party by order without notice to them, 
and without any attending person to supply 
them with necessaries ; but they immediately 
appointed Henry Haller one of the committee 
to provide houses, firewood and provisions for 
the party, who must have otherwise suffered 
much at this severe season." They asked Con- 
gress for instruction. In this communication 
they recommended that Haller be retained as the 
commissary for the soldiers stationed at Read- 

Some months afterward, 10th of July, 1776, 
Congress ordered that the privates who were 
prisoners in the town of Reading should be re- 
moved to Lancaster. 

A number of prisoners of war were stationed 
at Reading in September, 1776. Their conduct 
and late hours excited the citizens to such an 
extent that a meeting of the committee of Berks 
County was called on 3d of September, and 
resolutions were adopted praying the Council 
of Safety to require the prisoners to disarm 
themselves and to repair to their respective 
lodgings at a seasonable hour — -eight p.m. every 
evening. Captain John Witman, Thomas War- 
ren and Michael Graus were appointed to take 
possession of the fire-arms, etc. ; and, on the 
4th, Daniel Rose, Philip Kremer and Krauff 
Hiiner were appointed to assist. On the 5th 
they reported that General Prescott had refused 
to deliver up his pistols until he had first bro- 
ken and rendered them useless, and that he had 
declared they acted like robbers. He admitted 
his conduct. The committee resolved that he 
had misbehaved himself, and " that he be com- 
mitted to the Common Goal till the opinion of 
the Council of Safety be known." James 
Reed, chairman, reported this action to the 
Council, and made request that " a Guard be 
kept as a security from any attempts which may 
be made by the prisoners in our present de- 

fenceless situation." The Council heard the 
matter on the 10th of September, and ordered 
guard to be kept as long as the prisoners re- 
mained, at the Council's expense. 1 

James Read wrote to the Council of Safety, 
on December 27, 1776, the letter having been 
induced by the delivery at Reading of seven 
prisoners from Northampton County, — 

" Reading, being the nearest place, we, who have al- 
ready more prisoners (French and Scotch) than we 
have men-at-arms (old and young together) in this 
place, shall have all the Tories that Northampton can 
find, whereby the Ruin of this Town is justly appre- 
hended. Lancaster has Barracks, and neither that 
town nor York has any prisoners in it. But, if the 
people of Northampton have their choice of three 
places, they will always send to the nearest of them. 
Thus Reading must be endangered and, at best, bur- 
thened. Our Prison is small ; that of Lancaster large ; 
and that Town is three times as large as this. Pray, 
sir, let these things be immediately considered. We 
are distressed. . . . We have heard that a Hospi- 
tal is to be made in this place. Strange, this ! when 
we have not one house in town unoccupied. Many 
families have come hither from Philadelphia." 

Associatoes. — A Provincial Conference was 
held at Carpenter's Hall, in Philadelphia, dur- 
ing June (18 to 25), 1776, for the purpose of 
taking the necessary steps towards the forma- 
tion and adoption of a Constitution for the gov- 
ernment of Pennsylvania. 2 

In the proceedings of this conference provi- 
sion was made " for raising 4500 militia, in obe- 
dience to resolutions of Congress of the 3d and 
4th of June, 1776, for establishing a flying 
camp, to consist of 10,000 men, in the middle 
colonies," and a direction given for the prepara- 
tion and publication of an address to the Asso- 
ciators of the province on this subject. The ad- 
dress was as follows : 

" lo the Associators of Pennsylvania. 
" Gentlemen, 

" The only design of our meeting together was to 
put an end to our own power in the province, by fix- 
ing upon a plan for calling a convention, to form a 
government under the authority of the people. But 
the sudden and unexpected separation of the late As- 

1 5 Pa. Arch., 19. For a list of the names of the prison- 
ers, see 1 Pa. Arch. (2d ser.) 424 ; certified by James Read, 
to Council of Safety, on October 11, 1776. 

2 For delegates from Berks County, see chapter on Gov- 



sembly has compelled us to undertake the execution 
of a resolve of Congress for calling forth 4500 of the 
militia of this province, to join the militia of the 
neighboring colonies, to form a camp for our imme- 
diate protection. We presume only to recommend 
the plan we have formed to you, trusting that, in a 
case of so much consequence, your love of virtue and 
zeal for liberty will supply the want of authority del- 
egated to us expressly for that purpose. 

"We need not remind you that you are now fur- 
nished with new motives to animate and support your 
courage. You are not about to contend against the 
power of Great Britain, in order to displace one set of 
villains to make room for another. Your arms will 
not be enervated in the day of battle with the reflec- 
tion that you are to risk your lives or shed your blood 
for a British tyrant ; or that your posterity will have 
your work to do over again. You are about to con- 
tend for permanent freedom, to be supported by a 
government which will be derived from yourselves and 
which will have for its object, not the emolument of 
one man or class of men only, but the safety, liberty and 
happiness of every individual in the community. We 
call upon you, therefore, by the respect and obedience 
which are due to the authority of the United Colonies, 
to concur in this important measure. The present cam- 
paign will probably decide the fate of America. It is 
now in your power to immortalize your names by ming- 
ling your achievements with the events of the year 1776 
— a year which, we hope, will be famed in the annals of 
history to the end of time, for establishing upon a last- 
ing foundation the liberties of one-quarter of the 

" Remember the honor of our colony is at stake. 
Should you desert the common cause at the present 
juncture, the glory you have acquired by your former 
exertions of strength and virtue will be tarnished ; 
and our friends and brethren, who are now acquiring 
laurels in the most remote parts of America, will re- 
proach us and blush to own themselves natives or in- 
habitants of Pennsylvania. 

"But there are other motives before you. Your 
houses, your fields, the legacies of your ancestors, or 
the dear-bought fruits of your own industry, and your 
liberty, now urge you to the field. These cannot 
plead with you in vain, or we might point out to you, 
further, your wives, your children, your aged fathers 
and mothers, who now look up to you for aid, and hope 
for salvation in this day of calamity only from the in- 
strumentality of your swords. 

" Remember the name of Pennsylvania — Think of 
your ancestors and of your posterity. 
" Signed by an unanimous order of the conference, 
" Thomas M'Kban, President. 
" June 25, 1776." 

A letter from the Committee of Berks County was 
laid before the Board, and the same being considered, 
and it being therein represented to this Board that 

some misrepresentation of the intention of Congress 
has arisen amongst the Associators of this State and 
the Officers who were appointed to' form the Flying 
Camp, with respect to the March and Arrangement 
of the Associators and militia who were to compose 
the said Camp, and in order that it may be better 
understood, it is, — 

"Resolved, That all the Militia who may be fur- 
nished and equip'd agreeable to the Resolve of Con- 
gress do march to such place as they have been 
respectively ordered by Congress, and that the per- 
sons who have been appointed Captains in the Flying 
Camp and have not Inlisted 25 men for that service, 
do return them to their respective Corps of Associa- 
tors to which they formerly belonged, and continue 
with them ; the appointment of the officers for the 
Flying Camp still to continue, and the men already 
enlisted to be considered as bound by their enlist- 
ment, and to be continued in service when the militia 
may be permitted to return, and subject to further 
orders of the Convention or this Board. And it is 
further recommended that those Companies which 
have been raised to form the Flying Camp, which 
already consists of 25 privates and upwards, do im- 
mediately proceed to Trenton or Brunswick, as here- 
tofore directed. 

"Resolved, That this Board will allow the Officers 
who were appointed to command the Flying Camp 
all such reasonable expenses as have accrued in the 
recruiting service. 

The Following Letter was written to the Com- 
mittee of Berks County, and signed by the Chair- 
man : 


"Your letter, 22d Inst., to the Hon'ble B. 
Franklin, Esq", Presid't of the Convention, was re- 
ferred by the Hon. Convention to the Council of 
Safety. They must acknowledge the Laudable zeal 
with which your Committee has, at all times, carried 
into execution the recommendation of such powers as 
acted under the People; But, particularly, your ready 
& cheerful Obedience to the ordinance of Convention 
for disarming of non- Associators. 

" The embarrassments you Labor under in conse- 
quence, of Resolves of Congress and others, which, 
from the confused state of the times, appeared some- 
what Contradictory, appears to us excusable. In 
order to render the intentions of Congress more plain 
& Comprehensive and to their expectations, The 
Council of Safety have inclosed you their resolution 
upon the matter, requesting that you will take such 
Measures to publish it through your district as will 
be most Effectual & Expeditious, and that you would 
encourage the Associators to turn out on this very 
important Immergency. 

" By order of Council of Safety. 

"24 July, 1776." 



Brigadier-Generals Elected. — A pub- 
lic meeting was held at Lancaster on July 4, 
1776, for the purpose of electing two brigadier- 
generals to command the battalions and forces 
in Pennsylvania. The meeting consisted of the 
officers and privates of fifty-three battalions of 
the Associators of Pennsylvania. A full ratio 
of men was sent by the military of Berks 
County. The following delegates represented 
the county at the meeting : 

First Battalion: Officers — Major, Gabriel Hiester; 
Lieutenant, Philip Cremer; privates, John Hartman, 
Peter Filbert. 

Second Battalion: Officers — Colonel, Mark Bird; 
Major, John Jones; privates, David Morgan, Benja- 
min Tolbert. 

Third Battalion : Officers — Lieutenant-Colonel, 
Nicholas Lutz ; Captain, George Bheam ; privates, 
Henry Spoon, Matthias Wenrich. 

Fourth Battalion : Officers — Major, Michael Linde- 
mut ; Captain, George May ; private, Mich'l Moser. 

Fifth Battalion: Officers — Colonel, John Patton; 
Lieutenant-Colonel, John Eice ; privates, Jacob Sel- 
ser, Christ'n Winter. 

Sixth Battalion: Officers — Major, Conrad Leffler; 
Lieutenant, John Miller ; privates, John Hill, Henry 

Seventh Battalion : Officers — Colonel, Sebastian Le- 
van ; Adjutant, Samuel Ebey ; privates, Philip Bis- 
ters, Casper Smack. 

Colonel Mark Bird, of the Second Battalion, 
was one of the judges of the election. Daniel 
Roberdeau was elected the first brigadier-general, 
and James Ewing the second. Mark Bird 
received seven votes. Eight candidates were 
placed in nomination. 

Quota of County Exceeded.— The Com- 
mittee of Correspondence of Berks County ad- 
dressed a letter to Congress, dated 13th of July, 
1776, in which they stated that they had raised 
a company more than the quota of the county 
for the Flying Camp of four thousand five hun- 
dred men, in order to complete the battalion, 
concluding as follows : " Our conduct is dictated 
by the warmest attachment to the cause of our 
country, and we trust it will be considered in 
that light by the honorable Congress." ' 

Patriotism of Joseph Hiester.— Among 
the many men of Reading who were actively 
engaged in the Revolution, Joseph Hiester oc- 

1 1 American Archives (5fh Series), 254. 

cupies a prominent position. When the excite- 
ment began, which disturbed all the elements 
in the community, he was a young man, twenty- 
three years of age. But he was not too young 
to rally to the call of the country for indepen- 
dence. He was first selected as one of the dele- 
gates of the county to the Provincial Conference, 
which was held at Carpenter Hall, in Phila- 
delphia, during June, 1776 ; and this confer- 
ence, in its proceedings, provided for raising 
certain militia to form a part of the " Flying 
Camp," and ordered an address to be issued to 
the Associators. Upon the adjournment of the 
conference, he carried the spirit, which had been 
developed there, back to Reading and acted 
promptly in behalf of the provision for troops 
to constitute part of the " Flying Camp." On 
July 10, 1776, he called together, by beat of the 
drum, twenty-five or thirty of his fellow-citi- 
zens and asked them to take into consideration 
the. alarming state of the country. He ex- 
plained the situation and said that there was a 
necessity for action. 

Having aroused their patriotism, he expressed 
a desire to raise a company of volunteers and 
march with them to the assistance of General 
"Washington, who was then in a perilous situa- 
tion in New Jersey. He was listened to with 
great respect. At the conclusion of his remarks 
he said (laying forty dollars in money on a 
drum-head) : " I will give this sum as a bounty 
and the appointment of a sergeant to the first 
man who will subscribe the articles of associa- 
tion to form a volunteer company to march 
forthwith and join the commander-in-chief; and 
I also pledge myself to furnish the company 
with blankets and necessary funds for their 
equipment and on the march." 

Matthias Babb was the first to step forward. 
He took the money from the drum-head after 
signing the articles. This example induced 
twenty others to sign also. Notices were sent 
out into the neighborhood and meetings were 
held. In ten days afterward Hiester had en- 
rolled ninety-six men. They were promptly 
organized. This success led him to determine 
to raise a regiment. His liberality and popu- 
larity paved the way for promotion to the 
highest office over these troops that were to be 



raised. Notwithstanding their preference for 
him, he used all his influence for the election of 
Henry Haller to the office of colonel, and 
Edward Burd, major. This he did at their 
request. He assured his fellow-soldiers that he 
was satisfied to serve as captain, and even de- 
clared a willingness to serve in the ranks if he 
could there better serve the country. He then 
marched his company from Reading to New 
Jersey, and they became a part of the Flying 
Camp in the regiment commanded by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Nicholas Lotz. 

At Elizabethtown they learned that General 
Washington had marched to Long Island. Some 
of his company, and the company commanded 
by Captain Graul, declared their determination 
not to march any farther, and said that they 
had proceeded farther than they could have been 
compelled to go. He called the men into line 
and addressed them in bold, impassioned patri- 
otic language, and asked them to fall in with 
him and march forward to join Washington 
and fight for freedom. All responded nobly 
excepting three. When the drums began to 
beat and the men to march, these three could 
not resist the feeling, and they, too, joined. 
They then marched to Long Island. There 
some were killed and others wounded. The 
concentration of the British troops resulted in 
the capture of many of the American troops. 
As prisoners they were treated with great 
cruelty. Along with other officers, Hiester was 
confined for six weeks on board of the prison- 
ship "Jersey." Thence he was removed to 
another prison-ship. Shortly afterward he was 
confined on board of the ship " Snow Mentor," 
and there similar bad treatment was inflicted 
upon him. He became very sick with fever, 
and very weak under such imprisonment, so 
feeble indeed that he was compelled to crawl on 
hands and knees to get up and down-stairs. 
Whilst there he was plundered of all his clothing 
and money. He was exchanged in December, 
and then returned to Beading. During his 
imprisonment he was elected a major, and upon 
his return home he was elected a colonel. 
He received both commissions at the same time. 
At home he soon recovered his wasted strength. 
Feeling it his patriotic duty, he left home and 

friends and rejoined the army of General Wash- 
ington in Philadelphia (now included in Mont- 
gomery County), remaining with his troops until 
his term of service expired, when he returned 
home. Soon afterward an attack on New York 
was apprehended. General Joseph Beed com- 
manded the Pennsylvania troops. In sending out 
circulars for troops, he sent one to Colonel Hies- 
ter asking him to raise volunteers for service. 
Hiester responded promptly, raised six hundred 
and fifty men and joined Beed's army in New 
Jersey. For this patriotic action Beed gave 
him a highly complimentary recognition. He 
remained in the army until the close of the war, 
and, after his honorable discharge, returned 
home. His unselfish conduct and his devotion 
to the country in the great struggle for freedom 
made him a most popular man and prepared 
the way grandly for him in his successful 
political life in after-years. 1 

Battle of Long Island. — Eight bat- 
talions of Pennsylvania troops in the " Flying 
Camp " were sent to the army at New York. 
Three of them were incomplete, and of these, 
two were composed of Berks County militia, 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonels 
Nicholas Lotz and Peter Kachlein. Lotz's 
major was Edward Burd, and his colonel was 
Henry Haller, of Beading, who did not join the 
army till after the opening of the campaign. 
The commands of Lotz and Kachlein comprised 
each two hundred men and were in Stirling's 
brigade. On the 24th of August, 1776, Wash- 
ington was in doubt as to the intentions of the 
enemy. He found the British sixteen thousand 
strong, but they had been estimated at only 
eight thousand. He ordered more reinforce- 
ments over on the Brooklyn side, and among 
these was Lotz's command. The battle of 
Long Island was fought on August 27, 1776. 
In the engagement part of Lotz's command, un- 
der Major Burd, was stationed at the coast- 
road, at and around the " Bed Lion Tavern." 
Burd was at the lower road with Hand till he was 
relieved. The British in numbers exceeded the 
Americans on the island three to one. The ad- 

1 Taken partly from correspondence in United States Ga- 
zette, 1832 ; and see Rupp's '' History of Berks County," 
pp. 176-179. 



vance-guard of the British, under Grant, 
marched up the Narrows and struck the Amer- 
ican pickets in the vicinity of the " Eed Lion " 
about two o'clock in the morning. The pickets 
retreated before the enemy without checking 
their march. There was hardly more than an 
exchange of fire with Major Burd's detachment 
when he and many others — about eight hun- 
dred — were taken prisoners. This skirmish 
took place on the " Narrows Road," between 
Thirty-eighth and Fortieth Streets. The 
Americans were defeated because the British 
had completely outflanked and surprised them 
on the Jamaica road. Among the prisoners 
there were ninety-one officers. The killed were 
six officers and fifty privates, and less than six- 
teen officers and one hundred and fifty privates 
were wounded. The total loss of the British 
was reported at three hundred and sixty-seven 
officers and men. No official report of the 
losses in Lotz's and Kachlein's detachments 
can be found. Lotz had six officers taken from 
him, all prisoners, none killed or wounded, and 
Kachlein not more. The following appeared 
among the list of prisoners : Lieutenant-Colonel 
Nicholas Lotz, Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Kach- 
lein, Major Edward Burd, Captain Jacob 
Graul, Captain Joseph Hiester, Captain Jacob 
Maurer. Hiester and Maurer were exchanged 
in December, 1776. 1 Lotz was admitted to 
parole within certain bounds on April 16, 1777, 
and exchanged on September 10, 1779. He 
returned to his home in Reading, where he 
must have died shortly after, for it does not ap- 
pear that he ever called on the commissaries of 
prisoners for anything that may have been due 
him during his imprisonment and parole. 2 

Deserters. — Henry Haller was on duty at 
Reading in December, 1776, with his battalion. 
On the 16th of December he left, and on the 
30th of December he wrote to the Council of 
Safety : 

" That the greatest number of the men of my Bat- 
talion deserted on the 13th and 14th, a thing that 
might, in my opinion, have been prevented had the 

1 " Campaign of 1776 around New York and Brooklyn," 
by Henry P. Johnson. 

"Saffel's "Record of Revolutionary War," 309. [He 
lived nearly twenty years afterward.] 

officers taken proper steps ; but some of them were as 
willing as the privates to break up the Battalion ; 
took no pains to get their men, and this conduct en- 
couraged others. Since that I have been here 
waiting to get the pay-rolls, that money might be 
drawn to pay off the men, that they might be encour- 
aged to re-enter the service. But some of the cap- 
tains give me all the delay in their power. There- 
fore, I pray your attention to the matter. I think it 
a paymaster was ordered up here to pay off the Bat- 
talion, it would have a good effect." 

The Executive Council, on the 18th of Jan- 
uary, 1777, took the following action in refer- 
ence to the refusal of the associators in Hun- 
ter's Battalion to march to the seat of war in 
New Jersey : 

" Whereas, This Council is informed that many of 
the principal associators of Colonel Hunter's Battalion, 
of Berks County, refuse to march to join General 
Washington's army at this Important Crisis, when so 
glorious an opportunity offers of crushing the enemy, 
and thereby have prevented and discouraged the rest, 
and proceeded even to dare them to enforce the re- 
solves of this Council upon them; therefore, 

"Resolved, That Colonel Hunter be directed forth- 
with to collect all the well affected in his Battalion, 
and seize upon the ringleaders in this defection and 
send thern under guard to Philadelphia, and that he 
do execute the Resolve. The resolve of this Council 
of the seventh of December last upon all who refuse 
to march without favor or affection, and that they do 
collect blankets and other necessaries of those who 
are to march, paying a reasonable price for the same ; 
and should any person refuse to deliver such neces- 
saries as they can spare, the Colonel is directed to 
take and pay for the same. Those that turn out are 
to march the most direct road to Head Quarters." 

And three days after this (21st of January, 
1777,) General Israel Putnam addressed a letter 
from Princeton to the Council of Safety of 
Pennsylvania, saying that "Captain Echard 
and Captain Fisher, of Berks County, had just 
informed him that their companies had run 
away to a man, except a lieutenant, sergeant 
and a drummer." He added, " I hope, gentle- 
men, no pains or cost will be spared to apprehend 
these men and bring them back to their duty. 
I think it is of the last importance that this 
spirit of desertion should be crushed in its in- 
fancy, and the militia taught that there is a 
power that can and will detain them." 

Hessian Prisoners.— In 1775 the king of 
Great Britain obtained by treaty from the Ger- 



man princes seventeen thousand men for the 
purpose of sending them to America to assist in 
subduing the American colonies. These men 
were sent early in 1776. Many of them (Hes- 
sians) were taken prisoners at the battle of 
Trenton on December 26, 1776, and conveyed 
to Lancaster. 1 Some of these prisoners were 
afterward stationed at Reading. Their first 
quarters in the town were in the southern section, 
and, after remaining in that locality several 
years, they were removed to the southern de- 
clivity of Penn's Mount. This removal was 
caused by the frequent disturbances which arose 
between the prisoners and the citizens of the 
town. In May, 1779, a proposition was made 
to send them to New Jersey. On the 27th of 
June, 1781, President Reed wrote to Valentine 
Eckert, " that it was the desire that the prisoners 
should be encamped in huts at some small dis- 
tance from Reading, where wood and water 
were convenient, that Colonel Morgan had 
mentioned a piece of ground which had belonged 
to the proprietaries, which would be convenient 

1 The Continental troops took the following prisoners, 
arms, etc., at the battle of Trenton : 750 Hessians, 1 lieut- 
enant-colonel, 2 majors, 4 captains, 15 subalterns, 3 stan- 
dards, 6 brass field-pieces, and near 1000 stand of arms. 
Two days afterward General Washington commanded them 
to be forwarded to Lancaster. 

The following letter was addressed to Daniel Clymer, 
Esq., at Lancaster, in 1777, in reference to the removal of 
prisoners from that place to Reading : 

"Dr. Sir, — The Board have directed me to write to Wil- 
liam Atlee, Deputy Commissary of Prisoners, to whom 
you'll please to render all the assistance in your power in the 
removal of the Prisoners of War from Lancaster towards 
Readingand Lebanon. Congress having just been informed 
by Express that the Enemy are landing in Maryland above 
Baltimore, & its being past a doubt the rescuing their Pris- 
oners & the destruction of our Stores are the objects they have 
in view. On this important occasion, anything in your 
power, the Board are well satisfied will be done. You'll 
please to have an eye to the Prisoners at York, & if Mr. 
Atlee can do the Business by himself at Lancaster, it is the 
desire of the Board you proceed thither, & the Committee 
are hereby earnestly requested to furnish such a number 
of Militia as shall put it out of the power of the Prisoners 
to effect an escape. We are unacquainted with the Number 
of Prisoners at York; you will, therefore, act as your own 
good sense may dictate. I am with all due Respect 
' ' Your very humble Serv. , 

"Joseph Nourn, D. S. 

" Philadelphia, Friday evening, seven o'clock. 
" Danl. Clymer, Esq., Lancaster." 

and proper." Three persons were appointed to 
select a location, — Valentine Eckert, lieutenant 
of Berks County ; Major Bayley, and Colonel 
Wood, Lancaster. On the 17th of July, follow- 
ing, Colonel Wood wrote President Reed, "that 
he could not decide where to locate the prisoners, 
that certain persons who thought they did not have 
a legal title to the commons, had paid the taxes 
and claimed the land." He, therefore, referred 
the matter to him for a decision. He also 
alluded to the Continental stable at Reading, 
which, he thought, might be converted into 
barracks. This stable was in dimensions, twenty 
by one hundred and seventy-five feet, and a 
store-house, twenty by sixty feet. The " Com- 
mons " was not selected ; but the committee 
went half a mile to the eastward, and selected a 
spot on the hill-side, where they caused huts to 
be erected, and in which they stationed the 
prisoners. At the close of the Revolution many 
of the prisoners remained and settled perman- 
ently in Berks County, mostly in Alsace and 
Oley townships. The place has since been 
known as " Hessian Camp." The greater part 
of these huts were standing in 1841. In July, 
1780, the prisoners at Reading numbered one 
hundred. On 16th of June, 1781, a large 
number of convention prisoners of war, ten 
hundred and fifty, all Germans, excepting sixty- 
three Britons, arrived in Reading under guard 
of the York County militia. Valentine Eckert 
called out two classes of companies from the 
Sixth Berks County regular militia to guard the 
encampment. They were under the charge of 
Major Bayley. During the week following, ad- 
ditional prisoners were brought, so that the 
whole number was near eleven hundred. They 
were encamped on the east bank of the Schuyl- 
kill, near Reading. It is not known whether 
they were taken along to " Hessian Camp " or 
not. On February 23d, 1782, the lieutenant of 
the county was ordered to call out the first class 
of the militia to guard the military prisoners at 
Reading; but only forty men were wanted at a 
time for this purpose. The order was as fol- 
lows : 

" Ordered, That the Lieutenant of the county of 
Berks be directed to call out a class of the militia of 
the said county, for the purpose of guarding the 



military prisoners of that county ; that as forty men 
are only wanted at one time for the said purpose, the 
lieutenant be directed to call out no more than that 
number, and that the battalion be called up in their 
numerical order, beginning at the first, for the said 
one class, so far as may be necessary to furnish the 
aaid number; and when the time of the first forty 
shall expire, he then call on the next battalion or bat- 
talions for the like number, so as to have the succeed- 
ing numbers ready to take charge of the said prisoners 
when the time of the first shall expire, and so on 
until the said one class shall have served their tour 
of duty, or until further orders from this Council." 

Some of the Hessian prisoners at Reading, 
during the course of their imprisonment, were 
hired out to service, notably to George Ege at 
Charming Forge and to John Patton at Berk- 
shire Furnace. 

Hessian Camp Surprised. — The following 
interesting incident transpired at the Hessian 
camp on Christmas-Day, 1781. The Hessian 
prisoners and their guard were suddenly 
alarmed by certain soldiers in the disguise of 
Indians, which caused them to fly from the en- 
campment. A court-martial was afterwards 
held, but no one was punished : 

'•' Van Campen, whilst at McClure's Fort, which 
was on the Susquehanna Eiver, above Sunbury, upon 
the service of conducting scouts around the line of the 
settlements, was ordered with his company to Lan- 
caster, late in the fall of 1781. He descended the 
river in boats as far as Middletown (a place ten 
miles below Harris's Ferry), where the order was 
countermanded by another, directing him to march 
to Reading, Berks County, where he was joined by a 
part of the Third and Fifth Pennsylvania Regiments, 
and a company of the Congress Regiment. Their 
principal duty, while here, was to take care of a large 
body of Hessians that had been taken prisoners with 
General Burgoyne. These had been under the guard 
of a company of militiamen, whose time had not yet 
expired. The march which Van Campen 's soldiers 
had performed was, on account of lateness of the sea- 
son and bad roads, extremely fatiguing, and, as the 
time for which the militia were engaged continued 
them in service a little longer, he allowed them the 
space which intervened as a season of rest. This 
proved grateful to the soldiers, and it no doubt 
served to invigorate their spirits, for, in the approach- 
ing Christmas holidays, they were found to be suf- 
ficiently recruited to engage in the exercises of sport. 
Some of those belonging to Van Campen's company 
determined to have a frolic with the militiamen be- 
fore they should be discharged from their posts. 
These were stationed at a little distance out of the 

village, near the direct road from Reading to Phila- 
delphia, on the side of a hill, around which the way 
turned, and which hid the view to the road before 
reaching the place. When Christmas came, twelve 
or fifteen young soldiers set out, with music in their 
heads, for the militiamen's camp. Just before they 
came to where the road turned around the hill, and 
while they were yet out of sight, they arrayed them- 
selves in Indian dress and crept along up the 
ascending ground until they came in sight of the 
militiamen's camp. There they fired their guns, 
which contained an unusual charge of powder, and 
followed the discharge of these by loud and continued 
yells. They presented themselves to the view of the 
soldiers, and began to jump from tree to tree so as to 
produce an enlarged idea of their numbers. Their 
unexpected appearance produced the intended efFect. 
The soldiers were startled by the sudden roar of the 
rifles, which echoed through the deep forest like the 
terrible thundering of cannon. The loud yells, too, 
from the supposed Indians, were enough to have 
startled them at a time of peace, much more when 
the savage was looked for at any moment to commit 
his deeds of violence. The soldiers conceived an in- 
stantaneous alarm ; fear was scattered throughout 
their ranks, and, with a sudden bound, they started 
from their encampment. The sentinels fled without 
firing a single gun and the whole company deserted 
their posts, leaving the poor Hessians (whom they 
were placed to guard) without a man to prevent their 
being retaken. But these, too, apprehensive that 
they might be mistaken for rebels, were infected with 
the universal panic and showed their heels to the 
enemy. The camp was entirely deserted in a few 
moments after the first alarm had been given. No 
sooner had the militiamen deserted their camp than 
they began to spread the alarm, saying, 'that all 
Niagara was let loose ; that a party of several hun- 
dreds of Indians had attacked their camp, and that 
they had just escaped with their lives.' The intelli- 
gence was soon brought to the troops at Reading, who 
were immediately placed in the order of defence, and 
who began forthwith to march, with Van Campen at 
their head, towards the enemy. They had not gone far, 
however, before they were met by some of their own 
soldiers, who assured them that they had started out 
upon a false alarm, at the same time giving them a 
history of the secret of the attack and of the brave de- 
fense which had been made by the militiamen. They 
returned to their quarters, very much amused and 
with the laugh upon the poor soldiers who had made 
such a display of their bravery. 

" But this little event (which had been conceived 
only in sport, like many others of the same origin) 
was the occasion of serious difficulty. To one party 
it afforded the highest amusement, but to those who 
had committed their valor to their heels it was a sub- 
ject of constant annoyance. They could not endure 
the chagrin that was brought upon them by having 



been put to flight by a few boys who had been dis- 
guised as Indians, and who had so successfully played 
off their wits upon them of a Christmas holiday. The 
militia officers, whose bravery was somewhat impli- 
cated in the affair, declared that they would be satis- 
fied with no reconciliation short of the punishment of 
those who had been concerned in creating the alarm- 
" A court-martial was held, in which Lieutenant 
Van Campen sat with the militia officers, to decide 
the point at issue. These affirmed it to be but right, 
— that those who had occasioned the mischief should 
be whipped ; while Van Campen, whose soldiers were 
implicated, unwilling that his men (who belonged to 
some of the most respectable families of that part of 
Pennsylvania,) should suffer such a disgrace, would 
allow of this only upon condition that the sentinels, 
who had fled from their posts without firing, should be 
punished as the martial-law required — with death. 
These terms were not agreeable to the minds of the 
officers, and Van Campen, who declared that he 
would sooner see his men shot than whipped, con- 
tinued to sit in court-martial for the space of three 
weeks. A compromise was finally made between the 
two, it being proposed that the sergeant, who had 
been one of the leaders in the affair, should be broken 
of his rank. This was allowed, and harmony was 
again restored between the two parties. The 
sergeant was broken of his rank at night and restored 
the next morning ; so that his punishment, after all, 
was more nominal than real. Immediately after, Van 
Campen and his men entered upon the care of the 
Hessian soldiers and remained in this service until 
the next spring, when they were relieved by the 
militia, who again took them under charge. 1 

Hessian Officer Drowned. — During the 
time that the Hessian prisoners were at Read- 
ing, a Hessian officer of rank was fishing from 
a canoe one day in the Schuylkill, and fell 
overboard. A servant on the shore saw the ac- 
cident, but, instead of alarming the occupants 
in a house near by, he ran and informed the 
commanding officer. When the officer arrived, 
he found the Hessian at the bottom of the river, 
drowned, and his efforts to resuscitate life were 

During the winter of 1776-77 there was 
much sickness amongst the prisoners. Many of 
them died. The burials were made in " Pot- 
ter's Field," which comprised two lots of 
ground, numbers 398 and 399 on the west side 

1 Taken from " Life and Adventures of Moses Van Cam- 
pen,'' by his grandson, John N. Hubbard, in 1841 ; pp. 
239-243. Copy of work in library of Pennnsylvania His- 
torical Society, at Philadelphia. 

of North Sixth Street, south of Walnut, in 
Reading. The deaths were so numerous at 
times that it became necessary to bury two, and 
even three, in one grave. I heard this state- 
ment made frequently by some of the older 

Militia Refuse to March. — About Jan- 
uary 1, 1777, some of the militia at Reading 
refused to march under orders given. Daniel 
Brodhead, 2 by direction of General Mifflin, 
took a company of Northumberland County 
militia, stationed at Reading, and compelled 
them to march. In a letter to Owen Biddle he 
said he believed " the remainder were so much 
alarmed that few will think of staying at home." 

The Council of Safety was informed, on Jan- 
uary 18, 1777, that " many of the principal as- 
sociators of Colonel Hunter's Battalion of Berks 
County refuse to march to join General Wash- 
ington's army at this Important Crisis, when so 
glorious an opportunity offers of crushing the 
enemy, and thereby have prevented and dis- 
couraged the rest, and proceeded even to dare 
them to enforce the resolves of this Council 
upon them." It was then decided that the Colo- 
nel should forthwith collect all the well affected 
in his Battalion, seize the ring-leaders in this 
defection and send them to Philadelphia. 

Militia Returns of County. — Jacob 
Morgan and his sub-lieutenants met at Reading 
on April 25, 1777, for the purpose of receiving 
returns of the inhabitants of Berks County, be- 
tween the ages of eighteen and fifty-three years. 
The number then returned was about four 
thousand. These were divided into six districts, 
and meetings were ordered to be held on 
the 5th and 6th of May following, for the 
purpose of electing officers and of forming com- 
panies. Morgan reported that he had forwarded 
to the Executive Council an exact list of the 
field officers, captains, subalterns and court- 
martial men, comprising the six battalions of 
the Berks County militia. But this list was 

2 Daniel Brodhead, of Berks County, was appointed 
Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Battalion of Colonel 
Samuel Miles' Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, on March 13, 
1776. He had removed to Reading in 1771. For sketch 
see Pennsylvania Arch. (2d ser.), vol. 10, p. 645 ; and 



lost, not having been included in the Archives. 
It has not been discovered since. 

On August 17, 1777, Morgan reported that 
two classes of militia had marched from Read- 
ing on their way to West Chester. They con- 
sisted of twelve companies. They left mostly 
in the beginning of August ; the last company 
on the 16th. The whole number of officers and 
men was six hundred and fifty-six. The two 
battalions were commanded by Daniel Hunter 
and Daniel Udree. "In the opinion of every 
one here they were hearty and able men, fit to 
take the field against our inveterate enemies." 

In the State returns of the militia, dated Sep- 
tember 6, 1777, these two battalions included 
the following officers and men : 

r Hunter. Udree. 

Colonel 1 1 

Lieutenant-Colonel 1 1 

Major 1 

Captains 5 5 

Lieutenants 7 10 

Ensigns 4 6 

Chaplain 1 

Adjutant 1 1 

Quartermaster 1 1 

Surgeon 1 1 

Sergeants 17 21 

Drummers 4 6 

Fifers 3 4 

Fit for duty 184 183 

Sick, present 27 21 

Sick, absent 13 5 

On command 47 

On furlough 1 1 

Total 272 210 

Deserted 2 45 

The total number of the State was two thou- 
sand nine hundred and seventy-three. 

Army Supplies. — In the beginning of the 
Revolution, Reading was selected as a place, 
adapted by its situation, for storing army sup- 
plies. It was capable of easy defense in the 
event of an attack from the enemy ; and it was 
not far distant from the operations of war in the 
State. Large quantities of provisions were 
stationed here. In April, 1780, the Executive 
Council was directed by General Washington to 
furnish the State out of the supplies at Reading, 
with the following articles : Two hundred bar- 
rels of flour ; five hundred and sixty gallons of 

ram ; one hundred and eighty tons of hay ; 
and fourteen thousand bushels of corn. 

At this time Nicholas Lotz was the com- 
missioner of purchases for Berks County. Two 
years before, there were two commissioners, 
Valentine Eckert and John Lesher. In 1778 
the supplies at Reading were large and valuable ; 
and then Congress requested the State to station 
two hundred militia at this point to defend the 
magazines of military stores, and keep commu- 
nications secure from sudden incursion of the 
enemy. Colonel Cowperthwaite was the store- 
keeper. The Executive Council made such an 
order. In May, of this year, Jacob Morgan re- 
ported that he had reduced theguard in Read- 
ing to fifty men, rank and file. 

In November, 1777, in pursuance of orders 
received, three hundred and fifty wagons were 
sent from Berks County to Philadelphia ; also a 
wagon master-general and wagon masters. 
When they reached Philadelphia, the enemy 
had left. The wagons got nothing. Twenty 
were taken into service. The men returned and 
demanded pay. Henry Christ, Jacob Shoe- 
maker and John Ludwig requested the president 
of the Executive Council to forward money for 
this purpose. The sum required was between 
twenty-five hundred and three thousand pounds. 

