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Full text of "The Monongahela of old, or, Historical sketches of south-western Pennsylvania to the year 1800"

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Cornell University Library 
F 157M58 V41 

Monongahela of old or. Historical sketc 


3 1924 028 854 359 


The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 








(This unfinished work of the author, which has been "in sheets" 
since 1858, is now issued for private distribution only. By the addi- 
tion of pages 241-259, which were included in a pamphlet issued in 
1857, entitled "Mason and Dixon's Line," the chapter relating to the 
boundary controversy between Pennsylvania and Virginia is com- 


Copyright : 

Mrs. E. V. Blaine. 


Copyright re-issued to 

James Hadden. 



James Veech, the author of this work, was born in Menallen 
township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, September i8, 1808. 

He was graduated at Jefferson college, Cannonsburg, in 1827, and 
read law in Uniontown with James Todd who was appointed Attorney 
General of the State, i835-'38. He was admitted to the bar of Fay- 
ette county in 1831, and was married to Maria Ewing, a sister of 
Hon. Nathaniel Ewing, in 1832, and practiced his profession in 
Uniontown until 1834, when he moved to Pittsburg, where in the 
same year he was appointed Assistant District Attorney for Alle- 
gheny county by Governor Ritner, which position he filled until 
1838, when he returned to Uniontown and resumed his practice 

In 1861 he accepted the appointment of paymaster in the army, 
and left Uniontown. Taking up his residence again in Pittsburg, in 
1862, he opened a law office and became associated with D. T. Wat- 
son in the law firm of Veech and Watson. 

He was for years a director in the Monongahela Navigation Com- 
pany, and also in the Bank of Pittsburg. In 1855 he was a candi- 
date for United States Senator, and in 1857 he was nominated for 
supreme judge, but was defeated by Justice William Strong. Dur- 
ing this campaign the title of "judge" was popularly given to him, 
by which title he was ever afterwards known. 

Judge Veech was a high minded gentleman of the old school ; his 
dignified manner and profound legal ability commanded the respect 
of all. He retired from active life in 1872, and spent his later years 
in the congenial pursuits of history and literature in which he ac- 
quired fame. 

In later years he made his home at Emsworth, on the Ohio river, 
six miles below Pittsburgh, on the Ft. Wayne road, where he died 
December 11, 1879, ^'^'^ ^i^ death was the occasion of marked sor- 
row and respect of the bar and public of Pittsburg as well as his 
many friends in Uniontown. He was buried in Union cemetery at 
Uniontown. He was survived by his wife and five daughters. His 
only son, David Henry Veech, having died in 1874, leaving a son, 
James Veech. This last named was an only son back through five 
generations, viz : James, of David Henry, of James, of David, of 

The inception of this book dates from 1850, when Freeman Lewis, 

a competent surveyor of Uniontown, projected a history, of Fayette 
county, and had already gathered some material for the purpose. 
The work soon grew to such proportions that Mr. Lewis was unable 
to handle it and proposed to transfer the undertaking to Mr. Veech, 
who immediately applied himself to collecting the necessary data, 
and in 1859, it was placed in the hands of the printer. The book 
was then printed, but was left in sheet form for several years, the 
manuscript having not all been furnished to the printer. In the 
middle of the chapter on the famous Mason and Dixon Line the 
history stopped short, and in this unfinished form a few copies were 
bound and furnished to a few of his personal friends as the work 
was originally intended for private distribution only. 

In 1892, Mr. Veech's daughter, Mrs. E. V. Blaine, completed the 
chapter on Mason and Dixon's Line, and a supplement thereto and 
published a few copies of the still incomplete work. 

It is ever to be regretted that Mr. Veech did not finish the work 
he had so ably begun and for which he was so amply fitted. The 
appointment as paymaster of the army, the duties of which com- 
pelled him to relinquish work on the history for the time, after 
Avhich failing health compelled him to abandon it entirely. 

The book as published, contains eight chapters and a supplement, 
which is not half of what the volume was originally intended to be. 
It will remain the standard history of Fayette county and will be 
referred to as such by all future histories of Western Pennsylvania. 




Ante-Indian Inhabitants — Old Ports; their forms; sites; localities — Mounds- 
Indian Towns — Indians Graves — Curious chain. 

Of the original human inhabitants of the territory, of which Fay- 
ette county is a part, we know but little. When Anglo-Saxon trad- 
ers and hunters first penetrated its wilds, it was the hunting ground 
of the Mingo Indians, or Six Nations ; (a ) the seat of whose power 
and chief population was Western New York. Delawares, whose 
original home was the western shore of the river of that 
name, and Shawnese, who, came from the Cumberland river, were 
also found. But that these were the successors of a race more 
intelligent, or of a people of different habits of life, seems clearly 
deducible from the remains of fortifications scattered all over the 
territory, and which are very distinct from those known to have 
been constructed by the tribes of Indians named, or any of their 
modern compeers. 

These remains of embankments, or "old forts," are numerous 
in Fayette county. That they are very ancient is shown by many 
facts. The Indians, known to us, could give no satisfactory 
account of when, how, or by whom they were erected; or for 
what purpose, except for defense. While the trees of the sur- 
rounding forests were chiefly oak, the growths upon, and within 
the lines of the old forts, were generally of large black walnut, 

(a)Called also the Iroquois. They were a Confederacy of the Mohawks, One- 
idas, Onondagoes, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras. The Delawares and Shaw- 
nese were in league with them, but rather as conquered dependents. 


Those that we have seen were of diminutive size, and may have 
been thrown up to commemorate some minor events, or to cover 
the remains of a warrior. 

Our territory, having been an Indian hunting" ground, had within 
it but few Indian towns or villages, and these of no great magnitude 
or celebrity. There was one on the farm of James Ewing, near the 
southern corner of Redstone, and the line between German and 
Luzerne townships, close to a fine limestone spring. Near it, on a 
ridge, were many Indian graves. Another was near where Abram 
Brown lived, about four miles west of Uniontown. There was also 
one on land of John M. Austin, Esq., formerl}^ Samuel Stevens, near 
'Sock. The only one we know of north of the Yough, was on the 
Strickler land, eastward of the Broad ford. 

Piles of stones, called Indian graves, were numerous in many 
places in Fayette, generally near the sites of Indian villages. They 
were generally on stony ridges, often twenty or thirty of them in a 
row. In many of them have been found human bones indicating a 
stature of from six to seven feet. They also contained arrow heads, 
spear points and hatchets, of stone and flint, nicely and regularly 
shaped — but how done, is the wonder. On a commanding eminence, 
overlooking the Yough river, upon land now of Col. A. M. Hill, 
formerly Wm. Dickerson, there are great numbers of these Indian 
graves ; among which, underneath a large stone, Mr. John Cottom, 
a few years ago found a very curious chain, consisting of a central 
ring, and five chains of about two feet in length, each branching off 
from it, having at their end, clamps, somewhat after the manner of 
hand-cuf?s, large enough to enclose a man's neck — indicating that 
its use was to confine prisoners — perhaps to fasten them to the 
burning stake. The chains were of an antique character, but well 
made, and seemed to have gone through fire. 

There are many other localities within our county limits, which 
may be justly ranked as antiquities ; but we reserve them to be in- 
terspersed in our subsequent sketches of events, and localities of 
distinct classes, with which they are intimately connected. They 
will lose none of their interest by their associations. 



Fayette territory exempt from Indian cruelties — Description of Settlers' Forts; 
their names and localities — An all-smoke incident. 

We might refer these to our sketch of "Early Settlements;" but, 
as localities, we prefer introducing them immediately after the old 
forts, with which they are often confounded. 

For reasons which will be unfolded in the sequel, the territory of 
Fayette County was, after the end of the old French war, in 1763, 
and during all the period of its early settlement, remarkably exempt 
from those terrific incursions of the savages which made forting so 
common and necessary in the surrounding country. Hence we had 
but few Settlers' Forts, and those few of but little note. 

These forts were erected by the associated effort of settlers in 
particular neighborhoods, upon the land of some one, whose name 
was thereupon given to the fort, as Ashcraft's, Morris', &c. They 
consisted of a greater or less space of land, enclosed on all sides by 
high log parapets, or stockades, and cabins adapted to the abode of 
families. The only external openings were a large puncheon gate 
and small port-holes among the logs, through which the unerring 
rifle of the settler could be pointed against the assailants. Some- 
times, as at Lindley's, and many of the other forts in the adjacent 
country west of the Monongahela, additional cabins were erected 
outside the fort, for temporary abode in times of danger, from 
which the sojourners could, in case of attack, retreat within the fort. 
All these erections were of rough logs, covered with clap-boards 
and weight poles, the roofs sloping inwards. A regular-built 
fort, of the first class, ■ had, at its angles, block-houses, and some- 
times a ditch protected a vulnerable part. These block-houses 
projected a little past the line of the cabins, and the upper half 
was made to extend some two feet further, like the over jet of a 
barn, so as to leave an overhanging space, secured against entrance 
by heavy log floors, with small port holes for repelling close attacks, 
or attempts to dig down, or fire the forts. These rude defenses 
were very secure, were seldom attacked, and seldom, if ever, cap- 



Indians had roads— Their night compasses— Catawba or Cherokee trail— Nema- 
colin's — Duniap's path — Burd's road to Bedstone — Fort Burd — Cresap — Mouth 
of Redstone — Turlcey-foot roads — James Smith— Bullock pens — M'Culloch's 
path — M'Culloch caught— Sandy Creek road — Froman's road — Old County 
roads — Pack-horse business and travel — Prices. 

At the risk of some infractions of chronological order, before we 
go into the eventful portion of these sketches, we prefer now to trace 
these old highways; and, to avoid repetitions, we must occasionally 
encroach upon subsequent narratives. 

An erroneous impression obtains among many of the present day, 
that the Indian, in traversing the interminable forests which once 
covered our towns and fields, roamed at random, like a modern 
afternoon hunter, by no fixed paths, or that he was guided, in his 
long journeys, solely by the sun, moon and stars, or by the courses 
of streams and mountains. And true it is that these untutored sons 
of the woods were considerable astronomers and geographers, and 
relied much upon these unerring guide-marks of nature. Even in 
the most starless night they could determine their course by feeling 
the bark of the oak-trees, which is always smoothest on the south 
side and roughest on the north. But still they had their trails 
or paths, as distinctly marked as are our County and State roads, 
and often better located. The white traders adopted them, and 
often stole their names, to be in turn surrendered to the leader of 
some Anglo-Saxon army, and finally obliterated by some costly 
highway of travel and commerce. They are now almost wholly 
effaced and forgotten. Hundreds travel along, and plough across 
them, unconscious that they are in the footsteps of the red men, 
as they were wont to hasten, in single file, to the lick, after 
the deer and bufifalo, or to the wigwams of their enemy, in quest 
of scalps. 

The most prominent, and perhaps the most ancient of these old 
pathways across our county, was the old Catawba or Cherokee 
Trail, leading from the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, &c., through 
Virginia and Western Pennsylvania, on to Western New York 


and Canada. We will trace it within our limits as well as we can. 
After crossing and uniting with numerous other trails, the princi- 
pal one entered Fayette territory, at the State line, at the mouth of 
Grassy run. A tributary trail, called the Warrior Branch, coming 
from Tennessee, through Kentucky and Southern Ohio, came up 
Fish creek and down Dunkard, crossing Cheat river at M'Far- 
land's. It run out a junction with the chief trail, intersecting it in 
William Gans' sugar camp, but it kept on by Crow's mill, James 
Robinson's, and the old gun factory, (a) and thence towards the 
mouth of Redstone, intersecting the old Redstone trail from the top 
of Laurel Hill, afterward Burd's road, near Jackson's, or Grace 
Church, on the National road. The main Catawba trail pursued 
"the even tenor of its way," regardless of minor points, which, 
like a modern grand rail road, it served by branches and turn-outs. 
After receiving the Warrior Branch junction, it kept on through 
land late of Charles Grififin, by Long's Mill, Ashcraft's Fort, Philip 
Rogers' (now Alfred Stewart's), the Diamond Spring, (now Wil- 
liam James') ; thence nearly on the route of the present Morgantown 
road, until it came to the Misses Hadden's ; then across Hellen's 
fields, passing near the Rev. William Brownfield's mansion, and 
about five rods west of the old Henry Beeson brick house; 
thence through Uniontown, over the old Bank house lot, crossing 
the creek where the bridge now is, back of the Sheriff's house ; 
thence along the northern side of the public grave-yard on 
the hill, through the eastern edge of John Gallagher's land, about 
six rods south of John F. Foster's (formerly Samuel Clarke's) 
house, it crossed Shute's run where the fording now is, between 
the two meadows, keeping the high land through Col. Evans' 
plantation, and passed between William and John Jones' to the 
site of Pearse's Fort; thence by the Murphy school-house, and 
bearing about thirty rods westward of the Mount Braddock man- 
sion, it passed a few rods to the east of the old Conrad Strickler 
house, where it is still visible. Keeping on through land formerly 
of John Hamilton, (now Freeman,) it crossed the old Connellsville 
road immediately on the summit of the Limestone hill, a few rods 
west of the old Strickler distillery; thence through the old Law- 
rence Harrison land (James Blackiston's) to Robinson's falls of 
Mill run, and thence down it to the Yough river, crossing it just 
below the run's mouth, where Braddock's army crossed at Stewart's 

(a) See memoir of Albert Gallatin, in "Early Settlers" — postea. Chap. VII. 


Crossings. The trail thence kept through the Narrows, by Rist's, 
near the Baptist meeting-house, beyond Pennsville, passing by the 
old Saltwell on Green Lick run, to the mouth of Bushy run, at 
Tinsman's or Welshonse's mill. Thence it bore across Westmore- 
land county, Up the Allegheny, to the heads of the Susquehanna, 
and into Western New York, then the empire of the Iroquois. 
A branch left the main trail at Robinson's mill, on Mill or Opossum 
run, which crossed the Yough at the Broad ford, bearing down 
across Jacob's creek, Sewickley and Turtle creeks, to the forks of 
the Ohio, at Pittsburg, by the highland route. This branch, and 
the northern part within our county, of the main route, will be 
found to possess much interest in connection with Braddock's line 
of march to his disastrous destiny. 

This Cherokee or Catawba Indian trail, including its Warrior 
branch, is the only one of note which traversed our county north- 
ward and southward. Generally, they passed eastward and west- 
v/ard, from the river, to and across the mountains. To trace all 
these would be uninteresting. We will therefore confine our 
sketchings to those which have had their importance enhanced by 
having been adopted as traders' paths and as army or emigrants' 

Decidedly the most prominent of all these is Nemacolin's trail, 
afterwards adopted and improved by Washington and Braddock, 
the latter of whom, by a not unusual freak of fame, has given to 
the road its name, while its shrewd old Indian engineer, like him 
who traced for Napoleon the great road across the Simplon, has 
been buried in forgetfulness. 

Nemacolin's path led from the mouth of Wills' creek (Cumber- 
land, Md.) to the "Forks of the Ohio" (Pittsburgh). It doubtless 
existed as a purely Indian trail before Nemacolin's time. For 
when the Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania traders with the 
Indians on the Ohio, began their operations, perhaps as early as 
1740, (b) they procured Indians to show them the best and easiest 
route, and this was the one they adopted. So says Washington. 
And when the "Ohio Company," hereafter to be noticed, was 
formed, in 1748, and preparing to go into the Ohio Indian trade 
on a large scale, they procured Col. Thomas Cresap, of Old Town, 
Md., to engage some trusty Indians to mark and clear the path- 
way. For this purpose he engaged Nemacolin, a well known Dela- 
ware Indian, who resided at the mouth of Dunlap's creek, which. 

(b)There is some evidence that Indian traders, both English and French, 
were in this country much earlier. 


in earl}' times, was called Nemacolin's creek, (c) The commissioner 
and engineer, with the aid of other Indians, executed the work, in 
1750, by blazing the trees, and cutting away and removing the 
bushes and fallen timber, so as to make it a good pack-horse path. 
AVashington says that "the Ohio Company, in 1753, at a consider- 
able expense, opened the road. In 1754, the troops whom I had the 
honor to command, greatly repaired it, as far as Gist's plantation; 
and, in 1755, it was widened and completed by Gen. Braddock to 
within six miles of Fort Du Ouesne."(d) This is a brief history of 
the celebrated "Braddock's road." We will hereafter take the 
reader over it more leisurely. It was, until near its fatal termina- 
tion, identical with Nemacolin's path, which, also, from Gist's 
northward, with a few variations, was identical with the old Catawba 
trail, or with its westward branch to the head of the Ohio. And we 
will see what Braddock lost bj^ not following it implicitly to 
the end. 

Dunlap's path, or road, was a very early one. It came from 
Winchester, by way of Wills' creek, to the mouth of Dunlap's 
creek. Dunlap was a trader, and, as Braddock did with the road, 
so he succeeded in wresting from Nemacolin the name of the creek, 
which now bears his name. From Wills' creek to the top of 
Laurel hill, near the Great Rock, the route of Dunlap's road was 
identical with that of Nemacolin or Braddock. (e) From that point 
Nemacolin's path bore north-east, along the crest of the moun- 
tain ; while Dunlap's bore westwardly, descending the mountain a 
little south of the present National road, taking to Lick run about 
a mile from the foot of the hill. Thence it passed throtigh the 
southern part of Monroe, by Isaac Brownfield's, past James 
McCoy's fort, near Samuel Hatfield's brick barn, crossing the Cher- 
okee trail; thence to Coal lick or Jacob's run, on land now of N. 

(c)In Gen. Richard Butler's journal of his expedition down the Ohio, in 1785, 
in company with Colonel, afterwards President Monroe, to treat with the Mi- 
ami Indians, he speaks of an island called Nemacolin's, between the mouths of 
the Little Kanawha and Hocking, doubtless a subsequent abode of the same 

(d)II. Sparks' Washington, 302, in an eloquent letter to Col. Bouquet, urg- 
ing- this route to be taken by Gen. Forbes, in 1758. 

(e)Col. Burd, in the journal of his expedition to Redstone, in 1759, says: "At 
the foot of the hill [meaning the eastern base of Laurel hill] we found the 
path that went to Dunlap's place, that Col. Shippen and Capt. Gordon trnveled 
last winter; and about a quarter of a mile from this we saw the Bipr Rock, so 
called." Dunlap's place, we believe, was where Wm. Stone now resides, on the 
Burnt Cabin fork of Dunlap's creek. 


Brownfield (where a branch led off to Provance's bottom, or mouth 
of Big Whitley) ; thence passing by David Jennings', on Jennings' 
run, near Samuel Harris', and through the old John Woods' land, 
towards Jackson's or Grace church, near to which, in the head of 
Vail's sugar camp hollow, it united with the Redstone trail, or 
Burd's road, presently to be sketched. And were it not that a 
Virginia statute, hereafter to be cited, calls for this road as starting 
at Redstone Old Fort, we would make its western terminus at Craw- 
ford's ferry, to which it is certain a branch led. Perhaps the main 
path originally went from the fort up the river to the ferry or ford 
there, to connect with the road to Catfish's camp, (Washington, 
Pa.) which took to the river there to avoid the steep and rugged 
bluff opposite Brownsville. 

When Virginia took it into her head to claim and exercise juris- 
diction over this region of country, (f) she, by a statute passed in 
October, 1776, gave a temporary legal existence to Dunlap's road, by 
making it part of the dividing line between the counties of Mononga- 
lia and Yohogania. It is now as completely sunk in oblivion as most 
of her politicians wish the line of 36 deg. 30 min. to become. 

The "road to Redstone," or Burd's road, as it was afterwards 
called, was originally an Indian trail, from the mouth of Redstone 
to the summit of Laurel hill, near the Great Rock and Washing- 
ton's spring — the great focus of old roads — where it united with 
Dunlap's road and others. From Gists to the Rock it seems to 
have been identical with Nemacolin's or Braddock's road. It was 
a much traveled path by the Indians, by early traders and adven- 
turers, and by the French during the early part of the war of I754" 
63. Captain Trent passed over it in February, 1754, on his way 
with men and tools and stores, to build a fort for the Ohio Com- 
pany at the forks of the Ohio, and when he built the Hangard at the 
mouth of Redstone. By this path, also, came the French and 
Indians, under M. de Villiers, who attacked Col. Washington at 
Fort Necessity, and it was much used by them in their annoying 
excursions, during Braddock's and Dunbar's marches, in connection 
with canoe navigation up and down the Monongahela, of all which 
we will read further in subsequent sketches. (g) 

We will also see hereafter, (g) that when Col. Washington, in 
June, 1754, found himself not strong enough to advance to Fort 

(f)See postea — sketch of "Boundary Controversy, &c." — Chap. IX. 
(g)See the next succeeding sketches — "French War — Washington and Brad- 
dock's Campaigns," — Chaps. IV. and V. 


Du Quesne, he determined to proceed by this path to the mouth of 
Redstone, and there erect a fort, and wait for reinforcements. 
Having come on to Gist's, (Mount Braddock,) he sent on a party, 
under Captain Lewis, to open a road to Redstone ; that is, to widen 
and improve the Indian trail, so as to fit it for passing wagons, &c. 
This party had advanced with their work "about eight miles," 
when, alarmed at the approach of the enemy, they retreated, or 
were called back by Washington, to the incipient entrenchments 
at Gist's. The point at which the road was then stopped, was, we 
believe, at or near where it crosses Jennings' run, between John 
Gaddis' and B. Courtney's. It would seem that very little work 
was done on it ; for, five years afterwards. Col. Burd had great 
difficulty to trace it. 

In the latter part of the summer of 1759, Col. James Burd was 
sent out with two hundred men, by order of Col. Bouquet, then 
commanding the king's troops at Carlisle, to open and complete 
this road to the Monongahela river, at or near the mouth of Red- 
stone, and there erect a fort. The English, under Gen. Stanwix, 
were, about the same time, commencing to build Fort Pitt, at the 
head of the Ohio, in lieu of Fort Du Quesne, from which the French 
had been driven by Gen. Forbes, and which they had burnt, the 
previous year. The great object of Col. Burd's expedition was to 
facilitate communications with this important fort from Maryland 
and Virginia, by using the river. (h) Col. Burd seems to have had 
no other authority for his road and fort than Col. Bouquet's orders. 
If he had, it was not from Pennsylvania, but from Virginia or the 
King, who doubtless provided the ways and means the more cheer- 
fully, as the French were now eflFectually, and, as it turned out, 
permanently routed from this region of country. The Colonel 
came out by Braddock's road, from Fort Cumberland. Col. Thos. 
Cresap, the commissioner of Nemacolin's road, was with him ; and 
the Rev. Francis Allison was his chaplain, preaching every Sab- 

On the I2th of September, being encamped at Gist's place, he 
sent out parties to trace the route. His journal now reads thus : 
"At noon (13th) began to cut the road to Redstone, along some 
old blazes, which we take to be Col. Washington's. Began a 
quarter of a mile from camp, the course N. N. W. The course of 

(h)Thus early was it seen that the route between Cumberland and Browns- 
ville was the shortest and easiest land transit between the eastern and west- 
ern waters. Alas! hOT'.- rail roads have paled its glory. 


Gen. Braddock'B road N. N. E., and turns much to the eastward. 
Marked two trees at the place of beginning, thus: 'The road to 
Redstone, Col. J. Burd, 1759— The road to Pittsburgh, 1759.'" 
These trees stood near the beginning of Jacob Murphey's avenue, 
on the west side of the Connellsville road. The road followed the 
Indian trail, passing through the Rankin and Henshaw lands; 
thence nearly parallel with Bute's run, through the Carter lands, 
crossing the run and the creek near the run's mouth, and near 
Lucky's now Vance's mill, into Jacob Gaddis' land. It crossed 
Jennings' run near John Gaddis, or B. Courtney's, thence, in a 
pretty direct line, on through the old Hugh Crawford and Adams 
tracts, now Jacob B. Graham, Wm. Hatfield and others, until it 
came to a point a little north-west of where the Johnson or Hat- 
field stone tavern house stands. Here the old trail bore too much 
to the right, going through the old Grable place, the old Fulton 
place, (now A¥illiam Colvin's), by the old Colvin house, the school- 
house, Ayres Linn's and Isaac Linn's, to the mouth of Redstone. 
But Col. Burd left this, trail at the point above indicated, and took 
along the high ridges, through the Colley and Hastings lands, 
near Brashears' and Eli Cope's, until he reached the site of his 
fort, "a hill in the fork of the river Monongahela and Nemacol- 
in's Creek ;" being on the south side of Front street, opposite 
where the fort-like mansion of N. B. Bowman, Esq., now stands. 
AVhen completed, the road was found to be sixteen miles one 
quarter and sixteen perches, from the beginning, near Gist's, to 
the centre of the fort. 

Col. Burd mentions a run which he calls "Coal Run," from being 
"entirely paved on the bottom with fine stone coal," which he 
crossed and where he encamped. By his journal he makes it only 
two and a half miles from the river. Were it not for this we 
would have said it was Jennings' Run. But it must have been the 
run which passes down by D. C. Colvin's to the paper mill. 

Fort Burd was erected upon the site of "Redstone Old Fort;" 
but in common, or even official designation, could never supplant 
it, in its name. According to the science of backwoods fortifica- 
tions in those daj^s, it was a regularly constructed work of defense, 
with bastions, ditch and draw-bridge; built, however, wholly of 
earth and wood. The bastions and central "house," were of 
timbers laid horizontally; the "curtains" were of logs set in the 
ground vertically, like posts, in close contact — called a stockade, or 

In XII Pennsylvania Archives, 347, we find the following plan 



and dimensions of the fort, as found among the papers of Joseph 
Shippen, an Engineer, &c., who accompanied Colonel Burd: "The 
curtain, 97 J^ feet; the flanks, 16 feet; the faces of the bastions, 30 
feet. A ditch, between the bastions 24 feet wide, and opposite the 
face, 12 feet. The log-house for a magazine, and to contain the 
women and children, 39 feet square. A gate 6 feet wide and 8 
feet high ; and a draw-bridge — feet wide." 

From this description, we have constructed the following 
diagram : 

EECTroN A_13 

The gallant Colonel had rather a hard time of it, in constructing 
his fort. "I have," says he, "kept the people constantly employed 
on the works since my arrival ; although we have been for eight 
days past upon the small allowance of one pound of beef and half 
a pound of flour, per man, a day; and this day we begin upon one 
pound of beef, not having an ounce of flour left, and only three 
bullocks. I am therefore obliged to give over working until I 


receive some supplies." He, however, soon got some supplies, and 
held on. The following is from his journal: "October 28— 
Sunday.— Continue on the works; had sermon in the fort." The 
last entry is — "November 4. — Sunday. — Snowed to-day — no work. 
Sermon in the fort. Dr. Allison sets out for Philadelphia." 

The fort was not designed to be a place of great strength or 
danger. Col. Burd garrisoned it with one officer and twenty-five 
men. How long the garrison held it is unknown. But it seems 
to have been under some kind of military possession in 1774, during 
"Dunmore's War;" and during the Revolution and the contem- 
porary Indian troubles, it was used as a store house and a rallying 
point for defense, supply and observation, by the early settlers 
and adventurers. It was never rendered famous by a seige or a 
sally. We know that the late Col. James Paull served a month's 
duty in a drafted militia company, in guarding continental stores 
here, in 1778. It is said that in and prior to 1774, Capt. Michael 
Cresap,(i) (who has unjustly acquired an odious fame by being 
charged with the murder of Logan's family), made this fort the 
centre of operations for a long period. He was a man of great dar- 
ing and influence on the frontier. He early acquired a kind of 
Virginia right to the land around the fort, which he improved, 
erecting upon it a hewed log, shingle-roofed house — the first of that 
grade in the settlement. He held his title for many years, and sold 
out to John M'Cullough, or to Thomas, or Bazil Brown, to whom a 
Patent issued from Pennsylvania, in 1785. 

The opening of the "road to Redstone," being an extension of 
Braddock's road to the nearest navigable water of the West; and 
the subsequent establishment of two other roads, hereafter noticed 
— the Pennsylvania road from Bedford, by way of Berlin, Connells- 
ville, Uniontown, &c., and the combination of Braddock's and 

(i)This Captain Michael Cresap was the son of Col. Thomas Cresap, of 
Old Town, Maryland, and father-in-law of the renowned Luther Martin of that 
State. He bore a very conspicuous part in the Indian troubles about Wheel- 
ing, Pittsburg, &c., in 1774. In June, 1775, he led a company of riflemen from 
Maryland to Cambridge, Mass., to join Gen. Washington's army. He soon took 
sick, and died on his way home, at New York, in October, 1775. His son, 
Michael, and John J. Jacob, (who married his widow,) of Allegheny Co., Md., 
■were his executors, and as such, had some moneys to collect by suit in this 
county. His fame has been successfully vindicated from the murder of Logan's 
relatives, by his illustrious kinsmen, Martin and Jacob, who have proved most 
conclusively, not only that he did not do the deed, but that the name of Cre- 
sap was not in Logan's celebrated speech, as it was originally written, and 
that Logan never wrote or spoke it. See the evidence, &c., in II Craig's 
Olden Time, 44, 49, &o. 


Dunlap's roads, called the Virginia road — soon caused the "mouth 
of Redstone," or, rather, the mouth of Dunlap's creek, to be- 
come a very notable place. It was the place of general embarkation 
by traders and emigrants to Kentucky and Ohio, or, as it was term- 
ed, "going down the river." It became the great place for shipping 
mill stones, made on Laurel Hill, to Kentucky and the West. ''The 
writer has seen as many as thirty pairs lying at the mouth of 
Dunlap's creek at a time, from 1796 to 1808, waiting for boats and 
water to float off to Limestone. • Kentucky and Southern Ohio 
were peopled from this point and the Lower Yough. John Moore, 
a very early settler on the farm now the residence of Johnson 
Vankirk, used to relate, that in the long cold winter of 1780 — a 
prototype of those of i856-'57 — the snow being three or four 
feet deep and crusted, he saw the road from Sandy Hollow (Bru- 
baker's,) to the verge of Brownsville, where William Hogg lived, 
lined on both sides with wagons and families, camped out, waiting 
the loosing of the icy bands from the waters, and the preparation 
of boats to embark for the West — the men dragging in old logs 
and stumps for fuel to save their wives and children from freezing." 
Simultaneous with Braddock's march across the mountains, in 
June, 1755, an army road was being made by the colony of Penn- 
sylvania, under the superintendence of Col. James Burd and 
others, from Shippensburg, by Raystown (Bedford,) to the Turkey 
Foot; thence to intersect Braddock's road at some convenient 
point, probably the Great Crossings (Somerfield.) Its purpose was 
to transport supplies to Braddock's army. It was opened, at great 
cost and labor, as far as the top of Allegheny mountain, within 
about eighteen miles of Turkey Foot ; when the battle of Turtle 
creek having occurred, the laborers were alarmed and driven off 
by the French and Indians to Fort Cumberland. Thereupon the 
road was forsaken, until some years after Forbes captured Fort 
Du Quesne, when its opening was resumed and completed. It was 
called the Turkey Foot or Smith's road.(j) It crossed the three 
rivers at Turkey Foot, and passed a little south of Sugar Loaf moun- 

(j)The name o( Smith was given to the road, because while it was being 
made, a lad of about sixteen, James Smith, was captured by the Indians and 
carried to Port Du Quesne, where he was on the eventful 9th of July, 1755, and 
witnessed the departure and return of the conquerors of Braddock, and the 
horrid orgies and tortures of prisoners which occurred that night. Mr. Smith 
afterwards became famous in the frontier and Revolutionary wars, in West- 
moreland and Bedford counties, and held civil offices of honor. He subse- 
quently removed to Kentucky, where he became a colonel and a member of the 



tain by Dunbar's Camp to Uniontown. It crosses Redstone where 
the National road now crosses it, and passing just north of the 
Methodist Graveyard, it fell into the route of the turnpike again, 
near Jennings' run; thence by the old Brownsville road to its junc- 
tion with Burd's road, near Jackson's church, from which the two 
became identical. 

The "Turkey Foot settlement" is one of the oldest west of the 
mountains. Hence roads to and through it were established very 
early; and every such road came to be called a "Turkey Foot 
road." Indeed, most of the early roads took the names of the 
localities to or through which they passed— as the Pennsylvania 
road, the Virginia road, Moorfield road, Sandy Creek road, &c. 
There was, however, one Turkey Foot road which was an impor- 
tant one, though it is now mostly abandoned, and much of it over- 
grown with bushes, or fenced in. It was established as a nearer 
route to Fort Pitt from Cumberland, than Braddock's road. It left 
the last named road somewhere in Maryland, east of the Great 
Crossings, and entered Fayette county, from Somerset, as it 
crossed the summit of Laurel Hill ; thence, passing down Skinner's 
Mill run to near its entrance into Indian creek, crossing it a 
little above the junction, and the Mud Pike near where Spring- 
field now is, it passed by Cornelius Woodruff's old place, descen- 
ded the Chestnut ridge, and crossed Mountz's creek at Cathcart's, 
or Andrews' Mill, and crossed Jacob's creek about a mile below 
the old Chain Bridge, there leaving this county; and soon coming 
into the route of Braddock, it passed through the Sewickley settle- 
m.ent, &c., to Fort Pitt. 

On this road, about the jimction of Skinner's Mill run and 
Indian creek, were the well known "bullock pens." As early as 
1776, if not earlier. Gen. George Morgan, afterwards Indian 
Agent in the Pittsburgh region, came out by this road with a lot 
of cattle, either on private account, or for the garrison at Fort 
Pitt, and finding fine range and natural meadow here, he stopped, 
had a large body of land, lying on both sides' of the creek, enclosed 
with a rail fence, (some of which was visible within ten years past,) 
and kept the cattle there a long time. He afterwards had two 
warrants and surveys of the land in the names of George Morgan 
and John Morgan, which tracts he sold to some Germans, and 
they have since been known as land of Storman's heirs, and more 
recently of James Paull, Jr. 

McCulloch's Path was an Indian and Traders' trail from Win- 
chester and Moorfield, Va., westward. It came by way of Little 


Yough, near the route of the BaUimore and Ohio Rail Road, 
crossing the Big Yoiigh near the same point where that rail road 
crosses it, passing throug'h Herrington's and Hurley's Glades, and 
by the Crab Orchard. It entered Pennsylvania and Fayette 
county a little east of the summit of Laurel Hill, which it crossed 
at Wymp's Gap ; thence passing a little north of Morris' Cross 
roads, it crossed the Monongahela into Greene county, between the 
mouth of Cheat and Neal's ferry. 

McCulloch was an Indian Trader. His "camp" was just across 
the State line on the Monongahela river. He was in the habit of 
supplying the Indians, even in times of war, with kni\'es, 
hatchets, powder, &c. The settlers complained of this, and threat- 
ened him, but he would not desist. At length they determined to 
enforce their threats. Learning that he sometimes returned by 
Sandy Creek and Braddock's road, a number of the settlers from 
about the Great Crossings and Turkey Foot, disguised themselves, 
and went in pursuit. They caught him at Jesse Tomlinson's, at 
the Little Crossings, or Castleman's river. They gave him to know 
that his contraband trade must cease. Mac. resisted and threat- 
ened and entreated. Tomlinson, it is said, sought to protect him 
as his guest. But the men were in earnest. Tom Fossit was one 
of them. Tom caught and held him in his giant grasp, while 
others, as the term used was, "deviled him," until he promised 
never more to transgress. After despoiling him of his ill gotten 
peltry and other pelf, they let him go, and he never was seen again 
in this region of country. 

There were other old roads traversing the territory of Fayette, 
long before we had any County Courts, and consequently no 
record of them exists here, or in Bedford, or Westmoreland, 
except where they have been adopted in whole or in part as 
legalized highways. We will not attempt their enumeration, or 
location, (k) 

(k) The very first petition for a road presented to the Court of Westmore- 
land, after its erection, was in April, 1773, by inhabitants of Springhill and 
west of the Monongahela river, setting- forth their "difficult circumstance for 
want of a road leading into any public road where we can possibly pass with 
convenience," and therefore praying for "a public road to begin at or near the 
mouth of Fish Pot run, about five miles below the mouth of Ten Mile creek, 
on the west side of the Monongahela river, (it being a convenient place for a 
ferry [Crawford's Ferry,] as also a good direction for a road leading to the 
most western part of the settlement,) thence the nearest and best way to the 
Forks of Dunlap's path, and Gen. Braddock's road on the top of Laurel Hill." 
Viewers appointed — John Moore, Thomas Scott, Henry Beeson, Thomas Brown- 
field, James MoClean, and Philip Shute. 


There was, however, one called the Sandy Creek road, which was 
of considerable note. It came from the Ten Mile settlement, 
through Greene county, crossing the river at Hyde's Ferry, or 
mouth of Big Whiteley, passing by the south side of Masontown, 
through Haydentown, or by David Johns' Mill, up Laurel Hill, 
through the Sandy Creek settlement to Daniel McPeak's and into 
Virginia. It was by this road that the father and family of Dr. 
Joseph Doddridge, passed to Morris' Fort, in 1774, as related in 
his "Notes." This was the second road viewed and laid out by 
order of the Court of Fayette county, after its erection in 1783; 
a road from Uniontown to the mouth of Grassy Run, on Cheat, 
being the first. (1) 

Another of these old roads we may refer to. It was called 
Froman's road, which led from Gist's, past Perryopolis and Col. 
Cook's to Pittsburgh, (m) It has been improperly called Washing- 

At the same Court a petition was presented for a road from Washing'ton's 
Spring to Sewickley, but the route is not designated. 

At April Sessions, 1774, a petition was presented by inhabitants of Tyrone 
and Menallen, (see "outline of Civil History," &c. postea,) setting forth the 
"want of a road leading into Braddook's road, or any part of the mountain; 
and further we would observe, that from the natural situation of the country, 
we "Who at present livs on the west side of the Monong-ahela river, are obliged 
frequently to carry our corn twenty miles to the mill of Henry Beeson, near 
Laurel Hill, and in all probability, at some seasons of the year, will ever have 
to do so; and therefore praying for a road from near Redstone Old Port to 
Henry Beeson's mill, and thence to intersect Braddook's road near the forks 
of Dunlap's road and said road on top of Laurel Hill." Viewers appointed — 
Richard Waller, Andrew Dinn, Jr., William Colvin, Thomas Crooks, Henry Hart, 
and Joseph Grayble. The road was reported and approved at January Sessions, 

At January Sessions, 1783, a petition was presented for a road "from Bee- 
son's Town, in the Porks of Youghiogheny to the Salt Works, and thence east- 
ward to Bedford Town." The Salt Works referred to were those on Green 
Lick and Jacob's creek, in the vicinity of Tinsman's, or Welshonse's and Lob- 
engier's Mills. 

At January Sessions, 1784, of Westmoreland county, a road from Beeson's 
Town to Col. Cook's was reported and approved. 

(l)Petitions for these roads had previously been acted upon In Westmoreland 
county, the latter on© being at Stewart's Crossing. (Connellsville.) 

(m)A petition for this road was presented to the Westmoreland Court at 
January Sessions, 1774, describing it as to lead "from Thomas Gist's to Paul 
Froman's mill near; the Monongahela, (on Spear's run, near Bellevernon,) and 
thence to his other mill on Chartiers' creek," (a few miles west of Pittsburgh) 
It seems that at that date a mill was a more important place than Pittsburgh. 
Froman's Mill, on Chartiers, was a prominent place in the boundary troubles 
of that year. This Paul Froman seems to have been a man of mills, for we- 
find that Daniel M'Peak's or M'Peck's, named in the text, was, in 17S3, on a., 
road "from Froman's Mill." 


ton's road. But he never passed over it, except in part, perhaps, 
when in 1770, and again in 1784, he went from Col. Crawford's, or 
Gist's, to look after his lands in the vicinity of Perryopolis. It 
was used to carry supplies to Fort Pitt, and as a nearer and safer 
route than Burd's or Braddock's roads. 

We will here close our tracings of these primitive highways, by 
a brief recurrence to their early uses by the old settlers and traders. 
Besides the ordinary uses for milling, visiting, church going &c., 
their great use was for emigration and transportation of goods, 
even the most weighty and cumbrous, by pack-horses. To this end 
alone, they were fitted. None of the streams were bridged; and 
a five degrees' grade was not thought of. Except as to the Army 
roads, they were all mere paths through the woods, and among 
the laurel and rocks of the mountains. The two great emigrant 
and pack-horse routes, up to 1800, were the Pennsylvania and the 
Virginia roads, heretofore noticed. "The writer has seen as many 
as thirty pack-horses in a caravan, pass through Uniontown in a 
day — an occurrence so frequent as not to attract unusual notice. 
They were as common as droves of cattle or horses now-a-da^s. 
They were freighted with salt, sugar kettles, bar iron, nail rods, 
dry goods, glass, kegs of rum, powder, lead &c., &c. A good 
horse carried from two hundred to three hundred pounds, besides 
provisions and feed. These they would take up along the way, 
at places Avhere they had dropped them in 'going down ;' having 
no other heavy 'down loading' merely peltry, ginseng, feathers, 
&c. The provisions consisted generally, of poen, cheese and dried 
venison. A bear skin to each horse was an indispensable accom- 
paniment, for a bed to the drivers, and to protect the cargo from 
rain. Each horse had his bell, silent by day, but let loose at night 
when browsing. Two men generally managed ten or twelve horses, 
one before and one behind each train, to guide them among the 
trees, and protect the loading from side contact. Strength was 
also needful to load and unload daily. Emigrants would have 
their little all swung across one, two, or more horses, according to 
their abundance, surmounted by their wives and children, or the 
old folk, with the little bag, or stocking of guineas, joes, or pista- 
reens snugly, ensconced in the salt or clothes bag — .after the manner 
of Joseph's brethren on their trip to Egypt for corn." In 1784, the 
freight on goods from Philadelphia to Uniontown, was Five Dollars 
per one hundred pounds. In 1789, thirty shillings, (Four Dollars,) 
from Carlisle — the beginning of the pack-horse transportation. 
We have before us a copy of the "Pittsburgh Gazette," of May 


17, 1794, (Vol. VII. — measuring sixteen by twenty-two inches,) in 
which, among other antiques, is an advertisement offering $15 
per month for pack-horse drivers, to all who may apply. James 
L. Bowman, Esq., has stated that the first wagon load of goods 
brought over the mountains, by the Virginia or Braddock's 
road, was in 1789, by John Harden, (of whom more hereafter,) 
from Hagerstown to Brownsville, for his father, the late Jacob 
Bowman, Esq. With four horses he brought over two thousand 
pounds at $3 per hundred, making the trip in about a month. 

This state of things made goods — even the necessaries of life, 
very high. The best of alum salt rated here at from $4 to $5 per 
bushel, of ninety-six pounds; ground alum salt, at from $3 to 
$3.50; coffee, 33 cents per pound; sugar, 25 cents; Jamaica 
spirits, $2.33 per gallon. In 1784, wheat sold for 67 cents per 
bushel; corn, 22 cents; rye, 50 cents. But flour at Natchez — if 
you could get it there, was worth ^25 per barrel ! A good two 
horse wagon and gears could be bought for two pack-horse loads 
of salt; or, a good tract of land, of four hundred acres, for a rifle 
gun and a horn of powder. 

Having opened the ways, we are now prepared to introduce upon 
them actors and movements of a very different character from 
pack-horse drivers, and pack-horse loads of salt and emigrants. 
The war-whoop and the drum, are now, for a while, to precede 
the merry shout of the mover, and the glad greetings of the settler. 



Origin of the War — First Bloodshed — Washington's Embassy in 1753 — Gist — 
Ohio Company — Captain Trent — The Hangard — Ensign Ward — Colonel Wash- 
ington at Great Meadows — at Gist's — his Forces — who were with him — At- 
tacks Jumonville — Jumonville's Camp — The Half-King's Camp — Great Rock 
— De Villiers — Retreat to "Fort Necessity" — The Battle — Surrender — Retreat 
— Demolition — Garrison Drunk — Prayers — Fort Necessity described — Wants a 

The nations were at peace. France held Canada on the north, 
and (a) Louisiana on the south and west. The jMississippi and its 
tributaries nearly united these possessions, which Louis XIV. 
with much show of right, claimed to hold hy virtue of discovery 
and settlement. The Appalachian mountains seemed a natural 
boundary to the English colonies. The purpose of France was to 
make them such, in fact and forever: — by establishing a chain of 
forts from Lake Erie down the most western branch of the Alleghe- 
ny, (French creek,) and thence, by that river and the Ohio, to Lou- 
isiana ; and by these, and by securing the friendship and fears of the 
Indian tribes, establish an impregnable dominion. The move- 
ments to these ends rekindled the smothered jealousy of England 
and her Colonies, and led to the long and disastrous war of 17 54 — 
1763, as ruinous to the power of France m its results, as her con- 
duct in the beginning was plausible and bold. The territory which 
at first appeared to be the prize of the contest, was that drained by 
the head waters of the Ohio. Each party claimed it, upon varied 
pretexts, — discovery, treaties, &c., but neither had any solid basis of 
claim, — the Indian was the rightful owner. The destinies of civili- 
zation were against the further continuance of the red man's occu- 
pancy; and the struggle was as to who should guide those 
destinies — the Anglo Saxon or the Gaul — the Jesuit and Jan- 
senist, or the Puritan and Covenanter. 

(a) Louisiana, as held by France, and ceded to the United States, in 1803, 
included all of the States and Territories now belonging to the United States 
west of the Mississippi, to the Rocky Mountains, embracing also those parts 
of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama which are east of the Mississippi river 
and south of north latitude 31 deg. 



It is not proposed here to write the history of this eventful war. 
But Fayette county was by it made historic, nay, classic ground. 
From behind its Laurel Flill the star of Washington's fame first 
beamed. The first English army sent into the strife, traversed its 
territory. The first blood shed in the conflict moistened the rock- 
bottomed soil of its mountains; germinating seeds from which 
sprang the revolt and independence of the old thirteen colonies, 
and the horrors and triumphs of the French Revolution : — thus 
bringing upon both parties the visitations of retributive justice, for 
the wrongs done to the Indian, and to each other, in the inceptive 
strife. The reader of these sketches will therefore not regret to 
iind even here recorded such of the events of this war as occurred 
in Fayette county. 

The scene opens in November, 1753; when Major George 
\Vashington, then in his twenty-second' year, crossed our moun- 
tains, by Nemacolin's trail, from Wills' creek, (Cumberland) as a 
special envoy, commissioned by Gov. Dinwiddle, of Virginia, to 
the French posts, between the head of the Ohio and Lake Erie, to 
spy out the French force and designs, to inquire of them why 
they came there, and to warn them off. 

His party consisted of himself, John Davidson, an Indian inter- 
preter. Captain Jacob Van Braam, as French interpreter, — a per- 
sonage conspicuous the next year in the surrender of Fort 
Necessity, — Christopher Gist, as Guide, who in that year had 
settled at the place in Fayette, since known as Mt. Braddock,— 
Curran and McQuire, Indian traders, and Stewart and Jenkins, (b) — 
these four as "servitors." They left Wills' creek, November 
15th, with horses, tents and baggage; and after seven days of toil 
over the mountains, amid snow and swollen streams, reached 
Frazier's trading post, at the mouth of Turtle creek; whence 
they proceeded, accompanied by some Indians, to the fulfillment 
of their mission. Washington, in his journal, says, they passed 
"Mr. Gist's new settlement," and that he, with Gist, returned by 
the same route. "We arrived," says he, "at Mr. Gist's, (c) at Mon- 
ongahela, the 2d of January, (1754) where I bought a horse and sad- 

(b)This Stewart is probably one of the family of that name who settled at, 
and gave name to "Stewart's Crossings." (Connellsvllle.) See Affidavit of 
William Stewart in note (u) to memoir of the Gist's in "Early Settlers," — pos- 
tea, Chapter VII. 

(o)The reader must understand, that at this early day, Monongahela was a 
locality which covered an ample scope of territory. "Gist's Plantation" was 
about sixteen miles from the river, which, when Washington wrote this, he 
had never seen. 


die. The 6th, we met seventeen horses, loaded with materials and 
stores for a fort at the fork of the Ohio, and the day after, some fam- 
ilies going out to settle." 

These parties whom Washington met, were going out under the 
auspices of the "Ohio Company," an association formed in Vir- 
ginia, about the year 1748, under a royal grant. Hitherto, the 
French and Pennsylvanians had enjoyed the trade with the 
Indians north of the Ohio, and around its head waters. The pur- 
pose of this Company was to divert this trade southward, by the 
Potomac route, and to settle the country around the head of the 
Ohio with English colonists from Virginia and Maryland. To 
this end, the king granted to the Company five hundred thousand 
acres of land west of the mountains, "to be taken chiefly on the 
south side of the Ohio, between the Monongahela and Kanawha, but 
with privilege to take part of the quantity north of the Ohio. 
Two hundred thousand acres were to be taken up at once, and to 
be free of quit rents, or taxes to the king for ten years, upon con- 
dition that the Company should, within seven years, seat one hun- 
dred families on the lands, build a fort, and maintain a garrison, 
to protect the settlement." It will be seen that this grant did not, 
in its terms, embrace Fayette county territory ; yet, in the loose 
interpretations of that early period, the Company attempted settle- 
ments within our limits, which for many years afterwards were 
supposed not to be included in Penn's Charter ; but to be part of 
the vast and undefined royal domain of Virginia, (d) The incipient 
movements of this Company provoked the French and Pennsyl- 
vania traders to jealousy, and to stir up the Indians to hostility; 
thereby at once raising a cloud upon its prospects, which eventually 
produced a torrent of blood which obliterated all its labors. 
Still, to this Company Fayette county is much indebted, not only 
for many scenes of historic interest, but to its early settlement, by 
means of the easy access, caused by the making of Braddock's 
road ; which, as we have seen, was but an improvement of the Com- 
pany's road, originally opened by Nemacolin. 

It is said that Col. Cresap, of Maryland, the "Commissioner" 
of the Nemacolin road, was one of the Company. It is certain 
that Gen. Washington's brothers, Lawrence and John Augustine, 
were largely interested in it, and, as well as their more illustrious 

(d)See further as to these matters, in the subsequent Sketches of "Boundary 
Controversy," and "Early Settlements" — Chaps. VI. and IX. 



brother, were anxious for its success. Christopher Gist was the 
Company's agent to select the lands. and conciliate the Indians. (e) 
The Compan_y, having imported from London large quantities of 
goods for the Indian trade, and engaged several settlers, had estab- 
lished trading posts at Wills' creek, (the New Store,) the mouth of 
Redstone, (the Hangard,) the mouth of Turtle creek, (Frazier's,) 
and elsewhere; had planned their fort at the "Forks of the Ohio," 
(Pittsburgh) and were proceeding energetically to the consumma- 
tion of their designs ;— designs which, although they did not orig- 
inate, yet served to hasten the great and decisive contest for 
supremacy over the land we now inhabit, between two very dissim- 
ilar branches of the great Teutonic race. The parties whom Wash- 
ington met, were the pioneer heralds of the conflict. 

The next movement in furtherance of the great end, was of a 
martial character; and it too traversed our territory. Early in 
1754, Captain Trent was sent out from Virginia, with about forty 
men — intended to be recruited on the way — to aid in finishing the 
fort at the forks of the Ohio, already supposed to be begun by the 
Ohio Company. The captain's line of march was along Nema- 
colin's trail to Gist's, and then, by the Redstone trail to the mouth 
of that creek ; where, after having built the store house called 
the Hangard, (f) he proceeded, probably by land and ice, to the forks 
of Ohio, where he arrived on the 17th of February, and went to 
work on the fort — which soon proved a vain labor. 

Trent had returned to Wills' creek, and Frazier (Lieutenant of 
the forces,) was at his trading post, leaving Ensign Ward in com- 
mand; when, on the 17th of April, he had to surrender to a large 
French force, which suddenly descended the Allegheny upon him ; 
and, he, with his little party, thereupon retreated, by canoes, up the 
Monongahela to Redstone, and thence across the mountains. The 
French thereupon finished the fort, naming it Fort Du Quesne, in 
honor of the Governor-general of Canada. 

The repulse of Ensign AVard was regarded as an overt act of 
war, for which preparations had before been made in several of the 
Colonies ; and the loyal descendants of the old cavaliers in Vir- 
ginia flew to arms. About the first of May, 1754, three com- 
panies of a regiment of Virginia provincials, commanded by 
Lieutenant-colonel George Washington, set out from Wills' creek 

(e)See further as to Christopher Gist, in the memoir of him among- "Early 
Settlers," postea, — Chap. VII. 

(f)Thls ancient erection and its site, &c., will be particularly described here- 


to drive the French from Fort Du Quesne. They had to make the 
road which Braddock adopted the next year. By the 9th they 
reached the Little Meadows, (Tomlinson's) where more than two 
days were spent in bridging the Little Yough. On the i8th they 
arrived at the Great Crossings, (Somerfield) and remained there 
several days, while Washington, with five men in a canoe, 
descended the river to ascertain if it was navigable. His hopes 
and his voyage ended at the Ohio Pyle Falls. They crossed this 
river without bridging. 

May 24th, the forces arrived at the Great Meadows, (Mount 
Washington) where, and in its vicinity, events of stirring and 
lasting interest were soon to be enacted. We must now ask to be 
more special in our details. 

When Washington first encamped at the Great Meadows, he 
had but about one hundred and fifty men, soon after increased to 
three hundred, in six deficient companies, commanded by Cap- 
tains Stephen, (to whom Washington there gave a Major's com- 
mission,) Stobo, Van Braam, Hogg, Lewis, George Mercer and 
Poison ; and by Major Muse, who joined Washington, with rein- 
forcements, and with nine swivels, powder and ball, on the 9th of 
June. He had been Washington's military instructor, three years 
before, and now acted as quartermaster. Captain Mackay, with the 
Independent Royal Company, from South Carolina, of about one 
hundred men, came up on the loth of June, bringing with him 
sixty beeves, five days allowance of flour, and some ammunition, 
but no cannon, as expected. Among the subordinate officers, were 
Ensign Peyronie, and Lieutenants Waggoner and John Mercer. 

Besides the illustrious commander, who became a hero, "not 
for one age, but for all time," several of these officers became, 
afterwards, sooner or later, men of note. Stephen was a captain in 
the Virginia regiment, at Braddock's defeat, and wounded. He 
rose to be a colonel in the Virginia troops, and to be a general in 
the War of the Revolution. Stobo was the engineer of "Fort 
Necessity," and he, with Van Braam, was at the surrender, given 
up as hostages to the French, until the return of the French 
officers taken in the fight with Jumonville. But the Governor of 
Virginia refusing to return them, the hostages were sent to Canada. 
Stobo, after many hair-breadth escapes, finally returned to Virginia 
in 1759, whence he went to England, (g) Van Braam was a Dutch- 

(g)Nevine B. Craig, Esq., of Pittsburgh, has made quite an interesting- little 
book out of the "Life and Adventures of Captain Stobo." 
Van Braam had been Washington's instructor in the sword exercise. 



man, who knew a little French, and having served Washington as 
French interpreter the previous year, was called upon to interpret 
the articles of capitulation, at the surrender of "Fort Necessity;" 
and has been generally, but unjustly, charged with having wilfully 
entrapped Washington to admit that the killing of Jumonville, was 
an assassination. He returned to Virginia in 1760, having been 
released after the conquest of Canada by the English; but the 
capitulation blunder sunk him. Captain Lewis was the General 
Andrew Lewis, of Bottetourt, in the great battle with the Indians 
at Point Pleasant, in Dunmore's war of 1774, and was a distin- 
guished general officer in the Revolution, whom Washington, it 
is said, recommended for commander-in-chief. He was a captain 
in Braddock's campaign, but had no command in the fatal action, 
and was with Major Grant at his defeat, at Grant's Hill, Pitts- 
burgh) in September, 1758. Poison was a captain at Braddock's 
defeat, and killed. Of Captain Hogg, we know but little. Captain 
Mackay, was a royal officer, and behaved in this campaign with 
discretion, yet with some hauteur, as we shall see. Except that he 
afterwards aided Colonel Innes, of North Carolina, in buildmg 
I'ort Cumberland, nothing more is known of him. Peyronie was 
a French Protestant Chevalier, settled in Virginia, was badly 
wounded at "Fort Necessity," and was a Virginia captain in 
Braddock's defeat, and killed. W^aggoner was wounded in the 
Jumonville skirmish, became a captain in Braddock's campaign, 
and behaved in the fatal action with signal good sense and gallantry. 
He escaped unhurt. 

We may as well here mention other distinguished personages 
who figured about "Fort Necessity" while Washington's little 
army was there. Of these were Christopher Gist, already named, 
Dr. James Craik, the friend and family physician of Washington, 
until his death. Tanacharison, the half-king of the Senaca tribe 
of the Iroquois, a fast friend of Colonel Washington and the Eng- 
lish ; Monacatootha, alias Scarooyda, also a Six Nation Chief ; 
Queen Aliquippa(h) and her son, and Shingiss, a Delaware Chief. 
Between the affair with Jumonville and the surrender, many 

(h)Famous for her residence where MKeesport now is, and for having taken 
offense at Washington for not liaving called, to see her when on his outward 
trip to the French posts in November, 1753; which, however, he atoned for on 
his return, by paying her a visit and presenting to her a watch coat and a 
bottle of rum, — the latter of which, he says, she prized the most highly. No 
wonder. He should have given her a petticoat. 


friendly Indians, with their families, in alarm, took refuge at the 
fort — in all about two hundred. Except the efficient aid of the 
half-king, and a few others as scouts, they were of no other ser- 
vice than to consume the scanty provisions at the fort. In the 
action of the 3rd of July they were wholly inefficient — though 
they did some execution in the attack on Jumonville's party. 
After the surrender they retreated with Washington to Virginia; 
but soon after took refuge in the interior of Pennsylvania, at 
Aughwick, and were for a while maintained by that Colony. Un- 
der the influence of Colonel Croghan, the Deputy Royal Indian 
Agent, their services were ofifered to General Braddock the next 
year; but he treated them so neglectfully that they gradually left 
him. The half-king died ia October, 1754, at Harris's Ferry. AVe 
now return to the narrative of events in their order. 

When Washington marched from Wills' creek with his little 
force, it was not his purpose, without strong reinforcements and 
artillery, to proceed to attack the French in their new Fort 
Du Ouesne. From the first he designed only to make a road across 
the mountains, and to reach the Ohio Company's store house at 
the mouth of Redstone, and there to erect a fort; whence, when 
sufficiently reinforced, he could move to the attack, sending his 
artillery and heavy stores by water. To accomplish this was his 
aim throughout the campaign. 

During his march, almost daily, reports were brought to him 
from the French Fort, by scouts, traders, Indians and deserters. 
He had also intelligence of parties of French and Indians coming 
towards him for various purposes, hostile and inquisitive. About 
the first of May, a party, under M. La Force, left their fort, as 
they represented, to hunt deserters. AVashington sent a party to 
hunt them — but did not find them. 

On the morning of the day of the arrival of Washington at the 
Great Meadows (May 24th,) the half-king sent him a letter saying 
that "the French army'' was moving against him. He thereupon 
hastened to the Meadows, where, the same evening, the half-king's 
warning was confirmed by a trader, who told him the French 
were at the Crossings of the Yonghiogheny (Stewart's) about 
eighteen miles distant, and that he had seen two Frenchmen at 
Gist's the night before. Washington immediately began to fortify. 
And three days afterwards, in the efifervescence of youthful valor, 
as yet untried, he writes, — 'W'e have, with nature's assistance, 
made a good entrenchment, and by clearing the bushes out of these 
meadows, prepared a charming field for an encounter." 


This "French army" was the Jumonville party, commanded by 
M. La Force. Under date of May 27th, Washington writes, — 
"This morning Mr. Gist arrived from his place, where a detachment 
of fifty men was seen yesterday at noon, commanded by M. La 
Force. He afterwards saw their tracks within five miles of our 
camp. I immediatelj- detached seventj^-five men in pursuit of them, 
who I hope will overtake them before they get to Redstone, where 
their canoes lie.'" This latter idea seems to have been an error. 
If canoes were there they probably belonged to friendly Indians; 
for the French came by the Nemacolin path. 

That same night (27th) the half-king, who, with some of his 
people and Monacatootha, were encamped about six miles from, the 
Meadows, sent Washington an express, saying that he had tracked 
the Jumonville party to its hiding place, about half a mile from 
the path, in a very obscure camp, surrounded with rocks. Wash- 
ington, with forty men, set out that dark and rainy night for the 
Indian camp; where, after council held, an attack was determined 
to be made at once. It was done earh^ in the morning of the 
28th. The French were surprised, Jumonville and others killed 
and scalped by the Indians, and M. La Force, M. Drouillon, two 
Cadets, and seventeen others made prisoners, (i) These were sent 
of? at once to the Governor of Virginia, where most of them, 
especially M. La Force, "a person of great subtility and cunning," 
and who gave Washington a good deal of trouble at Venango the 
year previous, were detained a long time, contrary to Washington's 
agreement at the subsequent surrender. 

This attack, and the killing of Jumonville, raised the ire of the 
French to a high degree, and have figured largely in the annals of 
that period. It was the first shedding of blood in this eventful 
war. The French made a hero of Jumonville, and called his 
killing an assassination. And amid the confusion of the surrender 
of the 3d of July, and the stupidity of Van Braam, Washington 

(i)This, — not Fort Neces.sity, was reaUy "Washington's first battle ground." 
Concerning it lie wrote shortly after, "I fortunately escaped without any 
wound; for the right wing where I stood, was exposed to, and received all the 
enemy's Are; and it was the part where the man was killed and the rest 
wounded. I heard the bullets whistle; and believe me, there is something 
charming in the sound." The letter from which this is taken was written to 
his brother, and was published in the London Magazine; where George II. saw 
it; and thereupon dryly observed, "He would not say so if he had been used to 
hear many." So thought Washington himself in after years, when such music 
had lost its charm. Upon being asked if he had ever uttered such rodomon- 
tade, he answered gravely — "If I said so, it was when I was young." 


was made to sign an admission, in' the French langxiage, which he 
knew not, of the truth of the charge ; — a blunder which afterwards 
gave him no Httle uneasiness, but from which -his fame has been 
fully relieved. 

It was claimed by the French that Jumonville was a peaceful 
envoy, with a martial retinue for protection; and it may be that in 
some sense he was such. But his circumjacents were sadly against 
him. His party were acting as spies, and were in hostile array. 
Hostilities had begun by the repulse of Ensign Ward. Besides, 
this French party had been near to Washington's camp for several 
days without revealing themselves or seeking an interview ; and 
they had chosen a singular locality for an ambassador's Court. 
AVashington would have been greatly derelict had he not attacked 

"Jumonville's Camp" is a place well known in our Mountains. 
It is near half a mile southward of Dunbar's Camp, and about five 
hundred yards eastward of Braddock's road — the same which Wash- 
ington was then making. The Half-king's Camp was about two 
miles further south, near a fine spring, since called Washington's 
Spring, about fifty rods northward of the Great Rock. 

The half-king discovered Jumonville's, or La Force's Camp by 
the smoke which rose from it, and by the tracks of two of the party 
who were out on a scouting excursion. Crawling stealthily through 
the laurel thicket which surmounts the wall of rock twenty feet 
high, he looked down upon their bark huts or lean-tos ; and, re- 
treating with like Indian quietness, he immediately gave Washing- 
ton the alarm. There is not above ground, in Fayette County, a 
place so well calculated for concealment, and for secretly watching 
and counting Washington's little army as it would pass along the 
road, as this same Jumonville's Camp. 

The discomfiture of La Force's party, and death of Jumonville, 
were immediately heralded to Contrecoeur at Fort Du Quesne by a 
frightened, barefooted fugitive Canadian ; and vengeance was vowed 
at once. But it was not yet quite ready to be executed. Washing- 
ton, however, knowing the impressions which this, his first en- 
counter, would make upon the enemy, at once set about strengthen- 
ing his defenses. He sent back for reinforcements, and had his 
fort at the Meadows palisadoed' and otherwise improved. And,, to 
increase his anxieties, the friendly Indians, with their families, and 
several deserters from the French, flocked around his camp, to 
hasten the reduction of his little store of provisions. Further em- 
barrassments awaited him. 


On the 9th of June, Major Muse came up with the residue of 
the Virginia regiment, the swivels and some ammunition ; but it 
was now ascertained that the two independent companies from 
New York, and one from North Carolina, that were promised, 
would fail to arrive until too late. The latter only reached Cum- 
berland after the surrender ; while the fixed antipathies to war and 
propriety prerogative, of the Pennsylvania Assembly, had 
rendered all Governor Hamilton's entreaties for aid from that 
Colony ineffectual. In this extremity. Colonel Washington dis- 
played the same energy and prudence which carried him so 
successfully through the dangers and disappointments of the 
Revolution. He hired horses to go back to Wills' creek for more 
balls and provisions, and induced Mr. Gist to endeavor to have the 
artillery, &c., hauled out by Pennsylvania teams — the reliance upon 
Southern promises of transport having failed, as it did with 
Braddock. But no artillery came in time, ten only, of the thirty 
four- pounder cannon and carriages, which had been sent from 
England, having been forwarded to Wills' creek, but too late. 
Washington also took active measures to have a rendezvous at Red- 
stone, of friendly Indians from Logstown and elsewhere below Du 
Quesne ; but in this he failed. 

On the next day (the loth,) Captain Mackay came up with the 
South Carolina Company; but as he bore a king's commission, he 
would not receive orders from the provincial colonel, and encamp- 
ed separate from the Virginia troops ; neither would his men do 
work on the road. To prevent mutiny, and a conflict of authority. 
Colonel Washington concluded to leave the royal captain and his 
company to guard the fort and stores, while he, on the i6th, set 
out with his Virginia troops, the swivels, some wagons, &c., for 
Redstone, making the road as they went. So difficult was this labor 
over Laurel Hill, that two weeks were spent in reaching Gist's a 
distance of thirteen miles. 

On the 27th of June, Washington detached a party of some seven- 
ty men under Captain Lewis, to endeavor to clear a road from Gist's 
to the mouth of Redstone ; and another party under Captain Poison, 
were sent ahead to reconnoitre. Meanwhile Washington completed 
his movement to Gist's. 

Simultaneous with these detachments, something of a French 
army, on the 28th, left Fort Du Quesne to attack Washington. It 
consisted of five hundred French, and some Indians, afterwards 
augmented to about four hundred. The commander was M. 
Coulon de Villiers, half brother of Jumonville, who sought the 


command from Contrecoeur as a special favor, to enable him to 
a^'enge his kinsman's assassination." They went up the Monon- 
gahela in periaguas (big canoes,) and on the 30th came to the 
Hangard at the mouth of Redstone, and encamped on rising 
ground about two musket shot from it. This Hangard (built the 
last winter, as our readers will recollect, by Captain Trent, as a 
store house for the Ohio Company,) is described by M. de Villiers 
as a "sort of fort built with logs, one upon another, well notched 
in, about thirty feet long and twenty feet wide." It stood near 
where Baily's mill now is. 

Hearing that the objects of his pursuit were entrenching them- 
selves at Gist's, M. de Villiers disencumbered himself of all his 
heavy stores at the Hangard ; and, leaving a sergeant and a few men 
to guard them and the periaguas, rushed on in the night, cheered by 
the hope that he was about to achieve a brilliant coup de main upon 
the young "buckskin Colonel." Coming to the "plantation" on the 
morning of July 2d, the gray dawn revealed the rude, half-finished 
fort, which Washington had there begun to erect. This, the French 
at once invested, and gave a general fire. There was no response ; 
the prey had escaped. Foiled and chagrined, de Villiers was about 
to retrace his steps, when up comes a half-starved deserter from the 
Great Meadows, and discloses to him the whereabouts and destitute 
condition of Washington's forces. Having made a prisoner of the 
messenger, with a promise to reward, or to hang him, according as 
his tale should prove true or false, the French commander resolved 
to continue the pursuit. Upon this we leave him, while we post up 
Colonel Washington's movements. 

Hearing of the French approach, Washington, being at Gist's on 
the 29th, began throwing up entrenchments, with a view there to 
make a stand. He called in the detachments under Captains Lewis 
and Poison, and sent back for Captain Mackay and his company. 
These all came, and upon council held it was determined to re- 
treat. The imperfect entrenchment was abandoned, and sundry 
tools and other articles concealed, or left as useless. The lines of 
this old fortification have been long obliterated, but its position is 
known by the numerous relics which have been ploughed up. It 
was near Gist's Indian's hut and spring, about thirty rods east of 
Jacob Murphy's barn, and within fifty rods of the centre of Fayette 

The retreat was begun with a purpose to continue it to Wills' 
creek, but it ended at the Meadows. Thither the swivels were 
brought back, and under the immediate device and supervision of 


Captain Stobo, a ditch and additional dimensions and strength were 
given to the fort, now named "Fort Necessity." So toilsome was 
this hasty retreat, there being but two poor teams, and a few equal- 
ly poor pack horses — that Washington and other officers had to 
lend their horses to bear burdens, and to hire the men to carry, and 
to drag the heavy guns. Captain Mackay's company were too 
royal to labor in this service, and the Virginians had to do it all. 
When they reached the Meadows on the ist of July, their fatigue 
was excessive. They had had no bread for eight days ; they had 
milch cows for beef, but no salt to season it. Arrived at the fort, 
they found some relief in a few bags of chopped flour, and other 
provisions from the "settlements,"(j ) but only enough for four or 
five days. Thus fortified and provisioned, they hoped to hold out 
until reinforcements would arrive, but they came not. 

