Edwin MacMinn.

On the frontier with Colonel Antes; online

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Chapter I. Colonial Times 7

2. A Notable Colonial Leader 15

3. Coadjutors 26

4. School Days 30

5. The Work of the Moravians among the Indians 41

6. Persecution of the Indians 49

7. The Ferocity of the White Man 70

8. Shikellimy 82

9. Indian Traditions 93

10. The Indians along the Susquehanna 111

11. Traits of Indian Character 120

12. History of the Indians 129

13. Treaties with the Indians 145

14. A Famous Indian Conference 156

15. The Indian at Home 171

" 16. Social Education 192

" 17. Sickness and Death 204

18. The Pioneers 216

" 19. Fort Augusta 231

" 20. From Inn-holder to Frontiersman 244

" 21. Pioneer Experiences 256

22. Home Life of the Settlers 273

" 23. Early Methods of Transportation 286

" 24. Beginning of the Revolution 298

" 25. Rumors of War 314

" 26. Beginning of the War 327

" 27. Indian Massacres 338

" 28. Vengeance Exacted 356

" 29. The Confederation 373

30. Wyoming 381

" 31. Plunket's Invasion 390

" 32. The Massacre 398

" 33. Struggling for Possession 406

" 34. Progress and End of Wyoming Troubles 421

" 35. The Constitution 439

36. After the War 454

" 37. Matters Interesting to the Antes Descendants 409


Where it has been impossible to illustrate by other than imaginary pictures,
the most searching care has been given to the selection of the views as near the
fact as is possible to obtain.

Pictures opposite the numbers marked, except cases marked*.

Frontispiece, the author of the book, Edwin MacMinn.
From a half-tone made by "Harper Bros.," of New York.
Page 22. The Wissahickon, near Cleaver's Mile, formerly Dewees'
Kindly loaned by Mr. William H. Richardson, who has so suc-
cessfully photographed the scene.
" 25. Mt. St. Joseph Convent and Academy.
Kindly loaned by the Mother Superior.

The sides of the buildings presented are facing the spot occupied
by the Antes-Dewees Mill.
" 41. Zeisberger Preaching to the Indians.

This is a photographic reproduction of the famous painting of
Prof. E. Schuessele, in the possession of the Moravian Church,
at Bethlehem. The photography was by Julius Sachse, and the
half-tone work is a masterpiece by Gatchell and Manning. It
was to engrave this celebrated painting that John Sartain did
his best work.

Among the plates selected and prepared by the late John F.
Meginnes to illustrate his books on the West Branch history,
were several which have been generously placed at our service
by Mrs. Meginnes. They are as follows :


A Stockade Fort to Protect Settlers from Indians.
The Weapons of a Frontier Scout.

These were the property of Robert Covenhoven.
316. Settler's Home in Muncy, in 1770.
" Maclay's House in Sunbury, 1773.
*234. Caltrop.

♦236. Map of Indian Purchases.
328. Derr's Mill.





V Page 93. The; Town where Shikellimy Dwelt.

• " 231. Fort Augusta, at Shamokin.

/ " 297. Confluence of the North and West Branches oe the Sus-
quehanna before Blue Hill.

/ " 256. The Sketch Map of the West Branch is the result of close
study and careful work by Joseph H. McMinn. It is in-
valuable in explaining the early history of this famous

/ " 324. The picture, Beside the Babbling Brook, was specially prepared
for the "Ladies' Home Journal" as an illustration of rare
merit. It is exactly like Antes Creek. We are indebted
to the Curtis Publishing Company for its use.

y " 324. The Old Grist Mill was placed in our hands by Gatchell and
Manning. The bluff above the mill is precisely like the
bluff above the Antes mill, on which the Stockade Fort was

From the American Baptist Publication Society we were
privileged to obtain the following excellent pictures :

Grandmother's Spinning Wheel.

Savage Wolves at the Cabin Door.

Betsy Chilloway.

The Settler's Lonely Home.

The Massacre.

William Penn making a Treaty with the Indians.

Escape of William King.

A Trader's Camp.

"The Christian Work," of New York City, favored us with
373. the pictures of Independence Hall, in 1776, and the State
House as it was originally.