The quota of articles, etc., from Berks 
County to the State in July, 1780, was— six 
hundred barrels of flour per month ; six hundred 
bushels of forage per month ; twenty wagons 
and two hundred horses; and three hundred 
militia; and there having been then a great 
want of teams in the army, a requisition was 
made on the county to furnish twenty wagons. 
In September, 1778, the quota of wagons was 
one hundred and ten, and these were then ordered 
to be sent to Philadelphia. On June 14, 1779, 
Jacob Morgan, Jr., reported that he had sent to 
camp at Middle Brook, thirty-six good Con- 
tinental teams and fifty-four spare horses, and 
on the next day twelve teams properly 

Nicholas Lotz, as commissioner of forage, re- 
ported on June 5, 1780, that he had purchased 
forty tons of flour, one hundred and seventy- 
two bushels of oats and nineteen bags ; and on 
the 19th of June, following, he reported the 



purchase of ten head of cattle and forty sheep, 
which he was obliged to take under the law. 
Cattle and sheep he reported to be scarce, be- 
cause many butchers and drovers had come 
from Philadelphia and other places and bought 
them up. He was appointed commissioner on 
April 3, 1780. 

It was reported to Council on August 12, 
1780, that John Patton by agreement with 
Captain Jay, agreed to supply the Board of 
War with ninety tons of shell and shot ; for 
which purpose he put his Berkshire Furnace in 
blast. He was then at work ; but how long he 
would continue he could not tell because his 
workmen were not exempted from military duty. 
Then they were ordered out, and unless they 
were released he could not keep his works going. 
At this time he also had some Hessian prisoners 
employed. These were demanded from him ; 
and if they were not returned his bond would 
be put into suit. 

In May, 1776, Mark Bird offered to buy or 
have made in Berks County, one hundred mus- 
kets, provided he were supplied with the 
necessary funds. This offer was accepted by the 
Executive Council and an order to him for four 
hundred pounds was drawn. And in August, 
1776, the committee of safety also drew an order 
' in favor of Samuel High, a county commissioner, 
for six hundred dollars, on account of arms 
making in the county. 

On July 8, 1776, the Council passed a resolu- 
tion : 

" That the Iron Masters employed in castiDg cannon 
or shot for the public service in the counties of 
Chester, Lancaster and Berks, be permitted to employ 
any of the soldiers, prisoners of war at Lancaster and 
Reading, as laborers in the said business, giving an 
account to the committees of Lancaster and Beading 
of the time of such soldiers as they shall so employ. 

" This permission was given in view of the public 
exigency which required additional artillery and war 
materials to repel the invasion of the country by the 
army of General Howe, who had recently appeared 
at New York with the British fleet." 

On January 10, 1777, Captain Daniel Jay 
reported to Councils from the Beading Furnace 
that Mr. Old was casting different sizes of shot 
and expected to have by January 12, 1777, four 
tons of shot,— 3-lb., 2i-lb-, 2-lb., lj-lb., 1-lb. and 

£-lb., with a quantity of canister shot. But he an- 
ticipated difficulty in getting teams to haul them 

That week he sent down to Philadelphia 
two tons of shot,— 62 18-lb. shot; 250 3-lb. 
shot; 400 1-lb. shot; 300 £-l bshofc ; 1350 Up- 
shot; 815 pounds canister shot. 

Owing to the aid given by divers inhabitants 
of the State to the enemy, the Council of Safety 
appointed a committee in the several counties to 
seize upon and dispose of all the property of 
such offenders and make an inventory and return 
of their proceedings under oath. This was in 
September, 1777. The following committee 
was appointed in Berks County : Thomas 
Parry, David Morgan, Peter Nagle, Henry 
Haller, Daniel Udree, Henry Spycker and 
Joseph Hiester. 

And about that time the Council also ap- 
pointed a committee to collect arms, clothing, 
etc., from the inhabitants of the county who did 
not take the oath of allegiance, or who aided the 
enemy, and deliver them to the clothier general. 
The committee in Berks County was Henry 
Christ, Henry Haller, Thomas Parry, Daniel 
Udree, Philip Miller, Nathan Lewis, John 
Lower, Godfrey Ream, Jacob Seltzerand Nicho- 
las Shaffer. 

Jacob Morgan was qualified on September 3, 
1777, as a councillor from Berks County in the 
Supreme Executive Council of the State, and he 
then took his seat. On May 25, 1778, an order 
was drawn to him for three hundred and one 
pounds and five shillings for attending Council 
one hundred and eighty days, including mileage. 
James Reed succeeded him as the councillor 
from Berks County and was qualified on June 
30, 1778. 

The following interesting miscellaneous items 
are added to this chapter. 

Aug. 15, 1776. — The Committee of Safety appointed 
two persons in each district of the county to make 
provision for distressed families whose husbands and 
fathers were in actual service. Henry Hahn and Peter 
Feather were appointed for Beading. 

December 4, 1776. — Order to pay expense of remov- 
ing public papers to Beading. 

' June 9, 1777. — Order to Colonel Jacob Morgan 
(lieutenant of Berks County) for one hundred and 
fifty stand of arms and one thousand five hundred 



flints and order on treasurer to Colonel Morgan for 

August 26, 1777. — Henry Spyker appointed pay- 
master of militia of Berks County in place of Colonel 
Hunter, to whom inconvenient. 

September 12, 1777. — Ordered that Bucks County 
militia be employed as a guard to conduct the British 
prisoners to Reading, and such others as may be neces- 
sary to be added and ordered that the third and fourth 
class of militia of Berks County be called into immed- 
iate service. 

October 23, 1777. — Ordered that sixth and seventh 
class of Berks County be immediately called out. 

January 1, 1778. — Order to pay expenses for remov- 
ing Quaker prisoners to Reading— £159 3s. id. 

January 9, 1778. — Leonard Reed was wagon-master 
of Berks County. Subsequently the appointment of 
wagon master-general was tendered to him. Henry 
Haller was appointed wagon-master in 1778, and he 
held this appointment till 1780. In June, 1779, he 
was wagon master-general. 

January 10, 1778.— Ordered that Val. Eckhard and 
John Lesher, of Berks County, appointed to act as 
commissioners for purchasing forage, supplies and 

February 20, 1778.— Ordered that the sum of £4000 
be sent by Jacob Morgan to Val. Eckhart and John 
Lesher for purchasing supplies. 

Order to treasurer for $150 for recruiting, etc. 
March 24, 1778.— Ordered that two hundred mili- 
tia of Berks County, for guard at Reading. 

March 28, 1878.— Order drawn on treasurer in favor 
of Henry Spyker, paymaster of militia of Berks 
County for £5,000. 

July 13, 1778.— Letter of Colonel D. Hunter to 
several colonels of Berks County militia for immediate 
assistance, laid before Congress. 

July 23, 1778. — Order of one-third ton of gunpow- 
der, etc., be delivered to lieutenant of Berks County 

June 1, 1779.— Letter from Reading to Mr. Haller, 
inclosing sundry papers— respecting prisoners at 
Reading, and disturbances between them and the in- 
habitants of the town. Ordered that papers be sent 
to Board of War and request that prisoners be sent to 
some other place. 

June 29, 1779.— Congress authorized a loan of $20,- 
000,000, and suggested the appointment of persons to 
take subscriptions for loans. The Executive Council, 
on the 14th of July following, appointed Henry Hal- 
ler a commissioner for this purpose in Berks County. 
July 14, 1779.— Henry Haller, Esq., appointed to 
receive subscription in Berks County for loan of 
$20,000,000 on interest. 

July 15, 1779.— Letter from Henry Haller as to sugar 
and rum, sent to John Wilman, tavern-keeper -at 

March 13, 1780.— Letter from commissioners of 

Berks County as to obstructions, in way of executing 
their office, and answer. 

May 19, 1780. — Petition of Christian Shultz, as- 
sessor of county of Berks, complaining of commis- 
sioners; read and referred to judge of the Supreme 

August 14, 1780.— Jacob Morgan, Jr., was appointed 
superintendent of the commissioners of the State for 
purchasing supplies, and also of the wagon-masters, 
at a salary of £1,000 per annum, and an order was 
then drawn in his favor for £20,000, which he was 
directed to forward to the commissioners to enable 
them to purchase supplies. 

November 25, 1780. — John Witman appointed col- 
lector of excise for Berks County. 

November 30, 1780. — Order on treasurer drawn to 
Henry Spyker, paymaster of Berks County, for £163,- 
000 to pay militia of said County, if so much in treas- 
ury for militia fines. 

December 13, 1780. — Resolved that Jacob Morgan 
pay off militia who marched on late tour of duty. 

December 13, 1780. — A petition from divers inhabit- 
ants of Berks County who were convicted of misde- 
meanor, in associating together, to oppose the col- 
lector of the public taxes in said county was read, 
setting forth that they are unable to pay fines laid on 
them by court, and pray remission. Resolved that 
they be remitted. 

January 26, 1781.— Petition of Inhabitants of 
Bern, praying for remission of fine of £300 sentenced 
for misdemeanor in confederating against payment 
of taxes. 

July 1, 1781. — Letter from Henry Christ and Henry 
Haller. Ordered that secretary do answer that coun- 
cil understand the tract of land, on which the town' 
of Reading stands, to be an estate held by the pro- 
prietors in their public capacity, and accordingly de- 
volves to the State ; but that if any advice respecting 
construction of law be necessary to Christ and Haller, 
that it is proper they should stale the question to the 
Attorney-General, who will, of course, give his 

Affairs at Beading in 1777.— The steady 
advance of the English upon Philadelphia during 
the Summer of 1777 had thrown the city into 
a great panic. Many persons went to Reading 
as a place of safety— the fugitive families having 
been estimated at a score or more. The ensuing 
winter (1777-78) at Reading was gay and agree- 
able, notwithstanding that the enemy was in 
possassion of the metropolis. The society was 
sufficiently large and select; and a sense of 
common suffering in being driven from their 
homes had the effect of more closely uniting its 
members. Besides the families established in 
this place, it was seldom without a number ot 



visitors, gentlemen of the army and others. 
The dissipation of cards, sleighing parties, 
balls, etc., were numerous. General Mifflin, 
at this era, was at home — a chief out of war, 
complaining, though not ill, considerably mal- 
content, and apparently not in high favor at 
headquarters. According to him, the ear of 
the commander-in-chief was exclusively pos- 
sessed by Green, who was represented to be 
neither the most wise, the most brave nor the 
most patriotic of counsellors. In short, the cam- 
paign in this quarter was stigmatized as a series 
of blunders; and the incapacity of those who had 
conducted it was unsparingly reprobated. The 
better fortune of the northern army was ascribed 
to the superior talents of its leader; and it 
began to be whispered that Gates was the man 
who should, of right, have the station so incom- 
petently sustained by Washington. There was, 
to all appearance, a cabal forming for his depo- 
sition, in which it is not improbable that Gates, 
Mifflin and Conway were already engaged, and 
in which the congenial spirit of Lee on his 
exchange immediately took a share. The well- 
known apostrophe of Conway to America, im- 
porting " that Heaven had passed a decree in her 
favor or her ruin must long before have ensued 
from the imbecility of her military counsels," was 
at this time familiar at Reading. And I (Gray- 
don) heard him myself — when he was afterwards 
on a visit to that place — express himself to this 
effect : " That no man was more of a gentle- 
man than General Washington, or appeared to 
more advantage at his table or in the usual 
intercourse of life ; but, as to his talents for 
the command of an army (with a French 
shrug), they were miserable." Observations of 
this kind continually repeated could not fail to 
make an impression within the sphere of their 
circulation ; and it may be said that the popu- 
larity of the commander-in-chief was a good 
deal impaired at Reading. l 

Conw ay-Cabal. — The " Conway-Cabal " 
was a secret movement by which it was 
intended to remove Washington and put Gates 
in his place. Conway spent the winter of 
1777-78 at York intriguing with Mifflin, Lee 

'Graydon's Memoirs, 283. 

and some members of Congress to bring about 
the removal of Washington. The correspond- 
ence between Gates, Mifflin and Conway, reflect- 
ing upon Washington, became known through 
the indiscretion of Wilkinson, who had seen 
one of the letters and repeated its purport to 
Stirling. The unfavorable impression produced 
by this discovery was not removed when Gates, 
with some bluster, first demanded of Washing- 
ton to know who had tampered with his letters, 
and then denied that Conway had written the 
letter whose words had been quoted. 2 Mifflin 
had written to Gates, informing him that an 
extract from Conway's letter had been procured 
and sent to headquarters. This perplexed Gates 
and caused him to suspect that his portfolio had 
been stealthily opened and his letters copied, 
and in a state of mental trepidation he wrote to 
Washington on the 8th of December, in which, 
among other things, he said : " I conjure your 
Excellency to give me all the assistance you can 
in tracing the author of the infidelity which put 
extracts from General Conway's letter to me in 
your hands." Washington replied with char- 
acteristic dignity and candor on the 4th of Jan- 
uary following, — saying, among other things : 

" I am to inform you then, that Colonel Wilkinson, 
on his way to Congress in the month of October last, 
fell in with Lord Stirling at Reading and — -not in 
confidence that I ever understood — informed his aid- 
de-camp, Major Williams, that General Conway had 
written this to you : ' Heaven has been determined 
to save your country, or a weak general and bad 
counsellors would have ruined it.' Lord Sterling — from 
motives of friendship — transmitted the account with 
this remark : ' The enclosed was communicated by 
Colonel Wilkinson to Major McWilliams.' Such 
wicked duplicity of conduct I shall always think it 
my duty to detect.' " 

Attempts to influence State legislatures 
proved 8 equally abortive, and when the purpose 
of the " Cabal " became known to the country 
and to the army, it met with universal 
condemnation. It has been said that this 
" Cabal " was conceived at Reading, one tra- 
dition locating the place of meeting in a 
low one-story log building on the south side of 

■■> 3 Bryant's " History of U. S.," 596. 
3 3 Irving's " Life of Washington." Also Sparks' " Life 
of Washington," vol. 5, pp. 484 et seq. 



Penn street sixty feet above Eighth, (which was 
torn down several years ago), and another 
tradition in a two-story stone building on the 
south side of Penn street, one hundred and 
twenty feet above Tenth, called for many years 
the " Fountain Inn." But these traditions are 
not correct. Conway was not at Reading at 
any time. Wilkinson was on his way from 
Saratoga to York, where Congress was then 
assembled, with dispatches from Gen. Gates 
concerning the surrender of Burgoyne's army 
on the 17th of October. Accordingly the peo- 
ple of Reading knew of the surrender before 

Duel at Reading. — Col. Richard Butler's 
regiment was quartered at Reading during 1780 
—81. Most of its officers were very worthy 
men, It was commanded by Lieut. -Col. Metz- 
ger, in the absence of the Colonel, who was 
not at Reading most of the winter. Metzger 
was one of the very few foreign officers who 
were valuable to the colonists. There was a 
Captain Bowen in the Regiment. He was 
recognized as an excellent officer ; but he had a 
warm temper which occasioned some disturb- 
ances at Reading about that time. On one 
occasion he took ofFense when none was intended, 
and on that account, fought a duel with the 
major of the regiment. The duellists each fired 
a shot, and Bowen had a button shot from his 
coat. Their seconds then settled the matter 
between them. An investigation of the cause 
of the difficulty was then made. " It appeared 
the major was walking with some girls on the 
night before, and they burst out laughing just 
after Bowen had passed them. Their laughter 
was caused by the major telling them pf his 
and Bowen's being at a dance on the evening 
before, when the blind fiddler broke one of the 
strings of his fiddle and the landlady took a 
candle and held it for him while he was fitting 
a new string." This story even set the seconds 
to laughing and they all returned in good 
humor. Upon another occasion, soon after- 
ward, whilst Bowen and Charles Biddle (who 
was then residing at Reading) were playing 
backgammon, at a certain place, Captain Bower 
— an officer in the same Regiment, came into 
the room and, addressing himself to Bowen 

said : " I hope you are very well, Major." 
Bowen immediately started up and replied to 
him: "Don't major me, sir! None of your 
majors ! You know I am not a major, sir ! 
What do you mean, sir?" Bower declared 
that he had not intended to give any offense. 
Bowen then took Biddle into an adjoining room 
and inquired if he should not challenge Bower. 
Biddle replied to him that " a man who would 
not fight on some occasions was not fit to live, 
nor was a man fit to live who was always quar- 
reling." They returned, and Biddle made the 
captains shake hands, and so avoided a second 
duel. Bowen held the appointment of Town- 
Major for a time. 1 

Independence Won and Peace De- 
clared. — The surrender of Lord Cornwallis, 
at Yorktown, on the 19th of October, 1781, 
was virtually the end of the war between Eng- 
land and America. The news of the surrender 
reached London on the 25th of November, fol- 
lowing. Several months afterward, the war- 
fare in the American Colonies was discussed 
and its continuance discouraged in the House of 
Commons, a resolution having been passed, 
declaring that fchey who advised the continua- 
tion of the war were enemies of their country. 
These discussions were continued with earnest- 
ness till they culminated in a preliminary treaty 
of peace on the 30th of November, 1782. In 
the first article of this treaty, " the independ- 
ence of the thirteen United States of America " 
was recognized. The treaty was not made final 
then, owing to the three allied powers— Great 
Britain, France and Spain — having been 
pledged to one another not to conclude a treaty 
except by common consent ; and the consent of 
France and Spain was to be obtained. This 
occasioned further delay and obliged the United 
States to await the adjustment of the differences 
between them. The final treaty of peace was 
concluded at Paris on the 3d of September, 
1783, and thereby the United States were ac- 
knowledged to be "free, sovereign and inde- 
pendent." 2 

During these two years of negotiation and 
delay there were no general military operations. 

'Autobiog. of Charles Biddle, pp. 150-51. 
2 Bryant's U. 8. History, pp. 73-90. 



But great anxiety was felt over the prospects 
for a permanent peace. Through the inactivity 
of the army, the officers and soldiers became 
restless ; also discontented because they were 
not rewarded for their patriotic services. An 
attempt was made by anonymous and seditious 
publications to inflame their minds and to 
induce them to unite in redressing their griev- 
ances whilst they had arms in their hands. But 
Washington succeeded in quieting them. His 
wisdom and eloquence elicited from the officers 
the unanimous adoption of a resolution by 
which they declared " that no circumstances of 
distress or danger should induce a conduct 
that might tend to sully the reputation and 
glory they had acquired ; that the army con- 
tinued to have unshaken confidence in the jus- 
tice of congress and their couutry ; and that 
they viewed with abhorrence and rejected with 
disdain the infamous propositions in the late 
anonymous address to the officers of the army." 

In order to avoid the inconveniences of dis- 
missing a great number of soldiers in a body, 
furloughs were freely granted. In this way a 
great part of the unpaid army was disbanded 
and dispersed over the states without tumult or 
disorder. The soldiers returned to labor. As 
they had been easily and speedily formed out of 
farmers and mechanics and laborers, in 1775, 
so with equal facility did they throw off their 
military character and resume their former 
occupations. They had taken up arms earn- 
estly for the purposes of self-defense and politi- 
cal freedom, but when these were no longer 
necessary they laid them down peaceably to be- 
come again good industrious citizens as they 
had been for eight years devoted and patriotic 
soldiers. 1 

The manner and the time of the return of 
the Berks county troops from the seat of war 
have not as yet been ascertained. There was no 
record here or elsewhere; and, at that time, 
there was no newspaper publication in the town 
to report the arrivals. No written or printed 
statement has been prepared or published, show- 
ing the companies and men which were supplied 
by the county, the men killed or wounded, or 

•Ramsay's U. S. History (Introduction-pp. 35-37). 

returned. Doubtless the citizens of the town 
rejoiced with all the people of the country 
when the struggle was over and peace declared. 

Revolutionary Suevivoes. — The follow- 
ing survivors of the Revolution, who were resi- 
dents of Reading, are presented in this connec- 
tion, though not strictly a part of this period. 

In 1823 there were thirty-nine survivors. 
They held a public meeting on the 19th of 
August, of that year, for the purpose of endors- 
ing Andrew Gregg as a candidate for Governor 
of the State. Peter Nagle was chairman of the 
meeting and Michael Madeira secretary. Ap- 
propriate resolutions were adopted, — 

Peter Nagle. Michael Madeira. 

John Strohecker. Jacob Dick. 

Nicholas Dick. Daniel Rose. 

George Snell. Gottlieb Christine. 

Henry Miller. William Mannerback. 

Henry Stiles. Philip Nagle. 

Michael Reifschneider. Alexander Eisenbise. 

Michael Spatz. Balthaser Ottenheimer. 

John Snell. George Slear. 

George Price. John Bingeman. 

I»avid Fox. John Pox. 

Christian Miller. Henry Holm. 

Jacob Petree. Christopher Diem. 

Andrew Fichthorn. George Yerger. 

Peter Stichter. John Row. 

James Haiden. Ludwig Katzenmyer. 

John Giley. Christian Hoffman. 

John Sell. Samuel Homan. 

Frederick Heller. Henry Diehl. 

John Syder. 

In 1840 the census reported nine surviving 
Revolutionary soldiers in Reading who were 
then drawing pensions from the State Govern- 
ment, viz. : 

Michael Spatz, aged seventy-eight years. 

Peter Stichter, aged seventy-eight years. 

Aaron Wright, aged seventy-eight years. 

William James, aged seventy-nine years. 

Sebastian Allgaier, aged eighty-three years. 

John P. Nagle, aged eighty three years. 

Henry Stiles, aged eighty four years. 

Joseph Snablee, aged eighty-four years. 

Christian Miller, aged eighty- five years. 

In 1846 two still survived— Michael Spatz and 
William James. 

Continental Papee Money. — During the 
progress of the Revolution the government of 
the United States was compelled to resort to the 
emission of " bills of credit " with which to 



purchase army supplies, etc., and to satisfy the 
demands of carrying on the war. Gold and 
silver was not then known to exist in the conn- 
try in any quantity equal to the demands of 
war ; nor could they be procured. Direct taxa 
tion, though practicable, was deemed impolitic. 
The only plausible expedient in the power of 
Congress was the emission of bills of credit 
which were to represent specie under a public 
engagement of redemption through taxation, or 
of exchange for gold or silver. This practice 
had been familiar from the first settlement of 
the colonies ; and, under proper restrictions, it 


had been found highly advantageous. Congress, 
therefore, resolved, in June, 1775, to emit such 
bills to the amount of two millions of dollars; 
in July, ordered a million more, and in Novem- 
ber, three millions more ; and for their redemp- 
tion congress pledged the Confederated colonies. 
Subsequently other emissions were made ; and, 
such was the animation of the times, that these 
several emissions, amounting to twenty millions, 
circulated for some time without any deprecia- 
tion, and commanded the resources of the 
country for public service equally with gold or 
silver. For a considerable time the Govern- 
ment derived much benefit from this paper 
creation of their own, though it was without 
any established funds for its support or redemp- 
tion. Whilst the ministry of England were 

puzzling themselves for new taxes and funds ou 
which to raise supplies, congress raised theirs 
by resolutions directing paper of no intrinsic 
value to be struck off in the form of promissory 
notes. But there was a point both in time and 
quantity beyond which this process ceased to 
operate ; that time was about eighteen months 
from the date of first emission and that quantity 
twenty millions. The rulers thought it still 
premature to urge taxation, and they therefore 
resorted to the expedient of further emissions. 
The ease with which the means of procuring 
supplies were furnished by simply striking off 
bills of credit and the readiness with 
which the people received them, 
prompted congress to multiply them 
beyond the limits of prudence ; and 
a depreciation of their value was the 
unavoidable consequence. At first this 
depreciation was scarcely perceptible, 
but it increased daily, till finally the 
currency became worthless. The de- 
preciation began at different periods in 
different states ; but in general about 
the midd le of the year 1777, and then 
increased progressively for several 

In the latter part of 1777 it was 
two dollars in currency for one in 
specie ; in 1778,five for one ; in 1779 
twenty-seven for one; in 1780, 
fifty for one. After this year the circulation 
was limited to certain localities ; but where the 
currency passed it depreciated to one hundred 
and fifty dollars for one. In Pennsylvania the 
executive council resolved, as late as Feb- 
ruary 1, 1781, that continental money should 
be received for public dues at the exchange of 
seventy-five dollars in currency for one in specie. 
But an act provided that after June 1st, following, 
only specie or equivalent bills of credit should 
be received for taxes or other public dues ; and 
this rendered the currency worthless in the 
State. This extraordinary depreciation brought 
great loss to many of the people who had aided 
the government in the grand struggle for free- 
dom. In this respect the soldiers suffered 
most. The people of Reading, and especially 



of the county, met with considerable losses 
thereby. Some of them had large quantities 
which were transmitted for some time till lost or 
destroyed. It was not redeemed. 


Whiskey Insurrection of 1794 — House Tax and Liberty 
Poles of 1799— Embargo of 1807— War of 1812--15 and 
Companies of County Enlisted. 

Whiskey Insurrection of 1794. — As 
early as 1756 the province of Pennsylvania had 
looked to excise on ardent spirits for the means 
of sustaining its bills of credit. The original 
law was limited to a period of ten years; but it 
was extended from time to time as necessities 
pressed upon the treasury. During the Revo- 
lution the law was generally evaded in the 
western part of the State by considering all 
spirits as for domestic use, such having been ex- 
cepted from excise. But, when the debts of 
the Revolution began to press upon the States, 
the government officials became more vigilant 
in the enforcement of the law. Congress, 
after a long debate, passed a law in March, 
1791, increasing the duty on imported spirits 
and levying a tax ' on distillation, and this went 
into operation in July following. The Legisla- 
ture of Pennsylvania had instructed their rep- 
resentatives in Congress to vote against the law. 
Opposition arose at once in the western counties 
of the State, and resolutions were adopted at 
public meetings demanding an unconditional 
appeal. Liberty poles were erected, and people 
even assembled in arms to resist officers in the 
enforcement of the law. Various public ex- 
citements continued till 1794, when an insur- 
rection ensued. Governor Mifflin, of the 
State, on various excuses, declined to call out 
the militia to suppress the insurrection, and, as 
a consequence, the spirit extended into conti- 
guous States. President Washington, who 
feared that successful resistance to one law 
might be the beginning of rebellion against all 
law, called on Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mary- 
land and Virginia for fifteen thousand men, 
and sent commissioners to the scene of the dis- 

1 Four pence per gallon on all distilled spirits. 

turbance, 2 with power to arrange for peaceful 
submission any time before September 14, 1794. 
But the commissioners returned to Philadelphia 
ten days after that date, having failed to obtain 
a satisfactory settlement. The troops were 
promptly put in motion, the governors of the 
several States named commanding their respec- 
tive quotas. Governor Lee, of Virginia, had 
chief command of the army. On the appear- 
ance of the troops, in November, the insurrec- 
tion subsided. There was no opposition and 
no bloodshed. Among the Pennsylvania troops 
there was a company from Reading under 
the command of Captain Daniel de .B. Keim. 
This company was formed from certain survi- 
vors of the Reading Battalion in the Continen- 
tal Army, which had been commanded by 
Lieutenant-Colonel Nicholas Lotz, and was 
called the " Reading Union Volunteers." It 
was afterwards known as the " Reading Artil- 
lerists." This insurrection cost the government 
eleven hundred thousand dollars. 

The proportion of troops, which was to be 
supplied by Berks County towards the quota of 
Pennsylvania militia under the requisition of 
the President of the United States, was four hun- 
dred and thirty four officers and privates, and 
twenty-six cavalry. The four hundred and 
thirty-four men were placed under the command 
of Brigadier-General Francis Murray, in the 
second brigade. The Adjutant-General of the 
State issued an order on September 11, 1794, 
requiring " the quota for the counties of Bucks, 
Northampton and Berks to assemble at Read- 
ing, where they will be furnished with arms 
and equipments and camp equipage, and march 
from thence by way of Harrisburg to Carlisle." 

The quartermaster-general of Pennsylvania, 
Clement Biddle, arrived at Reading on Sunday 
evening, September 28, 1794. In a letter by 
him to Governor Mifflin, dated the day follow- 
ing, he remarked about the Berks County troops : 
" Colonel Cowperthwaite had collected four hun- 
dred men in the encampment at Peters's farm, 
who were fully furnished with everything they 
required. The drafts from the county continu- 
ed to come in and he proposed marching to- 
morrow." And he reported that Captain For- 

2 In Washington County, I'enna. 



rest's troops had moved from Reading on Satur- 
day (27th) ; that he expected the Bucks County- 
Militia here on 30th ; and that the Militia of 
Berks County would assemble on October 1st; 
also that the rear of the Jersey troops would 
march from here on 30th under General White. 
Washington at Reading. — In another 
letter to Governor Mifflin, dated at Reading, 
October 2, 1794, he stated that— " The Presi- 
dent (Washington) was here last night, and 
went on this morning to Carlisle." He also re- 
ported then that " the cavalry of this county 
(Berks) are by this time at Carlisle. Captain 
Spade has a fine company of infantry ready to 
march, and I shall hasten the drafts from the 
county off to-morrow." The cavalry mentioned 
was Moore's, and contained — one captain, one 
lieutenant, one cornet, four sergeants, four corp- 
orals, one quartermaster, one surgeon and twen- 
ty-five privates. 

The militia of Berks County responded 
promptly on the requisition of the President to 
suppress this insurrection. 

House-Tax and Liberty-Poles, 1799. — 
During the early part of Adams's administra- 
tion, Congress passed an act requiring a direct 
tax to be levied upon houses. This tax was 
called the "house-tax," also "window-tax." The 
federal government, in collecting it in the eas- 
tern counties of Pennsylvania, caused a consider- 
able excitement and opposition, which eventually 
broke out in an insurrection in 1799. "In 
some townships associations of people were act- 
ually formed in order to prevent the officials 
from performing their duty and more particular- 
ly to prevent the assessors from measuring their 
houses. This opposition was made at many 
public township meetings called for the pur- 
pose; and in many instances written resolutions 
were entered into, solemnly forewarning the o f- 
ficers, and accompanied many times with 
threats." 1 The leader in this insurrectionary 
proceeding was John Fries, of Bucks County; 
who was tried and convicted of high treason 
and sentenced to be hanged. But President 
Adams, against the advice of his Cabinet, par- 
doned Fries and also issued a general amnesty 

1 Day's Penna. Historical Coll. 422. 

for all the / offenders. It was reported that 
" great men were at the bottom of the business." 
Thirty-one persons were arrested in Northamp- 
ton County, fifteen for high treason. 2 The ex- 
citement — if not actual opposition — about the 
direct " house-tax," extended into the northeas- 
tern border of Berks County. 

Excitement at Reading. — The insurrec- 
tion — though not directly active in the county — 
was indirectly the cause of a considerable com- 
motion at Reading. Certain troops were called 
out to suppress the insurrection ; and among 
them was Captain Montgomery's company of 
Light Dragoons from Lancaster. Their way to 
the scene of excitement was through Reading. 
Upon arriving here they cut down certain 
" Liberty Poles," insulted the people, etc. ; and 
these unwarranted performances induced an 
anonymous correspondent of the Adler to publish 
a letter, criticising their conduct. He subscribed 
it " A Friend of Truth." This appeared whilst 
the company was on the way to Northampton 
County. But upon their return they heard of 
it. Naturally it developed in them as soldiers 
a spirit of revenge. So they went to Jacob 
Schneider, the senior proprietor of the Adler, 
and demanded from him the name of the per- 
son who had written the letter condemning and 
ridiculing them. He was bold enough to refuse 
compliance. His refusal led the soldiers to 
spend their anger on him by taking him forcibly 
to the market-house and giving him a certain 
number of lashes. The letter 3 which caused 
the trouble was as follows : 

" On Monday afternoon, April 1, 1799, Capt. Mont- 
gomery's troop of Light Dragoons arrived here on 
their march from Lancaster to Northampton County, 
in order to apprehend the 'rebels,' and to quell the 
insurrection. But their determination will be more 
likely to create an uproar than to restore order. 

" Upon their arrival here, their first undertaking 
was to go quietly and unnoticed to a citizen of the 
town who had erected a Liberty Pole upon his own 
ground and cut it dowu. But not satisfied with this 
they were desirous of disturbing this man's family, 
before whom they flourished pistols and drawn swords 
and took with them the instrument with which they 

2 Names, including Fries, are given in Adler, Apiil 16, 
1799. V 

3 Adler, April 9, 1799. Translated from the German. 



had cut down the symbol of true freedom. Then 
they went upon a second expedition. At a particu- 
lar place children had raised a pole with some 
patches attached ; but when they observed the troops 
coming, they took it down and carried it into the house. 
But these troops went into the house with pistols 
and drawn swords, struck the owner of the house up,on 
his breast and threatened to shoot him if he said one 
word. They broke the pole in pieces, took up the 
patches and other articles which did not concern 
them at all and carried them away. They sought a 
third adventure a short distance away and found a 
single small boy whom they commanded not to throw 
a certain tree (already cut down and lying near the 
river), into the water, and clubbed him unmercifully 
without the slightest reason. Thence they went to 
numerous other places and committed offenses not 
any less shameful and cruel. By this time night had 
come when they were forced to discontinue. 

" On the following morning they arose very early 
for new adventure.'. But they were so unfortunate 
as to find one immediately. Why unfortunate? 
Yes, it appeared dreadful to them, for these adven- 
turous cannibals feared to approach within eighty 
steps of a well-guarded Liberty Pole, . . . which ap- 
peared to be surrounded with explosive pipes. They 
hesitated, stood still and gaped at this wonderful 
thing, as a cow at a newly painted stable door. They 
were asked to come nearer ; but they were afraid ; 
they would not move a step, till a messenger was 
sent informing them 'they might come a little nearer 
in order to be able to see the emblem of Liberty, for no 
harm should be done to them.' Upon this one of 
them took courage and rode along ; when the others 
saw that nothing was done to him, another followed. 
They were then asked what they wanted. They 
replied : ' Nothing more than to see the country and 
this Liberty Pole and to give their horses a little 
exercise.' They were asked further whether they 
had not intended to cut down this Liberty Pole, and 
they answered ' No.' Still another question was put 
to them whether they had a right to cut down such a 
Liberty Pole and to abuse the people. They an- 
swered : 'They did not in reality have the right then, 
but they might perhaps obtain it, in which case they 
would not only cut down all the Liberty Poles but 
also burn and destroy everything where such poles 
stood and were erected.' Upon this they were 
asked to examine this Liberty Pole particularly to 
see if anything objectionable was upon it, and if so 
they were welcome to cut it down ; but they replied 
that they could not see anything and would not give 
it the slightest injury. Then three cheers were 
shouted, and we saw that the caps of the Dragoons 
could flourish in the air as well as the round 

" The troops which left here to arrest the disturbers 
of the peace in Northampton County returned to 
Reading oh April 20, 1799— Saturday afternoon. On 

the following Monday afternoon and Tuesday morn- 
ing all, excepting the regular troops, marched to their 
respective homes. ... A party of them (Captain 
Montgomery's Company of Light Dragoons) came 
into my printing establishment, not as men of good 
character, but as scoundrels and rascals, tore off my 
clothing and dragged me before their fine captain, 
who is not a particle better than any of his company. 
He immediately commanded them to give me twenty- 
five lashes on my back at the Market House, and this 
would have been done, if one of Captain Leiper's 
company, from Philadelphia, had not interfered, and 
said that they should be ashamed of their perform- 
ance. Through this interference I did not receive the 
whole number. . . ." [An editorial in Adler, 23 
April, 1799, subscribed by the proprietor, Jacob 

Mr. Schneider made complaint before a justice 
of the peace and caused the criminals to be ar- 
rested, but Captain Montgomery denied the 
authority to make the arrest. The matter was 
then referred to General Macpherson, who said 
he would look into it ; and so they rode away 
on Sunday evening. [Adler, 7th May, 1799.] 

By the time that Montgomery's troops re- 
turned to Reading on their way home, Stro- 
hecker had erected a liberty-pole in the place of 
the one erected by his children. Hearing this, 
the soldiers went to Strohecker's place and there 
attempted to compel a common laborer to cut 
down the " offensive wood," notwithstanding 
that he protested against doing so, declaring at 
the same time, on the most solemn asseveration, 
that he also was a Federalist. They succeeded 
in divesting the pole, and with it appended as a 
trophy, they rode through the streets of Read- 
ing to their quarters. In a few days they left, 
but on the 24th of April an army, under the 
command of Brigadier-General W. Macpher- 
son, arrived at Reading. They apprehended 
some of the insurrectionists, who were after- 
wards tried before Judge Peters; some of them 
were found guilty, some were fined and im- 
prisoned and others condemned to be capitally 
punished ; but none atoned with their lives — 
they were pardoned through executive clem- 
ency.' ' 1 

Complaints. — Some persons doubting that 
the troops had misbehaved themselves, the 
charge was reiterated, and the names of other 

Rupp's History of Berks County., pp. 165-CO 



persons were added who suffered from their 
cruel treatment. These persons were, — 

Rudolph Lampe. 

Isaac Feather, a landlord, and his family, 
treating him in the most cruel manner [Adkr, 
21st of May, 1799]. 

