Proceedings and Addresses at Germanton, Pa., October 25, 1904 / The Pennsylvania-German in tlie French and Indian War. Frederick the Great and the United States,. Old Historic Germantown

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Proceedings and Addresses at Germanton, Pa., October 25, 1904 / The Pennsylvania-German in tlie French and Indian War. Frederick the Great and the United States,. Old Historic Germantown

Citation preview

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PROCEEDINGS AND ADDRESSES

AT

GERMAxNXOWN, OCT.

,

1

25,

1904

m—m

1

Vol.

XV

PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY 1906

f%&>

LIS'

1^52382

CHAPTER

XXIV.

Fort Henry. Fort Henry.

?¥*&

NE

of the most promi-

government deRidge was Fort Henry, also called, nent

fenses along the Blue

at times, in the early part of its

using the all

name

" Busse's

history

after

its

ficer,

"

first

Fort,"

commanding

The Fort

Six's,"

from

" Fort

Henry

its

of-

at Dietrich

location, also at

Tolihaio,"

" Tolihaio " in a general sense to apply to

the country in the vicinity of the Tolihaio, or Swatara

Gap. be remembered that, with the first terrible outbreak, or massacre, which found all in such an unprepared condition, the settlers established " a watch house " at It will

" Dietrich's Six's Place under the Hill on It

it

probable this was the

home

(3i6)

Shamokin Road."

of Dietrich Six.

The

Fort Henry.

Fort

Hcnpy

a aoo

a

I

ooa

oao 000

SITE,

OF FORT HENRY.

317

The Pennsylvania-German

3i8

so excellent that the provincial government, taking charge of the defense, decided to build one of

location

upon

Society,

was

the larger forts on the spot. This property was on the old

Shamokin (Sunbury)

Road, three miles north of Millersburg, in Bethel TownIt was owned by Dietrich Six ship of Berks County. during the war and purchased from him by Frantz Umbenhauer, from whom it came into the possession of George Pott, and was lately owned by James Batz.

The

fort stood in

what

twenty-five yards northeast

is

now

from

a cultivated field, about

a shed, with stone base,

It was on slightly elevated standing by the roadside. view of the approaches splendid a ground and commanded

from the Blue Mountains, and of the valley to the west. At the foot of the elevated ground runs a little stream of Pieces water, originating at the spring back of the fort. common of pieces of stone, belonging to the fort as well as clay pipe stems and chips of flint are, even yet, occasionally

ploughed up. In the distant past various Indian villages must have are told the fort been located in the neighborhood.

We

This hill, stood "under the hill on Shamokin Road." " from the abruptly rises Mountain," Round Top called plain about one mile east of the fort. it

So abruptly does

almost impossible to scale the side facing Those who have attempted it. however,

rise that it is

the defense.

have found, about half-way up, an artificial plateau, about forty by one hundred and fifty feet, formed by taking out These stones seem to have stones from the hill behind. been broken to a small size, and were entirely different from the rock composing the remainder of the mountain, being much harder and making somewhat of a ringing sound when knocked together. The fact is interesting

-

Fort Henry. because

it is

altogether probable that

which the aborigines obtained if

not the

fort

319

flints

their

it was a quarry from arrow and axe heads,

for their muskets.

we know nothing

definite.

Of

the shape of the

In our generation

it

been, at best, but a heap of ruins, but we are assured them that it was more pretentious in size than usual.

has

from

The

only description of any kind, which has been secured, was from a Mr. Daniel Hostetter, of Springsville, who, if now living,

would be some seventy years

a rather vague character.

He

old.

says

Even

this

is

of

most of the stone

belonging to the fort was taken by the farmers for building purposes, but, when he first saw it, the marks of the building were plain, and a portion of the wall remained. To him it seemed to be shaped like a half moon, and, in the center,

was

The

neath.

a house which evidently had a cellar underwalls of the fort were about three feet thick

and some two hundred feet long. Mr. Hostetter adds that he "never saw such a place in his life and doubts if there be any other like

The

first

it

in the State."

commanding

tain Christian Busse,

officer of Fort Henry was Capwho, before the war, had been a

doctor at Reading, Pa.

Notwithstanding the

terrible depredations

the Indians, the officers in

command

committed by

of the troops

made

every effort to prevent them, and their unceasing vigilance is well worthy of commendation.

The Morris,

ment

following report of Colonel Weiser to Governor made in July, 1756, bears witness to this state-

:

"Honoured

Sir:

"Immediately after

my

Return from Philadelphia, I Morgan and Smith,

sent Orders to the Captains Busse,

The Pennsylvania-German

320

Society,

to meet me at Fort Henry, on the 9th of this Instant, to consult together over certain measures, how to oppose the

of Killing the People in Reaping and gathering in The Evening before, to witt, on the 8th their Harvest. of this Instant, Mr. Young arrived with your Honours

Enemy

Orders to me, I therefore set out next morning about 5 o'clock for Fort Henry, in Company with Mr. Young, I arrived at Fort Henry as farr as Benjamin Spyckers. with an escort of eight me met Busse Capt. by 10 o'clock. men on Horse Back, about Six miles on this side of Fort Henry; about 12 o'clock the Captains Morgan and Smith I immediately made your Honours Orders known arrived. to them, and the following Deposition was made: That eight

men

People

of Capt. Smith's

in the

Hole (The

committed) to gather

Company

shall

place where twice

in their harvest,

assist

the

Murder was

and stay over Night

in the Moravian House Eight of his men to range westward of his Fort under the Hill, and if occasion require ;

two Parties to guard the Reapers Sixbe in and about the Fort to help and pro-

to be stationed in

teen

men

are to

;

tect the neighbours, but constantly 10 out of the Sixteen

are to stay in the Fort; Nine

men

are to stay constantly in

men to range Eastward from Manity towards Swataro, and Six men to range westward towards Susquehannah Each Party so farr that they may reach Capt'n Busse's Company their Fort again before Night. stationed as follows: Ten men at Bernhard Tridels, next to the Moravians, Eight men at Casper Snebelies, Six men at Daniel Shue's or Peter Klop's. All these are westward of Fort Henry. Eastwards Capt. Busse is to Post four men at Jacob Stein's, Three men at Ulrich Spies, Six men at the widow Kendal, the Rest, consisting of nineteen Manity

Fort, and Six

;

men, to remain

in the Fort.

Cap't Morgan's Company,

Fort Henry,

321

men to range from the little Fort on the Northkill westward to the Emericks, and stay there if the People unite to work together in their Harvest, Six men as follows: Six

to range

Eastward on the same

stay in that Fort, fifteen

men

footing, Eight

men

to

are to stay in Fort Lebanon,

Eight men to protect the People over the Hill in harvest Time, Ten men to range constantly Eastward or Westward, and if the People return to their Plantations thereabouts, to protect those first that join together to do their work. "All the aforesaid men are posted as much in a Range as was possible, and would sute the Settlement best.

"Your Honour enough

left in the

Duty, but scarce

that there is not Men Forts to change or relieve the Men on will observe

sufficient to

Keep the

Forts,

and send

Provisions to the several Posts. " I did propose to the Captains to twenty-five

men

them over the

f

hills to a certain

Place on Kind Creek, to

Enemy, for about Ten Days, but the large Frontier which they have to guard with their men, would not Admit of it at this Time, so I was therefore obliged to give over that Point. lie in

*

Ambush

make a draft of about out of the three Companies, and send

there for the

"A great number of the Back Inhabitants came to the Fort that Day, and cried out for Guards. Their situation is indeed desperate. About forty men from Tulpenhacon have been out for their Protection, but they got soon tired,

home

and rose Disputes and Quarrels

in

Order

to

get

again.

" I hear that the people over Susquehannah will have Protection, cost what it will; If they can't obtain it from the English, they will send to the French for it. I believe

(by what

I

hear) that some on this Side of the River are

The Pennsylvania-German

322

Society.

