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

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Historical and Genealogical.

ciety should send into the interior of
Pennsylvania at least five missionaries, if
practicable, who shall at first itinerate
with a view to the formation, as soon as
possible, of permanent Presbyterian con-
gregations." We do not know to what
extent their appeal for laborers was re-
sponded to, but we have evidence from
subsequent action at different times that
the interest of Presbytery in this matter
did not flag.

In the bounds of the Presbytery of
Carlisle the Presbytery of Harrisburg
was instrumental in reviving aud reor-

Stnizing the almost extinct church of
iddle Paxton, thus forming the flour-*
ishing church of Dauphin. The old
house of worship stood on the high
ground a short distance above the village..
The congregation accustomed there to
assemble had, by removals and deaths,
become greatly reduced in numbers, and
was struggling to keep in existence. In
the fall of 1848, Presbytery sent Rev.
-George R. Moore into the field to labor
as a missionary. A new interest was
soon awakened. The people asked for
a new organization, and Presbytery gave
it to them in 1850. They felt the need
of a new house of worship. Presbytery
took an interest in this and recommended
the congregation to the churches under
its care for aid ' The result was the erec*
tion in the same year of the neat and com-
fortable church now occupied by the con-
gregation, located in the town instead of
half a mile away in the country. The
only other church organized oy the Pres*
bytery of Harrisburg in the bounds of the
Presbytery t>f Carlisle, was the Second,
now known as the Elder Street church,

Great interest was also taken by this
Presbytery in the general work of Home
Missions. Nor was there less mani-
fested in the causes of Foreign Missions,
Church Erection, Publication, Ministerial
Relief and Education. As was also the
case in the Presbytery ot Carlisle, the
subject of education of young men for
the ministry received much attention.
The harvest fields were ever widening in
both Presbyteries, and there was felt *
pressing need of more laborers. In
tracing the history of the Presbytery we
find a very perceptible change taking

place in the views of its members in re-
gard to the Church doing its own work
by means of agencies of its own, instead
ot depending on those of "voluntary
societies." Indeed a change had come
over the entire Church. With its growth
in numbers and in influence and power
there came to the New School body a
growing consciousnt ss of individuality
and an ever deepening sense of responsi*

The Rev. Jonathan F. Stearns, D. D.,
speaking for the New School body, tells us,
in his paper on the reunion, that as early
as 1847 there was a strong sentiment in
favor of the Church controlling the
agencies employed to do her work. He
says that in the action of the General
Assembly of that year "are to be found
the (germs of the whole subsequent policy.
* ♦ ♦ Various causes contributed to
retard for several years the full execution
or completion of the plan. But it was
not dropped or overlooked." In the ap-
pendix of the Assembly's minutes (N.S.)
of 1849, is to be found an exhaustive re-
port on the subject, prepared by Rev.
Edwin F. Hatfield, D. D. In the Gen-
eral Assembly of 1861, the whole subject
was referred to a committee, with Dr.
Mills as chairman. This committee made
a report to the General Assembly of
1852, dealing mainly with these subjects
— Education for the Ministry, Home Mis-
sions and Publication. The discussion
was earnest and protracted, lasting three
days, and "resulted in the very general
conviction that something must be done,
and that quickly, if we would perform
our proper part in carrying forward the
Lord's work, or save ourselves from be*
ing absorbed on the one hand ot losing
our very name as Presbyterian Christians
on the other.! Dr. Steams adds: "The
results of this Assembly were eminently
gratifying to the friends ot progress. The
members went home to their Presbyteries
and churches, feeling that a new era had
at length opened on their beloved Church.
It had now fairly taken its eland as an
independent body of Presbyterian Chris*

Not having formed any independent
organization for the work of Foreign

tl>r. 8tearns— Reunion Vol., p. 6s.

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Historical and Genealogical.


Missions, the contributions of the
-churches for that object continued to flow
through the channel of the American
Board, down to the time of reunion.

This change of sentiment in regard to
the independent management of church
work was not confined to the New
School Presbyterians, but appears to
have been shared by the Congregational*
ists as well, with whom they had hitherto
co operated, The convention of that de
nomination which met at Albany, N. Y.,
in 1852, abolished the "Plan of Union"
as injurious to them. This action was
beneficial to the New School Church,
and ultimately proved a blessing to the
entire Presbyterian Church; for it re**
moved one of the main grounds of sepa^
ration and marked an important stage
really, though, to the actors in those
scenes, unconsciously, reached in the di-
rection of reunion.

