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subsequently, at Mill creek, was supposed to contain half an acre. A ditch three feet deep is dug, in which hewn logs, eighteen feet long, are placed on end, close together all round, except at the four corners, where flanking towers are projected. A ditch several feet wide is then dug four feet from the upright timbers, and the dirt thrown up against them. Sometimes, double rows of timbers are placed round so as to break joints. Usually there are two gateways, or entrances, opposite each other, strongly barricaded. Around the inside, against the wall of timbers, buts are erected for the accommodation of families, or messes. Loop-holes at proper distances for firing rifles or small arms, finish the work within. Sometimes a covered way is dug to the water; and not unfrequently wells are sunk in the enclosure.
Having now complete possession, the Connecticut people entered with alacrity upon their agricultural pursuits, while their surveyors were employed in running out the five townships allotted to the ac. tual settlers. But no one supposed that peace and security were finally yielded them by their alert and powerful opponents. Every breeze from the southern mountain awakened fears of an approach. ing enemy. Capt. Ogden with the civil magistrate, Sheriff Jennings, though absent, had not been idle, but having recruited their forces, appeared on the plains on the 20th of May. After reconnoitering the position of the Yankees, finding it too strong, and their number too large to be attacked with a rational prospect of success, they withdrew to Easton; and Sheriff Jennings, in his report, informed the Governor that the intruders mustered three hundred able bodied men, and it was not in his power to collect sufficient force in Northampton to dislodge them. In the delightful season of Spring, nature unfolding her richest robes of leaf and flower, the Susquehanna yielding boundless stores of delicious shad, a brief hour of repose seemed only to wed the Yankee emigrants more strongly to the valley. The beautiful low lands, where scarcely a stone impeded the plough, contrasted with the iron bound shores of New Eng. land, and her rock covered fields, was a prospect as inviting as the plains of Italy of old to its northern invaders. But another force was threading the paths of the wilderness to attack them. Col. Turbot Francis, commanding a fine company from the city, in full military array, with colours streaming, and martial music, descended into the plain, and sat down before Fort Durkee, about the 20th of June; but finding the Yankees too strongly fortified, returned to await reinforcements below the mountains.
Knowing the value of time in strengthening and consolidating their settlements, for every day that accounts of the richness of those western lands reached Connecticut, new bodies of emigrants set forth for Wyoming; the Susquehanna Company resolved to disarm the energies of the Proprietaries by entering into negotiations. That the object was to amuse and create delay till the summer should have passed, we infer from the fact that the colony of Connecticut did not officially move in the matter, and the great improbability that the Government of Pennsylvania could be induced to make either concession or compromise with agents merely of the Susquehanna Company. But the step was dictated by sound policy, and has not the less merit that it did not succeed.
Early in the summer two distinguished personages, agents of the Susquehanna Company, viz: Col. Eliphalet Dyer, and Major Jedediah Elderkin, clothed with full power to open a negotiation with the Proprietary Government for a settlement of the controversy respecting the Wyoming lands, appeared in Philadelphia. They were met with the courtesy that ever has distinguished the manners of that city of polished gentlemen of the old school. The Hon. Benjamin Chew was appointed to confer with Messrs. Dyer and Elderkin. But to their propositions, to submit the question at issue to a court of law, or to arbitration, a respectful but decided negative was returned in answer. Nor did the Pennsylvania authorities for a moment intermit the vigorous prosecution of measures that were in train to throw upon the disputed ground a force decisively overwhelming.
The brave and indefatigable Ogden was to have the chief military command; yet as the whole bore the name, if not the character of a civil movement, Sheriff Jennings of Northampton, was clothed ostensibly with the direction, and to him the Governor issued his orders. They conclude thus : “ It is however, warmly recommended to you, to exercise on this unhappy occasion, the utmost discretion and prudence, to avoid the effusion of blood; and that neither you nor your party strike, fire at, or wound the offenders, unless you are at first stricken, fired at, or wounded."
Sheriff Jennings commenced his march with about two hundred men, well armed and equipped for battle, in the beginning of September. To enable him to comply more effectually with his peaceful instructions, an artillery company constituted part of his force. An iron four pound cannon, with a supply of cartridge and ball—the first piece of ordnance that ever was at Wyoming, had been brought
up from Fort Augusta, (Sunbury) in a boat, by Captain Alexander Patterson, an active partizan officer, the most effective of Ogden's subordinates. In a more elevated station, and a wider field of action, this gentleman will again be presented to the reader.
