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selves, and each other, from the intrusion of all rival claimants. Forty were to set forth without delay; the others, to the amount in all, of two hundred, were to follow the succeeding Spring. As further encouragement, a sum of two hundred pounds, Connecticut currency, i. e. six hundred and sixty-seven dollars, was appropriated to provide implements of husbandry and provisions, (including, probably, arms and ammunition,) for those who might require assistance. To those two hundred who emigrated on settling rights, must be added all those other proprietors of the Susquehanna purchase, who chose to take possession of their western property. Among the forty who obtained land on settlement rights, were no inconsiderable number of substantial farmers, who by this means, added to their other claims as proprietors, the choice of some of the most desirable lots, embracing the inviting river bottoms, unequalled in fertility. Five townships in the heart of the valley, were allotted for those adventurers, to wit:-Wilkesbarre, Hanover, Kingston, Plymouth, and Pittston.
Subsequently, three other townships, to be located on the west branch of the Susquehanna, were appropriated to forty settlers each.
Among the emigrants from the east, several bore parts so prominent in the scenes which transpired as to demand a particular introduction to the notice of the reader. The “Old French War," then recent, had developed the talent, and called into action the energies of a large number of young men in the colonies of New England. Connecticut furnished her full complement for that war. Capt. Zebulon Butler, of Lyme, after sharing in the campaign at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, in 1758, commanded a company, and earned reputation at the taking of the Havanna, 1762. A brave and vigilant officer, his superior manners and address at once commanded general respect, and conciliated the attachment of his soldiers. This gentleman, if not clothed with official power, was, by common consent, regarded as the leader of the Connecticut train. Captains Durkee and Ransom, both of whom had seen honorable service in the French war, accompanied, and rallied under their old companion in arms. Full of enterprise, never doubting the entire justice of the Connecticut claim, tired of the piping songs of peace, they sought action, honour and independence in the stirring scenes, opening on the Susquehanna. Obadiah Gore, Esq., with his seven sons (who will figure conspicuously in the succeeding pages,) were among the early emigrants. Nathan Denison, from Stonington, a descendant of Capt. Denison, distinguished in the old Pequot wars, mild yet firm,
grave yet active, constituted one of the number. Nor was the wise policy neglected, of obtaining friends and adherents within the limits of Pennsylvania. How effected, no account remains; but above the Blue Mountains, on the Delaware, a settlement existed near by, or embracing Stroudsburg, the present seat of justice of Monroe county, whereof a number of the principal inhabitants united with the Connecticut people, and entered heart and hand into their cause. The aid afforded by these Pennsylvania allies, was of the utmost importance to the new colony. Benjamin Shoemaker, one of the Executive Committee, was from this settlement. John M’Dowell, a wealthy, high-toned Cameronian Scotchman, became a true friend to the Yankees. With Highland zeal, he espoused their cause.
His granaries and purse were ever tendered to the suffererers with a “ Highland Welcome."*
Other and efficient aid was found in the Stewarts, Young, with other bold and daring leaders from Hanover, near the Susquehanna, then in Lancaster county, now in Dauphin, who will presently appear among the armed combatants upon the field of action.
On the other hand, the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania designated their leaders, and marshalled their forces for the contest. Charles Stewart, a surveyor, trained, like Washington and Wayne, in the hardships and dangers of a forest-life, to lead in the paths of glory, stands forth most conspicuously. He was afterwards a popular and efficient officer of the Pennsylvania line, and for some time an aid to General Washington. With him was associated Capt. Amos Ogden, and John Jennings, Esq., Ogden uniting to the truest courage, and untiring activity, an intuitive perception of all the arts and stratagems of war, was the indefatigable military leader. John Jennings, Esq., High Sheriff of Northampton county, was the civil magistrate. These three constituted the Chief Executive Directory, to conduct the Proprietaries' affairs at Wyoming. To these, a lease had been executed for a hundred acres of land for seven years, upon condition that they should establish an Indian trading house thereon, and defend the valley from encroachment.
* When Death's dark stream I ferry o'er,
A time that surely will come;
Than just a Highland welcome.-Burns. + "I have seen," says Col. Pickering, “ March 2, 1798, among the Proprietaries' papers, a list of forty or fifty who purchased on the express condition of defending, in arms, the possession of these lands from the Connecticut claimants." So that the plan of manning their rights, was common to both parties.
The names of several gentlemen of distinction, besides Ogden, appeared in this war, at the head of armed companies. Asher Clayton, Turbot Francis, Joseph Morris, John Dick, Andrew Ledlie, and Thomas Craig, were among the best officers of the Province. The latter, by the merit of perfect discipline, and tried bravery, rose to be a colonel in the continental service, during the revolutionary war, and was afterwards major-general of the militia. In declining age, when I knew him, his manners were highly polished, but he told me the habits of the soldier had become so fixed in him, that for thirty years he had not slept on a bed. At night, a blanket or two spread upon a table, constituted his most welcome couch. Col. Clayton had held a commission in 1763, in the Paxton Rangers, and was probably progenitor of the distinguished senator, of that name, from Delaware. The son of Capt. Dick, full of wit, who loved his jest, his bottle, and his friend, though residing in Northampton, afterwards practised law in Luzerne, a general favorite, and successful advocate.
It will, at a glance, be seen that such parties did not meet, though the prize at issue was great, in mere mercenary contention.
