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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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tween the proprietors themselves or until his
Majesty's pleasure be known therein. And
as they were well assured that a representa-
tion to his Majesty would be most agreeable
to their government, they did not in the least
doabt but that their proprietors, or their
Lieutenant-Governor, would readily join
with the Eight Honorable, the Lord Propri-
etor of Maryland, or himself, in such a one
as may best conduce to put an end to the
misunderstandings which have arisen between
the governments by reason of the present
uncertainty of the respective boundaries. To
this Gov. Ogle answered that he had believed
that they were invested with a sufficient
power to agree to any reasonable proposals
for the accommodating the present disputes,
and preventing any of a like kind for the
future, and upon that hope had offered the
particular methods mentioned in his letter of
the 23d inst. as very reasonable and the most
proper for those desirable ends. But since
he perceived by their paper that they thought
themselves not sufficiently authorized to join
with him in his just and reasonable proposi-
tions, he hoped that on their return they
would receive more ample powers for their
agreement with him.

Messrs. Hamilton and Georges then say, in
their report, that they saw from their first
waiting on Gov. Ogle, they had no reason to
expect any success in the business they were
sent to prosecute, and that they saw plainly
by his last paper that Gov. Ogle was resolved
to avoid doing everything that might pre-
vent any further differences upon the bound-
aries, and observing the ill use that he
made of their saying that their proprietors
or lieutenant-governor would readily join
in a representation to his Majesty, and that
he had construed those words into their
thinking themselves not sufficiently qualified
to join with him in what he calls his just
and reasonable propositions ; in order to re-
move that objection, they drew up a paper
and delivered the same to him on the 27th
of May, which would have been delivered
sooner but they were obliged to give their
attendance at court when the case of the
prisoners was under consideration. That

paper said they were ready on the part of

I Pennsylvania, at the same time that they
agree upon some reasonable boundaries for

I limiting the jurisdiction of the two govern-
ments, to join with his Excellency in a just
representation to his Majesty of the uncer
tainty of the present boundaries between the
two governments, occasioned by not execut-
ing ihe articles of agreement solemnly
entered into and concluded between the Right
Honorable, the Lord Proprietor of Maryland
and the Honorable the Proprietor of Penn-
sylvania, in May, 1732, and to pray his
Majesty that he would be graciously pleased
to interpose and enjoin the execution of the
said agreement according to the true intent
and meaning thereof, in such manner as his

! Majesty should please to direct. After this
they heard no more from Gov. Ogle, though
they stayed till the 30th of the month.
In the meantime they made the most press-
ing instances to the Provincial Court to have
our people discharged. i5ut that could not
be granted lest it should be understood as
giving up bis Lordship's right to the lands
in question, as appears by the minutes of
these men's case taken at the hearing.
Though being denied any relief for the pris-
oners by the Provincial Court, and Gov. Ogle
having taken no notice of what they said or
proposed in their paper of the 27th, they
thought a longer stay could be of no purpose
and thereupon they resolved to represent to
Gov. Ogle a just reason our government had
to comjjlain of the unreasonable proceedings
of JNtaryland, and the absolute necessity they
were under to take proper measures for the
protection of his Majesty's subjects under
the government of Pennsylvania, and accord-
ingly on the 30th of the month they drew up
a memorial. But the Governor, Ogle, being
said to be indisposed that day, they waited
on him the next morning and delivered it to
him, which he received, and. without reading
it, desired his compliments might be made
to Mr. Gordon and to those that he knew at
Philadelphia, and wished them a safe return.

j In this memorial they enumerated the refusal
of the court to discharge the prisoners and
that they had used all means in their power
to be in some measure relieved from those
injuries and violences done to the inhab-
itants of Pennsylvania, and to procure the
concurrence of the government of Maryland
in measures to preserve the peace. It was
therefos'e hoped that none who entertain any
just notions of the rights of mankind will
blame the government of Pennsylvania, if
they take proper measures for protecting his
Majesty's subjects under their jurisdiction,