On the 18th of May, 1799, the following 
persons appeared before Peter Nagel, Esq., a 
justice of the peace of Reading, and made com- 
plaint against the Lancaster troops : 

1. Jacob Gosin, bad treatment of himself and fam- 
ily and larceny of an ax. 

2. John Strohecker, bad behaviour and the taking 
of a flag from a Liberty Pole which his children had 
erected and of other things which did not belong to 

3. Jacob Epler, assembling and resolving to cut 
down a certain Liberty Pole which stood near his 
house (in Bern township) [Adler, 21st of May, 1799]. 

Captain Dewees narrates the following ac- 
count in relation to the cutting down of Epler's 
liberty-pole and the cow-hiding to Schneider 
[Hanna's Life of Dewees, p. 329] : 

" There was a farmer of the name of Epply, who 
lived about three miles from Reading, who was an 
influential and wealthy man. Epply stood in the 
front rank of the ' Liberty Boys,' in that section of 
the country. The insurgents rendezvoused on his 
farm and erected a ' Liberty Pole ' in front of his 
house. There was a company of Light Horse, com- 
manded by Captain Slow, sent on from Lancaster 
with orders to cut it down. When this company ar- 
rived on the farm of Epply, and within sight of the 
Liberty Pole, Captain Slow was surprised to find 
upwards of one hundred Riflemen under arms and 
guarding the pole ; and finding that he had too few 
men to contend against this force, he retired without 
making any effort to fill the measure, of his orders. 
He returned to Reading with his company and ob- 
tained a reinforcement and moved on a second time 
to execute his orders. When he arrived within sight 
of the Liberty Pole a second time, the insurgents find- 
ing that Slow's force was augmented and too strong 
for them to contend against, gave way and dispersed 
in all directions. Captain Slow and his force then 
moved up to the pole, which was immediately cut 
down. These prompt measures put an end to the 
Liberty Boys in the neighborhood of Reading. After 
Captain Slow returned to Reading the second time, a 
printer in town, whom I knew very well, published 
an article in his newspaper derogatory to the charac- 
ter of Slow as a gentleman and as a soldier. Slow, 
who was a large and powerful man, no sooner beheld 
it than he went and bought a cow-hide and went to 
the printing-office and took hold of the printer and 

dragged him across the street to the Market-house, 
which was opposite the printing-office, and cow-hided 
him severely. There was not any person interfered, 
nor did any person say anything against it, for the 
printer was looked upon as the aggressor." 

Keim's Company Complimented. — Upon 
the breaking-up of the head-quarters at Reading, 
on April 22, 1799, Brigadier General W. Mac- 
pherson addressed the following interesting 
letter to Captain Daniel Keim : 

" While I congra'tulate you and the company you 
command on their return home, I take an additional 
pleasure in expressing my complete satisfaction with 
every part of their steady and soldier-like conduct 
during a very fatiguing though short expedition. It 
is much to be regretted that in a country blessed as 
this is, by an excellent constitution faithfully admin- 
istered, there should be found any portion of its in- 
habitants so ignorant, or so wicked, as to oppose laws 
peculiarly adapted to the ease of the mass of the peo- 
ple, since the burden falls immediately upon the 
opulent. But it is agreat consolation to see gentlemen, 
such as compose your company, come forward and 
brave fatigue and danger in support of the honor 
and happiness of their country. Accept, sir, my 
sincere thanks for this instance of your patriotism 
and be pleased to convey' to every individual my 
particular acknowledgments, best wishes and affec- 
tionate farewell.'' 

Embargo of 1807. — Congress passed an act 
on December 22, 1807, laying an embargo on 
all theships and vessels in the ports and harbors 
of the United States in pursuance of the recom- 
mendation of President Jefferson. It prohibited 
the departure of all American vessels and of all 
foreign vessels, except those in ballast. No 
merchandise whatever was to be exported. The 
act was not simply to save American ships from 
danger, as Jefferson suggested in his message ; 
but it was a measure of aggression against Eng- 
land. It was unpopular in proportion as men 
were or were not engaged in commerce. The 
maritime states thought that the agricultural 
states took a special satisfaction in a quasi war, 
of which all the burden fell at first upon com- 
merce. But the burden at length became uni- 
versal. The men, whose tobacco, corn and cot- 
ton could not be sent to market, soon learned that 
they also, as well as the carriers of those products, 
were paying a heavy tax by this interdiction of 
commerce. Under the pressure of publicopinion, 
this act was repealed on March 1, 1809, and 

THE WAR OF 1812. 


another act was then substituted which interdict- 
ed the commercial intercourse between the 
United States and Great Britain and France, 
and forbade imports from Europe. From this 
policy of non-intercourse and from other diffi- 
culties, which in a state of war hindered impor- 
tations from Europe, there was born unexpect- 
edly that gigantic system under which the 
United States has become a great aianufacturing 
nation. 1 

During this interdiction, the people of Berks 
County begau to feel the evil effects of this 
policy of non-intercourse. A number of mil- 
lers and other citizens met at the public house 
of Valentine Brobst, in Reading, on April 11, 
1812, " for the purpose of taking into consider- 
ation the late measures of Congress, the perilous 
situation of our common country, and of consult- 
ing and devising such means or measures as may 
tend to relieve us from the distress which im- 
pends over us ; " and passsd the following reso- 
lutions : 2 

"1. Resolved, That wedisapproveofthelate measures 
of Congress, particularly the act establishing an Em- 
bargo, which will induce great hardship and oppres- 
sions to the millers and farmers of the State of Penn- 
sylvania in particular, and to the citizens generally- 

"2. t\ evolved, That a committee be appointed to 
draught a memorial to our representatives in Congress, 
praying ior a repeal of the act establishing the Em- 

" 3. Resolved, That the friends of the peace and 
prosperity of our country be requested to assemble 
generally throughout the union, and express their 
disapprobation by remonstrance or otherwise of the 
said act of Congress and solicit the repeal, to save our 
country from the evil with which it threatens to over- 
whelm her. 

"4. Resolved, That a remonstrance be prepared and 
transmitted to the Representatives of Congress from 
this district, disapproving of their conduct in support- 
ing by their votes the late obnoxious law establishing 
an Embargo in the ports of the United States, with 
instructions calling on them to use their endeavors to 
have the same repealed at the expiration of sixty days 
or sooner. 

" 5. Resolved, That committees be appointed in the 
different townships in the County of Berks, to obtain 
the signatures of such of our citizens to the memorial 
as are unfriendly to the continuance of the Embargo. 

" 6. Resolved, That the following persons be ap- 
pointed a committee to obtain signatures to the me- 
morial to Congress in the different townships as fol- 
lows : In Albany, Jacob Risler ; Alsace, Henry Leiss, 
Martin Rothermel ; Bern, Joseph Conrad and Samuel 
Bell ; Cumru, Henry Van Reed and David Hemmig ; 
Colebrookdale, Daniel Boyer and John Thompson, 
Esq.; Exeter, Peter Howsem and Isaac Broome ; Amity, 
Thomas Boone, Esq., John Schrack and Valentine 
Boyer ; Douglas, William Long and Henry Keely ; 
Heidelberg, William Addams and Frederick Bechtel ; 
Greenwich, Jacob George ; Longswamp, Peter Trex- 
ler; Maxatawny, Benjamin Levan and Motheral Wil- 
son ; Maidencreek, John Wily, John Stichter and 
John Uerich; Oley, John Knabb and Frederick 
Spang; Reading, Jacob K. Boyer and Benneville 
Keim; Robeson, Daniel Hartzel and Christopher 
Thomson ; Ruscomb-manor, Benjamin Parks and 
Jonathan Price; Rockland, Benjamin Klein and 
John Hoch ; Richmond, Solomon Eckert and Thos. 
Dumm; Tulpehocken, John Furry, Christopher 
Leiss and George Ege, Jr.; Union, John Smith, Esq., 
John Brown and Daniel Kerst. 

" 7. Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting 
be signed by the chairman and secretary, and pub- 
lished in the German and English papers in Reading. 

1 Ramsay's History of U. S. 132 : 4 Bryant's History of 
C. S. 178-80. 
s Weekly Advertiser of Reading, April 18, 1812. 

"April 11, 1812." 

" Adam Leiss, Chairman. 
" David Hemmig, Secretary." 

ENGLISH WAR OF 1812-15. 

The Revolution of the United Colonies was 
carried to a successful termination. The inde- 
pendence, which they had declared in 1776, was 
thereby established. But though peace was de- 
clared to exist between the two nations, the Brit- 
ish government conducted itself persistently in 
an offensive manner towards the people of the 
United States, their commerce, etc., and to their 
great injury for thirty years. The United 
States government passed naturalization laws 
whereby foreigners could be naturalized and be- 
come citizens. But the British government 
contended that a British subject could not be 
naturalized, and claimed the right of stopping 
United States vessels, searching for seamen ot 
English birth, and impressing them into their 
service. In exercising this right they stationed 
ships at harbors of the United States and 
searched every departing and arriving vessel. 
They were so vigilant that within a period of 
eight years they captured nine hundred vessels 
and impressed over six thousand seamen into 



their navy. 1 All this humiliation was borne 
with patience, superinduced by an admitted in- 
ability to carry on war. But finally the com- 
plaints became too loud, and the injuries too 
grievous to be endured any longer, and Presi- 
dent Madison made them the subject of a mes- 
sage to Congress on June 1, 1812. It was re- 
ferred to the Committee on Foreign Eelations ; 
and this committee, after giving its contents a 
serious consideration, reported a bill, declaring 
war between the two governments. 

Causes of War. — The following is a sum- 
mary of the manifesto of the causes which im- 
pelled this declaration : 2 

" 1. Impressing American citizens, while sailing on 
the highway of nations; dragging them on board their 
ships of war and forcing them to serve against nations 
in amity with the United States, and even to partici- 
pate in aggressions on the rights of their fellow-citizens 
when met on the high seas. 

"2. Violating the rights and peace of our coasts 
and harbors, harassing • our departing commerce and 
wantonly spilling American blood within our terri- 
torial jurisdiction. 

" 3. Plundering our commerce on every sea, under 
pretended blockades, not of harbors, ports or places in- 
vested by adequate force, but of extended coasts, with- 
out the application of fleets to render them legal, and 
enforcing them from the date of their proclamation, 
thereby giving them virtually retrospective effect." 

"4. Committing numberle-s spoliations on our ships 
and commerce under her orders in council of various 

"5. Employing secret agents within the United 
States with a view to subvert our Government and 
dismember our union. 

" 6. Encouraging the Indian tribes to make war on 
the people of the United States." 

This bill was passed by both houses, and ap- 
proved by the president; and the proclamation 
of war was made on June 19, 1812. 

Anticipating this "Declaration of War," 
Governor Snyder issued an "Order" 3 dated 
May 12, 1812, requiring the quota of troops 
from Pennsylvania, fourteen thousand, to be 
promptly raised and formed into two divisions. 
The first division — which included the troops 
from Berks County — was placed under the com- 

1 Egle's " History of Lebanon County," p. 53. 
2 3 Ramsay's "History ofU. S.," p. 163. 
'Egle's " History of Lebanon County," p. 53-54. The 
complete order is published. 

mand of Major General Isaac Worrell. A noble 
response was made to this call. The troops 
tendered exceeded three times the quota re- 
quested. The destruction of the Capitol and 
public buildings at Washington, in August, 
1814, and the threatened attack on Baltimore 
by the enemy shortly afterward, brought the 
war near to Pennsylvania. The march of the 
enemy towards the interior by way of the 
Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay naturally 
stimulated the military spirit in the State, and a 
great number of men came forward in her de- 

The following notice for volunteer troops 
appeared in the Weekly Advertiser, of Reading, 
on May 30, 1812: 

"fame and fortune!" 
To men of patriotism, courage and enterprise: 

"Every able-bodied man, between the age of 18 
and 45 years, who shall enlist in the service of the 
United States, for the term of 5 years, will receive a 
bounty of 16 dollars; having faithfully served the 
term of his enlistment, and obtained an honorable dis- 
charge, he shall be allowed three months additional 
pay and 160 acres of land, to be designated, surveyed 
and laid off at public expense. Should he die in the 
service, his heirs or representatives will be entitled to 
the aforesaid 3 months of pay and 160 acres of land. 
Apply at the Recruiting rendezvous at Reading to 
Jas. F. McElroy, 

„„, „„ , Captain U. S. Infantry. 

"May 25th, 1812." J y 

The companies enrolled at Reading, in the 
beginning of the war, could not be obtained. 
They have not been published. A record of 
the military companies of Berks County for the 
years 1812 to 1815 is deposited amongst the 
county records in the Prothonotary's office at 
Reading, but there are no dates attached to sig- 
nify the time or even the fact of their enlist- 
ment. Those companies which do appear in it, 
correspond with the companies included in the 
following statement, excepting Elder's company. 
The company of Captain Moore was composed 
entirely, and the companies of Captain Marx 
and Captain Marshall mostly, of men from 

Local Preparation for War.— After 
Washington was taken, and the news of its 
destruction by the enemy reached Reading, the 

THE WAR OF 1812. 


military spirit of this community was thorough- 
ly aroused. The following notice from the 
Weekly Advertise?', September 10, 1814, indi- 
cates the action which was taken by the people 
of Reading : 


" At a large and respectable meeting of the inhabi- 
tants of the borough of Reading, convened agreeably 
to public notice, to take into consideration the very 
alarming situation of our beloved country, and par- 
ticularly the city of Philadelphia, it was resolved, 
after first appointing John Spayd, Esq., chairman, 
and Henry Betz, secretary, that we, the subscribers, 
should be a committee for the purpose of collecting 
and calling upon our fellow-citizens of Berks County 
for all Public Arms now remaining in their hands. 
We hope, therefore, every patriotic citizen will 
promptly and immediately forward to either of the 
said committee any musket or muskets in their hands, 
so that they may be immediately repaired and deliv- 
ered to the different volunteer companies now form- 
ing in this town, to march for the defence of Phila- 
delphia, etc., etc. It was further resolved, that the 
citizens of the borough generally, will meet every 
evening on the common of this borough at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, to train themselves and go 
through the different evolutions necessary for a mili- 
tary corps — and all young men from the county are 
invited to attend those exercises if they think proper. 

" Jacob Snyder, 

"Lewis Reese, 

"John Potter, r Committee 

" Charles Snowden, 

" Curtis Lewis, 

" Reading, September 6th, 1814." 

The companies, which were organized here, 
had left Reading shortly before to take an ac- 
tive part in the military service of the country. 

The naval battle on Lake Erie was fought 
on September 10, 1813, with brilliant success. 
Commodore Perry then sent his famous de- 
spatch to General Harrison : " We have met 
the enemy, and they are ours." The news 
reached Reading on the 27th of September fol- 
lowing, and a grand illumination of the town 
took place in the evening from seven till ten 
o'clock, to signalize the glorious event. 

English Families, compelled to leave 
Philadelphia, locate at Reading. — Du- 
ring this period a number of foreign English 
families, resident at Philadelphia, left the city 
for the interior parts of the country, owing to a 
law which required them to move away from 

the sea-coast and ports at least fifty miles. 
Some of these families 1 came to Reading, and 
took quarters at the Tyson Inn, at the head of 
Franklin Street (now Bechtel's Hotel). Whilst 
here, the City of Washington was captured by 
the English, who wantonly destroyed the gov- 
ernment buildings, excepting the patent office. 
This was in August, 1814. This news caused 
them to rejoice, and to express their joy they 
carried on dancing, with the assistance of mu- 
sic ; but they misconceived the temper of the 
German people of this inland borough, who 
were thoroughly patriotic and in sympathy 
with the government, and they soon found that 
their conduct wounded the national pride of 
the people. In the midst of their demonstra- 
tions of joy, they were suddenly attacked by a 
party of citizens, and the attack was made so 
earnestly as to require the building to be closed 
and the performance to be stopped. And it is 
said that if certain prominent English-speaking 
men of the borough had not interposed in their 
behalf, they would have been driven out of the 
town. These men invited and took the women 
and children to their homes. The names of 
these men were John McKnigbt, John Spayd, 
Marks John Riddle, Charles Evans, Dr. James 
Diemer, Collinson Read, Rev. John F. Grier 
and Hon. Robert Porter. The names of the 
families have not been preserved, excepting 
possibly two of them, — Wood (father of the 
late Archbishop Wood, of Philadelphia, and a 
small boy) and Hood Irvin. I examined the 
papers published here during this time; but 
they contain no notice of such a local event, 
and I interrogated a number of persons without 
obtaining any definite information beyond the 
facts mentioned. 

Officers and Companies. — The following 
officers and companies from Berks County were 
enlisted in the service during this war : — 

The following were the staff officers of Sec- 
ond Brigade : 

Major-General, Daniel Udree, 1812-14. 
Brigadier-General, David Hottenstine, 1812. 
Brigadier-General, John Adams, of Reading, 1814. 
Aid-de-Camp, Samuel D. Franks, of Reading ; re- 
signed November 1, 1814. 

1 Reported to have been twenty-five. 



Aid-de-carap, Samuel Humes ; appointed November 
1, 1814. 

Brigade-Inspector, Peter Shoemaker, 1812. 

Brigade-Major, Gabriel Hiester, Jr., of Reading. 

Brigade Ordnance Master, Charles Shoemaker, of 
Windsor township. 

Brigade Forage-Master, Lucius Wallace. 

Brigade Wagon-Master, George Shreffler, of Read- 

The following is the muster-roll of field and 
staff officers of First Regiment, Second Brigade, 
from September 1, 1814, to November 1, 1814: 

Lieutenant-Colonel, Jeremiah Shappell, of Windsor. 

First Major, Samuel Jones, of Heidelberg. 

Second Major, Andrew Kepner, of ReadiDg. 

Adjutant, Isaac Myers, of Reading. 

Quartermaster, John Schwartz, of Reading. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant, Samuel Byerly, of Read- 
ing; appointed October 1, 1814. 

Quartermaster-Sergeant, William Frill, of Reading; 
resigned October 1, 1814. 

Paymaster, Charles Witman, of Eeading. 

Sergeant-Major, Jacob Bright, of Reading. 

Surgeon, John de Benneville, of Beading ; appointed 
October 1, 1814. 

Surgeon, Samuel Humes, of Reading ; transferred 
October 1, 1814, to First Brigade. 

Surgeon's Mate, Alexander Melloy. 

Drum-Major, John Seitzinger, of Eeading. 

Fife-Major, Philip Rush, of Reading. 

Wagoner, Jacob Dippery, of Reading. 

Wagoner, Jacob Seyler, of Windsor. 

Wagoner, Henry Rapp, of Reading. 

Wagoner, John Laughlin, of Reading. 

The following were the field and staff officers 
of Second Regiment, Second Brigade : 

Lieutenant-Colonel, John Lotz. 
First Major, John McClure. 
Second Major, John Clemson. 
Adjutant, Samuel McClellan. 
Adjutant, Lewis T. Riter. 
Quartermaster, Henry Good. 
Quartermaster, George Nagle. 
Paymaster, Jasper Scull. 
Surgeon, John B. Otto. 
Surgeon's Mate, John Baum. 
Sergeant-Major, John Dunwoody. 
Quartermaster-sergeant, Abner Mitchell. 
Drum-major, Henry Homan. 
Fife-Major, Davis Witmyer. 
Colored Waiter, Arthur Clymer. 

The following companies were in ShappelPs 
regiment : Captain John May's, Captain John 
Mauger's, Captain Jacob Marshall's, Captain 
George Marx's, Captain George Sitter's, Cap- 

tain Henry Willotz's, Captain Jonathan Jones', 
Captain George Zieber's. 

The following companies were in Lotz's 
regiment : Captain Thomas Moore's, Captain 
John Christman's, Captain Gabriel Old's. 

The following is the muster-roll of the 
company commanded by Captain John May. 
They performed a tour of duty at York, Pa., 
under order from the Governor dated August 

John May, captain, Windsor. 
Edward Goheen, lieutenant, Caernarvon. 
George Reagle, ensign, Windsor. 
Paul Arnon, first sergeant, Robeson. 
Andrew Steel, second sergeant, Caernarvon. 
George Wheeler, third sergeant, Windsor. 
John Lindemuth, first corporal, Bern. 
Nicholas O'Neil, second corporal, Windsor. 
Christian Shoemaker, third corporal, Bern. 
Daniel Wentzel, fourth corporal, Bern. 

PrmaUs. — George Arnold, Windsor; Peter Ahman, 
Bern ; Robert Bradshaw, Windsor ; Peter Boucher, 
Windsor ; John Beam, Robeson ; Jacob Beam, Robe- 
son ; Frederick Boucher, Albany ; John Bart, Wind- 
sor; William Coulter, Windsor; Abraham Kum- 
merer, Greenwich; David Kachel, Greenwich; An- 
drew Kachel, Cumru ; John Davis, Windsor ; George 
Eatzel, Cumru ; Daniel Eisenhouer, Greenwich ; Jacob 
Finkbone, Windsor ; Christian Frees, Albany ; John 
Frewfelder, Windsor; Henry Furman, Robeson; 
Jacob Glass, Robeson ; John Gearhart, Cumru ■ 
Henry Glass, Robeson ; Philip Guss, Albany ; Andrew 
Hummel, Windsor; William Heattrick, Windsor; 
John Hoyer, Windsor; David Hamm, Robeson ; Ed- 
ward Hughes, Union; Peter Hoffman, Robeson 
Daniel Ham, Albany ; Samuel Hine, Albany ; Philip 
Hollenbach, Bern; John Hollen, Windsor; Samuel 
Hoyer, Robeson ; John Hartz, Cumru; John Homan, 
Robeson ; George Kreitz, Bern ; Christian Lochman, 
Windsor; John Laup, Brecknock; Jacob Mayer, 
Windsor ; John Maurer, Robeson ; David Marckel, 
Greenwich ; Andrew Miller, Bern ; John Neas, Wind- 
sor; Solomon O'Dair, Cumru ; Peter Roush, Windsor; 
John Reagel, Windsor; Daniel Reaperd, Robeson; 
Jacob Seeger, Windsor; Alexander Sillyman, Wind- 
sor; Thomas Smith, Windsor; Joseph Shomo, Wind- 
sor; Charles Spatz, Windsor; Nicholas Swoyer, 
Windsor ; Samuel Smith, Windsor ; Benjamin Smith, 
Windsor; Jacob Smith, Albany; Samuel Sohl, Wind- 
sor; John Sously, Albany; Jacob Savage, Albany; 
Philip Sously, Windsor; John Sear, Windsor; Wil- 
liam Steiger, Ciimru ; Samuel Unger, Windsor; Dan- 
iel Westley, Robeson ; John Westner, Albany; John 
Will, Greenwich; William Watson, Robeson; John 
Welsh, Robeson ; Benjamin Wendel, Robeson ; Chris- 
tian Shoemaker. 

THE WAR OP 1812. 


The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain John Manger, at 
York, from August 28, 1814, to March 5, 1815. 

John Mauger, captain, Douglass. 

Jacob Fisher, lieutenant, Douglass. 

Jacob Griner, ensign, Amity. 

Christian Breyman, first sergeant, Amity. 

Henry Mauger, second sergeant, Douglass. 

Jacob Nagle, third sergeant, Colebrookdale. 

John Camwell, first corporal, Douglass. 

Jacob Mauger, second corporal, Douglass. 

Frederick Mauger, third corporal, Douglass. 
Privates. — Henry Aumau, Amity ; John Baker, 
Douglass ; Edward Boone, Amity ; Hugh Boone, Am- 
ity ; Dewalt Barrall, Maxatawny ; Daniel Bachman, 
Richmond ; Jacob Breshall, Greenwich ; RoDert 
Clark, Amity ; Joseph Christman, Greenwich ; Jacob 
Dehart, Amity ; Peter Folk, Greenwich ; Daniel 
Freyer, Colebrookdale ; Samuel Gerber, Exeter ; John 
Gerber, Douglass ; Jacob George, Greenwich ; Jacob 
Herner, Douglass ; Henry Herner, Amity ; Jacob Hop- 
ple, Amity ; Daniel Hopple, Amity ; John Hendricks, 
Maidencreek ; John Hains, Richmond ; Daniel Heff- 
ner, Richmond ; Samuel Knouse, Colebrookdale ; 
Jacob Kern, Exeter ; Jacob Keely, Douglass ; Mich- 
ael Kaup, Maxatawny ; Henry Koehler, Greenwich ; 
George Koehler, Greenwich ; William Knouse, Pike ; 
Abraham Ludwig, Amity ; William Leffel, Amity ; 
James Lafferty, Amity ; Daniel Luckins, Greenwich ; 
John Mullen, Amity ; Daniel Meek, Amity; William 
Mullen, Reading ; John Nagle, Douglass ; John Poh, 
Greenwich; Reuben Rinaler, Exeter; John Rush, 
Amity ; Abraham Smith, Amity ; Jacob Spatz, Doug- 
lass ; Samuel Spare, Union ; John Schoener, Long- 
swamp ; Peter Sidler, Richmond ; John Sieder, Green- 
wich ; John Teater [Dieter], Amity ; Abraham Tea'er, 
Amity ; George Yocum, Douglass. 

The following is the muster-roll of the 
Company commanded by Captain Jacob Mar- 
shall, which left Eeading on September 2, 1814 ; 
at York till March 4, 1815 — 

Jacob Marshall, captain, Reading. 
Henry Burcker, first lieutenant, Reading. 
William Hiester, second lieutenant, Bern twp. 
Lemuel Alston, ensign, Reading. 
Jasob Bright sergeant-major, Reading. 
John E. Yungman, first sergeant, Reading. 
John Frailey, second sergeant, Reading. 
William Freaner, third sergeant, Reading. 
Jesse Lincoln, fourth sergeant, Caernarvon. 
Isaac Jackson, first corporal, Reading. 
Jacob Ely, second corporal, Reading. 
Joseph Shirey, third corporal, Reading. 
Samuel Beyerly, fourth corporal, Reading. 
Privates— Jos. Allgier, Reading ; George Bennick, 
Reading ; John Benton, Cumru ; John Buzart, Caer- 

narvon ; Benjamin Bressler, Reading ; Henry Bressler, 
Reading, William Boone, Bern ; Abraham Clemence 
Reading ; Jacob Camp, Reading ; John Deitrich, Al 
sace ; Henry Diehl, Reading ; Wm. Dewees, Cumru 
Jacob Diehm, Reading ; George Drinkhouse, Read 
ing; Frederick Eberhard, Reading; Peter Fick, Alsace 
Peter Fletcher, Bern ; Jacob Felix, Reading ; Solo- 
mon Felix, Reading ; William Furman, Reading; John 
Fix, Reading; Michael Fix, Reading; John From, 
Bern ; Samuel Fesig, Reading ; Jeremiah Foley, Read- 
ing ; John Gerhard, Alsace ; George Gantz, Alsace ; 
Abraham Gress, Reading ; George Gilbert, Reading ; 
George Hartman, Exeter ; Henry Hettrick, Cumru ; 
Daniel Haberacker, Reading ; David Hollenbach, 
Reading; John Hill, Exeter; Samuel Hill, Exeter; 
Joseph Jones, Reading; John Kendall, Reading; 
John Klinger, Exeter ; Peter Kiemer, Reading ; John 
Kelley, Reading; William Lawyer, Reading; Daniel 
Leinbach, Alsace ; Christian Leinbach, Alsace ; Wil- 
liam Miller, Alsace; Joseph Miller, Alsace; John 
Moore, Alsace; Peter Mengel, Caernarvon; Samuel 
McKinney, Reading; William Moyer, Exter; William 
Machemer, Bern ; Dewalt Meek, Cumru ; John Nail, 
Bern ; James Norton, Reading ; Leonard Ossman, 
Reading; Peter Phillippi, Reading; John Phyfer, 
Alsace; Philip Reitzel, Reading; Thomas Rorick, 
Reading ; Joseph Rehr, Hereford ; John Ritner, Read- 
ing; Jacob Ritner, Reading; H. Reifsnyder, Bern; 
John Stuart, Caernarvon ; George Spicker, Reading ; 
John Schambers, Reading; Jacob Small, Alsace; 
Henry Spangler, Reading; Daniel Smith, Reading; 
John Thomas, Reading; Thomas Wilson, Reading; 
Alfred Wheatly, Reading; John Weaver, Reading; 
John Yaumer, Reading; Samuel Zieber, Reading; 
George Phillippi, musician, Reading ; Jacob Phillippi, 
musician, Reading; John Laughlin, wagoner. Read- 
ing ; John Warner, wagoner, Reading. 

The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain George Zieber, 
at York from September 1, 1814 to December 

George Zieber, captain, Reading. 
Isaac C. Griesemer, first lieutenant, Oley. 
Charles Witman, second lieutenant, Reading. 
Jacob Fuhlman, ensign, Reading. 
John Epley, first sergeant, Reading. 
Samuel Goodman, second sergeant, Earl. 
Thomas May, third sergeant, Earl. 
Solomon Stateman, fourth sergeant, Earl. 
Matthias Armpriester, first corporal, Oley. 
Caleb Perry, second corporal, Union. 
John Linderman, third corporal, Union. 
William Drumheller, fourth corporal, Earl. 

Privates.— Jacob Albright, Union ; A. Achey, Oley ; 
George Bechtel, Oley ; John Boyer, Oley ; Abraham 
Dodinger, Earl ; John Davidheiser, Earl ; George Diet- 
rich, Isaac Dickison, Hereford; Ernst Dessauer, Read- 



ing; Henry Emore, Exeter; George Epner, Cumru; 
Aaron Gilham, Union; Henry Gable, Earl; John 
Glenser, Cumru ; John Goodman, Cumru ; John Glau- 
ser, Oley; Jacob Hoch, Oley; John Hammelton, 
Union ; John Hoffman, Caernarvon ; William Hoster, 
Cumru ; Stephen Hughes, Windsor ; John Kepner, 
Colebrookdale ; Jacob Keller, Union ; George Kep- 
linger, Cumru ; John Kessler, Cumru ; Jacob Kiener, 
Hereford ; Christian Long, Rockland ; Adam Leven- 
good, Earl ; George Mosser, Cumru ; David Mackafee, 
Robeson ; Henry Moore, Robeson ; Jacob Moore, Robe- 
son ; John Neiman, Union ; John Noll, Alsace ; Jacob 
Petry ; Caleb Richards, Bern ; George Rodes, Earl ; 
Henry Reifsnyder, Oley ; Henry Rapp, Reading ; 
Andrew Spotz, Bern ; George Stout, Alsace ; William 
Springer, Colebrookdale ; Matthias Stout, Bern ; An- 
thony Schrader, Oley ; Abraham Shatz, Beading ; John 
Snyder, Peter Statler, John Schaffer, Robeson ; Daniel 
Spies, Oley; George Schwenk; Thomas Silly man; 
Samuel Schaffer ; Valentine Wenrich, Bern ; Conrad 
Weise, Pike ; Michael Wolf, Robeson ; George Wam- 
sher, Union ; David Wamsher, Union ; Samuel Wam- 
sher, Caernarvon ; Samuel Zerby, Cumru ; Jos. Zerby, 
Cumru ; Valentine Ziegler, Reading ; Samuel Zetter, 
Cumru; Jacob Schroeder; Philip Schaffer. 

The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain Henry Willotz, at 
York, from August 28, 1814, to March 5,1815 : 

Henry Willotz, captain, Bern. 

William Harman, first lieutenant, Beading. 

John Herberling, ensign, Cumru. 

John Y. Cunnius, first sergeant, Reading. 

Jonathan Moyer, second sergeant, Cumru. 

Samuel Evans, third sergeant, Reading. 

Solomon Houder, fourth sergeant, Heidelberg. 

Daniel Miller, first corporal, Cumru. 

John Kremar, second corporal, Bern. 

Daniel Hoyer, third corporal, Cumru. 

Jacob Wingert, founh corporal, Cumru. 

Samuel Benton, fifth corporal. 

Daniel Hacket, sixth corporal, Reading. 

Privates. — Frederick Ahman, Cumru ; Jos. Bushey ; 
Joseph Briton, Longswamp ; Dewalt Bast, Maxa- 
tawny ; Samuel Boyer, Richmond ; James Coffee, 
Maiden-creek; George Clouser, Ruscomb-manor; 
Samuel Eberly, Heidelberg; John Eck, Longswamp, 
John Fous, Cumru ; Daniel Feather, Cumru ; Benja- 
min Featherolf, Maiden-creek ; Daniel Hare, Cumru ; 
Isaac Heister, Cumru ; George Hassler, Cumru ; Ja- 
cob Heller, Alsace ; Nicholas Hamerstein, Bern ; Isaac 
Heller, Bern ; John Heister, Bern ; William Heister, 
Bern; Francis Krick, Cumru ; Samuel Lash, Cumru ; 
John Learch, Bern ; Michael Louck, Cumru ; John 
Lupt, Cumru ; George Mulloone, Cumru ; Jacob Mes- 
sersmith, Ruscomb-manor; William McCoy, Read- 
ing; James McCurdy, Caernarvon ; Jacob Miller, Al- 
sace; Nicholas Maidenfort ; Peter Miller; Andrew 

McMickens, Longswamp ; Jacob Neaudrace, Maxa- 
tawny; Michael Niess, Longswamp; James R.Phil- 
ips, Caernarvon ; Casper Rader ; Conrad Rader ; Wil- 
liam Ruth, Cumru; Jacob Reifsnyder, Bern; John 
Reifsnyder, Cumru ; Benj. Reaber ; George Reaber ; 
Philip Ruth, Cumru ; John Rothermal, Richmond ; 
Peter Rockafeller, Bern ; John Rollman, Cumru ; 
Daniel Ruth, Cumru; Samuel Snyder, Alsace; Henry 
Snyder, Alsace; Isaac Snyder, Alsace; Godfrey 
Seiler, Cumru ; Daniel Smeck, Alsace ; Samuel Sle- 
gle, Ruscomb-manor ; John Strunk, Cumru ; Henry 
Sassaman, Reading; Jacob Shell, Richmond; Wil- 
liam Shell, Bern ; Henry Spohn ; Jacob Wanner; Al- 
sace; Isaac Wagner, Cumru; Geo. Weigner; Isaac 
Weigner; Henry White, Reading ; Philip Wolfinger, 
Heidelberg ; Jacob Zweitzig, Alsace. 

The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain George Marx, at 
York, from August 28,1814 to March 5,1815: 

George Marx, captain, Reading. 
George Boyer, first lieutenant, Reading. 
Michael Christian, ensign, Reading. 
John Camlen, first sergeant, Reading. 
Michael Reifsnyder, second sergeant, Reading. 
Charles Kessler, third sergeant, Reading. 
Jacob Fritz, fourth sergeant, Reading. 
Jacob Frenz, first corporal, Reading. 
Peter Briner, second corporal, Reading. 
Joseph Bright, third corporal, Reading. 
Samuel Kraucer, fourth corporal, Reading. 
Philip Rush, musician, Reading. 
John Seitzinger, musician, Reading. 

Privates— George Albright, Bern; James Aston, 
Reading; Andrew A ulebach, Reading; Daniel Ber- 
ger, Bern ; Henry Bingeman, Reading ; John Binge- 
man, Reading; Peter Bingeman, Reading ; Michael 
Bright, Reading; Samuel Briner, Reading; Andrew 
Bralzman, Reading; George Brown, Reading; George 
Coleman, Robeson; Jacob Dippery, Reading; Mi- 
chael Eage, Reading ; Joseph Ebbert, Reading ; Dan- 
iel Ely, Beading ; David Ely, Reading; George Em- 
merick, Reading; Christian Fisher, Reading; John 
Foster, Reading; John Fox, Reading; John Frill, 
Reading ; William Frill, Reading ; Jacob Goodman, 
Reading; Samuel Graul, Reading; Jacob Greese, 
Reading; George Harf, Reading; Adam Harbold, 
Reading ; Daniel Hoffman, Reading ; Peter Homan, 
Reading; John Keating, Reading; John Keller, 
Reading ; Nicholas Knower, Robeson ; John Lebo, 
Exeter; William McNeil, Cumru; Daniel Moser, 
Bern ; John Moore ; Daniel Mauger, Reading ; George 
Nagle, Reading; Peter Nagle, Reading; Samuel 
Reeser, Bern; Jacob Reitmeyer, Reading; Jacob 
Seyler, Hamburg ; Daniel Seitzinger. Cumru ; John 
Shenfelter, Reading; Charles Sigfried, Reading; Jo- 
seph Sigfried, Reading; Thomas Sigfried, Ruscomb- 
manor; Samuel Sinclair, Reading; John Snell, Jr., 

THE WAR OF 1812. 


Beading ; Christian Spang, Reading ; John Tobias, 
Beading; Samuel Witman, Reading ; William Wit- 
man, Reading ; John Wunder, Reading; Daniel Yea- 
ger, Cumru ; Jacob Young, Reading ; Michael Young, 

The following is a muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain Jonathan Jones, 
at York from September 1, 1814, to Decem- 
ber 4, 1814. 

