France) Société asiatique (Paris.

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

. (page 5 of 81)
Online LibraryFrance) Société asiatique (ParisNotes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 → online text (page 5 of 81)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

tion till the fall of 1840. Their pastor
having been received into the Presbytery
of Harrisburg at its first meeting, March
3, 1840, they applied for admission, and
were received and enrolled November
26th, 1840.

The congregation of Middle Pax ton —
now Dauphin — is not mentioned as hav-
ing taken any action. It was at that time
very feeble. Duriog its entire history it
had either been connected with Harris-
burg in one charge, or had been largely
dependent on the pastor of the Harris-
burg church for what preaching service
they enjoyed. The subsequent history of
the congregation shows that it went into
the Now School movement.

Such was the division wrought in this
Presbytery by the great schism of 1837
and 1838. Three of its members and four
of its churches went into the New School
body, and with two of these churches the
ministers who were laboring in them,
though not members of the Presbytery of

In our next we shall aim to briefly
sketch the history of one ortoth of these
Presbyteries during the thirty years of
separation which followed.

Historical, Biographical and Uaaaalogtaal


Jamr8 Armstrong Wilson (tf. &
Q. exl )— In addition to the information
given of Captain Wilson,it may be stated
that he graduated from the College of
New Jersey* in 1770, and studied law
under Richard Stockton, signer of the
Declaration of Independence, at Prince-


4 'Christopher S hockey '« Complaint Con-
cerning Mr. Jaetloe Rauueit."

[The following "complaint concerning
Mr. Justice Rannels," as the letter is
endorsed, forms interesting reading taken
in connection with the sketches of the
early Provincial Justices "West ot Sas**
quahannah." The letter is addressed
"To Mr. Attorney General for Cumber-
land County/' whoever he was at the

January 19tb, 1771.

Sir: — As you are constituted Attorney
General for the County of Cumberland,
in Pennsylvania. & as all Infractions of
the Law propperlv fall within your
Sphere, the Illegal Usuage & Treatment
which I have received at the Hands of
Justice Reynolds oblige me to lay before
you the subsequent Complaint; and in
Order to Rive you a right Idea of the
present Case, I was indebted to a certain
Store Keeper, of the aforesaid County, in
the sum of seventeen pounds six shillings
by a ballanced Acc't. Y'r Complainant
is an Inhabitant of Maryland. My Credv
itor took the following Method to obtain
hts Debt, tho' I never refused to pay the
same. He procured some evil disposed
people to steal two Horses & one Mare
out of my Inclosures in Maryland in the
dead time of Night, secured the same, &
sent for the Constable of the Hundred,
in Pennsylvania, and carried them off.
Two days after my Creatures were thus
clandestinely carried away (or rather
stolen), word was sent me by the Con*
stable that three Creatures of mine were
executed by him at the suit of a certain
George Mencer. Mr. Reynolds was

Digitized by


Historical and OenecUogicaU


pleased to Issue Sumons for me to appear
before htm which I refused to doe. Now,
good 3'r, yon will please to observe, upon
running the Proprietary Line, (which is
not jet determined), my House and some
part of Land fell into Pensylvania, and
as we are all still obliged to pay Tax &
Rent to the Proprietary <fe Government of
Maryland, I conceived that I was not
compellable by any jurisdiction of y'r
Province to obey his usurped Authority.
My non compliance, I presume, piqued
his Worship, so that be proceeded forth-*
with to burthen me in the most expen-
sive manner he could devise. The Debt
he divided Into seven shares, which made
the Costs sevenfold . I should have men
tioned before, that upon Notice given me
where my Horses were, I went to the
Constable and offered him two good Free-
holders of Maryland as Bail for the Pay*
m't of the Debt if he would deliver me
the Horses, which he refused, tho' I
cannot therein blame the Constable. Be-
ing reduced to such hard Circumstances,
& unable to seed in my Grain for want of
Horses, I thought it no Trespass to re-
cover my Creatures, which were surrep-
tiously taken from me, in a forceable
manner, by breaking the Stable Door
& taking them thereout. My son, who
was an Accomplice in the act, some time
after they artfully apprehended. After
taking, they tyed him with Cords &
brought him before Justice Reynolds,
who, I conceive, would have committed
him, had i not sent a £40 Bond by
way of Releasm't Now, Sir, I have
given you a particular Relation of all the
Matterial parts of my Complaint, & as
you are a gentleman well veised in the
Law, & as those mal Practices may occa-
sion some severe Reflections on the
Hon'r of y'r Governm'f, 'tis hoped that
you will punish snch unjustifiable strides
of Power, that It may be a Caution for
the future to all Magistrates, and to con
fine them within their due Bounds. I
am, S'r, with all due Defference and Ren
spect, y'r most h'ble & most obed't