from tue outrajres frequently committed upon
them by the people of Maryland, and by du-
tiful representation of their great patience
under those public abuses imploring his
Majesty's most gracious interposition, and
for the meantime should the government of
Pennsylvania, whose principles are well
known to be against all force, and who next
to his Majesty's protection have no means to
defend themselves but the authority of the
several magistrates, to be laid under a neces-
sity for their own safety to avoid what may
be deemed unneighborly or to give trouble or
uneasiness to his Majesty's subjects, pretend-
ing themselves to be under the government
of Maryland. "We do declare that it will
be entirely to your Excellency's not joining
with us in some reasonable and equitable
measures for preserving the peace amongst
his Majesty's subjects inhabiting near the
boundaries of the two governments, and the
unreasonable confinement and prosecution of
our inhabitants who were without all question
taken by your officers within our government
of Pennsylvania, and for that reason had
they really been guilty of any offense ought
to have been discharged."

Gov. Ogle, May 30, 1734 : " It is to be
wished there had never been a distinction
made in your province between the power
you have as Governor in other respects, and
that in affairs relating to your land office.
For the managers of that office not being
restrained by the Governor, they themselves
had liberty to make what encroachments they
pleased, from which alone, I will venture to
say, all the riots and disturbances have arisen
amongst the borderers of the two provinces.
I had the most sensible pleasure when I re-
ceived your letter of the 14th of this month,
wherein you require me to receive Mr.
Hamilton and Mr. Georges, as duly authorized
on behalf of your government to concert
with us such measures as might effectually-
secure peace till such time as the division
lines shall be run, and oar boundaries indis-
putably fixed, the ultimate and only certain
means of putting an end to all these most
disagreeable contentions, or at least till such
a time as his Majesty's pleasure is known
therein, but to my great surprise I found these
two gentlemen so far from agreeing to any '
settlement whatever for preserving peace
upon the border till such time as the division '
lines be run and his Majesty's pleasui-e known
therein, nothing would content them but the
actual running of them directly contrary to the
very purport of your letter, and to our duty as
Governors, which obliges us to join heartily
and sincerely in preserving peace in the

meantime that the dispute as to oar lines is
laid before his Majesty, from whose known
wisdom and justice we have all the reason in
the world to expect a just and equitable de-
termination. As to that humble and dutiful
application, I proposed to be made jointly to
His Majesty to bring all our disputes to
a speedy hearing, their behaviour was so ex-
traordinary, that I shall not take it upon
me to set it forth in any words of my
own but refer you to their own papers for

On the 17th of August, 1734, the House
of Representatives made a representa-
tion to Gov. Gordon that they had been
cruelly disappointed in reasonable hopes
that all disputes about the bounds of the
provinces of Pennsylvania and Maryland
were at an end. They hoped that people
who had settled and improved lands under
the grants of the proprietor of Pennsylvania
and within the constant reputed bounds of
this province, and who have never owned any
other authority but the government of Penn-
sylvania, ought to be protected in the pos-
session of their freeholds until it shall appear
by some legal decision or determination by
some other authority, and as this province
knows no other force but the lawful power
of the civil magistrate, they requested that
the Governor would be pleased to give direc-
tions to the Magistrates and other officers of
the government that will exert themselves in
the protection of the people of this province
by a diligent execution of the laws against
riots and tumults and for the preservation of
the peace within their respective jurisdic-
tions. This was accordingly done by the
Governor, f

During the year 1735 there were many
outrages perpetrated under the lead of
Cressap, who had been commissioned a Jus-
tice of the Peace for Baltimore County, and
made a captain of the Maryland militia.
On the 1st of July, 1735, he, with men,
women and boys, advanced, and with drums
beating invaded the premises of John Wright,
one of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace,
and although Cressap declared his intention
to be to fight Pennsylvanians who had come
over the river, Wright as a Justice com-
manded them to keep the peace at their peril,
and that he would proceed upon his lawful
business unless prevented by force, and by his
firmness deterred them from proceeding to
hostilities. The deposition of Mr. Wright
to the foregoing facts was~ taken in the
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, on the 24th


of September, 1735, Daniel Dulaney, Esq.,
Attorney- General o£ Maryland, being present.
Mr. Dulaney asked whether Thomas Cressap
and his people did not assist Mr. Wright in
carrying off his grain, to which he answered
that Gressap, with those who were armed,
being gone out of the field, the persons to
whom the wagons belonged offered readily
to assist in carrying it to the side of the river,
since they said they were disappointed in
carrying it where it was first intended.* On
the same occasion there was taken before the
Supreme Court, a deposition to the following
facts : That on the 23d of September, a
party of Marylanders had set upon Eobert
Buchanan, Sheriff of Lancaster County, and
rescued some debtors under arrest, beat him
and took him prisoner. This was brought
before the council, who expressed their resent-
ment, and a demand was made on the Gov-
ernor of MarylancV to set him at liberty, a
reward was offered and a warrant issued for
the arrest of the rioters, f

