John Gibson.

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

. (page 13 of 218)
Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 13 of 218)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


general discontent among the common sol-
diers. Col. Rigby called for the muster roll,
and upbraided the men with want of duty to
the Governor's orders, and thereupon picked
off" a number of them out of his company,
and commanded them, on the penalty of £"iO,
to meet at the same place next Friday with
arms and twenty charges of powder and balls
each man, to march up Susquehanna

*IV Col. Eec, 63.

tBenjainin Chambers was the founder of Chambershurg,
then being twenty-three years of age. These depositions were
taken under the authority of the Provincial Council, and were
jfansmitted to the agent of the province in London, in support
to the petition to his Majesty.



BORDER TROUBLES.



Eiver to a place called Conejohela. Col.
Rigby said it was very strange that a Quaker
government should offer to resist or oppose
Lord Baltimore, for that his Lordship's
province of Maryland extended six miles
higher or more northward than the plantation
of John Hendricks, which lies on the west
side of the said river, where on the Sunday
following he saw the several troops or com-
panies which came up from Maryland, with
drums beating and trumpets sounding, were
mustering or exercising in the held of the
same plantation, from whence, upon the
appearance of some men in flats coming ()ver
the river from the other side, the troops re-
turned to Thomas Cressap's.*

Robert Barber, one of the people called
Quakers, affii-med on the 11th of September,
that on Sunday last several of the inhabitants
of the Province of Maryland, to the number
of about 30U. .all armed in a hostile manner,
under the command of several officers of the
militia of Maryland, with beat of drum and
sound of ti'umpet, marched up to the house
of John Hendricks. Some of the magistrates
of the county of Lancaster, being at the
house of John Wright, Jr., a small distance
from the said Hendrick's house, demanded of
Col. Edward Hall, who was said to be the
commanding officer, the reason of his and the
said company's coming up there in so hostile
a manner. Col. Hall told the magistrates
that they had no orders to treat with any of
the magistrates of Lancaster County; that
it was by the Governor of Maiyland's order
they came up there, and that thirteen com-
panies of the militia of Maryland were mus-
tered, and that twenty men with officers were
talien out of each company, and he refused to
give any further account. That several of
the inhabitants came to the magistrates very
much terrified and complained that some of
the aforesaid company of armed men had
forcibly broken into their houses and threat-
ened to bm-n them, and took from them
several pieces of linen.

John Ross deposed that he was dispatched
with a written message to the Sherifl' of Bal-
timore County, who was said to have come
up with the militia, to know the meaning of
this extraordinary procedure of the people
of Maryland, and setting forward, with
James Pattison for his guide, he met, within
a mile and a half of Wright's house, a body
of men on horseback to the number of about
300, armed with guns, cutlasses, and some
with pistols, marching with beat of drum
and sound of trumpet. He saw several per-
sons, who were called officers of this militia,



or commanders, whose names he afterward
learned were Edward Hall and Nathaniel
Rigby, called Colonels, and Peca and Guest,
called Captains. William Hammond, Sheriff
of Baltimore County, was with them. He
delivered his message to Col. Rigby, who ap-
peared to be the. principal person ; Rigby
told him thej^ were marching forward to the
house of John Wright. Thomas Cressap,
who was with the militia, seized Pattison.
telling the Sheriff of Baltimore that he was
a £50 chap, and bid the sheriff look in the
proclamation and he would find Pattison' s
name there. The militia, marching on with
beat of drum and sound of trumpet in a war-
like manner, came to the plantation of John
Hendricks, and sent a message in writing to
the Sheriff of Lancaster. Some of the mili-
tia officers came to Wright's house and de-
sired to speak with some Dutch men, Michael
Tanner and Peter Gardner. But these people,
declaring their apprehensions that the Mary-
lauders were come to carry them away, be-
cause they would not acknowledge the juris-
diction of Maryland in those parts where
they were settled, the officers were told they
could not see them. But the Dutch sent a
message to them in ■writing. Ross went to
the house of Hendricks after the militia was
come there, and saw several of them with
their swords drawn at the door of the house.
Toward evening a considerable number of
people, of Lancaster County, came over the
river in three fiats, whereupon the militia of
Maryland beat their drum, and, as he believed,
intended to stand to their arms, for they
marched toward the river in a body, but
after firing a blunderbuss, they thought fit
to retreat to the house of Thomas Cressap.
The Sheriff and Col. Rigby refused to meet
the magistrates of Lancaster in conference.
Ross saw several of the militia cutting bars
of lead and making bullets, and, enqoiring
what use they intended for them, he was told
they were to shoot Pennsylvanians. The
militia of Maryland marched about noon to
the houses of .Joshua Minshall, Mark Evans,
and Bernard Weymont. One John Hendricks,
who was with the militia, found means to
decoy one John Wilkins, an inhabitant of
Lancaster County, who was seized and car-
ried to Cressap's, from whence they sent him,
bound, under a guard, to Maryland. It was
pretended Wilkins was one of those for ■
whom a reward was offered by proclamation.
The people of Lancaster County, who were
met at Wright's house, being gi-own numer-
ous, and resolving to stand upon their de-
fense, the militia of Maryland did not think
fit to attack them, but separated in two bod-



