Chapter 3
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"History of Dauphin County"
Transcribed by Gwen Bixler Drivon, GGDGEN@aol.com for Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - http://maley.net/transcription
Date of transcription: Oct. 12 to 18, 2000
Copyright c 2000 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.

CHAPTER III

Summary of Events up to the Struggle for Independence

Proceeding onward, with our brief history of Dauphin county and the lists of its early settlers, we find that about 1740 the influx of emigration, especially of the Scotch-Irish, was so great that family after family removed down the Cumberland Valley to the Potomac and beyond, into Virginia and the Carolinas. This tide of settlers was one continued stream until the thunders of the Revolution checked emigration to America. They can be traced from their resting place among their relations and friends in the townships of Paxtang, Derry and Hanover, to their descendants of the present day, who are prominent among the representative people of the South and West. The assessment lists, of which we have given, contain probably double the number of names found later on, showing how these people, pioneers of the wilderness, like bees swarmed out from the parent hive, and sought, perchance, more congenial localities. Limited as we must be, in this historical sketch, we find it impossible to dwell fully upon the important events which transpired in the early days of the hardy pioneers. Volumes could be written upon their trials, upon their endurance, and upon the remarkable events in which they were prominent actors in Pennsylvania history. A summary of the most important phases of that history is all that can be given in this connection, reference being had to other works which furnish not only a fuller, but a better insight into the beginnings of Dauphin county history.

Harris' trade with the Indians continued to increase, and Harris' Ferry became known far and wide, not only to the red men, but to the white race in foreign countries.

During John Harris' frequent visits to Philadelphia he met at the house of his friend Shippen, Miss Esther Say, like himself not over young, from his native Yorkshire, and in the latter part of the year 1720 married her. The wedding took place either at the Swedes church, Wicaco, or at Christ church, both being members of the Church of England. Among the early colonists who settled in Philadelphia were a number of the name of Say, but to which family Esther Harris was connected is not to be ascertained with certainty. She was kinswomen to the Shippens, and of course respectively connected. A remarkable woman, she was also well calculated to share the love, the trials, the hardships and the cabin of the intrepid pioneer.

In 1721-22 their first child, Elizabeth, was born; in 1725 their second, Esther Harris, and in October, 1727, their first son, John Harris. This was the founder of Harrisburg. The statement that he was the first white child born west of the Conewago hills is not correct. There were settlers beyond, along the Swatara, as early as 1718; and it is natural to suppose that in many a log cabin the sunshine of babyhood gladdened the hearts of the hardy pioneer, and who also attained mature age. The parents carried their child when nearly a year old to Philadelphia, where he was baptized on the 22d of September, 1728, as they had previously done with their other children. That of Esther Harris took place August 31, 1726, according to the parish register of Christ church, but we have not been able to ascertain the date of the baptism of the eldest child.

Until this period (1728) the country lying between the Conewago hills and the Kittochtinny mountains was owned, or rather claimed, by the Five Nations. It is true, the Scotch-Irish settlers had been pushed within these bounds ten years previously by the very Provincial authorities who destroyed their cabins on land already purchased. The treaty of 1728 opened up this vast and rich valley to the venturesome. Filling up rapidly, on May 10, 1729, the Assembly passed "An act for the erecting the upper part of the Province of Pennsylvania lying towards the Susquehanna, Conestogoe, Donnegal, etc., into a county," to be called Lancaster. At the first court in and for said county, November 3, 1730, at Posthlethwaite's, a petition was presented by John Harris, among others, "praying that he may be recommended to the governor as a suitable person to trade with the Indians," and was allowed per curiam. This, of course, was necessary in the change of counties; heretofore the application passed through the court of Chester county, and in this connection we may remark that among the Chester county records as early as 1722 is to be found the name of John Harris, "on the Susquahanna." Subsequently he made application to the same authority to "sell rum by the small," which was granted.

In 1732, with the desire of establishing an additional trading post, Harris built a storehouse at the mouth of the Juniata. The last purchase (1728) not extending this far, the Indians objected to it, especially Sassonan and Shickalamy, who wrote through their interpreters to the governor, informing him of the fact, and also to John Harris, commanding him to desist from making a plantation at the point referred to. The authorities made no objection.