The Geological and Historical Society of Wilkesbarre
kindly placed at our disposal the pictures :

421. Forty Fort.

;| -'405. Lazarus Stewart's Block House, and the
^380. Map of the Wyoming Valley. All of great 'historical value.

128. Major Pratt, of the Carlisle Indian School, generously favored
us with :

128. a The Indian School at Carlisle.
J bDR. Carlos Montezuma as an Apache, and
* c As a Physician in Chicago.

d Tom Torlino as a Navajoe, and as a Carlisle Student.

i «


/ "


/ "

: 352.

/ *

; 221.

V "

; 398.

V "


/ "


y "



Professor J. M. M. Gernard, of Muncy, the editor of "Now and
Page 180. Then," has enabled us to use the plates of Pottery and Indian
193. PlPES, specially made to represent specimens which he found, and
now has in his extensive collection of Indian relics.

Professor D. B. B runner, A. M., of Reading, ex-Congressman
of Berks county, Pa., lias skillfully made cuts of many of the
choice Indian relics which he has picked up in the fields about

no. He has given us the use of some of these of AxES, Si'Ears,
KNIVES and Arrow Points, which, for accuracy, are unsurpassed.

The series of pictures of the five Leading Educational Institu-
tions, in the Susquehanna Valleys, are given to show the mar-
velous advancement of civilization and prosperity attained when
hardships once were so bravely endured.

64. State Normal School, located in Lock Haven, at the western
end of the West Branch Valley.
Furnished by J. R. Flickinger, Principal.
285. Dickinson's Seminary, in Williamsport.

Furnished by E. J. Grey, D. D., President.
3 ( J0- State Normal School, located at Bloomsburg, near the site of
Fort Freehand.
Furnished by J. P. Welsh, Ph. D., Principal.
430. The Wyoming Seminary, located at Kingston, in the center of
the disputed territory.
Furnished by L. L. Sprague, D. D., President.
470. Buckneei. University, near the site of Derr's Mill.
Furnished by W. C. Gretzinger, Registrar.

All of these schools arc of the highest merit, and prove that
these valleys are unsurpassed in the refinements and advantages
of this day.


In the studies connected with the preparation of the book,
"A German Hero of Pennsylvania," published some fifteen years
ago, the author was impressed with the fact that justice had never
been given the Antes family in the history of the development
of Pennsylvania. The welcome that book received, and the en-
dorsement of it by many of the most accurate writers of colonial
history, led the author to prepare on a more extended scale a
statement of the services the sons of Henry Antes rendered the

The author has taken great care to learn the exact facts, and
to do this has searched the Congressional Library at Washington,
the Mercantile Library in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia City
Library, the Library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
and the Salem City Public Library. Pie has also searched the
county records of deeds, wills and mortgages of Philadelphia,
Montgomery, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties. He has
also availed himself of favors shown by Messrs. John W. Jordan,
Henry S. Doterer, Ethen Allen Weaver, Rev. H. E. Hayden,
J. H. MacMinn and other specialists in departments of
the field of research traversed. There have been placed in
his hands original letters, unpublished archives and other mat-
ter of original sources of information in the possession of in-
dividuals and of the Historical Society of Pennnsylvania, and
of the Moravian Church at Bethlehem. He has also visited the
localities and has conversed with the aged people whose mem-
ories carried them back to conversations with their sires, giving
the traditions of those days. And in addition to all these
sources, he has read carefully the following books to gather
information: Archives of the State of Pennsylvania, Colonial