Stewart, Ogden, and Jennings, were first upon the ground, having arrived in January, 1769. It was winter, and the stillness of death brooded over the valley. A block-house and a number of huts, near the confluence of Mill Creek with the Susquehanna, a mile above the present town of Wilkesbarre, left by the massacred, or expelled settlers of 1763, were easily fitted up, and afforded shelter for their men. The first step was to lay off two manors, embracing a considerable portion of the finest lands on each side of the river.
Having selected the heart for themselves, the Proprietaries left the remainder to reward the enterprise of such friends as might be able to render assistance in meeting with defiance, and resisting with effect, the "mous trooping" Yankees from the east.
Seventeen hundred and sixty nine, was an eventful year in Wyoming history. On the 8th of February, the first forty, the pioneer detachment of Yankees appeared on the ground. Finding their expected shelter in the possession of an enemy, they forth with invested the block-house of Ogden, cutting off all communication with the surrounding country, so that the besieged could neither obtain fuel nor venison; and demanded in the name of Connecticut the surrender of the garrison, and peaceable possession of the valley. Expected reinforcements anxiously looked for, not arriving, Captain Ogdeu equally ready, for fair, open fight, or the subtle wiles of diplomacy,
as might be best adapted to his condition, or calculated to effect his purpose—having only ten men able to bear arms, one fourth only of his invading foe, determined to have recourse to negociation. A very polite and conciliatory note was addressed to the commander of the forty, an interview respectfully solicited, and a friendly conference asked on the subject of the respective titles. Ogden proved himself an accomplished angler. The bait was too tempting. Propose to a Yankee to talk over a matter, especially which he has studied, and believes to be right, and you touch the most susceptible chord that vibrates in his heart. That they could out talk the Pennymites, and convince them the Susquehanna title was good, not one of the forty doubted. Three of the chief men were deputed to argue the matter, viz: Isaac Tripp and Benjamin Follett, two of the executive committee, accompanied by Mr. Vine Elderkin. No sooner were they within the block-house, than Sheriff Jennings clapped a writ on their shoulders. “Gentlemen, in the name of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are my prisoners !” “Laugh where we must, be candid where we can.” The Yankees were decidedly outwitted. By common consent the prisoners were transported to Easton jail, guarded by Captain Ogden; but accompanied in no hostile manner by the thirty-seven remnants of the forty. Here the advantage of having friends in Pennsylvania was made manifest. No sooner was the key turned than bail was entered for their appearance, the prisoners were set at liberty, and returned immediately to Wyoming.
This was the first scene of the first act, of the Pennymite and Yankee war. So far, some ill temper may have arisen, but the deep feel. ings of revenge, and thirst for blood had been on neither side awakened. Important events now trod closely on the heels of each other. Ogden had gained nothing by victory—the Yankees had lost nothing by defeat; nay, they had attained their object, and were, without any act of violence on their part, in peaceable possession of Wyoming
Mortified at the result, aroused by pride, stimulated by the Proprietaries, Sheriff Jennings raised the posse of Northampton county, and accompanied by several magistrates, repaired to Wyoming, stormed the fortified house in which the Yankees had entrenched themselves, and captured nearly the whole party. Trained as the New England men had been to an almost superstitious reve. rence for the civil law, a magistrate's writ served by a sheriff, had something too awful in its character to be resisted. Forthwith about
thirty in number were marched to Easton, and all committed to prison, and almost immediately liberated on bail. This was in the month of March. All these changes of fortune had transpired within ninety days of the arrival of Captain Ogden, and within less than sixty from the appearance of the forty at Wyoming. Twice captured and sent to jail, a distance of sixty miles, through a dreary wilderness, in the depth of winter too, it might well be imagined would have cooled the ardor of the most impassioned zealots. They must have travelled going and coming twice, two hundred and forty miles. Yankee perseverance and enterprize were rarely ever more conspicuously exhibited under deeply discouraging circumstances. And this may be regarded the second scene of the first act in the drama.
The additional quotas for the other four townships, of forty each, making one hundred and sixty, arrived in April. These, with the first forty returned from prison, and a considerable number of adventurers who held shares in the Susquehanna Company, constituting two hundred and seventy or eighty able bodied men in all, assembled on the river banks, where Wilkesbarre now stands, on the 10th of April. The block-house at Mill creek was too remote from the flats near the old town of Wywamick, where large fields, long since cleared, invited cultivators. A new fortification, called Fort Durkee, after the new commander, was therefore erected on the banks of the river at Fish's eddy, (near the lower line of the borough) and twenty or thirty huts built in its immediate vicinity.
Forts, or fortifications, and block-houses are so often mentioned in this and the succeeding war, that I cannot doubt but the reader will be pleased with a brief description of one of each, which will answer for all.
The block-house is generally a square building of heavy hewn logs. When raised to the height of one story, the timber used for joists or beams, are projected over every side six or eight feet. The second story is built up of lighter logs, placed on the ends of these projecting timbers, the whole roofed of course with loards, shingles or bark. Loop-holes are formed through which to fire on an approaching enemy. The purpose of making the upper story larger than the lower, is to enable those who defend the blockhouse, to throw down stones (gathered for the purpose, or boiling water, or other missiles, on the heads of assailants who should attempt to force the door, or set fire to the building.
l'orts, or fortifications, are built thus. The ground being fixed on, near to water, a square, or paralellogram is traced out, of a size proportioned to the number to be sheltered and defended. That built