PICTORIAL FIELD BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION.
BY BENSON J. LOSSING
Present Scenery in Wyoming. – Allusion to Campbell’s Farm. – Visit to Kingston and Forty Fort. – The "Treaty Table" at Forty Fort. – Site of the Fort. – Visit to the Monument. – Inscription upon it. – Efforts to erect the Wyoming Monument. – Success of the Ladies. – Incidents of the Battle. – The Inman Family. – Residence and Grave of Colonel Zebulon Butler. – Mr. Slocum and his Family History. – Abduction of his Sister. – Mrs. Slocum’s Presentiments. – A Foundling. – Disappointment. – Singular Discovery of the "lost Sister." – Interview between the "lost Sister" and her white Kindred. – Her Narrative. – Her Condition. – Children and Grandchildren. – A Sabbath in Wyoming. – Visit to Mrs. Myers. – Incidents of her Life. – Escape of her Father and Brother from Indians. – Revival of Civil War in Wyoming. – Decree of Trenton. – Its Effect. – Injustice toward the "Yankees." – Inaction of Congress. – Great Deluge in Wyoming. – Danger and Distress of the Inhabitants. – Reappearance of the Soldiers. – Renewal of Hostilities. – Armstrong’s Expedition. – Stratagem. – Change in Public Sentiment. – The Censors. – Appeal for Relief. – Luzerne. – Timothy Pickering in Wyoming. – Organization of the County. – Memoir of Pickering. – New Difficulties in Wyoming. – John Franklin. – Arrest of Franklin. – Ethan Allen. – Pickering’s Escape to Philadelphia. – His Return. – Abduction and Treatment. – Wyoming quieted. – Departure from Wyoming. – A Yankee Lumberman. – Carbondale. – The Coal Mines. – Fatal Accident. – Heroic Benevolence of Mr. Bryden. – Escape of Mr. Hosea. – Effects of the Concussion. – Entrance and Exploration of the Mine. – Interior Appearance. – Fossils. – Ascent from the Mine. – Night Ride. – A Grumbler. – Change in the Coal Region. – A Coach Load. – Result of Politeness. – Bad Coach and Driver. – Milford. – The Sawkill. – Delaware River and Valley. – Port Jervis. – The Neversink Valley. – Shawangunk Mountains. – Orange and Rockland.
"I then but dream’d: thou art before me now
A mist still reposed upon the waters, and veiled the fringe of trees along the Susquehanna, when, late in the morning, I left Wilkesbarre, in company with Mr. Lord Butler, to visit the celebrities of the valley. The poetry of the bard and the solemn prose of the historian awakened thoughts and associations which invested every venerable tree and antiquated dwelling, the plains, the river, and the mountains, with all the glowing characteristics of romance. The simple beauty of nature, though changed in feature, is as attractive as of old.
"But where are they, the beings of the mind,
We crossed the plain to Kingston, a pretty village about half a mile westward of Wilkesbarre, and then proceeded to the site of Forty Fort, three and a half miles above, which is reached by a road diverging toward the river from the main road to the head of the valley. It stood near the river bank, at a curve in the stream. Not a single trace of it is left, the spot having been long a common, perfectly smooth, and covered with a green sward. Near the site of the fort is a venerable house, one of the few that escaped the general conflagration, and close by is the residence of one of Mrs. Myers’s family, in whose possession I foundthe treaty table, pictured in the last chapter. The venerable owner was not there, but I afterward saw her at the house of her son, near Kingston. A cottage and its garden occupy the bank of the river where the trembling families at Forty Fort stood and listened to the noise of the battle; and from that point is a charming river view, bounded on the northwest by the lofty range of the Shawnee Mountains, through which the Susquehanna makes its way into the valley.
From Forty Fort we rode up to the monument, which is situated in a field a few rods east of the main road, near the pleasant little village of Troy, five and a half miles from Wilkesbarre. It is constructed of hewn blocks of granite, quarried in the neighborhood, is sixty two and a half feet in height, and stands upon the spot where the dead were buried in the autumn succeeding the battle.1 On two marble tablets are engraved the names of those who fell, so far as could be ascertained, and also of those who were in the battle and survived. Another marble tablet contains an inscription, written by Edward Mallory, Esq. 2 This monument, like many others proposed to be erected to the memory of Revolutionary men or events, was tardily conceived and more tardily executed. It remained unfinished nearly forty years after the first movements were made toward raising money for the purpose. As early as 1809, Mr. Minor, the historian of the valley, wrote several essays intended to awaken public attention to the duty of erecting a monument, and in 1810 Charles F. Wells, Esq., wrote a stirring ode, concluding with the patriotic interrogation,
"O, when shall rise, with chisel’d head,
These appeals caused meetings to be held and resolutions to be adopted, but little more substantial was done until 1839, when a committee from Wyoming repaired to Hartford, to solicit pecuniary aid from the Legislature of Connecticut. The committee set forth the claims of the Wyoming people upon Connecticut, in consideration of past allegiance and services. A report was made, proposing a grant of three thousand dollars, but no further action was taken during that session. In 1841 another petition was presented, and so ably was the matter conducted that the lower branch of the Legislature voted the appropriation asked for, by a large majority. The Senate did not concur, and another failure was the consequence. The ladies of Wyoming, doubtless feeling the truth of Dr. Clarke’s assertion, that "in all benevolent or patriotic enterprises the services of one woman are equal to those of seven men and a half," resolved that the monument should be erected. They formed a "Luzerne Monumental Association,"3 solicited donations, held fairs, and by their energy obtained the necessary funds and erected a monument, commemorative alike of patriotic deeds and of female influence. There is a world of philosophy (which solicitors of subscriptions would do well to observe) in the saying of Judge Halliburton’s clock peddler, "The straight road to the pockets of the men is through the hearts of the women."
From the monument northward to the site of Wintermoot’s Fort, a mile and a half, the road passes over the battle-ground; but tillage has so changed the whole scene, that nothing remains as token or landmark of the fight, except the ancient river bank, and the tangled morass toward the mountains, through which the Indians made their way and fell upon Colonel Denison’s rear. The place was pointed out to me, upon the road side, where, tradition says, one of the Wyoming men, somewhat intoxicated, lagged behind and fell asleep, when the little band marched to the attack of the invaders. When the retreat became general, and Colonel Zebulon Butler saw no other means of safety but flight, he put spurs to his horse. A swift-footed settler, hotly pursued by savages, caught the tail of Colonel Butler’s horse as he passed by, and, with the tenacity of the witch that fastened upon the tail of Tam O’Shanter’s mare, held on until he was far beyond danger. As they passed the spot where the inebriate had just awaked, perfectly sober, the man at the tail shouted to him to shoot the pursuing salvage. He did so, and the Indian fell dead in the road. Near the same spot Rufus Bennet was pursued by an Indian. Both had discharged their pieces, and the savage was chasing with tomahawk and spear. Richard Inman, one of five brothers who were in the battle, shot the Indian with his rifle, who fell dead within a few feet of his intended victim.4
Passing over the battle-ground, we visited the site ofWintermoot’s Fort, a view of which is given on page 351, and, going down on the ancient bank of the Susquehanna, we came to Queen Esther’s Rock, noticed and described on page 357. There is a scow ferry near, by which we crossed to the eastern side of the river, along whose margin, skirted with lofty trees, we had a delightful ride to the ravine opposite Monocasy Island. Here the road departs from the river bank, and passes among fertile intervales between that point and Wilkesbarre. The wheat harvests were garnered, but the corn-fields and orchards were laden with the treasures of the season, their abundance betokening the extreme fertility of the soil. We passed the homestead of Colonel Butler, near which,
"On the margin of yon orchard hill,
Near the entrance to the village we came to the cemetery where repose many of the patriot dead of Wyoming. There rest the remains of Colonel Butler and his wife. The rude slab that first marked the bed of the hero had been removed, and in its place a neat white marble stone is laid, bearing the following inscription: "In memory of COLONEL ZEBULON BUTLER, of the Revolutionary army, who died July 28th, 1795, in the 64th year of his age; and also in memory of Mrs. Phœbe H. Butler, his wife, who died January 19th, 1837, in the 82d year of her age."
