Morton L. (Morton Luther) Montgomery.

Historical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. online

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Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 11 of 227)
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They migrated through Chester county till they
crossed the South Mountain, and though some of
them reached a point beyond the mountain before
the purchase of the territory from the Indians in
1732, yet the most of them entered this district im-
mediately afterward. The Swedes did riot have a
township named after any of their places, but the
Welsh were earnest in this behalf, having named
three townships, Caernarvon, Cumru and Brecknock.

The Welsh had purchased from Penn in England,
before 1700, a large body of land, aggregating 40,-
000 acres, to be selected in Pennsylvania ; and these
acres they located to the west ot the Schuylkill.
They settled the country so numerously that, before
1698, they had named six townships in the county
of Chester.

Rowland Ellis was a prominent Welshman who
induced a large emig'ration from Wales to this coun-
try. After having persuaded Thomas Owen and
his family to emigrate and settle in Chester county,
he, himself, in 1686, embarked with 109 Welshmen.
Some of the settlers were named Thomas Evans,
Robert Evans, Owen Evans, Cadwallader Evans,
William Jones, Robert Jones, Hugh Grfffith, Ed-
ward Foulke and John Humphrey. The territory
which lay to the south of the South Mountain and
west of the Schuylkill was gradually settled by these
Welsh people, and they migrated farther and farth-
er up the river during the next fifty years. Before
1740, several hundred of them had settled in the
district beyond this mountain. They were adher-
ents of the Baptist denomination. Their lands were
taken up mostly along and in the vicinity of the
Wyomissing and Cacoosing creeks, and there they
were most thickly settled, the many tracts they took
up aggregating 20,000 acres, before 1752. They
were enterprising, having a gristmill along the Wy-
omissing before 1740. This flowing stream was
appreciated by them for its superior water-power,
and they accordingly erected dififerent factories
along its banks for the manufacture of gun-barrels,
files, etc. Agriculture was the principal employ-
ment. Like the Swedes, they remamed in their first

settlement, southward of the Schuylkill and Cacoos-
ing. They co-operated earnestly with the Germans
in obtaining a new county out of the upper sections
of Lancaster and Philadelphia counties.

Irish. — Persons of Irish nativity did not settle in
Pennsylvania for nearly forty years after Penn had
obtained the province. Penn visited Germany in
this behalf, kindling a strong interest in the prov-
ince ; but it would seem that he did not care for the
Scotch or Irish, not having encouraged them to emi-
grate. Accordingly, neither of these came until
after his death ; and when they did arrive, they set-
tled that portion of the province which lay mostly
along the southern borders, adjoining Maryland.
Though some of them followed the course of the
Susquehanna and settled in Lancaster county, the
great body of them migrated into the country which
lay west of the river. Very few proceeded up the
Schuylkill Valley.

Doubtless the German element in this direction
was not agreeable to them. Hence, they directed
their way to the westward from Philadelphia, im-
mediately after landing, rather than to the north-
ward. No settlement was effected by them in any
of the districts which are now included in Berks

Hebrews. — The same can be said of the Hebrews
in this respect. Their immigration was so limited
and so quiet that no notice was taken of them.
Some of them have been in the county for many
years, but almost entirely at Reading. A number
of them settled along the head-waters of the Tulpe-
hocken at or in the vicinity of Myerstown. Single
individuals wandered to Womelsdorf, and even to
Reading. In 1836 there were six of them at Read-
ing — Abraham Speier, John Siegel, Mayer Siegel,
Mayer Arnold, Alexander Heyman and Bernard

The Hebrews here have been engaged almost ex-
clusively in trading, and used the German language
amongst themselves for many years. Through their
children and local education, however, the English
language has become prevalent among them.

In 1864 the following were in Reading : Bernard
Dreifoos, Solomon Hirsch, Abraham Speier, Mayer
Einstein, Aaron Henlein, Solomon Weil, Marcus
Lyons, Isaac Mann, Isaac Hirschland, Joseph Loeb,
Jacob Levy, Ralph .Austrian, Abraham Arnold,
Aaron Einstein and Isaac Schwerin.

