Local History: Luzerne County, PA , Lackawanna County, PA, Wyoming County, PA
Transcriber's notes: I have transcribed this book as written and spelled, with the exception of footnotes and italics which cannot be saved as ASCII Text. The author H. Hollister makes reference to and footnotes several author's and books and to name a few they are: Smith's History of New York; American Antiquities; Charles Miner's History of Wyoming; Colonial Records, Pennsylvania Archives; Westmoreland Records and Chapman's History of Wyoming. Any footnote important to the meaning of the passage has been inserted within the text.
I have also noted the original page number in the book as "page x" so that the reader can use their browser to "find" the page referenced in the "Index to History of the Lackawanna Valley" already transcribed. Click on "Edit" then "Find in Page" and type in the page you want.
HISTORY OF THE LACKAWANNA VALLEY
H. Hollister, M.D.
PRINTED BY C. A. ALVORD, 15 VANDEWATER STREET
PREFACE (to the first edition)
In presenting to the public these "Contributions," it seems proper to state that the collection of the embodied facts was more the result of the love possesed by the writer for such incidents and history, than the hope of either a pecuniary reward, or a literary reputation.
Becoming familiar with a few features in the history of the Lackawanna Valley, the writer was induced, by the solicitations of his friends, to put them into a shape whereby their publication might possibly awaken an interest, or perhaps elicit new and more connected material from a region where nothing yet had been done in the way of gathering its local history.
From the absence of a proper and continued record--from indistinct and often conflicting memories--and from the death of all who were familiar with its earliest settlement, it is very probable that events narrated are sometimes given in an imperfect, and even in an inaccurate manner. It would not be surprising if such was the fact; but the reader must bear in mind that not only the personal, but the general history recorded here was written while the author was engaged in a large practice, and harassed by all the continual anxieties occurring in one of the most exhausting and thankless professions in the country.
While the author asks no indulgence from this circumstance, yet he apprehends that a practice of twelve years, with its too often accompanying annoyances--compelled to view human nature
in every possible light, and encounter it in its most humiliating aspect--eminently fits him to bear the murmurs of those who suppose that a volume can be as easily written as read.
None of the Sketches are arranged in chronological order; many are necessarily brief, meager, and unsatisfactory, owing to the great dearth of material; while some, it is possible, do better justice to the subject.
It would have given pleasure to the writer, to have presented a genealogical view of the original families in the valley; but as this contemplated feature would necessarily have enlarged the volume beyond its intended limits, without adding much to the general interest, it was abandoned.
The obligations of the writer are due to all his friends, who have, by their liberal subscriptions to the volume, manifested such an interest in its welfare.
Providence, Pa., 1857
The volume, of which a second edition is now published, has been so thoroughly modified and revised in its general outline, as to present the features of a different, and I trust, a better work than the preceding one. Very many pages have been wholly obliterated; the remainder re-written and radically changed, while a number of pages of interesting historical matter--sought after from trustworthy records and testimony with an earnestness that possibly may deserve expressions of approbation and success--have been added thereunto.
In my former volume, I gave but a general recognition of the favors of my friends, who, in various ways, contributed toward its successful development. In this, I desire to return especial thanks to several persons whose manly sympathies and generous aid lay me under a grateful obligation and remembrance.
For materials drawn from the Pennsylvania Archives and Colonial Records, and other authorities, appropriate acknowledgment appears in its proper place. In addition to these sources of information, fully noted and credited, I would return thanks to G. B. NICHOLSON,ESQ., for access to the Westmoreland Records; to B. H. THROOP, M.D., for valuable suggestions in regard to the volume; to SELDEN T. SCRANTON, of Oxford Furnace, N.J. for acts of friendship which characterize his desire to make every man's pathway blossom with the rose; to S. B. STURDEVANT, M. D., for favors which were given in so cheerful a manner as to greatly enhance their value; to the Rev. Dr. PECK, for the biographical sketch of the late Hon. GEORGE W. SCRANTON; to Hon. STEUBEN JENKINS, whose antiquarian knowledge promises to the world an invaluable documentary history of Gen. Sullivan's celebrated Wyoming expedition in 1779; to STEPHEN ROGERS and D. YARINGTON, for papers concerning the settlement of Carbondale; to N. ORR & Co., of New York, and EUGENE FRANK, of Wilkes Barre, for their skillful execution of the cuts adorning the work, and to HARPER & BROTHERS, for the sale and use of electrotypes, illustrating scenes in the Lackawanna Valley.
The author of the following pages, who was not born upon the banks of the Lackawanna, but was nurtured among her mountains, would do injustice to is own feeligns did he not gratefully acknowledge the kind, yet undeserved, ecomiums of the editorial fraternity, and the favorable reception the community gave his "Contributions" in 1857. May he not indulge in the hope that the young valley is not now less athletic and friendly than then?
Providence, Pa., 1869.
page 6 (blank)
page 7 (List of Illustrations)
page 8 (blank)
page 9 through 15
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INDIAN HISTORY OF WYOMING 17 - 29
INDIAN VILLAGE OF CAPOOSE 29 - 39
LACKAWANNA RIVER AND VALLEY 40 - 43
WAS WYOMING ONCE A VAST LAKE? 43 - 49
WAR-PATHS 49 - 50
INDIAN SPRING UPON THE MOOSIC MOUNTAIN 50 - 51
INDIAN RELICS AND FORTIFICATIONS 51 - 59
INDIAN APPLE-TREE 59 - 61
BEACON FIRES 61 - 63
SILVER MINE ON THE LACKAWANNA 63 - 64
GOLD MINE 64 - 67
SALT SPRINGS 67 - 68
LEAD MINE 68 - 70
GENERAL HISTORY 70 -105
GENERAL HISTORY (continued) 105 -121
ISAAC TRIPP 121 -130
WESTMORELAND 130 -132
WILLENPAUPACK SETTLEMENT 132 -134
JAMES LEGGETT 134 -137
FIRST WAGON ROAD FROM PITTSTON TO THE DELAWARE 137 -139
MILITARY ORGANIZATION 139 -141
RELIGION, MORALITY AND STILL-HOUSES 141 -148
MILLS UPON THE LACKAWANNA 148 -149
DR. JOSEPH SPRAUGE 150 -151
DR. WILLIAM HOOKER SMITH-OLD FORGE 151 -154
THE SIGNAL TREE 154 -154
THE WYOMING MASSACRE 155 -177
GENERAL HISTORY (resumed) 177 -186
PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP AND VILLAGE 186 -205
DUNMORE 206 -211
HISTORY OF SCRANTON 211 -268
BLAKELEY 269 -273
YANKEE WAY OF PULLING A TOOTH 274
THOMAS SMITH 275
SETTLEMENT OF ABINGTON 275 -282
THE GREAT HUNTER, ELIAS SCOTT 282 -284
"DRINKER'S BEECH" - (Now Covington) 284 -288
SETTLEMENT OF JEFFERSON 288 -291
CHASED BY A PANTHER 291 -293
DUNNING 293 -295
CARBONDALE 295 -300
LACKAWANNA VALLEY IN 1804 300 -310
FORMATION OF TOWNSHIPS; PRIMITIVE MINISTERS 310 -314
PROPRIETORS' SCHOOL FUND AND PRIMITIVE SCHOOLS 314 -316
PATHS AND ROADS 317 -322
THE RISE OF METHODISM IN THE VALLEY 322 -326
SMELLING HELL 326-328
FORMATION OF ANTHRACITE COAL 328 -329
ORGANIC REMAINS FOUND IN THE COAL STRATA 329 -331
MINERALS AND MINING 331 -332
COAL LANDS FIFTY YEARS AGO 332 -333
THE DISCOVERY AND INTRODUCTION INTO USE OF
ANTHRACITE COAL 333 -343
WILLIAM AND MAURICE WURTS 343 -363
FALLING IN OF THE CARBONDALE MINES 363 -367
EARLIEST MAIL ROUTE THROUGH THE VALLEY 367 -369
THE PENNSYLVANIAL COAL COMPANY 369 -372
FROM PITTSTON TO HAWLEY 372 -379
DELAWARE, LACKAWANNA, AND WESTERN RAILROAD 379 -393
LACKAWANNA AND BLOOMSBURG RAILROAD 393 -396
SKETCH OF THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE LEHIGH AND
SUSQUEHANNA RAILROAD 396 -403
HON. GEORGE W. SCRANTON 403 -410
LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD 410 -417
APPENDIX 419 -442
page 16 (blank)
The Indian's side of history can never be written, because traditions runing back through centuries, and cherished only by the red man whom they concerned, perished with
the race that knew them. We shall read of homes reddened by the tomahawk or charred by the fagot, but not of the wrongs urging the wild man to defend the spot where his wigwam stood. When the plain cabins of the Dutch first rose on the banks of the Hudson, all the Indians "on the Connecticut, Hudson, Delaware, and Susquehanna rivers, were in subjugation to the "Five Nations" whose capital near the placid waters of the Onondaga Lakes, lay but a day's walk or two from the head-springs of the Lackawanna.
In 1827, Cusick published traditions of the Tuscaroras running from "twenty-five hundred winters before Columbus's discovery of America" down to the days of Mahomet. "About the time of Mahomet's career in 602, a great Tyrant arose on the Kaunaseh, now Susquehanna River, who waged war with the surrounding nations, from which it appears that while in Africa, Europe and Asia revolution succeeded revolution, empires rose on the ruins of empires, that in America the same scenes were acting on as great a scale--cultivated regions, populous cities and towns, were reduced to a wilderness, as in the other countries."
The Mohawks, asserting sovereignty over the proud Pequots and Narragansetts, numbering many hundred warriors, and exacting tribute from all the New England tribes as late as the sixteenth century, claimed the wilderness from the Connecticut to Wyoming. Massasoit, the ever warm friend of the Pilgrims, and his son Philip, afterward celebrated as King Philip, had frequent conflicts with this haughty, powerful tribe. The Dutch gave them the name of Maquos. The French, between whom war was almost perpetual, called them Iroquois.
When Captain John Smith was carried prisoner to the castle of Powhatan, in 1607, he learned that the "Sas-que-sah-ha-noughs" (Susquehanna Indians), living upon the river by this name, "are a Gyant like people and are thus atyred", giving in his work a graphic illustration of a chief "atyred" in all the gorgeous style of the wild man.
The Confederation known as the Six Nations, formed by the union of Mohawks, Senacas, Onondagos, Oneidas, Cayugas, and the Tuscaroras, was not only formidable in the number of its warriors, but so democratic in the character of its organization, and so terrible in the exercise of its power, that few new settlements, made along the frontier, acquired either growth or age without harm or apprehension. Its power was absolute and unquestioned; its government a limited monarchy. This was vested in a Great Sachem or Chief, directed by a Council of Braves and aged warriors noted for wisdom and bravery. Its ever-burning Council Fire blazed fromthe plains of
Oh-na-qu-go, while the edicts and wishes of the assembled sachems, carried to Manhattan's shore by runners, were known and respected even in the far-off region of the magnolia and palmetto. With a dialect whose strange intonations bewildered the ear of the white man, and whose tongue, destitute of labials, was so diverse and corrupted from the parent language, that many of the tribes living on the same stream could only converse through an interpreter; with neither books nor charts, with no history but the wigwam's lore, no guide but the moon's gray twilight, no valley was sunk too far away in the mountains, no stream stretched its tranquil length through grounds too remote from the war-path to escape the notice of men clad in skins, who occupied and gave them a name.
Charles Miner, in his really unequaled and charming History of Wyoming, remarks, with truth, that, "in unraveling the tangled web of Indian history, we found ourselves in the outset extremely embarrassed, especially when reading the pages of Heckewelder and other writers of the United Brethren. The removal of tribes or parts of tribes to the valley; their remaining a brief period and then emigrating to some other place, without any apparent motive founded in personal convenience, consistency, or wisdom, perplexed us exceedingly, as we doubt not it has others."
The forest between the Hudson and Lake Huron constituted the sachemship of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, whose "smokes" ascended from the mountains of Vermont to the head-waters of the Delaware, Susquehanna, and the Ohio. The number of their warriors in 1660 was estimated by Chalmers to have been twenty-two hundred, while Bancroft puts the figure at ten thousand. Their language, spoken by the Pequods, the Narragansetts, the Mohawks, and Delawares, was the mother-tongue that
welcomed the Pilgrims and plead for Smith on the Chickahominy, through the fervid lips of Pocahontas. Between the Delaware and the Susquehanna, in the narrow, green plateau of the Lackawanna, dwelt a division of the Lenni-Lenape--the Minsi or Monsey clan, which, like the tribes at Wyoming, stripped of their glory by the Iroquois, melted away into other tribes strolling through the wilderness as conquerors. The Senacas and Oneidas, two of the rudest, most vindictive, as well as energetic members of the confederated Nations, took the most prominent part in the affairs of Wyoming. Their villages were strung around the lesser lakes feeding Ontario while their seat of government was located at Onondaga, now Syracuse.
"The Onondagos", writes Miner, "were eminent as counselors, distinguished for eloquence, perhaps revered, like the tribe of Levi, as the priesthood of the confederacy, to whose care was committed the keeping or kindling the sacred fire around which their most solemn deliberations were held." After the Senacas and Oneidas, whose camp-fires gave a savage cheer to Wyoming as early as 1640, had removed to the land of the Iroquois, feebler tribes, which had lost favor with the civil sachems or the great war chiefs, were concentrated in this lovely region under the immediate eye and reach of royal prerogative.
Thus came the Shawnees from southern everglades, whose names are yet affixed to the lower portion of Wyoming Valley, and thus the Nanticokes, in 1748, came from the Chesakawon on the Chesapeake, and found shelter on the Susquehanna until their removal to Onondaga in 1755. The Delawares, of whom Teedyuscung was long the leading sachem, playing an important part in the history of Wyoming, taunted as women and treated as vassals, were ordered by the Six Nations, in the most imperious manner, into this valley in 1742.
At a great Council held at Philadelphia, July 12, 1742, where over two hundred warriors were assembled to talk with the Governor of Pennsylvania, in regard to the transgressions of the Delawares, who had sold lands on the river Delaware fifty years before, and who had refused to removed from the same, Canassategoe addressed them thus:--
"Cousins, you ought to be taken by the hair of your head and shak'd severely till you recover your senses and become sober. Our Brother Onas' (footnote: Penn received from the Indians the name of Onas i.e., quill or pen, from the fact that he governed by these instead of guns.) case is very just and plain and his Intentions to preserve friendship; on the other Hand your Cause is bad, your Heart far from being upright, and you are maliciously bent to break the Chain of friendship with our Brother Onas. But how came you to take upon you to Sell Land at all? We conquered You, we made Women of you; you know you are Women, and can no more sell Land than women. You have been furnished with Cloaths and Meat and Drink by the Goods paid you for it, and now You want it again like Chiildren as you are. Did you ever tell Us that you had sold this Land in the Dark? did we ever receive any Part, even the Value of a Pipe Shank, from you for it? You have told Us a Blind Story that you sent a Messenger to Us to inform Us of the Sale, but he never came amongst Us, nor we never heard any thing about it. This is acting in the Dark, and very different from the Conduct our Six Nations observe in their Sales of Land. On such Occasions they give Publick Notice and invite al the Indians of their united Nations, and give them a share of the Presents they receive for their Lands. This is the behaviour of the wise United Nations, but we find you are none of our Blood. You Act a dishonest part not only in this but in other Matters. Your Ears are ever Open to Slanderous Reports about our
Brethren. For all these we charge You to remove instantly. We don't give you the liberty to think about it. You are Women; take the Advice of a Wise Man and remove immediately. You may return to the other side of the Delaware where you came from, but we don't know whether Considering how you have demean'd yourselves you will be permitted to live there, or whether you have not swallowed that Land down your Throats as well as the Land on this side. We, therefore, Assign you two Places to go to--either to Wyomin or Shamokin. You may go to either of these Places, and then we shall have you more under our Eye, and shall see how You behave. Don't deliberate, but remove away and take this Belt of Wampum."
This peremptory command, given in such a haughty and offensive manner, admitting of no evasion or appeal, was obeyed by the Delawares, who at once repaired to the Wyoming hunting-grounds. "Such," says Chapman, "was the origin of the Indian town of Wyoming. Soon after the arrival of the Delawares and during the same season (the summer of 1742), a distinguished foreigner, Count Zinzendorf, of Saxony, arrived in the Valley on a religious mission to the Indians. This nobleman is believed to have been the first white person that every visited Wyoming. He was the reviver of the ancient church of the United Brethren, and had given protection in his dominions to the persecuted Protestants who had emigrated from Moravia, thence taking the name of Moravians, and who, two years before, had made the first settlement in Pennsylvania.
"Upon his arrival in American, Count Zinzendorf manifested a great anxiety to have the Gospel preached to the Indians; and although he had heard much of the ferocity of the Shawanese, formed a resolution to visit them. With this view he repaired to Tulpehocken, the residence
of Conrad Weiser, a celebrated interpreter and Indian agent for the Government, whom he wished to engage in the cause, and to accompany him to the Shawanese town.
"Weiser was too much occupied in business to go immediately to Wyoming, but he furnished the Count with letters to a missionary of the name of Mack, and the latter, accompanied by his wife, who could speak the Indian language, proceeded immediately with Zinzendorf on the projected mission.
"The Shawanese appeared to be alarmed on the arrival of the strangers, who pitched their tents on the banks of the river a little below the town, and a council of the chiefs having assembled, the declared purpose of Zinzendorf was deliberately considered. To these unlettered children of the wilderness, it appeared altogether improbable that a stranger should have braved the dangers of a boisterous ocean, three thousand miles broad, for the sole purpose of instructing them in the means of obtaining happiness after death, and that, too, without requiring any compensation for his trouble and expense; and as they had observed the anxiety of the white people to purchase land of the Indians, they naturally concluded that the real object of Zinzendorf was either to procure from the lands at Wyoming for his own use, to search for hidden treasures, or to examine the country with a view to future conquests. It was accordingly resolved to assassinate him, and to do it privately, lest the knowledge of the transaction should produce a war with the English, who were settling the country below the mountains.
"Zinzendorf was alone in his tent, seated upon a bundle of dry weeds, which composed his bed, and engaged in writing, when the assassins approached to execute their bloody commission. It was night, and the cool air of September had rendered a small fire necessry to his comfort and convenience. A curtain formed of a blanket
and hung upon pins, was the only guard to the entrance of his tent.
"The heat of his fire had aroused a large rattlesnake which lay in the weeds not far from it; and the reptile, to enjoy it more effectually, crawled slowly into the tent and passed over one of his legs undiscovered. Without, all was still and quiet, except the gentle murmur of the river at the rapids about a mile below. At this moment, the Indians softly approached the door of his tent, and slightly removed the curtain, contemplated the venerable man, too deeply engaged in the subject of his thoughts to notice either their approach, or the snake which lay extended before him. At a sight like this, even the heart of a savage shrunk from the idea of committing so horrid an act, and quitting the spot, they hastily returned to the town, and informed their companions that the Great Spirit protected the white man, for they had found him with no door but a blanket, and had seen a large rattlesnake crawl over his legs without attempting to injure him. This circumstance, together with the arrival soon afterward of Conrad Weiser, procured Zinzendorf the friendship and confidence of the Indians, and probably contributed essentially toward inducing many of them, at a subsequent period, to embrace the Christian religion.
"The Count having spent twenty days at Wyoming returned to Bethlehem, a town then building by his Christian brethren on the north bank of the Lehigh, about eleven miles from its junction with the Delaware."