Records of Pennsylvania, History of Chester Comity by Futhey,
History of Montgomery County by Bean, History of Lycom-
ing County by Stewart, History of Lycoming County by Me-
ginnes, History of Northumberland County, History of Buf-
falo Valley by Linn, History of the West Branch Valley by Me-
ginnes, Biographical Annals by Meginnes, History of Wyoming
by Charles Miner, Gordan's Pennsylvania, Watson's Annals of
Philadelphia, Watson's Annals of New York, all the volumes of
the Pennsylvania Magazine, Winterbotham's History of Ameri-
ca, Historical Review of Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin,
Pennsylvania Historical Collections by Day, Transactions of the
Historical and Literary Committee of the American Philosophi-
cal Society, The Making of the Nation by Walker, Through Col-
onial Doorways by Anna H. Wharton, Life and Writings of John
Dickinson, History of the People of the United States by Mc-
Master, A Short History of the English Colonies in America
by Lodge, Discovery of America by John Fiske, Dutch and Qua-
ker Colonists by John Fiske, Winning of the West by Roosevelt,
Life and Writings of De Witt Clinton, Life of Franklin by Bige-
low, Life of Franklin by Parton, Life of Jefferson by Morse, Life
of Alexander Hamilton by Lodge, Sketches of William Brad-
ford, the Potts' Memorial, Genealogist, Vol. i; Ridpath's His-
tory of the United States, Household History of the United
States by Eggleston, Sketches of Montgomery County Historical
Society, Settlement of Germantown by Samuel W. Pennypacker,
Egie's History of Pennsylvania, Bolles' History of Pennsylvania,
Smith's History of New Jersey, Autobiography of Charles Bid-
die, The Colonial Era by Fisher, Life of Daniel Boone, Memorials
of the Moravian Church, Moravian Seminary Souvenir, Mora-
vian History by Reichel, Zeisberger's Diary, Old Landmarks by
Hagen, Antiquities of the Southern Indians by Jones, Book of
the Indians by Drake, Schoolcraft's Notes on the Iroquois, An
Account of the History, Manners and Customs of the Indians
by Heckewelder, all the volumes of Notes and Queries by Egle,
etc., etc.


Tt would, perhaps, be claiming too much to assert accuracy
in every particular, but the author has spared no pains to make
the presentation as accurate and valuable as the extensive sources
of information given him would allow. One very pleasing ac-
companiment of his labors has been the personal assistance and
friendship of many who are known to fame, and are among the
most learned and loyal of the sons of Pennsylvania, and the en-
couraging letters from a large number of generous subscribers
to the publication of the book.




AT THE present time the thoughts of the reading people are
turned toward that period of our history when the founda-
tions of government were being laid. Historians are pre-
senting the events in order as they occurred with the plainness
and exactness that are essential to make history worth the read-
ing. In these volumes attention is given to the men and event"?
around which the current of the forces involved swirled and
eddied. These histories are not dull reading. They bristle with
accounts that stir the patriotic heart, and in the descendants of
the brave men of that time arouse a pride that threatens to develop
into an aristocracy, which is even now assuming form under such
names as "The Order of the Cincinnati," "The Sons of the Rev-
olution," "The Colonial Dames," "The Daughters of the Rev-
olution," and others.

Closely following the historian is the "Pedigree Hunter."
Sometimes these are employed professionally by those who wish
to have a standing in the new aristocracy, but of themselves are
unable to furnish the necessary proofs of their pedigree. Others,
sure of their facts, and equally desirous of showing their patriotic
ancestry, search the records of ancient times, and gather from
old trunks, chests and the secret drawers of cabinets musty and
faded letters, clippings of colonial papers, parchment deeds and
elaborately written wills, and present these as proof of their
right to be in the company of those who, from the beginning of
our National history, have been patriots of the purest sort. These
people are well known by the county clerks and the librarians
of old libraries, and extremely old people, who are supposed to
cherish remembrances of their early days, and can recall the
traditions of their day, which, generallv, are reliable and of


great value. Through these workers the past is being resurrected
and the work of the historian supplemented with great advantage
to all who will, in the future, learn the story of our early days.

The field of Colonial times has also been entered by a third
party with an energy and brightness that is astonishing the world.
There is a class of writers who combine the historic perceptive
qualities with a strong imagination and are producing a class of
fiction that is being read with avidity by hundreds of thousands
of the thinking people of the land. Indeed, from this class of
writers will be gleaned all the knowledge of Colonial times that
the great mass of the people will ever possess. It is fortunate
for the readers that these writers are conscientious, and are pro-
ducing stories that are worth the reading because of the truth
that is in the midst of their fanciful portrayals of characters.