Crib. Shockbt.
P. 8.— The Veracity of the above Nar-
rative (If requested thereto) I will make
appear by men of Probity & Charac-


[The following genealogical notes are
published in the hope of securing addi-
tional data from members of the family
not only in this State but in Maryland. ]

Georob Ashman, the first of the name
of whom we have any record, was born
in England about 1665. He emigrated to
Anne Arundel county, Maryland, prior
to 1600, receiving a grant from the King
November 80, 1604, of a farm of 600
acres in Gunpowder Neck, Cecil county,
that Province, which he called "Ash-
man's Hope," and on which he settled.
The name of his wife is unknown, but it
is generally conceded that she was a de-
scendant of Oliver Cromwell, as there is
a tradition in the family that one of the
early Ashmans married a Cromwell.
They had a son named John.

John Ashman was born in Anne
Arundel county, Md., about 1600; mar*
ried November 26, 1718, Constance
Hawkins, whose parents resided in
Anne Arundel county, just across the
river from the Cromwell's, who had come
to this country about the same time as
the Ashmans. She was born about 1608.
They had among other children a son
named George.

George Ashman was born November
8, 1714, at "Ashman's Hope," in Cecil
county, Md. After reaching manhood he
went to England on business for his
father, and while there met Miss Jemima
home in Maryland. Her father and family
Murray, of Edinburg, 8cotland, whom
he married and brought with him to his
accompanied them and at t tied in Mary-
land. Their children were:

t. Oeorae; was born about 1750 In Cecil
county, Md.; married May 15. 1775,
Eleanor Cromwell; in June, 1776, re-
moved from Maryland to Bedford Fur-
nace, now Orbisonia, Penna., and with
Thomas Cromwell and Edward Ridgely,
about 1785, erected the old Bedford far*
nace, the first iron establishment west of
the Susquehanna. After coming to Penn-
sylvania he was commissioned Colonel of
one of the Pennsylvania regiments which
took part in the Revolutionary war. In
1704 he built the stone house at Three
Springs, Huntingdon county, Pa., on a
large tract of valuable limestone land

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

which he had acquired, and moved
thence from Bedford Furnace.

ii. Etiedbeth; m. Richard Colgate, of
Baltimore county, Md.

Ui EUen; m. John Colgate, of Balti-
more county, Md.

to. Sarah; b. In 1767 in Cecil county,
Md. She removed with her brother
George in 1776 to Bedford Furnace, Pa. ;
in 1786 she married Benjamin Elliott.
Their children were (surname Elliott):

i. Eleanor; b. 1778; d. Feb. 13, 1865;
m. October 6, 1808, William Orbison.

il Harriet; b. Oct. 1790; d. Sept 16,
1869; m., Aug. 20, 1811, Jacob Miller of
Huntingdon. Their children were Henry
W., Elliott and G. Ashman.

ui Matilda; b. 1792; m., March 28,1816,
Dr. James Stewart of Huntingdon
caunty, who afterwards removed to Ins
diana county, Pa. They had one son,
William M. Stewart, residing in Phila-

There is in the possession of Richard
Ashman, grandson of Col George Ash-
man, at Three Springs, Huntingdon
county, Pa., an old looking glass said to
be two hundred years old, on the frame
of which is a double coat of arms, indi-
cating the union of two families. One
of these is the A sh man arms and corre-
sponds with the paintings now possessed
by the different members of the family.
The original painting from which the
copies have been made is in possession ot
George Ashman, of Phillipsburg, Centre
county, Pa.

Justice* DarlBg the Revolatlonarj Bra.

Reynolds, John.

John Reynolds, son of John Reynolds,
was a native of Sbippent-burg, or that
neighborhood, where he was born in 1749.
Of the three John Reynolds in the Cum-
berland Valley be appears to have been
the more prominent one, "Justice Ran
nels," as he is generally noted. He was
commissioned a justice of the peace prior
to the Revolution, and during the strug-
gle for independence was an active par*
tisan. He was continued in commis-
sion of the peace by the Supreme Execu-
tive Council June 9, 1777, and by vir
Cue of seniority became one of the

Judges of the Court of Common Pleas.
He was a member of the Pennsylvania
Convention to ratify the Federal Consti-
tution in 1787, but voted against the rati-
fication. He was an elder, as also was his
father, of Middle Spring Presbyterian
Church, in which graveyard rest his
remains, having deceased on the 20th of
October, 1789, aged 40 years. Few men
in the Valley left a better record of a
worthy and honorable life than "Jusitce
Ranneis." Descendants reside at Ship-

Laird, Samuel.

