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Notes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 online

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ing over papers, and those that were of no
account he burned. Others tied in packages
Mid labeled. In 1810 the family removed to
Philadelphia and commenced a wholesale
grocery. Father indorsed for an old friend a
shipping merchant, the ships were lost, and
Father's and as much of my mother's estate
as could be, were taken to pay the indorsement
Then they returned to Harrisburg in the
spring of 1813, rented opposite the court
house where Dock's bouse now stands, lived
there two years then moved to the house
which stands between the house lately Mr.
Hamilton Alricks and the house of Mr. Wm.
Brady, the jeweler. Father wrote deeds and
other conveyances and held the office of Jus-
tice of the Peace. His office was a frame
building fronting on the court house pave-
ment where Brant's hall now stands. One
evening the last of November, 1818, as be
was coming home, it had been a rainy day and
the stones on the crossing at Third and Mar-
ket streets, were large and round, full of ice
and slippery as glass, be fell. By this acci-
dent he fractured one of bis ancles. His
death from this accident was from lockjaw
December 9, 1818.

Harrisburg, June, 1874.


14. Benjamin Maykb issued the Harris-
burg Zeitung in March, 1794, a German pa-
per which soon became a prime factor in the
social and political life of the town. Mayer
was a vigorous politician, wielding consider-
able personal influence, although he never
held office. His office was at the southeast
•corner of Chestnut street and Dewberry
alley. He was the son of Isaac and Catha-
rine Mayer, and died at Harrisburg May 18,
1824, in his 62d year.

15. William Duank was a native of the
State of New York where he was born in
1760 and died in Philadelphia in 1835. A
man of vigorous mind, bold and facile pen,
of fine culture and high social position. He
was editor of the Aurora, at Philadelphia,
the mouth piece of President Jefferson, and
the leading political journal of the country
— certainly of this State, at the moment of
which Kean writes.

Family Record. — In connection with the
foregoing autobiography, it is proper to give
the following, derived principally from a
Bible belonging to John Kean, Jr. :

John Kean, Sen'r., was born at Bally-
mony, in the Kingdom of Ireland, the 5th
day of July, 1728, and came into Pennsyl-
vania about 1 4 years of age. Died at Har-
risburg 28tb May, 1801, aged 73 years.

Mary Dunlap, his wife, was born in Ire-
land, near Cloiher, in the year 1723, and
came into Pennsylvania at about 22 years of
age. Died July 9th, 1819, aged 98 years.

John Kean was born in the city of Phila-
delphia, October 3d, A. D. 1762. Died at
Harrisburg December 9th, A. D. 1818, aged
56 years, two months and 6 days.

Mary, the daughter of Robert and Elea-
nor Whitehill, of Cumberland County, in
Pennsylvania, was born Feb'y. 7, 1762; on
1st May, 1786, was married to John Kean;
and died Sept 11th, 1787, leaving one
daughter named Eleanor.

Eleanor Kean was born at Harrisburg, in
Penn'a, Feb'y 1st, 1787, and died May
30th, 1865, at Hummelstown, aged 78 years,
3 months, and 30 days.

Jane Hamilton, the second wife of John
Kean. was a daughter of Capt John Hamil-
ton, was born in Cumberland, now Juniata,
County, Penn'a, June 1st, 1774;' and died
at Harrisburg, March 20th, 1847, aged 72
years, 9 months, and 20 days.

John Hamilton Kean was born at Harris-
burg, the 21st day of January, 1795, and
diea of the smallpox 14th of July, 1795.

Mary Kean was born at Harrisburg, Feb-
ruary 21st, 1797, and died 21st April, 1803,
aged 6 years and 2 months.

Louisa Kean was born at New Market
Forge, in Dauphin county, Penna., July
30th, 1799.

Margaret Matilda Kean was born at
Palmstown, in the county of Dauphio, Feb-
ruary 17th, 1806; joined the Presbyterian
church in Harrisburg on the 7th or 14th of
July. 1850, and died at Harrisburg on the
11th of October, 1855.

Jane Kean was born at Palmyra, Dauphin
county, January 3d, 1809; was baptized in
infancy by the Rev. James Sharon, of Der-
ry; a Presbyterian in the church in Harris-
burg, under the care of Rev. W. R. DeWitt,
November, 1833: and was baptized in the
Susquehanna river by the Rev. William Mc-
Fadden, August 13th, 1847, and gave in her
name, Jane Duffield Kean.

To the foregoing, the following informa-
tion is added:

Eleanor Whitehill Kean married Dr. Wil-

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Historical and Genealogical.


liam Patton, of Derry township, Dauphin
county and had issue:

Mary Patton married James Clarke, of
Hnmmelstown; died without issue.