In the recently published life of Count Zinzendorf, by Dr. Gil, of London, this visit, as well as the character of the Indians at Wyoming, are thus described. "The Count as missionary to give these Indians a practicable insight into the religion he came to teach, by simply leading
a Christian life amongst them, and when favorable impressions had thus been made and inquiry was excited, he preached the leading truths of the gospel, taking care, not to put more things into their heads than their hearts could lay hold of. His mode of approaching them was careflly adapted to their distinctive peculiarities; his last tour, in the autumn of 1742, after crossing the primeval forest, he pitched his tent a short distance from 'Wayomick' the capital of the Shawanos, and remained there three weeks, observing the habits of the people, and conversing with them, so as to make himself familiar with their ideas, before he proceeded more directly with the special object of his mission. He found this tribe to be one of the most corrupt and most opposed to the truth. They soon concerted violent measures to get rid of him, and would have killed him and his companions, but that his interpreter, in whose absence the murder was to have been committed, returned unexpectedly and discovered the plot. Such was the form in which these poor savages manifested their hatred to a man whose motives they could not comprehend, and whom they looked upon as an intruder."
When Conrad Weiser, a celebrated indian interpreter, visited Wyoming in 1754, he reported that he found but three Indian towns between Shamokin and Wyoming--Os-ko-ha-ny, Nis-ki-beck-on (Nescopeck) and Woyamock. He also reported that the Indians on the Susquehanna had seem some of the New England men that came "as spies to Woyamock last fall, and they saw them making draughts of the land and rivers." The Delawares had built "Woyamock, and twelve miles higher up the river a town called Asserughney, where about twenty Indian Delawares, all violently against the English" were found at this time.
This village stood between the bold precipice, famed
the world over as Campbell's Ledge, and the mouth of the Lackawanna, on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna. This, like all their villages, was small, as hunting
(Engraving of Campbell's Ledge)
and fishing were the main sources of supporting the population, naturally averse to labor. This high ledge, affording an uninterrupted look-out over the valley below, was used by the Indians not only thus to guard their wigwams, nestled along the river, but to kindle their beacon-fires at the evening or midnight hour, as they were wont to be kindled on the Scottish highlands in the days of Wallace and Bruce, to show those who watched the portentous flame the presence of danger, or signal the movements of an enemy.
While Asserughney was the Indian name of the town, Adjouqua was applied to the lower portion of the Lackawanna Valley. This castle, or encampment, was the upper one of the Delawares in Wyoming. It was a point of importance beause of its favorable location for trading purposes. The great war-path from the inland lakes of New York to Wyoming and the South, and the trail down the Lackawanna from the Minisink homes on the Delaware, passed through it. Fur-parties, and dusky chiefs, with their captives, alike followed the solitude of its passage through these true Indian lands.
Capoose village, up the shallow Lackawanna, eight miles from Asserughney, was built a few years previous to this and occupied by the Monseys, who, like the more numerous Delawares, paid tribute to the Tartars of the western world at Onondaga. These villages were constructed in primitive fashion, from green bark, boughs, and weeds. As the war-paths passed through them, they
were alike threatened by nomadic tribes, espousing the interests of the English or the French. This led the Six Nations, in June, 1756, to depute Og-ha-gha-dish, a chief of the Iroquois, living on the north branch of the Susquehanna, to ask the Provincial Council of Pennsylvania to build a fort at the mouth of the Lackawanna. At a Conference held at the camp at Armstrong's, June 10, 1756, between Col. William Claphan and Og-ha-gha-disha, the chief thus addressed the colonel:--
"My Brother: The Iroquois have sent me as a representative of the whole nation to treat with you (producing a belt of wampum), and will ratify all my contracts. Brother: they agreed to your building a fort at Shamokin, but are desirous that you should also build a fort three days' journey in a canoe higher up the North Branch in their country, at a place called Adjouquay, and this belt of wampum is to clear the road to that place. Brother: If you agree to my proposal in behalf of my nation, I will return and immediately collect our whole force to be employed in protecting your people while you are building a fort in our country at Adjouquay, where there is a good situation and fine soil at the entrance of a deep creek on a level plain five miles extending and clear of woods. Adjouqua is fourteen miles above Wioming, and old women may carry a heavy pack of skins from thence to the Minisink and return to Adjouqua in two mights. My Brother: The Land is troubled, and you may justly apprehend danger, but if you grant our request we will be together, and if any danger happens to you, we will share ti with you. My Brother (laying down a belt of wampum folded in the middle):
this describes your path to Shamokin; unfolding the belt and extending it to its full length, this is your road to Adjouquay." Governor Morris thanked the chief for his kind speech, and in his reply said: "Brother: I am desired to build another fort fourteen miles above Wioming, at a place called Adjouquay. I have agreed to this request, and am taking measures to do it out hand, about which I shall want to consult you."
A line of forts, some twenty miles apart stretched along the frontier from the Potomac to the Delaware in 1756-58. Stroudsburg, the pretty shire town of the county of Monroe, although taking its name from Colonel Jacob Stroud, who commanded Fort Penn at this point during the Revolutionary war, received a definite step toward a settlement from the presence of one of the most eastern of these outposts, erected in 1757--Fort Hamilton.
INDIAN VILLAGE OF CAPOOSE.--TEEDYUSCUNG
The low, rich bottom on the western border of the Lackawanna, between Providence and Scranton, was known to the earliest explorers as "Capoose Meadow"--a name probably given to perpetuate the memory of a civil chief, Capoose, excelling in the art of agriculture and peace. The Monseys, or a prominent branch of that tribe, left the Minisink and diffused through the Lackawanna Valley, as early as any authentic history comes down to the white man from the Lenni-Lenapes. As this village was visited in 1742 by Count Zinaendorf, who named the county Saint Anthony's Wilderness, its date and occupancy must have been considerably anterior to this. This tribe, rudely gashing the margin of the Lackawanna for the reception of maize as early as 1700, appears originally to have been an off-shoot of the Delawares. Their history
and habits are so assimilated as to indicate a common origin. Both spoke the Algonquin language of the Iroquois--a language abounding in vowels and fertile in dialect--obeyed laws emanating from the same source and both are intimately associated in colonial and provincial history. The Monseys, like every tribe, scattered along the Susquehanna and its branches, acknowledged the supremacy of the Onondaga head, and were so nomadic in their habits, that the Pennsylvania archives often refer to Monsey warriors from Wickalousin (Wyalusing), Chokonot (Cochecton), and from many other places along the rivers of the Province. When the Delawares moved to Ohio, the Monseys accompanied them, and ultimately dissolved into that conquered nation. Vast tracts of land was claimed by the Monseys and Delawares, who jointly occupied New Jersey, the Schuylkill Basin, and the rich valley of the Delaware in 1646. January 30, 1743, Capoose gave to Moses Totomy, a Delaware of some local influence, power of attorney to sell these lands to the whites, or transact any other business with the Government relating to lands claimed by him. The greater portion of these domains were thus sold by Capoose to Governor Penn in October, 1758. Thus the upper border of Adjouquay, exquisite in the beauty of woods veined with springs and creeks, whose waters ran to the sea unruffled save by rock or deer, rich in game and fish, easy of conquest, was selected by Capoose for his home after the English began to encroach upon forest-lands east of the Hudson. The hunting-grounds of Capoose extended down the Lackawanna and Nay-aug, and up the river to its very head-waters. The Scranton race-course is within the ancient border of Capoose; the Diamond mines open upon its western border.
Their burial-place, long since smoothed down by a plow, lay on the high bank of the Lackawanna, a quarter
of a mile above their town, where vast quantities of relics have been found heretofore by the antiquarian. Although the whole valley was familiar with the tawny cabin dwellers, long before the blankness of their lives were marked by the intrusion of the pale-face, ignorant even of the topography of the country, this clearing or meadow of
(Engraving: Indian Map of Capoose Meadows)
Capoose, was the main one found in the valley by the pioneer, where the wigwam stood on a cultivated spot. And even here, as the men were too lazy to plant the corn, or secure the scanty harvest, the labor fell upon the more submissive squaws. The Indian artisans were skilled in the art of manufacturing, from flint and stone, implements for agriculture and the chase, elegant arrow-heads and spear points; the rude pebble, and sometimes the rarer silex were shaped into pipes and ornaments of symbolic meaning while bowls were fashioned from dried clay with an ingenuity never equaled by the white man within the stone period. While their war-path ran along under the sycamore and vine fringing the bank of the Lackawanna, the waters of the stream, sometimes wild in its uprising, opened a favorite highway for their canoes descending with the silent warriors to the plains of Wyoming.
In accordance with the usual habit practiced by the Indians, of annually burning over their hunting-grounds with a view of destroying the smaller trees in the way of securing game, there was remaining, when the whites appeared, little underbrush to interfere in the chase around Capoose, now known as Tripp's Flats. The forest around it was stocked with game. the pheasant whirred from the brake in conscious security, the duck rode in the stream as it it were its own, the rabbit squatted in the laurel in drowsy attitude, the moose and elk stood among the pines or thundered through them like the tread of cavalry; the deer browsed daintly upon the juicy leaf while the Moosic slope, unshorn of its foliage, offered the panther and bear but little shield from the quick poised arrow of the woodsman. The beaver, muskrat, and otter, enlivened the stream in whose waters fish swam in schools. Perch, pike, and even shad, filled the Lackawanna, while every jouous brook from the mountain was spotted with trout. Hooks, constructed with singular ingenuity from bone, or nets woven from the inner bark of trees, or even the stone-tipped spear, which they threw
with admirrable adroitness at a distance of thirty feet, while the fish were moving rapidly, never failed to supply the wigwam with food.
Capoose himself was a contemporary of Teedyuscung of the Delawares, but so diverse in character and termperament, that while the latter was ambitious for distinction, and prominent in council gatherings, where he jointly looked after the interests of the Monseys and his own tribe, Capoose, undecked with the emblems of war, lived in amity with the whites, encouraged the culture of the soil, and left behind him a name untarnished with either blood or carnage.
Long after the occupancy of this region by Capoose, the Moravians indented a settlement in the Province above the Blue Mountain. On the wild waters of the Ma-ha-noy, where it joins the Lehigh, eighteen miles above Bethlehem, these Indian civilizers encamped in 1743. "Except the erection of the fort," says Miner, "this was the first settlement in a northeast direction in Pennsylvania, above the Kittatinny Ridge or Blue Mountain." This was about forty miles from Wyoming, and the only road intervening was the narrow path of the warrior.
Easton, the shire-town of Northampton County, admirably located for agricultural purposes or traffic with the men who patrolled the forest, laid out for a village in 1750, and Lower Smithfield, on the Delaware, above the present village of Stroudsburg, had but a few clearings opened in 1751, occupied by Charles Broadhead, Samuel Dupue, John McMichael, John Carmeckle, John Anderson, James Tidd, Job Bakehorn, and Henry Dysert. These were held under proprietory auspices. No attempt had yet been made to settle Wyoming or Lackawanna. The hunter and trapper coveting furs, more bold than the emigrant, unwilling to risk his life for a doubtful home, had ventured hither, but the French and Indian wars of this period arrested explorations, and sent alarm into every inland settlement within the Province.
Braddock's defeat in 1755, disastrous especially in western Pennsylvania, illuminated the whole frontier with burning cabins. The French, promising large rewards for scalps to those they assured should again be reinstated upon lands already sold the English, readily won over the red-men, of whom thirty were reported at Wyoming, November 9, 1755, and "much larger bodies up the river and branches."
The Indians, never slumbering, but ever ready to sway to and fro, as success alternated with either party, indulging in the hope that the English might be expelled from their former plains, entered into an alliance with the French with extraordinary zeal and readiness. Gnaddenhutten was burned in 1755 by "a band of Indians coming from Wyoming", and the plantations of Mr. Broadhead, some twenty-five or thirty miles from Bethlehem, of Frederick Heath on Pocho Pochto Creek, and Mr. Calvers, McMichael's, and "houses and families thereabouts were attacked by the Indians at daylight and burnt down by them." Mr. Broadhead estimated the number of warriors at two hundred. This attack upon the settlers was marked by the same atrocity characterizing much of the border warfare. As all the Susquehanna and Lackawanna Indians except the Monseys were disposed for peace in the spring of 1757, Mr. Miner concludes that the Oneidas and Senekas from the lakes formed the war party. Hostilities had been suspended against the Delawares living "on the east side of the northeast branch of the Susquehanna", when they were complained of as being the most troublesome, and of whom Conrad Weiser reported in December, 1755, as being alienated from the English and living at Schantowano (Wayomack) in a town called Nescopeckon.
Had not the Wyoming Indians caught the war spirit
at the war-dance, there certainly would have been no necessity for desiring peace on one side, or the suspension of hostilities on the other. Instead of being the above-named tribes alone, it is probable that the Delawares, exasperated by the sale of Wyoming lands to Connecticut people, or the Monseys, not yet desiring peace, issuing from the wigwams of Capoose, were jointly guilty of this murderous breach of good faith toward the United Brethren.
In 1757, Teedyuscung, the proud, jealous head of the Delawares, requested the Governor of Pennsylvania to so fix and define his land around his village on the Susquehanna that "his children can never sell or yours ever buy them", and to remain so forever. He also asked the Proprietary Government to assist him in building houses at Wyoming before corn-planting time. Ten log houses, "twenty feet by fourteen in the clear, and one twenty-four by sixteen, of squared logs, and dovetailed", were built for him in 1758. To check or crush the ambitious projects of New England men about forming a colony at Wyoming, influenced their erection by Pennsylvania quite as much as any especial regard for the Delaware sachem. One of the masons was killed and scalped by six hostile Indians while engaged at this labor.
A treaty of peace was held at Easton, November 8, 1756, with great pomp and ceremony, when the conflicting interests of either party were long talked over and harmoniously adjusted amid the clattering of tongues and the smoke of the calumet. To cripple the French, against whom the English had formally proclaimed war in 1756, or rather to render the treaty of any practical value, the Iroquois, proud of their stength, never wielded in vain, and conscious of the wrongs of their fathers, they were impatient to redress, had first to be reconciled and consulted. "The influence of Sir William Johnson", says
Miner, "agent of Indian affairs, was invoked to bring the Six Nations to a new Congress. Neither presents nor promises were spared, and in October, 1758, there was opened at Easton, one of the most imposing assemblages ever beheld in Pennsylvania. Chiefs from the Six Nations were there, namely, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. There were also present embassadors from the tributary tribes of Minisinks, Mohicans, Wapingers, and Shawanese. Both the Governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey attended; with Sir William Johnson and George Crogan, Esq., sub Indian agent, a deputation from the Provincial Assembly at New Jersey, and a large concourse of eminent citizens from Philadelphia and the neighboring counties. Teedyuscung on the way to the conference having fallen in company with the chief who had commanded the expedition against the Gnadenhutten and Fort Allen, high words arose between them, when the king raised his tomahawk and laid the chief dead at his feet. From that moment, though vengeance might slumber, he was a doomed man, a sacrifice alike to policy and revenge. At the Congress Teedyuscung, eloquent and of imposing addres, took at first a decided lead in the debates." But one of the chiefs of the Six Nations, says Chapman, "on the other side expressed in strong language his resentment against the British colonists, who had killed and imprisoned one of his tribe, and he, as well as other chiefs of their nations, took great umbrage at the importance assumed by Teedyuscung, whom, as one of the Delawares they considered in some degree subject to their authority. Teedyuscung, however, supported the high station which he held, with dignity and firmness, and the different Indian tribes at length became reconciled to each other. The conference having continued eighteen days and all causes of misunderstanding between the English and Indians being removed, a general treaty of peace was concluded on the twenty-sixth day of October. At this
treaty the boundaries of the different purchases made from the indians were more particularly described, and they received an additional compensation for their lands, consisting of knives, hats, caps, looking-glasses, tobacco-boxes, shears, gun-locks, combs, clothes, shoes, stockings, blankets, and several suits of laced clothes for their cheiftains, and when the business of the treaty was completed, the stores of rum were opened and distributed to the Indians, who soon exhibited a scene of brutal intoxication."
Although for many years afterward, the tomahawk hung over the Lackawanna and Susquehanna setlements like a shadow over the mountain, the decline of the Indian empire in American can be dated from the last-mentioned treaty, while the power of the hitherto victorious French, then marching through the forest with General Forbes to attack Fort Du Quesne, was so suddently shaken by the desertion of their allies, as to result in their defeat in this expedition, and their final overthrow in Northern America.
During this year, many of the Delawares and Monseys, and most of the Shawanese removed from the valley westward.
When Teedyuscung visited Easton, in July, 1756, Major Parsons was requested to keep a written memoranda of the general behavior and conversation of the king, from which it would seem that the high position assumed and maintained by him in Council, was hardly compatible or consistent with his ordinary life. "The king and his wild company were perpetually drunk, very much on Gascoon, and at times abusive to the inhabitants, for they all spoke English more or less. The king was full of himself, saying frequently, that which side soever he took must stand, and the other fall; repeating it with insolence, that he came from the French, who had pressed him much to join them against the English, that now he was in the middle between the French and English, quite
disengaged from both sides, and whether he joined the English or French, he would publish it aloud to the world, that all nations might know it. That he was born among the English, somewhere near Trenton, and is near fifty years old. He is a lusty, raw-boned man, haughty, and very dsirous of respect and command; he can drink three quarts or a gallon of rum a day, without being drunk; he was the man that persuaded the Delawares to go over to the French, and then attack our frontiers, and he, and those with him, have been concerned in the mischief done to the inhabitants of Northampton County. Some of the Indians said, that between forty or fifty of their people came to Drahoga, from one of the lakes, about the time they set out, in order to fall upon our inhabitants, and addressed Teedyuscung to head them, but he told them he was going to the Governor of Pennsylvania to treat with him concerning a peace, which the Mohocks had advised him to do, and therefore he ordered them to sit still till he came back again to them. The town people observed that the shirts which the Indian women had on were made of Dutch table-cloths, which it is supposed they took from the people they murdered on our frontiers. The king, in one of his conversations, said that only two hundred French, and about eighty Indians were at the lake, where most of the English are, and that he could bring the most or all of them off. The Governor invited Teedyuscung and the Indians to dine with him, but, before dinner, the king, with some of them came to the Governor, and made the Governor four speeches, giving four strings of wampum, after the Indian manner: one to brush thorns from the Governor's legs, another to rub the dust out of his eyes to help him see clearly, another to open his ears and the fourth to clear his throat that he might speak plainly. Teedyuscung claimed to be king of ten nations. Being asked what ten nations, he answered, the united Six Nations: Mohawk, Onondagoes, Oneidas, Senecas, Cyugas, and Tuscaroras;
and four others, Delawares, Shawanees, Mohickons, and Munsies, who would all ratify what he should do. He carried the Belt of Peace with him, and whoever would, might take hold of it. But as to them that refused, the rest would all join together and fall upon them.
"All the Indians, in short, would do as he would have them, as he was the great man. The Governor used the same four ceremonies to Teedyuscung, accompanied with four strings of wampum, after which the Governor and Indians went to dinner, escorted by a detachment of the First Battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment. Conrad Weiser, the interpreter, was first introduced to Teedyuscung at this time, who, after watching his movements a single day, reported to the Council "that the king and the principal Indians being all yesterday under the force of liquor, he had not been favored with so good an opportunity as he could have wished of making himself acquainted with their history, but, in the main, he believed Teedyuscung was well inclined; he talked in high terms of his own merit, but expressed himself a friend to this Province." Teedyuscung, at this council, was alleged to have been the instigator of the Indian outrages upon the whites in 1755, by sending large belts of wampum to various tribes on the war-path; but the shrewd informer or negotiator, with a view of personal advantage and emolument, informed Governor Morris that, as Teedyuscung had brought on the war, he was the only person that could effect a peaceful solution of all Indian affairs. To do this, "Teedyuscung must have a belt of wampum at least five or six feet long and twelve rows broad; and besides the belt, he must have twelve strings to send to the several chiefs, to confirm the words that he sends."
LACKAWANNA RIVER AND VALLEY
The Indians, ever having an extraordinary appreciation of the beauties of nature, have given to their rivers and lakes, their mountains and valleys, names really rich and expressive. The transposition, however, of many of these names from language to another, has so corrupted and changed their primitive expression, that much of their beauty is partially lost or wholly destroyed.