In this story of the career of Colonel Henry Antes, the at-
tempt is made to present the life of one who was so identified with
various movements in the development of the frontier of Penn-
sylvania, as to constitute him a representative character. He was
brought into intimate relations with the men who stand out as
the controling thinkers and workers of the Colonial regime. In
his earlier days, Benjamin Franklin and John Dickinson were
the dominant factors, and the political strife was on the problem
of the limitation of the powers of the proprietary government.
In his later days, Andrew Jackson was the cynosure of all eyes,
and the era of internal improvements was being ushered in. Be-
tween these two periods occurred the war of the Revolution, the
war of 1 8 12, and the careers of Washington, Jefferson, Adams,
Madison. Monroe, Hamilton, and their compeers. But the activ-
ities of Col. Henry Antes were not so much with these men as
with the men they were leading. As a local leader of the people,
he represents the forces at work in the substratum of government.
A study of his life shows us how our ancestors lived, and wrought,
and became prosperous, while fair and fertile fields succeeded for-
ests, and palatial edifices of brick and stone and marble arose
from the spot where the log cabin of the brave pioneer had stood.

When Col. Henry Antes was in his prime, the territory un-
der the civilization of the English race was very small compared
with what it is to-day. The treaty that secured the independence
of the colonies ceded a territory that stretched from the Atlantic
Ocean to the Mississippi, and from the Great Lakes on the north


to the 31st parallel and the southern border of Georgia. This
section was parcelled among the thirteen States, of which only
seven had well defined boundaries. Even in these the greater
part was a wilderness. The coast line from Maine to Georgia
was broken by many spaces of undeveloped lands and straggling
villages, where there were a few fishers' cots built of rough hewn
logs and thatched with sea weed. Between Portland and the St.
Lawrence there were no settlements. Beyond Schenectady, in
New York State, the white man dared not go, because the land
was occupied by the organized tribes of Indians, and there they
had their homes, and dwelt in built houses, and tilled their fields
and raised fruit in extensive orchards, and hunted the wild ani-
mals in the primitive forests about them. In Pennsylvania the
entire northern, western and central parts were a wilderness bear-
ing great trees, while the streams were the highways where the
Indian moved free from fear of the white man. In Virginia
there were only a few straggling villages about the headwaters of
their great rivers, and beyond that, in the States of Kentucky and
Tennessee, there were only a few hunters and trappers and traders
who were slowly fighting their way as the advance guard of the
aggressive Scotch-Irish settlers who were closely following them.
The valley of the Mississippi was coveted by the various coun-
tries of Europe and it was not at all certain whether France, or
Spain, or England, would finally possess it. No white man had
yet seen the headwaters of the mighty river, and the territory
beyond it was the region of speculation and mythology.

At that time Philadelphia was the principal city in North
America, and in its streets were seen the representatives of all
nationalities and the varieties of dress of every class found on this
side of the Atlantic. Here the Indians and the white men held
great councils and professed peaceful sentiments while display-
ing all the dignity and grandeur that each of them was capable
of presenting.

Although the seat of Quaker simplicity, Philadelphia had the
reputation of being the richest, most fashionable and most ex-
travagant city on the continent. Men of prominence were rec-
ognized as soon as they appeared on the streets, and because of the
influx of foreigners, the social lines were distinctly drawn by those
who assumed to be the choice people of the commonwealth. The
people lived over their stores and built balconies in front of their


houses, where they sat and watched the passing people and saluted
their friends. Chestnut street, the principal street, was a daily
parade ground for those who delighted in showing the latest im-
p< stations from the shops of Europe. A gentleman appeared on
the street wearing a three-cornered hat heavily laced ; hair done
up in a cue, and the color of it made uncertain by the profusion
of powder sprinkled upon it. His light colored coat had a long
back and was surmounted with a small cape. The silver buttons
on the coat were engraved with the initials of the owner's name.
His small clothes hardly reached his knees, his stockings were
striped, his shoes pointed, on which he wore large buckles, and
he carried a cane which he flourished as he walked. A lady ap-
peared dressed in gorgeous brocades displayed over cumbrous
hoops which stood out at least two feet from her form. Her hat
was in the shape of a tower, and was surmounted with tall feath-
ers. When a gentleman passed a lady they both courtesied pro-
foundly, taking half the pavement to make the evolutions.