Eleanor married, secondly, Christian
Spayd, of Hnmmelstown ; had descendants.
All died without issue except Mary Eleanor
Spayd, who mrrried John Metz, a merchant
of Chambersbnrg.

Lonisa Kean married Gen. Samuel Power,
of Beaver county ; had a daughter, who died

No descendants of Jane Hamilton and
John Kean survive.


HlMrieal, Biographical aaa GoaealoflesJ.


Rhoads, Samuel.— An inquiry comes to
us concerning Samuel Rhoads, who was a
member of the Continental Congress from
Pennsylvania. He was a merchant of Phil-
adelphia, member of the Provincial Assem-
bly, mayor of his native city, and died 14th
December, 1784. A full biography of him de-
serves to be written.


Read, James.

James Read, b. January 29, 1718, in Phil-
adelphia; d. October 17, 1793, of yellow
fever, in Philadelphia; son of Charles Read,
merchant; studied law and was admitted to
the bar in September, 1742. He
was deputy prothonotary of the Su-
preme Court of the Province and also a jus-
tice of the peace. He served in the General
Assembly in 1777 and in the Supreme Exec*
utive Council from June. 1778 to October,
1781. From 1781 to 1783 he was register of
the Admiralty. During the Revolution he
became a resident of Berks county and in
1783 represented it in the Council of Cen-
sors, a body provided for by the Constitu-
tion of 1776, to propose amendments to the
Constitution once in seven years. From 1787
to 1790 he was again a member of the Su-
preme Executive Council, although during
1787 and 1788 he had been chosen to and
was a member of the Continental Congress.
It was during his term in that body that the
State of Fenasyivania acquired the Triangle

on the northwest, giving it a harbor and
coast line on Lake Erie, which was ceded by
resolution of Congress, September 4, 1788.
Shortly .after he removed to Philadelphia,
where he resided until his death. He was
a man of prominence and scholarly
attainments. His correspondence now in
existence, is that of a country gentleman who
could turn from his gardening and his ob-
servation of nature and give his views on ed-
ucation and politics, and criticise current
French and English literature.

Read, Collinson.

Collinson Read, son of the foregoing, born
1751, in Philadelphia; died March 1, 1815,
at Reading; studied law at the Temple, Lon-
don, and admitted to the Berks county Bar
Aug. 13, 1772; was appointed deputy regis-
ter of wills for Berks county, and afterwards
practiced law in Philadelphia. He was the
compiler of the "Digest of the Laws of Penn-
sylvania," published in 1801; was a Presi-
dential Elector when Washington was first
chosen President of the United States.


[The following interesting letter is from
the original in possession of Rev. J. A. Mur-
ray, D. D., of Carlisle. It was written by
Secretary Peters to Conrad Weiser, and is
of unusual historic value.]

Philadelphia, Dec 10, 1753.

Sib: — I am favored with your letters and
am sorry to hear of the return of your sons
without seeing the Shich-Calamys.

I herewith send you one of the late treat-
ies of Carlisle, and could have wished to
have had your inspection of it before it had
been printed, but the Speaker had it all the
while I was at New Castle and did nothing
to the Draught, and when the Governor re-
turned from Lancaster all was in a hurry,
and the ships going to London and Ex-
presses in town from Virginia, and, there-
fore, to save the charges of copying we were
obliged to print it without your perusal,
which I am sorry for. Pray tell me your
sentiments about it as I was obliged, through
the indolence of my fellow-commissioners,
to be the sole draughtsman.

I have desired Mr. Patten to show you a
copy of his Majesties Secretary of States
letter to the Governors of North America,
wrote I suppose on the representations of the
Governor of Virginia, and when wrote no
more thought of. Likewise a copy of a

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Butoriemi and Genealogical.

most cavalier Message from Scarrooyady,the>
Half King, and Canyauguiloqnoa,and others
convened in council the day after fthej ar-
rived from Carlisle, at Shanoppin, full of
drink and under the direction of the lowest
and meanest of the Indian Iradera, And
you may take copias if you please.