By virtue of a warrant from the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania, bearing date January 1, 1725-6, five hundred acres of land were granted to John Harris, father of the founder of Harrisburg; and subsequently, on the 17th of December, 1733, by a patent, three hundred acres of allowance land, upon which he had commenced a clearing, on the present site of the city, about the year 1707. The land included in the latter patent extended from what is now the line of Cumberland street some distance south of the present north boundary of the city, and including also a part of the present site of the city, with its several additions.

Until the year 1735-6 there was no regularly constructed road to the Susquehanna, but at a session of the Provincial Council held in Philadelphia January 22, 1735-6, on the petition of sundry inhabitants of Chester and Lancaster counties, "setting forth the Want of a High Road in the Remote parts of the said Counties where the petitioners are seated , and that a very commodious one may be laid out from the Ferry of John Harris, on Susquehanna, to fall in with the High Road leading from Lancaster town at or near the Plantation of Edward Kennison, in the Great Valley in the County of Chester," it was ordered that viewers be appointed who shall make a return of the same, "together with a Draught of the said Road." Subsequently this was done, and the highway opened from the Susquehanna to the Delaware.

The most interesting of the early or pioneer roads, historically considered, is that which was laid out through the territory lying west or the Susquehanna river - from "Harris' Ferry towards Potomac." It is the most interesting, because for a period of seventy years it was the great highway up and down which passed the produce of that large and fertile region; because in the early provincial wars to which the Paxtang, Derry, and Hanover settlements gave many of their fathers and sons, it was the way by which they marched to meet the enemy and by which they marched to receive greetings from homes made safe by their valor; and because it has the unique distinction of having been the first effort of our forefathers to connect the wilderness with the civilization which lay beyond. It swept by our borders on the north and on the west; and by reason of its location became the pioneer road of Western and Southern Pennsylvania. It was laid out six years before Cumberland county was created, and while all the territory west of the Susquehanna was within the jurisdiction of the courts at Lancaster. Hence in the archives at Lancaster is the only record now attainable of the various steps by which this road came into being. It was in controversy for nine years. The first trace of it is in 1735. It was surveyed by courses and distances and ordained as a lawful road in 1744. We have said that the first trace of this pioneer road appears in 1735. It was in November of that year when a petition was presented to the "Worshipful the Justices of the Court of Quarter Session" at Lancaster, from inhabitants on the west side of the Susquehanna river, opposite to Paxtang, praying that a roadway be laid out "from John Harris' Ferry towards Potomac." The petition was favorably regarded, and Randle Chambers, James Peat, James Silvers, Thomas Eastland, John Lawrence and Abraham Endless were appointed the viewers, with power in four of them to act. They reported a route for the road at the next sitting of the court, but the view had developed the usual result of great neighborhood agitation. In the winter of 1735, it is recorded that there met at the house of Widow Piper in Shippensburg a number of persons from along the Conedoguinet and Middle Spring to remonstrate against the road passing through "the barrens" and to ask that it be made through the Conedoguinet settlement as more populous and more suitable. When, therefore, the viewers made their report in February, 1736, they were confronted with the petitions of a "considerable number of inhabitants in those parts," who set forth that the said road, as it is laid, is hurtful to many of the plantations, is "further about, and is more difficult to clear" than if it was laid more to the southward. They, therefore, prayed that a review of the same be made by "persons living on the east side of the Susquehanna." This conveys a delicate suggestion that personal or other interests had influenced the previous viewers, two of whom lived on the line as laid out. The court granted a review and appointed William Rennick, Richard Hough, James Armstrong, Thomas Mays, Samuel Montgomery and Benjamin Chambers, to "make such alterations in said road as may seem to them necessary for the public good." Some of these lived west of the Susquehanna - others east of it. So the court did not fully share the suspicion of the remonstrants, but conceded something to the excitement of the moment. Little change, however, in the route was made, and to-day the turnpike from Harrisburg to Chambersburg passes over this very pioneer highway which a century and a-half ago exercised the early settlers. This was the opening of the highway to the undeveloped West.

Well advanced in life, at the age of about seventy-five, after having for several years intrusted his business to his eldest son, still in his minority, in December, 1748, the first pioneer quietly passed away from earth, having previously made a request that his remains be interred underneath the shade of that tree so memorable to him. There his dust lies at rest on the banks of our beautiful river - within the hearing of its thundering at flood-tide, and the musical rippling of its pellucid waters in its subdued majesty and beauty.