Another aggression was an attempt to sur-
vey lands, bv one Franklin, along the river
side, on the" 6th of May, 1736. He took a
course up the river with an instrument, and
there were men carrying a chain. Cressap
accompanied them with twenty men armed.
Robert Barber, a Quaker, who was at the
house of John Wright, demanded by what
authority the land was surveyed, and was
answered by that of Lord Baltimore. Mr.
Barber said that the land had long ago been
surveyed and returned to the land oflSce at
Philadelphia. Cressap said he had orders
from Gov. Ogle in person to raise the militia
and guard the surveyor from Pennsylvanians.
Franklin said, "My business is to follow the
orders of the Governor of Maryland, to sur-
vey all the lands from the Susquehanna to
the Codorus."^; The affidavits of several Ger-
mans show the wrongs to which they were
subjected by reason of these surveys. Balt-
zer Springier, in the beginning of the year
1733, by virtue of a grant from the proprie-
taries of Pennsylvania, built a house on a
tract of land lying on Codorus Creek about
twelve miles westward from John Hendricks.
He refused to have his land surveyed by
Cressap, who yiretended to have an order
from the Governor of Maryland. But Cres-
sap surveyed it to one John Keller, who
came and settled thereon. Afterward the
Governor of Marj-land and the surveyor of
Baltimore County told Springier, in the
hearing of many people, that Cressap had no

»I Archives, 465-70.
fill Col. Eec, 612-14.
JI Archives, 489.

authority to survey lands, yet he was de-
prived of his land and improvements. Fred
erick Ebert removed from the east side of the
river, and took up a tract of land near Codo-
rus Creek, cleared and improved it and sowed
a field of wheat with intent to build a house
and settle thereon. In May, ]736. the sur-
veyor Franklin, with Cressap and others,
came and surveyed the land to one Ffelty
Shultz, and threw down the fence and de-
stroyed the corn, and deprived Ebert of his
settlement. Michael Tanner, by virtue of a
proprietary grant, dated September 17, 173-t,
settled on a tract of 200 acres of land, six
miles southwesterly from John Hendricks,
and built and improved upon the satue.
Thomas Cressap, pretending to have an order
from the Governor of Maryland, came into
the neighborhood and surveyed upward of
forty tracts of land for Germans living in
those parts. Tanner refused to have his laud
surveyed by Cressap, who thereupon conveyed
the land, with buildings and improvements,
to Daniel Lowe, who, with his family, came
and dwelt in the house, although about the
month of September, ] 735, the Governor of
Maryland and the Surveyor-General told
Tanner that Cressap had no authority to sur-
vey lands.* Many Germans, however, were
induced to accept of the Maryland warrants
and surveys, bttt not finding things as agree-
able as they anticipated under the new pro
prietary, they revolted and acknowledged
allegiance to Pennsylvania.


At a meeting of the Provincial Council
held at Philadelphia, August 24, 1736, the
President, James Logan, acquainted the
Board that he had been informed by Samuel
Blunston that the Dutch people, or Germaos,
who, with others had gone over from this
side of the Susquehanna River to the west of
it, had been prevailed on by some agents from
Maryland to acknowledge the authority of
that province, and had through a consciousness'
of their mistake, voluntarily and unanimously'
signified to him and other magistrates of that
county, their fixed resolution of returning tc;
their obedience to this government, and
acknowledging its just jurisdiction in thosf
parts where they are settled, for that they were -
become truly sensible they of right belonged
to Pennsylvania. Mr. Blunston related that
immediately after the County Court at Lan
caster, which was held the first week of th(
month, some of the most principal note
amongst those Germans came over to hiii