However, I think plot against plot is fair.
Hear, therefore, my notion of this matter.
The Six Nations at Ohio desired the com-
missioners to send an account of their pro-
ceedings to Onondago. This last message is
but part of their proceedings. What, then,
if you should go to Onondago and tell of
with a deplorable account of the miserable
circumstances of these Indians and that they
cannot defend their possessions against the
French, and if therefore desired, the Propri-
etors of Penn'a to buy their land and defend
it for them and then desire the sentiments of
the council at Onondago on this proposal
and urge the reasonableness and neces-
sity of this motion and pray their
confirmation of it, or rather approbation of
it, that is of a general release of all the land
between the Susquehannah and the Ohio,
within the limits of this Province, for a sum
of money to be paid at one time, or in an- -
nual payments for 7 years to come, or less
time as they should please. I think, from
she circumstances of die Six Nations and of
these poor Ohio drunken Indians, the thing
may be brought about But pray consider it
well in all its branches, and after taking due
time, say whether it be practicable or no.
The more I think ol it the more I like it, for
they must sell, and will do it now better than
any other time.

I send yon two letters from Mr. Clause
and one for youself. Pray, can he be doing
any good at Col. Johnson's, and if not is it
not better to send for him to come here and
employ him in these Ohio affairs.

Two of thejShawanese were sent by Gov.
Xxlenn and are put under the care of Mr.
John Patten, who was taken prisoner at
Fort tyiamis by the French, and sent to
Rochel, and was at Paris and London ; is a
sensible man and in his journey by your
house to Carlisle, where he will meet the In-
dians and go along with them to Ohio. He
calls on you, and the Governor has ordered
him to show you all his papers. He is co»-
yersable and you may say what you please
to him. The Governor desires you will be
pleased to give him good counsel and full

Whereabouts does the land lye that Clause
says Col. Johnson is going to survey, about
40,000 from the Sackundaga mountain.

I send you the copj of the Indian deed
executed in Lancaster to the Virginia Gov-
ernment obtained from Governor Din widdie
at your request.

I am, Sir, your affectionate humble scr*
vant, Richabd Pbtebs.


The Thompson family, and some branches
of other families in Lancaster county, grafted
into it, were quite remarkable. Near the
village of Smyrna, in Sadsbury town-
ship, Lancaster county, the farm
now owned by John W. Thompson,
Col. James Thompson owned and resided.
He was born in February, 1745. In the year
1771 or 1773 he married Lydia Bailey (1750-
1806) daughter of Robert Bailey, who owned
a farm and resided near the Thompsons.

The Thompson brothers, of whom there-
were several, and the sons, and sons-in-law
of Robert Bailey, Esq., the father of Mrs.
Thompson, took an active and prominent
part in the Revolutionary war, several of
•them were wounded in battle and maimed
for life, — all rose to the position of a line or
field officer. CoL James Thompson moved
to the south eastern corner of York county
at the commencement of the war. On the
9th day of August, 1777, he appeared before
his brother, Andrew Thompson, Esq., who
was one of the Justices of the Court of
Common Pleas for York county, and took
the oath of "allegiance and fidelity," as di-
rected by the act of General Assembly,
passed June 13* 1777.

On the 15th day of September, 1777, the
Supreme Executive Council commissioned
James Thompson Colonel of 1st Battalion
of the York eounty militia. It was signed
jy President Wharton and Timothy Mat*
ock, secretary. Colonel Thompson had
been in the service prior to this date
as a line officer, and his promotion to a col-
onelcy was for gallant service. The follow-
ing certificate throws some light upon his
military career:

. "These are to certify that on the
16th day of September, 1777, Colonel
James Thompson, then jln the service
under my command, received a
bad wound in an action with the enemy near
the White Horse, that I had him carried

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Historical and Genealogical.


from the field on my own horse, bit think-
ing delay dangerous, gave him orders to im-
press horses to carry him to some place of
«afety. " ' * James Potter,

"Brigadier General of Militia.
"Philadelphia, March 10, 1786."

Col. Thompson was permanently disabled
from the effects of the wound he received at
Hie White Horse, when Washington was ad-
vancing with his army from the Brandywine
to Germantown. For this disability he re-
ceived a pension. He returned to his home
in York county where he rendered valuable
aid in the civil service, on various commit-
tees and in purchasing supplies for the army.

After a very bitter and violent political
contest he was returned as councillor for York
county in the beginning of February, 1779.
On the 11th day of February, 1779, John
Orr, Esq., and others filed a protest to coun-
eft against the return of Col. Thompson.
General Ewing, who was then a member of
council and was a candidate at this election,
withdrew from his Beat in the council while
the case was being considered. George
Eichelbei-ger, Benjamin Paden, Esq., and a
Bomber of other witnesses were heard in the
matter. CoL Thompson was seated. The
council censured the sheriff and some of the
participants at the election for their miscon-
duct. CoL Thompson returned but fifty-five
(56) miles as the distance traveled from his
house to Philadelphia. This would locate
his residence in the extreme southeastern
corner of York county. His route of travel
must have been in nearly a straight line.
Whether he traveled any greater distance or
mot, he probably only charged for the short-
eat route.