After a rainy night, early on the morning of July 3d, the enemy 
approached, strong in numbers and in confidence, but fortunately 
without artillery. A wounded scout announced their approach. 
The French delivered the first fire of musketry from the woods, at 
a distance of some four or five hundred yards, doing no harm. 
AVashington formed his men in the Meadow outside of the fort, 
wishing to draw the enemy into an open encounter. Failing in this, 
he retired behind his lines, and, after an irregular ineffective firing 
during the day, and until after dark, the French commander asked 
a parley, which Washington at first declined, but when again asked, 
granted. In this he behaved with singular caution and coolness ; 
anxious lest his almost total destitution of ammunition and pro- 
visions should be discovered, yet betraying no fear or precipita- 
tion. The French and Indians had killed, or stolen all his horses 
and cattle, and thus his means of retreat were rendered as meagre 
as his means of defense, ^'et with all these disadvantages, in 
numbers and resources, he obtained terms of surrender, highly 
honorable and liberal. Indeed, the French commander seems 
to have been a very fair sort of a man. The articles of 
capitulation were drawn and presented by him in the French 
language ; and after sundry modifications in AVashington's favor, 
were signed in duplicate, amid torrents of rain, by the dim light 
of a candle, by Captain Mackay, Colonel Washington and M. de 

The French commander professed to have no other purpose 

(J)See notice of "Wendell Brown and family," in sketch of "E'arly Settlers,' 
postera. Chapter VII. 


than to avenge Jumonville's "assassination" and to prevent any 
■'establishment" by the English upon the French dominions. Hence, 
the articles of capitulation agreed on, allowed the English forces to 
retire without insult or outrage from the French or Indians, to take 
with them all their baggage and stores, except artillery, the Eng- 
lish colors to be struck at once, and at day-break next morning 
(July 4th.) the garrison to file out of the fort and march with colors 
flying, drums beating, and one swivel gun. They were also allowed 
to coiiceal such of their effects, as by reason of the loss of their 
oxen and horses they could not take with them, and to return for 
them hereafter, tipon condition that they would not again attempt 
any establishment there, or elsewhere west of the mountains. The 
English were to return to Fort Du Quesne the officers and cadets 
taken at the "assassination" of Jumonville, as hostages for which 
stipulation. Captains Van Braam and Stobo were given up to the 
French, as we have before related. 

Such was, in substance, the terms of the surrender of "Fort Ne- 
cessity." But so powerless in all the physicale of military move- 
ment had Washington become, that nothing could be carried 
off but the arms of the men, and what little of other articles were 
indispensible for their march to Wills' creek. Even the wounded 
and sick had to be carried by their fellows. All the swivels were 
left. These were the "artillery," which the French required to be 
given up. It is said that Washington got the French commander 
to agree to destroy them. This was not done as to some of them — 
perhaps they were only spiked; for in long after years, emigrant.^ 
found and used several of them there. Eventually they were 
carried off to Kentucky to aid in protecting the settlers of the 
"bloody ground." 

The French took possession of the fort, and demolished it on the 
morning of the 4th of July, a day afterwards to become as glorious- 
ly memorable in the recollections of Washington, as now it was 

Washington's loss in the action, out of the Virginia regiment, 
was twelve killed and forty-three wounded. Captain Mackay's loss- 
es were never reported. The French say they lost three killed and 
seventeen wounded. 

The French, apprehensive that the long expected reinforcements 
to Washington might come upon them, hastily retired from the 
scene on the same day, marching "two leagues," or about six 
miles. On the sth they passed Washington's abandoned entrench- 


ment at Gist's, after demolishing it and burning all the contiguous 
houses. At 10, A. M. next day, they reached the mouth of Red- 
stone, and after burning the Hangard, re-embarked on the placid 
Monongahela. On the 7th they accomplished their triumphant re- 
turn to Fort Du Quesne, "having burnt down," says M. de Villiers, 
in his Journal, "all the settlements they found." 

Washington returned, sadly and slowly, to W^ills' creek, and 
thence to Alexandria ; and now the French colors float over the en- 
tire Mississippi Valley. 

The historian of "Braddock's Campaign" (W. Sargent) asserts, 
upon what authority is not stated, that at the time of the surrender, 
"half the garrison was drunk." Be this true or not, it seems the 
material was there, for M. de Villiers records that when he took 
possession of the fort he very considerate!}- executel the "Maine 
law" upon sundry casks of liquor, to prevent Indian excesses. 
And it may be, that in accordance with the "spirit of the age," the 
half-starved and rain-drenched soldiers were allowed to season 
their slow beef and dry their powder and clothes with rum, the 
only article they seem to have had a surplus of. 

There is cotemporary testimony to a much more pleasing fact : 
that Washington caused prayers to be said in the fort daily; prob- 
ably read by himself (for he had no Chaplain,) from the ritual of 
the English Episcopal Church, then the legal religion of Virginia. 
His friend, Lord Fairfax, suggested this observance to influence the 
Indians. But Washington was doubtless "moved thereunto" by 
higher and holier considerations. 

If both these facts be facts, what an incoherent medley of order 
and confusion, of staid solemnity and swaggering courage, did the 
old Meadow fort present on that memorable da}- ! And who 
knows but that both contributed to avert the horrors of an Indian 
onslaught, and to assuage the anguish of the surrender. Nor 
must we either wonder at the strange association of influences, or 
censure Washington for their allowance. Two years afterward, 
when Dr. Franklin played General on the Lehigh, he had for his 
Chaplain the Rev. Charles Beatty, a very worthy Presbyterian 
Minister, and a pioneer of religion in Western Pennsylvania, who, 
as Franklin records, served also as "Steward of the Rum," dealing 
it out just after the prayers and exhortations, to secure the soldiers' 
attendance, "and never," says he, "were prayers more generally 
or more punctually attended." 

The engraving and description of "Fort Necessity" given in 
Sparks' Washington (vol. i, p. 56, and vol. 2, p. 457,) are inaccu- 


rate. It may have presented that diamond shape, in 1830. But 
in 1816, the senior author of these sketches made a regular survey 
of it with compass and chain. The accompanying engraving 
exhibits its form and proportions, (k) As thereby shown, it was in 
the form of an obtuse angled triangle of 105 degrees, having its 
base or hypothenuse upon the run. The line of the base was, 
about midway, sected or broken, and about two perches of it 
thrown across the run, connecting with the base by lines of about 
the same length nearly perpendicular to the opposite lines of the 
triangle. One line of the angle was six, the other seven perches; 
the base line eleven perches long, including the section thrown 
across the run. The lines embraced in all about fifty square 
perches, of land, or nearly one-third of an acre. The embank- 
ments then (1816,) were nearly three feet above the level of the 
Meadow. The ■ outside "trenches," (in which Captain Mackay's 
men were stationed when the fight began, but from which they 
were flooded out,) were filled up. But inside the lines were ditches 
or excavations, about two feet deep, formed by throwing the earth 
up against the palisades. There were then no traces of ''bastions," 
at the angles or entrances. The junctions of the Meadow, or 
glade, with the wooded upland, were distant from the fort on the 
south-east about 80 yards, — on the north about 200 yards, and on 
the south about 250. North-westward in the direction of the 
Turnpike road, the slope was a very regular and gradual rise to 
the high ground, which is about 400 yards distant. From this 
eminence the enemy began the 'attack, but afterwards took posi- 
tion on the east and south-east, nearer the fort. One or two field 
pieces skillfully aimed and fired would have made short work of it. 
A more inexplicable, and much more inexcusable error than 
that in Mr. Sparks' great work, is the statement of Colonel Burd, 
in the Journal of his expedition to Redstone in 1759. He says the 
fort was round ! with a house in it ! That Washington may have 
had some sort of a log, bark-covered cabin erected within his lines, 
is not improbable; but how the good Carlisle Colonel could meta- 

(k)The lithographed view of "Fort Necessity," which forms the frontispiece 
of this book, varies a little, but not materially, from the description here given. 
The design of the young- artist fDavld Shriver Stewart, son of Hon. Andrew 
Stewart, of Fayette,) is to represent the Surrender, on the morning of July 4, 
1754. Washington is shown upon the only poor horse left capable of locomotion. In 
every respect, the picture is not only topographically, but historically correct; 
losing, however, much of Its force and beauty by having to be lithographed 
upon a much reduced scale. (This frontispiece was never used. — ^Hadden.) 


morphose the lines into a circular form is a mystery which we 
cannot solve. 

The site of this renowned fort is well known. Its ruins are yet 
visible. It stands on Great Meadow run, which empties into the 
Youghiogheny. The "Great Meadows," with which its name 
associates in history, was a large natural meadow or glade, now 
highly cultivated and improved. The place is now better known 
by the name of "Mount Washington," on the National Road, ten 
miles east of Uniontown, the old fort being about 300 yards south- 
ward of the brick mansion, or tavern house. In by-gone days 
thousands of travelers have stopped here, or rushed by, without a 
thought of its being or history; while a few have thrown a rever- 
ential glance upon the classic spot. Washington, in all his after- 
life, seems to have loved the place. As early as 1767 he acquired 
from Virginia a preemption right to the tract of land (234 acres), 
which includes the fort; the title to which was afterwards confirmed 
to him by Pennsylvania. It is referred to in his last will, and he 
owned it at his death. His executors sold it to Andrew Parks of 
Baltimore, whose wife, Harriet, was a relative and legatee of the 
General. She sold it to the late General Thomas Meason, who 
sold it to Joseph Huston, as whose property it was bought at 
sheriff's sale by Judge Ewing, who sold it to the late James 
Sampey, Esq., whose heirs have recently sold it to a Mr. Fasen- 
baker. An ineffectual effort was made some years ago to erect a 
monument upon the site; it is hoped that it will yet be done. The 
"first battle ground of Washington" surely deserves a worthier 
mark of commemoration than mouldering embankments sur- 
mounted by a few decaying bushes. 



"War In earnest — Albany Council — Indians join the French — Braddock's march 
— His Forces, Officers and Attendants — Slow movements — His Encampments 
— Division of Army — River (ordings — The Battle — Terrible defeat and losses 
— Retreat — Drought — Gist's Plantation — Washington — N. Gist — Dunbar's di- 
vision — Dunbar's camp — Flight — Ancient tavern — Braddock's death — Grave^ 
Who killed Braddock? — Tom Fossit — Career and Character of Braddock — 
Apology for Dunbar — Consequences of the Defeat — Forbes' conquest — No 
more battle on Fayette territory. 

Bj- the acts of both parties a state of war now existed between 
England and France ; and the wilds of America became the arena 
and the prize of the conflict. Hence the expedition of Washing- 
ton in 1754 was followed in the next year by Braddock's campaign, 
"an enterprise," says Mr. Sparks, "one of the most memorable in 
American history, and almost unparalleled for its disasters, and 
the universal disappointment and consternation it occasioned." 
It was heralded with great preparation and promise, conducted 
with great show and expenditure, and ended in unprecedented loss 
of life and treasure. We purpose not to write its history, but 
only to record such of its events as transpired upon Fayette terri- 
tory; noticing briefly other matters which seem needful for their 
being rightly understood, (a) 

While Washington, in June, 1754, was wending his toilsome 
march from the Great Meadows to Gist's, a convention or council 
was sitting in Albany, composed of Commissioners from the 
colonies of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the 

(a)In the preparation of this sketch, we have drawn largely from that most 
valuable recent publication by the "Pennsylvania Historical Society," entitled 
"The History of an Expedition against Fort Du Quesne, in 1755, under Major 
General Edward Braddock, Generalissimo of H. B. M. forces in America. Edit- 
ed from the original manuscripts, by Winthrop Sargent, A. M., member of the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania." Octavo, 1855. This is the most minute 
and interesting detail of the events of that expedition, and history of the 
French war in America generally, which has appeared. Every Fayette reader 
should peruse it. Its chief basis is the Journal of Captain Orme, one of Gen- 
eral Braddock's Aids. But this has served only as a nucleus around which the 
author has gathered with unwonted labor and research, a full narrative of the 
causes and achievements of that eventful war. 


four New England colonies, of the one part; and chiefs and war- 
riors representing the Mingoes or Six Nations, of the other part. 
Among its results was a treaty or deed, by which the Indians 
named ceded to the Penns a very considerable portion of territory, 
calling for the southern and western limits of the province of 
Pennsylvania, but really, by the descriptive terms used, not extend- 
ing to either. This ambiguity, if such it could be called, and the 
ever encroaching spirit of the colonists, led to disputes and to 
jealousies on the part of the Indians. The Delawares and Shawa- 
nese, with considerable justness, asserted a right to the territory 
claimed to have been ceded, which the Six Nations could not 
alienate, and which the latter asserted with equal justness that 
they had not ceded, or did not intend to cede. The two allied 
tribes named were greatly dissatisfied, and complained that the 
cession, if as claimed, "did not leave them a country to subsist 
in." Of these difficulties the French, who now held possession 
and power in the west, availed themselves with great ease and 
effect to the prejudice of the English pretensions. These Indian 
tribes and confederacy of tribes gradually and generally became 
hostile to the Anglo-Saxon colonists. And even the few who had 
adhered to Washington in 1754. wavered, and finally and almost 
wholly attached themselves to the French. As heretofore stated, 
these friendly Indians, after having retired with Washington's 
retreating forces for a while to Virginia, soon took refuge at 
Aughwick, in Pennsylvania. But the outside influences were, in 
1755, against the continuance of their friendship. The Half-king, 
their Nestor and Achilles, died in October, 1754, at Harris' Ferry; 
and in April, 1755, the Pennsylvania colony refused longer to sup- 
port them and their destitute families. 

This adverse state of the colonial relations with the lords of the 
soil, told with terrible effect upon the fortunes of Braddock and 
his army; and when to it is added the neglect and maltreatment 
by Braddock of the few who evinced a willingness to uphold his 
standard, we have the key to his fate. But eight, — among them 
Monacatootha, or Scarooyada, followed his colors up to the fatal 
day ; whilst, with other advantages, the French brought hundreds 
to their aid, led, it is said, by the afterwards renowned Pontiac. 

On the 7th, 8th and loth of June, 1755, the army of Major 
General Sir Edward Braddock marched from Fort Cumberland, 
or the mouth of Wills' creek. It consisted of the 14th Regi- 
ment of (English) Infantry, Colonel Sir Peter Halket, the 48th, 
Colonel Thomas Dunbar, sundry Independent (colonial) companies. 


r. company of horse, another of artillery, a company of marines, 
&c., in all 2150, "besides the usual train of non-militants, who 
always accompany an army, women who could not fight, Indians 
who would not, and wagoners who cut loose their horses and fled, 
at the first onset." The other field officers were Lieutenant Colonels 
Burton and Gage (of Bunker Hill notoriety) ; Majors Chapman and 
Sparks; Major Sir John St. Clair, Deputy Quarter Master General; 
;\Iatthew Leslie, his assistant; Francis Halket, Brigade Major; 
William Shirley, Secretary; and Robert Orme, Roger Morris and 
George Washington, Esquires, aids-de-camp to the General. We 
have, in the preceding sketch, named some of the Captains — 
Stephen, Lewis, Poison, Hogg, Peyronie, Mercer and Waggoner. 
These commanded provincial troops, chiefly from Virginia. The 
New York Independent companies were commanded by Captains 
Rutherford and Horatio Gates, the General Gates to whom 
Burgoyne surrendered at Saratoga. Christopher Gist and his son 
Nathaniel, accompanied the army as guides ; George Croghan, the 
Indian Agent, of Aughwick, with Montour, interpreter, were also 
about, trying to be useful in the Indian department, aided by 
Monacatootha and Captain Jack, the "wild hunter of the Juniata." 
Among the Virginia surgeons, were Doctors James Craik and 
Hugh Mercer, men of imperishable fame.(b) They were both 
Scotchmen, the latter having fled to Virginia from the service of 
the Pretender on the fatal field of Culloden. Dr. Craik had 
followed Washington in his campaign of 1754, was his companion 
in his journey to the west in 1770, and was his physician at hig 

(b)Both these distinguished men became owners of land in what is now 
Fayette County. Dr. Craik owned the two tracts called "Boland's camp," and 
"Froman's Sword," on Boland's and Bute's Runs, in Franklin township, which 
are warranted in the name of James Craig. General Douglas, as his attorney 
in fact, sold them to Samuel Bryson. They have since been owned by the late 
James Paull, Jr., John Bute, the Aliens and others. 

Dr. Mercer's lands were two tracts near Braddock's road in Bullskin town- 
ship, patented to him by the Penns in 1771. His executors sold them to Colonel 
Isaac Meason. See note (m,) to "Early Settlements," Chapter VI. Dr. Mercer 
was badly wounded at Braddock's Field; and being- unable to escape in the gen- 
eral flight, concealed himself for a while behind a fallen tree, where he wit- 
nessed the plundering and scalping of the dead and dying. At night he set 
out alone; and guided by the stars and streams, after several days of painful, 
half starved wandering, reached Fort Cumberland in safety. A like misfor- 
tune befel him when serving as Captain in Colonel John Armstrong's expedi- 
tion against the Indians at Kittanning in 1756, from which he again returned 
a wounded wanderer to Fort Cumberland. He had a great life, which was 
reserved as a sacrifice in a nobler cause. 


death. Dr. Mercer became a field officer in the Revolution, and 
fell at Princeton in January, 1777. 

One month was spent in the march from Fort Cumberland to the 
fatal field. The route, as far as Gist's, was that of Washington the 
year before ; and although Washington had marched from Wills' 
creek to the Meadows in twenty-three days, making the road as he 
went, yet it took Braddock eighteen days to "drag his slow length 
along" over the same distance, and Colonel Dunbar eight days 
longer. Trulj' did W'ashington say that "instead of pushing on 
with vigor, without regarding a little rough road, they were halting 
to level every mole-hill, and erect bridges over every brook." This 
needless delay, like everything else in this campaign, contributed 
its share of adversity to the disastrous result. For while Braddock 
was halting and bridging, the enemy was acquiring a force of resist- 
ance and attack which three days' quicker movement would have 

At the Little Meadows (Tomlinson's) a division of the army in 
the march was made; the General and Colonel Halket, with select 
portions of the two regiments, and of the other forces, lightly 
incumbered, going on in advance, being in all about 1400. Colonel 
Dunbar, with the residue, about 850, and the heavy baggage, artil- 
lery and stores, were left to move up by "slow and easy marches ;" 
an order vv-hich he executed so literally as to earn for himself the 
soubriquet of "Dunbar the tardy." When, on the 28th of June, 
Braddock was at Stewart's crossings, (Connellsville) Dunbar was 
only at the Little Crossings. Here, Washington, under a violent 
attack of fever, had been left by Braddock, under the care of his 
friend Dr. Craik and a guard, two days in advance of Dunbar, to 
come on with him when able; the gallant Aid requiring from the 
General a "solemn pledge" not to arrive at the French fort until 
he should rejoin him. And as Washington did not report himself 
until the day before the battle, this pledge may be some apology for 
Braddock having consumed eighteen precious days in marching 
about eighty miles. 

According to Captain Orme's journal, the encampments, &c., of 
Braddock in Fayette were as follows : 

On the 24th of June he marched from Squaw's fort (near Somer- 
field,) six miles to a camp east of the Great Meadows, near the 
"Twelve Springs." He crossed the Yough without bridging, about 
half a mile above where the national road now crosses it. In this 
dav's march they passed a recently abandoned Indian camp, indi- 
cating by the number of huts that about 170 had been there. "They 


had stripped and painted some trees, upon which they and the 
French had written many threats and bravadoes, with all kinds of 
scurrilous language." This encampment of Braddock was between 
Mt. Augusta anrf Marlow's, south of the National Road. 

June 25th. — The army moved about seven miles, and encamped 
in what is now the Old Orchard, near and northwest of "Braddock's 
Grave," called then two miles west of the Great Meadows : — the 
General riding in anticipated triumph over the very spot which in 
twentjv days was to be his last encampment. The army seems to 
nave passed the ruins of Fort Necessity without a halt or a notice. 
It is singular they did not encamp there ; for Orme says they were 
late in getting to their ground, because that morning, about a 
quarter of a mile after starting, they had to let their carriages down 
a hill with tackle. In this day's march three men were shot and 
scalped by the enemy; and the sentinels fired upon some French 
and Indians whom they discovered reconnoitering their camp — an 
annoyance now become so frequent, that on the next day Braddock 
offered a bounty of five pounds for every scalp that his Indians or 
soldiers would take. 

June 26th. — They marched only about four miles, by reason of 
the "extreme badness of the road," arriving at what Orme calls 
Rock Fort, on Laurel Hill, a place now known as the Great Rock, 
near Washington Spring, and the Half-king's old camp, being a 
little over two miles southward of Dunbar's camp. We quote here 
from Orme's journal : "At our halting place we found another In- 
dian camp, which they had abandoned at our approach, their fires 
oeing yet burning. They had marked in triumph upon trees the 
scalps they had taken two days before, and many of the French had 
written on them their names and sundry insolent expressions. We 
picked up a commission on the march, which mentioned the party 
being under the command of the Sieur Normanville. This Indian 
camp was in a strong situation, being upon a high rock, with a very 
narrow and steep ascent to the top. It had a spring in the middle, 
and stood at the termination of the Indian path to the Mononga- 
hela at Redstone, (c) By this pass the party came which attacked 
Mr. Washington last year, and also this which attended us. By 
their tracks they seem to have divided here, the one party gomg 
straight forward to Fort Du Quesne, and the other returning by 
Redstone creek to the Monongahela. A captain's detachment of 

(c)See preceding- sketch of "Indian Trails, &c," — Chap. III. 



94 men marched with guides, to fall in the night upon the latter 
division. They found a small quantity of provisions and a very 
large batteau, which they destroyed, but saw no men; and the Cap- 
tain joined the General next day at Gist's." 

June 27th. — "We marched,' says Orme, "from the camp at 
Rock Fort to Gist's plantation, which was about six miles, the 
road still mountainous and rocky. Here the advance party was 
relieved, and all the wagons and carrying horses with provision 
belonging to that detachment joined us." This advanced party 
consisted of about 400, under Lieut. Col. Burton, who, with Sir 
John St. Clair, had been sent in advance to cut and make the road, 
taking with them two six-pounders, with ammunition, three wag- 
ons of tools, and thirty-five days' provisions, all on pack horses. 

June 28th. — The army marched from Gist's, where the encamp- 
ment was near Washington's of the previous year — to a camp near 
to, and west of, Stewart's crossing(dj of the Yough, a short half 
mile below New Haven, on land now of Daniel Rogers, formerly 
Col. AVilliam Crawford. 

It has been commonly supposed that a division of the army in 
the march here took place — the English troops, &c., here crossing 
the river and bearing northward ; while the Virginia, or colonial 
forces, went down the river and crossed at the Broad-ford, thence 
bearing more to the west, crossing Jacob's creek at Stoufifer's mill 
■ — the two divisions re-uniting at Sewickley, near Painter's salt 
works. There may be error in this idea. Orme's journal has no 
notice of any such division. The Broad-ford route may be that 
which was traversed by the detachments, or convoys of provisions, 
&c., from Dunbar's division, which were from time to time sent up 
to the main army; one of which, Orme says, came up Thicketty 
run, a' branch of Sewickley, on the 5th of July. Another detach- 
ment of 100 men, with pack horse loads of flour, and some beeves, 
according to Washington's letters, left the camp west of the Great 
Meadows on the 3d of July, with which he went, joining the army 
on the 8th, the day before the battle, "in a covered wagon." This 
convoy took up the one hundred beeves which were among the loss- 
es in the defeat. It is a noticeable fact, that Washington, enfeebled 
by a consuming fever, was so invigorated by the sight of the scenes 

((J)So caHed from the name of an early settler and Indian trader, who was 
drowned in the Yough at or near the fording- which for more than a century 
has commemorated the event. He probably had a temporary abode near the 
Rame place. See Affidavit of William Stewart in Note (1,) to Memoir of the 
Gists, in "Early Settlers" — postea, Chap. VII. 


of his discomfiture the previous year, as to sieze the opportunity of 
celebrating its first anniversary by hastening- on to partake in an 
achievement which, as lie fondly hoped, would restore to his king 
and country all that had been lost by his failure. How sadly was 
he disappointed ! 

June 30th. — The army to-day crossed the Yough at Stewart's 
Crossing or Ford, in strict military style, with advanced guard first 
passed and posted There is here a little confusion in Captain 
Orme's journal. Not only does he make the west to be the east 
side of the Yough, but he says, "We were obliged to encamp about 
a mile on the west (east) side, where we halted a day, to cut a 
passage over a mountain ! This day's march did not exceed two 
miles." It would seem the halt was on the 29th, before crossing 
the river; for the march is resumed on the ist of July. This 
"mountain" is the bluff known as "the narrows," below David- 
son's mill. The camp is not certainly know^n ; probably on land 
late of Robert Long, deceased ; — maybe it was south of the nar- 
ro^^s on Mr. Davidson's land. 

July 1st. — Says Orme, "We marched about five miles, but could 
advance no further by reason of a great swamp, which required 
much work to make it passable." The course was north-eastward. 
This swamp can be no other than that fine looking champaign land 
about the head waters of Mountz's creek and Jacob's creek, north 
and east of the old chain bridge, embracing lands formerly of Col. 
Isaac Meason, now Geo. E. Hogg and others. 

July 2nd. — The army moved in the same direction (east of north) 
about six miles, to "Jacob's Cabin." 

The localities of this and the, last preceding camp cannot be pre- 
cisely fixed ; and the curious reader and topographer is left to his 
own conclusions from the data given. Jacob's Cabin was doubtless 
the abode of an Indian, who gave his name to the creek on which 
he trapped and hunted. 

July 3d. — "The swamp being repaired, we marched about six 
miles to Salt-lick creek. This(e) Salt-lick creek is Jacob's creek, 
and the camp at the end of this day's march was near Welshonse's 
mill, about a mile and a half below Mount Pleasant. 

Although now beyond the confines of Fayette, we may as well 
follow the army route to its end. From Welshonse's mill the 

(e)What is now known as Indian creelt, a tributary of the Tough above Con- 
nellsville, was also called Salt-lick creek — whence Salt-lick township. Both 
derived their common name from the salt licks in the vicinity of their head 


course was northward, passing just to the west of Mount Pleasant; 
thence crossing Sewickley ("Thicketty run") near Painter's salt 
works; thence, bearing a little westward, it crossed the present 
tracks of the Pennsylvania Rail Road and Turnpike, west of Greens- 
burg, to the Bush fork of Turtle Creek. Here Braddock aban- 
doned his wise design to approach the French fort by the ridge 
route, or Nemacolin's path, being deterred by the difficulties of 
crossing the deep and rugged ravines of the streams. Turning, at 
almost a right angle, westward, he got into the valley of Long run 
at or near Stewartsville, and went down it past Samson's mill, en- 
camping on the night of the 8th of July, where Washington joined 
him, about tv/o miles east of the Monongahela. The army moved 
from this encampment early next morning, turning into the valley 
of Crooked run, which they followed to its mouth, and crossed the 
river at "Braddock's upper ford," below McKeesport; thence down 
the river on the west side, about three miles, to Braddock's lower 
ford, just below the mouth of Turtle creek and Dam No. 2, where 
they recrossed to the fatal encounter of the 9th of July. This 
double crossing of the river was to avoid the intervening narrows. 

It does not come within our design to rehearse the oft-told tale of 
Braddock's Defeat, which for more than a century has been a word 
of horror. Braddock hud condticted the march hitherto with most 
commendable care and with signal success ; and now, as he neared 
the object of his labor and ambition, he took all the precautionary 
measures to avoid surprise and disaster which his military education 
called for. But, unfortunately, he knew nothing of Indian gunnery 
and backwoods tactics. He was sensible that his near approach 
was known to the French fort, and that all his movements were 
closely and secretly watched. Hence, at the crossings of the river 
he had his advance guards well posted, and having caused his 
soldiery to be well appareled and their arms brightened, he made 
a display well calculated to strike terror into the enemy's spies, 
and to inspire his men with a feeling verA^ variant from a presage 
of the sudden discomfiture and death which in a few hours awaited 
them. Washington was wont to say that he never saw a more 
animating sight than the army's second crossing of the Mononga- 
hela. Coming events cast no disheartening shadow before them. 
Yet it was known that Sir Peter Halket, Mr. Secretary Shirley and 
Major Washington, were not without anxious forebodings. 

Controcoeur, the commandant at the fort, frightened at the 
exasperated reports of the numbers and gun-power of the English, 
had prepared to surrend(tr, or to fly, as his successor did before 


Forbes in 1758. Indeed he reluctantly yielded assent to any re- 
sistance. And when, on the 8th, M. M. Beaujeau, Dumas and 
De Ligueris sought a detachment of regulars and Indian aid, it was 
merely to dispute the river passes and to annoy and retard the 
march of the English. They had caused the ground to be thoroughly 
examined, and knew well the ravines, or natural trenches, which so 
well served them for attack and protection in the conflict. But 
the English knew them not. Herein was Braddock's decisive 

To comprehend the nature ot the action and the inevitableness 
of Braddock's defeat, one must visit the field. Pie will there, even 
yet, see two ravines, dry, with almost perpendicular banks, just 
high enough to conceal, protect and fire from, capable of containing 
an army of 2,000 men, putting down across the gently sloping 
second bank of the river towards it, one on each side of the line 
of Braddock's march, converging towards the high hill which over- 
looks the scene. And if he will imagine this second bank to be 
densely wooded, and covered with a thick and tangled web of 
peavine and other undeigrowth, with a newly cut road, twelve feet 
wide, passing about midway between the ravines, and at no place 
more than eighty yards distant from one or the other, he will have 
fully before him the scene of the disaster. 

The French and Indians were about 900 strong, the latter being 
more than two-thirds of the force. They arrived on the ground 
too late to dispute the passage of the river. The army had crossed, 
formed its line of march, and was moving — marching into the 
snare — when the enemy appeared right in front and near the heads 
of the ravines. As if by magic, at a preconcerted silent signal from 
M. Beaujeau, the chief in command, the Indians at once disappeared 
right and left into the excavations, leaving only the little French 
line visible. These were engaged with spirit and success by Lieut. 
Col. Gage, and until the Indians began to pour in their invisible 
deadly shots, the poise of battle favored the English*. It soon 
changed, and no efforts could restore it. Even tree fighting could 
not have saved the doomed English soldiery, who held their ground, 
fought well, and obeyed their officers as long as they had officers 
to command them. They were in the jaws of death, and nothing 
could have delivered them, except, perhaps, a timely charge of 

*Beaujeau was mortally wounded and carried back to Fort Du Quesne where 
he died on the 12th — the day before the death of General Braddock — Pittsburgh 
Gazette, July 5, 1858. 



dragoons into the ravines, or a raking fire of grape or round shot, 
up or down their paths. The excuse for not essaying these expe- 
dients, is, that the ravines were unknown and invisible. Even yet, 
when all is clear around them, you do not discern them until you 
are almost ready to step into them. If the arch demon of Death 
had been commissioned to fit up an arena for surprise and over- 
throw, he could not have made it more complete. 

The further stages of the encounter, which lasted from about one 
to five, P. M., need not be here noted. Of the 1460, besides women 
and other camp followers, who on that bright morning crossed the 
Monongahela, 456 were killed, and 421 wounded, many of them 
mortally. Out of 89 commissioned officers, 63 were killed or wound- 
ed. Among the killed were the brave Sir Peter Halket and the 
gallant young Secretary Shirley. All the artillery and ammunition, 
baggage, ' provisions, wagons, and many horses, were lost. The 
General lost his military chest, containing, it is said £25,000 in 
specie ($125,000), and all his papers. Washington also lost many 
valuable papers. In short, the officers and soldiers who escaped 
the carnage lost nearly everything, except the clothes on their 
backs and the arms in their hands; many abandoning even these. 
Captain Orme saved his journal, now almost the only authentic con- 
tinuous record of this most disastrous campaign. 

Braddock displayed, in the perplexing circumstances of the 
action, great activity and courage. His only shortcomings were 
those already noticed. He had four horses killed under him; and, 
after having mounted a fifth, while in the act of issuing an order, 
near the head of one of the ravines, and near the end of the conflict, 
he received a mortal wound, the ball shattering his right arm and 
passing into his lungs. He fell to the ground, "surrounded by the 
dead and almost abandoned by the living," And had it not been 
for the devotedness of his Aid, Captain Orme, and the almost 
obstinate fidelity of Capt. Stewart, of Virginia, who commanded 
the light horse, the fallen General would have had his wish gratified 
— that the scene of his disaster should also witness his death. He 
was borne from the ground at great risk, at first in a tumbril, then 
on a horse. Every officer above the rank of captain was now either 
killed or disabled, except Washington, who escaped unhurt, though 
two horses were shot under him and his clothes pierced with balls. 
So feeble and emaciated was he that day that he had to ride upon 

(f)Ijetter of Hon, Wm. Pindley, of Westmoreland, relating Washington's own 
account of this disastrous day, in Niles' Register, Vol. XIV., page 179. 


a pillow. (f) The drums had beat a retreat just before Braddock fell, 
and now Washington undertook to give to it whatever of order it 
was susceptible of, — for it was a headlong flight. The retreat was 
by the same route as the advance, crossing the river at the same 
fording, (g) The enemy did not pursue, but remained to riot in 
scalps and plunder. 

Braddock was carried with the little remnant of the army that 
could be held together. It is not probable that the panic-stricken 
fugitives all returned to Gist's by the same path ; — many, through 
fear of pursuit, betaking themselves to the woods and by-ways. 
The Pennylvania wagoners, it is said, escaped to a man, astride 
their fleetest horses. Certain it is that by ten o'clock next morning 
several of them were in Dunbar's camp on Laurel Hill, nearly forty 
miles distant, with the tiding's of Job's messengers. And one or 
two wounded officers were carried into the camp before noon of that 

After crossing to the west side of the river in the flight, a rally 
was effected of about 100 men, with whom were Braddock, Burton 
and Washington. From this point Washington was sent to Dunbar 
for aid, and wagons to convey the wounded. The road was then 
new and hard to find in the night. There had been a coldness be- 
tween the General and Dunbar; hence it was deemed necessary, 
to ensure obedience, that Washington, as an aid-de-camp, should 
go with orders. Weak and exhausted as he was, he shrunk not 
from the duty. He set out with two men in a night so wet and 
dark that frequently they had to alight from their horses and grope 
for the road. Nevertheless, they reached Dunbar's camp about 
sunrise, (h) Braddock and his few followers reached Gist's about 
ten o'clock that evening. What a dismal scene did "Gist's planta- 
tion" present on that warm summer night, as the dying General and 
his few hungry and wounded adherents lay postrate and sleepless 
around the Indian's spring, waiting for food and surgical aid to 
come from the camp of "Dunbar the tardy!" 

(g)!! is probable the river was then uncommonly low. In the Pennsylvania 
Colonial Records, Vol. VI., under date of June 6th, 1755, a Fast is proclaimed, 
because of "there having been no rain for two or three months, and all sorts 
of grain near perishing, and as the General was beginning his march." The 
Allegheny was so low that the French had great difficulty in getting down 
from their upper forts This fact, not, we believe, before noticed in any ac- 
count of this campaign, may in some degree explain the difBculties of Brad- 
dock's and Dunbar's marches — the weakness of their horse power and the 
scarcity of flour and other provisions — there being no steam mills in those 

(h)Letter of Hon. Wm. Findley in XIV. Niles' Register, 179, before cited. 



Nathaniel Gist,(i) son of Christopher, with "Gist's Indian," were 
dispatched from the battlefield to Fort Cumberland, with tidings 
of the overthrow, but with instructions to avoid passing by, or dis- 
turbing the repose of Dunbar. They iravcied a-foot, and through 
unfrequented paths, to avoid the Indians. While snatching some 
repose during the darkness of the first night of their journey, in a 
thicket of bushes and grape-vine, on Cove run, a branch of Shute's 
run, within view of the camp fires of Dunbar, they mistook the 
noise of the movement of some bird or beast for Indians, and run 
with heedlessness of alarm. They thus became separated. But 
each wended his way cautiously and alone. When nearing their 
destination, upon emerging from the bushes into the open road, 
Gist saw a few rods ahead his long lost Indian, who had also just 
taken the highway! Like two soothsayers, they had to laugh at 
each other for their causeless alarm and separation.! j) 

Although the sufferings of Braddock, in mind and body, were in- 
tense, he was not unmindful of his dismayed and wounded soldiers. 
Upon the arrival, on the morning of the nth, at Gist's, of some 
wagons and stores from Dunbar, he sent off a convoy of provisions 
for the relief of those supposed yet to be behind, and ordered up 
more wagons and troops from the camp, to bring off the wounded. 
It is probable these humane provisions were available to but few. 
Except as to the general officers, and perhaps a few others, all the 
badly wounded were left on the bloody field to the merciless cruel- 
ties of the savages, or perished in its vicinity. In after years human 
bones were found plentifully all around, some as far off as three 

Having made these arrangements, had their wounds dressed, and 
taken some food, Braddock and his adherents, on Friday, the nth, 
moved up to Dunbar's camp. We now g'o back a little, to trace the 
movements of Col. Dunbar. 

We left him at the Little Crossings on the 20th of June, with 
about 850 of the army, and the heavy artillery and stores. On the 
2d of July he passed the Great Meadows, and on the loth is found 
at his camp on the top of Laurel Hill. How long he had lain there 
is uncertain — several days. 

It is, perhaps, ample apology for the slow movements of Dunbar, 
that, besides the rugged and steep passes of the mountains, the 

(O More of him hereafter, in memoir of the Gists, among "Early Settlers," 
Chap. VII. 

(j)I had this story from old Henry Beeson, the founder of Uniontown, who 
had it from Gist himself. — F. L. 


troops he had with him were the refuse of the army, very many of 
whom sickened and died on the way, with the flux, and for want 
of fresh provisions. The Indians and French constantly annoyed 
his marcli and beset his camps; and, having got in his rear, cut off 
much of his scant)- supplies. But the great cause of delay was the 
v.-ant of horse power to move his heavy train. After one day's toil 
at half the wagons and other vehicles, the poor jaded beasts had to 
go back the next day and tug up the other half, — often moving not 
more than three miles a day, and consuming two days at each 
encampment. It was with more ease and rapidity that they moved 
down. hill by block and tackle, than to ascend, by all their motive 
power of man and beast. So exhausted were the horses that an 
officer of the train estimated it would require twenty-five days for 
Dunbar to overtake Braddock, from the Great Meadows. And in 
the council of war held by Braddock at Jacob's creek on the 3d of 
July, to consider Sir John St. Clair's suggestion to halt, and send back 
all their horses, to bring up Dunbar's division, it was adjudged that 
Vxith this aid he could not be brought up in less than eleven days, so 
weak were all the horses. Besides, it was never designed that Dun- 
bar should overtake Braddock until the fort was captured. And 
this setting apart of him, his officers and soldiers to an ignoble serv- 
vice — making it a '"forgone conclusion" that they were not to share 
the honors or spoils of victory, soured their tempers and relaxed 
their exertions 

Dunbar's Camp is situated south-east of the summit of Wolf hill, 
one of the highest points of Laurel Hill mountain, and about three 
thousand feet above the ocean level. It is in full view of Union- 
town, to the eastward, about six miles distant, and is visible from 
nearly all the high points in Fayette, and the adjacent parts of 
Greene and W'ashington counties. The camp was about three hun- 
dred feet below the summit, and at about half a mile's distance, on 
the southern slope. It was then cleared of its timber, but is since 
much overgrown with bushes and small trees. It is, however, easily 
found by the numerous diggings in search of relics and treasure, by 
the early settlers and others even in later times. Near it are two 
fine sand springs, below which a dam of stones and earth, two or 
three feet high, was made, to afiford an abundant supply of water. 
This dam is still visible, though much overgrown by laurel. Into 
this spring, pool, or basin, it is said, when Dunbar's encampment 
was broken up, fifty thousands pounds of powder, with other ma- 
terial of war, were thrown, to render them useless to the enemy. 
Old Henry Beeson, the proprietor of Uniontown, used to relate that 



when he first visited those localities, in 1767, there were some six 
inches of black, nitrous matter visible all over this spring basin. 

The locality of Jumonville's hiding place, the Half-king's camp, 
the Great Rock, and Washington's spring, in reference to Dunbar's 
camp, have been heretofore noticed. The Turkey Foot, or "Smith's 
road," from Bedford, crossed Braddock's, or Nemacolin's road just 
at this camp. Both are yet plainly visible; and the remains of an 
old stone chimney near this cross-roads indicate the site of an 
ancient tavern, (k) where many a pioneer halted, and many an old 
emigrant and settler took his "ease in mine inn." It is now a lonely 

When the remains of Braddock's division rejoined Dunbar here, 
on the nth of July, the camp was found in great consternation and 
disorder. Many had fled the day before, on the first tidings of the 
slaughter of the 9th. And, as had been the case upon that disaster, 
the wagoners and pack-horse drivers were among the first to fly, 
and were the earliest messengers of the defeat to Governor Morris of 
Pennsylvania, then at Carlisle, superintending the forwarding of 
supplies. From their depositions, taken before him on the 17th, 
they left about noon on the loth. They say nothing of Washing- 
ton's arrival that morning, but say that Sir John St. Clair and an- 
other of the wounded officers had been borne into camp on sheets, 
and others of Braddock's men, wounded and whole, before they left. 
They all represented Braddock as killed — some qualifying it by say- 
ing he had been wounded, put into a wagon, and afterwards "fell 
upon and murthered by the Indians." 

Orders still continued to be issued in Braddock's name, though 
his life was fast ebbing away. Retreat became inevitable. The 
camp was abandoned on the 12th. All the stores and supplies, artil- 
lery, &c., which had been brought hither at such great labor and 
expense, were destroyed. Nothing was saved beyond the actual 
necessities of a flying march. These included two six-pounders, and 
some hospital stores, horses and light wagons for the sick and 
wounded, of whom there were over three hundred. The rest of the 
artillery, cohorns, &c., were broken up, the shells bursted, the 
powder thrown into the spring basin, the provisions and baggage 
scattered, and one hundred and fifty wagons burned. A few days 
afterwards some of the enemy came up and completed the work of 

(k)This must not be confounded with Fossit's, afterwards Slack's, "Hotel," 
which was further south, near the Great Rock and Washington's spring, where 
sundry old roads united. 


It has been a current tradition, based upon cotemporary state- 
ments, (1) that some of the field pieces and other munitions of war, 
and even money, were buried or concealed near the camp ; and much 
time and labor have been spent in their fruitless search. This story, 
it seems, reached the ears of Dunbar while on his retreat from Wills' 
creek through Pennsylvania ; and he and all his officers, in a letter 
to Governor Shirley, (m) dated August 21, 1755, expressly contra- 
dict it in these words : "We must beg to undeceive you in what 
you are pleased to mention of guns being buried at the time Gen- 
eral Braddock ordered the stores to be destroyed ; for there was not 
a gun of any kind buried." However, such things as cannon balls, 
bullets, brass and iron kettles, crow-bars, files, some shells, irons of 
horse gears and wagons, &c., &c., have been found by the early set- 
tlers and other explorers. 

The remains of the re-united army encamped on the night of the 
13th of Jul}- at the Old Orchard camp, "two miles west" of Fort 
Necessity. Here Braddock died — having, before he expired, it is 
said, but rather apocryphally, bequeathed to Washington his favor- 
ite charger and his body servant. Bishop. Mr. Headley has endeav- 
ored to give to Braddock's funeral the romantic interest of the 
burial of Sir John Moore, "darkly, at dead of night," by the 
light of a torch, instead of "lanterns dimly burning," and with the 
addition of Washington reading the funeral service. But he was 
buried in daylight, on the morning of the 14th, in the road, near 
the run and Old Orchard, and the march of the troops, horses and 
wagons passed over the grave to obliterate its traces, and thus 
prevent its desecration by the enemy. The tree labeled "Brad- 
dock's Grave" indicates the place, nearly, where were re-interred. 

(l)It is not improbable that this belief originated from a letter of Col. 
Burd to Governor Morris, dated, Port Cumberland, July 25th, 1755, in which 
the Colonel relates in detail a dinner conversation at that place with Dunbar, 
then on his retreat, after which he adds; — "Col. Dunbar retreated with 1500 
effective men [effective? — at least 300 sick and "wounded, and as many more 
scared to death]. He destroyed all his provisions, except what he could carry 
for subsistence. He likewise destroyed all the powder he had with him, to the 
amount, I think, of 50,000 pounds. His mortars and shells he buried, and 
brought with him two six-pounders. He could carry nothing off for want of 

So fully impressed was Col. Burd with this belief, that, when on his march 
out to cut the "road to Redstone" and build Fort Burd, in September, 1759, he 
stopped at Dunbar's camp — "the worst chosen piece of ground for an encamp- 
ment I (he) ever saw" — and spent a day there. "Reconnoitered all the camp, 
and attempted to find the cannon and mortars, but could not discover them, 
although we dug a great many holes where, stores had been buried, and con- 
cluded the French had carried them off." 

(m)VI. Colonial Records, 593. 


in i8i2 some of the bones of a man supposed to be Braddock. They 
had been dug out of the bank of the run, in 1812, in repairing the 
old road. They may, or may not, have been the bones of Braddock. 
The military accompaniments, said to have been found with them, 
indicate that they were. Several of the bones were carried ofi" be- 
fore the re-interment at the tree, many of which, it is said, were 
afterwards collected by Abraham Stewart, Esq., (who was the road 
supervisor when they were dug out,) and sent to Peale's Aiuseum 
at Philadelphia, as curiosities ! We doubt this tale. But it is a last- 
ing stigma upon the British Government that it made no efifort to 
reclaim the reliques of this brave but unfortunate commander, and 
that "not a stone tells where he lies." Col. Burd says he found the 
spot of his interment, about "twenty rods from a little hollow," &c., 
when he came out in 1759. But Washington says(n) that when he 
buried him, "he designed at some future day to erect a monument 
to his memory ; which he had no opportunity of doing till after the 
Revolutionary war, when he made (in 1784) diligent search for his 
grave, but the road had been so much turned and the clear land so 
extended, that it could not be found." 

Who killed Braddock? — has been made a grave question in tra- 
dition and history. For at least three-quarters of a century the 
current belief has been that he was shot by one Thomas Fossit, an 
old resident of Fayette county. The story is therefore entitled to 
cur notice. Mr. Sargent, in his interesting "History of Braddock's 
Campaign," devotes several pages (144 — 252) to a collation of the 
evidence upon the question, and arrives very logically from the evi- 
dence at the conclusion that the story is false, got up by Fossit and 
others to heroize him, at a time when it was popular to have killed 
a Britisher. Nevertheless, the fact may be that Fossit shot him. 
There is nothing in the facts of the case, as they occurred on the 
ground, to contradict it, — nay, they rather corroborate it. Brad- 
dock was shot on the battle field by somebody. Fossit was a 
provincial private in the action. There was generally a bad state 
of feeling between the General and the provincial recruits, owing 
chiefly to his obstinate opposition to tree fighting, and to his infuri- 
ate resistance to the determined inclination of the backwoodsmen to 
fight in that way, to which they were countenanced by the opinions 
of Sir Peter Halket and Washington. Another fact is that much of 
the havoc of the English troops was caused by the firing of their 

(n)Letter of Hon, Wm. Findley, before referred to, in XIV, Niles' Register, 


own men — whenever they saw a smoke. But Braddock raised no 
smoke, and when he was shot a retreat had been sounded. If, 
therefore, Fossit did shoot him, he must have done it purposely. 
And it is said he did so, in revenge for the kilHng of a brother for 
persisting in firing from behind a tree. This is sustained by the 
fact that Tom had a brother, Joseph, in the action, who was killed. 
i\ll these circumstances, with many others, seem to sustain the alle- 
gation. Against it are the inconsistencies and falsities of other parts 
of the testimony of the witnesses adduced, and even of Fossit's own 

"I knew Thomas Fossit well.(o) He was a tall, athletic man, 
indicating by his physiognomy and demeanor a susceptibility of 
impetuous rage, and a disregard of moral restraints. He was, more- 
over, in his later years, somewhat intemperate. When Fayette 
county was erected, in 1783, he was found living on the top of 
Laurel Hill, at the junction of Braddock's and Dunlap's roads, near 
Washington's spring, claiming to have there, by settlement, a hun- 
dred acres of land, which by deed dated in April, 178'j, he convey- 
ed to one Isaac Phillips. For many years he kept a kind of tavern, 
or resting place, for emigrants and pack-horse men, and afterwards 
for teamsters, at the place long known as Slack's, now Robert Mc- 
Dowell's. His mental abilities by no means equaled his bodily 
powers. And, like a true man of the woods, he often wearied the 
tired traveler with his tales about bears, deer and rattlesnakes, lead 
mines and Indians. I had many conversations with him about his 
adventures. He said he 'saw Braddock fall, knew who shot him 
— knew all about it,' but would never acknowledge to me that he 
aimed the deadl}'' shot. To others it is said he did, and boasted 
of it. 

"I once kept a country school in Fayette county. One day, 
when the children were at noon play, I heard a cry of 'there's old 
Fossit, the man who killed Braddock.' The children feared him, 
his appearance and noisiness, especially when intoxicated, being 
rather terrifying. I knew him, and got him to sit down by a tree, 
which soon dissipated the alarm of the children. He at once began 
fluttering his fingers over his mouth to imitate the roll of a drum. 
This amused them. He soon got at his old rigmarole, which ran 
about thus : — 'Poor fellows — poor fellows — they are all gone — ■ 
murdered by a madman — Braddock was a madman — he would 

(o)The reader will understand that it is the senior of the dual authors who 
now speaks, as elsewhere in these sketches in like cases. 


not let us tree, but made us stand out and be shot down, when we 
could see no Indians : — yes, Braddock was a madman — he said 
"no skulking, no treeing, but stand out and give them fair English 
play;" — if he had been shot when the battle begun, and Washing- 
ton had taken the command, we could have licked them, — yes, 
we'd a licked 'em.' 'How could you have done that?' I asked. 
'Why, we'd 've charged on them, and driven them out of the bushes 
and peavine — then we would have seen their red skins, and could 
have peppered them — yes, we'd 've peppered their red skins !' 
He would then repeat his 'boo-oo-oo — my old Virginia Blues — 
poor fellows — all gone,' &c., &c. — and tears would roll over his 
rough cheeks. 

"The last time I saw him was in October, 1816. He was then a 
pauper at Thomas Mitchell's, in Wharton township. He said he 
was then 104 years old, and perhaps he was. He was gathering in 
his tobacco. I stayed at Mitchell's two days, and Fossit and I had 
much talk about old times, the battle, and the route the army travel- 
ed. He stated the facts generally, as he had done before. He in-, 
sisted that the bones found by Abraham Stewart, Esq., were not 
the bones of Braddock, but of a Col. Jones ; — that Braddock 
and Sir Peter Halket were both buried in one grave, some fifty 
rods north-eastwardly of the place since marked as the place — 
That Braddock died at Dunbar's camp in the night, and his body 
was brought on to the next encampment, and buried in the camp, 
and that if he could walk to the place he thought he could point it 
out so exactly — near a forked appletree — that by digging, the bones 
could yet be found. 

"There are parts of this story wholly irreconcilable with well 
ascertained facts. There was no Col. Jones in Braddock's army. 
Sir Peter Halket and his son, Lieut. Halket, were killed and left on 
the field of battle. Braddock did not die at Dunbar's camp, but at 
the first camp eastward of it, and it is nowhere said that Braddock 
was buried in the camp, — but that might be true. Fossit died, I 
believe, in 1818, and was, consequently, according to his own state- 
ment, about 106 years old." 

The reader will naturally wish to know something of the previous 
history of Braddock and what was his military and private char- 

It is said he was an Irishman, but of Anglo-Saxon descent. His 
father bore the same name, and was an ofihcer in the Coldstream 
Guards, in which the son received his military training. The 
General was the only son, and left no issue. His two sisters also 


died unmarried. This destitution of any near kindred may aid in 
accounting for the uttter neglect of his remains and grave; and for 
the absence of any attempt to vindicate his character from the as- 
persions which his appalHng defeat rendered popular in England 
and America. 

At the early age of fifteen, Edward Braddock the younger entered 
service as Ensign in the second regiment of the Coldstream or 
Foot Guards, a very aristocratic division of the army, the body 
guard of Royalty, from the restoration of Charles II. to, perhaps, 
the present day — deriving its name from the place of its quarters. 
He rose rapidly through the grades of promotion without any signal 
achievements, and in 1745 became Lieut. Colonel. Yet it is re- 
corded that his regiment, under his command, behaved well at the 
battles of Fontenoy and Culloden. His patron and commander 
was the renowned Duke of Cumberland. In 1746 he was made a 
Brigadier-General and sent on duty to Gibraltar. In March, 1754, 
he was gazetted a Major-General, and in September following was 
appointed Generalissimo of the forces to be sent to, and raised in, 
America, against the French. 

The appointment was a bad one, considering the country and 
the service he was to be employed in. lie had too exalted an 
opinion of the universal efficiency of old European modes of war- 
fare and of the regular army, and too low an estimate of provincial 
troops and backwoods tactics. He was, moreover, haughty and 
imperious. Little was said of his private character prior to his 
death ; but when gone to his last account, his reputation was 
blackened with almost all the crimes of the Decalogue, and many 
more — save that of cowardice ; — his most cancorous defamers 
admit his bravery. No doubt much that was said against him was 
truly said, but there is as little doubt that great injustice has been 
done to his memory. That he was a gamester and a duellist is no 
doubt true ; but these were vices of his times and profession, of 
which better men than he were equally guilty. Says Horace Wal- 
pole, who delighted in the use of strong terms, "Desperate in his 
fortune, brutal in his behavior, obstinate in his sentiments, he was 
still intrepid and capable." His secretary, the lamented young 
Shirley, wrote of him before the defeat : "We have a General most 
judiciously chosen for being disqualified for the service he is in, in 
almost every respect. He may be brave for aught I know, and he 
is honest in pecuniary matters." Bravery and honesty are very 
strong redeeming qualities. Dr. Franklin, whose sagacity and 
accuracy in estimating men was unsurpassed, says of him, that "he 


was a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good 
officer in some European war. But he had too much self-confi- 
dence, too high an opinion of the validity of regular troops, and too 
mean a one of both Americans and Indians." But the opinion of 
AVashington, given of him, in mature years, after he had passed 
through the Revolution, is doubtless nearer the truth than any 
other. "I mentioned (p) (to Washington) the bad impression I had 
received of Gen. Braddock as an officer. 'True — true,' said he, 'he 
was unfortunate, but his character was much too severely treated. 
He was one of the honestest and best men of the British officers 
with whom he had been acquainted; even in the manner of fighting 
he was not more to blame than others ; — for, of all that were con- 
sulted, only one person (himself, probabl}^,) objected to it.' And 
looking around seriously to me, he said, 'Braddock was both my 
General and my physician. I was attacked with a dangerous fever 
on the march, and he left a sergeant to take care of me, and James' 
fever powders, with directions how to give them, and a wagon to 
bring me on when I would be able,' &c." It is very manifest that 
many of the idle traditions which have so needlessly sought to ex- 
alt that truly greatand just man at the expense of the fallen Gen- 
eral, could have received no frame-work upon which to be woven, 
from him. 

Much opprobrium and censure was heaped upon Col. Dunbar, 
for not making a further effort to accomplish the object of the 
campaign, or at least making a stand until reinforced. But when 
it is recollected that great numbers of the troops with him, say 800 
— at best none of the best(q) — were sick; — that half of his acces- 
sions from the crushed remains of Braddock's division, say 400, 
were wounded, and all half naked and panic-stricken — we must be 
satisfied that such an army was not the kind with which either to 
stand or advance, in a wilderness with hostile surroundings flushed 
with spoil and victory, without horses to move, or a prospect of 
obtaining them. The best justification of Dunbar is in the fact, 
that with all the efforts and resources of crown and colonies for 

(p)Hon. Wm. Findley's Letter relating a conversation with Wasliington 
while President, in XIV. Niles' Register, 179, before cited. 

(q)The two regiments — the 44th and 48th, of the Irish Establishment, which 
formed the main body of Braddock's army, had been recruited for the cam- 
paign in Ireland and London by enlistments "of the worst class of men, who, 
had they not been in the army, would probably have been In Bridewell." — 
Sargent's "History of Braddock's expedition," &o., 135. 


three succeeding years, and until Forbes' great army came in 1758, 
nothing was accomplished towards driving the French from Fort 
Du Quesne. Great talk and some effort was made even that year 
(1755) i" Virginia, under the influence of Col. Washington and 
Governor Dinwiddle, but nothing was done. The Virginia Gov- 
ernor proposed to the Governors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, 
to raise a force, cross the mountains, and build, and garrison with 
800 men, a fort at the Great Crossings, (Somerfield,) or at the 
Great Meadows. But the proposal was the end of it. 

For a long period succeeding the defeat of Braddock, the terri- 
tory of Fayette, in common with its adjacents, was given up entire- 
ly to the French and Indians, who seem to have used it for the sub- 
sistence of the forests, and as a field of transit for their predatory 
and warlike excursions further to the east and south; — which in- 
deed they had begun before the defeat. For these purposes Brad- 
dock's road and the other ancient trails were much used. Sa) s 
Washington, in a letter of May, 1756, to Gov. Dinwiddle, '"The roads 
over the Allegheny Mountains are as much beaten as they were 
last year by Gen. Braddock's army." No white man not leagued 
with the new confederacy of French and Indians, could find a rest- 
ing place in all the West. "You cannot conceive," wrote Gov. Mor- 
ris of Pennsylvania to Gen. Johnson, in November, 1755, "what a 
vast tract of country has been depopulated by these merciless sav- 
ages. I assure you that all the families from Augusta county in 
Virginia (of which we were then considered a part) to the river 
Delaware, have been obliged to quit their plantations, on the north 
side of that chain of mountains that is called the 'Endless Hills.' (r) 
Indeed the desolation seems to have extended further eastward. In 
November, 1756, the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania was 
credibly informed that in Cumberland county (then embracing all 
Pennsylvania west of the Susquehanna, except what is now York 
and Adams) there were not left 100 men fit to bear arms, whereas 
a year before there had been over 3000. The colonies of Virginia, 
Maryland and Pennsylvania sought to shut themselves up behind 
'e- chain of forts far to the east of their western limits, — the nearest 
to us being Forts Cumberland and Ligonier. Things remained thus, 
until, upon the accession of William Pitt, "the great commoner," 
to the Prime Ministry of England, new life and energy were in- 

('r)The rang-e which separates Franklin county from Bedford, and Hunting- 
don and Juniatai from Perry. 


iused into the civil and military arms. Thereupon in 1758, General 
Forbes was sent out with an army of foreign and provincial troops, 
in all about 7000, who, in November of that year, frightened the 
French from Fort Du Quesne, and re-established the English power 
around the head of the Ohio : — thus ending forever the struggle for 
supremacy here between the Gaul and the Saxon. Fayette county 
had no part in this expedition. The conquering army came by a 
new road from Bedford, through Westmoreland county, though 
strongly urged by Col. Washington, who commanded the Virginia 
levies, to take Braddock's road. 

The French party which came up to spoil the camp of Dunbar 
is the last hostile invasion that has ever pressed the soil of Fayette. 
In the perilous times which intervened, up to Wayne's great victory 
and treaty in 1794-5, Faj^ette territory was never, so far as known to 
history or tradition, the scene of any considerable fight, or Indian 
atrocity, of any kind. We shall have occasion frequently hereafter 
to notice this peculiar exemption, its reasons and results. Except 
when our citizens were promptly going forth to do, or were honor- 
ably returning after having done, yeomen's service in defending 
their own or invading the enemy's country, all the subsequent mili- 
tarjr movements withm our borders have been upon the Peace 
Establishment. May it ever be so; for 

"Peace hath her victories, no less than war." 



A large Field — Penn's Charter — Quaker regard for the Indian — Dunkards and 
the Toughiogheny — Dunkards in Greene — First Settlers — The Browns — Gists 
— Gist's neighbors — The Ohio Company — French dominion — Col. Burd's Ex- 
pedition — Military Permits — Titles about Brownsville and Bridgeport — Era 
of Settlement — Non-intervention — Pontiac's War — First Settlers from Vir- 
ginia and Maryland — The West — Settlements trouble the Indians — Kingly 
and Colonial Anxieties — Names of Settlements — Settlers warned, and driven 
off by the Military — Indian Titles — Bald Eagle — Indian Stephen — Burnt 
Cabin — Bloody Law against Settlers — Mission of Rev. Steel to warn them — 
Names and Number of Inhabitants in 1768 — Indian Treaty — Settlers let alone 
— Indians sell out to the Penns — Titles begin — Surveys — Prices of Lands — 
Devesting Act — Proprietary Patents — Slavery abolished — Our Slave-owners 
— Migration to Kentucky — New Settlers — Quakers — Presbyterians — Dr. Mc- 
Millan's Journal — Mount Moriah — The Baptists — Methodists — Associate Re- 
formed — Episcopalians — Catholics — German Churches — Others — Country 
Churches — Old Schools — Country Academies — Dunlap & Littell's High School 
— Character of our Early Settlers. 

We now enter upon a large and diversified field. And if any of 
our readers shall recollect some rugged prominences, or little 
flowered nooks, which we do not sketch, we beg them, although 
cur ignorance may be the true cause of their omission, to set down 
their absence to the want of room upon our canvas, and our inability 
to group them, consistently with the tout ensemble of the picture. 
Our efl-'ort shall be, faithfully and intelligibly to present to view 
all the strong features of the subject, and so to animate the sketch 
as to give to it, if not the reality, at least the semblance, of life and 

Whoever has been curious enough to peruse the Charter for 
Pennsylvania, granted in 1681, by Charles II. of England, will have 
seen that His Majesty, assuming the territory to be the "king's 
own," conveyed it to William Penn, his heirs and assigns, to hold 
in free and common socage, as of the Castle of Windsor, yielding 
and paying the yearly rent of two beaver skins and one-fifth of all 
gold and silver ore, and reserving unto the crown the sovereignty 
of the colony and the fealty and allegiance of its inhabitants. The 
Governors were to be appointed by the proprietaries, "by and with 
the advice and consent of" the king and council. To them, and 
to the freemen of the colony in Assembly, were committed all the 


powers of legislation and government, save that of making war, — 
subject to the revisal and approbation of their laws by the king and 
council, and to appeals from the provincial to the king's courts. But 
the appointment of all subordinate officers and the disposal of lands 
to settlers or others, were committed to the proprietaries only, or 
their deputies or Governors, in their names ; without any interfer- 
ence or control by the Assembly, or by the king or parliament. 

This absolute power over the lands gave to the proprietaries, 
indirectly, a control over the settlers thereon, and enabled them 
to enforce their peculiar, peaceful and just policy towards the Indian 
nations. Indeed, one of the principal specified objects for which 
Penn sought the grant, was "to reduce the savage native, by 
gentle and just manners, to the love of civil society and the Chris- 
tian religion." This cardinal purpose was steadfastly kept in view 
by the colonial government during its entire existence, and brought 
it often in conflict with the adverse purposes and conduct of settlers. 
The Penn policy was never to grant lands, or to allow any settle- 
ment upon them, until after they had been purchased from, and 
formaHy ceded by, the Indian owners. Immediate or direct pur- 
chases by individuals from the Indians were strictly forbidden. And 
so scrupulously just and conciliatory were the proprietaries, that 
when they found that the Indians did not comprehend the import 
and extent of the terms used in the deed of cession signed at Albany 
in 1754. to which we have before referred, they relinquished all be- 
yond certain limits, to which the Indians admitted they meant to 

This unyielding deference to aboriginal title by the Penns became 
ingrafted into the character of the province, and was transmitted to 
the commonwealth. It was however not a characteristic of its 
neighbor, Virginia; who put it on, only as an outward profession, 
when the king commanded or self-interest demanded it. We shall 
presently see somethmg of these antipodal courses of policy, and 
much more, when we come to the "Boundarjr controversy." 

When, as early as 1751, as related by Croghan and Montour, at 
a council of the Six Nations and Delaware and Shawnee tribes 
of Indians, held at Logstown on the Ohio, some sixteen miles below 
Pittsburgh," a Dunkard from Virginia came to town and requested 
leave to settle on the Yogh-yo-gaine river, a branch of the Ohio ; he 
was told that he must apply to the Onondaga council, and be 
recommended by the Governor of Pennsylvania." This little item 
of history reflects the peculiar non-intrusive Indian policy of the 
Penns, and is also the earliest recorded design (except that of the 


Ohio Company, which did not recognize Pennsylvania proprietor- 
ship,) of efifecting an orderly settlement within the bounds of our 
county. It failed of accomplishment from some cause. Doubtless 
the applicant was one of the Eckerlin brothers who, a few years 
afterwards, located their little colony at the mouth of Dunkard 
creek in our neighbor, Greene; whence, after giving their name to 
the stream, they soon removed to Dunkard's bottom on Cheat river, 
and thence to the south branch of the Potomac, where their history 
is as tragical as their character was peaceful and holy. They were 
in advance of the spirit of the times, and of the localities which they 
sought to people. 

We believe the first actual white settlers within our present coun- 
t}' limits were the Browns — Wendell Brown and his two sons, 
Maunus and Adam, if not a third one, Thomas. They came in 1751 
or '52. Their first location was on Provance's bottom, a short dis- 
tance below the mouth of little Jacob's creek. But soon after, some 
Indians enticed them away from that choice alluvial reach, by 
promises to show them better land, and where they would enjoy 
greater security. They were led to the lands on which, in part, the 
descendants of Maunus now reside, and erected their cabin upon the 
tract nov,' the home of his grandson, Emanuel Brown, really among 
the best in the county. They came as hunters, but soon became 
herdsmen and tillers of the soil. It has been said that Frederick 
Waltzer was contemporary with the Browns. We think this an er- 
ror. Trie did not come for some years afterwards. 

The next settler within our bounds was Christopher Gist; and 

1 752 has been generall]- stated to be the date of his settlement: 
But we think he did not acquire a local habitation here until 1753. 
In the Virginia Commissioners' certificate, given in 1780 to his 
son, Thomas Gist, for the land on which his father first settled, 

1753 is fixed as the year of his settlement. Washington's embassy 
to the French posts, when he speaks of having passed "Mr. Gist's 
new settlement," was in November of that year. His agency for 
the Ohio Company brought him here. His cabin was, we believe, 
on that part of the Mount Braddock lands now owned by Jacob 
Murphy, contiguous to the spring near his barn. By this early set- 
tlement he and his sons were enabled, in after years, to acquire the 
largest and finest body of lands ever owned by any one family in 
this county embracing not only the Mount Braddock estate, now 
owned by Isaac Beeson, but also the fine farms of Isaac Wood, Ja- 
cob Murphy and P. C. Pusey; — a domain which many a German 
prince might give his kingdom for. 


We have seen it stated somewhere that "Gist induced eleven 
families to settle around him, on lands presumed to be within the 
Ohio Company's grant." This may be so. But the late Col. James 
Paull, whose father, George PauU, was an early settler in that 
vicinity, and intimately acquainted with the Gists, said he never 
heard of these settlers. What gives great probability, however, to 
the statement, is the fact, stated by de Villiers, the French -com- 
mander of the expedition against Washington at Fort Necessity, 
in 1754, that on his return, he not only ordered the houses at the 
entrenchment at Gist's to be burnt down, but detached an officer 
"to burn the houses round about." He also took several prisoners 
at Gist's. It is certain that grants of lands within our county 
limits were made by the Ohio Company. These were prior to 1755, 
and were chiefly, if not wholly, in the Gist neighborhood. The 
Stewarts, who settled in the vicinity of, and gave name to, "Stew- 
art's crossings," (Connellsville,) were unquestionably in this class 
of settlers, (a) William Cromwell, son-in-law of Gist, set up a 
claim, under the Ohio Company, to a part of the Gist lands, "in the 
forks of the roads to Fort Pitt and Redstone," including Isaac 
Wood's farm, asserting, somewhat inconsistently, a gift of it to his 
wife from her father, and a settlement thereof in 1753. He sold 
his claim to one Samuel Lyon, between whom and the Gists a long 
controversy was waged for the title, wherein the Gists prevailed. 
It may be that others of the early settlers, in that part of the county 
had grants from this Company which, as the French war blasted 
the Company's prospects in this region, proved useless, and obliged 
them thereupon to secure their lands under Virginia and Penns}^- 
vania. Such indeed was the case with the Gists. It is not unlikely 
that William Jacobs, who settled in 1761 at the mouth of Redstone, 
where the Flangard was built by the Ohio Company in 1754, claimed 
under that Company. 

The repulse of Washington in 1754, and still more decisively 
the defeat of Braddock in 1755, put an end, for some time, to all 
efforts b}^ the English colonists to settle west of the mountains ; 
and all that were here at and before those events, were forced to 
retire for a time to the eastward, or south. The French never 
attempted any permanent settlements in this part of the country, 
and during their sway universal desolation reigned. Many of the 
old settlers returned after the expulsion of the French in 1758, and 

(a) See note (a) to Memoirs of the Gists, in Chapter VII. 


resumed their possessions. Among these were the Browns and the 
Gists, whom we will further notice in the sequel. 

The expedition of Col. James Burd, in 1759, to open the "road 
to Redstone" and erect Fort Burd, led to some settlements in that 
vicinity, between that year and 1764, by persons who had been 
connected with the expedition, and by others. Of these were 
A'\'illiam Colvin, whose settlement right, acquired in 1763, to lands 
now of Eli Cope and others, he sold to Thomas Brown. It is' 
probable that such was the origin of the titles of John and Samuel 
jM'Culloch to the land where Brownsville now is, extending: from 
creek to creek, and whose rights, together with Cresap's, became 
vested in Thomas and Bazil Brown, to whom patents issued. 
Capt. Lemuel Barrett held the land where Bridgeport now is, 
under a "military permit from the commander at Fort Pitt, 
in 1763, for the purpose of cultivating lands within the custom 
limits of the garrison then called Fort Burd." He was a Mary- In 1783 he conveyed his title to Rees Cadwallader, the 
town proprietor. The land just above Bridgeport, on the river, 
embracing some three or four hundred acres, was, in early times, 
the subject of long and angry controversies — from 1769 to 1785 — 
between adverse claimants under "military permits." It was well 
named, in the official survey, which one of the parties procured of 
it under a Pennsylvania location, "Bone of Contention." One 
Ang-us M'Donald claimed it, or part of it, under a military permit 
from Col. Bouquet, dated April 26th, 1763, and a settlement on it. 
In March, 1770, he sold his claim to Captain Luke Collins, (a) 
describing the land as "at a place called Fort Burd, to include the 
field cleared by me where the sawpit was above the mouth of 
Dunlap's creek." Collins conveyed it to Captain Michael Cresap (of 
Logan's speech celebrity) on the 13th of April, 1772, "at half past 
nine in the morning," — describing it as ' situate between "Point 
Lookout and John Martin's land," — recentlj^ owned, we believe, 
by the late Mrs. John S. Krepps. Cresap's executors, in June, 
1781, conveyed -to one William Schooly, an old Brownsville mer- 
chant, who conve}'ed to Rees Cadwallader. The adverse claimants 
were Henry Shryock(b) and William Shearer, assignee of George 

(a)Of some celebrity in the "Boundary Controversy," and as the friend and 
correspondent of Col. George Wilson, which see — Chap. IX. 

{b)0f Frederick county, Md. We find the name of Henry Shryock among 
the members of the Maryland Convention to ratify the Constitution of the 
United States, in April, 3 788 — probably the same person. 