Presbytery manifested a deep interest
in the practical questions with which the
Church has ever to deal; such as the dis>
tribution of God's word among the peo«
pie, the proper observance of the Sab- .
bath, &c In time of our country's peril
from rebellion, it was patriotic, fearless,
outspoken. During the latter years of
its existence it had in active operation a
system of Presbyterial visitation, similar
to that in the Presbytery of Carlisle, only
that its visitations were annual instead of
bi-ennia), as in the Presbytery of Car-

We note some statistics given the year
before the reunion relating to those
churches which had formerly belonged to
the Presbytery of Carlisle, or were or-
ganized in its bounds after the division:


In S.

Home Foreign

bers, School

MlAS. Miss.

Carlisle. First .. 843
HarriabVt Vint,
Market Square 218


$347 8144


2826 916

York 854


544 1174

Dauphin 68


18 01

flarrlsbarg, Sec-

ond. JBlder St . 50


The above figures indicate the state of
the churches, and the general spirit of
beneficence — affording evidence of
strength, vitality, efficiency. The other
objects for which contributions were regu-
larly made, were Education, Publication,

Church Erection, Ministerial Relief and
(after the war) Freed men.

Of the ministers who entered the Pres-
bytery of Harrisburg at its formation
from the Presbytery of Carlisle, not one
was present to answer at the final roll
call. Rev. Robert Kennedy had fallen
asleep in 1848, among the people where
the main part of his life-work had been
done, aged 65, Dr. Cathcart, venerated
and beloved, had, at the advanced age of
90, been called to his rest and reward in
1849. Dr. DeWitt, whose memory is
still fresh in the hearts of his brethren
and his devoted congregation, passed
away December 23d, 1867, at the age of
almost 76— when the dawn of reunion
was breaking, and his heart was all
aglow in anticipation of its consumma-
tion and meridian glory. These were the
mini ten who had formerly belonged to
the Presbytery ot Carlisle.

As pastors of Carlisle First, and York
(the former served by Rev. W. T. Sprole
and the latter by Rev. B. J Wallace at
the time of the disruption) were respec-
tively Revs. Conway P. Wing, D. D.,
and Henry E. Niles, D. D. — men of
catholic spirit, whose desires were for
union; whilst at Harrisburg, First — first as
co>pastor, at the time as successor of
Dr. DeWitt, was Dr. Thomas H. Robin-
son — an Old School man by birth and
education, and a New School man by
adoption; a veritable Old-New School
man — two in one, typical of the reunited
Church. As pastor at Dauphin, was
Rev. D. C. Meeker, who longed to see
the two branches of the Church he loved
made one again. TheSecond(BlderStreet)
church, Harrisburg, was without a

On the 4th of May, 1869, the Presby-
tery of Harrisburg took its final adjourn-
ment, prior to doing so having made pro-
vision for being called together by its
Moderator, should there be occasion.
There was none, however, and when its
members next assembled in Presbyterial
capacity, it was in company with the
Old School biethren in the various Pres-
byteries within whose bounds their terrH
torv lay. Of the reunion of the Presby-
teries of Carlisle and Harrisburg we have
next to speak.

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Historical and Genealogical.

Historical, Biographical and Genealogical.


Where is It ?— At the celebration on
the 4th of July, 1788, by the citizens of
Carlisle, in favor of the Constitution,
there was presented to the Federal So-
ciety by Michael Ege a piece of artillery
cast at bis furnace, inscribed "Federal'*
Is this cannon in existence ?

Conner (N. db Q. oxlix),— In reference
to this Note of May 28th, permit me to
state that while it is quite true that my
father, the late Commodore David Con-
ner, U. 8. N. v was born in Harrlsburg,
and that he was the son of another David
Conner, for a time living in that place, it
is a mistake to suppose that his father
was the David Conner mentioned. The
fact is there were two contemporaneous
persons of the name in Harrisburg, dur-
ing the latter part of the last century,
both of whom, having been confounded
together, are spoken of as one and the
same person. The David Conner who
was not the father of Commodore Conner
came from Cumberland county, as men*
tioned in the said Note ; the David Con-
ner who was the father of Commodore
Conner came from Chester county. Bach
one of the two men is shown, respect-
ively, as resident in his own county, in
the year 1785, by the Tax Lists of said
counties, while, in 1788, the original no-
tice in the Carlisle Gazette shows that it
was the Cumberland man who *as then
settled in Harrisbuig; the Chester County
Tax List, for the same year, proving
Commodore Conner's father to be still a
resident of the last mentioned county.
After removing to Harrisburg. subsequent
to 1788. the father of Commodore Conner
died there in the winter of 1792-8, as the
Letters of Administration on his estate,
granted to his widow Abigail, prove. By
an entry in my old family Bible, he
records that he was married to the said
Abigail Rhodes on the 14th of July, 1772.
She was the daughter of Barnabas
Rhodes, brother to Samuel Rhoads,
Mayor of Philadelphia, in 1774, and mem