Jonathan Jones, captain, Amity. 
Samuel Morrow, first lieutenant, Amity. 
Samuel D. Franks, second lieutenant, Reading. 
Simon Grove, ensign, Douglass. 
Nicholas Jones, first sergeant, Amity. 
Thomas Church, second sergeant, Caernarvon. 
Lewis Beish, third 3ergeant, Colebrookdale. 
Ezekiel Jones, fourth sergeant, Amity. 
John Bunn, fifth sergeant, Amity. 
Peter Bush, first corporal, Amity. 
Abraham Hesser, second corporal, Union. 
William Sheridan, third corporal, Caernarvon. 
Joseph Russel, fourth corporal, Amity. 
Michael Serjison, fifth corporal, Caernarvon. 
William Akins, sixth corporal, Amity. 

Privates. — John Arp, Colebrookdale ; Emanuel 
Britten, Douglass ; David Boyer, Amity ; Charles 
Bell, Amity; David Babb, Alsace; David Borst, 
Exeter; Peter Borst, Exeter; Alexander Bartley, 
Caernarvon ; John Boyd, Robeson ; John Barrick, 
Albany; Jeremiah Cunningham, Bern; John Carson, 
Caernarvon ; Nicholas Carver, Exeter ; Daniel Diet- 
rich, Exeter ; Samuel Dietrich, Exeter ; Samuel Ep- 
penheimer, Douglass ; Daniel Fair, Amity ; Abraham 
Fies, Alsace ; David Fox, Reading ; George Frey- 
berger, Exeter; Philip Fillman, Douglass; Daniel 
Goodman, Amity ; George Gevens, Caernarvon ; Mat- 
thew George ; Henry Harpester, Amity ; Jacob 
Heater, Exeter ; Jacob Hill, Alsace ; John Heck- 
man, Exeter; William Hammilton, Caernarvon; 
Henry Hallibach, Greenwich ; Jacob Jackson, Exe- 
ter; William Jackson, Caernarvon; James Jacobs, 
Robeson ; John Kreider, Douglass ; John Kutz, 
Windsor ; John Long, Amity ; Samuel Lapsly, Doug- 
lass ; John Laver, Douglass; George Matthew, 
Union ; Christian Miller, Alsace ; Adam Miller, 
John McCracken, Douglass; David McBride, Caer- 
narvon; Jacob Mills, Caernarvon; John Morgan ; 
Union; John Null, Alsace; George Null, Alsace; 
Frederick Ox, Amity ; Jeremiah Putz, Amity ; Jacob 
Roue, Exeter ; William Rice, Union ; John Spies, 
Amity; John Strunk, Exeter; Samuel Smech, Ex- 
eter; Daniel Stubblebine, Amity ; Philip Shloppich, 
John Salter, Bern ; Nathan Thomas, Exeter; Peter 
Willbouer, Robeson; George Wikel, Colebrookdale; 
George Wurtz, Douglass; George Robinson, Caernar- 
von ; Henry Bunn. 

The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain George Ritter, 
at York from August 28, 1814, to March 5, 

George Ritter, captain, Ruscomb-manor. 
John Bertow, first lieutenant, Oley. 
Isaac Moyer, second lieutenant, Reading. 
Daniel Stotman, ensign, Ruscomb-manor. 
Philip Berninger, first sergeant, Hereford. 
Abraham Breidigam, 2d sergt., Ruscomb-manor. 
William Clauser, third sergeant, Rockland. 
John Fosc, fourth sergeant, Ruscomb-manor. 
Henry Haffer, fifth sergeant, Ruscomb-manor. 
Daniel Acker, first corporal, Earl. 
Abraham Beriow, second corporal, Rockland. 
Jacob Berninger, third corporal, Hereford. 
Mathias Haeffer, fourth corporal, Oley. 
Michael Lowra, fifth corporal, Ruscomb-manor. 
Jacob Moyer, sixth corpor»l, Ruscomb-manor. 
Joseph Bingeman, drummer, Ruscomb-manor. 
John Stoteman, fifer, Ruscomb-manor. 

Privates. — John B. Andy, Earl ; Jacob B. Andy, 
Earl; Mathias Oley, Oley; John Adams, Oley; 
Jacob Andy, Oley; Jacob Brown, Rockland; John 
Bierman. Ruscomb-manor ; Jacob Bowman, Oley ; 
John Boyer, Oley ; John Beam, Rockland ; John 
Beaver, Oley ; Devald Beaver, Hereford ; John Bor- 
kal, Oley ; Henry Berger, Rockland ; John Becker, 
Rockland ; David Clark, Pike ; Peter Donberd, Long- 
swamp ; Daniel Dillinger, Hereford ; Christian Edin- 
ger, Pike; John Emrich, Rockland; Daniel Eby, 
Robeson ; Henry Folic, Ruscomb-manor ; Jacob 
Flicker, Earl ; Henry Fegely, Hereford ; Engel Fox, 
Rockland ; Henry Gerver, Oley ; Samuel Gilbert, 
Ruscomb-manor; Samuel Gregory, Hereford ; Peter 
Gregory, Hereford ; Michael Gruber, Rockland ; 
Jacob Hobbes, Ruscomb-manor; Jacob Himmelreich, 
Oley ; George Haas, Ruscomb-manor ; Adam Hass, 
Ruscomb-manor ; Jacob Herb. Hereford ; John Him- 
melreich, Oley ; Henry Hemig, Rockland ; Samuel 
Herbst, Pike ; George Heist, Rockland ; Jacob Hoff- 
man, Pike; George Klein, Hereford; George Keller, 
Ruscomb-manor; Conrad Kisster, Earl; Christian 
Lehman, Earl ; George Ludwig, Robeson ; Peter 
Leas, Rockland ; Abraham Mayer, Ruscomb-manor; 
John Miller, Hereford ; Daniel Mohn, Oley ; David 
Ohlinger, Ruscomb-manor; John Ohrens, Ruscomb- 
manor ; Severin Peterson, Oley ; George Price, Rus- 
comb-manor; John Paulies, Rockland; Herman Rup- 
pert, Rockland ; Abraham Ruppert, Rockland ; John 
Rush, Hereford ; Henry Stetler, Hereford ; Peter 
Speght, Ruscomb-manor ; Henry Speigelmoyer, Rus- 
comb-manor ; John Shirry, Pike; Nicholas Shirry, 
Ruscomb-manor ; William Smith, Earl ; George Wel- 
ler, District ; John Werstler, Earl ; Philip Windbig- 
ler, Oley; George Yost, Robeson. 



The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain Thomas Moore 
at York from September 1, 1814, to March 5, 
1815. Entire company enlisted from Reading: 

Thomas Moore, captain. 

William Tilton, first lieutenant. 

George Baum, ensign. 

Samuel Moore, first sergeant. 

Jacob Homan, second sergeant. 

Jacob Slichter, third sergeant. 

Jacob Stout, fourth sergeant. 

Peter Muffert, first corporal. 

Thomas Christ, second corporal. 

Peter Aurand, third corporal. 

Henry Homan, drummer. 

David Eightmyer, fifer. 
Privates. — Jacob Allgair, Jonas Baum, John Binga- 
min, Thomas Chadwick, 1 Jacob Cyder [Seider], John 
Dager, George Goodman, Frederick Graeff, Christian 
Haberacher, Samuel Haberacher, Frederick Hyne- 
man, John Heller, Mathias Isebeisse [Eisenbeis], 
John Kepner, John Kroh, George Kreisher, John 
Kim, Nicholas Lotz, Joseph Lowry, William Lotz, 
Daniel Lotz, Michael Louaberger, Joseph McKoy, 
Francis Muhlenberg, George Nagle. Richard Porter, 
Jacob Phillippi, Abraham Prutzman, William Row, 
Abraham Reinhart, George Roland, Jacob Stout, 
Benjamin Stout, Samuel Stout, John Witman, John 
Weisman, William Witman, Charles Witman, Peter 
Wunder, Joseph Wood, George Wunder, Daniel 
Young, George Zimmerman. 

The following were in the company com- 
manded by Captain John Christian, Second 
Regiment, Second Brigade : 

John Christian, captain, Reading. 

John Schwartz, second lieutenant, Reading. 

John Mcintosh, first sergeant, Reading. 

John Homan, private, Reading. 

Samuel Homan, drummer, Reading. 
The other officers and privates of this com- 
pany were from Schuylkill County. 

The following is the muster-roll of the com- 
pany commanded by Captain Gabriel Old, at 
York from September 1, 1814, to March 5, 1815 : 

Gabriel Old, captain, Longswamp. 

John Fisher, lieutenant, Maxatawny. 

William Shook, ensign, Greenwich. 

Rudolph Meislin, first sergeant, Richmond. 

Isaac Levan, second sergeant, Maxatawny. 

William Graeff, third sergeant, Maxatawny. 

George Amor, fourth sergeant, Richmond. 

Daniel Graeff, first corporal, Maxatawny. 

John Witman, second corporal, Richmond. 

1 Promoted to fourth corporal. 

Jacob Layman, third corporal, Maxatawny. 
Jacob Longbien, fourth corporal, Maiden Creek. 
Jonas Freyler, fifer, Longswamp. 
William Marx, drummer, Maxatawny. 

Privates — William Addam, Longswamp ; Jonathan 
Aker, Maxatawny; Abraham Biehl, Maxatawny; 
Samuel Bushy, Maxatawny ; Abraham Boyer, Rock- 
land;' John Bowman, Maiden-creek; Andrew Brocon, 
Maiden-creek; George Braish, Maxatawny; Daniel 
Boyer, Richmond ; Jacob Danner, Longswamp ; 
Michael Delong, Maxatawny ; William Dox, Max- 
atawny ; George Esser, Maxatawny ; Jacob Eisen- 
hart, Longswamp ; John Fisher, Maxatawny ; Jacob 
Fisher, Maxatawny ; George Fegeley, Maxatawny ; 
Adam Flower, Longswamp ; Samuel Flower, Maiden- 
creek; Peter Folk, Longswamp; William Frasher, 
Richmond ; John Frimot, Maxatawny ; Jacob Glauser, 
Rockland; Jonas Gilgart, Maiden-creek; Valentine 
Geist, Longswamp ; Joseph Hoffman, Rockland ; 
Gideon Hoffman, Ruscomb-manor ; Peter Hill, Rich- 
mond; Jacob Housknecht, Greenwich; Jeremiah 
Hughes, Richmond; John Keyser, Maxatawny; 
Benjamin Kercher, Maxatawny ; Jacob Keiffer, Long- 
swamp; John Kimerling, Ruscomb-manor; Jacob 
Kemp, Richmond; Samuel Kemp, Richmond; An- 
drew Kaup, Maxatawny ; Nicholas Kreisher, Maiden- 
creek; Daniel Long, Longswamp; Abraham Lit- 
weilor, Longswamp; Reuben Leiby, Maxatawny; 
John Minker, Richmond ; Henry Minker, Richmond ; 
Philip Miller, Richmond; John Noll, Richmond; 
George Old, Greenwich ; Jacob Polsgrove, Longswamp ; 
John Reeder, Maxatawny ; Henry Raff [Rapp], Max- 
atawny; John Roof[Rapp], Maxatawny; David Rau- 
zan [Rauenzahn], Richmond; Christopher Rauzan 
[Rauenzahn], Richmond; Moses Reifsnyder, Rus- 
comb-manor; John Reninger, Ruscomb-manor; George 
Stroup, Maxatawny; Samuel Stout, Maiden-creek; 
Jacob Shaffer, Maiden-creek ; Nathan Shaffer, Long- 
swamp ; John Strome, Richmond ; William Simons, 
Longswamp; John K. Snyder, Richmond; John 
Snyder, Greenwich; Andrew Smith, Maiden-creek; 
Michael Sherer, Greenwich; Jacob Wisser, Max- 
atawny; Jacob Winter, Maiden-creek ; Henry 
Weaver, Longswamp; George Woulison, Maiden- 
creek; Peter Weaver, Greenwich; Daniel Young, 
Ruscomb-manor; Benjamin Zeigler, Longswamp. 

Reading Washington Guards.— Another 
company from Reading was enlisted in this 
war. It was the "Reading Washington 
Guards," under the command of Captain Daniel 
De B. Keim. The company was raised, uni- 
formed and equipped within fifteen days. 
On the 16th of September, 1814, previous to 
departure it was paraded and then formed in a 
circle on Penn Square where the Rev. J. F. 
Grier (pastor of the Presbyterian Church) deliv- 

THE WAR OF 1812. 


ered an appropriate and pious address. A band 

of music, under the leadership of Colonel . 

Simons, escorted the company to the Schuylkill 
where boats were taken. Upon its arrival at 
Philadelphia, its services were not required for 
the defense of the city. But it was ordered to 


join the army near Wilmington, and thence it 
marched to " Camp Dupont." It was afterward 
attached to the "Advance Light Brigade," 
Eleventh Company, First Regiment, Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteer Infantry, under the command 
of General Cadwalader and served till the close 
of the war. The following is the roll : 

Daniel De B. Keim, captain. 

Henry Betz, first lieutenant. 

Jonathan Good, second lieutenant. 

Samuel Baird, ensign. 

Samuel Conner, first sergeant. 

James D. Biddle, second sergeant. 

Nathan P. Hobart, third sergeant. 

David Medary, fourth sergeant. 

John C. Neidly, fifth sergeant. 

Henry W. Pearce, first corporal. 

John W. Eoseberry, seeond corporal. 

Charles A. Bruckman, third corporal. 

J. R. Thomas, fourth corporal. 
Privates.— Gerhard Geisse, Robert E. Hobart, Rob- 
ert Lafferty, William Brooke, John Schambers, Jacob 
Rahn, David Potts, Jr., Robert M. Ross, Thomas 
Potts, Wm. Kleinginni, William Bird, Samuel Potts, 

George Snyder, James Leits, John Metzger, William 
Skeen, William Nice, Lewis Stichter, Daniel Kaercher, 
Christian Brobst, James Eckert, George Hahn, Wil- 
liam Bower, Matthew M. Brooks, Samuel Kerschner, 
Richard Boone, John Kulp, Samuel Schaeffer, Wil- 
liam Shower, Thomas Baird, Robert May, Samuel 
Barde, Timothy Lindsley, John Bannan, Benjamin 
Putt, Jacob Seitzinger, David Jones, William Thomp- 
son, Henry Keiser, John Barde, Thomas Wilson, 
Charles Bushar, Jonathan Stroud, Peter Yeager, John 
Bright, Thomas Kepple, George Wile, George Drenkle, 
Samuel Graul, Joseph Green, Abraham Seifert, John 
Ruth, Joseph Kendall, James B. Hubley, Elisha Ely, 
Henry Schoener, John Hanley, Thomas Reiffsnyder, 
Adam Bell, Thomas B. Smith, Jacob Maurer. 

Peace Declared. — Peace was concluded at 
Ghent on December 24, 1814. But it was not 
till February 22, 1815, that the event became 
known at Reading. During the day, the citizens 
of the borough signalized it by shooting off 
cannon, and at night by a grand illumination in 
which sixteen hundred pounds of candles were 

The following extract of a letter, dated at 
Reading, on February 23, 1815, written by 
Mrs. Mary Keim to her husband George De B. 


Keim, who was then at Philadelphia, describes 
the manner in which the people of the borough 
received the news : 
" With pleasure did I peruse your affectionate 



epistle and the preparations for last night's illumina- 
tion have alone prevented my answering it sooner. As 
the wife of a true American, I felt disposed to enter 
patriotically into it, and I exhibited a few emblematic 
pieces from my chamber windows, which attracted 
crowds of gazers, who, by loud shouts, evinced their 
admiration of our house, which was said to excel all 
the others. But to "do justice to the people, the town 
was brilliantly lighted up and the utmost order pre- 
vailed during the early part of the evening. But we 
unfortunately have two classes of beings ; one who 
considered it a day of privileges, and not even the 
blessedness of peace to our country could restrain 
them. By this the Laws of Heaven are violated, the 
peace of society broken, religious duties and morality 
ridiculed. Vice alone ruled, and this urged them to 
destroy a great deal of harmony by breaking windows, 
lamps, etc." 



Cause of the War— Reading Artillerists— Departure for 
Mexico — Participation in War— Battles Engaged In — 
Return of Artillerists— Brilliant Reception. 

Cause of the War. — The Mexican War 
arose out of the question relating to the annexa- 
tion of Texas to the Un i ted Stat is. The constitu- 
tion of Mexico prohibited slavery in Texas, and 
this provision was a sufficient reason why the 
Southern States of the Union should wish to 
control it. President Adams and also President 
Jackson made fruitless efforts to buy the prov- 
ince; and subsequently for some years the 
scheme of annexation was considered. One of 
the last acts of Jackson's official life was the 
appointment of an official agent to Texas, 
thereby acknowledging the independence of the 
province. This was looked upon as the first 
step towards obtaining possession of territory 
iarge enough for five new slave states. Hence- 
forward the project was urged with persistence, 
but little success till about 1842, when Presi- 
dent Tyler gave it his encouragement. It was 
argued that if slavery were abolished in Texas 

'A series of interesting articles on the "Mexican 
War" appeared in the Berks and Schm/lkillJournal, begin- 
ning with the issue of March 19, 1853, contributed as 
"Leaves from the Diary of ti Volunteer." I could not 
ascertain the author. 

the ruin of the Southern States was inevitable ; 
but if the province were annexed to the Union, 
the future of the slave States would be brilliant. 
Van Buren having declined the request of 
Texas for admission into the Union, he was 
"killed politically;" and subsequently Webster 
was removed from Tyler's cabinet because he 
was not willing to encourage the scheme. In 
1844, Calhoun became Secretary of State, and 
he " believed in annexation at any cost," and 
President Tyler justified Calhoun's invitation 
to Texas to join the United States because he 
thought Great Britain was engaged in a diplo- 
matic intrigue to abolish slavery in Texas. 
Calhoun then made a treaty with Texas in 
reference to annexation without the consent of 
Mexico, but offered Mexico $10,000,000 as an 
indemnity. But the Senate rejected the treaty; 
it was not even supported by the Democratic 
party. Yet, in the Presidential election of 1844, 
Polk was elected as a Democrat, because he 
favored annexation, whilst other Democrats, 
such as Van Buren and Benton, were retired 
from political favor because of their opposition, 
— the opposition of the former closing his 
public career. At the close of Tyler's admin 
istration, a joint resolution was passed annex- 
ing Texas; and Tyler acting under this resolu- 
tion the annexation was carried. But as Tyler 
went out of office with the scheme carried 
through Congress, Polk came into office with 
the certainty of war with Mexico. In the 
beginning of May, 1846, the regular troops 
under General Taylor were intercepted along 
the Rk> Grande by the Mexican troops under 
General Arista, and the battles of Palo Alto 
and Resaca de la Palma ensued. Before the 
news of these events reached Washington, Con- 
gress had declared war on the 13th of May, 
and authorized the President to call for 50,000 
volunteers for one year. After carrying on war 
for nearly two years, the Mexicans were con- 
quered, and a treaty of peace was signed in 
February, 1848, at the City of Mexico, whereby 
the United States acquired not only Texas, but 
also Arizona, New Mexico and California. 

During the excitement throughout the coun- 
try incident to the declaration of war, a great 
patriotic feeling was developed at Reading. On 



the 20th of May, 1846, a large town meeting 
was held, presided over by Chief Burgess 
William Betz, at which the national govern- 
ment was sustained. A second meeting was 
held on the next day, at which appropriate 
resolutions were adopted, approving the course 
of President Polk. A prominent prevailing 
sentiment was — " Our country, our whole coun- 
try, our country right or wrong." And during 
this week the volunteer companies of Reading, 
— Reading Artillerists, Washington Grays and 
National Grays — held meetings and tendered 
their services to the President. 

Reading Artillerists. 1 — The following 
officers and privates comprised the Muster Roll 
of the "Reading Artillerists" when the ser- 
vices of the company were tendered to the 
President, and accepted with marching orders 
to proceed to Pittsburg : 

Captain, Thos. S. Leoser. 

First Lieutenant, William Wunder. 

Second Lieutenants, Levi P. Knerr and Henry 

A. M. Filbert. 
First Sergeant, Lewis H. Wunder. 
Second Sergeant, Henry Beidinger. 
Third Sergeant, Ellis L. Aker. 
Fourth Sergeant, William W. Diehl. 
First Corpora], William R. Graeff. 
Second Corporal, Jefferson Alocher. 
Third Corporal, Charles Leader. 
Fourth Corporal, William Herbert. 
Drummer, Jacob Coleman. 
Fifer, Thos. McGee. 

Privates. — Joseph Alexander, New York ; Paul 
Albert, John Q. Anderson,( Virginia); John E. Arthur> 
Jacob Armpriester, John Briestly, Lewis Brown, 
Geo. Bachman, (Baltimore) ; John Bertlinger, Frank- 
lin Bitting, Henry Boyer, Nehemiah Bean, Hiram 
Bauchter, Thomas Carragan, Charles dinger, Cyprian 
Cobb, Schuylkill County ; William S. Diehl, John 
Donnelly, Charles Dunbar, James Eason, Josiah 
Ebbert, Edwin Fritz, Charles Flickinger, William 
Flickinger, John Frymire, Augustus Fisher, John 
Fisher, Daniel L. Forney, (Schuylkill County) ; Wil- 
liam Frey, George H. Gibbs, Frederick Gast, Daniel 
Graeff, John Hardee, Isaac S. Hottenstein, Peter 

'Major Richards MoMichael has "muster iu" and 
" muster out '' rolls of the company ; also " Daily Morning 
Report Book" of the company; all of which by his kind 
permission I examined for the purpose of obtaining correct 
statements of the men mustered in and out of service, etc. 

For age, size and weight of men, see Reading Gazette, 
January 16, 1847. 

Hogan, John G. Hambright, Charles W. Horrell, 
George Henry, William Herbst, John A. Heil, Jesse 
C. Jones, (Delaware) ; John H. Jones, (Pottstown) ; 
John Jordon, Josfiph Kohlberg, Israel Kaercher, 
(Schuylkill County); Henry Kaercher, (Schuylkill 
County) ; Valentine Klotz, George R. Kramer, (Schuyl- 
kill County) ; John Kurtz, George H. Long, William 
Laing, Christian Linderman, Richards McMichael, 
Lewis Mouzert, Peter B. Madara, George L. Moss, 
Isaac Moyer, Peter Moyer, Albert Myers, John Miller, 
William Marks, Adam Mathias, Nathan Metz, Ran- 
dall McDonald, Sylvester McCaragan, Napoleon 
Merceron, (Baltimore) ; William Patterson, Jacob 
Rapp, Abraham Roland, Charles Ritchey, Thomas 
U. Rissler, (Pottstown) ; Charles Smith, Daniel G. 
Saul, John Sheetz, Frederick Saener, Garret Scher- 
merhorn, (New York) ; William Trayer, William 
Umpleby, (Chester County); William Van Thiel, 
Cornelius Van Doren, (Schuylkill County); Bernhard 
Vaux, (Schuylkill County) ; William Clemens, John 
Fleshour, John Foesig, Henry Gardner, Lewis Heil- 
man, Christian Jaus, John Steel, William M. Smith, 
William Walters and John White. 

At a town meeting held in the court-house ou 
December 19, 1846, for the purpose of devising 
means to aid the volunteers, a committee of 
prominent citizens was appointed to escort the 
company to Philadelphia. At the meeting, G. 
A. Nicolls, in behalf of the Philadelphia and 
Reading Railroad Company, offered the company 
a free passage over their railroad to Phila- 
delphia. The meeting recommended to Town 
Council that one thousand dollars be appropriated 
towards the comfort of the soldiers and the re- 
lief of such of their families as needed assistance. 
Subsequently, on December 22, 1846, the Town 
Council authorized a loan of one thousand 
dollars for the purposes mentioned. A similar 
appropriation was recommended by the grand 
jury of the county on the 5th of January, follow- 
ing, to be made by the county commissioners. 

Departure for Mexico. — The company 
left Reading for Philadelphia on the 26th day 
of December. The following interesting de- 
scription of their departure was published in 
the Berks and Schuylkill Journal, issued on the 
2d of January, 1847: 

"The departure of this fine corps of Volunteers, on 
Saturday morning last [26th December, 1846], for the 
theatre of war, exhibited one of those scenes which 
occur but once in a life-time. At an early hour our 
streets were crowded with citizens of the town, and 
people and military from various parts of the countrv 



At eight o'clock the gallant little band formed into 
line on Fifth street, near Penn, and, preceded by the 
Committee of Escort and the carps of ' Washington 
Grays,' they were paraded through our principal 
streets, followed by crowds of people anxious to take 
a last look at those who had so nobly volunteered 
their services to defend the honor of our flag on the 
plains of a distant country. As they passed through 
the town, the windows were crowded, and many a 
fond bosom throbbed with anguish and many a bright 
eye moistened at the idea of parting for an indefinite 
time, perhaps forever, with those endeared to them by 
the ties of kindred and affection. The scene was 
solemn — so solemn, indeed, that not a cheer rose from 
the thousands who accompanied them through the 
streets. The feeling was too deep, too sad ; the re- 
flection which their departure excited too melancholy 
to enliven the spirits of the most enthusiastic. 

" At half-past nine o'clock the company reached 
the Depot and took their station in the cars provided 
for their accommodation by the liberality of the rail- 
road company. Here a thrilling scene ensued. The 
last farewell was to be said — the last words spoken. 
The separation of wives from their husbands, mothers 
from their sons, sisters from their brothers and friends 
from one another was touching in the extreme. We 
noticed many a stout heart, that would scorn to waver 
on the field of battle, heaving with emotion while 
going through the feeling ceremony of leave-taking. 
The crowd around the Depot was one of the largest 
we have ever seen collected in this borough, and when 
the signal was given and the cars moved off, they rent 
the air with a shout that seemed to well up from the 
bottom of every heart, in one unanimous " God bless 
you." Most heartily do we hope that every one of 
' this glorious little band of patriotic soldiers may live 
to return and enjoy the reward of their gallantry for 
many years yet to come." . . . 

The Artillerists arrived at Philadelphia in 
the afternoon of the same day. After their ex- 
amination by Dr. Wurte, United States Surgeon, 
he pronounced them the finest body of men he 
had yet passed into the service. 

On the day previous to their departure, the 
officers were the recipients of numerous testi- 
monials of regard. The workmen of the rail- 
road company's shops distinguished themselves 
in this respect. The Captain and the Second 
and Third Lieutenants were in the company's 
employ. The officers were presented with swords. 
Sergeant McMichael was presented with an ele- 
gant sword, revolver, sash, belt and accoutrements 
by his friends and shop-mates engaged at John- 
ston's foundry. And numerous Colt's revolving 
pistols and Bibles were also presented. 

The Artillerists left Philadelphia by railroad 
on Monday morning, December 28, and ar- 
rived at Harrisburg in the afternoon of the same 
day. After dining at Colonel Herr's, they pro- 
ceeded by railroad to Carlisle and Chambers- 
burg, where they arrived on Tuesday morning 
at two o'clock. After breakfast, they immedi- 
ately proceeded afoot on their way to Pittsburgh. 
That day they walked to McConnellsburg, 
twenty-two miles. Wednesday they walked to 
Bloody Run, twenty-six miles. The distance 
was arranged so as to reach Pittsburgh by Tues- 
day, January 4th. Three large six-horse bag- 
gage teams accompanied them, having been 
supplied by Joel Bitter, who was sent by the 
citizens of Reading to pay their expenses to 
Pittsburgh. They arrived on January 5th. On 
the same day, the company wei e mustered into 
the service of the United States, as Company A, 
in the Second Regiment of Pennsylvania Vol- 
unteers, under the command of Col. William B. 
Roberts. 1 Two regiments of volunteers from 
Pennsylvania were mustered into the ser- 
vice ; and two companies of men from Penn- 
sylvania volunteered to make up the quota of 
New Jersey, which were mustered in and attached 
to the Second Regiment from Pennsylvania, 
as Companies L and M. 

Participate in War. — The company, with 
other companies, left Pittsburgh on the 8th of 
January in the boat "Anthony Wayne," and 
proceeded by way of the Ohio and Mississippi 
Rivers to New Orleans, arriving there on the 
15th. They encamped on the old battle-ground 
of ] 812-15, seven miles below the city. "And 
there they laid all night in the rain without 
tents ; and, owing to the negligence of certain 
government officials, they were without provis- 
ions for thirty-six hours. This caused much 
dissatisfaction in the ranks, and, as a consequence, 
twelve men of the company deserted." Such 
was their beginning in active military service. 

^'The ten persons last named in the muster roll were 
not mustered in with the " Artillerists," though they went 
with the company for that purpose, owing to the military 
regulation as to the number of each company. They, how- 
ever, enlisted in other companies, and were mustered into 
the service. In the election of staff officers for the regiment, 
at Pittsburgh, on January 6, 1847, Richards McMichael was 
elected sergeant-maj or. 



The company served with distinction through- 
out the war and was particularly recognized for 
its bravery. The following highly compliment- 
ary mention was made of the company by 
Colonel Geary, of the Second Regiment, in his 
report to General Scott : 

" Company A, commanded by Captain T. S. Leoser, 
allowed no one to surpass them in the performance of 
their duty : in crossing the swamp, ascending the hill, 
and, in fact, during the whole day, they maintained 
their positiou well. I would here beg leave to call to 
your recollection the gallant conduct of Captain Leo- 
ser and Lieutenant McMichael, of this company, in 
crossing from the Garita to the breastwork near the 
citadel during the afternoon. The great coolness 
with which' they acted in an unusually exposed 
position will, I hope, receive your particular atten- 

The following extract was taken from a 
letter dated May 20, 1847, at Jalapa, and 
published in the Philadelphia Ledger, 1 in refer- 
ence to the brave conduct of Richards McMich- 
ael at the battle of Cerro Gordo : 

" After we had received the first round of grape and 
canister, our company fell back with the rest of the 
ten, when Richards McMichael sprang forward, crying 
to us to come on. We immediately followed. He 
led us through the thickest of the fire, the men fall- 
ing on each side of him, but he, undaunted, still en- 
couraged the wavering and reprimanded the cow- 
ardly. Such conduct has gained him the esteem of 
this regiment. Words I find insufficient to express 
our admiration of this brave young man. . . ." 

Battles Engaged in. — The company was 
engaged in the following battles : Vera Cruz, 
March 19th to 28th ; 2 Cerro Gordo, April 18th; 
Chapultepec, September 12th ; Belen Gate, 
September 13th. 3 

Return of Artillerists. — The City of 
Mexico was taken on the 14th of September, 
the Mexicans having evacuated the capital 
during the previous night, owing to the cap- 
ture of the San Cosmo Causeway and the 
Belen road. The troops, including Com- 
pany A, were stationed in this famous city till 
the 18th of December, when they were removed 

1 Copied in Berks and Schuylkill Journal, June 26, 1847. 

2 A grand illumination took place in Reading when the 
news of the victory at Vera Cruz arrived, 20th April, 1847. 

3 See sketch of Captain T. S. Leoser, at end of chapter, 
for other battleB mentioned. 

Also, see sketch of Richards McMichael, in Chapter XII. 

to San Angel, at which place they continued 
till peace was declared. They were ordered 
home about the middle of June, 1848. 
They then marched to Vera Cruz — consuming 
about a month in the march — where they 
took transportation on the bark "Florida" 
for New Orleans. Thence they proceeded up 
the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to Pittsburgh, 
and were mustered out of service there on the 
21st of July. The company then were com- 
posed of the following officers and privates : 

Thomas S. Leoser, captain. 
Richards McMichael, 4 first lieutenant. 
William Graeff, 5 Ellis L. Aker, 2d lieutenants. 
Jefferson Alocher, first sergeant. 
Charles Leader, second sergeant. 
William Herbert, 6 third sergeant. 
Peter Hogan,' fourth sergeant. 
John A..Heil, first corporal. 
John Frymire, 8 second corporal. 
John E. Arthur, 6 third corporal. 
Nehemiah Bean, fourth corporal. 
Thomas McGee, 6 Musician. 
Privates. — Jacob Armpriester, John Briestley, Lewis 
Brown, Franklin Bitting, Henry Boyer, George Bach- 
man, Hiram Bauchter, Jacob Coleman, Charles Flick- 
inger, Augustus Fisher, George Gibbs, Frederick Gast, 
John Hardee, Jesse C. Jones, Thomas Carrigan, Geo. 
Long, Peter B. Madara, Isaac Moyer, John Miller, 6 
William Marks, Randall McDonald, Jacob Rapp, 6 
Charles Ritchey, Thomas C. Rissler, Daniel G. Saul, 6 
Garrett Shermerhorn, William Umpleby, William 
Herbst, John H. Jones. 

Samuel Burns, drummer, Danville ; Adam Bumber- 
ger, Philadelphia; Patrick Coldricht Pittsburgh ; 
Leopold Hess, York ; Edward Lay, York ; Au- 
gustus Myers, Holidaysburgh; David Welsh, Phil- 
adelphia. [These seven men joined the company 
in December, 1847, and January, 1848.] 

Brilliant Reception. — The company 9 then 
took packets and traveled by canal to Harris- 
burg, and thence by railroad to Philadelphia 

* Promoted to first lieutenant 9th September, 1847 ; and 
in the election of officers, occasioned by the death of Col. 
Roberts, he was elected to the office of major. 

5 Promoted 1st November, 1847. 

6 Wounded at Chapultepec and recovered. 
i Wounded at Belen Gate and promoted. 

s Wounded at Belen Gate and recovered. 

9 The men from Reading. William Graff was compelled 
to remain at Pittsburgh on account of sickness, with Long 
and Rapp to wait upon him ; they arrived at Reading 10th 
of August, 1848. Bachman left the company at Baltimore 
on their return to Harrisburg. 



and Reading. Some of the men went by stage 
to Reading. Upon their arrival, on the 29th 
of July, they were given a brilliant military 
reception. Numerous buildings and streets 
were handsomely decorated with flags and 
wreaths. The military procession was under 
the command of Gen. "William H. Keim. The 
troops numbered over eight hundred men. The 
battalion consisted of two companies of cavalry 
under the command of Gen. William High, 
viz.: — National Troop and Reading Troop — 
and of eight companies of infantry under the 
command of Major H. A. Muhlenberg, viz. : — 
Reading Artillerists, Washington Grays, Ham- 
burg Artillerists, Womelsdorf Legion, Moselem 
Bines, Washington Rifle Blues, Friedensburg 
Light Infantry, Cadets of Military Institute. 

After parading through the principal streets 
of the city, the procession was taken to " Inde- 
pendence Island," where an appropriate oration 
was delivered by Charles Davis, Esq.; with which 
the demonstration ended. 

Deaths. — The following twenty-seven men 
of the company died in Mexico, mostly from 
sickness contracted there : 

Abraham Roland, April 27, 1847, at Jalapa Hospital, 
from wounds received at Cerro Gordo in head at 
right ear ; ball lodged under his tongue. 

John Sheetz, April 29, 1847, at Jalapa Hospital, 
from wound received at Cerro Gordo, in calf of 
left leg. 

Charles Dunbar, April 29, 1847, at Jalapa Hospital. 1 

John Kutz, May 16, 1847, at Vera Cruz Hopital. 

William Van Thiel, June 11, 1847, at Perote Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

William Patterson, June 17, 1847, at Perote Hospital, 
from diarrhoea. 

Israel Kaercher, July 14, 1847, at Perote Hospital, 
from rheumatism. 

Henry Kaercher, July 30, 1847, at Perote Hospital, 
from diarrhoea. 

Henry Gardner, July 20, 1847, at quarters in Puebla. 

Christian Linderman, August 3, 1847, at Perote Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

James Eason, August 19, 1847, at Perote Hospital, 
from diarrhoea. 

John Fisher, August 25, 1847, at Puebla Hospital, 
from diarrhoea. 

Napoleon Merceron, August 27, 1847, at Perote Hos- 

1 Charles Dunbar fell a victim to camp-fever and died of 
medical neglect. The sick soldiers were badly treated, and 
loud complaints were made. 

William S. Diehl, August 29, 1847, at Puebla Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

George' L. Moss, August 30, 1847, at Perote Hospital. 

Henry Beidinger, September 1, 1847, at Puebla Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

John Donnelly, September 1, 1847, at Perote Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

Daniel L. Forney, September 5, 1847, at Puebla Hos- 
pital, from diarrhoea. 

Peter Moyer, September 13, 1847, killed in storming 
of Chapultepec. 

Lieutenant William Wunder, September 14, 1847, at 
Miscoac. 2 

Sylvester McCaragan, September 27, 1847, at Puebla 
Hospital, from diarrhoea. 

Nathan Metz, October 17, 1847, at City of Mexico, of 
wound received at Chapultepec. 

William Flickinger, November 3, 1847, at Puebla 
Hospital, from diarrhoea. 

Sergeant J. G. Hambright, 3 November 7, 1847, at 
Mexico Hospital. 

Bernhard Vaux, November 16, 1847, at Mexico Hos- 

George Henry, November 29, 1847, at Mexico Hos- 
pital, of wound received at Gate of Belen. 

Daniel Graeff, February 16, 1848, at San Angel. 

Discharged. — The following men were dis- 
charged during their term of service on account 
of sickness : 

Sergeant L. H. Wunder, April 4, 1847. 