In the Algonquin or Iroquois vernacular, the valley was called Ad-jou-quay; in the harsher dialect of the Delawares where no adjectives were known, spoken by all intervening clans, from the Minisinks, on the Delaware, to Shamokin, it was known as Lee-ha-ugh-hunt or Lee-haw-hanna,, pronounced Lr-hr-hr-nr (Lar-har-har-nar), the letter a either being silent, or in the Indian gutteral, having the sound of r. In succeding years, the modifications and construction of the word became so great as to become at length a matter of provincialism.
Although in 1759 the stream was designated ad Lee-ha-ugh-hunt by the Monseys and Delawares living upon its banks, who complained of the intrusion fo the whites at its mouth, the original map of Westmoreland (Wyoming) showing the Connecticut surveys in 1761, records it as Lack-aw-na. In 1762 the stream was known as Lee-ha-wa-nock; in 1771 as Lam-aw-wa-nak; in 1772 as Lock-o-worna; in 1774, Lackawanna and Lock-a-warna; in 1778 as Lac-u-wanack; in 1790 as Lak-u-wanuk; in 1791 as Lackawanny. From 1791 down to about 1837-'8, it was recognized both in private and offical parlance as Lack-a-wannock. "Wannock" lopped off by gradual
habit at this time, became obsolete, and wanna took its place, thus adopting, as far as the idioms of language would permit, the original name as transmitted to us from Teedyuscung. Lackawanna is a corruption of the Indian "Lee-ha-ugh-hunt", or "Lee-haw-hanna"; Lee-haw, or Lee-ha, the prefix, signifies the forks or point of intersection; hanna, as in Susquehanna, Toly-hanna, Toppa-hannock, Rappa-hannock, Tunk-hannock, and Tunk-hanna, implies, in Indian language, a stream of water. Hence the name, Lar-har-har-nar, or Lackawanna, the meeting of two streams--a name highly poetic and sweet sounding.
The valley of the Lackawanna, picturesque and salubrious to a delightful degree, watered by a stream from which it derived its name, lies about one hundred and thirty-eight miles northwest of New York in a direct line. it is about thirty-five miles in length, runs south and southeast, and in its general topographical configuration is nothing more or less than a continuation, or rather extension, of the northern right arm of the classic and celebrated Valley of Wyoming cut in twain by Campbell's Ledge. The most northerly deposit of stone or anthracite coal found in America, enriches its entire border from the head of the Lackawanna, among the grand old beech and maples, down to its very mouth. The valley is, in fact, a gem carved out of a mountain of coal. Rimmed on either side by the coal and iron-clad Moosic, beautiful in its midwinter or summer foliage, wrapping its jewels in harmonious beds, it reposes like a rough cradle or canoe, tapering off at its upper extremity in a narrow unimportant intervale. A few miles above Carbondale, the valley, already narrowed before, is more successfully interrupeted by a succession of bowlders or hills, facetiously termed "Hog's Back", from their sharp, bristling
appearance. Now and then the mountain cleft for a trout brook, elbows against the stream, giving its waters, too swift and shallow for navigable purposes, graceful and gradual fall.
The Lackawanna River rises principally in Susquehanna County, but one considerable branch emerges from the same marshy region in Wayne that sends out the Starucca, Lackawaxen, and Equinunk to join the Delaware, which, after many counter and diverse movements, for a distance of at least fifty miles, pours its gentle volume into the Susquehanna at Pittston. Along its banks, shorn of the fairest portion of timber by the lumberman, the landscape is singularly fine, with slope, field, and village, while the stream itself offers to the eye every variety of smooth water, pool , and rapids. Here its margin, rock-bound and abrupt, is carved from the low-browed cliff, and there the alluvial meadow or cornfield ready for the husbandman, attests the luxurious character of the soil.
Along the central and lower portion, coal of the finest quality is found in profusion, interstratified in many places with iron-ore of the most desirable and productive character.
The confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna is described int he following beautiful lines by the late Mrs. Sigourney:--
ON ITS JUNCTION WITH THE LACKAWANNA
By Mrs. Sigourney.
Rush on, glad stream, in thy power and pride
To claim the hand of thy promised birde,
For she hastes from the realms of the darkened mine,
To mingle her murmured vows with thine:
Ye have met, ye have met, and your shores prolong
The liquid toss of your nuptial song.
Methinks ye wed as the white man's son
And the child of the Indian King have done.
I saw the bride as she strove in vain
To cleanse her brow from the carbon stain;
But she brings thee a dowry so rich and true
That thy love must not shrink from the tawny hue.
Her birth was rude in a mountain cell,
And her infant freaks there are none to tell;
Yet the path of her beauty was wild and free.
And in dell and forest she hid from thee;
But the day of her fond caprice is o'er,
And she seeks to part from thy breat no more.
Pass on, in the joy of thy blended tide,
Through the land where the blessed Miquon died.
No red-man's blood with its guilty stain,
Hath cried unto God from that broad domain;
With the seeds of peace they have sown the soil,
Bring a harvest of wealth for their hour of toil.
On, on, through the vail where the brave ones sleep,
Where the waving foliage is rich and deep.
I have stood on the mountain and roamed through the glen,
To the beautiful homes of the Western men;
Yet naught in that region of glory could see
So fair as the vale of Wyoming to me.
WAS WYOMING ONCE A VAST LAKE?
The Kittatinny, or Blue Ridge, which skirts along Pennsylvania and Virginia is probably one of the most even ranges in the world. At its base it rarely exceeds a mile, while its summit, covered with perpetual foliage, preserves an uniformity of height that distinguishes it from all other mountains stretched across the country.
At some period in the world's history, this ridge doubtless was the margin of a vast lake into which ran the waters of the Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, and the Susquehanna, and over mountain, moor, and valley., rolled one common wave. Evidence of this is written upon rock and mountain around us, while the earth from the
hill-side mine, disdains to coneal its share of the water spoils. The vast quantity of petrified shells, alluvials, and strata of shale and clay and organic remains, found along the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Susquehanna, and many other valleys, and the character of these rivers, all running in a transverse or cross direction, have been compelled to wash out by slow and triumphant progress or rupture the obstructing heights to find their way to the sea, suggest the inquiry, Were they not once the bottoms of immense lakes? And did not the finny tribes, the huge serpent, and the whale, sport in these inland salt waters in times of yore?
No one can carefully examine the strata of the mountains of the United States, especially, the Alleghanies or Blue Ridge, or even glance at the map, without finding a fact existing in no other part of the world, that all their principal ridges cross the great as well as the lesser rivers instead of running parallel with them. The Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, and Shenandoah, all issue from the steep mountains of the Blue Ridge.
One of the most distinguished authors and eminent naturalists, C. F. Volney, who visited Harper's Ferry in 1796, and who gave the stubject great attention and research, believed that "the chain of the Blue Ridge in its entire state, completedly denid the Potomac a passage onward, and that then all the waters of the upper part of the river, having no issue, formed several considerable lakes, which spread themselves between the Blue Ridge and the chain at Kittatinny, not only to the Susquehanna and Schuylkill, but beyond the Schuylkill, and even to the Delaware. It is obvious that the lakes flowing off must have changed the whole face of the lower country. Several branches having at once or in succession given passage to the streams of water now called James, Potomac, Susquehanna, Schuylkill, and Delaware, their general and common reservoir was divided into as many distinct lakes, separated by the risings of the ground that
exceeded this level. Each of these lakes had its particular drain, and this drain being at length worn down to the lowest level, the land was left completely uncovered. This must have occurred early with the James, Susquehanna, and Delaware, because their basins are more elevated, and it must ahve happened more recently with the Potomac, for the opposite reason, its basin being the deepest of all."
How far the Delaware then extended the reflux of its waters toward the east, he could not ascertain; "however, it appears its basin was bounded by the ridge that accompanies its left bank; and which is the apparent continuation of the Blue Ridge and North Mountain. it is probable that its basin has always been separate from that of the Hudson, as it is certain that the Hudson has always had a distinct basin, the limit and mound of which is above West Point, at a place called the Highlands."
Schoolcraft and Professor Beck, and other eminent writers, also subscribe to this theory. The basin of the Lackawanna, viewed from the summit of the mountain back of Scranton, or from one of the more elevated points farther up the valley, exhibits the internal appearnace and form of a lake so plainly, that the idea of the ancient existence of one here is indubitably forced upon the observer. Other circumstances tend to confirm this impression, as the heaps of detached rock strewn below many of the gorges, especially at the Delaware Water Gap, where the waters were held back until the great embankment gave way before the weight of the vast body of water above, or by attrition, convulsion, or glacier action, and brought down all that stratum of earth and mud which now gives some agricultural strength and value to the shores of the lower Delaware.
A few yards above the bridge, across the Susquehanna at Pittston, can be seen a huge rock of many thousand
tons in weight, of which Mr. Charles Miner thus writes: "Standing on the bank of the river a little below the mouth of the Lackawanna, and looking northward, it appears as if by some power little short of omnipotent, the solid rock had been cloven down near a thousand feet to open a passage for the water. Being on the river-bank twelve years ago, with the able and lamented Mr. Packer, then chairman of the senatorial committee, to view the coal region of Luzerne, he pointed to a huge mass of broken and contorted rock, evidently out of place, which now lies at Pittston Ferry, between the canal and river, and expressed the decided and not improbable opinion, that in the convulsion of nature which separated the mountain above us, this mass must have been torn away and borne by the rushing flood to its present resting place. Twenty miles below, where the Susquehanna takes leave of the plains, the mountains are equally lofty and precipitous. In many places the rocks distinctly exhibit the abrasions of water many feet above the highest pitch to which the river has ever been known to rise, going to show, that at some very remote period, this had been a lake, and indicating that there had been a chain of lakes probably along the whole line of the stream. Banks of sand-hills, covered with rounded stone, manifestly worn smooth by attrition, similar stones being found wherever wells are sunk, tend to confirm the opinion. The soil is chiefly alluvial, and the whole depth and surface, so far as examined, show great changes by the violent action of water."
The existence of this lake or lakes, made by the intervening hills, explains the appearance of the several stages or flats observed along the Wyoming plains and the Lackawanna, and even at Cobb's Gap, where the roaring brook flees from the Pocono, as if the water once had a greater volume than now, or was higher at one period
than at another, and by some means was drained off in such a manner that the receding wave made a new mark of embankment, indicating the original height of the shore of these lakes and rivers.
On the very summit of the Pocono Mountain, about twenty miles east of the Lackawanna, lies a broad marsh, elevated many hundred feet above the Delaware Water Gap, 1,969 feet above tide-water, covered in a few places, as can be seen from the passing cars, with a deep strata of sand, similar to that found on the sea-shore, which in spite of the drainage of the water around it by these great breaks in the mountain, has maintained its sedentary and original position, while the subsiding waters hollowed out the valleys and formed cascades of beauty, which marked and enlivened the wild landscape long after the Noachian deluge.
Mr. Schoolcraft, well known to the reading public as one of the most accurate and entertaining writers and explorers in American antiquities, corroborates this theory, and asks the questions, "May we not suppose that the great northern lakes are the remains of such an ocean?" If not so, they were probably the mere remnant of a great inland sea.
The weight of the accumulated waters, coming from the north, assisted perhaps by volcanic agency, possibly made the various gaps int he mountains, and as the liberated waters took up the line of march to the sea, the whole geological features of the lower country acknowledged the power of the watery plowshare. Whether this abyss boiled with a heat far beyond the temperature of white-hot iron, from the immense furnaces below over the seams of liquid coal, or at what period this watery or eruptive
conquest transpired, lies so far beyond the earliest time of any written or traditional history, that no explanation or data is known other than that found written upon the terraced rock along the sides and bottoms of these ancient mountain lakes.
Contemporary with these phenomena, or in more pre-Adamic times, it is evident that the topographical character of the Lackawanna valley was essentially changed. the geological conformation of the country along the stream; the character, form, and direction of the Alleghany range thrown across southern New York; its mean altitude near the Great Bend of the Susquehanna River being but little if any greater than at Tioga Point; the comparative freshness and shape, as well as the confusion of all the strata of earth, stone, and coal, along the Lackawanna, with the general appearance of the country traversed by the Susquehanna and Lackawanna, afford abundant evidence of the correctness of this conclusion.
Instead of breaking off so abruptly from its apparent course at this point, and cautiously feeling its way far along the border of the mountains, until it reached Tioga Point, and then carrying its current through a passage ruptured through successive ridges, until, with all its beauty and boldness, it opened into the slackened waters of Wyoming, it probably struck boldly down into a channel now closed by some great upheaval or disturbance in the geological world, and sought the valley where now the Lackawanna mingles with the waters of the Susquehanna.
Trace up the Susquehanna, step by step, to the Highlands of New York, or down through its narrow passage to Wyoming, and not a single vein or spar of coal is visible; go up to the Lackawanna, modest in its volume, to the indicated point, and more than midway from the mouth of the stream, coal deposits, grand in their character and exhaustless in their creation, everywhere appear; all of which confirms the theory, that, whatever local
causes or convulsion once effected the mineralogical features of the valley, the way of the ocean, or the waters of a much larger stream than the Lackawanna once occupied its place.
No less than five veins of coal have been washed away from the eastern side of the Lackawanna, a mile above Scranton, by the propelling flood of olden time, and their crushed and blackened deposition found in the alluvial banks below. The city of Scranton, or the old village proper, embracing the sand banks, stands upon such a singular deposit.
Very many of our mountain notches appear like volcanic outlets. The evidence of subterranean or oceanic volcanic fires exists to-day in the ocean, and now and in a moment's clamor, make food of coasts and cities. Their existence explain why the carboniferous and even the granitic strata of rock are inclined to the horizon in angles of forty-five degrees and upward in so many of the mountain ranges throughout the coal basins of Pennsylvania, and which is so especially noticed and delineated in the huge ledge of rocks thus sloping in distinct lamination or layers in the well-know notch of the mountain between Providence and Abington, about two miles northwest of Scranton, called "Leggett's Gap".
One of the three long-trodden paths of the warrior leading out of Wyoming, led eastward to Coshutunk (Cochecton), a small Indian settlement upon the shore of the upper Delaware. Leaving the valley at Asserughney village, standing at the mouth of the stream, it followed the eastern bank of the Lackawanna up to Springbrook, Stafford Meadow, and Nayang or Roaring Brook, crossing the last two named ones a short distance below the present location of Scranton, and passed into the Indian town of Capoose. Here one path led off to Oquago, New
York (now Windsor), about forty miles distant, through Leggett's Gap and the Abingtonian wildnerness, while the other, diverging from Capoose in an easterly direction, plunged boldly into the forest, passing along where Dunmore now stands, up the mountain slope to its very summit. This foot-path crossed the Moosic range near the residence of the late John Cobb, Esq., and thence through Little Meadows, in Salem, and the low Wallenpaupack country beyond. This trail seldom ran through the gaps, but it generally, like many of their war-paths, kept the higher ground, or where the woods were less dense, because the warriors, agile and quick-sighted on the march, preferred climbing over a considerable elevation, to the labor of cutting a trail through more level ground, or deep wooded ravines, with their stone hatchets; besides this, overlooking points were chosen invariably, so that upon entering or leaving a valley, they could better discover the approach or presence of an enemy. Of this narrow trail, worn to the depth of several inches in many places on the mountains where roots and rocks offered no resistance to passing moccasins, few indeed, are the remaining traces where the warrior and the war-song enlivened the way but a little over a century ago. Near the mountain spring, however, this old Indian path for several hundred yards to the east of it, was so deeply indented as to show its depth and general outline even to-day.
The first rude wagon-road cut out and opened from the Hudson River to Wyoming Valley, for the pack-horse or wheels, followed this track the greater portion of the way because of its being the most direct route from Connecticut to the backwoods of Lackawanna and Wyoming, then called Westmoreland by the Yankees, who began to people it.
Almost upon the very summit of the Moosic Mountain, between the valley and Cobb's settlement, by the side of
this old trail, bubbles from the earth a large spring, called the "Indian Spring". No matter how parched the lips of mother-earth--how shrunken the volume of streams elsewhere, this spring, indifferent to drought or flood, in summer or winter, is ever filled to its brim with cold pure water.
Away from the world's hot pulse; hemmed in by the pine whose waving tops give partial entrance to the noon-day sun, and once gave shelter to rovers of the wilderness strolling from tribe to tribe with friendly or avenging tomahawk, and lifting its fountain as it does almost from the very top of a high vertical ledge, running nearly a mile before it opens into Cobb's Gap, this spring from its peculiar location, has much to render it attractive and romantic to the visitor. It forms one of the lesser tributaries of Roaring Brook, from whence Scranton is supplied with water.
In July, 1788, two persons were killed at this point. Fleeing from Wyoming Valley resounding with the exultant shout of the tories and their red auxiliaries, and the faint cries of the captives reserved for ransom or torture, they bent over, thirsty and exhausted, for the invigorating draught. They never rose from their knees. The hatchet of the savage, intently watching the victims, flew from the ambush; the stony knife dripped through their scalps and the wolves at night made long and loud their carnival over the unresisting dead.
A large red rock rims one side of this spring, whose crimson color tradition imputes to the blood of the victims thus immolated.
INDIAN RELICS AND FORTIFICATIONS.
No evidence is found of Indian forts along the Lackawanna, although there existed one or more a few miles below its mouth, one of which is thus described by Chapman in his History of Wyoming:--
"In the valley of Wyoming, there exist some remains of Indian fortifications, which appear to have been constructed by a race of people very different in their habits from those who occupied the place when first discovered by the whites. Most of these ruins have been so much obliterated by the operations of agriculture, that their forms can not now be distinctly ascertained. That which remains the most entire was examined by the writer during the summer of 1871, and its dimensions carefully ascertained; although, from frequent plowing, its form had become almost destroyed. It is situated in the township of Kington, upon a level plain on the north side of Toby's creek, about one hundred and fifty feet from its bank, and about a half mile from its confluence with the Susquehanna. It is of an oval or elliptical form, having its longest diameter from the northwest to the southeast, at right-angles to the creek, three hundred and thirty-seven feet, and its shortest diameter from the northeast to the southwest, two hundred and seventy-two feet. On the southwest side, appears to have been a gateway about twelve feet wide,opening toward the great eddy of the river, into which the creek falls. From present appearances, it consisted, probably, of only one mound or rampart, which, in height and thickness, appears to have been the same on all sides, and was constructed of earth; the plain on which it stands, not abounding in stone.
"On the outside of the rampart is an intrenchment or ditch, formed, probably, by removing the earth of which it is composed, and which appears never to have been walled. The creek, on which it stands, is bounded by a high steep bank on that side, and at ordinary times is sufficiently deep to admit canoes to ascend from the river to the fortification. When the first settlers came to Wyoming, this plain was covered with its native forest, consisting principally of oak and yellow pine; and the trees which grew in the rampart and in the intrenchment, are said to have been as large as those in any other part of
the valley; one large oak, particularly, upon being cut down, was ascertained to be seven hundred years old. The Indians had no traditions concerning these fortifications, neither did they appear to have any knowledge of the purposes for which they were constructed. They were, perhaps, erected about the same time with those upon the waters of the Ohio, and probably by a similar people, and for similar purposes."
Another fortification existed on Jacob's Plains, or the upper flats in Wilkes Barre. its situation is the highest part of the low grounds, so that, only in extraordinary floods, is the spot covered with water." This fort seems to have been of about the same in form, shape and size, to that described by Chapman, and in its interior, near the southern line, the ancient people all concur in stating that there existed a well.
At the confluence of the Lackawanna with the Susquehanna, Indian graves and remains of wigwam life were found in great abundance sixty years ago. Skeletons exhumed by the waters of the spring freshets, lay in such numbers along the banks of the rivers, and so familiar had they become to the thoughtless passer, that boys were often seen with a thigh-bone in each hand drumming Yankee Doodle upon the whitened skulls, thus found upon the plain around them. Some of these wre doubtless the remains of the warriors who fell in the battles of the valley, as bullets corroded and white, and sometimes broken arrow-heads, were found wedged in the bones, indicating the precise manner of their death.
