« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Thanks are in the first place due to the Hon. Edward Everett, our minister at the Court of St. James: With characteristic kindness, on my soliciting his good offices, he applied to Lord Aberdeen, who gave directions that access should be had to such documents in the State paper office as might with propriety be copied : whereupon Col. J. R. Brodhead voluntarily took upon himself the trouble of making the necessary searches, and of transcribing whatever related to Wyoming. I feel very sensibly my indebtedness to Col. Brodhead, and acknowledge it with pleasure.
The Hon. John N. Conyngham with partial kindness has inquired for and obtained for me, while in the northern portion of his circuit, various facts, from old settlers, whom I could not conveniently see, and more especially several ancient manuscripts of much value.
Senator Kidder and Mr. Speaker Wright, for their attention and politeness in obtaining, by vote of the Assembly, the ancient Susquehanna Company's Records, are desired to accept my most respectful thanks.
Wm. S. Derrick, Esq., in the State department, Washington, responded with his accustomed kindness to my inquiries, and furnished me the ancient map, and other valuable papers.
Among the persons visited, and to whom I am indebted for information, are Samuel Carey,* Mrs. Carey, Thomas Williams, Cornelius Courtright, Esq., Mrs. Cooper, Stephen Abbott, Anderson Dana, Rufus Bennett,* Mrs. Bennett, Elisha Blackman,* Eleazer Blackman, Mrs. Blackman, Nathan Beach, Esq., Alexander Jameson, Esq., Mrs. Jenkins, and several members of her family, Mrs. Myers, Rev. Mr. Bidlack, Mrs. Bidlack, Col. John Butler, George M. Hollenback, Joseph Slocum, Col. G. P. Ransom, Jose Rogers, Col. Benjamin Dorrance, Col. Edward Inman, Samuel Finch,* Elisha Harding, Esq., Mrs. Young, David Perkins, Esq., Aaron Perkins, John Care Comfort Carey, Mrs. Carey, Rev. Mr. Dana, Gen. Wm. Ross, Wm. Swetland, Esq., Col. Erastus Hill, Mrs. Ives, Mrs. Town, Mrs. Davis. The four whose names are designated by a star were in the battle. With one or two exceptions, the others were inhabitants of Wyoming, at the time of the massacre and expulsion, and most of them of an age to remember distinctly the events that then took place.
To Col. Joseph Kingsbury, I take pleasure in making my acknowledgments, for anecdotes of Col. Franklin, and more especially, for a journal kept by that gentleman, for several years, during the contest with the Pennsylvania land claimants. In an especial man
ner, I beg leave to make my grateful acknowledgments to C. L. Ward, Esq., That gentleman had been gathering materials for a History of Wyoming, and had copied from the archives at Harrisburg numerous documents bearing on the subject, several of which were new to me, and of great interest. On the unfortunate destruction, by fire, of what he had written, with various papers obtained from Col. Franklin, he sent me those documents, and placed them at my disposal.
To Henry R. Strong, Esq., State Librarian, I am indebted for valuable extracts from books and documents at Harrisburg, furnished with so much promptitude as greatly to enhance the obligation. Thanks are due to Redmond Conyngham, Esq., whose thorough knowledge of our ancient history has enabled him to throw light upon numerous passages regarding the Indians. I cannot but express the hope that he will gather into a volume and publish the garnered treasures of his antiquarian researches: Thomas Elder, Esq., of Harrisburg (whose father the Rev. John Elder, at once a minister of the gospel, and Colonel of a regiment, who used, surrounded by blood seeking savages, to ascend the pulpit with his bible in one hand, and rifle in the other, and fought and prayed with Puritan courage and zeal) with the utmost kindness and confidence, sent me numerous family papers, bearing especially on incidents of the old French and Indian war. Extremely valuable, I cannot withhold my earnest wish that the facts they contain may be embodied in a volume. Few of them come within the scope of a work so local and isolated as this in which I am engaged; but such have been selected with care. Miner S. Blackman, Esq., visiting Harrisburg, with his accustomed politeness copied for my use several valuable documents.
Thus prepared with materials, I venture upon the arduous, but pleasing task of writing
THE HISTORY OF WYOMING.
Philadelphia, August 2, 1845. To Mr. J. Jordan, Jr., of Philadelphia, Member of the Historical Society, I make, with pleasure, my very best acknowledgments, not only for numerous acts of kindness connected with the publication of this work, but for a number of interesting facts and documents, which his antiquarian researches and taste had enabled him to gather and preserve.
I hardly know how to express my deep sense of the considerate kindness shown, and unremitting aid afforded me by Joseph R. Chandler, Esq., during the protracted and perplexing negotiations for the printing and publishing this History. The generous confidence advanced by a gentleman of his established literary reputation, led the way to a most satisfactory arrangement; and I hope he will pardon me for saying that his efforts, so far transcending the claims of friendship, could only have proceeded from his characteristic love of doing good. My most grateful acknowledgments wait upon him.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF
Wyoming, in its more limited signification, is the name given to a valley on the Susquehanna river, about twenty miles in length from northeast to southwest, and from three to four miles in width; but in its more enlarged sense, it is used to designate the part of the country within the limits of Pennsylvania, embraced within the 42d degree of north latitude, claimed by Connecticut, and partially settled by a colony sent forth under her auspices. Thus the inhabitants of Salem, Huntington, Providence, Exeter, and other townships, though not within the limits of the valley, have always been designated as “Wyoming Settlers.”
The general aspect of the territory, out of the valley, is hilly, and no inconsiderable portion of it mountainous—ridge after ridge, and peak after peak, rising one above another in sublime elevation, wherein are interspersed extensive bodies of hill and vale, rough but fertile land, yielding to laborious culture remunerating returns. The Susquehanna river rising in lake Otsego, running southerly, crosses the line dividing the 42 and 43d degrees of latitude; thence courses its way, westerly, about twenty miles, when turning to the northwest it recrosses the line, and pursuing its westerly course about forty miles, again turns to the south, and presently receives the Chemung, at Tioga Point, when it bears away southeasterly in a deep chasm, closely bounded by hills and mountains, rising precipitously, from five hundred to a thousand feet; the rock-bound shore relieved, occasionally by patches of rich intervale, until it comes to latitude
In July, 1753, on the formation of the Susquehanna Company, at Windham, Connecticut, a committee was sent out to explore “A certain tract of land, lying on Susquehanna river, at or near a place called Chiwaumuck, an island in said river," presumed to be the Minocasy.