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY.



iea, one of which went with the sheriff to
the houses of some Dutch men, where they
took some linen and pewter on pretense of
public dues owing to the government of
Maryland. The other body went toward
Maryland.* Daniel Southerland deposed
tbat he was at the house of Thomas Cressap,
when the 300 men who came up from Mary-
land were there. That the men who were
called the soldiers blamed Cressap very much
for the disturbances that had happened in
those parts, and they did not think they were
obliged to go fight with the people of Penn-
sylvania in Oressap's behalf. To which
Cressap swore, and said that they were only
afraid of their mothers' calf skins, and that
it was Lord Baltimore's right he was main-
taining, and he disregarded all of them, for
he had the Governor of Maryland's orders
for what he did. Cressap called Col. Hall,
vho commanded the 300 militia from Mary-
land, a coward for not suffering him to tire
with a blunderbuss upon the people of Penn-
sylvania, who were coming over the river in
a flat toward the Marylanders, who were in
arms. He affirmed that Lord Baltimore
would soon be over in Maryland, and then
he would drive all the Pennsylvanians to the
devil, and the court in Philadelphia would
be called in Lord Baltimore's name.

The invasion of the 300 of the Maryland
militia is a remarkable incident of the bor-
der troubles. It was made after consider-
able preparation. vWilliam Hammond, the
Sheriff of Baltimore County, declared " that
the people of Baltimore County are not come
to disturb the peace of the inhabitants of
Pennsylvania, but to assist and support me in
preserving his Lordship's peace, and our fel-
low tenants, his Majesty's subjects, in their
possessions. " Yet, before leaving, they des-
poiled the houses of the Germans on pretense
of public dues. They also threatened to
burn them. Michael Tanner talked with
them, and they promised, if the Germans
would return, a remission of their taxes till
they were grown better able to pay, and that
they should be better used for the future.
Tanner was to give an answer for his country-
men in two weeks, " but, at the end thereof,
it was threatened, if they did not comply, the
Governor would come up with a greater num-
ber of armed men, turn them out of doors,
and bring up others with him, such as would
be true to him, whom he would put into their
possessions, "f

In the course of the proceedings there was
an answer of the Germans to the Governor of