Others, crumbling the moment they were uncovered, or only furnishing a dark and peculiar deposit, bore evidence of greater age int heir burial. Bowls and pots of the capacity of a gallon or more, ingeniously cut form soap-stone, and ornamented with rich designs of beauty to the Indian's eye, were often found preserved with the
remains. As none of this soap-stone is found nearer this place than Maryland or New Hampshire, it would seem to indicate the migratory as well as the commercial character of the tribe once possessing them. Hard, highly polished, and handsomely dressed stones, five or six inches in length, fitted for the hand, and used, probably, for skinning deer and other animals, hatchets, beads, and the silent calumet, here and there intemingled with the remains.
On the brink of the western range of the Moosic, in Leggett's gap, between Providence and Abington, an Indian grave was found in a very singular manner a number of years ago. A quick-footed deer, fleeing from his pursuer, leaped upon the end of a gun-barrel projecting from the ground, and brought it to the hunter's view. A little excavation exposed a large quantity of silica or flint stones worked into arrow and spear heads, a stone tomahawk, a French gun-barrel, an iron hoe, and some human bones, much decayed. The skeleton lay on its right side, with the knees drawn up, the head reclining toward the east, while immediately over reposed the implements and weapons of the deceased. The hoe and the gun, both much corroded, were probably obtained from the French, while their burial with the warrior upon this rugged spur of the mountain would indicate the time of their deposit as a period of peace. In his lap were found the arrows, made from one to two inches in length. Nearly a hundred small snail-shells, all fitted for stringing, and which had probably been used for belts or beads, lay immediately under the arrows. There was also a pipe, made from dark stone, one end of it being shaped for a stopple, and could be used for a whistle to gather the tribe from afar down the ravine, and the other for a scoop or spoon. This singular contrivance, if not used for a whistle, proably achieved great usefulness in porridge or broth. A small quantity of mineral, resembling black-lead, intended, doubtless, for medicine, had also been deposited in the isolated grave, beside the departed hunter.
A portion of these, and a vast quantity of other interesting relics of the red-man, in a fine state of preservation, are now in the possession of the writer, open and free to all who choose to visit them.
Upon the western bank of the Lackawanna, in the upper portion of Capoose Meadow, in Providence, opposite the residence of the late Dr. Silas B. Robinson, slopes off a gentle mound, where, in 1795, a number of Indian graves were discovered and exhumed by a party of settlers in search of antiquarian spoils. As one of the mounds seemed to have been prepared with especial attention, and contained, with the bones of the warrior, a great quantity of the implements of the deceased, it was supposed, erroneously no doubt, to have been the grave of the chieftain Capoose. These graves, few in number, perhaps pointed to the last of the group of Monsey warriors who had offered incense and sacrifice to the Great Spirit at Capoose. The strings of wampum and their war instruments--for which this mound was disturbed--bore them company as they lay piled over with the gray sand of the meadow, and were protected and comforted on their long journey by the rude, yet cherished, amulets. These graves, endowed with no utterance but that of uncertain tradition, have been so obliterated by the operations of agriculture that little or no trace of them now appears to the unpracticed eye.
Arrows, stone vessels, tomahawks and knives, stone mortars and their accompanying pestles for pounding corn into nas-ump, or samp, and other curious relics of Indian times, are occasionally found in the valley, and although time has robbed them of much of their original beauty and usefulness, they have not lost, nor never can lose, their savage interest.
To the antiquarian, however, nothing could provoke more inqiry and interest than the remains of an ancient Indian mound or encampment, found in Covington, Luzerne County, near the line of the Delaware, Lackawanna
and Western Railway, which to all appearances were as old as those existing in Wyoming Valley. These remains were discovered in 1833 by Mr. Welch, then a draughtsman in the Land Office at Washington, while he was hunting along Bell-meadow Brook, a small tributary of the Lehigh, on the Pocono. The accidental discovery of a piece of pottery among the loose pebbles on the bank of the brook, so different in character to any thing he had ever seen before, naturally awakened his curiosity, and led to the subsequent excavation of a vast quantity of sharp and flinty arrow and spear heads, a large stone hatchet, bowls of immese capacity, fashioned and baked from sand and clay. These bowls were indented upon their sides with deep finger prints, and some were tastily ornamented with characters original and unique.
The late Richard Drinker, Esq., of Scranton, a gentleman eminent in his day for genial philosophy and social abilities, to whom the writer was indebted for the above facts, was present at the time of their discovery, and described the pottery thus found as being enormous in quantity. An elegant short pipe, belonging probably to a squaw, was also found immediately under the tomahawk, in so perfect a state of preservation that it was to all appearances, as fit for the consumption of their favorite weed as when first fashioned into shape. A huge pile of elk bones and teeth were also found, but the bones crumbled to dust the moment they were exposed to the touch or air. Underneath them all, lay the remains of a great camp-fire, which was probably hurriedly deserted, and as hurriedly smothered with sand and stone to the depth of twelve or fourteen inches. Ashes, coals, and half-burned brands, one of which still bore the marks of a hatchet distinctly upon it, were spread over a surface of at least fifteen feet.
The most singular article exhumed, was a number of flat, delicately smoothed stone, somewhat resembling a carpenter's whetstone in shape and size, each one bored
with two or three small circular holes near the extremity or the center. Whether these had been drilled and used for weaving fish-nets from wood or hemp, constructing belts of wampum, or for other mechanical or ornamental purposes, is a matter of inquiry or conjecture.
Trees of Norway girth have grown upon the edge of this brook since this camp-fire went out forever, and almost upon these remains, one immense hemlock, green in its foliage, has defied the storms of centuries as it stands like a Roman sentinel of old, over this ancient sepulcher of the forgotten savage.
The absence of iron and copper utensils among the debris, furnished abundant proof that these relics had been deposited by the red-men in the stone period, long before their knowledge of the European race, but why they were thus left isolated from their war-paths, or the purpose or the cause of their smothered fire, the learned antiquarian can only conjecture.
The beaver, caught more for its furs than its castoreum--now a considerable medicinal agent--once held their court in a low marsh or meadow adjoining this camp, from which the Indians evidently obtained sand for their pottery.
In fact the Lackawanna, and the wilder waters of the Le-hr (Lehigh), were inhabited by the beaver at the time of the first settlement of the valley by the whites. Across these streams, especially the upper Lehigh, they built their "beaver dams" upon the most scientific principles of the engineering art, living upon ash, birch, poplars and the softer wood, of which they were particularly fond. In the depest part of the pond they built their houses, resembling somewhat the wigwam of the Indian, with a floor of saplings, sloping toward the water like an inclined plane. Here, secure in their moted castle, they
slept with their tails under water, ascending the floor with the rise of the stream. Rafting, when the rivers were swollen, destroyed their dams, and drove the beaver to creeks more quiet and remote. In 1826 there came from Canada an old trapper in search of the coveted furs, who caught with his traps all of these industrious animals but a single one lingering along the Lehigh and the Lackawanna; this lonely beaver by sharpened instinct, defied the trapper's cunning for a year or two, when, wandering down the swifter waters of the Alanomink in search of his lost companions, he was killed near Stroudsburg.
Is it not a little curious that with all the romantic ancient history of the Wyoming and Lackawanna valleys, so little attention until recently has been given toward gathering and preserving the various Indian implements once used in peace or in war? The writer has a passion for the old--not the old hills covered with forests, through whose hoary locks centuries have rustled unnumbered and unsung--but the lingering relics of a race, the bravest the world ever knew, which convey at once to the mind the glory of another day and another race. These links and landmarks of remote antiquity; the rarer implements of copper sometimes found in their ancient graves; the rude inscriptions which mark the first impulses of the wild-men toward letters or written legend; the stone battle-ax or tomahawk once flung or brandished by the brave exulting over his fallen foe; the knife whose scalping edge gleamed alike over the victim in the cradle or the field; the keen edged arrow twanged upon its fatal mission, or the calumet cherished afar for its silent and subduing power once smoked around the forest encampment--all are so associated with by-gone times, that as the plow now and then up-turns some little memento of the warrior's life, it astonishes the antiquarian to learn, that, aside from the really valuable and magnificent collection of Hon. Steuben Jenkins of Wyoming, and those possessed by the writer,
so few of these memorials have been treasured up in the valley to-day. Such a group of Indian relics, embracing every variety able to illustrate the life, religion, and character of the former occupants of the country, long before the aggressions and repeated wrongs of the white man had become a great national reproach, and had turned the simple savage into a western heathen, compelled to fight for a standing-place, or starve with plenty around him and yet beyond his reach, could not fail to be invaluable as years rendered their possession difficult or quite impossible.
Whatever might have been the former character of Indian warfare in the earliest history of Wyoming, or however much the infant settlements throughout the country may have suffered from the fagot and the knife--when the cries of helpless womanhood and the innocence of childhood plead alike in vain--it is established by indubitable evidence of government officials, and elsewhere, that in the more recent wars the Indians have not been the agressors. We know, by living testimony, that they have been crowded, inch by inch, southward and westward by the constant incursions and shameful encroachments of the Caucasian race, until, from being a great, proud, and powerful nation, respected for their virtues and feared for their strength, they have been reduced to a mere handful of lurking warriors, rendered desperate by maltreatment and impoverished by misfortune.
In a description of New Netherland (New York), published at Amsterdam, in 1671, the appearance of the New Netherlanders (Indians of the Island of New York), are thus described, and will answer every description of the
Lackawanna Indians:-- "this people is divided into divers nations, all well-shaped and strong, having pitch-black and lank hair, as coarse as a horse's tail, broad shoulders, small waist, brown eyes, and snow-white teeth; they are of a sallow color, abstemious in food and drink. Water satisfies their thirst; high and low make use of Indian corn and beans, flesh meat and fish, prepared all alike. The crushed corn is daily boiled to a pap, called by them sappaen. They observe no set time for meals. Whenever hunger demands, the time for eating arrives. Beaver's tails are considered the most savory delicacy. Whilst hunting, they live some days on roasted corn, carried about the person in a little bag. A little corn in water swells to a large mass. Henry Hudson relates that he entered the river Montaines in the latitude of forty degrees, and there went ashore. The Indians made strange gambols with dancing and singing; carried arrows, the points of which consisted of sharp stones, fastened to the wood with pitch; they slept under the blue sky, on little mats of platted leaves of trees; suck strong tobacco; are friendly, but very thievish. Hudson sailed up thirty miles higher, went into a canoe with an old Indian, a chief over forty men and seventeen women, who conducted him ashore. They all abode in one house well built of the bark of oak-trees."
The domestic habits of the Monsey tribe, when not engaged in warfare, were extremely simple and lazy. Patches of open land or "Indian clearings" early were found in the valley, where onions, cantaloupes, beans, and corn, and their favorite weed, tobacco, were half cultivated by the obedient squaw.
On the low strip of land lying upon either side of the street railroad, midway between Scranton and Providence, and near the cottage built some years since by Dr. Throop, now known as the "Atlantic Garden", there
was found by the first white explorers into the valley, a permanent camp-place which had, to all appearances, long been used for tillage and a dwelling-place. Within this ancient clearing the passer can hardly fail to observe an apple-tree standing on the east side of the road, cragged and venerable, even if some of its limbs betoken the approach of age or the presence of neglect. Its precise location can be seen upon the Indian map of Capoose Meadow. This is the Indian apple-tree, of great age, thirteen and a half feet in circumference, and possibly was planted by the friendly hand of Capoose, more than a century ago. By arms selfish and rude, this old tree, which deserves a protecting fence to honor its memory, was bereft of its mates many years ago, because their wide-spread branches threw too much shade upon the inclosing meadow! A few sprigs of grass probably repaid for the destroying act. This single tree now stand alone as a relic of primitive husbandry at Capoose, affording in the summer months,by its green foliage, as ample shade to the lolling ox or idle boy as it once gave to the squaw or her lord when he skimmed along the La-ha-ha-na in his own canoe. In one of the apple-trees thus cut down, in 1804, were counted one hundred and fifty concentric circles or yearly growths, thus dating the tree back to a time long before the reports of the trapper or the story of the Indians came out of the valley to the whites. Seventy years ago a large wild-plum orchard, standing in a swale adjoining this clearing, hung with millions of the juicy fruit, while the grape, with almost tropical luxuriance, purpled the intermingling tree-tops. The vines, none of which now remain, as well as the apple-trees, were no doubt the result of Indian culture.
BEACON-FIRES AND INDIAN LEGEND
Every gorge or up-shooting point in the range diversifying the valley is enriched with its tradition and story. In the Indian wars, the Moosic or Cobb Mountain,
affording as it did an admirable view of the entire valley, and a wide scope of country toward the Wallenpaupack and Delaware, was long used by the forest men for the location of their beacon fires. Campbell's Ledge, from its sharp altitude, so located as to overlook both valleys as far as inhabited by them, was held in corresponding importance from this fact.
So well were these evening lights understood by them that the warriors could be collected to any given point with rare speed and certainty. Should any thing on their part demand hasty action, fire after fire would spring up with wonderful rapidity on every height and plateau, at intervals of a few miles, upon the mountain-tops; and as they successively gleamed their lurid light to the sky, they conveyed a meaning to the savage mind well known as if their native guttural had told it in the valley. Once lighted, these beacon-fires, around which the warriors danced and sang in their wild joy, or prepared meals after the march of the day, could be seen for a great distance. No language was more silent or expressive to the inhabitant of the forest; none awoke greater danger to the pioneer than their appearance.
No matter how sudden or swift the pursuit, when the fireplace was reached the red chieftains had vanished, leaving nothing behind them but expiring brands. Along many of the higher peaks of the mountain, generally upon the eastern border of the Lackawanna, can yet be seen faint traces of these ancient beacons. Huge, gray stones, partially cracked by the heat of the fire whose location it marked, have been visited by the writer, upon an eminence distinguished at Spring Brook, near the residence of our hospitable and humorous friend, Edward Dolph. This peak is one of the prominent ones, where this primitive manner of telegraphing carried dismay or hope to many a watching woodsman down in the valley. These places faced the valley, and this one, unlike the others visited, appears not to have been disturbed in its
solitude since the brand of the sachem expired a century ago.
Few portions of country afford a broader scope for legendary research than that along the Susquehanna and Lackawanna. Here, immured in the forest, marked only by paths and streams, and surrounded by every element of simplicity and beauty, the river clans smoked the peace-pipe or danced the war-dance, with whoops and halloos, and went forth with paint and sharpened weapon to gather the scalps of the spoilers of their threshold.
SILVER MINE ON THE LACKAWANNA
Of the value of precious metals the Indians knew little or nothing until taught it by the whites, and then, learning to their dismay how fatal to their narrowing hunting-grounds were the aggressions of the expanding settlements, they practiced every possible caution in concealing all knowledge of mines and minerals in every portion of the wilderness. The Indian who, in thoughtless or drunken mood, betrayed the secret of their location, paid the penalty of his guilt by sudden death or lingering torture. Yet about one hundred years ago the whites learned by treachery, and lost by misfortune, knowledge of a silver mine located about two miles up the Lackawanna from its mouth.
In 1766 the Six Nations complained to the Proprietary Government at Philadelphia of white persons who had dug into a silver mine, twelve miles above the Delaware town of Wy-wa-mick, and carried away in canoes three loads of ore. An Indian trader named Anderson, who had brought a few goods up the river, was suspected of being the transgressor.
John Teal, a German, who died some years ago at an advanced age, threw some additional ight upon the location of this hidden silver mine. He had lived long enough with the wild tribes to understand their dialect,
and enjoy the confidence of an aged chief of the Oneidas, residing in western New York, who had assisted to efface every outward and visible evidence of the existence of this mine. When the chieftain saw that his days were few, he called his friend Teal to his wigwam, to intrust him with secrets of no longer consequence to the Indian. He informed him that there were three salt springs, one silver, one gold, and one lead mine in the vicinity of Wyoming, and all used by them while in possession of the country. The silver mine, long known to the scattered tribes, was on the northeast side of the Lackawanna, above a high ledge or mountain, half an hour's walk from the River Susquehanna, twelve miles above Wyoming. After the first Wyoming massacre, in 1763, the dwellers in wigwams, hoping to retain occupancy forever of the rich plains, coveted by triple parties, used this mine to their advantage; but when the intruders again made their appearance in such formidable numbers as to annihilate the long-cherished hope, the mine was so artfully concealed from the whites that none yet have found the spot yielding the precious metal.
Traditions, treasured up by old settlers half a century ago, tell of an excavation in the bank of the Lackawanna, between Old Forge and the Barnum farm, similar to that described in the Pennsylvania Archives of 1766.
That a silver mine was known and worked by the aborigines in this vicinity, is unquestionably proved by the fact that official complaint was made by them of the depredations of Anderson, but its precise location remains at present in great doubt.
The chief described the gold mine as being under a ledge of rocks, a few miles above Wyoming Valley, at a point where a rock of the height of an Indian covered a spring.
(page contains an engraving: Top of Bald Mount)
Five miles westward from Scranton, in a direct line, on the western side of the mountain forming the boundary between the townships of Providence and Newton, rises a long ledge of rock known as Bald Mount, which, from its altitude, offers, when the day is clear, so wide a view of field, forest, and lake, that, in spite of the steep, zigzag way of approaching it, has become during the summer hours, a popular resort for parties loving the romance of mountain life. At its very base lies the village of Milwaukie, watered by a stream turned to good mill account before it enters the Susquehanna, five miles below. Eight or ten villages can be seen from the mount, which, shorn of its larger trees by the force of the wind sometimes sweeping over it with great fury, is left comparatively bald, and thus given it a name. One large rock, prominent in position, is perforated with numerous holes of the capacity of from a quart to a gallon, as shown by the preceding illustration of Bald Mount. These were probably used by the Indian women for pounding their
corn into samp. The large number of stone pestles found near it many years ago favor this theory.
Under this precipice can be seen one large conglomerate rock, evidently removed some distance down the mountain by the natives to conceal the real origin of the spring. In the removal of this rock the trees, bent at the time, grew up with a very perceptible inclination toward it. From beneath its honest features emerges a spring, surpassed in the purity of its waters by no other in the world, where many metallurgists and others have supposed the gold mine was located. Explorations hitherto made upon every side of Bald Mount have failed to satisy expectations naturally awakened by these traditions.
In 1778, a young man who had been captured by the savages in Wyoming Valley, was carried to the top of a mountain where the Wilkes Barre settlement could be seen in the distance. Here they built their camp-fire. A transaction took place at this time which, from its novel character, excited the surprise and ever afterward impressed the mind of the young, unharmed captive. A venerable chief, to whom the young man owed his safety, and subsequently his release, removed a large flat stone covering the spring. The waters of this were so conveyed by a subterranean conduit, constructed for the purpose, as to deceive the men strolling through the wilderness in regard to the real source of the spring. At its mouth a roll of bark, forming a spout, was placed in such a manner as to direct the current into a handkerchief held under it by two of the Indians. For some moments the chief, reverently attended by the warriors, arrayed with bow and arrow, and forming a circle around him, stirred up the spring with a conscious knowledge of its gainful results. After an hour had elapsed, every stone previously disturbed was restored to its former condition; earth and leaves were left as if never touched, and no one, without ocular knowledge, would suspect the existence of
a water-course. The handkerchief, covered with yellow sediment, was now lifted from the spout. The glittering product thus gathered by the chief was placed in a stone vessel with great care. After the fire was extinguished, and certain incantations performed with ceremonial exactness, the Indians left the spot in charge of the wild rock surrounding it, and resumed their march toward their land of maize among the lakes.
Six days' walk led the party to Kingston, New York, where the treasures of the mountain, thus artfully obtained, were exchanged with the whites, for such articles as want or caprice suggested to the occupants of the forest.
In after years the returned hero often related the incident to his family and friends, some of whom thoroughly traversed every portion of Bald Mount and Campbell's Ledge without discovering the secret channel or the golden spring.