It was late in the day when I reached my lodgings, and, wearied by the rambles of the morning, resolved to pass the remainder of the afternoon with the Hazleton Travelers. Their conversation was exclusively of those who acted and suffered at the time of the massacre, and I listened with intense interest to the recitals of the "knowing one." I would gladly give the details here, if my space would allow, for they furnish one of the most interesting of those chapters in our Revolutionary history, showing the terrible cost at which our liberties were purchased. Mr. Minor has made the record, and to it the reader is referred.
I passed the evening with the venerable Joseph Slocum, whose family was among the sufferers in the Wyoming Valley. He related to me all the particulars of the capture and final discovery of his sister Frances, and other incidents connected with the sufferings of his family. His father was a Quaker, and was distinguished for his kindness to the Indians. He remained unharmed at the time of the invasion, and, while the torch was applied to the dwellings of others, his was left untouched. But his son Giles was in the battle. This doubtless excited the ire of the Indians, and they resolved on vengeance. Late in autumn they were seen prowling about the house, which was situated about one hundred rods from the Wilkesbarre Fort. A neighbor named Kingsley had been made a prisoner, and his wife and two sons had a welcome home in Mr. Slocum’s family. One morning[November 2, 1778.] the two boys were grinding a knife near the house, when a rifle-shot and a shriek brought Mrs. Slocum to the door. An Indian was scalping the eldest boy, a lad of fifteen, with the knife he had been grinding. The savage then went into the house, and caught up a little son of Mrs. Slocum. "See!" exclaimed the frightened mother, "he can do thee no good; he is lame." The Indian released the boy, took up her little daughter Frances, aged five years, gently in his arms, and, seizing the younger Kingsley, hastened to the mountains. Two Indians who were with him carried off a black girl, about seventeen years old. Mr. Slocum’s little daughter, aged nine years, caught up her brother Joseph (my informant), two and a half years old, and fled in safety to the fort, where an alarm was given, but the savages were beyond successful pursuit.
About six weeks afterward[December 16.] Mr. Slocum and his father-in-law, Ira Trip, were shot and scalped by some Indians while foddering cattle near the house. Again the savages escaped with their horrid trophies. Mrs. Slocum, bereft of father, husband, and child, and stripped of all possessions but the house that sheltered her, could not leave the valley, for nine helpless children were yet in her household. She trusted in the God of Elijah, and, if she was not fed by the ravens, she was spared by the vultures. She mourned not for the dead, for they were at rest; but little Frances, her lost darling, where was she? The lamp of hope kept on burning, but years rolled by, and no tidings of the little one came. When peace returned, and friendly intercourse with Canada was established, two of the little captive’s brothers started in search of her. They traversed the wilderness to Niagara, offering rewards for her discovery, but all in vain. They returned to Wyoming, convinced that the child was dead. But the mother’s heart was still the shrine of hope, and she felt assured that Frances was not in the grave. Her soul appeared to commune with that of her child, and she often said, "I know Frances is living." At length the mother’s heart was cheered; a woman (for many years had now passed, and Frances, if living, must be a full-grown woman) was found among the Indians, answering the description of the lost one. She only remembered being carried away from the Susquehanna. Mrs. Slocum took her home and cherished her with a mother’s tenderness. Yet the mysterious link of sympathy which binds the maternal spirit to its offspring was unfelt, and the bereaved mother was bereaved still. "It may be Frances, but it does not seem so. Yet the woman shall be ever welcome," said Mrs. Slocum. The foundling also felt no filial yearnings, and, both becoming convinced that no consanguinity existed, the orphan returned to her Indian friends. From time to time the hope of the mother would be revived, and journeys were made to distant Indian settlements in search of the lost sister, but in vain. The mother went "down into the grave mourning," and little Frances was almost forgotten. Her brothers had become aged men, and their grandchildren were playing upon the very spot whence she had been taken.
In the summer of 1837, fifty-nine years after her capture, intelligence of Frances was received. Colonel Ewing, an Indian agent and trader, in a letter from Logansport, Indiana, to the editor of the Lancaster Intelligencer,5 gave such information that all doubts respecting her identity were removed, and Joseph Slocum, with the sister who carried him to the fort, and yet survived, immediately journeyed to Ohio, where they were joined by their younger brother Isaac. They proceeded to Logansport, where they found Mr. Ewing, and ascertained that the woman spoken of by him lived about twelve miles from the village. She was immediately sent for, and toward evening the next day she came into the town, riding a spirited young horse, accompanied by her two daughters, dressed in full Indian costume, and the husband of one of them. An interpreter was procured (for she could not speak or understand English), and she listened seriously to what her brothers had to say. She answered but little, and at sunset departed for her home, promising to return the next morning. The brothers and sister were quite sure that it was indeed Frances, though in her face nothing but Indian lineaments were seen, her color alone revealing her origin.
FRANCES SLOCUM – MA-CON-A-QUA.6
True to her appointment, she appeared the following morning, accompanied as before. Mr. Joseph Slocum then mentioned a mark of recognition, which his mother had said would be a sure test. While playing one day with a hammer in a blacksmith’s shop, Joseph, then a child two and a half years old, gave Frances a blow upon the middle finger of the left hand, which crushed the bone and deprived the finger of its nail. This test Mr. Slocum had withheld until others should fail. When he mentioned it, the aged woman was greatly agitated, and, while tears filled the furrows of her face, she held out the wounded finger. There was no longer a doubt, and a scene of great interest ensued. Her affections for her kindred, that had slumbered half a century, were aroused, and she made earnest inquiries after her father, mother, brothers, and sisters. Her full heart – full with the cherished secrets of her history – was opened, and the story of her life freely given. She said the savages (who were Delawares), after taking her to a rocky cave in the mountains, departed for the Indian country. The first night was the unhappiest of her life. She was kindly treated, being carried tenderly in their arms when she was weary. She was adopted in an Indian family, and brought up as their daughter. For years she led a roving life, and loved it. She was taught the use of the bow and arrow, and became expert in all the employments of savage existence. When she was grown to womanhood both her Indian parents died, and she soon afterward married a young chief of the nation, and removed to the Ohio country. She was treated with more respect than the Indian women generally; and so happy was she in her domestic relations, that the chance of being discovered and compelled to return among the whites was the greatest evil that she feared, for she had been taught that they were the implacable enemies of the Indians, whom she loved. Her husband died, and, her people having joined the Miamies, she went with them and married one of that tribe. The last husband was also dead, and she had been a widow many years. Children and grandchildren were around her, and her life was passing pleasantly away. When she concluded the narrative, she lifted her right hand in a solemn manner, and said, "All this is as true as that there is a Great Spirit in the heavens!" She had entirely forgotten her native language, and was a pagan. To her Christ and the Christian’s Sabbath were unknown.