At the close of the Revolution he re-
turned to Sadsbury township, Lancaster
county, and in connection with his brother-
in-law, Col. John Steele, purchased large
tracts of land upon both sides of Octoraro
creek, in Sadsbury township and West Fal-
lowfield township, Chester county, where the
village of Steel ville (namtd after Colonel
Steele) is now located. They built a grist
mill and a paper mill. Both took up their
residence on the Chester county side of the

Jn 1796 CoL Thompson purchased 246
acres of land in Sadsbury from David Long-
head, who was then living in Kentucky. In
1797 he sold 133 acres, being part of tne
farm, to James Rea, who was a silversmith

(specimens of whose handy work is now in
possession of the writer), and is now owned
by William F. Rea, one of his descendants.
Col. Thompson, although always suffering
from the wound he received at the White
Horse, was a very active business man, and
a large landholder, and he gave much of his
leisure time to agricultural pursuits. His
losses in the paper and milling business were
heavy, and at the time of his death, on Oc-
tober 3d, 1807, his estate was very much em-
barrassed. His wife, Lydia, died December
1st, 1806. Both were buried at Middle Oc-
toraro church (Presbyterian), in Bart town-
ship, which is located near one of the
branches of the Octoraro, a little west of the
Green Tree Tavern. I am not certain,
whether Col. Thompson and his wife died
upon his farm at Steelviile or the one now
owned by the Maxwells or Reas in Sads-
bury, being part of the Longhead farm.
CoL Thompson left several children, one of
whom was Andrew, who was commissioned
captain in First company of 97th regiment,
First brigade, Third division of militia, of
Chester and Delaware counties, by Gov. Mc-
Kean in 1803, and in the year 1809 he was.
promoted to Major of the First Battalion of
the 97th Regiment by Gov. Snyder.

Andrew Thompson, a grandson of Cre
James, was a member of the Legislate
from Lancaster county in 1843.

Col. James Thompson left issue:

1. Elizabeth, 1774; m. Capt Jamea.
Paxton, who had one daughter who died in

2. William, 1776—1783.

3. Robert, 1778—1810.

4. Andrew, 1781—1850, Major in 97th
Regiment, Chester county militia 1809.

5. Francis, 1783—1820; m. Mary Black,
and had 3 children.

6. James, 1785—1785.

7. James, 1788—1809.

8. William, 1790—1793.

9. Jacob B., 1792—1855, m. Mary Clay-
ton and had 7 children.

Frank Thompson, who now resides upon
some of Col. Thompson's land in Sadsbury,
is a grandson of Col. James T.

CoL Thompson deserves a much more ex*
tended notice at my hands. His military and
civil career have never been fully told, and
he deserved honorable mention in history.
Andrew Thompson, Esq., a brother of CoL
James, also removed to York county prior to
the Revolution. On J une 1 0th, 1777, he was.

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Historical and Genealogical.

Appointed one of the Justices of tbe Court of
Common Pleas, before whom a large number
of persons took the oath oi • 'allegiance and
fidelity" to Penna. His brother CoL James
took the oath before him on tbe 19th day of
August, 1777, and is the second person who
took the oath before him.

On September 8th. 1784, he was again
commissioned one of the Justices, and in No-
vember, 1784, was commissioned one of the
Common Pleas Judges for York coounty.
Among the descendants of CoL James Thomp-
son they seem to have been under the im-
pression that Andrew and James both
lived in that part of York county
now embraced within the limits of Adams
county. This evidently is an error so far as
James is concerned, and probably as to An-
drew also. On page 304, Vol. XII of Colo-
nial Records, Col. Thompson filed bis ac-
count as Councillor, and he gives the dis-
tance direct — traveled from Philadelphia to
bis residence — as 55 miles, and in the fall of
1779 when he was ordered to make large pur-
chases of flour, he either purchased or stored
the flour at Peach Bottom, which is about
sixty miles from Philadelphia. Being di-
rected by the Supreme Executive Council to
make these purchases, it is presumed that he
made them in his own neighborhood.