The three salt springs were respectively located, one at Martin's Creek, one in the mountain gap between Providence and Abington, the other on the Nay-aug, about five miles from the junction of this stream with the Lackawanna at Capoose. The last-named one, manipulated by the Indians to come out of the bed of the brook, was considered by the wild tribes as the richest, as it yielded the largest quantity of salt with the least labor. When a knowledge of this spring first came to the white man, deer came hither in herds. Sometimes there were hudnreds in a drove around these salt licks; and it was rare during the spring or summer months not to find the buck or fawn cropping the wild grass growing luxuriantly around these briny places. In the upper part of Leggett's Gap, in the mountain west of Providence, there was a salt spring strongly impregnated with saline
properties. When the white adventurer first sought the valley for his home, and found no luxury but steak from the bear or haunch from the deer, and heard no voice but that issuing from the throat of the rifle, the waters of this spring were often sought to obtain the scarce and necessary salt. The warriors' path from Oquago salt spring to Capoose passed by its waters. Much of the salt for the earliest settlers of the Lackawanna and Wyoming valleys was granulated here.
Mr. Blackman, who was taken captive from Wyoming, relates of the Indians, that when salt became scarce, they went up the Lackawanna and returned the next day, loaded with the desired article, which was sometimes warm. From a knowledge of this spring, advantage was early taken by the hunter and trapper, for in such numbers deer frequented this fountain to lap its waters, that they easily and often fell a trophy to the woodsman's gun.
A hunter of seventy winters tells the writer that, in his younger days, deer were so tame in the vicinity of this spring, that he has killed and dressed during his lifetime one hundred and forty-seven deer at this place alone!
That the natives frequented this place for the purpose of killing deer and curing venison, is satisfactorily proven by the quantity of warlike and domestic Indian relics found immediately around it at an early day.
Tuscarora Creek, a wild, clear, rapid stream, retaining its original Indian name, and lying between Meshoppen and Wyalusing, puts into the east side of the Susquehanna, about thirty miles above the Lackawanna. Half a mile from its mouth, under a cliff leaning gloomily over a sharp bend of the stream, where the rocks go down
into the waters here deeper than at any other point, a lead mine was worked by the Indians for making bullets, after they had been taught the use of the rifle by the English and the French. The Oneida chief informed Mr. Teal, that not only were the Wyoming Indians supplied with lead from this Tuscarora mine, but the French, while in harmony with the Iroquois, drew largely upon it.
The Indian, in his wild dream of future hope, imposed silence so effectually upon the rock along the Tuscarora, that although several companies have exhausted large sums of money in attempting to discover the lost mine, no knowledge of its location is had other than that coming from Indian tradition.
Tuscarora Creek has a scrap of history of its own. The great war-path from Tioga down to Wyoming, crossed the mouth of this stream. It was in the certified township of Braintrim and county of Westmoreland. In 1779, Gen. Sullivan, with his army, crossed the Tuscarora at this point. When his rear-guard had reached the south bank, where a large mountain, covered with oak, with little or no underbrush intervening to obstruct the view for a great distance, comes down to the very stream, a body of savages were seen stealing down its side for the purpose of securing a few prisoners. Familiar with the mode of Indian warfare, the guards leaped behind the trees, affording them partial shelter. The Indians, more skilled in the art and advantage of woodside encounter, as quickly betook themselves to the oak, which concealed even their presence, when the skirmish began.
Soldiers fell, wounded or dead, without kowing from what particular quarter bullets issued. At length Mr. Eleazer Carey, who saw his fellow-soldiers fall one after another, simultaneously with the crack of the rifle near by where he was standing, espied the dusky form of a warrior cautiously peering out from behind a tree not fifty yards from where he was standing, with his well-aimed gun in his
hand, bring down a soldier at each discharge of his weapon. After the Indian had reloaded, Carey, who had resolved to kill him if possible when he should attempt to shoot again, watched with intense solicitude the warrior's rifle as it was again brought beside the tree. No sooner had the slight projecting cheek and eye of the Indian come out so as to be discerned by Carey, when the avenging bullet was sent forthwith into his brain. He gave one high leap, uttered one deep yell, and fell to rise no more The Indians ran, caught up his body, and fled into the forest.
So much for mines and springs, which some day may possibly have more interest than that given them by rumors and vague recollections of tradition.
The earliest history of the Lackawanna Valley is so interwoven with that of Wyoming, that, to present a faithful picture of one, material must be largely drawn upon the other. In fact, while Wyoming in its limited signification now gives a name to a valley unsurpassed for the beauty of its scenery or the romance of its history, it was formerly used in a more enlarged sense to designate all the country purchased by the New England men of the Indians in 1754, lying in what is now known as Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties. Thus the innhabitants of Providence, Salem, and Huntington, all comparatively remote from Wyoming Valley, were designated as "Wyoming Settlers" and came under the disputed jurisdiction of Connecticut.
In 1752, the cabin of no white man had broken the Wyoming forest. After a casual reconnoissance along its eastern border by the hunter, made with indefinite knowledge of the character of the plain occupied by Teedyuscung and Backsinosa, a Monsey chief at Capoose,
and reported with glowing exaggeration to adventurous men living in Hartford desiring to develop the western portion of their possessions, "a number of persons, principally inhabitants of Connecticut, formed themselves into a company for the purpose of purchasing the Susquehanna lands of the Indians, and forming a settlement at Wyoming. This association was called the "Susquehanna Company, and during the same year, 1753, they sent out commissioners to explore the contemplated territory, and to establish a friendly intercourse with such Indian tribes as should be found in possession of it." These facts, carried to Philadelphia by Indian scouts and interpreters, alarmed the Proprietary Government of Pennsylvania, which also claimed this wild tract yet unlocked by any Indian treaty, grant or title to any party. Daniel Broadhead and William Parsons, two justices of the peace in Lower Smithfield Township, Northampton County, on the war-path from Connecticut to Wyoming, were instructed by Pennsylvania to watch all persons and parties going hither either to explore or begin a settlement.
In fact no inland point within the province was watched with greater solicitude or devotion through many years of strange vicissitude than was Wyoming. The deep, broad Susquehanna coming down through the magnificent highlands and mountains from the wood-rimmed lakes of New York, carrying its flood sometimes rudely over its banks where the cabin-dwellers roamed in no doubtful security, gave to a valley naturally beautiful all the needed charms to captivate the Indian or allure the eye of the white man. Alive with moose, bear, and deer, fluttering with the wild turkey or the more gentle quail, the woods expanded into forest far extending in every direction of the compass, while water-fowl, and fish of every hue and variety--especially the shad--animated the river and all its winding tributaries.
Its possession was a prize as earnestly sought after by one party as it was sternly resisted by the other. Although no actual settlement had been instituted here by the New England people, yet it did not prevent the provincial authorities of Pennsylvania from exhibiting extraordinary vigilance and exertion to prevent even a purchase or survey of a valley so rich in agricultural prospects. James Hamilton, "Governor of Pennsylvania under the Proprietaries, having been informed of the intentions of the Susquehanna Company, considered it proper that immediate measures should be taken to defeat those intentions, and to purchase the land for the use of the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania", as the Attorney-General of Pennsylvania, to whom it had been referred, had decided "that this tract of Land (Wyoming) had not yet been purchased of the Six Nations (Indians), but has hitherto been reserved, and is now used by them for their hunting-grounds." Sir William Johnson, his Magesty's Indian agent for the colony, residing at Albany, in a letter dated March 20, 1754, was informed of the contemplated purchase, and requested to see "that nothing may be done with the Indians by the Connecticut agents, or any other in their behalf, to the injury of the Proprietaries of this Province."
It should be understood by the general reader, that all lands claimed by the English in America were sold or granted to one or more persons with an understanding that the right, or rather the necessity still existed of repurchasing the same territory of the Indian tribes having ownership, before it could safely be occupied by the whites. Thus a portion of the land granted to William Penn by King Charles II, March 11, 1681, was repurchased by him of the native tribes in a manner so explicit and satisfactory to them that ever afterward his
intercourse with all the aborigines was marked by a constant and unvarying friendship unknown in modern times. To thus purchase Wyoming lands, (Footnote: When Wyoming is spoken of in relation to lands, Adjouqua or Lackawanna Valley is of course included within its meaning.) as well as to conciliate the good-will of the Indians, already excited by the bloody drama alternately played by the English or the French, "orders were received from England directing the colonies to hold a general treaty with the Indians at Albany in 1754, and to form, if possible, such an alliance with them as would insure their friendship and the safety of his Majesty's possessions in America." By runners and messengers, young, swift, and ambitious, the wish of his Majesty's Government was announced to the various tribes interested and remote, and all assembled at Fort Stanwix (now Rome), in July, 1754.
As there was no known printed copy of any charter in America, the real boundaries of the royal grant was understood by few or none, yet the authorities of Pennsylvania, believing at this time that Wyoming was within her territorial limits, anticipated and resisted the efforts of the Connecticut people, or the Yankees as they were termed, by every art of diplomacy and every mode of warfare.
John and Richard Penn, Isaac Norris, and Benjamin Franklin, were appointed by Pennsylvania as Commissioners to represent the interests of the Province, and true to their instructions from Governor Hamilton, these eminent gentlemen held private conferences with the Six Nations, with a view of securing Wyoming lands, in which they failed.
July 11, 1754, for a considertion of two thousand pounds, New York currency, the "chiefs, sachems, and heads of the Five Nations of Indians, called the Iroquois, and the native proprietors of a large tract of land on, about, and adjacent to the River Susquehannah, and
being within the limits and bounds of the charter, and grant of his late Majesty, King Charles 2nd, to the Colonys of Connecticutt" sold to the Susquehanna Company Wyoming lands bounded as follows: "Beginning from the one and fortieth degree of north latitude, at ten miles east of the river to the end of the forty-second or beginnng of the forty-third degree of north latitude, and so to extend west two degrees of longitude one hundred and twenty miles, and from thence south to the beginning of the forty-second degree, and from thence east to the aforementioned boundrie, which is ten miles east of Suskahanna River, together with all and every the mines, minerals, or ore, &c." All the territory lying between this line ten miles east of the Susquehanna and the Delaware River, was purchased by the Delaware Company, so that the lands of the Lackawanna Valley were embraced respectively in the purchases of the two companies. The townships of Pittson, Lackawanna, Providence, Newton, and a portion of Abington, were thus embraced within the Susquehanna purchase; while Covington, Springbrook, Madison, Jefferson, Scott, and Blakeley, with their vast array of thrifty villages, and the neighboring counties of Wayne and Pike, Susquehanna, and a portion of Monroe, were alike included by the Delaware Indian purchase.
The Proprietary Government, astonished and chagrined at a purchase it failed by the ingenious persuasions of her ablest representatives to thwart, began to suggest measures of practical severity to rid the valley of the Yankee intruders, shold they venture upon their new purchase. It was not enough that the wolf crouched along the pathway to Wyoming, or that the savage, homeless and enraged, crossed the westward path where the French and Indian wars had stewen the dead to appall the adventurer.
Early in February, 1754, a few months previous to this sale, Wm. Parsons, of Lower Smithfield, notified Governor Hamilton that "some of his near neighbors had accompanied three gentleman-like men to Wyomink, who produced a writing under a large seal, empowering them to treat and agree with such persons as were disposed to take any of these lands to them." He also informed the Governor "that it may be the means of occasioning very great disorder and disturbances in the back parts of the province." Persons living in Lower Smithfield Township, near Stroudsburg, holding lands under the Proprietary direction and authority, looked so favorably on the proposed settlement of Wyoming lands, that Daniel Broadhead, Esq., then prominent in the history of Northampton County, as the name is yet in that section of country, wrote to Governor Hamilton, February 24, 1754, that "there has been and is, great disquietude amongst the people of these parts, occasioned by some New England gentlemen, to such a degree that they are all, or the majority of them, going to quit and sell their lands for trifles, and to my certain knowledge, many of them have advanced money on such occasions, in order that they might secure rights from the New England Proprietaries, which right I suppose is intended to be on Sasquehannah at a place called Wyomink."
The Provincial Council of Pennsylvania recommended Governor Hamilton to write to the Governor of Connecticut, "to stop the departure of their people on a dangerous enterprise as this," and "forthwith dispatch Conrad Weiser to the Six Nations and those at Wyoming, to put them upon their guard against those proceedings." Governor Fitch replied that he "knew nothing of any thing being done by the Government to countenance such a proceeding as you intimate, and
as I conclude, is going on among some of our people." Mr. Armstrong reported to the Government, "that the people of Connecticut are most earnestly and seriously determined to make a settlement on the Susquehanna, within the latitude of the province, relying on the words of their grants, which extend to the South Sea, provided that they can succeed in a purchase of these lands from the Six Nations, which they are now attempting by the means of Colonel Johnson and Mr. Lydias of Albany, having subscribed a thousand pieces of eight for that purpose, each giving four dollars for what they call a Right."
Under date of December 2, 1754, five months after the successful negotiations for Wyoming, James Alexander wrote to Governor Morris that he believed that "more vigorous measures will be wanting to nip this affair in the bud, than writing to governors and magistrates, or employing a few rangers, as I before proposed. I question if less will do, than a superior number to the Connecticut men, women, and children, that come, and bring them to Philadelphia; the women and children to ship off to Governor Fitch, the men to imprison till bailed or list for Ohio. (Footnote: A very humane way to dispose of peaceful settlers, to have them enlist in the French and Indian war on the Ohio!), this done twice or thrice will terrify others from coming; and one or two thousand pounds laid now out in this service, may save scores of thousands that it may afterwards cost. I doubt not, Connecticut will amuse and give good words till a great number be settled, and then bid defiance."
Every movement in Hartford, where the interests of these two companies were discussed publicly and freely was watched by persons employed by Pennsylvania to do so, who, in December, 1754, reported the prospects and development of the organization to Governor Morris thus:
"There was a great meeting about a fortnight ago in Hartford, of the poeple concerned in the design'd. The original shares are six hundred. The scheme stood thus. They made a purse, each man paying four dollars toward the purchase, &c., but since that they have [been] obliged to pay five more, so that the original shares of the purchase 'tis nine dollars a man. These sharers engaged to go themselves, or to procure on to go in their stead to the Sasquehannah, and there to make a setlement, build a building, clear so much land, &c., on their respective lots in a given time. The grand emigration does not propose to go forth till all be quietly settled, but in the mean time, 'tis said there will be some individuals going."
In spite of talks and treaties, Wyoming, full of natives reluctant to yield possession of their plain to the spoiler of their heritage, remained unpeopled and untouched by the whites. Even some of the Cayuga Indians, seduced into French interests, inimical to the English, hearing that "a lot of people from New England had formed themselves into a body to settle the lands on Susquehanna, and especially Sea-hau-towano (Wyoming) threatened, if they done so, to first kill all their creatures, and then if they did not desist, they themselves would all be killed, without distinction, let the consequences be what it would." This threat of "Tachnechdorus, the chief of Smamockin, of the Cayinker", was carried into execution at Wyoming a few years later, when the first settlement there was destroyed, the emigrants shot and scalped by the same band that murdered Teedyuscung in his Susquehanna wigwam.
The colony of Connecticut, aware of the extent of their original grant, and conscious of the integrity of the Indian purchase of Wyoming by the Susquehanna Company,
gave consent to establish a settlement here. In the summer of 1755 the company "sent out a number of persons to Wyoming, accompanied by their surveyors and agents, to commence a settlement. On their arrival they found the Indians in a state of war with the English colonies; and the news of the defeat of General Braddock having been received at Wyoming, produced such an animating effect upon the Nanticoke tribe of Indians that the mombers of the new colony would probably have been retained as prisoners had it not been for the interference of some of the principal chieftains of the Delaware Indians, and particularly of Tedeuscund, who retained their attachment to their Christian brethren of the Moravian church, and their friendsip in some degree for the English. The members of the colony, consequently returned to Connecticut, and the attempt to form a settlement at Wyoming was abandoned until a more favorable opportunity."
The efforts of the Moravian missionaries from Gandenhutten and Bethlehem, to introduce Christian influences along the foliage of the Indian forest, were not altogether in vain. At Machwihilusing (Wyalusing) a settlement had been made by these zealous and determined German brethren, under the pastorship of the Rev. David Zeisberger, which flourished through all the intermediate Indian wars and massacres up until 1770, when, as the territory occupied by them had been sold to the Connecticut people, the Moravians removed to Ohio, to whither the Delawares had preceded them. Living on the great canoe-route and war-path from Onondaga to Wyoming, these heroic missionaries, who had sacrificed every social comfort for the stern incidents of border life, with an ambition but the good and welfare of the race they sought to elevate, were left unharmed by the warriors desolating the country around them.
The Colonial Records give an account of a council held July 11, 1760, with a large number of Minisinks, Nanticokes, and Delawares, "from an Indian town called Michalloasen or Wighalooscon, about fifty or sixty miles above Wyomink, on the Susquehannah, "but while it was visited by these missionaries, previous to this it was not chosen by them for a permanent abode until May 9, 1765. "Having fixed on a convenient spot for a settlement, they immediately began to erect a town, which, when completed, consisted of thirteen Indian huts, and upward of forty houses built of wood, in the European manner, besides a dwelling for the missionaries. In the middle of the street, which was eighty feet broad, stood a large and neat chapel. The adjoining lands were laid out into neat gardens; and between the town and the river, about two hundred and fifty acres were divided into regular plantations of Indian corn. The burying-ground was situated at some distance back of the buildings. Each family had its own boat. To this place they gave the name of Friedenshuetten (Huts of Peace). This new settlement soon assumed a very flourishing appearance."
The Wyalusing Indians exhibited toward the whites with whom they came in contact a conciliatory and Christian disposition. At a council held at the State House in Philadelphia, September 17, 1763, John Curtis spoke for the Wyalusing Indians as follows:--
"Brothers:--After the treaty, two years ago, as the Indians were returning home, a Delaware was killed. As soon as the news reached the Indian country, some of his relations were so exasperated, that four of them immediately set off and came down with an intention to kill some of the white folks. On their way they called at Wighalousin and stopt there. When they informed us of their design, the Indians of Wighalousin, men, women, and children, did all in their power to dissuade them from it.
and joined in a collection of wampum [see footnote] and delivered to them to pacify them, on which they returned home.
Nor was the Lackawanna part of Wyoming without spiritual advisers as early as October 26,1755. At the request of the friendly Indians living on the Susquehanna and Lee-kaugh-hunt (Lackawanna), the Moravian missionaries of Bethlehem visited Wyoming at this time (to use the Indian's own phrase), "to speak words to them of their God and Creator as often as they desire it."
They remained six days at "Waioming, the Shawanese town, and at Leckaweke, the Minising town." They preached twice at Leckaweke, where they found the natives enjoying their yearly thanksgiving harvest-feast with song and dance, interpolating their songs with an occasional yell or war-whoop, secure in their corn-fields and "well affected toward the English", to whom they gave every outward assurance of friendship. Twenty-eight days after this, Gnadenhutten was devastated, and no white settlement in Pennsylvania, above Bethlehem, escaped wholly from the uplifted tomahawk. The Indian town of Nescopiken (Nescopick), one day's journey from Wyoming, became the head-quarters of the French and Indians. Not a single white person lived in either of the valleys of Wyoming or Lackawanna. The Indians, won over by the shrewdness of the French, bent on conquest and carnage, went even below the Blue Mountains to the Tulpehocking, within thirty miles of Philadelphia, unresisted.
Footnote: Wampum or Wampon, called also Wampampeag; a kind of money in use among the Indians. It was a kind of bead made of shells of the great conch muscle, &c., and curiously wrought and polished, with a hole through them. They were of different colors, as black, blue, red and white, and purple; the last of which were wrought by the Five Nations. Six of the white, and three of the black or blue passed for a penny --Trumbull's U.S., vol. 1, p.23 In 1667, Wampon was made a tender by law for the payment of debts, "not exceeding 40 shillings, at 8 white or 4 black for a penny; this was repealed in 1671."--Douglas, vol i., p 437.