Private William M. Smith, from Vera Cruz Hospital, 

April 4, 1847. 
Private John Q. Anderson, from Vera Cruz Hospital, 

May 17, 1847. 
Private William Frey, from Vera Cruz Hospital, 

May 17, 1847. 
Private Albert Myers, from Vera Cruz Hospital, May 

17, 1847. 
Private William Trayer, from Vera Cruz Hospital, 

May 17, 1847. 
Private Edwin Fritz, from Vera Cruz Hospital, May 

17, 1847. 
Lieutenant Levi P. Knerr, June 1, 1847. 
Private Charles W. Horrell, from Castle of Perote. 
Sergeant William W. Diehl, wounded in arm at 

Puebla de los Angelos. 

2 Fell sick at Jalapa. His body was sent to Reading. It 
lay in state in the court-house. On May 13, 1848, an 
oration was delivered by J. Glancy Jones, Esq., after 
which the burial was made in the Charles Evans Cemetery. 
The funeral procession was very large, including military, 
municipal officers, and Councils, judges, lawyers, physi- 
cians and secret organizations. The city generally was 
crowded with people from the country. After the burial 
appropriate services were also held in Trinity Lutheran. 

3 Promoted April 1, 1847. 



Lieutenant H. A. M. Filbert, November 1, 1847 (re- 

Private Lewis Monzert, from Puebla Hospital, No- 
vember 5, 1847. 

Private Joseph Alexander, from Puebla, where he 
was sick. 


Commissioned officers 4 

Sergeants 1 

Corporals 1 

Sergeant-major 1 

Discharged on account of sickness 12 

Deserted 13 

Honorably mustered out of service : 

Commissioned officers 4 

Non-commissioned officers and musicians 10 
Privates 35 




Thomas S. Leoser was one of the best- 

d*^ 7 ^ — *^^Z qZL^aj? 

Musicians • 2 

Privates 80 

Privates joined from regimental depot. 6 

Private joined by transfer as musician 1 

Total strength during war 102 

Killed in action 1 

Died of wounds 4 

Died of disease 22 

Eesigned 1 


known citizens of Berks County from 1845 to 
the time of his death. 

He was born in the lower part of the county 
May 27, 1818, and was the son of Dr. Jacob 
Leoser and Sarah Bull Leoser, the daughter of 
John Smith, of Joanna Furnace. 

He was graduated at the University of Penn- 
sylvania at an early age, and, on the 7th of No- 
vember, 1838, was married to Mary Hillegas 



Rheem, the daughter of Jacob Rheern, Esq. of 

Pie always took an active interest in military 
matters and commanded a company of militia 
called the " Eeading Artillerists " for some years 
previous to the Mexican War. 

At the breaking out of that war the company 
volunteered, and was mustered into the service 
of the United States as Company A, of the Sec- 
ond Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, with 
him as the commissioned Captain. The Regi- 
ment joined Scott's column at Lobos Island and 
took part in the' work of his army until the oc- 
cupation of the city of Mexico, participating in 
the siege of Vera Cruz, the battle of Cerro Gor- 
do, the engagements at Jalapa, Perote and Pu- 
ebla, the battles of Contreras and Cherubusco, 
and the storming of Chapultepec. 

On the return of the company to Reading, 
the enthusiasm of its reception ,was unbounded, 
and the citizens so far forgot their accustomed 
phlegmatic demeanor that some of them carried 
Captain Leoser from the station to his residence 
on their shoulders. 

Before the war began, he had received from 
Governor Shunk a commission as brigade in- 
spector for Dauphin, Lebanon, Berks and 
Schuylkill Counties for four years. During his 
absence in Mexico the duties of this office were 
performed by a substitute. 

After his return from the war, Captain Leo- 
ser enjoyed the greatest popularity among his 
fellow-citizens, and, when he died, September 12, 
1849, of. an affection of the stomach and liver 
contracted in Mexico, his loss was universally 
mourned by the community. He left to sur- 
vive him two sons — Charles McKnight Leoser 
and Christopher Leoser — and a daughter, Sid- 
ney H., married to Morton C. Mcllvain ; a 
third son, Thomas S., having died in infancy. 



Introduction — Patriotism of County — War-Meetings ami 
Appropriations— Ladies' Aid Society — Reading Hospital 
— Drafts and Quotas of Berks County — Northern Men in 
Service— Summary of Battles — Paper Money — List of 

Companies from Berks County in Civil War— President's 
Call, for Troops— First Companies in War — Kinggold 
Light Artillery the First Company — Statement of Cap- 
tain McKnight— Soldiers of Berks County in Three 
Months' Service, 1861 ; Three Years' Service ; Nine 
Months' Service ; Volunteer Militia of 1862 ; Drafted 
Militia of 1862: Volunteer Militia of 1863; One Hun- 
dred Days' Service of 1804; One Year's Service, 1864-65 
— Miscellaneous Enlistments from Berks County— Sol- 
diers Buried in Berks County —Grand Army Posts— So- 
ciety of Ex-Prisoners of War. 

The Civil War in our country broke out in 
April, 1861. The direct cause was the agita- 
tion of the great subject which related to slav- 
ery. In 1620 religion started the movement 
for freedom in the northern part of our coun- 
try, and about the same time trade started the 
movement for slavery in the southern part. 
These two agents in the development of our 
people moved, as it were, westwardly from the 
Atlantic Ocean, side by side in the onward 
course of time, the one in the northern section 
and the other in the southern section, without 
any substantial interference for two hundred 
years. When independence from the British 
government was agitated on account of burden- 
some taxation, all the States north and south 
united in the one common purpose of establish- 
ing a free, representative government, separate 
and apart by themselves, of, for and by the 
people, and through this union they were en- 
abled to carry on successfully the Revolutionary 
War, which, after a severe trial of eight years, 
resulted in their favor. In 1787 delegates 
from these several States assembled together for 
the purpose of formulating a Constitution for 
their general government and protection as a 
nation, and in this they were entirely successful. 
In the interest of harmouy and progress, large 
concessions were made to the Southern States 
on the subject of slavery. The two agents, 
religion and slavery, were able to move along 
successfully side by side for a number of 
years afterward by reason of their separation. 
But as education developed greater notions of 
liberty and equality, and as steam brought the 
people of the several sections of the country 
closer together, and as manufactures and traffic 
induced them to trade with one another more 
intimately and more frequently, these two 
agents began to antagonize each other more and 



more, and statesmen of the North and of the 
South anticipated the danger of an inevitable 
conflict between them. Increasing liberality in 
religion introduced many improvements, di- 
rectly and indirectly, amongst the people of the 
North. Population and wealth increased rap- 
idly over an enlarging area of territory, and 
these gave the northern section more States and 
a stronger political influence and power. But 
slavery was stationary in the South, new poli- 
tical rights were not awakened, progress in 
any direction was not developed, though new 
States were erected and political representation 
was increased to preserve the balance of power 
between the two agents. After 1850 the ex- 
tension of slavery on the one hand, aud its 
restriction on the other, became thoroughly 
national questions and their animated discus- 
sion resulted in a terrible struggle for the su- 
premacy. Till this time the South had the 
general control of political affairs through lead- 
ership and legislation. But the Southern states- 
men then saw that their political power was in 
reality passing away through the wonderful 
growth of the North in population and wealth, 
and in political representation in the national 
government. A similar growth could not be 
effected in the South ; so its leaders desired to 
extend the rights of slavery. This was particu- 
larly apparent upon the admission of Kansas as 
a State. The Republican party — the exponent 
of restricting slavery to territory then occupied 
— became an active political factor in the country 
in 1856 ; but its Presidential candidate was de- 
feated. Threats of secession by the Southern 
States had been made about that time, and it 
was thought that if the Republican party had 
been successful v secession would have been at- 

For four years this question was prominent 
above all other questions. Buchanan preserved 
the peace during his administration, but he 
could not preserve the balance of power. Pub- 
lic opinion grew more favorable towards the Re- 
publican party, and in 1860 this party appeared 
before the people with renewed strength. During 
that time • the Democratic party agitated the 
question of slavery to such an extent that two 
branches of the party were created, — one, the 

Douglas branch, for submitting the question 
to the peojjle of a new State upon its erection ; 
and the other, the Breckenridge branch, for sub- 
mitting it to the Supreme Court for adjudication 
underthe national Constitution, — and in the Pres- 
idential campaign of 1860 their political power 
was divided. The party was still strong enough, 
as a whole, to elect a candidate ; but it was not 
strong enough to bear a division, especially 
such a division as Douglas was able to create 
by the support which he had won through pub- 
lic discussion. Lincoln, the Republican candi- 
date, was elected. From the sentiments of his 
party — especially from the sentiments of its 
ultra-leaders, who were styled "Abolitionists" — 
the Southern leaders felt constrained to take 
earnest steps towards secession ; and these steps 
were taken between the day of the election, in 
November, and the day of Lincoln's inaugura- 
tion, in March, not only vigorously, but suc- 
cessfully, without the slightest hinderance on 
the part of the national government. Promi- 
net Cabinet officials, Senators and Representa- 
tives withdrew from their respective positions 
and caused their several States to pass ordi- 
nances of secession, declaring the contract be- 
tween them and the national government 
broken. When Lincoln took p6ssession of the 
government, the status was not only discourag- 
ing but very alarming. In his inaugural ad- 
dress, he stated that apprehension seemed to ex- 
ist among the people of the Southern States 
that, by the accession of a Republican adminis- 
tration, their property, peace and personal se- 
curity were to be endangered, but that there 
•never had been any reasonable cause for such 
apprehension ; and he declared that he had no 
purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with 
the institution of slavery in the States where it 
existed. He had no inclination to do so on the 
one hand, and on the other he had no lawful 
right. Those who had nominated and elected 
him did so with the full knowledge that he had 
made these declarations, which he had never re- 
canted ; and, besides, his party had placed in 
their platform the clear and emphatic resolu- 
tion : 

"That the maintenance, inviolate, of the rights 
of the States, and especially the right of each 



State to order and control its own domestic insti- 
tutions, according to its own judgment exclusively, 
is essential to that balance of power on which the 
perfection and endurance of our political fabric de- 
pend ; and we denounce the lawless invasion of the 
soil of any State or territory by armed force, no mat- 
ter under what pretext, as among the gravest of 

He then reiterated these sentiments and 
pressed upon the public attention the most con- 
clusive evidence of which the case was suscep- 
tible, that the property, peace and security of 
no section were to be in any wise en- 
dangered by his administration. Notwith- 
standing his plain and direct language, to 
perform the duties of his office according 
to the Constitution and laws, without any 
mental reservations or any purposes to con- 
strue them by hypercritical rules, and his ex- 
pressed sentiments for peace and inseparable 
union of the States, the Southern leaders per- 
sisted in secession and disunion ; and when he 
endeavored to protect national property they 
rose up in arms and committed positive acts of 

In April, 1861, Fort Sumter was bom- 
barded from the fortresses and batteries at 
Charleston in such a furious manner that the 
commander was forced to surrender it. This 
was the signal for war, and the people in the 
North rose with a grand, patriotic impulse to 
punish the outrage. The President issued a 
requisition for seventy-five thousand troops, in 
order to quell the disturbance in the insurrec- 
tionary States, and the response was prompt 
and noble. The national government had not, 
as yet, done anything to cause the South to feel" 
alarmed, but this hostile demonstration required 
it to show some positive action towards defend- 
ing its property and enforcing its laws. The 
excitement at Reading, as everywhere else in 
the North, was intense. Captain James Mc- 
Knight offered his company of Ringgold Light 
Artillery, and it was the first military organi- 
zation that responded to the call and moved to 
the defense of the country. This historical fact 
is worthy of especial mention, for in it our peo- 
ple take a just, patriotic pride, and it is a dis- 
tinction in this great crisis of our country which 
no other community enjoys. It was hoped that 

this simple manifestation of executive author- 
ity would restore peace ; but the organization at 
the South was too thorough, and its purpose to 
establish, if possible, a confederation by itself, 
was too premeditated. Men rushed to arms 
and were forced into dreadful warfare, call after 
call for troops was made, and thousands of lives 
were sacrificed, and millions of dollars were ex- 
pended, in the two sections, for a right which 
each claimed, — the one to establish a con- 
federation and the other to maintain constituted 
authority, — and this terrible contest continued 
four years before peace was restored. 

It is not my purpose to write a history of the 
war. I simply desire to record the patriotism 
which our county displayed upon this occasion 
by narrating the more prominent events which 
transpired in our community' during this per- 

Patriotism of County. — The feeling here 
for maintaining the Union and upholding the 
Constitution was strong and continuous during 
the entire period from the beginning to the close 
of the war ; and this was exhibited by Demo- 
crats and Republicans alike. Breckenridge had 
received a majority over Lincoln, exceeding two 
thousand votes, but the sentiment for the Union 
was general in all our districts, especially at 
Reading. Companies were raised rapidly and 
mustered into service — numbering eighty-seven, 
almost entirely enlisted in and from the county. 
They went to the rescue freely, moved by the 
highest patriotic impulse. Public meetings 
were numerous and earnest sympathy for the 
cause was manifested at all of them. The 
prominent men took the lead. Our judges, 
lawyers and merchants, and business men gen- 
erally, without respect to party affiliations, 
united to encourage and sustain the national 
administration. Their pronounced opinion in 
the matter created and preserved a proper spirit 
in the community. The county and city 
governments were constantly liberal in appro- 
priations of money towards encouraging volun- 
teer enlistments. But the methods of conduct- 
ing the war received a degree of criticism 
amounting to condemnation. This was natural 
from partisans who entertained political opin- 
ions opposed to those of the administration in 



power. A disposition to criticise and condemn 
was shown even in small local matters ; how 
much more was it to be expected in national 
matters of such enormous proportions, involv- 
ing the appropriation of millions of dollars and 
the exeicise of extreme legislative and executive 
authority over the people ! Certain measures, 
which were resorted to during the progress of the 
war, such as the suspension, of the writ of habeas 
corpus, the issue of paper money, the conscrip- 
tion of men for military service, the proclamation 
of emancipation, the enlistment and enfranchise- 
ment of negroes, etc., were particularly objec- 
tionable, but they were consequences that were 
unavoidable under the trying circumstances 
in which the country was placed ; and, if they 
were not exactly within the letter of the Con- 
stitution, the preservation of the country, its 
property, its government and its people justi- 
fied them entirely. A national Constitution 
and all the laws growing out of it could not be 
paramount, in such an extreme emergency, to 
national existence, inasmuch as they were par- 
ticularly designed to preserve it; and this 
was . certainly no time for "sympathizers," — a 
class of individuals which prevailed here as 
elsewhere. Further indulgence of the South — 
after it had taken national property and carried 
on destructive warfare, and especially after its 
army had invaded Pennsylvania, not for the 
purpose of defending its property and po- 
litical rights, but for the purposes of vengeance, 
of destroying our property and of jeopardizing 
the peace and security of our political exist- 
ence — ceased to be a virtue; and those who 
were not for the Government were against the 
Union. These two were one and inseparable. 
For them extraordinary measures were enacted, 
not promptly and hastily, but only after much 
discussion and delay. They were forced upon 
the people as justifiable war measures. 

Our county contained a large majority of peo- 
ple who were against the war, if we interpret 
their opinion from the exercise of their political 
suffrage at elections; but they were submissive — 
thejteaused no trouble, no riotous demonstration. 
This reflects great credit upon them as a law- 
abiding community. Our national and State 
governments, by enactments, required these 

things of them, and therefore they bore them. 
They went to the war by the thousand, they 
endured conscription without opposition and 
they permitted the assessment of burdensome 
taxation. They encouraged appropriations of 
money, amounting to nearly a million of dollars, 
expressly for the enlistment of men, and they 
invested large sums of money in the national 
securities. These, taken together, truly consti- 
tute significant evidence of devotion to their 
country and to the administration of its affairs 
by an opposite party, — a party whose principles 
were not only different from theirs, but, in fact, 
objectionable, if not repulsive, to them. Their 
general conduct of co-operation under such cir- 
cumstances is therefore commendable and wor- 
thy of this prominent mention. 

During this period, the excitement throughout 
the county was ever active, and several times, 
when the State was invaded by the revengeful, 
destructive rebels, and our own county was 
threatened with the horrors of war, it became 
alarming. This was particularly the case at 
Reading. Penn Square was daily, more or less 
in commotion with the enlistment of men, the 
formation and exercise of companies and their 
departure to the seat of war or their return 
from it. The music of fife and drum and the 
marching of men — fathers, husbands, brothers 
and sons — thrilled the entire community time 
and again. These were, indeed, events that 
made a lasting impression upon that generation. 
Two encampments — one in the northern part of 
Reading in 1862, and another in the eastern 
part in 1863 — attracted much attention. They 
afforded the people an opportunity of forming a 
proper conception of camp-life and military dis- 
cipline. If our peaceful inhabitants did not 
realize the actual terrors and horrors of warfare 
by the booming of cannon, the explosion of 
shells and the destruction of property in their 
midst ; if they did not see blood and death in 
their, highways and upon their fields as the evi- 
dence of bitter opposition and revenge, they saw 
officers and soldiers in uniforms and witnessed 
military exercises with the weapons of war, and 
they knew by their own personal observations that 
earnest preparations were made for encounters 
with the enemy. How they looked at these 



military cities, with tents and streets under 
strict regulation ! how they watched the men in 
drill, by platoons and companies and battalions! 
how they pointed out generals and colonels and 
captains as the men who had been in war and 
passed safely through the jaws of death ! But 
when the wounded, the dying and the dead were 
brought home to them, then they felt that the 
curse of rebellion was in the land. Did they 
catch the true spirit with these things about 
them? Yes; they sprang to the rescue, — they 
either went themselves or urged others to go to 
preserve the Union, — they raised money and en- 
dured burdensome taxation, amounting to the 
millions ; their mothers, wives and daughters 
prepared flags for the men, and said, " Go, de- 
fend these banners ; let not a star be torn away. 
You have our prayers. Your patriotism must 
win the crown of victory." With such inspira- 
tions our men, as men everywhere throughout 
the North, went to this war. 

The religious services during this time were 
intensely interesting. Oh, what praise, what 
sermons, what tears, what prayers ! The souls 
of this great community in the numerous 
churches were as one in earnest efforts to win 
the favor of God, — the God of our fathers who 
had been blessed in their Revolution and struggle 
for independence and f reedo m, — so that the Union 
could be preserved as it had been transmitted 
unto them. Every minister was eloquent, and 
he could well be eloquent upon such a subject 
with au excited audience before him. 

The " Union League," a Republican associa- 
tion at Reading, organized after the great 
"Union League" at Philadelphia,- was very 
active in enlisting men for military service; and 
so were the various secret societies, especially 
the " Junior Sons of America." 

In the midst of the great excitement incident 
to the general feelings for war and the necessary 
preparations to carry it on successfully, our 
local energy displayed itself to a remarkable de- 
gree in every department of business. Trade 
was both active and profitable, and it stimulated 
various enterprises. Railroads were projected 
and substantial improvements were made in 
every section of the county, especially at Read- 
ing ; and matters pertaining to education and 

religion were directed with earnestness and suc- 
cess. The prices of all kinds of material were 
high ; but- money was abundant and a spirit of 
increased liberality kept it moving aboutactively 
from hand to hand, from store to store, from 
bank to bank and from place to place. 

War-Meetings and Appropriations. — 
After the election of Lincoln, a sentiment of fear 
tor the preservation of the Union of our several 
States developed more and more rapidly 
with each passing day. This was more espec- 
ially caused by the action of certain Southern 
States on the subject of secession. This fear ob- 
tained at Reading ; and in order to express the 
opinion of this community on the subject of 
" preserving the integrity of the Union," a 
large meeting, including prominent men of both 
political parties, was held in the court-house on 
December 13, 1860. Hon. John Banks was 
chosen' president. Appropriate resolutions were 
adopted, favorable to the Union, but particularly 
recommending non-interference with the rights 
of property in slaves guaranteed by the Constitu- 
tion to the Southern States. John S. Richards 
and Hiester Clymer delivered most effective and 
highly appreciated speeches. 

On the 10th of December (three days before) 
the Democratic City Club had met and reported 
a " Memorial to Congress on the State of the 
Union," prepared by a committee of thirty-three 
prominent Democrats, in which similar senti- 
ments of non-interference and compromise had 
been expressed. 

In July, 1862, when there was a threatened 
invasion of Pennsylvania, our people became 
very much alarmed for the safety of their lives 
and property. Large and enthusiastic meetings 
were held in the court-house to devise means for 
protection. They included all the prominent 
and influential citizens of Reading, such as Hons. 
W. J. Woodward, J. Pringle Jones, John 
Banks, J. Glancy Jones, Wm. M. Hiester and 
George D. Stitzel, Drs. H. H. Muhlenberg, Dil- 
ler Luther and C. H. Hunter, and Messrs. 
Jacob Knabb, J. Lawrence Getz, A. F. Boas, 
John McManus, G. A. Nicolls, John S. Rich- 
ards, Isaac Eckert, Levi B. Smith and William 
M. Baird. Their public expressions were 
thoroughly patriotic ; and, in pursuance of their 



earnest recommendation, the county commis- 
sioners— Paul Weudicli, Ceorge K. Lorali and 
Jacob Donahower— offered a bounty of fifty dol- 
lars to every officer and private mustered into 
the service from the comity. In September 
following, the commissioners again offered the 
same bounty for every volunteer soldier ; aud 
the City Councils appropriated ten thousand 
dollars additional for the purpose of encourag- 
ing volunteer enlistments; and in June, 1863, 
similar meetings were held. 

The city of Heading appropriated altogether 
for war purposes, in bounties, relief, etc., $373,- 
179, as follows: 1*61, $500; 1862, $804; 1863 
$2,509; 1864, $258,760; 1865, 
$1 10,606. And the County of Berks 
the sum of $452,389, as follows : 
1861, $12,319; 1862,$45,082; 1863, 
$19,788; 1864, $347,750; 1865, 

The total amount, for the city and 
county, was $825,568. Besides this 
sum, the boroughs likewise appro- 
priated and raised moneys for the 
same purpose: Kutztown, $16,005- 
21 ; Bernville, $6953.81 ; Boyertown, 

; Hamburg, - -; Wo- 


"depot" was established at Reading, to which 
all the goods were carried and from which they 
were consigned. This was in a small frame 
building situate on North Fifth Street, No. 116. 
The country districts were encouraged to co- 
operate in this benevolent work, and the ladies 
there responded nobly by forwarding materials 
to Reading. The meetings of the society were 
held for a time in the " Pearson Building," No. 
432 Penn Street, on the second floor, the room 
for this purpose having been generously given 
by Mr. John S. Pearson, free of rent ; and af- 
terward in the building occupied by the provost- 
marshal of this district, No. 520 Penn Street. 

Ladies' Aid Society. — The men 
of our community are presented very 
prominently in this period of our history. But 
the women are also worthy of respectful "mention 
for their patriotism. They did not enlist in prac- 
tical military service ; but they gave the national 
administration a moral support which is truly 
praiseworthy. Just as the "Ringgold Light 
Artillery " were preparing to take the Lebanon 
Valley railroad train on the afternoon of April 
16, 1861, to proceed to Harrisburg in answer 
to the call of President Lincoln for troops, cer- 
tain influential ladies of Reading assembled 
in the parlor of Mrs. Dr. Diller Luther, on 
Penn Street (No. 530), and formed a society, 
which they entitled "Ladies' Aid Society"" 
Its object was to supply the soldiers with 
clothing and materials useful whilst in military 
service away from home. It was actively en- 
gaged during the entire period of the war, col- 
lecting and forwarding tons of materials. A 


This was the first society of the kind organ- 
ized in the country ; and as we take a just pride 
in having furnished the military company which 
was the first to respond to the call for troops 
and to report at Harrisburg for service, so do 
we take a similar pride in having organized this 
Ladies' Aid Society, which was the first to take 
active and successful steps towards providing 
for the comfort and welfare of the soldiers. 

This society participated actively in the mat- 
ters pertaining to the Sanitary Commission at 
Philadelphia, and it was represented by a num- 
ber of ladies at the great " Sanitary Fair," which 
was held in that city for the purpose of raising 
funds to relieve the wants of the soldiers. 

The officers of the society were Mrs. Rosa 
C. Nicolls, president; Mrs. Catharine Hause, 
vice-president; Mrs. Annie H. Muhlenberg, 
treasurer; Mrs. Maria W. Brooke, secretary. 



In July, 1866, a general review of its chari- 
table work was published by the treasurer, Mrs. 
Annie H. Muhlenberg (widow of the Hon. 
Henry A. Muhlenberg). It was as follows : 

"A statement of money and supplies received and 

forwarded during the war : — 

" Cash received from : — 

Individuals $1541.30 

Church collections 1265.12 

Lodges 237.00 

Soldiers' Mite Society 181.28 

State of Pennsylvania for woolen socks... 137.32 

Fairs, exhibitions and concerts 921.47 

Sanitary Fair for " Berks Co. Kitchen ". 305.95 
" one day's income 8407.83 


Estimated donations of clothing, provi- 
sions, etc., for Sanitary Fair 5,000.00 


'' Cash disposed of as follows : 

To Sanitary Fair $9,012.00 

To Soldiers' Orphan Aid So- 
ciety 683.00 

To Sanitary Commission 200.00 

To Christian Commission:.. 200.00 
To New York Soldiers' Hos- 
pital 72.00 

For clothing, provisions, etc., 
sent to hospitals, etc, whilst 
armies were in the field.... 2,830.27 


"Mrs. Annie H. Mupilenbekg, 

" Treasurer, 
" Reading, July 9, 1866." 

Eeading Hospital.— A " Military Hospi- 
tal " was fitted up at Eeading during the mid- 
dle of June, 1862, in the main exhibition build- 
ing of the Agricultural Society, on the " Fair- 
Ground" with cots sufficient to accommodate 
one hundred and thirty patients, and success- 
fully conducted till the spring of 1863. The 
" Ladies' Aid Society " of Eeading took an ac- 
tive interest in the welfare of the sick and 
wounded soldiers, and performed admirable ser- 
vice during the continuance of the hospital. The 
regularly commissioned surgeons in attendance 
were Dr. Martin Luther and Dr. John B. 

Draft and Quotas of Berks County. 

During the progress of the war, requisitions for 
troops became so frequent that the government 
was compelled to resort to the conscription 1 of 

men for the purpose of enabling it to prosecute 
the war with success. Numerous volunteers en- 
listed from Berks County, and the citizens of 
this district responded nobly to the several calls 
for troops. But here, as elsewhere, the draft 
had to be made. 

There were four drafts, one in each of the 
years 1862, 1863, 1864 and 1865. The pro- 
vost-marshals of this district were, in succession, 
Henry I. Kupp, Jacob C. Hoff and George W. 

The first draft was conducted in October, 

1862. By the following table, the total enroll- 
ment of men in the county numbered 17,809; 
the volunteers, 3,186; and the quota, 2,719. 
The number of men who volunteered in lieu of 
draft was 345 ; and the substitutes who enlisted 
for three years numbered 146. The total num- 
ber of men drafted in the county was 1,242. 
These men were encamped on the " Deininger 
Farm," adjoining the Evans' Cemetery on the 
north, formed into companies and placed under 
the command of Colonel Charles Knoderer. 
They were mustered into service as the One Hun- 
dred and Sixty-seventh Eegiment. 

A second draft was made August 26-29, 

1863. The quota of men to be furnished by 
the county was 1,554— this number having been 
fifty per cent, in excess to provide against ex- 

The draft was made on a platform in front of 
the marshal's office, southwest corner of Fifth 
and Cherry Streets, Eeading, by a blind man 
(George Phillippi), who was blindfolded in the 
presence of the following committee of promi- 
nent citizens specially appointed to be present 
upon the occasion : 

Charles Kessler, editor of Adler; J. Lawrence 
Getz, editor of Gazette; Jacob Knabb, editor of 
Journal; Arnold Puwelle, editor of Beobaehter; 
A. S. Whitman, editor of Times; H. J. Moore, 
editor of Press; Hon. W. J. Woodward, presi- 
dent judge; H. E. Hawman, county commis- 
sioner : Hon. J. S. Hoyer, mayor ; Eev. C. A. 
Pauli; Eev. F. A.M. Keller; Eev. Francis 
O'Conner ; Hon. George D. Stitzel ; Hon. S. E. 
Ancona; Hon. Hiester Clymer; Daniel Ermen- 
trout; Eichard Boone; Isaac Eckert : Peter 



The third draft proposed in March, 1864, for 
Berks County, was postponed for a time. The 
quota in the call for two hundred thousand men 
was 767 ; the deficiency of the county under 
former drafts was 298 ; total number required, 
1,065, and the credit of the county on April 15, 
1864, for men supplied to the government, 1036. 
This deficiency of 29 men was more than sup- 
plied by re-enlisted veterans. Subsequently, 
however, in May, a draft was ordered, upon 
finding a deficiency in certain sub-districts in 
the county. Each sub-district was required to fill 
its own quota. The total number drawn was 172. 

In service 1862. 'Aug., 1863.1 1864. ' 1865. 








105 1 





158 ' 



34l ! 










Heidelburg, L... 




223 1 



244 1 






















Tulpehocken. ... 


Tulpehocken, 1 







County total 


Beading : 

N. B. ward.... 


N. W. -ward... 


S. E. ward 


S. W. ward 


Spruce ward.. 









i K 

H ! ft 












67 129 
51 128 
36! 110 
46, 188 

81' 15" 
16, 47 
98' 220 
45| 77 
13 1 66 
69 125 
30, 138 
1171 212 
56, 88 
54 106 
53! 100 
10 1 74 
■Si 191 
94 j 158 
58' 100! 

68 129 
551 179; 
62 1 179 1 



2452 5897 

141 527 
81 381 













22 1 





























54 ! 
















































56 106 


2719 7773' 2331 1563, 

I 283, .... 

J I 

,1560' 1970 

A call for 500,000 men was made on July 18, 

1864. The quota for Berks County was 1887 
— for Beading, 450. On August 1st, the defi- 
ciency in the county was 1,625 — in Beading 
212. A draft was made on September 22d, but 
only for one sub-district — Buscomb-manor, fifty- 
two men — all the other sub-districts having 
supplied their deficiencies. 

A fourth draft was made February 23-25, 

1865. Reading, Upper Bern, Bernville, Cum- 
ru, Douglass, Spring, Upper Tulpehocken, 
and Womelsdorf had supplied their quota of 
men by volunteers. The call was made in De- 
cember, 1864, for 300,000, the quota of which 
for Pennsylvania was 49,563, and of Berks 
County, 1560. 

Northern Men in Service. — The calls, 
periods of service and number of men obtained 
during the Civil War from the Northern States 
were as follows : 













Period of 

3 months 

9 months 
6 months 
3 years \ 
3 years J 
3 years 
100 days 
1, 2 and 3 yrs. 
1, 2 and 3 yrs. 

1 Two over quota. 

Date of Call. 

April 15, 1861 75,000 

May and July, 1861. ..582,748 3 years 

May and June, 1862 3 months 

July 2, 1862 300,000 3 years 

August 4, 1862 300,000 

June 15, 1863 100,000 

October 17, 1863 300,000 

February 1, 1864 200,000 

March 14, 1864 200,000 

April 23, 1864 85,000 

July 18, 1864 500,000 

December 19, 1864 300,000 


The aggregate number of men furnished by 
Pennsylvania was three hundred and sixty-six 
thousand three hundred and twenty-six; re- 
duced to three years' standard, two hundred 
and sixty-seven thousand five hundred and 
fifty-eight. It is estimated that during the war 
fifty-six thousand national soldiers were killed 
in battle, and about thirty-five thousand died 
in hospitals of wounds, and one hundred and 
eighty-four thousand by disease. The total 
casualties, if we include those who died subse- 
quent to their discharge, were about three hun- 
dred thousand. The loss of the Confederates 
was less in battle, owing to the defensive char- 
acter of their struggle; but they lost more from 
wounds and by disease, on account of inferior 




sanitary arrangements. The total loss of life 
caused by the Rebellion exceeded half a million 
of men, and nearly as many more were dis- 

Summary of Battles. — In the four years 
of service, the armies of the Union — counting 
every form of conflict, great and small — had 
been in twenty-two hundred and sixty-five en- 
gagements with the Confederate troops. From 
the time when active hostilities began until the 
last gun of the war was fired, a fight of some 
kind — a raid, a skirmish or a pitched battle — 
occurred at some point on our widely-extended 
front nearly eleven times a week, upon an 
average. Counting only those engagements in 
which the Union loss, in killed, wounded and 
missing, exceeded one hundred, the total num- 
ber was three hundred and thirty. From the 
northernmost point of contact to the southern- 
most, the distance by any practicable line of 
communication was more than two thousand 
miles. From East to West the extremes were 
fifteen hundred miles apart. During the first 
year of hostilities — one of preparation on both 
sides — the battles were naturally fewer in num- 
ber and less decisive in character than after- 
wards, when discipline had been imparted to 
the troops by drill, and when the materiel of 
war had been collected and stored for prolonged 
campaigns. The engagements of all kinds in 
1861 were thirty-five in number, of which the 
most serious was the Union defeat at Bull Run. 
In 1862 the war had greatly increased in mag- 
nitude and intensity, as is shown by the eighty- 
four engagements between the armies. The 
net result of the year's operations was highly 
favorable to the Rebellion. In 1863 the bat- 
tles were one hundred and ten in number, — 
among them some of the most significant and 
important victories for the Uniou. In 1864 
there were seventy-three engagements, and in 
the winter and early spring of 1865 there were 
twenty-eight. 1 

Paper Money. — Before the Civil War, it had 
been the uniform practice of the different States 
to allow banks to be established for the issue of 
notes, payable in specie on demand. These 

l 2 Blaine's "Twenty Years of Congress," 20. 

banks were established by acts of the local Leg- 
islature, which limited the liability of the share- 
holders. Banking then was quite free, and all 
individuals could carry it on, provided they pur- 
sued the requirements of the law. But under 
this system there was great fluctuation in value, 
which produced an unprecedented amount of 
bankruptcy and ruin. Between 1811 and 1820 
many banks became bankrupt; and twenty 
years afterward another financial panic oc- 
curred. The inflation of the bank-notes was 
wonderful between 1830 and 1837. But just 
as the amount had then increased, so it decreased 
during the following six years till 1843 ; and 
this caused the ruin of many moneyed institu- 
tions. Among them was the Bank of the 
United States, the renewal of whose charter 
had been denied by President Jackson. 

The loss in the value of stocks and property 
of all kinds was enormous. But great as the 
loss was, it was trifling compared with the in- 
jury which resulted to society in disturbing the 
elements of social order and in causing the utter 
demoralization of men by the irresistible temp- 
tation to speculation which it afforded and by 
swindling to retain riches dishonestly obtained. 
Another crash took place in 1857. 

At the beginning of the war the paper money 
in circulation amounted to $200,000,000, of 
which three-fourths had been issued in the 
Northern or loyal States ; and the coin amounted 
to $275,000,000. The early necessities of the 
national treasury in this trying period compelled 
the government to borrow money, and in this 
behalf, in February, 1862, Congress authorized 
the issue of treasury notes amounting to $150,- 
000,000, and declared them to be legal tender 
except for customs duties and for interest on 
the national debt. This action was taken after 
a full, if not a bitter, discussion of the question. 
Its constitutionality was contested vigorously, 
but unsuccessfully. 

A premium on gold naturally followed, caus- 
ing it to be drawn entirely from circulation, 
and this increased as the treasury notes multi- 
plied. Then the National Banking system 
was introduced to supply a circulating medium. 
This was created on February 25, 1863, and 
amended June 3, 1864, whereby a Bureau and 



Comptroller of Currency were appointed in the 
Treasury Department, with power to authorize 
banking associations, under certain provisions, 
for public security. The existing State banks 
were rapidly transformed into national banks 
under this system and their previous notes were 
withdrawn from circulation. The currency of 
the country in this manner came to consist of 
treasury demand notes, which in 1865 amounted 
to $450,000,000, and of national bank notes, 
which approached the limit of $300,000,000. 
The latter circulated as freely as the former, 
because their ultimate redemption was assured 
by the deposit of an adequate amount in United 
States bonds at the national treasury. This 
system was found superior in the protection 
against loss which it afforded ; but it could not 
prevent a financial crisis from sweeping over 
the country, especially when other causes, such 
as excessive manufactures and enormous losses 
from fire, contributed greatly towards the result. 

Congress also authorized small notes for five, 
ten, twenty-five and fifty cents to be issued for 
the purpose of supplying the loss of the small 
denominations of coin money from circulation. 
This was commonly known as "currency." It 
was all redeemed after the war. 

During this period our merchants at Reading 
issued and circulated for a time their own frac- 
tional demand notes for the purpose of encour- 
aging trade amongst one another. But it was 
gradually redeemed as the national currency 
was supplied. 

List of Companies from Berks County 
in Civil War. — The following eighty-seven 
companies of men were enlisted from Berks 
County and mustered into the service of the 
National Government in the Civil War. Eleven 
of the companies included men which were ac- 
credited to other counties. Eeckoning all the 
men together in the companies named and in 
the unclassified alphabetical arrangement fol- 
lowing them, it can be asserted that at least 
eight thousand five hundred men of our county 
were engaged in the great and successful strug- 
gle for the preservation of the Union: — 


Twenty-fifth Eegt.— Ringgold Light Art., Jas. Mc- 
Knight, capt. 

First Regt.— Co. G, Reading Artillerists, Geo. W. 