On the day after the second interview, the brothers and sister, with the interpreter, rode out to her dwelling. It was a well-built log house, in the midst of cultivation. A large herd of cattle and sixty horses were grazing in the pastures. Every thing betokened plenty and comfort, for she was wealthy, when her wants and her means were compared. Her annuity from government, which she received as one of the Miami tribe, had been saved, and she had about one thousand dollars in specie. Her white friends passed several days very agreeably with her; and subsequently her brother Joseph, with his daughter, the wife of the Hon. Ziba Bennet of Wyoming, made her another visit, and bade her a last farewell. She died about four years ago, and was buried with considerable pomp, for she was regarded as a queen among her tribe.7
I passed a Sabbath in Wyoming[September 18, 1848.]. It was a dull and cheerless day. The mountains were hooded with vapor, and all day a chilly drizzle made the trees weep. But Monday morning dawned clear and warm, and in the course of the day I revisited Forty Fort and the battle-ground, ascended the mountain to Prospect Rock, to obtain another glorious view of the valley, peeped into the black caverns of the coal mines at the foot of the hills, and at noon took shelter from the hot sun in the shaded walks of Toby’s Eddy, where Zinzendorf pitched his tent. Thence I rode to the residence of Mr. Myers, a son of the venerable lady already alluded to, where I passed an interesting hour with the living chronicle of the woes of Wyoming. I found her sitting in an easy chair, peeling apples, and her welcome was as cheerful and cordial as she could have given to a cherished friend. Her memory was clear, and she related the incidents of her girlhood with a perspicuity that evinced remarkable mental vigor. Although blindness has shut out the beautiful, and deprived her of much enjoyment, yet pious resignation, added to natural vivacity, makes her society extremely agreeable. "I am like a withered stalk, whose flower hath fallen," she said; "but," she added with a pleasant smile, "the fragrance still lingers." She was sixteen years old at the time of the invasion, and was in Forty Fort when it surrendered. Every minute circumstance there she remembered clearly, and her narrative of events was substantially the same as recorded in the last chapter. Her father’s house was near the fort, and for a week after the surrender it was spared, while others were plundered and destroyed. Every morning when she arose her first thought was their house, and she would go early to see if it was safe. One morning as she looked she saw the flames burst through the roof, and in an hour it was a heap of embers. She remained two weeks in the valley after the surrender of the fort. The Indians kept her face painted and a white fillet around her head, as a protection against the tomahawks of strange savages, and she was treated very kindly by them. When Colonel Denison and others fled from the valley, she and her family accompanied them. After the savages left the valley, her family returned, and for seventy years she has enjoyed the sweets of peace and domestic happiness. Her maiden name was Bennet, and her family were conspicuous in the events at Wyoming during the Revolution. 8 She has been many years a widow. One of her sons was high sheriff of Luzerne county, another was a magistrate, and a daughter is the wife of the Rev. Dr. Peck, the editor of the Methodist Episcopal Review, published at the "Book Concern," in New York. She is yet living (November, 1849), at the ripe age of eighty-eight years, honored and beloved by all.
I returned to Wilkesbarre at sunset[September 20.]. The evening was as pleasant as June, and the moonlight scene from the upper piazza of the Phœnix, embracing the quiet-flowing Susquehanna, with its fringe of noble trees; the sparkling of the lights at Kingston, and the dark outline of the Shawnee Mountains, all hallowed by historic associations, was one of great beauty and interest. Let us employ the quiet hour in reminiscences of some stirring events that occurred, within trumpet call of our presence, after the Revolution, for early on the morrow I must leave Wyoming, perhaps forever.
We have considered the civil war that disturbed Wyoming before the Revolution. That great movement absorbed all lesser topics; but as soon as the storm had subsided, and private interests again became paramount, old jealousies and animosities were resuscitated, and struggled into active life. As soon as all fear of the Indians had subsided, Connecticut poured hundreds of immigrants into this paradise of the Susquehanna. The influx was regarded with jealousy by the Pennsylvanians, and it was not long before all the rancor of the Pennymite and Yankee war was reproduced.
The Articles of Confederation, under which the general government of the United States was carried on, having made provision for the adjustment of difficulties that might arise between states, and Connecticut insisting upon the maintenance of its jurisdiction over Wyoming, Pennsylvania applied to Congress to appoint a commission to hear the claimants by representatives, and to determine the question in dispute. The commissioners met at Trenton, in New Jersey, toward the close of 1782, and, after a session of five weeks, decided, unanimously, that Connecticut had no right to the land in controversy, and that the jurisdiction and pre-emption of all lands belonged to Pennsylvania. The people of Wyoming appeared to be well satisfied with the decision, for, considering it a question of jurisdiction only, they deemed it a matter of little moment whether they rendered allegiance to Connecticut or Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvanians, however, did not so construe the decision, but contended not only for jurisdiction, but for the soil, and steps were immediately taken for a sweeping ejectment of the Connecticut settlers. In March ensuing, two companies were sent to garrison the fort at Wilkesbarre, under the pretext of affording protection to the people; and the name of the fort was changed to Dickinson, in honor of the President of the Council of the State. Pennsylvania had already appointed three commissioners to repair to Wyoming, to inquire into the state of affairs, and report proper measures to be adopted toward the settlers. Their report proposed an entire surrender, on the part of the Wyoming people, of their tenures, and all claim to the soil then in their possession, with their improvements; in lieu of which they were to receive an indefinite compensation, at the option of their oppressors, in the wild lands of some unknown region. It was a most unjust and tyrannical measure, for the right to the soil had been purchased, not only with money, but with the dreadful sufferings of those about to be driven away. This report of the commissioners, and the quartering of troops in the valley, now that the war was ended, and the spirit of tyrannical domination that characterized the soldiers, greatly exasperated the people, and they were upon the verge of open insurrection for several months.
Early in the autumn two special justices of the peace were appointed, who, in concert with the military, formed a tribunal for the adjudication of all questions arising under the civil law. The real object of constituting this tribunal, sustained by military force, was obvious; it was to dispossess the Connecticut people of their farms. The tribunal became an instrument of cruelty and oppression, and a disgrace to the character of civilization. The next year[1783.], according to Chapman, "the people were not only subject to insult, but their crops were destroyed in their fields, their cattle were seized and driven away, and in some instances their houses were destroyed by fire and the females rendered victims of licentiousness." But why this rigorous treatment? "It was," says Pickering, "not only to strip the people of their possessions, but, by wearying them of their ‘promised land,’ drive them from the valley." Although the inhabitants were greatly excited, they loved peace and order, and appealed to the Legislature of Pennsylvania for justice. Their appeal was unnoticed, and they sent a memorial to Congress. That body resolved [January 23, 1784.] that a committee of the states should hear both parties on the first Monday in June following; but neither Congress nor a committee of the states were in session at the time designated, and the people were left without redress.
In the mean while a terrible scourge swept over the valley. The winter had been intensely cold; snow fell to a great depth, and the Susquehanna was bridged by ice of uncommon thickness. The mountains, covered with forests, treasured up vast beds of snow among their rocks and in their deep ravines, from the action of the sun. In March[1784.], a warm rain fell for nearly three days in succession. The snow melted, and every mountain rivulet became a sweeping torrent, pouring its volume into the Susquehanna. The ice in the river was broken up, and the huge masses, borne upon the flood, obstructed by trees, formed immense dams, spreading the waters of the swollen river over the plains. At length the narrow Nanticoke pass at the lower end of the valley became blocked with the ice, and the water, flowing back, submerged the river flats, and filled all the lower intervales. Houses and barns were uplifted on the bosom of the waters. The people fled to the higher points in the valley, some to the mountains. For several hours the waters continued to rise, until suddenly a dam in the mountain gorge, at the upper end of the valley, gave way, and down came the flood with fearful strength. All the ice barriers in the valley were broken up, and the ponderous masses of ice, mingled with floating houses, barns, fences, drowned cattle and sheep, stacks of hay, furniture, and agricultural implements, were scattered over the plains, 9 or hurried forward to the broader expanse of the river below. It was a scene of fearful grandeur, and to the poor settlers, shivering in the mountains, or huddled upon the little hills in the midst of the roaring floods, the star of hope seemed forever set. The present was utter desolation – the future would unveil injustice and oppression.