Along the Delaware, from Easton to Broadhead's, the country was absolutely deserted. Broadhead's place was attacked, and bravely defended by the courageous inmates. In fact, Lower Smithfield, where Broadhead's clearing was located, was so constantly threatened by the arrowed warriors, that Benjamin Franklin, in July, 1756, ordered a company of foot to be raised "of fifty able men to protect the inhabitants while they thresh out and secure their corn", and scout from time to time for one month, and "for pay, to receive six dollars per month, and one dollar extra for use of gun and blanket." The men were notified that if they should kill any Indians while thus ranging, "forty dollars will be allowed and paid by the Government for each scalp of an Indian so killed." This is the first recorded instance where a premium was offered for scalps in the vicinity of Wyoming. No fortunes, however, where made by scalp gatherers.
After Braddock's memorable defeat in July, 1755, the whole frontier of Pennsylvania was left so desitute of protection, that several friendly Indian chiefs of the Susquehanna tribes visited Philadelphia, and urged upon the Government the importance of building such places of defense, which if they failed to do all the tribes now peaceably inclined, would raise the hatchet as auxiliaries of the exultant French. This prudent advice, however, was not taken until after the Lehigh village of Gnadenhutten had been obliterated by the torch, when a chain of simple forts or block-houses were erected along the Susquehanna and Delaware. It is impossible at the preent day, to ascertain the exact location of these forts. "Those west-ward of the Sasquehana", the Pennsylvania Archives inform us, "are about twenty miles asunder, and those between Sasquehana and Delaware about
ten." The fort at Shamokin was built in July, 1755, from logs huge and hewn. Fort Allen, at Gnadenhutten, was built in January, 1756. The fort at Wyoming and the one asked for at Adjouquay by the Iroquois chiefs were erected the same year. These forts were strongly built, stockaded, and of ample capacity to accommodate the sparsely settled places around them in any exigency. From twenty to fifty men were stationed in these protecting outposts, until after the treaty of 1758 fulfilled the expectations of peace, when many of them were abandoned. The warriors at Tioga and Wyoming and Lackawanna were estimated at this tme at seven hundred, fifty of whom were Monseys, at Capoose.
Cushietunck (Cochecton), on the upper Delaware, was settled by the Delaware Company in 1757, which place, in spite of colonial feuds, or Pennymite resistance, prospered in its aspirations and development. Cochecton, like Wyoming, was claimed by Pennsylvania as "lying in the upper part of Northampton County, opposite the Jersey Station Point", and the same vexatious measures employed in one place were also used in the other to expel the New England comers.
A mere glimpse of this section of coutnry as it appeared to Charles Tomson, and Christian Frederic Post, who journeyed toward Wyoming and Lee-haw-hanna in 1758, by order of the Governor of Pennsylvania, and at the request of the Indians, is interesting in an historical light, as reflecting the shadows of one hundred and ten years ago. These Indian civilizers left Philadelphia, June 7, 1758, and in two days reached Fort Allen, on the Lehigh, where they engaged Moses Tetamy and Isaac Still, and three other Indians, to accompany them.
"On Sunday morning we set forward pretty early, and by 12 o'clock reached the Nescopekun Mountain, within fourteen or fifteen miles of Wyoming. Here we met nine
Indians traveling down to Bethlehem. They had left Wyoming the day before, and had been six days from Chenango, a Town of the Nanticokes on Susquehanna, about half way between Owegey and Ossewingo. There was one Nanticoke, one Monsey Captain, one Delaware, four Mawhiccons, and two Squaws. Upon meeting them, we stopped and inquired the news, and from several questions asked, we learned that Teedyuscung was well and at Wyoming, that all was quiet among the Nanticokes, that their principal men were at the Council at Onondaga, which was not yet broke up; that Backsinosa was at Lee-haugh-hunt (Lackawanna), but that he was preparing to go somewhere, he said to his own Country. Being informed of our going to Wyoming with good news to all the Indians, they told us that they thought it was by no means safe for us to proceed; that strange Indians were thick in the woods about Wyoming; that a party was seen but four days ago whose Language none of the Delawares there understood, nor did they know of what Nation they were. This alarmed our Indians, they pressed us to turn back with this Company, and make all haste for Fort Allen, and two of them would go and invite Teedyuscung to come to us there. This we objected to, on account of losing time, so we proposed to go forward to the Wyoming Hills, and there wait till two of our Company went forward and informed Teedyuscung of our coming, and know of him whether it would be safe to go to the Town. The Indians we met thought it dangerous to proceed any farther, as they had seen fresh Tracks crossing the Path in two or three places between this and Wyoming, and at one place not half a mile from where we then were. Upon this it was proposed, and agreed upon, to go back to the east side of the Hills, and there lodge to-night, till two of our Indians went and invited Teedyuscung to come to us. Next day Teedyuscung came to us." After a long talk and dinner with
Teedyuscung and other chiefs, from the valley, they were made familiar with all the news, rumors, and complaints of the Indians, and sent back, as Teedyuscung assured them that it was absolutely unsafe for them to venture farther. They also reported that "Backsinosa, with about one hundred men, lives yet at Lee-haugh-hunt" (Lackawanna), at Assarughney, a place of so much importance that a friendly Indian who passed there a few days previous, "saw four Canoes made of bark, and two Floats there hid in the bushes" which he learned had just been used by a party coming from Broadhead's, by the way of Lee-haugh-hunt and Capoose.
After the purchase of Wyoming lands in 1754 by the Connecticut Susquehanna Company, Pennsylvania awakened to the importance of cultivating more intimate relations with the Indians. Teedyuscung was informed by the Provincial Council, that "his continuance at Wioming is of great service". The natives being too lazy or too little skilled in agricultural affairs to supply their wigwams with vegetable food, brought it in canoes from Fort Augusta, sixty miles below, thus often exhausting the supply around Sunbury and Northumberland. In May, 1755, the Indians on the Susquehanna were reported starving because of the scarcity of deer. To obviate this, as well as to carry out the policy instituted by Pennsylvania, "fifty or sixty Carpenters, Masons, and Laborers, were sent to Wyoming to build and plant for the Indians. After a very fatiguing march they arrived at Wyoming on the 22d May, 1758, and put the hands to work the next day. As the Battoes did not arrive from Fort Augusta at the time appointed, we were brought to very short allowance in provisions, &c. For several days we had no bread at all, which created no little uneasiness among the men. We kept working until the 27th, when Joseph
Croker, one of our masons, was killed and scalped by six of the enemy Indians; this misfortune made our men uneasy. The next day, the Battoes arrived with provisions, which enabled us to carry on the work and finish ten houses. We also plowed some ground for them to plant in, and split some rails to fence it; after which they thought it proper to let us know that it was late in the season, and the grass grown very high, so that the ground when plowed was not fit for planting but in a few places, such as old Towns and the like, we might return until a more favorable time, which we complied with on Friday, the 2d June, and got safe Tuesday evening following."
On the same day that this party returned to Fort Augusta, Moses Tetamy and Isaac Still, both Indian interpreters, left Philadelphia to visit the Monseys at Minisinks, for the Government. The fourth day's journey by the way of the warriors' path over the Lehigh Mountain, brought them to Wyomng, where they were welcomed and treated with great consideration as public messengers. After staying all night at Wyoming, they left early in the morning on horseback, and at night "came to Tenkghanake (Tunkhannock), about as far above Wyoming as from Wyoming to Fort Allen. This is an old Town, nobody lives there, but over the river we saw some Minisink Indians, Hunters, who called to us, and when we went over treated us kindly, and gave us some Bear meat and venison. The road from Wyoming to Tenghanaoke is broken and hilly."
The Western Indians held a great council over the Ohio in June, 1760. Frederic Post and John Hays attempted to accompany Teedyuscung thither, but the two interpreters were denied passage through the Seneca country. A description of their journey through Wyoming, as given in the words of their journal, can not fail to interest very many:--
"Saturday, May 10.-- Heassie wether: Sett off from
fort Allen at Eight o'Clock, and traveled till it was Late through a vast Desert; Lodged in the Woods.
"Sunday, 11th.--Set to the way Early and Arived in Wioming in the Evening, where we were Informed that Teedyuscung was Set off on his Journey this Morning, but they sent for him Imediately on our coming
"Monday, 12th.--Wrought at Makeing Belts and Strings of our Wampum, was used very Kindly, and talked of Going Next Day.
"Wed'y, 14th.--Very Rainy Wether, so that we Could not set out, So we followed our old Business of Belt making.
"Thursday, 15th.--Wether the Same: Made Belts.
"Friday, 16th.--Designed Going, but Teedyuscung would not Go until he had a field of Corn planted first, and we all asisted him and planted it this Day.
"Saturday, 17th.--Set of Early and traveled smartly, Crossed a Large Creek about one o'Clock, called Ah-la-hon-ie (Lackawanna?), and so followed Our Course up the East Side of the Sisquhana River till Night, and Set up our tents in an Old Indian Town called Quelootama, Being fourteen in Number in all.
"Sunday, 18th.--Wet Weather, Nevertheless we traveled Smartly Cross a very Large Creek called Wash-co-king (Meshoppen), Lodged on the Banks of Sisquhana, and had a very Wet Night of it.
"Monday, 19th.--Set off Early, tho wet, and Arived at a town called Qui-ha-loo-sing (Wyalusing), the Governours Name Wampoonham, a very Religious Civilized man in his own way, and Shewd us a great Deal of Kindness, and we held a Conference with him this Evening, and when over, Mr. Post Gave us a Sermon, at their Request.
"Tuesday, 20th.-- They Called us to Council, and
seemed to be very friendly, and Delivered to Teedyuscung three prisoners By a string and promised to bring them Soon down; this town is Situated on Sisquhana, East side, about twenty Houses full of People, Very Good Land, and Good Indian Buildings, all New; had Sermon this Evining again.
"Wednesday, 21st.--They told us there was another prisnor in this town, but the man that had hir would not Consent to Give hir Up yet, but if he Did not he Should Leave their town; We Set off about Eleven o'Clock, and Crossed Qui-ha-loo-sing Creek about a mile above the town; We traveled Through Swamps, Rocks, and Mountains about 15 Miles, then came to the River, and took up Lodging on the Bank."
Thursday and Friday they visited Diohaga, Snake Hole, and Asinsan. At the last-named place "the Indians Began to Sacrifice to their God, and Spent the Day in a very Odd manner, Howling and Danceing, Raveling Like Wolves, and Painted frightfull as Divels.
"Monday, 26th.--The Indians, Haveing Got Rum, Got Drunk, all in General, Except some old men; and Teedyuscung Behaved well on this Occasion, for when his Sone brought in the Kegg of Rum, he would not taste it; we were very much Abused and Scolded by the Indians, and thretened Often to Rost us. They Bid us Welcome to this town, but if we came any farther they would Rost us in the fire.
"There was a great Sacrifice of a hogg, which gathered a Great Number of them together, and after their Sacrificial Rites were over, they Encouraged us to Go on, But we could not See it Clear, for the old father Mingo always Sent us word not Go, but that Teedyuscung and his Indians Might Go, but that we should not Go, nor any White man Should pas through their Country."
After visiting various Indian towns, witnessing deer sacrifices, and holding councils with the Delawares, Wonamies, and Monseys, they concluded to return home, as
the old Indian "agreement was that no white man Should pas throw their Country, for fear of Spyes to see their Land."
The fertile meadows now extending at certain intervals along the river from Binghamton to Tunkhannock, they describe as "an Ordinary Country, Nothing but Mountains and Rocks and pine timber, save the Small Low lands the Indians plant their Corn on."
On the ninth day of the homeward journey, interlined by many vexations and delays, and lodging in the woods where "the Knates Bit so hard", they approached Wyoming. "About Eleven o'Clock we came to a narrow pass where the horses, with Hight of the River, was obliged to Swime a considerable way, and had to all get in the Canoo, then took our horses again and had to Swim another Large Creek and Climbe many a hill, but at Lenth we Got to Weoming, thank God.
"Saturday, 28th.--Set of from Weoming and traveled Over the Mountains, and Lodged in the Woods, and had very wet Weather", &c., &c.
In April, 1761, before the snow-drifts had melted from the cold gorges of the mountain, the route had been surveyed by a party which "marked trees for twenty miles from the Delaware in the way toward Susquehannah, and laid out lots for a town at a place called Leighwackson, or Lackervak, about eight miles westward from Casheitunck." Teedyuscung himself visited Philadelphia during this month, to express to the Governor his uneasiness about this settlement, which he reported was so unsafe for his pale brother "that they (the Connecticut men) kept continual watch for fear the Indians would shoot them."
In August, 1762, the adventurous spirit of New England emigration began to move toward Wyoming with greater success than every before. A few miles below the village
of Assarughney, and a mile or two above the Indian town at Wyoming, runs into the Susquehanna a short, sluggish creek, celebrated afar by the name of Mill Creek.
Two hundred persons from the colony of Connecticut began a settlement on the shaded margin of this stream at this time. "They found the valley covered with woods, except a few acres in the immediate vicinity of the Shawanese and Wyoming towns, which had been improved by the Indians in the cultivation of their corn, and which was still in part occupied by them." A few acres of land was cleared and sown with wheat and rye, after which the emigrants concealed their agricultural implements in the ground and returned to Connecticut to winter, returning in the spring.
Teedyuscung, jealous of his plains yielding with the simple tillage of the squaws, again visited Philadelphia, Nov. 19, 1762, and sought a private interview with the Governor, to complain of the settlement upon Lec-ha-wanock Creek. The Governor desired Teedyuscung to speak nothing but the honest truth, which he promised to do, and then addressed him as follows:-- "Brother: You may remember that some time ago I told you that I should be obliged to remove from Wyomink on account of the New England people, and I now acquaint you that soon after I returned to Wyomink from Lancaster, there came 150 of those people, furnished with all sorts of Tools, as well for building as Husbandry, and declared that they had bought those Lands from the Six Nations, and would settle them, and were actually going to build themselves Houses, and settle upon a creek called Leckawanock, about seven or eight miles above Wyomink. I threatened them hard, and declared I would carry them to the Governor at Philadelphia; and when they heard me threaten them in this manner, they said they would go away and consult their own Governor; for if they were carried to
Philadelphia, they might be detained there Seven Years, and they said further, that since the Indians were uneasy at this purchase, if they would give them back the money it had cost them, which was one or two Bushels of Dollars, they would give them their Lands again. Ten days after these were gone, there came other fourteen men, and made us the same speeches, declaring that they expected above three thousand would come and settle the Wyomink Lands in the Spring, and they had with them a Saw and Saw-Mill Tools, proposing to go directly and build a Saw-Mill about a mile above where I live, but upon my threatening those in the same manner I did the former Company, they went away, and, as I was told, buried their tools somewhere in the Woods. These people desired me to assist them in surveying the Lands, and told me they would reward me handsomely for my trouble, but I refused to have any thing to do with them. Brother: Six days after these were gone there came eight other white men and a mulatto, and said the very same things to me that the others had said, and immediately I got together my Council, and as soon as we had finished our Consultations, I told these poeple that I actually would confine them and carry them to Philadelphia and deliver themto the Governor there, upon which they went away, saying they would go to their own Governor, and come again with great numbers in the Spring. Some of these people stole my Horse that I bought at Easton, but they gave me another Horse and five pounds in money, in satisfaction for my Horse. Brother: Tho' I threatened these people hard, that I would confine them and carry them down to you, yet I did not mean actually to do it, remembering that you charged me not to strike any White Man, tho' they should come, but to send you the earliest notice of their coming that was in my power. Brother: Before I got up to Wyomink from Lancaster, there had come a great Body of these New England People with intent actually to settle the Land, but the Six Nations
passing by at that time from Lancaster, sent to let them know that they should not be permitted to settle any of these Lands, and on their expressing great resentment against them, and threatening them if they persisted, they went away. This I was told by Thomas King, who was left behind at Wyomink by the Six Nations, to tell me that they intended to lay this whole matter before the great Council at Onondagoe, and that they would send for me and my Indians to come to Albany in the Spring, where they are to have a meeting with the New England people, and desired that I would be quiet till I should receive their Message, and then come to Albany. On this speech of Thomas King's we met together in Council, and agreed not to give him any promise to come to Albany, but to advise the Governor of Pennsylvania of this, and take his advice what to do, and if he will go with us and advise us to go, we will go in case we are sent for in the Spring. Brother: Surely as you have a general of the King's Armies here, he might hinder these people from coming and disturbing us in our possessions. Brother: About six days after I left Wyomink I received a Belt, which was brought me by the Indian man Compass; it came first to Nutimus, and from him to me. By that Belt, Beaver desired that I and the Delawares, the Wapings, and Mohickons, settled at Wyomink, would remove thence and come and live at Allegheny. Brother: I have one thing more to say, and I shall have finished all I have to say at this time. Brother: You may remember that at the Treaty at Easton we were promised that a Schoolmaster and Ministers should be sent to instruct us in religion, and to teach us to read and write. As none have yet been provided for us, I desire to know what you intnd to do in this matter. I have now done."
The Governor, in reply, informed Teedyuscung, that as Wyoming lands had never yet been purchased from the
Six Nations, he had sent a messenger to warn the Connecticut people away from Lechawanock Creek, who met them returning because of the rough manner spoken to by the Indians. After commending Teedyuscung for his fidelity and good behavior, the Governor said, "Brother: You know that your Uncles, the Six Nations, have kindled a fire for you at Wyomink, and desired you would stay there and watch, and give them notice if any White people should come to take away the Lands from them, and that you would not suffer them to do it. Be assured that this winter, measures will be taken to prevent these troublesome people from coming to disturb you. On these considerations I desire you to remain quiet where you are, and not move away, as you seem to have no inclinations to go away only on account of these New England disturbers. The times have been so unsettled, that there has been no opportunity of sending Ministers and Schoolmasters among you. Now there is a likelihood of a general peace being soon established, if you determine still to continue at Wyomink, I shall consider of this matter and send you an answer at a proper time."
The complaints of Teedyuscung, nor the threats of Lieutenant-Governor Hamiltion, were hardly necessary, as the next year (1763) witnessed the murder of the king of the Delawares, in his simple cabin by the river side, and the flight or massacre of the defenseless yeomanry at Wyoming. When Teedyuscung sank the tomahawk into the skull of the offending Iroquois warrior on his way to Easton, in 1758, unavenged and apparently unnoticed at the time, he wrote his own death-warrent in the blood of the fallen chief. Indian revenge slumbers only to increase its intensity. Under the garb of friendship, he was visited at his village by some warriors of the Six Nations from the upper branches of the Susquehanna, plied bountifully
with liquor, of which he was passionately fond, and while thus inebriated in his wigwam, helpless, asleep, and alone, the celebrated and venerable chieftain perished in the flames, on the night of april 19, 1763. His own dwelling, and twenty others surrounding it, had been set on fire simultaneously, by these emissaries from the Six Nations, who thus sought and found revenge upon the unforgotten and unresisiting offender.
Some four months previous to this the Yankees had returned to the valley with their families, bringing along cattle, sheep, hogs, and grain sufficient to last them until the coming harvest. Traffic and fur-trading had sprung up with the surrounding tribes, with whom the most friendly and harmonious relations had hitherto supposed to have existed, when suddenly, on the afternoon of the fifteenth of October, while the farmers were hard at work in the field, unsuspicious of approaching dange, they were surrounded by "a party of Indians, who massacred about twenty persons (see Footnote) , took several prisoners, and having seized upon the live stock, drove it toward their town. Those who escaped, hastened to their dwellings, gave the alarm to the families of those who were killed, and the remainder of the colonists--men, women, and children--fled precipitately to the mountains, from whence they beheld the smoke arising from their late habitations, and the savages feasting on the remains of their little property. They had taken no provisions with them, except what they had hastily seized in their flight, and must pass through a wilderness sixty miles in extent before they could reach the Delaware River. They had left brothers, husbands, and sons to the mercy of the savages; they had no means of defense, in case they should
(Footnote: The following persons were among the killed:-- "Rev. Wm. Marsh, Thos. Marsh, Timothy Hollister, Timothy Hollister, Jr, Isaac Hollister, Nathan Terry, Wright Smith, Daniel Baldwin and wife, Isaac Wiggins, Zeruah Whitney. Mr. Shepherd, and a son of Daniel Baldwin, were taken prisoners"--Annals of Luzerne)
be attacked, and found themselves exposed to the cold winds of autumn without sufficient raiment. With these melancholy recollections and cheerless prospects did the fugitives commence a journey of two hundred and fifty miles on foot."