Alexander, capt. 
Fifth Regt— Co. H, Union Light Inf., Frank M. 

Cooley, capt. 
Seventh Regt.— Co. C, Wash. Art., Isaac Schroeder, 

capt. ; Co. D, Penn. Art., Geo. S. Herbst, capt. ; 

Co. G., Reading Rifles, Albert F. Rightmyer, 

Fourteenth Regt. Co. A, — Union Guards, David A. 

Griffith, capt. ; Co. E, Keystone Infantry, John 

C. Shearer, capt. 


Thirty-second Regt. (3d Reserves).;— Co. A, Reading 
Artillerists, Jacob Lenhart, Jr., capt. ; Co. D, Me- 
chanics' Infantry, Wm. Briner, capt. ; Co. F, 
Wash. Guards, Washington Richards, capt. 

Thirty-sixth Regt. (7th Reserves). — Co. I (Berks and 
Lebanon Cos.), Jos. G. Holmes, capt. 

Forty-fourth Regt. (1st Cav.). — Co. L, Reading Troop, 
J. C. A. Hoffeditz, capt. ; Co. M, Reading Cav., 
Thos. S. Richards, capt. 

Forty-sixth Regt. — Co. E, Reading Rifles, Cornelius 
Wise, capt. 

Forty-eighth Regt.— Co. D (Berks and Schuylkill Cos.) 
Daniel Nagle, capt. 

Fiftieth Regt. — Co. B, Ellsworth Zouaves, Hervey 
Herman, capt. ; Co. E, Reading Light Infantry, 
Wm. H. Diehl, capt. ; Co. H, Union Light In- 
fantry, Thos. S. Brenholtz, capt. 

Fifty-fifth Regt.— Co. B, Wash. Legion, John C. 
Shearer, capt. 

Fifty-ninth Regt. (2d Cav.).— Co. K (Berks and Phila. 
Cos.), Stephen H. Edgett, capt. 

Seventieth Regt. (6th Cav.). — Co. G, Reading Dra- 
goons, Geo. E. Clymer, capt. 

Seventy-fourth Regt. — Co. G (Berks and Adams Cos.), 
William J. Bart, capt. 

Eightieth Regt. (7th Cav.).— Co. L (Berks and North- 
umberland Cos.), Chas. C. McCormick, capt. 

Eighty-third Regt. — -Co. I (Reading and Harrisburg 
Co.), Robt. W. McCartney, capt. 

Eighty-eighth Regt. — Co. A, Junior Fire Zouaves, 
Geo. W. Knable, capt. ; Co. B, Neversink Zou- 
aves, Henry R. Myers, capt.; Co. H, Union 
Guards, David A. Griffith, capt. 

Ninety-third Regt. — Co. B, Union Zouaves, John E. 
Arthur, capt. ; Co. G, Coleman Rifles, Alex. C. 
Maitland, capt. ; Co. K, David C. Keller, capt. 

Ninety-sixth Regt.— Co. G, Hamburg Light Infantry, 
Jas. M. Douden, capt. ; Co. H, Jacob W. Glase, 

One Hundred and Fourth Regt. — Independent Bat- 
tery, Geo. W. Durell, capt. 

nine months' service, 1862-63. 

One Hundred and Twenty-eighth Regt.— Co. A, 
Wash. Infantry, L. Heber Smith, capt. ; Co. B, 
Muhlenberg Infantry, William McNall, capt. ; 



Co. E, Reading Artillerists, William H. Andrews, 
capt. ; Co. H, Felix Light Guard, John Kennedy, 
capt. ; Co. I, Reading Iron Works Guard, Richard 
H. Jones, capt. ; Co. K, City Guard, Geo. New- 
kirk, capt. 
One Hundred and Fifty-first Regt.— Co. E (Ontelau- 
nee), Jacob S. Graff, capt. ; Co.G (Bernville), Levi 
M. Gerhart, capt. ; Co. H (Upper Tulpehocken), 
Wm. K. Boltz. capt. ; Co. I (Berks and Schuyl- 
kill Cos.), Wm. L. Gray, capt.; Co. K (Long- 
swamp), Jas. W. Weida, capt. 


Second Regt. — Co. G, Fifth Ward Guards, Franklin 

S. Bickley, capt. 
Eleventh Regt. — Co. E, Nicolls Guards, Chas. H. 

Hunter, capt. ; Co. I, McKnight Guards, Nathan 

M. Eisenhower, capt. 
Twentieth Regt. — Co. G, Liberty Fire Zouaves, 

William Geiger, capt. ; Co. H, McLean Guards, 

Samuel Harner, capt. ; Co. I, Halleck Infantry, 

Frederick S. Boas, capt.; Berks County Cav., 

Samuel L. Young, capt. 


One Hundred and Sixty-seventh Regt. — Co. A, Jon- 
athan See, capt. ; Co. B. Chas. Melcher, capt. ; 
Co. C, Peter Y. Edelman, capt. ; Co. D, Samuel 
A. Haines, capt. ; Co. E, Hiram H. Miller, capt. ; 
Co. P, Jos. Groh, capt. ; Co. G, Wm. A. Schall, 
capt. ; Co. H, Abraham H. Schaeffer, capt. ; Co. 
I, Jonas M. Shollenberger, capt. ; Co. K, Edward 
F. Reed, capt. 

One Hundred and Seventy Ninth Regt. — Co. I, Amos 
Drenkel, capt. ; Co. K, John B. Wagoner, capt. 


Thirty-first Regt.— Co. H, David A. Griffith, capt. 

Forty-second Regt. — Co. A, William F. Walter, 
captain ; Co. B, Reading Loyal League, Samuel 
Harner, capt. ; Co. C, Muhlenberg Guards, 
John E. Arthur, captain; Co. D, Wm. D. 
Smith, capt. ; Co. E, McKnight Guards, John 
McKnight, 'capt. ; Co. F, Bently H. Smith, capt. ; 
Co. G, Samuel A. Haines, capt. ; Co. H, Lerch 
Light Infantry, John Obold, capt. ; Co. I, Ed- 
ward Bailey, capt. ; Co. K, Jacob Deppen, capt. 

Forty-eighth Regt. — Co. G, Jos. G. Holmes, capt. 

Fifty-third Regt. — Co. A, Richmond L. Jones, capt. ; 
Co. B, Felix Guards, Jacob Lehman, capt.; 
Ringgold Light Art., Wm. C. Ermentrout, capt. 


One Hundred and Ninety-fourth Regt. — Co. I, 

Henry E. Quimby, capt. 
One Hundred and Ninety-fifth Regt. — Co. A, Henry 

D. Markley, capt. ; Co. B, Harrison Maltzberger, 

One Hundred and Ninety-sixth Regt. — Geo. S. Eow- 

botham, capt. 

one year's service, 1864-65. 
Two Hundred and Fifth Regt.— Co. B, Jos. G. 

Holmes, capt. ; Co. E, Wm. F. Walter, capt.; Co. 

H, Franklin Schmehl, capt. 
One Hundred and Ninety-eighth Regt.— Co. D, Isaac 

Schroeder, capt.; Co. G, Wm. L. Guinther, 

One Hundred and Ninety-second B,egt. — Co. F, John 

Teed, capt. 
President's Call foe Troops. — The Civil 
War was begun on the morning of the 12th of 
April, 1861. The military forces of South 
Carolina, under the leadership of General Rob- 
ert Beauregard, then began to fire upon Fort 
Sumter, which was under the command of Ma- 
jor Robert Anderson. The President of the 
United States, finding the laws of the country 
opposed and the execution thereof obstructed in 
seven Southern States x " by combinations too 
powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary 
course of judicial proceedings or by the powers 
vested in the marshals by law," issued a procla- 
mation on the 15th day of April, 1861, calling 
for seventy-five thousand militia of the several 
States of the Union, " in order to suppress said 
combinations and to cause the laws to be duly 
executed ; " and therein he appealed " to all 
loyal citizens to favor, facilitate and aid this 
effort to maintain the honor, integrity and exist- 
ence of our national Union, and the perpetuity 
of popular government and to redress the 
wrongs already long enough endured." A call 
was made on Pennsylvania for sixteen regi- 
ments. Two regiments were wanted within 
three days, inasmuch as the city of Washington 
was entirely unprotected and a sudden dash 
upon it was strongly threatened. 

First Companies. — AmoDg the first troops 
to respond to this call were the Ringgold Light 
Artillery (Captain James McKnight) of Read- 
ing, the Logan Guards (Captain J. B. Selheimer) 
of Lewistown, the Washington Artillery (Cap- 
tain James Wren) and the National Light In- 
fantry (Captain McDonald) of Pottsville, and 
the Allen Rifles (Captain Thomas Yeager) of 

On January 21, 1861, Major-General Wil- 

1 South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, 
Louisiana and Texas. 



liam H. Keim (then surveyor-general of Penn- 
sylvania, from Reading), with characteristic 
sagacity, advised Captain McKnight that the 
services of his company ' would probably soon 
be needed, 2 and counseled him to hold them in 
readiness for immediate service. From that 
time till April 16th almost daily drills were 
practiced. On the 22d of February they were 
in readiness to obey marching orders. The 
dispatch announcing the attack on Fort Sumter 
found the company at drill at some distance 
from the city. The effect was electrical. All 
were impatient to move to the defense of the 

On the morning of the 16th of April, march- 
ing orders were received from Governor Curtin ; 
and, on the afternoon of the same day, the com- 
pany moved by the Lebanon Valley Railroad 
to Harrisburg, where it arrived at eight o'clock 
in the evening. 3 The company numbered one 
hundred and eight men, fully armed and 
equipped as light artillery. On reporting at 
the Executive Office (the Governor being absent 
in Washington) orders were sought from the 
Secretary of War (Simon Cameron), who tele- 
graphed that the company be forwarded by the 
earliest train. This order was, later in the day, 
countermanded by the Secretary of the Com- 
monwealth. 4 

1 The Ringgold Light Artillery of Reading, a volunteer 
company, was organized and equipped under James Mc- 
Knight, captain. It was armed with four six-pounder 
brass field-pieces and caissons, with full equipments of ar- 
tillerists, including sabres. The muster-roll included 
ninety men. It was composed of good material, and was well 
drilled, and was the pride of the city of Reading. It had 
participated in several volunteer encampments, one at 
Easton, of a week's duration, where it was entertained by 
ex-Governor Reeder and other leading citizens. 

2 At this time Captain McKnight recommended to Major- 
General Keim three other companies in Berks County — one 
at Friedensburg (Schroeier's), a. second at Womelsdorf 
(Clouse's) and a third at Hamburg. 

3 Immediately after their departure Jacob Knabb (senior 
editor of the Berks and Schuylkill Journal) sent the follow- 
ing telegram to the Associated Press : 

" Reading, April 16, 1861.— The Ringgold Flying Artil- 
lery (Captain James McKnight), with 108 men and four 
field-pieces, having received a requisition from the Governor 
this morning, set out this evening for Harrisburg, the place 
of rendezvous. They are the first Pennsylvanians in the 

The five volunteer companies named were 
mustered into the service of the United States 
at Harrisburg for three months, and departed 
for Washington by railroad, on the 18th of 
April, at nine o'clock a.m. They arrived at 
Baltimore at one o'clock p.m. They were 
under the necessity of marching about two miles 
through the city, from Bolton to Camden Sta- 
tion. On leaving the cars, a battalion was 
formed in the following order : Fourth Artil- 
lery (regulars) ; Logan Guards ; Allen Rifles, of 
Allentown ; Washington Artillery and National 
Light Infantry, of Pottsville ; with the Ring- 
gold Artillery bringing up the rear. As the 
column was forming near Bolton Station, 
the police of Baltimore appeared in large force, 
headed by Marshall Kane, and followed by a mob, 
who at once commenced an attack upon the vol- 
unteers, countenanced by a portion of the police, 
who had been sent to give safe conduct through 
the city. Orders were given to the men to 
preserve their temper, and to make no reply to 
anything that should be said to them. At the 
command " forward," the mob commenced 
hooting, jeering and yelling, and proclaimed, 
with oaths, that the troops should not pass 
through their city to fight the South. 

A rriving near the centre of the city, Pember- 
ton, with his regulars, 5 filed off toward Fort 

4 "Harkisbukg, April 16, 1861. 
" Captain James McKnight: 

"Dear Sir.— You will please delay your march to Wash- 
ington until ordered by the Governor. 

" Respectfully yours, 

"Eli Slifer." 

If this order had not been given the company would 
have reached Washington before daylight on the morning 
of the 17th of April, or before any of the other Pennsyl- 
vania companies left their homes. It was the first organ- 
ized volunteer company in the United States to offer its ser- 
vices to the government — an offer having been made to 
General Scott a month before the President's first call for 
troops. It was the first company to leave home after the 
call, and the first to reach Harrisburg and report for duty. 

A long article was prepared by Hon. William M. Hiester 
and published in the Berks and Schuylkill Journal on June 
18, 1870, proving these assertions. But similar assertions 
were made before in the Journal (see issue of June 16, 
1866 ; also May 7, 1870). 

5 The regulars were under the command of a sergeant. 
Pemberton was not with them, he having been in the 
passenger train. Captain McKnight met him there. 



McHenry, leaving the volunteers to pursue 
their way through the city as well as they could. 
At this juncture the mob were excited to a per- 
fect frenzy, breaking the line of the police, and 
pushing through the files of men, in an attempt 
to break the column. Every insult that could 
be heaped upon the troops was offered, but no 
word of reply was elicited. The officers and 
men marched steadily on toward Camden Sta- 
tion. At every step the mob increased till it 
numbered thousands of most determined and 
desperate men. 

As the volunteers were boarding the train at 
the station, the angry mob hurled a shower of 
bricks, stones and clubs into their disorganized 
ranks, fortunately, however, inflicting only 
slight injuries. In the midst of the confusion, 
an attempt was made to detach the engine from 
the train and run it away. This was only pre- 
vented by the determined character of the 
engineer and his assistants, who drew revolvers 
and threatened to shoot any who dared to 
make the attempt. At length, amidst the 
demoniac yells of the crowd, the train moved 
off, carrying the volunteers safely beyond the 
reach of their desperate assailants. 1 They ar- 
rived in Washington at seven o'clock in the 
evening. 2 Arms, ammunition and equipments 
were furnished and the work of barricading the 
Capitol was commenced immediately. Squads 
of the rebel soldiers were then drilling; on the 
opposite side of the Potomac River in full 
view of the Capitol. It having been ascer- 
tained on the 23d of April that an attempt 
would be made to capture Washington by way 
of the arsenal and the navy-yard, the " Ring- 
gold Artillerists" were ordered to report to 
Captain Dahlgreen, at the navy-yard. Three 
twelve-pound howitzers were assigned to them, 
with which they were expected to defend the 

1 The House of Representatives passed a resolution on 
22d of July, 1861, tendering thanks to these companies 
for passing through the mob of Baltimore and reaching 
Washington on the 18th of April, for the defense of the 
national capital. Such a resolution is rarely passed and 
only to signalize great and distinguished service. 

2 The Washington Chronicle, in publishing a chronological 
list of the troops which arrived in Washington, stated that 
these companies were the very first to arrive in the city 
after the publication of the President's proclamation. 

place. 3 Excepting a detachment of twelve 
men, detailed to guard the "Short Bridge," 
the entire command was required to man these 
guns. On the 25th a sergeant and six men 
were detailed to serve as a guard on the steamer 
" Powhatan," which was dispatched to make a 
reconnoissance down the Potomac for the pur- 
pose of searching for obstructions and of ascer- 
taining if forts were being erected along the 
river. On the 26th the company were ordered 
to duty at the Capitol ; and on the 15th of May 
the Secretary of War assigned them to duty at 
the Washington Arsenal, where they remained 
till the expiration of their term of service, 
excepting a short interval, when they were de- 
tailed to mount guns in the forts about Wash- 
ington. They were mustered out at Harris- 

These first five companies were justly entitled 
to the first place in the First Regiment of the 
Pennsylvania troops ; but they were not organ- 
ized till after twenty-four regiments, which suc- 
ceeded them in the service, had been organ- 
ized and fully equipped, when they became part 
of the Twenty-fifth and last regiment for the 
three months' service. Henry L. Cake, of 
Pottsville, was elected colonel of this regiment. 
But these companies, serving in Fort Washing- 
ton, did not see their regiment or colonel. 
Nearly two months of the three for which they 
had enlisted passed by before they received 
adequate clothing or camp equipage from either 
the State or the national government; and 
many of the men were excused from duty be- 
cause of their partial nakedness. 4 

3 When the company left Harrisburg they were ordered 
to leave behind their field pieces and equipments, with the 
exception of sabres, and these were not restored to them 
(ill the 16th of May. 

4 This statement is made by Bates, in the '• History of the 
Pennsylvania Volunteers." But it is erroneous. The 
Ringgold Artillery was the only company that was regular- 
ly uniformed and equipped when these companies reached 
Washington. The other companies were in citizens' dress, 
but received uniforms and equipments several days after 
their arrival. The Ringgold Artillerists retained their 
uniform and drew none from the government. The com- 
panies without uniforms were not recognized in the mob 
at Baltimore ; and only a dozen or fifteen men in Sel- 
heimer's company carried rifles. 




At a military celebration held at Philadelphia 
on July 4, 1866, the post of honor in the parade 
was not given to the Ringgold Light Artillery, 
as the first company from Pennsylvania in the 
War of the Union ; on which account the com- 
pany refused to participate in the parade. Its 
place in history having been unjustly given to 
another company, the Hon. William M. Hiester 
prepared a paper to prove that the Ringgold 
Light Artillery was the first company, and 
read the same before the Historical Society of 
Berks County on June 14, 1870. In it he 
sustained the claim by incontrovertible evidence. 
I submit the following extracts as a valuable 
part of the chapter in this history to the Civil 

President Lincoln issued his proclamation 
for seventy-five thousand men, April 15, 1861. 
On that morning, the Ringgold Light Artillery 
were drilling with full ranks, armed and 
equipped, on their parade-ground, a short dis- 
tance from the city, when telegraphic news 
of the proclamation of the President reached 
the company on parade. The following dis- 
patch was forthwith sent to Governor Curtin 
and appears in the record of dispatches in the 
office of the adjutant- general at Harrisburg : 

" Beading, April 15, 1861. 
" Governor A. O. Curtin : 

" The Ringgold Light Artillery are parading this 
morning with their guns for practice, have ninety 
men on parade, every one of them expecting to be 
ordered on duty for the U. S. service before they leave 
their guns. " H. A. Lantz." 

The deputy secretary of the commonwealth, 
as appears by the first dispatch recorded on that 
day as sent, answered, — 

" Harrisburg, April 15, 1861. 
"H. A. Lantz, Beading : 

" Dispatch received. Will answer more fully as 
soon as possible. 

" S. B. Thomas, Deputy Secretary." , 

This was followed by another dispatch from 
the secretary of the commonwealth, omitted in 
the record of dispatches at Harrisburg, but 
found transcribed in the minute-book of the 

"Harrisburg, April 15, 1861, 
" Captain James McKnight: 

"Bring your command to Harrisburg by first train. 
If any of the men need equipments, they will be pro- 
vided here by the General Government. Lose no 

" By order of the Governor, 

" Eli Slifer." 

This dispatch was received by Captain 
McKnight at 11.20 a.m., April 16th. By the 
first train after its receipt, the Ringgold Light 
Artillery, one hundred and one men, took pas- 
sage, fully uniformed, armed and equipped, for 
Harrisburg, and reached there at eight o'clock 
p.m. They at once reported for duty to the 
secretary of the State, (the Governor being absent 
at Washington,) who, by telegram to the Secre- 
tary of War at Washington, reported the Ring- 
gold Light Artillery at Harrisburg, awaiting 
orders. The Secretary of War telegraphed in 
answer, — 

" Push forward the company by first train." 

This telegram, conveying orders to march, was 
transmitted by the secretary of the common- 
wealth to Captain McKnight. Orders in 
obedience thereto were then issued to the com- 
mand, to take the train for Washington at 
three o'clock a.m., April 17th. If these orders 
had not been countermanded, the Ringgold 
Light Artillery would undoubtedly have reached 
Washington safely in advance of all troops 
from Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and before the 
Logan Guard and the companies from Potts- 
ville reported at Harrisburg. At midnight, 
however, the order to march was countermanded ' 
in the following counter-order : 

"Harrisburg, April 16, 1861. 
" Captain James McKnight: 

" You will please delay your march to Washington 
until ordered by the Governor. 

" Respectfully yours, 

" Eli Slifer." 

This order fixes so indisputably the time of 
the arrival and the report for duty at Harris- 
burg by the Ringgold Light Artillery that any 

1 I asked Major McKnight if he knew why this was 
done. He said that Governor Curtin was punctilious about 
his authority, he wanting to order the troops as commander 
of Pennsylvania. 



cumulative evidence is wholly superfluous. If 
any be needed, it will be found in the following 
extract from the Pennsylvania Daily Telegraph 
of April 17, 1861, an evening paper published 
at Harrisburg: 

" Last night about eight o'clock, the Ringgold 
Artillery, Captain James McKnight. numbering one 
hundred men, arrived. They took up quarters at 
Herr's Hotel. They are a fine body of men and are 
fully prepared and determined to do their whole duty 
in the present crisis. Our citizens welcomed them 
with cheers." 

It is stated in Bates' " History of Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers :" 

"Oq the afternoon of the day of the President's 
proclamation for seventy-five thousand men, the 
Secretary of War telegraphed the call to the Governor 
of Pennsylvania, and it was telegraphed to all parts 
of Pennsylvania. Among the first to respond was the 
Ringgold Artillery, Logan Guard, Washington Ar- 
tillery, National Light Infantry and Allen Rifles. On 
reporting at the Executive office — the Governor being 
absent in Washington — orders were sought from the 
Secretary of War, who telegraphed to push company 
forward in earliest train. That order, for prudential 
reasons, was almost immediately countermanded by 
the Secretary of the Commonwealth." 

The Logan Guard did not reach Harrisburg 
till midday of the 17th, and the Pottsville com- 
panies till the evening of the 17th. 

[From Pennsylvania Daily Telegraph, April 17, 1861.] 
" More Military.— The Logan Guard of Lewis- 
town arrived here this morning." 

[From Pennsylvania Daily Telegroph, April 18, 1861.] 
"We give below a list of the companies that 
arrived last night : Washington Artillery, Pottsville, 
Captain Wren, one hundred and ten men ; National 
Light Infantry, Pottsville, Captain McDonald, one 
hundred and four men; Allen Infantry, Allentown, 
Captain Yeager, sixty-four men." 

[From Bates' " History of Pennsylvania "Volunteers."] 
"The Logan Guard were in line and ready to 
march at 10 p.m. of the 16th of April, and move to the 
station, but for lack of transportation did not reach 
Harrisburg till the morning of the 17th. 

"The two Pottsville companies under marching 
orders left Pottsville on the 17th, and arrived in Har- 
risburg at eight o'clock in the evening." 

Statement op Captain McKnight.— "I com- 
manded the Ringgold Light Artillery from the year 
1850 until June 14, 1861, when I was appointed to a 
captaincy in Fifth United States Artillery. 

"On or about the 21st day of January, 1861, I was 

visited by William H. Keim, then surveyor-general 
of the State of Pennsylvania and major-general of the 
Fifth Division Pennsylvania Militia. 

" The general first meeting me in a public place at 
my residence, 1 stated that he had a subject of much 
importance and great secrecy in regard to which he 
desired to advise me, and requesting at the same 
time that I would suggest some place to which we 
could both retire, where the nature of the communi- 
cation which he was about to make to me would be 
unheard by others. We then both withdrew to a pri- 
vate apartment. 

" The general then proceeded to state that the gov- 
ernment was in possession of facts tending to develop 
an intention on the part of the rebels to seize Wash- 
ington on the 22d of February, and not, as was at first 
supposed, upon March 4, 1861- He came to me, 
(he further stated,) by direction and under the orders 
of Governor Andrew G. Curtin, commander-in-chief 
of the Pennsylvania Militia, who had commissioned 
him to select from the best volunteer organizations of 
the State such companies as could be relied upon, if 
the emergency should arise and who would be ready 
to move upon twenty-four hours' notice. 

"Upon satisfying the general, not only of the willing- 
ness but also of the ability of my command to start 
whenever desired, he then and there directed me to 
consider myself and command as under orders. 

" The general about the same time imparted similar 
information to other volunteer organizations of this 

"My orders, coming as they did from the com- 
mander-in-chief of the Pennsylvania troops, were so 
imperative in their nature and admitted of so little 
delay that I immediately set about perfecting and 
equipping my command for active field duty. The 
same day upon which my orders were received, the 
company was divided into squads for the purpose of 
more effective drilling, which was continued uninter- 
ruptedly, (save on Saturdays and Sundays,) up to the 
day before we left for Harrisburg, April 16, 1861. The 
drills were not confined to the service of the guns and 
the duties incident to drivers and the care of horses ; 
the men were also well instructed in the use of the 
sabre, the only legitimate arm of defense of an artil- 
leryman when dismounted and away from his guns. 

" During the month of January, a number of the 
leading citizens having been apprised of the secret 
orders under which my command was placed, pur- 
chased for the use of the men one hundred overcoats, 2 
which were worn on the 22d of February at a general 
parade of the company. On the 15th day of April, 

1 Union Bank Building. He resided in the rear part. 

2 The meeting comprised the following gentlemen, who 
then raised a fund for that purpose : John McManus, G. A. 
Nicolls, David McKnight, Edward Wallace, Horatio Trex- 
ler, H. H. Muhlenberg, William M. Hiester, James .Mill- 
holland and C. H. Hunter. 



1861, whilst at drill some three miles from the city, 
intelligence was received of the proclamation of the 
President of the United States calling for seventy-five 
thousand men. 

" The Governor of the State was immediately tele- 
graphed that the Ringgold Light Artillery was ready 
to move without any delay whatever. I then sus- 
pended drill, returned to the city, and, after di- 
recting a certain signal to be sounded upon receipt of 
orders, dismissed the command. 

"At twenty minutes after eleven o'clock a.m., April 
16, 1861, the following telegram was received by me : 

"'Harrisburg, April 16, 1861. 
" ' To Captain James McKnight. : 

'"Bring your command to Harrisburg by first train. 
If any of the men need equipments and arms they 
will be provided here by the General Government. 
Lose no time. 
"'By order of the Governor. 


"At noon of the same day, forty minutes after the 
receipt of the order, the command declared itself 
ready to move at one o'clock p.m. 

"A committee having been appointed to make all 
arrangements for transportation, reported that after 
conferring with G. A. Nieolls, general superintendent 
of the Philadelphia and Beading Railroad, they were 
advised by him to take the regular passenger train at 
six o'clock P. m., as a special, being subject to un- 
avoidable delay, would in all probability not reach 
Harrisburg until after the arrival of the regular 

"Acting upon this advice, I left Reading with my 
command, numbering one hundred and one men, 
fully armed and equipped, on the evening of April 
16, 1861, at six o'clock, reaching Harrisburg at 
eight o'clock." 

three months' service. 

First Soldiers prom Berks County in 
Civil War. — The following eight companies 
comprise the men from Berks County who, as 
volunteers, offered their services to the govern- 
ment in answer to the call of the President for 
troops, and were mustered into military service 
for three months : 

Ringgold Light Art., 25th Regt., Capt. Jas. McKnight. 

Co. G, 1st Regt., Capt. George W. Alexander. 

Co. H, 5th Regt., Capt. Frank M. Cooley. 

Co. C, 7th Regt., Capt. Isaac Schroeder. 

Co. D, 7th Regt., Capt. George S. Herbst. 

Co. G, 7th Regt., Capt. Albert F. Rightmyer. 

Co. A, 14th Regt., Capt. David A. Griffith. 

Co. E, 14th Regt., Capt. John C. Shearer. 

Ringgold Light Artillery. — This com- 

pany was recruited at Reading, and mustered 
into service at Harrisburg April 18, 1861. 

James McKnight, captain. 

Henry Nagle, first lieutenant. 

William Graeff, second lieutenant. 

George W. Durell, first sergeant. 

Daniel Kreisher, second sergeant. 

Henry Rush, third sergeant. 

Jeremiah Seiders, fourth sergeant. 

Levi J. Homan, first corporal. 

F. W. Folkman, second corporal. 

Jacob Womert, third corporal. 

Horatio Leader, fourth corporal. 

John A. Hook and George B. Eckert, buglers. 

Privates. — Solomon D. Ash, James M. Anthony, An- 
thony Ammon, Charles B. Ansart, Augustus Berger, 
George S. Bickley, Reuben R. Burkhart, Harrison G. 
Bouse, William W. Bowers, David Bechtel, Addison 
Gehry, Charles W. Gebhart, Henry Geiger, Lemuel 
Gries, James H. Gentzler, Samuel Hamilton, Amos 
Huyett, William Herbst, Nathaniel B. Hill, Andrew 
S. Helms, William Haberacker, Jacob J. Hessler, 
Franklin Housel, John L. Kennedy, Geo. W. Knabb, 
John D. Koch, Aaron Bechtel, Charles A. Bitting, 
Henry Coleman, William F. Christ, Amos Drenkel, 
Daniel M. Dickinson, Edward G. Ebling, Benjamin F. 
Ermentrout, Henry E. Eisenbeis, William C. Eben, 
Samuel Evans, Robert Eltz, Henry Fleck, Adam Frees, 
John Frees, Jr., Harrison Fox, Christian C. Frantz, 
Adam Faust, William W. Fix, James A. Fox, Jacob 
Leeds, Harrison Lutz, Peter A. Lantz, Daniel J. Le- 
van, George D. Leaf, Aaron H. Levan, Christopher 
Leoser, George S. Lauman, Isaac S. Leeds, Charles 
Levan, Franklin Shaeffer, Edward L. Smith, Franklin 
Smeck, Geo. W. Silvis, Edward Scull, Chas. Spangler, 
Jonathan Shearer, Wm. H. Smith, Albert H. Shirey, 
William Sauerbier, Albert H. Seyfert, Daniel Witman, 
Henry Whiteside, Daniel S. Yohn, John L. Yohn, 
Frederick M. Yeager, Daniel Maltzberger, Charles P. 
Muhlenberg, Joseph LT. McKnight, Wm. M. Miller, 
William P. Mock, James L. Mast, Howard Mcllvaine, 
John H. McLenegan, Henry Neihart, Edward P. Pear- 
son, Jr., James Pfleger, Frederick Peck, Frederick H. 
Phillippi, Ferdinand S. Ritter, Henry Rush, William 
Rapp, Jr., Francis Ratnbo, Isaiah Rambo, George B. 
Rhoades, Jackson Sherman. 

Major James McKnight was the son of 
John McKnight, cashier of the Pennsylvania 
Branch Bank at Reading. He was born in the 
bank building March 20, 1820, and received his 
higher education at Princeton College. Upon 
his return from college he entered the hardware- 
store of Daniel M. Keim & Co. as a clerk. In 
1841 he became associated with Joseph L. 
Stichter, and they together, under the name of 



Stichter & McKnight, conducted the business 
till he retired in 1858. During that time he was 
actively interested in military affairs. When 
the Civil War broke out in 1861, he was the first 
captain to offer the services of his company, the 
Ringgold Light Artillery, to the government 
and to report for duty at Harrisburg. He 
served with this company for three months. 
Then he was commissioned a major of artillery 
in the regular army and served till the close 
of the war. He has since lived in retirement. 


The First Regiment was organized at Har- 
risburg on April 20th. In pursuance of orders, 
it performed duty at several places in Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland and Virginia till July 23d, 
when it returned to Harrisburg, and was there 
honorably discharged. During its service it 
did not participate in any battles; but it ac- 
complished much good by checking any move- 
ment on the part of the rebels in arms along 
our borders. It included the following com- 
pany, which was recruited at Reading, and 
mustered into service on April 20, 1861 : 


George W. Alexander, captain. 

William A. H. Lewis, first lieutenant. 

Thomas M. Richards, second lieutenant. 

William McNall, first sergeant. 

William Eisenhower, second sergeant. 

Patrick Bloomfield, third sergeant. 

Samuel G. Boone, fourth sergeant. 

Diller B. Groff, first corporal. 

Daniel Kelly, second corporal. 

George Ashenfelter, third corporal. 

Henry Beckhart, fourth corporal. 

Richard H. Fisher and D. H. Snyder, musicians. 
Privates. — William H. Andrews, David L. Acker> 
Charles Boyle, John Boland, Allen Bechtel, Henry 
Becker, Jacob K. Becker, Charles A. Briner, Jacob N. 
Boyer, George W. Boger, Philip Benson, Elijah F. 
Body, James A. Clark, John Connelly, William Cox- 
ell, William H. Clark, Samuel K. Clark, Charles H. 
Davis, William F. Dougherty, James Eisenhower, 
Thomas T. Eyrich, Charles Eisenhower, Harrison Fix, 
William S. Fox, Henry Goodhart, George Graff, Chas. 
A. Golden, Jr., Nathaniel Gay, Jacob Gabriel, Henry 
Gossler, Michael Hasson, J. Brooke Harper, Patrick- 
Holland, Charles A. Heckler, Daniel E. Hafer, Wm. 
D. Krause, George W. Leedom, Wellington Levan, 
George F. Linderman, Isaiah Miller, De Witt Clinton 
Morris, Frank P. Muhlenberg, George W. McMichael, 
William Miller, Charles D. Nagle, Albert Nagle, Wm. 

G. Row, Henry S. Reeser, Jacob R. Reigel, William 
Reilly, Percival Rhoads, James H. Reed, Geo. Rum- 
mel, Wm. Strawbridge, John D. Stieff, Albert Sheri- 
dan, Henry A. Summons, Joel Setley, John Shine, 
Conrad Strahle, James E. Teed, Robert Toole, May- 
bury Van Reed, John F. Witman, George F. Yeager. 


The Fifth Regiment was organized at Camp 
Curtin (Harrisburg) on April 21st. It per- 
formed guard duty mostly at Baltimore, Wash- 
ington and Alexandria. It was at the latter 
place during the disastrous battle of Bull Run, 
in which the brigade, to which it had been 
transferred, participated. It was discharged at 
Harrisburg on July 25th. 

Company H. — The following company was 
recruited at Reading. It was mustered into 
service on April 20, 1861. 

Captain, Franklin M. Cooley! 

First Lieutenant, Thomas S. Brenholtz. 

Second Lieutenant, Charles Parker. 

First Sergeant, Henry A. Flickinger. 

Second Sergeant, James R. Boyer. 

Third Sergeant, William D. Clemens. 

Fourth Sergeant, Howard Potts. 

First Corporal, John R. Stettler. 

Second Corporal, Joseph Goodhart. 

Third Corporal, Madison Sutlade. 

Fourth Corporal, William E. Van Reed. 

Musicians, John Reed, Theodore Hertman. 
Privates. — Jacob Andy, Theodore Aker, Henry 
Anthony, Matthew Baxter, William Banon, Peter 
Clouser, Henry Cleveland, Aaron Doebler, Robert 
Devine, John B. Eisenbise, James Ely, Julius A. En- 
gleman, Peter Finkbone, Elias Fox, Reuben Homan, 
George Haines, Hiram B. Homan, Daniel Hogan, 
Jacob Hell, William High, John Hetrick, Lewis 
Hummel, Richard Hebit, John H. Johnson, John 
A. Keen, Julius W. Korfkowoski, James W. Kis- 
singer, George J. Killner, Aaron E. Killner, Henry 
A. Lotz, Henry Lott, John Lancaster, Michael E. 
Lotz, John Lutz, Charles McDonough, Isaac D. 
Morris, Samuel G. McKnable, John Meek, Daniel 
Moore, Harrison Neider, Joseph Nagle, Peter Noll, 
John O'Reilly, William Phillips, William Quigg| 
John W. Rambo, Henry Rapp, Frank E. Reifanyder, 
Elias Shafer, John W. Seiders, John Smith, Henry 
Stettler, George Shaefer, John Stoltz, Charles Saun- 
ders, Henry Schreffler, William Ulrich, William 
Vergees, John Weidner, William Weidner, Daniel 
M. Weidner, Aaron S. Wright, John K. Wright, 
Edward Young. 


The Seventh Regiment was organized at 
Camp Curtin on April 22d. It was encamped 



for over a month at Chambersburg. On June 
8th it moved southwardly. It was stationed 
at Williamsport on the 1 9th, and whilst there, 
late in the evening of that day, an alarm was 
raised which caused the whole brigade (Third) 
to be called to arms and formed into line of 
battle; but, beyond distant picket-firing, nothing 
further was heard. On July 2d it began the 
march to Martinsburg. On the way it confis- 
cated the contents of an extensive flour-mill, (a 
large amount of grain and flour and one hun- 
dred and fifty barrels of whiskey), the owner 
having been a captain in the rebel army. 
Shortly afterward it was encamped at Charles- 
town, where it remained, without special inci- 
dent, until ordered to Harrisburg, where it was 
mustered out of service in the latter part of 
July. The following three companies were re- 
cruited in Berks County : 

Company C. — Recruited at Friedensburg, 
Berks County, and mustered in April 23, 1861 : 

Isaac Schroeder, captain. 

Henry It. Myers, first lieutenant. 