Samuel Laird came from the north of
Ireland in his ear-y youth, where he was
born in the year 1782. He appears to
have received a good English education,
and was among the first settlers of the
town of Carlisle. He was commissioned
coroner of the county of Cumberland
Oct 2, 1771, and served two years. Dur-
ing the Revolution he took an active part,
was one of the commissioners for the
county in 1778, and appointed a justice
of the peace Feb. 6, 1779. The Supreme
Executive Council appointed him March
8, 1781, one of the auditors of the De-
preciation accounts, and on the 11th of
October, 1785, he was commissioned pro-
siding Justice of the courts of quarter
sessions, and of the orphans' court. - He
was one ot the burgesses ot Carlisle
borough, May 21. 1787, and under the
constitution ot 1789-90, commissioned
an associate judge in 1791, in which office
he continued to his death. Mr. Laird
died at Carlisle, Sept. 27, 1806 in his 74th
year. The Gazette in its brief leference
to him said, "One of the associate justices
tor Cumberland county — for many years
an upright magistrate, before as well as
since he took his seat on the bench. * *
» * He was one of the first inhabitants
of this town, always active in promoting
its best interests. Society both civil and
religious has lost one of its greatest orna-
ments." Mr. Laird married Mary Toung
daughter of James Young. She was
born Oct. 81, 1741 and died Feb. 4, 1838;
and with her husband was interred in the

fraveyard at Meeting House Springs,
'heir son Samuel who married a daughter
of the Rev. Joseph Montgomery, a mem-
ber of the Continental Congress, was a

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


Prominent lawyer in bis day.
and is buried in Harrisburg.

He died

Beam, Thomas.

Tbomas Beale, tbe son of William
Beale and Mary, his wife, was born in
East Wbiteland township, Chester coun-
ty, Pa., August 6, 1787. His father was
a minister in the Society of Friends.
About the year 1763, Thomas Beale with
his brother David settled in Tuscarora
Valley, in Cumberland, now Juniata
county, where they took up extensive
tracts of land. In 1776 Thomas com*
manded a company in one of the Asso-
ciated Battalions or Cumberland county.
He was commissioned a Justice of the
peace, July 18, 1781, and became one
of the judges of the Court of Common
Pleas, October 27, 1786. He represented
Cumberland county in the General As-
sembly from 1786 to 1789, and opposed
the calling of the Constitutional Conven-
tion of 1789-90, of which body, however,
he was chosen a member lrom Mifflin
county. He was commissioned an asso-
ciate judge of the latter county August
17, 1791, holding the office until March
7, 1800. He died Sunday, January 30,
1803. He was a man of considerable
prominence in public affairs. His son,
William Beale, was a member of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from 1799 to 1806, and State Senator from
the Mifflin and Huntingdon district 1812
to 1816.

Jordan, John.

John Jordan, only child of John and
Catharine Jordan, was born in the north
ol Ireland. His father, who came to
America in 1740, settled in Pennsboro'
township, Cumberland county, dying in
October, 1754, and according to his will
written in 1750, "being arrived at a good
old age." John Jordan, junior, was
probably then thirty years ot age. He
received a good education, and when the
Revolution came on he was in active bus-
iness life. He early embarked in the
contest, and served in the capacity of
lieutenant and captain in the war, his
title of major being due to his appoint-
ment of major of the militia in 1792. He
was twice elected one ot the commission-
ers for the county. In 1783 he was

elected a justice of the peace for the bor-
ough of Carlisle, and commissioned
judge of the court of common pleas
January 8, 1785. Under the
constitution of 1789 90, he was appointed
by Gov. Mifflin one of the associate judges
on the bench in 1791. He died at Car-
lisle on the 5th of December, 1789. The
Gazette in alluding to bis death says:
"He has daring life been a uniform Whig,
a lover of order, his country, constitution
and laws— and in him society has lost a

useful member All of which

offices he discharged with probity, pro-
priety and punctuality."