Andrew. Their claim reached further southward towards the 
creek, and further up the river, covering the John Martin land. 
They sold out to Robert Adams and Thomas Shain. Although 
they had the oldest permit (in 1762) their title seems to have been 
overcome by the settlement and official location and survey of their 

One Robert Thorn seems also to have been a claimant of part of 
the land, but Collins bought him out. This protracted controversy 
involved man)- curious questions, and called up many ancient recol- 
lections. No doubt the visit to this locality of Mr. Deputy-Sheriff 
W^oods, of'Bedford, in 1771, was parcel of this controversy. (c) 
Many of these earh' claims were lost, or forfeited, by neglect to 
settle the land, according to law, and thus were supplanted by 
others. They were valued by their owners at a very low mark, and 
often sold for trifling sums. 

These settlements, by virtue of military permits, began about this 
period — from 1760 to '65, to be somewhat numerous in the vicini- 
ties of Forts Pitt and Burd, and along the army roads leading there- 
to, (d) They were subsequently recognized as valid by the Penns, 
even before they had bought out the Indian title. This was a de- 
parture from their general policy, required to maintain those forts 
and keep up access to them. They were indeed regarded as mere 
appendages to the forts, and as accessories to the trade and inter- 
course with the Indians, and not as permanent settlements for 
homes and subsistence. The Monongahela river below Fort Burd, 
being in fact an army highway, came in for a share of these favors. 
Their aggregate was few, and they were often far between. 

It was not until about iy6<,-6, that settlements, in the true and 
legitimate sense of the term, came to attract notice in what is now 

(c)See his Affidavit in sketcli of "Boundary Controversy," — Chap. IX. 

(d)Even these military settlements "would seem to have been contrary to 
the plighted faith of the English to the Indians, as given by Sir Jeffry Am- 
herts, Commander-in-Chief of the British in North America, who at an Indian 
treaty held at Port Pitt, in August, 1760, told them that "no part whatever 
of their lands Joining to the forts should be taken from them, nor any Eng- 
lish people be permitted to settle upon them," without their consent, and be- 
ing paid therefor. These military permits were generally issxied by Col, Bou- 
quet, who commanded at Port Pitt in 1762-'3, &c., and by Capt. E'dmondstone, 
and the king's proclamation of October, 1763, referred to hereafter, wore the 
semblance of forbidding them. See a reference to Col, Bouquet's proclamation 
of 1762, in a subsequent note (f). These royal and military flourishes of su- 
preme regard for Indian sovereignty had very much the consequence of the 
modern doctrine of "non-intervention," viz — to encourage irresponsible indi- 
viduals to violate it; the "poor Indian" being the victim in the one case, as 
the honest settler is in the other. 


South-Western Pennsylvania. And it is a well-ascertained fact that 
the earliest of this class of settlements, for homes and subsistence, 
were in what is now Fayette County. This was the result of several 
co-operating causes, some of which have been alluded to in a pre- 
ceding sketch. The great abundance of game, the general immu- 
nity from Indian aggression, the fertility of the land, its fine springs 
and water-courses ; but, above all, its short and easy access from the 
Atlantic slope by Braddock's road ; — these were the combined 
causes, which now near a century ago, planted all over our county 
territory, in almost every valley, whether large or small, in both 
mountain and lowland, the seeds of a rude but hardy civilization. 

Although the French were expelled from this region in 1758, yet 
the Indians were not quieted until 1764; so long did it require for 
the waves raised by the storm of "54-'s to subside. This was effect- 
ed b_v two very dissimilar agencies — conciliatory intercourse, and 
the military expeditions of Colonels Bouquet and Bradstreet, of that 
and the previous years. The reduction of Canada had led to hopes 
of peace with the Ohio Indians, but French influence was still at 
work. Added to this, the progress of the English in their career of 
conquest, and the establishment of lines of Forts all over the Indian 
territory, alarmed the natives, and led to that powerful Indian confed- 
eracy for war and rapine, designated in the bloody annals of that 
period as Pontiac's War, — planned and executed by that Napoleon 
of sa^-age warfare. This was in 1763; and while it raged, "the fron- 
tiers of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland were overrun by 
scalping parties, marking their way with blood and devastation." 
Nearly all the English forts — Detroit, Niagara, Presque Isle, Le 
Boeuf, Venango, Pitt, Ligonier, &c., were vigorously attacked. And 
it was not until the decisive but costly victory of Bouquet, at Bushy 
run, between Ligonier and Pitt, and his bloodless subjugation of 
the Indians on the Muskingum in the ensuing year, that peace and 
safety were restored. Although our county territory enjoyed its 
usual impunity during these bloody years — the inhabitants never 
flying, as they had to do from neighboring territory — yet the terror 
which was inspired prevented the influx of settlers. But when this 
barrier was removed, the tide of immig'ration rolled in with rapid 
and steadily-augmenting force, so that 1765 may be set down as 
the era of the settlement of Fayette county. 

The first settlers, almost without an exception, came from the 
frontier counties of Virginia and Maryland, chiefly from the for- 
mer. The events in this region, of the preceding French War, 


had, more than any knowledge of the boundaries, served to cre- 
ate the general belief, among the people of those counties, that this 
was Virginia territory. Yet it may be assumed that the first set- 
tlers came, without knowing, or caring to know, whether this be- 
lief was well founded or not. They knew they were coming into 
that vast and perilous, but fertile domain denominated the West, 
Vi^here land was cheap, and libert},' as exuberant as the soil. They had 
perhaps heard that Virginia claimed all the West, from the then 
undefined Western limits of Marj-land and Pennsylvania to the Mis- 
sissippi, and from the Lakes on the North, to 36 deg. 30 min. on the 
South; and supposed that the only adverse jurisdiction was that of 
the Indians — for as yet there existed here no organized government 
— no officers of the law. Although nomiaally embraced Avithin 
Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, or Augusta county, Virginia, 
3'et, as the county-seat of the former was Carlisle, and of the latter 
Stanton, with vast mountain wastes intervening, these dependen- 
cies were too remote to be reached by the civil arm : and for a while 
the settlers were unheeded and unmolested by the government of 
either colon}^ Plence the tide flowed fast and free. Says a letter 
from Winchester, Va., dated April 30, 1765 — "The frontier inhabit- 
ants of this colony and Maryland are removing fast over the Alle- 
gheny Mountains in order to settle and live there." And Geo. Crog- 
han, the Deputy Indian Agent, under date of Fort Pitt, May 24, 
1766, says, "as soon as the peace was made last year (by Col. Bou- 
quet,) contrary to our engagements to them (The Indians) a num- 
ber of our people came over the Great Mountain and settled at Red- 
stone creek, and upon the Monongahela, before they had given -the 
country to the King their Father." Concurrent with this is all the 
testimony of that period. And so imposing did these settlements 
soon become, that they threatened to bring both the Governments 
and people of Pennsj'lvania and Virginia into trouble with the 
Indians. For this reason, and this alone, they now attract the notice 
of the civil and military powers. 

After the definite treaty of peace between France and England, 
signed at Paris, in February, 1763, which terminated the French 
War, had given to England, Canada and the Floridas, and ended 
the French power and possessions on the American Continent, 
except in Louisiana, England hecan to make a great show of care 
for the Indians. On the 7th of October of that year, the King issued 
a proclamation regulating the bounds and affairs of his newly 
acquired possessions, and dealing out, in large profusion, his ten- 
der regard for the Indian tribes ; — declaring that they must not be 


molested in their hunting grounds, and forbidding any governor or 
commander-in-chief, in any colony, to grant warrants of survey, or 
patents, for any lands beyond the heads of rivers which fall into the 
Atlantic, or which had been ceded by the Indians. This was an 
interdict to all settlements and surveys in what is now South-West- 
ern Pennsylvania, as well as in all the West. Yet, as its violations 
were visited by no specified penalties, it was disregarded by set- 
tlers, and even, to some extent, by the Government of Virginia, 
though never by that of Pennsylvania. It was by some of the best 
men in the "Old Dominion," even by Washington, (e) looked upon 
as a mere ruse, or pretense, to keep down or quiet the apprehensions 
of the natives. They, however, did not so regard it. They claimed 
its enforcement, and were as clamorous and tenacious of their re- 
served rights to their lands and hunting-courses as has been the 
Virginia of the present century for the doctrines of the "Resolu- 
tions of '98," and threatened resistance as vociferously as did the 
chivalry of Carolina in 1832. It was the opinion of those most con- 
versant with the Indians, among whom were the British Command- 
er-in-Chief in America, General Gage, Sir William Johnston, the 
Jndian Agent General and his Deputy, Croghan, that unless the in- 
truding settlers were speedily removed, a general Indian war would 
be the inevitable result. Indeed, it was to the actual and threatened 
encroachments upon their lands in this region, by the English, that 
General Gage attributed the loss of the Indian's affections in 1754- 
'55, which led them to throw themselves into the arms of the French 
for protection, and brought on the disasters of those years, and sub- 
sequent hostilities. A remed}' was imperatively demanded. 

The documentary history of iy6^-6-y, indeed, of all that decade, 
speaks of no other settlements in Western Pennsylvania, or the 
West generally, than those within, or immediately bordering upon, 
the Monongahela, upon Cheat, upon the Yough, the Turkey-foot 
and Redstone; — the first and last being the most prominent, anl 
the last the most extensive, covering all the interior settlements 
about Uniontown. Georges creek settlers were referred to Cheat; 
those about Gist's to the Yough ; while Turkey-foot took in all the 
mountain districts. All these settlements seem to have been nearly 
cotemporaneous ; those on the Redstone and the Monongahela bor- 
der being perhaps the earliest, those on the Yough and Turkey- 
foot the latest, while those of Georges creek and Cheat occupy an 

(e)See his letter to Colonel Wm. Crawford, dated 21st Sept., 1767, copied into 
subsequent Sketch of "Washington in Fayette" — Chap. XIV. 


intermediate date, blending with all the others. They all range 
from 1763 to 1768, inclusive. 

The earliest efforts to dispossess, or drive off these early settlers, 
were of a military character, (f) In June, 1766, Captain Alexander 
Mackay, commanding a part of the 42d Regiment,* was sent from 
Fort Pitt by Major Murray, the commandant there, to Redstone 
creek, at which place, meaning doubtless Fort Burd, he, on the 22d 
of that month, issues "to all whom it may concern," a Notice, stat- 
ing that the commander-in-chief, "out of compassion to your ignor- 
ance, before he proceeds to extremity," had sent him there to col- 
lect them together, inform them of their lawless behavior, and to 
order them all to return to their several provinces without delay, 
upon pain of having their goods and merchandise made lawful prize 
by the Indians, of having their persons and estates put out of the 
pale of protection • and if they disobeyed, or remained, of being 
driven from the lands they occupy by an armed force. 

This martial demonstration was quickly followed by proclama- 
tions from the civil arm. On the 31st of July, 1766, Governor Fau- 
quier, of Virginia, made proclamation of like requirements and 
penalties. And on the 23d of September, Governor Penn issues a 
similar fulmination, wherein he specially forbids "all his Majesty's 
subjects of this, or any other province, or colony, from making any 
•'settlements, or taking possession of lands, by marking trees, or 
otherwise, beyond the limits of the last Indian purchase (that of 
1754 at Albany as subsequently restricted) within this province, 
upon pain of the severest penalties of the law, and of being exclud- 
ed from the privilege of securing such settlements should the lands, 
where they are made, be hereafter purchased of the Indians." 

Both these proclamations are declared to have been made by vir- 
tue of instructions from his Majesty, given in October, 1765, from 
which it is inferred that the settlements had become alarming to 

(f)Even before the King's proclamation of Oct. 1763, Col. Henry Bouquet, 
then commanding at Fort Pitt, had, in the latter part of 1762, issued a procla- 
mation forbidding "any of his majesty's subjects to settle or hunt to the west of 
the Allegheny mountains, on any pretense whatever, unless upon leave in 
writing from the General or the Governors of their respective provinces pro- 
duced to the commander at Port Pitt," requiring all such persons to be seized, 
and sent, with their horses and effects, to Port Pitt, there to be tried by court- 
martial and punished accordingly. Though often violated, we read of no case 
of seizure or punishment. The policy of this period was by fair pretenses, to 
counteract the insinuations of the French, that the English were really seek- 
ing to supplant, not to protect the Indians, in the possession of their lands. 
Hence these repeated "springes to catch wood-chucks." 

*This regiment was a part of Col. Bouquet's force that marched to the re- 
lief of Fort Pitt in 1763. V. Bancroft, 129, note 3. Ibed 339. VI. Do. 353. 


the Indians, or rather the provincial authorities, so early in that, or 
the previous year, as we have reached the royal councils at that 
date. Indeed, Governor Fauquier writes to Governor Penn, in 
December, 1766, that he had issued two previous proclamations of 
like import, but that all had been disregarded. Governor Penn, 
however, says, in January, 1767, that the efforts had been partially 
successful, that many families had withdrawn, but some had since 

This co-operative action by the two Governors, seems to have 
been rendered necessary by the unsettled state of the boundaries 
between the two provinces. So thought Governor Penn ; and Gov- 
ernor Fauquier joined in the effort very cordially but without inti- 
mating any claim, on the part of Virginia, to the territory intruded 
upon. Its' value had not yet been weighed — the horns of the strife 
were not yet grown. 

Despite all these threats and warnings, the current of intrusive 
settlement still rolled on, expanding with time, and growing stronger 
by resistance. In the mean time the Indians are becoming more and 
more restive and complaining, especially those of the tribes own- 
ing the lands, who had their habitations and rovings at some dis- 
tance off : for, as is often the case with civilized men, those most re- 
motely concerned utter the earliest and loudest complaints. The 
settlers generally contrived to keep themselves at peace with the 
Indians here, trading and hunting with them, and even buying set- 
tlement rights from them. This was not an unfrequent mode of ac- 
quiring rights to squat upon some of the choicest lands. Indeed, 
nearly all the earliest settlers resorted to it, — Gist, the Browns, and 
others already named. And it is said that the ancestral Provance 
in this way got possession of Provance's Bottom, and James Harri- 
son of the lands on Brown's run, surveyed in the names of John and 
Robert Harrison, including where James Wilson now resides ; also 
the Michael Debolt and Adam Sholly tracts, on Catt's run, now 
owned by David Johnson and James S. Rohrer, late George Rider. 
These, and many others of like origin, were purchased and settled 
about 1760. By the Indian treaties made between that year and 1765, 
they bound themselves not to sell lands to any others than the 
King, or the provincial proprietors, an obligation which was not, 
perhaps, always kept inviolate. Such purchases had no validity as 
titles; they only enabled the purchasers to acquire thereby, and by 
their subsequent improvements thereon, some of the best lands. 
They gave a kind of conventional right, and were looked' upon as a 
grade higher than mere "tomahawk settlements." 


This increasing contact and intercourse of pioneer settlers, with 
the Indians led, as might be expected, to many disorders; and as 
the jealousies of the latter grew stronger, occasional personal con- 
flicts, and even homicides, occurred, which added to the animosi- 
ties by the whites, and to the causes of complaint by the_natives. 
Many Indians were killed on the frontiers of.YJ.rgiriia and Penn- 
sylvania, and occasionally a white trader or " hunter ■ met a corre- 
sponding fate. But within the territory of Fayette few such out- 
rages are known to have been perpetrated. Of these was the mur- 
der of "Bald Eagle," on the Monongahela,(g) the killing of Indian 
Stephen at or near Stewart's Crosings, (h) and the shooting, and 
burning the cabin of the two stranger hunters and settlers near 
Mendenhall's dam, on the Burnt Cabin fork of Dunlap's creek, (i) 
When this case occurred is not so certainly known, but the two 

(g)"Bald Eagle" was an inoffensive old Delaware warrior. He was on inti- 
mate terms with the early settlers, with whom he hunted, fished and visited. 
He was well-known along our Monongahela border, up and down which he 
frequently passed in his canoe. Somewhere up the river, probably about the 
mouth of Cheat, he was killed — by whom, and on what pretense, is unknown. 
His dead body, placed upright in his canoe, with a piece of corn-bread in his 
clenched teeth, was set adrift on the river. The canoe oame ashore at Pro- 
vance's Bottom, where the familiar old Indian was at once recognized by the 
wife of William Yard Provance, who wondered he did not leave his canoe. 
On closer observation, she found he was dead. She had him decently buried 
on the Payette shore, near the early residence of Robert McClean, at what 
■was known as McClean's Ford. This murder was regarded, both by whites 
and Indians, as a great outrage, and the latter made it a prominent item in 
their list of unavenged grievances. 

(h)This offense was committed by one Samuel Jacobs, aided and abetted by 
one John Ingman, an "indented servant" of Capt. Wm. Crawford — probably a 
nfearro slave. The provocation and other circumstances of the case are un- 
known. The case acquired importance from the fact that the Governor of 
Virginia, contrary to the claim of that province to the territory embracing 
the locality of the killing, had sent one of the offenders back from Virginia to 
Pennsylvania to be tried for the offense. — See "Boundary Controversy." 

(i)This case, as related by. Joseph Mendenhall, an old soldier, and settler at 
the place known as Mendenhall's Dam, in Menallen township, -was thus: — 
About three and a half miles west of Uniontown, on the south side of the 
State, or Heaton Road, which leads from the Poor-House, through New Salem, 
<S'c.. and within five or six rods of the road (on land now of Joshua Woodward) 
are the remains of an old clearing of about one-fourth of an acre, and "n'ithin 
it the remains of an old chimney. Two or three rods south-eastward is a 
small spring, the drain of which leads off westward into the "Burnt Cabin 
fork" of Dunlap's or Nemaoolin's creek; and still further south, some four or 
five rods is the old trail, or path called Dunlap's road, which we have here- 
tofore traced. The story is, that in very early times — perhaps about 1767, 
two men came over the mountains by this path to hunt, &c., and began an 
improvement at this clearing, and put up a small cabin upon it. While asleep 
in their cabin, some Indians came to it, and shot them, and then set fire to 
the cabin. Their names are unknown. So far as known, this is the only case 
of the kind that ever occurred within our county limits. 


Indians were killed in 1766. Great efforts were made to apprehend 
and punish the offenders, but except as to an alleged accomplice in 
the case of Stephen, they were fruitless. "At this," writes Governor 
Fauquier, "I am not surprised, for I have found by experience that 
it is impossible to bring any body to justise for the murder of an 
Indian, who takes shelter among our back inhabitants, among whom 
it is looked upon as a meritorious action, and they are sure of being 

The Indian murmurs grew louder, and their threats of vengeance 
more earnest and alarming. So far as concerned Pennsylvania, the 
great burden of complaint was the settlements upon their lands 
along the Monongahela, Redstone, the Youghiogheny and Cheat. 
The}' complained also of the murder of their people, and 
to these the more sober and discreet of their tribes, as a distinct 
grievance, the increasing corruption of the young men and warriors 
b}- Rum. They had, however, thus early learned to discriminate be- 
tween the people of the two rival colonies, and charged nearh- all 
their grievances to the people of Virginia. But, as the localities 
were in Pennsylvania, it behooved the Penn Government to devise 
and execute a remedy for the wrongs complained of, so as thereb)^ 
to prevent the savage retaliation which impended over the border 

In the summer of 1767, another military effort was made to re- 
move the settlers by the garrison at Fort Pitt, but as no other pun- 
ishment ensued than a temporary removal, no sooner was the sol- 
diery withdrawn than the settlers returned with reinforcements. 

The running of Mason & Dixon's line, our Southern boundary, 
in 1767, showed that the new settlements were all within Pennsyl- 
vania; and Virginia, under the Governorships of Fauquier and Bote- 
tourt, did not pretend to gainsay' it. In January, 1768, Governor 
Penn called the special attention of his Assembly to this newly 
ascertained jurisdiction, and after rehearsing the fruitless efforts 
hitherto made to remove the settlers, invoked their aid to devise a 
remedy for the alleged wrongs, and thus if possible, avert the 
threatened war. The Assembly appear to have been as badly fright- 
ened as the Governor. A perusal of the historical memoirs of the 
period does not lead to the conclusion that the danger was either 
very apparent or very imminent. Nevertheless, the Governor and 
Assembly go to work, and enact a most terrifying law to drive off 
the settlers. It is dated February 3d, 1768. After reciting- that 
"many disorderly people, in violation of his Majesty's proclamation, 
have presumed to settle upon lands not yet purchased from the Indi- 



ans, to their damage and great dissatisfaction, which may be attend- 
ed with dangerous and fatal consequences to the peace and safety 
of this province," it proceeded to enact that if any settlers after be- 
ing required to remove themselves and families, by personal notice 
or proclamation sent to them, should not so remove within thrity 
days thereafter; or, if after having removed, they should return; 
or, if any should so settle after such notice, every such persons "be- 
ing thereof legally convicted by their own confession, or the verdict 
of a jury, shall suffer death without benefit of clergy." And if any per- 
sons thereafter should enter upon such unpurchased land, to make 
surveys, or should cut down, or mark trees thereon, "every person 
so offending shall forfeit and pay, for every such offense, the sum 
of fifty pounds, and suffer three months imprisonment without bail, 
or mainprize." And, to make trials more grievous, and convictions 
more certain, the offenders were to be taken to Philadelphia, and 
there tried by courts and juries of that county. 

This law savors more of the fourteenth than of the eighteenth 
century; and, as might have been expected, its sanguinary charac- 
ter rendered it inefficient — a mere brutem fulmen. Its only effect 
was to increase the irritations between the settlers and the Indians, 
and to ease the treasury of some of its funds, to pay for sending 
sundry persons and proclamations among the settlers to warn 

There were, however, specially exempted from the operations of 
this law, all settlers, past, present or future, upon the main, or army 
roads to Fort Pitt, or in the neighborhood of that post, by virtue 
of military permits, and settlers in George Croghan's settlement, 
"above the said fort." These exemptions saved many of our set- 
tlers, along Braddock's and Burd's roads, and around Fort Burd, 
from the terrors of the law. If others feared, yet they fared no 
worse than these. 

In February, 1768, Governor Penn commissioned the Rev. John 
Steele, of Carlisle, a Presbyterian clergyman of some celebrity, 
and three other citizens of Cumberland county, to visit the obnox- 
ious settlements, distribute proclamations embodying the bloody 
act, and Avarn the settlers to quit. These envoys set cuit early in 
March, and traveled by way of Fort Cumberland and Braddock's 
road. Our readers will pardon us for copying their Report entire; 

"April 2d, 1768. 
"We arrived at the settlement on Redstone on the 23rd day of 
March. The people having heard of our coming, had appointed a 


meeting among themselves on the 24th, to consult what measures 
to take. We took advantage of this meeting, read the Act of 
Assembly and Proclamation — explaining the law and giving the rea- 
sons of it as well as we could, and used our endeavors to persuade 
them to comply; alleging to them that it was the most probable 
method to entitle them to favor with the Honorable Proprietors 
when the land was purchased. 

"After lamenting their distressed condition, they told us the peo- 
ple were not fully collected ; but they expected all would attend on 
the Sabbath following, and then they would give us an answer. 
The}', however, affirmed that the Indians were very peaceable, and 
seemed sorry that they were to be removed, and said they appre- 
hended the English intended to make war upon the Indians, as 
they were moving off their people from the neighborhood. 

"We labored to persuade them that they were imposed upon by 
a few straggling Indians ; that Sir William Johnston, who had in- 
formed our Government, must be better acquainted with the mind 
of the Six Nations, and that they were displeased with the white 
people's settling on their unpurchased lands. 

"On Sabbath, the 27th, of March, a considerable number attended 
(their names are subjoined,) and most of them told us they were 
resolved to move off and would petition your Honor for a prefer- 
ence in obtaining their improvements when a purchase w^as made. 
While we were conversing we were informed that a number of Indi- 
ans were to come to Indian Peter's. We, judging it might be sub- 
servient to our main design that the Indians should be present, 
while we were advising the people to obey the law, sent for them. 
They came, and, after sermon, delivered a speech, with a string of 
wampum, to be transmitted to your Honor. Their speech was — 
'Ye are come, sent by your great men, to tell these people to go 
away from the land, which ye say is our's; and we are sent by our 
great men, and are glad we have met here this day. We tell 
you, the white people must stop, and we stop them till the treaty, 
and when George Croghan and our great men talk together, we 
will tell them what to do.' The Indians were from Mingo town, 
about eighty miles from Redstone (a little below Steubenville). 

"After this the people were more confirmed that there was no 
danger of war. They dropped the design of petitioning, and said 
they would wait the issue of the treaty. Some, however, declared 
they would move off. We had sent a messenger to Cheat River 
and to Stewart's Crossings of Youghiogheny with several pro- 
clamations, requesting them to meet us at Gist's place as most 


central for both settlements. On the 30th of March, about thirty 
or forty met us there. We proceeded, as at Redstone, reading 
the Act of Assembly and a Proclamation, and endeavored to con- 
vince them of the necessity and reasonableness of quitting the 
unpurchased land; but to no purpose. They had heard what the 
Indians had said at Redstone, and they reasoned in the same man- 
ner, declaring they had no apprehensions of a war, that they would 
attend the treaty, and take their measures accordingly. Many 
severe things were said of Mr. Croghan ; and one Lawrence Har- 
rison treated the law and our Government with too much dis- 

"On the 31st of March we came to the Great Crossings of 
Youghiogheny, and being informed by one Speer that eight or ten 
families lived in a place called the Turkey Foot, we sent some 
proclamations thither by said Speer, as we did to some families nigh 
the Crossings of Little Yough, judging it unnecessary to go 
amongst them. 

"It is our opinion that some will move off in obedience to the 
law; that the greatest part will await the treaty, and if they find 
the Indians are indeed dissatisfied, we think the whole will be per- 
suaded to remove. The Indians coming to Redstone, and delivering 
their speech, greatly obstructed our design. 
"We are, &c. 

John Steel, 
John Allison, 
Christopher Lemes, 
James Potter. 
"To the Honorable John Penn, Esquire, 

Lieutenant-Governor, &c., &c." 

"The Indians names who came to Redstone, viz : 
Captains Haven, Hornets, Mygog Wigo, Nogawach, Strikebelt, 
Pouch, Gilly and Slewbells. 

The names of the inhabitants near Redstone : 
John Wiseman, Henry Prisser, William Linn,' William Colvin, 
John Vervalson, Abraham Tygard (Teagarden), Thomas Brown, 
Richard Rodgers, John Belong, Peter Young, George Martin, 
Thomas Downs, Andrew Gudgeon (Gudgel), Philip Sute (Shute), 
James Crawford, John Peters, Henry Swats, James McClean, Jesse 
Martin, Adam Hatton, John Verval, Jr., James AValler, Thomas 
Douter (Douthitt), Captain Coburn, Michael Hooter, Andrew Linn, 


Gabriel Conn, John Alartin, Hans Cack (Cook), Daniel McKay, 
Josias Crawford, one Provence (William Yard, or John William), 


Names of some who met us at Guesse's (Gist's) place. 
One Bloomfield, (Thomas or Empson Brownfield), James Lyne, 
(Lynn or Lyon), Ezekiel Johnson, Thomas Guesse (Gist), Charles 
Lindsay, James Wallace (AYaller), Richard Harrison, Phil. Sute 
(Shute), Jet. (Jediah) Johnson, Plenry Burkon (Burkham), Law- 
rence Harrison, Ralph Lliggenbottom.(j) 

Names of the people at Turkey Foot: 
Henry Abrams,(k) Ezekiel Dewitt, James Spencer, Benjamin Jen- 
nings, John Cooper, Ezekiel Hickman, John Enslow, Henry Enslow,, 
Benjamin Pursley." 

In a supplemental report to the Governor by Mr. Steel, he says: 
"The people at Redstone alleged that the removing of them from 
the unpurchased lands was a contrivance of the gentlemen and 
merchants of Philadelphia, that they might take rights for their im- 
provements when a purchase was made. In confirmation of this 
they said that a gentleman of the name of Harris, and another call- 
ed Wallace, with one Friggs, a pilot, spent a considerable time last 
August in viewing the lands and creeks thereabouts. I am of 
opinion, from the appearance the people made, and the best intelli- 
gence we could obtain, that there are but about an hundred and fifty 
families in the different settlements of Redstone, Youghiogheny 
and Cheat." We suppose this estimate included all the settlers in 
what is now Fayette county and Turkey Foot. The names of Har- 
ris, Wallace and Frigg do not appear in our early land titles, so far 
as we know. They were perhaps agents for others. 

The treaty referred to so often in the foregoing report was to be 
held at Fort Pitt in the ensuing April and May, by George Croghan, 

(j)Several of these persons resided at considerable distances from the mouth 
of Redstone, or from Gist's — as Philip Shute and James McClean, who lived in 
N. Union township, near the base of Laurel Hill; Thomas Douthitt on the tract 
where Uniontown now is; Captain Coburn some ten miles southeast of New 
Geneva; Gabriel Conn probably on Georges creek, near Woodbridgetown. The 
Provances settled on Provance's Bottom, near Jlasontown, and on the other 
side of the river, at the mouth of Big- Whiteley. The Brownflelds located 
south and southeast of Uniontown. Ralph Higgenbottom resided on the 
Waynesburg- road, in Menallen township, a little west of the Sandy Hill 
Quaker graveyard. The others, so far as we know, resided near the places 
to which the.y came. It is singular that the Commissioners did not visit the 
upper iVIonongahela, or Georges creek and Cheat settlements. We infer that 
they were discouraged by their ill success at Redstone. 

(k)Grandfather of Er-.Judge Abrams, of Brownsville, 


Deputy Indian Agent, with the Six Nations, Delawares, Shawnese, 
and other tribes of western Indians. It came off accordingly. 
Pennsylvania had two commissioners in attendance, Messrs. John 
Allen and Joseph Shippen. Its purposes were to learn the minds 
of the Indians, and, by presents and fair speeches, to appease their 
irritations on account of the intrusions upon their lands and the 
killing of several of their people by the whites. Between looo and 
2000 Indians attended, upwards of £1000 worth of presents 
distributed, and sundry talks, belts and wampums delivered. 
Although not so recorded, yet doubtless many of the obnoxious 
settlers were also in attendance, plying the requisite influences to 
accomplish their purposes. The only complaint uttered by the 
Indians against the settlements was by a Six Nations' Chief, who 
said — "Some of them are made directly on our war path, leading 
to our enemy's country, and we do not like it." The numerous 
other Indian speakers were silent as to this grievance. Indeed 
the Pennsylvania Commissioners manifested much more anxiety 
than the Indians, to have the settlers driven off ; complaining most 
vehemently of the Indians' interference and speech at Redstone, as 
related by Messrs. Steel and others , and remonstrating against 
their breach of faith in selling their lands to others than the Pro- 
prietaries. So palpable was this play of cross purposes between 
the Indians and the Government agents, that when the latter solici- 
ted the former to send some of their chief men to. the settlements 
to co-operate with two white men selected by them, for the purpose 
of again warning off the settlers, the representatives of the Six Na- 
tions, after at first consenting to do so, upon "sober second thought" 

They put their refusal upon two grounds : first, that their dele- 
gated powers did not extend to this extra duty; (a precedent for 
modern "strict constructionists,") and second, that they didn't like 
to engage in the business of driving off the white people, believing 
it most proper that the English should do that kind of work them- 
selves. Kayashuta, an old Senaca (Six Nations') chief, made the 
following very sensible speech to the Penn agents, on this head : — 
"We were, all of us, much disposed to comply with your request, 
and expected it would have been done without difficulty, but I now 
find that not only the Indians appointed by us, but all our other 
young men are very unwilling to carry a message from us to the 
white people, ordering them to remove from our lands. They say 
they would not choose to incur the ill will of those people ; for, if 
they should be now removed, they will hereafter return to their set- 


tlements, '\\'hen the English have purchased the country from us ; 
and we shall be very unhappy, if, by our conduct tovi^ards them at 
this time, we shall give them reason to dislike us, and treat us in an 
unkind manner when they again become our neighbors." A rare 
example of prudent forecast and wise moderation. 

This brought to an abrupt termination all efforts to enforce the 
non-intrusion law. Henceforth the settlers were let alone. But 
upon a review of these and other schemes to dispossess the early 
settlers in our country, while we do not condemn the anxiety of 
the Government to preserve inviolate the faith of Indian treaties 
we must censure its too easy alarm, and too vindictive efforts and 
enactments. These, and the occurrences at this Fort Pitt "treaty" 
produced two very natural consequences. First, they served to 
alienate the affections of the settlers from the Pennsylvania Gov- 
ernment, and hence to carry them the more devotedly into the 
embraces of Virginia in the Boundary Controversy which now soon 
begun ; and second, they contributed, with other co-operating in- 
fluences, to promote and maintain a good feeling between our early 
settlers and the Indians; which, as we have more than once re- 
marked, was a striking characteristic of our early history. 

The speech of the old Senaca chief, which we have quoted, fore- 
shadowed coming events. The Indians' title to the lands intruded 
upon was soon to cease forever; and although they were not to be 
forcibly removed, as has been the rule in modern times, yet soon 
henceforth they were to become mere tenants by sufferance, their 
camp-fires gradually to go out, and fences spring up across their 
war paths and hunting courses. 

No doubt the project, so necessary to peace and the fulfillment 
of "manifest destiny," of purchasing this region of country from 
the native proprietors, had been agitated for some time; and the 
Indians looked to its accomplishment as anxiously as did the whites. 
It will be remembered that all of Western Pennsylvania belonged 
to the Mingoes or Six Nations of Indians, and to their allies and 
dependants, or "nephews," the Shawnese and Delawares ; com- 
posing then a numerous and powerful body, now almost extinct. 
The seat of their power and their chief home was in Western New 
York. There, at Fort Stanwix (Rome,) near the head of the 
?vlohawk Valley, a Grand Council or Conference of the Six Nations, 
convened under the auspices of Sir William Johnston, was soon to 
assemble to agree upon a boundary between their dominions and 
the settlements of the Middle Colonies. Thither the tribes repaired 
in September. 1768, and to their councils came Gov. Penn and his 



agents, and representatives from Virginia and New York, to 
negotiate and make purchases. The result was that in November 
the Indians made large cessions to those Colonies, the Penns pro- 
curing a deed from the Six Nations, for the consideration of £10,000 
conveying to them all of South-western, and much of Northern and 
Middle Pennsylvania. This was the first treaty of Fort Stanwix, 
in contradistinction to that of 1784, at which the State bought out 
all the remaining Indian title within her limits ; the Delawares and 
Shawnese assenting to it by the treaty of Fort Mcintosh, (Beaver,) 
in 1785. Their express assent to the cession of '68 was never given, 
but they acquiesced. 

The way was now clear to settlers and for the acquisition of rights. 
to land.(l) The tide of immigration now rolled high and unresist- 
ed; and when on the 3d of April, 1769, the Proprietaries' Land Office 
vvas opened for receiving applications for land in the "New Pur- 
chase," there was a perfect rush. It was found necesary to put 
them in a box as received, and then, after being shaken or well 
stirred up, to draw them out, lottery fashion, and number them as 
drawn, so as to determine preferences where there was more than 
one applicant for the same land. Not many such collisions 
occurred, and after August this plan was abandoned, and warrants 
substituted. In the first month the number of applications exceeded 
3,200. The surveys in what is now Fayette County, then Cumber- 
land, began August 22, 1769, by Archibald McClean and Moses 
McClean, elder brothers of Col. Alexander McClean, who was with 
them, and succeeded them as Deputy Surveyor, in 1772. In the 
remaining five months and ten days of that year (1769) seventy 
official surveys were executed upon Fayette territory, and in 1770 
eighty more besides great numbers, by the same surveyors, in adja- 
cent parts of Westmoreland, and a few in Washington, Allegheny 
and Somerset, which are found entered in our first Survey Books. 

(l)The only instance we And of a direct grant of right to land in Fayette 
(other than the military permits and army road settlements) prior to April 3, 

1769, is, what is called a "grant of preference," dated January 22, 1768, given 
by Governor Penn for 500 acres, to Hugh Crawford, who had' been "Interpret- 
er and conductor of the Indians" in the running of the western part of Mas- 
on (*c Dixon's Line in 1767. The order of survey was withheld until January, 

1770, in which year he died, and his administrator, Wm. Graliam, sold the land 
for payment of debt, by order of the Orphans' Court of Cumberland county, to 
Kobert Jackson. This is now a part of Col. Samuel Evans' estate; and it and 
one of the Gist tracts are the only instances in the county of a grant for 
more than 400 acres. We find a Hugh Crawford, an Indian trader of promi- 
nence, in the Ohio country and eastward, about 1750, who was probably the 
same man. 


The number then fell off rapidly — in 1771, twelve; in '72, fourteen; 
in '73, ele^■en ; in '74, seven ; and in '75, two, when official surveys 
entirely ceased until '82 and '83, in each of which years only three 
were executed. This suspension was owing in part to the Boundary 
ControAersy, and in part to the Revolution, during which the Land 
Office was substantially closed, and was not opened for new sales 
until July I, 1784. This caused another great rush to vent the 
accumulation of the last ten years. In 1784, twenty surveys were 
executed upon Fayette lands ; in '85, two hundred and fifty-eight ; in 
'86 one hundred and fifty, in '87 eighty-eight, in '88 sixty-two, in 
'89 twenty-eight, and in '90 nineteen, after which they progressed 
with a more equable pace, increasing somewhat after 1792. 

Despite the threats to the contrary, preferences were from the 
first given to those settlers who had made improvements on the 
lands applied for, regardless of whether they were made before or 
after the Indian purchase, except that settlements made after that 
purchase and before April 3, '69, were disregarded, thus discriminat- 
ing in favor of what the Proprietors had before fiercely denounced. 
Settlements made under military permits were also preferred. The 
price of lands in this region was £5 per 100 acres, and one penny 
per acre per year quit rent, under the I'roprietary Government, and 
until 1784, when it was reduced to £3, los. and no quit rents, but 
with interest from, the date of the improvement. In 1792 the price 
was further reduced to 50s. per 100 acres and interest, at which it 
continued tmtil the flush times of 1814, &c., when it was put up to 
£10 per 100 acres and interest from date of settlement. In 1835 
■■-he Graduating Act was passed, by which the payment of interest 
is regulated. 

On the 27th November, 1779, was passed by the Commonwealth 
"An Act for vesting the estates of the late Proprietaries (the Penns) 
in this Commonwealth." The late Chief Justice Tilghman called 
this "a high-handed measure — an instance that might made right," 
but it was a necessary act of Revolution. The State paid them 
therefor £130,000 sterling in annual payments of from £15,000 to 
£20,000, without interest, beginning one year after the close of the 
Revolutionary war; and reserved to them their private and 
manor property, which was worth perhaps £130,000 more. They 
prudently took the money, and thus confirmed the questionable 

Very few patents for lands, within the limits of Fayette county, 
were issued under the Proprietary Government, or before the 


Revolution. (m) For this there were several reasons; — the scarcity 
of money — the validity, as against all but the Proprietors, of settle- 
ments, and of official surveys and returns ; but especially the uncer- 
tainty whether we were in Virginia or in Pennsylvania. Indeed 
there are, in Fayette county, many tracts of land worth from twenty 
to fifty dollars per acre, and settled from seventy to ninety years, 
which are yet unpatented. The rich reckonings of interest which 
these, from time to time, yield up to the State Treasury, make its 
insatiate coffers smile. 

Thus much we thought we might safely here say as to our land 
titles. To go further into them would be an unwarrantable digres- 
sion from our main purpose — to which we now return. 

Although the boundary troubles, the Revolutionary and subse- 
quent Indian wars until 1794, operated greatly to retard the growth 
of our settlements, still they did progress during that period, slow- 
ly, but steadily. Indeed during the Revolutionary war, Pennsylva- 
nia adopted the recommendation of Congress to States having wild 
lands, not to grant them to settlers, lest by so doing they might hin- 
der enlistment. This, however, did not hinder, but only discouraged 
immigration, and postponed the lawful acquisition of titles, as 
already stated. The great hindrances to settlements here were the 
difficulties of getting here, the privations when here, and the fear 
of the Indians. The latter cause, however, had comparatively 
with other neighboring territory, little influence. No bloody Indian 
forays ever crossed our lines after '55. Our inhabitants never fled, 
except sometimes to their noteless private forts upon groundless 
alarm. Often did our sturdy yeomen and youth go over our bor- 
ders to the relief of their more exposed neighbors of Washington 

(m)Tlie only Proprietary Patents for Payette lands which we know of are 
the following: 

John Penn, Governor, &c., to John Paull, July 7, 1770, for a tract called 
"Walnut Level," in new NicholFon township, on the ri'\'er below New Geneva, 
sold by Paull's executors to Philip Pierce, owned once, in part, by Hon. John 
Smilie, and since by Jacob and James Biffle, and Thomas W. Nicholson. 

Thomas and Richard Penn to William Robertson, January 12, 1771, for a 
tract on or near Braddock's road, and on both sides of Jacob's Creek, between 
Tjobeng-ier's and Tinsman's (Snyder's) Mills, in part in BuUskin townsliip — the 
scene of the old quarrels and lawsuits between Rol^ertson and Ralph Cherry. 

Thomas and Richard Penn, March 2, 1771, to Doctor Hugh Mercer, of Fred- 
ericksburg, Virginia, (the General Hugh Mercer, of the Revolution, who fell 
at Princeton, N. J., Jan. 3, 1771, for three tracts in Bullskin townsliip, above 
the Chain Bridge ford, and near Braddock's road. General Mercer's executors 
sold them to Col. Isaac Meason. 

In September and November, 1766, John Penn and John Penn, Jr., granted 
Patents tor a number of tracts in now Wharton and H. Clay townships, and 
in contiguous parts of Somerset county, to B. Chew and Wilcocks. 


and A\'estmoreIand. Indeed this impunity from the terrors of the 
times conduced to our increase of population, and caused our county 
to far outstrip its neighbors in this particular. From 150 families 
in 1768, say 700 persons, our population rose in 1790 to 12,995 
free whites and 2S2 slaves. 

As already stated, the earliest settlers came from Virginia and 
Mar_vland, chiefly the former. About i77o-'2 a few came from the 
Eastern counties of Pennsylvania, bordering on Maryland. There 
were occasional instances before and after that period, up to '84, 
when Pennsylvania immigrants began to preponderate. The old 
settlers had, as they thought, come to Virginia territory, many of 
the better sort bringing with them their slaves and their attach- 
ments to Virginia rule and manners. In 1780 Pennsylvania passed 
her celebrated "Act for the gradual abolition of Slavery," declaring 
that all colored persons born on her soil after March i, 1780, should 
be free, subject to such as would otherwise have been slaves, being 
servants until twenty-eight years of age, if duly registered. The 
act required a registry in the office of the Courts of all slaves. 
How many were registered by inhabitants of Fayette we do not 
certainly know, as it was until 1783 part of Westmoreland, where 
the Register is common to what is now several counties. (n) But, 
under the Act of March 1788, requiring a registry of those born 
of slave mothers after March i, 1780, we find there were registered 
in Fayette, 354, between the sth of February, '89, and January 
I2th, 1839. 

The passage of this law, and its becoming a "fixed fact" about 
the same time that this was Pennsylvania territory, combined to 
induce many of our early settlers to sell out and migrate to Ken- 
tucky, which about this date had opened her charms to adventure, 
settlement and slavery. Fayette gave to that glorious State many 
of her best pioneer settlers — among whom were her Popes, her 

(n) Among- the largest slave owners, as shown by the Registers, were Robert 
Beale, IS: Van Swearingen, 13; William Goe, 11; Walter Brisco, 9; Margaret 
Ilutton, 9; Isaac Meason, 8; Edward Cook, 8; James Cross, S; Nacy Brashears, 
12; Rev. James Pinley, 8; Andrew Linn, 7; Benoni Dawson, 7; Sarah Hardin. 7 
Richard Noble, 7; Benjamin Stephens, 6; James Dearth, 6; Thomas Brown, 6 
John Stevenson, 5; Samuel Kincade, 5; Peter Laughlin, 5; Wm. McCormick, 5 
John McKibben, 5; Bdmond Freeman, James Blackiston, Isaac Pierce, Augus- 
tine Moore, Benjamin Davis, Hugh Laughlin, James Hammond, each 4; Pro- 
vidence Mountz, Margaret Vance, John Minter, Thomas Moore, William Harri- 
son, Joseph Grable, Dennis Springer, John Wells, Robert Harrison, Isaac New- 
man, each 3; Zachariah Connell, Mark Hardin, John Hardin, Theophilus Phil- 
lips, Philip Shute, John Mason, Robert Ross, John Laughlin, Otho Brashears, 
Rezin Virgin, Jonathan Arnold, Richard Stephenson, each 2; and many others, 


Rowans, her Metcalfs, her Hardins and others. The flight to 
Kentucky started from the mouth of Redstone in Kentucky boats, 
which landed at Limestone (Maysville). This current was kept up 
during the decade of i78o-'90, and to some extent afterwards; but 
now it began to blend with another current which ran into the cheap 
and tempting plain of Ohio, a current which continued to flow with 
increasing force and breadth during the residue of that century, and 
for many years afterwards ; and indeed until after a protracted 
struggle she was completely supplanted in the affections of our 
people by Illinois and Iowa. 

These early removals to Kentucky brought to our county over- 
powering numbers of settlers from Eastern Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey, who availed themselves of the opportunity to buy out the 
improvements of the settlers upon easy terms. Of this class of 
new settlers were the Friends, or Quakers, who settled about 
Brownsville, and the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians generally. Many, 
however, of the Friends, especially those earliest here, came from 
Berkeley and Frederick counties in Virginia. Of such were the 
Beesons, who were here as early as i766-'7. There were also 
Presbyterians here before 1770 — among them Rev. James Finley, 
who took up the lands where his grandchildren, Robert, Ebenezer, 
and Eli now reside, as early as 1772, having bought out one Nace 
Thompson. The Presbyterian settlers located generally on Dunlap's 
creek, and between Redstone and the Yough — a few scattering in 
other places. The Rev. John McMillan, in his journal of his tour 
from the Valley of Virginia to Southwest Pennsylvania, in 1775, 
speaks of having lodged one night at "one Coburn's" — probably 
the place where the first Monongalia election was held;(o) then, 
ten miles distant, he came to and lodged at Col. Wilson's, (p) (now 
New Geneva,) and preached at "Mount Moriah."(q) Thence he 
went to John Armstrong's, on Muddy creek — thence to John Mc- 
Kibben's, on Dunlap's creek, (the old Judge Breading place, now 

(o)See "Boundary Controversy" — Chapt. IX. 

(p)See Memoir of Col. George Wilson among "Early Settlers," and "Bound- 
ary Controversy" — Chapters VII. and IX. 

(q) This was, and is a Presbyterian church; and is where there is now a 
small frame meeting house, once used as a school house, originally part of the 
old Caldwell tract of land, now Lee Tate, adjoining the late James C. Ram- 
say's, in Springhill township, about two miles southeast of New Geneva. The 
lot, four acres, (including a spring) on which it stands, was conveyed to Col. 
George Wilson and John Swearingen, (father of Captain Van Swearingen.) as 
trustees of the church, by Joseph Caldwell, by deed, (of record in Book A.) 
dated July 1. 1773, and is, perhaps, the oldest church title in the county. 


George E. Hogg,) at both of which places he lodged and preached. 
Thence to Mr. Adams', about four miles, and preached at James 
Pickett's; thence, about five miles, to David Allen's. Mr. Adams 
was Robert Adams, Esq., a Presbyterian Elder, who lived on the 
Solomon Colley place, seven miles west of Uniontown, on the pike. 
David Allen's was where Robert Smith, Esq., now resides, in Frank- 
lin township. James Pickett's we cannot certainly locate. From 
David Allen's he went to Col. Edward Cook's, a well known place, 
on Speer's run, north of Cookstown, and thence to Pentecost's, in 
Elizabeth township, Allegheny county, now John Torrence's, and 
thence to Chartie'rs, where he settled. 

And, as we have but little material for an Ecclesiastical History 
of Fayette, we may as well here insert what little we have. 

The Baptists were early in the field in this county, as early as 
1766— '8. They settled generally near Uniontown, on Georges 
creek and Redstone, the former having for their minister, perhaps 
as early as 1769, the Rev. Isaac Sutton, (r) who founded the church 
at Uniontown, called "Great Bethel," and the one near Merritts- 
town, called "Little Bethel." He settled about two miles south 
of Uniontown, where some of his descendants still reside. Among 
his people v^fere the Brownfields, Gaddis, &c. Among the Red- 
stone Baptists were the Linns, Colvins, &c., having for their 
minister the Rev. W. Stone. The Rev. John Corbly, of Muddy 
creek, or rather Whiteley creek, in now Greene county, whose 
wife and children (five) were killed and scalped by Indians when 
on their way to church, in 1782, was a son-in-law of old Andrew 
Linn, who settled the Linn's Mill tract — "Crab-tree Bottom," on 
Redstone, near Brownsville, at a very early day, that tract being 
the first official survey in the county, made August 22, 1769. The 
Redstone Association, like the Redstone Presbytery, is the oldest 
of its kind west of the Mountains. 

The Methodists did not reach this county until some years after 
the Revolution — about the close of the last century, (s) They rapidly 

(r)The Baptist historian, Benedict, gives this honor to Elder John Sutton, a 
■brother of Isaac, and who had another brother, Moses, who was a preacher. 
They all, we believe, settled In the same vicinity. There was also a Rev. 
.Tames Sutton, on Georges creek, who went about ITTiO — another brother, we 
presume. The Georges creek Baptist Church at Smlthfleld was founded in 
1786, with 34 members. 

(s1The oldest Methodist Ep. Church title in Payette county that we can And 
is a deed from Isaac Meason to Thomas Moore, Jacob Murphy, Zach'h. Connell 
and Isaac Charles, Trustees, &c., for one acre, for a meeting house, dated 
May 26, 1790: — but where it is — in what township, or other locality, we do not 


rose in numbers and influence, — their system of itineracy, or 
circuit riding, being admirably fitted to a new country. (t) They 
had preaching stations at Uniontown, Brownsville, Connellsville 
and elsewhere, at an early period of their progress. Among their 
earliest preachers and exhorters at Unicntown, and perhaps at other 
stations, were Messrs. Henry Tomlinson, William McClelland, 
John and Thomas Chaplin and Moses Hopwood. The Rev. William 
Brownfield began his clerical labors in that Church, but his deep 
rooted Calvinism soon led him to the Baptists, for whom he has 
long labored. The Rev. Thornton Fleming of excellent memory, 
was among their early preachers. 

The Protestant Methodists arose about 1829, — the Cumberland 
Presbyterians in 1833, coming here from Tennessee and Kentucky, 
where they originated about 1816. 

The Associate Reformed, or that branch of the Presbyterian 
family which adheres rigidly to Rouse's version of Psalmody, called 
by various names, have firmly occupied some ground in Fayette 
from its earliest settlement, but have not kept up with the progress 
of population. The locality of their denominational existence is 
now restricted to Dunbar and Tyrone townships, with a few mem- 
bers in contiguous localities. Among their people are, and have 
been, the Junks, Gilchrists, Byers, Parkhills, Pattersons, &c. 
The Rev. David Proudfoot was their ancient minister. Indeed, in 
early times all the Presbyterians used Rouse's version of the Psalms, 
many churches as late as iS25-'30. The mtroduction, about 1800, 
of the new, or Watt's Psalms and Hymns, created much excite- 
ment, and caused many secessions, especially at Laurel Hill, whence 
two Meeting Plouses in close contiguity. These sturdy defenders 
of the ancient faith and practice are among our best citizens. 

The Episcopal Church had numerous adherents among our 
earliest settlers, that being then the established Church of Virginia, 
from which they came. Their system being, however, the reverse 
of that of the Methodists in adaptedness to new settlements, and 

know. It is in the nortliern part of tlie county somewhere. The title for the 
Meth. Ep. Churcli property, Uniontown, bears date August 6, 1791, from Jacob 
Beeson and wife to David Jennings, .Jacob Murphy, Samuel Stephens, Jonathan 
Rowland and Peter Hook, Trustees, &c. 

(t)"I believe the first Methodist Camp Meeting held in this part of Western 
Pennsylvania was in 1802, on Pike run, about two and a half miles from 
Brownsville, on the old Ginger Hill, or Pittsburgh Road, in Washington coun- 
ty. The first one in this county was in 1805, near Jennings' run, about two and 
a half miles west of Uniontown, on part of the old David Jennings and James 
Henthorn tracts, now owned by James Veech. Esq. It was the largest con- 
course of people I ever saw." F. D. 


not having the missionary, or extension ingredient so well devel- 
oped as had the Presbyterians, Baptists and some other sects, they 
were long postponed in obtaining fixed places of worship, or a regu- 
lar administration of church ordinances. They have, however, long 
maintained churches at Brownsville and Connellsville; and, more 
recently, at Uniontown and elsewhere. 

For a long period, — but how long, we cannot state, the Roman 
Catholics have had a chapel at Brownsville ; and within a few 
years past they have erected one at Uniontown. 

There are other religious sects among us, of whose history we 
know almost nothing. Among these are several which are confined 
almost exclusively to our German population, including the Luther- 
ans, Tunkers, or Dunkards, Mennonites, &c., some of whom date 
from a very early day.(u) Besides these, in more recent times have 
arisen the Disciples, or Campbellites, the New Lights, Free Will 
Baptists, &c. We have no Unitarians, Universalists, Mormons, or 

\A'e regret that our materials are so scanty as not to allow us to 
refer this important branch of our early history to a separate 
sketch. As the subject relates to a "Kingdom not of this world," 
its memorials are not so accessible as are those of the rise and 
progress of temporal affairs. Indeed, when we reflect upon the 
decisive but often unseen influence which religious faith and 
church discipline exert upon political movements and every day 
life, the dearth of materials for our ecclesiastical history is much to 
be regretted. The Rev. Doctor Smith, in his valuable work, "Old 
Redstone," has done a good work for the Presbyterian Church in 
Southwestern Pennsylvania ; and we commend his example to 
the historians of other denominations. 

As the author of "Old Redstone" has well said and shown, 
nearly all our early temples were in the country, away from the 
noise and revelry of the villages, rearing their humble roofs beneath 

(u)We believe the first meeting house for Christian worship erected within 
the limits of Fayette county, was on or near the site of the present "German 
Meeting House," in township. It wa.=i a small log-cabin building. Its 
founders were known by the name of German Calvanists. or Lutherans. This 
was as early as 1770. We believe it is the only Church in the county having a 
S'lebe, or tract of land, attached to it. The Germans had also at a very 
early day — say 1774, a meeting house on Captain Philip Rogers' land, now Al- 
fred Stewart's, near the Morgantown Road, in Georges township. It was 
burnt by the woods being fired. Near its site is an ancient graveyard, indi- 
cated by a few moss-grown grave stones, "with shapeless sculpture decked." 
Capt. Rodgers is buried there. 


the shade of the oak, on some flower-decked eminence, or in some 
quiet vale, beside some noiseless spring, or prattling rill ; — fit 
localities at which to drink of the wells of the water of life, and to 
hymn the praises of the Redeemer in unison with the bird notes 
of the bushes and the deep diapason of the forest. Who, that can 
remember their attendance, in dry days or wet, in warm days or 
cold, upon these rural sanctuaries that does not deprecate the 
modern departure from those primitive habits ; when, instead of 
people coming from the country to worship, or gossip, at edifices 
begirt with noise and stench, and made cheerless by cold recep- 
tions, the villagers rode or trudged joyously into the country, there 
to meet warm greetings, and to listen to the tidings of salvation 
wafted to their ears in a pure atmosphere, uncontaminated by the 
smell of a pig-sty, and unmixed with the cries of a dog-fight! 
There is poetry, as well as piety, yet, in a country church and a 
country parson. 

We will not attempt a catalogue, or further description of these 
old country cathedrals. Many of them have mouldered down and 
disappeared; and the places of others have been supplied by 
edifices of more stately structure. While, as to all but a few, the 
forest trees which sheltered and adorned them, have been cut 
away; and, in too many instances, their worshipers have not had 
enough of the grace of taste to plant and protect a substitute. A 
treeless church is worse than an untombed grave. 

And then, the old country schools, with their puncheon floors 
and benches, and long grease-paper-glazed windows, and "out"- 
paddles, and ferrules, and beech rods, and pedagogue dominies — 
where are they? All gone. Hallowed be their memory! They 
were plentifully scattered among our early settlements. There is 
scarcely a neighborhood in the cis-montane part of the county, 
where some survivor of the second generation cannot point you to 
the spot where his young ideas were taught to shoot and he to play. 
And if in those days the stream of knowledge was not so much 
difl^used as now, yet perhaps the current was deeper, and its fer- 
tilizing influences more durable. Be it our aim still more to 
expand it, and to deepen and purify it. 

Nor were the higher branches of education neglected by our 
ancestors. True, chartered Academies and Colleges and Union 
Schools, with all their paraphernalia of Trustees and Faculty and 
Superintendents, and Libraries and Apparatus, and Endowments, 
were unknown ; but it was not less true, that in all that imparts 
dignity and strength and a love of further acquirements, to the hu- 


man intellect, the facilities then were as ample as now. Almost every 
country preacher was then a teacher of Latin and Mathematics— 
a branch of their calling was it for which they were often better 
qualified than many modern "professors." They seldom had a 
separate building for the purpose — their own humble cabins were 
the recitation halls, and contiguous groves the study rooms, where 
many a youth, truly ambitious of fame and usefulness, was wont 

"Inter sylvas Academi ciiierere veruin." 

We have before us a newspaper of 1794, wherein is an advertise- 
ment by Rev. James Dunlap, then the Presbyterian Pastor of 
Laurel Hill and Dunlap's Creek, afterwards President of Jefferson 
College, Pa., and William Littell, Esq., afterwards a lawyer and 
author of eminence in Kentucky, setting forth that they had opened 
a school in Franklin township, (v) where they teach "Elocution and 
the English language grammatically, together with the Latin, 
Greek and Plebrew languages. Geometry and Trigonometry, with 
their application to Mensuration, Surveying, Gauging, &c., likewise 
Geography and Civil History, Natural and Moral Philosophy, Logic 
and Rhetoric," and where "boarding, washing, &c., may be had 
at reputable houses in the neighborhood, at the low rate of ten 
pounds ($26.67) per annum." How long this nursery of Literature 
and Science continued we know not — probably until 1803, when 
Mr. Dunlap's accession to the College Presidency occurred. Who, 
or how many were its students we cannot tell. It was, however, 
for a while well sustained, and several of the clergy and other 
professional men who rose in this country and in the West in the 
close of the last century, there received their "learning." (w) Among 
them was the Rev. George Hill, father of Col. A. M. Hill of this 
county, who found his wife at one of the "reputable houses in the 
neighborhood" (John McClelland's) where he boarded. 

Thus deeply did our forefathers lay the foundations of that 
prosperity which we now enjoy. Take them all in all, they were 
generally men and women of whom their posterity may be proud. 
Unlike most of the proud nations of Europe, ancient and modern. 

(v)We believe this was on the old Tanner farm, formerly owned by Col. Wm. 
Swearingen, now Charles McGlaughlin, and in Dunbar township. 

(w)After his Presidency at Cannonsburp, in 1811-'12, and when ag-e and in- 
firmity had somewhat impaired his mental, as well as bodily vigor. Dr. Dun- 
lap taught a Latin and Mathematical school at Netv Geneva. Among his 
pupils there were Samuel Evans, James and Thomas W". Nicholson, Stephen 
Wood, and David Bradford, Jr., son of David Bradford, Esq., of Washington, 
Pa., of Whiskey Insurrection celebrity. 


we have no need of a fabulous antiquity in which to bury the mis- 
deeds of our progenitors. We may glory ■ in the fullest and most 
authentic emblazonry of their conduct. Even those of us who do 
not boast a Fayette ancestry, will find many things in the character 
of our early settlers to command our admiration — many to attract 
our imitation; while in a few, their errors and aberrations stand 
out as beacons to warn us that with all their heroic excellencies 
they still were men. 

It is not within our purpose, or our ability, to portray their 
character. It was that of original settlers every where — in many 
respects ; but in others it was one peculiar to the men and women 
of that age and of this country. The first settlers came here not 
merely to better their condition, but to gratify their taste. (xj Many, 
in crossing the mountains, supposed they had passed the ultimate 
bound of that refined and conventional civilization, which to that 
class of men denominated pioneers, is too grievous to be borne. 
Rough they were, but strong. Patient of toil and privation, yet 
impatient of restraint. Poor in the wealth which engenders pride, 
but rich in expedients for substantial comfort. Fearless of danger, 
yet fearing their God. Extravagant in the noisy sports of the 
chase, the raising, the harvest and the husking, but frugal of all 
the means of quiet fireside enjoyment. Strong in their likes and 
dislikes, their attachments were inviolable, but their resentments 
dreadful. Yet, amid all this rudeness and horror of legal restraints, 
persons and property were generally more secure, and female 
chastity more sacred, than even now. And there were less of those 
petty trespasses which now annoy neighbors, and of those malicious 
tale tellings which now set neighborhoods in an uproar. The 
people of that day were governed less by law than by public 
opinion. Their capital — their stock in trade, as well as their 
personal security, depended much more upon the amount of esteem 
and confidence conferred upon them by their neighbors than upon 
their ability to drive a hard bargain, or make a show of superior 
wealth and equipage. They lived more directly under the sway 
of the original elements of the social compact — mutual aid and 
dependence. And, notwithstanding their heterogeneousness as to 
colonial paternity, religious sentiment and even language, there 
existed more unity, more esprit du corps, and less segregation into 

(x)We have heard old settlers say, that, in early times, the common opin- 
ion was that this region of country, despite its rich soil and fine springs and 
water courses, could never come to much for want of iron and salt! 


classes and castes than now. What they lacked in refinement, 
was more than compensated by their abundant hospitality. The 
new comer, or the stranger was always welcomed to their home, 
and their assistance, for they had themselves been strangers in a 
strange land.(y) If to resent an injury, or an insult, was in them an 
ever present feeling, there was just as constantly absent from their 
breasts that cold selfishness which is too apt to seize upon men in 
more advanced society, and which generally chills and dries up the 
social virtues to their very fountains. 

W'e have already referred to our early religious and educational 
engraftings, as evincing a healthy condition of our social beginnings. 
But there are other proofs, not less unequivocal. That petty litiga- 
tion, which now crowds our Court-houses and Justices' offices, was 
then unknown. The "hundred dollar act" was not then enacted, 
nor any of its prototypes. Our county was seven years in existence 
before it had a resident lawyer. And when our courts of justice 
were held at Carlisle, or Bedford, or Hannastown, or even at old 
Beesontown, the sturdy yeomanry from Cheat and Georges creek, 
from the Monongahela and Redstone, and the Yough, who resorted 
to their sittings, went there more to exchange greetings and hear 
the news of the day, than to foment disputes, or testify against 
their neighbor's honesty or reputation. Assaults and batteries, 
unless highly aggravated, were settled at home, or in the field; 
petty thefts were punished by frowns, or banishment. Many a 
court passed without the grand jury having to find a single bill. 
And whoever will consult our early court records will learn that 
nearly all the actions brought and contested related in some way 
to the title or possession, or payment of lands ; while certioraris 
and appeals from justices of the peace, actions for slander and on 
horse swaps, and "suits for settlement" and on express contracts, 
were comparatively unknown. The men of that day sought to be 

(y)A remarkable instance of kindness to strangers occurred in wiiat is now 
Luzerne township, on Coxe's run, at a very early day. A stranger, from the 
vicinity of Hagerstown, by the name of Applegate, had somehovi^ got his leg 
badly broken in the woods, .and in that condition was found by an old settler, 
who at once had him borne to his cabin, where every aid and comfort within 
reach was provided. But being late in the fall, and the stranger knowing 
that the remedy for his misfortune was time and patience, was very anxious 
to be again amoag his family and friends. There was then no carriage road 
across the mountains, nothing but a pack-horse path. To convey him home, 
eight of the neighbors agreed to carry him on a sort of hammock, swung on 
two poles like a bier. This they did, all the way to Haeerstown! Four of 
the men were Michael Cock, William Conwell, Thomas Davidson and Rezin 
Virgin. Tradition has failed to preserve the names of the other four "good 


a law unto themselves, and were of too lofty a spirit to be actors in 
the low kennels of modern chicanery. Their word was their bond — ■ 
its seal their honor — its penalty the fear of social degradation. 

We have yet to sketch the trying times of the Boundary Contro- 
versy — the Revolutionary and Indian Wars and the Whiskey Insur- 
rection ;^events in our early history which are too prominent, and 
too full of interesting incident, to be crowded into any general 
narrative. For their prompt resistance to the foes of their lives 
and liberties, native and foreign, our early settlers ask not even the 
apology of fondness for adventure. And it must not be inferred 
because of the wild excitements into which they were thrown in 
1774, and again in '94, that they were lawless and turbulent. Their 
resistance to doubtful rule and questionable taxation sprang less 
from criminal propensities than from their antecedents and present 
privations. Their very simplicity and hardy virtues made them an 
easy prey to interested partizans and designing demagogues. And, 
while thus wrought upon, like the placid ocean by the unseen wind, 
they were enacting the stormy resistance of those periods, they, 
when the appliances which aroused them were removed, yielded 
as submissivly and heartily to the gravitating influences of law 
and order, as if nothing had ever occurred to disturb them.(z) 

(z)The Hon. William Findley. in his "History of the Western Insurrection of 
1794," devotes a chapter to exhibit this peculiarity of character among the 
early yeomanry of Southwestern Pennsylvania — ready and entire acquiescence 
after impassioned and well grounded, though unlawful resistance; in which 
respects they compare most favorably with the Connecticut claimants in our 
own State, the Mas.sachusetts rebellion, and other similar troubles in our 
early national history. 



1. — The Browns — "Wendell, llaunus, Thomas and Adam. 2. — Christopher Gist 
and Family — Thomas, Nathaniel, Richard, Anne and Mrs. Cromwell. 3. — Col. 
William Crawford. 4. — Col. .James Paull. 5. — Col. George Wilson. 6. — Col. 
Alexander McClean. , 7. — John SmiJie. >!. — Gen. Ephraim Douglass. 9. — Al- 
bert Gallatin. — Appendix--List of Early (3 772) Settlers in PayeKe, and parts 
of Greene, Washington, Westmoreland and Allegheny; and the townships 
then existing — Spring Hill, Tyrone and Rostraver. 

We arrange these, as nearly as we can, in the order in which 
the subjects of them became inhabitants of what is now Fayette 



The most prominent facts, known to us, in the lives of these 
men have been already noticed — that they were the first white 
settlers within our limits, having come here as early as i750-'si, 
when our county was an unbroken wilderness, and their only 
associates and neighbors the tawny sons of the forest. We suppose 
the West is full of such instances of self exile ; but we cannot 
define the peculiarity of mental organization which leads to it. 

They came from that hive of our early settlers — Virginia ; but 
rrom what part of it, we are uninformed ; and we believe that 
until their second advent — after the dangers from Indian hostility 
which attended and followed the old French war had subsided, 
They were unaccompanied by any females or children. These 
indispensable ingredients in the cup of domestic life would but 
have added bitterness to the anxieties which beset their forest 

When Washington's little army was at the Great Meadows, or 
Fort Necessity, the Browns packed provisions to him — corn and 
beef. And when he surrendered to the French and Indians, on 
the 4th of July, 1754, they retired, with the retreating colonial 
troops, across the mountains ; whence they returned to their lands 
after the re-instatement of the English dominion by Forbes' army 
in 1758. 


"I could repeat numerous Indian stories told by Abraham and 
Christopher Brown, sons of Manus and grandsons of Wendell 
Brown ; but one or two must suffice. 

"It is well known that while the Indians held undivided sway 
in this region they had one or more lead mines in our mountains, 
the localities of which they guarded with inviolable secrecy. The 
discovery of these by the Browns would have been an invaluable 
acquisition to their venatorial pursuits. Many efforts did they 
make to find them, and many sly attempts to follow the Indians in 
their resorts to the mines, but all in vain. And more than once 
did they narrowly escape detection and consequent death, by their 
eagerness to share the forbidden treasure. 

"Abraham Brown used to relate of his uncle Thomas, that having 
offended the Indians by some tricks played upon them, (perhaps 
in contrivances to discover their lead mines and by repeatedly 
escaping from them when taken prisoner,) he once escaped being 
burnt only by the timely interposition of a friendly chief ; but 
that eventually they caught him, when no such intercessor was 
nigh, and knocked out all his teeth with a piece of iron and a 
tomahawk. This was saA^age cruelty. Now, for savage honesty. 
In a season of scarcity, some Indians came to the Browns for 
provisions. The old man sold them eight rows of corn. He after- 
wards found they had taken just the eight rows, and not an ear 

"I knew Adam Brown — 'old Adam,' as he was called. He 
boasted of having been a king's lieutenant in his early days ; 
having probably served with the Virginia provincials in the French 
and Indian wars. For his services he claimed to have had a Royal 
grant of land, of nine miles square, extending from near Mount 
Braddock along the face of Laurel Hill southward, and westward 
as far as New Salem. I have seen a large stone, standing a little 
Southwest of the residence of Daniel (or William) Moser, in Georges 
township, which the late John McClelland said was a corner of 
Adam's claim. The old lieutenant, it was said, induced many 
acquaintances to settle around him, on his grant, — the Downards, 
McCartys, Brownfields, Ilenthorns, Kindells, Scotts, Jenninges, 
Greens, McDonalds, Higginsons, &c. ; and, out of abundant 
caution, he and his brother Maunus, and they, entered applications 
for their lands in the Pennsylvania I.and-Office, on the 14th of 
June, 1769, and had them surveyed soon after. They seem to 
have been quiescent in the 'Boundary Controversy.' But it was 



said that early in 1775, Adam and some of his associates had em- 
ployed an agent to go to London to perfect the Royal grant; 
when, upon the breaking out of the Revolution, which ended the 
King's power in this country, they gave up the effort, and in due 
time perfected their titles imder Pennsylvania. From this and 
some other grounds, arose the current allegation that old Adam 
and sundry of his neighbors were unfriendly to the cause of 
American independence. We believe they were never guilty of 
any overt acts of Toryism. They are now all gone ; and, with two 
or three exceptions, none of them have now any descendants in 
the county. The Maunus Brown branch of the family has always 
been considered free of the taint charged to 'old Adam,' and has 
been productive of good citizens." 