As soon as the floods subsided the inhabitants returned, and with them came the soldiers, who snatched from them nearly all of the little food that had been saved, for they were "quartered upon the people." Their rapacity and oppression were greater than ever, and the settlers, anxious to retrieve their farms from the ruin of the flood, were not allowed to work in peace, but were tormented by them continually. At length the people resolved to oppose their oppressors by force, and armed for the purpose. The magistracy, indignant at their presumption, sent out the soldiers to disarm them; and in the process one hundred and fifty families, many of whom had lost portions of their household in the battle of Wyoming, were turned out of their newly-constructed dwellings, and compelled to fly on foot through the wilderness to the Delaware, a distance of eighty miles. Houses were burned, and other atrocities were committed. Ashamed of such conduct, the Legislature of Pennsylvania (which had refused to vote supplies to the sufferers by the flood), when the naked facts were known, endeavored to heal the wounds which, under its sanction, had been inflicted, and, in a measure, to wipe out the stain that rested upon the state authorities. The troops were discharged, except a small guard left at Fort Dickinson, and a proclamation was issued, inviting the people who had been driven away to return. Some of them did so, but the valley was allowed but a short season of repose.
So many of the discharged soldiers joined the guard at the Wilkesbarre Fort, that the people, alarmed, garrisoned Forty Fort. A party of them, having occasion to visit their grain-fields below, were fired upon by a detachment of thirty from the other fort[July 20, 1784.], and two promising young men were killed. The people resolved on retaliation, and about midnight marched to Wilkesbarre Fort, to take the garrison by surprise. The latter, informed of the movement, were prepared to receive them, and the settlers returned to Forty Fort with a stock of provisions. On the 27th, the people, led by Colonel John Franklin, a native of Connecticut, invested the Wilkesbarre Fort, and made a formal summons for surrender. Two hours were allowed the besieged for an answer. Before one hour had elapsed information was received that a considerable re-enforcement for the garrison was approaching. The siege was raised, and the besiegers returned to Forty Fort. It was a false alarm; the strangers, who were supposed to be the pioneers of a large number who were approaching, were a committee appointed by the state council to proceed to Wyoming and disarm both parties. A conference was held, and such was the state of feeling that neither party would listen to the commissioners.
Stronger measures were now deemed necessary, and Colonel John Armstrong was sent with a considerable force to establish order in the valley. From Easton he sent forward a detachment, which was captured among the mountains on its way to Wyoming, by a party of Connecticut people[August 2, 1784.]. Armstrong pushed forward, and on the 4th of August reached Wyoming, where his whole force numbered about four hundred men, including the garrison in Wilkesbarre or Dickinson Fort. He found Forty Fort too strong for successful attack, and resorted to stratagem. He professed pacific intentions, and proposed to the people of all parties to deliver up their arms at Fort Dickinson, and there reclaim any property which they might identify as their own. Numbers of the Connecticut people believed him sincere, went to the fort, delivered up their arms, and were captured. Forty of them were sent to the prison at Sunbury, and nearly as many to Easton. The jailer of the latter place was knocked down by a young man named Inman, and the whole party escaped [September 17.]. They returned to the valley in company with about forty Vermonters, and, finding Armstrong and the few men left with him (for a large portion of his men had been discharged when the prisoners were sent to jail) harvesting the crops, they attacked them and drove them into Fort Dickinson. Forty Fort was again garrisoned by the people, and a plan was arranged for recovering the arms which they had surrendered. A blockhouse in which they were stored was attacked, and the arms recovered. Two men in the block-house were mortally wounded.
On hearing of this latter event, the executive council sent another expedition to Wyoming, under Armstrong, who was at the same time promoted to the office of adjutant general of the state. But the sympathies of the people of Pennsylvania began to be enlisted in favor of the Wyoming settlers, and they were regarded as a persecuted party. President Dickinson also remonstrated with the Council and General Assembly, but to no purpose.10 It so happened that about this time the Board of Censors held their septennial meeting. They called upon the Assembly for papers relative to Wyoming. The Assembly refused acquiescence. A mandamus was issued, but the Assembly treated it with contempt. Thus treated, and viewing affairs justly, the Censors openly espoused the cause of the Connecticut people, condemned all of the military proceedings, and passed a vote of censure upon the government of the state. This strengthened the hands and hearts of the Wyoming people. They defied Armstrong and his troops; and as winter was approaching, food scarce, and not a recruit could be obtained, that officer discharged the garrison and returned to Philadelphia. Though relieved of the presence of the military, the condition of the settlers was indeed deplorable. What the spring flood had spared was small, and the presence of the troops had prevented sowing and reaping. They appealed to Congress and to Connecticut for aid, 11 but they received little more than the cold charity of words – "Be ye clothed, and be ye fed" – without contributing to their necessities. The last military expedition against Wyoming had been accomplished, yet the question of possession was unsettled, and they had but little heart to improve their lands, not knowing how soon other efforts might be made to dispossess them. The population, however, increased rapidly, and for two years quiet prevailed in Wyoming. On the petition of the people, the district of Wyoming and vicinity were formed into a new county [1786.], which they named Luzerne. 12
About this time Colonel Timothy Pickering,13 of Massachusetts, but then a resident of Pennsylvania, visited Wyoming, and made himself thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of the valley. He became convinced that the settlers were satisfied with the political system of the state, and were ready to become obedient citizens of the commonwealth if they could be quieted in the possession of their farms. These views he communicated to Dr. Rush and other eminent men in Philadelphia, who, anxious to have an amicable adjustment of the difficulties, proposed to Mr. Pickering to accept of the five principal county offices, and remove to Wyoming; for he, being a New England man, would doubtless exercise great influence over the people. He accepted the proposition and went to Wyoming, bearing to the Connecticut people the full assurance that the Pennsylvania Legislature would pass a law quieting them in their possessions.
Clothed with the necessary power, Colonel Pickering proceeded to hold elections and to organize the county. He succeeded in persuading the people to memorialize the Legislature for a compromise law, the chief provisions of which should be, that, in case the commonwealth would grant them the seventeen townships14 which had been laid out, and on which settlements had been commenced previous to the decree of Trenton, they would, on their part, relinquish all their claims to any other lands within the limits of the Susquehanna purchase. The law was enacted, but new difficulties arose. Many of the best lands in these townships had been granted by the government of Pennsylvania to its own citizens, in the face of the claims of the Connecticut people. These proprietors must be satisfied. Commissioners were accordingly appointed, under the law, to go to Wyoming to examine and adjust claims on both sides. 15 They met in May, arranged the preliminaries, and adjourned until August [1787.]. The law satisfied those within the seventeen townships, but the Connecticut people had extended settlements beyond these limits, and these, excluded from the benefits of the law, were much dissatisfied. It was also said that, pending the negotiations, the Susquehanna Company had been using great exertions to increase the number of settlers in the unincluded districts, and Colonel Pickering positively asserted that gratuitous offers of land were made to such as would come armed, "to man their rights." 16 The most active man in this alleged movement was John Franklin, whose great popularity enabled him to stir up a violent commotion among the "out-siders" – so violent that the commissioners were obliged to flee from, the valley for personal safety. Chief-justice M‘Kean issued a warrant for the arrest of Franklin, on the charge of high treason. But how should they catch him? They could not trust the proper officer, the sheriff of Luzerne county, who was living in the midst of the insurgents, as they were called. Four strong, bold men, two of whom had served in the Revolutionary army, were selected for the purpose, and they repaired to Wyoming. 17 Franklin was then thirty-five miles distant, exciting the people to armed resistance. Preparations were made for his safe-conduct to Philadelphia, and, on his return, he was arrested at the "Red House," near the river.