Mumbling of the same oppinion, at least there is such a Inhabitants. among the back " I must mention to your Honour that when the People being about Swatara and the Hole heard of Capt. Smith's me in accused for neglect of Duty, they wrote a Letter to Favour, which I send by Sammy Weiser, who can transI also send a late it if your Honour orders him to do it. Letter from Capt. Busse, which contains the Particulars

his

by the way coming from Philad'a, and stopt the Express (as it was only to me) in Order to save Changes. "As I had no Clerk for some time I wrote a General Letter yesterday to all the Commanding Officers Eastward from Fort Henry to Easton, with a Copy of your Honours I could not send every one a Copy, but orders inclosed. ordered them to take it themselves and send it forward I received

of the last murder.

immediately. " Just this

it

moment my Son Sammy

arrived from Fort an Engagement at been had Henry, and tells me that there Caghnckackeeky, wherein twelve on our side were Killed, and Six Indians; That our People Kept the Field and scalped the Indians, and that the Indians ran

off

may

without

be true.

any Scalp. As bad news as it is, I wish it "I have at Present no more to trouble your Honour with, But Remain, « cj r

11

Your very obedient and 11

humble Servant,

"Conrad Weiser. 11

Heidleberg,

in the

County of Berks.

"July the nth, 1756. " P. S.



should have told your Serjeant, with nine private men of I

Honour that I keep a my Company at Fort

Fort Henry.

323

Henry, under Gapt. Busse, with that Proviso that they shall stay in the fort, and defend it when the Capt's men are on their several posts or Ranging; the Capt'n must Keep a Ranging party all along; tomorrow another Serjeant marches from Reading with nine men, to relieve those of my Company that have been out two weeks." In June, 1757, Fort Henry was honored by a visit from The Governor Denny, under peculiar circumstances. in attack, threatened of a notified Government had been force, on Fort Augusta, at Shamokin, just at a time when the terms of enlistment of the troops, composing its garNo persuasion could induce more rison, had expired. In the emergency it became than forty men to reenlist. necessary to order immediately three companies from Colonel Weiser's regiment to the scene of action, while the Governor, in person, hastened from Lancaster into the

County of Berks to encourage the raising of these one hundred and fifty-nine men. When he came there he found men enough but met with an unexpected obstacle. The country people, supported by their magistrates, and the leading men of the County, refused to serve under the provincial officers but insisted upon choosing their own. This, it seems, was put into their heads at Lancaster by some of the Commissioners and Assemblymen, and was but an echo of the strife between the Executive and the Concerning the matter the Governor writes: Assembly. " Intending to go to Fort Henry, the only Garrison

Time would

allow

me

to visit, I

my

desired Col. Weiser to

acquaint the Leaders of these infatuated People, that I shou'd be glad they would come and speak with me at the Fort.

well

Accordingly, about Fifty substantial Freeholders, the Escort, & attended

mounted and armed, joined

The Pennsylvania-German

324

me

Society.

Henry, where I had an opportunity of undeConvinced of their Error, they presented

to Fort

ceiving them.

me

a very respectful address, assuring

me

of their Desire

to have a proper Militia Law, and that they were determined under such a Law to serve and do their duty to their Forty instantly were inlisted by Colking and Country. onel Weiser out of this neighborhood, and a magistrate about twenty miles off wrote me he had inlisted forty more."

The withdrawal weak

already too quired of is

it,

plea from i>

left

a matter of

no

him

of these companies from a battalion

numbers for the onerous duties Colonel Weiser in a woeful plight. in

re-

It

surprise, therefore, to read the following

to the

Governor, under date of October

1757: " I humbly intreat your

Honour to pity our Cause and men belonging to the first Battalion Regiment, now at Fort Augusta, may all re-

give orders that the

of Pennsil'a

turn to their proper or former Stations. ent trouble

is

over

I will

When

this pres-

very gladly send a reinforcement

again either to Fort Augusta or wherever your honour pleases.

is certain that the enemy is numerous on our and the people are coming away very fast, so

It

Frontiers,

that the Forts are left to themselves with the

men

in

them,

but no more neighbours about them."

So urgent is the matter that, three days later, Colonel Weiser writes to Mr. Peters, the Governor's Secretary: "Sir:

I

did not think on the Post

doors, else I

would have wrote

till

he entered

nor, tho' I have been very Buisy with writing to the

manding

my

particularly to the Gover-

officers of the several forts

under

my

Com-

care.

It

Fort Henry. is

now Come

murder

so farr that

is

325 comited Allmost every

day; there never was such a Consternation among the people, they must now leave their houses again, with their

Barns

of Grain;

full

last Friday,

five

children have been carried

some days before

bed, begged of the

Enemy

a sick

man

killed

him through will, and did so.

to shoot

upon

off

his

his heart

A girl, which the Indian answered, I that had hid herself under a Bedstead, in the next room, heard all this, two more families were about that time destroyed.

Ensign sick at I

Inclosed

have neither men nor

me

send

him

a

month of my

Honour would be pleased to all the men belonging to my

from Fort Augusta, he would

the blessing of the most high.

think meselfe unhappy, to

time of danger

am now

n'br of officers to

sufficient

If his

orders for to recall

Battalion,

I

the Journal of last

Capt. Bussey lies dangerously at North Kill. John Harris. I hear he is tired of even-thing;

defend the Country.

I

is

justly bring

upon

can not say no more.

with

my

family

must stay, if they go to fort Henry, where

I can't do.

preparing to

fly

I

I

this

in all I

go.

shall

meet some officers to consult with, what may be best to be I have ordered ten men, with the Governor's last done. orders, to fort Augusta; I shall overtake them this EvenFor ing at Fort Henry and give them proper instruction. God's sake, dear Sire, beg of the Governor, press it upon

my behalf, and in behalf of this distrest order my men back from fort Augusta.

him to

my

in

reason afterwards, that

with

my

I

am

in the right.

inhabitants, will give

I

I

conclude

Honour, humble u And remain, Kind Sir, " Your most humble servant, " Conrad Weiser." respects to his

The Pennsylvania-German

326 It

is

the letter of a

body, and

who

satisfaction to

man

Society.

over-burdened

in

mind and

certainly deserves our sympathy.

know

that,

on November

8,

It

is

a

orders were

by the Governor for the return of Capt. Busse's detachment to their former station. The sole instance, on record, of the participation of any Frenchman in the attacks along the Blue Range, occurred On October 12, 1757, the sentry was at Fort Henry. surprised to see what appeared to be a French deserter, An officer and two soldiers or spy, approach the fort. were immediately sent out to seize him and bring him into His name was found to be Michael La the enclosure. His father Chauviguerie, Jun., and his age seventeen. of commandant and Marines was a lieutenant of French Fort Machault, just building, some seventy-two leagues up the Allegheny River from Fort Du Quesne, and near

sent

son had been given command of a party of thirty-three Indians, principally Delawares, who were As they neared the sent out on a marauding expedition.

the Lakes.

The

Blue Mountains he told the sad tale of prisoners taken and numerous deserted homesteads. One day, by accident, he dropped a piece of bread, and, while looking for and it, his party of Indians became separated from him, he found that he was lost. After wandering around for seven days he was forced to surrender at Fort Henry to save himself from starvation.

February 21, 1758, James Burd arrived at Fort Henry, on his tour of inspection, where he found Capt. Lieut. Weiser, Adjutant Kern, and Ensigns Biddle and Craighead, doing duty with ninety men, whom he reviewed and found to be " under good command & fine fellows." Of the fort he says, " This is a very good Stockade Fort. & everything in good order, & duty done pritty well."

On



*

327

Fort Henry.

Captain Busse notified Colonel that day, the Indians took and of Wciser that, at 8 A. M. carried away the wife of John Frantz, with three children, from their home on the Little Swatara Creek, about six

On

June 19,

miles distant

1758,

from the

fort.

In the Pennsylvania Gazette of Decmber 18, 1755,

it

says:

"We Sunday

hear from Reading, last,

in

about nine o'clock at

Berks County, that on night, the guard belong-

town, ing to that County, about seventeen mile from that exchanged they whom with Indians, were attacked by some guard several fires, and put them to flight; that none of the

were wounded, though one of them had the skirt of his of the jacket shot away, and that they supposed some among crying a heard they Indians were badly burnt, as

them

as they ran off

;

but that the guard, having spent their

ammunition, could not pursue them."

On March

7,

1756,

Andrew Lycan, who

lived over the

near the mountain, twenty-five miles below Sunbury, at or with had He Indians. by Wiskinisco Creek, was attacked his of two and him a son, John Lycan, a negro man, a boy neighbors, John Revolt and

Ludwig

Shut.