Negroes. — The negro is also worthy of mention.
Slavery existed here to a very limited extent. The
slaves of which any notice was found were owned al-
most entirely by early ironmasters, but they were
few in number. This condition of servitude was in-
compatible with the notions of our early settlers ;
hence it was not encouraged. The farmers had no'

Pennsylvania instituted an early movement for the
gradual abolition of slavery. An Act of Assembly
was passed on March 1, 1780, to this end. The Act
required the owner of slaves to file a statemerit in
the Quarter Sessions' office, giving age, surname,



etc., of each slave. A statement of this kind could
not be found in the office.

Colored people were at Reading soon after it was
founded. It was not, however, till after 1820 that
they became sufficiently strong to form a society
for religious purposes. Some of them owned real
estate before 1800, and long before their enfran-
chisement in 1863, they were orderly, industrious
and progressive.

Descendants of many of the first settlers are
still flourishing in numbers, industry, wealth and
social, religious and political influence in the county,
and they have continued persistently engaged in
agriculture upon or in the vicinity of the original
settlements. Some moved to other districts of the
county ; others to Reading. Many sons and daugh-
ters migrated to the West and settled particularly
in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Wis-
consin, Kansas and Colorado. Some of the sons
•turned to the professions, and others to trades and
manufactures, in which they realized rich rewards
for their industry and well-directed energy. In
tracing down all the pursuits of life carried on in
the county, it is only occasionally that a complete
stranger appears and identifies himself with her
onward movement for any considerable length of
time. This is especially the case in our politics.
The names of the old families are continually on
the surface. Not particularly demonstrative, they
are like expert swimmers in deep water and float
on majestically in the great stream of time, their
heads always visible, their endurance prevailing.


Oeighst. — Where the Indians of this vicinity came
from and when they settled in this immediate sec-
tion of country no one has yet determined. It has
been generally conceded that they migrated east-
wardly hundreds of years ago till they reached the
large body of water which we call the Atlantic
Ocean. As a nation, they were known as the Lenni
Lcnapc (original people). This general name
comprehended numerous distinct tribes which spoke
dialects of a common language — the Algonquin.
According to the traditions of their ancestors, the
Lcnni Lcnapc were an unmixed and unchanged
race, residing many centuries ago toward the set-
ting of the sun, somewhere in the western part of
this continent. For some reasons not explained,
they determined to migrate toward the rising of the
sun. After journeying for a time they arrived at
the Mississippi river {Namasi Sipu^ meaning Fish
River). There they fell in with another nation of
Indians, who were also in quest of a new home to
the eastward. Those were the Mengzi'c, or, as they
have been named by the French, the Iroquois. At
that river both nations united their forces, because
they anticipated opposition to the east of the river
from the Anigezm, who were a populous race of
gigantic form. Shortly after their union, and before

they had advanced any distance, they realized their
anticipations, for they were compelled to fight many
severe battles in carrying out their determination
to march onward. At last their enemy, the Alligewi,
to escape extermination, abandoned the country, fled
far southward and never returned. The victors
then divided the country between themselves — the
Iroquois choosing the country to the north along
the great lakes and their tributary streams, and the
Lenape taking possession of the country to the south
of them, from the river eastward to the ocean.

The Lcnapc, on their way hither, became divided
into three separate bodies. One body settled along
the Atlantic ocean and the country adjacent for
some hundreds of miles, comprising, it was sup-
posed, one-half of the nation ; and the other bodies
settled to the east and to the west of the Mississippi
river. That part of the body which was situated
in Pennsylvania became known as the "Delawares."
The word "Delaware" is unknown in the Indian
language. At first the Indians thought that the
white people had given this name to them in deri-
sion, but when they were informed that they were
named after a great white chief — Lord de la Ware
— they were satisfied.

Delaware Tribes. — The Delawares divided
themselves into three tribes — the Unamis or Turtle,
the Unalachtgo or Turkey, and the Minsi (some-
times called Monseys) or Wolf. The first two were
settled on the territory which lay nearest to the
ocean, between the coast and the high mountains,
and, as they increased in numbers, the}' extended
their settlements from the Hudson river to the Po-

The Minsi lived back of the other tribes, to form,
as it were, a bulwark for their protection and to
watch the actions of the Mengtve. Their settle-
ments extended from Minisink, on the Hudson (a
place named after them where they had their coun-
cil-seat) , to the west, far beyond the Susquehanna.
Their noi'thern boundaries were supposed to be
along the head-waters of the great rivers, Delaware
and Susquehanna, which flowed through their ter-
ritory, and their southern boundaries along that
ridge of hills known in Pennsylvania by the name
of Lehigh.