Henry Cabot Lodge says: "In a community with so large
an interest in trade and shopkeeping, there was, of course, from
the outset, the usual tendency to concentrate for the better pros-
ecution of business. Philadelphia throve from the beginning, was
in the year 1750 second only to Boston in size and importance,
and by the time of the Revolution had become the first city in
America in population. The inhabitants of the city proper num-
bered more than 25,000, and those of the suburbs carried the total
above 30.000. The city was laid out on the imbecile checker-
board fashion, now almost universal in the United States, and
the High street running through the center of the town was the
great promenade for the citizens. From the very outset good
building was the rule; the houses were chiefly of brick, some of
stone, and but few of wood. The public buildings were comely
and useful structures, and considered in their day imposing and
handsome. The churches were small and unpretentious, but neat.
The open squares, long rows of poplars, and large gardens and
orchards about the houses of the better sort gave some relief to
the rigid lines of the streets. In the matter of police regula-
tions, more had been done in Philadelphia at that time than in
m«.st cities in any part of the world, and this was chiefly due to
the genius and quiet energy of Franklin. At his arrival the town
was filthy and unpaved, unlighted, and guarded only by half a


dozen constables drawn from the citizens. When the Continen-
tal Congress assembled the crossings everywhere were paved,
as well as the principal streets ; there was a regular watch to patrol
the town, cleaning was performed by contract,, instead of inef-
ficiently by convicts, and the streets were dimly lighted. By
Franklin's exertions the city had come to be the pride of the
province, and there was abundant legislation for its benefit. The
well built houses, sometimes rising over shops and store-houses,
sometimes surrounded by gardens, were generally in the English
style of the Eighteenth century. They all had broad porches and
projecting roofs and windows. Many were adorned with bal-
conies, and the old dials set in the walls served in large measure
as timekeepers to a race ignorant of steam engines. The most
characteristic feature of the town was the sidewalks, marked off
from the roadway by posts at short intervals, and by pumps, sur-
mounted by lamps, and thirty yards apart. Within these posts
foot passengers found protection from vehicles, and convivial
gentlemen groping their way home through the faintly lighted
streets butted against them and were thus kept in the foot-path
and out of the gutter. Houses and sidewalks were scrupulously
clean, and even the large and commodious market, at the end of
the High street, filled every morning with a busy crowd, was neat,
quiet and orderly. All the foreign commerce of the province cen-
tered in Philadelphia, and the quays along the river were the scene
of bustle and activity inseparable from thriving trade. Great
fairs brought in the country people, and these, with the seamen
and strangers, gave life and variety to the streets and squares.

"Most of the citizens lived in rooms over their shops, which
were tended by their wives and daughters, and their daily life was
as sober, monotonous and respectable as their Quaker garb. They
still preserved the customs and traditions of their founder, which
were rapidly giving way before the accumulation of wealth, the
increase of luxury and the presence of ever increasing sects,
whose leading tenets were not simplicity of dress or manners.
But the traders and shopkeepers differed only in degree from the
upper classes, whose mode of life has been preserved for us in
many ways. The old style of living was one of extreme sim-
plicity, but luxury began to come in rapidly after the middle of
the Eighteenth century, when tea and coffee came into general
use, the bare floors began to be carpeted, and the bare walls pa-


pered. There was in every way plenty of substantial comfort.
The houses were large, broad, with dormer windows and bal-
conies, and usually in the midst of pretty gardens. The rooms
were low and spacious, with heavy wainscots and large open fire
places, while the furniture and silver were plain and massive, but
handsome, and often rich."

We will introduce the reader to Col. Henry Antes at a time
when the entire country was in a state of intense excitement. His
name, like that of his father, was properly John Henry, but the
John was dropped, and he was always spoken of simply as Henry

Henry Antes, well fixed in his new home on the west branch
of the Susquehanna, had come to Philadelphia to receive his ap-
pointment from the Lieutenant Governor as a Justice of the Com-
monwealth. It was at a time when the masses of people were
surging through the city in a state of wonder at the portents of
the times. Coming from the frontier, Antes was dressed in a
suit of home-tanned deer skin, trimmed with bear's teeth, and
wearing a fur cap, on which was the bristling tail of a fox. He
wore a belt made of rattlesnake skin and carried the rifle that was
the inevitable complement to the attire of a backwoodsman. He
was a large man, both in stature and in breadth of shoulders, and
attracted attention wherever he passed from the dignity and maj-
esty of his appearance.

It did not take much time for him to walk through the city.
In a few moments he walked from the soldiers' barracks in the

Online LibraryEdwin MacMinnOn the frontier with Colonel Antes; → online text (page 1 of 48)