ber of the Continental Congress. Both
men were sons of John Roades, of Whit*
low, county Derby, England, who emi-
grated to Darby, then in Chester county,
Pennsylvania, in or about the year 1684.
In writing the surname, I give its spell*
ing as found iu each man's signature,
p. s. p. a
RoutlandviUe, Md.

Samuel Smith (N. <6 Q. <#.)— Was
born in the north of Ireland, and came to
Donegal township, then Chester, now
Lancaster county, in the year 1726, and
settled a!ong Conewago creek, at the
point where the present Elizabethtown
and Hummelstown road crosses the same.
He took up three hundred acres of land,
which he subsequently patented, (vide
Patent Book A, vol. 10, page 412, Phila )
This tract laid in Derry and Donegal
townships (now Mount Joy township, )
and upon the eastern side of the Cone-
wago creek he erected a grist and saw
mill. He was an Indian trader also. In
1749 he moved to the west side of the
Snsquehanna river, and was appointed one
of the first Justices of the Court of Com-
mon Pleas forCumberland county in 1750.
He probably settled first in Hopewell
township. After the purchase of land
from the Indians by the Penns, along the
Juniata in 1754, Samuel Smith, James
Lowrey, Daniel Lowrey, James Sterrett
and Edward Johnson, Indian traders,
who all resided in Donegal township,
moved up the Juniata Valley, and lo-
cated three hundred acres of land each,
at "Frankstown." This land was in
Cumberland county at the time. It is
probable that Mr. Smith resided near
Frankstown after 1754. October 19,
1757, he sold his farm, grist and saw mill
al >ng the Conewago to Captain Thomas
Harris (Indian trader), and at that
time he gave his place of
residence in Cumberland county.
The witnesses to the deed, to Harris,
were : Thomas Wilson and John Smith.
John Harris owned the adjoining farm at
Conewago, on the Derry side of the
creek. It is probable that this John
Harris was a brother of Thomas Harris.
Their signatures resemble each other very

8. B.

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Historical and Genealogical.



David Bybks came from the North of
Ireland and settled in Donegal in the year
1780. upon the farm now owned by Jacob
Mamma, one of the Republican dele*
gates to the State Convention. Mr.
Byers died May 20, 1748, leaving his wife
Mary and sons:

i. David.

ii. John; who married Rebecca, the
widow of Robert Galbraitn, the son of
John Galbraitn, who was the brother of
Col. James Galbraitn, of Hope-
well township, Cumberland county.
Robert Galbraitn died in 1747 and left
two children, one of whom, Rebecca,
married Col. Ephraim Blaine, the great-
grandfather of Hon. James G. Blaine.
-Captain John Byers moved to Cumber-
land county about the year 1754 or 56.

Captain John Wiikins also moved to
Cumberland county from Donegal about
the same time Captain Byers went.

John Byers was one of the executors of
Nathaniel Little, who died in December,
1748. Mr. Little owned the farm
along Donegal Meeting House Run near
Marietta, and about a mile southeast from
the Byers farm. He married Jennet, the
widow of William Wiikins, and it is
quite probable that she was a near rela-
tive of Mr. Byers.

Mr. Little, commonly called Ly tie, had
one son, John. The farm upon wbieh he
resided belonged to the children of Wil-
liam Wiikins, in which Mrs. Lytle had a
life estate. Mr. Lytle, by will, and his
widow, attempted to convey in fee
the Wiikins farm to their son
John. The Wiikins' heirs resisted
this claim, which resulted in a litigation
which lasted twenty-five years. Finally
John Little paid them and took a quit
claim deed. The aid of the Legislature
was invoked, which gave Mr. Lytle au-
thority to convey the land to Mr. Her-
shey. A year or two prior to the Revo*
lutkmary war Mr. Lytle moved to Mid-
dletown,now Dauphin county, and owned
a farm in Paztang township. He entered
the mercantile business in Middletown.
This John Lytle has been confounded with
Cap. John Lytle, of Cumberland county,
and "Lytle's ferry" above Harrisburg,
who was intermarried with the Ayres

family. So far as I can learn they were
not relatives.