As Andrew

to Lycan and John Revolt went out early that morning they but them, at feed the animals, two guns were fired for an escaped unhurt, ran to the house and prepared engagement. The Indians then got under cover of a log

Revolt house near the dwelling, whereupon John Lycan, fired were and Shut crept out to get a shot at them, but being hit at by the Indians instead, and all wounded, Shut

abdomen. Andrew Lycan then noticed one of the house and Indians, and two white men, run out of the log Upon this the inmates of the get a little distance from it.

in the

1

The Pennsylvania-German

328

Society.

house endeavored to escape, but were immediately pursued by the Indians, to the number of sixteen or more. John Lycan and Revolt, being badly wounded, were able to do off with the negro, leaving Andrew Lycan, Shut, and the boy, engaged with the enemy, who pursued so closely that one of them came up with the boy, and was about to tomahawk him when Shut turned and At the same time Lycan shot another, shot him dead.

nothing, and so went

whom

was killed, saw a third fall and thinks wounded by them. Being now both badly wounded, and almost exhausted, they sat down on a log to rest themselves, while the Indians stood a little way off, he

is

positive

others were

looking at them. One of the Indians killed was Bill Davis, and two others they knew to be Tom Hickman and Tom Hayes, all Delawares and well known in those parts. All of the farmers escaped through Swatara Gap into Hanover Township, and recovered under the care of a doctor, but lost all they

were worth.

The Gazette

"We

of June 24, 1756, says:

in Berks County of one Lawrence childen two (Bethel Township), said fort, are from miles Dieppel, who lives about two missing, and thought to be carried off by the Indians, as one of their hats has been found, and several Indian

have advice from Fort Henry, that

tracks seen."

In relation to

this affair the editor adds,

on July

1

"We

learn that one of Lawrence DieppePs children, mentioned in our last to be carried off, has been found

boy about four years, and that the other, also a boy, eight years old, was still missing." On November 19, 1756, Colonel Weiser writes to Govcruelly

ernor

murdered and

Denny

scalped, a

that the Indians

had made another incursion

Fort Henry.

320

into Berks County, killed and scalped two married women and a lad fourteen years of age, wounded two children of about four years of age, and carried off two more. One of the wounded was scalped and likely to die, and the other had two cuts on her forehead, given by an Indian who had attempted to scalp her but did not succeed. There were eight men of Fort Henry, posted in different neighbor's houses, about one mile and a half off, who, when they heard the noise of the guns firing, immediately went towards it but came too late.

Again,

in

Gazette gives July 9

its

issue

of July,

this extract

from

1757, the Pennsylvania

a letter dated, Heidelberg

:

"Yesterday, about three o'clock in the afternoon, between Valentine Herchelroar's and Tobias Bickell's, four Indians killed two children; one of about four years, the other five; they at the same time scalped a young woman of about sixteen; but, with proper care, she is likely to live

and do

well.

"A woman was scalped, her life

terribly cut with the is

despaired of.

tomahawk, but not Three children were

carried off prisoners.

among

One Christian Schrenk's wife, being the rest, bravely defended herself and her children,

for a while; wresting the gun out of the Indian's hands! assaulted her, also his tomahawk, and threw them

who

away; and afterwards was obliged to save her own life two of her children were taken captive in the meantime. In this house were also twenty

had

fled

from

their

own

men belonging

women and

children,

who

habitations, to take shelter; the

to them were about one-half mile off, picking cherries— they came as quick as possible and went in pursuit of the Indians, but to no purpose, the Indians had

concealed themselves."

The Pennsylvania-German

330

in

Society.

In August, 1757, people were murdered by the Indians Bern Township, and others carried off. At Tulpe-

hocken a

and

man named Lebenguth, and

his wife,

were

killed

scalped.

On

September

9,

1763, a letter from Reading says:

few of the Rangers who had encamped in Berks County, were apprized of the approach of Indians by to take their outscouts; the Indians advanced cautiously

"A

near, with savage yells they rushed forward, but the Rangers, springing on their feet, shot escaped. three in front; the rest fled into a thicket and

them by

surprise

;

when

Indians were armed with guns and provided with ammunition. These Indians, it is supposed by some, had

The

been on their way from the Moravian Indians, in Northampton County, to the Big Island. Runners were sent information, to the different parties of Rangers with the

and others

On

sent in pursuit of those

who

fled."

10, 1763, five Indians entered the house Martloff, in Berks County, at the base of the

September

of Philip

sons Blue Mountains, murdered and scalped his wife, two and two daughters, burnt the house and barn, the stacks value. of hay and grain, and destroyed everything of any

Martloff was absent from home, and one daughter escaped herself at the time of the murder by running and secreting in a thicket.

The

father and daughter were left in abject

misery.

A

brief mention has already been

family, in Bethel Township.

of June, 1758, gives a more

The

made of

the Frantz

Pennsylvania Gazette,

detailed account of the case,

which, substantially, agrees with the traditional facts It says lated to the present writer by a descendant.

re-

Fort Henry.

331

"At the time this murder was committed, Mr. Frantz was out at work; his neighbours having heard the firing of guns by the Indians immediately repaired to the house of Frantz; on their way they apprized him of the report

when they

arrived at the house they found Mrs. Frantz

dead (having been killed by the Indians because she was rather infirm and sickly, and so unable to travel), and all the children gone; they then pursued the Indians some distance, but all in vain. The children were taken and kept captives for several years.

"A

few years after

this

horrible affair,

except one, the youngest, were exchanged.

all

of them,

The

oldest of

them, a lad of twelve or thirteen years of age, at the time

when captured, related the tragical scene of his mother being tomahawked and shamefully treated. Him they compelled to carry the youngest. u The anxious father, having received two of his children as from the dead, still sighed for the one that was not. Whenever he heard of children being exchanged he

mounted his horse to see whether, among the captured, was not his dear little one. On one occasion he paid a man forty pounds to restore his child, who had reported that he knew where it was. To another he paid a hundred dollars, and himself went to Canada in search of the lost one

—but

to his sorrow, never could trace his child.

parent can realize his feelings

—they cannot be

A

described."

Fort Northkill.

On

January 25, 1756, Captain Jacob Morgan, in command at Fort Lebanon, near the present town of Auburn, was ordered to leave twenty men at his fort, and, with the remaining thirty of his company, proceed to some convenient point about half-way between his fort and Fort i

The Pennsylvania-German

332

Henry

Society,

" there to erect a stoccade of about

where he

is

to leave

20 men, under

a

400 foot square, Commiss'd officer

fORT NORTHKILL ( A9.'/l

_

CtUAA

fMii,

rtom

•HIMA N» *-

t

SITE OF FORT NORTHKILL.

and to return to Fort Lebanon, which he is to make his Headquarters and from that stoccade & from Fort Leb-

--

Fort Henry. anon, his men are to Range and scour ward and westward."

333 the

woods both

east-

In choosing the ground he was directed to take care that was no hill near it,. which would overlook or com-

there

mand

it,

and

son,

from whence an enemy might annoy the garriwas a spring, or running

also to see that there

stream of water, either inside of the fort command of their guns.

or, at least,

within

It is apparent that this defense was built merely to occupy the long gap between Forts Henry and Lebanon. Its site is about two miles distant from Strausstown, in Upper Tulpehocken Township, Berks County, and about half a mile from one of the branches of the Northkill Creek, from which it derives its name. It stood directly at the base of the mountains, and, even now, is still on the edge of the woodland. Its position, however, was good. It was but a short distance from the main State Road, and on slightly elevated ground, which gave it a full view of the cultivated valley lying all around it. A small stream of water, emanating from a spring, was close to it. At the time of the Indian troubles, as now, the land was cultivated almost up to the fort, but, even now, as then, its site stands on the edge of waste mountain land, and it is

owing can

to

still

visible,

It

its

undisturbed condition that some trace of

be seen.

although

was but

This remnant

now

is its

cellar,

which

it

is still

nearly drifted full of forest leaves.

a single block house, surrounded by the usual

Not very

extensive, and hastily constructed, it was never intended for more than a station, which it was necessary to maintain between the two large forts. In

stockade.

the

summer of 1757 preparations were made for the more substantial place of defense, but

tion of a

erecit

is

doubtful whether this latter was ever constructed, for,

in

The Pennsylvania-German

334

Society.

March, 1758, the stockade was already was distant eleven miles from Fort Henry, and equally distant from Fort Lebanon, on

the beginning of

abandoned. to the west,

It

the east.