Thus, by one stroke, seldom surpassed in suddenness or atrocity, by the same savages that slew Teedyuscung and then attempted to fix the ignominious crime upon the New England men, having no knowledge of its inception or no part in its execution, every living white person was swept from Wyoming in an hour, and the valley again left in the sole occupancy of the Indian. Their removal or destruction at this time, if more vindictive and cruel, was no more cetain than that vouchsafed them by the Provincial Government, had a few more days of quiet husbandry have been allowed them by the Indians. On the Tuesday before the first massacre, October 17, 1763, Major Clayton marched to Wyoming to carry out the instructions of the Provincial Government, already anticipated by the firebrand and hatchet. He "met with no Indians, but found the New Englanders who had been killed and scalped a day or two before they got there. They buried the dead, nine men and one woman, who had been most cruelly butchered; the woman was roasted and had two hinges in her hands, supposed to have been put in red hot, and several of the men had awls thrust into their eyes, and spears, arrows, pitchforks, &c., sticking in their bodies. They burnt what houses the Indians had left, and destroyed a quantity of Indian corn. The enemy's tracks were up the river toward Wighaloesing."
On the 20th October, Governor Hamilton ordered Colonel James Bard to Wyoming as a commisioner, not to look after the warriors thus arrayed for murder and
mischief, but "to require and command the Inhabitants, in His Majesty's Name, forthwith to desist from their said undertaking, and to depart and remove from thence", &c..
It is hardly possible that news of the massacre carried by the slow canoe-route, or narrow foot-path, could have reached Philadelphia at this time, as no allusion is made to it until October 25, 1763, when the Rev. John Elder, of Paxton, captain of two Lancaster companies, wrote as follows to Governor Hamilton: "Sir, In a Lett'r I writ to your Hon'r the 17th Inst., I acquainted you that it then was impossible to suspend the Wyoming Expedition. The party is now returned, and I shall not trouble your Hon'r with my account of their proceedings, as Major Clayton informs me that he has transmitted to you, from Fort Augusta, a particular journal of their transactions from their leaving Hunters till they returned to Augusta. (see footnote) The mangled Carcases of these unhappy people presented to our Troops a melancholy Scene, which had been acted not above two days before their arrival; and by the way the Savages came into the Town, it appears they were the same party that committed the Ravages in Northampton County, and as they set off from Wyoming up the same Branch of the River, towards Wihilusing, and from several other Circumstances, it's evident, that till that Branch is cleared of the enemy, the frontier settlem'ts will be in no safety."
Nothing whatever was done by the authorities of Pennsylvania toward punishing, or even rebuking, the authors of this preconcerted destruction fo life and property, made more atrocious by the fact that settlers living Northampton County uttered no complaint, and inteposed neither inquiry nor remonstrance at this or any other time.
(Footnote: No such Report appears either in the Pennsylvania Archives or Records.)
In fact so great and so apparent was this stoic indifference exhibited toward the welfare of a feeble but energetic colony, struggling alike with starvation and savage treachery, that Governor Amherst of New York wrote to Governor Hamilton that "I can not help repeating my surprise at the infatuation of the people in your Province, who tamely look on while their brethren are butchered by the Savages, when, without doubt, it is in their power, by exerting a proper spirit, not only to protct the settlements, but to punish any Indians that are hardy enough to disturb them."
While there seems to have been no complicity, either charged or suspected, between the provincial authorities of Pennsylvania and the disaffected portion of the Six Nations in regard to the annihilation of the young settlement at Wyoming, no one can peruse the Pennsylvania Archives or the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania, embracing as they do, the earliest written history of Wyoming, without reflections not flattering to the magnanimity either of the Province or the State.
In the earlier history of the valley, barbarities were sometimes practiced, both by the red and the white man, upon the weaker party. Conrad Weiser, after visiting Wyoming, in 1755, describes the capture of an Indian, who "begged his life, but (shocking to me) they shot him in the midst of them, scalped him, and threw his body into the river." Two months after the Connecticut settlers were slaughtered and first expelled form Wyoming the Conestogae Indians,--the ramains of a tribe of the Six Nations--were massacred in Lancaster by the whites. On the 14th of December, 1763, these Moravian Indians, who had lived under the faith of the Government for sixty years, were shot and clubbed in cold blood, and every indignity practiced upon the women and children, whose age and sex plead alike in vain to the avenging hand of
the Paxton men. "They surrounded the small village of Indian huts, and just at break of day broke in upon them all at once. Only three men, two women, and a young boy, were found at home. These poor, defenseless creatures were immediately fired upon, stabbed, and hatcheted to death! The good Shehaes, who was very old, having assisted at the second treaty held with Mr. Penn, in 1701, was, among the rest, cut to pieces in his bed! The Magistrates of Lancaster sent out and collected the remaining Indians, promised them protection, and put them in the work-house, a strong building, as a place of greatest safety. On the 27th of December, these cruel men, armed as before, broke open the door, and entered with the utmost fury in their countenances. When the fourteen poor wretches saw no possible protection nor escape, and being without the least weapon of defense, they divided their little families, and children clinging to their parents; they fell on their faces, protested their innocence, declared their love to the English, and that in their whole lives they had never done them injury; and in this position they all received the hatchet! Men, women, and children were every one inhumanly murdered in cold blood."
This ferocious transaction, the authors of which, although well known in the community, ever remained unpunished, created among the Indian tribes throughout the country a profound sensation, and for months awakened no little solicitude in the head of the Government of Pennsylvania. Governor Penn, justly indignant, and conscious of the great wrong inflicted upon the Indians, whom the official men of the province had sworn to protect, fearing its deplorable effect upon the usually stoical but ever-vindictive savage, promptly and boldly denounced the guilty party as "villainous and murderous", and issued warrants for their arrest, and yet,
although they were living within the county, they were never reprimanded, arrested, nor punished.
The property of these tomahawked natives, consisting of "three horses, two belts of wampum", a number of deeds, treaties, and documents, written on parchment, and signed by Wm. Penn, in 1701, and Logan and others, were subsequently returned to their relatives in the Indian country.
This wanton and wicked breach of faith on the part of citizens of Lancaster and Paxton, contributed to influence the Moravian Indians at Wyalusing and elsewhere along the Susquehanna to remove westward, and had very much to do henceforth toward inspiring a spirit of warfare and revenge along the border, as well as to palliate and excuse the treatment of their captives taken from the whites.
In a message to Gov. Penn from the Assembly, in Feb., 1768, a portion of these outrages are thus enumerated: "In the year 1763, the cruel Massacre of Twenty Indians, chiefly of the Six Nations, were perpetrated at Conestago and Lancaster. In the same year a Delaware Chief meet with the same fate between Sherman's Valley and Juniata. In 1765, a Chief of the Six Nations was murdered near Bedford. In the year 1766, a principal warrior of the Delawares was killed between Red Stone creek and Cheat river; and three Delaware Chiefs were robbed and murdered near Fort Pitt, by two inhabitants of this Province. An Indian was lately murdered in Northampton County; besides the late barbarity committed by Frederic Stump and his servant on ten Indians at Middle Creek. And not one of those murderers have been brought to punishment." England and France having concluded a definite peace in 1763, hostilities ceased throughout the colonial settlements.
In September, 1766, an adventurous trader, named John Anderson,
had a store of goods at Wyoming, for traffic with the red men, and was complained of by the Nanticoke, Conoys, and Mohickons, from the Council Fires at Chenango, in the following manner to John Penn:--"Brother: As we came down from our Country we stopped at Wyoming, where we had a Mine in two places, and we discovered that some white People had been at work in the Mine, and had filled three Canoes with the Ore; and we saw their Tools with which they had dug it out of the ground, were they had made a hole at least forty feet long, and five or six feet deept. it happened, formerly, that some white People did now and then take only a small bit, and carried it away, but these People have been working at the Mine, and have filled their canoes. We desire you will tell us whether you know any thing of this matter, or if it be done by your Consent. We are informed that there is one John Anderson, a Trader, now living at Wyoming, and we suspect that either he or somebody employed by him has robbed our mine. This Man has a Store of Goods there, and it may happen, when the Indians see their Mine robbed, they will come and take away his Goods."
Governor Penn replied that he knew nothing of the mine or Anderson, who had settled in the Indian country without his knowledge or wish. "But you know", addressing the chief, "that notwithstanding all our Care, as it is such a Distance, People may go there and we know nothing of it." The knowledge of this silver mine perished with the race that knew it.
For six years, aside from the intrusion of these explorers and traders, Wyoming was left in its native solitude, and as the intervening years make no history for the valley then in dispute between Pennsylvania and Connecticut, a brief synopsis of the different charters and grants relating to the disputed territory claimed
by the respective parties, and a mere outline of the claim and controversy arising from the same, will not only be expected by the intelligent reader, but it is indispensable to a proper appreciation of the history of the Lackawanna Valley, then within the contested limit. In fact, the earliest history of the valley, could not be complete nor understood without such a general exposition of grants and charters, running along down into the Connecticut claim, from the first grant of land in America, in 1606, by the English Government.
As early as 1606, King James of England, jealous of the ambitious French, advancing to trafffic on the Indian shore of the western continent, divided that part of North America, lying between the 34th and 45th degrees of latitude, into two portions. The northern part he granted by patent to Thomas Hanham and others, who associated themselves for the purpose of opening a trade with the Indians for skins, furs, and tobacco. Forty noblemen, knights, and gentlemen, were incorporated, March 3, 1620, by King James, into a company known as "The Councils established at Plymouth, in the county of Devon, for the Planting, Ruling, and Governing of New England, in America", to whom and their assigns were granted all "That part of America, lying and being in breadth from the forty degrees of the said Northerly latitude from the Equinoctial line, to forty-eight degrees of said Northerly latitude, inclusively, and in length of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the mainland from sea to sea", &c. While the governing powers and privileges of this Plymouth corporation were being exercised in England, the laws and regulations of the body were to extend over New England, which thus derived its name from this grant. Originally embracing all of New England, portions of this vast territory were divided and subdivided, as to subsequently form the New England
States. Each sale and division of property thus effected, had to be ratified by the legislative power in England to make it valid and binding.
A portion of the territory of the Plymouth Company was sold in 1628, and subsequently became the Sate of Massachusetts. Another portion, now forming the State of Connecticut, was transferred to the Earl of Warwick in 1630, who, in March, 1631, sold the same territory to Lord Gay and fifteen others. It embraced "all that part of New England, in America, which lies and extends itself from a river, there called Narrangansett river, the space of forty leauges upon a straight line near the shore, towards the southwest, west and by south, or west as the coast lieth, towards Virginia, accounting three English miles to the leauge; and, also, all and singular the lands and hereditaments whatsoever, lying and being within the lands aforesaid, north and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude, of and within all the breadth aforesaid, throughout the main lands there, from the western ocean to the south sea."
By virtue of this royal grant, a small band of energetic men made the first settlement on the bank of the Connecticut River, in 1633. The last-named grant was sold in 1662 to the Free Planters of the Colony of Connecticut for 16,000 pounds sterling. King Charles the Second confirmed the charter to the Connecticut colony, of "all that part of our dominin in New England, in America, bounded on the East by Naragansett Bay, where the said river falleth into the Sea, and on the North by the line of the Massachusetts plantation, on the south by the sea, and in longitude as the line of Massachusetts Colony running from East to West (that is to say) from the Naragansett Bay on the East, to the South sea on the West part."
These several instruments, taken as a whole, open a full view of the ancient territorial limits of Connecticut.
Forty leagues (120 miles) along the coast from Narragansett Bay toward Virginia, would terminate very nearly on the fortieth degree of north latitude, fixed as a boundary in the original grant to the Plymouth Company and would embrace the comparative little territory of both Wyoming and Lackawanna valleys.
The original charter of William Penn, which granted to him so many of the coal and iron-clad valleys and mountains of Pennsylvania, and which subsequently developed the Pennymite war in Wyoming, dates back to March 4, 1681. "Out of a commendable desire to enlarge our English Empire", &c., Charles the Second granted to William Penn, "all that tract or parte of land in America, with all the Islands therein conteyned, as the same is bounded on the East by the Delaware river from twelve miles distance, Northwarde of New Castle Towne unto the three and fortieth degree of Northern latitude, if the said River shall not extend soe farre Northward than by the said River soe farre as it doth extend, and from the head of the said River the Eastern bounds are to bee determined by a meridian line, to bee drawn from the head of the said River unto the three and fortieth degree, the said land to extend Westwards, five degrees in longitude, to bee computed from the Easterne Bounds, and the said lands to bee bounded on the North by the beginning of the three and fortieth degree of Northern latitude", &c.
The opposing claims of Pennsylvania, as set forth by its agents, Messrs. Bradford, Read, Wilson, and Sargeant, before the Court of Commission assembled at Trenton, New Jersey, in November, 1782, to finally determine the controversy between Pennsylvania and Connecticut regarding Wyoming, will be found in ample detail in the Pennsylvania Archives, 1782-3. They claimed Wyoming
by virtue of the royal purchase of Mr. Penn, who with succeeding proprietaries had negotiated with the Indians for the full and absolute right of pre-emption for all the lands in dispute. They also claimed "that the Northern bounds have always been deemed to extend to the end of the forty-second Degree, where the figures 428 are so marked on the map; the River Delaware being found to extend so far North and farther; the said River, pursuing the East or main Branch thereof, above the Forks at Easton, hath been ever deemed to be one Boundary of Pennsylvania from twelve miles above New Castle, on the said River", &c.
The northern part of the territory granted to William Penn, spread over a part of th western lands before granted to the colony of Connecticut, equal to one degree of latitude through the whole breadth of said grant.
The collisions, running through thirteen years of crimson austerities between Pennsylvania and Connecticut for jurisdiction and right of soil in Wyoming, originated either in great want of knowledge of the topography of America by the English Government, or an unpardonable careless exercise of it in regard to this charter to William Penn, which thus interfered with and overlapped lands already sold to Connecticut. Of this interference, Mr. Penn had notice at the time of his taking out his patent for those lands.
The Indian title to the wilderness overshadowing the Schuylkill and "Lechhaiy Hills" (Lehigh) had been extinguished as early as 1732; and the land about the mouth of the creek called Lechawachsein (Lackawaxen) was purchased of the Indians by the Provincial Government of Pennsylvania in October, 1756; but Wyoming, more isolated in its sylvan solitude, had been reserved by the tribes controlling it, for hunting-grounds or a retreating place long after their intercourse began with the whites.
It was first sold by them, July 11, 1754, as before related, to the Connecticut Susquehanna Company.
It will be readily seen that the charter of Connecticut, embracing Wyoming, was given nineteen years anterior to that of Pennsylvania, possessed and settled by Connecticut with her strong and sturdy sons, and yet, after a deliberation of over five weeks in 1783, the adjusticating commissioners at Trenton, gave an opinion in the matter as follows, that astonished the citizens of both States with its brevity and its bias:--"We are unanimously of Opinion that the State of Connecticut has no Right to the Lands in Controversy. We are also unanimously of Opinion that the Jurisdiction and Pre-emption of all the Territory lying within the Charter Boundary of Pennsylvania, and now claimed by the State of Connecticut, do of Right belong to the State of Pennsylvania." This decision, known as the "Trenton Decree", from which there was no possible appeal or redress, while it decided the question of jurisdiction only, indicated the selfish and illiberal spirit that would and that did ultimately inspire a judicial opinion in regard to the right of soil already held by Connecticut by every essential condition giving validity to a title, viz: grant from the king--purchase of the soil from the Indian owners, and actual occupancy of the same.
Generations have been born and buried since our hillsides and villages, now exulting and expanding in their thrift, knew no tranquility but that given for an hour by the stronger wielded bayonet of one rival party or the other, struggling for mastery of the valley; and even while the Indian wars smote down a father or a son with no shroud but the gloom of the forest, and no grave but some friendly rock yet full of the farewell whispers of the dead; or even when the Revolution came with its burden borne cheerfully and valiantly even here, the Connecticut settlers
had hardly a moment's respite from officious sheriffs, and their often brutal posses, sent out by Pennsylvania to annoy, imprison, or expel the naturally quiet people of Wyoming.
The Connecticut controversy and the Pennymite contention for Wyoming, which had all the grand features of an epic poem, has long ceased to occupy the public mind as it did prominently for a half a century, because less occasion for its existence was known after the final compromising law of 1799 established kind and harmonious relations between the contending parties; but no one can peruse the able works of Peck, Miner, Chapman, or Pearce, or wade through the voluminous official papers of the State, giving such vast variety and abundance of documentary evidence pertaining to this matter, without feeling that the early emigrants from Connecticut who sought out and settled the lands of the Susquehanna and Delaware companies at Wyoming and Wlllenpaupack in the best faith, were shamefully robbed and wronged by unprincipled persons acting by and with the authority of Pennsylvania. The bad spirit evinced by either party, as far as it relates to the history of the Lackawanna Valley, will be briefly noticed in a future page.
GENERAL HISTORY -- CONTINUED
To obviate trouble with a portion of the Indians rendered dissatisfied with the sale of Wyoming lands by the representations of the Penn interests inimical to the sale, the English Government, through its agents in America, held a treaty at Fort Stanwix, near Oneida Lake, in the fall of 1768, with the Six Nations; at which time and place the most friendly assurances were given and received by both parties, and the lands on the Susquehanna were ceded to the English. At the same general treaty, some of the chiefs of the Six Nations, willing to sell their lands
to as many parties and as many times as pay would be forcoming, gave the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania a deed of Wyoming lands which had been sold nineteen years previous to the Susquehanna Company.
Immediately after the close of this Indian Congress, the Susquehanna Company held a meeting at Hartford, and voted to settle Wyoming at once. It was also "voted that forty Persons, upwards of the age of twenty-one years, Proprietors in said Purchase, proceed to take possession of said land by the first day of February next, and that two hundred more of the age aforesaid join the said forty as early in the Spring as may be." For the purpose of encouraging the self-reliant men who were expected to encounter many a repelling wave as they went into this Indian land, the sum of two hundred pounds was appropriated to purchase "proper materials, sustenance, and Provisions for said forty." Five townships, each five miles square, were to be laid out for "the said forty and the said two hundred persons, reserving and appropriating three whole Rights or Shares in each Township for the Public use of a Gospel Minister and Schools in each of said Towns, and also reserving for the use of said Company all Beds, Mines, Iron Ore, and Coals." John Jenkins, Isaac tripp, Benj. Follett, Wm. Burk, and Benj Shoemaker, were appointed a committee to exercise a general superintendence over the affairs of the forty settlers, and to lay out and prepare a road through the wilderness to Susquehanna River. Fifty pounds, Connecticut currency ($167) was voted this committee to build this, the first road opened from the East to Wyoming. This trail or public road followed the warriors' path, and unbridged for swamps and streams sometimes formidable indeed, was simply widened for the saddled horse.