Maryland, in which, among other things, it
is said: "that being greatly opjwessed in
their native country, principally on account
of their religion, they resolved, as many
others had done before, to fly from it. That,
hearing much of the justice and mildness of
the government of Pennsylvania, they em-
barked in Holland for Philadelphia, where,
on their arrival, they swore allegiance to
King George, and fidelity to the proprietors
of Pennsylvania, and their government.
That, repairing to the great body of their
countrymen settled in the county of Lancas-
ter, on the east side of the Susquehanna,
they found the lands there generally taken
up and possessed, and therefore some of
them, by licenses from the proprietors of
Pennsylvania, went over that river, and
settled there under their authority, and
others, according to a common practice then
obtaining, sate down with a resolution to
comply as others should with the terms of
the government when called on, but they had
not been long there till some pretending au-
thority from the government of Maryland,
insisted on it, that that country was in that
province, and partly by threats of actual
force, and partly by very large promises, they
had been led to submit to the commands of
that government. That first one Morris
Roberts, pretending to be a deputy surveyor
under Maryland, came and run out lands for
them, after which Cressap told them those
surveys were not valid, but that he had au-
thority to lay them out. Then one Franklin
(who took pay of them, but it proved all a
sham, for he understood nothing of the sur-
veyor's art.) Yet, notwithstanding all these
impositions, they had neither grant nor war-
rant, nor would any of those surveyors, real
or pretended, give them one line of a certifi-
cate, plot or draught, nor had they anything
whatever from Maryland more than the bare
possession to claim by, and as any of those
who came to survey were obliged or other
wise they, at their own will and pleasure,
turned the possessors off and put others in
their place." . . . "Now, this being
our case, that on the one hand we are pei -
suaded in our consciences we are clearly with-
in the Province of Pennsylvania, and there-
fore cannot but expect to lose our possessions
and improvements, if we now pretend to hold
them under the Lord Baltimore, and, on the
other hand, from the military force lately
sent against us from Maryland, we are
threatened to be treated by that government
like rebels and enemies to our Gracious
Sovereign, King George, to whom we have
sworn allegiance, if we do not, against those



BORDER TROUBLES.



manifest convictions ot our consciences dis-
own the right of the proprietors of Pennsyl-
vania to what we truly believe belongs to
them, and resist the authority of that govern-
ment, which, were we resolved to do, yet we
should not be able. We offer it to the Gov-
ernor's consideration whether the treating of
a parcel of conscientious, industrious, and
peaceable people, like rebels, for no other
reason than because we cannot own a jurisdic-
tion within the limits of which we very well
know we cannot, where we now are, possibly
be seated, and because we are convinced of
the mistakes we had been fully led into by
the false assertions of persons of no credit." *
A petition, signed by forty-eight Germans,
was transmitted to the President and Council
at Philadelphia, asking that their errors in
settling under the government of Maryland
be imputed to want of better information,
and praying to be received under the pro-
tection of our laws and government, where-
upon the Board unanimously declared that
those Dutch people be received under the
proiectiou of this government, and encour-
aged in their fidelity to it by all proper and
prudent measures. And on the 17th of
September, 1736, they issued a proclama-
tion setting forth the late invasion from
Maryland, in violation of his Majesty's
peace, and just rights of the proprietors and
people of this province, to the great terror
of the inhabitants, and directing the sheriffs
of the respective counties of the province,
and particularly of Lancaster, where these late
commotions had happened, to hold them-
selves in readiness with the posse of their
respective counties for the preservation of
his Majesty's peace and the defense of the
just rights and possessions of his subjects
within the same.f

The following paper was also presented:
Whereas, we. the subscribers, are informed if
has been asserted that the late resolutions of the
Dutch inhabitants on the west side of Susquehanna
Biver, to put themselves under the protection of the
government of Pennsylvania and submit to the laws
thereof, was occasioned by the prevalency and influ-
ence of the magistrates of Lancaster County, Do
voluntarily & solemnly declare that we were chos-
en & appointed by the afs'd Dutch inhabitants
on the west side of Susquehanna River, Opposite to
Hempfield, to apply in our own and their Behalf to
the magistrates of the said county, that we might
be received as subjects of this Government, as we Be-
lieved in our Consciences it was our Duty; and we do
further Solemnly declare & Afiirm that this Asso-
ciation & Return was made of theirs and Our Own
meer motion and free will, without any previous
persuasion, threatening or compulsion from the
Magistrates of the said County, or any other per-
son in their Behalf, so far as we know; and that the



letter signed by tiie bihal)itants afs'd to be Cotninu-
nicated to the Governor of Maryland, was wrote at
their own Request & according to the instructions
Given.
Subscribed the Henry Hendrichs,*