Mr. Lytle was the uncle of Captain
Joseph Lytle, of Mount Joy township,
who was killed in the Revolutionary war.
Samuel Scott Pedan Lytle, of Mount Joy
borough, is a direct descendant of Cap-
tain Lytle.

The Lytle farm is the same upon which
Peter Allen, the Indian trader, settled, in
the year 1719. In the year 1796 the Rev.
James Anderson purchased the farm from
Allen, and in the year 1727 Mr. Ander-
son traded this farm for one owned by
William Wiikins, where Marietta now is,
and where a ferry was established.

Mr. Allen moved to the eastern base of
the mountain, above Harris' Ferry.

Mr. Anderson died in 1740.

Saxuxl Evans.

Columbia, Fa.

m ^^ •

Who Accompanied Major George Washing-
ton on Bts Pirot Visit to tne Freaen Com-
mander In 1768.

[The following Journal or diary of
Christopher Gist, who accompanied
Washington when a Major in the Virginia
service in 1753, in his tour across the
Allegheny mountains, on a visit to the
French commandant in Western Penn-
sylvania, is to little known that we have
concluded to publish it. The original in
1886 was in the possessiDn of Judge Ship-

Sen. of Franklin, Venango county, this
tate. It is of more than ordinary his-
toric interest ]

Wednesday, 14th November, 1758.
Then Major George Washington came to
my house, at Will's Creek, and delivered
me a letter from the council in Virginia,
requesting me to attend bim up to the
commandant of the French fort on the
Ohio river.

Thursday, 15th. We set out, and at
night encamped at George's creek, about
eight miles, where a messenger came with
letters from my son, who was just re*
turned from his people at the Cherokees,
and lay sick at the mouth ot the Conepo-
cheagne. But as I found myself entered
again on public business, and Major
Washington and all the company unwiN
ling I should return, I wiote and sent

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Historical and Genealogical.

medicines to my bod, and so continued
my journey, and encamped at a big hill in
the forks of Yonghiogany, about eighteen

Friday, 16th. The next day set out
and got to the big fork of said river, about
ten miles there.

Saturday, 17th. We encamped and
rested our horses, and then we set out
early in tho morning.

Sunday, 18th. And at night got to my
house in the new settlement, about
twentysone miles ; snow about ankle

Monday, 19th. Set out, across Big
Youghiogany, to Jacob's cabins, about
twenty miles. Here some of our horses
straggled away, and we did not get away
until eleven o clock.

Tuesday, 20th. Set out; had rain in
the afternoon; I killed a deer; traveled
about seven miles

Wednesday, 21st It continued to rain ;
stayed all day.

Thursday, 22d. We set out and came
to the moiivh of Turtle creek, about
twelve miles, to John Frazier's; and he
was very kind to us, and lent us a canoe
to carry our baggage to the forks, about
ten miles.

Friday, 23d. Set out; rid to Shanno-
pin's town, and down Alleghany to the
mouth of Monongahela, where we met
ourb*sgage, and swimmed our horses
over Alleghany, and there encamped that

Saturday, 24th. Set out; we went to
King Shingiss, and he and Lawmolach
went with us to Logstown, and we
spoke to the chiefs this evening, and re*
paired to our camp.

Sunday, 25th. They sent out for their
people to come in. The Half King came
In this afternoon.

Monday, 26th. We delivered our mes-
sage to the Half-King, and they promised
by him that we should set out three
nights after.

Tuesday, 27th. Stayed in our camp.
Monacatoocha and Pollatha Wappia gave
us some provisions. We stayed until the
29th, when the Indians said, they were
not ready. They desired us to stay until
the next day; and as the warriors were
not come, the Half-King said he would
go with us himsef, and take care of us.

Friday, 80th. We set out, and the
Half-King and two old men and one
young warrior with us. At night we
encamped at the Murthering town, about
fifteen miles, on a branch of Beaver
creek. Got some corn and dried meat

Saturday, 1st December. Set out, and
at night encamped at the crossing of
Beaver creek from the Kaskuskies to the
Venango, about thirty miles. The next
day rain; our IndUns went out hunting,
they killed two bucks. Had rain all day.

Monday. 3d. We set out and traveled
all day. Encamped at night on one of
the head branches of Great Beaver creek,
about twenty-two miles.

Tuesday, 5th. Set out, about fifteen
miles, to the town of Yenango, where
we were kindly and complaisantly re-
ceived by Monsieur Joncaire, the French
interpreter for the Six Nations.