Commissary James Young, when making inspection, in 1756, has this to say of

its

his tour of

shape and appear-

ance:

" June 20th, at 2 P. M., I sett out from Reading, Escorted by 5 men of the town, on horseback, for the Fort

we came to the Fort, it is ab't from Reading, the Road very hilly and thick of

at Northkill; at ]/2 past 6,

19 miles

westw'd of Schuylkill, and Stand in a very thick Wood, on a small Rising Ground, half a mile from the middle Northkill Creek; it is intended Each way, at Each Corner is a for a square ab't 32 ft.

wood;

the Fort

is

ab't 9 miles to the

half Bastin, of very

little

Service to Flank the Curtains,

ill

many

a very

Places; within

is

Ground, and open in bad Logg house for the peo-

fixed in the

the Stoccades are very

has no chimney, and can afford but little shelter in bad weather; when I came here, the Serjant who is Commander, was absent and gone to the next plantation, half ple,

it

but soon came, when he had intelligence I was there; he told me he had 14 men Posted with him, all Detached from Capt. Morgan's Comp'y, at Fort Lebanon,

a mile

off,

of them were absent by his leave, Vist. two he had let go to Reading for three days, one he had let go to his Own 5

and two more this afternoon, a few miles from the Fort, on their own business there was but I am of opinion Eight men and the Serjant on Duty. there ought to be a Commission'd Officer here, as the Serjant does not do his Duty, nor are the men under proper house, 10 miles

off,

;

more Superior Officer; the woods gave are not Clear'd above 40 Yards from the Fort; I

Command

for

want of

a

Fort Henry.

335

all down for 200 y'ds; I inquired the reason was so little Powder & Lead here, the Serjeant told me he had repeatedly requested more of Capt. Morgan, Provisions here, Flower and Rum for but to no purpose. 4 weeks; Mr. Seely, of Reading, sends the officer money to Provincial Arms and purchase meal as they want it. Ammun'tn at North Kill Fort, vizt: 8 G'd muskets, 4 Rounds of Powder & Lead, pr man, 15 Blankets, 3 axes."

orders to Cut

there



The

next day he left for Fort Lebanon, and, upon his

informed Captain Morgan that the sergeant was derelict in duty and requested in him to send a commissioned officer to relieve him, whereupon a lieutenant was detailed for that purpose, and started for the post, accompanied by two additional men, taking with them four pounds of powder and ten pounds of lead. On November 3, 1756, Lieutenant Humphreys, in command, had quite a thrilling encounter with the enemy, which he thus relates arrival there,

command

at Northkill

"

"May

it

"Thursday, Nov. 4th, 1756. Fort above the Northkill.

pleace the Colonel:

"Yesterday we were alarmed by a number of Indians, who came and took a child away. Immediately upon hearing the News, I, with nine men, went in Pursuit of 'em, leaving a Number of Farmers to guard the Fort 'till we should return. But we found nothing 'till this morning, we went out again; and, in our Return to the Fort, we were apprized of 'em by the firing of several Guns; when I or-

my men to make what speed they could. We ran we were almost out of Breath, and, upon finding Nicholas Long's House attack'd by the Indians, the Farmers, who w ere with us to the Number of Twenty, deserted and dered

till

T

fled,

leaving the Soldiers to Fight.

We

stood

in

Battle

The Pennsylvania-German

336

Society,

with 'em for several minutes 'till there was about Sixty Guns discharged and, at length, we put the Indians to Flight.

"We

man wounded, and my Coat was shot through in four Places. The Number of the Indians was Our Number at first was twenty-four, But they twenty. Two old men were all deserted and fled except seven. was Scalped. Ten whom one of killed before we came, women & children were in the Cellar and the House was on Fire; But we extinguished it and brought the women and Children to the Fort. I desire the Colonel to send me a Reinforcement; for the men solemnly say they will not have one

go out with the Farmers, never fired a gun.

The

as they deserted in the Battle

and

Indians cryed the Halloo during

the Battle. " have one of their

Guns and a Blanket, which had We two Holes with a Bullet in, and is Bloody. The Indians had all red Hats and red Blankets. " Sir, in Distress (wanting " Reinforcement) from

"This

"Yours

to

command

.

"Samuel Humphreys. "

May it please the

Hayerling, as It

is

Colonel to send by the Bearer, Adam as you can spare."

much Powder and Lead

gratifying to

know

received at least a fair

that Lieutenant

amount of

Humphreys

credit for his gallant

James Read, Esq., in writing, November 7, to Governor Denny, observes that, " By concurrent accounts from several Persons, whose character will not suffer me to doubt what they tell me, I am persuaded that Mr. Humphreys behav'd in a most laudable manner, and mani-

action.

Fort Henry.

337

and Presence of mind which will ever gain an Advantage over superior numbers, whose Leader is too precipitate and void of Discretion." Immediately upon receipt of this the Governor directed Captain Morgan to " thank Lieutenant Humphreys and the men under him, on my part, for ye gallant Behavior in the fested that calm courage

later action ag't the Indians."

After Lieutenant Humphreys the devolved upon Ensign Harry. He,

by an

officer,

command in turn,

whose name unfortunately

whose journal has been preserved,

a

is

of the fort

was relieved

not given, but

copy of which here

follows

"A Journal of Fort Northkill

— 1757

Received Orders from Lieutant Colonel Weiser, to march from Reading with all the Company remaining there, (the rest being commanded to Fort AuAccordingly I sat out from Reading by Break gustus).

"June

13.

Arrived at Lt. Coll. Weisers where I rec'd Orders to march with the Company or DetachnVt, to Fort Henry, and from there take a Detachm't of 20 Men, & continue 'till to Fort in Northkill. Accordingly

of Day, on the 14th.

on the

men from Fort strait Way to the marched and Henry of the New Levies ns Busse and Capt ns said Fort accompanied with Capt Smith, as soon as I arrived I gave Ensign Harry (then Commander of said Fort) Notice of my Orders, and Sent off two men immediately to the colonels with a Report of the condition I found the fort in, & sent him a List of the new Levies who were detached from Captain Busse's Fort "15th. In the morning took the said 20

with

me

to this Fort.

"16th. Capt ns Busse

.

&

Smith

sat off ab't 10 o'clock with

The Pennsylvania-German

338

Society,

n a Scout of 10 men, which Capt Busse had ordered from And Ensign Harry march'd his Company on the 15th.

out of the fort ab* 12 o'clock, (after delivering it to me), with his Men to Fort Lebanon, according to Orders. Pro-

Powder, 198 lb of Beef and Pork,

in the fort as follows, 51b

found

visions I

Flower, 10 Small Barrs of Lead, 15 lb $y2 lb Candles. "17. I, with a Corporal & 20 Men, according to OrCol Weiser, went a scouting & ranging the ders from

U

Woods

1

to Fort Lebanon,

till

O'clock in the Afternoon.

where

We

We

arrived ab* 2

staid there

being not able to scout any further, or return of a heavy Rain.

all

Night,

home because

from Fort Lebanon in the morning being rainy Weather, and ranged the Woods coming back, as before, with the same number of men, & arrived at Fort on Northkill about 4 O'clock in the afternoon. r jt "19. Gave Orders to Ser Pet Smith to Scout to Fort Lebanon & to bring me Report the next Day of his Pro"18. Sat

ceedings.

off

He

Accordingly

o'clock in the afternoon, and

1 arrived on the 20th ab 3

made Report

that

He

had

to his Orders, and that He had made no n Rec'd a Letter by him from Capt Morgan,

done according Discoveries.

me that He had no News, &c. " 21. Sent off Corporal Shafer to scout as before. " 22d. Minister Shumaker came & preach'd a Sermon

informing

from Fort Lebanon. The Corporal reported that Nothing strange had come A Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived to his knowledge. l d about 11 o'clock, and ret ab 4 towards their fort, but d upon the Indian Alarms they immediately ret back to my fort and gave me Notice In the midst of the Rain, & sent on the first Notice, Serj Smith, with 18 men, and ordered them to divide themselves in two Parties.

to the

Company.

The

scout arrived

:

fc

Fort Henry,

339

" June 23d. Serj* Smith ret d and made Report that he arrived at Dietz's House about 10 o'clock in the Night, where they heard a Gun go off at Jacon Smith's about a

They immediately

mile from there.

sat off again for said

Smith's toward the Place where the

Surrounded the House searched

From

all

there

(according to

Gun went

my

Orders)

off, .

and

They

House but found no marks of Indians. they marched to Falks House in the Gap, and the

From there they but found no Indians. went to the Mountain, and arrived there 2 o'clock in the 1 morning, where Serj Smith according to Orders, Waylay surrounded

it,

and as soon as it was Day went back and buried the man that was killed, to wit, Peter At Geisinger, who was shot, and killed the Day before. from miles ab off go 2 Guns heard 5 Burying him, they said Place, whereupon Sej Smith Immediately repaired to the Place, & divided themselves in two Parties, (I had sent

the

Road

in

two

Parties,

l

1

Corporal Sheffer with 8 men on the 22d to their assistSej* Smith also makes Report that this Morning ance.) 1 15 years, Daughter of Balser at 7 o'clock a Girl ab by two Indians, whose Prisoner, Schmidt, was taken Tracks they saw and followed, but to no Purpose. A Party of Capt n Busse's Company went along from this and

off

remained with Inhabitants

my men

came

to

all

the

me and

Time.