13th day of Sept. 1736. Michael Tanner.
In the letter from President Logan, writ-
ten by direction of the Council, September
18, 1736, to Gov. Ogle, it is said: "And lirst
we must observe you are pleased to say,
these people importuned you for the grant
of lands, under the authority and govern-
ment of the Lord Proprietor of Maryland,
but the sttccess you mention they were fa-
vored with consisted, not, it seems, from
your words, in any grant of lands, but iu
your directions only that they should settle
and improve the lands under the government
of that province, so that all they obtained by
this was that they should acknowledge the
jurisdiction of Maryland over lands on
which we find divers of them had entered
by authority of the Land OfBce of Pennsyl-
vania, and as subject to its government, paid
their levies to the county of Lancaster,
wherein they had been seated, and to which
it is impossible Lord Baltimore either can or
ever could justly pretend any manner of
right. The real merit, therefore, of this it
seems, consists in putting them on transfer-
ring their obedience from their rightful
landlord to another, to whom they stood in
no relation. That we might be the bettej'
able to answer yottr letter we have waited
not only till we could hear of the event of
the military expedition of your forces of
about 300 men in arms, sent up, 'tis
said, against those people, and for some
other unjustifiable purposes, but also that
we might with more certainty be informeii
from whence these settlers were, and how
and when their settlements had been made.
On the last of which we find that they are
generally of those Palatines, who a very few
years since transported themselves from Hol-
land to Philadelphia, and made themselves
subjects to his Majesty, King George II,
under this government; and 'tis atKrmed,
they were so far from importuning you for
any grant of lands that they were, by very
iudirect practices of some emissaries or
agents, pretending authority from Maryland,
sedu<!ed from their duty, and imposed on to
believe they were situated within the limits
of the Lord Baltimore's jurisdiction, but
what applications such persons might make
in their names we know not. . . Your proceed-
ing, in sending up such -an armed force on
this occasion and their invading the posses-
sion of others, where you never had the least



64



HISTORY OF YORK COUNTY.



pretense of claim, either in law or equity,
must indeed prove astonishing to every man
who hears of it, and has any just notion of
the English laws, and the privileges of an
English subject; but as we shall not here
enter into any expostulation on that head
(tho' we might properly ask where five or six
men going without any manner of arms, or
so much as a stick, in their hands, into Mary-
land, to try their challengers' prowess at
boxing,' was twice in a certain letter called
levying war, what terms you wovild think
fit to bestow on this march of such numbers
so aecoutered?) We think it incumbent on
us to acquaint you, that as we are assured
the government of Pennsylvania is vested
with equal or like powers with that of Mary-
land, though it has hitherto with great pa-
tience waited for the decision of the grand
dispute in Britain, which it is manifest your
Lord Proprietor endeavors to delay, yet now,
on so flagrant an insult as this last step of
yours, we cannot but think ourselves obliged
to put his Majesty's subjects under our care,
on measures to prevent the like invasions for
the future. For this province, especially
those parts, are filled with people of more
spirit than to brook such treatment, and if
any mischief ensue on their opposition to
your attacks, you cannot but well know who
must be accountable for it. But further,
while all these contentions are owing solely
to your own projections to carry your Lord
Proprietor's pretentions into lands that not
only never had been in possession, but can-
not possibly fall within Maryland, and for
which, for ending all disputes, he had in the
most solemn manner renounced all claim to,
and to set these pretensions first on foot at a
time when the execution of the agreement
was in agitation, and to continue them while
the whole aflair is under the cognizance of
that high court, the Chancery of Great
Britain, these we say, carry with them such
accumulated aggravations and are so far from
admitting the possibility of a justification by
colour or varnish of words whatever, that
none but your enemies can be pleased with
such conduct."*



THE CHESTEK COUNTY PLOT.

At a meeting of the Provincial Council,
held at Philadelphia, on the 23d of Novem-
ber, 1736, "the President acquainted the
Board, that a discovery had lately been made
of an association or engagement entered into
by several persons living in or about New
Garden, in the county of Chester, who, having



* IV Col. Eec, 78.