The oldest son, John Harris, who succeeded to the greatest portion of his father's estate, and who, in 1785, laid out the capital city of Pennsylvania, married, first, Elizabeth McClure, and second, Mary Read, daughter of Capt. Adam Read, of Hanover, an officer of the Provincial service, was a prominent personage during the Indian wars, and the principal military storekeeper on the frontier. His letters to the governors and the officials of the Province and others are of intense interest, and deserve to be collated by our antiquarians. Not models of style, it is true, but they give vivid descriptions of the perilous times in which our ancestors dwelt who made the then out-bounds of civilization flourish and "blossom as a rose."

By a grant from Thomas Penn and Richard Penn, Esqs., proprietaries, to John Harris, Jr., bearing date of record "ye 19th February, 1753," that gentlemen was allowed the right of running a ferry across the Susquehanna, from which originated the former name of the place, which previous to the organization of the county was known far and near as Harris' Ferry.

It appears from letters of John Harris, written to Governor Morris, that an Indian named Half King, also called Tanacharisson, died at his house on the night of the 1st of October, 1754. Rupp says that "he had his residence at Logstown, on the Ohio, fourteen miles below Pittsburgh, on the opposite side. George Washington visited him in 1753, and desired him to relate some of the particulars of a journey he had shortly before made to the French Commandant at Fort Duquesne." We find this note among the votes of Assembly, 1754: "Dec. 17, Post Meridian, 1754. - The Committee of Accounts reported a balance of L10 15s. 14d. due to the said John Harris for his expenses, and L5 for his trouble, &c., in burying the Half-King and maintaining the sundry Indians that were with him." It may be interesting to know that the Half King was buried near the first John Harris at the foot of the mulberry tree.

They had considerable trouble at Harris' Ferry during the French and Indian war, which extended over the period from 1754 to 1765. A petition from the inhabitants of the townships of Paxtang, Derry and Hanover, Lancaster county, bearing date July 22, 1754, and setting forth their precarious condition, was presented and read in the Council on the 6th of August following. It bore the signatures of Thomas Forster, James Armstrong, John Harris, Thomas Simpson, Samuel Simpson, John Carson, David Shields, William M'Mullin, John Cuoit, William Armstrong, William Bell, John Dougherty, James Atkin, Andrew Cochran, James Reed, Thomas Rutherford, T. McArthur, William Steel, Samuel Hunter, Thomas Mayes, James Collier, Henry Rennicks, Richard McClure, Thomas Dugan, John Johnson, Peter Fleming, Thomas Sturgeon, Matthew Taylor, Jeremiah Sturgeon, Thomas King, Robert Smith, Adam Read, John Crawford, Thomas Crawford, Jonathan McClure, Thomas Hume, Thomas Steene, John Hume, John Creige, Thomas McClure, William McClure, John Rodgers, James Patterson, John Young, Ez. Sankey, John Forster, Mitchel Graham, James Toalen, James Galbraith, James Campbell, Robert Boyd, James Chambers, Robert Armstrong, Jno. Campbell, Hugh Black, Thomas Black.

At this period also we find an extensive correspondence between John Harris, Conrad Weiser and others and Edward Shippen, complaining of the insecurity of life and property owing to the depredations of the Indians; and their tenor is a continual and just complaint of the outrages committed by the savages, and urgent requests to the authorities for protection and arms, etc.

On the 8th of January, 1756, a council with the Indians was held at the house of John Harris, at Paxtang, composed of Hon. Robert Hunter Morris, governor; James Hamilton and Richard Peters, secretaries; Joseph Fox, commissioner, and Conrad Weiser, interpreter; two Indians of the Six Nations, called "The Belt of Wampum," a Seneca, and the "Broken Thigh," a Mohawk. The meeting was of an amicable character, and was only the preliminary step to a larger and more important council held the week following at Carlisle. One of the reasons for holding the council at the latter place was, "that there was but few conveniences 'for the proper entertainment' of the Governor and his company at Harris Ferry, and Mr. Weiser gave it as his opinion that it would be better to adjourn to Carlisle." A second council was held here on the 1st of April, 1757. Present, the Rev. John Elder, Captain Thomas McKee, Messrs. James Armstrong, Hugh Crawford, John Harris, William Pentrup, interpreter, and warriors from the Mohawks, Oneidas, Tuscaroras, Onodagoes, Nanticokes, Cayugas, Delawares, Senecas and Conestogoes, with their women and children. George Croghan, Esq., deputy agent to the Hon. Sir W. Johnson, Bart., his majesty's sole agent and superintendant of the Six Nations, etc., was also present. This council was removed to Lancaster, owing to the number of Indians then encamped at Conestoga Manor where the remainder of the business was concluded.