THE "RED HOUSE."18
It was with great difficulty that he was secured, and, as the people were assembling for his rescue, he would doubtless have escaped, had not Colonel Pickering interfered. Observing the commotion from the window of his house, he sallied out with his pistols, and, presenting one to the breast of Franklin, kept him quiet while he was securely bound to a horse. Franklin was carried to Philadelphia and cast into prison. The interference of Colonel Pickering greatly exasperated the people, and retaliatory measures were immediately adopted. He was informed of the fact that a party was about to seize him, and he fled to the mountains, whence he made his way to Philadelphia. The partisans of Franklin now became alarmed. They acknowledged their offense to the council, and prayed for pardon. Under these circumstances, Pickering thought it safe for him to return to his family, particularly as the very people whose acts had driven him away had chosen him a delegate to the General Assembly during his exile! He returned, but found many of the people still much exasperated against him, and he was often menaced. Finally, one night in June[1778.], fifteen ruffians, with painted faces, burst open the door of the room where himself and wife were sleeping, bound him with cords, and in the darkness of the night carried him up the valley. For twenty days he was kept by them in the forest, and subjected to ill treatment in various forms. Sometimes they threatened him with death; then he was manacled and chained, and in this way the miscreants tormented him, and tried to wring from him a letter to the executive council recommending the discharge of Franklin. When this requirement was first proposed, and his own release promised on his compliance, Pickering promptly replied, "The executive council better understand their duty than to discharge a traitor to procure the release of an innocent man." This determined tone and manner he preserved throughout. They finally released him, and he found his way back to Wilkesbarre, where his death was considered a matter of certainty. Haggard and unshaven, his wife regarded him with consternation, and his children fled from him affrighted.
This was the last scene in the drama of violence so long enacted in Wyoming. Franklin was liberated on bail, and finally discharged; and he and Pickering often met as friends in public life afterward. The disputes about land titles and possessions in Wyoming remained unsettled for nearly fifteen years, while the population rapidly increased. Ultimately the claims were all quieted by law, and for the last forty years the sweet vale of Wyoming has presented a beautiful picture of repose and prosperity.19 We will close the record and retire, for the moon has gone down behind the western hills, and chilly vapors are coming up from the bosom of the river.
I left Wilkesbarre on the mail-coach early on Tuesday morning[September 20, 1848.], for the Lackawanna Valley and the coal regions of Luzerne. The whole of Wyoming was wrapped in a dense fog, and from the driver’s box, where I had secured a seat, it was with difficulty that we could observe objects beyond the leaders. The coveted pleasure of another view of the beautiful scenery as we passed along the uplands was denied; but when we arrived at Pittston, the cool breeze that came through the mountain gateway of the Susquehanna, and from the valley of the Lackawanna, swept away the vapor, and revealed the rich plains at the head of the valley, the majestic curve of the river where it receives its tributary, and the grandeur of its rocky margins toward the north. At the junction of the rivers we turned eastward, and in a few moments Wyoming and all its attractions were left behind, and scenery and associations of a far different cast were around us.
The Lackawanna River flows in a deep bed, and its valley, wider than Wyoming, is very rough and hilly, but thickly strewn with fertile spots. Iron and anthracite every where abound; and the latter is so near the surface in many places, that the farmers in autumn quarry out their winter’s stock of fuel upon their own plantations with very little labor. Several iron manufactories are seated upon the river between its mouth and Carbondale, and little villages, brought forth and fostered by these industrial establishments, enliven the otherwise ungenial features of the route. At one of these, called Hyde Park, we lunched and changed horses, receiving an addition to our company in the person of a tall, cadaverous Yankee lumberman, who, with a huge musk-melon and jack-knife in his hand, took a seat beside me on the driver’s box. Having satisfied his own appetite with the melon, he generously handed the small remainder to the driver and myself; and the moment his jaws ceased mastication, his tongue began to wag like a "mill-tail." He discoursed fluently, if not wisely, upon the general demerits of fever and ague, whose subject he had been for nearly a year, and upon the particular productiveness of "Varmount." "It’s a garden of flowers," he said, "while York state, and all ’tother side on’t, is wild land, raisin’ nothin’ but snakes and agers."
"Compared to New England, our horses are colts,
He was a capital specimen of the genus "brag," refined by superb Munchausen polish. His voice was a shrill falsetto, and, every word being audible to the passengers, we soon had a laughing chorus within the coach that awoke the echoes of the hills.
Approaching Carbondale, the road gently ascends a mountain ridge until all traces of cultivation disappear, and pines and cedars compose the forest. From this rugged height it winds along the steep acclivities; and the mining village, in the bosom of a deep, rocky intervale, may be seen below, at a distance of more than a mile. It was about two o’clock when we arrived at Carbondale. Having two hours leisure before the departure of the mail-coach for Honesdale and the Delaware, I applied to Mr. James Clarkson, the chief surveyor at the mines, for permission to enter one of them. It was cordially granted, and, in company with his assistant, Mr. Alexander Bryden, as guide, I entered the one wherein an appalling circumstance, resulting in the death of several miners, occurred on the morning of the 12th of January, 1846. Indications of danger were observed several months previously in one of the chambers. The pillars of coal and pine logs that supported the roof seemed to be crushing beneath the superincumbent weight, and the chamber was abandoned. Other portions of the mine appeared to be safe, although in some cases the roof of slate was cracked. Suddenly, at about eight o’clock on the morning in question, nearly sixty acres of the hill covering the mines sunk about two feet, crushing every thing beneath it, and producing a powerful concussion. The fall was accompanied by a sound similar to distant thunder, and a shock which was perceptible throughout the village. Fortunately, a large portion of the workmen were at breakfast. Under or beyond the fallen body were about sixty men. The intelligence of the disaster rapidly spread, and general alarm pervaded the town. There were few who did not fear that some relative or friend was buried in the mine. The scene was exceedingly painful, and not easily described. There were daughters, wives, and mothers at the mouth of the mine, in an agony of expectation that a loved one was lost, and for a while it was difficult to enter to attempt a rescue of those within. The superintendents and others proceeded immediately, and at the risk of their own lives, to examine the bounds of the destruction. It was soon perceived that some, whose station must be within the limits of the fall, were probably killed.
Beyond the point where the roof was secure, some thirty or more of the men had escaped immediate death, but their situation was truly horrible, having lost their lights, the roof still cracking and breaking around them, and scarcely a hope left of escape from the spot. Mr. Bryden, with courage sustained by love for his fellow-men, boldly entered the mine, and endeavored to reach the point where the men were imprisoned. He succeeded, after much labor, and released them. Informed that a man who had met with a serious accident had been left in another chamber, Mr. Bryden directed his steps thitherward. He found the wounded man, and carried him upon his back to his companions. Within five minutes after Mr. Bryden left the chamber with his burden of life, the passage he had traversed was entirely closed by the crushed pillars of coal.
Among those known to have been at about the center of the fall a short time before the occurrence, was a young Scotchman named Hosea, another of the superintendents. Diligent search was made for him on that and the succeeding day without success. On the third day, while a party were in search of him, he emerged from the mines unaided, having dug his way out through fallen masses with his hands! The excitement relative to him had been extreme, and his sudden appearance, under the circumstances, produced great joy. He had been recently married. His young bride, having lost all hope of his recovery alive, was in a store purchasing mourning materials, when he was carried by homeward in a sleigh. The people flocked to his house, and saluted him as one risen from the dead. The hours he had spent entangled in the passages of the mines were horrible indeed. At one time he saw the glimmer of lights. He tried to make himself heard by the party carrying them, but was unsuccessful. He ran toward them, but, stumbling against a car, he fell senseless. When he revived, the lights had disappeared, and all was intense gloom. He scrambled over broken rocks and through narrow apertures, and finally reached one of the rail-roads and made his way out, having been forty-eight hours laboring, without food or drink, in removing the fallen masses. Fourteen perished by the disaster; the bodies of nine have been recovered, the remainder are still in the chambers – to them the "chambers of death." The air was expelled from the mine, when the superincumbent mass settled, with great force. A train of empty cars, drawn by a horse driven by a boy, was just entering when the event occurred. The boy and horse were instantly killed, and the train was shattered in pieces. The horse appeared to have been rolled over several times by the blast, and pieces of the harness were found thirty feet from his body.