The ancestral head of the Gists in Fayette has been already 
noticed, as having come here as agent of the old Ohio Company, 
and settled on the Mount Braddock lands in 1753. The fact that 
the body of this Company was in Virginia, although its head was 
in London and a limb extended into Maryland, has led to the 
belief, generally adopted, that Christopher Gist came from Virginia. 
And it seems that, for a while at least, he was domiciled in that 
colony, although he was, we believe, a native of England. But 
when his agency for the Ohio Company commenced he had his 
abode away down in North Carolina, on the Yadkin, near the 
confines of Virginia. Returning home after his mission to the 
Ohio Indians, in 1751, he found his house burnt by the Southern 
savages, and his family driven up into Virginia, on the Roanoke. 
In this vicinity, it is probable, he resided until he removed to the 
Monongahela country, in 1753. 

Christopher Gist was among the earliest adventurers into this 
region of country, and had probably been west of the mountains be- 
fore his agency for the Ohio Company. Our first traces of his 
travels indicate a considerable knowledge of our mountain paths 
and passes, and of the Indian tribes who peopled the Ohio valley. 
The Ohio Company was formed in 1748, and began its preliminary 
operations in 1750, in which year we find Mr. Gist the bearer of a 
speech from the Governor of Virginia to the Ohio Indians. He 
was out .again in 1751 ; when he visited the Indian tribes on the 
Muskingum, Scioto and Miami. He returned by the valley of the 


Kentucky river to North Carolina. He thus became one of the 
earliest Anglo-Saxon explorers of what are now the rich States of 
Ohio and Kentucky; of which he said "nothing is wanted but culti- 
vation to make this a most delightful country." He set out again 
in the spring of 1752, and attended an Indian treaty, or council, at 
Logstown, on the Ohio, some sixteen miles below Pittsburg. These 
missions were all on behalf of the Ohio Company, to conciliate the 
Indians and look out for good lands. In the latter part of 1753, he 
accompanied Washington, as his guide, from Wills' creek fCumber- 
land) to the French posts on the Allegheny. He was again with 
him in his military expedition of 1754, and was with Braddock in 
1755. He had also been with Capt. Trent in the abortive effort of 
the Ohio Company to build their fort at the "Forks of the Ohio," in 
February, 1754. 

The defeat of Braddock, in July, 1755, seems to have ended his 
agency for the Ohio Company, and he now turned his energies into 
other channels. Virginia kept up her efforts to repel the French 
and Indians until after the conquest by Forbes, in 1758, and Gist 
found ample employment in the service of that colony. In the fall 
of 1755, he raised a company of scouts in the frontiers of Virginia 
and Maryland ; and thereafter he becomes known as Captain Gist. 
In 1756, he was sent Southwest to enlist a body of the Cherokee 
Indians into the English service, and succeeded. He thereupon, in 
1757, became Deputy Indian Agent in the South, a service "for 
which," says Col. Washington, "I know of no person so well quali- 
fied. He has had extensive dealings with the Indians, is in great 
esteem among them, well acquainted with their manners and cus- 
toms, indefatigable and patient ; and as to his honesty, capacity and 
zeal, I dare venture to engage." 

What part, if any, he took in Forbes' campaign, we do not know. 
Perhaps his Indian agency kept him employed elsewhere. He 
seems to have been well educated, and was a good surveyor. He 
was, moreover, a man of great natural shrewdness and energy — a 
"woodsman" of the highest order. We are left to conjecture, 
to assign a motive for fixing an abode in these then inhospitable 
wilds. Perhaps it was to establish a station for expeditions of the 
Ohio Company: — perhaps the beautiful body of land upon which 
he reared his cabin was a temptation too powerful to be overcome 
by the quiet and comforts of civilized society. Although he 
returned and resumed his possessions here after Forbes' conquest, 
we think he did not again permanently settle with his family until 
about 1765. He transferred his land claims to his son Thomas, 


and having settled him, and his son-in-law, Cromwell, (a) he soon 
afterwards returned to Virginia, or North Carolina, and there died, 
and was buried among his kindred. Doubtless, like the poet of 
"Sweet Auburn," the wish had never been lost, amid all his peril- 
ous wanderings, 

" his long vexations past, 

Tliere to return — and die at home at last." 

There are some incidents in the return of Washington and Gist 
from their embassy to the French in I7S3-'S4, which we must nar- 
rate in their own language, as found in their journals. The time is 
December — the scene, the unbroken wilderness of what is now But- 
ler and Allegheny counties. North and West of the Allegheny river. 
Snow had fallen. It was becoming very cold. The horses were 
very weak and were giving out, scarcely able to carry the baggage. 
Washington determined to leave them in charge of Vanbraam and 
other "servitors," and hasten on with Gist, afoot. 

Says Washington, "I took my necessary papers, pulled off my 

(a) The following affidavit of William Stewart sheds light on several sub- 
jects and localities embraced in these sketches; — 

"Fayette County, ss. 

Before the subscriber, one of the Commonwealth's justices of the peace, 
for said county, personally appeared William Stewart, who being of lawful 
age, and duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, saith: — That 
he was living in this country, near Stewart's Crossings, in the year 1753, and 
part of the year 1754, until he was obliged to remove hence on account of the 
French taking possession of this country, — that he was "well acquainted "with 
Captain Christopher Gist and family and also with Mr. William Cromwell. 
Captain Gist's son-in-law. He further saith that the land where Jonathan 
Hill now lives, and the land where John Murphy now lives, was settled by 
William Cromwell, as this deponent believes and always understood, as a 
tenant to the said Christopher Gist. The said Cromwell claimed a place called 
the "Beaver Dams," "which is the place now owned by Philip Shute, and where 
he no'w lives; (part of Col. Evan's estate) and this deponent further saith that 
he always understood that the reason of said Cromwell's not settling on his 
own land (the Beaver Dams) was, that the Indians in this country at that 
time were very plenty, and the .ssaid Cromwell's wife was afraid, or did not 
choose to live so far from her father and mother, there being at that time but 
a very few families of white people settled in this country. And this depon- 
ent further saith * « « * that when this deponent's father, himself and 
brothers first came into this country, in the beginning of the year 1753, they 
attempted to take possession of the said Beaver Dams, and were vi^arned off 
by some of said Christopher Gist's family, who informed them that the same 
belonged to Wm. Cromwell,, the said Gist's son-in-law. And further deponent 
saith not. 

Sworn and subscribed before me this 20th day of April, 1786. 

James Pinley. 


clothes, and tied myself up in a watchcoat. Then, with gun in 
hand, and pack on my back, in which were my papers and pro- 
visions, I set out with Mr. Gist, fitted in the same manner, on 
Wednesday, the 26th (December). The day following, just after 
we had passed a place called Murderingtown, (in Butler county) 
we fell in with a party of French and Indians, who had laid in wait 
for us. One of them fired at Mr. Gist, or me, not fifteen steps off, 
but fortunately missed. We took this fellow into custody, and 
kept him until about nine o'clock at night, then let him go, and 
walked all the remaining part of the night, without making any 
stop, that we might get the start so far, as to be out of the reach 
of their pursuit the next day." Mr. Gist relates this occurrence 
thus : — We rose early in the morning, and set out about two 
o'clock, and got to Murderingtown, on the south-east fork of 
Beaver creek. Here we met an Indian, whom I thought I had 
seen at Joncaire's, at Venango, when on our journey up to the 
French Fort. This fellow called me by my Indian name and 
pretended to be glad to see me. I thought very ill of the fellow, 
but did not care to let the Major (Washington) know that I mis- 
trusted him. But he soon mistrusted him as much as I did. The 
Indian said he could hear a gun from his cabin, and steered us 
more northwardly. We grew uneasy ; and then he said two 
whoops might be heard from his cabin. We went tvi^o miles 
further. Then the Major said he \\'ould stay at the next water. 
We came to water, to a clear meadow. It was ver}- light, and 
snow was on the ground. The Indian made a stop and turned 
about. The Major saw him point his gun towards us, and he 
fired. Said the Major, "are you shot?' — 'No,' said I; upon which 
the Indian ran forward to a big standing white oak, and began 
loading his gun. But we were soon with him. I would have killed 
him, but the Major would not suffer me. We let him charge his 
gun. We found he put in a ball ; then took care of him. Either 
the Major or I always stood by the guns. We made the Indian 
make a fire for us by a little run, as if we intended to sleep there. 
I said to the Major: 'As you will not have him killed, we must 
get him away, and then we must travel all night.' Upon which I 
said to the Indian, 'I suppose you were lost, and fired vour gun.' 
He said he knew the way to his cabin, and it was but a little way. 
'Well,' said I, 'do you go home, and as we are tired, we will 
follow your track in the morning; and here is a cake for you, and 
you must give us meat for it in the morning.' He was glad to 
get away. I followed him and listened, until he was fairly out of 


the way ; and then we went about half a mile, when we made a 
fire, set our compass, fixed our course, and traveled all night. In 
the morning we were on the head of Pine creek." 

"The next day," says A^'ashinglon, "we continued traveling 
until quite dark, and got to the river (Allegheny) about two miles 
above Shannopin's town (two or three miles above Pittsburgh). 
We expected to have found the river frozen, but it was not, only 
about fifty yards from each shore. The ice was driving in vast 
CjUantities. There was no way to get over but on a raft, which we 
set about making, with but one poor hatchet, and finished just 
after sunset. This was a whole day's work. We next got it 
launched, then went on board of it, and set ofif. But before we 
were half way over, we were jammed in the ice in such a manner 
that we expected every moment our raft to sink and ourselves to 
perish. I put out my setting pole, to try to stop the raft that the 
ice might pass by ; when the rapidity of the stream threw it with 
so much violence against the pole, that it jerked me out into ten 
feet of water; but I fortunately saved myself by catching hold of 
one of the raft logs. Notwithstanding all our efforts, we could not 
get to either shore, but were obliged, as we were near an island 
(Wainwright's) to quit our raft and make to it. The cold was 
so extremely severe that Mr. Gist had all his fingers, and some of 
his toes frozen ; and the water was shut up so hard, that we found 
no difficulty in getting off the island on the ice the next morning, 
and went on to Frazer's." 

Christopher Gist had three sons, Nathaniel, Thomas and Rich- 
ard ; and two daughters, Anne, never married, and Violet, wife of 
William Cromwell, whom her father settled on that part of his 
lands which is now owned by Isaac Wood. Cromwell afterwards 
ungratefully set up a claim to it in his own right, which he sold to 
one Samuel Lyon, with whom Thomas Gist had a protracted, but 
successful controversy for the title. Each of these sons, as well as 
the father, acquired inceptive titles to different parts of the Mount 
Braddocl: lands. All their rights were eventually united in Thomas 
Gist, who perfected the titles. He died in 1786, on the Mount 
Braddock estate, and there buried. By his last will, dated in 
1772, he devised his estates to his only daughter. Elizabeth John- 
son, who married Andrew McKown, and to his brothers and sisters 
and their children. These soon sold out to Isaac Meason, the 
elder, — many of them having before that time removed to Kentucky, 
where their descendants are still believed to reside. Anne, the 
maiden sister, resided with Thomas until his death, and became his 


administrator with the will annexed — as the executors named m 
the will, Gen. Mordecai Gist, of Baltimore, and George Dawson, (b) 
resided out of the State. 

Thomas Gist was a man of some note. In 1770, while we were 
part of Cumberland county, he was commissioned a justice of the 
peace. His commission was, in 1771, renewed for Bedford county, 
and in 1773, for Westmoreland, where he presided in the October 
Sessions of the .Courts of that year. Washington dined with him 
on the 25th November, 1770, when returning from his Western 
land tour of that year; whence, after dinner, he proceeded to Hog- 
land's, at the Great Crossings. We judge that the dinner must 
have been served up at an early hour, and that but little time v/as 
spent "after the cloth was removed." 

Of Richard Gist we know, certainly, nothing worthy of record. 
His celebrity, if he acquired any, was in Kentucky, whither he re- 
moved at an early period, (c) 

Nathaniel Gist became the most conspicuous of the sons, at 
least in a military point of view. Obscurity rests alike upon his 
early and later career, (d) He seems to have been a subordinate 

(b)General Gist is named in the will, which is dated in 1772, as "Mordecai 
Gist, merchant, of Baltimore." He afterwards becomes Brigadier General of 
the Maryland Line in the Revolution; and was probably a younger brother of 
Christopher Gist. He died at Charleston, S. C, in August, 1792. In 1771, he 
had a claim to some land "near the Big Meado"ws, on Braddock's road," taken 
up for him by Thomas Gist. So also had Joshua Gist. 

George Da"wson was the grandfather of the present George and John Daw- 
son, Esq., of Fayette, and great-grandfather of Hon. John Littleton Dawson. 
He was really dead before 1786. But his son Nicholas, who in 1783, had re- 
moved into the Virginia "pan-handle" on the Ohio, Just below the State line, 
was his executor, and was thereby supposed to be entitled to become executor 
of Gist. Hence the record reads as stated in the text. The Dawsons owned 
and resided on the lands in North Union to'wnship. recently the home of Col. 
Wm. Swearingen. 

(c)See note (e). 

(d)In a note to one of Col. Washington's letters in II. Sparks, 283, under 
date of May, 1758, we find the following story related, and as Christopher Gist 
at this time was designated as "Captain Gist," we presume Lieutenant Gist 
was his son Nathaniel: — "An Indian named Ucahula was sent from Port Lou- 
doun (Winchester) with a party of six soldiers and thirty Indians, under 
command of Lieutenant Gist. After great fatigues and sufferings, occasion- 
ed by the snows on the Allegheny mountains, they reached the Monongahela 
river, where Lieutenant Gist, by a fall from a precipice, "was rendered unable 
to proceed, and the party separated. T^cahula, with two other Indians, de- 
scended the Monongahela (from the mouth of Redstone) in a bark canoe, till 
they came near Fort Du Quesne. Here they left their canoe, and concealed 
themselves on the margin of the river, till they had the opportunity of at- 
tacking two Frenchmen, who were fishing in a canoe, and whom they killed 
and scalped. These 'scalps' were brought to Fort Loudon by Ucahula." 


officer on the Vii'ginia and Maryland frontier in the French and 
Indian war. In January, 1777, he was, by General Washington, ap- 
pointed colonel of one of the sixteeen new battalions ordered by 
Congress, and was sent into the Cherokee country, to add to his 
four companies of langers, five hundred Indians. He failed in this, 
but held command of his battalion of rangers for some years, and 
was in the service at the close of the war. He commanded a de- 
tachment in the march of the American army from Englishtown, 
New Jersey, to King's Ferry, in July, 1778. Prior to this, in March, 
1778, he was again sent southward, to enlist the Cherokees into the 
ser-ice of the struggling colonies, and seems to have had some suc- 
cess. Gen. W'ashington speaks of him as well acquainted with that 
powerful tribe of Indians and their allies. He had doubtless been 
with his father in his Indian agency, in that quarter, in i756-'8; and, 
it seems, succeeded to the office after his father's death. We trace 
him, from 1786 to 1794, as General' Gist, of Buckingham county, 
Virginia ; within which period he was several times in Fayette 
county, on business with Judge Meason.(e) 

It may be that we have not done full justice to Col. Nathaniel 
Gist's Revolutionary services, from our inability to discriminate 
between him and his Baltimore relative, who also bore the rank 
and designation of "Col. Gist" until January, 1779. 

(e)Prom a letter of Benjamin Sharp, in II. American Pioneer, 237, dated 
Warren county, Missouri, Marcli 3, 1843, we talte tlie following; which gives 
some light upon the history of the Gists: — ■ 

"In the year 1776, he (Col. Nathaniel Gist) was the British Superintendent 
of the Southern Indians, and was then in the Cherokee nation. And when 
Col. Christian carried his expedition into the Indian country, he surrendered 
himself to him; and although the inhabitants were so exasperated at him that 
almost every one that mentioned his name "would threaten his life, yet Chris- 
tian conveyed him through the frontier settlements unmolested; and he went 
on to head-quarters to Genera) Washington, -where, I suppose, their former 
friendship was revived. He became a zealous Whig, and obtained, through 
the General's influence, as was supposed, a Colonel's commission in the Con- 
tinental army, and served with reputation during the "war. He afterwards 
settled in Kentucky, where he died not many years ago. I well recollect of 
the friends of Gen, Jackson boasting that a luxuriant young hickory had 
sprung out of his grave, in honor of old hickory face, the hero of New Orleans. 
One of his uncles, also a Col. Nathaniel Gist (Mordecai?) was uncle to my wife, 
by marriage; and his younger brother (Query — the uncle's or the nephew's?) 
Richard Gist, lived a close neighbor to my father in 1780, and went on the 
expedition to King's Mountain, and fell there, within twenty-flve or thirty 
steps of the British lines, of which I am yet a living witness." 



Was a native of Virginia, and we believe of Berkeley county. He 
was a surveyor, and in that pursuit had early in life become 
acquainted with Washington, when on some of his surveying 
excursions into that the then frontier part of Virginia. Crawford 
was a Virginia captain in Forbes' army against the French and 
Indians at Fort Du Quesne, in 1758; and in that expedition be- 
haved so well as to gain largely upon the confidence of AVashington, 
who was ever 'afterwards his steadfast friend, (a) After that signal 
event, we lose sight of him until 1767, when he came into and settled 
in what is now Fayette county — then Bedford, or, as he supposed, 
West Augusta county, Virginia. He fixed his abode on Brad- 
dock's road, on the western bank of the Youghiogheny river, a 
little below New Haven. The place was then, and long afterwards, 
known as Stewart's Crossings. Here he continued to reside until 
his tragical death. We fix 1767 as the date of his settlement from 
two pieces of evidence. The one is an account of his against one 
James McKee, which his executors sued on in Fayette county 
court, in 1785, which account began in 1767. The other is a letter 
from Washington to him, dated Sept. 21, 1767, (b) requesting him 
to survey lands for him in this country. It has been said, how- 
ever, that he did not remove his family until 1768, which is probable. 
His wife, Flannah, was a sister of John Vance, the father of Moses 
Vance, of Tyrone township. He had a brother, Valentine Craw- 
ford, who figured to some extent in these parts in the Boundary 
troubles, fc) Colonels John and Richard Stevenson were his half- 
brothers. Col. Crawford had, we believe, but one son, John, and 
two daughters, Ophelia, wife of William McCormick, and Sarah, 
who married Major Wm. Harrison, and, after his death, became the 
wife of Major Uriah Springer. She left issue by both marriages. 
Mrs. McCormick also left children. But it is said that few of these 
descendants of Col. Crawford inherit his energies, either physical 

(e)He accompanied Washington on his land tour, down the Ohio to Kenhawa, 

in 1770. 

(b)See this letter in full in the sketch entitled: "Washington in Fayette." 
(c)Valentlne Crawford, styled Colonel, owned land in Bullskin township, 

which, about 1784, was sold by the Sheriff of Westmoreland county to Col. 

Isaac Meason. He was dead in 1785, and John Minter was his administrator. 

In 1773 he resided in Frederick county, Maryland. The land of John Gaddis, 

Esq., now his son. Jacob Gaddis, above 'Sock,' was held originally by George 

Paull, Jr., in the right of Valentine Crawford 


or mental. The reader will remember that Major Harrison, Wil- 
liam Crawford, Jr., (son of Valentine, we presume,) and ^lajor Wil- 
liam Rosse, another nephew of Col. Crawford, lost their lives in 
Crawford's campaign, while John, the son, escaped. He, a few 
3 ears afterwards, sold his land to Col. Isaac Meason, and settled 
near the mouth of Brush Creek, on the Ohio river, where he died. 

It appears from the account above referred to, and other evidence, 
that when Capt. Crawford first came into this region, he, as well as 
Valentine, was engaged in the Indian trade, a pursuit very common 
to our early settlers. He also exercised, to a limited extent, his 
vocation of surveyor, and in that capacity made numerous unofficial 
suTA-eys for Washington and his brothers, Samuel and John Augus- 
tine, and his relative, Lund Washington, as well as for others, — • 
even before the lands were bought from the Indians. The object 
was to acquire Virginia rights. The captain also took up several 
valuable tracts for himself, in the vicinity of Stewart's Crossings, 
but none of them, we believe, in his own name. The home tract, 
at the Crossings, is in the name of his son John, — others are in the 
names of Benjamin Harrison, (d) Wm. Harrison, Battle Harrison, 
Lawrence Harrison, Jr., &c. He owned other lands by purchase 
from the original settlers. 

Upon the erection of Bedford county, in 1771, Capt. Crawford 
Avas appointed a justice of the peace. His appointment was re- 
newed after the erection of Westmoreland, in 1773. He was Pre- 
siding Justice of the Courts of that county, when his commissions 
were revoked in January, 1775, for the reason noticed in our sketch 
of the "FJoundary Controversy," — he having become a very active 
and somewhat indiscreet Virginia partizan against the Penn Gov- 
ernment. After Virginia had, in, 1776, undertaken to parcel out the 
disputed territory into counties, and establish land offices within it, 
Capt. Crawford was appointed the land officer, or surveyor of 
Yohogania county, which office he held during the Revolution and 
until Virginia surrendered her pretentions, in i779-'8o. 

Crawford was fitted by nature to be a soldier and a leader. 
Ambitious, cool and brave, he possessed that peculiar courage and 

(d)The ancestor of this Harrison family was Lawrence Harrison, who owned 
the tract of land adjoining the Crawford lands, and which is now owned by 
Daniel Rogers and .Tames Blaokstone, and perhaps others. His daughter, 
Catharine, was the wife of Hon. Isaac Meason, the elder of Mount Braddock. 



skill which is adapted to Indian or border warfare. His ardent 
love of adventure and fight, got the better of his prudence and 
Pennsylvania loyalty in the controversy with Virginia. In I774> 
while a sworn peace officer of Pennsylvania, he, contrary to the 
Penn policy, led two bodies of troops down the Ohio, in Dunmore's 
war, and, for a while, commanded at Wheeling. He, however, had 
no fighting to do. 

We find him taking part, as a good American patriot, in the 
first Revolutionary meeting held at Fort Pitt, in May 1775, along 
with Smith, Wilson and others, to whom, as firm adherents to 
Pennsylvania in the recent conflict, he had been actively opposed. 

Soon after this he seems to have entered the military service of 
Virginia. In February, 1776, he is appointed Lieutenant Colonel of 
the Fifth Regiment of the forces of that colony; and in September 
following we find him with his regiment at Williamsburg, the 
ancient capital of the Old Dominion. In October, 1776, he became 
Colonel of the Seventh Virginia Regiment. In February, 
1777, Congress appropriated $20,000, "to be paid to Col. William 
Crawford for raising and equipping his regiment, which is part of 
the Virginia new levies." In a letter from the Colonel to Gen. 
Washington, dated at AVilliamsburg, in September 1776, he ex- 
presses his apprehension of Indian troubles about Fort Pitt, and 
says if they arise he will be sent there. This expedition was not 
realized until November, 1777, when Congress "Resolved that Gen. 
Washington be requested to send Col. Wm. Crawford to Pittsburgh 
to take command, under Brig. Gen. Hand, of the Continential troops 
and militia in the Western Department." He seems then to have 
been with Gen. Washington at his headquarters at AVhitemarsh, 
near Philadelphia; and Congress being in session at York, Pa., the 
colonel repaired thither to receive his instructions, and soon after 
departed for the scene of his command. How long he held it, and 
what he did, are involved in obscurity. The only trace we find is, 
that in 1778, he built a fort on the Allegheny, some sixteen miles 
above Pittsburgh, called Fort Crawford; and Mr. Sparks, in a note 
to II. Sparks' Washington, 346 says he took command of the regi- 
ment in May 1778. It is probable that the regiment referred to was 
one of the two which Congress, early in that year, ordered to be 
raised on the frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania for their de- 
fense ; and that the regiment of "Virginia new levies," to which the 
S20,ooo had been appropriated, was assigned to some other officer. 

The danger from Indian aggression having subsided or being 


otherwise provided against, it seems that Col. Crawford, in 1779, 
returned home and resumed his duties as land officer of Virginia 
for Yohogania county, in which the sittings of the Virginia Com- 
missioners at Coxe's Fort and Redstone Old Fort, in the latter 
part of that 3'ear and beginning of 1780, gave him ample employ- 
ment. We believe he never again engaged in military service 
until he went into the ill-fated campaign of 1782, which cost him 
his life. 

As a distinct military enterprise, Crawford's Campaign belongs 
to another sketch, (e) to which we refer the reader. Our purpose 
here is limited to its fatal personal relations to its renowned 

AMiether from a presentiment of his untimely end, or from the 
dictates of that prudence which AVashington evinced in like cir- 
cumstances, Col. Crawford, before setting out in the perilous 
march, made his last win,(f) and disposed of his estate among his 
children. And on the 14th of May, 1782, three or four days before 
leaving home, he and wife, for the consideration of natural love 
and affection, and five shillings, conveyed to his son-in-law, who 
accompanied him, Major AA'illiam Harrison, sixty-eight acres of 
land on the Yough river, adjoining where said Harrison then lived. 
The deed is acknowledged the same da}- before Providence Mountz, 
Esq., and appended to it is a curious memorandum, in imitation 
of the old English feudal feofifment, — that on the day of the date 
thereof, full and peaceable possession of said land being taken and 
had by said Crawford, the same was by him, then and there, in 
due form, by turf and twig, delivered to said Harrison, and the five 
shillings thereupon paid : — Test : Providence Mountz and P. 
]\'Iountz, Jr. Col. Crawford, however, left his private affairs in a 
very tmsettled condition, as he passed through the excitements and 
vicissitudes of the later years of his life; the necessary result of 
which was, that his estate, soon after his death, was swept away 
from his family by a flood of claims, some of which, doubtless, had 
no just foundation. His widow was sustained for many years by 
a pension. 

In another sketch, already referred to, the reader may acquaint 
himself with the most prominent incidents of the march and of the 
disastrous encounter of the 5th of June, 1782, on the plains of 

(e)See "Revolutionary and Indian wars," — Chap. X. 

(f)His will, recorded in Westmoreland county, bears date May 16, 1782. 



Sandusky, where Col. Crawford "fought his last battle,"— and we 
believe his first one also. 

The Colonel headed the retreat of the main body of his discom- 
fited band. To assure himself whether or not his son and other 
relatives were safe, he stopped and went back, or let the army pass 
him, to make inquiry. Not finding them, he left the line of 
retreat to make further search — but in vain. And now, so rapidly 
had the army moved, and so jaded was his horse, that he was 
unable to overtake it. This separation from his command cost 
him his life, as a sacrifice to parental solicitude. 

He soon fell in company with Dr. Knight, the surgeon of the 
regiment, and two others, and guided by the stars they traveled 
all night in varied directions to elude the pursuit of the enemy. 
On the next day they were joined by four others, of whom were 
Capt. John Biggs and Lieut. Ashley, the latter badly wounded. 
These eight now held together, and on the second night of the 
flight ventured to encamp. The next day they came to the path 
by which the army had advanced; and a council was held as to 
whether it would be safer to pursue it, or to continue their course 
through the woods. The Colonel's opinion decided them to keep 
the open path. A line of march was formed, with Crawford and 
Knight in front. Biggs and Ashley in the centre, on horseback, 
while the other footmen brought up the rear. "Scarcely had they 
proceeded a mile when several Indians sprung up within twenty 
yards of the path, presented their guns, and in good English 
ordered them to stop. Knight sprung behind a tree, and leveled 
his gun at one of them. Crawford ordered him not to fire, and 
the Doctor reluctantly obeyed. The Indians ran up to Col. Craw- 
ford in a friendly manner, shook his hand and asked him how he 
did. Biggs and Ashley halted, while the men in the rear took to 
their heels and escaped. Col. Crawford ordered Capt. Biggs to 
come up and surrender, but the Captain instead of doing so, took 
aim at an Indian, fired, and then he and Ashley put spurs to their 
horses, and for the present escaped. They were both overtaken 
and killed the next day. 

"On the morning of the loth of June, Col. Crawford, Dr. Knight 
and nine other prisoners, were conducted by seventeen Indians to 
the old Sandusky town, about thirty-three miles distant. They 
were all blacked by Pipe, a Delaware chief, who led the captors, 
and the other nine were marched ahead of Crawford and Knight. 
Four of the prisoners were tomahawked and scalped on the way 
at different places, and when the other five arrived at the town. 



the boys and squaws fell upon them and tomahawked them in a 

We now approach the "last scene of all, which ends this strange, 
eventful history," and we borrow the eloquent description of it by 
Captain McClung.(g) 

"As soon as the Colonel arrived they surrounded him, stripped 
him naked and compelled him to sit on the ground nea,r a large 
fire, around which were about thirty warriors, and more' than 
double that number of squaws and boys. They then fell upon him 
and beat him severely with their fists and sticks. In a few minutes 
a large stake was fixed in the ground and piles of hickory poles, 
about twelve feet long, were spread around it. Col. Crawford's 
hands were then tied behind his back ; a strong rope was produced, 
one end of which was fastened to the ligature between his wrists, 
and the other tied to the bottom of the stake. The rope was long 
enough to permit him to walk around the stake several times and 
then return. Fire was then applied to the hickory poles, which 
lay in piles at the distance of several yards from the stake. 

"The Colonel observing these terrible preparations, called to 
the noted Simon Girty, who sat on horseback at a few yards 
distance from the fire, and asked if the Indians were going to burn 
him. Girty very cooly replied in the affirmative. The Colonel 
heard this wil': firmness, merely observing that he would tr)/ and 
bear it with fortitude. When the hickory poles had been burnt 
asunder in the middle. Captain Pipe arose and addressed the crowd 
in a tone of great energy, and with animated gestures, pointing 
frequently to the Colonel, who regarded him with an appearance 
of unruffled composure. As soon as he had finished, a loud whoop 
burst from the assembled throng, and they all at once rushed upon 
the uafortunate victim. For several seconds the crowd and con- 
fusion were so great that Knight could not see what they were 
doing; but in a short time they had sufficiently dispersed to give 
him a view of the Colonel. His ears had been cut off, and the 
blood was streaming down each side of his face. A terrible scene 
of torture now commenced. The warriors shot charges of powder 
into his naked body, commencing with the calves of his legs, and 
continuing to his neck. The boys snatched the burning hickory 

(g-)See Patterson's "History of the Back-Woods.' 


poles and applied them to his flesh. As fast as he ran around the 
stake to avoid one party of tormentors, he was promptly met at 
every turn by others, with burning poles and red-hot irons and rifles 
loaded with powder only; so that in a few minutes nearly one 
hundred charges of powder had been shot into his body, which 
had become black and blistered in a dreadful degree. The squaws 
would take up quantities of coals and hot ashes and throw them 
upon his body, so that in a few minutes he had nothing but fire to 
Vi^alk upon. 

"In this extremity of his agony the luihappy Colonel called 
aloud upon Girty, in tones that rang through Knight's brain with 
maddening eflect — 'Girty! Girty! shoot me through the heart! 
Quick ! Quick ! Don't refuse me !' 'Don't you see I have no 
gun. Colonel," replied the monster, bursting into a loud laugh; 
and then turning to an Indian beside him, he muttered some brutal 
jest upon the naked and miserable appearance of the prisoner, (h) 

"The terrible scene had now lasted more than two hours, and 
Crawford had become much exhausted. He walked slowly around 
the stake, spoke in a low tone, and earnestly besought God to look 
with compassion upon him and to pardon his sins. His nerves 
had lost much of their sensibility, and he no longer shrank from 
the fire brands, with which they incessantly touched him. At length 
he sunk, in a fainting fit, upon his face and lay motionless. 
Instantly an Indian sprung upon his back, knelt lig'htly upon one 
knee, made a circular incision with his knife upon the crown of 
his head, and, clapping the knife between his teeth, tore off the 
scalp with both hands. Scarcely had this been done, when a 
withered hag approached with a board full of burning embers, and 
poured them upon the crown of his head, now laid bare to the 
bone. The Colonel groaned deeply, rose and again walked slowly 
around the stake! — But why continue a description so horrible? 
?N'ature at length could endure no more, and at a late hour in the 

(h)Girty's conduct in this savage scene is placed in a very different light by 
Mr. MoCutchen's statement, appended to our subsequent sketch ot Crawford's 
campaign, in "Revolutionary and Indian wars," which see. A few years before 
this tragedy, Crawford and Girty were acting in unison in their resistance of 
Pennsylvania rule, in the Boundary Controversy. It is said that Girty was a 
frequent guest at Capt. Crawford's hospitable cabin, and aspired to a Cap- 
taincy in the Revolutionary war, but was disappointed, and thereupon turned 
Tory. He had before been made an Indian Chief of the Senecas. Another 
story is that he blamed Crawford for his failure to receive a command in the 
American forces. And there is yet another silly tale that he aspired to the 
hand of one of Crawford's daughters, and was denied. 


night he was released by death from the hands of his tor- 
mentors. "(i) 

It is believed that Major Harrison, Major Rosse and Ensign 
W'm. Crawford, Jr., being officers and known to some of the 
Indians, met a like fiery end, at other places. What a gorge of 
infernal revelry did the Crawford family afford to the infuriated 
savages. Of the five, John, the son, only escaped, to mourn their 
untimely end with his widowed mother and sister. For awhile 
the wild grass of the prairie refused to grow upon their unurned 
ashes; but over their undug graves often since hath "the peaceful 
harvest smiled." 

"Dr. Knight was doomed to be burnt at a Shawnese town 
about forty miles distant from Sandusky, and was committed to 
the care of a young Indian to be taken there. The first day they 
traveled about twenty-five miles and encamped for the night. In' 
the morning, the gnats being very troublesome, the Doctor re- 
quested the Indian to untie him that he might help him to make 
a fire to keep them off. With this request the Indian complied. 
While the Indian was on his knees and elbows blowing the fire, 
the Doctor caught up the end of a stick which had been burned in 
two, with which he struck the Indian on the head, so as to knock 
him forward into the fire. Rising up instantly, he ran off^ with 
great rapidity, howling most piteously. Knight seized the Indian's 
rifle and pursued him, but drawing back the cock too violently he 
broke the mainspring, and relinquished the pursuit. The Doctor 
then took to the woods, and after many perils by land and water, 
reached Fort Mcintosh (Beaver) on the twenty-second day, nearly 
famished. During his journey he subsisted on young birds, roots 
and berries." He recruited a little strength and clothing at the 
fort, and then came home. He owed his life — and we the tale of 
Crawford's tortures — to the simple credulity of his young Indian 

(i)The widow of Col. Crawford used to relate in addition to what is here 
stated, that the Indians stuck his body full of dry, sharp sticks, until he look- 
ed like ai porcupine, and after he was tied to the stake they first set Are to 
these sticks, and laughed to see how they blazed and crackled around his 
naked body. 

(j)Dr. John Knight was a man of small size, for that age of stalwart men. 
He resided in Bullskin township — was a son-in-law of Col. Richard Stevenson 
and brother-in-law of Presley Carr Lane. He removed to Shelbyville, Ky., 
with Mr. Lane, whose son John married the Doctor's daughter. The same 
John Lane was Marshal of Kentucky under President Polk. 



This brave and magnanimous old settler, who was long spared 
to us as a noble specimen of the men of the heroic age, was born in 
Frederick, now Berkeley county, Virginia, on the 17th September, 
1760. He died on the 9th July, 1841, aged nearly eighty-one years. 
He was the son of George Paull, who removed with his family into 
what is now Fayette county, in 1768, and settled in the Gist 
neighborhood, in what is now Dunbar township, on the land where 
his son, the subject of this notice, ever afterwards resided, and on 
part of which his son, Joseph Paull, now resides. He became the 
owner there of two or three contiguous tracts of land, and of 
several other tracts elsewhere in the county. 

Col. Paull early in life evinced qualities of heart and soul calcu- 
lated to render him conspicuous ; added to which was a physical 
constitution of the hardiest kind. Throughout his long life, his 
bra\ery and patriotism, like his generosity, knew no limits. He 
loved enterprise and adventure as he loved his friends, and shunned 
no service or dangers to which they called him. He came to man- 
hood just when such men were needed. 

His military services (a) began ere he was eighteen years old. 
About the first of August, 1778, he was drafted to serve a month's 
duty in guarding the Continental stores at Fort Burd (Brownsville) 
— an easy service, which consisted in fishing and swimming all 
day, and taking turns to stand sentry at night. Robert McGlaugh- 
lin, to whom we have elsewhere referred, was his commanding 

About the first of May. 1781, (having, in the meantime, gone 
frequently on occasional brief tours of service to the Washington 
and Westmoreland frontiers) he, with a commission as First Lieu- 
tenant, signed by Thomas Jefferson, Governor of Virginia, was 
ordered by Col. George Rogers Clarke, to recruit in Westmoreland 
(or Augusta) county, for the projected campaign of that year 
against Detroit, then held by the British and Tories. His captain 
was Benjamin Whaley, father of Captain James Whaley, now of 
Uniontown, and an officer of distinction in the war of 1812. A 
company was raised, who, taking boat at Elizabethtown, on the 

(ajPor most of these, down to the end ot the Revolution, in 17S3, we rely 
upon Colonel Pavill's own statement, when he applied for a pension under the 
act of June, 1S32. His other services we gather from other reliable sources. 


I\Ionongahela, floated down to the mouth of Chartiers, where they 
halted for reenforcements. At Pittsburgh they were joined by 
Capt. Isaac Craig's artillery. They soon proceeded, with other 
troops to the falls ot the Ohio, now Louisville, from which the 
expedition known as Clark's Campaign was to start. He was 
attached to the regiment commanded by Col. Crockett; and among 
the other officers were Col. Hardin, Col. Morgan and Major Lowder, 
of Virginia, the last of Avhom deserted at Blennerhassett's Island. 
They arrived at the falls in August, and went into garrison. The 
requisite forces for the expedition having failed to assemble, it was 
abandoned. And now the trouble was to get home. He returned 
with about one hundred others, through the wilderness of Ken- 
tucky and Virginia, to .Morgantown, where the Colonel — Zachariah 
Cor Zachwell) Morgan, resided. His return was a labor of more- 
than two months, amid dangers seen and unseen, and privations 
innumerable. Paull arrived home in December. 

Early in the ensuing April (1782) he was again drafted for a 
month's frontier duty at the mouth of Turtle Creek (Myers') 
some nine miles above Pittsburg, which he served as a private, 
under Captain Joseph Beckett, of the forks of the Yough settle- 

No sooner was this brief and inglorious month of service ended, 
than, determined to encounter the perils of Indian warfare, he 
volunteered as a private in Crawford's Campaign of June, 1782 — ■ 
the most prominent incidents and horrors of which are elsewhere 
detailed in these sketches. His captain was John Biggs, Lieuten- 
ant Edward Stewart, Ensign William Crawford, Jr., nephew of the 
Colonel — all of whom fell a prey to the tortures or butcheries of 
the savages. Paull was in the engagement of the 5th of June, on 
the Sandusky prairie. In the retreat, or flight, he went in a squad 
with five or six others. They were soon surprised, and all, save 
Paull, were killed, or made prisoners. At the Mingo encampment, 
Paull had the misfortune to burn one of his feet severely, and was 
lame throughout the march and retreat. He lost his horse in 
attempting to pass the swamp near the battle ground. When sur- 
prised in the flight he was very lame, and barefoot. The man at 
his side, on whom he was leaning for assistance, was shot down. 
Paull instantly fled from the path into the woods — an Indian after 
him. He quickly came to a steep, bluf¥ bank of a creek, down 
which he instinctively leaped, gun in hand. His pursuer declined 
the leap, and with a yell gave up the pursuit. In the descent he 
hurt his lame foot badly; but having bound it up with part of the 


ragged nether extremity of his pantaloons, he wandered on ; and 
by betaking himself to fallen trees and crossing his trail occasion- 
ally, he escaped further molestation. For two days, like Doctor 
Knight, he subsisted on roots, bark, leaves, berries and young 
birds — very fresh fare, the Colonel used to say, but wholesome. 
He had saved his gun and some ammunition, but he was afraid to 
discharge it, lest its report might be heard by the Indians, and then 
all would be over with him. He was very lame, and had become 
very weak. Having taken some rest, he rose with the dawn and 
resumed his wanderings. Being very hungrj', and seeing a deer 
cross his path, he shot it. But he had lost his knife, and the only 
device he could adopt by which to open and remove part of the 
skin a;id get at some of the flesh, was to cut it with his gun ffint. 
This he did, and havmg got a good piece of the round out, he 
went on, eatmg it raw as he traveled. At length he came to the 
Ohio, near Wheeling, (b) The river was too high and he too feeble 
to swim it. He therefore constructed a raft, with drift logs and 
!?Tape^■ine, launched it, and thus got out of the Indian country. 
Having landed on the southern shore, he caught an old horse which 
he found wandering about the river hills, and bestrode him. After 
a little equestrian recreation, he got nito a path which led him to a 
settler's cabin. Here he was hospitably received and for some 
days entertained. And after regaining some strength and clothes, 
the settler kindly sent a boy and horse to help him home. 

In 1784 or '85 he commanded a company of scouts or rangers, 
on a tour to Ryerson's station, on the western frontier of, now 
Greene county. 

In 1790 he served with honor, and in the most dangerous position 
as a Major of Pennsylvania Militia in Gen. Harmar's Campaign 
against the Indians at the head of the Maumee, as elsewhere relat- 
ed in a subsequent sketch, but we are vinable to give any further 
particulars of this important service. History and tradition both 
accord to Major Paull, in this perilous march and series of encoun- 
ters, the character of a brave and good ofificer, although most of 
the troops belonging to his command have been sadty traduced. 

With Harman's Campaign he, we believe, ended his soldiering, 
except that in after life he was elected colonel of a regiment on 

(b)It is related that Paull struck the Ohio opposite Wheeling- Island early 
in the morning, in a tog so dense as to prevent his seeing- the Island. He dis- 
covered -which way the current ran, and -wandered up the river to the mouth 
of Short creek, "where he made his raft and crossed 


the peace establishment. Having married, he settled down to the 
pursuits of domestic and agricultural lite, in which he was eminently 
successful. He raised a large and highly respected family — seven 
sons, James, George, (c) John, Archibald, Thomas, William and 
Joseph, and one daughter, Martha, wife of AVilliam Walker. He 
had some concern in. the iron manufacture, and was occasionallj^ 
in middle life a down-the-river trader. But he was a lover of 
home, its quiet cares and enjoyments. He was never ambitious of 
office. The only one he ever held, or sought, in civil life, was that 
of Sheriff of the county, which he filled from 1793 to '96, with 
credit and success. This gave him something to do with the 
"AA^hiskey Boys," and he had to hang John McFall for the murder 
of John Chadwick-(d) 

We have said that Col. Paul! was generous and devoted to his 
friends. Of this we could give many illustrations. One must 
suffice. Having become heavily bound for a friend, he had to sell 
some cherished land in the W^est to enable him to paj- the liability. 
At length it was paid. Thereupon a more cautions friend remarked 
to him, "I suppose. Colonel, you are now cured of endorsing." 
''No," he replied quickly, "I will endorse for ni}- friends when I 

Such was Col. James Paull, a man of heroic and generous im- 
pulses, of integrity and truth ; which he evinced by many deeds 
and few words. 

(b)Georg-e Paull was Colonel of the 27th Regiment U. S. Infantry fOhio 
troops) in the war of 1812, and served bravely under Gen. Harrison in the 
Northwest army. 

(d)This "was the only case of capital punishment ever executed in Fayette 
county. The killing- was on the 10th November, 1794. Chadwlck kept the old 
White Horse tavern where James Hughes now lives, about a mile northeast of 
Brownfieldtown. McPall "was drunk, and his first purpose was to kill one 
Martin Myers, a constable, but Chadwick interfering, and having shut tlie 
door on him, he fell on him and beat him with a club, from which he died 
two days afterwards. McFall, after conviction, broke jail and escaped, and 
was on his way to Lancaster to get a pardon, when he was apprehended at 
Hagerstown. He was hung on land of Gen. Douglass, in the woods between 
the old Zadok Springer mansion and Wm. Crawford's, about a mile north of 
the court house. The place is yet known as the "gallows field." Col. Paull 
did not hang him himself, but employed one Edward Bell as executioner — 
father of the late Edward Bell. See the case reported in Addison's Reports, 255. 



Our materials for a memoir of this ancient worthy are very 
scanty, being little more than what appears elsewhere in these 
sketches. He was a Virginian, from the town or vicinity of Staun- 
ton, Augusta county, in which he owned property; also in Romney, 
Hampshire county. ETe had evidently been a military officer of 
the King, in that colony, doubtless in the French war. The proof 
of this is, that in the inventory of his goods and chattels appraised 
and filed in our Register's office; are a scarlet coat, breeches and 
vest, valued at £15, besides an American Revolutionary "Regimen- 
tal coat," valued at £40, and plush breeches and vest at £15. An- 
other proof is in one of his own letters to I\'fajor Luke Collins, cop- 
ied in part in our ''Boundar)' Controversy," wherein he says — "we 
had the happiness of joining in sentiment in the Colony of Virginia, 
and as I may say, even wading through blood in supporting the 
cause of our country, heart in hand." And in his previous letter 
to Arthur St. Clair, referred to in the same sketch, he says, "I have 
in my little time in life taken the oath of allegia,nce to his Majesty 
seven times." 

He seems to have come into this country as early as 1769, and 
settled at the Mouth of Georges Creek, becoming the owner of the 
lands on both sides of it for a considerable distance up that stream, 
as well as other adjacent lands, including Elk Hills, recently the 
home of J. W. Nicholson, Esq., now owned by Michael Franks, 
and several other tracts in this county. It is said he first came into 
this region at the head of a party to reclaim some white prisoners 
from the Indians, in which he succeeded; and being pleased with 
the country about the mouths of Cheat and Georges creek, soon 
afterwards returned and took up his residence. 

Col. Wilson figured conspicuously as an active and influential 
Pennsylvanian in the Boundary Controversy, as is apparent from 
our sketch of that important dispute. This is the more remarkable, 
as he was by nativity, interest and family associations, -a Virginian. 
When Westmoreland county was erected, in 1773, he was appointed 
by the Penn Assembly one of the trustees for selecting a county 
seat ; and in the same year he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. 

When the eighth Pennsylvania Regiment of the Line was formed 
at Kittanning, in the fall of 1776, he was appointed by Congress, 
upon the recommendation of the Pennsylvania convention, its 


Lieut. Colonel — his son John being one of its Captains. He did 
not live to distinguish himself in battle; but died in Quibbletown, 
N. J., near Amboy, early in April, 1777, from pleurisy, brought on 
by exposure and overmarching, and was buried there. On the loth 
of September, 1776, before going into the service, he made his last 
will, disposing of his estates — lands, lots, negroes, &c., with great 
precision. He had three sons, John, William George, (a) and Sam- 
uel; and six daughters, Agnes Humphreys, Elizabeth Kincade,(b) 
Jane, Mary Ann, Sarah and Phebe. Jane was thrice married — first 
to a Mr. Bullitt, then to the father of Hon. Wm. G. Hawkins, for- 
merly State Senator from Greene and Washington, now of Alle- 
gheny county; and lastly to Hon. John Mmor, long an Associate 
Judge of Greene county, thereby becoming the mother of L. L. 
Minor, Esq,, of that county, and of Mrs. John Crawford, of Greens- 
boro. To her he gave the land now in Nicholson township, recently 
owned by John and Samuel Ache. AVe cannot trace the other de- 
scendants of the old Colonel. 


This veteran Surveyor, and Register and Recorder of Fayette 
county, came into this region of country in 1769, as an Assistant 
Surveyor to his brothers Archibald and Moses, the regular Deputies 
for this part of the Province. The opening of the Land Office, on 
the 4th of April, 1769, for the acquisition of lands in the "New Pur- 
chase," gave employment to a great number of surveyors. Being 
unmarried, he seems, for severals years, to have changed his resi- 
dence to accommodate his employment. His earliest local habita- 
tion in the West was perhaps in Stony Creek Glades, in Somerset, 
then Cumberland county. In 1772 we find him assessed as a Single 
Freeman, in Tyrone to\\'nship, then Bedford county. He was mar- 
ried in 1775, in the Glades, near Stoystown, to Sarah Holmes, and 
in the Spring of 1776', removed to the vicinity of Uniontown. In 

(a)Blected Justice of the Peace for Springhin in 17S9. He was tiie founder 
of New Geneva, by tlie name of Wilson's Port. 

(b)W^ife of Samuel Kincade, who settled just at the junction of Cheat and 
Monongahela, north side, in Springhill. This land, with half the ferry rights, 
was devised to him by his father-in-law. This Samuel Kinoade narrowly 
escaped being killed while with a party of Militia, on Ten Mile Creek, when 
marching to Wheeling, in Dunmore's war in 1774. Captain McClure command- 
ed the party, and Kincade was Lieutenant. They were attacked by four Indi- 
ans of Logan's party, and the Captain killed and Kincade wounded. Gen St. 
Clair said "it would have been no great matter if he had been killed." 


the Spring of 1779 he moved into the town, and there con- 
tinued to reside until his death, on the 7th of January, 1834, aged 
a little over eighty-eight years, having been born on the 20th No- 
vember, 1746. 

He was a native of York county, Pennsylvania, being the 30ung- 
est of seven brothers, of whom Moses and Archibald were perhaps 
the eldest, and who, besides being the first Deputy Surveyors in this 
part of Pennsylvania, were men of distinction — especially the latter, 
in old mother York and her daughter Adams. James and Samuel 
M 'Clean, who settled very early near the base of Laurel Hill, in N. 
Union township, were also brothers. James was the only one of the 
seven who was not a surveyor. Archibald, Moses, Samuel and 
Alexander were with Mason and Dixon in running the celebrated 
line between Pennsylvania and Maryland and Virginia, in i766-'7, 
Alexander being then only about twenty-two years old. 
Archibald had had a good deal to do in running the lines be- 
tween Maryland and Delaware, and between Maryland and Penn- 
SA'lvania, before Mason and Dixon were employed, and Alexander 
accompanied him. Such were the schools and instructors he enjoy- 
ed in acquiring the art of surveying. 

Although Col. M'Clean was, with other Assistants, busily em- 
ployed in executing orders of survey in this part of the Province, 
from the summer of 1769, yet the earliest survey executed by him 
as a deputy, that we can find, within the limits of Fayette county, 
was in 1772. Prior to that year the returns are all signed by Archi- 
bald and Moses ; who also, within that year and afterwards, signed 
returns as deputies. It is probable, however, that Alexander was 
a regular Deputy Surve3'or at an earlier period, but operated in 
what is now the Somerset county part of the New Purchase. We 
find him making surveys at Turkey Foot in 1769. 

In 1776 he was one of the Westmoreland members of the As- 
sembly — the first after the revolt. In September of that year he 
was one of the Justices of the Peace for that county, appointed by 
the Revolutionary State Convention. He was also a member of 
the Assembly for the year i782-'3; the same by which Fayette 
county was erected. Indeed he was elected for its accomplishment; 
an effort at the previous session having failed by reason of the op- 
position from the Northern parts of Westmoreland. The reason 
assigned was if the new county was erected, the old one could not 
support itself — the common argument in such cases. On this occa- 
sion it was attempted to be sustained by the fact that the territory 
proposed to be dissevered was the only part of the county exempt 


from Indian depredations — to which fact, rendered more impressive 
b}- the burning of Hannastown, in July, 1782, Fayette county owes 
its early erection. Long prior to this — in 1778, Col. M'Clean had 
urged Henry Beeson to lay out Uniontown, with a view to a county 
seat ; which he did, and the Colonel surveyed it for him, providing 
a lot for the county buildings at the elbow, adjacent to which, on 
the east, he bought a lot, to which he removed in 1779, and where 
he died. 

The State Land Office being in effect closed from 1776 to 1784, 
no Deputy Survejors were needed. For a while, therefore, his 
occupation was gone. In the meantime he took to "soldiering," 
then the great business of the country. W^e believe the Colonel 
was never a soldier of the Line, but served occasionalh^ in the 
frontier ranges. He was also in MTntoch's campaign of 1780; 
but in what capacity, or how he got there, we are at some loss to 
know. Pennsylvania sent no men into that campaign — Virginia 
did; though many of them were from this, the disputed territory. 
Of such were those we have named in our notice of that expedition, 
fa) W'hen one of them, Col. Robert Beall, of Bullskin, a zealous 
Virginia partizan, was appointed County T^ieutenant, in 1784, great 
indignation was evinced by the old Pennsylvania adherents. Col. 
IM'Clean was called upon to write to the Sup. Ex. Council on the 
subject. In writing to President Dickinson, on the i6th of July, 
1784, he says: "With those very people who are said to have had so 
little share in the burthen of the war, I have shared the fatigues of 
the most difficult campaign that has been carried on in this country, 
and was a witness to both their sufferings and fortitude. Many 01 
them have been in the Continental service, and Col. Beall in 
particular, during- a great part of the war." This, we believe, 
refers to M'Intosh's campaign. If so, then the Colonel served 
under the Virginia standard ; although in the Boundary Contro- 
versy he was a decided Pennsylvanian. C)f this there is a clear 
proof in his correspondence concerning running the Temporary 
Boundary and the New State project, some of which will be found 
in our sketch of those events. (b) In going with "Virginians" into 
Mcintosh's campaign, he went as a soldier and patriot, not as a 
partizan. (c) 

(a) See Chap. X. — "Revolutionary and Indian Wars." 
(b)See Chap. IX. — "Boundary Controversy." 

(c)In July, 1781, he wrote a letter to his brother Archibald, o( York, inform- 
ing- him of the high-handed mea.sure.s adopted by Gen. Clark and the Virginia 



In 1782, Col. M"Clean was appointed a Sub-Lieutenant for the 
county of Westmoreland, in the room of Col. Edward Cook, pro- 
moted to be Lieutenant upon the death of Col. Lochry. To this 
appointment he owed his rank of Colonel. 

In 1781, Col. M'Clean was appointed by the Sup. Ex. Council of 
Pennsylvania as the artist, in conjunction with a similar appointee 
from Virginia, to run the temporary boundary lines which had 
been agreed upon in 1779. A vexatious succession of disappoint- 
ments and difficulties delayed the execution of this task until the 
winter of i782-'3, when he performed it, in connection with Joseph 
Neville, of Virginia, an eminent surveyor, who was afterwards a 
member of Congress from that State. They run out our Southern 
boundary from where Mason and Dixon stopped, at the Indian 
war path on Dunkard creek, in Greene, and the Western line, to 
the Ohio river, (d) Although the Council had at first offered only 
twenty shillings per day, "and found," yet they afterwards resolved 
that "taking into consideration the trouble Mr. M'Clean has had 
in running said line, and the accuracy ( '') with which the same hath 
been done, he be allowed thirty-five shillings per day :" — being ?4.67 
— a daily pay to which he ever afterwards adhered in his charges as 
a surveyor. 

Ijarty, in reference to recruits for his projected campaign of that year. The 
letter was sent to the Sup. Ex. Council, and we .g-ather its import from his 
brother's account of it; who, in writing to the Council from Yorktown, Au- 
gust 13th, 1781, says: "I have received no letter from him since, but hath cer- 
tain accounts from an inhabitant in those parts, who left my brother's house 
about ten days ago, that Alexander is drafted to go with Colonel Clark, and 
that he was actually gone to Fort Pitt on the day before the person left home 
Tvho informed me. * * j ^m well assured he must have went with great 
leluctance on any Virginia expedition." This turned out to be a mistake — at 
least Alexander did not go, for we find him in Uniontown on the 13th Septem- 
ber, ready to go out to survey the Temporary line with Virginia. 

(d)These surveyors, it seems, run the Southern line a little too far, perhaps 
a mile or more. This was no fault of theirs; for -they were instructed to be- 
gin where Mason and Dixon stopped in 1767, "at the crossing of Dunkard 
creek," and extend the line twenty-three miles. The true distance required to 
accomplish the five degrees of longitude from the Delaware river, (266 miles, 24 
chains, 80 links,) was a iittie less than twenty-two miles. So the astronomic- 
al surveyors of 1784 determined. It is said also that Messrs. M'Clean and 
Neville deflected their due North line a little too much to the East, at its 
Southern end; for they seem to have struck the Ohio at the right place. Among 
the consequences of the error first stated was, that some Philadelphia gentle- 
men — the Cooks, and perhaps others, who wished to appropriate some western 
lands between the dates of the two runnings, had their warrants laid, in now 
Gtreene county, abutting upon the temporary line; and when the line came to 
be finally run in 1784, parts of their surveys were excluded and thrown into 
Virginia, without any title to rest upon. We think Pennsylvania should have 
refunded them the cost — which perhaps they would rather have yet than the 


Upon the erection of Fayette county in September, 1783, Col. 
M'Clain sought tlie appointment of Prothonotary and Clerk of the 
Courts. Gen. Douglass was the successful applicant. The Colonel 
was, however, on the 31st of October, 1783, appointed by the 
Council to be Presiding Justice of the Fayette Court of Common 
Pleas and Orphans' Couru In that capacity he presided in those 
Courts at their first sittings in December, 1783, and until April, 
1789, when Col. Cook succeeded him for a brief period. He was 
also on the 6th of December, 1783, appointed to the offices of Regis- 
ter and Recorder of the county of Fayette — offices which he filled 
uninterruptedly until his death, in 1834, amid all the political vicis- 
situdes of that long period. He was an expert and elegant pens- 
man, and could crowd more words, distinctly written into a line, 
than most modern writers will put in three. 

In March, 1784, he was one of three Justices of the Peace, elec- 
ted in February, commissioned for Union township, (e) to serve for 
seven years, under the old Constitution of 1776. He does not 
appear ever to have done much business in that office, beyond 
that of presiding in the Courts when at home. He had too many 

AA'hen the Land Office was re-opened in 1784, under the Com- 
monwealth, there v/as a perfect avalanche of warrants to be execut- 
ed in this country. Col. M'Clean was thereupon appointed Deputy 
Surveyor for a district embracing all of Fayette county, the town- 
ship of Rostraver in Westmoreland, which then included what, 
after 1788, became Elizabeth in Allegheny, and the townships of 
Turkey-foot, Milford, and that part of Quemahoning lying south- 
ward of the great road to Fort Pitt, in Bedford county, afterwards 
.Somerset. His commission was renewed for the same district on 
the I2th of January, 1790. How long he continued to serve so 
large a territory we do not know. It was, however, contracted to 
Fayette county alone, for which he held the appointment until 1825, 
when he declined its renewal. He had numerous assistants, among 
them Levi Stephens and William Hart. He, also, in the earlier 
years of his service, executed numerous surveys beyond his district 
limits, in what are now Allegheny, Greene, Washington and West- 
moreland counties. 

Besides his official duties at home, he performed numerous extra 

(e)See postscript of February 6th to Gen. Doug-lass' letter of February 2. 
17S4, appended to memoir of him, postea; — and "Outlines of Civil and Political 
History" — Chapter XVI. 



duties as surveyor, abroad. In 1773, he was one of the com- 
missioners, appointed by the act erecting Westmoreland, to run the 
line which separated it from Bedford. He performed the same office 
for Fayette in 1784, after its severance from Westmoreland, and, 
in conjunction with Gabriel Blakeney and John Baddolet, for Greene 
in 1796, when it was dismembered from Washington. 

After the purchase from the Indians of Northwestern Pennsyl- 
vania, by the second treaty of Fort Stanwix, he was, in 1783, ap- 
pointed to survey District No. i of the Depreciation lands, north 
and west of the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, on our Western boun- 
dary. The fulfillment of this appointment required him to deter- 
mine where that boundary was ; and from his instructions, now 
before us, dated in August 1784, we infer that, somehow, he had 
in the previous winter, ascertained that line for some distance north 
of the Ohio. The district was a parallelogram of twelve miles 
wide between the Ohio river and the latitude of the mouth of 
Mogulbuctetim (Redbank). He was at the same time appointed to 
survey the reserved tracts of 3000 acres each, opposite Pittsburgh, 
and at the mouth of Big Beaver, which he did in this and the next 

In the Spring of 1786, Col. M'Clean, in connection with Col. 
Andrew Porter, (f) were appointed by Pennsylvania, to run, by 
astronomical observations, &c., and mark, the Western boundary 
of the State, from the Ohio to Lake Erie. They began in June, 
and, it seems, some fifty miles north of the Ohio, near where the 
line strikes the Shenango — near Sharon, and finished the work on 
the 4th of October. It is probable, however, that they afterwards 
retraced and marked by a "vista" and stones, the Southern part of 
the line to the Ohio : for Col. M'Clean writes from Uniontown, 
October loth, 1784, that "having visited my family after my return 
from Lake Erie, I now proceed to finish the line of division 
between the certificate (Depreciation) and donation lands, and lay 
out the residue of the lots in District No. i ;" meaning, we presume, 
those abutting on the Western boundary, which he could not do 
until it was authoritatively fixed. 

While the State was pursuing the project of making a "good 
wagon road" from Shippensburg to Fort Pitt, Col. M'Clean was, 
in November, 1789, appointed one of the commissioners to make 

(f)Father of Ex-Governor David R. Porter, who had been commissary to the 
Boundary Commissioners in 1784, and who afterwards assisted in running our 
Northern Boundary with New York. 


the location from Bedford to Pittsburg. He began it at Bedford, 
in December, and, as the other two commisioners failed to attend, 
he went throug'h it himself, (g) 

Besides all these, Col. M'Clean, in middle life, executed numer- 
ous other special official duties of smaller moment, but requiring 
skill and fidelity. He was also, in 1783, together with the Rev. 
James Sutton, appointed a trustee of Dickinson College, Carlisle, 
by the Act of Assembly which founded that venerable institution — 
an office which he for a while filled more dejure than de facto. 

Col. Al'Clean was a quiet, unobtrusive man, devoted to the duties 
of his offices, and caring for little else than to discharge them with 
diligence, accuracy and fidelity. He held office longer — from 1772 
to 1834 — than any other man who has ever resided in Western 
Pennsylvania ; and it is not probable that in this respect he will 
ever have a successor, so unyielding is the rotatory tendency of 
modern "progress." As Register, Recorder and Surveyor, for more 
than half a century, he had been conversant with all the estates, 
titles and land of the county, with all their vacancies, defects and 
modes of settlement ; yet with all these opportunities of acquiring 
wealth, he died in comparative poverty — a sad monument to his 
integrity. He wrote more deeds and wills at seven and sixpence 
each, ($1) and dispensed more gratuitous council in ordinary legal 
affairs, than, at reasonable fees, would enrich a modern scrivener 
or counselor. 

He left a numerous family of sons and daughters, most of whom, 
with their descendants, are now dispersed in the Western States. 
A few yet remain in Uniontown and vicinity. The late Thomas 
Hadden, Esq., long a fai-orite attorney and justice of Uniontown, 
^A-as a son-in-law. 

(g:)Por the benefit of our geometrical readers "we annex the method adopted 
by the Colonel of determining the direct course from Bedford to Pittsburgh: — 
"In order to gain the true situation of this place (Bedford) I went to the 
158th mile post, standing about 10 perches west of the road from Bedford to 
Fort Cumberland; from thence by a series of courses, traversed the valley of 
Cumberland to this place, and find it to be 19 miles 290 perches north of 
Mason & Dixon's Line, and 10 miles 86 perches east of the above mile post. 
And my memory aiding me in the situation of Pittsburgh, I proceeded to cal- 
culation to find a course to Pittsburgh; and estimate it to stand 25,685 perches 
west, and 9,830 perches north of this place, being north 69 deg. 27 min. west, 
27,432 perches equal to 85 miles, 232 perches; which course will, I think, lead 
me at least into the neighborhood of Pittsburgh." 



Our labors would be unpardonably incomplete without a memoir, 
meager though it be, of this ancient political favorite of the people 
of Fayette, to whom they steadfastly and almost uninterruptedly 
adhered, from even before their separate county existence to his 
death — a period of nearly thirty years. 

Mr. Smilie was a native of Ireland, and came to America when a 
young man, shortly before the outbreak of the Revolution, but in 
what year we cannot ascertain. He settled in Lancaster count}', 
Pa., and at once espoused the cause of American libert}'. He rapid- 
ly acquired the confidence of his co-patriots, and soon became a 
leader in the resistance which they resolved and executed against 
the tyrannies of the King and Parliament. 

Being one of the Committee of Safety of Lancaster county, we 
find him, in June, 1776, a member of the Provincial Conference of 
County Committees of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, which declar- 
ed formally the sundering of the ties which hitherto bound the 
colony to the parent power, by resolving "to form a new Govern- 
ment for this Province, upon the authority of the people only." 
This conference called and provided for the Convention which 
formed our first State Constitution — that of 1776. 

In 1778, and again in 1779, he was elected one of the Represen- 
tatives of Lancaster county in the Assembly, of which he was an 
active and useful member. 

Having married Miss Janet Porter, a daughter, we believe, of 
Col. Thomas Porter, a distinguished citizen of Lancaster county, 
he was induced, in 1780, to seek a home in the West for his rising 
family. In that, or the subsequent year, he removed to Fayette, 
then AA^estmoreland county; and after looking round for a while, 
eventually bought an improvement from old Joseph Fluston, on the 
north side of the Yough river, about five miles below Connellsville, 
where he settled and where he henceforth resided until his death. 
He perfected his title to the tract — about 400 acres, in 1786. It was 
held by the family until recently, and is now owned b}' Stewart 
Strickler, George Dawson, and others. The Pittsburgh and Con- 
nellsville Rail Road passes through it. 

Mr. Smilie's energies and good sense soon gave him prominence 
in his new abode. In the fall election of 1783, he was chosen, along 
with the celebrated William Findley, to represent Westmoreland 


in the Council of Censors — an anomalous revisory body provided 
for by the Constitution of 1776. It was to consist of two members 
from each city and county, to be chosen in 1783, and every seventh 
year thereafter, and to preserve its existence for one year if neces- 
sary. It was a kind of Grand Jury for the State. Its duties were 
to inquire and present — whether the Constitution had been kept in- 
violate; whether all officers did their duty and no more; whether 
taxes were justly laid, collected and expended. It could pass cen- 
sures, order impeachments and advise the repeal of laws ; and, by a 
\ote of two-thirds, call a convention to alter the Constitution, ta 
meet tvvo years thereafter. The first Council — the only one ever 
chosen, sat in Philadelphia from November, 1783, to January 21st, 
17S4 and again from June ist to September 2Sth, 1784. They 
were rather discordant, and fruitless of any other good than afford- 
ing convincing proofs to the people of the defectiveness of that old 
and hastily framed Constitution. Indeed, to do this was one of the 
principal purposes for which the Council was provided ; but they 
accomplished it in a very different manner from what was original- 
iy intended. 

At the first session of the Council, the friends of change, or re- 
form, were in the ascendency, but in the summer session of 1784, 
by the accession of Judge George Bryan, of Philadelphia, the re- 
puted father of the Constitution of '76, and other new or substitut- 
ed members, the conservative party prevailed. Mr. Smilie acted uni- 
formly with the latter, opposing most pertinaciously the proposed 
amendments of the Constitution. By that old instrument, the 
Legislative power was vested exclusively in one body — the Assem- 
bly, without check or veto. The Executive power reposed in a Su- 
preme Executive Council of one member from each county ; and the 
judicial tenure, from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court down 
to Justices of the Peace, was for terms of seven years — the Judges 
being chosen by the Assembly, and the Justices by the freeholders 
of the townships — all commissioned by the Ex. Council. The pow- 
ers of these separate branches of the Government were illy defined, 
and confusedly interlocked. It was proposed to make a radical 
change — to add to another branch to the Legislature, denominated 
a Legislative Council, similar to the .Senate — to abolish the Sup. 
Ex. Council, and vest the Executive power in a Governor; and to 
make the judicial tenure during good behavior. Mr. Smilie op- 
posed all these changes, uniting with the minority at the first ses- 
sion in denouncing the Governor and Senate feature because "it 
tended to introduce among the citizens new and aristocratic ranks. 


with a chief magistrate at their head, vested with powers which 
exceed those which fall to the ordinary lot of kings." In this he 
acted with his colleague. Mr. Findley, and with Messrs. Edgar and 
M'Dowell of Washington, and others of the then Democratic, or 
weak government opinions, and in opposition to the views of Fred. 
Aug. Muhlenburg, Generals Wayne and St. Clair, and others, mem- 
bers of the Council. In these respects, however, Mr. Smilie's opin- 
ions underwent a thorough change in a few years; for, in the con- 
vention of 1789, which framed the State Constitution of 1790, he co- 
operated decidedly with the dominant party in favor of a Governor, 
with the veto power as it now is, two legislative branches, and a 
judicial tenure during life, or good behavior, although in the last 
he stood opposed to his distinguished colleague, Albert Gallatin, 
with whom he generally acted. 

In 1784, Mr. Smilie became the first elected member of Assembly 
from Fayette. He was re-elected in 1785. 

In 1786 he was elected for the term of three years, the second 
Fayette member of the Supreme Executive Council — John Wood, 
of Uniontown, having been chosen in 1784 for two years, and Isaac 
Meason, the elder, having been, in 1783, elected for three years 
from AVestmoreland and Fayette comliined, though actually dis- 
severed at the time of the election. 

Mr. Smilie's career in these State bodies, (a) although not marked 

(a)We notice one movement of Mr. Smilie, in the Supreme Executive Coun- 
cil, to which we confess our dislike. General St. Clair, after having- been the 
champion of Pennsylvania in the contest for the dominion of her Western ter- 
ritory, against Virginia; and after having, with acknowledged honor, skill 
and bravery, borne the rank and perils of Major General through almost the 
whole of the Revolutionary war, thereby entitling himself, if not to the 
friendly regard, at least to the gratitude and liberality of every true Penn- 
sylvanian, had become so poor as to be obliged to earn the sustenance of him- 
self and family, in 17S6-'7, by the labors of a licensed Auctioneer in the city 
of Philadelphia, then by no means the lucrative business that it has since be- 
come. He was at the same time a member, elected by the Assembly of Penn- 
sylvania, of the Confederation Congress, of which he was, in February, 'S7, 
elected President. The unkind movement of Mr. Smilie is thus recorded in 
the Minutes of the Supreme Ex. Council, April 13th, 1787; — "Motion by Mr. 
Smilie — 'That Arthur St. Clair, Esq., be removed from his present ofHce of 
Auctioneer for the city of Philadelphia, and that Council proceed to the ap- 
pointment of a person in his stead.' A postponement of this motion, (general- 
ly) was moved by Mr. Muhlenburg and negatived. Mr. Redick. (of "Washington 
Co.) then moved the postponement of it for the purpose of taking up the fol- 
lowing, viz: 'Whereas the Hon. Arthur St. Clair. Auctioneer for the city of 
Philadelphia, hath lately been advanced to a high station by the United 
States, in Congress assembled, and as it is the opinion of this Board that his 
office of Auctioneer is incompatible ■v\''ith his present dignified station, there- 
fore, Resolved; That the said Arthur St. Clair be no longer continued in said 
office; and that an Auctioneer be appointed to fill the vacancy." This motion 
prevailed, and he was removed. The "incompatible, dignified station" could be 


by any brilliant prominence, was characterized by great diligence, 
integrity and usefulness, and by unabated devotedness to the wants, 
private and public, of his constituents. These were the traits of 
character which gave him such a strong and enduring hold upon 
their confidence and sufTrages. 