The most interesting event of this period was the extermination of the so-called Conestoga Indians by the Paxtang Rangers. The situation of the frontiers succeeding the Pontiac war was truly deplorable, principally owing to the supineness of the Provincial authorities, for the Quakers, who controlled the government, were, to use the language of Capt. Lazarus Stewart, "more solicitous for the welfare of the blood-thirsty Indian than for the lives of the frontiersman." In their blind partiality, bigotry and political prejudice, they would not readily accede to the demands of those of a different religious faith. Especially was this the case relative to the Presbyterians and Roman Catholics, both of whom were tolerated by mere sufferance. To them, therefore, was greatly attributable the reign of horror and devastation in the border counties. The government was deaf to all entreaties, and Gen. Amherst, commander of the British forces in America, did not hesitate to give his feelings an emphatic expression - "The conduct of the Pennsylvania Assembly," he wrote, "is altogether so infatuated and stupidly obstinate, that I want words to express my indignation thereat." Nevertheless, the sturdy Scotch-Irish and Germans of this section rallied for their own defense. The inhabitants of Paxtang and Hanover immediately enrolled themselves into several companies, the Rev. John Elder being their colonel.

Lazarus Stewart, Matthew Smith and Asher Clayton, men of acknowledged military ability and prowess, commanded distinct companies of Rangers. These brave men were ever on the alert, watching with eagle eye the Indian marauders who at this period swooped down upon the defenseless frontiers. High mountains, swollen rivers, or great distances never deterred or appalled them. Their courage and fortitude were equal to every undertaking, and woe betide the red men when their blood-stained tracks once met their eyes. The Paxtang Rangers were the terror of the Indians - they were swift on foot, excellent horsemen, good shots, skillful in pursuit or escape, dexterous as scouts and expert in manoeuvering.

The murders in and around Paxtang, notwithstanding the vigilance of the Rangers, became numerous, and many a family mourned for some of their number shot by the secret foe or carried away captive. The frontiersmen took their rifles with them to the field and to the sanctuary. Their colonel and pastor placed his trusty piece beside him in the pulpit; and it is authoritatively stated that on one occasion old Derry meeting house was surrounded while he was preaching; but their spies having counted the rifles the Indians retired from their ambuscade without making an attack.

Many were murderous deeds perpetrated by the savages - but where these came from was a mystery. Indians had been traced by the scouts to the wigwams of the so-called friendly Indians at Conestoga, and to those of the Moravian Indians in Northampton county. Suspicion was awakened, the questions, "are these Christian Indians treacherous? are their wigwams the harbors of our deadly foe? do they conceal the nightly prowling assassin of the forest; the villain, who with savage ferocity tore the innocent babe from the bosom of its mother, where it had been quietly reposing, and hurled it in the fire? The mangled bodies of our friends cry aloud for vengeance." Such were the questions, surmises and expressions of the exasperated people on the frontiers, and well warranted, for on one occasion when the Assembly were deaf to all entreaties and petition, with the hope of arousing their sympathy the murdered were taken to Philadelphia on wagons - when a prominent Quaker, with a sneer, remarked they were "only Irish." This unfeeling expression was remembered by the Scotch-Irish of the frontiers.

The Quakers who controlled the government, as heretofore remarked, "seemed resolved," says Parkman, "that they would neither defend the people of the frontier or allow themselves, vehemently inveighed against all expeditions to cut off the Indian marauders. Their security was owing to their local situation, being confined to the eastern part of the Province." That such was the case, rather than to the kind feelings of the Indian toward them, is shown by the fact that of the very few living in exposed positions, several were killed.