•I Archives, 622-5.


and told him that the whole body of the peo-
ple, except Cressap, and his relations, who
were but three or four men, wei-e come to an
unanimous resolution of acknowledging their
obedience to this governaient, and returning
to their true proprietors. He advised them
to act openly and above board, and that if
they wei-e thus resolved, they should directly
and in plain terms make it known to the gov
ernment of Maryland with their reasons for
their proceedings; that thereupon a letter
was prepared for that purpose, which was
signed by about sixty hands and dispatched to
an officer in Baltimore County to be for-
warded to the Governor of Maryland. At
the desire of those Germans, the magistrates
of Lancaster had two constables amongst
them for the better preservation of the peace.
The four men who adhered to Cressap
I seized Charles Joues, one of the constables,
, and were hurrying him away with an inten-
tion to carry him off, but, being warmly pur-
j sued, they ded and left him. It was given
I out that the Sheriff of Baltimore County was
i to be up with a number of men on Mou-
[ day (the '23d), and that the Sheriff of Lancas-
j ter had apprised him of some other motions
I on the west of the Susquehanna, and was
I taking horse to meet him to concert proper
j measures on the occasion. The Council
1 were of the opinion that those people becom-
I ing sensible of their past mistake, in being
i induced to own the authority of Maryland
' over those pai-ts which lie so very far, viz. :
about twenty miles to the northward of the
1 limits of this province, ought to be taken
notice of, and on their making proper sub-
I missions should be again received. On Sep-
tember 7. 1736, a letter was laid before the
I Board from the Lieutenant-Governor of Mary-
( land in regard to this revolt.*

Gov. Ogle: "This trouble is occasioned
by the inclosed, the original whereof came
to my hands a few days ago, subscribed
with the names of fifty or sixty per-
sons, who some years since importuned
me for the grant of lands under the author-
; ity and government of the lord propri-
etary of Maryland. They were so successful
in their applications that I directed and
! empowered them to settle and improve the
' lands under the government of this province,
: and which they have from that time held and
enjoyed subject to his Lordship's dominion
and authority. But now they seem to think fit
i and resolve, by a most extraordinary kind of
illegal combination or association, to disown
[ their obedience to the government from whom
I they received their possessions, and to trans-

fer it to the government of Pennsylvania.
Whatever reasons I may have to be assured
of this proceeding taking its rise and accom-
plishment from the encourageu-ient and pre-
valency of some magistrates of your govern-
ment, and others pretending to act under the
countenance and authority thereof, yet I must
own my unwillingness to believe those who
have the honor of the administration of the
government of Pennsylvania, would permit or
support a behaviour so contrary to all good
order and rule of the English Constitution, as
must necessarily involve the subjects of his
Majesty in struggles and contentions, incon-
sistent with that peace and happiness his
Majesty so gloriously endeavors to maintain
and preserve amongst others, as well as his

The paper transmitted with this letter is as
follows: " Sir: The oppression and ill usage
we have met with from the government of
Maryland, or at least from such persons who
have been impowered thereby and their pro-
ceedings connived at, has been a treatment
(as we are well informed) very different from
that which the tenants of your government
have generally met with, which, with many
other cogent reasons, give us good cause to
conclude the Governor and magistrates of
that province do not themselves believe us to
be settled within the real bounds of his
Lordship's dominions, but we have been se-
duced and made use of, first by fair promises
and afterward by threats and punishments,
to answer purposes which are at present un-
justifiable and will, if pursued, tend to our
utter ruin. We, therefore, the subscribers,
with many others, our neighbors, being be-
come at last truly sensible of the wrong we
have done the proin-ietors of Pennsylvania in
settling on their lands without paying obedi-
ence to their government, do resolve to re-
turn to our duty, and live under the laws and
government of Pennsylvania, in which
province we believe ourselves seated. To
this we unanimously resolve to adhere, till
the contrary shall be determined by a legal
decision of the disputed bounds, and our
honest and just intentions we desire may be
communicated to the Governor of Maryland,
or whom else it may concern. Signed with
our hands this eleventh day of August, Anno
Domini, 1736."t