As Jennings approached the valley, Captain Ogden, who was already on the ground with fifty armed men, by a vigorous and well timed movement seized Captain Durkee,* commander of the Yankees. Too valuable a prize to be risked at Easton, for greater safety the prisoner was sent in irons under a safe escort to Philadelphia, and there closely incarcerated in prison. Immediately after this successful enterprise Sheriff Jennings, and his pacific cohort, descended from the passes of the mountain, and displayed in formidable array on the plains before Fort Durkee. Their commander captured, menaced by a force so imposing, above all, that terrible four pounder destroying every hope of victory, quelled all disposition to resistance. Being summoned to surrender, articles of capitulation were entered into. Three or four leading men were detained as prisoners. Seventeen men were to remain of the Connecticut people, to gather the ripening harvest; all the others, without exception, were to leave the valley immediately; the property being private, was to be respected. Taking up their melancholy march, sad as the exiles from Paradise ; men, their wives and little ones, with such of their flocks and herds as could be collected, with aching hearts took leave of the fair plains of Wyoming.t
It is with pain we record the fact that so gallant an officer as Ogden, should sully his fair fame by acts of injustice and oppression. No sooner had the mass of settlers been expelled, than in violation of the articles of capitulation, he commenced the plunder of all the property remaining. Cattle, horses and sheep, were driven to markets on the Delaware, and the seventeen left without means to sustain themselves, were compelled to follow their exiled friends on their
* John Durkee, afterwards Colonel in the Continental army.
+ Durkee and his companions were not forgotten in their captivity. A meeting of the executive committee of the Susquehanna Company held at Windham, voted that fifty pounds be immediately raised, and forwarded for their relief. Thirty-four pounds to Captain Durkee ; the remaining sixteen to be appropriated to the use of Simeon Draper, Daniel Gore, Asa Ludington and Thomas Bennett, six pounds each. It was further voted—that Ebenezer Backus, Captain Silas Parke, Wm. Hurlbut, Esq., Capt. Ebenezer B aldwin, Mr. Wm. Gallup, Increase Mosely, Esq., Major Eleazer Talcott, Capt. Joseph Eaton, Capt. Robert Durkee, Capt. Zebulon Butler, John Jenkins, John Pitkin, Ezra Buel, Nathaniel Landon, Jeremiah Angel, Jonathan Pettibone, Gad Stanley, John Smith, Esqs., and Capt. Obadiah Gore, be a committee to collect and forward the money.
journey to Connecticut. No life having been lost, not a wound having been received by either side; the campaign closed, the Yankees having been three times expelled, leaving the valley in undisputed possession of Ogden, Jennings, and their victorious forces. Thus closed 1769, the first year of the far-famed Pennymite and Yankee war for the possession of Wyoming.
But bolder spirits were on the way, and scenes of deeper interest were soon to be presented on the stage.
1770.–Sudden descent on Wyoming-Reinstatement of the Yankees-Captain Ogden re
turns and resumes his old quarters at Mill Creek—A fortunate omen-His Fort invested by the Yankees-Battle-William Stager killed— The Connecticut party defeated-Reinforced and in possession of the four pounder, the Yankees renew the siege-Stirring incidents-Gov. Penn's application to Gen. Gage for aid-Surrender of Fort OgilenProclamations of the Governor-Captain Ogden returns-Masterly address--Impetuous assault-Fort Durkee taken- The Yankees for the third time expelled— VicissitudesWith a “Hurrah for King George' the Connecticut claimants repossess themselves of the Valley.
The year 1770 now dawns upon our view. It is the depth of winter. We look down on the valley of Wyoming, the past season so animated by contending factions ; smoke from a single chimney is the only indication that it is tenanted by a human being. So perfect had been the conquest over the intruding Yankees, their expulsion so complete, and so great the distance of their former homes to which they had gone, no immediate difficulty was apprehended from their return. Indeed, when the losses they had sustained, and the evidences exhibited to them of the power and determination of Pennsylvania to maintain her territorial rights, were considered, it was scarcely doubted that so prudent and calculating a people would desist from any further attempt to establish a colony on the Susquehanna. Captain Ogden therefore, leaving a garrison of ten men to keep possession, and take charge of the property, marched his victorious troops below the mountains, where they were disbanded, while he and his able civil coadjutor, the spirited and efficient sheriff, Jennings, repaired to Philadelphia to spend a part of the winter, display their laurels, and enjoy the well-earned honours of victory.*
* A city distinguished for hospitality would not fail to welcome to their sumptuous tables, gentlemen who had served so faithfully, and accomplished so much for the public interest and their own. The high-toned Allen—the courteous Chew—the proud Willing—the witty, but profound Peters--doubtless vied with each other who should render the entertainment of