CARS ENTERING THE MINES.
It was into this mine, now considered perfectly safe, that Mr. Bryden conducted me. Seated upon a square block of wood on the bottom of one of a train of mine cars, in the attitude of a toad, each with a torch in his hand, we entered an aperture at the base of the mountain, by the side of the canal. The cars (five in a train), running upon iron rails, and drawn by a horse, are three feet long and two feet wide at top, tapering to the bottom. Thus boxed up, and our heads bowed in meek submission to the menaces of the low roof of the passage, we penetrated the mountain nearly half a mile, when we came to an inclined plane. There the horse that took us in was attached to a loaded train that had just descended, and went back to the entrance. The darkness was so profound, that objects could be seen by the light of our torches only a few feet from us, and on all sides were the black walls of anthracite, glistening in some places with water that trickled through the crevices. At the foot of the inclined plane we were one hundred and seventy feet beneath the surface of the earth. Up the rough steep, seven hundred and fifty feet, we clambered on foot, and, when half way to the summit, we saw the cables moving and heard the rumble of a descending train.20 The passage is so narrow that there is very little space on each side of the cars. We were, therefore, obliged, for our safety, to seek out one of the slippery ledges of anthracite wide enough to sustain us, and, while thus "laid upon a shelf," the vehicles, with their burden, thundered by.
A little beyond the inclined plane is the region of the fall. Here the roof is lower than in other parts. Crushed timbers and pulverized anthracite, the remains of the supporters of the chambers, are seen for some distance; and the filled-up avenues that led to other chambers, where some of the bodies remain buried, were pointed out to me.
APPEARANCE OF THE CHAMBERS.21
We at length reached the chambers where men were working, each with a lamp suspended by a hook from the front of his cap So intense was the darkness that when a little distance from a workman nothing of him could be seen but his head and shoulders below the lamp. The coal is quarried by blasting with powder; and the sulphurous vapor that filled the vaults, and the dull lights, with hideous-looking heads, apparently trunkless, beneath them, moving in the gloom, gave imagination free license to draw a picture of the palace of Pluto. Added to the sight was the feeling of awe which the apparent dangers of the place engendered, as the recollection of the tragedy just recorded was kept alive by the identification of localities connected with the event, by my guide. After collecting a few fossils,22 we sought the "wind entrance," and, ascending a flight of steps about twenty-five feet, we stood high upon the mountain overlooking Carbondale, three quarters of a mile from the place of our entrance. Notwithstanding the air is comparatively pure within, except in the working chambers at the time of blasting, I breathed much freer when standing in the sunlight, and removed from all danger. Hastening down the mountain to the canal, I washed my fossils and hurried to the stage-office in the village, where I arrived just in time to hear the provoking rattle of the coachwheels half a mile distant, on the road to Honesdale, leaving me to decide the question whether to remain over a day, or, departing at nine in the evening, ride all night. I chose the latter alternative, and passed the remainder of the afternoon among the mines and miners.
I left Carbondale at nine in the evening, and arrived at Cherry Hill, thirteen miles distant, at one in the morning. The road was exceedingly rough and the coach rickety. I had but a single fellow-passenger, and he was as deaf as a post. He was a grumbler of the first water, and his loud thoughts so amused me that I had no inclination to sleep. At Cherry Hill we awaited the coach from Honesdale. Informed that its arrival would be two hours later, we took beds; but the first dream had scarcely begun, when the wooden voice of a Dutch hostler broke our slumbers with the cry of "Stage!" We were charged a quarter each for the privilege of warming a cold bed, which made the deaf grumbler swear like a pirate. A young woman, unused to crowds, occupied a place by the side of the driver, and I was obliged to shrink into proper dimensions to share a seat within, with two elderly women who were by no means diminutive. "I can’t be squeezed, I can’t be squeezed !" cried one of them, as I opened the coach-door to get in. My size was magnified in the darkness to very improper dimensions, but the lady was pacified by a solemn assurance that what she saw was more than half overcoat. Thus packed, we were trundled over one of the roughest roads in Pike county, and at six o’clock were set down at Decker’s, among the Lackawanna Mountains, where we breakfasted. Before reaching there, rain began to fall, and the delicate young lady, who occupied a seat with the driver for the sake of fresh air, implored shelter within. Of course her petition was granted, but she proved a destroyer of the comfort of two of the passengers. She was a plump Dutch girl, weighing nearly two hundred, and the two old gentlemen, who, in the plenitude of their good will and politeness, had offered her a seat upon their knees before she alighted from above, "worked their passage" down the rough mountain roads, for the horses were allowed a loose rein while the shower lasted. One of the victims, whose obesity was conspicuous, declared that his gallantry could not have extended another rood, and that the announcement of the appearance of Decker’s sign-post was as grateful to him as the "land ho!" is to the returning mariner.
At Decker’s we changed coaches, horses, and drivers. The former, like the morals of the latter, were very dilapidated. A worse vehicle and more wicked driver than we were in the custody of I never encountered. The rain fell copiously for two hours, and every passenger was subjected to the filthy drippings through the leaky roof of the coach, and the more filthy drippings of profanity and low slang from the lips of the driver, who was within speaking distance of a companion upon another stage.
Toward noon the clouds broke, and I escaped from my damp prison to the driver’s box just as we reached the brow of the loftiest hill over which the road passes before descending to the Delaware Valley. Twenty miles eastward loomed up the dark range of the Shawangunk Mountains; on our right, far below, sparkled a beautiful bell-shaped lake fringed with evergreens, and, as far as the eye could reach, wooded hills stood "peeping over each others shoulders." The scenery was as wild and more diversified than that of the Pocono. Suddenly we came upon the brow of the mountain that overlooks the beautiful plain of Milford, on the Delaware, and in a few minutes we were rattling through the pretty village. Milford is remarkable for the picturesque beauty of its own location and surrounding country, and for the size of one of its publicans, who died in 1841.23 Near it are the beautiful falls of the Sawkill, where,
"Swift as an arrow from the bow.
But the pleasure of a visit thither were denied us by the urgent beck of time. It was after one o’clock, and we must be at Port Jervis, eight miles distant, at three, to enter the cars for the Hudson River, our point of destination.
The road from Milford to Port Jervis24 passes along the margin of the Delaware Valley, sometimes beneath steep acclivities that seem ready to topple down. We crossed the river upon a bateau propelled by two strong men with poles, and guided by a rope stretched over the stream, and reached the rail-way station just as the last bell was ringing and a dark cloud began to pour out its contents. In a few minutes we were sweeping along the slopes of the Neversink Valley, and ascending, by a circuitous route, to the lofty passes among the Shawangunk Mountains.
VIEW ON THE SHAWANGUNK MOUNTAINS.
The scenery here was indescribably grand. On the right the hills towered far above, and on the left, a thousand feet below, was the fertile valley of the Neversink lying in the shadows of the lofty hills on the west. The table-land upon the summit inclines gently to the eastward; and a little before sunset we passed through the fine grazing lands of Orange, lying between Middletown and Goshen, where the cow-herds furnish the materials for the far-famed Goshen butter. Westward of Middletown we passed near the historic ground of Minisink, and at twilight, descending the rugged slopes of Rockland along the winding course of a mountain stream, we passed byRamapo and Tappan, places famous in our Revolutionary history. A visit there was reserved for another occasion, and, proceeding to Piermont, on the Hudson, the termination of the rail-road, I embarked for New York, and reached home at nine in the evening.
1 Professor Silliman visited many of the Revolutionary grounds about twenty years ago. In his Journal, vol. xviii., p. 310, in describing his visit to Wyoming, he says that a Mr. Perrin, one of those who assisted in the burial of the dead, went over the ground with him, and assured him that, owing to the intense heat and dryness of the air, the bodies were shriveled, dry, and quite inoffensive.