The inhabitants declared openly that they no longer confided in the professions of the governor or his advisers in the Assembly. Numbers of volunteers joined the Rangers of Northampton, Berks, Lancaster, York and Cumberland, who were engaged in tracing the midnight assassins. On the Manor, a portion of land surveyed for the Proprietaries, situated in Lancaster county, near where the borough of Columbia is now located, was settled a band of squalid, miserable Indians - the refuse of sundry tribes. Time and again they were suspected of murder and thievery, and their movements at this crisis were closely watched. Strange Indians were constantly coming and going.

Colonel Elder under the date of September 13, 1763, thus wrote to Governor Hamilton, "I suggest to you the propriety of an immediate removal of the Indians from Conestoga and placing a garrison in their room. In case this is done, I pledge myself for the future security of the frontiers."

Subsequently, on taking charge of the executive affairs of the Province in October, Governor John Penn replied as follows: "The Indians of Conestoga have been represented as innocent, helpless and dependent on this government for support. The faith of this government is pledged for their protection. I cannot remove them without adequate cause. The contract made with William Penn was a private agreement, afterwards confirmed by several treaties. Care has been taken by the Provincial committee that no Indians but our own visit Conestoga. Whatever can be faithfully executed under the laws shall be as faithfully performed;" and yet Governor Penn in writing to Thomas Penn afterwards used this language: "Many of them," referring to the frontier inhabitants, "have had wives and children murdered and scalped, their houses burnt to the ground, their cattle destroyed, and from as easy, plentiful life are now become beggars. In short. not only in this Province, but in the neighboring governments is the spirit of the people inveterate against the Indians."

John Harris had previously made a similar request: "The Indians here, I hope your honor will be pleased to be removed to some other place, as I don't like their company."

The Rangers finding appeals to the authorities useless, resolved on taking the law into their own hands. Several Indian murderers had been traced to Conestoga, and it was determined to take them prisoners. Captain Stewart, whose men ascertained this fact, acquainted his colonel of the object, who seemed rather to encourage his command to make the trial, as an example was necessary to be made for the safety of the frontier inhabitants. The destruction of the vConestogas was not then projected. That was the result of the attempted capture. Parkman and Webster, following Rupp, state that Colonel Elder, learning of an intent to destroy the entire tribe, as they were about to set off rode after them commanding them to desist, and that Stewart threatened to shoot his horse. Such was not the case. From a letter dated Paxtang, December 16, 1763, written to Governor Penn, he says: "On receiving intelligence the 13th inst., that a number of persons were assembled on purpose to go and cut the Conestoga Indians, in concert with Mr. Forster, the neighboring magistrate, I hurried off an express with written message to that party 'entreating them to desist from such an undertaking, representing to them the unlawfulness and barbarity of such an action; that it's cruel and unchristian in its nature, and would be fatal in its consequences to themselves and families; that private persons have no right to take the lives of any under the protection of the Legislature; that they must, if they proceeded in that affair, lay their accounts to meet with a severe prosecution, and become liable even to capital punishment; that they need not expect that the country would endeavor to conceal or screen them from punishment, but that they would be detected and given up to the resentment of the government.' These things I urged in the warmest terms in order to prevail with them to drop the enterprise, but to no purpose."

Not to be deterred, the Rangers reached the Indian settlement before daylight. The barking of some dogs discovered them and a number of strange Indians rushed from their wigwams, brandishing their tomahawks. This show of resistance was sufficient for the Rangers to make use of their arms. In a few moments every Indian present fell before the unerring fire of the brave frontiersmen. The act accomplished, they mounted their horses and returned severally to their homes. Unfortunately a number of the Indians were absent from Conestoga, prowling about the neighborhing settlements, doubtless on predatory excursions. The destruction at the Manor becoming known, they were placed in the Lancaster work-house for protection. Among these vagabonds were two well known to Parson Elder's scouts.

An express being sent to Philadelphia with the news, great excitement ensued, and Governor Penn issued a proclamation relative thereto. Notwithstanding its fine array of words it fell upon the Province harmless. Outside of the Quaker settlements everyone heartily approved of the measures taken by the Paxtang Rangers. As the governor himself wrote to England: "If we had ten thousand of the king's troops I don't believe it would be possible to secure one of these people. Though I took all pains I could even to get their names, I could not succeed, for indeed no one would make the discovery, though ever so well acquainted with them, and there is not a magistrate in the country would have touched one of them. The people of this town are as inveterate against the Indians as the frontier inhabitants. For it is beyond a doubt that many of the Indians now in town (referring to the Moravians confined in the barracks) have been concerned in committing murders among back settlers.