In 1789, Mr. Smilie was, with Albert Gallatin, chosen to repre- 
sent Fayette in the State Convention which framed the Constitution 
of 1790. This body sat at Philadelphia, from November 24th 1789, 
to February 26th, 1790, and again, from August 9th to September 
2d, 1790. It was a verjf grave and able body, having in it the em- 
bodiment of the learning and wisdom, lay and legal, of the Com- 
monwealth. Among its members were Judge Wilson and William 
Lewis. Esq.. of Philadelphia — the afterwards Governors Mifflin, 
M'Kean, Snyder and Heister, and Judge Charles Smith. Judge Ad- 
dison, James Ross, John Hoge and David Redick were the Wash- 
ington county members. Westmoreland was represented by A\^il- 
liam Findley and William Todd. Allegheny sent General John Gib- 
son. Thomas Mifi'lin v/as President of the Convention, and ^^^il- 
liam Findley was chairman of the committee which reported the 
original draft of the new Constitution, associated therein with 
Judges AVilsori, Addison and Smith, and with ^Messrs. James Ross, 
William Lewis, and others. Who prepared the draft is unre- 

Although the call of this Convention had been long resisted in 
the Council of Censors and in the Assembly, and ^^'?.s finally 

nothing- else than the Presir^ency of Congress, of which he had been for near- 
ly two years a member; for he was not appointed Governor of the North-west 
'J'erritory until the succeedin.g' October. Mr. Redick's preamble "was a friendly 
act, to g^ive a plausible cloakins: to a "forgeone conclusion;" but the incom- 
patibility was neither constitutional, legal, or perceptible. To how many un- 
generous cruelties was that brave old soldier subjected during his long and 
eventful life! The only apology for this one was that the General was in ar- 
rears to the State in the payment of his auction duties. But the Treasury 
neither lost, nor was in dang-er of losing, anything. Mr. Smilie seems to have 
allo-wed his antag^onism to the politics of Gen. St. Clair (who was a decided 
Washingtonian Federalist) to interfere with his habitude of justness and lib- 
erality. For when, in 1811, the General, in the extremity of want, asked Con- 
gress to remunerate him for monies advanced, while in the Revolutionary 
service. Mr. Smilie resisted it, although his friend Findley, of Westmoreland, 
nobly advocated it. We think it would have been more commendable in Mr. 
Smilie to have done likewise, and to have said, as did Gen. Ogle, of the Som- 
erset district, in 1S17, when the same subject was before Congress, — "As to the 
case of the aged St. Clair, Mr. Ogle said, that was a subject which ought not to 
be mentioned in this house in the face of day — the treatment of that man 
ought to be spoken of here only in the night! For his part, if there was a 
statute as strong as brass, or as solid as the pillars of the Capitol, he would 
blow it to powder to do justice to a soldier of the Revolution." 



Opposed in the latter body by a large minority, among whom were 
our then county members, John Gilchrist and Theophilus Phillips, 
yet in the Convention, on all the leading features of change, already 
indicated, the vote was nearly unanimous, on some of them entirely 
so. The vote on the change of judicial tenure from terms of seven 
years, &c., to during good behavior, was fifty-six to eight; for two 
Legislative branches, fifty-six to five; for a Governor, unanimous; 
and for the veto power, sixty to four. The Constitution finally 
passed the Convention with but one dissenting voice — George 
Roberts, of Philadelphia. It stood the tests and trials of nearly 
half a century; and it is yet to be determined whether modern in- 
novations upon some of its leading provisions are really improve- 

The "Debates" of this Convention are not reported. But its 
journal shows that Air. Smilie acted with the majority on all impor- 
tant questions, generally coinciding with his colleague, though oc- 
casionally, as on the judicial tenure, differing with him. His 
radical change of views since he was in the Council of Censors, in 
1783, has been already noticed. We regard his course in this par- 
ticular, not as evincing a weakness, or a wish to surrender his 
judgment to the popular current, but as a manifestation of candor 
and good sense. The defects of the Constitution of '76, which had 
worked well enough during the simplicity and harmon}^ of the 
Pevolutionary era, became ver}- palpable after 1783, amid the 
growths of selfish interests and political partizanry. Mr. Smilie, 
as well as other sages, saw these defects becoming more and more 
striking and dangerous, and hence most commendably relaxed his 
former equally commendable adherence to the maxim that "govern- 
ments, long established, should not be changed for light and transi- 
ent causes." 

In 1790, Mr. Smilie and John Hoge, of Washington, were elected 
the first State Senators from the District composed of Fayette and 
Washington counties. The term for which he was elected was four 
years; but having, in 1792, been elected to the third Congress of 
the United States, which was to meet in December, 1793, he 
resigned the last year of the Senatorial term, and the late Judge 
James Finley was elected in his stead. 

In 1792, Mr. Smilie was one of a general ticket for thirteen 
members elected, from Pennsylvania, for the third Congress, under 
the new Federal Constitution of 1789; — Thomas Scott, of Wash- 
ington, having been our member, on a general ticket for eight 
members elected to the first Congress, and William Findley, of 


AVestmoreland, our member, elected in 1791, to the second Congress, 
for the District composed of Fayette and Westmoreland. For the 
fourth and fifth Congresses, elected in 1794 and '96, Mr. Smilie 
gave way to his friend Findley, who represented the same District, 
(b) In 1798 and 1800 Mr. Findley reciprocated the friendly "non- 
intervention," and Mr. Smilie resumed the representation of the 
District. In 1801 Fajrette and Greene were made the 9th District, 
from which Mr. Smilie was successively returned in i8o2-'4-'6-'8- 
'io-'i2. He died at the city of Washington, while attending the 
second session of the twelfth Congress, on the 29th December, 
1812, and was, on the 31st, interred, with the customary honors, 
in the Congressional Cemetery, where his remains yet repose, 
designated by one of the uniform monuments vvrhich Congress 
erects to deceased members, even though their bodies be removed. 
There are but few additional memorials of Mr. Smilie's long 
Congressional career which require notice. Reports of the pro- 
ceedings and speeches in Congress, during that period, were far 
from being as copious as they have since become ; and very little 
can be gathered of the sayings and doings of the members from the 
journals. These exhibit Mr. Smilie as generally acting with the 
anti-federal, or republican party, of which he was at all times a 
consistent member and leader. In the sessions of the third Con- 

(b)JVri-. Findley, after th3 severence of Fayette and Westmoreland in the ar- 
rang-ement of Cong-ressional Districts, continued to represent the Westmore- 
land District from 1803 to 1817, when he retired. He became the patriarchal 
member of the House. He died at his residence, near Youngstown, in April, 
1821. He "w^as an Irishman, and we believe by occupation, originally, a weaver. 
He had been a captain of the Pennsylvania Dine in the American Revolution, 
and settled in Westmoreland at an early day. He was a man of vig^orous and 
active intellect, and a grood debater. These endowments grave him great 
prominence in all the deliberative bodies of "which he v/as a member. He "was 
moreover a very decided partizan, of the Republican or Anti-Federal school, 
and ming-led with his political tenets and deportment considerable ultraism and 
acrimony. But his ability, uprightness and consistency held him firmly in the 
confidence of his party and friends, who, during his political career, were con- 
stantly in the ascendant in his District. His complicity with the "Whiskey 
Insurrection" induced him, soon after its suppression, to write its history. 
The book bears the impress of haste and passion: its leading purposes seem- 
ing to be to attack Gen. Hamilton and defend himself. Tet the work is valu- 
able as the version of a conspicuous eotemporary and actor. 

Most modern compilers of political history and statistics confound him with 
the William Findlay of Franklin county, who, from 1817 to 1820, was Gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, and from 1821 to 1827, a Senator in Congress. They 
were very different men. Gov. Findlay, we believe, was never a member of the 
lower House of Congress. 

In Garland's Life of John Randolph, Findley is represented to have been 
habitually intemperate while In Congress. The statement has some support 
from tradition. 


gress — in i793,'4-'5, the first of which he was a member, party 
affiliations were repressed by the almost venerated fame and wisdom 
of President Washington. Towards the close of his Presidency, 
however, the party antagonisms, which had been gradually grow- 
ing ever since the formation of the Constitution, — nay, smce the 
close of the Revolution, became fully developed. And perhaps no 
event contributed more aliment to their growth than the "Whiskey 
Insurrection" of i793-'4 in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the 
financial policy of Secretary Hamilton, which was, apparently, its 
immediate provocative. 

jMr. Smilie was not in Congress when the Excise laws were pass- 
ed, nor during the fervors of the "rebellion." His opposition to the 
policy of those laws is, however, well attested. But he was against 
unlawful resistance. As a private citizen at home, he took no 
very prominent part in the troubles of i792-'3-'4.(c) His friend and 
compeer, William Findley makes but little mention of him in his 
history of those events. Indeed he is known to have pursued a 
conservative and conciliatory course — sympathizing with the resist- 
ants. yet doing nothing oflfensive to the Government, though strong- 
ly suspected. Mr. Findley says that great efforts were made by 
"the Secretary" (Hamilton) to implicate him, as a worthy victim, 
but unsuccessfully. Doubtless he followed the current of popular 
opposition, but kept in the middle of the stream, exposing himself 
neither to submergence by resistance, nor to danger by collision 
with the headlands and shore bushes. Notwithstanding this, his 
influences were peaceful and commendable. Indeed, amid the tur- 
gid popular phrenzy which then prevailed, it may well be doubted 
whether a cautious compliance was not the only medium through 
which its fury could be abated. And although his son Robert, in 
the thoughtless folly of youth, was a participant — whether willful 
or constrained is uncertain — in the first attack on B. Wells' house, 
yet, having been arrested and carried to Philadelphia for trial, he 
escaped conviction, by the weakness of the evidence against him 
and by a doubt cast upon his i^uiltiness by some proof of an alibi — 
in Kentucky. Doubtless his father's good name and influence were 
strong ingredients in his impunity. 

When Mr. Smilie returned to the second session of the third 

(c)The verity of this statement is perliaps not impuned by Mr. Smilie's par- 
ticipation in the Pittsburgh meeting of August 21. 1792, copied in our sl!:etch of 
the ""Whiskey Insurrection," and noticed in our memoir of Albert Gallatin. He 
was one of its members; but rather an acquiescent than an active one. 


Congress, in November, 1794, the recent insurrection and its sup- 
pression were, of course, prominent topics of Congressional dis- 
cussion. In his annual message, or address, (d) to Congress at the 
opening of the session. President Washington dwelt at considerable 
length upon the rise, progress and recent suppression of the revolt, 
which he in very plain terms attributed to the malign influence of 
"certain self-created societies," In the responsive address which 
in those times Congress was wont to frame and send to the Presi- 
dent, it was proposed to say to him that, "In tracing the origin and 
progress of the insurrection, we entertain no doubt that certain 
combinations of men, careless of consequences, &c., have had all 
th^ agency you ascribe to them in fomenting this daring outrage, 
&c., it was moved to amend this clause by inserting between 
the words certain and combination, the words "self-created societies 
and." This was carried by the federal or administrative party, 47 to 
45. To engraft upon this amendment an "exclusion of the con- 
clusion" that these societies were, as charged by Washington and 
Hamilton and their friends, diffused all over the country, it was 
moved further to amend by adding after the words combination of 
men, the words "in the four western counties of Pennsylvania and 
parts adjacent " For this amendment the whole anti-federal party 
voted, including Messrs, Findley and Smilie : — thus fastening the 
odious combinations upon the backs of their own constituents — 
Mr. Scott, of Washington, voting the other way. And so deter- 
mined were they upon an exclusive appropriation of these unlawful 
"combinations" for the four counties, that in the very next vote 
they refused even to admit that they were "countenanced by self- 
created societies elsewhere." We cite this as an early illustration of 
the excesses and absurdities into which partyism leads its votaries — 
not more frequently then than now, many of us even sanctioning, 
if not enacting, vagaries of partizanry which posterity will be as 
ready to smile at, or condemn, as we are to wonder at those of our 
precursors in the race of politics. 

When Mr. Smilie resumed his membership of Congress in 
December, 1799, he found the administration or federal party 
still maintaining a firm, but fast-fading ascendency in the national 

(d) Presidents Washington and Adams always read their annual messages to 
Congress, orally and in person — the House going- into the Senate Chamber to 
hear them. Mr. Jefferson discontinued the practice. A reason assigned was 
that he was not a fluent reader or speaker. 



councils. In the next year, with the election of Mr. Jefferson, it 
passed into a minority, from which it never recovered. 

Mr. Smilie's integrity, firmness and long legislative experience 
began now to give him a prominence in the councils and labors of 
Congress. In the sesson which began in November, 1800, we find 
him, for the first time, on any important committee. He was 
then placed on the Committee of Ways and Means — generally re- 
garded as the leading committee of the House. He kept his posi- 
tion on this committee in the sessions which began in December, 
1801 and 1802. He was displaced in 1803, but resumed his place 
in October, 1807, and continued to be appointed on that committee 
during every successive session, until 1812. 

In November, 1812, Henry Clay being Speaker of the House, 
Mr. Smilie was appointed Chairman of the Select Committee on 
Foreign Relations, being at that critical juncture — the first year of 
the war with Great Britain — the most important committee in Con- 
gress. Besides the tribute to his merit, implied in the well known 
discernment and zeal for the war possessed by the eminent Speaker 
who appointed him, he was additionally honored by having, as his 
associates on the Committee, men of such masterly minds as Cal- 
houn, Grundy, Macon, Nelson, (of Va.) and Desha, (of Ky.,) with 
whom were Goldsmith, (of Md.,) Harper, (of N. H.,) and Seaver, 
(of Mass.) It is well known that Mr. Clay had great respect for, 
and influence with Mr. Smilie, which he manifested by once or 
twice visiting him at his residence. 

In connection with this elevated position in the "War Commit- 
tee," we may notice the singular fact that during the preceeding 
session of Congress, that of i8ii-'i2, in which the administration 
of Mr. Madison and its friends were vigorously preparing for the 
bloody issue which even then seemed inevitable, with either France 
or England, or both, Mr. Smilie is very frequently — generally in- 
deed, found voting with the New England Federalists, against 
nearly all the leading war measures which were proposed. This 
shows, at least, his independence of party rule. However, in the 
next session — his last — he came in patriotically and zealously to the 
support and prosecution of the war. Whether this change of front, 
and his chairmanship had any of the relations of cause and effect 
in them, is a question not for us to solve. It cannot be supposed 
that Mr. Clay would assign him to that important station without 
being well assured of his cordial co-operation in the justice and 
purposes of the war. Indeed in a speech by Mr. Smilie in the 
secret sessions of the House, in April, 1812, he fully acknowledges 


the recentness of his entire accession to the war party: — "The 
embargo," says Mr. S., "is intended as a war measure. He would 
assure his colleague that it was so intended by the Executive and 
the Committee of Foreign Relations. And being now up, he would 
observe that at the beginning of the session (he might have said 
also at the last session) he was not so warm for war as many were, 
but he was for commercial restrictions. He was not for the 25,00c 
men ; (increase of the army) but as the House have determined 
otherwise, he vx'ould now go to war. If we now recede we shall be 
a reproach among all nations." 

It is a well known trait in the history of the early supremacy in 
Congress of the Republican, or old Democratic party, that they 
resisted all the efforts of New England and the seaboard to 
strengthen and extend the Navy. And it was not until, by its 
brilliant victories in the earl)' part of the war of 1812, it had con- 
quered favor and popularity with the people, that it came to be a 
cherished child of power and patronage. In the ancient hostility to 
this glory-covered protector of our coasts and commerce, Mr. Smilie 
acted with undeviating fidelity to his party policy. Had he lived a 
year longer, his characteristic candor, and readiness to change upon 
good and sufficient reasons, would doubtless have brought him to 
its support. 

In May, 1812, Mr. Smilie took a prominent part in the Congres- 
sional caucuses by which Mr. Madison was unanimously renomina- 
ted as the Republican candidate for President, and Elbridge Gerry, 
(of Mass.,) for Vice President; and was appointed on the Commit- 
tee of Correspondence and Arrangement to inform them of their 
nomination, and to secure their election. He did not, however, live 
to witness their inauguration. 

Such is an outline and review of the public life of a man, who if 
not so gifted as to be great, was so well constituted in temper and 
intellect as to possess the confidence, if not the control, of the voters 
of the corner counties for a longer period than has fallen, or per- 
haps ever will fall, to the lot of any other man. The part cast for 
him in the drama of life was not that of Wolsey or King Henry, 
nor yet that of Brutus or Anthony, but more resembled, in the favor 
which followed fidelity, that of the good Earl of Westmoreland, 

" a summer bird, 

Which ever in the haunch of winter sings 
The lifting up of day." 

The private character of Mr. Smilie was most estimable and 
exemplary. In dress and address he was dignified and decorous, 


sufficiently familiar to be affable, yet not so much so as to be de- 
grading. He did not seek popularity, by the low arts and plottings 
to which demagogues of more talent ofttimes resort, but made his 
approaches to the citadel of public favor and distinction by doing 
all the duties of a good citizen, and by fearlessly and faithfully 
representing his constituents in all that he believed to be for their 
true interests, yet so as therein not to thwart their determined will. 
In four out of nine times that he was elected to Congress, he had 
no opponent; and in the other five, the opposition, though respect- 
able, was not formidable. 

Mr. Smilie was moreover "the highest style of man, a Chris- 
tian ;" having lived and died in the faith and membership of the Ty- 
rone Presbyterian Church, of which, if not an elder, he was perhaps 
a founder and a liberal supporter. In this respect his life gave clear 
evidence that the highway to political honors is not necessarily di- 
vergent from "wisdom's path," — a parallelism much oftener found 
in the good old times than in these days of railroad routes to popu- 
lar favor, which must needs traverse low ground, 

" through many a dark and weary vale, 

Rocks, caves, lakes, fens, bogs, dens and shades of death." 

Mr. Smilie had one son and two daughters. Robert, the son, died 
a few years ago, leaving a numerous family of sons and daughters, 
nearly all of whom have removed to the West. Mary, one of the 
daughters, was the wife of Joseph Huston, a well known old iron- 
master of Fayette. They had but two children, daughters — Jane, 
wife of Isaiah Marshall, who removed to Iowa, and Sarah, now the 
wife of George Dawson, Esq. Jane, the other daughter, was the 
wife of Captain William Craig — their only child is John S. Craig, 
of N. Union township. 

Gen, Ephraim Douglas 



We are at a loss to locate, with certainty, the nativity of this 
patriarchal officer of Fayette. By some he is made to be a native 
of Scotland, which his father undoubtedly was — by others, of Mary- 
land, in the vicinity of Hagerstown, and by others of Carlisle, or 
its adjacents, in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. The last is, 
we think, the most probable. All his early associations in business 
and friends cluster around Carlisle, while we find nothing among 
his books or papers which point to Maryland, or indicate that he 
was a foreigner. 

His father was named Adam Douglass. He had one brother, (a) 

Joseph, and one sister, the wife of Collins, who left three sons. 

This is all we know of his family relations. He died on his farm, 
about two miles north-east of Uniontown, on the 17th July, 1833, 
in the eighty-fourth year of his age. We believe he never was mar- 
ried, yet he adopted, as his own, the children of one Mary Lyon, 
and made ample provision for her and them out of his estates. 
Ephraim, the son, died in Uniontown in April, 1839. Sarah, who 
was the wife of Daniel Keller, a well known old ironmaster of Fay- 
ette, was a daughter. The other daughter was Eliza, wife of Allen 
King, now, we believe, residents of Clark county, Ohio. These all 
have a numerous ofifspring. 

Our first traces of the eventful early life of Gen. Douglass begin 
at Pittsburgh in the Spring of 1769, whither he seems to have 
come in the preceding year, leaving his father, mother and brother 
at Carlisle, until 1774, when they seem to have joined him at Pitts- 
burgh. Ephraim was then not over nineteen years old ; yet, having 
a good English education, steady habits and unusual energy, dili- 
gence and skill, he appears at once to have enjoyed the confidence 
and patronage of the fort officers, and of many of the most eminent 
Indian traders and settlers in and around that old frontier post, 
among whom we may name William and Richard Butler, Devere- 
aux Smith, Daniel and William Elliott, Alexander Ross, Samuel 

(a) Joseph Douglass seems to have been a kind of attache of his brother dur- 
ing the latter period of his operations at Pittsburgh, and the early years of 
his official tenures at Uniontown, chiefly as clerk and partner in a store. He 
was appointed State Excise Collector in December, 1786, a very unproductive 
office. About 1790 he removed to Greensburg, where he died in January, 1792, 
unmarried. He too, had been a Revolutionary soldier. See further as to 
Joseph's history in 2 Yeates' Reports, 46. 


Sample, John Ormsby and George Croghan, the Deputy Indian 
Agent. Although without any apparent direct connection with the 
fort, he lived, with others, in a "mess." 

For the first two or three years of his residence at Pittsburgh, 
young Douglass appears to have been engaged in almost every 
kind of work— clerk, scrivener, carpenter, (his chief business,) 
cabinet maker, lumberman, blacksmith, gunsmith, stone mason, 
shop keeper, &c., &c. We could not better illustrate his universal 
genius and multiform employments than by a few extracts from his 
books of accounts — but we cannot afiford the space. They show 
him to have been a handicraftsman such as is rarely met with; and 
are an early display of that remarkable system, neatness and pre- 
cision which characterized his long official career in Fayette coun- 
ty ; — and then so young was he. He surely never could have learned 
all the arts he practiced — they must have come to him by intuition. 
He was equally at home from making and glazing sash for Mr. 
Samuel Sample's bar-room window to making new Billy pins for 
his fiddle; — was as ready at "a day's writing and drinking" for Air. 
Wm. Christy, or copying bills and accounts for Mr. Butler, as in 
tearing down and rebuilding Mr. Spear's cellar wall, — and was as 
prompt at cleaning Col. Croghan's coteau de chase as at shoeing 
his horse, (b) or "laying a grubbing hoe" for John Ormsby. He had 
for sale all sorts of things, from a pint of rum, or a walnut board, to 
a canoe load of wood, or a bushel of lime. He made axes, jack- 
planes, keys, mill irons, grain cradles, fish darts and counter draw- 
ers ; and repaired everything from "the rum store" lock to a gun 
lock — from a looking glass to a tea table. Nothing came amiss to 
him that required skill and the use of tools. And were it not for the 
indubita,ble evidence that he was doing all this on his own account, 
we would be led to believe that he was general superintendent of 
all the work shops in Pittsburgh. And we do believe he was then 
the only mechanic there, except Peter Roletter, the tailor, and Bar- 
ney Vertner, the turner. 

In 1771 he began to engage in the Indian trade, (c) then, and for 

(b)He had a journeyman horse-shoer, George Phelps, of "whom are these en- 
tries: — "George Phelps, Dr: To driving a set ot shoes wrong for Col. Croghan, 
for which he would not pay — 3s." — the key to which, is the following: "From 
the 20th July gave George Phelps a pint of rum a day, as he would not work 
without it, and I must have the work done." 

{c)The General used to tell a somewhat remarltable occurrence that hap- 
pened to him in one of his early hunting excursions. He was ascending the 
Allegheny in a canoe, with a companion, whe^, upon striking the current of 
French Creek, which was high, his canoe was upset, and guns, powder, peltry 


many years before and after, the great business of Pittsburgh. It 
consisted in selling shirts, leggings, beads, powder, lead, wampum, 
tomahawks, tobacco, and other unmentionables to the Indians, for 
peltry of all sorts — bear, beaver, elk, fox, raccoon, cat, deer, &c., 
iS:c., rated, not by money, but by bucks — as, "By five deer skins, 
three bucks." These, when dried, &e., were sent to Philadelphia 
on pack-horses and sold by the pound, the pack-horse train bring- 
ing back goods for the traders. Douglass engaged in this at first 
on his own account, but from 1772 to 1774 he operated as partner 
with Devereaux Smith, Esq., famous in the "Boundary contro- 
versy." They were extensive dealers, having establishments not only 
at Pittsburgh, but at Kuskuskia, on Beaver river, near the mouth of 
the Mahoning, and elsewhere in the Indian country. Gen. James 
O'Hara was in their employ. The Messrs. Gratz and Thos. Ashton 
were their factors at Philadelphia. The business become overdone 
in 1773, and the Indian troubles in 1774, and the Revolution in 1776 
put an end to it. Douglass seems to have, however, made money 
at the business. lie took no part in the Boundary war — his aim be- 
ing to keep on fair terms with, and extract profit from, both parties. 
He was always too much of a business man to be much of a par- 

The firm of Smith & Douglass continued in business until 1776, 
when Richard Butler came into the firm for a short period. But 
when the West became fully roused to the cause of Independence, 
and a fort was, in 1776, being built at Kittanning, they established 
? store there. In September of that year, the 8th Pennsylvania 
Regiment rendezvoused and was organized at that place. Aeneas 
Mackay, Colonel; George Wilson, Lieutenant Colonel; Richard 
Butler, Major, &c. ; and Ephraim Douglass, Quarter Master. We 
have his official book of receipts, and the Company's (of Smith, 
Butler & Douglass) books of accounts at that post. The Regiment 
marched to A.mboy, New Jersey, in January, 1777, and Quarter 

and hunters were precipitated into ten feet water. Doug-lass clung to the 
canoe, which he took ashore and tied. Then, by diving and feeling about, he 
recovered his gun and ammunition; but his companion, who failed to rcTain 
his, left him and returned home. Douglass, after regaining his peltry, which 
had floated off, made a fire, and constructed a bark-shelter from the rain, and 
bivouacked for the night. In the morning he was so stiff as to be unable to 
move. He remained in this condition for several days, almost without food. 
He concluded he must die, and getting a piece of bark, he scratched upon it 
this auto obituary: — "I have lived doubtful, but not dissolute — I die undeter- 
mined, but not unresigned — E. Douglass." He, however, soon got better, dried 
his powder, shot some game for food, and made a successful hunt. 


Master Douglass with it — the Company sending the residue of their 
goods and liquors back to Pittsburgh, in care of Joseph Douglass, 
who sold for a while and then boxed up the remnants for better 

Soon after joining the main American army near New York, 
Major Douglass became an Aid de Camp to Major General Lincoln, 
of Massaschusetts, and was serving in that capacity with a small 
body of troops, under the General's command, at Boundbrook, 
New Jersey, on the Rariton, when, on the 13th of April, 1777, Lord 
Cornwallis made an ascent upon them from Brunswick, and took 
sundry prisoners, among whom was the Major. He was carried to 
New York, then held by the enemy, where he underwent great 
rigors and privations. How long he was held in captivity we do not 
know. Gen. Washington wrote to Gen. Lincoln on the 25th of Oc- 
tober, 1777, that he would try to get him exchanged for some of the 
captives of Gen. Burgoyne's army, as soon as his turn came. But 
the odds, especially in officers, were then greatly against us — the 
British having' five prisoners to our one of theirs. This, and the dif- 
ficulties as to the treatment of prisoners which about this time arose 
between the contending armies, no doubt postponed the Major's re- 
lease for a considerable time longer. He says himself that he did 
not rejoin the army until November 4, 1780. And it is probable that 
he had not been long released. During his captivity his health, 
especially his eyes, suffered severely. And it is said that from sleep- 
ing in a North British officer's bed he contracted a certain cutane- 
ous disease, to cure which he resorted to remedies and expedients 
— mercury and bathing — which well nigh cost him his life. While 
a prisoner he received from our Commissaries of Prisoners sundry 
sums of money for subsistence, in all £266, and soon afterwards 
$2,000 more, continental money. 

In August, 1781, we find Major Douglass again at Pittsburgh, 
recruiting his health, and settling up his old Indian trade business. 
In the fall of that year, or in the succeeding winter, he undertook 
a special secret mission for the Government into the Indian coun- 
try, for which precise purposes we do not know. Its hazardous 
character may be best inferred from part of a letter to him from his 
friend General Jas. Irvine, dated Philadelphia, July 10, 1782, where- 
in he says : "I had heard of your magnanimous enterprise in pene- 
trating alone into the Indian country — that you had been absent 
and not heard from for some months — that the time fixed for your 
return was elapsed, and that your friends about Pittsburgh had 


given you up as lost." He returned in May. From the first of Sep- 
tember, 1782, to the last of April, 1783, he served as Intendant of 
Prisoners at Philadelphia, the duties and emoluments of which we 
cannot determine, but presume it related to the care of British 
prisoners of war. 

On the first of May, 1783, Congress resolved upon another em- 
bassy to the Indians of the North-west, to inform them that peace 
had been agreed on and hostilities ceased with Great Britain — that 
the forts within the limits of the United States held by British 
troops would soon be evacuated — that the United States wished to 
enter into friendly treaties with them, and that unless they acceded 
to these friendly offers and ceased their hostilities, Congress would 
take measures to compel them thereto. 

The Secretary of War immediately selected Major Douglass for 
this delicate and dangerous mission. He set out from Fort Pitt 
on the 7th of June, with horses and attendants, passing through 
the hostile wilderness of the North-west to Sandusky, where he 
was detained several days ; thence to Detroit, thence to Niagara, 
Upper Canada ; and thence to Oswego, on Lake Ontario ; all of 
which posts were then held by British Garrisons. In this tour he 
met with his old Pittsburgh acquaintances, Elliott and M'Kee, now 
tory employees of the British, and with the celebrated Indian 
Chiefs, Captains Pipe and Brant. The British commandants would 
not permit him to make to the Indians a public exposition of the 
objects of his mission. (d) They, however, as well as the Indians, 
treated him with great civility and respect. Brant wanted him to 
visit him at his Mohawk castle, but the British officers forbid. 

(a)In a letter from General Douglass, dated at Unlontown, in February, 1784, 
to the President of Council, he communicates some valuable information about 
Indian affairs which had come to his knowledge since he left the Canadian 
country. Its substance is, that Sir John Johnson, the British Indian Ag-ent, had 
assembled the western Indians at Sandusky, and after a lavish distribution of 
presents, had told them that, although the King, whom they had served, had 
made peace with the Colonies and granted them his lands, yet he had not 
given them the Indians' lands — that the Ohio river was to be the boundary in 
this quarter, over which they should "not allow the Americans to pass and 
return in safety:" and that as the war was now ended, "he would, as was 
usual at the end of a war, take the tomahawk out of their hands, though he 
would not remove it out of sight, or far from them, but lay it carefully down 
by their side, that they might have it convenient to use in defense of their 
rights and property if they were invaded or molested by the Americans." 
Such incitements as this greatly conduced to keep up the Indian annoyances in 
the North-west, costing us much blood and treasure during many years, and 
until Wayne's great victory of 1794. 


While at Detroit there was a Grand Council of eleven Indian tribes. 
They seemed glad to hear of peace and, says the Major in his re- 
port, "gave evident marks of satisfaction at seeing me among them, 
(an old acquaintance.) They carried their civilities so far, that all 
day, when at home, my lodging was surrounded with crowds, and 
the streets lined with them to attend my going abroad." (e) He re- 
turned in August, and im.mediately repaired to Princeton, New 
Jersey, where Congress was sitting, and prepared an extended re- 
port of the incidents and results of his mission. For this service, 
Congress voted him five hundred dollars. 

Upon his return from this expedition, he found the Legislature 
about to erect the new county of Fayette, and, waiting its accom- 
plishment, he applied for and was, on the 6th of October, 1783, 
ten days after the Act passed, appointed by the Supreme Executive 
Council, Prothonotary and Clerk of the Courts. His competitors 
were Dorsey Pentecost, recently Clerk of Yohogania county Courts 
under the Virginia usurpation, Alexander McClain, and Joseph 
M'Cleery. He entered at once upon the duties of his new offices, 
being here at the first Court, held on the fourth Tuesday in Decem- 
ber following; offices which he held uninterruptedly until Decern-- 
ber, 1808, when he resigned. 

In 1784 he was appointed County Treasurer, which office he filled 
until January, 1800. The duties of this office during those fifteen 
years were exceedingly onerous and responsible. Besides the 
county levies during all the period, a State tax of greater amount 
had, yearly until 1790, to be collected and remitted, to meet the 
State's quotas to support the Federal Government and pay the war 
debts. For, until the new Federal Constitution of 1789 became 
effective, Congress assessed certain sums of revenue to be furnish- 
ed by each State, and the State apportioned the sum among its 
counties. This had to be paid in gold or silver, or in certain Gov- 
ernment certificates. And the great scarcity of money in this coun- 
try made the burden of its payment very grievous, and its collection 
exceedingly difficult and unpleasant. Nevertheless Fayette was 

(e)By long intercourse with the Indians he had learned their language and 
manners so "weU as, with the aid of their dress, which he could assume, to 
make a very good "counterfeit presentment" of a Chief. It was on this, or 
the former mission, that he undertook in that character to speak in Council. 
He played the part so well that when he sat down an old Chief rose and 
anxiously inquired — "What Chief is that who has spoken? — I don't remember 
to have ever before heard his voice in Council!" 


generally prompt to pay her quota. (f) In writing to the State 
Treasurer, February 6, 1786, Gen. Douglass says: "John Smilie, 
Esq., will deliver you a sum of money agreeable to the enclosed in- 
ventory. And trifling as this sum may appear, it was with great 
difficulty that we collected so much. How the tax for the present 
3'^ear will be raised, God only knows." And to show as well the 
amount of our yearly State tax in those days, when our population 
was only about 8,000, as the kind of funds sent to pay it, we copy 
the following letter from Gen. Douglass to the State Treasurer, 

Uniontown, 20th August, 1787. 
"Sir: — I have the honor to remit you by Col. Phillips the fol- 
lowing orders and bills of credit : 

£. s. d. 

Col. Andrew Porter's order and receipt thereon for 87 o o 

Your order in favor of Andrew Linn for 17 i 3 

Do. " John M'Farland for 33 8 8 

Do. " Robert Brownfield for 3 7 i 

Amounting to 140 17 o 

£ s. d. 

I 20S. bill I o o 

25 IDS. " 12 10 o 

12 ss- " 3 o o 

I 9d. " o o 9 

16 10 9 

Will make 157 7 9 

Which, with what I sent by J. Smilie, Esq., 231 19 3 

Will amount to half our quota for this year, £389 7 O 

(f)CoinptroIler General's Office, 
"Sir: September 9, 1786. 

The honorable situation in which the county of Payette is placed by the 
punctual discharge of her taxes, reflects higrh credit upon the officers employ- 
ed in the laying, collecting and paying- the same, as well as upon the county 
at larg-e. May you long- continue, and I hope you will long- continue in the 
same laudable situation. Your example -will have a good influence upon oth- 
ers, so that you not only do your duty yourselves, but in some degree pro- 
cure the same to be done by otliers. The bearer is riding the State for money, 
but from you we ask none. You have anticipated our demand, and I know 
will continue to send it down as fast as you receive it. 

I am, with respect. Sir, 

Your most ob't. very humble serv't. 
"Ephraim Douglass, Esq. JOHN NICHOLSON. 

Treasurer Fayette County." 


"I trust there will be no difficulty about the order of Col. Por- 
ter, (g) His public as well as private character, and the necessities 
of the Commissioners at the time, I hope will excuse me for ad- 
vancing the money without your order. 

"I have the honor to be, most respectfully, 

"Sir, your very obedient servant, 

"David Rittenhouse, Esq." 

Besides the moneys he had to collect and remit as County Treas- 
urer, he had also, as Clerk of the Courts, to collect and remit 
tavern license fees, fines and forfeitures, and fees on marriage 
licenses. Concerning the latter, he writes, in January, 1785, that 
having "ten marriage licenses, their number will not be likely to 
diminish so long as there is no penalty for marrying before almost 
any body without a license." He writes again in August that "there 
are yet nine marriage licenses on hand, and very little demand for 

We could illustrate these now forgotten difficulties to a much 
greater extent by letters and extracts from the papers of Gen. Dou- 
glass now before us, but having some of another class to copy, we 
must hasten on. 

Gen. Douglass brought out to Uniontown, shortly after he came 
here, a small stock of goods, the proceeds of some of his peltries, 
which were packed over the mountains from Shippensburg, at five 
dollars per hundred weight. He never, we believe, renewed the 
stock, but soon began investing his surplus funds in town lots and 

Besides his other offices, he was, in 1785, appointed to survey 
part of District No. 3 of Depreciation Lands, north of the Alle- 
gheny river, which he seems to have executed chiefly by the aid of 
one Robert Stevenson. We find, however, among Gen. Douglass' 
papers a beautiful copy of the map of the lands in his own hand- 
writing. It is of a part of the district chiefly in Allegheny county, 
being three miles wide and over thirty miles long, embracing two 
hundred and eighteen tracts. For this service he got £y6T„ of 
which he paid Mr. Stevenson above half the sum. 

General Douglass held also, about 1785, the appointment of 
Agent for the sale of confiscated estates of Tories in Fayette. We 

(g-)Father of Ex-Governor David R. Porter, who had recently been engaged 
as a Commissioner to run and mark our Western and Northern boundaries. 


are glad to say that he had but one case, and he a non-resident. 
That was to sell the lands of Dr. Anthony Yeldall, of Philadelphia, 
who owned the Mendenhall Dam tract, now owned by William 
Wood and David Poundstone. The General sold, it we believe, to 
one James M'Donald. Yeldall was supposed to own another tract 
on the high hill west of McClellandtown, held in the name of Ed- 
ward Green, now owned, we believe, by John Wilson, Esq., and 
Messrs. Parshall and Renshaw, and the Agent sold it to, perhaps, 
Michael Cock; but Green afterwards recovered it, as really his 
property and not Yeldall's. 

In April, 1793, Governor Mififlin commissioned Douglass to be 
Brigadier General of the county of Fayette, and tradition yet pre- 
serves the memory of his splendid erect appearance on his charger 
in the field, and the rigid exactness of his commands. He took 
pride in appearances, and for many years drove the only landau or 
four wheeled carriage in the county. 

Gen. Douglass was a man of high stature and most imposing ap- 
pearance, remarkably neat and exact in gait and dress, with long 
queue and powdered hair.(h) He was a peer among the great and 
high minded judges and attorneys of his day — Addison, Ross, 
Smith, Brackenridge, Meason, Galbraith, Hadden, Lyon, Kennedy, 
&c. ; enjoying their society and confidence. He had a repulsive 
sternness and awe-inspiring demeanor which repelled undue famil- 
iarity and rendered him unpopular with the masses. His temper 
was very irritable, and he was subject to impetuous rage. He was 
conscious of these frailties, and assigned them as a reason why he 
never married. Yet he was a man of great liberality, generous 
and kind to the poor, and especially to a friend in need. It is said 
that in a season when a great scarcity of grain was threatened, he 
providently bought up large quantities at fair prices, which, Tjvhen 
the expected wants of his neighbors came upon them, he sold at 
cost, or lent to be repaid in kind and quantity after the next har- 
vest. But the most striking proof of his generosity is the follow- 
ing, which we find among his papers. To understand its force the 
reader must remember that at its date Gen. St. Clair had become 
old, broken in spirit, and very poor, eking out a subsistence for 

(h)He was, moreover, when in his prime, a man of great athletic vigor and 
endurance. It Is related of him, that having been taken prisoner by the Indi- 
ans, in the winter, he enticed his keepers to the river to try their skill with 
him in skating. After amusing them for a while by letting them excel him, 
he at length put spurs to his skates and away he went with such rapidity and 
continuance as to defy pursuit, and thus escaped. 


himself and an afflicted family by keeping a poor old log tavern by 
the way side, on Chestnut Ridge mountain, in Westmoreland : 

"Uniontown, 13th February, 1809. 
"Received of General Ephraim Douglass, one hundred dollars, 
which I promise to repay him on .demand, or at furthest by the 
sixth day of June next. Signed, 


Underneath which, in Gen. Douglass' handwriting, is : — 

"Never to be demanded. To save the feelings of an old friend 
I accepted this receipt, after refusing to take an obligation. 

Signed, "E. DOUGLASS." 

A nobler monument is this scrap of paper than was ever reared 
in brass or marble. Who would not rather wear the rank which 
its inscription gives, than be the possessor of all the titles, with all 
the cold domains, of the Emperor of all the Russias! 

"The rank is but the gruinea's stamp, 
The man's the gold, for a' that." 

We will close this memoir, already perhaps too extended, with 
some extracts from his early correspondence, copies of which he 
carefully preserved. 


To John Dickinson, Esq., President of Supreme Executive Council : 

"Uniontown, 2d February, 1784. 
"5JJ-. * * * * 

"The courts were opened for this county on the 23d of 
December last. The gathering of people was pretty numerous ; and 
I was not alone in fearing that we should have had frequent proofs 
of that turbulence of spirit with which they have been so generally 
and perhaps too justly stigmatized. But I now feel great satisfac- 
tion in doing them the justice to say that they behaved, to a man, 
with decency and good order. Our Grand Jury was really respect- 
able — equal at least to many I hzve seen in courts of long standing. 
Little business was done other than dividing the county into town- 
ships, a return of which is under cover. 

* * * * "The instructions of Council respecting the opposi- 
tion to assessment in Menallen township, I laid before the Justices 
as directed, but they have not yet come to any resolution thereon. 
Some of them, I find, are of opinion that the reviving it at this 


distant time might be attended with more vexatious consequences 
than the suffering it to be forgotten will probably produce. For 
this reason, and in consideration of their since peaceable demeanor, 
I should incline to be of opinion with the others, that for the pres- 
ent, until the authority of the court becomes, by degrees and habi- 
tude of obedience, more firmly established in the general acqui- 
escence of the people of the county, and a jail and other objects of 
popular terror be erected, to impress on their minds an idea of the 
punishment annexed to a breach of the laws, lenient measures might 
produce as good effects as the most rigorous ones that juatice could 
adopt, were not the wisdom and directions of Council opposed to 
this opinion. To these reasons for declining the prosecution of the 
offenders, if their identity could be made appear, (which I think 
very doubtful,) might be added others that I am distressed to be 
obliged to take notice of. The tax not having been assessed till 
after the division of the county, the authority of the Commissioners 
of Westmoreland county then became justly questionable; and the 
total want of Commissioners in this county, to levy a tax of any kind, 
either for the State or to answer the exigencies of the county; and 
the consequent inability of the Trustees to perform the duties as- 
signed them by the Legislature, may all be subjects of consideration 
in this case. For, from an unhappy misconception of the law for 
dividing Westmoreland, the county of Fayette has not an officer of 
any kind, except such as were continued, or created by the Act, or 
by the appointment of Council. Denied the power of a separate 
election for a member of Council and Representative in Assembly 
till the general election of the present year, they unfortunately con- 
cluded that this inability extended to all the other elective officers 
of the county, and in consequence of this belief, voted for them in 
connection with Westmoreland. The remedy of this evil is, I fear, 
not easily pointed out; but if there be a possible one, it is to be 
found in the wisdom of Council, to which I now beg leave, as I 
shall in all other difficulties, to make my humble appeal, (i) 

"The Trustees have appointed next Monday to meet on, and 
begin the partition line between this county and Westmoreland ; 
on this condition, which Col. M'Clean, who is to be the executive 
person, has generously agreed to, to pay the expense at some future 

(i)The trouble here referred to occurred in October, 1783, just after Fayette 
county was erected. It grew to a more desperate resistance in the spring ot 
1784. See Letters of May 29th and July 11th, 1784, postea, and notes. 


time, when it shall be in their power to call upon the Commission- 
ers for the money. Necessity has suggested to us the expedient of 
building a temporary jail by subscription, which is now on foot. 

***** i^"'February 6th — in continuance. 

"Want of an earlier conveyance gives me the opportunity of 
enclosing to Council the return of an election held there this day 
for Justices of the Peace for this township ; and I trust the import- 
ance of the choice of officers to the county will excuse me to that 
honorable body for offering my remarks on this occasion. 

"Col. M'Clean, though not the first on the return, needs no pane- 
gyric of mine; he has the honor to be known to Council. James 
Finlev is a man of a good understanding, good character, and well 
situate to accommodate that part of the township most remote from 
the town. Henry Beeson is the proprietor of the town, a man of 
much modesty, good sense and great benevolence of heart; and 
one whose liberality of property for public uses justly entitles him 
to particular attention from the county, however far it may be a 
consideration with Council. Jonathan Rowland is also a good man, 
with a good share of understanding, and a better English education 
than either of the two last mentioned, but unfortunately of a pro- 
fession rather too much opposed to the suppression of vice and im- 
morality — he keeps a tavern. John Gaddis is a man whom I do 
not personally know — one who has, at a former election in the then 
township of Menallen, been returned to Council, but never com- 
missioned, for what reason I know not. His popularity is with 
those who have been most conspicuous in opposition to the laws of 
this Commonwealth. Moses Sutton is remarkable for nothing but 
aspiring obscurity, and a great facility at chanting a psalm, or 
stammering a prayer. (j) 

"Duty thus far directs me to give Council an impartial descrip- 
tion of the men who are to be the future officers of this county, 
but both duty and respect forbid' my saying more, or presuming to 
express a wish of my own ; for I have no predilection in favor of, or 
personal prejudice against either of them. 

"I have the honor to be, &c., 


(j)Pather of the late Samuel Sutton, and, we believe, a Baptist preacher. 
M'Clean, Finley and Gaddis were commissioned. 


To John Nicholson, Comptroller General : 

"Uniontown, i6th April, 1784. 

"And now, Sir, I will, for the last time, trouble you with the 
mention of an affair which has already created some trouble to us 
both. My opinion, when founded on principle, I can never sacri- 
fice to any other gentleman, but I am less wedded to my interest. 
The efforts I have already made to accommodate the dispute be- 
tween us have convinced me that you are not less tenacious of 
yours. I have neither leisure, opportunity nor inclination to under- 
go the drudgery and expense of a tedious lawsuit, whereby this mat- 
ter might be settled in time ; nor am 1 of that importunacy of dispo- 
sition to trouble the Legislature, after having once troubled the 
Supreme Executive power of the State, with an application on this 
subject; thoug;h I should not doubt of a determination in' my favor. 
To avoid therefore both the one and the other, and to satisfy you, 
I have sent 3'ou my certificate, in the confidence that I shall now 
be allowed to enjoy the satisfaction I shall derive from the recollec- 
tion of having served and suffered, forfeited my interest and ruined 
my constitution, without any other reward : for rather than accept 
of less than I believe myself entitled to, I would wish to have noth- 
ing, (k) 

"I have the honor to be, &c. 


To John Armstrong, Jr., Esq., Secretary of State : 

"Uniontown, 29th May, 1784. 

'■-■I *- • ij; ^ ^ ^ ^ 

"There is so seldom a direct conveyance of a letter from this 
place to Philadelphia, that I expect every communication I can 
make will be anticipated by some other person ; but lest my silence 
might be attributed to inattention, I will give you, in this official 
letter, a short sketch of the affairs of this county. 

"The County Commissioners are so much counteracted by the 
rabble of this county, that it appears hardly probable the taxes will 
ever be collected in the present mode. In the township of Menallen 

(k)This difficulty related to the adjustment of Gen. Doug-lass' pay as a Revo- 
lutionary officer, while he "wag a prisoner of war. It was, we believe, finally 
settled according to hia views. 


in particular, which includes this place, agreeable to its limits in the 
duplicate, the terror of undertaking the duty of Collector has de- 
termined several to refuse it, under the severe penalty annexed. 
Two only have accepted, and these have both been robbed by some 
ruffians unknown, and in the night, of their duplicates. (1) The in- 
habitants of the other townships have not gone to such lengths, but 
complain so much of the hardship and the want of money that I 
fear very little is to be hoped from them. 

"On the other hand, the banditti from (m) Bucks county, or some 
others equally bad, or both, have established themselves in some 
part of this county not certainly known, but thought to be in the 
deserted part of Washington count}- ; whence they make frequent 
incursions into the settlements under cover of the night, terrify the 

(l)These two were the CoUectors for MenaUen and Spring-hill. The tax was 
that which had been levied by the Westmoreland Commissioners. Who the 
Menallen Collector was, and what the facts of his case, we have not been able 
to ascertain. The Spring-hill Collector was Philip Jenkins. He was robbed at 
his own house, about nine o'clock at night, on the 2d of June, 17S4, of his 
duplicate, about £25 in money, a pocket bottle, a razor and some soap. He 
testified to this being- done by three men unknown to him, dressed in hunting 
shirts, with their faces striped, one of them very tall, with a long neck, each 
armed with a pistol and dub. He and family, with some neighbors, among- 
them James Bell, were sitting up with a sick child. Two of tlie robbers spoke 
Dutch. They cursed, abused and beat him badly. Their avo-wed purpose was 
to prevent tax gathering. 

These cases were communicated by the Commissioners of Westmoreland to 
the Supreme Executive Council of the State, who thereupon, on the 29th June, 
1784, issued a proclamation, offering a reward of £50 for the apprehension and 
convicition of each offender. We believe none of them were ever arrested or 

(m) These were the Doanes, Abraham, Levi, Moses, Joseph, and his three sons, 
Aaron, Joseph and Mahlon, with -whom were associated other persons, by the 
names of Vickers, Paul Woodard, &c., Tories and Refugees in the Revolution. 
They had robbed the Treasurer and several Collectors and citizens of Bucks 
county, in 1782, and had fled to the West. They were outlawed by the Legis- 
lature, and rewards offered for their apprehension. T-wo of the Vickers, two 
or three Doanes, and some others, were arrested, convicted and hung. Two 
Doanes were commltteed to Bedford county jail in 1783 — Mahlon and Joseph 
having been caught in Maryland. Their fate is unrevealed. 

The "deserted part of Washington county" was the Ten Mile country. 'Tis 
said these banditti had a den on the Monongaliela river, in Luzerne township, 
between Davidson's lower ferry and Rice's Landing. Several years after- 
wards, one Myers and Pratt, supposed to be connections of this gang, were 
convicted of horse stealing in Fayette. 

The gang was an extensive one, all over the State and in adjacent parts of 
Maryland, Virginia, and the North-west. They stole horses, negroes, and other 
property, and were exceedingly bold and successful, having many accomplices 
in the country. We will not name the three referred to by Gen. Douglass, as 
they were never tried. Abraham Doane had been arrested in Washington 
county and committed. A mob rescued him. He was again, with Thomas 
Richason and two women, pursued towards Detroit by an armed party, in 
June, 1784, and the four again committed to the Washington county Jail. Abra- 
ham and Levi were hung at Philadelphia, in 1788. 


•defenseless inhabitants, sometimes treat them unmercifully, and 
rob them of their property, and then retire to their lurking places. 
What seems to confirm the belief of its being the Doanes, or some 
of their companions, is drawn from the circumstances attending 
the detection and confinement of one of the gang at Washington 
county in the beginning of this spring. After this wretch had 
been rescued from the guard there, he, with others of his compan- 
ions, came to the house of the person who was the principal in 
taking him, robbed him of his horse and other property; and cau- 
tioned him against meddling with any of them hereafter ; and this, 
added to the frequency of their robberies in that county, favors the 
belief of their residence there. This county, however, has also 
suffered by them, though they came in the character of thieves and 
not robbers here. And yet nothing has hitherto been attempted 
to punish them, or bring them to justice; partly, perhaps, because 
there are not yet a sufficient number provoked by their losses, but 
principally from the improbability of succeeding in the attempt. 
For, though they cannot be pointed out with certainty, or prosecu- 
ted to conviction, there must be too many in this county who aid 
and abet them, and who would readily notify them of any prepara- 
tion making against them. And, from the representation of their 
number, which is said to have been twenty-eight at the forcing of 
the jail in Washington, nothing can be undertaken against them, 
without such preparation as must make it generally known. 

"I have the honor to be, &c., 


To the President of the Supreme Executive Council. 

"Uniontown, July nth, 1784. 

"2ii- • ***** 

"Taking it for certain that Council have been informed of the 
capture of some of the robbers who have lately pursued the same 
practices here for which they fled hither, I shall not trouble them 
with the particulars of that transaction. Every thing in our power 
has been done to discover their connections in this quarter, without 
a certainty of having succeeded. Several have been apprehended 
on suspicion, and three of them, from a greater concurrence of cir- 
cumstances, have, by the advice of the Attorney for the State, been 
recognized to the next Court of Oyer and Terminer for this county. 
The others have been suiTered to return home without security, 



they being either innocent, or too cautious to admit anything to ap- 
pear against them, though much suspected by many. 

"I can make no other communications of importance enough to 
merit the attention of Council, unless what relates to the taxes of 
this county; and even that not with sufficient accuracy. Some 
small sums have been collected in some of the townships. One of 
the collectors was robbed of what he had gathered, by the same 
banditti, it is thought, who committed the other robberies in the 
country. Some attempts have been made to raise money by the sale 
of goods taken by the collectors for taxes, but no one would bid for 
them. Thus the laws are eluded without open opposition. 
"I have the honor to be, &c., 


To His Excellency, Thomas Mifflin, Governor, &c. 

"Uniontown, 24th April, 1791. 
"Sir: — A heart susceptible of gratitude, or a mind subject to the 
impressions of vanity, cannot fail to be greatly delighted with your 
Excellency's condescending invitation to all your subordinate offi- 
cers to a candid correspondence with the first gentleman in the 
State. I feel myself so greatly elated with the prospect, that I shall 
only restrain myself by the fear of becoming troublesome. I have, 
however, to lament and pray that your Excellency will admit it in 
excuse that my local situation is such as absolutely to deny me the 
frequent communications which duty and inclination would prompt 
me to make. Placed almost on the southern verge of the State, 
and at the distance of more than thirty miles from the post road to 
Pittsburgh, (n) I cannot avail myself of that conveyance. As an 
evidence of this, it was not until yesterday I was honored with 
your Excellency's circular letter of the 24th of December last, 
which, I trust, will remove the imputation I may have incurred of 
neglecting the injunctions of that letter. Other channels of com- 
munication with the city, or interior parts of the State, we can be 

(n)There was no post-ofHce In Fayette county until after the Whiskey Insur- 
rection, (1794). The "post-road" referred to was from Philadelphia, and from 
Virginia by way of Bedford, to Pittsburgh; which was established (twice a 
month each way) in 1786 — the contractors, or carriers, taking the postages for 
their pay. For many years Pittsburgh was the only post-offloe west of the 
mountains. We have seen a Pittsburgh Gazette of 1792, containing a list of 
advertised letters, among which were for men in Kentucky, and in Fayette 
county. The Gazette was distributed over the west by private carriers. See 
"Chapter (XV) of Micellanies." 


said to have none certain, but the periodical meeting of the legisla- 
ture. A precarious one, indeed, we have by people occasionaly go- 
ing to the land office ; and these are the only chances of writing from 
this place. The great road from Fort Cumberland, on the river 
Potomac to the Monongahela, at Redstone old Fort, passes through 
the centre of the county and county town. And by this road almost 
all our little trade is condticted to Hagerstown, Winchester, and 
Martinsburg, (if not .intercepted at Cumberland and Old Town,) 
in the neighboring states. The consideration of attracting the trade 
of one of the best cultivated tracts of country westward of the 
mountains, ought, perhaps, (I say it with diffidence) to have sug- 
gested the policy of bringing the State road more to the south- 
ward than where it is now laid out. That to Cumberland is bad, 
almost in the extreme, and had we a good one through Pennsylvania 
to the back towns, I think there is little doubt of our preferring 

,4. Zfi y^ ^ 5jc 

"I have the honor to be, &c., 


To His Excellency, Governor Mifflin. 

"Uniontown, 6th August, 1791. 
"Sir: — In obedience to your Excellency's commands, I have filled 
up the blanks of the schedule as directed, with the names of such 
persons as, from my own knowledge of their characters, or from the 
information of the principal gentlemen of the county, 1 think most 
likely to fill the office of Justices of the Peace with credit to govern- 
ment and to themselves, and satisfaction to their neighbors. I 
have placed them in that order m which my judgment places them, 
with respect to their abilities, without prepossession or prejudice. 

He * -K * 

"The Act for erecting the county of Washington limits that 
county by the west side of the Monongahela river; and this county 
is limited 'beginning at Monongahela river where Mason and 
& Dixon's line crosses the same ; thence down the river to the mouth 
of Speer's run, &c.' Now by these two acts, it would appear that 
the river still belonged to Westmoreland county, and that neither 
of the other counties have any jurisdiction on it. Cases may easily 
be supposed where this might eventually happen to be a very great 
evil, though no such a case has hitherto come within my knowledge 
or observation. * * * * 

"I have the honor to be, &c., 




Last, but not least, of the ancient worthies who adorn the annals 
of Fayette, is Albert Gallatin : last to come upon the stage of action, 
last to leave it. Two centuries of his country's history inherit, in 
unequal shares, his character and services; Fayette county claims 
jurisdiction of their distribution. So ample is the inheritance, that, 
in the narrow limits allowed us here, we can attempt nothing more 
than a schedule of the most promment items which compose it, 
with perhaps an occasional effort to examine and estimate those 
which come more directly within the scope and purpose of our 

Mr. Gallatin was born at Geneva, in the Republic of Switzerland, 
January 29th, 1761, and was allied, on the part of both his parents, 
to some of the most worthy families of that renowned country, in- 
cluding that of the celebrated Necker, and his daughter, Madame de 
Stael. His ancestor, John Gallatin, Secretary to the Duke of Savoy, 
emigrated to Geneva early in the i6th century; and having embrac- 
ed the Reformation, was one of the city magistrates when it became 
an independent Republic. 

Becoming an orphan in infancy, he was educated under the 
maternal care of a most excellent lady, who was a relative and 
intimate friend of his mother. His patrimony, though not large, 
was adequate to his thorough education and suitable outfit for the 
vo3'age of life. Had it been greater, he might have dissipated his 
energies upon some tranquil bay, or dashed them against the rocks 
of folly and vice : had it been less, he might have been forced to hug 
the shores of obscurity, or strand upon some ignoble island, for 
lack of canvas to stem the current. 

Nor was he less fortunate in the era of his birth, and in the 
locality of his youthful education. Nowhere in the Old World 
could he have been so well fitted for the career he was destined to 
run in the New. The fruits of the Reformation had ripened in the 
city where its blossoms first bloomed. Geneva had become not more 
famous for the Institutes of Calvin than for her institutions of 
learning. At an early age he entered the University of Geneva, 
and graduated in 1779. His after-life attests the fidelity of his 
instructors, and his diligence and assiduity as a student. Then 
and there were acquired and disciplined those characteristic ele- 
ments of his subsequent eminence — accuracy, thoroughness, reliance 
upon the power of truth and confidence in his ability to wield it. 

Hon. Albert Gallatin 


These were his fulcrum and lever, by which he moved others and 
sustained himself. That they were always rightly used is a question 
Ave are not now considering; but that they gave origin and success 
.0 all his great efforts as politician, statesman, orator, financier, 
diplomatist, philosopher, and scholar, is a solution so adequate to 
account for his eminence in all these departments as to call for no 

Emerging from the retirement and restraints of study at the 
impulsive age of eighteen, young Gallatin saw the Old World 
aghast at the revolt of the American colonies, and at once felt the 
throb of sympathy which pervaded the enlightened mind of conti- 
nental Europe. France, whose language he spoke, whose literature 
and history he knew, and between whose people and his own there 
was also a community of origin and jealousy of England, had just 
then come to the timely aid of the trans-Atlantic "rebels." The 
conjuncture of circumstances was attractive — the prospect of 
success cheering — the call to youthful heroism loud and charming — 
the field of prospective wealth and fame rich and expansive. To 
keep him back, he had within his acceptance the offer of honorable 
military rank in the service of one of the German sovereigns. 
This he declined. Unrestrained by any parental control, though 
against the will of his patroness and relatives, he resolved to see!- 
the shores of struggling liberty, and to peril his fame and fortune, 
and perhaps his life, in the conflicts and consequences of the 
contest. To this high resolve he was perhaps stimulated by young 
Bache, whom his grandfather. Dr. Franklin, had sent to Geneva to 
enjoy the superior educational facilities of that city, and by others 
01 his comrades and friends. An eminent Frenchman, La Roche- 
foucald D'Enville, then resident near Geneva, wrote to Dr. Frank- 
lin, Mav 22nd, 1780, asking his "kind attention for two youn'i' men 
whom the love of glory and of liberty draws to America. One of 
them is named Gallatin. He is nineteen years old, well informed for 
his age, of an excellent character thus far, with much natural talent. 
The name of the other is Serre. They have concealed their 
project from their relatives, and therefore we cannot tell where 
they will land. It is supposed, however, that they are going to 
Philadelphia, or to the Continental army." The fugitives landed 
at Boston, July 14th, 1780, doubtless from a French vessel which 
had sailed under convoy of the French fleet under Admiral De 
Ternay, which in that month landed the Count de Rochambeau 
and an army of 5,500 men at Newport, R. I., to aid us in our 
then waning efforts for independence. 


Soon after his arrival, our young adventurer proceeded to Maine, 
and resided for some time at Passamaquoddy and at Machias, 
where he served as a volunteer under Col. John Allen, commander 
of the fort. He also contributed to the support of the garrison by 
advances out of his private funds. He seems, however, soon to 
have discovered that the tented field and "all the current of a 
heady fight" were not congenial with his temper and habits. And 
as the war seemed ended by the capture of Cornwallis, in October, 
1781, Mr. Gallatin, in the spring of 1782, accepted the post of 
Instructor in the French language in Harvard University, to which 
he was chosen through the friendly intervention of the celebrated 
Dr. Cooper. 

In the winter of i783-'84, Mr. G. was engaged at Richmond, 
Virginia, in negotiating for payment by that state, of a claim upon 
it for funds advanced during the Revolution, by a European house. 
This brought him into contact with the public men of that proud 
commonwealth, and contributed much to the growth, if not to the 
germination, of an ambition for political life. During this sojourn 
in Richmond, he had his lodgings at the house of the widow of a 
French gentleman, Madame Allegre, with whose daughter, an 
accomplished lady, he became enamored. The daughter was 
more charmed with the interesting stranger than was the 
mother. The latter seriously objected to the marriage, because, 
whilst she had nothing else to say against him, "he was such a 
fool !" But while he was pursuing these two very dissimilar nego- 
tiations — pecuniary and matrimonial, he had occasion frequently 
to call upon Patrick Henry, then the governor of the Old Dominion, 
upon the subject of his mission, when the conversation would 
sometimes digress to general topics. The impression made upon 
the Governor by the brilliant and intelligent observations of Mr. 
G. was so favorable that he pronounced him one of the most extra- 
ordinary men he had ever seen, and predicted his future eminence. 
So differently was he viewed by the mother and the orator. Mr. 
G. conducted both his suits to successful terminations. The 
mother yielded, and- Mademoiselle Allegre soon afterwards became 
Mrs. Gallatin. 

Mr. Gallatin was advised by Gov. Henry to settle in Western 
Virginia; and, desirous of making the small residuum of ready 
money he had saved, go as far as possible, he, during 1784, pur- 
chased for a low price a large quantity of wild land in Monongalia 
county. He formed "one grand project" of settling his new 
domain with a colony of emigrants from continental Europe, and 


came out to survey the land, and make requisite preliminary 
arrangements. In the midst of this labor, the Indian aggressions 
upon the frontiers of Virginia, and of Pennsylvania w^est of the 
jMonongahela, became so alarming and fatal to the white inhabi- 
tants, that the hopeful colony founder sought a temporary refuge 
just beyond the lines of danger, in Springhill township, Fayette 
county, Pennsylvania. The Indian trouV^^s continued, the colony 
bubble burst, and Mr. G.'s temporary '^^r^'cdence became ere long his 
permanent home. The name of AIU"^ -Gallatin first appears upon 
the assessment rolls of Springhill to\(fuship, for the year 1787. In 
JNIay, 1786, he bought from Nicholas Blake his settlement right for 
the "Friendship Hill" tract, upon which he so long resided. He 
was naturalized in Virginia, in 1785. It is probable, therefore, that 
for some two years prior to the fall of 1786, his residence was some- 
what migratory, at and between Springhill and Morgantown, 
Virginia — inclination drawing him to the former, and business to 
the latter. During his sojourn at Morgantown, or while business 
continued to call him there, he made the acquaintance, among 
others, of Francis T. Brooke, Esq., then a young resident attorney 
of that place, and afterwards an eminent Judge of the Virginia 
Court of Appeals, between whom and himself a friendly corres- 
pondence and regard subsisted during life. 

Notwithstanding his foreign manners and language, Mr. G. rose 
rapidly in the estimation of the primitive people among whom he 
had cast his lot. His first displays of political ability were by oppos- 
ing the adoption of the constitution of the United States. In 
this he acted in concert with a great many Southern leaders of the 
Republican faith, of whom was his friend Patrick Henry. To other 
objections, Mr. G. added that of his opposition to the intervention of 
electors in choosing a President and Vice President. But after its 
adoption by the States he gave to it a cordial and steady support. 

Mr. Gallatin made his debut in political life as a delegate from 
Fayette, associated with John Smilie, in the Pennsylvania conven- 
tion which framed the constitution of 1790, to which he was 
chosen in October, 1789. Although but twenty-nine years of age, 
he soon acquired in that learned and grave body the rank of one 
of its best debaters, and defenders of his party, or peculiar opinions. 
He took ultra Republican — in modern parlance. Democratic 
grounds, was opposed to the judicial tenure for life, or during good 
behavior, and was for universal suffrage by all free males over the 
age of twenty-one, white and colored, limited only by a longer resi- 
dence than is now required. It is said that the pertinacious advoca- 


cy of negro suffrage by him and some others, was the reason why 
the word white was not prefixed to that of freemen in defining the 
elective franchise — an omission which, as is well known, gave to 
free negroes in Pennsylvania for about forty years, in many places, 
the rights of voters. A current tradition is, that to the weightier 
reasons which were- urged by Mr. G., he playfully added that the 
word white might operate rather forbiddingly upon men of swarthy 
visasfe like himself. -» 

Simultaneously with the :"?jianization of the State Government 
under that Constitution, in December, 1790 — for it was not submit- 
ted to the people for ratification — Mr. Gallatin was returned, with 
James (Judge) F"inley, to the Assembly from Fayette, to which he 
was successively elected every year until 1794, except in 1793. In 
the Legislature he displayed the same readiness in debate which dis- 
tinguished him in the convention ; but his ultraism was somewhat 
abated. To his high order of talent in this particular — oftentimes 
the evidence of more show than substance, he superadded the pos- 
session of great financial skill, and a capacity for untiring labor and 
indefatigable research. In all his early legislative labors, he exhib- 
ited not only unusual ability and practical capabilities, but great 
coolness, candor and sincerity. These high qualifications for states- 
manship led to his election by the legislature, in the session of 1792- 
'3, to the Senate of the United States, although a majority of the 
members were in political opposition to him, and he had himself 
expressed a doubt of his eligibility. We do not know who, or 
how many rivals he had. But when we consider that he was a 
foreigner of but some twelve years residence in America, and of 
only about half that short period in Pennsylvania, away west on its 
southern verge, that he was without family influence, or long 
cemented political associations, and that he spoke our language with 
difficulty, we cannot but wonder at so signal a compliment to his 
character and talents. It must, however, be remembered that at 
this period there was in the United States, and no where more than 
in Pennsylvania, a very strong current of popular sympathy with 
French Republicanism ; and the fact that Mr. G. was considered a 
Frenchman, and confessedly one of superior ability, naturally 
tended to concentrate upon him the favor so lavishly bestowed upon 
those who spoke his language, and fraternized in the tenets and 
partialities of his political school. 

Mr. Gallatin took his seat as a Senator in Congress, in December, 
1793. The question of his eligibility was at once raised against 
him, and referred to a committee, who reported adversely. The 


position taken was that he was constitutionally disqualified, because 
not nine years a citizen of the United States. Under the old Articles 
of Confederation between the States or Colonies, no provision exist- 
ed for the naturalization of foreigners — each State doing that in its 
own way. They provided, however, that "the free inhabitants of 
each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of 
citizens in the several States." The new Federal Constitution of 
1789 conferred those privileges only upon citizens of each State, 
and in the same sense required a Senator to have been nine years 
a citizen. It was urged in support of his qualification, that having 
been more than nine years an inhabitant, the substitution of the 
word citizen should not have a disqualifying retroactive operation. 
This argument was somewhat unfairly, but effectively met by 
evidence that Mr. G. had in 1785 — not nine years ago, acquired the 
rights of citizenship under the naturalization laws of Virginia — a 
resort imposed upon him to enable him to hold lands in that State. 
The result was that in February, 1794, he was ousted by a strict 
party vote of fourteen to twelve, and the legislature elected James 
Ross, of Pittsburgh, in his stead. 

During this stay in the East — his first wife having been dead 
some two or three years, Mr. Gallatin married Hannah, a daughter 
of Commodore James Nicholson, of New York, the senior captain 
of the American Navy. This auspicious and happy matrimonial 
alliance, contracted in October, 1793, continued until near the 
close of his own long life — he surviving her only about three 
months. (a) In the mean time his friends in Europe, having heard of 

(a)Mrs. Gallatin died in the city of New York, in the spring of 1849, in her 
eighty-third year. She was a most estimable woman, a wife worth3^ of her 
illustrious huband. After her marriage, she was his constant companion in 
all his subsequent public life, at home and abroad; relieving him from many 
of the ordinary cares and anxieties of life by her prudence and management, 
and sustaining and stimulating him by her consolations and council. He habitu- 
ally consulted her not only in private affairs, but in all his public movements. 
As the wife of a leading member of Congress, a cabinet minister, anci Repre- 
sentative of the United States at the two principal courts of Europe, she of 
course participated largely and almost uninterrupedly, during a period of more 
than the third of a century, in the most elegant and illustrious society, at 
home and abroad. But while her urbanity and courtesy were manifested to- 
wards every one' within her intercourse, she never would by her compliance 
or example, sanction any rule of high life which conflicted with the "higher 
law^," by which she professed to be governed as a christian. Such was the 
respect which this course of conduct inspired, even at Paris, and from a 
French Princess, that when, at one of the greatest fetes known in the circle 
of Royal entertainments — that given to celebrate the birth of the heir pre- 
sumptive, and which, as custom required, was given on the Sabbath, the 
Duchess DAngouleme inquired of the American minister for his lady, Mr. Gal- 
latin answered, "she is not here, because it is Sunday;" the Duchess at once as- 


his fame and fortunes, sent him — perhaps the residue of his patri- 
monial estate — a thousand guineas, which he received through the 
agency of Robert Morris, the financier of the Revolution. There- 
upon and therewith he returned to Fayette county, in May, 1794, 
after an absence from it of eighteen months. 