received some encouragement from the Gov-
ernor of Maryland, and others in authority
there, had undertaken to oust by force of
arms those Dutch families settled on the
west side of the Susquehanna within this
province, against whom the late hostile prep-
arations of Maryland were intended, and_to
possess themselves of their plantations,
which they proposed to draw lots for, and,
acknowledging to hold them in right of the
proprietary of Maryland, they were to defend
those possessions against this government.
For this end arms and ammunition were pro-
vided and lodged at the house of one Kigby,
in Baltimore County, and everything was
in readiness for carrying their design in-
to execution. On making this discovery,
a warrant was issued, by one of the provin-
cial Judges, for apprehending several persons
concerned in this unlawful association, par-
ticularly Henry Munday, who from the
information given, appeared to be one of the
principal persons in conducting it, and such
care and diligence had been used in execut-
ing the said warrant, that Munday was taken
at his house that very day, when he expected
a rendezvous of the party, and had sundry
papers relating to conspiracy lying before
him, and several letters to persons in Mary-
land on this subject, just finished and readv
to be forwarded, all of which were, with him-
self, secured." Edward Leet, another of
the persons embarked with him in this
design, was likewise apprehended, but
Charles Higginbotham, a principal person in
it, had escaped. Among the papers found
with Munday, was an application signed by
thirty-one persons, stating that "being
informed that there is some vacant land and
plantations near Susquehanna River, that
were settled by some Dutch families, and
that the said land were by them located by
warrants issuing from the Land Ofiice in the
Province of Maryland, as of the right and
property of the Lord Baltimore; and that
since the said Dutch families hath disclaimed
the right and property of the said Lord
Baltimore, and hath taken umbrage under
the proprietary s Penns; that we are
informed that the absolute fee and right to
the said land is within the limits and bounds
of the Lord Baltirnore's patent or charter;
that the lord's chief agent hath and doth
give encouragement for the resettling the
said vacant plantations and land. We there-
fore pray and request, that you will in our
behalf and stead intercede with the Governor
and agent to settle us in such vacant land or
plantations, and we shall all be willing to
pay such fee or rent charge as His Lordship



BORDER TROUBLES.



usually demands, and we shall with our lives
and fortunes defend the same, and be sub-
ject to the laws of his province, and defend
his right, for which service. Sir, we shall be
all your very much obliged. ' '

There was a list of names of several per-
sons ranged in three columns, with the fol-
lowing certificate signed by Gov. Ogle:
"Whereas application hath been made me by
Henry Munday, Edward Leet and Charles
Higgenbotham, and forty-nine persons by
them mentioned, I have given instructions
to Thomas White, Deputy Surveyor, to lay
out, and in the names of the said persons,
200 acres for each person. "

There was a paper signed by Munday
addressed to Messrs Betties in these words :
" November ye 14th, 1736. If instructions
can be sent to Capt. Crissop to return so
many of the names of the vacant plantations,
reserving eleven of the best, which is the
number of the third column, then every per-
son that appears to draw hath his equal
chance. "

" Capt. Crissop send to the parties to come
to draw their lotts by next Saturday. "*

Henry Munday voluntarily offered to a
member of the Council, to make a full decla-
ration under his hand of all that he knew of
the affair. His statement was, that in Sep-
tember, 1736, Rev. Jacob Henderson and
Squire Tasker, of Maryland, lodged at the
house of William Miller, where he met with
Thomas Thompson, brother-in-law of Hen-
derson. Thompson applied to Henderson for
advice in settling a plantation. Parson Hen-
derson referred to Tasker, who wrote to some
one in Maryland to show some plantations
near the Susquehanna, and John Starr and
William Downard joined with Thompson
and received the land. John Starr went
back to Annapolis and procured from the
Governor of Maryland an order to settle for
himself, and the others concerned. That he
was informed the plantations of the Dutch
on the Susquehanna had become vacant by
their disowning the government of Maryland.
John Starr had made a visit there and to the
Governor of Maryland, and was shown by
Cressap a very large tract of good land,
which was enough to supply several families,
and that the Governor would order 200 acres
to be surveyed for each person at four shil-
lings quit rent, and costs of survey and pat-
ent. That he would maintain them in pos-
session and give them a lawful right, and
assured them the land was within the limits
of Lord Baltimore's charter. Munday went
to Annapolis to see the Governor, where he



met Edward Leet, and Charles Higgiii
botham, and joined in procuring an order to
the surveyor of Baltimore County to survey
200 acres for them and forty-nine other per-
sons named. Munday said he never propo.sed
to settle upon any tract of land settled l)y
the Dutch, but to seat some uncultivated
land. The Council were not satisfied with the
statement of Henry Munday, and examined
Edward Leet, who related thut Munday came
to him with a petition signed by several ]ier-
sons for land which Leet declined to sign; that
a few days after Charles Higginbotham came
to him and acquainting him that there were



Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 13 of 218)