15 or 16 of the

apply'd for assistance.

I

ordered out several Detachm to assist them. " 24. I sat off with 20 men from this to Capt n Busse's ts

Fort along the mountain, & called at the Place where the Murder was committed. Went up as far as the Gap of the Mountain, but as I found no Tracts there, I thought the Indians would be on this Side the mountains, therefore to I went up along the mountains without opposition, till n and Day all hard very rained Capt Busse's Fort, and as it went far about, We arrived there towards the Evening.

We

The Pennsylvania-German

340

Society.

" 25. Sat off in the morning with the same number of men, and scouted the Woods back near the same Way back again, and arrived towards Evening in the fort, being rainy Weather.

"26. Rec'd

in the

morning

a Letter, for

my

positive

Orders not to neglect my scouting towards Fort Lebanon, ts This accordingly immediately called in my Detachm .

afternoon a

Woman

living ab*

1

y

2

miles from here,

to the fort,

her Field, not stay to

came

now

in and said she had seen an Indian almost naked, & had a Gun, but said she did I immediately sent off Serj* Smith look long.

just

with 2 Parties, consisting of ab* 20 men. They searched the Place, and found nothing, but saw 2 Barefeet Tracks. They divided into small Parties, & Scoured the Woods till then ret d to the Fort, and as I had to Day but men sufficient to guard the fort, I sent out no scout. This evening Intelligence came to me from the Colonels, inform-

Evening

ing

me

&

that

going to dered n

He

fall

n had notice from Capt Orndtof 15 Indians

on

this Settlement or hereabouts.

He

or-

therefore immediately to Send Notice thereof to Busse's Fort, in order that it might be from there

me

Capt conveyed to Fort Swatara, accordingly I did. "June 27. Gave Orders to Serj Smith to go scouting n the Woods between this and fort Lebanon, and if Capt Morgan thought that it was serviceable, to range some Way up Schuylkill, (as that Gap is their common Renfc

dezvous) " 28.

.

A

scout of

Capt n Busse arrived

in the

Forenoon,

& sat off

again this afternoon. " 29. In the Evening there came two men to the Fort, and reported that the Indians had invaded about 6 miles

ab 1 9 o'clock this morning, I was somewhat concerned that I had no sooner Intelligence of it, however I immediately sent off 12 men under 2 Corporals.

from

this,

Fort Henry. ."

30.

About noon

the following report.

34 l

the 2 Corporals returned and

That

made

Yesterday he could not reach

the Place as they were tired, but staid at a

House

till

nigh

Break of Day, and then sat off again. He did not immediately go to the Place when the man &c. were killed, but went somewhat further down towards Schuylkill, thinking that the Indians had invaded lower down, but as it was not so, He took another Rout, towards the Place where the murder was committed and as he came there, he found the Man's Wife, (Fred. Myers) who had been at a Plough, and shot thro' both her Breasts, k was scalped. After that he went to look for the Man, whom they found dead & scalped some Way in the Woods. They took a Ladder & carried him to his Wife, where the Neighbor's came, and helped to bury them, after which they went towards the mountain, and scouted along the same & arIt is reported rived here about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. before, while by the Farmer's who saw the deceased shot that he was mowing in the Meadow, and that his Children were about him, which makes them Believe that the Man, after he heard the Shot (which killed his Wife) he went to run off with only the youngest Child in his Arms, as the Man was Shot thro' the body, and the Child is ijS year of Age and is scalped, but yet alive, and is put to a The other three, who were with their Father, Doctors. are taken Prisoners; One of them is a Boy ab 10 years 1

& the whom they

old, the other a Girl of 8 years,

other a

Boy

of 6

found in a Ditch, It was laying on like to do well. is and up, taken It was crying. Back its taken Priswas years, Eight A Boy of one Reichard, of half an within done This was all oner at the same time. Hour, as some Neighbours had been there in that Space

years.

There was was

that the water

of Time.

a

Baby,

just to

its

Mouth.

The Pennsylvania-German

342

"July

r Seif Pet Smith

i.

ret d

P

Society.

with the Scout, and

re-

n Lebanon, Capt Morgan

ported that when he came to 1 to the Gap of the sent a Detachm under Ensign Harry And that on the 28th last past, they ascended Schuylkill. the other Side, they the Mountains, and when they came on after an encamping Place of the Indians, which,

found he sent off Ensign Harry had surrounded with his Party, on the ambush in lay to Serj* Smith with another Party of heard be to Indian Path all Night, but as nothing was Day; The Indians, the Indians, thev met again the next supposes/having left that Place the Day before. Spear, one However, they found 2 Match Coats, one Blank Wampum, Scalping Knife, some Virmilion, and 800 they yet lay in 29th The Salves. also great variety of The Purpose. no Ambush in several Parties, but all to Case in without Doubt, discovered them, as he

Indians having, any was thereabouts.

The 30th

they sat

oft"

for the Hills,

fort. and arrived within a few Miles of this in the Fort. July, they arrived Accordingly 11

July

2.

Being rainy Weather

I sent

And

the

1

no Scout, but put

to repair the Stoccadoes.

the Men to work " Early in the 3.

&

I

Morning my Men were

all

gathered,

Party to Fort ordered a Corporal to Scout with a

Lebanon,

&

return part of the

Woods upon

a rising

Ground

Way and encamp that He might the

in the

easier

discover a fire. " of Captain Busse s arrived 4. In the Morning a Scout & returned again in the Afternoon. The Scout from Fort that he returned & the Corporal made Report,

Lebanon had ranged "

5.

had made no Discoveries. very rainy Day, could send no Scout.

as directed but

Being a

u 6. Sent Serj< Smith on a Scout to range on this Side the Mountains, towards Schuylkill.

Fort Henry. "7.

A

Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived

In the afternoon

directly.

News.

343

It rained hard,

my

&

Scout ret

they lay

in

a

d ,

set off

again

but had no

House about

12

Miles from here. " 8. Being appointed by his Honour the Govern r a Day of Fast, I sent no Scout, but had a Sermon read in the fort, where numbers of the Neighbours had assembled. A Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived & ret d directly. "9. Sent off Corp Shefer with a Scout to Fort Leb1

d

anon, who ret on the "10. But brought on Intelligence.

I rec'd

Orders

to

repair to Reading, where I arrived this afternoon.

"11. Returned again into the Fort, where Serj

informed fort

&

from

me

a

Scout of

Cap

n

Busse's

1

Smith

had arrived

at the

ret d .

this,

That he had ranged the Gap about 2 Miles and had been over the Mountains, but had dis-

covered nothing. u i2. Scout of Captn Busse's arrived & ret d Immediately. Sent a Corporal and a Scout to Range to Fort

A

Lebanon.

My

Scout from Fort Lebanon returned. The Corporal reported he had ranged as ordered, but had no "13th.

Discoveries.

"14. Captn Busse arrived this morning with a Party

of Captn Smith's and his own, to the Number of ab 1 28. I gave him 15 of my Men, in order to escort the Treaty at Easton. " July 15. It being a rainy Day I sent no Scout. "16. Continuing rainy Weather, I could send no Scout. In the Evening repaired some Stoccadoes, the Rain having held up. "17. The Water being high & the Bushes wet, I could

send no Scout to Day. A Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived, there being no Water between his & this fort.

The Pennsylvania-German

344

Society.

"18. Sent a Scout along the Mountains.

They

arrived

ce

&

had no Intellig d "19. A Scout of Captn Busse's arrived and ret directly. Sent Serj' Smith with a Scout to Fort Lebanon. " 20. Serj 1 Smith ret d & reported that he had been at Evening

in the

.

Fort Lebanon & retd some Part of the Way & laid in the Woods, but had made no fire. They made no Discovery. d n Scout of Capt Busse's arrived and ret instantly. "21. Having laid out Part of my Men to protect the Farmer's & the Rest fatigued with Yesterday's Scout, I

A

could send none to Day. " 22. Sent a Scout along the Mountain

who

ret

d

without

Discovering any Thing. " July 23 d I went Scouting with a Party over the MounMen about tains, and as it was very warm, I ordered the .