Having thus replenished his exchequer, he, in i794-'95, bought 
from John and William George Wilson, the sons and devisees of 
Col. George Wilson, the land at the mouth of and on both sides 
of Georges creek, including the site of New Geneva, a village 
which had been for years before founded by William George 
Wilson, Esq., under the name of "Wilson's Port," but which Mi. 
Gallatin somewhat enlarged and changed, calling it after the name 
of his native city. About the same period he conceived and 
effected the establishment of the New Geneva glass works, which 
were started in 1796 — the first west of the Allegheny moun- 
tains, (b) Attendant upon this enterprise, Mr. Gallatin, in 1795, 
formed an extensive trading co-partnership with Messrs. James W. 
Nicholson, his brother-in-law, late of New York, Louis Bourdelon, 
and Charles Anthony Cazenove, late of Geneva, (Switzerland,) 
then of New York, and John Badolet, of Washington county, 
Pa.,(c) under the name of A. Gallatin & Co., to continue for three 
years, with a capital of $20,000, subject to be increased. The 
business was to consist of buying and selling goods and lands, &c. 
The Wilson lands, several lots in Greensboro, over the river, 
and twenty-two acres adjoining that village, were purchased by 
Mr. Gallatin, and held in trust for this partnership. How long it 

.sented to her absence and said, "Mrs, Gallatin does right — she teaches us our 

As a set-off to this, we find the following among the "Foreign Items," In 
Niles' Register, September 20, 1817: — "There are several rumors that the Royal 
family of Prance has not treated Mr. Gallatin and his lady with the respect 
due their station at court. It is said that the Duchess of Angouleme address- 
ed a few words to Mrs. Gallatin in French, who replied, 'I do not speak French, 
Princess,' on which the Princess said, 'I do not speak English,' and turned her 
back on Mrs. Gallatin." Besides Mrs. Gallatin, three others of the daughters 
of Commodore Nicholson became the "wives of members of Congress: — one, of 
William Pew, a Representative and Senator from Georgia; another, of John 
Montgomery, a Representative from Maryland, and the other, of Joshua Seney, 
also a Representative -from Maryland, the father of Joshua Seney, Esq., former- 
ly of Uniontown, Pa., afterwards of TifRn, Ohio. 

(b)See Chap. XIII. — "Our Early Manufactures." 

(c)Afterwards a prominent man in Greene county, of which he and John 
Plenniken, (father of R. P. Plenniken, Esq,, of Uniontown, Pennsylvania,) were 
the first Associate Judges. 


continued, and what became of it, we do not know. It was the 
origin of the long and valued residence of James W. Nicholson 
and family in that vicinity ; and in connection with the glass 
works, and while New Geneva was the head of navigation and 
trade in the Monongahela, it did no doubt a thriving business. 
But men and trade are subject to great mutations. This co-part- 
nership must not, however, be confounded with that of the old 
Glass W'orks Company, which was a separate concern, although 
the two were connected to some extent. And, we believe, Mr. 
Gallatin's growing political fortunes induced him, early in their 
career, to withdraw from both. 

We now come to a part of Mr. Gallatin's political life which is 
the most difficult to comprehend and exhibit : — we mean his con- 
duct in the series of events denominated the "Whiskey Insur- 
rection." This is not the place to narrate those events — they are 
reserved for another sketch. Mr. Gallatin was so prominent an 
actor, especially in the closing scenes, that, assuming the reader to 
be familiar with them, we will not incumber our present purpose 
with any tedious repetitions. 

Caution, sagacity, and a love of popular favor were largely 
developed ingredients in Mr. Gallatin's mental construction; and 
he was so happily constituted as to be able effectually to exert any 
one of them without over-reaching, or impairing the force of the 
others. Of this, no part of his eventful public life affords clearer 
evidence than the safety and success with which he trod the 
perilous paths of this Vesuvian epoch. 

Regarding the insurrectionary movements as extending over a 
period of about three years — from September, 1791, to October, 
1794, Mr. Gallatin's course of conduct therein is divisible into two 
parts, each of which is distinct, and very different from the other. 
The line of separation is in the eighteen months — from November, 
1792, to May, 1794, during which he was absent from Western 
Pennsylvania. Within this period of absence, events of absorbing 
interest to him occurred : — his election to the Senate of the United 
States, the contest for his seat therein ana his ejection therefrom, — 
his courtship and marriage of Miss Nicholson, and his negotiations 
in Europe and efforts in this county for tht establishment of his 
New Geneva Glass Works. The anxieties and kind and hopeful 
feelings attendant upon this cluster of great and good things, 
favored by his protracted absence from the infected district, would 
naturally tend to sever him from the plots and counterplots of the 
incipient rebellion, and soften down his insurgent animosities, 


supposing him to have been heretofore within their embrace and 
influence. That he was so — that he was really an instigator of the 
resistance in its early stages, is a conclusion, from the evidence, 
which is irresistable. In assigning to him this positon, so 
variant from that which has been generally ascribed to him, we 
indulge in no desire to detract from the merit of his pacific exer- 
tions in the later stages of the strife, nor to pluck one leaf from the 
laurels which grow upon his grave. The effort to do so, would be 
as vain as ungenerous ; for, in the light in which we view his con- 
duct, there was no criminality in his early purposes, nor dishonor 
in the change they underwent. 

It is needless to say that Mr. Gallatin's mental habitudes and 
party affiliations were such as to lead jhim into the path of 
resistance. Implicit obedience to oppressive legislation was not 
among the canons of his political faith. And he had not that 
acquiescence in the cabinet counsels of Washington which would 
impel him to their defense against the antagonisms of his political 
associates. Besides, his own popularity had not become so 
impregnable as to defy the assaults of those who stood ready to 
raze its rising greatness. Hence he allowed himself to become 
identified with the early manifestations of popular resistance, and 
relied upon his caution and sagacity to save him from any perilous 
consequences that might ensue, but which were not perhaps then 

It is a creditable fact that no overt acts of resistance to the excise 
law or its officers, were ever committed in the immediate neigh- 
borhood of Mr. Gallatin's residence and personal influence. This, 
however, was owing more to the absence of irritating causes than 
to any prevalence of the spirit of submission among the people. 
And doubtless he diffused around him enough of his caution and 
conservatism to prevent any outburst, which might have involved 
him in danger or disgrace. But in Greene, then the "upper end" 
of Washington county, and in contiguous parts of Western Virginia, 
there were found unmistakable traces of his influence, upon leading 
men, calculated to foment resistance to the law and its officers, and 
to involve them, as eventually happened to some of them, in the 
privations and perils of governmental prosecutions : — results for 
which they censured him the more because he escaped upon the 
merits of his subsequent services in favor of "law and order." 

The most clear and decisive evidence of Mr. Gallatin's leader- 
ship in the early movements of the resistants is his participation in 
the "meeting of sundry inhabitants of the western counties of 



Pennsylvania, at Pittsburgh, August 21, 1792," — the proceedings 
of which are given at large in another place in these sketches, (d) He 
was the Secretary of that meeting, and no doubt, conspicuous in 
its deliberations. Its resolves were unanimous, and they are 
certainly very reprehensible, treading closely upon the confines of 
treasonable resistance. Moreover, the officers of the law had 
already been resisted and maltreated, and Mr. Gallatin should have 
seen that the promulgation of the last resolution was giving 
sanction and incentive to such outrages. And it is no palliation 
that it was but the echo of a proscriptive and incendiary edict 
previously fulminated by a meeting at W^ashington. So much the 
worse. The first perpetration of a mischievous act may be excused, 
while its repetition should be severely censured. (e) It is worthy of 
notice that all the apologists of Mr. Gallatin's conduct in the 
"Insurrection," omit any mention of this meeting, or case over it 
very lightly. (f) Better have seized it boldly and condemned it, as 
he did himself. Although it mars somewhat the symmetry of his 
character, it detracts nothing from its greatness. 

We do not find that Mr. Gallatin took part in any other meeting 
or proceeding connected with the disorder of the times, until after 
his return to the West in the spring of 1794. Having been chosen 

(d)See Chap. XI. — "Whiskey Insurrection." 

(e)The censure here bestowed accords with Mr. Gallatin's own condemnation 
of his conduct in that transaction, as "we find it expressed in his published 
Speech before the House of Representatives of the Pennsylvania Legrislature, 
in December, 1794, upon the question of declaring the elections of members from 
the "four western counties," in October, '94, unconstitutional and void, by rea- 
son of the insurrection; in which speech — an able and valuable document — he 
takes occasion to review the principal causes and events of that extraordinary 

"I wish not," says he, "to exculpate myself, where I feel I have been to 
blame. The sentiments thus expressed were not illegal or criminal; yet I will 
freely asknowledge that they were violent, intemperate and reprehensible. 
For by attempting to render the office contemptible, they tended to diminish 
that respect for the execution of the laws which i.'3 essential to the mainten- 
ance of a free government. But whilst I feel regret at the remembrance, 
though no hesitation in this open confession of that, my only political sin, let 
me add that the blame ought to fall where it is deserved. That meeting was 
not one of delegates of the people, but of individULils voluntarily assembled. 
It was not a combination of the people," &c. 

(f)Findley's "History, &c." Rev. Dr. Carnahan's Lecture, &c. The former 
covers it over and. displaces it so adroitly as to give it neither prominence nor 
distinctness in his narrative; while the latter, who evidently has made Find- 
ley the basis of his observations, omits any notice of it, and is thereby foiled 
into the error of saying that Mr. Gallatin attended no meeting "growing out 
of the insurrection," prior to the delegate meeting at Parkinson's Ferry, on the 
a4th August, 1794. 


to the Senate of the United States, he was not a candidate for 
reelection to the State Legislature, in October, 1793. Other 
pursuits, of honor, happiness and profit now engaged his atten- 
tion ; and perhaps he purposely prolonged his absence from the 
scene of tumult, until he saw that his presence was necessary to 
save his friends from the ruin to which they were rushing. 

AVhen he returned to Fayette, in May, 1794, he found the fires 
of rebellion just beginning to blaze, and with commendable alacrity 
enhanced doubtless by the consciouseness that he had himself 
helped to scatter the coal which kindled it, he betook himself to 
its extinguishment. He kept away from the tumultuous as- 
semblages at Mingo creek meeting-house, Braddock's Field, and 
elsewhere, in Washington and Allegheny counties. He, perhaps, 
thought it best to let the fire spend its fury in those regions, and 
set himself to prevent its spread into his own vicinage. In this he 
was nearly successful. Had he returned to the scene a little soon- 
er he might perhaps have been entirely so. 

The spectacle had now become so alarming as to appall the 
stoutest hearts. In the language of an eminent cotemporary 
writer, (g) "Men of property and intelligence who had contributed 
to kindle the flame under the common error of being able to regulate 
its heat, now trembled at the extent of the conflagration. It had 
passed the limits assigned to it, and was no longer subject to their 

Fortunately our new Federal Government, in this the first trial 
of its strength, had at its head a man who had been accustomed 
to contemplate and surmount all sorts of dangers. He confronted 
this one with his usual moderation and firmness ; and, in the means 
employed, afforded ample verge and encouragement for the subsi- 
diary efforts of all well disposed men who were dwellers upon 
eminences in the scene of strife. Of such was Mr. Gallatin. And 
it is no disparagement of his illustrious compeers — Ross, Bracken- 
ridge, Edgar, Findlej' and Smilie, some of whom, like himself, had 
stood god-fathers to, if not begotten, the infant monster, to assign 
to him a more bold, untiring, discreet and successful activity in 
its subjugation than was exerted by any other. He attacked the 
wild and warlike schemes of Bradford and his followers, in front 
and rear, covertly and openly, privately and publicly, in committees 
and before the masses, and alwa3rs with success. But in doing all 

(g)Marshall's Washington, Vol. II., 346. 


this he had often to encounter the most trying emergencies, 
and bring into exercise all his powers; at one time affecting 
compliance — scudding before the gale; at another evading the 
issue tendered, and drawing his adversary off upon some more 
assailable ground ; now, coaxing and persuading — anon, defying 
and intimidating; gaining all the while upon the entrenchments of 
the foe, and upon the confidence of the multitude. 

The severest test which his aims and abilities underwent was at 
the Parkinson's Ferry meeting, of August 14th, '94. Among 
other displays of argument and evasion made at that juncture 
having ventured to intimate his disapproval of the burning of 
Kirkpatrick's barn — "What," said a fiery fellow in the crowd, "do 
you blame us for that?" Gallatin was embarrassed for a moment 
and paused. His success depended upon his reply. "If you had 
burned Kirkpatrick in it you would have done something, but the 
barn had done no harm." "Aye, aye," said his interrogator, "that's 
true enough." The threatened tumult subsided. 

His resort to the secret ballot, at the subsequent meeting of the 
Committee at Brownsville, is a signal illustration of his coolness 
and sagacity. Nor was there throughout the whole of his brilliant 
forensic career a finer instance of his confidence in the force of 
truth, when not countervailed by extraneous influences. He 
saw, through the mists of terror and distraction, which the 
unthinking populace had thrown around the Committee, that they 
really wished to accept the proffered amnesty, and thus end the 
strife ; but that they feared the taunts of their neighbors, and the 
opprobrium implied, in any act of submission to a government they 
had so often defied. The secret ballot — th^ only pure medium of 
popular suffrage, enabled them to give a true declaration of their 
convictions, without an open defiance of the dangers which 
attended it. It was the potent alchemy which transformed confu- 
sion into order, and fiery frowns into peaceful smiles. It ended 
the strife — except as to the retributions which ensued. 

It is thus seen that Mr. Gallatin passed through all the stages 
and phases of this insurrectionary excitement, from an active par- 
ticipant to an active opponent ; yet so as therein never to endanger 
his own safety or forfeit his favor with the people. An inferior 
man would have overleaped himself and fallen, if not on the other 
side, at least so low as never to recover. Even the shrewd and 
versatile Brackenridge lost for a while his strong hold upon the 
popular confidence, not because he was not true to his political 
associates, or lacked in wise and masterly conformity to the circum- 


Stances which surrounded him, but because he was sometimes too 
blunt in his feigned attacks, and too sharp in his real ones — too 
frank when he should have been more reserved — too bold when he 
should have been more cautious. We will presently see how 
differently the people judged the conduct of these two eminent 
actors in this most anomalous of all the instances of political 
upheaval and subsidence. 

ft is well known that W^ashington county (which then included 
Greene,) and the southern part of Allegheny county, were denomi- 
nated, and rightly, too, "the seat of the rebellion." There its 
master spirits rose, and there Ihey fell. In the latter county, in 
the town of Pittsburgh, Mr. Brackenndge resided — Hugh Henry 
Brackenridge, an eminent and learned lawyer, author of "Modern 
Chivalry," and afterwards a Judge of the Supreme Court of the 
State. Mr. Gallatin resided fifty miles apart from him, in the south- 
west corner of Fayette. Both were distinguished leaders in the 
republican or democratic school of politics. Both had fought the 
fire of the insurrection in its fiercest form, and j^et both had, by 
their seeming compliances with its exactions, won for themselves 
the honor — for so the "majority" regarded it, of being traduced 
by the officers and advocates of the government. 

In October, 1794, Mr. Gallatin was one of the republican can- 
didates for the Assembly from Fayette — Mr. Brackenridge was the 
candidate of the same party for Congress, from the rebellious 
district. There were three other candidates already in the field 
— Thomas Scott and Daniel Hamilton, of Washington, and John 
Woods, of Pittsburgh ; but he had the lead, and was confident of 
election. But his wily policy in the insurrection had given great 
ofifense even to many of his own political friends. They wanted 
to shake him off. To efifect this, a few persons got together at 
Canonsburg, a few days before the election, and determined to run 
Mr. Gallatin against the field — even though he did not reside in 
the district, and, it is said, without consulting him. The result 
was that he was elected over all competitors — one account says by 
a large, others say by a small majority ; probabh' by only a plurality. 
It is also said that this was accomplished by its having been given 
out that Mr. Brackenridge (who came in "second best") had 
declined. It is certain, however, that but a small vote was polled — 
in some of the election districts none at all. Mr. G. was, on the 
same day, elected to the Assembly of the State from Fayette. But, 
upon the assembling of the legislature, in December, both branches 
vacated the elections of members that year from the counties of 


Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and AX'estmoreland, on account 
of the insurrection — declaring them "unconstitutional and void." 
New elections were held in February, 1795, and every one of the 
ejected members returned again, except Senator John Moore, of 
Westmoreland, who declined being a candidate, and Presley Carr 
Lane, of Fayette, was elected in his stead. On this occasion Mr. 
Gallatin made and published a long and able speech before the 
House, in defense of his seat. The speech may be regarded as his 
history of the insurrection ; and as such we will have further use 
for it in another sketch. 

As the Congress to which Mr. Gallatin was elected did not meet 
until December, 1795, he was enabled to serve under both elections. 
He was successively reelected to Congress in the years 1796, 1798 
and 1800, from the same district — Allegheny, Washington and 
Greene, '^.he latter county having been erected in 1796. 

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, 
leads on to fortune," and Mr. Gallatin had now taken it in that 
stage. With the commanding talents for public life which he pos- 
sessed, his success was now secure. His Congressional career 
covered a period of intense party excitement, embracing the whole 
of the Presidential term of the elder Adams, and the two last years 
of his illustrious predecessor. He rose almost at once to one of 
the highest seats of the opposition benches, and held it bravely and 
uninterruptedly. In those days great and grave questions were the 
subjects of discussion, subjects of first impression — new, vital, and 
exciting. Of these were the systems of finance which sprung out of 
the national debt, the assumption of the war debts of the States, the 
tariff, the funding system, a national bank, and all the innumerable 
collateral questions which attended upon these great ones, like 
the moons and belts of Saturn. Added to these were others of a 
more angry character, such as the alien and sedition laws, and all 
that series of plagues blown upon both our foreign and domestic 
relations from the shores of revolutionary France. In all these 
great questions Mr. G. bore a conspicuous and influential part, 
battling side by side with Madison, Giles, Livingston, Macon, Var- 
num and Randolph, agafnst Hamilton, Ames, Otos, Sitgreaves, 
Bayard and Marshall. There were giants in those days, and these 
were of them. 

There is one vote given by Mr. G. at the opening of the last 
session in General Washington's administration, which we would 
rather he had evaded or reversed. In the responsive address by the 
House to the President's annual message, they proposed to say 


to him that, "For our country's sake, for the sake of republican 
liberty, it is our earnest wish that your example may be the guide 
of your successors ; and thus, after being the ornament and safe- 
guard of the present age, become the patrimony of our descend- 
ants." It was moved to strike this out, and Mr. G. was one of the 
twenty-four who voted for doing so. In this, however, he had the 
company of Wm. B. Giles, Edward Livingston, and Andrew Jack- 
son, with other stars of lesser light. The motion failed, and then 
Mr. G. voted for the address, although his associates named held 
out against it to the last. We exhibit this ultraism of party rancor 
more in regret than in resentment, and are even glad to record that 
Mr. G. did not cling to it with the tenacity of others who have 
risen to higher fame. 

Although a firm partisan of the popular school, Mr. G. did not, 
on many great occasions, allow his party affiliations to drag him 
down into factious opposition. Especially was this the case as to 
the measures sought to be adopted by the administration of John 
Adams, in I'^gy-'S, having in view a war with republican France, 
for spoliations on our commerce — one of which measures resulted 
in again calling Washington to the head of the army, with the 
rank of Lieutenant General, or, rather — General. In this patriotic 
manliness he deserted the lead of such party zealots as Findley and 
Giles and Livingston, and his course is the more commendable as 
it was against the popular leanings towards a nation to whom he 
was allied by the treble ties of lineage, language and party alle- 

Up to the period of Mr. Gallatin's advent to Congress, there 
existed no standing Committee of Ways and Means, that favorite 
legislative palladium against the financial schemes of the executive. 
And it is said that Mr. G. was largely instrumental in its creation. 
Thereupon he became one of its members, and continued to be 
during every successive session while in Congress. 

The reported congressional debates of that period, meagre though 
they be, concur with tradition and cotemporary writers in repre- 
senting Mr. Gallatin as a fluent debater, always, cool, always ready, 
dignified, direct, candid and convincing. In all great conflicts, he 
was the champion of his party, its Achilles in attack, its Hector in 
defense, and its Nestor in council. Mr. Gallatin was particularly 
at home on financial questions. In this, he had the advantage of 
all his compeers, Giles being too lazy, Livingston too discursive, 
Nicholas too impetuous, Randolph too erratic, and Madison too 
judicial. But Gallatin's mind was of that exact, systematic con- 


struction which fitted him for such subjects. He had, moreover, 
strong- powers of analysis and concentration, united to unfaltering 
endurance of labor ; — traits of character which grew stronger with 
age, and went with him to the grave. 

Mr. Jefferson, who presided in the Senate during Mr. Adams' 
Presidency, became an early admirer and devoted friend of Mr. 
Gallatin. Their relations were always intimate and confiding. 
Indeed, during some stages of the great struggle of 1797-1800, 
ending in his elevation to the Presidency, he considered Mr. Gal- 
latin his most steadfast coadjutor and defender, standing by him 
in Congress when others of more vaunt but less valor forsook him 
and fled. So he wrote to a friend, in the retrospect of after years ; 
and John Randolph said of him, in 1824, that he had done as much 
as any other man to achieve the revolution of 1800, and had got 
as little for it.(h) In this, we think, John run out his devotedness 
too far. Mr. Gallatin got all he ever asked, perhaps all he ever 

In 1797, the Legislature of Pennsylvania passed an Act to 
procure twenty thousand stand of arms for the use of the State. 
This, and the then imminent danger of war with France, greatly 
stimulated the establishment of gun factories, or armories, public 
and private throughout the country. Among others, Mr. Gallatin 
embarked in the business; and in company with Melchor Baker,(i) 
a practical gunsmith, in 1799, or 1800, established an extensive 
manufactory of muskets, broad-swords, &c., in what is now Nichol- 
son township, on land now owned by Philip Kefover. For a 
Avhile they gave employment to between fifty and one hundred 
w-orkmen. In the State Treasury accounts for 1800, we find two 
payments in that year to Albert Gallatin of $2666.66 each, "on 

(h)"I once, Sir, had the honor of being under the federal regime In what 
was called the reign of terror. I then enjoyed the liberty of speech — I had 
a right to protest against the acts of the men in power. The present Secre- 
tary of the Treasury (Mr. Gallatin) was attempted to be stopped in debate 
on the rule which required no man to speak more than once to any question. 
That great man — for great let me call him, laughted in derision at the at- 
tempt." — John Randolph's Indignation Speech in Congress, May 26, 1812, on not 
being allowed to speak against declaring War, until the House would decide 
to consider his Resolution. 

(i)One of the unfortunate Col. Lochrey's men in the expedition to join in 
Clark's Campaign of 1781. See note to Cap. XVI. — "Outline of Civil and Poli- 
tical History," &c. After the suspension of the gun factory, Mr. Baker re- 
moved to Clarksburg, Virginia. 


account of his contract to supply the State with two thousand 
stand of arms." The partnership had also, about the same time, a 
contract with the national government, whose further patronage 
of the factory was eminently desirable. But, upon the election of 
Mr. Jefferson to the Presidency, in February, 1801, it became a 
foregone conclusion that Mr. Gallatin must go into the cabinet as 
head of the Treasury Department. He determined to accept the 
office. But, before he could do so, it became necessary, in his 
estimation, to sever himself from all governmental contracts, sub- 
sisting or in prospect ; and from all interest therein, direct or 
indirect, fixed or contingent. He recognized the human frailty 
which makes "lead us not into temptation" a most wise and 
necessary petition in the best of all prayers. He therefore deferred 
his acceptance of the secretaryship until he could become discharg- 
ed from the existing contract, and, by settling with his partner, 
and withdrawing from the business, relieve his own official conduct 
from suspicion and Mr. Baker from the disability to enter into 
future contracts, which his further connection with him would im- 
pose. Mr. Gallatin accordingly came home, dissolved the co- 
partnership, and sold out his interest in it and its contracts to Mr. 
Baker. The settlement required an amicable reference, in which, 
it is said, Mr. Gallatin behaved with great liberality towards his 
less wealthy partner. Mr. Baker carried on the business for some 
years afterwards — how long, we do not certainly know. In 1804, 
we find the State paying him $1333.33 for supplying arms. But, 
the national armories at Springfield and Harper's Ferry becoming 
too strong for private competition, the old Fayette Gun Factory 
was abandoned. 

Having thus disencumbered himself of this gun contract busi- 
ness, Mr. Gallatin was, on the 14th of May, 1801, appointed by 
Mr. Jefferson to be Secretary of the Treasury, which, but for that 
disability, would have been conferred upon him ten weeks earlier. 
In assignmg him to this exalted place, the new republican President 
was not embarrassed by the conflicting claims of any competitor. 
He gave it to Mr. Gallatin in accordance with his own wishes and 
in compliance with the unanimous call of his political friends. 
No other man was thought of by him, or named by them. Mr. 
Gallatin had well earned this exalted cabinet place by his efficient 
political services and eminent financial abilities. He continued to 
hold it during the entire residue of Mr. Jefferson's two Presidential 
terms, the whole of the first term of Mr. Madison, and until 



February, 1814, in the second, (j) — the longest cabinet tenure ever 
enjoyed by one man since the foundation of the government. 
Except the Secretaries of State, Madison and Monroe, his minis- 
terial associates were not men of superior talent, or great eminence. 
The truth is, that in those days the heads of the departments of 
State and Treasury, with the President, constituted "the govern- 
ment," — the other two departments, of War and the Navy, be- 
ing regarded as of secondary importance, to be filled by second- 
rate men.(k) 

Having accompanied Mr. Gallatin somewhat leisurely into the 
field of his greatest fame, in which nearly one-third of his public 
life was spent, we must not rush over it without some attempt to 
trace the leading features of his financial policy. Fortunately these 
are so prominent as to require no nice exercise of skill in the 

We have said that the place and plan of Mr. Gallatin's youthful 
education were eminently adapted to his future career. "Just as 
the twig is bent, the tree's inclined," is an adage of profound 
truth. Nearly all the peculiarities of human character and effort 
find their solution in the influences and habits of early life. 
Among the Genevans, great stress and stringency were given to 

(j)Althoug-h Mr. GaUatin went to Europe, as a negotiator for peace, in April, 
1813, he continued to hold the secretaryship until, February, 1814. If we dis- 
count these ten months from his term, then Gideon Granger, as Postmaster 
General from November, 1801, to March, 1814, exceeded him by about five 

(k)We mean no undue disparagement of the worthy men who filled these of- 
fices under the four first Presidents. Except, perhaps, during a part of the war 
of 1812-'15, they were fully adequate to the duties of their departments, and 
discharged them well. tJntil more recently, the head of the Post-office Depart- 
ment, and the Attorney General, were not considered cabinet officers. These 
were sometimes eminent and able men — Pickering, Granger, Meigs; and B'd- 
ward Randolph, Parsons, Rodney, Pinkney, &c. Without intending any in- 
vidious comparison with more ancient or modern cabinets, "we may point to 
those of Mr. Monroe and J. Q. Adams as combinations of pre-eminent abilities: 
— John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, W. H. Crawford, Secretary of the 
I'reasury, John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, and Smith Thompson, Secretary 
of the Navy, under Mr, Monroe; and Henry Clay, Secretary of State, Richard 
Rush, Secretary of the Treasury, James Barbour, Secretary of War, and Samuel 
I-i. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, under Mr. Adams; and John McLean, Post- 
master General, and William Wirt, Attorney General under both. Mr. Mon- 
roe's administration -was so signally exempt from party contentions as to ac- 
quire the designation of "the era of good feeling." Mr. Adams sought to pro- 
long it, but failed, owing to the peculiar circumstances of his election, and the 
unbounded popularity of his competitor — Gen. Jackson; who, having gilded the 
lustre of his country's arms, was destined to impress himself upon its polity 
and history. 


the maxim that debt was dangerous, and disability to pay dis- 
graceful. They built upon this the somewhat unjust corollary, that 
the children of a bankrupt were disqualified for any public trust so 
long as their father's debts were unpaid. The policy thus incul- 
cated, was a ruling ingredient in the youthful prejudices of Mr. Gal- 
latin, and controlled his after life, private and public. He abhorred 
debts of all sorts, and exacted their just and full payment from in- 
dividuals and governments. He knew how to be generous ; but 
generosity and defalcation were not kindred terms in his vocabulary. 
Least of all could he tolerate repudiation by a debtor having power 
to enforce it against a needy or helpless creditor. To illustrate this 
trait of his character, requires us to go back a little upon his public 

The requirements and revulsions of our Revolution had brought 
upon the States and the Confederacy a mass of debt, at home and 
abroad. Its evidences were in every form, from "contracts" with 
the King of France and the States General of the Netherlands, 
down to a sixpenny "certificate of loan." The foreign debts gave 
no trouble, except — to provide for their payment. But the domes- 
tic indebtedness was as complicated as an ever-changing Congress 
and thirteen independent, sovereign sub-debtors, all compelled to 
anticipate resources which were never realized and to sustain an 
ever-falling credit by increasing the burdens which bore it down, 
could make it. Its evidences were the currency of the country; 
and they came, in time, to be held by all sorts and conditions of 
men, from the poorest soldier up to the richest banker. These 
had acquired them at every conceivable rate of value and deprecia- 
tion, from par to a hundred, or a thousand for one. The most that 
the old Confederation Congress and the States could do during 
the war and for some time after its close, was to settle with their 
creditors, consolidate the debts, and issue new certificates of 
indebtedness for the accruing interest and the depreciation. With 
all this, however. Mr. Gallatin had nothing to do. But when the 
new federal government was formed, in 1789, it by the Constitu- 
tion and laws early enacted, was in duty bound, assumed the pay- 
ment of all those multiform debts, so far as they were incurred for 
the general cause. The mode adopted for their security and pay- 
ment, was almost as complicated as had been their forms of 
creation. The foreign debt, unpaid, had to be provided for by 
loans. The States and the domestic creditors were subjected to 
what was called the Funding System, devised by Alexander Hamil- 
ton, Secretary of the Treasury under President Washington, Mr. 


Gallatin, though not in Congress at the time this system was adopt- 
ed, — in 1790-92, advocated the plan, but stoutly resisted some of 
its leading details. 

To make the reader thoroughly understand the old debts of the 
country, and the system adopted for its funding and payment, 
would be a task as hopeless as its accomplishment would be un- 
interesting. Suffice it to say here, that the funding system con- 
sisted in subscriptions to a national loan, the subscribers paying 
therefor in some one or more of the various adjusted evidences of 
debt, and taking in lieu thereof certificates of government stock, 
payable or redeemable in installments, bearing interest and trans- 
ferable. In this way the home debt became a marketable com- 
modity which its holders could sell, and the government, as well 
as others, could buy, before, or when due. By one of the pro- 
visions of the system, 21,500,000 dollars of stock was authorized, 
to absorb the debts of the States, without having previously 
ascertained their amounts with accuracy; leaving the amounts of 
surplus, or deficiency, of State debts, beyond or below the amount 
allowed of the stock to each State, to be otherwise thereafter pro- 
vided for. To this Mr. Gallatin was opposed, as doing injustice to 
some of the States, and more than justice to others. He was for 
having each State's share of the debt first settled, and then give 
to each a correspondent amount of stock. But he was reconciled 
to this upon the ground that the measure was necessary to give 
immediate relief to some of the States, whose people were groan- 
ing under unequal and oppressive taxation. The relief consisted 
in enabling them to pay their taxes in the State scrip which was 
convertible into stock. But the most objectionable feature of the 
funding system adopted, in Mr. Gallatin's estimation, consisted in 
its not providing for full and entire payment of the principal and 
interest of the debts it was designed to fund. These it cut up 
into equal parts — giving to one part six per cent, interest, to 
another three, and to another no interest for ten years. This 
seeming injustice received a plausible advocacy in the increased 
value which the funding gave to the debts, and in the well known 
fact that the holders had acquired much of their amounts at prices 
greatly below their standard value. But Mr. Gallatin looked upon 
it as repudiation. His Genevan education was against it. He 
could not see that the precedent inability of Congress and the 
States to sustain the credit of their paper, and to pay the interest 
thereon, was any excuse for now disowning portions of their liabili- 
ties. Congressional action was beyond his reach. But being in 


the Legislature of Pennsyhania, he advocated successfully the 
payment by the State, in a mode satisfactory to creditors, of all 
those portions of interest on her debts, which were unprovided for 
in the national loan. 

Early in his congressional service, Mr. Gallatin saw, as he 
thought, that the statesmen of that era, even those of his own 
political party, did not understand and appreciate the true principles 
of finance applicable to our government, and to its indebted condi- 
tion. This induced him, in 1796, to give his views to the public 
under the modest title of "A Sketch on Finances." This little treat- 
ise greatly elevated him in the esteem of the republican party; not 
because it enunciated any new system, or developed any hitherto 
undiscovered principles of finance, applicable to our fiscal affairs. It 
claimed no such distinction. It advocated a sinking fund into which 
all the accumulated surplus revenues should fall, to be sacredly 
applied to the payment of the public debt. But there was nothing 
new in this. That fund had been already established. That it had 
not been very productive was the fault of the times and not of those 
who administered it. The sketch was, in part, a very distant echo 
of the popular complaints of extravagance and unequal taxation ; 
and it sounded a little louder and in clearer notes than had hereto- 
fore been given out from the high places of power, the pleasing 
calls for retrenchment and reform. The unpretending dissertation 
was, nevertheless, one of real merit and utility. It presented the 
true financial policy of the country at that period in bold relief, and 
in vivid colors ; and advocated, with peculiar force of argument and 
appeal, the necessity of keeping up the widest possible margin of 
excess of revenue beyond expenditures, so as therewith to pay off, 
as fast as it came due, or faster, the public debt, without a resort 
to new loans. He fought the dogma that a national debt was a 
national blessing, and contended with all the earnestness of resisted 
truth, that the payment of interest by nations, as well as individu- 
als, was a burden upon progress and a tax upon industry. Now-a- 
days all this is looked upon as very obvious statesmanship. But 
then it required strong advocacy and clear elucidation to render it 
acceptable to the people and their representatives: so deeply had 
they become imbued with the errors of European system, and the 
loan expedients of our Revolutionary era. 

The policy and purposes, thus advocated by Mr. Gallatin, became 
banner pledges of the republican party in the great struggle of 
1800; not that the Federalists disowned them, but having been 


long in power, without acquiring- the prestige of their fruitful ap- 
plication, they could not rally under them so successfully as did 
their adversaries. The consequence to Mr. Gallatin was, that when 
his party succeeded to power in 1801, he was regarded by both 
parties as the embodiment and exponent of a new, progressive 
linancial system which had now to be inaugurated and enforced ; 
and therefore he must be, and was, as already stated, called to the 
helm of the Treasury Department. 

Of course Mr. Gallatin persisted steadily in the policy which he 
and his party had so earnestly advocated — the utmost practicable 
increase of revenue, and the utmost practicable entrenchment of ex- 
penditure, postponing all minor calls upon the Treasury, how- 
ever loud and tempting, to the one grand leading purpose of a rapid 
extinguishment of the national debt. Happily for his success and 
fame, all branches of the government, legislative and executive, 
seconded and sustained his efforts. Moreover, the business of the 
country had just begun to recover from the deep depression into 
which it had sunk during the Revolution, and the ten or fifteen 
years which ensued. The public debts had all been funded, and 
the sources of revenue established. It was conceded that all this 
was wisely done ; and, except in a few minor details, they were 
not disturbed. The revenue from duties on foreign goods had risen 
from less than three millions, in 1791, to over ten millions and 
three quarters in 1801. The aggregate of all the revenues — 
customs, internal duties, direct tax, postages, public lands and 
miscellaneous, rose from less than four and a half millions, in 1791, 
to nearly thirteen millions in 1801 ; while the expenditures, which 
in 1791 were about one million and three quarters, or nearly forty 
per cent, of the revenues, rose, in 1801, to less than five millions — 
about the same proportion ; but leaving about nine millions to go to 
the debt. The revenues of the first period of eleven years and nine 
months, from April ist, 1789, to January ist, 1801, were a little 
over sixty-five and a quarter millions, while the ordinary expedi- 
tures were nearly thirty-seven millions — leaving less than twenty- 
eight and a half millions to go to the debt — not half enough to 
pay its annual interest. In the next period of eleven years and 
nine months, from January ist, 1801, to October ist, 1812, the 
aggregate revenues were nearly one hundred and fifty millions and 
a half, and the gross ordinary expenses a little over seventy-one 
millions — leaving a surplus applicable to the debt of over seventy- 
nine millions. Mr. Gallatin had therefore full cofiers whereupon 
to base his operations. Wherein, then, it is asked, consists his 


merits as a financier? We answer, in husbanding and rightly ap- 
plying the resources at his command, and devising for Congress and 
executing when enacted, measures for their augmentation; and, 
above all, in resisting by argument and influence any undue diver- 
sion of the revenues to other objects than the sure and rapid reduc- 
tion of the debt. 

The public debt, on the first of April, 1801, was, in round num- 
bers, 80,000,000 (eighty millions) dollars — its annual interest, 
$4,180,000. The purchase of Louisiana from Napoleon, in 1803, 
added $15,000,000 to the principal, and about the same time an 
agreement, by Jay's treaty of 1794, to pay over three millions to 
British subjects came due. Thus the debt was increased to about 
ninety-eight and a half millions, and its annual interest to about five 
and a quarter millions. With these resources and liabilities Mr. 
Gallatin so managed the finances as to reduce the principal of the 
debt on the first of April, 1812, to a little over forty-five millions, 
bearing an annual interest of only $2,220,000. He achieved this 
great result by inducing Congress, early in his official career, to 
set apart an annual appropriation of $7,300,000 for the payment of 
interest and gradual reduction of the principal ; which was increased 
to $8,000,000 after the purchase of Lousiana. He was ably second- 
ed in this course of policy by President Jefferson, and upheld in it 
by Congress. 

But the smooth, deep current of financial fullness upon which Mr. 
Gallatin had sailed so long, was destined soon to be broken by the 
shoals and storms of war. The restrictive systems of France and Eng- 
land had blighted our blooming commerce ; and our government was 
impelled to corresponding commercial restrictions, which made sad 
inroads upon our revenues. The aggregate revenues which, in 1808, 
had risen to over seventeen millions, fell in 1809, to less than eight 
millions, and were destined to still further depression ; while the 
expenditures, which never in Mr. Jefferson's administration exceed- 
ed six and a half millions, came to more than double that sum in 
1812. Of course new loans had to be resorted to, to meet this de- 
ficiency, and the still growing deficiencies which war must inevitab- 
ly create. At the close of the war, the public debt had swollen to 

Mr. Gallatin, as well as other statesmen of sagacity, saw, years 
before it came, the imminent danger of war. And when appealed 
to to allow a fund to accumulate to meet, or provide munitions to 
encounter the shock, he resisted it ; saying, "sufficient unto the 
day is the evil thereof," and if you have the funds you will 


squander them : — let us put our trust in the patience and patriotism 
of the people, to bear the burdens of privation and taxation when 
the emergency arises : — in the mean time let us get ready for new, 
by paying our old debts. 

It is well known that Mr. Gallatin was not an adviser of the war, 
which public opinion, springing from wrongs too grievous to be 
borne, forced upon President Madison and the country. His voice 
was aye for peace. War would not only arrest his darling scheme 
of getting out of debt, but would increase its amount to an extent 
which would perhaps weigh down our national energies for a cen- 
tury. Hence he was the last of his cabinet colleagues to consent 
to war. But patriotism demanded the sacrifice, and he yielded; and 
while it lasted no man bent his energies more devotedly to sustairt 
it than he did. ' '^ 

When called upon officially a few months before the war opened 
to give his views of the expedients to raise revenue necessary to 
meet the new order of things, he had the moral courage to recom- 
mend, among other things, a resort to taxation on stills and the 
distillation of spirits from domestic products — in others words, to 
the odious Excise. This drew upon him the maledictions of many 
of his old political friends. What, said they, can you devise no ade- 
quate plan of revenue without including those execrable expedi- 
ents of Hamilton and Wolcot? His old Pittsburgh meeting pro- 
ceedings, of August 21, 1792, were trumped upon his "budget," 
wherein he declared that "internal taxes upon consumption, from 
their very nature, never can be effectually carried into operation, 
without vesting the officers appointed to collect them with powers 
most dangerous to the civil rights of freemen, and must in the end 
destroy the liberties of every country in which they are introduced !" 
This was a most terrible argumentum ad hominem. When his letter 
proposing this tax was read in the Plouse, so indignant and morti- 
fied were many of his political adherents, among them his friend 
Findley, of Westmoreland, that they refused to vote for it being 
printed. Let us not, said they, give any countenance to a letter 
containing propositions which will not probably be agreed to by 
Congress, and which can serve only unnecessarily to alarm the peo- 
ple ! Congress, however, did adopt the propositions — the people 
were not alarmed — nor were their liberties destroyed. 

In his letter he says, "there is not any more eligible object of 
taxation than ardent spirits." He proposed, however, to vary the 
tax from what it was in the time of the Insurrection, so as to 
divest it as much as possible of its odious inequalities, by laying 


the tax upon spirits distilled from foreign materials, (molasses, &c.,) 
according' to the quantity distilled; and that distillers of fruit and 
domestic grain, &c., should pay a specified tax per annum. It was 
so enacted. 

The other plans and subjects of revenue which he proposed, and 
which Congress substantially adopted, were, a direct tax upon lands, 
&c., (1) to yield $3,000,000 — taxes upon refined sugars — licenses to 
retailers of foreign merchandise, and liquors, foreign and domes- 
tic — upon sales at auction, upon carriages, and a stamp tax. These 
and loans, aided by the tariff and the public lands, sustained the 
war and paid the interest of the debt. "Sweet peace restored," 
the recuperative energies of our people enabled the Government, 
within twenty years, and without the aids of either direct or in- 
ternal taxes, to pay off the debt of two wars — "the money consid- 
eration of our independence and liberties." 

Although the National Road from Cumberland to Wheeling was 
the fruit of a compact between the United States and the State of 
Ohio, upon her admission into the Union in 1802, Mr. Gallatin was 
the originator of its plan of construction, the most magnificent and 
expensive of any turnpike ever built in this country. (m) It was 
undertaken, its route, as far as Brownsville, fixed, and partly con- 
structed, during his administration of the. Treasury Department; 
to which, in those days, such work pertained. He was opposed 
to the circuitous route adopted — having urged a more direct course, 
through Greene county and by way of New Geneva. But the Presi- 
dent, (Jefferson,) under the mighty influences brought to bear upon 
him, decided in favor of Brownsville and Washington — whether 
wisely or not, is a question not worth while now to consider. 

In March, 1807, the Senate of the United States called upon Mr. 
Gallatin, as Secretary of the Treasury, to prepare and report to 
them at their next session "a plan for the application of such 
means as are within the power of Congress to the construction of 

(l)Pennsylvania's share ot this tax was $365,479. Fayette county had to pay 
$';,500; Greene, $2,130; Washington, $6,920; Westmoreland, jr., 4 40; Allegheny, 
$5,210; Philadelphia city, $79,500 — county, $38,230, &c.. &c. 

(m) This ^reat work was begun in 1806 — not much done on it until after 
the war (1815), and completed to Wheeling about 1822, It cost, originally, 
nearly $1,700,000; which (131 miles) is an average of nearly $13,000 to the mile. 
The eastern section, from Uniontown to Cumberland, (63 miles,) cost about 
$14,000 per mile; the Western Section not so much. The Pennsylvania Rail 
Read from Harrisburg to Pittsburgh was constructed (single track) at an 
average cost of $39,000 per mile, inclusive of the great tunnel. 


roads and canals, wilh statements of works of that nature which 
may require and deserve the aid of Government, and which have 
been commenced — the progress made upon them and tlieir means 
and prospects of being completed, with such general information 
as he shall deem material to the subject." In obedience to this 
requirement, he, in March, 1808, submitted a most elaborate and 
able report, covering some seventy pages, containing a full response 
to every branch of the inquiry. The report is a detailed statement 
of all the works of that nature then completed, in progress, or pro- 
jected in the several States of the Union ; and suggests numerous 
new undertakings of a national character; recommending a gradual 
appropriation of twenty millions to their construction. Among 
the work recommended were four roads from the Allegheny^ 
iMonongahela, Kanawha and Tennessee rivers, to the Susquehanna, 
Potomac, James and Santee ; none of which were ever made but 
the second. Other works he proposed to aid by loans or subscrip- 
tions of stock. He exhibited on these points none of those consti- 
tutional scruples which have borne so heavily upon the more 
enlightened ( ?) judgment of modern statesmen. However its 
orthodoxy may now be regarded, the report is, even yet, a model 
of lucid conciseness and expansive statesmanship. 

It is well known that Mr. Gallatin was friendly to a re-charter of 
the United States Bank, a bill which Mr. Madison vetoed in 
181 1, but signed another in 1816. He never regarded it as that 

"Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum" 

which modern sages have found it to be ; but looked upon it as a 
safe, necessary and useful fiscal agent of Government, and regulator 
of the exchanges and the currency. He even withstood all the 
lights and denunciations which more recent discussions poured 
upon the subject ; and in the calm retirement of his matured life 
gave his views to the world in an extended treatise, entitled "The 
Currency, &c." It was read only as the opinions of a statesman 
of the old regime, unillumined by the light of latter day luminaries, 
in whose effulgence the people have rejoiced, and the Government 
grown strong. 

Mr. Gallatin was, however, never the advocate of a Protective 
Tariff. He had no objection to "incidental" protection; but his 
theories and recommendations never went beyond revenue. This 
accorded with the uniform tenor of his financial schemes — the 
utmost attainable increase of income, so as thereby the more 
speedily to extinguish the public debt. His free trade proclivities 


were fixed, yet he did not obtrude them in his State papers. Once, 
when a private citizen of New York, he did unfold them to Con- 
gress in the form of a memorial, from the Philadelphia "Free 
Trade Convention," of which he was a prominent member. It 
was tauntingly flouted by Southern nullifiers in the faces of the 
friends of protection, which provoked Mr. Clay, their great cham- 
pion, to visit upon its author his most indignant denunciation, (n) 

We pass now from the field of Mr. Gallatin's fiscal displays to 
another. It is not for us to attempt an estimate of his financial 
character. His long continuance in that department, and the emi- 
nent success which crowned all his efforts, warrant the laudations 
which were showered upon him while in office, and which followed 
him into his latest retirement. He won his honors well and wore 
them long. 

In common with other officers of the ship of state, Mr. Gallatin 
hailed with delight the first gleamings of the star of peace through 
the murky clouds of war. And when, in the spring of 1813, the 
Emperor Alexander I of Russia, ofifered his friendly mediation to 
the two belligerent nations, the President promptly selected Mr 
Gallatin as one of the negotiators; this, without allowing him to 
let go his hold upon the helm of the Treasury. John Quincy 
Adams being then our resident minister at St. Petersburg, the 
President, in April, 1813, in the recess of the Senate, appointed 
Mr. Gallatin and James A. Bayard, of Delaware, to join him there 
as joint plenipotentiaries to sign a treaty of peace with Great 
Britain, under the proffered mediation; and also to negotiate and 
sign a commercial treaty with Russia. When the Senate convened, 
in June, 1813, the President sent in his nomination of the three 
Envoys. Thereupon quite a dignified quarrel sprang up between 

(n)"But, Sir, the g-entleman to whom I am about to allude, although long a 
resident of this country, has no feelings, no attachments, no sympathies, no 
principles in common with our people. Nearly fifty years ago, Pennsylvania 
took him to her hosom, and warmed and cherished, and honored him. And 
how does he manifest his gratitude? By aiming- a vital blow at a system 
endeared to her by a thorough conviction that it is indispensable to her pros- 
perity. He has filled, at home and abroad, some of the highest offices under 
this Government, during thirty years, and he is still at heart an alien. The 
authority of his name has been invoked; and the labors of his pen, in the form 
of a memorial to Congress, have been engaged to overthrow the American sys- 
tem, and to substitute the foreign. Go home to your native Europe, and there 
inculcate upon her Sovereigns your Utopian doctrines of free trade; and when 
you have prevailed upon them to unseal their ports, and freely admit the 
produce of Pennsylvania and other States, come back, and we shall be pre- 
pared to become converts, and adopt your faith." 

Henry Clay's Speech in the U. S. Senate, February 2, 1S32. 


the President and the Senate, they deciding to interrogate him 
rather closely as to why he sent Mr. Gallatin, and what became of 
the Treasury in the meantime ; and he refusing to be interrogated. 
The result was, after much deliberation, that the Senate refused, 
by a vote of seventeen to eighteen, to advise and consent to Mr. Gal- 
latin's appointment, on the ground of incompatibility of the two 
offices of Secretary and Minister. Mr. Adams was confirmed by 
a vote of thirty to four, Mr. Bayard by twenty-seven to six. Mr. 
Gallatin had gone on the mission, and it does not appear that the 
President recalled him. 

England, however, rejected the Russian mediation, but offered 
to treat for peace, untrammeled, at Gottenburg, in Sweden. 
Thereupon, on the 9th of February, 1814, the President appointed 
Mr. Gallatin one of the commissioners, the Senate thereto con- 
senting; George W. Campbell, of Tennessee, having been at the 
same time nominated to be Secretary of the Treasury and confirmed. 
The seat of the negotiations was subsequently moved to Ghent, 
in Belgium, where Messrs. Adams, Bayard and Gallatin were after- 
wards joined by Henry Clay and Jonathan Russell, who, as joint 
Plenipotentiaries, negotiated the terms of peace with Lord Gam- 
bier, Sir Henry Goulbourn and William Adams, and on the 24th 
December, 1814, signed the treaty which terminated the war as 
soon as known. The news of it reached New York on the nth 
February, amid the rejoicings over the victory at New Orleans. 
Thus was peace born in the arms of victory. 

Mr. Gallatin had now entered upon a long career of diplomatic 
service. In 1815, he, with Messrs. Clay and Adams, negotiated 
and signed at London a commercial treaty with Great Britain. 
Thereupon he returned home for a short period, in company with 
Mr. Clay. From 1816 to 1823, he was our Minister resident at 
the court of France. This was a most interesting period in the 
history of that long convulsed and ever changeful nation, and of 
all Europe. Waterloo had sealed up her fate for fifteen years, and 
her capital, long the abode of terror, had now become again the 
seat of gaiety, and the center of attraction to civilized Europe. 
The long banished elite of England had returned, or rushed thither 
anew, to revel in its cheap luxuries of sense and intellect. In such 
8 conjuncture of teeming events it behooved our Republic to be 
well represented. Mr. Gallatin was wisely assigned to a court 
where now for a while the greatest diplomats of Europe resided. 
We had also claims upon that nation of grave and perplexing 
importance for outrages upon our commerce committed by virtue 


of the Berlin and Milan decrees of Napoleon ; and although it 
was too soon for a Bourbon to respond fully for those depredations, 
yet Mr. Gallatin was enabled to pave the way for their ultimate 
recognition and payment. During his residence at Paris he was 
twice deputed by our Government upon special missions, to the 
Netherlands in 1817, and to England in 1818. He returned to the 
United States with his family early in 1824, and for a while again 
took up his abode at his old home in Fayette, in a new and splendid 
mansion which he had procured to be erected preparatory to his 

In 1824, there were four prominent candidates for the Presidency 
of the United States, Jackson, Adams, Clay and Crawford. The 
machinery of National Conventions had not yet been devised, by 
which to combine sectional influences and crush out the pretensions 
of unavailable aspirants. Mr. Gallatin's long absence had not 
estranged him from his old political friends; and, upon his return, 
many of them, especially in Virginia and Pennsylvania, run up 
his name as a candidate for the Vice Presidency, in connection with 
William H. Crawford, of Georgia, for President. For a long time 
Mr. Gallatin regarded the movement as only complimentary, or 
experimental, and took no public notice of it. Gradually it became 
more and more earnest and imposing; and the cry of constitutional 
ineligibility was raised against him, because not "a natural born 
citizen of the United States." Those who raised this clamor were 
actuated less by a wish that "none but Americans should rule 
America," than b}^ motives of envy or selfishness. Certain it is 
that the Constitution gave no ground for the objection; for, having 
been a citizen at its adoption, in 1789, he was as eligible as if "to 
the manner born," that carefully prepared instrument presenting 
the singular incongruity, in the early years of its operation, of per- 
mitting a man te become President or Vice President who could 
not be a senator !(o) Mr. Gallatin had the good sense to silence the 
distracting agitation by publicly withdrawing from the canvass. 

The dignified' retirement of Mr. Gallatin, at the home of his 
younger days, was honored, in May, 1825, by a visit from his "long 
tried, his bosom friend," La Fayette. On the 26th, the "nation's 
guest" was most honorably received at Uniontown by the people 

(o)We well recollect the witling (or witless) newspaper effusions of the day 

upon this question — illustrated by a proposition to run Albert Gallatin, of 

Switzerland, for Vice President, along with Joseph! Buonaparte, of Spain, then 
residing in New Jersey, for President. 


■cf the county which wears his illustrious name. On this great 
occasion, Mr. Gallatin, with signal appropriateness, made the recep- 
tion address. On the Thursday following, (May 28th,) the General 
and suit, well accompanied, were driven to Mr. Gallatin's resi- 
dence, where a most sumptuous and abundant entertainment was 
provided, not only for the special guests, but for the thronging 
multitude who rushed thither to greet them. It was a truly gala 
day at the stately mansion and verdant lawns and groves of 
"Friendship Hill." Who that was there can ever forget the "feast 
of reason" — and other good things, and the "flow of soul" — and 
champagne? The like of which old Springhill had never seen — 
may never see again. 

But Mr. Gallatin was not allowed long to enjoy his retirement — • 
if indeed it was an enjoyment. For there appears to be a witchery 
in the excitements of public life which few who have largely 
shared them are ever willing to resign until driven to it by having 
attained the topmost round of ambition's ladder, or by the decrepi- 
tude of age. He was still in the vigor of a green old age, and in 
the matarity of experienced statesmanship. There were questions 
of serious import yet to be settled with Great Britain, springing 
out of all the precedent treaties with that power, from 1783 to 
1818 — the North-east and North-west boundaries, the fisheries, the 
navigation of the Mississippi, captured slaves, &c., with all of which 
Mr. Gallatin was well acquainted — better, perhaps, than any other 
statesman then at command. To consummate their adjustment, 
as far as attainable, Mr. Adams, in 1826, called him from his Spring- 
hill home, and sent him as Minister Plenipotentiary to London. 
His mission was eminently successful as to all those subjects; 
although, as to some of them, subsequent events showed that his 
negotiations still left room for further disputes. He returned to 
the United States in December, 1827, but never again resumed his 
residence in Fayette county. For a short period he took up his 
abode in Baltimore, where, we believe, two of. Mrs. Gallatin's sis- 
ters, Mrs. Few and Mrs. Montgomery, then resided. He soon 
afterwards removed to the city of New York, and they with him ; 
where he spent the long remnant of his life, not, however, in stately 
ease and idleness, as we shall presently see. 

Although the sun of Mr. Gallatin's official career had now set, 
he continued to shed a long and brilliant twilight. In i828-'2g, 
at the instance of President Adams, he prepared the celebrated 
argument on behalf of the United States, to be laid before the 
King of Holland, the chosen umpire between us and Great Britain 


on the troublesome question of the North-east boundary. This 
umpirage having proved unavailing, the subject continued to occupy 
the active mind of Mr. Gallatin during subsequent years. In 1840 
he published an elaborate dissertation upon it, in which he treated 
it historically, geographically, argumentatively and diplomatically; 
in all of which he exhibited an acuteness and fullness of knowledge 
never expended upon a similar question before or since. When 
this protracted and portentious controversy came to be finally 
adjusted between Mr. Webster and Lord Ashburton, in 1842, these 
labors of Mr. Gallatin — so full, so clear, so conclusive, contributed 
greatly to the satisfactory arrangement embodied in the treaty of 

Soon after Mr. Gallatin's settlement in New York, he became 
the President of the National (not United States) Bank, one of the 
largest banking institutions of the commercial metropolis. Indeed, 
we believe the charter was procured with the special view of putting 
him at its head, and thereby adding the weight and wisdom of h's 
financial character to the monetary power of that "mart of nations.'' 
And perhaps no one event added more to its growing greatness 
than the speedy resumption, in May, 1839, of specie payments by 
the banks of New York, after the general suspension of 1837. To 
this masterly achievement of policy and right, Mr. Gallatin gave 
his most earnest advocacy. 

Mr. Gallatin continued, almost to the close of his life, to keep 
a watchful eye upon public affairs. When the Mexican war was 
sprung upon the nation, in 1846, his attention was at once arrested 
by the grounds upon which it was begun, and the pretensions and 
purposes of its continuance. It involved questions worthy of his 
mind and pen ; and being adverse to the continuance, if not to the 
commencement of the war, he hesitated not to make an open 
avowal of his views in an extended discussion of the whole subject 
entitled "Peace With Mexico," published in 1847. His opinions, 
cS to the grounds of the war, correspond with those of Mr. Ben- 
ton, and as to its further prosecution, with those of Mr. Calhoun. 

The closing years of Mr. Gallatin's life were spent chiefly in 
scientific and literary labors, partaking of an antiquarian and his- 
torical character. He became President of the New York Histo- 
rical Society, and of another association denominated Ethnological, 
or pertaining to the original races or divisions of mankind ; taking 
great interest in the objects of both. Among his contributions to 
the former, after the North-east boundary question had, in 1842, 
become a subject of history, was his Essay on Mr. Jay's map, which 


related to part of his celebrated treaty of 1794. Long prior to 
this, in 1836, he had published a "Synopsis of the Indian tribes in 
the United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, and in the British 
and Russian possessions," — a work of wonderful labor and research. 
And he closed his life amid labors upon a similar work relating to 
the Indians of Mexico. 

Mental labor and writing had become so much a habit of his 
life as to be an aliment of his existence. His is a rare case of a 
man who has spent his life in sedentary labors, and amid the ex- 
citements of politics and diplomacy, being able to preserve his 
mental and bodily health beyond four-score years. In writing to 
his friend, Judge Brooke, of Virginia, on the 4th of March, 1848, 
he says : — "Although you were pleased in your favor of December 
last, to admire the preservation of my faculties, these are in truth 
sadly impaired. I cannot work more than four hours a day, and I 
write with great difHculty. Entirely absorbed in a subject which 
engrossed all my thoughts and feelings," &c. — alluding to his 
ethnological labors. He adds : — "But though my memory fails me 
for recent transactions, it is unimpaired in reference to my early 
days. * * * I am now in my eighty-eighth year, growing weaker 
every month, with only the infirmities of age. For all chronical dis- 
eases I have no faith in physicians, consult none, and take no physic 

But his "throwing physic to the dogs" does not quite solve the 
phenomena. " Were we allowed to hazard an additional solution, 
it would be the unimpassioned, imperturbable structure of his 
mind, which rescued his most earnest pursuits and labored efforts 
from that cerebral excitement which generally superadds mental 
debilit}' to physical prostration. He was eminently a man of 
thought and calculation, and not of feeling or impulse. The friends 
he had, he grappled with the hooks of steel ; but they were hooks of 
cold, intellectual steel. He was always calm and self possessed, 
shut up in his own rich resources, keeping out tbe fear of failure 
and a wish for help by his own confident ability to succeed. Just 
as the student who is conscious of having his proposition in geom- 
etry at his finger's ends, will with an examination prize at stake, 
go through the exercises of the blackboard, without becoming 
either flushed or pale; and will sit down with as equable a pulse 
as if in a morning ride. Another proof of his serene equanimity, 
was his unvarying vivacity and extraordinary conversational 
powers. This may seem somewhat paradoxical ; but if scrutinized, 
it will be found accordant to all the principles of sound intellectual 


pathology. Those endowments indicate a smooth, healthful flow 
of mental action, exempt from the undercurrent of passional ele- 
vation or depression. The attractiveness of their display, gave to 
Mr. G. much of his unbroken success : — the mental habitude from 
which they sprung, added years of health to his prolonged useful- 
ness. He was, moreover, always at ease in his pecuniary affairs, 
and his domestic relations were uncommonly harmonious. Cor- 
roding care had no closet in either his heart or his household. 

To his other studies Mr. Gallatin had added that of theological 
science. In 'youth he had imbibed Unitarian views of the charac- 
ter of Christ ; but he avowed, in maturer years, his conviction of 
the errors of that belief. He was an admirer of the republican 
simplicity of the Presbyterian Church polity, but not of some of 
its doctrines. He was, he said, an Arminian Presbyterian. We 
believe he never became a visible member of any branch of the 
church militant ; but, in the later years of his life, he worshiped 
at the Presbyterian church in New York, of which the Rev. Ers- 
kine Mason, D. D., (new school) is pastor. 

Mr. Gallatin left two sons, James and Albert, and one daughter, 
Frances, wife of B. K. Stevens, Esq., to inherit his great fame 
and ample estates. They reside, in elegant ease, in the city of 
New York and vicinity, James having succeeded his father in the 
presidency of the National Bank. These are the children of his 
second wife — his first having been childless. She, however, adopted 
the fatherless child of a poor woman, — a boy, whom in regard for 
her memory after her death, Mr. Gallation educated, for which he, in 
return, assumed his benefactor's name. In early life he sought 
his fortunes in the West, but found, we believe, an untimely 

We will attempt no resume of the character and achievements 
of the subject of this extended memoir. If there be such a thing 
as a "self-made man," rising from untoward beginnings, and 
climbing unaided to the loftiest seats of fame and usefulness, Mr. 
Gallatin was one, of the highest order. Perhaps Longfellow 
chants truly in his Psalm of Life — 

"Lives ot great men all remind us, 
We can make our lives sublime." 

Mr. Gallatin died at the residence of his son-in-law, in Astoria, 
Long Island, on Sunday, August 12th, 1849, i" the eighty-ninth 
year of his age. 

[appendix to chapter vii] 



IN 1772: 

TY FOR 1773. 

In 1772, and until the erection of Westmoreland in 1773, Bedford county 
embraced all of South-"western Pennsylvania. 

All of what is now Payette county, east of a straight line from the mouth 
of Redstone to the mouth of Jacob's creek, composed two townships, Spring- 
hill and Tyrone, between which the division line was Redstone creelt, from its 
mouth to where it "was crossed by Burd's Road, thence Burd's Road to Gist's, 
thence Braddock's Road to the Great Crossings. That part of Payette which 
is west (or north-west) of the line from the mouth of Redstone to the mouth 
of Jacob's creek, "was included in Rostraver township; which then embraced all 
of the "Porks of Tough" to the junction. 

All of Greene and of "Washington counties, which v/ere then supposed to be 
within the limits of Pennsylvania, and lying west of Payette, seem to have 
been included in Springhill. 

We give the entire lists for Springhill, Tyrone and Rostraver. (a) 


John Allen, John Artman, Samuel Adams, 

William Allen, Ichabod Ashcraft, Robert Adams, 

John Armstrong, John Ally, 

Edward Askins, John Allison, George Boydston, 

(a)As a curiosity, and to contrast the eastern part of Allegheny county, in- 
cluding Pittsburgh, &c., with Payette county, in 1772, and with herself and 
city now, we give the names then on the roll for Pitt township, in all 79, viz: 

John Barr, Jacob Bausman, Col. Bird, Richard Butler, Wm. Butler; John 
Cavet. Jas. Cavet, Wm. Cunningham, Wm-. Christy. Geo. Croghan, John Campbell; 
Wm. Elliott, Joseph Erwin; Mary Perree; Thomas Gibson, Elizabeth Gibson; Sam- 
uel Heath; Thomas Lyon, Wm. Lyon; Jas. Myers, Eleazer Myers, Wm. Martin, 
Aeneas Mackay, Robt. M'Kinney, Jno.M'Callister, John M'Daniel, Thos. M'Cam- 
isli, Thos. M'Bride, Charles M'Ginness, Lachlan M'Lean; John Ormsby; Wm. 
Powell, Jonathan Plummer; James Royal, Jas. Reed, Wm. Ramage, Peter Ro- 
letter, Andrew Robeson; John Sampson. Robert Semple, Samuel Semple, Geo. 
Sly, Devereaux Smith, Joseph Spear, John Small; Wm. Teagarden, Wm. Thomp- 
son. Benjamin Tate; Rinard Undus; Conrad Winebiddle. Conrad Windmiller, 
Philip Whitesell. Inmates. — Andrew Boggs, Charles Bruce; John Crawford, 
John Crawford, Joseph Closing, David Critplow; Jacob Divilbiss; Wm. Edwards; 
Geo. Kerr, Wm. Kerr; Wm. Owens; Geo. Phelps, Ab'm. Powers; Jas. Rice, 
Henry Rites, Jacob Ribold; Abrm. Slover, Charles Smith; Christian Tubb, John 
Thompson. Single Freemen. — Richard Butler, Wm. Butler; Geo. Croghan, 
Moses Coe; Ephr'm. Hunter; Geo. Kerr; Wm. Martin; Hugh O'Hara; Alex'r. 
Ross; John Sampson, Alex'r. Steel, John Thousman; Jacob Windmiller. 



Peter Backus, 
Brazil Brown, 
Jas. Brown, (Dunlap's 

Thomas Brown, (Ten 

Mile creek,) 
Joseph Brown, 
Samuel Brown, 
Adam Brown, 
Maunus Brown, 
Thomas Brown, 
John Brown, 
Walter Brisco, 
Peter Baker, 
Nicholas Baker, 
James Burdin, 
John Burris, 
Robert Brownfleld, 
Edward Brownfleld, 
Empson Brownfleld, 
Charles Brownfleld, 
Jeremiah Beek, 
Charles Burkham, 
Henry Beeson, 
Jacob Beeson, 
Alexander Buchanan, 
James Black, 
John Barkley, 
Nicholas Bauk, 
Thomas Banfleld, 
Thomas Batton, 
William Brashears, 
Joseph Barker, 
Lewis Brimet, 
James Branton, 
Henry Brenton, 
John Braddock, 

Michael Carn, 
George Craft, 
Wm. Case, 
Adam Cumbert, 
John Craig 
Joseph Caldwell, 
James Crooks, 
William Campbell, 
John Carr, 
John Carr, Jr. 
Moses Carr, 
William Cochran, 
George Conn, 
Nicholas Crowshoe, 
Anthony Coshaw, 

Wm. Crawford, Capt. 
Wm. Crawford, Quaker, 
Wm. Crawford, 
Josias Crawford, 
Oliver Crawford, 
Richard Chinner, 
Peter Cleam, 
Jacob Cleam, 
John Casteel, 
George Church, 
Michael Cox. 
Joseph Cox, 
Michael Catt, 
Abraham Gills, 
Anthony Gills, 
William Conwell, 
Jehu Conwell, 
Michael Cresap, 
William Colvin, 
George Colvin, 

Peter Drago, 
John Drago, 
Samuel Douglass, 
Jeremiah Downs, 
Augustus Dillener, 
Edward Death, 
John Death, 
Owen David, 
Jesse Dument, 
William Downard, 
Jacob Downard, 
Henry Debolt, 
George Debolt, 
Henry Dever, 
Lewis Davison, 
Andre"nr Davison, 
William Dawson, 
Jacob Dicks, 
Lewis Deem, 

Henry Enoch, 
John Evans, 
Richard Evans, 
Hugh Evans, 
Edward Elliott, 
Michael Pranks, 
Jacob Franks, 
James Pleeharty, 
John Fisher, 
James Frame, 

Nathan Priggs, 
Henry Friggs, 
Hugh Ferry, 
James Plannegan, 
David Flowers, 
Thomas Flowers, 

Thomas Gaddis, 
Samuel Glasby, 
W^illiam Garrat, 
John Garrard, 
John Garrard, Jr. 
William Goodwin, 
Joseph Goodwin, 
Thomas Gooden, 
John Glasgo, 
Pred'k. Garrison, 
Leonard Garrison, 
Jacob Grow, 
Zachariah Gobean, 
John Griffith, 
Hugh Gilmore, 
Robert Gilmore, 
Thomas Gregg, 
Charles Gause, 
Daniel Goble, 
Nicholas Gilbert, 
Andrew Gudgel, 

Henry Hart, 

David Hatfield, Jr. 

John Hendricks, 

Henry Hall, 

John Hall, 

Adam Henthorn, 

James Henthorn, 

Jas. Henthorn, (the less.) 

John Henthorn, 

Charles Hickman, 

Aaron Hackney, 

Martin Hardin, 

Benjamin Hardin, 

William Hardin, 

John Hardin, Jr. 