2 The following is the inscription upon the monument:
Near this spot was fought,
On the afternoon of Friday, the third day of July, 1778,
THE BATTLE OF WYOMING,
In which a small band of patriot Americans,
Chiefly the undisciplined, the youthful, and the aged,
Spared, by inefficiency, from the distant ranks of the republic,
Led by Colonel Zebulon Butler and Colonel Nathan Denison
With a courage that deserved success,
Boldly met and bravely fought
A combined British, Tory, and Indian force
Of thrice their number.
Numerical superiority alone gave success to the invader,
And wide-spread havoc, desolation, and ruin.
Marked his savage and bloody footsteps through the valley.
Commemorative of these events,
And of the actors in them,
Has been erected
Over the bones of the slain,
By their descendants and others, who gratefully appreciate
The services and sacrifices of their patriot ancestors.
3 The most active ladies in the association were descendants of those who suffered at the time of the invasion. The names of the officers of the society are as follows: Mrs. Chester Butler, President; Mrs. G. M. Hollenback and Mrs. E. Carey, Vice-presidents; Mrs. J. Butler, Mrs. Nicholson, Mrs. Hollenback, Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Ross, Mrs. Conyngham, Mrs. Beaumont, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Bennet, Mrs. Carey, Executive Committee; Miss Emily Cist, Treasurer; Miss Gertrude Butler, Secretary; Mrs. Donley, Mrs. L. Butler, Corresponding Committee.
4 The Inman family were terrible sufferers. Five brothers went to the field of battle. Two others (for the father had seven sons) would have gone forth, but they had no arms. Two were killed on the field, two escaped without injury, and the fifth, plunging into the waters under some willows on the river shore while heated by the exertions of the battle and the flight, took such a cold that in a few weeks he was in his grave. The remainder of the family fled with the rest of the settlement. In the fall they ventured to return, and put in some winter grain. A surviving son, a lad of nineteen years, while in the field, heard, as he supposed, some wild turkeys in the woods. He went after them, shots were heard, but the boy never came back. In the spring his body was found. He had been murdered and scalped by the Indians. Thus four sons of Elijah Inman perished within a few months. One of the sons, Colonel Edward Inman, is still living, I believe, upon a fine farm a few miles below Wilkesbarre.
5 This letter was dated January 20th, 1835, a year and a half previous, and gave the following account:
"There is now living near this place, among the Miami tribe of Indians, an aged white woman, who, a few days ago, told me that she was taken away from her father’s house, on or near the Susquehanna River, when she was very young. She says her father’s name was Slocum; that he was a Quaker, and wore a large-brimmed hat; that he lived about half a mile from a town where there was a fort. She has two daughters living. Her husband is dead. She is old and feeble, and thinks she shall not live long. These considerations induced her to give the present history of herself, which she never would before, fearing her kindred would come and force her away. She has lived long and happily as an Indian, is very respectable and wealthy, sober and honest. Her name is without reproach." The cause of the delay in the publication of the letter, and of its final appearance and effect, was not a little singular. Mr. Ewing sent it to the postmaster at Lancaster, with a request that he would have it published in a Pennsylvania paper. The postmaster, not acquainted with the writer, concluded that it was a hoax, and cast the letter among other papers, where it remained a year and a half. One day his wife, while engaged in arranging the office, saw the letter, and, having her feelings very much interested, sent it to the editor of the Intelligencer. It so happened that the issue of his paper in which the letter was published contained an important temperance document, and a large number of extra copies were printed for general distribution. One of these was sent to a gentleman in Wyoming, who, having heard the story of the "lost sister," and knowing Mr. Joseph Slocum, put the paper into his hands; and thus, by a series of providential circumstances, a clew to Frances was discovered.
6 This portrait I copied from a painting of life size in the possession of her brother, Mr. Joseph Slocum, of Wilkesbarre. It was painted for him by an artist named Winter, residing at Logansport. Her underdress is scarlet, and the mantle with the large sleeve is black cloth. The Indians gave her the name of Ma-con-a-qua, a Young Bear. The names of her children and grandchildren are as follows: Eldest daughter, Kich-ke-ne-che-quah, Cut Finger; youngest daughter, O-saw-she-quah, Yellow Leaf. Grandchildren: Kip-pe-no-quah, Corn Tassel; Wap-pa-no-se-a, Blue Corn; Kim-on-sa-quah, Young Panther.
7 When the Miamies were removed from Indiana, the " lost sister" and her Indian relatives were exempted. The affecting story of her life was laid before Congress, and so eloquently did John Quincy Adams plead her cause, that he drew tears from the eyes of many members. Congress gave her a tract of land a mile square, to be held in perpetuity by her descendants, and there her children and grandchildren still dwell.
8 Her brother Solomon was in the battle. In the spring succeeding the invasion, the father of Mrs. Myers, her brother (a lad), and Lebbeus Hammond (one of the two who escaped from Queen Esther at the bloody rock) were captured by a party of Indians while at work in the field, and hurried away to the north. It was evident that they were destined for torture, and, while the Indians were drinking at a spring on the third day of their journey into the wilderness, they concerted a plan for escape. Mr. Bennet, being old, was allowed to travel unbound, but the arms of Hammond and the boy were tied. There were six Indians in the party. At night all were laid down to sleep but Mr. Bennet and an Indian. The former brought in dry wood for the fire, and kept himself busy for some time. He then sat down by the fire, and, taking up a spear, he rolled it playfully on his thigh. The Indian finally began to nod, and the others were snoring soundly. Watching his opportunity, Bennet thrust the savage through with the spear, cut the cords that bound his son and Hammond, and the three attacked the sleeping savages. Five were killed, the other one escaped. The captives returned home, bringing, as trophies, the scalps of the slain savages.
9 It is said that so huge were many of the masses of ice that were lodged in different portions of the valley, that it was the last of July before they were melted away.
10 Pennsylvania, under its first independent state Constitution, had no officer bearing the title of governor. The government of the commonwealth was vested in a House of Representatives, a president, and council. There was also a Board of Censors, elected by the people, who were to meet once in seven years, to inquire whether the Constitution had, in the mean while, been violated, and to transact other general supervisory business, such as trying impeachments, recommending the repeal of unwholesome laws, &c.
11 In their appeal to the Connecticut Assembly they set forth that their "numbers were reduced to about two thousand souls, most of whom were women and children, driven, in many cases, from their proper habitations, and living in huts of bark in the woods, without provisions for the approaching winter, while the Pennsylvania troops and land claimants were in possession of their houses and farms, and wasting and destroying their cattle and subsistence."
12 So called in honor of the Chevalier de Luzerne, the distinguished embassador from France to the United States during the latter years of the Revolution.
13 Timothy Pickering was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on the 17th of July, 1745. He entered Harvard University at the age of fourteen years, and received collegiate honors in 1763. He was elected register of deeds in the county of Essex; and before the Revolution he was a colonel of the Essex militia, and acquired a thorough knowledge of military tactics. When the town meeting was held at Salem in 1774, and an address voted to General Gage on the subject of the Boston Port Bill, Colonel Pickering was appointed to write the address and deliver it in person to the governor. For him is claimed the distinction of conducting the first resistance, in arms, to the power of the mother country. On Sunday, the 26th of February, 1775, an express arrived at Salem from Marblehead with the intelligence that British troops were landing from a transport, with the intention of marching through Salem to seize some military stores in the interior. The people were dismissed from their churches, and, led by Colonel Pickering, they opposed the progress of the British at a draw-bridge. A compromise was effected, the British were compelled to march back to Marblehead, and bloodshed was avoided.* When he heard of the battle of Lexington, Colonel Pickering marched, with his regiment, to intercept the enemy. In 1775 he was appointed a judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Essex. In the fall of 1776, with seven hundred Essex men, he performed duty under Washington, and was with the chief in his retreat across the Jerseys. He was engaged in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, holding the office and rank of adjutant general. Congress appointed him a member of the Board of War with Gates and Mifflin; and in 1780 he succeeded General Green as quartermaster general. At the close of the war he fixed his residence in Philadelphia, soon after which he was deputed to attempt the settlement of the troubles in Wyoming. He was a member of the convention called to revise the Constitution of Pennsylvania in 1790. Washington appointed him postmaster general in 1791, which office he held nearly four years, when, on the resignation of General Knox, he was appointed Secretary of War. In 1795 Washington made him his Secretary of State, which position he held until 1800, when he was removed by President Adams on political grounds. He was poor on leaving office, and, building a log house for his family upon some wild land that he owned in Pennsylvania, he commenced the arduous duties of clearing it for cultivation. Through the liberality of his friends, he was induced to return to his native state, out of debt, and a comfortable living in prospect. He was a United States senator in 1803, and again in 1805. He was a member of the Board of War in Massachusetts in 1812, and in 1814 was elected a member of the United States House of Representatives. He retired from public life in 1817, and died in Salem on the 29th of January, 1829, aged eighty-four years.