Couple of Hours when We were over the Mountains, I then ordered them to march, and for the as We came to Schuylkill, I saw it was too high towards Horses, & got then Men to wade through. I Evening We got over Schuylkill. We arrived at Fort

Noon

to rest themselves a

Lebanon towards Night,

&

was obliged

to stay there that

Night. came over on "24th. Returned, and as soon as in the Day) this Side of the Mountains (it being yet early made no but Woods, the thro' I took quite another Rout

We

We

I arrived at the Fort in the Evening. r had not been there one half an Hour bef three Farmers came and informed me that this Morning the Indians had

Discovery, so

no taken a Boy of about 14 Years Prisoner, but had done as but I immediately sent off a party, other Damage. Prisoner in the Mornit happened, the Boy being taken ing, 14

Night came on before 25. In the

Morning

I

my Men

could get there.

hear the Boy had escaped, and

165238^ Fort Henry.

made Report

that he

Indians with him,

&

345

that there were 4 white

that

At Night he

Men &

4

escaped, they had

him and he was obliged to lay between them, but as they all got drunk, and fast asleep, he untied himself and ran off. He further says that when he was taken Prisoner he made a noise, and that they struck him & told him to be silent. I imagine they saw me with my Men go over the Day befr yesterday. The Indians were this Night ab* the fort, but it was very dark, theref r I did not sally out. " 26. This Morning sent out Serj* Smith, with 5 Men tied

to search ab* the fort for Tracks, but he only found one

which was Stones,

Day

in a

He

muddy

Place.

But

it

being nothing but

could not follow the Tracts.

very hard, therf r

It

rained

all

could send no Scout.

I

Sent a Scout down on this Side of the "July 27 th Mountain. The Scout ret d in the Evening having no .

Intelligence.

"28th.

A

Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived and ret d ab*

Noon; Nothing Extraordinary happened. " 29th. Sent Serj 1 Smith with a Scout along the

He

tains.

" 30th.

ret d

A Scout of L* Having

arrived. assist the

Moun-

having nothing particular.

Farmers,

Philip Weiser, from Capt n Busse

laid aside out several I

Detachments

to

could send no Scout to Day.

"31. Lieut. Weiser ret d from his Scout. I called in the DetachnVs this Day, and sent out a Scout which ret d this

Evening.

"Aug

1

ters, I let

" 2d

.

1st.

them

The Men rest this

being tired

&

their Feet in Blis-

Day.

Sent a Scout along the Mountains with Orders to

range to Schuylkill.

"3 d The Corporal ret d from .

had ranged

as ordered.

his Scout

and reported he

!

The Pennsylvania-German

34 6

"4.

Day.

Society.

d n Scout of Capt Busse's arrived & ret the same The Inhabitants desiring Assistance to bring in

A

their Harvest, I gave

scouting, but as I left

them some men few Men in the

&

went

altho'

a

d Fort, I ret this

Evening. r n "5. Scout of Capt Busse's arrived & went off aft Sent Serj Smith with a Scout & they had rested awhile.

A

1

ordered him to range the Woods on this Side the MounHe ret d and had nothing particular. tain. 41 They went along on the foot of 6. Sent off a Scout. d the Mountain & ret the Evening without any Intelligence. " th Being Sunday, I took a Party & went to Church 7 with a party, as the Church lies near the Mountain & the .

Minister could not come without a Guard. " 8. The Centry fired at an Indian. The Indian stood 1 viewing the fort. was and off, Yards behind a Bush ab 300

went off with 18 Men and parted them in 6 Parties and went after the Indians, but could not come up with them. I

Went to clearing "

9.

ab* the fort,

Continued clearing

&

it

being thick with Bushes.

burning Brush so that on the

South Side of the Fort, it is cleared a A Party of Captain Busse's arrived. "10. Sent

off

a scouting Party,

who

Musket

full

ret

d

Shot.

and brought

This Night the Centry ab an Hour after Dark perceived that a fire had been kindled to burn Brush, r but was bef Night gone out, began to burn afresh; upon which he called the Serjeant of the Guard, who perceiving Indians the same ordered the Guard to fire, on which the 'em after barking kept The Dogs pursued 'em & ran off.

no

4

Intelligence.

Men

under Arms; but everything being now quiet, dismissed 'em, ordering them to be in continual Readiness with their Accoutrements d In ab< an Hour, the Indians ret and took a Fireon. ab< half a Mile.

I

had the

all

Fort Henry.

brand out of the Fire fired on,

but

&

ran

347

They were immediately

off.

in vain.

"Aug. n. Ensign Biddle arrived at the fort with the Detachment of our Company that were in Easton. "12. A Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived & retd directly. "13. This day I left the fort in Order to go to the Col s agreeable to his Orders,

I left

Ensign Biddle

Sent a Corporal to range towards Schuylkill,

in the fort.

who

ret d the

same Evening & the Corporal reported that he ranged as directed and had made no Discoveries. A Scout of Capt n Busse's arrived, & retd the same Evening. "14. Being Sunday, Minister Shumaker came here, &: the Soldiers being fatigued with continual Scouting, there

was no Scout

to

Day.

"15. Ensign Biddle sent a Corporal with a Scout to

range Eastwards towards Schuylkill & return under the Mountains. The Scout ret d towards Evening & the Corporal made Report, he had ranged as directed and had

no

Intelligence.

"16. Sent an express Serjeant with 15 Men to range Scout of Captn Busse's Eastward along the Mountain.

A

arrived ret d .

&

ret d immediately.

The

Serj

fc

In the afternoon, the Scout

made Report he had ranged

as directed,

but had no news.

"17. Early this Morning Ensign Biddle sent Sej* Smith with 10 men to escort Lieut. Col Wieser, who was ex1

pected here this Day.

This

Day Col

1

YVeiser arrived.

accompanied with Capt n Busse and myself, together with The Col returned the same Day homethe said Escort. wards, after We had chosen a place where to build a New Ensign Biddle went along with Capt'n Busse. Fort. "18. Sent off a Scout to Fort Lebanon, and ordered them to range the Woods between here & that fort till 1

Night.

The Pennsylvania-German

34§

Society.

Scout ret d ab* 4 O'clock & informed that he had done according to his Orders. Capt n Morgan came

The

"19.

d ret the same Evening. " 20. Sent a Scout of 15 Men to range the

with the Scout and

Woods

towards Schuylkill, into Windsor Township, & with Orders to call in some Detachments lying in said Township, according to Lieut. Col s Orders. "21. The Scout ret d with the Detachm's. The Corporal reported he had done according to his Orders, but

had no News.

The same Day Capt n Busse & Ensign

Biddle arrived from Fort Henry.

Captain Busse

ret

d

the

same Evening. " 2 2d

Rece'd an Express from Lieut. Col Weiser, with 1

.

Orders to come

House. In Pursuance of which, I Ensign Biddle in the fort. " 23 d A Scout of Capt n Busse arrived. The Centry's heard the Indians distinctly whistle this Night in the fort to his

sat off immediately, leaving .

Woods. " 24. Ensign Biddle, according to Orders, with a Scout of 20

Men, went over

the

Mountains

Fort. " 25. Lieut. Philip Weiser

Captain Morgan's

to

came here from Fort Henry,

with a Scout. " 26. Ensign Biddle ret d from his Scout, having been

Captn Morgan's Fort, & from thence scouted over the Mountains into Allemangle & from thence along the foot of the Mountains till here. This Day I also arrived at the fort from-'L*. Col Weisers. " 27. Having Orders from L y Col Weiser's to look at

1

.

1

.

out for a proper Place to build a

.

new

fort, this

being so

began to lay out one on a spot which had been bef r pitched upon by the Colonel and Cpt n Busse, But night bad,

I

coming,

We

could not

finish.

Fort Henry.

349

" 28. Laid out the remaining Part of the fort. " 29. Had some Brush cut, round the new intended fort, till

Evening.