John Harman, 

Geo. Huckleberry, 

John Huffman, 

John Harrison, 

David Hawkins, 

James Herod, 

William Herod, 

Levi Herod, 



Henson Hobbs, 
Samuel Howard, 
William House, 
Philemon Hughes, 
Thos. Hughes, (Muddy- 
Thomas Hughes, 
Owen Hughes, 
John Huston, 

Hugh Jackson, 
David Jennings, 
Aaron Jenkins, 
Jonathan Jones, 
John Jones, 

Thomas Lane, 
Absalom Little, 
Samuel Lucas, 
Thomas Lucas, 
Richard Lucas. 
Hugh Laughlin, 
David Long, 
John Long, 
John Long, Jr. 
Jacob Link, 

Aaron Moore, 

John Moore, 

Jno. Moore, (over the 

Simon Moore, 
Hans Moore, 
David Morgan, 
Charles Morgan, 
■William Masters, 
John Masterson, 
Henry Myers, 
George Myers, 
Ulrick Myers, 
Martin Mason, 
John Mason, 
Alexander Miller, 
John Messmore, 
John Mene, 
Daniel Moredock, 
James Moredock, 
Adam Mannon, 
John Mannon, 
John Marr, 
William M'Dowell, 
John M'Farland, 
Francis M'Ginness, 
Nathaniel M'Carty, 

Samuel M'Cray, 
James M'Coy, 
Hugh M'CIeary, 

Tunis Newkirk, 
Barnet Newkirk, 
Peter Newkirk, 
James Neal, 
George Newell, 
James Notts, 
James Notts. Jr. 
Charles Nelson, 
Adam Ncwlon, 
Bernard O'Neal, 

Jacob Poundstone, 
Frederick Parker, 
Philip Pearce, 
Theophilus Phillips, 
Thomas Phillips, 
Adam Penter, 
Richard Parr, 
Henry Peters, 
John Peters, 
Christian Pitser, 
Ahimon Pollock, 
John Pollock, 
Samuel Paine, 
John Wm. Provance, 

leronemus Rimley, 
Casper Rather, 
Telah Rood, 
Jesse Rood, 
Daniel Robbins, 
John Robbins, 
Roger Roberts, 
Jacob RifBe, 
Ralph Riffle, 
William Rail, 
David Rogers, 
Thomas Roch, 
Edward Roland, 
William Rees, 
Jonathan Rees, 
Jacob Rich, 

Thomas Scott, 
Edward Scott, 
Andrew Scott, 
James Scott, 
John Smith, (Dunlap's 

John Smith, 
Robert Smith, 
James Smith, 
Philip Smith, 
William Smith, 
Conrad Seix, 
Isaac Sutton, 
Isaac Sutton. Jr. 
Jacob Sutton, 
Lewis Saltser, 
Samuel Stilwell, 
William Spangler, 
John Swearingen, 
William Shepperd, 
John Swan, 
John Swan, Jr. 
Thomas Swan, 
Robert Sayre, 
Stephen Styles, 
Samuel Sampson, 
Joseph Starkey, 
David Shelby, 
Blias Stone, 

Obadiah Truax, 
John Thompson, 
Michael Tuck, 
Abraham Teagarden, 
George Teagarden, 
Edward Taylor, 
Michael Thomas, 

Henry Vanmeter, 
Abraham Vanmeter, 
Jacob Vanmeter, 
John Vantrees, 
John Varvill, 

David White, 
James White, 
George Williams, 
David Walters, 
Ephraim Walters, 
David Wright, 
George Wilson, Esq. 
James Wilson, 
John Waits, 
John Watson, 
George Watson, 

Joseph Tauger, 
Telah Yourk. — 305. 



Inmates — (Boarders not heads of families.) 

Hichard Ashcraft, 
Ephraim Ashcraft, 
Samuel Adams, 

John Bachus, 
William Burt, 
John Beeson, 
Samuel Bridg-ewater, 
Coleman Brown, 
"William Brown, 
Bazil Brown, 
Benjamin Brashears, 
Richard Brownfield, 
Benjamin Brooks, 
Alexander Bryan, 
William Bells, 

Gabriel Cox, 
Israel Cox, 
Samuel Colson, 
Joseph Coon, 
Robert Cavines, 
John Cross, 
Edward Carn, 
Christian Coffman, 
John Curley, 
Nathaniel Case, 
John Crossley, 
Christopher Capley, 
George Catt, 
John Chadwick, 
Jonathan Chambers, 
John Cline, 

Benajah Dunn, 

Zephaniah Dunn, 
Timothy Downing, 
Jeremiali Davis, 
James Davis, 

Thomas Edwards, 
Bernard Bckley, 

James Fugate, 

John Guthrey, 
William Groom, 

Captain John Hardin, 
William Henthorn, 
"W^illiam Hogland, 
Edward Hatfield, 
John Hawkins, 
Samuel Herod, 
John Hargess, 
Thomas Hargess, 

Joseph Jackson, 
Jacob Jacobs, 

John Kinneson, 
Thomas Kendle, 

William Lee, 
Andrew Link, 

Elijah Mickle, 
William Murphy, 
John Morgan, 
Morgan Morgan, 

Samuel Merrifleld, 
John Main, Jr. 
William Martin, 
John Morris, 
Jacob Morris, 
George M'Coy, 
John M'Fall, 
Alexander M'Donald, 
William M'Claman, 

John Pettyjohn, 
Baltzer Peters, 
Richard Powell, 
Thomas Pyburn, 
John Phillips, 
Thomas Provance, 

Thomas Rail, 
Noah Rood, 

William Spencer, 
Alexander Smith, 
John Smith, 
Francis Stannater, 

Jolin Taylor 
William Thompson, 

Jonah Webb, 
John Williamson, 
Alexander Wliite, 
Benjamin Wells, 
Michael Whitelock, 

Jeremiah Yourk, 
E'zekiel Tourk. — 89. 

Single Freemen. 

John Brown, 
Josepli Batton, 
Isher Budd, 
David Blackston, 

Hugh Crawford, 
John Crawford, 
Francis Chain, 
William Cheny, 
Daniel Christy, 
James Chamberlain, 
James Carmichael, 
James Campbell, 

John Catch, 

John Dicker, 
John Douglass, 
Edward Dublin, 

Elias Eaton, 
Alexander Ellener, 
Samuel Bckerly, 

Thomas Foster, 
Jacob Funk, 
Martin Funk, 

Joseph Gwin, 
Bartlett Griffith, 

John Holton, 
Abraham Holt, 
John Holt, 
Joshua Hudson, 
John Hupp, 

Cornelius Johnson, 
Josiah Little, 



William Marshall, 
James Morgran, 
Hugh Murphey, 
George Morris, 
Joseph Morris, 
David M'Donald, 
Abraham M'Farland, 
John M'Gilty, 

John Notts, 
Philip Nicholas, 

James Peters, 
Isaac Pritchard, 
Jonathan Paddox, 
Ebenezer Paddox, 

Noble Rail, 
Nathan Rinehart, 
Samuel Robb, 
James Robertson, 
Philip Rogers, 

John Shively, 
Christopher Swopp, 
Ralph Smith, 
John Sultzer, 

William Teagarden, 
John Taylor, 

John Verville, Jr. 
John Williams. — 58. 



Jonathan Arnold, 
Andrew Arnold, 
David Allen, 

Andrew Byers, 
Christopher Beeler, 
Henry Beeson, 
John Boggs, 
Thomas Brownfleld, 

Bernard Cunningham, 
Daniel Canon, 
Edward Conn, 
George Clark, 
George Clark, Jr. 
John Cherry, 
James Cravin, 
John Clem, 
John Cornwall, 
John Castleman, 
T^illiam Crawford, Esq. 
Valentine Crawford, 
William Collins. 

George Dawson, 
Edward Doyle, 
Joshua Dickenson, 
John Dickenson, 
Thomas Davis, 

Robert Brwin, 

Thomas Freeman, 

James Gamble, 

Reason Gale, 
Thomas Gist, Esq. 

Charles Harrison, 
William Plarrison, 
E'zekiel Hickman, 
Henry Hartley, 
James Harper, 
Joseph Huston, 
William Hanshaw, 

John Keith, 

Andrew Linn, 
David Lindsay, 
John Laughlin, 
Samuel Lyon, 

Alexander Moreland, 
Augustine Moore, 
Edmund Martin, 
Michael Martin, 
Hugh Masterson, 
Isaac Meason, 
Philip Meason. 
Providence Mounts, 
William Massey, 
William Miller, 
Robert M'Glaughlin, 
William M'Kee, 

Robert O'Gullion, 

Adam Payne, 
Elisha Pearce, 

Isaac Pearce, 
George Paull, 

Andrew Robertson, 
Edmund Rice, 
Robert Ross, 
Samuel Rankin, 
William Rankin, 

Dennis Springer, 
Joslah Springer, 
George Smith, 
Moses Smith, 
Isaac Sparks, 
William Sparks, 
John Stephenson, 
Richard Stephenson, 
John ^te^vart, 
Philip Shute, 

Philip Tanner, 
James Torrance, 
Thomas Tilton, 

John Vance, 

Conrad Walker, 
Henry "White, 
William White, 
Joseph Wells, 
John Waller, 
Richard Waller, 
Lund Washington, 
George Young. — 89. 


Reding Blunt, 
Zechariah Connell, 
Peter Castner, 

Smith Cortait. 
Francis Lovejoy, 
Agney Maloney, 

Joseph Reily, 
Edward Stewart. — 8. 



Robert Beall, 
James Berwick, 
Geoi'ge Bro^^'ii, 

"William Castleman, 
John Pelty, 

Single Freemen. 

Elijah Lucas, 

Francis Main, 
James Mock, 
Thomas Moore, 

Patrick Masterson, 
Alexander M'Clean, 

Daniel Stephens, 
William Shepherd. — 13. 

Uncultivated Lands. 

George Washington, (*) 1500 acres. 

John A. Washington, 600 " 

Samuel Washington, 600 

Lund Washington, 300 

Thomas Gist, Esq. 600 

Nicholas Dawson, 300 acres. 

Sniveley's Administrators, 300 

Halvert Adams, 300 

Joseph Hunter, 900 " 


Benjamin Applegate, 
Daniel Applegate, 
William Applegate, 
Thomas Applegate, 

Alexander Bowling, 
Andrew Baker, 
Samuel Burns, 
James Burns, 
Ishan Barnett, 
Morris Brady, 
Samuel Biggon, 
Samuel Beckett, 

Edward Cook, 

Andrew Dye, 
James Devoir, 
John Dogtauch, 
William Dunn, 

Peter Elrod, 
Peter Easman, 

Paul Froman, 
Rev. Jas. Finley, 

Samuel Glass, 
Samuel Grissey, 
John Greer, 
James Gragh, 

Christopher Houseman, 
Thomas Hind, 
Peter Hildebrand, 
Joseph Hill, 
Llewellen Howell, 

Deverich Johnson, 
James Johnson, 
Jacob Johnson, 
Joseph Jones, 

John Kiles, 
John Kilton, 

Andrew Linn, 
William Linn, 
Nathan Linn, 
Frederick Lamb, 

John Miller, 
Oliver Miller, 
Abraham Miller, 
Alexander Miller, 
Alexander Morehead, 
Alexander Mitchell, 
John Mitchell, 
Jesse Martin, 
Morgan Morgan, 
Robert Mays, 
Daniel M'Gogan, 
James M'KLinley, 

Robert M'Connell, 

Ralph Nisley, 

Dorsey Pentecost, 
Benjamin Pelton, 
David Price, 
John Perry, 
Samuel Perry, 
Joseph Pearce, 
John Pearce, 
James Peers, 
Andrew Pearce, 

Edward Smith, 
Samuel Sinclair, 
Henry Speer, 
John Shannon, 
Michael Springer, 
Richard Sparks, 
William Sultzman, 
Van Swearingen, 

William Turner, 
Philip Tanner, 

Joseph Vanmeter, 
Jacob Vanmeter, 
John Vanmeter, 
Peter Vandola, 

*See Chap. XIV. — "Washington in Fayette." 



Adam Wickenhimen, 
T)avld Williams, 
George Weddel, 
John Weddel, 

James Wall, 
Samuel Wilson, 
James AVilson, 
Isaac Wilson, 

John Wiseman, 
Thomas Wells, 

James Young-. — 8 


Benjamin Allen, 
Nathaniel Brown, 
Benajah Burkham, 
John Bleasor, 

Samuel Clem, 
Thomas Cummins, 

Benajah Dumont, 

Samuel Davis, 
Thomas Dobin, 
Hugh Dunn, 

Peter Hanks, 
Joseph Hill, 

Joseph Lemon, 

William Moore, 
John M'Clellan, 
Felty M'Cormick, 

Martin Owens, 

Abraham Ritchey, 

Peter Skinner. — 19. 

Single Freemen. 

William Boling, 
Jesse Dumont, 
John Finn, 
Isaac Greer, 
Moses Holliday, 

Peter Johnson, 
Ignatius Jones, 
Thomas Miller. 
Jacob M'Meen, 
Baltser Shiling, 

Levi Stephens, 
Cornelius Thompson, 
Robert Turner, — 14. 

Total 121 



Its peculiarities — 36 deg. 30 mln. — Slavery — Colonial Titles — New England and 
Virginia at 40 deg. — The Dutch Dynasty — Delaware born at Swaanendael — 
Maryland granted — The Swedes — The Dutch conquer them — The Duke of 
York conquers the Dutch — His Domains — William Penn — Pennsylvania grant- 
ed — Where was 40 deg. — Disputes with Lord Baltimore begin — Penn buys 
Delaware — Boundary Negotiations — The King halves the Peninsula — Dela- 
ware stands alone — Death and Character' of Penn — New Lords — Concordat of 
1723 — Agreement of 1732 — Boundaries agreed upon — Strife renewed — Par- 
ties go into Chancery — Quibbing — Border Feuds — Cresap — Temporary Line — 
Lord Harwicke's Decrees — Final Agreement of July 4, 1760 — Gains and 
Losses of the Parties — Retributive Justice — Pennsylvania ahead — Connecti- 
cut controversy — The Lines run — Mason and Dixon — Lines around Delaware 
— the Great Due-West Line — Slow progress — Indians about — Halt at the 
War-path — The Corner Cairn — How the Line was marked — The Visto — In- 
struments used — Measurements — New Troubles — All quiet — Distances and 
Localities — Re-tracings in 1849 — Errors and Certainties — Mutations of 
Boundary and Empire — Is the History of the Line ended? Not yet. 

The southern boundary of Pennsylvania exhibits several striking 
peculiarities. Its eastern end consists of a considerable arc of a 
circle, which, springing from the river Delaware, connects itself 
with the latitudinal part of the line by a deep, sharp indentation, 
or notch, so as to resemble what in architecture is called a bead. 
I'rom the initial point of the latitudinal line, near the circle, it 
stretches away to the west, through field and forest ; intent only 
upon preserving its course, without being deflected by either the 
channel of a river or the crest of a mountain. Climbing obliquely 
the summit of the Alleghenies, it turns its back upon the fountains 
which feed the Atlantic; and, rushing down into the Ohio Valley, 
stoops in its pathwaj^ to drink of the crystal waters of the Yough- 
iogheny. Rising refreshed, and with its eye still fixed to the West, 
it hurries on, regardless of the intersecting line of a sister sover- 
eignty; and, stalking across the Cheat and the Monongahela, stops 
amid the Fish creek hills, within half a day's journey of the river 
Ohio ; as if exhausted by the rugged route it has traversed, and 
unable to reach that great natural boundary, recognized by every 
other State than Pennsylvania which its current laves. 

Upon a closer inspection it will be seen that it is equally regard- 
less of the established lines of admeasurement upon the earth's 


surface ; conforming to neither of the limits of a degree of latitude, 
nor to any of its easily-comprehended parts ; and this, without being 
forced into its anomalous position by any object, or obstacle of 
nature. For at neither end does it terminate, nor in any part of 
its extended course does it touch, upon any prominent natural 
landmark. It is wholly, in every part, and in all its forms, an arti- 
ficial, arbitrary line, without a model, or a fellow upon the conti- 
nent, (a) And 3'et it is perhaps more unalterable than if nature had 
made it : for it limits the soverignty of four States, each of whom 
is as tenacious of its peculiar systems of law as of its soil. It is 
the boundary of empire. 

Whence came these peculiarities — this palpable disrepard of the 
plain provisions of nature and science for the divisions of do- 
minion? Is this singular line the result of compulsion, or of com- 
pact — of noisy strife, or of quiet agreement? Flow old is it — what 
its ancestry — whence its name? These, with many other curious 
questions which spring from the subject, take hold upon the past, 
and find their solution only in history. Strange subject too, for 
history, is a line, defined to be "length, without breadth or thick- 
ness." Yet this line has a history of a hundred years' duration, 
spreading out over more than half the old thirteen States, and sink- 
ing deep into the very foundations of their being. It abounds in 
curious conflict of grant and construction, in bold encroachments 
upon vested rights, in artful remedies for inconvenient limitations. 
Kings, lords and commoners, English, Swedes and Dutch, Quakers 
and Catholics, figure conspicuously in the narrative, with dramatic 
efifect. Upon much of the disputed margins of the line have been 
enacted scenes of riot, invasion, and even murder; which want only 
the fanciful pen of Scott or an Irving to develop their romantic 

(a)In some respects, the celebrated 36 deg. 30 min. resembles Mason and 
Plxon's Line; with which political writers and declaimers sometimes confound 
it. But it has neither the beauty, the accuracy, nor the historic interest of our 
line. It is, or rather was intended to be, the southern boundary of the States 
of Virginia, Kentucky and Missouri; but it has been most bunglingly run, as a 
glance at a United States map will show. Beginning correctly, on the Atlantic, 
at Currituck inlet, by the time it gets to the western confine of North Carolina 
— to which it was run before the Revolution — it is some two miles to the south- 
Its extension Was resumed in' 1779-80; and after correcting the first error the 
surveyors run into a greater one, for at the Tennessee river they are some ten 
or tTvelve miles too far to the north. When afterwards extended to the south- 
west corner of Missouri the surveyors drop down to the true 36 deg. 30 min. 
and run it out truly; except the deviation, west of the Mississippi, to take in 
the New Madrid settlement. West of the south-west corner of Mis'^ouri, this 
line of 36 deg. 30 min. has a history which it is too soon yet to write. 


interest. In the strife and negotiations which led to its establish- 
ment, endurance and evasion were put to their highest tests : in 
tracing it, science achieved one of its most arduous labors. In in- 
tricacy and interest, if not in importance, the subject is inferior to 
none in Amercan history. We regret that we can give to it here 
only a condensed exposition. That which, without undue expan- 
sion, could fill a volume, must here be limited to a brief statement 
of why, when and how the line was established, accompanied only 
by such illustrative details as have interest to us who stand upon its 
western end. It will be seen also that the subject is an indispensa- 
ble preliminary to the boundary controversy with Virginia, to 
which we will introduce the reader in our next chapter. And al- 
though the two subjects are as inseparable as the lines to which 
they relate, they are sufficiently distinct to allow them to be sep- 
arately considered. We take up the oldest first. 

Some inconsiderate reader may be disposed to turn away in 
disgust from a further perusal of this sketch upon the assum.ption 
that Mason and Dixon's Line can have no other history than a di- 
atribe upon the stale subject of slavery. To give instant relief to 
such an one, we promise to say not one word upon that subject. 
Historically, the line has nothing to do with human bondage. True, 
in the course of human events it has come to pass that it has long 
been the limit, to the northward, of the "peculiar institution;" and 
were it not that the "pan-handle," like an upheaval of schist through 
a stratum of free old red sand-stone, mars its continuity, it would, 
by direct connection with the Ohio, form, with it, an unbroken 
barrier to the desolations (b) of slave labor, from the Delaware to the 

(b)We use this term in no liarsh or political sense. Except in the culture of 
the great Southern staples of cotton, sugar, rice and tobacco, slaveholders 
themselves regard slave labor as unprofitable, and mourn over its desolations. 
Wasteful and imperfect tillage and depreciation of intelligent "white labor, are 
its unavoidable tendencies. Hence the Southern avidity for new lands in the 
West, wherein to plant the "institution." Experience has shown that outside 
appeals and arguments, drawn from the right and wrong of the "relation," 
will never sever the South from slavery. Nor will climate effect the cure. In- 
terest — loss and gain, are the great solvents before which it will crumble and 
dissolve. Whenever it can acquire no more virgin soil upon which to spread 
itself — whenever its peculiar staples can bo as well produced by free labor, or 
find substitutes in the products of free white labor — then will slaveholders be- 
come the advocates of "abolition." Until then, the policy of the North is to 
let them alone; and firmly, but kindly, to resist any further enlargement of 
their territorial or political dominion. For they seek tc^ acquire and maintain 
political ascendancy only to preserve and advance their interests. Happily, 
there is yet room enough for all — white and colored, native and foreign. Let 
each have their proper rights and places; and if we cannot agree, let us not 
quarrel, about their distribution. 


Mississippi. But it was established for no such purpose, and when 
established, negro slavery existed upon both sides of it. That it has 
ceased to exist on one side and not on the other, are fixed facts, at- 
tributable to influences which we are not here called to consider. We 
have to treat of transactions that reach further back upon the track 
of time. 

The discovery of America, in 1492, was a great event in the an- 
nals of human progress. And yet it seems to have come too soon; 
for it required the lapse of another century to render it available 
for any real good to the mass of mankind. In the meantime, how- 
ever, mind was becoming emancipated, and separate portions of the 
isew World were being appropriated by the nations who were, in 
due time, to people its wastes. 

The mode of acquiring title to distinct parts of the American 
continent by the old European nations, had in it more of form than 
of fact, more of might than of right. It consisted in sending out 
some bold navigator, who, after sailing in sight of some hitherto 
undiscovered coast, or up some bay or river, upon whose surface 
had never before been cast the shadow of a ship, landed upon its 
shores, unfurled the flag under which he sailed, and with cross in 
hand, devoutly took possession for his country, to the exclusion of 
all other Christian claimants. In this consisted the vaunted Right 
of Prior Discovery — a kind of kingly "squatter sovereignty," or 
national pre-emption, founded upon a necessity for some limit to 
the land-greed of nations as well as individuals. 

The domain of England in North America, conferred by the prior 
discoveries in 1497, of John Cabot, and his son Sebastian, extended, 
along the Atlantic coast, from N. latitude 58 deg. to 31 deg., or from 
Labrador to Florida. Her rights to the extreme latitudes of this 
range were, for a while, and very justly, too, disputed by France 
and Spain. She, therefore, wisely postponed asserting her I'ights to 
these, until after she had firmly seated herself within the temperate 
latitudes of her claim ; which, although more southward than her 
own, were nearly isothermal in temperature, and congenial to the 
physical constitutions and industrial pursuits of her people. In due 
time she was thus enabled to crush out the pretensions of her rivals ; 
and, in the meantime, to profit by their competition with her, and 
with each other. 

The era of earnest effort in England to colonize America clusters 
within half a century around the year 1600. Other European na- 
tions awoke to like attempts within the same period and within 
the same latitudes; some of which will demand our notice in the 


sequel. We pass over the premature and ill-fated efforts of Gilbert 
Raleigh, from 1578 to 1588, under the patronage of Elizabeth; ill- 
fated because premature, not because ill-designed, so far as under 
the control of human will. Hence those early efforts were fruit- 
less of aught else than disaster and discouragement, save that the}^ 
aft'orded to that haughty queen the privilege of glorifying her 
"cheerless state of single blessedness" by giving the appellation of 
Virginia to the whole of her American possessions. 

In 1603, Westminster Abbey received the remains of Elizabeth. 
The Tudor dynasty was now ended. Had our colonies been planted 
under their auspices, they would probably have grown into vast 
absolute feudalities. Happily for their fundamental adaptedness to 
become nurseries of civil and religious liberty, nearly all the Old 
Thirteen drew their charters from the prodigality, and their found- 
ers from the oppressed subjects, of the Stuart race of kings ; who 
were as lavish of their distant domains upon "favorite courtiers, or 
troublesome subjects," as they were tenacious of power and pre- 
rogative at home. The set time for founding an empire of freedom 
had now come, and they were the appointed agents to effect it. 
Unwittingly, they became sponsors for foundlings, who within two 
centuries rose in independence, as if to avenge their dethronement 
upon the haughty House of Hanover. They gave away the soil of 
half a continent, which it cost them nothing to acquire, and with it 
the seeds of institutions which "were not the offspring of deliberate 
forethought, which were not planted by the hand of man ; — they 
grew like the lilies, which neither toil nor spin."(c) 

In 1606, King James I, of England, leaving ample margins at 
the North and the South for disputed dominion, granted eleven 
degrees of latitude on the Atlantic — from N. latitude 34 deg. to 45 
deg., or from the southern point of North Carolina to the northern 
confines of New York and Vermont, to two companies of corpor- 
ators ; one of which, called the London Company, was to possess the 
South ; the other, called the Plymouth Compau}', was to possess 
the North ; with an intervening community of territory between 

(c)Banerott. The voluminous Histnrj' of the United States by this eminent 
statesman and scholar, although invaluable for its fullness, richness and gen- 
eral accuracy, is lamentably deficient in defining the limits of the ancient 
colonial grants. Indeed, whoever wishes, from our most popular standard 
writers, to compile a boundary history, undertakes an arduous and perplexing 
labor. Generally, they are meagre, confused and confiletlng. 


them, from N. latitude 38 deg. to 41 deg. Virginia was the com- 
mon name to both, but it was soon exclusively appropriated by the 
southern company, which was the most efficient. Under its au- 
spices, in 1607, the first enduring English settlement upon the con- 
tinent was planted at Jamestown. Even the Puritan Pilgrims who 
landed from the Mayflower, on Plymouth Rock, in cold December, 
1620, sailed from Holland under a grant from this company. 

In 1609, ths same facile king, by a new or amended charter, 
greath' enlarged the privileges and territory of the southern com- 
pany. He now gave it a front upon the Atlantic coast of four 
hundred miles, of which Old Point Comfort, the southern cape of 
James river, was to be the half way point : — "and from the sea- 
coast of the precinct aforesaid up into the land throughout, from 
sea to sea, west and north-west :" — very ample limits, truly. Old 
Point Comfort is nearly upon N. latitude 37 deg. Hence, at 69/2 
miles to a degree, this enlargement had little effect upon the south- 
ern limit of the Old Dominion ; but northwardly, it gave to her 
two degrees of latitude of what had before been common territory, 
and (making due allowance for the coast-line being the base of the 
triangle,) carried her about up to N. latitude 40 deg. This charter 
was revoked, or annulled, by the king, in 1624; but, except when 
portions of her territory were, by several subsequent grants, con- 
veyed away to other favorites, to become the germs oi ether States, 
no further change was ever afterwards made in the boundaries of 
Old Virginia. 

The old North Virginia Company was a rickety, short-lived con- 
cern. It accomplished nothing towards colonization. It, however, 
did one good thing. The southern company having, by maltreat- 
ment, driven from its service its father and defender, Captain John 
Smith, its northern rival ga^'e him employment, and sent him out to 
explore and map its territory. He had proved his competency by 
having before performed similar labors upon the region around the 
Chesapeake. Having accomplished the work assigned him by the 
Plymouth Company, he returned to England in 1614; drew out a 
map and an account of his explorations, which he presented to the 
king's son, Prince Charles, who thereupon named the territoiy 
New England. Here ended the old North Virginia Company, whose 
territory was from N. latitude 41 deg. to 45 deg. 

While the Pilgrim Fathers were on their ocean way from old to 
new Plymouth, in 1620, a new charter was granted by James I. to 
a new corporation, by the name of "The Council established at 
Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the planting, ruling, order- 


ing and governing of New England in America." Its territory was 
"all that part of America lying in breadth from 40 deg. to 48 deg. N. 
latitude, and in length by all the breadth aforesaid throughout the 
main land, from sea to sea :" — a grant which would have outlimited 
its southern rival, had it not been that, ere this, the French had 
crept in, through the gulf and river St. Lawrence, behind them, 
and founded Canada. It, however, became the father of the New 
England States. From it the numerous colonies, of which they are 
now the aggregates, derived their territorial grants. Their charters 
of privileges and government they obtained directly from the 
throne. These grants were regarded as kind of sub-infeudations, 
carved out of the original grant; and, by 1635, had well nigh ex- 
hausted it. New England, however, was regarded as an entirety 
until after 1632, the year in which Virginia suffered her first dis- 

\Ye have been thus particular in developing the foundations and 
territorial juxtaposition of these two old parent colonies, New Eng- 
land and Virginia, for the purpose of determining with precision at 
what point or line they united. The materiality of the inquiry will 
soon be apparent. Manifestly, their common boundary was the 40th 
line of north latitude. There we leave them together in peace, 
resting upon the bosom of Penns3dvania, while we go back to trace 
up the strife we are soon to contemplate. 

Ere yet these two old parent colonies had solemnized their 
nuptials at 40 deg., in 1609, there sailed from the Trexel, in Holland, 
a well appointed ship, commanded by Sir Henry Hudson, an Eng- 
lishman then in the employ of the Dutch East India Company. His 
object was to find a north-west passage to China. Driven out of 
the arctic inlets by ice and fogs, he turns his prow southward along 
the English-American coast, as far as the Chesapeake. Having 
studied Captain Smith's map of that region, he knew where he 
was. His object was discovery. He again steers northward. 
Keeping more closely to the shore, he discovered the Delaware 
Ba}', into which he sailed ; but its flat shores not suiting his taste, 
he repassed its capes without landing. Coasting along the sands 
of New Jersey, he discovered the entrance to the New York 
waters. (d) He enters and anchors within Sandy Hook. The forests 

(d.iAltliough Hudson was probably the earliest European discoverer of the 
Delaware, yet Verrazzani, who sailed under the flag of France, was in New 
York harbor before him, in 1534. The Delaware takes its name from Lord 
Delaware, Governor of the South Virginia Colony in 1609, who, it is said, per- 
ished oft its capes. 


and slopes of the Nevisink hills were inviting. The natives were 
kind and inquisitive. He had found the objects of his pursuit. 
Before he left he passed the Narrows, sounded his way up the 
river which now bears his name, beyond the Highlands, and, in a 
boat, went above Albany. Satisfied, he returned to England, and 
reported his discoveries to the Dutch. The next year, while in the 
ser\-ice of London merchants, seeking the north-west passage, he 
perished in the great northern bay whose name is his only monu- 

Holland, or more properly the States General of the United 
Netherlands, was then the most energetic maratime power of 
Europe. They quickly availed themselves of Hudson's American 
discoveries ; and while Smith was exploring New England, they 
were seating themselves upon what are now the southern territo- 
ries of New York and eastern New Jersey. Operating entirely by 
the agency of a corporation — the Dutch West India Company, 
whose chief aim was trade, they, for many years evinced no design 
to form any settlements beyond such as were convenient attendants 
upon traffic. They abode in strength upon the island of Manhattan, 
founding there, by the name of New Amsterdam, what has become 
the greatest commercial city of the New World. Gradually they 
assumed the form and functions of a colony. They spread them- 
selves from Staten Island to Canada, and from the Connecticut to 
the Delaware, giving to their claim the name of New Netherlands. 
Although in the grant of New England, in 1620, there was an ex- 
press exception of territory then in the possession of any other 
Christian prince or State, yet England and New England ever re- 
garded I hem as intruders and omitted no opportunity of attack and 
annoyance. They, however, by policy and prowess, were enabled 
to maintain their possessions for half a century, "beset with forts, 
and sealed with their blood." They were there by sufferance ; but in 
the pages of one of our richest American classics, and in the names 
of men and places upon both shores of the Hudson, they were there 
forever. It is, however, to one of the most thoroughly effaced ves- 
tiges of their power that 'our subject is most nearly related. 

The Dutch contmued to keep an eye to the shores of the Dela- 
ware. They built Fort Nassau on the Jersey side, at Gloucester 
Point, about four miles below Philadelphia. Cornelius May, one 
of their sea captains, divided his name between its capes, calling 
the stream South river, as they had called the Hudson, North river. 
Five years after the Virginia charter was revoked, and ere its 
northern latitudes had been re-granted or settled, in 1629, Godyn, 


a Hollander, bought from the natives a tract of about thirty miles 
front on the western coast of the Delaware Bay, between the 
southern limit of Kent county and Cape Henlopen : — not the cape 
now known by that name, but a headland fifteen miles further south, 
now called Fenwick's Island, where the southern limit of Delaware 
cuts the Atlantic. In 1631, he and his associates sent from the 
Texel, under the conduct of Devries, a trio of vessels, laden with 
m^n and women to the number of thirty, cattle, farming implements 
and seeds. They landed upon the desired coast, and there, near the 
present site of Lewistown, planted the colony of Swaanendael. 
Wheat, tobacco and furs were the objects of the settlement. At the 
end of a year Devries left it, begirt with the forests and the ocean, 
in peace and prosperity. The next year he returned, and found its 
site marked only by the blackened huts and bleaching bones of his 
countrymen. But this short-lived colony was the cradle of a com- 
monwealth. The seed thus buried in blood and ashes, ere long 
germinated and grew into the State of Delaware — small for its age, 
but good for its size. 

One of the Secretaries of State to James I. was Sir George Cal- 
vert, an eminent favorite with the court and the people, and whom 
the king created Lord of the Barony of Baltimore in Ireland. He 
resigned his office to embrace the Catholic faith ; and his new-born 
zeal and love of colonial aggrandizement soon impelled him to seek 
for a, grant of American territory whereto his religious brethren 
might flee from the rigors of conformity. His first resort was to 
Newfoundland; but failing there, he looked down into the more 
genial latitudes of Virginia. He had been a member of the old 
South Virginia Company, and hence looked for some favor in that 
quarter. This was in 1629. The Virginia Cavaliers, however, treat- 
ed him rather cavalierly, and put at him the test oaths of conform- 
ity and allegiance. These he declined. He knew that the South 
Virginia charter was annulled, and that the unsettled wastes of her 
territory were subject anew to the royal grant. He saw that no 
settlements existed north of the 38 deg. and the Potomac. Its sup- 
er-abundant water privileges and luxuriant forests were sufficient 
temptation to become its proprietary, without the incentive of re- 
venge upon his old Virginia associates. He returned to England, 
and besought its investiture. It was well known there that not only 
the Dutch, but the Swedes and French, were preparing to send col- 
onies into these central parts of the English dominion ; but it was 
not known that any had yet been sent, or if Devries' voyage was 
known, it was unheeded. The Swedes had not yet moved, and the 


French never did. England herself asserted the need of occupancy 
to perfect title to the wilderness. Hence these efforts of other na- 
tions stimulated the readiness of the king to yield to the solicitude 
of Lord Baltimore. The charter, drawn by Sir Geoige himself with 
unprecedented wisdom and liberality, was prepared ; but ere it pass- 
ed the seals, he died; and his son, Cecil Calvert, inherited his Irish 
title and seigniory expectant in America. 

In June, 1632, Charles I. granted unto his "trusty and well be- 
loved subject," Cecilius Calvert, Lord Baltimore, all that part of 
the peninsula, or eastern shore of the Chesapeake, north of a line 
drawn eastward from the mouth of the Potomac through Watkins' 
Point and the mouth of the river Wighco, or Pocomoke, to the 
ocean ; which line is nearly on north latitude 38 deg. ; — "and between 
that bound on the south, unto that part of Delaware Bay, on the 
north, which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude, where 
New England terminates; and all that tract of land from the afore- 
said Bay of Delaware, is a right line, by the degree aforesaid to the 
true meridian of the first fountain of the river Potomac, and from 
thence tending towards the south to the further bank of said river, 
and following the west and south side of it to a certain place," &c., 
to the beginning. The young proprietary grantee being of the same 
faith of his father and of Charles' aspiring Queen, Henrietta Maria, 
she named the grant Maryland. 

At the date of this charter, save Claiborne's trading settlement 
upon Kent Island in the Chesapeake, which does not concern us 
here, the whole territory, within the confines of the grant, was a 
waste of woods and waters, uninhabited by a civilized man : and so 
it was recited to be, in the preamble — "hactenus terra incula." We 
will soon see what ominous import lay hidden in these unmeaning 
words. The obvious intent of this grant was to convey to Lord 
Baltimore the English title to all of the old revoked Virginia grant 
which was north of the Potomac and of the base line on the penin- 
sula. It was intended to carry Maryland close up to New England, 
and full out to the Delaware. It can mean nothing else. No other 
grant, no settlement interfered. It was entitled to go to its utter- 
most bounds. The only real ambiguity that lurked in its descript- 
ive terms was a latent one, of very considerable importance, which 
we will discover after a while. 

The New England Company, as well as King Charles, had been 
outwitted in the charter which he, in 1629, gave to Massachusetts. 
It conferred privileges far in advance of the age. Thinking to 
undermine it, the Council at Plymouth in Devon, in 1635, sur- 


rendered its charter: and thus were all the unsettled latitudes of 
New England, south of the colonies which had been carved out of 
it, exposed to new grants and settlement. North latitude 40 deg. 
was no longer its southern limit. 

New actors now come upon the stage. Gustavus Adolphus of 
Sweden had long meditated the planting of a Protestant colony 
upon the Delaware. But war diverted both his zeal and his funds. 
He fell, in defense of the Reformation, upon the bloody field of 
Lutzen. But his spirit remained in his Chancellor, Oxenstiern, who 
guided the helm of affairs during the minority of Queen Christina. 
Under his auspices, late in 1637, the first party of Swedes and Fins 
sailed for the Delaware, where they landed, at Cape Inlopen, early 
in 1638. We know that a much earlier date has been given to their 
advent ; but later researches have disclosed the error, and thereby 
dissipated a favorite ground of attack upon Lord Baltimore's title 
to the Delaware shore, under cover of "terra inculta." Upon their 
arrival they bought from the natives rights to settle all along the 
western shore, up to Trenton Falls ; and gave to their domain the 
name of New Svv-eden. The Dutch scowled upon them, but the ter- 
ror of Swedish valor gave them protection. The new colonists grew 
rapidly in numbers and prosperity, built forts and churches, and 
were surpassingly successful in cultivating the soil, and in trade 
and favor with the Indians. In a few years the power of Sweden 
fell ; and thereupon the envy of the New Netherlanders rose to 
resistance. In 1655, they sent into the Delaware a fleet of seven 
good Dutch ships, well manned, under the command of Governor 
Stuyvesant, who quickly reduced the Swedish forts and re-establish- 
ed the Dutch dominion. Annexing their conquests to the ef- 
faced colony of Swaanendael, they dated back their title, by relation, 
to the purchase by Godyn. It was this faction that overreached 
the title of Lord Baltimore. Had Leonard Calvert led the first 
settlers of Maryland to the Delaware coast of his brother's domain, 
the American confederacy would probably have had one little State 

Charles I. was beheaded in 1649; ^"d during the troubles which 
preceded that event, as well as during the supremacy of Cromwell, 
the Lords Proprietary of Maryland were less anxious about its 
boundaries than its existence. The Catholic colony grew slowly, 
and was weak. Hence no decisive efforts to dispossess the Dutch 
were made until after the Restoration, in 1660; and then it was too 
late. Possession gave confidence, if not power. And to all the 
arguments and entreaties of Lord Baltimore, the Dutch West 


India Company answered : "We will defend our South river pos- 
sessions even unto the spilling of blood." 

Charles II. came to the throne of his father in 1660. Proud, 
profligate and prodigal, he cared less for the preservation of his 
dominions than for the gratifications of his passions. Alexander 
wept when he had no more nations to conquer — Charles II. sighed 
when he had no more distant territories to give away. He was 
justly caricatured in Holland with a courtesan upon each arm, 
and courtiers picking his pockets. This "screwed his courage to 
the sticking point," and he resolved to stick the States General in 
the extremities of their possessions. His first blow was at New 
Guinea, in Africa— then at New Netherlands, in America. But 
he must needs first give away the territory to be conquered. 
Finding no courtier greedy enough to take it, with its in- 
cumbrances, he, in March, 1664, granted it to his brother, the 
Duke of York, afterwards James II. Thereupon he sent out a 
squadron commanded by Col. Nicholls, who, with recruits from 
Connecticut, appeared in hostile array before the grim-visaged 
defenses of Manhattan ; and, too easily, owing to intestine divi- 
sions, achieved a bloodless conquest of New Netherlands, upon the 
North river. The reduction of the South river dependencies, by 
Sir Robert Carr, quickly ensued. Governor Stuyvesant became an 
English subject. New Amsterdam became New York; Fort Orange, 
Albany; and Niewer Amstel, New Castle. In the vicissitudes of the 
war, the Dutch, in 167.3, re-conquered their North river possessions ; 
but only to be, the next year, again surrendered and confirmed by 
treaty to the English. And now the Anglo-Saxon dominion upon 
the Atlantic coast was unbroken from the St. Croix to Florida. 

The westward limit of the Duke of York's grant was the Dela- 
ware river. New Jersey he granted to two favorites, Lord John 
Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, two of the proprietaries of the 
Carolinas. New York he kept for himself, retaining with it his 
conquests on the western shore of the Delaware ; which henceforth, 
while he held them, were governed by deputy governors, resident at 
New Castle. 

We are now ready to introduce the last great actor in this com- 
plicated boundary drama, — the immortal founder of Pennsylvania, 
William Penn. Assuming that our readers are familiar with his 
history and character, we will not pall them by any attempt at 
their rehearsal. Our subject is not a life, but a line. It sufficeth 
us here to know that, within five or six years before his purchase 
of Pennsylvania, he had become deeply interested in the o«mer- 


ship and settlement of West Jersey, and of East Jersey, too. This 
turned his attention to the yet ungranted territory lying directly 
west of New Jersey, and of which he had a "goodly report." Benev- 
olence rather than ambition impelled him to its acquisition. 

Except Georgia, which was founded so late as 1732, Pennsyl- 
vania was the last of the old thirteen British colonies to derive its 
charter from the crown. It is the only one also whose territory 
is not touched by the briny waters of the Atlantic. At the date of 
her title, all the sea coast claimed by England had been "taken up," 
and she was forced to take an inland position, — not a bad one, how- 
ever, but one with which her proprietary grantee was at first great- 
ly dissatisfied, and for which to provide a remedy, as he supposed, 
he Avas led into the controversy with Maryland, which we are now 
soon to consider. 

The ostensible consideration of the grant of Pennsylvania to 
William Penn, was a debt for services and of gratitude to his 
father. Admiral Penn. But the son was not the less careful about 
the terms of his charter, because it was given in payment of an old 
debt. It would be insulting his intelligence, to doubt his full and 
accurate knowledge of all the grants of English territory in 
America, which we have noticed in this sketch, — their limits and 
their derivations. It is in evidence, upon most indisputable 
authority — nay, admitted, that when he petitioned for a grant of 
territory, in 16S0, it was to lie west of the De!av/are river and 
north of TvTarylanTl. It is also admitted that Lord Baltimore's 
charter was the model used by Penn, who himself drafted his 
charter for Pennsylvania. Pie thus had express notice that ^Mary- 
land reached to the Delaware Bay, and took in all the land abutting 
thereon "which lieth under the fortieth degree of north latitude, 
where New England terminates." He thereby knew, or was 
bound to know, that New England did not terminate at any frac- 
tional part of the fortieth degree, nor at line 39 deg., its southern con- 
fine. For, a degree of latitude is not an indivisible line, but a de- 
finite space, or belt, upon the earth's surface, of 69>4 statute miles. 
Nothing short of the northern confine of the fortieth degree would 
give to Old Virginia her complement of two hundred miles north 
of Old Point Comfort. And the New England grant was "from the 
fortieth degree, &c." 

Great precaution and formality were used in acting upon Penn's 
charter. It was held up under consideration for nine months. 
The petition and original draft of the charter are not extant. It 
is known that the latter had to undergo many modifications. A\nien 


presented to the king, they were referred to the Duke of York's 
secretary and Lord Baltimore's agents, in order "that they might 
report how far the petitioners' pretensions may consist with their 
boundaries." Both agreed to his proposals, provided his patent 
might l,>e so worded as not to affect their rights. The Duke's 
commissioners insisted that Penn's southern line should run at least 
twenty miles northward of New Castle. At length the boundaries 
were adjusted so as to please all parties. And, after the articles 
had passed the scrutiny and emendations of the Bishop of London 
and Lord Chief Justice North, who shaped their church and 
governmental franchises, so as to eschew the "undue liberties" 
which had been granted to Massachusetts and to Maryland, the 
charter was approved by the Lords of Trade and Plantations, and 
prepared for the king's allowance. Penn's success depended upon 
concession and conciliation : resistance or pertinacity would have 
endangered all. And yet he obtained a wonderfully liberal grant, 
both of power and territory. 

On the 4th of March, 1681, King Charles IL granted unto "our 
trusty and well beloved subject, William Penn, Esquire," the terri- 
tory of Pennsylvania, (Penn's Woods,) by metes and bounds, as fol- 
lows, viz : 

"All that tract, or part of land in America, with the islands 
therein contained, as the same is bounded on the east by Delaware 
river, from twelve miles northward of New Castle town, unto the 
three and fortieth degree of north latitude, if said river doth extend 
so far northward, but if not, then by a meridian line from the head 
of said river to said forty-third degree. The said land to extend 
westward five degrees in longitude, to be computed from said east- 
ern bounds. And the said lands to be bounded on the north by the 
beginning of the three and fortieth degree of northern latitude, and 
on the south by a circle drawn at twelve miles distance from New 
Castle, northward and westward unto the beginning of the fortieth 
degree of northern latitude, and then by a straight line westward to 
the limits of longitude above mentioned." 

The partisian advocates of Penn's pretensions contend that this 
grant gave to Pennsylvania three degrees of latitude upon the Del- 
aware, minus the circular-headed abscission around New Castle — 
that by the "beginning" of the fortieth degree, "unto" Which the 
circular line, drawn at twelve miles distance northward and west- 
ward from New Castle, was 'to reach, was the southern beginning of 
that degree. The absurdity of this construction, when applied to the 
parallels of latitude as they now are, is apparent. By no -geomertic- 


al use of the terms can a circle of twelve miles radius from New Cas- 
tle reach either beginning of the fortieth degree, much less its south- 
ern confine, which is nearly fifty miles distant. Moreover, the circle 
was to come "unto" it by being drawn "northward and westward." 
The moment it began to go southward and eastward it must stop, 
and there the "straight line westward" must begin. 

We cannot find that William Penn himself ever asserted this 
absurd pretense; or, that he was to have three degrees, of latitude, 
though his sons and their apologists did assert it most strenuously. 
The nearest that he ever came to it was to say that he petitioned for 
five degrees of latitude, (evidently from 40 deg. to 45 deg., the old 
northern limit of the North Virginia Company,) but when before the 
Board of Plantations, watching, not urging, his petition, "the Lord 
President turned to me and said, 'Mr. Penn, will not three degrees 
serve your turn?' T answered,' says he, 'I submit both the what 
and how to the honorable Board.'" He admits also that this inquiry 
was prompted by its being urged that Lord Baltimore had but two 
degr(fes, which must have meant, from 38 deg. to 40 deg. ; for 38 
deg. being fixed in his patent, by natural marks, if Maryland must 
stop at 39 deg. — the southern beginning of the fortieth degree, theji 
she would have but one degree. 

We may as well now disclose that latent ambiguity which lurks 
in Lord Baltimore's patent, but which becomes a patent one in Wil- 
liam Penn's. Where, upon the ground, in 1632,, and in 1680, was 
that artificial line, marked "40 deg.," believed to be located? The 
answer to this question solves all the difficulty. 

The Imowledge of American geography, in those days, was very 
imperfect. It extended little be)'ond the great headlands, bays and 
rivers, which varied the outline of the Atlantic coast, and its im- 
mediate contiguities. But the high contracting parties, who dealt 
in conveyances which covered a continent, assumed that they knew 
all about it ; and that capes, rivers, ba3^s, islands and towns, must 
conform to distances in miles and in degrees of latitude. They were 
less precise in their use of terms which were to define the boundaries 
of independent sovereignties, than are people now-a-days in de- 
scribing a town lot. The consequences of this headiness and heed- 
lessness were conflicting grants and angry conflicts, memorable in- 
stances of which are now before us. 

The only authoritative map, in 1632, of the localities upon which 
this strife grew, was that of the renowned Captain Smith, already 
referred to. And it would seem that some of the' errors upon its 
face were continued down to 1681. It is very certain that one of 


ihem was. B)^ that map, the transit of line 40 deg. across the Dela- 
ware was fixed about — a little below — where New Castle is. Penn 
sa3'S it was at Boles' Isle — but where that is we do not know. Oth- 
ers fixed it at the head of the bay — but that is very indefinite ; for 
where the river ends and the bay begins is not agreed. Penn puts 
the bay thirty miles below New Castle : if so, his circular line could 
never attain "unto" it. Line 38 deg., the northern confine of the 
first South Virginia grant, was correctly fixed on Watkins' Point. 
The shortenings were between that and New Castle. The effect of 
this error — besides eighty years of angry strife — was to contract 
Maryland, and, as we shall see, correspondingly to widen Pennsyl- 
vania. -, 

We have seen that the Duke of York insisted at first that Penn's 
southern line should be twenty miles north of New Castle. This 
was to keep clear of his Swedo-Dutch dominions. But, inasmuch 
as that would leave an indefinite ungranted vacancy north of 40 
deg., the circle was introduced, and the radius shortened, to twelve 
miles, so as thereby, by a "northward and westward" sweef), and 
without coming any nearer the Delaware, to reach the "beginning 
of the fortieth degree," and leave no vacancy. 

This collation of the facts and' terms of the two grants solves all 
the mystery which hung around them for a century. It undoes 
the sophistry which claimed for Pennsylvania three degrees of lati- 
tude. The sophism consisted in assuming that as Penn's northern 
confine was to be line 42 deg. — the southern beginning of the forty- 
third degree, therefore, as the same words were used, his southern 
limit must be line 39 deg. — the southern beginning of the fortieth 
degree. But Penn must be considered as standing between these 
two confines; reaching with one hand to the southern beginning 
of the former degree, and with the other to the northern beginnmg 
of the latter. It matters not that, upon maps and globes, the 
degrees are numbered from the equator northward, so that 39 deg. is 
the beginning of the fortieth degree. Reverse the direction, and 
40 deg. is its bginning; just as in surveying, the line which is north 
39 deg. east, is, when reversed, south 39 deg. west.(e) In our next 

(e)We adopt this view of tlie case with some hesitancy — not because we 
dubt its correctness, but because it stands opposed to the construction! given 
to Penn's charter by nearly ali the writers upon it whom we have consulted. 
Of these are Proud, (History of Pennsylvania,) Bancroft, (History United 
States, vol. ii. p. 362,) N. B. Crai?, (1 OJden Time,) Darby, (History of Penn- 
sylvania,) not to mention the sons of Penn, their agents, attorneys and Gov- 
ernors, in the controversies with Maryland and Virg-inia. The late James Dun- 
lop, Esq., in his "Treatise upon Mason & Dixon's Line," (1 Olden Time, 530,) 


chapter we will see, with complacent wonder, what mighty leverage' 
there was in this pretense to give to Pennsylvania a most important 
addition to her western territory. 

But we are getting into the strife before all the elements which 
engendered it are brought into action. We return to our narrative. 

Penn was a favorite, but not a courtier, at the court of the 
Stuarts. Uprightness and benevolence can commend their possess- 
ors to influence, even with the most dissolute. Penn had laudable 
purposes — to his sect and his colony — to accomplish, by his com- 
placency. That he was thrice imprisoned for conscience sake, 
and thrice discharged without guilt, is his triple shield against all 
the darts of envy and abuse which his traducers, from Fuller to 
Macaulay, have hurled against him.(f) His very innocency led him 
to boast of his influence. In the careless lapse of years which 
intervened, from the Duke's conquest to Penn's proprietorship of 
Pennsylvania, some tenantry of Lord Baltimore had settled upon 
the western shore of the Delaware, within his chartered limits. 
Penn, ere he had visited the localities, was led to believe they were 
upon his territory. In September, 1681, he wrote them a friendly 
general letter, warning them "to pay no more taxes or assessments 

alone sustains our view, and he but scouts at the popular construction. We 
adopted it at first impression ourself; but research and reflection compelled us 
to the opinion "we here, and elsewhere in this and the next chapter, enunciate. 
There is no disloyalty in it; for we consider it more to the honor of Pennsyl- 
vania and her illustrious founder, than the opposite construction. Why put 
him in the awkard predicament of wilfully overlapping a degree of Lord 
Baltimore's grant, when there is no needl for it? and if he and his successors 
gained for Pennsylvania more territory than they contracted for, and gained 
it honestly, so much the better for them, and us who enjoy it. 

(f)"From his early :. outh to old ag"e. he "was a man of mark, and lived con- 
stantly in the eye of the public; surrounded by enemies ever ready to put the 
worst construction upon his conduct. He went through the furnace without 
the smell of fire upon his garments; and left behind him a character for 
moral virtue upon which malice itself could fix no stain. « » • * That he 
was not habitually honest and upright is a historical proposition as absurd as 
It would be to say that Julius Caesar was a coward, that Virgil had no poetic 
genius, or that Cicero could not speak Latin. Nay. he was something more 
than an honest man. He "was a philanthi'opist, -who gave all he had and all 
he was, time, talents and fortune, to the service of mankind. The heir of a 
large estate, the founder of the greatest city in North America, the solo 
owner of more than forty thousand square miles of land, he never spent a 
shilling in any vicious extravagance; but his large-handed charities so ex- 
hausted his income, that in his old ige he was imprisoned for debt. He had 
the unlimited confidence of a monarch "whose favor an unscrupulous man 
would have coined into countless heaps of gold; but he left the court with his 
hands empty; and whosoever says they were not clean as well as empty, knows 
not whereof he affirms." — Judge Black's Address at Pennsylvania College, 
Gettysburg, September, 1856. 


by any order or law of ]\Iaryland; for if you do it will be greatly 
to your own wrong and my prejudice ; though I am not conscious to 
myself of such an insufficiency of power here with my superiors, as 
not to be able to weather the difficulty if you should." This kind 
monition and harmless boast was the letting out of the water of 
strife — partisans rallied to their leaders — the contest was begun. 

AA'hen Penn's trusty kinsman, Markham, had landed his first emi- 
grant party at Upland, his early care, under instructions from 
the king and the proprietor, was to confer with Lord Baltimore 
upon the interesting question of boundary. They met in the 
spring of 1682, and then first discovered, from a careful astronomic- 
al observation, what neither before knew, that the true line of 40 
deg-. was above the mouth of the Schuylkill, Lord Baltimore's eye 
dilated — Markham's fell. What was to be done? They parted in 
peace ; and Markham reports the annoying discovery to Penn, in 

Penn had wished and believed that his colony would take in 
the head of the Chesapeake, and be far enough down on the Dela- 
ware not to be locked up by ice and enemies. This discovery 
frosted his fCxpectations, but did not freeze his energies. The 
Duke of York was his friend, and his West Delaware dependencies 
would give the desired outlet in that direction. True, the Duke 
had no title from the crown, and Baltimore had. But the Duke 
had possession. It was power against parchment ; and Penn 
wisely concluded that power Avould prevail. A glimmer of light 
broke forth from the smouldering ruins of Swaanendael, which 
diffused itself all along the shore from the false Cape of Henlopen 
to the mouth of Christiana. Penn rejoiced in its light. He im- 
portuned the Duke to convey to him these unproductive posses- 
sions. The Duke yielded; and by two deeds, in August, 1682, 
invested Penn with all his titles to twelve miles around New 
Castle, and to all the coast below that to Henlopen. And now it 
was parchment and possession against parchment and right, with 
power as the preponderant in the unequal balance. "Without 
adopting," says an impartial historian, (g) "the harsh censure of 
Chalmers, who maintams that this transaction reflected dishonor, 
both on the Duke of York and William Penn, we can hardly fail 

(g:)Sir James Grahame, of Scotland, whose "tristory of the Rise and Pro- 
gress of the United States of North America, till the British Revolution in 
1688," — two volumes octavo, — is exceedingly satisfactory upon our colonial, 
titles and boundaries, especially those of purely Bng-lish derivation. 



to regard it as a faulty and ambiguous proceeding, or to regret the 
proportions in which its attendant blame must be divided, between 
a prince distinguished even among the Stuarts for perfidy and in- 
justice, and a patriarch renowned even among the Quakers for hu- 
manity and benevolence." 

Thus panoplied, Penn made his first visit to his Delaware 
domains, with "twenty-six sail" of colonists, in the autumn of 
1682. He landed at New Castle, and after receiving livery of 
seizin of his newly acquired "territories," and the homage of three 
thousand people, he repaired to Chester, (Upland,) which now was 
his capital; for as yet Philadelphia had no existence. After trans- 
acting some governmental affairs, and paying his respects to the 
Duke's governor at New York, he repaired to Maryland, to 
confer with Charles, Lord Baltimore, about boundaries. The inter- 
view was friendly, but formal. It resulted in nothing, except to 
disclose more of the grounds of Penn's claim. One was, that Lord 
Baltimore's two degrees were to consist of sixty miles each : — 
another, that being to have only lands (h) "not yet cultivated or 
planted," (in 1631,) — hactenus terra inculta, — Delaware did not 
pass, for that it had been bought and planted by the Dutch ; "but if 
it did, it was forfeited, for not reducing' it during twenty years, un- 
der the English sovereignty, of which he held it, but was at last re- 
duced by the king, and therefore his to give as he pleaseth." His 
lordship answered, "I stand on my patent." At a subsequent 
interview at New Castle, Penn oflfered to stand to the 40th line, 
provided Lord Baltimore would sell him some territory south of 
it on the Chesapeake, "at a gentlemanly price — so much per mile," 
in case he could not get it by latitude, so as to have a "back port" 
to Pennsylvania. His lordship offered to bartfer some territory 
in that direction, for the "three lower counties" on Delaware Bay. 
"This," says Penn, "I presume he knew I would not do, for his 
Royal Highness had the one-half, and I did not prize the thing I 
desired at such a rate." But his lordship was inexorable, and 

(h")It i.^ strange that Penn was not afraid tr> hazard the use of this pre- 
tense, for the very same words are in the preamble of his own charter; and the 
Delaware front of his grant, had, long- before, been settled by Swedes. Dutch 
and English. He seems to have been aware of the frailty of his tenure; for, 
Three days before he got his deeds for the "territories," he procured a release 
from tlie Duke of York of all his title to Pennsylvania, But if prior settle- 
ment rendered the grant void, the release could give it no validity; especially 
as the Duke himself had no other title than by conquest. 


here friendly negotiations were suspended for half a century, (i) 

Lord Baltimore now assumed offensive attitudes. He first made 
forcible entry upon Penn's territories. His next resort was to 
the king. The matter was referred +o the Lords Committee of 
Trade and Plantations, before whom both parties appeared. Pend- 
ing the hearings, Charles H. died, and the Duke of York ascended 
the throne as James H. To him the committee reported in No- 
vember, 1685. As might have been expected, the decision was 
against Lord Baltimore. It, however, decided but one of the 
questions at issue — the rights of the parties upon the Delaware 
Bay; leaving them still to find the "40th degree" as best they 
could. The order of the king in council, based upon the report, 
was, that that part of the Chesapeake and Delaware peninsula 
which is between the latitude of Cape Henlopen and 40 deg., be di- 
vided by a right line into two equal parts : that the eastern half 
should "belong to his Majesty,(j) (viz: to King James, who granted 
it to William Penn, when Duke of York,) and the other half remain 
to the Lord Baltimore, as comprised in his charter." Thus was Mary- 
land dismembered. The little State, cradled at Swaanendael, could 
now "stand alone." 

Except an ineffectual order from Queen Anne, in 1708, to enforce 
this decision, nothing was done under it. Both ends of the di- 
visional lihe were in dispute, and until they were fixed, the exe- 
cution of the orders in council was impracticable and useless. In the 
midst of these and other troubles, harassed by debt and persecution, 
his colony mortgaged to money lenders, and half sold to Queen 
Anne, in 1718, William Penn died. His grave is in England, but 
his monument is in the system of laws upon which he founded the 
commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (k) Si monumentum quaeris cir- 

Cl)Penn was here again in 1699-1701, and would doubtless have resumed, 
perhaps consummated, the negotiations; but he had no one to treat with — ■ 
I>ord Baltimore's province and government being then in the hands of a deputy 
of William of Orange, who had no love for any abettor of James II., as Penn 
himself had been made to feel. 

(j)This, and Penn's admission to Lord Baltimore, in November, 1682, that 
his "Royal Highness had the one half" of the three lower counties — -although 
Penn had absolute deeds from him for them — throws a cloud over the im- 
partiality of that adjudication; and raises a suspicion that favor and interest 
had more to do with it than tlie terra Inculta pretence upon which it was 

(k)"With one consent the wise and the learned of all nations have agreed, 
that, as a lawgiver, he was the greatest that ever founded a State, in ancient 
or modern times. He was not the very foremost, but he was among the fore- 
most to disclaim all power of coercion over tlie conscience. This alone, if he 



Pent! was almost as unfortunate in his will as in his charter; 
for it too gave rise to contention, as to whom his proprietary estates, 
now belonged. After some ten years of doubt, it was finally set- 
tled that they went to his three sons, John, Thomas and Richard;; 
the last named being a minor until 17.32. All that was done rela- 
ting to the strife, during this abeyance, was an agreement with 
Baltimore, by their mother and the mortgagees, in Februarj^ 1723, 
to keep the peace for eighteen months. In the meantime, the pro- 
prietorship of Maryland had -descended to Charles Calvert, the sec- 
ond of that name, great grandson of the first proprietor. 

A better spirit seems now to have actuated the parties. The- 
protestant success was firmly fixed on the British throne; with 
whom, thus far, the CathoHc proprietor had met with no more 
favor than from the Stuarts. The growing strifes along the borders 
were expensive, and retarded improvements. Policy, interest, and, 
we suppose, inclination, all called for a compromise ; and as soon 
as Richard Penn was out of his minority, the call was responded 
to. ITaving procured from America a map of the localities, re- 
garded as authentic, they, on the loth of May, 1732, enter into a 
long agreement — coveting ten or twelve closely written pages, by 
which they provide for the final adjustment of all their disputed 
boundaries. Its most remarkable features are, that it adopts the 
order in council of 1685, halving the peninsula; and supercedes all 
reference to 40 deg., or the 40th degree, by resort to fixed land- 
marks. The boundaries provided for by this important agreement, 
being those which subsist to this day, were to be ascertained as fol-- 
lows : 

First. The map of the localities, printed upon the margin- 
of the agreement, is that by which it is to be explained and 
understood. Second. Run a circular line at twelve English 
statute miles distance from New Castle, northw;ard and westward. 
Third. Go down to Cape Henlopen, "which lieth south of Cape 
Cornelius," and, from its ocean point, measure a due west line to 
Chesapeake Bay ; find its middle point, and plant a corner there. 

had done nothing- else, -would mark the tallness of his intellectual stature. 
For, -when the light of a new truth is dawning upon the world, its earliest 
rays are always shed upon the loftiest minds. * # * * jujjg name is in- 
-scribed upon this mighty Commonwealth. Day hy day it rises higher, and 
stands more firmly on its broad foundation; and there it will stand forever — 1 
.sacred to the memory of Willinm Penn." Judge Black's address, cited in note 


Fourth. From said middle point run a line northward, up the 
peninsula, so as to be a tangent line to the periphery of the 
circle, at or near its western verge; and mark the tangent point. 
Fifth. From said tangent point run a line due north until it comes 
to a point fifteen English statute miles south of the latitude of the 
most southern part of the city of Philadelphia, and there plant an- 
other corner. Sixth. From that fifteen mile point, run a line due 
west, across the Susquehanna, &c., to the utmost longitude of 
I'ennsyhania. Seventh. That the red ink lines then drawn upon 
the map indicate the boundaries agreed upon : and. Eighth. That 
those lines when run and marked shall be the boundaries of the 
parties forever: provided, that if 'the due north line from the tangent 
point shall cut off a segment of the circle to the west, it shall belong 
to New Castle county. 

The agreement then embodies mutual releases from each party 
to the other, of such portions of their chartered territories as were 
now relinquished. A joint commission to run and mark the lines 
is then provided for; the commissioners to begin their work in Oc- 
tober, 1732, and complete it by Christmas, 1733. Default in con- 
tinued punctual attendance by those of either party, so as to delay 
its consummation beyond the appointed time, was to avoid the 
agreement and work a forfeiture to the other party of £5000. 

Commissioners to run and mark the lines were duly appointed. 
They met at New Castle, and began and ended in fruitless conten- 
tion. Lord Baltimore's commissioners contended that the "twelve 
miles distance," at which the circular line was run from New 
Castle, meant its periphery, not its radius ; and that the Cape 
Henlopen intended was the upper cape, opposite Cape May, the 
agreement to the contrary notwithstanding. Thereupon, the Penn 
commissioners happening to come one day a few minutes behind 
time, the Marylanders declared the penalty forfeited and the 
agreement avoided. "And now," says an excellent Maryland 
writer upon this subject, (1) "Lord Baltimore did what neither 
improved his cause nor bettered his reputation. Treating his own 
deed as a nullity, he asked George IL for a confirmatory grant 
according to the terms of the charter of 1632. It was very properly 
refused, and the parties were referred to the Court of Chancery. 

(1) John H. B. Latrobe, Esq., of Baltimore, whose lecture upon Mason and 
Dixon's Line, read before the Pennsylvania Historical Society, November 1854, 
is a model of lucid and concise narration, as well as of eloquent and appro- 
priate comment. 


And here Lord Hardwicke decided in effect(m) that the true Hen- 
lopen was the point insisted on by the Penns; but the centre of 
the circle was the middle of New Castle, as near as it could be as- 
certained; and that the twelve miles were a radius, and not the 
periphery. This was in 1750. Other difficulties now arose. It 
was important to Lord Baltimore, if possible, to shorten the statute 
mile; and the mode his friends proposed was to measure it on the 
surface of the ground, and not horizontally. So Lord Hardwicke 
was again applied to, and horizontal measurements were ordered. 
This was in March, 1751. Still things were not clear. The shorter 
the line across the peninsula — its beginning on the Delaware side 
being fixed — the better for Lord Baltimore, for the nearer would 
the centre of it be to the ocean. And so here, again, his friends 
came to his aid, and insisted that Slaughter's creek — a channel 
separating Taylor's Island from the Chesapeake, gave the western 
terminus. But the Penns demanded that the line should be 
continued to the bay shore itself, from which the broad waters of 
the great estuary stretched, unbroken by headland or island, to 
the remote and dim horizon. And again was Lord Hardwicke 
referred to. But, in the mean time. Lord Baltimore died, and the 
suit abated. When it was revived, and the heir (Frederick) of 
Lord Baltimore was made a party, he refused to be bound bj' the 
acts of his ancestor. If, however, there was any thing that could 
equal the faculties of the Marylanders in making trouble, it was the 
untiring perseverance with which the Penns devoted themselves to 
the contest, and followed their opponents in all their doublings. 
And they had their reward." 

It was in 1735 that the Penns called his refractory lordship before 
the High Chancellor. Sir William Murray, afterwards Lord Mans- 
field, was their counsel. The bill prayed specific performance of the 
agreement of 1732. Baltimore resisted its execution on the common 
ground of weak causes — fraud, and ignorance of his rights ; choos- 
ing rather to be considered a fool than a knave. But the Chancellor 
reversed his position. 

Pending this tedious judicial controversy, events of stirring 
interest occurred along the border, especially in the Susquehanna 
neighborhood. Lord Baltimore had in i682-'3, for some purpose, 
run a due east line from about the mouth of Octorora creek to the 

(m)Pc'nn v.?. Lord Baltimore. 1 Ve.sey, Sr., 144, and supplement. 


DelaAvare, which is several miles south of the agreed line."(n) 
Thinking he meant this for his northern limit, Pennsylvania settlers 
had crowded down pretty close to that line, especially the Notting- 
ham settlement, one of the oldest in Chester county. On the other 
hand, ere the precise import of the agreement of 1732 was known 
here. Governor Gordon, of Pennsylvania, had inadvertently 
given countenance to the idea that, west of the Susquehanna, 
Maryland was to go up to the true 40 deg., as compensation for the 
loss of Delaware. But long before^ this, as early as 1722, Maryland- 
ers had begun to "squat" all along the western shore of that river, 
even far above 40 deg. In 1730, the famous Col. Thomas Cresap (o) 

(n)In the map printed on the margin of the agreement of 1732. (see copy 
prefixed to 4 Pa. Archives.) the head of Elk is put ahove New Castle, and the 
diie east and west line from the corner, fifteen miles south of Philadelphia, 
nrosses the Susquehanna at the mouth of Octorora. And it was proven that 
Lord Baltimore put that line on the map himself in red ink. Blood flowed 
from the blunder. 

(o)The life of this renowned personage is a romance of realities. He was 
the father of Captain Michael Cresap, of Logan's speech celebrity, and else- 
where noticed in these sketches. The Colonel was an Englishman — came to 
fills country before Gen. Washington was born, but as an acquaintance of the 
family. Having espoused the quarrel of Lord Baltimore with the Penns, he 
became its champion on the Susquehanna frontier. After the temporary line 
"was run, in 1739, he had to leave. Being an Indian trader, he transferred his 
establishment within the confines of Maryland, where he failed in business. 
Thereupon he removed to Skipton, now called Old To"wn, on the Maryland 
shore of the Potomac, nearly opposite the junction of the North and South 
branches. Here Washington was his guest in March, 1748, when out survey- 
ing for Lord Fairfax. He acquired a large landed estate here and on the South 
branch. He was one of the old Ohio Company, and the commissioner for lo- 
cating Nen'acolin's road, from Yv'ills' creek to the Ohio river. We find him at 
Skipton, in 1750, largely in the Indian trade; and, true to his hate of the 
Pennites, seeking to excite against them the enmity of the Indians. To this 
end he sent the messages that the Pennsylvania traders always cheated them 
in all their dealings; anl taking pity on them, he intended to use them better, 
and wouM sell them goods at less than cost, viz; 'A match coat for a buck; 
a strowd for a buck and doe; a pair of stockings for two raccoons; twelve 
bars of lead for a buck," &c. This story we have on the authority of Barnaby 
Curran, ".a hired man of Mr. Parker's," and one of Washington's "servitors" in 
his mission to the French posts on the Allegheny, in 1753. Col. Cresap was a 
contractor for army supplies to Gen. Braddock, and was much censured for 
tordiness and selling musty flour. In the perilous times which ensued upon the 
defeat of that General, Cresap was generous, brave and energetic in his 
contributions to the frontier defense. He made a fort of his house by stockad- 
ing it; raised and equipped a company, commanded by his son Thomas, and 
kept up the struggle to the last. He mixed himself up in the disputes between 
Lo:d Fairfax and Lord Baltimore, concerning the western boundary of Mary- 
land; making a map of the localities, which is yet extant. Ever ready to 
annoy Pennsylvania, he lent all his influence in favor of Virginia in the 
boundary controversy of 1770-'74, as we will see in the next chapter. The la.^t 


took a position at the "Blue Hock" ierry, west of the Susquehanna, 
a Httle below Wrightsville, where he, for many years, was the head 
and front of the Maryland incursions and resistance. He became 
the right arm of Lord Baltimore and Governor Ogle in that 
quarter. He was licensed ferryman, surveyor, captain of the 
militia, &c. He built a fort, in and around which congregated 
some of the worst of "border rufifins." It was to counteract these 
encroachments that the manor of Springettsbury, in York county, 
of ten by twelve miles, beginning over against the mouth of 
Conestoga, was surveyed in 1722, giving birth to a dubious class 
of titles hot yet wholly quieted. Many of the German palatines,, 
which about this period flocked to Pennsylvania in hundreds, settled 
upon these lands. The Marylanders wheedled them to attorn to 
Lord Baltimore. Some complied ; but, when they saw the trick, 
resumed their first allegiance. This incensed the Marylanders. 
They drove them off by armed force ; and, under well guarded 
bands of surveyors, gave their lands to others. The Marylanders 
denominated the Pennites "quaking cowards;" and these retaliated 
by calling their assailants "hominy gentry." All sorts of outrages 
were perpetrated. Even the softer sex became furies in the strife. 
The deadly rifle told its aim on man and beast. . The solemnities 
of sepulture became occasions for revenge; and rapine"" gloated in 
arrests and imprisonments. Fortunately for the peace of the two 
provinces, Governor Thomas Penn was at the Jielm in person. His 
policy was patience, under a confident hope of triumph in the 
august tribunal to which he and his brothers had appealed. Once 
only did he resort to magisterial redress. In a crisis of the conflict 
it became necessary to arrest Cresap on a charge of murder. The 
sheriff of Lancaster accomplished it by an' armed posse, after firing 
his castle over his head. And while on his way to prison at Phila- 
delphia, when in sight of the infant city, this compeer of Rob 
Roy Macgregor(p) said to his bailiffs, "This is a pretty Maryland 
town. I have been a troublesome fellow; but in this last affair 
I have done a notable job. For I have made a present of two 

we hear of him Is in January, 1775, as one of a Virginia committee to raiFf 
arms and supplies wherewith to beg-in the battles of the American Revolution. 
His hospitality was as unlimited as was his resoluteness and hatred of Penn- 
sylvania. Hence the Indians called him the Big Spoon. We gather these par- 
ticulars from various sources, having never seen the narratives of his 
relative. John J, Jacob, and of Brantz Mnyer. 