The presence of the remaining Indians at Lancaster also became a cause of great uneasiness to the magistrates and people, for as previously remarked, two or three were notorious scoundrels. It may be here related that several of the strange Indians harbored at Conestoga, who were also absent at the destruction of the village, made their escape and reached Philadelphia, where they joined the Moravian Indians from Nain and Wechquetank, and there secreted.

The removal of the remaining Indians from Lancaster was requested by the chief magistrate, Edward Shippen. Governor Penn proved very tardy, and we are of the opinion he cared little about them, or he would have acted promptly, as from his own confession he was not ignorant of the exasperation of the people and the murderous character of the refugees. Day after day passed by, and the excitement throughout the frontiers became greater. The Rangers, who found that their work had been only half done, consulted as to what measure should be further proceeded with. Captain Stewart proposed to capture the principal Indian outlaw, who was confined in the Lancaster work-house, and take him to Carlisle jail, where he could be held for trial. This was heartily approved, and accordingly a detachment of the Rangers, variously estimated at from twenty to fifty, proceeded to Lancaster on the 27th of December, broke into the work-house, and but for the show of resistance would have effected their purpose. But the younger portion of the Rangers, to whom was confided this work, were so enraged at the defiance of the Indians that before their resentment could be repressed by Captain Stewart, the unerring rifle was employed, and the last of the so-called Conestogas had yielded up his life. In a few minutes thereafter, mounting their horses, the daring Rangers were safe from arrest. George Gibson, who, from his acquaintance with the principal frontiersmen of his time, in a letter written some years after, gives the most plausible account of this transaction, which bore such an important part in the early history of the Province. He says: "No murder has been committed since the removal of the friendly Indians and the destruction of the Conestogas - a strong proof that the murders were committed under the cloak of the Moravian Indians. A description of an Indian who had, with great barbarity, murdered a family on the Susquehanna, near Paxtang, was sent to Lazarus Stewart at Lancaster. This Indian had been traced to Conestoga. On the day of its destruction he was on a hunting expedition. When he heard that the Rangers were in pursuit of him he fled to Philadelphia. The three or four who entered the work-house at Lancaster were directed by Stewart to seize on the murderer and give him to his charge. When those outside heard the report of the guns within several of the Rangers alighted, thinking their friends in danger, and hastened to the door. The more active of the Indians, endeavoring to make their escape, were met by them and shot. No children were killed by the Paxtang boys. No act of savage butchery was committed."

If the excitement throughout the Province was great after the affair at Conestoga, this transaction set everything in a ferment. "No language," says Rev. Dr. Wallace, "can describe the outcry which arose from the Quakers in Philadelphia, or the excitement which swayed to and fro on the frontiers and in the city. The Quakers blamed the governor, the governor the Assembly, and the latter censured everybody except their own inaction." Two proclamations were issued by the Provincial authorities, rewards for the seizure of those concerned in the destruction of the Indians; but this was impossible, owing to the exasperation of the frontiersmen, who heartily approved of the action of the Rangers.

On the 27th of December the Rev. Mr. Elder hurriedly wrote to Governor Penn: "The storm, which had been so long gathering, has at length exploded. Had government removed the Indians from Conestoga, as was frequently urged without success, this painful catastrophe might have been avoided. What could I do with men heated to madness? All that I could do was done. I expostulated, but life and reason were set at defiance, and yet the men in private life are virtuous and respectable - not cruel, but mild and merciful..........The time will arrive when each palliating circumstance will be calmly weighed. This deed, magnified into the blackest of crimes, shall be considered one of those youthful ebullitions of wrath caused by momentary excitement, to which human infirmity is subjected."