"30. Sent

off a Scout towards Schuylkill. They ret d Evening, but made no return with the remaining party of the Men. I continued clearing & burning of Brush.

in the

" 31. Sent off Sej* Smith with a scouting Party, towards Schuylkill. He ret d but made no Discovery." It

is

^

his

probable that this

command,

letter

in the

of October

officer

was ordered away, with

beginning of September, because,

in a

1757, to Governor Denny, Colonel Weiser says that Captain Oswald, who commanded a company of regular troops, from the Royal American Regi-

ment, and diately

1,

who was

two

then stationed at Reading, sent immelieutenants, with forty privates, to the assis-

tance of the people about Northkill,

who were in distress, which would hardly have been done were the fort still

garrisoned.

That it was completely abandoned by March, 1758, evidenced by the fact that, under this date, the settlers the neighborhood implored the

Governor for

is

in

assistance

because, as they said, "

Your Petitioners are every moment from the Enemy, and find ourselves less

dreading an attack secure than heretofore, from their attempts, as the Blockhouse at Northkill is destroyed and no Garrison Kept in those parts."

In April, 1758, at Tulpehocken, a man by the name of Lebenguth, and his wife, were killed and scalped. At Northkill Nicholas Geiger's wife and two of his children were killed; and also Michael Ditzelar's wife was killed— these were all scalped. into small parties,

The

Indians divided themselves and surprised the settlers unawares.

gases—BBS

CHAPTER XXV. The Gap

in

the Blue Mountains.

HILE Hs^^'^w^'w^n

1

in

nearly every

instance

the

forts

Government occupied, or commanded, the gaps which were natural passage ways through

erected by the Provincial

r^;-'

'

^^-%:H*-

the range of mountains, yet this

)&&W Vv_^p^

was not

the

case

with Fort

Henry, nor with Fort Northkill, which served as defenses for what was probably the most populous and important The most direct communisettlement south of the range. cation of these people with the north was by the old Shamokin Road, which crossed the mountains not far distant

from the

locality of

dians

made

tions.

On

on one of

had

Fort Northkill.

Naturally, the In-

frequent use of this on their marauding expedithis road, at the top of the its

most conspicuous

points,

Blue Mountains, Dietrich Snyder

built for himself a one-story log house, about twenty

(35o)

The Gap by forty

feet.

in

the Blue Mountains.

351

From

this a view of the surrounding counand the approach of hostile parties easily

try could be had,

discovered by the

trail of burning houses in their tracks. being given by those on watch to the commander of Fort Northkill he was, thereby, enabled the better to prepare himself, and to be on guard for any

The alarm

emergency which might arise. That the building was occupied for this purpose we have the authority of various old residents, who received their information from most authentic sources.

Upon mained

the death of Dietrich Snyder his wife still rethe old house, and lived to be 115 years old.

in

The property was then sold to a Mr. Miller, 'who tore down the building and erected a hotel in its place, which is still standing. The original block-house stood a short hundred yards

directly north of the hotel.

Fort Lebanon (and William).

Not

far distant

important gap

in

from Fort Northkill, to the mountain made by

the east,

is

the

the Schuylkill

River, where Port Clinton now stands. Some six miles north of Port Clinton is the town of Auburn, and about one and one-half miles east of Auburn stood Fort Leb-

anon, distant eleven miles from Fort Northkill, by the route usually taken, which was along the northern' base of the Blue Range, then across the mountain by the road past Dietrich Snyder's house. This fort, during the latter part of its history, was also called Fort William. The first

mention made of

it is

in the

order sent Captain Jacob

Morgan, under date of January 26, 1756, which begins: "As you are Captain of a Company of foot in the pay of this Province,

now

Schuylkill, I think

it

posted in a fort in the forks of the necessary to give you the following

The Pennsylvania-German

352

Society.

Orders and Instructions for your better government and direction, in the execution of the trust reposed in you."

Then

follows the order relative to the building of Forj

Northkill.

Fort Lebanon probably came into existence during the month of December, 1755. It stood on what was recently the farm of Lewis Marburger, on the north side of the road between Auburn and Pine Dale, about one and a half miles from each. In the olden time this road was not much more than a path, but still the line of communication Some sixty yards to between the east, west and south. the east

is

the road to Port Clinton, which there crosses

The

was about the same The ground is level distance to the north of the creek. and somewhat elevated, falling down to the creek from just below an oak tree, which marks the location oi a spring where the soldiers obtained their water. About seventy-five feet west of the oak tree there still remains a part of the stump of a tree, where quite a number of bullets have been found, and which was probably used by the Pine Creek w as formerly known as soldiers as a target. Pine Creek by a bridge.

fort

T

Bohundy Creek.

Of

a hollow place in the

the old fort nothing remains save field,

twenty feet north of the road,

which marks the location of the

cellar.

Fortunately, in the Pennsylvania Archives

we

find a full

description of this defense.

"Description of Fort Lebanon, 1756. " Fort Lebanon, about 24 miles from Gnadenhiitten

(Fort Allen at Weissport), (Sunbury).

in

the

Line to Shamokin

" Fort, 100 Foot Square.

"Stockades, 14 Foot high. "House within 30 X 20, with a large Store Room.

The Gap

Blue Mountains.

in the

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Early

Homes and

Colonial Mansions.

13

family, after which Duy's lane was named, of Garfield street. built the old house that stood north

The Duy

later it About i860 it was bought by George Royal and on the built was razed and a row of stores and dwellings site.

,

On

the west corner of

Manheim

street

and Main

street

1773 by stood an old carriage shop that was owned was a low one story Jacob Sommer. Above the corner in

building the style of our early settlers' home. in At No. 5140 is an old building that was occupied

worker. 1809 by Samuel Bringhurst, an iron side

is

This

is

On

the

fire-place. to be seen the old-fashioned oval Stuart's Gilbert for the house that is often mistaken Washof which he painted the famous portrait still

studio, in

was purchased by the Boston Athenium and in the now hangs in the Public Art Gallery. Stuart lived in barn " a used he house above, known as The Corvy," and

ington, which

since burned down. the rear for his studio, which has long

Christopher Saur's Printing Office. his wife Christopher Saur came to Germantown with in Germany, and son in 1724. He had been bred a tailor he acquired here came he After from whence he came. became a He proficiency in some thirty other pursuits. and apothecary, a surgeon, a botanist, a clock

farmer, an

manufacturer of watch maker, bookbinder, an optician, a all material for made paper, he drew wire and lead and He also imported German Bibles the books he printed. He did not settle in Germanin considerable number. house where town until 1732, when he built a large stone street now Queen the large ivy-covered mansion opposite partitions In the second story he arranged the could be swung on hinges so that when necessary they

stands.

The Pennsylvania-German

14

open to make one large room of

it.

Society. It

was

in this

room

among them.

His was number a varied pursuits made him well acquainted with of people of the province, and perceiving the need of a vehicle of thought, he became a printer and in 1739 issued In an almanac. This was done on an imported press. 1743 he printed the Bible in German, some forty years the

Dunkars met,

prior to

its

as he

appearance here

preacher

a

in

English.

His newspaper was commenced on the twenty-ninth of August, 1739 (but nine years after Franklin started his paper) under the following title: "High German Pennsylvania Historian," or collection of important news from This was the Kingdom of Nature and of the Church. a quarterly but

first

He

made monthly and enlarged in 1741. make drugs. He needed

established a laboratory to

had none and there were no facilities to import them, so he applied to Hendrick Frey, a very ingenious turner, who made a supply, turning them out in wood in One of the jars is capacity of one, two and four quarts. He died February 26, 1758, and was still in existence.

jars but

succeeded by his only son, his

mechanical ingenuity.

who

He

resembled his father in first to print Sun-

was the

day School lessons, Sunday School text cards and also the first book on education printed in America; this was a treatise on education by Christopher Dock, an old tutor of He improved the Franklin stove and also invented his. a ten plate stove.

As civil

Dunkar he would not bear arms or appeal to a This caused him much court to redress a wrong. a

trouble during the stirring times of our Revolution.

though not an open enemy of

his country,

Al-

he was unwilling

His sympathy undoubtedly being with the British army, on account of which his propto take an oath of allegiance.

Early

Colonial Mansions.

Homes and

15

and sold. Fie died in poverty August (3d) and 26, 1784, while two of his sons, Christopher first as the treason, Peter, enjoyed the reward for their King's printer and postmaster of Nova Scotia, the other

erty

was

confiscated

as an official in the

West

Indies.

Old Wister Mansion.

On Main

Queen was named

street

street opposite

Wister homestead.

It

"

we

see the old

Grumblethorpe " by

Charles Wister, the father of the present owner, Charles

1744 by Johann Wister as a The pent roof and balcony have been recountry seat. moved but much of the old mansion is preserved in the

J.