* Of this exploit, Trumbull, in his M‘Fingal, wrote:
"Through Salem straight, without delay,
The bold battalion took its way;
March’d o’er a bridge, in open sight
Of several Yankees arm’d for fight;
Then, without loss of time or men,
Veer’d round for Boston back again,
And found so well their projects thrive,
That every soul got back alive!"
14 These townships were Salem, Newport, Hanover, Wilkesbarre, Pittston, Westmoreland, Putnam, Braintree, Springfield, Claverack, Ulster, Exeter, Kingston, Plymouth, Bedford, Huntington, and Providence. These towns were represented as nearly square as circumstances would permit, and to be about five miles on a side, and severally divided into lots of three hundred acres each. Some of these lots were set apart as glebes, some for schools, and others for various town purposes.
15 The commissioners were Timothy Pickering, William Montgomery, and Stephen Balliott.
16 About this time "no little sensation was produced in the valley," says Minor, "by the appearance of the far-famed General Ethan Allen, from Vermont, arrayed in cocked hat and regimentals. The purpose of his visit was as well understood by Pickering as by Franklin and his associates. A grant of several thousand acres was made to him by the Susquehanna Company. How many men he was pledged to lead from the Green Mountains we have no means of ascertaining; but it was not doubted that his object was to reconnoiter, and concert measures for early and decisive action."
17 Three of these were Captain Lawrence Erbe, Captain Brady, and Lieutenant M‘Cormick. The other name is not known.
18 The "Red House" is situated upon the street in Wilkesbarre next the river, and about seventy-five rods below the bridge. It is the place where John Franklin was arrested. On his return from a political tour down the valley, he came up by the way of Hanover to Wilkesbarre. While standing near the ferry, an acquaintance came up to him and said, "A friend at the Red House wishes to speak to you." Franklin walked to the house, where a person caught him from behind, and attempted to pinion his hands. He was a powerful man, and shook off his captors; but, a noose being thrown over his head, he was secured. They then attempted to get him on horseback, when he cried out, "Help, help! William Slocum! where is William Slocum?" and, drawing his pistols, discharged one, but without effect. He was felled by a blow, and laid almost senseless. It was seeding time, and nearly all the men were in the fields. But the Yankee blood of Mrs. Slocum (the mother of the "lost sister") was up, and, seizing a gun, she ran to the door, exclaiming, "William! Who will call William? Is there no man here? Will nobody rescue him?" - Minor. Colonel Pickering’s dwelling was near the "Red House." It is still standing, but so modernized that its original character is lost.
19 Chapman, Gordon, Minor, Stone.
20 There is a double track upon the inclined plane, and, by means of cables and pulleys, the loaded train hauls up the empty one by force of gravity. From the main entrance many avenues are seen that extended to other chambers now exhausted. As fast as these avenues become useless, the rails are taken up, and they are filled with the slate or other impurities of the mines.
21 The miners, when they branch off from the main shaft or avenue, leave pillars of coal about eighteen feet square, to support the roof or mass above. These huge pillars were crushed by the great weight upon them, in the accident recorded.
NOTE. – The change which the Delaware and Hudson Canal and Mining Company has wrought in the physical features of this region is wonderful. Twenty years ago the whole country in the vicinity of Carbondale was an uninhabited wilderness; now fertile farms and thriving villages are there.* When Maurice Wurts, of Philadelphia, after spending years in exploring the country between the Lackawanna and the Hudson, presented his plan for the gigantic work now in progress, his friends looked upon him as nearly crazed, and, like Fulton, he was doomed to have hope long deferred. But there were some who comprehended the feasibility of the undertaking, and estimated correctly its golden promises of profit. The work was begun, and in 1829 seven thousand tons of anthracite coal were forwarded to New York. Wonderfully has the business increased. The company now employs between five and six thousand men and boys, over one thousand horses, and nearly nine hundred canal-boats, independent of the vessels at Rondout. Last year (1848) the company forwarded to market four hundred and fifty thousand tons of coal, and its monthly disbursements are about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. At Carbondale there are nine mines or entrances; and about seven hundred men, chiefly Irish and Welsh, are employed under ground there. The coal is sent from Carbondale to Honesdale, a distance of sixteen miles, in cars upon an inclined plane, and there it is shipped for market upon the Delaware and Hudson Canal, the termination of which is upon the Hudson River, at Rondout, Ulster county.
* Carbondale contains about seven thousand inhabitants, and Honesdale about four thousand.
22 The coal is covered by a layer of slate, so even on its under surface that the roofs of the passages, when the coal has been removed, are quite smooth and flat. Upon this flat surface are impressions of stalks and leaves of plants of immense size, intermingled with those of the fern, of the size which now grow on the borders of marshes. Some of these fossil stalks found between the slate and the coal measure from ten to sixteen inches across (for they are all flattened, as if by pressure), and were evidently at least thirty feet long. They lie across each other in every direction, and in all cases the stalks are flattened. Many theories have been conceived to account for the origin of the coal and of the appearance of these fossils. The most plausible seems to be that the bed of coal was once a vast bed of peat, over which, in ages past, grew these mammoth ferns; that the slate that covers the upper stratum of coal was thrown up, in a semi-fluid state, from the bowels of the earth by volcanic action, and flowed over the fields of peat, casting down the ferns and other vegetables fiat beneath the whelming mass, which, in time, became indurated, and was formed into slate. The huge stalks that have been found may have belonged to a species of water-lily that abounded when the mastodon and megatherium browsed in the marshes that now form the coal beds of the Lackawanna Valley.
23 Milford has been settled about fifty years. The chief business of the place is the lumber trade. It is quite a large village, and, since 1814, has been the county seat of Pike. In 1800 there were but two houses and a blacksmith’s shop upon its site. The plain was then covered with pines, hemlocks, and bushes. The wadding of a hunter’s gun set the brush on fire, and the plain was cleared for a great distance. The buildings, however, remained untouched. Some wag published an account of the fire, and said that it had "ravaged the town of Milford, and had left but two houses and a blacksmith’s shop standing!"
The publican referred to was a tavern-keeper named Lewis Cornelius, whose dimensions were nearly as great as those of the famous Daniel Lambert. His height was six feet; in circumference at the waist, six feet two and a half inches; circumference below the waist, eight feet two inches; circumference of arm above the elbow, two feet two inches; below the elbow, one foot nine inches; at the wrist, one foot three inches; of the thigh, four feet three inches; of the calf of the leg, two feet seven inches; weight, six hundred and forty-five and a half pounds, without any clothes.
24 Port Jervis was then (1848) the western terminus of travel on the New York and Erie Rail-road. It is situated on the eastern side of the Delaware, upon a small triangular plain at the mouth of the Neversink Creek, within the state of New York.
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