To this extenuating and warm-hearted letter came a reply, under date of December 29, 1763, from the governor, requesting the commanders of the troops - Colonels Elder and Seely - to return the Provincial arms, etc., as their services were no longer required. From this letter of Governor John Penn, it is evident that the commissioners, or rather the Provincial Council, intended to punish both Colonel Elder and Esquire Seely, or that with the destruction of the Conestogas, there was little or no danger of Indian atrocities. The latter proved to be the case, but the authorities were cognizant of the fact that the Paxtang boys were correct in their surmisings, and that peace would follow the removal of the friendly Indians. It shows, also, that believing thus, the Provincial government was culpable to a great degree in allowing the Indians to remain on the Manor, despite the representations of Colonel Elder, John Harris and Edward Shippen. The Rev. Mr. Elder quietly laid by his sword, feeling confidant that time would vindicate his course, whatever that may have been.

Of the marching of the Paxtang boys toward Philadelphia, we shall briefly refer in this connection, and the reason therefor is best given by an extract from a letter of Governor Penn: "The 14th of this month we suspect a Thousand of the Rioters in Town to insist upon the Assembly granting their request with regard to the increase of Representatives, to put them upon an equality with the rest of the Counties. They have from time to time presented several petitions for the purpose, which have been always disregarded by the House; for which reason they intend to come in Person." Although our Quaker historians have uniformly stated that the object of the Paxtang boys was the massacre of the Moravian Indians in Philadelphia, yet the foregoing statement of the Executive of the Province proves conclusively that their visit was not one of slaughter but of petition for redress of grievances. The narrative is one of interest to us in this section and the true history remains to be written.

Pamphlets, says Webster, without number, truth or decency, poured like a torrent from the press. The Quakers took the pen to hold up the deed to execration; and many others seized the opportunity to defame the Irish Presbyterians as ignorant bigots and lawless marauders.

Violent and bitter as were the attacks of the Quaker pamphleteers, Parson Elder was only casually alluded to. With the exception of the following, written to Colonel Burd, he made no attempt to reply to any of these, leaving his cause with God and posterity: "Lazarus Stewart is still threatened by the Philadelphia party; he and his friends talk of leaving; if they do, the Province will lose some of its best friends, and that by the faults of others, not their own; for if any cruelty was practiced on the Indians at Conestoga or at Lancaster, it was not by his or their hands. There is great reason to believe that much injustice has been done to all concerned. In the contrariness of accounts, we must infer that much rests for support on the imagination or interest of the witnesses. The character of Stewart and his friends was well established. Ruffians, nor brutal, they were not; but humane, liberal and moral, nay, religious. It is evidently not the wish of the party to give Stewart a fair hearing. All he desires is to be put on trial at Lancaster, near the scenes of the horrible butcheries committed by the Indians at Tulpehocken, etc., where he can have the testimony of the scouts and rangers, men whose services can never be sufficiently rewarded. The pamphlet has been sent by my friends and enemies; it failed to inflict a wound; it is at least a garbled statement; it carries with it the seeds of its own dissolution. That the hatchet was used is denied, and is it not reasonable to suppose that men, accustomed to use the use of guns, would make use of their favorite weapons?

"The inference is plain that the bodies of the Indians were thus mangled after death by certain persons to excite a feeling against the Paxtang boys. This fact Stewart says he can and will establish in a fair trial at Lancaster, York or Carlisle. At any rate we are all suffering at present by the secret influence of a faction - a faction who have shown their love to the Indians by not exposing themselves to its influence in the frontier settlements."

The "pamphlet" alluded to in the foregoing was the notorious article written by Benjamin Franklin for political effect. He acknowledged, in a letter to Lord Kames, that his object was a political one. As such, its tissue of falsehoods caused his defeat for member of the Assembly, a position he had held for fourteen years. Fortunately for him, the Revolution brought him into prominence, and the past was forgotten.

This transaction was subsequently "investigated" by the magistrate at Lancaster, but so condemnatory of the Indians was the evidence elicited that it was the Quaker policy to suppress and destroy it. Nevertheless all efforts to carry into effect the proclamation of the governor were really suspended, so far as his authority went, in regard to which grave complaints were made by the Assembly, who seemed to bend all their energies to prosecute the offenders.

The names of many of those brave defenders of their homes have been lost to us - but the frequent statement in all our histories that the participants in that transaction came to an untimely end is false. With the exception of Lazarus Stewart, who fell on that unfortunate day at the massacre of Wyoming, these heroes of the frontiers lived to hearty old age, and several reached almost the hundred years of life. Their deeds were those of desperation, it is true, but their acts are to be honored and their names revered.