Man\' clans sprang from these tribes. They se-
lected distant spots as places of settlement, and
gave themselves names or received names from
other tribes. Their names were generally taken
after simple natural objects or something striking
or extraordinary. Though they formed separate
and distinct clans, yet they did not deny their ori-
gin, retaining their aflfection for the parent tribe,
of which they were proud to be called grandchildren.
M!any families, with their connections, lived bv
themselves. They were settled along the stream's
throughout the country. They had towns and vil-
lages, in which they lived in separate clans, with
a chief in each clan ruling over them. These chiefs
were subordinate to the council which comprised
the great chiefs of the nation.



Minsi Clans. — Tiie clans of the Minsi Indians
were the Schuylkills, Susquehannas, Neshamines,
ConestogaSj Assunpinks, Rankakos, Andastakas and
Shackmaxons. They were regarded as the most
warlike of all the Indians in these tribes. Each
clan had a chief to control its actions. The chief
of the Schuylkill clan, which was settled along the
Schuylkill and its tributaries, was, for a time, Man-
angy; and each chief was under the command of
a Grand Sachem.
. Ganawese. — The Ganawese (sometimes called
the Shawnees, or Piscataway) were also one of the
tribes of the Lenni Lenape. They had lived for-
merly along the Potomac river, and were permitted
by the governor of Pennsylvania to locate among
the Schuylkill Indians, near Tulpehocken-, in pur-
suance of a request from Manangy (the Indian
•chief in this section) with a guaranty of their
friendship by the Conestoga Indians. This request
was made in 1705, because the Ganawese had been
reduced by sickness to a small number, and had
expressed a desire to settle here. It is not known
whether they came immediately or not ; but four
jears afterward they were classed with the Indians
in this vicinity. In 1728 they were represented at
Philadelphia by their king, Manawkyhickon, who
was called Shekellamy, also Win jack; and he was
appointed then by the "Five Nations." It is sup-
-posed that he lived at Shamokin, his tribe having
by this time removed thither beyond the Blue Moun-

After Conrad Weiser had settled in Tulpehocken,
in 1729, an intimacy was cultivated between him
and Shekellamy. In 1732 these two were appointed
to travel between the Indians and the settlers, "in
order to speak the minds of each other truly and
freely, and to avoid misunderstandings" ; and as
such agents they performed invaluable services in
our early history by the satisfactory and amicable
adjustment of disputes. "They were universally re-
spected for their wisdom in council, their dignity
•of manner, and their conscientious administration
•of public affairs."

Grand Sachems. — The sachems of the Lenni
Lenape, from the time of the first English settle-
ments till the Indians retreated before the onward
march of civilization and eventually disappeared en-
tirely from this part of our country, were, in suc-
cession, Kekerappan, Opekasset, Taminent, Allum-
apees^ (who was afterward also called Sassoonan)
and Teedyuscung. They had their headquarters at
Minisink, on the Delaware river, some miles above
the Blue Mountain (now in Pike county), and also
at Shamokin, on Shamokin creek (in Berks county
for a period of twenty years, and since 1772 in the
eastern part' of Northumberland county) .

Manners and Customs. — The early settlers of
Pennsylvania found the Indians possessed of a
kindly disposition and inclined to share with them
the comforts of their rude dwelling-places. When
they were guests of the Indians, their persons were
regarded as sacred. Penn said that they excelled

in liberality; that they never had much, for they
never wanted much; that their wealth circulated
like the blood; that none wished for the property
of another; and that they were exact observers of
the rights of property. "They are not disquieted
with bills of lading and exchange," said he, "nor
perplexed with chancery suits and exchequer reck-
onings. We sweat and toil to live ; they take pleas-
ure in hunting, fishing and fowling, which feeds
them. They spread their table on the ground any-
where, and eat twice a day, morning and evening.
They care for little for they want but little. If
they are ignorant of our pleasures, they are free
from our pains."