(pIThere is more in this allusion than may strike the reader at first blush; 
for Rob Roy was flourishing about the same time — maybe a little earlier — in 
his raids upon the dukedom of Montrose. See introduction to Scott's "Rob 


provinces to the king; and if the people find themselves bettered 
by the change, they may thank Tom Cresap for it." The meaning 
CI this gasconade is beyond conjecture. Madness measures its 
achievements by the monstrosity of its own excesses. The provin- 
ces were yet safe to their proprietors. 

So rife and rampant had these border feuds become, that, in 
1737, the king and council had to interfere; and, in 1738, the 
high parties litigant came to an agreement to stay their further 
progress. The expedient was a temporary line. They agreed that, 
until the cause was decided, they would conform their grants and 
pretensions to an east and west line ; which, east of the Susque- 
hanna, should be fifteen miles and a quarter south of the latitude 
of .Philadelphia ; and, west of that river, fourteen miles and three 
quarters south of the same latitude. The king ordered these lines 
to be run and marked, and it was done.(q) This was in 1739. The 
western end of the line was the summit of the Cove, or Kittatinny 
mountain, near the western limit of Franklin county, then the west- 
ern extreme of the Indian purchase of 1736. This ended the forays. 
Cresap. who had been liberated and thereupon had pitched in again, 
now withdrew. His occupation there was gone. We will 
hear of him again in another quarter. He seems to have been ''born 
unto trouble," And yet his love of mischief was no vulgar pro- 
pensity. Me sacrified his own interests to appease his revenge, and 
exorcised personal quarrels that he might bring provinces within the 
circle of his sorcery. , 

We left the Lord Chancellor deliberating upon the length of 
the peninsular east and west line ; and whether Frederick, Lord 
Baltimore, was bound by his father's agreement of 1732, or could 
overreach it by holding under deeds of family settlement made by 
more remote ancestors. Happily those deliberations were cut off 
by a compromise. For, on the 4th of July, 1760, the parties agree 
to celebrate their independence of judicial constraint by a new 

(q)See map, in 1 Pa, Arch. 594, 558, &c. Tt was while measuring' down tliese 
15% miles, from the latitude of South Philadelphia, that the first dispute 
.sprung- up about horizontal measurement. The Marylanders insisted upon 
superficial. Some of the Penn surveyors had been over the ground before, and 
knew that about 20 perches would compensate for the difference. With this 
knowledge they procured the Maryland commissioners to agree to allow 25! 
So common is it for even honest (?) men, when engaged in controversy, to 
take advantages, which, under other circumstances, they would scorn. This 
line, west of Susquehanna, was run ex parte — one of the Maryland commission- 
ers having to g-o home, and the other not choosing to go on without him. It 
was, however, fairly run. 


compact or agreement, which was to end, and did end, all their 
controversies. The claims of the Penns were yielded to in every 
particular. The agreement of that date is an embodiment of 
the history of the dispute, and is a model of old fashioned 
artistic conveyancing, covering thirty-four closely printed octavo 
pages, (r) Substantially, it is but a recital of the old compromise 
of 1732, and of the events which had since occurred; and a full and 
absolute confirmation of that agreement, and assent to the judicial 
constructions which almost every part of it had received. Among 
its new provisions were stipulations by the parties respectively, 
that the Penns should confirm the titles of Lord Baltimore's 
grantees to lands east of the Susquehanna, any where north of the 
agreed line (fifteen miles south of the latitude of the southern 
limit of Philadelphia), but that west pf that river such confirmation 
should extend only to lands within a quarter of a mile north of 
that line. On the other hand. Lord Baltimore was to confirm 
Penn's grants west of the Susquehanna, and south of the line 
indefinitely; but, east of that river, only to the extent of one 
quarter of a mile south of the agreed line; provided, in all cases, 
the lands were then (July 4, 1760,) in the "actual possession and 
occupation" of the grantees. This feature of the agreement has 
given rise to some litigation alon|;' the border, (s) The reader will 
remember that the temporary line of i737-'9 had an offset of half 
a mile to the northward, at the Susquehanna; wherefore, is not 
disclosed. The agreement then provides for a speedy joint com- 
mission to determine, run out and mark all the lines between the 
parties, without let or hindrance ; that the agreement itself shall 
be acknowledged and enrolled in chancery, and thereupon be 
humbly submitted to his Majesty in council, for his gracious 
allowance and approval. This done, the proprietories are at peace. 
Frederick, Lord Baltimore, goes upon a "tour to the east;" and 

(r)It is the first document in 4 Pennsylvania Archives. 

(s)See the Pennsylvania case of Stigers vs. Thomas, 5 Barr, 480; and again, 
in 11 Harris, 367, which originated in Fulton county, near Hancock, Maryland. 
The contest "was between an old Maryland grant and survey, and a much 
younger Pennsylvania warrant, &c. In the first report of the case, the Mary- 
land title prevailed, owing to an imperfect knowledge of the history of this 
dispute and of the agreement of 1780. In the meantime the publication, by 
Pennsylvania, of her Colonial Records and Archives, disclosed all the details 
of the strife, and the agreement itself. Eventually the Pennsylvania title 
triumphed. Judge Lowrie, in delivering the opinion of the court in the last 
case, inadvertently says the disputed territory was only half a mile wide. 
This is an error. It had a width of more than twenty miles. 


the Penns remain in London to protect their private and provincial 

Before we proceed to run and mark tjie lines, let us pause a 
moment to take an account of the loss and gain of the parties, in 
the results of this long and perplexing controversy. Was the agree- 
ment of 1760, and its prototype of 1732, a compromise — a mutual 
concession of conflicting pretensions; or was it wholly a surrender 
by one party to the other? 

Maryland lost what is now the State of Delaware, that is cer- 
tain ; and, as we think, she was thereby unjustly shorn of her fair 
proportions. But that Calvert's loss was Penn's gain, is not so 
certain. He sought "water," but obtained gall — the bitterness of 
strife. He asked an outlet to the ocean for his "too backward 
lying province," and there 'was opened unto him and his sons an 
inlet to a sea of troubles. He purchased the Duke's appanage to 
New York, to make it an appendage to Pennsylvania ; but, ere his 
title to it was settled, it set up for itself; and when the American 
colonies broke the bands of British dependence, it too became an 
independent State, (t) And so Delaware was lost to Pennsylvania. 
The judicious Scottish historian of our early settlements, already 
quoted, regards the loss of Delaware to Lord Baltimore as a retribu- 
tion for his encroachment upon Virginia. May not the same 
punitive Providence be again traced in its ultimate severance from 
a State, all whose other foundations were in righteousness and 

We have before said that the consequence to Lord Baltimore, 
of the misplacement of the fortieth line of north latitude, in the 
maps of the Chesapeake and Delaware region, current at the date 

(t)Frora 1682 to 1691, Delaware was, for all practical purposes, a part of 
Pennsylvania, each having the same charters of privileg-es, the same general 
la,ws. the same Governor and Assembly — in which each was equally represent- 
ed; each having three counties — New Castle, Kent and Sussex, and Phila- 
delphia, Bucks and Chester. In 1691, when Penn came under the ban of King 
William, Delaware affected to become Jealous of Pennsylvania; and, although 
uniting in the same Assembly, had a separate Governor. In 1704, she set up a 
separate Assembly, under the same Governor. Prom 1755 to the Revolution, in 
1776, she had both a separate Governor and Assembly; and in '76, became a 
State. She was always an undutiful child to the Penns; and had she only 
thought so, would no doubt have been as well cared for by Maryland — to which 
she naturally and rightfully belongs — as she ever was by the Penns, or by 
herself. But, one member and two Senators, in Congress, are no mean privi- 
leges, to a representative population — free and slave, of 91,000, when the ratio 
for one Representative is 93,420! But who complains? She has given us some 
great men, and may yet become the balance wheel of the Confederacy. 


of his charter, was, to have the northern confines of his province 
considerably restricted. Had the calls of his patent been fully 
answered the Quaker City would inevitably have become, what 
Cresap called it, "a pretty Maryland town." On the other hand, 
had his lordship been forced down fully to the line 40 deg., as it 
stood in 1632, and, indeed, until his and Markham's discovery in 
1682, Maryland would have been cut in twain in the region of Han- 
cock, and Western ]\Iaryland would have lain so far "backward" as 
to be wholly inaccessible to its proprietor by either land or "water." 
If Penn had the advantage of Calvert in the misplaced position of 
40 deg. in 1632, the latter had an available set-off in the require- 
ment of Penn's patent of 1681, that the circular part of his bound- 
ary should reach the "beginning of the fortieth degree," by a north- 
ward and westward course. Here, then, was a most inviting call to 
compromise, which would doubtless have been much sooner 
responded to, had it not been for the successive disabilities, of 
Lord Baltimore's privation of his province by William and Mary, 
from 1692 to 171 5 Penn's death in 1718 and the disputes as to 
his successors in the proprietorship, and the minority of one of 
them, until 1732. In this year, as we have seen, a compromise was 
agreed upon, which relieved both parties. Philadelphia was kept 
at the neighborly distance of fifteen miles from Maryland; and 
Lord Baltimore preserved a lane, of about a mile vvfide, at Hancock, 
for access to his iron and coal fields — then unknown and valueless 
— in the west. By this agreement, therefore, Maryland gave up not 
only her Delaware domain north of Henlopen — which was in effect 
taken from her by the royal order in council of 1685 — but also a 
parallelogram of about nineteen and a quarter miles wide on her 
northern confines, extending from New Castle county to the "mer- 
idian of the first fountain of the Potomac." This alone exceeds one- 
third of her entire present area, territorial and aqueous. \^''ith Dela- 
ware added, it exceeds one-half. So Maryland has been largely the 
loser in this game of boundary. She is, however, quite a respectable 
sovereignty yet. 

But how has Pennsylvania fared in the play upon 40 deg.? Evi- 
dently she has gained the parallelogram which Maryland lost ; there- 
by restricting Lord Baltimore's two degrees of latitttde to about 
sixty miles each, — "geographical," instead of "statute" degrees, as 
Penn wanted them to be in 1682. But she has also widened her 
own two degrees to about seventy-nine miles each. For in the 
adjustment of her northern boundary with New York, in 1774, 
and again in 1785, the true 42 deg. — the "beginning of the forty- 


third degree," was adopted; without any effort on the part of 
our northern neighbor to push us down to where that line of lati- 
tude was put in 1681 — if indeed it had any location at that period. 
No hint was given or taken of the old misplacement of 40 deg. ; and 
thus Pennsylvania was allowed to hold, on the north, by the rule 
which Maryland sought in vain to enforce against her on the south. 
The value of this item of fortunate territorial expansion by Penn- 
sylvania, is greatly enhanced by the access to Lake Erie which was 
thereby obtained. But for this, the Erie triangle (u) would prob- 
ably never have been a purchasable annexation to our chartered 
territory. Thus far, therefore, Pennsylvania has been largely the 
gainer by her boundary troubles. The loss of Delaware has been 
more than compensated. In our next chapter, we will see that her 
good fortune, or superior diplomacy, attended her to the last. To 
one, or both, of these influences do we of much of south-western 
Pennsylvania owe it that we are not now Marylanders or Vir- 

Although not within the scope of these sketches, we are tempted 
here briefly to notice the boundary controversy with Connecticut, 
which Pennslyvania had to sustain from 1760 to 1782. (v) It inter- 
vened to postpone the settlement of our northern limits for more 
than ten years from the time it was undertaken, in 1774, and until 
rival colonies had become changed to fraternal States. 

The grant of Connecticut to Lords Say and Seal, and others, in 

(u)The Erie triang^le was "within the chartered limits of Massachusetts, 
which claimed three-quarters of a degree of New York, immediately north of 
42 de^. New Tork held it, we believe, under a purchase from, and alliance 
with, the Six Nations of Indians. Both having ceded their western territory to 
the United States — New York in 1782. and Massachusetts in 1784 — the relative 
strength of their titles became an unimportant inquiry. The New Tork ces- 
sion was of all west of a due north line from the northern boundary of Penn- 
sylvania, through the extreme west end of Lake Ontario, or twenty miles west 
of Niagara river, to north latitude 45 deg. — thus taking In a considerable por- 
tion of Canada, to which her title proved ratlier unavailable. Pennsylvania 
first bought the triangle from the Indians, In 1789, for £1200, and then In 1792 
from the United States for $151,640.25, continental certificates. This was. done 
to get at the harbor of Presq'isle, at Erie, upon which the United States have 
since expended more than they got for it. The triangle contains 202,187 acres. 
See its history by .Judge Huston in M'Call vs. Coover, 4 Watts and Sergeant's 
Reports, 1.51-164; and see 1 olden Time, 557. 

Cv)The controversy lasted much longer in litigation and legislation, but this 
year ended the boundary part of It. See Huston's Land Titles, 14; 4 Journals 
of Congress, (1782) 129-140; 4 Pennsylvania Archives, 679, &c., and other 
volUTios, and Colonial Records, passim — indexed — Connecticut and Wyoming; 
Day's Historical Collections of Pennsylvania, "Luzerne County," and authors 
there referred to. 


1631, by the New England Company, reached from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, or "South Sea;" but, like its parent grant, there was 
excepted out of it any territory then in possession of any other 
Christian prince or State. This let in New York and New Jer- 
sey between her present western limits and the Delaware. So it 
was determined by a Board of King's Commissioners, in October, 
1664. But Connecticut reserved her claims west of the Delaware, 
thereby covering nearly all the forty-second, or most northern 
degree of latitude, which is within the subsequently chartered 
limits of Pennsylvania, and extending westward indefinitely, (w) 
It is said that, when Penn's grant was pending, he had notice of. 
this claim of Connecticut, but that the king and he gave no heed 
to it, upon the ground that eighty years of neglect to people or pos- 
sess it, was to be considered as an abandonment. About 1753 
Connecticut began to reassert her claim, and sent settlers into 
the Wyoming valley. Within the ensuing twenty years the Con- 
necticut settlements upon the east or north branch of the Susque- 
hanna, became numerous and formidable. Their descendants and 
enterprise are there yet. Pennsylvanians regarded their intrusions 
upon her territory with a jealous and angry eye. Conflicts ensued, 
personal, military, legal and judicial. Blood and treasure were 
freely expended. Our later colonial and early State annals, as 
well as our law books, are full of the controversy. At length, in 
1782, under the old articles of confederation, the dispute was 
referred for settlement to a committee of Congress, who sat as a 
court at Trenton, New Jersey, in the fall of that year. The parties 
were fully heard by their proofs and counsel. Connecticut relied 
upon her ancient parchments. Pennsylvania planted herself upon 
the laches of Connecticut, upon her own charter of 1681, and upon 
a score or more of Indian deeds to the Penns.(x) It was contended 
that the royal grants gave but a pre-emption right; that the natives 
were the true proprietors ; and, as the Penns had the Indian titles, 

(w) Connecticut, in 1786, ceded all her western territory, north of 41 deg., ' 
and west of a due north line, one hundred and twenty miles west of the west- 
ern boundary of Pennsylvania, to the United States. Her "Western Reserve," 
in the north-east corner of Ohio, was the one hundred and twenty miles west- 
ward of Pennsylvania, north of 41 deg'. nearly. In 1800, the United States 
offered to g-ive her the soil, or-the proceeds of sales, of this Reserve, she sur- 
rendering the jurisdiction, which was ag'reed to. 

(x) Connecticut had an Indian deed, also, obtained by one Lydius at Albany, 
in 1764; but it was pronounced surreptitious, illegal and fraudulent. It does 
not appear that it 'was relied on at the trial. 



to which the commonwealth had succeeded, — by tacking these to the 
charter, the old abandoned pre-emption grant to Connecticut was 
"crushed out." The court so held. Its decision was unanimous in 
favor of Pennsylvania — the ever successful Pennsylvania, in all her 
boundary controversies. The way was now clear to fix and run a 
definitive line between Pennsylvania and New York ; and it was 
done, in \y'&'^-'6-'y, upon the line of north latitude 42 deg. We re- 
turn now, from this digression, to run lines with Maryland. 

Eight 3-ears of almost uninterruped labor were expended in run- 
ning, measuring and marking these troublesome lines ; and even 
then our line was unfinished. For, except around New Castle, and 
thence to the Susquehanna, the territories they traversed were 
dense forests, deep swamps and water courses, or rugged moun- 
tains; inhabited only by venomous reptiles and beasts of prey, with 
here and there the adventurous pioneer and roving Indian. Nor 
was geometrical science then the perfection that it now is. Its 
progress, if not so noisy as has been the march of material improve- 
ment over these then dreary wastes, has been not the less sure and 
surprising. In those days accuracy was a rare achievement; and, 
when its closest possible approximation was demanded, much time 
and experiment had to be disbursed. The delays were, therefore, 
wrought by real difficulties. 

The commissioners on the part of each province having been 
duly appointed, and their surveyors selected, they met at New 
Castle, in November, 1760, and addressed themselves to their task 
in earnest. They worked with unwonted harmony. Indeed, so 
specific, upon every department of their labors, had been the 
decrees and agreements, that there was no longer even a loop hole 
through which either party could evade compliance. All that 
remained was to measure and mark the lines, as commanded. The 
commissioners v/ere seven for each proprietary, (y) three of whom 
together were competent to act. The Penn surveyors at first 

(y)On the part of the Penns they were Governor James Hamilton, Richard 
Peters, member and Secretary of Council; Rev. John Bwing, D. D., afterwards 
Provost of the University of Pennsylvania; William Allen, Chief Justice; Wm. 
Coleman, then a Justice; Thomas Willing, afterwards a Justice, and Benjamin 
Chew, afterwards Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Edward Shippen, Jr., 
Prothonotary of the Supreme Court, was also a member of the Board part of 
the time. The Maryland gentlemen were Governor Horatio Sharpe, J. Ridout, 
jno. Leeds, Jno. Barclay, Geo. Stewart, Dan, of St. Thos. Jenifer, and J. Beale 
Boardley. The commissioners seem to have entrusted the line, west of the 
Susquehanna, entirely to the surveyors. 


chosen were John Lukens,(z) afterwards Surveyor General of the 
Commonwealth, and Archibald M'Clean, of York, eldest brother of 
the late Col. Alexander M'Clean, of Fayette. Two others were 
named, but never acted. Those of Maryland were John F. A. Priggs 
and Jonathan Hall. 

The peninsular line, from Henlopen to the Chesapeake, was the 
only one which had been run under Lord Hardwicke's decree of 
1750. This had been agreed to be correctly run and measured, and 
its middle point fixed at thirty-four miles three hundred and nine 
perches, (aa) It had also been agreed that the court house in New 
Castle should be the centre of the circle. Upon these data the sur- 
veyors proceed. Numerous "vistas" had to be cleared through the 
forests and morasses of the peninsula. Three years were diligently 
devoted to finding the bearing of the western line of Delaware, so 
as to make it a tangent to the circle, at the end of a twelve mile 
radius ; and a close approximation only was then attained. The in- 
struments and appliances employed seem to have been those com- 
monly used by surveyors. 

The proprietors, residing in or near London, grew weary of this 
slow progress, which, perhaps, they set down to the incompetency 
of their artists. To this groundless suspicion we owe their super- 
sedure, and the introduction of the men. Mason and Dixon, who, 
imwittingly, have immortalized their memory in the name of the 
principal line which had yet to be run. 

Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon (bb) were astronomers of ris- 

(z)We believe that Mr. Lukens, who was an excellent officer, died in October, 
1789, in Washington county, Pennsylvania; where, and in Beaver county, his 
descendants are yet found. He was the first Surveyor General 01 the Common- 
wealth, from April 1781, to his death. Col. Daniel Brodhead succeeded him. 

(aa)The length of the west boundary of Delaware, from the middle point to 
the tangent point on the circle, is eighty-two miles, minus six and one-eighth 

(bb)Mason had been an assistant in tlie Royal Observatory, at Greenwich. 
Both, prior to their service in America, it is said, had been at the Cape of 
Good Hope to make observations of an eclipse of the sun. It is certain they 
^vere there in 1769, to observe a transit of Venus across the sun's disc. Dixon 
is said to have been born in a coal pit. He died at Durham, in England, in 
1777. Mason died near Philadelphia, in 1787. He was probably the more scien- 
tific man of the two. From a careful study of their chirography and signa- 
tures, Mr. Ijatrobe infers that "Mason was a cool, deliberate, painstaking man, 
never in a hurry;" and that Dixon "was a, younger and more active man, a 
man of an impatient spirit and nervous temperament; just such a man as 
worked best with a sober sided colleague." Their journal and letters, with a 
map of the lines, are preserved in manuscript at Annapolis. "Their letters are 
the merest business letters; their journal is the most naked of records." The 


ing celebrity in London, in 1763. In August of that year they were 
employed by the Penns and Lord Baltimore to complete their lines. 
Furnished \\-ith instructions and the most approved instruments, 
among them a four feet zenith sector, they sail for Philadelphia, 
where the}- arrive in November. They go to work at once.(cc) 
They adopt the radius as measured by their predecessors ; and, 
after numerous tracings of the tangent line, adopt also their tangent 
point, from which they say they could not make the tangent line 
pass one inch to the eastward or westward. So that if the proprie- 
tors had only thout;hl so, the rude sightings and chainings of the 
American surveyors would have been all right. They thereupon 
•cause that line and point to be marked, and adjourn to Philadel- 
phia to find its southern limit, on Cedar, or South street. This they 
make to be(dd) north latitude 39 deg. 56 min. 29 sec. They then pro- 
ceed to extend that latitude sufficiently far to the west to be due 
north of the tangent point. Thence they measure down south fifteen 
miles to the latitude of the great due west line, and run its parallel 
for a short distance. Then they go to the tangent point, and run 
due north to that latitude ; and at the point of intersection, in a 
deep ravine, near a spring, they cause to be planted the corner stone 
at which begins the celebrated "Mason and Dixon's Line." 

Having ascertained the latitude of this line to be 39 deg. 43 min. 
32 sec.,(ee) they, under instructions, run its parallel to the Susque- 
hanna — twenty-three miles ; and, having verified the latitude there, 
the}' return to the tangent point, from which they run the due 
north line to the fifteen mile corner, and that part of the circle which 
it cuts of? to the west, and which by the agreements, was to go to 

Archives of Pennsylvania contain no counterpart of these. Even the agree- 
ment of 1760 was a long time lost but has lately been recovered. Certified 
copies have supplied the place of it and many others of our old Colonial papers. It 
is said that Joseph Shippen, Secretary to the Penn Governors, refused to give 
them up at the Revolution. Some have been recovered from his papers, and 
other sources. Those of Maryland and New York have been better taken care 
of. The original agreemnt of n?,2 is nowhere to be found. 

fcc)Their first care was to have an observatory erected on Cedar street, 
Philadelphia, to facilitate the ■■\;-r:ertainraent of its latitude. It was the first 
building- in America erected purposely from which "to read the skies." It was 
rude and hastily constructed, for they used it in January, 1764. 

(dd)The latitude of Philadelphia, at the State House, is 39 deg. 56 min, .59 

(ee)More accurate observations make it 39 deg. 43 min. 26.3 sec — consequent- 
ly it is a little over nineteen miles south of 40 deg,, as now located. 

(fE)This little bow, or arc, is about a mile and a half long, and its middle 
width 116 feet. From its upper end, where the three States Join, to the fifteen 


three dominions — an important point; and, therefore, they cause it 
to be well ascertained and well marked. This brings them to the 
end of 1764, 

They resume their labors upon the line in June, 1765. If to 
extend this parallel did not require so great skill as did the nice 
adjustments of the other lines and intersections, it summoned its 
performers to greater endurance. A tented army penetrates the 
forests, but their purposes are peaceful, and they move merrily. 
Besides the surveyors and their assistants, the Messrs. M'Clean — ■ 
Archibald, Moses, Alexander(gg) and Samuel, and others, there 
had to be chain-bearers, rod-men, axe-men, commissaries, cooks and 
baggage carriers, with numerous servants and laborers, men of all 
work and camp followers of no work. By the 27th of October, 
Ihey come to the North (Cove, or Kittatinny) mountain, 95 miles 
from the Susquehanna, and where the temporary line of 1739 ter- 
minated. After taking Captain Shelby with them to its summit, 
"to show them the course of the Potomac," and point out the 
Allegheny mountain, (hh) the surveyors and their attendants return 
to the settlements to pass the winter, and to get their appointment 

Early in 1766, they are again at their posts. They begin with 
an exhausted money chest, and having ascertained that the Penns 
had advanced £615 more than Lord Baltimore, they send to Gov- 
ernor .Sharpe, at Annapolis, for £600 or £700, to be forwarded, 
''so that Mr. M'Lane may receive it at Fredericktown," the 24th 
of April. This obtained, they proceed. By the 4th of June, they 
are on the top of Little Allegheny mountain — the first west of 
Wills' creek. They have now carried the line about 160 miles 
from its beginning. The Indians, into whose ungranted territory 
they had deeply penetrated, grow restive and threatening. They 

mile post, where the great Mason and Dixon's line begins, is a little over 
three and a halt miles; and from the fifteen mile corner due east to the circle, 
ifi a little over three-quarters of a mile — room enough for three or four good 
Chester county farms. This was the only part of the circle which Mason and 
Dixon run — Lord Baltimore having no concern in the residue. Penn had it run 
snd marked with "four good notches," by "friends Isaac Taylor and Thomas 
Pierson," in 1700-'l; but the trees are now nearly all gone, and it is hard to 

(gg)See memoir of Colonel Alexander M'Clean, ante — Chap. VII. page 132. 

(hh)Pr6m this summit, the path of the Potomac through the mountains, to 
the southwest, is distinctly visible; and the Allegheny crest — Big Savage — 
can be well seen. Old Fort Frederick, too, comes in for its share of the 
magnificent panorama. It was built in 1756, and its ruins are yet in good 
preservation, a little east of Hancock. 


thought this army, though bannerless, meant something. Their 
untutoried minds could not comprehend this nightly gazing at the 
stars through gun-like instruments, and this daily felling of the 
forests across their hunting paths. They forbid any further ad- 
vance, and they had to be obeyed. The artists return leisurely, and 
note, as they pass, the beauty of their "visto," which, they say, "from 
any eminence on the line, where fifteen or twenty miles can be seen, 
very apparently shows itself to be a parallel of latitude." They are 
pleased with their work. 

The agents of the Proprietors now find that there are other lords 
of the soil whose favor must be propitiated. The Indians just at this 
time were deeply exercised upon some unsettled boundary ques- 
tions between them and the whites, and were keenly sensitive to 
any anticipatory demarcations. The Six Nations, whose council 
fires blazed upon the Onondago and Mohawk, in Western New 
York, were the lords paramount of the territory yet to be traversed. 
To obtain their consent to the consummation of the line, the Gov- 
ernors of Pennsylvania and Maryland, in the winter of i766-'7, at an 
expense of more than £500, procured, under the agency of Sir 
William Johnson, a grand convocation of the tribes of that powerful 
confederacy. The application was successful ; and early in June, 
1767, an escort of fourteen stroud-clad warriors, with an interpreter 
and a chief, deputed by the Iroquois council, met the surveyors at 
their camp at the summit of the Great Allegheny, to escort them 
down into the valley of the Ohio, whose tributaries they were soon 
to cross. 

Safety being thus secured, the extension of the line was pushed on 
vigorously in the summer of 1767. Soon the motley host of red and 
wliite men, led by the London surveyors, came to the western limit 
of Maryland — "the meridian of the first fountain of the Potomac;" 
and why they did not stop there is a mystery, for there their func- 
tions terminated, (ii) But they pass it by unheaded, because un- 
known, resolved to reach the utmost limit of Penn's "five degrees of 

(ii)There is some evidence that "when Penn asked for his grant, he intended 
to go no further west than Maryland. It is the only one of the old royal 
grants which is limited by longitude. Its introduction was, perhaps, acci- 
dental, to square with his application for fl^-e degrees of latitude. He could 
as readily have had it to reach to the Pacific. The general south-westward 
bearing of the Appalachian range of mountains, may well have led the most 
knowing ones of that day to "guess" that "the meridian of the fountain 
of the Potomac" might be much further west than it is. The prospect from the 
North mountain was very illusive. And yet one can hardly believe they would 
suppose that meridian to be west of the Monongahela, and within fifteen miles 
of the Ohio. In a letter from Governor Keith, of Pennsylvania, to Governor 
Spottswood, of Virginia, dated April, 1721, he says — "You very well know, sir, 


longitude," from the Delaware ; for so they were instructed. By the 
24th of August, they come to the crossing of Braddock's road. The 
escort now became restless. The Mohawk chief and his nephew 
leave. The Shawnees and Delawares, tenants of the hunting 
grounds, begin to grow terrific. On the 27th September, when en- 
camped on the Monongahela, 233 miles from the Delaware, twenty- 
six of the laborers desert, and but fifteen axe-men are left. Being 
so near the goal, the surveyors — for none of the commissioners were 
with them — evince their courage by coolly sending back to Fort 
Cumberland for aid, and in the meantime they push on. At length 
they come to where the line crosses the Warrior branch of the old 
Catawba war path,(jj) at the second crossing of Dunkard creek, a 
little west of Mount Morris, in Greene ; and there the Indian escort 
say to them, "that they were instructed by their chiefs in council 
Kot to let the line be run to the westward of that war path." Their 
commands are peremptory ; and there, for fifteen years, the line is 
stayed. It was afterwards run out by other hands, as noted else- 
where in these sketches. (kk) When completed, its terminus is a' 
"cairn" of stones, on one of the slopes of the Fish creek hills, near 
the Broad Tree tunnel of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. "And 
standing on the cairn, and looking to the east and north, a fresher 
growth of trees indicates the ranges of the vistas. But climb the 
highest tree adjacent to the cairn, that you may note the highest 
mountain within the range of vision, and then ascending its summit, 
take in the whole horizon, and seek for a single home of a single de- 
scendant of the sylvan monarch s, whose war path limited the sur- 
veys; and you will seek in vain. But go back to the cairn, and listen 
there, in the quiet of the woods, and a roll as of distant thunder will 
come unto the ear, and a shrill shriek will pierce it, as the monster 
and the miracle of modern ingenuity — excluded from Pennsylvania 
as effectually b}^ the line we have described, as the surveyors of old 
were by the Indian war path — rushes round the south-western angle 

that Penn.sylvania, which is three degrees in breadth (?) and extends five de- 
grees west of the river Delaware, must border upon his Majesty's dominion 
of Virginia to the westward of Maryland, and upon New York to the north- 
■ward of New Jersey." This is the only avo"\ved knowledge we have, prior to 
176S, of Pennsylvania extending farther west than Maryland. 

(jj)See ante — "Indian Trails, &c." — Chap. III. 

(kk)See memoir of Col. Alexander M'Clean — ante. Chap. VII.; and Boundary 
Controversy," postea, Chap. IX. 


of the state, on its way from the city which perpetuates the title of 
the Lord Proprietary of Maryland, to find a breathing- place on the 
Ohio, in the "pan-handle, of Virginia." (11) 

Mason and Dixon with their pack-horse train and attendants, 
(mm) returned to the east without molestation, and report their dis- 
comfiture to the "gentlemen commissioners," who approve their con- 
duct, and on the 27th December, 1767, grant to them an honorable 
discharge, but agree to pay them for a map or plan of their work, 
which they were instructed to prepare, and did prepare. The com- 
missioners now address themselves to the erection of the required 
monuments, or stones, upon the lines, and at the corners and inter- 
sections around and near the "three counties of Delaware. , This 
done, they, on the gth November, 1768, made their final report to the 
Proprietaries ; and here the labor upon these lines ends, in America, 
until after the titles of Baltimore and the Penns are wrested from 
them by the strong arm of revolution. 

In conformity to the agreements and the decrees of the Chancel- 
lor, the lines were well marked. All the corners and intersections 
were ascertained by firmly fixing thereat "one or more remarkable 
stones," on which were graven the arms of the proprietors on the 
sides facing their possessions respectively. Along the lines, at the 
end of every fifth mile, a stone thus graven was planted, the inter- 
mediate miles being noted b}' a stone having M. on one side and P. 
on the other. Most of the stones on which the coats of arms were 
graven were brought from England. On the great due west line — 
Mason and Dixon's line proper, this mode of demarcation was used 
as far as the eastern side of Sideling Hill mountain 132 miles from 
the spring corner. But the difficulty of transporting the graven 
stones any further westward, compelled these surveyors to depart 
from the agreement, and to find their marks as they went along 
— no very difficult matter from Sideling Hill to the great Allegheny 
summit, they denoted the line by conical heaps of earth or stones, 
six or seven feet high, on the tops of all the ridges and mountains. 
I'rom the summit of the Allegheny, westward, as far as they 

(ll)Mr. Latrobe's lecture, before quoted. See ante, note 12. 

fmm)Among these, besides the Messrs, M'Clean, were Hugh Crawford, the 
old Indian trader, who for his services, got a grant of part of Col. Evans' 
estate, (ante. Chap. VI. note 12), and Paul Larsh, of George's creek, father of 
Hannah, the wife of Joseph Baker, of Nicholson township, who wns the widow 
of George Gans. See Darsh vs. Larsh, .Addison's Reports, 310. Old John Tate, 
of Redstone, is said also to have been of the company. 


went, similar marks were erected at the end of each mile, with a 
post inserted in each. 

The "vista" of the line was opened twenty-four feet wide, by fell- 
ing all the trees and large bushes, which were left to rot upon the 
ground. The monuments of the line were erected along the middle 
of this pathway, in the true parallel. 

The instruments used by Mason and Dixon were an ordinary sur- 
veyor's compass, to find their bearings generally, a quadrant, and the 
four feet zenith sector which they brought from London, for absolute 
accuracy. The ferruginous character of much of the territory they 
traversed, forbid much reliance upon the needle. The sector enabled 
them to be guided by the unerring luminary of the heavens. 

The measurements were made with a four pole chain of one hun- 
dred links, except that, on hills and mountains, one of two poles, and 
sometimes a one pole measure, was used. These were frequently 
tested by a statute chain carried along for that purpose. Great care 
was enjoined as to the plumbings upon uneven ground; and, so far 
as they have been since tested, the measurements seem to have been 
very true. 

While the surveyors were in progress upon the line, the Pro- 
prietors humbly besought his Majesty, George III., to allow and ap- 
prove their agreement of 1760, and the confirmatory decree of the 
Chancellor thereon, to the end that his Majesty's subjects inhabit- 
ing the disputed lands might have their minds quieted. His Majesty 
deferred his approval until January, 1769, after the lines had been 
completed and the final report of the commissioners made. Even all 
this, however, did not quite end the disturbances. Says Governor 
John Penn, in 1774: — "The people living between the ancient tem- 
porary line of jurisdiction, and that lately settled and marked by the 
commissioners, were in a lawless state. Murders, and the most out- 
rageous transgressions of law and order, 'were committed with im- 
punity in those places. In vain did persons injured apply to the 
government of Maryland for protection and redress." This, of 
course, refers to the little strip of a quarter of a mile in width along 
the southern confines of York, Adams, and Franklin. Thirty years 
had caused the temporary line to be deemed the permanent bound- 
ary — the common fate of accommodation lines between adjoining 
land owners. 

Nor was this quite all. In 1771, Frederick, Lord Baltimore, died, 
and his heir was a minor under guardianship. And when, in 1774, 
Governor Penn, under stress of the "lawless state" of his south-west- 
ern frontier, made proclamation of his purpose to extend and en- 


force his jurisdiction "quite home" to the established line, his young 
lordship's guardian was induced to ask the king to arrest the Gov- 
ernor's proceedings, upon the grounds that the Maryland proprie- 
tary had not capacity to concur in the ratiHcation of the line, and 
that his subjects settled on the frontiers, knowing this, would resort 
to violence and bloodshed. The partisans of Virginia — who were 
now carrying on her boundary war with the Penns — had perhaps 
more to do with this groundless interference than had the friends 
of the infant Lord Baltimore. When the king was apprised that 
the line had been run, marked, reported and confirmed, in pursuance 
of Frederick's agreement, and all done in his lifetime, he "gracious- 
ly" recalled his countermand of Governor Penn's proclamation. And 
now, finally, and, as we trust forever, Maryland and Pennsylvania 
are at peace. The two oldest and most contiguous sovereignties 
carved out of ancient New England and Virginia — the "North" and 
the "South," resume their primitive peaceful repose upon the line — 
this famous Mason and Dixon's Line — which is the agreed substi- 
tute for the ancient 40 deg. 

The width of a degree of longitude varies according to the lati- 
tude it traverses — expanding towards the equator, and contracting 
towards the pole. In the latitude of our line, Mason and Dixon 
computed it at fifty-three miles and one hundred and sixty-seven 
and one-tenth perches. They consequently made Penn's five de- 
grees of longitude from the Delaware to be two hundred and sixty- 
seven miles and one hundred and ninety-five and six-tenth perches, 
inn) To their stopping place at the war path on Dunkard, they say, 
was two hundred and fifty-four miles one hundred and thirteen 
perches and seven and one-fourth feet. Hence they left, as they 
computed it, twenty-three miles and eighty-three perches to be run. 
It was subsequently ascertained that this was about a mile and a 
half too much — (00) a discovery which created some inconveni- 
ence upon the western line of Greene county. 

We have seen no evidence that Mason and Dixon actually measur- 
ed the distance from the Delaware to where they began the due west 

(nn)It seems it should have been only two hundred and sixty-six miles, 
ninety-nine and one-flfth perches; and so we say it was found to be by the 
surveyors of 1784, in our note (d) to Memoir of Col. Alex. M'Clean — ante. 
Chapter VII. But that Is Col. Graham's estimate in 1849. We have not found 
what it was made to be, in 1784. 

(oo)See note (d) referred to in note (nn), and note (pp). 


line at the stone near the spring. But they, or some others for 
them, must have done so, for it is part of the five degrees of longti- 
tude. They estimated it at fourteen miles forty perches and ten 
feet. The mile-stones upon the line are numbered according to 
their distance from the Delaware. This has created some confusion 
and misapprehension as to the length of the line. Our most approv- 
ed State map — Barnes', of 1848 — has them so numbered with great 
apparent accjuracy; although not always coinciding with other no- 
tations of distance upon the line.(pp) 

The line crosses the Cumberland, or National road, about three 
miles south-east of Petersburg; the Youghiogheny about three miles 
south of Somerfield ; the Cheat at the north of Grassy run (the line 
ford) ; the A'lonongahela near the mouth of Crooked run. 

The north-west corner of Maryland, upon this line, is near the road 
from Haydentown to Selbysport, or Friend's, about half a mile 
west of the intersection of Henry Clay and Wharton townships ; be- 
ing about one hundred and ninetj^-nine miles west of her north- 
east corner, and about fifty-four miles east of the south-west corner 
of Pennsylvania ; or, one degree of longitude short of our western 

Very many of the marks and monuments upon the line have been 
removed, or have crumbled down; and its vista is so much grown. up 
as to be hardly distinguishable from the adjacent forests. It should 
be re-traced and re-marked. Except in part of Greene county, all 
the original surveys of lands upon the line were made after it was 
authoritatively fixed. Hence, no inconvenience or trouble has yet 
arisen from its partial obliteration. But one of the best securities 
for peace between neighbors is to keep up good division fences. 

(pp)The surveyors of 1739 made the distance from the Susquehanna to "the 
top of the most western of the Kjttoohtinny hills," (the North or Cove moun- 
tain,) only eighty-eight miles. The map shows it to be nearly one hundred. 

The map makes the line cross the Monongahela at about two hundred and 
nineteen and a half, or two hundred and thirty-three and a half, from the 
Delaware, which accords with Mason and Dixon. But our Book of OfRcial 
Surveys, made in 17S6, shows the following- mile postsi east of the river, viz.: 
the two hundred and twenty-second on the south line of the old Samuel Bowen 
tract; the two hundred and twenty-first about halt way in the south line of 
the old Robert Henderson tract; the two hundred and twentieth about the 
middle of the the south line of the John M'Farland tract — the Ferry tract. 
There was then a pile of stones in the line, on the river hill, near the south- 
west corner of the Bowen tract, and he is presumed to have known the 
marks. There is error somewhere. The line then (1786) bore south 89 deg. 


Some trouble did grow out of a removal of some of the monu- 
ments upon the eastern part of the lines. Many years ago the "re- 
markable stone," which marked the south-west corner of Delaware, 
was dug up in one of the fruitless searches for the buried treasure 
of Captain Kidd ; and at a later period the stone near the spring, 
which marks the north-east corner of Maryland, having been under- 
mined by floods, and fallen, was taken by a neighboring farmer for a 
chimney piece, and a post planted in its place. Surmises sprung 
up that some others of the stones which defined the limits of the lit- 
tle State had been displaced. Many of the dwellers around the 
notch and circle seemed not to know to whom they belonged. These 
doubts and dilapidations induced the three states of Delaware,, 
Maryland and Pennsylvania, in 1849, to create a joint commission, 
to re-trace the lines in that vicinity, and replace the missing monu- 
ments. The commissioners procured Lieut. Col. James D. Graham, 
of the corps of Topographical Engineers of the United States, to 
execute the work. He, of course, had to review much of the labors 
of Mason and Dixon and their predecessors. Generally he found 
that remarkable accuracy characterized those early displays of geo- 
metrical science. The post near the spring was in the right place, 
and the courses all right. Some errors were, however, detected. 
Some of the miles had been made a few feet too long. The radius 
was found to' be two feet four inches too short; and by some error 
in locating the tangent point, and the junction of the three States 
at the point of the notch, or bead, it was found that Maryland had 
got back from Delaware a little over one acre and three-quarters of 
what she had lost by King James' ordpr, in 1685. (qq) Even these 
trifling errors prove the wonderful certainty of mathematical sci- 
ence. Col. Graham's labors wrought a change in the allegiance of 
several gentlemen residing near the circle, who had hitherto suppos- 
ed themselves citizens of Delaware. A Mr. William Smith, who had 
been a member of the Legislature of that State, was found to be 
a full half mile within Pennsylvania; which also took in the old 
Christiana church by a hundred yards. 

It is ever thus with all things terrestrial. Men change and are 
changed. Monuments crumble and are removed. Even "a thing of 
beauty is not a joy forever." Decay and renewals are the constant 

(qq)See the curious and learned report of Colonel Graham, with other docu- 
ments, in Senate Journal of Pennsylvania, 1S50, vol. 2, page 475. 


succession of human affairs and human structures. The marks of 
boundary cannot escape this destiny. ISIo art, no care, can preserve 
them as they were. The limits of empire which nature establishes 
are not unvarying. Rivers change their channels — the soil of one 
State becomes the delta of another — and ocean takes away from con- 
tinents, to be compensated by new islands in the watery waste. An 
assurance of permanency, and of enduring peace upon its borders, 
may be derived from the purely arbitrary origin of our line — that in 
its establishment Nature had no agency; for 

"Lands Intersected by a narrow frUh 
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed 
Make enemies of nations, who had else, 
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one." 

To comprehend the subject of this sketch, we have had to course 
over more than three centuries of this world's history, halting here 
and there to gather up and arrange the events which relate to it. It 
is more than two hundred years since the seeds of strife were sown, 
of which the line is the harvest ; and nearly a century has run since 
the surveyors were running its thread through the forests. Within 
these periods what great events have transpired. Civilization, sci- 
ence, freedom, religion and population have rolled their resistless 
tides over this continent. Empires have risen and fallen; dynas- 
ties have sunk into nothingness. Yet this line stands ; and its story 
increases in interest as time grows older. Nor is its history yet end- 
ed. God grant that it may never have to be written of it that it 
severed this glorious Union ! What is yet to be said of it now be- 
longs to our next chapter ; for "westward the course of empire takes 
its way," and with it goes its boundary controversies. 



The further history of this celebrated line belongs to another of 
the controversies through which Pennsylvania has had to pass to 
establish her boundaries. We refer to that which the peculiarities 
of her charter and the stirring events in the south-western corner 
of the province, during the twenty years preceding 1774, brought to 
a head between her and Virginia, just as the great contest between 
the crown and the colonies was heading up to revolution, which 
pervaded the entire period of that eventful struggle, and terminated 
almost co-temporaneously with its successful close. 

We cannot here narrate the events, or unfold fully the grounds 
of that once per tentious strife. Its scope is too ample, and its ampli- 
tude too full of interesting and instructive teachings, to bear com- 
pression into what must be a mere appendage to the preceding 
sketch. The great subject to which it related was the extent and 
shape of our limits westward. We limit our design now to such an 
exposition only of its leading features as will fill out the history of 
our southern boundary. About four-fifths of the line was the result 
of a compromise to which Virginia was no party. North of 38 deg. 
and the Potomac, she had to be silent. But west of the "meridian 
of the first fountain" of that river, she lifted up her voice loudly 
against "northern aggression;" not, however, as we shall see, to her 
very lasting advantage. 

As a colonial grant, Virginia never had any rights north of 40 
deg. And upon her decapitation, by quo warranto, in 1624, she be- 
came a mere appendage of English empire, without any fixed bound- 
aries, subject to having her limits impaired as often as it should 
please his Majesty to confer new grants out of her original domain. 
Maryland and North Carolina are thus derived. And yet, both as a 
colony and as a State, she has kept up continual claim to territory 
north of 40 deg. The "pan-handle" still rears its head above the 
40th degree; and the doubtful recognition, since 1780, of her vaqnt- 


ed claim to the great territory north-west of the Ohio and east of 
the Mississippi, attests her pretentions in that direction. (a) With 
this we have here nothing to do. But we may well challenge her 
right to intrude within the limits of a specific grant, carved out of 
territory 'which she never owned. Indeed, she claimed that the extinc- 
tion of her charter enlarged her bounds ; that thereupon, she became 
keeper for the king of all contiguous territory not rightfully held by 
some other colony. It was upon this pretense that she assailed 
Pennsylvania. The posture was plausible enough during her colon- 
ial vassalage. But upon her revolt from her kingly allegiance — as- 
serting existence as an independent State — she forfeited her vice- 
regal prerogatives, and became shut up to the territory which, with- 
out encroachment upon her neighbors, she had settled and govern- 
ed. And yet Pennsylvania had to contend with her in both these 

The site of Pittsburgh, and the Indian trade which centered there 
became early the objects of Virginia cupidity. Her efforts to ac- 
quire these brought on the French war of i754-'63, in which Wash- 
ington rose and Braddock fell. It was upon the laggard defense, 
and almost abnegation of ownership, of her ultramontane territory, 
by Pennsylvania, in the early stages of this war, that Virginia based 
her claim as the kmg's representative. She turned upon the sons 
of Penn the battery which he, in 1682, raised against Lord Balti- 
more's right to Delaware. The position taken was that the Penns, by 
suffering the French^ to conquer all west of the mountains, thereby 
rendering it necessary that it should be re-conquered by his Ma- 
jesty's arms, had forfeited, to that extent, their chartered limits; and 
that upon its retrocession by France to the British king, in 1763, 
it became his again "to give as he pleaseth." The argument, when 
tested b)' the rules of right and the truth of history, turns out to be 
more specious than solid. It was soon superseded by other pre- 
texts which were thought to possess greater potency. 

The natural connections of South-western Pennsylvania were with 
Maryland and Virginia. These were greatly strengthened by the 
opening of the old Ohio Company's path, afterwards Braddock's 
road, from Wills' creek (Cumberland,) to the head of the Ohio, and 

(a)We are aware that we are treading here upon tender ground. But, were 
this the place to do it, it could readily be shown that the postulate of Mr. 
Chief Justice Taney, in Dred Snott vs. Sanford — that "this immense tract of 
country was within the acknowledged limits of the State of Virginia," is an 
entire reversal of the truth of history. Her claim was only a claim, and so 
regarded by the old Confederacy Congress. 


the events of the French war. The early settlers came almost 
wholly from middle Virginia and Maryland, upon the Potomac, 
bringing with them a hereditary dislike to Pennsylvania rule and 
manners, and squatting down upon what they supposed was Vir- 
ginia territory. Hence when, in 1769, the Penns began to sell 
their lands at £5 per one hundred acres, and, in 1771, by the erec- 
tion of Bedford county, extended over them the arms of govern- 
ment, with its restraints and taxes, repugnance soon rose to re- 

At this opportune crisis Virginia, under the governorship of Lord 
Dunmore, late in 1773, interposed to assert her jurisdiction. The 
disputed territory was made the western district of Augusta county, 
with Fort Pitt as the seat of dominion. The invasion was at once 
both civil and military. Early in the same year Pennsylvania had 
erected the county of Westmoreland over all her western territory, 
with her seat of justice at Plannastown. At first the conflict was 
fierce and alarming. His lordship, finding a fit instrument of mis- 
chief in one Doctor John Connolly, fb) with numerous subordinates 
and a ready populace, held his usurped possession with unyielding 
tenactiy. Pennsylvania officers were contemned and restricted, her 
justices imprisoned, her jail broken open, and her courts broken up. 
Vagaries and enormities were for a while enacted, which find no 
parallel in any other period of our western history. To quell the tu- 
mult of the times, the Penns had recourse to negotiation; but with- 
out any other result than to disclose more fully the conflicting 
claims of the parties. 

The reader will remember that the only fixed, natural landmarks 
named in the charter, by which to determine the form and extent of 
Pennsylvania, were New Castle town and the river Delaware. The 
latter was her eastern bounds; while the former was to be used as 
the centre of a circle of twelve miles radius, whose north-western 
segment was to connect the river with the "beginning of the 40th 
degree." Westward, the province was to extend "five degrees in 
longitude to be computed from said eastern bounds." 

The Penns now claimed, for their western boundary, a line begin- 
ning at 39 deg., at the distance of five degrees of longitude from the 
Delaware, thence at the same distance from that river in every 

fbjAs an adventurer — tool to Dunmore — instigator of Indian war — Tory — ■ 
prisoner — and in 1788, fomenter of troubles in Kentucky, the life of this rene- 
gade son of Pennsylvania is one of peril and mischief. The curious reader 
may trace him in Washington's Journal, 1770, Nov. 22 — 4 Pa. Archives, Index 
"Connolly" — ^1 Olden Times, 520 — 2 Ditto, 93 — 3 Sparks' Washington, 211, 269, 
271 — 8 Ditto, 25 — 9 Ditto, 474, 485 — Western Annals, 492. 


point, to north latitude 42 deg., so as to take into the Quaker prov- 
ince some fifty miles square of North-western Virginia, west of the 
west line of Maryland. Dunmore scouted his claim and difficult-to- 
be-ascertained line. He insisted that our western boundary should 
be a meridian line run south from the end of five degrees of longi- 
tude from the Delaware, on line 42 deg. ; which, said he, will throw 
the western line of Pennsylvania at least fifty miles east of Pitts- 
burgh. This pretense was based, upon the belief that the Delaware 
continued to 42 deg. the north-eastward bearing, which changes to 
north-west at the eastern corner of Pike county — so little was then 
known of our interior geography. The next expedient by the Penns 
was to propose Mason arid Dixon's line to the Monongahela, and 
thence that river to the Ohio, as a temporary boundary, (c) This, 
loo, was rejected; his lordship saying that upon nothing less than 
his Majesty's express command would he relinquish Pittsburgh. 
Here negotiation ended ; and violence and oppression continued 
their sway, until checked up by those absorbing interests. 

The outburst of the Revolution, in 1775, and the fall of the Dun- 
more dynasty, produced a lull in the storm of inter-colonial strife. 
Partisans became patriots, and rushed with eagerness to repel a 
common foe.(d) For a brief period the civil jurisdiction of Penn- 
sylvania seems to have been yielded. Military control was all that 
Virginia exercised. But this blending of incoherent pretentions 
could not long endure. It severed, as soon as the first intense 
fervors of revolution had cooled down, into an earnest struggle for 

And now Virginia behaved towards Pennsylvania with an incon- 
sistency, if not cool vindictiveness, without precedent or palliation. 
On the isth of June, 1776, her revolutionary convention, justly de- 
precating the conflict of jurisdiction in the disputed territory, pro- 
posed to Pennsylvania a temporary boundary, which, they said, 
"avouM most nearly leave the inhabitants in the country they set- 
tled under;" which boundary is as follows: from the north-west 
corner of Maryland to Braddock's road — by it to the Great Cross- 

(o)As the Penns claimed it, not far from the true line; which would have 
left Pittsburgh about six miles in Pennsylvania. 

(d)Among the most resolute of the Penn adherents were, Arthur St. Clair, 
then prothonotary, &c., of Westmoreland, afterwards Major General, &c., and 
Thomas Scott, afterwards first Prothonotary of Washington, and first member 
of Congress from Western Pennsylvania. Of the Virginia partisans were 
Dorsey Pentecost, afterwards Clerk of Tohogania county, first member from 
Washington in Sup. B^. Council of Pa.; Colonel William Crawford, who was 
burned by the Ohio Indians in 1782; Colonel John Campbell, afterwards promi- 
nent in Kentucky; George Graham, Indian agent, &c. 


ings of the Youghiogheny — down that river to Chestnut Ridge 
mountain — along its crest to Greenlick run branch of Jacob's creek 
— down it to where Braddock's road crossed — by the road and its 
continuation towards Pittsburgh to the Bullock Pens (a little north- 
west of Wilkinsburg), and thence a straight line to the mouth of 
Plum run (creek) on the Allegheny. East of this Pennsylvania was 
to rule — west of it, Virginia. The Pennsylvania convention, in 
September, 1776, very properly rejected this proposal; because, be- 
ing very wide of her true limits, its adoption as a temporary line 
would be productive of more confusion than if it was to be final. 

Ere the rejection of this preposterous proposition, the same Vir- 
ginia convention that made it had, on the 29th of June, 1776, by her 
Constitution, expressly "ceded, released and forever confirmed unto 
the people of Pennsylvania, all the territory contained in her charter, 
with all the rights of property, jurisdiction and government, which 
might at any time heretofore have been claimed by Virginia." At 
this time she well knew, from Mason and Dixon's measurements 
and otherwise, that much of the chartered limits of Pennsylvania 
must fall west of the proposed line, while no Virginia territory 
could lie east of it. Nevertheless, during the further progress of 
the controversy she conformed her jurisdiction very nearly to this 
rejected line. 

The next movement by Virginia was a bold stride at dominion. 
Assuming that Pennsylvania, as well as Maryland, should not 
reach further west than the "meridian of the first fountain of the 
Potomac," she, by an Act of her Assembly, passed in October, 1776, 
proceeded to define the boundary between her east and west Au- 
gusta districts ; and having annexed some considerable parts of her 
now north-western counties, and all of Pennsylvania west of the 
aforesaid meridian, to the latter, divided it into three counties — • 
Ohio, Monongalia and Yohogania. Nearly all of the last and much 
of the other two were composed of Pennsylvania territory. The 
last took in what are now the county seats of Washington, Fayette, 
^'\'estmoreland and Allegheny, and all north of them. Under this 
law, justices' courts were regularly held — (e) senators and delegates 
to the Virginia Legislature chosen, and all other functions of gov- 
ernment, civil and military, exercised, from 1776 to 1780. In the 
meantime Pennsylvania kept up her power, as well as she could, 
through her Westmoreland coimty organization, over the whole of 

(e)The Yohogania courts were held in the upper story of a log jail and 
court-house, 24 by 16 feet, on the farm of Andrew Heath, upon the Monon- 
gahela, at or near where Elizabeth now is. We have seen its Minutes. It diij 
a large and varied business. 


her territory as she claimed it. There was literally an imperium in 
imperio, especially between Braddock's road and the Monongahela, 
which was perhaps the most densely settled portion of the disputed 
territory. West of that river, except here and there upon its west- 
ern shore and the south-east corner of Greene, Pennsylvania did not 
venture. Nor did she ever intrude her functions south of Mason and 
Dixon's line. 

The machinery of the new district counties worked badly, especi- 
ally in its military movements, which at that warlike period were of 
primary importance. This, and a returning sense of justice, induced 
Virginia, in December, 1776, to propose an adjustment of the lines, 
as follows: extend the west line of Maryland due north to 40 deg. — 
thence due west to the limit of five degrees of longitude from the 
Delaware — thence northward, at five degrees distance from that 
river in every part; or, if preferred, at proper points and angles 
with intermediate straight lines, to 42 deg. : — thus cutting "a mon- 
strous handle" out of south-western Pennsylvania — overlapping the 
ancient 40 deg., but yielding to the Penn claim of 1774, which Dun- 
more so stoutly resisted. There would have been some force in 
this claim of Virginia to go up to the true 40 deg., had her charter 
of 1609 not been recalled; for it bounded her on the north, not by 
a degree of latitude, as was Maryland, but by two hundred miles of 
coast-line north-ward from Point Comfort. But as between Penn 
and the king, in 1681, the 40 deg. of that day was the true limit of 
the grant. This offer was rejected also. 

The disheartening reverses and exhausting efforts of the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, during 1777 and 1778, withdrew the disputants 
from any attention to their boundary troubles. For a while the 
strife stood still, except that its inconveniences and conflicts upon 
the disputed territory were as perplexing as ever. Brighter auspices 
dawned in 1779. Early in that year Pennsylvania proposed to Vir- 
ginia a joint commission to agree upon their boundaries. The lat- 
ter acceded. The commissioners met in Baltimore, and on the 31st 
of August, 1779, agreed upon the following boundaries :(f) "to ex- 
tend Mason and Dixon's line due west five degrees of longitude, to 
be computed from the river Delaware, for the southern boundary of 
Pennsylvania ; and that a meridian, drawn from the western ex- 
tremity thereof to the northern limit of said State, be the western 
boundary of Pennsylvania forever." 

(f)The Pennsylvania commissioners were, George Bryan, Rev. John Bwing:, 
D, D., and David Rittenhouse; Virginia sent Right Rev. James Madison and 
Rev. Robert Andrews. 


We know but little of what occurred at the meeting of these com- 
missioners. A letter is extant from one of the Pennsylvania com- 
missioners — Judge Bryan — saying that the Virginians offered to di- 
vide equally the 40th degree; but for what equivalent is not reveal- 
ed.! g) There is a tradition, too, that the judge resisted an offer to 
extend Mason and Dixon's line to the Ohio. Doubtless this generosity 
on the part of Virginia was to be compensated north of that river. 
It is probable that, in this negotiation, the parties stood pretty much 
where they did in May, 1774 — Pennsylvania claiming down to 39 
deg., and to have her western line an irregular curvilinear parallel 
to the Delaware, (h) and Virginia claiming to stop her, on the south, 
at 40 deg. The idea of making our western boundary to be a straight 
line, or chord, subtending the irregular arc formed by the two ex- 
tremes of five degrees from the Delaware, on the north and on the 
south, seems never, at any time, to have been claimed or proposed. 
A chancellor might have so decreed without any violence to the 
charter. One is almost tempted to regret that the Pennsylvania 
commissioners had not claimed to turn round at Fairfax's stone and 
ask for all of Virginia north of the 39 deg. They had as good 
ground for the whole as for part. And who knows but that a little 
more expanded pretentions in that direction might have induced 
the Virginians to give us the "pan-handle !" We must not, how- 
ever, complain. They did exceedingly well. They probably did 
not know that there would be room there to turn(i) north of 39 deg,. 
And it is fortunate that Virginia did not know that when Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1771, erected Bedford county, she expressly recognized the 
ex parte extension of Mason and Dixon's line, west of Maryland, 
as her southern boundary. 

But the troubles were not yet ended. The agreement of the com- 
missioners had to be ratified, and the lines to be run. Pennsylvania 
promptly assented to the "compromise" in November, 1779 — as well 
she might, seeing that it expanded her western territory full half a 
degree without any equivalent loss on the south. Virginia, perhaps, 
seeing this, held back; and in December, 1779, sent into the disputed 
territory a court of commissioners to adjust land titles. No event in 
the u'hole controversy so aroused the ire of Pennsylvania as did this 

(g)See 1 Olden Times, 451. 

(h)The late Judge H. H. Brackenridg-e (Law Miscellanies, 254,) reverses this 
position of the parties. His views o( the subject are palpably erroneous in 
other particulars; hence, very probably, in this also. If the parties stood as 
he places them, Pennsylvania got more than she claimed. 

i'i)It was at this date an open question whether Maryland would not begin 
her western line at the "first fountain" of the south branch of the Potomac. 


attempt to dispossess her own settlers and adjudicate their lands to 
claimants who had defied her jurisdiction. A very determined intima- 
tion that a continuance of the intrustion would be repelled by force, 
led to its withdrawal. Thereupon, in June, 1780, Virginia ratified 
the agreement ; clogging it, however, with a condition which pro- 
tected all the rights to persons and property which her settlers had 
acquired prior to that date, providing that rights to lands should be 
determined by priority of title or settlement, and be paid for to 
Pennsylvania at Virginia prices, if acquired from her. Under these 
provisions many land titles in South-western Pennsylvania are laid 
by patents based upon Virginia certificates, and west of the Mon- 
ongahela there are many Virginia patents. They conduced to many 
troubles and hardships. Pennsylvania foresaw that such would be 
their fruits; and, therefore, for a while withheld her assent; but at 
length, in September, 1780, declaring herself "determined to give to 
the world the most unequivocal proof of her earnest desire to pro- 
mote peace and harmony with a sister State, so necessary during 
this great contest against the common enemy," assented to the un- 
equal condition. And here this boundary controversy closed — the 
last of the series which Pennsylvania had to encounter. 

It remained yet to run and mark the lines. This it was intended 
to do, in 1781, permanently; but the pressure of the "great war of 
liberty" compelled its postponement. The withdrawal of Virginia, 
in 17S0, from the disputed and ceded territory, called for the erec- 
tion by Pennsylvania, in 1781, of the county of Washington, com- 
prising all of the State west of the Monongahela and south-west of 
the Ohio. This new organization imperatively demanded some as- 
certainment of its boundaries on its two Virginia sides. A promise 
of a jont effort to do this, by a temporary line, in the fall of that 
year, failed of accomplishment on the part of Virginia. It was run 
m November, 1782, by Col. Alex. M'Clean, of Fayette, (then West- 
moreland,) and Joseph Neville, of Virginia, from the war path 
crossing of Dunkard to the corner, and thence to the Ohio. They 
were instructed to extend Mason and Dixon's line twenty-three 
miles, which proved to be about a mile and a half too much ; — an 
error which occasioned some loss to certain Philadelphia gentle- 
men — the Cooks, and perhaps others, who, before the final running 
of the lines, had caused some land-warrants to be laid, abutting up- 
on the temporary line, on the western border of, now Greene county. 
Less than twenty-three miles were wanting to complete the distance 
of the charter. 

Pending these delays Pennsylvania had no little trouble with 


many of her newly-acquired Washington county citizens, who hated 
her rule and resisted their transfer. They asked Congress, under a 
provision in the old Articles of Confederation, to establish the curvi- 
linear parallel with the Delaware, which would restore them to Vir- 
ginia. Their petitions were unheeded. Whereupon they went 
deepl}^ into a project for a new State, which was to include West- 
ern Pennsylvania, Ohio east of the Muskingum, and Virginia north- 
east of the Kenawha, with Pittsburgh as the seat of empire. It was 
a resurrection of the old "Walpole grant" of 1772. (j) So rife had 
the scheme become, that Pennsylvania had to counteract it by all 
her power, declaring it, by an Act passed in December, 1782, to be 
treason. In many other ways her authority was contemned, her 
laws resisted, and her officers defied and maltreated. Especially 
was this the case with her odious excise law. And in the resistance 
which it encountered is found the precedents for many of the ex- 
cesses of the renowned Whiskey Insurrection." Gradually, how- 
ever, and by the countervailing infusions of a more thorough Penn- 
sylvania population, the disaffection receded ; and nowhere, for at 
least half a century, has any people been more proud of their gov- 
ernment, or more submissive to its requirements. 

It was not until 1784 that Mason and Dixon's line was completed, 
upon astronomical observations, and permanently marked. The 
great difficulty — the nice point, was to fix its western termination. 
To do this, some of the most scientific men of that day were em- 
ployed. On the part of Virginia they were the Right Rev. James 
Madison, Bishop of Virginia, Rev. Robert Andrews, John Page and 
Andrew Ellicott, of Maryland. The Pennsylvania Commissioners 
were John Lukens, Surveyor General, Rev. John Ewing, D. D., 
David Rittenhouse and Thomas Hutchins. They undertook the 
task from "an anxious desire;" they say, "to gratify the astronomic- 
al world in the performance of a problem which has never yet been 
attempted in an)' country, and to prevent the State of Pennsylvania 
from the chance of losing many hundred thousands of acres secured 
to it by the agreement at Baltimore." To solve the novel problem, 
two of the artists of each State, provided with the proper astrono- 
mical instruments and a good time-piece, repaired to Wilmington, 
Delaware — nearly on the line, where they erected an observatory. 
The other four, in like manner furnished and with commissary, sol- 

(i) Concerning "Walpole's grant," see Sparks' Washing-ton, 356-7, and 483- 
Sparks' Life of p'ranklin, 339 — 3 Journals of Old Congress, 359 — 4 Ditto, 23- 
4 Pa. Arch. 483, 579. On the New State project, see 3 Olden Time, 479, 537- 
Brakenridge's Law Miscell. 324, 438, 444, 565, 572, 637—10 Ditto, 40, 41, 163. 


diers and servants, proceeded to the west end of the temporary line, 
near to which, on one of the highest of the Fish creek hills, they 
also erected a rude observatory. At these stations each party, dur- 
ing six long weeks of days and nights preceding the autumnal 
equinox of 1784, continued to make observations of the eclipses of 
Jupiter's moons and other celestial phenomena, for the purposes of 
determining their respective meridians and latitude and adjusting 
their time-pieces. This done, two of each party come together, and 
they find their stations were apart twenty minutes and one and an 
eighth seconds. The Wilmington Station was one hundred and 
fourteen four-pole chains and thirteen links west of the Delaware. 
Knowing that twenty minutes of time were equal to five degrees of 
longitude, they make allowance for said one hundred and fourteen 
chams and thirteen links, and for the said one and an eighth seconds, 
(equal, they say, to nineteen chains and ninety-six links), and upon 
these data they shorten back on the line to twenty minutes from the 
Delaware, and fix the south-west corner of the State by setting up a 
square unlettered white-oak post, around which they rear a conical 
pyramid of stones, "and they are there unto this day."(k) 

There was no retracing of the line from the north-west corner of 
Maryland ; nor was it measured from the end of Mason and Dixon's 
running to the cairn corner. All that was done was to connect 
these two points by opening vistas over the most remarkable 
heights and planting posts on some of them., at irregular distances, 
marked with P. and V. on the sides, each letter facing the State of 
which it is the initial. The corner was guarded by two oak trees ; 
with notches in each, as watchers. It could not be too well secured ; 
for it and the twenty-two miles from the war path, cost the State 
£1455 specie, equal to nearly $4,000, besides six dollars per day to 
each of the "astronomers !"(1) Their commissary was Col. Andrew 
Porter, father of ex-Governor David R. Porter. Being at the west- 
ern end, some "thirty miles from any settlements," his duties were 
exceedingly onerous. And here, near the end of 1784, ends the his- 
tory of Mason and Dixon's line. 

The next year (1785) the western line, to the Ohio, and some 
forty or fifty miles beyond it was run and marked in like manner, 

(k)See the Report in 10 Pa. Archives, 373, 374. 

(I)They lived well. Among their "accommodations," ordered by the State, 
were GO gallons spirits, 20 gallons brandy. 40 gallons Maderia wine, 200 pounds 
loaf suciiir, a small keg ol' lime (lemon) juice, 6 pounds tea, 20 pounds coffee, 
30 pounds chocolate, 20 pounds Scotch barley, &c. — "a ha'-penny worth of 
bread to this intolerable deal of sack." 


with the addition of deadening the trees in the vistas between the 
hills. The Pennsylvania artists were Col. Andrew Porter and David 
Rittenhouse; those of Virginia Joseph Neville and Andrew Ellicott, 
the latter acting for Pennsylvania north of the Ohio, where Virginia 
pietensions ended by reason of her cession of the North-west Terri- 
tory to the United States in 1784. It was completed to Lake Erie 
in 1786, by Col. Porter and Col. Alexander M'Clain. Its length is 
about one hundred and fifty-eight miles. 

Thus honorably and successfully has Pennsylvania borne herself 
in all her boundary contests ; never encroaching upon her neighbors' 
rights, yet always gaining by their intrusions upon her territory. 
iJer uniformly calm, patient, persevering defensive policy, begun by 
her Proprietors and perpetuated in the Commonwealth, has added 
one-fourth to the area of her chartered limits. Setting out in her 
controversial career upon the maxium : "Be just and fear not," the 
fiercest assaults never provoked her to retaliate, nor did the boldest 
invasions ever compel her to yield. And although it would be un- 
kind, if not unjust, to accuse her invaders of willful aggression, we 
may safely say of them, as did Lady Macbeth of her "thane :" 

"Wouldst not play false, and yet wouldst wrongly win." 

In the ultimate accessions of both valuable territory and valuable 
population, with which Pennsylvania was compensated for the 
troubles they gave her, may be read an instructive lesson to all the 
States, in the present and coming time — never to encroach upon 
any of the rights of a co-equal Sovereignty. The redress of indi- 
vidual wrongs may be deferred to a future state of being, but the 
retributions which communities incur admit of no such postpone- 

"in these cases 
We still have judgment here; that we but teach 
Bloody instructions, which being taught, return 
To plague the inventor."