There was read at the meeting of the Coun-
cil on the 7th of September, the examination
of Francis Kipps of Maryland, master of a

*IV Col. Eec, 60.
tibid, 62.



sloop then lying in Susquehanna River, taken
September 4, 1736. That on Thursday last,
the 2d instant, in the evening, being in
Baltimore County, he saw Col. Hall, a
gentleman of that county; at the head of a
considerable number of men on horseback
armed with guns, marching toward the upper
part of the said county, that passing near to
Col. Hall, he asked him familiarly if he was
going to fight, to which Mr. Hall answered
he was going on peaceable terms. That
crossing Susquehanna, near the Northeast
Iron Works, he came the same evening into
Cecil County, where he understood by com-
mon report that the march of these men, un-
der Col. Hall, was to give possession to one
Cressap of a plantation of one Wright; that
if the same could not be done peaceably they
were to use force. That he heard the militia
of Cecil County were summoned to meet to-
gether. On the 8th of September, the Gov-
ernor laid before the Board a letter, written
by the direction of Mr. Blunstoa, giving the
Jollowing account:

That after the Sheriff of Lancaster, and
some people with him, who were gathered
together on the report that an armed force
from Maryland was coming up into those
parts, bad waited some time and were dis-
persed, the Sheriff of Baltimore County,
with upward of 200 men, under the com-
mand of several military officers, arrived on
Saturday night last, the -tth of this month, at
Thomas Cressap" s, and on Sunday, about
noon, came in arms on horseback, with beat
of drum and sound of trumpet, to the planta-
tion of John Hendricks. The Sheriff of Bal-
timore, and several of those officers went that
afternoon to the house of John Wright, Jr.,
where about thirty inhabitants of Lancaster
were assembled and demanded the Dutch, of
whom some were then in that house. The
Sheriff' of Lancaster had sent a written mes-
sage desiring to know the reason of their
coming in that hostile manner to threaten
the peace of the province, to which they had
returned answer that they were not come to
disturb the peace of the province of Penn-
sylvania but to suppress riots, and keep the
peace of Baltimore County. Justice Guest,
one of the number from Maryland, appointed
10 o'clock next day to speak with some of
our people, but about b o'clock on Sunday
evening, the multitude from Maryland left
Hendricks with great precipitation, and
returned to Cressap' s. On Monday the
Sheriff of Lancaster sent another message in
writing, requiring them to peaceably depart, j
and off'ering. if any of them would meet the
magistrates of the county with some other 1

' persons, who were on this occasion assembled
with him, and endeavor amicably to settle
the unhappy differences at present subsisting,
that they should be received civilly. To this
message the Sheriff' of Lancaster had returned
to him a threateniog and insolent answer.
Soon after this one John Wilkins, an inhab-
itant of Lancaster County, who had gone
down toward Cressap's, was taken prisoner on
pretense of his having been in a former riot,
and sent under a guard to Maryland. The
magistrates of Lancaster sent a letter to
reclaim him, but they refused to receive the
letter. It was reported that the Governor of
Maryland was waiting in Baltimore County,
and was expected up in those parts, on Sus-
quehanna, with considerable more force.
The Sheriff" of Lancaster had got about ,
150 people together at John Wright's. Jr.,
where they had continued since Sunday
evening. No hostilities had been yet
committed, except in taking Wilkins; but ,
the Marylanders had sent word to our i,
people to take care of their buff's. The •]
inhabitants, though unprovided with arms ■
and ammunition, yet endeavored to defend I
themselves and such of his Majesty's peace ,
able subjects as fled from their houses to J
them for refuge.* j

Benjamin Chambersf deposed that some- j
time in the month of September, 1736, prep- i
arations were making by training and ;
mustering the militia of Baltimore County,
Md,, in order for their marching into Lan- ;
caster County to disposses of their settlements ■
sundry families. He was employed by the '
magistrates to go into Baltimore County to .
discover what was intended by the extraor-
dinary motion of their troops. When he
came to the borders of Maryland, he was
informed that the place of their muster was
near the plantation of Col, Nathaniel Rigby,
at the upper part of Baltimore County, and
repaired thither. He was taken into custody
and kept during the time of the muster, and
held twelve hours, in which he observed a

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 12 of 218)