A road had been opened to Teedyuscung's village from
Shamokin in 1759. Wyoming, which lay in serene grandeur amid her mountain shades, had been watched by Governor Penn with an extraordinary appreciation of its importance and relations to his own Province. Not only this, but the fear of a new Colony or Province, distinct from that of Pennsylvania or Connecticut, and comparatively independent of either, to embrace Wyoming and Lackawanna valleys, Wallenpaupack, and Cochecton within its boundary, contributed much toward inspiring the unyielding opposition of Penn to any movement of men aiming to develop the backwoods of Wyoming. After the Proprietaries' purchase of these lands in November, 1768, Governor Penn proceeded forthwith to lease one hundred acres for seven years to Messrs. Ogden, Jenkins, and Stewart, ostensibly to establish an Indian trading post, but really to baffle the efforts of the Susquehanna Company to colonize and settle the territory, and to retain possession himself. "These lessees", says Chapman, "with several other adventurers, removed to Wyoming in January, 1769, and took possession of the improvements made by the Connecticut people, from which they had been driven by the Indians in 1763." The forty persons sent out by the Susquehanna Company from Hartford, arrived on the ground, February 8, 1769. "On their arrival at the place where they had built a log house in 1763, they found Captain Amos Ogden, an Indian Trader, and others with him, had entered into their s'd house. Our Settlers, not willing to use any force to regain the s'd house from him or them, set themselves to build a number of Log Houses, or rather Huts, for their shelter, and went quietly about their lawful business in the peace of God and the King." The forty settlers at Mill Creek were taken prisoners by the Ogden party, carried to Easton jail, seventy miles away, promptly released on bail, and as promptly sought their Wyoming cabins.
In the month of March following, being joined by some one hundred and fifty others from Connecticut and Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, who, finding their comrades at Mill Creek under bonds to appear at Easton Court during this month, stopped at the mouth of the Lackawanack, where they erected some rude log structures for dwellings and defense. When the first party of New England men were on their way to Wyoming in January, 1769, Thos, Bennett, of Goshen, New York, was induced to accompany the party hither. Immediately after the capture and partial dispersion of the settlers at Mill Creek, he went with some "New England men to a place called Lamawanak, and there built a Blockhouse", for the purpose of resisting the aggressions both of the Pennymites and the hostility of the surrounding Indians. After Bennett's arrest by the Pennsylvania authorities, he endeavored to exculpate himself from censure by affirming "that the only reason of his ever appearing in arms at the Fort was to keep Centry somtimes in his turn, when they were under apprehensions of being attacked by the Indians, a number of them beging then there, who appeared very angry and painted, and threatening to roast a Hog in the Fort and have a dance; and that the said Indians carried off a Hog."
"Nothing", says Bancroft, (see footnote) "could restrain the Americans from peopling the wilderness. To be a freeholder was the ruling passion of the New England man. Marriages were early and fruitful. The sons as they grew up, skilled in the use of the ax and the rifle, would, one after another, move from the old homestead, and with a wife, a yoke of oxen, a cow, and a few husbandry tools, build a small hut in some new plantation, and by tasking every faculty of mind and body, win for themselves plenty and independence. Such were they who began to dwell among the untenanted forests that rose between the
(Footnote: Bancroft's History United States, vol. v, p. 165
Penobscot and the Sainte Croix, or in the New Hampshire grants, on each side of the Green Mountains, or in the exquisitely beautiful Valley of Wyoming, where, on the banks of the Susquehanna, the wide and rich meadows, shut in by walls of wooded mountains, attracted emigrants from Connecticut, though their claim of right under the charter of their native colony was in conflict with the territorial jurisdiction of the Proprietaries of Pennsylvania."
Of the forty adventurers plunging into the forest thus disputed, to be greeted only with writs and arrests by the Pennymites, apprised of their coming by swift-footed couriers from the Delaware, none chose to stop and settle at Capoose, yet watched with bow and battle-ax. Hunters and trappers had achieved rare sport along its borders, trodden by game easily secured, but the emigrant, hopeful and heroic as he came from his home, passed by the wigwams, and went with the main body down to the mouth of the stream.
The names of the five original townships laid out here, were Wilkes Barre, Hanover, Plymouth, Kings-town, and Pitts-town; Providence, or "Sixth Town of ye Capoose Meadows", being laid out and added in 1770. Lackawannock was then applied to the country in the immediate vicinity of the mouth of the stream, embracing the village of Asserughney, occupied by the swarthy aborigines. It was in the new laid-out township of Pitts-town, and as its banks were clear of wood for five miles, it promised economy of labor in cultivation, and was chosen for a settlement partly for this reason, and partly because of the unfriendly occupancy of the Mill Creek clearing, a few miles below it, by the Pennymites.
Although all persons from the "Colony of Connecticut attempting to settle upon a Large Tract of Land, within the Limits of this Province, lying at and between Wyoming, on
the River Susquehanna, and Cushietunk, on the River Delaware", were notified at this time by Governor Penn, whose eye was sleepless upon the distant valley, to leave the settlements forthwith, the solitude of the Lackawanna, interrupted only by the low babbling of brooks, or the dull sounds from the Indian clearings, began to attract the emigrant who came hither with all the industrious qualifications belonging to the New England character. In fact, civilization was never carried westward into the wilderness by a more gallant and deserving body of men, than those who formed the vanguard of this frontier settlement. Descending from the same stock of determined pioneers, that wrought out a colony amid the vales and hills of Connecticut, they entered with equal zeal into this new acquisition, hoping to achieve greater conquests with the plow and hard-swung ax, and, if need be, lay the foundation for a grand commonwealth, as other provinces had been laid out before.
In May, 1769, Charles Stewart, Esq., writes from "Manor of Stoke" (see footnote), that he had but twenty-four men to oppose the New England men, of whom "one hundred and forty-six, chiefly on horseback, passed by our houses this afternoon (May 16, 1769), about three o'clock and are now encamped on the East side of the River. From the view I had of those Gentry, in their procession by our Houses, they appear to be at least an equal number of them of the very lowest class, but are almost all armed and fit for mischief."
Such was the language, and such the bitterness of the reception meted out to the new-comers from Paxton, entering the valley.
It was thus amidst king's writs, posses, and arrests, as will be seen, and all the exacting severities incident to
(Footnote: In 1769, Wyoming was laid out into two vast manors by Pennsylvania surveyors, viz: "Manor of Stoke", embracing the east side of the Susquehanna, and "Manor of Sunbury" extending over the west side.)
the backwoodsman's life a century ago, that the Paxton boy forgot his fruitful intervale, and the Yankee forsook his stone-clad homestead in Connecticut, for this inhospitable plains of Wyoming.
Thirty-five of the persons thus described by Mr. Stewart, located near Pittston. Their names were:--
Benj Shoemaker William Leonard Azariah Dean
John McDowell John Leonard John Wheat
Samuel Weyburn Samuel Marvin John Wharburt
John Lee ____ Marvin Jacob Welch
Joseph Lee Rheuben Hulburt Jabez Cook
Thomas Bennett Samuel Clark Ebenezer Nultrip
Benj. Follett John Gardner _____Chambers
_____Cornstack John De Long _____Gore
Daniel Hains John Smith, Esq. his _____Babcock
John McDowell, jr. two sons _____ Smith _____Wright
Benj. Shoemaker, Jr. and _____Smith Asher Harrod
Although many of these men subsequently settled in the more central or lower townships, they at this time located on the belt of ground running in such exquisite beauty from Campbell's Ledge down to the outlet of the Lackawanna.
This so aroused the indignation of John Jenkins, Esq., sheriff of Northampton County, to whom was intrusted a general supervision of the Proprietaries' interest at Wyoming, that he assembled a posse to arrest or drive away the settlers into the cold hospitality of the woods. He "Went to Lacknawanak, near Wyoming, on Susquehanna, in the County of Northampton, where the intruders had built their two houses, One of which was a Strong Log house built for Defense; that the said Intruders betook themselves to their said Houses, and declared they would not give up the Possession of said Lands, but would maintain the same as their own, and put to Death any persons that attempted to dispossess them; that the said Justices, after long and fruitless expostulation, recorded the forcible Detainer, and this Deponent, by their
Orders, prepared to take the said Intruders, and received two Blows from some of them, but having forcd into one of the houses, and taken those that were therein, the rest surrendered, and the whole thirty taken into Custody", and carried over the mountain to Easton jail, with the exception of those who escaped from the sheriff while on the way.
This was in 1769. Having friends in Pennsylvania, they readily obtained bail, and immediately returned to Lacknawanak.
The summer of this year, now agitated and then pacified by the alternation of strength of the respective parties, left the Pennymites in the possession of the valley. During the year 1770 the intestine feud, from which the inhabitants had hoped to be exempt, resulted in the temporary expulsion of the Yankees. The following is "a list of Lackawany who drew in 1770", and were thus expelled:--
Topez Williams, by Silas Parks
P. Williams Prime Alden
In 1771 the following persons "drew lands in Lackawanny":--
Jacob Anguish David Brown Ebenezer West
Peter Daman Martin Weilson Samuel Stubbs, by
John Osborn Elipolet Stevens Austin Hunt
John Depeiw Dan'l St. John Ebenezer Marcy,by
Levi Green Elizar Fillsbury Isaac Allen
Peter Mathews Stephen Wilkox Caleb Bates, by
James Hesdale Richard Woodward Wm. Hopkins
David Sanford, by Sam'l Slaughter
In the Westmoreland Records, from whose musty pages the foregoing list of names is taken, is the following entry:--
"N.B. On the north side of Lackawan, drawd lots, 1772.
Jeremiah Blanchard Samuel Slater Joseph Fish
Abram Harden John Corey Ebenezer Bachus
Richard West Daniel Haller
"Lotts on the South side of the Lackawan river.
Johnathan Corey Stephen Harding Capt. Bates
Ebenezer West Ebenezer Marcy David Brown
David Sanford Augustin Hunt James Fledget
Blood having been shed in the winter of 1771, and both parties having fresh accessions, the contest was renewed with redoubled violence. Men were raised by Captain Ogden "to reduce the Rebels at Wioming". In August, 1771, he "moved on to the forks of Lahawanak and Wyoming paths". He captured the fort by stratagem, sent the Yankees to Easton jail, plundered the cabins, devastated the ungathered crops, and intimidated and suppressed every sentiment friendly to the Connecticut people thus stigmatized as rebels.
In a spirit of vague Christianity he sent "a party of six men to lay on the Sheholey road from Wioming to Delaware to prevent expresses going that way to N. England" after relief.
Dr. Ledlie, under date of August 16, 1771, writes to Governor Hamilton, that "we were just sending off Flour by way of Lackawanack, and that we shall keep the Shehole and Miniskink Paths Guarded to prevent more People &c., coming to them." This Shehole path was the warriors' trail up the Lackawanna to Paupack and the Delaware.
When the Yankees again returned from jail, they made a temporary camp-place above Pittston. Here a spy, "named Jas. Bertrong, was taken prisoner by a party
of Men at Lachnwanack" who reported that fifty or sixty men under Lazarus Stewart and Zebulon Butler, were then defying the authorities of Pennsylvania.
While this strife sacrificed much of the social relations, and retarded the industrious tendency of the settlement, it was not wholly fatal to its growth.
The immediate head or seat of the democratic colony, originally claimed and disputed for by the settlers at Kings-Town, was finally located in Wilkes Barre, where, in or around the fort, the people gathered at stated intervals and held council together; discussed its affairs generally and settled abstract principles of public right and good relating to the interests of Wyoming, with a fairness and freedom that harmonized well with the liberal character of the settlers from Connecticut. The proceedings of these meetings, kept through all the years of peace and war, until Connecticut lost jurisdiction over Westmoreland, were recorded in a written book called the Westmoreland Records. (See footnote)
Settlers were permitted "to make a pitch" or settle in none of the up or down river territory only by the consent or vote of the inhabitants at these meetings; and even then only upon certain stipulated conditions.
"At a meeting of ye Inhabitants of ye townships at Wyoming, in Wilksbury, legally warned and held, Dec. 7, 1771, Capt. Zebulon Butler was chosen moderator
(Footnote: These old records, which once occupied a musty coop in Wilkes Barre, could not be found a few months ago, when the writer sought for them through a clever and prominent official, are the most curious literary fragments of antiquity yet remaining amongst us. These meetings, which gave bith to these Records, were called "Ye meeting of ye proprietors", where all had an equal voice in the deliberations. A "moderator", and "clerk" were chosen at each meeting. This book recorded all deeds of land, &c., and was commenced in 1770, and terminated only with the expulsion of Connecticut jurisdiction at Wyoming, in 1782. We know of no other ancient manuscript, whose publication would link together and afford more insight into ancient times than the three or four volumes of Westmoreland Records, if they can be exhumed. The Historical Society of Wilkes Barre, if not able or disposed to print, ought to be their custodian.)
for ye day", it was voted "that this Company is to take in Settlers on ye following Considerations: that those that take up a Settling Right in Lockaworna, shall pay to this Company Forty dollars, and those that take a Right in Wilksbury or Plymouth, shall pay Fifty Dollars; and those that take a Right in Kingstown, shall pay Sixty Dollors, all for ye use of this Company, etc." A committee was also appointed to take bonds from those who should be admitted as settlers.
Lackawanna, or Lockaworna as then designated, being more remote from the main settlement, protected by block-houses or forts, and from its very isolation, up in the narrow valley, more exposed to wild beasts and Indians, than either Wilkes Barre or Kingston, although enjoying the same federative government, was offered to persons whose courage overreached their means, upon terms apparently more advantageous and easy. Of the original number of two hundred and forty, who emigrated to Wyoming in 1769--all of whom were male--only thirty-five were located along the Lackawanna. In regard to these, who lived within reach of the block-house at Pittston, it was voted, April 25, 1772, by the Susquehanna Company, "that those 35 men that is now in ye township of Lockoworna, shall be entitled to all ye Companyes Right to sd. township."
With a view of imparting to the colony a healthy moral stamina, a committee of five persons were appointed at the same meeting, "to admit settlers into ye six mile township. But for no one of the committee to admit in settlers unless ye major part of said Committee be present to admit", and then to allow only "such as good, wholsom inhabitants" to settle.
December 17, 1771, "this meeting is opened and held by adjournment, voted, that Joseph David Sanford, Barnabas Cary, Elezer Cary, jun., Arter French, John Frazier
Timothy Reine, jun., Stephen Harden, and Caleb Bates, have each one a Settling Right in ye township."
Not only had morality its defenders and advocates among the early settlers, but industry was considered such an essential qualification to the prosperity of the new settlement, that at a meeting of the inhabitants held in Wilkes Barre Fort, in December, 1771, it was voted "that Frank Phillips be admitted to Purchoys a settling Right in Lockaworna, Provided he puts an Able Bodyed man on sd. Right, and Due Duty Equal to ye Rest of ye Settlers".
April 29, 1772, voted "that Samuel Slougher is admitted in as a Settler, in Room of Mortin Nelson, in ye township of Lockoworna", and in January 13, 1772, voted "that David Carr is admitted in as a Settler in Lockaworna, and hes Given His Bond for Forty Dollors."
By the old roadside in Pittston township, on the right as you descend the valley, about three miles up from Pittston, could be seen a few years since the debris of a chimney of one of the earliest cabins of the white man erected in the valley in 1770. It was built by Zebulon Marcy, who emigrated from Connecticut in the spring of this year, in the twenty-sixth year of his age. He was brother of Ebenezer, who came into possession of this rustic dwelling some time afterward.
Choosing this spot for his residence, upon the warriors' path, from its inviting soil and convenient location, his hut, formed from logs in the stern simplicity of the times, subsequently became famous for its genial hospitality.
At the time of the Wyoming massacre, eight years after locating here, Ebenezer Marcy was engaged with his comrades below in the defense of Wyoming from the ravages of the merciless Indians, Tories, and British, when the news that the brave defenders had retreated before the pursuing and mongrel horde, flew through the settlement with astounding effect and rapidity. Hurriedly snatching
her children from the house, and securing a loaf of bread for the supperless fugitives, she fled from the valley on the evening of July 3, 1778, across the mountain to Stroudsburg, in company with all her neighbors thus left feeble and defenseless. "She was", says Miner, "taken in labor in the wilderness. Having no mode of conveyance, her sufferings were inexpressibly severe. She was able to drag her fainting footsteps but about two miles that day. The next day, being overtaken by a neighbor with a horse, she rode, and in a week's time was more than 100 miles with her infant from the place of its birth." The child born at this time, and subsequently married twice, died a short time since in Wyoming County.
Marcy himself was a man of some local prominence in his day, and was chosen the first constable of Pittston, in January, 1772.
Barnabas Carey, whose right to settle in the township was voted in 1771, pitched farther up the valley, where, from the fallen tree and the fresh-peeled bark, he fashioned a cabin to afford him protection from the storms and the wolves. This was the first one erected by the white man above the Falls of the Lackawanna, and the honor of the achievement belongs to Carey. The next year he sold his claim to "the eight meadow Lott in ye Township Lockaworna to Jeremiah Blanchard for thirteen pounds and four shillings."
Constant Searles and John Phillips were among the Yankee emigrants who located in the valley in 1771. Frank Phillips, who was voted a settling right in "Lockaworna" in December, 1771, was the father of John, only fourteen years of age, and settled in the "gore", or wedged-like shape of land lying between Pittston and Providence.
Six year later, Phillips' farm was sold to his son,
John, for thirty pounds, current money. Among the five commissioners chosen to purchase land, whereon to erect the necessary public buildings, at the time of the formation of Luzerne County, in 1786, was John Phillips.
After the Trenton Decree authorized a re-survey of the prolonged disupted lands in the seventeen old certified townships, Pennsylvania sent to Wyoming "200 flints and 2 Boxes of cartridges", because the inhabitants were reported "wrangling". At this time the Pennyslvania soldiers, excited and brutal with rum, and under the command of Captains Shrawder and Christie, began to lay open fields of grain for common pasturage, destroying every thing belonging to the Yankee settlers, while establishing the boundaries of Pennsylvania, regardless of those of Connecticut.
Phillips and his family were among those driven from their farms in 1784, in a manner so graphically described by Hon. Charles Miner in his History of Wyoming:-- "On the 13th and 14th of May the soldiers were sent forth, and at the point of the bayonet, with the most high-handed arrogance, dispossessed one hundred and fifty families; in many instances set fire to their dwellings, avowing the intention utterly to expel them from the country. Unable to make any effectual resistance, the people implored for leave to remove either up or down the river, as with their wives and children, in the state of the roads, it would be impossible to travel. A stern refusal met this seemingly reasonable request, and they were directed to take the Lackawaxen road, as leading most directly to Connecticut. But this way consisted of sixty miles of wilderness, with scare a house; the roads were wholly neglected during the war, and they then begged leave to take the Easton or Stroudsburg route, where bridges spanned the larger streams, still swollen by recent rains. All importunities were in vain, and the
people fled toward the Delaware, objects of destitution and pity that should have moved a heart of marble. About five hundred men, women, and children, with scarce provisions to sustain life, plodded their weary way, mostly on foot, the roads being impassable for wagons, mothers carrying their infants, and pregnant women literally wading the streams, the water reaching to their armpits, and at night slept on the naked earth, the heavens their canopy, and scarce clothes to cover them. A Mr. John Gardener and John Jenkins, both aged men and lame, sought their way on crutches. Little children, tired with traveling, crying to their mothers for bread, which they had not to give them, sunk from exhaustion into stillness and slumber, while the mothers could only shed tears of sorrow and compassion, till in sleep they forrgot their greifs and cares. Several of the unfortunate sufferers died int he wilderness, others were taken sick from excessive fatigue, and expired soon after reaching the settlements. A widow, with a numerous family of children, whose husband had been slain in the war, endured inexpressible hardships. One child died, and she buried it as she could beneath a hemlock log, probably to be disinterred from its shallow covering, and be devoured by wolves."
A small mound, sheltered by a friendly hemlock, lies by the roadside in Wayne County where the little one was buried.
"One shocking instance of suffering is related by a survivor of this scene of death; it is the case of a mother, whose infant having died, roasted it by piecemeal for the daily subsistence of her suffering children."
Elisha Harding, who formed one of this party, says that "the first night we encamped at the Capouse, the second at Cobbs, the third at Little Meadows (Salem), cold, hungry, and drenched with rain--the poor women and
This information was typed and Submitted by: Jean Vineyard
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