The Indians, in their peculiar savage life, pos-
sessed, on the one hand, certain personal virtues —
a high sense of honor (according to their concep-
tions of duty), mutual fidelity among individuals,
fortitude that mocked the most cruel torments and
devotion to their own tribe, for whose welfare they
were ready to make any sacrifice; but, on the other
hand, they had no appreciation of domestic virtues,
for they treated their wives with cruelty and their
children with indifference. They were gloomy,
stern and severe, and strangers to mirth and laugh-
ter. They permitted no outward expression of pain.
Remarkable indifference to the good or ill of life
was one of the peculiar elements of their character ;
and they exhibited no pleasure in anything, save
boisterous joy in the moment of victory. They had
a great aversion to regular labor, and yet they were
capable of enduring the greatest possible exertions
during the chase or times of war. They were ex-
tremely improvident. When they had an abundance
of food and liquor they ate and drank great quan-
tities, not thinking of the morrow and the famine
they might have to endure. They recognized po-

They believed in the existence of a Supreme
Being, and of a Being in a subordinate position.
The former was the Great Spirit to them which did
not require prayers for aid and protection, but the
latter was looked upon as hostile to them, and to
this they addressed their worship. And they also
believed in a future state, where the souls of brave
warriors and chaste wives enjoyed a happy exist-
ence with their ancestors and friends. Their fun-
erals were conducted with great decorum. They
dressed the deceased persons in their best clothes,
and disposed of their bodies in various ways and in
different places, some in the air on scaffolds, some
in the water, and some in the earth. They also
practised cremation.

The general dress of the Indian in the temperate
and cold parts of the country, previous to the ar-
rival of the Europeans, consisted of three articles
— a cloak of buffalo skin (which hung from the
shoulders), a piece of skin used as an apron, and
a pair of moccasins or loose boots, manufactured
out of undressed skin. The women wore a long
robe of buffalo skin which was fastened around
the waist.



Their habitations were huts or cabins, generally
of a circular form, constructed of poles fixed in
the ground and tied together at the top. The outer
covering consisted of the bark of trees. A hole
was left open at the top for ventilation or the es-
cape of smoke. Beds and seats were made out of
skins. The diameter of some huts was thirty feet,
and even forty.

The painting of their bodies was a universal cus-
tom. Tattooing was practised. Some painted only
their arms; others both arms and legs. Those
who had attained the summit of renown in suc-
cessful warfare had their bodies painted from the
waist upward. This was the heraldry of the In-
dians. Besides this ornamentation, the warriors
also carried plumes of feathers on their heads.

Their weapons consisted of the tomahawk, knife,
club, and bow and arrow. When the Dutch arrived
the rifle was introduced to them ; and then the In-
dians became as expert in the use of this weapon
as they had been in the use of the tomahawk and
bow and arrow.

They subsisted chiefly on wild game and fish.
They were great hunters and fishers. In the use
of the spear in fishing they were very successful.
They carried on agriculture to a limited extent in
raising maize, beans and pumpkins. But the labor
was performed entirely by their women.

Each tribe was governed by an elected chief and
council. In matters of great importance all the
warriors were consulted. In their deliberations,
questions were decided by the consent of all, not
by a majority. Their assemblies were conducted
with great formality. Their debates were carried
on by set speeches which abounded in bold figures
and bursts of impassioned eloquence. The oldest
chief always commenced the discussion. The young
men were permitted to attend, but not to speak.

They conducted their warfare in a particular and
peculiar manner. They declared war by sending a
slave with a hatchet (the handle of which was
painted red) to the offending party. In taking the
field for action, the)' proceeded in small squads ;
and from the time of entering the enemy's territory
they killed no game, they lighted no fires, they made
no disturbance of any kind ; but they advanced with
the utmost caution, not even speaking to one an-
other, only communicating by signs and motions.
In making an attack, they would first lie flat a whole
night, and at the break of day, upon the signal of
the chief, rush upon the enemy. If they succeeded
("as they generally did succeed in such a quiet but
deliberate mode of warfare) their horrifying deeds
baffled description.

Retee.\t of Indians. — The Indians having
moved north of the Blue Mountain in 1732, the
Friends then entered and took up large tracts of
land in the Maiden-creek A'alley (Ontelaunee Sec-
tion). Within the previous decade, a small colony
of Germans had settled in the Tulpehocken Valley,
having migrated thither from New York against
the complaints and protests of the Indians. Before

1750, these settlers had even occupied tracts of
land beyond the mountain, reaching as far north
as the sources of the Schuylkill river. And thus
it appears, as the settlers pressed forward, the In-
dians retreated westward.