Wister.

It

was

Daniel Wister, son of John, succeeded

present building. his father in the

built in

ownership of the property.

No

The

present

place in the city retains such

is a grandson. flavor of Revolutionary days as this old mansion.

owner

During the Revolution the house was taken by the British officers for headquarters, and General Agnew took up his residence there and where he died in the north Blood stains are parlor after receiving his fatal wound. wounds though Mr. still shown on the floor from his of the boards resome had Charles J. Wister's mother moved.

Standing sentry

in

the old-fashioned hall

is

a

which the followto Philadelphia came ing story is told When North Wales; in Mr. Wister sent his family to relatives The American army he himself went to Philadelphia. by and the family close Wales North was encamped in

wooden

figure of a British grenadier of

the British

:

number of boasted that he would

became intimate with

a

Major Tilly, Mr. Wister obtained ish. theatricals,

which

is

the officers. like to

One,

meet the

a

Brit-

a stage setting, used in private

supposed to have been painted by

The Pennsylvania-German

16

Society,

Major Andre, an adjutant general in the who was particularly expert with the brush. got the figure to North Wales, where the

and had and holding a lantern

his hired

iting,

at the door.

Major

man

in

a half

Major

and

it

in

Mr. Wister

officers

were

vis-

front of the door,

gave three heavy raps answering it, upon opening

front of

Tilly, in

the door gave out a yell,

and

place

British army,

it,

as the story goes ran a mile

from the house.

Tilly was surprised and captured at the old Wis-

mansion some time afterwards while trying to make It was in the his way to Washington's headquarters. house that Major Lennox was surrounded at midnight by a howling mob which demanded his life and were only These are but a few incidispersed by the City Troop. dents of the many connected with the old house, which is ter

full

of heirlooms and

There

is

relics.

another wooden

figure, that

conspicuous place in the dining room. a perfect

model of the

of a Turk,

in a

In the library

original house; on a tall clock

is

is

the

weather vane from the steeple of the German Reformed Mr. Charles J. Wister, the present owner, takes Church. great pride in showing these old relics. John Wister built a farm house on Fisher's lane in It was known for many years as the "Castle of 1743.

Rosenheim," and stood on what is now the corner of Wakefield street. Above the Wister house (No. 5273 Main street) formerly stood an antiquated low building that was built at In 1704 the property was owned by a very early date. Jacob Gottschalk, a minister to the Mennonites, and in

1729 it was owned by John Henry Kalkglaser. In 1743 was purchased by John Fry, a tinsmith and brass founder, who died in 1745, his son John taking the prop-

it

THE PENNSYLVANIA-GERMAN SOCIETY.

f^'

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REVOLUTION. WISTER HOMESTEAD (GRUMBLETHORPE^ PRIOR TO THE STREET. PENN NOW LANE SHOEMAKERS ON HOUSE," ROCK "THE

Early

Homes and

Colonial Mansions.

17

tinsmiths and tinkers for several reputation of doing the best work the had generations and The present house was built by Emlin in the town.

The Frys were

erty.

Pleasant.

Waltemate green houses now stand once stood an old house that was owned in 1745 by Cornelius Weygandt, the son-in-law of John Bechtel. In 1772 it was purchased by Christian Van Lashet and it was owned by his family until about i860. This was a type of the

Where

the

The upper

old houses with customary half doors.

had

a deep cut across

by a British

officer

offended the officer

was closed

it

which

is

said to have been

with his sword.

who made

It

a strike at

is

said a

half

done

man

him but the door

time to receive the blow intended for the

in

head.

National Bank of Germantown and Home of John Fanning Watson. Germantown was chartered by the State of The Bank of Pennsylvania

in 18 13

and went into operation July, 18

It first occupied a building

House

lane and

House, erected

Germantown

in the early

14.

on the west corner of School road,

known

as the Bensell

part of 1750 by Carl Benselius.

1825 to Nos. 5275-77 Main where it remained until Samuel 1868, when it was removed to its present locality. Harvey was its first president and John Fanning Watson (the noted annalist of Philadelphia) its first cashier. Watson resided in this house while occupied by the bank and here did most of his literary work. During the yellow fever epidemic in 1793, when the State and National governments removed to Germantown, Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, and Edward Ran-

The bank was removed street,

in

below Shoemaker's

lane,

The Pennsylvania-German

i8

Society.

its occupants during the dolph, Attorney General, were William Before this the house was occupied by scourge. Surveyor Gende Braham, who was his Majesty's

Gerhard

eral of the District of

North America.

for business purold place has long since been used butcher's stand, where It is at the present time a poses. without a thought of people bargain for steaks and chops

The

rare historic past.

its

Shoemaker House. which stood long two-story-and-half stone building Penn streets, once Shoeat the north corner of Main and Shoemaker. It can be maker's lane, was erected by Isaac The door you see said it had its front door in the rear. cellar and the opening from the street was the door to the was in the rear. The Shoemaker property

The

main entrance

back to townformerly extended north to Church lane and ship line, now Stenton avenue. His son Benjamin and Isaac Shoemaker died in 1732. Philadelphia. grandson Samuel were successively mayors of

Samuel Before the Revolution the house was occupied by battle the The British used it as a hospital after Burge. Germantown and the wounded filled every room. In of

was known as the prison. was removed in 1843 and what is known after years

took

its

Near

it

This building as Cottage Row

place.

the middle of the property and

the corner of

Penn

street

and

still

Belfield avenue

standing on

is

famous about 1690 the

old rock house, supposed to have been built daughter of by Isaac Shoemaker, who married Sarah, the the land owned Hendricks, who had previously

Gerhard upon which it was built. The house was built high up became on a rock some thirty feet from the road. Since it

Early a tenement

Homes and

many

Colonial Mansions.

notable characters have lived in

19 it.

Its

identity has almost been lost as the road has been filled in at this point almost even with the top of the rock. Where 5338 Main street now stands formerly stood a good type of our early Germantown homes. It will be

remembered as a famous bakery kept by an old German by the name of John Mushier. In going his rounds he was accustomed to summon his customers by the aid of a He was quite a favorite with the children on achorn. He was blind and count of his delicious honey cakes. the children would often try to fool him by hiding their money on the counter, but he would never hand over the cakes until he found the money. Two good examples of early architecture formerly stood where East Coulter street now is. About a hundred years ago they were owned by Joseph and Thomas Waterman. At one time John Books, a celebrated Quaker preacher, lived in one of them, and later Thomas Silvers, a hatter. At that time an old German doctor would make short He is said to have visits here and stop at this house.

made many

On

notable cures.

the west corner of Coulter street

road, where the Coulter Inn

now

and Germantown

stands,

stood an old

farm house that was owned by Christopher Bockius. His grounds extended north to the Friends' Meeting House and back to near Wayne street; in all about twenty acres. He was nicknamed Stuffle Bockius by the boys who used his grounds as a short cut to the Germantown Academy. He lived to a ripe old age. His son Jesse succeeded to the property.

Morris House. mansion that stands on Main street opposite Church lane was built in 1772 by a German, David

The

stately old

The Pennsylvania-German

20

Society.

During the battle of Germantown General moved from Stenton and made this house his head-

Deshler.

Howe

quarters.

Deshler's death, in 1792, the house passed into the served hands of Colonel Isaac Franks, an officer who had When the yellow fever broke in the Revolutionary War.

At

closed his out in 1793 he was living in Bethlehem, having available it Germantown house for the season, thus making

for the occupancy of our

first

president.

Germantown

at

United States, wine had not if to-day In 1804 future date.

the capital of the

became and would probably be the

that time virtually

capital

played such an important part at a the ancestor the house was purchased by Elliston Perot, The grand Morris. of the present owner, Elliston Perot

mansion always commands much bric-a-brac, old attention, antique furniture, paintings and hundred years one than less family sofas and tables, none interior of this stately

two-hundred-year-old clock these which ticks away the hours in solemn metre. All pride. of deal great a with furnishings are kept up There is no colonial house that is so well taken care of. the

In

old.

hall

stands

a

shaded extensive grounds on the south and west are with old trees and all is kept in perfect order.

The

Market Few

localities outside of

Square. Philadelphia recall so

many

days as Market stories of the Revolutionary and colonial acre in extent, half This open place, about one Square. " Attempts in early times. designated as the " green

was

Monument have been made at different time to name it there erected monument Square on account of the soldiers' in

1883.

The ground

originally

was purchased from James De

mm Ml

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Biri

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