Peter Y. Edelman, second lieutenant. 

Franklin B. Laucks, first sergeant. 

Henry S. Boyer, second sergeant. 

William C. Baker, third sergeant. 

Reuben Kaufman, fourth sergeant. 

Isaac Pott, first corporal. 

George Poos, Jr., second corporal. 

Jeremiah H. Hauck, third corporal. 

John 0. Steckline, fourth corporal. 

Peter H. Hauck and George A. Eltz, musicians. 
Privates — Enoch Adam, Benneville Angstadt, Edwin 
S. Bear, Aaron Bright, Thomas Best, Wm. D. Brown, 
Edmond Y. Bock, Alexander Bigger, John H. Clem- 
mens, Washington G. Dengler, John G. Dengler, Ed- 
ward Draher, Wellington Egel, Jos. Eberhardt, John 
Fiese, Joel Ginder, Celestial Good, Caleb Gallagher, 
Harrison Gechter, Charles Hafer, Israel Hafer, Daniel 
Hunter, Jas. H. Harner. Henry Hauck, Jacob Holm, 
Henry H. Harbold, Samuel B. Jones, Fred'k Kindly, 
David Keller, Ebenezer C. Lell, Henry R. Laucks, 
Jacob Link, Nathaniel Lindermuth, Jeremiah Lotz, 
Daniel Meek, Aaron Moyer, Frederick Mohle, Seyer 
Melot, John Madary, Peter Maurer, Mahlon A. Mc- 
Noldy, Wm. Poorman, Chas. Rothermel, Ginder Rank, 
Daniel Rothenberger, Henry Sheaffer, Jacob F. Schild, 
Henry Schroeder, Zachariah Swavely, Isaac Sider, 
Henry Schmeck, Michael R. Shultz, Frederick H. 
Sener, Jacob Trexell, Albert S. Tool, William Voght, 
Amos Wentzel, Jonathan Wentzel, John Weidner, 
Daniel Wentzel, John Williams, Aaron Yoder, Solo- 
mon Yeakle. 

Company D— Recruited at Pleasantville, 
Berks County, and mustered in April 23, 

George S. Herbst, captain. 

Samuel Baus, first lieutenant. 

Joel Ruppert, second lieutenant. 

Charles G. Kline, first sergeant. 

Abraham Ruppert, second sergeant. 

Peter Shafer, third sergeant. 

Edward F. Reed, fourth sergeant. 

John J. Nash, first corporal. 

William Hassler, second corporal. 

Jacob Shafer, third corporal. 

Lenhard Swizhard, fourth corporal. 

Joel Frederick and Elias Angstadt, musicians. 
Privates. — Benjamin Angstadt, Abner Brutzman, 
Henry Bobb, Henry Beck, Abraham Bobb, Marcus 
Bean, Franklin Burns, Henry Boyer, William Bouchat, 
Simon Clouser, Levi Clouser, William Cleaver, Daniel 
Crackens, Jacob Drezer, David H. Delcamp, William 
Dreyer, Peter Eck, Samuel Eckert, Robert En gel, 
Francis Fisher, William Foreman, Benjamin Goodwin, 
George Hewett, William Hassler, Jonas Hassler, Joel 
R. Housman, Joseph Harris, George F. Hungerford, 
George Hummel, Edward Harper, Charles Hatner, 
Henry Kash, Geo. Kemp, John List, John S. Leeds, 
Franklin Lins, Daniel Moyer, George Moore, Michael 
Miller, James A. Murron, John Mitchell, C. Henry 
Mathew, David Paul, Franklin Reidenauer, John Rei- 
mer, William Roland, Francis Rothenberger, George 
Richards, Julius Shafer, Franklin Specht, Amos Syler, 
Daniel Staufer, D. George Sellers, Paul Simon, Simon 
Stout, H. John Sowers, Michael Sulvier, William 
Souder, Albert Stewart, Albert Sides, Levi Strunk, 
Ephraim Updegrove, Joseph Wibel, Daniel Yoder, 
Peter Yoder, 

Company G. — Recruited at Reading, Berks 
County, and mustered in April 23, 1861 : 

Albert F. Rightmyer, captain. 

Cornelius Wise, first lieutenant. 

Jacob H. Worth, second lieutenant. 

John G. Ulrich, first sergeant. 

Anthony Heller, second sergeant. 

Abraham Latshaw. third sergeant. 

William Runyeon, fourth sergeant. 

Jacob Ege, first corporal. 

William H. Dehart, second corporal. 

Thomas Craton, third corporal, 

George Hart, fourth corporal. 

Gideon Ginder and Henry Benneville, musicians. 
Privates. — John C. Anthony, Charles Bachman, 
Marks Bechtel, Sidney Bank, William Brown, James 
Boyer, Augustus Burkert, William Boone, William 
Breneiser, Fillermachus Berkert, Daniel D. Baker, 
James Berstler, Samuel T. Baker, William Clymer, 
Aaron Deem, Edward Dyer, John Denhard, George 
Dougherty, Stephen Edgar, Reuben Freas, Martin S. 



Goodhart, George W. Grant, William Graul, Levi 
Hildebrand, Henry A. Haak, William Heifert, Au- 
gustus Hauck, Samuel H. Jones, George L. Knupp, 
William Kline, Samuel Kissinger, John C. Kribbs, 
John S. Ludwig, William A. Lewis, William Mohr, 
George Miller, John Mergert, William Murphy, Russel 
Miller, George Obenhauser, Obediah R. Priestley, 
Henry J. Penrose, Marion Rauck, Simon M. Rush, 
Isaac E. Robinson, Damon Steuben, Albert A.Simon, 
William Sands, Damon Shultz, Jacob Spotz, John R. 
St. Clair, Henry Siegfried, Alfred J. Stout, James E. 
Stout, John Taylor, Francis Thomas, James H. Van- 
deever, James D. Whitman, George Wunder, Oliver 
B. Wilson, Frank B. Wilson, Godfrey Weiler, John 
A. Walker, John Whitman. 


The Fourteenth Regiment was organized at 
Camp Curtin on April 30th. Richards Mc- 
Michael l was elected lieutenant-colonel, and 
Joseph A. McLean major of the regiment. 
Both were from Reading. It was encamped at 
Camp Johnston, in Lancaster, till June 3d, 
having been thoroughly drilled during this 
interval ; and subsequently it marched to 
Chambersburg, Hagerstown, Sharpsburg, Mar- 
tinsburg, Bunker's Hill and Harper's Ferry, 
doing picket and guard duty, and making vari- 
ous expeditions to encounter the enemy. "Whilst 
at the latter place the term of enlistment expired 
and it was accordingly ordered to Harrisburg. 
On its way it encamped and remained two weeks 
at Carlisle, where it was mustered out of service. 
Harrisburg was then full of returning troops. 
A large proportion of this regiment re-enlisted in 
various military organizations of Pennsylvania. 
It included two companies from Berks County. 

Company A. — Recruited at Reading and 
mustered in April 27, 1861 : 

D. A. Griffith, captain. 

J. A. McLean, first lieutenant. 

E. J. Rauch, second lieutenant. 
J. Phillippi, first sergeant. 
Amos Arnold, second sergeant. 
H. Missimer, third sergeant. 

F. W. Berg, fourth sergeant. 
Thomas Gabriel, first corporal. 

G. W. Rapp, second corporal. 
S. Dampman, third corporal. 
Bentley Smith, fourth corporal. 

H. Goodhart and Francis Bauer, musicians. 
Privates. — John Armstrong, Moses Burns, Joseph 
Bauman, Daniel Bosler, John H. Brookins, Matthias 

1 For further account see 194th Regiment. 

Bell, Nelson Bell, Joseph Chalfant, William Cook, 
Bartholomew DeVoute, Charles M. Diehm, Jacob 
Finkbone, Augustus Farrel, Daniel Finkbone, Samuel 
Fix, Henry Getrost, Leonard Getz, Aaron Goodman, 
Emanuel Gottschall, Gotlieb Hiller, John S. Hind- 
man, John H. Hassinger, George M. Hayes, Jacob 
Houder, James High, Samuel Husk, Benjamin Hum- 
mel, Benjamin Klemmer, Nicholas Kramer, Daniel 
Kerper, William R. Lewis, William Large, William 
Lawrence, Joseph Lawrence, Levi Miller, Charles 
Miron, Joel May, Charles Noland, George Pollam, 
Henry Quimby, Charles Riegel, Milton Roy, Henry 
Regenfuss, Ephraim Smeck, Harrison Stieff, Robert 
Simon, Charles Smith, Nicholas Smith, F. B. Shalters, 
Jr., A. S. Seaman, Henry Sailor, Henderson Sample, 
James A. Shultz, Cyrus Trout, Urias Traite, James 
Toole, James M. Thompson, Van Tassel, Frederick 
Ulmer, Cornelius Uxly, Peter Wolf, Edwin Whitman, 
Philip Weidner, Samuel Zellers. 

Company E. — Recruited at Womelsdorf, 
Berks County, and mustered in April 24, 1861 : 

John C. Shearer, captain. 

John T. Schoener, first lieutenant. 

William G. Moore, second lieutenant. 

George N. Steach, first sergeant. 

Cyrus Oberly, second sergeant. 

Henry Weighman, third sergeant. 

William Weinhold, fourth sergeant. 

James Gaul, first corporal. 

Henry Gutwald, second corporal. 

Levi Bennethum, third corporal. 

Eli Dougherty, fourth corporal. 

John Daniels and Cyrus Heffelfinger, musicians. 
Privates.— James Ayres, Henry Arnold, Samuel Ar- 
nold, Samuel Barket, William Bennethum, Charles 
Bennethum, John Brechbill, Jonathan Bennethum, 
John Clouser, Peter Capp, Jacob Deppen, David Dis- 
singer, Levi Dehart, Isaac Fiddle, William Fink, Chas. 
Folk, William Fry, William Gast, Henry Haywood, 
Henry Harp, Wm. Honies, Mandon Hawk, Reuben 
Hendricks, John Hampton, Frederick Hoffman, Wil- 
liam Himmelreich, John Haas, Samuel Klahr, Israel 
Koch, George W. Kuhns, Henry P. Kautz, Henry 
Kohler, William Lash, John H. Liveringhouse, Ben- 
jamin Lash, Lawrence Meek, Elias Moyer, William 
Madary, Samuel Mathew, Thomas McGuire, Augustus 
Milligsock, Peter Muskness, Milton B. Nice, Lew 
Owens, Samuel Parsons, Frederick Putt, Jas. Pollum, 
James Reinhart, Henry Rosenberger, Jeremiah Rus- 
sell, Isaac Rose, Isaac Scholl, Emanuel Stout, Zadoc 
Smith, Michael Shaffer, William W. Seidel, William 
Strouse, James Seidel, Daniel Spotz, Cyrus Ulrich, 
Peter Wise, William H. Wenrich, Levi Wise, George 
Weiser, William H. Wells, Samuel Whitaker, Per- 
cival Zechman. 

General William H. Keim was born at 
Reading on June 13, 1813. He was the eldest 



son of Benneville Keim, the President of the 
Farmers' Bank for a number of years, Mayor 
of Reading for three terms, and a prominent 
and enterprising business man of the county. 
His mother was Mary High, a daughter of Gen- 
eral William High, a wealthy farmer of Cum- 
ru township, at "Poplar Neck," and a man 
prominent in the military affairs of the county. 
At the age of twelve years he entered the 

sides the store business, he encouraged enter- 
prises generally for the development of Read- 

His early military training gave him a nat- 
ural taste for military affairs, and he found a 
field fbr its gratification in the volunteer service 
of the State Militia. Before the age of seven- 
teen years, he was an Orderly Sergeant of the 
" Washington Grays," and in 1837 he became 

Military Academy at Mount Airy, near Phila- 
delphia, which, during its active existence, was 
one of the foremost educational institutions in 
the United States, and was graduated with hon- 
or in 1829. Upon returning home he entered 
the store of his father, which was then one of 
the largest general hardware-stores in Reading, 
and continued actively engaged in this pursuit 
for nearly thirty years — the greater part of the 
time as a proprietor of a large store in co-part- 
nership with his brother,* John H. Keim. Be- 

Captain — succeeding his cousin, Captain Daniel 
M. Keim. He was promoted rapidly till 1842, 
when he was elected Major-General of the Fifth 
Division of Penna. Vols., which was composed 
of Berks, Lebanon, Dauphin and Schuylkill 
Counties. In that year he took a prominent 
part in the Military Encampment held at Read- 
ing, which was an eventful occasion in the his- 
tory of military affairs in this county. Among 
other distinguished military men, General Win- 
field Scott was in attendance. In 1844, during 



the terrible religious riot at Philadelphia, he was 
ordered to assist in quelling the disturbances, 
which resulted in loss of life and property. He 
was under Gen. Robert Patterson, Senior Major- 
General in the State. The good opinion, which 
General Keini's command had won, was justly 
expressed in the following extract from General 
Order, No. 30, issued by General Patterson, 
when the detachment of the Fifth Division was 
relieved until further orders : 

" The Major-General further desires to express his 
knowledge of their exemplary and soldier-like deport- 
ment while under his command. He will at all times 
be happy to serve with such troops. Berks County 
may well be proud of her volunteer soldiery." 

His services in organizing our local militia 
and in bringing them under proper discipline 
were both untiring and successful, thereby plac- 
ing them in the front rank of the volunteer sol- 
diers of the State. 

In 1848 he was elected to the office of Mayor 
of Reading for one term. He was the second 
Mayor of the city. He had been nominated and 
run as the Whig candidate in the previous year, 
but a third candidate in the field, who ran inde- 
pendently, caused his defeat. Several years after- 
ward, he took great — if not the principal — inter- 
est in establishing at Reading the " Pennsylvania 
Military Institute," for the purpose of enabling 
voung men to obtain education in military mat- 
ters. In November, 1858, he was elected to rep- 
resent Berks County in Congress, to fill the 
vacancy till March following, caused by the res- 
ignation of Hon. J. Glancy Jones. In Octo- 
ber, previously, Jones had been defeated in a 
campaign for re-election by John Schwartz, 
through a coalition of Republicans and Inde- 
pendent Democrats. When Jones resigned to 
accept the mission to Austria, this political feel- 
ing was still active, and it resulted in the elec- 
tion of General Keim as the Republican candi- 
date against Joel B. Wanner, the Democratic 
candidate. He was the first and the only Re- 
publican elected to represent this district in 
Congress. In 1859 he was elected Surveyor- 
General of the State for the term of three years. 
At that time he also held the office of Major- 
General of militia. 

In 1860, whilst at Harrisburg, after the re- 

sult of the Presidential election in favor of the 
Republican party had become known, General 
Keim suggested to Governor Curtin that the 
commonwealth be put in a condition of defense, 
inasmuch as the signs of discontent indicated 
civil strife ; and he recommended in that behalf 
a general encampment of the militia of the 
State. Governor Curtin accepted this timely 
suggestion, and, in pursuance of an order by 
him, an encampment was held at York, in the 
beginning of September, 1860, with General 
Keim as the chief in command. In January 
following, upon visiting his home at Reading, 
he called upon Captain James McKnight, who 
commanded the Ringgold Light Artillery, a 
company of volunteers in his brigade, and asked 
him to keep his company in readiness so as to 
be able to respond promptly to any order that 
might be given. Through this notice, the 
Ringgold Light Artillery came to be the first 
company that responded to the President's 
call for troops and reported for duty at Harris- 
burg in April, 1861. General Keim offered his 
services when the crisis arose, and Gov. Curtin 
appointed him to a command of State troops 
under the first requisition of the President. 
Major-General Robert Patterson commanded 
the Pennsylvania line, which was composed of 
two divisions, and served for three months in 
the campaign on the Upper Potomac. The 
headquarters were at Chambersburg, and Gen- 
eral Keim was in command of the Second Di- 
vision. On June 15th, this army was encamped 
at Hagerstown, and on July 2d, it crossed the 
Potomac into Virginia. 

A force under " Stonewall " Jackson was met 
shortly afterward at "Falling Waters," but 
after a skirmish it fell back, and its camp 
at Hoke's Run was occupied. On July 15th, 
the army advanced from Martinsburg to 
Bunker's Hill, and on the 17th Charlestowu 
was reached. By that time the term of service 
of many of the regiments expired and orders 
for their muster out were issued. The column 
was so much weakened thereby that it withdrew 
to Harper's Ferry. 

After the campaign on the Upper Potomac, 
General Keim received from the President the 
appointment of Brigadier-General of National 



troops; and then resigning the office of Survey- 
or-General, he was ordered to join the Army 
of the Potomac. Hi? brigade was attached to 
General Casey's division of General Keyes' 
corps, and was sent to Fortress Monroe, where, 
under the command of General McClellan, it 
advanced towards Richmond. At the battle of 
Williamsburg, (one of the most severe contests 
of the war), General Keim distinguished him- 
self. Although too sick to be on duty, he could 
not be prevented from leaving the hospital, 
mounting his horse and leading his brigade on 
the field. His coolness, judgment and great 
bravery during the action were conspicuous. 
Though under fire nearly the whole time, he 
was perfectly calm. A bomb fell almost under 
his horse. Every one about him turned pale 
from fear. The explosion covered him with 
mud. After the battle, General McClellan 
called on him, complimented him for the great 
service which he had rendered, and ordered him 
to the post of honor in advance of the army. 
But the excitement incident to this battle aggra- 
vated his illness and he was obliged to ask for 
a furlough. This was granted and he returned 
to Harrisburg, where his family had taken up a 
temporary residence. Unfortunately, his health 
was too far gone, and he died on May 18, 1862, 
in the very prime of life and usefulness, aged 
forty-eight years. The news of his death pro- 
duced a profound sensation of regret through- 
out the Army of the Potomac. General Mc- 
Clellan was deeply affected by the loss of this 
faithful commander, and he, on May 26th fol- 
lowing, issued a General Order announcing his 
death and complimenting his faithful, patriotic 
services to his country, which was read to every 
regiment in the army. His remains were 
brought to Reading, and buried with military 
honors in the Charles Evans Cemetery. 

A public meeting of citizens was held on May 
20, 1862, for the purpose of expressing regret 
over General Keim's death. A committee — of 
which Hon. J. Pringle Jones, ex-president judge 
of the county, was chairman — reported appropri- 
ate resolutions, including, among truthful senti- 
ments, the following high tribute : 

"For long years, a prosperous merchant, we knew 
him as one whose praises were on all men's tongues, 

as well for enterprise in business and liberality 
in promoting the good of the community, as for 
indulgence to those who were his debtors, and for the 
exercise of a wide charity to the poor. We knew him, 
too, when misfortune overtook him, and we know 
with what honor and honesty and with what fortitude 
he passed through the dark days of adversity. In the 
varied relations of his private life he was greatly be- 
loved; and in his death our city and county have lost 
a citizen whose modest deportment, exemplary con- 
duct, public spirit and sterling integrity endeared 
him most deservedly to the people." 


The insurrection having been too powerful to 
be suppressed by the first display of military 
authority, the President issued a second procla- 
mation, calling upon the States to furnish two 
hundred thousand men who were to be enlisted 
for three years. The response was prompt and 
vigorous. The quota of men from Pennsyl- 
vania was soon filled by the patriotic impulses 
of her people. 

The following companies comprise the men 
from Berks County who enlisted as volunteers 
for three years : 






A, 32d Regt., Capt. Jacob Lenhart, Jr. 

D, 32d Eegt., Capt. William Briner. 

F, 32d Regt., Capt. Washington Richards. 
I, 36th Regt., Capt. Jerome Myers. 
L,, 44th Regt., Capt. J. C. A. Hoffeditz. 
M, 44th Regt., Capt. Thomas S. Richards. 

E, 46th Regt., Capt. Cornelius Wise. 

D, 48th Regt., Capt. Henry ^agle. 

B, 50th Regt , Capt. Hervey Herman. 

E, 50th Regt., Capt. William H. Diehl. 
H, 50th Regt., Capt. Thomas S. Bren- 

B, 55th Regt., Capt. John C. Shearer. 
K, 59th Regt., Capt. Charles Chauncey. 

G, 70th Regt., Capt. George E. Clymer. 
G, 74th Regt., Capt. William J. Bart. 
L, 80th Regt., Capt. Charles C. McCor- 

I, 83d Regt., Capt. Robert W. McCart- 

A, 88th Regt., Capt. George W. Knabb. 

B, 88th Regt., Capt. Henry A. Myers. 
H, 88th Regt., Capt. David A. Griffith. 
B, 93d Regt-, Capt. John E. Arthur. 
G, 93d Regt., Capt. Alexander C. Mait- 

K, 93d Regt., Capt. David C. Keller. 
G, 96th Regt., Uapt. James >T. Douden. 
D, Capt. George W. Durell. 




The Thirty-second Eegiment included com- 
panies A, D and F, from Berks County, the 
other companies being from Bucks and Phil- 
delphia Counties. It was mustered into the 
United States service at Harrisburg, on Ju- 
ly 27, 1861, after an experience of two 
months in drilling in camp near Easton. 

It was immediately ordered to Washington ; 
and after remaining there till August 2nd, pro- 
ceeded to Tennallytown, a village six miles 
northwest from the Capitol, and was there en- 
camped with other troops. While in camp the 
regiment was drilled, and assisted in erecting 
Fort Pennsylvania, which was a formidable 
and very important earthwork. On October 
9th it moved over the Potomac and encamped 
near Langley in the army line stretching nearly 
twenty miles along the Virginia shore. Here 
they did skirmishing, picketing and drilling. 

On March 10th, 1862, it moved with the 
"Army of the Potomac" in search of the enemy. 
On April 10th it was taken by rail to Manas- 
sas Junction with the brigade (second), and 
thence proceeded to a point opposite Fredericks- 
burg. Whilst there the trooops were reviewed 
by President Lincoln. From this point they 
marched down the Rappahannock, arriving at 
the White House on the 11th of May, where 
the 2nd brigade checked the enemy's move- 
ments, and repulsed an attack upon the train of 
the Reserves. On May 13th they were within 
a few miles of Richmond , occupying the ex- 
treme right and in advance of the main line ; 
there they were attacked by the enemy, and held 
their ground against vastly superior numbers, 
resting upon the field at night. At 2 A. M. on 
the following morning the regiment was relieved. 
In withdrawing from the field, it passed under a 
heavy fire from the enemy by which it suffered 
some loss. At Gaines' Mill, the division, inclu- 
ding this regiment, was held in reserve; but the 
enemy soon broke through the first line, and for 
two hours the regiment was left to bear the 
brunt of the fierce assault of the enemy, when 
it was relieved by other troops. Its conduct in 
this battle was highly praised by General Meade 
upon the field. On May 15th the regiment was 
withdrawn across the Chickahominy, and in 

June following it was engaged in the battle of 
Gaines' Mill, which was fought by McClellan 
to save the material of his army. On June 29th 
it was posted on picket duty toward Richmond. 
In an engagement there, the regiment was sent 
forward to feel the enemy, and was received 
with a withering fire of musketry. 

While the whole line was engaged a support- 
ing regiment mistook the 32nd Regiment in the 
smoke of battle for the enemy, and opened fire 
upon its ranks, throwing the men into disorder 
and causing them to break ; but they did not 
leave the field. At 11 o'clock in the night of 
that day the division was withdrawn and 
marched to Malvern Hill, and afterward to 
Harrison's Landing, where it was encamped un- 
til August 1st following. 

After the Army of the Potomac was ordered 
to evacuate the Peninsula, the 32nd Regiment 
moved to Warrenton after passing other points, 
and there, on August 24th, was formed in line 
of battle, but without entering an engagement. 
Subsequently the regiment was engaged in a 
battle at Hall's Hill, near Manassas Junction, 
and its loss was severe ; and at Antietam, on the 
16th and 17th of September, where they fought 
for hours until relieved by other troops. Fifty- 
one of their number were killed and wounded 
in this battle. In October, November and De- 
cember they, moved toward Fredericksburg, 
where they were engaged in battle on the l-3th 
of December. During the charge- upon the en- 
emy the regiment maintained its position with 
great firmness, and was among the very last to 
retire. It lost there in killed, wounded and 
missing, one hundred and twenty-eight men. 

After marching to several places without an 
engagement it moved to the defenses of Wash- 
ington on February 8th, where it was attached 
to the 22nd Army Corps. There it was given an 
opportunity to rest and recruit its ranks, hav- 
ing been greatly reduced by severe fighting and 
by long and fatiguing marches. It remained 
here until January 6th, 1864, when it was or- 
dered to duty in West Virginia, under General 
Sickel. The regiment was then commanded by 
Major William Briner, and with other troops 
(Fourth Reserves) did picket duty on the roads 
in the vicinity of Martinsburg during January; 



and after marching and counter-marching for 
about a week for the purpose of finding the 
enemy and guarding against surprise, in which 
the men were completely exhausted by loss of 
sleep and much exposure, they again performed 
picket duty on the Baltimore and Ohio Rail- 
road near Martinsburg until March 29th, when 
they moved to Harper's Ferry. In the begin- 
ning of April they proceeded across the Alle- 
gheny Mountaius to Grafton and thence to the 
Kanawha Valley ; there this regiment was placed 
under the command of Captain Jacob Lenhart, 
Major William Briner having been sent to the 
hospital at Grafton, on account of severe injury 
on his right hand. On the 6th of May they 
had a lively skirmish with the Sixtieth Virginia 
troops at Princetown and during the next two 
days had a long march of thirty miles to the 
gap in Walker (or Cloyd) Mountain, near 
Shannon bridge. On May 9th they had an 
engagement near by, in which the enemy was 
routed ; there Captain Lenhart was wounded 
and the command of the regiment devolved 
upon Captain Robert Johnson. In the charge 
upon the enemy's works the regiment had three 
color-bearers shot down. After considerable 
inarching they halted at Meadow Bluff on May 
19th. In this time they had much skirmishing 
with the enemy ; and every night a strong guard 
was posted around the camp to avoid surprise. 
The men suffered much from hunger, and many 
were without soles on their shoes. On May 
22d they moved to Millville, near Louisburg, 
and while there their term of service expired. 
In pursuance of orders, they proceeded via Pitts- 
burg to Philadelphia, where they were mustered 
out of service on June 17, 1864. 

Company A. — This company was recruited 
at Readiug, aad mustered out June 17, 1864, 
except where otherwise mentioned. 

Jacob Lenhart, Jr., capt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

wounded at Cloyd Mountain, May 9, 1804. 
Jacob Lehman, 1st lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

disch. by order of War Dept., Aug. 19, 1862. 
Michael Walters, 1st lieut., must, in July 28, 1861; 

disch. Sept. 15, 1863. 
Amos N. Seitzinger, 1st lieut., must, in June 7, 1861; 

pro. to 2d lieut. Sept. 26, 1862 ; to 1st lieut. Oct. 
, 26, 1863. 

Jeremiah A. Clouse, 2d lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

res. Feb. 20, 1862. 
Sebastian Eckle, 2d lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; res. 

July 18, 1862. 
Daniel Setley, 2d lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro 

to 1st sergt. Nov. 1, 1862 ; to 2d lieut. Oct. 24 

John S. Painter, 1st sergt., must, in June 18, 1861 

pro. to 1st sergt. Nov. 1, 1863. 
Jacob C. Esterly, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 

disch on surg. certif. Oct. 31, 1862. 
George Mosser, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

sergt. Nov. 1, 1862. 
Lewis Griffith, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to sergt. Nov. 1, 1862. 
Henry K. Mull, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to sergt. Nov. 1, 1862. 
Chas. Fredericks, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. Dec. 31, 1862. 
John Wittich, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. June 14, 1862. 
Richard Yeager, 1st sergt., must, in July 9, 1861 ; 

trans, to 3d brig., 2d div. dept. West Va., June 6, 

and to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Francis D. Nagle, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

killed at White Oak Swamp, June 30, 1862. 
Henry Kenler, corp., must, in June 18, 1861; pio. to 

corp. July 1, 1862. 
Peter Hartenstein, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. March 1, 1863. 
William J. Smith, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. Nov. 1, 1862. 
Henry W. Esser, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. Nov. 1, 1862. 
Flarian Harbach, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. Feb. 28, 1863. 
Henry J. Richards, musician, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John D. Hertzog, musician, must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

must, out as private. 

Jacob D. Angstadt, must, in June 7, 1861. 
James D. Ash, must, in June 18, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

John Bedencup, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Richard Boone, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John Broadhurst, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Benjamin Brady, must, in Sept. 23, 1862 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Aug. 24, 1863. 
Henry Bowman, must, in June 7, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
John H. Babb, must, in June 7, 1861 ; wounded and 

pris. at Cloyd Mountain, West. Va., May 9, 1864; 

must, out May 30, 1865. 
James Calvert, must, in June 18, 1861. 
Samuel Derr, must, in June 18, 1861. 
William Degroat, must, in Feb. 19, 1862; trans, to 3d 

brig. 2d div. dept., West Va., June 6, and to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 



David English, must, in July 20, 1861; killed at 

Fredericksburg Dec. 13, 1862. 
Andrew Fegely, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Samuel B. Frey, must, in June 7, 1861. 
James A. Fix, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Feb. 23, 1863. 
Allen M. Frey, must, in Feb. 1,1864; trans, to 3d 

brig., 2d div. dept. West Va., June 6, and to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Daniel Greaff, must, in .June 7, 1861. 
David J. Goodman, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Jacob Ganster, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Feb. 13, 1863. 
Joseph Good, must, in July 18, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Feb. 28, 1863. 
Frederick Garst, must, in July 28, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. 
Albert S. Greth, must, in June 7, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Henry A. Harner, must, in June 7, 1861. 
George Hodern, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John Hodern, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Lewis Hart, must, in July 28, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Oct. J7, 1861. 
Peter F. Holland, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Oct. 29, 1861. 
Marks D. Haws, must, in July 18, 1861 ; trans, to 3d 

Brig., 2d Div. Dept., West Va., June 6, and to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Harrison Harbach, must, in July 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

3d Brig., 2d Div. Dept. of West Va., June 6, and 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
William P. Holland, must, in June 7, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
Albert S. Henershotz, must, in June 7, 1861; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P.' V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Daniel Harbach, must, in July 20, 1861 ; died at 

Washington, June 7, 1862 ; bd. in Mil. Asy. Cem. 
Andrew Jackson, must, in June 7, 1861 ; killed at 

Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. 
Christian J. Koch, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John Koch, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Francis Koch er, must, in June 18, 1861. 
Jacob S. Kunsman, must, in June 7, 1861 ; wounded 

at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862; absent, in hos- 
pital, at muster out. 
Samuel S. Kissinger, must, in July 18, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. Nov. 18, 1862 
Henry 0. Keehn, must, in July 18, 1861; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Lewis Kershner, must, in July 19, 1861 ; trans, to 3d 

Brig., 2d Div. Dept. West Va., June 6, and to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Augustus Marquat, must, in July 18, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Oct. 28, 1863. 
Henry G. Milans, must, in Sept. 9, 1861 ; wounded 

and ordered to report to the adj.-gen.'s office 


Patrick Murphy, must, in Feb. 11, 1862; trans, to 3d 

Brig., 2d Div. Dept. West. Va., June 6, 1861, and 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Wm. McDonough, must, in June 18, 1861 ; wounded 

at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862 ; absent, in hospital, 

at muster out. 
Peter McQuaid, must, in June 18, 1861. 
John McDonough, must, in June 18, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. June 26, 1863. 
Hugh McGettigan, must, in July 28, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 7, 1862. 
Charles Neebe, must, in July 18, 1861. 
John O'Neal, must, in June 7, 1861 ; wounded and 

prisoner at Cloyd Mountain, West Va., May 9, 

1864; must, out Sept. 23, 1864. 
Henry Otten, must, in June 7, 1861 ; died at Smoke- 
town, Va., Oct. 12, 1862, of wounds received 

at Antietam Sept. 17, 1862. 
James B. Old, must, in July 18, 1861 ; killed at Cloyd 

Mountain May 9, 1864 ; vet. 
William Peters, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Abraham Perry, must, in Feb. 17, 1862 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Nov. 4, 1862. 
Levi Richards, must, in July 28, 1861. 
Augustus Rhein, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Levi B. Rhoads, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John Rork, must, in June 18, 1861. 
Ludwig Rupp, must, in June 18, 1861. 
Emanuel Richards, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Jan. 16, 1863. 
Nicholas Ribble, must, in July 18, 1861 ; killed at 

White Oak Swamp June 30, 1862. 
Charles Schroth, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Ephraim Z. Sellers, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Henry S. Smith, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Wm. Stifienburg, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Albert S. Stautler, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. June 2, 1862. 
James A. Schofield, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Feb. 9, 1863 ; trans, to 54th Regt. P. 

V.; vet. 

Frederick Say lor, must, in July 20, 1861. 

James Salada, must, in Sept. 23, 1862 ; trans, to 3d 

Brig., 2d Div. Dept. West Va., June 6, and to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Chas. Schaneberger, must, in July 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

3d Brig., 2d Div. Dept. West Va., June 6, 1864, 

and to 54th Regt P. V. July 6, 1864. 
Daniel Shafer, must, in June 7, 1861. 
William Warner, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Charles Weber, must, in June 7, 1861. 
A. Weidenhamer, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Jonas Youse, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John R. Yeich, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John M. Yohn, must, in June 7, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 

Company D. — This company was recruited 



in Berks County, and was mustered out June 
17, 18G4, except where otherwise mentioned. 

William Briner, capt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to major Aug. 1, 1802. 
F. H. Straub, capt., must, in June 7, 1861; pro. to 1st 

lieut. Nov. 19, 1861 ; to capt. Aug. 1, 1862 ; killed 

at Antietam, September 17, 1862. 
Andrew J. Stetson, capt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro 

2d lieut, Nov. 19, 1861; to 1st lieut., Aug. 1 

1862 ; to capt., March 1, 1863. 

Franklin S. Bickley, 1st lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 
resigned Nov. 13, 1861. 

Jacob V. Shilling, 1st lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 
pro. to 1st sergt. Jan. 7, 1862 ; to 2d lieut. Aug. 1, 
1862; to 1st lieut., (let. 1, 1862; killed at Fred- 
ericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. 

Albert Briner, 1st lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 
to 1st sergt., Aug. 1, 1862 ; to 1st lieut., March 1, 

George B. Davis, 2d lieut., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 
to sergt., Aug. 1, 1862 ; to 2d lieut., March 6, 

Abra'm B. Yocum, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 
pro. to Corp., Nov. 20, 1861 ; to sergt., Jan. 1, 

1863 ; to 1st sergt., May 1, 1863. 

James Schrader, 1st sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

pro. to sergt., March 1, 1862 ; to 1st sergt., Oct. 1, 

1862 ; killed at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. 
David Hollenback, 1st sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

pro. to 1st sergt., Nov. 20, 1861. 
Wm. K. Leaman, sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp., Nov. 20, 1861 ; to sergt., Jan. 1, 1863. 
Franklin Trussel, sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp., Aug. 1, 1862; to sergt., Jan. 1, 1863. 
Levi Boyer, sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

q.m.-sergt., Sept. 30, 1861. 
William H. Parker, sergt., must. July 21, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp., March 20, 1863 ; to sergt., Jan. 1, 1863 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Francis Eisenbeis, sergt., must, in July 18, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. Aug. 1, 1862; to sergt., May 1,1863; 

trans, to 54th Eegt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
John A. Price, sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

sergt., Nov. 19, 1861 ; killed at Charles City Cross- 
Roads, June 30, 1862. 
John N. Smith, sergt., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

sergt., Aug. 1, 1862. 
H. H. Hemming, corp., must, in July 18, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp., Jan. 1, 1863. 
Nelson G. Sheeder, corp., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

pro. to Corp., Jan. 1, 1863. 
Lewis F. Henderson, corp., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

pro. to corp., Jan. 1, 1863. 
William Carlin, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

Corp., Jan. 1, 1863. 
William S. Lamb, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. 

to Corp., Jan 1, 1863. 

Peter B. Keehn, corp., must, in June 11, 1861; pro. 

to corp., Jan. 1, 1863. 
Adam F. Waid, corp., must, in July 13, 1861 ; pro. to 

to corp,, Jan. 1, 1863 ; trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., 

July 4, 1864. 
Ephr'm Strohecker, corp., must, in June 7, 1861; 

died at Washington, D. C, March 19, 1862. 
John G. Bland, corp., must, in June 7, 1861 ; pro. to 

corp., Nov. 20, 1861 ; killed at Fredericksburg, 

Dec. 13, 1862. 
Henry Setley, corp., must, in July 9. 1861 ; pro. to 

corp., March 1, 1862 ; killed at Fredericksburg, 

Dec. 13, 1862. 
John S. Keever, musician, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Charles K. Bechtel, musician, must, in July 21, 1861 ; 

pro. to principal musician, Sept. 1, 1862. 
M. L. Huntzberger, musician, must, in June 11, 1861; 

pro. to pi'incipal musician, July 1, 1863. 