Agnew, John

John Agnew. son of James Agnew.
was born March 4th, 1782, in Donegal
township, Lancaster couoty, his parents
removing west of the Susquehanna
prior to 1740. John subsequently
located in the town of Carlisle, was
commissioned one of tbe Provincial
justices May 28, 1770, and continued in
that office under the constitution of 1776.
He was a member of the Committee of
Observation in 1774, and was an active
Whig during tbe war; was commissioned
clerk of the court of quarter sessions
Nov. 5. 1777, and judge of the Court of
Common Pleas, Oct. 26, 1784. He died
at Carlisle, April 8, 1790 in his 59lhyear,
and the Gazette in its brief obituary of
him say 8: "He long exercised the office
of magistrate, both before and since tbe
Independence ot America, in which
office he gave universal satisfaction. In
him the community have lost an upright
officer, a worthy friend, and an honest



By the division, as we have seen, Pres-
bytery lost three of its honored ministers
and four of its churches— three of them
strong and influential. Upon its roll
were left the following names of minis
ters and churches, as reported in 1888:

James 8 nod grass, P., Hanover church.

Wm. Pazton, D. D., Lower Marsh

David Denny, W. C.

Joshua Williams, D. D., W. C.

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

Amos A. M'Ginley, P., Upper and
Lower Path Valley.

Henry R. Wilson, sr. t P., Shippens-

John Moody. D. D . P., Middle Springs.

James R.Sharon, P., Pax ton and Derry.

James Buchanao. 8. 8 , Greencastle.

Robert 8. Grier, P., Tom's Creek and
Piney Creek.

Daniel M'Ginley, P., Carlisle, Second.

Robert M'Cocbren, P., Big Springs.

Anderson B. Qaay, P., Monaghan and

Matthew B. Patterson, P., Middle

Thomas Creigh, P., Mercersbnrg.

James C. Watson, P., Gettysburg and
Great Conewago.

Henry R. Wilson, jr., Mis.

Baynard R. Hall,8 S., Bedford.

N. Grier White, P., M'Connellsburg,
Green Hill and Well's Valley.

John Dickey, P., Bloomfield, Landis*
burg and Buffalo.

C. P. Cummins, P., Dickinson.

A. E. Nelson, P.. Upper and Center.

Day id D. Clark, P., Schellsbarg.

Joseph M'Kee, S. S, Newbary and

8. 8. M' Donald, S. S., Cumberland,

Falling Spring vacant

Silver Spring vacant.

Hagerstown, Md., vacant.

Williamsport, Md , vacant

Hancock, Md., vacant.

Hopewell, vacant.

St. Thomas and Rocky Spring, vacant

Waynesboro, vacant.

Welsh Run, 8. 8 , (Robert Kennedy).

Having passed through the conflict and
excitement preceding and attendant
upon the division, and having regretfully
parted with some of its ministers and
churches, Presbyteiy righted itself, ad-
justed its rigging — as would a staunch
vessel that had weathered a storm— and
went steadily forward on its way .and in
the prosecution of its work, viz: caring for
existing churches, and occupying new
ground and organizing new churches.

In looking to the interests of the
churches under its care, its first aim and
effort were to have those that were vacant
supplied with pastors, or, where that
could not be done, with occasional means

of grace, either by supplies appointed
from its own members or from abroad.
In the latter case great caution was exer-
cised, lest unworthy persons should be
permitted to labor in their vacant
churches and sow the seeds of error or
discord. The rule adopted in 1886, prior
to the division, was strictly enforced by
the standing committee on vacant
churches and supplies. This rule called
for the "examination and approval by the
committee of all ministers from abroad
before thev be allowed to labor within
the bounds of Presbytery or as stated
supplies of vacant churches." In this
connection, we would add that Presby-
tery claimed and exercised the right to
examine all applicants for membership by
letter, whether from Presbyteries of our
own denomination or foreign bodies.
Watchful care being thus exsrcised as to
the preaching and the preachers
of the Gospel in its bounds,
Presbytery put forth earnest effort
to develop the spiritual life of the
churches and educate them to more liberal
and enlarged views and practices in re-
gard to the benevolent operations of the
Church, both at home and abroad.

Presbytery's next aim was to occupy
new ground and organize new churches
within its own territory. These were
years of earnest, quiet work and substan-
tial progress in this direction, as well as
in developing the Internal life of the

As in the sphere of nature and of gov-
ernment, so in that of the Church. In
nature, the few days of the season
that are marked by destructive cyclone
and tempest and tornado attract
more attention and call forth more com-
ment than the many days of calm and
sunshine and shower, in which occur the
growth of vegetation, the maturing of
fruits, the io gathering of harvests, the
filling of barns with plenty and the hearts
of men with joy and gladness. The few
years of disastrous and destructive war
and conflict which fall to the lot of a
nation fill many more pages of her his-
tory than the many years of peace and
quiet, during which are witnessed mar*
velous development and progress in the
arts and; sciences, in commerce and
trade, in agriculture and manufacture, in

Digitized by


Historical and Genealogical.


-education and refinement, in population
and in national power and greatness.