The discussions which ensued may truly be said to have sown the seeds of the Revolution, and in a letter of Governor John Penn to his brother in England, written at this time, he thus alludes to the inhabitants of Paxtang, "their next move will be so subvert the government and establish one of their own."

No wonder then, when the first mutterings of the storm was heard, that the people of this entire section were ripe for revolution. The love of liberty was a leading trait of the people who settled in this delightful valley. The tyranny and oppression of Europe drove them to seek an asylum among the primeval forests of America. Persecution for conscience sake compelled alike the Scotch-Irish and the German of the Palatinate to come hither and rear their alters dedicated to God and Freedom to man. With them Independence was as much their dream as the realization. Their isolated position - placed on the frontiers - unprotected by the Provincial authorities - early instilled into their minds those incentives to action, that when the opportune moment arrived they were in the van. Two years before the Declaration by Congress, the people had assembled at their respective places of rendezvous, and heralded forth their opinions in plain and unmistakable language, while the citizens of the large towns were fearful and hesitating.

As early as the spring of 1774 meetings were held in the different townships, the resolves of only two of which are preserved to us. The earliest was that of an assembly of the inhabitants of Hanover, Lancaster county, held on Saturday, June 4, 1774, Colonel Timothy Green, chairman, "to express their sentiments on the present critical state of affairs." It was then and there "Unanimously resolved:

"1st. That the recent action of the Parliament of Great Britain is iniquitous and oppressive.

"2d. That it is the bounden duty of the inhabitants of America to oppose every measure which tends to deprive them of their just prerogatives.

"3d. That in a closer union of the Colonies lies the safeguard of the people.

"4th. That in the event of Great Britain attempting to force unjust laws upon us by the strength of arms, our cause we leave to Heaven and our rifles.

"5th. That a committee of nine be appointed who shall act for us and in our behalf as emergency may require.

"The committee consisted of Colonel Timothy Green, James Caruthers, Josiah Espy, Robert Dixon, Thomas Copenheffer, William Clark, James Stewart, Joseph Barnett and John Rogers."

So much for patriotic Hanover. Following in the footsteps of these brave men, on Friday following, June 10, 1774, a similar meeting was held at Middletown, Colonel James Burd, chairman, at which these stirring resolves were concurred in, and which served as the text of those passed at the meeting at Lancaster subsequently:

"1st. That the acts of Parliament of Great Britain in divesting us of the right to give and grant our money, and assuming such power to themselves, are unconstitutional, unjust and oppressive.

"2d. That it is an indispensable duty we owe to ourselves and posterity to oppose with decency and firmness every measure tending to deprive us of our just rights and privileges.

"3d. That a close union of the Colonies and their faithful adhering to such measures as a general congress shall judge proper are the most likely means to procure redress of American grievances and settle the rights of the Colonies on a permanent basis.

"4th. That we will sincerely and heartily agree to and abide by the measures which shall be adopted by the members of the general congress of the Colonies.

"5th. That a committee be appointed to confer with similar committees relative to the present exigency of affairs."

Not to be behind their Scotch-Irish neighbors, the German inhabitants located in the east of the county met at Frederickstown (now Hummelstown), on Saturday, the 11th of June, at which Capt. Frederick Hummel was chairman, resolving to stand by the other townships in all their action.

We say they were ripe for revolution, and when the stirring battle-drum aroused the new-born nation, the inhabitants of Dauphin valiantly armed for the strife. One of the first companies raised in the Colonies was that of Capt. Matthew Smith, of Paxtang. Within ten days after the receipt of the news of the battle of Lexington, this company was armed and equipped, ready for service. Composing this pioneer body of patriots was the best blood of the county - the Dixons, the Elders, the Simpsons, the Boyds, the Harrises, the Reeds, the Tods and others. Archibald Steele and Michael Simpson were the lieutenants. It was the second company to arrive at Boston, coming south of the Hudson river. It was subsequently ordered to join General Arnold in his unfortunate campaign against Quebec, and the most reliable account of that expedition was written by a member of this very Paxtang company, John Joseph Henry, afterwards president judge of Lancaster and Dauphin counties. They were enlisted for one year. The majority, however, were taken prisoners at Quebec, while a large percentage died of wounds and exposure.