Obediah Achey, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; died 

at Van Clevesville, W. Va., March 25, 1864. 
Edward Allen, private, must, in July 28, 1861 ; trans. 

from Co. I. 
Henry Barr, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Clark Bishop, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Jeremiah Boone, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Thomas D. Boone, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Charles Boyer, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Philip Billing, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif., Dec. 10, 1862. 
Samuel Bobst, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif., Jan. 29, 1862. 
William Broom, private, must, in Sept. 19, 1862 

disch. on surg. certif., Feb. 1, 1863. 
Charles H. Barber, private, must, in July 13, 1861 

trans, lo 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864; vet. 
John H. Becker, private, must, in July 12, 1861 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Wash'n L. Boyer, private, must, in June 7, 1861 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864; vet. 
Jefferson Briner, private, must, in July 12, 1861 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
John Babb, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; killed at 

2d Bull Run, August 30, 1862. 
David Bechtel, private, must, in July 18, 1861 ; mis. 

at Charles City Cross-Roads, June 30, 1862. 
Jacob Bechtel, private, must, in July 18, 1861; wd. 

and mis. at Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1862. 
John H. Boyer, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Peter Cunningham, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Josiah Coller, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif., March 25, 1863. 
James Caldwell, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Samuel Davies, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
De Losier De Parson, private, must, in Sept. 30, 1862 ; 

disch. on surg. certif., March 1, 1863. 
Peter Dehart, private, must, in July 13, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 



Henry Dengler, private, must, in Sept. 30, 1862; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
James Doty, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
David C. Epphimer, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

pro. to com.-sergt, March 1, 1864. 
William Ellis, private, must, in Sept. 30, 1862 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Franklin Ellis, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Josiah Focht, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif., Nov. 27, 1862. 
Edward Frill, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
David Fisher, private, must, in Sept. 30, 1862 ; must. 

out June 23, 1865. 
Henry Geiger, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
William S. Good, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Reuben G. Gearhart, private, must, in June 11, 1861; 

disch. on surg. certif., Feb., 1862. 
Emanuel Good, private, must, in Sept. 19, 1862 ; 

disch. on surg. certif., July 25, 1863. 
Henry S. Good, private, must, in July 18, 1861 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864; vet. 
William Grath, private, must, in Aug. 26, 1862 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Alexander Geiger, private, must, in July 13, 1861 ; 

killed at Bull Run, August 30, 1862. 
Alfred Harner, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Sam'l L. Harrison, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Henry Hoffman, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
James L. Hobson, private, must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif., Nov. 24, 1862. 
Fred'k Hendley, private, must, in June 11, 1861; 

killed at Antietam, September 17, 1862. 
Jer'h C. Hunsberger, private, must, in July 13, 1861 ; 

wd. and pris. at Cloyd Mountain, West Va., May 

Albert D. Helmer, private, must, in July 12, 1861. 
Morgan Kupp, private, must, in June 7, 1861; pro. 

to q. m. 167th regt. P. V., Dec. 11, 1862. 
William Kelchner, private, must, in Aug. 30, 1862 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Adam F. Kellar, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
James Long, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Henry A. Lorah, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Patrick Lowrey, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Alexander Lorah, private, must, in July 20, 1861 ; 

must, out Aug. 12, 1864. 
David Levan, private, must, in Sept. 8, 1862. 
Henry Lichtenfelt, private, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Samuel Mann, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Nathaniel Miles, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
William Miller, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif., May 18, 1862. 
Jacob Mellen, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; killed 

at Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. 
Isaac Moohn, private, must, in Sept. 30, 1862. 
Sam'l McChalicher, private, must, in July 13, 1861 ; 

disch. Nov. 27, 1862, for wounds received at Bull 

Run, Aug. 30, 1862. 

Heber M'Cord, private, must, in July 18, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Geo. A. Raudenbush, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
William Rank, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; died 

at Fairfax Seminary Hospital, Va., Sept. 24, 

Joseph Rorke, private, must, in July 13, 1861 ; miss" 

ing in action at Charles City Cross-Roads, June 

30, 1862. 
William S. Sagee, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Augustus Sayboldt, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

pro. from corp. to sergt., Nov. 19, 1861. 
Roland G. Scarlet, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Solomon S. Shaner, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Joseph Slichter, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
John Schiefley, private, must, in June 7, 1861; disch. 

June 22, 1863, for wounds received at Fredericks- 
burg, Dec. 13, 1862. 
Richard Steeve, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif., April 10, 1862. 
Harrison Shaffer, private, must, in Aug. 25, 1862 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Henry J. Simmons, private, must, in Aug. 30, 1862 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Andrew M. Shepherd, private, must, in July 18, 1861 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Cyrus Schwartz, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; mis, 

in action at Charles City Cross-Roads, June 30, 

George Setley, private, must, in June 11, 1861; died 

at Stafford C. H., Va., Nov. 24, 1862. 
George Shaffer, private, must, in Sept. 9, 1862. 
James P. Thomas, private, must, in Sept. 1, 1862 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V., July 4, 1864. 
Benj. F. Walker, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Henry Wann, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Geo. O. Weigner, private, must, in June 7, 1861. 
Charles E. Wright, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; 

wd. and mis. in action at Fredericksburg, Dec. 

13, 1862. 
Charles Wilkins, private, must, in July 18, 1861. 
Samuel Yoder, private, must, in June 7, 1861 ; disch. 

Nov. 28, 1862, for wounds received at Bull Run, 

Aug. 30, 1862. 

Company F. — This company was recruited 
in Berks County, and was mustered out June 
17, 1864, except where otherwise mentioned. 

Washington Richards, capt., must, in June 11, 186i ; 

trans, to Vet. Res. Corps July 1, 1863; resigned 

September 5, 1863. 
Albert P. Moulton, capt., must in June 11, 1861 ; pro. 

from 1st lieut. to capt. Sept. 15, 1863 ; trans, to 

Co. M, 54th Regt., P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Henry S. Moulton, 1st lieut., must, in July 28, 1861 ; 

pro. to 2d lieut. Oct. 1, 1862 ; to 1st lieut. Sept. 15, 




Albert A. Jamison, 2d lieut., must, iu June 11, 1861; 

pro. to adjt. June 24, 1861. 
Edward K. Moll, 2d lieut, must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

resigned July 28, 1862. 
Benjamin D. Hemming, 2d lieut., must, in June 11, 

1861 ; pro. to 2d lieut. Sept. 16, 1863 ; must, out 

Sept. 27,1864. 
Isaac Addis, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; detached 

to Bat. G, 43d Regt. P. V.; disch. Dec. 4, 1862. 
Daniel Murphy, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

wounded ; disch. March 4, 1863. 
Levi Hoffmaster, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. Dec. 9, 1862. 
Robert Smith, sergt., must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
John Vandorn, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Edward Clater, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
James M. Phillips, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; 

trans, to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
John M. Biery, sergt., must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans. 

to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
George Able, Corp., must, in June 11, 1861. 
Levan Lehr, corp., must, in June 27, 1861. 
Wellington Miller, corp., must, in June 11, 1861. 
John P. Douth, musician, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Calvin Reedy, musician, must, in June 11, 1861 ; pro. 

to musician Oct. 1, 1861. 


John Andy, must, in June 20, 1861 ; must, out Oct. 

27, 1865, to date June 18, 1864. 
Charles Adler, must, in July 18, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Jesse Adams, must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
Henry Acker, must, in June 20, 1861 ; killed at Fred- 
ericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. 
John Brown, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to Vet. 

Res. Corps July 1, 1863. 
John L. Bard, must, in June 20, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Sept. 1, 1862. 
William P. Butz, must, in June 20, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Feb. 6, 1863. 
Henry Bowman, disch. on surg. certif. May 13, 1863. 
Edward Blose, must, in July 21, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Levi Beechart, must, in July 17, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 1, 1864 ; vet. 
Levi Bernheisel, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
William Borman, trans, to 54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 

1864; vet. 
Henry Boger, must, in June 27, 1861 ; trans, to Co. K 

Oct. 2, 1861. 
John A. Becker, must, in July 18, 1861; died at Mill 

Creek, Va., Sept. 19, 1862. 

Henry Burkhart, must, in June 11,1861; killed in 

action July 10, 1862. 
Joseph Bellas, must, in June 27, 1861. 
Joseph Connor, must, in June 11, 1861. ■ 
Allen Christman, must, in July 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Jacob Cooper, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Henry Eisenboth, must, in July 20, 1861 ; disch. by 

order of War Dept. Aug. 6, 1862. 
Henry Ecknold, must, in June 11, 1861; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Daniel Filbert, must, in June 27, 1861 ; wounded ; 

disch. June 20, 1862. 
Adam Gilbert, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Andrew Gangwer, must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
James Glennose, must, in July 20, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
James Hartzel, must, in June 28, 1861. 
Jacob Heming, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Rudy Haverstick, must, in June 11,1861; died at 

Easton, Pa., July 10, 1861. 
Joseph Herbrant, must, in June 11, 1861 ; died at 

Washington, Aug. 24, 1861 ; buried in Military 

Asylum Cemetery. 
Henry Harsta, must, in June 11, 1861 ; killed at 

Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. 
William Henry, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Mark Hogan, died at Philadelphia Oct. 7, 1862. 
John House. 
Joseph Helbrick. 
.William Jones, must, in June 27, 1861 ; wounded ; 

disch. Feb. 1, 1863. 
Henry Jones, must, in June 11, 1861 ; killed at Antie- 

tam, Sept. 17, 1862. 
Charles Jennings, must, in July 22, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Edward Killpatrick, must, iu June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 

Vet. Res. Corps July 1, 1863. 
Theo. Killpatrick, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Thos. Kochel, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
John H. Killian, must, in June 20, 1861 ; killed at 

Gaines' Mill, June 27, 1862. 
Manassah Kline, must, in June 20, 1861. 
John Kelly, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Willoughby Labold, must, in June 20, 1861. 
Pompelius Lippi, must, in June 20, 1861. 
Harrison Lutz, must, in June 11, 1861 ; must, out 

Oct. 27, 1865, to date June 17, 1864. 
James Leese, must, in June 20, 1861 ; killed at An- 

tietam, Sept. 17, 1862. 
Franklin Leh, must, in July 8, 1861. 
Samuel Miles, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Eugene Mertz, must, in June 28, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
Adam Mier, must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 



Monroe Mertz, must, in June 20, 1861. 

Lew. D. McFarland, mustered in June 20, 1861 ; 

killed at Fredericksburg, Dec. 13, 1862. 
George S. Neal, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Uriah Nuuemacher, must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Josephus Ruth, must, in July 18, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Dec. 1, 1862. 
Alexander Rambo, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864; vet. 
Peter Rusk, must, in July 18, 1861 ; killed at Antie- 

tam, Sept. 17, 1862. 
John Ruhle, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Cyrus Reed, must, in July 20, 1861. 
Andrew Rohrer, must, in Feb. 26, 1861 ; not on 

muster-out roll. 
John School, must, in June 11, 1861. 
John Silbeman, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Levi Schneer, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
William H. Stotz, must, in June 20, 1861 ; trans, to 

54th Regt. P. V. Julv 4, 1864; vet. 
John Seidere, must, in June 28, 1861 ; killed at Gaines' 

Mill, June 27, 1862. 
John Stadler, must, in July 20, 1861. 
Joseph Seidere, must, in July 24, 1861. 
Hugh Sweeny, must, in July 15, 1861. 
John H. Stailnecker, must, in July 18, 1861. 
Wm. Tonia, must, in June 20, 1861. 
Michael Tracy, must, in July 20, 1861. 
John Trexler, must, in July 12, 1861 ; trans, to 54th . 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
Lewis B. Tice, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Jacob Trapold, must, in June 11, 1861. 
William Walters, must, in June 11, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Sept. 1, 1862. 
Adam Weber, must, in June 27, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 
John Wentzel, must, in July 12, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864. 
Edward Wild, must, in July 20, 1861. 
Jacob Whiteneck, must, in June 11, 1861. 
Adolph Zetze, must, in June 11, 1861 ; trans, to 54th 

Regt. P. V. July 4, 1864 ; vet. 


The Thirty-Sixth Eegiment was composed of 
companies recruited in several counties east of 
the Allegheny Mountains. Company I was 
made up of men recruited in Berks and Lebanon 
Counties. The regiment was mustered into ser- 
vice July 27, 1861. It was not engaged in any 
fighting until the latter part of June, 1862, when 
it was engaged in the battle of Gaines' Mill. It 
occupied the left of the line. Its next engage- 
ment was at Charles City Cross-Eoads, June 

30, 1862. It passed through seven days of 
fighting, and upon mustering the regiment only 
two hundred men were present to answer to 
their names. It was also engaged in the bat- 
tles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and the 
Wilderness. Nearly the entire regiment was 
captured in the latter battle, and the men were 
imprisoned at Anderson ville. The regiment 
was mustered out of service June 16, 1864. 
The following men in Company I were from 
Berks County, recruited at Reading : 

Joseph G. Holmes, capt., must, in May 10, 1861 ; 

pro. to capt. Nov. 7, 1861. 
Aaron Zeigler, 1st lieut., must, in May 28, 1861 ; pro. 

to 1st lieut. July 5, 1862. 
J. H. G. Marquette, 2d lieut., must, in May 20, 1861 ; 

must, out with company June 16, 1864. 
Wm. Harmon, 2d lieut., must, in June 1, 1861 ; pro. 

to 2d lieut. July 1, 1862. 
Edward F. Smith, sergt., must, in May 26, 1861 ; 

wounded June 30, 1862; disch. on surg. certif. 

March 5, 1863. 
Wm. R.Smith, sergt., must, in July 7, 1861 ; wounded 

at South Mountain Sept. 14, 1862; disch. on sur 

certif. Feb. 1863. 
Peter S. Haintz, sergt., must, in July 7, 1861 ; missing 

in action at Wilderness May 5, 1864. 
Wm. Vancamp, sergt., must, in May 26, 1861 ; cap- 
tured May 5, 1864; disch. June 16, 1865. 
Edward O. Geiger, corp., must, in May 26, 1861; 

must, out with company June 16, 1864. 
Henry C. Housum, Corp., must, in May 26, 1861; 

wounded at Gaines' Mill June 27, 1862 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. Jan. 14, 1863. 
Peter F. Seaman, corp., must, in July 7, 1861 ; pris- 
oner from May 5, 1864, to Feb. 27, 1865. 
Jos. Vondrock, corp., must, in May 26, 1861 ; died at 

Point Lookout, Md., July 25, 1862. 
Oliver Vondrock, musician, must, in July 15, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif.. Oct. 15, 1862. 
Alonzo Auberton, must, in May 26, 1861 ; missing in 

action at Wilderness May 5, 1864. 
Charles August, must, in July 18, 1861; died of 

wounds received at Bull Run Aug. 30, 1862. 
Lewis Bournman, must, in July 17, 1861 ; died May 

12, 1863. 
George Becker, must, in May 26, 1861 ; killed at An- 
tietam Sept. 17, 1862. 
John Drom, must, in May 26,1861; missing in action 

at Fredericksburg Dec. 13, 1862. 
Frederick Fey, must, in May 26, 1861 ; died Aug. 7, 

1862 ; buried in Cypress Hill Cem., L. I. 
Cornelius Gerhart, must, in May 26, 1861 ; wounded 

at Gaines' Mill ; disch. on surg. certif. Jan. 16, 

1863. • 



Jeremiah Horner, must, in May 26, 1861 ; missing in 

action at Wilderness May 5, 1864. 
Wm. J. Haines, must, in June 1, 1863 ; prisoner from 

May 5, 1864, to Feb. 28, 1865 ; disch. July 17, 

Frederick Hertzel, must, in July 7, 1861 ; prisoner 

May 5,1864; died at Anderson ville Oct. 26, 1864; 

grave 11,481. 
Alfred B. Meek, must, in July 7, 1861 ; missing in 

action at Wilderness May 5, 1864 ; veteran. 
Aaron Miller, must, in July 7, 1861 ; missing in ac- 
tion at Wilderness May 5, 1864 ; veteran. 
Lawrence Roesler, must, in May 23, 1861 ; trans, to 

Vet. Ees. Corps Oct. 7, 1863. 
W. H. Rothenberger, must, in July 7, 1861 ; killed at 

Charles City Cross-Roads June 30, 1862. 
John Stehle, must, in July 16, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. May 31, 1864. 
Jacob T. Strohecker, must, in May 26, 1861 ; trans. 

to 190th Regt. P. V. May 31, 1864 ; veteran. 
Alfred Shappel, must, in July 7, 1861 ; missing in ac- 
tion at Wilderness May 5, 1864. 
F. Shollenberger, must, in July 7, 1861 ; died of 

wounds received at Antietam Sept. 17, 1862. 
John Ulmer, must, in July 16, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. October 8, 1862. 
John Weikamp, must, in May 26, 1861 ; must, out 

with company June 16, 1864. 


The Forty-fourth Regiment, or First Cav- 
alry, was recruited in a number of counties — 
Company M in Berks Connty, and Company 
L in Berks, Lebanon and Lancaster Counties. 
Company L was mustered into service as an 
independent company on July 30, 1861, and 
was stationed at Baltimore for five months, and 
Company M was mustered into service August 
5, 1861, and was stationed at same place until 
October 3d. On January 7th these companies 
joined their regiment and moved with the army 
towards Manassas. They were engaged in the 
battles of Strasburg, Woodstock, Harrisonburg 
and Fredericksburg during the year 1862 ; and 
afterward, in 1863, in the battles of Brandy 
Station, Beverly Ford and Aldie. They were 
also concerned in Sheridan's raid upon Rich- 
mond, during the spring of 1864, in which 
they encountered the enemy in a number of 
engagements, and in the following summer they 
were engaged in fighting with the enemy at 
Saint Mary's Church, Malvern Hill, Gravel 
Hill and Ream's Station. On August 29, 1864, 
they were encamped on the Jerusalem Plank- 

Road, near the left of the army. Their term 
of service having expired, an order was issued 
for their relief from duty. They withdrew 
from the front September 1st, and proceeded to 
Philadelphia, where they were mustered out of 
service September 9, 1864. 

Company L. — This company was recruited 
at Reading, and was mustered out September 9, 
1864, except where otherwise^mentioned. 

J. C. A. Hoffeditz, capt., must, in July 28, 1861 ; re- 
signed April 16, 1862. 
William A. Sands, capt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; pro. 

from 1st lieut. April 16, 1862; captured June 21, 

1864 ; must, out Dec. 19, 1864. 
Henry S. Gaul, 1st lieut., must, in July 30, 1861 ; pro. 

from 2d lieut. April 19, 1862. 
C. A.Litchenthaller, 2d lieut., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

pro. from sergt. April 19, 1862; resigned June 

25, 1863. 
David S. Buxton, 2d lieut., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

wounded in action Dec. 27, 1863 ; pro. from sergt. 

March 7, 1864; wounded and prisoner June 21, 

1864 ; died in Libby Prison, Richmond, Va., July 

5, 1864. 
Cyrus Bentz, 1st sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. Oct. 6, 1861. 
Jer. K. Rhoads, 1st sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. March 10, 1863. 
Benj. F. Hull, 1st sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; pro. 

from sergt. June 28, 1863. 
Daniel Howder, q.m.-sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

captured June 21, 1864; absent at muster out. 
Augustus Rhoads, com. -sergt., must, in July 30, 1861; 

disch. on surg. certif. March 10, 1863. 
John Howder, com.-sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; veteran. 
W. D. Kofenhaver, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. Nov. 8, 1861. 
Benj. F. Bright, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. 

by order Sec. of War, March 25, 1863. 
George Kemp, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; died 

July 17, 1863 ; burial record, July 18, 1863. 
Michael Donovan, sergt, must, in July 30, 1861; 

killed at Brandy Station, Va., June 9, 1863. 
James N. Hunter, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. Nov. 8, 1863. 
Joseph Buck, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; missing 

in action June 21, 1864. , 

Milton Hoffeditz, sergt., must, in Dec. 15, 1861 ; trans. 

to battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Samuel H. Shiffert, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

pro. from corp. July 22, 1863. 
William A. Tobias, sergt., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 
pro. from corp. July 22, 1863 ; absent, in hospital , 
at muster out. 



Peter Dasher, sergt., July 30, 1861 ; pro. from 

corp. July 22, 1863. 
B. G. Pretzman, corp., must, in July 30, 1861; disch. 

on surg. certif. June 27, 1862. 
John Guires, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 9, 1862. 
John Kramer, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; wounded 

at Culpeper, Va., Sept. 13, 1863; killed in ac- 
■ tion June 21, 1864. 
John H. Johnson, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; capt- 
ured June 9, 1863, at Brandy Station, Va., and 

June 21, 1864; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; 

Thomas Wendling, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

captured; died Jan. 23, 1864; buried at Rich- 
mond, Va.; veteran. 
Robert M. Devine, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; veteran. 
Dewilla PI. Long, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
John M. Algier, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. Oct., 1863. 
David Mundshower, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; 

pro. to corp. Oct. 1863. 
Francis M. Coover, corp., must, in July 30, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp. Oct., 1863. 
George Kesler, bugler, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans. 

to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
Wm. W. Warner, bugler, must, in July 30, 1861; 

trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
M. A. Bertolette, bugler, must, in Feb. 5, 1864; trans. 

to battal. Sept. 8, 1864. 


Daniel Addis, must, in July 30, 1861; wounded at 

Brandy Station, Va., June 9, 1863. 
James Angstadt, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Elias Allgaier, must, in Feb. 12, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Samuel Bilman, must, in July 30, 1861. 
William Burns, must, in July 30, 1861. 
John O. Burkman, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Peter B. Buck, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Isaac Bobst, must, in Feb. 6,1864; captured June 21, 

1864; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; must, out 

with Co. L by G. O. Aug. 7, 1865. 
Franklin Brenizer, Feb. 6, 1864; captured 

June 21, 1864; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Hugh W. Black, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; pro. to sergt. Co. L Dec. 

15, 1864; must, out June 20, 1865; veteran. 
John Brown, must, in Aug. 17, 1863; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Thomas Bower, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
John Black, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died April 25 


Aaron E. Bachman, must, in July 30, 1861 ; captured 

Dec. 1, 1863 ; must, out May 31, 1865. 

H. H. Brownmiller, must, in Jan. 1, 1864 ; wounded 

June 21, 1864; pro. to corp. Co. L battal., 

March 4, 1865 ; must, out June 20, 1865 ; veteian. 

James Conrad, must, in Feb. 3, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Henry Derrick, must, in July 30, 1861 ; wounded 

Nov. 27, 1863. 
Jago Doyle, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Isaac S. Dissenger, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Nov. 3, 1861. 
Daniel K. Dixon, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
John H. Doyle, must, in July 30, 1861 ; captured at 
Cedar Mountain, Va., Aug. 9, 1862 ; killed in 
action June 21, 1864. 
Peres S. Fisher, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Urias Fink, must, in July 30, 1861; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
Geo. W. Fincher, must, in July, 30, 1861 ; pro. to 

q.m. -sergt. Nov. 1, 1864; veteran. 
George P. Froese, must, in July 30, 1861 ; killed in 

action May 23, 1864. 
Daniel Folk, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Patrick Fagan, must, in July 30, 1861. 
James Garis, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Daniel A. Geiger, must, in Feb. 6, 1864 ; captured 

June 21, 1864 ; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Charles Gries, must, in Feb. 1, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
James Glasscr, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
John Gross, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Thomas Glenney, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Jer. Gromlich, must, in July 20, 1861 ; killed in action 

Nov. 17, 1863. 
Hamilton Gehert, must, in July 30, 1861; prisoner 
from July 11 to Dec. 10, 1864; must out Feb. 
27, 1865. 
Abram Horrock, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Mahlon G. Hoyer, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Charles L. Harrison, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. May 6, 1862. 
Peter Hummel, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 16, 1861. 
Joseph Holster, must, in Feb. 4, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
John Herring, must, in Feb. 11, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9,1864. 
Amos Hafer, must, in Feb. 4, 1864 ; trans, to battal. 
Sept. 9, 1864. 

George Huyett, must, in Feb. 5, 1864 ; trans, to battal. 
Sept. 9, 1864. 

Samuel Hendricks, must, in Feb. 1, 1864 ; trans, to 
battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 



Reuben Homan, must, in July 30, 1861. 

Robert F. Irwin, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
Wm. H. Irwin, must, in July 30, 1861; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; pro. to corp. Co. L Jan. 1, 

1865; must, out June 20, 1865 ; veteran. 
George W. James, must, in July 30, 1861 ; captured 

June 21, 1864 ; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; 

pro. to corp. Co. L Nov. 1, 1864 ; must, out June 

20, 1865 ; veteran. 
John Jackson, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Robert W. Jackson, must, in Feb. 11, 1864; killed 

in action June 21, 1864. 
Thomas Knauss, must, in July 30, 1861 ; captured at 

Cedar Mountain, Va., Aug. 9, 1862 ; wounded in 

action Nov. 27, 1863. 
John A. Kerns, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 8, 1862. 
Lewis KarShsarf, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Nov. 17, 1863. 
Jonas Keller, must, in Feb. 5, 1864 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Edwin Kerling, must, in Feb. 13, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
J. H. A. Lindemuth, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Albert S. Levan, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Thomas Lindley, must, in July 10, 1863 ; wounded at 

Culpeper C. H., Va., Sept. 13, 1863; disch. on 

surg. certif. June 15, 1864. 
Henry W. Loy, must, in July 30, 1861; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
William B. Leister, must, in Feb. 6, 1864 ; wounded 

inaction July 28, 1864; trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 

William D. Lotz, must, in Feb. 4, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Cyrus Lesher, must, in Feb. 11, 1864; trans, to Battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864; must, out May 14, 1864. 
Joseph R. Lacy, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Dec. 3, 

1863; buried at Culpeper C. H., block 1, sec. A, 

row 1, grave 23, 
Henry Minker, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Adam Moyer, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864; veteran. 
Andrew McElwee, must, in March 30, 1863 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
John McLellen, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Charles H. Millet, must, in Feb. 15, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
John Miller, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Oct. 13, 

Henry Machamer, must, in Nov. 28, 1861 ; died April 

7, 1862 ; buried in Military Asylum Cemetery, 

D. C. 
Aug. R. Noacker, must, in July 30, 1861. 
John Newkirk, must, in July 30, 1861. 

Peter Noll, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. April 24, 1862. 
Samuel Ness, must, in Dec. 12, 1861; disch. on surg. 

certif. Dec. 19, 1862. 
Samuel M. Pfleager, must, in July 30, 1861 ; absent, 

on detached service, at muster out. 
Isaac Porter, must, in March 30, 1863 ; trans, to bat- 
tal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
George Patterson, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Dec. 

21, 1862; burial record, Dec. 31, 1862, buried at 

Point Lookout, Md. 
Joseph F. Rodgers, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Jacob Roland, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Daniel L. Ringler, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Joseph Ritter, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Dec. 11, 1863. 
Effinger Rhodes, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 19, 1862. 
Daniel H. Ruth, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 16, 1861. 
W. A. Rightmeyer, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; vet. 
Henry S. Rudy, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864; vet. 
H. R. Reifsnyder, must, in Feb. 3, 1864; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Jacob Ringler, must, in Feb. 3, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Thomas Ramer, must, in Feb. 11, 1864; trans, to bat- 
tal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Jacob H. Reber, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Aug. 8, 

Levi Reeder, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Sept. 10, 

Samuel P. Reed, must, in July 30, 1861 ; wounded in 

action June 21, 1864; died Aug. 3, 1864; buried 

at Philadelphia ; vet. 
Richard Reinhold, must, in July 30, 1861. 
John Raudenbush, must, in July 30, 1861. 
Daniel Reed, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; captured June 

25, 1864; not on muster-out roll. 
J. W. Reinoehl, must, in April 4, 1864 ; not on- muster- 
out roll. 
D. B. Reifsnyder, must, in Feb. 3, 1864 ; not on mus- 
ter-out roll. 
Lewis Sherman, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Aug. 11, 1861. 
Aaron Stamm, must, in July 30, 1861 ; disch. on surg. 

certif. Aug. 8, 1861. 
Nicholas Seyfert, must, in July 30, 1 861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Dec. 16, 1861. 
Samuel Schmale, must, in July 30, 1.861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9,1864; must, out Aug. 9, 1865; 

Isaac Seiders, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9,1864; vet. 
James Sanders, must, in Feb. 6, 1864 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Jesse W. Strasser, must, in Feb. 15, 1864 ; trans, to 




battal. Sept. 9, 1864 ; must, out by G. 0. Aug. 10, 
David Snyder, must, in Feb. 6, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Reuben Smith, must, in Feb. 4, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
Jonathan Sanders, must, in Feb. 6, 1864 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
George F. Sanders, must, in Feb. 6, 1864 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Martin Scheirer, must, in Feb. 11, 1864 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Henry E. Seiders, must, in Feb. 1, 1864 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9, 1864. 
James Sedar, must, in Feb. 23, 1864 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864. 
John Stoltz, must, in Jan. 1, 1864; captured June 21, 

1864 ; not on muster-out roll ; vet. 
George Vernervault, must, in July 30, 1861 ; killed 

in action May 28, 1864. 
Eeuben Wagner, must, in July 30, 1861. 
George P. Wilson, must, in July 30, 1861. 
August H. Warner, must, in July 30, 1861 ; trans, to 

battal. Sept. 9,1864; vet. 
Juliu3 Wideman, must, in Feb. 14, 1863 ; trans, to 

battal. 1st Pa. Cav. Sept. 9, 1864. 
Barney Winne, must, in Dec. 7, 1863; trans, to battal. 

1st Pa. Cav. Sept. 9, 1864. 
William Werkes, must, in July 30, 1861 ; died Sept. 

27, 1863. 
Jesse W. Wise, must, in Nov. 17, 1863. 
James Watson, must, in Feb. 16, 1864 ; not on muster- 
out roll. 
George S. Zimmerman, must, in Dec. 30, 1861 ; trans. 

to battal. 1st Pa. Cav. Sept. 9, 1864. 

Captain J. C. A. Hoffeditz is of German 
descent. His father was the Rev. Theodore L. 
Hoffeditz, D.D., who was born near Karls- 
haafen* in Germany, in 1780. He there ob- 
tained an education, learned the trade of a piano- 
maker and emigrated to America when eighteen 
years of age. He located at Reading and car- 
ried on his trade for some years, when he took 
up the study of theology at Philadelphia. Sev- 
eral years afterward he was duly ordained as a 
minister in the Reformed Church, and then 
receiving calls to preach for five congregations 
in Northampton and Monroe Counties, he pro- 
ceeded to the former and there fixed his resi- 
dence. He preached with great success in those 
counties for forty-six years, till his decease. He 
died in 1856, aged seventy-six years. Some 
years before he died, the degree of Doctor of 
Divinity was conferred upon him by the Synod 

of the German Reformed Church. He was a 
well-known and distinguished minister of the 
Gospel. He acted as the first presiding officer 
of the meeting of the United Synod of this 
church, which was held at Mifflinburg, Pa. 
He was married to Julia Roth, of Northampton 
County, and had thirteen children, of whom 
eight survive him, — Louisa, Theodore (who 
became a minister), Maria (married to Rev. 
George Weber), C. W. Lorenzo, Pauline, John 
Christian A., William B. and Emma J. (mar- 
ried to Rev. Eli Keller). 

John C. A. Hoffeditz was born April 5,1826, 
in Upper Mount Bethel township, Northampton 
County. After having been sent to school in 
that township till his twelfth year, he became a 
pupil of the Moravian school at Nazareth, 
familiarly known as the "Nazareth Hall." 
Upon completing his studies there- he removed 
to Carbon County and devoted four years to 
acquiring the trade of a tanner. He then pur- 
sued this vocation at Easton for a year, after 
which he settled at Reading and carried on the 
mercantile business. In 1880 he associated with 
his son, J. Calvin Hoffeditz, in the manufacture 
of carriages, they together erecting for the pur- 
pose an extensive four-story brick factory and 
warehouse, and continued in this enterprise for 
several years. 

Several months after the Rebellion had 
begun, and just after the disastrous battle of 
Bull Run, when the whole country was alarmed 
over the defeat of our army, he raised a company 
of cavalry, called the " Reading Troop," and 
became its captain. He offered the services of 
his company to the national government by 
telegram to General Simon Cameron, Secretary 
of War, and it was the first company of cavalry 
from Pennsylvania accepted by him for military 
service in the Civil War. He reported for duty 
and it was attached to the Forty-fourth, or First 
Cavalry Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
as Company L. He continued in command of 
the company till sickness obliged him to resign 
his commission. His resignation was accepted 
April 6 )(( J862. Upon returning to Reading he 
acted for some time as deputy provost marshal of 
the Eighth Pennsylvania District, comprising 
the county of Berks. 



In polities he is an ardent Republican, fre- 
quently taking an active part in the conventions 
of this party. The school affairs of the city 
have received his earnest attention. He is now 
representing his ward (the Seventh) in the 
school board. His enterprise in behalf of the 
city improvements led him to organize the 
" Eeading Electric Light and Power Company," 

this extensive and influential organization. He 
is a charter member of McLean Post, No. 16, 
and also of Keim Post, No. 76, of the Grand 
Army of the Republic. He is connected with 
St. Paul's Memorial Reformed congregation at 
Reading, having been a member of the church 
for many years. 

On July 24, 1853, he was married to Emma 

for the purpose of supplying Reading with a 
light superior to gas, and he filled the office of 
president of the company for the first year. 

Captain Hoffeditz is a prominent and highly 
respected member of the Masonic fraternity in 
this community. He is connected with four 
lodges of the Free and Accepted Masons, — Chan- 
dler Lodge, No. 227 ; Reading Chapter, No. 
152; De Molay Commandery, No. 9; and 
Reading Council, No. 16. He has received the 
Thirty-third Degree, " Right of Memphis," in 

H., daughter of Michael Reifsnyder, of Reading. 
They had four children, — John Calvin, Theo- 
dore M., William C. and Rosa M., all of whom 
have died excepting the first. 

Company M. — This company was recruited 
at Reading, and was mustered out September 9, 
1864, except where otherwise mentioned, — 

Thomas S. Richards, capt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

pro. to maj. May 5, 1862. 
Hamp. S. Thomas, capt., must, in Aug. 1, 1861 ; pro. 

from. 1st lieut. Co. G May 1, 1862; detached as 



A. A. I. G. 1st Brig. April, 1863 ; trans, to Co. 

M battal. Sept. 9, 1864; pro. to maj. Jan. 4, 1865; 

to bvt. lieut.-col. and bvt. col. April 5, 1865; trans. 

to 2d Regt. Prov. Cav. June 17, 1865. 
John Hill, 1st lieut., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; disch. on 

surg. certif. Aug., 1861. 
George D. Leaf, 1st lieut., must, in Aug. 11, 1861 ; 

resigned Feb. 3, 1863. 
Henderson Sample, 1st lieut., must, in Dec. 30, 1861 ; 

pro. from 2d lieut. Feb. 12, 1863 ; resigned Aug. 

12, 1864. 
A. J. Sbollenberger, 2d lieut., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

resigned Dec, 1861. 
Joseph S. Wright, 2d lieut., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

pro. from sergt. Feb. 12, 1863 ; died July 4, 1864, 

of wounds received at St. Mary's Church, Va., 

June 24, 1864. 
Job H. Cole, 1st sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; pro. to 

battal. adjt. May 5, 1862. 
J. B. Rothenberger, 1st sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

pro. from sergt. ; wounded July 12, 1864 ; trans. 

to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; pro. to 2d lieut. Co. M 

March 4, 1865 ; trans, to 2d Regt. Prov. Cav. 

June 17, 1865; vet. 
Henry P. Smith, q.m. -sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

wounded at Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 12, 1862. 
Frederick Munson, com. -sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

. pro. from corp. Oct. 1, 1862. 
James R. Smith, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861. 
Zachner P. Potts, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; disch. 

on surg. certif. Dec. 23, 1862. 
Abraham B. Kerst, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

disch. on surg. certif. Sept. 20, 1862. 
D. B. Shollenberger, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

trans, to Vet. Res. Corps, date unknown. 
William A. Scott, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861; trans. 

to battal. 1st Pa. Cav. ; vet. 
George S. Glisson, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

wounded in action May 28, 1864; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864; pro. to sergt. -maj.; to 2d lieut. Co. 

F Dec. 18, 1864 ; to 1st lieut. Co. L March 4, 1865 ; 

must, out June 21, 1865 ; vet. 
Emanuel R. Britton, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; 

wounded in action Nov. 27, 1863 ; trans, to battal. 

Sept. 9, 1864; pro. to 2d lieut. Co. M Oct. 20, 

1864; to 1st lieut. Feb. 20, 1865; trans, to 2d 

Regt. Prov. Cav. June 17, 1865; vet. 
Charles B. Miller, sergt., must, in Nov. 21, 1861 ; pro. 

from corp.; wounded in action Aug. 14, 1864; 

trans, to battal. Sept. 9, 1864; vet. 
James R. Aten, sergt., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; pro. 

from corp. April 1, 1863. 

W. R. Shollenberger, corp., must, in Aug. 5, 1861; 
disch. on surg. certif. May 18, 1862. 

N. T. Baer, corp., must, in Aug. 5, 1861 ; pro. to corp. 
Jan. 1, 1862; died Aug. 29, 1862; burial record, 
Aug. 2, 1862, at Alexandria; grave 122. 

William A. Harper, corp., must in Aug. 5, 1861 ; pro. 

to corp.