In 1749, the Delaware Indians left the great
region beyond the Blue Mountain for thousands
of square miles, and they departed with the firm
intention of remaining away. But shortly after-
ward, having been deceived by misrepresentations
of the French, they returned, not to retake pos-
session, but to murder the settlers. In this mali-
cious invasion, they were very successful, and they
kept the country in an unsettled condition for eight
years. Then they fled, never to return. In 1789,
the general government placed them on a large
reservation of land in the State of Ohio. In 1818,
they were located in Missouri. Numerous removals
followed during the next fifty years, when, in 1866,
they accepted land in severalty in the Indian Ter-

A popular notion prevails that the Indian tribes
are disappearing and their numbers growing less.
But it has been ascertained that, though certain
tribes have decreased in number, and others even
disappeared entirely, many of the tribes have in-
creased; and therefore the Indian population, as a
whole, in North America, has not decreased very
much since the advent of the Europeans. In 1880
there were in the United States 306,543 Indians
(of which 240,136 were on reservations and 66,407
were civilized) ; in 1890, 248,253 ; in 1900, 237,-
196 ; and in 1908, the number was estimated at

The general policy of our government has been,
for some years past, to treat with the Indian .tribes
in a respectful manner, purchase their lands, place
them upon certain reservations, where thev are re-
quired to remain, and appropriate supplies for them
in the nature of food, clothing, arms and ammuni-
tion. In this manner the government has been hu-
manely endeavoring to civilize them. And it has
accomplished considerable good results in respect
to some tribes, but failed in respect to others.

Indd\n Names. — All the prominent streams in
the county have been given Indian names ; also two
townships and two mountains. These names are
as follows :

Angelica —

Antictam —

Allegheny — Fair water.

Ganshozvchannc — Roaring or tumbling stream.
This is now known as the Schuylkill. Infold deeds
it is called Manaiiink, the signification of which
word was a mother of streams.

Gokhosing — Place of owls; now Cacoosing.

Kmt-ta-tiu-chunh — Endless (applied formerly,
now changed, to Blue Mountain).

Lechauzveki — Place of forks; now Lehigh.

Machksithanne — Bear's-path creek; now Maxa-

]\faschilamehnnnc~TTOut stream ; now Moselem,



Menakesse — Stream with large bends; now Mo-

Menhaltanink — Where we drank liquor; now

Navesink — Place of fishing; now Neversink.

Olink — Hole, cavern or cell; also a cove or tract
of land encompassed by hills; now Oley.

Ontelaunee — Little maiden ; now Maiden creek.

Pakihmomink — Place of cranberries ; now Perki-

Sakunk — Place of outlet, where a smaller stream
empties into a larger ; now Sacony ; also Saucon.

Sinne-hanne — Stony stream; now Stony creek.

Sipuas-lianne — A plum stream; now Plum creek.

Tamaque-hanne — Beaver stream — a stream across
which the beaver throws a dam ; now Beaver creek ;
also changed to Little Schuylkill.

Tulpewihaki — Land of turtles ; now Tulpehocken.

Wyomissing — -

Villages. — Some of the Indians had villages in
this district of territory. They were located in
different sections, more particularly, however, along
the Schuylkill and its principal tributaries, and
known as follows:

1. Angelica — opposite "Neversink," at mouth of
Angelica creek.

2. Ganshowehanne — in the central section, ad-
joining the Schuylkill, near the northern base of
"Neversink," at the mouth of Rose Valley creek, the
place being included in Reading.

3. Machksithanne — in the northern section, the
place being now in Maxatawny township, near

4. Maschilamehanne — situate some miles east
of Sakunk, on the stream of the same name, now
known as Moselem.

5. Sakunk — in the northern section, on the
Maiden creek in Richmond township at the mouth
of the Sakunk creek, now called Sacony.

6. Menhaltanink — at a large spring now in Am-
ity township, several miles northeast of Douglass-

7. Navesink — a short distance below the southern
base of "Neversink," near the Big Dam, on the
Deturck farm ; and it is believed that a village was
also in the "Poplar Neck" on the High farm.

Online LibraryMorton L. (Morton Luther) MontgomeryHistorical and biographical annals of Berks County, Pennsylvania, embracing a concise history of the county and a genealogical and biographical record of representative families, comp. by Morton L. Montgomery .. → online text (page 11 of 227)