Thus is it in the Church. The years ot
peace and quiet may attract less attention
and famish less material for the pen of
the historian, because each succeeding
year may correspond largely with that
which went before. Nevertheless, these
being the years of earnest, faithful toil in
the Master's vineyard are, ordinarily, the
years of the Church's prosperity and

These thoughts are suggested by look-
ing at the work undertaken and the re-
sults secured during these years. This is
especially true in regard to the planting
of churches in hitherto unoccupied fields
and in growing centers of population.
Presbytery had a standing committee
whose special business was to look after
this work — a committee on home mis-
sions within its own bounds. Part of the
destitute territory lay contiguous to the
Presbytery ot Winchester, Va., and the co%
operation of brjthren of that Presbytery
was, in some instances, kindly proffered,
and by ours as thankfully received. For
several years we bad two missionaries
laboring in the rapidly developing coal
region west of Cumberland, Md , where
the sturdy and intelligent miners were
brought together and organized into
•churches, and thus a good and perma-
nent work accomplished. But the work
of organizing new churches was not con*
fined to this region. It extended through-
out the Presbytery.

The following is the order in which
these organizations took place: Hancock,
Md., 1841; Middletown, 1850; Burnt
Cabins, 1851; Clear Spring. Md., 1858;
Pine Street, Harrisburg, 1858; Frostburg,
Md., 1858; Barton, Md., 1859; Mechan-
icsburg, 1860; Lonaconing and Piedmont,
Md., 1861; Newport, 1863; Warfordsburg,

; Httrrisburg, Seventh Street, 1866;

Martinsburg, W. Va , 3867; Chambers-
burg, Central, 1868; Buck Valley, 1869;
and in 1845 the church of Millerstown
was transferred by Synod from the Pres-
bytery of Huntingdon to the Presbytery
of Carlisle. On the other hand the
churches of Bedford and Schellsburg
were, on account of geographical
position and traveling facilities, set

over from the Presbytery of Carlisle to
that of Huntingdon the. year before the
re nnion.

The membership of the churches in-
creased from 8,178 in 1889 to 5,546 in
1870; and the gifts for benevolent objects
from $1,417 to $10,316. Presbytery took
a deep interest in the work carried for-
ward by the various Boards of the
Church, and was ever ready to co-ope-
rate in such ways as were then in vogue.
It was not, however, till 1868 that standing
committees were appointed whose duties
call them to look to the interests of the
several Boards.

The policy was adopted of grouping,
as far as possible, feeble churches, so as
to form self sustaining charges— a policy
which of late has been receiving the
earnest attention of Presbytery's Perma-
nent Committee on Home Missions, and
which, through the efforts mainly of Rev.
Wm. H. Logan, our Presbyterial Mis-
sionary, has been accepted by eight of
our weaker churches, which have re-
cently been formed into three pastoral
charges. This is the policy which is also
being urged in the woik of Synodical
Sustentation, j ust nowgoing intooperation.
The churches which we are accustomed
to speak of as the weaker churches have,
in the main, been rendered so by the force
of circumstances lying quite beyond their
control. Such, for instance, as the emi»
gration of families — sometimes many of
them from a particular community — to
the West; local changes in centers of
population, leading to the building up of
town churches by the depletion of those
in the country adjacent; young men
leaving their homes to seek positions and
employment in the cities and manufactur-
ing districts and t.n railroads, or in the
distant West. The fact that they are weak
should not lead Presbytery to regard
them as unimportant, or fail to care for
and foster them. They may, perchance,
not grow strong. This, in many a case,
is an impossibility. Nevertheless, they
are doiog 'important work. They are
reariog men and women who compose
the very bone and sinew of the strong
and aggressive churches of the land, and
are furnishing more young men to fill
the ranks of the ministry at home and
go abroad as heralds of the gospel, than

Digitized by



Historical and Genealogical.

the wealthy and influential churches of
our large towns and cities.

During the period of which we write
a change took place in the Synodical re-
lations of the Presbytery. Donegal
Presbytery was the child of the Synod
of Philadelphia, when it stood single and
alone on this continent, and was the
highest j udicatory of the Church. It and
its successor, the Presbytery of Carlisle,
never knew any other Synodical connect
tion till 1854.

At the April meeting tbat year, after an
earnest and protracted discussion, Pres-
bytery resolved to Join the Presbytery of
Baltimore in overturing the General As-
sembly to divide the Synod of PhiladeU
phia. The General Assemby, in session

Online LibraryFrance) Société asiatique (ParisNotes and queries: Chiefly relating to Interior Pennsylvania, Volume 2 → online text (page 5 of 81)