Col. Robert Thompson,
{brother of Col. James) whose wife's name
was Mary, about the year 1764, purchased
several acies of land from Thomas and Wil-
liam Smith, who built "Martiek" furnace,
and laid out a town along the great valley
Toad, which leads from Chester Valley to
McCall's Ferry, on the Susquehanna river,
■at a point where the West Middle branch of
the Octoraro crosses this road, and no at
known as the "Green Tree Tavern," in Bart
township. This branch has its rise at the
copper mines. Thompson established a
common country store where the Qreen
Tree Tavern is, and in a year or
two he erected the tavern which he
also kept in connection with his store. It
became the most important tavern and busi-
ness place in that section of the country, a
prestige it maintained for a hundred years.
The entire settlement around it was com-
posed of covenanters and Scotch-Irish Pres-
byterians. Tavern keepers at this period
•were very important personages and exerted
.great influence in the community. Then

there were no banks of discount and deposit
in every town of considerable size as there
.are now. These old-time tavern keepers
loaned out money and acted as bankers for
the neighborhood, and their taverns were
the only public places of resort where the
people assembled to discuss political matters.
When these landlords were patriotic like the
Thompsons their political influence was very
great He was one of the flrat and most influen-
tial persons in the southeastern section of Lan-
Lancaster county to embrace the cause of
the patriots. He was lieutenant colonel of
the Third Battalion of Militia in 1776, and
was appointed sub. lieutenant of the county,
and when on active duty died in 1779, leav-
ing a widow and seven children, to wit:

1. James.

2. Jane, married to William Ramsey (who
was 1st lieutenant in Captain John Pax ton's
company, in the 2d Battalion of Lancaster
county militia 1777, commanded by CoL
James Watson and was in the battle of
Brandywine September 11, 1777. This en-
tire Battalion was made up from Bart, Salis-
bury, Colerain, Little Britain and Drnmore
townships. Ramsey was a store keeper when
commissioned and probably was interested in
his father-in-law's store).

3. Eleanor who was also married at the
time of her father's death the name of
whose husband I do not know, but presume
it was Patterson Bell, Esq.

4. Robert

5. William.

6. Lilly.

7. Nathan.

James, Robert, Lilly, and William were
under age and unmarried at the time of their
father's death.

Nathan was over 14 years of age, but
younger than any of the others.

Patterson Bell, Esq., was appointed guar-
dian over Nathan and from this circum-
stance I infer that he married Eleanor
Thompson (No. 3.) He was the father of
Hon. John Bell of Tennessee, and was a
graduate of college. He was a Justice for
many years, and deputy surveyor of the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and re-
sided a few miles from the Thompsons.
At the time of Robert T.'s death he owned
three hundred and fifty acres, at and adjoin-
ing the "Green Tree** property. Upon one
of the farms containing 203 acres, there was
a grist mill The tavern placed contained
132 acres.

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Historical and Genealogical.


Nathan Thompson (No. 7) received from
his father '8 estate the "Green Tree" tavern
property, which he kept for many years.

Nathan Thompson, a brother of Col.
James, resided in Salisbury township. In
1785 he purchased the farm of Cot James
Mercer, who resided in Strasburg township,
along Pequea creek. He died in Sadsbnry
township, near where his brother James
resided, leaving a widow Jane and the fol-
lowing issne :

1. Nathan.

2. Miller.

3. Rachel.

4. Ellen.

He directed his friends Nathan Thomp-
son and William Ramsey to divide his land
between his sons Miller and Nathan Thomp-
son. Samuel. Evane.


Some Memories of a Gifted Methodist

Among the many ministers who have oc-
cupied tbe Methodist pulpit in Harrisbnrg
during the years gone by, none made for
himself so large a place in the esteem and
affection of tbe community as the lamented
Cook man. Nor was the regard in which he
was held confined to his own denomination.
He had not long been a resident of Harris-
burg until he had won his way to the hearts
of the young men of that day, whether in
his own church or in connection with other
communions. His genial manners and pleas-
Ant smile and cordial handshake were a pass-
port everywhere, and made him a favorite
among all classes of the people. A peculiar
interest attached to him, too, as the son of
another eminent minister of his Church, who
perished on the ill fated "President"

He came to the old Locust Street church
in 1853, in the full vigor of his early man-
hood, and the building was crowded when-
ever he preached. His voice was rich and
deep, and full of the emotional ele-
ment; and without lacking logical
power, he was a bora orator, and
awayed the multitude by his eloquent
presentation of the Gospel. Who that heard
him can forget that striking sermon upon the
"Cloud of Witnesses," in which he por-
trayed the Patriarchs, and Prophets and
Apostles, and the rest of the sainted dead,
bending down with eager gaze from the bat-

tlements of Heaven to watch the career of
the Christian pilgrim as he ran his course
upon the earth, contending for an imper-
ishable crown! One of his peculiarities,

Online LibraryFrance) Société asiatique (ParisNotes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 → online text (page 28 of 81)