Wtdoesday, 5th. Rain all day. Our
Indians were in council with the Dela-
ware*, who lived under the French
colors, and ordered them to deliver up to
the French the belt, with the marks of
the four towns, according to the desire of
Kiog Shingiss. But the chief of these
Delawares said, "It was true King
Shingiss was a great man, but he had
sent no speech, and," said he. "I cannot
pretend to make a speech for a King."
So our Indians could not prevail with
them to deliver their belt, but the Half-
King did deliver his belt, as be had de-
termined. Joncaire did everything he
could to prevail on our Indians to stay
behind us, and I took all care to have
them along with us.

Thursday, 6tb. We set out laie in the
day accompanied by the French General*
and four servants or soldiers, and

Friday, 7th. All encamped at Sugar
creek, five miles from Venango. The
creek being very high, we were obliged
to carry all our baggage over on trees,
and swim our horses. The Major and 1
went first over with our boots on.

Saturday, 8th. We set out and trav-
eled twenty -five miles to Cussewago, an
old Indian town.

Sunday, 9th. We set out, left one of
our horses here that could travel no fur-
ther. This day we traveled to the Big
Crossing, about fifteen miles, and en-
camped. Our Indians went out to look

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Historical and Genealogical.


out logs to make a raft; bat as tbe water
was high and there were no other creeks
to cross, we concluded to k eep up this
side the creek.

Monday, 10th. Set oat, traveled about
eight miles, and encamped. Oar Indians
killed a bear. Here we had a creek to
cross, very deep; we got over on a tree,
and got our goods ov e r.

Tuesday, 11th. We set out, traveled
about fifteen miles to the French fort, the
sun being set. Our interpreter gave the
commandant notice of our being over the
creek, upon which he sent several offi*
cere to conduct us to the fort, and they
xeceived us with a great deal of complais-

Wednesday, 12th. The Major gave
the passport, showed his commissions
and offered the Governor's letter to the
commandant; but he desired not to re-
ceive them, until the other commander
from Lake Erie came, whom be had sent
for, and expected next day by twelve

Thursday, 13th. The other General
came. The Major delivered the letter,
and desired a speedy answer; tbe time of
year and business required it. They
took our Indians into private council, and
gave them several presents.

Friday, 14th. When we had done our
business, they delayed and kept our In-
dians until Sunday ; and then we set out
with two canoes, one for our Indians and
the other for ourselves. Our horses we
had sent away some days before, to wait
at Venango, if ice appeared on the rivers
and creeks.

Sunday, 16th. We set out by water
about sixteen miles, and encamped. Our
Indians went before us, passed the little
lake, and we did not come up with them
that night.

Monday, 17th. We set out, came to
our Indians' camp. They were out hunt*
fag; they killed three bears. We stayed
this day and



The view elsewhere expressed, that tbe
general movement of the Old and New
School Churches in the direction of union,
as manifested by the action of their
General Assemblies, was anticipated by

the Presbyteries of Carlisle and Har
risburg, the Presbytery of Harris-
burg of the New School Church, and
is fully sustained by their rec-
ords. The movement appears to have
originated in the Presbytery of Carlisle.
This would seem to have been proper— it
was tbe older and stronger body, and
therefore should be the first to move.

In session at Big Spring church, April
10th, 1866, it adopted the following pre-
amble and resolutions:

"In view of tbe growing spirit of
Christian union among Christian be*
lieveis and Christian churches which is
manifesting itself in such a striking man-
ner at the present time; and as a Presby-
tery desiring to place itself in harmony
with this special providence: Beiolved, I.
That we tender our fraternal regards to
the Presbytery of Big Spring of the
United Presbyterian Church; and express
our desire to have fellowship with their
members in the bonds of the Gospel of
Christ. Resolved, II. That the Rev.
Thomas Cretan, D. D., the Rev. S. S.
Mitchell and Elder H. M. Graydon be
appointed delegates of the Presbytery of
Harrisburg; and the Rev. Wm. P. Coch*
ran and JBllder J. A. Crawford be ap-
pointed delegates to the Presbytery of
Big Spring, in order to carry out the
above resolution."

The committee appointed to visit the
Presbytery of Harrisburg and convey to
it the salutations of the Presbytery of
Carlisle at once repaired to the city of
Harrisburg, where the former was in
session. After presenting the preamble
and resolution, of which they were bear-
ers, they were heard in brief addresses, to
which the moderator and a number of
ministers and elders responded. The
Presbytery of Harrisburg then "ap*
pointed Revs. Wm. R. DeWitt, D. D,
and Conway P. Wing, D. D., a commit-
tee to draft resolutions in response to

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